Article Number Eleven - Bagley Family - Carter Bridge - East Durham

Written by Joshua G. Borthwick and originally published
on March 20, 1880, in the Catskill "Examiner". Copy provided by the Durham Center Museum and retyped by Annette Campbell


In resuming these sketches, the writer wishes to express his sincere thanks to the public generally, and to very many individuals in particular, for their kind interest in the work; and for the assistance rendered by them. Hoping that this may continue, we will resume our travels.

 
It will be remembered that our last sketch was concerning the early settlement of Wright Street.  We will now cross to the west side of the Catskill creek. I do not know as there was a bridge at this early day---probably not. The creek is fordable in several places; especially at a point about a mile below the present Carter bridge, and quite likely this was a crossing for a number of years, until Jacob Carter built the bridge which went by his name. It was rebuilt at least twice as a wooden bridge, and in 1878 a substantial iron bridge was built by the town on it's original site, which still goes by the name of the "Carter Bridge."  This Jacob Carter was a famous bridge-builder in his day, and finally lost his life by falling off a bridge he was building near Mr. Isreal Brown's grist mill.  The region about East Durham was settled by about twenty families from Cheshire and other places near New Haven, Conn., with a sprinkling of Dutch families from the valley of the Hudson among them. Hence we find the names of Robert, George and Samuel Hotchkiss,  John, Barnard and Thomas Bagley,   Phineas, David and Elisha Tyler,   David, Francis, John, and Amos Cleavland,   William and James Evory,   Obed Hervey, Asa, Simeon and Asahel Jones, a family of Barkleys,  Joseph Adams,  Col. Ezra Post,  a Mr. Boomhover and a Mr. VanLoan,  Joel Lindsley,  a Mr. Ecklor, and a Mr. Howel, besides several families who settled nearer the New Durham settlement, about which we shall speak more particularly hereafter. The exact location of all these families cannot now be given. They no doubt changed their places of residence, and some of them removed to other parts of the country. The date of settlement cannot be given, but there is no doubt in my mind about the statement that fixes it at about the year 1784-5.  Beginning at the South side of the settlement, we find Mr. Howel located on the farm now owned by George W. Russ, at Centreville; this was on the West line of  Barkers Patent as afterward surveyed by Deacon David Baldwin, and just about midway between the Northern and Southern extremes of that line. About one mile Easterly from Mr. Howel's  we find Mr. David Tyler located on a farm now owned by J. W. Slater, on the Susquehanna Turnpike.  Following this turnpike toward East Durham, we find Joel Lindsley occupying the place now known as Wallace's Hotel, on the banks of the Bowery creek.  Mr. Ecklor (formerly spelled Eiklor) settled the present Ecklor place, "The Willows."  William and James Evory lived where W. A. Sprong now lives, and the Barker family located on the farm now owned by Rev. Aaron Rodgers.  This family was not related to "Patroon Barker" as he was called, who was an Englishman), but they came from Connecticut at about the time of this settlement was formed. The first Potashery was built by the Barkers on this farm.  John Bagley settled on the farm now owned by John Moorhouse.  He was the first Captain of Militia in this part of the town. His farm was just on the line of Barkers Patent, and a part of it was Government land and a part lease; and when Barkers' Patent was surveyed by David Baldwin, Capt. John held the whole of his farm by possession.  Barnard Bagley settled on the farm now owned by Abram Smith, formerly by John CarrJohn Bagley died Aug 27, 1833, aged 74, and Olive, his wife died Oct 25, 1837, aged 70. Barnard Bagley died Dec 16, 1838, aged 76, and Elizabeth his wife died Jan 17, 1836, aged 67. 
 
This John Bagley was a very energetic, enterprising man. He built the first Grist Mill in this part of town. It was located on the Thorpe Creek about a mile directly West of East Durham and South of the road passing Mr. Harry Rockefeller'sBarnard Bagley became a member of the Presbyterian Church in Durham on the 13th of Nov. 1831, while Elizabeth his wife became a member of the same Church in 1801---thirty years before.  He died in the house now occupied by Amos Woodard, leaving a nice property to his second wife and one son who still survive.

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