History of Victory, New York
From: History of Cayuga County, New York
By: Elliot G. Storke, Assisted by: Jos H. Smith
Published by: D. Mason & Co.,
Syracuse, New York, 1879


VICTORY lies upon the west border, in the north part of the County, and is bounded on the north by Sterling, on the east by Ira, on the south by Conquest, and on the west by Wayne Co. It is the north-west quarter of the old military town of Cato, from which it was formed March 16th, 1821. Its name, like that of Conquest, which town was organized at the same time, originates from the victory achieved by those who favored a division of the town of Cato over those who opposed it.

The surface is gently undulating, the highest points being scarcely fifty feet above the general level. It is watered by the head-waters of Red and Little Sodus Creeks, the former of which lies in the west part, while the latter flows north through the town a little east of the center. They furnish but a very limited water power. There is a swamp in the south-west part which covers several hundred acres. There is less waste land in this town and Ira, the two northern, than in Cato and Conquest, the two southern towns of the old township of Cato; there is also less good land. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam, mostly the latter.

The underlying rocks are the red shale and blue limestone of the Niagara group, which, although covered deep with drift, are seen in several parts of the town. Quarries have been opened in the limestone, and considerable improvement is shown in the quality and thickness of the calcareous portion of the rock as compared with the mass further south. This rock is of great importance to all this section of country, as it furnishes not only building stone, but also lime, suitable for all the purposes to which that article is usually applied, except where a very white lime is required. The quarry of Mr. Doud, about two miles north of Victory, where four or five feet are taken out for lime, which has a little dark-blue shale between the layers, is of great interest, as affording more fossils, such as Becostated orthis, a columnaria also, and an avicnla, as well as a slender encrinite not yet specifically named.

The Southern Central R. R. crosses the northeast corner of the town, but has no station within its limits.

The population of the town in 1,875 was 1,944; of whom 1,853 were native; 91, foreign; 1,943, white; and 8, colored.

The town covers an area of 21,234 acres; of which 16,085 are improved; 4,641, woodlands; and 508, otherwise unimproved.

Settlement was commenced in 1800, on lot 65, in the south part, by John McNeal, from Montgomery county, and John Martin, from Ireland; the former of whom located about a mile south of Victory, on the farm now owned by Edward Merritt, where he died the same year, his death being the first in the town. None of his descendants are living in the town. Martin located on the farm now owned by Smith Wood, on a tract of fifty acres, twenty-five acres of which was given him to induce settlement, the remaining twentyfive having been given him by his wife's father. His daughter Jane, (afterwards Mrs. Samuel Wood and mother of Smith Wood,) who was born in 1804, was the first child born in the town. She died on the farm about eight years since. Her husband died in Ira, in the fall of 1877. Samuel Martin, brother of John, also from Ireland, located a few years afterwards in the north part of the town, where he died some fifteen years ago.

Elisha Granger settled with his family in 1802, in the south-east corner, on lot 67. His son Gideon is now living at Westbury, and John, another son, in Michigan.

A Mr. Scouten, a soldier of the Revolution, took up as a soldier's claim lot 14, on which he settled prior to r 8o6; but he remained only four or five years.

Patrick Murphy, from Ireland, settled in February, 1806, on lot 54, where Samuel Murphy, his grandson, now lives. Two other grandchildren, Patrick and Jane, are living in Butler, Wayne county; and a third, Sarah, (now Mrs. Wm. Root,) in Cato.

Matthias Vanderhuyden, from Troy, Rensselaer county, settled in 1810, on lot 67, where his daughter Louisa (now Mrs. Elihu Knapp,) lives, and where he died in April, 1876, aged ninetyfive years. Wm. Hager, Vanderhuyden's stepson, and Pamelia, his daughter, afterwards Mrs. Peter Cooper, came in with him. The former is living, at the age of eighty-two, on the farm he took up in 1823, about two miles south-east of Victory. Pamelia died in the town in 1841. Asahel Carter from Vermont, also came in 1810, and settled on lot 66, on the farm now owned by Hamilton Emerick. He took up twenty-five acres. In 1817 he moved to the farm now owned by John Wood, on the south line of the town, where he died some twenty years ago. His daughter, Polly, (the widow of Henry Wood,) is now living with her son John. Lucretia, (now Mrs. Worden Eastwood,) another daughter of Carter's, is living in Conquest. His other children, John and three or four daughters, are living in the west. Abram Scott, from Vermont, came in with his family, (consisting of his wife Hannah, and two sons, Charles Y. and Abram,) in the spring of 1810, and took up fifty acres, in the south-west corner of lot 54, where Philo Camp now lives, about a mile south-east of Victory. His son Abram is now living, aged eighty-four, with his son, Geo. C. Scott.

