Largely furnished by S. A. Earley, Esq.
THIS town was early the southern half of Angelica, from which it was taken Jan.
31, 1823, the name it is said coming from the island of Scio, in the Mediterranean Sea: Public attention had been
drawn to this island by an eloquent speech made by Daniel Webster on a recent massacre of Christians there, and
his admirers here commemorated his masterly effort in naming the new town Scio. It retained its regular form until
Willing was taken off Nov. 19, 1851, and. after portions had been made into and added to Wellsville and Amity,
in 1868 it presented its present very irregular outline. It lies entirely in the Genesee valley, Genesee river
running in a northwest direction across its territory, two of its tributaries, Vanderrnark Creek from the northeast
and Knight's Creek from the southwest, emptying into the river in this town. The towns of Amity and Ward lie on
the north, Wellsville on the east, Alma on the south and Wirt on the west. Scio has 22,289 acres of land and in
1894 had an "equalized" value of real estate of $579,898, personal property assessed at $28,950 and "assessed
to corporations" $46,825. Population 1830, 602; 1840, 1,150; 1850, 1,922; 1855, 3,184; 1860, 1,631; 1870,
1,652; 1880, 1,555; 1890, 1,391.
Pioneers were early attracted here. The valleys were filled with a massive growth of pine furnishing enormous prospective
wealth, while the hills of gentle slope gave promise of easily cleared land and productive homesteads. Joseph Knight,
a thrifty New Englander, brought his family and located in 1805 upon the place where his granddaughter, Mrs. Celesta
Whitcomb, now resides, and gave his name to the stream in whose valley he settled. He died in 1829, but great changes
were wrought in the forest wilderness during the quarter of a century he had his home here. "Mr. Knight was
obliged to cut his way into the town, and the passage he opened from Belmont was the first road within its boundaries;
and for some time afterwards there were no roads but sled roads." There was for several years no gristmill
nearer than Caneadea, no postoffice nearer than Angelica, where the postrider brought a scanty packet of letters
once in two weeks, or, perhaps, once in each week, and advancing civilization on the east could be reached at Dike's
settlement at Elm Valley by a winding, uncertain trail through the mighty forests. The productive capabilities
of the new soil is shown by the crop of 300 bushels of corn planted in 1807 on land from which the trees had just
been felled and among stumps so thick that no plow could be used. The Knights were ever good citizens, steady industrious
workers. They have filled an honorable place in the local annals. Bradley Knight now lives on the homestead of
his father, Samuel Knight, and Mrs. Whitcomb is the only child remaining of Col. William Knight of militia honors.
Joseph Knight, brother of Col. William and Samuel, developed a line farm at the mouth of Knight creek. His family
has disappeared, and Walter Madden now occupies his homestead.
The Knights apparently had no neighbors until 1808, when Bariaabas York and his son Alvah G. came. Alvah York,
son of Alvah G., is the only member of this family now in Scio. In 1809 Silas Bellamy and Silas Palmer brought
their families to Scio village. Mr. Bellamy has now two descendants here, Mrs. Catherine Chadwick on the homestead,
and Sally, widow of John Simons. William Nickerson now owns the Silas Palmer farm (known as the Aaron Hale place).
From 1809 settlers came straggling along. Among the early ones were John Benjamin, John Burrell, John Cook. Nehemiah
Clark, Allen Foster. Peter Gordon (on place now occupied by the Harms Bros.), Benjamin Millard, Stephen Palmer,
Charles Smith, George Sortore, and others. Joseph Clark came in 1815. The advantages and possibilities of Scio
had become known to the eastern people, and settlement was now rapid. Levi Dean in 1819 took up the farm now known
as the Malachi Davis place. and a considerable settlement began on "Middaugh Hill," the other pioneers
of 1819 being John Middaugh, John Magee and Elisha Sortore. The John Middaugh place was owned later by James Weaver
and now by Mrs. John E. Middaugh. They were joined in March, 1820, by Alvin and his twin brother, William Middaugh.
(Alvin died in 1886.) The snow was then three feet deep and they wintered their stock on the twigs and "browse"
of trees which eked out the half ton of hay they brought.
Polly Middaugh, widow of Alvin Middaugh, and daughter of Malachi Davis, now 84 years old, is well preserved, with
a keen memory of the pioneer days, and lives on the place that her husband "cleared" from a forest, and
where five children were born. Her reminiscenses are interesting and tell the tale of the trials and sufferings
of many others as well as those of her family. She lives on the old "home place," and is the only one
of the old settlers left between the villages of Scio and Friendship. She says that the next year after they arrived
all the sheep and lambs of the settlement except six were killed by wolves and wildcats, and the forests were full
of wild beasts. She frequently saw wolves and panthers, and the howls of the former were almost a daily concert
at some seasons of the year. Once while walking with her mother they passed a wolf that was devouring something
but a few rods from their path and took no notice of them. Her father and uncles in one of the early years took
some cloth to a cloth dresser's, and before it was dressed the mill and contents were burned. Then the three legged
wolf killed all of their sheep and left the wool scattered through the woods. They carefully gathered this wool,
made it into cloth and carried it to another dressing mill. This mill also burned with their cloth, and for that
winter they were forced to wear home made linen clothing. This three legged wolf was an enormous and ferocious
black wolf that had probably lost one leg in some hunter's trap, It was the terror of a large extent of country
for years, as is clearly shown by this resolution passed at the annual town meeting of Scio in 1841. "Resolved,
that we raise a (special) bounty of $20 on the threelegged wolf if caught in this town." As this was in addition
to the state bounty of $10 and the regular town bounty, which was in 1840 and 1841 $10 for full grown and $5 for
"whelp" wolves. we easily see that he was considered a dangerous enemy. "Before Benjamin Palmer
built his mill in 1823 the neighbors would make up a load of grain and hire some one owning a team to carry it
to mill at Caneadea or Pike and the trip would occupy from three to five days' time." Benjamin Stout who lived
on the Grove Gillett place brought the first fanning mill to town, exchanging a pair of three year old steers for
William E., son of Elisha Middaugh, Jerome, son of Alvin Middaugh on the Malachi Davis place, and Mrs. Fred Shepard,
daughter of William Middaugh, on the Abram Middaugh place, are now residents of Scio. The Middaugh settlement prospered,
other settlers came in, a schoolhouse was built in 1825 and John Middaugh's ashery converted the ashes of the clearings
into black salts and potash, which furnished, with the peltry obtained in the hunts in the woods, the only source
of procuring ready cash. The road was a long and tedious one to Ithaca, the nearest market for the potash, and
only light loads could be taken over the swampy ways and corduroy highways. But the people were contented. A simple
frugal fare and plenty of exercise in the open air made robust folk who did the advance work of civilization most
thoroughly, The first native of the town, Polly Knight, born in 1806, did not live long enough to realize these
benefits. After a short twelve months she died, the first death of a white person in present Scio.
The early records are very defective, It is impossible to find the names of the town officers in all instances
and the action of the town is poorly recorded, so that we cannot trace the coming of the early residents. However
we can give some of them. Joseph Flint located in 1820 just below Scio village. He became prominent as a lumber
manufacturer at the mouth of the Vander mark and as a useful citizen. Part of his original 200 acres is occupied
by his grandson William, and the cemetery occupies a portion of it. Thomas Fitz Simmons settled about 1820 on the
James Culbert farm in the west part of the town. Here his sons, Batman, Jerome, John. Lewis and Robert and their
numerous sisters were "raised." Minerva, one of the girls, married Myron S. Davis. Benjamin Palmer came
in 1821, locating on the Gillett farm where members of that family now live. He built the town's first sawmill
in 1822 and its first gristmill in 1823, about 1827 removed to the Browning neighborhood. He was a merchant for
many years, was the first postmaster of Scio, keeping the office at first in his house.
Others came in 1821, among them one family most prominently connected with the events of the town from its first
residence here. It is that of William Earley who was born near Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1772. He was
an active and ardent mason, joining the Royal Arch Masons, in 1796; he also became a member of Lodge No. 610, Knight
Templar and Knights of Malta same year, and was the first Knight Templar in Allegany county. In 1801, after a stormy
voyage of two months, he came to Philadelphia and was naturalized there in 1806. In 1809 he married Lorana Sortore,
and came to Ovid, N. Y., in 1812. Here they lived until 1821 when he bought wild land of Judge Philip Church about
2 1/2 miles west of Scio village near Middaugh's settlement, and built a rude log house, occupying it in February,
1822, with his wife and four children. The struggle for the necessaries of life was incessant. The father and older
boys engaged in clearing the land. In haying and harvesting they would work for Judge Church on his farm near Belvidere,
applying a portion of their wages as payment on the farm. Mr. and Mrs. Earley would frequently attend the Episcopal
church at Angelica. The Methodists soon held services in the old log schoolhouse in Middaugh settlement near the
sulphur spring, where a stone schoolhouse was afterwards built. As Mr. and Mrs. Earley and Sampson Raymer and wife
were returning from an evening meeting, Mr. Earley carried, as was usual, a hickorybark torch to light the dark,
muddy road through the woods. Mrs. Raymer was in advance and stepping in the mud, pulled off one of her shoes and
stooped to put it on, when Mr. Earley mistook her for a black stump. Wishing to improve the light of the torch
by removing the coals, he struck the supposed stump a hearty blow with the torch, but instead of a stump, Mrs.
Raymer received a severe blow across her back. She was badly frightened and ran, swiftly followed by Mr. Earley,
who extinguished the flames which had caught in her dress. In October, 1832, about 9 o'clock in the morning, three
bears came into Mr. Earley's yard a few rods from the house and killed a number of sheep, wounding others. They
caught one of the bears in a trap the next night. Mr. Earley went to the sugar bush about 4 o'clock one morning
to start the fire under the sap kettles. He was soon surrounded by wolves which kept him there until daylight.
He protected himself with the "pokingsticks" used for fixing the fire by swinging their blazing ends
in the faces of the snarling and howl. ing wolves until daylight when they left him. In 1835 a sister died in Philadelphia
leaving him a large sugar plantation on the island of Tobago in the West Indies, but his attorney neglected to
have the claim properly presented and recorded and the property was irretrievably lost. William Earley possessed
one rare trait of character, that of speaking well of his neighbors. He could find something to commend in any
person he heard reviled. On one occasion a morose neighbor spoke ill of a number of the neighbors after Which Mr.
Earley remarked: "If I should call Benjamin Stout dishonest, Jacob Lumbert a rogue, Abram Middaugh a knave,
and Malachi Davis a deceiver, whom would you say was the rascal, all of these men or William Earley?" His
family consisted of 9 boys. James, the eldest, was a physician in Ohio near Mansfield. He died in 1864. Jonathan,
the second son, resided in Scio, and died in 1890 aged 75 years. Stout died at Scio, Feb. 8, 1876. He left 4 boys.
Three reside at Allentown; Crayton L. is an attorney at Andover. John Robert and Z. B. are farmers in the vicinity
of Scio. Z. B. is father-in-law of C. F. Vincent, a practicing attorney of Wellsville, and also a member of the
hardware firm of Vincent & Hoyt, Wellsville. Charles R., now in his 73d year, studied medicine with Dr. Reed,
of Philipsville (Belmont), and in 1844 commenced practice at Friendship and removed to Ridgeway, Pa., in 1846.
He spent much time in the Jeffersonian Medical College, of Philadelphia, was county superintendent of schools 12
years, represented his district eight terms in the legislature, three times represented the Medical Congress of
the United States at the International Medical Congress in Paris, London and Berlin. In 1893, while attending a
meeting of the Medical Society of the United States in Washington, D. C., he was thrown from an electric car receiving
injuries of the head and spine from which he is now suffering. Henry W., the third son, was highway commissioner
and supervisor of Scio several terms. He was an extensive manufacturer and dealer in lumber, square timber and
spars. He became a prominent lumberman in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, was a pronounced Democrat, mayor of Chippewa
Falls, Wis., and three times candidate of his party for member of congress. He died in Chippewa Falls, March 24,
1893, aged 75. Samuel A., another son, resides in Wellsville.
Malachi Davis in 1823 purchased the Jerome Middaugh place where one Wiltsie had built a rude cabin, which, after
Mr. Davis had erected a more comfortable one, he used as a shop where he made chairs and spinning wheels until
he moved to Amity in 1833. His children have been representative citizens. About this time or earlier William Wright
located in Knight's Creek valley where his grandson Walter lives. In 1826 Elisha Middaugh joined the Scio contingent
of settlers and a few years later his father Abraham came and also made Scio his home.
The Brownings have been here since 1825, when Davis Browning came from New London county in Connecticut as a teacher.
He married in 1828 Elizabeth M., daughter of Benjamin Palmer, and located on the river where his son. William Q.,
resides, in 1832, and held all leading town offices. was postmaster, etc. He died in 1871. His widow, now 84 years
old, resides with Wm. Q. The other sons are Lewis D., lives on the adjacent Lewis farm, John H. of Canisteo and
Olin D. of Wellsville. Welcome H. Browning, brother of Davis, came in 1834 to Solo. He was prominent in business
and "affairs," and died in 1889 aged 79. His wife died in 1891 aged 77. Their son, H. M., owns the homestead,
his sister, Mrs. M. E. Davis, lives in Belmont.
William L. Norton came in the spring of 1834 and made his home near the south line of the town in Knight's Creek
valley. Here he and his sons have developed one of the handsomest farming sections of the county. He was a quiet,
unostentatious man, and a leading member of the Methodist church. He and his wife both died in March, 1895.
Thomas Coyle located in 1836 on Knight's Creek. Hugh Coyle now occupies the land. Among his sons were Thomas, Bartholomew,
Peter (lives on the Fitz Simmons place), John (on the Samuel Hurd place), Bernard and James. Peter Coyle (was he
a brother of Thomas?) came from Belmont to Scio in 1845. All of the Samuel Wilkins family have gone except James
and his family, and Mr. Reddie occupies the original homestead. Other settlers were Henry Nickerson (1833) on the
Clark farm. south of the village; Gloudy Hamilton (1844) on the Vandermark succeeding one Taylor. He was a lumberman,
and had a sawmill. A grandson lives on the place. Aaron Hale and Alfred Johnston, who opened the first tavern in
1821, and many others have no descendants here. George Blackman came in 1849. Oliver Norton occupies the Dr. E.
