History of Harford, New York

HARFORD formed from Virgil, May 2, 1845, and embraces the south—west quarter of that township and the southwest corner of the County. The surface consists of a high, broken upland, from 500 to 700 feet above the valleys, and from 1,500 to 1,700 feet above tide.: The Owego Hills, in the central part, are the most elevated portions. The declivities are generally steep and: often rocky, and the aummits are crowned with forests. A large part of the town is covered with forests. The streams are small brooks. The soil a sandy and gravelly loam, producing only moderately, and is better adapted to pasturage than to grain raising.

Harford, (p. v.) situated a little south-west of the center of the town, contains two churches, viz., Methodist and Union, a school with two departments, a hotel, two stores, several mechanic shops, a steam saw mill and about 200 inhabitants. The village is on the line of the Southern Central Railroad, which is nearly completed. It is confidently expected that this will add materially to the prosperity of the village.

Harford, Mills, (p. v.) commonly called South Harford, is situated in the south part, on Owego Crek, and contains, a store, a telegraph office, a wagon shop, a harness, shop a blacksmith shop, a grist mill and saw mill, a steam saw mill, a school house and about twenty-five dwellings. The Christians have an organization here but no church edifice. This denomination have a church in the north-east part of the town, at Babcock’s Hollow.

The first settlement. of this town was made in 1803 by Dorastus DeWoif, Thomas Nichols, John Green and Cornelius Worden. DeWoif settled in the south part of the town, then a perfect wilderness. Wild beasts were plenty and for several years he was obliged to protect his sheep at night. Eber Burgess, L. Barnes, Gordon Burlingame, Nathan, Heaton, Theodore E. Hart and Levi Moore, were among the other early settlers.

Theodore E. Hart kept the first store. The first school was taught by Miss Betsey Curran, in 1807. The first birth was that of Dr. Charles Barnes; the first marriage that of Obed Graves and Alice Munroe; and the first death that of Mrs. Dorastus DeWoif. Nathan Heaton built the first grist-mill in 1814, and Lewis Moore kept the first inn. Rev. Seth Wifliston was the first preacher, and the first religious services were held in 1804. The first church (Baptist) was organized in 1815. The first post-office was established In 1825, the place being then called Worthington, but was subsequently changed to Harford.

The first church edifice erected in this town was a Union church, erected in 1832—3 by Methodists, Congregationalists and Universalists. It was dedicated in the fall of 1833. Organizations of these denominations had existed for several years previous to the erection of the church. In 1857 the Methodists erected a church for themselves, and this is now the only church used regularly for church purposes in the town. Rev. I. Lord is the present pastor.

The population in 1865 was 888, and its area 13,886 acres.

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