1895   LANDMARKS OF OSWEGO COUNTY

CHAPTER XXXIV 
THE TOWN OF SCHROEPPEL

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Many thanks and appreciation to Joyce Grant Fesler for her time and efforts in transcribing this history of Schroeppel.  My families for Hastings are GRANT, Richard, John Benedict, Neuman and Frederick. (4 generations) John Jehue SEELY & wife Rhoda WEED - they are buried at the cemetery on RT # 11.  In Mexico I have the Nicholson and Nichols families.
Joyce Grant Fesler at:  <joycefesler@msn.com>
     The town of Schroeppel was set off from Volney by an act of the Legislature passed April 4, 1832, and contains an area of 26,778 acres.  Its boundaries have remained unchanged.  It is located in the southern central part of the county, in the angle formed by the junction of the Oneida and Oswego Rivers, and is bounded on the north by Palmero, on the east by Hastings and Clay, on the south by Clay and Lysander in Onondaga county, an on the west by Lysander, Volney, and a corner of Granby.  Its name is derived from that of George Casper Schroeppel, a business partner of George Scriba, and the purchaser from him of nearly the whole territory under consideration.  It includes fifty-one lots of survey township 16, named “Georgia” by the original proprietor, and forty-eight lots of township 24, or “Erlang.”  It also includes three tracts, or “locations,” aggregating 2,550 acres, which had been granted by the State before the purchase by the Roosevelts in 1791, and which were excluded from the land patented to Scriba in 1794, as will be seen by a reference to his patent at pages 10 and 11 of this volume.  These “locations” are: 1.  350 acres of land, granted to Steven Lush, and known as “Lush’s Location,” lying on the river just below the village of Phoenix; 2.  1,200 acres of land granted to Ezra L”Hommedieu, by whom it was sold to Alexander Phoenix, from whom it has since been known as “Phoenix Patent;” it includes the site of the village of Phoenix; 3.  1,000 acres of land granted to Ezra L’Hommedieu, and known as “L’Hommedieu’s Location;” it occupies the angle at Three River Point formed by the junction of the Oneida and Oswego Rivers.

     The surface of the town is level or gently rolling.  The soil consists of a rich sandy loam, and the clay, susceptible of high and easy cultivation, and is fertile and productive.  The underlying rock belongs to the  Clinton group, but nowhere crops out.  Adequate drainage is afforded by Six-Mile, Fish, and Bell Creeks, Sandy Brook, and other minor streams, which have supplied numerous mill privileges and contributed materially to the development and prosperity of the town.  The Oneida River, which flows along the southeast border of the town and, uniting with the Seneca River at Three River Point, forms the Oswego River, also had a marked influence upon its settlement and growth.  The valuable water power of the Oswego River along the southwest boundary of Schroeppel has from and early day helped to maintain many extensive industries.  Dating from a period long before actual settlers arrived and continuing down to the completion of the Oswego Canal in 1828, and afterward to a limited extent, these rivers were the scene of great activity.  After the canal was opened, traffic, except on the Oneida River, was tranferred to that channel.  Boat building soon became an important pursuit in the town.

     Six-Mile Creek, mentioned above, which flows through Gilbert’s Mills and the west part of town, is properly Peter Scott’s Creek, so called from the fact that after the close of the war of 1812-15 Col. Peter Scott was sent with his regiment from Oswego to Albany, and arriving at the mouth of this stream, his boats were frozen in the ice and the troops were compelled to remain there through the winter.  Northward along this creek, varying from half a mile to a mile in width, is Peter Scott’s swamp, some of which has been reclaimed to cultivation by artifical drainage.  On April 20, 1866 Anson Spencer, Milton T. Butts, and Charles W. Candee were appointed commissioners by the Legislature to remove obstructions from this stream, the expense to be assessed to the lands benefited.  At the mouth of “Sidney Creek,” which flows through the Gilson D. Carrier farm, and empties into the Oneida River, an Indian of that name was buried at an early day by the side of a log.  He was shot and instantly killed by one McGee while paddling a canoe which he had stolen from McGee.

     These streams long abounded with trout, eels and other fish, and afforded to the pioneers a source from which their tables were often supplied.  The forests also contributed game for their larders, and other beasts both troublesome and dangerous.

     In the Oswego River at the head of the rifts at Phoenix is Baldwin’s Island, formerly McGee’s Island, which contains about ten acres.

“There is a tradition extant that at the time the French colony was broken up at Onondaga, in 1656, the colonists, pursing their course down the river and the Indians being in full pursuit, took refuge on this island, and after relieving their boats of a small brass cannon, emptied the contents of their military chests, containing a quantity of gold, which was buried  in the sand; and from thence they immediately fled down the river to Oswego and from thence to Canada.  Repeated attempts have been made to recover the cannon and also to secure the gold, but hitherto without effect.  Excavations were continued to within a few years to secure the hidden treasurers.” [taken from the Phoenix Register, February, 1874]

     A heavy growth of timber originally covered the entire town, and for many years the conversion of this into lumber was the chief   industry of the inhabitants.  The forests supplied neighboring tanneries with bark and contributed quantities of staves and heading for barrels for the Syracuse salt, and Oswego flour trade.  In 1860 there were ten saw mills, four shingle mills, and other kindred establishments in operation.  Prior to this, farming had become the principal industry of the town, and dairying a leading branch.  The chief products of  the soil are hay, potatoes, apples and other fruit, wheat, corn and other grains.  Stock raising is given considerable attention.

     Roads and bridges were laid out and constructed soon after the first settlers came in.  The earliest thoroughfares followed the rivers and small streams.  At the first town meeting in 1833 fifteen road districts were formed and an overseer chosen for each, and at the same time $250 were voted for highways.  April 30, 1830, John Wall was authorized by the Legislature to build a toll bridge across the Oswego River   “at or near Three River dam.”  May 25, 1836, the Schroeppel and Granby Bridge Company was incorporated for the purpose of building a similar bridge over the same stream, from lot 92 in Schroeppel(Hinmansville), to lot 33 in Granby.  May 11, 1846, a commission was appointed to erect a free bridge across the Oswego River and Canal at Phoenix, on the site of   “Wall & Peck’s bridge,” to cost not more than $4,000, a part of which was to be borne by the town of Lysander.  In 1847 an act was passed authorizing the construction of a bridge over the Oneida River at Oak Orchard.  The Oswego and Syracuse plank road was completed along the east side of the Oswego River in 1850, and for a time was a busy thoroughfare.

     In August, 1858, a contract was let to Coburn & Hurst for $7,350 to build a wooden bridge of eight spans at Phoenix; this occupied the site of the present   iron structure.  In 1859-60 the bridge at Hinmansville was rebuilt by the towns of Schroeppel and Granby, and on April 17, 1861, a special act was passed by the Legislature legalizing the acts of the officers of those towns in raising money to pay for the same.  May 2, 1864, an act authorized the rebuilding by the canal commissioners of the Phoenix and Horseshoe dams across the Oswego River.  May 26, 1866, Amasa P. Hart, of Schroeppel, and Manson Rice, of Clay, were appointed commissioners to rebuild Schroeppel’s bridge over the Oneida River above Three River Point at a cost not exceeding $7,500, of which the two counties and the towns of Clay and Schroeppel were to bear one-fourth each.  This was provided with a draw, and has since been replaced by the present   iron structure.  In April 6, 1869, the Legislature appointed Governeur M. Sweet, of Schroeppel, and John Pardee and James Frazee, of Lysander, commissioners to rebuild the bridge at Phoenix.  The contract was let to Howard Soule and the cost aggregated $15,000, one-fourth of which was borne by each town and county.

     At all the earlier town meetings provision was made for the support of the indigent poor.  Under an act passed April 18, 1859, a poor farm was purchased, but it was maintained only until 1863, when, April 29, the Legislature authorized its sale, directed the proceeds to be applied to contingent expenses, and appointed Edmund Merry, Anson Spencer, and Ephraim C. Fitzgeralds commissioners for the purpose.

     The first town meeting was held at the house of James B. Richardson in Phoenix village March 5, 1833, eleven months after the formation of the town.  Mr. Richardson was clerk pro tem., Orville W. Childs was assistant clerk, 117 votes were cast, and the following officers were chosen:

Samuel Merry, supervisor; James B. Richardson, town clerk; Artemus Ross, for three years, and Orville W. Childs, for four years, justices of the peace; Andrus Gilbert, Walter Peck, and Stephen Griffith, assessors; Hiram Gilbert and James B. Richardson, overseers of the poor; Samuel C. Putnam, Abram Vanderpool, and Leman Carrier, commissioners of highways; Dyer Putnam, Artemus Ross, and Stephen Griffith, commissioners of schools; George W. Turner, Abram Vanderpool and Orville W. Childs, inspectors of schools; Joshua M. Rice, collector; Joshua M. Rice, Thomas R. Hawley, Leman Carrier, and Alexander Ross, constables; Charles S. Sweet, sealer; overseers of highways, district No. 1, Walter Peck; No. 2, John Dale; No. 3, Jesse Page; No. 4, Milton Fuller; No. 5, John Porter; No. 6, Allen Gilbert; No. 7, Leman Carrier; No. 8, Andrus Gilbert; No. 9, George W. Davis; No. 10, Patten Parker; No. 11, Levi Pratt; No. 12, Asa Sutton; No. 13, John Curtis, jr.; No. 14, Lawrence Seymour; No. 15, Henry W. Schroeppel.

The supervisors have been as follows:
Samuel Merry, 1833;   Andrus Gilbert, 1834; Samuel Merry, 1835; James B. Richardson, 1836-37;
Patten Parker, 1838-39; Barzil Candee, 1840-41; Joseph R. Brown, 1842; Garrett C. Sweet, 1843;
Samuel Foot, 1844; William Conger, 1845-46; William Hale, 1847-50; Oliver Breed, 1851-54; 
Ira Betts, 1855; Seth W. Alvord, 1856-57; John P. Rice, 1858; Frederick D. Van Wagoner, 1859;
John P. Rice, 1860; Edmund Merry, 1861-63; Charles W. Candee, 1864; Edmund Merry, 1865-68;
Moses Melvin, 1869; John C. Hutchinson, 1870-71; Hiram Fox, 1872-75; William Patrick, 1876-78;
Hiram D. Fox, 1879; Burton Betts, 1880; A. E. Russ, 1881-84; W. E. Sparrow, 1885-86;
John O’Brien, 1887-91; Albert P. Merriam, 1892-95.

The town clerks have been:
James B. Richardson, 1833-35; Otis W. Randall, 1836-39; Solomon Judd, 1840; William Conger, 1841-42; Seth W. Burke, 1843; Joshua M. Rice, 1844; E. W. Hull, 1845; Oliver Breed, 1846-47; Edward Baxter, 1848-49; E. G. Hutchinson, 1850; Harvey Bigsby, 1851; Jerome Duke, 1852; John C. Hutchinson, 1853; James M. Clark, 1854; George W. Thompson, 1855; Edmund Merry, 1856-57; Lewis C. Rowe, 1858-61; Alfred Morton, 1862; Stephen A. Brooks, 1863; A. M. Spoonenburgh, 1864; James L. Breed, 1865; S. A. Brooks, 1866; William M. Allen, 1867-68; James McCarthy, 1869; Harvey Wandell, 1870; R. A. Diefendorf, 1871; Martin Wandell, 1872-77;
A. E. Russ, 1878-80; N. G. Vickery, 1881; Edward Baker, 1882-83; W. H. Conrad, 1884; H. S. Withers, 1885; C. K. Williams, 1886-87; W. H. Jennings, 1888; W. O. Dingman, 1889;  H. S. Withers (appointed), 1890; Richard Latham, 1891-92; H. C. Russ, 1893-95.

The town officers for 1895-96 are:
Albert P. Merriam, supervisor; Hiram C. Russ, clerk; W. H. Merriam, H. C. Breed, Edward Conrad, and R. A. Crandall, justices of the peace; A. D. Dygert, Welcome Marsden, and William R. Cheesebro, assessors; James Huntley, highway commissioner; Martin H. Porter, first district, and James Nelson, second district, overseers of the poor; John W. Dygert, collector.

     The first white settler in Schroeppel was Abram Paddock, who arrived in 1801 and built a log
cabin at the foot of the rifts on the site of the present village of Phoenix.  He never purchased any land,
yet he remained a permanent resident until his death in 1821, his being the first death in the town.
Being engaged chiefly in hunting and trapping, he acquired the familiar sobriquet of “Bear hunter Paddock.”  He was frequently visited by the Indians, who were sometimes troublesome, and who often threatened to shoot him   if he did not stop shooting their bears.  Bluff, brave and rugged, he was a unique character in his day, and, as near as can be ascertained, enjoyed the distinction of being the sole white inhabitant of the town until 1807.  His was the first log house in Schroeppel.

     In 1807 Thomas Vickery settled permanently near Three River Point, where his son Joseph was born September 11 of  that  year, which was the first white person’s birth in town.  He was accompanied by his wife and three sons, and after a few years removed to Clay, Onondaga county, and there became a prominent citizen.  Joseph Vickery purchased a farm one and one-half miles below Phoenix, married Abigail Hancock in 1831, reared five sons, and died April 2, 1882; his wife’s death occurred in 1888.

About 1807 John Lemanier came in, and in that year was married to Sally Winters, which was the first marriage solemnized in Schroeppel.  The ceremony was performed by a justice of the peace from Onondaga county, who soon learned that he had exceeded   his powers as magistrate by going outside his jurisdiction.  The next day he got the couple on the other side of the river and retied the nuptial knot according to law.  David Winters was another settler of 1807, and located on the river bank on lot 35.

William Miles arrived in 1808 and George Foster in 1811.  The latter also located on lot 35.

      Undoubtedly others arrived before 1812, but the precise dates can not be determined.  During the period we have reviewed, actual locations had been confined to the river bank; the interior of the town remained an unbroken wilderness.  Settlers had come in in small numbers, and the war with England almost wholly stopped immigration.  After peace was declared an era of growth and prosperity began.

Settlers arrived in constantly increasing numbers, roads were laid out and opened, and various industries were established.  In the mean time, in 1813, the first school in town had been opened at Three River Point, the teacher being Horatio Sweet.

     George Casper Schroeppel, from whom the town derived its name, settled on his estate in 1815.  He deserves more than a passing notice.  About 1790, during the Reign of Terror in France, a young and beautiful lady, allied to a noble family, fled to America.  On the ship which bore her hither was Mr. Schroeppel, a young German.  They fell in love, and arriving in New York were married.  Her fortune enabled him to embark in business as a merchant, his partner being George Scriba and a Mr. Roosevelt, and he became wealthy.  Madam Schroeppel subsequently revisited France, where she soon died.  Mr. Schroeppel purchased 20,000 acres of Scriba, comprising nearly all of this town, and in 1815 he took up his residence on lots 34 and 35. He built the first frame house in town about 1818, and in 1819 erected the first saw mill.  He also commenced the erection of a grist mill, but never finished it. He died in New York City in 1825 and was buried in Trinity churchyard.  To his son and two daughters he left large fortunes.  The former, Henry W. Schroeppel, settled at Oak Orchard on the bank of the Oneida River in 1818, and opened the first farm upon which extensive improvements were made; he also conducted the saw mill for many years and died in 1858, at the age of sixty.  His daughter, Mrs. Richard Pennell, is mentioned further on.

     In 1818 Archibald Cook became the first settler on the site of the village of Gilbert’s Mills.  The same year Hyman and Stephen Sutton purchased land on lot 13 in the 16th township, and Stephen built a log house on his location.  In March, 1819, they became permanent settlers.  They were brothers and came from Manlius, Onondaga county.  Alvin Sutton, a cousin, and a Mr. Phelps located on lot 12, Azoe Parkin on lot 13, and one Billings on lot 27, all in the same year.  Lyman Norton settled on the farm upon which his son Hiram was born in 1822, and which finally passed into the possession of the latter.  He died in May 1870.

     Other settlers of 1819 were Andrus and Hiram Gilbert, Israel Burritt, John Willard, and a Mr. Phillips.
The Gilberts were the founders of Gilbert’s Mills.  Andrus Gilbert was born in Oneida county, August 30, 1799, married Sarah S., a daughter of Capt. George Macomber, one of the pioneers of Utica, and had eleven children.  In 1819 the Gilberts erected on Peter Scott’s Creek at Gilbert’s Mills the first grist mill in town.  In 1832 Hiram became the sole owner, and in 1844 sold the mill to Jared Shepard, who conducted it for about four years and was succeeded by Josiah Chaffee.   The latter was soon followed by Amos Mason.  Andrus Gilbert opened the first store in town in 1820, and in 1822 formed a partnership with Samuel Merry.  The store was burned in 1848.  Mr. Gilbert manufactured large quantities of pot and pearl ashes, served as justice of the peace twelve years, was supervisor, postmaster, an active member of the Presbyterian church, a strong abolitionist and temperance advocate, and ever a generous and an  influential citizen.  In 1847 he moved on to a farm and died there.  The Gilberts also erected and operated one of the largest saw mills in this vicinity.  Israel Burritt assisted in building these mills and finally moved to a farm afterward occupied by James Simmons, where he died.  He came from Paris, Oneida county.

     About 1820 Aaron Paddock, familiarly known as “Eel-butcher Paddock,” settled in Phoenix across the street from the old Joseph Gilbert residence, and his daughter Jane, born in that year, was the first child born on the site of the village.  In 1824 occurred the first marriage in the place, the contracting parties being his daughter Miriam and James Miles.  Aaron Paddock was not related to Abram Paddock, the pioneer.  His log house passed into the possession of Simeon S. Chapin, who, in 1822, erected an addition and opened the first tavern in town.  It acquired a wide reputation as the “Double Log House.”  In 1825 he built a frame addition, which was the first structure of the kind in Phoenix village.  Capt. Joseph Gilbert, mentioned above, was born in Paris, N. Y., in 1810, came to Palmero with his parents in 1819, moved to Schroeppel in 1828, and died in August, 1873.
     In 1821 John F. Withey, a Vermonter, became the first settler on the site of Hinmansville, where he built a log house near the east end of the bridge.  Among the arrivals of 1822 were Jonathan Hall and Samuel Merry.  The former settled on lot 20, where he died in June, 1868; the latter came to Gilbert’s Mills, removed thence to Phoenix in 1837, and died in 1886.  His son, Edmund Merry, was born in town in 1825, and is the father of Addison D., a practicing  attorney in the village.

     A man familiarly known as “Tory” Foster early settled and built a log house at Oak Orchard; he soon removed, but in 1833 returned and died in Phoenix in 1834.  He possessed the characteristics of his early political associations, and took great delight in narrating his exploits and cruelties against the Americans in the Revolutionary war.  He was present with Johnson and Brant at the Wyoming massacre, had had both ears cropped, and wore his hair long to cover the scars.

     About 1824 George Waring came into the town and in that year married a daughter of Jonathan Hall.  He was a son of Solomon Waring,  who settled in Constantia in the fall of 1793, was born April 11, 1794, and died in 1866.  About 1826 John Curtis, sr., made the first settlement on the State road, on lot 5, in this town, and John Curtis, jr., located at Roosevelt.  In 1827 Dea. Stephen Griffith, who was born in Saratoga county in 1797, settled on lot 26.  About the same time Walter Peck erected the first saw mill in Phoenix village, and a year later he opened the first store there.  Among the other settlers prior to 1830 were Henry Allen, father of Henry A., whose death occurred in 1845; Olestes Jewett, who lived and dies near Gilbert’s Mills, and whose son Cyrus was born here in 1835; Frederick Shepard, who resides where he settled with his father, Asa, in 1826; and Jonathan Butts, Truman Baker, Stephen Chaffee, George Conrad, I. H. Dygert, Samuel Flynn, Charles Hubbs, Alonzo Utley, Moses Wood, Rodney S. Gregg, and Reuben Sutton.  The latter was the son of Stephen Sutton and was born in Manlius, N.Y., in 1818.  The father served at Sackett’s Harbor in the war of 1812.  Rodney S. Gregg was a farmer, carpenter, and tavern keeper at Pennellville several years, and died there.  His son Ambrose was born here in 1833, and has held several town offices, has long been a hotel-keeper, and was postmaster at Pennellville for thirty-five years.  Willis P. Gregg, a son of James E., was born in Schroeppel in 1853.

      The completion of the Oswego Canal in 1828 aided the growth and development of the town.  It marked the practical commencement of the village of Phoenix, and exerted a powerful influence upon the settlement and prosperity of the various communities.  Among the settlers from 1830 to 1840 were:

Calvin Mason, John Fitzgerald, John A. Youmans, Daniel Phillips, Abial Snyder, Charles W. Candee (son of Barzil), Hezekial Barnes, Simeon Chapin, Isaac Wing, Isaac Mason, Philo M. Carpenter, Ira Davis, Orville W. Childs, Allen Gilbert, John Ingersoll, Thomas R. Hawley, Asa McNamara, John Bottom, Isaac Like, John Haskin, Asa Gilbert, J. E. Gregg, Dea. G. W. Turner, Michael Griffin, William Dingman, Nathan Huntley, Jesse Page, Duncan Conger, Elias Thomas, Garrett C. Sweet, Junius Wood, and many others.  Deacon Turner came in 1831 and settled on big lots 1 and 6 .  Thomas R. Hawley, born in Lysander, Onondaga county, arrived in 1832, located on lot 39, and died in 1894.  Calvin Mason, born in Fulton county in 1815, also came in 1832 and settled on his present place in 1842.  His parents, Isaac and Rebecca Mason, accompanied him and died in town.  John Fitzgerald, a farmer and lumberman, came from Saratoga, N.Y., to Phoenix in 1833 and died in 1860.  His son Ephraim C., born in 1830, has been a hardware merchant there since 1865. John Haskin was another settler of 1833, arriving in January of that year, and locating on lot 18 in the twenty-fourth township.  Coming from Philadelphia and unaccustomed to pioneer life, his family suffered severely from privations incident to a new country.  In June following his arrival he started for the mill at Caughdenoy, three and one-half  miles distant, and while returning lost his way in a tamarack swamp.  He was gone one night and two days and traveled in all about fifty miles without food.  Hezekiah Barnes died in 1849.  Anthony Youmans was born in Greene county in 1818 and came to Schroeppel with his parents, John A. and Olive Youmans, in 1834.  John A. died in 1873, aged ninety-two, and his wife in 1879, at the age of eighty-four.  Daniel Phillips arrived in the spring of 1835, settled where his son Clark now resides, and died in 1866, aged eighty-seven.  He was a wagonmaker by trade. Abial Snyder also came in 1835. He was a Methodist preacher about fifty years.  Charles W. Candee was born in what is now Palmero in 1817, and moved thence to Phoenix in 1837.  His son Charles E. was born in town in 1849.  William Dingman was accompanied by five sons.

     In 1834 ninety-seven votes were cast at the annual town meeting; in 1835 the number was 125; in 1836, 191; in 1837, 159; in 1838, 218; in 1839, 285; and in 1840, 308.

