History of Ward, New York
A Centennial Memorial
History of Allegany County, New York
John S. Minard, Esq. Historian
Mrs. Georgia Drew Andrews, Editor.
W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N. Y. 1896


THIS town was formed from Alfred and Amity by a resolution of the board I of supervisors of Aflegany county passed Nov. 26, 1856, and was named in honor of Hon. Hamilton Ward. The first town meeting was held at the house of N. H. Reynolds on the premises now owned by Joseph Brodie, March 3, 1857. Jeffery M. Thomas now a resident of Scio, cast the first ballot. These officers were elected: Supervisor, Silas W. Cartwright; clerk, Michael J. Bower; justices of the peace, J. M. Thomas, Andrew Baker, Lorenzo D. Collins and David H. Babbitt; assessor, Joseph Edwards; highway commissioner, S. W. Cartwright; collector, George A. Bunnell; overseer of the poor, John Penny; inspectors of election, William Fuller, Alexander Black and Henry Sheldon; constables, G. A. Bunnell, O. P. McOmber, P. Hogan, Isaac Sprague and John Sheldon; town sealer of weights and measures, L. S. Bennett. Of these officers but five are living, and but one resides in Ward.

The town is made up of hffly uplands, the hills in many instances being quite steep and rugged. The soil being a clay loam is well adapted to graz. ing and the raising of oats, barley, potatoes, corn and grass. The air is pure and heathful, cool breezes abound in summer and the winters are quite severe. The town is cut by numerous streams and rivulets, the two most prominent being Philip's Creek in the northern part and the Vandermark Creek in the southern part. The manufacture of cheese is the chief product, although considerable butter is marketed, also oats, buckwheat, barley, potatoes, etc. Its people are hard working, economizing, persevering and Christian, being in most instances the direct descendants of the sturdy pioneers who cleared its forests and developed its farms. In 1861 when the Civil War broke out it is a matter of history that nearly one half of the male population of the town between the ages of 18 and 40 years left their farms and enlisted under the Union banner. and that over one third of that number died in the defenseof their country. Its people are generous and hos pitable and in most cases free from want. There are no millionaires within her borders but paupers are as scarce. Politically Ward is given over to Populism it being the only town of the county that is at present represented by a populistic supervisor. Its schools are flourishing and well filled, the people generally attend some place of worship, all can read and write and are generally prosperous and happy.

The first settler was Abraham Walldorff, who came from Oneida county and built a log house near the site of the cheese factory of Ockerman & Fuller on Philip's Creek in April, 1817. The logs were of clear pine and the building was taken down a few years ago and rebuilt as a blacksmith shop in Philip's Creek where it now stands, the logs being entirely sound and a frame dwelling house is built on the top as an upper story. Afterwards Mr. Waildorif built a frame house below the original log one where he kept a tavern for several years; he also built a sawmill which has long since gone to decay. He is buried in the cemetery at Philip's Creek.

Stephen Easton was one of the pioneers having moved here in 1817, and purchased 320 acres of land at $4 per acre. He raised a family of 11 children. He was born July 26, 1794, and was a soldier in the war of 1812.

Joseph Goodrich moved from Rensselaer county and settled on Vandermark Creek in the southern part of Ward in 1819 on the farm now owned by the widow of Nathan Tucker.

William Tucker was born in Charlestown, R. I., Jan. 30. 1801. He was a son of Gardner Tucker and came to Alfred (now Ward) in 1826. Re married first, Wealthy Wilber; second, Lucy W., daughter of Stephen and Susan Vaughan, and had 8 children, Weltha V. (Mrs. S. B. Easton), William R., Susan R. (Mrs. Merritt Hall), Orville A., Elmer E., May L. (Mrs. Wesley Ives), Charles E. and Achie V. (Mrs. Elba Thomas). Mr. Tucker was a man looked up to and respected by all who knew him, and was justly accorded a leading position in his town and section. With a character of uprightness and integrity he was trusted and esteemed in an unusual degree, and his counsel sought. and advice followed by many. He was a hard working man and by his industry had hewn a competence from the forest which he entered into when a young man. At the time of his death, in November, 1882, he was possessed of 1,200 acres of land lying in the immediate vicinity of his home. He left a farm for each one of his children which all but 2 occupy at the present time. Stephen Vaughan first ]ocated in Alfred on a farm; after a number of years traded his farm for a gristmill and a piece of land adjoining it and lived there until he died Feb. 17, 1838. It was a part of what is known now as the Maxson farm. It was Alfred then and Ward now. His wife was born Jan. 16, 1800, died Jan. 19, 1879. Stephen Vaughan was born March 26, 1777.

Gardner Tucker, son of Gardner Tucker, was born in Rhode Island. He married Martha Partridge of Massachusetts, and came to Ward in 1839 where he was a large farmer. Six of his 8 children are living. Wm. G. of Andover, Lydia A. (Mrs. Martin Reynolds), Mary (Mrs. K. S. Black), Amanda (Mrs. Henry L. Reynolds), Sarah A. (Mrs. Clinton Satterlee) and Victoria (Mrs. John Youngs).

Nelson Hall, son of Russell and Phoebe Hall, was born in 1831. He married Lucinda, daughter of Daniel and Jemima (Flint) Benjamin in 1850. He settled in Ward and was a farmer and lumberman. He lived in Belmont for some time and died there in 1893. He left seven children, one, Merritt D. Hall, married Susan Tucker.

Elijah P. Kaple, son of Edward F. and Grace (Gardner) Kaple, was born Dec. 6, 1842. In 1864 he enlisted in Co. C, fifth regiment N. Y. Vol. Cavalry and was discharged June 13, 1865. He returned to Ward in 1867 and married Addie E., daughter of Daniel B. Lanphear of Ward and settled where he has since resided as a farmer. He was commissioner of highways for four years, supervisor in 1892. He is a member of B. Frank Maxson Post, No. 428, at Alfred.

Washington R. Dodge was born in England and came to America about 1840 and settled in Ward. He married Grace Apsey. He was a carpenter and farmer. In 1872 he moved to Virginia. George E. Dodge, his son, was born in 1852 in Ward. He married Ida, daughter of N. H. Reynolds. He has followed the business of cheese maker for several years. He has one child Ora E. He is now making cheese at the cheese factory in Ward on Vandermark Creek.

Nathan B. Tucker, son of Gardiner and Martha (Partridge) Tucker was born in 1852, and Dec. 24, 1873, he married Mary J., daughter of Lewis and Angeline (Allen) Halsey, and settled on the farm now owned by his widow. He was assessor of the town for several years and died in 1888. His children were Lewis G., Fred N. and Fannie A.

Daniel White married Poily Dennison about 1819 and they soon after removed from Rhode Island to Livingston's Manor, Columbia Co., N. Y. Here they remained two years and then went to Windham, Greene county, where they remained 12 years. In the spring of 1833 they sold their farm and removed to Ward, then a part of Alfred. Here they purchased a farm and having cleared it, established what is stifi the "White Homestead." They died in 1870, the wife in March, and the husband in August, at the age of 82 years and 2 days. Isaac White, their oldest son, was born April 21, 1823, and was 10 years old when his people removed to Ward. He married Helen D., daughter of Lafayette Thomas, and they settled on the old farm in 1872. Here they remained until the spring of 1895, when they removed to Belmont. Their children are Ella N. and Matthew D. Isaac White now owns the original 200 acres of the farm and James P. White, a younger son, owns 108 acres that were added later. The White Homestead is still occupied by descendants of Daniel White.

