BAINBRIDGE was constituted a town and named Jericho, February 16, 1791, at which time it formed a part of Tioga county. Its name was changed April 15, 1814, in honor of Commodore Bainbridge of the American Navy. It originally included portions of Norwich and Oxford, which were taken off January 19, 1793; of Greene, one part of which was taken off March 15, 1798, and another the following year; and the present town of Afton, which was taken off November 18, 1857. It lies upon the east border and near the south-east corner of the county. It is bounded on the north by Guilford and Oxford, on the east by Otsego and Delaware counties, on the south by Afton, on the west by Afton and Coventry. The surface is a rolling upland, beautifully diversified, and is abundantly watered by the Susquehanna, which crosses it diagonally from north-east to south-west, and the smaller streams tributary to it; the principal of which are the Unadilla, which unites with it on the east border of the town, a portion of which it forms, Kelsey Creek, which flows south through the west border, and Bennett Creek, which flows in a westerly direction near the south line. The Susquehanna enters the town on the east border, from one to two miles south of the north line, and flows in a westerly direction till it reaches the village of Bainbridge, where it deflects to the south and maintains that course until it leaves the town. The valley of the river is about a mile wide and is bordered by moderately steep hillsides. The summits of the highest hills are 400 to 600 feet above the valleys.
It is wholly underlaid by the rocks of the Catskill group, in which quarries of good building and flagging stone have been opened, two near the north line of the town, on the farms of Richard Bush and M. Frank, and a third just east of the village, on the east side of the river, on the farm of Jehiel Evans. From the Bush quarry excellent, massive blocks for underpinning and building purposes are obtained; while that obtained from the Frank quarry, on an adjoining farm, is only suitable for flagging, the layers being thinner. From the Evans farm quarry, good massive building stone is obtained, but the superincumbent mass to be removed makes it too expensive to be profitably worked. It supplied the stone used in the abutments of the bridge crossing the river in the village of Bainbridge. The soil upon the hills is a gravelly and shaly loam, and in the valleys a fine fertile clay loam and alluvium. Dairying forms the chief, and almost exclusive branch of agriculture. The dairies are all private ones, the largest being that of Jerome B. Sands, who milks some fifty cows. There is not a factory in the town, nor has there been. The butter product is marketed in New York.
In 1875 the town had a population of 1,928; of whom 1,857 were natives, 71 foreigners, 1,917 white, and 11 colored. Its area was 20,982 acres; of which 14,446 were improved, 5,852 woodland, and 684 otherwise unimproved.
The Albany and Susquehanna Railroad crosses the town along the valley of the Susquehanna, which river it crosses near the east line.
There are twelve Common and one Union Free School districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the town. During the year ending September 30, 1878, there were 17 licensed teachers at one time during 28 weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts September 30, 1877, was 550. During the year ending September 30, 1878, there were 9 male and 20 female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 471, of whom only 7 were under 5 or over 21 years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 269.66; the number of volumes in district libraries was 653, the value of which was $1,038; the number of school-houses was 13, 12 frame and 1 brick, which, with the sites, embracing 3 acres and 89 rods, valued at $1,227, were valued at $18,877; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $787,199. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age, residing in the districts September 30, 1877, was 130, of whom 113 attended district school fourteen weeks of that year, and two attended private schools, or were instructed at home.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876||$ 415 36|
|" apportioned to district||1,777 20|
|Proceeds of Gospel and School lands||51 75|
|Raised by tax||1,418 62|
|From teachers' board||332 50|
|" other sources||782 50|
|Total Receipts||$4,787 93|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$3,656 82|
|" " libraries||8 09|
|" " school apparatus||45 38|
| " " school-houses, sites, fences, out-|
houses, repairs, furniture, &c.
|Paid for other incidental expenses||835 87|
|Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877||67 96|
|Total Payments||$4,787 93|
SETTLEMENTS.---The territory included in this town was at first claimed by Robert Harper, under a grant from the Indians, but the State repudiated the title and granted it, together with the town of Afton, to the "Vermont Sufferers", by whom the first settlements were made. The Vermont sufferers were persons who, by reason of the allegiance to the Government of the State of New York during the controversy existing between it and the State of Vermont, immediately after the close of the Revolutionary war, relative to lands which were finally ceded to the latter State, were dispossessed of certain property and otherwise punished by the Green Mountain State; and who, as a recompense therefore, were granted lands in the township of Clinton, afterwards known as Jericho, embracing the whole or the major portions of the present towns of Bainbridge and Afton. February 24, 1786, Col. Timothy Church and Majors Wm. Shattuck and Henry Evans, to the former of whose regiment the majority of the sufferers belonged, presented, in their behalf, the following petition to the New York State Government:---
"To his Excellency the Governor and the Honourable the Legislature of the State of New York, the Petition of the Subscribers, in behalf of themselves and others most Humbly Sheweth,"That your Petitioners and those they represent are Inhabitants of Cumberland county, and by their attachment, zeal and activity in Endeavouring to support the Just and Lawfull Authority of New York, Incurred a Displeasure from those who stiled themselves Freemen of Vermont, But by the encouragements from the several Resolutions of Congress, and Particularly that of the fifth of December, 1782, and the laws and Resolutions of the State of New York, your Petitioners were induced to believe that the Lawless and ungratefull usurpers would be brought to submit to its Lawfull authority, or at least to permitt your Petitioners to remain peaceably on their Farms, under the Jurisdiction of New York. But notwithstanding the Resolutions and Laws, these Lawless usurpers, raised in Arms to the Number of four or five Hundred, Drove some of your Petitioners from their habitations, Imprisoned others, Killed One, and wounded others, confiscated their Estates and sold their Effects.
February 28, 1786, the same petitioners signed a deposition, which was sworn to before John Hobart, giving a list of the civil and military officers in the county of Cumberland who were commissioned by the State of New York, together with the number of privates, as nearly as could be ascertained, who were either imprisoned, banished, or had their effects taken from them by the authority of Vermont, and also the amount of losses sustained by them, which were estimated by a committee under oath to amount to 16, 663£, 13s., 7d.
In the Senate, March 1, 1786, Mr. L'Hommedieu, from the committee to whom was referred the above petition, reported:---
"That it appears to the Committee that the Petitioners with many others holding offices both civil and military under the authority of this State, with other inhabitants of the said County have greatly suffered in their persons and Estates and are still subject to heavy fines imposed by the Authority of the Assumed State of Vermont for no other Crime than supporting the lawful Authority of this State in the said County which from time to time have done in pursuance of sundry Resolution of Congress the Several Laws of this State and the directions of their Superiors in Office, that the Petitioners with others whom they represent, being deprived in a great measure of the means of subsistence and having become odious to the present Government of the Assumed State by reason of their supporting the Laws of this State in the said County are unable to continue longer in the said County without the greatest inconvenience to themselves and families, and are desirous of removing immediately into the western parts of this State, Provided they could procure vacant lands fit for cultivation, That in the Opinion of your Committee the said Petitioners and others whom they represent have a Claim on the State for some compensation for their sufferings and Losses, and that it will be proper for the State to Grant to the Petitioners and the Persons they represent a quantity of vacant land equivalent to a Township of Eight miles square." 2
The recommendation of the committee was made the action of the Senate and was concurred in by the Assembly.
Following is a list of the "persons deemed by the Commissioners of the Land Office, Sufferers in Opposing the Government of the pretended State of Vermont, with the proportion of Land adjudged to each set Opposite to their respective name, together with the Number of the Lots Balloted to them respectively by the Secretary in the presence of the Board." 3 It may very appropriately appear in this connection, as many of them soon after become settlers upon this tract and pioneers in this portion of the State:---
"From Land Papers endorsed Petitions of Vermont Sufferers.
|6||Timothy Church (Colonel,)||3,840 acres||No. 47, 35, 60,|
90, 71, 84.
|5||William Shattuck (Major,)||3,200 acres||No. 36, 53, 65,|
|2||Francis Prouty, (Lieut.,)||1,180 acres||for Prouty,|
|Isaac Kendell,||100 acres||for Prouty &|
Kendell, No. 86.
|1||William White (Capt.,)||640 acres||No. 83.|
|1||Joseph Peck (Capt.,)||640 acres||No. 68.|
|1||Daniel Ashcroft (Capt.,)||640 acres||No. 88.|
|Thos. Baker (Capt.,)||260 acres||No. 81.|
|1||Samuel Bixby (Justice,)||380 acres.|
|Hezekiah Stowell,||840 acres||for Stowell,|
|2||Orlando Bridgman,||260 acres||for Stowell,|
Clark, No. 73
|Samuel Clark,||180 acres|
|Ephraim Knapp||100||No. 58.|
|Artems How (Lieut.)||200|
|Samuel Meldy||420||No. 98.|
|1||Jonath. S. Alexander (Ensign,)||220|
|James Davidson||500||No. 39.|
|David Lamb (Ensign,)||300||No. 89.|
|Elisha Pierce||200||No. 97.|
|R. B. Church||180|
|Joseph Chamberlin||380||No. 66.|
|John Adams||160||No. 64.|
|1||Jonathan Stoddard, junr.||160|
|Joseph Wells||360||No. 38.|
|Caleb Nurse||240||No. 94.|
|1||David Thurber, junr.||200|
|Amos Yeaw||210||No. 92.|
|Josiah Price||200||No. 55.|
|1||David Thurber||640||No. 40.|
|David Thurber||200||No. 56.|
|Abraham Avery||430||No. 87.|
|Seth Clark||160||No. 48.|
|3||Henry Evens, Major,)||1920||Nos. 73, 79, 80.|
|John Alexander, (Lieut.)||280||No. 77.|
|1||Isaac Crosby "||180|
|Reuban Church, (Ensign,)||180|
|Noah Shepherdson||90||No. 74.|
|1||Joel Bigelow, (Adjutant,)||350|
|Nath'l Carpenter||280||No. 96.|
|Charles Phelps||508||No. 42.|
|Timothy Phelps, (Sheriff,)||280||No. 70.|
|Daniel Shepherdson, (Justice,)||280||No. 95.|
|Elijah Prouty, (Justice,)||465||No. 44.|
|Hezekiah Broad||350||No. 100.|
|Joseph Shepherdson||263||No. 67.|
|Samuel Noble||214||No. 91.|
|Icabod Parker||214||No. 62.|
|1||Amos York, junr.||214|
|Elijah Clark||100||No. 93.|
|Daniel Whitney||180||No. 57.|
|John Gault||280||No. 59.|
|Aseph Carpenter||350||No. 69.|
|Cyrryl Carpenter||220||No. 41.|
|David Goodenough||340||No. 49."|
Lots Nos. 43, 45, 46, 54, 61, 72, 75, 76, 85 and 89 were not drawn.
By act of March 20, 1788, Lots Nos. 45 and 61 in Clinton Township were allotted to "Philip Frisbee, Ephraim Guthrie, Goold Bacon, Joseph Landers, Samuel Frisbee, Eben Landers, Heman Stone, Roderick Moore, Philip Frisbee, junr., Seth Stone, Nath'l Benton, jr., and their associates on their applying for the same."
The following persons also had grants, viz: "Isaac Crosby, Israel Smith, Henry Morgan, Col. Seth Smith---780 acres; James Comins, William Pierce, Francis Comins, James Cummins Junr., 500 acres; Obadiah Wells, Capt. Joseph Elliot 450 acres; Joshua Lindes, Samuel Lindes, Judathan Roberts, Giles Roberts, John Sherburn, Ensign Rutherford Hays, Amariah Parks, Zephaniah Shepardson."
The names of Lieuts. Elihu Root, Isaac Wells and Daniel Danilson, and Ensigns Simion Terrel and Joshua Russ appear in the list of "sufferers," but not in that of grantees.
Thus it is seen that the first settlers in this locality came under duress, having been driven from the homes of their birth or adoption to the inhospitable wilds of a country thickly studded with gigantic pines and infested with wild beasts. But even the rigors of a life in such a wilderness, remote from civilization, were gladly accepted in exchange for the comforts and social advantages which they were no longer allowed to enjoy in their former homes, and the persecution and social ostracism to which their fidelity had subjected them. Hither they came with naught save their strong, brawny arms and resolute wills to grapple with the new conditions of live, and well they succeeded in wresting from them the elements of a comfortable and happy existence, as the beautiful homes, thriving industries, and attractive villages, with their educational and religious institutions, and other social advantages, bear abundant testimony; but the hardships and privations they endured as the price of these can be appreciated by but a few of the present generation, who have entered into their labor and enjoy the fruits of their heroic, persistent, intelligent and devoted efforts.
The first settlement upon the tract granted to the Vermont sufferers, and, so far as our information extends, in the original county of Chenango, was made near Bettsburgh, in the present town of Afton, in 1784, by Elnathan Bush, who came from Sheffield, Mass., where for eighteen years, he held under the King the office of sheriff, which, his sympathies being with the Americans, he resigned at the opening of the Revolutionary war, in which his son Charles served during the whole period of its continuance.
Mr. Bush brought in his family, consisting of his wife, Vashti Stebbins, of Sheffield, and four children, Charles, Japhet, Joseph and Polly. They came as far as Cooperstown on horseback, and thence by canoe down the Susquehanna, leaving Cooperstown on the 2d of May. He first settled on the west side of the river, opposite Stowel's Island, about two miles below Afton. January 30, 1790 he exchanged this property with Hezekiah Stowel, whose grandson, Nathan Stowel, still occupies it, for 81 acres (really 100 acres though the deed specifies only 81,) on lot 74, in the town of Bainbridge, about a mile above the village, on the west side of the river, which was acquired by Stowel the year previous, and to this he removed the following April. The consideration was 80£. This piece was deeded by Stowel to Japhet and Joseph Bush, sons of Elnathan, and now forms the residence farm of the latter's grandson, Joseph Bush, having remained in the family since 1790. Mrs. Joseph Bush has made additions to the farm, which now embraces 255 acres. Elnathan's log cabin stood about fifteen rods in a south-westerly direction from the present residence of Joseph Bush, and was occupied by the family ten years, till 1800, in which year the latter was built. There is no trace left of the old log cabin or its site. The present house which superseded it, was the first frame house in the town of Jericho. It was built by Joseph Bush, father of the present occupant, and although it has been remodeled and modernized, the frame and size and shape of rooms remain as at first. The barn which stands about eight rods from the house, the most southerly one on the homestead farm, and the only one unpainted, is an object of great interest, as it is, perhaps, the oldest relic of those bygone days remaining in the country. It was built by the same individual in 1791, and is still in a remarkable state of preservation. It has only been changed from its original condition by having been re-shingled and ceiled, the changes made being such only as were necessary to preserve it. The marks of the scriber are still clearly discernable on the frame, which is, apparently, as sound as ever.
Elnathan Bush died on the homestead in Bainbridge, where he and others of his family are buried. The family burying-ground consists of a plot three by four rods, inclosed by a substantial cut-stone wall. This, together with a strip around it two rods wide, and a roadway to the highway three rods wide, was perpetuated in the title April 10, 1879, so that it cannot be alienated from the family. A magnificent dark Quincy granite monument, tastily ornamented, stands in the center of the inclosure. From the base, which is six and one-half feet square, to the top of the shaft, is thirty feet. The dates of death of those interred therein are inscribed thereon, and from it we learn that Elnathan died May 15, 1791, aged 63, and his wife November 8, 1813, aged 81. The death of the former was the first in the town.
