PITCHER was formed from German and Lincklaen, February 13, 1827, and derives its name from Nathaniel Pitcher, Lieutenant Governor of New York. It was enlarged in 1833 by the addition of a part of Lincklaen. It lies upon the west border of the county, north of the center, and is bounded on the north by Lincklaen, south by German, east by Pharsalia, and west by Cortland county. The surface consists chiefly of two high ridges, from 500 to 800 feet above the valleys. Otselic creek flows south-west through the northern and central portions, and Brakel creek in the same direction through the southern portion. Mud creek flows south along the west border to its confluence with the Otselic. The valleys of the streams are little more than narrow ravines bordered by steep hillsides. It is underlaid by the rocks of the Portage, Ithaca and Catskill groups, the former covering the western and the latter the eastern portions. The soil is shaly and gravelly loam, well adapted to dairying, which forms the chief occupation of the people.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,080; of whom 1, 067 were native, 13 foreign, all white, 530 males and 550 females. Only one was an alien and only one who had attained the age of twenty-one was unable to read and write. Its area was 16,946 acres; of which 12,782 were improved, 3, 575 woodlands and 589 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $689,485; of stock, $135, 227; of tools and implements, $55,140. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $91,620.
There are ten common school districts in the town, nine of which have school-houses within the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1877, there were ten 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 339. During that year there were seven male and twelve female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 251, of whom one was under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 131,784; the number of volumes in district libraries was 441, the value of which was $257; the number of school-houses was ten, all of which were frame, which, with the sites, embracing 2 acres and 46 rods, valued at $825, were valued at $2,775; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $511,361. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts at that date was 129, of whom 116 attended district school and 1 private school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876||$ .50|
|" apportioned to districts||1,009.27|
|Raised by tax||512.47|
|From teachers' board||381.00|
|From other sources||22.13|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$1,725.79|
|" school apparatus||10.00|
| " school-houses, sites, fences, out-|
houses, repairs, furniture, etc.
|Paid for other incidental expenses||104.51|
|Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877 . . .||1.06|
SETTLEMENTS.---The town of Pitcher is wholly embraced in the tract of land known as the Gore, and a tract originally patented to John W. Watkins, June 14, 1793, and subsequently acquired by the Holland Land company, under whose auspices the early settlements were made, not, however, the first. The first settlers reached this locality in 1791, via Oxford, and for a few years their only communication with the outside world was a blazed route to that embryo village, the germ of which was planted the previous year. In 1791 Ebenezer Fox, from Litchfield, Mass., his native place, and Jacob Noteman, Abram Dorn and John Van Augur, from the locality of Schenectady, settled in the north-west part of the town, on the west line, and Silas Burgess two miles south of them. About three years later John Lincklaen, agent of the Holland Land Company, caused a north and south road to be cut through their entire purchase along its western border from Cazenovia to the town of Pitcher. The engineer in charge of this enterprise had a corps of four axmen and one teamster, among whom were John Wilson and James Smith, two of the hardy Jerseymen who accompanied Mr. Lincklaen in the settlement at Cazenovia in 1793, and the former of whom afterwards settled in Pitcher and the latter in DeRuyter. At this time the families named were the only settlers in this town, and so far as they knew, there were no settlers within many miles to the north of them. When, therefore, the road-cutters had approached sufficiently near so that the sound of their axes could be heard by the in habitants of this secluded little settlement many speculations were indulged in as to the character of their approaching visitors and the nature of their mission; and were overjoyed when, early one morning, the engineer, in advance of his axmen, made his appearance in the settlement and broke to them the intelligence that a new means of communication with the civilized world was opening to them. The men gladly turned out with their axes and assisted in the completion of the undertaking, and that night, when they hospitably entertained the harbingers of their good fortune, was the happiest which had closed upon the little band of pioneers, whose social and commercial relations were thenceforward intimately connected with the settlement at DeRuyter.
Mr. Fox was a cooper and kept the first shop of his craft in that part of the place known as Deran, lying in Pitcher. He died in 1861, Dorn in 1821; and they, as well as Van Augur, died in Pitcher. Van Augur's descendants removed from the town. William Breed lives where he settled. Dorn's son Charles lived there till about 1860. Carrie, wife of Luman Elbridge, of Pitcher, is a daughter of the latter. Burgess put up a log house in what is known as the four-mile wood and raised a large family, only one of whom---Thomas---is now living there. Mrs. Ledyard Baker and Mrs. P. H. Lyon, daughters of Ebenezer Fox, are living in Pitcher and are the only ones now living there. Mrs. L. A. Hall, of Pittsfield, Otsego county, Mary Cummings, of Syracuse, and Sally Murray, of Homer, are other daughters of Ebenezer Fox, and all are descendants on their mother's side of Oliver Hazard Perry.
Soon after the completion of this road in 1794 or '5, Mr. Lincklaen sent John Wilson, a mill-wright, of Nelson, to build a mill on Mud creek, about one-third of a mile above its confluence with the Otselic. The mill was afterwards known as Sullivan's mill; its ruins are yet plain to be seen. At the same time a carpenter named Schuyler was sent to build a house for the company. It stood a little west of the large red barn on the farm of Joseph Alexander. Wilson remained and worked the mill after its completion, and while thus engaged became acquainted with Polly, daughter of Jonas Hinman, with whom, on the 16th of May, 1799, he contracted the first marriage in town. He afterwards removed to the farm now owned by William Smith, in the south-west corner of the town of Lincklaen, where both he and his wife died, the former Nov. 9, 1843, aged 84, and his wife, Oct. 22, 1849, aged 67. The farm was afterward occupied by his son John L., who lived on it till within a year or two of his death, when he removed to the farm now occupied by Ezra Bennett, in the north edge of Pitcher, where he died Feb. 15, 1867, aged 61. He had two daughters, both maiden ladies.
Among the early settlers were Benjamin and Abel Fairchild, Ebenezer Wakeley, Jonas Hinman, Silas Beebe, George Taylor, Elijah Fenton, Jonathan Chandler, Abijah Rhines, Gideon Peet, M. Millard, Lewis and Philo Blackman and Richard Warner.
