History of Preble, New York

PREBLE, Earned in honor of Commodore Edward Preble, was formed from Tully, upon the organization of Cortland County, April 8, 1808, and embraced the southhalf of that town. its size was diminished in 1815 by taking off the town of Scott. It is situated upon the north border of the County, west of the center. The surface is somewhat broken and diversified, consisting of the valley of the western branch of the Tioughuioga River, which is abuut two miles wide, and the ridges which rise on the east and west. Mount Topping, situated south-west of the village, is 1,700 feet above tide. The declivities of the hills are steep, and their summits in some instances sharp ridges. A valley extending northward, opens into the valley of Otisco Inlet. Several small lakes are situated in the north part of the town, and others similar are situated in the south part, known as Little York Lakes. The soil is a fine quality of gravelly loam.

Preble, (p. v.) situated on the Syracuse, Binghamton and. New York Railroad, contains two churches, a hotel, two general merchandise stores, one hardware and one drug store, one cooper shop, one school, employing two teachers; a harness shop, two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop and several other, shops of various kinds, and about 400 inhabitants.

A Good Templar's Lodge was organized in July, 1868.

Preble Cheese Factory is located about a mile south-east of the village. It was built in 1863-4 by Moses and William Palmer. The building is 100 feet by 35, and two stories high, with an engine room 12 by 16 feet. The vats are heated by steam, and the milk of from 500 to 600 cows is used annually.

Baltimore and Preble Center are hamlets.

The first settlement of this town was made in 1796 by James Cravat and John Gill. Mr. Cravat was a native of Connecticut, but removed from Pompey Hill and located on lot 68. In 1798 Harry Hill and Elijah Mason came in and settled on lots 87 and 78. During the next two years Seth Trowbridge, Minnah Hyatt and Samuel Orvis setled on lot 59. Augustus Thorp located on lot 78 in 1801, and Jabez B. Phelps, John Osgood, Silas Topping and Samuel C. Buckelow settled in various locations in the town in 1802. Judge Phelps located on lot 88, practiced medicine for a time but subsequently turned his attention to politics, and was elected to various responsible offices. Lytle Ferguson, Amos Skeel and Jason Comstock came into the town in 1802-3, and John Callyer, Dr. Robert D. Taggart and Edward Cummings in 1804. M. Cummings came from Peterboro, N. H., and settled on lot 59. He purchased one hundred acres and reared a family of thirteen children. Among the other early settlers were Garret Van Hoesen and his sons, Garret, Francis and Albert, William Vandenburgh, John C. Hollenbeck and Richard Egbertson, most of whom were from Greene County.

The first school in this town was taught by Miss Ruth Thorp, in 1801. Previous to the establishment of a post-office at Preble Corners. about 1812, the settlers received their mail from Pompey Hill. The first birth in. the town was that of Nancy Gill, October 25, 1796; the first marriage was that of Amos Bull and Sally Mason, in 1799; and the first death that of John Patterson, in 1798. The first gristmill was erected in 1806 by Samuel C. Woolson. In 1827 the building was taken down and the main part of the present mill erected on the original site. Amos Skeel was the first supervisor and the first justice of the peace of the town; Garret Van Hoesen the first town clerk, and Samuel taggert the first constable.

The first church was organized the 27th of August, 1804, consisting of eleven members. It was called the Congregational Church of Tully, but has since been designated as the First Presbyterian Church of Preble. It was fbrmed chiefly through the instrumentality of Rev. Theodore Hinsdale and Joel Hale, missionaries from Connecticut. Rev. Matthew Harrison, the first pastor, commenced his labors in 1812.

The Baptist denomination was organized at an early period with fourteen members, under the labors of Elder Abbott.

The Methodist Church was organized in 1827 by Calvin Winslow; Rev. Mr. Sayers was the first regular preacher. Elder Puffer, commonly called "Old Chapter and Verse," was at one time the preacher at this place. It was said that if the Bible should be destroyed he could re-write every chapter, verse and even word in its proper place. .

The population in 1865 was 1,267 and the area 16,114 acres.

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