History of Trenton, NY
FROM: Gazetteer and Business Directory
OF Oneida County, N. Y. For 1869.
Compiled and Published By Hamilton Child, Syracuse, NY 1862




TRENTON was formed from Schuyler (Herkimer Co.), March 24, 1799. It lies upon the west bank of West Canada Creek, near the center of the east border of the County. The surface rises from the Creek from 400 to 600 feet, and from the summits it spreads out into an upland, broken by ridges of drift. Nine Mile Creek flows through the south, and Cincinnati Creek through the north part. The soil is a sandy and clayey loam, well adapted to grazing. The celebrated Trenton Falls, upon West Canada Creek, are in this town. This place of resort for pleasure seekers was first brought to notice by Rev. John Sherman, who, in 1822, erected the first hotel for visitors at this place. The magnitude of the falls does not excite so great an interest as the peculiar wildness of the surrounding country. The creek flows through a ravine worn in the Trenton limestone to the depth offrom seventy to 200 hundred feet. The sides of this ravine are nearly perpendicular, and the water descends in a series of cascades a total depth of about 200 feet in the space of haifa mile. The highest fall is fortyeight feet. The Indians called the falls Ka-na-ta-dork, “brown water,” and Kuy-a-kora, “slanting water.” Mr. W. Perkins has recently fitted up a commodious hotel and boardIng house on onc of the most delightful sites in the vicinity of the falls.

Trenton (p. v.) was incorporated April 19, 1819, as “Oldenbarneveldt,” and changed to Trenton, April 26, 1833. Its first name was in honor of a Dutch patriot; and statesman, who died upon the scaffold in. 1619, aged 82 years. It is situated north of the center of the town and contains four churches, viz., Methodist, Unitarian, Presbyterian and Welsh Congregationalist, and a population of about 300.

South Trenton, (p. v.) in the south-east part, contains four churches, viz., one Welsh Methodist, two Baptists (English and Welsh), and Union, and about thirty houses.

Trenton Falls, (p. v.) en West Canada Creek, a short distance below the falls, contains a church, Baptist, and about twenty houses.

Holland Patent, (p. v.) named in honor of Lord Holland, patentee of a large tract in this town, is situated in .the south-west part of the town, on the Black River & Utica Railroad, and contains six churches, viz., Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, Unitarian, and a Welsh Baptist and Welsh Methodist, and a population of about 400.

Prospect, (p. v.) on West Canada Creek, above the falls, contains four churches, three of which are Welsh, an academy and about 300 inhabitants.

Stittsviile, (p. v.) on the line of Marcy, in the south-west corner of the town, is .a station on the Black River & Utica Railroad, and contains a church, a woolen factory, a tannery and about 250 inhabitants.

The “Trenton Union Agricultural Society” has a Fair Grouid of 20 acres, located on the Utica and Boonville Plank Road, about one and a half miles south-east of Trenton village.

The first settler in this town was Gerrit Boon, agent of the Holland Land Company, in 1793. Mr. Boon was an energetic and persevering man, and well calculated for the position which he held. He came from old Fort Schuyler (Utica) to this town, marking trees on the line selected for the future road. Mr. Boon, either alone or in connection with Herman LeRoy, William Bayard, James McEvers and Paul Busti, purchased and held in trust for the owners in Holland, several large tracts of land in this section, besides the immense tract in the western part of the State. The land in this part consisted of 46,057 acres of Oouthoudt's Patent, 6,026 acres of Steuben’s Patent, 1,200 acres of Maehin’s Patent and 23,609 acres of Servis’s Patent. The last, lying mostly in this town, was granted in 1768, to Peter Servis and twenty-four others, for the benefit of Sir William Johnson. After the death of Sir Wil11am, his son, Sir John Johnson, and other heirs, sold Servis’s Patent to several gentlemen in New York, so that it was not confiscated with the property of the Johnsons in the Mohawk Valley, but near the close of the last century was conveyed to Boon and. others, and by them, in 1801, conveyed directly to the Holland Company. Among the early settlers of this town were Col. Adam G. Mappa, Dr. Vander Kemp, Judge John Storrs, Col. Robert Hicks, Peter Schuyler, John P. Little, Cheney and John Garrett, William Rollo, Col. Thomas Hicks, Edward Hughes and Hugh Thomas. An instance of the energy of the early settlers, as well as their disposition to assist each other, has been handed down to us. A new settler had arrived with his family, but there was no house for his accommodation and nothing in preparation for one. The morning after the arrival all hands turned out to give him a benefit. Some cut logs and took them to the mill for boards, others prepared the frame, and before night the house had been so far completed that the family moved into it.

The first birth in the town was that of Adam Parker, in 1796; the first marriage that of Jacob Joyce and Widow Peck, and the first death that of Mr. Nelson, in 1795. The first town meeting was held April 4, 1797; Adam G. Mappa was chosen Supervisor, and John P. Little, Town Clerk.

The Holland Patent was a grant of 20,000 acres to Henry, Lord Holland, and sold by him to Seth Johnson, Horace Johnson and Andrew Craige. It was surveyed and divided into lots of about 100 acres each, July, 1797, by Moses Wright, of Rome. Soon after the survey, the proprietors, in order to establish a permanent settlement, sold one-quarter of the Patent to Bezaleel Fisk, Pascal C. I. De Angelis, Hezekiah Hulbert and Isaac Hubbard, for the location of which these four drew shares. In this way a nucleus was formed, around which a hardy band of pioneers gathered. They endured many hardships and privations. Bears and wolves were so plenty that it was their custom to take their guns with them when they met for public worship, and on one occasion worship was adjourned to go to the forest and kill a bear. Mrs. Kelsey, the wife of an early settler, while returning from Whitestown, became lost in the woods, and took lodgings in the top of a tree which she climbed to escape the wild beasts. From the first settlement the families of Judge Vander Kemp and Col. Mappa were in the habit of meeting together for religious worship. Rev. Mr. Fish, a Presbyterian, was the first preacher who visited the town. The exact time of his arrival is not known, but he was the first pastor of the church formed in 1797. Rev. J. Taylor, in his journal in 1802, quoted elsewhere, says of Rev. Mr. Fish: “He is a sensible, judicious man, and appears to be doing great good, and has but a poor reward.” Ke speaks also of visiting a school of fifty children who have a good teacher. “Many of the children have no catechism and their parents are unable, in some instances, to procure the necessary school books. Four families near by are destitute of Bibles and are poor.”

The population in 1865 was 3,199, and the area 27,719 acres.

There are fourteen school districts in the town, employing twenty-one teachers. The number of children of school age is 1,000; average attendance, 381; amount expended for school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868, $5,010.85.


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