History of Northampton, NY (part 1 of 2)
From: History of Fulton County
Revised and Edited by: Washington Frothingham
Published by: D. Mason & Co. Syracuse, NY 1892

TOWN OF NORTHAMPTON.

THIS is the extreme northeastern border town of the county. It is bounded on the north by Hamilton county, on the east by Saratoga county, on the south by the town of Broadalbin and on the west by the town of Mayfield. Its length is nearly twice as great as its breadth and according to the latest survey it contains 18,545 1/2 acres. The town was named for the Northampton patent granted to Jacob Mase, John R. Bleecker and others, October 17, 1741. Its surface is made up partly of two extremes, lofty hills and flats, which are often submerged. The eastern, northern and western borders of the town constitute a range of formidable hills, while the beautiful Sacandaga runs swiftly through a valley, almost as level as prairie land, from two to four miles in width, and skirted on three sides by forest covered peaks. This river enters the town on its northern boundary about a mile east of the Mayfield line and runs in a southeasterly direction until within a short distance of the village of Northampton, where it turns gracefully to the east and enters Saratoga county. The Vlaie creek, which empties into the Sacandaga river above Fish House, is formed by the junction of Mayfield and Kennyetto creeks at Summer House Point, and runs through an extensive marsh in the southern part of the town known as the "Sacandaga Vlaie." In addition to these, which are the principal streams, the entire country north of Fish House is well supplied with trout brooks of clear running water. The soil on the hills is not adapted to cultivation, but in some cases has been advantageously used for grazing. Some portions of the valley contain rich alluvium, while the remainder, which is possibly the greater share, is a sandy and gravelly loam. The soil, however, in no portion of the town, could be called highly productive land, and such crops as are raised in the southern and more fertile parts of the county are generally unknown in Northampton. Extensive pine forests at one time covered this whole region, and many tracts of pine and hemlock land are still to be seen, especially on the hills toward the north.

Northampton was set apart from the town of Broadalbin February 1, 1799, and on May 24 of the same year the first town meeting was held. The territory included parts of some patents and also the whole of others, chief of which is the Northampton patent, already mentioned, for which the town was named; also a part of Bergen's purchase, which begins at the northwest corner of the Northampton patent, the warrant for which bears date October 7, 1785. A portion of Norman McLeod's grant of 3,000 acres, dated September 29, 1770, is in this town; also thirty one of the lots originally belonging to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer. The Baptist church at Northville is supposed to stand on lot No. 4 of this patent; a small portion of the Sacandaga patent is also included in the southwest part of this town.

The first settlement in this town was due to Sir William Johnson, who built a fishing house on the Sacandaga river, near the mouth of Vlaie creek in 1762. It is from this structure that the village called Fish House (in the south part of the town) derived it name, although the post office at that place is called Northampton. Sir William undoubtedly became convinced that the section of valley land extending from the Vlaie northwest on both sides of the river was a proper place for permanent settlement. He therefore soon induced Godfrey Shew to come from Johnstown and locate in the vicinity of the Fish House, Shew thus holding distinction as the first settler within the present limits of the town. He was soon followed by John Eikler, Lent and Nicholas Lewis, Robert Martin, Zebulon Alger and the families of Ketchums and Chadwicks, Asahel Parkes, John Trumbull, John Rosevelt, Alexander St. John and John Fay, all of whom settled in the neighborhood of the Fish House, where some of their descendants are now living, and will be mentioned in connection with the detailed history of that village. Many of the pioneers who settled there prior to the Revolution took an active part in the struggle for American Independence. The northern portion of the town was not settled until after the great war for liberty was over. In 1788 Zadoc Sherwood and Samuel Olmstead went up the river from Fish House in a canoe and built rude huts a short distance below the present village of Northville, at what is known as the Old Ford, on lands now owned by A. P. Resseguie. Following close upon them came Daniel Lobdell and John Bryant, and prior to 1800 quite a number of New England families settled on the site of Northville, or within a few miles' distance. Among these were Thomas Foster, who built the first grist mill in the town, Daniel and Timothy Resseguie, John McNeil, Calvin Young, Adam Olmsted, Cornelius Richardson, Sylvanus Sweet, Robert Palmer, John Randall, Eli Sprague, Green Wells, Cornelius Harving, Felix Porter and John Dennison. Other early settlers in the vicinity of Northville were Isaac Penny, Jesse Olmstead, a brother of the first settler, but coming later; also Garret Van Ness, who settled a mile west of the village; Aaron Olmsted, a farmer who located on the west side of the river about a mile south of the railway depot; Eli Stone, Jere Olmsted, Zadoc Bass, Jeremiah Bass, Paul Hammond,Aaron Case, Matthew Edmunds, Joseph Slocum, Caleb Meeker (a blacksmith), Joseph Lewis and Timothy Gifford. Lewis settled on the west side of the river on land now occupied by the railway depot and yards at Northville. Jonathan, Samuel and Timothy Price, three brothers, were early settlers in the northern part of the town, locating on the west side of the river not far from Joseph Lewis. Stephen Betts, Nathan Hull and David Scott also came up the river at an early date.

About three miles south of Northville, in the neighborhood of Denton's Corners, or Osborn's Bridge, a few New Englanders settled shortly before 1800. They were John Esseltyne, John Shoecraft, Elihu Coleman, Joseph Brown, Elisha Foote, Nathaniel Meade, Henry King, Abel Scribner and possibly a few others.

Among the early events was the building of the first school-house on what is now district No. t, at Fish House. It is not definitely known when this house was built, but it stood nearly on the site of the present one at that place. The first log-house in the town, according to tradition, was built near the south end of Fish House Bridge on the north side of the road It was subsequently owned by Andrew McNutt, but has long since passed away. The first brick building was a store built by John Fay in 1809 on the site of the present Osborn house at Northampton village, The first birth in the town was that of Godfrey Shrew, which occurred about two years before the Revolution. The first marriage was that of Alexander St. John and Martha Scribner, about 1798; and the first recorded death, that of Gideon Olmstead.

A portion of the early town records are missing, containing undoubtedly a description of the first roads laid out. From records still preserved, the reader is enabled to form and idea of some of the early highways. The following extracts will be of interest:

"We have laid out a road four Rods wide Beginning on the road nere the hogs back bridge on the line between Nathan Hull and Zadoc Sherwood Continuing on the Same line easterly to intersect the County line road and do require the same to be recorded. Given under our hands and seals this 16th day of Nov"' 1797.

DANIEL BROWNELL, T. Clerk.
ELIJAH SHELDON, Coms of
CALVIN YOUNG, Highways."


On the same day and date these commissioners record the laying out of a road "four rods wide beginning at the road that leads from the Hog's Back and Fish Rock on the line between Richard Dodge and John McNeil, running on said line easterly twenty four chane, thence north thirty three degrees east five chance and forty three links, thence forty-four degrees east eight chance, thence north thirty degrees east to intersect the east road."

The next year the following entry is made: "We have laid out a road Beginning at the bank of Hunter's Creek, opposite Isaac Van Tyle's house, thence on a strait line Northerly six rods east of a certain large Pine tree standing on the north bounds of John McNeil's improvement, standing about Nine rods west of side bank above said McNeil's barn, thence Northerly till said Road forms a Junction with a certain road and lane passing Daniel Lobdell improved land which road we lay out four rods wide and do hereby order the other road to be shut up and order the Town Clerk to record the same. Given under our hands this 14th June 1798.

DANIEL BR0WNELL, T. Clerk.
DANIEL MCDONALD Coms of
JOSEPH LOCUM, Highways."


In April 1805 it was voted at the annual town meeting "that John Porter be exonerated for killing a deer out of season."

In 1809 it was voted "that any man killing or starting a wolf in sd town and killing sd wolf Intitled to ten Dollars." From this and the following it appears that the farmers must have been troubled by wolves and panthers to some extent, as in 1812 it was voted that "ten dollars be paid to any person killing a wolf or panther in the town of Northampton." In 1814 the bounty was reduced to $5. At the same meeting it was voted that "Freeborn Joslin be exonerated from his fine for selling cider, he discharging the costs."

