HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

--------------------

HISTORY OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNS OF SARATOGA COUNTY.

GREENFIELD (Part 1).

-------------------------

I. - GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION.

THE town of Greenfield lies just north of the centre of the county. Indeed, the exact geographical centre may be stated as being upon its southern boundary. Greenfield is bounded north by Corinth, east by Wilton, south by Saratoga Springs and Milton, west by Providence and Edinburgh, and lies wholly within the Kayadrossera patent. Its area includes 27,955 acres of improved land, 9790 of unimproved, and of this last amount 7997 is woodland. The population in 1875 was 2690.

The legal description of this town and the definition of its boundaries as given in the revised statutes of the State will be valuable as a matter of convenient reference:

"The town of Greenfield shall contain all that part of said county beginning at the southeast corner of lot number seven, in the seventeenth allotment of the patent of Kayadrossera, and running thence westerly along the north bounds of the sixteenth allotment of said patent to the southeast corner of Providence; then north on the east line of the same to the southwest corner of Corinth; then easterly along the south bounds of Corinth to the west bounds of the twenty-third allotment; then along the same southerly to the north bounds of the seventeenth allotment; then along the same southwesterly to lot number seven in said seventeenth allotment; then southerly along the east bounds thereof to the place of beginning."

------------------------------

II. - NATURAL FEATURES.

The soil is generally a sort of gravelly loam, in some parts mixed with clay. The principal streams are the Kayadrossera creek and its branches. From the northern boundary of the town the Kayadrossera range of mountains runs in a southwesterly direction to the southwest corner. The eastern part is occupied by broken hills forming a part of the Palmertown range. They are mostly rough and rocky on their summits. Between the two a valley of some six miles in width stretches across the town.

------------------------------

III. - EARLY SETTLEMENT.

From the most reliable data now obtainable it seems that this town was first settled permanently about the spring of 1786. There is a supposition, however, that it was first settled previous to 1778 by Anthony Haggerty and Thomas Root. To lend color to this theory it is stated that in the Haggerty Hill cemetery, which is undoubtedly the eldest in the town, were two pieces of common, rough sandstone set up at the heads of two graves, one of which bore the inscription "T.R., Sept. 5, 1778," and the other, "A.H., 1789." These inscriptions were roughly cut, evidently with some crudely-formed instrument, and are believed to have marked the resting-place of the original settlers or some members of their families. But this rests mainly on tradition. The first settlements that we know to have been made were started in the spring of 1786 by Gershom Morehouse, Charles Deake, Charles Deake, Jr., William Deake, John Deake, and Benjamin Deake, near Middle Grove; William Scott, at Scott's Corners, now North Greenfield; Isaac Reynolds, near Greenfield Centre; and the Fitch family at St. John's Corners. The settlements at Porter's Corners and South Greenfield were commenced in the following year.

Among the earliest settlers were many men of eminent character, ability, and worth; and while we cannot undertake to give a detailed history of them all, we do not mean thereby to discriminate against any of them.

Isaac Reynolds was a native of Dutchess county, and in 1774 moved to Peru, Clinton Co., and settled; but being driven off by the Indian forays during the Revolution, he never returned there, but, after peace was declared, determined to settle in this section, and purchased a farm a little north of Greenfield Centre. He moved on to this farm in the spring of 1786. Here, with his five sons, Isaac, Darius, Stephen, Jeremiah, and David, he began the work of creating a home in the wilderness. He lived till 1800, when he died, and his remains found a resting-place on Haggerty hill. The farm has latterly passed out of the family. Of the sons, Isaac, Stephen, and Jeremiah lived and died in Greenfield; Darius was a Quaker preacher and went to Jefferson county.

Gershom Morehouse had a brother who settled in the town of Ballston at an early day. He saw the many fine water-privileges furnished by the Kayadrossera creek, and sent word to Gershom, who was a young man of twenty-two and a millwright by trade, to come here and settle. He was then living at Greenfield, Litchfield Co., Conn., and came to Greenfield, at Middle Grove, in 1786. During that summer he built Gordon's mill, at Milton Centre, and a saw-mill at Middle Grove, on lands he had purchased upon his arrival. This was the first saw-mill in the town. At the end of two years he returned to his native place after the lady of his choice, Miss Hannah Smith, whom he married, and with her returned to his home, near Middle Grove. In 1792 he erected a grist-mill on his land on the Kayadrossera creek. This was the first grist-mill in town. He sold the saw-mill, grist-mill, and land to Dr. Isaac Youngs in 1792, and then settled on the farm now occupied by George Bishop. Here he lived till 1850, when he left the farm and lived with his children till his death, which occurred in 1857. He was during his life the leading millwright of this section and a superior workman. His work was performed in a very careful and conscientious manner, and very few mills were built in the vicinity which did not bear the impress of his work. Four of his children still survive him. They are Mrs. Esther Turrill, of Greenfield; Mrs. Henry Clute, of Providence; Mrs. John Crawford, of Galway; and Mrs. Mary A. Haner, of Wisconsin.

Charles Deake, with his four married sons, William, Charles, John, and Benjamin, settled about a mile and a half north of Middle Grove, in 1786. Near the place was a fine large spring of deliciously cool and sparkling water, and here were found large quantities of bones of animals, showing that at some past time it had been used as a camping ground by some one, either Indians or Tories, probably, during the Revolutionary war. The family came originally from Rhode Island, but removed here from White Creek, Washington Co. The original settlers are all dead, and the only member of the family, of the second generation, now living in town, is Mrs. Joel B. Gardiner, who was a daughter of Charles Deake, Jr. Calvin W. Deake, who was commissioner of the United States deposit fund in 1848, and again in 1865, and Alvah Deake, who held the same office in 1843, were grandsons of Charles Deake. Warren Deake, a grandson of Charles Deake, Jr., is now holding the same position. He was elected supervisor in 1866, when he was but twenty-nine years old. A cousin, Starks Deake, was elected justice of the peace in 1876, when he was only twenty-four years old. These are the youngest men on whom such responsible offices have been conferred in the history of this town.

William Scott was an Irishman, and emigrated to this country a few years before the breaking out of the Revolutionary war. Becoming interested in the fortunes of his adopted country, he joined the American forces at the battle of Bunker Hill, and served through the war with distinction. For meritorious service he was promoted to the different grades, until the close of the war found him bearing a colonel's commission. It is related of him that once the fortunes of war brought him in friendly contact with a British colonel, who was desirous to leave his horse in some one's charge for a short time. Riding up to Scott, he said, in a haughty tone, "Hold this horse." Said Scott, with Irish wit and brogue, "Does it take two to hould 'im?" "No!" said the officer. "Then hould him yerself," said he, turning on his heel and leaving the officer to bitter reflections over his discomfiture.

He left his eastern home after the close of the war, and settled in Greenfield in 1786, locating near the north line of the town on the farm now occupied by Samuel Bailey. Upon the erection of the town of Greenfield he was elected to the office of supervisor, and received an appointment as justice of the peace, which latter office he held for many years. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and his son, Lewis, was one of the charter members of the Greenfield lodge, and at the time of his death, in 1866, the only survivor of the founders of that organization. William Scott died in 1814. Six of his grandchildren are still living in the town.

James Vail came to Greenfield in 1787, and settled at Porter's Corners. He was an early merchant there, and subsequently removed to St. John's Corners, and from there to Saratoga Springs, where he died in 1832.

Isaac Demmon settled at Locust Grove, on the farm now occupied by Mrs. F.G. Chamberlain, in 1787. At one time there was a remarkable mortality among the members of this family, some seventeen deaths occurring in the short space of three weeks.

Benjamin Clinch came to Porter's Corners in 1787, and started the first store in the town. Nothing further is known about him.

Caleb Sherman, a native of Rhode Island, came from Washington county to Greenfield in 1787, and settled a little north of Middle Grove, on the farm now occupied by Joel B. Morehouse. He died about 1812. Mrs. J.B. Gardiner is a granddaughter of his.

In the south part of the town, on the Gardiner farm, John Benedict settled in 1787, and, when he sold to Howell Gardiner in 1799, he removed to the Black river country. Next northeast of him, on the road to Greenfield Centre, Nathaniel Seymour settled at about the same time. One of his sons, Thomas H. Seymour, is still living, and resides at Saratoga Springs. Alexander H. Scott, whose wife is a granddaughter of Nathaniel Seymour, now occupies the homestead.

The next farm was taken up by Benjamin Ingham in the same year. He had a son, who afterwards settled in the north part of the town. His name was Rufus, and his wife and one son and daughter still live on the farm he bought. Benjamin Ingham's farm is now occupied by S.W. Hoyt.

Joel Reynolds settled at Greenfield Centre in 1789, and kept the first inn in the town. The place is now owned by Dr. Ianthus G. Johnson.

Peter Robinson came from Washington county in 1792 or 1793, and settled near Greenfield Centre. He was followed at different intervals by his four brothers, Peleg, Sanford, Giles, and Benjamin, and his brother-in-law, Silas Gifford. All settled in the Haggerty hill neighborhood. The farms purchased by Sanford and Benjamin are still retained in their respective families and occupied by their descendants. Benjamin purchased the Haggerty farm of Anthony Haggerty's son William, and his grandson, Benjamin S. Robinson, the present clerk of the board of supervisors, now occupies it.

Esek Tourtelot came from Thompsontown, Conn., about 1795, and bought a large tract of land two miles north of Porter's Corners, where he lived till his death, which occurred in 1850. Mrs. Phbe Allen, Miss Lydia Tourtelot, and Mrs. Cornelia Morehouse, three of his daughters, are still living in town.

Rev. Elias Gilbert was living in Newport, R.I., at the breaking out of the Revolution, and when that place was occupied by the British he removed to Stockbridge, Mass, from there to Great Barrington, and then to Manchester, Vt. From there he came to this State, and lived for a time at Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., from whence, about 1789, he came to Greenfield, and settled near the southern line of the town. He was a cabinet-maker by trade, and continued to work at that business, more or less, throughout his life. He was an intellectual but not a highly-educated man, and first began to preach while living at Pittstown. Coming to Greenfield, he was principally the means of organizing the Congregational church, and was called and installed as its first pastor. He continued to hold this relation to the church till his death, in the fall of 1814, a period of twenty-one years, and by his faithful preaching and careful, consistent Christian walk and conversation endeared himself to all the members of his congregation. He left no family, never having been blessed with children. He was one of the founders of the Greenfield Temperance Society, and its first president.

Jonathan Hoyt was an early settler previous to 1790. One daughter, Mrs. Lydia Darrow, is still living in the southern part of the town. She is the oldest surviving member of the Congregational church.

Jonathan Wood, who lived about one mile east of the Congregational church, settled there before 1790. He had two sons, James and Jeremiah, who graduated from Union College and became ministers of the gospel. Jeremiah was pastor of a church at Mayfield, Fulton Co., for upwards of fifty years.

Walter Hewitt, among whose descendants are found many sterling business men, settled on a part of the farm now occupied by Seneca Weed in 1790. He sold this farm to Noah Weed in 1793, and moved on to the farm now occupied by Nelson D. Morehouse. He was an estimable Christian man, and enjoyed the respect and confidence of all who knew him. Three of his sons, Richard, Alexander, and Christopher, are still living; the two former in Greenfield and the latter in Saratoga Springs. He was a deacon of the Congregational church and one of the founders of the Greenfield Total Abstinence Society.

Dan Cronkhite was a plain, substantial farmer, a conscientious, consistent Christian, and was respected by all his fellow-townsmen for his sterling qualities of head and heart. Formerly from Hillsdale (then in Dutchess county), he settled two miles east of Greenfield Centre, on the farm now occupied by his son, Justus A. Cronkhite, April 19, 1791. He voted at seventy consecutive town-meetings, and missed but one general election in the time. The first town-meeting he attended was in 1792. He then lived in the town of Saratoga, and the polls were located at the old Force place, about six miles east of Saratoga, near Stafford bridge. He died April 25, 1863. At that time there were three persons lying dead within a radius of two miles, whose united ages aggregated two hundred and seventy-three years, - Dan Cronkhite, aged ninety-five years, two months, and sixteen days; Elihu Anthony, aged ninety-four years, eleven months, and eighteen days; and Mrs. Lydia Billings, aged eighty-three years.

John Pettit was born in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in August, 1764. Being of a studious turn of mind, he early began to study, and his first lessons in writing were taken with a coal for a pencil and a strip of birch-bark for a copy-book. As soon as he was old enough to do so he enlisted in the Continental army, and served till the close of the Revolution, and then returned to his Massachusetts home. Here he soon after married Mary Barnes, and in 1793 emigrated to New York, and settled a little north of Greenfield Centre, on the farm now occupied by Hiram T. Lawton. Upon the erection of the town he became, by appointment, one of the justices of the peace, and held that office for forty-one consecutive years. He was elected supervisor four times, and was a member of the Assembly in 1817 and again in 1823. His family consisted of eight sons and five daughters. Three of his sons, John, James, and Paris, were soldiers in the War of 1812. Paris was killed in battle at Sacket's Harbor. John was taken prisoner, and carried to Quebec. James passed through the war unharmed. Another son, William R. Pettit, removed to Gorham, Ontario Co., where he still lives, at an advanced age. He was a member of the Assembly, from the first district of Ontario county, in 1852. The only other surviving child is Alexander H. Pettit, of Fairweather, Adams Co., Ill. John Pettit died, full of years and honors, Jan. 1, 1840.

Nathaniel Daniels was a prominent and honored member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He located on the north branch of the Kayadrossera creek, sometimes called "Ellis' creek," about a mile north of the southern boundary of the town. He came from New England in the spring of 1794, and built a cloth-dressing and fulling-mill soon after, which was the first mill of the kind in the town.

Elihu Anthony was a settler of 1792 on a farm in the north part of the town, and lived in Greenfield until April 23, 1863, when he died at the advanced age of almost ninety-five years. He was a member of the denomination of Orthodox Friends and a preacher. He was pastor of the church in North Greenfield for many years.

Isaac Youngs came to Greenfield in 1792, and purchased the farm and water-power owned by Gershom Morehouse. He was a physician and practiced a little, but not much. One of his sons was also a physician. About the year 1810, or before that year, he built the first carding-mill in town. But one of his descendants is now living in town, Mr. Edwin R. Youngs, who is a great-grandson.

Asahel Porter was a prominent business man of this town. He was born in Massachusetts in 1768, and settled at St. John's Corners, in Greenfield, in 1793 or 1794, and embarked in the mercantile business. He also kept a tavern in 1795 and 1796. After a few years he traded property with a merchant at Porter's Corners (so named after him), and removed there and kept store till his death, in April, 1821. He was very successful in his business ventures, and rapidly accumulated wealth until he became the richest man in the town. He was supervisor for five years, and was the only citizen of this town who was ever honored with the position of chairman of the board of supervisors. He was sheriff in 1807, and again in 1810, by appointment of the council of appointment, and served two years in the State Assembly in 1805 and 1806. He was a prominent member of St. John's Lodge of F. and A.M., and was buried at the Greenfield Centre burying-ground with Masonic ceremonies. The funeral was the largest ever witnessed in the town. Mrs. William A. Beach, wife of the eminent New York lawyer, is his only surviving child.

Noah Weed came from Cambridge, Washington Co., in March, 1793, and bought three hundred acres of land in South Greenfield, of Walter Hewitt, Daniel Crawford, and James Dunning, who were the original settlers. Forty-eight years after, on the same day of the month, March 11, 1841, he died. His son, Seneca, still lives on the homestead where he was horn.

One of the most highly respected of the citizens of this town was Howell Gardiner, who settled in the south part of the town in 1799, buying the farm of John Benedict. He left his wife in East Hampton, Long Island, and returning east in the fall, in the spring of 1800 brought her with him to their new home. He was a descendant, in the fifth generation, of Lyon Gardiner, who purchased Gardiner's island of the Indians in 1639. His father was Jeremiah Gardiner, of East Hampton, and he was the youngest of eight children. He was born Jan. 6, 1776, in East Hampton, L.I., and died in Greenfield, Feb. 26, 1866, aged upwards of ninety years. He was a man of thoughtful habit, yet full of nervous energy, and having formed a careful opinion on any subject, was earnest and untiring in its advocacy. These traits of character brought him into prominence in whatever position he was placed, and he filled many offices of trust and responsibility. He was one of the mainstays of the Congregational church, which owed much of its prosperity to his indefatigable efforts in its behalf. At a time when it required great moral courage to be even a moderate temperance man, he came out firm and strong on the ground of "total abstinence," and was mainly instrumental in the formation of the Greenfield Total Abstinence Society in 1809, and remained an honored and influential member of it till death closed his career. Appointed to the office of justice of the peace, he held that office for twenty consecutive years. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1815, 1827, and 1831, and was a presidential elector in 1820, and cast his vote in the electoral college for James Monroe. His family consisted of six children, four of whom are still living, - Mrs. B.N. Loomis, of Binghamton; Joel B. Gardiner, Henry L. Gardiner, and Juliet Gardiner, of Greenfield. The two last named occupy the old homestead.

John Prior was an early settler near King's Station, and a prominent man in public affairs. He was the recipient of several public offices, among which were member of Assembly in 1813, and associate judge of the court of common pleas, to which latter position he was appointed in 1818.

Salmon Child was one of the pioneer settlers of Greenfield, and one of its most highly honored citizens. He was born in Connecticut in the year 1762. His father was a captain in the Continental army, and in 1781 {original text has "1791".} Salmon joined the army, and participated in the march to Virginia, and the final triumph at Yorktown. He was a farmer, possessed of a large fund of plain common sense and good judgment, and his character as exemplified by his life was above reproach.

With his father he came to Greenfield soon after the close of the Revolution, and located in the south part of the town. In 1794 he was appointed as one of the first justices of the peace for Greenfield. His upright life and weight of moral character brought him into public life, and kept his record pure and unsullied throughout his career. He was a member of the State Assembly at the sessions of 1808 and 1809. In the latter year he was appointed first judge of the court of common pleas by Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, and held that responsible position until the reorganization of the court in 1818, when he yielded his seat to Hon. James Thompson (a son of Hon. John Thompson, whom he succeeded in office), and accepted a seat on the same bench as associate judge, and held it for five years. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1821, and a member of the electoral college in 1828, and cast his vote for John Quincy Adams. This was his last public office. He was repeatedly elected supervisor of his town, and enjoyed the fullest respect, confidence, and esteem of all who knew him. In 1836 he removed to the west, and died in Walworth Co., Wis., Jan. 28, 1856, in the ninety-fifth year of his age. As a tribute to his worth, we append the words written of him by one of his pastors, Rev. Thomas Powell, who says: "He was one of the most conscientious and consistent Christians I ever knew." Can words express more?

Esek Cowen, the noted writer on legal jurisprudence, was born in Rhode Island, Feb. 24, 1784. and came to Greenfield with his father's family in 1793. His father was Joseph Cowen, a descendant of a Scotch emigrant who settled in Scituate, Mass., in 1656. He came to Greenfield with a colony from Connecticut, including the Fitch and Child families, and located near Scott's Corners. Soon after he removed to Washington county. Esek returned to this county in 1812, and settled at Saratoga Springs. Having been admitted to the bar in 1810, he entered upon the practice of the law, and met with gratifying success. In 1824 he was appointed reporter in the Supreme Court and court of errors, and held that position four years. His reports form nine volumes. He was appointed circuit judge by Governor Pitcher, April 22, 1828, and Governor William L. Marcy made him a judge of the Supreme Court, Aug. 31, 1836, which position he held at the time of his death, Feb. 11, 1844.

The Fitch family were among the earliest settlers of Greenfield, and came in 1786. They came from Wilton and Norwalk, Connecticut, and settled at the place afterwards called St. John's Corners, a little east of Greenfield Centre. The colony consisted of Ebenezer Fitch, Giles Fitch, Captain John St. John, who married Hannah Fitch, their sister, and a Mr. Smith. They selected their farms, all of which cornered at one point, by Ebenezer Fitch choosing the northwest corner of two hundred acres, Giles Fitch the southwest corner, John St. John the northeast corner, and Mr. Smith the southeast corner. They built their log cabins on the adjoining corners, and the roads now run in a shape to define the lines of the lots selected by them. Shortly afterwards Major Jabez Fitch also came, from Fairfield, Connecticut, and purchased five hundred acres of land, in the neighborhood known as Locust Grove, of Dirck Lefferts, and in a short time built a grist- and sawmill on the creek near that place. These three Fitches were brothers, and sons of Ebenezer Fitch, who died at Wilton, Connecticut, in 1762. He was the third son of Governor Thomas Fitch, of Connecticut, who died July 18, 1774, at the age of seventy-five years. Ebenezer Fitch erected the first frame dwelling in the town of Greenfield, and in that house, in 1817, Hon. Augustus Bockes first saw the light of day. Ebenezer Fitch moved to near Stafford's bridge in 1798, having sold his farm to Ephraim Bullock, the grandfather of Judge Bockes.

Major Jabez Fitch, Captain John St. John, and Giles Fitch all served in the Revolutionary war, the two first as officers and the latter as a private.

Ebenezer Fitch had a daughter born to him, Sept. 9, 1787, who was the third female white child born in this section, and probably the first in the town. She was named Hannah, and married Alpheus Bullard, of Schuylerville. David A. Bullard, of Schuylerville, and General E.F. Bullard, of Saratoga Springs, are among her sons who are still living.

Among the sons of Greenfield who have occupied conspicuous positions before the world, and reflected credit upon the town of their nativity by their useful and worthy lives, none can be found more worthy of notice than Augustus Bockes, of Saratoga Springs. He was a son of Adam Bockes, Jr., who was quite an early settler in Greenfield. Adam Bockes, though a plain farmer, was held in high esteem by his fellow-townsmen. He was supervisor of the town in 1832-34, and for several years a justice of the peace. Augustus Bockes was born at St. John's Corners, Oct. 1, 1817, and for the first eighteen years of his life enjoyed the educational advantages offered by the common district schools. At that age he entered upon a course of study at Burr Seminary, Manchester, Vermont, teaching in some country school during the winters, and devoting his entire attention to his studies in the summers. In 1838 he began the study of the law in the office of Judiah Ellsworth. In 1839 he entered the office of Beach & Cowen, and studied with them till he was admitted to the bar in 1842. Upon his admission he formed a law-partnership with Hon. William A. Beach, which lasted until he was elected as the first county judge of Saratoga County, by the Whigs, June 4, 1847. He was re-elected to the same office in 1851; and upon the expiration of his second term in 1855 he was appointed circuit judge by Governor Myron H. Clark. In 1860 he was the Republican candidate for judge of the Supreme Court, and was triumphantly elected. In 1867 he was again nominated for the same office, and was elected without opposition. In 1875 he was the candidate of both political parties, and received the uncommon, but not undeserved, compliment of a unanimous re-election. In 1866 he occupied a seat on the bench of the court of appeals, in accordance with the then existing provision of the constitution. In his judicial career he has exhibited a peculiar fitness for his position.

Among the other early settlers in Greenfield were Captain Allen Hale, a Revolutionary officer, Israel Williams, Stephen Comstock, John and Elijah Smith, James Dunning, Jeremiah Westcott, Prince Wing, Lewis Graves, Paul Anthony, Ambrose Cole, Nathan Medbury, Abner Williams, Esek Whipple, Job Whipple, Jonathan Deuel, Samuel Bailey, John Harris, Robert Early, Abraham Weed, John Weed, Olney Latham, Benjamin Grinnell, Jared Weed, William Belden, Dr. Asa C. Barney, one of the earliest physicians and an honored and respected citizen, Joseph Wood, Daniel Crawford, Israel Rose, Gideon Hoyt, Zenas Winsor, the first town clerk, John King, Joseph Mitchell, and Ezekiel Harris, all of whom were residents of the town previous to 1795.

Peter Hendricks came from Connecticut to Greenfield in 1794, and settled on what has since been well known as the Samuel Westcott place. His children all died young except Burr. He was eight years old when his father came to Greenfield.

The children of Burr were Walter J., now merchant of Saratoga Springs; Mrs. Henry P. Hyde, of Saratoga Springs; Mrs. William Bennett, of Saratoga Springs; Mrs. Boehm, of New York; and one daughter died unmarried.

Nathaniel Waterbury states that when his father moved into Greenfield, there were then living a little south of the Congregational church, Israel Rose, and his four sons, Simeon, Benjamin, Cephas, and Joseph.

Wolcott Adsit and James Dunning were the commissioners by whom most of the early roads were laid out. Nathan Green, Alpheus Williams, and Martin Blackmar were some of the early surveyors who assisted them.

The first mowing-machine brought into town was owned by John Masten, who introduced it in 1853.

The first stores in the south part of the town were kept by Benjamin Grinnell, at Jamesville, and Jared Weed, at Page's Corners, both as early as 1800.

In 1812 the bears were very troublesome and did much damage to the standing corn, so that parties to hunt them were frequently formed. At one such hunt, in September, Martin Blackmar was accidentally shot and killed by William Williams.

The first apple-trees in the town were planted by William Scott, on the farm now occupied by Samuel Bailey, in 1790.

At the present time there are thirteen voters in the town who are upwards of eighty years of age. They are Phineas Jones, aged ninety-three; Thomas M. Caswell, eighty-seven; John Drake, John Leggett, Richard Hewitt, and Amasa Martin, eighty-six; and Lyman Sessions, Simeon Schouten, Otis Olds, Prince Deuel, Marvin Rowland, Justus A. Cronkhite, and Seneca Weed, who are over eighty.

The oldest person living in the town is Mrs. Lydia Medbury, who is now ninety-six years old. She has two sisters between eighty-six and ninety-four, and one brother, Amasa Martin, aged eighty-six.

------------------------------

IV. - ORGANIZATION.

This, the largest township of Saratoga County, was, previous to the erection of Saratoga County, partly in the district of "Balls-town" and partly in the district of "Sarahtoga." The dividing line was a little east of the centre of the town. In 1791 it belonged to the towns of Saratoga and Ballston. In 1792 the western half was in the town of Milton. March 12, 1793, it was erected into a separate town, and embraced the territory it now has and all lying directly north, including the towns of Hadley, Corinth, and the eastern part of Day. In 1801 it was reduced to its present dimensions. There is a tradition that this town was first called Fairfield by some of the earliest settlers, after their former home in Connecticut. It is also supposed that the town was finally named after the former home of some of the earliest settlers, Greenfield, Conn.

The town was erected by act of the Legislature, March 12, 1793, but the first town-meeting for the election of officers, etc., was not held until the following spring, on April 1. It was held in a log house near King's Station, on the Adirondack railroad. Wm. Scott was elected supervisor, and Zenas Winsor town clerk. The record of this meeting has not been preserved, but the following record of laws passed still remains on the book, viz.:

"Record of Laws Made and Past at the first Town-meeting held in and For the town of Greenfield, County of Saratoga, and State of New York, on the first Day of April, in the year 1794.

"Voted, That the Constables Shall Give Bonds For the Faithfull performance of theyr office.

"Voted, That the pathmasters Shall Return theyr warrants ten Days Before the Next Annual town-meeting.

"Voted, That hogs that Run on the Common Shall Be yoked in the following manner: the yoke to Be the Wedth of the Neck above the neck, and half the Wedth Below; & the Cross-piece twice the thickness of the neck."

The following is a copy of the proceedings of the second town-meeting, which is the first of which a record has been preserved:

"At a town-Meeting held on the seventh of April, A.D. 1795, in the town of Greenfield, the Following Acts was passed:

"Voted, That Fences four feet and half high and well Built Shall Be a Lawfull fence.

"Voted, That Fence-viewers Shall have Six shillings per Day when Called to Doe Duty in their office.

"Voted, That the Law Respecting hogs Shall Be the Same as it was the year past.

"Voted, That the following men Serve in the oficc Set to their Respective Names:

"Zenas Winsor, town Clerk; John St. John, Supervisor; Prince Wing, Jonathan Deuel, Charles Deak, Jr., Commissioners of highways; Jonathan Wood, Luis Graves, Jonathan Deuel, James Dunning, John Prior, Assessors; Rufus Price, Ezra Abbott, Poor-masters; Daniel Scott, Jonathan Deykman, Constables and Collectors; Joseph Deuel, James Dunning, Benjamin Ingham, Fence-Viewers; Israel Rose, Walter Hewet, Benjamin Greanold, Eseck Whipple, Pound-masters; John St. John, Abel Deuel, Benjamin Worden, Luis Graves, Doc. Tiffany, Asahel Porter, Joel Reynolds, Given Recognizance for Keeping taverns, March 1st, A.D. 1796."

In the year 1798 the citizens authorized the payment of the following bounties out of the excise money, viz.: one cent per head for killing striped squirrels and blackbirds; two cents each for black and gray squirrels; and three cents per head for crows.

A bounty of $50 per head for killing wolves started in the town and killed in the county was voted at the town-meeting of 1801, and it was also resolved to elect officers by ballot at subsequent meetings. The wolf-bounty was reduced to $20 in 1802, and to $10 in 1804.

In 1805, to prevent the spread of noxious weeds, a fine of $5 was imposed upon every land-owner who allowed any Canada thistles to go to seed upon his land, and a sum of $10 for the erection of guide-boards was voted at the same meeting. One of the acts of 1806 was, "Voted, that a pound should be Bilt at or near the dwelling-house of Issue Chaces and Bilt according to the construction and plan of the Justices Supervisor and town Cleark."

A few of the early settlers owned slaves, - among them were Doctor Isaac Young, of Middle Grove, and William Scott, the first supervisor. Several records of births of slave children appear on the town book. The first one was recorded June 1, 1800, as "a negro child Born of Nancy, the wench of William Scott, Esqr."

In 1813, the school commissioners, Salmon Child, Asahel Porter, and Samuel Deake, divided the town into sixteen school districts in accordance with the law of the State.

