THE TOWN OF SANDY CREEK.
The town of Sandy Creek, lying in the extreme northwest corner of Oswego county,
was set off from the north part of Richiand on the 24th of March, 1825. Its boundaries have remained unchanged;
its area comprises 24,347 acres. Originally it was included in the great Boylston tract and formed a part of the
survey township of" Rhadamant," or No. 10, and at the time of its first settlement was the property of
the heirs of William Constable, of whom H. B. Pierrepont was the principal. It is bounded on the north by Ellisburg
in Jefferson county, on the east by Boylston and Orwell, on the south by Richiand, and on the west by Lake Ontario.
The surface is generally rolling and has a westerly inclination, the eastern border being about 500 feet above
the waters of the lake. Dense forests originally covered the whole area, and for many years afforded much remunerative
employment. Large quantities of valuable timber were converted into ashes, which in turn were manufactured into
potash which was long almost the only product which could be sold for money. As late as 1860 there were eleven
saw mills, two shingle mills, and other kindred establishments in active operation. Now only remnants of the primitive
The soil consists of gravelly loam and disintegrated shale, and produces excellent crops of grain, hay, corn, potatoes,
and fruit, and forms one of the most fertile sections in the county. It is draiIied by several small streams, nearly
all of which have rapid currents interrupted by falls, and furnish valuable water power. The principal stream is
Sandy Creek, which flows westerly through the town into an arm of Lake Ontario. This arm is nearly landlocked and
has been known as Little Sandy Pond, or as North and South Ponds, because of its irregular outlines. It is the
only considerable indentation of the coast of Lake Ontario in Oswego county. This pond, so called, was known among
its earliest visitors as Wigwam Cove, and those who have studied the locality generally agree that an Indian village
once existed on the adjacent shore. Numerous relics have been discovered which substantiate this belief. On the
farm of Ira Allen perfect arrowheads were found last year (1894).
In 1615, five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, Champlain landed a body of French troops and about
300 Huron Indians on the shore of Wigwam Cove. Hiding their canoes in the rushes he marched to the Onondaga country,
where he was defeated, and returning, he embarked his forces and went up the River Trent in Canada. From this and
subsequent events the indentation acquired the name of Wigwam Cove.
Wigwam Cove embraces over 1,000 acres, while South Cove has an area of from 200 to 300. A line of sand, once considered
worthless, divides the coves from Lake Ontario, and extends along the shore for a distance of five miles, being
broken near the middle by an estuary or outlet. This stretch of sand has long formed the base of operations against
the white fish which frequent the waters of the coves in large numbers. As many as 13,000 have been caught in a
single haul of the seine, but a more common number is 5,000 to 6,000. In later years these fish have decreased
in number, yet the place still maintains its reputation of being one of the best fishing grounds in the Empire
Outside of the villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona the chief industry of the town is farming! with dairying as the
principal branch. There are several cheese factories in operation, the first one having been built in Lacona by
Samuel M. Blodgett, the present proprietor being Irvin E. Finster. There are also three saw mills and a shingle
mill. Considerable attention is given to fruit raising.
Sandy Creek was the first town in the county to develop natural gas fields, and their development is mainly due
to the enterprise of George L. Hydorn and Orson S. Potter. May 26, 1888, the Sandy Creek Oil and Gas Company, Limited,
was incorporated with a capital of $5,000, and with
Oren R. Earl, president; Orson S. Potter, vice-president; G. N. Harding, secretary; Albert Powers, treasurer; G.
L. Hydorn, general manager; and these and E. H. Sargent, A. R. Cook, E. C. Upton, G. W. Hollis, William McConnell,
Perry Bartlett, William S. Goodrich and H. H. Cole, directors.
Drilling was commenced that year on land owned by 0. G. Staples, and gas was struck February 2, 1889, at a depth
of 500 feet; the boring was continued to a depth of 1,240 feet. A second well was sunk in the following winter,
a third in the spring of 1890, two more the same year, a sixth in 1891, followed by three others, three in 1892,
and two in 1893, all in or near the villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona. The highest pressure was 400 pounds per
square inch, which was reached in well No. 9. In both villages the gas is utilized for heating and lighting. Not
one of the wells has failed; all are in use, the gas being drawn first from one and then another to keep up the
original pressure. The present officers of the company are: E. H. Sargent, president; Payson F. Thompson, vice-president;
G. N. Harding, secretary ; Oren R. Earl. treasurer; G. L. Hydorn, general manager; and these and 0. G. Staples
and E. W. Parmelee, directors.
The capital stock has been increased to $15,000, and the company has about twelve miles of mains.
The first town meeting met at the house of Nathan Salisbury on the first Tuesday in May, 1825, and the following
officers were chosen:
Supervisor, Simon Meachem ; town clerk, Edwin C. Hart; assessors, Anson Maitby, Thomas S. Meacham and Amasa Carpenter;
commissioners of highways, Barnabas Munroe, Amasa Carpenter, Ellery Crandall and Simon Hadley; overseers of the
poor, George Read and Truman Hawley; collector, John Pierce; constables, John Pierce, Peter Hinman and Nathan Salisbury;
commissioners of schools, Asa Carpenter, Alden Crandall and Charles Alton; inspectors of schools, John U. Ayer,
Oliver Ayer, jr., and Joseph M. Hooker; fence-viewers, Cornelius iladley, Ammi Case and Andrew Place; poundmaster,
The supervisors have been:
Simon Meacham, 1825-28; John Jacobs, 1829-32; Abel Rice, 1833; Alden Crandall, 1834; Abel Rice, 1835; Orrin House,
1836--37; Nathan Salisbury, 1838; Orrin House. 1839; Nathan Salisbury, 1840-41; Orrin House, 1842; Nathan Salisbury,
1843; John P. Clark, 1844; Oren R. Earl, 1845-46; Allen L. Thompson, 1847-49; Oren R Earl, 1850-55; Truman C. Harding,
1856; Allen L. Thompson, 1857-58; Pitt M. Newton, 1859-60; Benjamin G. Robbins, 1861-62; Oren R. Earl, 1863-64;
Benjamin G. Robbins, 1865-66; Henry L. Howe, 1867; John Davis, 1868; Oren R. Earl. 1869-71; Pitt M. Newton, 1872-73;
Hamilton E. Root, 1874-76; Dr. Allen L. Thompson, 1877-78; George W. Davis, 1879-82; George N. Salisbury, 1883-85;
Gilbert N. Harding, 1886; George N. Salisbury, 1887-88; Edwin C. Upton, 1889-90; John J. Hollis, 1891-93; John
R. AlIen, 1894-95.
The town officers for 1894-95 were:
John R. Allen, supervisor; Orla S. Potter, town clerk; Delos E. Wilds, J. Lyman Bulkley, Pitt M. Newton and George
L. Stevens, justices of the peace; Albert R. Stevens, Abel H. Hadley and Edwin H. Smith, assessors; Charles W.
Colony, overseer of the poor; Edwin C. Upton, highway commissioner; Gilbert I. Hadley, collector; Howard W. Pruyn,
Frank E. Woodard and Hollon M. Potter, excise commissioners.
Nearly all of the earlier town meetings were held at the house of Nathan Salisbury. In 1831 a bounty of twelve
and one-half cents was offered for every crow killed within the town; in 1834 this was increased to fifty cents;
but no bounties for wolves are mentioned in the early records For support of the poor the appropriations have varied
from about $50 at first to $190 in 1854, $600 in 1856, $1,300 in 1864, and $1,700 in 1870.
In April, 1803, two men, William Skinner and Stephen Lindsey, came through Redfield and Boylston into the present
town of Sandy Creek. The former, who was a man of considerable property, settled in the eastern part of what is
now Lacona village, where, on the banks of Sandy Creek, he purchased 400 acres of land. Mr. Lindsey went on to
Ellisburg, but soon settled about half a mile from Wigwam Cove in the extreme northwest corner of this town. His
daughter, Eunice, then about twelve years old, died that summer and was the first white person whose death occurred
in the town's present limits. Mr. Skinner had an adopted son, Levi. then five years of age, and was accompanied
by two young men named Btrtler and Moreton, who lived with him through the summer and engaged in clearing land
for themselves. The latter sold out to Mr. Skinner in the fall, and both he and Butler returned to Oneida county,
whence the first settlers came. Mr. Skinner bought some land in Ellisburg and moved back and forth no less than
seven times in two years. About 1807 he sold his Sandy Creek property to Peter Whiteside and settled permanently
in Ellisburg. Upon Mr. Whiteside's tombstone in the Sandy Creek cemetery is the following epitaph:
Here lies the body of Mr. Peter Whiteside, who departed this life in 1825. Mr. Whiteside was an active and energetic
man, cherishing a love for time fine arts, and soaring sublimely above superstition and ridicule; but he ceases
to delight us with his counsels, and his afflicted consort erects this monument to the memory of the man she loved.
Early in 1804 Joseph Hurd and Elias Howe moved in from Augusta, Oneida county, and settled on the creek just below
Mr. Skinner. The former purchased Butler's claim, and during that summer erected, with William Skinner, the first
saw-mill in town. His daughter, Laura, born in February, 1805, was the first white child born in Sandy Creek. She
married Asahel Hale, of Pulaski, moved to Peoria, Ill., and died there in April, 1886. Mr. Hurd was appointed a
justice of the peace for Williamstown in 1806, and for Richiand in 1808, and was the first supervisor of Richiand
in 1807-08. The second birth in this town was that of Polly, daughter of Elias Howe, on May 7, 1805; she married
Pardon Earl, and subsequently resided in Mannsville, Jefferson county. Mrs. Howe died in 1807.
In 1805 several families came into Sandy Creek. George Harding, father of Mrs. Pamelia Robbins, then fourteen years
old, located near Hurd and Howe. John and Simon Meacham, the latter the first supervisor of the town, and Ephraim
Brewster settled near the Richiand line and made the first clearings in that locality. About the same year James
Hinman moved into what is now Sandy Creek village, and in i8o6 built the first grist-mill in town. Later he had
a log tavern there. Messrs. Noyes and Robinson located in the Howe and Hurd neighborhood, and a Mr. Knickerbocker
settled about three miles northeast of Lacona. The latter's wife died in 1806, and a minister was sent for and
undoubtedly preached the first sermon delivered in the town. In 1807, over the remains of Mrs. Elias Howe, and
in 1808, at the burial of a Mr Brown, funeral sermons were also preached. After that Elder Bishop, a Methodist,
Elder Osgood, a Baptist, and other itinerants visited the settlements at infrequent intervals.
In 1806 Henry Patterson and Lucy Meacham were married in the Meacham neighborhood, which was the first marriage
solemnized in town. Simon Meacham opened the first tavern and the first store that year. The Meachams were very
prominent in the life and growth of the community, and long occupied positions of responsibility. Clark Wilder
and Simon Hadley settled on the creek road west of the village in 1806
Jabez Baldwin located three miles west of Sandy Creek village in 1809 and Daniel Ackerman and John Pierce settled
near him about the same time, as did also Amasa Parker, one of the early school teachers. Asa - Carpenter, a brother
of Amasa, came a little later, and for fifty years served as clerk of the Congregational church of Sandy Creek.
In 1810 P. T. Titus, father of Mrs. Jotham Newton, came with his family and settled on Pine Ridge, building a log
house about where Henry Seeley now lives. Soon afterward he erected the first saw mill on Deer Creek, and during
the war of 1812 he hauled supplies for the government from Oswego and other points to Sackett's Harbor. He assisted
in constructing the "Ridge road" and subsequently located upon it. Mrs. Jotham Newton was born in 1800
and died in 1882. Among others who became settlers prior to 1812 were John Snyder, John and Abel Bentley, John
Darling. Samuel Goodrich, Amos Jackson, Seth Potter (who died April 19, 1885, aged ninety-three), and a Mr. Broadway.
In 1812 Samuel Hadley and his son, Jesse F., the latter then ten years old, located northwest of the village. At
that time there were living in town, besides those previously mentioned, the families of Harmon Ehie, Peter Combs,
John Spaisbury Harris, Picket, Winters and Sheeley, all near the Ellisburg line.
