History of Taylor, New York

TAYLOR was formed from Solon, December 5, 1849, and named in honor of Gen. Zachary Taylor. It lies near the center of the east border. The surface is an upland and very hilly arid broken. The declivities are steep, some of them precipitous. rising from 600 to 800 feet above the valleys. Mount Roderick, lying partly in this town and partly in Solon, is the highest point. The streams are small brooks and flow in a southerly direction, most of them into Otselic Creek. Taylor Pond is a small body of water in the central part. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam.

Taylor, (p. v.) situated in the south-east part of the town, on Pond Brook, contains a sawmill and about twenty-five houses.

Union Valley, (p. v.) in the north-east part, contains a church, a store, a hotel, several shops and about twenty-five houses.

About three miles west of Taylor is a large creamery, using the milk of 145 cows. The building is 108 feet by 26. Both steam and horse power are used in the establishment. At Taylor Pond are a grist and a sawmill. There are several other mills and cheese factories in various parts of the town.

The first permanent settlement was made by Ezra Rockwell and his sons, Ezra and Thomas. They came from Lenox, Mass., in 1793, and located on lot 78. Mr. Rockwell, Sr., served in the Revolution and drew the lot upon which he settled. In 1795 Thomas Rockwell removed to Cincinuatus, and after a residence of thirty-two years, returned to Taylor and located on lot 100. Orellana Beebe came from New Haven in 1796 and located on lot 7, in Solon, where he remained two years and then removed to Taylor and located on lot 100. Lewis,. Hawley, from Huntington, Conn., removed to Pitcher in 1805, and soon after to Taylor. After living in several differant places he purchased 100 acres of lot 77, where he resided until his death in 1858. John L. Boyd and John Phelps came from Saratoga County in 1811; the former located on lot 98, the latter on lot 86. In 1814 David Wire, from Connecticut, located on lot 100. His father, Thomas Wire, was a native of England, was kidnapped inLondon when seven years old and sold in Boston, *here he remained until the commencement of the French and English war. He was then impressed into the English service for six years. He subsequently settled in Connecticut, and when the war of the Revolution broke out, enlisted and served until its close.

The first merchant in the place was Thomas Rockwell, and the first post-master, Ezra Rockwell. Barak Niles was the first school teacher; the first sawmill was erected in 1812 by Thomas Rockwell, and the first gristmill by Messrs. Wells & Lord. The first birth was that of Polly H. Beebe; the first marriage that of Asaph Butler and. Lucy Beebe; and the first death that of Zerah Bee.be in 1800. The first missionary was Dr. Williston and the first settled minister was Reuben Hurd.

The early pioneers were frequently subjected to great hardships from the scarcity of provisions, and the uncertainty of procuring them even by making long journeys. During one of the seasons of scarcity, Orellana Beebe and his son Koakiand went to Genoa, Cayuga County, to purchase wheat, which he afterwards had ground at Esquire Bradley's mill. The next spring, being equally in want, and not wishing to spend the time to go himself, as he was anxious to get in a crop of corn, asked his son, then only ten years old, if he could go and get some grain or flour. "I can try," was the boy's reply, and forthwith preparations were made and at an early. hour in the morning he was on his way. He took with him three bags, each containing eight pounds of maple sugar, with which to pay for his wheat, at the rate of eight pounds for a bushel. His only guide through the dense forest was marked trees. He reached his destination at night and inquired of Mr. Bradley if he could let him have the grain. On receiving a negative reply the boy burst into tears, but was soon quieted on being told by Mr. Bradley that he would give him the value of his sugar in flour, and keep him and his horse over night free of charge. Early in the morning the boy set out on his return home. When he reached Judge Bingham's, at the salt road, it was nearly dark, and •the Judge persuaded him to stay over night as it would be impossible for him to find his way by marked trees. About ten o'clock 'the next morning he arrived at home greatly pleased with his trip.

The population in 1865 was 1,167 and its area 17,645 acres.

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