History of Chenango, New York


We have good authority for believing that the first settler in the township of Chenango was Thomas Gallup, who moved into the territory in 1787. He did not stay long, however. In the same year Col. William Rose, accompanied by his brother, established himself on the site of Nimmonsburg, acquiring title to land from the Indians then inhabiting that section.

Being a well favored country, with rich soil and pleasant surroundings, the valley soon began to fill up with a sturdy company of settlers, not a few of whom had been patriots of the Revolution. We shall tarry to name a few of these pioneers: William Hall, Jedediah Seward, John Newell, Jared Page, Stephen and Henry Palmer, Foster Lilly, James Temple, Nathaniel Bishop, Henry French, Nathaniel Lee, and Tyrus Page. Henry French in 1788 built a sawmill at Castle Creek and carried it on for some time. This was one of the first industries of the township.

Chenango township was one of the original towns of the county of Tioga. How extensive its lines then were, may be seen from the fact that it embraced all the territory now belonging to the townships of Windsor, Colesville, Sanford, Conklin, Fenton, Binghamton and Dickinson. One after another these townships were cut off from Chenango, in the order named above, leaving the township robbed of its original territory; but in 1808 a section of Union was annexed to it, and in 1856 a large portion of Maine was added to it. As then constituted, Chenango had an acreage of 21,099. It is a fact of interest that the first settlers in Chenango had been settlers in Union, while those who came subsequent to 1808 with the exception of those which came in from Maine, were pioneers of Chenango. February 16th, 1791, the township of Chenango was established, and in the April following the first town meeting was held. Because of loss of the original records it is impossible to give the names of the officers chosen at that time.

The fluctuations in population which have attended the progress of the township of Chenango are of historical interest, as showing the destiny of a town situated near to a growing city, without manufacturing resources, but exclusively engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1790 Chenango numbered 45 inhabitants. Ten years later its population had increased to 1,149; in 1810, 1,360; in 1820, 2,626; in 1830, 3,716; in 1840, 5,475; in 1850, 8,734; in 1860, 1,841; in 1870, 1,680; in 1880, 1,590; in 1890, 1,448; in 1900, 1,372; in 1910, 1,237; in 1920, 1,183.

Chenango provided educational facilities for its children at a very early date, as we conclude from the fact that in 1807 the township contained eighteen school districts. Mason Whiting and Oliver Ely were at that time school commissioners. In 1838 the number of children of school age was 1,372. Twenty years later the number of districts had been reduced to twelve, in which there were only 470 boys and girls of school age.

Chenango has a number of villages and hamlets to which we ought to give passing attention. Prominent among these is Castle Creek, located in the northwestern part of the township. It is probable that Josiah West was the pioneer settler here, he having migrated to this section prior to the beginning of the eighteenth century. The first mill here was built by Ira Keeler, and the first store by William West. A postoffice was established here through the instrumentality of Josiah West, and has been maintained since. The religious interests of the village have been and still are cared for by a Baptist and a Methodist church. A good common school is also supported at Castle Creek.

Glen Castle, Katteilville, Chenango Bridge and West Chenango are other smaller villages in Chenango township, and part of the village of Chenango Forks likewise lies in this township.

We find a number still living in the township of Chenango who trace their ancestry to pioneers of the Chenango valley. Among these are the Aldermans, the Dunhams, the Kattells, of Katteliville, the Norths and the Booths. In regard to the name last mentioned, we note that Hawley S. Booth is a direct descendant of one of the oldest families in the town of Chenango, and his mother one of the oldest surviving members of the family. Mrs. Booth, wife of Hawley Booth, says, “Grandfather Stone was one of the first if not the first settler in the town, and George Munsell and James Munsell were descendants of this grandfather Stone. They were my husband’s uncles.” Mrs. Booth is now town clerk of Chenango residing at Chenango Bridge.

At the present time the value of the real property of Chenango is $935,320, and the value of the franchises $102,548. The following are the present officers of the township: Supervisor, George F. Briggs; town clerk, Mrs. Lula M. Booth;’ assessors, Harry Mix, Henry M. Fuller, Anthony North; superintendent of highways, Ervin F. Swift; justices of the peace, Hawley S. Booth; Louisa Ross, Harry Peters; collector, William Minor; superintendent of the poor, Elmer Brotzman; constables, Harry C. Mix, Weldon Dowd, William Minor, Ralph Clark.

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

NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Dutchess - 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