The war of 1812 probably had a greater effect upon Sandy Creek than upon any other town in Oswego county. Lying
upon the route and about midway between Oswego and Sackett's Harbor, the two principal points of defense along
the frontier, and itself affording in Wigwam Cove an advantageous place for landing troops and munitions of war,
the settlements were in a state of constant anxiety and alarm. Besides checking immigration the struggle had a
tendency to drive away the more recent corners. Nevertheless the settlers for the most part withstood the fears
and sufferings incident to the situation, and their able-bodied men bore arms or aided in the movement of troops
and warlike supplies. Nearly all of this class of sufficient age performed military duty. A company was formed
of which Smith Dunlap was captain; Nicholas Gurley, lieutenant; Samuel Dunlap. ensign; and Reuben Hadley, orderly
sergeant. Col. Thomas S. Meacham led the troops in this vicinity, and a number of the Sandy Creek men participated
in the transportation of the great five-ton cable of the "Superior" to Sackett's Harbor.
After peace was declared immigration revived. A Dr. Porter had been here a short, but in 1815 Dr. James A. Thompson
became a permanent settler and the first resident physician. He located at the viilage and remained until his death
in 1859, when he was succeeded by his son, Dr. A. L. Thompson. In this year Reuben Scripture became a resident.
His son Samuel was born in Nelson, N. H., October 11, 1812, and died in July, 1887. Soon afterward Smith Dnnlap
opened a store in Sandy Creek, and about 1817 Anson Maitby established a carding and fulling mill there. The latter
was succeeded by Joseph M. Hooker in 1821, who became a resident in 1820, and who continued business for thirty-seven
years. Other comers prior to 1820 were:
Thomas Baker, Nathan W. Noyes, Conrad Lester, and the families of Rogers, Alton, Hibbard, Hawley and Monroe, all
on the Ridge road, and Jason P. Hadley, Albert Hadley, Isaac Morey, Martin Morey (died in 1888, aged eighty-one),
Ira Noyes (son of Captain Noyes, died in 1887), Julius S. Robbins, John W. Sage (died in 1885), and William E.
The latter was born in Connecticut in 1813, came here with his parents, and died in Lacona in June, 1885. Julius
S. Robbins was born in Palmyra, N. Y., October 18, 1816, came to Sandy Creek with his parents in 1818, and in 1850
engaged in mercantile business in the village with his brother, E. V. Robbins. He was postmaster several years
and also served as school commissioner, assessor, etc. Benjamin G. Robbins was born here November 11, 1823, son
of Valentine W., had six children, and died March 3, 1871. He was Sunday school superintendent fifteen years, long
a member and trustee of the Congregational Church, supervisor four terms, town school superintendent some time,
loan commissioner, plank road inspector, and a member of the Republican county committce.
About 1820 Lindall Wilder and his father came in and settled west of the village. The former died in Scriba in
December, 1885, aged ninety-two. The year 1820 also marks the settlement of the Salisbury family in Sandy Creek,
where three generations have been prominent and influential. The first corners of the name were Reuben, sr., and
his son, Reuben, jr. The latter, born in Vermont. December 21, 1799, built a mill at Hadley's Glen and another
at Lacona, and moved thence to near Petersburg, Va., where he purchased a farm. He was a deacon of the Baptist
church. Hiring slaves, he allowed them in the room while he read the Bible and prayed, and in consequence -excitement
ran high. His neighbors, organizing a party, searched his house and ordered him to leave the country, which he
did, leaving his farm from which he never realized anything. He returned to Sandy Creek and died March 4, 1874.
Mason Salisbury 2d, born in 1810, was active in the "underground railroad," was a miller, served as justice
of the peace several years and as assemblyman, and died in March, 1877. His son M. J. served two years in the Rebellion
and now conducts the grist mill in Sandy Creek, which he rebuilt in i885. Near the site his father remodeled an
old mill, which finally passed to M. J. Salisbury and was burned in December, 1884. Dea. Enos Salisbury, born in
Vermont in 1806 came here at an early day, married first, Rebecca Tuttle and second, Esther W. Alton, and died
December 13, 1894. He was a member of the Baptist church fifty-seven years and served most of the time as deacon.
Benjamin F. Salisbury, son of Nathan, was born here in 1824 and died September 16, 1885. His father was an early
tavernkeeper on the north side of the creek in the village and was succeeded by his son. The hotel was burned in
In 1822 Dr. John G. Ayer arrived here and practiced medicine many years. His father, Rev. Oliver Ayer, became at
that time the first settled pastor in town. February 6, of the same year, Capt. Stephen Lindsey was born where
the Lindsey Hotel now stands. He was a brother of Asa Lindsey and the father of Guilford Lindsey and Mrs. Frank
Harmon, and died in January, 1895. In 1823 Jotham Newton, father of Pitt M. Newton, who was born in 1825, moved
into the town and settled on fifty acres adjoining P. T. Titus. Mr. Titus finally sold his farm and moved into
the village, where he built a furnace just below the grist mill.
Between 1820 and 1830 was the transition period from the rude log cabin to comfortable frame dwellings. Passable
roads had been surveyed and opened in the most thickly populated portions of the town, and new thoroughfares were
laid out as necessity demanded. The Ridge road at this time was a busy highway. At the first town meeting the sum
of $250 was appropriated for roads and bridges, and the usual road districts were designated. In 1825 the town
contained about 1,615 inhabitants. Among the settlers of this decade were Lernan Baldwin, Miles Blodgett, William
H. Bettinger, Hiram M. Stevens, Leander Tuft, John Wilder and others. Mr. Blodgett, about 1836, built a tannery
in the southeast corner of the town and conducted it nearly half a century. Hiram M. Stevens died June 1, 1885.
Of the settlers during the years from 1830 to 1840 mention should be made of John Edwards and his son Alfred, Hon.
Andrew S. Warner, William H. Cottrell, Joel Morey, Ira Oyer, William Stevens, and Newton M. Thompson. Dairying,
and especially cheese-making, had become an important industry, particularly in the south part of the town in the
Meacham neighborhood. In 1835 it made the locality famous. Col. Thomas S. Meacham was a man of enthusiastic temperament
and fond of remarkable things, and in that year he conceived the idea of making a mammoth cheese as a gift for
President Jackson. He had 150 cows, and for five days their milk was turned into curd and piled into an immense
cheese-hoop and press constructed for the purpose. The cheese weighed half a ton, but this was not large enough,
so the colonel enlarged his hoop and correspondingly enlarged the cheese ud til it tipped the scales at 1,400 pounds..
It was then started on its journey to Washington. Forty-eight gray horses drew the wagon on which it rested to
Port Ontario, whence it was shipped November 15, 1835, the boat moving away amid the firing of cannon and the cheering
of the people. Colonel Meacham accompanied it. It was conveyed by water by way of Oswego, Syracuse, Albany, and
New York, and along the entire route its projector was given a series of ovations. Reaching Washington the huge
cheese was formally presented to the President of the United States in the name of the "governor and people
of the State of New York." In return General Jackson presented Colonel Meacham with a dozen bottles of wine.
The mammoth production was kept until February 22, 1836, when the President invited all the people in the capital
to eat cheese. The scene is thus described by an eye-witness:
This is Washington's birthday. The President, the departments, the Senate, and we, the people, bave celebrated
it by eating a big cheese! The President's house was thrown open. The multitude swarmed in. The Senate of the United
States adjourned. The representatives of the various departments turned out. Representatives in squadrons left
the capitol-and all for the purpose of eating cheese! Mr. Van Buren was there to eat cheese. Mr. Webster was there
to eat cheese. Mr. Woodbury. Colonel Benton, Mr. Dickerson, and the gallant Colonel Trowbridge were eating cheese.
The court, the fashion, the beauty of Washington, were all eating cheese. Officers in Washington, foreign representatives
in stars and garters, gay, joyous, dashing, and gorgeous women, in all the pride and panoply and pomp of wealth,
were there eating cheese. It was cheese, cheese, cheese. Streams of cheese were going up in the avenue in everybody's
fists. Balls of cheese were in a hundred pockets. Every handkerchief smelt of cheese. The whole atmosphere for
half a mile around was infected with cheese.
Colonel Meacham also sent a cheese to Vice President Van Buren, another to Gov. William U Marcy of Albany, a third
to the mayor of New York. and a fourth to the mayor of Rochester, each weighing 700 pounds. In return he received
from the latter a huge barrel of flour containing ten ordinary barrels. Subsequently he conceived the idea of erecting
an agricultural hail on his farm in which fairs, lectures, etc., might be held. It was a long two-story frame structure
with the head of the Rochester flour barrel built into the front, but the idea of using it for its original purpose
was soon abandoned.
Hon. Andrew S Warner, previously mentioned, was born in Vernon, N. Y., January 12, 1819, came to Sandy Creek in
April, 1837, and died here December 26, 1887. He was member of assembly in 1855 and 1856, State senator in 1860-61,
and colonel of the 147th N. Y. Volunteers in the Rebellion.
Prominent among the settlers between 1840 and 1850 were Hon. Oren R. Earl, William Bishop, Nathan Davis, William
McConnell, Simon Pruyn, Henry Wright, and others. Mr. Earl was born in Ellisburg, N. V., November 2, 1813, came
to Sandy Creek in 1844, and from 1857 to 1858 operated the tannery there. He was vice-president of the Syracuse
Northern Railroad, served many years as supervisor, is the father of the Sandy Creek Agricultural Society, and
in 1847 was elected to the Assembly. He is now a banker in the village and one of the most prominent men in town.
Other residents of Sandy Creek, many of whom were or are prominently identified with the town, may be here mentioned
Ebenezer and Nathaniel Jacobs, Abel Rice, Samuel and Jacob Hadley, Calvin Sargent (about 1822, father of Edmund
H.), Peter Coon, the G-urley family, George and Sidney Baldwin (Sidney died in 1894), Jabin Cole, John Tuttle,
Nicholas P. Gurley, Azariah Wart, Joseph and Newman Tuttle. Lucius A. Warriner, Danforth E. Ainsworth and his father
Henry, John H. Bentley, Ezra Corse, Manford M. Tucker (harnessmaker), Richard M. Knollen, William T. Tuft, Hamilton
E. Root, Joseph N. Robbins, Judah Roberts, Luther C. Sargent, Enos and Rufus Salisbury, Charles Scripture, Martin
A. Allen (son of John R.), Charles Alton, Hymeneus Cole, Edwin C. Hart, Orrin House, John B. Smith, AndrewC. Earl,
Stephen Fitch (father of Ephraim), Grove W. Harding, William Hale, Elias Hadley, Andrew Place, Caleb Tifft, Calvin
Seeley, Barnabus Monroe, Monroe Sargent (died in 1868), George Smith, sr., John Smith (father of Edwin and grandfather
of Ferdinand Smith), Mason Salisbury 1st, Elijah and James Upton, Willjam Wood, Levi Woodard (died in 1893), Hiram
Young (whose father died at the age of ninety-nine), Martin H. Thomas (father of Fayette), Smith B. Walch, Elisha
Woodruff; William C. Weaver, Jerome Skinner, James V. Wimple, who married a daughter of Jotham Newton and died
in December, 1894; William Hinman born in Richiand in 1814, died March 24, 1888; Samuel Sweetland, son of Seth,
born here in 1810; Lorenzo D. Cole, born in Vermont in 1813, died here in 1885; and Salmon Harding, grandfather
of Gilbert N. Harding, who settled on the Ridge road at an early day, and owned a large tract of land.
Ezra Corse, just mentioned, born in 1803, came from Vermont and located near where he now lives. His ancestors
emigrated from England to Greenfield, Mass., in 1696. His wife was a daughter of John Pierce, who very early had
a store where James K. P. Cottrell's shoe shop now stands. Rev. Albert E. Corse, eldest son of Ezra, was born here
April 25, 1829, was an active member of the Northern New York M. E. Conference from 1857 to 1894, and has held
several positions of honor and trust.