Benjamin Fairchild came from Trumbull, Conn., in 1795, and settled at Pitcher village, where he built and kept tavern in a log house which stood on the site of the hotel in that village. This was the first tavern in the town and was kept by him till within some fifteen years of his death, when he was succeeded by his son Daniel, who kept it till his death. Benjamin soon after built on the same site, a frame house which was afterwards removed to the site of Adna Warner's residence and occupied as a dwelling-house. It was torn down in 1874 to make room for Mr. Warner's residence. In 1829 his son Daniel built the present hotel, which has since been repaired and enlarged.
Benjamin Fairchild was born in 1760. He married Dolly Blackman, also a native of Connecticut, who was born in 1767. They both died in Pitcher, of small-pox, Benjamin Jan. 21, 1837, aged 71, and his wife, Jan. 27, 1831, aged 64. Their children were Lemuel, born June 7, 1785, Zalmon, born Oct. 3, 1787, Philo, born Oct. 17, 1790, Pamelia, born Oct. 11, 1793, Isaac, born Nov. 5, 1796, Daniel, born Nov. 13, 1799, Sally, born Nov. 9, 1802, and Polly, born Sept. 25, 1805, only two of whom are living---Zalmon and Polly. Lemuel married Celia, daughter of Job and Elizabeth Crocker, and settled in the village where Bigelow Packer now lives. Zalmon married Polly Blanchard and settled in the village, where he now lives. Philo married Rochsa Fenton and settled on a farm which now forms a part of the Partridge farm. Pamelia was a maiden lady and died in the spring of 1879. Isaac married Mercy Pennoyer, of DeRuyter and settled in the village. Daniel married Polly, daughter of Joseph Sterling, and settled and died in the tavern, May 9, 1838. Sally married Dr. Genet Shipman, whose father, Deacon Daniel Shipman was an early settler at what is known as Shipman's bridge. Polly married Zuriah McWhorter, who settled and lived for many years on the old McWhorter farm in Cincinnatus.
Job Crocker, to whom reference has been made, came at an early day from Cape Cod, and settled on the knoll a half mile north of Pitcher village. After the death of his wife, Sept. 28, 1828, aged 68, he went to live with his daughter in Lincklaen, and died there May 7, 1831, aged 83. His children were Richard, Betsey, Haskins, Celia and Olive, twins, Daniel, and Samantha, none of whom are living.
Ebenezer Wakeley, who was born Nov. 3, 1770, came at a very early day from Connecticut and settled on what is known as Wakeley hill, about a mile south of Pitcher village. He afterwards removed to that village, to live with his son-in-law, Dr. David McWhorter and died Jan. 22, 1854. His wife, Mary Abigail, died April 28, 1845, aged 71. He was the first supervisor of Pitcher; was Side Judge, and represented this county in the Assembly in 1808-'10, 1812-13, 1816-'17, and in 1819. He taught the first school in Pitcher. He had only three children.
Jonas Hinman came from Trumbull, Conn., about 1800, and settled about a mile above Pitcher, on the farm owned in part by his grandson, Edward Hinman, and in part by George Hakes, where he died Dec. 14, 1833, aged 81. Caty, his wife, died Oct. 3, 1836, aged 74. His children were, Polly, Sally, John, James and a daughter.
A son of Silas Beebe's, who was born in November, 1796, was the first child born in the town.
George Taylor came from East Hartford, Conn., in 1803, and settled on fifteen acres about a quarter of a mile above Pitcher, where Billings Allen now lives. About 1807 he removed to the place where his son George now lives, a little west of Chandler's Corners, where he died Sept. 22, 1860, aged 95, and his wife Sarah W., in March, 1849, aged 87. His children were Cyprian, Sally, and George, who married Anna, daughter of Solomon Ensign, and is living on the homestead; Theodocia, who married Orrin Anderson, and lived and died in Pitcher, the former Jan. 8, 1875, aged 74, and her husband, Feb. 22, 1864, aged 67; Daniel, and Polly.
Elijah Fenton came from Willington, Conn., in 1798 or '99, and bought a farm and improvements of Gideon Peet, who came in a year or two earlier and had cleared some ten acres upon the place where Ralph Taylor now lives. After making the purchase Mr. Fenton returned to Connecticut. He came here again about 1802 or '03, and about 1804 brought in his family, which consisted of his wife, Polly Storrs, a native of Connecticut, and five children, Amelia, Elijah, Eneas, Rochsa and Polly. Both Fenton and his wife died on that place, the former March 22, 1850, aged 88, and the latter, April 3, 1847, aged 82.
Col. Jonathan Chandler came from hear Hartford, Conn., soon after 1801 and settled at the Corners which perpetuate his name, about a mile above the village, on the place now occupied by his grandson, William Ransom Chandler, where he died July 30, 1844, aged 82½ years. He took up a large tract of land in that locality and was interested in the mill property now owned by George H. Andrus, a half mile above Pitcher village, consisting of a saw and grist-mill, the latter of which was built by him at a very early day, among the first in this part of the country. The mill property remained in the hands of the family till 1847, when it was purchase by I. B. Allen. The grist-mill, a stone structure was rebuilt by his son Jonathan, in 1841-'42. Mr. Chandler was probably the first postmaster in the town. He was also engaged in mercantile business. His store, a frame building, stood near his residence. It is still standing in rear of William R. Chandler's residence and is used as a tenement house. He kept store there as late as 1830.
Mr. Chandler was born Jan. 1, 1762, and Oct. 1, 1781, he married Sarah Easton of Connecticut, who was born Oct. 25, 1762, and died March 22, 1840. Their children were Samuel, who was born Dec. 10, 1781; Oliver E., who was born Sept. 16, 1783; Jonathan, Jr., who was born Dec. 27, 1785; Walter, who was born June 3, 1788; Horace, who was born June 3, 1792; Loel, who was born May 16, 1794; Abel, who was born Feb. 1st, 1797; Sally who was born Feb. 14, 1800; Harry who was born August 9, 1802; and Hiram, who was born Nov. 14, 1809. Only one other grandchild besides William R. Chandler, son of Hiram, and Mrs. Weaver, daughter of Oliver E., is living in this county, viz: Julia Maria, daughter of Abel, wife of George W. Denslow, of Norwich.
Deacon Lewis Blackman, a native of Huntington, Conn., came from Roxbury in that State in November, 1802, with horses and wagon across the country by the Catskill turnpike, via Sidney. He remained that winter in Pitcher village, and in the spring removed to North Pitcher, where he took up 75 acres, the major part of which is owned by his grandson, Norton Blackman, and the remainder by Edson and John Eldridge. He died there July 17, 1841, aged 72. When he came his family consisted of his wife, Charity, daughter of Nathan Smith of Connecticut, who died Feb. 16, 1871, aged 99, and five children, Rosel, Roxy, David, Sheldon and Charles. Five children were born after they came here, viz: Dolly, Nancy, Dotia, Minerva and John S.
Richard Warner came from Waterbury, Conn., in 1801, and settled on 50 acres in Taylor, then Solon, and in 1810 removed to Pitcher, to the place now occupied by John Dryer, a half mile south of the village. He afterwards removed to the village, where he and his wife died, the former March 25, 1857, aged 85, and the latter, (Polly,) Sept. 24, 1849, aged 72. Their children were fifteen in number: Obadiah, Deacon Shelden, Adna, Minerva, Maria, Edward, David, Curtis, Rachel, Electa, Calvin, Florilla, Elmina, and Richard P.
Curtis Beach came from Trumbull, Conn., in the winter of 1800, with his family on ox sleds, and bought the improvements, consisting of a log house and a small clearing, of Silas Beebe, who removed to Pitcher village and lived there some years. The snow fall was heavy that winter, and when the Beaches arrived at their destination with the two sleds drawn by oxen and laden with the family and household effects, they found the house literally buried in snow. His wife and children sat upon the sled while he dug a roadway to the entrance of the hut, a labor in which he was assisted by Charles and Walter Hyde, brothers, and young, unmarried men, who came from Connecticut and settled in the same locality. Beach died there May 8, 1820, aged 57, and his wife, Rachel Hawley, of Connecticut, April 19, 1851, aged 88. Their children were Percy, Isaac, Asa, and Polly. None of the family are living.
Abijah Vining came from Connecticut about 1800 and settled about a mile south-west of Pitcher, where Judson Wire now lives, and died there, he and his wife Rebecca, the latter April 1, 1811. His children were Philo, and Leeson.
Settlements were made about 1803 or '04 by Daniel Shipman and Edward Southworth. Shipman came from Connecticut, and settled at North Pitcher, where Elias Smith now lives. He was killed at the raising of the Congregational meeting-house Nov. 3, 1826, aged 47. He had five sons, all of whom were physicians, and two daughters.
Deacon Edward Southworth settled at North Pitcher, where Beardsley Sanford now lives, and died there March 19, 1830, aged 66. His children were Anna, Sally, John, Constant, Jesse, Mary and Edward.
Truman and Abraham Fairchild, brothers, came in with their father from Dutchess county about 1804, and settled at North Pitcher, Truman on the place now occupied by Milton Ufford, where he died Nov. 16, 1816, aged 40.
Jonathan Kenyon came from Richmond, R. I., in 1806, and settled two miles north-west of Pitcher village, where Elias Kenyon, his grandson, now lives, and died there in March, 1831. He had seven children, Samuel B., Jonathan, Colonel Asa, Elizabeth Patty, Mary, Solomon and Dorcas.
William Smith, who was born in Huntington, Conn., in 1777, came from Litchfield, Conn., about 1804, and settled at North Pitcher, where John Breed now lives. He remained but a short time and returned to Connecticut, coming back here about the close of the war of 1812. In 1820 he went west. His children were Harriet, Harry, Julius, Augustus, Julia Ann, William B., Charles Benton, Charles Harvey, Frederick G., Lucius S. and Lewis S.
Joseph Smith, brother of William, who was born in Huntington, Conn., in 1764, came from the same place in 1807, and settled in the north part of the town, on the line of Lincklaen, on the farm now occupied by Wallace Neal. He died in the town April 27, 1853, aged 89, and Sally, his wife, Sept. 20, 1823, aged 47. His children were Zira, David, Joseph, Betsey E., Rebecca, Catharine, Minerva, Sabrina, Samuel B., Sarah, Samuel B., Isaac P. and Nancy.
Other early settlers were Solomon and Perez Hakes, Simeon Finch and Solomon Ensign. The Hakeses came from Stonington, Conn., and settled about two and a half miles north-east of Pitcher, on the road to Pharsalia, Solomon on the place now occupied by his grandson, Solomon Hakes 2d, and Perez, where his son Denison now lives. Solomon died Sept. 21, 1867, aged 95, and Fanny, his wife, June 8, 1857, aged 80. Simeon Finch settled in the south part of the town, on Brakel Creek, and died June 9, 1858, aged 84, and Zilpha, his wife, March 11, 1864, aged 89. Solomon Ensign settled in the central part of the town, and died June 18, 1864, aged 93, and Elizabeth, his wife, August 20, 1847, aged 77. He was the father of Judge Solomon Ensign, who died May 11, 1872, aged 77.
Lorrin Cook came in with his father, Solomon Cook, from Marlborough, Mass., about 1812, and settled near the old cemetery in the north-east corner of the town, where he carried on the blacksmith business so long as he was able to work. He married Hannah, daughter of Timothy Warner, and died April 30, 1878, aged 80. Solomon afterwards removed to Lincklaen, his title to his place in Pitcher proving defective. Becoming sick he returned to live with his son Lorrin, and died there of consumption.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the house of Abel Chandler, March 6, 1827, and the following named officers were elected: Ebenezer Wakeley, Supervisor; Abel Chandler, Clerk; Nathan Brown, Jr., Luther Heath, William Lamphier, Assessors; John Dye, Collector; Isaiah Lord, Solomon Hakes, Overseers of the Poor; Samuel Freeman, Daniel Root, Nathan Crandall, Commissioners of Highways; John Dye, Russel Stewart, Elijah Fenton, Jr., Constables; Austin Pierce, "Jerod" Chapel, Ebenezer Wakeley, School Commissioners; John Southworth, Samuel Freeman, David McWhorter, School Inspectors; Luther H. Peck, Sealer of Weights and Measures; Lord Sterling, Pound Master; Lord Sterling, Lemuel Fairchild, Samuel Eldredge, Fence Viewers.
