TOWN OF MILTON.
The town of Milton is second in importance to Saratoga Springs in point of population
and wealth, but probably the first town in the county in the extent and value of its manufactures. Milton is bounded
on the north by Greenfield, on the east by Saratoga Springs and Malta, on the south by Baliston and Chariton, and
on the west by Gaiway. It contains 20,935 acres. The Revised Statutes describe the town as follows:
The town of Milton shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly by Greenfield, easterly by the
east line of the fourteenth allotment of the Kayadrossera patent and the same continued to the north line of the
sixteenth allotment, southerly by a line beginning in the southeast corner of the fourteenth allotment of the Kaya
drossera patent and running thence west along the bounds of the said allotment to the middle of the south bounds
of lot number nine in the subdivision of the allotment aforesaid, and westerly by a line running from thence due
north to the southwest corner of the town of Greenfield.
The surface of the town is undulating in.the south and moderately hilly in the north. The Kayaderosseras creek
flows southeasterly through the center of the town, turning at Baliston Spa and flowing easterly through Saratoga
Springs into Saratoga lake. Gordon creek, which joins Kayaderosseras from the west at Baliston Spa, is one of its
principal tributaries. The water power furnished by the Kayaderosseras has been employed from the days of earliest
settlement, and along its banks are nearly a score of extensive mills and factories. The Delaware and Hudson Canal
Company’s railroad passes westerly and northeasterly through the southeast corner of the town.
The earliest settlements in Milton were made at Milton Hill and a short distance north of that point. Just before
the Revolution David Wood and his sons, Stephen, Benjamin, Elijah, Nathan and Enoch, purchased 600 acres at Milton
Hill and moved into the town. Justus Jennings, a Revolutionary soldier, settled near Hop City about 1783. About
the same time Sanborn Ford located at Spier’s Corners. Abel Whalen built a home near him about the same time. Benajah
Douglas, grandfather of Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, built a log house in 1787 near the old public spring at Baliston
Spa, for the accommodation of visitors. This spring was discovered in 1769 while men were at work surveying the
Kayaderosseras patent. Several other springs were subsequently discovered near by in the same valley. In 1817 four
springs, within twenty feet of one another, were disàovered in the bed of the stream (Gordon creek). Soon
afterward their water became fresh.
Benajah Douglas’s house was the first tavern in Milton. In 1792 Nicholas Low built a tavern just east of that of
Douglas. Mr. Douglas built a more commodious house in 1792 and 1793, and the year following summer visitors from
all sections began to pour into the village to drink of the waters of the then famous mineral springs. In 1803
Mr. Low built the Sans Souci hotel, a spacious and elegant hostelry for those days.’ Several other hotels were
built after this, and several boarding houses were also opened. The Sans Souci hotel entertained many of the most
noted men of those days, including Joseph Bonaparte in 1827. While he was visiting here a messenger brought him
the letter announcing the death of Napoleon Bonaparte at St. Helena.
Hezekiah Middlebrook built a grist mill in 1799 or 1800 above the site of the present blue mill on the Kayaderosseras.
Saw mills and grist mills were located at Rock City Falls, then known as Hatch’s Mills, before 1800. This was the
first use of the fine water power at that point. Epenetus White, Mr. Warren and Mr. Sears had stores early in the
century on the low ground near the original spring at Baliston Spa.
Beside the five churches at Baliston Spa, there have been in the town St. James’ Protestant Episcopal church at
Milton Centre, founded in 1796; the Presbyterian church at Milton Hill, organized in 1791, became extinct in 1840;
the Baptist church near Rock City known as the “stone church,” organized about 1798; the Presbyterian church of
West Milton, organized soon after the Revolution; the M. E. church at Rock City Falls, organized in 1844, and the
Catholic church of Rock City Falls, organized in 1872.
Ballston Spa, the county seat of Saratoga county, is the principal village in Milton, though a part of the corporate
limits of the village extend into the town of Baliston. Its early settlement has been referred to in the foregoing.
The village is located in the extreme southeasterrr part of the towii. The village was incorporated March 21, 1807,
and at the first village election, held the first Tuesday in May following, these offucers were elected:
Trustees, Joshua B. Aidridge, Stephen H. White, Nathan Lewis; assessors, John Warren, David McMaster, Archy Kasson;
treasurer, Epenetus White, Jr.; collector, Eli Barnum; clerk, William Shepherd; constables, Elihu Roe, Samis Blakely.