The completion of the Rome and Watertown Railroad in May, 1851, was the occasion of a number of new enterprises
in the villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona. This was followed in the fall of 1871 by the Syracuse Northern Railroad,
which connected with the above line at Lacona, and which was operated until 1878, when that portion lying between
Pulaski and Sandy Creek was abandoned. Junctions were then formed at Pulaski and Richiand as at present. To aid
in constructing this line the town was bonded for $80,000. March 1, 1890, this debt was refunded at 334 per cent.
interest per annum, and bonds issued amounting to $78,500, of which $68,000 remains unpaid. The railroad commissioner
is Edmund H. Sargent.
In 1851 the sum of $250 was voted for a town hail, and accordingly a room was fitted up for the purpose in Sandy
During the Rebellion the town contributed over 220 of her sons to the Union army
and navy and raised upwards of $35,000 for bounties to volunteers. Among those who attained official positions
William De W. Ferguson, Henry B. Corse, Byron Hinman, Moreau J. Salisbury, Delos Watkins, Edward S. Gillett, Ephraim
P. Potter, Solomon S. Harding, Joseph K. Crandall, Andrew J. Barless, William H. Wheeler, Charles E. Thomas, Granville
S. Thompson, Solon W. Martin, William F. Mosier, Yates W. Newton. James K, P. Cottrell, Robert C. Austin, Elijah
S. Crandall, Thomas Roberts, WilliamS. Morey, Samuel Mahaffy, Andrew S. Warner, Harvey B. Chapin, Elhanan C. Seeiey,
Sylvester J. Taylor, Joseph A. Robinson, Lyndon J. Cole, Edwin Crandall, George Wart, Elbert B. Ward, Henry Munderback,
Hiram Grant, Henry Lighthall, Benjamin Hastings, John H. Olmstead, James L. Knollin, John Lindo, Henry C. Martin,
Hollon M. Porter, Minott A. Pruyn, and Hamilton Pruyn. Many others are noticed more fully in Parts II and III of
The population of the town has been as follows: In 1830, 1,839; 1835, 2,100; 1840, 2,431; 1845,2,257; 1850, 2,456;
1855, 2,273; 1860, 2,431; 1865, 2,423; 1870, 2,629;
1875, 2,734; 1880, 2,878; 1890, 2,279.
Supervisors' statistics for 1894: Assessed valuation of real estate, $750,570; equalized, $941,356; personal property.
$37,700; town tax. $6,615.32; county tax, $5,482.71; total tax levy, $14,150.42; ratio of tax on $100, $1.80; dog
tax, $69; valuation of railroads, 9.87 miles, 8100.000. The town has two election districts, in which 547 votes
were p'illed in November, 1894.
The first school in town was taught in the house of George Harding in the winter of 1806-7; the teacher was his
daughter, Mamrie Harding. In the fall of 1807 a log school house was built at Lacona and prior to 1812 a similar
structure was erected near John Spalsbury's on the northern road. Down to 1871 nothing but the ordinary district
schools existed in town.
April 15, 1871, it was voted to consolidate districts 9 and io, comprising the villages of Sandy Creek and Lacona,
into one Union school district, and the following Board of Education was chosen:
Hamilton E. Root, president; S. H. Barlow, secretary; W. A. Harding, treasurer; William T. Tufft, Henry L. Howe,
Rev. H. H. White, Pitt M. Newton. E. L. . Nye, and Dr. A. L. Thompson. Four acres of land on Academy street, lying
partly in each village, were donated for the purpose by Oren R. Earl, and upon it a fine two-story brick building
was erected in 1872, at a total cost, including furnishings ($2,000), of $10,000 The first term was held in the
winter of 1872-3 with Rev. B. E. Whipple as principal. He was succeeded by John G. Williams, who was followed by
J. Edman Massee, R. J. Round, T. C. Wilber, Robert A. McDonald, William C. Tuft, and Ransom H. Snyder, incumbent.
The school has sent forth nearly 100 graduates, and maintains primary, junior, and academic departments. The present
Board of Education consists of S. H. Barlow, president; F. Dudley Corse, secretary; J. J. Hollis, E. H. Smith,
C. W. Colony, and A. E. Sherman. M. M. Earl is the treasurer and C. V. Wimple the collector.
The town now has fourteen school districts with a school house in each, in which twenty-one teachers were employed
and 469 children taught during 1892-3. The value of school buildings and sites is $17,950; assessed valuation of
districts, $827,722; public money received from the State in 1892-3, $2,556.22 ; and raised by local tax, $3,488.73.
About 1820 half an acre of land near the present village of Sandy Creek was purchased by subscription and opened
for burial purposes. It was deeded to the Presbyterian church, and about 1850 another half-acre was added, On May
26, 1866, a public meeting was held in the town hall and the organization of the Union Cemetery Association of
Sandy Creek under the statute passed April 27, 1847, was effected with the following trustees: Almon Chapin and
Henry L. Howe, three years; Benjamin G. Robbins and George S. Buell, two years; and Pitt M. Newton and Oren R.
Earl, one year. Almon Chapin was chosen president; B. G. Robbins, vice-president; P. M. Newton, sec retary; and
Oren R. Earl, treasurer. An adjoining five acres were purchased, and about this time the trustees of the Presbyterian
Society deeded the old plot to the new association. October 14, 1885, two and one-half acres more were added, and
in 1889 a brick receiving house was built at a cost of $778. The present trustees are Albert E. Sherman, president;
James K. P. Cottrell, secretary; Oren R. Earl, treasurer; Hamilton E. Root, Smith H. Barlow, and Minott A. Pruyn.
This is the principal cemetery in town.
