History of Sullivan, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF
MADISON COUNTY, NEW YORK
EDITED BY: JOHN E. SMITH
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1899



The Town of Sullivan.

This town was set off from Cazenovia in 1803, February 22, and in 1809 its territory was greatly reduced by the formation from it of Lenox. The town was named from Gen. John Sullivan. It is bounded north by Oneida Lake, west by Lenox and the new town of Lincoln, south by Fenner, Cazenovia and Onondaga county, and west by Onondaga county. It contains 44,686 acres, with level surface in the northern part and rolling in the southern part. A large area in the northern part, bordering on the lake, is low and swampy, through which flows the Canaseraga Creek, augmented by the waters of the Cowasselon. Chittenango Creek flows through the town, forming a part of its western boundary, and supplying splendid water power. Gypsum is found and has been extensively quarried, and water lime is also manufactured. The soil in the north part is a clayey loam alternating with muck and marl; in the south part it is gravelly loam. The somewhat celebrated White Sulphur Springs are near Chittenango village, and other mineral springs exist. The territory of this town possesses great historic interest in connection with the Indian wars and the Revolution.

Settlement in Sullivan territory began in 1790 with the arrival of nine families in the vicinity of Canaseraga, whose names are given in the preceding general history of the town. Most of these settled permanently and descendants of some of them are still resident in the vicinity. The pioneers were soon followed by John G. Moyer, Capt. Timothy Brown, Col. Zebulon Douglass, long the most prominent figure; John Matthews, Philip Daharsh, Peter Dygart, Timothy Freeman, Martin Vrooman, Capt. Rosel Barnes, Robert Carter, Joseph and Benjamin Hosley, Jacob Patrick, John Knowles, John Adams, Robert Riddell, John Smith, John Wairath, the Beebe families, John Lower, Peter Ehie, David Burton, William Miles, John Keller, Ovid Weldon, Nicholas Pickard, John Owen French, Rev. Austin Briggs, Reuben Haight, and perhaps a few others.

The first mills were built near the site of Chittenango by John G. Moyer, the grist mill being converted into a plaster mill about 1815; later it was made into a woolen cloth factory and burned about 1826. It was rebuilt by John Knowles. John Matthews owned in early years the well known Matthews mills on Chittenango Creek, which passed to his brother Samuel, of Salina.

Capt. Rose! Barnes built the first frame house near Bridgeport and kept the first tavern. John Knowles became a prominent citizen and held the office of judge. John Smith kept an early tavern at Chittenango, where he took up 200 acres including the village site. Robert Riddell, son of Robert, was an early tanner and was associated with his brother David; they succeeded Vincent Wilber.

Reuben Hawley and William Malcoin were early settlers in the town and both kept stores at Canaseraga as early as 1805. Richard Lower, son of John, was the pioneer blacksmith in the town. The first physician in the town was a Dr. Weed, who removed to Manlius. The next ones were Drs. Amos Amsden and John P. Kennedy. The first lawyers were William K. Fuller and John B. Yates, who settled in Chittenango in 1816.

The early records of this town are lost, hence the only matters relative to town officers that can be given is the following list of supervisors, which has been compiled from the archives in the county clerk's office:
1807-09 inclusive, Jacob Patrick; 1810-14, Solomon Beebe; 1815, John Lee; 1816-18, John Knowles; 1819, Horatio G. Douglass; 1820- 22, John Knowles; 1823-24, H. G. Douglass; 1825, John Adams; 1826, Job Wells; 1827-31, William K. Fuller; 1832, John Adams, 1833, George Grant; 1834, John Knowles; 1835-36, Job Wells; 1837, John Knowles; 1838, Daniel Walrath; 1839, John Knowles; 1840, Peter Van Valkenburgh; 1841-42, George Grant; 1843-44, George K. Fuller; 1845-46, Daniel F. Kellogg; 1847-48, James Beebe; 1849-50, John Knowles; 1851-52, Damon Wells; 1853-54, David Dunham; 1855-57, Albert Mabie; 1858, George Grant; 1859, Ebenezer Pennock; 1860, R. B. Tuttle; 1861, Albert Mabie; 1862, Alvin Keller; 1863, W. E. Barnard; 1864, D. D. Wairath; 1865, Timothy S. Brown; 18 66-70, Marcus C. Wairath; 1871-75, William Lincoln; 1876, D. D. Wairath; 1877-81, Francis H. Gates; 1882-89, Albert B. Dunham; 1890-91, Abram Walrath; 1892-93, Fritz C. Block; 1894-95, Philip H. Wager; 1896-97, Fritz C. Block.

Canaseraga is the oldest village settlement in the town, and is the site of one of the ancient Tuscorara Indian villages. It is situated where the Chittenango Creek crosses the Seneca turnpike a little to the northeast of Chittenango. A post-office was early established with the name of Sullivan, as at the present time, but it was closed many years. Mills were built previous to 1805. Early settlers here were Timothy Brown, John Dennie, who built the first frame house and kept a tavern, a Mr. Drake, also a tavern keeper, Solomon Beebe, another landlord, David Burton, and others before mentioned. The present mills were built in 1855 by Simon D. Paddock. Frank has a store and is postmaster.

Chittenango.- The early development of this village was due more to John B. Yates than to any other one man. He opened a large store, built a plaster mill in 1818, carried on transportation business on the canal, manufactured lime, etc. Robert and David Riddell established a tannery in 1815 in. the building formerly occupied in the same business by Vincent Wilber. John Bouck built another tannery in 1817.

The village was incorporated in 1842 and the names of the first officers and all of the village presidents are given in an earlier chapter. The post-office was probably opened in 1816, with William K. Fuller postmaster.

Later merchants in the village were Fuller & Clary, Yates & Cobb, James and George Crouse, John A. Lamphere, F. H. Hutchinson, James S. Atwell, Ambrose E. Gorton (still in trade), Robert and Daniel Stewart, A. J. and R. B. French, Thomas Clark, John Williams, William Bates, Mitchell & Sims, Moses Parmalee and Albert Dunham, Hezekiah Beecher, Hugh White, the Atwater Brothers, Curtis & Steele, James Wairath, Richard Wairath, Benjamin Jenkins, Richard R. Walrath and C. V. Harbottle (partners), L. E. Shepard, Robert Kennedy, Lyman Gay (father of Harlan L. Gay, the pres3nt merchant), Nicholas Greminger, Joseph H. Wairath. H. M. Barrett, John Colyer, and a few others. Besides those mentined as now in business there are stores by A. N. Chariton, Abner Hatch, W. I. Tyler, George C. Clark, Costello & Root, and a few small shops.

Manufacturing in Chittenango has not been extensive. The grist mill, after having been transformed into a roller mill, is now operated by Frank Suiter. John B. Yates had an oil mill on the site of the later paper mill, into which it was converted. Mr. Yates built a stone woolen factory on the site of the later cotton mill; the latter was operated successfully for a time, but was finally closed. The old Wairath foundry, established by Daniel Wairath, is operated now by Peter Wairath. The works of the Chit tenango Pottery Company were established at the Landing in 1897; after being twice burned, the present brick structure was erected. The large canning works of Merrell & Soule (of Syracuse) are also located at the Landing.

The well known Yates House was built in its first form early in the century, but is lost sight of in the present structure; Clark Wheeler, proprietor. The Dixon House, built in 1827 by Timothy Pratt, is conducted by O. A. Russell.

The Chittenango Bank began business in 1853, with capital of $110,000, increased to $150,000; closed its business in 1864. The First National Bank of Chittenango was organized in December, 1863, with capital of $50,000, increased to $150,000. It went into voluntary liquidation in 1883. The private bank of Walter H. Stewart was opened in 1886.

The first newspaper in the village was the Chittenango Herald, established in 1832 by Isaac Lyon. After two or three changes in name and proprietor, it was discontinued in 1856. The Madison County Times was founded in August, 1870, by Arthur White. Luke McHenry has owned it since 1883.

Soon after the incorporation of the village, a fire company and a hook and ladder company were appointed, and apparatus purchased for fire protection. An engine house was built in 1843. After gradual changes made at different times the department now consists of one engine company, with hand engine; Yates Hose Company, Fuller Hose Company, and hook and ladder company.

