History of Triangle, New York


General John Patterson, a native of Massachusetts and a veteran of the Revolution, after a short sojourn in Lisle moved over to the present site of Whitney Point in 1791 and built a log house about where the future Beach house stood. The General was probably the first settler in that locality. He was followed in 1792 by David Seymour and his sons David and Ira. John Seymour soon came over from the town of Union, and all of them began to make clearings in the neighborhood where General Patterson settled. In 1802 the man after whom the village took its name, Thomas Whitney, joined those mentioned above and soon became a leader among the pioneers.

Others who at a very early date became residents of Triangle were Ashbel Olmstead, in 1800; Nathaniel Hays, who gave his name to the Hays Settlement; Benjamin Jackson, Benjamin Gibbs, Andrew Woodruff, David Gibbs, Timothy and David Clark, Asa Whitney, John Parker, Edmund Hazard; Seth Dickinson, of Otselic valley in 1800; William Whitney; Jacob Coburn, who ran a saw mill at a very early date; David Smith, who succeeded Coburn in the mill and added a grist mill and a department for carding and fulling wool and woolen cloth; a number of men by the name of Collins; Henry Burghart, a tanner, miller and farmer; Allen C. Jeffords, a teacher; A. C. Woodruff, another teacher; Timothy Woodruff, David Fuller; and Captain Amos Johnson, noted as having made the trip with his family all the way from Connecticut on a sled drawn by oxen; and Samuel Hinman.

That the township forged rapidly to the front may be determined from the fact that in 1830 not less than 1,000 people lived in the part of Lisle set apart to be the township of Triangle the following year. By act of the Legislature dated April 18th, 1831, the township of Lisle lost three sections-Triangle, Barker and Nanticoke. From its geographical formation the settlers of the territory which had been called for a long time "Chenango Triangle," found that it was an easy matter to drop the Chenango and retain simply the name Triangle, and so it has been known ever since.

According to the act of the Legislature referred to above, the first election is supposed to have been held in the house of George Wheeler, although this is not stated as a fact, for fire caused the loss of all town records of early date. We do know, however, that in 1835, with 10,000 acres of improved land, Triangle farmers had 3,000 sheep and 1,200 hogs, showing that it even then was taking a leading part in the argicultural industry of the county. In that same year there were a half score saw mills working practically night and day, two big grist mills, two fulling mills, two cotton mills and four tanneries. It is of interest to note that in 1835 there were made in Triangle 1,400 yards of fulled cloth, 3,118 yards of flannel cloth and 2,100 yards of cotton and linen goods. Besides the sheep and hogs then kept there were on the farms of the township 2,917 head of neat cattle and 486 horses.

Triangle has always been proud of its school system. In 1835 we find that there were eleven districts, with school in each, kept for seven months of the year. There were then 437 children of school age in the township. Fluctuations of the township's population are here recorded: 1835, 1,669; 1840, 1,692; 1850, 1128; 1860, 1,693; 1870, 1,944; 1880, 2,073; 1890, 1,879; 1900, 1,727; 1910, 1,600; 1920, 1,458.

To Thomas Whitney and William Whitney, who came to Triangle in 1802, belongs the honor of establishing the village nucleus of Whitney Point. We are told that William settled on what is now Collins street, while his brother Thomas located on Main street. One of the first projects in which Thomas Whitney led the way was the construction of a bridge across the Tioughnioga river. Thomas also very early entered more largely into the public life of the hamlet, opening a general store and keeping a hotel.

A necessarily rapid survey of the Whitney Point of today shows the following: The village has one of the best high schools of the county, two opera houses, five churches-Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Catholic; three fraternal organizations-Masonic, O. E. S. and Odd Fellows; a National bank. In the manufacturing business are W. S. Allen, furniture; J. W. Jannsen, milk, butter and cheese, this being one of the largest shipping stations for milk on the line of the D. L. & W. railroad, employing 68 men; S. A. May, A. C. Tyler and J. W. Paige are in the insurance business. The legal fraternity is represented by David L. Maxfield, and E. B. Jenks, now member of Assembly. Other professional men are R. A. Seymour and R. S. Moscrip, physicians and surgeons; E. J. Gregory and J. D. Hill, veterinarians; H. D. Burghardt, dentist. The mercantile interests are cared for by William Deming, general store; Allen Brothers, Andrew C. Tyler, also dealing in all necessities of life; R. W. Taft, hardware; F. E. Nichols, furniture; B. U. Rathbone, druggist; J. S. Sullivan, grocer; C. H. Harwood, harnesses and horse furnishings ;the Kelly Company, clothing; J. S. Green Co., meats and groceries; H. I. Sherwood, haberdashery and clothing; Fred Stocker & Son, jewelers. One of the best local newspapers in the county, "The Reporter," is published here by Mr. Frank C. Brànday. Ralph A. Seymour, M. D., is the only surviving descendant of the Seymour family in the village. Charles and George Love are descendants of early settlers of the township.

April 23d, 1897, Whitney Point was practically wiped out by fire. The business portion has been rebuilt in a substantial manner, a good gravity water system has been put in, and the village is well lighted by electricity furnished by the Binghamton Light, Heat and Power Company. This is one of Broome county's most flourishing villages. The Broome County Agricultural Fair was held here first in October, 1871. Whitney Point was incorporated in March, 1871. The present officers of the village are, A. F. Landers, president; E. H. Pratt and E. I. Gregory, trustees; and D. L. Maxfield, clerk. Mr. Maxfield has resided in Whitney Point since 1861, and has served for forty-nine years as village clerk. Other hamlets of Triangle are Upper Lisle, Triangle and Penelope.

The township contains 25,266 acres. Its assessed value is: Real estate, $693,212; franchises, $15,041. The following are at present the township officials: P. H. Landers, supervisor; R. W. Whaley, town clerk; Charles D. Baker, W. E. Greenman, Leon Oliver, assessors; John D. White, superintendent of highways; A. R. Leonard, W. D. Valentine, D. L. Maxfield, J. A. Rathbun, assessors; Charles Wells, collector; George E. Campbell, superintendent of the poor; Asa Collon, James B. Pixley, Eugene E. Myers, D. H. Aronld, Miles E. Livermore, constables.

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