HISTORY of ELLISBURGH, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE WORK ON JEFFERSON COUNTY
NEW YORK
EDITED BY: EDGAR C. EMERSON
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1898


Graphices will be added later

ELLISBURGH

In many respects the history of this town is unlike that of any other civil division of Jefferson county. From its very earliest settlement, more than an hundred years ago, Ellisburgh has been, in a measure, and independent town, and has made history different from surrounding towns True, it was a part of the Macomb purchase, and on April 11, 1796, agent Constable contracted to sell to Marvel Ellis, of Troy, all the lands, except a certain marshy tract along Sandy creek, and a three thousand acre tract in the southwest corner which was reserved for Brown and Eddy. The Ellis purchase, according to Medad Mitchell's survey made in August, 1795, was 51,840 acres, but on resurvey by Benjamin Wright it was found to contain 52,834 acres. Constable deeded the land to Ellis on March 22, 1797, the sum of $22,111.50 having been paid down and a mortgage of $98,943.45 being given for the balance. In later years this mortgage became a serious cloud on the title, and by reason of Ellis' subsequent insolvency was the cause of delaying settlement. However, in 1802 Constable foreclosed the mortgage, but died before the proceedings were terminated. Thereupon his executors, James Constable, John McVickar and Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, prosecuted the action to final judgment, and the Ellis purchase was sold at the Tontine Coffee house in New York, on March 1, 1804, to one McCormick, who the next day conveyed the tract to the executors. By subsequent conveyances, and by final release (April 26, 1819) on the part of Wm. Constable's heirs, Pierrepont became possessed of much of the land, and from him the unsold portions passed to his son, Wm. C. Pierrepont.

In the same manner on March 17, 1797, Constable convayed to Robert Brown and Thomas Eddy the 3,000 acre tract in the southwest corner, and in June, 1804, the proprietors sold half the land to George Scriba (owner of a vast tract of land in Oswego county), and about the same time exchanged the remainder with Lord Bollingbroke for a farm in New Jersey. Scriba afterward sold to Wm. Bell, by whom the lands were sold in parcels to settlers, as were also the Bollingbroke and and Pierrepont lands. However, for several years the Brown and Eddy tract was without a resident agent, hence the lands shared the fate of others in this part of the state in being occupied by squatters who were with difficulty dispossessed. In this town the squatter locality acquired the somwhat irreverent name of "No God," indicating an apparently lawless community. Some of these claimants were driven off while others made purchases and became desirable and progressive citizens.

According to acknowledged authorities, the territory comprising Ellisburgh was surveyed several times; first by Medad Mitchell in 1795; then by Benjamin Wright and Calvin Guiteau in 1796, and again under the direction of Surveyor-General De Witt in 1802. From the fact that Ellis was the first individual purchaser, the town was given the name of "Ellisburgh tract," but De Witt's map and survey gave it the name of Minos. The town was a part of Mexico until created a separate jurisdiction of Oneida county in 1803, and included within its original boundaries the present town of Henderson, then known as No. 6 of the eleven towns. That part was separately set off February 17, 1806, leaving Ellisburgh 43,311 acres to comprise its territory (67.677 square miles).

It is a somewhat remarkable fact that, in the early history of this part of the state, the first land surveyors or explorers should have prosecuted their investigations with the care and caution which later events clearly proved, and yet should have made no mention whatever of the evidences of previous and aboriginal habitation. In all the Black river country no town possesses ancient history equal to Ellisburgh, but it remained for later investigators to preserve for us the traces of Indian occupancy, while none of the early chroniclers appear to have discovered the fact that within the town were enacted events which far antedated the construction of the line of fortifications along the Sandy creeks. As early as the year 1615 Samuel de Champlain with a party of French and Indians crossed the western border of the town on an expedition into the Iroquois country; and on his return the intrepid Frenchman followed nearly the same course, though now he was wounded and was carried by his associates and Indian allies. Again, in 1684, De la Barre held a treaty with the Onondagas on the lake shore at the mouth of Sandy creek, where many of his men fell sick and suffered so seriously from the want of provisions and a malignant climatic fever that the name Bay le Famine was given to the locality, and has ever since been preserved, although erroneously applied to the mouth of Salmon river and also to points further down the lake. In one of the earlier chapters this subject is discussed at length, wherefore in this place it is not necessary to repeat the narrative.

The next notable visitor to the place, of whom we have any present record, was Father Charlevoix, the French missionary, who in May, 1721, spent sufficient time at Bay le Famine to carefully note all the surroundings, and also to write a letter to the Duchess de Lesdiguires, the missive bearing date May 16. Neither of these noteworthy visitors and explorers referred in any manner to the Indian fortifications for which the Sandy creek region became famous, from which it is inferred (or at least it appears reasonable to suppose) that none of the several defenses built along the stream were constructed prior to the visit of Charlevoix. The fort at Niagara was built in 1719, and was followed by that at Oswego, while the minor line of Iroquois defenses against the French and Canadian Indians were undoubtedly erected sometime between 1720 and 1735.

Ellisburgh abounds in evidences of the Indian occupation, and from the mouth of Sandy creek to the eastern boundary of the town there is hardly a farm or locality which has not disclosed some trace of the aboriginal period.

The town is crossed by the two branches of Sandy creek into which flow innumerable smaller streams or creeks. All these were abundantly stocked with fish, particularly salmon, which in early days were known to have been plentiful in both branches of Sandy creek nearly to their source. This, together with the heavily timbered woods abounding with game, tended to make the town of Ellisburgh an ideal Indian hunting ground.

The surface of the land here subsides from the Rutland and Dry Hill ranges to a gentler level toward the lake, and in the continuance of the Iroquois system of defensive works which studded those hills nearly every commanding spot in the town was devoted to fortifications and defenses.

The first white visitor to describe these evidences of aboriginal occulation was the Rev. John Taylor, who in 1802 made a missionary journey through the Mohawk and Black river country. This worthy divine started from Redfield on September 1, and after traveling about twenty.four miles reached the south branch of Sandy creek, about three miles from the lake. He then journeyed up the branch to the present site of the village of Ellisburgh, and from thence proceded northerly to the vicinity of Rural Hill, and easterly through the region of Belleville to Adams.

He describes the town as being heavily timbered, and the land "as rich as land can be," and says that it is as fine a country as he ever saw. He also records unmistakable evidence that at some remote period the land was thickly inhabited, among other things found being stone fireplaces, and wells dry and stoned to a considerable depth. These fireplaces were about two rods apart, indicating adjoining habitations, and thus furnishing reliable evidence that they were the work of Iroquois Indians, whose habit it was to build long dwellings for the occupancy of several families, supplied with a row of fire places in the center, the smoke from which escaped from the roof of the structure.

The missionary found the remains of an old fort on the present site of the village of Ellisburgh, on the north side of Sandy creek where the cemetery now stands. It was about twenty rods from the creek, and is described as having five sides and five gateways. The ground was scattered with fragments of earthen ware of peculiar construction, and in the spring of 1802 the point of a two edged steel sword 1½ feet long was plowed up inside of the enclosure.

This sword was of undoubted European manufacture, and its discovery gives rise to the belief that this must have been the fort which was fitted up by the French at Le Famine, and was spoken of by Marquis de Beauharnois in his letter to Gov. Burnet, July 20, 1727.' Neither Champlain, De Ia Barre nor Father Charlevoix record the existence of this work. It must, therefore, have been constructed early in the eighteenth century, and as the land around the lake was low and marshy, it is not strange that passing up South Sandy creek to higher land the wily Frenchman should have selected this spot for a defensive structure. This visitor made a plan of the work which is here pro. duced.

The reverend gentleman also visited a fort about midway between the north and south branches of Sandy creek, of which lie made a drawing and described in detail. It lay on both sides of a small creek, just above the confluence with a smaller brook, and was of irregular shape, but built with a good deal of art. The ditch in many places was four feet deep. Standing in the ditch, a man could just over see the land in the fort. The work was, on an average, one hundred by fifty rods in size, and had a number of gateways. The walls were peculiar on both sides of the creek. Some parts of the walls were double, or rather there was an outer and inner wall. On the east side was a redoubt, about eight rods from one of the gateways.

The ground appeared to be very much broken on the northeast corner and looked as if there had been works within works. Within the walls on each side of the creek were wells, or peculiar springs which answered for wells, but may not have been the result of art. On the west side of the creek was a well at the corner of the fort (about nine rods in circumference) which descended to a point in the bottom, having in the corner of the basin a living spring out of which the water rises and passes again into the ground. The land in this spring hole was so soft that a nole could he run down about fifteen feet.

This fort was situated on Taylor Brook and was on the old Silas Emerson farm now owned by Austin Dickinson. It was advantageously located on a commanding bluff, and in the immediate vicinity of the famous cold spring. To the settlers (both D. E. Taylor and Edward Dickinson well remember the site) the adjoining land was known as the "old fort lot." Some distance north of the fort was found a burial ground, where numerous skeletons were found, and near the place was another spring, of less volume than cold spring, but associated with which was a tradition among the children of the early settlers that "if you once got in the spring, you could never get out," doubtless arising from a knowledge of the quicksand in the bottom, as described by the missionary in 1802.

The burying ground is thought to have extended over on the Durfee or Eastman place, hence the impression that this locality had its distinct Indian history. Accompanying is the diagram of the work made at the time of Mr. Taylor's visit. While the plan presented is undoubtedly a correct representation of the work as it then appeared, the points of the
compass are not accurately stated, as the point indicated as north is more nearly in the east. This discrepancy, however, is not surprising when we consider the difficulties which must have attended the production of a drawing of the work by a stranger at that early day.

Other forts were visited, plotted and described by the traveler. He does not definitely state their location, and as all traces of some of them long ago disappeared the exact locality of these works cannot be given. Suffice it say that they were in the northeasterly part of the town and about four or fIve miles from the work described as located in the village of Ellisburgh. These forts were about one hundred and fifty yards apart, and one of them consisted of a breast-work and intrenchment about half a mile in length. Drawings of them were made by the reverend traveler which are here reproduced.

He also visited and described another fort about 2 ½ miles northwesterly of those last mentioned. This work is about 154 miles out of Belleville on the farms of James E. Green 2d and Calvin Littlefield. It was regularly built and enclosed about ten acres of ground. An excellent spring of water is found in close proximity, showing that the natives in selecting this site were not unmindful -of the importance of an ample and convenient supply of water. No diagram of this work was however made.

Upon and within all of the works above described stood trees of an equal size with those surrounding, indicating not so much the age of the fortifications as that they were entrenched encampments built in the woods without cutting the trees away. Fragments of pottery, broken brick pipes and all other phenomena of Indian habitations were found scattered about all of these works. The art of glazing was unknown to these primitive potters and the earthen ware found was of the rudest kind, externally smooth except where marked by lines and dots in ever varying combinations of figures, and internally rough from the admixture of coarse sand and gravel. They however possessed a certain degree of taste and skill, and frequently attempted on their pipes and jars imitations of the human face and fantastic images of serpents and wild animals.

Father Taylor also records the finding of hewed and square timbers, and a bateau (about one-half mile from the lake), in the marsh. It was covered to some depth with drifted earth, and was doubtless some relic of De La Barre's ill starred expedition to Le Famine, in 1684.

This territory was again visited in 1849 by Mr. E. G. Squier, in the interest of the Smithsonian institute. He found near the village of Pierrepont Manor the site of an ancient town indistinguishable from a fortified village, except by absence of an embankment and trench. Large quantities of relics have been found at this place.

This visitor examined and plotted several works in the town which he describes in the following narrative:

"There is a work in this town three miles northwest of Pierrepont Manor, it is protected in the usual manner and has the usual relics and traces of occupancy within 'its walls."

This work is believed to have been on the Eastman and Hungerford farms, as now known. A diagram of it was made at the time, which is here reproduced:

Continuing his narrative Mr. Squier says:

"There is another work in this town three-fourths of a mile eastward from that given above and about two and one-half miles northwest of Pierrepont Manor. This is a larger work but has been very nearly obliterated by the plow. The sections indicated in the engraving are yet very distinct, nor can the parts supplied differ materially from the original lines, Perhaps no work in the state has more distinct evidence of aboriginal occupancy. The entire area is covered with traces of ancient habitations and with relics of art pottery ornaments and implements. Exterior to the walls in all directions, but particularly on the level ground between the two works the same indications are abundant.

"Indeed the artificial accumulatons are so great as to materially augment the fertility of the soil. Caches have been observed here, in some of which a number of bushels of parched corn was found carbonized by long exposure. It was scattered over the surface, and after rains could be collected in considerable quantities. Here, too, have been found skeletons buried according to the usual custom. The aboriginal population must have been very large at this spot, which both in aspect of soil and close proximity of springs and pure streams affords a most beautiful site for an Indian village."

This work is also believed to have been on the Eastman farm, formerly owned by Peter Durfee. The accompanying diagram was made by Mr. Squier at the time.

About a mile south of this last group, upon the land of Mr. Mendall (now owned by L. B. Martin) was another work upon which the old Mendell house and garden were located. The outlines of this work were descernible for many years, and the usual relics of Indian occupancy were exhumed by the plow, No plan of it has been preserved, and all traces have long since disappeared.

There were, according to early authorities, many other fortified places and remains of encampments in this town, but unfortunately no record of their location has been preserved, and it is now impossible to furnish detailed descriptions of the same. Notwithstanding the many difficulties attending an attempt to locate and describe all these various works at the present time, recent investigators have succeeded in discovering remains of fortifications or villages which were unknown to the earliest settlers. Louis F. Hudson, within a very recent time, has discovered one of these on the south bank of Sandy creek, but has not made a sufficient examination to determine its true character. Dr. Chapman, another interested student of the aboriginal occupation, mentions an Indian village south of the Lake View house, on Wood's Point; another between Rural Hill and Belleville, on Col. Littlefield's farm; another northeast of that last mentioned, on the J. E. Green place; another between Belleville and Taylor settlement, in a tract of woodland on the Hungerford farm, the outline being still discernible; another (a fort) between that last mentioned and the Taylor settlement, which was undoubtedly a large structure.

In the early days of the town there was a tradition that Capt. Kidd's treasures were buried in these aboriginal mounds along the north branch of Sandy creek, resulting in much digging by weak-minded people for their recovery.

The proprietors of these speculations with divining rod in hand would pretend to locate the treasures, and then silly dupes would dig for them, and just as the coveted prize was almost within their grasp would be frightened away by ghosts and demons, leaving their tools behind. The digging was always done at night and not a word was to be spoken, as the slightest cough was suppposed to bring on demons and goblins and to be fatal to success.

Among the other evidences of aboriginal occupation which are found in this town is a bonepit, which stood on the bank of South Sandy creek near a house formerly occupied by J. W. Ellis. Here, in excavating for a cellar in 1818, a large number of human bones were discovered buried in a common grave, after the fashion prevalent among the Indians. A full description of the origin of these accumulations of bones has already been given in a note to the history of the town of Brownville, hence need not be repeated here.

Having thus traced the evidence which is furnished of previous aboriginal occupation, let us now turn to the period of settlement and development of this town by the indomitable whites.

The history of pioneership and early life in Ellisburgh is not unlike that of other towns in the Black river country. As the story is told on a preceding page, Lyman Ellis purchased much of the land comprising the town, and in the spring of 1797 he, with his brother, Marvel Ellis, came and made an improvement with a view to permanent settlement on the site near where now stands the pleasant little village of Ellisburgh.' If local tradition be true pioneer Ellis was an enterprising and worthy proprietor, and before the close of the first season had built a dam and saw mill about three-quarters of a mile below the village site. The brothers also prepared land for cultivation and sowed it with wheat, this being claimed to be the first event of the kind in the county. Indeed, it has been asserted that (with the possible exception of the British settlement on Canton Island) the brothers Ellis were the first permanent settlers within the limits of the county, although Noadiah Hubbard made an improvement in Champion during the same year. Caleb Ellis, who became acquainted with Lyman Ellis while the latter was passing through Rome, also came to the town in the latter part of 1797 and made a purchase of land on the south branch of Sandy creek, selecting for his abode the site whereon stood the log cabin or hut of one Waldo, who was a hunter and squatter in the region.

Thus the settlement in the town was founded. In building the dam and mill Lyman Ellis employed a number of workmen, for he was a man possessed of some means and brought mechanics to perform-necessary work; but unfortunately the names of the employees have not been preserved, and few of them became permanent residents of the town. However, after the beginning was fairly made, other settlers were induced to come to the locality, and in the winter of 1797-98 William Hicks, B. Pierce, Isaac Woclell 2 and a Mr. Butler were added to the little community on Sandy creek. Early in the following spring there came the first disaster in the partial destruction of the darn and saw mill by high water, but the damaged structures were at once repaired.

The next settlers, all of whom located on the Ellis purchase during the spring of 1798, were the family of Caleb Ellis, Robert Fulton, Elijah Richardson, William Root, Hezekiah Pierce, Chauncey Smith, Vial Salisbury, Isaac Wodell, Abraham Wilcox, and two others named Thornton, the latter being brought to the town to repair the injured dam and saw mill and also to build a grist mill. The settlement was now considerably increased, but during the year much sickness prevailed among the pioneers, hence but little work was accomplished. A beginning was made on the grist mill, but until it was completed the settlers had recourse to the primitive method of grinding grain in the hollow stump, using a pestle and spring-pole attachment, after the fashion of the device used for the same purpose in Watertown in later years, the "contrivance" standing at the west end of the public square. However, the year 1798 was not without its good results, and in September proprietor Ellis wrote again to Constable that "we have a good dam across the creek, which has been expensive; a good saw mill well finished and running, and have done considerable towards a grist mill. We have on the same lot (76), a large and handsome improvement; have had a fine crop of wheat, and have very fine corn," etc.

The worthy proprietor further reported to Constable that the inhabitants then in the town had good improvements and were an industrious people. He also rendered an account of lands sold, the price paid and amount of cash payment. At the same time Ellis asked the indulgence of his mortgage creditor, not being able to make the payment due, and also asked that the mortgagee give some assurance that he would release the lands from the lien of the mortgage on receiving payment, for it was now discovered that the large incumberance caused some anxiety among the settlers and was keeping still others from coming to the town. This was the weight which eventually worked the downfall of Lyman Ellis. The mortgage was so large that prospective purchasers were distrustful, and while they were willing to make contracts with Ellis they did not feel safe in making large payments without some assurance of a release from the mortgage. The result was the subsequent insolvency of Ellis, the foreclosure of the mortgage, and the vesting of title in other owners, as has been mentioned. Nevertheless, pioneer Ellis made some good sales, and in the report above referred to he inclosed an account of lands sold by him, from which we learn that the owners in the town in the fall of 1798 were as follows: Joseph Caidwell (60), Elijah Pettibone (100), John Paddock (50), Isaac Southerland (130), Asahel Humphrey (419), Elisha Phillips (100), Levi Root (140), Hezekiah Pierce (149).

Notwithstanding the objections against which the settlers in the town were compelled to contend, its early development appears to have begun almost as favorably as elsewhere, for the lands were far more fertile and productive than the average in the county south of Black river. The winter of 1798-99 was remarkably severe. Snow fell Oct. 29, 1798, and lasted until April of the next year, and the spring flood again swept away the dam and injured the mills. Ellis thereupon built a new darn at the village site and soon afterward removed both mills to the place, the grist mill in 1803.

