STOCKBRIDGE was formed from Vernon and Augusta, in Oneida county, and Smithfield and Lenox in Madison county, May 20, 1836, and is named from the Stockbridge Indians who were the owners and occupants of most of the town at a former day. It lies upon the east border of the county, north of the center, and is bounded on the north by Lenox and Vernon, on the east by Vernon and Augusta, and on the west by Lenox and Smithfield. Its surface is a rolling upland broken by the deep, beautiful and fertile valley of Oneida creek, which extends north and sough through the central part of the town. The summits of the hills, which consist of two continuous ranges, bordering the valley of Oneida creek, are from 500 to 800 feet above the valley, which, in its course through most of the town, has a uniform width of about a mile, but expands from the north part till it merges into the spacious plain which characterizes the northern part of the town of Lenox. The hills slope gradually upward from their base and are tillable to their summits; with their alternations of forest, cultivated field and meadow land they present most magnificent landscapes. Oneida creek is the only important stream. Its main branch rises in the town of Smithfield, traverses that town diagonally from north-west to south-east, and enters this in the south-west part, uniting with the direct branch south of the center of the town. Its course down the west hill to the valley and the junction with its confluent is marked by a succession of rapids and low falls, presenting a series of varied and beautiful cascades amidst highly picturesque scenery, and furnishing numerous mill sites.
Stockbridge has extensive deposits of limestone and gypsum, both of which are quarried. The latter exists in the east ridge in the north part of the town, in the locality of Valley Mills, and the former in both the east and west hills in the southern and central parts of the town. Limestone is quarried and burned in various parts of the town. Caves exist in the limestone rock in the east ranges of hills, but have not, so far as we can learn, been explored to their greatest depth. Noxious gases, affected by the external condition of atmosphere, have in a measure interfered with their exploration. Indentations in the rocks which form the bed of a small stream which courses down the east hill a little north-east of Munnsville, have been supposed to represent the footprints of human beings and domestic and other animals. They are not, however, well-defined foot-prints and require a vivid imagination to give them that resemblance. That they are not foot-prints is amply proven by the fact that within a foot of these markings have been found some of the characteristic fossils of the Limestone formation, notable among which may be mentioned the Cyathophyllum, a species of coral. These marks are probably due to the action of water; and it has been intimated that by the dextrous use of a hammer they have been made to more nearly resemble what they are claimed to represent for the purpose of deceiving the over credulous.
The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam. Hop raising and dairying form the chief pursuits of the people. In the production of hops, Stockbridge ranks second, as compared with the other towns in the county;1 while it also takes a high ranks in the extent and value of its dairy products. There are five factories for the manufacture of butter and cheese in the town, which use in the aggregate the milk from about 1,300 cows.2
The New York, Ontario & Western railroad extends through the town upon the west slope of the east range of hills, and affords a fine view of the magnificent valley.
There are fifteen common school districts in the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1879, there were seventeen licensed teachers at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 719. During that year there were eleven male and twenty-one female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 565; residing in other districts, 11; the average daily attendance during the year was 321,397; the number of volumes in district libraries was 433, the value of which was $85; the number of schoolhouses was fourteen, all of which were frame, which, with the sites, embracing 3 acres and 158 rods, valued at $800, were valued at $4,180; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $1,109,235.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1878 . . . . . . . .
. . . $ 49.06
Amount apportioned to districts . . . . . . . . . . 1,800.75
Proceeds of Gospel and school lands . . . . . . . . 2.14
Raised by tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,390.94
From teachers' board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203.00
From other sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.51
Total receipts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,464.40
Paid for teachers' wages . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,875.45
" school apparatus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.00
" school-houses, fences, sites, out-
houses, repairs, furniture, etc. . . . . 215.96
" incidental expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323.24
Amount remaining on hand Sept. 30, 1879 . . . . 48.75
Total disbursements . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,464.40
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,967; of whom 1,752 were native, 215 foreign, 1,963 white, 4 colored, 1,002 males and 965 females. Its area was 18,881 acres; of which 15,440 acres were improved, 2,427 woodland, and 1,014 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $1,557,680; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $169,040; of stock, $161,751; of tools and implements, $37,982. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $285,667. In this respect it ranked as fifth as compared with other towns in the county.
Stockbridge was successively the home of the Oneida, Tuscarora and Stockbridge Indians, and was numerously inhabited by the latter on the advent of the European settlers, and for a generation after that date. 3 The tract which constituted their landed possessions was purchased by them in 1784. It was six miles square and lay partly in this town and partly in Vernon, Oneida county. It was sold to the State in small parcels at various different times, until the whole of it was finally disposed of. From their contract with the pioneer settlers and those to whom they subsequently leased portions of their land, the Stockbridges engrafted on their social economy many of the customs of their white neighbors, and before they left this region had made considerable advances in the arts of civilized life. Therefore, though most of the town was not open to permanent settlement until a comparatively late date, much progress had been made in subjugating it to the uses of civilization. Under the physical and spiritual tutelage of Ref. John Sergeant, who accompanied them in their migration from their former home in Stockbridge, Mass., to their home in New Stockbridge, as this town was then called, they were prepared for and in some measure enabled to anticipate the needs of that influx of European emigration which soon followed their advent. In 1794, within three years after the advent of the first white settlers, they had constructed a grist-mill and saw-mill on Oneida Creek about fifteen rods above the present grist-mill at Valley Mills. These proved to be valuable aids to the early settlers in this locality, and remained in operation for several years. Mr. Sergeant early established a church among them, and in 1800 erected for their use the old meeting-house now standing at Valley Mills.
The town was rich in relics of these former occupants and of a race who probably ante-dated them. Mural remains of a supposed Indian fort existed at an early day on the west hill in the south-west part of the town, but the once well-defined lines have been leveled by the plow and no trace of it now remains. It was nearly in the form of a square and inclosed something like an acre of ground. It has furnished numerous relics of war, the chase and of domestic life. Several supposed Indian burying grounds existed in the town, and all have been rich in similar relics as well as human remains. The principal one is in the locality of the council ground, which was on the farm located by William Taylor Gregg and on which he was succeeded by his son James H. Gregg. The farm is now occupied by Mr. Wells. Another lies intermediate between this and Munnsville, on the west declivity of the east hill; a third lies on the west hill, in the south-west part of the town; and a fourth in the north part of the town. In various parts of the town human remains have been exhumed by the plow and other agencies, some of them belonging to a race of people who possessed giant-like proportions, and were unknown to either the Stockbridge or Oneida Indians.
In the burying ground a mile south-east of Munnsville was found a small bone image of a woman, and here, as elsewhere, iron and steel axes, gun barrels, fragments of gun locks, brass kettles, tobacco pipes, various metallic ornaments, and other relics have been exhumed. Some of these are said to have borne Spanish inscriptions. In this connection it may not be inapposite to state that many years ago a pamphlet was printed, purporting to give the history of a Spanish colony which landed upon the southern coast of this continent, beyond which authentic history does not trace them. In their wanderings they are represented to have penetrated the wilderness to the present town of Stockbridge, the contour of which was faithfully described, and there became extinct. Without intimating the measure of credence to which this affirmation is entitled we may add that there are other incidents which gives color to the supposition that a Spanish colony, or rather individuals who possessed those adventurous qualities which pre-eminently distinguished the Spaniards, reached in their wanderings the vicinity of Central New York, nearly contemporaneously with the permanent European colonization of the continent, but their origin, mission and fate are equally shrouded in that misty uncertainty which obscures much of our aboriginal history.
SETTLEMENTS.---All of Stockbridge, except a strip about a mile in width on the south border, was included in the Indian Reservation, and the permanent pioneer settlements were confined to the lots in this strip east of Oneida creek. The rest of the town was settled permanently at a much later date, and that portion of it embraced in the reservation was first occupied as lease land.
The first settlement was made in 1791, probably by Nathan Edson, who came from New Hampshire with his sons John, Barney and Calvin, young unmarried men, and daughters Nancy, Sarah, Polly and Olive, the former of whom was married to Robert Seaver, who also came in with them. Nathan Edson took up the lot next north of the south-east corner lot of the town, and located where Jesse Bridge now lives. In 1820, he removed to a small farm leased to the Indians in the north part of the town, which now forms a part of the widow Miller's farm, and there resided till his death. All his children married and settled on the lot first taken up by him. John settled in the north-east corner of the lot, and removed soon after the great eclipse, in 1806, to the locality of Batavia. Barney removed soon after John to the same locality, and subsequently to Chautauqua county. Calvin continued to reside in this locality till his death, which occurred in the south edge of Lenox. Alford, another son of Nathan's, came in about a year later and located on the same lot, where Hiram Clark now lives. He afterwards removed to the south part of the town, and subsequently leased of the Indians a farm which is now occupied by three or four individuals, the homestead by John True, where he died. Robert Seaver removed to Alexander, Genesee county, about the same time that John went to Batavia. Sarah married William Divine, and Polly, his brother John. William kept tavern a few years on that lot. He afterwards removed to and died in the west part of the State. The latter marriage---John Divine and Polly Edson, in 1793---was the first one contracted in town. John died young of consumption three or four years after his marriage, on the farm allotted to him by his father-in-law. The Divines came in soon after the Edsons. After John's death, Polly married Daniel Thurston, who succeeded him on the same farm, but afterwards removed to and died in the south part of the town. Olive Edson married Zenas Cole, who bought Calvin Edson's farm. He afterwards removed to Cincinnati and died there. Willard Edson was born here June 4, 1802, in a log-house which stood on the site of Hiram Clarke's residence. His sister Sarah, wife of Madison Alby, is also living in the town. Only one other of the name is living in the county, Elam, son of Calvin Edson. Hiram, Marshall, Marquis (the latter two twins) and John Thurston, are the only other grand-children of Nathan's living in this town.
Oliver Stewart came with his family from Washington county a little later than Edson, about 1796 or '97, and settled on the lot next west of him, where William Howard now lives, and died there. His children were Lydia, who became the second wife of Alford Edson, Charles, Samuel, Ezra J., A. Cynthia, who married Charles Doolittle, Enos, Lucretia, who married David Brewer, Hannah and Ruth, the latter two of whom died young. All the children first settled in this town, but Ezra was the only one who married who continued to reside here till his death. Charles lived here till within a short time of his death, which occurred in Wisconsin. None of the family are left here. Martha, wife of William Babcock, youngest child of Charles Stewart, occupied the old homestead till within two or three years, then removed to Constantia, Oswego county, where she now resides. She is the only one of the family now living in this vicinity. Charles Stewart held various town offices. Ezra J. Stewart died July 8, 1866, aged 73.
Jonathan Snow came from the same neighborhood, and soon after Nathan Edson. He settled on the south-east corner lot of the town, which has since been cut up into several farms. He died within a few rods of where he first settled. He had only two children---Oliver and a daughter, who married her cousin, Seth Snow, both of whom lived with their father till his death, when they removed to Oswego county. The Snows prided themselves on their ancestry, and evinced a partiality for marrying cousins, only one-who became the first wife of Alford Edson---having been known to violate this rule. To this fact is ascribed their mental and physical degeneracy, nearly all having possessed some physical defect. Not one of them is left.
William Sloan, George Bridge and James Taft came in from Washington county in this State. Sloan settled on a farm on the south part of the Edson lot, which he bought of a man named Gillett, who purchased of Edson, but remained only a short time. The farm is now occupied by Andrew Hollenbeck. Sloan cleared up the farm and afterwards went to live with his youngest son, Lyman, in the edge of Smithfield, where he died. His son William was a man of some prominence in the town of Smithfield. He was a Justice and held several other offices in that town. Others of his children were Josephus, the eldest, Abigail, who married Amos Bridge, Olive, who married William Farrington, John, Orange, who died young, and Betsey, who was demented. None of them are living.
George Bridge bought of Daniel Dickey the farm of Alford Edson, from whom it was purchased by Dickey about 1796 or '97. Dickey removed from here to Smithfield and died there. Bridge continued to reside on the farm till his death. His children were Amelia, who married Almyron House, Ephraim, Amos, Jonas, Jesse, George and Williams. Ephraim went West when young. Amos and Jonas settled in the north edge of Eaton, on the farm now owned by Harry Clark. George left the town when young. Jesse succeeded his father on the homestead and afterwards removed to Bouckville, where he died Dec. 1, 1862, aged 75, and Margaret, his wife, Aug. 12, 1859, aged 69. Williams settled in Stockbridge and died here Jan. 27, 1877, aged 81, and Mary, his wife, March 31, 1871, aged 73.
James Taft bought a small farm of Oliver Stewart, the one now occupied by the widow of Ezra Stewart, but did not remain here long.
Benajah House came from Connecticut and settled where James Marshall now lives, in the south part of the town. He cleared up his farm on which he was succeeded by his son Almyron. He returned East, and afterwards went to Ohio where he was subsequently joined by his son, Almyron. He had three daughters---Temperance, who married Joseph Crosby, who settled on a part of the farm of his father, Stephen Crosby, in the south part of the town, Amelia, who married John Lawson, who settled in Smithfield, and Sally. None of the family are left here.
Matthew Rankin came in from the East and settled on the south part of the Jonathan Snow lot, where Elbridge La Munion now lives, and died there. His sons, Aaron and Jairus, settled on the same lot west of Snow. Aaron was a Justice of the Peace in Augusta before the erection of Stockbridge. He afterwards went West. Jairus was a physician, and the first of his profession to permanently locate in the town. He was a skillful practitioner and highly esteemed for his social qualities. He practiced medicine at Munnsville till near his death, which resulted from consumption, Nov. 2, 1832, at the age of 50. He built the first saw-mill on the site of Stringer, Barr & Co.'s works at Munnsville, about 1824, and operated it till his death. Ezra, Patty, who married Sylvester Chadwick, and Matthew, were children of Matthew Rankin by his second wife. Ezra died young; Matthew went West.
These constitute what may properly be considered the pioneer settlers of Stockbridge. Many of those who leased Indian lands became permanent settlers thereon after they became salable; but these mostly came in between the latter part of the first and the fore part of the third decade of this century.
New Guinea was a tract of 300 acres in the south part of the Indian Reservation in Stockbridge, the use of which was given by the Stockbridges to the Mohawk Valley slaves, who became a numerous colony, outnumbering their Indian benefactors, and included among other families the Welches, Fiddlers, Baldwins, Cooks and Mitops. They came in soon after 1800 and remained till the Indian lands were sold to the State when the remnant dispersed.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at Munnsville, June 7, 1836, and the following named officers were elected: Henry T. Sumner, Supervisor; Hiram Whedon, Clerk; Orin Wright, Justice; Elisha A. Clark, William Page and James Cowen, Assessors; John Hadcock and Thomas Wilson, Poormasters; Jesse Bridge, Luther Hathaway and John Potter, Commissioners of Highways; Orange R. Cook, Danforth Armour and Albert G. Bartholomew, School Commissioners; William Temple, Collector; William Temple, Levi Johnson and Jonathan Carter, Constables; Aaron Rankin, Ores Ranney and Ephraim C. Brown, School Inspectors; Clark Buck, Sealer of Weights and Measures.
Town Officers of 1880 :---
Supervisor---Grove S. Hinman.
Clerk---William J. Lyndon.
Justices---John J. Coville, David J. Merrill, George Potter.
Assessors---Cornelius C. White, J. Franklin Holdridge, Philip LaMunion.
Collector---William N. Davenport.
Constables---Clay Quackenbush, John Ottoway, Daniel A. Neff, Frederick Hodges, John Mulholland.
Game Constable---Thomas A. Wilson.
Inspectors of Election---George E. Woods, Conrad Griner, John S. Moores.
The following have been the Supervisors and Clerks from the organization of the town :---
|1836.||Henry T. Sumner.||Hiram Whedon.|
|1837.||do.||Elisha A. Clark.|
|1838.||Asaph Pratt,||O. R. Cook.|
|1839.||Elisha A. Clark.||Aaron Rankin.|
|1840.||Oren Wright.||Ebenezer Porter.|
|1841.||Samuel W. Hull.||do.|
|1842.||William Smith.||Walter Simmons.|
|1843-'4.||Ebenezer Porter.||Clark Buck.|
|1845-'6.||do.||Robert J. Merrill.|
|1847.||Grove Hinman.||James S. Coggeshall.|
|1849.||John Potter.||Hiram Whedon.|
|1851.||Jonath'n M. Forman.||Abel H. Rawson.|
|1852.||Peter H. Smith.||John H. Brooks.|
|1853.||William Stringer.||Alvin Strong, 2d.|
|1854.||Abel H. Rawson.||John W. Coe.|
|1855.||James H. Gregg.||Samuel W. Hull.|
|1856.||John Cleveland.||Julius Treat.|
|1857.||Jonath'n M. Wilson||Warren Strong.|
|1858.||Alvin Strong.||Jerome B. Mathewson.|
|1859-'60||Jonathan M. Wilson||do.|
|1861.||Alvin Strong.||Horatio Strong.|
|1862.||Jonathan M. Wilson||do.|
|1863.||James H. Gregg.||Giles Sturdevant.|
|1864.||Jonathan M. Wilson.||do.|
|1865-'6||Robert S. Barr.||Chaffee C. Horton.|
'6, '7, '8.
|A. Watson Armour.||Alva H. Owen|
|1873.||William H. Stringer||do.|
|1874-'5||do.||Palmer W. Hinman.|
|1879.||Robert S. Barr.||William J. Lyndon.|
|1880||Grove S. Hinman.||do.|
Munnsville is delightfully situated in the valley of Oneida creek, about the center of the town, on the line of the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad. It contains one church, (Congregational,) a district school, one hotel,4 six stores, Stringer, Barr & Co.'s Agricultural Works, a flouring and grist-mill, a creamery, two wagon and blacksmith shops, (Hiram Van Swall and L. P. Van Slyke,) a shoe shop, (Larry Stone,) a harness shop (John C. Fisher,) and a population of 400. It derives its name from Asa Munn, its first merchant.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Munnsville was Asa Munn, who came from Augusta about 1817, and occupied at first for a short time an Indian wigwam, which stood near where Albert Brown now lives. He soon after built a small store, which now forms the north-east corner of the Dexter store. He traded ten or twelve years, and did an extensive business in a very small building. He was also interested in milling and distilling business. He was succeeded in the mercantile business by Charles Chandler, a nephew of Winthrop H. Chandler, whose son Henry, though a minor, was a partner with him. The business, however, was carried on in Charles Chandler's name. They traded a year or two, and were succeeded by Matthew Pratt and ------, who continued but a short time. Pratt traded about two years. Hiram Whedon, from Stockbridge, next traded some thirty years. He sold during the war to William O. Sumner, who rented the store to a man named Seeley, who traded about two years while the Midland Railroad was in process of construction, and was also engaged in mercantile business in Oneida, where he afterwards shot himself. Lorenzo Frost and James H. Lillibridge traded about a year. George Colburn traded between one and two years and sold to Clarence W. Dexter, a native of Stockbridge. In 1870, Mr. Dexter enlarged the building, the old Munn store, which those two have been named occupied, and still carries on a general mercantile business. Various others have traded for short periods, but did not become prominent as merchants. Mr. Dexter was associated one year, 1871-'2, with John Northrup.
The other merchants now engaged in business are A. H. Owen, hardware dealer, a native of Lebanon, in this county, who commenced business in the fall of 1866; C. D. Jacobs, dealer in boots and shoes, who came from Weedsport, Cayuga county, and commenced business in the spring of 1871, in company with his son, F. W., with whom he continued six months; William J. Lyndon, druggist, a native of Canada, who came here from Eaton and commenced trading in May, 1878; Julius Treat, general merchant, who commenced mercantile business in April, 1878, having practiced medicine here from 1851 to 1877, except eight years, during which he was engaged in mercantile business ; and James Lowe & Son, (C. H. S.,) furniture dealers, undertakers, jewelers, and dealers in pumps, hides, pelts, furs and wool, who commenced business in August, 1879.
POSTOFFICE.---The postoffice at Munnsville was established about twenty-two years ago. The present postmaster is Clarence W. Dexter, who was appointed in November, 1870.
PHYSICIANS.---The first permanent physician was Jairus Rankin. One or two preceded him, but did not remain long. He commenced practice during the war of 1812, and continued till the sickness which resulted in his death in 1832. Orange Russell Cook came from Augusta soon after Rankin's death, and practiced till about 1842, when he went to Morrisville, where he died May 30, 1844, aged 47. Henry T. Sumner, who was located at Stockbridge, practiced here a few years while there was no resident physician, and took up his residence here a year or two. Julius Treat, who was born in Eaton, in May, 1817, was graduated at Geneva Medical College, and after two years' practice at Siloam, in the town of Smithfield, removed thence to Munnsville, where he practiced till 1877, except some eight years, when he was engaged in mercantile business. William Taylor, from Lenox, came here about the opening of the late war, and shortly after entered the army. He again practiced here after the close of the war a short time, in 1870. George Munger practiced here during the war and subsequently. He sold to Dr. Taylor. He had a good practice and prospered financially.
The only present physician is Spurzheim Moore, who was born in Lenox, N. Y., Sept. 4, 1839, and studied medicine with his father, Dr. James Moore, of Bennett's Corners. He graduated at the University of Buffalo, Feb. 1, 1871, in which year he commenced practice at Vernon Center, whence, in the spring of 1873, he removed to Munnsville, where he has since practiced.
MANUFACTURES.---Stringer, Barr & Co.'s Agricultural Works are the most important of Munnsville's manufacturing enterprises. The business was established in 1853, by Daniel Holmes, William Stringer, Solomon VanBrocklin and R. S. Barr, under the name of Holmes, Stringer & Co., and was continued by them three or four years, when VanBrocklin sold his interest to the remaining partners, as did also Mr. Holmes in 1861, at which time the name was changed to Stringer & Barr. In 1866 William H. Stringer, son of William, became a partner, and the name was changed to Stringer, Barr & Co. The principal article of manufacture is plows, though the product of their shops includes a general line of agricultural implements, except mowers and reapers. The Oneida Valley Clipper plow is the chief one made. They give employment to about twenty persons. The motive power is furnished by Oneida Creek, which has a fall at this point of ten feet. The works occupy the site of the saw-mill built by Jairus Rankin and Robert Barr about 1824. The saw-mill was subsequently owned by William H. Chandler, who erected an edge tool factory, principally for the manufacture of scythes. That business was discontinued and the manufacture of axes commenced about forty-three years ago. About forty years ago the business passed into the hands of Daniel Holmes, who continued it till 1853, when William Stringer, Solomon VanBrocklin and R. S. Barr became interested, and the present business—the manufacture of agricultural implements—was begun. During Homes' proprietorship the old saw mill was taken down, and in 1855 the present one connected with these works was built on its site, which had remained unoccupied some years.
Merrill &' Maynard's grist-mill was built in 1822 by Sheldon and Solomon Parmalee, who bought of Mr. Dennison the 100 acres purchased by him of Jacob Konkerpot, an Indian, who had built a saw-mill on the south side of the creek, on the lot occupied by the woolen factory, which is now in process of demolition, and a second one, after that was burned, on the site of the present grist-mill. Konkerpot had also built the frame of a grist-mill just east of the residence of Willard Edson, but that site was rejected by the Parmalee brothers, who appropriated for that purpose the saw-mill site, and built another saw-mill a little below the grist-mill. D. J. Merrill bought E. K. Gregg's interest in the firm of Gregg & Barr in the fall of 1878, and in the winter of 1879 purchased the remaining interest of Sherman Barr. April 1, 1880, J. B. Maynard acquired and interest, and the present firm of Merrill & Maynard sprung into existence. The grist-mill contains three runs of stones, which are propelled by water from Oneida Creek, which has a fall of about twenty-two feet.
The saw-mill built by the Parmalees was torn down by Eben and Whedon Blakeman when the woolen factory now being torn down was built, some twenty-five years ago, on the site of one built some thirty years ago by Turners & Blakeman, and burned. The woolen factory was not successful. It had a fitful existence.
About 1822 Henry Stewart built a wool-carding and cloth-dressing establishment on the site of the present Munnsville creamery, which he operated about two years, when he became a Methodist minister. Orrin Wright purchased the establishment of Mr. Stewart. He put in machinery and increased the business, which he continued eight or ten years. He sold to Robert Turner, who enlarged the building to the size of the present creamery, added more machinery, and still further increased the business. About 1854 the building was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt immediately after. From this time he was associated in its management with his brother Sanford. It was continued in operation till near the close of the war under various proprietorships and with varying success. The building was converted into a creamery about five years ago, by Avery, Wadsworth & Co., and is still used for that purpose.
The tanning business was established here at an early day by Mr. Buck. It was afterwards conducted by James Hazeltine; and subsequently, from about 1840 to 1860, by James Lowe, who served an apprenticeship with Hazeltine.
The Congregational Church of Munnsville was organized in 1828 as the Presbyterian Church of New Stockbridge,5 and their house of worship erected about 1834. July 15, 1836, it was unanimously resolved to give up the Presbyterian and adopt the Congregational form of government, to adopt the present name, and to be under the care of the Oneida Presbytery. In 1868, their church edifice was repaired at a cost of $3,000, and dedicated Nov. 12, 1868. Previous to the erection of their church, services were held in the academy. 6 Their first pastor was Rev. D. M. Smith, their last one Rev. L. T. Mason, who preached his farewell sermon Feb. 22, 1880. The church is at present without a pastor, but July 28, 1880, a call was extended to Rev. Mr. Robb. The membership is about 60.
Stockbridge is beautifully situated in the valley of Oneida creek, a mile below Munnsville, and is a station on the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad. It contains two churches, (Methodist Episcopal and Universalist,) a district school, three stores, one hotel,7 a grist and saw-mill, two carriage shops, (F. W. Cook and D. Neff,) two blacksmith shops, (Luther Elphick and Clarence Allen,) one shoe shop, (Don Crane,) a harness shop, (Charles L. Anderson,) and a population of about 207.8 The village was originally and is still to some extent known as Knoxville, from Hermon Knox, its first merchant. But the postoffice and station are both named Stockbridge, and the name of Knoxville is growing into disuse.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant in Stockbridge was Hermon Knox, originally from Schoharie, who had worked for his brother John J. Knox, a merchant in Augusta. He removed thence to Stockbridge about 1822, and after trading a few years sold and went to Illinois. He occupied for a time a log-house built by the Indians, and in 1824 removed to the building erected that year for a store, but now occupied as a dwelling by A. J. Hinman.
Before 1825, there were only six buildings on the site of Stockbridge. They were two frame buildings, one occupied now by Luther Elphick, and then by Wadsworth Lyman, a blacksmith, who also had a small shop connected with it, and the other, Mr. Knox's store; the log structure first occupied by Mr. Knox, said to have been occupied by Abram Antoine, which stood a little east of the fountain near the residence of Mr. Jonathan M. Wilson, and into which the latter's father, Thomas Wilson, moved that year; the school-house,9 a frame structure, which was built in 1824, and stood just east of the four corners; and the saw-mill, which was also built in 1824, by Hermon Knox, who also built the grist-mill at a later day, and had a distillery at the foot of the hill just west of the saw-mill.
Mr. Knox sold his mercantile business to David Wood, from Augusta, who traded fifteen or twenty years, for a time in company with Hiram Whedon and his son-in-law, ------- Rawson. Wood sold to Amadeas Hinman and went to Oneida. Hinman is a native of Stockbridge. He has traded many years at different times, but was preceded two or three years by his son Grove Hinman and son-in-law, Hermon Smith. In the spring of 1880 Hinman traded for a farm with his nephew, Andrew Jackson Hinman, who still carries on a general merchandise business. Matthew Pratt and Carlos Atkins and others of less prominence traded here a few years.
The other merchants at present doing business here are: James H. Lillibridge, general merchant, a native of Connecticut, who came here from New York and commenced business Aug. 1, 1877, at which time he bought out W. J. Nash, who had traded some eight or nine years, and C. C. White, who has carried on the cabinet-ware business some twenty years.
POSTMASTERS.---The postoffice of Stockbridge was established about 1824, and Dr. Henry T. Sumner was the first postmaster. He held the office till his death, July 29, 1853. There have been many changes in postmasters since then. The present postmaster is James H. Lillibridge, who was appointed Aug. 17, 1877.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician was Henry T. Sumner, who practiced from about 1822 or ’3, more or less till his death, July 29, 1853, aged 52, though not much during the latter years of his life. Dr. Coggeshall practiced here a few years at two different times.
The present physician is Fayette F. Elphick, who was born in Brookfield in 1841, and is a graduate of the Albany Medical College. After practicing in West Edmeston, Otsego county, and Camden, Oneida county, he located at Stockbridge, in September, 1869. He practiced about two years and went west, returning here in 1874, since which time he has continued to practice here.
MANUFACTURES.—The Stockbridge Mills (grist and saw) and cheese-box factory, were originally built by Hermon Knox, the saw-mill in 1824 and the grist-mill in 1828. They were burned in September, 1858, and rebuilt the same year by Eason J. Hostler, who operated them till the spring of 1866, when he sold to Palmer W. Hinman and Chaffee C. Horton. Hinman bought Horton’s interest after about a year, and in the spring of 1868 sold a half interest to James Baker, to whom he sold the remaining half interest in the fall of that year. In the spring of 1874, James Baker associated himself his son James S. Baker, and the business has since been conducted under the name of James Baker & Son. The grist-mill contains two runs of stones, and the saw-mill one muley and three circular saws and a planer. The manufacture of cheese boxes was commenced in 1864, but is not carried on as extensively as heretofore. The works are operated by water from Oneida creek, which has a fall of twelve feet.
In 1825, Thomas Wilson came from Coleraine, Mass., and established the tanning business in Stockbridge, which he continued in connection with the manufacture of boots and shoes till his death, April 30, 1849, aged 64. His son, Jonathan M. Wilson, who had been associated with him from 1835, continued both branches till 1877, when owing to scarcity of bark and the necessity of refitting the building if the business was longer continued, it was discontinued. In the spring of 1880, Mr. Wilson converted the tannery into a creamery. From 1868 to 1874, his son, Thomas Adelbert Wilson, was associated with him in the tanning and shoe making business, which, at times, gave employment to five or six hands.
CHURCHES.---The Methodist Episcopal Church of New Stockbridge was organized as a station in 1827, and classed in the Genesee Conference, Oneida district. The name was changed by the omission of the word "New" in September, 1830. In 1829 it was changed to the Oneida Conference; and in that year also the church edifice was built. In 1838 it was changed to the Cazenovia district. The membership in 1828 numbered 120; in 1843, 270, the highest number at any time reached; and in 1880, it is 100.
The following have been the succession of pastors : Alexander Irvine, 1827-'9 ; Isaac Stone, 1829-'30 ; Henry Halstead, 1830-'1 ; Harvey Chapin, (supply,) 1831-'2 ; Hiram Shepherd, 1832-'3 ; Aaron Adams, 1833-'5 ; Eliakim Stoddard, 1835-'7 ; Leonard Bowdish, 1837-'8 ; Benajah Mason, 1838-'40 ; Lewis H. Stanley, 1840-'2 ; Lewis Anderson, 1842-'4 ; Joseph Hartwell, 1844-'6 ; Robert Everdell, 1846-'8 ; Isaac Parks, 1848-'50 ; Benoni I. Ives,1850-'2 ; Edward G. Andrews, 1852-'4 ; William H. Olin, 1854-'6 ; E. P. Williams, 1865-'8 ; Thomas Harroun, 1858-'60 ; Selah Stocking, 1860-'2 ; James L. Wells, 1862-'4 ; John W. Mitchell, 1864-'6 ; A. T. Mattison, 1866-'7 ; William Watson, 1867-'70 ; Bennett H. Brown, 1870-'3 ; F. W. Tooke, 1874-'5 ; Marvin P. Blakeslee, 1875-'8 ; William E. York, 1878-'80, (till death in January, 1880 ;) Albert L. York, (supply,) January to April, 1880 ; Joseph Henry Zartman, (supply,) the present pastor, who commenced his labors May 1, 1880.
During the pastorate of E. G. Andrews the church was enlarged.
;The Universalist Church at Stockbridge was organized about 1837 by Rev. Daniel S. Morey, the first pastor, in which capacity he served them four or five years. Among the constituent members were John Potter, Charles Foster, Joseph Stam, John Quackenbush, Thomas Wilson, William Stringer, Timothy Smith. Their church edifice was built about 1842. Mr. Morey was succeeded in the pastorate by Job Potter, who served them two or three years, Robert Queal, two years, Richard Eddy, about two years, ------- Clark, two years, E. Hewes about two years, and A. H. Marshall about two years. Since Mr. Marshall closed his labors they have had only occasional preaching, and none whatever for the last few years. The society practically disbanded some ten years ago, owing to the reduction of its membership by death and removal. The house is still held for the society by the trustees last elected.
The Congregational Church of Stockbridge.—Nov. 14, 1833, Joshua Eaton, Samuel Davidson, George Buck, Giles M. Smith, Peter H. Smith, Ambrose Wetmore, Eli Moores, John Cleveland, Joseph W. Lyman, Eli Thompson, John Howland, William Smith, Jr., Ira Smith, Josiah Goodrich, Gad Hall, Lester Miller, Jane Eaton, Electa Lyman, Martha Davidson, Agnes Buck, Susan Thompson, Elizabeth Cleveland, Sarah Alexander, Lydia M. Hart, Huldah Howland, Pamelia Smith, Hepsibah Goodrich, Abantha Hall, Jane Smith, Elizabeth, Katharine, Artemisia and Elizabeth Wetmore, Hannah Lyman and Olive Sanford requested letters of dismission from the Presbyterian church in Augusta and Smithfield, (Munnsville,) for the purpose of forming a Congregational church in Stockbridge. Jan. 6, 1834, this petition was withdrawn and a new one presented. This request was granted conditionally July 15, 1834. The church soon after built a church edifice immediately west of the Central Hotel, but the society disbanded and the house of worship was sold and taken down many years ago.
Valley Mills is finely situated in the north part of the town, one and one-half miles below Stockbridge, in the valley of the Oneida, and is a station on the New York, Ontario & Western railroad. It contains a church (not now in use,) a district school, a grist-mill, plaster-mill and cider-mill, a creamery, and a population of 59.10 The locality was formerly and is still to some extent known as Cook’s Corners, from a family by that name who formerly kept a tavern there.
The post-office at this place was established in 1870, and D. J. Dunham was the first postmaster. He was succeeded in that office by H. C. Quackenbush, the present incumbent, July 31, 1877. The office is kept in the grist-mill, where a few groceries are also kept by the Messrs. Quackenbush.
The Valley Mills (grist, lime, plaster and cider,) the Quackenbush Brothers proprietors, are the chief industry of the place. The grist-mill was built about 1848, by Rev. Ebenezer Ranney for a woolen factory, and operated by him as such five or six years, when William Bridge and Nathan Hayes acquired the property. They were succeeded in the proprietorship by Armour, Klock & Wilder, A. B. Pardee, Smith & Montgomery and the Quackenbush Brothers (George A., Chauncey, Emerson and Henry Clay Quackenbush,) who took possession in 1876. The mill stands about fifteen miles below the grist and saw-mill built for the Stockbridge Indians in 1794. It contains three runs of stones which are propelled by water from the Oneida Creek, which has a fall of twelve feet. The lime and plaster mill was built about two years later than the grist-mill, and the cider-mill in 1876, by the present proprietors.
The Baptist Church of Stockbridge, at Valley Mills.---In 1839, Rev. Eli Kimberly and Nathan Wood, students of Hamilton Literary and Theological Seminary, preached successfully in this valley. S. M. Bainbridge, also a student, followed them. Under his labors a revival was enjoyed, and thirteen converts were baptized into the fellowship of the Vernon Baptist church. A church organization began to be felt a necessity. Thirty-three persons procured letters from their respective churches and united a covenant. They were duly recognized as a regular Baptist church April 4, 1840. Ebenezer Ranney and N. M. Coburn were appointed deacons. S. M. Bainbridge was ordained Sept. 15, 1840, and served four years. After this Rev. J. P. Cook was pastor one year ; Rev. George Bridge, three years, during which time the church reached its highest number---110 ; Rev. D. S. Jackson, one year. Rev. George A. Ames became the pastor in 1851, and in this year the license of E. Ranney was renewed. The year following they were without a pastor. Their last regular pastor was Rev. J. H. Wells, who served two years---1853, '54. After this they were supplied in part by resident licentiates, and in part by brethren from Madison University. During this period E. R. Crain and Congdon Crain were licensed. Their last delegation to the association was in 1855. Ten years later a letter was received from them in which they say ";they were supplied till August 1st, when, from limited means, they decided to forego the privilege." Efforts have been made to encourage and resuscitate this church, with no favorable results. They united with the Madison association from the Oneida association in 1842. They worshiped in the meeting-house built for the Stockbridge Indians by Rev. John Sergeant, a Scotch missionary. From the time of their union with the Madison association 27 were received by baptism and 53 by letter ; 47 were dismissed, 21 excluded and 25 died. They contributed for benevolent objects, $315.15.11
Five Chimneys was the name of a tavern, now a residence, located at the foot of the west hill in the north edge of the town, and built by Charles Leland, who came here from Worcester county, Mass., in 1826, and also kept a small store. He failed soon after and then went to Oneida Castle, whence, after his failure there, he removed to the Western States. The house still retains the distinctive feature from which its name was derived---five chimneys.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---The record of Stockbridge's participation in this internecine struggle is more amply preserved than in most of the towns in the county, though the number of men furnished by it was disproportionately small as compared with many other towns. A larger proportion of those furnished, however, were natives and residents of the town.
At a special town meeting held at the hotel of H. D. Fryer in Munnsville, Sept. 9, 1862, Jonathan M. Wilson, Alvin H. Strong and James H. Gregg were appointed a committee to raise on the credit of the town $1,000, upon town orders bearing interest and payable April 1, 1863, to pay to each volunteer under both calls of the President for 300,000 men each, who enlisted prior to Sept. 9, 1862, $10 as a town bounty ; and to each volunteer who enlisted under said calls before the quota was filled or a draft ordered, $25. It was also
"Resolved, That any inhabitant of said town having paid any part of said bounty of $10 to any of the aforesaid volunteers, on presenting the proper vouchers the chairman of said committee shall refund the same to him in aforesaid town orders in case of failure on the part of said committee to raise money on said orders."
At a special meeting held at the same place Nov. 20, 1862, it was resolved to raise by a levy on the taxable property of the town not to exceed $3,825, for the purpose of paying to each volunteer to the number necessary to fill the remainder of the quota, $225 in addition to the $25 each already voted by the town and the county bounty of $50 each, making $300 in all.
At a special meeting held in the basement of the M. E. church in Knoxville, Aug. 5, 1863, it was resolved to pay to each man drafted under the conscription then in progress, who responded in person or by an accepted substitute going to the war, $300 in town orders. This resolution was afterwards amended at the same meeting by striking out the words “and called into the service of the United States.” This action was reconsidered at an adjourned meeting held Aug. 12, 1863, and the following preamble and resolutions adopted unanimously:---
"WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, did, on the —— day of ——, 1863, order the conscription of three hundred thousand men, as provided by Act of Congress passed March 3, 1863 ; therefore, * * *
"Resolved, That the town levy a tax for the purpose of paying to each man drafted under the above mentioned order, who shall be accepted and mustered into the military service of the United States, and who enter upon such service, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars.
"Resolved, That the town pay the sum of Three Hundred Dollars to each man drafted and accepted who shall furnish an acceptable substitute who shall go to the war in his stead, excepting in case the drafted man shall procure a substitute for a less sum than the one above mentioned, he shall in no case receive more than the sum actually paid for such substitute.
"Resolved, That the above mentioned sum shall be paid in town orders to be made and issued by the committee appointed in the following resolution:---
"Resolved, That James H. Gregg, Supervisor, Giles Sturdevant, Town Clerk, and Warren Strong, Justice of the Peace, of said town, be a committee for making and issuing said town orders.
"Resolved, That the above mentioned committee be instructed to petition the Legislature of this State to legalize the action of this town meeting at its next session, and that it authorizes the board of Supervisors of Madison county to levy a tax upon the town of Stockbridge for the above mentioned purposes at their session for the year 1864, said tax to be levied and collected with the county tax for said year."
At a special meeting held Aug. 4, 1864, the following action was taken:---
"WHEREAS, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, did on the 18th day of July, 1864, order the conscription of Five Hundred Thousand men, unless that number volunteer by the 5th day of next September, as provided by and Act of Congress, passed March 3, 1863, and amended -----, 1864.
"Resolved, That the town of Stockbridge pay the sum of three hundred dollars to each man that volunteers or furnishes an acceptable substitute under the above call for three years, and in no case shall the man furnishing the substitute receive any more than the actual sum paid for such substitute.
"Resolved, That Jonathan M. Wilson, Supervisor, Giles Sturdevant, Town Clerk, and Warren Strong, Justice of the Peace, of the said town be a committee for making and issuing said town orders.
"Resolved, That the above mentioned committee be authorized to present the above mentioned sum to the board of Supervisors at the next annual meeting of the board to be levied and collected with the county tax for said year.
"Resolved, That the town orders issued for the purpose herein mentioned shall bear interest from date of issue and be made payable on or before the 1st day of January, 1865,"
Sept 1., 1864, the last preceding preamble and the following resolutions were adopted :---
"Resolved, That the town of Stockbridge will pay the sum of seven hundred dollars in addition to the county bounty already voted to any man who shall after this date volunteer or furnish an acceptable substitute up to the time the draft is made under the above call and to fill the quota of said town for one year, said bounty to be paid in town orders to be made and issued by the committee appointed at a special meeting held Aug. 4, 1864, said orders to be issued only on satisfactory evidence that the volunteers or substitutes have been mustered into the service of the United States, up to a number sufficient to fill the quota of the town.
"Resolved, That a bounty of eight hundred dollars be paid by said town in addition to the county bounty already voted to any man who shall after this date volunteer or furnish an acceptable substitute up to the time the draft is made under the above call and to fill the quota of said town for the term of two years, said bounty to be paid in the manner provided to the foregoing resolution.
"Resolved, That the said town will pay the sum of seven hundred dollars in addition to the bounties already voted in the town and county to any man who shall volunteer or furnish an acceptable substitute after this date and up to the time the draft is made under the above call and to fill the quota of said town for the term of three years, said bounty to be paid in the same manner as provided in the first of the foregoing resolutions.
"Resolved, That the committee appointed in special town meeting Aug. 4, 1864, be authorized to present the above mentioned sums to the board of Supervisors at the next annual meeting of the board to be levied and collected with the county tax for said year.
"Resolved, That in no case shall any person who procures a substitute receive from the town a sum exceeding the one actually paid such substitute.
"Resolved, That the town orders issued for the purpose herein mentioned bear interest from date of issue and be made payable on or before the first day of January, 1865.”
January 7, 1865, the following action was taken:---
"WHEREAS, On the 20th day of December, 1864, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued a call for three hundred thousand men to serve in the army of the United States with those now in the field, therefore,
"Resolved, That by virtue of and in pursuance of the authority conferred by the Act of the Legislature of the State of New York entitled ‘an act to authorize the levying of a tax upon the taxable property upon the different counties and towns in the State, &c.,’ passed Feb. 9, 1864, we, the legal voters of the town of Stockbridge, in the county of Madison, State of New York, hereby resolve and direct that there be raised upon the credit of the town for the purpose of paying bounties to the volunteers, recruits or substitutes to fill the quota of said town, who shall be duly mustered into the military or naval service of the United States and duly credited to the town under the call of the President for three hundred thousand men, dated Dec. 20, 1864, the sum of ($18,000) eighteen thousand dollars for the aforesaid purpose, which said sum shall be put into the hands of the War Committee to be paid out by them, or as much thereof as shall be necessary for the aforesaid purpose to the best possible advantage.
"Resolved, That for the purpose of paying the incidental expenses of such volunteering and for procuring such volunteers and for raising such moneys, and for no other purpose or purposes, the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars, or so much of said sum as shall be necessary for the purposes mentioned in this resolution, and we hereby resolve and direct that the said sum be levied and imposed as a tax upon the taxable property of the town of Stockbridge.
"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be duly certified and transmitted to the Board of Supervisors of the county of Madison at their next annual meeting, and that they be and are hereby requested to levy the tax herein above mentioned to be collected in the next annual tax.
"Resolved, That the Supervisor of the town be and he is hereby directed to issue from time to time, 'Town Orders' signed by the Supervisor and Town Clerk and one Justice of the Peace of said town for the payment of said bounties, due on the first day of January, 1866, and to draw interest from the date of said order to the said first day of January, 1866, and not after that date.
"Resolved, That Jonathan M. Wilson, Ambrose Blakesley and Simeon B. Armour, be and they hereby are constituted a committee to be styled 'the Town War Committee,' whose duty it shall be to procure the enlistment of volunteers or recruits in the military or naval service of the United States in order to fill the quota of the town of Stockbridge under the present call for men by the President of the United States for three hundred thousand men, and to attend to the mustering in and credit of the same to the quota of said town."
Stockbridge furnished 74 men ; of whom 21 were natives and 65 residents of this town ; 9 enlisted for one year, 5 for two years, and 49 for three years. The were distributed among the various organizations as follows ; 1 in the 26th, 2 in the 34th, 7 in the 35th, 4 in the 61st, 1 in the 64th, 1 in the 94th, 3 in the 104th, 9 in the 114th, and 4 in the 157th infantry regiments ; 1 each in the 15th cavalry regiment and 1st mounted rifles ; 32 in the 1st, and 2 in the 2d artillery regiments. They represented the various professions as follows: 44 were farmers, 3 each were carpenters, mechanics and clerks, 2 each were molders, harness makers, teachers and laborers, and 1 each were teamsters, masons, painters and millwrights.
Statement12 of bounties received :---
15 received a town bounty of $ 10. 2 " " of 25. 1 " " of 75. 3 " " of 100. 16 " " of 300. 2 " " of 400. 1 " " of 500. 4 " " of 700. 1 " " of 900. 19 " County, State and U. S. bounty of 50. 4 " " " " " 100. 6 " " " " " 300. 1 " " " " " 350. 1 " " " " " 372. 4 " " " " " 400. 2 " " " " " 600.