1895 Landmark's of Oswego County,
THE VILLAGE OF FULTON
Many thanks and appreciation
to Natalie Runyan for her time and efforts in transcribing this
history of the Village of Fulton.
Fulton Village.--- This
is the largest and most important village in the county. The immense water-power
afforded by the Oswego River very early gave it a wide celebrity and attracted
hither many settlers of means and enterprise, who interested themselves
in the numerous valuable sites. In the distance from the head of Yelverton
Island to the foot of Waterhouse Island the fall is, naturally, about forty-five
feet, which is increased somewhat by the upper dam. Along most of this
course lie many available mill privileges.
Originally the place consisted of
the “Upper Landing” and the “Lower Landing”, so called, around which clustered
quite considerable settlements and the usual business interests, as previously
noted. It was also called Oswego Falls, a name first given to the post-office
and the village proper prior to 1825. In 1812 it consisted of only twelve
buildings exclusive of those at the two Landings, the first one being erected
on Oneida street near the east end of the present Nelson mills. The business
portion of Fulton properly dates from 1825, when the Legislature appropriated
$160, 000 for the building of the canal. This act attracted the attention
of several enterprising men to the center of what is now the village of
In 1797 Broughton White surveyed
and divided into farm lots the tract of 1,440 acres, adjacent to the falls,
which had been granted to Gerret H. Van Wagenen before the patent to Scriba,
and by him sold to William Harper, form whom it has since been known as
“Harper’s Location”. The Oswego Falls State Reservation, containing about
fifty acres, was situated on the river bank nearly in the center of this
tract. The west part of Harper’s Location, including nearly all the river
front, finally became the joint property of Ichabod Brackett, who owned
an undivided half, and of Joshua Forman, and James Lyon, who owned the
other half. In 1815 a partition was made between these owners under an
order of the Supreme Court, the commissioners for this purpose being Benjamin
Wright, Abram Camp, and Alvin Bronson, who surveyed and plotted the premises
and divided the parts adjoining the portage into village lots, the lots
being designated by the initials letters of those to whom they were assigned.
This was apparently the first practical evidence of the anticipation that
the site would eventually become a village. Steen’s Location was surveyed
by Reuben Bristol and a few small parcels along the portage road were sold,
but no general plan of a village settlement was then entertained. Norman
Hubbard and George F. Falley purchased this tract in 1825 and surveyed
a part of it adjacent to the North Bridge into village lots. It was afterward
divided, and in 1828, when Mr. Hubbard died, his legal representative procured
a more extended allotment of the north part of the location, which resulted
in a map, bearing date June 10, 1829, of the westerly portion of the tract.
Mr. Falley then owned the south half and concurred in the plan. In 1827
William Jerome was commissioned by the surveyor-general to procure a new
survey of the State Reservation, which was accepted by the commissioners
of the land office, and under which it was parceled out to purchasers.
O. W. Jerome, in 1835, at the instigation of Asa Phillips, made a survey
and map of the west part of Harper’s Location, including the Reservation,
but his plan of village lots was finally abandoned. The eastern part of
Steen’s Location was allotted in 1844 and a new map of the whole tract
was made. In 1848, the south part of G. C. Newkerk’s Location was surveyed
and mapped for M. L. Lee, and afterward the plan was extended over the
north part of that tract for Anson Terry. The same year (1848) James L.
Voorhees remodeled the plan of the lots owned by him; a new map was made
and published, and became the basis of the village allotment. In 1854 a
map of Fulton, including Newkerk’s ,Steen’s, and the west part of Harper’s
Locations, the State Reservation, and a portion of lots 29 and 30 of the
sixteenth township of Scriba’s Patent, was made, printed and published,
and represents the basis of the allotments in the present village. All
of these surveys and maps, except those of Bristol in 1815, of Lansing
in 1823, and of O.W. Jerome in 1835, were made by Peter Schenck. The streets
running parallel with the river are numbered, while those running east
and west are named.
Much of the early history of Fulton
village has already been given. It is only necessary to commence with the
beginning of the second quarter of the present century, noticing such interests
as are not previously mentioned, and confining our narrative to the village
as it now exists.
The first merchant was Lewis Falley,
who began business about 1825 in a building that occupied the site of the
old Nelson coal office. The next establishment was that of Cady, Case &
Co. John W. Wolcott, Oliver Burdick, Charles P. Tucker, the Tousey Brothers,
Douglass & Comstock, Messrs Leonard and Whitaker, and perhaps a few
others, became merchants during this year and 1826. On April 15, 1826,
the commissioners of the land office were authorized to lease the State
mills previously mentioned with sufficient ground, or sell them; the establishment
was subsequently sold.
The Genesee mills were built by Henry
and Oliver French in 1832. Later they passed into the possession of Case
& Chesbro, were enlarged and in April, 1861, became the property of
James A. Baker & Co., who rebuilt them after the fire in 1862. The
latter firm was followed by Baker & Sibley, who were succeeded in 1867
by W. S. Nelson & Co., the present proprietors, who enlarged the mills
as they now stand. Their daily capacity is 800 barrels of flour, and connected
is a storage for 100, 000 bushels of grain. They have not been operated
since shortly after the death of Jesse Hoyt, a member of the firm, about
ten years ago. Oliver French, one of the original builders of these mills,
subsequently had a blacksmith shop for many years on the site of the present
Midland Railroad depot, which was erected in 1886.
In 1834, there were two or three
small grist mills in operation and about 600 inhabitants within the limits
of what is now Fulton village. During the next four years the place experienced
its most rapid growth. John C. Highriter had engaged in trade in 1831 as
a member of the firm of Forsyth & Highriter, hatters, whom he afterward
succeeded carrying on quite an extensive business in manufacturing gloves
and mittens. He died in November, 1884, aged seventy-six. Charles G. Case,
a former resident, returned from the eastern part of this State and purchased
two lots on First street and a large tract of timber land in Granby. On
these lots he built, during that year, a saw mill, store, and dwelling
house, the store being the first brick structure in the village. He prosecuted
a large business, and died December 10, 1875. Almon tucker, at one time
a partner of Mr. Case, built, in 1834, a house on the site of the Universalist
church on First street and engaged in merchandising with his brothers C.
P. and J. C. In 1835 Oliver Burdick erected a block of brick stores on
the corner of Canal and Oneida streets; in 1836 George F. and Lewis Falley
built a similar structure on First street; and in 1837 James Whitaker put
up another brick block on Oneida street. About this time many other find
buildings were either finished or in course of erection.
Meanwhile, April 29, 1835, the village
was incorporated, the charter describing the boundaries as follows:
Beginning at the southwest corner
of the State Reservation at Oswego Falls; thence along the south and east
sides thereof to State street; thence along the public highway northeasterly
to the four corners of the eastern boundary of Steen’s Location; thence
along the line of said location to the north line thereof; thence west
to the center of the Oswego River; thence along the center of said river
to the place of beginning.
The first village meeting was held
at the Fulton House on the first Tuesday in June of the same year and Aaron
G. Fish was chosen president. On April 13, 1837, the boundaries were extended
so as to include “subdivision lots thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen, and
the remainder of lots sixteen and seventeen, of the Harper Location, as
surveyed by Broughton White in 1797.”
From this time (1837) until 1851
the business interests of the village moved along steadily and prosperously.
Harvey N. Sabin opened a grocery store in 1839 on the corner of Second
and Oneida streets, and the same year J. W. and C. P. Tucker began a dry
goods trade, a business to which Tucker & Hulett succeeded in 1859.
Mr. Sabin died March 27, 1889, aged seventy-two. Edward Nettleton started
a boot and shoe business in 1842. In 1844 De Witt Gardner opened a general
store and in 1852 took in E. J. Carrington as a partner. The firm of Gardner
& Carrington continued until 1855, when Mr. Gardner retired and L.
C. Seymour became a member under the name of Carrington & Seymour.
In 1845 the population was 1,380.
A volume entitled “Historical Collections
of the State of New York,” thus describes the village in 1846:
Fulton, incorporated in 1835, is
a flourishing place at the Oswego Falls, ten miles from Oswego. It has
four churches, an academy, about 200 dwellings, and 1,400 inhabitants.
The center of the village is a half a mile below or north of the Oswego
Falls, on the east bank of the Oswego River, at a point where a dam is
constructed for the use of the Oswego Canal. The village limits extend
above the falls, and include the State reservation, which has been laid
out as a village and partly sold, called “Oswego Falls.” The water power
is extensive and can be used on both sides of the river at the dam, and
also at the natural falls. The fall is about twelve feet at each place.
