CAMILLUS was onginally Township Number Five of the Military Tract. At the organization of the county it was
included in the town of Marcellus, from which it was formed into a separate town March 8, 1799. A part of Onondaga
was annexed to it in 1834.
The first town meeting was directed by law to be held at the house of Medad Curtis, who was elected Supervisor,
and Daniel Vail, Town Clerk. The early records of this town were destroyed by fire some time prior to 1829, which
is the earliest date to which any records now extant reach back. The first white settler was Captain Isaac Lindsay,
about the year 1790, and directly after, his brothers, James, William and Elijah Lindsay. Their land was lot No.
80, on which the northern portion of the village of Camillus is situated, and which they purchased for twenty-five
cents an acre. Nicholas Lamberson settled in the town in 1793, William Reed, Selden Leonard, Mordecai Ellis, a
family named White, and David Hinsdell and others, previous to 1806. Squire Munro settled on lot 81, now in the
town of Elbridge, in 1799. His sons, John, David, Nathan and Philip A. Munro, were then young men, and have since
been known throughout the county for their enterprise, industry, intelligence and wealth. Thomas Corey, who was
killed by a fall from a wagon, was an early settler in this town, as well as Isaac Brown, Nathaniel Richman, Jacob
Chandler, John Hess, John Paddock, and two others by the name of McCracken. David Munro settled at Camillus village,
where his son, David A. Munro, now resides, in 1808. The settlers at that period, although engaged in the hard
work of clearing land, seem to have had in many respects a "jolly time," for the heavy labor was principally
performed by the kind of cooperation known as "bees," to which a general invitation was extended to all
the able-bodied men in town. Chopping bees, logging bees, husking bees, &c., were the "order of the day"
among the early settlers, and they usually ended in a dance and frolic at night.
Isaac Lindsay erected the first frame house on Lot 80, in 1795. In 1808, the village of Camillus contained but
two frame houses. David Munro erected a substantial frame house in 1810. The White family and Captain Kimberly
erected houses about the same time at Amboy. East and west, no houses had been erected at this time, except at
Camillus village, between Elbridge and Judge Geddes', at Fairmount. The first school house, a log building, was
erected in 1808, and was followed by a frame building in 1813.
Isaac Lindsay kept the first tavern, in the village in 1793; Thomas Corey in 1801. John Tomlinson opened the first
store in the town, at the village, in 1808; Munro & Benedict followed in 1810, and were followed by Gould &
Hess, Hoar & Wheeler, William A. Cook, John C. Ellis, and others.
James R. Lawrence opened the first law office in 1815; Grove Lawrence another in 1821. Other early lawyers were
Samuel Hammond, Daniel Pratt, D. D. Hillis and others.
Dr. Isaac. Magoon established himself as a physician at the village of Camillus in 1808, and was succeeded by Dr.
A postoffice was first established in Camillus in 1811, and David Munro was appointed Postmaster. James R. Lawrence
was postmaster in 1824, and was succeeded by Grove Lawrence and Robert Dickey.
The first surplus grain raised for market was in 1805, when it was carried to Albany on sleighs. Thousands oibushels
of wheat were annually transported to Albany from this town by sleighs and wagons, previous to the construction
of the Erie Canal.
The north branch of the Seneca Turnpike was incorporated in 1806. In 1807-8, Squire Munro and his sons built so
much of this road as passed through the town of Camillus, about eleven miles.
JUDGE JAMES GEDDES.-We have already had occasion to refer to the eminent services and distinguished character of
Hon. James Geddes, in his connection with the explorations and survey of that great State enterprise, the Erie
Canal. His name stands not less conspicuously before the country than that of any other early citizen of Onondaga
County. Mr. Geddes was born near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 22d of July, 1763. His father and mother were of
Scotch descent, and, like Robert Burns, Mr. Geddes, in his youthful days, followed the plow, and carried a book
in his pocket which he perused every time his team stopped to rest. Thus ardent was he in the pursuit of knowledge.
A Mr. Oliver, a thoroughly educated teacher, was his instructor in mathematics. He studied languages without a
teacher, and became a belles lettres scholar of, the first order. His knowledge of the English language has been
At an early age Mr. Geddes visited Kentucky, and also portions of Virginia, as appears from notes in his journal
made upon a subsequent visit in 1792, the year preceding the selection of his salt works at Geddes. From these
notes, now in the possession of his son, Hon. George Geddes, it appears that he spent the entire summer of 1792
in travel, looking for a place of future residence. He describes many places of interest in Virginia, Maryland,
Pennsylvania, and the interior regions of New York, then almost an entirely unsettled wilderness, and gives dates,
distances, measurements of waterfalls, &c., with the minuteness of a topographical survey.
