PLYMOUTH was formed from Norwich, April 7, 1806. It is an interior town lying north of the center of the county, and is bounded on the north by Smyrna, on the south by Preston and Norwich, on the east by North Norwich, and on the west by Pharsalia. The surface is a hilly upland, broken by deep narrow ravines, through which flow the streams, the principal of which are Canasawacta Creek and its north branch, which unite a little east of the center of the town, and Cold Brook in the north-east part. Both flow south-east diagonally across the town, and empty into the Chenango, the former at Norwich and the latter a little below North Norwich. They furnish some good mill sites. South-west of the center are Plymouth and Reservoir ponds, which cover an area of about a hundred acres each.
It is underlaid by the rocks of the Portage and Ithaca groups, except in the south-west part, which is covered by the Catskill group. Flagging and underpinning stone, principally the latter, is quarried in various parts of the town; notably on the farm of John Cox, one and one-fourth miles north of Plymouth; on the farm of Joseph Munroe, a half mile east of Plymouth, on the farm of Ira S. Holcomb, a half mile south of Plymouth, and on the farm of Marvin Steward, a half mile south-west of Plymouth, all of which have been worked a good many years. On the west bank of the north branch of the Canasawacta, opposite the grist-mill in Plymouth, on the farm of Lydia Sabin, is a quarry from which stone was taken for the dam in that village, and for the underpinning and flume of the mill. It contains some excellent stone and has been open about fifty years.
The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam, well adapted to dairying, in which industry the people are principally engaged. Some hops are raised in the north part of the town. The milk is mostly sent to factories, of which there are five in the town.
The Plymouth Cheese Making Company was organized in February, 1864, with a capital of $2,000, at which it still remains. The first officers were Nathaniel Sibley, President, and George P. Cushman, Secretary and Treasurer, the former of which offices he has held since the organization of the company. Mr. Sibley was president three years, when he was succeeded by Sylvester W. Hunt, who still retains the office. The factory was built in the spring of 1864, is located at Plymouth village, and receives the milk of 800 cows.
The Midland Creamery was built in the spring of 1872, by a stock company, which was organized with a capital of $1,500, which has been increased to $2,100. One-half the stock is owned by Harley Huntley, who managed the business; the other half by several individuals. The officers are Charles Steward, President; Giles Steward, Secretary; J. R. Newton, Treasurer. It is located in the west part of the town and received the milk of 300 cows. The first factory on this site was built about twelve years ago by a stock company, who managed it three or four years, and sold it to Dwight Merrill, who after about two years, removed about four miles south of Norwich, where it now stands, and is known as the Barber factory. While here it was also known as the Midland factory.
The South Plymouth Cheese Factory was built by a stock company about 1866, and after four of five years was sold to Augustus Aldrich and Marvin A. Dimmick, the latter of whom is the present proprietor. It receives the milk from about 300 cows and makes a full cream cheese.
The South Plymouth Creamery was built about 1870 by a stock company, by whom it is still operated. The officers are Henry W. Terry, President; David Evans, Treasurer; Orville Benedict, Secretary. It is located on South Hill, in the south-west part of the town, and receives the milk from about 250 cows.
The Heady Factory, located in the south-west corner of the town, was built by a stock company about thirteen years ago, and operated by them about three years. It then stood idle two or three years, and was sold to Mr. Scott, who sold it to Daniel M. Heady, the present proprietor. It receives the milk from about 300 cows, and makes both butter and cheese.
The Auburn Branch of the Midland Railroad, now abandoned, crosses the town diagonally, following the valley of the Canasawacta and its northern branch.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,339; of whom 1,295 were native, 44 foreign, 1338 white, 1 colored, 691 males, 648 females, and 11 aliens. Its area was 24,858 acres; of which 18, 198 were improved, 4,115, woodland, and 2,545 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $878,685; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $120,540; of stock, $165,996; of tools and implements, $33,415. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $124,682.
There are fifteen common school districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1877, there were fifteen licensed teachers at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 363. During that year there were eleven male and eighteen female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 296, of whom five were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 164.082; the number of volumes in district libraries was 458, the value of which was $100; the number of school-houses was fifteen, all of which were frame, which, with the sites, embracing 2 acres and 74 rods, valued at $755, were value at $3,208; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $829,747. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts at that date was 115, of whom 102 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876||$ 49.59|
|" apportioned to districts||1,298.45|
|Proceeds of Gospel and school lands||82.17|
|Raised by tax||520.31|
|From teachers' board||686.00|
|From other sources||12.80|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$2,492.08|
|" school apparatus||.50|
| " school-houses, sites, fences, out-|
houses, repairs, furniture, etc.
|Paid for other incidental expenses||135.80|
|Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877||4.90|
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlements were made about 1794, by several French families, among whom were D. G. Jeffrey, John and Modest Raynor, brothers, the latter of whom had a family. Most of them removed to Ohio at an early day. They settled in the locality of Plymouth village and probably came at the instance of Benjamin Walker, of Utica, an English gentleman who owned the lands in this locality. He came from England about the opening of the war of 1812, and was made a captain in the first New York regiment raised here during that war. Mr. Walker built, or caused to be built, a saw and grist-mill and a large barn, one hundred feet long, for the accommodation of the settlers. The first mill stood where Allen Steward now lives, about a hundred rods below the present mill in Plymouth village. It was afterwards discovered that the wrong site had been selected and a second mill was built about 1801 or '2, on the site of the present one, which was built about thirty-five years ago, by a company composed of several individuals. Nathaniel Prentis bought this second mill at an early day and was killed Oct. 13, 1809, at the aged of 42, by the fall of a heavy rafter while engaged in repairing it.