At an election held for members of Assembly on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of April, 1815, about 340 votes were cast. On one ticket Asa C. Barney received 198 votes; George Cramer, 198; Isaac Gere, 194; and Esek Cowen, 176. On the other ticket Thaddeus Jewett had 138; John L. Viele, 138; William Hamilton, 135; and Nathan S. Hollister, 135. Samuel Young also received 68 votes and Howell Gardiner 1. On the question of license or no license the town has voted at several times. The first was in 1846, .and the vote stood - for license, 223; against license, 315. In 1846 the vote stood - for license, 265; against license, 293. From that time till 1875 the question did not form a direct issue. Then the new law of 1874 went into effect, and a license board of excise commissioners was elected by a vote of 229 to 185. In 1876 the town voted for license 212 to 170, and in 1877 for license, 227 to 192.

 

------------------------------

LIST OF TOWN OFFICERS.

 

 

Supervisors.

Town Clerks.

Collectors.

1794.

William Scott.

Zenas Winsor.

 

1795.

John St. John.

"

Daniel Scott,

Jonathan Dykeman.

1796.

William Scott.

"

C. Bailey,

J. Dykeman,

C. Heathern.

1797.

Asahel Porter.

"

Abel Deuel,

Collins Heathern,

Abiathar Millard.

1798.

"

George Shove.

Abel Deuel.

1799.

"

Lewis Graves.

John H. Youngs.

1800.

"

"

William Johnson.

1801.

"

"

Thaddeus Curtis.

1802.

John S. John.

John Bockes.

Lewis Scott.

1803.

"

"

John Pettit.

1804.

Salmon Child.

"

Zenas Belden.

1805.

"

"

Jonathan James.

1806.

"

"

Nath'n Medbury, Jr.

1807.

"

John King.

"

1808.

Asa C. Barney.

"

"

1809.

"

Giles Robinson.

"

1810.

John Prior.

"

Thaddeus Curtis.

1811.

"

"

Nath'n Medbury, Jr.

1812.

John Pettit.

Elihu Wing.

Jonathan Williams.

1813.

"

"

"

1814.

"

"

"

1815.

"

"

Levi Smith.

1816.

Samuel McCrea.

Charles Lewis.

"

1817.

"

John Williams.

Nathan Green.

1818.

Charles Deake.

"

John Deake.

1819.

"

John Bockes.

Otis Ballou.

1820.

Elihu Wing.

"

"

1821.

Nehemiah Wing.

"

"

1822.

"

John Williams.

"

1823.

"

Elihu Gifford {removed from town.}

Elihu Wing.

Richard Hewitt.

1824.

"

Asahel P. Cronkhite.

"

1825.

Jonathan Lapham.

Nehemiah Wing.

"

1826.

"

"

"

1827.

"

"

Levi Smith.

1828.

"

Solomon Deake.

"

1829.

"

"

"

1830.

Henry Miller.

Nehemiah Wing.

"

1831.

"

Levi Smith.

Samuel Bailey.

1832.

Adam Bockes.

Darius Johnson.

"

1833.

"

"

"

1834.

"

Levi Smith.

Daniel Williams.

1835.

Edwin C. Weed.

"

Zimri Lawrence.

1836.

"

"

"

1837.

"

"

Amasa R. Day.

1838.

"

"

Seymour B. Ingham.

1839.

Levi Smith.

John S. Peacock.

"

1840.

"

"

"

1841.

Freeman Tourtelot.

Warren Bockes.

Merritt C. Cronkhite.

1842.

Edwin C. Weed.

"

Hamilton Early.

1843.

Joseph Wood.

"

Jeremiah Coon.

1844.

Chester Foot.

N.D. Morehouse.

Orrin Peacock.

1845.

Calvin W. Dake.

Joseph Carr.

Smith Sherwood.

1846.

Freeman Tourtelot.

Wm. H. Bushnell.

"

1847.

Frederick J. Wing.

"

"

1848.

"

"

Aaron Ingalls.

1849.

"

Theron Burrows.

George B. Rowland.

1850.

Benj. F. Prior.

"

Wyllis Peacock.

1851.

"

"

George B. Rowland.

1852.

Harmon G. Sweeney.

Charles B. Wing.

John Scott.

1853.

"

James V. Smith.

Samuel S. Scott.

1854.

Oscar Granger.

Ambrose Young.

George B. Rowland.

1855.

H.G. Sweeney.

Richard Hewitt.

Orrin Peacock.

1856.

Hiram S. Freeman.

"

Samuel H. Craig.

1857.

Lewis Wood.

Andrew M. Young.

Jerem'h Smith.

1858.

"

Richard Hewitt.

"

1859.

Abial C. Allard.

Geo. W. Hazard.

Alonzo Russell.

1860.

"

"

"

1861.

Alonzo Russell.

"

Wm. H. Gibbs.

1862.

"

"

Gideon W. Schofield.

1863.

Ianthus G. Johnson.

Henry C. Olds.

N.M. Carpenter.

1864.

"

"

"

1865.

Freeman Tourtelot.

Benj. S. Robinson.

John N. Peacock.

1866.

Warren Dake.

"

Chas. W. Mosher.

1867.

"

"

H.B. Woodcock.

1868.

De Witt C. Hoyt.

"

Geo. B. Hodges.

1869.

"

John H. Smith.

Henry C. Wood.

1870.

Warren Dake.

Chas. S. Tubbs.

Albert H. Kassan.

1871.

Warren Bockes.

Stuart Early.

Seth Hill.

1872.

"

Chas. S. Tubbs.

Charles Rowland.

1873.

John H. Smith.

"

Daniel W. Lovett.

1874.

James V. Smith.

"

Edward A Rood.

1875.

"

Melvin Spaulding.

Thomas W. Brown.

1876.

Jos. L. Rowland.

"

Ezra Harris.

1877.

"

"

Nathan W. Burdick.

1878.

John R. Harris.

J.G. Weeden.

A.S. Allard.

------------------------------

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

1794.

Adam Comstock,

William Scott,

John Pettit,

Salmon Child.

1855.

Joel B. Morehouse.

1831.

John Morehouse.

1856.

John Gifford.

1832.

Stafford Lapham.

Alexander H. Scott, l.t.

1857.

Nelson E. Morehouse.

1833.

Stafford Lapham.

1858.

William H. Ingerson.

1834.

Nathan Daniels.

1859.

Moses Ballou, l.t.

Alexander H. Scott.

1835.

Henry Miller.

1860.

James V. Smith.

1836.

Alexander H. Scott.

1861.

Seymour B. Ingham.

1837.

John Williams.

1862.

Alexander H. Scott.

1838.

Nathan Daniels.

1863.

Moses Ballou.

1839.

Henry Miller.

1864.

Daniel Palmer.

1840.

Alexander H. Scott, l.t.

John Morehouse.

1865.

Seymour B. Ingham, l.t.

John Wagman.

1841.

John Williams.

1866.

James V. Smith, l.t.

Benjamin F. Weed.

1842.

Andrew McGaffey.

1867.

Benjamin F. Weed, l.t.

Alexander H. Scott.

1843.

John Morehouse, l.t.

Asa Ingerson.

1868.

Alexander H. Scott, l.t.

Calvin W. Dake.

1844.

John Gifford.

1869.

Seymour B. Ingham.

1845.

John Williams.

1870.

Charles S. Latham.

1846.

Richard Hewitt.

1871.

Calvin W. Dake.

1847.

Devine H. Young.

1872.

Benjamin S. Robinson, l.t.

1848.

John Gifford.

1873.

Theodore Comstock.

1849.

John Williams.

1874.

Charles S. Latham.

1850.

Richard Hewitt.

1875.

James M. Dake.

1851.

Hiram S. Freeman.

1876.

Benjamin S. Robinson, l.t.

