Gazetteer of Towns


    FENNER, named from Gov. Fenner, of Rhode Island, was formed from Cazenovia and Smithfield, April 22, 1823. It is an interior town, lying north-west of the center of the County. Its surface is a rolling upland. Oneida, Canaseraga and Chittenango Creeks have their sources in this town. The latter forms a part of its western boundary. Extensive marl beds are found, and on the bank of the Chittenango Creek, calcarious tufa is quarried and burned into lime. The soil is a gravelly and a clayey loam.

    Perryville, (p. v.) lies partly in Sullivan and Lenox. It contains two churches, a flouring mill, two saw-mills, and about 200 inhabitants. The Cazenovia and Canastota Railroad is to pass through this place.

    Fenner (p. o.) is a hamlet, and contains one church.

    Chittenango Falls (p. o.) is a hamlet, partly in this town.

    The first settlement was made about the year 1793. Among the early settlers were Alpheus Twist and James Munger, from Connecticut, who located about a mile south of the center; Jonathan Munger and Mr. Page, in the north part; and Elisha Freeman, Ithuriel Flower, Ames Webster and Amanda Munger, in the south part. Phineas and Abel Town, John Needham, Thomas Cushing and J. D. Turner, were also early settlers.

    The first church was organized August 23, 1801. The first birth was that of a child of Alpheus Twist, and the first death that of the wife of Alpheus Twist. Nathan Baker was the first preacher.

    The population in 1865 was 1387, and the area 17,776 acres. There are fourteen school districts, employing 14 teachers. The whole number of pupils is 415, and the average daily attendance 166. The whole amount expended for schools in 1867 was $2,477.64.

    Among the early settlers of Fenner were Abner and Jesse Bumpus. The following adventure with a black bear, in 1802, is related by their descendants: A great part of the country was covered with forests, and wild beasts roamed at large, making depredations upon flocks and the herds of the farmers. Abner and Jesse Bumpus, on one occasion, followed a bear about three miles. Coming suddenly upon the bear, on the bank of a brook, Abner snapped his gun, which misfired. Bruin then became assailant, turning upon his antagonist, knocked him over into the brook, tearing his scalp in a most shocking manner, and otherwise severely wounding him. When about to be torn to pieces by the enraged beast, Jesse came to the rescue of his brother, seized the bear by the ears, and while engaged in the struggle had his own leg broken in two places. Fortunately, after disabling both, the bear walked off deliberately, leaving his antagonists to obtain aid wherever they could. Their shouts for assistance were at length heard, and they were rescued from a perilous situation. Abner, with his broken leg, was carried home on a stretcher, and Jesse, by the assistance of another, was able to ride upon a horse.


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