TOWN OF SEMPRONIUS.
SEMPRONITUS was formed March gth, 1799. It was one of the original townships of
the military tract and derived its name from a Roman General. It originally embraced a part of Marcellus, Onondaga
county, which was annexed to that town March 24th, 1804, and the present town of Moravia and Niles, which were
taken off March 20th, 1833. It lies the southeast part of the County, at the head of Skaneateles Lake, which, together
with the town of Preble, in Cortland county, form the eastern boundary. It is bounded on the north by Niles, on
the south by Summer Hill, and on the west by Moravia. The surface is a rolling and hilly upland, which rises abruptly
to the height of 800 to 1,000 feet above the valley formed by the lake and its inlet. The highest point both within
the town and County; which exist on lots 67, 68, 77 and 78, is 1,700 feet above tide. Bear Swamp Creek flowing
to the north, Fall Brook to the south, and Mill Brook, to the west, all rising within the town, have worn deep
and generally narrow valleys in the drift deposits and shales. Bear Swamp in the north-east part, lying partly
in this town and partly in Niles, is about five miles long and ninety rods at its greatest width. It covers a tract
of some 500 acres.
Slate crops out in the north edge of the town, on the Thos Walker farm, where it has been quarried somewhat extensively.
It also appears in the south-west corner, on lot 96, where it has been quarried for flagging stone, but the quarry.
lies principally in Moravia. Limestone exists in detached masses, but has not been utilized. The soil along the
streams and in the low-lands is a sandy loam and muck, mixed with disintegrated shale and lime-stone; upon the
hills it is a gravelly loam.
Dairying forms the chief, and indeed almost exclusive, branch of its agriculture. There is one cheese and butter
factory in the town, located at Sayles Corners, which was organized January 1st, 1873, receives milk from an average
number of 200 cows per season, and makes 60,000 pounds of cheese.
From the census of 1875, it appears that the number of cows whose milk was sent to factories was 291; the number
of pounds of butter made in families, 194,435; the number of pounds of cheese made in families, 420; the number
of gallons of milk sold in market, 150; and the number of milch cows, 1,510.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,123 of whom 1,058 were native; 65, foreign; and all, white. The area was
18,347 acres; of which 13,174 were improved; 4,398 woodland; and 775 otherwise unimproved.
The settlement of the town was begun in 1793, in which year Ezekiel Sass, originally from Stillwater, Saratoga
county, moved in from Pompey Hill, and settled at Sayles Corners, in the north part of the town, on lot 56, which
he bought of Judge Thompson, of Saratoga. His log house stood a little south of where Timothy Kehoe now lives.
His family consisted of Abraham, who had a wife and one child, and settled where Dennis O'Shea now lives, a little
north of Sayles Corners; Phebe, who came with her husband, Eri Taylor. and settled on twenty-five acres given her
by her father, on the Wilcox farm, where Dwight Fleald now lives; Ahab; Eleanor, afterwards wife of John Titus;
David; Sarah, who was demented; Anna, afterwards wife of Ebenezer Wooster; Ezekiel, Jr: Jemima, afterwards wife
of Nathaniel Palmer; Amy, afterwards wife of Ira Rooks; Lydia, afterwards wife of Orrin Willis; and Benjamin, who
was born here in June, 1794. Sayles was a surveyor, and died on the old homestead about 1828. He was the first
town clerk and held that office continuously from the organization of the town till 1820, a period of twenty-three
years, with the exception of the year 1804, when Cyrus Powers was clerk.
At the second town meeting, James A. Wright facetiously observes, "the ticket was made up mostly of Mr. Sayles,'
who was elected to no less than five offices, and held at the time that of justice, making six in all, viz town
clerk, assessor, commissioner of roads, pound master, and commissioner of public lots. At a town meeting held in
April, 1821, a resolution of thanks was presented to Mr Sayles for his able and faithful services as clerk during
a period of twenty-two years.
Anna, who is residing in Pennsylvania, is the only one of his children living. Lorenzo D. Sayles, who carries on
the harness business in Moravia, and Almira E., daughter of Benjamin Sayles, and wile of Abraham Howland, who was
born in Sempronius in 1818, and is now living in Kelloggsville, are grand-children of his.
Salathiel Taylor, son of Eri Taylor, and Phebe, daughter of Ezekiel Sayles, who was born in April, 1794. was the
first child born in Sernpronius.
Judge Nathaniel Gallup came in with the Averys, who settled in Ledyard and Venice, and to whom his wife was related,
in 1795, and settled and died in Sempronius. He had no children.
There does not appear to have been any addition to the settlements before 1796, in which year Seth Burgess came
in from Stillwater and took up lot 47, on the north line of the town, where he died in 1813. His house stood directly
opposite to where Benjamin Heustis now lives. His family consisted of Joel, who came with his wife and two children,
(Charles and Betsey, who died on the old homestead,) and settled a little south-east of his father, where his son
Byron now lives, and where he died in April, 1807; Jonathan, who came with his wife and daughter, Sally, afterwards
wife of Elias Miller, and settled where Barton Slade now lives; Seth, Jr., Harvey, Reuben and Olive, afterwards
wife of Stephen Carr. None of his children, and but few of his grandchildren are living, Byron Burgess, a grandson,
being the only one of his name living in the State. Seth Burgess kept the first tavern as early as i8oo, and till
his death. He also kept an asheiy.
Several additions were made to the settlements in and about 1798. Jotham Bassett, Abraham Berleu and John Everson
came in that year; Samuel Rice, Eider John Lesuer and his son Nathan, and Jonathan Rogers came as early as that
year; and Samuel Root, Thomas Norris and Huggins about that year. Jotharn Bassett built a log cabin in 1798, and
the following year moved in his family, which consisted of John, who came with his wife and one child, Mary, afterwards
wife of Daniel Rooks, and settled with his father on lot 65, one-fourth mile south of Sayles Corners, where Chas.
Sawyer now lives; Betsey, widow of Maj. Peleg Slade, who is now living in Sempronius in her 98th year, and is the
only one of the family left; and Joel. They had other children who did not come in with them. J otham served through
the French and Revolutionary wars. He was a cabinet maker by trade, and made all the coffins used here at an early
day. He was originally from Massachusetts. He died on the old homestead in the fall of 1827, and his wife, in the
spring of 1828. both well advanced in years. Berleu and Everson were brothers-in-law, and came in company from
New Jersey. Berleu settled on lot 66, near the west line of the town, on the old Kenyon farm, and Everson, on the
adjoining farm on the west, where he died. None of his children are living. Berleu moved with his family to Springport
about 1802, and died there. Samuel Rice settled near the north line of Senipronius, where Theo. Tuttle now lives.
His death was the first in the town; and the marriage of his son Samuel, with Matilda Summerston, was the first
marriage in the town. The Lesuers and Jonathan Rogers were from Patridgefield, Mass. Nathan Lesuer and Rogers,
both of whom had families, settled on lot 59, in Bear Swamp; but the title to the land they took up proved defective,
and Lesuer moved about 1806 or '7 to Erie county. The elder was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Sempronius
Samuel Root and Thos. Norris were from Connecticut. and Huggins, from Aurelius. The former two settled oh lot 67,
where Chas. Howland now lives, and Huggins, where Abraham Bush lives, on fifty acres on lot 78, given him to induce
settlement by Maj. Bartholomew VanValkenburgh, a Revolutionary soldier, who drew three lots, including 78 in Sempronius,
but never settled here, though two sons, Dr. Pruyn and Bartholomew, did at a late day, the former a half mile north
of Sempronius, and the latter at the crossing of the State roads. Root moved to Mentz about 1810. He and Norris,
who each took up fifty acres, sold to John Briggs, uncle of Dr. Lansingh Briggs of Auburn, who came in from North
East, Washington county, and afterwards removed with his family to Michigan. Norris then bought out Huggins, who
removed to Steuben county, and in 1812 he sold to Matthias Lane, a Dutchman, from Charleston, Montgomery county,
and left the town. Lane moved to Wayne county in 1840.
Peleg Slade came in from Stillwater, in February, 1800, with his wife Betsey, and daughter, Mary Ann, now widow
of Solomon Morse, and settled two miles south of Kelloggsville, where his son Lloyd Slade now lives, and where
he died February 12th, 1869, in his 98th year. He took up 200 acres. He was a farmer and hatter, and followed the
latter business in Connection with his farming operations several years. He was a member of the Electoral College
in 1837, which elected Martin Van Buren to the presidency. He was poor-master of the town twenty years, and was
also county superintendent of the poor. His wife still survives him, and though in her 9Sth year, is remarkably
active both mentally and physically. From her we learn that on their way to this county they stopped at Utica,
which then boasted of only one house, a tavern kept by Indians. From Skaneateles their route was designated by
Six of their eight children are living, viz: Mary Ann, widow of Solomon Morse; William, in Kelloggsville; and Lloyd,
Barton, Betsey, wife of William Moseman, and Mason B., in Sempronius, the former on the homestead.
This family presents a wonderful instance of longevity. The average age of Mrs. Slade and her six living children
exceeds seventy years. The representatives of five generations, all females, are now living in Sempronius, viz:
Betsey, widow of Peleg Slade, in her ninety-eighth year; Mary Ann, widow of Solomon Morse, aged eighty years; Rachel,
wife of Daniel White; Carrie, wife of Edward Covey; and a daughter of Edward and Carrie Covey, whose name we did
not learn. Peleg and Betsey lived together as man and wife seventy-two years, without a death occurring under their
roof. His was the first.
George Richardson, who served seven years as a soldier in the Revolution, came in from Stillwater in March, 1801,
and settled a little north of Sayles Corners. His log house stood on lot 56, a little north of the site of the
house now owned by Robert Walker. In 1804, he removed one and one-fourth miles east, where he took up 100 acres,
and where he died.. He occupied the log school-house on lot 56 till his house was built. He was one of the guards
at the execution of Major Andre. John Richardson, who was born August 24th, 1795, and now resides in Sempronius,
is a son of his, and the only child by his first wife living. Olive, widow of Samuel Howard, living in Niagara
county, is a daughter by his second wile, by whom he had seven children, and nine by his first wife. Judge Cyrus
Powers came in the same year from Stillwater, where his father was a Baptist minister, and taught school that winter
and for two years. He occupied a part of George Richardson's house. He afterwards bought the farm now owned by
Hozial Howland in Kelloggsville, where he died in 1841. Dr. Cyrus Powers, of Moravia, is a son of his. Lemuel Powers,
now living in St. Marcus, Texas, is a son by his second wife.
Jeremiah Sabin, and his son Jeremiah, and Col. Zadoc Rhodes came in company from Ulster county in 1801, and settled
at Montville, where the elder Sabin bought the grist and sawmills built by John Stoyell. He owned at one time the
whole of Montville. He sold at an early day to Skinner & Bradley, and removed to Ohio. The younger Sabin settled
on fifty acres given him by his father, in Montville; but after about two years he and Rhodes removed to Sempronius
and settled, Sabin on lot 86, in the southwest part of the town, where Clark Fowler, his son-in-law, now lives,
and Rhodes, on lot 77, which was taken up by his brother, Joseph, who served in the army during the Revolution,
but never settled here. His brother had previously sold the lot for $50, and the Colonel, who tried to hold it
notwithstanding this sale, was finally ejected. He then bought fifty acres of the State's hundred on the same lot,
on which he resided till his death, about 1844. Three children are living in Sempronius, viz: Betsey, wife of Orlin
Hathaway, Susan, widow of Joseph Richardson, and Jeriah. Another son, Zadoc L., died in Sempronius October 19th,
1878. Sabin was a large, powerful man, the strongest in Sempronius, and he is the hero of many stories illustrative
of his muscular feats. He died here August 6th, 1847, aged 75 years. One daughter, the wife of Clark Fowler, is
living in Sempronius, and daughter, Mrs. Greenfleld, in Moravia.
A man named Hanchett was the first settler at Dresserville. He made a small clearing and built a house, but left
because of his wife's fear of the wolves. Artemas Dresser made the first permanent settlement there, and the village
perpetuates his name. He came in company with his brothers, Harvey, James and Joseph, he and Harvey with their
families, from Massachusetts, in 1805. Artemas settled first in Hanchett's old house. It stood where Nelson Ritchmyre
now lives. He built there a saw-mill in 1806, and a grist-mill in 1827. Each was the first of its kind in the town,
which had previously depended upon neighboring villages for these conveniences, or resorted to the primitive mortar
and pestle. He was active and prominent in promoting the growth of the village and continued his residence here
till his death. Three sons, Otis, Joseph and White, are living, Otis, at Summer Hill, Joseph, at Moravia, and White,
at Dresserville. Harvey settled where Wm. Conway, his son.in-law, now lives, and died there. His children living
are Appleton, at Summer Hill, Eliza, wife of Merrick White, Horace, in Venice, and the wife of Wm. Conway, on the
homestead. James was killed by the fall of a tree. Joseph served one year in the war of 1812, and died soon after
Buckley Matthews and Ozias Perry, from Vermont, came in 1806. Matthews settled on the farm owned by Albert Mattison,
and built a log house beside the spring thereon. He removed to Pennsylvania. Perry settled on lot 88, where Marion
Johnson now lives. Both he and his wife died and are buried on the farm on which they settled. One son. Ozias,
is living in Illinois. John Matthews, a brother of Buckley, came in soon after the war. He was a millwright and
a prominent man in the town. He settled at Dresserville. Four children are living in the town, viz: Jehiel, Albert,
Eliza, wife of Jacob Hall, and Aletha, wife of John Alcott.
Paul Howland (father of Abraham Howland, who was born in Washington county February 6th, 1810, and is now living
at Kelloggsville,) settled in Sempronius in 1814.
John B. Noyes, from Chenango county, settled in Sempronius in 1821. His son, Samuel B., who was born in Stonington,
Connecticut, August 28th, 1807, removed with his parents at the age of eighteen months to Madison county, and resided
there and in Chenango county till thirteen years of age, when he accompanied his parents in their settlement in
this town. Febniary 15th, 1827, he married Catharine R., daughter of Asa Jackson, of Fleming, an early settler;
and in 1846, he removed to Owasco, where be is now filling his second term as justice. He had five children, four
of whom are living. James O., the eldest, died in 1872.- He was an eminent physician, a gxaduate of Cambridge Medical
School in Vienna, and was for a time connected in a professional way with the Turkish army. He afterwards traveled
extensively in Europe and Africa. Wm. Leslie Noyes, a brother of James O., residing in Owasco, is a Member of Assembly.
The eldest daughter is married to D. Swartwout. Another daughter married Henry Burnett, of Owasco. The youngest
daughter married Orin Howland also of Owasco.
Hon. Hector C. Tuthill, though not a very early settler in the town, was so largely
instrumental in developing its dairy interests as to merit notice. He was a native of Goshen, N. Y., and there
received a thorough practical education in agriculture. He came to Sempronius in 1827, and acquired farm of 200
acres, which, like the lands in that section, had been used for grazing. The heavy indebtedness of most of his
neighbors, who, by the most riged economy and arduous labor, were scarcely able to live, soon convinced him that
the agricultural methods then in vogue were not profitable. Being familiar with the dairy business, he purchased
a number of cows, and commenced making butter for the New York market. The practice of his neighbors hitherto had
been to make but little butter, and that was sold to the nearest store-keeper for six or eight cents per pound,
store pay at that. The merchant packed together the different qualities of butter thus gathered and shipped it
to New York or some nearer market, where it brought but an inferior price, and gained for Western New York. an
unenviable reputation for second-rate butter, which has taken years to overcome. Mr. Tuthill's innovation upon
the established customs of his neighbors provoked ridicule at first; but his increasing prosperity demonstrated
the wisdom of his course and the profitableness of the business, and induced one after another of his neighbors
to follow his example, until this section of country has become famous for its large dairies and the excellent
quality of butter marketed. Mr. Tuthill's sagacity was rewarded by a seat in the Assembly in 1848 and '49, where
he displayed the qualities of an honest, practical and cautious legislator. In 1856 he removed to Moravia, where
he now resides, aged 79 years.
EARLY SCHOOLS.- The first school in Sempronius was taught by Abel Meach, in a log building which stood on the old
Titus farm, on lot 56, in 1800 and 1801. In 1802, the log building on the land owned by the First Baptist Church
of Sempronius was erccted and used for the double purpose of a school-house and meeting-house. Judge Cyrus Powers
next taught two years, first in the winter of 1801-'2, in the building in which .Meach taught, and afterwards in
this new building. A Scotchman named Jenkins, from Little Britain, an eccentric individual, succeeded Powers as
teacher, in 1804, and taught two or three years. In 1805, a frame school-house was built on Byron Burgess' land,
opposite Barton Slade's orchard, and in this Jenkins taught the latter part of his time. He was succeeded by David
Powers, brother of Cyrus, Gershom Powers, a cousin of Cyrus and David, Orrin Willis and Russel Johnson, about which
time the school system of 1812 went into operation, and the town was districted. In 1815, a school-house was built
at Sayles Corners, and that was the first district school in the town of Swmpronius, after the passage of that
act. John Richardson, who was a surveyor, and for four years a justice of the peace, taught in the district schools
TOWN OFFICERS.- The first town meeting was held at the house of Ezekiel Sayles, on Tuesday, April 3d, 1798, John
Stoyell, justice of the peace, presiding. The following officers were elected: John Stoyell, Supervisor; Ezekiel
Sayles, Clerk; Moses Little and James Brinkerhoff, Assessors; Jacob L. DeWitt, Ezekiel Sayles and Moses Cole, Road
Commissioners; Amos Stoyell and Isaac Selover, Constables and Collectors; John Summerton, Poormaster; John Stoyell,
Seth Burgess and Jacob L. DeWitt, School Commissioners; Ezekiel Sayles, Pound Master; Abraham Johnson, Henry Cuykendall,
John Summerton, Winslow Perry, and Peleg Allen, Fence Viewers; Moses Tuttle, Winslow Perry, Jonathan Eldridge,
Zadoc Titus, George Parker, Henry Osterhout, James Brinkerhoff and Peleg Allen, Commissiners of Highways; Gershom
Morse, Cornelius Burlew and John Abbott, Commission- ers of Public Lots.
Officers in 1879 are:
Supervisor- Thomas D. Comerford.
Town Clerk- M. T. C. Brown.
Justices of the Peace-- Julius Fitts, James Douglas, Orson L. Richardson, Daniel D. Reynolds.
Assessors- Abram Westfall, James A. Jones, John M. Slade.
Commissioner of Highways- Dorr Smith.
Overseer of the Poor- Calvin O. Mattison.
Inspectors of Election-- David D. Curtin, Jeremiah Nooning, Sylvenus Finch.
Collector- John Dennis.
Constables- Francis M. Ferguson, Joseph R. Ellison, Hobert Holcomb.
Game constable- James Douglas.
commissioners of Excise- Daniel S. Sawzer, Adney Eaton, A. D. Lee.
DRESSERVILLE is situated in the south part of the town, on a branch of Fall Brook,
which furnishes a moderate water power, and is distant about six and one-half miles east of Moravia. It contains
a union free church, which was built about 1870, a district school, a grist-mill, (built in 1870 by Messrs. Merchant
& Campbell, on the site of one erected about 1828 by Artemas Dresser, containing three run of stones and owned
by H. H. Johnson,) a saw-mill, (which is owned by John White Dresser, son of Artemas Dresser, contains a set of
log saws, two lath saws and a wood saw, which are operated by the creek, which has a fall of eleven feet, and which
was built about 1840, on the site of the one first built, about 1816, by Artemas Dresser, the property having been
retained in the family ever since,) two blacksmith shops, (kept by Bela Fowler and Theo. Reynolds,) a tannery,
(operated by E. A. Kenyon,) two stores and a population of ror.
MERCHANTS.- Artemas Dresser opened a store about 1836, which was kept about two years by Benjamin Franklin Perry,
who sold to J. G. Rhodes and Artemas Dresser, by whom it was continued two years, when Rhodes sold to Vernam Mather.
Mather & Dresser did business five or six years. Arnold Swift bought the store after a few years, and put in
a stock of goods. He carried on the business till his death, in 1865. Henry Herring, from Groton, opened a store
about 1866, and sold after two or three years to ----- Smith, from Niles, who died about a month afterward. His
wife continued it about a year and sold to Manly Robinson and James Campbell, who run it about a year, when Campbell
sold to John S. Allen, about 1875, and Robinson to Chas. Simmons, about the same time. Allen bought Simmons' interest
October 11th, 1878, and continues the business. James H. Campbell, from McLean, opened a second store in April,
1878, which he still continues.
POSTMASTERS.- The first postmaster at Dresserville was Arnold Swift, but we were unable to determine in what year
he was appointed or how long he held the office. He was succeeded by
J. G. Rhodes and Jehiel Mather, each of whom held the office four years. Joseph Dresser was then appointed, but
held the office only one month before Jehiel Mather was reappointed, and continued till 1861, when Arnold Swift
was again appointed, and the office was held by him till his death in 1865, and by his family till 1869, when Lyman
M. Robinson was appointed, and was succeeded in 1875 by Lucius Fitts, the present incumbent.
PHYSICIANS.- The first physician at Dresserville was Dr. Robbins, who came from Cortland county in 1844 and practiced
ten or twelve years. Several physicians have stopped here for short periods, but not long enough to gain a residence.
The present physician is W. A. Terry, who came in from Kentucky in the spring of 1878.
LAWYERS. - The first and only lawyer at Dresserville is J. G. Rhodes, who was born at Marlboro, Ulster county,
January 19th 1801; educated in the district schools of Sempronius and Niles; studied law with Leonard O. Aiken
and Jared M. Smith, of Moravia; was admitted in 1845, and commenced practice at Dresserville, where he has since
One-half mile west of Dresservilie is a gristmill, with one feed run, saw-mill, with three saws, (log, lath and
wood,) shingle-mill, and tub-cover turner, owned by Lucius Fitts, and propelled by water power, with a fall of
SEMPRONIUS is situated near the center of the town, about seven miles north-east
of Moravia, and contains a Baptist church, a district school, a general store, one hotel, kept by Nathan Coweli,
two blacksmith shops, kept by Win. Whitfield and Charles Cutler, and a population of sixtythree. The place is locally
known as "Nonesuch," a name given by Dwight Kellogg.
MERCHANTS.- The first merchant at Sempronius, the first also in the town, was John Histed, from Stillwater, who
opened a store in 1810, in a log building, which occupied the site of the present tavern, and was used for a tavern
as well as a store, both being kept by him. He also kept an ashery. His brother, Deacon Histed, came in with him
and settled in the north part of the town of Niles, where John C. Derby now lives. He sold out about 1818-'20,
and removed to Erie, Pa., where he died: About 1819, Judge Chas. Kellogg and his son, Dwight, bought out Histed,
who went west, and opened a more pretentious store, which they kept till 1834, when they sold to Hobert & Perry,
who did business about two years. Austin & Sumner, from Homer, succeeded Hobert & Perry, but staid only
a year or two. William and Barton Slade opened a store about 1837, and did business five or six years. Philip H.
Van Schoick was engaged in mercantile business here from 1850-'6. William Adams, who came in possession of a portion
of Van Schoick's goods, did business a short time. William Atwater did business a few years and failed during the
war. David Brown and Wm. Moseman opened a store in 1862. At Brown's death, November 8th, 1863, Moseman bought his
interest, and about 1864 sold to Dorr Smith, who did business two years, the last year in company with Allen Kenyon,
when he sold to James Bell, who after some two years traded with Wm. Moseman. Moseman kept it about a year and
traded back with James Bell, who kept it till June 22d, 1874, when he sold to Edmond C. Mott, who is a native of
the town, and still carries on the business.
POSTMASTERS.- The post-office at Sempronius was established as East Sempronius, about 1824, and the name probably
changed after the division of the town in 1833. Abel Heald was the first postmaster, and held the 'office a great
many years, as late as 1854. He was succeeded by Philip H. Van Schoick, who held it but a short time. Walter W.
Sabin held the office as early as 1857, and probably in 1856, about which time Van Schoick -removed to Moravia.
Marcus Brown succeeded Sabin after about three years, and held it twoyears, till about 1861, when James Bell was
appointed. He was succeeded by James Douglass, who was in turn succeeded by James Bell, who held the office till
the spring of 187$, when James Douglass, the present incumbent, was again appointed.
PHYSICIANS.- The first physician at Sempronius was Hiram Stoyell, who studied medicine with Dr. Abel Baker at Kelloggsville,
and practiced here from 1828 till about 1834. Dr. Harris came in about a year, and Dr. Cole shortly, before Stoyell
left. The latter staid about a year.
Silas N. Hall was the first physician in the town. He studied during the war of 1812 with Dr. Consider King of
Venice, and commenced practice here about 1815, remaining till 1827. He joined the County Medical Society, November
5th, 1818. Enos Bradley, who joined the County Medical Society, August 7th, 1828, bought out Hall and practiced
about a year. Hall settled one and one-half miles north-west of Sempronius, on the farm owned by Henry Hathaway,
and Bradley, in the same place.
CHURCHES. - The First Baptist Church of Sempronius. Many of the first settlers in Sempronius came from Stillwater,
Saratoga county, and were members of the Baptist Church there. At an early period their efforts were directed to
the establishment here of those religious advantages they had enjoyed at home. Early in 1797 they commenced to
hold religious exercises, meeting each Sabbath for conference and prayer. Sunday, February 4th, 1798, they were
visited by Elder David Irish, of the First Church in Scipio, now Venice, at which time ten converts related their
experience and were baptized, viz: John Titus, Jonathan Burgess, Ezekiel Sayles, Jr., Harvey Burgess, Ira Abbott,
Mary Burgess, Sarah Abbott, Olive Burgess, Phebe Summerton and Folly Titus.
At a meeting held the following Sunday, it was resolved to organize a Church, and articles of faith and covenant
were adopted. Saturday, February 24th, 1798, a council, composed of delegates from the First Church in Scipio,
the Second Church in Aurelius and the Churches in Milton and Pompey, was convened at their request at the house
of Joel Burgess, and after a suitable examination they were recognized as a regularly constituted Church. The original
members, in addition to those baptized by Elder Irish, were Seth Burgess, John Summerton, Henry Persoll, Jotham
Bassett, Joel Burgess, Ezekiel Sayles, Abraham Sayles, Rebecca Summerton, Sarah Sayles, Rhoda Titus, Hannah Burgess
and Phebe Taylor, "old professors." March 7th following they arranged with the Second Church in Aurelius
to meet by delegation at the house of Elder John Lesuer, and jointly secured his services as pastor, to preach
one-half the time to each Church, up to the last Saturday in August next following, each Church agreeing to pay
him twelve bushels of grain and fifty pounds of meat for a half years' salary.
The Church united with the Scipio General Conference at the time of its formation in 1799, and was one of the Churches
constituting the Cayuga Baptist Association in 1801.
Elder Lesuer continued his labors with this Church till 1804, and succeeded in increasing the membership to fifty-seven.
He was succeeded October 27th, 1804, by Elder Robert Niles, whose labors were closed by death January 24th, 1816.
Under his faithful and judicious labors, the Church gradually increased in numbers and strength, but enjoyed no
general revival till 1816. Elder Niles was succeeded in the pastorateby Moses Wares, who entered upon his labors
in 1817. His settlement proved unfortunate for the church, which soon became involved in serious difficulties,
and resulted in his exclusion from their body. Elder Nathaniel L. Moore, their next pastor, took the pastoral care
in 1819, and continued till 1824. In 1821, the members of this church living in the south-east part of the town
petitioned to be set off as a separate church and were éonstituted,in 1822, the Second Baptist Church in
Sempronius. Elder H. Gaston succeeded Elder Moore in the pastorate in 1824 and continued till 1828. In 1827, up
to which time the church enjoyed peace and union, the agitations growing out of the subject of Masonry commenced
and continued to work inharmony for a long series of years. Church fellowship was set aside, and discipline became
the order of the day. Elder A. Dennison succeeded to the pastorate in 1828, and continued till 1831. He was followed
in 1832 by Daniel Dye, who continued till 1835, during which time about forty were baptized. N. L. Moore again
became the pastor in 1835 and remained till 1839, when he was succeeded by S. Wright, who remained only one year.
The church seems to have been without a pastor from this time until 1844, when D.D.Chittenden became the pastor,
he likewise remaining but one year. The next pastor appears to be Bishop Ames, who entered upon his labors in 1848,
and closed them in May, 1851. FIe was followed by N. L. Moore from the church in Milan, whom he also succeeded,
remaining one year. Ames was the last pastor the church had. From 1827, the church dwindled and gradually lost
its vital energy.
December 29th, 1809, the church decided to become incorporated, and January 25th, 1810, Thaddeus Histed, Isaac
Dunning and Ezekiel Sayles were elected the first trustees. The incorporation was perfected February 1st, 1810.
The first church edifice erected by this Society was built in 1810. It was a frame structure and stood near the
cemetery in the north edge of Sempronius. It was burned in 1837. Their next house was built in 1842; in Kelloggsville,
and is now occupied by the Methodist Society in that village, to whom it was deeded in 1861. Previous to the building
of the first house, meetings were held in the log house which stood on the land bought by the Society of a Mr.
Quackenbush, of Albany, and was used both for religious services and school purposes. Immediately after the sale
of their house in 1861, the Society disbanded and the members joined other churches.
The Second Baptist Church of Christ in Sempronius. At a meeting of the niernbers of the First Baptist Church of
Sempronius living in the southeast part of the town, held at the house of Hubbard Spencer, October 17th, 1821,
a petition was presented to that church requesting leave to form a separate church, which was signed by Bradley
Cutler, Ichabod Perry, Ira Rooks, Asa Spencer, Hubbard Spencer, James Perry, Joseph Griffin, EliAtwater, Sally
Spencer, Betsey Perry, Eleanor Ferry, Bathsheba Spencer, Dinah Griffin, Phebe Atwater, Mindwell Warren, Louisa
Spencer and Phebe Spencer.
November 2d, 1821, the request was granted. November 15th, 1821, "the members of the Baptist Church of Christ
residing in the town of Sempronius," assembled at the house of Eli Atwater and organized and adopted as their
name the "Second Baptist Church of Christ in Sempronius." December 13th, 1821, they arranged with Nathaniel
L. Moore to preach every fourth Sabbath for "to be paid in produce at. the year's end, and averaged on the
brethren by equality."
This church was fellowshiped by a council convened for the purpose at the house of Eli Atwater, January 23d, 1822,
attended by Elder Alfred Bennett and John Keep, of the Church in Homer; Elder Philander Kelsey and Deacon Zadoc
Bateman, of the First Church in Scipio; Elder Nathaniel L. Moore, James Ball, Peleg Slade and Asaph Stow, of the
First Church in Sempron ins; and Peter DeWitt and Ebenezer Andrews, of the Church in Locke. There were present
at this council as members, seven men and six women, viz., Bradley Cutler, Asa Spencer, Hubbard Spencer, Ichabod
Perry, James Perry, Eli Atwater, Joseph Griffin, Bathsheba Spencer, Sally Spencer, Eleanor Perry, Phebe Atwater,
Louisa Spencer and Phebe Spencer.
December 6th, 1822, the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from Ira Rooks, "for denying the doctrine of eternal
or endless punishment of the wicked."
November 15th, 1823, they decided to build a log meeting-house twenty-four feet square, and Asa Spencer, Bradley
Cutler and Eli Atwater were appointed a committee to procure a site and superintend the building of said house.
October 15th, 1825, the committee reported that $30.83 had been expended for materials used in its construction.
November 29th, 1826, the church assembled in the meeting-house. This is the first record of a meeting being held
September 8th, 1827, it was "Resolved, That we disfellowship Free Masonry, and that we will not receive into
this Church, nor admit to communion any brother that frequents masonic lodges or advocates masonic principles."
Up to January 12th, 1828, the Church enjoyed the ministrations of Elder Moore every fourth Sunday. At that time
Brother Wm. Smith was requested "toimprove his gilt in theChurch threefourths of the time for the present."
February 6th, 1830, Avery Dennison, though not ordained, was engaged to serve them three-fourths time. April 16th
1831, Elder Moore commenced to serve them half the time; and August 30th, 1834, he was granted a letter of recommendation
and dismission. December 6th, 1834, they engaged Levi Farnsworth to preach two months from that date. He commenced
his labors the third Sunday in February, 1835.
Eli Atwater served the Church as clerk from the date of its organization till January 2d, 1836, when, having been
appointed deacon, he was released at his own request. Daniel Brown succeeded him in the clerkship, and performed
the duties of that office till September 8th, 1860.
Elder Farnsworth was granted a letter of recommendation and dismission February 27th. 1836. July 16th, 1836, a
call was extended to Thomas W. Colby, from Butler. April 18th 1837, they resolved to organize under the statute,
and to build a meeting-house. February 1st, 1840, a call was extended to Benjamin W. Capron. September 5th, 1840,
it was resolved that the first Wednesday in October be set apart for dedicating the new meeting-house. Elder Capron
preached his farewell sermon March 30th, 1845. Calls were extended June 14th, 1845, to Bishop Ames; October 17th,
1846, to Benjamin Andrews; and April 18rh, 1847, to George S. Carpenter, who served about a year. Bishop Ames filled
the pulpit during the summer of 1848. He was succeeded by V. Hull, who commenced his labors October 1st, 1848.
March 14th, 1849, a call was given to A. Boughton, who closed his labors April 1st, 1858. They seem to have been
without a regular pastor from that time till the third Sunday in November, 1858, when Nathan Whitney commenced
his labors, though Elder Ames was invited to supply the pulpit as much as he could. Elder Whitney closed his labors
December 10th, 1858. A. Boughton supplied the pulpit till June 1st, 1860. September 8th, 1860, a call was extended
to Roswell Corbett, who served them six months. June 17th, 1861, a call was given to A. T. Boynton, who closed
his labors the last Sunday in March, 1865. He was immediately succeeded by Albert Cole. May 11th, 1867, Elder Jones,
of Scott, a Sabbatarian, was engaged half the time. March 16th, 1868, a call was extended to Wm. Wilkins, of Summer
Hill, who was dismissed April 8th, 1871. Alanson Boughton labored with them from June 10th, 1871, to August 9th,
1873. A. W. Coon of Scott, a Sabbatarian, is the present pastor. The present membership is fifty.
GLEN HAVEN WATER CURE AND SUMMER RESORT, at Glen Haven, located on the east line of the town, at the head of Skaneateles
Lake, has acquired a favorable notoriety from its delightful situation, picturesque scenery, for its salubrity
and excellent accommodations.
It is now conducted by Dr. Wm. C. Thomas, John H. Mourin and James A. Schermerhorn. There are eighteen buildings,
including a main three-story building and eight good-sized cottages, neatly and comfortably furnished, which afford
accommodations for two hundred patients and boarders. During the summer it is connected daily with the Auburn Branch
of the N. Y. C. R. R. by boat at Skaneateles and thence by rail to Skaneateles Junction, and with the D., L, &
W. R. R. by stage at Homer, ten miles distant. It is supplied with an abundance of pure soft water which descends
from the hill rising, immediately in its rear, to the height of 1,000 feet above the Lake.
Samuel Scott was the first settler at the Glen; but the property was owned by David Hall of Skaneateles, who built
a part of the Glen Haven House for a hotel, and sold it to Dr. Gleason and Miss Gilbert, who converted it into
a water-cure in 1845. The establishment was burned about 1853. After a few years Dr. Jackson was ad mitted to partnership
and subsequently succeeded to the business. Wm. L. Chaplain succeeded Dr. Jackson and married Miss Gilbert, who
from the first was connected with and had a controling interest in the establishment, and gave the place its name.
It subsequently passed into the hands of Thomas & King; the former of whom is a member of the present firm.