The following list of the officers of the town of Pitcher for the year 1880-81 was kindly furnished us by Theron Blackman:---
Supervisor---Solomon K. Bemiss.
Town Clerk---Theron Blackman.
Justices---William H. Wilson, John W. Dryer, Norton L. Blackman, Benson H. Wheeler.
Assessors---Ralph Randall, Nathaniel Finch, Phineas Crumb.
Commissioner of Highways---Daniel M. Chapel.
Overseer of the Poor---Charles Smith.
Constables---John W. Rowley, Elisha F. Eldridge, Uri Parslow.
Inspectors of Election, District No. 1---E. T. Wheelock, William C. Potter.
Town Auditors---Edward Hinman, Jay Rorapaugh.
Excise Commissioners---Morell M. Newton, James Harvey, John M. Eldridge.
The following named persons have served the town as supervisors: Ebenezer Wakeley, 1827; Abel Chandler, 1828; Solomon Ensign, Jr., 1829, '36, '38, '40 and 41; Elijah Fenton, Jr., 1837; Samuel Plumb, 1839, Oramel F. Forbes, 1842, '50, '51; Daniel Spalding, 1843; James R. Bowen, 1844; David McWhorter, 1845; David Smith, 1846; Roswell K. Bourne, 1847-'8, 1852-'3, 1855-'6; Chancey Palmer, 1849; Joseph Baldwin, 1854; Emilus H. Benedict, 1857; David B. Cartwright, 1858-'9; Norman P. Hitchcock, 1860-'2; John S. Blackman, 1863, 1867-'8; George L. Crandall, 1864; Erwin W. Allen, 1865; Addison W. Taylor, 1866, '69; Leverett P. Birdlebough, 1870-'71; Ralph Taylor, 1872-'4; Eugene W. Terrill, 1875-'6; Solomon K. Bemiss, 1877-'9.
Pitcher is beautifully nestled among the hills which form the east margin of Otsego creek, in the west part of the town, and presents a rather pleasing and picturesque appearance. It is distant about eighteen miles from Norwich, and contains two churches, (Congregational and Baptist,) a district school, four stores, one hotel, kept by John Q. Perry, a woolen-mill, a wagon shop, kept by A. H. Cooper, two blacksmith shops, kept by F. J. Tuttle and Potter & Cooper, a paint shop, kept by W. D. Lewis, a harness shop, kept by James Willmarth, and a population of about 300.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant in Pitcher, and the first also in the town, was Reuben Root, who came from Burlington, Otsego county, in the summer of 1805, and traded two or three years in a building which stood on the site of Bemiss & Barrett's store. He returned to Otsego county. A man named Gray came from the West about a year after Root left and traded two or three years. A man named Butterfield traded a short time about the time Gray left.
Zalmon Fairchild was the first prominent merchant in this place. He is a son of Benjamin Fairchild, one of the pioneer settlers in this town, and came here with his parents at the age of seven years, in 1795, and commenced trading about 1810, in a small frame building which occupied the site of Benjamin Fairchild's residence. The building stood till within a few years, when it was removed to the west part of the town and used as a barn. His stock of goods, it is said, were kept at first in a chest. He continued in trade till about 1858 or '60 when he sold to O. F. Forbes, who had been his partner three years previously. Mr. Forbes formed a co-partnership with Orlando Coy, which continued about a year, when Forbes bought Coy's interest and entered into partnership with E. A. Fish, with whom he continued about five years, when they sold to William and Addison Taylor, brothers, from Plymouth, where they had kept a small store. They traded till about 1874, when they sold their goods to Bemiss and Barrett.
E. Clark Lyons came from Cazenovia in 1841, and kept the hotel at Pitcher seven years. He then engaged in the mercantile business and opened, in 1848, the first drug store in the village, which he continued till 1869, when he sold the building to Giles Hyde, who immediately after sold to L. E. Darling, who opened a hardware store and tinshop which, after a short time he sold to Francis B. Record, of Otselic, who, after two years, sold to Fayette F. Bennett, who traded till his death, Nov. 9, 1875. William E. Harrington, a native of Pitcher, bought out Bennett's heirs in December, 1875, and still continues the business.
E. W. Allen, who was for several years pastor of the Congregational church in Pitcher, commenced trading here about 1867, and continued about three years, when he removed to Walla Walla.
Theron and Thurlow Blackman, brothers, of Pitcher, traded here from 1876 till the spring of 1879, when they assigned.
The merchants at present doing business here, besides Mr. Harrington, are Bemiss & Barrett, Frank P. Hakes and William Saxton.
Bemiss & Barrett, (Solomon K. Bemiss and Charles M. Barrett,) are general merchants. The business was established March 1, 1869.
Frank P. Hakes, dealer in drugs and groceries, commenced business in February, 1873.
William Saxton, general merchant, commenced business April 11, 1878.
POSTMASTERS.---The first post-office at Pitcher was established in June, 1841, as West Pitcher. The name was changed to Pitcher, February 23, 1842. E. Clark Lyons was the first postmaster and held the office twenty years continuously. William Taylor succeeded him in 1861, and after a short time was followed by Thomas Carter. After Carter the office was held successively by A. D. Harrington, Thomas McElroy, E. W. Allen and Solomon K. Bemiss, the present incumbent, who was appointed April 3, 1871.
The first post-office in the town was at Chandler's Corners, a mile north of Pitcher village, and Jonathan Chandler, who had an ashery and small grocery there, was the postmaster. The office was subsequently removed to Pitcher Springs.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician who located in Pitcher was Dr. Johnson, about 1808 or '9. He practiced here but a short time and went to Norwich. If the person here referred to is Jonathan Johnson, of Norwich, it is doubtful if he ever located here, though he might, and probably did extend his ride to this locality at that early day.
David McWhorter, a nephew of Dr. John McWhorter, of Cincinnatus, practiced here from an early day, about the opening of the war of 1812 till 1849. He removed to Michigan. Drs. Stephen R. Bradley, Russell Ballou and Lyman Rose practiced here for short periods.
Dr. Horace Halbert, the present physician at Pitcher, was born in Union Valley, Cortland county, June 8, 1826.
