HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF STARKEY.
By Charles H. Martin.
THE town of Starkey is situated in the southeast corner of Yates County, and is bounded on the north by the
town of Milo, east by Seneca Lake, south by the town of Reading, Schuyler County, and west by the towns of Barrington
and Reading. Yates County was organized in the year 1823. The town of Starkey was not included in the organization
until the next year, 1824.
Starkey was originally a part of the old town of Frederickstown, afterward Reading. The name of Frederickstown
was changed to Wayne, in honor of General Anthony Wayne, April 6, 1808. Reading was founded in 1808 and included
the town of Starkey, which was organized in 1824 by act of legislature.
The early history of the town of Starkey is rather obscure. The pioneers have passed away, and their descendants
have scattered so that but few if any remain. So far as can be ascertained, the earliest attempt at settlement
was made by Elnathan, jr., and Benj. Botsford, and a brother in law, Achilles Comstock. They bought 400 acres of
Charles Williamson, not surveyed, built a log house and made a large clearing in 1798. Their property was destroyed
by a forest fire, and a survey deprived them of half of their land. They became discouraged and abandoned their
claim and returned to the Friends' settlement in Jerusalem, whence they came. There is a tradition that the first
permanent inhabitant was William Eddy. The east side of Seneca Lake was the route of General Sullivan in his expedition
against the Indians, and was the first to be settled by the whites. The dwellers on the east side had noticed for
some time a column of smoke ascending from a particular place on the west side. Their curiosity was excited, and
a party was formed to investigate. On a bright Sunday morning the expedition paddled their canoes across to the
Seneca landing, north of what is now Glenora. After landing the familiar sound of a bell was heard. Following the
sound it led them to a cow; and following the cow she led them to the cabin of William Eddy, the first settler
of Eddytown, and as believed, the first of Starkey.
William Eddy settled on the farm south of Eddytown now owned by Dennis W. Disbrow, where he remained several years.
Later in life he became possessed with the delusion that he had a fortune waiting for him in his native country.
He sold his property and returned to Ireland to find, like many other fortune hunters, that his fortune was but
a myth. He failed to find a person that had ever known or heard of him. He ended his life in an alms house and
died a pauper.
Assuming William Eddy to have been the first permanent white settler, we find the next in order was a colony from
Sandgate, Vermont, who located in and around Eddytown, in the eastern part of the town of Starkey. Among the number
were the three brothers, Mathew Royce, Simeon Royce, Reuben Royce, Abner Hurd and his three sons, Timothy Hurd,
Aaron Hurd, and Ransom Hurd, all in 1802. Andrew Booth came later, 1811, and was from the same locality as was
Moses Hurd, who came in about the same time of the first colony and settled near Rock stream, and gave the early
name of Hurd's Corners to that place. New Jersey furnished a large quota. Among the number was David Hay, 1804;
Andrew Raplee, 1806; Teval Swarts, 1807; Joseph C. Lewis, David Shannon, Stephen Reeder, Joshua Tuthill, James
Sprouls, and Hiram Titsworth, who located in different parts of the town, mostly north of Dundee.
Richard Lanning and his three sons came from Wilksbarre in 1802. George Plummer came from the same place in 1807,
and located on the hill between Dundee and Eddytown. John Starkey and David Semans were originally from Maryland,
but later from Seneca County. Peter Wallace, John 0. Cook, Reuben Thomas, Gideon Thomas, Thomas Rozell, and Col.
Elisha Ward settled the southwest part of the town.
The mention of Col. Elisha Ward's name recalls the memory of a horrible tragedy with which the family was sadly
connected. Colonel Ward lived in the extreme south part of the town on the county line. He was a well to do farmer
and lived in better style than his neighbors. The family consisted of the parents and an infant child. There was
boarding with them a man named Baldwin, affected slightly with insanity, but never known to be violent or dangerous.
He became apparently very fond of the child, and the baby became equally fond of him. Baldwin would quiet the child
when the mother failed. On a certain day the child was unusually fretful. The mother gave the child to Baldwin
who said he could "still" it. He took it out of doors, laid it on the stump of a tree, and siezing an
axe, severed its head from the body. Turning to the mother he said, "the child is stilled." The mother
was frantic. She caught the headless body of her child and for a long time "refused to relinquish it. Baldwin
was afterward cured of his malady and became an able lawyer.
The early settlement of the town appears to have been rapid. The fertility of the soil, the beauty of the scenery,
the low price of the land, the easy terms of payment, the kindness and lenity of the land office agents in extending
the time of payment in case of sickness or failure of crops, were inducements that favored the rapid development
of the county and attracted a very desirable class of settlers.
The land was originally covered with dense forests. That of the eastern portion, sloping towards the Seneca Lake,
was timbered in part with fined specimens of oak, maple, black walnut, hickory, red cedar, and other varieties,
and in the western portion (the valley of Big Stream) pines of magnificent growth were interspersed with other
kinds, all of which would have been of great value if retained until a later period, but was then an incumbrance
to be removed in the easiest manner. The manner then employed was to chop the trees in lengths of fourteen to sixteen
feet, "log" them into heaps and burn them. What would have been worth millions of dollars if kept until
later have been thus destroyed.
It is doubtful whether the town of Starkey, after nearly one hundred years of careful cultivation and improvement,
is of any more value than it would be could it be restored to the condition it was when abandoned by the Indians.
The principal water course of the town is Big Stream. This stream enters the town on its western boundary, and
flowing in a southeasterly direction through the entire breadth of the town, finally discharges its waters overt
a precipice of more than t00 feet into Seneca Lake, forming a beautiful waterfall. Big Stream, in those early days
of which we write, and later, was a splendid water power, and furnished power for fifteen saw mills, four fulling
mills, (i. e, mills where wool was carded and cloth was dressed,) two woolen factories, and five grist or flouring
mills. The mill privilege in West Dundee alone furnished power for three sawmills, one grist mill, a fulling mill
and tannery. Now in a drouth there is hardly water enough to run a steam engine. The shrinkage of water in the
streams is without doubt due to the destruction of the forests. There are now but two saw mills and two grist or
flouring mills on the stream. The only grist and flouring mill in the town in running order is the Pecha mill at
Glenora. The mill was built by James Barkly of Geneva, N. Y., in the year 1837. Larmon G. Townsend soon after its
completion became partner and afterward owner. The original cost of the mill was $16,000. It was sold at auction
in the year 1864, and bid off by H. G. 'Stafford for $1,030. Mr. Stafford sold it for $5,000, after putting on
repairs costing $1,500. The present owners have added many new improvements. The Pechas, father and son, are English,
and are practical millers, and thoroughly understand their business. The mill has always been in good repute and
is a great convenience to the surrounding country. The old Martin stone mill, still remaining, has been abandoned,
and of the remaining four mentioned three were destroyed by fire and the fourth was removed. Just across the town
line in Barrington the late Clinton Raplee built a grist and saw mill, and his sons have added a large basket factory.
Rock Stream, much smaller than the above, crosses the entire breadth of the town from west to east and empties
into Seneca Lake at Rock Stream Point.
The town of Starkey has an excellent soil well adapted to the cultivation of all kinds of grain, vegetables and
fruit. The soil is various, including sand, clay and loam. The cultivation of fruit has become one of the leading
(if not the leading) industries of the town. Large vineyards have been established along the shores of the Seneca
Lake, and inland for four or five miles. The acres devoted to grapes and other fruits can be estimated by thousands.
Other fruits have not been neglected. Apples, pears, plums and peaches are raised in abundance, and the raising
and evaporating of raspberries has assumed large proportions, Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, as well
as the other fruits mentioned above, are shipped in large quantities in their season. The fruit crop is the main
reliance of many families for support, and the freighting is a goodly source of profit to the railroads.
At the first town meeting the contest centered on the office of supervisor. The nominees were John Starkey and
Isaac Lanning. The election was hotly contested. Mr. Starkey was the successful candidate. The next year the same
candidates were nominated and Mr. Lanning was elected and held the office for several terms. The Lannings were
a conspicuous family in the early history of the town. The father, Richard Lanning, was the first justice of the
peace appointed by the governor, and was the first elected by the people. Isaac was one of the leading politicians
of the town. In later years he was postmaster for several terms. Early in the anti slavery agitation he became
a rigid abolitionist. His house was one of the stations of the "Underground Railroad," and many a poor
slave was helped by him on his way to freedom.
Richard Lanning, James Watson and John Starkey were justices of the peace by appointment of the governor when the
town was erected. Richard Lanning held the office for several terms. Isaac Lanning carried on a large business
in blacksmithing for many years in Eddytown.
Starkey has five post offices, Dundee, Starkey, Eddytown, Glenora and Rock Stream. Caleb Fulkerson and Andrew Harrison
kept inns in 1808, the first in the town. John Sears built the first grist mill. It was located east of Eddytown
on lands formerly owned by General Hurd, now by Mrs. Youngs. Mr. Sears found the stones used in the mill in a ravine
on the same premises, and picked and fashioned them into form himself. So far as known John Starkey built the second
grist mill in what is now Dundee.
The early merchants of Eddytown were Henry Smith, James Huntington, Benjamin Cheever, John Bogart, Isaac P. Seymour,
King & Noyes, Harvey G. Stafford, and George W. Summers.
Col. Stafford was for many years the leading merchant of the town. He came to Eddytown in 1822 and engaged with
Benjamin Cheever as clerk, and in 1827 became partner, and subsequently purchased the business. He removed to Dundee
in 1846, and was partner in the firm of Stafford, Martin & Co. After that partnership was dissolved he engaged
in banking and other business. He was postmaster under Fillmore's administration. He lived to the great age of
eighty eight, and died November 10, 1891.
The village of Dundee accupies the space of three fourth of a mile north and south, and one and one half
miles east and west. It has the old and new pre-emption lines for its eastern and western boundaries. The village
is located in one of the most beautiful of the many beautiful valleys of the State. It occupies a central position
in the town of Starkey, and is the largest village in the township, and the second in the population in the county.
The population according to the last census was a trifle over 1,200. Dundee was incorporated in 1848. Of the 250
voters within the village limits when it was incorporated only four are residents now, and most of the others have
passed into another state of existence. The four remaining are Hon. J. T. Andrews, V. Goldfield, C. H. Martin,
and Andrew Harpending, all well advanced in years.
The first settlers where Dundee now stands were Isaac Stark, Anson Stark, William Durland, Hendrick Houghtaling,
Elias Fitzwater, Jonathan Botsford, John Walton, Benjamin Potter, Isaac Houghtaling, Lazarus Reed, Joseph Green,
residing chiefly on or near Big Streams. Whether Isaac Stark was the first to settle on what is now the site of
Dundee, or whether the Houghtaling families were here before him, is a mooted question that I have not been able
to decide and on which the older inhabitants disagree. It is probable that both families came in the same year.
In 1807 Isaac Stark built a double log house on the site now occupied by James Bigelow's residence, corner of Main
street and West avenue. (Mr. Stark was grandfather of Mrs. Ernest Daily.) He owned all the land from the corner
of Main street east to the village limit and south to Big Stream. Mr. Stark offered the whole tract for a pair
of gray horses. The owner of the horses declined to accept the offer. The land was originally so densely covered
with pitch pine trees that the older inhabitants used to say a "single ray of sun light could not penetrate
them, and it was dusk at noon." The Houghtalings owned 200 acres on the north side of Seneca street. The land
was called "pine barrens," and was considered of little value.
Harpending's Corners was the name by which Dundee was known at that time, and the word "corners" fully
describes the place. There were then only the four principal streets, viz.: Main, Seneca, Water and Union, if we
except Millard street, which was only a country road, and Spring street, then socalled Potash lane, a private alley
leading to an ashery located at its western terminus. To say Harpending's Corners was not an inviting or pleasant
place to look upon would be to state the question in a very mild form. The appearance of the village was dreary
and desolate. The streets were rough and uneven, filled with piles of lumber, shingles and staves, and were profusely
decorated with stumps. Cows, pigs, and geese ran at large, and pig troughs were in front of some of the dwellings.
There were no side walks, no shade trees, no churches, no lawyers, no justices or other town officers, no stages,
livery or other public conveyances, and what will indicate the very low grade of civilization, there was not a
billiard or gambling room in the village. Not to say that there was not any of the last named business. There was
a large amount in a small way, which was usually transacted in the hay mows of barns and horse sheds. "Old
Sledge" was the game, and the stakes were "a shilling a corner," whatever that might imply. Long
rows of unsightly rail fences were on all the streets. There were about thirty buildings, large and small (mostly
small), and illy kept, scattered along the four principal streets singly and in small huddles.
There were no agents or drummers in those early times. The "commercial traveler" was not known. The system
of selling goods by sample was not inaugurated until many years later. It has come to stay and gives employment
to an army of very competent men, and is a matter of great convenience to merchants, many of whom never visit the
cities to make their purchases. The merchants "went below" twice each year, spring and fall, and their
goods were transported by canal. "Going below" implied a trip to Troy, Albany, and sometimes to New York.
After receiving their goods their shelves would be reasonably full. Then there would be a rush of customers for
new goods, and as the shelves became empty the goods would be condensed on the lower shelves and a strip of wall
paper would be stretched over the empty shelves. In two months after the goods were received the assortment would
be broken, and in a month a great many articles could not be obtained. Often there would not be a pound of sugar
in the town, and a scarcity of many other articles. Money was scarce and a great portion of the business was in
barter. "Store pay" was almost considered "legal tender." All kinds of grain and other produce
were among the exchanges. Ashes was a very important factor, there being two asheries where potash was manufactured.
Lumber and staves were taken at low figures, five dollars per thousand bought very good lumber. Shingles were bought
in very large quantities. It was not an unusual sight to see large numbers of horse and ox teams loaded with shingles
on the streets, and if there was a woman on the load, as was often the case, it was considered mortgaged.
There was one hotel, owned and kept by Samuel Harpending, grandfather of the present proprietor. Harpending House
has been owned by some member of the Harpending family for more than seventy years, and has always been deservedly
popular and noted for its good cheer. The original proprietor, "Uncle Sam," as he was familiarly called,
was a character in his way. Large and burly of figure, the ideal of a country landlord, clear headed and shrewd
in business affairs, kind and generous of heart withal, though tempestuous of temper. When once aroused it was
no gentle shower that distilled, but a thunder storm, a hurricane, a tornado. His vocabulary of abusive language
was wonderful, and woe to the unlucky wight who chanced to fall under his displeasure. He made things lively while
the storm raged, but it would subside as quickly as it had been raised, and he would be just as ready in half an
hour to do his victim a favor as he was to pour on him his wrath. The old man had always a retinue of dead heads
about him, and I believe that custom has been continued by his successors. No one was refused food and shelter
at the Harpending House for want of money. He gave liberally to the churches to the first three built, each a building
lot and a subscription equal to that of any of the members.
In those days Harpending's Corners was a dependent of Eddytown, taking the crusts and crumbs thrown to it, and
eating its humble pie with thankfulness. Eddytown was the favored village, with its five stores, church, two hotels,
lawyers, doctors, and a variety of mechanics. It had a daily mail and a daily line of four horse stage coaches.
It was favorably located on the direct stage road between Geneva and Elmira (then Newtown), and was then the principal
village on the route, a place of more business importance than Watkins (under whatever alias that village was then
known). Real estate in Eddytown commanded nearly double the price that the same kind of property could sell for
in this place. The policy of Eddytown toward Harpending's Corners was one of repression, and she used her power
and opportunity for that purpose. It had already begun to look upon the upstart as a possible business rival. Eddytown
controlled the politics of the town and disposed of the political favors, which explains why then there were no
town officers located in this place. Eddytown had a monopoly of shows, general trainings, Fourth of July celebrations,
etc. Town meetings were always held there, and when elections were held on three successive days at three different
places. Harpending's Corners, although the most centrally located, was always left out in the cold. In order to
prevent the elections from being held at the "Corners" they were often held in remote corners of the
town. I recollect that in the election of 1832 (General Jackson's last run for the Presidency), that election was
held the first day at Torrence's Tavern, on the farm now owned by Daniel Sproul, the second day at Rock Stream,
and the third at Eddytown. This was the usual custom, but it was the last time that it occured. In the spring of
1831 Samuel Kress, a very competent man, ran for the office of justice of the peace and was defeated, not from
any personal objection to the candidate, but merely on a local issue. There was no pretence that Mr. Kress was
not qualified for the office, and he belonged to the party in the majority. The political magnates willed that
there should be no justice located at Harpending's Corners, and it was some years before one was allowed, and then
only that Eddytown should furnish the material. They sent James L. Seeley, who was duly elected. They might have
done a worse turn. Mr. Seeley was honest and thoroughly competent and acceptable, and became one of the leading
citizens. This was doing justice by installments. Following the election of Mr. Seeley a full quota of officers
was allowed, although not from choice. Harpending Corners had tired of acting as tail to the Eddytown kite, and
demanded and received as her right what had before been granted as a favor.
In the spring and summer of 1831 there was a small boom in building. Samuel Huson built a store and dwelling on
the corner of Water and Union streets. John Sweeney, Dr. Benjamin Nichols, B. B. Beekman, Thomas Swarthout and
E. J. Smith, each built dwellings on Main street, west side. The Harpending House was enlarged and the Baptists
erected the first house of worship in the village. From this time the future of the village was assured, and Eddytown
as a business place was doomed, its prestege was gone. Little by little its trade left and was absorbed by its
young rival. One by one its stores disappeared; some closed out, some removed, and others went out legitimately
(failed), until in time there was none left.
Starkey Corners was a place of considerable business importance. It had a church, Methodist Episcopal, one store,
two hotels, and a good supply of mechanics. The store and one of the hotels have gone; the other hotel is the Reeder
homestead. A few dwellings occupied by the owners is all that remains of the hamlet which in early times had quite
as much business as Harpending's Corners.
In the summer of 1834 the changing of the name of the village was agitated. There had been an attempt to call it
Plainville, which failed, there being another village of that name in the State. This probably produced more excitement
than any event before or since. The number of names proposed were only limited to the number of the inhabitants,
nearly every one having a pet name largely of the "ville" order. The Harpending family very naturally
wanted the old name in part retained, and proposed "Harpending" or Harpendale." Rev. E. W. Martin's
choice was La Grange, while others thought Stark or Starkville the better name at a meeting called to decide the
matter. James Gifford proposed Dundee, which was accepted. The real contest was between Dundee and La Grange. Mr.
Gifford afterward emigrated West and founded the city of Elgin, Ill., to which he gave another Scotch name. Mr.
Gifford built the first house in Elgin. He named another village in Illinois Dundee. From these names it would
be supposed that he was a Scotchman. This was not so. He was an old fashioned singing school teacher and selected
his names from the musica sacra. While Eddytown and Starkey's Corners was favored with a daily mail and a daily
line of four horse stage coaches, and Wayne and Tyrone had the same accommodation, a weekly mail service, and that
carried on horseback, was the postal accommodations for this place until 1838. The Hon. J. T. Andrews, while in
Congress, with difficulty had the service increased to semi weekly mail. The late Nehemiah Raplee was postmaster,
and the postoffice was kept in the kitchen of his dwelling. There was no public conveyance to and from Dundee until
about the year 1841. Then Col. Benjamin Tuthill, of Starkey's Corners, mail contractor, put upon the road a one
horse vehicle in which the mail and passengers were carried to and from Starkey Landing, on Seneca Lake. The mail
service had been increased to a tri weekly mail. The accommodation, was ample and the old red one horse "'bus"
was never so crowded but that there was room for one more.
Saturday was considered a holiday. The people from the country flocked into the village. Shooting at a "mark,"
wrestling, jumping, and baseball playing (old style), and other sports were indulged in. The day usually closed
with one or more scrub races and several fights, whisky was cheap, three cents a glass or a shilling a bottle.
The race course was Seneca street, and the stakes were one, three, and on extra occasions five dollars. Also a
special purse of ten dollars was sometimes risked.
In speaking of the early inhabitants and their relation to the early history of the village, the late Gen. Nehemiah
Raplee was a prominent figure. For more than a half century he was a resident of this place, and in its early days
was associated with its material development. He was always alive to the interest of the village, and in many ways
contributed to its advancement. He held many important offices and was elected as a Democrat to the Assembly in
1848, when the county was Whig by a large majority. Subsequently he was elected associate judge, and for some years
was brigadier general of militia. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to the young and those starting in
life. His endorsement, and Samuel Harpending's, were on many notes, and were always honored at the bank. Many now
in good circumstances were indebted to such help for their start in life. After misfortune had overtaken him he
said to the writer that he never asked favors of those he had helped but of those on whom he had no claim. He made
no concealment of his likes or dislikes and was a man of decided opinions, and being a trifle belligerent sometimes,
made enemies. Those who only remember him in the latter days of his life, when crushed and broken by misfortune
would hardly recognize in him the handsome, active, busy, hustling business man of early days.
Fires. - Dundee has been severely scourged by fires. The three most disastrous occurred in the year 1859-60-61.
The first started on the east side of Main street in the center of a frame block, and burning in both directions
destroyed all but one building (Mrs. Wolcott's) between Hollister and Seneca streets, and on Seneca street east
to the Sleeper residence. The second large fire was started on the west side of Main street on the site of the
Wilson house, and burning north destroyed every building to the corner of Union street. The losses in this fire
were estimated at 60,000, insurance $37,000. In this fire George Sayre lost a store. A. C. Harpending, a dry goods
merchant, lost a block of three brick stores, estimated loss $20,000, insurance $4,500; he had no insurance on
his stock. Hamlin & Martin, dry goods, estimated loss $20,000; real loss not more than $12,000, fully insured.
W. B. Hamlin lost a block of three brick stores. W. H. Sawyer, dry goods, $12,000, and twelve other concerns including
clothing, millinery, and drug stores, oyster saloon, law office, daguerrean and record office. There was no other
spot in the village where so large an amount was exposed; a greater amount was destroyed than in all previous fires.
The great fire commenced about one o'clock on Saturday morning of March 1, 1861. It was first discovered in a barn
in the rear of a brick block on Water street. A gale was blowing at the time and the fire spread in all directions.
Everything went down before it. It was said that there were forty buildings burning at one time. This was the third
great fire. The people were panic stricken and gave up the town as doomed. There was not a building left on the
corners. All the landmarks were gone and men blundered and stumbled in the darkness and fell into the cellars.
There were but half the number of inhabitants that there is now, and in proportion to the size of the town it was
a more disastrous fire than those of Chicago or Boston. There was no places for business left, and so the merchants
erected rough board shanties of 100 feet in length, where they transacted their business until other buildings
were erected. In these fires N. F. Murdock lost twelve stores and his dwelling and barn. W. B. Hamlin lost one
brick and one frame block. He had three buildings on the same foundation in one year. Hamlin & Martin lost
two stocks of goods in three months; beginning with $20,000 stock and ending with $300. Justus Ellis lost two hotels,
three brick stores, one bowling alley, three barns, and several mechanics shops. The Harpending House was burned
leaving the village without a hotel. The business part of the east side of Main street has been burned over three
different times. The two last fires were undoubtedly incendiary. Henry Light was indicted and tried for the offence.
The jury did not agree. Eleven jurors voted for conviction, one for acquittal. He was given his choice between
another trial or enlisting for three years in the army. He chose the latter, soon deserted and was lost sight of.
Banks. - The first banking institution was "Jep" Raplee's exchange and banking office' opened
in 1856; soon after it was changed into a State bank, 1857, and moved to Penn Yan 1858. The bank building and fixtures
were sold to H. G. Stafford, who continued the business until 1871, when it closed. Lewis J. Wilkin opened a banking
office in 1868 and continued in business until 188o, when he sold to the Dundee National Bank. The National bank
began business April 1, 1880, with a capital of $50,000, with James Spicer, president; Morris F. Sheppard, vice
president; and Frank R. Durry, cashier. Mr. Spicer still retains the office of president; the vice president, M.
F. Sheppard, was succeeded by T. D. Beekman, January 1887. Mr. Beekman is still vice president. The cashier, F.
R. Durry, was succeeded by George S. Sheppard, January 1, 1881. Mr. G. S. Sheppard held that office until August,
1882, and was then succeeded by G. S. Shattuck, who still retains that position, November, 1891.
Dundee State Bank, February 28, 1882, Andrew Harpending, president; Lewis J. Wilkin, cashier. Present officers,
George P. Lord, president; William C. Swarts, vice president; Lewis J. Wilkin, cashier; H. J. Youngs, assistant
cashier. Capital, $50,000.
Starkey Business Firms (on Seperate Page).
Starkey Church History (on Seperate Page).
Glenora - Glenora is beautifully situated on the west shore of Seneca Lake. The banks of the lake rise abruptly
to a height of 200 feet or more. The Northern Central Railroad bridge spans the chasm made by Big Stream at that
dizzy height. The mercantile business is represented by one store, and the manufactures by a flouring mill, saw
mill and a large factory manufacturing grape and other fruit baskets. There is a "Union hall" for the
accommodation of religious gatherings and other purposes. The village was formerly called Big Stream Point, and
was a place of business importance. Larmon G. Townsend, an energetic merchant, controlled the mercantile business
of the hamlet. He came from New Haven, Conn., and commenced business as a merchant. He soon enlarged his sphere,
taking in the grain and produce business, and finally became owner of the flouring and saw mill and a woolen factory.
The business was too much for his capital, and like most business too much extended ended disastrously. The village
has of late years become a summer resort. Major Budd's summer hotel is always well patronized, and there are several
cottages rented or occupied by owners.
Rock Stream. - The village of Rock Stream is located in the extreme southern limit of the town of Starkey.
It has two stores, two churches, Christian and Presbyterian, and a variety of mechanics. It has been a place of
considerable business importance. It was first known as Hurd's Corners, from a family of that name, early settlers.
The Hathaway families are among the older families. Gilbert Hathaway was a large land owner, and kept a public
house for many years.
Mr. C. W. Barnes was for many years a merchant at Rock Stream and carried on a large business in merchandise and
country produce. Mr. Barnes was the senior partner in the firm of Barnes & Sharp, which was dissolved many
years ago. Alonzo Simmons, a very successful merchant, amassed a handsome fortune here, and retired to Reading
Center in 1843. The village is located in one of the finest sections of farming land in the State, and has the
Northern Central Railroad on the east and the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning on the west.
Reminiscences. - Under a pile of rubbish in the southwest corner of an old "grave yard," now included
in the public school lot, with nothing to mark the place, lie the remains of Isaac Andrews, private secretary to
Gen. George Washington during the war for Independence. Mr. Andrews drew the forms of the pay rolls used by General
Washington, and which I have been informed are still used in the army. Mr. Andrews was by profession a teacher
and surveyor. Over his grave the wagons rumble carrying supplies of fuel, etc., to the public school, and the children
innocently and unknowingly pursue their noisy sports. Mr. Andrews was a scholar and Christian, and a gentleman.
He was also a Mason. His funeral was the first Masonic funeral held in the town and was largely attended.
Gen. Timothy Hurd was a captain of militia in the War of 1812, and with his company (or with as many as he could
persuade to go over), crossed the Niagara River into Canada. He was later elected brigadier general of militia.
He settled in Eddytown, built himself a large dwelling, and became one of the leading men in the Methodist Episcopal
Church and in the town. He built a saw mill in 1809 on Big Stream south of Eddytown, and later a grist mill. It
is claimed that his was the first saw mill on the stream. Isaac Stark's was senior one year. His family occupied
a very high social position. Leveret Gabriel, a boy, came from Vermont with General Hurd, and afterward settled
south of Eddytown.
Stephen Reeder and his brother in law, Joshua Tuthill, bought 360 acres of land at Starkey Corners and divided
it equally between them, Tuthill taking the north half and Reeder the south. Josiah Reeder came at the same time,
1811, and located on fifty acres in Eddytown, on the northwest corner of the Dundee road.
Henry Schenck sold to Teval Swarts the farm now owned by William C. Swarts, one and one half miles north of Dundee.
The farm contains 107 acres, consideration $900. The farm has remained in the Swarts family since its purchase,
and is the only farm in the town that has never been incumbered with a mortgage nor has it been bequeathed. When
it has changed owners it has been by purchase and sale. Teval sold it to his son Peter for a money consideration.
Peter sold to his son, William C. Swarts, the present owner.
Among the prominent families who came early to the village of Dundee, then Harpending's Corners, that of Benjamin
B. Beekman deserves particular mention. Mr. Beekman was one of the older citizens. He came from New York city in
1830 and stopped for a few months in Eddytown, moving to Dundee in 1831 with his wife and oldest son, Cornelius.
From that time until his death he was a prominent figure in the affairs of the village. He built on contract the
first Baptist "meeting house," and erected for himself three brick blocks of stores and two dwellings,
all of which remain the property of the estate except one dwelling. He was for many years a ruling elder of the
Presbyterian Church, and to him and his neighbor, Baltis Titsworth, is the church indebted for many helps in time
of need. Mr. Beekman's business was originally that of builder or carpenter; later in life he engaged in the furniture
and undertaking business, and was very successful. His oldest son, Cornelius, emigrated to California in 1849,
and is now a resident of Jacksonville, Oregon. In 18- he ran for governor, and claims he was fairly elected, but
was defrauded of his rights. Of the other sons, Abram and John have made a success of their business in Bath, N.
Y., and T. Dewitt, after succeeding his father in the furniture business, sold out and is now one of the firm of
F. H. Sayre & Co., hardware merchants of Dundee.
John T. Andrews has for many years been a prominent figure in Dundee. He came to the village sometime in the early
forties and has resided here since. The Andrews family originally came from near the Hudson River and settled in
the town of Reading in 1812. While a resident of Steuben County he held the office of justice of the peace, was
elected sheriff and member of the Twenty fifth Congress. After coming to Dundee he retired from business until
1866, when he became a partner in the firm of Martin Vosburg & Co. until 1874; since then he has not engaged
in active business. At the age of eighty eight years he is active and in appearance has many years of life before
Griffin B. Hazard built a saw mill in 1811, and a grist mill in 1812 on Big Stream, south of Dundee. The mills,
with 600 acres of land, came in possession of his son James P. Hazard, who kept them until his death, which occurred
in 1872. James Hazard invested a large amount in the building of a mill that was never finished and was a total