HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF JERUSALEM.
JERUSALEM is practically and substantially the mother of towns in Yates County. The district, sometimes called
township, of Jerusalem, was organized in 1789, as one of the subdivisions of Ontario County, and included within
its limits all that is now Milo, Benton and Torrey, as well as its own original territory. On the erection of Steuben
County in 1796, the region or district called Bluff Point, or so much of it as lies south of the south line of
township seven, was made a part of the new formation; but in 1814 an act of the Legislature annexed Bluff Point
to Jerusalem, and to which it has since belonged.
In 1803 the town of Jerusalem was definitely erected, embracing township seven, second range, and so much of township
seven, first range, as lay westward of Lake Keuka and lot No. 37. At or about the same time the other territory
that had previously formed a part of the district of Jerusalem was organized into a town and called Vernon, afterward
Snell, and finally Benton.
The town of Jerusalem, as at present constituted, is the largest of the towns of Yates County; also it is one of
the most important towns of the shire. As compared with the eastern towns of the county, Jerusalem may be called
quite hilly, and in some places mountainous. Bluff Point, if standing independently, might properly be called a
mountain, at least its southern extremity, but with its surroundings becomes not more than a formidable hill, elevated,
at its highest point, more than 700 feet above Lake Keuka. Rose Hill in Jerusalem is 572 feet above the lake, while
the county poor house is 634 feet higher than the lake. The highest general elevation in the town is on the west
side near Italy, from whence there is a gradual descent as one travels eastward toward the West Branch inlet. Still
further east is another though lesser rise of land, the summit of which is about two miles from the lake. It will
be seen, therefore, that Jerusalem possesses superior natural drainage advantages. At the same time the town is
exceedingly well watered, as it has more lake frontage than any town in the county, not even excepting Milo. A
considerable depression in the surface is noticeable in the northeast part of the town, the locality being designated
by the name of Shearman's Hollow.
Shearman's Hollow possibly includes historic ground, for it is alleged that in the southeast corner of lot 48,
near the school house site, are the remains of an old fort; and that this fort was neither American, Indian or
French in its construction. Therefore, if such allegations are true, the fort, or whatever may have been its character,
was undoubtedly of pre historic origin. But there have not been discovered relics to show whether the fortification
was the work of the mound builders or some other ancient race. But as this is a subject of entire speculation,
and can only be treated facetiously, it might more properly be passed and remain a mystery.
Jerusalem, too, contends for whatever of honor attaches from the fact that Red Jacket, the famous Seneca chief,
first saw the light of day on the shores of Keuka Lake, at a point near the village of Branchport. But the people
of a town in Seneca have very recently, in 1789, erected a monument to the memory of Red Jacket, and on the stone
is recorded the fact that the celebrated warrior was born very near the spot on which it stands. It may be said,
however, that the claims of Jerusalem to the place of birth of the chief were and are founded on the statements
made by himself on the occasion of one of his speeches at Geneva. But even this is not an important question, and
whatever may be the truth it will neither benefit or injure the people of Jerusalem one single whit.
Township seven of the second range formed a part of the vast Phelps and Gorham purchase, a full history and description
of which may be found among the general chapters of this work. The proprietors, Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham,
sold township seven, second range, to Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robinson in 1789, but not until the following
year was the deed executed. In 1790 the town was surveyed into lots under the direction of Noah Guernsey, and it
was found that the measurements, both north and south, overran six miles square.
Hathaway and Robinson purchased this township that it might be made the permanent abiding place of the Public Universal
Friend, and that on the lands surrounding her home there might be built up dwelling places and farms for those
of her followers who remained faithful and true to her leadership and teachings. Such seems to be the understanding
of those best informed concerning the Friend's affairs, although at the time the purchase was made she had not
been to the vicinity of the New Jerusalem, but was still at and near Philadelphia. If this be true, then the settlement
and colony at Hopeton and on Seneca Lake were but temporary. It is not understood, either, that there was as yet
any disturbance or dissension in the Friend's society. But whatever motive may have prompted the Friend to cause
the purchase of the town to be made cannot now be well explained, but from what was done we may suppose that she
was looking carefully into the future of herself and her society. At all events it is generally understood that
the purchase was made at her solicitation and under her advice. But the worthy proprietors found themselves unable
to pay the consideration money for the whole township, whereupon they reconveyed to their grantors a strip about
two miles in width and extending across the south part of the town. This tract contained some seven thousand acres
of land. It passed through a number of ownerships and finally came into the possession of Captain John Beddoe,
after which it was ever known as the Beddoe Tract.
On the west side of the town, Hathaway and Robinson conveyed a strip of land extending from the north line of the
Beddoe Tract to the north line of the township to William Carter as grantee, but the latter also appears to have
defaulted in his payment, as he conveyed back the strip, embracing 4,000 acres, to Phelps and. Gorham. This tract,
after passing through several owners, was finally sold on foreclosure of mortgage held by the State of Connecticut.
It was bought in by Gideon Granger, of Canandaigua, who perfected the title to the tract and afterward, June 30,
1816, sold it to Henry and Oren Green for $12,000, or $4.00 per acre, and this became thenceforth known as the
Green Tract. The rest of the lands of the town appear to have been retained by Thomas Hathaway and Benedict Robinson
for the use of the Friend and her society. However, it appears that Thomas Hathaway sold or conveyed his interest
in the township to his associate, Benedict Robinson, and the latter appears to have been the principal actor in
the matter of after transfers. Commencing in 1792, the Friend made frequent purchases of lots and parcels of land
in township seven, so that when her acquisitions were completed she was the possessor of 4,480 acres of land in
the town, but not in her own name. According to her belief and holding she could not hold real or other property
in her own name and right, or at least she would not do so, and the conveyances were made to one of her trusted
lieutenants, generally Sarah Richards, but occasionally Rachel Malin, each of whom held the property in trust for
In 1791 the Friend and Sarah Richards made a selection of land in the town upon which should be erected her domicile
and other buildings for a permanent residence. They selected a tract in the vale of the Brook Kedron, as they were
pleased to term it, and Sarah Richards. directed with her own hand the improvements necessary to be made. In 1793,
after clearings had been made, some ten or twelve acres of the land were enclosed and a log house erected. But
the faithful Sarah never lived to see the completion of her undertaking, for she died during the latter part of
During the spring of 1764 the Friend left the Seneca Lake place, and took up her home at the newly built log house
in Jerusalem. She was followed here by many of her former adherents, but was not subject to the intrigues of her
enemies until some years later. For the poorer members of her society the Friend provided a home upon her own tract,
while those of her society who were able to buy and build for themselves, did so on the lands of the town. Therefore
the Universal Friend herself was a pioneer in this town, as were those of her followers who also made this an abiding
place. Many, however, of her society remained at the original settlement near the lake, and never became residents
The Public Universal Friend, Jemima Wilkinson, was of course a pioneer of this town, the same as she had been in
the locality and settlement on Seneca Lake. In 1790 she first came to the Genesee country and four years later
she established herself permanently in the town of Jerusalem. One of the general chapters of this volume has narrated
at length concerning the Friend, her life and works, in view of which nothing further need be said in this place.
Early Settlement in Jerusalem. - So far as they were able and so far as they considered it a prudent measure,
the Friend and her followers settled her lands in the town with none but members of her society. Still there were
localities which the Friend did not control, and therefore such sections were settled by whomsoever saw fit to
purchase. And even in the Friend's society, after the lapse of not many years, there grew such differences and
dissensions, that strangers to her doctrines at last obtained a foothold within the lands she aimed to control
in ownership and occupancy.
The first settlers in district No. 1 of the town of Jerusalem were as follows: The Friend and her family, consisting
of Rachel, Margaret, and Elijah Malin, Samuel Doolittle, Solomon Ingraham, Mary Hopkins, Mary Bean, and Chloe,
a colored woman; Elnathan Botsford's family consisted of himself and his children, Lucy, Sarah, Benajah, Mary,
Elnathan, jr., and Ruth; Achilles Comstock, Sarah, his wife, and their children, Aiphia, Martha and Israel; Ezekiel
Shearman, his wife and children, Isaac, John and Bartleson; Asahel and Anna Stone, and their children, Aurelia,
Mary and Asahel, jr.; Samuel Barnes and wife, and their children, Elizur, Julius, Samuel and Henry; Parmalee Barnes
and wife; Amos Guernsey and John, his son, and Clarissa, his niece; Castle Damns and wife, and children, Abel,
Saloma, Anna and Simeon; Ephraim Drains and family; Jonathan Davis and family; Benjamin Durham and family; Daniel
Brown, wife and two sons, Daniel and George; Elizur and Nathaniel Ingraham, and their families; Reuben and Mary
Luther, and Susanna Spencer, Phebe Cogswell, Mary Holmes, Elizabeth Kinyon, Lucy Brown, Martha Reynolds, Hannah
Baldwin, Patience Allen, Mary and Sarah Briggs, and Ephraim, Isaac and Elizabeth Kinney.
One of the prominent members of the Friend's society was Ezekiel Shearman, who, in his zeal to serve his leader,
acted as one of the committee to visit the Genesee country in 1786, for the purpose of selecting a site for a home
for the society. Mr. Shearman was a Rhode Islander, and was one of the first to come to the region of the New Jerusalem
and there make a home. Soon after coming, or in 1790, he married the widow of John Bartleson, the latter a follower
of the Friend from Pennsylvania. In 1794 Mr. Shearman moved to Jerusalem and located on lot 47. He lived and died
in the town, dying in 1824, and his wife in 1843. They had three children: Isaac, born in 1792; John, who died
young; and Bartleson, born in 1797, who became one of the leading men of the town of Jerusalem, and died at an
Daniel and Anna Brown, husband and wife, and their sons, Daniel, George and Russell, were among the pioneers of
the Friend's tract. But this family became alienated from the Friend not many years afterward. They settled on
lot 5, then an almost unbroken wilderness, and with no neighbors neater than two or three miles. By industry, perseverance
and energy Daniel Brown and his sons succeeded in building up one of the best farms of the town. Daniel Brown,
jr., married Lucretia Coats. He, too, became a prominent man in the town; was justice of the peace for many years.
He kept public house, called "Grandfather's House;" also he built a distillery in the town. The children
of Daniel, jr., and Lucretia Brown were Alfred, Anna and Mary. Alfred was born in 1798, and was sheriff of the
county one term; Anna, born in 1805, married Gideon Wolcott; Mary, born in 1818, became the wife of Mordecai Ogden.
George Brown, son of Daniel, the pioneer, became the owner of 600 acres on the east side of the Beddoe tract, including
the site of the village of Branchport. George Brown was also prominent in the affairs of Jerusalem; was several
terms its supervisor. His children were Theda, Harriet and John R. Brown.
Jonathan Davis came to the New Jerusalem in 1792, and died in the County of Yates in 1870. His first residence
was at the little settlement on Seneca Lake, but after a few years he returned to Philadelphia, and there married,
in 1801, Rachel Updegraff. They then returned to this region, living near the lake for a short time, and then locating
in Jerusalem, on land purchased from the pioneer, Jacob Wagener. Here the parents lived and died. Their children
were Mary, Isaiah, Leah and Lydia.
Thomas Hathaway, for many years a leading and influential member of the Friend's society, and one of the original
purchasers of the town of Jerusalem, or No. seven, range two, was a native of Massachusetts,and became a follower
of the Friend in 1784. He brought to the New Jerusalem four children: Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth and Gilbert. Thomas
Hathaway sold a large share of his interest in the town to William Carter. He died in 1798, aged sixty six years.
Elnathan Botsford was also one of the more influential of the Friend's followers. His wife was Lucy Stone, by
whom he had six children: Benajah, Sarah, Mary, Lucy, Ruth and Elnathan. Elnathan Botsford, the pioneer, died in
Jerusalem at the age of eighty eight. Many descendants of this respected old family are still residents of the
In 1807 John Race and his wife left the eastern part of the State and located in Jerusalem, a few miles up the
lake from Penn Yang, on lot 50, now the Purdy place. John Race was known throughout the country as a famous hunter
and fishermen; withal he was a good farmer. He had seven children: William, Jonathan, Joseph, Catharine, John H.,
Phebe and Andrew J.
Samuel Davis, son of Malachi Davis, a pioneer Friend, settled in Jerusalem in 1805, on lot 42. He was the shingle
maker for the locality, and laid the foundation of his success in that calling. His children were Rachel, Rebecca,
Joseph, Jesse, Eliza, George W. and Lydia Ann. The surname, Davis, has a number of representatives now in the town.
Benjamin Durham, the millwright, was among the pioneers of Jerusalem. He was married to Elizabeth Damns, daughter
of Castle Drains, by Benedict Robinson. He bought land of Mr. Robinson, on lot 17, and made his home there in 1799.
The children of Benjamin and Elizabeth Durham were Ann, Rebecca, George, John, James, Joanna, Abel, Albert and
Elizabeth. After the death of his wife, Mr. Durham; in 1818, married Mary Bates, of Potter, by whom these children
were born: Lucy C., Myron H., Benjamin, Mary C. and Charles M.
Achilles Comstock and his wife Rachel, the daughter of the senior Elnathan Botsford, with their three children,
Israel, Apphi and Martha, became residents of Jerusalem in 1799, having previously lived at the settlement near
Seneca Lake. The lands bought for them were on the north side of the Friend's estate, and embraced 400 acres. Achilles
was a Methodist, while his wife was one of the Friend's society. He died in 1832, and his wife in 1845.
Henry Larzelere was the youngest child of Daniel and Elizabeth Larzelere, and was born in 1798 at Hopeton, in the
Friend's settlement. He became a resident of Jerusalem by being adopted into the family of Elijah Botsford upon
the death of his mothers. He became a hotel, or public house, keeper in 1826, in the locality in which he lived
for many years thereafter, and known as Larzelere's Hollow. His wife was Rebecca Durham, who bore him two children,
Sarah A., who married Erastus Cole, and William B., whose wife was Sarah A. Sheppard.
Elizabeth Kinney was a native of Connecticut. She was a widow at the time of her coming to the New Jerusalem, but
her devotion to the Friend caused her to follow here, bringing her children, who were Samuel, Isaac, Ephraim, Statira
and Mary. They lived for a time near Seneca Lake, but afterward moved to Jerusalem. Samuel, the eldest child, made
the first clearing on the site of the Poor House larm.
Samuel Hartwell married Elizabeth Wilkinson, sister of the Friend. Their settlement was made first in Benton, from
whence they moved to Canada, but were obliged to leave the province during the second war with Great Britain. They
came to Jerusalem and lived for a time, and then left the country.
Samuel Clark and wife first settled on lot 56, in what was township seven, first range, but which became a part
of Jerusalem. His title to the land failed, thus losing him his farm, after which the family located on lot 41.
Mr. Clark settled in the town in 1799. His children were Emma, Abigail, Laura, Ezekiel, Aurilla and Sally. Descendants
of this family still live in the town.
Sanford Coats and Jerusha (Miner) Coats were natives of Connecticut, and came with their five children to Jerusalem
in 1817. This family name is still well represented in the town. The children of Sanford and Jerusha were Gilbert,
Anner, Sidney, William S., Susan A., Lucretia, John L., Russell and Miner.
Erastus Cole and family settled in Jerusalem at Sabintown, so called, in 1817. He died in 1860, and his wife five
years afterward. Their children were Hiram, Wolcott, Elizabeth, Ardelia, Mary, Erastus and Harris. Joseph Cole
and his family came to the town at an early day, purchasing lands on the Benedict Rdbinson tract. The children
of Joseph and Hannah Cole were Allen, John, Laura, Lydia, Simeon, Maria, Peleg, Sarah, Thomas and Jane.
The surname Purdy stands not only for pioneership, but for high respectability in Jerusalem. The pioneer of the
family in the town was John Purdy, a native of this State, and his wife was Esther Barton. They had a large family
of children before coming to this locality, but not all the children came to Yates County. John Purdy, his son
Francis, and daughter Mary, with their families, located in the southwest part of the town, on the Green Tract,
at what was called Lightning Corners. The children of John Purdy, from whom have descended the Purdy families of
the town today, were Abijah, Mary, Elizabeth, Isaac, Joshua, Ann, Francis, Hannah, Abigail and Mariam.
John and Elizabeth Merritt, formerly of Armenia, Dutchess County, and their children came to Jerusalem in 1827.
He died there in 185o, and his wife seven years later. Their children were Chauncey, Sarah A., Eliza, Emma J.,
Rensselaer, John, Alanson and La Fayette.
William Henry Stewart, a Scotch sea captain of many years' experience, and his wife, settled in this town in 1817,
on lot 5o. The wife died in 1835. Their children were Ann E., Sarah W., Hannah, Abbie, Bethulia, Rachel and Charlotte.