     Robert D. Ellis, father of John, settled on a farm near Hinmansville in 1843.  M. F. Butts arrived about 1845 and located where his son Frank W. now lives.  He held several positions of trust and died in 1892, aged eighty years.  Aries Williams, born in Mexico in 1821, son of Eli, has been nearly all his life a resident of Oswego county.

     Prominent among other settlers of Schroeppel may be mentioned:
James B. Richardson, who died in 1844; E. B. Carrington, whose death occurred in 1845; G. H. Northrup, died in 1876; William C. Spoonenburgh, son of Thomas (who died in 1878); Ira Hetts, son of Smith Betts, both of whom came here in 1852, where the former had a boat builder in Phoenix forty-one years; R. Townsend and his father, A. Townsend, who also arrived in 1852, the latter being a soldier of the war of 1812 and dying in 1882, aged ninety-five;  James Crane, who was born in England in 1831 and settled here in 1855; Henry Fox and his son Hiram, the latter for thirty years a blacksmith and wagonmaker in Phoenix, where he was long a member of the Board of Education; Hiram Parker, who died in 1883, where his son Edward now lives; Harvey H. Smith, father of Frank L.; Riley D. Price, hotel keeper at Hinmansville, son of Rev. Francis Price, who died there in 1891; Oliver Breed, born in Vermont in 1810, came to Volney in 1827, where his father, Henry, died in 1828, settled in Phoenix, and has been a miller there since 1848;

Andrew P. Hamill, father of Dr. J. E. Hamill, who died in 1890; Hosea B. Russ, who died in 1883; Travis Porter, a Vermonter, whose death occurred in 1886, and whose son Charles was born here in 1835; James H. Loomis, who was born in Onondaga county in 1817, founded in Phoenix the business of J. H. Loomis & Sons, served sixteen years as justice of the peace, and died in 1894; Governeur M. Sweet, who served as assemblyman in 1884 and 1885; Wallace D. Sweet, who was born here in 1841 and is now a general merchant in Hinmansville; and William and Dr. Davis Conger, Orrin C. Stebbins, A. W. Schroeppel, Van Rensselaer Sweet, C. E. Hutchinson, M. M. Carter, A. H. Brainard, Captain Amasa P. Hart, David Porter,  Joshua M. Rice, Abram Vanderpool, Benjamin Hinman, Seth W. Burke, Dyer Putnam, Enoch S. and John  H.  Brooks, Gilson D. Carrier, H. G. Vickery (son of Stephen and grandson of Thomas Vickery), A. W. Sweet, Hiram Norton, Enoch Douglass, Artemus Ross, James Barnes, and many others noticed a little further on or more fully recorded in Parts II and III of this work.

     The population of Schroeppel at the periods mentioned has been as follows: In 1835, 2,191;
1840, 2,198; 1845, 2,516; 1850, 3,258; 1855, 3,749; 1860, 4,011; 1865, 3,669; 1870, 3,987; 
1875, 3,250; 1880, 3,281; 1890, 3,026.

     The town of Schroeppel may well feel proud of her record during the war of the Rebellion.  About 436 of her sons joined the Union army and navy.  A few remained in the service.  Those who escaped death and returned   have   received fitting honors from a grateful people.  Among those who held commissions were:
Francis G. Barnes, James H. Campbell, Augustus Diefendorf, Charles R. W. Ellis, Elias A. Fish, Wright S. Gilbert, John D. Gifford, Thomas B. Griffin, Harrison B. Herrick, William Lapoint, Alfred Morton, Dennis D.  McKoon, Hugh McKeever, James MdKeever, M. G. Mckoon, G. G. Pierce, George Potts, Morris F. Saulsbury, Stephen J. Scriba, Luther D. Stanton, Harvey Sibers, and James Van Antwerp.

     The New York, Ontario & Western (Midland) Railroad was completed through the north part of Schroeppel in November, 1869.  Prior to this and until 1885 communication between Phoenix and Syracuse, Oswego and other points, except those along the line of this route, was maintained by boat or stage, the mails being carried to and from Lamson’s on the D. L. & W. Railroad in Lysander from 1848 to 1885.  In October, 1871, the Baldwinsville, Phoenix & Mexico Railroad Company was organized for the purpose of constructing a railway through this town from Mexico to Baldwinsville.  Over $25,000 were subscribed, considerable enthusiasm was manifested, but the scheme was finally abandoned.  This project, however, started about 1873 the agitation of the Syracuse, Phoenix & Oswego Railroad, the present Phoenix branch of the R. W. & O., but it was not until 1885 that the road was completed.  The first train ran over it on September 7 of that year.  To aid in constructing the route the town was bonded for $50,000, and Phoenix village for $20,000.  Of these sums, $9,500 have been paid by the town.  The railroad commissioners are A. W. Hawks, F. M. Breed and A. D. Merry.

     Supervisors’ statistics for 1894: Assessed valuation of real estate, $1,280,102; equalized $1,226,416;
personal property, $38,600; value of railroads, 13.17 miles, $118,344; town tax, $5,445.88; county tax, $7,084.09; total tax levy, $15,168.89; dog tax, $206; ratio of tax on $100, $1.75.  There are three election districts in town, in which 738 votes were cast in November, 1894.  The town audits for the year aggregated $1,223.08.

     The first school in Schroeppel, as previously noted, was taught at Three River Point by Horatio Sweet in 1813.  The first school at Gilbert’s Mills was taught by Sophronia Spafford in 1821; the first at Oak Orchard in an upper room of H. W. Schroeppel’s house by Phebe Howe in 1825; and the first at Pennellville in a log house on lot 11 by Ezra Tyler in 1834.  The first school house in Phoenix was built in the forks of what are now Main and Volney streets, whence it was moved to the corner of Jefferson and Culvert streets.  It was torn down in May, 1871.  The first teacher in it was Elvira Knapp (afterward Mrs. Thomas R. Hawley), who died in March, 1856.  In 1860 there were sixteen school districts in town.  April 19, 1865, the Phoenix Free School District, comprising the whole of old district No. 12, was formed and the following were the first Board of Education: Enoch S. Brooks, Alfred Morton, J. N. Gillis, Edmund Merry, M. S. Cushman and Governeur M. Sweet.  M. M. Carter was chosen clerk.  The first principal was William B. Howard.  His successors have been B. F. Stanley, B. G. Clapp, A. J. Robb, Robert Simpson, D. A. Preston, and Albert W. Dyke, incumbent.  The academic department was organized and accepted by the Regents Novermber 23, 1875, under the name of the Phoenix Union School and Academy.  The first librarian was Samuel C. Putnam, who was succeeded by his widow.  The school house, a commodious brick structure three stories high, was erected soon after the organization was effected.  In 1883 a brick addition was built on the rear at a cost of about $5,000.  The school property, including furniture, apparatus, etc., is valued at $17,600; the average attendance during 1893-94 was 397.  Eleven teachers besides the principal are employed.  The Board of Education for 1894-95 consists of:
J. E. Hamill, M. D. president; N. J. Pendergast, C. F. Loomis, H. S. Van Wormer, E. H. Hastings, and M. C. Murgittroyd; F. M. Pierce, secretary; A. W. Hawks, treasurer.

     The town has sixteen school districts with a school house in each, in which twenty-seven teachers are employed and 713 children were taught during the year 1892-93.  The school buildings and sites are valued at $21,715; assessed valuation of districts, $1,369,107; pubic money received from the State, $3,649.44;
raised by local tax, $4,629.84.  The various districts are designated as follows: No. 1, Stewart’s Corners;
2, Sand Ridge; 3, Cable Corners; 4, Love; 5, Gilbert’s Mills; 6, Roosevelt; 7, Pennellville; 8, Brick School House; 9, Milton Butts; 10, Woodchuck Hill; 11, Swamp; 12, Phoenix; 13, Schroeppel; 14, Ellis; 15, Carrier; 16, White School House.

     Many of the early burials were made on private property in various parts of the town, but as soon as settlements had increased sufficiently cemeteries were established.  About 1830 Mrs. Richard Pennell donated a site for a public burying ground about half a mile from Pennellville, and a few years later a plat was laid out for the Pennell and Schroeppel families in the rear thereof and on the brow of the hill which slopes down to the little lake called by the Indians Ah-in-ah-ta-na-ga-nus, signifying “big fish water.”

    Thither the remains of her father, George Casper Schroeppel, were removed from Trinity church yard, New York, and a beech tree marks his grave.  Henry W. Schroeppel, her brother, died in 1858, aged sixty; Dr. Richard Pennell, her husband, in 1861, aged sixty-five; and she in 1867, aged sixty.  The Phoenix Rural Cemetery Association was incorporated April 27, 1863, with these officers, who constituted the board of trustees: M. C. Cushman, president; D. D. McKoon, secretary; Oliver Breed, Charles W. Candee, William Leslie, G. G. Breed, Edmund Merry, Amasa P. Hart, Davis Conger, Governeur M. Sweet, Samuel Avery, and William Hart. A little more than three acres were purchased from G. M. Sweet, and later about four acres were bought by Ephraim Maxfield, making the present grounds nearly eight acres.

      Phoenix village.------- In 1653 Simon Le Moyne, the French missionary, writes in his journal:
“Finally, a good league lower down [from what is now Three River Point], we meet a rapid, which gives the name to a village of fishermen. I found there some of our Christians whom I had not seen.”  Many years afterward the Paddocks and Aaron Gilbert (who settled in Lysander opposite Phoenix in 1818) discovered evidences of a burying ground, indicating that a settlement existed on either side of the river at this point mor than two centuries ago.

     The village is pleasantly and advantageously situated about two miles below Three River Point, on the southwest border of the town, and in early days was known as Three River Rifts.  In 1828 it received its present name from Alexander Phoenix, who purchased what is now known as the Phoenix patent from Ezra 
L’Hommedieu, the original proprietor.  In 1836 it was laid out into village lots. The first settler, Abram Paddock, the first tavern and frame building of Simeon S. Chapin, the first saw mill of Walter Peck, have already been noted. In 1828 Walter Peck opened the first store in a building, since remodeled, now standing near the river bridge and occupied by Eugene Russ.  The same year Seth W. Burke became the first blacksmith, manufacturing edged tools, and in 1829-30, as agent for Alexander Phoenix, he built the first grist mill.  Charles S. Sweet was a clerk for Walter Peck.  In 1832 he started mercantile business near the lock and finally sold out to Oliver Breed and Orange Chappel.  The hard times of 1836 found some here unprepared for a financial depression, and among them was Seth W. Burke, who had embarked in extensive real estate transactions, and at one time owned considerable land within the present corporate limits.  He lost all, studied law and was admitted to practice, went to California in 1851, and died there in 1871.  In 1837 Charles S. Sweet erected a store on the site of H. G. Vickery’s establishment, and about this time Joshua M. Rice had a store where that of F. A. Carter now stands.  Mr. Rice also built the present residence of Harvey Wandell.  In 1835 Hezekiah Barnes acquired the ownership of the grist mill erected by Burke, the entire water-power on this side of the river, and about the same time a large part of the village site.  Marshall and Wilburn Hale had a store on the canal on Lock street, and also a boat building establishment.  E. G. Hutchinson, their clerk and overseer, afterward engaged in trade and milling, and became wealthy.  His brother J. C. was for a time his partner.  E. F. Gould had a heading mill on the site of the old casket factory, and later became interested in mercantile business.

     The following item, though intended as a contemporary description of the whole town, applies more directly to the village of Phoenix, and is taken from “Historical Collections of the State of New York,” 
published in 1846:
        Schroeppel, taken from Volney, in 1832; from Oswego centrally distant southeast twenty-one miles.
        Phoenix, about eighteen miles from Oswego, is a thriving village recently built, having two churches
        and about fifty dwellings, on the Oswego River and canal.  Roosevelt is a post-office. Population,
         2,198.

     The village was incorporated in 1848 and the first election was held in March of that year, but the records prior to 1863 have been burned and it is impossible to give the names of the earlier officers.  The charter was amended May 6, 1868, and the corporate limits enlarged.

     The act directed that the charter election should be held on the first Tuesday in March, 1869, at the house of N. C. Alvord The presidents since 1863 have been as follows:

William Waite, 1863; Adoniram Hart, 1864; Hiram Fox, 1865; Samuel Avery, 1866; Rufus Diefendorf, 1867-68; Niles Streever, 1869; Henry H. Smith, 1870; Rufus Diefendorf, 1871; Niles Streever, 1872; Dr. John E. Hamill, 1873; E. J. Vickery, 1874; Dr. John E. Hamill, 1875; Martin Wendell, 1876; Dr. J. E. Hamill, 1877; W. H. Allen, 1878-79; N. J. Pendergast, 1880-82; S. A. Brooks, 1883; Prosper Tracy, 1884; George C. Withers, 1885; J. M. Williams, 1886; Dr. J. E. Hamill, 1887; F. M. Breed, 1888; Dr. J. E. Hamill, 1889; F. K. Avery, 1890-91; F. M. Breed, 1892-93; H. G. Vickery, 1894; A. B. Merriam, 1895.  The treasurer is Erastus C. Scott.

     In February, 1850, the tannery of Hart & Bentley was burned, but was speedily rebuilt.  In October, 1859, 
the Syracuse and Phoenix steamboat line, formerly owned by A. P. Hart & Co., passed into the possession of Snediker & Smith.  At this period boating was an important factor in the commercial and business life of the village, and boat building had assumed extensive proportions.  Boat yards sprang into existence along the canal and flourished for many years.  In 1872 there were five in operation, owned respectively by Harwick & Breed, Joseph Gilbert, Merry & Breed, E. J. Vickery, and Betts & Pierce, which turned out during that year fifteen new boats and rebuilt and repaired many others.  Among the merchants at this time were Governeur M. Sweet, from 1850-1865; John C. Hutchinson, since 1866; and Ralph O. Barnes, in the old Hutchinson building.  The first drug store was opened by Drs. Davis Conger and C. E. Lee.  Seth W. Alvord was a harnessmaker here from 1837 to 1877, and died July 30, 1894.  In September, 1870, A. P. Hart’s tannery was burned.  In 1871 the Windsor Hotel was rebuilt by N. C. Alvord.  It was partially destroyed by fire December 21, 1894.  Two earlier occupants of this house, the first of whom was the original builder, were James B. Richardson and Adin Breed.  Another tavern formerly occupied the site of the present Baptist church, being torn down in 1878 to make room for that edifice.

     The grist mill erected by Seth W. Burke, and purchased in 1835 by Hezekiah Barnes, and for many years known as the “old red mill,” was owned at various times by the following persons: Job C. Conger, November 14, 1837; William Conger, one-half interest, in 1841; Rensselaer Northrup, one fourth interest, and Solomon Judd, same portion, in 1843; Oliver Breed, one-half interest, in 1853; Joseph Breed, one-third interest, in 1856; William Sprague, one-third interest, in 1858; Joseph G. Glass bought Sprague’s interest in 1860; Edwin P. Hopkins purchased Joseph Breed’s portion in 1863; and Charles J. Glass acquired the latter’s interest in 1867.  In the fall of that year the mill was burned.  It was rebuilt in 1868 by Glass, Breed & Co., the present proprietors, uses the full roller process, and has a capacity of 200 barrels of flour daily.  A grist mill was built by Pliny F. Conger in 1858, and immediately thereafter he formed a partnership with Edmund Merry.  Later G. G. Breed became part owner, and in 1866 the establishment was purchased by H. Wetherbee & Co., who rebuilt it after it was burned in 1867 and continued as proprietors until July, 1876, when they assigned.  Amasa P. Hart & Co. then leased the property, which subsequently passed to Payne Bigelow, of Baldwinsville.  In May, 1881, Pierce & Breed purchased it, and in November, 1883, N. J. Pendergast acquried Breed’s interest and the firm became Pierce & Pendergast.  In 1863 Ira Gould built  the Oswego River cheese factory, and in 1868 sold it to Hart & Carrier, who were succeeded in 1875 by Kimball & Martin.  The present proprietor is A. B. Merriam.  In 1868 A W. Sweet established the Phoenix Coffin and Casket Works, and in 1872 G. M. Sweet became his partner, but subsequently retired.  The factory was finally discontinued and in 1891 converted into a paper mill by Frank Dilts, of Fulton.

     The planing and lumber business of J. H. Loomis & Sons was started by J. H. Loomis and Joseph Gilbert in 1865 as J. H. Loomis & Co.  Mr. Loomis subsequently became sole owner, and about 1870 admitted his son Judson W. as partner.  In 1880 another son, Charles F., was admitted under the firm name of J. H. Loomis & Sons.  He died January 5, 1894.  From twelve to twenty men were employed.  Indirectly connected with  this business is that of the Phoenix Sliding Blind Company, which was incorporated in March, 1894, with a capital of $10,000, and with these officers: C. F. Loomis, president; F. F. Wright (deceased), secretary;
J. W. Loomis, treasurer.  They employ about forty hands and manufacture sliding blinds, veneer doors, and interior trimmings.

     The Phoenix Bank was incorporated under the State law March 1, 1869, by:
Samuel Avery, president; E. G. Hutchinson, vice-president; Edmund Merry, cashier; Milton T. Butts, 
Joseph Gilbert, H.T. Sweet, Moses Wood, G. G. Breed, Amasa P. Hart, S. O. Howard, Ephraim C. 
Fitzgeralds, Calvin Youmans, H. H. Smith, Davis Conger, J. H. Loomis, Elmanson Chesebro, R. A. Pritchard, Rufus and J.H.I. Diefendorf, Moses Melvin, Adoniram Hart, J. S. Pierce, Enoch S. Brooks, E. J. Vickery, J. L. Breed, Samuel Merry, N. P. Eno, Levi Carrier, Martin Chesebro, Ira Betts, Samuel Flynn, and S. M. Parsons.

The bank ultimately had a paid-up capital of $100,000.  January 13, 1874, Samuel Avery resigned as president and G. G. Breed was elected.  He served until his death in December, 1879, and on January 13, 1880, E. G. Hutchinson was chosen president and M. T. Butts vice-president.  January 11, 1887, Amos Dean was elected president and on January 14, 1890, A. W. Hawks was chosen vice-president. Mr. Dean died in December, 1893, and on January 23, 1894, A. D. Merry became president.  October 31, 1894, the bank was re-organized, and the following officers were elected, all being re-elected January 9, 1895: C. W. Avery, president; C. E. Hutchinson, vice-president; A. W. Hawks, cashier; E. G. Hutchinson, assistant cashier; directors, C. W. Avery, J. C. Hutchinson, Mrs. Libbie Tracy, C. E. Hutchinson, A W. Hawks, E. G. Hutchinson, and J. E. Hamill.  The capital stock is $35,000.

     The first newspaper, the weekly Phoenix Gazette, was started in 1850 by Jerome Duke, who took in as partner and finally sold out to George E. Williams.  In 1853 the latter moved the paper to Fulton and changed 
its name to the Oswego County Gazette.  The Phoenix Democrat was started by an association of Democratic
citizens in November, 1852.  After repeated assessments to sustain it the stockholders sold out to Capt. 
Amasa P. Hart, who, in 1854, disposed of the paper to James H. Fields.  In 1855 the name was changed
 to the Phoenix Banner, and a few months later to the American Banner and Oswego County Times.
Before the end of the year its publication was discontinued.  In 1856 it was revived by Mary Frances
Tucker Tyler as the American Banner and Literary Gem and eight months later passed to Levi Murrill, who
changed the name to the American Banner.  It ceased publication in 1857.  Early in 1858 the material was
used by Joshua M. Williams for the Phoenix Reporter, which soon became the property of Dr. M.M. Carter,
who enlarged it, changed its name in 1865 to the Phoenix Register, and sold it February 17, 1870, to J. M.
Williams, the present editor and proprietor.  Mr. Williams is one of the oldest journalists in the county.
He is an able writer, a prominent and influential citizen, and has held several positions of trust, having been
postmaster, village president, etc.  The Register is Republican in politics, and ably and conscientiously 
represents the best interests of the village and surrounding country.  The latest newspaper venture was the 
Phoenix Chronicle, which was started by John Harrison, sr., John Harrison, jr., and C. C. Harrison in 
July, 1885.  It was continued by them with more or less regularity until March, 1892, when it ceased
publication.

    Prominent among the more recent manufacturing and other enterprises in the village the following may
be mentioned: The Phoenix Knife Company was originally organized in 1880 as the Central City Knife 
Company with these officers: C. W. Avery, president; B. G. Clapp, vice-president; J. I. Van Doren,
secretary; A. W. Hawks, treasurer.  Business was carried on across the river until 1887, when J. I. Van
Doren erected the present plant.  In 1892 the organization of the Phoenix Knife Company was effected
with H. C. Breed, president; H. A. Dygert, vice-president; J. I. Van Doren, secretary; and Edmund Merry, 
treasurer.  As many as 100 hands have been employed.  The present officers are: A. E. Russ, president;
S. B. Babcock, vice president; J. C. Hutchinson, treasurer; A. D. Merry, secretary.  The Phoenix Electric
Light Company was started as a private enterprise by J. I. Van Doren in May, 1887, the present plant having
been completed in 1886-7.  The company was incorporated in 1888 with a capital of $20,000 and with the
following officers and trustees: Edward P. Bates, president; G. L. Van Doren, vice president; Van R.
Sweet, secretary; J. I. Van Doren, treasurer.  August 22, 1887, as the result of a special election held August
19, the village trustees granted a franchise to A. J. Belden, R. B. True, J. I. and G. L. Van Doren, L. J.
Carrier, Ralph G. Barnes, and Van R. Sweet to construct a system of water works.  An organization was
effected that year under the name of the Phoenix Water Company with J. I. Van Doren, president;
L. J. Carrier, vice-president; and Van R. Sweet, secretary and treasurer.  The capital was $40,000.  A large
well was sunk and a stand-pipe erected, and the system was put in operation in 1888, water being pumped
from the river above the dam.  The Phoenix Hardware Manufacturing Company, originally started in 
Syracuse, and was moved here in 1888, the name at that time being the Moore & Barnes Company.  In

1890 it was changed to the Barnes Manufacturing Company with a capital of $30,000, and in 1894 a receiver was appointed.  In March, 1895, the present concern was incorporated with $20,000 capital.  In 1892 the
foundry of John O”Brien and the table works of L. S. Wilson were established; in June, 1894, the Syracuse
Storage Battery Company was organized with a capital of $300,000; and recently the Phoenix Hot Water
Heater Company has been successfully started.  The Chiquita paper mill, the saw mill of A. P. Hart, 
Kimball’s cider mill, and the Smith Murgittroyd machine shop were burned July 23, 1894.

     The first record of a fire department occurs in January, 1852, when Enterprise Hose Company No. 1 
was organized with Thomas Freeborn, chief; T. J. Davis, fireman; O. H. Smith, first assistant; E. Conger,
second assistant; and Jerome Duke, secretary.  In 1867 the Eagle Hose was formed from Company No. 1,
but subsequently the two were reunited.  On September 3, 1879, the Van Doren House was organized, and on May 16, 1881, it was voted to raise $1,500 for the erection of a new engine house, which was not 
completed, however, until 1886.  The present department, known as the Enterprise Fire Company, consists
of thirty members divided into two hose companies.  The officers are W. H. Warner, president; F. H.
Hooker, secretary; H. C. Breed, treasurer; Charles K. Williams, chief engineer; A. M. Burgess, first
assistant; and D. R. Thompson, second assistant.  The village possesses an adequate sewerage system, most of which was constructed during the year 1886.

     The Phoenix post-office was established January 29, 1830 with Seth W. Burke as postmaster. His
successors have been:
Joshua M. Rice, appointed July 3, 1841; Joseph R. Brown, December 19, 1844; Edward Baxter, December
14, 1848; Joshua M. Rice, June 9, 1849; Wilburn Hale, May 16, 1853; Uziah Conger, May 21, 1855;
Andrew Baird, December 14, 1855; Francis David, June 2, 1856; Joseph Hanchett, March 12, 1861; 
Davis Conger, May 10, 1869; C. E. Hutchinson, November 28, 1871; H. A. Dygert, April 21, 1874;
Fred W. Alvord, September 21, 1885; J. M. Williams, June 21, 1889; and Frank K. Avery, February 21,
1895, incumbent.  In 1860 the village had 1,164 inhabitants.  In 1880 its population was 1,312, and in 1890,
1,466.

     Gilbert’s Mills, so named in honor of the Gilbert family, is a post village situated on great lots 11 and
25 in the sixteenth township of Scriba’s Patent. The first settler was Archibald Cook in 1818.  In 1819
Andrus and Hiram Gilbert came and in that year erected a grist mill.  In 1820 Andrus Gilbert opened the
first store and in 1822 took Samuel Merry into partnership.  The first birth was that of E. S. Cook and the
first marriage occurred in 1820, the contracting parties being Alanson Bradley and Mary Hubbard.  The
first death was that of one Taylor in 1821.  Among other pioneers in the vicinity were Dea. G. W. Turner,
Hyman Sutton, Josiah Chaffee, Samuel Allen, Mr. Carver, Stephen Griffith, a Mr. Brownell, Patten
Parker, and Ezekiel Gardner.  The Gilberts also built a saw mill at this place at an early day, which was a
very large affair for the time.  The grist mill, which stood on Peter Scott’s Creek, was burned in 1848; it
was rebuilt and is still in operation.  The post-office was established April 12, 1847, with Andrus Gilbert
as postmaster; his successors have been E. S. Cook, appointed June 22, 1849; Thomas I. Putnam, October
8, 1853; Stephen Griffith, January 31, 1855; P. S. Fuller, December 28, 1858; Stephen Griffith, May 30,
1862; and S. P. Mason, June 21, 1875, incumbent.  Blynn Tyler also held the office for a time.  Mr. Mason
has been a merchant here since 1872.  In 1864 Capt. E. S. Cook inaugurated the business of boring for salt,
which created no little excitement in the place.  A well was sunk to the depth of 340 feet, a strong brine
was obtained, and six kettles were built into an arch for manufacturing salt.  In 1870-71 a salt well was 
developed from an ancient deer lick.  The business proved unprofitable and was soon abandoned.  The
place now contains about 200 inhabitants and the usual complement of stores, shops, artisans, etc.

     Pennellville, a postal village and station on the N.Y.O.& W. (Midland) Railroad in the north part of the
town, derives its name from Dr. Richard Pennell, of New York, whose wife was a daughter of George 
Casper Schroeppel, previously mentioned.  Among the early settlers in and around the place were Stephen
Sutton and a Mr. Burritt in 1819, Luman Norton on lot 6 in 1820, Artemas Ross in 1822, David and 
Daniel Perry in 1824, John and Robert Parker in 1835, and Z. P. Sears and Reuben Sutton.  In 1833, Dr.
Pennell, through his agent, Lauren Seymour, built a saw mill on Fish Creek, which he sold in the spring
of 1836 to Hugh Gregg, who came here from Onondaga county in 1833.  R. S. Gregg moved in from Scriba
about the same time and opened the first tavern.  The post-office was established prior to 1866; the first
postmaster was Ambrose Gregg, who served in that position many years, and was followed by Amos B.
Sherwood and the present incumbent, Mortimer Stevens.  The place contains about 225 inhabitants.

     Hinmansville is a postal hamlet on the Oswego River about two and one-half miles below Phoenix in 
the west part of the town.  The first settler was John F. Withey, who came from Vermont and built a log
house near the bridge.  The first frame dwelling, which occupied a site between the canal and river, was
erected by Benjamin F. Sweet in 1827, and the first house east of the canal was that of Moses Withey in
1831.  About 1827 John E. Hinman, of Utica, conceived the idea of founding a village here and caused
buildings to be erected with that purpose in view.  His wife was one of the Schroeppel heirs, and from
him the place derived its name.  She caused the erection of a church, and contributed to the building and
maintenance of a school house, but both have long since disappeared.  Out of the high bank at the head of
Horseshoe rifts, a spring, called by the Indians Te-tung sat-a-yagh, meaning “a deep spring,” formerly
issued, but it has disappeared since the construction of the canal.  Tradition asserts that its existence was
due to a subterranean water course, which began at a bend in the river, called “Fiddler’s Elbow,” half a
mile above.  The village at one time was a popular stopping place for canal boats and other craft, and owed
its existence largely to this fact.  Among boatmen it long bore the name of Horseshoe Rifts.  In 1860 it
contained twenty-five housed. Its present population numbers about 150.  The postmaster is William H.
Keller, who succeeded Laura W. Fralick.

     Oak Orchard, or Oak Orchard Rifts, is a small hamlet on the Oneida River about seven miles above
Three River Point, and was the favorite fording place of the Indians.  Near the river bank evidences of 
an extensive Indian burial ground have been discovered.  Here a root called by the redmen Ga-ren-to-quen,
or ginseng, signifying “legs and thighs separated,” was extensively dug for medicinal purposes.  The first
settler was David Winters in 1807. In 1811 George Foster, better known as “Tory” Foster, settled on the 
same lot (35) and in 1815 George C. Schroeppel took up his residence on his estate. The first birth was 
that of Betsey Knapp in 1822, the first legal marriage was that of Henry Schroeppel and Annie Knapp in
1820, and the first death was the accidental killing, while raising a barn, of John Warner in 1821.  A lock
of the Oneida Slack-water Company was located at this place, and around it some business sprung up,
notably that of the grocery of A. McCarthy, which was burned October 22, 1873.  At one time the hamlet
contained about 100 inhabitants.  Within recent times ti has become a summer resort.

     Three River Point is a summer resort on the Phoenix branch of the R. W. & O. Railroad at the junction
of the Oneida and Seneca Rivers and the head of the Oswego River, and is situated partly in this town
and partly in Clay, Onondaga county, the station being in the later.

     Roosevelt is a small rural hamlet near Pennellville, and as long ago as 1846 was dignified with a 
post-office.

     The Methodist Episcopal Church of Gilbert’s Mills began in a class which was formed there in 1826,
under the leadership of Hyman Sutton, who served in that capacity for five years.  In 1831 a successful
union revival occurred.  Among the worshipers at that time were Hyman Sutton and wife, Asa Bailey and
wife, Artemas Ross and wife, Elias Newton and wife, Patten Parker and wife, Ira Sutton and wife, and 
Mrs. W. B. Coy. Services were held in private dwellings and in the school house until 1837, when a church
building was commenced, which was completed in 1839 and dedicated early in 1840 by Rev. Isaac Stone,
presiding elder.  Of the earlier ministers the names of Rev. Mr. Densmore, Elisha Wheeler, and Charles
Northrup are recalled. A union Sunday school was formed about the time the church was organized and
continued as such until 1861, when the different denominations began the maintenance of their own
schools.

     The Free Baptist Church of Gilbert’s Mills dates its legal organization from February 26, 1831, but prior
to that meetings and baptisms of this denomination had occurred in the neighborhood under the ministrations
of Rev. Benjamin McKoon, who was the first settled pastor.  The constituent members were Jonathan
Babcock, Josiah Chaffee, Percy Ayre, Charles Smith, Albigence Chaffee, Clarissa Dayton, Johanna 
Chaffee, Polly Gardner and Mrs. Albigence Chaffee.  Stephen Griffith and Harlow Merrill were the first
deacons and Dea. G. W. Turner was the first church clerk; the latter served in that capacity for about
fifty consecutive years. In July, 1837, the frame of the first edifice was raised; the structure was com-
pleted and dedicated by Rev. Robert Hunt, pastor, in the spring of 1839.  In 1875 it received extensive
repairs and was rededicated in October of that year by Rev. R. L. Howard.  Among the pastors who
succeeded Rev. Mr. McKoon were Revs. Ansel Griffith (brother of Dea. Stephen Griffith), John R. Page,
Stephen Krum, Joseph Wilson, William Russell, William C. Byer, David J. Whiting, H. A. Baker, William
A. Stone, Amos E. Wilson, S. W. Schoonover and others.

     The First Congregational Society of Phoenix was organized and incorporated in April 1837, and on 
June 14 of that year the church was legally formed and constituted by Rev. John Eastman at the house
of Hezekiah Barnes, with twenty members, viz:
Hezekiah and Caroline Barnes, Catherine and Elizabeth Barnes, Delia Budd, Anna Burke, Mrs. Hulda
Candee, Julia Candee (Mrs. Charles Sweet), Simeon Chapin, Mrs. Charity Davis, Ira and Deborah Davis,
Mary Ann Hill, Dea. Samuel and Martha Merry, John and Bertha Squire, Theodosia Wall, and Isaac and
Teressa Wing.

     A frame edifice was built and dedicated the same year on the site of the present parsonage. Rev. Mr.
Dada, of Volney, occasionally preached to the society until November 3, 1841, when Rev. Mr. Lathrop
became stated supply.  January 26, 1842, a connection was effected with the Presbytery of Oswego under
the “plan of union,” but the church remained Congregational in government.  Rev. G. N. Todd became
acting pastor February 3, 1843, and served until June 7, 1846.  About 1845 a  Sunday school was 
organized, and from November 26, 1846, to August 19, 1848, Rev. Dada, “of Granby,” officiated at
communion seasons.  February 23, 1849, Rev. H. S. Redfield was installed the first pastor, serving as
such until January 27, 1853. His successors have been:
Revs. Stephen Vorhes, May 15, 1853, to May 2, 1857; J. V. Hilton, August 14, 1860, to May 9, 1865;
Ovid Minor, A. S. Bosworth, E. Perkins, and J. H. Munsell, supplies, 1866 to 1875; J. H. Munsell, March
16, 1875 to February 21, 1876; H. P. Blake, July 16, 1876, to July 1878; James Deane, acting, November
18, 1878, to February 18, 1881; T. H. Griffith, March 21, 1881, to March 28, 1883; H. L. Hoyt, July 31, 1883, to August 1, 1885; G. F. Montgomery, September 1, 1885, to 1887; Mr. Butler, 1887 to 1890; and
H. L. Hoyt, incumbent, since spring of 1890.

     January 3, 1863, they dissolved connection with the Presbytery of Oswego and on September 18 united
with the Oswego Congregational Association.  In 1876 the present brick edifice was erected at an expense
of $13,000, and on January 31, 1877, it was dedicated by Rev. Mr. Robinson. The old structure was 
removed and is now a cabinet storehouse in the rear of Baker & Ott’s furniture store, and on the site a
frame parsonage was built in 1885 at a cost of $3,500.  The society has about 195 members and a Sunday
school with an average attendance of 150 scholars under the superintendency of Dea. C.E. Candee.  The
deacons are C. W. and C. E. Candee, Van R. Sweet, C. E. Hutchinson, and Edward Hastings; trustees, 
C. E. Candee, C. E. Hutchinson, J. I. Van Doren, Newton Hughes, F. W. Alvord, and F. A. Carter.

     The Methodist Episcopal church of Phoenix was organized at the school house in that village by Rev.
L. Adkins in 1838 with the following members: I.N. Butts and wife, Liberty Worden and wife, Harvey
Loomis and wife, Thomas Flower, J. R. Names and wife, and Mrs. Davis.  At the same time the first
Methodist sermon was preached in the place, and that year an edifice was commenced, but it was not
completed and dedicated until 1856, the pastor then being Rev. W. L. Lisdell.  It cost about $4,000 and 
was begun under the pastorate of Rev P. H. Willis. The first trustees were William Gilbert, Thomas
Flower, I. N. Butts, M. Chesebro, Dr. Cobb, and G. Morehouse. In 1885 the present brick church was
erected around the frame of the old structure at a cost of about $10,000.  It was built under the pastorate
of Rev. Loren Eastwood, and was dedicated the fall of that year by Rev. B. I. Ives, of Auburn, assisted by
the pastor in charge, Rev. Silas Ball.  During the ministrations of Rev. J. B Longstreet the society purchased
 the present frame parsonage.  The pastor is Rev. Wesley Mason. The society has 200 members and main-
tains a flourishing Sunday school of which Robert Simpson, jr., is superintendent.

     The Freewill Baptist church of Phoenix was organized September 2, 1846, with these members: Walter
Peck, Thomas Clough, Albert Clough and wife, Almira Clough, Harvey Hollister and wife, Stephen Bachelder and wife, G. W. Oakes and wife, Sally Ann Rice, Charles Higby and wife, Joel Morseman and wife, and John G. Hull and wife.  The first officers were Walter Peck, deacon; Harvey Hollister, treasurer; and John G. Hull, clerk.  In 1851, under the pastorate of Rev. W. W. Sterricker, and with Walter Peck, the pastor, David S. Tabor, John P. Rice, and Josiah Chaffee as building committee, a frame edifice was erected at a cost of about $2,000.  It is now used as a soap manufactory.  In 1878 the present brick structure was built on the site of an old hotel, which was purchased of Sylvester Rugg for $1, 850.  It cost about $5,000 and was dedicated early in 1879, at which time Rev. J. H. Durkee was pastor. The various pastors have been:
Revs. J.B. Page, O. W. Smith, W. W. Sterricker, S. Bathrick, B. H. Damon, C. Putnam, D. Jackson, C.
Cook, S. Aldrich, E. Crowell, William McKee, J. H. Durkee, J.P. Linderman, Hanscom, Ward, A. D. Bryant,
and E. E. Morrell, incumbent. The deacons are S. M. Parsons, William Blakeman, and Elmer Patchin;
trustees, S. M. Parsons, William Blakeman, M. J. Chaffee, Eugene Emmons, and George Hazelton.

     The First Universalist society of Schroeppel, at Pennellville, was organized in 1870, and in July, 1871,
a Sunday school was started under the superintendency of Rev. S. Rice.  An edifice was commenced soon
after the formation of the church and completed and dedicated by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Rice, in June, 1871,
at a cost of $3,500. 

     Emanuel church (Protestant Episcopal), of Phoenix, was organized April 11, 1871, by the election of
Bonville Fuller and E. C. Fitzgerald as wardens and Ira Betts, Francis David, William H. Rice, and B. F.
Denton as vestrymen.  Services were held in the Y.M.C.A. rooms by Rev. Almon Gregory, the first
missionary in charge, but after a brief existence the parish ceased it work and disbanded.

     A church of the Adventists at one time had a small membership in town, but never acquired much
strength.
 

Source:  Landmarks 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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Copyright © August 22,  2004 Joyce Grant Fesler, Transcriber 
    Copyright © August 22,  2004Laura Perkins 
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