E. Hyde place, first owned by Cyrus ELster. We give the deaths of other early settlers. Hiram Cheney in 1868, Sheldon
Brewster in 1867, William Hurley in 1864 aged 92, his wife Lorana in 1863, Col. Roswell Adams in 1872 aged 79,
leaving $80,000, Joseph Duke in 1884, leaving $100,000, C. S. Clark in 1880 aged 75, leaving nearly $800,000, Norman
Morse in 1865 aged 92, Isaac Miles in 1892 aged 86, leaving a personal estate of $100,000.
Some of the early town meetings and elections were held at private houses, then at Benjamin Palmer's and later
the Cottage Hotel had its share, while the old VanBuren House and the American House at Wellsville frequently was
the scene of conflict. Conflicting interests had much to do with locating the place of holding early town meetings.
Sometimes the voters met at Stannards Corners, sometimes at the Norton settlement, and sometimes "over on
the Honeoye." And curious sometimes was the action taken. In 1837 the town voted a bounty of five dollars
for a "full grown" and half that amount for a "whelp" wolf; also "that the funds remaining
in the hands of the supervisor if enough' be applied in purchase of a standard half bushel and peck for the town."
In 1838 the wolf bounty was doubled. In 1840 in addition to continuing the same bounties for wolves, a bounty of
one dollar each was voted for foxes. These bounties continue matters of yearly action for several years after 1840.
The old records reveal, like a succession of instantaneous photographs, the different and changing conditions of
the people from the time when the axe and gun were the daily companion of each man up to the period when iron bridges
began to be placed across the streams. To show the business life of the people in early days we copy some of the
timeworn and mouldy documents that have been preserved.
SAMUEL VAN CAMPEN,
Bought of JAS. LYON,
Skin Tea, 4s.
2 lbs. Tobacco, @ 2s. 6d,
2 lbs. Hyson Tea, 14s.
3 lbs Skin Tea, 7s.,
1 lb. Spice, 3s. 6d.; Canister Powder, 8s.
1 Cotton Shawl, 10s.; 5 yards Calico, 25. 6d.,
lb. Tobacco, 2s. 6d.,
Received payment by Note,
CANANDAIGUA, Jan. 20, 1820.
Received two Dollars from Samuel Van Campen, Being in full for the Damages supposed to be Done by his pigs in the
year of 1820 in the Month of October. received by me this
twenty second Day of March, 1821.
SCION, January 8, 1825.
For Value received. I promise to pay Benj. Palmer One Bushel and One peck of Corn to be Delivered at the Mills
after it Comes Slaying.
SAM'L VAN CAMPEN.
In an old and brown receipted account issued to "Samuel Van Campen, Dr.," we find Bradley & Sherman,
under date of Oct. 24, 1827, charging him with "Ballance on Tea Pot," 1 comb, codfish, rum, powder, snuff,
tea, 1 whip stock, rum, whiskey at bar." These were the necessities of the pioneer period. Will our purchases
look as strange to the people of seventy years hence? We close our exhibits of former life with this unique legal
Mr. Van Campen, Esq.
Sir Please to Enter a Judgement against me for the amount of a Note he Mr. Cartwright holds against me and you
Will Much oblige Yours etc.
Nov. 28, 1825.
Samuel Van Campen for a long time kept the Genesee Valley postoffice on the river between Scio and Belmont. He
had much dealing with the early settlers of quite an extensive range of country. See Amity.
Mills. - Scio was at the zenith of her commercial activity from 1853 to 1863. A sawmill was found on every little
stream. Eight were located on Knight's Creek, viz., Church & Brewster's gang mill near Allentown, Norton &
Middaugh's mill, William Duke's on the old Duke homestead, Woodward's mill, Hildreth's mill, Potter & Wright's,
Howard & Sheldon's and Luther's mill near the mouth of the creek. On. Brimmer Brook were two owned by Budd
& Insley and Charles Yager. On the Vandermark Creek was one mill owned by Cloudy Hamilton and another by Black.
There were three on Gordon Creek respectively owned by H. W. Earley, J. & S. Dayton and Peter Gordon. Four
were located on the Genesee River, Philip Church's gang mill (the first in the county), built 1852. Davis Browning's,
Clark & Babcock's, also one owned by Wm. Duke, the last two named were in the village. There are only two now
in town, K. S. Black and L. Norton's. At this time there were besides these eight shingle mills, one stave mill
and one shook mill and two flouring mills. A number of gangs of men were engaged in cutting, hewing and drawing
square timber and spars. All these made Scio the first business town in the county. About 1863 a change came over
the spirit of her dreams. Fire did its work of destruction and some active business men left the town for new fields
of labor, for the valuable pine forests were nearly exhausted. Finally the increased business in Wellsville caused
by the building of the large tanneries drew largely from the business of Scio, and in 1895 we find only two sawmills
and one flouring mill.
