MORE than a century ago, in the year 1790, a party of sur veyors and explorers visited the southern portion of
Mont gomery county, and directed their investigations particularly into the character and quality of the land then
recently ceded by the state of New York to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the tract being the same always designated
in public records and documents as the Boston Purchase, and also as the Boston Ten Townships.
In this party was Elisha Wilson, of Stockbridge, Mass., but in just what capacity he came with the surveyors is
not known. However, on his return to Stockbridge in the fall of that year, young Wilson went at once to proprietor
Elisha Blin and purchased from him lot No. 184, on which in April, 1791, he made the first settlement within the
limits of the present town of Newark Valley.
The story of the journey of Elisha Wilson and his companions from old Stockbridge to this region is an oft told
tale, yet is never without interest. The party of adventurous pioneers comprised Elisha Wilson, as guide as well
as prospective settler, Isaac and
Abraham Brown, Daniel Ball, John Carpenter, and two others named Dean and Norton, both of whom left the party at
Choconut and there made a settlement. All left Stockbridge February 23, 1791, and after a journey covering a period
of just thirty-seven days, reached their destination on April 1, 1791, and on that day founded what was for many
years known in local annats as Brown's Settlement, but in later years as old town of Berkshire, and still later
the towns of Berkshire, Newark Valley, and Richford. In the course of their journey the party was compelled to
leave a part of their goods at Oquaga, and after they had arrived at and established the settlement all the pioneers
except young Wilson returnes to Oquaga for the needed supplies. In their absence Mr. Wilson tapped the maples and
made 150 pounds of sugar.
Of these original settlers and pioneers Elisha Wilson, Abraham Brown and John Carpenter were residents in the territory
afterward a part of this town, and are therefore entitled to first mention in this chapter.
Elisha Wilson was the eldest of the children of Elijah and Mary (Curtis) Wilson, and was born at Stockbridge, Aug.
13, 1767, hence at the time he made the first improvement here he was less than 24 years old. His log cabin was
thatched with bark and stood on lot
184 near the bank of the creek. While his companions cleared land for wheat Wilson prepared his ground for corn
and vegetables, for whatever he did in the way of clearing was done without help from the others. However, in the
course of time the farm was well cleared and was known as one of the best in the settlement. Mr. Wilson married
with Electa Siosson, by whom he had four children: Elijah, Mary, Susan Maria, and Charles Frederick Wilson, all
natives of Tioga county. Mr. Wilson died Nov. 11, 1857, aged a little more than 90 years.
Abraham Brown, one of the original pioneers, was also a memher of the surveying and exploring party of 1790, hence
had some knowledge of the country hereabouts previous to his settlement in 1791. He was the son of Capt. Abraham
and Beulah Brown, and the nephew of Samuel Brown, the head of the proprietary of the Boston purchase. Abraham's
beginning was made on lot 257, which was his mother's land, and was in the north part of the town, the old pioneer
Congregational church standing on a part of the tract. Later on his mother came to the town after which Abraham..
lived with her for he had no family. He died September 19, 1828.
John Carpenter, of the pioneer party, came in the capacity of employee of the Browns and assisted them in making
their improvements. He returned to Stockbridge every winter, and. there about the first of January, 1797, he married.
A few weeks later he started for the settlement, where he arrived in good season and was living with Ezbon Slosson's
family. April 10, Isaac Brown died, upon which Carpenter at once proposed to take and work the Brown farm, hut
three days later Carpenter himself died and was buried in the settlement graveyard by the side of Mr. Brown. His
death, April 13, 1797, was the first in Newark Valley and the second in the settlement.
Ezbon Slosson, whose name has been connected with many early events of history in this town by reason of the fact
that his purchase included at least a part of the village tract, came to the settlement in the early spring of
1792, with the pioneers of the previous year who had returned to Stockbridge for the winter; Mr. Slosson made an
improvement on lot 138, then went back home for the winter, and came again in 1793, this time bringing his wife
and daughter and also his parents to the settlement. Ezbon Slosson's first house was nearly carried away by high
water in the fall of 1795, whereupon he built another on the siteS of the old lecture room of the Congregational
church. In 1806 he built the first framed house in Newark Valley, and in later years he kept a public house and
a store, and also had a distillery. Mr. Slosson died June 2, 1838, and his wife' died Feb. 12, 1853. Their children
were Caroline, Sarah, William, Franklin and Semantha Slosson.