MANUFACTURES.---The woolen factory is located about a quarter of a mile below the village. It contains one set of woolen machinery, which is propelled by the Otselic, with a head of five feet. Five persons are employed, and 3,700 yards of woolen cloth and 500 pounds of stocking yarn are made per annum. The factory was originally a wool carding machine and was purchased by Justus Crandall some forty-five years ago of a man named Burlingame, and converted to its present use. It was operated by Crandall and his son George L., who sold it in 1870 to Morell M. Newton, the present proprietor.
HOTEL.---The hotel at Pitcher is kept by John Quincey Perry, a native of Georgetown, N. Y., who purchased the property of Curtis Chatfield, March 12, 1877. It was built in 1829, by Daniel Fairchild, and occupies the site of the first tavern in the town, which was built by the latter's father, Benjamin Fairchild, about 1795.
CHURCHES.---The Union Congregational Church in Pitcher.---Several professors of religion of the Congregational order having removed into the town of DeRuyter and vicinity, (Pitcher was then embraced in the town of DeRuyter,) where no such church was then formed, "together with some others, who, in a late work of grace in this town have hopefully come over on the Lord's side, having met together from time to time, in order to get acquainted with each others religious sentiments, experiences and practice, did, on Thursday, March 7, 1805, after fasting and prayer, and hearing a sermon from Heb. xiii, 1, enter into a covenant with God and with each other, and were then declared to be a visible church of Christ."
Articles of faith, the covenant and articles of practice were adopted, and the proceedings were certified by Rev. Seth Williston, missionary from Connecticut, and pastor of the Congregational church of Lisle, who attended the conferences preparatory to the formation of this church, (some of which were also attended by Rev. Thomas Williams, a missionary from Connecticut,) and assisted in the examination of the members. Samuel Pierce was chosen moderator and appointed deacon till one was chosen to fill that office; Curtis Beach was chosen clerk. April 3, 1805, Samuel Pierce, Curtis Beach and Friend Plumb were appointed a committee to transact the business of the church.
May 29, 1806, Abner Wakeley and Samuel Pierce were chosen deacons and were ordained by Revs. Seth Williston and Nathan B. Darrow, Nov. 24, 1806.
June 2, 1807, the church was admitted to the Middle Association, in the Military Tract and its vicinity, Deacon Abner Wakeley having been delegated May 14, 1807, to attend the meeting of that Association for the purpose of securing its admission.
The records do not show that the church had a settled pastor before the latter part of 1812. Dec. 6, 1812, it was decided to give Rev. Reuben Hurd, who had been with them for a few weeks previous to that time, a call to become the pastor. He was installed by the Presbytery of Onondaga, Jan. 20, 1813.
March 10, 1805, Rev. Seth Williston baptized Betsey, wife of John Robbins. This is the first case of baptism recorded.
Sept. 28, 1815, the Presbytery of Onondaga met with this church and dissolved Mr. Hurd's pastoral relation with this church.
Feb. 5, 1819, nineteen members of this church living in the towns of Solon and Cincinnatus wishing to form a separate church were granted letters for that purpose, and were formed into a church by Rev. Mr. Hitchcock.
In the beginning of the winter of 1819 a central point was selected for the erection of a meeting-house, with a view to accommodating the greatest number of members. Certain members living in the north part of the society took exception to this action, preferring a division of the society and the erection of two houses. Accordingly, April 17, 1820, while the question was pending, it was resolved to build a house in the north part of the society and the work was immediately begun. With a view to harmonizing this difference a committee, consisting of Dr. Searl, of Homer, Col. St. John, of Fabius, and Esquire Mason, of Preble, were chosen to select a site for a meeting-house. The committee recommended the adoption of the site previously selected, but failed to secure the harmony sought for. June 2, 1820, the Presbytery was requested to appoint a committee to advise in the matter. Aug. 3, 1820, three of that committee, D. C. Hopkins, Z. Sweatland and W. Eager, reported as their unanimous opinion "that the present and future happiness of the said society and the prosperity of religion there, imperiously demanded that there should be but one site and one meeting-house," which they determined to be the site previously selected by the Society. Sept. 8, 1820, this report was confirmed and adopted in substance as the report of the committee, of which D. C. Hopkins was chairman, and W. Eager, secretary. In the meantime $1,700 had been raised, something over $400 of the amount having been contributed by members north of the site selected, and a foundation and frame erected on that site. Nov. 12, 1820, Deacon Blackman and others living in the locality of North Pitcher requested to be dismissed for the purpose of forming a church of the same order in that locality. Compliance therewith was refused Nov. 17, 1820. But notwithstanding this refusal, a separate church was formed. Jan. 19, 1821, charges were preferred against Deacon Lewis Blackman, William Smith, Samuel Smith and Jesse Eldredge for their complicity in the organization of a separate society and building a second meeting-house; and June 2, 1821, it was voted to suspend them from church privileges till the first Friday in October following, or till repentance and Christian satisfaction was made. Nov. 2, 1821, having made satisfactory reparation, they were restored to fellowship. Just when this church edifice was completed the records do not show, but the first recorded meeting held there is dated May 2, 1823.
It does not appear from the records that there was a settled pastor from the time Mr. Hurd closed his labors in 1815 till the fall of 1823. During this period, however, the church was ministered to by Revs. Jabez Chadwick, Messrs. Brown, Truair, Woodworth, Hopkins, (of Manlius,) Olds, Alexander, Livingsworth, Leavenworth, Ira Dunning, and Donaldson. Mr. Dunning apparently remained a year from the fall of 1821. Oct. 28, 1823, the church resolved to extend a call to Rev. Reuben Sanborn to settle with them. He remained but a short time, however, even if he accepted the call, which fact the records do not show, for the following spring they were served by others, and during the succeeding year and a half the pulpit was variously supplied by Revs. Catlin, Leavenworth, Hitchcock and Leonard. In June, 1825, Rev. William J. Bradford entered upon a pastorate which continued, apparently, as late as Feb. 5, 1830. He was succeeded as early as Jan. 7, 1831, by Rev. I. F. Adams, who appears to have closed his labors in the spring of 1833.
May 5, 1826, at a meeting held in the meeting-house in Lincklaen, (the north part of Pitcher was then a part of Lincklaen,) Deacon Lewis Blackman, Samuel Smith, Jesse Eldredge and other members living in that neighborhood signed a request to this church for a dismission for the purpose of forming a separate church and desired this church to unite with them in asking the Presbytery to accord them a council.
In 1830, the church edifice, which originally stood a mile and a half above Pitcher, was removed to that village.
Succeeding the removal of Mr. Adams the pulpit was supplied at intervals in 1834 by Revs. Messrs. Dunham, Camp and Littlejohn. Rev. J. M. Parker apparently became the pastor in the spring of 1837; Rev. Isaac F. Adams, in January, 1842, serving till October, 1845; and Rev. Hiram Lee, who commenced his labors as early as in Nov. 7, 1845, and remained till Jan. 4, 1850. During Mr. Lee's pastorate, Feb. 4, 1848, the delegate to the Presbytery was instructed to request that the relation existing between it and that church be dissolved. Rev. E. B. Sherwood officiated Jan. 3, 1851, but whether as pastor does not appear, neither does it appear who ministered to them from that time till April 3, 1856, when Rev. Moses Thatcher was laboring here. Mr. Thatcher preached his farewell sermon Feb. 6, 1859. He was succeeded by Rev. E. W. Allen, as early as July 1, 1859, and the latter by Rev. Daniel Gibbs as early as July 8, 1863. Rev. Charles Barstow had begun his labors here as early as June 3, 1864. His pastorate continued till April 3, 1868. The pulpit was supplied at Intervals in 1868, by Rev. J. D. Lane, of Rochester, and Rev. E. W. Allen, principally by the latter, who seems to have remained during the summer and fall of that year; and in 1870, by Rev. S. C. VanCamp, and Rev. Mr. Long, the latter of Greene. Rev. D. W. Bigelow, of Auburn, commenced his labors as pastor Oct. 13, 1872. During his pastorate, in 1875, the church was closed for repairs, and the Baptist house was used from July to November of that year. Nov. 10 and 11, 1875, the repairs to the church having been completed, it was rededicated. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. S. Scoville, of Norwich. Revs. Johnson, of Smyrna, Deane, of Westmoreland, Chambers, of Sherburne, Rogers, of Cincinnatus, and Turnbull, of Pitcher, were present by invitation of the pastor. The present pastor, Rev. Samuel Miller, entered upon his labors April 1, 1878. 1
The present number of members is 130; the average attendance at Sabbath school, 80.
The Baptist Church of Pitcher.---In the spring of 1798 the few families who had settled in this locality agreed to meet on the Sabbath for religious worship. This gave promise to their cherished hope of forming a church and on the 27th of March, 1805, they with others met in conference for the purpose of forming a church, a work in which they were unexpectedly assisted by Rev. Peter P. Roots, a missionary, who remained and preached for them till June 13, 1805, when, according to previous notice, a council convened and constituted them the Second Baptist Church of DeRuyter, composed of nineteen members, nine males and ten females, viz: Ebenezer Wakeley, Edward Southworth, Jonah Frisbie, Silas Beebe, John Wheeler, Truman Fairchild, Caleb Burlingame, Harvey Smith and George Elsworth who constituted the male members.
Their first house of worship was built in the summer of 1806. It was twenty-eight feet square.
The pulpit was supplied by various individuals till 1807, when Rev. John Lawton was called to the pastorate and continued his labors with them for twenty years. In 1822 he reported to the Association a membership of 198. In 1823 fifty were dismissed to form the church in Cincinnatus. Many were added to their numbers in 1826 and '27. Elder Lawton being feeble and unable to preach all the time, the pulpit was supplied until 1831 by Revs. Zaccheus Tripp, John Smitzer, Alonzo Wheelock and others.
In 1829 their present church edifice was built at a cost of $2,100. It has been repaired at different times at an expense of about $1,500.
In 1831 Samuel R. Clark, from Hamilton, was ordained and preached here one year, during which time he baptized one hundred persons. He then went as a missionary to the Mississippi Valley.
The church has had sixteen different pastors, besides various supplies. Following are their names and terms of service as nearly as they can be ascertained from the records: John Lawton, 20 years, Samuel R. Clark, 1 year, Luke Colby, 7 years, L. E. Swan, 1 year, E. T. Jacobs, 3 ½ years, William Smith, 2 years, Nelson Crandall, 3 years, Joseph Burnett, 2 ½ years, E. L. Benedict, 2 years, Henry Cady, 4 ½ years, Jesse N. Seeley, 2 years, R. D. Pierce, 2 years, Samuel P. Way, 6 years, A. LeRoy, 1 year, George P. Turnbul, the present pastor, who commenced his labors with this church in 1874.
Six from this church have been licensed to preach the gospel, viz: Waterman Burlingame, C. P. Sheldon, D. D., of Troy, William Holroyd, Alfred Burlingame, Elisha Wildman and Henry D. Baldwin.
At one time the church numbered about 300 members; the present number is 100. It has for many years maintained a Sabbath school, which is now in a flourishing condition; the number in attendance varies from 50 to 140. 2
North Pitcher is situated in the north-east part of the town, three miles above Pitcher, and extends for about a mile along the valley of the Otselic. It contains two churches (Congregational and M. E.,) a district school, a small grocery, kept since April, 1871, by Lucius E. Pierce, who is also the postmaster at that place, having received the appointment May 25, 1871, and another small grocery kept by James R. Coy, Jr., since Dec. 24, 1878, a grist-mill, owned by Thomas Bates, built at an early day by Lewis Blackman, containing three runs of stones, and operated by the Otselic, which has a fall of about five feet, two saw-mills, one built about 1820, by Sanford Reynolds and rebuilt by Beardsley Sanford, the present proprietor, and the other built by Lewis Blackman and owned by Thomas Bates, a fork factory, owned by Beardsley Sanford and operated by Melville Newton, during the winter and spring only, which gives employment to some four persons in the manufacture of hay forks, a blacksmith shop, kept by Wilber F. Knowles, a wagon shop and undertaking establishment, kept by William Newcomb and a population of 117.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at North Pitcher was a man named Kinney, who did business about two years from about the close of the war of 1812. Zira and David Smith, brothers, were trading here about 1824, and continued some two or three years. Samuel Plumb opened a store about 1830, and continued about two years. Roswell and Charles Blackman, brothers, bought out Plumb in the spring of 1832, and traded some twelve years. J. A. Holmes & Co., (Zira Smith, Jethro Hatch and David Blackman,) commenced business about 1835, and continued about two years. J. S. Blackman and Monroe Smith traded some two or three years before the late war; and E. W. Allen, for a few years about the beginning of the war. There have been no other merchants of note.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at North Pitcher was established about 1828. Samuel Plumb was the first postmaster. He held the office several years, and has been succeeded by J. S. Blackman, Wilbur Knowles, Edward Fox, Israel Tuttle and Lucius E. Pierce, the latter of whom is the present incumbent, having held the office since May 25, 1871.
CHURCHES.---The Congregational Church of North Pitcher was organized as The First Congregational Church of Lincklaen, Feb. 7, 1827, by Revs. Samuel Manning and J. N. Sprague. The name was changed Feb. 24, 1854. The constituent members were Allen Fox and Polly, his wife, Nathaniel Waldron, and Ruth, his wife, John Hammond and Freelove, his wife, Ezekiel Mead and Sophia, his wife, Martha Bowen, Rufus Payn, Jethro Hatch, Samantha Sturges, Penelopy R. Hammond, and Irena Foote, all of whom presented letters from other churches. Nancy Plumb united by profession. Allen Fox was chosen deacon, and Jethro Hatch, clerk.
Revs. J. N. Sprague, William J. Bradford and William O. Stratton, the former of whom was located in Sherburne and the latter in Preston, preacher here occasionally till 1831. Rev. Pindar Field, who was the first settled pastor, officiated as early as May 22d of that year. He remained but a short time, however, for in November of that year Rev. Luther Clark, of Plymouth, was officiating. Rev. Jephtha Pool was a stated supply, commencing his services as early as August 2, 1832, and continuing them as late as Jan. 5, 1834. He was succeeded by Rev. Seth Smalley, who served them one year, in 1834.
Rev. Frederick H. Ayres was installed pastor Nov. 30, 1836, and served them till Sept. 28, 1838. He was succeeded after an interval of about a year by Rev. Seth Burt, who officiated till Dec. 1839. He was followed by Rev. William B. Tompkins, probably as a supply, and Rev. E. Hyde, who remained a year. Rev. P. R. Kinney was settled here as early as Sept. 30, 1842, and continued as late as May 5, 1843, but was not installed. Rev. J. S. Brown served them one year, as late as June 22, 1845. He was succeeded by Rev. Shubael Carver, who commenced his labors the following winter, and continued them six years. Mr. Carver also taught school here. He was succeeded by Rev. Pindar Field as early as Feb. 28, 1851. He remained as late as April 15, 1855, and was succeeded after an interval of some two years by Rev. Orville Ketchum, from East Pharsalia, who commenced his labors as early as May 2, 1857.
In an annual sermon preached by Rev. O. Ketchum March 28, 1858, it was stated that he had preached here one-half the time, and divided the rest of his time between the churches at Georgetown, Pittsfield, Lincklaen and Pharsalia. He continued his labors as late as Aug. 7, 1859. There are no records from that time to March 29, 1862, when J. H. Nason was the pastor. He was ordained at this church Sept. 9, 1862. Mr. Nason preacher here till about 1865, in which year he was succeeded by Edward Ruddock, who remained about a year. Mr. Ruddock was succeeded by Rev. P. Field, who continued his labors as late as March 27, 1868. Rev. Mr. VanCamp preached once a Sabbath most of the time for three years ending in May, 1872. In October, 1872, Rev. D. W. Bigelow commenced his labors here, being pastor also of the church at Pitcher. He continued his labors till May, 1877, and was succeeded after an interval of nearly a year by Rev. Samuel Miller, the present pastor, who is also pastor of the church at Pitcher.
The origin of this church, or the steps preliminary to its formation has been adverted to in connection with the church in Pitcher. The house which was commenced in 1820 by the dissatisfied members of that church, was not completed, the frame only being put up, though meetings were held here by Rev. John Alexander in 1820, and as late as Jan. 19, 1821. The present church edifice was commenced in 1833 and finished in 1834. It was repaired in 1873 and rededicated the first Sunday in December.
The church at present numbers twenty-eight members; the average attendance at Sabbath school is about thirty.
The First M. E. Church of North Pitcher.---The earliest meetings by members of the Methodist denomination were held at Post's school-house, two miles north of the village by Rev. Mr. Brewer in 1822. In 1831 an appointment was made at the school-house in North Pitcher---the building now used by W. F. Knowles as a blacksmith shop---and the same year a class was organized, composed of six persons, viz: H. Rose and wife, Mrs. Leonard Knowles, Mrs. Levi Sandford, Mrs. Lucretia Neil and Ruby Reynolds.
Their first church edifice was built in 1844, at a cost of about $1,500. It was rebuilt in 1875, at a cost of $3,500.
The names of some of the earlier pastors cannot be given, but from 1842 the list is complete, as follows: Revs. Brewer, 1822; Cameron, Dewey, Kelsey, Reynolds, D. Simons, S. Yarrington, D. O'Farrel, G. Colegrove, Job Densmore, Somers M. Roger, D. Fancher, Kimbolar, J. Atwell and J. Ailsworth, up to 1842; C. Hesler, 1843; A. Johnson, 1844; C. Northrup, 1845; E. P. Beebe, 1846; E. Beecher, 1847; Walter Jerome, 1848; D. Davies, 1849; I. D. Warren, 1850-51; P. Bridgeman, 1852; Z. Barns, 1853; H. Ercanbrack, 1854; J. Hawley, 1855; T. Willis and B. Hyde, 1856; G. White, 1857-8; G. Howland, 1859-60; E. House, 1861-2; J. Andrews and S. Kinney, 1863; J. Brooks, 1864; R. Beebe, 1865; A. Ensign, 1866; H. B. Smith, 1867-8; T. B. White, 1869-70; A. C. Smith, 1870-3; A. Harroun, 1873-6; H. W. Williams, 1876-9.
The present number of members is sixty; the attendance at Sabbath school, seventy.
Many of the members of this church have become ministers. Among these are A. Ensign, S. Hinman, R. Hinman, H. Fox, L. York, A. Fargo, G. Thompson, L. Nickerson, J. Foster, H. B. Smith, Enoch Eldredge.
Pitcher Springs, situated three miles north-east of Pitcher, derived its name and importance from sulphuretted hydrogen springs in that locality, which made it for a number of years a popular and much frequented watering place, and the seat of a flourishing academy which was established in 1832 and discontinued in 1838. The building has since been torn down. During the period of its prosperity it had a hundred students. Only a few years since Pitcher Springs contained, besides the academy, three hotels, four stores, a post-office, two lawyers, two physicians, a cabinet shop, an extensive boot and shoe manufactory, a harness shop, tannery, ashery, blacksmith's forge, saw-mill, two bowling alleys, two bath-houses and several places of amusement. The springs were visited by people from all sections of the country during the summer months, both for health and recreation. The waters were highly esteemed for the cure of different diseases. One day in July, 1833, the number of tickets sold for dinner was 1,400, and the number of teams cared for, 1,053. The horses were mostly hitched to trees, as a dense wood surrounded the buildings, and only by careful driving could one avoid the timber. Only two buildings now remain to mark the locality of this once famous resort. The springs and a tract of land surrounding them were given to the town by Loel Chandler, the first man who settled at the springs.
MANUFACTURES.---Half a mile above Pitcher village is a grist and saw-mill, the former of which, or rather the one which originally occupied its site, was built at a very early day by Jonathan Chandler, and operated by himself and children till 1847, when the property passed into the hands of I. B. Allen. The present grist-mill is a stone structure and was built by Jonathan Chandler, Jr., in 1841-2. It contains three runs of stones, which are propelled by water from the Otselic, with a fall of about five feet. The saw-mill contains one muley saw. Mr. Allen sold the property in 1876 to George H. Andrus, the present proprietor.
About a mile south-east of North Pitcher is a creamery owned by Isaac C. Beebe. It was built about thirteen years ago by John Brown, and came in possession of the present proprietor in 1873. It receives milk from 150 cows.
In the south-east part of the town is a creamery owned by B. H. and P. C. Wheeler, which was built in the spring of 1875 by the Wheeler Brothers. It receives milk from 500 cows. It is provided with a refrigerator which was built in the spring of 1877.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting held at the house of H. R. Crandall Sept. 9, 1862, it was decided by a vote of 142 to 17 to levy on the taxable property of the town a sum sufficient to pay to each volunteer applied on the quota of the town a bounty of $100.
At the annual town meeting of Feb. 16, 1864, it was resolved by a vote of 185 to 40 to instruct the Board of Town Auditors to raise on bonds payable within five years funds sufficient to pay to each volunteer to the number required to fill the quota under the call for 500,000 men, a bounty, which, with other bounties, should not exceed $1,000.
At a special meeting held at the house of D. S. Hill April 4, 1864, the Board was authorized to raise on bonds a sum sufficient to pay to each volunteer applied on the quota under the call for 200,000 men, a bounty of not to exceed $400.
August 4, 1864, it was decided by a vote of 95 to 14 to authorize the Board to issue bonds for the necessary amount to pay to each volunteer applied on the quota under the call for 500,000 men, a bounty of $300 for one year's, $400 for two years', and $500 for three years' men; also to pay the same bounty to drafted men, provided a sufficient number of volunteers cannot be obtained. George L. Crandall, M. M. Bayette and Burlington Button were appointed a committee with authority to use all necessary means to procure the requisite number of volunteers at the least possible expense to the town. It was subsequently decided by a vote of 84 to 1, but at what date the records do not show, to pay in addition to the bounties voted August 4, 1864, to the number of volunteers necessary to fill the quota under the call for 500,000 men, or to the person procuring them, a sum not to exceed $500 for three years' men, $400 for two years', and $300 for one year's, or double the amount previously offered. George L. Crandall, John J. Johnson, Ezra Burdick, B. Button, D. R. Hakes, Giles Hyde and Addison Taylor were appointed a committee to carry out the provisions of the resolution in their discretion, and at as little expense to the town as possible. It was further voted to pay to each person furnishing a substitute applied on the quota of the town, "$300 less than the actual cost of such substitute," but in no case to exceed $1,000 for Three years, $800 for two years, and $600 for one year, "excepting a substitute furnished by M. M. Bayette and mustered into the United States service August 15, 1864, in which the said M. M. Bayette shall be allowed such a sum as the Board of Town Auditors shall determine, but not to exceed $600." Persons furnishing substitutes were required to receive bonds wholly or in part at the discretion of the committee. It was also voted to pay to each man drafted and applied on the quota of the town $300 in addition to the amount voted August 4, 1864, making in all $600; to instruct the Board to issue bonds payable at such time within five years from Feb. 1, 1865, and in such amounts as they deemed for the best interest of the town; to allow the committee for expenses incurred in discharging their duty and a reasonable compensation for services; and to relieve M. M. Bayette from the committee appointed Aug. 4, 1864, "in consequence of private speculation in substitutes while a member of said committee, which proceedings are hereby disapproved and condemned."
At a special town meeting held at the house of D. S. Hill, Sept. 6, 1864, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted by a vote 43 to 2:---
"WHEREAS, In consequence of the towns in this county and vicinity having raised local bounties to such an amount that no volunteers can be procured to fill the quota of the town of Pitcher by the payment of the amount of bounty authorized by the votes of the town on the 4th and 23d of August last; therefore,
"Resolved, That the committee appointed by the last town meeting for the purpose of procuring volunteers to fill the quota of said town under the last call of the President for 500,000 men, be hereby authorized to pay a sum not to exceed $1,000 for each volunteer for one year.
"Resolved, That any sum not to exceed $1,000 that has been actually paid by said committee to volunteers for one year shall be allowed by the Board of Town Auditors.
"Resolved, That the town Board be and are hereby authorized to issue town bonds to raise funds in accordance with the above resolutions."
We are unable in the absence of records which could not be found to give the further action taken by this town in the matter of filling its quotas during the war, or to show specifically the result of this legislative action.
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