Charles Bush, son of Elnathan, married Joan Harrington in 1794. This was the first marriage contracted in the town. Charles lived with his mother on the homestead until his removal, about 1810, to Vincennes, Ind. He died at Batavia while on his way to Bainbridge on a visit, soon after the close of the War of 1812. None of His children are living.
Joseph Bush, the subject of this sketch, was born in Bainbridge, Chenango county, N. Y., where he now resides, on the 23d of February, 1823. He was the youngest of a family of seven children, viz: Horace, Alvah C., Maria, Leapha, Isaac, Jabin S. and Joseph; only three of whom are now living, Alvah C. and Jabin S., of Tioga, Pa., and himself. His paternal grandfather was from Holland. His grandparents emigrated from Massachusetts to Jericho, Tioga county, now Bainbridge, Chenango county, as early as 1784. They were the pioneers in the almost unbroken forest, and descended the Susquehanna river from its head at Cooperstown, with their four children, in canoes constructed by themselves; there being no roads through the wilderness in those days. They settled in the valley of the Susquehanna and in the year 1790 selected and located on the very farm now occupied by their grandson whose name heads this article. His father, Joseph Bush, was the youngest son of the said four children. He died on the 23d of September, 1851. His mother's name was Betsey Strong, a native of Connecticut. She died on the 5th of February, 1853. She was a sister of Cyrus Strong, former president and founder of the old Broome County Safety Fund Bank at Binghamton.
Mr. Bush had the advantage of being reared and guided to mature manhood by parents of rare good sense, shrewd business tact and remarkably good habits. He either benefited by their judicious training and example, or inherited their sterling qualities in large degree. But they have long since passed away and their remains now rest, with other old pioneers and relatives of the family, in a beautiful cemetery, walled in with cut stone by the present owner, (to which he has perpetuated the title,) on the farm which they cleared nearly a century ago, and in which cemetery he has caused to be erected to their memory, at large expense, an imposing and graceful monument of granite, to stand as a lasting memorial of his respect and gratitude.
Mr. Bush received a good English education in the common and select schools in the village near him and was much improved and benefited by the instruction and assistance of an older brother, who was a graduate of Hamilton College, and for a short time of a brief life, a practicing lawyer of much promise.
Although he received from his father a goodly inheritance, his enterprising disposition and special training in the lumber business induced him to spend about five years, from 1852 to 1857, in lumbering in Upper Canada; where his uncommon sagacity, experience and business talent enabled him to be successful.
A year or two after this, in the fall of 1859, he was induced by his friends to accept a nomination for Member of Assembly from Chenango county, and was elected; receiving in his own town, where almost every voter had known him from childhood, every vote cast except sixteen. While in the Assembly he served on one of the most important committees, that of Ways and Means. He took an active part in obtaining assistance from the State for the construction of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad and materially aided its construction by his wealth and influence.
After the expiration of his term in the Legislature he resided in New York city, and was engaged in real estate and other speculations of those times successfully, until 1870, when he returned to his farm in Bainbridge, the old homestead above referred to, which had descended to him from his grandfather and father, and had always received his special care and supervision. It lies on the Susquehanna River and consists of about 250 acres of the choicest lands, in a high state of cultivation. Mr. Bush brings the same good sense, sound judgment and business capacity to the cultivation and management of his farm which has distinguished him in his other undertakings. The farm is a model one for general convenience, neatness and judicious management, and causes its owner to be ranked among the most successful agriculturalists in the county.
Mr. Bush is six feet high, of fine presence, prepossessing countenance and frank social and agreeable manners, and a remarkably good judge of character; qualities which peculiarly fit him for a successful politician. Yet he is entirely averse to taking office, and has always, since his term in the Legislature, refused. It is not because he has not decided political opinions. Few men are better informed or have more thorough convictions on political questions that he has. He assists his political friends zealously and liberally, and manifests a deep interest in the success of the Republican party, to which he has belonged since its organization. Prior to that he was a Whig.
His integrity is never questioned, and his morals and habits are unexceptionable. He pays liberally for the support of the gospel and charitable objects. Mr. Bush is a bachelor.
Japhet, the second son, married and lived with his mother. He removed with his brother Charles to Vincennes, Ind., and died there. Joseph, the third son, married, in 1795, Susan Weeks, whose father was an early settler in the town of Guilford. He settled upon the old homestead, which he occupied till his death, which occurred September 23, 1851, aged 82. His wife died December 29, 1797, aged 22. April 5, 1799, he married Betsey, daughter of Jabin Strong, of Glastenbury, Conn., who died February 5, 1853, aged 73. He had one child by his first wife, Susan, who married Alanson Burr, of Caneadea, N. Y., and removed with him to that town and died there. His children by his second wife were: Horace, who was born January 29, 1801, and died single on the homestead October 8, 1827; Alvah C., born November 13, 1804, married September 20, 1830, Ellen, daughter of Judge Levi Bigelow, and removed to Tioga, Penn., whence she returned to Bainbridge, where she died in 1831, at the birth of her first child, Ellen, wife of John A. Matthews, of Winona, Minn., September 21, 1841, Alvah C. married Annah Bigelow, sister of his first wife, by whom he had no children; Maria, who was born October 3, 1806, married September 3, 1827, Charles A. Baxter, of Sidney, to which place she removed, and from whence, after the death of her husband, March 9, 1845, she returned to Bainbridge, to live with her father, and died there September 13, 1846, leaving five children, all of whom are living---Mary E., wife of Wm. C. Beatty, in Bloomfield, N. J., Wm. S. in Highland, Minn., Julia, wife of Edwin R. Mead, in New York City, Susan E., wife of Thomas A. Johnson, in Animas City, Col, and Charles A. in Selma, Minn.; Leapha, who was born September 29, 1808, married September 9, 1829, Wm. S. Sayre, a lawyer in Bainbridge, and died June 23, 1850, leaving three children, all of whom are living---Horace in Minneapolis, Minn., Susan in Bainbridge, and Sarah in Binghamton; Isaac, who was born October 14, 1810, married August 23, 1839, Martha, daughter of Hon. John H. Prentiss, of Cooperstown, and died on the homestead June 16, 1843, leaving no children; Jabin S., who was born June 16, 1817, married December 31, 1839, Eliza DePuy, and settled at Tioga, Penn., where he now resides; and Joseph, who was born February 23, 1823, and is now living unmarried on the homestead in Bainbridge.
Polly, daughter of Elnathan Bush, married Gideon Freeborn, of Cazenovia, where she resided till after his death, when she went to live with her only son Rodman, in Caneadea, N. Y., where she died. Rodman still resides there.
The first settlement within the present limits of the town of Bainbridge, was made, if we are correctly informed, in the summer of 1786, by Caleb Bennett, who came in company with his brothers, Phineas, Silas and Reuben, from Pownal, Vt. Caleb settled on the south-east corner of the cemetery in the village of Bennettsville, which derives its name from him. The excavation for the cellar under his house still remains to mark the locality. Phineas settled on the river one and one-half miles below, in Afton, on the farm now owned and occupied by Samuel Corbin. He was the first Supervisor of the town of Bainbridge, in 1791. His house stood opposite the brick-yard. Silas settled at "Crookerville," opposite Unadilla, where he built a grist-mill, which is believed to have been the first on that site. Reuben afterwards settled in Ithaca, where he lived and died, and to which place Phineas also removed. Caleb continued to reside here till his death, which occurred March 22, 1830, at the age of 72 years. Elizabeth, his wife, died June 25, 1849, aged 89. He and Reuben Bennett built the first mills at Bennettsville in 1798, on the stream which bears their name. This was the first grist-mill in the town.
Caleb Bennett's children were Anna, who was born February 3, 1783, married Thomas Cornwell and settled in Afton, where her son, Abel, now lives, where both died, he February 12, 1841, aged 70, and she February 27, 1860, leaving ten children, five sons and five daughters; Phineas, who married Sophia, daughter of Henry Chandler, an early settler in Coventry, and settled in Bennettsville, where he built, sixty-five years ago, the house now occupied by the families of George Slater and Adelbert Winsor. He died there December 28, 1856, aged 72, and his wife, August 24, 1863, aged 78, leaving ten children, seven of whom are living, five in this town,---Phineas M., Susan, wife of Elder H. Robertson, Clarissa, widow of Pliny Kirby, Jane E., wife of Porter B. Van Horne, and Benjamin,---and Rufus, in Greeley, Col., and August, wife of Samuel Corbin, in Afton; Abel, twin brother of Phineas, who was born December 25, 1784, married Flavilla Hoag, and settled in Bennettsville, where he died October 23, 1860, leaving three of seven children, who are still living,---Abel and Edward E., at Binghamton, and James, on the homestead; "Naby," who married Jeremiah Thurber, and settled and died in the town April 15, 1811, aged 25 years, leaving one daughter, who is also dead; Hannah, who married Charles S. Merritt and settled in Bennettsville, where she still resides, and where he died April 12, 1862, aged 73, leaving two children, who are still living,---Eliza, wife of Orville Hill, and Richmond; Eunice, who died in childhood; Prudence, who married Enos Goodman and settled in this town, where both died, the former October 9, 1864, aged 75, and the latter December 2, 1861, aged 78, leaving seven children, only two of whom are living,---Luther and Merritt; Arnold, who married Nancy Forbes, settled in Bennettsville, and afterwards removed to Bainbridge, where he now resides, and three of whose four children are living,---Elizabeth, Leroy and Clarissa; and Hiram, who married Gratie Chandler, and settled at Bennettsville, where both died, the former September 4, 1876, aged 73, and the latter, September 21, 1873, aged 71. None of their children are living.
Reuben Kirby and Wm. Guthrie, his father-in-law, came from Litchfield, Conn., their native place, in 1787, and settled on lands on lot 85, purchased of Robert Harper, of Harpersfield, Delaware county. They built their cabins and made some improvements, and returned the following fall to Connecticut. In the spring of 1788 they returned with their families, crossing the Hudson River at Hudson, and proceeding thence via Cherry Valley to Otsego Lake. There they constructed a float by placing boards upon two canoes, and on this their families and household goods were conveyed down the Susquehanna to the place of settlement. They drove through the forests some cattle and a horse, the latter of which, after having been subsequently lost for nearly four months, was returned to them by the Indians. Their title to these lands proved defective in consequence of the repudiation of Harper's claims, which were based on a purchase made of the Indians, and they therefore soon after relinquished their claims to them. Guthrie repaired to Albany, and after an absence of some three months, succeeded in purchasing a mile square, lot 81, lying on both sides of the river, but mostly on the west side, together with about 200 acres on lot 85, a part of his first purchase, including his improvements. Kirby abandoned his first purchase, and took a part of lot 81, lying on the east side of the river. His first house, which stood near the river and nearly opposite to where Robert Corbin now lives, was liable to be overflowed when the river was high. He therefore built near the place now occupied by Wm. R. Kirby, about two miles below the village of Bainbridge. Guthrie settled on the farm now owned by Philo Kirby, about the same distance from the village, but on the opposite side of the river. Their first facilities for grinding corn consisted of the primitive mortar and pestle so common to all the new settlements in this section of country. Their first grinding at a regular mill was done at the stone mills in Sidney, on the Ouleout Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna, about eighteen miles distant; but when the mill at Bennettsville was made accessible by the opening of a road leading thereto that labor was very much lessened. They obtained salt of the Indians, who were numerous in this locality for several years after the first settlements were made. Their dusky neighbors, who were generally friendly, would borrow a kettle of them and in a few days return with a supply of the needed article. It was never known to the settlers from whence they obtained it, as they dare not follow them on such occasions. Guthrie kept in 1793, on the place of his settlement, the first tavern in the town, a business in which he was succeeded at his death by his son William. Both Kirby and Guthrie, also their wives, died on their respective homesteads. Kirby's first wife, Anna, daughter of Wm. Guthrie, died in 1793. The following year he returned to Connecticut, and married Naomi Patterson, of Washington, in that State. He came back with a sleigh, drawn by oxen, and crossing the Hudson on the ice at Catskill, proceeded thence by was of Harpersfield, and the mills on the Ouleout, thence down that stream to the place on the river known as "Wattles Ferry," and thence down the river to his home in Bainbridge. His second wife lived to be over 90, and died at the residence of her son Pliny.
Reuben Kirby's children were Laura, who married Miles Hinman, and settled in Upper Lisle, where both died; Lois, who married Robert Foster, settled in Otego, and subsequently removed to the Wyoming Valley, near Wilkesbarre, where both died; Sally, who married Sylvester Smith, (who settled at Masonville, afterwards removed to Painted Post, where he became a judge and died,) and who, after his death, returned to Bainbridge, where she still resides (June, 1879,) aged 88 years; all of whom were by his first wife. His children by his second wife were Reuben, who was born April 26, 1795, married Patience E., daughter of Sylvester Corbin, and after her death, Dec. 28, 1834, at the age of 34 years, Louisa D., widow of Levi Kneeland, with whom he is still living on a part of the homestead farm, aged 84 years; Joseph, who married Sally, daughter of Samuel Corbin, settled on a part of the homestead farm, and afterwards removed to Bainbridge village, where he died Sept. 12, 1875, aged 77, and where his widow still lives; Philo, who married Susan, daughter of Wm. Guthrie, Jr., settled on the homestead farm and subsequently removed to the Guthrie homestead, where he now resides, his wife having died Nov. 15, 1867; and Pliny, who married ______ Bennett, and settled first on a part of the homestead farm, and afterwards on the place now occupied by his widow, where he died. Numerous grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren of Reuben Kirby's are living in the town. G. F. Kirby, of Chicago, a civil engineer, who was employed in the construction of the Pacific Railroad through Iowa, and the bridge which spans the Mississippi River at Clinton, is a son of Philo Kirby and grandson of Reuben, Sr. The four brothers, sons of the second wife of Reuben Kirby, though farmers, followed lumbering while the pine in this section lasted. It was marketed in Philadelphia.
Wm. Guthrie died in August, 1806, and Susan, his wife, in March, 1813. Their son William, who was born Dec. 3, 1768, married in 1799, Sarah Whitney, of Binghamton, who was born May 8, 1775. He died March 14, 1813. The children of William, Jr., were: William 3d, who was born Aug. 12, 1800, married Sarah Rynders, and having followed the lumber business in Chemung county, is now living in Elmira; Gershom, who was born Jan. 15, 1802, married Elizabeth Ketchum, by whom he had four children, and also followed the lumber business in Chemung county, where he and his wife died, the former March 28, 1855, and the latter Feb. 2, 1853; Sarah, who was born Nov. 25, 1803, married Hezekiah Tarble, had three children, and died in Bainbridge, Oct. 27, 1833; Susan, who was born Jan. 25, 1805, married Philo Kirby, had four children, and died in Bainbridge, Nov. 15, 1867; Olive, who was born Aug. 6, 1806, married Allen Randall, of Lisle, where she died April 17, 1874, having had eight children; Emeline, who was born Aug. 11, 1808, and married Samuel Stow, of Binghamton, where she died in 1869; George W., who was born Feb. 15, 1810, was for a number of years in the Custom House at Philadelphia, was afterwards in the employ of the Government at Washington, and subsequently in San Francisco, where he married Emma Garson, by whom he had six children; Orphelia, who was born Aug. 31, 1812, married Washington C. Lane, editor of the Philadelphia Ledger, and died in Philadelphia in 1844, having had one daughter.
Wm. Guthrie, Sr., had six daughters, Anna, who married Reuben Kirby, Sr., and died in Bainbridge in 1793; Eunice, who married a man named Graham, and had two sons and five daughters; Mima, who married Dr. Hyde, and had two sons, Ira and Charles; Rhoda, who married a Kelsey; Lois, who married Col. Witter Johnston, who came to Sidney Plains in 1772, served in the Revolution, and was afterwards a resident of Sidney Plains till his death, October 4, 1839, aged 86, and where she died July 27, 1787, aged 22; and Ruth, who married _____ Cooper, and lived and died in Bainbridge.
Asahel Bixby, who was, we believe, the first of the Vermont Sufferers to settle in the town, came from Guilford, Vt., in October, 1787, then in his eighteenth year. His father, Samuel Bixby, had been allotted 380 acres of lot 81, by the Commissioners of the Land Office, on the distribution to the Vermont Sufferers. This lot, as we have previously seen, was purchased about this time by Wm. Guthrie. Young Bixby therefore located on lot 75, originally an unassigned lot, 380 acres of which were patented to his father January 12, 1789. On this lot, which lies mostly on the east, but partially on the west side of the river, his first improvements were made. He came in alone and on foot, but was joined at Cherry Valley by Israel Stowel, an acquaintance of his, also from Vermont. He went to live at first with his sister Hannah, wife of Asa Stowel, at Bettsburgh, and remained there till February following, when he moved on to his father's land, on the east side of the river, and built and occupied a log shanty covered with brush, and made a small clearing. The following June he was joined by his father's family, for whom he had in a measure prepared the way.
Samuel, who was a Justice of the Peace in Vermont, was one of the first Assessors in Bainbridge. His children were Priscilla, who married in Vermont and remained there, Hannah, Sibyl, Betsey, Asahel and Samuel. Hannah also married in Vermont, Asa, son of Hezekiah Stowel, who had previously settled in Afton, where she also settled and died September 18, 1850, aged 88. Her children were Arad, Hannah, who married Isaac Miner, Asa, Elijah, Jemima, who married Wm. Loop, and Leapha, who married Dr. Nathan Boynton. Not one is now living, though all lived to be over eighty, except Asa, who died young. Sibyl was married after removing here to Henry Evans, Jr., son of the original settler in the town by that name. She died July 29, 1846, aged 80. Her children were Tirzah, who married Manasseh Hadley, Maria, who married Orrin Jacobs, Sibyl, who married Calvin Morley, Henry and Edward, the latter of whom is the only one by her first husband, Henry Evans. Three are living, Maria, Sibyl and Henry. Betsey married Russell Redfield, who came in from Vermont at an early day, and settled, after marrying, on 50 acres of Samuel Bixby's land, given him by the latter, and died March 14, 1853. Her children were Gratia, who married Ansel Evans, Harvey, Sibyl, who married Lawrence Conklin, Hannah, who married Asa Warner, Clarina, who never married, Betsey, who married Chester Buck, Powers, Philip, and Luranca, who married Dr. Hall. Five of them are living, but none in this State, Powers, Philip, Sibyl, Betsey and Luranca. Asahel married Clarina, daughter of Deacon Israel Smith, and settled on the west side of the river, on the farm now owned and occupied by Peter Leonard, where he died October 5, 1862, aged 92, and his wife May 22, 1847, aged 72. His children were Lois, who married Chauncey Austin, Chandler, who died in Angelica, N. Y., December 30, 1868, aged 72, Rial, who died May 15, 1847, aged 46, Priscilla, who married Robert B. Warner, Ira, and Charles, the latter of whom, the youngest, is the only one living in Bainbridge. Samuel married Lois Atwater, from Connecticut, and settled on the homestead farm, now occupied by his son Samuel and daughter Dinah, a maiden lady, the only two of his children living in the town, and where he died July 23, 1857, aged 83. His wife died April 2, 1852, aged 75. His other children were Jonas, Mary, who married Elisha Sharp, Titus, Joel, Henry and Asa, of whom only Mary, Joel and Asa are living.
Major Henry Evans was one of the earliest of the Vermont Sufferers to settle in this locality. Precisely what year he came we are unable definitely to determine, but it was probably in or about 1789, the date fixed by another authority, 4 for it is traditional among his descendants that his death, August 6, 1792, occurred about three years after his settlement here. July 11, 1786, he received patents for lots Nos. 73 and 79, each containing 640 acres, and lot 80, containing 593 acres; and April 5, 1789, a patent was given to Henry Evans, Jr., in pursuance of Acts of the Legislature passed May 5, 1786, and March 20, 1788, for 100 acres in the southernmost part of lot 41.
Major Evans came in with his family, consisting of his wife Abigail, who died April 12, 1821, aged 77, and two sons and six daughters. He settled on lot 80, which lies upon the east border of the county, and the north-west corner of which centers in the Susquehanna. The homestead farm is now occupied in part by his grandson, Weston Evans, and is situated about two and one-half miles east of Bainbridge village. Stephen Stiles had previously settled on this lot, under a title received from Robert Harper, which proved defective. He located nearly a mile from the county line, opposite to where Chapin Underwood now lives. Stiles, after the marriage of his daughter, an only child, to a man named Nye, who lived in Otsego county, went to live with her. He was demented many of the latter years of his life. Lot 73, containing the Bainbridge village plot, was sold by Evans in 1793 to Col. Timothy Church, for eighteen cents an acre. The two remaining lots he retained till his death, at the age of 58 years, and when the youngest of his children became of age, were divided. The death of Major Evans was probably the third one in the town. The stone which marks his grave in the village cemetery at Sidney Plains, bears this quaint and primitive epitaph:---
His children were: Abigail, who married Elijah Curtis, who settled in the same locality at an early day; Anna, who married Orcus Bradt, who settled first on the Delaware, and after the division of the Evans lots, removed to this town; Mehitabel, who married Aaron Owens, who also settled on the Delaware, whence he removed, after the division, to the portion allotted to his wife, where he died, January 13, 1846, aged 69, and his wife, August 5, 1814, aged 34; Lucy, who married John Compton, who also settled on the Delaware; Lydia, who married Ezra White, an early settler in Sherburne, where both died; Achsa, who married Pardon Redfield, who settled early near the east line of the town, and after the division removed to his wife's portion of land, where both died; and Henry and Josiah. Henry, Jr., married, in Vermont, Sally, daughter of Josiah Rice of that State, and had two sons when he moved in, Ansel and Newel. He settled near his father, on a part of the homestead farm, where his wife died. He afterwards removed to Bainbridge village and died there, having previously married Sibyl, widow of Edward Davidson, who (Sibyl) died July 29, 1846, aged 80. Henry, Jr., had four children by his first wife, Ansel, Newel, Jehial and Sally, the latter two of whom were born in Bainbridge. Ansel lived on a farm included in the original patent, and died Feb. 10, 1873, aged 83. Newel married Phebe, daughter of Dr. Benjamin Yale, of Guilford, and settled on the site of Bainbridge village, where his wife died Oct. 27, 1826, aged 30. He afterwards removed to Delaware county and married Harriet Webb, of Deposit, where she is still living. He died in that county. Jehial, who was born in 1795, is still living in Bainbridge village, to which he removed in 1800. Sally married Benjamin Jacobs, from Vermont, and removed to Canada, where she died. The children of Henry, Jr., by his second wife were: Maria, who married Warren Jacobs, and is living in Bainbridge, Tirzah, who married Manasseh B. Hadley, now dead; Sibyl, who married Calvin Morley, and is now living in Bainbridge, Dinah, who died at the age of about six years; and Henry, who married Betsey, daughter of John Peters, and is living in Deposit.
Deacon Israel Smith came in about this year (1789,) from Brattleboro, Vt., with his family which was large, and settled on lot 76, on the east line of the county, opposite the mouth of the Unadilla. His farm lay upon both sides of the Susquehanna, and was a little north of and partly adjoining that of Samuel Bixby. It has since been cut up into smaller farms and is occupied by several individuals. He continued to reside there till his death, June 7, 1811, aged 73. Abigail, his wife, died November 10, 1791, aged 50, and was probably the first female who died in the town. He was one of the first commissioners of highways, also one of the first poormasters in the town. His children were Deacon Israel, Jr., Simeon, Amos, Chloe, Sibyl, Clarina, Asor and Abigail. Deacon Israel, Jr., who was one of the first assessors of Bainbridge, married Electa Church, and settled on the southern portion of the homestead farm, and died there Jan. 27, 1837, aged 72 and his wife, February 23, 1841, aged 72. His farm was afterwards divided among four of his sons, Heber, Rufus, Deacon Elihu and Otis, the latter of whom occupied the homestead, which is now in possession of his son Samuel. The farm of Deacon Elihu, who died October 8, 1865, aged 62, is occupied by his daughter Angeline, who married Amos Clark. Two daughters of Deacon Israel, Jr., Electa and Abigail, maiden ladies are living in Bainbridge. Simeon, son of Israel, Jr., married Susan Stockwell and settled on the west side of the Susquehanna, opposite the homestead, and died there, leaving a large family, only one of whom, Giles, is living in the town. Amos married Betsey Allason and settled in Colesville. He afterwards removed to Ashtabula county, Ohio, when that county was new, and died there. Chloe married in Brattleboro, Vt., and remained there. Sibyl married Jared Redfield, who came in as early as 1791, and settled on the west side of the river, opposite her brother Israel, and died near there Feb. 24, 1844, aged 75, and her husband, May 1, 1814, aged 48. Clarina married Asahel Bixby in 1793, and died on the place on which her husband settled May 22, 1847, aged 64. Only one child survives her, Charles, who is living in Bainbridge. Asor married Hepsey Smith and settled on the homestead. He afterwards removed to Afton, where he died childless. Abigail married David McMaster, settled on the east side of and a little above the mouth of the Unadilla, in Otsego county, and afterwards removed to Afton, where she died, leaving two sons, Judge David, now living in Bath, and Cyrus, who died on the homestead in Afton in the early part of 1879.
Settlements were made about this year (1788,) by Abraham Fuller and Gould Bacon from Conn. Bacon settled on lot 76, on the east side of the river, one and one-half miles above Bainbridge, where Nelson Humphrey now lives. He afterwards removed to the mouth of the Unadilla, and died there April 1, 1821, aged 75. He was an eccentric genius, and a bachelor, living along in a small log hut, which stood upon a low flat, adjacent to the river. He furnished us many anecdotes both as principal and narrator, says William S. Sayre in his Centennial History of Bainbridge which we quote, as any of the early settlers. "Of his many hair-breadth escaped by flood and field we briefly relate the following:---
"Bacon's hut was on a low flat, and there occurred in the fall a remarkable flood in the Susquehanna River, referred to in after years as the 'pumpkin freshet,' from the fact that the corn fields along the river were overflowed and pumpkins swept off. Bacon was awakened in the night by the waters, which had risen to cover the floor of the cabin, upon which he slept, and found that it was necessary to move. He made a hasty meal from a pail of cold succotash, and taking his gun and ax started for higher ground, which, however, he was unable to reach. Owing to the rapidly rising current he was compelled to take passage on a floating log, which lodged with other flood-wood against a tree, where he remained until found by Deacon Israel Smith and taken off in a canoe. While occupying quarters upon the flood-wood he was able to kindle a fire and roast a pumpkin that floated to him, on which he subsisted very comfortably. During his stay a 'painter,' which like himself had been set adrift, came swimming towards his miniature island. When he was sufficiently near Bacon admonished him that he was an unwelcome visitor by a salute from his rifle, and the animal sought some other landing.
"On another occasion prior to this, he shot a large bear on what is known as Humphrey's hill. So fat and heavy was bruin that he found it necessary to go after his oxen in order to remove the carcass to his hut. But the oxen refused to go near enough to the bear to allow him to hook the log-chain. Bacon finally resorted to the stratagem of covering the bear with leaves; he then carefully backed the oxen up and hitched the chain around bruin's neck. But as soon as the dead bear made his appearance from under the leaves the oxen cast one terrified look behind and away they went through the woods, over knolls and down the steep hill at the top of their speed. Bacon found it no difficult task to track them to his hut by remnants of the bear, which were strewn along the course they had taken; and he never told the story in after years without a sigh for the large fat bear, the loss of which as a store for his larder he sorely felt and deeply lamented."
Thaddeus Newton came in from Dummerston, Vt., about 1790, and settled in the south part of the town on the farm adjoining that now owned and occupied by his great-grandson, George W. Newton, buying 75 acres in the south-west corner of lot 45, to which he removed three years after, and on which he, his son Amasa, and grandson, Marshall, died,---Thaddeus, in August, 1812, Amasa, in May, 1855, and Marshall, in February, 1864. His children were Charles, who married Sally Jeston, settled on the lot next west of his father's, No. 44, and afterwards removed to Oxford, where he died about 1841; Obediah, who married and settled on the farm adjoining Charles' on the south, and afterwards removed to Ohio, where he died; Amasa, who came in 1793, married Jemima, daughter of James Nichols, an early settler in the town of Afton, on the farm on which his grandson, Samuel G. Nichols, now lives, and where he and his wife died; Betsey, who married James Fraser and died in Bainbridge; and Polly, who married Levi Bemus, and after some years removed from the county; all by his first wife, Jane Smith, who died in Worcester, Mass., during the Revolutionary war. He afterwards married a widow, Sally Belcher, (nee Bump,) by whom he had four children, Lucy, who went west while single; Abigail, who married Lloyd Holcomb and lived and died in Coventry; Jane, who married Martin Slade and lived and died in Coventry; and William S., who married Caroline Annable and is now living in Oxford. Only one grandchild is living in the county, Lucretia, daughter of Amasa, and widow of Chauncey Hyde, in Afton, though numerous descendants are still living in the town, even to the seventh generation.
William Allison came in among the first and settled on the site of the village of Bainbridge. His log hut stood on the south-east corner of Main and Mill streets, where Benjamin F. Newell now lives. He claimed that it was the first, or one of the first, within the limits of the village. He continued to reside there till his death. His son William succeeded him on the homestead, which he afterwards sold and removed to the Charles Bush place, where he died November 20, 1865, aged 81. Sarah, his wife, died February 12, 1839, aged 47. Martin O., son of William, Jr., still occupies the place. William, another son of William, Jr.'s, is living in Michigan. Betsey, daughter of William Allison, Sr., married Amos Smith, and removed with him to Colesville and died there. Joseph Landers was also among the first settlers. His daughter, Relief, who was born in March, 1791, is reputed to have been the first female child born in the town.
James Graham and Jared Redfield settled in the town as early as 1791, probably earlier. Their names appear among the town officers elected that year. Graham settled about a mile below Bainbridge, on the west side of the river, where Walter Higley now lives, and died there. He had two sons and two daughters, James, one of the sons, removed from the town at an early day; and Wm., the other, was a bachelor and occupied the homestead a good many years after his father's death. He sold it to Walter Higley and removed to Afton, where he died August 9, 1872, aged 87. The daughters were Anna, a maiden lady, and another who married Warren Harper, a resident of Windsor. James Graham was one of the first assessors of the town. Jared Redfield was from Connecticut, and settled on the west side of the Susquehanna, near the east line of the town, where Charles Anderson now lives. He died at Lanesboro, Pa., May 1, 1814, aged 48, while returning from Baltimore, whither he had been with a raft of lumber. He married Sibyl, daughter of Deacon Israel Smith, by whom he had a large family. His children were Henry, who died March 11, 1853, aged 62, Asahel, Chester, who died December 27, 1857, aged 60, Abigail, who married John Allen, Julia, who married John Mercereau, Parnold, who married Hiram Fish, Levi and Benjamin, only the latter of whom is living, in Michigan.
Moses, Aaron and Abel Stockwell, brothers, came in as early as 1792 and settled on the west side of the river. Moses located about a mile above Bainbridge, where Giles Smith, his son-in-law, now lives, and died there March 11, 1857, and [sic] 87. Urania, his first wife, died Jan. 28, 1807, aged 37, and Electa, his second wife, Jan. 8, 1864, aged 82. Aaron located just over the line, in Guilford, where he built and operated mills and died. Abel was of a roving disposition and never made a permanent settlement here. He died in Binghamton Sept. 10, 1855, aged 72, and his wife, Emila, April 18, 1852, aged 61. Moses' children were Abel, Eli, Henry, Zenas, Urania, who married Chandler Bixby, Sabra, who married _____ Thompson, Patience, who married Asa Searles, Leapha, who married and moved west, and Lucinda, who married Giles Smith, of whom Eli, Urania, Sabra and Lucinda, are living. Aaron's children were Leonard, Joel, Thomas, Aaron, Stephen, Malinda, who married Stowell Jacobs, and Susan, who went west with her brother. None of them are living in the county. Abel's children were Davis, Abel, Julia, who married Chester Redfield, Emily, who married Joseph Smith, Leapha, who died in girlhood, Clarissa, who married Cyrus Stockwell, a cousin, Cynthia, who married a man named Bennett, and Betsey Ann, who went west. None of them are living in the county.
David Hitchcock settled on the west side of the river, about a mile above Bainbridge, as early as 1793. He had only a small place, which now forms a part of the Hickok farm, recently sold to a Mr. Clark. He removed with his family to the Genesee country.
Samuel Nourse came in from the New England States as early as 1796 and settled on the east side of the river, about a mile above Bainbridge. The farm has been divided and is occupied at present by Alexander Moody and Russell Williams. He removed to Ohio at an early day and was one of the first settlers of that State. His family, which was large, went with him. James Davidson settled as early as 1797, on 500 acres of the north part of lot 39, in the north-west part of the town; and John Olden, as early as 1795, on 160 acres, the north quarter of lot 48.
John Campbell and Benjamin S. Carpenter made settlements in the town as early as 1800, and Major Frederick Dezang about that year. Campbell was a Scotchman, and settled on the farm next below that of Samuel Nourse, where his grandson Burr C. Campbell now lives, and died there. His children were John, who was a cooper by trade, a shiftless sort of fellow, who raised a large family who were in indigent circumstances, and lived in various places; Archibald, who was also of a roving disposition, and finally left his wife and the town; Margaret, who married David Bateman, and lived and died in the town, Sept. 5, '62, aged 75, and her husband June 7, 1866, aged 89; Daniel, who is living on the old homestead, aged over eighty, and has been completely deaf the last ten years; and Peter, who went west when a young man. Benjamin S. Carpenter came from Orange county and settled in Bainbridge village, and bought the major portion of the lands comprising the village site. He kept a hotel and engaged in mercantile pursuits, continuing till about 1800 or '12, when becoming pecuniarily involved, he removed to the farm in Afton now occupied by Abel Briggs, about a mile above Afton village, where he died Dec. 28, 1836, aged 70, and Catharine, his wife, April 27, 1827, aged 50. He had eleven children, only two of whom are living, Daniel A., a merchant in Afton, and Martha A., wife of Daniel Carpenter, in Addison, Steuben county. In 1802, Benjamin S. Carpenter donated two acres of land which is now occupied by the Presbyterian church and the village green, to encourage the establishment of a church and school, and to provide a parade ground on certain conditions, which he afterwards claimed were not complied with. He again took possession of it and fenced it. The villagers became incensed at the action and tore down the fence, and such was the opposition manifested that the attempt to reclaim it was practically abandoned. Major Dezang was a Frenchman, and came in from Geneva. He settled on the west side of the river, near the bridge in Bainbridge village. He was one of the proprietors of the turnpike from Esopus to Geneva, and built, in 1805, with his partner, Mr. Olendorff, the first bridge across the Susquehanna in Bainbridge. The work of construction was done by Henry Evans and Luther Thurston. He was engaged in mercantile business in the locality of his settlement till about the close of the war of 1812. His family was one of considerable prominence and business enterprise in their day. His son Richard, after a good many years of active business life spent here, returned to Geneva. His other sons were Philip, William and Arthur. He had two or three daughters, one of whom was named Amelia. One married Dr. Houghtaling, another a man named Griswold, and a third, Richard Lawrence, who came here about the same time as the Dezangs, and was engaged in mercantile and milling business, in company with Richard Dezang. Their mills were located at the mouth of the Unadilla, but have gone to decay.
Orra Myers, a Dutchman and a blacksmith, settled as early as 1801 on the east line and in the north-east corner of the town. His farm is the north-east corner farm in the town, and is now occupied by a son of John Peckham. He worked at his trade in connection with his farm, and died of a cancer. His children were Aaron, who died July 9, 1845, aged 75, Andrew, a daughter who became the wife of Aaron Colton, Dinah and another daughter.
Solomon Warner and Reuben Beals, settled in the town about 1802 or '3. Warner, who was a Revolutionary soldier, came in from New Milford, Conn., and settled on a farm adjoining that of Asahel Bixby on the south-west, on the same lot. The place is now occupied by Hiram Locke. It was originally settled by Jedediah Smith, who came in from the New England States in company with Cyrus Strong, within a few years after the first settlers, as early as 1795, and kept there in company with Strong a store and bartered goods for lumber. Smith was detected in passing counterfeit money and left the town in consequence at an early day. Strong continued his residence in the town some 15 or 20 years, engaged in speculations. He then removed to Binghamton, where he became quite wealthy, and was president of the first bank in that city. Warner lived on the farm till his family was grown up, when his sons Robert B. and Lemuel took it, and he removed to the farm now occupied by Alvah Lyon, where he died Aug. 10, 1839, aged 78, and Rachel, his wife, Feb. 25, 1834, aged 70. Robert B., his son, died June 8, 1865, aged 69. Others of his children were Solomon, Asa, who died Dec. 30, 1866, aged 67, Mercy, who married Arad Stowel, Sally, who married Lewis Newell, an early and prominent merchant in Bainbridge, Zeruah, who married Joseph, son of Eben Landers, Cornelia, who married Ezra Hutchinson, Athalia, who married William Coleman, not one of whom is now living. Athalia, who died in Allegany county in 1879, was the last of the family left. Reuben Beals was from Vermont. He settled on the west side of the river, about a mile above Bainbridge, on the place now occupied by Dr. Garvis Prince, where he kept a tavern at an early day. He afterwards removed to the village and died there Dec. 17, 1843, aged 69, and Hannah, his wife, April 29, 1851, aged 75. His children were James David, Polly, who married Chauncey Hoffman, Atalanta, who married Hiram Schrom, and died April 30, 1833, aged 30, and Nancy who became the second wife of Hiram Schrom, who died Sept. 17, 1875, aged 68. Not one of them is living. The last, David, died in the town two years ago.
Thomas Humphrey came in from Connecticut in 1804, with three of his children, Nathaniel, Charles and Johanna, and lived with Abner and Thomas Humphrey, sons by his first wife, who came in several years previously, as early as 1796, and settled on the river road, at what is now known as Humphrey Settlement, Abner where Perry Humphrey, his grandson, now lives, and Thomas where Albert Newell now lives. The elder Humphrey had been a Revolutionary soldier, and was a cripple when he came in. He died in the town. His son Abner died Sept. 20, 1820, aged 54, and Abigail, the latter's wife, Sept. 2, 1829, aged 63. His son Thomas died June 20, 1839, aged 63, and Sela, his wife, Dec. 7, 1835, aged 59. He had seven children by his first wife and three by his second. Nathaniel, who is living in Bennettsville with his son, Oren H. Humphrey, in his 90th year, is the only one living. James H. Humphrey, another son by his first wife, took up, in company with his brother-in-law, John Pratt, a part of the farm now occupied by Albert Newell. He died Oct. 1, 1846, aged 63, and Lydia, his wife, Sept. 30, 1856, aged 68.
Daniel Hyde, who was born in Lebanon, Conn., Sept. 11, 1782, settled in Bainbridge soon after 1800, and married Oct. 28, 1828, Clarissa, daughter of James and Eunice (Guthrie) Graham, who was born at Sharon, Conn., Dec. 27, 1786. Their first child, Amanda M., was born here Oct. 20, 1809. She married Collins Allen, of Colesville, where they settled, and she died May 30, 1854. The family removed, about 1815, to Colesville, and subsequently to Mentor, Ohio, where he died April 3, 1841.
Silas Fairchild came in from Dummerston, Vt., in 1806, and settled at Bainbridge, where he worked at carpentering and cabinet-making, and died. He had nine children, only two of whom are living, Silas in Afton village, and Jesse in Oneonta.
Following are other of the early settlers some of them, in all probability, among the first, but we have been unable to determine definitely the date of settlement:---Reuben Bump, James B. Nichols, Edward Prince, Abel Conant, Thomas, Samuel, Henry and Mott Pearsall, Charles Curtis, David Sears, Samuel Banks, John Y. Bennett, John Thompson, Eli Seely, Richard L. Lawrence, Jabez S. Fitch, Orange Benson, Abner Searls, Jacob, Thomas and James Ireland, William, Charles, Daniel and Samuel Lyon, Seth Johnson and John Nichols.
Reuben Bump came from the East and settled on the east side of the Susquehanna, in the east part of the town, where Eleazer Spencer's family now reside. He afterwards removed to Afton and died there July 29, 1868, aged 91. Jerusha, his wife, died March 12, 1855, aged 76. He had two sons and a daughter, Josiah, who moved to the locality of Elmira, Carpenter, who is now living in Baltimore. James B. Nichols settled at West Bainbridge, on the place now occupied by his son Thomas. He had one other son, James, who removed to Steuben county. Edward Prince came in from Connecticut and settled on the south line of lot 71, on the place now owned by Judge Smith, of Cortland, and occupied by William Benner, and died there. His children were, Noble, Cæsar, Jervis, Huldah, a maiden lady, a daughter who married Ephraim Hill, Electa, who married Jacob Ireland, and a daughter, who married a man named Vibbard, and resided in Otsego county. All are dead. Abel Conant came from Vermont and settled in the north-east part of the town, on the farm now occupied by the widow of Henry Scott, and died there. He had a numerous family. Mrs. Stephen Pettys living at West Bainbridge is a daughter. The Pearsalls came from the East. Thomas settled on the brook, on the south part of lot 71, on the place now occupied by the widow of his son Robert, and died there; Samuel, on the north line of the town, directly north of Bainbridge, where his grandson, James Pearsall, now lives, and died there; Henry, on the farm adjoining Samuel's on the west, where his grandson, Sherman Pearsall now lives, and died there; and Mott, on the west side of the brook opposite Thomas', from which he afterwards moved. Thomas' children were Sutton, William, Thomas, Joseph, Gilbert, Nathaniel, Jemima, who died unmarried, Sally, who married William Bush, Amy, who married Asa Warner, and Phebe, who married Albert Neally. None of them are living in the county. Samuel had a numerous family of children, among whom were Samuel and Amos. Charles Curtis settled first one and one-half miles above Bainbridge, on the west side of the river, and started the hat business, which he afterward carried on in the village, where, after living retired some years, he died. His children were Charles, George, Adaline, who married Colonel Hiram Schrom, Helen, who married Henry A. Clark, a lawyer in Bainbridge. Both daughters are living in Bainbridge. David Sears came in from Connecticut. He bought the Gould Bacon farm, on which he died. His children were Lucretia, who married Philip Dezang, Polly, who married Henry Redfield, Amelia, who married David Knapp, David, Isaac and Talcott, all of whom are dead. Samuel Banks, who was born April 18, 1755, settled on the west side of the river, about three-fourths of a mile below Bainbridge, on the place now occupied by his grandson, John Banks, where he and his son William died, the former June 24, 1826, and the latter, who was born September 27, 1783, March 24, 1855. Charity, wife of Samuel, who was born September 28, 1760, died December 2, 1848. His other children were Permelia, who married Isaac Seely, and died April 6, 1828, aged 46, and a daughter who married Sutton Pearsall and is also dead. John V. Bennett was from the New England States. He settled on the west side of the river, near the mouth of the Unadilla. He had a large family of daughters, and, though a farmer, it is believed that he never took up land, and that he went west quite early. John Thompson settled on the north line of the town, east of the Pearsalls who settled in that locality, on the farm now occupied by John Parsons, where he died. His children were Henry and Jacob, who went west, Kate, and another daughter who married an Ingersoll. Eli Seely settled on the west side of the river, about two and one-half miles below Bainbridge, where Homer Bristol now lives. He afterwards removed to Afton, and died there by choking September 20, 1850, aged 88. He was twice married. His first wife, Sally, died in Bainbridge, November 5, 1821, aged 51, and his second, Ann, January 23, 1866, aged 57. The Lyons were in as early as 1792.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The following were the first town officers of Bainbridge, elected April 19, 1791, at a meeting of which Captain Israel Smith was moderator: Supervisor, Phineas Bennett; Town Clerk, John Salisbury; Assessors, James Phelps, Samuel Bixby, James Graham, Benjamin Jones and Orlando Bridgeman; Constables, Israel Smith, Jr., and Seth Stone; Commissioners, Israel Smith, Joshua Mercereau and Benjamin Jones; Poor-Masters, Israel Smith and Hezekiah Stowel; Pathmasters, Isaac Fuller, Jared Redfield, Joseph Bicknell, Asa Stowel, John Allison, Eleazer Church and Rufus Wells.
At the town meeting held in 1792, a bounty of forty shillings each was voted for the destruction of "wolves and painters." The following year the bounty on wolves was increased to three pounds sterling, in addition to the State bounty. The town legislation respecting these forest pests sufficiently indicate how troublesome they were to the persons and flocks of the settlers. At the latter meeting it was also voted that swine should not be allowed to run at large in that part of Jericho called Clinton.
The town records show that in the division of school moneys in Tioga county June 4, 1796, the amount apportioned to Jericho was 36£, 19s., 10d., "payable as soon as the moneys came into the county treasury for the current year," and the further sum of 59£, 10s., 2 d., payable the 1st of April following. The first school in Bainbridge of which we have any information was established about that time in the village. Lots 50 and 51 in the present town of Afton were reserved, the former for the School and the latter for the Literature lot.
The following list of the officers of the town of Bainbridge, for the year 1880-81, was kindly furnished by E. S. Gilbert:---
Supervisor---Don A. Gilbert.
Town Clerk---E. S. Gilbert.
Justices---John D. Newell, Henry Robertson, Reuben Fosberry, C. P. Perry.
Assessors---Edward Loomis, Joseph Juliand, David W. Fredenburgh.
Commissioner of Highways---T. C. Northrup.
Overseer of the Poor---James W. Smith.
Constables---George Ayelsworth, W. M. Hastings, Lyman Redfield, Addison Benedict.
Inspectors of Election---Manville Stilson, H. T. Green, A. M. Akerley.
Town Auditors---M. T. Johnson, Ezra P. Church, J. B. Sands.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---F. B. Phinney.
Game Constable---William Houghton.
Excise Commissioners---Corsman Ireland, Curtis Cooper, N. A. Humphrey.
BAINBRIDGE is pleasantly situated on the west bank of the Susquehanna, nestled among the finely sloping hills which bound the tortuous valley of that river. It is a station on the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad, by which it is distant 108 miles from Albany and 35 from Binghamton. It is surrounded by a thrifty farming community and is increasing in population and commercial importance. It contains five churches (Presbyterian, Baptist, M. E., Episcopal and Free Methodist,) a Union graded school, one newspaper office, (The Bainbridge Republican, Harvey Ireland, proprietor,) one bank, two hotels, some 18 stores of various kinds, a saw-mill, bending works and saw-mill, a grist-mill, two carriage shops, (Augustus A. Priest and Milton Lyon, proprietors,) four blacksmith shops, (H. D. Bingham, Davy & Esterbrook, Buell Smith and Charles Phinney, proprietors,) one millinery shop, (Mrs. Salisbury, proprietor,) a livery, kept by Willard M. Hastings, two marble dealers, (Leroy Scott and L. B. Clark,) a merchant tailor, (John D. Leith,) and a population of about 1,800.
The river is spanned at this point by a wooden bridge, which was built about 1853, in which year the former bridge on this site was swept away by a freshet. It is 420 feet long and consists of four spans. It was built by the Bainbridge Bridge Company, by whom it was managed as a toll bridge, and was bought by the town in 1874 for $7,500.
The village was incorporated April 21, 1829, and the first officers were elected May 5th of that year, as follows:---Trustees, Richard Juliand, Jehial Evans, Theodore Daniels, Charles Curtis and Robert Harper; Assessors, Ansel Evans, Ebenezer Munger and Eli Farnham; Clerk, William D. Purple; Constable, Henry Redfield; Collector, William Shaw, Jr.; Treasurer, Dexter Newell; Pound Keeper, Theodore Daniels; Overseer of Highways, Lawrence C. Conklin. At a meeting of the trustees held May 14, 1829, Richard W. Julian was elected President of the Board.
Following is a list of the Presidents and Clerks of the village from 1829 to 1879:---
|1829.||Richard W. Juliand.||William D. Purple.|
|1830-1.||do.||William S. Sayre.|
|1833.||Levi Bigelow.||Daniel Castle.|
|1834.||William S. Sayre.||do.|
|1835.||Levi Bigelow.||George M. Smith.|
|1836.||William S. Sayre.||Isaac Bush.|
|1837.||Wm. S. Sayre.||J. E. Owens.|
|1838.||Winthrop Fairchild.||Richard Griswold.|
|1839.||Henry Redfield.||M. W. Seely.|
|1840.||Elisha Bishop.||Newel Evans.|
|1841.||Hiram Schrom.||Moses Burgess.|
|1842.||A. K. Maynard.||Simeon "Sheparson."|
|1845.||Blin. S. Sill.||do.|
|1846.||Wm. S. Sayre.||do.|
|1847.||Stephen M. Brown.||A. G. Owens.|
|1848.||R. W. Juliand.||do.|
|1849.||Stephen M. Brown.||Theodore B. Fairchild.|
|1850-1.||Wm. H. McCollom.||do.|
|1852.||Henry A. Clark.||do.|
|1853.||Wm. S. Sayre.||do.|
|1854.||O. B. Tyler.||do.|
|1855.||A. A. Comstock.||C. A. Clark.|
|1856.||Wm. S. Sayre.||John D. Newell.|
|1858.||D. D. Bullock.||do.|
|1859-'60.||Henry A. Clark.||do.|
|1862.||A. B. Smith.||do.|
|1863.||W. W. Davis.||Daniel Bullock. 5|
|1864-5.||Joseph Juliand, 2d.||J. D. Newell.|
|1866. 6||______ _____||do.|
|1867.||Wm. W. Davis.||do.|
|1868.||Geo. H. Winsor.||do.|
|1870.||Charles Bixby.||Alfred A. Van Horne.|
|1871. 7||Wallace W. Davis||Charles B. Sumner.|
|1871. 8||Joseph Juliand.||Asa J. Yale.|
|1872.||Brown Dimock.||Charles B. Sumner.|
|1873.||Wm. W. Davis.||do.|
|1875-6.||Brown Dimock.||Alfred A. Van Horne.|
|1877.||Wallace W. Davis.||do.|
|1878.||Charles M. Priest.||do.|
The following named village officers were elected March 18, 1879:---
Trustees---Luman B. Clark, Joseph Juliand and Harvey Ireland.
Treasurer---Charles M. Priest.
Collector---Frank B. Phinney.
The boundaries of the village were changed April 30, 1864.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant in Bainbridge of whom we have any authentic information was Albert Minor, who was doing business in 1805, but had discontinued previous to 1812. He removed to Ohio. Major Frederick Dezang was probably the next merchant. His store stood near the end of the bridge, on the west side of the river. He traded as late as 1815, but probably not long after the close of the war. Richard Dezang, his son, and Richard Lawrence, his son-in-law, succeeded him, and traded in an old gamble-roof building, which for many years thereafter, stood on the site of J. Mitchell Roberts' residence, to which it was removed from the site of the "Mammoth block," near the Park Hotel, in 1818, in which year they erected a new building on the latter site. Dezang & Lawrence sold a few years later to Judge Peter Betts and Jabez S. Fitch, who dissolved after trading a few years, Betts continuing in the same store, in company with his son Peter, and Fitch in one built by him on the corner diagonally opposite, where the new brick block now stands. After about two years Judge Betts was succeeded by his son-in-law, Robert Harper, who continued in trade till about 1831 or '2, in company with the younger Betts, who afterwards did business alone. Fitch continued in trade till about 1842 or '3, when he sold to Ansel Evans and Josiah E. Owens, who traded some three or four years. Mr. McEwen, a connection of Judge Betts', traded three or four years from about 1823.
Lewis Newell commenced mercantile business about 1810 and continued till about 1814, when he removed to Oneonta. His store was the building now occupied as a residence by Jehial Evans. He also carried on blacksmithing very extensively. _____ Parker succeeded Newell in the same store and did business a good many years.
William Shaw was granted a license to keep a grocery May 28, 1829; but whether he had previously been engaged in mercantile business, and how long he continued to trade we are not advised. He was a butcher and followed that business a good many years. In 1830 a license was granted to Elisha Sharpe to open a grocery. He traded about three or four years. Sharpe lost an arm the day preceding the Fourth of July celebration in the village in 1828 or '9, by the premature discharge of a cannon, which had then recently been received for the use of the artillery company which had been organized in this vicinity. The discharge forced the ramrod through a part of the body of John Reese, and tore off the right arm of Dr. William Knapp and the left arm of Elisha Sharpe.
Moses Gaylord Benjamin and Albert Neally commenced mercantile business on opposite sides of the street about 1820. Benjamin continued till his death Jan. 18, 1833, the latter part of the time in company with Dexter Newell, who continued till his death, June 17, 1850, and a part of the time with Ellicot Kidder. Neally traded some three or four years, in company with Moses Burgess, who afterwards engaged in the foundry business in Bainbridge, which he carried on till his death Oct. 9, 1865. In 1866, the foundry passed into the hands of Don A. Gilbert, who was engaged in mercantile business from 1863 to 1866, was burned in 1867, re-built in 1868 and again burned in 1875. The saw-mill attached, now owned by Porter Van Horne, was not burned. Neally went west.
Abraham Owens, who married a daughter of Dexter Newell, commenced trading shortly before the death of the latter and continued till near the opening of the war, when he removed to Unadilla.
About 1834, Stephen Brown and Josiah B. Northrop commenced the tinsmith business, to which hardware and subsequently dry goods were added. They continued in company till about 1860, having been associated some seven or eight years the latter part of the time with Ozias B. Tyler. Northrop went west; so also did Brown a few years later. Tyler still resides in the village.
Wallace W. Davis and _____ Chaffee commenced trading about 1860. After about two years Chaffee withdrew and returned to Unadilla, from whence he came. Davis continued till he was burned out in February, 1878, a part of the time in company with Gilbert Sherwood, his brother-in-law.
Dudley Bullock came in from California and commenced trading a few years previous to the war, in which he participated as Captain of a company in the 114th Reg't, raised in this town. He did not again engage in mercantile business. Daniel Bullock, his nephew, from Oswego county, in company with Don A. Gilbert, succeeded to Dudley's business. After a year or two Bullock sold to Joel Bixby. Bixby & Gilbert sold to Mitchell Roberts and Ransom Mitchell, who after two or three years sold to Clark Butts and James K. Whitmore from Otsego county. They sold after about three years to _____ Conkling, who traded about two years.
Following are the present merchants in Bainbridge: Gaylord S. Graves, furniture dealer, who came from Mt. Upton, and has traded here since 1849, for two years in company with Mrs. Harriet Seely; Mrs. Helen B. Campbell, a native of Norwich, dealer in dry goods and millinery goods, who about 1872 succeeded her husband, Theodore R. Campbell, who commenced the dry goods and grocery business about 1870, millinery goods having been substituted for groceries in the spring of 1878; Charles M. Frisbie, druggist, who came from Delaware county, and has traded since November, 1871; Charles M. Priest, general merchant, a native of Bainbridge, who came from Masonville, Delaware county, where he had been engaged in mercantile business in 1872, since which time he has traded here, in company in 1873 and '4 with Bennett P. Van Horne; Garvis Prince, hardware dealer, who came from New York, and commenced business in 1875, in company with George L. Babcock, with whom he was associated one year; Luman B. Clark, grocer, who has resided in the village since May 17, 1855, and been engaged in mercantile business here since 1876; A. Frank Moses, druggist, who came from Clymer, Chautauqua county, where he had carried on the same business, and bought out L. A. Wright in 1876; Joseph B. Ehrich, jeweler, a native of Brooklyn, who came here from Oak Hill, Greene county, and succeeded his brother, Samuel S. Ehrich, who commenced the business in December, 1876; Isaac G. Hancock, dealer in boots and shoes, who came from Syracuse and commenced business in March, 1877; Mrs. Julia Ann Holcomb, milliner, who came from Troy in 1869, in the interest of her sister, Mrs. George R. Salisbury, who established the business the previous year, and in September, 1877, sold to the present proprietor; John M. Roberts, grocer and dealer in lime, plaster and cement, who has also been station agent at Bainbridge since 1870, commenced the dry goods business in 1865, which he continued about two years in company with Ransom Mitchell, and the grocery business in Dec., 1877; Charles P. Perry, hardware dealer, who came from Unadilla March 16, 1878, having carried on the same business there some four years, in company with W. H. Heslop; Henry Walker Curtis, general merchant, commenced business here April 1, 1878, having previously carried on the same business at Mt. Upton and Sidney Plains, from the latter of which places he came here; Thomas Jefferson Lyon, dealer in groceries, boots and shoes, a native of Bainbridge, who commenced business in the spring of 1878, at which time he bought the stock of his brother-in-law, J. R. Kelley, who had carried on the business some twenty years; Adelbert L. Palmer, general merchant, who commenced business Oct. 1, 1878, having previously resided in the village some thirteen years; T. Van Alstine, confectioner, who came from Philmont, Columbia county, and commenced business in April, 1879; Nathan Hoppe, who came from Elmira, and commenced business May 7, 1879; and Frank W. Crain, jeweler, who came from Laurens, Otsego county, in 1876, and commenced business June 1, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The first post-office in the town of Jericho was established in a house which stood about twenty rods east of the residence of Dr. Garvis Prince. It was kept by Eliab Skeel and David Hitchcock, but which was first cannot now be determined. It was kept there about three years, and removed to Bainbridge village in 1805, when the bridge was built there. The mail was brought on horseback from Catskill once a week. The locality first mentioned had been surveyed and laid out with a view to its becoming the village, and a tavern was kept there then and several years afterwards by Reuben Beals, in a little frame building which occupied the site of Dr. Prince's residence while the post-office was located there. But the building of the bridge about a mile below determined the location of the village there and the removal of the office also.
The first postmaster after the removal of the office to Bainbridge was Hon. John C. Clark, who held the office till his election to Congress in 1826, when his son-in-law, Col. Moses G. Benjamin, was appointed, and held it till his death, Jan. 18, 1833. He was succeeded by Dexter Newell, who held it till 1849, when Abram G. Owens was appointed. Samuel L. Banks succeeded Owens, and held it till his death, Sept. 22, 1853, when Simeon Shepardson was appointed. He and Col. Hiram Schrom filled the interval till 1861, when Edward H. Van Horne was appointed, and held the office three or four years. He was succeeded by Theron R. Hollister, who held it till his removal to Binghamton. Blin S. Sill next held it till his death in 1873. John W. Cudworth next held it till April 1, 1877, when Frederick J. Nichols, the present incumbent, was appointed.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician at Bainbridge, of whom we have any information, was Dr. Porter, a skillful physician, but intemperate man, who practiced here as early as 1805, and for several years thereafter. Dr. Houghtaling was contemporary with him. Nathan Boynton, who was located at Bettsburgh, also extended his practice to this locality at an early day. William Knapp came in soon after 1805 and practiced as late as 1836, but left soon after. Charles B. Nichols was a contemporary practitioner with Knapp, and left about 1845. Knapp went to the locality of Tioga Point, and Nichols to Vermont. William D. Purple, of Greene, practiced here from 1824 to 1830. Erastus Root and Ebenezer Munger were practicing here in 1827. The latter continued till about 1840. Both joined the County Medical Society in 1822. P. Smith took a farm at an early day, and afterwards removed to the village, continuing practice till about 1826 or '27. Hinman Hoffman, a very skillful physician, who was licensed in New Hampshire, practiced here over fifty years ago, and occasionally till his death. He lived near the mouth of the Unadilla. Elam Bartlett and _____ Cooke were practicing here in 1843, also S. W. Corbin, M. D., who joined the County Medical Society in 1830. Bartlett died Jan. 9, 1862, aged 53.
Blin Smith Sill, who was born April 3, 1809, was practicing here as early as 1839, in which year he joined the County Medical Society. He continued practice till his death in 1873. He married Catharine A. Lathrop, who died May 11, 1845, leaving three children, Arabella, Stella and Erastus L.
Dr. McLaury came from Delaware county about ___, and practiced four or five years. He returned to Delaware county.
J. W. Freiot, M. C., who was born Nov. 14, 1801, came from Troy about 1843, and resided here till his death, Nov. 14, 1875, though he practiced but little. He was a man of large property. His widow and two children still reside in the village. William Purinton, M. D., came here from Harpersfield, where he had previously practiced, about 1840, and practiced till his death, June 23, 1855, aged 61. Eliza R., his wife, died July 15, 1866, aged 58. Charles A. Clark was practicing here in 1854, and Cyrus N. Brown in 1859, in which years they joined the County Medical Society. John Yale, from Guilford, practiced here eight or ten years from about 1861. Drs. Whitney and Van Horne, the latter from Otsego county, came here some twenty years ago and practiced, the former about seven or eight and the latter about ten years. Isaac D. Meacham came from Triangle in 1866, and practiced here till 1879.
The present physicians are Robert D. L. Evans, Heman D. Copley and Orville J. Wilsey.
Robert D. L. Evans was born in Bainbridge May 30, 1835. He studied medicine in Pittsfield, Mass., with Dr. A. M. Smith. He entered the Berkshire Medical College in Pittsfield in 1855, and was graduated Nov. 22, 1858. He commenced practice the latter year in Lee, Mass., and removed thence in 1862 to Bainbridge, where he has since practiced.
Heman D. Copley was born in Harpersfield, N. Y., Jan. 21, 1851, and studied medicine at Davenport, in his native county, with Dr. J. E. Norwood. He entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York in 1871, and was graduated March 3, 1875. He commenced practice in 1875 at Chatham, N. J., and removed thence in 1876 to Bainbridge.
Orville J. Wilsey was born in Otego, N. Y., Oct. 17, 1854, and commenced the study of medicine, at Unadilla, with Dr. Joseph Sweet. In 1876 he entered the University of the City of New York, where he was graduated Feb. 19, 1878, having during the intermediate year (1877) attended a course of medical lectures in Albany. He commenced practice at West Oneonta and removed thence to Bainbridge May 28, 1879.
LAWYERS.---Simon G. Throop, who resided at Oxford, was the first lawyer who practiced here.
The first resident lawyer was John C. Clark, who was born in Connecticut, Jan. 14, 1793, and was graduated from Williams College in 1811. He removed from Massachusetts to Hamilton, and from thence, after a brief residence, to Bainbridge, about 1818. He was elected District Attorney of this county in Oct. 1823; and represented it in the Assembly in 1826, and in Congress from 1827 to '29 and again from 1837 to '43. About the close of his last Congressional term he gave up the practice of law and removed to Chemung county, where he engaged in the lumber business. He died there Oct. 25, 1852. He was an eminent lawyer.
William S. Stow came in about 1820 and practiced till about 1825, when he removed to Wayne county, where he practiced a good many years. John B. McCrea came about 1828, and after practicing a year or two returned to Saratoga county, whence he came, and where he soon after died. Horace Dresser came in about 1835 or '6 and practiced some three or four years, a part of the time in company with John C. Clark. He removed to New York and practiced there a number of years. George M. Smith came from Norwich about 1836-'40, and after practicing three or four years returned and died there. He was elected District Attorney of this county in 1841 and again in 1844.
Isaac Bush, son of Joseph and Betsey Bush, of Bainbridge, where he was born, studied law with his brother-in-law, William S. Sayre, in company with whom, after his admission, about 1836, he practiced some five years. He continued practice here till his death June 16, 1843, aged 32.
James M. Banks, a native of Bainbridge, read law in Oxford with James Clapp, and commenced practice in Bainbridge about 1848, with William S. Sayre, with whom he continued five or six years, when he removed to Chicago, where he now resides. He was elected District Attorney of this county in June, 1847, holding the office till November, 1850.
George L. Winsor, from Guilford, read law with William S. Sayre and his uncle, George H. Winsor, with whom, after his admission in June, 1854, he practiced till shortly before his death, in 1878.
John Beverly, from Herkimer county, came in 1871 and practiced for awhile with Charles B. Sumner, and afterwards, for a short time, alone. He went to Grand Rapids, Mich.
Arba K. Maynard came from Sherburne, where he had previously practiced, in 1835, and practiced here three or four years. He was a man of some talent and acquired some notoriety in the county. He removed from here to New York, where he was Judge of the Marine Court some six years. He was subsequently in Minnesota, and was at one time the Democratic candidate for Governor of that State.
The present attorneys are William S. Sayre, Henry A. Clark, George H. Winsor, Charles B. Sumner, Leroy Bennett and Elliot Danforth.
William Strong Sayre was born in Romulus, N. Y., March 5, 1803. He was graduated from Hamilton in 1824, and read law at Norwich with David Buttolph and Charles A. Thorp, and afterwards in Bainbridge with John C. Clark in company with whom, after his admission in October, 1827, he practiced about four years. He has since practiced here without intermission, having been associated at different times with Isaac Bush, James M. Banks, George H. Winsor and Leroy Bennett, with the latter of whom he has been in company about two years, under the name of Sayres & Bennett. He was Justice of the Peace from 1833 to '37; Supervisor of Bainbridge in 1840 and '58; and Presidential Elector in 1856. 9
Henry A. Clark was born in Sidney, Delaware county, August 3, 1818, and pursued his legal studies in Buffalo, with John L. Talcott, now Judge of the Supreme Court of this State. He was admitted to the bar in 1841, and commenced practice in Bainbridge, where he has since continued. He was a State Senator from the 23d District, embracing this county, in 1862 and '63, and was chairman of the Committee on Internal Affairs.
George H. Winsor was born in Guilford, N. Y., March 23, 1815, and read law in Delhi with A. & E. Parker, and subsequently in Masonville with George Ketchum. He was admitted in 1854, and commenced practice that year at Masonville. He removed thence November 20, 1855, to Bainbridge, where he has since practiced. He was a Member of Assembly from Delaware county in 1850.
Charles B. Sumner was born in New Berlin, N. Y., August 18, 1847, and read law in his native town with Henry Bennett. He was admitted May 12, 1869, and commenced practice in Bainbridge August 10th of that year, in company with Horatio N. Warner, who came in with him from Utica, to which city he (Warner,) returned after two months' practice. Mr. Sumner was subsequently in company with Melville Keyes, who came in from Oneonta in October, 1869, and returned there the following spring. Mr. Sumner was Special Judge of this county from January, 1873, to January, 1877.
Leroy Bennett was born in Bennettsville in this town September 12, 1837, and pursued legal studies three or four years with Henry A. Clark, of Bainbridge. He was admitted at the General Term in Binghamton in May, 1877; in February, 1878, he commenced practice with William S. Sayre, with whom he still continues.
Elliot Danforth was born in Middleburgh, N. Y., March 6, 1850, and read law in the office of his father, Judge Peter S. Danforth, of Middleburgh, where, after his admission at the January General Term at Albany, in 1872, he commenced practice. He removed thence to Bainbridge, August 10, 1878, and formed a law partnership with George H. Winsor, which still continues. In 1874, Mr. Danforth, by invitation delivered a Fourth of July oration in Bainbridge. He then formed the acquaintance of Miss Ida, daughter and only child of Dr. Garvis Prince of that village, and December 17th of that year he was united in marriage with her.
BANKS.---The Phoenix Bank of Bainbridge, which was doing business March 21, 1853, was the first bank in Bainbridge. L. S. Banks was then president. The bank was started by a man named Houghton from Vermont, and occupied a small building which stood on the site of the Park Hotel. It has since been removed and is now occupied as a law office by Winsor & Danforth. It was a bank of issue, but did not do business long.
About 1867, J. E. Dutton & Co. started a banking business in the building now occupied as a harness shop by Charles Colburn. They afterwards removed to the Prince Block, the place now occupied by the Bainbridge Bank, and did business several years. George Carver and F. H. Crassons afterwards did business some two years, and G. H. Carver and O. B. Tyler, under the name of G. H. Carver & Co., about a year in the same place. The latter were succeeded by the present bankers, Zachariah Curtis & Co., (I. M. and M. Curtis and H. Westover,) who commenced business in December, 1876, which they continue under the name of the Bainbridge Bank. Z. Curtis is president and I. M. Curtis cashier.
MANUFACTURES.---The manufactures of Bainbridge, aside from the various shops incident to a village of its size, consist of a grist-mill and two saw-mills. The grist-mill is owned by Jehial Evans and is operated by Wallace May. It was built in 1823, by Jehial and Newell Evans. A saw-mill was built in connection with it and put in operation that year. The grist-mill was not got in operation till 1827. It contains two run of stones, which are propelled by water from the Susquehanna, with twenty inches head. One saw-mill is owned and operated by Porter Van Horne, and the other by Don A. Gilbert; both are propelled by steam. With the former was formerly connected a foundry, which was built by Messrs. Gilbert & Bixby in 1868, and burned in 1875. The latter was in process of erection July 1, 1879, at which time the frame was up and partially enclosed, and an engine of thirty-horse power and one large circular saw in operation. The building is a wooden structure, 32 by 60 feet, and three stories high, and is situated contiguous to the depot. Mr. Gilbert proposed putting in either bending works or a grist mill, in which he was undecided.
HOTELS.---The Park Hotel was built in 1867, by Orrin Atwater, who kept it four or five years. The present proprietor, Orrin W. Day, took possession of it May 7, 1877. The Central House was built in 1806 by Cyrus Strong. Isaac H. Willsey, the present proprietor, took possession in 1877. He came here from Schenectady. Josiah Rice was keeping an inn a little south of the rectory about 1810 or '11. Luther Thurston probably kept the first tavern on the site of the Central House. The building is still standing, having been surrounded by additions. The work was done by Henry Evans, son of Major Henry Evans, who was an excellent mechanic and built a great many houses in Bainbridge.
UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 11, IN THE VILLAGE OF BAINBRIDGE.---March 16, 1868, P. M. Packard, E. W. Thomas, Blin S. Sill, Charles Bixby, R. W. Akerley, D. A. Gilbert, Joseph Juliand 2d, W. M. Newton, G. A. Dodge, A. J. Yale, L. B. Yale, Dwight S. Scott, T. R. Hollister, J. W. Treadway, Giles Hayes and H. L. Marsh, lawful citizens of school district No. 13, in the village of Bainbridge, requested the trustees of that district to call a meeting of the inhabitants thereof, for the purpose of determining whether a Union Free School should be established therein, in conformity with Title Nine of the General School Laws of this State, as amended by the laws of 1865, '66 and '67. March 18, 1868, A. Campbell, O. B. Tyler and I. D. Meacham, trustees of said district, issued a call for a meeting for that purpose, to be held at the school-house in said district, on Monday, March 20, 1868. At that meeting, of which A. Converse was chosen chairman, and J. D. Newell, clerk, the following was unanimously adopted:---
"Resolved, That we the inhabitants of School District No. 13, in the village of Bainbridge, regarding the means of instruction in said district inadequate to the public demands therein, and being confident that a Union Free School would better accommodate, more fully meet the wants and better sub serve the ends of education of the people thereof, do change the same into a Union Free School District, in conformity with chapter 555, of the laws of 1864, as amended by the laws of 1865, '66, and '67."
The following Board of Education was then elected: H. L. Marsh, G. A. Dodge, and A. J. Yale for one year; Charles Bixby, G. S. Graves and W. W. Davis, for two years; and B. S. Sill, D. A. Gilbert and A. Converse for three years.
At a meeting of the Board, held April 9, 1868, A. Converse was elected President, and G. A. Dodge, Clerk; and Asa J. Yale was appointed Treasurer, and G. S. Graves, Collector.
During this time, but just when does not appear, the number of the district was changed from 13 to 10.
April 14, 1868, notice was given of a meeting to be held on the 27th of that month to take into consideration the question of securing a site and erecting suitable school buildings thereon, but what action was taken does not appear from the records, which are very incomplete, entirely deficient with regard to the earlier action taken for the formation of the Union school, for information respecting which we necessarily had recourse to the local newspapers. It appears, however, from subsequent action that this was not consummated, for Jan. 10, 1871, we find it recorded that at a special meeting held that day, it was resolved to authorize the Board to levy a tax of $4,500 upon the taxable property of the district, to be used with the avails of the old school-house in purchasing land in addition to the present site and building a new school-house thereon.
April 15, 1871, the job of building a school-house was let to Northrup & Thayer for $4,000. When the foundation was nearly completed, a suit was commenced by the Wardens and Vestry of St. Peters' church, Bainbridge, involving the question of title to the land. Pending the litigation which ensued, building operations were suspended, and school was held in the basement of Mrs. J. J. Bixby's residence on Bridge street, and in the basement of the Baptist church.
The suit was terminated by the acceptance, March 8, 1872, of the first of two propositions presented by Joseph Juliand, Charles B. Sumner and John Banks, as a committee of the Vestry of St. Peters' church, as follows:---
"We, the Vestry of St. Peters' church, for the purpose of settling a certain suit now pending in the Supreme Court, * * * hereby offer the Board of Education of School District No. 11, in the town of Bainbridge, the following propositions, to wit:---
"1st. That said church will pay the sum of $350 to said Board of Education upon receiving from said Board a quit-claim deed of all their right, title and interest in and to the old school-house site now in litigation between these parties * * * said Vestry allowing the members of said Board of Education to remove the foundation stone now upon said old school-house site.
"2d. In case said Board of Education, by and with the consent of the majority of the said district, shall purchase the premises of R. W. Akerley in said town, we hereby offer $300 and the foundation stone as above, and to give said district a warranty deed of as many square feet of land north-east of the Akerley property as are contained in the old school-house site or within two feet of the school-house now standing on the church land, excepting and reserving the right of way along the south-west side of said school-house to the rear of the same."
This settlement was ratified at a meeting of the inhabitants of the district, and it was decided to sell the 50 by 20 feet of land purchased adjacent to the old school-house site to Joseph Julian for $50, the amount paid for it to H. C. Clark. The amount paid for the foundation was $300. The consent of the Supervisor, Gilbert Sherwood, to the change of site was given March 5, 1873.
The site selected and adopted March 8, 1873, is one acre of land situated on Richard W. Juliand's farm, and bounded on the east by the highway called Juliand street, on the south-west by the highway running near the house of Rufus and Samuel H. Bennett, and on the north-east and north-west, by the lands of said Juliand, being 10 rods on Juliand street and 16 rods on the other street. The price paid was $400. A warranty deed for it was executed March 27, 1873. March 22, 1873, the sum of $8,000 was voted to build a new school-house on this site, and for necessary fixtures and furniture. July 19, 1873, the building of the school-house was let to O. C. Latimore, of Bainbridge, for $7,800. Oct. 14, 1873, the Board was instructed to furnish the necessary library and apparatus, and establish an academical department, the whole to cost not to exceed $1,000.
January 19, 1874, the building, a two-story brick structure, was completed and formally dedicated, and school opened, with Prof. E. W. Rogers as principal, and Miss E. H. Gilbert and Addie Baldwin, assistants.
|Cost of Building,---Contract price||$7,800 00|
|Paid for drawings, &c.||9 00|
|Extra work, as per bill||117 80|
The fall term of school commenced August 17, 1874, with the following corps of teachers:---Prof. E. W. Rogers, principal; Misses E. H. Gilbert and Addie Baldwin, assistants to principal; Miss Libbie Bates, principal of primary department, and Miss Lottie Lee, assistant.
Professor Rogers' resignation as principal was received and accepted July 14, 1876. He was succeeded by Professor A. G. Kilmer, of Cobleskill, who remained till the close of the summer term of 1879. W. D. Graves succeeded him.
The number of scholars taught during the year ending June 27, 1879, was 97; of whom 52 were males and 45 females. Their average age was 15 9/10 years. The number of academic students June 27, 1879, or enrolled during a part of the year ending that day, who are claimed by the trustees to have pursued for four months or more of said year, classical studies or the high branches of English education, or both, after having passed the preliminary academic examination, was 18 males and 26 females. The average age of the males was 16 9/10 years, and of the females, 17 1/10 years.
The value of philosophical apparatus connected with the school July 7, 1879, was $931.43; of geological specimens, $372.90; and of the library, comprising 615 volumes, $1,062.46.
The Social Library of Jericho.---The member of Jericho Library, judging themselves to possess property in "books, notes, &c.," to the amount of 40£, met at the house of Reuben Kirby, February 14, 1809, for the purpose of choosing a chairman and trustees and becoming incorporated, pursuant to an Act of the Legislature passed April 1, 1796. David Cooper was chosen chairman, and Joel Chapin, Pliny Smith, Thomas Humphreys, Jr., Reuben Kirby and David Cooper, trustees. The application for incorporation was by the following, in addition to those above named: Jared Redfield, Darius Smith, Jr., Uzziel Taylor Heth Kelsey, Pardon Redfield, Elijah Stowel, Stephen Landers, Eleazer Church, Israel Smith, Jr., Joseph Landers, Joshua Weeks, Nathaniel Benton, James Graham, Asahel Bixby and Azor Smith. How long it continued to exert its beneficent influence upon the community we can not say, but presume that, like most of its contemporaries, it was short-lived.
There is at present a literary society in the village, recently organized, but of its exact nature we are not advised.
CHURCHES.---Presbyterian Church of Bainbridge. Within nine years from the time the first settler planted himself in the midst of the gigantic forests of this region the devotion of its New England pioneers had found expression in an organized religious society.
At a meeting of a number of the inhabitants of Jericho, held April 30, 1793, the Congregational Church of Silesia 10 was organized by Rev. William Stone, a missionary of the Vermont Domestic Missionary Society. Its jurisdiction extended from the Unadilla, one mile above its mouth, west eleven miles on the south line of Fayette, (Guilford,) thence south nine miles to the north line of Warren, in Broome county, thence east to the old line of property, or east line of the county, thence following that line to the junction of the Unadilla and Susquehanna, and up the former river to the place of beginning. At that meeting Israel Smith and William Guthrie were chosen "returning officers," and Israel Smith, Samuel Bixby, Abel Stockwell, Heth Kelsey, Hezekiah Stowel and Orlando Bridgeman, trustees. Gershom Hide was chosen Clerk of the Board of Trustees. 11
The following names of members are appended to the minutes of a meeting held May 7, 1793: "Jared Redfield, Israel Smith, Israel Smith, Jr., Simeon Smith, Amos Smith, Russel Redfield, Henry Evans, Samuel D. Curtis, Samuel Bixby, Jr., Asahel Bixby, James Price, John Yaw, James Tucker, Samuel Bixby, Ephraim Bixby, Moses Stockwell, Jedediah Smith, Aaron Stockwell, Japhet Bush, Lemuel Haskins, Luther Chamberlain, John Alison, George McCloud, John Day, Joseph Bush and Gershom Hide." The name of Seth Stone appears as Collector June 24, 1793.
Aug. 21, 1794, the church voted to hire Rev. William Stone the ensuing year, and give him 65£. He remained with the church about two years. The membership being widely scattered over a large territory, Bainbridge and South Bainbridge (now Afton) were the alternate preaching places on the Sabbath. During 1796-'97 missionary labor was supplied by Joel T. Benedict, of Franklin, David Harrower, of Walton, Daniel Buck, of Afton, and Joseph Badger. 12
At a meeting "of the upper part of the Society of Celicia," at the house of Abel Franklin, March 8, 1798, Thaddeus Newton, Israel Smith, Jr., James B. Nichols, William Guthrie, Jr., and Heth Kelsey were appointed a committee to superintend the building of a meeting-house near the house of Abel Franklin. This house is said to have been built in 1799; but the first record of its being occupied for the meetings of the Society occurs Sept. 30, 1802. Previous to that the meetings were held in private houses, generally at the house of William Guthrie. The church was never finished, and in 1814, was burned, many persons imagined intentionally, but whether intentional or not, it is certain that its destruction gave rise to the change of the name of the town, Jericho having become odious from its association with the epithet "church-burners." "If the building was fired," says our informant, "it was not on account of a disrelish for the religion of which it was a symbol, but because the building itself was considered no ornament to the town." It stood about the center of the village green in Bainbridge. Previous to the burning of the meeting-house, the Society had become so weakened that meetings were not held in it. In 1818 another building was erected in front of where the Episcopal Church now stands. It is still standing, thought it is now appropriated to secular uses.
In 1831 the present church edifice was erected. Its gallery, high pulpit and high-back seats are remembered by the older citizens. In 1868, the interior was entirely remodeled, the galleries removed, the pulpit placed in the rear of the building instead of in front, more comfortable seats placed within it, and a general renovation took place. In 1875 further improvements were made. The choir was removed to the rear of the church, and a recess was built in the rear for the new organ which was then placed in its position.
July 7, 1793, the first sacrament was administered at John Allison's.
May 15, 1789, a call was extended to Joel Chapin, "whose holy life has given him a fragrant memory here." He was ordained and installed pastor in Sept., 1798. He served the church as pastor six years, but resided in the parish till his death, Aug. 6, 1845, aged 84 years. His tombstone bears the inscription, "First pastor Presbyterian Church, Bainbridge, ordained September, 1798." During his pastorate in 1802, the Church was divided, that portion of its members residing in the south part of the town (now Afton) being formed into a separate church. Its members were again diminished by the formation of the church at Sidney Plains in 1808.
After Chapin, Rev. Anson S. Atwood, a Home Missionary from Connecticut, labored here a part of a year. After this it seems to have had no regular pastor for a time and the church suffered a very serious decline. The ordinances of religion were neglected and the Church well nigh lost its life. But for the vigilance of Mr. Chapin who after his dismission labored as a missionary in the destitution of the region about until the infirmities of age compelled retirement from active life, it would have lost its legal organization and the property deeded to it. He called together at his house the remaining seven members and together they held a week of fasting and prayer.
Nov. 25, 1817, the Church was recovenanted, and Dec. 14, 1817, there was a public confession and re-organization. The year following a new church was built.
From 1818 to 1820 Rev. Jacob Burbank labored here, dividing his time equally between this church and that at South Jericho. Rev. Egbert Rossa served the church a short time in 1825. This same year Rev. Sayres Gazlay commenced a two years' pastorate. Dr. Elias Fairchild labored with them a few months in 1827, and this same year Rev. Ethan Pratt was installed pastor. He resigned Dec. 19, 1831. Rev. George Spaulding became the pastor in 1832 and remained such four years. In 1837 Prince Hawes commenced his labors as a stated supply and continued them four years, the last year serving three-fourths of the time with this Church and one-fourth with the Church of Bainbridge and Nineveh.
July 8, 1841, the trustees were authorized to invite Rev. Calvin Warner to preach three months with a view to settlement, and Sept. 29, 1841, he was invited to become the settled pastor. He served two years. Rev. U. S. Doubleday became the pastor in 1845 and served two years. He was followed by Rev. J. Davidson, who also served two years.
In 1850 Rev. Ethan Pratt was recalled and served till his death, Nov. 4, 1850. Rev. Charles H. Force succeeded to the pastorate in 1851 and remained one year. Rev. Lemuel Pomeroy was the next pastor. He served two years.
Rev. Andrew Huntington assumed the pastoral care Sept. 3, 1854, and was released at his request April 7, 1856. In 1857 Rev. Alfred Ketchum became the pastor and remained sever years, dividing his time between this church, and that at Sidney Plains. He was succeeded in 1864 by Rev. A. S. Yale, in 1866, by Rev. H. W. Lee, and in 1869, by Rev. Julius S. Pattengill. This latter year a parsonage was bought.
During Mr. Pattengill's pastorate the Church was involved in a law suit concerning the title to the village green. The Courts decided that the Church owned the larger portion of it in fee, and the rest of it in trust for a public parade ground.
Rev. D. N. Grummon the present pastor, commenced his labors in 1873. This is his first pastorate.
Revs. Joel Chapin, Ethan Pratt, Calvin Warner and Daniel Grummon were ordained here.
During Mr. Ketchum's ministry, in 1859, the most precious revival the Church has had occurred; 22 were added at one time.
The Church was organized with some 20 members. In 1819 the number was 51; in 1860, 81; in 1863, 58; in 1869, 61; in 1876, 100; in 1879, 107.
The Church was originally Congregational in form of government. In 1818 it united with the Union Association, and in 1828 with the Presbytery of Chenango. Till 1833 its internal government was Congregational. In that year a board of elders was elected, and Oct. 14th, the session, composed of seven, held its first meeting. In 1837 they returned to the Congregational policy, though still remaining under the care of the Presbytery. In 1864 they united with the Chenango Association. Nov. 11, 1873, the Church became Presbyterian, ordained six elders, and united with the Binghamton Association.
St. Peter's Church at Bainbridge.---The male persons of full age belonging to the Church, Congregation and Society at Bainbridge, in which divine service was celebrated according to the rite of the Protestant Episcopal Church, met at the school-house in the village of Bainbridge, June 27, 1825, for the purpose of incorporating. Marcus A. Perry, Presbyter of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was called to the chair, and Solomon Warner and Erastus Root were elected Church Wardens, and Moses G. Benjamin, John C. Clark, Richard W. Juliand, Albert Neely, Stephen Stilwell, George Howe, Abraham B. William and Philip M. Dezang, Vestrymen.
The first meeting of the wardens and vestrymen was held June 27, 1825, and Solomon Warner was chosen President of the Board, John C. Clark, Secretary, and Moses G. Benjamin, Treasurer.
March 20, 1826, the vestry resolved to employ Theodore Daniels to build a church for the use of the society, exclusive of underpinning, similar in all respects to the Episcopal church in Binghamton, for $2,100, and Moses G. Benjamin, Richard W. Juliand and John C. Clark were appointed a committee to draft a contract with Mr. Daniels. The church was built in 1827, and consecrated Sept. 12th of that year by Bishop Hobart.
Previously meetings and services were held in the little school-house which once stood upon a part of the lot the Presbyterian church now occupies. The seats were hard benches, cut and marred by the jack-knife of the school boy. The "faithful ones" were few in number, and though encompassed with many discouraging circumstances, were not in the least discouraged or faint-hearted. But shortly previous, there was only one Episcopal family here.
The vestry sold the pews Dec. 29, 1827. The following are the names of persons who bought slips at that time: Peter M. Dezang, Levi Bigelow, R. W. Juliand, M. G. Benjamin, Alvah Bush, Winthrop Fairchild, Theo. Daniels, L. Conklin, Albert Neely, John Newton, H. VanBergen, Daniel Garrit, S. Stilwell, Solomon Warner, Dexter Newell, Jehial Evans and J. S. Fitch, the amount bid being $2,140. There were then only sixteen communicants.
Rev. Marcus A. Perry, under whose labors after holding a few services the parish was organized, was sent as a missionary to this field. Being called away soon after the organization, he was succeeded by Rev. Norman H. Adams of Unadilla, who in 1828 reported that he had baptized 17, married 8, and buried 8; also that there was a Sunday School of about 50 children. For the year 1830 he reported 25 communicants, 14 baptisms, (4 adults and 10 children,) 4 marriages, and 12 funerals; and notwithstanding the expenses incurred in building the church and purchasing a bell and organ, they were yet disposed to be liberal and had been prospered even beyond the sanguine expectations of the most ardent friends of the Church. Mr. Adams continued his labors as late as June 12, 1836, possibly later.
Jan. 6, 1831, it was resolved to convert the grounds around and in rear of the church into a burying ground.
Feb. 10, 1838, it was resolved to invite Rev. Anthony TenBroeck to become the rector. The invitation was apparently not accepted, for June 2, 1838, the vestry resolved to extend the same invitation to Rev. Wm. E. Eigenbrodt, and Rev. G. B. Engle was requested to officiate for a few Sundays until Mrs. Eigenbrodt could be heard from. Mr. Eigenbrodt commenced his labors as early as Aug. 14, 1838, and closed them June 26, 1842. During his rectorship there were 57 baptisms, 39 confirmations, 11 marriages and 25 funerals. He founded the parish school and was instrumental in procuring, with the aid of the two Ladies' Societies connected with the parish, a silver communion set.
Rev. James Jay Okill became the rector in December, 1842. His resignation was tendered September 1, 1844, and accepted September 10, 1844. During his rectorship there were 10 baptisms, 4 confirmations, 4 marriages, (among them Mr. Okill himself,) and 8 burials.
Rev. Israel Foote, of Rochester, accepted a call tendered him March 4, 1847, to serve the parish one-half the time from December 25, 1846. His resignation was received and accepted April 15, 1854. During his ministry the interior of the church was painted, repaired and carpeted; the parish library founded; and 46 baptized, 44 confirmed, 24 married (himself among the number,) and 30 buried.
Rev. John Bayley served as rector from June, 1855, till April, 1857, officiating also, apparently, at Guilford. During his stay 6 were baptized and confirmed, 6 married and 9 buried.
May 30, 1857, a call was given William Allen Johnson, then a student in the General Theological Seminary of New York, to serve them half the time and the Guilford church half the time. The call was at first declined, but on being renewed was accepted. He commenced his pastoral labors September 6, 1857. August 25, 1859, he dissolved his relation with the Guilford parish and commenced to devote himself wholly to this, continuing his labors till October 19, 1862. During his rectorship, in 1859, the church was enlarged. There were 85 baptized, 22 confirmed, 23 married, (including himself,) and 2 buried.
Rev. John W. C. Baker commenced his labors in this parish January 11, 1863, and closed them apparently in the summer following on account of ill health. He was followed by Rev. James A. Robinson, December 31, 1863, and the following year the rectory was built; over $800 of the money raised for that purpose having been contributed by the Ladies' Society. It is worthy of note that this sum was the proceeds arising from the sale of beans and onions raised and overalls made by the ladies of the Society. Mr. Robinson's ministry witnessed 48 baptisms, 40 confirmations 21 marriages and 26 burials; and the removal of the armory building to the south-west part of the parsonage lot and its conversion to school purposes. He closed his ministry April 10, 1871.
Rev. S. Seymour Lewis commenced his labors May 8, 1871, and tendered his resignation in December, 1873, but continued his ministrations till the spring of 1874, having assisted in 13 baptisms, 15 confirmations, 19 marriages, and 26 burials. He was succeeded by Rev. G. W. Porter, D. D., who commenced his labors August 23, 1874, serving two-thirds of the time in Bainbridge, where he resided, and one-third in Afton. His rectorship continued till June 21, 1876, when William S. Sayre, a resident of the village and a member of the church, was requested to hold lay services until a rector could be obtained. During his rectorship 21 were baptized, 6 confirmed, 1 couple married, and 7 buried. The parochial school also seems to have been abandoned, for January 13, 1875, the Vestry resolved to put the school building in a tenantable condition for renting.
Rev. John L. Egbert began his labors with this parish November 5, 1876, and still continues them. (June 30, 1879.)
The records do not show the statistics with regard to baptisms, &c., from 1827 to 1838, but the aggregate from 1838 to 1877, is as follows:---baptisms, 324; confirmations, 195; marriages, 117; burials, 166. The number of communicants in 1838 was 42; in 1877, 90.
The Ladies' Sewing Society of this parish was organized March 24, 1874, and during the succeeding three and one-half years raised $720 and expended the amount in benevolent objects.
The M. E. Church of Bainbridge was incorporated as The North Bainbridge Village Society of the M. E. Church, Feb. 11, 1833. Charles Curtis and Reuben Reynolds were chosen presiding officers of an adjourned meeting, held "for the purpose of organizing a lawful religious society," and Charles Curtis, William Banks, David Scott, John Newton, Joseph Badger and Ambrose Lyon were elected trustees. We have not further data regarding this church. 13
The Baptist Church in Bainbridge was organized with sixteen members, June 9, 1867, and received into church fellowship by a council convened for the purpose July 31, 1867. Articles of faith and covenant were adopted Aug. 25, 1867.
The meetings for six months, about the time of the organization, were held in the basement of Mrs. Joel Bixby's residence. They were afterwards held in the M. E. Church, and subsequently until their house of worship was finished, in the Presbyterian Church.
For two years, one before and one after the organization, they enjoyed the ministerial labors of Rev. Luman Yale, through whose exertions the organization was perfected. The first communion service was held Sept. 8, 1867. Mr. Yale was succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. D. B. Collins, who served a like period.
Rev. E. M. Blanchard settled with the church April 1, 1871, and closed his labors April 1, 1874. During his pastorate their house of worship was finished at a cost of $10,000. It was completed, finished and dedicated June 21, 1871.
Rev. James S. Backus, Secretary of the Home Missionary Society, preached the dedicatory sermon. Two years after its completion there was an indebtedness upon it of $7,196.
Rev. G. W. Abrams commenced his labors with this Church April 1, 1874, and closed them March 1, 1875. The pulpit was occupied for four months by D. C. Babcock, a student from Madison University.
Rev. D. C. Haynes assumed the pastoral care Aug. 22, 1875, and continued his labors till March 29, 1879. During his pastorate the Second Baptist Church of Guilford and the Baptist Church of Bennettsville disbanded and united with this, the former April 29, 1875, and the latter Aug. 5, 1875.
Rev. L. E. Wheeler, the present pastor, commenced his labors April 20, 1879, and was called to the pastorate on the 30th of that month.
From the records it appears that the whole number who have belonged to the Church is 131; of whom 101 were received by letter, 27 by baptism, 2 on experience, and 1 by recognition. Of this number 28 have been dismissed by letter, 8 have died, and 5 have been expelled; leaving a present membership of 90. The average attendance at Sabbath School is 85.
We find it recorded that "The Second Baptist Church and Society in Bainbridge" was incorporated July 6, 1844, at a meeting held at the school-house in District No. 14 in Bainbridge, and that Philander Loomis was elected trustee for one year, Reuben C. Vosburg for two years, and Martin Post for three years; but we find no record of a Baptist Society in this town anterior to this.
SOCIETIES.---Susquehanna Lodge, No. 167, F & A. M., was organized Sept. 17, 1850. The first officers were: Augustus Willard, W. M.; S. W. Corbin, Secretary. These are the only ones mentioned in the minutes. It meets the first and third Wednesdays of each month, in Masonic Hall in the Prince block. The present number of members is 72. The whole number who have been members is 207. R. W. Julian and A. C. Pratt are honorary members---the only two in the lodge.
Bennettsville is situated in the south-east part of the town, near the line of Afton, about three miles south-east of Bainbridge. It is located on Bennett's Creek, which flows through a narrow and somewhat romantic gorge, and furnished a good mill privilege, and which, together with the village, derives its name from Caleb Bennett, one of the first settlers in the town at this place.
It contains one church, (Baptist,) a district school, one general store, a grist and saw-mill, two wagon shops, kept by Orrin H. Humphrey and George R. Bradstreet; two shoe shops, kept by Nathan Hand and Ely Seely; one cooper shop, kept by Aaron N. Lathrop; a blacksmith shop, kept by Frank M. Knapp; and a population of 161.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Bennettsville was Amasa Cowles, who came from Otego about 1836 and opened a store in the building which now forms a part of the residence of David Fredenburgh. He traded about three years. Royal Shepard, also from Otego, bout out Cowles and continued three or four years, when he sold out to David Van Horne, from Monticello, N. Y., who traded till his death, April 22, 1863, aged 59. James W. Bennett, a native of Bennettsville, where he still resides, did business a few years after Van Horne. Porter Van Horne, son of David, and now residing in Bainbridge village, did an extensive business for some five years. William Corbin and William C. White were trading here in 1871, perhaps a year or two earlier. Corbin soon after sold to his partner, who, in connection with his son, did business till Aug. 1, 1878, when they were succeeded by William C. Jones, the present merchant, who came here from Afton.
POSTMASTERS.---David Van Horne, who was appointed soon after he commenced mercantile business here, is believed to have been the first postmaster at Bennettsville. He held the office till 1861, and was succeeded by Ezra B. Church, William C. White and Charles J. Humphrey, the latter of whom, the present incumbent, was appointed July 1, 1877. The office had previously been established on the river, and was known as Bainbridge Center. It was removed thence to this place.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician at Bennettsville was Blin S. Sill, who came about 1848 from Bainbridge, to which village he returned after three or four years' practice. He was succeeded after an interval of seven or eight years by Lewis Livingston, a deaf mute, and a descendant of the Livingstons of Livingston Manor, in Columbia county, and still practices here when not engaged in traveling.
MANUFACTURES.---The Bennettsville grist and saw-mills are owned and operated by George R. Corbin and C. J. Humphrey. Mr. Corbin came in possession of the property in 1876, at which time he bought it of his uncle, William Corbin, and in 1877 he admitted Mr. Humphrey to partnership. The grist-mill contains three run of stones, and the saw-mill three saws--log, cut-off and shingle. They are propelled by water from Bennett's Creek, on which they are located, and which has a fall of twenty feet, furnishing a constant water-power. They saw about 300,000 feet of lumber and 200,000 shingles per annum.
The original mills on this site were built in 1789 by Phineas and Reuben Bennett, the grist-mill first. Both have been rebuilt two or three times.
CHURCHES.---The Bennettsville Baptist Church was organized Dec. 28, 1856. Meetings had occasionally been held for some time previous in the school-house.
The original members were Abijah Cady, Phineas Bennett, William Cook, Phineas M. Bennett, Isaac Benedict, John Crosier, Rufus Bennett, Ira Bennett, Lockwood Chandler, Marvin Bennett, Edmund C. Cook, Esther Birdsall, Sophia Bennett, Sabra Cady, Prudence Goodman, Flavilla Bennett, Anna Cook, Polly Bennett, Graty Bennett, Hiliam Bennett, Lucy Van Horne, Margarette Cook, Charlotte A. Bennett, Jane M. Bennett, Augusta M. Corbin, Clarissa Kirby, Lydia Ann Humphrey, Desire Vanderburgh, Maria Partridge, Sally Goodman, Mary Ann Cady, Mary Ann Chandler, Sophia A. Chandler, Sarah A. Chandler, Lydia Bennett and Sarah Scofield, who had been members of the Masonville Baptist church.
Phineas Bennett and Abijah Cady were chosen deacons in May, 1846, they having previously held that office in the Masonville church.
The society was incorporated Nov. 8, 1848, and the first trustees were William Cook, Marvin Bennett and George Birdsall.
The first pastor was Joel Hendrick, whose name first appears in the records Feb. 24, 1849, and last June 16, 1849. April 21, 1849, E. C. Cook was invited "to improve his talent within the bounds of the church" and was ordained Jan. 7, 1851. H. Robertson, who appears to have been the next pastor, was admitted by letter April 21, 1851, and dismissed by letter July 16, 1854. He was recalled Dec. 25, 1854, and March 30, 1856, it was voted to renew the letter. Nathaniel Wattles commenced his labors in the spring of 1856 and continued them as late as Aug. 18, 1860. Oct. 7, 1860, the Church voted to license Edwin Bennett to preach. Elder G. A. Hogeboom was pastor apparently Dec. 15, 1860, and Elder Allaben, Jan. 19, 1861, but the records do not show whether they were settled as such. Elder Wattles seems to have been recalled; he was voted a delegate to the Association Aug. 17, 1861. He removed to Sidney Dec. 28, 1861, unable to preach. Elder Merrill was the pastor as early as Nov. 16, 1861, and as late as March 15, 1862. Elder G. A. Hogeboom was received on letter May 17, 1862, and was succeeded in the pastorate in the latter part of that year by Elder N. Wright, whose name appears as delegate to the Association as late as Aug. 20, 1864. Elder N. Wattles again became the pastor April 1, 1865. He was succeeded June 23, 1867, by Rev. R. L. Warriner, and April 1, 1869, by Rev. D. B. Collins, the latter of whom served as late as March 19, 1870. Elder Wattles died March 11, 1868. Oscar Slater, a licentiate, preached about six months in 1870. He was succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. H. Robertson, who served the church till its disbandment, Aug. 5, 1875, at which time it was resolved that, "in view of the great reduction of members by death and removal and our consequent inability to sustain the ordinances of public worship, * * * we will unite with the Baptist Church of the village of Bainbridge, if this shall find acceptance with that Church." The resolutions, the substance of which are here given, were signed by Susan Robertson, Jane B. Olmstead, S. J. Robertson, L. Robertson, Lydia Ann Bennett, Louisa D. Kirby, A. M. Corbin, Daniel Olmstead, G. H. Olmstead, H. Robertson, P. M. Bennett and S. Y. Scofield.
Their house of worship, which was previously built, was purchased in 1849, $450 being paid for the house and $20 for the ground on which it stood. Nov. 14, 1849, the work of completing the house, which was then unfinished, was let to P. M. Bennett, by whom it was built. The cost of finishing and furnishing it was $213.68. It was given at the disbandment to Elder Robertson, who now occupies it as a residence.
Bainbridge Center Church, (Baptist,) at Bennettsville, was organized March 28, 1855, at the house of Charles M. Humphrey, by Charles M. Humphrey, William Cook, Isaac Benedict, Nathaniel Humphrey, Reuben Stilson, William H. Neff and Chester W. Neff, who separated for that purpose from the Bennettsville Baptist Church on account of a disaffection arising from a case of discipline. It was recognized by a council convened for the purpose June 2, 1858.
William Cook and Nathaniel Humphrey were chosen deacons, and C. M. Humphrey clerk.
They incorporated May 5, 1855, under the name of the "Baptist Church and Society of Bainbridge Center," and C. M. Humphrey, E. L. Bennett and Reuben Stilson were elected trustees.
George Balcom, an evangelist, from South Bainbridge, (Afton,) held services here a few weeks in the school-house in the spring of 1855, commencing April 2d, and preached here evenings occasionally till the early part of 1856.
Thomas Durfee became the first pastor in the spring of 1856, and resigned Feb. 27, 1858.
The building of the church was begun in the fall of 1855 and finished the following spring. It was dedicated July 9, 1859, Elder Olney, of Deposit, preaching the dedicatory sermon.
Rev. M. L. Bennett was called to the pastorate April 23, 1858, to serve half the time from May 1st. He staid one year. He was followed by Rev. Simeon P. Brown, who commenced his labors May 28, 1859, and also remained one year. Rev. Elijah Baldwin, who resided at Afton, commenced his labors here May 26, 1860, and closed them Jan. 1, 1864. During his pastorate, June 28, 1861, the church was received into the Franklin Association.
Dec. 6, 1863, a call was given Rev. R. J. Reynolds, of Delphi, who entered upon his labors the following month. He was granted a letter May 28, 1865.
Rev. Sylvanus Smith commenced his labors as a supply Nov. 25, 1865, and closed them Feb. 24, 1866. He was followed March 24, 1866, by Rev. E. T. Jacobs, who resigned March 27, 1869. He returned as a supply July 24, 1869, and preached through the fall and winter.
Rev. Alanson Thomas was the pastor March 26, 1870. He resigned Feb. 7, 1874. Rev. J. Jones succeeded to the pastorate in the spring of 1874, and served two years. Rev. N. Ripley, the present pastor, commenced his labors May 14, 1877. The present number of members is 39.
West Bainbridge is a hamlet near the north-west corner of the town, on the stage route from Greene to Bainbridge, and is distant about three miles north-west of Bainbridge. There is a post-office there, and William Watrous is the postmaster. The office was established about forty years ago. Thomas Nichols was the first postmaster, and held the office twenty-eight years. He was succeeded by Timothy S. Lane, who held it till its discontinuance in 1861. It was subsequently re-established.
The Bainbridge Steamboat Navigation Company was organized in 1852, with a capital of $20,000, to open river navigation to Lanesboro and connect the village of Bainbridge with the Erie Railroad at that place. A steamboat was built that year at a cost of $6,000, and named The Enterprise. It was a flat-bottom, stern-wheel boat, 120 feet long, of thirty tons burden. It was supplied with an eighty-horse-power engine, and was launched with great pomp and ceremony near the bridge. It was christened by "a beautiful and queenly lady," by breaking a bottle of liquor over its prow. Orrin Jacobs was its projector and captain. But the foreshadowing of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad deterred the stockholders from making needed improvements in the river, which would have involved an expense of $10,000, and the project was abandoned. The boat was sold and was run between Tonawanda and Athens.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---The records furnish but meager data with regard to the part taken by this town in that memorable and sanguinary struggle.
At a special town meeting held August 17, 1864, it was resolved thereafter to pay to each volunteer and to each resident of the town furnishing a substitute credited on the quota of the town under the call for 400,000 men, a sum not to exceed $500 each, for one year, and Asa J. Yale, G. H. Winsor and Joseph Juliand 2d, were appointed a committee to issue bonds and carry the provisions of the resolution into effect. At a special meeting held September 12, 1864, it was resolved to pay to each volunteer thereafter enlisted for one year and credited on that quota, not to exceed $500, in addition to the $500 previously voted; to every person theretofore enrolled in the town and liable to be drafted, who had furnished a substitute who had been or should be credited on that quota, the actual amount paid to said substitute, but not in any case to exceed $1,000 each; and to each volunteer residing in the town who had previously been, or should afterwards be, credited on that quota, a sum equal to the average amount paid to persons who had furnished substitutes. Charles Bixby and Jerome B. Sands were added to the committee previously appointed. The amount involved in these appropriations, as appears from a subsequent record, was $28,905.16, and bonds were issued for that amount payable February 1, 1864.
At a special meeting held November 10, 1864, the resolution passed September 12, 1864, directing the payment of bounties to persons who had procured substitutes, was repealed.
At a special meeting held January 19, 1865, it was resolved to raise on bonds of the town, payable February 1, 1866, $20,000, or so much thereof as might be necessary, to pay bounties to volunteers or substitutes, for one, two or three years, to apply on the quota of the town under the call of December 19, 1864, for 300,000 men.
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