In all the observations made upon this trip, we see the indications of the future engineer. The most interesting
part of his journey is that where he visits the Genesee Falls, and speaks of them as "spoiling the navigation"
of the river. He thought that the farmers who were just then beginning to cultivate the Genesee Valley would have
to export their wheat "down the Newtown Creek." In sixteen years he is again at the Falls of the Genesee,
with his level, marking out the route of the Canal, which was to carry wheat, not via Newtown Creek, as he first
guessed, but east to the sea.
These notes of Mr. Geddes show that his mind was occupied with the subject of internal navigation during his explorations
upon this visit in 1792, more than a decade before the Erie Canal had been thought of. Under the head of "Particulars
Respecting the Lake Country," in the notes referred to, he speaks of "such a navigation as will bring
much European goods on such terms as will tempt people to depend on them more than they ought." And again:
"such an inland navigation as may bring salt, sugar, or whatever the country produces, to people's doors,
in a manner."
Mr. Geddes having completed his examinations of the country, returned home determined to settle at the Salt Springs.
The following year he came to Onondaga and selected his location at the head of the lake, on ground now occupied
by a portion of the village of Geddes. He returned and organized a company at Carlisle, Pa.. for the purpose of
manufacturing salt, and in 1794 came by the way of Seneca Lake with the necessary equipments for engaging in that
business. The other members of the company came on in the month of June following. Mr. Geddes lived at "Geddes
Salt Works" about four years. In 1798, he removed to lands which he had purchased of the State, at Fairrnount,
in the town of Camillus, where he lived the remainder of his life. In May, he married Miss Lucy Jerome, daughter
of Timothy Jerome, Esq., of Fabius.
The services of Mr. Geddes were required immediately upon coming into the county, to fill important stations of
trust and responsibility. He was appointed by the Council of Appointment Justice of the Peace in 1800, and in 1804
was elected a member of the Legislature. But it was as an engineer that he becaine best known to the public. Soon
after coming into the country, he was employed by the Surveyor-General as one of his assistants, and he devoted
himself to the profession of surveying and engineering until age disqualified him for the fatigue of out-door labor.
His maps, plats and field-books, deposited in the Surveyor-General's Office, show him to have been a man of great
accuracy, and his accompanying remarks reveal the sagacity and penetration of his mind.
The project of connecting Lake Erie with the Hudson River became an important one. Mr. Weston, a celebrated engineer
from England had examined the Oswego River and other water-courses, with a view to improving their navigation,
and among men of enlarged views the scheme became an engrossing topic. Mr. Geddes, at an early period, enlisted
in the matter and commenced with ardor the gathering of facts. In 1804, the SurveyorGeneral said to him that Gouverneur
Morris had suggested the project of " tapping Lake Erie." The Surveyor-General considered this a "romantic
thing," but not so the man to whom he communicated the crude, undigested thought. Mr. Geddes knew that Mr.
Weston had reported the Oswego River from the Falls to Lake Ontario as "hardly susceptible of improvement
by means of canaling," and if there was a way that the waters of the upper lakes could be led across the country
without going down to the level of Ontario and then rising to the summit again at Rome, that vast results must
follow from it, and at once his untiring energy and industry were put in requisition. Maps were examined, surveyors
were enquired of, and every means within his reach resorted to, to ascertain the topography of the country through
which has since been constructed the Erie Canal.
In 1807, Judge Joshua Forman was elected to the Legislature from this county upon the express understanding that
he would try to provide the necessary appropriation of money to make examinations of the country. No man could
have been better qualified than was Judge Forman to succeed. A man of eloquence, ardent and peculiarly fitted to
make men think as he himself thought upon any subject, he did succeed, and as was understood, the SurveyorGeneral,
who had the selection of the man to make the surveys, if he did not himself do it, appointed Mr. Geddes. He "entered
with enthusiasm upon the work assigned him by the Surveyor-General," and made surveys not only of the Oneida
and Oswego Rivers, and around the Falls of Niagara, but he reported a route which, in the language of the Surveyor-General
in his letter to Mr. Darby, of February 25, 1822, "was almost precisely in the line which, after repeated
elaborate and expensive examinations, has been finally adopted."
The report made by Mr. Geddes made such an impression upon the Legislature that, in spite of the prejudice and
opposition from different sources, that body was induced, in 1810, to organize a Board of Canal Commissioners,
with powers and means to prosecute the work. His survey furnished the necessary information to justify prudent
men in committing themselves in favor of a canal. And Mr. Clinton, grasping with his powerful intellect at once
the vast advantages of the scheme, embarked in it with uncompromising zeal, and by his elevated position in the
State, was enabled to render such assistance as ensured success.
In 1816 the Commissioners appointed five principal engineers, placing Mr. Geddes at the head of the list, who,
throughout the progress of the work, maintained a high standing as a civil engineer, and whose labors and opinions
the Commissioners most favorably estimated, as shown in various instances in their reports.
In 1822, the State authorities of Ohio applied to Gov. DeWitt Clinton to select a properperson to make the necessary
explorations for their canal from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, and he, in the most complimentary manner, recommended
Mr Geddes as the most competent man in the service of the State. Mr. Geddes accepted the proposals from Ohio and
assumed the responsibility of Chief Engineer of the Ohio Canal. This duty he discharged to the perfect satisfaction
of the authorities of the State of Ohio. In 1827 Mr. Geddes was employed by the General Government (associated
with Mr. Roberts,) in locating the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. In 1828 he was engaged in locating the Pennsylvania
Canals, and in the same year was appointed by the General Government to examine the country with reference to the
connection of the waters of the Tennessee and Altamaha Rivers, in the States of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
This appointment he declined, on account of distance from home and his advanced age.
In civil and political affairs Mr. Geddes also held a prominent position. In 1809 he was appointed an Associate
Justice, and in 1812 a Judge of Onondaga County Common Pleas. In 1813 he was elected a Member of the XIIIth Congress,
and in 1821, was again elected a Member of the State Legislature.
The infirmities of age crept upon him apace, and during the last year of his life, his constitution gave way rapidly,
and he closed his earthly career at his residence, in the town of Camillus on the 19th of August, 1838, being a
little over seventy-five years of age. He was the father of seven children, all of whom are deceased except his
son, Hon. George Geddes, of Fairmount. Says his biographer, Mr. Clark:
"Perhaps it is safe to say that no man who had been so much in public life and who had come in contact with
so great and conflicting interests, represented by men so different in capacity and character, ever died having
fewer enemies. His reputation for integrity was probably never questioned by those whose opinions differed from
his own. His name will ever be associated with the noblest work of the age and his fame will descend with admiration
to those who shall succeed him."
VILLAGE OF CAMILLUS.
This village is situated in a picturesque spot in the valley of Nine-Mile Creek. It is on the "Old Road,"
or Auburn branch of the New York Central Railroad, distant nine miles from the city of Syracuse. A "side cut"
or "feeder" of the Erie Canal extends to the village, and the Nine-Mile Creek supplies an excellent water-power,
which attracted settlers and began to be utilized for mill purposes at an early period. In i 8o6 the first mills
of importance were erected in the village-grist and saw mill-by a company of which William Wheeler and Samuel Powers
were members. Abraham Drake built a carding and cloth-dressing mill about eighty rods up the stream from the bridge
in 1812. The year following he removed from Aurelius, Cayuga county, with his family and settled in the village,
where he resided till his death, December 10, 1832. His son, Philip Drake, now residing at Jack's Reefs, in the
town of Elbridge, erected the present flouring mill in 1835-'36, and sold to Phares Gould of Skaneateles, in 1836.
The mill is now owned by Munro & Patterson, doing merchant and custom flouring.
The race conveying the water to the mills, a distance of about two and a half miles, was constructed in 1832
by James R. Lawrence, Grove Lawrence, Philip Drake and others.
The Woolen Factory of Walter F. Keefer was built on the race in 1834. The business of this mill at the present
is the manufacture of cloth and stocking yarn.
In 1848, the "Novelty Mills" were completed by Weston & Dill, and were driven by steam. Subsequently
there was also a large steam saw- mill in operation, lath mills, turning lathe, &c.
James G. Fergus has a saw mill at the village, built by James M. Munro in 1860.
Camillus village was the earliest settled of any portion of the town. The northern part of it, on Lot 80, became
the home of Capt. Isaac Lindsay in 1790. In 1793, Capt. Lindsay kept the first tavern, and erected the first frame
house in 1795. The first school house (of logs) was erected in 1808, and was followed by a frame building in 1813.
Thomas Corey kept a tavern here in 1801.
The village of Camillus was incorporated in 1852, with the following Board of Trustees: Samuel B. Rowe, David
A. Munro, Charles Land, Ira Safford; Gaylord N. Sherwood, President; Crayton B. Wheeler, Clerk.
The following have served as Presidents of the Village Board for the years named: Gaylord N. Sherwood, 1853 ; William
H. Lee, 1854-'57; Hiram A. Mungear, 1858; Eliakim E. Veeder, 1859-'61; Gaylord N. Sherwood, 1862; E. E. Veeder,
1863; James G. Fergus, 1864; Samuel B. Rowe, 1865; Theodore Briggs, 1866-'67; James G. Fergus, 1868-'70; Charles
J. Sherwood, 1871; James G. Fergus, 1872; Henry W. Drake, 1873; J. 0. Slocum, M. D., 1874; J. H. Hitchcock, 1875;
E. W. Cook, 1876-'77.
The present officers of the village (1878) are, Henry G. Chapman, President; Edwin R. Harmon, Vice-President; David
Lyboult, Julius Noble, William Jones, Trustees; J. Harry Lyboult, Clerk; E. E. Veeder, Police Justice; Sumner T.
Darling, Constable; James Pattan, Treasurer; John O. Slocum, Frederick Loomis, William R. George, Assessors; William
B. Bucklin, Collector. Benjamin Brown, present Postmaster.
Camillus contains four churches, viz: Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, and Roman Catholic; one store
of general merchandise, E. Duane Sherwood; one grocery, provision and notion store, Sidney H. Cook, Jr.; one hotel,
kept by Philo Bromley; two groceries and meat markets, kept respectively by Abram Otman and Messrs. Gee & Thompson;
two drug stores, James Pattan's and C. F. Safford's; the former has been in the drug business since 1845; harness
and shoe shop. There is one physician in the village, John 0. Slocum, M. D., brother of Major-General H. W. Slocum.
He was a surgeon in the army during the late war, and has been many years a resident of the village.
Sidney H. Cook, Esq., has held the office of Justice of the Peace over thirty years. E. E. Veeder, Esq., is also
Justice, and has held the office about six years.
The oldest settlers now residing in the village are David A. and James M. Munro, who were born here; Samuel B.
Rowe, who became a resident about 1827; Charles Land, 1820; William R. George, David Lyboult, Ambrose Kelsey, A.
N. Glynn, G. C. Parsons, James Pattan, Sidney H. Cook and E. Duane Sherwood.
Chapman & Green have an establishment in the village for the manufacture of clay smoking pipes. It is doing
quite an extensive business, giving employment to from twenty to twenty-five persons.
CAMILLUS GRADED SCHOOL.
School District No. 3 of Camillus furnished for many years the educational facilities of the village. The progress
was gradual from a log school house, in the primitive settlement, to a frame building, which, in turn, was superceded
by a brick structure, and finally gave place to the present commodious brick graded school building which occupies
the old site. The first action for the erection of the present building was taken at a special meeting of the Board
of Trustees held on the 15th of May, 1868. J. O. Slocum, E. K. Harmon and A. E. Smith were appointed a building
committee. The house was completed in 1869, at a cost of $7,304.58. It is a handsome brick structure, situated
upon an elevated and beautiful site.
The school is graded in three departments, under the efficient management of Prof. C. E. White, Principal, and
two teachers. Mr. White has been Principal most of the time for nine years past. E. W. Cook, Trustee.
During the summer and fall of 1875, a few brethren of the Masonic Order interested themselves in the formation
of a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in this village. After the usual formalities, a dispensation was granted
by Grand Master, Elwood E. Thorne, which was delivered on December 31, 1875; a charter was granted by the Grand
Lodge on the 13th of June, 1876, and Sapphire Lodge No. 768 was formed with twenty-one charter members, as follows:
C. S. Safford, J. H. Lyboult, W. B. Bucklin, S. H. Cook, Jr., T. A. Fish, J. H. Paddock, E. R. Glynn, J. O. Slocum,
T. V. Owens, Lafayette Burdick, S. L. Hopkins, Merril Skinner, A. L. Hinsdale, A, R. Hopkins, T. H. Shoens, E.
C. Skinner, Cyrus Sweet, E. D. Sherwood, E. D. Larkin, H. D. Burdick, J. Paddock.
First officers: T. H. Shoens, W. M.; J. H. Lyboult, S. W.; T. A. Fish, J. W.; E. D. Sherwood, Treasurer; C. S.
Safford, Secretary; C. E. White, S. D.; W. B. Bucklin, J. D.; H. D. Corwin, Tiler.
The Lodge have nicely furnished rooms in the third story of the Harmon Block, fitted up at an expense of nearly
$1,000 and are in a prosperous condition, the membership having increased from twenty-one in 1876, to forty-five
at the present time.
Officers for 1878: J. Harvey Lyboult, W. M.; C. E. White, S. W.; C. W. Darling, J. W.; E. E. Veeder, Treasurer;
C. S. Safford, Secretary; W. B. Bucklin, I. D.; H. Abrams, J. D.; G. T. Downer, S. M. C.; L. Richmond, Jr., J.
M. C.; H. T. Corwin, Tiler. Trustees: M. L. Hay, E. D. Sherwood, J. 0. Slocum.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CAMILLUS. -This church is located in Camillus village. The first meetings were held
in the neighborhood of Howlett Hill, at which place the church was organized under the name of the "First
Baptist Church of Onondaga, in January. 1804. The original rnembers numbered thirteen, six males and seven females.
The first house of worship, built at Howlett Hill, was dedicated in 182!. The present edifice at Camillus village
was dedicated January 8, 1851.
From 1804-'06, Rev. Ebenezer Harrington officiated as pastor, after which five years elapsed without any settled
minister. Then the pastors served in the order following:
Rev. Peter Warren, (licentiate,) 1811-'14; Rev. Joseph Moore, 1814; Rev. Eben Tucker, 1821-'28; Rev. S. Spaulding,
1829-'3o; Rev. John P. Parsons (supply) from December, 1830, pastor ten months later, continuing till 1832; Rev.
S. M. Plumb, 1833; Rev. John Holladay, (licentiate,) 1835; Rev. Levi Farnsworth, 1836, ordained September, 1836;
Rev. Graham, 1838; Rev. Hall Taylor, 1840; Rev. Thos. Fisher, 1841, ordained June, 1841; Rev. Henry Brown, 1844-'47;
Rev. A. Smith, 1848-'51; Rev. Chas. Elliott, 1852; Rev. A. L. Freeman, 1853, ordained August 23, 1853, pastor till
1858; Rev. D. McFarland, 1859-'62; Rev. E. P. Bingham, part of 1862; Rev. D. McFarland, 1862-'65; Rev. H. B. Burdick,
1866; Rev. W. E. Lockhart, 1868; Rev. H. B. Waring, 1872-'73; Rev. D. D. Brown, 1874; Rev. G. F. Genung, 1875,
ordained November 3, 1875, present pastor.
The present membership is ninety-three; attendance at the Sunday School about sixty-five. The church has taken
measures for the erection of a new house of worship, which will be undertaken in the spring of 1878.
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of Camillus was organized on the 4th day of August, I 817, in a hotel on the site
of the house where Mr. John Larkins now lives, corner of Green and Main streets, and directly opposite where the
church now stands. Meetings had previously been held in Nine-Mile Creek School House, and in an old distillery
where now stands the carriage shop of James Fergus. The number of original members was fifty-two, sixteen men and
The first church edifice was a wooden building erected ata cost of $1,200 in 1822. The following pastors and others
have officiated and supplied the pulpit: Revs. Jabez Spicer, I8I7-'19; Jabez Chadwick, 1821-'25; Hutchins Taylor,
1826-'28; E. H. Adams, 1829-'31; B. B. Stockton, 1831-'33; Moody Harrington, 1834-'39; Josiah Ward, 1840'46. Rev.
Mr. Kingsley supplied the church during the year 1847, and was succeeeed by Rev. William W. Williams from 1848-'53.
From 1853-'60, the pulpit was supplied from the Theological Seminary at Auburn. Rev. E. R. Davis was pastor from
1860-'66. From 1866-'68, the pulpit was supplied by Messrs. Grosvenor, Hopkins and Kneeland. During this period
a new church was built, and Rev. Mr. Muer occupied the pulpit two years, and was succeeded by Rev. J. S. Root,
who remained from 1873-'77; since his departure the pulpit has been supplied mainly from the Auburn Theological
The present membership of the church is fiftyone; Sunday School, eighty-eight; teachers, nine; infant class, sixteen.
Greenville Gaylord, Superintendent.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CAMILLUS. -In 1827 Camillus was a "preaching place" in the Marcellus circuit,
there being a small society organized there at that time. Meetings were held in private houses and school houses.
The Presiding Elder at that time was Rev. George Gary, and Revs. Zenas Jones, Orrin Doolittle and Morgan Sherman
circuit preachers. A church was built at Camillus in 1830. Presiding Elder, Rev. John Dempster; Circuit Preachers,
Revs. Isaac Puffer and G. W. Dinsmore. In 1836, Camillus was made a "station" with Rev. Z. Paddock, Presiding
Elder; and Rev. Ross Clark, Station Preacher.
The society at present numbers eighty-eight members; the average attendance at Sunday School, forty. Church property
is valued at about $5,000, and the parsonage at $1,500. Rev. D. W. Bristol, D. D., is Presiding Elder, and Rev.
F. H. Stanton, who has held this charge for three years, Pastor at the present time.
On Nine-Mile Creek, three miles below Camillus Village, was first settled by Joseph White, who built a fulling
mill here in 1801, and saw mill in 0806. The place now contains a saw and stave mill, flouring mill and cider mill.
The large flouring mill was erected by Nathan Paddock in 1826-'27, and is now owned by Lafayette Burdick, who has
been in possession of the property since 1861.
There is also a tannery here, conducted by D. B. Paddock; a Presbyterian church and a Methodist class connected
with the charge at Belle Isle.
Amboy has two physicians-Dr. L. C. Skinner, a graduate of Hobart College in 1840, and a practitioner here since
the same year; and his son, Dr. E. C. Skinner, who graduated at the Medical College of the University of New York
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AMB0Y.- This is the first and only religious organization of the place. The records
show that a meeting was held December 23, 1845, in the new meeting house erected the same year at a probable cost
of $3,000 and in present use, at which Rev's Thos. Castleton, J. J. Ward, J. W. Adams, A. L. Otis, J. E. Meyers,
A. C. Lathrop; and Ruling Elders, T. R. Porter and J. Skinner, were present as the Committee of the Onondaga Presbytery
(since, with the Oswego and Mohawk Presbyteries, merged into the Presbytery of Syracuse,) to constitute the church;
which was duly organized with forty-nine communicants, all received by certificate from the Congregational church
at Van Buren Center and from the Presbyterian church at Camillus.
The church building was then dedicated, followed by the election of Heman Warner, J. Skinner, Jonathan White, and
William Reed, Elders; Truman Skinner, Henry L. Warner, and Pardee Ladd, Deacons. Of these all, excepting Pardee
Ladd, had elsewhere held the same offices
The first settled minister of the church was Rev. Alfred C. Lathrop. 1845-'47; Rev. Norman B. Sherwood, 1848-'49;
Rev. D. H. Kingsley, 1849- '50; Rev. R. J. Cone, 1850-'52; Rev. Edward S. Lacy, 1852-'53; Rev. Hubert P. Herrick,
1853; Rev. Richard Dunning, 1854-'58; Rev. Lucius E. Barnard, 1859-'60; Rev. John S. Bacon, 1862-'70; Rev. Frederick
Hebard, 1870-'72; Rev. A. J. Quick, 1872-'75, and Rev. Benjamin B. Dayton, June 1, 1876, the present pastor.
Since the organization of the church the roll of membership has included two hundred and eightytwo names. Of this
number seventy-three have been dismissed to other churches, fifty-five have gone from earth, and eight have been
suspended, leaving the present membership, (January, 1878,) one hundred and forty-six. The membership of the Sabbath
School is one hundred and fifty-three.
Is a post-hamlet on the Erie Canal in the eastern part of the town of Camillus. Thomas Machan has been Postmaster
since 1860, and Justice of the Peace since 1868. William Ecker was Justice of the Peace from 1864 to 1868. The
place contains one store, wagon and blacksmith shops. The store is kept by M. L. Hay.