The celebrated Yates Polytechnic Institute was founded by John B. Yates in 1824, and was long a successful educational institution. It is now occupied by the Union school, organized in 1871.

There are four churches in Chittenango-Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal and Catholic. The Presbyterian society is the successor of the Reformed Church, and built in 1828 a house of worship, the Presbyterians of that time uniting with the Reformed congregation in the work. This building was ultimately sold to the Baptists, by them to the Catholics and burned. Previous to that year the several denominations had held services in what was called the Bethel, a small meeting house, which was used for school and religious purposes and was built about 1816. The Presbyterians withdrew from all connection with the Reformed society soon after the latter was organized. The Reformed society erected the stone church now in use.

The Baptist Church was organized here in 1841 and continued in existence until about 1860. In 1868 the present First Baptist Church was organized, and in 1870-71 built its present house of worship.

The First Methodist Church was organized in 1833, and their meeting house built in the following year. It was burned in 1862, soon after which the later building was erected.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church was organized in 1855 and a church building erected in 1865; the Bethel was used for services up to that date. Services were long maintained with regularity, but in recent years the society has declined.

St. Patrick's Church was formed soon after 1850, and in 1859 the meeting house, formerly occupied by the Presbyterians and later by the Baptists, was purchased. After this was burned the present edifice was erected.

Chittenango Station on the Central Railroad has a post-office, with George W. Carpenter postmaster, and stores kept by A. W. Green, George W. Carpenter and William Huriburt. The first merchant here was J. T. Burton. The Webb House, kept by F. L. Webb, and a hotel by Charles P. Eaton, with a few shops, complete the settlement.

The village of Bridgeport is situated in the northwest part of the town and is partly in Onondaga county. Early settlers here were Isaac and John Delamater (1802), John Knowles, John Adams, and the Briggs, White, Eastford, Owen, Crownhart and other families. A hotel was built here long ago and burned in 1867; the site is still occupied by a hotel and another one is kept in the place; Gilbert Singerland and Holden Bushnell are the landlords. The Bridgeport Mills were built very early in the century and now, after many changes in ownership, are operated by the Snyder Brother. Stores are kept by Lewis V. Conklin, John Nichols, Wallace Billington and David H. Brown. Older merchants were Dunham & Sharpe, John O. Terpenny, Charles Billing ton and his brother, and Horace O. Draper, who now has a hardware and tin shop.

Lakeport is a small post hamlet five miles east of Bridgeport. Reuben Spencer was the first settler here and built a mill on the brook which took his name. Reuben Bushnell was another early settler; also William Williams, Richard Chapman and Zina Bushnell. A saw mill was built about 1850 by W. H. Snedeker, now owned by Charles F. Pennock. A store building was erected about 1855 by Perry Edwards, where several merchants have done business. J. W. Phillips is the present merchant and postmaster. The Larkin House was built about 1850 as the Lakeport House; it took its present name from David Larkin and is now kept by Edward Jacobs. The Avon House was built in 1877 by John Dempsey; it is now unoccupied.

The Spencer Brook Cheese Factory, a half mile west of Lakeport, was transformed into the Spencer Brook House and is kept by Edward F. Sternbergh. Charles F. Pennock has another cheese factory in this vicinity.

The First Congregational Church of Oneida Lake was organized in 1846 and services were held in the old house built in 1824 but unfinished until the organization; it was much improved in 1876.

The Union Congregational Society was organized in 1824 in the north part of the town and retained its existence until about 1842. There is a Free Methodist Society which has a small church about three-fourths of a mile east of Lakeport.

Return to [ NY History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]


NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Dutchess - Erie - Essex - Franklin - Fulton - Genesee - Herkimer - Jefferson - Lewis - Livingston - Madison - Montgomery - Niagara - Oneida - Onondaga - Ontario - Orange - Orleans - Oswego - Putnam - Queens - Rensselaer - Richmond - Rockland - St. Lawrence - Saratoga - Schenectady - Steuben - Suffolk - Tioga - Tompkins - Tryone - Ulster - Washington - Wayne - Yates


All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy