HISTORY of THERESA, NY
FROM OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE
A DESCRIPTIVE WORK ON JEFFERSON COUNTY
NEW YORK
EDITED BY: EDGAR C. EMERSON
THE BOSTON HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS 1898


THE TOWN OF THERESA.

Away back in the early years of the century Benjamin Wright, the pioneer surveyor and explorer, informed James Le Ray that the high falls on Indian river offered abundant and never failing water power for any mills which the proprietor might feel disposed to build at that point. This information determined Le Ray to make a clearing and found a settlement, to accomplish which he caused a road to be opened from Evans’ Mills to the falls during the year 1812. He also caused 40 acres of land to be cleared on the present J. P. Douglas place, and another tract of 100 acres in the next year, which James Shurtliff purchased and settled upon in 1815. A few years later the proprietor engaged Musgrove Evans to survey a thousand acre tract for a village site, although many years passed before the hamlet was in fact established. A mill, however, was built, but before its completion Anson Cheeseman moved into the building and occupied it as a home. The lumber cut from the land was made into rafts and floated down the river to market at Rossie and Ogdensburgh. The cleared tracts were then sown with grass seed and made excellent pasture for Mr. Le Ray’s live stock; and if local accounts be true, in 1813 the proprietor kept on these lands about 500 sheep, 60 head of cattle, and 20 horses. However, the war was then in progress, and the herdsmen in charge of the stock lived in constant fear of a sudden invasion of the region by the British. The tract, too, was surrounded with an almost boundless extent of heavily timbered wild lands, and ravenous animals were frequently seen in the region. This was about the only occupancy of this part of the county previous to 1817, when Mr. Le Ray began the sale of land to settlers.

Such, in brief, was the early history of the town now called Theresa, but the pioneers found evidences of a still earlier occupancy, for all along the banks of Indian river, and all around the shores of the multitude of small lakes in the north part of the town, the whites discovered traces of the Indian occupation. Indeed, this group of lakes was one of the most favored Indian hunting and fishing grounds in the entire northern country, just as in more recent years the region has been regarded and called the sportsman’s paradise, and even to the present day is a much frequented resort forhunters and fishers. This miniature lake system comprises no less than a dozen bodies of water, ranging from half a mile to several miles in length. and all tributaries of Indian river. They are known as Butterfield, Grass, Moon, Hyde, Crystal. Sixberry, Mill-site, Red and Muskalonge lakes and Lake of the Woods, but not all of them are wholly within the bounds of the town. A small part of Edmund and Clear lakes extends from Alexandria across the Theresa line. The principal water course is the Indian river, a stream of considerable size, which enters the southeast corner of the town from Le Ray and thence flows north and northeast into St. Lawrence county. These several lakes suggest the peculiar physical features of the town, and also something of its geological formation. The land surface along the river is much broken, and is traversed by ridges of gneiss rock, with very fertile intervales. A portion of the town is underlai d with sandstone, and here the surface is level or gently undulating. The northern portion is almost perfectly level, in certain localities undesirably so, yet rich, fertile and productive to a remarkable degree. In the vicinity of several of these lakes various mineral deposits have been found, a fair portion of which was iron ore. It was developed to some extent in 1847 and following years, for which purpose a furnace was built near Mill-site lake, but long ago passed out of existence.

As has been stated, the pioneers of this region found scattered evidences of the former Indian occupation, but they also found unmistakable traces of a white occupancy of more recent date than the aboriginal period. It is a known historical fact that Indian river was a thoroughfare for trade and traffic for the smugglers of the embargo period of county annals, but the high falls made necessary a carrying place, for no river craft could pass them. It was therefore the custom to carry goods from the upper to the lower level, requiring the use of two fiat bottomed boats. These remained after the period had passed and were found and used by the pioneers in their early settlement of the town.

The territory comprising Theresa was originally a part of great lot number four of the Macomb purchase, and passed as a part of the vast tract to the Antwerp company, thence to James de Le Ray, by whom it was again surveyed and subdivided for purposes of settlement and development. It was this worthy proprietor who caused the “jobs” to be cleared; it was he who caused the primitive mills to be erected at the falls during the years 1810—11, and he, also, who sent the live stock to be fattened in the splendid pasture lands that followed the clearings. The outbreak of the war had the effect to retard development, but as soon as that period had passed the worthy proprietor again turned his attention in this direction and the settlement was founded.

Captain John Hoover and John A. Evans were probably the first whites to live within the limits of the town, but theirs was only a ternporary occupancy, for they. were sent here to watch the stock grazing on the clearings. They were here in this work in the early spring of 1813, but when his services were needed on the frontier later on in that year, the doughty captain returned to Le Ray, assembled his company and went at once to the harbor. In July his company took part in the affair at Goose creek, and after it was over the men returned to Sackets Harbor by the way of Indian river, passing the cabin the herdsmen had occupied at the high falls, where the captain left his men and resumed charge over ttie stock, with no other company than his wife and a single hired man. On one occasion, soon after the captain’s return from the frontier, he discovered five British soldiers spying about the premises. rrhey soon entered the barn and remained during the night. The captain then returned to his cabin, which he securely
barricaded for the night, but at early dawn went out and took a position where he could see and not be observed; and when the soldiers came out of the barn he challenged them “after the maner of a sentinel, demanding who they were, to which they replied, ‘friends.’” He then ordered them to come forward and lay down their arms, upon which two of them approached him while the others turned and fled. He assured the two that they should not be harmed by “his regiment,” if they were orderly, and disarming them, ordered them to mount their horses and conducted them without further trouble to Sackets Harbor.