Enoch Slosson and family came with his son, Ezbon, to the settiement in March, 1793, but the neighbors at that
time were far apart, for Enoch's wife and daughter saw no other female until September following, when Dr. Tinkham's
wife came up from Owego and visited them. On the roll of members of the Newark Valley Congregational church the
name of Mrs. Enoch Slosson stands first among the admissions. She died March 10, 1819, and he died Feb. 21, 1827,
in his 94th year. :Their nine children were Mabel, Lucinda, Sarah, Electa, Ezbon, Electa (the first so named having
died), Jerusha, Ruth and Enos Slosson.
Asa Bement, one of the sixty proprietors of the Boston purchase, first came to the settlement in the summer of
1792, with the Slosson families, but returned east in the fall. The next spring he came again, worked during the
summer, went east in the fall, and the next spring (1794) returned with his family. His first improvement was made
on lot 177, which was drawn by him in the "grand division," as history has recorded it. Pioneer Bement
was a blacksmith as well as farmer, and was a very useful man in. the settlement; and his old home farm, although
he died many years ago, has always been regarded as one of the pleasantest places in the town. Asa Bement died
April 21, 1847. He was twice married and had nine children, viz: Parthenia, Betsey, Frances, Abigail, William B.,
Emily, Mary, Frederick B., and Jane Bement, the latter by his second marriage.
Peter Wilson, brother to Elisha Wilson, the pioneer, came to the settlement in the spring of 1793 and located on
lot 217, west of the creek. He died April 28, 1845. His children were Phebe, Eliza A. (died in infancy), Eliza
A., Laura, William, and Mary Elizabeth Wilson.
Abraham W. Johnson, who was a laborer when he first, came to the settlement, in 1794, married with Mabel Slosson,
daughter of Enoch Slosson. He is well remembered among the early settlers.
Levi Bailey, who was a hatter by trade, and as well a farmer, came in 1795, and brought his family in the next
year. He lived in various places on the village site, but about 1814 or '15 removed to Ohio.
Beulah Brown was the widow of Captain Abraham Brown, an officer of the revolution, who died of small pox January
8, 1777. The widow Brown was one of the proprietors of the Boston purchase, and came to the settlement in February,
1796, with her sons John, Joseph, and Lemuel, and took up her home on lot 257. Her children were, John and Isaac,
both of whom settled in Berk
shire; Abraham and Joseph, who lived in this town, and Lemuel, who in later years became identified with the history
of Owego village.
William S. Lawrence came from Canaan, Conn., in 1796, hut met an accidental death in the summer of 1797, his team
running away and he being thrown violently against a pile of logs. His' widow afterward remarried and moved to
Canada. She drowned herself, and three of her children were also suicides.
Abel Lawrence, brother of William S., also came from Canaan, Conn., in 1796, and settled on lot 58 where he was
a farmer. He was twice married, and had a large family of fourteen children, three by his first and eleven by his
second marriage. Mr. Lawrence died July 26, 1835.
Solomon Williams was another of the settlers of 1796, and was related to a number of the prominent families of
still earlier settlement in the town. For a time he lived with his brother-in-law, Ezbon Slosson, but later in
a house in Whig street, where both he and his wife died. In this family were nine children: Elisha, George, James,
Nancy, Sabrina, William H., Robert, Sarah, and Mary Elizabeth Williams.
Joseph Hosford was an old soldier of the revolution, and was another addition to the settlement in 1796; and he
too was related to the old families of the region, the Williamses, the Slossons, and the Browns. Hosford street
was named in allusion to this pioneer. In later years Mr. Hosford. removed to Livingston county, and died there
in 1843. Joseph Hosford, who lived several years in Newark Valley and died there in May, 1806, was the father of
Joseph Hosford, first mentioned.
Michael, Laban, and Elisha Jenks were brothers, and were also early settlers in the northwest part of the town,
where they built up and founded the little hamlet called Jenksvffle. However, the settlement there was named directly
for Michael Jenks, who in the early history of the locality was a prominent person. All came from• Massachusetts
in or about the year 1797. Michael built a saw mill at Jenksville and carried on an extensive lumber business until
on one occasion he rafted a quantity of lumber to market, sold it and received pay, then suddenly disappeared and
was never heard from afterward. He left two sons, Otis and Michael Jenks. The Jenks saw mill was built in 1803,
and the grist mill in 1814.
Jonas Muzzy, Thomas Baird, and Captain Scott were also among the first settlers in the northwest part of the town,
and came there probably with the Jenkses about orin the year 1797. Muzzy lived for a time with Michael Jenks, but
soon went over to the settlement and worked for Elisha Wilson as farm hand and also as mffler He married in the
town and had a large family of eleven children. Mr. Muzzy died Dec. 17, 1864. The stream called Muzzy Brook was
named for him.
Uriah Simons, Thomas Thayer, John Freeman, Barney Freeman (son of John), and a Mr. Fellows settled in the town,
some of them in Brown's settlement and others outside its limits as regarded by the pioneers, in the year 1797,
as near as can be determined from early records. Mr. Freeman was one of the early town officers and undoubtedly
a man of influence. He removed to Tompkins county soon after 1800. He had four children. Mr. Simons was a substantial
farmer and had a family of nine children. Mr. Thayer lived in the settlement but a short time. He was a millwright
and helped to build the grist mill in the town.
David S. Farrand and Benjamin Sparrow are believed to have settled in the town as early as 1798, and to have comprised
the contingent of settlers of that year. Both were good men in the settlement, but neither was specially active
in public affairs. It was at the house of Benjamin Sparrow that Dr. Tinkham died, as is narrated in the medical
In 1798 Abraham Brown was pathmaster for the sixteenth road district of the town of Union, which district included
all of the present towns of Berkshire and Newark Valley; and in the performance of his duties it was necessary
for him to keep an accurate list of the inhabitants of his district who were liable to assessment for highway work.
This list has been brought to light through the research of the late Dr. D. Wiffiams Patterson, of this town, and
is reproduced here by reason of its historic interest and value, as every taxable inhabitant of the towns for the
year 1798 is believed to be mentioned therein.
Farrand, David S.
Gleazen, Joseph, Jr.
From the list it will be seen that thirty-eight heads of families were settled
in the towns now Berkshire and Newark Valley in the year 1798. This number probably represented about one-third
of the voting population of the territory, and, as the families averaged, about one-eighth of the entire population.
Indeed these New Englanders were energetic in the work of settling the region, for the valley of Owego creek was
far more fertile and productive, and more easily tified, than the rugged hill lands of the east. Therefore when
settlement was once fairly begun it increased rapidly; one led to another, and in the early years of the century
the tide of travel from the east to the Boston purchase was indeed wonderful, and seriously reduced the population
of Massachusetts and Connecticut, whence came the major portion of the first settlers in this county. But, to return
to the record, we may further recall individual settlement, though but briefly, as after 1800 settlement soon became
lost in the rapid growth of the town.
Henry Moore settled on lot 178, in 1799, and in the same year his daughter Thersey taught school in Asa Bement's
barn. Timothy Wiffiams was the advance settler of his father's family, and came to the region in 1800, taking up
lodgings with Ezbon Slosson. He married in the town, later on removed to Ontario county, thence to Michigan, where
he died. Lyman Bawson came in 1800 and lived on the farm known for many years as the Deacon Curtis place. Rawson
had a distifiery, and his product was much more sought, and was far better in quality, than are such wares at this
time in this town. Lemuel Blackman was a member of the Rawson household. Isaac Rawson and Nathaniel Blackman also
settled here about the same time.
Stephen Williams, Jonathan Hedges, and Joseph Waldo, 2d, the latter a nephew of Dr. Joseph Waldo, came to what
is now Newark Valley in the year 1801, and all were afterward well known in the town's history. Mr. Hedges located
on lot 183, and was both farmer and weaver, and in 1802 Joseph Waldo opened a stock of goods and began to trade.