During the years 1803-6, James Constable, agent for the proprietary, made an extended tour through the northern counties of the state, in which his brother William (then deceased) had an interest, for the purpose of determining the character and progress of settlement. He kept a journal of his travels and noted in detail the work accomplished by settlers. On September 6, 1803, Constable reached Ellisburgh and the mills built by Lyman Ellis, which were unfinished though substantial buildings. He found the settlers well pleased at his arrival, for he could give them some assurances regarding the titles, but what greatly moved the traveler was the sickness which prevailed in the community, and no doctor within twenty miles. He at once proposed to induce one to settle here by donating to him a 50 acre tract of land, and also suggested the desirability of a "parson" in the settlement. Constable found about 40 families then in the town, most of whom were poor, "but of that description of people fit to settle a new country; few comforts about them, and they seem to have few wants; no liquor is to be had, and they have not begun to distill, nor are theie any apples to make cider, so that their only drink is water, with which they seem content." After casting about the settled portions of the town for a few days, and visiting the lake shore, Constable left the settlement and proceeded up the creek five miles to Capt. Boomer's log house and improvement, but which has recently been sold for $900. This was on September 8, and on the next day the agent went into Adams,

In August, 1804, Constable again visited the town, coming from the south, but found the road so bad that he at once determined to build a new one from Rome to Ellisburgh, a distance of 43 miles. After a couple of days he went down the creek to the lake, and found the marsh lands in the vicinity of "Le Famine" covered with hay stacks, "the contents of which had grown spontaneously, and many houses, and cattle at pasture, which proves that this place is of consequence." (Nearly a century of development and constant tillage have proved the accuracy of James Constable's observations, as Ellisburgh has ever enjoyed the enviable prominence of being the richest and most productive town in all the Black river country.) When in this locality, Constable visited the house of Christopher Edmunds, on the north side of the creek, where he found a fine farm and the best corn produced in the town. Edmunds came into the region in 1798, with his brother Eliphalet, the latter settling in Adams. Both were Vermont Yankees, and were among the foremost men in the county in its early history. As a summary of the result of his observations, Constable reported 60 families in the town in 1804, about twenty having come since his last visit. In the early part of August of the next year the agent came again and on the way to Ellis village found many new settlers making improvements, but also found that the last spring freshet had done considerable damage to property on Salmon river and Sandy creek. He at length arrived at Ellis' and found the mills in "tolerably" good order, but the water in the creek exceedingly low. The mill was doing a large business, "grists" being brought in boats from Oswego and places still more distant. (At that time Sandy creek was navigable for flat-bottomed boats as far up as the Ellis dam). A school house was also in course of erection, and the town had "subscribed" toward a fund with which to build a bridge across the creek. (The agent contributed $20 for this purpose). Dr. Dresser, who had been induced to locate here, now had two patients, and there appeared to be less sickness now (1805) in the town than in any previous year.

In August, 1806, Constable again visited the region and found the roads in very good condition; also in the Andrews (Andrus) settlement a considerable improvement, and that the erection of a saw mill there had enabled the inhabitants of the southeast part of the town (the Mannsville neighborhood) -to build frame dwellings and barns. Arrived at Ellisburgh settlement, the agent found the mills had been rented; that the doctor was still in the town and would soon require a deed for the 50 acres of land promised him. But what most surprised the agent was the sight of 150 militiamen in line on the day of general training (Sept. 2, 1806). He was told that not more than one-third of the entire force was present, from which Constable concluded that the country was settling very rapidly, and that the population had greatly increased since his last visit. Such indeed was the case, as after the lands were released from the lien of the Ellis mortgage, George Tibbits and James Dole were appointed agents for the town. At the same time Benjamin Wright became general agent for the Wm. Constable estate, and from his home in Pulaski was instrumental in sending many worthy settlers to this region. He also introduced in the town (as he did elsewhere) the practice of granting certificates of purchase, by which permission was given to examine the land before concluding the bargain. This custom, however, led to abuses in the way of speculations by persons who selected only the very best lands with no intention to settle on them. After a short time this system was abolished.

In some respects the early settlement of Ellisburgh was peculiar and seemed to begin at the established centers, of which the town has several, and then work out into the surrounding and more remote territory toward the boundaries. Of the centers of settlement and milling operations, Ellisburgh was of course the oldest in the town, and owed its existence to the beginnings made in 1797-8. The earliest settlers in each of these localities will be recalled in our allusion to the villages themselves, but of those who came and shared the privations and hardships of pioneer life in the town at large a brief mention is appropriate. Isaac Wodell, whose surname has ever since been preserved in the town by representative citizens, worked for a time for Lyman Ellis and then removed to a farm tract of 340 acres a short distance west of Ellisburgh village. He was a worthy developer, building up a fine farm and property for his thrifty descendants. In his family were five sons and four daughters. Gideon Howard located about half a mile south of the village and was one of the first settlers in the town (1797 or '98). Paul Dickinson settled in the town about 1800. Among the other pioneers and settlers not before mentioned, may be named

Ebenezer Wood (from whom Woodville was named), Mosley Wood, Edward Boomer (the first town supervisor), Elder Joshua Freeman (1801), Jonathan Dealing (in the northeast part of the town), John Miner (near Ellis village). Philip Martin, Benj. Martin, Daniel Rounds, Matthew Boomer, Edward Barney (an old revolutionary patriot), Joseph McKee (for whom McKee's landing was so called), Guy Harris, William Williams (grandfather of Judge Pardon C. Williams, and who settled between Mannsville and Ellisburgh previous to 1812), Pardon T. Whipple (a Rhode Islander, who settled near the landing on Sandy creek in 1803), Samuel Bemis (one of the pioneers of Wardwell settlement), Benjamin Bemis (a prominent man in the town for many years), Simeon Daggett, Stephen Lindsay, Jonathan Matteson (an old revolutionary soldier), Chester McLean, David Holley, Samuel Dean, John Kibling, Avery Downer, Truman Steele, Clement Tubbs, Henry Green, Paul Dickerson (a cooper), Wm. Ellsworth, Theron Holley, Thomas W. Kennedy, Enos Eastman, John Otis, John Tuft (an old hotel keeper), Ephraim Wood, Ozias Lee, Capt. Fairchild, Benjamin Grenell, Amaziah Fillmore and perhaps others, all of whom are believed to have settled in the town previous to the war of 1812-15, and nearly all of whom took part in that eventful struggle at Sandy creek, which was fought within the limits of this town.

Among others and perhaps later settlers, whose names may not be mentioned in the village history, yet are worthy of preservation in these annals, were John Wilds, Amos Hudson, Willard Alverson, Benjamin Waterman, Ethni Fillmore, Ira Goodenough, Henry Washburn, James Converse (about 1818), Benjamin Jackman, Joseph Haskins, Salmon, John and Aaron Blanchard, Rufus Richardson (who was said to have been one of Washington's "life guards" during the revolution), William W. Walker, Zephaniah Penny, George Reed, William Rury, Daniel and Samuel Wardwell, David Smith, Charles Hollister, Benjamin Durfee, Calvin Harrington, Demetrus Davis, Aaron Eastman, Ira Caster, John Decker, Dr. Roswell Kinney, and also the Masons, Hosingtons, Nobles and Scofields, all of whom were in some manner identified with the town in its early history and development, but not one of whom now lives to tell again the story of early hardships and successes in the new and then somewhat unhealthy region bordering on the Sandy creeks.

Thus have we brought to the notice of the reader the names of the pioneers and many of the earlier settlers in what has ever been regarded one of the most historic, interesting and important civil divisions of Jefferson county. As early as 1803 there were at least thirty or forty families in the town, while in the adjoining town of Henderson was about the same number. In that part of Ellisburgh known as the Brown and Eddy district, where squatters were numerous, and where there was a certain disregard of good order and the rights of persons, it became necessary that some sort of an authority be exercised, wherefore the inhabitants of the town at large petitioned the legislature for an act creating a new civil division in Oneida county, to comprise the territory of the present town of Ellisburgh and Henderson.

Organization.- The creating act was passed by the legislature February 22, 1803, and the first town meeting was therein directed to be held at the house of pioneer Lyman Ellis. The first officers elected were as follows:

Edward Boomer, supervisor; Lyman Ellis, town clerk; Caleb Ellis and Amos B. Noyes, overseers of the the poor; Jeremiah Mason, Samuel Rhodes and Benjamin Boomer, commissioners of highways; Matthew Boomer, collector; Abiah Jenkins, constable; John Thomas, Christopher Edmunds and Dyer McCumber, fence viewers; Caleb Ellis, Jeremiah Mason, Timothy Harris, Benjamin Boomer, Dyer McCnmber and Joseph Holley, overseers of highways.

At this meeting, and in the year immediately following 1803, the town affairs which appear to have required the attention of the authorities were the necessity of good roads and the destruction of wild animals, the latter having proved a serious nuisance to the inhabitants. Wolf bounties were offered and paid as follows: $2.50 in 1803; $15 in 1807 and '8, and $10 in 1811 and '12. The first road laid out in the town, as shown by the records, was recorded Oct. 7, 1803, and extended from Six Town Point across Ellisburgh to Adams. In December following a road was laid out from a point near the house of Lyman Ellis, on the north line of lot No. 76, thence north Si degrees west, 164 chains, 66 links, until it intersected the road laid out from Christopher Edmunds' house to the Adams line. In May, 1804, Lyman Ellis laid out a highway from the east line of lot No. 25 to intersect the road leading from Ashel Harrington's to the south side of North Sandy creek. During the same year pioneer Ellis laid out three other important roads; one from the south line of Adams to connect with the road first above described, another from the north of Bear creek to the west line of township No. 1 (now Hounsfield), and still another which began on the ridge, where the road last mentioned crossed it, thence to the south branch of Sandy creek to a point near Isaac Burr's house.

Thus did Lyman Ellis (who combined the art of surveying with his other useful qualities), strive to make a success of his scheme to purchase and colonize a township of land, but notwithstanding his most strenuous efforts misfortune overtook him and compelled him to sacrifice much of his property. But the Constable agency proved not ungrateful, and paid the proprietor for the improvements he had made, and also released to him certain tracts of land with their buildings. Ellis was a substantial developer, and whatever he did was well done. He brought to the town a worthy and energetic class of settlers, and as a result of their efforts the waste lands were improved and made useful for cultivation, and even before the outbreak of the war of 1812-15, Ellisburgh had become known as one of the best agricultural towns in the county. Indeed, in all subsequent years it has lost none of this old-time prominence, and to-day the town stands foremost in the shire. The old companion town of Henderson was set off in 1806, since which time there has been no change in the boundaries of Ellisburgh. In 1807 the town contained 96 voters, who possessed the requisite property qualifications, a less number than any organized town then in the county. From this we may infer that the squatter contingent was still numerous, as in 1810 the town contained 1,725 inhabitants, being then third in point of population in the county. Watertown and Rutland alone exceeded Ellisburgh at that time. Between 1810 and 1814 the number of inhabitants increased from 1,725 to 2,325, and that notwithstanding the period was perhaps the most trying, burdensome and embarrassing of any in its history.

Outside of the incidents usual to pioneer life in anew region nothing occurred to disturb the progress and harmony of growth and development until the so-called embargo act went into effect, when, in September, 1808, there was an outbreak of litigation which for a time threatened open rupture between the federal authorities and the settlers. According to published accounts, it appears that on the occasion mentioned a party of officers from Oswego, under Lient. Asa Wells, entered Sandy creek, and after seizing a quantity of potash proceeded to Captain Fairfield's house and there forcibly took and carried away a swivel (gun), the property of the doughty captain. A complaint was at once made to a justice by Mrs. Fairfield (the captain being away at the time), whereupon a warrant was issued to a constable to arrest the invading officers; but the latter would not yield and threatened the constable, upon which he called for help and rallied about 30 armed men, who went with him to capture Lieut. Wells and his party. But the revenue officers promptly presented bayonets, causing something of a stampede among the constable's forces, and those who did not retreat were taken and bound, and borne away as captives to Oswego. On Sept, 25 the Wells party returned to the town to take into custody the magistrate who issued the warrant, and also the constable, upon which a warrant against Wells, charging him and others with felony in breaking into a house, was issued at Sackets Harbor, and given to constable Ambrose Pease to serve. This cautious officer scented difficulty in serving the process, and at once raised "a hue and cry." In this way he assembled about 200 persons in Ellisburgh, where a consultation of several magistrates was held, and the next day at sunrise about 70 or 80 men, armed and equipped, volunteered to aid in the arrest. But the magistrates dared not issue the order for their march, being apprehensive that some excess or injury might be done; and the question having been raised whether a constable had the right to demand aid before he had been resisted, the armed men were advised to disperse, which was accordingly done. Eventually the feeling subsided and the event passed into history as a purely political attempt by certain persons to resist the federal authority. The affair found its way into the press and naturally drew much attention in this direction, whereupon those who had been chiefly active in attempting to incite the citizens against the federal officers issued a manifesto justifying their position. A large public meeting was held in Ellisburgh and the speakers gave vent to their feelings in relation to the alleged outrage. A committee was appointed to prepare a declaration setting forth the facts, and also a series of resolutions suitable to the occasion, all of which were made public through the press at Utica, Albany and elsewhere.

The embargo laws and their enforcement had a serious effect on the struggling inhabitants of Ellisburgh, as almost the means of livelihood were thereby taken from many families. The Sandy creeks were large and much used thoroughfares in those days, and hundreds of boat loads of prohibited merchandise were shipped down the streams to the lake and thence down the St. Lawrence river to market. Yet, while there were no more violations of law in this town than elsewhere in the region, it so happened that nearly all the products of Adams, Rodman and Lorraine found their way to the lake through Ellisburgh. But notwithstanding the people were at much loss through the enforcement of the rigid laws of the period, they were none the less loyal and patriotic during the war of 1812. At the outbreak of hostilities the population of the town was about 2,000 and all the ablebodied men were among the enrolled militia, while the old men organized a company of "Silver Greys" and performed guard duty at the mouth of Sandy creek. The boys of the town, too, had their military company and were in service with the old men at the mouth of the creek. However, there appears to have been no invasion of the territory of the town previous to the spring of 1814, when Sandy creek became the scene of one of the most spirited battles fought on the frontier, and one which has ever been a noted event in local annals, although some writers of the period have given little importance to it. In a preceding chapter of this work may be found a general account of the battle of Sandy creek as one of the events of the war; but in local annals the engagement was of such importance that still further allusion is pardonable.

In the early spring of 1814 the war frigate Superior was built at Sackets Harbor, and was to be armed with 66 guns. Its completion would have given the Americans a supremacy on the lake, and the British were using every effort to delay and if possible defeat the work of putting the ship on the lake. The principal work of construction was finished during the latter part of May, and the vessel was ready for her armament which was being transported to the harbor by way of Wood creek, the Oswego river and the lake. This the enemy knew, and at once laid plans to capture the armament and thus cripple our squadron, for the transporting party also carried the rigging and armament for the Mohawk and the Jones, which were still on the stocks at the harbor. To accomplish their purpose the British made a descent upon Oswego and drove the defending force under Col. Mitchell up the river (from which direction the supplies were coming) and then returned to their former station at the Galloup islands to blockade the channel and make a sure capture of the supplies when they were on the lake. In due season the party reached Oswego, under charge of Lieut. Woolsey, and escorted by Maj. Daniel Appling with a company of 150 riflemen and Oneida Indians.

The party left Oswego on the evening of May 28 in nineteen boats, hoping to reach Stony creek before daylight and without interruption, but Woolsey took the precaution to send out a scout boat in charge of Lieut. Pierce, that he might have warning of the approach of the British. Before daybreak the next morning (29th) Pierce sighted the enemy and at once returned to Woolsey with the news, whereupon the latter quickly put in to the mouth of Sandy creek and run about two miles up the stream. Messengers were at once sent to Ellis village, Sackets Harbor, Adams and elsewhere, whence help might be expected. At nine o'clock Capt. Harris with a squadron of dragoons, and Capt. Melvin with a company of light artillery and two six pounders. arrived at the creek unknown to the British, and were so arranged and disposed as to completely surprise an attacking party. About the same time the Adams and Ellisburgh companies arrived, and made a formidable defensive force.

In the meantime the enemy with three gunboats, three cutters and one gig entered the creek and at once began a cannonade in the direction of Woolsey's boats, with the evident intention to frighten away the Indian allies of his force. Captain Popham, the British commander, made a landing and attempted to work his men up the creek by land, but failing made a prisoner of one of Christopher Edmunds' family and compelled him to pilot the boats up the stream. At nine o'clock Popham landed his men on the south shore of the branch, but running afoul of the marshes there, soon crossed to the north side and formed a line of battle under Midshipman Hoare. The men then advanced into Appling's ambush, and at the word fire 19 sturdy Britons fell dead,' and 50 others were wounded. Then followed the charge upon the disheartened enemy with such vigor that no resistance was offered and of all the attacking party not one escaped to tell of the defeat to the British commander at Kingston. Among the prisoners were 27 marines, 106 sailors and 11 officers. The wounded were taken to the neighboring houses and cared for as well as possible, and the McKee family gave up their dwelling for hospital purposes, and moved to the "Fuller place."

According to the recollection of Harriet McKee Ward, the British prisoners were quartered at her father's house several weeks, during which time she, then a child, learned many incidents of the battle which in later years furnished a desirable addition to the published accounts of the period. N. W. Hubbard's recollections of the occasion are also interesting. After the battle he helped lay thirteen dead Britons on the grass, side by side, also helped to care for sixty-four wounded and guard 234 prisoners taken. He, with others then in service, marched back to the harbor after the battle, laid on their arms that night, and returned to Sandy creek the next day. Col. Clark Allen's men guarded the supply of stores, and at least two weeks passed before the last load was removed overland to the harbor. Teams and wagons were hired for this work, and all butt the famous cable, weighing about five tons, was thus removed. The men were clamorous for their discharge, as the spring work at home needed attention, but the cable must be guarded until safely delivered at the harbor. The officers of Colonel Allen's command held a meeting and proposed carrying the great cable overland by hand, and that none should be exempt from the work save Colonel Allen himself. The men agreed, and took up the cable about noon, and at night reached Roberts corners. During the night about one-third of the men deserted, but the remainder stuck loyally to the task, and on the next day reached the harbor with their burden uninjured, but themselves seriously bruised and battered from the long march. In many cases at least a week passed before the men could use their arms. When they arrived at the harbor they numbered just 100, and each man received $2 from Com. Chauncey. Among the officers who assisted in carrying the cable Mr. Hubbard remembers Maj. Arnold Earl, Captains Gad Ackley, Brooks Harrington, Daniel Ellis, Oliver Scott, Lieuts. Charles Hollister and Grout Hosington, and also Capt. Jacob Wood, an old revolutionary patriot. M. W. Gilbert, of this town at the time, superintended the removal of the supplies from the battlefield to the harbor.

The collection of reminiscences of Sandy creek made by Nat Frame also affords interesting reading matter, but does not add materially to what has already been stated, except that Capt. Gad Ackley was in command of the Ellisburgh company of militia both in the battle and in afterward guarding and removing the property.

Aceording to the recollections of Harley G. Otis, his father, John Otis, helped carry the "hawser of the big ship" to the harbor, and was also directed to take nine men in a boat and row out into the lake to watch the movements of the British gunboats. They fired on his boat upon which he returned to the creek. He also remembers the arrival of a company of riflemen from Adams, who were placed in the ambush and ordered to remain quiet until the signal to fire, which was given by Major Appling firing his own pistol. John Otis and Major Appling stood behind a large elm tree. Harley Otis is also authority for the statement that the British threw overboard from one of their boats a brass cannon, which he says is still in the creek. Many of the dead and wounded were taken to John Otis' house, and fifteen of the dead British were buried in one grave not far from the dwelling. In this vicinity many of the tree-tops were shot away by the balls and cannister from the cannon. Among the incidents of the occasion, Mr. Otis remembers that Charles Hollister ran his horse to Adams to call out the militia; also that Gad Ackley, Loomis Adams, Samuel McNitt, Robert Ellis, Chester McBain and others were conspicuous figures at the battle.

With the close of the war and its stirring events, both general and local, the period passed into history, and the farmer returned to his plow, the mechanic to his workshop and the tradesnian to his store. From this time on the history of Ellisburgh has been uneventful and nothing has occurred to mar the current of its progress and development. The town has been almost without serious accident except those which occurred on the lake off Sandy creek, where has been the scene of many wrecks. This has always been regarded as a dangerous locality, and several years previous to 1814 there was built just south of the mouth of the creek a structure which served as a lighthouse and as a place of refuge for shipwrecked sailors, The tender of the house kept a sort of hotel for fishing parties. At the time of the battle of Sandy creek the house is said to have been occupied by John Tull and wife, the former of whom went up the creek with the Americans, but the good wife remained, and when the British came and ordered her to cook some chickens and have them ready on their return, she retorted that they "might get all they wanted of something else than chickens up the creek."'

The life saving station at the mouth of Sandy creek was established in 1876, and is now under charge of Capt. Wm. Fish and a complete crew of men. According to Capt. Wm. Jenkins, previous to the establishment of the regular station 80 boats and vessels were driven into the Mexico bay region, and of this number one-half were total wrecks, while the fatalities aggregated 80 lives lost. Since the station was established the only three total wrecks have been that of the Cortez, the Ariadne and the Hartford, with a total of seven lives lost.

Returning from this brief digression, let us note the growth of the town as indicated by census statistics. As has been stated, in 1807 the qualified voters numbered 96 persons, and at the first census enumeration in 1810 the inhabitants numbered 1,725. Since that time the changes have been as follows; In 1814, 2,325; 1820, 3,531; 1825,4,733; 1830, 5,292; 1835, 5,029; 1840,5,349; 1845, 5,531; 1850, 5,522; 1855, 5,339; 1860, 5,614; 1865, 5,286; 1870, 4,822; 1875, 4,819; 1880, 4,810; 1890, 4,145; 1892,4,223.

From this it may seem that Ellisburgh is one of the largest towns in the county. The statement may also be made, without danger of serious criticism, that it is one of the best, most productive and richest regions in all the Black river country. For more than three-quarters of a century the town has been noted for its agricultural productions, and in the same time its people have become noted for thrift, enterprise and public-spiritedness. Were the contrary true the town never could have attained the position of prominence it has so long enjoyed and so easily maintained. Nature has been a factor in reaching this condition as the lands in general are fertile and easily cultivated.' In localities the surface is quite uneven, yet this makes these areas susceptible of early spring cultivation. As is seen in the preceding paragraph, the greatest population was attained in 1860, the number then being 5,614, while subsequent years have witnessed a decrease of about 400 inhabitants.

Outside of the villages, one of which has gained some prominence as a manufacturing center, the chief pursuit is farming, although breeding fine cattle, sheep and swine for the market, and also for domestic use, has been carried on to a considerable extent. The persons most actively engaged in this direction were James and Hugh Brodie, the founders of the industry, and also Messrs. Hungerford, James F. Converse, Samuel Campbell, Wm. H. Ellsworth, Marlin Wood and perhaps a few others of less note.

Dairying has been an established pursuit dating from the earliest settlement, but only within the last forty years has the industry been carried on to any considerable extent. The Mannsville cheese factory was one of the first in the town, and was started in 1863 by Shepard & Grenell. It soon afterward passed into the hands of B. L. Stone, and is still owned by him. The Ellis village factory was built in 1869 by James Rogers, and has since been in successful operation, being one of the large factories of the county. The present owners are Salisbury & Peach. The Overton factory, at Belleville, was started more than twenty years ago, and for the last ten years at least has been regarded as one of the very best in the region. Among the other cheese making industries of the town may be mentioned the Graves factory, at Wardwell Settlement; the Silver Spring factory, owned by C. J. Curtis; the A. J. Smith factory, in the Goodenough neighborhood, and perhaps others of less prominence in remote parts of the town, but all of which have contributed to building up a substantial condition of prosperity among the farming classes.

Villages and Hamlets.- Unlike the majority of large towns in this county Ellisburgh has no single established trading center. In the early history of the town there were selected several convenient and pleasantly situated localities and in each pf them a store was opened and generally saw and grist mills to supply the wants of the people of the vicinity. As years passed these centers grew in size and importance, a number of industries and institutions were established and eventually three of them attained the dignity of the corporate character. Mentioned in the order of importance these villages are Ellisburgh, Belleville and Mannsville, each of which is incorporated, and Pierrepont Manor, Woodville, Wardwell Settlement and Rural Hill. Of each of these a brief special mention is appropriate.

Ellisburgh.- Among the inhabitants of the town this place has always been known as Ellis village, and since the incorporation was effected the townsfolk always refer to it as "the village." The pioneer and founder of a settlement at this place was Lyman Ellis, in whose honor both town and village were named. The first mills built by the pioneer were below the village site, but after the second destruction of the buildings, in 1799, Mr. Ellis rebuilt on the present site of the village, where in the course of a few years a considerable settlement was built up. The new mills, however, were burned in 1813, and being uninsured the loss seriously crippled their owner. Notwithstanding his early business misfortunes Lyman Ellis is remembered as a generous and enterprising developer. He was chosen one of the assistant judges of the county, hence was commonly called "Judge" Ellis. He gave an acre of land for cemetery purposes, and also the site whereon the first school house was built in 1805. A post office was established here about the same time and he was the postmaster. This worthy pioneer and founder lived in the village until his death, March 13, 1847. Another of his enterprises was the oil mill, in which Wm. McCune and Joseph Bullock were also interested. This mill was built about 1818.

In 1810 the village contained a saw and grist mill, a fulling mill, distillery, a school house and about fifteen dwellings. The erection of the stone grist mill was begun by Peter Robinson about 1826, but the property soon passed into the hands of Samuel Cook. The stone for the mill were quarried by Benjamin F. Wilds, who also built the stone dam across the creek. The present dam was built about 1854 by George and Henry Millard. Among the later owners of the mill and water privilege have been Henry Millard, Martin & Hyde, L. P. Gillette, Hopkinson & Dennison and A. P. Dennison. One of the earliest merchants was Noah M. Green, who was in trade previous to 1820, Later storekeepers were John Shaw, Peter Robinson, Theodore Dickinson, Newton Mann, Daniel H. Fiske, B. D. Sherwood, James and William T. Searles, George M. Hopkinson, Franklin Waite, Theron Holley, jr,, Edward Dennison, H. M. Wilds, and perhaps others whose names are forgotten.

A hotel (the Central house, as afterward known), was opened as early as 1812, and among its early landlords were Ezra Stearns, Joseph Bullock, W. T. Fiske, Franklin Waite, Thomas Davis, Mr. Pattridge and others. The Cottage hotel was of later erection, and subsequently be-. came known as the Empire hotel. This and the Town Hall house comprise the present hotels of the village. About 1819 a distillery was built by Andrew Scott and Seneca R. Soles. Liberty Bates and Isaac Burr built another in 1824. Samuel Cook followed with still another in later years, the building being afterward turned into a malt house by Michael Tining. Gad Ackley was an early proprietor of a potash works. Thomas Crandall started a tannery about 1825, and was followed by Hiram Morley. A furnace was built by John Hildreth about 1830. Later owners were Simeon B. Griffin, N. Palmer, William B. Whitney and Loren B. Palmer. The business was discontinued about 1870. Benjamin Bemis started a carding machine soon after 1825, but his building was afterward changed into a chair factory and was for a time run by Samuel and C. C. Comee.

One of the most permanent industries of the village, and that which has resulted in greater benefit to the people than perhaps any other, was the edged tool shop started by Amos Hudson in or soon after 1820, on the site of the old Ellis oil mill on Bear creek, on the upper part of the village site. Amos Hudson died in 1830, and in 1833 his son, Lucien F. Hudson, took the old shop and began the manufacture of agricultural implements. Mr. Hudson is still an active man, and, although now retired from business, he goes to the works almost every day to observe the operations of his sons. The Bear creek property is still in the family, and is run for the manufacture of agricultural implements. The proprietors are Hudson Bros. & Co.

Soon after 1825 Andrew Scott and Thomas Davis built a grist mill just above the village, on what is now called the upper dam on Sandy creek. Later on Turner & Maltby changed the plant into a plaster mill, and were succeeded by Franklin Waite. B. F. Wilds afterward bought the property, but in 1870 sold to George S. Hudson, who established the furniture manufacturing business now carried on by the firm of George S. Hudson & Son.

The present mercantile interests comprise the extensive seed house of W. A. Dennison (established several years ago by a Mr. Brown); the Monitor grist mill, also cider mill, of Arthur Lee; the general stores of Adele Albro, H. M. Wilds, Bushnell & Spink and A. 0. Davis; the Salisbury & Peach cheese factory; F. B. Bonner's drug store; Geo. H. Bettinger's meat market; C. E. Brooks' grocery store; L. B. Chamberlain's hardware store; A. P. Dennison's feed mill, and the small shops incident to all rural villages.

This is substantially and briefly the business history of the village, and while in many places similarly situated recent years have witnessed a marked decline in mercantile and manufacturing interests, it is doubtful if Ellisburgh has suffered seriously in this respect, and it is also doubtful if business interests in general in the village have been greater or more prosperous than at the present time. At all events in 1895 the people realized that comfort, convenience and the public welfare required incorporation, hence the necessary steps to that end were taken. The papers were recorded and the incorporation became a fact October 23, 1895. The area of the village tract is 640 acres: its population is 351 inhabitants.

