Landmarks of Oswego County, New York; by John Charles (1821—1905). Churchill, H. P. (Henry Perry) Smith (1839—1925) and W. Stanley Child; 1895; pgs. 512—532
Transcribed by Tammy Kocienski (2108).
THE TOWN OF GRANBY
Granby was formed from the town of Hannibal on the 20th of April, 1818. It comprised thirty-three lots of the survey township of Lysander and nineteen lots of that of Hannibal. From these nineteen, the whole of lot 37 and the north part of 46, forming a triangle which extended to the Oswego River at a point near Minetto, were annexed to the town of Oswego in 1836, leaving Granby with its present area of 29,452 acres. The survey line which separated the townships of Hannibal and Lysander left the river a few rods above the falls and ran thence due west.
Granby lies in the southwestern part of Oswego county and wholly within the first and second townships of the Military tract. It is bounded on the north by Oswego, on the east by Volney and Schroeppel, on the south by Hannibal and Lysander, Onondaga county, and on the west by Hannibal and Ira, Cayuga county. The town is drained by several small streams, the largest of which is Ox Creek. On April 24, 1832, this stream was declared a "public highway" from its mouth to the bridge on lot 28 "where the road leading from Lysander to Oswego Falls crosses" it. Other water courses are Rice and Eight-Mile Creeks, and three or four brooks which empty into Lake Neatahwanta. This beautiful body of water, called by the Indians Ne ah tah-wan-tah, signifying "the little lake near the great lake," is situated near the Oswego Falls fair ground, half a mile west of the falls, covers an area of about 800 acres, and empties through an outlet about two miles long into the Oswego River. Its elevation is twenty-five feet above the Oswego Falls and 125 feet above Lake Ontario.
The Oswego River forms the eastern or northeastern boundary of this town for a continuous distance of about thirteen miles, and so intimately interwoven is its earlier history with that of the county that accounts of the principal events occurring along its course have already been given in the general chapters of this work. On the Granby side it affords many valuable mill privileges, particularly within the limits of the village of Oswego Falls. These have been utilized from an early day. At this point quite an extensive portage business was carried on by John I. Walradt and others in 1807 and 1808, which was finally abandoned to the residents on the east side, where it was prosecuted with greater convenience.
The surface of the town is gently rolling and inclines slightly towards the northeast. Along the river it is considerably broken, frequently rising into moderately high bluffs. It is underlaid with a valuable brown sandstone, which often rises so near the surface as to admit of profitable quarrying for building and other purposes. One of these quarries is situated on the O. J. Jennings farm near Oswego Falls. The soil is generally a rich sandy or gravelly loam. In some places it sinks into swamps, which have been largely drained and converted into fertile farms. One of the most effective enterprises of this kind was the result of an act passed by the Legislature April 6, 1857, which appointed Calvin French, Peter Schenck, and David Wilicox, commissioners to superintend the draining of wet lands adjacent to Lake Neatahwanta by lowering the outlet of that lake. By this means several hundred acres of valuable land was reclaimed.
The town was originally timbered with a heavy growth of pine, hemlock, oak, chestnut, beech, maple, and elm, many of the trees being so tall and straight that they were cut down and shipped to English shipbuilders for masts and spars, a business which at one time formed an important industry of the place. The dense forests also gave existence and profitable employment to numerous saw mills and other wood working establishments, the former numbering fifteen in 1860. As the land was cleared up the inhabitants directed their attention to agriculture, which in time became the leading industry. From this came the comfortable homes and pleasant surroundings which characterize the town to-day. About 1865 dairying began to supersede other interests; cheese and butter factories were erected, and the business steadily developed until now it may be said to rank as first in importance, there being at the present time five cheese factories in various sections of the town. Considerable attention is given to the growing of tobacco and hops, especially in the southern part. The town is also well adapted to the raising of fruit, grain, hay, and potatoes.
It was as late as 1810 or 1812 before the first road of any consequence was opened in the town, and this ran nearly parallel with the river. April 17, 1816, the Legislature authorized "Seth Cushman, of Lysander, and Edmund Hawks and William Moore, of Hannibal," to lay out a public thoroughfare "four rods wide from Snow's bridge in Syracuse, and thence through the towns of Lysander and Hannibal, to Oswego." Kitchell Bell, Peter Pratt, and Hastings Curtiss were appointed commissioners April 3, 1823, to lay out a road from "a point on the west bank of the Oswego River below the Oswego Falls, opposite Hubbard and Falley's mill-dam, from thence to the village of Hannibalville" and on to Wolcott, Wayne county. This was long a very successful plank road, being abandoned about 1874. Other highways followed as settlements increased. The building of bridges early commanded attention, and several projects of this character in which the town was closely interested were successfully carried out. Those structures spanning the Oswego River at Fulton and Minetto have been noticed in the history of Volney, to which the reader is referred. In the erection of them Granby paid her portion of the expense. May 25, 1836, the Schroeppel and Granby Bridge Company was incorporated for the purpose of building a toll-bridge across the Oswego River from lot 33 in Granby to lot 92 in Schroeppel. The bridge was built but was afterward made free. In 1859—60 the bridge at Hinmanville, spanning the river between the two towns, was rebuilt, and on April 17, 1861, the Legislature, by special act, legalized the assessment made to cover the expense incurred. In 1818 the town had nine road districts; the present number is seventy seven.
