History of Sanford, New York


The township of Sanford was made up originally of parts of a number of tracts of land which had been held under patents. Chief of these was the Livingstone patent, covering the northern part of the township. Then came the Fisher and Norton tract, lying in the central part of the township, and the Randolph patent, stretching along the south side of the Randolph territory. Besides these there were a number of smaller pieces of land which had been bought through the Land Office. Practically all the land west of the Line of Property, so-called, which was the eastern boundary of the present township of Sanford, was in the hands of speculators and others who sought to sell their holdings as soon as a survey was made.

William Macclure, a Scotch-Irishman, was the surveyor to whom. the work of defining the outlines of the Fisher and Norton tract was awarded. Macclure reached the territory in 1787 and set up his headquarters at the mouth of the Ouaquaga creek. The ground thus occupied was destined later to become the site of the village of Deposit. Perhaps because of some peculiar services rendered to the company which employed him, Macclure procured a concession embracing a number of pieces of land. He also acquired other pieces, so that he became a conspicuous landowner in the vicinity of Deposit. Five miles from the place where he established his surveyor's headquarters, Macclure built a log house, giving it the name "Castle William." To this he brought his wife in 1791, giving his name to the settlement, and dying when a hundred years old, leaving a large family, the names of whom have been preserved for posterity, as follows: William, David, Henry, Walter, Sally, Thomas, Fanny and Prudence, the last-named daughter becoming the wife of Nicholas Hempstead, a pioneer of the township.

In 1791 the settlers received reinforcements in the person of Capthin Nathan Dean, who came from Massachusetts with his family and located on the site of Deposit, where he bought two hundred acres of land and immediately set out to erect a saw mill on the Ouaquaga creek. A few years later he put up a grist mill near his saw mill, and the hamlet of Ouaquaga Mills was thereby founded. Dean with commendable energy also set up a blacksmith shop, kept a stock of goods, and for a time carried on a considerable business. Descendants of Captain Dean well known to later generations were his children Nathan L., Joshua, Caleb and Zenas K. Dean, and we may still trace the family in the later history of Sanford.

About the same time that William Macclure (or McClure, as he chose to be called), located at the mouth of the Ouaquaga, Squire Whitaker, an escaped fugitive from the Wyoming Valley massacre, came to the settlement which afterward became Deposit, and left a goodly heritage in the children which had been born to him and his wife. It is well that we record the names of these sons and daughters. They were John, Benjamin, Jesse, Stephen, Mary, Sally, and Margaret Elizabeth. The first marriage in the township was that of Margaret Elizabeth, who became the wife of Conrad Edick, one of the township's most worthy characters.

Other early settlers were Moses Farnham, who made his home at McClure Settlement about 1800; John Peters, who located at Deposit in 1800; Simon and Zina Alderman, Jonas Underwood, Silas Seward, DavidĽ Hempstead, John Radeker, wheelwright; Alfred Corwin, who came to the vicinity of Gulf Summit after the war of 1812, Nathan and Eliab Austin, coming in 1809; Seth Hall, James Applington, Nathaniel Blakesley, about 1800; Luther Hulce, an early justice of the peace who migrated from Orange county to Sanford about 1790; Benjamin and James Coburn, about 1800; Henry S. Hubbard, about 1812; John Pinney and his brother Comfort, Luman Philley, and George Plummer, who had much notoriety as a hunter.

Our roster of early inhabitants of this progressive and notable township would not be complete did we not mention a few names, segregated from many others, such as Nicholas Gordinier, a prosperous farmer and lumberman; Major Gilbert Dickinson, who was assemblyman in 1843; Simeon and Joel Crane, Stephen Post, Lewis Kniskern, Charles H. Stiles, Edward Atwell, Alfred T. Mosher, Nelson French, John Hamlin and Sidney B. Merrill.

Politically the history of the township of Sanford may be given briefly as follows: Because of the rapid settlement of this part of the territory of Chenango township, in 1807 the township of Windsor was created, to include the present townships of Windsor, Colesville and Sanford. Owing to the remarkable development of Windsor in the next few years after it was established as a separate entity, legislative authority was asked for and secured in 1821, providing for the erection of Sanford and Colesville, both cut from what had been Windsor territory. Sanford after the division had not more than 600 people, scattered over 55,400 acres, while Colesville had an acreage of 47,179, and Windsor 54,573 acres.

In accordance with the enacting statute, the first town meeting in the township of Sanford was held at the house of William McClure, in McClure Settlement, March 5th, 1822, at which time the following officers were elected: Supervisor, William McClure; town clerk, Joshua Dean; assessors, Applington, Nathan L. Dean and William McClure; commissioners of highways, Nathan L. Dean, Alexander Butler and William McClure, Jr.; overseers of the poor, John Peters and James Applington; commissioners of school, William McClure, Nathan Dean and Alexander Butler; collector, Jacob Edick; constables, Jacob Edick and Joseph Eddy; inspectors of schools, Daniel Evans, Gershom Loomis, Michael Child; fence viewers, John Pinney, Eli King, Nathan Austin. In 1822 the first justices of the peace were appointed in and for the township of Sanford: Nathan K. Dean, Eli King, James P. Applington, Zina Alexander and Harvey M. Coburn.

We shall be interested in reviewing the following figures which show the changes which have taken place in the population of this township since its creation in 1821: 1825, 692; 1830, 931; 1840, 1,172; 1850, 2,508; 1860, 3,061; 1870, 3,249; 1880, 3,495; 1890, 3,265; 1900, 3,514; 1910, 2,980; 1920, 2,681.

Up to the time of the establishment of the township of Sanford, its school system was identical with that of Windsor, of which it was a part, as we have already seen. The first reliable data as to the number of children and the school districts we find in the reports of 1823, which show that at that time there were in the township five districts, with 138 boys and girls of school age, some of whom were compelled to travel many miles to reach a schoolhouse. Marked advancement was made in the next few years, however, for in 1838 the township had fifteen districts, with 347 children, school being kept four months in the course of the year. Still farther progress has been made since then.

Additional statistics relating to the development of Sanford are furnished in the following paragraph: After the township had been in existence only ten years, land to the extent of 5,119 acres had been improved and placed under cultivation, while there were unimproved 48,671 acres. The assessed valuation at that time was $101,011. In that year there were 234 legal voters, owning 1,056 head of neat cattle, 201 head of horses, 1,565 sheep and 722 hogs. Three grist mills were in operation in the township, sixteen saw mills and one potash factory. The women of the homes of Sanford made that year 3,118 yards of flannel and 2,099 yards of cotton and linen cloth.

To Deposit, the largest village in the township of Sanford, belongs the distinction of being the first village to be incorporated in Broome county, preceding Binghamton in this respect by many years. Deposit was incorporated in 1811, being at that time the leading town in the lumbering business on the Delaware river, and surpassing in this respect any place on the Pennsylvania border. It is fair to say, however, that at the time of its incorporation only that part of the village which lay in Delaware county attained that honor, the portion which belonged in Broome county not having been regularly incorporated until 1851. It is also true that most of the business was done and a large part of the residences were built from the earliest date within the borders of Broome county, a condition which continued to be more and more true as time passed by.

There is the best of authority for saying that John Hulce was the first white man who located on the site of Deposit, he having reached this point in 1789. Captain Dean, as has already been said, arrived a couple of years later, taking up his residence on the west side of the line. Here he started mills, a blacksmith shop and forging works. We mention also as among those who setded in Deposit at a very early date, Daniel Burrows, the Hulce brothers, Samuel and John, Philip Pine and his sons Daniel and Peter. After the coming of the Erie railway in 1848 the growth of the village rapidly drifted westward. Deposit received a village charter in 1851, the first board of trustees being Uriah Gregory, Charles Knapp, P. K. Williams and G. D. Wheeler. Charles Knapp was chosen president, and S. D. Hulce clerk. Important amendments were made to the charter in 1873.

Benjamin and Peter Gardner in 1796 brought eight sleigh-loads of goods from New York City and opened a store on the Broome county side of the line, being the first to embark in the mercantile business at this point. After the death of Benjamin Gardner in 1797, the business was carried on by Peter Gardner and Fletcher Gardner. The subsequent history of the mercantile side of the life of Deposit consists of a constant series of changes, so many and so marked that no attempt will be made to follow them down through the years.

Coming down to more recent years, we find that Deposit has progressed until it is a town of decided enterprise and the seat of many and diverse interests. We here present a bird's-eye view of the Deposit of today. We find that Deposit numbers rather more than two thousand people. Its roster of village officers embraces the following: President, John Page; trustees, F. A. Brown, J. J. Knapp, H. A. McMurray, S. C. Sliter; clerk, A. B. Kellogg; treasurer, C. H. Stow; attorney, C. E. Scott; health officer, C. M. Axtell; chief of police, C. A. Wheaton; chief of fire department, H. E. Wakefield; collector, Ella M. Ferran; police justice, George M. Flower; registrar of vital statistics, Ella M. Freeman.

