HISTORY of SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
SARATOGA COUNTY
NEW YORK
PREPARED AND PUBLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE SARATOGIAN
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1899




TOWN OF SARATOGA SPRINGS.

The town of Saratoga Springs is located a little to the southeast of the geographical centre of the county. It is bounded on the north by the towns of Greenfield and Wilton, on the east by Saratoga, on the south by Malta and on the west by Milton. The Revised Statutes of New York State define the town as follows:

The town of Saratoga Springs shall contain all that part of said county bounded northerly by Greenfield and Wilton, westerly by Milton. southerly by Malta, and easterly by a line beginning at the northeast corner of Malta, then down the middle of Saratoga lake and. Fish creek to a point two rods above Stafford’s Bridge, and running thence, so as to include said bridge and a piece of land four. rods wide, to a point two rods below said bridge, and then due north to the south bouhds. of Wilton.

The surface of the town is gently undulating. A portion of Saratoga lake forms the southeast corner of the town. Kayaderosseras creek traverses the southern boundary. Its most important creek beside Kayaderosseras and Fish creeks, lying on the boundaries, are Ellis creek, which empties into the Kayaderosseras. There are several small lakes or ponds within the borders of the town. The tracks of the Delaware & Hudson Canal company’s railroad traverse the county from the southwestern to the northeastern parts; a branch of the Fitchburg railroad enters the, town from the east and extends to the village of Saratoga Springs; the Adirondack railroad runs northerly from that village, and’ the Mount McGregor railroad takes a northeasterly course therefrom. This town possesses that which is claimed by few other localities—beds of peat of considerable extent—though the fact is not generally known. It is also celebrated the world over for the number and excellence of its mineral springs, which are more fully described in another chapter.

The first settler in the town is believed to have been Samuel Norton, who for several years conducted a rude log hotel near High Rock spring. Others had preceded him, but for one reason or another they remained but a short time. Norton came in 1776 and made the immediate locality of old High Rock spring his permanent home. Amos Stafford was the first to locate in that part of the town afterwards known as Stafford’s Bridge. A short time after John, Henry and Nicholas Wagman, brothers, located near by, as did Amos Peck. The families were all related by marriage. In the southeastern part of the town Benjamin Frenchwas the first settler of whom anything is known, he having located there about 1780. Jonathan Ramsdell built a home on the west side of the lake about 1801. David Abell and Benjamin Avery came ‘to the town about 1790.

Upon the farm of Mr. Abell, on the shores of Saratoga lake, probably the first school in town was established some time before 1800. Very little is known of the other early schools. Few have ever been established in town except those in the village of Saratoga Springs. Grist mills and saw mills were established at an early day. Robert Ellis built a saw mill soon after 1800 at the locality now known as The Geysers. A few years later he built a grist mill at the same place. Sylvester Bishop and Warren Cady were early tavern keepers, their primitive hostelries being located near the site of the Star spring. John and Ziba Taylor, brothers, were doubtless the pioneer merchants of the town, their store being located at Saratoga Springs village. George Peck did an extensive business as a scythe maker, near the Geyser spring, soon after 1800. Early in the century the population of the town began to increase at a rapid rate, the newcomers being an energetic and prosperous class of men. In 1831 work upon the Saratoga and Schenectady railroad was begun. This road subsequently came under the control of the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad company, organized in 1832, and both roads ultimately passed into the hands of the Delaware and Hudson Canal company. The Saratoga and Washington railroad, nOw a part of the Delaware and Hudson system, was begun in 1835, but it was 1848 before it was opened for business as far as Gansevoort. In the fall of 1863 the work of constructing the Adirondack railway was begun, and the track in the town of Saratoga Springs was laid at once. The Mount McGregor railroad was constructed in 1882, and the Troy, Saratoga and Northern, now a part of the Fitchburg system, in 1886 and 1887.

Saratoga Springs is the principal village in the town. It is situated in the northern part of the town, just west of the centre. Its first permanent settler was Samuel Norton, who ran a small log tavern near High Rock spring in the fall of 1776. This early tavern had been built in 1771 by Dirck Schouten, from Waterford, and occupied by him; then by John Arnold, in 1774. In 1790 Benjamin Risley and his sonin-law, Gideon Putnam, bought considerable land in the vicinity of the springs; and in 1800 the latter began the erection of Union Hall, the first large hotel in the village. In 1811 he began the erection of Congress Hall. The mineral springs here, to which extended reference is made elsewhere in this work, already had become famous, and with the construction of these hotels the future greatness of Saratoga was assured. The population increased rapidly; new springs were discovered and new hotels of magnificent proportions were built for the accommodation of the thousands of visitors who now flocked to the springs every year. The village was incorporated by the Legislature April 17, 1826, the act defining the corporate limits as follows:

All that district of country lying in the town of Saratoga Springs, county of Saratoga, and State of New York, situated between two lines parallel to, and each half of a mile distant from the following described line, to wit: Beginning on the line between the Livingston and Ostrander lots, in the centre of the highway, near the house of Jesse Ostrander; running northerly as the highway runs, till it strikes Broad street. as laid out on a map of lots at Saratoga Springs, belonging to Gideon Putnam; thence northerly along the centre of Broad street till the said line intersects the high. way leading from the upper village to Greenfield, near the Methodist meeting-house; thence north to Greenfield line, shall continue to be called and known by the name of the village of Saratoga Springs.

The boundaries of the village have been greatly altered since then notably in 1866, by act of the Legislature. The first officers of the new village were: Presiding justices, John H. Steel, William L. F. Warren; president, Joshua Porter; trustees, John Bryan, Rockwell Putnam Robert McDonnal, David Cobb; clerk, Peter V. Wiggins; treasurer, John A. Waterbury; constables, Joshua Blum, Joseph White; pathmaster, Samuel Matthews. The following is a complete list of the village presidents and clerks since the incorporation of the village.

VILLAGE PRESIDENTS.

1826, Joshua Porter; 1829—36, John H. Steel; 1837, Samuel Chapman; 1838—39, Thomas J. Marvin; 1840, Robert Gardner; 1841-42, Thomas J. Marvin; 1843, Abel A. Kellogg; 1844, T. J. Marvin; 1845, Daniel D. Benedict; 1846-49, Washington Putnam; 1850-56, John A. Corey; 1857—58. John H. White; 1859-60, Peckham H. Green; 1861, John H. White; 1862, Charles S. Lester; 1863, J. H. White; 1864-65, John S. Leake; 1866—69, J. H. White; 1870—71, James H. Wright (appointed January 7, 1870, to succeed J. H. White, resigned); 1872—73, Caleb W. Mitchell; 1874—75, Charles A. Allen; 1876—77, Stephen H. Richards: 1878—79, Thomas Noxon; 1880-81, James R. Chapman; 1882-83, R. F. Milligan; 1884—85, P H. Cowen; 1886—87, Lewis Wood; 1888—91, Deyoe Lohnas; 1892—94, Caleb W. Mitchell; in 1895 Mr. Mitchell was legislated out of office and Charles H. Sturges took office May 6, 1895, serving to May 1, 1897, when Adelbert P. Knapp, the present president, came into office.

CLERKS.

1826, P. V. Wiggins; 1827, Miles Taylor; 1828, William C. Waterbury; 1829, Daniel T. Reed; 1830, Miles Taylor; 1831—82, Daniel D. Benedict; 1833, James H. Robinson; 1834-37, Henry P. Hyde; 1888, John C. Hulburt; 1839-40. Carey B. Moon; 1841, Samuel Pitkin; 1842—43, William H. Andrews; 1844, James H. Wescott; 1845, William H. Andrews; 1846. Samuel Pitkin; 1847, George W. Spooner; 1848-51, John W. Crane; 1852, Jesse L. Fraser; 1853, J. R. Rockwell; 1854, Charles H. Hilbert; 1855— 56, C. C. Morehonse; 1857, James H. Huling; 1858—60, Wi]liam L. Putnam; 1861—62, John Gunning, jr. (resigned in 1862 and L. B. Putnam appointed to fill unexpired term); 1863, Ferdinand Height; 1864—65, Lorin B. Putnam; 1866—69, F. Height; 1870, William L. Grahame; 1871, Charles A. Tafft, jr.; 1872-75, Patrick McDonald; 1876— 79, W. D. Grahame; 1880—89, Samuel F. Corey; 1890—91, Amos S. Browne; 1892—94, John T. Dillon; 1896-98; James D. McNulty.

In addition to the numerous world-famed hotels at Saratoga Springs, the village has two handsome public buildings. The town hail, which stands on North Broadway, was built by the town authorities in 1871. The Convention hall, one of the handsomest and most commodious structures of its kind in the United States, was built in 1892 and 1893, at a cost of about $100,000, principally for a headquarters for the many conventions which are held annually in the village. It is a large brick structure, located on South Broadway, below Congress Park, and is an imposing structure. It was completed in the fall of 1893.

Saratoga’s fame rests principally upon its wonderful mineral springs and magnificent hotels, some of which for many years have ranked among the most elegant, in appointment and service, in the world. These have been described in preceding pages.

The oldest church in town is the First Baptist church, organized in 1791 by ten members of the First Baptist church of Stillwater. The First Presbyterian church was organized in 1816, Bethesda Protestant Episcopal church in 1830, the First M. E. church in 1830—1831, St. Peter’s Catholic church in 1839, the First Congregational church in 1865, the Second Presbyterian church in 1869, the Second Baptist church in 1873, the First Free Methodist church in 1865, the African M. E. Zion church in 1863, the Universalist church about 1840, the New England Congregational church in 1880, the Congregational Methodist church in 1896. The school from which Temple Grove Seminary sprang was started in 1854 by Mr. Carter. The present public school system was organized in 1867. Rising Sun lodge No. 103, F. & A. M., at first instituted in that part’ of the town now Northtimberland during, or before 1808, was finally revived under a charter granted in June, 1845. Saratoga lodge No. 15, I. O. O. F., was organized November 17, 1843, with C. W. Burlingatne as noble grand, and is the oldest lodge of Odd Fellows in the district. Grace lodge No. 413 was instituted December 8, 1874, with A. M. Boyce as noble grand. Saratoga Division, Sons of Temperance, was first instituted in 1843. Another division was organized in 1858. Several other prosperous secret and fraternal societies exist in the town. The Young Men’s Christian Association was organized in 1866, with Prof. Hiram A. Wilson as the first president. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union was organized March 17, 1874, with Mrs. Henry R. Lawrence as president. Empire lodge No. 74, Knights of Pythias, was instituted February 28, 1872, with N. Wathrbury as presiding officer. There are two posts of the Grand Army of the Republic in Saratoga Springs. The first of these, Post Luther M. Wheeler, No. 92, was chartered June 5, 1877, and was organized October 11, 1877. The second, Post James B. McKean, No. 498, was chartered April 16. 1891, and organized May 1 following. Crystal lodge, No. 512, I. O. G. T., was instituted June 15, 1882.2 Putnam lodge, No. 134, A. O. U. W., was organized March 9, 1878, with J. F. Lamberton as P. M. W., and Robert A. Hemingway as M. W. The Saratoga Musical association was organized in Febru ary, 1869, with Samuel E. Bushnell as president and Dr. C. F. Rich as musical director. The first grand concert was given April 11, 1870, and the first grand musical convention was held in February, 1872, with L. O. Emerson as musical director.

Saratoga Springs has had four banks, two of which are now in existence. These are the First National bank, organized in 1848, and the Citizens National bank, organized in 1881. The Commercial National bank, and the Union Savings bank, chartered in 1873, both failed in December, 1878. The Saratoga Gaslight Company was organized in 1854. The Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1826. This was succeeded by a paid department in 1883. The village has an excellent waterwqrks system, started in 1832 by Dr. John Clark and improved by the cOnstruction of a large reservoir in Greenfield in 1847.

In 1831 the Saratoga Recorder and Anti-Masonic Democrat was established by D. Tehan. Since that time the village has supported several newspapers. The Saratogian, daily and weekly, and the Saratoga Eagle and Saratoga Sun, weekly, are now published in the village.

Stafford’s Bridge, Eddy’s Corners, Ashley’s Corners, Ellis Corners, Cady’s Hill and The Geysers are the principal hamlets or localities in the town, aside from Saratoga Springs village. Ellis Corners and Cady’s Hill in recent years have become known as The Geysers.

The town of Saratoga Springs was set off from Saratoga April 9, 1819. The first’ town meeting was held at Union hall March 7, 1820, when these officers were elected: Supervisor, Ashbel Andrews; town clerk, Harmon J. Betts; assessors, Walter Crawford, Richard Searing, Nathan Lewis; commissioners of highways, Daniel Crawford, Samuel Stafford, Samuel S. Wakeman; overseers of the poor, John Eddy, Gilbert Waring; collector. John Bemus; commissioners of common schools, John Glean, George Peck, Rockwell Putnam; inspectors of common schools, Rev. Francis Wayland, Rev.’ James 0. Griswold, William L F. Warren; constables, Solomon Spaulding, Joseph White, Frederick Avery; poundmaster, Richard Searing; inspectors of weights and measures, George Peck, John Bryan, Richard Searing.

The following is a list of the principal officers of the town since the date of its organization:

SUPERVISORS.

1820. Ashbel Andrews; 1821—1822, Esek Cowen; 1823—1827, George Peck; 1828— 1829, John H. Steel; 1830—1834. James R. Westcot; 1835, Rockwell Putnam; 18361838, Samuel Chapman; 1839, James R. Westcot; 1840-1843, Samuel Chapman; 1844, Joel Clement; 1845, James M. Marvin; 1846—1848, John L. Perry; 1849, John A. Corey; 1850, Samuel Chapman: 1851, Samuel Pitkin; 1852, Thomas J. Marvin; 1853, Samuel Freeman; 1854, Cruger Walton; 1855, Franklin’ Hoag; 1856, Cruger Walton; 1857,’ James M. Marvin; 1858, Henry H. Hathorn; 1859, John H. White; 1860, Henry H. Hathorn; 1861, Hiram H. Martin; 1862, James M. Marvin; 1863, John W. Crane; 1864—1865, Charles S. Lester; 1866—1867, Henry H. Hathorn; 1868—1869, John W. Crane; 1870—1871, James P. Butler; 1872—1873, James I. Wakefield; 1874, James M. Marvin; 1875—1876, Anson M. Boyce; 1876, Patrick H. Cowen (appointed to succeed Boyce, resigned); 1877, Thomas Noxon; 1878—1881, Joseph Baucus; 1882, Thomas Noxon; 1883-1884, Joseph Baucus; 1885-4886, Isaac Y. Ouderkirk; 1887—1888, Augustine W. Shepherd, 1889, Frank M. Boyce; 1890, Davis Coleman; 1891—1895, James M. Ostrander; 1896—1897, Harry Crocker; 1898, Frank H. Hathorn.

TOWN CLERKS.

1820—1821, Harmon J. Betts; 1822, Joel Clements; 1823, Harmon J. Betts; 1824— 1829 James R. Wescott; 1830—1832, Washington Putnam; 1833—1834, Rockwell Putnam; 1835, Abel A. Kellogg; 1836, John A. Corey; 1837, Joseph M. Wheeler; 1838, Ezra Hall; 1839, Rockwell Putnam; 1840. S. R. Ostrander; 1841. Horace Fonda; 1842, Patrick H. Cowen; 1843, Horace Fonda; 1844, William H. Andrews; 1845, William E. Castle; 1846, William S. Balch; 1847, Charles S. Lester; 1848, John T. Carr; 1849, William L. Griswold; 1850, William S. Balch; 1851—1852, C. W. Burlingame; 1853—1854, Robert Nichols; 1855, Charles H. Hulbert; 1856, George L. Stearns; 1857, Charles C. Morehouse; 1858, C. W. Burlingame; 1859—1860, Lorin B. Putnam; 1861—1863, Abram B. Jenner; 1864—1866, James M. Ostrander; 1867, Daniel T. Rockwell; 1868. Henry Marshall; 1869, L. L. Brintnail; 1870, Frederick N. Owen’; 1871, George H. Gillis; 1872, William M. Searing, jr.; 1873, Patrick McDonald; 1874, George H. Gillis; 1875—1877, Daniel Eddy; 1878—1879, Isaac Y. Ouderkirk; 1880— 1893, Michael S. Cummings; 1894—1895, Daniel S. Woodworth; 1896—1898, Michael S. Cummings.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

1831, Wm. A. Langworthy; 1832, Ransom Cook, Eli Holbrook; 1833; John B. Gilbert; 1834, Wm. A. Beach; 1835, Daniel P. Reed, John A. Waterbury; 1836, Ransom Cook; 1837, John B. Gilbert; 1838, Sidney J. Cowen; 1839, ‘George W. Wilcox; 1840, Shelemiah R. Ostrander; 1841, Ransom Cook; 1842, Joseph White; 1843, John C. Hulbert; 1844, Augustus Bockes; 1845, Abel A. Kellogg; 1846, Joseph R. Plunkett, 1847, Wm. E. Castle; 1848, Chas. S. Lester; 1849, Abel A. Kellogg; 1850, Seymour Gilbert, John T. Carr; 1851, John T. Carr; 1852, John H. White; 1853, Lemuel B. Pike; 1854, John B. Felshaw; 1855, John T. Carr; 1856, John R. Putnam; 1857, Joseph D. Briggs; 1858, John H. White; 1859, Wm. C. Barrett; 1880, Jerome B. Buckbee; 1861. Esek Cowen; 1862, Joseph D. Briggs; 1863, Wm. C. Barrett; 1864, Silas H. Peters, Lewis Varney; 1865, Lewis Varney, John B. Finley; 1866, J. S. B Scott; 1867. Wm. C. Barrett; 1868, Elias H. Peters (appointed); 1869, Anson W. Boyce, James M. Andrews; 1870, Phineas F. Allen; 1871, John Foley; 1872, Lewis Wood; 1873, Wm. C. Barrett; 1874, Phineas F. Allen; 1875, Augustine W. Shepherd; 1876, Thomas G. Young; 1877, Chas. M. Davison, Wm. C. Barrett (long term); 1878, Lewis Wood; 1879, Michael G. Berrigan; 1880. John L. Henning; 1881, Wm. C. Barrett; 1882, Frank M. Jenkins; 1883, David Maxwell; 1884, Wm. A. Pierson; 1885, Daniel E. Wing; 1886, Frank M. Jenkins; 1887, David Maxwell; 1888, James F. Swanick; 1889, George A. Swart; 1890, Frank M. Jenkins (long term), James T. Brusnihan (short term); 1891, John F. Sullivan; 1892, Joseph P. Brennan; 1893, Wm. D. McNulty; 1894, Frank M. Jenkins; 1895, Frank H. McDonald; 1896, Frank Gick; 1897, John H. Morris; 1898, Charles B. Anckns.

POLICE JUSTICES.

1848—1849, Abel R. Plunkett; 1850—1853, Abel A. Kellogg; 1854—1861, Matthias A. Pike; 1862—1863, John H. White; 1864—1865, Wm. H. Searing; 1866—1867 Patrick H. Cowen; 1868-1869, Wm. C. Barrett; 1870—1875, James S. B. Scott; 1876, John H. White (died in office); 877—1879, Charles H. Teift, jr. (appointed to fill vacancy; and regularly elected in 1878); 18804883, Augustine W. Shepherd; 1884—1887, John L. Barbour; 1888—1889, Wm. A. Pierson; 1890—1893, Chas. Allen; 1893, George A. Swart (appointed vice Allen resigned); 1894-1895, John M. Fryer; 1896—1897, George A. Swart; 1897, Wm. D. McNulty (appointed Dec. 1, 1897, to fill vacancy caused by death of George A. Swart; served till March, 1898); 1898, Wm. J. Delaney.

COLLECTORS.

1820, John Bemus; 1821—1826, Joseph White; 1827—1828, Joshua Bliven; 1829—1831, Eli Holbrook; 1832, Joshua Bliven; 1833, Joseph White; 1834, Lucien Hendrick; 1835—1836, Daniel Wait; 1837, Joseph Brisbin; 1838, Marvin S. Putnam; 1839—1840, Aniasa Patrick; 1841 Daniel Potts; 1842, Clement Gibbs; 1843-1844, William C. Owen; 1845, William Wait; 1846, William A. Muredell; 1847, John B. Feishaw; 1848, Hiram Owen; 1849, George Burnham; 1850, Daniel D. Eddy; 1851, George Burnham; 1852—1854, Gardner Builard; 1855, Riley V. Surdam; 1856. John Rouse; 1857-1858, Joseph H. Hodgeman; 1859, Ezra Hall; 1860, Charles W. Whitford; 1861, Charles H. Brown: 1862, Alfred P. Mallory; 1863, Thomas Eldredge; 1864, Charles W. Whitford; 1865, A. P. Mallory; 1866, Daniel T. Rockwell; 1867, Calvin M. Avery; 1868, John Foley; 1869, Harmon S. Hoyt; 1870, Jonathan S. Howland; 1871, William F. Calkins; 1872, William E. Dexter.

RECEIVERS OF TAXES.

1872—1874, William E. Dexter; 1875—1878, Lewis Wood; 1879—1881, L. H. Cramer; 1882-1885, Lewis Wood; 1886-1887, Thomas Douglas; 1888—1891, Byran J. Town; 1892—1894, Patrick F. Roohan; 1895—1897, Byron J. Town; 1898, William B. Milliman.

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