The first steam mill in Allegany county was built at Petrolia in Scio on Brimmer Brook, more than fifty years ago,
by one Ditto, who brought the boiler, engine, etc. from Nunda over the hilly roads on wagons. The first circular
sawmill was operated in the town of Genesee about the same time. In September, 1856, occurred the great forest
fire which burned large tracts of valuable pine and hemlock timber in the towns of Bolivar. Alma, Scio, Wellsville
and Willing. In this fire were burned the large Church & Brewster gang mill on Knight's Creek together with
all the lumber, houses, and barns. The flames came with such velocity that one man was burned and others had only
time to escape with their families leaving everything else behind. More than a million feet of lumber in the log
was then "skidded" in the woods on Wolf Run to supply the mill. The logs were drawn to Scio on sleighs
the following winter. William L. Norton built a sawmill on Knights Creek in the Norton settlement in 1840. This
was burned and rebuilt in 1863 as a steam mill. It cuts from 100,000 to 200,000 feet yearly.
Black's sawmill was built as a watermill by K. S. Black in 1865. Three years later he put up his steam mill which
cuts from one to two million feet annually and has a planing mill attached.
The center of business was early at Benjamin Palmer's mill and house. Here "shows" were entertained,
travelers furnished food and lodging and elections and town meetings held until about 1840. Hiram Cheney, a lumberman
and farmer, who came here about 1825, gave his name to the bridge spanning the Genesee close by his residence,
and, at the east end of the Cheney bridge, in 1840 John L Russell and Charles M. Marvin built the little building
now standing there for a store which they conducted until 1843 when they removed to Richburg. L. S. Russell about
the same time bought the property of the Cottage Tavern which was built in 1832. This was on the east side of the
river and river road directly opposite the Russell & Marvin store. This location became a center of business,
and the tavern a great resort for pleasure seekers, and its dances, parties, elections and other gatherings yet
linger pleasantly in the memories of the "old timers." The first landlord was one Wickham. followed in
succession by Mrs. Wilcox, Aaron Hale and Elisha Loomis. The Cottage ceased to do business in 1853, and the building
long since disappeared.
Scio Village. - There was no road or bridge crossing the Genesee or running west from this place until 1850. All
travel from the west side crossed the Cheney bridge. A popular hotel on the site of the present one, kept for years
by Francis L. Blood, a man of worth and ability, had given the locality the name of "Blood's" Corners.
The first settler, Silas Bellamy, came in 1809 and located 100 acres, soon selling to Barnabas York nearly 50 acres.
York was the predecessor of Blood as a tavern keeper. In 1838 John L. Russell built a store on the corner so long
known as the M. S. Davis corner, and in 1841 sold to Horace Riddell, a contractor on the Erie railroad, who made
Scio his headquarters for extensive operations in constructing the road in this section. Myron S. Davis, Joseph
N. Sheldon (postmaster from 1869 to 1885 and 1889 to 1891), Benjamin Palmer, Benjamin Palmer, Jr., and others conducted
merchandising here for years. From the opening of the road across the river the village grew rapidly. The railroad
located a station here, and it was a great shipping point for vast quantities of lumber. In 1855 there were 496
inhabitants. At one time there were fully two miles of railroad switches here and it was all needed. With the growth
of Wellsville and from other causes this prosperity waned, and now it is but a quiet little village with a union
school with two departments and 100 scholars, the following business houses, some handsome residences, Seventh
day Baptist, Methodist Episcopal and Catholic churches, Hakes Post, No. 261, A. R., a tent of Maccabees and a lodge
of Good Templars, and W. C. T. U., and stables, shops, etc. Elias Harris, an old lumber operator in the fifties,
later a successful oil operator, purchased the banking institution of Judson Clark in 1886 and has since conducted
private banking; King S. Black. an extensive lumber operator, farmer, etc.; M. C. Smith, dealer in dry goods, etc.,
since 1876 (12 years in present location "on the corner"); Babcock & Sons, dry goods, etc.; J. J.
Crandall, hardware and groceries at the old Benjamin Palmer stand; Benj. Palmer, Jr., also hardware and groceries;
J. B. Sherrett and It. C. Major, druggists; Charles E. Hull, grocer. These, with other industries, and a shook
manufactory employing 5 or 6 men, make up the business life. The business transacted at the Erie station for the
year ending Sept. 30, 1893, was $13,019.91; 1894, $11,365.03; 1895, $8,079.59.
Scio Cheese Factory, No. 1., at Scio village, was built in 1884 by Duke and Applebee. Gilbert Bliven, who has carried
it on since 1893, has produced over 100,000 pounds of cheese in a year, using the milk of between 300 and 400 cows.
Petrolia Cheese Factory. built by Willard A. Dodge in 1895, uses the milk of 250 cows. Petrolia is in the southeast
corner of the town and marks the site where, under the impetus of O. P. Taylor's famous oil well, Triangle No.
