Gazetteer of Towns

    DE RUYTER, named for Admiral De Ruyter, of the Dutch Navy, was formed from Cazenovia, March 15, 1798. Georgetown was taken off in 1815, and German, (Chenango Co.) in 1806. It is the south-west corner town of the County. Its surface consists of hilly upland, broken by the valley of the Tioughnioga River. The summits of the hills are from 400 to 500 feet above the valleys. The principal streams are the Tioughnioga River and its tributaries. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam on the hills, and alluvium in the valleys.

    De Ruyter, (p. v.) incorporated April 15, 1833, contains four churches, and between 700 and 800 inhabitants. The De Ruyter Institute was founded in 1836, and the school opened in 1837. It contains dormitories to accommodate one hundred students, and has an endowment of $10,000. There are several manufactories in the town, viz: two tanneries, a flax mill, a cabinet shop, a spring bed factory, and a horse-rake manufactory.

    Shed's Corners, (p. o.) contains two churches, a tavern, and grocery.

    Hon. James W. Nye, U. S. Senator, Nevada; Hon. John F. Benjamin, M. C. Missouri, and Judge E. Darwin Smith, of Rochester, were natives of this town.

    The first settlers were Elijah and Elias Benjamin, and Eli Colgrove, in 1793. Joseph Messenger and Samuel Thomson settled the town in 1795. Darius Benjamin, Justus, Jeremiah, and Ebenezer Gage, and Daniel Page were also early settlers. Mr. E. E. Benjamin, now living, was one of the first settlers.

    The first birth was that of Frederick Benjamin, in 1798. Joseph Messenger kept the first tavern, in 1796, and Samuel Bowen the first store. Joseph Rich built the first saw-mill, in 1807, and the first grist-mill in 1809. The first school was taught by Eli Gage, in the winter of 1799.

    According to the census of 1865, the population of the town was 1820, and its area 19202 acres.

    A reservoir, as a feeder for the Erie Canal, has recently been constructed in this town; its area is 626 acres; its average depth 18 feet, and the length of the feeder 25 miles.

    The number of school districts is fourteen, employing eleven teachers. The whole number of pupils is 579, and the average attendance 168. The whole amount expended for school purposes in 1867 was $1,154.40.

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