Previous to 1842 no president was elected, the three trustees being equal in authority. In 1842 the number of trustees
was increased to five, and thereafter a president was elected annually by the board at its first meeting. Subsequently
the presidents were, and now are, elected annually by the people. The following have been the presidents of the
village since 1842:
1842-43, James M. Cook; 1844, Reuben Westcot; 1845, James M. Cook; 1846-47, Abel Meeker; 1848, Samuel H. Cook;
1849, Abel Meeker; 1850, George Thompson; 1851, Reuben Westcot; 1852, George Babcock; 1853, William P. Odell; 1854,
Lawrence W. Bristol; 1855, Reuben Westcot; 1856, Edward H. Chapman; 1857, James 0. Leach; 1858, Edward Gilbourn;
1859, Seymour Chase; 1860, Hiro Jones; 1861, John H. Westcot; 1862, David Maxwell; 1863, Levi Weed; 1864, John
Wait; 1865, David Maxwell; 1866—67, John H. Westcot; 1868—69, George G. Scott; 1870—73, Henry A. Mann; 1874, Albert
P. Blood: 1875, Henry A. Mann; 1876-77, Stephen C. Medbery; 1878—81, Alonzo M. Shepherd; 1882, Jeremiah Griffin;
1883—84, Alfred N. Wiley; 1885, Stephen C. Medbery; 1886, Rush H. Young; 1887—89, Stephen C. Medbery; 1890, Alonzo
M. Shepherd; 1891, Abijah Comstock; 1892, Douglas W. Mabee; 1893. Charles 0. McCreedy; 1894—95, Eben S. Lawrence;
1896, Thomas Finley; 1897—98. Douglas W. Mabee.
The prosperity of the village was due at first to the presence of the excellent mineral springs discovered there;
but, secondly, and most important, to the splendid water power of the Kayaderosseras creek. Along this creek numerous
mills and factories were built at an early day, grist mills and saw mills being located there before 1800. Early
in the century other industries were established there. The paper mills, which afford a means of livelihood to
the town, were started before and during the war of the Rebellion. In 1836 Jonathan S. Beach and Harvey Chapman
started a woolen mill on the island in the Kayaderosseras, and four years later they built a cotton mill near their
first mill. In 1844 they built a third mill, for cotton manufacture. The second mill mentioned was operated until
1861. Their third mill finally became the property of George West, who converted it into a paper mill. In 1850
Beach & Chapman built the Glen woolen mill, which subsequently manufactured cloths and blankets. In 1875 George
West, who already owned four paper mills, bought of. Jonas A. Hovey the island mill he had purchased in 1861 of
Beach & Chapman, and converted it into a plant for the manufacture of paper. He also bought the first mill
referred to, the Union mill, and the woolen mill; converted the latter into a paper bag mill, and leasing the cotton
mill. The tannery of Haight & Co. was removed from Milton Centre to Ballston Spa in 1882 and its facilities
greatly increased. The axe and scythe shops at Bloodville, a suburb of Ballston Spa, were established by Isaiah
Blood in 1824.
The county seat was removed from Court House Hill in Ballston to Baliston Spa after the burning of the original
court house and jail in 1817. The new court house in Baliston Spa was opened in the spring of 1819. The present
court house was built in 1889. The first county clerk’s office was built in 1824 on Front street. The present office
west of the court house was erected in 1865—1866 and first occupied in the summer of that year.
A new union school building was, erected on Bath street in 1873—1874. Plans are now being made for increasing the
school facilities of the village. A “State and National Law School” was established in the old Sans Souci hotel
in 1849 by John W. Fowler, but closed after a career of three years.
There are five churches in Baliston Spa—Christ Protestant Episcopal church, founded at Ballston Centre in 1787,
and removed to Baliston Spa in 1817, seven years after the organization of the original St. Paul’s parish in this
village; the First Baptist church, founded in 1791; the First Presbyterian church, founded in 1834; the M. E. church,
founded in 1836, and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church, whose first edifice was erected in 1859. A new M. E. church
was built in 1892— 1893, and a new Baptist church in 1895—1896, and a new Catholic church in 1896.
The Baliston Spa National bank was established in 1838, and the First National bank in 1865.
Franklin lodge No. 90, F. & A. M., was instituted in 1842. It is the successor of Franklin lodge No. 37, instituted
in the town of Ballston in 1794, and of Friendship lodge No. 18, instituted at Milton Hill in 1805, both of which
early lodges had forfeited their charters. Among the numerous other thriving fraternal organizations in the village
are Kayaderosseras lodge No. 17, I. O. O. F., instituted January 9, 1844; Post William H. McKittrick No. 46, G.
A. R., organized in May, 1875; Hermion lodge No. 90, K. of P., organized in December, 1873; the Utopian club; Baliston
‘Spa Castle No. 3, K. of G. E..; Home lodge No. 135, A. O. U. W.; the Royal Templars of Temperance. The Baliston
Spa fire department consists of Eagle Fire company No. 1, Union Fire company No. 2. and Matt Lee Hook & Ladder
company No. 1.
Factory Village and Bloodville are suburbs of Baliston Spa, and are inhabited, for the most part, by employes of
the axe and scythe shop and the other industries of that locality. Factory Village was so named because of the
two paper mills located there soon after the war. The paper mill there now is owned by the National Folding Box
and Paper company of Hartford, Conn. Bloodville, which contains the immense plant of the American Edge Tool company,
manufacturers of scythes and axes, was named after Isaiah Blood, the founder of the industry. Craneville, a hamlet,
is located further up the Kayaderosseras. The paper mill at that point was purchased by George West soon after
the war. Milton Centre is located in the centre of the town. Here General James Gordon built a grist mill at the
close of the Revolution. The tannery of Samuel Haight, which was removed to Ballston Spa in 1882, was located at
this point for many years. West Milton is a consolidation of Spier’s Corners and Clute’s Corners. Daniel Campbell
built a grist mill there about 1798. Ezekiel Whalen opened the first store there. Rock City Falls is located at
the upper water power of the Kayaderosseras. Rowland & Kilmer built a paper mill there in 1840, which afterwards
was purchased by George West. Chauncey Kilmer has owned a paper mill there for several years. Hilton Hill is now
hardly a hamlet. Rowland’s Mills or Rowland Hollow is located in the eastern part of the town. It was named after
H. R. Rowland, who built the early grist mills and saw mills there.
The town was organized in 1892, at first including that portion of Greenfield which was a part of the old district
of Ballston. Greenfield was erected in 1793, since which time the limits of the town have been unchanged. The records
of the town clerk up to 1798 have been lost. The following have been the principal town officers since 1792, exèepting
the clerks from 1792 to 1798:
1792, John Ball; 1793—94, Abel Whalen; 1795—96, Elisha Powell; 1797—99, Walter
Patchin; 1800-01, Henry-Frink; 1802—03, Jeremy Rockwell; 1804, Silas Adams; 1805— 08, Elisha Powell; 1809—12, Joel
Keeler; 1813—15. Daniel Couch, jr.; 1816—18, Joel Reeler; 1819—21, Thomas Dibble; 1822—32, Thomas Palmer; 1833—37,
‘Isaac Frink; 1838, James M. Cook; 1839, Abraham Middlebrook; 1840-41, Sylvester Blood; 1842— 43, Hiram Rowland;
184445, james M. Cook; 1846, Hiram Wood; 1847, Isaiah Blood; 1848, Daniel W. Culver; 1849, John Talmadge; 1850—51,
James Ashman; 1852, Daniel W. Culver; 1853, George W. Ingalls; 1854. John W. Thompson; 1855, John S. Jones; 1856,
D. W; Culver; 1857, G. W. Ingalls; 1858, William P. Odell; 1859, Isaiah Blood; 1860, William T. Odell; 1861, G.
W. Ingafls; 1862, George W. Chapman; 1863, Cornwell M. Noxon; 1864-65, Edwin H. Chapman; 1866—68, Hiro Jones; 1869—70,
Isaiah Blood; 1871, Hiro Jones; 1872, Clarence B. Kilmer; 1873, John McLean; 1874—75, George West, jr.; 1876—79,
George L. Thompson; 1880. Truman C. Parkman; 1881-84, George L. Thompson; 1885, Abijah Comstock; 1886, Martin Lee;
1887, John Richards; 1888-89, Abijah Comstock; 1890, William W. Sweet; 1891, Eben S. Lawrence; 1892, Frank J. Sherman;
1893, Samuel Thompson; 1894—97, Frederick H. Beach; 1898, Thomas Finley,
1799—1808, Ezekiel Whalen; 1809—12, Silas Wood; 1813—41, Alpheus Goodrich; 1842,
Horace Goodrich; 1843-44, William T. O’dell; 1845-46, Wheeler K. Booth; 1847, David Maxwell; 1848, Samuel De Forest;
1849—52. John H. Westcot; 1853, Seymour Chase; 1854, Lawrence W. Bristol; 1855, Peter C. Gordon; 1856-65, Charles
E. Jones; 1866-1867, Jonathan S. Smith; 1868, Joseph H. Thomas; resigned, and Seth Whalen appointed in his place;
1869—70, William G. Ball; 1871, John V. N. Barrett; 1872, William G. Ball; 1873, George W. Oakley; 1874, W. B.
H. Outt; 1875—76, Leverett J. Seeley; 1877, W. H. Chapman; resigned, and James W. Morris appointed; 1878, John
L. Carlin; 1879, James E. Lee; 1880—82, William S. Waterbury; 1883—84, Herbert C. Westcot; 1885—86, Frank D. Groat;
1887—88, Edwin F. Howard; 1889, Jesse Young: 1890, John Augustus Raymond; 1891, Braman Ayers, jr.; 1892—93, John
D. Wait; 1894 to date, James Munn.
JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
1830, Alpheus Goodrich; 1831, William J. Angle; 1832, Thomas Palmer; - 1833. Oran
G. Otis, Daniel Couch; 1834, Alpheus Goodrich; 1835, William J. Angle; 1836, George G. Scott; 1837, James Ladow;
1838, Eliphalet St. John; 1839, William J. Angle; 1840, G. G. Scott; 1841, James Ladow; 1842, Abram T. Davis; 1843,
William J. Angle: 1844, G. G. Scott; 1845, Ezra Westcot; 1846, David Maxwell; 1847, Henry Crippen; 1848, Callender
Beecher; 1849, Le Grand Johnson; 1850, David Maxwell, Ezra Westcot, Samuel De Forest; 1851, Daniel Bronson; 1852,
Charles D. Allen, M. L. Williams, William Wilson; 1853, Ezra Westcot; 1854, Augustus E. Brown; 1855, James Ladow,
Abraham Middlebrook; 1856, David Maxwell; 1857, Henry Crippen; 1858, Seymour Chase; 1859, James Ladow; 1860, David
Maxwell; 1861, Seth Whalen; 1862, David Morris; 1863, James Ladow; 1864, David Maxwell, Solomon A. Parks; 1865,
Cornwell M. Noxon; 1866, Aaron G. Waring; 1867, James Leggett, Charles H. Wickham; 1868, David Maxwell; 1869, Seth
Whalen; 1870, Samuel D. Sherman; 1871, James Leggett; 1872, David Maxwell; 1873, Stephen B. Jackson, Jacob S. Settle;
1874, Daniel Boyce; 1875, David Morris; 1876, Theodore Hamilton; 1877, John H. Smith, Palmer S. Kilmer; 1878, Samuel
D. Sherwood, (full term), James Miller (short term); 1879, James A. Burnham (full term), Thomas Finley, William
W. Sweet, James McFarland (all short term); 1880, David Morris; 1881, Oscar W. Brown; 1882, J. Albert Cipperly
(full term), George W. Maxon (short term); 1883, John H. Smith (full term). Silas H. Torrey (short term); 1884,
George W. Maxon; 1885, Oscar W. Brown; 1886, Silas H. Torrey; 1887, Calvin Whiting; 1888, Horace E. McKnight; 1889,
George R. Beach (full term), Brightman Briggs (short term); 1890, John Pierson (short term and long term); 1891,
Brightman Briggs; 1892, Thomas Finley; 1893, Obed R. Mosher (full term), Frank H. Brown (short term); 1894, Charles
R. Clapp; 1895, Andrew Benton; 1896, Willard W. Brown (full term), Edward S. Coons (short term); 1897, Clarence
B. Kilmer; 1898, Edwin R. Quackenbush (full term), Willard W. Brown and Charles Van Buren (short term).
Under a special statute the town was authorized, in 1863, to elect a police justice
once in every two years. Those serving in that office have been:
1863—66, David Maxwell; 1867—74, John B. McLean; 1875, G. W. Hall. (resigned and Alvah C. Dake appointed in his
place); 1877—78, A. C. Dake; 1879-84, John H. Smith; 1885-88, Silas H. Torrey; 1889-94, James H. Burnham; 1895-96,
George L. Lewis; 1897—98, Andrew J. Freeman.