History of Guilford, New York

GUILFORD was formed from Oxford, April 3, 1813. It was at first called Eastern, but received its present name March 21, 1817. It lies on the east border of the County, south of the center. The surface is hilly and broken, constituting a portion of the high lands between Unadilla and Chenango Rivers. The hills rise to the height of from 200 to 700 feet above the valleys. It is drained by the lJnadilla River and its tributaries, Guilford Pond Creek, Nursery Creek and numerous smaller streams. Guilford Pond Creek has a fall of 140 feet in passing through G uilford Village, affording a very valuable water-power. The soil is a gravelly and slaty loam, occasionally mixed with clay.

Guilford, (p. v.) situated in the valley of Guilford. Pond Creek, contains three churches, a foundry- and machine shop, several mills and manufactories and about 300 inhabitants.

Guilford Center, (p. v.) situated near the center of the town, contains two churches and about twenty dwellings.

East Guilford, (p. v.) in the south-east corner of the town, contains a church, a mill and about a dozen dwellings.

Mount Upton, (p. v.) situated on the west bank of the Unadilla, contains four churches, several mills and manufactories and about 200 inhabitants.

Rockdale, (p. v.) situated on the river in the east part of the town, contains two churches, several mills and about twenty-five dwellings.

The first settlement was made in 1787, by Ezekiel Wheeler, a little north of Mount Upton, on the farm since occupied by Silas Wheeler, the grandson of the first settler. Joshua Mercereau and his brother, two Frenchmen, settled at the mouth of Guilford Creek, and erected the first mill in town in 1789. In 1790 James Phelps and a Mr. Button settled near Rookdale, and Robert MeLeod on lot 1, and Isaac Fuller from Guilford, Connecticut, in 1791. Daniel Savage, John Nash and Nelson Robbins, from Balston Spa, settled at and near the old Four Corners, in 1792. John Secor, from Haverstraw, settled on lot 2; Gurdon and Wyatt Chamberlin, at Mount Upton, and William and Nathaniel flyer, in the east part of the town, in 1793. Among the other early settlers were Major Richmond and his sons, Joseph and Seth, Asa Haven, father of Hon. Solomon G. Haven, Daniel T. Dickinson, father of Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, Caleb Burdick, Samuel Smith and Paris Windsor.

The first child born was Prudence Fuller, in April, 1791; the first marriage, that of ____ Powell and the widow of Isaac Fuller, in 1793, and the first death that of Isaac Fuller, in 1793. The first inn was kept by Ezekiel Wheeler, in 1796, and the first store by Sullivan Reynolds, in 1790. He also erected the first mill, the same year, upon the Unadilla. The first school was taught by Nathan Bennett, in 1794. The first church (Baptist) was formed by Elder Orange Spencer, in 1803. The first town meeting was held at the house of Jehiel Parsons.

The population of the town in 1865 was 2,423, and its area 38,144 acres.

The number of school districts is 19; number of children of school age, 795; number attending school, 687; average attendance, 336, and the amount expended for school purposes for the year ending September 30, 1868, was $4,079.29.


GUILFORD.- Since the preceding was in type we have received some additional items from this town.

Guilford (p. v.) contains two churches, a hotel, a foundry and machine shop, a tannery, a furniture and bedstead factory, a grist mill, a saw mill, a photograph gallery and jeweler's shop, and several stores of various kinds.

Mount Upton (p. v.) contains two churches, a hotel, three stores, a grist mill, a saw mill, a harness shop, a cooper's shop, two blacksmith shops, a carriage shop and about 250 inhabitants.

East Guilford (p. v.) contains a church, a hotel, a grist mill, a saw mill, a blacksmith shop and about 100 inhabitants.

Rockdale (p. v.) contains a church, a hotel, a store, a grist mill, a saw mill and about 100 inhabitants.

Rockwell's Mills, about a mile north of Mount Upton, contains a church, a saw mill and the extensive woolen factory of Chester W. Rockwell. About 75,000 pounds of wool are worked up in this establishment annually.

Among the early settlers not already mentioned were Lemuel Cornell, on lot No. 14, in 1791; Daniel Johnson, on lot 24; Dr. Knapp, Roger Williams, Samuel A. Smith, Thomas H. Ingersoll, Seth Richmond and John Dibble, all of whom came in previous to 1803. Mr. Dibble kept a hotel in 1798, where the Guilford Hotel now stands; he died in 1801 and his widow kept the hotel for several years. after. Samuel Mills and five sons settled on lot 33, in 1798; Uri Yale on lot 53, in 1796; Benj. Yale. in 1799, on the same lot. Benj. Yale died a few years since at the age of 102 years and eight months. Daniel Cornell, now lixing on lot No. 1, is one of the oldest settlers in town, and Mrs. A. Wood, daughter of Daniel Savage, is another one. Ira Hays settled on lot 1, in 1795, and his son David, born in 1798, is probably the oldest per. son in the town who was born there. Samuel Ives, Joel and William Hendricks settled in the town in 1802. The academy at the center was built in 1805; Daniel Mills was the first teacher. The Congregational Church at Guilford Center was organized in 1812, with twelve members. Present number 160; John L. Jones, pastor.

The following persons died in the service of their country during the Rebellion:

Albert D. Wood, at the battle of Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864; Luman Bentley, battle of Pleasant Hill; James Nevil, at Brasher City, April 5, 1863; Wm. H. Chamberlain, Cedar Creek, Oct. 19, 1864; David W. Place, New Orleans, Feb. 12, 1863; Franklin Boyce, Camp Hubbard, August, 1863; Levi L. Secor, Donaldson, La., July 15, 1863; Watson Sliter, Baton Rouge, July 18, 1863; Orman Potter, New Orleans, Nov. 6, 1863; George E. Beckwith, Port Hudson, June 14, 1863; John F. Mathewson, June, 1863. John C. Durphy, Riley Foot, Albert Birdsall, Robert Johnson, Lawton Bush, Emory Smith, Edwin Gilbert, Oscar Root, Solon Bush, Oscar Bennett, Sheldon and Avery, all yielded up their livers in the service of their country.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Return to [ NY History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ]

NY Counties - Albany - Allegany - Broome - Cayuga - Chatauqua - Chenango - Clinton - Columbia - Cortland - Erie - Essex - Franklin - Fulton - Genesee - Herkimer - Jefferson - Lewis - Livingston - Madison - Montgomery - Niagara - Oneida - Onondaga - Ontario - Orange - Orleans - Oswego - Putnam - Queens - Rensselaer - Richmond - Rockland - St. Lawrence - Saratoga - Schenectady - Steuben - Suffolk - Tioga - Tompkins - Tryone - Ulster - Washington - Wayne - Yates

All pages copyright 2003-2012. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy