In the year 1797, when the State took formal control of the salt springs, the surveyor-general was authorized by a law to lay out a portion of the Salt Reservation, to provide for the manufacture of salt. Accordingly a part of the marsh lands and the uplands were laid out and mapped and given the name, Salina. In 1798 a village was laid out and called also Salina; and upon the organization of the town, that, too, took the same name. When the county was organized in 1794, the territory which went to form the original Salina town was comprehended in the original townships of Manlius and Marcellus, and after, the town of Onondaga was set off in 1798, and the military township of Marcellus was organized as a civil town (no incident with the county organization), that part of the Salt Reservation not taken into Onondaga and lying on the west side of the lake and creek, was attached to Camillus. For the formation of Salina town, the nine and one-half lots in the northwest corner of Manlius were taken and with the Salt Reservation, formed this town. With the incorporation of the city of Syracuse in 1848, Salina was reduced to its present area by setting off what had been the villages of Geddes and Syracuse.
The act under which the village of Salina was laid out contains the following:
Be it enacted, that the superintendent shall, on the grounds adjoining to the southeast side of Free street, so named on the map of the Salt Springs, made by the Surveyor-General, lay out a square for the village, consisting of sixteen blocks, each six chains square, with intermediate streets, conforming to the streets laid down on the said map, made by the Surveyor-General, and divide each lot into four house lots, and deliver a map and description thereof to the Surveyor-General.
The act further provided that no lot should be sold for a less sum than $40, and that no lot on which there was a building worth $50 should be liable to be sold, if the owner or occupant should agree to obtain a deed for it, at the average price of other lots sold. Thus was laid the foundation of what is now the city of Syracuse.
Almost simultaneously with the settlement of Major Danforth and Comfort Tyler in the Hollow, the first settlers established their rude houses near the salt springs. The first houses were not only primitive; they were peculiar. The sills were laid on four posts which were set up with plates on the top. The posts were grooved on the sides facing each other and into these grooves were dropped the ends of sticks laid horizontally one upon the other, forming the rough sides of the building. The outside was then plastered with clay or mud intermixed with straw, making a comfortable, if a queer looking dwelling.
During the year 1789, and possibly in one or two instances in 1788, Nathaniel Loomis, Hezekiah Olcott, Asa Danforth, jr., John Danforth (brother of the major), Thomas Gaston, and a Deacon Loomis settled at Salina, made their homes, and most of them became prominently identified with the salt industry. Mr. Olcott became a member of the Federal Company, organized only a few years later for the manufacture of salt on a large scale. In 1790 Col. Jeremiah Gould, with his three sons, Jeremiah, James, and Phares, and one daughter, removed from Westmoreland to Salina. This family became prominent in the community, and the pioneer has the credit of building the first frame house at Salina in 1792, which was also the first one built in the county.
In 1791 Samuel Jerome left his home in Saratoga county, visited the salt springs, and on his return took a little salt with him through the towns of Pompey, Fabius, Homer, and Manlius, reporting to eager listeners that he had found the "promised land." This was the means of inducing other families to settle at Salina. Among these were a family named Woodworth, and another named Sturges, the first names of whom were lost in the scattered records of the village in early times.
On the 2d of March, 1792, Isaac Van Vleck removed to Salina from Kinderhook, N.Y., with his wife and four children. His was the sixth family to become permanent residents of the place. Mr. Van Vleck is credited with building the first arch for a kettle for salt boiling. He was prominent in the little settlement until his death which took place about 1800. His son, Abraham, was born at Salina October 16, 1792 (1), and is believed to have been the first white child born within the present limits of Syracuse, and the first while male child born in Onondaga county. He was born in what was afterwards known as the Schouten house, which was used later for a blacksmith shop, corner of Exchange and Free streets. Isaac Van Vlecks' family consisted of three sons, named Matthew, Abraham, and Henry, and three daughters. Henry Van Vleck removed to Illinois and died there; Matthew became a prominent citizen and a large land owner; he held the office of supervisor many years and was a member of assembly in 1833. He was killed while on a hand car in a collision on the Oswego and Syracuse Railroad. After Isaac Van Vleck's death his wife removed to Pittstown, Rensselaer county, where Abraham learned his trade of tanner and currier. After following it some years he returned to Salina in 1834 with his family and lived there until his death in 1867. James Van Vleck, of Salina, and Isaac, of Clay, were sons of Abraham. The late Mrs. O'Blennis, of Salina, was a daughter of the pioneer Isaac Van Vleck. She lived to a great age and was authority for many valuable historical facts. She stated that in 1792 there were in Salina, besides those above mentioned, Josiah Olcott and James Peat.
Sometime in the year 1792 Phares Gould built what was known as a mud house. It was constructed by laying up one upon another narrow strips of boards flatwise on the four sides, lapping the ends at the corners, and filling between the boards with clay. The roof was made of rough planks split from logs. By the close of the year 1792 there had been built eight or nine dwellings, two of which were of mud (so-called), one frame (Jeremiah Gould's) and the others of logs. Three of these houses stood on what is now Salina street (called in early times Canal street) and as many more on Free street near Carbon, as those streets now appear. No sales of land had yet been made and settlers erected their houses wherever their fancy dictated.
If we leave out of consideration the marsh lots near the lake, the surroundings of which were unwholesome, no fairer spot could be found on which to found a village than the rising uplands of Salina. This rounded, rising lake shore was covered with original forest or with a heavy second growth, from among the shore line shadows of which could be seen the placid lake and the distant wood crowned hillsides, now covered with the dwellings and shops of Geddes. The lake and nearby streams were filled with fish for the table, first among which was the noble salmon, and the forests abounded with game of various kinds. It was fortunate for the pioneers that such was the fact, for provisions in the early years were scarce and difficult to obtain. Such as could be procured came from Tioga, or Herkimer, or Whitestown, and were brought only in small quantities and at irregular intervals. Suffering for necessary articles of diet was not unknown. On several occasions in 1792-3, when there was a scarcity of provisions, boats were sent from Salt Point to Kingston, Canada, by way of Oswego, and returned with welcome stores. According to Clark, an old resident stated that "they at different times procured bread, biscuits, salted meat, and fish that were made and cured in England, which, though of inferior quality, were nevertheless accepted with a relish which hunger never fails to give." There was no grist mill nearer than Asa Danforth's small affair, on Butternut Creek, and the first corn raised or brought to Salina was pounded into meal in the hollowed top of a stump. But the scarcity of provisions continued only a few years. Deer were then so numerous that they often herded with cows and came home with them at night. Bears, wolves, foxes, coons, and other small animals were also very plentiful. The Indians caught many young bears and traded them to the settlers, who in turn exchanged them with the boatman for provisions. Prominent among the very early boatmen was a man known as Captain Canute, who ran a boat hither from Albany, bringing in provisions, etc., in exchange for salt, furs, young bears and other animals, for which he found a ready market to the eastward.
During the year 1793 a number of families joined their fortunes with the little community at Salt Point. Thomas Orman came and brought the first caldron kettle in which to boil salt, and Aaron Bellows, a good cooper, was a welcome accession, as he was able to supply the needed barrels for packing the staple product, Simon Phares (followed in 1796 by Andrew Phares) and William Gilchrist also settled there in that year. The latter has been given credit for having kept the first public house; but it is certain that Elam Schouton kept a tavern earlier (1791-2) and was succeeded by Isaac Van Vleck in 1793. Andrew Phares was justice of the peace from 1808 to 1821, and held office in the militia. He, with his wife and daughter Lois, then one year old, made a journey to New Brunswick, N.J., on horseback in the year 1812, when there was no wagon road over much of the distance.