Henry C. Moody established a barrel
manufactory in 1846. In 1848 Comstock & Keeville completed and place
in operation a new flouring mill. June 9, 1849, Hiram Lodge, F. and A.
M., was organized with Samuel Dean as master. In July, 1850, T. F. Cory
became proprietor of the Fulton House. In 1850 a plaster mill was built
near the upper bridge and was subsequently owned by E. P. Ross. At this
time the village contained 370 dwellings and 2,350 inhabitants. In 1851
the boundaries of the village were extended and designated as follows:
Commencing at the northwest
corner of G. C. Newkirk’s location, running thence easterly along the northerly
line of said location to the northeast corner thereof; thence southerly
along the easterly line of said location until said line intersects the
stream of water known as Burdick Creek; thence up said creek along the
center thereof until the same intersects the highway known as Fay Road;
thence westerly along the center of said road to the easterly bounds of
the village as fixed by the acts of 1835 and 1837; thence southerly and
westerly along the last mentioned bounds to the center of the Oswego River;
thence down the said river along the center to the place of beginning.
Since then these bounds have been
slightly altered by the addition of small tracts of land to the corporate
August 17, 1851, nearly the entire
business part of the place was burned. Every building of any value on block
26, and every structure on the opposite side of the street from the canal
bridge to a point opposite the old Presbyterian church, was destroyed,
leaving only two or three stores in the village. About fifty families and
forty trading establishments, including the Fulton House, were burned out,
entailing a loss of over $100, 000. With remarkable energy and enterprise
the property owners immediately set to work and by December of that year
almost every place of business had been rebuilt, and several fine brick
blocks besides. A newspaper of July, 1853, enumerates the business of Fulton
then in operation as follows: Ten or twelve establishments operating in
dry goods, groceries and provisions, four large clothing stores, three
drug stores, five or six provision stores, four hardware stores, four of
five millinery shops, one crockery store, a glass and wooden and willow
ware store, three boot and shoe stores, two bookstores, two jewelry stores,
two cabinet ware stores, three large flouring mills and another about to
go into operation, two large foundries and machine shops, a sash factory,
two cabinet and chair factories, one large woolen factory, several lumber
manufacturing establishments, one stave and barrel factory, a tannery,
one plaster mill, an oil mill, and two carriage factories. The year before,
in 1852, a company was organized for the purpose of building a temperance
hotel, the result being the erection of the Case House, now the Lewis House.
In 1852 Henry Monroe and Charles
G. Case erected a small paper mill on the site of the Victoria Mills, capable
of turning out 2,000 pounds of paper daily. They were succeeded by R. H.
Bullis, Beyam & Bullis, and Beyam & Waugh, in whose possession
it burned in 1871. It was rebuilt by a Mr. Van Alstyne and finally passed
to Waugh & Hammond, who were succeeded in 1880 by the Victoria Paper
Mill Company, of which F. G. Weeks was president and E. R. Redhead secretary
and treasurer. Soon afterward a new pulp mil was built and about 1889 a
new paper mill was erected. In 1891 Mr. Weeks retired and E. R. Redhead
became president, W. S. Royce treasurer, and J. H. Howe secretary, who
constitute the present management. In 1893 the company added to its plant
the mills operated by William Barber and later by the Cataract Paper Company,
which were built about 1885 and 1892. The company is capitalized at $8,400,
employs about 100 hands, and manufactures manilla and rope paper. The plant
was partially burned August 26, 1882, and again March 13, 1884.
About 1852 Amos J. Thayer began the
manufacture of woolen cloth and machinery, having a machine shop in connection
with his woolen factory on First street between the canal and river. He
still carries on a small wood-carding business.
By 1854 the milling interests of
Fulton had assumed considerable magnitude, there being then in operation
the Cayuga Mills of W. S. Nelson with five runs of stone; the Genesee Mills
of Case & Chesbro with five runs; the Telegraph Mills of Clark &
Pond with six runs; and the three custom mills of Timothy Pratt, W. S.
Nelson, and J. L. Voorhees with three runs each, the whole having twenty
five runs of stone. The Cayuga Mills were built in 1826; in 1860 they passed
into the hands of Kenyons & Johnson as successors to Robert C. and
Sands N. Kenyon. The Custom Mill of W. S. Nelson, erected in 1853, was
sold to Gardner & Benedict in 1855. The Genesee Mills passed into the
possession of J. A. Baker & Co., in April, 1861.
Among the merchants who started the
business from 1850 to 1860 were Charles S. Eggleston (succeeded by F. W.
Lasher), Andrew Hanna (succeeded by Hanna & Case in 1860), J. Cooley
Tucker, Hiram Bradway, Nathan Cole, jr., Pond & Salmon (succeeded in
1861 by K. F. Salmon), Pettis Brothers (Aubrey and Charles O,; Aubrey died
in January, 1890), Michael Farrell (tailor, died August 6, 1888), and Benjamin
J. Dyer (died January 16, 1886).
In 1856 the Riverside Mills, then
known as the Oswego River Mills, were built on the site of Quartus Rust’s
blacksmith shop by H. H. & H. N. Gilbert, who were succeeded in 1857
by Van Wagenen & Gilbert. They were burned in 1861 and rebuilt by H.
H. Gilbert, who named them the Empire Mills. Afterward they were owned
in part by H. N. Gilbert, Rufus Downs, and I. A. Graves, and in 1869 became
the property of William G. Gage and D. M. Perine, who were succeeded in
1871 by W. G. and F. A. Gage and E. J. Carrington as Gage, Carrington &
Co., who rebuilt them. In 1874 the firm of W. G. Gage & Co., composed
of W. G. and F. A. Gage and Orrin Henderson, was formed and became the
proprietors, and the name was changed to the Riverside Mills. W. G. Gage
died July 5, 1893, but the firm style remains unchanged. This was on e
of the first flouring mills in the county to discard the old stones and
adopt the roller process for grinding. They grind 500 barrels per day,
and have an elevator with a storing capacity of 70,000 bushels of grain.
William G. Gage formed a partnership with Chauncey B. Hancock in 1857 and
engaged in grocery business on Oneida street.
In 1858 H.N. Gilbert, John J. Wolcott
and John Van Buren erected the old Volney Mill on the site of the Victoria
pulp mill. It had four runs of stone, was subsequently abandoned, and was
finally destroyed by fire.
Between 1860 and 1870 a number of
manufacturing and other enterprises went into operation. The Fulton Gas
and Light Company was organized in June, 1860, with a capital of $15,900,
and continued in existence until 1892, when it was absorbed by the Fulton
Electric Light & Power Company. The gas plant and buildings occupied
the site of T. D. Lewis’s coal yard. Among those identified with the company
were L. C. Seymour, G. M. Case, F. D. Rice, Reuben Bradshaw, A. L. Lee,
Samuel Case, J. J. Wolcott, D. W. Gardner, A. G. Hull, G. G. Chauncey,
and J. C. Highriter. About 1860 Charles Mosher embarked in business and
continued until his death in 1888. October 4, 1862, a disastrous fire consumed
about $250,000 worth of property in the business part of the place, but
with the same energy characterized the inhabitants in 1851, the burned
district was soon rebuilt. In 1863 John E. Dutton, Dewitt C. Cummings (who
died in December, 1894), R. K. Sanford, Sidney M. Smith, and J. G. Benedict
established a foundry and machine shop at the upper bridge. The next year
Mr. Dutton disposed of his interests to Sanford & Benedict, and in
1865 Mr. Sanford and W. R. Wasson became sole owners, the firm being Sanford
& Wasson. In 1868 the Fulton Manufacturing Company was incorporated
with a capital of $150,000, and with E. P. Ross as president, W. C. Ruger,
secretary, and R. K. Sanford superintendent. The latter was soon succeeded
by William Wasson, and finally the entire concern passed into the hands
of E. P. Ross & Co. The establishment was started for the manufacture
of the Cummings straw cutter, which was invented by Mr. Cummings, who had
originally entered the shop of John E. Dutton & Co. as a machinist.
The business was finally abandoned, and in 1885 the buildings were occupied
by the Howe Ventilation Stove Works, which were sold to the Cortland Howe
Ventilation Stove Company in August, 1887. This firm soon removed, and
in 1889 the plant was leased to the Dexter Manufacturing Company for the
manufacture of newspaper supplies, presses, etc. They also removed and
the premises passed to the Miller-Tooley Knife Company, subsequently noticed.
In 1864 the present establishment
of Taylor Bros, & Co. was founded for the manufacture of planing and
moulding knives, etc, the partners being William E. and F. S. Taylor and
J. G. Benedict, who continued until 1867, when F. S. Taylor disposed of
his interest to Messrs. Benedict and W. E. Taylor, with whom H. L. Taylor
became associated in 1872. After the death of William E. Taylor and J.
G. Benedict the business passed into the possession of H. L. Taylor and
C. C. Benedict, the present proprietors.
In 1865 the plaster mill of Gage,
Porter & Co was started, and is now the only concern of the kind in
town. It finally passed from a Mr. Terry to Gage, Garlock & Co., to
Gage, Sheridan & Co., to W. G. Gage & Co., and to Gage, Porter
& Co., the present owners. The daily output is thirty tons of plaster
and forty-five tons of cement.
In August, 1866, fire destroyed
the Empire, Sabin, and Patterson blocks, Pool’s hotel, etc., causing a
loss of $15,000. In this year the Fulton mills were built by Horace N.
Gilbert for the firm of Gilbert, Smith & Wright, who were succeeded
by Gilbert & Wright. In 1871 they came into possession of Perine &
Wright, who were followed by Nathan M. Smith and D. M. Perine. In 1886
they passed to Arthur G. Gilbert and Henry E. Nichols (Gilbert & Nichols),
the present owners, who substituted the roller process for stones. The
capacity, aside from the custom department, is 100 barrels of wheat flour
and 150 barrels of buckwheat flour per day.
The Fulton Woodenware Works were
started in 1866 by D. E. Mason, the present proprietor. He has had various
partners, employs about twelve hands, and manufactures butter packages,
pork barrels, etc.
The St. Louis Mills were built by
D. W. Gardner and L. C. Seymour in 1867, and since then have been twice
enlarged. In 1890 the firm name was changed to Gardner, Seymour & Co.
by the admission of A. M. Seymour, the master miller, to a partnership
interest. The capacity is 300 barrels of flour daily. In 1855 Mr. Gardner
purchased of Jackson Fish a small mill just west of the present establishment,
which burned about 1864, and was never rebuilt.
In this year (1867) Frank Dilts and
James McDonough established the present Dilts foundry and machine shop,
and in 1870 Mr. Dilts became the sole proprietor, continuing as such until
his death a short time ago. Since then it has been conducted by his estate.
In 1881 and again on March 31, 1887, the establishment was burned out,
but each time it was rebuilt. Another manufactory of about 1867 was the
tub and pail factory of Mason & Co., which was burned in 1871, and
which was followed by a similar concern together with a planing mill. This
firm was succeeded by George J. Emeny.
The Farmers’ Mills were built by
R. N. Hoff & Co., in 1870. On this site there was originally an axe
factory and later the stone carding mill of A. J. Thayer, the latter building
being enlarged and converted into a grist mill. R. N. Hoff & Co. were
succeeded by Conger & Hoff, who were followed in 1880 by R. N. Hoff,
the present proprietor. These mills employ the old fashioned stone system
in grinding and do custom work exclusively, the daily capacity being from
300 to 400 bushels of grain.
The Oswego River mills were originally
built by John J. Wolcott as a warehouse. About 1850, when the canal was
enlarged, it was rebuilt and extended for forwarding purposes, and finally
passed into the possession of H. N. Gilbert, N. H. Gilbert, A. G. Gilbert,
and R. B. True, of whom Horace N. Gilbert came to Fulton in 1855. They
converted it into a small flouring mill, and in 1886 sold it to R. B.,
G. E. and C. H. True, the present proprietors, the firm name being True
Brothers. They enlarged the mill as it now stands and fitted it throughout
with the roller process. The capacity is 200 barrels of flour per day.
In 1870 a machine shop was erected
just above the lower bridge, which in 1875 was converted into a planing
mill and bedstead factory by A. T. and J. H. Loomis. It subsequently passed
into the hands of L. E. Loomis and was operated by James F. Herrick. At
one time the buildings were occupied by Henry S. Condé as a knitting
factory, and very early a gang saw mill was carried on here by Farwell
& Co. The site is now occupied by the box factory of the Standard Oil
Among the merchants not previously
mentioned who formerly conducted business in Fulton may be noted the names
of Hon. G. M. Case, Almon, Wilson, and Churchill Tucker, Anson Nibloe,
John J. Wolcott, James Cole (still in business), R. T. Jones, Horace P.
Pond, Reuben Bradshaw, Hannah & Lasher, R. C. Kenyon, S. N. Kenyon,
William B. and Isaac Shaw, the Palmenter sisters (milliners), Ward Gasper,
John Wooden (succeeded by Snow & Loomis in 1885), Henry J. Case (grocer
and contractor, who died January 11, 1889, aged fifty-nine), Pliny Conger,
Charles R. Nichols, M. A. & Isaac Shumway, George Salmon, N. E. Burdick,
George F. Falley, Charles G. Case (a noted abolitionist, whose widow resides
in the village in her ninetieth year), Thomas Keeler, G. C. Lathrop, Charles
M. Case, Jonathan Case, James Whitaker, Charles Phillips (afterward an
M. E. preacher), Wood & Spicer, J. D. Stephens (father of William G.
and Melvin F.), William Schenck, Cyrus Phillips, Robert E. Phillips, H.
G. Colgrove, William H. Pruyne (died September 22, 1888), and Roberts &
Mistler (marble dealers on the corner of First and Cayuga streets; Morgan
Roberts died in September, 1890, aged seventy-nine.)
The village charter has been amended
several times, notably on March 17, 1862, on April 26, 1873, and on March
24 and May 28, 1881, the last time authorizing the election of a president,
six trustees, on police justice, three assessors, a treasurer, collector,
and street commissioner, and the appointment of a clerk, surveyor, jailor,
and one or more policemen, under which plan the municipal government is
now conducted. The ordinances of the village now in force were passed July
The sewerage question was agitated
in December, 1881, and on April 24, 1886, and act was passed by the Legislature
authorizing the construction of an adequate system. In 1889 a contract
for the work was let for $20,240 and the trustees decided to raise by tax
$25,000 for the purpose, but both were abandoned. In the fall of 1894 another
plan was projected which is now (January, 1895) under consideration. The
Board of Sewer Commissioners consists of George E. True, president; Arvin
Rice, clerk; Francis Stiles, Prentice Youmans, Edwin R. Redhead and Thomas
The new Clark House was opened December
29, 1881, with James Clark as proprietor, and on November 28, 1882, the
Stephens Opera House, which was built by Dr. John J. Stephens, of Washington,
D.C., was formally opened for public entertainments. In April, 1883, the
Cole block was burned.
In January, 1884, the Fulton Water
Works Company was organized with H. E. Nichols, president; J. W. Pratt,
vice-president; Giles S. Piper, secretary; and F. A. Emerick, treasurer.
The plant was not put in operation, however, until November, 1885. The
water supply is derived from the famous Great Bear Springs near the river,
south of the village. Mr. Emerick has been continually connected with the
company and is now its principal manager. During this year (1884) a rink
was built which was burned in August, 1885.
On January 27, 1885 a fire destroyed
J. J. Wright’s and Sheridan Brothers & Co.’s, hardware stores and other
establishments on Oneida streets, entailing a loss of $40,000. About this
time James Pearman started his present foundry and machine shop and J.
M Campbell built a new foundry on First street.
The Fulton and Oswego Falls Street
Railroad Company was organized July 16, 1885, with the following officers:
Arvin Rice, president; F. A. Gage, vice-president; John Hadcock, secretary;
Reuben Bradshaw, William Waugh, D. C. Hadcock, W. A. Hall, Frank Marsh,
and C. H. Dexter, directors. The work of construction was commenced in
August of that year and the road was completed and formally opened August
17, 1886, at which time Charles Lyman was secretary. It extends from the
railroad on Cayuga street to First street and along First street to Broadway,
where it crosses the river and runs thence to the D., L. & W. Railroad
depot in Oswego Falls.
In August, 1886, the Fulton Schuyler
Electric Light Company was incorporated with a capital of $33,000 and a
plant was placed in operation before the close of that year. Soon after
this a similar company was formed, and in October, 1887, the first named
corporation was reorganized under the style of the Citizen’s Electric Company.
In April, 1889 the two concerns consolidated under the title of the Thompson-Houston
Company. On April 1, 1891, the Fulton Electric Light and Power Company
was incorporated with a capital of $80,000, and succeeded to the property
and vested rights of all the foregoing concerns as well as those of the
Fulton Gas Light Company previously noticed. The first officers were C.
S. Haley, president; F. A. Emerick, vice-president; and G. G. Chauncey,
secretary. The present president is W. A. Carey; the others hold their
The Oswego Falls Pulp and Paper Company
was incorporated in February, 1886, with a capital of $30,000. Their pulp
mill was erected in 1888 and doubled in size in 1889, the capacity being
twenty tons of dry pulp daily. On or near this site there was formerly
a grist mill, a saw mill, and a plaster mill. The hydraulic raceway which
furnishes water to propel these mills was constructed in 1887-8 at a cost
of about $40,000. From thirty to thirty-five men are employed. The officers
are F. G. Weeks, president; H. L. Paddock, treasurer; and George P. Wells,
The Hunter Arms Company was started
here in 1889 as the Hunter-Comstock Arms Company, making the Comstock gun.
In 1890 the L. C. Smith gun was purchased in Syracuse and the firm adopted
its present designation. As many as 175 mechanics are employed. The capital
is $400,000, and the officers are John Hunter, of Sterling Valley, N.Y.,
president; Hon. Thomas Hunter, of Sterling, N.Y., vice-president; John
Hunter , jr., secretary; Thomas Hunter 2d, treasurer and manager; William
Hunter, assistant manager.
The Tuerk Water Meter Company and
the Acme Burnisher Company were moved to Fulton in 1890. The officers of
both concerns are John Hunter, president, and J. C. Hunter, secretary,
treasurer, and manager. The first named company manufactures the F. W.
Tuerk water meters and motors, ventilating fans, etc., while the other
makes picture burnishers.
The Fulton Excelsior Company was
started by Charles M. Allen, the present proprietor, in 1890, and employs
about twenty men. The butter tub business connected with this concern was
established in 1888.
The Pure Water Supply Company was
organized in July, 1890, by F. A. Emerick, H. E. Nichols, Arthur Gilbert,
and John H. Case. The business consists of bottling the water taken from
the Great Bear Spring and shipping it, principally to Syracuse.
The Fulton Machine Company was incorporated
in November, 1890, with a capital of $35,000, and with these officers:
F.E. Bacon, president; George J. Emeny, vice-president; C. C. Benedict,
secretary and treasurer. The present officers are the same except the vice-president,
who is Abram Emerick. Mr. Emeny was manufacturing an ensilage cutter in
a small way, to which business the company succeeded, occupying the building
formerly used by R. H. Harris & Son as a carriage factory. From thirty
to thirty-five hands are employed.
The Fulton Board of Trade was organized
December 9, 1890, with the following trustees: F. E. Bacon, A. Bristol,
L. C. Seymour, F. A. Emerick, A. J. Snow, H. E. Nichols, G. S. Piper, C.
C. Benedict, Thomas Hunter 2d, S. F. Merry, E. R. Redhead, A. Rosenbloom,
and George E. True. George Kellogg was chosen treasurer.
The Miller Tooley Knife Company
was established in the spring of 1891, by L. T. Miller and A. J. Tooley,
and began business that year in the old Ross foundry. They employ about
The Fulton Pleasure Boat Company
was incorporated March 25, 1891, with E. T. Shepard, president; D. J. Freeman,
vice-president; and William C. Stephens, secretary and treasurer. The capital
was $10,000. The company builds all kinds of small pleasure boats, does
a general moulding and planing business, and employs from ten to twenty
men. E. T. Shepard is president; Dr. C. M. Lee, vice-president; and I.
M. Gere, secretary and treasurer. The Diamond Excelsior Works were started
by George E. Mason in 1892 and employs four hands. The Empire State Pulley
and Press Company was incorporated January 1, 1895, by George Ehrhard,
president; J. E. Sheridan, secretary; Francis Stiles, treasurer. The capital
is $20, 000 and wood split pulleys, cider machinery, etc., are manufactured.
The business was originally started by M. P. Schenck about 1876, making
cider machinery. In 1881 he was joined by J. E. Sheridan, who became sole
owner in 1884. In 1891 the manufacture of pulleys was added.
During the various periods of growth
and development just noted several other public institutions were established
in the village which had an important influence upon its business, social,
and moral life. These are detailed separately.
The post-office was originally established
in the fall of 1810, under the name of Oswego Falls, with Noah A. Whitney
as postmaster, and his first return to the post office department, made
January 1, 1811, was for eight cents. On April 1, 1815, he was succeeded
by James Lyon, who held the position until the office was discontinued
February 14, 1829. He kept the office at the Upper Landing, and when the
village proper became so thickly populated as to necessitate postal conveniences
at is center, he refused to move it. Fulton post-office was therefore established
May 29, 1826, with Lewis Falley as postmaster. His successors have been
M. Lindley Lee, appointed June 22,
1841; Hiram Bradway, October 20, 1844; George Mitchell, June 23, 1849;
Albert Taylor, April 9, 1853. The office was made a presidential one February
21, 1856, and Albert Taylor was re-appointed; William B. Shaw was appointed
July 27, 1857; Allan C. Livingtson, April 17, 1861; Thomas W. Chesbro,
March 13, 1871; Charles T. Bennett, April 22, 1875; Mrs. C. T. Bennett,
in 1878; N. H. Gilbert, in 1883; S. B. Whitaker, in 1887; Fred Bennett,
in 1890; and A. J. Aubrey, April 14, 1894, incumbent.
The first banking institution in
Fulton was the Citizen’s Bank, which was established here in 1852 with
a capital of $100, 000 and with the following board of directors: Charles
G. Case, Samuel Hart, Willard Johnson, R. C. Kenyon, S. N. Kenyon, H. H.
Coats, George Grosvenor, George Salmon, T.W. Chesbro, J. J. Wolcott, J.W.
Pratt, J. H. Reynolds, and Edwin Rockwell. George Grosvenor, of Rome, was
cashier and manager of the bank, and occupied that position until 1857,
when Amos H. Bradley was elected. In 1862 the capital was increased to
$166, 100, and has since remained unchanged. At the same time Samuel F.
Case was elected president. In May, 1865, it was reorganized and became
the Citizens’ National Bank of Fulton, which name it still retains. On
April 1, 1867, Charles G. Case and Samuel F. Case were elected respectively
president and cashier, positions they held until their deaths. The latter
died in July, 1869, and was succeeded by George M. Case, who was followed
on January 11, 1881, by Solon F. Case, the present cashier. Charles G.
Case died in December, 1875, and was succeeded by Thomas W. Chesbro, who
served till his death January 11, 1881, when George M. Case was elected
president and still holds that position. The vice-president is Jonathan
H. Case. The directors for 1895 are George M. Case, George Kellogg, E.
E. Hart, C. M. Lee, C. R. Lee, S. F. Case, and J. H. Case.
On October, 6, 1855, the Oswego
River Bank was organized with a capital of $114, 500 and with John J. Wolcott,
president; George Salmon, vice-president; Dewitt Gardner, cashier; and
Lewis E. Loomis, W. B. Shaw, John E. Dutton, John A. Livingston, Alfred
Mix, Elisha Leavenworth, Charles Benedict, Justice Townsend, and B. N.
Hinman, directors. January 19, 1865, it was reorganized into the First
National Bank of Fulton (a name it has since borne), with a capital of
$115, 000. M. Lindley Lee was chosen president in 1870 and served until
his death in May, 1876. The office then remained vacant until January 9,
1877, when R. H. Tyler was elected. He was succeeded January 13, 1880,
by De Witt Gardner, the present president. Mr. Gardner had served as cashier
until the last named date, when the assistant cashier, Amos Youmans, was
elected and still holds the position. F. E. Bacon is vice-president. The
directors for 1895 are D. W. Gardner, F. E. Bacon, Abram Emerick, L. C.
Seymour, H. C. Gardner, Thomas Hunter 2d, and William Waugh. On June 21,
1877, the capital was reduced to $57,500.
The Fulton Savings Bank was incorporated
March 29, 1871, by Sands N. Kenyon, president; Benjamin J. Dyer, H. H.
Merriam, and Ira Carrier, vice-presidents; Abraham Howe, secretary; Dr.
Charles g. Bacon, treasurer; George M. Case, John Harroun, John W. Pratt,
Willis S. Nelson, William D. Patterson, Calvin Osgood, Morris S. Kimball,
Willard Johnson, Stephen Pardee, John C. Wells, Amos Dean, Henry N. Somers,
Hiram Bradway, William Dexter, and James H. Townsend. Dr. Bacon soon resigned
as treasurer and Sands N. Kenyon was elected to the vacancy, holding also
the office of president. He resigned January 10, 1887, and Abraham Howe
was chosen his successor. In October, 1888, the bank was moved into its
present building. The officers for 1895 are as follows: President and treasurer,
Abraham Howe; first vice-president, Abram Emerick; second vice-president,
Arvin Rice; third vice-president, Willis S. Nelson; secretary, William
J. Lovejoy; attorney, G. S. Piper; trustees, W. S. Nelson, Arvin Rice,
J. W. Pratt, J. C. Wells, G. S. Piper, W. D. Patterson, E. S. Hogeland,
W. J. Lovejoy, Dr. C. G. Bacon, George M. Case, Reuben Bradshaw, Abraham
Howe, Abram Emerick, F. A. Emerick, and George P. Wells. There are about
3,400 depositors with deposits aggregating over $450, 000.
The first newspaper published in
Fulton and the second in the county outside of Oswego was the Fulton Chronicle,
which was started by Thomas Johnson in November, 1837. In 1840 he sold
it to Isaac S. Clark and Edwin Thompson, who changed the name to the Ben
Franklin, which proved unsuccessful and the paper died the next year. Its
immediate successor was the weekly Dispatch, conducted by E. C. Haten which
lived about twelve months. In 1841 N. B. Northrup started the Fulton Sun
and on August 20, 1842, Daniel Ayer established the Fulton Mirror; very
soon afterward the two papers were consolidated under the name of the Fulton
Sun and Mirror and published until 1844, when it was sold to Spencer Munroe
and a little later was discontinued.
The Fulton Patriot was started by
M. C. Hough in 1846, who transferred it to John A. Place in 1848. In 1854
it was sold to Thaddeus S. Brigham (who died in Union Village August 8,
1890), and in 1858 Hon. R. K. Sanford became the proprietor. In 1853 George
E. Williams started the Oswego County Gazette, which he sold in 1858 to
Mr. Sanford, who consolidated the two papers in November of that year under
the title of the Fulton Patriot and Gazette. In 1861 it became the property
of Rodney L. Adams, who was succeeded in 1865 by the Bennett Brothers.
They continued as editors and proprietors until the death of Charles T.
Bennett on August 14, 1877, when Fred Bennett assumed charge. He sold out
to Frank M. Cornell, the present editor, December 1, 1892. The latter dropped
the name, Gazette, and changed it to eight pages of six columns. It is
Republican in politics, is issued every Friday, and ably represents the
best interests of the village. Mr. Cornell was born in Skaneateles, N.Y.,
July 4, 1852, learned his trade in the Democrat office in that place, and
in 1867 removed to Rochester, Minn., where he became local editor of the
Post. In 1881 he went to Tower City, N.D., and started the Herald, which
he moved to Valley City, N.D., in 1889, consolidating it with the Times-Record.
In September, 1892, he sold out and came to Fulton. He is W. P. of Elizabeth
Chapter, order of the Eastern Star, and secretary of Fulton Chapter R.
In 1860 the Democratic Union was
published for a few months in Fulton. In June, 1868, George E. and J. M.
Williams established the Fulton Times, which finally passed to E. D. Deming.
September 21, 1881, Warner C. Wheeler purchased an interest. December 21
the paper was enlarged, and March 29, 1882, W. C. Wheeler & Co. became
publishers. They were succeeded September 19, 1883, by Mrs. Mary L. Wheeler,
with F. C. Bullock as editor. The latter died in June, 1884, and was followed
by John A. McKay, and November 5 of that year the firm of J. A. McKay &
Co. became the proprietors. In 1885 the paper passed to F. D. Van Wagenen
with James R. Fairgrieve as editor, who remained in charge until August
27, 1890. Soon afterward Richard Carr purchased the establishment and changed
the paper from a folio to eight pages, and on January 15, 1894, was succeeded
by William E. Hughes, the present editor and proprietor. The Times is independent
in politics, makes a specialty of local and neighborhood news, and has
secured a wide and growing patronage. Mr. Hughes was born in the north
of Ireland October 5, 1853, came to America with his parents in 1864, and
learned his trade in New York city, where he became assistant ship news
editor on the Journal of Commerce, a position he held thirteen years. He
owned and edited the Orange Life and Evening Record in Orange, N. J., and
in January, 1894, removed to Fulton.
The Fulton fire department was organized
April 16, 1857, with Dixon Van Valkenburgh, Abial T. Loomis, James Peyden,
Thomas Reeves, Abial W. Lewis, and John W. Knox as fire wardens. It still
works on the volunteer basis and now consists of Steamer Company No. 1,
Fred Gardner, president, and William Hoff, foreman; Steamer Company No.
2, and Johnson Hose Company No. 2, James Briggs, president, and George
Sheridan, foreman; Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Thomas Hunter
2d, president, and James Keeler, foreman; Sharp Hose Company No. 3, Charles
Mitchell, foreman; and Hose Company No. 4, E. E. Hart, president, and Elmer
Taylor, foreman. The fire board consists of G. C. Hewes, chief; M. M. Williams,
first assistant; Jesse R. Waugh, secretary; and Frederick P. Keeler, treasurer.
The presidents of Fulton have been
Aaron G. Fish, 1835;
George F. Falley, 1836; Samuel Dean, 1837; Oliver French, 1838; Joseph
P. Whitney, 1839; John J. Wolcott, 1840, 1851, 1857; John Worlock, 1841;
Hiram H. Coats, 1842; Lovwell Johnson, 1843, 1846-7; Jonathan Case, 1844;
Sands N. Kenyon, 1845, 1854 (O. O. Shumway resigned); Robert C. Kenyon,
1848; Elliott Harroun, 1849; Amos G. Hall, 1850; Quartus Rust, 1852; Gardner
Wood, 1853; S.F. Case 1855; Willis S. Nelson, 1856, 1863-4, 1874; Lucius
A. Hovey, 1858; Willard Johnson, 1859, 1872; John C. Highriter, 1860; Lewis
E. Loomis, 1861-2; Charles I. De Graw, 1865; R. T. Jones, 1866; William
G. Gage, 1867; William C. Stephens, 1868-9; William D. Patterson, 1870;
Daniel Pardee, 1871; Hiram Bradway, 1873; Rensselaer R. Dodge, 1875; Willam
Waugh, 1876, 1884-5, 1887, 1892-3; John H. Woodin, 1877; Joel S. Palmer,
1878; Henry S. Gardner, 1879; Charles R. Nichols, 1880; Francis M. Wilson,
1881-2, 1889-90; James F. Herrick, 1883; John N. Sharp, 1886; George E.
True, 1888; J. H. Merton, 1891; Thomas D. Lewis, 1894; G. P. Wells, 1895.
The village officers for 1894-5
Thomas D. Lewis, president;
Charles W. Washburn, George G. Emeny, Willard Johnson (resigned January
16, 1895 , and George P. Wells elected), C. Wellington Hastings, John M.
Foster, and Clarence W. Streeter, trustees; William P. Hillick, clerk;
James R. Loomis, treasurer; Seymour Van Buren, collector; Thomas B. Reynolds,
Seymour Parmelee, and James F. Cooper, assessors; Anson J. Osborne, street
commissioner; John N. Sharp, police justice; Job Bennett, Morgan Van Buren,
and Daniel Morfa, excise commissioners; Clarence C. Hewes, Napolean Gorman,
and Willard Curtis, Board of Health; Dr. H. L. Lake, health officer.
A brief history of the earlier schools
of Fulton has been given in previous pages of this chapter. As the village
increased in population a number of select schools came into existence,
the first one of which there is any record being in 1828 at the upper landing,
kept by a Mr. Brockway. Others followed, and in 1833 Miss Gardner, who
had taught the district school at the upper landing in 1830-31, opened
a select school on the corner of Third and Oneida streets, which was attended
by over seventy pupils. She was a lady of great energy and fine attainments,
was eminently successful, and in 1834 went to India as a missionary, being
the first one to depart from this county for foreign lands. At this time
Rev. John Eastman was supplying the pulpit of the Presbyterian church here,
and the success which had attended Miss Gardner’s enterprise was undoubtedly
instrumental in prompting him to attempt the establishing of a seminary
for the education of young ladies. In September, 1834 he opened a school
in the building then recently vacated by her, which led to the incorporation
of the Fulton Female Seminary, May 25, 1836, with Rev. John Eastman, Aaron
G. Fish, Thomas R. Brayton, John E. Dutton, George Salmon, M. Lindley Lee,
Israel P. Knox, Chauncey Betts, Henry Westfall, Henry Pearson, Samuel Merry,
and Lemuel Dada as trustees, who were authorized to hold stock not to exceed
$12, 000. Mr. Fish was chosen president, Mr. Dutton secretary, and Mr.
Salmon treasurer. In 1839 the school was placed in charge of the Regents
of the State University, and on April 11, 1842, its title was changed to
the Fulton Academy, and youth of both sexes were admitted to its classes.
Hon. George F. Falley, who died in June, 1847, had been a liberal contributor
to the school, and in 1849 his widow, Mrs. Mehitable E. Falley, donated
$4, 000 more, in recognition of which the name was changed by the Legislature
on April 11, 1849, to the Falley Seminary of the Black River Conference.
In this year the erection of a brick building was commenced on a lot donated
for the purpose by Col. James L. Voorhees. It cost about $20, 000 and was
dedicated December 5, 1850. A large debt hung over the institution which
a few years later seriously embarrassed it. In 1856 Prof. John P. Griffin
assumed charge and expended much of his private means in reducing the indebtedness.
In 1869 he was succeeded by Rev. James Gilmour1, who became sole owner
of the seminary property and conducted it until about two years before
his death. The seminary was closed with the fall term of 1883, and since
then the building has been occupied as a residence by Professor Gilmour
and his widow. The principals of Falley Seminary were:
Miss Maria Clara Maynard
(afterward Mrs. George Salmon, died May 6, 1861), 1836-41; Amos G. Hull,
M.A., 1842; Rev. Edmund E. E. Bragdon, 1842-44 and 1848-53; Rev. Benjamin
H. Caldwell, M.A., 1844-46; Theodore S. Parson, A.B., 1847-48; J.R. French,
1853-4; Rev. John W. Armstrong, M.A., 1854-55; Rev. J. Henry Mansfield,
A.B., 1855-56; John P. Griffin, M.A., 1856-69; Rev. James Gilmour, 1869-83.
Down to 1877 the public schools of Fulton
were under the district school system. November 16 of that year they were
organized into a union free school district by the election of the following
Board of Education: S. N. Dada, president; Amos Youmans, secretary; Abram
Emerick, William D. Patterson, F. E. Bacon, S.B. Whittaker and L.C. Seymour.
August 20, 1888, districts 1 and 2 were consolidated into Union Free School
District No. 1, which also comprised old district No. 14. Two buildings
are used for school purposes, one on State street, and another on Fourth
street built in 1868-69. A brick addition was added to the latter in 1889
at a cost of $15, 000. The board also owns a school building on Rochester
street in old district 14, which is occupied by the janitor as a residence.
The value of the school buildings and sites is estimated at $52, 500. The
Board of Education for 1894-95 consists of Giles Piper, president; C. H.
David, F.A. Gage, S.B. Whittaker, E.E. Hart, A.J. Snow, Wesley McCully,
G.J. Emeny, H.S. Gardner, and Amos Youmans, clerk. The presidents have
been S.N. Dada, F.E. Bacon, and G.S. Piper. Mr. Youmans has been officially
identified with the schools of Fulton since 1875 and Mr. Whittaker since
1877. Prof. B.G. Clapp is principal and Caroline F. Barnes is preceptress,
the two being assisted by twenty teachers. The schools are efficiently
maintained, and reflect great credit upon the village of Fulton and its
Fulton village, as shown by
the preceding narrative, has enjoyed a steady growth, a prestige that has
been carefully developed and maintained, and a position not only in the
county but in the State of which it may well be proud. Its future appears
as brilliant as at any period of its past. The population in 1890 was 4,
214, and increase of 273 since 1880.
Volney, or Volney Center,
is a post village of about 125 inhabitants. Elisha Candee opened here in
1816 the first store in the town outside of Fulton. Seth Tibballs erected
a brick store in 1826 and soon afterwards sold to Samuel Griswold, who
1Rev. James Gilmour, M.A., was born
in Paisley, Scotland, and came to America at the age of nineteen. He was
graduated from Union College, was ordained a Presbyterian minister, and
died December 18, 1885, aged sixty three.
tinued in business for more than
thirty years. Other merchants there were Mr. Humeston, Almon Tucker, H.N.
Gaylord, Nathan Bailey, S.H. Merritt, Charles Coe, Levi Chapel and Arba
W. Simons. Gideon Seymour opened a tavern as early as 1809; he died in
1817 and was succeeded by his widow. About 1830 John Gasper became a tavern
keeper there and continued until 1836, when he was succeeded by Jeremiah
Hull, from whom the place received its name of Hull’s Corners, and who
was followed by George S. Babcock, George Briggs, William W. Rockafellow,
C.B. Russ and others. This hotel was burned about 1870. George Briggs also
had a tavern there in later years. The post-office was established December
13, 1825, with John Bristol as postmaster. His successors have been:
Samuel Griswold appointed
April 22, 1830; Horace N. Gaylord, April 25, 1835; Jeremiah Hull, January
29, 1841; Samuel Griswold, July 3, 1841; Stephen Pardee, July 19, 1845;
Samuel Griswold, June 6, 1849; Jacob Piper, September 15, 1853; George
S. Babcock, January 3, 1859; Samuel Griswold, October 7, 1861; R. George
Bassett, October 21, 1862; Dr. R.C. Baldwin, 1875 Arba W. Simons, 1876,
North Volney is a postal hamlet
in the north part of the town. The first store was opened there in 1858
by John Campbell, who was succeeded by a Mr. O’Hara, Levi Johnson, R.P.
Hall, F.W. Squires, Henry Bowen, Josiah Derby, William Sherman, A.O. Davis,
A.P. Davis and others. Campbell & Stevens had a tavern there for a
short time about 1850. The post-office was established in February 1859,
with John Campbell as postmaster, the first mail leaving the office on
February 19. The successive incumbents have been F.W. Squires, appointed
August 29, 1861; Frank C. Squires (his son), May 22, 1880; A.P. Davis,
April 1882; H.L. Bowen, June 1884; and Thomas E. Ingersoll, 1893. This
place is locally known as Druce’s Corners.
Randy’s Crossing is a postal
hamlet and flag station on the Midland Railroad northwest of Fulton. A
store called the “Six Mile Grocery” was kept there for several years and
finally passed into the possession of Edward B. McCullock, who was appointed
the first postmaster when the post-office was established in 1871. His
successors were Angeline McCullock in 1880, Cyrus Surdam in 1886, Charles
Decker in 1890, and Miss Sayles in 1894.
Ingell’s Crossing is a post-office
and station on the Midland Railroad near the town line southeast of Fulton.
The office was established March 25, 1870, with Willam F. Ingell as postmaster.
He was succeeded by W.W. Loomis in 1890.
Mount Pleasant post-office,
locally known as Hubbard’s Corners, was established about 1872 with Joel
Wright as postmaster. It was discontinued in 1876 and re-established in
1890, when John Wilmer was appointed postmaster. He was followed by Isaac
Hale in 1894, and the latter Mrs. L.P.A. Bishop in January 1895. A store
was opened there about 1867 by Josiah Derby, succeeded by Joel Wright in
1870, and closed in 1877.
Seneca Hill is a little hamlet on
the river opposite Minetto. At one time George Briggs and others had a
tavern there, and in earlier days, as late as 1858, it had a post-office,
which was long since discontinued.
Morse was formerly a post-office
near Bristol Hill four miles east of Fulton; it was discontinued in January
1894 at which time James Jones was postmaster.
Churches.---Strange as it
may seem the first religious organization in town was effected in the neighborhood
of Volney Center in June, 1812, about two years before the pioneer society
of Fulton came into existence. This was the first Congregation church of
Volney, the original members were Gideon Candee, John Kendall, Manda Kendall,
Jos. Morgan, Eunice Morgan, Enoch Bristol, Sarah Bristol, William Dean
and Anna Dean. The first deacons were Gideon Candee and Stephen Blake.