James Farwell, Sr., son of Abraham M., moved into Ward when four years old. His father settled in Ischua where he lived until 1857 when he moved to Ward where he was a farmer. He died in 1884. He married Mary Miner and had five children. His wife died in 1846. He married second, Orrilla Partridge and had five children. James Farwell, Jr., his son, was born Jan. 22, 1835. He married Lois, daughter of George Waildorif, who died in 1862, and for his second wife he married Alvira M. Johnson, daughter of Elisha, and has three children, Fred W., Orrilla and Lois. He was a merchant at Philip's Creek for many years and was supervisor in 1875-6. He was justice of sessions of Allegany county for three terms and was postmaster 15 years. He died in 1875.

Edward Thompson a native of Connecticut came to Livingston county, and from there to Ward in 1819 and settled on the farm now owned by Joseph Brodie. He took up a lot of wild land, built a log house and made a home. His son Harvey settled where his father did. He married Lurana, daughter of Calvin Powell, Dec. 12, 1813, and settled on the farm that Isaac White now owns. Relived at Aifred Station for a few years. He was justice of the peace. Afterwards he moved to Ward where he died Dec. 12, 1853. His wife died Nov. 22, 1859. He had five children three of whom are yet living. Calvin Thompson, son of Harvey, was born May 11, 1825. He married Mary A. Farwell and settled here. She died April 21, 1890, leaving one child, Lura, who now resides with her father.

Stephen Easton came here about 1820 and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his son, S. B. Easton. He took up a lot of wild land, built a log house. He married Lovi]ia C. Austin and had 13 children, 10 are living. He died in 1885. His wife died in. 1873.

Janna Taylor came to Ward in 1822 and settled on the farm now owned by Mrs. Asa Bently. He took up a lot of wild land and built a log house. He was colonel in the war of 1812. He married Lovisa Andrews and had three children attaining maturity, Daniel, Peter and Betsey. He died in 1856 and his wife in 1862.

Beriali Bliven came from Rhode Island to Ward in 1825, bought 100 acres of land, carrying the lumber for his house on his shoulders from a mill three quarters of a mile distant. He died in 1864. His wife Betsey E. Bliven died in 1872.

Alexander Black came from Broome county, N. Y., and located in Ward on Vandermark Creek in. 1831. He was in partnership with his brother Wffliain in shipping pine lumber. A few years afterwards he purchased his brother's interest and rebuilt the sawmilL He hauled most of his lumber to Hornellsvffle where it was ratted to Baltimore. His mode of hauling the lumber in winter was with an ox team. He often drew 5,000 feet at a load. He was considered the best pilot on the Canisteo and Susquehanna rivers. He was a great hunter and killed many deer. He was born in Scotland in 1790, married Ursula Harris of Broome county, in 1820. They had. 8 children. He died in 1881. He married his second wife Mary Ann Morse Oct. 8, 1848, and had three children, Eldridge N., who lives with his mother at Belmont; Gertrude S., who married Leonard F. Willets of Belmont; Melona M. Black, all of whom survived him.

Among other pioneers were, Lorenzo Worden, sonof Dudley, came from Stephentown in 1825, Russell S. of Willing is his son; Elijah Mc0mber who came in 1830; David H. Babbitt who came in 1835; Eliphalet Johnson who came in 1836.

Pioneer Life.- With scarcely an exception the early settlers were poor but honest, upright, hard working, Christian men who suffered all the hardships and privations of pioneer life. Oxen were almost exclusively used as teams to haul burdens, and the only carriages were sleds, these being the only means of conveyance at all times of the year. The frosts were severe and the crops which had been planted or sown were often ruthlessly cut down by them. In 1828 the frost nearly destroyed the crops; corn was worth $2.25 per bushel and flour retailed at $14 a barrel. Butter was worth 6 cents a pound. House ashes 12½ cents per bushel. Field ashes 6 cents per busheL Clear pine $8 per thousand in store pay delivered at Baker's Bridge. Calico 87½ cents per yard. In 1835 hay was $4 per ton, potatoes 26 cents per bushel; eggs 6 cents per dozen; butter 8 to 12 cents per pound; oats 18 cents per bushel. A good yoke of oxen was worth $80. A fair horse $100. Day wages was 50 cents. In 1836 hay was bringing $10 per ton; oats 50 cents a bushel and corn $1.87 a bushel. There was a severe snow storm in 1831 in which many cattle perished. At an early day 50 cents per week was the regular wages for a hired girl.

Manufacturing and Business Enterprises.- Stephen Easton and his brother built a sawmffl on Philip's Creek in 1818. It was the first mill in. the town. In 1819 Joseph Goodrich located on Vandermark Creek and opened the first store. He afterwards built an ashery and kept a tavern. A few years later Benjamin Powers built a gristmffl near the site of Thomas Bliven's cheese factory. Between 1820 and 1825 Uriah Goodrich built a sawmill on the farm on which William Tacker's widow now resides. He also carried on a cabinet shop. About the same time Abraham Waildorif built a sawmill on Philip's Creek where he opened a tavern, which had a large patronage. At an early day Ray Green built an ashery on Vandermark Creek road on land now owned by the heirs of Gardner Tucker. Afterwards Orrin Sprague built a blacksmith shop on the farm now occupied by Daniel B. Lanphear and owned by Milo Burdick's estate. At an early day a sawmill was built by one Scriptor or Scripture on the site of the one afterwards owned by Alexander Black.

Churches.- The Philip's Creek Methodist Episcopal church was organized as a society according to law May 27, 1850. A. Johnson, L. Bennett, J. Warrick, W. B. Parker, El P. Kaple, S. S. Easton and S. W. Oartwright were elected trustees. It was named the Balerma Society. In 1851 an effort was made to build a house of worship. Subscriptions amounting to $730 were received, and Jesse Warrick contracted to build the house. It was dedicated Dec. 28, 1852. Among the local preachers who served the society at an early day were Eliphalet Johnson, Lewis Dunning and Elder Kaple of Andover, and later Jesse Warrick and Ahira Johnson. Among the circuit preachers who have supplied the church were Revs. A. G. Terry, ---- Conant, J. S. Martin. 1844; S. Benjamin, A. D. Burlingame, W. Bradley, C. Gould, W. Haskell. Those labored with the church previous to 1852 and since that date, Revs. V. Brownell. C. Guernsy, J. J. Turten, Jackson C. Rowley, Pingrey, Dayton, Mering. Libby, Peck, Clough, Puller,. Scrimshaw and perhaps others.

Philip's Creek Universalist church was organized as a society in July. 1845, with 32 members. Sanford Beach, Ira Baker and Harry Lewis were the first trustees, and Harvey Thompson. was the first clerk. The house of worship was built in 1849. George Walldorff donated the lot on which the building stands. It was built under the supervision of C. M. Rice at a cost of about $800, and was dedicated. during the winter of 1849-50. Rev. O. B. Clark preached for the society from the time of its organization up to 1853 when he was succeeded by Rev. Jason Lewis, who preached two years. Rev. I. K. Richardson succeeded Mr. Lewis and. remained until Jan. 22, 1860. Mr. Richardson was followed by Wellington Sisson, and he, by Rev. Mr. Payne, who preached until about 1865. Since 1865 the society has not maintahied regular services. Rev. F. M. Alvord has preached for the society occasionally since that time.

The Wesleyan Methodist church was organized Oct. 24, 1847. Dr. Asa Crandall was chosen class leader. Including those who joined soon after, the number of members was 23. Revs. F. R. Mastin, Southard and Phinney were the clergymen who officiated at the formation of the society. The church building, which was erected in 1860, is a neat gothic structure and was located about two miles below Philip's Creek until about 1887 when it was removed to Withey in the town of Amity, and is used for church service. The church was originally built upon land donated by Anson C. Hall. Among the clergymen who had charge of the church before its removal from Ward were Revs. F. R. Mastin, S. Phinney, Peter Norris, Z. T. Petty, Alanson Bixby, - Palmer, G. W. Scudder, W. Royce, Ira Weaver and C. Swift.

Dairy Interests.- As soon as the country became cleared sufficiently to afford pasturage and admit of the raising of crops and hay for the keeping of cattle, the early pioneers turned their attention mainly to dairying. The soil is well adapted to grazing, the growing of grass and the cultivation of the lighter grains. From the earliest settlement dairying has been the chief occupation of the farmers. Each farmer keeps as many cows on his place as can be conveniently pastured through the winter and which will afford sufficient hay and grain to keep them through the winter. For a number of years a large amount of butter was manufactured and shipped or carried to market, but with the advent of the cheese factories, and even before with the facilities for making the cheese at home, cheese making has been the staple industry of the hardy farms of the hills which abound here. The factory at Philip's Creek was built in 1865 and is now owned and operated by Ocker man & Fuller and has been for several years. This is one of the leading factories of the county, receiving the milk of about 800 cows. Another factory located on Vandermark Creek, owned and operated by George E. Dodge since 1875, uses the milk of over 250 cows, and in 1893 made 80,000 pounds of cheese. Another one on Babbitt hill receives the milk from many cows. All of these factories run the entire season for making cheese, and many thousand pounds of their product are yearly shipped to the various markets of the country.

The beginning of the village of Philip's Creek was a log house built by Isaac Hotaling between 1830 and 1835. Silas W. Cartwright built a log house in October, 1838, into which he at once moved. In the following spring he fitted up a portion of the house for a store and commenced business with a small stock of goods. He also carried on an ashery. A short time previous Alexander Crandall had built a sawmill near the site later occupied by William P. Button's sawmill. Soon after the formation of the town a steam gristmffl was built. John Lewis, George Walldorff, S. W. Cartwright, Daniel Fuller, David Lanphear and others were the first proprietors. It was at one time damaged by the explosion of the boiler. It was finally destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The mill of W. P. Button & Son was built in 1874 and operated for several years as a grist and sawmill when it was removed to Withey. The village now contains one store, one blacksmith shop, two churches about thirty dwellings and a population of about 100.

On July 26, 1838, at 11 A. M., the town was swept by a terrific hurricane or tornado, the only one in its history. Its direction was northwest to southeast, its path being about half a mile in width. It was ushered in by heavy peals of thunder which were rapidly followed by the tornado. All buildings, fences and trees in its path were hurriedly leveled to the ground and trunks of large trees lying half buried in the ground were torn from their resting place and hurled high into the air. The house of Rev. Eliphalet Johnson, who was at one time a minister and preached in the Methodist church, was swept away and his daughter, Martha S., 24 years of age was killed by the falling of the stone chimney. An infant daughter, now Mrs. Daniel Fuller, was found rolled up in a feather bed by the roadside many feet from the site of the house. After passing across the southern portion of the town the storm abated and came to an end in the northern part of Andover.

Supervisors.- 1857, '60, '61, Silas W. Cartwright; 1858, '59, Anson C. Hall; 1862, '63, Mio Burdick; 1864, '67, D. S. Lanphear; 1865, Philip Collins; 1866, '72, Anson C. Hall; 1868, '69, William Fuller; 1870, '71, '77, L. S. Bennett; 1783, '-74, '78, '88, Daniel B. Lanphear; 1875, '76, James Farwell, Jr.; 1880, '81, '85, Stephen H. McOmber; 1879, Andrew J. Fuller; 1882, '83, George A. Bunnell; 1884, '87, James K. Hall; 1886, Sherman Hurd; 1889, H. H. Watson; 1890, '92, '93, W. D. Bunnell; 1891, E. P. Kaple; 1894, '95, Frank Lewis. Officers for 1895, clerk, Fred W. Farwell; justices of the peace, Merrick P. Babbitt, Acors Lanphear, Henry Ward and P. C. Fuller; collector, Burnett Mulligan; assessors, Joe Brodie, Joe Ives, Riley Tucker; highway commissioner, S. E. Hurd.

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