History of Candor, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A MEMORIAL HISOTRY OF TIOGA COUNTY
EDITED BY: LEROY W. KINGMAN
W. A. FERGUSSON & CO. ELMIRA, N. Y., 189?
Typed by: Sandy Castle
P.418 THE VILLAGE OF CANDOR.
THE TOWN OF CANDOR.
After the close of the revolution, land operators and speculators laid almost constant siege to the legislature and to the land office in their attempts to secure grants or patents, or certificates of purchase and survey, of the most desirable portions of New York; and about the same time this state and the commonwealth of Massachusetts fell into a controversy which involved almost the entire area of New York. This, however, was amicably settled by the Hartford convention, but all the territory west of Seneca lake and as well a vast area elsewhere was ceded to the contesting state. Then New York set apart the military tract to compensate revolutionary services, and also made provision for the disposition of the old town of Chemung, then one of the civil divisions of Montgomery county.
Between Chemung on the south, the military tract on the north, the Boston purchase on the east, and the vast Phelps and Gorham purchase on the west, there was in 1791 a large tract of ungranted land lying entirely within which was the town of Candor as afterward created.
In 1791, John W. Watkins, a New York lawyer, and Royal W. Flint, in behalf of themselves and their associates applied to the commissioners of the land office for a grant of the land described in the preceding paragraph, estimated to contain 363,000 acres, and for which they offered to pay the sum of three shillings and four pence per acre. The proposition was accepted, a survey was made, and June 25, 1794, the so-called Watkins and Flint patent was granted, and then began the history of the town of Candor.
However, while negotiations were pending certificates of location and survey had been granted to other proprietors covering lands in what is now this town, one of which was to John W.
Ford, for 300 acres, dated January 23, 1794, and known on records as the Ford location. A second was made to John Cantine of 800 acres, known as the “Big Flat” tract, including lands where Willseyville is built up. Mr. Cantine also had a 1,200-acre tract elsewhere in the town; James Clinton 200 acres; Nathan Parshall 200 acres, all of which were granted previous to or on March 7, 1792. These were a few of the many patents made.
The entire purchase included twelve townships, and the present town of Candor is made up of parts of numbers nine, ten, eleven and twelve. This vast area was at once subdivided by the proprietary and sold at a moderate advance above the original cost and expenses of survey. Yet when settlement was well begun and price increased, and in 1800, when the number of acres under cultivation in what is now Candor was but 390, unimproved lands were selling at from three to four dollars an acre, and in 1825 had advanced to three dollars for the inferior to seven dollars for the best tracts.
In general the lands in Candor were not unlike those in other towns in the region, and the topographical conditions were also much the same, as elsewhere, yet the pioneers were attracted to this special locality by the fact that here the original forest growth was far more dense and luxuriant than in many other places in the county; and it is said that the pines frequently reached the height of about 200 feet and were five feet in diameter at the ground. Indeed, everything in the early natural condition indicated a rich and productive soil, and this it was which attracted the first attention of the hardy New England pioneer.
The honor of having been the first settlers, the pioneers, of this town seems to have fallen to Elijah Smith, Collins Luddington, Thomas Hollister, and Job Judd, Sr., all of whom came from Connecticut to Owego by way of the Susquehanna valley and thence journeyed up Owego creek to the point where the first improvement was made during the summer of the year 1793. Hollister, Smith, and Luddington were afterward permanent residents in the town, and while Judd joined in all the improvements of the first year, and for nearly thirty years more, in 1820 he removed to
Indiana and was one of the first settlers in that western region of country.
These four men were the pioneers of Candor, and to them all the accompanying honor is due, yet mention must also be made of the work of surveyors Captain Joel Smith and Isaac Judd, whose visit here was made during the year 1793. They described to friends and relatives in the east the desirable character of the lands and the timber, and upon their report the coming of the others was induced. Again, Abel Hart was a factor in bringing about settlement in the town, for as early as 1792 he had visited friends on the Boston purchase and thus became acquainted with the country, although his residence here did not begin until several years later.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Watkins & Flint tract was not ready for settlement as early as some other of the large purchases in this part of the state, the Connecticut Yankees proved as energetic colonizers as their neighbors from Massachusetts on the Boston purchase east of Owego creek. In 1793 Joseph Booth purchased a lot for his son Orange F. Booth, when the latter was only twelve years old, and on this lot he came to live in 1801, thus founding a settlement by a family which became as prominent in the later history of the town as any within its borders.
Captain Thomas Park an old Connecticut sea captain, privateersman, and patriot, came from the east to the Boston purchase among the earliest pioneers and located first in Vestal, but in 1788, according to George Truman's genealogical record and 1796 in other but not more reliable records removed to the southeast part of what afterward became Candor and made the first improvement there. The statement has been made that Capt. Park was in fact the pioneer of this town, but whether so or not cannot at this time be determined. He cleared a large tract of land, and had one of the first saw mills in the county. So early, indeed was his settlement made that when he passed through Owego on the journey to the town there were only four log houses in that settlement.
Joel Smith, Jr, the surveyor of the Watkins & Flint tract came and made a permanent settlement in 1795, and with him also came his wife and five children. He had served with credit as captain of a company in third Connecticut regiment during the revolution,
and was present at the surrender of Cornwallis, in 1781. In Candor Capt. Smith was both farmer and school teacher, and was in other ways identified with early history in the region.
Israel Mead, another patriot of the revolution, came to the tract in 1795 from old historic Bennington, in Vermont, and with him also came his wife and five children. He settled in West Candor, and his son William was the first white child born in the town. Elijah Hart, and David Whittlesey also came in the winter of 1794-95, and soon built a small mill and also a grist mill on the site where the Ryan saw mill stands. The old mill was burned in 1813. Elijah Hart was the father of Capt. Abel Hart, of whom mention is made in a preceding paragraph. The family came from Stockbridge, Mass., and settled in Broome county in 1792, but four years afterward came up to the Watkins & Flint patent and built a plank house, which was used as a dwelling and tavern, and also as a meeting house for religious worship. In 1810 Capt. Hart built a more pretentious framed hotel, which he conducted several years. He also built a blacksmith shop, started a distillery, and set up a loom for weaving, in which were made three grades of cloth. In 1806, in company with Thomas Gridley, who had come to the settlement in the meantime, Capt. Hart built a saw mill. He was indeed one of the most enterprising men of the town in its early history and by his works added much to the comfort and convenience of the settlers.