The institutions comprise the district school and the Methodist Episcopal, Protestant Episcopal and Universalist churches. As is elsewhere stated, the first school house in the settlement was built in 1805. Since that time a good school has always been maintained here. It is now a two-room school, employing two teachers. The building was erected in 1876 or 1877.

The first church in the settlement was Congregational, and was organized by Daniel M. Dixon and Oliver Leavitt, January 1, 1817, with six members. The first pastor, Rev. Joshua A. Clayton, was installed November 9, 1826. The first trustees of the legally formed society (Nov. 11, 1823), were Amos Hudson, Hiram Taylor, Daniel Wardwell, John Otis, William T. Fiske and William Cole. A house of worship was erected in 1824, but was torn down in 1843. The next year the society was dissolved.

The Universalist church was organized August 26, 1821, with nineteen members, among whom Isaac Mendell, Silas Emerson, John Clark and Rev, Cornelius Parsons were the leading spirits. The meeting house of the society was built in 1843, and cost $1,500. The church has ever since maintained its organization, although the membership is small and the society frequently without a pastor.

The Methodist Episcopal church was organized March 5, 1832, and has ever since maintained a prosperous existence. The meeting house was built in 1833, on the site of John Rury's former residence. A second and larger edifice was erected in 1849. The first parsonage was built in 1836, and the second in 1877. The present membership is 44, with 11 probationers. Pastor, Rev. C. J. Middleton.

Christ church, Protestant Episcopal, of Ellisburgh, was organized Sept. 3, 1879, with ten communicants. The church edifice was erected the same year, and cost about $2,500. The church now has twelve communicants, and is under the rectorship of Rev. A. J. Brockway.

Belleville.- This pretty little village of not quite 400 inhabitants is situated in the northern part of the town, on the north branch of Sandy creek, in what is perhaps one of the most productive agricultural districts of the county. From the very earliest history of the town this has been known as a desirable region for farming pursuits, and a quiet and pleasant place of residence. The inhabitants have ever been noted for thrift, and peace and good order have prevailed throughout the community. Here, too, settled some of the most substantial pio. neers of the town, among whom may be recalled the names of Bradley and Joshua Freeman, Giles Hall, Metcalf Lee, Martin Barney, James Benjamin, Jedediah McCumber, Elder Edmund Littlefield and others. The settlement ripened into a hamlet, and soon after the war of 1812 a public meeting was assembled to decide upon a name for the place which should be more appropriate and possess a little more dignity than Hall's Mills, by which it had previously been known. Giles Hall had come here in 1806 and purchased from Jedediah McCumber a mill privilege on the creek. He built a saw and grist mill, a blacksmith and wagon shop and a trip hammer, and was one of the prominent men of his time. But the people, headed by merchant Calvin Clark, sought another name, and the committee chosen at the meeting referred to selected "Belleville," after a place of the same name in Canada.

Among the other early interests of the village were Samuel Boyden's tannery, John Harris' store and hotel, Calvin Clark's and Laban Brown's stores, and Norman Barney's cabinet shop, although there appears no present means to determine the beginning or ending of any of them. Sometime previous to 1820 Abraham Miller and Rufus Mather built a chair factory near the mill. Cotton Kimball succeeded to the grist mill, followed by Dr. Elton Hanchett, but the name of Mather's mill was always retained. Other older interests of the same locality were Harvey Dwight's cloth-dressing mill, Luther Mather's carding machine, and still later Samuel Northup's carding and cloth-dressing works, the latter afterward passing into the hands of H. H. Harris (about its last proprietor).

Still other local interests which settlers recall were the Central house, built by Matterson Freeman, the building afterward being burned. I. L. Dillon built the hotel named for him in 1873, on the site of the old house. From these primitive beginnings the settlement grew into a hamlet and the latter at length developed into a corporate village. It also enjoys the pleasant distinction of being one of the most aristocratic, cultured and wealthy inland villages in northern New York. In the years during which this growth was taking place there were many mercantile interests, but none of the sons of pioneers can accurately recall the names of all the proprietors. However, among the factors in hamlet history, in addition to those already mentioned, may be recalled the names of Philemon and John Stacey (both prominent builders), Lebbeus Harris, John and Demas Thomas, Samuel Brown and a host of others, all of whom are now dead while the Sons and daughters of many of them have removed to other localities.

The present merchants of the village are Keyes & Dubois, Kelsey Bros., Chapman & Doane, general stores; Bradley Barney, notions and jewelry; F. E. Wright, harnesses; W. B. Wright, notions and groceries; S. Church, groceries and drugs; L. J. Wait, hardware; Williams & Hart, grocers and bakers; J. W. Overton & Sons, flour and feed; Scott & Weldon, groceries and meats; Charles Dunham, meats; V. R. Blanden, dentist; Mrs. H. G. Wairath and Mrs. B. Dickinson, milliners; M. L. Foreman, proprietor Belleville hotel. The physicians are Dr. E. A. Chapman and Dr. S. W. Frame. The legal profession in the village and town has been well and honorably represented by Mills A. Hackley and E. B. Hawes & Son.

Incorporation.- Notwithstanding the many changes of swiftly passing years, the little village continued to grow, and at length the people felt the need of an order of incorporation that certain local interests might have necessary protection without taxing the town therefor. The Sackets Harbor and Ellisburgh Railroad was opened to traffic in 1853, its line passing through the village. In the meantime the academy had become an institution of great importance in the county and many improvements not otherwise obtainable could be secured through incorporation. The order was granted in the early part of May, 1860, and on the 29th the first village officers were elected as follows: D'Alton Dwight, Alexander Dickinson, Daniel Hall, Abner M. Durfee and Calvin Littlefield, trustees; Arthur J. Brown, clerk; Wm. R. Pennell, Collins F. Armsbury and Henry F. Overton, assessors; James E. Green, treasurer; Cyrus N. Rowe, collector; F. W. Stevens, poundmaster.

During the nearly forty years of corporate existence it is doubtful if there has been any substantial growth in population and commercial importance in Belleville, for during this period nearly all the old manufacturing interests have passed away,' and a refined, pleasant, healthful municipality takes the place of the former village. Indeed, the change is not undesirable, for, with surrounding influences and with its established institutions, Belleville is one of the most desirable residence villages in Jefferson county. It is five miles distant from the railroad station (Adams or Pierrepont Manor, the Sacketts Harbor and Ellisburgh Railroad having been abandoned in 1862). The present manufactures comprise the Waich grist mill, the Jason Ray & Son saw mill, Carpenter's furniture shop and the Overton butter and cheese factory. The woolen mills, to which reference has been made, have been in existence nearly sixty years and are regarded as a village industry, although at the present time they are not in operation.

The Union academy at Belleville is one of the institutions in which the people of the village and the town feel the greatest pride. Indeed, among the one hundred and twenty-eight academic institutions in the state, Union academy ranks eighth in standing and efficiency. The institution had its inception in the work begun in 1824, when Rev. Joshua Bradley, a Baptist clergyman, organized the Union literary society at Belleville, and also opened an advanced school in the upper part of John R. Hayes' dwelling near the Mather mill. Elder Bradley soon afterward advanced the manual labor plan of school maintenance, and his theories and arguments cariied such weight, that the people became deeply interested in the subject, and subscribed to stock in a proposed corporation to secure the erection of a building on a six acre lot generously given for the purpose by Giles Hall. On April 13, 1826, the "Union Literary Society" was incorporated by Jotham Bigelow, Orin Howard, James W. Kennedy, John Hagadorn, Amos Heald, Peter N. Cushman, Wesson Thomas, Pardon Earl, Samuel S. Hawes, Edward Boomer, Sidney Houghton, Benjamin Barney, Samuel Boyden, Ebenezer Webster, Israel Kelley, jr., Jesse Hubbard, Hiram Taylor, Henry Green, Rufus Hatch, Charles B. Pond, Calvin Clark, John Barney, 1st, Samuel Pierce and Godfrey Barney, who were authorized to erect buildings and maintain a higher academic school, but that the annual income from their investments should not exceed $5,000. The school was at once established agreeable to the spirit of the act, and occupied rooms in the stone church in the village until the completion of the stone school house, which was erected in 1828 and formally dedicated January 1, 1829.

On January 5, 1830, the institution was incorporated by the state regents and received under their visitation and regulations. The first principal was Charles Avery, whose service began in 1829 From that to the present time Union academy (the name was changed in 1861) has been one of the noted educational institutions of the county and state, although twice during its history the corporation was on the point of dissolution. The manual labor plan did not work to the entire satisfaction of the trustees, but did not in any manner militate against the standing of the school. It was abandoned after about two years of operation. In the fall of 1837 the school was closed through the prosecution of an action to foreclose mortgage against the property, but the trustees, with the assistance of Rev. Jedediah Burchard, raised a sum of money sufficient to pay the indebtedness. In 1840 the school was reopened with a generous attendance, the number of pupils being greatly increased in 1841 by receiving those of Rev. J. G. King's "Belleville Methodist and Classical school" which had been opened when the academy closed. The second occasion of threatened dissolution came with the outbreak of the war of 1861-65, when several of the teachers and a large number of pupils enlisted and entered the service, but through perseverance and energy the classes were maintained throughout the period. Soon after the return of peace the subject of endowment was suggested, with final result in an invested fund of $35,000. There are four endowed scholarships; the Frederick Williams, $3,000; the Shepardson, $2,000; the Gaylord memorial fund, which was started in 1893; and the J. J. Mather scholarship of $500, established in 1894.