Mial Dean was one of the pioneers of Owego, he having settled there in 1793, but after the unfortunate death of
Wm. S. Lawrence, he came up to Brown's settlement and took a part of lot 63, on which he built a dam and also a
saw mill, both pioneer industries in that vicinity. The darn was said to have been the first constructed across
Joel and Linus Gaylord, Enoch Slosson Wiffiams, Pynchon Dwight, and Adoiphus Dwight were all settlers in the town
in or before the year 1802. All were earnest, hardworking men, and descendants of nearly all are still in this
part of the county. Joel Gaylord was a shoemaker, but left the town and went to Erie county. Linus Gaylord met
an accidental death June 29, 1820, being killed by a faffing limb while chopping in the woods. Enoch Wffliams was
a wheelwright and cabinet maker in the settlement, and learned the trade with that worthy old pioneer of Owego,
Joel Farnham. Williams had a family of thirteen children, one of the largest in the settlement. Pynchon Dwight
lived in the settlement fifteen years, then removed to Royalton, N. Y.; thence in 1840 to Jackson, Mich., where
he died. Mr. Dwight is remembered as a man of. much intelligence and of excellent personal appearance. He was an
early school teacher. Adoiphus Dwight was a farmer.
Parley Sirnons settled on lot 19, Richard Colt Ely on lot 224, and John and Gaylord Harmon on lot 257, all during
the year 1803. About 1814 Mr. Ely sold his farm to Capt. Levi Branch, his son-inlaw, and returned to Massachusetts.
In 1831 John Harmon built a large brick house on the old meeting house site, and was charged with extravagance
when he. went to Stockbridge, Mass., for marble caps for his doors and windows. Gaylord Harmon died in Mansfield,
Pa,, in 1850.
David Hovey, Samuel Addis, Daniel Churchill, Alanson Dewey, Rev. Jeremiah Osborn (first pastor of the first church
in the settlement), and John Waldo were added to the settlement in 1806, as near as can be determined at this time;
and some of them were among the leading men of the town in later years. David Hovey was the son of pioneer Azel
Hovey. Samuel Addis died in Canada. Daniel Churchifi died in this town in 1847. John Waldo was a brother to Joseph
Waldo, 2d, and nephew to Dr. Waldo.
John Bement and his wife and six children came to the settlement in 1807, his being one of four families to' settle
in the town in that year, according to the records of Dr. Patterson. In his family were twelve children. The other
corners in the same year were Hart Newell, who afterward removed to Cayuga county, but who died in Erie county;
John Rewey, who came into the region in 1794, and who on coming to this locality learned blacksmithing with his
cousin, Asa Bernent. In 1812 he built a shop, but ten years later moved to a farm in the town.
Edward Edwards came to the Boston purchase from the old city of Elizabeth, in
New Jersey, about 1807 or '8, lived on lot 143 several years and then removed to Union. Jonathan Edwards came from,
the same place, but about one year later than his brother. His family lived several years at Moore's Corners and
then removed to Broome county. Jesse Truesdell was a settler of about the same time, and is remembered as the maker
of spinning wheels, which he sold all through the region in early days.
Otis Lincoln was one of the most prominent early settlers in Newark Valley and one who did as much for the welfare
of the town as any man in its history. Mr. Lincoln was a native of Worcester, Mass., and came to the Boston purchase
about the year 1803, with his father, Thomas Lincoln, and the family of Thomas. They settled first at Owego, but
soon moved up to Brown's settlement, where they afterward lived. About the same time, possibly a little later,
came Ezekiel Rich, also a New Englander, and as early as 1808 we find these men, Otis Lincoln and Mr. Rich, actively
engaged in business, tanning and making and selling all through this part of the state buckskin gloves and mittens.
After about ten years they dissolved and Mr. Lincoln continued the business and his many other enterprises, while
Mr. Rich removed to Richford and built up that village. In Newark Valley Mr. Lincolustarted and operated a tannery,
built and kept a good hotel, opened and kept store, and in fact founded, it is said, the village settlement. In
later years in Newark Valley Mr. Lincoln was associated in business with his son, William S. Lincoln, the latter
concededly one of the foremost men in the county in his time, and who was honored with an election to congress
for the session of 1867-69. However, for further facts of the life of both Otis and William S. Lincoln reference
is had to the personal chronology department of this work.
Elijah Curtis was one of the later settlers in the town, having come from Stockbridge with his wife and three children
in the fall of 1817. He was an earnest and industrious farmer and a man much respected in the town. He died Oct.
19, 1856, and his wife died Nov. 14, 1860.
The pioneer and early settlement of this part of the county began at a time when the region formed a part of Montgomery
county and continued through the organization of several towns and later subdivision of towns. It cannot be claimed
that pioneership extended much beyond the year 1800, or that early settlement in the same manner continued beyond
the time old Berkshire town was formed from Tioga. Still the later settlement was of such a character that at least
a passing mention should be made of persons and families who came to the locality previous to the year 1820, after
which, it may be said that settlement was lost in the rapid increase in the town's growth. However, for the purpose
of making a record of the names of all early residents or heads of families in Newark Valley previous to or in
1820, recourse is had to the publications of the late Dr. Patterson, from which it is learned that the additional
residents in the town in or before 1820 were these:
Alex. F. Wilmarth.
Nathan A. Gates.
John Bunnell, Jr.
Mial Dean, Jr.
ORGANIZATI0N.-According to the compilation made by Dr. Patterson, the population of the territory comprising Newark
Valley at the present time had 655 inhabitants in 1820, and even then the people were agitating the question of
a division of old Berkshire and the creation of a new town. The matter took definite form in the early part of
1823, and on April 12 the legislature passed an act erecting a town by the name of Westville, comprising 28,679
acres taken off the south end of Berkshire. However, the name Westville was changed to Newark March 24, 1824, which
was retained until April 17, 1862, when the present name, Newark Valley, was adopted.
In accordance with the provisions of the creating act, the first town meeting was held March 24, 1824, and officers
were elected as follows:
Supervisor, Solomon Williams; town clerk, Beriah Wells; assessors, Francis Armstrong, Ebenzer Pierce, Benj. Waldo;
inspectors of common schools, Benj. Walton, Wm. B. Bement, George Williams; commissioners of common schools, Henry
Wiffiams, William Richardson, Otis Lincoln; commissioners of highways, Anson Higbe, Abraham Brown, Reuben Ohittenden;
constable, William Slosson; collector, Lyman Legg; overseers of the poor, Peter Wilson, Ebenezer Robbins; sealer
of weights and measures, Joseph Benjamin.
Town records are generally regarded a fruitful source of information in all matters pertaining to local history,
and whatever is there written may be considered truthful and reliable; but unfortunately, in October, 1879, the
Dimmick house in Newark Valley was burned and with it were also burned several valuable town record books. However,
having recourse to county and other records there has been prepared a succession of the supervisors of Newark Valley,
that being the principal office in the town.
1832-36-Elisha P. Higbe.
1839-40-James P. Hyde.
1841-44-William S. Lincoln.
1845-49--Ozias J. Slosson.
1850-Daniel G. Taylor.
1851-Ozias J. Slosson.
1852-Elliot W. Brown.
1855-John M. Snyder.
1857-59-Fred H. Todd.
1863-64-0. H. Moore.
1865-66-Wm. S. Lincoln.
1869-71-Chas. A. Clark.
1872-Jerome B. Landlield.
1873-79-Edward G. Nowlan.
1883-Sherwood B. Davidge.
1884-Chas. L. Noble.
1885-89-Royal W. Clinton.
1891-Jira F. Councilman.
1892-Sherwood B. Davidge.
1893-94-Fred W. Richardson.
1895-96-Theo. F. Chamberlain
POPULATION.-In the year 1820 Amos Patterson, of Union, made the census enumeration of Broome county, which shire
of course, then included all the territory of this county east of Owego creek. In the town of Newark Valley. as
erected three years later, he found 655 inhabitants. In 1825, the first regular enumeration of inhabitants after
the town was set off, was shown a considerable increase over the number as counted by Mr. Patterson five years
before. However, we may briefly turn to the census reports and notice the several changes in population in the
town from 1825 to the last count in 1892.
In 1825 the population was 801; 1830, 1,027; 1835, 1,385; 1840, 1,616; 1845, 1,728; 1850, 1,983; 1855, 1,945; 1860,
2,169; 1865, 2,133; 1870, 2,321; 1875, 2,403 ; 1880, 2,577 ; ; 1885, no count; 1890, 2,339; 1892, 2,296.
From this it is seen that the greatest population in the history of the town was
attained in 1880, since which time there has been a gradual decrease in number, due perhaps to the same causes
which have created a like diminution in population in nearly all the inland towns of this state, and also of other
states. The prime causes of this decrease have been the general desire of the youth of the country towns to find
employment in cities and to the still more important fact that agricultural pursuits during the last twenty years
have been unprofitable; and while a residence in the city can only add to the unfortunate condition of affairs
on the farm the pleasures and excitements of city life are erroneously supposed to more than compensate the loss.
However, it may be said that in Newark Valley there has been less tendency to quit the old home than in many farming
towns in the region. This is in part accounted for in the fact that Newark Valley is an excellent farming town,
and has been so regarded from the time pioneers Elisha Wilson and Abraham Brown came into the region in 1790 and
selected what they considered the most desirable locality in which to found a settlement.
More than this, Newark Valley has ever been regarded as one of the patriotic towns of the county, for among its
pioneers were men who had seen long and arduous service in the American army during the revolutionary war, and
several of the early settlers came here with titles won on bloody battlefields in that memorable struggle. A little
later on in the history of the town we find a number of the young men in the service in the war of 1812-15, but,
unfortunately, no record of old Berkshire's soldiery in that strife has been preserved. At that time the settlement
was substantially completed and the inhabitants were reasonably well prepared for the struggle.
After the close of the second war with Great Britain there followed a long and uneventful era of peace; uneventful
so far as war and turmoil were concerned but eventful in the fact that during that period the resources and capacity
of the town were fully developed and the greatest advances were then made in all the various directions of civil
and social life. Therefore, when in 1861 the war of the rebellion began, Newark Valley was as well prepared to
withstand its shock as any town in the southern tier; and in the four years of constant war which followed, the
patriotism of the people was fully tried and fully proven. In a preceding chapter of this work the history of Tioga
county in the war of 1861-65 is told, and a record is there made of the contrIbution of men from this town so far
as can be determined from the imperfect state records, for as yet New York has not published a reliable roster
of her soldiery. The work is in progress, but not complete. The 44th, 50th, 76th, 109th, and 137th regiments of
infantry, the 15th and 21st cavalry, and the 16th battery were the more important commands having recruits from
FIRST EVENTS OF TOWN HISTORY.
1790-Elisha Wilson and Abraham Brown first visited the Boston purchase.
1791-Elisha Wilson, Abraham Brown, Isaac Brown, Daniel Ball and John Carpenter made the first settlement..
1796-David McMaster taught the first school in Elisha Wilson's bark-covered cabin.
1797-John Carpenter died April 13.
1797-Asa Bement and Elisha Wilson built the first grist mill.
1799-Thersey Moore opened a school in Asa Bement's barn.
1800-Enos Slosson opened a tavern on the village site.
1803-A Congregational church society formed.
1803-Michael Jenks built a saw mill at Jenksville.
1806-Ezbon Slosson erected the first frame house at Newark Valley.
1808-Otis Lincoln and Ezekiel Rich began the manufacture of gloves and mittens at the village.
1812-Newark Valley was made a post office, Enos Slosson, postmaster: and Stephen B. Leonard carried the mails from
Owego, also the Gazette to his subscribers up the valley.
1814-Michael Jenks built a grist mill at Jenksville.
1825-David Settle built the first regular tannery, located about three miles east of the village.
1830-The first steam saw mill built by Chester Patterson and Jonathan Day.
VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.-During the period of its history there have been built up within the limits of the town four
villages and hamlets, only one of which has ever attained sufficient importance and population to - become incorporated.