The first town meeting was held at the house of Cyril Wilson on the first Tuesday in May, 1818, with Barnet Mooney as moderator and Peter Schenck as clerk. The following officers were chosen:
Elijah Mann, jr., supervisor; John Schenck, town clerk; John I. Walradt, Stephen McCabe, and Alfred Clark, assessors; Samuel Fairbanks, collector; John Miller and Seth Camp, overseers of the poor; Cyril Wilson, John Miller, and Daniel Cody, commissioners of highways; Samuel Colby and Samuel Fairbanks, constables; Elijah Mann, Seth Camp, and Cyril Wilson, commissioners of common schools; Benjamin Robinson, Abraham Shepard, John Miller, Gamaliel Fairbanks, Peter Schenck, and William Wilson, inspectors of common schools; and nine pathmasters, viz.: district No. 1, Cornelius Miller; No. 2, John Schenck; 3, Stephen McCabe; 4, Western Allen; 5, William Dewey; 6, Amos Green; 7, William Fairbanks; 8, Rufus Spencer; 9, Samuel Whitman; who were also fence viewers and poundmasters.
At the same meeting two petitions were directed to be sent to Albany; one asking for the appointment of Elijah Mann, jr., and Seth Camp as justices of the peace; the other to the Legislature requesting that the name Granby be changed to De Witt, probably out of compliment to Simeon De Witt, who was for fifty years (1785—1835) surveyor-general of the State. The Legislature declined to honor the last request, and time honored Granby remained to acquire a worthy reputation.
A bounty of $10 was voted for each wolf and $3 for every bear killed in town, and the usual resolutions were adopted. Two of the assessors failed to qualify, and it was ascertained that more school inspectors had been elected than the law allowed, and at a special town meeting held at the house of John I. Waldradt on June 18 of the same year Mr. Walradt and William Wilson were chosen to the first named office and Benjamin Robinson, John Miller, and Abraham Shepard were elected inspectors of common schools. It was also voted to raise $200 for roads and bridges.
The supervisors of Granby have been as follows:
Elijah Mann, jr., 1818—19; Seth Camp, 1820; Elijah Mann, jr., 1821; Seth Camp, 1822—3; Ambrose B. Kellogg, 1824—31; John Sammons. 1832; Edmund Bramhall, 1833—5; John Phillips, 1836; Edmund Bramhall, 1837; Amorv Howe, 1838—39; George Kellogg, 1840; Alanson Dodge, 1841—2; William Schenck, 1843; Almarin Fuller, 1844; W. B. Gaylord, 1845—6; Alanson Dodge, 1847; William Schenck, 1848; Alanson Dodge, 1849; James D. Lasher, 1850—51; Alanson Dodge, 1852; J. D. Lasher, 1853; Willard Osgood, 1854—8; J. G. Willard, 1859—62; James Parker, 1863; James D. Lasher, 1864; Charles Howe, 1865; J. G. Willard, 1866; B. Frank Wells, 1867—8; Isaac W. Marsh, 1869—72; I. F. Pierce, 1873; John C. Wells, 1874—5; Ezra S. Hogeland, 1876; Thomas R. Wright, 1877—8; John Vedder, 1879—81; Thomas R. Wright. 1882—4; C. H. Dexter, 1885—6; M. A. Thompson, 1887—8: John C. Wells, 1889; Jay C. Harrington, 1890; Joshua W. Rigley, 1891—5.
The town officers for 1894—5 were as follows:
Joshua W. Rigley, supervisor; Michael L. Murphy, town clerk; Willard Stewart, Henry Rockwood, and Keyes Pierce, assessors; F. L. Stewart, collector; A. A. Lukentelly, Fred Marsh, John Somerville, E. A. Cronyn, justices of the peace; John Frawley, overseer of poor; H. H. Merriam, highway commissioner; James Greenwood, Charles Hickey, and Lyman Wilcox, excise commissioners.
The lands of the Military Tract, of which Granby forms a part, were originally drawn as bounties by soldiers of the Revolution, whose titles often changed hands several times before actual settlement, or who sometimes sold their claims many times over. In this way great confusion arose respecting the ownership of military land, and sometimes the settler abandoned his improvements and moved elsewhere.
In the spring of 1792 Major Lawrence Van Valkenburgh, Capt. Henry Bush, and a Mr. Lay came from Stiliwater, Saratoga county, to Granby, and made clearings at and below the falls. The last named had become the owner of lot 4, in Lysander, which was originally drawn by Seth Jones; Captain Bush had purchased of Gen. Peter Gansevoort his title to lot 74; and the major supposed he had acquired an interest in lot 75. The latter came with a yoke of oxen and had in his employ two white men, Schermerhorn and Valentine, and a negro slave boy called "Har." By some this relation between the boy and the major has been disputed, but it was generally believed that the former was a slave. Captain Bush began clearing near the west end of the present lower dam; Lay commenced work on lot 4; and the major set his men at work at a spring a little below the falls. On or near Van Valkenburgh's location, in the present village of Oswego Falls, was an ancient mound about seven feet high and eighty feet in diameter at the base, on the top of which stood two chestnut trees, each more than two feet thick, which were felled this year along with other trees covering the spot, and which indicated a "growth of more than 250 years"1 In 1826 Peter Schenck, Dr. Carey, and others made a partial excavation of this mound and discovered what appeared to be a vast mass of human bones, some of them almost perfect.
The three pioneers, Van Valkenburg, Bush and Lay, soon had log houses, built, that of Captain Bush being quite a good one. Shortly afterward a Mr. Olcott arrived from New York and commenced trading with the Indians in a tent near the falls. Having started their impovements, the three adventurers returned to Stillwater to their families, the major leaving Schermerhorn, Valentine and the colored boy in charge of his interests. Soon after their departure Schermerhorn was seized with a violent illness and died. His companions, Olcott, Valentine, and Har wrapped the body in a blanket, encased the whole with green bark, and buried it, probably near the major's house. Another event shortly occurred which in its nature was even more tragic than the death of Schermerhorn, and which resuled in scattering for a time the infant settlement. The Indians still frequented the place to hunt and fish, and on one occasion Valentine, who has been described as a mischievous, evil disposed person, offended one of their number, a chief, who was accompanied by his squaw. An affray ensued, the chief was killed, and it is said that another Indian was wounded. The Indians became excited and vowed vengeance, and the three inhabitants fled, Valentine going to Oswego, where he related to the commander of the fort what had happened, and crossed thence to Canada. It has also been stated that he took the major's oxen and gun with him and sold them to the British. Olcott and Har fled in the opposite direction and met Major Van Valkenburg, on his return, at Three River Point. The latter continued his journey, taking Har with him, and in an interview immediately had with the Indians, succeeded in pacifying them, convincing them that the governor would inquire into the matter. Olcott never returned. Governor Clinton offered a reward for Valentine, and the latter, confident of acquittal, conspired with another person, and voluntarily surrendered himself. He was tried for homicide and acquitted; his associate received the reward, but decamped without dividing the spoils.
Major Van Valkenburgh went back to Stillwater in the fall, as did also the others if they came a second time that year, leaving Oswego Falls without an inhabitant. In the spring of 1793 all three returned with their families and occupied their respective log houses. The major came with his wife, his youngest son James, his son Abraham with his newly-wedded bride Zilpha, and his negro boy Har. Mr. Lay and his wife both died that season, and their premises were afterward occupied by a Mr. Penoyer. Captain Bush erected a very pretentious barn for those times; it was thirty feet long, twenty feet wide, and twelve feet high, the logs being more than a foot thick. In November, 1793, Mrs. Zilpha Van Valkenburgh gave birth to a son, Lawrence, named from his grandfather, the major, which was the first white birth in the present town of Granby and the second in Oswego county outside the military posts, the first being that of Camille, daughter of the Frenchman, Desvatines, the pioneer settler of Frenchman's Island in Constantia, in 1791 or 1792.
The little colony remained in their homes at the falls during the winter of 1793—94, but during the next they all repaired to the fort at Oswego. In the spring of 1795 the major purchased Clute's location at Orchard Lock on the east side of the river, where he lived until his death, about 1828. He abandoned his improvements at the Oswego Falls, probably because of a defective title. These three or four families appear to have been the sole inhabitants of Granby prior to 1796.
John Van Buren, jr., of Kinderhook, N. Y., accompanied by his sons Peter, John, Jacob, and Volkert settled at Indian Point at the foot of the rapids in this town about 1796. In 1798 they removed to the premises then recently vacated by Captain Bush and his family, on lot 74, where David Van Buren was born in October of that year. Shortly afterward the Van Burens settled on the east side of the river in Volney, leaving Granby without an inhabitant, unless, perhaps, Penoyer. Such was the condition of the town at the close of the last century.
About 1800 a mulatto, Henry Bakeman, from New Jersey, purchased the improvements of Lay and Penoyer on lot 4 and became a permanent resident there. Daniel Webster about 1802 settled on the river bank a little below the outlet of Lake Neatahwanta on lot 56, and remained three or four years. Luke Montague, the father of Orrin, Julius, Adonijah and Erastus lived with him. In 1803 Peter Hugunin came and occupied the premises previously owned by Captain Bush on lot 74. His son, James Hugunin, soon afterward bought the north half of that lot and settled upon it permanently. Down to this time no road, save a short thoroughfare along the rapids, had been opened in the town, and not a clearing had been made away from the river bank.
In 1805 Barnet Mooney and Abraham Barnes came in and became permanent settlers. Barnes originally owned lot 75, where the Van Valkenburghs located, and apparently intended to revive his title. Barnet Mooney was long the leading man of the town. In 1809 he was elected to the Assembly from Onondaga county, being the first person sent to that body from what is now the county of Oswego, and being chosen to the same position in 1810, 1812, and 1814. In 1816 he was appointed the first judge in Oswego county, a position he held several years. In the same year he built a saw mill on the outlet of Neatahwanta Lake. His sons were Barnet, jr., and Charles.
A marriage in Granby occurred in 1805, the contracting parties being John Waterhouse, aged nineteen, and Polly Hugunin aged sixteen. The ceremony was performed by Ebenezer Wright, a justice of the peace residing on the east side, and two of the witnesses were Martin Van Buren, afterward president of the United States, and John T. Hudson, subsequently canal commissioner of this State. These two young men were on their way to Oswego, and stopping for the night with Ebenezer Wright, were invited by the latter to attend the wedding. This is regarded as being the first marriage solemnized in the town.
In 1806 Barnet Miller settled near Judge Mooney and soon afterward Cornelius H. Miller moved over from the east side.
In 1807 John I. Walradt purchased a part of lot 74, from James Hugunin and took up his residence near the falls. Born in Canajoharie, N. Y., August 26, 1782, he learned the trades of tanning, currying, and harness-making of his father, and arriving here erected a small frame house, which was probably the first of the kind in town. On its site he built in 1851 a large frame dwelling. His farm now comprises a part of the village of Oswego Falls. In his barn the first Sunday school in town was organized. He was a lieutenant and captain in the War of 1812, and died here November 18, 1858. He married the eldest daughter of Daniel Hugunin, and had three daughters, Gertrude, Mary and Ellen E. He opened the first tavern in Granby in 1807 near the west end of the lower bridge which was long quite an active center.
Jacob Schenck visited this locality in 1808, purchased a tract on lot 74, but did not come to reside here until 1811. In 1810 Truman Bronson occupied the house erected by Captain Bush. The next year Moses Ives located on the same lot, and Elijah Mann settled on lot 55 at Bradstreet's rift.
In 1808 John Hutchins moved upon a farm at what is now Bowen's Corners, being without doubt the first settler in Granby away from the river front. He purchased 200 acres of lot 11, removed to the town of Oswego in 1818, and finally went to Ohio, where he died. He had fifteen children, of whom David, the second, was born in Winchester, Mass., October 9, 1792, served in the war of 1812, settled on lot 16, and died November 25, 1873. He had three children, Almira, Lewis H., and Mrs. Chauncey B. Hannum. Lewis H. Hutchins succeeded to the homestead, and married a daughter of John H. Harris.
Immediately preceding the war of 1812 a number of settlers arrived. In that year Jacob Schenck and his family, among whom was his son William, took up their residence at the falls. Another son, Peter, came in 1816. These, together with John Schenck, still another son of Jacob, were for many years prominent and influential residents of the town, and descendants of the family still live here. In March, 1812, William Wilson and Zadock Allen settled near Bowen's Corners; the former was the father of Charles and William Wilson, jr. Jesse Green and his son Amos located in their neighborhood in the summer following, and about the same time William Dewey became a resident there, while Cyril Wilson moved on to the place subsequently occupied by Isaac Pierce. A Mr. Hale, a brother-in-law of Wilson, also lived there then and was a noted wolf hunter. Other settlers of this period were Abraham Shepherd, John Miller, Samuel Colby, and John and Daniel Cody, the last two being the pioneers of the southeast part of the town. Immigration received a sudden check in the breaking out of the war of 1812. Through that conflict the river teemed with business mainly of a military nature. The sound of cannon at Oswego, and other warlike incidents often disturbed the peaceful inhabitants. Many of the men were absent on duty, while the women supported their households.
In 1814 Jacob Schenck, in company with Cyril Wilson, erected a saw mill just below the west end of the lower bridge, which was the first mill of any description in town.
The cold season of 1816 retarded active settlement and caused considerable suffering, but from its depressing effects the sturdy pioneers quickly recovered. Thenceforward settlers arrived in constantly increasing numbers and it is practicable to mention only the more prominent and influential.
About 1817 Benjah Bowen bought out John Hutchins and since then the locality has generally been known as Bowen's Corners. In 1818 Seth Williams settled at "Williams Corners" (a name subsequently displaced by Granby Center), where he became the first permanent resident. Two or three years earlier a man named Fenton had located there and cleared a small plot of ground, but had moved away. Mr. Williams was the father of Amasa Williams, who subsequently resided at Oswego Falls.
About 1819 Seth Camp, and a few years later a Mr. Fairbanks, settled at what is now West Granby, then "Camp's Mills," and for a time called "Niggerville." Other early settlers there were George Ockabock, Martin Kelsey, John Bullen, William Draper, Alexander Sprague, and Jacob Bakeman, a son of Henry Bakeman.
In 1820 the town contained 555 inhabitants. In this year Benjamin B. Pierce settled on lot 73 about half a mile south of Williams Corners, on the farm previously owned by Cyril Wilson. He was born in Orange, N. Y., August 13, 1785, and died January 10, 1875. His wife's death occurred in 1869. They were the parents of five children, Philander, Lucy, Jonathan, Isaac F., and Sylvester, of whom Isaac F. succeeded to the homestead, and Philander died in town in 1877. In 1821 Calvin French and wife, his brother Isaac, and their mother, Mrs. Asher French, settled on the same lot. Mrs. Calvin French died in 1877 and her husband, who was born in Norwich, N. Y., in 1800, is still living in town. They were the parents of Mrs. Cyrus S. Hall and Erastus D. and Asher D. French.
About 1820 Nehemiah B. Northrop built a nail factory at the falls which was subsequently converted into a saw mill. In 1826 he erected a grist mill at this point, which was the first of the kind along the west side of the river between Three River Point and Oswego. About this time a saw mill was built on the Oswego River a mile above the mouth of Ox Creek and for several years was operated by Geer & Paine. It was finally abandoned.
Two settlers of 1827 were Benjamin Wells and Ephraim Whitcomb. Mr. Wells was born in Northfield, Mass., November 17, 1802, and located first on lot 1 and in 1846 on lot 2. Both himself and his wife were active members of the first temperance society organized in Granby. They were the parents of Oscar and Chester Wells, Mrs. Chauncey B. Hancock, Mrs. T. B. Reynolds, and Mrs. John S. George. Mr. Whitcomb was the son of Elisha Whitcomb, a colonel in the war of 1812, and located on lot 22. He was killed at the raising of a barn in 1836. His son, Jasper H., born in Vermont in March, 1822, succeeded his father on the homestead and became one of the leading business men of South Granby.
In 1828 the Oswego Canal was completed along the east side of the river and gave a new impetus to the growth and development of Granby.
Among other settlers of the town prior to 1830 were Rodman Dexter, Jesse Reynolds, John Allen, L. L. Curtiss, Milo Austin, Phares Cook, Joel Crosby, A. Q. Hugunin, H. B. Lewis, C. J. Miller, James Parker, T. G. Somers, and John Summerville. Mr. Dexter settled at what is now Dexterville in 1829, at which time a man named Welch was living there. Jesse Reynolds also came in 1829, locating on 200 acres of lot 33. He was born in Greene county January 24, 1813, and emigrated here with his father, Richard Reynolds, and his eleven other children. Richard died in 1856 and was succeeded on the homestead by Jesse, who married Lucy, a daughter of Thomas Vickery, one of the early settlers of Schroeppel.
Aaron Stranahan, who was born in Chatham, N. Y., October 18, 1807, came to Granby in 1830, and at various times was extensively engaged in lumbering. He was the father of Adaline J., Luvilla (Mrs. Cooper), Smith N., and Gipson Stranahan. Seth Paine became a resident of Granby in 1831. He was born in 1797, engaged in boating on the Oswego Canal, and located on 182 acres on lot 24. He served in the war of 1812, was promoted to captain, held several town offices, was a good biblical scholar and an able writer, and with William S. Geer, his brother in-law, built a saw mill at what was called the "Horseshoe dam" in Granby. He died October 30, 1860. His children were Mrs. Marshall Hale, Mrs. Charles S. Fuller, and Oliver Paine, of whom the last named succeeded his father on the homestead.
In 1834 David Willcox settled on 400 acres of land in this town where he ever afterward resided. He was born in Ashford, Conn., October 20, 1797, and died in 1894. He had ten children, Milo, George, William, Emmet, Stephen, James, Cyrus C., David, jr., and two daughters who died in infancy.
In 1835 Jackson Reynolds and William H. Tompkins came into the town. Mr. Reynolds, born April 10, 1816, engaged in boating on the Oswego Canal for Bronson & Crocker of Oswego, and later on his own account. He settled in Granby with his father, Eli Reynolds, on lot 45, where the latter died in 1844 and his wife in 1864. Mr. Tompkins was born in Saratoga county in January, 1823, and came from Onondaga county with his father, Benjamin, two brothers, Israel and Charles, and a sister, Phebe, settling on lot 17 adjoining the river. The father died in 1858.
William B. Gaylord, born in 1814, came to Granby with his father's family from Lafayette, Onondaga county, in 1836, and located on lot 21. Morgan Blakeman settled on lot 30 in 1837 and subsequently removed to lot 29. He was born in Berne, N. Y., in 1813, and had nine children who attained maturity.
Among other settlers during this decade (1830—1840) were C. P. Dutcher, C. S. Fuller, John W. Fuller, Abel Palmer, Henry Rockwood, Morris Richards (died in 1882), and Orson H. Dutton (died in April, 1884).
In "Historical Collections of the State of New York," published in 1846, the town is thus described:
Granby, taken from Hannibal in 1818; from Albany W. 158, centrally distant from Oswego S. 12 miles. Pop. 2,386. Phillips village is a small settlement on the Oswego River at the Oswego Falls, which are 800 feet in width, and can be made to furnish great hydraulic power. Six-Mile Creek is a post-office.
Between 1840 and 1850 the following took up their homes in Granby: Liberty Arnold, John Palmer, John C. Wells, E. D. Chapman, J. A. Edgarton, Marcus J. Greer, John W. Gale, J. C. Harrington (died in 1888), William Monroe, William W. Palmer, Alvin Smith, A. M. Thomson, and others. John C. Wells, born in Trenton, N. Y., in 1821, settled on lot 65 in 1845, and held a number of town offices, and was also loan commissioner for the county. John Palmer arrived in 1849. He was born in 1782, was a blacksmith with his father, served in the war of 1812, and located on lot 38, where he died in 1857, being followed on the homestead by his son William W.
An item worthy of mention is the fact that no less than three centenarians have died in town since 1876, viz.: Mrs. Submit Cathcart, died July 17, 1876, aged 100 years, five months, seventeen days; Nicholas Fitzgerald, died December 14, 1877, aged 103 years; and Mrs. Mary Blair, died December 4, 1891, aged 100 years. Mrs. Vanderlinder is living in the town (January 1, 1895) at the age of 102.
A few other prominent men remain to be mentioned. Emery L. Howe, born in Massachusetts in 1821, came here with his parents at an early day, and in 1866 removed to Fulton. He was a surveyor and for several years a merchant, and died in March, 1884. Alanson Dodge served as supervisor many terms, four years as superintendent of the Oswego Canal, and died in November, 1887, aged nearly eighty. He was one of the prominent Democrats of the town and county. H. H. Merriam was born in Cicero, N. Y., April 25, 1832, and settled on lots 8 and 9 in Granby in 1865. Two of his sons, William and Harvey, were drowned in Lake Neatahwanta on December 17, 1870. Mr. Merriam has been president of the Oswego Falls Agricultural Society for many years and is one of the leading farmers of the county. Asa Phillips, Erastus Kellogg, and others are noticed in Part III of this volume.
The population of Granby at various periods has been as follows: In 1830, 1,423; 1835, 2,049; 1840, 2,386; 1845, 2,741; 1850, 3,368; 1855, 3,747; 1860, 4,057; 1865, 3,956; 1870, 3,972; 1875, 4,166; 1880, 4,514; 1890, 4,138.
In the war of the Rebellion the town contributed nearly 400 of her patriotic citizens to the Union army and navy; many of them were killed or died of wounds, disease, or starvation and a number received merited promotion. Among the latter were Daniel F. Schenck, Francis M. Woodruff, Joseph Stratton, George W. Allen, Samuel B. Alger, William H. Stebbins, William P. Schenck, Lansing Bristol, Alexander King, James H. Lasher, Cheever P. Strong, and Adelbert Warren.
The proximity of this town and especially of the village of Oswego Falls to the village of Fulton on the east side of the river has had a somewhat deteriorating effect upon the establishment of advanced educational institutions within the territory under consideration. Owing largely to this fact there have never been any but the common district schools in Granby. The first school house in town was a log structure built near the main river road in the north part of the corporate limits of Oswego Falls in 1812, the school in which was first taught by Benjamin Robinson. About 1828 a frame school building was erected on the high ground west of the falls. Each of these were finally superseded by two-story brick structures. The town now has nineteen school districts with a school house in each, which were taught in 1892—3 by twenty-six teachers and attended by 912 scholars. The school buildings and sites are valued at $15,700; assessed valuation of districts in 1893, $1,632,990; public money received from the State, $3,370.75; raised by local tax, $4,043 94. The districts are locally designated as follows: No. 1, Cody; 2, Lower Oswego Falls; 3, Merriam; 4, South Granby; 5, Bowen's; 6, Merritt; 7, Granby Center; 8, Hinsdale; 9, Dexterville; 10, Eight Notes; 11, Palmer; 12, West Granby; 13, Lewis; 14, Gilbert; 15, Upper Oswego Falls; 16, Hinmanville; 17, Reynolds; 18, Joint; 19, Pember's. Many of the districts employ the graded system.
Supervisors' statistics of 1894: Assessed valuation of real estate, $1,559,920, equalized, $1,451,975; personal property, $21,200; railroads, 12.95 miles, $150,000; town tax, $5,472.51; county tax, $8,249.78; total tax levy, $16,795.46; ratio of tax on $100, $1.06; dog tax, $100. The town has four election districts and in November, 1894, polled 1,012 votes.
Oswego Falls Village.—Although this was the first place settled in town, it was backward in development, and it was not until about 1830 or 1835 that it actually assumed the appearance of a village. Prior to this, however, a number of small manufacturing establishments had sprung up along the river bank, many of which have already been noticed. The immense water power here was not as accessible as on the opposite side of the river, owing to the high abrupt banks, and milling industries consequently went to Fulton. The building of the Syracuse and Oswego (now the D., L. & W.) Railroad in 1848 gave the place an impetus and began an era of prosperity.
The real founder of Oswego Falls was Asa Phillips, from whom the village was long known as "Phillipsville." Mr. Phillips was born in Ashford, Conn., January 12, 1794, came in his mother's arms to Marcellus, Onondaga county, and succeeded to his father's estate upon the latter's death in 1813. In 1816 he engaged in shipping salt, and in 1824 removed to the site of this village, where he bought a square mile of land. He immediately built several saw mills, a shingle mill, blacksmith shop, and dwellings for his men. In 1828 he erected a large hotel, which was destroyed by fire in 1868. In 1830 he placed packet boats on the canal and carried on a large trade for several years. He finally sold his property here; purchased and sold off in building lots a large tract in Fulton village; engaged in banking and speculation in New York, which proved unprofitable, and returned to Fulton in 1844, where he again accumulated a competency, and where he died in 1865. He built the first frame school house in Oswego Falls and employed a teacher at his own expense, and during his business career here was the principal man of the place. In 1850 the Messrs. Willard were doing a large business in manufacturing bedsteads for the New York market. Among the other establishments then in operation were two or three grist mills, George Salmon's large tannery, and a hotel kept by Asa Phillips.
The village covers an area of about 1,000 acres, or the east half of lots 74 and 75 of the old township of Hannibal and all except the southeast one-fourth of lot 4 of the survey township of Lysander. Mr. Phillips caused a survey and village map to be made of the east part of lot 75 in 1828, but the plan subsequently fell into disuse. This was the first attempt made towards effecting an allotment of the lands within the present corporate limits.
When the railroad was in process of construction in the year 1847, the village was incorporated, but the inhabitants at that time were so few in number that the charter privileges remained unused. About six years later, on October 12, 1853, Hon. R. H. Tyler, county judge, in pursuance of a petition to the court, directed the holding of an election November 19, 1853, to determine the question of incorporation. Of the 110 votes cast fifty eight were in the affirmative. In the fall of that year the following officers were chosen and in the spring of 1854 the same were re-elected:
Peter Schenck (president), Jumes Parker. William Andrews, John V. Smith, and — Holden, trustees; Orrin R. Jaycox, treasurer; Stephen Roberts, collector.
The following have been presidents of the village:
Peter Schenck, 1853—4; John V. Smith, 1855; Peter Schenck, 1856—9; John V. Smith. 1860; Peter Schenck, 1861—2; J. G. Willard, 1863; Peter Schenck, 1864—5; Philander H. Wandell, 1866; Erastus Kellogg, 1867; C. K. Howe, 1868; Ransom, G. Alger, 1869; John Wall, 1870; C. P. Dutcher, 1871; F. W. Baker, 1872; James Parker, jr., 1873; Edgar M. Baker. 1874; Abram G. Hugunin. 1875; Edgar M. Baker, 1876—7; H. C. Gardner, 1878; Edgar M. Baker, 1879—80; T. R. Wright, 1881; Edgar M. Baker, 1882; E. Frank Marsh, 1883; Miles Ellis, 1884—5; E. M. Baker, 1886; A. E. Keller, 1887; D. C. Case, 1888—9; J. W. Rigley, 1890; A. C. Culken, 1891; E. M. Baker, 1892; Charles K. Rogers, 1893; A. E. Keller, 1894.
The officers for 1894—5 are:
Amos E. Keller, president; George Simons, George Reynolds, William Kelley, Patsey Casey, George W. Brooker, and Charles E. Clute, trustees; Daniel H. Gilbert, clerk; William H. Cook, treasurer; George North, collector; E. J. Cronyn, police justice; Dr. W. M. Wells, health physician; Daniel Mehegan, Burns Case, and James Stevens, (clerk), health officers.
The village charter has been several times amended, notably in 1866 (when the president was made elective by popular vote instead of being chosen by the board of trustees, as theretofore); in 1873 and 1874; and on April 20, 1878, when the street commissioner, clerk, policemen, and jailor were to be appointed by the trustees and a police justice elected for a term of four years.
The post-office of Oswego Falls was established May 11, 1850, with Joseph E. Willard as postmaster. His successors have been as follows:
L. G. Watson, appointed September 16, 1853; Orlin R. Jaycox, February 1, 1856; James Parker, September 22, 1856; William R. Warren, June 10, 1858; J. D. Brewer, November 29, 1858; J. Gates Willard, May 31, 1861; W. J. Townsend, September 10, 1866; Benjamin R. Howe, April 8, 1869; John R. Sullivan, 1884; Charles H. Dexter; and John R. Sullivan, incumbent.
Among the merchants may be mentioned the names of Benjamin R. Howe, who was postmaster from 1869 to 1884, and who died in July, 1888; Dr. George G. Whitaker, druggist; Charles H. Dexter, still in business; Haynes & Switzer, grocers; J. H. Betts, grocer; and H. Ballard.
About 1850 George Salmon started a large tannery which was subsequently owned by Barnett & Hamburger and later by D. J. Hamberger, in whose possession it was burned on August 12, 1885, with a loss of about $75,000. At this time it was operated by James Grigson. It was rebuilt and is now owned by Bacon & Nichols.
In 1859 J. G. Kellogg, of San Francisco, and Bradford Kennedy, of Syracuse, owned large landed interests in the corporate limits. In that year Erastus Kellogg came here, and with funds furnished by J. G. Kellogg commenced the erection of Mill No. 1, which now forms a part of the great Fulton Worsted Mills at the upper bridge. He was also assisted in the enterprise by Mr. Kennedy. In 1860 Abram Howe purchased the interest of J. G. Kellogg and with Erastus Kellogg completed the establishment. They leased the upper part to Potter & Holroyd for a knitting factory and Kennedy & Kellogg occupied the lower stories for manufacturing woolen goods. In 1862 a second mill was erected and Willard Johnson became a partner. The site of this structure was quitclaimed by Mr. Howe to the other proprietors early in 1863. The mills were managed by Erastus Kellogg2 and army cloth was manufactured. Hoyt, Sprague & Co. finally forclosed a mortgage upon the property and the whole plant passed into their hands. In 1868 Nathan Hodgson came here from England and leased mill No. 1, and a part of No. 2 for the purpose of manufacturing ladies' cloth waterproofs. The next year D. Ramsden began the manufacture of worsted goods in Mill No. 2. In 1873 Hoyt, Sprague & Co. failed and A. D. Juilliard was appointed receiver, and in his interest the establishment, including 500 acres of land, the Broadway House, and other property, was sold in 1876 for $105,000. A stock company was formed and conducted the mills until they were amalgamated with the Riverside Mills of Providence, R. I., in 1884 under the firm name of the Riverside and Oswego Mills Company. Mr. Juilliard remained in charge and expended about $750,000 in rebuilding the plant. On August 6, 1889, they were closed on an attachment of $412,000 and later Chester A. Braman was appointed receiver. In June, 1890, they were sold to George S. Bullens and Warren Sawyer, of Massachusetts, for $800,000. Soon afterward the establishment passed into the possession of Charles Fletcher, the present proprietor, who rebuilt and remodeled the whole plant as it now exists in 1891, the office building being the only structure of any value left standing. He put in new machinery and enlarged almost every department. About 750 hands are employed and the business aggregates $1,500,000 annually. Worsted cloths for men's wear and yarn for knitters are manufactured. The mills are heated by hot air, lighted by electricity generated in the establishment, and operated wholly by water-power, the raceway for this purpose costing $10,000. This concern has long been the leading manufacturing industry of Oswego Falls. To it more than to any other the village owes its growth and prosperity, and around it numerous business interests have been successfully established.
In 1871 William Waugh began the manufacture of straw paper on the site of the present factory just above the lower bridge. In 1872 he took his brother Edward into partnership under the firm name of William Waugh & Brother, which has since remained unchanged. In 1890—91 the old mill was torn down and the present structure erected on the adjoining site. About twenty hands are employed. At this place the sons of William Schenck had a chain factory for three or four years.
The Oswego Falls Observer, the first newspaper in the village, was started in April, 1882, by Alfred P. Bradt, the president editor and proprietor. In August, 1883, it was enlarged from a folio to eight pages. It is independent in politics and enjoys a wide reputation and large circulation. Mr. Bradt was born in Ira, Cayuga county, May 23, 1851, removed to North Hannibal in 1863, and spent his early life in farming and gardening. Here he acquired a taste for newspaper work by corresponding for Oswego and New York papers. In August, 1879, he purchased the Hannibal Reveille and News, which he sold to N. B. & C. B. Brower in August, 1881, and removed to Oswego Falls.
The Fulton Paper Company was incorporated in March, 1889, with a capital of $30,000. The first officers were J. A. Foster, president; James Sears, vice-president; and G. C. Webb, secretary and treasurer. A factory was erected a little above the lower bridge which has a daily capacity of 44,000 pounds of dry pulp and employs from thirty to forty hands. The present officers are A. E. Nettleton, president; F. S. Taylor, vice-president; and G. C. Webb, secretary and treasurer.
The Eureka Paper Company was incorporated with a capital of $30,000 November 17, 1890, and with these officers: R. J. Oliphant, president; James A. Foster, vice-president; and T. H. Webb, secretary, who remain the same except the vice-president, who is James Sears. A mill was built near that of the Fulton Paper Company which gives employment to twenty or twenty-five hands and manufactures about 18,000 pounds of manilla, rope, fibre, and tag paper daily.
The Foster Brothers Company was incorporated February 12, 1891, by J. A. Foster, president; C. F. Foster, vice-president; and George C. Chauncey, secretary, the latter being succeeded by George F. Trageser, who with the Messrs. Foster compose the present management. The capital is $40,000. About thirty hands are employed and machine knives and butchers' tools are manufactured, the plant being situated near those of the two companies just noted.
Among other manufacturing establishments of Oswego Falls are those of D. M. Mills & Co., pumps; Charles K. Rogers, feed mill; John W. Rawson, chenille goods; John McCarthy, brooms; W. D. Edgarton, and A. B. Fletcher, brick; and David Baldwin, lumber yard and saw mill. Smith Murgatroid formerly had a grist mill and machine shop at the upper part of the village which burned in March, 1886; the Whitman steel works located here in that year and subsequently moved away.
The village of Oswego Falls has enjoyed its greatest growth during the last twenty years and its business has more than doubled since 1882. It contains several handsome business blocks and many fine residences. A street car line, which is described in the chapter devoted to Volney and Fulton, connect it with Fulton village, and two stations, one opposite the upper and another opposite the lower bridge, afford excellent transportation facilities on the D., L. & W. railroad. A well organized volunteer fire department, composed of Baker Hose No. 1 and Cronyn Hose No. 2, of which John Follan is chief, is maintained. There are about 1,830 inhabitants withen the corporate limits.
West Granby had its bcginning in a saw mill and a grist mill which Seth Camp erected there about 1819. The latter had one run of stone and was the first grist mill in town. A Mr. Fairbanks opened a store three or four years later and shortly afterward built a distillery, which were the first permanent establishments of the kind in Granby. A tavern was soon opened and one of its early landlords was Simon Ockabock. The place took the name of "Camp's Mills" and gave promise of becoming a thrifty country village. About 1828 Jacob Bakeman, a son of Henry Bakeman and a mulatto, purchased the mills and conducted them for many years. A colored property owner in those days was a novelty and outsiders long insisted upon calling the settlement "Niggerville." In 1835 the village consisted of a grist mill, saw mill, distillery, store, two taverns, four or five blacksmith shops, and fifteen or twenty dwellings. An extensive travel passed through here, and a lively business was carried on in all lines, but after the financial panic of 1837 it began to wane and eventually decreased into the ordinary pursuits of a quiet rural hamlet. About 1840 Andrew Decker kept tavern in what was facetiously called the "Astor House," and Alfred Higgins at one time owned both mills, the hotel and store. Among the old-time merchants were John Draper and John Bullen. A postoffice was established here in 1822, but has long since been discontinued.
Granby Center is situated two miles west from the lower part of Oswego Falls and was formerly known as Williams Corners. At one time it contained two steam saw mills and several other industries. It has now about eighty inhabitants, a cheese factory, post-office, etc. The postmaster is Hiram Ballard.
Dexterville is a postal hamlet two miles west of Granby Center and was named from Rodman Dexter, who built a steam saw mill there in 1851. Burned in 1857 it was rebuilt by Erastus Dexter and finally torn down in 1873. Mr. Simon is the postmaster.
Bowen's Corners was so named from the Bowen family previously noticed. It contains a cheese factory, a post-office with Stephen D. Arnold as postmaster, a brick school house, and the usual complement of dwellings and business interests.
South Granby is a post office and station on the D. L. & W. Railroad four miles southeast of Oswego Falls. The postmaster is Harlow S. Sperbeck.
Brook is a post office recently established in the Whitcomb neighborhood in this town.
Churches—The first religious organization in town was St. Luke's Episcopal Mission, which was formed at West Granby as early as 1838, under the charge of Rev. G. B. Engle. In 1842 a small church edifice was erected, being the first church building in Granby. From this time until 1861 the parish was connected with that at Fulton, and soon afterward the church was sold to the Methodists and the mission discontinued.
At a comparatively early day there was a Methodist class at Granby Center and another at West Granby, meetings being held in school houses. About 1852 a small church edifice was built at the Center and in 1861 the Methodists purchased the Episcopal mission at West Granby.
The Reformed Methodists organized a class and instituted services at Bowen's Corners many years ago.
The Congregational Church of Oswego Falls was organized July 11, 1882, with Benjamin R. Howe (treasurer), Dr. W. W. Wells (secretary), Lewis Johnson, George J. Emeny, Edgar M. Baker, and J. C. Harrington as trustees. The first pastor was Rev. A. E. Kinmouth, who remained until September, 1883. The corner-stone of the present handsome brick and stone edifice on the corner of First street and Broadway, near the upper bridge, was laid by Hon. Peter Burns, of Syracuse, October 16, 1882. This was the first church and society organized in the village limits. The structure was completed at a cost of $14,000 and dedicated May 20, 1884. Rev. F. G. Webster is the present pastor and F. G. Gill is the superintendent of the Sunday school.
St. Paul's Mission was established in Oswego Falls in November, 1883, by Zion Episcopal Church of Fulton.
A Young Men's Christian Association is maintained in Oswego Falls, the officers for 1895 being as follows: S. Edgarton, president; Harry Rudd, vice-president; Ralph Hannums, secretary and treasurer.
1. Amos G. Hull's History of
Fulton and Oswego Falls, 1862
2. Erastus Kellogg died in Skaneateles, N. Y., in 1885. He was a prominent man during his residence here, and was instrumental in opening the first stone quarry in Granby.
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