The M. E. Church at this place was erected in 1851; Jaben Armstrong, Henry Safford, John C. Hatton, first Trustees
and principal contributors to the church building. Rev. Mr. Coop was the first pastor; present pastor, C. W. Rowley.
Robert Martin owns the present saw mill north of Belle Isle, known as the "Corwin Mills," rebuilt at
a cost of $1,200, with an additional cost of $750 for cider press, and one run of stones for grain. In 1876, he
manufactured two hundred barrels of cider, and is now doing a general business, working his farm of twenty-five
acres in connection with his milling.
Among the representative farmers of Onondaga county for nearly forty years, were the Bennett Brothers, of Camillus.
Their business relationship, commencing in 1836, was continued until the death of Mr. Lewis Bradley Bennett, in
1874; and, remarkable as it may seem, all transactions were planned and carried out without resorting to any written
contract between them. They lived, toiled and labored together as brothers, each trying to out-vie the other in
the amount of work done. Yearly all accounts were examined and adjusted. In this, no doubt, lay one element of
These brothers, Lewis Bradley and Joel Barlow, in 1840, purchased one hundred acres of land, and during the twenty
years which followed, added to that amount, until in 1860, their estate numbered nearly six hundred acres, at an
average cost of sixty dollars per acre. During the financial depressions of the country they prosperously, yet
slowly, pushed forward. With energy, patience and industry they improved their entire estate, with respect to fences
and buildings; enriched the soil by means of stock, plaster and clover, until a high state of cultivation was reached.
The strength and fertility of the soil, a sandy loam mixed with clay, placed their large farm among the very first
in productiveness in Onondaga County.
The kind of farming followed was chiefly grain and stock raising. During ten successive years the average sown
yearly was nearly two hundred acres, or one-third of the entire estate, while often a herd of eighty cattle could
be seen, with flocks of sheep numbering eight hundred. The largest product of grain in one year was six thousand
bushels-of wheat, barley, oats and corn-while in 1864, the highest price for produce was obtained, fifteen hundred
bushels of wheat being marketed for three dollars and a half per bushel. The necessary meadow land, yearly, was
not far from eighty to a hundred acres. The winter season during fifteen years was spent in clearing wood land,
until one hundred acres had been rendered arable. Thus their winter's harvests were nearly as profitable as those
With a large and productive farm, finely located, gently sloping to the south; with large and well arranged fields;
with barns of great dimensions, one of which for nearly twenty years was a model for the surrounding country: with
the latest and most improved machinery, which they took great pleasure in introducing: with all these something
else seemed necessary in order to have contentment. Each wished for a better house, and they planned to erect a
dwelling for each which would be satisfactory. Mr. Lewis Bradley Bennett succeeded in finishing a structure, of
beautiful exterior, whose interior arrangement and finish can not well be surpassed for a farmer's use. Containing,
as it does, large and conveniently arranged rooms, with the modern improvements of bath rooms and furnace, one
looks upon it with feelings of pleasure and almost pride: Soon after the completion of this beautiful structure
its builder died, having occupied it only a few months.
Not long after his brother's death, Mr. Joel Barlow Bennett took possession of this house, where with his wife,
Rosanna S., he now lives, carrying on a farm of two hundred and forty acres, which remains from the original estate.
Through the taste and patience of a nephew, Mr. Charles B. Brown, the grounds have been tastefully laid out, and
a lawn neatly and carefully made, and to-day the landscape gardening of this residence attracts-and merits universal
Mr. Joel Barlow Bennett was born in Camillus, Onondaga County, N. Y., July 22d, 1815. His brother, Lewis Bradley
Bennett, was born in Camillus, September 29th, 1813, and married Mary Waring, of Saratoga, Saratoga County, N.
Y., February 15th, 1842. He died December 22d, 1874, in the sixty-second year of his age. At the time ofhis death
he was a member of the Congregational Church in Elbridge, and one of the Board of Trustees of the church, and also
of the Munro Collegiate Institute. In June, 1874, he made a legacy to the church of which he was a member of $1,000,
to be used for its support. At the same time he bequeathed large amounts of property to his immediate relatives.
He left a widow, but no children. He was of mild disposition, yielding, yet firm and persevering. While he was
energetic in business affairs, he was peaceable in the community in which he lived. He did not love public positions
and only accepted them when urged upon him. The community in which he lived, his employes and family friends only
knew his true worth. Among the many monuments he left, none are so good as those of friendship and affection.