THE TOWN OF SCHROEPPEL.
The town of Schroeppel was set off from Volney by an act of the Legislature passed
April 4, 1832, and contains an area of 26,778 acres. Its boundaries have remained unchanged. It is located in the
southern central part of the county, in the angle formed by the junction of the Oneida and Oswego Rivers, and is
bounded on the north by Palermo, on the east by Hastings and Clay, on the south by Clay and Lysander in Onondaga
county, and on the west by Lysander, Volney, and a corner of Granby. Its name is derived from that of George Casper
Schroeppel, a business partner of George Scriba, and the purchaser from him of nearly the whole territory under
consideration. It includes fifty one lots of survey township 16, named "Georgia" by the original proprietor,
and forty eight lots of township 24, or "Erlang." It also includes three tracts, or "locations,"
aggregating 2,550 acres, which had been granted by the State before the purchase by the Roosevelts in 1791, and
which were excluded from the land patented to Scriba in 1794, as will be seen by a reference to his patent at pages
10 and II of this volume. These "locations" are: 1. 350 acres of land, granted to Steven Lush, and known
as "Lush's Location," lying on the river just below the village of Phoenix; 2. 1,200 acres of land granted
to Ezra L'Hommedieu, by whom it was sold to Alexander Phoenix, from whom it has since been known as the "Phoenix
Patent;" it includes the site of the village of Phoenix; 3. 1,000 acres of land granted to Ezra L'Hommedieu,
and known as "L'Hommedieu's Location;" it occupies the angle at Three River Point formed by the junction
of the Oneida and Oswego Rivers.
The surface of the town is level or gently rolling. The soil consists of a rich sandy loam, and clay, susceptible
of high and easy cultivation, and is fertile and productive. The underlying rock belongs to the Clinton group,
but nowhere crops out. Adequate drainage is afforded by Six Mile, Fish, and Bell Creeks, Sandy Brook, and other
minor streams, which have supplied numerous mill privileges and contributed materially to the development and prosperity
of the town. The Oneida River, which flows along the southeast border of the town and, uniting with the Seneca
River at Three River Point, forms the Oswego River, also had a marked influence upon its settlement and growth.
The valuable water power of the Oswego River along the southwest boundary of Schroeppel has from an early day helped
to maintain many extensive industries. Dating from a period long before actual settlers arrived and continuing
down to the completion of the Oswego Canal in 1828, and afterward to a limited extent, these rivers were the scene
of great activity. After the canal was opened. traffic, except on the Oneida River, was transferred to that channel.
Boat building soon became an important pursuit in the town.
Six Mile Creek, mentioned above, which flows through Gilbert's Mills and the west part of the town, is properly
Peter Scott's Creek, so called from the fact that after the close of the war of 1812-15 Co]. Peter Scott was sent
with his regiment from Oswego to Albany, and arriving at the mouth of this stream, his boats were frozen in the
ice and the troops were compelled to remain there through the winter. Northward along this creek, varying from
half a mile to a mile in width, is Peter Scott's swamp, some of which has been reclaimed to cultivation by artificial
drainage. On April 20, 1866, Anson Spencer, Milton T. Butts, and Charles W. Candee were appointed commissioners
by the Legislature to remove obstructions from this stream, the expense to be assessed to the lands benefited.
At the mouth of "Sidney Creek," which flows through the Gilson D. Carrier farm, and empties into the
Oneida River, an Indian of that name was buried at an early day by the side of a log. He was shot and instantly
killed by one McGee while paddling a canoe which he had stolen from McGee.
These streams long abounded with trout, eels and other fish, and afforded to the pioneers a source from which their
tables were often supplied. The forests also contributed game for their larders, and other beasts both troublesome
In the Oswego River at the head of the rifts at Phoenix is Baldwin's Island, formerly McGee's Island, which contains
about ten acres. "There is a tradition extant that at the time the French colony was broken up at Onondaga,
in 1656, the colonists, pursuing their course down the river and the Indians being in full pursuit, took refuge
on this island, and after relieving their boats of a small brass cannon, emptied the contents of their military
chests, containing a quantity of gold, which was buried in the sand; and from thence they immediately fled down
the river to Oswego and from thence to Canada. Repeated attempts have been made to recover the cannon and also
to secure the gold, but hitherto without effect. Excavations were continued to within a few years to secure the
A heavy growth of timber originally covered the entire town, and for many years the conversion of this into lumber
was the chief industry of the inhabitants. The forests supplied neighboring tanneries with bark and contributed
quantities of staves and heading for barrels for the Syracuse salt, and Oswego flour trade. In 1860 there were
ten saw mills, four shingle mills, and other kindred establishments in operation. Prior to this, farming had become
the principal industry of the town, and dairying a leading branch. The chief products of the soil are hay, potatoes,
apples and other fruit, wheat, corn and other grains. Stock raising is given considerable attention.
Roads and bridges were laid out and constructed soon after the first settlers came in. The earliest thoroughfares
followed the rivers and small streams. At the first town meeting in 1833 fifteen road districts were formed and
an overseer chosen for each, and at the same time $250 were voted for highways. April 30, 1830, John Wall was authorized
by the Legislature to build a toll bridge across the Oswego River "at or near Three River dam." May 25,
1836, the Schroeppel and Granby Bridge Company was incorporated for the purpose of building a similar bridge over
the same stream, from lot 92 in Schroeppel (Hinmansville), to lot 33 in Granby. May 11, 1846, a commission was
appointed to erect a free bridge across the Oswego River and Canal at Phoenix, on the site of "Wall &
Peck's bridge," to cost not more than $4,000, a part of which was to be borne by the town of Lysander. In
1847 an act was passed authorizing the construction of a bridge over the Oneida River at Oak Orchard. The Oswego
and Syracuse plank road was completed along the east side of the Oswego River in 1850, and for a time was a busy
In August, 1858, a contract was let to Coburn & Hurst for $7,350 to build a wooden bridge of eight spans at
Phoenix; this occupied the site of the present iron structure. In 1859-60 the bridge at Hinmansville was rebuilt
by the towns of Schroeppel and Granby, and on April 17, 1861, a special act was passed by the Legislature legalizing
the acts of the officers of those towns in raising money to pay for the same. May 2, 1864, an act authorized the
rebuilding by the canal commissioners of the Phoenix and Horseshoe dams across the Oswego River. May 26, 1866,
Amasa P. Hart, of Schroeppel, and Manson Rice, of Clay, were appointed commissioners to rebuild Schroeppel's bridge
over the Oneida River above Three River Point at a cost not exceeding $7,500, of which the two counties and the
towns of Clay and Schroeppel were to bear one fourth each. This was provided with a draw, and has since been replaced
by the present iron structure. April 6, 1869, the Legislature appointed Governeur M. Sweet, of Schroeppel, and
John Pardee and James Frazee, of Lysander, commissioners to rebuild the bridge at Phoenix. The contract was let
to Howard Soule and the cost aggregated $15,000, one fourth of which was borne by each town and county.
At all the earlier town meetings provision was made for the support of the indigent poor. Under an act passed April
18, 1859, a poor farm was purchased, but it was maintained only until 1863, when, April 29, the Legislature authorized
its sale, directed the proceeds to be applied to contingent expenses, and appointed Edmund Merry, Anson Spencer,
and Ephraim C. Fitzgeralds commissioners for the purpose.
