History of Wayne, NY
From: Landmarks of Steuben County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Harlo Hakes
Assisted By: L. C. Aldrich and Others
D. Mason & Company, Publishers,
Syracuse, New York, 1896

WAYNE. - In 1793 Frederick Bartles, or Bartels, built a mill on the outlet of Mud Lake, and the grateful agent, Charles Williamson, in whose employ Bartles was, caused the original town of Frederickstown to be named in allusion to the industrious German pioneer. The town as formed March 18, 1796, comprised all that is now Wayne, Bradford, Barrington, Starkey, Tyrone, Reading and Orange. On the 6th of April, 1808, the name Frederickstown was dropped and Wayne adopted in its stead; and so called in honor of General Wayne, better known, however, as "Mad Anthony" Wayne, the famous Indian fighter whose deeds of valor are recorded on the page of history.

By frequent reductions in its territory, caused by the formation of various towns, Wayne now has an area of only 12,400 acres, and is the smallest in size of the civil divisions of Steuben county. Its location in the extreme northeast corner of the county, though somewhat remote from the county seat, is nevertheless favorable, as it has a desirable water front on Lake Keuka on the west and Lake Wan eta on the east. The entire western slope forms almost one vast and entire vineyard, while the hill tops and eastern portions have excellent agricultural lands. The soil is a gravelly and slaty loam underlaid with hardpan.

The pioneers of this locality made their improvements as early as the year 1791, the first settlers being Zepaniah Hoff, Henry Mapes, Widow Jennings and Solomon Wixson, while Enos, Jonas and James Silsbee, Abraham Hendricks, Joshua Smith, John Hoidridge, Elijah Reynolds and Ephriam Tyler came at such an early day as to entitle them to mention as pioneers. Among the other early settlers we may recall Ephraim Sanford, from Pennsylvania, a former Revolutionary soldier, also Anthony Swarthout, Jabez Hopkins, Aaron Olmstead, the blacksmith and tool maker, Thomas Bennett, Thomas Margeson, Henry Houck, Isaac Northrup, Edward Baker, Israel R. Wood, Joseph Bailey (another old Revolutionary survivor), George Hunter, John Earnest, blacksmith, Simeon Hackett, John Teeples and others.

Charles Williamson, agent for the Pulteney Association, expended considerable money in improving farms in this locality, and in the progress of his work gave employment to a number of men. He also placed tenants on several of the farms in the hope of ultimately effecting a sale of his lands, but the action of his proprietors in stopping his operations was the cause of much feeling, and the abandonment of the improvements, in many cases, to the great loss of merchants doing business in Bath who had "trusted" these tenants for goods sold them. But, notwithstanding the embarrassments and obstacles against which the early settlers of Wayne were obliged to contend, the town increased quite rapidly in population and the development of the resources of the region, and the year 1820 found the number of inhabitants in the district to be 258. Ten years later the number was 1,025, and in 1820 was 3,607. However, during years following, the frequent divisions of the original territory of Wayne reduced the population very materially, and in 1830 the number was only 1,172. In 1840 it was 1,377; in 1850 was 1,347; in 1860 was 944; in 1870 was 891; in 1880 was 827, and in 1820 was 889.

As has been stated the town was set off as a separate jurisdiction, March 18, 1796. although it appears that no organization was effected until 1801; at least the records disclose no town meetings previous to that time. The first supervisor was Benjamin Wells, and the first clerk was Joshua Smith, the latter holding office continuously for seven years.

The succession of supervisors has been as follows: Benjamin Wells, 1801-3; John Dow, 1804; Jacob Teeple, 1805-7; John Teeple, 1808-16; William Kiernan, 1817-18; John Teeple, 1819-21; David Hall, 1822; Wm. E. Wells, 1823-26; Geo. Hunter, 1827-29; Wm. Birdsall, 1830-31; Geo. Hunter, 1832-33; Matthew McDowell, 1834-35; Orlando Comstock, 1836-37 and 1840; Juno. P. Lozier, 1838; Jacob Teeple, 1841; Levi Knox, 1842; Daniel W. Sunderlin, 1843; Harvey Hill, 1844; Andrew D. Swarthout, 1845-47; Jno. B. Mitchell, 1848-49; Geo. Schuyler, 1850-51, 1854 and 1861; Joseph Eveland, 1852; Joseph Roat, 1853 and 1867-68; Ansel H. Williams, 1854; Robert Biggars, 1855; Amos Wortman, 1856-57; Jno. B. Birdseye, 1858-59; Jno. J. Earnest, 1860; Bela Bonny, 1862; Joel Wixson, 1863-64; Chas. D. Wells, 1865-66; Thos. E. Walsh, 1869-70; Chas. K. Miner, 1871-74; James Wixson, 1875 and 1877; Solomon R. Wixson, 1876 and 1878; Madison Cameron, 1879-82; D. Swarthout, 1883-84; Lyman Aulls, 1885-93; Anson Wright, 1894-95.

The officers of Wayne for the year 1895 are as follows: Anson Wright, supervisor; James M. Washburn, town clerk; D. Hover, Thomas Bailey, George P. Lord and James H. Pitcher, jistices; Chas. C. Campbell, Thomas Anderson and W. E. Swarthout, assessors; Frank Covel, collector; Solomon R. Wixson, highway commissioner; Thomas Best, overseer of the poor; Hiram Rapplee, Arthur D. Graw and Almon Barrett, excise commissioners.

As at present constituted Wayne is one of the most interesting and favorably situated towns of Steuben county, and in the development of its natural resources it has become one of the best vineyard districts in the region. Added to this is its value as an agricultural town, while the building up of large hotels and pleasure resorts along the Keuka front have combined to increase local prosperity. In the early history of the county the town was hardly more than a passive factor, yet the people of Wayne have ever enjoyed the reputation of making their presence felt in all measures tending to the public good. In the great anti rent conflict of 1830, and about that time, the local inhabitants took a prominent part in the passing events, and they were worthily represented in the Bath convention by Latham Fitch, John H. Sherwood and Thornton F. Curry. During the war of the Rebellion, as commonly known, where true patriotism as well as loyalty and statesmanship were essential elements of success, the town proved equal to every demand made upon it and furnished for the service a total of eighty five men; a record certainly praiseworthy when we consider the fact that in 1860 the inhabitants numbered only 944.

During the period of its history, there have been built up within the town two small hamlets, known as Wayne village and Wayne Four Corners, while the chief importance of Keuka is derived from its shipping advantages during the warm months. In winter it is an almost deserted locality. These villages, with their respective interests, are mentioned in another department of this work.

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