History of Montague, NY
FROM: History of Lewis County, New York and its people
By Franklin B. Hough
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1883


THIS town was formed from West Turin by the Board of Supervisors, November 14, 1850, embracing Township 3, or Shakespere, of the Boylston Tract. On the 22d of November, 1867, lots 1 to 38 of Township 8 in Osceola were annexed to this town by the Board of Supervisors. The first town meeting was directed to be held at the school house near Roswell Parmenter's.

Supervisors.- 1851-'53, Wheaton Burington; 1854-'60, Joseph M. Gardner; 1861-'62, Leonard G. Savage; 1863, Warren Wilcox; 1864-'70, Joseph M. Gardner; 1871-'72, George W. Kilburn; 1873-'76, Henry Niebergall; 1877-'78, Michael Connor; 1879, H. Niebergall; 1880-'81, C. D. Williams.

Clerks.- 1821, Stephen A. Green; 1852 -'53, Elias Sears; 1854, Leonard G. Savage; Alfred Green; 1856, Alson C. Rounds; 1857-'58, George D. Moffatt; 1859, Bildad Woodward, Jr.; 1860-'64, Oliver E. Lindsley; 1865, S. P. Watson; 1866-'69, George Willoughby; 1870, O. E. Lindsley; 1871, John D. Bradbury; 1872, James M. Lindsley; 1873, Charles Harter; 1874, J. D. Bradbury; 1875, O. E. Lindsley; 1876-'80, B. W. Young; 1881, J. D. Bradbury; 1882, Charles Scribner.

A bounty of $3 was voted for.the destruction of bears, in 1854.

This town was subdivided into 117 lots by Benjamin Wright in 1805. The courses and distances of its boundaries are as follows :-











S. 81° E






















The lines of 1795 were runby Medad Mitchell.

This town was named from Miss Mary Montague Pierrepont, of Brooklyn, a daughter of Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, former owner of this town and of large tracts in this and adjoining counties. This lady presented a set of record books to the town in consideration of the compliment. She died in Brooklyn in January, 1853.

The first agent charged with the care of this town was Dr. Samuel Allen of Denmark, who effected nothing. In 1838, Mr. Henry E. Pierrepont, of Brooklyn, went with Allen upon the tract, and left arrangements for opening a road from New Boston in Pinckney, southward across this town, but nothing was done until 1844, when Harvey Stephens of Martinsburgh, then agent, got a road opened. He died the next year, and in August, 1845, Diodate Pease, of Martinsburgh, was appointed agent, and continued in this office until his death, March 25, 1865. This town remained the undivided property of the Pierrepont family until 1853, when the east half excepting the parts previously conveyed, fell to the share of Joseph J. Bicknell, and the west half to James M. Miner, both of whom had married daughters of Hezekiah B. Pierrepont.

The first settler was Solomon Holden, who in the fall of 1846, moved into the town with his family, and wintered in a shanty on the land of Foster P. Newton. There was no other family in town during this winter. The first land was taken up by Newton, May 30, 1846, but he never resided in town. Lands were also booked to several others in the year 1846, but they never were known as settlers. Alonzo Garnsey purchased May 10, 1847, and resided a year or two at Gardner's Corners. Joseph M. Gardner became the first merchant, and from him the settlement known as Gardner's Corners was named. A saw-mill was raised by S. P. Sears, in the fall of 1847, and finished in July 1848. A premium was awarded to the proprietor as an encouragement to this beginning.

Samuel P. Sears, Calvin Rawson, Leonard G. Savage, Peter Durham, Cornelius Durham, Oliver Stafford, S. A. Green, William D. Bucklin, Isaiah Burr, Alonzo Garnsey, and Zebulon Marcellus were among the first settlers in this town.

In September, 1848, when Mr. Pierrepont visited the town, 4,000 acres were contracted, and 600 deeded. In 1850, 13,000 acres were sold, 40 miles of road were laid out, and a saw-mill was in course of erection on Deer river. There were then ioo inhabitants upon the town. Montague P. O. was established about 1856. Most of the settlers were from St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. The town was about two-thirds taken up by actual settlers when our first edition was published in 1860. At present the unsettled portion is chiefly in the southeastern part, annexed from Osceola, and a strip along the county line. The first death of an adult person was that of Caleb Green, January 2, 1854.

The first framed school house was built in 1850.
The first teachers in this town were as follows:-
District No. 1-Jane Johnson.
District No. 2-Sarah Kramer.
District No. 3-Sarah Hart.
District No. 4-Mary Ann TenEyck.
District No. 5-Anna H. Bent.
District No. 6-Mrs. Terrill.
District No. 7-Ellen Terrill.

There is no village in this town that might properly be so called, and but one postoffice. There are two steam sawmills, (William Glen & Co., and Ralph Hooker,) and four saw-mills, using hydraulic power. The latter are owned by George S. Edick, Nelson B. Sears, Chancy A. Marcellus, and George W. Kilburn. Besides lumber, there are produced bed-slats and pickets, shingles, lath, and other sawed stuff. There are in town three stores, owned by Glen & Co., Chas. D. Williams, and Edward Kilburn. The town has four coopers and two blacksmiths, but with these exceptions, its principal industry is in dairying, for which it is best adapted. From its elevated location it is liable to deep snows.

Gardner's Corners, in the northeast part, derives its name from Joseph M. Gardner, who formerly kept a store at that place. A Methodist Episcopal Society was formed there, March 12, 1880, with Samuel Scribner, Anson Edict, and William Young, as first trustees. They have a small church edifice that was dedicated September 29, 1880. There are one or two other Methodist societies in town. The Baptists formed a society in 1854.

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