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


Contains all that part of the county, beginning in the west bounds of the county, where the same are intersected by a line run due east from the northeast corner of township number twenty of the Twenty townships, so called, and running thence easterly to a bound on the south side of the Utica and Minden turnpike at the southeast corner of the town of Litchfield; and then south thirty degrees west to the bounds of the county; and then along the bounds of the county easterly, southerly and westerly to the place of beginning: comprising within its bounds parts of Bayard's, Lispenard's and Schuyler's patents.

This town was settled by whites before 1800, but at what period I am not able to state; probably between that time and 1790. A small part of it lay within the limits of the Old England district until the municipal organization of the counties in this part of the state into townships took place. Its area is not large, containing only about fifteen thousand acres, as returned by the assessors. The soil is good and highly productive. More attention has been here given to wool growing than any other town in the county. The products of butter and cheese, as given by the census returns, show that this branch of industry has not been forgotten.

Several streams which flow southerly into the Unadilla river, have their rise in this town and Litchfield, and afford very considerable facilities for milling and mechanical pursuits, which have not been left unimproved. The Great Western turnpike passes through the southerly part of the town, which, before the days of canals and rail roads, was a large thoroughfare thronged with stages, carriages, teams and droves of cattle, but now almost a solitude.

The village of West Winfield, whose population is nearly four hundred, is located very near the west bounds of the county. It contains an academy incorporated by the regents of the university. I refer to another chapter for a more particular description of this institution. The locality is pleasant and healthy. A bank organized under the laws of the state has recently been established in this village. The plank road from Ilion on the Mohawk to the Great Western turnpike, a short distance east of this place, has caused a very considerable portion of the trade and travel of the Unadilla country to center at and pass through the village northerly to the canal and Central rail road.