PHARSALIA was formed from Norwich as Stonington, April 7, 1806, deriving its original name from Stonington, Conn., from whence the first settlers came. The name was changed April 6, 1808. It is an interior town, lying north-west of the center of the county, and is bounded on the north by Otselic, south by McDonough, east by Plymouth and west by Pitcher. Its surface is a rolling and hilly upland, and forms a part of the water-shed between the Chenango and Otselic rivers, the latter of which crosses the north-west corner of the town. Its other streams are the headwater of Canasawacta, Genegantslet and Brakel Creeks, all of which rise near the center of the town and flow respectively to the east, south and west.
The lesser north half of the town is underlaid by the rocks of the Portage and Ithaca groups, and the remaining portion by those of the Catskill group. The latter affords a building stone abundant in quantity and excellent in quality, though it is but little utilized. The soil is a shaly loam, and dairying the chief industry of the people.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,103; of whom 1,081 were native, 22 foreign, all white, 563 males, and 540 females. Only 5 were aliens, and only 1 who was twenty-one years old was unable to read and write. Its area was 23,458 acres; of which 15,730 acres were improved, 7,651 woodland, and 77 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $572,095; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $76,580; of stock, $106,270; of tools and implements, $24,995.
The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $71,382.
There are ten 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 ten licensed teachers employed at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 347. During that year there were eight male and twelve female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 287; of whom 4 were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 128.346; the number of volumes in district libraries was 577, the value of which was $159; the number of school-houses was ten, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing three acres and four rods, valued at $545, were valued at $2,875; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $419,985. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 143, of whom 104 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876||$ 81.04|
|" apportioned to districts||995.66|
|Proceeds of Gospel and school lands||73.87|
|Raised by tax||254.02|
|From teachers' board||584.00|
|From other sources||28.60|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$1,716.23|
| " school-houses, sites, out-houses,|
fences, repairs, furniture, etc.
|Paid for other incidental expenses||70.10|
|Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877||126.64|
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement was made in 1797, by Col. John Randall, from Stonington, Conn., who located in the west part of the town on lot 48, where Charles H. Browning now lives, at Pharsalia. He built there, in 1799 or 1800, the first frame house in the town. It is not standing now. In 1799 his son Charles went to Norwich, where a saw-mill had been built the previous year, and purchased the first load of boards ever used in Pharsalia. In 1800, Col. Randall removed to Norwich with his family, leaving his son, Col. Denison, upon the farm in Pharsalia, which the latter occupied till his death, Oct. 18, 1824. The Randalls have been a prominent family in the county, but none of the descendants are left in Pharsalia. Roswell, a younger son, was for some time engaged in mercantile business in Pharsalia. 1
Others of the first settlers were Daniel and Joseph Denison, Joseph and Caleb Breed, Nehemiah Brown, the Weavers, Sanford Morgan and David Davis, all from Stonington, Conn.
The Denisons were brothers, and settled in the south-east part of the town, Daniel on lot 70, the first lot east of East Pharsalia, on the stage road, where Carlos Hall now lives, and Joseph, on lot 59, the lot north of his brother's, on the place now owned and occupied by Justus and Selden Marsh. Aaron B. Gates, of Norwich, owns the Daniel Denison farm. Both afterwards removed to Oxford. They were large land-holders and Daniel especially was a man of some prominence. He owned at one time the whole of lots 70, 54, 43 and 38, besides other lands. He built on lot 70, at the place of his settlement, the first frame barn in town. It was torn down a few years ago. Daniel died in Norwich March 17, 1828, aged 66, and Rhody, his wife, Dec. 9, 1827, aged 60.
Nehemiah Brown settled a mile and a half north-east of Pharsalia, where John Luther now lives. He and his wife, Rebecca, died at the residence of their son-in-law, Jabish Brown, the former Dec. 15, 1824, aged 84, and the latter, Dec. 5, 1831, aged 84. Their children were Nehemiah, Lewis, Kitturah, Polly and Rebecca.