The chorister was John Kendall. John Dunlap and David R. Dixon were the
first preachers. Rev. Oliver Leavitt became pastor in 1819 and remained
until 1827, being followed by Revs. Abel Caldwell, Oliver Eastman, Truman
Baldwin, Martin Powell, Heman S. Cotton, B. Pond, M. Stowe, Julias Doane,
Lemuel Dada, Russell Whiting, Seth Williston, Salmon Strong, Jeremiah Petrie,
J.R. Bradnack, Mr. Noye, P.W. Emens, David Henderson, Frank N. Greeley,
W.W. Warner, and others. Their first edifice was erected on Bristol Hill
in 1833 at a cost of about $2, 500. A Sunday school was organized there
by Mrs. Eunice Leavitt in 1820, which was the first one in town outside
of Fulton. Charles Atwood is now acting as pastor. This was the fifth church
organized in Oswego county.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of
Fulton had its beginning in circuit preaching that was conducted here by
Rev. Mr. Tuller of Cortland, as early as 1809. The first class was organized
in June, 1813, with Daniel Falley as leader. Meetings occurred at the houses
of Daniel Falley, Judge Mooney, and Noah A. Whitney, and among the early
preachers were Revs. Mr. Bishop, James, Hazen, Enoch Barnes, and Nathaniel
Reeder. Under the latter in 1818-19 and extensive revival occurred, the
converts numbering 400. On April 26, 1826, the “First Society of the Methodist
Episcopal Church of Volney” was organized with George F. Falley, John Schenck,
James Whitaker, John Waterhouse, Jacob C. Thompson, Daniel Falley, Joseph
Easton, Julius Montague, and James Doolittle as trustees. The society worshipped
in the school-house and in store-houses at the Upper and Lower Landings
until 1828 when a brick edifice was erected on a lot donated for the purpose
by Norman Hubbard. It was completed in 1830, and is generally said to have
been the first church built by this denomination in Oswego county. It was
twice remodeled and enlarged. On August 15, 1829, Fulton became the separate
charge and Rev. William W. Rundell was appointed pastor. The pastors since
then have been:
Revs. Jonathan Worthing,
1832; David H. Kingsley, 1833; M.H. Gaylord, 1834; William S. Bowdish,
1835-6, Luther Lee, 1837-8; C.W. Leet, 1839-40; Isaac Stone, 1841-2; Gardner
Baker, 1843-4; Arza J. Phelps, 1845-6; Charles L. Dunning, 1847-8; John
T. Hewitt, 1849-50; Harvey B. Chapin, 1851; Charles H. Austin (supply),
1851; James Erwin, 1852-3.
In 1853 the church was divided. A second
society of 112 members was formed which erected a small building on the
east side of Fourth street, and their first pastor in 1854 was Rev. O.M.
Legate, his successors were:
Revs. Isaac L. Hunt, 1855-6; and
William X. Nind, 1857. The pastors of the first church were Revs. M.D.
Gillett, 1854-5; J.H. Lambras, 1856; and A. Nichols, 1857-8. In June, 1857,
the two societies united. The subsequent pastors have been Revs. Jackson
C. Vandercook, 1859-60; Richard Redhead 1861-2; John D. Adams, 1863-5;
O.C. Cole, 1866-7; R.C. Houghton, 1867-70; T.J. Bissell, 1870; Theron Cooper,
1871-2; Albert L. York, 1873-4; H.M. Danforth1875-7; H.W. Bennett 1878-80;
E.C. Bruce, 1881-2; W.F. Markham, 1883-5; W.D. Chase, 1886-91; C. H. Guile,
1891-3; and Stephen T. Dibble since April 1893.
In April, 1883, the society purchased
for $2, 800 a house of Henry E. Nichols on the corner of Third and Cayuga
streets for parsonage, which they subsequently exchanged for the corner
lot on which the church now stands. In 1894 a new brick edifice was erected
on the site of and adjoining the old structure at a cost of about $31,
000. It was dedicated December 11, 1894, by Bishop Willard F. Mallalieu
and presiding elder T.B. Shepard. The society has about 575 members, with
Dr. D.E. Lake, F.E. Bacon, F.E. Goodjon, John Porter, and M.V. Connell
as trustees. Mr. Bacon is superintendent of the Sunday school, which as
some 425 scholars.
The Baptist church of Fulton was
first organized at the house of Richard Falley in the autumn of 1817, with
these members: Richard Falley and wife, Bradford Dart and wife, Thomas
Spencer and wife, David Johnson and wife, Hannah Fish, and Margaret Falley.
The first persons to unite by baptism were Rufus Crain and Zivia Falley
(afterward Mrs. Sanford), and soon the membership numbered twenty. Rev.
Enoch Ferris and others ministered to the little band, which finally became
so weak that its place of worship was removed to Palermo, where a majority
of the remaining members resided. In May, 1827, another church was formed
at the house of Dea. Timothy Wetmore, about three miles east of the village,
composed of Timothy Wetmore, Hannah Wetmore, Sanford Smith, Aaron G. Fish,
Mrs. Lucy Ann Fish, Josiah Smith, Polly Smith, Zadock Thomas, Chloe Thomas,
Zeriah Sanford, Martha Baxter, and Betsey Gates. For several years they
were without a settled pastor, but occasional meetings were held in the
Sixteenth school house. In 1832 Rev. Asa Caldwell became the pastor and
was followed by Rev. Charles Merritt and Elder Camp. Under the latter,
in February, 1837, the meetings were transferred to the “old red school
house” on the corner of Second and Cayuga streets in Fulton; about five
years later they were held in the old Universalist church, now standing
on Second street near Cayuga, and used as a paint shop. The “First Baptist
society of Fulton” was incorporated at the district school house on July
2, 1838, with the following trustees: Kingsford E. Sanford, Timothy Barnes,
Joseph Sanford, James W. Tucker, M. Newell, J. C. Whitman, and Ephraim
Beardsley. Rev. Peter Woodin became pastor in 1839 and remained six years,
and during his ministry, in 1841 a church edifice was built at a cost of
$2, 300. He closed his pastorate in the spring of 1845 and among his successors
were Revs. L. Ranstead, C. B. Post, J. B. Simmons (six years), S. W. Titus
(eight years), G.R. Pierce, E.J. Harrison, R. H. Ketcham, George Baptiste,
William Ostler J.C. Breaker, B.R. Dow, and Robert J. Holmes. The society
has about 200 members, property valued at $7, 500, and a Sunday school
of some eighty scholars with C.W. Streeter as superintendent. N.R. Cole
is church clerk.
The First Presbyterian church of
Fulton and Granby---June 13, 1818, a preliminary meeting was held at the
house of Widow Perry near the Cascade, by the Rev. John Dunlap, and Elders
Elijah Mann and James Crosby, for the purpose of forming a Presbyterian
church. The organization, styled the Presbyterian church of Oswego Falls,
was effected on June 14, in the storehouse at the upper landing with these
Margaret Falley, Anna
Crosby, Mary Perry, Lucretia Perry, Margaret M. Tarbox, Harriet Fay, Jared
Crosby, Job M. Perry, Militia French, Lucinda Robinson, May Schenck, Gitty
Walradt, Lovissa Wilson, Sarah Bassett, Cyril Wilson, Dorcas Perry.
Within a month twelve children were
baptized by Rev. D.D. Field, a missionary. On March 19, 1820, James Crosby
was received into the church as a member and ruling elder, being the first
to occupy the latter position and officiating solely in that capacity until
January 13, 1828, when Nathan Rowlee and Theodore Foster were ordained.
The society was legally organized at a school house in Granby on July 16,
1827, with the following trustees: Artemus Leonard, Bushnell Carey, Freeman
Hancock, N.B. Northrop, Theodore F. Romeyn, and Charles Comstock. It was
“Resolved, that this church and society be hereafter styled the Presbyterian
church and society of Fulton and Granby.” For a time meetings were held
in Oswego Falls. On April 30, 1832, the church was reorganized, under the
name of “The First Presbyterian Society of Fulton and Granby,” with Peter
Schenck, George Salmon, jr., Elijah Mann, Edward Baxter, Freeman Hancock,
and Moses L. Lee as trustees. In 1833 their first house of worship was
built of wood on the corner of Oneida and Second streets, and was dedicated
November 8 of that year by Rev. R.W. Condit. The first settled pastor was
Rev. John Eastman, the founder of Falley Seminary, who commenced his labors
January 26, 1834, was installed September 10, following, and remained until
October 5, 1837. The subsequent pastors have been Revs. William Fuller,
from April 24, 1839, to April 20, 1841; T.R. Townsend from 1842 to 1851;
Edward Lord, from February 10, 1852 to 1865 (absent as chaplain in the
army one year); C.J. Hutchins, from June 17, 1870, to 1879; James S. Riggs,
from September 1, 1880, to June 1, 1884; Charles H. Smith, from April 1,
1885, to July 4, 1886; and Joseph H. Odell, incumbent, since January 30,
1894. During many of these intervening periods the church was supplied
by various clergymen, including Revs. Carl H. Stone, Frederick Palmer,
and D.W. Rankin. During the pastorate of Rev Mr. Townsend the society erected
a new edifice, which was dedicated January 2, 1845. This structure was
burned January 10, 1882. During that year the present handsome brick and
stone church on the corner of Cayuga and Third streets was built at a cost,
including the lot and furnishings, of $31, 843.99. It was dedicated June
14, 1883, by Rev. A.J. Upson, of Auburn. The society has about 300 communicants
and owns a brick parsonage on the corner of Third and Utica streets. The
elders are Arvin Rice (clerk), Almon Bristol, Andrew Hanna, and C.C. Benedict;
and the trustees are George M. Case, president; George E. True, Lucien
C. Seymour, Francis Stiles, Thomas Hunter 2d, I.C. Curtis, with George
C. Webb, clerk.
The Methodist Episcopal churches
of North Volney and Hubbard’s Corners.—A little before the year 1820 Methodist
meetings were held at the house of “Father” Arnold, and down to about 1843
they were held in various localities in the north and east part of town.
About this time a class was formed at North Volney with Russell Druce as
leader, and in 1859 a church edifice was built there. The first trustees
were G.D. Sayles, F.W. Squires, Francis Flowers, J.M. Annis, Sanford Patrick,
Ira Campbell, and V.R. Griswold. The first Sunday school there was organized
with Peter Wise as superintendent in 1854. In 1870 another M.E. Church
was erected in Hubbard’s Corners (Mount Pleasant). The two societies have
about 150 members, own property valued at $3,000 and are in charge of Rev.
The Universalist Church of Fulton
was organized in 1832. Prior to this, in 1828, Rev. S.R. Smith, a Universalist
minister, came here from Clinton, N.Y., under the auspices of Alfred Sabin,
and preached in the school house on the “flats”. In 1831 Rev. Matthew Bullard
held similar services in the village. The first pastor of the church was
Rev. O. Whiston, who held meetings in the school house at the upper landing.
He was succeeded by Rev. John. French, who preached in the “old red school
house”, and who was followed by Rev. T.C. Eaton, under whom, in 1836, a
church was built on the west side of Second street, near Cayuga. He remained
until 1841. Then came Rev. Mr. Taylor, and on October 11, 1841, a legal
organization was effected under the name of the First Universalist Church
of Fulton, the trustees being John Worlock, Andrew B. Simons and Peter
H. Keller. The subsequent pastors were Revs. R.O. Williams, William Sias,
L.M. Hawes, Nelson Brown, J.R. Tuttle, G.W. Skinner, J.M. Bailey and Royal
H. Pullman, a brother of George M. Pullman, the palace car magnate. He
remained about eight years, or until May, 1867, and during his pastorate
the brick edifice (Church of the Restoration) on First street was built,
the corner stone of which was laid July 13, 1864. The pastors since the
Rev. Mr. Pullman have been Revs. C.B. Lombard, E.K. Sanborn, L.M. Rice,
O.K. Crosby, E. Jacobs, Allen P. Folsom, A.J. Aubrey, and others, together
with several supplies. Rev. Mr. Aubrey, now postmaster of Fulton, served
from March, 1891, to July, 1894. The pulpit at present is temporarily vacant.
The trustees are A.J. Snow and A.L. Warner.
Zion Church (Protestant Episcopal),
of Fulton, was organized June 22, 1835, by Rev. John McCarty, of Oswego,
with the following wardens and vestry: Anson Sackett and Zachariah Eddy,
wardens; John C. Highriter, Robert Hubbell, Hiram D. Wheat, Norman Kellogg,
Richard D. Hubbard, Elbert Holmes, John O’Neil and David H. Highriter,
vestrymen. On August 6, 1836, the corner stone of their church edifice
was laid by Rev. Mr. McCarty, and the building was consecrated August 4,
1843, by Bishop De Lancy. The structure was improved in 1855 at a cost
$600, and in 1862 a lot in the rear was purchased for $300. In 1866 a rectory
was built at an expense of $800, which received $500 in repairs in 1872.
The first missionary was Rev. George B. Engle, who came in 1838. In 1842
Rev. A.C. Treadway took charge, and three years later was succeeded by
Rev. O.P. Holcomb, who was followed in 1848 by Rev. George S. Potter. Rev.
Theodore M. Bishop was rector from April 26, 1849 to 1857, and from August,
1861 to 1868. Other rectors have been Revs. William Atwell, L.E. Ferguson
(during whose ministry St. Luke’s Mission at West Granby was consolidated
with Zion Church), Nathan F. Whiting, D.D., Edward Moyses (from May 1,
1872, to May 25, 1883), I.B.C. Beaubien, Horace Goodyear, and Mr. Cresser.
The present rector is Rev. H. M. Clarke. Hiram Bradway, who died September
6, 1881, was for forty five years junior warden of this church. The present
officers are Willis S. Nelson and George Ehrhart, wardens; Giles S. Piper,
James H. Brooks, Alfred Cockshott, George G. Chauncey and Hugh McKinnan
The Wesleyan Methodist Church of
Fulton was organized April 24, 1843, with eight members: William Wright,
Sylvester Bennett, Isaac Schenck, Thomas W. Chesbro, Henry C. Moody, Charles
G. Case, James Parker, jr., and John W. Arnold. Thomas W. Chesbro was appointed
first steward, and Rev. P.R. Sawyer became the first pastor; and at a meeting
of the society held at the “white school house,” it was resolved that “the
church formed April 22d be considered the ‘true Wesleyan church in Fulton’”
The church was legally organized April 6, 1844, with the following trustees:
Sylvester Bennett, Thomas W. Chesbro, Charles G. Case, H.C. Moody, James
Parker, jr., and William Wright. In 1844 a frame church was built on the
corner of Second and Rochester streets. The society finally disbanded,
and the old building, is used for a storehouse.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception
(Roman Catholic) of Fulton had its beginning in the services which Father
Kelley, of Oswego, instituted here about 1850. In January 1854, Rev. James
Smith was appointed resident priest. The congregation increased in numbers,
and the premises formerly occupied by the Fulton Female Seminary, on the
corner of Third and Rochester streets, were purchased, the old building
was fitted up for a house of worship, and about 1858 it was regularly consecrated
by Bishop McCloskey. It was afterward enlarged and improved. Father Smith
died here September 15, 1881. The present priest, Rev. P.J. Kearney, took
charge September 29, 1879. Under his pastorate a magnificent brick and
stone church has just been erected. The corner stone was laid September,
1889, and the imposing edifice was appropriately dedicated March 10, 1895.
The lot on which it stands and the artistically carved altar were bequeathed
to the parish by Father Smith. The structure is built in the Gothic style
of architecture, contains twelve memorial windows, and cost about $50,
The Free Methodist church of Fulton
was organized as a class on the Chittenango camp-ground June 15, 1869,
with five members, and with Alexander Wise as leader. The old school house
at the upper landing was purchased and on July 4, of that year was dedicated
as a place of worship, at which time the church was legally organized.
On July 9 Rev. C.H. Southworth became their first pastor. September 16,
1869, the society was incorporated as the “Free Methodist Church of Fulton”
with William Jenkins, Alexander Wise, and William W. Hill as trustees.
On the night of July 3, 1870, the church building was destroyed by fire.
A new chapel was dedicated January 5, 1871. Rev. H.A. Webster is the present
The Methodist Protestant chapel on
Broadway in Fulton was built by the Baptists. It was changed to its present
denomination and dedicated June 2, 1889.
Grace Mission chapel on the “flats”
between the canal and river in Fulton was dedicated May 12, 1889. It is
in charge of Samuel Green.
The State Street Methodist chapel
in Fulton was built and opened as an undenominational mission in the fall
of 1894, the prime mover being E.R. Redhead.
There is also a small Methodist Protestant
church in Bundy’s Crossing, which was built several years ago, and a Seventh-Day
Adventist church in Fulton, which was instituted more recently.
The Young Men’s Christian Association
of Fulton was organized May 21, 1888, with F.E. Bacon, president; Arvin
Rice, vice-president; C.C. Benedict, secretary; and C.W. Streeter, treasurer.
Rooms were leased in the Gardner block on Oneida street and the association
has continued an active existence.
of Oswego County New York, edited by John C. Churchill, L.L.D., assisted
by H. Perry Smith & W. Stanley Child, Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason &
Company Publishers, 1895.
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