Starks Dake.

1852.

John Gifford, l.t.

Lewis Wood.

1877.

Theodore Comstock.

1853.

Nelson D. Morehouse.

1878.

Charles S. Latham.

1854.

Moses Ballou.

 

 

 

------------------------------

V. - VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.

There are three villages in the town, and five post-offices.

------------------------------

MIDDLE GROVE, or JAMESVILLE, lies on the southwest part, on the Kayadrossera creek, and contains about thirty dwellings, one church, two paper-mills, two stores, a hotel, saw-mill, grist-mill, some mechanics' shops, and about two hundred inhabitants. It was named Jamesville after John W. James, the man who was the most instrumental in causing its growth, and the name Middle Grove comes from a handsome pine-grove, covering several acres, that separates the eastern and western portions of the village.

------------------------------

GREENFIELD CENTRE is a little east of the centre of the town, and has twenty dwellings, two churches, two stores, a hotel, and two or three shops. Its population is about one hundred.

------------------------------

PORTER'S CORNERS, a little northwest of the centre, is a small village, containing about twenty dwellings, two churches, a store, a saw-mill, two grist-mills, a carriage-shop, and about one hundred inhabitants.

------------------------------

VI. - SCHOOLS.

The first school now remembered was kept in a log schoolhouse that was built on what is known as the Morris lot, about two miles east of Greenfield Centre, in 1795 or 1796. Among the early teachers were two men, named respectively Richard Fish and Slaughter Close. Richard Fish afterwards, about 1815, in connection with Jeremiah Goodrich, kept a select school in the vicinity which attained considerable celebrity, and was finally removed to Albany.

 

------------------------------

COMMISSIONERS' APPORTIONMENT FOR 1878.

District

Number of Children between five and twenty-one.

Equal Quota of the Public Money.

Public Money according to the number of Children.

Public Money according to average attendance.

Library Money.

Total Public Money.

No. 1

40

$52.14

$27.51

$20.37

$1.30

$101.35

" 2

50

52.14

34.39

34.92

1.67

123.12

" 3

27

52.14

18.57

14.07

.90

85.68

" 4

59

52.14

40.58

26.85

1.97

121.54

" 5

20

52.14

13.76

12.74

.67

79.31

" 6

32

52.14

22.01

17.52

1.07

92.74

" 7

43

52.14

29.57

36.09

1.44

119.24

" 8

53

52.14

36.45

33.24

1.77

123.60

" 9

42

52.14

28.89

33.23

1.40

115.66

" 10

56

52.14

38.51

56.17

1.87

148.69

" 11

66

52.14

45.39

51.25

2.20

150.98

" 12

32

52.14

22.01

19.14

1.07

94.36

" 13

22

52.14

15.13

11.96

.73

79.96

" 14

59

52.14

40.58

39.26

1.97

133.95

" 15

54

52.14

37.14

36.64

1.80

127.72

" 16

51

52.14

35.08

18.23

1.70

107.15

" 17

40

52.14

27.51

30.05

1.34

111.04

" 18

19

52.14

13.07

17.32

.63

83.16

" 19

31

52.14

21.32

25.03

1.03

99.52

" 20

22

52.14

15.13

17.64

.73

85.64

" 21

20

52.14

13.76

18.84

.67

85.41

" 22

96

52.14

66.03

43.65

3.20

165.02

 

934

$1147.08

$642.39

$614.21

$31.13

$2434.84

 

------------------------------

VII. - CHURCHES.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF GREENFIELD.

This was the first church organization in the town, and was formed in July, 1790. At that time a covenant and articles of faith were drawn up and signed, and among the names attached we find those of Elnathan Scofield, William Belden, Benjamin Ingham, Jonathan Wood, Joseph Wood, Nathaniel Seymour, Isaac Weed, John Benedict, Jonathan Hoyt, James Dunning, Stephen Crawford, Elisha Scofield, Enoch Kellogg, Nathan Fitch, Daniel Calkins, David Calkins, Eli Weed, Mary Scofield, Priscilla Belden, Mary Westcott, Martha Wood, Mary Seymour, Hannah Weed, Lucy Benedict, Elizabeth Hoyt, Abigail Hoyt, and Elias Gilbert.

The first meeting for the transaction of business was held Aug. 17, 1790, and Benjamin Ingham was chosen chairman and Gilbert Weed clerk.

The first officers chosen were Deacons Elnathan Scofield and Benjamin Ingham, and Church Clerk Gilbert Weed.

The church joined the convention of churches at Bennington, Vt., in September, 1790, and maintained its connection with that body for several years. About 1797 it withdrew and united itself to Albany presbytery.

The meetings were at first held at the house of William Belden, the same place where Mrs. Lydia Darrow now resides, and subsequently at other houses. The first church was erected in 1793. The location was determined by "the centre of the subscriptions;" that is, by selecting the most central point to all who were subscribers. This church was a frame building thirty by forty feet, and fitted up with temporary benches, which shortly afterwards were supplanted by the old-fashioned box-pews. The gallery was very wide, and nearly covered the whole of the lower floor. The pulpit was a very high one. This church stood just across the road from the present one. In 1831 a house and lot containing thirteen acres of land were purchased of Vincent Youmans for $500 to be used for a parsonage, and in 1832 the church was moved across the road and rebuilt at a cost of $597.50. In 1855 the church was newly roofed and painted, and a new parsonage built at a total cost of $1280.89. This amount was raised by voluntary subscriptions, and was all paid in before the 16th of March, 1858. In 1860 the church was again repaired, and was enlarged by the addition of one bent to the frame. The ladies of the congregation, by their indefatigable efforts, succeeded in raising a sufficient amount to newly carpet the church, cushion the pews, and furnish the pulpit.

March 9, 1797, it was voted that thereafter the annual meetings should be held on the first Tuesday in March of each year. This was subsequently changed to the second Tuesday, and the regular meeting has never been omitted.

At a meeting held March 20, 1817, it was decided to have some one person take charge of the sweeping of the house for a month, and another one for each succeeding month. The places were quickly spoken for by volunteers, and the list appears on the books as follows: March, Joseph Wood; April, Aaron Belden; May (to be washed), Howell Gardiner; June, Walter Hewitt; July, Andrew Seymour; August, Aaron Dunning; September, Eben Darrow; October, Jonathan Wood; November, Nathaniel Seymour; December, Jonathan Hoyt; January, William Belden, Jr.; February, Daniel Scott.

Since its first organization the following members have held the office of deacon, viz.: Elnathan Scofield, Benjamin Ingham, Daniel Kellogg, Joseph Wood, Samuel Wood, Jonathan Wood, Walter Hewitt, Alexander Hewitt, Aaron Hickok, Lyman Sessions, Joel B. Gardiner, Enoch Kellogg.

The first pastor was the Rev. Elias Gilbert, who was installed May 30, 1793, at a salary of 70, New York currency, per annum. He held this relation to the church at the time of his death in 1814. Since that time the following ministers have had charge of the church for different periods of time, viz.: Revs. Mr. Ingalls, Mr. Williams, Silas Parsons, James B. Ambler, Henry Benedict, Theophilus Redfield, Harvey Smith, Joseph B. Eastman, Philander Bates, W.H. Phelps, Charles H. Chester, and Zerah T. Hoyt, the present pastor, who was installed in 1855, and has held the pleasantest relations with his people for upwards of twenty-two years.

The present officers of the church are Joel B. Gardiner and Lyman Sessions, deacons; Charles D. Gardiner, clerk of the church; William King, Benjamin F. Prior, Samuel W. Hoyt, S.E. Darrow, Nathan Hickok, and Elihu Wing, trustees; Henry L. Gardiner: clerk of society.

There has been a prosperous Sabbath-school connected with the church since 1820. Charles D. Gardiner is the superintendent. The membership was sixty-eight in March, 1800.

------------------------------

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF GREENFIELD.

This church is located at Greenfield Centre, and was formed in the year 1791, and recognized by its sister churches in the vicinity. The membership at first was small, but soon increased to a respectable number, and in 1800 amounted to ninety-two names. Among the first members were Samuel Bailey, Benjamin Close, Daniel W. Bailey, Mrs. Fanny Bailey, Daniel Wood, and Ezra Weld.

The first officers were Samuel Bailey, Daniel Wood, deacons; Daniel W. Bailey, clerk. Rev. Joseph Craw was the first minister. For several years after the organization of this church no house of worship was built, and the meetings were held in houses, barns, and school-houses, as circumstances rendered necessary or convenient. The first church building was erected in 1816-17, and though several times repaired, is still standing on the original site. It is a commodious frame building, will comfortably seat about two hundred and fifty people, and is valued at $2500.

In 1792 the church joined the Shaftsbury Association, and remained connected with that body till 1805, when it was transferred to the Saratoga association, which relation it still continues to hold.

The several pastors of this church, in order, have been Revs. Joseph Craw, Israel Craw, Isaac Brewster, Elisha Blakeman, James N. Seaman, Benjamin St. John, Samuel M. Plumb, Timothy Day, Henry C. Skinner, H.H. Haff, T.T. St. John, O.H. Capron, R. Hastings, G. Farr, Edwin Wescott, William Bowen, J.L. Barlow, C.C. Hart, F.S. Parke, Jacob Timberman, E. Jewett, C.F. Blakeman, Levi Wheelock, and Rodney D. Andrews, who now supplies the pulpit but resides at Jessup's Landing.

The following persons have been deacons of the church, viz.: Samuel Bailey, Daniel Wood, Smith Sherwood, Daniel D.A. Green, Oscar Granger, Lyman Keith, Allen Parker, Stephen D. Williams, C.J. De Witt, and Charles E. Ambler. Charles E. Ambler and D.D.A. Green are the present deacons.

The board of trustees is composed of D.D.A. Green, George E. Shewmaker, C.E. Ambler, Nelson D. Morehouse, and A.C. Lawton. Charles E. Ambler is church clerk. The present number of members is eighty-six.

For a great many years a Sunday-school has been maintained in connection with the church. It now numbers about one hundred and ten members, and has a library of upwards of two hundred volumes. William J. Le Grange is superintendent; Hiram C. Hewitt., assistant superintendent; Frances Morehouse, secretary; Adelia Mosher, treasurer; Reuben D. Morehouse, librarian; and Harry Pendrick, assistant librarian.

------------------------------

THE SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH OF GREENFIELD.

This church was more familiarly known to the inhabitants of the vicinity as the Daketown church, and was located about a mile and a half northwest of Middle Grove. It was constituted in 1794, and joined the Shaftsbury Association in 1795. It dissolved its connection with that body in 1808, and was finally broken up and disbanded in 1822, most of the members uniting with the other churches in the vicinity.

Charles Deake was a very prominent member, and held the office of deacon for many years. His son, Charles Deake, Jr., also was a deacon, and at the time of dissolution became a member of the church at Greenfield Centre.

Revs. Abel Brown, John Lewis, and Timothy Day served this church in the capacity of pastors.

------------------------------

THE THIRD BAPTIST CHURCH OF GREENFIELD.

This church was constituted in 1795, and became a member of the Shaftsbury Association in 1796. It transferred its relations to the Saratoga Association in 1805.

In 1800, Lemuel Taylor and Mr. Jeffords represented this church in the meeting of the association.

The records of this church cannot be found, and its history is necessarily a meagre one.

The ministers, in order from 1795, have been Mr. Hadley, Jonathan Nichols, Timothy Day, Jacob St. John, T.T. St. John, S. Carr and Timothy Day.

The church assumed the title of the Second church upon the dissolution of that body in 1822, and gave up its distinct organization and united with the Greenfield Centre church.

------------------------------

THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF JAMESVILLE.

This society was an outgrowth of the old stone church in Milton, and formed a separate organization April 4, 1846. At that time it started with about seventy-five members. It soon after united with the Saratoga Association, of which body it is still a member.

The first meeting was held in the church, which was built by the united society in 1839, and was presided over by Deacon George Benton. Alvah Dake acted as clerk. The meeting was opened with prayer by Deacon John Wood. John Wood, George Benton, and Jarvis Emigh were elected as deacons, and Alvah Duke as church clerk.

The edifice for public worship was built in 1839, by Elias Thorpe, and cost $3000. It is a frame building thirty-six by fifty feet, and has a seating capacity of two hundred and fifty. Soon after the church was finished a fine bell was hung in the tower, to call the people together for divine worship. The church has since been repaired at a moderate cost, and is in a good state of preservation and valued at $2500.

From the time the church was formed a considerable share of the time and attention of its members has been devoted to Sabbath-school labor, but no continuous school has been sustained till within about four years. For that length of time, under the care and attention of its superintendent, Moses D. Rowley, a flourishing school has been maintained. The average attendance is now about fifty, but has been as high as ninety. Mr. Thomas W. Brown acts in the triple capacity of secretary, treasurer, and librarian. The library contains about one hundred volumes.

John Wood, George Benton, Jarvis Emigh, Divine H. Young, Samuel Benton, Orin Benton, Orlando P. Mixter, and Moses D. Rowell have held the office of deacon. The two last named are the present incumbents.

The present membership of the church is forty-four, and the following are the present officers, viz.: Trustees, Charles Dake, Orlando P. Mixter, Manley James, Moses D. Rowell, Joseph Wheeler, Isaac Wager, S.H. Craig, J.M. Dake, Jacob Schermerhorn; Church Clerk, S.H. Craig.

The several pastors since 1846, in the order of their ministration, are Revs. Samuel R. Shotwell, William Bogart, Nelson Combs, Timothy Day, A.S. Curtis, Lewis Selleck, F.N. Barlow, ------ Borden, R. Collins, Arthur Day, William Humpstone, and Leander Hall, the present pastor, who began his labors here April 18, 1875.

------------------------------

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF GREENFIELD CENTRE.

Previous to the year 1800, the exact date being unknown to the writer, a traveling preacher of the Methodist Episcopal denomination passed through this section of country, making future appointments to preach, and filling, these appointments on his return. He was named Babbitt, and was a "thundering preacher," i.e., a very loud-voiced one. So powerful was his voice that tradition says some of his hearers averred that they could feel his tones pass through their heads and hear them strike the trees behind them. As a result of his preaching a class was formed at an early day. Among the first members were Nathaniel Daniels and his wife, Theophilus Daniels, Mrs. Captain Hale, Betsey Bump, the first class-leader, Lorina Conklin, Polly, Katy, and Fanny Jones, and Clara Sherman, afterwards Mrs. Smiley.

Theophilus Daniels was at the time of his conversion conducting a number of dancing-schools in different places, and felt it necessary to give them up. As a result, he was pestered with a large number of petty lawsuits, brought by those of whom he had hired rooms in which to hold his schools, and in their complaints they sued for anticipated profits of table and bar. He afterwards became a local preacher of some celebrity.

The early services were irregularly held in such places as could be obtained, and for some years previous to the building of their church meetings were held in the Baptist church.

There was a powerful revival experienced in the winter of 1838-39, and the impetus thus given to the church enabled them to take steps to build a house of worship. A meeting was held at the house of Asahel P. Cronkhite, on the 16th of October, 1839, which was attended by Adam Bockes, Benjamin Robinson, Dan Cronkhite, Nathan Daniels, Aaron Hale, Wm. Burnham, Norton Wood, Ira Schofield, Asahel P. Cronkite, and Jeptha Durham, and it was there resolved to build a church, not less than thirty-four by forty-two feet, on the hill east of Greenfield Centre. Rev. David Poor was chairman and Nathan Daniels secretary of the meeting. This action was followed by the election of the first board of trustees, on the 11th of November following. Adam Bockes, Aaron Hale, Nathan Daniels, Ira Schofield, and Asahel P. Cronkite were then elected.

The work of erecting the church was begun early in the summer of 1840. Parker Manning donated the site and Samuel J. Otis furnished the timber for the frame. It was built by Hiram Darrow, and cost $1600. The frame was raised July 11, 1840: and the building was finished in December. The dedication took place on Dec. 22, 1840, and the discourse was preached by the presiding elder, Rev. Charles Sherman.

The oldest surviving members of the church are Miss Nancy Robinson, who joined in 1820; Mrs. Phbe Banks, since 1822; and Misses Deborah and Lydia Lawrence, since about 1827-29.

The following persons have served as trustees, viz., Benjamin Robinson, Dan Cronkhite, Abial C. Allard, Seneca Weed, F.G. Chamberlain, W.A. Calkins, Clinton Wood, James Claydon, W.H. Waring, James V. Cronkhite, J.W. Mitchell; and the present board is composed of Justus A. Cronkhite, Ziba Daniels, George Spaulding, William C. Weeden, and Arba S. Cronkhite.

The pastors since 1840 have been as follows, viz., Revs. David Poor, William Ford, Seymour Coleman, Abel Ford, Charles Pomeroy, William N. Frazer, William A. Miller, Jedediah D. Burnham, Alanson White, Clark Fuller, Miner Van Auken, Charles Pomeroy, Valentine Brown, Paul P. Atwell, A.H. Housinger, John Graves, Arunah Lyon, John Haslam, T.S. McMaster, Amos Osborne, Jacob Leonard, Peter M. Hitchcock, John Thompson, Joseph Cope, John M. Webster, Sherman M. Williams, Edward N. Howe, F.K. Potter, and George S. Gold, the present pastor.

Since the church building was erected a Sunday-school has been kept up most of the time. Asahel P. Cronkhite was the first superintendent, and Benjamin S. Robinson has served in that position for several years, and is now the superintendent.

------------------------------

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SOUTH GREENFIELD.

About the year 1836 a class was formed in the south part of the town of Greenfield, and in the year following a church was built nearly opposite the present site of the Congregational church. It was thirty feet wide by forty long, and cost $600. It was dedicated in August, 1837. Rev. Noah Levings, of Schenectady, preached the discourse on that occasion. The first class consisted of about twenty members, and among them were Mr. and Mrs. John H. Youngs, Betsey Huling, Mrs. Loomis, Mrs. Miranda Hulett, Mrs. Goodspeed, Mrs. Talmadge, Mrs. Filkins, and Mrs. Israel Youngs.

The ministers in charge of the circuit at that time were Revs. William H. Backus and Elisha Andrews. The first winter after the completion of the church these ministers held a protracted meeting, and with God's blessing their labors effected the conversion of about one hundred persons, and the church was much strengthened and refreshed. Later in the history of the church other protracted meetings were held by Revs. Seymour Coleman, Joshua Poor, David Poor, and William Ford, all of which were in some measure successful.

The church maintained its existence until 1847, when by deaths and removals their numbers became too much reduced to enable them to continue, and those members who were left united with other churches in the vicinity. In 1850 the church building was sold to a Unitarian society for the sum of $200, and was by them removed to the town of Milton, where it has since been used as a church by that denomination.

The pastors of this church during its existence were Revs. William H. Backus, Elisha Andrews, Charles Pomeroy, Seymour Coleman, Paul P. Atwood, William A. Miller, Clark Fuller, J.D. Burnham, J.D. Poor, William Ford, and Abel Ford.

The Sunday-school connected with this church throughout its brief existence was under the superintendence of Seneca Weed the whole time.

------------------------------

THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF PORTER'S CORNERS.

The church building erected by this society was built in the year 1816. The pioneers of the denomination had, prior to this time, held meetings irregularly at the schoolhouses and at private houses. The society was regularly organized and incorporated in 1819, at which time there were thirty members. The society was styled the First Universalist Church and Society of Greenfield.

The organization has been kept alive ever since, and two trustees are elected annually. The membership has fluctuated considerably, and is now about the same as at the first. The officers of the church were Frederick Parkman, Abner Medbury, and John W. Creal, who composed the first board of trustees. Mark A. Childs and John Harris presided at the first meeting. From 1840 to 1844 a flourishing Sunday-school and Bible-class, consisting of some sixty scholars, was held, but it died out about that time, and has never been resuscitated.

The first clergyman who ministered at this church was Rev. Hosea Parsons, and after him came Revs. Dolphus Skinner, ------ Cook, ------ Aspinwall, ------ Hathaway, ------ Patterson, and others, whose names are not remembered. At present the church is without any pastor. The present officers are John S. Peacock, clerk; N.D. Morehouse, Luther Cady, Charles S. Latham, Nathan Medbury, John R. Harris, Levis S. Mills, trustees.

The upper part of the church was finished off for a hall, and the Freemasons occupied it for many years before 1870, when they removed to Greenfield Centre. The hall is now occupied by Empire Lodge, No. 965, I.O.G.T.

------------------------------

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF PORTER'S CORNERS.

This society was first formed about the year 1840, with twenty-nine members. Among them were Henry and Betsey Whipple, Esek and Arabella Angell, David and Serena Gibbs, William and Luanna Whipple, Alzina Williams, John West, Jemima Mills, Nancy Ingham, Clark Hewitt, Hiram Williams, Elliot Lapham, Alanson Williams, John Mitchell, and Alonzo C. Williams.

The site for a church was donated by General Isaac I. Yates, and the church was built in 1845, by L.D. Rowland and David Gibbs, at a cost of $800. It is a tasty little building, with sitting for two hundred people. It was dedicated in 1845. The church has always been a member of the Greenfield circuit, and served by the same ministers as the church at Greenfield Centre. Sunday-schools are held during the summer and fall, but not through the winter. Esek Angell was the first superintendent, and Mr. Wait is the present one. The present membership of the church is twenty-two, and the present officers are Charles W. Spaulding, William Medbury, Benjamin H. Ingham, stewards; Charles W. Spaulding, class-leader.

------------------------------

SOCIETY OF ORTHODOX FRIENDS.

At a very early period the Friends who settled in Greenfield formed a sort of society and built a meeting-house a short distance north of Scott's Corners. Elihu Anthony was one of the most prominent members, and for many years the preacher. Benjamin Angell also preached some. There have been no regular meetings held since Mr. Anthony's death in 1863. A few years since the meeting-house was converted into a dwelling.

------------------------------

HICKSITE FRIENDS' MEETING-HOUSE.

In or about 1827 there was a division among the Quakers, and those who denominated themselves Hicksites separated from the Orthodox society and built a meeting-house a little way east of Scott's Corners. No regular preacher was ever connected with the society, and a few years ago the meeting-house was transformed and is now used as a dwelling.

----------------------------------------

NEXT --- HOME

Transcribed from the original text and html prepared by Bill Carr, last updated 2/7/00.

Please provide me with any feedback you may have concerning errors in the transcription or any supplementary information concerning the contents. wcarr1@nycap.rr.com


Back to Saratoga County GenWeb


Copyright ©1999,2000 Bill Carr and Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County

All Rights Reserved.