History of Watson, NY
FROM: History of Lewis County, New York and its people
By Franklin B. Hough
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1883


CHAPTER XXXVII.
HISTORY OF-THE TOWN OF WATSON.

THIS town was formed from Leyden, March 30, 1821, embracing all of Lewis county east of Black river. The first town meeting was held at the house of John Beach, at which Caleb Lyon was chosen Supervisor; John Beach, Clerk; Ozem Bush, Phineas Cole, and Joseph O. Mott, Assessors; C. Lyon, Thomas Puffer, and O. Bush, Commissioners of Highways; Samuel Smith and P. Cole, Overseers of the Poor; J. O. Mott and Daniel B. Baker, Constables; S. Smith, Colledor; C. Lyon, J. Beach, and P. Cole, Commissioners of Common Schools; C. Lyon, John Bush, and P. Cole, Inspectors of Schools; and O. Bush, T. Puffer and David Chase, Fence Viewers.

In this list we find the names of persons who lived in parts of the town remote from each other, and the same name several times repeated. The latter was occasioned by the small number of persons who possessed freeholds sufficient to allow them to hold office. This inconvenience led to an act passed Feb. 6, 1824, authorizing white males, of legal age in this town to hold office, if they had contracts for land worth $150. There were, when the town was organized, families, and 481 acres of improved land: 115 head of cattle, 18 horses and 107 sheep within its borders.

Supervisors.-1821-'22, Caleb Lyon; 1823, Joseph O. Mott; 1824-'27, Ozem Bush ; 1828, Simon Goodell (May, 1828, Ozem Bush); 1829, Ozem Bush; 1830, Stephen P. Hamilton: 1831-'34, Nelson J. Beach; 1835-'36, Nathan Lewis; 1837-'38, N.J. Beach; 1839-'44, Ralph Beach; 1845, N. J. Beach; 1846, Jonathan Perry; 1848-'51, Ralph Beach; 1852, Peter Kirley; 1853, Jehiel R. Wetmore; 1854, Daniel S. Andrews; 1855, Charles Chase; 1856-'58, Chester Ray; 1859-'66, Peter Kirley; 1867, Samuel F. Garmon; 1868, Jehiel Wetmore; 1869- '70, S. F. Garmon; 1871, Nelson J. Beach; 1872, Hamilton Wilcox; 1873-'74, Joseph Harvey; 1875-'77, Hamilton Wilcox; 1878, Glover C. Hinman; 1879-'80, S. F. Garmon; 1881-'82, Peter Kirley.

Clerks.-1821-'22, John Beach; 1823- '24, Otis Munn; 1825-'26, John Beach; 1827, Archibald Benjamin; 1828, Joshua Harris (May, 1828, A. Benjamin); 1829- '32, A. Benjamin; 1833, Charles Loomis; 1834-'38, Anson Ormsby 1839-'43, Peter Munn; 1844, Thomas Kirley; 1845, John W. Merrile; 1846, Peter Munn; 1847, Thomas Kirley; 1848, Squire H. Snell; (May, 1848, Peter Kirley); 1852-'55, Isaac C. Brown; 1856, Albert M. Gillet; 1857 -58, James Garmon; 1859-'63, Isaac C. Brown; 1864, no choice, E. B. Livingston appointed; 1865, Isaac C. Brown; 1866-'73, Jared T. Brown; 1874, Francis J. Chapman; 1875-'77, James B. Glenn; 1878-'82, Isaac C. Brown.

In no town in the county have so large bounties been paid for the destruction of wild animals as this. The records show a vote of $5 in 1827, '28, '32; $10 in 1825, '26, '28, '29, '30, '31, '36, '37, '38, '41, '42, '52 to '59, and $15 in 1835 for wolves; of $5 in 1828 to '36, 1842-'46, and $10 in 1839, '40, '41, '57, '58, for panthers; of $2 in 1833 to '38, and $5 in 1841-'42, for bears; of 50 cents in 1833, '35, '36, for foxes, and of 50 cents in 1833 -'35, for crows killed between May 15 and June 15. Whether the relief thus obtained from the ravages of these animals, or the knowledge that a large portion of the bounty was raised by tax upon wild lands, was a governing motive in these votes of town meeting we may not perhaps be allowed to decide.

Notice of James and James T. Watson. - Watson was named from James T. Watson, the proprietor of a tract of 61,433 acres lying in this town and in Herkimer county. James Watson, his father, the first owner under Constable, was a native of Litchfield, Ct., and a wealthy merchant in New York during and subsequent to the Revolution. He held a captain's commission in the war, served the State in several important offices, and died in 1808 or 1809. His only son, James Talcott Watson, made the first attempt to settle these lands, and for many years was accustomed to spend his summers in the county. He was a man of fine education and affable manners, and in early life was a partner in the house of Thomas L. Smith & Co., East India merchants, in which capacity he made a voyage to China. The death of a Miss Livingston, with whom he was engaged to be married, induced a mental aberration which continued through life, being more aggravated in certain seasons of the year, while at others it was scarcely perceptible. in after life the image of the loved and the lost often came back to his memory, like the sunbeam from a broken mirror, and in his waking reveries he was heard to speak of her as present in the spirit, and a confidant of his inmost thoughts.

In his business transactions, Mr. Watson often evinced a caprice which was sometimes amusing, and always inno- cent. This was by most persons, humored, as tending to prevent any unpleasant result, which opposition might at such times have upon him.

He was moreover wealthy, and as his fancies often involved expenditures, some of those who favored them were quite willing to let them have their course, so long as they got their pay.

As another example of his excentricities, the following ancedote was related many years since by the late Cordial Storrs, who was living at the time it occurred, in Lowville village, in a house now on the site of Burdick's bakery

Mr. Watson came to him one Sunday in great haste, insisting upon his going off with him to survey some land in Watson-perhaps a city. Mr. Storrs, who had been called out of church in the morning service, advised him to wait till Monday, and remarked that he did not like to be seen going through the streets of the village with his surveying instruments, on the Sabbath. But Mr. Watson relieved him of this objection by saying that he would carry them himself, and would go on with them alone, appointing a rendezvous just outside of the village, where he had a wagon, and which Mr. Storrs might reach by another way. The case was urgent, and he must not refuse to go.

At the appointed place the wagon was found, with a strange lot of rubbish, parts of old harness, and other articles in it, and they started off together. On coming to a certain place on the river bank, Mr. Watson seized the compass staff, leaped out of the wagon, and began to dig out of the sand a nest of mudturtle's eggs, which he had found, and for which the staff was very convenient. When this was done he handed it back to Mr. Storrs, and dismissed him. He had no other way to do but to return back on foot to the village, with his instruments, and arrived Just as the people were coming out of the churches in the afternoon.

In the summer of 1838, he undertook to cultivate an immense garden, chiefly of culinary vegetables, upon his farm in Watson, beginning at a season, when, under the most favorable conditions, nothing could come to maturity, and insisting that he would be satisfied if the seeds only sprouted, as this would prove the capacity of his land.

In his social intercourse Mr. Watson often evinced, in a high degree, many noble and manly qualities. With a lively fancy and ready command of language, he had the power of rendering himself eminently agreeable, while many of those who settled upon his tract, will bear witness that he possessed a kind and generous heart. But there were moments when the darkest melancholy settled upon him, utterly beyond relief from human sympathy, and in one of these he ended his own life. He committed suicide with a razor, in New York, at his house, No. 8, State street, January 29, 1839, at the age of 50 years. His estate was divided among 39 first cousins on his fathers side, and 5 on his mother's and some of these shares were still farther subdivided among numerous families. The sixty thousand acres, when divided, gave to a cousin's share over 1,600 acres, but some parcels amounted to but 33 acres. Much of these lands have since been sold for taxes.

The Watson tract formed two triangular areas, connected by a narrow strip, of which the outline was surveyed by William Cockburn, in 1794, the west triangle was surveyed out by Broughton White, of Remsen, in 1808, and the east one by N. J. Beach, in 1842.

A part of the west, and all of the east tract, is still a forest, and much of it towards and beyond the county line, is chiefly valuable for its timber. There is a tradition that Low offered James Watson $16,000 to exchange lands, before either knew anything of the soil, or the relative value of their purchases, which time has shown to belong to the two extremes of agricultural capacity.

THE STEALING OF A TOWN MEETING.

At the date of organization there were no roads in Watson, connecting the upper settlements near Lyonsdale, with those opposite Lowville, and for many years the only way of passing from one part to the other was by the road on the west side of the river, from fifteen to twenty miles around, or upon the river itself. It was therefore a desirable object to secure the location of town meetings, which could not possibly be located so as to accommodate more than a part of the voters. In 1824 the town meeting, held at the house of Daniel Wheaton, at Lyonsdale, was adjourned over to the same place.

The northern section was numerically the strongest, and the next year privately rallying their full force, some from the extreme parts of what is now Diana, attended at the appointed house, which was, at the time, uninhabited, and the barn empty. They opened at 9 1-2, an hour earlier than that on which town meetings are usually begun, but as to that legally with the time fixed by law, three Justices of the Peace and the Town Clerk presiding, and on the pretense of the want of accommodation and inclemency of the weather, adjourned over to the next day at the house of Thomas Puffer, in what is now Watson, and 20 miles from Lyonsdale.

The southerners, upon assembling, found the town meeting stolen, but upon weighing all the circumstances, concluded to go on as if no accident had happened, and called upon a Justice present to organize the meeting. The latter refused to do so, and the electors proceeded in their own way, elected a full set of town officers and adjourned for one year to the same part of the town. The northern party met the next day, pursuant to adjournment, also elected a full set of town officers, and probably adjourned over to the same neighborhood.

During four years two town meetings were thus annually held, and a double set of town officers elected. Both Supervisors appeared at the County Board, and the one from the northern part alone was admitted, and the Collector from this part alone received his warrant from the Board. The town officers in the southern part received no pay for their services, and their authority in local affairs was limited to their own section, and by sufferance rather than law.

In March, 1828, the upper or southern party quietly mustered their whole force on the night before town meeting day, agreed upon their ticket, and leaving at home a few old men, barely enough to conduct their own meeting, they set out before dawn with a dozen sleigh-loads of voters to assist their rivals in electing town officers. The expedition was conducted with the most profound secrecy, and the enemy were taken by surprise. To have contested the passage at the ferry might have been easy, had not the ice furnished a bridge for crossing, or to have privately dispatched a small party to capture the town meeting left behind in charge of the veterans, would have been feasible had not the distance prevented.

The result showed a striking unanimity at the two town meetings, the same persons being elected throughout, and the adjournment of both being to the same place in the extreme south part of the town. Resolutions for a division had been voted in 1822, '24, '25, '26 and '27, the latter by the northern party recommending Beaver river as the boundary line. In 1828, both town meetings voted against any division until the southern town officers had been paid for their services, but before another town meeting the question of division was settled by the Legislature.

A suit brought by Goodell against Baker in the Lewis Circuit, December 14, 1826, before Judge Williams, in a suit of trespass de bonis asportates, for having distrained the plaintiff's horses for a tax, assuming to act as collector under authority of the northern town meeting, was decided in Goodell's favor. The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court for a new trial, which was grapted in February, 1828, and the case as reportecl, gives the circumstances of the adjournment, and the opinions of the court briefly as follows:- "The people at town meetings may determine the place of holding town meetings from time to time, and may adjourn to a second day and another place if they judge necessary. There could be no injury to the rights of any as all might attend. There were exclusive judges of the occasion, and although they might have been indiscreet, their act was still legal, and the officers they elected at the adjourned meeting were legally chosen and the proper town officers."

Both parties voted in their town meetings to raise money to protect the rights of the town, and in Watson the poor funa belonging to the town was voted to b applied to this law suit.

SETTLEMENT OF THE TOWN.

Settlement was begun within this town by Eliphalet Edmonds from Boonville, and Jonathan Bishop, who received deeds of Rodolph Tillier, agent of Castorland, on the ioth of October, 1798, for 100 and 162 acres respectively, at $2 per acre. The lots were surveyed by J. C. Chambers, and the settlers began small improvements on the banks of the river but did not long remain. The former in the fall of 1799, took up land in Adams, and the next spring became a pioneer settler in that town. Isaac Puffer * and family soon after settled in this town, and were for several years the only inhabitants. He was the first purchaser under Watson, and built a saw-mill for the proprietor on his tract near Chase's lake. In 1807, Melancthon W. Welles, of Lowville, became the first agent of Watson, and under his direction surveys were made in Watson's West Triangle by Robert McDowell soon after. Unexpected difficulties prevented Mr. Welles from forming a successful settlement at that period, and a few years after he relinquished the agency.

The first agricultural operation of any magnitude was by Puffer, who in 1811 burnt over the great windfall on the plains east of the present bridge and planted corn. The season was favorable, and the yield among the logs was over forty bushels to the acre. Settlement advanced many years but slowly, and many of those who undertook improvement were of the poorer class, who possessed neither resources nor tact in encountering the difficulties which the wilderness presented. In 1823, over twenty Wurtemburgers were sent on by Watson, who paid their passage and winter's subsistence upon condition of three years' services, but most of them left in the spring. This is believed to have been the only attempt made by this proprietor to settle Europeans upon his lands.

Many hundred tons of bog iron ore were taken from this town at an early period to the Carthage furnace. The boat used had a burthen of from fifty to fifty-five tons, and made two trips a week. It floated down with the current, and was pushed up stream by poles.

In former times the settlers in Watson were much annoyed by wolves, and it was found difficult to keep sheep on this account. It is said upon good authority, that fifty-two sheep have been destroyed by a single wolf in one night. A remarkable event happened in this town, July 27, 1839, nine miles east of Lowville. The house of James Ranney was left in charge of a girl twelve years old, and a child a little over a year old was sleeping ona bed in anadjoining room. Hearing the child scream, the girl sprang to the door and saw a wild animal leap from an open window with the infant in its mouth. She followed about forty rods, thinking it was a large dog, till it reached a pair of bars, where, after several times trying to leap over with its burden, it made off into the woods without it. The child was not seriously injured, and is the present wife of Albert Burdick, of this town. The animal proved to be a huge male panther.

CRIMINAL EVENTS.

An affray occurred in this town August 21, 1829, between Samuel Shaw and William Myers, in which the former received several large wounds from a knife. Myers was sent to State's Prison. He had evidently intended to provoke a quarrel, and to kill Shaw as if in selfdefense.

Hiram Powers, a young man living with Richard Shaw, of this town, on the 23d of March, 1869, arose from the breakfast table, seized an axe, and striking Mr. Shaw in the back of his head, killed him. He was convicted of murder, December 16. 1869, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life.

On the 13th of March, 1837, Isaac G. Puffer, a young man, was accidentally shot by an intimate companion and playmate of childhood, who thoughtlessly presented a gun supposed to be not loaded, and telling him to prepare for instant death, discharged its contents, killing him instantly. He was the father of Isaac G. Puffer, of Lowville village.

The only capital execution that has hitherto occurred in Lewis county, was that of Lawrence McCarthy, for the murder of his father-in-law, Asahel Alford, of this town, November 15, 1838. Mr. Alfred had been living with McCarthy some time, and a difficulty had been known to exist between them. One day, when the two were alone, the murderer approached his victim while writing, and killed him with an axe, drew him with a horse by a chain fastened around his legs, to an unfrequented spot in the woods, buried him slightly with stones and brush and returned. A snow soon covered the trail, but suspicions led to a successful search, and "Larry" (as he was commonly called) was indicted for murder on the 13th of December, tried on the 13th of June, before Judge Gridley, and hung in the court-room, at Martinsburgh, on the 1st of August, 1839.

In the interval between the sentence and the execution, fears were entertained that the Irish laborers upon the canal at Boonville would attempt the rescue of their countryman, and threats to this effect were freely made. To provide against this, a volunteer company was formed at Martinsburgh, under Elijah L. Thompson, and armed from the State arsenal at Watertown. Sentinels were stationed around the jail, and arrangements were made for resisting any attempt that might be made. The "Larry Guards" and a rifle company escorted the prisoner to the gallows and guarded the court house while the execution was progressing, and an immense crowd were drawn together by a morbid curiosity to witness the preparation, although but a few were enabled to observe the final crisis.

A few weeks before this execution, the Rev. Michael Gilbride, a Catholic priest of Carthage, applied for a private interview with the condemned, and was refused access, unless in the presence of the jailor. In this refusal the Sheriff had followed the letter of the statute, and the advice of the District Attorney. The priest at once made a personal application to Governor Seward for his interposition or authority, and the latter addressed a lengthy letter to the Sheriff, which scarcely amounted to more than his advice to place a charitable construction upon the law. Whether this letter was designed as a campaign document, for political effect, and for the public eye, may be surmised from the fact that it was published in the papers before it was received by the Sheriff.

FOREST FIRES.

In July, 1849, extensive damage occurred in this town from running fires in the woods, and an extremely dry season seldom occurs without a liability to this accident, especially upon the light sandy soil once covered with pine. These fires have in various recent years overrun considerable tracts, destroying not only considerable quantities of standing timber and of wood, bark and other materials that had been cut, but doing a great injury to the soil itself, by burning out the organic materials upon or just below the surface. These fires are very apt to overrun the land where the hemlock trees have been cut for peeling, and where the dead tops are left as so much tinder, ready to spring into flames upon the first touch of fire. In such a woodland, in a dry time, a burning match carelessly dropped or a gun-wad may begin a conflagration that ends only when there is nothing left to burn.

Upon such burnt districts there comes up in a year or two, a rank growth of ferns, and a little later blackberry bushes in abundance. Among these, poplars, wild cherry trees, and other deciduous kinds make their appearance, and in the course of time the ground becomes again covered with a forest growth. The process is very slow, and it takes more than a life-time to be accomplished.

NUMBER FOUR.

In 1822 a settlement was begun in the eastern border of the town, on No. 4, Brown's Tract, by David Barber and ____ Bunce. In 1826, Orrin Fenton settled, and was for years the only settler living in that part of the town. The station is highly convenient to parties hunting in winter, and fishing in summer.

Orrin Fenton died March 9th 1870, aged 87. His location upon "Number Four" of Brown's Tract, and about 18 miles from Lowville, has within the last twenty years grown into a place somewhat noted as a summer resort, and the entrance of parties into the wilderness by the Beaver River route. In 1870, a large three-story hotel was built by Charles Fenton, at a cost of $5,000, and year by year it is becoming more popular, as well among those in transit for " Dunbar's," "Stillwater," "Smith's Lake," "Albany Lake," "Raquette" and other places, as by families and persons of more sedentary habits in quest of repose. A postoffice named "Number Four," is now established at this place.

FERRIES AND BRIDGES.

A ferry, regulated by the law of public convenience, formed the first, and until 1828, the oniy means of crossing the river with teams in summer to this town. It was owned and kept by the Puffer family. In 1821, those interested in land east of the river, attempted to raise the means to erect a bridge, but nothing was effected. The question continued to be under consideration until February, 1828, when Ozem Bush, Thomas Puffer, J. C. Herrington, Lemuel Tooley and Daniel B. Baker, were designated as trustees to receive subscriptions for a free bridge, and an appeal was published, urging the importance of the proposed measure. As a further stimulus, an act was procured, March 29, 1828, allowing Nelson J. Beach to erect a toll bridge, and to hold the same twenty years, unless a free bridge was built before January, 1829. These efforts were successful, and a frame bridge was built by Tho. Puffer and finished Aug. 6, 1828. In 1832, a draw was placed in the bridge at the expense of the towns of Watson and Lowville, and a few years after, the bridge was rebuilt at the expense of the two towns.

An act passed Jan. 20, 1851, authorized a loan of $1,000 by the town of Watson, to be repaid by a tax, in from two to five years, and a loan by Lowville of $975, to rebuild the Watson bridge. The piers, abutments and draw, were built by the State in a most thorough and permanent manner, and the money raised by the two towns was applied upon the wooden superstructure of the bridge. The bridge is now, we believe, entirely supported by the State.

DANNATBERG.

This is a small village upon Independence creek, on the south border of the town consisting of a wood-working establishment and its dependencies, chiefly owned by William H. Dannatt, and Charles E. Fell, lumber merchants, of New York City, forming the firm of Dannatt & Fell.

These parties having acquired a property which had been run by George H. Crandall, or the firm of Schlier & Crandall, at the place that had acquired the local name of "Crandallville," began in August, 1880, to extend a somewhat similar business to that which had been run for some years. A steam engine of eightyhorse power, was put in, to supply power in part. Dwellings were put up, and at present the place has about forty families, and two hundred inhabitants. The works have a saw-mill, turning, a veneer-saw, and working machinery in great variety, and employ from forty to fifty men. The goods made here consist chiefly of bedsteads, turned goods, table-stuff, baby-carriages, etc., which are sent off in quantities, to be put together in the city. The timber used, is chiefly beech, birch, maple, basswood, and cherry. The nearest station is Glendale, five miles distant. The village has a store and blacksmith shop, and is located in the bottom of a narrow valley. The Methodists have a society here but no church, and worship in a hall over the store, the service being under the Watson charge, and at present on alternate weeks.

Watson has no other village that might properly be so called. At "Beach's Bridge," the sole point of entry from the west side, there are a hotel, (E. McCulloch,) two stores, (J. P. Owens and Frank Phillips,) and a blacksmith shop, (B. F. Stillman.) A hotel and other buildings were burned here, July 8, 1870. About two miles east, is a hotel, (A. J. Passenger,) and a store, (James Glenn.)

TANNING EXTRACT WORKS.

Chase's Lake P. O.- An establishment for the manufacture of tanning extract from hemlock bark, was erected on the outlet of Chase's Lake, by Lewis, Crawford & Co., in 1871. Since the fall of 1875, it has been owned and run by the firm of Lewis, Crawford & Co. It has a capacity for working 4,000 cords of hemlock bark a year, and of making about 3,500 barrels of extract. It is run day and night through the year, (Sundays excepted,) and employs about ten men in the works. The process consists in grinding, leaching, and boiling in vacuum-pans to the consistence of a syrup, weighing ten pounds to the gallon. In warm weather, carbolic acid is sometimes added to prevent fermentation. The company have a tram-road about five miles long, and two saw-mills for cutting the peeled logs into lumber.

The principal establishments in Watson, not above mentioned, are a steam circular gang saw-mill owned by Wm. Glenn, and saw mills owned by John Fenton, J. A. Petrie, A. J. Passenger, Hiram Peak, Wm. Crum, Ralph Beach, Jr., Young & Wilson, and F. Sperry. By an act passed at the session of 1882, the sum of $6,000 was appropriated for completing reservoirs previously begun under State expense upon Independence creek and Beaver river in this town, for the purpose of maintaining hydraulic power upon these streams, and upon the river below.

PROCEEDINGS AT SPECIAL TOWN MEETINGS DURING THE WAR.

August 26, 1862. - Bounties of $20 were offered for enlistments after July 1st, and the further sum of $50, after August 22d, of that year.

August 25, 1863.-Bounties of $300 offered for each recruit, including drafted men and substitutes. On a vote for tax to meet these expenses the count stood 79 for, and 12 against. Peter Kirley, Elihu Robinson, Ralph Beach, Jr., Ira A. Stone and George Black, were appointed a committee to raise money. December 21, 1863.-The sum of $200 offered in addition to the county bounty. The committee for raising money, consisted of Peter Kirley, Ralph Beach, Jr., Ira A. Stone, M. W. Young, Elihu Robinson and Nelson J Beach. A committee composed of George N. Beach, Ralph Beach, Jr., A. J. Passenger, W. Burrington, A. W. Puffer, Thomas R. Reed, Amanzo F. Ross, Wm. Glenn, Richard Shaw and Geo. Van Atta, to assist in procuring volunteers.

February 9, 1864.-Voted to raise $3,111.79 to pay money borrowed and $3,300 more to be borrowed to pay volunteers.

March 21, 1864.-Further provision was made to provide for paying bounties.

August 3, 1864.-A further bounty of $100, above what was paid by the county, was offered and the committee was empowered to hire agents to get men. Geo. N. Beach was appointed to procure the enrollment of the town, and present it to the town auditors. Elihu Robinson, and George N. Beach appointed to recruit. Ralph Beach, Jr., appointed to go to Watertown with the drafted men and was to keep an account of their expenses, not to exceed $25 to a man.

August 29, 1864.-At a meeting called to consider the subject of quotas, it was resolved, that so much money be raised by tax, as might be necessary, to make the bounty, including that now paid, $1,000 for filling the quota under the call of July 18, 1864.

OBITUARY DATES.

The following names were those of early settlers, or well-known citizens of this town, not elsewhere mentioned
Alger, Reuben L., died October 17, 1865, aged 65.
Bowen, Asa, died January 20, 1841, aged 65.
Bowman, John, died June 18, 1868, aged 62.
Brown, Isaac, died May 7, 1873, aged 75.
Burrington, Solomon, died July 16, 1875, aged 77.
Farrell, John, died February 7, 1875, aged 55.
Garmon, Joseph, died July 29, 1863, aged 57.
Harvey, Arthur, died February 20, 1847, aged 59.
Higby, Lewis, died September 29, 1864, member of 3d N. Y. Cavalry, aged 23.
Kirley, Thomas, died August 7, 1881, aged 80.
Moyer, Joseph, died September 3, 1870, aged 49.
Passenger, Andrew, died March 5, 1869, aged 75.
Phelps, Thaddeus, died April 18, 1863, aged 67.
Schultz, Samuel, died June 2, 1881, aged 81.
Van Atter, Jacob, died March 19, 1872, aged 90.
Warmwood, Henry, died August 13, 1850, aged 66.
Wakefield, Peter, died July 13, 1855, aged 69.
Charles C. Bowman, 14th N. Y. H. A., killed in battle near Spottsylvania, May, 1864, son of John Bowman of Watson.

RELIGIOUS SOCIETIES.

The earliest meetings here were held by the Methodists, and in 1834, this town first appeared on the conference minutes "to be supplied." The numbers then claimed were 77. "The Plains" M. E. church was incorporated May 12, 1854, with Reuben Chase, Ira A. Stone, Eben Blakeman, Ebenezer Puffer and Adam Comstock, trustees, and the present church edifice was erected the same year. It was re-incorporated July 13, 1863, with Ralph Beach, Jr., William H. McGown, William Roberts, Aaron Cornstock and Ebenezer Keffer, as trustees. The first minister whose name appears on the minutes as assigned to this charge was the Rev. Isaac Puffer, who had spent a part of his early life in this town. Richard Lyle was stationed in 1844; H. O. Tilden in 1845-'46; A. S. Wightman in 1847-'48.

The Rev. Isaac Puffer, above mentioned, was born in Westminster, Mass., June 20, 1784, and in 1789 removed to Otsego county, and in 1800 to Lewis county. In 1809 he was received on trial in the New York conference and appointed to Otsego circuit within the newly formed Genesee conference. He continued to labor in central and northern New York, until 1843, when by his own request, he was placed on the supernumerary list, and in 1848, he removed to Illinois. He preached occasionally until December, 1853, when a severe illness prevented further usefulness. He died at Lighthouse Point, Ogle county, Ill., May 25, 1854. A striking peculiarity in his preaching, was the facility and correctness with which he quoted scripture, always naming the place where found. This custom gave him the appellation of "Chapter and Verse" by which he was often known among his friends. His citations sometimes exceeded a hundred in a sermon, and had generally a close relation to the argument in hand.

The Protestant and Episcopal society in this town have a small church (Grace Chapel) in the neighborhood of A. G. Passenger's hotel. It was built under the impulse given by the Rev. Mr. Allen while living in Lowville.

The Seventh Day Baptists formed a society in this town, May 2, 1841, and have a place of worship. Their first trustees were Burdick Wells, K. Green, Daniel P. Williams and Joseph B. Davis. They were legally re-organized April 21, 1861, with Joseph Stiliman, George W. Davis, Daniel P. Williams, Palmer W. Green and Daniel S. Andrews as trustees. In 1846, they claimed 73 communicants.

A union library was formed in this town July 14, 1829, with Nathan Snow, John Fox, Daniel C. Wickham, Joseph Webb, Jr., Francis B. Taylor, Hiram Crego and Lansing Benjamin, trustees. It never became successfully organized.

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