For his second wife Captain Merritt married Emma J. Merritt, who bore him six children: John W., Eliza, William,
George B., Belle and Saunders C.
Samuel Hartshorn, who was a native of Amherst, Mass., born in 1772, married Sarah Genung, of Otsego County, N.
Y., but a native of New Jersey. They came to Yates County in 1817, settling first in Barrington, but five years
later moving to Jerusalem, on lot 68. Samuel, the pioneer, died in 1854, and his wife in 1863. They had six children,
as follows: Hiley, Betsey, Abigail, William W., Isaac W. and James H. Of one of this family of children, Isaac
W. Hartshorn, will be found an extended mention in the biographical department of this work.
Jonathan Sisson was the son of George Sisson, the latter a prominent Friend. Jonathan served in Captain Remer's
Benton company during a part of the War of 1812-15. In 1827 he and his family became residents of Jerusalem. His
wife was Catharine Vosbinder. Their children were William, George, John, David, Harrison and Bethany.
Robert M. Boyd was a native of Pennsylvania, and a pioneer in the Genesee country, having come to Bath in 1799.
He was a blacksmith, and worked at his trade in various places, among them at Hopeton. Here he married Rebecca
Woodhull, in 1804. In 1824 the family moved to Jerusalem, where, in 1839, Mr. Boyd died. The children of Robert
and Rebecca Boyd were Alexander M., Tompkins W., Margaret, Robert M., Martha. R.; Arabella R. and Mary E.
In 1816 Thomas Sutton and family settled in Jerusalem, on lot 56. His wife was Letitia Haines. Their children were
Jane, Daniel, John, Thomas C., Lewis, William, Reuben, Albert, Hannah, Ann and Emeline.
Elijah Townsend was a pioneer in Jerusalem, having made his settlement therein as early as 1793, and in the locality
that has for many years been known as Kinney's Corners. Mr. Townsend was a blacksmith by trade, but found profitable
employment in making cow bells for other settlers before line and division fences kept cattle in bounds. Elijah
Townsend had nine children, viz.: Uriah, Hezekiah, Mary, Henry, Isaac, Phebe, Martha, Sarah and Lydia.
Alexander Anderson was a pioneer on Bluff Point, where he settled in 1813, but later moved to Kinney's Corners,
originally called Fox's Corners. He had a large family of children: Beecher, Rachel, Sarah, Hison, John, Nancy,
Augustine, Mary Ann, Dow F. and Susan; but the name is not now a common one in the town.
John Moore came to the town in 1815, married the daughter of John Beal, and settled about four miles from Kinney's
Corners, on Bluff Point. Eight children were born to them, viz.: Mary Ann, Phebe A., Beal, Lydia, Obera, Jane E.,
Sabra B., and George D.
The family of Benjamin Waite settled on Bluff Point about 1816, and there both he and his wife died. Their children
were Polly, Ray, Alfred, Albert, William, Stephen, Eliza, and Mercy.
David Thomas and family were also early on the Point, but afterward moved to Shearman's Hollow. The children of
this family were Frank, Eliza, Emily, Mary Ann, Sarah, David and Loring.
Ira Smith was a prominent man in Jerusalem, and reared a somewhat prominent family; but he was not a pioneer, having
come to the town in 1834. His children were Morgan, Rosalinda, Mary, Jane M., Eben S., William H., Eleanor and
Benajah Andruss was the third settler on Bluff Point, coming there with his family in 1813. His wife was Abigail
Nash, by whom he had ten children: James, Zabina C., Ora, Jason, Henry G., Rossen, Esther, Nancy, Emily and Almira.
John N. Rose was a Virginian, born in 1789. He was the son of Robert Selden and Jane (Lawson) Rose, and the
second of their seven children. Mr. Rose purchased 1,050 acres of the Beddoe Tract, all that part of it lying east
of the west branch of Lake Keuka, and here he made his home. His wife, whom he married in 1829, was Jane E. Macomb,
niece of General Macomb, the hero of Plattsburg. Mr. Rose erected the stone mansion in 1838. Henry Rose was a younger
brother of John N. Rose, and his wife was Sarah L. Macomb. They were married in 1832, and four years later took
up their abode in Jerusalem.
Robert S. Rose was the son of Robert L. Rose, brother to John N. and Henry. He purchased land in this town from
his uncle, amounting to 362 acres of the homestead tract. He married Frances T. Cammann, of New York city, who
bore him these children: Oswald J., Cammann, Robert L., Edward N., Frederick D., George S., Catharine N. M., and
John Henry. Solomon D. Weaver was a native of Saratoga County, born in 1797. He came to Penn Yan when a youth and
engaged in a mill. Later he became proprietor of several industries. In 1832 he bought a part of the Beddoe Tract
and moved to Branchport, where he died. His wife was Elizabeth Gamby, by whom he had five children: Myron H., Llewellyn
J., Sherrel S., George S. and Helen E. His wife died in 1862, after which Solomon D. Weaver married Mrs. Julia
Dr. Wynans Bush married Ann Loomis in 1824. In 1832 they moved to Branchport from Ontario County. Their children
were Elliot M., Henry M., Irene, Caroline, Ellen, Harlem P., Frances, Robert P., and Julia G.
Peter H. Bitley was one of the most extensive timber and lumber manufacturers that ever came into Yates County.
He first operated in Jerusalem as early as 1833, then as an employee, and afterward as proprietor. In 1839 he married
Mary J. Laird, of Branchport. They had one child, Mary E. Bitley, also one by adoption, Ella Rozelle.
