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History of the Town of Schuyler
From Nathaniel Benton's History of Herkimer County, 1856.


Contains all that part of the county beginning at the Mohawk river, on the line which divides the lands heretofore or late of Eli Spencer and Benjamin Taber in Colden's patent, and running thence in a straight line to the southeast corner of the land now or late of Joel Harvey, on the Steuben road; then to the southwest corner of the town of Newport; then southwesterly along the west bounds of the county to the Mohawk river; and then down the same to the place of beginning.

The whole of Kass's patent and parts of Cosby's manor, and Hasenclever's and Walton's patents are in this town.

This being one of the most ancient towns in the county, as respects the period of settlement, and the most ancient in regard to the crown alienations of title to some of the lands within its territory, "in free and common soccage as of the manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent," would be looked to for a rich supply of historical incident, and numerous recitals of amusing anecdotes, and thrilling stories of burnings, murders, scalpings, captures and escapes. In this we are disappointed. Several German families had settled within the present limits of the town, before the French war, and among them were the Kasts and Starings; but these were looked upon as outlaying appendages and suburban to the principal Palatine village below. There was a good carriage road in 1757 on the left bank of the river from the crossing where Utica new stands, through Schuyler to the Palatine village, German Flats, which was traversed by M. de Belletre with his French and Indians in 1757. They burned two houses on the Kast patent and every thing in the shape of houses and buildings on the way to the village. The inhabitants soon returned and resumed their occupations, and between this time and 1775 the town had received some additions to its population along the river. There was a store on Cosby's manor in 1766, and John Wolff, Doct. Petry's wife's father, then lived on the manor. The land in Schuyler is generally of good quality, and the river alluvial flats are as strong lands and yield as luxuriantly as any other in the valley. Along the river and about three miles north the surface presents quite a level aspect.

This town, although not the birth place, was many years the residence of Judge Henri Starring, with whose name the reader has become somewhat familiar; and here was concocted the celebrated Yankee pass. There was some additions of German population in this town immediately after the revolution, but the accessions of immigrants from the east and from New England did not take place at an early period after that event. There were formerly several low swampy pieces of ground along the river in this town, in which, if oral tradition speak the truth, more than one unfortunate Indian after the peace of 1783 found an untimely grave. There are no villages in the town. Several efforts have heretofore been made to use the waters of the Mohawk for hydraulic purposes, and considerable sums of money have been expended for that object, but these efforts were unavailing and the money sunk.

This may be properly called a farming town, quite as much so as any in the county; and although the people, for a time, were rather reluctant to change their mode of husbandry, they have now come into the way of getting rich. The loss of population the last five years indicates this result.