While there was no permanent settlement in the town previous to about 1817, Mr. Le Ray continued his improvements, and in 1814 caused a bridge to be built across the river at the falls, and about 1818 he had Mr. Evans survey and lay out the village tract of 1,000 acres. In the next year he built a grist mill and a tavern, the latter being burned in 1820. In the meantime settlement was begun and the town began making permanent history. The pioneers were James Shurtliff. Anson Cheeseman and Col. Sinesa (or Sinecy) Ball, all of whom came in 1817. Mr. Shurtliff located on the clearing, and soon afterward opened his house as an inn for the accommodation of new arrivals and travelers through the region. He was one of the early justices of the peace, an earnest Presbyterian and a man much respected in the corninanity. He died in Plessis August 1, 1846. Colonel Ball settled on the old military road, two miles west of the falls. He had a large family of children, and several of his descendants became persons of note in the county. Anson Cheeseman came into the town in the fall of the year, and was connected with the saw mill, for which he furnished the supply of logs. He also assisted in the construction of the grist mill in the next year. His surname is still well. known in the town.

The settlers who came in 1818, so near as can be determined, were Benjamin Barnes, Jesse Doolittle, Curley Smith and Zalmon Pool. Barnes settled east of the river, above the upper falls, and is remembered as a local M. E. preacher, also as brickrnaker and mason, and withal a valuable asquisition to the settlement. Jesse Doolittle came from Watertown and located about a mile from the upper falls. Curley Smith located at the lower falls, and started a blacksmith shop, setting up his establishment in the open air. Sylvester Bodman and Dudley Chapman came in 1820, and while the same year may have witnessed still other arrivals the names cannot now be determined. Abraham Morrow was one of the most prominent settlers in 1821. Among the other settlers in the town about or soon after this time may be recalled the names of Jeremiah Cheeseman, Joseph Miller, Mr. Moyer, who settled near the Shurtliff improvement; James Lake, near the body of water once called Hide lake; Eliphalet Emery, also in the same vicinity. There were also Ebenezer Lull, the first storekeeper; Mrs. Keeler, the widowed sister of Anson Cheeseman, and who brought to the settlement two Sons and a daughter; Allen Cole, who located near the Orleans line; Henry Morey the first carpenter; Augustus Soper, on the west Theresa road, and also Nathaniel Parker, Austin Bates, Samuel Hall, Michael Cook, Benjamin Allen, David Morgan, Job Whitney, Mr. Castleman (the squatter on Le Ray’s land), Col. Artemas Baker (the second blacksmith), Nathan Starks (another early blacksmith), Seymour Murray (the first shoemaker), and perhaps others equally worthy of mention, but whose names cannot be recalled.

Gen. Archibald Fisher, a man of especial prominence among the early settlers, came from New Hampshire about 1820 and located for a time near the Orleans line, but later on removed to the village site. He became general of militia and was otherwise conspicuous in public affairs in the vicinity. Lodowick Salisbury came about the same time and settled on the military road. His son, Alexander Salisbury, was the first supervisor of the town, and was president of the Redwood glass company. Azariah Walton came about 1822, but removed to Alexandria Bay, and was for nearly twenty years connected with the customs office.

Daniel Strough also came about 1820, setting on the military road. He was a shoemaker by trade, but a farmer by occupation in this town. In his family were ten children, and among them Samuel W. became perhaps the most prominent. His life, except about three years spent in New York, was passed in Theresa. He was a farmer, but also dealt in other productions. He was in all respects a self-made and self-respecting man; was well educated, and a noted school teacher for many years. He was not an attorney, but as a man of understanding was the general and safe adviser for the whole townsfolk. His wife was Erneline Taliman, who bore him four children, viz.: Byron J., Elnora (Mrs. William A. Snyder), Lucien S. and Perrin A. Strough.

The military road, to which frequent reference has been made, was lain out and partly built during the years 1818 and ‘19. It was the resuit of a tour of this part of the state by President Monroe in 1817, and was designed to connect Piattsburg and Sackets Harbor. It extended from the harbor to Brownville; thence to Parnelia Four Corners, Redwood and Hammond, passing through what afterward became this town. For many years it was an important north and south thoroughfare through the town and increased settlement along its route. However, let us turn briefly to some of the early events of town history, and to the persons connected with them.

The first birth was that of Ursula Cole, May 26, 1819, the daughter of Jacob Cole. She afterward became the wife of Jacob Ostrander. The first marriage was that of Erastus Clark and Kate Underwood, in 1820. The second event of the kind was the marriage of Andrew Stone with Hannah, daughter of James Shurtliff. The first death was that of Thompson Doolittle, son of Jesse Doolittle, and the date, Nov. 18, 1820. Dr. James Brooks was the first physician, who came in 1822, and died in 1823. Dr. Samuel J. Gaines was the second physician, and was soon succeeded by Dr. John D. Davison, who came from Pamelia in 1824. Dr. Gaines died Sept. 22, 1865. His sons James and Nathan Gaines were later physicians in the town. The first grist mill was begun in 1820, and was built by Samuel Case for Mr. Le Ray. It stood on the site where a similar structure has since been maintained. Noah Ashley was the first miller. In 1823 the property was sold to Percival Bullard, and by him to Marcius and Stephen Ashley about 1830. Later owners were Salisbury, Kelsey & Co., and Stokes and George Wilson. The building was burned in 1852, but was rebuilt by Mr. Wilson, and was afterward operated by Wilson & Humphrey, David Burr and Charles Pool until it was again destroyed by fire in 1859.

In 1819 Mr. Le Ray caused a tavern to be built in the village settlement on the site of the present Getman house Mr. Stephenson was first landlord, but in the fall of 1821 the building was burned. A second hotel was built on the same site in 1824. It was of brick, and for many years was known as the “Brick tavern.” Gen. Fisher was its owner and landlord, and under his proprietorship was a famous hostelry, This was the first brick building erected in the town or village, the bricks for which were made by Benjamin Barnes, who came to the town in that year. The second brick building was the dwelling house of Nathaniel W. Lull, standing on Main street. The brick used for this house were also the handiwork of Mr. Barnes. As has already been said, Benjamin Barnes enjoyed a certain prominence in the locality as a local Methodist preacher, and an earnest, faithful worker in all which pertained to the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of the villagers He died in the town March 21, 1864.

Jonathan Thompson, who has previously been mentioned, started a tannery on what was known as Barnes’ creek, in 1822. In that year a second like industry was established by Nathaniel Lull on the ground where now stands the railroad station. It was abandoned, however, after about ten years, and long before the railroad was built through the village. Thompson soon removed his tannery to the site of the foundry of more recent years, near the south end of the lower bridge. Here he also built a currier shop, but later on sold his property to John S. Casler. In still later years Almond Thwing built a tannery in rear of where the American hotel now stands. Charles Thwing afterward owned the business, and he and Mr. Eddy built still another tannery (about 1860) on the river, above the falls. This became the more recently known Cooper tannery, but after it had been sold Cooper built another which was discontinued after a few years’ operation.

In 1822 Nathan M. Flower came from Cherry Valley to the falls on Indian river, as the village settlement was then known, and started a fulling and cloth-dressing mill on the site of the Collis woolen factory of later years. He was well skilled in his trade but his works were subsequently destroyed by fire. Mr. Flower was a prominent personage in the new community and held several important town offices, notably that of justice of the peace. He died in the village April 4, 1843. Ex-Gov. Roswell P. Flower and Anson R. Flower, of Watertown, were Sons of Nathan M. Flower.

Nicholas D. Yost came to Theresa from Johnstown in 1837 and purchased a considerable tract of land. He then possessed moderate means, but by a life of prudent economy and excellent business judgment he amassed a competency. During his active life Mr. Yost was unquestionably one of the best business men in Theresa. He was liberal, generous and honest, and respected all through the north part of the county. Mr. Yost died Sept. 5, 1870, but the surname is still in the town and represented in the best interests of the region. George
E. Yost, banker, of Theresa, was one of the children of Nicholas D. Yost.

Outside of the Indian river valley there was little attempt at development, other than in regular agricultural pursuits. Our narrative has necessarily been confined chiefly to the improvements made in and about the village settlement, for few indeed were the enterprises founded in other localities, unless we except the several hotels which once had a part in the early history of the old military road. One of the first attrmpts in this direction was made by Benjamin Pease about 1825, when he built a log tavern on the road near the Le Ray line; but his was an unpretentious structure, drew but little trade, hence was soon closed. Soon after this the military road became as noted for its many public houses as the little village at the falls was noted for its variety of industries. Among the first to open an inn was Lodowick
Salisbury, of whom previous mention has been made, who began business soon after 1825. In 1827 Elias Holbrook came down from Le Ray and opened the second hotel on the road, the same afterward kept by Austin Bates, and still later by landlord Hodges, by whom it was named “Hodges’ tavern.” About 1828 John L Farrar built a public house near the Le Ray line. Landlord Farrar also made and sold pumps, and his hotel was afterward run by Austin Bates, Marcius B. Ashley and Mr. Shiifta. It was afterward called the “Shufta tavern,” in allusion to P. Shufta, one of its latest landlords. From the same person was derived the name Shufta’s corners, which has endured to the present time while the old tavern was long ago numbered among the things of the past.

About 1828 Henry R. Morey came from the village and built the famous “Red tavern” at the cross roads north of Colonel Bull’s place. This was a noted stopping place in early times, and was famous for the “good cheer” dispensed to the weary traveler along the military road. The later proprietors were Hiram Becker, Elias Glass, Austin Bates and perhaps others before the house was closed. About 1828 Daniel Strough kept a hotel on the highway leading to La Fargeville, but the building was soon afterward put to other uses. Warren Parish was probably the first hotel keeperat West Theresa. In the north part of the town, on the north side of Red lake, John Graves tried the experiment of opening a hotel to be patronized chiefly by fishermen and hunters in that region; but the enterprise proved unsuccessful from a business point of view.