The academy has a present attendance of about 100 pupils, and is in all respects in a healthful condition. During the period of its history, the principals, in succession, have been as follows:

Charles Avery (1829-31), George W. Eaton, La Rue Perine Thompson, Joseph Mullin (afterward Judge Mullin), Hiram H. Barney, Lyman Boomer (1836), Truman C. Hill (1837), Rev. Geo. I. King (1840-43), Richard Ellis, Orasmus Cole, Calvin Littiefield (1845-47), G. S. Ramsey (1847). Richard Ellis (1848), John P. Houghton (1850), J. Dunbar Houghton (1857-64), Rev. Benjamen D. Gifford (1864), Rev. Buel A. Smith (1865), E. H. Hillier, R. L. Thatcher (1868). W. W. Grant (1869-73), Henry Carver (1874), George F. Sawyer (1875-78), Uri C. Joslin (1881-84), Henry A. Gaylord (1884-92). Charles J. Galpin (1892-98).

The present board of trustees comprises Dr. E. A. Chapman, president; N. C. Houghton, treasurer; V. R. Blanden, secretary; and George Bigelow, George E. Bull, J. H. Carpenter, W. B. Doane, F. C. Overton, J. H. Eastman, M. M. Fillmore, S. W. Frame, J. E. Green, W. H. Greene, R. B. Heald, D. M. Kelsey, A. S. Thompson, C. L. Lee, C. B. Kennedy, C. Littlefield, J. J. Mather, William Mather, Duane Ormsby, C. M. Overton, J. W. Overton, Henry Powell, A. A. Scott, H. P. Stacey, M. D. Swan, Frederick Williams and George M. Wood. The trustees of the endowment fund are Frederick Williams, N. C. Houghton and William Mather.

Rising Light lodge No. 637, F. & A. M., was instituted February 20, 1867, and has since been one of the permanent and useful institutions of the village. The present members number about 100. The past masters have been Wm. Jenkins, Luke Fulton, D. C. Hubbard, H. H. Williams, Lester Muzzy, S. W. Frame, E. A; Chapman, A. E. Wood, James F. Leonard, A. A. Scott, E. A. Chapman.

Collins lodge No. 168, I. O. O. F., was instituted February 4, 1852, and for a period of more than forty years enjoyed a healthful existence, but during recent years interest appears to have abated and meetings are infrequently held.

The Baptist church and society of Belleville was the pioneer religious organization of the town and dates back to the early years of the century, when Elders Colwell and Littlefield assembled the settlers for divine worship and organized an informal society. Their plan, however, was unsatisfactory to many of the worshipers. After Elder Littlefield's death Joshua Freeman and Amos Noyes, with the aid of Deacon Barney and others, presented a new plan of action, and on August 22, 1807, perfected a society organization with eleven members. This society has been in existence to the present time, hence is one of the oldest religious bodies in the county. Occasional preaching was held until 1810, when licenciate Martin E. Cook was called to the pulpit; was subsequently ordained in the ministry; was chosen as pastor and continued with the church 24 years. The church organization was perfected Dec. 4, 1821, with Matthew Green, Benjamin and John Barney (2d) as trustees. A union meeting house was built in 1819, but through some imperfect understanding litigation soon followed and created a disturbed feeling in the locality. The building was burned in March, 1829. Two years later the present church edifice was erected. It is a comfortable structure and will seat about 400 persons. The present membership is 168. The pastor is Rev. W. H. Brooks. The Sunday school has 108 members.

The First Presbyterian society of Ellisburgh was formed August 28, 1820, and Nathan Burden, Isaac Burr, Wm. T. Fiske, Amos Hudson, Liberty Bates and Royal March were the first trustees. In 1830 a reorganization was effected and a house of worship was built at Belleville. On Feb. 11, of this year, the church united with the Watertown presbytery. A new edifice was erected in 1853, but soon afterward the society was dissolved and the building was sold to the Methodist trustees.

The First Methodist Episcopal church and society of Belleville was organized May 5, 1841, and soon afterward erected a meeting house in the Wardwell settlement. The building was subsequently removed to the village and was finally sold to the Catholic trustees. The Methodist members in this church now number 130 persons, with 125 pupils in the Sunday school. The present pastor is Rev. W. M. Holbrook.

St. John's church (Roman Catholic) at Belleville, was organized as a parish in 1875. The church edifice was built during the same year. Services are supplied from Watertown. The parish has about twenty families.

Mannsville.- In the southeastern part of the town, on the upper waters of Skinner creek, is the pleasant little village of Mannsville. Among the incorporated villages of the town it has less population than the others, yet from a business point of view it is the most important center, for, being on the line of the railroad, it is the natural and usual starting point in visiting the country adjoining. Col. Samuel Wardwell was an extensive land owner in this part of the town, and through his influence David I. Andrews was induced to come to the Wardwell settlement about 1800 and act as land agent. Soon after his arrival he built a saw mill on Skinner creek on the site of Mannsville, and later on erected one or two dwelling houses. George Andrews afterward had charge of the mill property, but the first dwelling was converted into a tavern and was kept by Joseph Wood. In 1822 Daniel Wardwell came and took charge of the improvements already begun, In 1823 he began the erection of a cotton factory a little below the village site, and in a few months Major H. Barzilian Mann acquired a half interest in the enterprise. The old factory did a successful business for a few years, but the entire property was destroyed by a fire February 16, 1827, and was never rebuilt.1 In the meantime, the little hamlet had grown to be of considerable importance, and in 1825 was formally named Mannsville in honor of Major Mann and Newton Mann, both of whom were leading factors in its building up. Major Mann died in Wliitesboro in 1830. Dr. J. Preston Mann, at one time a physician of the village, and J. Maxey Mann, (a former merchant here) were sons of Major Mann.

Among prominent figures in early village life were David I. Andrews, Joseph Wood, Daniel Wardwell and Major Mann, all of whom have been mentioned. Wm. Earl, who succeeded to the old hotel, was the son of James Earl, the latter a settler in the town in 1811. Later proprietors of the hotel were David Stearns, Gardner Millard, Joy brothers, Don C. Bishop, Eli James and Charles Gibeau. About 1826 David Goddard started a small tannery in the village, and thus laid the foundation for an industry which survived until a few years ago. The old building was originally a distillery, but Mr. Goddard used it as a tannery until 1847. The next proprietor was Wm. Baldwin, under whom the buildings were burned and then rebuilt. A fire in 1870 destroyed the second building, but they were again replaced and occupied until quite recently. Baldwin & Douglass, J. H. & H. E. Root and Mr. Kellar were among the later proprietors. Joel Brown and James I. Steele were among the earlier merchants, but just when they began operations here is uncertain. Later business men were Dexter Wilder, Melvin J. Earl?, Wm. West, John Hughes and others. In 1825, when the post.office was established, Mannsville contained a saw mill, a hotel, a plank school house and three dwellings, but in 1851, when the railroad was completed and opened, the business interests increased rapidly and the hamlet at once gained a position of prominence in this part of the county. Its population was about 300 in 1855, and the number increased about 100 during the next twenty years. In 1863 or '64 J. D. Finster built a grist mill, the same now being owned by Fred Kellar. Finster & Woodward built a planing and saw mill in 1870. It is now owned by Orasmus Woodward. With these interests and those which had survived from still earlier years, it became necessary that the village be provided with some means of government and protection better than that furnished by the town at large.

On May 16, 1879, the question of incorporation was submitted to the inhabitants of the proposed district, and was carried by a vote of 72 for and 37 against the proposition. The proceedings were held under the direction of supervisor I. P. WodelI and town clerk 0. Williams. The area of the village was 604.34 acres. The final incorporation papers were in the county clerk's office May 22, 1879, and thereupon Mannsyule became a regularly incorporated village. At that time the local population was a little more than 400, but during the last 20 years the number has decreased to 365. The public properties consist of the district school, the primitive fire department (a generous supply of buckets, hooks and ladders; Dr. Potter, chief engineer); and four churches.

On July 29, 1885, much of the business portion of the village was destroyed by a disastrous fire. Among the buildings burned were the large three-story brick hotel, the Disciples church and three dwellings. With commendable promptness, many of the burned structures were at once replaced with others equally substantial, and a new Mannsville succeeded the older village. Although the village has not attracted any special attention as a manufacturing center, it is nevertheless a flourishing little municipality in one of the richest agricultural districts of the county, and has mercantile houses and interests equal to many villages of double its population. Among the present interests may be mentioned the saw mills owned by Fred Kellar and Fred Williams, the Woodward planing mill, the Woodwârd grist and feed mill, the E. L. Stone cheese factory, and merchants, Sanders & Lewis (gen. store), Bettinger & Parker (groc. and prov.), Duane E. Hurd and W. H. Fox & Son (drugs), Huggins & Beebe and John Hughes (hardware), Albert Jackson (groc. and bakery), W. H. Osborn (furniture and undertaking), Hughes Bros. (meats), H. S. Clark (flour and feed), Eugene Wheeler (gen. store), and still others of less note. The public houses are Hotel Gibeau (C. S. Gibeau, prop.), and the Mannsville house (Ed Matthewson and Bert Macumber, props.). The Mannsville Press, a weekly newspaper, was established in 1894 by C. J. Barless, and was continued a little less than one year.

Mannsville Lodge, No, 175, I. 0. 0. F., was organized in 1853, and is therefore among the old Odd Fellow bodies of the county. It has always maintained a healthful existence and now numbers sixty-five members.

A good district school has been maintained in the village almost from the time the first settlement was begun. The present school contains three departments, primary, intermediate and grammar, and is a successful and well attended institution.

The Baptist church of Mannsville was organized in 1831 by a union of former members of the Lorraine society with those of the Second Baptist church of Ellisburgh, the latter having been formed in the western part of the town as early as 1817. In 1833 the new society joined with the Congregationalists and erected a meeting house at Mannsville village, but in 1854 the Baptists became sole owners of the structure. This church has always maintained a healthful and growing existence and is now one of the strongest religious bodies in the town. The present membership numbers 168 persons. The society is temporarily without a pastor.

The Second Congregational church and society of Ellisburgh was organized Aug. 18, 1833, with Roswell Keeney, Benj. P. Grennell and David Wardwell, trustees, and at once joined with the Baptist society in building a house of worship, as has been stated. Their interest in the building was afterward sold, and in 1856 the society erected a frame edifice at a cost ef $3,000. This church has more than 300 menibers, and is present under the pastorate of Rev. John Sharp.

The Methodist Episcopal church at Mannsville was organized be tween the years 1846 and 1850, but the absence of reliable data renders the exact date uncertain. However, Methodist preaching was held in this part of the town as early as 1830, and for many years prior to the organization Mannsville was part of a circuit for Methodist missionary visitation. The large edifice was built in 1859, and from their earliest history the church and society have grown in strength and influence. The present members number 136 persons. The pastor is Rev. W. J. Hancock.

The Seventh Day Advent church at Mannsville was organized in 1851, about the time the first societies of the denomination were formed. The ministers of the church are evangelists, who visit the society from time to time.

The Church of Christ (Disciples) at Mannsville was organized in 1871, but the history of the denomination in the town far antedates that time, The local society at the above time had about 75 members, who, in 1872, built a neat meeting house. The building was burned in 1885, and soon afterward the society discontinued its meetings.

Pierreponi Manor is a pretty little hamlet on the line of the railroad from Syracuse to Watertown (R. W. & O.), and is perhaps the largest unincorporated village in the town. Among the first settlers in this locality were Joseph Allen and Pardon and Arnold Earl, who in March, 1805, came from Galway, Saratoga county, and made an improvement on the present village site. They were followed by William Case, William Taber, William Lewis and two or three families surnamed Simmons. Joseph Allen was regarded as the pioneer of the locality, and was, perhaps, its leading man. His first house was of logs, but in the course of a few years he built a frame addition to it and opened a public house in connection with his regular employment as blacksmith. About 1818 Mr. Allen built a hotel, which is still standing. He kept it until 1823 and was succeeded by Joel Brown. Mr. Allen died Sept. 13, 1838. The present proprietor is Samuel Anderson. About 1807 Pardon Earl became agent for the sale of land in this locality, and was a man of extensive business operations. He died in 1844. In 1822 the direction and management of the Pierrepont lands were assumed by William C. Pierrepont, who then opened a land office. About 1826 he built the spacious mansion which has ever been known as the "Manor house." From that time to the end of his life (Dec. 20, 1885) Mr. Pierrepont was a resident of the village. It was his presence, his work and his influence that built up the little village about which has ever been an air of comfcrt and quiet dignity that places it in contrast with the other hamlets of the county. The post-office under the name of Pierrepont Manor was established about 1840. Among the early factories of the place were Joel Brown's potashery and Thomas Loomis' tannery, the latter of which was started about 1835. However, Pierrepont Manor has never attracted any considerable attention as a business or manufacturing center, nor did its proprietor make any effort whatever in that direction. Still, as the lands were sold and inhabitants became more numerous, stores and hotels were opened for their accommodation. Mr. Pierrepont built the "corner store" soon after coming to the place, and about 1848 erected the saw and grist mills, these soon becoming the leading industries. The grist mill was subsequently converted into a store buildIng. The more recent McConnell saw mill is not now in operation. Two stores and several other buildings were burned June 16, 1887. The only present industries, except two or three stores, are the Caulkins cheese factory, and the large seed house owned by William H. Grenell. The Exchange hotel is under the proprietorship of M. C. Finney.

Zion church (Protestant Episcopal) of Pierrepont Manor, was founded, established and organized chiefly through the liberality of William C. Pierrepont, who in 1835 caused a church edifice to be erected. On January 4, 1836, an organization was perfected. William C. Pierrepont and Thomas Marsh being chosen wardens, and Harvey Allen, Pardon Earl, Thomas E. Williams, Robert Myrick and John Allen vestrymen. The church and its parish have ever since been liberally sustained through the munificence of Mr. Pierrepont. The present communicants number fifty-six persons. The rector is the Rev. Anson J. Brockway; wardens, Joseph A. Bemis and W. Pierrepont White. The parish house was built during the summer of 1856. The Free church and society of Pierrepont Manor effected its organization February 26, 1855, under the leadership of Rev. Stephen H. Taft, of Christian Union fellowship. The first trustees were Loren Bushnell, Albert G. Earl, Hiram Allen, Benjamin Randall, Samuel Bernis, Franklin Waite and William Williams. The house of worship was erected in 1855 and has remained standing to the present time, although the society is now extinct. The services now held in the building are under Baptist or Methodist direction, many members of those societies living in the vicinity.

Woodville is a small village on the north branch of Sandy Creek, about three miles from its mouth, and about two and one-half miles from Ellisburgh village. The locality was originally called Wood's settlement, from the fact that Ebenezer, Ephraim and Jacob Wood, sons of Nathaniel Wood, a Vermonter, made an improvement in this part of the town in the spring of 1804. Nathaniel Wood, in company with Oramel Brewster, Simeon Titus, Ephraim Wood, jr., and Hezekiah Leffingwell, came to explore the region in 1803, and were so well pleased with the land that in May, 1804, the Woods purchased a 754 acre tract, paying therefor $2,294.80. In the same spring the settlement was made, Ephraim Wood leading the way with his daughter and three sons. The father, who was Rev. Nathaniel Wood, and one of the most earnest and devout men among the pioneers of the town, came in June, 1804, and was soon after followed by Obadiah Kingsbury, Oliver Scott and others. In the next year three other members of the Wood family (Nathaniel, jr., Ebenezer and Mosely) and Samuel Truesdale, and the families of each, were added to the little community. In this year these industrious settlers built a small saw mill on the creek, and planted a field of corn on the marsh, which is said to have produced one of the most abundant crops ever grown in the town.

Ebenezer Wood laid the foundation for the village by opening his house as a tavern, and also in starting a store in 1809. Oliver Batchellor came during the previous winter and built a blacksmith shop, and still later put a trip-hammer in operation. He was one of the conspicuous figures of the settlement for many years, and was, withal, a very worthy man. The first regular store (Ebenezer Wood's having been only a small stock of goods) was opened soon after 1812 by Nathan Burnharn, and while the hamlet subsequently enjoyed but little material growth, the public convenience demanded the establishment of a post-office. This was done about 1824 or '5, and Asa Averill was the first postmaster. In 1825 a Baptist society was organized (now extinct), followed in 1836 by a Congregational society, which with the school house now comprise the public buildings of the village. During its history, the local population has never exceeded 200, and such interests as have been maintained are for the convenience of inhabitants of the surrounding agricultural districts. The present storekeepers are N. Wood & Son (successors to Wood Brcs.), and Hollis & Hubbard.

The Baptist society of Woodville was formed, as above stated, January 27, 1825, with Ebenezer Wood, Oliver Scott, Amaziah Fillmore, Pedro Scott, William Ellsworth and Abijah Jenkins as trustees. A small meeting house was erected soon afterward, and regular services were held for many years, but at length a decline followed, causing the virtual dissolution of the society.

The Congregational church and society of Woodville was formed in November and December, 1836, and in 1837 a small brick edifice was built to replace the union meeting house which had been erected a few years before. The first pastor, Rev. Chas. B, Pond, was installed Jan. 28, 1840. The present brick edifice was erected in 1868, and dedicated in August, 1869. The society has maintained a permanent existence and is now in a good condition. The members number 89 persons, while the Sunday school has a total enrollment of 195 pupils. The present minister of the church is Rev. I T. Hart.

Rural Hill is the name of a locality in the northwest part of the town, where Jedediah Hill settled in 1815. The old farm passed to his son Eben, thence to John Hill (brother of Eben) and finally to Amasa Hungerford. He sold to Philip Hungerford and the latter established whatever there was of the early hamlet. He was appointed postmaster in 1849, when the office was established, but previous to that year Edwin Burnham had opened a store. To change the name of the locality Burnham called his establishment "Rural Hill store," and from this the post-office name was taken. In the early history of the town the locality was known as "Buck hill."

Wardwell Settlemant is the name of the vicinity where David I. Andrews located when in 1800 he and David Fox first came to the town to develop the lands of Col. Wardwell. In later years a saw mill was built on the creek, and when the school districts of the town were established, a school was built at the four corners. About 1870 a cheese factory was built on the creek and has ever since been in operation. This with the cheese box factory comprise the industries of the settlement.

Supervisors.- Edward Boomer, 1803; Lyman Ellis, 1804-5; Nathaniel Wood, 1806; Lyman Ellis, 1807; Joseph Allen, 1808-9; Oramel Brewster, 1810; Lyman Ellis, 1811-14; Ebenezer Wood, 1815-16; Lyman Ellis, 1817; Pardon Earl, 1818-20; Ebenezer Wood, 1821; Pardon Earl, 1822-23; Wadsworth Mayhew, 1894-29; Daniel Wardwell, 1830; Jotham Bigelow, 1831-36; Ezra Stearns, 1837; Wm. C. Pierrepont, 1838-1840; Ezra Stearns, 1841-42; Wm. C. Pierrepont, 1843; John Littlefield, 1844; James Jones, 1845; Wm. C. Pierrepont, 1846-47; John Clark, 1848-49; Alvah Bull, 1850: James I. Steele, 1851-52; Alcander Dickinson, 1853-54; Dexter Wilder, 1855; E. B. Hawes, 1856; Andrew J. Barney, 1857; Alcander Dickinson, 1858-59; George M. Hopkinson, 1860-61; Albert G. Earl, 1862; G. M. Hopkinson, 1863; Jno. B. Clark, 1864-66; Albert G. Earl, 1867; Jno. B. Clark, 1868-69; Wm. Baldwin, 1870-73; Jas. E. Green, 1874-75; Isaac P. Wodell, 1870-81; A. S. Thompson, 1882-85; Isaac P. Wodell, 1880-88: James M. Thompson, 1889-90; R. H. Brown, 1891; I. P. Wodell, 1892-93; B. A. Chapman, 1894-99.

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