BY JOHN S. MINARD.
HUME, one of the north towns of the
county, named probably from the English historian, Hume, is bounded north by Pike and Genesee Falls in Wyoming
county, east by Granger along the northern part, the Genesee river forming the boundary, and along the southern
part, the Transit Meridian or eastern line of the Holland Purchase; south by Caneadea and west by Centerville.
In the subdivision of the "Purchase" Hume was township 6, range 1. Augustus Porter in 1798 ran the boundary
lines of the Caneadea Indian Reservation which forms a large percentage of its area, and in 1805 William Peacock
subdivided all that part not included in the Reservation, the Cottringer and Church tracts and "Brooks Gore,"
into lots and made no mention of any white man in its territory. The rich flats along the river were then sparsely
populated with Seneca Indians who had quite a village on land now the farms of the late Ebenezer Kingsley. Jim
Hudson, the chief, lived in a but where Dwight Gillett's house is. This village was called Wiscoy, an Indian word
which Geo. H. Harris said signifies "under the bank." I however think it took its name from Wiscoy creek,
"Wis" being the fifth Indian numeral, and "Koya," or "Coy," a stream or creek. Wiscoy,
the creek of five falls. The early whites called it "Indian Town," and also the "Lower Caneadea
At the first settlement Hume was part of the then extensive town of Angelica. Nunda was created March 11, 1808,
and Hume was part of its territory until March 6, 1818, when Pike was erected. The first town meeting of Nunda
was appointed to be held at the house of Peter Granger in present Pike. From 1818 our town was part of Pike until
March 20, 1822, when "Township 6, Range 1," was organized as the town of Hume, and the first town meeting
was "to be held at the house of Gardner Cook" (on the farm now owned by Stanley Mills.) In 1846 the "Gore"
was added. This is that portion of Hume lying east of the Transit, made up of parts of the Church and Cottringer
tracts. The population of the town was largest in 1860, 2,142. From 1870 when it was 1,920 it has remained nearly
stationary being 1,922 in 1875, 1,905 in 1880 and 1,913 in 1890.
The surface is largely hilly upland, watered by the Genesee river, the East Koy, Wiscoy, Cold and Sixth town creeks
which empty into it from the west, the Sixth town discharging into Cold Creek and Rush Creek (Indian Shon-wit-te-ye)
on the east, and by several smaller streams. Many mill sites were found on these streams, notably the Wiscoy, which
affords one of the finest water privileges in the county. The soil along the river was deep and very rich, especially
adapted to the growth of corn. The hills presented almost every variety of soil. Some of the best uplands in the
state are found within its limits, and some of the poorest. The original timber was of great variety, comprising
nearly every kind to be found in the state. The river flats varying in width are bordered by hills rising more
or less abruptly from 150 to 200 ft. Hume contains 24,274 acres and has an equalized assessed valuation of real
and personal estate of $619,663. Owing to its numerous streams and water powers it has a number of business centers.
Since the abandonment of the canal and the construction of the railroad along its line, the village of Fillmore
has made considerable growth and ranks first of all the shipping points between Rochester and Olean. Rossburgh,
in early canal days "Mixville Landing," later Wiscoy Landing, is another railroad station whose shipments
are considerable. There are five postoffices in the town, Hume, Fillmore, Rossburgh, Wiscoy and Mills Mills.
Roger Mills from Canajoharie was the pioneer of Township 6, Range 1, if not of the whole town. He stopped for a
time in Pike, then a hamlet of half a dozen families, and there hired one Olin for $1 to pilot him through the
Wiscoy valley in search of a mill site. The "upper falls," with its splendid water power, facilities
for dams, mills, etc., determined his location, and going to Batavia in the spring of 1806, he "articled"
lots 36 and 37 and returned at once to build his log cabin. In 1807 a dam was made and a sawmill erected, the first
in a large extent of country, to which settlers of Arcade even came for lumber. (Elisha Johnson in his report of
his survey of the Cottringer tract made in 1807 says, "The last season a sawmill was erected on Wiscoy creek
and is now in operation," but I find no verification of this statement.) A gristmill was built in 1808. The
castings and stones were brought from Albany on sleighs the winter before by George Mills and Zach. Keyes. Men
came from Geneseo, 30 miles away, to aid in the "raising," as did also some of the Caneadea Indians.
This mill was of quite primitive construction with its gearing, cog wheels, etc., mostly made of wood. Its erection
was however an important event, and the first products of many a new settlement were ground at this mill, people
bringing grain of their first crop even from Great Valley, 40 miles, fetching their "grist" on the "drag,"
the only vehicle the wild wood paths admitted to pass. This was a small crotched tree of which the prongs or branches
served as runners and the body as tongue. Upon this a yoke of oxen could draw quite a "grist" in winter
or summer. Many grists were carried in bags on horseback. The Indians also used this mill, abandoning their mortar
and pestle. They called it "Tes-e-o-na," and the sawmill "Kan-is-te-o-ni." This they never
patronized. Too much labor was needed to cut and draw the logs.
It was in this old mill that Elisha Mills in 1809 offered for sale the first stock of goods. Part of it was used
as a dwelling, and it is said that Goodwin Mills was there born. In early winter months a stock of venison and
deer skins accumulated, quite a trade being driven with the Indians, with a loaf of bread given for a ham and two
for a saddle of venison. When a load of venison, deer skins and peltry had been collected, some enterprising member
of the "settlement" took the best team and marketed them in Philadelphia or in Albany. The mill was also
the pioneer hotel, those coming from great distances to the mill would (if detained) be furnished with food by
the miller, and would use sacks and bags of grain for beds. Here also were distributed the few letters and fewer
papers brought from the nearest postoffice.
Many were the purposes served by that historic old mill. Soon after the War of 1812-14 Leonard Smith sold army
clothing here. The same old wall and frame stands today, having been added to and altered from time to time. For
over 80 years its "noisy wheel" has seldom ceased its revolutions, and seldom, until within 10 years,
have other than some of the Millses run it. The builder of this mill returned to Montgomery county in 1811 where
he died. His son Roger came the same year with his family and moved into the mill, adding ashanty for a kitchen.
A frame house was soon built, the first, or one of the very first ones of the town. This house still stands, changed
however by repairs and enlargements. It was long owned by Philo Mills, who resided his 80 years of life here, dying
in 1892 in the same room where he was born
In the summer of 1812 Caroline Russell, daughter of Samuel and Mrs. Permelia Penfield, taught the town's first
school in a building now the stable of the barn of the late Philo Mills. S. M. Russell, Esq., of Cuba, is probably
the only surviving pupil George Mills opened the first log tavern in 1815 a few rods above the Philo Mills house.
He was frozen to death and buried in the orchard back of his house. Of course a blacksmith was demanded early at
the mills and by the settlers, and Thomas Pyre was the pioneer. The few letters and very few newspapers sent to
the pioneers at first came from Geneseo postoffice, later from Warsaw, then from Perry and for some years before
Hume had an office Pike was the one most used. Several of the settlers would join in subscribing for a paper. Its
contents would be read aloud in the store and then in turn it would visit all the families.
In 1816 Roger Mills and Bailey put up a carding mill a few rods below the gristmill, conducting the water used
in that mill thither in a flume. This was the first carding mill in a wide territory. Machinery for dressing cloth
was later added, and here the home made cloth of the settlers for miles around was colored, dressed and pressed.
By 1817 or 1818 grain was abundant and a distillery was built on the place now owned by Stanley Mills, another
soon after at the "Mills," and yet another between Mills Mills and Wiscoy. These manufactured from the
surplus grain whiskey which was much easier to market than the grain.
In 1809 Joshua Skiff from Otsego county, paid Mr. Mills $5 for his chance on lot 38 (he having "booked"
it), secured the article for the north part, and commenced clearing. By fall he had three acres cleared and sown
to wheat. Then he had a "raising" at which were 11 men and two women. He completed his cabin, went back
to Otsego, returned early in 1810, with his wife, Lucina Wright. Four of their five children were born in that
old cabin. M. W. Skiff born in 1810 it is believed was the first white child born in Hume. Two of his children
survive, the venerable Joseph B. of Hume and Harvey J. of Iowa.
Moses Robinson came from the same place and with Mr. Skiff, located on lot number 32. He was one of those energetic
men, who always make a mark in the world. He did his share in clearing and enclosing the broad fields which today
distinguish the "Moses Robinson place" and the cluster of convenient and extensive farm buildings, with
the spacious and imposing residence, attest the enterprise as well as some of the peculiarities of "Uncle
Edmund Skiff about 1810 or 1811 settled upon lot 24. His wife was much afraid of the Indians who often visited
them. When the war broke out in 1812, she would not remain so near the frontier and they returned to Otsego. After
the war they settled in Pike.
Hubbard Fuller, who traded his place for Edmund Skiff's, came in 1812 and "articled" lands near by, and
at one time owned quite an extensive tract. John and Benj. Fuller were his sons
Luther Couch about 1814, at first teaching a school, a little north of Hubbard Fuller's, whose daughter Sylvia
he married, commencing housekeeping in Pike near where his father lived, but soon "taking up" land on
lot 24, which he cleared and made to blossom with great crops. He was one of the best of farmers, and the farm
is yet known as the "Couch Place" When in 1844 or 5 the country was aglow with the excitement of the
"Fourierite Associations," he sold his farm and invested all in the "Mixville Association"
and became its president. It ran for a few years and closed in disastrous failure. Mr. Couch lost largely and lived
but a few years.
Aaron Robinson, brother of Moses was early upon lot 32. the part known later as the "Alger place." He
was for years a man of extensive business operations. The house and other buildings he erected at a large outlay
of time and expense. He put up a tannery a short distance north of the house, over 100 feet long, also conducted
a boot and shoe shop. and employed a number of men. Generous to a fault while in prosperity, hospitable alike to
friends and strangers, he acquired a habit which brought adversity, and he was compelled to part with his place
and it came into the hands of Adolphus Alger, who resided upon it until his death.
In 1815 there were not more than 20 families in town. Quite an impetus was then given to settlement for some ten
years when scarcely a man could be met who did not come from Otsego or Montgomery counties. Edward Doud, father
of Orrin, James and John, came in 1815 locating on lot 31 and paying $4.50 per acre, the highest price as yet paid
in the township, most of it having sold for $2.50. Wm. Doud, son of Orrin, still owns the ancestral acres, one
of the best farms in town, while Geo. E. Doud, son of James. possesses the Old Homestead." Charles Trail,
whose sons Rhyla and Luman are still remembered, came also in 1815, locating on lot 7.
The next day after his arrival Trail caught a wolf and shortly after helped to kill two bears, which had been caught
in traps. One Damon was a very successful trapper, catching bears, wolves and large numbers of smaller game. A
good yoke of cattle would then bring from $50 to $60, the best of three year old steers from $18 to $20. The Holland
Company for a few years sent their agents over the "Purchase" to receive and collect cattle and receipt
the price agreed upon on their land contracts. This was quite an aid to the settlers, as the country was not yet
visited by the professional drover and many were hard pressed for the means to make their payments. These cattle
were driven to Philadelphia and sold.
Pioneering on the "Gore." While these settlements were being made the Indians still occupied the river
flats of the reservation. The tortuous course of the stream, exposing such a vast surface to evaporation, the consequent
fogs and malaria, the prevalence of fever and ague, conspired to retard settlement on the river. Elisha Johnson
notes in 1807 that "N. Dixon had made improvements on lot 109," now in part owned by Geo. Gillett and
Judson Stockwell. He was probably the pioneer of that part of the town. John Bellinger from Otsego came in 1809,
taking up" land on lot 112, now owned by John Gleason, Dexter Carpenter from Vermont, came in 1819, taking
part of lot 111, now owned by Frank Gillett
When Gillett came he found a log house tavern kept by one John Potter near the river on the land he purchased.
This was on the first road opened up the river, which followed substantially the "Indian Trail."- Being
centrally located, when this region was all Nunda the elections and town meetings were there held, as well as the
first company and "general training." Capt. Samuel Russell used to command at those dispays.
Esau Rich, a Cheeny, Daniel Hendee, a Fancher, Joel Stockwell and a Hawley, were also early settlers east of the
"Transit," and north from the Reservation, and one Lay was there found who had been for 30 years leading
a roving life with the Indians. Jason Goodell taught the pioneer school on the "Gore" in a log barn near
Mrs. Dudley's place. Maria Bellinger succeeded him there. The settlers generally went (in 1819) to Hunts Hollow
to trade, and get their mail. The nearest physician was Dr. Moses on "Oak Hill" and ague the prevailing
complaint. There were no bridges and fording was the usual way of crossing the river, except in high water when
canoes were used and in winter ice bridges were the popular thing. Some deaths by drowning occurred, and many exciting
adventures and hair breadth escapes are related by the pioneers upon the river. The first religious services were
held by Eld. Lindsley, a Presbyterian missionary. The first ground used for cemetery purposes was the "Carpenter
burying ground." The first interment was that of Phebe Coon about 1834.
HUME VILLAGE. (Cold Creek)* -
During the progress of the events we have just related, the site of this village was dressed in its natural loveliness.
The beautiful waterfall, the perpendicular walls of rocks, with trees along its banks almost interlacing above
its foaming waters made a picture of great beauty. This great "mill privilege" soon caught the eye of
Roger Mills, and was "taken up" at an early day, the "article" covering lot 28. He held it
for a number of years, later he exchanged his right with one Bushnell for a yoke of oxen. This was but a short
time before settlement was commenced. It was again transferred before it was deeded. It is not known that Bushnell
ever lived here.
*I am largely indebted to Mrs. Sarah Ingham, landlady of the Ingham Tavern for so many years, for information concerning
the settlement of this village.
Sylvanus Hammond, from Middlebury, was the pioneer of Hume village, erecting the first house, a log one on the
site of residence of J. VanDresser about 1820. Ira Higbee early built a log house where James Ingham lives, but
soon sold to Ebenezer Utley from Butternuts, Otsego Co., who came in January, 1823. James Drake made a clearing
and erected a shingle shanty style of cabin, nearly or quite on the site of Henry Wells residence, and Luther Merchant
from Middlebury, put up a log structure about on the site of the Henry House. Mr. Ingham bought his interest and
occupied the house in March, 1823, coming from Bethany whence he had removed from Herkimer Co. They came down the
narrow ravine which makes up the hill nearly opposite where Mrs. Climena Kendall lives. Gen. Elijah Partridge had
previously "planted his destiny" a little to the south, "taking up" lots 18 and 34. A bridge
had been built across the creek by Geo. Dennis and Geo. Barker. And such a bridge ! It was made by felling large
pines, hewing them on three sides and placing them side by side across the stream, (then much narrower than now)
until sufficiently wide for travel,and where needed, filling in between them with sticks properly shaped like "chinking
up" a log house.
In June, 1823, Mr Ingham put up a framed addition to his log house and opened the first public house in Hume village.
Of its local patrons the Indians were quite numerous, sometimes coming in large numbers, and frequently the kitchen
floor was literally covered with Indians of both sexes lying with their heads to the fire. A few rods west from
the "Ingham Stand" is a famous spring at the base of a terrace. Around this the Indians would sit on
the logs and partake of their simple lunch, indulging in mirth, sentiment and joke. The spring was called by them
the cold spring." I believe this the origin of the name of the creek.
The first sawmill was built in 1823 by Blakely and Doake. Its site is occupied by the hardware store of Mr. Seeley,
and the stores of Wells Bros., Goodrich & Skiff, Geo. S. Hopper, and the residence of C. F. Skiff was the mill
yard. The pioneer blacksmith was Ruby who built a shop at the south end of the bridge. The first physician was
Dr. Balcom. The writer well remembers him as an aged man mounted on an old white horse; staff in hand and pill
bags astride, slowly wending his way to the bedside of the sick.
James D. McKeen, the pioneer merchant, a former foot peddler, put on sale a few goods, first in the bar of Ingham's
tavern, but, about 1825, changed quarters to the front room of the framed addition. His success encouraged him
to build the first store of the village. This was the "old red store" and the "old red rookery"
of later years. It stood near Mechanics Hall in the corner of the beautiful grounds surrounding N. P. Baker's residence.
Other stores soon followed and each had its lumber yard while some added an ashery, one having stood on the high
bank of the creek near Henry's opera house, and another near R. M. Skiff's. Lumber and shingles were used almost
as currency at prices which would astonish our modern dealers. The "ash gatherer" would go all over the
country trading calico, etc., for ashes, which, converted into pot and pearl ashes, would be sent to market and
exchanged for cash or more goods. These goods were hauled from Albany by teams, making the goods very dear to the
settlers. After 1826 goods were shipped by canal to Rochester, from there poled up the river in flatboats to York
Landing, where our merchants would send teams for them.
The first school was taught by Charles Mather in the winter of 1823-4 in a schoolhouse just completed. Miss Harriet
Utley succeeded him the next summer Miss Utley and her sisters Huldah and Dolly, twins, were generally known as
the "Utley girls." They had for many years been teachers in the district schools of this and adjoining
towns, and many of the older people of this section made their acquaintance (as did the writer) in. the "old
log schoolhouse," with its ample fireplace appropriating nearly the whole of one end, and its row of desks,
or rather continuous desk and seat, around and along the other end and sides; when "boarding around"
was the order, the sharp rapping with the ruler on door or window casing, served all the purposes of the modern
school bell; and blackboards and steel pens were things of the "dim future." These "Utley girls"
were the best of nurses, ministered frequently to the suffering and afflicted, and their presence and attention
were thankfully welcomed. Self reliant, taking an ardent interest in public affairs and neighborhood prosperity,
sociable, charitable and merciful, their lives were devoted to the good of others, and left in the memories of
their many friends pleasant recollections. Rufus Chaffee conducted the first school for instruction in music as
early as 1826. He also worked in the sawmill by the bridge and was there crushed to death while removing ice from
around the pitman.
The first gristmill in Hume village was erected in 1829 by Ozro Thomas and John Freeman. The principal gearing
was made of wood. It had two "run of stones, and stood on the north bank of the creek (in the rear of N. M.
Wells' barn). It ran but a few years, being superseded by the present mill which was built by Albert Utley. Gordon
M. Abel and a Mr. Griffith.
The first tannery was built by Townsend and Smith, and stood near the residence of L. D. Hubbard. Another was built
in 1832 by Alanson and Wm. R. Skiff on the north side of the creek, about where H. C. Brown has a barn.
Dr. Seth H. Pratt, came about 1825. He was orator at the first "Fourth of July celebration" of the village
in 1825 or 6. Tables were spread in front of Ingham's tavern under a bower, seats were constructed, a stand erected,
and the oration delivered on a little flat under the creek bank, long since washed away. Gen. Partridge was marshal.
Hume postoffice was established in 1826, with Chauncey G. Ingham postmaster, who held office over 15 years. The
first mail contained but one article, a letter. The receipts for the first few years averaged about $10 per annum.
Soon after 1826 the Holland Company appropriated $1,200 for roads and bridges in Hume, the work to be done under
the direction of Judge Dole and Mr. Ingham. This was for the main or stage road from Angelica to Batavia, which
ran through by Absalom Ayers' over the old "gulf road" route, striking the river near Geo. P. Leet's
in Caneadea. Down the river from Leet's no road had been opened. Samuel Mills, son of Gen. Mills of Mt. Morris,
was the first lawyer (about 1840). He remained but a short time.
Wolves were very plenty around Cold Creek, and were loth to leave for some years after the first settlement. One
of the settlers, who lived about where H. C. Brown's house stands, one dark night heard a noise under his window,
which he raised, and, thrusting out an arm, he seized a wolf by the leg.
WISCOY, so long called Mixville,
deriving the name Wiscoy from the creek, and Mixville from Ebenezer Mix of Batavia, the early owner of the land,
was settled in 1828 by Lawrence Wilkes, a blacksmith, who married a sister of Mrs. Mix. A sawmill was built the
same year for Mr. Mix by David Knight. A bridge was thrown across the stream this season, the stringers being placed
in position the day after the mill was raised. Jonathan Wilkes was the contractor. Henry Torrey built the gristmill
and the first hotel in 1829. The first merchants were Orrin Kingsley and Isaac Wheeler* who opened a store in 1830.
The goods were brought from Albany in canal and river boats to York landing, thence to destination in wagons or
sleighs. The first physician was Dr. Keyes, locating in 1830. The first blacksmith was Lawrence Wilkes. Miles Dodge
built the furnace in 1842, and conducted an extensive business, increasing its facilities until they constructed
steam engines and mill machinery. Other early settlers were, David Gear, David Ayde, one Sawyer and Hibbard Pride.
Benjamin Cooley settled in 1816 about a mile north of the village, building a sawmill on the East Koy in 1825.
* Isaac would never sell the last thing of a kind as "it would break the assortment."
Wiscoy was the seat of the famous Fourieristic "Mixville Association," which went into operation about
1844 or 5 and proved a dismal failure, involving many in bankruptcy. The beautiful rapids and falls of the Wiscoy
at this place and the two falls at Mill's Mills gave the stream its name "Wiscoy," "Five-fall-brook,"
or, as some have it though not as correctly, "Many-fall-brook," from the fact of its descent of 90 feet
in less than 1 mile, with substantial rock bottom and banks, affording facilities for dams, mills, factories, etc.,
seldom equalled. When first gazed upon by the white man it must have been romantic indeed. The waters are remarkable
for steadiness of flow and volume, and should today be turning thousands of spindles and driving hundreds of looms.
Possibly it might have done so had not too. high a price been placed upon it by the early owners.
FILLMORE village is situated at
what was, before the turning of the channel of the river by the state in 1839-40, the mouth of Cold Creek, and
for years preceding, the establishment of the postoffice it was known as "the mouth of the creek." Up
to 1836 its site was covered with a heavy growth of pine, buttonwood, butternut and elm. John Whiting early built
a sawmill on the creek, settling on the farm now owned by W. B. McCrea. This mill was followed by the Lapham mill,
Abraham Lapham from Macedon, Wayne county, succeeding Mr. Whiting in the spring of 1841. Abner Leet erected the
first public house, known as the "Red Tavern," in 1838. It was literally in the woods, and stood where
the Prospect House stands. Thos. R., Uriah and Edwin Leet of Caneadea were his sons. He was one of the few who
wished to name the place Fayette City, and across the north end of the hall connected with the tavern the words,
"Fayette City Hall" were posted in an arch, but the place was never to any extent known by that name.
Asgil S. Dudley the first merchant, had a small stock in the present resident of R. P. Tarbell. Wright & Baker
soon after opened a store in the building near the M. E. church now the property of Dennis Torpey. Alexander Ferguson
was the first blacksmith in a shanty on the site of Wm. P. Brooks' residence. He is well remembered by older people
here, as the typical son of Vulcan, herculean in stature and in strength. The first wagon makers were H. M. and
Noah B Howden, who rented a shop built by Enos Stockwell in 1849 about where Mrs. Holland lives. The first work
they did was making two very heavy lumber wagon boxes for Geo. Quinn, a contractor on the canal. Mrs. Melancton
Morgan, widow, and Harvey M. Howden are the longest residents of Fillmore, and his house on Genesee street built
in 1850, was the first one in that part of the town. Levi Rice, a cooper, was an early settler here. His log shop
stood in the rear of Joseph Ensign's house. Enos Stockwell, blacksmith, came in 1841. He worked first for the men
getting out stone for locks from the quarry on the Andrew Caldwell farm. Soon coming to the village he occupied
a shop about where S. S. Hamilton lives. Energetic, public spirited, Fillmore will long remember him as a benefactor.
He built a number of dwellings and the Thomas Duffy hotel.
The large warehouse and store which stood on the basin in canal days and was bought and moved around parallel with
the railroad by D. W. Sweet, was erected by Whitbeck and Hall about 1851-2. This is an old landmark Jeremiah B.
Whitbeck and Theodore F. Hall came from Rochester in January, 1850, with a letter of introduction from Gem. Micah
Brooks to my father. Mr. Whitbeck tells me he has always remembered a remark my father made in reference to a question,
as to how large a business a well conducted store here might expect to do. It was that "if they put in the
right kind and stock of goods, they might do $12,000 per year," which Mr. W. says they exceeded the first
year, and later very much enlarged. They purchased the stock of Lyman Bailey, who conducted business under the
hall part of the "Red Tavern" where Hiram Huntley and Daniel D. Gardiner had traded, and took possession
Feb. 22, 1850. The stock invoiced $800, $400 of which was side pork, at four cents per pound. In March they occupied
the building now Wm. Foote's carriage factory, where they did business until the large warehouse on the basin was
occupied in 1852. Mr. Hall retired in 1854, Mr. Whitbeck continuing the business, taking successively as partners
Albert Anderson, Samuel A. Farman and William P. Brooks.
The first school was taught in the summer of 1841 by Mary Ann Ferguson, in a board shanty, near where John Hodnett
now lives. A log structure, used for school purposes, stood about where Patrick Hodnett lives. Jeremiah Morrill
and one or more of the Utley girls taught here. In 1811 this district and the one over the river were consolidated
and the present "Minard schoolhouse" was built In 1851 the district was divided, and Fillmore established
schools. The postoffice was established in 1850 with A. S. Dudley postmaster, named Fillmore for President Fillmore.
Dr. Isaac Minard for many years at Pike, was here for a short time as early as 1848, and is conceded to be the
pioneer physician. Dr. Nathan Haskins, formerly and subsequently of Centerville, was here in 1851 and for several
years after. Dr. Finn came about. 1851, remained about one year. In 1859 Dr. D. L. Barrows from Rochester, located
here for a number of years.
During the construction of the Genesee Valley canal there was an influx of Irish. After the canal was built they
remained and became tillers of the soil. The first canal boats were here in June. Joseph. Ensign says the first
boat in Fillmore was the "Daughter of Temperance," John Boardman, captain. These first boats were gaily
decked with flags and mottoes. The writer remembers one, "The Peoples Line Against Monopoly," and how
little Charley Barnard said "Yes, I know old Monopoly. He lives in Mt. Morris, keeps a hardware store, is
rich, and is hard on the poor." Lumber now found a ready market at home at enhanced prices, and wood, which
before had to be burned in the process of clearing, could be shipped to Rochester at remunerative prices.
In ante canal times the stage coach was the most expeditious mode of travel along the Genesee valley The "Genesee
Valley Express," a stage line from Mt. Morris to Cuba, was for a while a popular institution. Soon after the
opening of the canal the packet canalboat Frances, for a time made regular trips between Mt. Morris and Oramel.
Bands of music attracted pleasure parties to take passage, and dances were a not uncommon feature. The boat horn,
sounded at the meeting of a boat or on approaching a village, gave as much pleasure to its hearers as does now
the whistle of the locomotive. Joseph Moon with his famous key bugle used frequently to be a passenger and would
regale the people along the canal with a free "open air" concert. But the packet did not 'pay" and
soon ceased to run. There were too many locks to pass to give the speed desired and the stage line had its own
way again until the railroad came
David Bemis was the first, or one of the first shoemakers. George W. Dresser for some years carried on shoemaking,
where John Caldwell's house is, and George W. Wiles for a few years from 1851 had a shoeshop where is now E. Ward's
store. About 1855 he built a tannery north of the cheese factory site and is the only tanner Fillmore ever had.
John Grosvenor was an early tailor.
From 1846 to 1850 "the mouth of the creek" was the headquarters of a band of horse thieves and gamblers.
John Allen, Henry Hyssop, Jerry Whaley and one Tyler were leading members and their rendezvous, the "Red Tavern,"
was kept by Ed Rice. Stealing horses from the Indians on the Buffalo reservation was a regular occupation. They
were at last detected in this, arrested, prosecuted and several sent to prison, breaking up the gang.
THE CANEADEA INDIANS. - For some
years after the Indian title was extinguished (1826) the Caneadea Indians continued in undisturbed possession of
the rich lands of the reservation. Only occasionally would a white attempt to cultivate any of it. Their possession
retarded settlement along the river but contributed to the cultivation of neighberhood relations between the two
races and many pioneers became intimate with them. Prominent among the Indians was the old chief Shongo. His home
was near the residence of B. F. McClure in Caneadea. Mrs. Sarah Ingham said that he used frequently to visit their
house, and would relate his exploits in war, of being in the battle of Saratoga under Burgoyne. show the four ball
holes in one arm and the scars of several sword cuts. He was fond of "snick-e-i," but of sound judgment,
fine personal appearance and influential with his people. He came to be quite thrifty, had horses, cattle and hogs.
His son George married a daughter of Mary Jemison For an account of Hudson see page 35. "Old Wayne Washington"
was an Indian of note. He was also known as John Mohawk. He it was to whom VanCampen "lent his hatchet"
on one occasion, that is, sent him away with a tomahawk sticking in the back of his neck and shoulder. He lived
to be over 100 years old and lies buried back of Delos Benjamin's residence. One of his sons was called the best
runner of the Reservation. Long Beard, from whom "Long Beard's Riff" takes name, lived on the Benj. and
Judson Gillett farm (once on the farm next above), and for an Indian was quite a farmer, raising grain, horses,
cattle and sheep. Skanoboy, gift boy, given by and adopted from another tribe, lived with Long Beard. He was physically
perfect, but destitute of principle and disliked by nearly every one. He was fond of "firewater," and
once paid a liquor bill of 20 shillings by an elegant otter skin he had stolen (for which the Indians severelypunished
him). Mr. Ingham exchanged this skin in Batavia for nearly enough nails and glass to furnish the framed addition
to his log tavern. Copperhead lived to be very old. John Shanks, a "medicine man," Sun-ge-wa (Big Kettle),
the Trimsharps, Sharpshins, Bear hunter, Elk hunter. Chickens, Joe Dan Johnson, Powderhorn, Chicknit were names
borne by Indians of lesser note.
During the war of 1812 these Indians remained loyal to our people. Once the whites were much alarmed. The Indians
were missing, and it was feared they bad joined the British but they were only away hunting pigeons. One of the
Trimsharps was once at Joel Cooper's house on the Reservation. Turning to one of Mr. C's unmarried sons, "John,"
the Indian said, "You young, me no young, why you no git you squaw ? Me bring squaw next time I come."
To this young Cooper assented and thought no more about it. In a few days "Old Tom" re-appeared with
a charming young squaw, whom he had brought from Tonawanda to become his bride. The Indian was in earnest and John
had to marry or "back out." He chose to repudiate and the squaw went back with "Old Tom."
Parley Short once cut some hay on shares for Indians on the "round flats." The hay was stacked to remove
in winter. When they began to draw it away some Indians proceeded to resist its removal by force. Seizing a fork
one advanced upon the whites when Mr. Short dealt him a blow which laid him prostrate, and checked the warlike
demonstrations. It was several minutes before the Indian arose and when he did he said "I will help you my
EARLY SETTLERS ON THE RESERVATION,
beginning at the south were, Gardiner Thayer, Timothy Rice, taking up one of the lots of the "Old Town Flats,"
Marinus W. Miner, Henry D. Lyman. Warren Cowing and John Whiting. Allen Nourse and George Minard from Vermont,
came about 1831, the former settling a mile and a half from Fillmore east of the river, the latter coming a year
earlier made his home on the lot opposite the mouth of Cold Creek, about the time the Indians all left. The present
farms of Geo. E. Minard and James C. Smith were included in his purchase. Minard and Nourse were prominent and
did their full share towards public improvements, roads, bridges, etc. When they settled it was an unbroken wilderness
east to the top of Snider Hill in Granger. Samuel Bowen, Isaac Gibbs, Joel Cooper, Daniel P. Brooks, were early
settlers east of the river, on the west side were Sanford, Fish, Jonathan Hammond and his sons, John M Edson, Augustus
and Or villo. Simeon Short's farm joined the reservation on the west. He came from Ossian; was a hardworking man,
and died over forty years ago.
The first sawmill on Rush Creek was built about 1830 by one Price. Jay Farnsworth and Lovett S. Albee from Vermont
settled upon Rush Creek about 1834. They took up and divided a hundred acre lot. Lumbering occupied much of their
time as upon most of the land was a splendid growth of pine and oak. About 1840 Mr. Albee built a sawmill on his
land, Farnsworth having become the owner of the Price Mill. At that time a bushel of corn would buy a good pine
tree, and a pound of pork pay for a pine sawlog of average quality. Shingles was a staple product. They were usually
carried north and exchanged for apples, flour, pork, etc. They seldom brought money, and when sold for cash brought
a very small price. Hunting was practiced to a considerable extent. Deer were plenty and a good venison steak no
rarity. Wolves disappeared entirely about 1850.
Many of our pioneers were in the habit of trespassing on the non resident timbered lands. A fine pine or oak tree
had great attractions for them, and when it came under observation of one who had no decided conscientious scruples
its fate was sealed. About 45 years ago, the "village tract" was the scene of unusual activity in the
way of stealing timber. The lots of the "village tract" were owned by a number of proprietors, who drew
lots for the location, or settled the matter so that all the lots of one proprietor were not together but scattered.
The land was thickly timbered with remarkably fine pine, and the conditions furnished the most tempting opportunity
for securing it, as in order to make an action lie for trespass, the lot, or lots would have to be specified, which
would involve a careful survey of the whole tract. The business began cautiously, but two or three attempts to
prosecute having failed they "went for" the village lots, with a vengeance. And such havoc as they made.
The writer well remembers how merrily the axes rang among those "monarchs of the forest" and how they
fell, and what a crashing noise they made, not only in the daytime, but in those long moonlight winter nights.
One would fell a treeand saw it into logs, another would watch his opportunity and when the first had gone perhaps
for his team, would steal the logs and draw them to the mill, where perhaps a third one would seize the lumber
as soon as it was sawed and rush it to market. Of course the sawmill men looked out for their share. Thus was the
"village tract" despoiled of its grand old forest. It was on this tract that about 1845 one Wiley, shot
a huge, very ferocious wild animal the like of which was never before or since seen in these parts. Its skin after
it was stuffed must have been fully six feet from nose to tip of tail; it was of a yellowish color, with dark spots,
and appeared much like a huge cat.
The first school in what is now District No. 8 was taught by Almena Nourse in the winter of 1833-4 in a shingle
shanty about 14 by 24 feet in size, which had been built and used for a residence by Lewis Waldorf. After the erection
of the log schoolhouse proper, the first school was taught by Cyrene Wood of Portageville Mrs. Rosalia Wood now
of Centerville, a daughter of pioneer Joel Cooper, taught one term there. Salina Blanchard. from Vermont, taught
the first school in the Hammond district in a log house near where Julius E. Franklin now lives.
[Continued in History
of Hume, NY Part 2.]