Major Thomas Brooks, Silas Holmes and ______ Blowers were among the first settlers of the town. Major Brooks, who was a militia officer, came from the New England States, settled in the south-east corner of Plymouth, on the farm now owned and occupied by Ambrose Bryant. He was killed by the fall of a tree Aug. 30, 1822, at the age of 61 years. His family continued to reside on the farm, and his wife, Lucy, and sons, Thomas, Socrates and Cassius and daughter Clarissa, a maiden lady, died there, the latter at the age of about 80. His wife died Dec. 31, 1827, aged 71. He had two other sons named Thesius and Clitus. His daughter Clarissa taught the first school in the town about 1800 or 1801. The school-house in which she taught was a log structure, and stood a little below the store occupied by James B. Anthony. It was an uncouth structure and soon gave place to a more commodious one. Silas Holmes, who was formerly from Connecticut, came in from Saratoga county and settled on the Norwich road, about three miles below the village, where, about the beginning of the century, he built a grist and saw mill, which he occupied till his removal to Chautauqua county, about 1834-40. The grist-mill is now owned by Mr. Ross and the saw-mill by Orrin Sexton. Mr. Holmes represented this county in the Assembly in 1812 and in 1823. His children mostly went West with him. Mr. Blowers settled on the place afterwards occupied by Shubal Tower, about a mile above the village, where J. Steward now lives. He died at an early day, his death being the first which occurred in the town. He was buried on the corner opposite the present tavern, where some eight or ten of the first persons who died were interred; but the spot is built over and all trace of the graves obliterated. Henry Prescott's residence stands upon the spot. Shubal Tower, to whom reference has been made, came from Massachusetts about 1801 or '2. He resided here till his death, Jan. 7, 1858, aged 90. Abigail, his wife, died March 1, 1856, aged 81. His children were Salma, who died in the town June 20, 1844, aged 46; William, Rodney and James B., who went to Wisconsin; Almon, who died in the village a year or two ago; Obadiah, a deacon of the Baptist church, now living in Oxford; Nelson, the youngest son, who also went to Wisconsin; and Hannah, the eldest child, who married Lemuel Ferguson and died Dec. 25, 1829, aged 33.
James Purdy, brother to Abner Purdy, a pioneer settler in North Norwich, came from Amenia, Dutchess county, in February, 1796. He settled in the north-east corner of the town, at Sherburne Four Corners, on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, Charles Hartwell, where he died Nov. 19, 1828; also his wife Phebe, Sept. 2, 1840. Only one of his family is living, Phebe, the youngest, who was born on the farm in 1798, and is still living on it, remarkably well preserved, both mentally and physically. She married Samuel Hartwell, who settled on his father's homestead, which is also occupied by Charles Hartwell, his eldest son, and died there.
Judah Bement settled in the town in 1798 or '9, and John Miller previous to that year. Judah Bement was a blacksmith and came from Massachusetts. He settled in the village on an acre of land opposite the Baptist meeting house, where Marvin Steward now lives, which was given him by Colonel Walker, of Utica, for establishing a blacksmith shop in the village and plying his trade there. He was the pioneer blacksmith. He carried on that business, in connection with tavern keeping, in the village several years. He afterwards removed to a large farm about a mile and a half south-west of the village, where he carried on a large distillery. When advanced in years he sold his farm and removed to Norwich village, where he died Dec. 19, 1843, aged 66, and Lydia, his wife, March 25, 1844, aged 64. His daughters were Electa, who married Dexter Sackett and lived and died in Plymouth; Martha, who married Daniel Butler and lived in Plymouth; Mary, who died unmarried March 17, 1839, aged 23; Fanny, who married James Kershaw and removed to Norwich and died there; and Clarissa, who married and died soon after at Norwich, Nov. 18, 1839, aged 22.
John Miller was a German and came from the locality of Albany. He settled on the farm now occupied by Danforth R. Cushman. He removed to Broome county after several years. His son John settled on the George Steward farm, about a mile below the village. He removed to Ohio about 1830. The latter's son John occupied that farm some years after his father's removal and died in the town Feb. 9, 1864, aged 69, and "Almyra," his wife, June 6, 1848, aged 57. John was the only one of his children who remained here.
Nathan Wales came from Tolland county, Conn., in the fall of 1799, and his family in the winter by means of sleighs, via Albany. He located near the present residence of George P. Cushman, in a small log house in the hollow near the village. He soon after bought land about a mile above the village, the farm now occupied by Wesley Tellett, where he died Sept. 22, 1825, aged 75. His wife Sally, died April 25, 1827, aged 76. His son George died on the same place July 29, 1844, aged 64. He had twelve children, only one of whom is living, Danforth, in Plymouth village, aged 83 years. Danforth Wales represented this county in the Assembly in 1843.
Settlements were made about 1800 by James Bamford, Colonel William Munroe, Asa Curtice, Levi Gardner, and soon after that year by Townsend S. Gardner, James German, Jonathan Weaver and David Blair.
James Bamford was an Irishman and came here from Utica. He settled about a mile above the village, on the farm now owned by Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich. He afterwards removed to a farm about half a mile above it and died March 8, 1843, aged 80. Adam S. Bamford, living in Norwich, is a son of his. Colonel Munroe was one of the first settlers on the site of Norwich, and removed from thence to the south-east corner of this town by reason of a difficulty between himself and Leonard M. Cutting, who was the original owner of the 15th township.1 While living in Norwich, and subsequently in Plymouth, he filled several prominent positions, among them that of Sheriff, to which office he was appointed March 23, 1809, again Feb. 8, 1811, and again March 6, 1819. He was the first Member of Assembly from this town, in 1816. He died on the farm on which he settled in this town, and was succeeded thereon by his son Virgil, who sold it to Colonel Benadam Frank, and removed to Wisconsin.2 He was uncle to Dyar Munroe, the latter of whom is father of the Munroes living in Plymouth.
Asa Curtice settled about a mile and a half south-west of the village, and died in the town April 29, 1826, aged 52. His daughter was the first wife of Marvin Steward, of Plymouth, and died early. None of his children are living here. Levi Gardner came from Massachusetts and settled on the farm now occupied by Albert Mundy, a half mile north of the village, where he died and is buried. His wife, Huldah, died March 19, 1872, aged 100 years. None of the children are left here. Some of them went west. Townsend S. Gardner, brother of Levi, came in a little later and settled first about a mile north-east of the village. He afterwards removed to the farm where William Sabin lives and died there June 10, 1840, aged 77; and Thankful, his wife, Nov. 19, 1849, aged 86. James German was a half brother to Obadiah German, a prominent early settled in North Norwich, and came here from Dutchess county. He settled in the east part of the town, where he owned 300 to 400 acres of land. Ebenezer Adams now owns the land on which he settled. He removed with his family about 1823, to New Jersey. Jonathan Weaver settled in 1798, on the Smyrna road, about a mile from the village, on what is known as the Knowles' farm, now occupied by David Rowe, where he died, April 13, 1813, aged 60. Sarah Babcock, his second wife, died Aug. 14, 1819, aged 29. His children by his first wife were: Jonathan, Jr., who died in 1840, aged 60; Warren, and Betsey. Those by his second wife were: James, Charles B., Gordon, who died in Smyrna, Aug. 19, 1847, aged 50, Elias, who died in Norwich, and Lucretia. David Blair came from Becket, Mass., with a family of eleven children, and settled on the Smyrna road, about a mile and a half north-east of the village, where William Warner now lives, and died there July 22, 1829, aged 80, and Miriam, his wife, Aug. 25, 1827, aged 78. His children, all of whom are dead, were: Thompson, Calvin, David, Robert, Luther, Erskine, Dolly, who married Robert Henry, Miriam, who married Isaac Sabin, Hannah, who married Chester Allen, and Eunice and Theodocia, neither of whom married. Erskine succeeded his father on the homestead and died there. Luther, Thompson and Calvin went west at an early day. David settled first in this town and when advance in years went to live with his children in the Black River country.
Nathan Glover and Christopher Falk joined the settlements in 1802. Glover came from Plainfield, Conn., with his family, consisting of his wife and six children, Abigail, Benjamin, James A., William, Nancy and Alphena. He settled in the east part of the town, close to the line of Norwich and died there in 1807. His wife died in Oxford, April 22, 1832, aged 71. Abigail, his daughter, married John Backus, of Oxford, and died there five or six years ago. James A., who was born April 24, 1799, married Ann Bradley, of Oxford, to which town he removed soon after his father's settlement here, and died there May 23, 1875. His wife, who was born July 8, 1792, died Dec. 27, 1871. Nancy married Joseph Noyes, of Billerica, Mass. Alphena married Joseph Maydole, brother of David Maydole, the hammer manufacturer of Norwich, and is now living in Jefferson, Wis. Two children were born to Nathan Glover after his settlement here,---Sophia, who died unmarried in Oxford in 1878, and Emeline, who married David Willson, of Oxford, and died in Hunter, Ill., July 4, 1868.
Christopher Falk came from Sharon, Schoharie county, and settled about two miles south of Plymouth Center, and died there June 14, 1808, aged 38. He came with his family, consisting of his wife, Marion Frary, and one child, Henry, the latter of whom is still living at Preston, aged 82. His children who were born after he settled here were: Elias, Justus and Lucretia, the latter of whom is the only one of these three living. She married Asahel Steward, with whom she is living in Plymouth, where they settled. Elias and Justus died young.
Captain Joseph Prentis came from the locality of New London, Conn., in the fall of 1803, and settled on the farm John Miller first took up. He was killed by the fall of a tree Jan. 20, 1804, aged 69. Margaret, his wife, lived to be 94 years old. She died Feb. 17, 1829.
Simon Taylor, who was a British soldier, and became a prisoner by the surrender of Burgoyne's army Oct. 17, 1777, came to Plymouth about 1805 or '6 and settled on a small farm about a mile east of the village, where Charles Browning now lives, and died there April 4, 1834, aged 78, and Ruth, his wife, Sept. 5, 1847, aged 90. The farm was afterwards occupied by his youngest son, Richard D., who is now living in Smyrna, well advanced in years. He is the only one of his children living in this section of country.
John Clitz, a Polish Prussian, came in about 1806 from Utica, where he kept a good tavern, which he sold for $15,000. He died here March 12, 1831, aged 77; and Cornelia, his wife, June 7, 1846, aged 82.
Other early settlers were Robert Gallop, Charles Babcock, John Thorp, John Egenton, Isaac Sabin, David Dimmick, Abraham Holcomb, Uriah Fitch, Daniel Scott, William Freeman and Rev. Elisha Ransom.
Robert Gallop came from the locality of New London, Conn. He was a Revolutionary soldier and was badly wounded at the taking of the fort at that place. He settled about a half mile above the village, on the road to Smyrna. In advanced life he went to live with his daughter, the wife of Erastus Foote, first in Norwich and afterwards in Greene, where he died, but was brought here for interment. Charles Babcock settled in the village, where he kept tavern on the place now occupied by the widow of Ira Thompson. He is said to have been the first inn-keeper in the town;3 but Mr. Danforth Wales thinks that a man named Amsbry kept a tavern at an earlier day on the site of Thomas Green's residence. John Thorp4 established the wool-carding and cloth-dressing business, in company with a man named Donaldson, between 1805 and 1810, on the site of the first grist-mill built by Col. Walker, about a hundred rods below the present one in Plymouth village. Donaldson remained but a short time. The works were afterwards carried on by Dan Monroe, who died here Feb. 12, 1854, aged 79, and Nicholas and William Brown, the latter of whom were in company some time, after which William carried on the business alone. John Egenton, an Irishman, traded in the village a short time in company with John McKibbin, also an Irishman, who served in the British dragoons. McKibbin remained here some twenty years; Egenton died here Sept. 6, 1807, aged 44. Isaac Sabin settled on the Smyrna road about a mile and a half from the village. He died in the town after two or three removals, May 7, 1855, aged 72. David Dimmick, who was born in Canterbury, Conn., in 1777, settled about a mile south of the village and died there Jan. 15, 1854, and Sarah, his wife, Feb. 10, 1856, aged 76. Erastus Dimmick, living in Plymouth, is a son of his.
Abraham Holcomb came from the Hudson river country and settled on the George Cushman place about a half mile below the village and died there Sept. 8, 1844, aged 91, with his son-in-law, Ira Buell, who married Chloe, his youngest daughter. His wife, Betsey, died March 11, 1846, aged 88. His son William succeeded him on the homestead and died March 12, 1832, aged 53. Daniel Scott settled in the south edge of the town, on the farm now occupied by the widow of his son, Jay M., and died there Dec. 8, 1863, aged 91. Roxey, his wife, died Dec. 1, 1856, aged 77. His children were Horace Merritt, Deacon Asa S., Walter, Jay M. and a daughter. William Freeman settled in the east edge of the town and died there, he and his wife, the former April 6, 1875, aged 87, and the latter, (Betsey,) April 16, 1875, aged 75. Rosetta, wife of Charles Brookins, living in North Norwich, is a daughter of his. Rev. Elisha Ransom was a Baptist minister and located first in Norwich village, before there was any church there. After preaching there a few months he removed to the east edge of Plymouth, to the farm now occupied by William Sacket, where he died Aug. 17, 1818, aged 72, and on which he was succeeded by his son Elisha. Elder Ransom, though a man of good ability and eminent piety, was an eccentric genius, who, thinking it a folly to have a large door, constructed one in his log hut which was so small that he was obliged to crawl into the latter upon his hands and knees.
Eliphalet Cutting came from Massachusetts about the opening of the war of 1812, and settled about a mile and a half west of the village on the Otselic road. He afterwards located in the village, and died there Oct. 2, 1843, aged 75; and "Turzah," his wife, Sept. 30, 1849, aged 77.
David Cook came from Thurman, Warren county, in 1813, and settled in the south part of the town, on the farm now owned by his grandson, Walter A. Cook. He was preceded in his settlement here by his sons Joseph and Caleb, who came in with their families from Athol, in the same county, in 1811, and settled in Frinkville (South Plymouth,) on land now owned by Walter A. Cook, of Norwich. David, his wife, Alice and son Joseph died on that farm. Joseph had five children. David Cook's other children were: Lydia, Polly, Sally, Alice, and Abial.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the house of Walter Bement, March 3, 1807, and the following named officers were chosen: William Munroe, Supervisor; Silas Holmes, Clerk; Daniel Prentis, Thomas Brooks, James Purdy, Assessors; Joseph Munroe, Collector; Joshua Phillips, Abraham Holcomb, Overseers of the Poor; Judah Bement, Seva Pond, Nathan Geer, Commissioners of Highways; Charles Holcomb, Joseph Munroe, Constables; Robert Bishop, Abraham Holcomb, Levi Brooks, Fence Viewers; R. D. Dillaye, Benjamin Thomas, Pound Masters; Samuel Lewis, William Munroe, Joshua Burlingame, Abner Purdy, Commissioners of Excise; Elijah Morton, Seth Sexton, Phineas Crumb, Joseph Goodwin, Nathan Phillips, Benjamin Prentis, "Benet" Hart, Abraham Holcomb, Robert Bishop, Levi Gardner, Isaac Walker, Ephraim Phillips, James Purdy, Jr., Jeremiah Scott, Jarvis Pike, James Enos, John F. Swain, Overseers of Highways.
Tavern licenses were granted in 1807 to Jonathan Weaver, who paid therefore $3 in cash and gave a due bill for $2; James Purdy, who paid $5 in cash; and Walter Bement, who gave a due bill for $5.
The following, which we extract from the town records, verbatim et literatim, explains itself:---
"PLYMOUTH, June 3, 1807."Permission is hereby granted to John Egenton & partner to Retale strong and spirituous Lequar not to be drank in his or thare House yard out House or garden.
"WILLIAM MUNROE. ) Commissioners" "ABNER PURDY. > of " "JOSHUA BURLINGAME. ) Excise. "
The following list of the officers of the town of Plymouth for the year 1880-81 was kindly furnished us by John Roberts:---
Supervisor---Timothy D. Anthony.
Town Clerk---John Roberts.
Justices---W. D. Powell, Geo. P. Cushman, T. D. Anthony, Erastus Dimmick.
Assessors---King Evans, W. E. Shoales, Albert Mundy.
Commissioner of Highways---E. F. Stanton.
Overseer of the Poor---T. A. Reynolds.
Constables---Edwin Dimmick, Will Stewart, Murray Aldrich, G. H. King, Michael Mulligan.
Collector---Marvin A. Dimmick.
Inspectors of Election---Wm. D. Warner, Edgar Marble, J. M. Munroe.
Excise Commissioners---R. A. Stewart, William Browning, A. J. Inman.
The following named persons have served the town as Supervisors:5 William Munroe, 1807-8; Silas Holmes, 1809-11, 1817, 1820; Judah Bement, 1812-16, 1823-4, 1826-7, 1831-2; James German, 1818-19, 1821-2; Nicholas Brown, 1825; John Harris, 1828-30, 1834-5; Erastus Foote, 1833; Taft Colwell, 1836-7; Smith German, 1838-9; Danforth Wales, 1840; Simon Mowry, 1841-2, 1849-50, '52, '56; Ralza A. Crumb, 1843-5, 1861-3; Codington Frink, 1846-8; Simon S. Chapman, 1851; Benadam Frink, 1853-4, '68; Stephen Anthony, 1855; William H. Day, 1858-9; James S. Ludington, Jr., 1860; Nathaniel Sibley, 1864-5; Augustus H. Holcomb, 1866-7; William H. Thompson, 1869-70; Asa Pellet, 1871, '74; Orville Benedict, 1872; Ira S. Holcomb, 1873; Ira S. Thompson, 1875; Charles Hartwell, 1876-7; Sylvester W. Hunt, 1878-9.
Plymouth is pleasantly situated in a beautiful vale, through which flows the north branch of the Canasawacta, which affords a limited water-power. It is five miles west of North Norwich, and about seven and a half miles north-west of Norwich. It is situated a little north of the center of the town, on the Auburn branch of the Midland railroad. It is long known as Frankville, from the early French settlers there. It contains two churches (M. E. and Baptist,) a district school, a select school taught by A. B. Steward, one hotel, kept by Elinus Blair, one general store, a grocery, a grist-mill, a cheese factory, two blacksmith shops (kept by Henry Gregory and T. J. Green,) a wagon shop, kept by John Mowers, a harness shop, kept by John Roberts, a shoe shop, kept by John Bradley, an egg-packing establishment, an undertaking establishment (R. A. Steward,) a cabinet shop, kept by James Tyler, and a population of 160.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Plymouth and in the town was John Raynor, one of the early French settlers, who opened a store about 1801 or '02, about where the residence of Joseph Munroe stands. His goods, three sleigh loads, were brought from Albany in the winter season. He traded some five or six years. His store was afterwards occupied by other merchants and subsequently by Dr. John Camp as a residence.
R. D. Dillaye, a Frenchman, commenced mercantile business here about 1805 or '06 in a small red building which had previously been occupied as a dwelling, commencing in a small way and continuing till between 1820 and '30. He developed a large and important business for the time and place; latterly occupying a building which stood a little in rear of the store now occupied by James B. Anthony.
Rufus Bacon came from Madison county before the war of 1812, and returned there after trading a short time. He was keeping tavern there in 1814. Horace Doud came from the Hudson River about 1816 and traded till about 1821 or '22. Charles Jones came from DeRuyter between 1830 and 1835, and after trading two or three years sold to his brother, William, who came here from Ohio, but traded only a short time. Nathaniel Sibley came from Norwich about 1840 and traded two or three years. He built the store now occupied by Mr. Anthony, and still resides in Norwich. Samuel Prentis came with his parents from Connecticut. He was contemporary with Sibley and traded six or eight years. There have not been any merchants here of any prominence since they left, until the present ones came.
The present merchants are Henry S. Montgomery and James B. Anthony. Mr. Montgomery carries on the grocery business which he commenced in March, 1865. Mr. Montgomery was formerly a resident of Smyrna. He served two years in the army and came the spring following his discharge in the fall of 1864. James B. Anthony, general merchant, commenced business Sept. 1, 1875. He is a native of Portsmouth, R. I., but has resided in Plymouth most of his life.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster at Plymouth of whom we have any information was Oliver Bement, who held the office as early as about 1815, when the mail was carried upon horseback. He was succeeded by R. D. Dillaye, who held it a good many years. Dyar Munroe, who was appointed during Harrison's administration and held it several years, Dennis Ballou, Dr. William Skinner, William Miller, who held it but a short time, Augustus H. Holcomb and Wallace D. Powell, the present incumbent, who was appointed in 1868. A mail is received from Norwich each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and from DeRuyter, each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician was probably Jesse Grant, who was here as early as 1804 and practiced four or five years, when he removed to Greene. Cyrus French, who was a successful physician during the prevalance of the epidemic from 1804 to about 1814, which took off many of the early settlers, came in soon after Dr. Grant left and after practicing two or three years, removed to Pharsalia and died of that disease soon after. Dr. Edmund Bancroft practiced here during the prevalence of the epidemic fever and died here. Ira Sheldon came from Vermont about 1807 or '08 and John Camp about the same time. Dr. Sheldon took up the farm which is now occupied in part by the widow of Ira Sheldon and carried on farming in connection with his medical practice, the latter of which he continued more or less till his death, Dec. 22, 1848, aged 65. Dr. Camp also practiced here till his death, about 1840. Drs. Maxson and Russell Ballou were early practitioners here. William Skinner practiced here a short time. W. H. Day practiced here from about 1845 to 1850 till as late as 1863, Oct. 31, of which year his wife died here. L. D. Greenleaf was here a short time about 1866. He removed to Pharsalia, where he now resides.
The present physician, and the only one in the town, is Byron J. Ormsby, who was born in Hamilton, N. Y., March 25, 1847.
MANUFACTURES.---H. Priscott & Son (Cornelius N. Priscott,) are the proprietors of the grist-mill at Plymouth. The mill is situated on the north branch of the Canasawacta, which has a fall of eleven feet at this point. It contains two run of stones, which are propelled by steam power. The first mill on this site was built in 1801 or '02, and was replaced about 1840, by U. Z. Garrett and Nelson E. Murdock, with another, which was burned about 1843, and rebuilt about 1846, by Origin Sabin, Charles Skinner, Nathaniel Sibley and Luke Sexton.
HOTEL.---The hotel at Plymouth was finished in the fall of 1877. The work of building it was begun three or four years previously by Charles Adams, and completed by Hosea Eccleston, of Norwich, who now owns it. The site has been occupied as a tavern stand a great many years. The hotel that preceded the present one on its site was burned in September, 1871. Elinus Blair, the present proprietor, took possession in April, 1879. He is a grandson of David Blair, one of the early settlers in the town.
CHURCHES.---The Friends to Theological and Civil Society was the first religious organization in the town of which there is record, and was probably the first in fact. This society was organized at a meeting of persons designating themselves "Friends to Theological and Civil Society," who met in the village school-house in Plymouth, Sept. 9, 1807. Elisha Ransom and Joshua Phillips were the presiding officers, and Isaac Grant, Silas Holmes, Thomas Brooks, Joseph Shoals and Nathaniel Prentis were elected trustees. This society was probably composed largely of Methodists, as the church formed by members of that denomination five years later considerably ante-dates that of any other in the town.
The First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Plymouth was legally formed March 23, 1812,6 at a meeting of the "members of the Methodist society in Plymouth," over which Ebenezer White and William Stover presided. Darius I. Adams, George Wales, Joseph Dimmick, Thomas R. Tracy, Nathan Geer, John Miller and Adolphus Simons were elected trustees. The society was re-organized Oct. 20, 1821, preliminary to the erection of a house of worship. The meeting for that purpose was held at the house of John Miller, in Plymouth, and Zenas Jones, the stationed minister in the Lebanon circuit, and John Miller were the presiding officers. John Miller, Dan Munroe, Nathan Geer, Martin Sacket, Joseph Dimmick, Darius Adams and John C. Adams were elected trustees. It was also voted "that their seal should be marked with the letter Ecks."
In 1822 the society, though few in numbers and very poor, resolved to build a place in which to hold religious services, and with commendable zeal, with the help of those who were friendly to the project, they succeeded in erecting a good building for the time. Up to this time services had been held during the summer in the open air and in barns when the weather permitted, and during the winter in a school-house which stood on town lot 53, on the highway known as the old road between Norwich and Plymouth, near the house formerly occupied by John Vrooman, about two miles south-east of Plymouth village. The church was erected some seventy rods west of the school-house. The dedicatory sermon was preached by the presiding elder of the district. The society occupied this edifice till 1845, when they built their church in Plymouth village, in which the dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Lyman A. Eddy, presiding elder of the district. The building of this church was hastened by the members living in the southern part of the charge joining with the Free Will Baptists, and building a Union church on the South Hill about a mile and a half south of the old church. The preacher in charge occupied the pulpit and preached as circumstances would permit for the members who worshiped at the Union church till 1860, when conference took the southern portion of the charge, and used it in forming the Preston charge.
By reason of certain informalities a re-organization became necessary. This was effected at a meeting held at the church Aug. 31, 1858, John Benedict was chosen chairman, and R. R. Sackett, clerk. H. P. Youngs, R. R. Sackett, R. D. Taylor, Asahel Steward, and J. W. Bennett were elected trustees.
In 1873 the church was rebuilt, enlarged and refurnished at an expense of about $6,000, thus making it one of the neatest and pleasantest churches in the district. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. J. G. Eckman, the presiding elder of the district.
The church was originally on the Lebanon circuit, Susquehanna district, Genesee conference. In 1814 it was changed to the Chenango district, and in 1832, to the Norwich circuit, Oneida conference. In 1836, it was on the Smyrna circuit, and in 1837 became the Smyrna and Plymouth circuit. In 1843 it became a charge, and had a stationed minister. In 1869 this and the Otsego district were transferred to the Wyoming conference, to which it still belongs.
The following have been the successive pastors of this church: Ebenezer White, 1812; Dan Barnes, 1814; Lorin Grant, J. Hamilton and Elias Bowen, 1815; George W. Densmore, 1816; George W. Densmore and Elijah King, supply, 1817; Dan Barnes and Russell Downing, 1818; Wyatt Chamberlin, 1819; Ebenezer Doolittle and Ira Brownson, 1820; Zenas Jones, 1821; William Cameron and Joseph Atwood, 1822; Isaac Grant and Ebenezer Doolittle, supply, 1823; Orrin Doolittle and H. G. Warner, 1824; Seth Young, 1825; William Cameron and Anson Tuller, 1826; Jesse Halstead, Lyman Beach and William Rounds, 1830; Leonard Bowdish, Lyman Beach and William Rounds, 1831; William S. Bowdish and Noah Stowell, 1832; Alvin Torrey and Noah Stowell, 1833; Charles Starr and A. Brown, 1836; J. Crawford, 1837-8; Andrew Peck, 1840; Edwin Denison 1840-1; Ira D. Warren, 1844-5; F. D. Higgins, 1846-7; E. P. Beecher, 1848-9; Charles Starr, 1850-1; Walter Jerome, 1852-3; Atchison Queal, 1854; L. G. Weaver, 1855; F. D. Higgins, 1856; E. D. Thurston, 1857-8; T. P. Halstead, 1859-60; A. C. Smith 1861-2; C. T. Moss, 1863-4; William Watson, 1865; William R. Cochrane, 1866-7; Abijah Brown, 1868-9; Richard Hirons, 1870-1; E. W. Caswell, 1872-3; J. W. Mevis, 1874; L. C. Hayes, 1875-6; J. H. Barnard, 1877; W. G. Queal, 1878-9.
The present number of members is 125; the attendance at Sabbath-school, 80.
The Plymouth Baptist Church, at Plymouth village, was organized Sept. 25, 1841, at an adjourned meeting held in the school-house in that village, and was reorganized by a council convened for that purpose, Oct. 14, 1841, at the Congregational meeting-house at Plymouth village, of which Rev. L. Howard was moderator.
The constituent members were: Margaret Woodward, Asa Colwell, Obadiah Tower, Susannah Colwell, Fidelia Tower, Clarissa Colwell, Welcome Jenks, Sabrina Johnson, Hugh Roberts, Weltha Johnson, Mrs. Samantha Roberts, Amy Finch, Hannah Ballou, Silas Mastin, Nancy A. Ballou, Eliza Mastin, John Lyon, William Brown, Mrs. John Lyon, Lucretia Brown, Susan Glazier, Charles Camp, Moses Steward, Elizabeth Tower, Enoch Steward, Lovina Steward, Betsey Steward, William Huntley, Julia Ann Huntley, Fortus Harrington, Angeline Harrington and Isaac Woodman.
Rev. B. S. Williams, who was present at the council, was the first pastor. He entered upon his labors about or soon after the organization of the church, and continued them seventeen years.
The first trustees, who were chosen Nov. 23, 1841, were: Isaac Woodman, Mason Johnson and William Brown. At that date also, A. Colwell, D. Tower, M. Johnson, William Brown and D. Ballard were appointed a committee to circulate a subscription.
At a meeting held in the school house in the village, Jan. 19, 1842, Mason Johnson, Obadiah Tower and Oliver Swain were chosen deacons, and it was voted to hold the first communion season the first Sabbath in February. October 23, 1844, the name, The First Regular Baptist Society in Plymouth, was adopted, and Elder Williams and Messrs. Ballou, Swain and Tower were appointed a committee to circulate a subscription to build a meeting-house, which, at the next regular church meeting it was resolved should be 35 by 40 feet, with 18 feet posts, and O. Swain, W. Brown, O. Tower, I. Woodman and W. Skinner were appointed a building committee. The church seems to have been built in 1848, though the records do not definitely show this.7
Mr. Williams was succeeded in the pastorate, after an interval of about a year, during which time the pulpit was supplied by students from Madison University, by Rev. O. Eastman, who staid but a few years, though the records do not show how long. The pulpit was then supplied by students and others till 1865, when D. D. Brown became the pastor and remained about two years. He was a licentiate when he came here and was ordained here. The pulpit was then supplied by W. T. Hanna, a student from Madison University, about a year and a half, when Z. W. Kemp entered upon his labors as a licentiate. He was ordained by a council called by this church June 29, 1870. Mr. Kemp's resignation was accepted June 10, 1871. After he left, the pulpit was supplied will the spring of 1875, one year by Joshua Clark, a Sabbatarian, and the rest of the time by students. In the spring of 1875, H. N. Cornish, a licentiate, commenced his labors with this church and was ordained Dec. 2, 1875. His resignation was accepted Oct. 8, 1876. The pulpit was then supplied for something more than a year by M. L. Rugg, when A. A. Jones, the present incumbent, assumed the pastorate.
The present number of members is 55; the average attendance at Sabbath school, about 35.
The Congregational Church of Plymouth, at Plymouth village. The records of this church prior to 1827 are kept on loose sheets and are fragmentary and incomplete. We have been unable to find any record which dates back to its organization, the earliest being in 1819, on the 2d of November of which year it was incorporated as the First Congregational Society in the town of Plymouth. This meeting was held "at their house where they weekly attended public worship." Rev. John Alexander was chosen moderator, Otis Phillips, clerk, and Deacons Samuel Foote and Jonathan Shepardson, returning officers. Samuel Foote, Jonathan Shepardson and Nicholas Brown were chosen Trustees. The church edifice is believed to have been built in 1824. The earliest record of its existence we have been able to find bears date of Oct. 8, 1824. The meeting held June 25, 1824, and, indeed, nearly all of which there is any record, was convened at the house of Deacon Joshua Phillips, about a half mile above the church. The house is still standing and is occupied as a residence by George Blackman. The church is practically disbanded. There is not a male member living in the place. The church edifice was sold in 1878 to Wallace Powell, and is now occupied as a select school. No regular meetings have been held for several years.
Frinkville, (South Plymouth p.o.,) situated on the Canasawacta, in the south-east part of the town, derives its name from Coddington Frink, who owned the mill property there several years, and contains a district school, a grist-mill, owned by Ely Ross, a cheese factory, a blacksmith shop, kept by Henry Blencoe, and a hotel, in which the post-office and a few goods are kept by Erastus Dimmick, who has been postmaster there for a great many years.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting held at the "Presbyterian" church Sept. 9, 1862, it was decided by a vote of 113 to 7 to raise by tax a sum sufficient to pay to each volunteer enlisted after August 28, 1862, to the number required to fill the quota of the town, a bounty of $100. Origin Sabin, Asahel Steward, "Ralsa" A. Crumb, Luke Sexton, Charles Hartwell, Orville Benedict, William H. Day. John Benedict, Amos Huntley, George Tinker, Frederick Wales and Hamilton Glazier were appointed a committee to carry out the provisions of the resolution. The committee issued their note for $800 to raise the funds for that purpose.
At a special meeting held January 2, 1864, at the Presbyterian church, and adjourned to the school-house opposite, it was decided unanimously by a vote of thirty to raise and pay a bounty of $323 to volunteers applied on the quota under the call then existing, and N. Sibley, S. Benedict, D. R. Cushman, Daniel Dodge and W. H. Day were appointed a committee to carry the resolution into effect. At the regular town meeting Feb. 16, 1864, the committee were authorized to pay volunteers applied on the quota under the last call any sum not exceeding $400. The committee raised on their joint note and paid about $7,131, payable in four annual installments.
At a special meeting held Aug. 2, 1864, it was voted to pay a bounty of $400, $666 and $1,000 respectively for one, two and three years' men, or such less amounts as the committee could procure the men for. Daniel Dodge, D. R. Cushman, Nathaniel Sibley, W. H. Day and Morgan McNitt were constituted a committee to carry the resolution into effect. It was also resolved at the same meeting that in case a sufficient number of volunteers were not secured to fill the quota, those who were drafted should be exempt from taxes on the amount then raised for volunteers. At a special meeting held Aug. 27, 1864, the committee were empowered to pay to persons furnishing substitutes the amounts paid by them for such substitutes, not, however, to exceed $1,000 for three years; it was resolved also, "that those persons who have heretofore procured substitutes to apply on this quota under the resolution authorizing the payment of $400 for such substitutes, shall be entitled to an additional sum of $200 to be paid by the town committee."
At a special meeting held Jan. 5, 1865, Nathaniel Sibley, Benadam Frink, William H. Day and D. R. Boardman were appointed a committee to ascertain who of those enrolled, if drafted, would be liable to military duty, and the quota of the town under the last call of the President and for future calls during that year, and fill the same as should, in their discretion, be most advantageous to the town, except such as should furnish substitutes. It was resolved to raise, if necessary, $23,000, on bonds payable in equal sums on the first of February in 1866 and 1867; also to pay to those furnishing substitutes to fill the quota seventy-five per cent, of the amount paid by such person for such substitute, the amount so paid, however, in no case to exceed $600.
At the regular town meeting held Feb. 21, 1865, it was voted to pay $321 to Leonard Phillips, a volunteer, who had been enlisted in excess of the quota, under the call of Oct. 17, 1863, for 300,000.
Plymouth's contribution to the personnel of the army was 123, and to that of the navy, 6. Of this number 81 were residents of the town; 12 ranked as sergeants and 1 as hospital steward. They were assigned as follows: 1 each in the 1st N. Y. Battery, 1st N. Y. Artillery, 7th Battery, 2d Artillery, 8th Cavalry, and 14th, 61st and 131st Infantry; 2 each in the 13th H. A., 18th and 20th Cavalry, and 12th and 144th Infantry; 3 in the 4th N. Y. Artillery; 4 each in the 5th H. A. and 161st Infantry; 5 in the 44th Infantry; 7 in the 17th Infantry; 14 in the 22d Cavalry; 15 in the 89th Infantry; and 38 in the 114th Infantry. With regard to the remainder it does not appear with what branch of the service they were connected. The number who enlisted for three years was 116; for two years, 6; and for one year, 5.
|STATEMENT OF BOUNTIES PAID.|
|8||received||a town||bounty||of||$ 100.00|
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