3., a mushroom city was started, a postoffice located, and a church edifice constructed. Nothing now remains but
a few dwellings, the church and the postoffice. The only industry of prominence is this cheese factory.
Methodist Episcopal Church. (By W. Q. Browning.) - As near as I can learn the original class was formed by Rev.
Azel Fillmore about 1825. Alfred Lathrop, Levi and Nathan Wright, and Miletus York were among its members. Services
were held at private houses occasionally by itinerants About 1845 the Methodists worshiped in the Union church
at Scio village, being a joint charge with Wellsville where the pastor resided. This relation continued until about
1870 when Scio charge was set off as an independent body. In 1860 the present church was built. The trustees then
were John Simons, Welcome H. Browning and Thomas Wilber. It was erected at the northern end of Main St. near the
cemetery, but in 1891 a more central and eligible site in the village was purchased and the building moved thither.
In 1892 a parsonage and a barn were built on the same lot. The value of the property is $4,500. There are three
classes connected with this church: Scio. R. V. Gillett, leader; Knight's Creek, Nancy Wright and T. P. Call, leaders;
Wadsworth Hill, Aaron Black, leader. Knight's Creek has a nice little church; at Wadsworth Hill services are conducted
in a schoolhouse. There are about 45 members at Scio, 35 at Knight's Creek, 20 at the Hill. Scio Sunday school
has seven officers and 50 pupils, A. S. Benjamin, superintendent; that at Knight's Creek six officers and 50 pupils,
Nancy Wright, superintendent; that on the Hill four officers and 30 pupils, Sherman Hurd, superintendent. The trustees
are: Scio, I. M. Miles, A. S. Benjamin, R. V. Gillett, M. S. Davis and Albert Babcock; Knight's Creek, W. H. Norton,
Oscar Tibbs and Robert Wright.
Seventh day Baptist Church. - This has existed since May 15, 1834, when 24 persons of this faith were organized
into a church by a council convened for this purpose at the Davis schoolhouse, two miles north of the later village
of Scio. This was called "The Amity Church" and the constituent members were Jesse B., John C. and Rachel
Cartwright, Davis, Daniel B., Nancy and Sarah Stillman, Theodoty, Theodoty, Jr., and Silas G. Bliven, James and
Susan Weed, John and Ruth Maxson, Jesse, Ethan and Hannah Rogers, Philemon and Lydia Green, William Millard, Buell
Oviatt, Judith Lester and Hannah Burdick. In accordance with a vote of the society passed in 1837 a meetinghouse
24x30 feet in size was erected two miles down the river from the location of Scio, and so far completed that meetings
were held in it, but it was never finished, for with the growth of the village that became a center for religious
meetings as well as of business operations. In 1859 the name of the organization was changed to "Scio"
church to correspond with the named of the town. A union meetinghouse was built about 1850 at Scio village by a
stock company and was occupied by all denominations for about ten years, when it was neglected and the attention
of this society was drawn towards its purchase. In fact the initial move in this direction was made in 1857. Mr.
S A. Earley, acting for this body, gradually bought the shares of the union house, and after the trustees were
empowered in 1871 to purchase the building, he turned the shares over to them. It was then refitted and occupied
as the society's house of worship, being rededicated April 11, 1877. Removals and deaths in time so weakened both
the Amity and Scio churches that self preservation caused their consolidation into the present organization. The
first regular pastor appears to have been Elder Rouse Babcock, serving from 1848 to 1851. Rev. Jesse Rowley was
pastor from 1854 to 1872. He was succeeded in turn by J. L. Huffman, Charles Rowley, U. M. Babcock, J. L. Bennett.
The present pastor is Rev. H. L. Jones, who has officiated for 14 months The present trustees are: L. L. Canfield,
T. Sage, A. E. Rogers; deacon, A. E. Rogers; number of resident members, 27; non-resident members; 10; Sabbath
school superintendent, John. Canfield; secretary, Lon Smith; number of scholars 45. Value of church property $1,700.
The Church of Christ was organized by Rev. Wilson Collins April 10, 1861. with nine members, Isaac, Harriet, George,
Harriet Ann and Miles Smith, Mrs. Charlotte Peterson, Henry Shepard, Elizabeth Fitz Simmons and Carrie Hurd. Isaac
Smith was made elder, Henry Shepard deacon, George Smith clerk. There was at that time an organization of Christians
at Knight's Creek schoolhouse of about the same size under the pastoral care of Rev. Mr. Strickland which after
a tine united with the Scio church of which union Mr. Strickland was made elder and preached once in two weeks
at "the schoolhouse on the hill." Mr. Collins also for a while came once in two weeks and preached. Meetings
were faithfully kept up on Sunday, whether a preacher was there or not, on the hill and later "on the creek"
until 1868 when the church began to hold meetings in the union meetinghouse. In 1874 the society built a church
and organized a Sunday school which has since been kept up. The present superintendent is Mrs. Amanda Hinckley.
The church has never been numerically strong, and it has not at all times had ministerial service. Some of the
preachers have been Strickland, Collins, Ira Chase, I. C. Goodrich, Belden, Callahan, Bartlett, Hart. Manly, Slade,
Ainsworth. Patterson, James, Davis, Gardiner and others. In November, 1894, the church joined with the Wellsville
church in hiring Elder A. R. Miller, the present pastor, under whose efficient labors it has taken on new life
and activity. One of the leading members is King S. Black, who has been elder for the past 25 years, and holds
services in absence of the pastor.
Hakes Post, No. 261, G. A. R., was organized May 4. 1882, with these 27 members: CaptJ. E. Middaugh, commander;
M. J. Peterson, senior vice commander; O. P. Fowler, junior vice commander; H. G. West, adjutant; J. K. Morgan,
quartermaster; J. S. Fuller, surgeon; R. Canfield, chaplain; Geo. Wilbur, officer of the day; B. A. Gault, officer
of the guard; M. A. Clark, sergeant major; Abner Bissell, quartermaster sergeant; and comrades J. S. Healey, R.
N. Utter, Daniel Hull, A. B. York, W. W. Mapes, R. C. Roil, G. A. Saunders, J. W. Dailey, Geo. Fletcher, A. J.
White, C. B. Jones, P. G. Barber, D. W. Billings, Gurdon Babcock, A. J. Reynolds, Edmund Sortore. The present officers
are: William Ackerman, Corn.; M. J. Peterson, S. V. C.; John Smith, J. V. C.; Uri Deck, Adjt.; Sherman Perkins,
Q. M.; Warrenton Mapes, S.; Edmund Sortore, Chap.; Geo. Wilbur, O. D.; Isaac Miles, S. M.; Wm. Metcalf, Q. S. The
commanders have been: J. E. Middaugh, James Morgan, Uri Deck, Edmund Sortore, Wm. Ackerman. The Post meets at Smith's
Hall, on the 1st and 3d Saturdays of each month.
In addition to those thready given, the following enlisted from Scio: Geo. W. Burdge, H. A. Reynolds, John Bums,
L. B. Young, Joseph Brewster, Hiram A. Peterson, Christopher Courtright, A. C. Hudsdall, J. M. Roberts, A. W. Collins,
L. F. Mills, Christopher Miller, Geo. D. Maybee, James Vreeland, Hezekiah Howe, J. H. Black, Michael Ellsworth,
G. N. Cline, Frank Angel, A. C. Clark, R. A. Cady, Henry J. Babbitt, Henry Peterson, Charles Thomas, Daniel W.
Collins, George Hays. Capt. John C. Hughes, Marshall C. Middaugh, Wm. Gagan, John Young, Geo. Gordon, Adelbert
Wilbur, Thomas Gagan, Daniel Knight.
Enlisted men from Scio who died in the service or since their discharge: Capt. Erdley N. Canfield,*** Gehial Ford,*
Clarence Fuller,* Wesley L. Roff,* Phineas Haywood,* John Knapp,* Theron G. Day,* Steuben Holmer,* Arson Randolph,*
Wm. N. Middaugh,* Henry Urter,*** Isaiah Wood,* Charles Truman,*** Samuel Haywood,* S. F, Bunnell,*** Wm. P. Marden,***
Louis Perry,* Sirenus Young (died at Andersonville), Geo. Miller,* Capt. Geo. Brewster,* Lieut. Clark Thomas, ***
Jacob Ost, *** Edmund C. Howe,*** John C. Burns,*** J. S. Healey,*** Almond D. Burdick,* James M. Bosenbark,* Wm.
D. Bosenbark,* A. Bentley,*** Albert Rose.*** Almeron D. Hazard,*** Thomas York,*** Delos York Seymour Knight,*
Daniel Sortore (died in Salisbury, N. C.), L. D. Maybee,*** N. L. Reynolds.*** Geo. D. Henderson,*** Isaac Sprague
(died at Hendersonville), Capt. Wm. Bradshaw,* James H. Peterson,* Calvin H. Peterson,*** Willard Tibbs,* Levi
Tibbs,* Bascom A. Gault,*** Christopher Miller,*** Geo. D. Maybee,*** Geo. M. Burdge,*** Delos W. Billings,***
Chas. B. Jones,*** Wm. E. Babbitt,*** Wm. H. Black,*** Abraham A. Bosenbark,*** Samuel C Corbit,* Henry Clair,***
George W. Stout,* Charles Burns,* Thomas Gagan.*
* Died in service.
*** Died after being discharged.
Capt. Eardley W. Canfield was for many years prior to the civil war the Scio station agent of the Erie railroad.
