Gazetteer of Towns


    HAMILTON was formed from Paris, March 5, 1795, and was named for Alexander Hamilton. Eaton, Lebanon and Madison were taken off in 1807. It lies upon the south border of the County, between Lebanon and Brookfield. Its surface is a rolling upland, broken by the valleys of the Chenango River, and its east branch. The soil is gravelly loam in the valleys, and a clayey loam upon the hills.

    Hamilton, (p. v.) formerly called Paynesville, from the early settlers, and incorporated April 12, 1812 is situated on the Chenango Canal. It contains four churches, the Hamilton Female Seminary, two newspaper offices, a bank and about 1800 inhabitants. It also contains a manufactory of paper cheese boxes. In the center of the village, is a beautiful park, neatly fenced, and laid out with gravel walks.

    The Madison University, is located at this place, was incorporated March 26, 1846. It consists of a grammar school, a collegiate and theological department. The "Hamilton Theological Seminary" was established in 1820, under auspices of the Baptist Education Society of State of New York. In 1834 a collegiate course was instituted, and the Seminary assumed the name of the "Hamilton Literary and Theological Seminary," and in 1846, the institution incorporated as the "Madison University." The theological department is still under the control of the Baptist Educational Society. The college buildings, all of stone, and substantially built, occupy spacious grounds, on an eminence a short distance from the business part of the village. The land, buildings, &c., of the University, are valued at $80,000, and its invested funds to $180,000. The annual expenses of the Institution are $16,000.

The whole number of graduates in the Theological Department, is - - - - - - - 429
In the Collegiate Department,   - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----- - - - - - - - 595 
Number of students in the partial course,  - - - - - ---- - --- - - - - - - 1,100 
Number of volumes in the Library - - - - - - - - ------ - - - - - - - - - - 9,000

    The Hamilton Female Seminary is a boarding and day school, situated on Broad Street, near the Park. The grounds, amply shaded in the front, surrounded and secluded in the rear by a high hedge of evergreens, and otherwise adorned by garden walks, arbors, artificial pond and fountain, could not well be surpassed in beauty or adaptation to educational purposes. The public schools are united, forming a Union School, and occupying a commodious building.

    Earlville, (p. v.) named for John Earl, Canal Commissioner, contains two churches and about 450 inhabitants, half of whom are in this town.

    Poolville, (p. v.) contains two churches and about 40 houses, and
    Hubbardsville, (p. o.) about 20 houses.
    East Hamilton, (p. o.) is a hamlet, and
    South Hamilton, a post office.

    The first settlers here were John Wells and Abner Nash, from Massachusetts, and Patrick Shields and John Muir, from Scotland, but late from Oneida County. They located upon the Chenango River, near Earlville in 1792. Among the other early settlers were Samuel and Elisha Payne, who located upon the present site of Hamilton village, in 1794. Theophilus and Benjamin Pierce, Jonathan Olmstead, Daniel Smith and Nathan Foster, settled in the town in 1795, and Thomas Greenley, in 1796. Mr. Dominick Lynch was the proprietor of the soil, and it is said that was so much pleased by the sale of the first five hundred acres, at twenty shillings as acre, that he paid five dollars extra to have the deed engrossed on parchment, which is still held in the family. The first church (Bap.) was formed in 1796.

    The census of 1865 gives the town a population of 3,434, and an area of 23,904 acres. There are 18 school districts in the town, employing 18 teachers. There are 994 pupils, and an average attendance in 1867 was 329. The amount expended for school purposes in 1867 was $2,114.31.


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