History of Cazenovia, NY

The Town of Cazenovia.

Cazenovia is one of the five towns that were organized previous to the erection of Madison. It was formed from Whitestown and Paris on March 5, 1795, and was originally of very large area, containing the territory of what are now the towns of Georgetown, German, Lineklaen, Otselic and Pitcher, taken off in 1798; Sullivan, then including Lenox, taken off in 1803; Smithfield in 1807, and a part of Fenner in 1823. The town is on the west border of the county and is bounded on. the north by Sullivan, east by Fenner and Nelson, south by De Ruyter, and west by Onondaga county. The surface is high and rolling, through which extend the valleys of the Chittenango and Limestone creeks. Cazenovia Lake is a beautiful body of water in the north part, four miles long and from half a mile to a mile in width. Chittenango Falls is a picturesque cascade on that creek where the water falls 136 feet. The soil is gravelly loam in the north and central parts, and clay loam underlaid with hardpan in the southern part. Most of the town is underlaid with the rocks of the Hamilton group, with the Onondaga limestone appearing in the northeast part, where it has been extensively quarried for lime and building purposes.

There are three post-offices in the town of Cazenovia, one at Cazenovia village, one at New Woodstock, and one at Chittenango Falls, The population of Cazenovia village was 1,918 in 1880, and in 1890 it was 1,987, showing a small increase.

Cazenovia village is beautifully situated on Chittenango Creek and at the foot on the east shore of the lake which bears the same name. It is located a little northeast of the center of the town and is a station on both railroads named below, giving it connection with Canastota, with Syracuse, and with Cortland and Elmira. The village was incorporated on February 7, 1810, the first corporation meeting being held on May 10 of that year at the house of Eliphalet S. Jackson. Elisha Farnham, a justice of the peace, presided, and A. D. Van Home acted as clerk. The following were elected the first officers: Elisha Farnham, P. G. Childs, Jonas Fay, E. S. Jackson, and Samuel Thomas trustees; J. N. M. Hurd, treasurer; Jacob A. Dana, bailiff and collector. Jonas Fay was chosen the first president of the village, and Caleb Ledyard, clerk.

Following is a statement of the population of this town as shown by the census taken at different dates:

1835. 1840. 1845. 1850. 1855. 1860. 1865. 1870. 1875. 1880. 1890. 1892.
4,647 4,153 4,675 4,812 4,495 4,343 4,157 4,265 4,240 4,363 4,182 3,803

These figures, like the record in most rural towns in the State, show a small decrease in population, the causes of which are now well understood.

The chief agricultural interest of the town at the present time is dairying in its various features. Much of the land is well adapted for grazing and the production of hay, large quantities of which ai e shipped to distant markets. Along the lines of railroad are a number of milk stations, and a large part of the milk produced is taken to them, for shipment to New York and other points. Cheese and butter are also manufactured at these stations from the surplus milk. Hops, the great staple of this county, have been raised in past years in Cazenovia, but not so largely as in many other towns, especially in recent years. The various grains and vegetables are produced for home consumption and to a limited extent for outside sale.

The first records for this town that are in existence are for the year 1804, when the following officers were elected: Supervisor, James Green; town clerk, Eliphalet S. Jackson; assessors, Ebenezer Lyon, Oliver Bugbee, and Asa Dana; commissioners of highways, Isaac Morse, Asahel Jackson, Asa Dana; collector, Elisha Williams.

At that meeting it was voted that the clerk should procure books for the use of the town, and twenty dollars was appropriated for the purpose. The clerk was also directed to transcribe from the old books such matter as he deemed advisable. It is probable that he did not do so, as the existing book, as before stated, begins with 1804. The proceedings of the first meeting of which there is a record are given in earlier chapters.

Following is a list of supervisors of Cazenovia from 1806 to the present time:
1807, Lemuel Kingsley; 1808-11, Eliphalet Jackson; 1812-13, Samuel S. Forman; 1814, E. S. Jackson; 1815, A. D. Van Home; 1816, Samuel Thomas; 1817, William Sims; 1818-24, E. S. Jackson; 1825-28, Samuel Thomas; 1829-31, Newell Wright; 1832-33, Elihu Severance; 1834-38, John F. Hicks; 1839-45, Talcott Backus; 1846-50, Albert Card; 1851-52, Charles Stebbins; 1853-54, Lewis Raynor; 1855, John C. Loomis; 1856, Albert Card; 1857, John F. Fairchild; 1858-59, John Stebbins; 1860-62, Silas L. Loomis; 1863, D. E. Haskell; 1864-66, C. H. Beckwith; 1867, Charles Stebbins, jr.; 1868-69, Silas L. Loomis; 1870, Charles Stebbins, jr. ; 1871-72, Marcus L. Underwood; 1873-78, Willard A. Crandall; 1879-81, J. Harvey Nourse; 1882-83, John Stebbins; 1884-91, William C. Sherman; 1892-97, Chauncey B. Cook.

According to the State census of 1892 Cazenovia town has a population of 3,803. The census of 1890 gives the number as 4,182, showing a loss of nearly '200 during the preceding decade. The town is divided into fifteen school districts, with school houses in each, in which were employed in 1897 twenty-four teachers; all the schools are flourishing and notably well conducted. The whole number of children taught in 1897 was 718.

The Chenango Valley branch of the West Shore Railroad crosses Cazenovia from northwest to southeast, and the branch of the Lehigh Valley road which was formerly the Cazenovia and Canastota Railroad, crosses the town in a southerly direction, the two forming a junction about a mile south of Cazenovia village. This branch was extended to De Ruyter in 1877 and subsequently continued on to Cortland, Ithaca, and Elmira. The town was bonded in aid of this road to the amount of $160,000. The present bonded indebtedness is $111,000.

That part of Cazenovia included within the Gore, which was more than one-half in the southern part, was comprised in the purchase made by the Holland Land Company of about 120,000 acres, through the agency of John Lincklaen, in 1792-3. Mr. Lincklaen procured the survey of the Road Township (so called from the fact that the proceeds of the sale of lands therein were to be applied to the construction of roads), and in 1794 built mills near the site of Cazenovia village. Other settlers in the town in 1793 were Archibald Bates, Day Fay, William Miles, Noah Taylor, Isaac Nichols, Ira Peck, Nathan Webb, Shubael Brooks, Samuel Tyler, and one Augur. In the next year David Smith and Lewis Stanley settled in the town and were soon followed by Jonathan Smith, brother of David, William Sims, Isaac Morse, Chandler Webber, Abraham Tillotson, Walter Childs, Jacob Ten Eyck, Jeduthan Perkins, Francis Norton, James Covell, Hendrick De Clercq (from Holland), Levi Burgess, Joseph Holmes, Caleb Van Riper, Edward Parker, Phineas Southwell, Robert Fisher, Isaac Warren, John Savage, Samuel Thomas, Deacon Isaiah Dean,William Moore, Christopher Webb, Ebenezer Knowlton, all of whom settled before or in the year of the formation of Madison county, locating in various parts of the town. After that date settlement was very rapid, many of the incomers being noticed in earlier chapters and in Part III of this work.

The first merchant in the village of Cazenovia was Samuel S. Forman, who came to the place in the employ of John Lincklaen in 1793, in the interest of the Holland Land Company. The store was for a time carries on by Mr. Forman with Mr. Lincklaen, representing the company as a partner. Mr. Forman subsequently took the business alone.

Other early merchants were Jabish N. M. Hurd, who came about 1800; Jesse Kilborn, William M. and JosephBurr, Benjamin T. Clarke, E. B. and E. D. Litchfield, brothers; William Greenland and his son, William S.; William Mills, Charles Crandall and Frank Moseley who formed a partnership and conducted a bookstore from 1834; John C. Reymon, L. G. Wells, Henry Groff, John Hobbie, and others. The business of L. G. Wells was transferred in 1878 to his sons, Dwight W. and Edward G., and is now conducted by the latter. George Morse, dealer in drugs, began business in 1847 with John F. Irons and purchased his partner's interest two years later; the firm is now George Morse & Son. Ebenezer Knowlton began the jewelry business about 1848 and continued more than thirty years; the business is now carried on by C. M. Knowlton. E. A. Blair purchased the harness and saddlery business of T. S. Whitnall in 1863 and continues to the present time; Bowman Stanley, grocer, started in 1863 in company with his brother, Benjamin F.; Tillotson & Nichols, who succeeded J. D. Beach about 1861 in a general store; H. B. Thomas, a pioneer and early harness maker; Jesse W. Hall, groceries, etc., who sold out in 1869 to David P. and James C. Dean; Will H. Cruttenden, jeweler, began in 1870; Nichols & Covell, clothiers, began in 1871; Colton & Webber, hardware, began trade in 1877, succeeding Colton, Johnson & Co.; Wells Bros., general merchants since 1872; J. W. T. and William Rice, druggists, began in 1873; Henry A. Rouse, general merchant; Samuel T. Jackson, hats and caps, commenced in 1877, with his cousin, Frank E. Jackson, and others who have been noticed in the earlier town history.

The present merchants and business men of Cazenovia village are as follows: E. G. Wells, furniture and undertaking; H. B. Thomas, harness and trunks; Curtis Brothers, drugs; George Morse & Son, drugs; J. W. Howson, coal dealer; F. E. Wilson, baker; G. H. Atwell & Son, flour and feed; Mrs. F. D. Hoidridge, and Mrs. L. M. White, millinery; Marshall & Bumpus, Aikman & Norton, Driscoll & Marshall, and H. H. Colton, hardware; Hoidridge & De Clercq, musical instruments; S. B. Allen, news room and cigars; William Watkins, and H. F. Greenland, books and stationery; Charles R. Parkinson, bakery; W. W. Rice, drugs; W. S. Greenland & Son, merchant tailors; J. W. Hall, jeweler; H. N. Clark, jeweler; F. C. Phelps, general store; H. H. Hamilton, meats; W. W. Rainey, harness; R. A. Niles & Co., clothing; E. L. Riggall, meats; F. E. Richardson, grocer; C. W. Covell, boots, shoes, clothing, etc.; B. Voilmer, general store; D. S. Reidy, harness; Nichols & Loomis, general merchants; J. D. Warner, meats; H. A. Rouse estate, general store (managed by C. H. Rouse); Tillotson & Needham, house furnishings; Wells Brothers, dry goods and groceries; P. H. Donnelly, groceries; Clark & Mulligan, dry goods and general merchandise; Enright & Barrett, furniture and undertaking; Jackson Brothers, meats; John Wilson, ice.

The early manufactures established on the water power of Cazenovia comprised the trip hammer forge of Luther Bunnell, established as early as 1811; Nehemiah White's chair shop; a woolen mill built by John Lincklaen and Elisha Starr, which soon passed to Matthew Chandler & Son; a tannery started by Thomas Williams and his son, John, which was sold to R. & R. G. Allen; the saw mill of David B. Johnson; the fulling mill of Sidney Roberts; a tannery established by Elisha Farnham; the Cazenovia paper mill built about 1810 by Zadock Sweetland, which was burned in 1859 and rebuilt; the Cedar Grove woolen mill; the Fern Dell mills, originally built for a woolen mill, but not used for that purpose; the Crawford mower and reaper works, removed from Ilion in 1875; the Lake Mills, built by Dr. Jonas Fay in an early time; an oil mill operated by Edward Knowlton; a saw and planing mill operated by S. F. Chaphe and Reuben Parsons, all of which have been fully described.

The present manufactures of Cazenovia consist of the carriage shop of J. H. O'Neil; the establishment of the Cazenovia Wool and Felt company, employing several men; the sash, door and blind factory of T. W. Thayer & Co.; Albert Chaphe's flouring mill; the foundry and machine shop of Marshall & Card; the planing mill established by S. F. Chaphe, recently partially burned and rebuilt; blacksmith shops of P. H. Calhoun, Charles Bordwell, Martin McCabe and Barney Oiley; and the Brooklyn Creamery.

A private banking business was established by J. H. Ten Eyck Burr in 1880, and is still in prosperous existence.

The village has three hotels-the Lincklaen house, built in 1835, now conducted by Walter H. Young; the Cazenovia House, built many years ago, now conducted by Charles E. Pratt; and the Stanton House, formerly until 1879 the Lake House, conducted by C. M. Stanton.

The Cazenovia Republican is an able country weekly newswaper, established in 1854 by W. H. Phillips, and now conducted by J. A. Loyster, who purchased the establishment in 1890.

There are five churches in Cazenovia, as follows: Presbyterian, founded in 1798, with Rev. Joshua Leonard the first pastor; the church was built in 1806 and extensively repaired in 1834. Present pastor, S. E. Persons. The Methodist church, formed as part of the Cortland Circuit in 1816, and incorporated in 1830; first meeting house erected in 1833, and the present one in 1873. The Baptist church, built in 1817, organized in 1820; church extensively repaired in 1868, burned in 1871, and rebuilt of brick in 1871 at a cost of $15,200; completed in 1880. St. Peter's Episcopal Church, organized 1844 and incorporated 1845; church erected in 1848. St. James's Catholic Church, organized 1849 by Rev. Michael Hayes; brick church erected in 1849-52. The Universalist church was organized in 1853, and after many years of somewhat feeble existence, declined and ceased to exist.

Cazenovia is the seat of the well known seminary, which has had an existence of about seventy-five years and is fully described in Chapter XXIV of this work. In the same chapter will be found an account of the Union school of the village, which was established in 1874.

The first physician to settle in the village was Dr. Isaac Lyman, who continued in practice from 1799 until his death in 1854. Dr. Theophilus Wilson settled in the village in 1814, and Dr. Jonathan Silsby in about 1816, about which time Dr. David Mitchell located in the place.

The first lawyers in the village were Schuyler Van Rensselaer and Samuel Sidney Breese, who settled there before the close of the last century; Van Rensselaer remained only a short time. David Dearborn, David B. Johnson, and possibly others who remained only for brief periods, settled in the village during the first decade of this century. Perry G. Childs located in the village about 1807, and was prominent in the profession. Charles Stebbins was a settler in 1810, and Justin Dwinelle and William J. Hough a little later. Later lawyers were Charles H. S. Williams, Levi Gibbs, Sidney T. Fairchild, Calvin Carpenter, Richard Thomas and Robert G. Paddock. The present attorneys in the village are Burr Wendell, M. H. Kiley, and A. E. Fitch.

The post-office at Cazenovia was probably established and maintained by John Lincklaen at his personal expense until there was sufficient revenue to support it. Records of its early history are wanting. It was kept for a time in Mr. Forman's store and in that of his successor, J. N. M. Hurd, who was postmaster until 1821, when he was succeeded by Jesse Kilborn, who held the office nineteen years.

The first fire engine in Cazenovia was purchased in 1810 at a cost of $100, and a company was organized the same year consisting of twelve members. The usual village regulations regarding the keeping of fire buckets by citizens were adopted, and as years passed the apparatus was slowly increased. The first hooks and ladders were purchased in 1827 at a cost of $20. Old companies were from to time disbanded and new ones organized as fully described in earlier chapters. Previous to the establishment of the present water works, there were two engine companies and a hose company maintained in the village, with adequate auxiliary apparatus. The department as now existing, established in 1893, comprises two hose companies and a hook and ladder company, with adequate apparatus for fire purposes. Alarms are sounded on the bell of the Baptist church by push buttons in different parts of the village, through electrical connections.

The Cazenovia water works were established in 1890, and up to the present have cost about $42,000. A reservoir has been constructed with capacity of 8,000,000 gallons, elevated 178 feet above the lake. This is fed by springs and by a pumping station, with capacity of 280,000 gallons a day, taken from driven wells. The water is pure and amply supplied for public purposes.

Cazenovia village supports an excellent public library containing about 5,000 volumes. It was formerly maintained by private subscriptions. The building in which it is located was given to the authorities by R. H. Hubbard.

New Woodstock.- This is a pleasantly situated village in the south part of the town, and a station on the Lehigh railroad. Early merchants there were Harvey and Alvin Smith, brothers, who were in trade from about 1816 to 1830, and also operated a distillery. Joseph F. Clark was contemporary with the Smiths. Jesse B. Worden was an early merchant, and Harvey Morris opened a store about 1834.

The village now contains two churches, Baptist and Methodist. The former was organized in 1800, with Elder James Bacon, pastor; a log meeting house was built in 1802, and a little latter joined with the Presbyterians in building a frame edifice. The Baptists erected a larger church of their own in 1816. This old society has ever since maintained its existence. The Methodist Church was organized in 1830.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Return to [ NY History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]

NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Erie - Essex - Franklin - Fulton - Genesee - Herkimer - Jefferson - Lewis - Livingston - Madison - Montgomery - Niagara - Oneida - Onondaga - Ontario - Orange - Orleans - Oswego - Putnam - Queens - Rensselaer - Richmond - Rockland - St. Lawrence - Saratoga - Schenectady - Steuben - Suffolk - Tioga - Tompkins - Tryone - Ulster - Washington - Wayne - Yates

All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy