HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF MILO
THE town of Milo, as at present constituted, occupies a prominent central position among the civil divisions
of Yates County. Likewise it is the most important town in the county, deriving that character from the fact that
within its territorial limits is located the greater portion of the village of Penn Yan, the seat of justice of
the county; and although the village has a partial separate organization from the town, yet they are a unit as
far as the election of town officers is concerned. Milo is also one of the larger towns of the county, and is the
only one that has a front on the waters of Seneca Lake and also on Lake Keuka. This double frontage is of value
to the town and its people in that the special product of the locality, the fruit of the vine, can be successfully
grown on both the east and west sides in particular, while the interior lands are also made productive in the same
industry by reason of their favorable situation between the lakes. The like condition may exist in other towns,
but no locality, except Bluff Point in Jerusalem, perhaps, possesses natural advantages equal to Milo. But Bluff
Point is an exceedingly high promontory of land, not valuable for general agricultural pursuits, while Milo is
a vast tract of comparatively level land, and has rich and fertile soil, which yields abundantly to the husbandman's
efforts, both in farm and fruit products. In addition to this Milo possesses the principal water course of the
county, i. e., the outlet of Lake Keuka, which in its flow from Keuka to Seneca Lake has a descent of 269 feet,
affording a water- power not to be excelled in this region of the State. The building of a number of large mills
along the outlet has made Milo something of a manufacturing locality, which, added to its other resources, makes
this the most important town of the county. Milo is bounded on the north by Benton and Torrey; east by Seneca Lake;
south by Starkey and Barrington; and west by Lake Keuka and the town of Jerusalem. Originally the town of Milo
formed a part of the district of Jerusalem, an organized territory in the nature of a township, and embracing the
greater portion of what is now Yates County, and forming a part of Ontario County at that time. In 1803 the town
of Benton was formed and organized, and included within its boundaries all that is now Benton, Milo, and Torrey.
At first the new formation was called Vernon, but as that name had been given to another town in the State, Vernon
was changed to Snell; and still later, on account of a dissatisfaction that had arisen over that name, to Benton,
in honor of Levi Benton, the first settler within the town now so called.
In the survey of this region under the ownership of Phelps and Gorham, a subject fully treated in a preceding chapter,
the greater part of what is now Milo was designated as township No. 7, first range, containing, presumably, thirty
six square miles of land. Being in the first range the eastern boundary of township No. 7 was the old preemption
line. Had not difficulties and complications followed the first survey of the line referred to, it is probable
that Milo, as afterward organized, might have contained only the territory of township No. 7, but on account of
what did occur after the survey, the region to the eastward was annexed to and formed a part of this town. Township
No. 7 was one of the several areas of land which were conveyed by proprietors Phelps and Gorham to the New York
Genesee Land Company, better known as the lessees, in satisfaction to them for the withdrawal of their claims to
the Genesee country under their famous long lease. By the grantees the lands of the town were set off into lots
and drawn for by the stockholders of the company. However, there was a strip of land in No. 7, and commonly called
"the garter," which was conveyed by Caleb Benton, on behalf of the lessees, to James Parker for the Society
of Friends, embracing 1,104 acres bordering the preemption line on the west side.
To the eastward of the old preemption line lay a vast area of fertile lands, claimed alike by the lessees and the
State. Also there was the tract known as Lansing's Location. The Friends, the pioneer settlers of the region, made
two purchases of these lands embracing 14,000 acres, the deed therefor being executed by the governer to James
Parker, William Potter, and Thomas Hathaway, as representatives of the Friends Society. The land between the old
and new preemption lines was deeded to the Friends' agents by Charles Williamson, he representing the English owners
as successors to Robert Morris. The latter became owner through a conveyance to him by Phelps and Gorham. There
were other owners of lands now a part of Milo, which were found to be within the proper and intended Phelps and
Gorham purchase on what was called the gore, but to these owners the State of New York was obliged to make restitution
According to the survey of the town of Milo, or rather of township No. 7, range one, the western line brought a
small portion of its territory to the west of Lake Keuka. This never became a part of the town proper upon its
organization, but was annexed to and made a part of Jeruselem, upon the organization thereof in 1803. The town
of Milo, as a distinct and separate jurisdiction of Ontario County, was brought into existence by an act of the
legislature passed at the session of 1818. The first proposed name for the town was Milan, but as another town
of that name was formed about the same time, Samuel Lawrence, one of the representatives in the Assembly from Ontario
County, suggested for this town the name of Milo; but why so named neither record or tradition furnishes an explanation.
As originally constituted Milo embraced all of township No. 7, first range, except the portion west of Lake Keuka,
and all the territory east of it and west of Seneca Lake. The town was called upon to surrender a portion of its
lands to the formation of Torrey, all of which is fully explained and narrated in the chapter relating to that
Pioneer Settlement - The first settlers in Milo were members of the Society of Universal Friends, who came to the
region in 1788 and located upon lands the ownership of which they knew not of. As a matter of fact, at that particular
time there was a question of some doubt as to whom the lands did rightfully belong; whether to Phelps and Gor ham,
the Lessee company, or to the Senecas of the Six Nations. But the Friends made their settlement and improved the
lands, not in defiance of any right of others, but because the country was congenial to them, and they must have
had some firm belief that they could acquire title without difficulty or disturbance. This they afterward did acquire.
But the settlement by the Friends is not a proper subject of narration in this connection, as the site occupied
by them was set off from Milo and made a part of Torrey, and as such will be found treated in the history of that
The settlement of the Friends occupied in particular that portion of the town of Milo that was formed into Torrey,
but in general their settlements reached out into the western localities from the lake, and extended even into
what became Benton. The names of the members of the Friends Society are mentioned in one of the earlier chapters
of this work, and therefore no repetition need be made in this connection. Neither is it necessary to this chapter
that they be mentioned otherwise than as pioneers of the locality.
In 1869 Samuel V. Miller and Job L. Babcock, acting in the interest of the Yates County Historical Society, by
patient and persistent effort succeeded in making a reliable list of the early settlers of Milo; those who dwelt
on what were then the leading north and south thoroughfares of travel through the town, and which were commonly
known as the Lake road, the Bath road, the Telegraph road, and the East road. The results of their labors were
reported to the society and eventually were given publicity through the press of Penn Yan. From their report it
is learned that the first settlers on the Lake road, commencing at the Barrington line and following northward,
were these persons: Jeremiah Decker, Henry Jacobus, Jonathan Gillis, James Goble, Mr. Wilson, T. Dixon, W. Helms,
John Haight, Simeon Jacobus, Warren Smith, Dr. E. Shattuck, and George Lamb, each of whom is credited with having
lived on their respective lands in 1806, and are presumed to have made their settlements about that time. John
McDowell is said by the report to have settled at the foot of the lake in 1802, although his descendants contend
that his settlement was made there in 1792.
On the Bath road, so called, commencing where George W. Plympton now lives and going southward, the pioneer settlers
were John Reywalt, Joseph Quick, J. W. Hedges, William Yager, Levi Macomber, Charles Lockwood, Charles Bundy, Simeon
Thayer, sen., William Bailey, Joshua Beard, Hiram Post, Samuel Boots, William Hedges, Isaac Hedges; Ezra Cummings,
Benjamin Thompson, Moses Thompson, Jonathan Bailey, John Seeley, and George Marring. These also are credited with
having been settlers in 1802 and 1803.
The road south of Penn Yang has had less inhabitants, there appearing only the names of Peter Coldren, J. Hollenbeck,
Susannah Clanford, Peter Aithiser, and Philip Yokum. They were settlers of 1802 and 1803. On the east road there
appears these names: Thomas and Israel Ferris, Jedediah Royce, Lewis Randall, Samuel Lockwood, Abraham Downing,
Deacon Maples, Ezra Smith, John Culp, John Capell, Rev. Ferris, Reuben Ferris, Peter Eastman, Noah Russage, Jonathan
Rector, Abraham Ferris, James Randall, Absalom Travis, John Miners, John R. Powell, Roger Sutherland, Abraham Prosser,
Benjamin Downing, Peter Heltibidel, George Gardner, Abner Gardner, R. Champlin, Simon Sutherland, credited with
having settled about the years 1802 and 1803. On the road east from the lake dwelt about the same time Ephraim
Althiser, Philemon Baldwin, and David Hall.
Let the present generation of dwellers in Milo glance over the foregoing roll, and then see how very few of them
can trace their ancestry back to the residents along these roads during the first years of the present century.
It was indeed an arduous task to enumerate them, how much more difficult would it be to take each named head of
the family and relate who they were, where they came from, who were their children, and finally, what eventually
became of each of them. No person now living could accurately do this work.
Records of Early Families. - John and Peleg Briggs were pioneer settlers on the location where is now the hamlet
called Milo Center. They were followers of the Friend. The children of John and Elizabeth (Bailey) Briggs were
John, jr., David, Ruth, Ann, and Esther. The Briggs family came to this locality from North Kingston, Rhode Island.
Adam Hunt and Mary his wife were natives of Rhode Island, and came to the Friend's settlement as pioneers, locating
near Milo Center on the Garter. Their children were Sarah, Silas, Mary, Abel, Hannah, Lucy, and Lydia.
Lewis Birdsell settled on lot 18, in 1792. He contracted with Enoch Malin to build the first dam, flume and saw
mill at the foot of Main street in Penn Yan, for a consideration equivalent to fifty five pounds. Shortly afterward
Mr. Birdsell sold the property to David Wagener and moved to Seneca County.
Thomas Lee and Waty (Sherman) Lee, his wife, with a large family, settled on lot two, in 1790. Their children were
Abigail, Mary, Elizabeth, Waty, Joshua, Nancy, Patience, Thomas, jr., James, and Sherman.
John Lawrence, follower for a time of the Friend, came to Milo from New Bedford, Mass. He was one of the leading
men of the settlement and in comfortable circumstances. His wife was Anna Hathaway, relative of the prominent Thomas
Hathaway. The children of John and Anna Lawrence were Melatiah, Mary, Samuel, Reliance, Anna, Olive, John, Sabra,
and Silas. John Lawrence, the pioneer, built the first mill structure on the privilege now utilized by John T.
William W. Aspell and family settled near Milo Center in 1816. He was born in Ireland. His children, by a second
marriage, however, were David B., Mary A., and Elizabeth S.
Richard Henderson was born in Ireland March 17, 1767, and died January 23, 1850. His wife, Anna Wagener, was born
September 10, 1777, and died November 13, 1864. Their children: Samuel, born March 5, 1797, married Harriet Arnot,
and died April 12, 1834; David, born December 25, 1798, married December 9, 1819, died February 15, 1883; Maria,
born August 11, 1800, married Samuel Gillette May 9, 1820, died April 6, 1886; Mary, born March 16, 1803, married
Johnson A. Nichols, died April 16; 1889; Rebecca, born November 8, 1805, married George Nichols, first, and afterward
Nehemiah Raplee, lives at Bath; Elizabeth, born January 14, 1809, married Caleb J. Legg, lives in Torrey; Richard,
born January 15, 1816, died May 15, 1864; Anna B., born July 11, 1812, married Barnum Mallory, lives in Illinois;
Jane, born June 1, 1814, married Smith L. Mallory, lives west; Harriet, born November 17, 1816, married Louis Millard,
lives in Dundee; James W., born March 19, 1819, married Martha A. Drake, and lives at Milo Center; Rachel, born
July 9, 1821, married James C. Longwell, lives at Penn Yan. Children of Richard and Rosalinda Henderson: Samuel
S., born October 9, 1836; Charles, born February 27, 1838, died May 28, 1872; Marvin and Marsden, born April 2,
1842; James A., born October 6, 1845. Richard Henderson, the pioneer, settled between Milo Center and Flimrods
about the year 1795.
Josiah Jones and family settled near Himrods in 1806. His wife was Sarah Ellis, who, as well as himself, was a
native of Rhode Island. Their children were Timothy, Seth, Nancy, Abigail, Eunice and Lydia (twins).
George and Hannah Davids Fitzwater, husband and wife, came to Milo from Pennsylvania in 1799. Their children were
John, Sarah, George, Hannah and Thomas (twins), and Rachel.
Samuel Castner was a pioneer of Milo. His wife was Mary Magdalene, daughter of David Wagener. Their children were
Rebecca, Mary Ann, Rachel W., Ann M., Elizabeth, and Susan S.
Eliphalet Norris was born in New Hampshire in 1763, and in 1792 came to this town, locating at what became known
as Norris' Landing, where he established a trading store. In 1793 he married Mary, daughter of Thomas Hathaway,
who bore him five children, viz.: Thomas H., Benjamin G., George W., James H., and Joshua F.
Silas Spink settled on the Gore in 179o. He was a native of Rhode Island, and journeyed to the home of the Friends
in company with several other persons who sought a home in the New Jerusalem. Silas Spink married Martha Briggs,
and had two children, Mary and Silas W. Spin k.
John Supplee was a pioneer on the Friends tract, coming thither from Philadelphia prior to 1790. In that year he
married Achsa, the daughter of Jonathan Botsford. Mr. Supplee first located in Torrey, but after one or two years
moved to the locality of Hirnrods. He was one of the early distillers of the region, but in 1815 turned his attention
to the more agreeable occupation of running a saw mill on Plum Point. He, in 1825, built two small river boats,
named respectively Trader and Farmer, in which lumber, grain, and produce were carried to Albany. Peter, John,
and Jonathan were the children of John and Achsa Supplee.
Mary Gardner, the wife of George Gardner, formerly of Rhode Island, became one of the early settlers in the Friends
colony. Her husband remained in the East, and she and her children, Dorcas, Abner, and George, came to the Genesee
country, locating first near the Friend's home, but later moved to Milo. Dorcas Gardner married Eleazer Ingraham,
jr., and had seven children: John, Abigail, Mary, George, Rhoda, Rachel, and Nancy. Abner Gardner married Mary
Champlin, and had these children: Mary, George W., Rowland J., and Abner. Abner, sen., died in 1860, and his wife
two years earlier.
Another of the pioneers of Milo was Stephen Card, whose settlement dates back to 1788. Both he and his wife, Hannah
Card, were natives of Rhode Island. Stephen Card and John Reynolds cleared the land and sowed the first wheat west
of Seneca Lake. Mr. Card first settled near City Hill, but afterward moved to a farm near Himrods. The children
of Stephen and Hannah Card were John and Sarah Card. Isaac and Anna (Boon) Nichols were numbered among the Rhode
Island contingent of pioneer settlers in Milo. They were followers of the Friend, steadfast and true. Isaac Nichols
located on the Garter, and after him the place was named Nichols's Corners, afterward and now known as Milo Center.
Isaac Nichols died in 1829, and his wife nine years later. Their children were George, Alexander, Benjamin, and
Jacob. George married Hannah Green, and had one child, George B. Nichols. Alexander married Polly or Mary Chambers,
and by her had these children: Josiah G., Johnson A., Alexander, and Loring G. Nichols.
John Plympton and Rhoda, his wife, both natives of Massachusetts, came to Milo in 1798, and settled on lot 17.
John died at Deerfield, Oneida County, and his wife in 1833, at West Bloomfield. Their children were Esther, Rachel,
Moses A., Aaron, Rhoda, John, Polly or Mary, and Henry. Aaron Plympton married Elizabeth Heltibidal, by whom he
had four children, Daniel L., George W., Ezra W., and Mary E.
Aaron Bayard and his family were pioneers of Benton, having settled in that town in 1798. Their children were
Joshua and Benedict. The former married Martha Blake, and moved in 1811 to Milo, locating on lot 72. Their children
were Allen, Samantha, Martha Ann, Emeline, Marietta, Franklin, Calista, Serepta, and John B.
Sarah Sutherland, widow of Stephen Sutherland, of Dutchess County, N. Y., with three of eleven children were early
settlers of Milo. The children referred to were Mead, Lewis, and William. From these three sons have descended
the several members of the Sutherland families who now live in Milo.
Isaiah Youngs settled in 1812 on the Potter location, near Seneca Lake. He was a native of New Jersey and there
married Mary Haggerty. Their children were Experience and Temperance (twins), Stephen, Peter, George, Mary, and
Benjamin. George Youngs was prominently connected with the early history of his town, and of the village of Penn
Yan. He married Rebecca Pitney, by whom he had these children: George R., Isaiah, Caroline, Harriet, Rebecca, and
Thomas Bennett and Charity (Hedges) Bennett, his wife, became settlers on lot 29 in 1812. After clearing and improving
a farm Mr. Bennett moved his family to Starkey. Their children were David J., Polly, Elizabeth, Jerusha, Abraham
H., Esther, Thomas, Sally, Samuel, Nancy, Stephen, Mehitable, Sophia, and Charity.
Benajah and Joshua Andrews were pioneers in the Friend's settlement. The former was an early school teacher, and
the latter was a merchant. Benajah died during young manhood. Joshua married, in 1792, Mary, daughter of Thomas
Lee, sen. Their children, Jeremiah B., Elizabeth, Sarah, and Maria.
John Buxton was born in Yorkshire, England, August 5, 1764, and came to this country, and to Milo, in 1800, his
family at that time consisting only of himself and wife. Their children were Catharine, John, Thomas, Bridget,
and Mary Ann. John Buxton, jr., married Lois Lord, of Sharon, Conn., by whom he had three children, John J., Lois
Lavina, and William W.
George Goundry and his wife, Elizabeth (Heslop) Goundry, were both of English birth. In 1798 they came to America
and to Geneva. George was employed to look after the Hopeton mill, which brought him to this county. In 1802 he
bought a farm on the Garter. The children of George and Elizabeth Goundry were Thomas, Elizabeth, Catharine, George,
Ann, Julia A., Matthew, and Cornelius.
Jephtha F. Randolph and his family came from New Jersey and settled on lot 15 of the Potter tract in 1809. His
children were William, John, Daniel, David F., Finch F., Eliza, Morris, Jephtha F., and Azariah.
John and Solomon Finch, brothers, with their families settled on Seneca Lake in 1808. John moved from this town
to Michigan. Solomon married Sally Randolph, by whom he had eleven children, viz.: Azariah, Nathaniel, David, Solomon,
John R., Betsey, Keziah, Catharine A., Caroline, Jeffrey, and Lewis. The second wife of Solomon Finch was Phylura
Amzi Bruen, the ancestor of the Bruen families now living in Milo, was born in New Jersey in 1799. His wife was
Catharine Hall, daughter of John A. Hall. The children of Amzi and Catharine Bruen were John H., George, Sarah
A., Horace R., Eveline H., Austin H., and Augustus.
The pioneer of the Struble family in Milo was Adam Struble, who was of Holland Dutch descent, but himself a native
of New Jersey. His wife was Mary Dean. In 1814 the family came to Milo and settled near Himrods. Adam Struble died
in 1867 and his wife, Mary, in 1868. Their children were Moses, Henry, Levi, Louisa, Dean, Sidney, Phebe, Ira,
Hannah, Elizabeth, Morgan, Fowler, and Ellen. Hanford Struble, the present county judge of Yates County, and Dr.
HenryA. Struble are sons of Levi Struble by his marriage with Mary Misner. Among the forty or more pioneers from
Pennsylvania, who with their families settled near Himrods, was Malachi Davis and his family. His wife was Catharine
Gilkerson, and the children who came to this town were Jonathan, Samuel, Rachel, Jesse, John, Malachi, and Nathaniel.
Jacob Fredenberg is said to have been a settler in Milo of earlier date than the Friends. He was a refugee from
Massachusetts, having fled the State during the famous Shay's rebellion, and took up his abode with his wife and
children on Jacob's Brook, in the north part of Milo as afterward organized. He is said to have come here in 1787.
The Senecas permitted the settlement but restricted his liberties.
The family of James Knapp settled in Milo in 1815. He had been a soldier of the Revolution, and was with General
Sullivan on his famous campaign against the Senecas. His wife was Lucy G. Ball. Their children were Anna B., Samuel
C., Augustus, and Pamelia. Augustus Knapp married Margaret Heltibidal, by whom these children were born: George
H., Marsena V. R., Aaron P., Samuel A., Mary L., Charles F., Oliver C., William C., and Franklin.
In 1803 Jonas Yocum, Philip Yocum, his son, George Heltibidal, son in law, John Reynalt, and Peter Coidren with
their families came from. Northumberland, Pa., and settled near Penn yan. George Heltibidal was a man of influence
and large means, and had much to do with the early affairs of the locality. He died in 1808. His children were
Elizabeth, Peter, Catharine, George, Polly, Jacob, Margaret, Phebe, and John.
David Lee came from Putnam County and located at the foot of the lake in 1812, but afterward moved to Pulteney.
His wife was Patty Mead, by whom he had eight children: Polly, Jacob, Robert, Rachel, Joseph R., Jehiel, Erastus,
and David B.
In 1801 John Capell, then a resident of Middlesex, Mass., married Sally Blood and immediately afterward came to
Yates County and to Milo, where he worked at his trade, that of millwright. He eventually moved to a farm just
out of Penn Yan. The children of John and Sally Capell were Harriet, Columbus, John, Eliza Ann and Mary Ann (twins),
Daniel, Racelia, Henry, William P., Emily, and Thomas A.
Simeon Thayer was the pioneer in Milo of a family that has been as prolific as perhaps any in the town. He was
born in this State, as also was his wife, Elizabeth Lucas, whom he married in 1805. They first settled on Lot 35,
but afterward moved to the lake shore about five miles from Penn Yan. Their children were Jacob, Joseph, James,
Samuel, Sally Ann, Simeon, David, William, Laura, Emeline, Reuben, Andrew, and John.
Samuel V. C. Miller was a native of New Jersey, born in 1781. In 1806 he married Esther Cutter, also of New Jersey,
and came to Milo in 1822, settling on the Lake road. Samuel, the pioneer died in 1852, and his wife in 1858. Their
children were Maria, Isabel, John C., Sarah F., Samuel V., Abram and Esther (twins), Susan C., Ephraim C., David,
Phebe A. W., Stephen W., and Robert F.
Libbeus and Comfort (Booth) Cleveland were natives of Vermont, but became residents of Milo in 1812. They were
the parents of four children: Hannah, Naomi, Stephen H., and Harriet. Comfort Cleveland died in 1831, and in 1839
Libbeus married Lavina Onderdonk.
Augustus Chidsey, native of Connecticut, became a resident of Milo in 1817, settling on lot 17. His wife was Anna
Rathbun, by whom he had five children: Freelove, Augustus C., Sarah, Samuel B. and Joseph. His second wife was
Sarah Bidlack, who bore him three children, Frank, Anna, and Ambrose.
Charles and Catharine (Smith) Babcock were natives of Connecticut and New York respectively, and became residents
of Milo in 1816, settling on lot 45. Both died in 1829. Their children were Job, Eunice, Abiram, and Stephen.
Thomas Baxter was born at Kinderhook, N. Y., in 1776, and his wife Lavina Benjamin Baxter, was born ten years later.
They lived for many years in Seneca County, but in 1839 moved to Milo, locating on lot 29. He died in 1864. Their
children were Mahatma, William, Elizabeth, Isaac, Phebe, Caroline, and Gilbert.
Terry Owen and his wife, who before marriage was Polly Finch, both of Orange County, N. Y., came to Milo in 1810,
settling near Seneca Lake, south of Dresden. Terry died in 1821 and his wife in 1844. Their children were Nathaniel,
Hannah, Jonathan, William, Julia, Daniel; Ira, Isaac, and Maria.
Three brothers and one sister, Frederick, William, Luther, and Sophia Spooner, children of Benjamin and Freelove
Spooner, settled in Milo during the pioneer period, about or after 1800. Frederick and his wife Martha were parents
of four children: Calvin, Benjamin, Polly and Berlin. William's children were William, Elizabeth, Bennett, Polly,
Alanson, and Cynthia. The children of Luther and Hannah (Allen) Spooner were Luther, Allen, Freelove, Benjamin,
Leonard T., and James C.
Peter Eastman and Sarah his wife located on the "Pine Tract" in Milo in 1818. They afterward moved to
Seneca County, Ohio. Their children were John W., Daniel W., Polly, James T., Peter O., Moses W., William W., Henry
M., and Charles L.
George F. Swarthout was the fifth son of Anthony Swarthout, jr., and was born in the town of Ovid, October 28,
1790. He married Rowena Russell, of Barrington, December 3, 1818, and settled in Barrington in 1819. In 1843 he
settled in Milo, three miles south of Penn Yan, where he died July 13, 1853. His children were Seymour, William
R., Irene, Willis, Norton R., Anthony, John, George, Nancy N., and Heman S.
John Armstrong settled on lot 12, on land purchased by his father in 1793. His wife was Sarah Embree whom he married
in 1822, and by whom he had two children, Mary Ann and Henry. The former was born in 1823 and died in 1858. Henry
was born in 1824, married first Adaline Hunt, by whom he had three children, Charles H., Marion, and John. His
second wife was Mercy J. Briggs. The youngest son, John, now lives on the old farm. He married Lucy, daughter of
John Sheppard, and has one child.
Charles Roberts came from Philadelphia to Milo in 1799. He married Hannah Stone and settled on lot 14, near Milo
Center. He was the first town cleric of Milo, holding that office from 1818 to 1837. He died in 1839, and his wife
in 1861. Their children were Charlotte, Charles H., Robert, and Clarissa.
Andrew Stone was a pioneer of Milo. His wife was Mary Davis, by whom he had these children: Jesse, Hannah, Sarah,
John, Mary, Samuel, Andrew, Ruth, and Eliza. The family came to the county in 1799. Thomas Hollowell was the head
of a pioneer family in Milo, which family consisted of his wife and three children, William, Joseph and Thomas.
William was born in 1774, and married Hannah Hunt. Joseph, born in 1776, married Eleanor Smith, of Milo, who bore
him ten children: Mary, Thomas, Joseph, Hannah, Ann, Martha, William, John B., James, and George.
In addition to the above families of parents and one generation of their descendants, all of whom were pioneers
in Milo, there can also be mentioned others who are also to be placed in the same class, and a faithful record
requires at least the mention of their names. Peter H. Brown settled in the town in 1816. John Corner and his family
came here in 1812. Allen Vorce and his family settled on lot 51 in 1818. Jonathan J. Hazard and Patience his wife
and their family became residents of Milo during the early years of this century. Their children were Jonathan
J., Griffin B., Joseph H., Thomas, Susanna, and Abigail. The Perry family were early settlers in the town, and
were in good numbers. The children of the pioneer parents, James and Elizabeth Perry, were Thomas, Lewis, Phebe,
David, Enos, Abigail, Amarilus, Delila, and William. Gilbert Baker became a settler on lot 8 in Milo, in 1811.
His wife was Margaret Connor, by whom he had children, viz.: John C., Samantha, Jane, Darius, Lucinda, Eliza, Jonathan
G., Cynthia, and Gilbert D.
Where now is situated the principal business portion of the village of Penn Yan, was prior to 1796 an extensive
area of untilled and uninhabited land. In that year David Wagener became the owner by purchase of nearly all this
tract, extending north to about the present Court street, and including about 275 acres of land. David Wagerer
was the head of one of the most prominent pioneer families of Yates County, and he was, moreover, a faithful and
ardent follower of the Friend. He was born January 25, 1752. His wife, Rebecca Supplee, whom he married January
13, 1774, was born November 25, 1749. As near as can be determined at this time, David Wagener came to the New
Jerusalem in 1791, from which will be discovered the fact by reference to the following record, that nearly all
of his children were natives of Pennsylvania, near or at Norristown, from whence the family came to Yates County.
The children of David and Rebecca were as follows: Abraham, born November 9, 1774; Mary Magdalene, born February
14, 1776; Anna, born September 10, 1777; Melchoir, born January 31, 1779; Elizabeth, born August 27, 1780; David,
born April 27, 1783 Rebecca, born January 1, 1785; Lament, born November 13, 1787; Rachel, born September 11, 1789;
Rebecca (2d), born February 1, 1794
It is said that David Wagener came to live upon his lands at Penn Yan soon after making the purchase; and that
he dwelt for a time in a log house. In 1796 he commenced the erection of a saw mill on the south side of the outlet,
but in constructing a dam across that streams contracted a severe cold that ultimately resulted in his death. He
died August 26, 1799, and his body was buried in the cemetery west of where the village was built up. He donated
this land for burial purposes, and was himself the first person to be interred therein.
To his eldest child, Abraham, David Wagener devised that part of his lands which lay north of the outlet, while
to his second son, Melchoir, likewise descended the lands south of the stream. Abraham subse quently purchased
Meichoir's portion and the latter moved to Pultney, Abraham came upon the lands immediately following the death
of hi, father, completed the improvements the latter had begun, and became one of the foremost men of the county.
No man contributed more than he to the establishing and building up the village. The story of his life and actions
is told on later pages of this chapter, relating particularly to village history.
Abraham Wagener settled near Himrods in 1792, but afterward moved to Penn Yan. On May 26, 1796, he married Mary
Castner, by whom he had seven children: David, Samuel, Jacob, William, Mary, Charles, and George. In 1809 Mary,
wife of Abraham Wagner died, and in 18o1 he married Joanna Edmandson of Philadelphia, who bore him these children:
Abraham N., George, Annette, Henry N., Henrietta, Henrietta (the first child of that name having died in extreme
infancy). Abraham Wagener died May 21, 1853.
The surname Sheppard is well known throughout Yates County. The pioneer of this prominent family was Morris
F. Sheppard, born at Germantown, Pa., November 28, 1774. In 1799 Mr. Sheppard came to Penn Yan. He had heard of
the Friend, possible he knew her, but he never became her follower. By occupation Mr. Sheppard was a cloth fuller
and established himself in that business soon after arriving here. Later he added a tannery to his business interests.
On October 22, 1801, Mr. Sheppard married Rachel, daughter of Peter Supplee, by whom he had children as follows:
George Ashbridge Sheppard, born September 11, 1802, died February 26, 1874; Sarah Fletcher Sheppard, born July
26, 1804, married September 14, 1843, to Eli Sheldon, died October 5, 1849; John Shoemaker Sheppard, born June
18, 1806, died at Geneva March 2, 1828; Charles Clement Sheppard, born June 9, 1808; Susan Sheppard, born February
26, 1812, died July 28, 1842. Charles Clement Sheppard married, May 26, 1835, Jane W., daughter of Henry Bradley.
Their children were Jane S., born July 21, 1838, married William Patteson, died in Chicago in 1865; John Shoemaker,
born August 18, 1840, married January 21, 1866; Morris F. Sheppard, born July 20, 1843; Henry Bradley Sheppard,
born July 10, 1845, died April 6, 1865; Susan Sheppard, born September 26, 1847, died April 24, 1861; Charles Clement
Sheppard, jr., born October 20, 1851, died December 30, 1855; Sarah Fletcher Sheppard, born December 15, 1856,
wife of Hatley K. Armstrong. Charles C. Sheppard died January 17, 1888.
Dr. William Cornwell came to Penn Yan about the year 1809. He was an educated physician, and in connection with
his practice taught school for a time. He also studied law and was admitted to practice. He married Sarah Chidsey,
of an old and respected family of Milo, by whom he had ten children: John, Achsa Ann, Emily, William Augustus,
Henry Baldwin, Elizabeth, Samuel, Caroline, George Rathbun, and Frances Helen.
Those who have been mentioned in the foregoing brief sketches were pioneers in Milo, and upon them fell the burden
of the labor incident to all pioneer improvements. They, and perhaps others whose names are now lost, paved the
way for succeeding generations of their children and their childrens' children; and substantial has been the reward
and inheritance left to many of them. Of the old pioneers the majority were probably farmers, while some wrought
at trades, and still others were merchants or manufacturers. But each and all of them were earnest, industrious
workers in the direction in which nature best endowed them with qualities of mind, body and heart.
Pioneer settlements in Milo began with the coming of the Friend's colony in 1788, and so rapid was the growth in
population and development that the year 182o found the town to possess 2,612 inhabitants, about 400 families,
and there were then in operation seven grist mills, fourteen saw mills, three fulling mills, one oil mill, four
carding machines, six distilleries, three asheries, and two trip hammers. Today the town has but three grist mills,
no fulling mills nor carding machines, no more than three saw mills, and fortunately but one distillery.
In 1818 the town of Milo was set off from Benton and given an independent corporate organization. The first town
meeting was held April 7th, at the house of Isaac Nichols, and then the first town officers were elected as follows:
Avery Smith, supervisor; Charles Roberts, town clerk; George I. Remer, collector; Benedict Robinson, George Nichols,
and George Youngs, assessors; Richard Henderson and Roger Sutherland, overseers of the poor; Isaac Hedges, David
Briggs, and Solomon Finch, commissioners of highways; Isaac Nichols, Thomas Hathaway, and Allen Vorce, school commissioners;
Samuel Henderson, Joel Gillette, John Randolph, James N. Edmondson, Peter Young, and Luther Sisson, school inspectors;
George I. Remer, Stephen Youngs, David J. Bennett, and Walter Wolcott, constables. Prior to 1855 the annual town
meetings were held at Milo Center, but the setting off of Torrey in 1853, and the increase in number of inhabitants
in and about Penn Yan, so changed the center of population in the town that a vote of the electors determined upon
the county seat as the place for holding elections.
The designation of Penn Yan as the seat of justice of Yates County gave Milo an important advantage over the other
towns, and was of the greatest benefit, directly and indirectly, to the people of the town. The civil jurisdiction
of Milo extends over and includes the village, and the whole people, electors, unite in the election of town officers.
This situation has advantages and objections, but these are not proper subjects for discussion here. Penn Yan has
a corporate character independent from Milo, and elects its own officers for municipal government. Likewise the
village of Penn Yan has a history which is distinct from that of the town at large, and this is made the subject
of special and extended mention on the later pages of the present chapter. Outside of the village of Penn Yan Milo
has three trading localities or centers, but neither of them has ever organized a population of importance sufficient
to entitle it to any corporate character. The hamlets of Milo are Himrods, Milo Center, and Second Milo as at present
Himrods, the hamlet proper, is located on lot No. 6 of the Potter location, and was originally called Himrod's
Corners, after Wilhemus L. Himrod, the founder of a store at the place in 1831. Through the village courses Plum
Point Brook, a small stream having no present importance because of the devastation of the forests of the locality,
but formerly furnishing power sufficient to run mills. Himrod's Corners was the name of the postoffice established
here in 1832, and so continued for many years and until changed to the more dignified, and perhaps more appropriate
name of Himrods.
But Himrod's Corners and Himrods have never succeeded in acquiring any special importance either in mercantile
pursuits or in point of population. Its greatest glory was attained in the construction of the Northern Central
Railroad, a condition subsequently slighted improved by the building of the Fall Brook line as at present known.
The pioneer industry of the hamlet, or its locality, was the distillery business established about 1794 by Richard
Matthews; and this appears to have been about the only enterprise, except farming, that was conducted in the vicinity
until Mr. Himrod started his store in 1831. Stephen Card was a pioneer in the Friend's settlement, but in later
years took up his residence where Himrods now is, and here he built and maintained a public house, such as the
present generation would call a tavern or hotel. This he conducted for many years. The next hotel was that built
by Garrett S. Ayers in 1835, which passed through several owners and finally was transformed into a double dwelling.
In 1861 William S. Semans built the Eagle Hotel, a fairly large and well appointed hostelry. It is now the property
of John Sheppard, and conducted by his son in law, Frank Knapp.
The mercantile business interests of Himrods have been represented by numerous proprietors since the time of Wilhemus
Himrod, the succession including Gilbert R. Riley, Ellis & Baker, John and Jephtha F. Randolph, Marshall &
Sherman, William S. Ellis, Philip Drake, Jonathan G. Baker, Miles G. Raplee, Peter Wyckoff, Cornelius Post, William
S. Semans, Amos E. Van Osdol, Covert & Chubb, George Swartz and Hiram Swartz. The last two named are the present
leading merchants of the village. In addition to these there may be mentioned the grain business of S. Nelson Jones.
The first Baptist Church of Milo is the only religious society having an abiding place at Himrods. The earlier
meetings of this denomination in this locality commenced in the year 1803, and were conducted by Elder Simon Sutherland
at Nichols Corners and other places best suited to the convenience of the members. In 1804 an organization was
begun at the house of Thomas Hollowell, and completed in 1805, March 13th, at the Raplee school house at East Milo,
then having a membership of twenty. nine persons. It was not until 1833 that the society had sufficient strength
to erect a church home, but at the time named the edifice at Himrods was built at a cost of $1,400. This house
was used by the society until 1368, and then replaced by the present large and attractive church building. As this
is the only church building at Himrod, or in that immediate vicinity, its congregation is made up of church goers
of various denominations as well as by the Baptist portion of the community. The present membership reaches nearly
125. Among the ministers of the First Baptist Church of Milo can be recalled the names of Revs. Simon Sutherland,
John B. Chase, B. R. Swick, Enos Marshall, Hezekiah West, James Pease, J. Batchelder, A. Wells, J. Sabin, A. W.
Sunderlin, J. Parker, A. B. DeGroat, M. Livermore, John Rooney, W. W. Holt, and others whose names have become
In the extreme south part of the town of Milo, about two or three miles west from Himrods, in the Goundry neighborhood,
so called, was built many years ago a Freewill Baptist Church. The society was organized about or soon after 1838,
the result of the labors of Stephen S. Lanning and Ezra F. Crane, ministers of the Freewill Baptist faith. Gilbert
Baker was one of the most prominent leaders of the society, and the one upon whom fell a burden of the society's
indebtedness. The church was built at Baker's Corners, on lot eight, at a cost of about $1,250. The society was
prospered for a time, but at length fell into a decline with result in final dismemberment
Milo Center as commonly known but properly Milo, is a small hamlet of about two dozen houses, a store, a shop,
hotel and possibly a few other light industries situated in the eastern central part of the township. This point
was originally known as Nichols Corners, so called from the pioneer family of the locality, of which family Isaac
Nichols was the head and parent. And even to this day the surname Nichols, representing descendants from the same
ancestor, is frequent in this part of Milo. Isaac Nichols's son, Isaac, jr., appears to have been the prime mover
in the endeavors to establish a village at this point, and whatever was accomplished in this direction was mainly
due to him. He opened a public house at the Corners in 1820 and was the first postmaster after an office had been
established there. George B. Nichols and Herman Smith were the pioneer merchants of the berg. During the stage
coach period Nichols Corners or Milo was a point of some importance, but when railroads superseded the slower means
of travel the village lost much of its old time importance. It is now no nearer than a mile from Milo station on
the Northern Central road.
During the period of its existence the Center has had a number of successful merchants, among whom can be recalled
the names of Nichols & Smith, Joseph C. Stull, William Holden, Denreau & Fiero, Abel B. Hunt, Moses W.
Eastman, George Hollowell, H. F. Anderson, Schuyler Sutherland, George W. and W. H. Millard. Among the variou landlords,
proprietors of the public house in the village, have been Isaac Nichols, jr., Philip Drake, Manchester Townsend,
F. F. Randolph, John Clark, M. Depew, Patrick Byrne and others. The present landlord is Silas Spink.
The only public building at the village is the Milo Center Methodist Church, a society having an incipient organization
as early as 1797, and drawing its membership from throughout the entire township. The pioneer meetings which resulted
in the founding of the church were conducted by William Smith, a local preacher of some prominence. Early meetings
were held at the Spink school house, the log school house in the Friend's settlement, and at William Smith's and
Joseph Hollowell's residence. In 1821, or about that time, the society became definitely organized, and in 1833
the articles of association were filed to make the organization perfect. A lot was purchased from Isaac Nichols,
upon which, at a cost of $2,000, the first church edifice was erected. It was dedicated in September, 1833. In
1862 substantial repairs were made, but in 1869 the building was remodeled and enlarged at an expense of $4,000.
Among the early class leaders were Samuel Kress, sr., Samuel Castner, Abraham Prosser, William W. Aspell, Thomas
Goundry, Benjamin B. Spooner, M. D. Jackson, John B. Hollowell, Archibald Strobridge, H. F. Anderson, P. J. Seeley,
Samuel Depew, H. T. Aspell, William Hollowell, L. M. Millard, S. C. Hatmaker, N. B. Raplee.
Second Milo is the name that has been applied to one of the hamlets of the town of Milo, but this name appears
to have been given the only public building of the place, viz., the Second Milo Baptist Church. Formerly and even
to the present day this particular locality has been known as Cat Head. But Second Milo has never acquired much
of a population; neither has it any important industries or business interests. The erection of the meeting house
brought to the place whatever of importance it possesses. The hamlet is situate in the central western portion
of the township, at the four corners made by the intersection of the telegraph road and the principal east and
west thoroughfare of the town.
Although Second Milo is a settlement of no great extent, it is nevertheless the center of a rich agricultural district.
In this locality are the excellent farms of James A. Thayer, Isaiah Youngs, Lewis Swarthout, Ira Owen, Abner Gardner,
Rowland J. Gardner, J. P. Castner, Andrew Longwell, Gilbert Baxter, Daniel Plaisted, Frank Maloney, and others
of whom mention might worthily be made in the same connection. In fact this particular locality can boast of as
rich and productive farm lands as can be found in Yates County, and the husbandmen resident hereabouts are as thrifty;
progressive, and public spirited as their lands are valuable. West from Second Milo about one mile is historic
ground, but connected with it is but very little known history. On the farm of Lewis Swarthout, on a little circular
rise of ground of some two acres in extent, once stood a fortification of some kind, but by whom built, by whom
occupied, and for what particular purpose, both record and tradition are silent; they furnish no satisfactory information.
That the fort at one time existed there can be no shadow of doubt, for traces of it even at this late day are still
discernible. The only mystery surrounding the subject grows out of the doubtful causes that necessitated its construction.
Here was the interior country of the Senecas vast possessions, and not within hundreds of miles was there an enemy;
from which we reason that the Indians themselves could not have built the fortress. The French Jesuits and adventurers
traveled the country of the Iroquois and built forts at various places for their own protection. But of the principal
defenses erected by them we have sufficient record, and any mention of this one is not to be found. It is hardly
fair or reasonable to suppose that this fort could have been the handiwork of a pre. historic race of occupants.
The Second Milo Baptist Church had its inception in the early meetings held by Elder Simon Sutherland during the
first years of the present century, although it was not until the year 1832 that the society was provided with
a church home. The first organization was effected in 1811 under the name of South Benton Baptist Church, for then
Milo as a township was unknown. But when Milo was set off from Benton and formed into a township the name became
inappropriate. There was already another Baptist society in the town, and for convenience and accurate designation
the name of this society and church was changed to the Second Baptist Church of Milo, and afterward to the Second
Milo Baptist Church. The first church building of the society was erected in 1832 at the southwest corner of lot
21, at a cost of $1,200. In 1851 a new meeting house was built for the society on the same site at a cost of nearly
$3,000. Reuben P. Lamb was the first pastor of the society, he assuming the duties in 1830, and was ordained in
1831. He resigned in 1836 and was succeeded by Elder A. W. Sunderlin, the latter remaining fourteen years. Others
in succession among the early pastors were Philander Shedd, John Smith, N. Ferguson, George Balcom, S. S. Bidwell,
William Dunbar, Thomas Allen, and Moses Livermore. The Second Milo Baptist Church now numbers about 150 members.
The Ark has become one of the fixed institutions and localities of the town of Milo, and one which is deserving
of at least a passing notice in this chapter. There once was a boat on Lake Keuka, called Keuka, which in the course
of events became a wreck and was beached near the north end of the lake. Calvin Carpenter, an old lake sailor and
boatman, purchased the abandoned craft, took from it its cabins, mounted them on a scow, and anchored near the
now popular sulphur springs. The boat with its cabins was called The Ark, and "from that time, 1850, to, this
present the locality has always been known as "The Ark." The investment by Mr. Carpenter was in the nature
of a business venture and it proved a success. In 1873 the old structure was removed and replaced with a substantial
frame building, but the old name was retained. In 1880 the property was sold to David E. Dewey, who has succeeded
in building up the Ark and its surrounding locality into a popular summer resort.
Manufacturing on the Outlet. - From the foot of Lake Keuka to Seneca Lake the distance is about seven or eight
miles. The surface of the former above the latter is 267 feet. From a time far back of the first white settlement
in this region the discharge waters of Lake Keuka have passed through a narrow channel and coursed generally eastward
through the present towns of Milo and Torrey, and eventually emptied into Seneca Lake. It was the falling of these
waters over the rocks that first attracted the attention of the Friend's emissaries to this side of Seneca Lake,
and they were the first to utilize the power for manufacturing purposes. From that time to this present the so
called outlet has been the chief center of manufacture in Yates County, and the greater portion thereof has been
an industry of the town of Milo. At not less than a dozen places along the stream, and at every point where the
waters could be profitably diverted, has there been some industry built up and operated. During the first twenty
five or thirty years of the present century the manufactures were chiefly lumber, flour, feed, and potashes, while
abundant have been the distilleries in the same locality. The saw mills are all gone. The distilleries and potashes
have likewise disappeared, and the flour and feed mills number but three within the jurisdiction of Milo. Of the
latter the farthest down the stream in this town is the present May's mills, the waters here being utilized for
running a feed mill and a saw mill. This was one of the ancient Wagener mill sites, and has passed through different
ownerships and uses, Hat one time being the fulling mill of Caleb Legg, then of the Hendersons, and finally deeded
to Walter May about twenty two years ago.
In 1828 an act of the State legislature authorized a survey to be made in order to determine upon the advisability
of constructing a canal of sufficient magnitude to admit of freight boat passage between Seneca and Keuka Lakes.
The scheme was found practicable and the result was that in April, 1829, the Crooked Lake Canal was ordered to
be built. Work of construction was commenced in 1830 and was completed in 1833. It was eight miles long, but along
its course it was found necessary to put in twenty seven locks. Lake Keuka was its feeder and Seneca Lake its outlet.
This canal was of inestimable benefit to Penn Yan and to the country up Crooked Lake, and while it took much of
the water that was needful in supplying power to. the factories along its course the owners derived great advantage
in that they were aided by the canal in transporting their products to market. The banal was in operation about
forty years and then abandoned by the State, but for a time it was maintained at the expense of intersted manufacturers
of the town and locality.
A few years after the abandonment of the old Crooked Lake Canal a few of the enterprising business men of Penn
Yan, prominent among whom were Oliver G. Shearman, William H. Fox, John T. Andrews, 2d, Franklin E. Smith, George
Wagener, and Calvin Russell, inaugurated a movement having for its end the building of a railroad along the line
of the unused State highway. For this purpose they caused to be incorporated and organized the Penn Yan and New
York Railway Company. Oliver G. Shearman was its president; Franklin E. Smith, secretary; Henry Tuthill, treasurer;
and Oliver G. Shearman, Henry Tuthill, John T. Andrews, 2d, William H. Fox, John S. Sheppard, George Wagener, Perley
P. Curtis, John H. Butler, and Calvin Russell, directors.
In the face of many obstacles, and opposed by doubting influences on the part of ultra conservative citizens and
a few malcontents, these men set themselves to work to accomplish the task of procuring a line of road to connect
Penn Yan and the lake with the Fall Brook line at Dresden. As an incentive they, or part of them at least, purchased
the old Sheets & Castner and Gillett mills, which they moved back from Main street and then rebuilt, with results
that are today apparent to every, resident of the locality, although to the investers themselves it was a personal
sacrifice and 'pecuniary loss. More than this, they raised the grade of the street in front of the mills and caused
to be built the substantial stone arch bridge that now crosses the outlet in the very heart of the village.
In 1878, after many months of planning, and scheming, and arguing with the powers, they succeeded in obtaining
from the legislature an act which authorized the Commissioners of the Land Office to convey to the Penn Yan and
New York Railway Company all the lands between the blue lines of the Crooked Lake Canal, with certain reservations,
restrictions, and conditions, which are not material to this narrative. The consideration of this transfer by the
State was $100, but the cost in fact to the proprietors of the enterprise and paid by them individually amounted
to at least fifteen times that sum. Having at last secured a clean right of way from lake to lake by virtue of
the deed referred to and the purchase of other interests, an arrangement was at once made with the Fall Brook Coal
Company to build and equip the road. This work was completed about the 1st of August, 1884, and the first train
passed over the line on the 3d of that month. Immediately after this event the Penn Yan and New York Railway Company
sold, transferred, and set over to the Fall Brook Company all the right, title, and interest which the former had
acquired, either from the State or from individuals. More than that the Penn Yan and New York Company paid their
grantee company a bonus of $20,000 for bringing about this much desired consummation. This fund was created through
the efforts of the local company, and was contributed by the generous residents, principally of Milo, Benton, and
Torrey, and a few from Jerusalem.
This digression from the general course of our narrative has been suggested by the fact of the almost inseparable
connection existing between the present operating railroad company and the several manufacturing interests along
the line of its road. Each leans upon the other in a great measure, and their interests are mutual. The daily output
of freight from the mills alone is said to average about seven or eight car loads. Passenger traffic must be added
to this, also incoming freights, to furnish any adequate idea of the magnitude of the company's business.
However important or interesting might be the recital of history of the old mills that formerly and originally
occupied the sites now used in the manufacturing on the outlet, the same cannot be done with any degree of accuracy
or thoroughness. Therefore let them be passed, and let the attention of the reader be turned to the chiefest of
those that do now exist, and which have contributed so much to the prosperity of the village and town during the
last fifteen to twenty five years. The manufacturing industries situated within the limits of the village will
be found mentioned in that branch of the present chapter which relates particularly to the county seat; wherefore
it becomes necessary to here refer to those that are located outside the village and in the town of Milo.
With the single exception of May's mills, the present operating industries on the outlet below the village limits
and as far down as Dresden, are those devoted to the manufacture of paper from straw, and slightly from rags. The
pioneer of this special industry in this locality was William H. Fox, who with his brother, under the name of L.
& W. H. Fox, bought the old Youngs & Hewins mill, so called, or rather the old Yates mills, formerly occupied
for the manufacture of flour, feed, plaster, and as a saw mill, and converted it into a paper mill. This was in
1865. After about one year L. Fox retired from the firm, and W. H. Fox continued the business as sole proprietor
until 1884, when Perley P. Curtis became a partner, under the style of Fox & Curtss, which firm has operated
continuously and successfully to the present time. Their manufactures embrace all grades of wrapping paper, for
which they operate two machines. The daily output of this firm runs from six to nine tons. The Fox & Curtis
plant is called " Keuka mills."
The Cascade mill was started in 1867, by a company comprising George R. Youngs, William C. Joy, S. S. Raplee, and
John Wilkinson. It was in Torrey, but as an industry incident to the outlet it may be appropriately mentioned here.
The firm saw money in the paper making business, or at least they thought they did, but results showed differently.
The plant was destroyed by fire, and about the same time the firm failed. After this the mill privilege was for
some years idle, but in 1882 Charles J. Cave, of New York, purchased the site and erected on it a straw paper mill,
producing the same general commodity as do the others. This mill has two machines and puts out four or five tons
of paper daily.
The Milo mills are the property of John T. Andrews, 2d, of Penn Yan. Near the site was formerly Tuall's distillery.
From that ownership it passed to Russell & Co., composed of Calvin and Henry Russell and Frank Krum. They bought
the privilege about 1868, and distilled high wines until 1871, when the property was changed into a paper mill.
The firm dissolved about 1874, all its members except Calvin Russell retiring. In the spring of 1882, John T. Andrews,
2d, became Russell's partner, and so continued until December, 1888, and then succeeded to the entire ownership
and management of the enterprise. Mr. Andrews made radical changes and enlargements to the property in 1889, in
fact building an almost entire new factory. The new mill commenced making straw wrapping paper in April, 1890.
It has three improved machines with a total capacity of about twelve tons of paper per day. This is the most extensive
mill of its kind on the outlet, and one of the largest in the country.
The Seneca mills come next in point of time of founding. They are owned and operated by Russell & Co., Calvin
Russell being the active partner in the concern. The firm has two machines with a capacity of six or eight tons
of paper per day. The plant and property include an area of about forty acres. This mill also furnishes the electric
light for Penn Yan village. This privilege was formerly used as a pulp mill, and the site has a history reaching
back into the early years of the century. It is to be regretted that more particular mention cannot be made of
this present large enterprise, but the most faithful inquiry directed to the active proprietor has failed of its
chief purpose, and been unrewarded by data.
The Yates mills, so called, until quite recently owned and operated by Shutts & Wilson, were started in 1887,
succeeding the spoke factory and feed mill formerly of Seymour Shutts, and afterward owned by John Shutts. During
the late fall of 1891 the firm of Shutts & Wilson was dissolved, Mr. Wilson retiring. Soon after this the Shutts
Manufacturing Company was incorporated and duly organized for the purpose of operating the mills. The product of
this factory is straw board, or, more commonly known, card board. Under the new management the capacity of the
mills is increased. A short distance below the Fox & Curtis mills stands an unoccupied factory building of
good proportions and of fair appearance. Here was once a cloth mill; then a flax mill. Originally a saw mill occupied
In accordance with a generally observed custom in closing this branch of the present chapter, it is deemed expedient
to append the succession of supervisors and justices of the peace of the town of Milo from the organization of
the district to the present year., These are considered the leading offices filled at each town meeting; the supervisor
being the power of the town, while the justice is regarded as his second in authority and importance. The succession
is as follows:
Supervisors. - Avery Smith, 1818-23; Samuel S. Ellsworth, 1824-27; George Youngs, 1828-31; Jeremiah B. Andrews,
1832; James C. Robinson, 1833; Joshua Lee, 1834; Abel Buckley, 1835; Samuel Stevens, 1836; Gilbert Baker, 1837;
George I. Reiner, 1838; Jeremiah B. Andrews, 1839-40; Smith L. Mallory, 1841-42; Nelson Voice, 1843; Ray G. Wait,
1844; Samuel J. Potter, 1845; Russell R. Fargo, 1846; Charles Lee, 1847; Adam Clark, 1848-49; William Baxter, 1850;
James Lawrence, 1841-42; Charles Hubbard, 1853, '55; John C. Sheetz, 1854, 1860, 1863-67; Stephen B. Ayres, 1856;
Daniel W. Streeter, 1857, '59; Nathaniel K. Beardsley, 1858; Charles Wagener, 1861, 1868; Melatiah H. Lawrence,
1862; Theodore Bogart, 1869-71, 1873; George D. Stewart, 1872; Franklin E. Smith, 1874; John C. Sheetz, 1875; Daniel
Lanning, 1876-79; Evan J. Potter, 1880; Rowland J. Gardner, 1881; Samuel S. Ellsworth, 1882-83 Franklin K Smith,
1884; Edson Potter, 1885-87; Charles Hunter, 1888-89; William T. Beaumont, 1890-91.
Justices of the Peace. - James Parker was four times appointed justice of the peace, the third time in 1799, and
again in 1804; Benedict Robinson in 1796; Eliphalet Norris in 1799; Hezekiah Townsend, in 1808, and held the office
many years; Abraham Wagener in 1808, 1811, and 1820; Thomas Lee, in 1813; Morris F. Sheppard in 1813 and 1816.
George Youngs and Henry Wisner were also justices by appointment. Since the office became elective the succession
of justices, with dates of election, has been as follows: George Youngs, 1829, '33, '37, and '41; Avery Smith,
1830; Henry A. Wisner, 1831; Luther Sisson, 1832; George B. Nichols, 1834; Asa Norton, 1835; Samuel J. Potter,
1836, '40; R. G. Wait, 1838; Samuel Stevens, 1839; Darius A. Ogden, 1841; Amos Y. Carr, 1842, '46, '50; Thomas
H. Locke, 1843, '47; Jesse Davis, 1844; A. J. McIntyre, 1845; Peter Youngs, 1848; Green Kenyon, 1849; Benjamin
L. Hoyt, 1850, '53, '57, '61, '65, and '69; James V. Van Alen, 1851, '55; George Van Osdol, 1852; Hixson F. Anderson,
1854, '58, and '62; William S. Seamans, 1856, '60, '64, and '84; John Sloan, 1859; John L. Lewis, jr., 1863, '67,
and '71; Jacob H. Sheppard, 1866, '70; Jeptha F. Randolph, 1868; J. Wells Taylor, 1871, '72, '80; D. A. Ogden,
1873; Charles D. Davis, 1874; Benjamin L. Hoyt, 1875, '79; D. F. Randolph, 1876; Lewis B. Graham, 1877; Charles
D. Davis, 1878, '82, and '86; Abraham Gridley, 1881, '85; Delos A. Bellis, 1883, '87, '91; Garrett A. Bigger, 1888;
William H. Fiero, 1889; David B. Aspell, 1890.
[Will be continued with the village of Penn Yan, which is mostely in Milo.]