In 1813 the town was divided into thirteen school districts and an entry was made in the town record of the description of each district. Northampton was no exception to the maxim that the poor are always with us, for at the town meeting in 1815 it was voted that $120 be raised for the support of the poor. In 1817 $300 were raised for the same purpose, and the poormaster, together with the supervisor, was instructed to build or hire a house for the use of the town poor.

One of the earliest and most marked public improvements was the building of the Fish House bridge across the Sacandaga in 1818. Prior to that time the river was crossed by canoe and by ford, the old fording place beginning a few rods below where the south end of the bridge now is, and crossing to a short distance above the north end. At that time the little village of Fish House had every prospect of becoming the centre of trade for a rich agricultural and lumbering region and the fording place was much frequented. The spring and fall freshets each year greatly inconvenienced the people who had to cross the river at this point and the inhabitants petitioned the legislature for and received an appropriation of $5,000 for the building of the bridge. To this was added $5oo by local subscription. Daniel Stewart built the bridge, which is still standing, and probably is the best wooden bridge in the state, a marvel indeed in point of strength and age. Every timber in the structure was hewn out of pine logs, some of the pieces being fully two feet square. When it is considered that the bridge is 280 feet in length, it will be seen what a wonderful task this must have been. The Vlaie creek was also crossed by fording, at or near its mouth, a short distance from Fish House. In 1835 the commissioners of highways were authorized to build a "permanent covered bridge across the Fly' creek near the Fish House."

The old bridge or archway across Hunter's Creek at the Hog's Back gave way in July, 1859, and several persons received painful injuries, for which the town reimbursed them at subsequent meetings. The present stone bridge or archway at this place was built in 1859 and $250 was raised that year by the town for this purpose.

The old lattice bridge across the Sacandaga at Northville was built in 1860, at a cost of about $2,500. It was several feet lower than the present structure and was carried away with its piers and abutments on the 2d of March, 1882, by high water and ice. A special meeting of the town board was at once held and action taken toward the construction of a new bridge. The present iron structure was built during the summer of 1882, by the Groton Iron Bridge Company, of Groton, N. Y., and cost, including piers and and abutments, $11,100. The old bridge across the Vlaie creek at Fish House, built in 1835, was destroyed by fire on the night of August 23, 1883, only two days after a meeting had been held to take into consideration the project of building a new one. The present wooden covered bridge at that point was finished during the same fall, the total cost being $883.87.

The Gloversville and Northville railroad, which is a continuation of the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville line, was completed to its present terminus at Northville in 1875. Bonds were issued by the town in 1872 to the amount of $20,000 to insure the construction of this railroad, and about $80,000 was invested in the line as individual subscriptions by residents of the town.

In noting the progress and development of the town as an agricultural district, it may he said that it has never been highly productive of best cereals, the principal crops in this line being rye and barley. When first settled, certain portions of the river and table lands produced good crops of wheat, but as early as 1807 many of the farmers complained that the soil had become impoverished and abandoned the raising of that grain altogether. A large portion of the inhabitants, particularly in the northern portion, are successful lumbermen. The sugar maple grows in great abundance throughout the town and a considerable business is carried on in the production of maple sugar for market. Many of the farmers' wives and daughters are also engaged in making gloves for the manufacturers at Gloversville and Johnstown, It is also essential to note that among the resources of this town gold must be included, although its recovery from the sand in which it is found has not been sufficiently profitable to justify permanent effort. On the Eaton farm, south of Northville, experiments have been carried on with improved machinery for several years, but it is thought the work will soon be discontinued and the refining machinery moved elsewhere.

In educational matters Northampton compares favorably with other towns of corresponding size and wealth. There are at present eleven school districts, with as many houses, numbered as follows: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14, the last numbered district being in the village of Northville. The total number of children attending school in the town for the year ending July 25, 1891, was 444, and the aggregate days' attendance during the school year was 42,879. There were fourteen teachers employed. The total assessed valuation of school property in the town is $10,075, and the assessed valuation of the districts is $289,113. The town's share of public money received from the state in 1891 was $1,708.36.

Many Northampton men have from time to time become prominent in national and state legislation. John Fay, father of Charles Fay, now living at Fish House, was a representative from this district in the Congress of 1820. The following men may also be mentioned as having represented Montgomery, Fulton and Hamilton counties in the state legislature during the years specified: John Fay, 1809 and 1812; Samuel A. Gilbert, 1814; Alexander St. John, 1815 and 1825; Jacob Shew, 1818; Joseph Spier, 1823 and 1829; Henry Cunningham, 1824; Nathaniel Wescot, 1827-28; Jacob Van Arnam, 1832; Clark S. Grinnell, 1834 and 1846; Langdon I. Marvin, 1840; John Patterson, 1824; Darius Moore, 1847; Alfred N. Haner, 1852; William A. Smith, 1853 and 1864; Wesley Gleason, 1854-55; Isaac La Fevre, 1856; Joseph Covell 1866-67; William F. Barker, 1869; L. L. Boyce, 1884; Lewis Brownell, 1888-89.

NORTHVILLE.

The village of Northville, picturesquely situated on the east bank of of the Sacandaga river, about one mile south in a direct line from the Hamilton county boundary, is the largest and most important village in the town of Northampton. Its location is convenient from a commercial point of view, excellent for building purposes, while it is surrounded by scenery noted for its grandeur and beauty. The village covers an almost level area, extending eastward from the river for a distance of nearly a mile, where an abrupt descent is made into the little valley of Hunter's creek. It is not difficult to imagine why the early settlers in this portion of the present town of Northampton selected this as a site for good farms and pleasant homes. Samuel Olmsted was the first settler on the site of the village, being in fact, the first in this locality. He came from Danbury, Conn., and settled here (then a part of Broadalbin) in 1788. He came.up the river from Fish House in a canoe and built a rude shed to serve as a protection from the weather, probably constructing it entirely of logs. This was on what is known as farm lot No. 20, of the Northampton patent. His primitive dwelling place was destroyed by fire one day during his absence and he then built another farther to the east, near Hunter's creek. Later on he built a log house on the site of the one now occupied by Samuel Olmstead, just south of the Resseguie Place on South Main street. The Olmstead who now lives in this house (a portion of which is still standing and is the oldest house in the village) is not a relative of the first settler. Samuel Olmsted raised a family of eight children, and died in January, 1845. His remains were buried in the village cemetery. He always followed agriculture.

Next to Olmsted came Zadoc Sherwood, who married Olmsted's sister and lived in this place until 1817. Another of the early settlers was Daniel Resseguie, of Richfield, Conn , who came here in 1790, and at first settled very near the site of the present railway depot, but shortly afterward moved one mile east of the settlement, where he raised a large family, and died in 1825. Eli Stone was another pioneer, as was also Benjamin Macomber, who afterward went to Lake Pleasant and died there at an advanced age. Garrett Van Ness came in at an early date and located on land about a mile south of the village. Prior to 1800 Thomas Foster settled on a farm on which the south part of the village is located, the land being afterwards purchased by the late Joseph Spier, who owned it for many years. John McNeil and Calvin Young were in the vicinity prior to 1880 and the latter, as a commissioner of the town of Broadalbin, surveyed and in 1797 laid out a road running north and south, which is the present Main street of Northville. Previous to that date the main road was on the hill east of the village, and ran nearly parallel with what is now Main street. It was laid out in 1794. Caleb Lobdell and Daniel Lobdell also settled in the vicinity of what is now Northville at an early day. They were brothers and came with their families from Danbury, Conn. Some of their descendants are still living in this neighborhood. John Dennison was a pioneer, probably from Greenfield, Saratoga county, in which place he had raised a family. Ile died in the year 1804, and his remains were interred in the old burying ground. Abraham Van Arnam, and his brother Jacob were early setttlers. Abraham became a prominent man in the community; he raised a large family, some of whose descendants in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth generations are still living. Constant Potter, Isaac Penny, Stephen Betts, Nathan Hull and Paul Hammond, were all early inhabitants. Nathan Hull settled on what is now the lower end of Main street and had too acres of land. Joseph Lewis came at an early date and located on a farm on the west side of the river, not far from the site of the present railway depot. Joseph Spier was born near the present village of New Lebanon, Columbia county, in this state. He settled at Lake Pleasant in 1800, remaining there seven years. He came down to what is now Northville in January, 1807, and purchased a farm of Caleb Lobdell. He raised a family of seven children, namely, Joseph F., Livia, Elizabeth, Angeline, William, Julia, and Richard. Of these children, two are now living-Joseph who was born in October, 1799, and is consequently in his ninety third year; and Julia, who was born September 24, 1813. She married Dr. D. H. Bullard, and lives in Glens Falls. The father, Joseph Spier, held several official positions in the town of Northampton. He was appointed justice of the peace about 1800 and held the office many years. From 1815 to 1822 he was successively elected supervisor of this town, and in 1822 and 1829 represented, with others, Montgomery county in the state legislature. He died August 27, 1845, and his remains are buried in the village cemetery.

In the early part of 1807 there were only six families living on what is now Main street, which at that time was the sole thoroughfare of the village. The heads of five of these families were Nathan Hull, Samuel Olmsted, Caleb Lobdell, Noble Lobdell, and Abraham Van Arnam.

A road was laid out on the 7th of August, 1794, beginning at the old fording place at the river and running easterly, crossing Main street where the Methodist church now stands; but there was no dwelling on this road for years afterward. There were two log houses standing in 1807, one at the lower end of the street, built by Samuel Olmsted, and the other a few rods north of the site of L. N. Johnson's present store. A grist-mill was running at that time on Hunter's creek, built in the year 1790 by Thomas Foster, who also built a saw-mill, the first in that vicinity. The first store of any consequence was that of Abraham Van Arnam, kept about 1800. It stood just north of the location of the present Northville house on the site of the residence of Albert Van Arnam. In this old building a number of trades were carried on. Van Arnam conducted a tavern there, and also a shoe shop. He manufactured leather in a tannery on Hunter's creek about too rods east of the store and tavern. Van Arnam also established a fulling mill about 1810 which he carried on for several years, the business finally coming into the hands of a man named Brewster, who was succeeded in 1815 by Joseph Slocum. The mill long since passed away.

Caleb Meeker was the first blacksmith in the place and probably began about 1804. In 1807 his shop was situated on the hill east of the village. A grist mill and saw mill a few rods apart were built by Joseph Slocum in 1815, on the site now occupied by the saw and grist-mill of John Willard. Slocum had to go to Albany to get the mill stones, which he brought by wagon as far as Galway, where he was suddenly taken sick and came home and died. His son, Reuben Slocum, afterward brought the stones to their destination and finished the mill, which is still standing.

Dr. Mitchell settled in the village about 1820 and was probably the first local physician.

The Northville House, now standing, was originally built as a private house for James Lobdell, son in law of Abraham Van Arnam, about 1813 or 1814. It afterwards passed into the possession of Jacob Van Arnam and was subsequently converted into a public house, for which purpose it is still used, though several additions have been made at different times.

During the first two decades of the present century, Northville was only a mere hamlet, and had not even been designated by a permanent name, but among its inhabitants were those who possibly foresaw the development of a future village and took no little pains to make the place attractive for homes. Joseph F. Spier, who is still living, remembers the planting of a row of maples on the west side of Main street from a point near his present office to the Baptist church. Many of these stalwart trees are still alive, and from their height and beauty bear evidence of the lapse of years. The little settlement grew slowly, however, and for many years only a few houses were erected. The brick house on the west side of Main street, now occupied by the descendants of Joseph Spier, was built by him in 1819, and was the first Van Arnam. In this old building a number of trades were carried on. Van Arnam conducted a tavern there, and also a shoe shop. He manufactured leather in a tannery on Hunter's creek about 100 rods east of the store and tavern. Van Arnam also established a fulling mill about 1804 which he carried on for several years, the business finally coming into the hands of a man named Brewster, who was succeeded in 1815 by Joseph Slocum. The mill long since passed away.

Caleb Meeker was the first blacksmith in the place and probably began about 1804. In 1807 his shop was situated on the hill east of the village. A grist mill and saw mill a few rods apart were built by Joseph Slocum in 1815, on the site now occupied by the saw and grist mill of John Willard. Slocum had to go to Albany to get the mill stones, which he brought by wagon as far as Galway, where he was suddenly taken sick and came home and died. His son, Reuben Slocum, afterward brought the stones to their destination and finished the mill, which is still standing.

Dr. Mitchell settled in the village about 1820 and was probably the first local physician.

The Northville House, now standing, was originally built as a private house for James Lobdell, son in law of Abraham Van Arnam, about 1813 or 1814. It afterwards passed into the possession of Jacob Van Arnam and was subsequently converted into a public house, for which purpose it is still used, though several additions have been made at different times.

During the first two decades of the present century, Northville was only a mere hamlet, and had not even been designated by a permanent name, but among its inhabitants were those who possibly foresaw the development of a future village and took no little pains to make the place attractive for homes. Joseph F. Spier, who is still living, remembers the planting of a row of maples on the west side of Main street from a point near his present office to the Baptist church. Many of these stalwart trees are still alive, and from their height and beauty bear evidence of the lapse of years. The little settlement grew slowly, however, and for many years only a few houses were erected. The brick house on the west side of Main street, now occupied by the descendants of Joseph Spier, was built by him in 1819, and was the first brick dwelling in the village. The next brick building was a store erected by Joseph F. Spier in 1841. It was sold in 1855 and afterwards removed. This and the store of William F. Barker were the only ones in the place in 1849. Barker's store was located on the east side of Main street, a little north of the store now occupied by L. N. Johnson; it was afterward burned. The only public house at that date was the Northville House.

About that time a contemporary settlement of no small importance had sprung up within a short distance. It was known as "The Dam," and afterwards as "Parkville." A dam was built across the Sacandaga about three quarters of a mile north of the village by Andrew McNutt, about 1828 or 1830. It was constructed of timber, and furnished power for a grist mill on the west and a saw mill on the east side of the river. McNutt was a native of Scotland, coming to America from Edinburgh, probably in the latter part of the eighteenth century. From his prominent native characteristics he became well known throughout the community. Isaac Le Fevre and Isaac Van Valkenburgh bought the dam of McNutt in 1848. At that time it had almost disappeared, and they replaced it with a dam made of poles fastened down with gravel and stone. It was an expensive affair, as the ice and logs coming down with the freshets each year carried away large quantities of poles. They constructed a tannery on the east side of the river, which was known as "The Park Tannery," from which the settlement took its name of Parkville. A store was conducted there, and a school with seventy scholars. At one time it was estimated that as much business was done there as at Northville. John Patterson, now practicing law in Northville, taught school at the Dam as late as 1867. Among his scholars at that time, and who are now living in the village, were Ray Hubbell and his sister, Robertine Hubbell, now the wife of Charles B. Ressegule. The tannery burned in 1867 and was rebuilt by the Le Fevre Brothers, Isaac and Gilbert. All business activity at the Dam had subsided by 1874, at which time the tannery burned the second time, and with it Sheldon Hubbell's saw mill and turning shop. By this time bark had become scarce, the tannery was not rebuilt, and business interests at that point soon disappeared.

The Northville post office was first established in 1824, and at that time was called Sacandaga, a name it held until 1827, when it was changed to Northville. Joseph F. Spier was the first postmaster, and it was through his efforts that the post office was established, and also at his suggestion that the name was changed to Northville. The post office was kept in Mr. Spier's store during his occupancy of the office, a period of twenty one years. The store was located nearly opposite the cemetery, on the site of the present residence of Lee S. Anibal. The next postmaster was William A. Smith, who was appointed in 1845, and held the office two or three years. He was succeeded by Nathan B. Lobdell, a man well known and highly respected throughout the county. Mr. Lobdell had the post office eight or ten years and was followed by W. F. Barker August 2, 1861, who held it until the year 1877. His successor was William D. Smith, who retained the office about eight years. Adolph Robitshek was appointed in 1885, and was postmaster during the Cleveland administration, being succeeded by Frank Satterlee, July 1, 1889. The present incumbent, Charles G. Bacon, took charge of the office December 12, 1801. When first established mails were received by the way of Fish House (now Northampton), about six miles south of Northville. There was no regular stage line or mail carrier to this place at that time, and mails were received only as the postmaster had an opportunity to send for them, or by a special carrier sent by the postmaster. It was thought a wonderful thing when the mails were brought three times a week, and it was not until the stage line to Amsterdam was established that the mails were received regularly each day. The office is now advantageously located in the Heath block on Main street, which was built for this purpose during the summer of 1891 by O. F. Heath. The postmaster employs two assistants, the work of the office being quite extensive on account of its position as a distributing point for towns in the valley east and north.

The first school was kept in the village in 1800, and educational facilities have been increased from time to time to keep pace with the growing population. The present handsome and commodious brick union free school was erected in 1888, and there have been, during the winter term, 187 scholars on the register. B. C. Van Ingen is the principal, with Miss Myra Stevens as first assistant, in charge of the grammar department; Miss Cora Blood, second assistant, in charge of the intermediate department, and Miss Lila Sanford, in charge of the primary grade.

Northville has witnessed its most rapid growth during the past two years. The village is now, and has been for a long time, the financial centre of a vast lumbering district, extending far into Hamilton county, millions of feet of timber having passed down the Sacandaga on its way to the Hudson, finding a market at Glens Falls and Fort Edward. When lumbering was at its height, it was an ordinary scene to see a thousand pieces of timber going down the river in one raft, and not unfrequently 100 or 150 of these rafts would be sent down in one season. In addition to this the village has been fortunate in the establishment of several manufacturing concerns within the last few years and it bids fair to become a prominent centre in that respect.

Under the provisions of a general act entitled "An act for the incorporation of villages," passed by the legislature April 20, 1870, a notice of election was made on the 12th day of April, 1873, to determine whether certain territory now included within the limits of Northville, should be incorporated as a village The following names were signed to this notice: H. N. Scidmore, John Resseguie, J. C. Carpenter, J. F. Blake, J. A. Cole, H. Eglin, phillip Van Kleck, T. H. Rooney, F. R. Winney, A. C. Sclocum, George N. Brown, S. B. Benton, Andrew Palmer, O. B. Olmstead, J. S. Barker. Gilbert Wilcox, W. F. Barker, W. A. Smith, W. F. Krouse, Amos H. Van Arnam.

Pursuant to this notice a meeting was held at the old M. E. Church, May 20, 1873, and by a vote of eighty one to thirty five it was decided that Northville should become an incorporated village to include the territory bounded as follows:

"Commencing on the east bank of the Sacandaga river on the line between lots No. 19 and 20 of Northampton patent and running from thence south eighty seven degrees east six thousand three hundred and four feet; thence north twenty nine and one half degrees east nine hundred eighty four feet; thence north sixty eight degrees west one thousand five hundred feet; thence west one thousand and four hundred feet; thence south fifty six degrees west to the highway leading from Northville to Hope Falls; thence north thirty five degrees west one thousand eight hundred and fifty four feet; thence eighty five and one fourth degrees west two hundred feet to the bank of the Sacandaga river; then down the bank of said river as it winds and turns, to the place of beginning."

The amount proposed to be paid out for ordinary expenditures the first year was $50. The first annual election was held at the old M. E. Church, Thursday, June 26, 1873, and the following officers elected by a unanimous vote, the total number cast for each candidate being forty two. President, Samuel B. Benton; treasurer, Hiram J. Resseguie; collector, William Carpenter; trustees, Amos Van Arnam, Aaron C. Slocum, and Thomas H. Rooney. These officers met at the store of J. S. Barker and appointed him clerk of the village, and at the first regular meeting of the board for business the following resolution was adopted: "That the bond of the village treasurer be of the amount of two thousand, $2,000."

The report of Treasurer Resseguie at the end of the first year of corporate existence showed the financial condition of Northville to be in a healthy state as there had been collected during the year by general and special taxes, fines, licenses, etc., the sum of $831.90, and there had been paid out on orders $817.79, leaving a balance on hand of $14.81.

During the latter part of the year 1873 the sum of $400 was expended in erecting a village lockup on ground leased from William F. Barker and Alice Barker at a nominal yearly rental of one cent.

On August 26, 1890, an election was held to decide whether the village would raise funds as provided in a special act passed in 1875 to furnish the inhabitants with pure and wholesome water. Seventy votes were cast, of which forty were in favor of the project, and thirty against it. A board of water commissioners was forthwith elected, which was composed of Ray Hubbell, president; H. J. Resseguie, treasurer; and J. A. Willard, secretary. J. R. Van Ness was appointed clerk. E. B. Baker, of Gloversville, was employed at a consideration of $180 to make plans and specifications for a system of water works. March 6, 1891, the contracts for the several features of the work were let. Among those receiving awards were Dennis Sullivan, of Flushing, N. Y., for the reservoir and pipe laying, $10,469.42; Charles Miller & Sons, of Utica, pipes, and specials, $5,849.83; and Rennsselaer Manufacturing Company, of Troy, valves and boxes, $867. Six acres of land were secured from Charles Groff on which to erect the reservoir, and the right of way for a pipe line also obtained. A dam was constructed across Hunter's creek, one and three fifths miles from the village, which gives the reservoir a capacity of 3,000,000 gallons, and the water has a fall of 210 feet in the centre of the village, and 190 feet at the north end of Main street. Mains were placed in all the principal streets, and water was first used for commercial purposes on September 13, 1891. The total cost of construction to date has been $32,300.14. To meet this expenditure village bonds were issued to the amount of $32,000, and the money secured through the comptroller from the common school fund of the state of New York. Had this grand and much needed improvement been accomplished five or six years earlier, much loss by fire would have been averted. Within the past six or seven years, Northville has sustained several fires which were exceedingly disastrous. First among them was the Rooney block, which was completely destroyed in March, 1885. The hotel, dwelling house and barn of G. Winney, and one house and carriage shop of William H. Van Dyke, were burned September 5, 1888. The Metallic Binding factory, and the Excelsior manufactory, two buildings owned by Ray Hubbell, were destroyed February 7, 1890; the total losses on these two fires alone was $27,000. June 19, 1890, the Wright & Satterlee building burned, entailing a loss of about $32,000. The same fire included the building of Dr. J. F. Blake, which was valued at $3,000. In addition to these, which were the larger fires, several smaller buildings have also been consumed, including three or four dwellings. It is gratifying to note that the sites of all the conflagrations have been rebuilt with elegant and substantial structures, all of which were better than their predecessors.

The village presidents since its organization have been: Samuel B. Benton, 1873; John Resseguie, 1874; Thomas H. Rooney, 1875 Aaron G. Slocum, 1876; G. C. Van Dyke, 1877; Edward Allen, 1878; G. N. Brown, 1879; Robert P. Anibal, 1880; Charles B. Resseguie; 1881; B. N. Lobdell, 1882; John C. Cook, 1883; Adolph Robitshek, 1884-85; John F. Blake, 1886-87; George E. Van Arnam, 1888; Harmon F. Fisher, 1889; Ray Hubbell, 1890.

The village treasurers, with their terms of office, have been: Hiram J. Resseguie, 1873; William A. Smith, 1874; Reuben Willard, 1875; George N. Brown, 1776; Z. C. Ford, 1897; William D. Smith, 1878 to 1885; Frank L. Barker, 1886; Harmon F. Fisher, 1887-88; J. N. Mead, 1889-90.

The following have held the office of village clerk: J. S. Barker, 1873 to 1878; L. L. Boyce, 1879; William Coppernoll, 1880; Lee S. Anibal, 1881; L. L. Boyce, 1883 to 1885; James R. Van Ness, 1886 to the present time.

The officers for 1891 are: President, Ray Hubbell; trustees, Edwin Allen, H. J. Resseguie, J. R. Willard; treasurer, Harmon F. Fisher;. collector, Ezra Horton; public constable, Emmet J. Lobdell.

The village now contains a population of more than 1,100, and has three churches, whose history will be reviewed a little further on in this work; four large hotels, the Vinney House, the Arlington, the Northville House, and the River View Hotel; a fine union free school, besides numerous handsome and costly residences. While in 1849 there were but two stores, at present the east side of Main street is well built up with two and three story brick blocks, containing groceries, dry goods houses, drug stores and their aggregate assortment contains almost everything that can be asked for in a first class community.


[Continued in Part 2 of Northampton History]


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