Chapter XXIV

HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF TRUXTON

The town of Truxton lies upon the northern border of the county, east of the center, and is bounded on the north by Onondaga County; on the east by Cuyler; on the south by Solon, and on the west by Homer and Preble.

The town was named in honor of Commodore Truxton, and was organized from Fabius, April 8th, 1808, embracing the southern half of that military township. The northern tier of lots of Solon were annexed on the 4th of April, 1811. The town of Cuyler was set off from the eastern side of Truxton on the 18th of November, 1858.

In the earlier organization this town was embraced in Pompey, which was organized in 1794 and included Pompey, Fabius and Tully and also a part of the Onondaga Reservation lying south of the old Genesee road and east of Onondaga Creek. Fabius was erected from Pompey in 1798 and at that time included two military townships, Fabius and Tully, comprising the present towns of Fabius, Tully, Truxton, Preble and Scott, with portions of Spafford and Otisco.

The surface of this town is chiefly a broken upland, divided into ridges which have a northerly and southerly direction. The eastern branch of the Tioughnioga River enters the town near the center of the eastern border and flows westerly until near the center of the town, then takes a south-westerly course until it leaves the town. The other streams of the town are the tributaries of the Tioughnioga, the Westcott and Stewart Brooks and Labrador Creek from the north, Cheningo Creek from the east and Trout Brook from the south.

On the northern border of the county is a small sheet of water called Labrador Pond, which is noted for its surrounding picturesque scenery. On a small brook which flows into the outlet of this pond from the east is a beautiful cascade known as Tinker's Falls, around which is also romantic and attractive scenery.

What are known as the Truxton hills lie north of the river. Nearly their whole surface is divided into sharp ridges with steep declivities, their summits being termed "hog's-backs."

The soil of the town is generally a sandy and gravelly loam. The Truxton flats are rich and very productive and well adapted to growing all kinds of grain.

The town is next to the largest in the county, its acreage being 28,099; only Virgil is larger. The assessed valuation of Truxton is $16.95 per acre. In 1810 the taxable property of the town was assessed at $47,673. In 1883 the assessed value of real estate was $476,420, and that of the personal property, $20,400. In 1810 the village of Truxton contained only 20 houses. It now has a population of about 300.

The first settler in the town of Truxton was Samuel C. Benedict, who located on lot 12 in the year 1793. No record exists of his birth-place and little is known of his career subsequent to coming into this town. He was certainly a hardy and courageous pioneer who dared push his way into the wilderness far beyond the boundaries of civilization and there plant the standard of a new settlement. Yet here he came and builded for himself a log cabin which long bore for him the eloquent title, "home." And here occurred the first birth in the town, as well as the first death - children of Mr. Benedict in both instances. It is to be regretteed that we can give no further details of the later life of Mr. Benedict; but it is often the case that he who was most instrumental in making the first footprints of civilization in a wilderness, must remain forever unknown and almost unhonored by posterity.

In 1794, Nathaniel Potter, Jonah Stiles, Christopher Whitney and Benjamin Brown came into the town and settled in various locations. Potter was from Saratoga County, NY and purchased lots 77, 86, and 96. On the latter lot he erected a small house. In July, 1798, he was suddenly killed by a falling tree.

Jonah Stiles came from Rupert, Vermont, and located on lot 4, where he purchased 100 acres, which farm was subsequently owned and occupied by Samuel Freeman. His daughter Julia married John Wicks and Sophia married Alexander Forbes of Litchfield, Ohio. His son Jonah, locate at Seville, Ohio; Samuel at Franklin, Delaware County, NY and Otis at Stilesville, NY.

Christopher Whitney was also from an eastern State and located on lot 3. One of his daughters became the wife of Moses Hopkins,a pioneer of Cortland village.

Among other very early settlers were Robert Knight, from Monmouth, New Jersey; Hugh Stewart, from Colerain, Mass.; John Jeffrey and Enos Phelps, from New Jersey; Billy Trowbridge and Dr. John Miller, from Duchess County. The last named was the first physician in the town, where he lived and practiced his profession until the year 1862, when he died. He was one of the best known and most respected men of the county during his life.

John Shedd located early in the year 1797, on lot 63, and during the same year the Stewarts came in. Nathaniel E. located on lot 63 and Charles on 93, "State's hundred."

In 1798, a number of settlers came into the town and located. Of these Robert McNIght and John Jeffrey settled on lot No. 2. Billy Trowbridge settled on lot 5. He became a prominent citizen and filled several political offices; was twice elected to the Assembly and was sheriff one term.

His son, Smith, located in Syracuse, and John, Levi and Hubbard at Detroit. Mich.

Stephen Hedges came to this town from Troy and settled on lot 93.

Increase M. Hooker was a native of Bennington, Vt. He was with Ethan Allen during a portion of the Revolutionary War and witnessed the conflict at Bennington on the 16th of August, 1777. He was married in LItchfield, Conn., and afterward removed to Greene County, NY; in 1797, he removed to Solon, locating on lot 88. Soon afterward he purchased a grist-mill of Joseph Sweetland; it contained one run of stones and was covered on the outside with bark from elm trees. It was rebuilt in 1816 by Mr. Hooker's sons. In 1842 he removed to New Jersey. In 1848 he made a visit to a son in Illinois and while returning, died at Onondaga Hollow.

Lewis Wicks came from Saratoga county in 1804 and located during 1804.

The Pierce family, which became a prominent one in the town, were from Colerain. Zebulon came in 1805 and located on lot 34. Judah settled on lot 12 in 1806. He accumulated a large property and was an influential citizen; he married Fanny Smith, an aunt of Allen B. Smith.

The Buells of this county originally descended from one William Buell, of Australia, who went to Constantinople, and in 1621 to Wales, and from there to Connecticut in 1634. Thomas Buell, the father of F.M. Buell, of Truxton, is of the 7th generation of William Buell. Thomas Buell came to Truxton in 1806; kept hotel in 1808. He married Betsey Freeman, daughter of Elder Freeman, and had 7 children by this wife. F.M. Buell was born in 1811. He was married Jun 9th, 1841, to Emily F. Howard, of Colerain, Mass. In 1865 he moved to the village of Truxton. In 1871 he went into the custom house, New York, and was there several years. Howard F. Buell, the former editor of the "Cortland News", is their son.

Rufus Freeman, of Colerain, Mass., came here in 1806, and in 1807 organized the Baptist Church of this place. He had 4 sons, all Baptist preachers. Allen B. Freeman organized the first Baptist church of that city in 1833, which then had but 15 members.

Deacon James Bell was from Rupert, Vt., and came to Truxton in the winter of 1812, locating on lot 95. In 1821, he removed to Medina County, Ohio, where his sons, James and Jacob, became active and prominent politicians, the former being elected to the Legislature.

James Kenney and his wife lived in Truxton as early as 1809, and on the second of May of that year his son, Moses Kenney, was born. He became a well-known and respected citizen of the town. His father died when he was 4 years old.

Hosea Kenney is now the oldest citizen of the town of Truxton, where he has resided for more than 75 years. He was born in Stoddard, N.H., October 31st, 1791, and is the sole survivor of a family of 4 sons and 5 daughters, the descendants of the Rev. Isaac Kenney, a Baptist minister, who died at Roylston, Mass., September 2nd, 1801, and who, according to the most authentic information obtainable,descended in a direct line from Henry Kinne, who came from Holland and settled in Salem, Mass., about 1670. From this revered progenitor has sprung a numerous race numbering more than 300 and extending iin several instances to the 6th generation. The 3rd son, Hosea, when he was 13 years old first came to this town with his elder brother, Isaac. In 1813 he purchased 60 acres of land on lot No. 21 in Truxton, of Isaac Cooper, of Cooperstown, NY, at $6.00 per acre. July 7th, 1814, at Brookfield, NY, he married Nancy, a daughter of Captain Asa Lamb, a veteran of the Revolutionary War. With his young bride he immediately commenced the struggle of life on his newly acquired woodland home, where, with a strong arm and determined purpose, they literally "hewed out" a competence. After having, from time to time, added to his first purchase, in 1842, he retired from active life and took up his residence in the village of Truxton, where he has since resided. His farm, then consisting of about 150 acres, he conveyed to his two elder sons, and subsequently the title to the whole was acquired by his oldest son, Hosea M., who still holds the same. His wife, Nancy, died August 5th, 1862, and February 15th, 1865, he married Mrs. Marana French, who died May 14th, 1880. He now resides with his youngest son, Amos L., and though vigorous in his ripe old age, still there are unmistakable evidences that he is rapidly approaching the end. In 1816 he united with the First Baptist Church of Truxton, of which the Rev. Thomas Purinton was then pastor. He has at all times led a consistent and faithful Christian life and maintained an honored standing with the people of his first choice. His attendance at the regular services of the church has been constant, and he now deems it the greatest of deprivations, if for a single Sabbath he is prevented from listening to the preaching of the Gospel. Of his four sons, Hosea M., James, Ira E., and Amos L., all survive except James, who died March 28th, 1883.

Hosea M. and his son Marcus E., under the firm name of Kenney & Son, are retail dealers in hardware and manufacturers of tinware in Truxton, and his elder son, Manly L., occupies the family homestead.

Ira E. graduated in the theological department of Madison University in 1848, and was ordained to the ministry the same year by the Baptist Church of Truxton. In 1883 the University of Des Moines, Iowa, conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.D., and the same year called him to fill the president's chair of that institution, where he is now doing a good work.

Amos L. graduated at Hamilton college in 1843, was admitted as an attorney and counselor at law in May, 1848, and has since practiced his profession at Truxton. His only son, Eudorus C., graduated at Cornell Universiy in 1882 with the degree of B. Sc., with mathematics as a specialty, and for the last two years has been the instructor in mathematics and sciences in the Morgan Park Military Academy at Morgan Park, Illinois.

Alexander Lansing came from Schenectady, NY in 1811, and located on lot 13, where J.O. Wicks now lives, and came to the village in 1861, where he died in 1862. When he first came to the town he dug a well on his farm, in which he found a live frog in a stone which he had broken open. His son, Peter Lansing, became a candidate for governor of Nebraska in 1880 on the Greenback ticket, but was defeated.

Henry Patrick, a native of Vermont, came to Truxton about the year 1815, and settled near the town line. He had a tannery at the State bridge and followed that business for many years. He died in 1862, 72 years old. His second wife was Miss Clara Keeler, a daughter of Joseph Keeler, said to be the second settler in the town. DeWitt Patrick, his son, was born in 1828, and was married to Sabra Risley in 1849. He has but one daughter, Mrs. Albert Stevens, of the firm of Stevens & Cornic, and but one son, who is now of the firm of Hilton & Patrick.

In 1814 Asa Babcock, who was originally from Rhode Island, came in from Madison County and engaged in mercantile trade, which he continued for a period of 43 years. He was also postmaster for a long term, the office being located where it is at the present time.

Asa Campbell was a native of Hampden County, Mass., and settled at Cheningo in 1816. Stephen Ambler came in from New Berlin and located on lot 83 in 1818, purchasing 112 acres.He was one of the leading men of the town, a successful farmer and a prominent member of the Presbyterian society.

Freeman Schermerhorn, a worthy citizen of Truxton, was married to his present wife, N. Libbie Radway, October 25th, 1876, and is the father of four children, viz.: George W. (by former wife), Lizzie, Vernie and Nettie, children by his present wife.

Mr. Schermerhorn was a soldier in the late war, a sergeant of Co. G, 76th regiment, from Sept. 21st, 1861, to Dec., 1862. He was taken sick after the battle of Bull Run, and afterwards honorably dismissed from the srvice. He has been a prominent official member of the Baptist church since 1866.

Rev. Thomas Purinton, the eminent divine of this town, came here in 1822 and located on lot 21, where he remained 25 years. His son-in-law, Allen B. Smith, now of Cortland, came from Colerain, Franklin County, Mass., in 1837 and located on lot 21. He was a successful farmer, but after remaining on his farm 16 years, he removed to Cortland where he engaged in the hardware trade. He married his second wife, Miss Carrie Rindge, daughter of Scepta Rindge, in 1859.

These were the principal pioneers who left the permanent impress of their work upon what was before an unbroken wilderness in this town. Looking at its present aspect as one of the most thrifty and prosperous farming districts in the county, neat farm houses thickly scattered throughout the town, with a lively business center in their midst, it is quite safe to assume that the hardy pioneers whose settlements we have noted "builded better than they knew."

Milling, etc - The streams of Truxton furnished many excellent mill sites to the early inhabitants, a number of which were made available for different purposes. There are now in the town two grist-mills (there were five at one period), a number of steam saw-mills, several factories and other manufacturing works.

The first grist-mill in the town was erected by Joseph Sweetland, on lot 94; it was the one already referred to as being covered with elm bark. It is not known in just what year it was built, but it was sold to Increase M. Hooker not much later than 1800 and passed from him to his son, who rebuilt it in 1816. In the course of time it became the property of George Pond, and finally passed into the hands of the present owner, Kirtland C.Arnold, who bought it in October, 1874, paying for it the handsome sum of $10,000.

The second grist-mill in the town was erected in 1809, by Jonah Stiles and Alvin Pease, on the site afterward occupied by the wool exchange. In 1810 they erected a carding-machine.

A Mr. Hitchcock built a saw-mill on the opposite side of the stream at an early day, taking his water from the same dam. This mill was running when A.B. Smith came to the town in 1837, and is still in operation. The plank for several miles of the old Syracuse and Cortland plank road were sawed at this mill. Other mills and manufactories will be alluded to in the history of the village further on.

After the organization of the town, April 8th, 1808, the first town meeting was held at the house of Charles Stewart, and resulted in the selection of Charles Stewart for supervisor, and Reuben Risley for town clerk. The records of this town are incomplete and we have been unable to obtain a list of the supervisors and town clerks. Dr. J.C. Nelson, the present supervisor, has held the office of supervisor continuously since 1872.

The present officers of the town are as follows: -
Supervisor -J.C. Nelson;
Town Clerk - John O'Donnell;
Commissioner of highways - Daniel J. Hartnett;
Assessors - Patrick O'Donnell, L. L. Schellinger, M. Wiegand;
Overseer of the poor - Jeremiah O'Connor;
Collector - O.J. Kinney;
Constables - Llewellyn Perry, J.P. Vincent, Josiah McChesney, Charles Bosworth, O.J. Kinney;
Excise commissioners - James L. Goddard, Dennis Collins, David Wallace.
Inspectors - Tiler W. Pierce, John Nott, and Alvorado Lansing;
Justices of the peace - Charles Hayes, Alvorado Lansing and G. H. Towle.

At the breaking out of the Rebellion the town of Truxton showed her patriotic inclinations by prompt and liberal offers of men and means in support of the government. The following list shows the names of the men who entered the service from the town under the different calls for troops and who were paid bounties, with the amount in each case: -

Call of October 17th, 1863. Bounty, $300. Total, $13,800 - John J. Dodd, Edward Dodd, Hiram Hall, John P. White, John R. Babcock, Henry Jones, Charles Knight, William H. Gable, William Laing, John Kline, Main E. Cooke, James Howry, Isaiah Marshal, John Milton, Chas. Morgan, George W. Steel, John Smith, Barney Riley, Charles Kirby, Daniel O'Niel, James Cranney, Sylvanus E. Parker, John Leng, Frederick J. Carver, William Tillman, William Habden, James Haulman, Peter Young, Henry Farwell, Philip Flanders, John Day, James Clark, George H. Ackerman, Charles E. Whitmore, Henry Bonney, William Armstrong, John Riley, George Robinson, Edward E. Nelson,. Edward Fegan, Lewis Smith, George Chapman, John White, William Henderson, James McCarthy, William P. Pyne.

Call of July 18th, 1864. Bounty, $600; $300 paid to seven; $700 to two; $500 to one. Total, $13,300. brokerage, $600 - James H. Washburn, Theodore J. Purdebaugh, Samuel R. Pierce, Henry D. Clark, Albert Haynes, Harvey Dutcher, Erastus A. Reed, Daniel Jones, James Cain, John Morris, Egbert E. Palmer, Lucian B. Randall, James Steel, Jr., Isaac Dobinson, Levi S. Henry, Oren W. Munroe, Andrew J. Neff, Benjamin L. Neff, Herbert C. Rorapaugh, George W. Smith, Chester Wood, William B. Greenleaf, Calvin Lane, William H. Ayrisworth, Albert Sylvester, John Shaver.

Recapitulation - Paid for filling quotas, calls of October 17th, 1863, and February and March, 1864, $13,800; paid for filling quota, call of July 18th, 1864, $13,900. Grand total, $27,700.

VILLAGES

The pretty village of Truxton is situated near the center of the town on the line of the Utica, Ithaca, and Elmira Railroad, and has a population of about 300. It contains three churches, two hotels, several stores, shops, etc.

Stephen Hedges is said to have been the first merchant in Truxton. The second store was built by Asa Babcock in 1814. It stood just in rear of the one now owned by J.C. Wiegand, and was built by Mr. Babcock in 1834, who continued mercantile business here until 1857, a period of 43 year. He then sold out to S. Goddard, who conducted the store until 1878, when Mr. Wiegand purchased the business. While Mr. Goddard was in possession he refurnished the store and changed its character to a drug store.

Mr. Goddard came to the village in 1848, at which time both Asa and Gideon C. Babcock were merchants here. The later was located in an old building afterward used as a tin shop, and which has been repaired and fitted up for a dwelling by J.C. Wiegand. Gideon Babcock was succeeded by Thomas Osborne, John Ferguson, John Trowbridge and Chauncey Hicock, all of whom kept the general stock of goods usually sold in country stores. Mr. Hicock, the last merchant in the old store, died in 1844.

The store at present occupied by E.B. Lincoln & Co. was built by S. Goddard in 1836 for a wagon shop; it was used as such up to 1854 and then sold to Geo. W. Bliss, who turned it into a store, where he did business until 1868, the store was then leased to Leander Maycumber, and in 1883 to the present proprietors.

Mr. Goddard is a native of Windham County, Vt., where he was born in 1811. He was engaged in the manufacture of carriages from 1828 (the date of his arrival in Truxton) until 1857. His work acquired an excellent reputation and he not only made many of the first carriages used in the county, but shipped many to the East and to the far West. Besides his career as a manufacturer and merchant, he has filled the office of supervisor of the town several terms.

The dry goods trade in Truxton is now if the efficient hands of Hilton & Patrick and E.B. Lincoln & Co., both of which firms have creditable, thriving stores. Hilton & Patrick succeeded E.P. Summers in 1883; the latter firm having traded there since 1872.

The furniture trade was established by A.L. Pomeroy before 1837 and was continued by him more than 25 years; the store was then conducted by Albert Pierce one year and subsequently by T.I. Woodward, the present proprietor, who took it in 1878.

Blacksmithing was carried on in the village at an early day by William Jones, who continued it for many years and became quite wealthy. He also manufactured wagons quite extensively, employing often from 20 to 30 hands. He was burned out and on the site of his works erected a nice house and barn. Thomas Dodd, George Crofoot and Dennis Collins are the blacksmiths of the village at the present time.

The butter firkin and tub factory, now under the management of Stevens & Connic, was established in 1876 by Skeel & Connic; it is an industry of importance, employing quite a number of hands. The business is carried on in a building which was formerly used by Skeel & Bryant for a flouring-mill. The present proprietors also own a steam saw-mill which is operated in connection with the factory.

The grist-mill in the village was built by O.J. Kenney & Son in 1881 and is still operated by them.

In later years the dairying interest has developed in this region until it is one of the first importance among farmers. This fact led to the erection of cheese factories in different parts of the town. The Truxton cheese factory, situated about half a mile east of the village and now owned by William McAdam, was built just prior to the last war by Moses Kenney. Another factory is owned by Chauncey Stevens, three miles north of here.

The grocery trade was first carried on as a separate business by Chapman & Bosworth, some time before the last war. J.O. Connor & Co. began trade in 1876, in the building erected by Mr. Goddard in 1826.

The first hardware store n the village was kept in 1844 by D. Carr. It was afterwards located in a building which has since been changed and is now used as a dwelling by J.C. Wiegand. The business was established by a Mr. Dryer about the year 1855, in a small way, in connection with a work-shop in that line. Knapp & Kinney succeeded in 1868 and continued until 1871, when the firm became Kinney & Son (H.M. & M.E. Kinney) who built the present store in 1876. The large store is kept well stocked and the firm has a large country patronage.

The drug trade was probably confined to the practicing physicians until McKay & Nelson began the business about the year 1850. S. Goddard purchased the stock in 1857, enlarged it and carried on the business until succeeded by K.C. Arnold & Bros., and then by J.C. Wiegand.

The tailoring business was established here by A.H. McKay before 1838; he also kept a small stock of ready-made clothing, but continued only a few years, when he sold out to Miss Winne, who established the millinery business. Mrs. C.A. Davenport has traded in this line since the spring of 1883.

About the year 1860 Wm. Beatie converted a building on lot 21 into a cheese factory which was quite largely patronized for a number of years. He also had branch factories from which he brought the curd to this central factory. He still runs the establishment.

The first post-office inTruxton village was in charge of Stephen Hedges, who has already been alluded to as one of the prominent early pioneers. Dr. John Miller was postmaster from 1805 for a period of 25 years. Asa Babcock became postmaster in 1837 and held the office until his death. Alanson Coats was postmaster a few years. It is now in charge of J. C. Wiegand.

Lawyers - The first lawyers to open an office in Truxton were Messrs. Palmer & Williams. Their office was in a building which is still standing just north of the site of the old hotel, which was burned.

Alanson Coats was probably the next lawyer. He served in the War of 1812 and came to Truxton in 1818 where he followed the mercantile business a number of years. He then studied law in the office of Palmer & Williams and in 1836 began practice, which he continued up to 1852 or 1853, going then to Syracuse. A few years later he removed to Homer, where he died in 1865.

Amos Kenney is the present lawyer in the village. He studied with Mr. Coats in 1842 and 1843.

Physicians - The first physician in the town and village of Truxton was John Miller, who came to the place in 1801, locating on lot 93. He practiced his profession 25 years and died in 1862. He was postmaster in 1805 and retained that office for 25 years; was justice of the peace from 1812 to 1821 and one of the county judges from 1817 to 1820; was elected a Member of Assembly in 1816, in 1820 and again in 1846. In 1826-27 he represented his district in Congress. He was elected an honorary member of the State Medical Society in 1808 and at his death was the oldest member. Dr. Miller was a man of marked character, unswerving integrety and one of the most useful citizens of Cortland County during its early years.

Dr. Azariel Blanchard, a brother of Wm. Blanchard, of Cuyler, came here soon after the War of 1812 and remained until 1844, when he removed to Wisconsin, where he died in 1878.

Dr. Eli Cook bought out Dr. Blanchard and remained in the village 8 or 10 years.

Dr. Judson C. Nelson, a graduate of the Geneva Medical College (1848) came here in 1851-52 and has been the leading phsician since that time, with the exception of 3 years in the army as regimental surgeon, and 2 terms as Member of Assembly - 1876 and 1883. He has also been supervisor of the town several times.

The first hotel in the village was opened by Thomas Buell in 1808.

There were two hotels in Truxton village in 1828, when S. Goddard moved to the place. The first was kept by L.L. Merrill and was known as the Mansion House. He kept it until about 1845, when he removed to a farm in the town. The house was burned about the year 1867.

The second hotel was located about 20 rods from the one above described, and was kept by Arnold Hicock, who was succeeded by Abel Perry, an eastern man. He sold it to Wm. Jones in 1842, who converted it into a dwelling. It was burned about the year 1850.

The Stearns Hotel was formerly a dwelling and owned by Enoch Benedict, but was changed into a hotel by Abijah Pierce. Rial Schellinger owned it afterwards several years. After him came John Hills, B.F. Stearns (1872) and C.H. Smith, the present proprietor, in January 1882.

The Ryan Hotel was built by Asa Goddard in 1826; a portion of it was used by a Mr. Van Allen as a store and a portion as a dwelling. During the late war it was transformed into a hotel by George Pond. He kept it but a short time, and was followed by I. Rogers, John Wheeler, A.L. Pomeroy, James H. Ashby and the present proprietor, M. Ryan who took charge of it in March, 1882.

The early hotels in the country places received perhaps a more liberal patronage than in later years. The roads were traveled in such localities by numerous stage coaches, and all the merchandise and stock for manufacturers were brought in by teams, all of which made business at the hotels.

Truxton was isolated from railroad communication until the building of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira road. The consummation of this undertaking was of great benefit to the town at large and will undoubtedly be still more beneficial in the future. The village is thrifty and the inhabitants are imbued with the belief that theirs is not one of the places that is to be killed by the construction of a railroad and consequent diversion of business to other points.

Churches - This town was visited at a very early day by itinerant missionaries and public worship was begun in 1801 under the leadership of the Rev. Hugh Wallis. In 1811 a Congregational Church was organized, consisting of 21 members, by Rev. Wm. J. Wilcox, assisted by the Rev. John Davenport and Rev. Joseph Avery, a missionary from Massachusetts. At the time of the organization of the church, or soon after, Rev. Mr. Jewell began laboring with the church as stated supply, and continued for some time. He was succeeded by Rev. Oliver Hitchcock in 1813 and he by Rev. Mathew Harrison in 1814. How long Mr. Harrison continued with the church we are not informed. In 1819 Rev. Ezra Woodworth supplied the church and was succeeded the following year by Rev. Caleb Clark,, then a licentiate preacher. On the 5th day of June, 1833, Mr. Clark was ordained and installed pastor of the church, which position he held until the 15th of April, 1850. Since that time Rev. Charles E. Avery, Rev. John N. Lewis and Rev. Huntington Lyman have severally been connected with the church as stated supplies. Rev. Wm. T. Doubleday was the stated supply in 1848 and remained between 2 and 3 years. In 1813 the church was connected with the Presbytery of Onondaga and was transferred to the Presbytery of Cortland upon the creation of that body. The church enjoyed a revival in 1820, when 67 were added to its membership. In 1825 there were 106 members in the society and in 1837 it reported 188. Its ministres were always supported without foreign aid and a comfortable and commodious house of worship was erected in 1820, 62 by 44 feet. The average attendance at public worship in 1850 was about 175; but from that time the membership began to decrease for various reasons until at the present time there is scarcely more than an organization. The trustees are George Bliss, D. Carr and D.S. Severance.

The Methodist Episcopal society was organized in October, 1879, since which time public services have been held in a building the use of which was secured for that purpose. W.A. York and at the present time T.F. Harris, who visits the place at stated periods from East Homer, have ministered to the society. Stephen Patrick is class-leader, and F.I. Woodward, Nelson Haskins, Dr. Frank Haskins and Stephen Patrick are stewards.

The first Baptist Church in the town and village was organized by Rev. Rufus Freeman in 1806. Mr. Freeman came from Colerain, Mass., and was a preacher in that place. The church edifice was erected in 1818. Rev. Thomas Purinton, one of the ablest ministers the Baptist church ever had in Cortland county, came also from Colerain, Mass., in 1822, and located on a farm on lot 21, where he continued to live for many years. He had studied medicine under Dr. Ross, of Colerain, but upon making ready to begin practice was converted, when he took a theological course of study and after being licensed to preach remained in the ministry for a term of years before coming westward. He followed farming in Truxton, preaching at different surrounding points. It was then his custom to preach twice on the Sabbath in the church in the village, and on Sabbath evening in some school-house in another part of the town, and on Thursday evening again in some other remote place in the large old town, which was 10 square miles. Mr. Purinton received as salary $200 a year for the first 20 years of his ministry, and was paid by subscription in cash or produce, as was most convenient and satisfactory to his people. It was Mr. Purinton's custom to always ask for the subscription paper after it had circulated, which he would look over and after the names of those whom he considered unable to pay, would write the word "arranged;" with such persons their subscriptions were considered as "settled." The rate of postage on letters was 25 cents, and it is said that Mr. Purinton did not receive sufficient cash to pay postage on the letters which his calling compelled him to write. After 20 years of hard and unselfish service in the church, his salary was raised to $300 a year, and so it remained during the succeeding 5 years, which was the remainder of his stay in Truxton. After all of this long and faithful service, a curious record was left regarding his work. The church was desirous of extending to Brother Purinton a vote of thanks for his untiring efforts to promote the cause of religion; this was accordingly done - he was "voted thanks" for his faithfulness; but the clerk, in recording the matter, must have become confused, for he wrote - "Brother Purinton was exhorted to greater faithfulness" in the cause of Christ. This good man was followed among others by Rev. Luke Davis, 2 years; Rev. William McCarthy, 4 years; Rev. E.D. Reed, 8 years; Rev. A.P. Graves, 2 years; Rev. S.C. Ainsworth, 8 years; Rev. Mr. Taylor, 2 years; Rev. A.M. Bennett, 5 years; Rev. W.E. Wakefield, 2 years; Rev. F.H. Gates, a year and a half and the Rev. J.A. Rich, who took charge of the church in February 1882, and remained March, 1884. The deacons are Hosea Kenney and Henry McKevitt. The last named succeeded Deacon Freeman Schermerhorn, who held this position from 1865 until 1883.

The membership of the church was 200 in 1869. Itís now something less than 50.




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