The first town meeting was held at the house of James B. Richardson in Phoenix village March 5, 1833, eleven months
after the formation of the town. Mr. Richardson was clerk pro tem., Orville W. Childs was assistant clerk, 117
votes were cast, and the following officers were chosen:
Samuel Merry, supervisor; James B. Richardson, town clerk; Artemus Ross, for three years, and Orville W. Childs,
for four years, justices of the peace; Andrus Gilbert, Walter Peck, and Stephen Griffith, assessors; Hiram Gilbert
and James B. Richardson, overseers of the poor; Samuel C. Putnam, Abram Vanderpool, and Leman Carrier, commissioners
of highways; Dyer Putnam, Artemus Ross, and Stephen Griffith, commissioners of schools; George W Turner, Abram
Vanderpool and Orville W. Childs, inspectors of schools; Joshua M. Rice, collector; Joshua M. Rice, Thomas R. Hawley,
Leman Carrier, and Alexander Ross, constables; Charles S. Sweet, sealer; overseers of highways, district No. 1,
Walter Peck; No. 2, John Dale; No. 3, Jesse Page; No. 4, Milton Fuller; No. 5, John Porter; No. 6, Allen Gilbert;
No. 7, Leman Carrier; No. 8, Andrus Gilbert; No. 9, George W. Davis; No. 10, Patten Parker; No. 11, Levi Pratt;
No. 12. Asa Sutton; No. 13, John Curtis, jr.; No. 14, Lawrence Seymour; No. 15, Henry W. Schroeppel.
The supervisors have been as follows:
Samuel Merry, 1833; Andrus Gilbert, 1834; Samuel Merry, 1835; James B. Richardson, 1836-37; Patten Parker, 1838-39;
Barzil Candee, 1840-41; Joseph R. Brown, 1842; Garret C. Sweet, 1843; Samuel Foot, 1844; William Conger, 1845-46;
William Hale, 1847-50; Oliver Breed, 1851-54; Ira Betts, 1855; Seth W. Alvord, 1856-57; John P. Rice, 1858; Frederick
D. Van Wagoner, 1859; John P. Rice, 1860; Edmund Merry, 1861-63; Charles W. Candee, 1864; Edmund Merry, 1865-68;
Moses Melvin, 1869; John C. Hutchinson, 1870-71; Hiram Fox, 1872-75; William Patrick, 1876-78; Hiram D. Fox, 1879;
Burton Betts, 1880; A. E. Russ, 1881-84; W. E. Sparrow, 1885-86; John D. O'Brien, 1887-91; Albert P. Merriam, 1892-95.
The town clerks have been:
James B. Richardson, 1833-35; Otis W. Randall, 1836-39; Solomon Judd, 1840; William Conger, 1841-42; Seth W. Burke,
1843; Joshua M. Rice, 1844; E. W. Hull, 1845; Oliver Breed, 1846-47; Edward Baxter, 1848-49; E. G. Hutchinson,
1850; Harvey Bigsby, 1851; Jerome Duke, 1852; John C. Hutchinson, 1853; James M. Clark, 1854; George W. Thompson,
1855; Edmund Merry, 1856-57; Lewis C. Rowe, 1858-61; Alfred Morton, 1862; Stephen A. Brooks, 1863; A. M. Spoonenburgh,
1864; James L. Breed, 1865; S. A. Brooks, 1866; William M. Allen, 1867-68; James McCarthy, 1869; Harvey Wandell,
1870; R. A. Diefendorf, 1871; Martin Wandell, 1872-77; A. E. Russ, 1878-80; N. G. Vickery, 1881; Edward Baker,
1882-83; W. H. Conrad, 1884; H. S. Withers, 1885; C. K. Williams, 1886-87; W. H. Jennings, 1888; W. O. Dingman,
1889; H. S. Withers (appointed), 1890; Richard Latham, 1891-92; H. C. Russ, 1893-95.
The town officers for 1895-96 are:
Albert P. Merriam, supervisor; Hiram C. Russ, clerk; W. H. Merriam, H. C. Breed, Edward Conrad, and R. A. Crandall,
justices of the peace; A. D. Dygert, Welcome Marsden, and William R. Chesebro, assessors; James Huntley, highway
commissioner; Martin H. Porter, first district, and James Nelson, second district, overseers of the poor; John
W. Dygert, collector.
The first white settler in Schroeppel was Abram Paddock, who arrived in 1801 and built a log cabin at the foot
of the rifts on the site of the present village of Phoenix. He never purchased any land, yet he remained a permanent
resident until his death in 1821, his being the first death in town. Being engaged chiefly in hunting and trapping,
he acquired the familiar sobriquet of "Bear hunter Paddock." He was frequently visited by the Indians,
who were sometimes troublesome, and who often threatened to shoot him if he did not stop shooting their bears.
Bluff, brave and rugged, he was a unique character in his day, and, as near as can be ascertained, enjoyed the
distinction of being the sole white inhabitant of the town until 1807. His was the first log house in Schroeppel.
In 1807 Thomas Vickery settled permanently near Three River Point, where his son Joseph was born September 11 of
that year, which was the first white person's birth in town. He was accompanied by his wife and three sons, and
after a few years removed to Clay, Onondaga county, and there became a prominent citizen. Joseph Vickery purchased
a farm one and one half miles below Phoenix, married Abigail Hancock in 1831, reared five sons, and died April
2, 1882; his wife's death occurred in 1888. About 1807 John Lemanier came in, and in that year was married to Sally
Winters, which was the first marriage solemnized in Schroeppel. The ceremony was performed by a justice of the
peace from Onondaga county, who soon learned that he had exceeded his powers as magistrate by going outside of
his jurisdiction. The next day he got the couple on the other side of the river and retied the nuptial knot according
to law. David Winters was another settler of 1807, and located on the river bank on lot 35. William Miles arrived
in 1808 and George Foster in 1811. The latter also located on lot 35.
Undoubtedly others arrived before 1812, but the precise dates can not be determined. During the period we have
reviewed, actual locations had been confined to the river bank; the interior of the town remained an unbroken wilderness.
Settlers had come in in small numbers, and the war with England almost wholly stopped immigration. After peace
was declared an era of growth and prosperity began. Settlers arrived in constantly increasing numbers, roads were
laid out and opened, and various industries were established. In the mean time, in 1813, the first school in town
had been opened at Three River Point, the teacher being Horatio Sweet.
George Casper Schroeppel, from whom the town derived its name, settled on his estate in 1815. He deserves more
than a passing notice, About 1790, during the Reign of Terror in France, a young and beautiful lady, allied to
a noble family, fled to America. On the ship which bore her hither was Mr. Schroeppel, a young German. They fell
in love, and arriving in New York were married. Her fortune enabled him to embark in business as a merchant, his
partner being George Scriba and a Mr. Roosevelt, and he became wealthy. Madam Schroeppel subsequently revisited
France, where she soon died. Mr. Schroeppel purchased 2o,ooo acres of Scriba, comprising nearly all of this town,
and in 1815 he took up his residence on lots 34 and 35. He built the first frame house in town about 1818, and
in 1819 erected the first saw mill. He also commenced the erection of a grist mill, but never finished it. He died
in New York city in 1825 and was buried in Trinity churchyard. To his son and two daughters he left large fortunes.
The former, Henry W. Schroeppel, settled at Oak Orchard on the bank of Oneida River in 1818, and opened the first
farm upon which extensive improvements were made; he also conducted the saw mill for many years and died in 1858,
at the age of sixty. His daughter, Mrs. Richard Pennell, is mentioned further on.
In 1818 Archibald Cook became the first settler on the site of the village of Gilbert's Mills. The same year
Hyman and Stephen Sutton purchased land on lot 13 in the 16th township, and Stephen built a log house on his location.
In March, 1819, they became permanent settlers. They were brothers and came from Manlius, Onondaga county. Alvin
Sutton, a cousin, and a Mr. Phelps located on lot 12, Azoe Parkin on lot 13, and one Billings on lot 27, all in
the same year. Lyman Norton settled on the farm upon which his son Hiram was born in 1822, and which finally passed
into the possession of the latter. He died in May, 1870.
Other settlers of 1819 were Andrus and Hiram Gilbert, Israel Burritt, John Willard, and a Mr. Phillips. The Gilberts
were the founders of Gilbert's Mills. Andrus Gilbert was born in Oneida county, August 30, 1799, married Sarah
S., daughter of Capt. George Macomber, one of the pioneers of Utica, and had eleven children. In 1819 the Gilberts
erected on Peter Scott's Creek at Gilbert's Mills the first grist mill in town. In 1832 Hiram became the sole owner,
and in 1844 sold the mill to Jared Shepard. who conducted it for about four years and was succeeded by Josiah Chaffee.
The latter was soon followed by Amos Mason. Andrus Gilbert opened the first store in town in 1820, and in 1822
formed a partnership with Samuel Merry. The store was burned in 1848. Mr. Gilbert manufactured large quantities
of pot and pearl ashes, served as justice of the peace twelve years, was supervisor, postmaster, an active member
of the Presbyterian church, a strong abolitionist and temperance advocate, and ever a generous and an influential
citizen. In 1847 he moved on to a farm and died there. The Gilberts also erected and operated one of the largest
saw mills in this vicinity. Israel Burritt assisted in building these mills and finally moved to a farm afterward
occupied by James Simmons, where he died. He came from Paris, Oneida county.
About 1820 Aaron Paddock, familiarly known as "Eel-butcher Paddock," settled in Phoenix across the street
from the old Joseph Gilbert residence, and his daughter Jane, born in that year, was the first child born on the
site of the village. In 1824 occurred the first marriage in the place, the contracting parties being his daughter
Miriam and James Miles. Aaron Paddock was not related to Abram Paddock, the pioneer. His log house passed into
the possession of Simeon S. Chapin, who, in 1822, erected an addition and opened the first tavern in town. It acquired
a wide reputation as the "Double Log House." In 1825 he built a frame addition, which was the first structure
of the kind in Phoenix village. Capt. Joseph Gilbert, mentioned above, was born in Paris, N. Y., in 1810, came
to Palermo with his parents in 1819, moved to Schroeppel in 1828, and died in August, 1873.
In 1821 John F. Withey, a Vermonter, became the first settler on the site of Hinmansville, where he built a log
house near the east end of the bridge. Among the arrivals of 1822 were Jonathan Hall and Samuel Merry. The former
settled on lot 20, where he died in June, 1868; the latter came to Gilbert's Mills, removed thence to Phoenix in
1837, and died in 1886. His son, Edmund Merry, was born in town in 1825, and is the father of Addison D., a practicing
attorney in the village.
A man familiarly known as "Tory" Foster early settled and built a log house at Oak Orchard; he soon removed,
but in 1833 returned and died in Phoenix in 1834. He possessed the characteristics of his early political associations,
and took great delight in narrating his exploits and cruelties against the Americans in the Revolutionary war.
He was present with Johnson and Brant at the Wyoming massacre, had had both ears cropped, and wore his hair long
to cover the scars.
About 1824 George Waring came into the town and in that year married a daughter of Jonathan Hall. He was a son
of Solomon Waring, who settled in Constantia in the fall of 1793, was born April 11, 1794, and died in 1866. About
1826 John Curtis, sr., made the first settlement on the State road, on lot 5, in this town, and John Curtis, jr.,
located at Roosevelt. In 1827 Dea. Stephen Griffith, who was born in Saratoga county in 1797, settled on lot 26.
About the same time Walter Peck erected the first saw mill in Phoenix village, and a year later he opened the first
store there. Among other settlers prior to 1830 were Henry Allen, father of Henry A., whose death occurred in 1845;
Olestes Jewett, who lived and died near Gilbert's Mills, and whose son Cyrus was born here in 1835; Frederick Shepard,
who resides where he settled with his father, Asa, in 1826; and Jonathan Butts, Truman Baker, Stephen Chaffee,
George Conrad, I. H, Dygert. Samuel Flynn, Charles Hubbs, Alonzo Utley, Moses Wood, Rodney S. Gregg, and Reuben
Sutton. The latter was a son of Stephen Sutton and was born in Manlius, N. Y., in 1818. The father served at Sackett's
Harbor in the war of 1812. Rodney S. Gregg was a farmer, carpenter, and tavern keeper at Penneliville several years,
and died there. His son Ambrose was born here in 1833, and has held several town offices, has long been a hotel
keeper, and was postmaster at Pennellville for thirty five years. Willis P. Gregg, a son of James E., was born
in Schroeppel in 1853.
The completion of the Oswego Canal in 1828 aided the growth and development of the town. It marked the practical
commencement of the village of Phoenix, and exerted a powerful influence upon the settlement and prosperity of
the various communities. Among the settlers from 1830 to 1840 were:
Calvin Mason, John Fitzgerald, John A. Youmans, Daniel Phillips, Abial Snyder, Charles W. Candee (son of Barzil),
Hezekial Barnes, Simeon Chapin, Isaac Wing, Isaac Mason, Philo M. Carpenter, Ira Davis, Orville W. Childs, Allen
Gilbert, John Ingersoll, Thomas It. Hawley, Asa McNamara, John Bottom, Isaac Like, John Raskin, Asa Gilbert, J.
E. Gregg, Dea. G. W. Turner, Michael Griffin, William Dingman, Nathan Huntley, Jesse Page, Duncan Conger, Elias
Thomas, Garret C. Sweet, Junius Wood, and many others. Deacon Turner came in 1831 and settled on big lots 1 and
6. Thomas R. Hawley, born in Lysander, Onondaga county, arrived in 1832, located on lot 39, and died in 1894. Calvin
Mason, born in Fulton county in 1815. also came in 1832 and settled on his present place in 1842. His parents,
Isaac and Rebecca Mason, accompanied him and died in town. John Fitzgerald, a farmer and lumberman, came from Saratoga,
N. Y., to Phoenix in 1833 and died in 1860. His son Ephraim C., born in 1830, has been a hardware merchant there
since 1865. John Raskin was another settler of 1833, arriving in January of that year, and locating on lot 18 in
the twenty fourth township. Coming from Philadelphia and unaccustomed to pioneer life, his family suffered severely
from privations incident to a new country. In June following his arrival he started for the mill at Caughdenoy,
three and one half miles distant, and while returning lost his way in a tamarack swamp. He was gone one night and
two days and traveled in all about fifty miles without food. Hezekiah Barnes died in 1849. Anthony Youmans was
born in Greene county in 1818 and came to Schroeppel with his parents, John A. and Olive Youmans, in 1834. John
A. died in 1873. aged ninety two, and his wife in 1879, at the age of eighty four. Daniel Phillips arrived in the
spring of 1835, settled where his son Clark now resides, and died in 1866, aged eighty seven. He was a wagonmaker
by trade. Abial Snyder also came in 1835. He was a Methodist preacher shout fifty years. Charles W. Candee was
born in what is now Palermo in 1817, and moved thence to Phoenix in 1837. His son Charles E. was born in town in
1849. William Dingman was accompanied by five sons.
In 1834 ninety seven votes were cast at the annual town meeting; in 1835 the number was 125; in 1836, 191; in 1837,
159; in 1838, 218; in 1839, 285; and in 1840, 308.
Robert D. Ellis, father of John, settled on a farm near Hinmansville in 1843. M. F. Butts arrived about 1845 and
located where his son Frank W. now lives. He held several positions of trust and died in 1892, aged eighty years.
Aries Williams, born in Mexico in 1821, son of Eli, has been nearly all his life a resident of Oswego county.
Prominent among other settlers of Schroeppel may be mentioned:
James B. Richardson, who died in 1844; E. B. Carrington, whose death occurred in 1845; G. H. Northrup, died in
1876; William C. Spoonenburgh, son of Thomas (who died in 1878); Ira Hetts, son of Smith Betts, both of whom came
here in 1852, where the former has been a boat builder in Phoenix forty one years; R. Townsend and his father,
A. Townsend, who also arrived in 1852, the latter being a soldier of the war of 1812 and dying in 1882. aged ninety
five; James Crane, who was born in England in 1831 and settled here in 1855; Henry Fox and his son Hiram, the latter
for thirty years a blacksmith and wagonmaker in Phoenix, where he was long a member of the Board of Education;
Hiram Parker, who died in 1883, where his son Edward now lives; Harvey H. Smith, father of Frank L.; Riley D. Price,
hotel keeper at Hinmansville, son of Rev. Francis Price, who died there in 1891; Oliver Breed, born in Vermont
in 1810, came to Volney in 1827, where his father, Henry, died in 1828, settled in Phoenix, and has been a miller
there since 1848; Andrew P. Hamill, father of Dr. J. K Hamill, who died in 1890; Hosea B. Russ, who died in 1883;
Travis Porter, a Vermonter, whose death occurred in 1886, and whose son Charles was born here in 1835; James H.
Loomis, who was born in Onondaga county in 1817, founded in Phoenix the business of J. H Loomis & Sons, served
sixteen years as justice of the peace, and died in 1894; Governeur 14. Sweet, who served as assemblyman in 1884
and 1885; Wallace D. Sweet, who was born here in 1841 and is now a general merchant in Hinmansville; and William
and Dr. Davis Conger, Orrin C. Stebbins, A. W. Schroeppel, Van Rensselaer Sweet, C. E. Hutchinson, M. M. Carter,
A. H. Brainard, Captain Amasa P. Hart, David Porter, Joshua M. Rice, Abram Vanderpool, Benjamin Hinman, Seth W.
Burke, Dyer Putnam, Enoch S. and John H. Brooks, Gilson D. Carrier, H. G. Vickery (son of Stephen and grandson
of Thomas Vickery), A. W. Sweet, Hiram Norton, Enoch Douglass, Artemus Ross, James Barnes, and many others noticed
a little further on or more fully recorded in Parts II and III of this work.
The population of Schroeppel at the periods mentioned has been as follows: In 1835, 2,191; 1840, 2,198; 1845, 2,516;
1850, 3,258; 1855, 3,749; 1860, 4,011; 1865, 3,669; 1870, 3,987; 1875, 3,250; 1880, 3,281; 1890, 3,026.
The town of Schroeppel may well feel proud of her record during the war of the Rebellion. About 436 of her sons
joined the Union army and navy. A few remained in the service. Those who escaped death and returned have received
fitting honors from a grateful people. Among those who held commissions were:
Francis G. Barnes, James H. Campbell, Augustus Diefendorf, Charles R. W. Ellis, Elias A. Fish, Wright S. Gilbert,
John D. Gifford, Thomas B. Griffin, Harrison B. Herrick, William Lapoint, Alfred Morton, Dennis D. McKoon, Hugh
McKeever, James McKeever, M. G. McKeon, G. G. Pierce, George Potts, Morris F. Saulsbury, Stephen J. Scriba, Luther
D. Stanton, Harvey Sibers, and James Van Antwerp.
The New York, Ontario & Western (Midland) Railroad was completed through the north part of Schroeppel in November,
1869. Prior to this and until 1885 communication between Phoenix and Syracuse, Oswego and other points, except
those along the line of this route, was maintained by boat or stage, the mails being carried to and from Lamson's
on the D. L. & W. Railroad in Lysander from 1848 to 1885. In October, 1871, the Baldwinsville, Phoenix &
Mexico Railroad Company was organized for the purpose of constructing a railway through this town from Mexico to
Baldwinsville. Over $25,ooo were subscribed, considerable enthusiasm was manifested, but the scheme was finally
abandoned. This project, however, started about 1873 the agitation of the Syracuse, Phoenix & Oswego Railroad,
the present Phoenix branch of the R., W. & O., but it was not until 1885 that the road was completed. The first
train ran over it on September 7 of that year. To aid in constructing the route the town was bonded for $50,000,
and Phoenix village for $20,000. Of these sums, $9,500 have been paid by the town. The railroad commissioners are
A. W. Hawks, F. M. Breed and A. D. Merry.
Supervisors statistics for 1894: Assessed valuation of real estate, $1,280,102; equalized $1,226,416; personal
property, $38,600; value of railroads, 13.17 miles, $118,344; town tax, $5,445.88; county tax, $7,084.09; total
tax levy, $15,168.89; dog tax, $206; ratio of tax on $100, $1.75. There are three election districts in town, in
which 738 votes were cast in November, 1894. The town audits for the year aggregated $1,223.08.
The first school in Schroeppel, as previously noted, was taught at Three River Point by Horatio Sweet in 1813.
The first school at Gilbert's Mills was taught by Sophronia Spafford in 1821; the first at Oak Orchard in an upper
room of H. W. Schroeppel's house by Phebe Howe in 1825; and the first at Pennellville in a log house on lot ix
by Ezra Tyler in 1834. The first school house in Phoenix was built in the forks of what are now Main and Volney
streets, whence it was moved to the corner of Jefferson and Culvert streets. It was torn down in May, 1871. The
first teacher in it was Elvira Knapp (afterward Mrs. Thomas R. Hawley), who died in March, 1856. In 1860 there
were sixteen school districts in town. April 19, 1865, the Phoenix Free School District, comprising the whole of
old district No. 12, was formed and the following were the first Board of Education: Enoch S. Brooks, Alfred Morton,
J. N. Gillis, Edmund Merry, M. S. Cushman and Governeur M. Sweet. M. M. Carter was chosen clerk. The first principal
was William B. Howard. His successors have been B. F. Stanley, B. G. Clapp, A. J. Robb, Robert Simpson, D. A. Preston,
and Albert W. Dyke, incumbent. The academic department was organized and accepted by the Regents November 23, 1875,
under the name of the Phoenix Union School and Academy. The first librarian was Samuel C. Putnam, who was succeeded
by his widow. The school house, a commodious brick structure three stories high, was erected soon after the organization
was effected. In 1883 a brick addition was built on the rear at a cost of about $5,000. The school property, including
furniture, apparatus, etc., is valued at $17,600; the average attendance during 1893-94 was 397. Eleven teachers
besides the principal are employed. The Board of Education for 1894-95 consists of:
J. E. Hamill, M. D., president; N. J. Pendergast, C. F. Loomis, H. S. Van Wormer, E. H. Hastings, and M. C. Murgittroyd;
F. M. Pierce, secretary; A. W. Hawks, treasurer.
The town has sixteen school districts with a school house in each, in which twenty seven teachers were employed
and 713 children were taught during the year 1892-3. The school buildings and sites are valued at $21,715; assessed
valuation of districts, $1,369,107; public money received from the State, $3,649.44; raised by local tax, $4,629.84.
The various districts are designated as follows: No. 1, Stewart's Corners; 2, Sand Ridge; 3, Cable Corners; 4,
Love; 5, Gilbert's Mills; 6, Roosevelt; 7, Pennellville; 8, Brick School House; 9, Milton Butts; 10, Woodchuck
Hill; 11, Swamp; 12, Phoenix; 13, Schroeppel; 14, Ellis; 15, Carrier; 16, White School House.
Many of the early burials were made on private property in various parts of the town, but as soon as settlements
had increased sufficiently cemeteries were established. About 1830 Mrs. Richard Pennell donated a site for a public
burying ground about half a mile from Pennellville, and a few years later a plat was laid out for the Pennell and
Schroeppel families in the rear thereof and on the brow of the hill which slopes down to the little lake called
by the Indians Ah-in-ah-ta-na-ga-nus, signifying "big fish water." Thither the remains of her father,
George Casper Schroeppel, were removed from Trinity church yard, New York, and a beech tree marks his grave. Henry
W. Schroeppel, her brother, died in 1858, aged sixty; Dr. Richard Pennell, her husband, in 1861, aged sixty five;
and she in 1867, aged sixty. The Phoenix Rural Cemetery Association was incorporated April 27, 1863, with these
officers, who constituted the board of trustees: M. S. Cushman, president; D. D. McKoon, secretary; Oliver Breed,
Charles W. Candee, William Leslie, G. G. Breed, Edmund Merry, Amasa P. Hart, Davis Conger, Governeur M. Sweet,
Samuel Avery, and William Hart. A little more than three acres were purchased from G. M. Sweet, and later about
four acres were bought of Ephraim Maxfield, making the present grounds nearly eight acres.
[Continued in history
of Schroeppel, New York part 2]