Elijah Smith, of whom mention has been made as one of the four pioneers of the town, built one of the first framed houses and was otherwise identified with early history. His farm contained 200 acres and his descendants are still known in Candor. He had six children, four of whom were sons.
Daniel Bacon was also among the earliest pioneers of Candor, and was, withal, one of the most enterprising men in the new settlement, and to him is given the credit of making the first clearing in the town. So near as can be determined at this time, Mr. Bacon first came to the town in 1793, with or soon after the pioneers, and took up a temporary abode with Thomas Hollister and with him returned to Connecticut in the fall. The nest spring he came again, this time in company with his brother Seth, Cap-
tain Eli, and John F. Bacon, all of whom were afterward identified with the early events in the region and from whom descended several prominent families in Candor and elsewhere. John F. Bacon first settled and lived for a time in Danby, but soon came to Candor and took up land in the vicinity of his brothers. Daniel Bacon, son of Seth came in 1805. He is remembered as a civil engineer and millwright but best, perhaps, as Colonel Bacon, by reason of his connection with the state militia, in which he held a colonel's commission.
Ezra Smith was one of the pioneers in the Willseyville neighborhood, but the date of his settlement is now unknown. He was of New England stock but came here from Westchester county. He died in the town in 1818, and left a family of four children, all of whom grew to maturity and married. William Bates came to this town from Owego in 1796.
Jacobus Senich settled on the Big Flatt, or Cantine tract in 1797, but lived in the region only a few years. At his house the first town meeting in Spencer was held.
Abel Galpin is said to have settled in the town as early as 1790, which fact, if correct, would have made him its pioneer; but it must be remembered that in 1790 no disposition of this region had been made by the state, and if Mr. Galpin came then he was a squatter. Such settlements were occasionally made in the county but it is doubtful if any were made in this remote territory. However, Abel Galpin was a pioneer in the town and a very worthy man as now recalled. He came from Stockbridge, Mass., married with Mary Wright, and had a family of thirteen children.
Jared Smith, Hiram Williams, and Jasper Taylor, all New England Yankees, settled in this town in 1795. Jared Smith was the son of Joel and Lydia Smith, and some of his descendants have ever since lived in Candor and are numbered among its thrifty families. Hiram Williams made his first improvements on what has been described as the Ford location. His wife was Abigail Ford by whom he had six children. Jasper Taylor was an old patriot of the revolution. He located in the Weltonville neighborhood, and the first saw mill there was built by a member of his family. Mr. Taylor married with Maria Edmunds and by her had eleven children.
Levi Williams, Joseph Schoonover, and Charles Henderson are also to be mentioned among the early settler, though- perhaps not as pioneers. However, it is thought that they were located in the town as early as 1800. Each took up lands and made the first improvement on them. Joseph Schoonover and Caleb Hubbard were also early settlers, Mr. Hubbard coming in 1805. He was a carpenter and his work in building houses and barns made him a valuable man in the settlement. He, too, had a large family, and his descendants are still living in the town. Joseph Schoonover located on what was afterward known as the Samuel Barrott farm. He was one of the first town officers elected at the organization meeting in 1811, and was otherwise identified with early events in Candor. In his family were ten children. Selah Gridley came from Connecticut in 1803, and settled on lot 12. Elisha Blinn and Beriah Strong settled at and founded “Blinn's settlement” in 1804.
Cornelius Cortright, Sylvester Woodford, and Chauncey Woodford came to Candor in 1805. Mr. Cortright, being one of the first settlers in the eastern part of the town. The family came from Delaware county and numbered ten children, nine of whom, however, were born in Candor. The Woodfords were from Farmington Conn., and Chauncey seems to have been an advance settler for his family, as he came first in 1804 and built a rude log cabin and in the following year Truman and Ira Woodford, and James North and Mana Hart came to the town. Bissell Woodford, who was prominent in Candor nearly three-quarters of a century ago, came in 1825. In Chauncey Woodford's family were six children. Sylvester Woodford's family had five children. Jacob Clark also settled in Candor in 1805, on lot 1, N.W. section 11.
Walter Herrick was one of the few natives of this state who settled early in Candor. He was born in Dutchess county and came here in 1806, settling in the east part of the town. Solomon Hover came in 1807 from Delaware county, and made an improvement on the farm since owned in the family. Henry Hover came about the same time, and from the same place. Both families had children, among whom were some of the first men of the town. Solomon Vergason settled in Candor in 1808, coming from Standing Stone, PA.
Samuel Hull, a native of Massachusetts, and Daniel Cowles, of Farmington, Conn., were settlers here in 1809. Both had families and were much respected men. Mr. Cowles and his son Rufus were masons by trade and found plenty of employment among the settlers. Caleb Galpin and Ebeneazer Lake also settled
in the town in 1809, both in the Fairfield locality.
Dr. Elias Briggs, of Massachusetts, Ahira Anderson, a native of Connecticut, and Miles Andrews, from old Wallingford, Vt., came to live in this town in the year 1810. Dr. Briggs practiced medicine at Weltonville about thirty-five years and was one of the oldest physicians in the town. He died in 1850. Miles Andrews was in the service from this town during the war of 1812-15. Jonathan Andrews, also a Vermonter, came to Candor in 1810, but later removed to Newark Valley. Ahira Anderson settled on what was known as Anderson hill. He was a tanner as well as a farmer. In his family were ten children, of whom eight grew to maturity. Moses Grimes came from Washington county, N.Y., in 1811, and located in Park settlement.
George Douglass was of Irish birth, Osgood Ward was a New Hampshire Yankee, and both settled in Candor in 1812. Reuben Fletcher came from Moravia and settled in the west part of the town about the same time. John J. McIntyre first came in 1813, driving from northern Vermont with a yoke of oxen and a team of horses, and he was then only eighteen years old. The next year his father and family came and the name has ever since been known in the locality.
James Ross came from Barkhamsted to Candor in 1814. Caleb Sackett was here in 1815, and built a saw mill north of the old brick mill. Timothy C. Reed, Joel Robinson, John Whitley, and Beri Strong were settlers here in 1816, and came, Reed from near Penobscot, Maine; Robinson from Vermont, and Beri Strong from Duanesburg. All had families and were men much respected in the town. Mr. Reed lived in Candor village thirty-two years, and was a substantial farmer. In 1820 Isaac Comstock came from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and bought a 400 acres tract of land on west Owego creek, and in the same year Captain William Scott came form Adams, Mass., and settled on the farm which remained so long in the family.
