History of Lisle, New York


The creation of the township of Lisle dates from April 7th, 1801, when a large territory was set off from the town of Union. As originally constituted, Lisle included the adjoining towns of Barker, Nanticoke and Triangle, as well as a part of Union, in addition to the 27,772 acres now included within its boundaries. This township lies in the northwestern corner of Broome county and was a part of the far-famed Boston Purchase, having for its first settlers men of sterling worth from the New England States.

Settlements had been made by a number of these downeasters as early as 1791, among them being Josiah Patterson, Ebenezer Tracy, Edward Edwards, David Manning, Eliphalet Parsons and Whittlesey Gleason. The first white child born in the township was Henry Patterson, son of Josiah Patterson, some time in 1793. Solomon Owen and Sylvia Cook were the first to be married, and the first death was that of Wright Dudley. Jacob Hill built the first grist mill, in 1800, and the first store was kept by Moses Adams. That this section had decided attractions for the people of New England we may infer from the fact that when the year 1800 was ushered in, the population of the township was 660. Jesse Randall bought a saw mill of Josiah Patterson at Millville near Whitney Point in 1808, adding a mill for carding wool in 1810. About the same time Samuel Kilburn established himself in the settlement as a cloth dresser and proprietor of a fulling mill. Some seven years prior to that time, Ebenezer Tracy made the first settlement on the present site of the village of Lisle, and Dr. Samuel Hunt opened an office in the same year, 1793. A little to the northward at Killawog, Captain Ebenezer Whittlesey and his son Samuel, together with Jonathan Cowdry, were pioneer settlers, coming about 1795.

That the growth of this part of Broome county was rapid, we may conclude from statistics showing that while in 1800 Lisle had only 660 inhabitants, ten years later the number had increased to 2,144. Lisle gained its acme of population in 1830, when it had reached 4,393, at that time outstripping every other township of Broome county. "The Old State of Lisle," as the township was familiarly called in its early days, did not long retain its supremacy; for in 1831 a legislative enactment brought about a division of Lisle into four parts, each constituting a new township. By this act the townships of Triangle, Barker and Nanticoke came into existence. Immediately the population of Lisle fell, so that when the next census was taken in 1840 there were only 1,558 dwellers in the township. Subsequent fluctuations in population are shown in the following table: 1850, 1,680; 1860, 1,791; 1870, 2,525; 1880, 2,399; 1890, 1,962; 1900, 1,710; 1910, 1,429; 1920, 1,219.

Lisle in 1835 had considerable distinction as a manufacturing town, at that time having in operation three grist mills, twenty saw mills, one oil cloth mill, three fulling mills, three carding mills, one trip hammer or forging mill, three tanneries and two places where potash was made. In 1867 the people of Lisle held an election to determine whether the village should be incorporated or not, the vote being 55 for and 8 against the proposition. At that time the township assumed the name of Lisle, which it has since retained. A re-incorporation took place in 1876, and we find that Lisle then had about 400 inhabitants.

The Union Library was opened in 1914, with Leonard Sessions, Nathaniel Bosworth, Daniel Crane, Uriel Sessions and Harvey Dewey as trustees. Lisle was one of the first of Broome county's interior villages to take advantage of the Union Free School system, the change baing effected in 1866, when the Lisle Academy was organized. This in the coufse of time gave way to the present high school. The "Lisle Gleaner" was established in May, 1871, by Gilbert A. Dodge, who called to the editorial chair Eugene Davis, who in 1872 succeeded to the ownership of the paper and carried the business on until it was purchased by Alfred Livermore, about 1897. At the present time "The Gleaner" is published by F. E. Terwilliger.

In the autumn of 1922, the following comprised the list of merchants doing business in the village of Lisle: Jesse Arnold, general merchandise; Charles B. Marks, Leader store, general merchandise; the Victory Store, Inc., Henry C. Randall, manager, general merchandise; H. D. French, lime, cement and feed; Christian Kroyer, meat market, etc.; Edwards Bros., flour and feed. Then, too, there is a shipping station on the D. L. & W. railroad, equipped for making cheese. Two churches are sustained in Lisle, a Congregational church and a Methodist Episcopal church.

Descendants of the old settlers are Louis B. Edwards, Richard H. Edwards, Frank E. Glezen, James Stoddard, H. F. Squire, Frank P. Edmister, Frank H. Clark, Mrs. James R. Palmer (Wood).

Killawog is another village in the township of Lisle. It was originally called Union Village, but the name was changed on account of the fact that there already was a village of the same name in the township of Union. Killawog had large lumbering interests in the early days, but these gave way ultimately to agriculture, for which the lands in its vicinity are well adapted. A number of stores are now maintained here, and a church of the Methodist Episcopal denomination.

Still another hamlet in Lisle is Centre Lisle, or Yorkshire, as it was originally called. This is situated very nearly in the center of the township. Trade being attracted away from Centre Lisle, the population, which at one time reached 200, has declined, so that while the village is a pretty place naturally, very little business is done there at present.

The assessed valuation of Lisle according to the latest assessment is as follows: Real property, $619,715; franchises, $137,534; personal property, $31,400. The following comprise the list of township officers: Supervisor, L. B. Edwards; town clerk, A. H. Burghardt; assessors, W. H. Leet, F. E. Glezen, Charles Arnold; superintendent of highways, E. J. Lusk; justices of the peace, E. H. Wheeler, A. E. Rodgers, M. J. Leet, J. J. Glezen; collector, Harvey Stiles; superintendents of poor, Charles B. Marks, Ed. Watts, Jr.; constables, F. M. Pollard, Clifford Glezen. Floyd Smith, Abram Johnson, Clayton Pierce.

One of the institutions of which the people of Lisle are justly proud is that known as the "Happy Valley Homes," situated at the village of Lisle. This home for children was founded in 1915 by Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Edwards. The institution receives children from various private and public sources at a fixed rate per week for board and care and clothing. The cooperation of the State Charities Aid Association has been of assistance in securing and placing children later in free homas or for adoption. The Homes are carried on on a cost basis. The committee of management is a follows: Mrs. R. H. Edwards, chairman; R. H. Edwards, treasurer; Miss Grace L. Edwards, assistant treasurer; Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Parsons and Mrs. H. K. Twitchell. The staff includes the following; B. W. Parsons, manager; Mrs. B. W. Parsons, matron; Miss Grace L. Edwards, steward; Miss Della Burns, housemother; Mrs. M. S. Greene, housemother.

Three buildings are occupied by the Homes, the old hotel at the intersection of Main, River and High streets, and two cottages on the south side of High street. These have been given the names, "The Camp House," "The Briarcliff House" and "The Hanford House." There is also "The Aunt Elizabeth Guest House," the income from which is devoted to the needs of dependent children. The capacity of the Homes is twentyeight children. Ordinarily the ages of those admitted range from four to twelve. Individual children remain at the Home anywhere from a month to two or three years, or until they are fitted for permanent placement.

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