PROGRESS OF IMPROVEMENT IN TOWNS CONTINUED --- HAMILTON.
Since the organization of Madison county in 1806, the town of Hamilton, formed from Paris March 5, 1795, the settlement of which has been adequately described in an earlier chapter, has been one of the most important in the county. While public affairs, legislation, etc., in which the town at large was directly and deeply interested have not been of such significance as to demand particular attention, the villages of Hamilton in the northwest part of the town, Earlville, a part of which is in the extreme southwestern part, and Poolville in the central part have become business centers of importance, where large interests are represented and fine churches, excellent schools, societies, and all of the institutions of advanced civilization have been established and actively supported. The town as a whole constitutes a rich agricultural district and in past years was one of those in the county noted for extensive cultivation of hops --- an industry that in more recent years is being superseded by dairying with more reliable and larger profits.
The early town records, after giving the list of officers and other brief proceedings of the first town meeting, held in April, 1795, contained the customary simple results of votes for the regulation of public affairs as they then existed. Until 1807 the town embraced an immense area, including what are now the towns of Lebanon, Eaton and Madison, giving such officers as were chosen an extended jurisdiction and their edicts an influence that was far-reaching. In Hamilton village, then a mere cluster of dwellings with a tavern, a store, and a few shops, were held the first Courts of Common Pleas in Chenango county, of which the town was a part until 1806. The first court met in a log school house near the pioneer home of Elisha Payne, in June, 1798. After the formation of Madison county the courts alternated between this school house, and another one in the town of Sullivan. But there was very little litigation among the peacefully-inclined people of those times; they had had personal interests of greater import to attract their attention than waiting upon the slow progress of the law. Their greatest enemies were not their neighbors, but wild beasts, and the young hunters received a considerable revenue during a number of years from the bounties offered by the town for killing wolves, bears, etc. In 1799 it was voted to give, besides the bounty then in force (the amount of which is not stated) "10 Dollars for a Full Grown Wolf, 5 for a whelp;" also "to give 1 Dollar as bounty for killing a full grown Bear." This indicates the relative amount of damage done by those two kinds of beasts. The bounty on wolves continued through 1801 and in the next year was raised to $25 and $15 respectively for old and young animals. This was repealed in 1803. In this town bounties were paid for killing crows as late as 1831.
The early dwellers in the town of Hamilton as now bounded, suffered less from many privations than those of other localities. For example there was a grist mill at Brookfield from the first, established in 1782, a distance then considered short for obtaining the much-desired grinding. The road was very bad to that mill and many preferred to go to New Hartford in Oneida county for a considerable period. In 1797, however, when Daniel Wheeler built a grist mill at Lebanon, this source of difficulty was removed. A very early mill was built also at Hubbardsville, and in 1810 the grist mill in Hamilton village was built by William Pierce and Josiah and Medad Rogers, on the site of the second mill, which was also built by them in 1832. The property passed to James Furman in 1849, who operated the mill some forty-five years; the building is now occupied as an ice storage house.
The log school house before mentioned as the scene of the first court, was built soon after the first settlement, and was an example of others erected in different parts of the town before the formation of the county, all of which soon gave place to better frame structures, made possible by the starting of Ichabod Wheeler's saw mill at this point. Frame additions to log dwellings and a few frame houses were built by 1806, and a three story brick building was erected in the village in 1816, mainly for school purposes.
Hamilton village was given its first tavern in the dwelling of Elisha Payne, from whom the settlement was for a time known as Payne's Settlement. In 1802 he built a new tavern on the corner of Broad and Lebanon streets, which stood for many years. There was another small tavern building erected on the site of the later Park House as early as 1800. The log school house disappeared by the beginning of the century and a square roofed frame building was erected on what was the public green at the head of the later established park. In 1800, also, Dr. Thomas Greenly had settled in the place, to the great relief of the afflicted; Joseph Colwell had a store on the corner of Broad and Lebanon streets, as the first merchant in the village, and continued in trade until 1816, when he associated with Capt. Esek Steere and built a brick store, which was subsequently rebuilt by Captain Steere. The saw mill of Ichabod Wheeler was on the Chenango not far from the site of the grist mill. Several churches were in existence in the town, as noticed already, and the inhabitants were enjoying most of the blessings of life in their new homes.
Hamilton village was incorporated April 12, 1816, but the early records down to 1853 are said to have been kept only in a fragmentary manner and many of the leaves of the record book were cut out and lost. A still greater calamity followed in the great fire of February 19, 1895, in which all the records were wholly lost. They were in a safe and under all but exceptional circumstances would have been saved; but unfortunately the safe fell into a cistern in the cellar of the old hall building, the water penetrated the safe and rendered the records almost wholly illegible. All the street surveys of the village and the highway records of the town, the boundaries of school districts, and other records of the greatest value were destroyed.
From publications already in existence it is learned that at the village meeting of May 2, 1819 (the record of which was the first one that was complete) Thomas Cox was president; Willian [sic] Pierce, 2d, Esek Steere, and Thomas Hubbard, trustees; J. Foote, clerk, and office held by him as late as 1824. We are able to give the following nearly complete list of presidents of the village from 1853 to the present time:
Presidents. --- 1853, Lewis Wickwire; 1854, Benjamin B. Babcock; 1855, Albertus Starr; 1856, John J. Foote; 1857, Eben Curry; 1858-1860,1 Erastus D. Wheeler; 1861, George F. Burr; 1862, ____;2 1863, D. B. West; 1864; Paul R. Miner; 1865 and 1867, Eben Curry; 1866, William N. Case; 1868, Edward E. Welton; 1869, Lyman B. Foster; 1870, William F. Bonney; 1871-72, E. W. Foote; 1873, Americus V. Bardeen; 1874, F. D. Beebe; 1875-76, Joseph Curtis; 1877; Eugene P. Sisson; 1878, David C. Mott; 1879-81, H. W. Keith; 1882, Charles W. Underhill; 1883-86, W. T. Manchester; 1887-95, Eugene P. Sisson; 1896-98, N. R. Wickwire.
Clerks. --- 1853, William Fairchild; 1854, Charles Parker; 1855, S. Kimball Putnam; 1856, George B. Eaton; 1857-58, Wilber M. Brown; 1859, William Fairchild; 1860-62, R. F. Randolph; 1863, Erastus Wellington;3 1864, Orrin M. Stiles; 1865-67, William Fairchild; 1868, Joel Barber;4 1869-70, John M. Banning; 1871, A. Eugene Lewis; 1872, George Sperry; 1873, Edward P. Kenyon; 1874-76, David C. Mott; 1877-78, E. Watts Cushman; 1879, C. W. Stapleton; Barna J. Stimson has been village clerk since 1884, when he succeeded Charles M. Wickwire, chosen in 1881 and preceded by Joseph Beal, who followed C. W. Stapleton.
The State legislation affecting Hamilton village is not extensive. In the year 1830 the authorities of the village were given authority to license the sale of liquors. In 1832 (April 25) the Hamilton Water Association was incorporated by an act of the Legislature; Benjamin W. Babcock, Thomas Greenly and Seneca B. Burchard, with their associates, were incorporators. The capital stock was only $3,000. The present water system was not in operation until 1895, as described further on.
In 1840 (May 11) the charter of the village was extensively changed, its provisions condensed and materially amended. The election of five trustees was provided for, with three assessors, a clerk, a collector and three fire wardens. The trustees were given broader powers for the conduct of village government upon lines more in consonance with the dictates of experience up to that time.
Again in 1868 the charter was still further changed in chapter 435, to which the reader is referred for details. Only comparatively unimportant amendments have since been made, as found in chapter 250, laws of 1870; chapter 18, laws of 1874; chapter 142, laws of 1875; and chapter 166, laws of 1877, which repealed all former laws and now is the governing charter. At the annual elections there are elected a president, two assessors, a treasurer, clerk, a street commissioner, a collector and two fire wardens, all of whom hold office one year. The Board of Trustees consists of six members, two of whom are elected each year.
The Hamilton Fire Department was organized May 19, 1830, though there were facilities of some nature for extinguishing fire previous to that time, the records of which are lost. At the meeting of the trustees on the date named the following named persons were appointed firemen: Ferdinand Walker, Marcus Clark, Thomas Barton, John O. Crocker, J. Addison Mott, James Putnam, J. Franklin Munger, Philo A. Orton, Fay N. Harvey, Erastus D. Wheeler, Hiram Upham, Joshua Willard, Ransom Hayward, David Bellows, Horace Pierce, Samuel Morse and Hiram Savage. This was doubtless the first legally constituted fire company in the village.
Fountain Fire Company No. 1 was organized July 31, 1873, with thirty-seven members, and Fountain Hose Company with fourteen members. The first officers under this organization were: H. T. Wilcox, chief engineer; Eli Barber, first assistant engineer. On November 13, 1876, the trustees authorized Fountain Fire Company to incorporate under the provisions of chapter 397 of the law of May 2, 1873. Three year later, in 1879, the chief engineer reported the following equipment of the department: One Button hand engine, one hose jumper, 200 feet leather hose, 200 feet "ante-speptic" (antiseptic?) hose, 50 feet rubber hose, 50 feet linen hose, (500 feet hose all in good order,) two fire-hooks with poles, four fire axes, one fire-hook, chain and rope, one alarm bell, five ladders, three lanterns. There were twenty-nine engine men and twenty-two hosemen, and seventy uniforms. L. R. Fairchild was chief engineer, A. M. Russell, first assistant, T. H. Beal, second assistant.
In 1888 a Button steam engine was purchased, with two hose jumpers and 1,000 feet of new hose. Since that time about 1,500 feet of hose has been kept on hand.
The establishment of the present Hamilton water supply system brought the fire department under entirely new conditions. A reorganization was effected under which there were two hose companies in service, composed of about twenty-five men each, and a hook and ladder company, which is now acting as a hose pending the purchase of a truck. The old steamer is to be sold. In 1897 the village gave the old hand engine to the department. It is known throughout the State for its past great efficiency and the number of contests in which it has been the victor. Three hose carts and 1,000 feet of hose are in use; the carts will ere long be superseded by two hose wagons. The officers of the department are Carl Baum, president; A. P. Lewis, vice-president; J. S. Kimberly, secretary; W. H. Case, treasurer; Thomas H. Beal, chief engineer; Charles O. Wedge, assistant engineer.
The water supply of the present works was turned into the mains at the same date in August, 1895, with the introduction of electric lighting. The water supply is taken from Spring Lake and flows by gravity two miles through a tile main to a filter bed and thence into a well whence it is pumped into a stand-pipe of 200,000 gallons capacity, giving a pressure in the pipes of 100 pounds to the square inch. The works are owned by the village and give the citizens and abundant supply of pure water at a nominal cost.
The electric lighting plant, also owned by the village, is one of the best in the State. The power is supplied by boiler and engine set up in duplicate, so that in case of accident in either the lighting or water works, there need be no stoppage. The present commission consists of William W. West, president; James M. Taylor, secretary; Melvin Tripp, treasurer.
The post-office was established at Hamilton at an early date, but there are no available records of the office back of 1853, when H. G. Beardsley was appointed postmaster, to be succeeded in 1861 by George F. Burn. E. R. Bardeen was appointed in 1866, and was succeeded by Benjamin F. Bonney, in 1869. He held the office more than ten years and was followed by E. W. Cushman, he by T. H. Beal, he by G. C. Waldron, and he by George Beal, and he by E. W. Cushman, present postmaster.
Contemporaneous with the first store of Joseph Colwell, before mentioned, was that of Charles Clark, who came at the same or about the same time with Colwell, and opened a store in which from about 1805 he was associated with James Dorrance. Charles T. Deering kept a store in that location a little later and continued to about 1816, when he built on the opposite side of the street, in conjunction with Henry M. Graves, a brick block. In that year also Colwell and Esek Steere built a brick store.
Soon after 1800 Henry M. Graves and Samuel Dascom opened a store in a red building on the site of J. B. Grant's book store; the property was then owned by Dr. Thomas Greenly, whose daughter Mr. Dascom married. A few year[sic] later Messrs. Graves and Fargo were in business in the same store. Lewis B. Goodsell and a Mr. Sparrow were in mercantile business here a little later, and still later, Rufus Bacon and Ferdinand Walker were merchants; Mr. Bacon continued a little later than 1821, and the others named, excepting Walker, who contined [sic] to 1852 and failed, were out of trade previous to that year. Bacon sold out to his brother Ezra who became associated with Julius Candee, but continued only a few years.
In 1821 Joseph Mott came from Bridgewater and opened a store and in the next year started in trade with drugs, as the first in that line in the village, placing his son, Smith Mott, in charge. Soon after the elder Mott's death in 1824 the business passed to John Foote, who carried it on fifteen years and was succeeded by his son, John J. Foote; he in 1854 took as partner Benjamin F. Bonney. In 1866 the firm was succeeded by John C. Foote, son of John J., and James K. Welton, and the firm of Bonney & Welton continued many years. Mr. Bonney's father, Benjamin Bonney, was a pioneer of this town in 1808, settling about a mile north of the Center.
Joseph Mott, who was the first druggist, was a merchant in general goods also, both here and in Utica. In 1830 the son, Smith Mott, joined in partnership with his brother, Joseph Addison Mott, under the firm name of S. & J. A. Mott and continued in trade until 1833. Upon the dissolution of the firm at that time J. A. Mott formed a partnership with Amos Crocker, purchased his interest a year later and and [sic] continued in trade until 1847. Smith Mott, after the dissolution, became a partner with Judge Philo Gridley, purchased the latter's interest about three years later and took in Otis B. Howe. This firm dissolved a few years later and for a period Mr. Mott's son, T. S. Mott, was in trade with his father.
Sanford Boon was an early jeweler, beginning in 1836, and erected the building afterwards occupied by the bank. In 1839 Esek Steere, John Foote, and John J. Foote established a hardware business under the firm name of E. Steere & Co., until 1846 and for many years later as Foote & Gaskell.
O. L. Woodruff opened a general store in 1849 in company with John Owen and Erastus F. Wellington, and continued in trade either with others or alone more than thirty years. Mrs. L. A. Rice was a milliner of 1846 and continued thirty years or more. Robert Patterson opened a boot and shoe store in 1860 and is still in business. Valentine Piotrow established a ready-made clothing store in 1860 and is succeeded by his son, Frederick G. Piotrow. Melvin Tripp, grocer, and W. K. Lippitt, began trade in 1865 and continued many years. J. M. Banning & Co. carried on a drug business some years from 1866, and John Harmon, hardware, and A. E. Lewis, clothier, were in business twenty years ago, Mr. Lewis still continuing. Mr. Harmon now conducts the mills at the station. Joseph L. Kelly was engaged in the book business beginning in 1871 and continuing ten or more years. A. E. B. Campbell began the manufacture and sale of furniture in 1873, succeeding to an establishment that was started early in the history of the village, as related a little further on. Mr. Campbell was succeeded by Rowlands & Beal.
Francis J. and Elmer C. Root began the drug trade in 1873 as Root Brothers; E. C. Root still continues in the same line, with groceries. A. W. Bartle was in the grocery business a number of years from 1874, and L. M. Royce in 1875 began the grocery and crockery business which he still carries on. A. C. Rice began grocery business in 1876 and Peter McMorrow and John Bradin, as the firm of McMorrow & Co., opened a dry goods business in 1878. In the same year F. N. Tompkins established his jewelry business which he still conducts. James L. B right opened a hardware business in 1878 and in the next year J. P. Butler engaged in grocery trade.
The foregoing brief notes tell the story of almost all of the early and some of the present mercantile establishments of the village. For a list of the many other present merchants the reader must be referred to the Gazetteer in later page.
Hamilton village has never been noted for extensive manufactures and those of the present day are not at all important. While the place was remarkably active in a business sense from the date of beginning the Chenango Canal in 1834 for a number of years and the most enthusiastic anticipations were indulged in by many of the more sanguine inhabitants, the trend was not especially strong towards permanent manufacturing industries. It was during the period soon after the beginning of the canal that building operations received their first real impetus. Hiram Savage and his associates put up the Exchange Buildings; Mr. Savage was one of the very early tin and hardware dealers. The Commercial Block also was built in that period, and the Eagle Hotel, and a Mr. Wadsworth erected a third public house near the new canal, now occupied as a store by M. M. Wilcox.
Cabinet making, or furniture manufacture as we more frequently term it in these later days, was among the earliest industries of Hamilton, as in many other villages before machinery was brought to bear upon that work to the extent it now is. James Higgins began cabinet making in the village in 1810 and was the first in the business here. He sold to Erastus Wheeler who had learned the trade with Higgins. In 1827, about two years after he purchased the business, Mr. Wheeler removed it to Lebanon street and about 1840 took Wilson Parker into partnership. Ten years later Charles B. Gardiner purchased Wheeler's interest and the firm of Parker & Gardiner continued until 1864, when Mr. Parker sold to Madison Hall. In 1871 Gardiner sold his interest to Madison Leach, who in 1873 sold to Archibald B. Campbell. The next year Mr. Campbell purchased Mr. Hall's interest. Mr. Campbell continued a number of years and the factory was subsequently operated for a time by J. N. Rowlands and others, to finally come into possession of Rowlands & Beal, who conduct a furniture and undertaking business, but do not manufacture.
A tannery was built by Thomas Orton not long after 1810, which early became the property of Esek Steere, and about 1870 passed to Charles J. Johnson. He operated it some years when it was burned and not rebuilt.
A foundry and machine shop was established before 1830, which passed through a large number of proprietorships. Henry Powers operated it many years and in 1875 it passed into possession of F. B. Wilcox and Amos Beebe and was operated by Mr. Wilcox until his death.
A sash, door and blind factory was established in 1872 by John Harmon and Charles Stringer who continued it three years, when Washington E. Brown purchased Harmon's interest. A year later Brown sold to Charles Stringer. It passed from him to Eugene Wedge, then to Wedge & Allen and from them to the present Hamilton Lumber Company; the plant is now substantially idle.
A wire cloth factory was operated here for some years by the Hamilton Wire Cloth Company, of which Frank Root was president. The plant burned in 1895 and was not rebuilt. It became the property of a syndicate.
The first mills in the village have been noticed. A large storehouse was refitted and converted into a steam grist mill in 1878, by Adon N. Smith. He and several others operated it until it was burned and not rebuilt. When burned it was the property of Hitchcock & Gavin.
There is a feed mill in operation at the depot, and a machine shop also near there which is operated by Dwight Graham.
The old Park Hotel was built soon after the opening of this century by Artemas Howard and was long a celebrated hostelry. In 1822 he exchanged the property with John D. Blish for a tavern in Lebanon. Blish kept the hotel until 1840, enlarging the building in the mean time. Several later enlargements gave it its latest form and dimensions. William and Samuel Russell succeeded Mr. Blish as landlords and a few years later Bonney & Lewis took the house, followed by Thomas Nye, Eli Barber, John Ingalls, C. T. Alvord who was succeeded by W. G. Lippitt, the present proprietor.
The Eagle Hotel was built in 1834 by a stock company, prominent in which was Curtis Porter. What became the wing of the house, on the north, had previously been a dwelling built and occupied by Charles Williams. The hotel was built of stone, four stories high above the basement. It had various proprietors, but has fallen into partial decay, the wing part being occupied as a restaurant.
The Maxwell House was built in the fall of 1895 and opened by M. F. Maxwell, who was succeeded by his widow and she by John Keegan.
Dr. Thomas Greenly has been mentioned as the first physician to settle permanently in Hamilton. He was long a prominent citizen who took an active interest in all public affairs. The second physician in the village was Dr. Peter B. Havens, a graduate of Hamilton College, who practiced here until his death in 1860, attaining a high reputation as a surgeon. He married Martha C. Clark, of Buffalo. His former home is now occupied by J. W. Clark; but previous to that he built and resided in for a time the building afterwards used for the Female Seminary, which was sold by him to C. C. Buell, the founder of the seminary. Dr. Havens then purchased the residence subsequently occupied by his son, Dr. Peter B., who also practiced here until his death. The house is now occupied by J. W. Clark; it was built by Dr. John Babcock, a bachelor, who resided there with his mother and sister. He and his brother, Dr. Benjamin Waite Babcock, came hither about 1830 and practiced in partnership or alone a number of years.
Other former physicians were Dr. Henry G. Beardsley, Dr. Samuel Peck, who removed to Peterboro; Dr. J. S. Douglass, who was in practice fifteen years and went west; Dr. J. Trevor, who practiced a year; Dr. Mortimer W. Crawe, who practiced from about 1857 until the war and served as assistant surgeon in the 157th Regiment and now resides in Watertown; Dr. W. B. Brown, who removed to Rochester in 1865; Dr. William Oaks, who came from DeRuyter about 1857 and continued to his death in 1863; and perhaps a few others. Gilbert L. Gifford, a native of Brookfield, is now in practice in Hamilton, as also is Hull S. Gardiner. Other present physicians are Drs. O. S. Langworthy, who was formerly associated with Dr. Frank D. Beebe, a prominent citizen and a surgeon in the Civil war, now deceased; F. O. Lloyd began practice in 1892; and Dr. G. W. Wilcox.
In early years Hamilton was the home of several lawyers of distinction, the first of whom was Nathaniel King, a native of Amenia, N.Y., born December 26, 1767, and graduated from Yale in 1792. He settled in this village in 1797; was the first representative from Chenango county in the Assembly and twice in later years. He rose to the rank of major-general in the militia and served at Sackett's Harbor in the war of 1812. In 1809 he was appointed district attorney for the Ninth District, which included Madison, Cortland, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Chenango counties. He was one of the founders of Hamilton College and the first teacher in that institution. He died in Hamilton July 25, 1848.
The second attorney to locate here was Thomas Hill Hubbard, a native of New Haven, Conn., and a graduate of Yale. He settled in Hamilton about 1805 and continued in practice until 1824, when he removed to Utica where he died in 1857. He was the first surrogate of Madison county (1806-1816), and was then appointed district attorney for the Sixth District. He was also the first district attorney of Madison county; was elected to Congress in 1817 and again in 1821, and in Utica was appointed clerk of the Supreme Court.
Other early attorneys of prominence who practiced in this village were John G. Stower, who studied with Mr. Hubbard and was his partner until 1824; was surrogate from 1821 to 1827, representative in Congress in 1827-29, and State senator 1833-35. Judge Philo Gridley was for a short time a partner with Mr. Stower, and removed to Utica. John Foote studied law with Mr. Hubbard and began practice about 1813, which continued through his long life until recent years. He was father of Hon. John J. Foote. Charles Mason settled in Hamilton to take the place of Philo Gridley when the latter removed to Utica, was appointed circuit judge in 1838; was appointed district attorney of Madison county in 1845 and two years later was elected justice of the Supreme Court for the Sixth Judicial District and was re-elected. In January, 1868 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Court of Appeals and in 1870 was made clerk of the United States Circuit Court and removed to Utica.
John Adams Smith was for a period a partner with Thomas H. Hubbard and an early practitioner at the bar. Lorenzo Sherwood settled in Hamilton in 1839, coming from De Ruyter where he had been in practice a few years in company with James W. Nye. Mr. Sherwood's system developed consumption and he removed to Texas, while Mr. Nye, who had formed a partnership with him in Hamilton, continued in practice here until his election to the office of surrogate in 1844. He was elected county judge in 1847 and soon after the close of his term removed to Syracuse and later to New York city.
From 1845 to 1848 Albert N. Sheldon and James B. Eldredge were partners in law practice and Mr. Sheldon is still in the profession. He was elected district attorney in 1859. Mr. Eldredge was in the Assembly three terms and was elected county judge in 1833; died in 1864. Henry C. Goodwin and David J. Mitchell were a conspicuous law firm at a little later period, but both died before reaching their prime, the former in Hamilton and the latter in Syracuse.
Joseph Mason and David Gerry Wellington, formerly partners, are still in practice but in separate offices. Mr. Mason is a native of Plattsburgh and settled in Hamilton about 1842; was elected county judge in 1863, and representative in Congress in 1878. Mr. Wellington was elected to the Assembly in 1867 and again in 1874, was a member of the last Constitutional Convention, and held other offices.
Samuel D. White, born in Nelson, February 16, 1835, and Charles W. Underhill, born in Bedford, N. Y., December 27, 1841, have been in practice many years. Hosmer H. Keith, formerly in practice, removed to South Dakota, and William M. Hartshorn, a native of Lebanon, after a number of years' practice, removed west to engage in real estate business. Barna J. Stimson, born in Erieville, April 24, 1837, has been in practice many years. A. Smith Sheldon is in partnership with his father, Albert N. Sheldon; James W. Welch and E. W. Cushman (also postmaster) constitute the present bar of the village.
It was not until 1817 that Hamilton had a newspaper, nine years later than one was started in Peterboro and simultaneously with the starting of the Gazette and Madison County Advertiser, also in Peterboro. The Hamilton Recorder was founded in 1817 by John G. Stower and Dr. Peter B. Havens. Two years later it passed to the firm of Stower & Williams and a little later was published by John P. Van Sice. In 1829 it was removed to Morrisville and consolidated with the Madison Observer, which had been established in Cazenovia in January, 1821, and removed the following year to Morrisville.
