History of Rutland, 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


CHAPTER XXXVIII.
THE TOWN OF RUTLAND.

In 1796 the proprietors of the eleven towns constituting the Black river tract divided the lands among themselves. In that apportionment William Henderson received townships Nos. 3, 6 and 9, or, as now known, Rutland, Henderson and Pinckney. Previous to the division, and in the same year, Benjamin Wright had surveyed and designated each of these towns by number. After having become possessed of his share, Henderson conveyed a portion of the lands of No. 3 to actual settlers through the agency of Asher Miller and Abel French, and the remainder was sold and conveyed to Dr. Isaac Bronson, of Greenfield, Conn., who appointed as agent his brother, Ethel Bronson. The latter served in that capacity until his death, and was then succeeded by George White, who completed the sale to settlers.

This, in brief, is a history of the land titles in Rutland after the Black river tract was surveyed and laid out. Its previous history is detailed in one of the general chapters of this work, hence need not be repeated here. When Mr. Wright made his survey and division into townships he traversed the region and carefully noted the natural features of each town, that the proprietors and subsequent purchasers might have a thorough understanding of the character of the region intended for settlement. In relation to this town the worthy surveyor reported as follows:

"Along the river very rocky, and some very good land; very few streams emptying into the river. There is a very fine mill stream and various mill seats near the Black river, where it falls into the river; a fall of sixty feet, very curious indeed for mills. Along the river there are two falls of fourteen and six feet, which together with the rapids, that extend for a number of miles, make up a great fall in the river. The east line is very fine country and handsomely timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, butternut, elm and some pine and hemlock; on the south line there is a pretty good country, and timbered with maple, beech, bass, ash, elm, birch and hemlock. Along the line on the west side, itis a very good tract of land, and well timbered. This town appears to be exceedingly good; all the waters are clear and good, and are formed altogether from springs which arise on the land. The town in general is most excellent soil, and very well watered, with large and small streams, and I think would answer any person's expectation for settling. Contains 27,604 acres."

It sometimes seems remarkable that Benjamin Wright in traversing the Black river region and carefully noting its natural physical features, should have utterly failed to record some fact relating to its previous occupancy by the Indians, for traces of that period must have been clearly noticeable one hundred years ago. Indeed, in all this vast region no special locality showed more plainly the former presence of the red man than in Rutland, and the pioneers who came here in the early years of the century not only found the ruins of Indian villages and fortifications, but frequently found the natives themselves, who appeared reluctant to leave their old favorite resorts.

One of the largest and rudest Indian structures' discovered in Jefferson county was found in Rutland, four and one-half miles east of Watertown, on the farm formerly owned by Abner Tamblin but now by Herman L. Allen, traces of which still remain. It is situated about a quarter of a mile back from the brow of Rutland Hill, which presents a bold and in some places a presispitous bank, but notwithstanding its elevation, the surface has numerous depressions or basins which are wet and marshy. Upon a slight elevation in the midst of one of these surfaces, and still covered (1849) with the primitive forest is found the Indian work represented in the accompanying cut.

It will be seen that the work of fortification is exceedingly irregular; that the lines are interrupted by several wide openings, which are quite too broad to be regarded as gateways. The embankment is not of uniform dimensions, and in some places it is elevated not more than a foot or eighteen inches by four or five feet base, while at others it is three feet high, The ditch is also irregular in section, scarcely exceeding a large plow-furrow in depth and width. In fact the work seems imperfect and to have been constructed in haste for temporary purposes. Within the area, which is quite uneven, are several small accumulations of stones which bear marks of fire. Upon removing them there was found ashes and other burned matter, among which was a carbonized ear of corn. A small but entire vessel of pottery of considerable symmetery of shape was also found here some years ago. Human bones have been discovered beneath the leaves, and in nearly every part of the trench skeletons of adults of both sexes, and also of infants, have been found covered only by vegetable accumulations. They seem to have been thrown together promiscuously. They have also been found in a narrow depression, resembling an artificial trench (indicated by a dotted line in the plan), and caused by the subsidence of the earth in a cleft of the limestone substratum. These skeletons, from all accounts, do not seem to have been much decayed, and no difficulty was experienced in recovering them entire. The skulls were in some cases fractured, as if by a blow from a hatchet or club. These circumstances would seem to imply, not only that the work was occupied at a corn paratively late period but also that this was the scene of one of those indiscriminate massacres so common in the history of savage warfare.

It is said that many of the skeletons exhumed from this place had broad, flat jaws, with rows of double teeth in each, and that their skulls showed retreating foreheads and great prominence of occiput. One of these skeletons was of a man of colossal size. Excavations are also said to show hearths, fire places, broken pottery, etc., on two different levels separated by accumulations of earth and vegetable mould from one to two feet thick, as if the place had been twice occupied. These discoveries tend to show that this is doubtless the oldest work of aboriginal construction thus far found in the county, and that while it was at one time the abiding place of the Iroquois, as many of the articles found are of their handiwork, yet it was originally constructed and occupied by another tribe or race many years before the formation of the Iroquois league in the middle of the sixteenth century.

From the bank of the terrace near this work a very extensive and beautiful prospect is commanded.

The woods are now all cleared away and the land where once the fortifications stood has been under cultivation about ten years; and while the banks have been partially obliterated by the plow, indistinct traces of the work yet remain. The diagram here presented was made in 1849 and fairly represents the work as it then appeared.

