VERONA was formed from Westmoreland, February 17, 1802. It lies on the west border of the County, near the center.
Its surface is generally level, slightly rolling in the east and marshy in the west. Oneida Lake and Oneida Creek
form the west boundary, and Wood Creek the north boundary. Several small streams are tributaries of these. The
soil is a deep, rich, alluvial loam. There is a mineral spring in the east part of the town, at which a hotel and
water cure has been erected for the accommodation of patients and visitors. The water is nearly saturated with
sulphuretted hydrogen gas, and resembles in many respects that of the Harrowgate Springs in England. The eastern
part embraces many fine farms, well adapted to most kinds of grain, and the western part is rapidly improving under
a judicious and enlightened system of agriculture, which is every day becoming more prevalent. Dairying is carried
on to a considerable extent throughout the town.
Verona, (p. v.) situated about a mile and a half east of Verona Station, on the New York Central Railroad, and
surrounded by a rich farming country, contains two churches, two hotels, three stores, a tannery, a carriage shop,
several other mechanic shops and about 200 inhabitants.
Durhamville, (p. v.) named from Eber Durham, who settled there in 1826, is situated on the Erie Canal in the west
part of the town, and contains four churches, viz., Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and German Catholic; two hotels,
a saw mill, two blacksmith shops, a dry dock and boat yard, a wagon shop, a large glass factory, several stores
and about 1,000 inhabitants. The glass factory of Fox Brothers is one of the most extensive and important in the
State. The Midland Railroad is located through this village.
Higginsville, (p. o.) named from Christopher Higgins, and situated on the Erie Canal, a little north of the center
of the town, is a hamlet.
New London, (p. v.) situated on the Erie Canal, in the north-east part, contains two churches, two hotels, two
carriage shops, a seminary, a large dry goods store, several groceries and about 500 inhabitants.
Sconondoa, in the south part of the town, is a hamlet. On the farm formerly owned by Mr. Breese, and now occupied
by his daughter, Mrs. Stephens, is a spring possessing the medicinal qualities of some of the Saratoga waters.
State Bridge, (p. v.) on the Erie Canal, contains about twenty houses.
Dunbarton, also on the Canal, contains a large glass factory and twenty or thirty houses.
Stacey’s Basin is a hamlet on the Canal.
Verona Springs, in the south-east part of the town, is a watering place of some celebrity. Dr. Nelson Hunt and
his wife are both graduates of a medical college, and are. prepared to receive and entertain those who are in search
of health or pleasure. The water is especially recommended for scrofula.
Verona Depot is a station on the Railroad.
The first settlement was made by George A. Smith, in 1792. He arrived at Jonathan Dean’s tavern, in Westmoreland,
on Christmas eve, 1791, and the next day started for his place of destination, through snow, swamps and thickets
almost impenetrable, making his progress so slow that he was eight days in reaching his location upon Wood Creek,
near the farm now occupied by Elias Van Sehoiok. Other authorities say that he first settled upon Oneida Creek,
near its mouth. Asahel Jackson, from Berkshire County, Mass., settled near the mouth of Wood Creek, at the military
work known as the “Royal Block House.” This was erected about the year 1722, on a slight elevation, and surrounded
by a ditch enclosing a space eight rods square. Mr. Jackson opened a public house and kept it until his death,
about ten years, after which it was kept by his widow for about ten years. About the close of 1796, or early in
1797, La Whitten De Wardenou, a Frenchman, settled at “Oak Orchard,” on Wood Creek. Among other early settlers
were Russell Brooks, Martin and Noah Langdon, Samuel Avery, Joseph Eames, John Bosworth, Oliver Pomeroy, Ithamar
Day, Eleazar and Fisher Ellis, Jedediah Phelps, Stephen Benedict, Jabez Loomis, Joseph Lawton, Ebenezer and Elisha
Kelsey, John Wright, Ambrose Jones and Augustus Elmer. Most of the early settlers came from Massachusetts and Connecticut,
and settled in various parts of the town. Several of those whose names are given settled near Verona Village. Doctor
Alexander Whaley came from Norwich, Conn., in 1801, being then twenty-one years of age, and taught school at Clark’s
Settlement. He was the second school teacher in the town, Elizur Ellis being the first. Dr. Whaley has long been
known as one of the most prominent citizens of the town, and though now in the eighty-ninth year of his age, is
still in the enjoyment of his mental and physical powers to a remarkable degree. The first settler at Durhamville
was Eliphalet Frazee, in 1811. He was soon followed by Diah and David Rawson, Benjamin Newcomb, Leonard Pease,
Asher Williams, Roswell Barber and others. Among the early settlers at Higginsville were Christopher Higgins, Joseph
Lawton, Wait Williams, Henry Thorp, Wells Kenyon, Jacob H. Stark and Walter Durkee. The first frame house in the
town was built by the “Inland Navigation Company,” on Wood Creek, in 1796.
The first birth was that of Eva Smith in 1795, and the first death that of a child cf Wardenou in 1797. Not being
able to procure a coffin, the child was buried in its cradle. The first sermon preached in the town was by Rev.
Joseph Avery, of Berkshire County, Mass. The first church (Congregational) was organized in 1803, by Rev. Peter
Fish and Rev. Timothy Coolty, missionaries. Robert Clark kept the first tavern in the villag.e. Martin Langdon
gave the ground for the first cemetery, located a short distance west of the village. The first town meeting was
held in a log house built by Mr. Langdon, on the farm now occupied by Albert W. Rogers. Jedediah Phelps was chosen
Supervisor, and Eleazar Ellis, Town Clerk.
Mrs. Elizabeth Whaley Matteson died in this town July 27, 1850, in the one hundredth year of her age. She was a
woman of great piety and retained her faculties in a good degree to the close of life. At the age of ninety-five
she would sometimes walk to and from church, a distance of two miles. Mr. Benjamin Blackman, one of the early settlers,
died March 23d, 1858, in the ninety-fifth year of his age. He was a native of Connecticut, removed to Westmoreland
in 1788, and in 1807 to Verona, where he resided until his death.
The population in 1865 was 5,964, and the area 41,645 acres.
The number of school districts is twenty-nine, employing thIrtyone teachers. There are 2,300 scholars, and the
average attendance is 759. The amount expended for school purposes during the year ending Septembor 30th, 1868,