The Green Tract. - On one of the earlier pages of the present chapter mention has been made of the fact
that there were conveyed off the west side of Jerusalem, extending from the Beddoe Tract north to the north line
of the town, three tiers of lots, which, with lot 56 of Guernsey's survey, were thereafter known as the Green Tract.
This tract comprised over 4,000 acres, and was purchased by Henry and Oren Green for the sum of $12,000. John,
Clark and Henry Green, sons of Capt. Henry Green, one of the proprietors, and Ira, son of Hezekiah Green, the latter
a brother of Capt. Henry Green, all became settlers on the tract. Clark Green settled on lot 25. Ira Green kept
a tavern on lot II. John Green settled south of Ira. Benjamin Stoddard settled on lot 12 of the Green Tract; was
a pioneer thereon in 1818. Joseph Wright and his wife Lucy (Woods) Wright, settled on lot 27 of the tract in 1817.
In 1818 David Turner, wife and family, formerly of Benton, settled on lot 14. Their children were Reuben, Maria,
Hannah, Catharine, Susan M., Sarah Ann and David H.
In 1826 Jonathan Welden, an early settler on the tract, sold his land on lot 24, to Nathan G. Benedict, who with
his family became settlers thereon. In 1832 Rowland Champlin, jr., located on lot to of the Green Tract. In 1817
John T. Almy, from Benton, settled on lot 19. The family of Samuel P. Carvey located on lot 18 in 1825. Nathan
Harris was the original settler on lot 10, the date being 1819. His wife was Nancy Benton, by whom he had ten children:
John B., Henry, Marcia, Otis, Sally, Nathan, Maria, James K., and Charlotte. William Thrall, a captain in the Revolution,
was the first settler on lot 7. Silas Cook located on lot 10; Zadoch Bass on 27; Benjamin and William Lafler on
lot 11; Joseph Gay on 8.
In the same connection there may also be mentioned the names of other settlers on the same tract, though data concerning
some of them are meagre and unreliable. They were Enoch Remington, William Simmons, David Conley, Seth Hanchett,
John Purdy, William Folsom, Henry Dennis, Ruel Rogers, Horton Rounds, David Page, Lewis Carvey, Jacob Coddington,
Benjamin Washburn, Jacob Youngs, Edmund Robinson, Samuel Weldon, Platt Kinney, John Blakeman, Peter Simmons, William
Paul, Thomas B. Smith, each of whom was a pioneer of more or less prominence, and each of whom was in some manner
identified with the early history of the town, its growth, development and prosperity.
One of the early settlers in the town was Ebenezer Shattuck, who located on lot 56 of the Guernsey survey in 1816.
His children were Ebenezer, Sewall, Lucy, Mahala, Hepzibah, Aaron W., George W., Rebecca and Clarissa.
The Beddoe Tract - As has been narrated in a preceding portion of the present chapter, the district of territory
in Jerusalem commonly known as the Beddoe Tract, was so named after its owner and proprietor, Capt. John Beddoe.
The tract was purchased by him from John Johnson, an Englishman, and was acquired by the latter from James Wadsworth,
the grantee of Oliver Phelps. Seven thousand acres was the extent of the tract, and it extended from the west side
of the town along its southern border to the lake. Two thousand acres on the lake were taken off, and the remainder
was surveyed into 160 acre lots and numbered consecutively from one to thirty two.
John Beddoe was a Welshman by birth, and came directly to Jerusalem from the old country in 1798. He left his family
at Geneva and came to the tract with help sufficient to make rapid and substantial progress in clearing and improving
the land and providing a place of abode for himself and his family. The wife of Captain Beddoe was Catharine James,
by whom he had three children: John S., Charlotte H. and Lynham J. Capt. John Beddoe died in 1835, his wife in
Albert R. Cowing is said to have been the first permanent settler on the Beddoe 5,000 acre tract, the date of his
location being given as 1825. William Runner moved in during the same year and settled on the south side. John
Runner, the father of William, came in 1826. Ezra Loomis moved on the tract in 1826. John Coleman came in from
Benton the same year. Henry Nutt also came in 1826, settling on lot 3o. Benjamin Rogers, from Seneca, and Morris
Ross also settled on the tract in 1826. Meli Todd, from Starkey, who married the daughter of pioneer William Ovenshire,
of Barrington, located on the tract in 183o. Rochester Hurd moved from Starkey to Jerusalem in 1826, and settled
on Beddoe Tract. James Royce, from the same town, came one year later. Rufus Henderson, also from Starkey, came
in 1827. Dexter Lamb came from Wayne in 1826. John Corwin, a pioneer of Starkey, left that town and settled on
the tract in 1826, on lot 27.
Peter D. Stever, the ancestor of a numerous family in the town, was one of the prominent, though possibly not early
pioneers of the Beddoe Tract, his settlement dating in 183o. Seven years later he married Ann Baker. Their children
were Hannah, Ruth, Franklin, Hester, Oscar, David, Cecelia, David, Annette, and Rupert. James Stever, brother to
Peter, came in the town in 1832. His wife was Desire Goodsell, by whom these children were born: Leonard, Peter,
Elizabeth, George, Joseph and Jennie.
James Taylor and family came to the tract in 1829, and ultimately became owners of the the Beddoe homestead. Among
his children were Mary, John, William D., James L., Thomas, Charles, Susanna and Eleanor E.
Among the other early families in the town, who may be mentioned without reference to particular location, was
that of Judah Chase, who came to Bluff Point in 1820. Later he moved to the west part of the town and there died.
His children were John, William, Judah, Ira, Christopher C., Elias, Levi, Hannah and Jane.
Amos Perry was an early comer to the town. He married here, in 1823, Abigail Clark, by whom he had six children:
Samuel, Alma,Samantha, Mary J., Ezekiel C. and Elizabeth. Wallace, Daniel and Thomas Benedict came to Jerusalem
in 1816, and settled on lot 56.
Other than have been mentioned early settlers on Bluff Point were Anthony Rouse, 1813; Timothy Rouse, 1815; Elnathan
Finch, 1812; the Dykemans, father and son; Howland Hemphill, Jared and Nathan Herrick, and George Heck.
Sabintown was the name given a settlement made on lot 58, during or about the year 1798. The residents here were
Asa and Burtch Sabin, and their nephew, Hiram Sabin, and their families, and from them the locality derived its
name. The pioneers of the families died many years ago, and their descendants scattered and settled in other communities,
with result in the loss of the name to the town. Among the other early settlers in the vicinity of Sabintown were
Gideon Burtch, Braman Burtch and Hezekiah Dayton. Zephenia Briggs was the pioneer settler on lot 69, lying next
west of 58, and very near the settlement called Sabintown.
Kinney's Corners was so named and called after Giles Kinney, who about 1825 was a tavern keeper and tradesman at
that point, but he was not the founder of the Corners, that honor being due to an older settler, Abraham Fox, for
whom the locality was originally called Fox's Corners. Mr. Fox was landlord of the hotel at the Corners, where
he dispensed good cheer, but in addition thereto he inaugurated a custom of public exhibitions at the place, such
as athletic sports, horse racing, with an occasional assembling of the local militia in their usual general training.
But during later years the Corners has lost much of its former glory, a post office, with wagon repair shop combined,
an old hotel building, and the public pump, with a half dozen dwellings constituting about all there is of the
place at the present time.
Branchport. - The pretty, pleasant and healthful little village of Branchport is situated wholly within
the limits of the old Beddoe Tract. Directly its location is on elevated ground, within convenient walking distance
from the west branch of Lake Keuka. It is distant from the county seat about eight miles, and the journey between
these points is made by daily stage and by boat; by the latter, however, only dur ing the warm months of the year.
Originally, the village was called Esperanza, a Spanish name, signifying hope; but the staid denizens of the locality
considered this cognomen rather sentimental or romantic for their quiet ways in life, and as a consequence changed
the name to Branchport. In population the village amounts to not exceeding four or five hundred inhabitants, and
has not materially increased in numbers or industries during the last score of years. In 1867 the village became
incorporated, taking upon itself certain municipal characteristics that its local affairs might be ordered and
governed independent of the township of Jerusalem, of which it forms a part.
The first movement in the direction of establishing this as a trading center and subsequent village was made in
1831, by Judge Samuel S. Ellsworth and Spencer Booth, who erected a store building at the southeast corner of the
intersecting roads. Judge Ellsworth soon afterward withdrew from this store, but the business was continued by
Mr. Booth until 1866. In 1832 Solomon Weaver built a hotel on the southwest corner of the cross roads. Judge Ellsworth
built a store on the northeast corner, and William D. Henry the store and dwelling on the northwest corner. The
stone school house was built in 1868, Mary Williams being the first, and Mr. Henneberg the second teacher of the
Thus was the village of Branchport established. From the beginning made by Ellsworth & Booth, there has
been built up in later years the third village in importance in Yates County; likewise it is one of the three incorporated
villages of the shire. How ever interesting it might be to the reader to see here the succession of operators in
the various branches of mercantile and business pursuits, those usually found in every trading center, it can hardly
be done with reliable accuracy; still, some of the earlier merchants can be called by name, among them Ellsworth
& Booth, William D. Henry, Peter Youngs, sen, Lawrence & Smith, Harvy I. Andrus, Goodrich, Easton &
Co., Solomon D. Weaver, Myron H. Weaver, Bradley Shearman, Frederick Parris, James H. Gamby, John Laird, Asa E.
Pettengill, Peter H. Bitley, Clark Righter. Nearly all of these, during their time, were general or country merchants,
keeping stocks which embraced dry goods, groceries, hardware, drugs and medicines, boots and shoes, and in fact
almost every commodity incidental to average country stores. However, drugs were the special stock kept by Bush
& Andrews, Elliot Bush, L. J. Beddoe, Robert Boyd, Tomer Bros., T. B. Boyd, and James H. Gabby. Hardware dealers
were James T. Durry, C. J. Hathaway, and Joel Dorman.
The present business interests of the village of Branchport may be summed up about as follows: Parris & Stever,
general store; Alfred E. Hayes, dry goods and groceries; William Joy, general store; Charles Bean, druggist; David
Parris as successor to Parris & Boyd, foundry, basket factory and planing mill; Philip Wheeler, builder, planing
and matching; Edwin Mattison, harness shop; S. S. Ellsworth & Co., lumber, coal, lime and cement; George S.
Weaver, lumber dealer; Jasper C. Shull, proprietor of the Branchport Hotel.
The first post office in the town, established in 1824, called Jerusalem, was located near the ancient Havens Tavern.
Nathaniel Cothern was its postmaster. He was succeeded by Henry Larzelere, who held from 1826 to 1852, when the
office was discontinued. At Branchport a post office was established in 1832, the incumbents of which have been
Spencer Booth, till 1849; Myron H. Weaver till 1853; William S. Booth till 1861; Bradley Shearman, succeeded by
Peter H. Young, and the latter by his wife, AI meda Young; she having held the office for twenty seven consecutive
years. An office was established at Shearman's Hollow in 1841, and at Kinney's Corners (Bluff Point) in 185o.
Ecclesiastical History. - The oldest denomination or sect to find a foothold within the town of Jerusalem
was probably that of the Society of Friends, headed by Jemima Wilkinson, or the Public Universal Friend, as she
styled herself. This remarkable woman made the town her home in 1794, and her domicile was the place of meeting
for her society. But this is a subject fully treated elsewhere in this work and needs no repetition here.
As was the case in many of the towns in this region, the Methodists early sowed the seed of their church in Jerusalem,
the year 1793 being announced as that in which the first meetings were held, although it was not until 1838 that
any effective organization was made. Prior to that the meetings were of an embryo character, consisting of class
gatherings and informal worship, with an occasional regular preaching service conducted by the circuit preachers
of the region. Prominent among the pioneer Methodists of the town was Uriah Townsend, a resident of the locality
called in succession Fox's and Kinney's Corners; and in the same relation may be mentioned Isaac Townsend, Peter
Aithizer, Stephen Bagley, Eleanor, wife of John Rice, and the wives of the persons already named. In 1838 was organized
"The First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Jerusalem," the trustees being John Dorman, William
H. Decker, James Fredenburg, Robert C. Brown and Rufus Evans. At once measures were taken for the erection of a
meeting house at the Corners, and the result was its construction at a cost of about $850. The lot for the church
was donated by Hixson Anderson, a pioneer merchant at Kinney's Corners. John Dorman was the first class leader,
followed by William T. Moore, Isaac Purdy, and A. J. Brown in succession.
Another class in the town was formed at Brown's Mills in 1815, Isaac Kinney being its leader, followed by Daniel
Brown and Benjamin Durham. This class was maintained for many years, and finally moved to Branchport. In 1866 the
organization of a society was perfected at the latter place, the first board of trustees being Solomon D. Weaver,
James Gamby, Henry Larzelere, Henry W. Harris, William H. Decker, Nelson Bennett, Elias Madison, and James Spencer.
The newly formed society selected Schuyler Sutherland, Joseph Abbott, and William H. Decker as building committee.
They purchased the Methodist Episcopal Church building at Nettle Valley and moved it to Branchport, where it was
reconstructed and fitted up into a pleasant and commodious house of worship. The work cost about $2,500. The pastors
of the Branchport Methodist Episcopal Church have been as follows: 1866, Schuyler Sutherland; 1867, Solomon Wetzell;
1868-69, C. Dillenbeck; 1870, Philo Cowles; 1871-72, A. D. Edgar; 1873-75, J. J. Payn; 1876-78,1883-85, R. D. Phillips;
1879, Charles Hermans; 1880-82, S. C. Hatmaker; 1886, R. N. Leak; 1887-90, J. N. Sackett, 1891, G. W. Reynolds.
The Baptist Church and society in Jerusalem dates back to the early years of the present century, and to 1815,
when Elder Elnathan Finch completed an informal organization and held regular meetings in a little log church on
Bluff Point. Elder Finch and his successor, Elder House, were the ministers of the church, but their labors were
voluntary and without compensation.
In January, 1834, a meeting was held at Branchport for the purpose of organizing a Baptist society at that place.
The result was the incorporation of the First Baptist Society of Branchport, with Erastus Cole, Benajah Andrus,
William Richardson, Benjamin Runyan, Israel Herrick, and John French as trustees. Erastus Cole, John French, and
Benjamin Rogers were made deacons. During the same month the society resolved to build a church, 38 by 50 feet
in size, and to cost not more than $2,000. Jacob Herrick, Benjamin Rogers, and Ezra Witter were appointed a building
committee. This house stood until 1870, and was then radically remodeled and refitted, at an expense of over $1,800.
The succession of pastors of the Branchport Baptist Church has been as follows: E. D. Owen, A. B. Winchell, S.
S. Haywood, William Frary, Reuben P. Lamb, Elder Mosher, Peter Colegrove, M. W. Holmes, Vincent L. Garrett, William
H. Shields (supply), Daniel Delano, Levi Hicks, Vincent L. Garrett (for a second pastorate), George Balcom, Vincent
L. Garrett (for third pastorate), John C. Rooney, George Gates, C. H. Planch, Edwin Hard, L. B. Albert, I. E. Brown,
C. R. Negus, James Cook.
The Branchport Presbyterian Church. - The Presbyterian Church of Branchport and Jerusalem had its inception
in the early meetings and services held by Rev. James Rowlette at West Jerusalem and on Bluff Point. Two years
later, or in 1832, a society was organized through the efforts of Revs. Samuel White, William Todd and Stephen
Crosby, with members as follows: Ira and Abigail Green, Wynans and Julia Bush, Dexter and Sarah Lamb, David Rurnsey,
Lydia Tettsworth, Sophia Rumsey, Jane Rumsey, Eliza Rumsey, Betsey Hoffstratter, Mrs. Mary Morse, Miss Mary Morse,
Mrs. Leman Dunning, Polly Dunning, Hopestill Hastings and Pamelia Jagger. The organization was completed on the
24th of July, 1832, and Rev. James Rowlette was the first chosen pastor. The church edifice was erected in 1833,
costing $1,900, and was dedicated in October of the year named. The building answered the purposes of the society
until 1851, when it was removed from the hill to its present location. At the same time it was thoroughly repaired
and remodeled. Succession of pastors: James Rowlette, Robert L. Porter, Lewis Hamilton, John C. Morgan, Samuel
Porter, Horace Fraser, A. Foster, Lewis M. McGlashan, Horace Fraser, Richard Woodruff, Lewis M, McGlashan, Rev.
Fitch, A. T. Wood, S. Ottman, Theo. O. Marsh, Rev. McLain, Rev. Judson, Chauncey Francisco, Charles T. White, E.
H. Stratton, J. Cairnes, H. B. Sayre. E. Nelson acted as supply through the summer of 1872.
St. Luke's Church. - The church and parish of St. Luke's at Branchport was informally organized in 1863,
but prior to that time Episcopal services had been held for several years, mid since 1855. The families in the
locality were connected with St. Mark's parish and church at Penn Yan, and the early services here were held by
the rectors of that church and by lay readers living in the town. In 1863, upon the organization of the parish,
Rev. Henry B. Barton became rector, but died within a month of his coming to the town He was succeeded in 1865
by the Rev. William B. Otis. In 1866 the parish was regularly organized according to law, and a church edifice
erected. The first officers were Henry Rose and Joseph Axtell, wardens; Solomon D. Weaver, John N. Rose, James
C. Wightman, Harris Cole, Lynham J. Beddoe, John Haire, Henry R. Sill and John N. Macomb, jr., vestrymen; John
Macomb, jr., clerk; and J. C. Wightman, treasurer. The church is of stone, 28 by 54 feet in size, with recess chancel
fourteen feet deep. Its cost was $4,000. Succession of rectors: B. W. Stone, Camman Mann, M. Teller, Henry Dennis,
W. H. Lord.
The Branchport Universalist Church became first rooted in Jerusalem during the "Forties," and
under the labors of Rev. Wheelock as minister. In the same relation he was followed by Revs. Clark, Sawyer and
Carpenter, each in succession conducting services whenever and wherever opportunity coffered. On the 9th of April,
1851, the "Universalist Society of Branchport" was duly organized, and in June following the present
church edifice was erected, costing about $2,500. Ira Pearce was then moderator, and Peter H. Bitley first clerk.
Bradley Shearman, James Stever and G. F. Colburn were the trustees. Rev. Reuben Cheeney was the first pastor, followed
in succession, by B. Hunt, A. G. Clark, James Fuller, Asa Countryman, H. B. Howell, H. K. White, C. F. Dodge, J.
F. Leland, N. E. Spicer and A. U. Hutchins; the latter being the present pastor. The society owns a parsonage and
a small farm of fifty acres about a mile north of the village. The latter was the generous gift of Peter H. Bitley.
Connected with the church are the organizations known as "The King's Daughters," and the "Young
People's Christian Union."
Supervisors. - Eliphalet Norris, 1799; Levi Benton, 1800; Benj. Barton, 1801; Daniel Brown, sr., 1802; George
Brown, 1803-09, 1813-16; John Beddoe, 1810-12; John B. Chase, 1817; Joel Dorman, 1818-22; Jacob Herrick, 1823,
1827; Elisha Mills, 1824-26; Alfred Brown, 1828-30; John Phelps, 1831; Aza B. Brown, 1832; Asahel Stone, Br., 1833;
Henry Larzelere, 1834-35; Spencer Booth, 1836, 1810-12, 1844; Lynham J. Beddoe, 1837; James Brown, 1838-39; Samuel
Botsford, 1842, '47, '51, '60; George Wagener, 1843; Albert Wait, 1845; Simeon Cole, 1846; Myron H. Weaver, 1848;
Peter H. Bitley, 1849, '54; George Crane, 1850; Hiram Cole, 1852; Uriah Hanford, 1853; John C. Miller, 1855; Ferris
P. Hurd, 1856, '57, '65; Henry W. Harris, 1858; Bradley Shearman, 1859; J. Warren Brown, 1861-62; Daniel B. Tuthill,
1863-64; Phineas Parker, 1866; Morgan Smith, 1867; Harrison H. Sisson, 1868; John Laird, 1869-70; Charles W. Taylor,
1871-74; William F. Hurd, 1875-76; Leonard Stever, 1877; Watkins Davis, 1878-79; Joseph Purdy, 1880-81; William
F. Hurd, 1882; George C. Snow, 1883; John C. Watkins, 1884; John F. Finnegan, 1885; George W. Hobart, 1886; Edward
N. Rose, 188788; Henry R. Sill, 1889-90; Thomas Campbell, 1891.
Justices of the Peace. - Daniel Brown, jr., Giles Kinney, John Beal, Thomas Sutton, Joel Dorman, Joseph
Gay, Nathaniel Cothern, Nicholas Bennett, Erastus Cole, sr., Ezra Pierce, Elisha Mills, Erastus Cole, 1830, '34;
Uriah Hanford, 1830, '31, '32, '37; Jonathan Talmadge, 1831; Bartleson Shearman, 1832, '35; Hixon Anderson, 1833;
Martin Quick, 1836, '43, '45; William Culver, 1838; John A. Gallett, 1838; Israel Comstock, 1839, '43; Henry Hicks,
1840; Hiram Cole, 1841; George Wagener, 1844; Benedict R. Carr, 1846; Almon S. Kidder, 1847, '51; James P. Pardon,
1848; Heman Squires, 1848; S. S. Millspaugh, 1849, '53, Benj. Colegroire, 1850; Isaac Purdy, 1852; Josiah White,
1854, '58; Jeremiah S. Burtch, 1855; Miles B. Andrus, 1856, '60, '64, '69; Charles H. Vail, 1857; Watkins Davis,
1859, '63; Levi Millspaugh, 1861, '65,; Thos. W. Smith, 1862, '66; J. Warren Brown, 1867; Botsford A. Comstock,
1868, '72, '76, '8o, '84; James Henderson, 1870; Seymour B. Coe, 1871, '77, '81; James McKie, 1874; Henry Stork,
1875, '79; James E. Watkins, 1878; Thomas Campbell, 1882, '86; John N. Macomb, jr., 1883; Robert C. Bishop, 1885;
William Van Tuyl, 1887; John J. Comstock, 1888; William M. Barron, 1880; Rowland Champlin, 1890; Nathaniel Keech,