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


CARLTON was formed from Gaines and Ridgeway, April 13, 1822, as Oak Orchard. It received its present name in 1825. It lies upon the lake shore, between Kendall and Yates, and is crossed in a north-east direction by Johnson's and Oak Orchard Creeks. The surface is level and the soil generally is sandy. Salt water was discovered a few years since near West Canton. Mr. Lyman Fuller, in digging a well, bored through a stratum of rock and obtained salt water of such strength that two gallons yielded a pint of salt. The hole through the rock was plugged up and fresh water came in from above, affording him a well of good water.

Carlton, (p. v.,) called also Two Bridges, is situated at the junction of Oak Orchard and Marsh Creeks, and contains a Baptist church, a hotel, a store, two blacksmith and wagon shops, a cooper shop, a shoe shop, a warehouse and about a dozen dwellings.

East Carlton (p. o.,) contains a Baptist church, a store and half a dozen houses.

West Carlton, (Kuckville p. o.,) on Johnson's Creek, is a hamlet, with a Methodist church and a store.

Waterport, (p. v.,) situated at the junction of Oak Orchard and Otter Creeks, in the south-west part of the town, contains a church, a hotel, two stores, two shoe shops, two wagon. shops, a grist mill with three or four runs of stones, two saw mills and a mill for the manufacture of lath, shingles, heading, &c., a tannery and about thirty dwellings.

Kenyonville, (p. o.,) on Oak Orchard Creek, in the south-west part, contains a store, a grist mill with three runs of stones, a lumber and shingle mill, a school house and a blacksmith shop.

Oak Orchard Harbor is situated on Lake Ontario, at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, and contains two hotels, a steam saw and planing mill, a store, a saloon and about a dozen dwellings. The Lake View House occupies a beautiful site and. is a resort for pleasure seekers during the summer. An appropriation has been made by Congress for the improvement of theharbor. Piers, 500 feet in length, are to be extended at a distance of 200 feet from each other, and the harbur is to be dredged. After the improvements are completed it is expected that vessels drawing 25 or 30 feet of water will be able to go to Two Bridges. A light house is in contemplation.

Baldwin's Corners and Curtis Corners are hamlets.

The settlement of this town was commenced by James and William Walsworth; the former settled at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek and the latter on Johnson's Creek. In May, 1803, James Walsworth landed at the mouth of the Creek, in an open boat, with his family. They immediately proceeded to erect a cabin of poles covered with bark. They were very poor and their whole stock of provisions consisted of a few bushels of potatoes. The stream abounded in fish, which, with the few articles they were able to obtain from the crews of bateaux as they passed up and down the lake, constituted their sustenance. Their nearest neighbors on the east were at Braddock's Bay. There was no settlement on the lake nearer than Fort Niagara upon the west, and their nearest neighbor in that direction was at Cold Springs, near Lockport. It is probable that the Walsworths did not remain here long, as some of the early, settlers make no mention of them. Elijah Hunt came here in 1803 and located at the mouth of Johnson's Creek.

Matthew Dunham and his sons, Matthew, James and Charles, came from New York City and settled upon Johnson's Creek, near the site of the present village of Kuckville. Mr. Dunham took an Artical for lots 5, 7 and 9, Section 9 of Township 18, Range 2, of the Holland Purchase. In the spring of 1804 he moved his family to this place, coming by the lake in a boat. He commenced a clearing and built a mill, which was a novel affair though a slight improvement on the hand mortar. It consisted of a mortar dug from a log, with a block ficted into it, and run by water. Mr. Dunham was a poor man, but his means increased so that in a few years he erected a grist mill, bringing the stones from Niagara, now Newark, Canada. Those who profess to know are not agreed as to the year in which this mill was erected; some say in 1806, others in 1808. This was for a long time the only grist mill in this region. A saw mill and a chair shop were also erected and operated for several years. Mr. Dunham subseq,uently removed to Newark, Canada, where he remained until the breaking out of the war of 1812, when he was forced to leave his property there or serve in the British army. He returned to Kuckville and took a contract to furnish 300,000 feet of lumber, to be delivered to the United States Government at, Fort Niagara. His raft was discovered and burned by the British fleet, near the mouth of Golden Hill Creek. This disaster so embarrassed him that he was compelled to sell his property to pay his debts. He then went to Boston, where he died soon after. During the Revolutionary war he was a Lieutenant of Dragoons, and was present at the battle of Saratoga and other engagements during the great struggle for Independence.

In 1804 Moses Root and Henry Lovell settled near this place. Mr. Root's family consisted of a wife, five sons and one daughter. From the biography of Reuben Root, one of the sons, we learn that they carried their wheat to Lima to mill, a distance of seventy miles, by way of the lake and the Irondequoit; their clothing was made of hemp of their own raising. In 1806 or 1807, Mr. Root brought a cow from Canada, but she was killed by the wolves the next year. He built the first framed barn in Orleans County, bringing the lumber and nails from Canada. Mr. Reuben Root and his father volunteered and went to Fort Erie during the war, and assisted in taking about five hundred prisoners..

In 1814 Reuben Root located in the east part of Yates, where he has since resided. He has been a resident of the County for sixty-five years.

Among the other early settlers were Elijah Brown and Job Shipman, who came in in 1804, and Wm. Carter, Ephraim Waldo, Paul Brown, David Miller, James and Samuel McKinney, Wm. Griffiths and Stephen Hoyt, who came in in 1805-6.

The first apple tree ever raised in this region was planted by Rachael Lovell, a daughter of Henry Lovell, at the mouth of Johnson's Creek. The remnants of that tree are still visible. Miss Lovell afterwards became the wife of Matthew Dunham, Jr. $he is still living and resides within half a mile of the spot where, sixty years ago, her parents first landed. The first apple orchard was planted by Elijah Brown, near the Two Bridges. It was set out among the stumps and log heaps, without much regard to regularity, and is now in a tolerably thriving and productive condition. The second orchard was planted by Matthew Dunham, Jr., in 1809, at Kuckville. The orchard is one of the most fruitful in the County at the present time.

In 1811 a company of young men from Stockbridge, Mass., commenced a settlement on Section 5 of this town. The following, copied from the book in which it was originally recorded by their Secretary, will give a good idea of the terms upon which these young men associated together:

"We, who have hereunto affixed our respective names, do agree to the following Articles and hold ourselves bound to fulfill each and every one of them, as follows, viz.:

"Article 1st, We agree that for the purpose of our better accommodation and mutual benefit, do and have resolved ourselves into one respective body or company by and under the appellation of the UNION COMPANY for the express purpose of emigrating to the westernmost part of the State of New York (on the Holland Purchase so-called) there to purchase each one by and for himself unconnected with said Company as much land as he shall think will comport with his individual interest.

"Article 2d, We agree that we will jointly and severally bear our proportional part of expenses that may accrue for the use of said Body or Company in the outfit or when embodied or joined together, which shall be considered necessary by said Company, being made in a just and lawful frianner agreeable to the Rules and Regulations hereafter adopted.

"Article 3d, We agree that one of said Body or Company shall be appointed Secretary to see that said expedition is forwarded, to give information from time to time what progress has been made or is making, and also to keep a book or memorandum on which shall be carefully recorded whatever has been furnished and by whom, as well the value of said articles and any entry which shall be considered necessary by said Company.

"Article 4th, We agree that we will individually furnish our respective proportions of such articles as shall be considered necessary by said Company and make a deposit of the same with the Company's Secretary previous to the first day of January next.

"Article 6th, We agree that we will put our joint strength and force together for at least two years, next after the purchase of our respective lands and labor in company."

There were several other articles providing that the avails of their labor should be equally divided, and that whatever was taken in hunting or fishing should also be equally divided and the expense should also be shared equally.

"Article 10th, We agree that we will erect a house and barn on the land belongin.g to some one of the Company to be jointly conserved in the expense in building the same and also joint owners in said building until said Company shall be dissolved, then to belong to the one on whose land it shall stand.

"Article 12th, We agree that we will assist each other in an equal proportion in erecting a house and barn, not exceeding the expense of the first house and barn erected."

There were eighteen of the articles, the most important of which are given above. The document was "Dated Saturday 8th, Dec. 1810. Stockbridge, Mass.," and signed by Minoris Day, Fitch Chamberlain, Charles Webster, Anthony Miles, Selah Bardslee, Moses Barnum, Jr., Russell Smith, Giles Slater, Jr. These bachelors commenced a settlement according to their programme, each in turn performing the duties of cook and general housekeeper. A trial in this case, as in many others, suggested an improvement.

"The world was sad; the garden was a wild,
And man, the hermit sighed-till woman smiled."

A consultation was held, the "Union Company" were unanimous in the opinion that another element was essential to the perfect realization of their hopes. As each loved his neighbor as himself, they cast lots to see who should return to their eastern home and invite one of the fair daughters of the old "Bay State" to return to the wilderness, and by her presence cheer the hearts of the enterprising pioneers, the Company bearing the expense of the trip, as in all other enterprises for their mutual benefit. The Jonah upon whom the lot fell, submitted to his fate, and in due time returned to receive from his comrades the "well done good and faithful." The glad tidings were carried throughout the settlement, and their friends and neighbors united in their rejoicings and congratulations. Success attended the Union Company, and most of its members followed the example of their associate, until each had his own separate household and a companion and sharer of his joys and sorrows.

The first death in the town was that of a deserter from Fort Niagara, who was drowned in attempting to cross Johnson's Creek, about 1800. The first death of an actual settler was that of Elijah Brown, May 7, 1805. The first births were those of twins, children of James Walsworth, in 1806; and the first marriage that of William Carter and Amy Hunt, in 1804. The first grist mill was erected by Matthew Dunham, in 1806, on Johnson's Creek.

Zebulon Barnum, a "Jack of all trades," erected a shop about a mile south-west of Kuckville. Here he manufactured wooden piows for the farmers, and carried on the tailoring and blacksmithing business.

George Kuck, a native of London, England, came to this place in 1815, and erected the first framed grist mill, north of the Ridge Road, between Genesee River and Niagara. In 1816 he opened a store in Kuckville, the only one in this region. He soon after began improvements of great importance to the country. He erected a store-house at the mouth of Johnson's Creek, thereby securing a market in the immediate vicinity. He also put in operation a saw mill and an ashery.

A post office was established at West Canton in 1837, and within a few years the place has received the name of Kuckville, in honor of Rev. George Kuck. In November, 1821, he assisted in forming the first Methodist class in the town, and became its leader. It consisted of ten members, which, with a small class in Yates, constituted the entire membership of the Methodist Church north of the Ridge Road. In 1825 he assisted in forming the first Sunday school, and in 1837 was ordained by Bishop Hedding. He died March 16, 1868.

The first school in the town was taught by Peleg Helms, in the winter of 1810-11. The first religious services in the town were conducted by Rev. Mr. Steele, a Methodist preacher from Canada, sorrietime previous to 1810.

Elder Simeon Dutcher, of the Baptist denomination, came to Carlton in 1817. He was a native of Dutchess County, but had lived in Madison County for eight years previous to his coming here. For several years after his arrival in Orleans County, he was the only preacher in the region, and attended the funerals and weddings of the settlers of all denominations. A Baptist Church was soon organized and Elder Dutcher preached for them until 1827. He was a Free Mason, and upon the outbreak of the antiMasonic excitement, after the abduction of Morgan, he was required to renounce Masonry, but declined, and was expelled from the Church, and did not preach afterwards. He was a good man and highly esteemed by all. He died in 1860.

The population of Canton in 1865 was 2,461, and its area is 25,898 acres.

The number of school districts is eighteen, employing the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age is 897; the number enrolled in the schools, 756; the average attendance, 382, and the amount expended fbr school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868, $4,600.79.


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