From what has been stated it must be seen that the settlement of this part of Theresa (then Alexandria) was accomplished quite rapidly after Mr. Le Ray first opened the way in 1817, and while there is no present means of determining accurately, it is believed the number of inhabitants in what is now Theresa in 1840 was about 2,000. The subject of a new town had been discussed at the annual meetings for several years, but no definite action was taken previous to 1841, when a division of the territory was agreed upon.

Organization.— The creating act passed the legislature April 15, 1841, and by it Theresa was brought into existence; and was so named in allusion to Mile. Theresa, the daughter of James D. Le Ray, and the wife of the Marquis de Gouvello, of France.

In accordance with the provisions of the act, the first town meeting was held at the public house kept by Marcius B. Ashley in ‘rheresa village, April 11, 1841, when officers were elected as follows: Percival D. Bullard, town clerk; Abraham Morrow, Michael Servis, Osman Caswell, justices of the peace; Richard Hoover, assessor; Barney N. Hansen, Jonathan Hakes, commissioners of highways; Stephen Scott, commissioner of common schools; Samuel W. Strough, Ichabod Cronkite, inspectors of common schools; Samuel T. Brooks, overseer of the poor; Isaac L. Huntington, Jeremiah R. Hungerford, Albert W. Covenhoven, constables.

Previous to the law creating the town of Alexandria Salisbury had been elected supervisor of Alexandria, and under the act as a resident of the newly erected town he was continued in office for the year.

Throughout the period of its history, Theresa has been known as one of the best agricultural towns of Jefferson county. The pioneers and early settlers here were a determined, strong and intelligent set of men, many of whom came to the region with but little means, but through the inspiring influence of Le Ray they went earnestly at work, and in the course of a few years established for their locality a standing and reputation equal to that of any civil division of the county, when natural advantages are considered. True, the Indian river afforded water power as good as the Black river, and while the lakes were in no wise a hindrance to local progress they were never considered important factors in the town’s advancement and prosperity. The above results, however, came from the energetic action of the first settlers and their descendants. The north part has never been thickly populated, the exceedingly level character of the land surface preventing its fullest development, yet in this region are some of the best grazing lands of which the county can boast. The lake region has its attractions and advantages, offering a multitude of sporting resorts, and withal a beautiful display of nature’s marvels, but hardly a factor in promoting the welfare of the people in the accustomed pursuits of business life. The institutions were firmly established long before the subject of town division was suggested, and that end was sought for the convenience of the inhabitants living remote from the central portion of the town. The high falls, as Theresa village was formerly called, has ever been a more important trading center than Alexandria Bay, while the splendid water power furnished by the river has given the village a prominent place among the manufacturing centers of the region; yet it is doubtful if at any time this water power has been less utilized than the present. This is due to existing conditions rather than lack of public spirit on the part of the people.

In 1845, four years after the town was created, the number of inhabitants within its boundaries was 2,109, showing it to have been, with two exceptions, the largest town in the county at the time of erection. In 1850 the number had increased to 2,310.

The subsequent changes in population are best shown by the census tables, viz.: 1855, 2,278; 1860, 2,628; 1865, 2,515; 1870, 2,364; 1875, 2,360; 1880, 2,389; 1890, 2,391; 1892, 2,342.

The bounds of Theresa have not been changed since the town was created, therefore these figures may be regarded as a fair index of growth and development. It is seen that the greatest population was attained in 1860, and that the subsequent decrease is inconsiderable when compared with the majority of towns similarly situated. Indeed, Theresa has always been regarded as one of the substantial towns, rich in agricultural productions, stable in all its interests and institutions, and peopled with as progressive and liberal a class of inhabitants as the county can show. Situated somewhat remote from the shire town, the people have learned to depend on their own efforts and home industries for support, and therefore have been thoroughly democratic in domestic life and economy. The same patriotic spirit impelled the business men of Theresa village and vicinity to build the little steamboat “Indian Chief” and launch it on the river below the falls, in April, 1858. At that time no railroad was in operation through the town, and this undertaking furnished a partial means of transportation to the St. Lawrence and of better market for the productions of the region. The boat run on the river about five years, and was then sold. The second boat was purchased about 1860, by Wm. D. Chapman, and after running a few years as an excursion boat was sold and taken to Alexandria Bay. The third steamer was the little “Lady of the Lake,” built at Theresa by Mr. Chapman and run on the river until sold to St. Lawrence river navigators. Then followed the “Sir John Keach,” also built by Mr. Chapman, and still later the “Eldorado,” built at the expense of counsellor David Bearup, of Theresa. She was the largest of the five boats run on the Indian river by local owners. In 1876 this boat was sold to James McAllister. None of these investments were profitable to the owner, but their operation attests the public spiritedness of Theresa’s people. Dr. James Kelsey’s pleasure yacht was the most recent boating enterprise on the river at this point.