Sometime in the year 1793, Isaac Van Vleck rendered the little settlement a great service by journeying to Albany and returning with a large grinding mill, which he set up in Mr. Bellows's cooper shop, and thither the settlers brought their corn to be ground. In the same year John Danforth, a brother of Asa, built the second frame house in the place, and at about the same time Isaac Van Vleck and Asa Danforth, jr., built better dwellings for themselves. The lumber for these structures was brought, in part at least, from Little Falls in bateaux, and the nails came from Albany. At the close if 1793 there were only sixty-three persons in the community and of these more than twenty were ill. The first settlers discovered at once that they had located amid unwholesome surroundings. The decaying vegetation of the marshes which were alternately overflowed and then left to give out their deadly vapors, and perhaps other conditions not so well understood, caused an alarming prevalence of fevers of the various types, and the resultant sickness and mortality was frightful. At time there were not enough well persons in the community to properly care for the sick. Under these circumstances the Indians were exceedingly kind and lightened the burdens of many families. Dr. David Holbrook, who had settled at Jamesville, probably as the first resident physician in the county, came over daily and was faithful in attendance upon the afflicted. In 1797 Dr. Burnett settled at Salina and thereafter shared in caring for the sick. The question has been seriously asked whether Salina would not have been depopulated from this cause before the beginning of the century, had it not been for the stimulating incentive of the probably future importance of the place as a wealth-creating center through the salt industry. By about the year 1800 the prevailing fevers were much reduced by drainage of the low lands, but they were not wholly dispelled until the later lowering of the outlet of the lake. Hon. Thomas G. Alvord states that as late as 1830 he has seen the canal bridge covered with persons just well enough to be out of doors, leaning on the railings to get the benefit of the sunshine.
One of the first settlers at Green Point was Mr. Lamb, who carried on farming. Mrs. O'Blennis related the following interesting incident in connection with this family:
In 1793, when Mr. Lamb's daughter was about fourteen years old, she was left alone in the rude house while he attended to his farm work. Hearing a noise in the house, Mr. Lamb approached and saw an Indian kissing his daughter and taking liberties with her. Mr. Lamb killed the Indian on the spot and fled to Salina. The Indians declared they must have his life, according to their custom. The chiefs were called together, with Ephraim Webster an interpreter, and the facts were narrated. A council was held (the last one at Salina) and Kiacdote stepped forward, threw off his blanket and commanded attention. He then related the circumstances to the tribe and said it was the first time an Indian had ever been known to insult a white squaw. He declared that the killing was justifiable and that Mr. Lamb must not be punished. This decision was adopted, provided Mr. Lamb would pay to the relatives of the dead Indian, a three-year-old heifer, which was to cement peace and good will between the posterity of both parties forever.
Meanwhile settlement began to reach out to other points in the town.
John Danforth began making salt in 1794 at Liverpool, and was soon followed
by Patrick Riley, Joseph Gordon, James Armstrong, and Charles Morgan.
John O'Blennis located at Green Point and was making salt there in 1794.
In the same year Elisha Alvord, father of Thomas G. Alvord (2), settled
at Salina, whither he was followed four years later by his brother, Dioclesian.
Both of these men became prominent citizens and foremost in developing
the infant salt industry. Immediately upon the arrival of Elisha
Alvord at Salina he began to make his presence felt. He engaged in
salt manufacturing and had the honor of erecting the first permanent structure
in which salt was made. In 1808 he was appointed to lay out what
was known as the "Salt Road," extending from Salina north through Cicero
and on to Sackett's harbor. In 1808 he and his brother built the
first brick building within the present limits of Syracuse, which is still
standing on the southeasterly corner of Salina and Exchange streets.
The brick for this building were made by David Marshall on the banks of
the Yellow Brook near where it crossed South Salina street between Jefferson
and Onondaga streets. The stone in the cellar wall were quarried
in the line of what is now Center street, in the First ward. The
Alvord brothers kept a hotel a few years in this building.
In 1793 the settlers at Salina became fearful of attack by the Indians. War was still going on between the western tribes and settlers, and the belligerent feeling extended among the Six Nations to some extent. Moreover, the condition of things on the northern frontier, where the British still held control, was such as to render an attack from that quarter imminent. The capture of a boat load of stores at Three River Point, which belonged to Sir John Johnson, by a party of thirty or forty men, aroused the ire of the British officers, who determined that a body of soldiers and Indians under Johnson and Brant, should make a sudden descent upon the Onondaga settlements, where it was assumed most of the party who had captured the boat resided. The collection of duties on American boats by the British garrison at Oswego was the prime cause of the attack on Johnson's boat. The British had employed spies to give notice of any boat designing to "run" the fort, and through this agency several had been confiscated. Two of the spies had been captured by the Americans and publicly whipped at Salina. While no real collision occurred, there was anxiety and foreboding at Salina which extended in lesser degree to other points. Many families made serious preparations to leave their homes until the danger was passed. For consultation upon the subject a meeting was held at Onondaga Valley and Johnson Russell was sent to Albany to explain the situation to Governor Clinton. These measures resulted in the erection of the old block-house, a description and the location of which have been given in an earlier chapter. A committee of public safety was appointed consisting of Moses De Witt, Isaac Van Vleck, Thomas Orman, Simon Phares, and John Danforth. The block house was built by Cornelius Higgins and was finished before the beginning of 1795. It was made of square oak timbers and was surrounded by a high palisade of cedar posts. The building was about twenty feet high and pierced with port holes. The garrison consisted of a company of grenadiers, whose headquarters had been at Onondaga Hill. The old block-house was not long used as a military post and subsequently served a more peaceful purpose as a State storehouse for salt.
David Brace settled at Salina in 1794 and became prominent in the community, as also did his descendants. His brother, Horace, was an early settler and both were merchants during many years. While still young, David carried the mail on horseback to Oswego, when he had to find his way by the aid of marked trees.
Benajah Byington was prominent among the early salt workers, and spent a great deal of time and money in boring wells on the high ground away from the lake shore. He died February 8, 1854.
Oris Curtis was a pioneer as early, probably, as 1795. He was father of Fisher Curtis, who became quite prominent as a merchant and manufacturer, and was at one period in company with Elisha Alvord in mercantile business; he also had a store on the corner of Free and Spring streets. He was elected first president of Salina village in 1824 and was town clerk in 1810. The family was from Farmington, Conn., the former home of the Alvords. Oris Curtis died at the early age of thirty-eight years on January 23, 1804, and Fisher Curtis died at fifty-one years of age on the 27th of April, 1831.
To supply the household needs of the settlers Benjamin Carpenter opened a store in 1795, in which he traded in furs, trinkets, ammunition, etc., with the Indians, and in general goods with the white families. Mr. Carpenter died in Salina and his family removed west. Judge William Stevens, the first salt superintendent, lived at Elbridge prior to 1797, when he removed to Salina, and in association with Mr. Gilchrist and Isaac Van Vleck, took the preliminary steps in the year just named for placing a State duty on salt. Mr. Stevens died in 1801. Rial Bingham was the first justice of the peace at Salina, removing there from Three River Point about 1796.
William Kellogg, from Vermont, settled at Salina probably before 1800 and died on the 21st of March, 1819, at the age of sixty years. He was father of Ashbel Kellogg, one of the prominent citizens of the town and an early surveyor, who lived and died on the corner of Bear and Lodi streets. His daughter became the wife of Thomas G. Alvord.
Thaddeus Ball, who died January 15, 1815, must have settled prior to 1800. His sons were James and "Jack," the latter of whom held the office of salt inspector. He finally removed to New Orleans and established coarse salt fields there. The widow of Thaddeus Ball married James Matthews, brother of Samuel R. Matthews.
Thomas Wheeler was a prominent Salina pioneer at about the beginning of the century, and died March 30, 1862, at the age of eighty-one years. He was a practical surveyor and also carried on a store on the north side of the canal, in which locality most of the early business was transacted. His wife was a daughter of John J. Mang, one of the first German settlers there. Mr. Wheeler was interested in salt-making. His sister married Dioclesian Alvord.
Ichabod Brackett located at Salina about 1800 and became a leading merchant and shipper and accumulated wealth through his business ability and shrewdness. He was also interested in the salt business, and built a dwelling and store combined on the corner of Exchange and Park streets. He died in October, 1832.
The foregoing names include nearly all who settled at Salina previous to the beginning of the century and became at all prominent in the history of the place. Quite a large part of the settlers during this period, and for many years afterwards, were laboring men, possessing little else than sturdy muscles to give them a livelihood. The record of such lives has passed away, except as their labors made an imperishable impress upon the early growth of the community and its great industry. During the first decade of the present century the village increased considerably, keeping pace with the increasing magnitude of the salt industry; but its most rapid growth was during the succeeding ten years. In the entire absence of the records of his period only brief annals have been collected from the few old residents of the village who are still living. Among the men who settled at Salina and conducted some kind of business during the period just preceding the organization of the town, or soon afterward, may be mentioned the following:
Richard Goslin had a store on the north side of Free street, and was for a time a partner with Elisha Alvord. Richard C. Johnson kept a store also in that vicinity and near the pump house. Isham West located early as a hatter, on Salina street; his sister married Fisher Curtis. Davenport Morey was an early merchant and also started a distillery near the site of the Excelsior Mills; he also had a brewery in association with Ashbel Kellogg, at the foot of Bear street. Still later he established a distillery on the site of the Greenway brewery. Samuel P. Smith was a cabinetmaker, the first in Salina of any prominence. Thomas McCarthy settled in Salina in 1808 and won the foremost position as merchant and salt manufacturer. His early store was situated on Free street. He became prominent in public affairs, was member of assembly one term, trustee of the village many years, and one of the directors of the first bank in the village. He was father of the late Dennis McCarthy, the leading merchant and active politician of Syracuse.
David W. Hollister settled in Salina in 1808, and for a time carried on a bakery. Later he attained a conspicuous position. He built the first saw mill in Geddes where he lived in later years. He held the office of poormaster and was in military service in the war of 1812, at Oswego. He married Ruth Phares in 1815. His son, the late James W. Hollister, who was deputy sheriff from 1865 to 1877, was born in Geddes in 1822.
Dean Richmond's father and his uncles, John and Anson Richmond, removed to Salina from Vermont before 1810 and were interested in the salt industry. Anson died of cholera in 1832. Dean Richmond remained some years at Salina and took an interest in boating operations; at a later date he was a merchant on Exchange street. He was a man of great capacity and, as is well known, eventually became one of the leading railroad presidents and Democratic politicians of the country, with his residence in Batavia, later in Buffalo.
William D. Stewart, son of David Stewart, was one of the noted men of Syracuse. He was born at Salt Point in 1805 and after limited schooling was employed two years in the old Eagle tavern. He then was employed by Philo D. Mickles, who was running a boat between Salina and Oswego. Later he was connected with some of the stage lines. About 1829 he began manufacturing salt, but he soon saw his opportunity in the demand for passenger transportation on the Erie Canal and fitted up a packet boat which he commanded with great success for seventeen years. He then conducted the Welland House in Oswego two years, after which he was proprietor of the old Syracuse House which attained great popularity under his management. In 1865 Captain Stewart was elected mayor of the city by the Democrats and was twice re-elected. He died on August 9, 1874.
Russell Buckley was another early boatman and is said to have taken the first load of salt through the Erie Canal from Salina to Utica. His son, Christopher Buckley, was one of the unfortunate victims of the so-called patriot war in Canada and was executed.
The community settled around the salt springs and the farmers who had made considerable improvements throughout the town, now felt the need of a town organization with which they would feel a closer identification than they did with Onondaga. The feeling of rivalry between Salina village and the villages in the Valley and on the Hill was rapidly augmenting and exerted an influence towards the formation of the new town. The act organizing the town was passed on the 28th of March, 1809, and at the first town meeting the following officers were chosen: Elisha Alvord, supervisor; Fisher Curtis, town clerk; Rufus Danforth, Martin Wandle, Richard C. Johnson, Henry Bogardus, assessors; Michael Mead, William Buckley, jr., and Jonathan Fay, commissioners of highways. The early elections were held one day in Geddes (which town was then a part of Salina), one-half day in Liverpool, closing with a day at Salina; later and down to 1846 they were held one-half day at Geddes, one-half day at Liverpool, one day in Syracuse and one day in Salina. The polls in Salina were long located in the old Eagle tavern.
The tax list of the old town of Salina is in existence for the year 1809, and bears considerable interest and value, as indicating who were the more prominent residents of the town at that early date, and the rate of taxation. It is as follows:
Haley Adams, and Ashbel
E. and D. Alvord 8,500 53.13
Abijah Adams 200 1.25
Moses Averill 430 2.69
Asahel Alvord 75 0.47
Isaiah Bunce 1,597 9.98
Benajah Byington, and Thad. M. Wood 1,630 10.19
Heirs of Brayton 200 1.25
Robert Brown and Noah Tubbs 300 1.88
Wm. Beach 700 4.38
Heirs of Bellows 599 3.74
Wm. J. Bulkley 1,355 8.47
Christopher Bulkley 275 1.72
Henry Bulkley 200 1.25
Henry Burgess 200 1.25
David Blye 400 2.5
Ichabod Brackett 1,330 8.31
Henry Bogardus 725 4.53
Lewis Brown 50 0.31
J. and T. Gilbert 700 4.38
E. R. Gilchrist 200 1.25
Timothy Gilchrist 200 1.25
Wm. Gilchrist 650 4.06
Leonard Grove 225 1.41
James Gallagher 300 1.87
Francis Hale 200 1.25
Henry Hughes 125 0.73
Abel Hawley 275 1.72
David Horner 200 1.25
David Haynes 275 1.72
Joseph Haskin 400 2.5
Richard C. Johnson 875 5.47
John Lane 142 0.89
Peter Lane 470 2.31
John Lord 500 3.13
George Loomis 100 0.63
Jacob Lamberson 100 0.63
Samuel Lowell 275 1.72
Martin Lamb 50 0.31
Samuel G. Bishop 200 1.25
Wm. Brown 175 1.09
Alanson Bacon 100 0.63
John C. Brace 100 0.63
Enoch Chambers 450 2.81
Luther Coe 120 0.75
Fisher Curtis 675 4.2
Wm. Culver 100 0.63
Samuel Dolson 30 0.19
John Dexter, jr. 100 0.63
David Dear 470 2.93
Asa Danforth, jr. 600 3.75
John Danforth 150 0.93
Samuel Danforth 225 2.03
Rufus Danforth 1,125 7.03
Isaac Douglass 75 0.46
Wm. Dyckman 75 0.46
Samuel Eaton 450 2.81
Ralph Eaton 166 1.03
Jonathan Fay 200 1.25
Asa Foot 200 1.25
James Lamb 275 1.72
Caleb Lyon 350 1.56
James McKillop 255 1.59
John Jacob Mang 200 1.25
Davenport Morey 600 3.75
Dennis Mayo 100 0.63
Joseph Mann 275 1.72
Michael Mead 200 1.25
Nichols Mickles & Co. 675 4.22
Barney and Patrick McCabe 175 1.09
Gordon Needham 320 2
Thomas Ormon 375 2.34
Ebby Polly 75 0.47
Lemuel Pease 50 0.31
Amnie C. Pond 275 1.72
Alanson Person 200 1.25
Andrew Pharis 350 2.17
Simon Pharis 100 0.63
Elisha Phillips, jr. 230 1.44
Jonathan Russell 830 5.19
Samuel Rogers 166 1.03
Cornelius Scouton 627 3.92
John Sebring 100 0.63
Moses S. Sheldon 105 0.65
Nathan Smith 50 0.31
Israel S. Sampson 175 1.09
John N. Smith 220 1.38
Moses Sutherland 100 0.63
Rufus Stanton 100 0.63
Wm. Sutherland 100 0.63
Adam Trask 1,000 6.25
Sheldon Thrall 100 0.63
Henry Taggart 200 1.25
Elijah F. Toles 175 1.09
John W. Tyler 100 0.36
Christian Usenbentz 250 1.56
Jacob Van Tassell 200 1.25
Thaddeus M. Wood 750 4.68
Abraham and Charles Walton 3,000 18.75
Martin Wandell 642 4.01
Thos. Wheeler 525 3.28
Chauncey and Nathan Woodruff 100 0.63
Wm. Woodruff 175 1.09
Wm. Wentworth 175 1.09
Oliver Woodruff 200 1.25
Peter Wales 150 0.94
Joel Wilmer 50 0.31
James Wilson 50 0.31
Peter Young 200 1.25
These were living in not only the present town of Salina but also in the village of that name and in the town of Geddes. The figures include all of the State, county, and town tax for that year. Twenty-four persons were taxed for personal property on valuations from $25 to $1,500, the total being $5,056. E. and D. Alvord had the highest valuation of personal property, $1,500, and Ichabod Brackett had $1,000. Ten persons were taxed on personal property alone, the total being $1,050. Fifty-nine were taxed on salt property, indicating the very early importance of that industry. Thirty-four of these had no other taxable property. The lowest valuation of salt property was Samuel Dolson, which was $30.
The salt industry, the key to the prosperity of the town, began to assume large proportions early in the century. That necessary commodity brought a high price during the next four years and the market was practically unlimited. While there was no manufacturing of much account in the town outside of salt, that in itself was sufficient to engross the attention of a large part of the inhabitants. Mercantile operations multiplied and a general air of thrift and growth characterized the community. The opening of the middle section of the canal in 1820, and the cutting of a lateral canal to the salt works in the same year gave still further stimulus to the town.
The war of 1812 had little appreciable effect on the villages of Salina and Liverpool in a business sense, but it excited the apprehensions of the inhabitants to a considerable extent, who anticipated an invasion by the British by way of Oswego. Communication by water to Lake Ontario was comparatively easy and it was considered extremely probable that the post at Oswego would be captured. Many American soldiers passed through Salina on their way to the frontier, which tended to further stimulate apprehension. These fears were finally dispelled and progress was more rapid than before.
About the year 1820 or a little earlier Henry Seymour, father of Horatio Seymour, and Sylvester Peck built a saw mill in the vicinity of the site of the present chemical works building. The mill was operated by water brought in a ditch from Onondaga Creek near the Chlorine Springs, where a low dam deflected a part of that stream. The mill had two upright saws and a general lumber business was carried on. This mill was burned in 1840 and a new one erected, which was taken down in 1852 and a steam mill with a gang of upright saws built in its place, with also a circular saw, a planer and other machinery. Elizur Clark, who settled in Salina in 1823, began lumber business under lease from Mr. Seymour in 1834, and for a time was in partnership with Horatio Seymour. In 1846 he purchased the mill and all the accessories and later sold one-half interest to Thomas G. Alvord, and the firm of Clark & Alvord carried on the business until 1863, when it was closed up. The mill property was leased to the Salt Company of Onondaga and was burned about 1876. Mr. Clark became a leading citizen, was identified with the banking interests of Syracuse and was one of the first aldermen of the First ward of the city; in 1863 he represented his district in the Legislature.
In 1823 there were about twenty stores in Salina village many of which have been mentioned. One of the leading establishments was that of William Clark, which was on the westerly side of the Oswego Canal, on Free street, where most of the business houses were then congregated. Mr. Clark bought the old brick hotel, described as having been built by the Alvords in 1808. Thomas McCarthy's store was near Mr. Clark's. Ezra M. Knapp located there about 1822 and built a distillery and a flouring mill, which was burned. At a later date he had a store on Salina street.
The old Eagle tavern was a famous hostelry and was conducted by Jonathan R. Beach as early as 1810. He was an excellent violin player, and during many years taught dancing and deportment to the early Salt pointers. He was afterwards a member of the mercantile firm of Beach & Foot. The eagle tavern was afterwards owned by a Mrs. Field and managed by her son, Albert Field. It stood about opposite the site of the street car barns on Salina street. Richard Sanger, father of Augustus H. Sanger, kept the house a long time and was a prominent citizen. Another hotel stood on the opposite side of Salina street near the car barn site, which was kept for a period by Augustus H. Scoville. These buildings and others in the vicinity were burned in the destructive fire of 1856.
Alonzo Crippen was a well known citizen, conducted a grocery on Free street, engaged in salt making, and later built a brick building on the site of the Moyer wagon works.
The firm of Williams & Co., composed of Coddington, Gordon, and Frank Williams, had a store near the canal which they subsequently removed and then built a brick structure on Exchange street which is still standing. Ira H. Williams, a brother of Frank, subsequently bought out the others. Hezekiah Barnes, Noah Wood, Jeremiah Stevens, Richmond, Marsh & Clark, Barnes & Fifield, Hunter Crane, Felt & Barlow, Crane & Risley, Williams & Allen, James Lynch, and others had stores at various periods on Exchange street after it was opened in 1827-8. Most of these men were among the more prominent of the place.
Asa Foot and Roger Bates were a firm of early blacksmiths, and later Mr. Foot had a shop alone on the site of the Kearney brewery. Christopher Nott was an early wagonmaker on Carbon street, and Albert B. Congdon was a carpenter and builder who lived in later years in the central part of the city. He was killed by a runaway horse in September, 1880. Seth Castle was another carpenter, who died in January, 1872.
Burr Burton was for many years one of the prominent salt manufacturers and business men of Salina, where he settled about 1820. A son of Stephen and Olive Burton, natives of Vermont, he was born at Onondaga Hill in April, 1804, and died here at the hands of an assassin, who shot him while he was standing in the front door of his house, May 4, 1865. He also erected a foundry and was interested in various business enterprises.
Deacon Stanton P. Babcock removed from Connecticut at an early day and settled at Salina. He possessed wealth and his son, who preceded him to their new home, was at one time a partner in mercantile business with Ira H. Williams. Deacon Babcock died April 1, 1857, aged seventy-eight years.
Charles O. Holbrook, who was many years a clerk in the stores of Dioclesian Alvord and Thomas McCarthy, settled early in Salina. He was a son of Dr. David Holbrook, who has been mentioned herein, and lived on the corner of First North and Bear streets in a house that is still standing.
John G. Forbes was the first lawyer of any note to settle in Salina and he became a prominent citizen of Onondaga county. He was active in politics and was member of assembly in 1825. He entered the militia as a lieutenant in Col. Thaddeus M. Wood's regiment in May, 1809, and rose by several promotions to the rank of colonel in 1817; he resigned in 1820. He subsequently removed to Syracuse. Enos D. Hopping practiced law in Salina in the early times. He was a brother-in-law of Dean Richmond, was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers by President Polk, and died in camp in the Mexican war.
Before the close of the first quarter of the present century the villages of Salina and Syracuse were engaged in a spirited rivalry. The opening of the canal through the latter village in 1825 gave it a good groundwork for boasting of its prospects, while the older village prided itself upon its men of wealth, its enormous and growing salt works, and the general solidity of its institutions. Liverpool, too, had become a large and active community, and considerable progress had been made in Geddes, then in this town. The interests of Salina village finally became so extensive and its public affairs of such importance that village incorporation was determined upon. The act of incorporation was passed March 12, 1824, and at the succeeding charter election Fisher Curtis, Henry C. Rossiter, James Shankland, and Jonathan R. Beach were chosen the first board of trustees. Fisher Curtis was selected as the first president, and Ashbel Kellogg, clerk; S. R. Matthews, collector; Horace Brace, treasurer; John G. Forbes, attorney. The usual village ordinances were put in force, a fire engine was purchased with other apparatus, new streets were laid out and old ones improved. At a public meeting held April 7, 1826, a resolution was adopted asking the trustees to report the amount and purposes of the expenditures of money for the years 1824-25. Following is the report:
A. Whitman for repairing engine..........................................
L. H. Redfield, printing ordinances, and book......................... 8 75
Samuel Herron, surveying streets............................................. 2 00
James Shankland, cash paid J. P. Rossiter............................... 1 50
Ashbel Kellogg, copying assessment rolls................................ 3 00
L. Bacon, making and repairing hose....................................... 5 75
Wm. Dowd, for drag rope...................................................... 1 17
A. Smith, for two ladders.......................................................10 00
A. Foot, iron work on engine and fire hooks...........................12 86
Ephraim S. Durfee, cash paid on firemen's warrants................... 75
Wright & Nott, for new wheels to engine................................. 6 50
Ephraim S. Durfee, building engine house................................45 61
For two notices of incorporation of village............................... 4 25
Notice of amendment, 1825.................................................... 4 25
Reuben St. John, notice of application of renewal, 1825............1 75
Same notice in State paper ..................................................... 3 00
Wm. Clark, for 31 lbs. iron for engine and hooks..................... 1 44
Total $158 08
The collector's warrant called for collection of $250 for the year, while this report shows the expenditure of only about $158.08.
At a meeting held in April, 1828, steps were taken for opening Exchange street, and William H. Beach, Matthew Van Vleck and John G. Forbes were appointed appraisers.
A village pound was built in 1828, by Ashbel Kellogg, at a cost of $59.89; the license fee for grocers was fixed at $20 and about a dozen grocers paid it. In 1829 the old cemetery was given up and block number 43, where the cemetery is now situated, was appropriated for the purpose. It was appraised on June 11, by Ashbel Kellogg, S. R. Matthews, and Roger Bates, at $325. Block 59 (the old cemetery), was subdivided and sold at auction at prices for lots ranging from $210 to $380. The condition of block 43 at that time may be judged by the fact that Richard Molony was paid about $150 for clearing and grubbing on the lot to fit it for interments.
Under date of August 10, 1829, the following appears in the records: "Mr. Tucker:--Please let Mr. Nathaniel Woodruff have his two hogs you have in the village pound by his paying you your fees for impounding the same." This order was signed by Noah G. Wood, Lyman Brown, and I. West.
The first paving of which the records speak was done in 1829 on Canal street. Syracuse street was opened at about the same time, extending from "Canal street and running south to connect at Union place with the road leading from Syracuse to the Court House." A considerable fire in February of that year was probably the incentive for making additions to the equipment of the fire department. An engine house was erected on land belonging to Thaddeus M. Wood, under lease; it was situated on Salt street and the building was erected by Joel Crane at a cost of $38. A hearse house was also built by Mr. Crane at a cost of $44.
For several years after 1830 the receipts by the village treasurer were between $500 and $600 annually. A report of the trustees made in 1834 explains that they had not sold certain lots in the old cemetery, "as real estate is lower than we hoped it would ever be again." It was a time of doubt as to the future of the village, created largely by the then rapid growth of Syracuse. In 1837 the village purchased a town clock of Jehiel Clark, of Cazenovia, costing $300. The financial stringency of that period was then at its height, and for that reason, perhaps, the clock was paid for in installments.
In 1839 the village appears to have felt an impulse of enterprise and various public improvements were begun. A subscription paper is in existence bearing the names of many prominent citizens, with the amounts they gave towards the public square. An agreement was entered into between the village and Owen Mackin and Charles Harvey, under which the latter were to excavate and properly fill the "Public, or Center Square" at an expense of $230. Fifty thousand brick for flagging were contracted for and various public improvements were made.
In the year 1841 the receipts of the village had increased to $750, while in 1843 the amount rose to nearly $2,000. Streets and sidewalks were greatly extended and improved, the fire department improved, and in their report for the year 1843 the trustees stated: "We believe the improvements of the past two years have had a good effect."
But with all of its efforts, its salt works, its growing manufactures, its hitherto active mercantile business, its energetic men, Salina as the metropolis of Onondaga county was doomed. The older and more conservative part of the community clearly saw that union with Syracuse could not be far distant, and when the incorporation of Syracuse as a city was determined upon and consummated under act of legislature, dated December 14, 1847, Salina village was made the First ward, with the following defined limits: "All that part of the city lying east of Onondaga creek and north of Division and Pond streets."
On the 18th of March, 1848, the town of Salina was reduced to tis present area by the formation of the town of Geddes. Following is a list of the village officers of Salina, as far as they can be collated from the fragmentary records in existence:
1827, trustees, Sylvester F. Peck, Ezra M. Knapp, Thomas McCarthy, Ashbel Kellogg, George Gage; treasurer, Hamilton D. Risley; collector, Jacob Burgess. 1829, trustees, William H. Beach, B. Stocker, Anson Richmond, Voltaire Newton, Samuel P. Smith, jr.; treasurer, Morris Homan; inspector of wood, Noah Tubbs. 1831, trustees, Noah G. Wood, Erasmus Stone, S. S. Peck, James Beardslee, Hunter Crane, treasurer, James Fifield; collector, Joel Wright. 1832, trustees, James Fifield, A. Richmond, Hunter Crane, Ashbel Kellogg, William Clark; treasurer, James Lynch; assessors, Thomas McCarthy, C. B. Williams, Norris Felt. 1833, trustees, Lyman Clary, James J. Rice, Norris Felt, C. B. Williams; treasurer, James Beardslee; collector, S. Harroun. 1834, trustees, James Beardslee, Giles Williams, Lyman Bowen, Lyman Clary, James J. Rice; treasurer, James Lynch; collector, S. Blackmar; assessors, Ebenezer Rice, Rhesa Griffin, Elijah Clark; 1835, trustees, B. F. Williams, Elijah Clark, Lyman Bowen, James Beardslee, Rhesa Griffin; treasurer, Johnson Gordon; assessor, William Clark; collector, William B. Whitmore; 1836, trustees, Elijah Clark, Rhesa Griffin, John Barron, D. E. Bibbins, James Beardslee; collector, David G. Johnson; treasurer, Lyman Bacon. 1837, trustees, Ashbel Kellogg, William G. Clark, James Lynch, C. B. Williams, E. D. Hopping; treasurer, Lyman Bacon; collector, Hiram Harroun; assessors, James J. Rice, Thomas G. Alvord, Elijah Clark. 1838, trustees, Johnson Gordon, Burr Burton, James Beardslee, C. B. Williams, E. D. Hopping; treasurer, Lyman Bacon; collector, Sylvester House; clerk, Thomas G. Alvord. 1839, trustees, E. D. Hopping, L. Y. Avery, Burr Burton, C. B. Williams, Thomas McCarthy; treasurer, Lyman Bacon; collector, Nelson Phillips; assessors, Thomas G. Alvord, Elijah Clark, William Clark; 1840, trustees, James Lynch, Ira H. Williams, Dennis McCarthy, M. W. Bennett, Elizur Clark; treasurer, Lyman Bacon; assessors, Thomas G. Alvord, Elijah Clark, William Clark. 1841, trustees, S. Swaney, Elizur Clark, Alonzo Crippen, Ashbel Kellogg, Patrick D. Lynch; treasurer, Wm. Clark; collector, Charles W. Ladd. 1842, trustees, Latham Y. Avery, Elizur Clark, Ira H. Williams, Patrick Cooney, Thomas Carraher; treasurer, William Clark. 1843, trustees, Elizur Clark, Ira H. Williams, L. Y. Avery, Thomas Carraher; treasurer, John Hutchinson; collector, Dennis Devoy; assessors, William Clark, Benjamin F. Green. 1844, trustees, Ashbel Kellogg, John Barron, A. Crippen, J. H. Swaney, C. A. Nott; treasurer, John Hutchinson; collector, Oliver T. Couch; assessors, Charles Scott, B. F. Green, William Clark. 1845, trustees, Thomas McCarthy, A. Crippen, N. B. Clark, Patrick Cooney, Benajah A. Avery; treasurer, Patrick D. Lynch; collector, Roswell Holmes; assessors, B. F. Green, Charles B. Scott, Wm. Clark; fire wardens, David G. Johnson, Silas Titus, A. Crippen. 1846, trustees, Elizur Clark, Richard Sanger, Noadiah M. Childs, Voltaire Newton. Thomas Doyle; assessor, William Clark, B. F. Green; collector, A. A. Wheeler. 1847, trustees, Elizur Clark, Thomas Doyle, N. M. Childs; treasurer, Thomas Earll; assessors, I. R. Quereau, C. B. Scott, William Popple; collector, Patrick Gaffney.
During the greater portion of the period covering the history of Salina as a village, Thomas G. Alvord was the efficient clerk.
In the foregoing pages attention has been chiefly directed to the village of Salina, for here the early settlers most congregated. In fact a considerable part of the commercial and manufacturing interests of the entire county centered in this vicinity during the first quarter century of its history. In the chapter devoted to Cicero appears a list of the prominent residents in the towns of Salina, Cicero, and Clay between the years 1795 and 1825, as preserved by Lewis H. Redfield about 1830, and to it the reader is referred for the names of those who by their industry and enterprise were foremost in developing the territory mentioned.
In 1824 Salina village contained about 100 dwellings and sixty salt manufactories. The town, which then embraced the Geddes of that time and Syracuse, contained 1,814 inhabitants, 111 farmers, 362 manufacturers, four slaves, 454 electors, 1,000 acres of improved land, 435 cattle, 172 horses, 297 sheep, a grist mill, one saw mill, an oil mill, two asheries, four school houses, and 484 school children. In that year 1,414 yards of domestic cloth were made in families. A Gazetteer of 1836 gives Salina village one Presbyterian, one Roman Catholic, and one Methodist Episcopal church, three taverns, nine stores, a bank with a capital of $150,000, and seventy-seven salt manufactories, while Liverpool had two taverns, four stores, and about sixty houses, mostly of wood. The town at this period contained 883 militia, 1,540 voters, 11,407 acres of improved land, 2,423 cattle, 1,239 horses, 2,935 sheep, 3,010 swine, four grist mills, seven saw mills, three iron works, a distillery, two asheries, one tannery, a brewery, seventeen school districts, and 947 scholars. During the year 1835 6,255 yards of domestic cloth were manufactured.
In 1845 the town contained 15,804 inhabitants, 1,864 militia, 3,533 voters, 2,353 school children, twenty-six common schools, 14,012 acres of improved land, four grist mills, four saw mills, four iron works, one trip-hammer, two asheries, two tanneries, churches--one Baptist, three Episcopalian, three Presbyterian, a Congregationalist, six Methodist, three Roman Catholic, one Universalist, one Unitarian, and one Jewish, four wholesale and 103 retail stores, seventy-eight groceries, 297 farmers, 130 merchants, 147 manufacturers, 1,003 mechanics, twenty-one clergymen, thirty-three physicians, and forty-one lawyers. These figures took in Syracuse and Geddes as well as the village and town of Salina.
Statistics of 1860, after the town of Salina had been reduced to its present limits: Acres of improved land, 6,560; assessed value of real estate, $802,575, and personal property $32,900; dwellings, 417; families, 497; freeholders, 274; horses, 333; cattle, 394; cows, 427; sheep, 1,557; swine, 674; winter wheat produced in one year, 1,062 bushels; spring wheat, 44,288 bushels; hay, 1,559 tons; potatoes, 15,550 bushels; apples, 4,021 bushels; butter, 44,732 pounds; cheese, 400 pounds; yards of domestic cloth, 94.
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 and the opening of the Oswego Canal in 1828 contributed materially to the commercial prosperity of this town, and especially to the villages of Salina and Liverpool, which continued to advance until overshadowed by Syracuse in later years. The great salt industry brought into activity scores of other enterprises which gave employment to hundreds of skilled mechanics, but its most extensive auxiliary was coopering, or the manufacture of barrels, which at one time nearly equaled in extent the business that gave it existence. This was largely carried on by Germans, who from their earliest settlement here were noted for their thrift and frugality. Cooper shops of various capacities flourished throughout the town as well as in adjacent territory, and cooperage constituted the chief revenue and occupation of the masses. The dense forests long furnished abundant material, and being contiguous to the constantly increasing salt operations were utilized for this purpose to a greater extent than elsewhere in the county. This fact explains the absence of asheries, of which only two are mentioned in the preceding statistics.
The Oswego Canal gave a marked impulse to the advancement of Liverpool village, which in early days was called "Little Ireland." At an early period, previous to 1800, it was a sprightly hamlet, where considerable bartering was done. It was a convenient shipping point by water, being situated directly upon the shore of the lake, and but for the miasma which enveloped it in those early years, because of the territory about it being illy drained, it might have continued to contest with Salina its claim to greatest prominence. It was also ambitious to be the peer of Manlius, but it was never destined to become such.
The site was laid out as a village by the surveyor-general and given the name of Liverpool by the commissioners of the land office. The earliest settlers have already been given. During the first twenty years of this century it was principally a salt manufacturing point, but as settlers took up their homes within its limits the place acquired considerable mercantile activity. The opening of the canal was the signal for a new era of prosperity, and on April 20, 1830, the village was incorporated by a special act of the State legislature. The first charter election was held in the school house on the 7th of June of that year, Benjamin W. Adams, presiding, and the following officers were elected: Joseph Jaqueth, president; Saul C. Upson, Harvey Kimball, William Wintworth, Sherman Morehouse, and John Paddock trustees; Ara Gleason, Zenas Corbin, and Reuben Norton, assessors; Caleb Hubbard, clerk; Jonathan P. Hicks, treasurer; Aaron Van Ostrom, collector; Sherman Morehouse and Samuel C. Godard, constables. The village presidents have been as follows:
Joseph Jaqueth, 1830; Samuel C. Upson, 1831; James Johnson, 1832; John Paddock, 1833-34; Joseph Hasbrook, 1835; John Paddock, 1836; Jonathan P. Hicks, 1837; John Pinney, 1838; E. Ladanis, 1839; Jared Bassett, 1840; John Mathews, 1841-42; Jared Bassett, 1843; Dr. Charles S. Sterling, 1844; James Johnson, 1845-46; John Matthews, 1847-48; Jared Bassett, 1849; Isaac Sharp, 1850; Edward T. Chany, 1851; Henry Clark, 1852; Sampson Jaqueth, 1853; P. Barnes, 1854; Stephen Van Alstyne, 1855; Charles W. Cornue, 1856; A. S. Tracy, 1857; C. W. Cornue, 1858; Dr. C. S. Sterling, 1859; T. B. Anderson, 1860; Jared Bassett, 1861-62; T. B. Anderson, 1863; Joseph Jaqueth, 1864; C. W. Cornue, 1865; J. T. Crawford, 1866; A. P. Burtch, 1867; David A. Brown, 1868-69; J. J. Moscrip, 1870; O. C. Gleason, 1871; Tenant Hinckley, 1872; Sampson Jaqueth, 1873; R. R. Claxton, 1874; D. F. Gillis, 1875-76; William Gleason, 1877; 1878-1884, records lost; William Gleason, 1885-86; Silas Duell, 1887; Edward P. Black, 1888-89; Daniel Mathews, 1890; William J. Cake, 1891; Silas Duell, 1892; Jacob Smith, 1893; James G. Miller, 1894; Charles G. Alvord, 1895.
Liverpool in 1836 contained the stores of J. & J. G. Hasbrook, L. & J. Corbin, and Joseph Jaqueth; Drs. Charles S. Sterling and Caleb Hubbard were physicians, Rev. Phineas Kamp was the local clergyman, and Joseph Malton presided over the school. A somewhat famous school had been established at a very early day by one Conner, who taught the children and made salt at the same time. His was considered the best educational institution in the county, was denominated "the high school," and was patronized by the residents of Salina and Onondaga Hollow. Schools seem to have kept pace with all other interests. In 1846 the present brick school house in the village was erected, to which an addition was made in the rear in 1863. In 1874 the Liverpool Union Free school was organized and still continues. The town now contains eight school districts, in each of which is a commodious school house.
Joseph and Sampson Jaqueth were for many years leading merchants in Liverpool, and contributed by their enterprise and public spirit to the growth and development of the place. They were both prominent men and left large property interests. Among other merchants were John and Henry Paddock, George and Jared Bassett, John S. Forger, John Acker, Zenas and Justus Corbin, Peter Smith, Israel and Backus Hasbrook, William Manley, Thomas B. Anderson, Aiken & Sons, Lucius Gleason, George H. Russell and his father, George F. Sharrer, Charles Hasbrouck, Moses Folger, Stephen Van Alstyne, Thomas Hand (father of Charles), Miles and Richard Adams; the present ones being Charles Hand, Dinehart & Sharrer, George Shaver, Peter and Jacob B. Smith, William Gleason, and William F. Lee & Son. Among the blacksmiths may be mentioned John Passmore and son William, Peter Moschell, Peter Myers, A. B. Wells, Frank Beuscher, and Henry Beuscher; wagonmakers and undertakers, James Cronkhite, and John G. Boyden; tailors, Tenant Hinckley and Philander Hasbrook (died March 23, 1894, aged eighty-six); shoemakers, Mr. Stilson, George Cockings, and Morris Wintworth; harnessmakers, George Cockings, and Edward Kelly; physicians, Drs. Charles S. Sterling (died September 9, 1884, aged eighty), William Seward, J. R. Young, C. S. Huntington, A. B. Randall, and R. A. Whitney. Joseph Jaqueth was an early postmaster, and following him in the office were John S. Forger, Jasper T. Crawford, Henry Lynn, George Richburg, and Martin Dinehart, incumbent. C. A. Fargo and John S. Forger carried on sash, blind, and casket manufacturing for several years in a building owned by the Jaqueth estate. Hotels and taverns also formed an important part of the village, and among the old-time landlords were Ambrose and George Ingersoll, brothers, who kept a hostelry about where the Globe Hotel now stands. The old tavern was burned about 1870, and George Ingersoll erected the present house near the same site, of which Silas Duell has been proprietor since 1890. The stone hotel was built by Jonathan P. Hicks, and among its occupants were A. B. Wells, Harvey Batchelder, Oscar Bunzey, Harvey Crawford, and Alonzo Godard, who also kept the Globe for a time.
During the prosperous period of the salt industry many prominent salt manufacturers lived in and around Liverpool. William Forger, father of John S., was one of the earliest, and commenced his operations with a single kettle. Among others were Lucius Larkin, Jason Leonard, William Manley, Thomas B. Anderson, Joseph and Sampson Jaqueth, Tenant Hinckley, John Paddock, John S. Forger, Henry Wycker, George Shaver, Albert Pierce, Jesse McKinley, Peter and Jacob Smith, George and Jared Bassett, Thomas Gale, Daniel Mathews, Thomas Murray, Lewis T. Hawley, James Duell, Lucius Gleason, Duncan W. Peck, Stephen Van Alstyne, Anson S. Lacy (father of Henry), John W. Van Alstyne, Nicholas Timmons, Mr. Hutchinson. Salt manufacturing reached the zenith of its prosperity in 1873, then the tariff on foreign salt was reduced; after that it steadily declined, until great blocks with long rows of kettles which were once valued at vast sums of money became practically worthless, while solar salt manufacturing also declined. Operations in the last block were discontinued about 1890.
But as the salt business decreased, another industry sprung into existence and spread over nearly every part of the town. This was the raising of willows for baskets. About forty years ago the willow industry was inaugurated on a small scale, principally by Germans, who turned their earnest attention to the cultivation of this now important product and the making of baskets. After about two decades the business was quite generally and exclusively developed, and at the present time it leads in many sections of Salina all other business interests. Lucius Gleason was for many years one of the heaviest producers. Among the numerous manufacturers who were instrumental in developing the willow industry may be mentioned John Fisher, George Miller, Philip and Valentine Bond, Frederick Bauer, John Bond, Adam King, Anthony Shauer, and the Biddell brothers. In 1870 there were produced 8,000 dozen of baskets, in 1892 33,000 dozen, the highest number in any one year, and in 1895 about 28,000 dozen were turned out.
Another important industry which created considerable activity in Liverpool was the building and repairing of canal boats, which sprung up very soon after the Oswego Canal was opened. R. B. Claxton and Francis Meloling had a dry dock in the village for many years, while Stephen Van Alstyne, John S. Forger, Charles A. Barnes, and others carried on boat building, etc.
At this point it is pertinent to add the names of other settlers and citizens to whose energy is due the conversion of a forest-covered territory into a fruitful and attractive section. The following list is taken largely from the town records prior to 1840, and includes no doubt many who were living in Geddes and Syracuse, which at that period were within the limits of Salina:
Henry Lake (justice), Stephen W. Cadwell, Benjamin F. Williams (surveyor), George H. Patrick, Thomas Rose, Henry Case, Noah Wood, William and Elijah Clark, Thomas Bennett, Oliver Teall, Sheldon Pardee, Henry Newton, Simeon Spaulding, Samuel P. Smith, James H. Luther, Israel Hasbrook, James Lynch, Saul C. Upson, Alfred Northam, Clark Hebbard, Noah H. and John H. Smith, James Johnson, Alanson Edwards, jr., Charles L. Skinner, Caleb Hubbard, Thomas McCarthy, Zenas Church, Henry Lamb, Ralph Bulkley, George Siperly, Ovias Abel, Levi Higby, William Schuyler, Jacob G. Willard, Gershom Brown, Asahel Reed, Charles Kilmer, Hugh Gregg, James B. Jerome, James Beardslee, Thomas Rexford, James I. Rice, Henry Devoe, Elijah W. Curtis, David G. Montgomery, Heman H. Phillips, John F. Wyman, Jerome I. Briggs, Thomas Sammons, Harvey Kimball, Benjamin F. Green (surveyor), James Bates, John W. Woodward, George Stevens, John C. Dunham, Ira H. Williams, Darius A. Orcott, David S. Earll (died June 24, 1894, aged over 95), Samuel C. Goddard, Lucius Goddard (born here, and died June 16, 1894, aged 74), John Whitney (died in 1892), Isaac Secor (father of Hulstead), David D. Miller (father of Peter), Willard, Lucius, William, and Orson C. Gleason (sons of Ara), Julius N. Clark, Robert Furman, Jacob Brewster, Rufus Stanton, Freeman Hughes, Isaac Keeler, Jonathan Baldwin, Ira A. Gilchrist, Roswell Hinman, John Hartshorn, James Keith, Hosea Case, David Bonta, Richard Sanger, jr., Abram Harris, Isaac Lewis, Hugh T. Gibson, William W. Tripp, Horace Bailey, Mars Nearing.
Among the names which appear on the town records between 1840 and 1850 are:
Arthur Ingersoll, Stoddard H. Hinman, Abner Vickery, jr., David Leslie, William Barker, Amos Stafford, Norman Morehouse, Wildman Williams, John H. Johnson, George H. Waggoner, William P. Harris, Joseph Wilson, Elisha Marsh, Tenant Hinckley, Henry Henderson, John Adams, William B. and James C. Garrett, Isaac Sharp, Edward Haynes, Isaiah Sparks, James Duell.
James Duell moved from Dutchess county to the town of Clay in 1842 and came thence in 1847 to Liverpool, where he died in August, 1886. His son, Silas Duell, since May, 1890, proprietor of the Globe Hotel, was born in Pine Plains, N.Y., October 25, 1840, and served as salt inspector twelve years.
William F. Lee, previously mentioned, was born in 1835 in Liverpool, where his father, George Lee, from the eastern part of this State, settled in 1802. George was a caulker by trade, served as a soldier in the war of 1812, and died here in 1857, leaving a widow, Kezia, daughter of William Forger, and twelve children, of whom Harry W., William F., John F., and George W., still survive and reside in this town; of the eight deceased Dorrance B. served in the war of the Rebellion, lost both feet, and died here about 1880. William F. Lee was salt inspector under Vivus W. Smith and since 1865 has been engaged in the meat and grocery business. His mother was born in Pompey in June, 1803, came to Liverpool with her parents in 1804, and has lived in the village ever since, a period of ninety-two years, being the oldest person in the town. She is a pensioner of the war of 1812. Her brother, John S. Forger, long a prominent business man, merchant, postmaster, farmer, brick and salt manufacturer, etc., died here August 27, 1888, aged seventy-seven.
Lucius Gleason was born in Liverpool village December 8, 1819, and died there January 3, 1893, being the oldest child of Ara and Mary (Flint) Gleason, who became settlers in 1812. He was for many years extensively identified with salt manufacturing, merchandising, the willow industry, and various other enterprises, and owned a farm of 250 acres in this town and another of 750 acres in Clay. He was president of the Third National Bank of Syracuse from January, 1871, until his death.
John Paddock was born in Herkimer county in 1805, came to Liverpool in 1826, and for many years held a prominent place in the commercial and moral life of village and town.
Duncan Gillis, born in April, 1801, came to Liverpool with his family from Washington county in 1839 and engaged in the salt business. He subsequently became a farmer and died in November, 1889. Darwin F. Gillis, his only child, was born in Sandy Hill, N.Y., in 1838, and has practically spent his life in the village, where he was receiver of salt duties for three years, and where he is now village clerk and a produce dealer. His wife is a daughter of Benjamin Chauncey Bradley, whose father, Merrick Bradley, married in 1809 Mary, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Sprague) Colvin, of Skaneateles, who were the grandparents of Mrs. Delia Colvin Hatch. The Bradley family came to this town in 1835 and settled on a farm between Liverpool and Salina. B. C. Bradley married a daughter of Elijah Bowen, of Marcellus, and died in 1864, four years before his father, whose death occurred in 1868. Merrick Bradley, besides one son, had one daughter, Mrs. E. A. Williams of Syracuse.
During the war of the Rebellion from 1861 to 1865 the town of Salina contributed generously of her brave and patriotic sons to fill the ranks of the Union armies, and the record which her loyal citizens made throughout that sanguinary conflict graces with imperishable brilliancy the pages of local history. Great credit is also due the women--wives and mothers, sister, and friends of those heroic soldiers--who courageously supported the cause and aided in ameliorating the hardships of those on the field and in hospital.
The years immediately following the Civil war witnessed almost general prosperity. Except in the village attention had for some time been given mainly to agricultural pursuits, which proved both profitable and congenial, owing to the easy cultivation of the soil. All kinds of grain, corn, vegetables, hay, potatoes, fruit, etc., were raised in abundance, and the proximity to Syracuse and the two great canals afforded excellent markets and cheap transportation. But another thoroughfare of travel was destined to exert a powerful influence upon both town and village. This was the Syracuse Northern Railroad, which was opened November 9, 1871. Soon afterward the Phoenix branch, striking the main line at Woodard, was completed. These roads gave existence to the little hamlet at the junction, which shortly after acquired the privileges of a post-office, where Allen B. Kinney has officiated as postmaster for several years. Liverpool thenceforward lost much of its former prestige and business activity by having its trade drawn to the city of Syracuse.
While sturdy and enterprising settlers were pouring into the town and converting it from a wilderness into a prosperous community the elevating influences of education and religion were not neglected. The former has already been noticed, while the latter, in so far as the subject relates to the old village of Salina, is sufficiently treated in the chapter devoted to Syracuse. The inhabitants of the east part of the town and along the northern border have always enjoyed religious services in what is now the city or in Clay, and the reader's attention in this respect is directed to Liverpool, where the chief interests of the present town center. Here the Methodists held meetings prior to 1820, in which year the first M. E. church of Liverpool was organized with such members as William B. Harris, Calvin Turner, Seth A. Cary, Peter M. Cameron, Jesse Pease, M. R. Judd, and Mrs. Bennett, Hinckley, Hoag, Bishop, and Keith. In 1826 an edifice was built at a cost of about $1,500. This structure, since repaired and remodeled, is still standing. The Presbyterians held services at a very early day in the second story of the building now occupied by William F. Lee as a meat market, the public school being held during the week on the first floor. This building then stood near the center of Washington Park, and beginning in the winter of 1828-29 Rev. Phineas Camp preached two years. On November 9, 1829, a church was organized with nine members: John and Martha Dickson, Martha O. Dickson, Nancy Paddock, Eaton E. Griffin, Nancy Hicks, Rebecca Morehouse, Lucinda Summerton, and Martha Moschell. Mr. Dickson was deacon for thirty-five years. In 1841 a frame edifice was erected at an expense of $3,000, the builder being James Johnson and the principal financier Jonathan P. Hicks. The present brick structure was built during the ministry of Rev. Chester W. Hawley, cost $11,500, and was dedicated March 4, 1863. Among the pastors have been Revs. Phineas Camp (first), Ezekiel J. Chapman, A. C. Tuttle, Elisha B. Sherwood, Royal A. Avery, R. T. Searle, and H. C. Hazen.
Ascension (Episcopal) church was organized in 1840, and the next year an edifice was erected. The first rector was Rev. George D. Gillespie, and the communicants numbered three or four. This church soon disbanded. In 1852 St. Paul's German Lutheran church was organized, and in the autumn of 1853 they purchased the Episcopal edifice, which they still occupy. The first pastor was Rev. T. W. Reichenberg. Among the original nine members of this society were Peter Schmidt, John Bahn, and Martin Weimar. This church was preceded by the Salem church of the Evangelical Association of North America, which was organized in 1844 with twenty-four members, among whom were George Miller (in whose house services had previously been held), Charles Werner, Jacob Eberling, P. Wilbert, John Backer, L. Traester, and others. An edifice was built in 1844 at a cost of about $1,000. It is now used as a tin shop, having been superseded by a new frame structure about 1886. In 1890 the Roman Catholics erected a neat, frame church, the parish having been organized as an out mission from Syracuse some years previously.
The village of Liverpool has also maintained since August 26, 1862, Liverpool lodge, No. 525, F. & A. M., which was instituted on that date with nine members: R. J. Chillingworth, W. M.; W. W. Parker, S. W.; C. S. Wells, J. W.; T. B. Anderson, secretary; A. B. Wells, James O'Neill, Thomas Drum, R. B. Claxton, and R. Platt. About the same years the construction of sewers was commenced on a small scale, and this public improvement has been continued from time to time until now the village boasts a comparatively adequate sewerage system. Some ten years ago the old fire buckets were replaced by the services and equipment of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, a volunteer fire organization quartered in a building used also for a village hall.
No less than three efforts have been made since 1875 to found a weekly newspaper in Liverpool. The first two of these attempts resulted in the very short life of the Lakeside Press, by Dr. H. E. Van Horn, a dentist, and the Liverpool Times, by John J. Hallock. The Liverpool Telegraph, the first successful journalistic enterprise in the village, was started May 21, 1892, by William F. Brand, who has ever since continued as its editor and publisher, making it a bright and newsy weekly.
In recent years Liverpool has acquired a reputation for its cigar manufacture. Chief among those who have developed and carried on the enterprise may be mentioned Thomas Hand and son Charles, Peter Therre, jr., and Alonzo Godard.
In 1880 the village contained 1,350 inhabitants, while in 1890 its population numbered 1,284.
The earliest record in the town clerk's office in Liverpool begins with the year 1831. All records prior to that date have been burned or lost, as diligent search has failed in discovering them. From the books in existence and from other sources the names of supervisors of Salina have been obtained as follows:
Fisher Curtis, 1825-27; E. M. Knapp, 1828; Davenport Morey, 1829; William Avery, 1830; Ashbel Kellogg, 1831-32; Benjamin F. Williams, 1833-35; Joseph Jaqueth, 1836; Matthew Van Vleck, 1837-38; Elias W. Leavenworth, 1839-40; Rial Wright, 1841; Dennis McCarthy, 1842; Matthew Van Vleck, 1843-44; Thomas Bennett, 1845-46; Hiram Putnam, 1847; Miles Adams, 1848; Richard Adams, 1849-50; Joseph Jaqueth, 1851-52; Isaac R. Patten, 1853-55; Samuel H. Hopkins, 1856; George Bassett, 1857; Francis Alvord, 1858-59; John Paddock, 1860; Sampson Jaqueth, 1861-64; Hiram L. Hawley, 1865; Charles W. Cornue, 1866-70; Francis Alvord, 1871-73; Sylvester D. Keller, 1874-76; George Bassett, 1877-78; Daniel Mathews, 1879; Francis Alvord, 1880-83; William Gleason, 1884; Ignatius Sawmiller, 1885-89; George Baxter, 1890; Silas Duell, 1891; Charles A. Congdon, 1892; William Gleason, 1893; George Baxter, 1894-96.
The population of the town has been as follows:
In 1810, 1,259; 1820, 1,814; 1830, 6,929; 1835, 7,793; 1840, 11,012; 1845, 15,804; 1850, 2,142; 1855, 2,580; 1860, 2,409; 1865, 2,754; 1870, 2,688; 1875, 2,955; 1880, 2,888; 1890, 3,490; 1892, 3,493.
1. About the time of Mr. Van Vleck's birth an
Indian was accidentally drowned at Oswego Falls, and the grief of the dead
native's friends bore so heavily upon them that they named Abraham "Ne-un-hoo-tah,"
meaning sorrow for the departed. He was always called thus by the
Indians, whose friendship for him was lasting and unwavering.
2. An extended sketch of Hon. Thomas G. Alvord appears on a subsequent page of this work.