Named- in the order of business importance they are Newark Valley, Jenksville, Ketchumvile, and West Newark. To
name them in the order of seniority would be more difficult as neither pioneer Slosson, Jenks, nor Ketchum had
any thought to found a hamlet when the first improvement was made on the site whereon the settlements were subsequently
Jenksville is a small hamlet in the northwest corner of the town, in the locality where Michael, Laban, and Elisha
Jenks settled in 1797. The hamlet, however, owed its existence to the efforts of Michael Jenks, who built a saw
mill there in 1803, and followed that industry with a grist mill in 1814. This mill gave the hamlet a start in
business importance; and as it increased a postoffice was established and has since been maintained there. A store
has also been kept at Jenksville and both saw and grist mills a portion of the time. The public buildings of the
present time are the Alpha M. E. church and the district school. The merchant here is Alonzo Blanchard, who also
is postmaster, while Charles D. Nixon is owner of both saw and grist mills, and-Jay White of a grist mill. The
Jenksville steam mills were built in 1879, by Daniel L. Jenks. The grist mifi was built in 1882 by Jenks &
Nixon. Mr. Nixon became their sole owner in 1884. -
The Alpha Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1852, with twenty-five constituent members. From that time
the membership has remained about-the same in number, and the church has formed a joint charge with another M.
E. church. The church edifice was erected in 1852. -
West Newark is a postoffice in the west part of the town about two miles south of Jenksville. The place is without
industries or stores, and the only public building is the Congregational church, which will be mentioned in connection
with the church at Newark Valley of which it is a branch.
Ketchumville is a small hamlet in the northeast part of the town, in the locality where Samuel Ketchum and other
prominent members of the same family lived for many years. However, during the last twenty-five years this settlement
has lost much of its old time importance and all that remains of a once busy hamlet is a single store, two creameries,
two churches, a postoffice, and the district school. Half a century ago Ketchumville was the rival of Jenksville
and. second in importance among the villages of the town. The merchant here is Charles Finch, at whose store the
postoffice is kept. The creameries are owned by Charles E. Dean and the Standard butter company.
The Reformed Methodist church at Ketchurnville was organized with nine members in 1830 by Samuel Ketchum. The meeting
house was built in 1832, and from that time the society has maintained a healthful existence. The present pastor
is Rev. Wiffis C. Bailey.
In the same locality for many years has been a Methodist Episcopal class and society, but oniy within the last
three years has a church edifice been built. This church forms a joint charge with Maine.
SCHOOLS.- To the honor of the inhabitants of the Boston purchase the statement has ever been made, and the fact
is conceded, that in no part of the state did the pioneers have a higher regard for the educational welfare of
their youth than in the region first mentioned; and in the original town of Union, or the later, towns of Tioga,
Owego, Berkshire and Newark Valley, of which this town at some time formed a part, the inhabitants from first to
last made ample provision for schools and their maintenance. Elsewhere in this chapter is told how in 1796 David
McMaster opened a primitive school in pioneer Wilson's cabin, and also how in 1799 Thersey Moore began teaching
in Asa Bement's log barn. In Newark Valley this was only the beginning of the system, and as soon as old Berkshire
was created from Tioga, or as soon as the legislature passed the act establishing a uniform school system for the
state, the territory was divided into twelve districts for school purposes. - I~4ater, in 1823, after this town
was erected, commissioners Henry Williams, William Richardson and Otis Lincoln divided its territory into new districts,
and made provision for a school in each; and in later years, as the population increased, these districts were
changed to suit the convenience of the inhabitants.
With a present population of about 2,300, Newark Valley is divided into 'thirteen districts, each of which has
a good school. According to the commissioner's report for the year ending July 31, 1896, the town received public
moneys to the amount of $2,122.35; received from the regents, $252.03 and raised by town tax, $3,241.54. In that
year there were paid to teachers, $4,853.69, and for libraries, $58.33. The number of children of school age in
the town was 459, for whose instruction twenty teachers were employed. The school buildings, except that in the
village, are of frame, and all are estimated to be worth $17,700.