There are several other localities in the town which, while not disclosing distinct traces of fortifications, present unmistakable evidence of aboriginal occupancy for dwelling purposes. These places may be noted about as follows: On the Michael Colligan farm, in a pine grove at the top of the hill, and on the southeast side of the road leading to Felt's Mills, are traces of an ancient Indian village; on. the George Hadcock place in Rutland Hollow, on the hillside back and just west of the house; on the Howland place, a little further west, on the same hill; on Rutland Hill, on the Normander and Durham farms; west of the old fort on the Allen place, and on the south side of the state road; on the Treadway farm have also been found like traces of Indian villages, some of which indicated quite extensive habitations. A large number of fire-places have been discovered at these points, and quantities of flint spear-heads and arrow-points, broken pottery, carved pipes, sharp pointed bones, chisels, burned corn, jaws and teeth of animals, beads, mortars for grinding corn, human skeletons, some very short in stature, and various other evidences of Indians occupation.

A century of constant development and occupancy by New Englanders and their descendants has proven the accuracy of Benjamin Wright's field notes made in 1796. Rutland is and during this long period has been regarded as one of the best towns for general agricultural pursuits in all the Black river country, while almost every opportunity for profiting by its abundant water power has been accepted and improved. Taken altogether the town ranks among the foremost in Jefferson county, and in addition to its natural resources has produced some of the strongest men of the entire region.

The town of Rutland was created April 1, 1802, since which time its boundary lines have not been materially changed, except by the acquisition of the island at Felts' Mills, which was annexed front Le Ray by an act of the Legislature, passed April 1, 1844. As now constituted the town contains 26,716 acres of land, or nearly 1,000 acres less than shown by the Wright survey. He also surveyed the town into 57 lots, of about 500 acres each, and these, in 1799, he divided into quarters.

As has been stated, the settlement of the town was begun under the agency of Asher Miller, of Middletown, Conn., whose employment in that capacity dated from June 6, 1799, and in July following, this energetic developer constructed a road from the site of the present village of Black River to the center of the town. Near the southern terminus of this road, and op the shore of the little body of water called Rutland lake, agent Miller made the first improvement and established his home on lands purchased from the proprietor at a reduced rate in consideration of his agency relation. He lived in the town a little more than four years, and during that time succeeded in disposing of 17,540.03 acres of its land, for which was realized $50,738.14. The lots were sold on contract without interest until after one year had expired. In June, 1803, Mr. Miller was succeeded as agent by Abel French, and soon afterward returned to Middletown, where in after years he became mayor of the city. He died there in 1821.

Notwithstanding the short duration of his office, Asher Miller proved an active and enterprising agent for the proprietor, and disposed of about two-thirds of the town lands. Moreover, he was chiefly instrumental in inducing settlement by a class of sturdy New England Yankees, who were equal in intelligence, capacity and worth to those of any town in the county; and it is an historical fact that during the period of early life in the county, in almost every measure proposed for the establishment and future of its institutions some prominent resident of Rutland was appointed to a place on a designated committee. However, let us recall these pioneers by name. Agent Miller kept a record of sales and through it there has been preserved for later generations the names of purchasers (nearly every one of whom became a resident) with the number of acres of land taken by each.

In 1790 the purchasers were Levi Butterfield, 172; Amos Stebbins, Perley Keyes and William Keyes, 343; David Coffeen, 391; Goldsmith çoffeen, 312; Raphael Porter, 213; Israel Wright, 98; Jonathan and Clark Boss, 161; James Killiam, 141; Charles Kelsey, 116; Jeptha King, 137; John Dole, 154; Gardner Cleveland, 242; Warren Foster, 142; John Cotes, 134. In 1800 the purchasers were John Earl, Jr., 120; Nathan Green, 128; Robert Jerome, 145; Isaac and Caleb Corp, 196; Henry Houck, 130; John Earl, 134; Danforth Earl, 113; Simeon Munson, 89; Mathias Houck, 135; Alfred Cummins, 94; Charles Cummins, 128; Solomon Tuttle, 233; Chauncey Rawson, 122; Gershom Tuttle, 276; Abel Sherman, 229; Kenyon Larkin, 352; Peter Cook, 92; Ezekiel Andrews, 114; Lott McClure, 72; Isaiah Bailey, 50; Luther Foot, 137; Enos Sanford, 141; Jacob A. Williams, 108; Amos Barnes, 2d, 97; Stephen Kimball, 97; Vernon Huston, 193; Elijah Beech, 80;Thomas Lee, 61; Daniel Russell, 75;Turner Ellis, 160; Joseph Patterson, 122; Silas Pierce, 100; Benjamin White, 53; James Murray, 125; Abner White, 51; Thomas M. Converse, 78; Jonathan Hill, Frederick Tyler, 146; John Stanley, 136; Stephen Cummings, 146; Andrew Stafford, 116; James Stafford, 106; William H. Stevens, 81; Dr. Phillips, 197; Henry Allen, 106; Elisha Ludden, 261; Philip H. Herman, 269; Thomas Hosmer, 225; Peter Wright, 118; Erastus Maitby, 158; Chandler Maltby, 151; Roger Williams, 291; George White, 266; Benjamin Pike, 170; Clift French, 105. Other purchasers during the same year were Messrs. Rose, Welch, Brayton and Swan, whose christian names were not ascertained by Dr. Hough, from whose valuable records these names are taken.

In 1801 the purchasers were William Coffeen, 257; Thomas Denton, 328; John Patterson, 130; Alexander Warner, 74; Joseph Wakefield, 98; Jesse Hale, Asa and Luther Brown, 100; Josiah Asmer, Luther W. Dexter, 120; Samuel Treadway, 178; Orange Eno, 68; James Morse, 68; Levi Hare, 155; Joseph Underwood, 133; John Smith, 121; David Stafford, 118; Thomas Starkweather, 103; Joseph Ludden, 124; 'rhomas Hill, 112; Caleb Harris, 114; Asher Bull, 247; Ethen Newton, 130; Stuckley Wicks, 114; Jonathan Covey, 126; Job Olmsted, 145, and also others whose surnames were Scott, Wessell, Johnson, Britton and Foster. Still other purchasers during the same period, but at unknown dates, were Jonathan Davis, 93; Thinyon Green, 110; Charles Hill, 120; Jacob Shook, 70; Etben Post. 148; Artemas Pike, 135; Samuel Parker. 120.

From this record it may be seen that Asher Miller, during the three years of his agency, disposed of land in that town to one hundred and fifteen purchasers, nearly all of whom became actual settlers, and had a share in the development of the region. As has been stated, Abel French succeeded to the agency in 1803, but in the early part of the next year William Henderson, the proprietor, sold his remaining inter ests in No. 3 to Dr. Isaac Bronson, of Greentleld, Conn. During his incumbency of the office Mr. French sold to various purchasers 2,313 acres of land, realizing therefor $7,112.60. Dr. Bronson, the newproprietor, was by profession a physician, a portion of whose life was passed on board a merchant vessel, in the capacity of surgeon. He also engaged extensively in the East India trade and accumulated a fortune. On returning to America he speculated in new lands, and also bought soldiers' land warrants. After the purchase of the Henderson interests in township No. 3, Dr. Bronson appointed his brother, Ethel Bronson, as agent to complete the settlement and sale of the lands. In May, 1804, the new agent came to the town, and with his arrival Rutland gained one of the most worthy and prominent men in its early history; a man who afterward became well acquainted throughout the county, and also, as the chapters relating to county organization will show, had an important share in the events of that period. Aside from his prominence in local affairs, Mr. Bronson
(1) was in the assembly in 1810, 1814 and 1815. On his journey from Middletown, Conn., to this town Mr. Bronson was accompanied by David and Josiah Tyler and their families. He took up his residence on the middle road, near the center of the town, while the Tylers located in the southern part, in the locality called Tylerville, in allusion to their family.

While the persons whose names have been mentioned in the preceding paragraphs were the first purchasers of land in the town, they were not, however, the first settlers. Asher Miller was unquestionably the pioneer, and was followed in 1800 by Ezekiel Andrews, who came from Utica with a family of nine children, and made an improvement. One of his daughters afterward married with Danforth Earl, and another became the wife of Warren Spaulding. Joseph Russell also came in 1800 and looked over the town with a view to settlement, but did not locate here until 1802. The same year (1800), David Coffeen built the first grist mill in the town. It stood at the mouth of Mill creek, on the site of the village of Felt's Mills. Samuel Parker did the work and finished his "job" in 1801. This was one of the first mills in the Black river region, and drew patronage from great distances. A saw mill was here the next year. Coffeen sold his mills to Wolcott Hubbell, and he to Barnabus Eldridge. John Felt, founder of the hamlet, began his improvements in 1813.

Samuel Porter and Dr. Abel Sherman were also early settlers, and came to the town in 1802. Abel Sherman was the first sheriff of Jefferson county and one of its prominent men. He was grandfather of the late John Avery Sherman, of Watertown. He was born in Brimfield, Mass., and came thence to Oneida county. From the latter place he removed to this town and settled on tile south road, on the farm now owned by O. P. Hadcock, where he afterward lived and died. After this year the settlers began coming more rapidly, and in 1803 nine farms on the "hollow road" were occupied.
(2)

The settlers here were John Eddy, John Cotes, William Newton, Morgan Stark, Stanley Weeks, Roberts Adams, and three brothers named Maltby. At that time in the locality between the Center and Felt's Mills, Jacob Fuller and Elisha Vebber were the only residents, while elsewhere in the north part of the town improvements were begun by Zelotus Harvey, Jonathan Graves, Richmond, Rufus and David Howland, Asa, Elisha, Elias and Archibald Clark, Asaph Chase, Reuben Scott, Enoch Eddy and family, David Wilcox and David Vebber. Other settlers of al)out the same time, though possibly a little later, were Andrew Middleton and his sons, Robert, John, Andrew and Samuel, (from whom have descended several prominent persons in Rutland history), Renal Randall, James, Samuel and John Wilcox, L. D. Olney, Joseph Hopkins, Col. Amariah Tucker,
(3) David Eames, Dr. C. P. Kimball, Alex. Warren, Robert Hardy, William and David Howland, Andrew Dunlap, John Stebbins, Asa Parkinson, Joel Webb, and still others whose names have now been lost.

These hardy Yankee pioneers laid the foundation for the subsequent prosperity of their town, and their names and works must be prominently mentioned in Rutland annals. Not one of them now lives to tell the story of hardships and privations, and the ultimate successes of early life in the town, but later generations have received the benefit of their efforts. During the years previous to the war of 1812-15, Indians were frequently seen in the locality. They attempted no personal violence but were a nuisance to the settlers, begging from cabin to cabin, and stealing wherever and whatever opportunity offered. The first serious injury to the settlers in the town was in the contract made by many of them with John Harris, by which they agreed to deliver spars on the banks of Black river at five dollars each. It was soon discovered that this could not be done profitably at the agreed price, upon which all the settlers, except Asa Ness and Enoch Eddy failed to fulfill their contracts. Harris afterward brought suits and recovered damages, in the payment of which many of the settlers were impoverished.

In the present connection, while treating of the early times and scenes in this interesting jurisdiction, it is appropriate to also note some of the "first events." As has been mentioned Asher Miller was the first settler in 1799. David Coffeen built the first grist mill,
(4) in 1800. The first saw mill was built in 1801, and about the same time the first frame house was erected, the latter by Wolcott Hubbell, on the Jacob Tooker lot at Felt's Mills, as afterward known. The first birth was that of Harriet, daughter of Charles and Lois Kelsey, the date being now unknown. She afterward became the wife of Alfred Pardee, and lived in Champion, where she was drowned in Black river in 1863. The birth of Robert and William Middleton, twin sons of pioneer John Middleton, was the first event of its kind in the town. The first death was that of Relief, wife of Francis Torme, who was killed by lightning August 16, 1804.

Dr. Hugh Henderson was the first physician and settled in the town in 1802. Dr. Henderson and Levi Butterfield opened and kept taverns, both as early as 1803, but as to which was first is uncertain. Butterfield's tavern was at the Centre, and here the first town meetings were held. Dr. Hough accords to pioneer Butterfield the honor of having opened the first public house.(5) The first school was opened and taught by Miss Porter in 1802,(6) but in what exact locality is not now known. The first literary institution was the "Rutland Farmers' library," incorporated November 11, 1806. The trustees were Ethel Bronson, Hugh Henderson, Abel Sherman, Daniel Eames and Curtis Mallory. The first religious society was formed February 8, 1808, and was known as the "First Religious Society of Rutland." Its trustees were Ethel Bronson, Timothy Tamblin, John Read, Thomas Converse and Ebenezer Haywood.

Organizations.- Previous to 1799 there was no white occupancy of the region comprising this town, hence the exercise of civil jurisdiction

The first town meeting was assembled at the house of David Coffeen, at the place afterward called Felt's Mills, when officers were chosen as follows: David Coffeen, supervisor; Jacob A. Williams, town clerk; Abel Sherman, Zelotus Harvey and William Coffeen, assessors; Levi Heath, Solomon Thompson and Gershom Tuttle, commissioners of highways; Benjamin Eddy, constable and collector. At the same time were also chosen two poundmasters, three fence viewers, twelve pathmasters, three deer-reeves, and a committee of three tn settle acconnts with town of Watertown.
(7)

Thus was created and brought into active existence one of the most important interior towns of Jefferson county, and one which from that time has held a position of importance and influence in the history of the shire. It so happened that among the pioneers of Rutland were found men of special strength and determination of character, of mental and moral worth that gave them a prominence in the region, and naturally resulted in their selection for positions of trust and responsibility. They builded and developed well for themselves, therefore were called upon to assist in establishing the institutions of the county itself. David Coffeen, Dr. Abel Sherman, Judge Ethel Bronson, Perley Keyes (afterward of Watertown), Col. Gershom Tuttle, Solomon Tuttle, Zelotus Harvey, Daniel Eames, Joseph Graves, John Felt, Amos Stebbins, Martin L. Graves, and still others of later years were chief factors both in townand county history, whose works were always for good, and seemed to have a controlling influence over the lives and character of generations which followed in their footsteps and lived after their early example.

From statements previously made it must be seen that the lands of township No. 3 were rapidly sold and occupied. Indeed, the year 1807 found the town to contain 236 voters who possessed the requisite property qualifications, a number then equaled by but one other town. In 1810 the inhabitants numbered 1,738, ranking second only to Watertown. These things being so, the town naturally had just claims to the prominence it then enjoyed among the civil divisions of the county.

However, as in a measure tending to show subsequent development, recourse may be had to the census reports, from which is taken the number of inhabitants at intervals of five years, viz.: 1810, 1,738; 1814, 1,694; 1820, 1,946; 1825, 2,102; 1830, 2.339; 1835, 2,111; 1840, 2,090; 1845, 2,148; 1850, 2,265: 1855, 1,977; 1860, 2,097; 1865, 1.964; 1870, 1,903; 1875, 1,841; 1880, 1,796; 1890, 1,798; 1892, 1,924.

The maximum population, as may be seen from the above statement, was attained in 1830, at which time the natural agricultural resources of the town were developed to their full extent. The subsequent decrease has not been marked, when Rutland is placed in comparison with other towns, and is the result of natural causes rather than a tendency to abandon any of its territory. The growth and development of manufacturing industries along Black river have maintained a reasonably stable population in the town.

The unfortunate condition in which many of the settlers found themselves on account of the difficulties regarding the spar timber, was in a measure made more serious by the provisions of the embargo laws which followed soon afterward. The Black river was a noted highway to the lake, over which route vast quantities of potashes and other products of the region were shipped to Canada. The use of the river for the purpose below Brownville was effectually stopped through the vigilance of the militia, but much of the local production found its way across the border by means of the old road between Brownville and Port Putnam (now Millen's Bay). However, the period passed without more serious result than temporary loss, and when war was declared the militia of the town were earnest participants in events of the frontier. Col. Gershom Tuttle commanded a detachment of Gen. Brown's militia in the famous battle at Sackets Harbor, and among the troops were many men from this town.
(8) Being heavily pressed by the British attack, Col. Tuttle's men were temporarily routed, but rallied again and so savagely assailed the enemy that the tide of battle turned in favor of the American arms where defeat had seemed almost certain. Unfortunately, no record of the names of all this patriot band has been preserved. Another military organization of time period was the Rutland silver grays, about forty men all told, nearly all of whom had served with the American army during the revolution, and who were pioneers in this town. Their mature years exempted them from military service, but they organized for duty and spent several weeks at Sackets Harbor. This troop built Fort Tompkins. Their captain was Timothy Tamblin, while Levi Butterfield served as lieutenant.

An incident of the period which is worthy of preservation is told by one of the oldest remaining families of Felt's Mills. About the time war was declared the patriotic men of the town erected at the settlement a tall liberty pole, and thus established a rallying place. When Sackets Harbor was threatened all the able bodied men, young and old, were on thefrontier, excepting a single person of known tory proclivities. He caused a rumor to be circulated among the women and children to the effect that the Indians were about to raid the settlement, and if they discovered the liberty pole every soul of them would be massacred. This was too much for the feelings of the defenseless women, whereupon young Orrin Goldthrite and Sally Story took an axe and cut down the pole.

From this time on the history of the town was uneventful, except as one generation followed another in the natural course of events. Agriculture and kindred pursuits were the chief avocation of the people at large, but along the river, and particularly in the localities specially mentioned by surveyor Wright, primitive mills and other industries were started to supply the domestic wants of the inhabitants. At a later period, when the splendid water-power of Black river began to attract attention from time outside world, the favored localities in Rutland became the sites of enterprising villages, and all the town was benefited in the rapid development of its resources. This mention, however, suggests some reference to these localities. During the period of its history there have been established within the town four trading and business centers, known, respectively, as Rutland Centre, Tylerville (or South Rutland), Felt's Mills and Black River, the latter now a portion of an incorporated village, and the most important commercial center of the town.

Rutland Centre, the post office name of which is Rutland, is a comfortable little hamlet of hardly more than a dozen houses, but with no business interests or public buildings other than the district school. The settlement is located about at the southern terminus of the old road opened by Asher Miller in 1799, leading from the river to a point near Rutland lake, where he settled in that year. Following the pioneer other families came and began improvements, but it was not until 1803, when Levi Butterfield built the first tavern, that the place became an established center. The town meetings were held here for many years, and down to about 1830 the Centre was a hamlet of considerable importance. A store was opened about 1813,(9) and was maintained for a number of years. rrhe first merchants are not recalled, but probably the most prominent tradesman at any time was Joseph Graves, who located here about the time of the war of 1812 (see note 9) and was closely identified with town and county history until his death in 1875. He was supervisor about ten years; was elected to the assembly in 1842, and was a Cass elector in 1848. This part of the town has ever been noted for the substantial character of its citizens and has given to the county some of its best public servants. Its business interests are all gone, yet the old buildings are still standing as monuments to early memories.

One of the most notable institutions of the locality, though not distinctively of the hamlet, is the old Congregational society and church, the house of worship which stands on the middle road about one mile south of the Center. The society dates its history from January 12, 1808, when David Tyler, Amos Mallory, Thomas Converse and wife, Samuel Porter and wife and William Parkinson and wife constituted the original membership. On February 8 of the same year, the "First Religious Society of Rutland" was organized, the trustees being Ethel Bronson, Timothy Tamblin, John Read, Thomas Converse and Ebenezer Haywood. A prudential committee of the church was appointed October 26, 1815, and comprised David Tyler, Amos Mallory, Ethel and Jonas Bronson, Levi Hall and Rev. Daniel Banks, the latter the first pastor of the church, and who also was pastor of the church at Watertown. From that time the society has maintained a continued though not always vigorous existence. The first edifice was built. in 1816, on the "middle road," a short distance east of Maple Hill cemetery. In 1841 the building was torn down and the present house of worship was erected. The present members number forty-four persons, hardly more than half the strength of the church thirty years ago. The present pastor is Rev. J. Frank Forsythe.

Tylerville.- In the early history of the town this was one of the most important trading and business centers, and was named for Josiah 'ryler, who opened a store in 1810. Sandy creek, in this part of the town, was a considerable stream, and afforded excellent water privileges. In 1805 Erastus Lathrop built a grist mill, and about the same time Nathaniel Frink erected a saw mill on the creek, and thus established the settlement. The grist mill was on the south bank of the creek, and was operated by Mr. Lathrop until about 1815, when Joel Webb and Jonathan Smiley succeeded and run it until 1821. It then passed to Frederick Tyler, who removed the building and erected another on the north bank. Among the subsequent owners of the new mill were Elijah Holmes (1830), Nathaniel Wadsworth (about 1840), Henry Andrews (about 1855). The present owner is James Van O'Linda. In the same manner the saw mill passed through many changes and ownerships during its existence. Among its proprietors have been Mr. Frink, Giles and Harvey Doud, Henry Andrews, Homer Hecox, John Babcock, Evan Evans, Hiram Hadcock and perhaps others. The present mill is owned by Jay W. Waldo.

The great enterprise, however, which contributed more than all others to early prosperity in Tylerville was the Rutland Woolen Manufacturing company, organized Sept. 25, 1811, with $5,000 capital, by Ethel Bronson, David Eames, Josiah Tyler, Thomas Hill, Abel Doolittle, Eben Inglesbee and John Oaks. The industry was the first of its kind in the county, and is said to have been the first in northern New York. A reasonably successful business was conducted for several years, but after the close of the war of 1812-is the importation of British goods worked seriously against it. In September, 1817, the plant was sold to David Eames, and by him the property was subsequently deeded to Albert Boynton, who, in turn, sold to Kellogg Brothers, by whom it was converted into a creamery in 1875.

Another early industry of the village, also founded by the above company, was the carding and spinning mills, which were built in 1812, a fairly successful concern for a time but embarrassments followed after about two years. In 1814, the state authorized a relief loan to Ethel Bronson, on behalf of the company, after which the business was continued with indifferent success for several more years. This industry was maintained until about 1850, when the building was torn down.

As has been stated, Josiah Tyler opened the first store in 1810. He was followed by Frederick Tyler, who took his son Frederick Tyler, jr., and his son-in-law, Daniel Budlong, as partners. Later merchants were Henry Warren, Warren & Winslow, John McCue (or McQue), Grennell & Lacey, Apollos Stephens, Zenas Shaw, Shaw & Co. (Simeon Oakes being partner), S. Oakes & Son, O. S. Oakes, Cobleigh & Lawton, J. M. & J. Cobleigh, Herrick & Wheelock, J. W. Beecher and J. B. Visscher. W, Van O'Linda was the first occupant of the grange store building (built by Dr. Stevens in 1847), followed by Van O'Linda & Morrow. The old firm of Warren & Winslow operated an ashery, a staple manufacture in early days in this part of the town. Frederick Tyler and Simeon Oakes also had asheries. A large distillery was built on the creek above the village at an early day, producing large quantities of whiskey, and upon the refuse grain as many as 60 hogs are said to have been fattened in a single season.

Tylerville, under the name of South Rutland, was made a post-office in 1820, the first postmaster being Calvin Chipman. The local population is about 80. The public institutions are the district school, the grange ball and the Union and Baptist churches. The hotel at Tyleryule now conducted by R. B: Scott was for many years kept by Sylvester Kellogg, father of District Attorney Kellogg.

The informal organization of the Baptist society was effected as early as 1800, when meetings were held both in the north and south portions of the town, in barns and dwellings, as suited the convenience of the worshipers. In 1833 (Nov. 11) the Baptist society of South Rutland was formally organized, with James Brown, Stephen Brainard and Milo Maitby as trustees. In 1843 the society joined with the Universalists and Methodists and erected a union meeting house. Later on the Baptist interest in the building was sold to the other societies, and in 1869 the new edifice was erected on a lot donated by Arnold Webb. From that time the society has maintained an existence, though accompanied with many vicissitudes. At times the, church has been without a pastor. In 1897 it did not report to the association. The members number about 45 persons.

The Universalist society in this part of the town is believed to have been formed some time about 1820, but from the absence of records the time cannot be definitely fixed. The society no longer meets in the union edifice, in which it acquired an interest in 1843. In the early history of the town TJniversalism was strong and three societies had at least a partial existence. They were located at Tylerville, Felt's Mills and Black River, but neither of them now has an active existence.

Methodist Episcopal services were held in this part of the town as early as 1820, about which time the South Rutland class was formed. The records, however, are not clear as to the organization of the church society, but it was probably about 1833, when regular preaching was established at Lockport (Black River). In 1843 the South Rutland society united with the others previously mentioned in erecting a union meeting house at Tylerville, but has survived its old companions and been a permanent institution of the viilage, although itself a joint charge with another station.

Fell's Mills.- In 1800 pioneer David Coffeen made the first improve. ment at the hamlet in building a primitive grist mill on the stream called Mill creek, the first industry of its kind in the county. For his service in building the mill Coffeen was given ten acres of land. In 1804 another grist mill was built, and stood on the creek below the first mill. It was built by Wolcott Hubbell, and had "two run of stone." Later on the property and lands in this vicinity passed into the hands of proprietors Eldridge and La Grange, and by them was sold in 1813 to John Felt, the founder in fact of the settlement.

John Felt came from Madison county to Leyden, and thence to Great Bend, where he carried on a mill. In 1813 he came to the place where David Coffeen had built the first grist mill, and there purchased a tract of about 300 acres of land. The island in the river was bought from James Le Ray. It was a part of Le Ray down to 1844, and was then set off to Rutland. In 1808 a bridge was built to the island from the south bank, and about a year later, the north channel of the river was spanned by a bridge. It was carried away by high water in 1811. In 1821 a dam was constructed across the river, and in 1822 the stone grist mill, an historic structure, was erected. Then the old mills on the creek were abandoned and went to decay. The old stone mill still stands, a lasting monument to its own usefulness. It has not been operated for about ten years. Mr. Felt owned the mill until 1858, and sold to Charles H. Bartlett. Later proprietors were William Griswold & Son, Hiram Pennock, Potter Finney, Samuel Manser, Samuel Cross, and finally, at forced sale, passed into the hands of the paper mill proprietors in 1887.

A saw mill was built here in 1801, and in 1813 passed into the hands of John Felt, who rebuilt it in 1818-19. It was owned by Jason Fran-' cis in 1828, but many years ago all traces of the old building disappeared. About 1824 Mr. Felt built two large saw mills on the island. Since that time two or three other saw mills have been erected there, as was also a large shingle mill. At one time Mr. Felt, with Yankee ingenuity, constructed an attachment and threshed his grain at one of these mills. His lumbering enterprises were large, and from two mills, which had gang saws, he produced 2,000,000 feet of lumber annually. It was shipped to Troy, Albany and New York. Mr. Felt also had a planing mill on the island, and at one time was charged with infringing on patented rights of one Gibson. The matter looked serious at that time, and the aggrieved party sent William H. Seward to the little hamlet to investigate the alleged infringement. This was about 1848. In 1851 John Felt sold the island to Merrill Coburn, who continued the saw mills, and also the carding mill.

In 1858 the tannery was built by what was known as the tannery company. The active spirits of this enterprise were Merrill Coburn, Martin L. Graves, Russell Wilmot, Le Roy Wood, Benjamin Crossett and Orlin Wheelock. Mr. Coburn soon became sole owner, and in 1866 formed a partnership with C. C. Vebber, the latter succeeding to the business in 1868. From this industry the name tannery island was derived. The buildings were burned in 1882. In 1887 the island was Purchased by the Taggart brothers, and in 1889 the building now occupied by the Taggarts Paper company were erected. This is one of the best industries in the town and employs about 75 or 80 men. Among the other industries built on the island was a cheese box factory, which, with the saw mill, became a part of the paper company's enterprise.

The Taggarts paper company, at Felt's Mills, was organized originally by Byron B. and William W. Taggart. The company was incorporated June 3, 1889, as the "Felt's Mills paper company," with $100,000 capital, the incorporators being Byron B. Taggart, George C. Sherman, Fanny L. Taggart, Alice T. Sherman and David M. Anderson. On April 14, 1890, the name was changed to Taggarts paper company. Byron B. Taggart was president to the time of his death, and was then succeeded by Wm. W. Taggart. Henry W. Taggart is the secretary, treasurer and general manager.

In the meantime the village on the mainland was enjoying a vigorous growth. On the site, when John Felt came, there lived Squire Miller, whose decisions in justice court were not to be questioned. Mr. Brown, who had turned his house into a tavern. George Choate, who kept a carding machine and cloth mill on Mill creek, and in which in later years George Oakes, Merrill Coburn and William Usher were interested. One Morris was a shoemaker, while a prominent resident was Mr. Gates, now remembered as having been the uncle of George A. Bagley and Charles D. Wright. John Felt first began by clearing the land and operating his mills. He also built a distillery.

Other distillers of the vicinity at that time, or soon afterward, were Ashbel Symonds, Jacob Fuller and Elisha Voumans, Jr. The first store, according to John Felt, jr., son of the founder, was kept by Bosworth & Hopkins, followed about in the order named, by Jason Francis, Merrill Coburn, Alexander Copley, Wm. K. Butterfield, Orlin Wheelock, J. R. Howard, John Felt, O. A. & S. Felt, Jenison Cross & Son, and M. M. Parker, the latter being in trade at this time. The other present merchants are W. S. Cooper & Son, A. Z. Drake & Son, and Sanford Foster.

The first hotel after the Brown tavern, was opened by Wm. K. Butterfield near the site of the Central house. It was built in 1825, but its frame work was blown down soon after its erection. Mr. Butterfield also built the present hotel known as McAndrews' Central house, and for a time was its landlord. Remsen R. Brown afterward kept it. It is now owned by Michael MeAndrews. The Maple View house was originally Merrill Coburn's residence, and was changed into a hotel only a few years ago.

Another of the old industries of the village was Jason Francis' "trip hammer," built probably about 1840. He also built and operated a cotton mill, a notable industry in its day, and one in which several residents of the locality had an interest. The chief product was twine and cotton batting. The business was at one time carried on by the Paddocks. The building was afterward converted into a pump and axehelve factory, and for a time was carried on by Charles Roberts, but was finally burned October 24, 1889.

Still another old shop was that occupied by Andrew Savage, in which were made the first pumps in the county. The business was begun about 1840, and the old building was burned in the great fire of 1889. There was also a carpet factory carried on by Richard B. & Charles Witt. This firm did an extensive business for a time, made good three-ply carpets, and had all the trade of the region. The business was begun in 1844 and continued about twelve years.

Felt's Mills was made a post-office in 1824. William Brown was the first appointed postmaster, but failed to qualify, whereupon Merrill Coburn was chosen. The story goes that previous to this appointment the hamlet was called Truckville, in allusion to an organization of local spirits who proposed to "truck off" some of the unworthy characters of the settlement. The name, however, if applied at all, was only in jest, for the name of Felt's Mills has stood since the founder began his improvements in 1813.

As now constituted the local population is about 300 inhabitants, the laboring element of whom are employed in the mills of the paper company or in agricultural pursuits. The village school was opened about 1820. The stone octagonal-shaped school house was built in 1832, but was torn down in 1852, and succeeded by the present building. The Felt's Mills burying association was incorporated March 29, 1852. The association is not now in existence. The present business interests have been recalled on a preceding page. In addition to the school house, the only public building is the union meeting house, which was erected by subscription in 1844, to be occupied by Methodist Episcopal, Universalist and Baptist societies, preference in the use of the building being given in the order mentioned.

Baptist meetings in this part of the town were begun soon after 1806, but the old meeting house on David Vebber's land was not built until 1821. The early Society organization appears to have been informal, and was dissolved in 1837. In the same year a reorganization was effected, but after about ten years the seat of the society was removed to Great Bend. Only occasional meetings of this denomination were held in the union building.

The Methodists have been more permanent both in their society organization and meetings. The class was formed about 1835, and the first preaching service at the Mills was held in 1842, since which time the society has maintained an active existence. In 1871 the union meeting house was deeded to the trustees of the society. The present membership is seventy-four, with twenty-eight probationers. The pastor is Rev. L. D. Green.

Black River Village.- In 1891 that portion of the present village of Black River which is within the town limits of Rutland was separately incorporated, but through an irregularity the proceeding was nullified. Immediately afterward and during the same year, the entire village proper, on both sides of the river, was incorporated under the name of the Village of Black River, taking therefor from Rutland 625½ acres of land. The territory, however, was not lost to the town, and was separated therefrom only for municipal purposes. It is one of the most enterprising and thrifty villages on Black river, and is especially noted for the number and magnitude of its manufacturing industries.

The post-office is kept on the Le Ray side, but at the present time Rutland furnishes the postmaster. The first Post-office on the south side was established in 1832, previous to which the hamlet was called Lockport. The first postmaster was Dr. Albert Parsons. The early and present history of the village is fully treated in the chapter relating to the town of Le Ray, wherefore in this connection not more than a passing allusion is necessary.

The first improvement here was made in 1806. when Isaac and Harvey Cleveland built the saw mill which high water carried away the next year. The mill was replaced the same year. A grist mill was erected in 1810. In 1815 Christopher Poor and Andrew Middleton built a saw mill just below the village site, where a subterranean passage of water offered and excellent natural power. In 1826 Francis Butterfield came here from Antwerp, at which time only four families lived in the settlement south of the river. They were Beriah and Eli Penniman, Thomas Scott and one other whose name is not recalled. Mr. Butterfield built a small frame house in 1826, and about five years later erected a hotel. A bridge across the river was built in 1832. The first store was opened by Francis, Levi, William K. and Philander Butterfield, who, with Christopher Poor, Andrew Middleton, David Dexter and a few other enterprising men established the hamlet which became so prosperous in later years. In 1839 Mr. Dexter founded the chair industry which has been one of the most important interests of the village in all subsequent years. Among the other early industries may be mentioned the bent chair stock factory, begun by Christopher Poor and afterward continued by Poor & Dexter, and also the coffin and casket works started in 1849 by W. S. Wilcox, both of which have given way to other and more recent enterprises.

One of the first religious societies in this part of the town was the Black River (Lockport) Baptist church, which was organized in 1837, and in the next year joined the Baptist association. No house of worship was built and in the course of fifteen years the society ceased to exist.

A Methodist class was formed in this part of Rutland
(10) soon after 1833, about which time regular services were held at Lockport. In 1837 a committe comprising Francis Porter, Samuel Middleton and Bildad Woodward was selected to prepare plans for a house of worship, but nothing further was accomplished until 1844, when a fund was raised sufficient to build and enclose a meeting house. The work was done and the edifice was dedicated in 1848. The building was remodeled and rededicated in 1876. The first trustees of the society were Bildad Woodward, Thomas H. and Henry Scott, David Dexter and William P. Tredway. This is by far the largest church society in the town, and has ever maintained a healthful existence. The members number 168 persons and 10 probationers. The present pastor is Rev. C. M. Smith.

A society of the Disciples of Christ was formed in the town in 1871, composed of auxiliary societies of Black River and Felt's Mills. The society now has no active existence in the village. The same may also be said of the Universalist society, which is referred to in the history of Felt's Mills. The circuit at one time comprised Black River, Felt's Mills and Tylerville, but has no present organization.

On lot No. 29, in the eastern part of the town, is the mission of St. Joseph's church, established about fifteen years ago for the convenience of the Catholic families of Rutland and Champion. It does not support a resident priest, and services, when held, are conducted by Catholic clergymen from Watertown. It was formerly supplied from Copenhagen.

Supervisors.- David Coffeen, 1803; Clift French, 1804-5: Ethel Bronson, 1806, failed to qualify and Perley Keyes appointed; Lelotus Harvey, 1807; Hugh Henderson, 1808. succeeded in April by Ethel Bronson; Judah Williams, 1809-13, succeeded in July of the last year by Jonathan Smiley; Jonathan Smiley, 1814-20; Ethel Bronson, 1821-23; Amos Stebbins, 1824-26; Joseph Graves, 1827-35; John Felt, 1836; George White, 1837-40; Aaron W. Potter, 1841-42; Joseph Graves, 1843; David Howland. 1844; Gardner Towne, 1845: Merrill Coburn, 1846-47; Asa Clark, jr., 1848-49; Martin L. Graves, 1850-52; John A. Sherman, 1853; Orlin Wheelock, 1854- 55; George W. Hazieton, 1856-57; Andrew C. Middleton, 1858-60; George Towne, 1861-62; Asa Clark, 1863; George W. Hazieton, 1864-66; A. W. Hardy, 1867; Andrew C. Middleton, 1868; Samuel Frink, 1869-70; William Southwick, 1871-72; Harlan P. Dunlap, 1873-74; William Southworth, 1875; George W. Smith, 1876-79; Charles Roberts, 1880-82; B. J. Smith, 1883; Jay W. Waldo, 1884-86; L. D. Olney, 1887; Jay W. Waldo, 1888; Charles Roberts, 1889; Carl H. Frink, 1890-91; Herman L. Allen, 1891-99.

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