John, Lodowick, Joshua and Jonathan Weaver, brothers, and Betsey Weaver, their sister, came from Stonington, Conn., in 1798. They came in the winter with an ox sled. John settled on Brakel Creek, in the town of Pitcher, where Ransom Rorapaugh now lives. He afterwards removed to the west part of the State. He had two wives and twenty-four children. Lodowick and Joshua settled in Pharsalia, the former a mile north of Pharsalia, on lot 32, on the farm now owned by Isaac S. Newton, of Norwich, and occupied by Ed. Huntley, and the latter on lot 69, on the same road---the center road, a half mile to the east of Lodowick, who afterwards removed to Pitcher, to live with his son Noyes, and after the death of the latter, March 28, 1838, to Groton, to live with his son Denison, where he died Jan. 31, 1848, aged 84. He (Lodowick) was born May 18, 1763, and married Sept. 4, 1787, Patty, daughter of Nehemiah and Rebecca Brown, who also died in Groton, Feb. 29, 1852, aged 82. They had eight children: Lodowick, Polly, Samuel Stanton, Russel, Denison Randall, born April 10, 1798, the first child born in Pharsalia, Noyes, Philura, and a daughter who died in infancy. Joshua died June 4, 1811, aged 58, and Anna, his wife, Aug. 12, 1819, aged 69. Jonathan settled in Plymouth, where he kept tavern and died in 1813. Betsey was a maiden lady and lived with her relatives, and died in Pitcher, in October, 1838, aged 77.
Asa Weaver, who built the first mill in Pharsalia,2 is believed to have been a brother of the Weavers above named, though very little is known of him by the remnant of that family. His grist-mill stood a little south of the steam saw-mill at North Pharsalia. He also built a saw-mill on the same stream---the Canasawacta---a little above the steam saw-mill, where the bridge crosses that stream on the west road from North Pharsalia. Both were built about the beginning of the century, and were in a state of decay in 1827.
Sanford Morgan settled at the Center, about half to three-fourths of a mile east of the church at that point, where he resided and kept tavern for a good many years. He also kept there the first store and post-office in the town. He kept both store and tavern as late as 1827. The house in which he lived was burned two years ago. The farm is now owned by Horace Packer, of Oxford. None of the family are now living here. David Davis settled on lot 69.
The first settlers were soon followed by Joseph Lord, Jabish and Benjamin Brown, Lewis Brown, Asa Weaver, John Coates, Winlock Eccleston, Jeffrey Lamphere, Noah Grant, Jairus Frink, Luke Babcock, Prentice Frink, Stephen Frisbee, Philoman Frisbee, Nathaniel Pace, Vine Star, the pioneer blacksmith, Gurdon Williams, Nathaniel Waldron, Augustus and Edwin Whiting, Daniel Kinney, Russel Stewart, Timothy Bosworth, Joshua Fargo, Ephraim Miner, Abel Newton, William Lewis, Elijah Powell, Benjamin Hammond, Nathaniel, Avery and Russell Brown, Joel Crane, Ezra Burdick, and others.
Joseph Lord came about 1800 and settled about half a mile south of Pharsalia, where his grandson, James, now lives, and died there Aug. 10, 1839, aged 82, and his wife, Caroline, Jan. 17, 1861, aged 96. He built and was interested in the mill property in that locality. His children were Isaiah, Samuel, Roswell, David, and several daughters.
Major Jabish and Benjamin Brown (not related) came from Stonington, Conn., their native place, soon after 1800. They were both young, single men. They came in the spring, worked one season and returned in the fall to Stonington, where Benjamin married Phebe Brown. They returned here on horseback that fall or the following spring. Benjamin settled a mile north of Pharsalia, on fifty acres now owned by Nathaniel Lewis. He afterwards removed to the village, where he died Feb. 1, 1857, aged 78, and his wife, Jan. 26, 1856, aged 79. Their children were Celestia, Ansel, Livonia, Amos M., Aurelia and Angeline. Jabish married, soon after his return, Kitturah, daughter of Nehemiah Brown, this marriage being the first contracted in the town. He settled opposite Benjamin Brown, and died there, he and his wife, as previously stated. He was supervisor for several years. His children were Perlina, Lydia, Rebecca, Calvin G., Russel and Hiram.
Noah Grant came from Stonington, Conn., in 1802, and settled on lot 73, in the south-east corner of the town on what is known as the Berry farm, which is now occupied by Silas W. Berry. He afterwards removed to East Pharsalia and built there in 1806 or '8 the first saw and grist-mill in the south part of the town. The grist-mill is still standing and in use, about two miles below the head of the Genegantslet. The saw-mill stood on the site of the present one, which was built about thirty years ago by Lyman B. Felton. It is owned by H. R. Powell, but is not in use and has not been for ten or twelve years. The first saw-mill rotted down. Noah Grant removed to Ohio soon after the close of the war of 1812, but his family remained here. His children were Russell, Miner, William B., Noah, Patty, Ruth, John, a daughter, and Justus, who married Amy daughter of Samuel Bartlett, and settled at East Pharsalia, on the site of the present hotel. He was a carpenter and cabinet maker, and worked at his trade a number of years. He built and kept the first hotel in that village. It stood on the site of the present one, which was also built by him about forty years ago. The first one was built about 1824.
Luke Babcock came from Westerly, R. I., soon after 1800, and settled about a half mile east of North Pharsalia, on the place now owned by Lorenzo Barlow, and died there. His children were Prentice, Paul, Desire, Nancy, Phebe, Hannah and Delight.
Nathaniel Waldron came from Newport, Rhode Island, about 1805 or '6 and settled a mile and a half north of East Pharsalia. He bought in company with Thomas Butler, from Stonington, Conn., about one-third of the town of Pharsalia. He removed about 1818 to the place now occupied by his son Mirtalu N. Waldron, in the North-west corner of the town, where he died April 29, 1831, aged 63. He married Ruth, daughter of Joshua Bowen, of Bristol, Rhode Island, and had, when he came here, two children, Betsey and Martha B. Mr. Butler never settled here.
Augustus and Edward Whiting, brothers, came from Stonington, Connecticut, in 1802, and settled in the north part of the town, Augustus, on lot 38, on the place now owned by John Childs, and Edwin just across the road on lot 27. They established a distillery there. Both removed at an early day to the west part of the State.
Major Timothy Bosworth came from Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1804, and settled on lot 53, about a mile and a half north of East Pharsalia, where his grandson, Noyes A. Bosworth, now lives. He took up the entire lot. He was well advanced in years when he came here. Both he and his wife are buried on the farm on which they lived and died. Their children were George, Timothy, William, Gardner, Allen, Ann, Elizabeth and another daughter who became the wife of Jonathan Fargo.
Abel Newton settled about 1802, on lot 22, in the north part of the town, on the farm afterwards occupied by his son Miles, and at present occupied by Stephen Maxfield. He died in the town.
Elijah Powell came from Dutchess county about 1802 and settled in Sherburne. He removed thence in 1804 to Pharsalia, and settled about a mile and a half west of East Pharsalia, on the farm now owned by his grandson, Henry R. Powell, and occupied by George Yoemans. The farm has ever since been in the hands of the family. He died June 17, 1869, aged 97, in Richford, Tioga county. His wife, Jane, died March 28, 1846, aged 74. His children were Samuel, Elijah, Jonathan, Isaac T. Betsey, Rebecca, Amanda and Lucina. Four grandchildren only are living in the county, all children of Isaac T., viz: Henry R. Powell, a merchant in East Pharsalia, Orville M., in Pharsalia, Wallace D., in Plymouth, and Harriet, wife of Lucius Crumb, in East Pharsalia.
Benjamin and John Hammond, brothers, came from Newport, Rhode Island, in September, 1809, and bought land of Judge Nathaniel Waldron. They bought 47 acres, of which John owned some 13 acres and Benjamin the remainder. They paid $6 an acre, though they could then have bought land on the flats in Norwich village at $2.50 an acre. The place, which is about two miles north of East Pharsalia, is now owned by John Brooks. John lived with Benjamin. Both had families when they came, Benjamin a wife and five children and John a wife and three children. Benjamin resided there till about 1850, when he went to live with his son John in Norwich, where he died in 1858, age 87. His wife died four years before, aged 84. John, who still lives in Norwich, is the only one of his children left.
Captain Nathan Brown, who was a native of Stonington, Connecticut, came from Belchertown, Massachusetts, in February, 1808, with his family, consisting of his wife, Eunice, daughter of Ichabod Brown, of Stonington, Connecticut, ten children and a colored servant named Henry. He settled on lot 33 in the west part of the town, on the line of Pitcher, on 100 acres now owned and occupied by his son Ephraim P. Brown, where he died June 2, 1847, aged 82, and his wife, Sept. 28, 1826, aged 59. His children were Eunice, Patty, Betsey, Roxana, Nathan, Almira, Alfred, and Charles.
Avery Brown, a younger brother of Captain Nathan Brown, came in a few years later from Stonington, Connecticut, and settled in the north-west corner of the town, where his son Nathan H. now lives, and died there, he and his wife. His children, besides Nathan H., were Avery, Luther, Cyrus, Minetta, Marinda and Maranda.
Russell Brown came from Stonington, Connecticut, where he married Polly, sister of Nathan Brown, who is still living with her son, William S. Brown, at Pharsalia. They came a few years after Nathan and settled about a mile and half south-east of Pharsalia, where their son Nathan now lives. He died there. Russell Brown, now living at East Pharsalia, is another son of theirs.
The Browns were numerous and comprised several distinct families, all of whom were from Stonington, Connecticut. They are said to have numbered at one time one-third of the entire voting population of the town.
Joel Crane came from Wethersfield, Vermont, in February, 1806, with two horse teams, one a double team, drawing a double sleigh containing the household goods, and a single horse attached to a cutter containing his family, consisting of his wife, Sally Graves, originally of Worcester, Massachusetts, and four children, Hendrick, Amaziah, Sally M. and Luther, all of whom were born in Wethersfield, Vermont. Two children were born after they came here, Betsey J. and Mary M. Mr. Crane settled first in Norwich. In May, 1807, he located on 60 acres of the John Randall farm at "the Hook," where, in 1811, he commenced keeping tavern in a frame house which stood on the site of the present tavern, or a part of it. The south part of the present tavern, 32 by 34 feet, two stories high, was built as an addition to the first frame house in 1816 and used as a shed and store house and afterwards torn down. He kept tavern there till his death, Jan. 14, 1835. Joel was a son of Hezekiah Crane, of East Windsor, Connecticut, where he was born Jan. 19, 1772. His wife was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Feb. 17, 1777, and died in Pharsalia, Aug. 22, 1852. They were married in 1796.
Ezra Burdick came from Stonington, Conn., about 1808, with his wife, Martha Fish, and two children, Patty and Delilah, and settled in Brookfield, whence after some two years, they removed to Pharsalia, where he lived and died July 3, 1859, aged 75, and his wife, April 11, 1827, aged 41. After her death he married Mary Hart, who died May 17, 1858, aged 69. He settled a half mile east of Pharsalia, where Silas Morgan now lives. He afterwards moved a mile and a half south, to the place now owned by Calvin Huntley, where he lived till he was over seventy, when he went to live at McDonough, and died with his son, William R. Burdick.
Elijah Burdick, father of Ezra, came in soon after him and settled on the center road, about a mile north-east of Pharsalia. He died in the town Dec. 17, 1833, aged 75, and his wife, Avis Robinson, Feb. 18, 1836, aged 75. His children were Daniel, Betsey, Patty, Avis, Hannah, Eunice and Sally.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the house of Captain Sanford Morgan, March 3, 1807, and the following named officers were elected: Lewis Brown, Supervisor; Augustus Whiting, Clerk; Asa Weaver, Elijah Powell, Nathaniel Brown, Assessors; Henry Whiting, Collector; Joseph Lord, Timothy Bosworth, Overseers of the Poor; Daniel Kinney, Nathaniel Waldron, Commissioners of Highways; Joshua Randall, Constable; Jeoffray Lamphere, Sanford Morgan, Fence Viewers; Elijah Weaver, Sealer of Weights and Measures.
The following list of the officers of the town of Pharsalia for the year 1880-81 was kindly furnished us by M. H. Franklin:---
Town Clerk---M. H. Franklin.
Justices---Horace L. Barnes, William H. Button, Charles H. Beasley, Berthier J. Matthewson, H. R. Powell.
Assessors---Luther Grant, Lewis Gates, Otis Gardner.
Commissioner of Highways---Isaac Schwartz.
Overseer of the Poor---Noyes E. Brown.
Constables---A. E. Herrick, N. H. Thompson, John White, Edwin E. Lamb.
Collector---Lucius I. Crumb.
Inspectors of Election---James I. McMillen, N. H. Thompson, Wesson Newton.
Town Auditors---Rodolphus Brown, James S. Lord.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---David D. White.
Game Constable---J. Francis Button.
Excise Commissioners---Nathan H. Rhodes, William R. Brown, D. S. Rathbun.
East Pharsalia is situated on the Genegantslet in the south part of the town, ten miles from Norwich, and contains two churches (Baptist and Congregational,) a district school, one hotel, kept by Halbert Grant, two general stores, a grocery, a grist-mill, a saw-mill, a creamery, two blacksmith shops, kept by Ephraim Brown and James Caldwell, two wagon shops, kept by Rodney A. Harbor and Albert Herrick, two shoe shops, kept by Charles Brazee and Noyes Frink, and a population of 137.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant in East Pharsalia was John Becker, who opened a store in the south part of the village, near where Alanson Coy lives, previous to 1827. He traded at intervals some three or four years. Other early merchants were the Kinney Brothers, about 1836, who occupied the store in which Henry R. Powell is doing business; Pride & Smith, about 1841; and Henry Baker, the latter of whom came from Marlboro, Mass., with his parents some fifty odd years ago, and was trading here from about 1845 to 1850.
The present merchants are Henry R. Powell and Moses H. Franklin. Mr. Powell commenced business in the spring of 1857, in company with his father Isaac T. Powell, who commenced about a year before. Both are natives of the town. They traded together some seven or eight years, when H. R. Powell bought his father's interest and has traded alone since, with the exception of one year, when he was associated with Henry Baker. Mr. Franklin commenced business in the fall of 1877. He had previously done business here a few years about the close of the late war. He has resided in the town some twenty years.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office in the town was located at the Centre. The office at East Pharsalia was established when the stage route which formerly ran through the Centre was changed as it now exists, about 1825, and Justus Grant was the first postmaster. He held the office a great many years and resigned it about 1842 to Henry Baker, who held it during the time he was engaged in mercantile business. He was succeeded by his brother, George I. Baker, who held it till about 1857, when H. R. Powell was appointed. Halbert Grant, the present incumbent, was appointed in 1861, and has held the office continuously since, with the exception of two years, when he resigned in favor of C. S. Sumner.
PHYSICIANS.---Bla Beardsley and Berlin Robinson were early physicians at East Pharsalia. E. R. Morgan practiced here the latter part of the war and a short time after. J. D. Underwood practiced here about two years about the same time. Levi D. Greenleaf, the present physician, has practiced here and at Pharsalia some fifteen years.
MANUFACTURES.---The grist-mill at East Pharsalia is owned by Alanson Coy. It was built a great many years ago and contains a single run of stones, which are propelled by water from the Genegantslet, which has a fall of about eight feet. It is located in the south part of the village. The saw-mill on the same stream, about a hundred rods above this, was built in 1867, by Halbert Grant, by whom it is still owned. It contains one circular saw. The creek at this point has a fall of twenty feet. The East Pharsalia Creamery was built about 1868 by Eli Nichols, and is now owned by Stephen N. Leach. In 1879 it received the milk of 250 cows.
CHURCHES.---The First Congregational Church of Pharsalia was organized Oct. 25, 1814, by Rev. Oliver Hitchcock, of Truxton, and Rev. Abner Benedict of Paris, with ten members, five of whom were males and five females. Rev. John Peck was the first settled minister. How long this organization continued we are not advised.
The First Presbyterian Society of East Pharsalia. At a meeting held in "the meeting house at East Pharsalia," Aug. 6, 1838, "for the purpose of organizing a church in East Pharsalia," Rev. H. Dyer was appointed moderator and Deacon Jonas Herrick,3 clerk.
Letters of recommendation were received from Levi Carruth and Lucy, his wife, Daniel Raymond 4 and Permelia, his wife, John Twichel and Lucinda, his wife, John Hammond and Elizabeth, his wife, Jane O. Raymond and Martha Ogden, of the Presbyterian church of McDonough, and Lucina Powell of the Congregational church of Plymouth, all of which were recorded by unanimous consent. Maria Raymond was examined on Profession, received and baptized.
Levi Carruth, John Twichell and John Hammond were appointed elders, and ordained by the imposition of hands. It was decided to accept the articles of faith of the Chenango Presbytery and apply for admission thereto; also to sustain Charles Bowles as minister one-third of the time for one year, commencing Aug. 1, 1838. The first record of the administration of the Lord's supper occurs April 14, 1839. Mr. Bowles discontinued his labors Jan. 24, 1841, having served them half time from August 1, 1840. The records do not show who served them as pastor from that time to 1850.
At the organization, Aug. 6, 1838, the name first given was adopted, and Levi Carruth, Jonathan Allen and John Hammond were chosen trustees.
The Free Congregational Church of God in East Pharsalia is a reorganization of the Presbyterian church at this place under the Congregational form of government, which was effected Nov. 1, 1850. Articles of covenant and faith were adopted by Cyrel Sumner and his wife, Polly, Lyman B. Felton and his wife, Eleanor, G. W. Wolcott and Allen Bosworth. It is recorded that at that meeting they were favored with the attendance of Elder Howe, of the Free-Will Baptist church, who was then located at Pharsalia Centre. Rev. O. Ketchum was then the pastor of the church. Rev. Lewis Lawton also participated in the meeting.
Oct. 15, 1853, it was decided to strike the word "Free" from the name; also to become a branch association of the Chenango County Bible Society.
March 4, 1854, it was decided to re-engage Mr. Ketchum another year at a salary of $300 (including a donation,) and furnish him with fire wood, "for which he is to labor for our spiritual good all the time."
March 27, 1854, H. Baker, who was then about to leave for Michigan, deeded to the church two acres of the lot then recently owned by Levi Carruth.
Rev. Orville Ketchum closed his labors in 1857, and was succeeded by Rev. E. N. Ruddock, who united with the church from the First Congregational Church of North Pitcher, July 25, 1857, and was ordained Oct. 20, 1858, by the Oneida Association and installed pastor. The church became connected with the Oneida Association Oct. 19, 1858. Rev. Charles Marvin commenced his labors with this church Oct. 5, 1862. Rev. Orville Ketchum was again received to fellowship from the church at Lincklaen, Feb. 5, 1864. He seems to have become the pastor about that time, and to have been succeeded by Rev. L. Church, whose name first appears as pastor Jan. 6, 1866. He remained about two years. Rev. C. W. Burt was the next pastor. He entered upon his labors as early as June 2, 1869. He was a licentiate of the Susquehanna Association and was ordained June 29, 1869. He remained two years and was followed by Rev. L. Rood, who stayed one year. He was succeeded by Rev. E. N. Ruddock, who resigned the pastorate Sept. 1, 1874. Rev. Joseph Clement succeeded to the pastorate Nov. 1, 1874, and served them four years. Rev. H. W. H. Watkins, the next and present pastor, commenced his labors April 1, 1879.
During Mr. Ruddock's pastorate, in 1872, the church was closed for some time for repairs, which involved an expense of some $600. It was opened again Dec. 14, 1872.
The present number of members is 98-39 males and 59 females; the number of families is 25; the attendance at Sabbath School, 50.
The Baptist Church of East Pharsalia was organized in July, 1842, by a council composed of Revs. Jabez Swan, E. T. Jacobs, Caleb Bush, Leland Howard, B. S. Williams, Lewis Lawton, and Olney Bennett. Meetings had previously been held from about the first of May of that year.
The pastors have been Revs. Peck, Swan, Lawton, several years, Bennett, Wescott, Hammond, A. B. Jones, seven years, A. P. Merrill, the present pastor.
The present membership is 34; the attendance at Sabbath School about 100. 5
North Pharsalia is situated on the Canasawacta, in the north-east part of the town, five miles north of East Pharsalia, and contains two churches, (Free Methodist and Christian,) a newspaper office, (the Quill and Press,) a district school, a hotel, kept by Elmer Bosworth, one store, kept by Isaiah White, who has traded here since 1867, a steam saw-mill, a grist-mill, a wagon shop, kept by George Chapman, a blacksmith shop, kept by William R. White, and a population of 93.
The post-office at this place was established about 1855, and the first postmaster was Ichabod Crittenden, who held the office a year. He was succeeded by Erasmus D. Brown, the present incumbent, who was appointed in the fall of 1856, and has held the office continuously since.
The grist-mill at North Pharsalia was built about two or three years ago, by Isaiah White, the present proprietor. It contains one run of stones and is situated on the Canasawacta, which has a fall of eight or nine feet, but is not a very constant water-power.
The steam saw-mill at this place is owned by Erasmus D. Brown and his son Leland D. Brown, who moved it in 1874 from Otselic, where they had operated it four or five months. It contains two circular saws, which are propelled by a forty-five horse-power engine.
The Free Methodist Church, at North Pharsalia, was organized in the fall of 1870, by Rev. Mr. Ferrin, with four members, viz: William D. Bliven and Mary, his wife, and Frederick D. Munroe and Jerusha, his wife. It was incorporated Jan. 17, 1872, at a meeting at which William D. Bliven and Frederick D. Munroe acted as tellers and presiding officers. Abner Tucker, Jr., Frederick D. Munroe, Horace L. Barnes, Erasmus D. Brown, Orville Frink, Barton Frink, Francis G. Frink, Nathan H. Rhoades and Hiram V. B. White were elected trustees. At a meeting of the trustees immediately after at the house of E. D. Brown, Horace L. Barnes was chosen chairman and clerk, Erasmus D. Brown, treasurer, and Orville Frink, collector. April 26, 1877, the number of trustees was reduced to seven, and April 25, 1878, to five.
February 1, 1872, a subscription list prepared by Horace L. Barnes, for the purpose of raising money to build a church, was adopted; also a form of deed for a church site to be conveyed to the Society by E. D. Brown and wife, which was also drawn by Mr. Barnes. Their church edifice was built in the spring of 1872, at a cost of a little over $1,000.
The first pastor was Rev. Samuel V. McVey, who entered upon his labors in the fall of 1871 and remained two years. He was succeeded by Rev. LaFayette Robinson, who remained a like period; and Rev. Samuel W. Perkins, who sickened and died after about six months. The pulpit was supplied by Rev. J. N. Fufford till the fall of 1876, when Rev. A. Smith entered upon a pastorate which closed Aug. 24, 1879. The present number of members is about forty.
The Christian Church of North Pharsalia was organized in the fall of 1871 by Elder Henry C. Wilbur, who had preached here a year before the organization and became the first pastor, which relation he sustained for three years. He was succeeded in the pastorate by Charles Corning, who remained one year, and Stephen S. Adriance, the present pastor, who commenced his labors in April, 1877. There were nineteen members present at the organization, prominent among whom were Albert Law and wife, Albert Eddy, James Babcock, Hamilton Law. The present number of members is twenty-three. The church was built in the summer of 1872 and dedicated in December of that year.
Pharsalia is situated near the center of the west border of the town, four miles north-west of East Pharsalia and about the same distance east of Pitcher. It contains a district school, one hotel, kept by E. T. Potter, who bought the hotel property of Horace T. Barnes, in January, 1873, and also keeps a few goods, one store, two blacksmith shops, kept by H. R. Brown and L. D. Van Tassel, one shoe shop, kept by William S. Brown, one wagon shop, kept by H. R. Brown, and a population of 46. The place was early known as Crane's Corners, from Joel Crane, an early settler and for many years a tavern keeper there. It is locally known as "the Hook."
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Pharsalia is believed to have been Walter German, son of General Obadiah German, of North Norwich. He was doing business here previous to 1812 in the south room of the tavern. He enlisted during the war of 1812, and for some misdemeanor was hung. The first building erected for a store stood on the site of the one now occupied by Morris D. Brown, and was first kept by Walter German, who removed his goods from the tavern to that building, which is believed to have been erected by his father. Other early merchants were Roswell Randall, O. G. Randall, Washington Eddy, Charles York, son of Judge Charles York, of Norwich, and Hendrick Crane.
The present merchant is Morris D. Brown, who commenced business in company with his father, William S. Brown, in 1867. After trading some seven years they were burned out. After the fire, Morris D. Brown resumed business in company with his brother, George D. Brown, whose interest he bought after about four years.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at Pharsalia was established about 1825, at the same time as at East Pharsalia. Roswell Randall was probably the first postmaster. He held the office for several years. The mail was carried on horseback for several years by Judah Bement, of Plymouth. Morris D. Brown, the present postmaster, was appointed in February, 1874. C. H. Browning preceded him and was appointed in 1861.
MANUFACTURES.---About a half mile below Pharsalia, on Brakel Creek, is a saw-mill owned by Samuel B. Kenyon, which was built before 1800 by Joseph Lord. The property remained in the hands of the Lord family a great many years. The mill has been several times repaired and rebuilt.
The Deer Lake Creamery at Pharsalia Centre was built in 1867 by Horace Packer, of Oxford, who still owns it. It receives on an average milk from about 200 cows.
About a mile and a half east of North Pharsalia is a creamery owned by Henry T. Robbins, which receives milk from about 300 cows.
The Free-Will Baptist church at Pharsalia Centre, which was organized at an early day, was disbanded about six years ago. The church is still standing there and is used occasionally for meetings by various denominations.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---The Board of Town Auditors, by virtue of authority vested in them at a special town meeting held Jan. 13, 1864, to take into consideration the matter of bounties to volunteers enlisted and applied on the quota of the town, borrowed $6,137, $500 payable Feb. 1, 1865; $1,087 Feb. 1, 1866; $1,350 Feb. 1, 1867; $1,300 Feb. 1, 1868; and $1,900 without any definite time of payment being designated. They paid $5,814 of this amount to eighteen individuals, $323 each. March 12, 1864, six bonds amounting to $1,600 were issued, payable Feb. 1, 1865; five amounting to $1,587, payable Feb. 1, 1866; eight amounting to $1,450, payable Feb. 1, 1867; and six (amount not designated) payable Feb. 1, 1868.
At a special town meeting held July 9, 1864, it was decided by a vote of 67 to 4 to authorize the Board to pay a bounty of not to exceed $450, to the number necessary to fill the quota under the anticipated call for more troops. The Board was also instructed to pay to Franklin J. Tuttle, a volunteer already credited to the quota of the town, a bounty of $323. At an adjourned meeting held Aug. 15, 1864, it was voted to pay to each resident volunteer credited on the quota of the town under the call for 500,000 men, within two days from the 15th of August, 1864, $500 for one year, and to non-resident volunteers so applied, for three years, not to exceed $700. Horace L. Barnes and Charles H. Browning were appointed a committee to carry into effect the provisions of the resolution, and to issue bonds for the necessary amount, $10,000 payable Feb. 1, 1865, and the remainder Feb. 1, 1866. August 31, 1864, it was voted to pay a bounty of not to exceed $1,000 to every volunteer applied on the quota of the town under the call of July 18, 1864. Horace L. Barnes, B. J. Mathewson and Erasmus D. Brown were appointed a committee to carry the provisions of the resolution into effect, and the proper officers were instructed to issue bonds payable, $6,000 Feb. 1, 1865, '6, '7 and '8 and the remainder Feb. 1, 1869.
Nov. 10, 1864, the committees appointed Aug. 15 and 31, 1864, reported that they had received for the sale of bonds $29,560, and expended the amount in procuring the volunteers under the call of July 16, 1864, $1,000 to each of twenty-four individuals, $930 to each of four individuals, $940 to one, and $900 to another. The committee appointed Jan. 13, 1864, also reported that they had paid to Charles Davis $323 bounty, an amount they had in their hands.
Jan. 19, 1865, it was voted to raise on the taxable property of the town, $30,000, to be paid in bounties to volunteers applied on the quota under the call of Dec. 19, 1864, for 300,000 men, and Horace L. Barnes, B. J. Mathewson, Erasmus D. Brown and J. D. Bouck were appointed a committee to procure the volunteers at the least possible expense to the town. The proper officers were instructed to issue bonds payable within five years from Feb. 1, 1865.
Nov. 9, 1865, the committee appointed Jan. 19, 1865, reported that they had paid to volunteers caused to be enlisted and credited on the quota of the town, $775 to each of four individuals, $810 to each of three, $860 to one, $820 to another, $825 to each of two, and $675 to one, all for three years; and that $32 was paid for exchange, as most of the volunteers had to be paid in United States currency, making with all bounties paid the total sum of $9,567, having realized from the sale of bonds, $9,575.
The number of soldiers credited to this town was 118, and of sailors 4, of whom 79 were residents of the town. In addition to this 24 residents of Pharsalia enlisted and were credited to other towns. The number who enlisted for three years was 86, for one year, 28. They were distributed among the various branches of the service as follows: 1 each in the 71st, 44th and 157th, 2 each in the 76th and 161st, 4 in the 17th, 5 each in the 89th and 90th, and 37 in the 114th infantry regiments; 8 in the 8th, 2 in the 10th, 13 in the 20th, 1 in the 22d, and 2 in Mann's cavalry regiments; 1 in the 1st, 4 in the 2d, 2 in the 4th, 9 in the 7th (heavy) and 1 in the 9th (heavy) artillery regiments; 1 in the 15th New York engineers, and 5 in the United States regulars. The various professions were represented as follows: 58 were farmers, 4 mechanics, 3 laborers, 2 each were shoemakers, blacksmiths and physicians, and one each were coopers and harness-makers.
The record of bounties paid is manifestly incomplete. So far as the records show---
|3||received a county bounty of||$ 50|
|19||" town "||323|
|1||" " "||675|
|4||" " "||775|
|2||" " "||825|
|1||" " "||900|
|2||" " "||930|
|1||" " "||940|
|1||" " "||950|
|23||" " "||1,000|
Of the 24 residents of Pharsalia who were credited to other towns, one, Hatch Willey, was a lieutenant, and one, Samuel P. Butler, was a captain; nineteen enlisted for three years, and four for one year; thirteen were farmers, four laborers, and one each a carpenter, blacksmith and student; one belonged to the 17th, 44th and 89th, six to the 114th, and 2 to the 189th infantry regiments; six to the 22d and two to ----- cavalry regiments; and one to the 9th heavy artillery.
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