History of Scott, New York

SCOTT was formed from Preble, April 14, 1815, and named in honor of General Winfield. Scott. it lies in the north-west corner of the County. Its surface is chiefly an upland, broken by two deep and narrow valleys which extend north and south through the town. The declivities of the hills are very steep and in some places precipitous. Cold Brook flows through the eastern valley and Factory Brook and Skaneateles Inlet through the western. Skaneateles Lake touches the north-west corner. The soil is chiefly a sandy and gravelly loam, better adapted to grazing than to tillage.

Scott Center, (Scott p. o.) situated near the center of the town, contains three churches, viz., Presbyterian, Methodist and Seventh Day Baptist, and about 300 inhabitants.

East Scott, (p. o.) in the north-east part, on Cold Brook, is a hamlet.

The mills of J. L. & L. H. Comstock are situated on Skaneateles Inlet, about a mile from Scott. The gristmill is three stories high and contains three runs of stones. The gristmill and shingle mill of George Southwick is situated on skaneateles Inlet. There are several other mills in various parts of the town.

The first permanent settlement was made in 1799 on lot 82, by Peleg and Solomon Babcock and Asa Howard, from Leyden, Mass., and George Dennison, from Vermont. Cornish Messenger and Daniel Jakeway, from De Ruyter, settled on lot 92 in 1800, and M.axon Babcock upon lot 82 in 1801. Gershom Richardson and his two sons-in-law, by the name of Clark, came from Pompey and settled on lot 71, and Henry Burdick, from Coiraine, Mass., on lot 72. John Gillet, from Connecticut, came here in 1805, and subsequently located on lot 84. Mr. Gillett was a justice of the peace for twenty years, associate judge for fifteen years, a member of the Legislature and Presidential Elector, all of which offices he filled to the general satisfaction of the public and with credit to himself. Jacob Smith, from Delphi, located on lot 84, and Daniel Doubleday on lot 85, wherehe spent a long and prosperous life. In 1805 Elisha Sabins and John Babcock cleared a road from Scott’s corners to Babcock’s corners. They transported their goods to their new homes on sleds. The next year Isaac Hall passed over the road with a wagon and a load of lumber. Game was very abundant, bears were very troublesome to the farmers, destroying their corn and in other respects proving themselves very troublesome neighbors. Deer were also very numerous, and one of the early settlers relates that he went to the woods to cut a broom-stick, accompanied by a large dog. The snow was deep and the crust sufficiently hard to bear a man. Before he had secured his broom-stick he had killed seven deer.

The first merchant in the town was Nathan Babcock; the first inn keeper, James Babcock, and the first postmaster, John Gillett. The first birth was that of Harriet Babcock.; the first marriage that of Solomon Babcock and Amy Morgan, in 1802. There being no person near who was authorized to marry, the parties went to Homer on horseback, attended church aiid then called on Esquire Bishop, who performed the ceremony for them. The first death was that of an infant daughter of Peleg Babcock. The first school was taught by Amy Morgan. The first post-master at East Scott was Alvin Kellogg, of whom Ex-President Fillmore learned his trade, that of a, clothier. The first ordained preacher was Elder Town.

The town of Scott was greatly harrassed by the depredations of bears, and in March, 1799, three persons started in pursuit. One of the hunters soon gave out and the other two continued the trail leading towards Skaneateles Lake. The snow was deep and these two soon gave up the chase and returned by a circuitous route, hoping to meet with an old bear that had wintered in the neighborhood of the hunters’ home. As they approached the den oft he old depredator he was discovered and both hunters discharged their guns, but only wounded the bear. He hastily left for other quarters and was pursued all day, and, after camping out near Skaneateles Lake, they drove the, bear into a clearing some eight miles from home, where they killed him and took off his hide, out of which they made each of them a cap, which served to commemOrate the event.

The population in 1865 was 1,149 and its area 12,928 acres.

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