Samuel Barager came to Candor in 1815. He was a prominent man in both town and county; was justice of the peace many years, and was elected to the assembly in 1829.
In this chapter so far as progressed it is believed that mention has been made of nearly every settler in the town previous to the year 1820. True, there may have been others whose names are lost with the lapse of years, or who lived in the town for a short time and then removed to another locality. However, for the purpose of recalling the names of as many as possible of both pioneers and early settlers mention may be made of still later arrivals in Candor, each of whom in some manner was identified with the events of history in this special locality. Joel C. Strong came soon after 1825. Daniel Lounsbury settled in Tioga in 1816 and about ten years later came to this town. Abel Owen came from Tompkins county about 1821. Jonathan Hart came in 1825 and was for half a century an undertaker in the town. Josiah Hatch settled here in 1823, and Charles Dennis in 1826. Stoughton S. Downing came in 1837, and Mansfield Bunnell three years earlier.
Other old residents who were in some manner associated with the history of the town in the past were Rowland Van Scoy, Lewis J. Mead, Charles C. Howard, Van Ness Barrott, Radaker Fuller, Samuel Miller, John M. Van Kleeck, William L. Fessenden, John E. Robbins, Henry Hull, Augustus Holmes, William White, Aaron Lovejoy, Cyrenus Elmendorf, Richard Field, Frederick K. Parmele, William L. Carpenter and others of still later date. However, in writing of village and hamlet history, in another part of this chapter, allusion will be made to early settlers in each locality, and to still others whose names have not been mentioned.
Among the settlers in Candor were several who had served in the American army during the revolution. Their names have been preserved from one generation to another and it is appropriate that they be again recorded in this volume for the reason, first that service in that struggle was in itself an honor both to the patriot himself and his descendants; and second, that during the last score of years there has been a tendency on the part of descendants of the revolution to organize into social bodies, and proven eligibility thereto is often sought by the present generation.
The old patriots of the revolution who came to settle in this town, were Captain Joel Smith, Job Judd, Thomas Gridley, Israel Mead, Captain Thomas Park, Hiram Williams, Bissell Woodford, Elias Williams and Aaron Whitley. Special mention should be made of the service of settler Whitley, who was forcibly pressed into the British service and compelled to serve four and one-half years before he could effect his escape.
Captain Thomas Park, the founder of Park settlement, was also in the service during the war, in command of a sailing vessel, and the fact is handed down to us that his services to his country in that struggle were of great value.
No, less praiseworthy of patriotic and was the record of the town during the second war with Great Britain, the war of 1812-15. The men of Candor who served in that struggle were Miles Andrews, Ephraim Personeus, Lewis Wheeler, Capt. Daniel Park, Capt. Eli Bacon, Wait Johnson. Thomas Hewitt, and Phineas Judd.
ORGANIZATION AND CIVIL HISTORY.-The pioneer and early settlement of the town now called Candor was begun and substantially accomplished while the territory formed a part of the original township of Owego; and unlike the majority of towns in this county, settlement in Candor was not begun until after the civil authority of both county and town were extended over the region. However, settlement in this part of the old town of Owego, although somewhat delayed, progressed rapidly after the proprietary perfected the title and made the necessary survey. Soon after the beginning of the century the legislature was asked to create a new jurisdiction in this part of the county. Therefore on February 28, 1806, Spencer was erected, including all that is now Candor and a vast area of other territory.
Candor was formed from Spencer by an act of the legislature passed February 22, 1811, and tradition has it that there was a strong desire on the part of many of the town's people to call the new jurisdiction Washington, in honor of the commander of the American army during the revolution and the first president of the United States, on the anniversary of whose birth the creating act was passed. But it so happened that in the old county of
Dutchess there was a town of Washington, created March 13, 1786, therefore the revolutionary patriots who lived within the proposed new jurisdiction adopted the name of Candor ; but why so named, or at whose suggestion, no past writer of local history assumes to state. The present writer, too, confesses to lack knowledge on the subject, and so far as inquiries have been directed among the oldest and best informed men in the town no satisfactory answer is obtained. The honor suggesting the name is said to have been delegated to Thomas Gridley, better known as “Squire Hemlock” Gridley.
In area Candor is the largest but one of the towns of the county and contains 51,334 acres of land. Owego has 53,651 acres. The topographical conditions and natural physical features in Candor are not specially remarkable. The surface is generally a high, broad rolling upland, separated into ridges by the valleys of several streams, the streams flowing generally in a southerly direction. The west branch of Owego creek forms the eastern boundary, and is the principal water course of the town. Catatonk creek flows through the centre of the town, and near the central western part has two branches, one from the north and one from the west. The soil generally is a gravelly loam, very fertile in the valleys and moderately so on the highlands, where shaley loam prevails.
Such were the natural conditions in Candor three-quarters of a century ago, and such are they to-day. Yet it must not be assumed that the town has not progressed from the condition of things in the pioneer times, for such is not the case ; and it is a well known and conceded fact, that Candor at this time, and for all time since its organization, has been regarded, as one of the best and most productive of the county's sub-divisions, and has furnished as many men of mark and of moral, public, and professional worth as has any town in the county when we consider conditions, advantages and numbers.
The act creating the town directed the freeholders, and electors to meet at the house of Captain Abel Hart March 5, 1811, and elect town officers. This was done, and the result was as follows :
Supervisor, Joel Smith ; town clerk, Asa North ; assessors, William Scott, Orange F. Booth, Samuel Smith ; commissioners of highways, Nathaniel Sackett, Seth Bacon, Charles Taylor ; constable and collector, Truman Woodford ; overseers of the poor, Abel Hart, Asa North ; constables, Eldad Pickett, Daniel Park ; fence viewers, Joseph Delind, Charles Taylor, Eli Bacon, Job Judd ; poundmasters, Thomas Park, James McMaster, Ezra Smith ; overseers of highway districts (of which there were thirteen), Jacob Harrington, Seth Bacon, Ozias Woodford, Joseph Kelsey, Daniel Cowles, George Allen, Reuben Hatch, William Taylor, Joseph Schoonover, Thomas Baird, Daniel H. Bacon, Jacob Clark, Alexander Scott.
Having thus mentioned the names of the first officers, it is appropriate that there also be given the succession of incumbents of the supervisorship, that being regarded as the chief office in the town. In Candor this succession has been as follows :
1812-17-Nathaniel Sackett. 1818-21-Asa North. 1822-28-Samuel Barager. 1829-30-Orange F. Booth. 1831-37-Samuel Barager. 1838-39-Dr. A. W. McKey. 1840-43-Horace Booth. 1844-45-Rich. H. Sackett. 1846-E. Comstock.. 1847-48-Dr. A.W. McKey. 1849-N.H. Woodford. 1850-52-Horace Booth. 1853-55-Josiah Rich. 1856-N.L. Carpenter 1857-Thomas Forman. 1858-Jerome Thompson. 1859-Thomas Forman. 1860-Jerome Thomason. 1861-Solomon Oakley. 1862-Edwin A. Booth. 1863-64-John R. Chidsey. 1865-66-Edwin A. Booth. 1867-Abel H. Booth. 1868-1869-Edwin A. Booth. 1870-71-Wm. H. Hubbard. 1872-74-U.P. Spaulding. 1875-76-Jerome Thomson. 1877-78-John Ryan. 1879-Chas. F. Barager. 1880-82-Dr. Daniel S. Miller. 1883-Enoch S. Williams. 1884-John R. Chidsey. 1885-George A. Matthews. 1886-Enoch S. Williams. 1887-Dr. W. E. Roper 1888-91-E. S. Williams. 1892-93-Epenetus Howe. 1894-96-Jas. H. Jennings.
POPULATION, GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.-In his brief centennial history of the county and its towns, William Fiske Warner says that in 1800 the population of the territory now comprising Cando was 135, and at that time the voters of the same region number 23. This would indicate at the time the presence within the town of about fifteen heads of families, a few more than are mentioned in our early settlement record. Mr. Warner also says that in 1800 the number of acres of land under cultivation was 390, and in 1825 had increased to 8,350 acres. In 1855 the number of acres under cultivation was 30,769, about three fifths of the town's area.
However, if it is assumed that Mr. Warner's calculations are correct, and that the territory contained 135 inhabitants in 1800, it will be seen that the next fourteen years witnessed a somewhat remarkable growth in population as in 1814, at the first enumeration of inhabitants under recognized authority after the town was erected, the reports show a population of 1,098. Turning to the census reports we may note the fluctuations in population in the town, as through this means the reader gains a fair idea of its growth and development.
In 1814 the inhabitants numbered 1,089 ; 1820, 1,655 ; 1830, 2,556 ; 1835, 2,710 ; 1840, 3,370; 1845, 3,422 ; 1850, 3,433 ; 1855, 3,895 ; 1860, 3,840 ; 1865, 4,103 ; 1870, 4,250 ; 1875, 4,203 ; 1880, 4,223 ; 1885, no count ; 1890 3,674 ; 1892, 3,525.
From this it will be seen that the maximum population in the town's history was attained in 1880 and that the growth between the years 1865 and 1880 was hardly more than 200 inhabitants. Indeed, the fact appears that the zenith of prosperity in the town was reached in the period indicated, and that since that time there has been a gradual decrease in many local interests, and particularly in agricultural and kindred pursuits. But this condition, whether unfortunate or otherwise, is not single to Candor alone for few indeed are the farming towns in this state where like changes have not been witnessed during the period mentioned, only in a more marked degree. It is a fact that Candor has been a progressive town generally since the days of pioneership, and such depressions as have come upon its people have also come to other localities and are due to exactly the same causes as have prevailed elsewhere. Farming in the east, conducted as our husbandmen understand it, is no longer a profitable pursuit, for the lands valued at from $20 to $100 per acre, with labor at from $1.50 to $2.00 a day cannot be made to successfully compete with lands in the great west worth from $2.00 to $6.00 an acre, and labor from 75 cents to $1.25 a day. Still, the writer is not disposed to seriously lament the condition of the farming classes in the east, much less in Candor, but these observations are made from the fact that certain classes assert that eastern farming is profitable if the farmer shows proper energy and thrift. The inhabitants of Candor for
the last century, since the pioneers first came to this densely wooded region, have been noted for thrift, for energy, for progression. The one great cause above all others which has been a factor in bringing about this condition of affairs on the farm is that the youth of the present day are too susceptible to the allurements and pleasures of life in the city to remain contentedly at the old home in the country.
The pioneers of Candor previous to 1800, and indeed for many years afterward, were both lumbermen and farmers. Many of them were attracted to the region by reason of the remarkable quality of standing timber which so densely covered the land, giving itself abundant evidence of a superior soil underneath. Nor were the pioneers mistaken in their belief, for when the lands were cleared fine farms appeared and often in early days was the thrifty husbandman able to provide for his family a pretentious framed house, and for his cattle and crops a substantial and comfortable barn. They came here from the well settled localities of New England, chiefly from Connecticut and a few from Massachusetts, and as descendants of Yankee stock knew something of the comforts and pleasures of life. They came to make new and better homes for their families and success marked their efforts from the beginning ; and the result was that even in the early years of the century Candor was remarked as one of the most substantial farming and lumbering town of the county.
Among the pioneers was a strong contingent of Congregationalists and Baptists, and as early as the year 1796 that faithful christian missionary, Rev. Seth Williston, came and preached to and taught spiritually the inhabitants of the region. In the east part of the town the Baptists formed a society in 1802, the second of that denomination in the county, and a few years later the Congregationalists organized their church. Other denominations followed as soon as strong enough, and from these primitive elements the christian church in the town has grown and developed.
SCHOOLS.-As to the first school past writers are in conflict, one authority saying that in 1798 Joel Smith built a log school house on his farm and in which he taught in that year, while Mr. Warner's narrative has it that pioneer Smith's school was not opened
until after 1800. All the early settlers are now gone and the question cannot be determined accurately ; nor is it important, but the fact appears that in Candor the settlers were as mindful of the educational welfare of their youth and made as generous provision for schools as did other towns. Of course, previous to 1811 the schools of this locality were a part of the system then in force in the mother town, Spencer, but after Candor was set off, and after the adoption of the first state system, schools were organized in conformity with the new law. The first meeting for this purpose was held at the dwelling of Abel Hart, Monday, October 4, 1813. Joel Smith, Nathaniel Sackett, and Joseph Delind were chosen commissioners of common schools and Asa North, Ebenezer Woodbridge, Daniel H. Bacon, Walter Hermit and Russell Gridley were elected inspectors of common schools.
During the fall of that year the commissioners divided the town into nine districts and made provision for a school in each ; and from the informal system then established the educational institutions of the town at the present time have developed, of course subject to and modified by the changes put in force by the state authorities from time to time. To follow them all in this narrative would be both difficult and uninteresting, but the fact appears from the town records that Candor has ever made ample provision for all educational work within her borders. For more than thirty years Candor village and the surrounding district have supported one of the most advanced higher grade schools in the north part of the county, and the township at large has likewise liberally maintained its district system.
Under the present arrangement and disposition of school interests the territory of the town is divided into 25 districts, of which Nos. 4,16 and 19 have no school building. As shown by the commissioner's report for the year ending July 31, 1896, the amount of public money apportioned to the town was $3,156.50, added to which was $328.39 received from the regents for the benefit of district No. 9. During the year the town raised by tax for school support $3,443.98. The number of children of school age was 753, for whose instruction 35 teachers were employed, and were paid $5.717.95. The value of all school property is estimated at $18,070.
and the assessed valuation of the town for the year was $1,247,975.
RETROSPECTIVE.-Glancing back into the period of early history in Candor, we find a population of about 1,000 inhabitants in 1812, all earnestly engaged in the peaceful arts of agriculture and lumbering. At that particular time when this town had just been separated from Spencer, and the affairs of the new jurisdiction were taking tangible form, there came the second war with Great Britain, for which this struggling people were ill prepared. However, the martial spirit born with the revolution was still alive and the call to arms met with ready response from the loyal sons of Candor. The militiamen from the town are mentioned elsewhere in this chapter, and the only effect of the period on the people was to strengthen their faith in American institutions.
At that time and indeed for many years afterward the people of Candor were not given the advantage of the internal improvements made in the southern portions of the county. True, in 1810 the old Ithaca and Owego turnpike was completed and opened for traffic, and a great advantage at once accrued to all local interest. The little settlement of Candor village was on the line of the road, and being ten mile distant from Owego, the southern terminus of the road, this was a natural and convenient resting place. It was not an unusual thing for as many as 500 teams to pass along the turnpike in a single day, carrying loads of salt and other merchandise from Ithaca to Owego, from which point it was shipped to markets down the Susquehanna. Then came the stage and mail coach with all their bustle and business and the settlers were regularly greeted with the familiar figure of Stephen B. Leonard carrying the mail pouch and also the copies of the Owego Gazette along this old familiar highway.
At a little later period the inhabitants were promised a still greater blessing in the incorporation of the Cayuga and Susquehanna Railroad company (in 1828) although it was fully six years more before the road was completed and opened for traffic. It extended from Ithaca to Owego and passed through this town. Horses were used for power for several years, but in 1837 financial disturbances worked disaster to the enterprise, hence the franchise was sold. Its existence and operation, however, have always
been maintained, and a part of the old line is now held under lease by the D., L. & W. R. R. company, and is known as the Cayuga division and also as the Ithaca branch.
One of the brightest pages in its history was the record made by volunteers from Candor in the war of 1861-65. A glance at the military chapter in another part of this work will show that this town contributed men to the formation of nearly every important command recruited in the county, from the third to the 179th infantry; but among them all by far the strongest contingent of men were in the veteran 26th, the famous 109th, the fighting 137th, or the 179th infantry. Still, in the artillery and cavalry arms of the service were volunteers from the town in fair numbers, while a few were found in the navy. In the aggregate the town sent into the service about four hundred men, or the equivalent of ten per cent. of the total population in 1865.
During the period of its history, there have been built up within the limits of the town several small villages for the accommodation of the inhabitants who were living in parts remote form the centre. As is well known, Candor is a large town and it became necessary to establish trading points where people might find the articles most needed in domestic country life. Indeed, Candor has been called the town of many villages, and in this respect it outnumbers the county town. Named about in the order of importance these hamlets are Candor, Willseyville, Weltonville, Catatonk, West Candor, Gridleyville, South Candor, East Candor, and Perryville. None of those, however, has ever attained to the corporate character, although Candor has business interests and population sufficient to warrant such a measure. A brief mention of each of these settled localities in this chapter is appropriate.
Candor is the largest unincorporated village in Tioga county, and, excepting Owego and Waverly, it ranks among the first in point of business and commercial importance. Indeed, it is doubtful if incorporation would in any substantial degree add to the worth or materially contribute to the welfare of the people, for such improvements as are sought by incorporation have been accom-
plished through the voluntary action of the residents and taxpayers. However, about 1873, the electors of the village voted on the question of incorporation, and rejected the proposition.
According to record and established tradition, Elijah Hart and David Whittlesey came to the village site in the winter of 1794-95 and laid the foundation for the settlement in building a small grist and saw mill on the site of the present Ryan lumber yard, or about where Mr. Ryan's tannery building formerly stood. However, we must not forget that Smith, Luddington, Hollister, and Judd made the first clearing here in 1793, on the cemetery site. The first mill here was burned, in 1813. In 1796, Abel Hart and son Abel come to the settlement from Union, and from that time the several members of this family by their work completed in fact the foundation for the subsequent village. Thomas Hollister was also a factor in the work and built the first tavern in 1795. In 1810, Captain Hart, the son, built a good framed house, which he opened as a tavern. Later on he built a blacksmith shop, erected a distillery, and also built a “weave house” for the accommodation of the settlers in the town. In 1806, in company with Thomas Gridley, he built a saw mill further up the stream. Other factors in early village history were Horatio Durkee, who came from New Hampshire and built a tannery on the site of the present blanket factory ; Dr. Horatio Worcester, the first physician and Joel Smith, the first school teacher, who also gained much celebrity in his office of justice of the peace.
However, in 1813 the settlement was visited with a destructive fire, by which many of the primitive industries were swept away. They were at once replaced with other and more substantial buildings, and by this time Candor became a hamlet of importance on the line of the old turnpike leading from Owego to Ithaca. Indeed, between these points were in operation at one time more that twenty public houses, all doing a successful business. Caleb Sackett came into prominence about this time as the builder of a grist mill and as proprietor of a tavern, the tavern on the corner where is now Ryan's lumber yard. In this old hostelry James McMaster died, and his bones lie buried in an unmarked and solitary grave in the back part of a residence lot in Main street. The Sackett
mill was replaced with a better one by Kirk & Tryon. In 1824 Atremas and Isaac V. Loceuy
built a woollen mill, the same afterward owned by Joseph Matthews. Isaac Locey was also a manufacturer of machinery used in wool carding.
In the early history of the village the settlement was divided, one portion being in the upper part, which took the name of Candor Centre, while the settlement lower down the creek was known as Candor Corners. Nature provided two excellent water power privileges within what was then the settlement and these enterprising Yankees were ready to avail themselves of its advantages. This fact, and not an unfriendly rivalry, made necessary the divided hamlet. At the Centre Elijah Hart built the grist mill on the site of the present Gridley mill. The brick mill was built about fifty or more years ago and was at one time owned by Smith & Thomas. The present owners are S.E. & D. E. Gridley. Beyond the north end of the dam was the Sackett Tavern, a later landlord of which was Stephen T. Smith. A school was kept in this part of the settlement at an early day, and when a boy Edwin A. Booth was a pupil there. The Ryan tannery was built in 1861, and was operated by John Ryan until 1887 and then made into a saw mill. The old hotel land adjoining is also owned by Mr. Ryan and is used as a lumber yard.
Notwithstanding these early interests of the upper hamlet, the place did not have any special prominence previous to about 1850, and other than the mills there was little in the way of business. The first merchant was Sherman Barber, whose store was across the bridge. John Sackett and S.S. Downing were also early storekeepers at the centre.
In 1851, Jerome Thompson, a former merchant and resident of Catherine, Schuyler county, came to Candor and opened a stock of general merchandise at the Centre, and from that to the time of his death he was one of the foremost men of the town in business enterprises. In 1856 John W. McCarty, a former clerk in the store, became partner with Mr. Thompson, and for the next thirty years they were associated in business enterprises in this part of the county. Indeed, it is conceded that the members of the firm, by their enterprise and public spiritedness practically
built up the upper village and gave to it a place of importance in the town; and it is equally true that no one man has been a more potent factor in maintaining the established standing of the village at large than John W. McCarty, senior member of the present firm of McCarty & Payne.
The First National bank of Candor, No. 353, was chartered March 3, 1864 with a capital of $50,000. The persons who were chiefly instrumental in securing to Candor this enterprise were the first board of directors, who were also the largest stockholders, vis: Norman L. Carpenter, Jerome Thompson, Edwin A. Booth, John W. McCarty, Lyman Bradley, Hiram Smith, Romanta Woodford, Frank R. Preston and Edward, C, Coryell. The first officers were Norman L. Carpenter, president, and John J. Bush, cashier. Mr. Carpenter was president to the time of his death and May 16, 1865, Mr. Booth, the present president was chosen his successor. Mr. Bush was cashier until February 20, 2865, when he resigned, and was succeeded by Jerome Thompson, who served in that capacity until his death, December 5, 1892. The present cashier, Fred W. Smith, was then elected.
December 18, 1868, the bank was entered by burglars, and money and securities and other property to the value of almost $20,000 were taken from the safe. A second attempt in the same direction was made in the night of April 29, 1892, but was unsuccessful. The First National of Candor, as it is frequently called, is looked upon as one of the reliable financial institutions of the county, and has been at all times in its history under safe and careful management. Its present surplus and undivided profit account is nearly $5,500. The directors are Edwin A. Booth, president; Fred W. Smith, cashier, and John W. McCarty, J.P. Fiebig, William B. Smith, M.A. Beers and George H. Hart.
The principal business interests of this part of the village at the present time comprise the large general store of McCarty & Payne, Gridley's flour, grist and planning mill, John Ryan's new saw mill and lumber yard, the Ashland house, the glove factory, and several other stores and shops, as are found in all small village settlements.
The Wands Glove company was incorporated May 4, 1895, with a capital of $10,000, and was brought to the village through the
efforts of business men at what is commonly called the Centre. The officers are J.W. McCarty, president; E.H. Wands, vice-president; H.P. Potter, treasurer, and W.J. Payne, secretary. In a measure the introduction of a glove factory in Candor was looked upon as an experiment, but so far as practical results show, the management has no cause for dissatisfaction. Buck, kid, calf, horsehide, hog, sheep, and oil-tanned gloves are made here, and constant employment is furnished to about forty persons.
Down at Candor Corners, which place is distant less that half a mile form the Centre, pioneer Hart laid the foundation for the village by erecting mills and building a dam across Catatonk creek. He owned much of the land in the vicinity, and in addition to the mills be built a tavern and made this the chief business centre of the town in the early settlement times. The mill stood on the site of the present mill building, but the latter was erected by John J. and Richard Sackett. It is now owned by Mr. Ellis. Among the old merchants here were Henry W. Sackett and Bottsford Bacon, both of whom were in trade all of sixty and perhaps more years ago. Other and later business men were Leonard Fisher (son of Gen. Fisher, of Spencer), Joseph VanVleck, Samuel Barager, John J. Sackett, Ira Keeler, Hubert A. Barager, P.M. Thompson (brother to Jerome), Booth & Potter, Chidsey & Holmes, Matthews & Ward, North & Hemingway, Tuttle & Neal, W. H. Andrews (still in business), and Booth & Williams (now in trade). Mr. Williams began here as a tailor, in 1856, and has since been in active mercantile life. The firm of Booth & Williams was formed in 1875. In the drug business at the Corners was Dr. Sutherland, followed by Dr. Harris, Edward Jennings, and the sons of Mr. Jennings, till the store was burned. The present local druggist is J.H. Jennings.
The “Ironclad Blanket” factory of the present day stands of the site whereon once was the Durkee tannery of old times. A little later it was known as the Sturgis tannery, but still later John J. Sackett erected on the site the “Candor Woollen Mills.” The plant came into the hands of John Southworth, who sold to Senator Barager and he changed it into a blanket factory and conducted it with good success for several years. At his death the
property was sold to the present proprietors, Fiebig & Hart, manufactures of the celebrated “Ironclad Blanket,” a commodity which has brought profit to the owners and fame to Candor.
The once noted Humboldt tannery was built by Elmendorf & Sackett in 1859, but it is said that Mr. Carpenter had an interest in the enterprise. In 1865 it passed into the hands of E.S. Esty & Sons, who, with the Hoyts, of New York, conducted the works as long as they were operated. J.W. Henderson was superintendent of the tannery for many years. The buildings were burned in 1868, but were at once rebuilt. This was for many years the leading industry of the village and furnished employment to at lease 25 men. The tannery was closed in 1894.
The Candor Iron Works was another of the industries of the lower village, established in 1854 for the manufacture of general castings and machine work. Plows were also finished here, the castings being brought from elsewhere.
From what has been stated it will be seen that from first to last Candor village has been a busy hamlet, and notwithstanding the general depression which has come upon many inland villages of the same class and condition, Candor is to-day in as good standing from a business and manufacturing point of view as at any time in its history. True, several important industries have run their course and are now out of use, but in their places local public enterprise has established others of equal magnitude and employing a like number of men in their operation; and it is a fact that business of all kinds in Candor is in as healthful condition as ever, the lamentations of discontented man to the contrary notwithstanding.
During the last twenty-five years of its history the village has grown, and now, except for purposes of particular designation little is heard of Candor Centre or of Candor Corners. All is Candor and all interests and efforts are united for the general welfare. In the course of time the once separated hamlets have grown together, and now a continuous row of dwellings and business houses line Main street on both sides. The station of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad is centrally located in the village, and there, too, is the village hall, the postoffice, a good
hotel, and several mercantile business houses. Public enterprise has provided a hand fire engine, and while the fire-fighting organization is wholly informal, the people are content to work under the direction of Frank Doty in subduing any fire which may occur.
The Candor Free Academy is one of the important and worthy institutions of the village, and among the academic schools of the county enjoys an enviable reputation and standing. The free district was established in 1864, in conformity to state laws, and nearly all the leading business and professional men of the village were instrumental in securing the benefits of such an institution. The first principal was Prof. Denson, followed in 1867 by Prof. L. D. Vose. The academic department was added in 1867. The library of the district (No.9) contains 642 volumes, and the school is furnished with good chemical and philosophical apparatus. The district received from the regents in 1896 the sum $328.39. The present principal is Prof. James W. Alexander. The members of the board of education are George H. Hart, president; A. H. Krom, clerk, and S. E. Bridley, John R. Chidsey, Charles F. Fiebig and W. S. Moore.
The Congregational Church of Candor, as now known, was the outgrowth of “the Farmington society,” organized by the pioneers of the region at a meeting held in Sylvester Woodford's barn June 29,1808. However Congregational services were held in the town long before either Candor or Spencer were erected, and those old christian workers Seth Williston and Jeremiah Osborn preached to the inhabitants and occasionally administered the ordinances. The first members of the society were Ebenezer and Rhoda Sanford, Asa and Laura North, Eli and Sarah Bacon, Job Judd, and Ozias and Theda Woodford. The meeting house stood about on the site now occupied by McCarty & Payne's store, and was built in 1818. The second was erected in 1824, north of the creek. The present church edifice was built in 1868. The first parsonage was built in 1837, and the present in 1870. Previous to 1811, and after Spencer had been set off from Owego, this society was known as the Second Congregational church of Spencer, and after this town was created it took the name of Congregational church of Candor. The pastors and ministers in charge have been as follows : Revs.
Seth Williston and Jeremiah Osborn, occasionally in 1808 and 1809 ; Daniel Loring, the first regular pastor, followed in succession by Mr. Bascom, Jeremiah Osborn, Samuel Parker, Jeremiah Osborn, Alfred White, Mr. Shafer, Zenas Riggs, Edwin Benedict, M.C. Gaylord, Wm. H. Hayward, Geo. N. Todd, Geo. A. Pelton, Augustine Barnum, Alexander B. Dilley, Charles C. Johnson, J. P. Richardson, John Marsland, Henry G. Margetts and Ferdinand West Dickinson, the latter the present pastor who came to the church January 1, 1895. The members number 195, and on the roll in the Sunday school are about 185 names.
The Methodist Episcopal church in Candor dates back in its history almost to the pioneer times, although it was not until 1827 that an organization was effected. From that to the present time the church has enjoyed a healthful and generally increasing existence and is now one of the strongest in numbers in the town. The first meeting house was built about 1835, and the present edifice on the same site in 1865. The original members in this church were Judge Barager and wife, James Smith and wife, Hannah Gilbert, Thomas Hewitt and wife, George Hubbard and wife, A. Hubbard and wife, Jared Smith and wife, Mrs. Asaph Colburn. They also formed the “class” of which Mr. Hewitt was leader. The present pastor of the church is Rev. T. R. Warnock.
The Candor Village Baptist church was organized at a meeting held at the house of Hiram Allen, March 11, 1852, but Baptist services were held in this town away back in the early years of the century; and churches of this denomination were formed and meetings regularly conducted in Candor long before the village society was organized. The first pastor of the village church was Rev. J.W. Emery, followed by D.C. Marshall and E. L. Benedict. The present pastor is Rev. V. M. Seagers; clerk, Chas. N. Tubbs. The members number eighty-four. The church edifice was built in 1855 and is still in good repair.
St. Mark's church, Protestant Episcopal, of Candor, was organized April 23, 1832, at a meeting of churchmen and churchwomen held at the Masonic hall in the village. Rev. Lucius Carter was made chairman, and after the organization was perfected he was the first rector. The wardens were Seth and William Bacon,
and the vestry men were Daniel Bacon, Harvey Abbott, William Hand, Richard H. Sackett, Samuel Barager, Stephen F. Smith, Thomas Buell and Hiram Smith. A lot was purchased in 1835, and two years later an edifice was erected. The church was reasonable strong for many years, but after the death of the older members the number of regular communicants gradually decreased. The present rector, Rev. D. A. Parce, has recently removed to another village.
In the history of the town the hamlets outlying from the principal village are of small consequence as factors during the last half century. However previous to that time they were of great importance and added materially to growth and prosperity of the whole region; in view of which it seems necessary that some brief mention should be made of each.
Willseyville is a small settlement in the northwest part of Candor, in the locality originally designated as “The Big Flatt,” and otherwise as the Cantine location. It is on the north branch, of Catatonk creek, in the neighborhood where Jacobus Senich, Dr. Joel Tallmadge, and Christian Hart were among the pioneers. At Mr. Senich's house the first town meeting of the town of Spencer was held. Ezra Smith was another pioneer here and founded a settlement by building a tavern and keeping it open to the public until it was burned, about 1812. The principal business in early days was lumbering, and at one time within a radius of five miles it is said that not less than six or seven saw mills were in constant operation. The hamlet was named in allusion to Jacob Willsey, who came from Fairfield, Herkimer county, at an early day and was identified with many of the most important events of local history. He was one of the founders of the Baptist church, was justice of the peace, and also associate judge of the old common pleas court. Morgan A. White was also associated with interests here for about 25 or 30 years, and was indeed one of the best men of the hamlet in his time. However, after the timber was cleared from the lands, Willseyville began to lose its former prestige, and even the construction of two railroads through the settlement had not the effect to restore prosperity. The public buildings are the
Baptist church and the district school. The merchants are Raymond Strong and Irving Johnson.
The Willseyville Baptist church was organized in 1837, as noted in church reports, and in 1839, according to other records, the meeting house was built in 1840. The original members numbered 15 persons. The present number is 25; pastor, Rev. V. M. Seagers.
Gridleyville is a hamlet containing a small cluster of dwellings and situate about two miles north of Candor, in the location where the pioneers of the Booth family made their first purchase of land in the town. The settlement here was due almost wholly to the construction and operation of the old turnpike, and the subsequent horse railroad on the same route. In those days this was a place of much importance, for here all drivers stopped for rest and to change horses, and all the current news of the day was obtained only through that worthy, the driver; and it has been said that the denizens of Gridleyville felt highly honored by the presence of her learned Jehus, and an intimation is some manner got abroad that the average citizens here was just a little better informed on general subjects than residents in some other parts of the county. However, in writing of Gridleyville mention must be made of Captain Russell Gridley, the pioneer of the family in the town and who became a permanent settler in 1803. He preferred land in this town to that further south, as the timber was far better, for Captain Gridley was a lumberman and in later years an extensive operator. After the famous period of horse railroading and the day of stage coaches had passed our little hamlet began to decline, and still later, when the timber lands were cleared, the glory of the place departed forever.
East Candor is a little hamlet in the eastern central part of the town, in the vicinity where the Blinn family settled in early days. The locality was also known by other names, among them being “Blinn's Settlement,” and “Honey Pot,” and occasionally as “Upper Fairfield.” A postoffice has been kept here for many years. The Union church at East Candor was built in 1854.
West Candor is a hamlet and postoffice in the west part of town, on the highway leading from Candor village to Spencer. In
fact the settlement here, so far as it can be described by bounds, is partly in this town and Spencer. It was in this locality that Israel Mead settled in 1796, and here, too Selah Gridley and Captain Ira Woodford were among the early settlers. The hamlet is also a station on the now called Lehigh Valley railroad, and is in the centre of a rich agricultural region. The stone is kept by Luther Sawyer.
Weltonville is a post hamlet in the east part of Candor at the mouth of Doolittle creek, where that stream discharges into Owego creek. The hamlet was named in allusion to Rev. A. J. Welton, a former resident, but later of Binghamton. The local merchant is Mr. Graves.
The West Owego Creek Baptist church as Weltonville is one of the oldest religious bodies in the county, and it has also been called the mother of churches from the fact that several other societies have drawn members from it. This was the second church in the county, the date of its formation being May 1, 1802. Among the first members were Lewis and Lovina Mead, Jasper and Catharine Taylor, John and Hannah Bunnell, George and Sarah Lane, Peter and Sarah Gorbet, Abram and Deborah Evertt, Samuel and Alvin Steward, and Elizabeth Jacobs. The church of course drew its members largely from Candor and Newark Valley, and a few from Owego. The edifice was built in 1844. The members now number 57. The pastor is Rev. R. K. Hammond; clerk S. R. Barrott.
Catatonk in the early history of the town was a place of more than passing importance, and it was not until the land half score of years that its prestige has been lost. The hamlet is pleasantly and conveniently situated on Catatonk creek, on the line of the D., L. & W. railroad, and in early times was the first stopping place of any note on the old Ithaca & Owego turnpike after leaving Owego village. In this locality there settled some of the most worthy pioneers of the town, notable Captain Thomas Park, who opened a farm and also built one of the first saw mills in the county. Here, too, was a fertile agricultural region, and a store at Catatonk became necessary to supply the wants of the inhabitants. In 1852 Sackett & Forman built a tannery and furnished
employment to about twenty men. The property afterward passed through various ownerships and was finally closed. The last storekeeper here was A. H. Smith. A small but convenient union meeting house for religious worship was erected in 1861.
Perryville is the name given to a settlement in the north part of the town, distand about one mile southeast from Willseyville.
South Candor is a cluster of dwellings on Catatonk creek between Candor and Catatonk.
Prospect Valley is the latest hamlet in this town of many settlements, and is located about a mile south of Willseyville. A store is kept here by William Owen.
Among the many church and religious organizations of the town, not previously mentioned in this chapter, is the Fairfield Baptist church, an offshoot form the old society on West Owego creek, and was formed in 1858, and provided with a church home in 1871. The members number 23, and are under the pastoral charge of Rev. R. K. Hammond, of Weltonville.
The Baptist church at Strait's Corners, sometimes called the Pipe Creek Baptist church, was organized in 1842 with 38 constituent members, many of whom were residents of Tioga. The members now number 39. The church is under the pastorate of Rev. Seth Hammond, of Strait's Corners.
The Methodist church at Anderson Hill, a locality named from the Anderson family, was formed in 1860 with 20 members. The Pipe Creek M.E. church is a still older organization, and was formed in 1830, under the pastoral care of Rev. Gaylord Judd.
A society of the Free Will Baptist church was formed in the town as early as 1816 and held meetings in convenient school houses. The first pastor was Rev. John Gould, who gained notoriety by departing for the west about 1830 and joining with the Mormon church. The local society dissolved about 1831. Another society of the same denomination was formed on West Owego creek about 1820, but had only a brief existence.
THE VILLAGE OF CANDOR.
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