Sandy Creek -This village derives
its name from the town and from the creek which flows westerly through its center. In 1812 it comprised only two
or three frame houses and a few log buildings. By 1825 its population had considerably increased and the inhabitants
conceived the idea of giving the place a name worthy of its promising future. "Washingtonville" was suggested
by Dr. Ayer and Anson Maltby, and for many years it bore that appellation, but the more easily pronounced title
of Sandy Creek eventually prevailed. In 1825 a fulling and carding mill, which was built by Mr. Maltby about 1817
and purchased by J. M. Hopper in 1821, was in active operation, and in 1826 John B. Smith established a tannery,
which was burned about 1828. He rebuilt it and in 1857 sold it to Oren R. Earl, who carried it on until 1868, when
L. J. Brown became the superintendent with Bos. ton parties as owners. It was burned September 1, 1883, with a
loss of about $150,000, and never rebuilt. About 1835 the settlement contained two stores kept by Lyman Mallory
and Orrin House, the taverns of James Curtiss and Nathan Salisbury, two grist mills, two churches, two blacksmith
shops, two shoemakers, a tannery, one distillery, and a woolen mill. Orrin House was in business for twenty-two
years, being succeeded by Julius S. Robbins and Edmund H. Sargent, as Robbins & Sargent, who were followed
by Pitt M. Newton. E. V. Robbins began trade on the north side of the creek about 1848; later he moved to the south
side and entered into partnership with Calvin Seeley; still later he was associated with Julius S. Robbins and
E. H. Sargent, and finally went to Chicago and became president of the Board of Trade. M. A. Pruyn, upon returning
from California, with William Alton bought out Robbins & Sargent and built the present store of E. H. Sargent
& Son. Julius S. Robbins and Mr. Sargent purchased Alton's interest in and in 1861 the business was closed
up. In 1867 E. H. Sargent and W. A. Harding began a mercantile trade, from which the latter retired in 1877 and
Mr. Sargent's son Fred N. became a partner. They sold to J. S. Robbins & Son in 1879 and moved to the House
block, since burned, but two years later they returned to their present location. Other merchants have been J.
W. Potter, Edwin C. Hart, Mason Salisbury and Oren R. Earl, Byron Allen (succeeded by E. C. Williams), E S. Harding,
S. R. King, L. A. Baldwin, C. W. Colony, C. V. Harbottle, J. K. P. Cottrell, N. M. Moulton, and F. L Sargent Dr.
Solomon J. Douglass was a druggist here for many years, and at his death was followed by Dr. Cooke, Dr. J. Lyman
Bulkley, Almon Chapin, George N. Salisbury (in business now), and others.
In the fall of 1845 subscriptions were taken and Oren R. Earl was sent to Albany to purchase what has ever since
been known as the "old town bell." It was brought by canal to Oswego, by lake to Port Ontario, and drawn
thence by John Nichols and Samuel Salisbury to "Washingtonville," where it was hung on timbers in front
of 0. R. Earl's present bank. At that time the village was strongly divided into the north and south "clans,"
the creek being the dividing line, and each side desired the hbnor of having the bell. It was taken back and forth
until 1851, when it found a home in the new town hall. It was finally cracked, and in 1862 sent back to be recast.
It again became cracked, and June 14, 1867, a third bell was brought into the town. This was finally placed in
the Baptist church, where it now hangs.
The Salisbury grist mill, burned in 1884 and rebuilt by the present proprietor, M. J. Salisbury, in 1885, and the
iron foundry of P. T. Titus just below it, have already been noticed. The machine shops of Leman Baldwin and A.
C. Skinkle have been operated by them for several years; the latter business was started in 1862, and that of Mr.
Baldwin in 1863. The private bank of which Oren R. Earl is proprietor and M. M. Earl is cashier, was established
by Earl & Newton in March, 1870. The steam granite and marble works of Sherman & Hollis were started by
Warriner & Soule in 1864. Lucius A. Warriner became sole proprietor, and finally Warren T. Wright and Albert
E. Sherman purchased the business. In March, 1883, J. B. Allen bought Mr. Wright's interest and afterward Mr. Hollis
acquired a part ownership. Mr. Sherman's father, Elijah Sherman, was an early blacksmith here, having a shop near
where the post-office now stands. Henry Soule afterward conducted a marble and granite works alone. The Sandy Creek
Wood Manufacturing Company, Ltd., began business October 1, 1884. They manufacture pie plates, hardwood veneer,
and butter dishes, and the present officers are Oren R. Earl, president; A. T. McKenzie, vice.president; and William
P. Sandford, secretary, treasurer and general manager. The capital is $12,000, and the works occupy the old tannery
Nathan Salisbury, widely known as a cattle buyer and as a man having but one leg, built and kept a tavern at an
early day in front of Earl's bank, and was succeeded by his son, Benjamin F. Salisbury. The hotel became a familiar
landmark and was finally destroyed by fire. The opera house block and hotel were burned in April, 1890. The present
hotels are the Watkins House and the Sandy Creek House, both good hotels.
The first newspaper was the Sandy Creek Times, which was started by F. E. Merritt in December, 1862, and was continued
until the fall of 1864, when its editor removed to Governeur, N. Y. Edwin Soule established a job printing office
in 1865, and in 1871 sold a partnership interest to Alvaro F. Goodenough. In April of that year they began the
publication of the Sandy Creek News, and six months later Mr. Goodenough sold to Henry Soule, father of Edwin,
the firm becoming Henry Soule & Son. April 1, 1877, they sold out to Munger & Washburn, who were succeeded
by F. E. Munger and F. E. Lum, and they by F. E. Munger alone. January 8, 1885, the latter sold to F. Dudley Corse,
the present editor and proprietor. The News is an eight-page, six-column, non-political sheet, filled with bright,
newsy matter, and is all printed in the office from which it is issued, which is one of the best equipped in the
county. Mr. Corse is a son of Rev. Albert E, and a grandson of Ezra Corse, both previously mentioned, and was born
in Potsdam, N. Y., September 16, 1859. He was graduated from Ilion Academy in 1880 and from Syracuse University
in 1884, and recived the honorary degree of A. M. in 1887. In January, 1885, he settled permanently in Sandy Creek,
where he has served as a member and secretary of the Board of Education since August, 1889, and was elected president
of the village in 1894. October 4, 1888, he married Ella B., daughter of John L. Nichols.
Tha Satellite was started in 1892 and is issued monthly during the school year by the Literary and Debating Society
of the High School.
For several years the village has maintained a successful lecture course by an organized association, and has
enjoyed hearing such notable men as Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Bayard Taylor, Rev. T. De Witt Talmadge, Robert Burdett,
John F. Parsons, M. P., Schuyler Colfax and others.
Among the postmasters have been Edwin C. Hart, E. M. Howe, Azariah Wart, Emma C. Johnston and Gilson D. Wart, incumbent.
In 1878 the village was incorporated and the following officers were chosen:
Hamilton E. Root, president; Oren R. Earl, Pitt M. Newton and Edmund H. Sargent, trustees; Danforth E. Ainsworth,
clerk; C. E. Thomas, collector.
The presidents have been:
Hamilton E. Root, 1878-79; Pitt M. Newton. 1880; Albert E. Sherman, 1881; George C. Kaulback, 1882; J. Lyman Bulklev,
1883; Oren R. Earl, 1884; George N. Salisbury, 1885; 0. R. Earl, 1886-87; John R. Mien, 1888-90; Newton Cook, disqualified,
and Samuel J. Crockett appointed and resigned, and John R. Allen appointed, 1891; Eugene F. Nye, 1892-93; F. Dudley
The village officers for 1894-95 were:
F. Dudley Corse, president; Gilbert W. Hollis Hugh Birdslow, and Alvin C. Skinkle, trustees; William L. Hadley,
treasurer; Minott A. Pruyn, collector; Clarence E. Peck, street commissioner; Azariah Wart, police justice, succeeded
January 1, 1895, by William T. Baker.
The fire department consists of Ainsworth Hose Co. No. 1, M. J. Salisbury, foreman; and Alert Hose Co. No. 2, Hugh
Birdslow, foreman. The department was organized in October, 1885, and at thattime comprised one engine and one
hose company, but since the completion of the water works, hose attached to the hydrants has been used. The chief
of the department is Joseph E. Wright and the assistant C. W. Colony.
The system of water works was constructed by the village corporation in 1891 and cost about $17,000, the village
being bonded for $i6,000 for the purpose. Water is taken from the Hamer springs on the David Hamer farm, now owned
by Zabin Moore, about two miles east, and conducted in pipes into a reservoir just outside the corporation limits,
the site for which as well as the riparian rights were donated by Mr. Harner. The water commissioners are M. J.
Salisbury, Albert E. Sherman and Hamilton E. Root.
The village of Sandy Creek has a population of 723, or 228 less than in 1880 and 300 more than in 1860. It maintains
a high standard for thrift and as a business and social center.
Lacona has grown from a sparsely settled farming community into an incorporated village since the completion of
the railroad in 1851. It enjoys the advantage of being the only railroad station in town and owes its prosperity
mainly to that fact. Situated on the banks of Sandy Creek, which flows westerly through its center, it possesses
a good water-power, and lying immediately adjacent to the eastern boundary of the village of Sandy Creek it enjoys
and aids in supporting the same excellent schools, churches, and other institutions. The grist mill was originally
built at Hadley's Glen by Dea. Reuben Salisbury, who moved it to Lacona and was succeeded by Salisbury & Boomer.
He was also associated with A. N. Harding and later with Parley H. Powers. Upon the deaths of Salisbury and Powers
the mill passed to Harding & Hollis and five years afterward, or in 1886, to Gilbert N. Harding, the present
proprietor. It was rebuilt in 1881-82. The first store was started by Truman C. Harding, father of Gilbert N.,
who continued business a few years and died in 1857, being succeeded by his partner, Ansel N. Harding. The stock
was finally sold to William W. Alton, who conducted trade fora time under the firm name of Alton & Tobey. About
1860 Julius S. Robbins established a store and continued it until 1866, when G. N. Harding became his partner;
they closed out in January, 1874, and the store was reopened by Pruyn & Hedden, who were succeeded by William
T. Tuft. The first drug store was opened by Dr. Woodruff & Mann, from Camden, who were followed by D. L. Mann.
whose successor was J. L. Archampaugh. The latter sold out in 1877 to W. B. Fuller, now of Syracuse, and during
his ownership the store was burned The present druggist is J)r. Fred Austen. Other merchants have been Hydorn &
Tilton, Nathan Davis, C. R. Grant, Albert Powers, G. L. Hydorn & Son, and C. D. Rounds. The present Central
House, long known as the Union Center House, was built abut 1852 by Henry Daily, who kept it for several years.
Among his successors were Dingman & Tripp, A. N. Harding, John S. Rogers, George H. and William Brooks, Henry
Wright (in March, 1865), Clark & Smith (with Josiah Clark as owner, who bought the property in 1874), Fred
W. Clark (son of Josiah), and others. The present landlord is Charles M. Myers. Upon the death of Josiah Clark
L. D. Mott purchased the property and it is now owned by his mother. The Lacona House was originally a dwelling
built by Nathan Davis. It was converted into a hotel by Reuben W. Scripture, who was succeeded in July, 1893, by
Frank C. Plummer. Besides these the village contains the machine shop of S. H. Barlow and a tannery built in 1876,
owned at one time by B. F. Pond, and now conducted by Mr. Blodgett.
The village has been visited by several severe conflagrations, notably April 14, 1879, when the Tuft block was
burned, and in May, 1885, when ten buildings were destroyed entailing a loss of about $13,000.
The post-office was established in 1865 with Julius S. Robbins as postmaster, who served until 1874, when Parley
H. Powers was appointed. His successors have been William T. Baker, Gilbert N. Harding (appointed January 1, 1887),
Luther Tilton (appointed March 1, 1890), and G. N. Harding again (October 1, 1893), incumbent. Mr. Harding was
the prime mover in establishing the office and soon after had it made a money order office.
Lacona village was incorporated in 1880 and the first officers were elected on March 31 of that year, as follows:
Gilbert N. Harding, president; George T. Smith, David Salisbury, and Reuben W. Davis, trustees; Luther Tilton,
treasurer; Albert Powers, collector; Henry Wright, street commissioner; Jay Mareness, Nathan Davis, and William
McConnell, police constables. William B. Fuller was appointed the first town clerk.
The presidents have been:
Gilbert N. Harding, 1880-81; Luther Tilton, 1882-83; Edward M. Knollin, 1884-85; William J Stevens, 1886; Ephraim
P. Potter, 1887; Smith H. Barlow, 1888-91; E. P. Potter, 1892; Luther Tilton, 1893; William J. Stevens, 1894.
The village officers for 1894-5 were:
W. J. Stevens, president; William H. Philbriek, Gilbert N. Harding, and Charles E. Lownsbury, trustees; Peter G-.
Hydorn, treasurer; Albert Powers, collector; Delos E. Wilds, police justice; Charles M. Myers and Porter M. Corse,
police constables; Tad W. Harding. clerk. The trustees act as assessors. The ordinances and by-laws were adopted
in April. 1880.
The Lacona fire department was organized in November, 1885, with nineteen members, and with William J. Stevens
as chief. It consists of one engine company, of which George W. Wimple is foreman, and a hose company with Joseph
H. Rounds as foreman. The chief is George H. Ackerman; assistant chief, Charles B. Jones; treasurer, C. S. Gayton;
secretary, B. E. Randall.
Lacona is an enterprising village of 333 inhabitants, or forty five less than it contained in 1880.
Churches.- A class of the M. E.
church was organized in town as early as 1811, but the First Methodist Episcopal church of Sandy Creek was not
legally incorporated until 1830. In 1831 under the pastorate of Rev. Elisha Wheeler. a church edifice was erected
and dedicated in the village. It served its purpose for many years-nearly half a century,-when a handsome new brick
structure was built at a cost of $15,000. The society also owns a parsonage valued at $1,600. They have about 250
members under the pastoral care of Rev. M. G. Seymour, and connected is a flourishing Sunday school having an average
attendance of 140 scholars.
The First Congregational church of Sandy Creek was the first regular religious society formed in town and dates
its organization from July 23, 1817. It was constituted as a Presbyterian church by a council of three ministers
with the following members: Thomas and Mary Baker, George Harding, Vada and Phoebe Rogers, Allen McLean, Polly
Baker, and Nathaniel and Sally Baker. The ruling elders were George Harding and Thomas Baker, and during the first
five years Rev. John Dunlap, Oliver Leavitt. Jonas Coburn, and others supplied the pulpit. Sixteen additional members
were received. The first settled pastor, Rev. Oliver Ayer, was installed in March, 1822, and in that year the society
was organized for secular purposes, the first trustees being Solomon Harding. Simeon Duncan, Nathaniel Wilder,
and Smith Dunlap. Rev. Caleb Burge succeeded Rev. Mr. Ayer as pastor and in 1831 conducted a powerful revival in
David Bennett's barn, in a barn in the village, and in the school house, making between thirty and forty converts.
In 1832 an edifice was erected in Sandy Creek, and subsequently down to 1844 Revs. Samuel Leonard, Charles B. Pond,
and William B. Stow officiated as pastors. In December, 1842, during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Stow, the church
adopted the Congregational form of government, but still remained in the Presbytery on the "accommodation
plan." Other pastors were Revs. Frederick Graves, H. H. Waite, R. A. Wheelock, and Richard Osburn, under whom
eighty-five new members were added and the edifice was rebuilt. Subsequent pastors were Revs. J. R. Bradnach, N.
B. Knapp, H. H. Waite again, J. N. Hicks, J. H. Munsell, and others. Under the latter the church and society were
placed in full connection with the Congregationalists and the edifice was rebuilt and rededicated. The present
pastor is Rev. T. T. Davis, and the superintendent of the Sunday school is Amos E. Wood.
The First Baptist church of Sandy Creek was constituted in 1820, and among the earliest members was Mrs. Mary Salisbury,
who is still living. One of the first pastors was Rev. Philo Forbes. The first church edifice was built by subscription
about 1840, or soon afterward, and Elder McFarland delivered the dedicatory sermon. Subsequent pastors were Revs.
John C. Ward and W. W. Hukey. Henry Soule was long the church clerk, the present one being J. P. Ford. Rev. E.
F. Maine was pastor of this society from November 1, 1884, to November 1, 1892, and under him the edifice was rebuilt
at a cost of over $3,000, and rededicated on November 14, 1889, the dedicatory sermon being preached by Elder McFarland
Rev. Mr. Maine, now a pastor in Mexico, has just completed a half century of continuous ministry. The society owns
a parsonage, and their entire property is valued at $7,000. They have about 190 members, under the pastorship of
Rev. D. E. Post, who succeeded Rev. Jabez Sanford in January, 1895. The officers are H. A. Hall and George Cole,
deacons; H. A. Hall, Jerome Curtis, George T. Smith, John Reynolds, Simon J. Hadley, John Young and E. W. Stevens,
trustees. The Sunday school has about 140 officers and scholars, with W. F. Corse as superintendent.
The Goodenough and Center Methodist Episcopal churches.- At a very early day a number of Methodists and "Reform
Methodists" resided in the west part of the town. The latter at one time had a class of eighteen members there,
and for nearly fifty years enjoyed the sermons of Jacob Hadley, Josiah Chapin and Ashbel Frazier, while the former
were supplied by Rev. Mr. Stevens. All lived in the vicinity and preached in school houses, etc., along the lake
shore. In 1859 McHendrick Paddock, a shoemaker and a member of no church, began preaching and obtained a large
number of eonverts, whom he advised to join some society. He and most of his followers affiliated with the Methodists,
and himself became a Methodist minister. This revival resulted in the formation of a circuit consisting of a class
at the mouth of Sandy Creek, another in the Goodenough neighborhood, and a third at Port Ontario, with Rev. Mr.
Paddock as the first pastor; among his successors were Revs. Frazier, Bowen, W. C. Smith, William Empey, A. S.
Nickerson, Lucius Whitney, Hubbell, J. Jenkins. J. G. Benson, and others. A church edifice was erected on the county
line between Sandy Creek and Ellisburg, and in 1872 another was built on the State road in the west part of this
town. These two churches now constitute a charge under the name first given, have property valued at $3,000, and
a combined membership of about 100, with two Sunday schools having some sixty-five scholars and teachers.
A Society of Christian Workers was organized in the village of Lacona in September, 1885, to foster and sustain
religious worship. This movement resulted in the formation of the parish of Emanuel church (Protestant Episcopal)
in 1892, at which time Rev. Daniel Daly was ministering to the spiritual wants of the community. A neat frame edifice
was built at a cost of $2,000 and opened for services in June of that year. The building committee consisted of
Gilbert N. and A. N. Harding, William J. Stevens, George W. Robinson and E. P. Potter, and the first rector was
Rev. Mr. Daly, who still officiates in that capacity.