John and Daniel Rumsey and William and Daniel Griswold, from Herkimer county, settled on lot 25, a little south-east of Westbury, in 1811. All are dead. Benjamin, son of Daniel Rumsey, is living with Stephen Holt, about a mile west of Victory. The rest of the family moved west.

Jacob W and Martin DeForest, from Washington county, settled on lot 43, in the east part, in 1812. Conrad Phrozine, from Newburgh, settled the same year on lot 4, at North Victory, on the creek at Stumm's mills, on the site of which he built the first grist-mill in the town. About 1820, John Hooker put up a still, saw-mill and grist-mill, about a mile south-east of Victory, on the farm now owned by John Hapman, which, with the exception of the grist-mill, are believed to have been the first of their kind in the town. Further settlements were made this year (1812,) by Ephraim Smith, from Saratoga county; Silas Kellogg, from Brutus; Ebenezer Bird, from Onondaga county; and Chauncey and Simon Lathrop, from Sennett. Smith settled on the farm now owned by Philo Camp. His son Ephraini is living in Victory. Two daughters, viz: Mary Ann and Charlotte, are living, the former (now Mrs. John Cooper) in Conquest, and the latter (now Mrs. Luman Derby) in the village of Cato. Kellogg settled on lot 39, in the west part of the town, and removed at an early day to Ira, where he died, and where his son now lives. Ebenezer Bird settled on lot 27, about a mile north of Victory, where he died. His son, Daniel, owns a part of the farm on which he settled. The Lathrops settled at Victory, and opened a store there. A man named Needham settled at an early day about a mile east of Victory, on the farm now owned by James P. Root. He died here, and his sons sold out and moved off.

The present town officers are the following:
Supervisor- Edward Allanson.
Town Clerk-Irving H. Knapp.
Justices of the Peace-William R. Fleming, Russel Dutcher, Charles Dedrick, Joseph Raynor.
Assessors-Edwin Bacon, D. S. Woodford, Andrew Bennett.
Overseers of Poor-Samuel Murphy, Daniel Pinkney.
Inspectors of Election- Robert Cox, Corydon Doud, William T. Benedict.
Collector-A. B. Sabins.
Constables- A. B. Sabins, George Bamford, George Corkner, James Beesmer, Walter Follett.


Victory is situated a little south of the center of the town, and is distant six miles north-west of Cato. on the Southern Central R. R., with which it is connected by daily stage. It contains three churches, (M. E., Baptist and Presbyterian,) a district school, five stores, two blacksmith shops, (Wm. Taylor and Smith, proprietors,) a harness shop, kept by Wm. R. Fleming, a shoe shop, kept by A. B. Wetherby, a hotel, kept by Hulbert Daratt, and has a population of about 150.

The first settlement in the village is believed to have been made about i8o6, by James Gregory, who settled where his daughter Sally, (now Mrs. Philander Cutten) lives, and opened soon after the first tavern, which was built of logs, and stood near the site of Abijah Hager's store. A man by the name of Moffitt was one of the first settlers at the village, but in what year we are unable to determine. He sold out about 1809 and removed to Throop, where he died. Manasseh French came in from Scipio, but in what year is uncertain. Abram Scott, who came into town with his father in the spring of 1810, says French was keeping a store here at that time, which was doubtless the first one in the town. French also kept an ashery at the village, which stood near where David Woodford's house stands. The store stood opposite to it. French remained till about 1815.

MERCHANTS.- The first merchant at Victory was Manasseh French, as early as 1810. He opened a store opposite where David Woodford's house stands, and kept it till about 1815. In 1812 a second store was opened by Chauncey and Simon Lathrop, brothers, who came in from Sennett. They separated after a few years and kept stores on opposite sides of the streets. Chauncey failed after five or six years and removed from the town. Simon also failed about 1838. He moved west, where he died at an advanced age.

A small drug store was opened here about 1830, by James Gager, who failed after a year or two and returned his goods to his creditors. He is now living in Iowa.

In 1832, William Hager and John T. Knapp opened a store, which they kept in company some eighteen years. At the expiration of that time Knapp sold his interest to his partner, who conducted the business alone till about 1868, when his son, Abijah B. Hager, was admitted to partnership, with a half interest. Two or three years later Mr. Hager, who was becoming too infirm for active business, sold his remaining half interest to his son, who still carries on the business.

Several merchants kept stores for short periods, but failed. Among them were Mr. McCabe, Southwick, Walter Thayer, who was in partnership with Simon Lathrop a short time before the latter's failure, and Fred. Thompson.

In 1875, a disastrous fire occurred in the village and destroyed the four stores, the only ones then in it. They were kept by Abijah B. Hager, Harvey Harris & Ellis W. Hager, David Woodford, and Fred. Thompson.

The present merchants, in addition to H. B. Hager, are Harris & Knapp, (Harvey S. Harris and Irving H. Knapp,) who commenced business in December, 1875, both having previously resided in the town; J. D. Woodford, who bought out his father, D. S. Woodford, in the spring of 1877; J. W. Chamberlain & Co., (Celia L. Chamberlain,) the former of whom came in from Wayne county, where he lived a number of years, and commenced business May 7th, 1878; and William A. Hager, a native of Victory, who commenced business September 15th, 1876.

POSTMASTERS.- The present postmaster is Addison B. Wetherby, who has held the office since 1860, having received the appointment under the administration of President Lincoln. He was preceded by Walter H. Sayre, who held the office about eight years. Mr. Wetherby was born in this town, his father having moved in from Sennettin 1819. In 1854, he commenced the boot and shoe business, in which he is still engaged, the post-office being kept in his shoe shop.

PHYSICIANS.- The first physician in this locality was a Dr. Squires, who was settled at Meridian, in Cato. Lucius Hooker was the first resident physician, and the first one in the town. Dr. Waite was another early physician. The present physician is Charles A. Fisher, who was born in this locality and has practiced here about six years.

THE M. E. CHURCH OF VICTORY was organized in 1813, by Rev. Zenas Jones, the first pastor. Prominent among the first members were Joseph Rumsey, Daniel Griswold, James McCready, Platt Wilson, William Hamilton, John Hamilton and William Thompson. We have been unable to learn the names of the pastors of this church previous to 1844, with the exception of the first. In 1844 and '45, Revs. J. Hall and A. Robbins were the pastors of this Society; from 1845 to '46, Revs. B. Phillips, and B. Nichols; to 1847, B. Nichols; to 1852 and '53, Cyrus Phillips; to 1854, P. W. Barber; to Allen Castle and D. B. Smith; to 1858, J. Smedley; to 1859, M. Thrasher; to 1860, O. C. Lathrop; to 1861 and '62, R. L. Fraser; to 1864 and '66, S. O. Barnes;, to 1867, David Stone; to 1868, R. D. Phillips; to 1871, J. De Larme; to 1873, Henry Meeker; to 1875, Orin Switzer. The present pastor, Rev. Nelson Sutton, came in the fall of 1876.

Their meetings were held in the school-house till about 1820, when the first church edifice was erected. It stood about a mile west of the village. Their present house of worship, which is located in the village, was built about 1850.

The Society numbers eighty-five members. The attendance at Sabbath school is about fifty.

THE BAPTIST CHURCH AT VICTORY was organized with fifteen members June 3d, 181 8,as the Second Baptist Church in cato, to which town Victory then belonged, and was admitted to the Cayuga Baptist Association in September of that year. The first pastor was Rev. Roswell Osburn, who was ordained subsequent to the organization, and continued his labors till 1825. The second pastor was Rev. John M. Bartlett, who entered upon the duties of his office in 1828. During the second year of his pastorate, the church enjoyed their first revival, as the fruits of which twenty-one were added to their number. This was followed in 1831 by another, as the result of which sixty-two were added to their number by baptism. The prosperity thus happily inaugurated was speedily checked by trials, from which they never' entirely recovered, and which are thus referred to in their letters to the Association of 1834-5

"For about three years past our progress has seemed retarded. Campbellism, that fell destroyer of heavenly bliss below, together with all its paralyzing effects and concomitant evils, has hung like a dark and lowering cloud about us. The love of many has waxed cold and the way of truth is evil.spoken of, while the church has stood like a lamb shorn of its fleece, shivering in the northern blast." "We have been under the painful necessity of excluding some, who, to us, appear to follow the commandments of men, yet we know that our Heavenly Father is too wise to be mistaken, and too good to be unkind, therefore we submit and kiss his chastening rod and say 'Thy will be done.'"

The third pastor was Rev. John H. Dudley, who was ordained by a council convened for that purpose June 20th, 1834. In this year, the church, which had joined the Onondaga Association in 1825, again became a member of the Cayuga Association. Mr. Dudley closed his labors with this church in 1836, and was succeeded by Rev. David McFarland, who was called to the pastorate in February, 1837, and was ordained on the 15th of June following. In their letter to the Association for this year occurs the following:

"Although we are not blessed, like most of our sister churches, with an abundance of this world's goods, yet, through the blessing of God and our own exertions, we have been enabled to sustain the administration of the word and ordinances, which have received the approbation of Heaven's High King. We now find that our place of worship is too strait for us, and have felt called on to make an extra effort to rent a room in the Academy building which is now being completed. Ours is a missionary field, and we doubtless have claims equal with many of our sister Churches, who receive aid from the Convention. But we feel no disposition to draw from, if we cannot largely aid in replenishing, an almost exhausted treasury."

The first and second years of Elder Mc Farland's ministry were greatly blessed.

"The Church seemed to emerge from its polar winter into the genial clime of Christian activity and union, and as the fruits of the two revivals enjoyed, 58 were added to their numbers. * The Church thus aroused, became warmly engaged in the great moral enterprises of the day; the temperance reformation, the Bible cause and other kindred causes being warmly supported by their influence and contributions."

Elder Mc Farland closed his labors with this Church in February, 1840, and was succeeded by Rev. Allen R. Beach, who remained about one year, and was succeeded by Rev. J. S. Everingham, who continued about a year, and was succeeded by J. C. Moore, a licentiate, who remained about two years. Under the labors of these pastors, two seasons of revivals were enjoyed, which resulted in the addition of about twenty-five to their number. Their next pastor was Rev. A. Haskell, who began his ministrations September 22d, 1846, and closed them May 7th, 1848. In 1845 they begun the erection of a house of worship which was finished June 24th, 1846. The society being small they were obliged to incur a debt, which somewhat crippled their action, but which was fully cancelled in 1850. Their house underwent somewhat extensive repairs about three years ago.

The next pastor was Rev. E. Marshall, who begun his pastoral labors in 1849 and closed them in the fall of 1850. Since then the following pastors have officiated, viz: Revs. Trow, David Mc Farland, John Everingham, the two latter during a second term, Lee, Thos. Siegford and Collins, the latter of whom resides at Red Creek, and was obliged to close his labors with the Church on account of failing health, the present year. Previous to the erection of their house of worship the meetings of the Church were held in school-houses, and for several years in the house now occupied byAlouzo Woodford. The Church is at present without a pastor, meetings, or a Sabbath school. It is in a somewhat feeble condition, having only about twenty-five members.

During its existence the church has called six brethren to ordination, viz: Roswell Osburn, John M. Bartlett, John M. Dudley, David McFarland, - Lee, and Thomas Siegford.

THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF VICTORY was organized as the Second Presbyterian Church of the town of Cato, at the house of Thomas Coleman, November 30th, 1820, by Revs. Eastman and Dunning. Darius Chittenden and Annis, his wife, Thomas Coleman, Hannah, wife of Henry Quilhart, and the wives of Peter Van Pelt and Chistopher Ostrander, were among the first members.

Their first pastor was Rev. Mr. Powell, who commenced his labors in 1827, and was succeeded in 1830 by Rev. Wm. Williams, who remained two years. The next pastor was Rev. Daniel Washburn, in 1835. The fourth was Rev. Daniel Waldo, during whose pastorate from 184I-'3, the first and present house of worship was erected. Rev. Lemuel Dada was the next pastor, in 1845. He was succeeded in 1847 by Rev. Ebenezer Everett; by Rev. Edward Hall, in the winter of 1851-'2 ; by Rev. Levi Griswold, who assumed their pastoral care May 1st, 1852; and by Rev. Beufort Ladd, who commenced his labors in the fall of 1859 and continued them several years. At the close of his labors he settled in the village, where he died in March, 1877. Thomas Watson, who resided in Cato, and belonged to the Reformed church, next supplied the pulpit for three years. Rev. Ephraim Kellogg, who lived at Red Creek, became their pastor in 1871, but remained only one year. The next pastor was Rev. Ezra D. Shaw, who was installed in February, 1873, and remained two years, when he removed to Moravia, where he died in 1877. He was the last pastor the church had, the pulpit having since been supplied by students from Auburn Theological Seminary. The church has about thirty members; with an attendance at Sabbath school of about forty.


Westbury is an attractive little village, evincing a fair degree of business enterprise, and is picturesquely situated on Red Creek, on the west line of the town, lying partly in Victory and partly in Wayne county. It is three miles northwest of Victory, from whence it receives a daily mail by stage. It contains two churches (M. E. and Christian,) a district school, one store, one hotel, of which Aaron Kirk has been proprietor about five years, a tannery, grist-mill, two blacksmith shops, of which Daniel Shaver and James Ferguson are the proprietors, a carriage shop, of which James Shaver is proprietor, and a cooper shop, of which Samuel Lefavor, who is also postmaster, is proprietor. It has a population of about 200.

The first settlers at Westbury were William and Jacob Burghduff, brothers, about 1806. The former died there in his ninety-seventh year, some three years since. A family by the name of Hyde, from Scipio, settled there about 1808. Joseph and Daniel Rumsey and William and Daniel Griswold, from Herkimer county, settled a little south-east of Westbury, in 1811.

MERCRANTS.- The present merchants in Westbury are A. P. Crowell and W. D. Campbell, who commenced business in 1867, under the firm name of Crowell & Campbell.

MANUFACTURERS.- The manufacturing establishments in Westbury consist of a tannery and grist-mill. The tannery was started in November, 1877, by Nichols and Hines, (H. E. Nichols and S. S. Hines, the former of whom died July 2d, 1878.) The building was erected the previous summer. Its dimensions are 8o by 46 feet, with an engine room 26 by 30 feet added. Its capacity is 6,ooo sides per annum. It gives employment to four men. The motive power is furnished by a thirty-five horse-power engine. The grist-mill came into the possession of H. E. Nichols, (now deceased,) about eleven years ago. It contains two run of stones. The motive power is furnished by the engine in the tannery, with which it is connected by means of a shaft.

THE M. E. CHURCH OF WESTBURY was organized with about forty members, about 1816. Their house of worship was erected about 1838. It underwent extensive repairs about 1867, at which time it was rededicated. The pastors of this Church have been the same as have ministered to the Church at Victory, both Churches being on one charge. The present pastor is Rev. Nelson Sutton, who resides at Victory. The present number of members is about forty; and the attendance at Sabbath School about thirty.

THE WESTBURY CHRISTIAN CHURCH was organized January 27th, 1843, by Rev. W.T. Caton, the first pastor. Among the first members were William Burghduff and Betsey, his wife, Adams Dow, Josiah Burghduff, John W. Tator, Rufus Moore, Melissa Daniels, and Adam Shaver. They erected a house of worship in 1843, but it stood only about a year, when it was destroyed by fire. Their present house was built in 1845. The present pastor is Rev. Stephen Devoe, who resides at Red Creek. The Church has ninetyeight members. The attendance at Sabbath School is about forty.


North Victory (p. o.) is situated on Little Sodus Creek, near the north border of the town, and contains a grist-mill, owned by Sebastian Stumni, a small saw-mill, a wagon shop, of which William Baker is proprietor, a blacksmith shop, and about 60 inhabitants.

The first settlement at North Victory was made in 1812, by Conrad Phrozine, from Newburgh, N. Y. He located on the creek, at Stumm's mill, on the site of which he built a grist-mill, which was the first one in the town.

MANUFACTURERS.- On Little Sodus Creek, about a mile north-east of Victory, is a saw-mill, operated by a ten feet fall of water, which came into the possession of William Cooling, in the spring of 1878.

On lot 63, in the south-west part of the town, is a steam saw-mill owned by VanGilder, Nichols & Co., who have operated it about three years.

On Red Creek, about a mile above Westbury, is a saw-mill, owned by Jacob Switzer, who has operated it some eight or ten years.

About a mile north of Westbury, on a small branch of Red Creek, is a saw-mill, which has been operated by E. L. Sabins for three years.

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