The Hamilton Courier was started in February, 1834, by G. R. Waldron; the name was soon changed to the Hamilton Courier and Madison County Advertiser and the paper was discontinued in 1838. In that year the Hamilton Palladium was established by John Atwood and continued six years. During the single year 1839 G. R. Waldron published the Hamilton Eagle. In 1842 Mr. Waldron and Wallace W. Chubbuck started the Democratic Reflector, which they continued about six months, when Waldron acquired Chubbuck's interest and within a year took in Arthur M. Baker. Baker's interest was bought by Waldron in 1854, and in 1856 the paper was consolidated with the Madison County Journal, which was established in September, 1849, by E. F. & C. B. Gould. At different periods thereafter W. W. Chubbuck, F. B. Fisher and Thomas L. James (later postmaster of New York city) were interested in the establishment. When the two papers were consolidated the name was changed to The Democratic Republican and the publication was continued by Waldron & James until 1860, when the latter sold his interest to J. Hunt Smith, to whom Waldron also sold out in 1861. Smith sold to his father, Adon Smith, a few months later and about six months afterwards he transferred it to A. Lord; from him it passed to E. D. Van Slyke, formerly publisher of a paper in Cortland, in February, 1863. He was succeeded by W. E. Tooke, from whom it again passed to Mr. Van Slyke who sold to the present proprietors, Hawkins & Elliott (Herbert H. Hawkins and Fletcher M. Elliott). The Democratic Republican is now one of the leading journals of the interior of New York State.
In October, 1856, Levi S. Backus started the Democratic Union in Hamilton. In the next year it passed to possession of W. H. Baker, who continued the paper in Hamilton until 1862, when he removed it to Oneida, where it is still continued, as described in the history of that village.
The only other newspaper of Hamilton of any considerable permanence was the Democratic Volunteer, which was started as the Independent Volunteer in July, 1863, by George R. Waldron and J. M. Chase and was published simultaneously here and in Morrisville; after 1866 it was confined to Hamilton. Waldron acquired Chase's interest and two years later took as a partner George G. Waldron. When the Morrisville edition was stopped the name of the paper was changed to Waldron's Democratic Volunteer. Waldron & Son continued the publication until 1875, when the elder partner was compelled to relinquish his labor on account of blindness from disease contracted in the army. The paper was ably conducted, had a large circulation, but was discontinued after the great fire.
The village of Earlville, in this town, noticed a little further on, has supported a good newspaper for many years. The Earlville Recorder was started December 9, 1876, by Frank W. Godfred, but about two months closed its existence. The Earlville Enterprise was started April 5, 1878, by Eugene M. Lansing. The paper was at first only 16 by 22 inches in size, but it was enlarged three times within the first year of its existence and met with excellent success, for a time, but was finally discontinued.
The Earlville Standard was established in 1886 by L. D. Blanchard, who sold out to Burch & Briggs in November, 1895. It is a successful independent weekly journal.
Succeeding the formation of the First Baptist Church in Hamilton village in 1796, which has been described, there was no other formal church organization perfected in the village until 1828, unless it was, perhaps, a Methodist class, of which records are not in existence. The Congregational Church of Hamilton Village, as the title stood, was formed in the year just named, with eight members, at the house of John Foote. Services were held a year in the brick academy, until the first church edifice was completed. That was burned in 1851, but immediately rebuilt, and in 1871 was remodeled and greatly improved at a cost $4,000. The first pastor was Rev. Pindar Field. A severe storm in June, 1874, damaged the building considerably, but it was at once repaired. There are now nearly a 175 members and the society is prosperous.
In a brief memoir of Gen. Nathaniel King is found a statement that the first Methodist preachers to labor in Hamilton came in 1819, at about which time there was a strong awakening of religious feeling in the county. The first class was probably formed in the village that winter, with James Higgins, leader; he was succeeded by Stephen Stocking. General King was a member and a zealous worker. The meagre history of this society can only be drawn from what is remembered by the older members. The society labored against a discouraging environment and the membership has never been large. During many years prior to 1836 the meetings were held in a small chapel which stood about two miles northeast of the village. The present church building was erected on the corner of John and Charles streets and there remained until 1867,when it was removed to its present location. A handsome parsonage was erected in 1895-6. The church membership is about 140 and the present pastor is Rev. Mr. Reynolds.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church was incorporated September 21, 1835, by Rev. L. A. Barrows, the pastor who had held services in the academy. Alanson Munger and G. B. Stevens were elected wardens, and George Williams, John D. Blish, Peter B. Havens, Ferdinand Walker, Lewis Wickwire, William R. H. Treadway, John Atwood, and Nelson Fairchild, vestrymen. The organization of the society took place about a year before the incorporation. From 1835 to 1846 the church records are lost; it was, however, in the latter year that the church edifice was built through the persevering efforts of a few generous persons. In July, 1847, Rev. Edward De Zeng was invited to the church, and he remained about a year, to be succeeded by Rev. D. C. Millett. He was succeeded in 1850 by Rev. S. H. Norton, during whose rectorship the church was enlarged. The present pastor is Rev. A. H. Rogers.
St. Mary's Catholic Church was organized in October, 1869, as the Church of the Immaculate Conception, by Rev. Anthony P. Ludden, who had officiated in services in this vicinity for some time previous. A mission was founded by Father Charles Brady, then located in Norwich; he officiated about five years from 1856. Fathers James McDermott, P. B. McNulty and Daniel O'Connell then filled the interval until 1869. Father Ludden came and a separate mission was established and the first church was built in that year. It was a frame building and was blown down on June 6, 1874. A temporary chapel was then built which was in use until the completion of the church edifice in 1880. The congregation is a large one and the church is prosperous. Father Ludden was succeeded in 1880 by Rev. W. B. Hannett, under whose pastorate the pretty church at West Eaton was built. The present pastor, Rev. J. V. MacDonnell, was appointed in January, 1890. The church owns the St. Joseph's cemetery, purchased in 1873, and the parochial house, which was formerly the frame church.
The present Hamilton Union School was formed by the union of the three districts formerly including the territory of the village in 1853. In each of these was then a poor school house and the better class of citizens were determined that a change should be effected. At the meeting held for the purpose a fierce strife was engendered over the matter and it was 2 o'clock a. m. before an affirmative vote was made. A Board of Education was then elected, consisting of Charles Payne, Charles Gardiner, Abram Sanford, Samuel S. Abbott, Mulford Rogers, James L. Fay, Horace B. Burchard, Alonzo Thurston, and Albert N. Sheldon. Mr. Payne was chosen president. At a later meeting a tax was voted for the purchase of a site for a Union school building. On account of the claim that the proceedings of the meeting were invalid, many of the citizens refused to pay the tax. The matter was finally referred to the Supreme Court, which decided in favor of the Board of Education, and before 1855 a new school building was erected and the old conditions passed away. Henry L. Sherrill was the first principal and the school became very popular.
The Hamilton Female Seminary, established in 1856 by Clinton C. Buell, and Madison University are properly noticed in Chapter XXIV.
The second largest village in this town is Earlville, portions of which, however, are within the bounds of Lebanon in Madison county and Sherburne and Smyrna in Chenango county. The principal part of the village is in Hamilton. It is pleasantly situated between the two branches of the Chenango which join a short distance below the village. It is a station on the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley, the New York, Ontario and Western railroads, and the southern terminus of the Chenango Valley branch of the West Shore road. In early years the place was known as the Forks, from its situation between the branches of the river, and the village and post-office retained that name until 1834 when the construction of the Chenango Canal gave the inhabitants new hopes of future business importance and a desire for a more pretentious title; Earlville was chosen in honor of Canal Commissioner Earl. The village had little business importance until after the building of the canal.
Settlement began early along the Chenango in this vicinity, as already noticed, the pioneers, Major Bigelow Waters and Charles Otis (1795), being soon followed by the other adventurous spirits. A little north of the business center of the place was early concentrated a little business industry, by the establishment there in 1811 of a tannery by Jared Pardee; it stood on the site of the later tannery. A tavern was built near by of which James B. Eldredge was proprietor; he was also the first postmaster. Erastus Daniels erected and operated a large distillery in early years, and Mr. Pardee enlarged his tannery and took as a partner a Mr. Crain. It subsequently passed through several hands and ultimately to N. W. Torrey. The establishment as it came to him was built in 1851. It was burned in the great fire of 1886.
The post-office at the village was established about 1824 with Dr. Consider H. Stacy, postmaster. The entire list of officials cannot be given, but C. L. Cotton was in the position from 1861 more than twenty years and his successors have been Newell Douglass, I. W. Rowe, L. R. Nash, B. B. Wilcox, and S. B. Cloyes.
Joseph Stowell was the first physician in the place and purchased a farm west of the village and extending across the river. He was followed by Dr. Stacy, and later physicians have been Drs. James Sheffield, who died in 1849; Laban Tucker and D. Ransom who practiced before 1840; A. S. Nichols, J. A. Ressegieu, Andrew S. Douglass and a few others. The present physicians are Dr. H. H. White and Dr. Earl Wilcox.
Joseph Whitmore, attorney, settled in the village in 1843 and continued in practice about six years, when he removed to Michigan. Alfred Nichols, a native of Hamilton, opened an office about 1851 and practiced to 1869, when he removed to Sherburne. Ernest C. Dart opened an office in 1879. The present attorneys are S. B. Cloyes and E. N. Cushman.
There was very little if any mercantile business done in this village before the opening of the canal; it was a mere settlement about the mills and the distillery and tannery. But with the construction of the water way a new order of affairs was inaugurated. Marvan Tanner opened a store, which he continued a number of years, and about the same time Henry Waters also engaged in mercantile trade. Orange Waite was another merchant prior to 1840 and continued in trade several years, to be succeeded by Sidney B. Webb and Thomas Kershaw in the same store in partnership. About 1847 the partnership was dissolved and Kershaw continued the business five or six years and sol to Higgins & Hendrick; a few years later Hendrick withdrew and Higgins sold to Horace A. Campbell, who continued only a short time.
Webb & Kershaw in 1843 built a new store, which was connected with two others of wood; two others of brick stood on the southwest corner and all of these were burned October 12, 1858. William Felt built his brick block there in the next year. Mr. Campbell was succeeded in trade by Henry R. Long. Spencer and Ely Willis, two farmers from Lebanon, carried on business before 1840 and failed in 1841. Charles G. Otis and Job Collins also were merchants of that period and went out of business before 1840. Otis B. Howe and Benjamin F. Skinner began trade in 1843; about two years later Skinner bought his partner's interest and took as partner John Blish; they continued until 1847.
After the failure of himself and brother, Spencer Willis formed a partnership with Amos Bigsby and Charles Billings and began the sale of the Willis stock of goods; the business closed in a few months. William Willis and his brother traded a few months in 1858 up to the date of the fire. Wolcott Leavenworth opened a store about 1847 and was in trade until about 1858. Nicanor Brownell and E. Volney Chapin, natives of Hamilton, opened a store in 1862 or 1863, the business being sold to Chapin two years later, who soon sold to O. W. Leavenworth & Brother; they continued about a year. A little later O. W. Leavenworth formed a partnership with William O. Bancroft under the style of Bancroft & Leavenworth, who continued a few years and failed. Leavenworth then resumed business alone and continued until 1879. A few other merchants sold goods in the past, but mostly for only short periods.
George King began as a hat and cap dealer in 1869; I. W. Rower began jewelry trade in 1872; N. L. Douglass, druggist, began in 1873, and is still in trade; Le Roy Nash, grocer, commenced in 1877, and Gorham, Cushman & Co., in 1878. Chaphe & Morgan opened hardware trade in 1879, a business now followed by F. D. Morgan. W. H. Williamson opened a grocery, and Ambrose W. Rice a jewelry store in 1879.
Other present merchants of the village are C. W. Smith, R. P. Hall, R. H. Williamson, Casety & Miller, and Cushman & Brainerd, general merchants, L. W. Farr and F. C. Buell (former partners) in hardware, succeeding Tillotson Brothers, J. L. Rowe, Jennings & Taylor, L. L. Sawdy, groceries, confectionery, tobacco, etc.; George E. Bergen, jewelry; A. M. Hoadley, clothing, etc.; Eugene Pierce, harness dealer; Todd & Gurney, lumber and builders' supplies; C. F. Foster, furniture and undertaking. S. B. Cloyes and Parker Newton are engaged in insurance business.
The Earlville grist and saw mills were built in the summer of 1839 by William Felt, who operated them twenty-seven years and at his death in June, 1866, bequeathed them to William Babcock, whose father, Thomas Babcock, had been Mr. Felt's miller during the whole period. The mill building is now occupied by the Parsons Low-Down Wagon Works.
In comparatively recent years considerable miscellaneous manufacturing has come into existence in the village. The Earlville Furniture Works were established by S. Bentley in 1866, and were managed by E. C. and G. D. Bentley, who were from New Berlin. The firm purchased property on East Main street and employed about twenty men. The building was struck by lightning in 1892 and burned and the firm rebuilt the same year on the same site. The firm failed in 1816 [sic].
The Arnold Furniture Company removed hither from Fayetteville in 1890 and built their present factory for the manufacture of desks, etc. About thirty men are employed. The officers of the company are L. S. Arnold, president; H. C. Allen, vice-president; L. W. Arnold, secretary and treasurer.
The C. L. Cotton Perfumery and Extract Company was the successor of a small extract business established in 1878 by C. L. Cotton, the druggist. The present stock company was incorporated in 1893 with nominal capital of $50,000. Five traveling salesmen are employed and the goods of the company are widely known. The officers of the company are C. L. Cotton, president; Henry G. Green, vice-president; F. E. Williams, secretary and treasurer; F. C. Devolant and H. C. Allen are additional directors.
The M. C. Dermott-Bergen Dairy Company operate a milk station at N. Y. O. station, taking about 7,000 pounds of milk daily.
J. N. Holmes began the manufacture of wagons in 1870 on East Hill, and subsequently moved into the village where he continues. J. D. Washburn also has a carriage and blacksmith business.
The Parsons Low-Down Wagon Company was incorporated in 1891 with a capital of $50,000. The business was established in 1887 by J. R. Parsons. In January 1, 1898, the establishment became a private industry and the title was changed to the Parsons Low-Down Wagon Works. A wagon of low construction is largely manufactured, about fifty hands being employed.
The First National Bank of Earlville was incorporated December 15, 1890, with the following officers: H. G. Greene, president; George B. Whitmore, vice-president; Guy H. Clark, cashier. The capital stock was $50,000. The first board of directors consisted of the above named officers and N. L. Douglass, C. L. Cotton, George E. Nash, A. K. Dixon, H. C. Allen, John Dow, H. H. White, H. Clay Ackley, Charles G. Brooks and I. Newton Niles. The only change in the officers of the bank has been the substitution of George E. Nash for George B. Whitmore as secretary; Abel Comstock for A. K. Dixon; H. A. Truesdell for I. N. Niles; C. W. Smith for George B. Whitmore, and W. O. Clark for H. Clay Ackley.
With the completion of the canal, further hotel accommodations were needed in the village, and what became known as Brown's Hotel was built in 1836 by Orange H. Waite. Nicanor Brown purchased the property in 1868 and kept it until 1878, when his sons, Lyman and Frank, succeeded. They were the last proprietors. The house was burned in the great fire, but was rebuilt and during the last eleven years has been kept by Fay Sawdy as the Sawdy House.
The Earlville House was built in 1833 by Gardiner Waters. In 1868 it was bought by William H. Jones, who kept it until his tragic death on July 5, 1876. His widow succeeded and sold to Hoyt Kinney, who kept the house about five years and sold to Edward D. Avery, the present proprietor, who changed the name to the Avery House.
The West End Hotel was erected in 1887 by N. Brown. Albert Bennett is the present proprietor. The East End Hotel was built in 1897 and is conducted by A. M. Sly.
The great fire, as it is known, which destroyed much of the business part of Earlville, took place on August 21, 1886. Many dwellings were also burned and the loss was very heavy. But the inhabitants showed commendable energy under the discouragement and rebuilt the place better than it was before. A second destructive fire occurred four years later and although the loss was not as heavy as in the first one, it was grievously felt. Many of the new structures which had been erected fell in the flames. The Avery Hotel escaped in both conflagrations. To-day Earlville is a handsome village and has an appearance of newness not frequently seen. There had been the usual inadequate fire extinguishing facilities in the village from about the time of the building impulse before described, but the destructive fires mentioned caused an adoption of a better policy, and now there is an excellent fire department composed of about 125 men, in three companies --- Douglass Hose, Cotton Hose, and a hook and ladder company. Engines are not needed, as in 1894 a complete system of water works was constructed, which gives a pressure of 100 pounds in the mains and supplies pure water to the inhabitants. The Parsons Low Down Electric Light Company has supplied illumination for the village since 1894. Earlville was incorporated in 1887.
The First Baptist Church of Sherburne, as its title reads, is situated in Earlville and was organized June 24, 1802, at the house of John Benton, with about fifteen members. During that and probably a number of succeeding years, meetings were held in houses. The first meeting house was built in 1818 on the hill to the east of the village. The present church in the village was erected in 1835; it has been extensively repaired since that time. It was sold in recent years and removed tot he south side of Main street and remodeled into an opera house, and was burned in the second large fire. The present Baptist church building was erected in 1887-88. This society supplied thirty members for the formation of the churches at South Hamilton and Sherburne. The list of pastors is incomplete and is a very long one, and will not be followed here.
The first Methodist Class in Earlville was formed in 1802 at the house of Joseph Crandall and consisted of seven or eight members. Rev. Charles Giles was the first pastor, and the first organization of the society took place on January 9, 1815. The trustees then chosen were Elam Felt, Noah Hall, and Asa Felt. Money was at once raised and the first meeting house was built in 1816. This was used until 1838 when a new structure was erected. After being extensively repaired in 1871 it was burned in the first fire and soon afterwards the present handsome edifice was built.
The Episcopal Church was organized in 1877 and the house of worship was erected in the same year. It was a mission station and the membership is small in number.
The settlement about 1810 of Abijah Pool and his sons, Abijah and Isaac, on the east branch of the Chenango and a little southwest of the center of the town, formed a nucleus around which ultimately gathered the hamlet and village of Poolville. The actual settlement of the Pool family was made about midway between Earlville and Poolville, where the son Isaac established a wool-carding and cloth-dressing business. A few years after this settlement was made, Gideon Randall Pool, a cousin of Isaac, came from near Plainfield, Mass., the former home of all this family, and took an interest in the business with Isaac. About 1825 they removed it to Poolville, where a few families had gathered. In 1830 the post-office was established. After the death of Gideon R. Pool, in 1827 the business was carried on by Amos and Isaac Pool, who were also cousins, under the firm name of A. & I. Pool. They established also an extensive shoe manufactory, and a few years later Caleb Lowd succeeded to both industries which he continued until 1835 under the name of Thaxter Pool, when they were discontinued. Nathan Eaton revived the carding mill, opened a store, and established an ashery and during a few years did an extensive business; but he failed about 1850. The building of the woolen mill was originally a grist mill and soon after Eaton's failure it was converted to its former use by Elihu Thompson and William G. Brainard. James Jackson purchased the property about 1859 and sold it to the present proprietor, George W. Berry; the mill has been remodeled and improved as a yarn mill. A saw mill was built which took water from the same dam; this came into possession of Damond Richmond before the war. The site is now owned by Mr. Berry, the mill having been demolished.
A tannery was erected here in 1831 by Loomis, Lowd & Co., Caleb Lowd, before mentioned, being a member of the firm. In the hard times of 1835-6, when many business enterprises in this vicinity were forced to suspend, the firm failed and the tannery passed to Richard Berry, who operated it with success until his death in 1852. It was then leased to H. & G. Berry and in 1855 was sold to Henry Berry, from whom it was transferred to George W. and Frank O. Berry. The building is now in use for cold storage purposes.
A machine shop was established here in 1830 by Enos Wood; but in the general business decline of 1835 he removed it to Pierceville. A milk station is conducted here by the Empire State Dairy Company, with H. J. Spencer, local manager. Only a small quantity of milk is shipped, but large quantities of butter and cheese are made. About 8,000 pounds of milk are taken daily.
A hotel was built in the village in 1832 by Samuel Pool, who kept it until his removal to Ohio a year or two later. A second hotel was built in 1879-80 by F. H. Kinney which was burned and the present Everett House was erected in 1884-85 by Dr. C. D. Green, who practiced here a few years and until his death. The house is now owned by his widow. The so called Railroad Hotel was built in 1868 by Andrew Forbes and for a time served also as a depot. William Dietz bought the property in 1870, and in the same year sold it to G. B. Cleveland. It was afterwards kept by A. M. Sly and was burned April 27, 1898.
There has always been a small mercantile business at Poolville. George E. Nash has had a store about forty years and is the present postmaster, an office which he has held many years. Cook & Dunham succeeded J. M. Jennings, who succeeded D. W. Hyland; the latter established his store in 1865. E. D. Keith is a dealer in coal.
A Methodist class was formed at Poolville probably before 1830 and meetings were held in the school house. The membership finally decreased to three or four who joined the Earlville church. About twenty-five years later another class was formed and built a meeting house, which was repaired in 1869 and again in recent years. The church is on the same charge with East Hamilton and the same pastor serves both.
A Universalist society was formed from the Hubbardsville church and built a house of worship in 1816. The membership is not numerous.
The hamlet of Hubbardsville, in the northeast part of the town, took its name from Calvin Hubbard, a prominent settler of 1813 in that section. He resided in a dwelling subsequently owned by Nathan Brownell, who married Mr. Hubbard's granddaughter. Mr. Hubbard was an enterprising and energetic man and soon engaged in business. He established an early tannery and a distillery, both of which he operated many years, accumulating a competency. His daughter, and his only child who lived to maturity, was Emily, who married Elias K. Hart.
Ephraim Chamberlain was an early settler here and opened the first store about 1820. His store was situated on the site of the one in which D. D. Livermore has carried on business more than twenty years. Sherebiah S. Hunt and Elias K. Hart built in 1835 the store in which they traded as the firm of Hunt & Hart until 1837. Charles Green was in business there from 1838 to 1841 when he sold to Gideon Manchester; he leased the store to Nathan Peck, who was in business until 1848. In the spring of 1849 Clark R. Nash and William T. Manchester took the business and a year and a half later Manchester sold to Dr. Julius Nye, who a few years later sold to his partner. In 1864 Francis C. Shepardson bought an interest in the store and C. R. Nash & Co. continued until 1867 when Shepardson retired. Mr. Nash continued alone (excepting from 1871 to 1875) until he was succeeded by his son and D. D. Livermore, whom Nash bought out in 1875.
In the other store Nathan Brownell succeeded Chamberlain and during several years did an extensive business. In 1853 Theron Nye succeeded Brownell, after the store had been unoccupied several years. After two years in business Nye sold to Clark R. Nash. The next merchant there was Nicanor Brownell, son of Nathan, who was in business from about 1860 to 1862, when he was succeeded by John O. Wallace, who came from Brookfield. The store burned in the fall of 1865 and Wallace built another store. Wilmer Rhodes is a present merchant of the place, and H. J. Kinney has a meat market.
The mills of Hubbardsville were long known as the Dunbar Mills and were built in 1850 by Charles Blanchard and James H. Dunbar, on the site of the old mill, which was one of the earliest in this section. The mills had many proprietors and were operated from 1871 to 1880 or later by A. G. Ingalls. W. M. Jennings is the present proprietor.
The post-office at this point was removed hither in 1849 from East Hamilton and retained that name until about 1856 when it was changed to Hubbard's Corners, and subsequently to Hubbardsville. William T. Manchester was the first postmaster and held the office until 1851, when C. R. Nash was appointed and held it more than thirty years with brief intermission. James Clark is the present postmaster.
Hubbardsville is the home of Charles Greene, who is well known as one of the largest hop dealers and a foremost farmer of Madison county.
East Hamilton, a hamlet situated a mile south of Hubbardsville, was formerly known as Colchester Settlement. In early years considerable business centered here and it was one of the points that was urged as the proper place for the public buildings in case a half-shire should be created in the county. The first physician in this section located there in the person of Dr. Noah B. Foot, who came from Connecticut in 1800 and continued in practice until his death in 1845. His son, David Y. Foot, succeeded him and was followed by Dr. Franklin Foot, who came from Vermont. Dr. George Palmer was a later comer. Dr. Silas Graham, formerly a blacksmith, became a botanic physician at Hubbardsville about 1830 and continued about fifteen years. Dr. Julius Nye began practice there about 1845. Dr. Adelbert E. Crowell was a later physician there. At East Hamilton the business interests are not now important. Chauncey Munson is proprietor of a general store, and Elliott Fitch and Stephen Underdown carry on blacksmithing. A hotel is kept by Frank Kinney.
There is a post office with the name South Hamilton in the southeast part of the town, where there is a small cluster of dwellings, a grist and saw mill which have been long in existence and now operated by Adelbert Sutherland; a general store by E. J. Wiley, who is also postmaster, and a blacksmith shop by L. Washburn.
What was known as Hamilton Center was chosen, as the settlers had seen done so many times in their former homes in the east, as the site for the meeting house of the first Congregational Church of Hamilton, which was built in 1800; there they worshiped many years. The society was incorporated September 24, 1798, and Jonathan Stephens, Richard Butler, Lucius Scott, Reuben Foot, Isaac Skinner, and Jared T. Hooker were chosen trustees. This church closed its existence in early years and in 1842 the building was removed to Poolville, where it was used for a time for town meetings and finally for dwellings.
The First Universalist Society of Hamilton was organized at the house of David Dunbar in Hubbardsville in 1808, by Rev. Nathaniel Stacy; their meeting house was built in 1834. The society has never been very strong, but has retained its existence to the present time.
The meeting house of the Second Baptist Church of Hamilton is situated about half way between Poolville and South Hamilton. The society organized with thirty members February 1, 1819, and Robert Powell, a licentiate, was called to the pastorate. Up to 1834 meetings were mostly held in school houses; the church was built in 1835 and in the winter of 1869 was remodeled and refurnished. The pulpit has frequently been vacant for considerable periods, and during a large portion of the time has been supplied from Hamilton College.