He left this situation to raise Co. C, 67th N. Y. (1st Long Island.) Regt. He was a gallant officer and a strict
disciplinarian. His bravery was amply demonstrated at the Battle of Fair Oaks. He had resigned his commission and
the war department's acceptance reached him the day before the battle. He however stayed and commanded the company
through a most sanguinary engagement in which the regiment lost 182 men in 45 minutes, and every non commissioned
officer of his company was either killed or wounded. He escaped uninjured, only to lose his life years later while
trying to save some goods from a burning store in Pennsylvania.
Major Peter Keenan,/ born at York, Livingston Co., N. Y., Nov. g, x834. Educated at Wellsville and Angelica. Killed
at Chancellorsville, Va., May a, x863. Buried in Catholic cemetery, Scio, N. Y.
In the Catholic cemetery in Scio rests all that is mortal of one of the bravest heroes of our civil war, one whose
name stands side by side with Cushing, Winthrop, Lyon and the brilliant coterie of immortals whose deeds have made
them deathless. Major Peter Keenan, a resident of this county from 1851 to 1858, educated at Wellsville, and Wilson
Academy, Angelica, in 1861 was a business man in Philadelphia, and raised the 8th Penn. cavalry, the first regiment
of volunteers to arrive at the scene of war. In all the bloody battles of the Army of the Potomac he bore conspicuous
part, and rose from captain to major by his merit and gallantry. At the battle of Chancellorsville, at the sacrifice
of his own life and the lives of most of his regiment, be checked the supposed invincible legions of Stonewall
Jackson, and averted the stampede and destruction that threatened General Hooker's army. At twilight of May 2,
1863, Jackson's division of the Confederate army fell upon the 11th corps (Gen. O. O. Howard's), the right wing
of the Union army, and drove it back with such fury that cannon, caissons, cannoniers and infantry, in mingled
confusion, covered a mile of the road to Chancellorsville. Gen. Hooker ordered Gen. Pleasanton to do something
to stay the conquering rebels, and Major Keenan was ordered to lead his regiment to support the flying corps. With
unflinching courage he charged the Confederates and held them in check some minutes, long enough, before the regiment
was annihilated, to allow the Union artillery to be placed in position and repulse the enemy. Major Keenan was
shot while charging in advance of his troops. He fell upon the very bayonets of the enemy. In his death agony he
tried to remount his horse but was quickly killed. His mangled body was brought from inside the enemy's lines at
night. Ane historian says: "In the pages of history there is not recorded a more gallant or heroic charge.
It was a charge against fearful odds; a charge of 400 against 40,000; a charge of a regiment against an army; a
charge made in the face of inevitable death, at the crucial moment of a great battle, to save the Union army from
panic, disaster and destruction." Major Keenan is dead, but George Parsons Lathrop's poem immortalizes his
deed. Its last lines are:
"Over him now-year following year-
Over his grave the pine cones fall,
And the whippoorwill chants his spectral call.
But he stirs not again; he raises no cheer;
He has ceased. But his glory shall never cease,
Nor his light be quenched in the light of peace.
The rush of his charge is resounding still,
That saved the army at Chancellorsville."
Supiervisors. - 1831, John Middaugh; 1832-33. Joseph Knight; 1834-35. William Knight; 1836, John Middaugh; 1837-38-39-40,
Joseph Knight; 1841-42-43-44, Ephraim A. Smith 1845. Handy Bellamy; 1846-47, Davis Browning; 1848. Nathan Smith;
1849-50-51, Samuel M. Mott; 1852, James M. Mott; 1853, Hiram York; 1854-55, Henry W. Earley; 1856, Handy Bellamy;
1857, James R. Weston; 1858, Noah C. Pratt; 1859, James R. Weston: 1860, Ambrose Van Campen; 1861, A. S. Van Campen;
1862-63-64, Charles S. Clark; 1865, Francis G. Babcock; 1866 William Duke; 1867, Francis G. Babcock; 1868, Isaac
Miles; 1869, Charles S. Clark; 187o-71, William Duke; 1872-73. Philip Reddy; 1874-75, Judson H. Clark; 1876-77,
Miles C. Smith; 1878, James A. Stephenson; 1879. Miles Smith; 880-81, William Duke. Jr.; 1882-83-84. James K. Morgan;
1885. Thomas F. Major; 1886, Benjamin Palmer; 1887, Myron S. Davis; 1888-89. Charles H. Almy; 1890-91-92-93-94-95,
Ebenezer J. Norton.
Officers for 1895: Supervisor. E. J. Norton; clerk, A. J. Jolts; assessor, John A. Hurley; collector, Sumner B.
Tuttle; overseers of the poor. Henry Peterson, N. O. Johnson; inspectors of election, W. Thomas, Wm. Q. Browning,
J. H. Thomas; excise commissioner, D. W. Clark; constables, S. B. Tuttle, A. P. Black, F. F. Margeson, Arvin Hall.
J. R. Mann; game constable, Wm. Sparks; justices, W. Thomas, G. A. Gordon, C. E. Babcock.