of the Town of Ohio
Has been recently incorporated or erected. The teritory of which this town now comprises a part, was set off from Norway in 1823, and erected into a new town by the name of West Brunswick, since changed to Ohio, in 1836. In 1823, Norway extended to the north bounds of the county, and so did the town of Russia.
Ohio is now bounded on the south by the north bounds of the Royal grant, east by the west bounds of Salisbury, north by the north bounds of Jerseyfield patent, and the same course continued to the east line of Russia, and west by the east bounds of Russia. This town covers a part of Jerseyfield patent, and contains a small triangular part of Remsenburgh patent, lying northwesterly of the West Canada creek, the north bounds of Ohio, and the west bounds of Russia.
Although this town is too recent in its origin to afford any historical events under its present name, worthy of special notice, yet when its present territory formed a part of the Kingsland district during the revloution, it was the theater of one of those cold-blooded and inhuman murders and burnings so often reiterated between 1776 and 1783, as to sicken humanity by the recital of them. Complainings now avail nothing; these astounding crimes were long since perpetrated, and would before this time have been nearly forgotten, but for historical repetition, and the uncertain agency of oral tradition in the localities where the events happened. Does it console us that retributive justice has long since adjudged the case, passed its sentence, and for many years has been and now is expecting its dread decree? It it does, let us fold our arms complacently, and await the final execution of the exterminating judgment; but never forget, no, never, the probable cause nor the occasion of these providential visitations, that we may shape our course so as to avoid a similar punishment.
The sufferer's name, Mount, is not found among the ninety-four persons to whom Jerseyfield patent was granted. He planted himself on a handsome plain a few miles north of the south line of the patent, and a little northerly of the usual route taken by the enemy in traversing the wilderness between the Black river and lower Mohawk valley. He probably went there under the patronage of some of the proprietors, and might reasonably expect to end his days in the seculsion that miles of forest afforded him, with nothing "to molest or make him afraid," save the wild beasts of the wilderness. After leaving Black creek on the confines of Norway, passing over a deep clayish soil, some rather stony ground, gently unudulating, and proceeding north a few miles, the traveler will reach the plain where Mr. Mount had seated himself, and if it be in the spring season or at midsummer, he will stop and gaze with admiration at the beautiful prospect before and around him. This is the spot chosen by Mount for his home. Ohio must then be placed in the list of towns in the county settled by whites before the revolution. The West Canada creek crosses the northwest corner of the town.
Ohio City, so called, contains a small collection of houses near the central part of the town, on the road from Utica to Wilmurt and Hamilton county. Graysville, on the south banch of the Black creek, is a small but thriving village, and is situated in the towns of Norway and Ohio. The creek is here the dividing line between the two towns. A triweekly stage now runs from Graysville to Little Falls, and returns the same day. Ohio has increased in population the last five years nearly one-third. The lumbering business is carried on to a considerable extent in this town. Its agricultural statistics do not range as high as some other parts of the county.
A rehearsal of the murder of the two sons of Mr. Mount in Jerseyfield, would be but little more than the naked statement of the fact that the father and mother having gone to the Little Falls with grain to be ground, returned home and found their sons dead in the barn, their scalps taken, and the little negro boy alive anxiously awaiting his master's return. Mr. Mount came from New Jersey. He must have been in Jerseyfield some years when his sons were killed, for he had made considerable improvements, built a house and barn, planted an apple orchard, and gathered around him farm stock and utensils. His secluded position rendered it quite certain, being about twenty miles from the German settlements on the river, that neither he nor his sons participated in the conflict going on between the crown and the colonies, by any aggressive acts against the former, and if he had at any time previously been visited by any of the strolling actors in the bloody drama then being performed, he did not indulge in offensive language, as he seems not to have then been molested.
Mr. Mount's buildings were not at this time destroyed, but they were afterwards burned by some one. A mill on Mill creek, a few miles north of Graysville, was burned when the young Mounts were killed. No one can now fix a time when this affair happened, but some of the men with Col. Willett, stated they dug potatoes at Mount's place when they returned from pursuing Ross in 1782. Mr. Mount, it is said, made all haste to reach a place of safety, and never again returned to Jerseyfield.
Another version has been given me of this Indian murder, by a gentleman who was employed as a surveyor on the tract in 1808, and had gathered his information from persons then living near the Mount farm. From this relation the family consisted of Mr. Mount, his wife, daughter, two sons and a nergo boy. Two Indians had been lurking about the place several days, but had not made any hostile demonstrations, as the young men had taken their loaded rifles with them when they left the house, but on the day they were killed and scalped in the barn, they had neglected this precaution. When the report of firearms was heard in the house, the rest of the family fled to the woods and made their way to Little Falls as fast as they could. Mr. Mount did not see his wife and daughter, after leaving his house, until they met at Little Falls. The Indians, my informant says, burned Mount's buildings when they found the family had left the place.
According to this statement the family must have been prodigiously frightened. It is not improbable, nay, it is quite certain, that there were other white families settled in the town near the place called Ohio City, before the revolution.
Mr. David Thorp moved on to the Mount farm soon after the war and lived there many years. His son, David Thorp, was a member of the assembly from the county in 1832.