Deposit boasts a live town Business Men's Association, to which is due in no small measure its present thriving condition. The personnel of this Association comprises the following: President, L. F. Tucker; vice-president, F. A. Brown; secretary, A. M. Pearsall; treasurer, C. K. Brown; financial secretary, W. W Sheehan; directors, O. J. Axtell, J. R. MacDonald, A. C. Huyck.

Deposit has one of the most beautiful high school buildings in this part of the State. It is well equipped and entitled to the name of being "a work of art, imposing to look upon, and an inspiration to higher and nobler aims." At the present time Page E. Cole is principal. He has a staff of eighteen teachers to assist him. The Board of Education is made up of: President, S. C. Sliter; trustees, Elmer Axtell, Emily B. Hitchcock, E. G. Hinman, J. D. Kellogg, C. E. Madigan, J. R. MacDonald, A. M. Pearsall, W. M. Sherman.

Other organizations to be found in Deposit are these: Deposit Grange, No. 582; Koo Koose Chapter, D. A. R.; Deposit Water Company, officered thus: President, C. S. Minor; vice-president, C. E. Scott; secretary, Mary 0. P. Keown; treasurer, C. K. Brown; directors-C. S. Minor, C. E. Scott, E. F. Smith, Mary 0. P. Keown, Jessie E. Putnam; a branch of the Dairymen's League Inc.; Deposit Branch, American Red Cross; Deposit Rod and Gun Club; Deposit Military Band; Tekaharawah Tribe, No. 109, I. O. R. M.; Deposit Tent, No. 388, Knights of Maccabees, the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

The banking interests of Deposit and vicinity are cared for by the Farmers' National Bank, the officers of which are: President, E. D. Cumming; vice-president, Robert Brown; cashier, M. B. Smith; assistant cashier, Pauline Monson; directors- E. D. Cumming, Robert Brown, E. F. Smith, B. S. Boyd, R. K. Palmerton, E. H. Axtell, F. D. Wilcox, C. M. Axtell, C. S. Minor, S. C. Sliter, J. L. Lewis, F. B. Smith.

Of the two fire companies the officers are as follows: Chief, H. E. Wakefield; assistant chief, Lloyd Axtell; secretary, Clyde Cuyle; treasurer, E. J. Frost. The companies mentioned are "Central" and "Neptune."

The mercantile interests of Deposit include Robert Brown, furniture and undertaking; Mr. Brown holds the record for having been in business continuously longer than any other man in Deposit; A. P. Minor and Son, hardware; F. L. Weaver, gentlemen's furnishing goods; A. L. Frank, harness; M. D. Vandervort, 5 and 10 cent store; C. H. Mosher, furniture- and undertaking; L. E. Carl, jewelry and phonographs; E. Bailey, crockery and glassware; William Lodea, dry goods; L. E. Russell, jeweler; W. Spickerman, variety; C. E. Martin, general store; Globe Store and "A. & P." Store; A. Levison, gent's furnishings; S. D. Smith, pharmacy; J. Bassin, department store; John Pappas, candy; A. K. Brown, druggist; W. W. Sheehan, meats and vegetables; John Russell, cigars; A. Ferrara, fruits and candy; C. E. Madigan, grocer; A. Weaver, fish market; A. P. Minor & Son, hardware; L. F. Tucker, dry goods; Deposit Hardware Co.; S. Steamer, dyeing and cleaning; Deposit Millinery Store; C. E. Male, hardware; J. J. Bell Seed Co.; Deposit Seed Co.; H. Begeal, grocer.

In the line of manufactories, Deposit presents the following: Kelly & Steinman, cut glass; this concern came from Honesdale, Pennsylvania, in 1910, buying the plant of the Outing Publishing Company upon its removal to New York, and adding to the building, so that from seventyfive to one hundred people could be employed, and those engaged in this work are said to be among the most satisfied and the best paid of any in the village. Another important industry is the silk mills of Pearson & Rausch, who also employ about one hundred people. This concern makes its own electricity for power and light, thereby effecting a saving of about $250 a month. Still another industry is the flour and feed mills of Himman Brothers, established in 1896; this is believed to be the largest establishment of the kind on the Erie between Buffalo and New York City, and has branches at Gulf Summit and Ouaquaga.

Fifteen years ago the J. J. Bell Seed Company moved to its present location on 125 Front street and assumed paramount importance in its line, employing a large force, under the management of C. H. Putnam. An extensive mail order business is done, branch stores having been opened at Kingston, New York, and Middletown, New York. The Deposit Seed Company, organized also by Mr. Bell, has gained an excellent reputation and meets a need in garden and farm seeds of constantly increasing importance. A strong force of employees is needed to carry on the work at this plant.

Deposit has become the centre of an extensive milk producing territory, the country round about the village being well adapted to the dairy industry. Large shipments of milk are made every day, most of which is marketed through the Dairymen's League Association, Inc., the Bordens Farm Products Company being the purchasers of most of the milk. This company has a large plant at Deposit.

Deposit is fortunate in having one of the best weekly newspapers published anywhere in the country. The "Courier-Journal" is the outgrowth of two separate attempts to establish a newspaper of this kind in the village. About 1848 M. R. Hulce founded the "Deposit Courier." In 1855 he was succeeded by Lucius P. Allen, and he in turn by Blunt & Smith, who carried on the business until 1869, when Charles N. Stow assumed control and built up a fine business, and gave the paper a standing which lasts to the present time. In 1893, Mr. J. D. Kellogg purchased "The Courier" and later consolidated it with "The Journal," another local paper, giving it the title "The Courier-Journal." Associated with Mr. Kellogg at the present time are Mr. J. H. MacDonald, and A. B. Kellogg, a son of the senior proprietor. The company maintains a well equipped job department, and issues a lively, progressive and successful journal well worthy of the support it receives.

Deposit has two hotels, The Delaware House and the Hotel Moran.

There are four garages and one auto-supply house conducted by Frank Wood, Harper Keyes, the Ouaquaga Company, and the Deposit Garage Company.

Other hamlets and villages of Sanford are McClure Settlement, where W. Fortner carries on a general store; Ouquaga, with a store and hotel conducted by Raymond Scott; Gulf Summit, at which place C. D. Shiner has a store, in connection with a postoffice; Sanford, with a store owned by W. Whitner; North Sanford, where E. C. Terpening operates a general store. At McClure's the farmers have organized the Ouaquaga Dairy Products Company, a successful concern caring for the interests of farmers of that vicinity.

A number of descendants of pioneer settlers still are to be found in Deposit and vicinity. Among these may be mentioned Edward G. Dean, who has lived in Deposit all his life, having been engaged in the drug business until recently. Mr. Dean is the last living descendant in Deposit of Nathan Dean, who migrated to Broome county from Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1791, and settled at the mouth of the Ouaquaga. For many years Mr. Dean lived in the ancestral home in Deposit, which was believed to be the oldest frame house in the village. This has only recently been razed to the ground to give way to a more modern structure.

Milton Whitaker, insurance agent, is another descendant of an old settler in Deposit. We have noted the coming of Squire Whitaker to Deposit in 1787. Milton Whitaker traces his ancestry directly back to Squire Whitaker. Another man of the township, Charles Whitaker, a retired farmer, holds the same relationship to Squire Whitaker that Milton Whitaker does; and a sister of Charles, named Mrs. C. H. Stiles, whose father was Benjamin Whitaker, also lives at Deposit, with an unmarried aged sister, Margaret Whitaker. One daughter of Mrs. Stiles, a widow, Betsey Fritz, has her home here.

John Briggs and his sister, Mrs. J. A. Mosher, are descendants of Randall Briggs, an early settler. Some descendants of Pearis Burrows, who came at a very early date to Deposit, are living in or near the village. Mrs. Deborah Burrows, a lady now about ninety years old, and her sister, Sophronia Walker, as well as George Burrows, are linked with this early settler. Mrs. S. D. Smith, wife of the Deposit druggist, is a daughter of Hubbard Burrows, as is her twin sister, Mrs. S. Stow. Fred L. Weaver, the clothier of Deposit, is a descendant of the fourth generation of Elisha Burrows.

The churches are Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal and Catholic, besides a Mission Chapel.

This resume of the historical life of the township of Sanford is brought to a close with the following statistics and facts: Assessed value of real estate, $1,643,190; personal property, $250,000; franchises, $30,622. At the last election for town officers the following were chosen: Supervisor, Floyd H. Shiner; town clerk, John Stiles; assessors, Emerson Bilby, John Carson, H. M. French; superintendent of highways, Fred 3. Dunning; justices of the peace, W. E. Silvernail, F. W. Thomson, George Flower, John Swartz; collector, May Austin; superintendent of the poor, L. A. Curtis; constables, W. W. Wright, George Shiner, Theodore D. Robinson, D. M. Mann.

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