Gazetteer of Towns
, named from the Stockbridge Indians, was formed from Vernon and Augusta, (Oneida Co.,) and Smithfield and Lenox, May 20, 1836. It lies upon the east border of the County, north of center. Its surface is a rolling upland, broken by the deep valley of Oneida Creek, which extends in a north and south direction through the town, near the center. The summits of the hills are 500 to 800 feet above the valley. There is a succession of rapids and low falls on Oneida Creek, affording a great many mill sites. A short distance from Munnsville, near the center of town, are several caves, in limestone, but noxious gas has prevented any extensive exploration. Depressions resembling footprints of men, horses and cattle are found in the rock, forming the stream bed. Oriskany Creek takes its rise in the south part. The soil is clayey and gravelly loam. Limestone crops out upon the hill sides and is extensively quarried. Hydraulic limestone is also quarried near the falls of Oneida Creek. Near Cook's Corners is a ledge from which Gypsum is obtained. About one mile south-east of Munnsville, upon the hill side, is an ancient burial place. A small bone image of a woman was once found here, also iron and steel axes, gun barrels and fragments of gun locks, brass kettles, tobacco pipes, and other implements of peace and war. The axes were hatchet shaped, and marked under the eye with three stars. In the south-west part of the town are the ruins of an old fortification.
Munnsville, (p. v.) named for Asa Munn, the first store keeper in the town, is situated on Oneida Creek, and contains a church, several manufactories and about 300 inhabitants.
Knoxville, (Stockbridge p. o.) named from Herman Knox, an early resident, contains three churches and 25 or 30 homes.
Cook's Corners contains a church, a plaster mill and 15 or 20 houses.
The first settlement was made in 1791, in the south-east part of the town. Oliver Steward, Nathan Colvin, Barney, John and Alfred Edson, William, Elijah, and Joseph Devine, Wm. Sloan, Benajah House, Annos Bridge, James Taft, Aaron Jairus, Matthew Rankin, Jonathan Snow, Isaac Chadwick, Talcott Divan, Watrous Graves and Daniel Thurston, were among the early settlers of the town.
The first marriage was that of John Devine and Polly Edson, in 1793; and the first death that of the widow Ann Hall, in 1785. The first saw and grist mills were erected by Stockbridge Indians, on their reservation, about 1794. Edward Foster taught the first school in 1797. A mission church was erected on the Indian Reservation, near Cook's Corners, in 1800.
The census of 1865 gives the town the population of 1,125, and an area of 18,721 acres. There are sixteen school districts in the town, employing the same number of teachers. The whole number of pupils is 637, and the average attendance 267. The amount expended for school purposes in 1867 was $3,721.11.
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