Previous to 1872 Theresa had no railroad communication with the ontside world nearer than Philadelphia, about eight miles distant. The need of such a means of traffic had long been felt, but the conditions for the consummation were not developed until 1870, when the Black river and Morristown railway company was organized, the articles of incorporation being filed with the secretary of state March 22, 1870. In this enterprise all Theresa was interested, particularly the residents and business men of the village, among whom may be mentioned the names of David Bearup, Franklin Barker, George E. Yost, Dr. Lucius Hannahs, Ambrose Walradt, John F. Lambie, Percival D. Bullard, B. Palmer Cheeseman, and others. Mr. Bearup was elected president of the company and has served in that capacity to the present time. The road was completed to Theresa village in December, 1872, and in the course of the next two years was substantially completed. In 1873 the Clayton and Theresa railroad was built, and in this enterprise the business men of the town were also active participants. Both companies, while maintaining separate organizations, were merged in the R. W. & O. system, and in 1891 were leased to the management of the Central Hudson system.

In the history of the town there has been but little attempt at manufacture, except as has been noted in preceding paragraphs. The town is almost wholly an agricultural region, and butter and cheese have been the staples not directly the product of the soil. Cheese making has been for many years an established industry and the source of much revenue to those engaged in it. At the present time there are at least half a dozen limbufger factories in operation, yet this commodity is made in such manner that it attracts no attention, requires little capital, and no special building for its production. The manufacture of English or Yankee cheese has been carried on in the town for more than twenty years, and there are now in operation four good factories known and distinguished as follows: The Brooklyn factory, located in Theresa village, owned by I. C. Cooper; the Cooper home factory, and the Still's corners factory, both managed by Mr. Cooper; also one on the J. P. Douglass farm, known as Patron's factory.

One of the early and for a time substantial industries of the town was the old Redwood iron company and works, located on the west side of Mill-site lake. It was started in 1847 by William Bones, Joseph C. Budd and Samuel T. Hooker, who built a smelting furnace and produced pig iron from ores mined in the vicinity. The business was continued for several years with varying success, but was stopped chiefly for want of profit. On July 16, 1855, the Redwood iron company was incorporated, with a capital of $10,000, for the purpose of "opening mines, raising iron ore, manufacturing pig iron and castings of all de
scriptions, also bar and hoop iron and nails," as set forth in the articles of association. The incorporators were Gustavus M. Spencer, Albert G. White, Robert Bostwick, Horan Langdon, Isaac N. Conklin and Nathan W. Merwin. This company was composed chiefly of foreign capitalists, and its business after a time shared the fate of its predecessor.

Theresa Village.- In 1818, when Musgrove Evans surveyed and laid out for the proprietor a thousand-acre tract of land around the high falls on Indian river, it was the intention of Mr. Le Ray to found a village, although more than half a century passed before it was separated from the town for municipal purposes. In a preceding paragraph is noted the early industries which were started from time to time on the village site, but manufactures spring up in all localities where water power is found and without special reference to locality. At least such was the case in the early history of Theresa and other towns in the county. The surest index of hamlet and village character was the tavern and country store at the established crossroads.

Ebenezer Lull was the pioneer merchant of the settlement, and began business at the clearing in 1820. Alexander Salisbury, afterward prominent in local affairs, was his clerk. Lull was also partner with Azariah Walton in the lumber business, and carried on an extensive trade on the river. In 1825 Olney Pierce, acting for Anson Ranney, bought Lull's store and succeeded him in mercantile business. In 1832 Ranney built the stone building at the corner of Commercial and Main streets, where he was in business many years, having as partners Percival D. Bullard and later Silas L. George. About 1830 John J. Gilbert began trading in a brick building at the south end of the lower bridge. Later occupants of the store were De Grasse Salisbury, Benj. L. Smith, A. Salisbury, Mr. Morseman and John S. Casler, the latter changing the building to a dwelling and currier shop. Another merchant of about the same period was John Gibbs. Salisbury & Thompson began business about 1837, and were followed by Salisbury, Thompson, Ashley & Davison, one of the strongest of the early firms of the village. The Exchange block was built in 1845, comprising four brick stores, and was one of the most pretentious structures of the village. Among its first occupants were P. D. Bullard, William D. Chapman, Franklin Parker (with a stock of "East and West India" goods), and Baker & Salisbury. A brick block was built on the west side of Commercial street in 1847, also including four stores, and was owned by William Townsend, Thomas Gale, Miles Myers and A. N. Brittan.

The first hotel in the village was that built on the site of the Getman house in 1819, owned by Mr. Le Ray, but which was burned in 1820. A colored servant was burned to death in the building. In 1824 Gen. Fisher erected a new hotel on the site, the famous "Brick tavern," which he kept for many years. Later landlords were Marcius B. Ashley, S. Wilson, J. Davis, J. F. Smith, W. E. Bennett, C. C. Chadwick, B. N. Hanson, Noah Perkins, Niles Terrill, Elias Getman, and afterward Getman Bros., the present proprietors. In 1890 the old house was destroyed by fire, and was at once replaced with the present hotel, one of the best appointed and managed country hotels in northern New York. The erection of the American house was begun in 1822, soon after the Le Ray tavern was burned, but was not fully completed until several years afterward. It was used for various purposes until 1842, then remodeled and opened to the public, and has since been occupied and managed by many landlords.

The first post-office in the town was established at Theresa village in 1822; Ebenezer Lull, postmaster. The village was then a station on the post and stage route leading from Champion to Alexandria Bay, by the way of Evans' Mills. In the southwest part of the town a post station called Military Road was established previous to 1840; but the office was long ago discontinued. The office at West Theresa was established in 1848, but that, too, has been out of existence for many years.

In this connection it is also proper to briefly mention some of the more prominent industries of the village in later days. In 1821 the business interests included a grist mill, a saw mill, an ashery, a store and a tavern. Just thirty years later there were two grist mills, three saw mills, two foundries, a machine shop, plaster mill, wagon shop, clothing and fulling mill, eight stores, two hotels, several small shops, and about 600 hundred inhabitats. The next quarter of a century witnessed many changes and improvements in the village. At that time (1875), Webster's planing mill stood on the site of the old Le Ray saw mill of 1811, The large Empire grist mill occupied the ground on which once stood the Le Ray grist mill. Pool's saw mill was on the south side of the river, in a locality noted for its variety of early industries. A. N. Brittan's chair factory stood near the lower dam, on the left bank of the river. This vicinity, also, was noted for its many factories. There were also Wakefield's foundry, Coilis' cloth works, Stockweil's tub factory, Gregory's foundry, Sneil & Makepeaces grist mills, Sheley's sash, door and blind factory and planing mill, and perhaps still others worthy of notice, but now forgotten. Between 1860 and 1870 the business of the village was at its best, and Theresa, then unincorporated, was one of the most popular manufacturing and trading centers of the county; and that notwithstanding the fact that no railroad had connected the place with the markets of the state.

The magnitude and number of business interests made necessary at last a partial separation of the village from the town, and steps were taken to secure that result. George Rockwell made a survey of the region, and included within the limits of the proposed corporation a body of land about one mile wide and three miles long. The river divided the district in nearly two equal parts. An enumeration of the inhabitants was made, the necessary notice was given by the town board, a special election was held, and by a good majority the residents in the districts voted to incorporate. All preliminaries being thus settled, the necessary papers were filed with the county clerk, and on the 29th of June, 1871, Theresa became an incorporated village. The first election of officers was held July 29, and resulted as follows: President, George E. Yost; trustees, John Parker, Ambrose Walradt, Gideon Snell, sen.; treasurer, Hiram Salisbury; collector, Charles Fairbanks. The trustees chose Melvin E. Cornwall as town clerk, and Lucius Hannahs, health officer.

The succession of village presidents has been as follows: George E. Yost, 1871; Norval E. Douglas, 1872; John Parker, 1873; George Kelsey, 1874; P. B. Salisbury, 1875; Elias Getrnan, 1876; Jerome Cooper, 1877; Jason C. Morrow, 1878; William Dresser, 1879; Dorman Walradt, 1880-81; John F. Lambie, 1882; Richard Rodenhurst, 1883; Emmons R. Stockwell, 1884; William Walradt, 1885; William M. Lambie, 1886; Ceylon Wakefield, 1887; Loren F. Shurtliff, 1888; Ager J, Jarvis, 1889; William M. Lambie, 1890; G. G. Perrine, 1891; Leman W. Tyler, 1892; Richarci Rodenhurst, 1893-94; Leman W. Tyler, 1895; Ager J. Jarvis, 1896; Almauson T. Smith. 1897.

The first twenty years of municipal history in Theresa was a period of continued prosperity, varied only by the ever changing events of time. The period was one of growth and development, and during the ten years next following 1880 the population increased to about twelve hundred, and all other interests in like proportion. The ordinary precautions were taken to prevent serious disaster, yet no definite action was had to properly guard against loss by fire. This neglect, if such it may be called, resulted disastrously to all interests, for on April 5, 1890, a conflagration swept away almost the entire business part of the village, causing a total loss in property of about $150,000, with only about $100,000 of insurance to protect the owners. In all about forty buildings were destroyed. In one respect, however, this disaster had a purifying effect. Many of the burned buildings were of frame, some of them old and presenting an unattractive appearance, but after the debris had been removed the enterprising men of the village set themselves to work, and within the next year and one-half a new Theresa stood on the old site, having little resemblance to the former village, but presenting a class of buildings which rival any in the county in a municipality of twice the size of this. Indeed, Theresa is now looked upon as the most attractive village in this part of the state. The new structures are almost wholly of brick, three stories high, substantially built, and an ornament to any place.

The people of the town also exhibited a spirit of liberality, and caused to be built an attractive town hail. The lower floors are rented for business purposes, and the upper floor is arranged for public meetings and entertainments. The revenue derived from rents more than pays the interest on the investment. Another good result from the fire was the organization and equipment of a fire department, and also the erection of a village hall, and fire department building. This, however, was not fully accomplished until 1894, in which year the building was erected. The department comprises a good chemical engine, a hook and ladder truck and two service hose carts, each supplied with a reel of good quality of hose, and manned by a company of the most active young men of the village. The department was regularly incorporated September 12, 1892.

Union free school district No. 1, of the town of Theresa, was organized in 1866, but was not incorporated under the state regents until 1893. The institution then became known as "Theresa union school." The present large stone school building was erected in 1870, and was enlarged by a material addition built in 1897, at a cost of about $3,000. The school has always been generously supported by the residents of the district. The present principal is Prof. J. S. Fox, successor to Prof. Marshall. The board of education comprises Henry Cheesernan, pres.; Dr. J. R. Sturtevant, sec'y, and A. T. Smith, L. W. Tyler and John Bogart.

In 1806 the village bonded to the extent of $18,000 to secure a sufficient supply of pure and wholesome water for domestic purposes. In the same year the works were constructed, main pipes were laid throughout the principal streets, fire hydrants were located at convenient points, and a stand-pipe was erected on a commanding elevation on the outskirts of the village. A contract was made with Sneli & Makepeace to pump the supply of water from Indian river to the stand-pipe. All these things were accomplished speedily and well, during 1896, and the result is a system of water works not surpassed in any municipality in the county.

Theresa lodge No. 174, F. and A. M., was organized Nov. 28, 1849, with John D. Davison, master; John Moak, S. W.; John Dillenbeck, J. W.; Alanson Doolittle, treas.; J. B. Davison, sec'y; A. Baker, S. D.; A. Morrow, J. D., and George W. Cornwe1l, tyler. These officers were the charter members. The members now number 80 persons.

The past masters have been as follows: John D. Davison, 1849-51; John Moak, 1852-54; Archibald Fisher, 1855; Davis Ballard, 1856-57; John Moak, 1858; James B. Carpenter, 1859; Jesse D. Moak, 1860-69; Percival B. Salisbury, 1870-76; Jesse D. Moak, 1877; John F. Lambie, 1878-79; Percival B. Salisbury, 1880-83; Jeremiah B. Sturtevant, 1884-85; Charles W. Thompson, 1886; Lester H. Pool, 1887-89; Percival B. Salisbury. 1890-92; Clayton Wakefield. 1893: W. A. Fisher, 1894-95; A. T. Smith, 1896.

Theresa chapter, No. 149, R. A. M., was organized in January, 1854, with John D. Davison, H. P.; John Moak, K.; and John C. Young, S. The original membership was small, but has increased to about 70 at the present time. The succession of high priests has been as follows:

John D. Davison, 1854-55; John Moak, 1856-05; Davis Ballard, 1866; John Moak, 1867; John B. Linn, 1868; Jesse D. Moak, 1869-80; Jeremiah R. Sturtevant, 1887-90; Wm. M. Lambie, 1891; J. R. Sturtevant, 1892-97.

Cassiopia lodge No. 291, I. O. O. F., was formed at Plessis, April 13, 1847, and in December following removed to Theresa village. The lodge remained in active operation only a few years. No similar organization was maintained until 1896, when Theresa lodge No, 755, was instituted, with 27 charter members. The present number is 45. The officers are George Walradt, N. G.; Scott Sargeant, V. G.; Jas. Vock, fin. see.; Chas. Walters, rec. sec.; Edward Graham, treasurer.

George E. Yost, banker, began business at Theresa, January 1, 1872, although for several years prior to that time he had done an informal banking business in connection with his other interests in the vicinity. The bank is entirely a private enterprise, yet does not lack any of the essential elements of state or national banks, except the necessary
formalities. The fact that Mr. Yost has continued tile business for more than twenty-five years is evidence of the success of the bank; and the fact that the bank has the entire business of the village and vicinity is also evidence that the people are satisfied with its management. Indeed, there has been no public enterprise of consequence to the people of Theresa during the last thirty years with which George E. Yost has not been in some manner prominently connected.

In the same manner may be mentioned the manufacturing and mercantile interests of the village as represented at this time. The manufacturers are C. Wakefield & Son, iron founders, machine shop; Stockwell & Parker, box factory; Snell & Makepeace, roller flour mill, with a capacity of 125 bbls. per day; Pool & Cheeseman, flour, feed and saw mill; George Heller & Co., sash, doors and blinds; A. N. Brittan & Son manufacturing company (limited) established in 1843, but burned in 1889, and not rebuilt; Brooklyn cheese factory, I. C. Cooper, prop'r. The principal mercantile interests are George Kelsey, Cheeseman & Avery, Lambie & Co., and Walradt & Sons, dry goods and general stock; J. H. Drummond, drugs and groceries; Rodenhurst & Son, hardware and plumbing; Stratton & Cheeney, crockery and groceries; Wm. Root, general store; Wrn. Loucks, boots and shoes and groceries; Chas. Lehr, boots and shoes; Chas. Young, grocer; A. T. Smith, drugs; Fisher & Middleton, furniture and undertaking; Hoover & Westcott. hardware and plumbing; J. Casey & Sons, dry goods and groceries; G. W. Henry, hardware and groceries; J. D. Nellis and Gilson Cook, meat market; W. D. Chapman, jeweler; Getman Bros. and G. W. Bretch, landlords; David Bearup, C. A. Kelsey and C. A. Van Allen, lawyers; J. R. Sturtevant, F. L. Santway, Jas. Kelsey and Miss Dell Dresser, physicians.

The First Presbyterian church of Theresa, now more commonly known as the Flower memorial church, was organized May 8, 1825, at the dwelling of pioneer Abraham Morrow. There were nine constituent members, five males and four females. Mr. Morrow and Sylvester Bodman were the first elders. On Dec. 22, 1835, the society was regularly incorporated, Anson Ranney, James Shurtliff and Nathan M. Flower being the trustees. These officers, with a like committee froni the Methodist society, caused to be built in 1837 and '38 a meeting house for the joint use of the societies. The edifice was dedicated in September, 1838. In 1849 the Presbyterians purchased and afterward occupied it until the building was replaced with the beautiful edifice erected in 1879, by the children of Nathan and Mary Ann Flower as a tribute of love to their parents. Tile generous donors caused to be erected within the church two tablets, on one of which was inscribed the names of tile original members, viz.: Abraham Morrow, Lucinda Morrow, Sylvester Bodman, Relief Bodman, Nathan M. Flower, Mary Ann Flower, Abner Cheeseman, James Shurtliff, Leona Shurtliff. On the other tablet are inscribed these words: "Erected to God in memory of Nathan and Mary Ann Flower, by their children, 1879." This is the largest and strongest church society in the village, and numbers 140 members. The present pastor, Rev. Charles G. Cady, was installed June 1, 1892, succeeding Rev. Geo. S. W. Renwick.

The Methodist Episcopal church of Theresa was organized March 5, 1836, although a class was fOrmed in the town as early as 1827, and Theresa was made a charge in 1831. In 1837 a church edifice was built, as above stated, in connection with the Presbyterian society, but in 1849 the Methodist interest was sold, the society then beginning tile erection of a new church home. This structure was burned in 1860, and was replaced in 1862 with the edifice now occupied by the society. This church has 184 full members, and 41 probationers. Pastor, Rev. W. H. Bury.

St. James church (Episcopal) of Theresa, was organized July 16, 1848, although previous to that time services had been held in the village. The first communicants were Daniel, Horace and Franklin Parker, E. W. Lewis, Dr. Lucius Hannahs and wife, and Percy Jarvis. In the spring of 1850 a church edifice was begun. The corner stone laid July 19, and the church formally dedicate4 by Bishop De Lancey, Aug. 7, 1861. Horace and Daniel Parker were the first wardens. The present number of communicating members is 56; wardens, Franklin Parker and Peter Schwarz; rector, Rev. John Smiley.

A Roman Catholic mission has also been established in the village. and while services are held the parish has not been organized. It is an out.station of Evans' Mills.

When James Le Ray laid out the village tract in 1818, he reserved and donated a parcel supposed to contain about an acre of land for the purpose of a burying ground. On measurement, however, the parcel in fact contained 1.40 acres, No authority appears to have been exercised over this lot prior to the creation of the town in 1841, when a sum of money was voted for improving the ground, and three trustees were appointed to have charge of the plat, to lay out lots, and otherwise have authority over them. The trustees were Jesse S. Doolittle, Nathan M. Flower and Alexander Salisbury. From that time the village cemetery was cared for at the public expense. The Oakland cemetery association was organized in October, 1884, for the purchase and maintenance of a cemetery tract of land. About eighteen acres comprised the grounds, on which was erected a substantial vault. Lots were laid out, the surroundings made attractive, and Oakland became the established cemetery of the village.

The inhabitants of Theresa, town and village, have ever been generous in providing for the educational welfare of their youth. The first school in the town was opened while the territory formed a part of Le Ray, and was started by a Mrs. Castleman in a house standing on the tract cleared for Le Ray and put to use as a pasture. This was in 1820. Soon afterward Almira Barnes opened a school in the widow Keeler's house, while the third was taught about the same time by Abigail Salisbury, at the dwelling of Carley Smith. A school house was built in the settlement about 1821, and a Mr. Welch is said to have been the first teacher.

From 1821 to 1841 the school system in force in the town was that of the mother town Alexandria, and not until the year mentioned was a separate system established for Theresa. In 1842 the commissioners of common schools divided the territory into seven districts, and made provision for a school in each. In later years as the population in. creased and as the convenience of the inhabitants demanded these districts have been changed, both in number and boundaries. In 1855 there were 17 districts, and 1,053 children attended school. Twenty years later there were 15 districts, and 815 children attended school. As now arranged the town comprises 15 districts, and all school property, buildings and sites, are valued at $11,810. Twenty teachers are annually employed. In the last current year the town received public moneys to the amount of $2, 373.67, and raised by tax for the support of schools the additional sum of $3,947.22.

Supervisors.- Alexander Salisbury, 1841; John D. Davison, 1842-43; Archibald Fisher, 1844-45; Jesse Kelsey, 1846; Zalmon Pool, jr., 1847-48: Anson Ranney, 1849- 50; Percival D, Bullard, 1851; Anson Ranney, 1852-54; Franklin Parker, 1855; Joseph Fayel, 1856; Percival D. Bullard, 1857; Nicholas D. Yost, 1858-59; Joseph Atwell, 1860; Benjamin P. Cheeseman, 1861-62; P. D. Bullard, 1863; David Bearup, 1864-70; Jason C. Morrow, 1871-72; George E. Yost, 1873-74; John Parker, 1875-77; George Kelsey, 1878-84; B. W. Chapman, 1885-87; George Kelsey, 1888-89; George E. Yost, 1890-99.

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