History of Solon, New York

SOLON was formed from Homer, March 9, 1798. It embraced the original military township, No. 20. Its original area was diminished April 4, 1811, by annexing a part to Truxton, and, in 1849, by the formation of Taylor. It is an interior town, lying near the center of the County. The surface is broken and diversified by numerous narrow valleys of small streams which flow through it. The hills upon the east border are from 1,400 to 1,500 feet in height above tide. Many of the highest summits are covered with forests and are too rough for cultivation. Trout Brook flows in a westerly direction through near the center of the town, in a narrow, fertile valley. The soil is a gravelly loam, better adapted to grazing than to the raising of grain.

Solon, (p. v.) situated in the central part of the town, contains two churches, a hotel, a store, several shops and about 100 inhabitants.

The first permanent settlement was made in 1794 by Roderick Beebe and Johnson Bingham. The former settled on lot 75 and the latter on lot 62. Mr. Bingham purchased 550 acres, reared a large family of children and died at the age of 79. Col. Elijah Wheeler, from New Haven, Conn., located on lot 100 in 1801. Garret Pritchard, from Litchfield, Conn., located on lot 74 in 1807. He came with a pack on his back, having only $16.50 in money. His father came in the previous year under very embarrassing circumstances, but the son, with the nerve and energy which characterized many of the early settlers, determined to succeed. After earning and paying $500 for his father, he located on lot 75, where he became a prosperous farmer. Henry L. Randall came from Sharon, Conn., in 1808, and. located on lot 74. He came with a two-horse team, bringing a few necessary articles for immediate use. He resided for more than fifty years on the same lot and reared a large family, two of whom, William Randall and Eliza Stephens, now reside in the town. Jonathan Rundall also located on lot 74, and Ebenezer Blake on 84. The latter was a soldier of the Revolution and fought at the battle of Bunker Hill. Luke Cass, from New Hampshire, settled on lot 51, where F. L. Boyce now lives. Columbus Cass, son of Luke, came with his father and now lives on lot 61. in 1812 Eben Wilcox built the gristmill now owned by Philo F. Moses; it has two runs of stones and is a flourlug and custom mill. Stephen N. Peck, with his wife and two children, eame from Dutchess County in 1805. He located on lot 62, and is still living at the age of ninety years and retains to a good degree all his facukties. Lyman Peck, E. Burlingham, Platt and John Peck, now live in town. Russell Warren settled on lot 51, where M. O'Brien now lives, in 1817. Four of his children, viz., Pierce, Ransom, Alfred and Polly Gilbert, now reside in town.Samuel Gilbert and. Stephen Pendleton, Revolutionary soldiers, settled and died here. Josiah Beau, from New Hampshire, settled on lot 72, where Quigley now lives. Lydia Randall, his daughter, now lives in town. Luke Chapin, the father of Hiram Chapin, now living in town, came from Massachusetts in 1805 and settled on lot 42. Joel Rankin, from Massachusetts, also settled on lot 42 in 1807; his daughter Margaret is the, wife of Amos Pritchard. In 1805 Gen. S. G. Hathaway, from Massachusetts, settled on lot 71, and in 1819 removed to lot 73, where his widow and son, Calvin L., and two daughters, Lavinia and Elizabeth, now live.

When the Great Rebellion broke out the patriotic people of Soion volunteered freely, and many of their number sealed their devotion to their country with their blood. The following are the names of those who gave their lives in the defense of Republican Liberty: Lucius Randall, son of Orrin Randall, was killed at Gravelly Run, March 29th, 1865; Orrin Reed was killed in the same battle; John Cahill died in a rebel prison; Dayton Harvey, son of Chillis Harvey, died from wounds received in battle at Gettysburg; and John Stevens, son of Jacob Stevens, died in Libby Prison; Job Gillett died in a hospital; Dennis B. Hicks died of wounds received in the service; Edwin Fish died in hospital at Hilton Head, and Walker died at home; James Atwood died in war, and Adelbert Taylor died in Washington. The memory of the patriotic dead will be fresh in the hearts of all loyal men when monuments of marble shall have crumbled in the dust.

In 1807 Richard Maybury came from Luzerne, Penn., and settled on lot 53 of the "States Hundred." He is represented as an industrious and worthy man. Among other early settlers were Benjamin and Lewis Beebe, Daniel Porter, Zerah Tinker, Elisha Johnson and Noah Greeley.

The first birth was that of a daughter of Johnson Bingham; the first marriage that of Robert Smith and Amy Smith; the first death was that of Lydia Bingham, May 9th, 1798; Johnson Bingham died June 8th, 1843, aged eighty, and his wife, Annie, died November 14th, 1865, aged 102 years, eleven months and twentyfive days. A short time before her death she was able to knit and walk about the house. The first school was taught by Roxana Beebe and Lydianna Stewart, in 1804. Benjamin Tubbs kept the first store; Lewis Beebe the first tavern, and Noah Greeley built the first mill. The first church was organized in 1804 by Rev. Josiah Butler, the first preacher.

The population in 1865 was 995 and its area 18,930 acres.

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