COLUMBUS was formed from Brookfield, Madison county, Feb. 11, 1805, and originally embraced the 17th of the Twenty Townships. A part of Norwich was annexed in 1807. Its name is due to the suggestion of Dr. Tracy Robinson. It is the north-east corner town of the county, and is bounded on the north by Madison county, on the east by Otsego county, on the south by New Berlin and on the west by Sherburne. It occupies a part of the high ridge forming the water-shed between the Chenango and Unadilla Rivers, the highest summits of which are from 400 to 600 feet above the valleys. Unadilla River forms the east boundary and receives as tributaries Beaver Creek, Tallett, Campbell and Shawley brooks and several smaller streams. It is underlaid by the rocks of the Portage and Ithaca groups, except a strip along the Unadilla, where those of the lower (Hamilton,) group form the surface rock. Stone suitable for underpinnings is quarried on the farm of Orson E. Lottridge, about a mile and a half south of the village. About two and a half miles south-west of the village is a quarry from which good flagging stone has been obtained, but generally it is better adapted to underpinning. The soil is a gravelly and shaly loam, and this with the many small streams of pure water is well adapted to dairying, an industry in which the farmers are extensively engaged. There are eight cheese factories in the town: the Pope factory, on the river road, owned by Sidney Pope; the Tuttle factory, in the central part of the town, owned by Almon Tuttle; the Bassett factory, about two miles, east of the village, owned by Nicholas Richer and George Whitmore; the Gooseville factory, in the north-east part of the town; the King factory, in the north part of the town; the Center factory, at the village; the McCall factory, a mile and a half north-west of the village; and the South Hill factory, in the south-west corner of the town, all owned by Messrs. Richer & Whitmore.
The population of the town in 1875 was 1,182; of whom 1,111 were native, 71 foreign, 1,181 white, 1 colored; 596 males and 586 females. The area was 22,938 acres; of which 17,734 acres were improved, and 5,204 woodland. It was the only town in the county reported as having no waste land. The cash value of farms was $1,005,030; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $132,995; of stock, $175,145; of tools and implements, $33,634. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $120,861.
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 at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 320. During that year there were eight male and thirteen female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 255, of whom three were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 148,114; the number of volumes in district libraries was 714, the value of which was $205; the number of school-houses was ten, all of which were frame, which, with the sites, embracing one acre and forty-five rods, valued at $300, were valued at $1,515; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $654,496. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts at that date was 109, of whom 92 attended district school fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
|Amount on hand, Oct. 1, 1876||$ 47.15|
|" apportioned to districts||1,009.42|
|Proceeds of Gospel and school lands||73.96|
|Raised by tax||609.37|
|From teachers' board||232.00|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$1,777.65|
|" school apparatus||.15|
| " school-houses, sites, out-houses,|
fences, repairs, furniture, etc.
|Paid for other incidental expenses||130.04|
|Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877||17.50|
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement is said to have been made in 1781, on lot 44, by Col. Converse, who also kept the first inn, which he opened in 1793.
Henry, Daniel, James and Benjamin Williams came from Point Julia, R. I., in 1792. They came in the early spring with an ox team and one horse, and brought their feather beds with them. Henry and James were married, and the former, who married Patty Crandall, had two children, named Polly and James. They left their families at the Carr place in Edmeston while they rolled up a log house, which occupied only two days. All occupied one log house until others were erected. Henry was a soldier of the Revolution. He purchased the farm lying in the south-east corner of the town and built his log house on the west bank of "Aunt Pat" brook. Henry sold the piece of land on which he first settled to Josiah Baker and moved to the east part of the same lot, he located on the river road, and there during the rest of his days kept what in olden times was known far and near as the "Aunt Pat Tavern." He built a frame house in 1808. His sons John and Oliver also kept tavern in that building. He had fourteen children, only three of whom are living, John and Martha, widow of Elijah Atherton, in New Berlin, and Betsey, wife of Oliver Thayer, in Illinois. James Williams settled on a farm adjoining Henry's on the north, but removed at an early day to Virgil, in Cortland county. Benjamin settled on a farm adjoining Henry's on the south, where for a few years he carried on his trade of tanner and currier. He removed with his family to Washington county. The site of the tannery is now occupied by the residence of "Dr." Porter. Daniel settled three miles north of South New Berlin, a half mile west of Davis' crossing, where Israel Angell now lives. In 1794 he married Phila Parker, and their marriage was the first contract in the town of New Berlin. He afterwards removed with his family to the mouth of Whitewater River, in Arkansas.
Farther up the stream from the Baker place, Moses Howard, son of Thomas Howard, from Rhode Island, rebuilt his log house and cleared up his farm, which was reputed to be one of the best in the town. He left his farm to his son Moses, who still occupies it. James Baird, who settled on the lot next above him, was his rival in the farming business.
The next farm of 57 acres, on lot 44, was settled by Nicholas Richer, who came from Berlin, Rensselaer county in 1800, and occupied it till his death, Nov. 1, 1829, aged 58. The farm is now occupied by Charles E. Haywood. His wife, Ann Wilcox, to whom he was married in New Berlin, also died there, Oct. 14, 1842, aged 62. He had four children, Nicholas, John Randall and Anson, the first two of whom were born before he came here, and the latter two, in Columbus.
The lots on the creek next north of the Richer farm were settled by Peter German and Jonathan Brownell, who came from Nine Partners, Dutchess county. Mr. German was a brother of Hon. Obadiah German, of North Norwich, and is supposed to have built the first frame dwelling house in the town. It was a small building and stood near the small brook at the foot of the hill, where now stands the dwelling house on the farm. He is believed to have been the first justice in the town. A daughter of his became the wife of Hon. Joshua Lamb. Jonathan Brownell built a log house on the creek, near where yet stands his old barn, and there he kept tavern for many years. There also the public business, town meetings, elections, and company trainings were held in the early settlements of the town.
Thomas Howard, Sr., was a native of Rhode Island and emigrated from Charlton, Mass., to Columbus, in 1794. But eight persons had preceded him in the settlement of the town. He moved his family and household goods with an ox team, crossing the Hudson at Albany and wending his way westward via Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, over the old State road winding among the Burlington hills to Wharton Creek, and down that stream to the Unadilla, near where he located, on the lot next north of the Henry Williams farm. The farm on which he settled and died is now owned by Bennett Lottridge. His sons were Isaac, Moses, Joseph, Abram, Jacob, Thomas Jr., and Hopkins. The Howard family held a prominent place in the settlement of Columbus. The elder Howard served several years in the Provincial army during the French and Indian war, and again in the struggle of the colonies for independence. He died in Columbus Jan. 24, 1837, in the 95th year of his age.
Samuel Campbell was a native of Mansfield, Connecticut, and emigrated to Columbus at an early day. He became the owner of a large farm on the west bank of the Unadilla, a little north of the turnpike running through the town. He held the offices of supervisor and justice, the latter over twenty-five years, was Member of Assembly from this county in 1808-'9, 1812 and 1820, and represented the 15th district in Congress in 1821-'3.
Joshua Lamb and his brother Alvin came from Oxford, Mass., in July, 1804, and settled on the west side of the Unadilla, on the south-east corner of a lot, where the turnpike crosses the river road. They were carpenters and built a large two-story dwelling, where Joshua kept a tavern during nearly all the remainder of his life. Alvin died young; but Joshua lived to be an old inhabitant of the town and left several sons to inherit the large property he accumulated by economy and industry. George Clark settled on the opposite side of the turnpike from Judge Lamb, and also kept tavern. The place is now owned by Truxton Lamb, a son of Judge Lamb, and the old-fashioned tavern has been turned into a good modern farm house. Elisha Morgan, who was a merchant in the early days of the settlement, owned the south-west and north-east corner lots where the river road crossed the turnpike, and built a large two-story dwelling-house on one corner and a store on the other. He traded there several years, and sold out and removed to the western part of the State. Charles H. Toll, also a merchant, came from Schenectady and occupied a room in Judge Lamb's dwelling-house, and sold goods there for some time. He then built a store at Columbus Center, and after trading there a short time sold to Benjamin Storrs and went to Camillus, Onondaga county. Dr. Tracy Robinson settled on a small building lot on the west side of the river road, next south of Elisha Morgan's. He was the first regular physician who settled in Columbus.
Nathaniel Calkin settled on the river road, on the farm next below Dr. Tracy Robinson. His log house stood on the hill on the west side of the road, and some distance north of the old state road, which crossed the Unadilla at the foot of the hill, on "Akin's bridge," and passed up the hill gorge, west over the hill to the Peter German farm and Jonathan Brownell's log tavern, thence up the creek and its west branch into Sherburne, and on west to Cayuga Lake. A brick kiln was erected on Mr. Calkin's farm, from which the early settlers obtained the means to build brick out-door ovens. Chimneys were then unknown in log houses. Mr. Calkin left his property to his children. One of his sons built a large two-story house, near the foot of the hill on the east side of the river road, which was burned and another built in its place by a grandson. Jonathan Hubby settled and cleared up a wilderness lot adjoining the Calkin farm on the south. Isaac Green located on the lot of Jonathan Hubby and the Howard farm on the river road. He was an enterprising, industrious man, and in addition to farming was engaged in the milling business. He owned the grist-mill on "Aunt Pat" brook above the Henry Williams farm, and built the two-story house yet standing on the premises. The old mill and the dam have long since passed away. This was the first grist-mill in the town and was built in 1795 by Job Vail, probably for Mr. Green. Vail also built the first saw-mill the previous year.
Gates Pope settled north of the Perkins farm, on a river farm through which runs Pope brook. He was a thriving and industrious farmer, and supplied the neighborhood with brick from a kiln on his farm.
Ezra Beebe settled early on the west side of Shawley brook, about where the old State road crossed it. He was a frugal, industrious farmer, managed his affairs prudently, and at his death, August 27, 1866, at the age of 86, left his well-improved farm to his children, one of whom still lives on it. Capt. Joseph Page located on the east side of the creek about opposite the Beebe farm. Capt. Page left his farm to his son Joseph, who occupied it during his lifetime. John H. Reynolds settled on a farm next adjoining the Page farm on the south. He was an active, enterprising man and an influential citizen; was a militia colonel and a good officer.
Isaac Shawley settled on the brook which bears his name, where the old turnpike crosses it; and his father-in-law, Mr. Kenny, made a settlement before the road was built. John Downing settled on the brook, north of the Shawley farm. Archibald and Daniel Perkins, brothers, located in the neighborhood of the Downing farm on the creek north of the old turnpike road.
Esek Olney came from Rhode Island about the beginning of the present century and settled on the north side of the old turnpike, a little east of Shawley brook. He was a respectable farmer and brought his farm into a good state of cultivation.
Eliab Underwood settled on the old turnpike, east of the Olney farm, in the latter part of the last century. Captain Elijah Palmer settled north of the Sparr and Howard settlement and was active in conjunction with his neighbors, among whom was Gilbert Strong, who settled near him, in promoting the settlements in the north part of the town. Silas Ames was another early settler in this locality, near the Greenleaf farm. Samuel Whitmore first settled on the west side of the Unadilla, near where the turnpike crossed from Edmeston into Columbus, about the time the road was made; and when the gate was changed from the east to the west bank he became its tender and continued such till his death, which occurred Dec. 9, 1855, at the age of 86. Anna, his wife, died at the same age Oct. 20, 1854. John Lottridge came from Albany in December, 1799, and settled a half mile west of the village, on a small stream, where it crossed the State road. There he started a tannery, which he removed a year later a mile south of the village, to the farm now owned by Nicholas Richer. He had twelve children, eight of whom are living,---Bennett, Polly, John and Julana are the only ones living in Columbus.
William Button purchased a building lot on the Perkins place, a little north of the Lottridge tannery, and built a house. He was a carpenter by trade, and possessing a good English education he was employed to teach school during the winter months. But he soon wearied of a backwoods life, sold his house to Kimball Webber and took his final leave of Columbus wilds. Webber moved the house to the north side of the turnpike, near where the State road come out to the turnpike. Captain Berry built a house on the south side of the turnpike from the Webber house and kept tavern for some time. He sold to a Mr. Johnson, who kept the tavern and also carried the mail for some years from Cooperstown to Oxford, by way of Sherburne. He then sold the premises and left the town. Joseph Tubbs, who was a blacksmith, erected a shop on the south side of the turnpike, a little west of the Johnson tavern, where he carried on the blacksmith business during the remainder of his working days. Garrett Reed, who was also a blacksmith, settled in the same neighborhood.
On the turnpike, east of Columbus Center, and next east of the Stephen Howard farm, Solomon Rathbun first squatted and built a small tenement. He was an odd kind of a man, somewhat capable of cutting and making men's and boys' wearing apparel. His shanty passed into the possession of a Mr. Chapman, who erected a shop for the manufacture of household furniture, to supply the needs of the first settlers. Dr. Isaac Finch was the next owner of the lot and built a dwelling house thereon. Levi Hayward, a broth-in-law of Dr. Finch, settled on the river road a little south of the turnpike. He was a skillful and prudent physician and practiced in company with Dr. Finch. Dr. Hayward moved to New Berlin village and continued his practice.
Elias Underwood settled somewhat more than a mile up the creek from Jonathan Brownell's farm. He sold his farm to Abel Hyde and went west. Abel Hyde came in from Connecticut in 1802. He was a careful, prudent and industrious farmer and at his death August 14, 1839, at the age of 82 years, left his farm to his children. Edward Williams settled on the south part of the same lot about the same time that Underwood settled on the north part. He was from Massachusetts, and was a strong, robust farmer. He died May 23, 1825, aged 54, and was succeeded on the farm by his children. John Munal settled on a lot adjoining the Williams lot on the south. He built a saw-mill on the creek, which supplied the neighborhood with materials for erecting more commodious dwellings. Thomas Low came from Albany and settled on the lot next west of Elias Underwood. He was of Dutch descent, an enterprising farmer and brought his farm into a good state of cultivation. His son-in-law, Frank Eagles, settled on the south-west fifty acres of the Low lot and remained thereon till his death. Jared Clark purchased the Low farm and settled on it about 1804 or '05. His son's widow now lives on it.
Major Walter Clark, a native of Connecticut, came here about 1803 from Hartwick, N. Y., where he had lived a year or two. He settled on the lot, next north of the Low lot, adjoining the Simmons lot on the west, about two miles north-west of the village. The farm is now owned by Alanson Campbell. He had five children who grew to maturity, two of whom, Rensselaer W., and Silas were born in Connecticut, and two of whom, Silas and Nathan, are living, both in Columbus. Silas is engaged in mercantile business in the village. Nathan is a farmer and owns the Stephen Howard farm a little east of the village. Rensselaer W. Clark died May 31, 1855, aged 53. He was Member of Assembly from this county in 1844.
Judatus Williams, who, like all who settled in that neighborhood, was a Connecticut man, settled on the lot adjoining the Ambrose Hyde farm on the north. He died June 24, 1852, aged 77, and Abigail, his wife, Oct. 10, 1842, aged 69. A Mr. Nichols and two sisters first settled on a lot adjoining the Judatus Williams lot on the north, the last part of 1798, and cleared a patch large enough to build a sort of shanty to live in. On the opposite side of the road running north and south through the neighborhood, Ezra Loomis settled and cleared up a farm. He was a son of Thomas Loomis of the Revolutionary army, the latter of which died Sept. 5, 1842, aged 86. Isaiah Loomis settled on the lot next north of the Ezra Loomis lot; Solomon Aldrich, a native of Rhode Island on a wild lot a little north of the Williams and Loomis neighborhood; and Stephen Sears near the latter. Mr. Sears was a deacon of the Congregational Church, a quiet, peaceable neighbor and cleared up his farm by industry and hard labor. He died March 14, 1847, aged 84, and "Sary," his wife, May 7, 1838, aged 72. A Mr. Crosby settled near Mr. Sears and married one of his daughters. This wedding was one of the first in the town. The first marriage is said to have been contracted by Joseph Medberry and Hannah Brown in 1794.
John Tracy came from Norwich, Conn., in 1806, and located about a mile west of the center, where he was engaged in farming till his death, Jan. 14, 1820. His children were Rachel, born Aug. 22, 1781; John, born Oct. 26, 1782, married Susan, daughter of Joseph Hyde, of Norwich, Aug. 30, 1813, at Franklin, Conn., and was an early and prominent lawyer in Oxford;1 Zebadiah L., born Oct. 8, 1786; Ulysses, Bela, born April 19, 1794; Esther, Emily, Ulysses and Harriet.
A Mr. Salisbury settled on a lot next east of the Elias Underwood lot. He sold to Elijah Fuller and went west. Mr. Fuller and his young wife settled on this lot about 1805. He was industrious, economical and prudent, and left his property to his children. He died April 30, 1864, aged 87, and Ruth, his wife, Feb. 12, 1849, aged 68. Price French taught the school on the old turnpike in the Gilbert Barns neighborhood one or two winters. The school-house stood on the Gage lot, on the north side of the road, west of Mr. Barns' residence. It was the first school taught in that neighborhood. The first school in the town is said to have been kept by Nicholas Page.
William Griffin was one of the early settlers in Columbus. He came from one of the New England states, and became a well-known business man among the first settlers. He purchased a tavern stand on the turnpike at Columbus Center, owned by Jonathan Brownell, and kept the tavern several years. He died Oct. 5, 1838, aged 56, and Dolly, his wife, April 5, 1837, aged 57.
Sampson Spaulding, from Massachusetts, was one of the first settlers in the town. He purchased and settled on a wild lot near the head waters of Shawley brook in the neighborhood of Captain David Smith and Silas Ames.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held in the house of Jonathan Brownell, March 5, 1805, and the following named officers were elected: Tracy Robinson, Supervisor; Ambrose Hyde, Clerk; John Whitmore, Jared Clark and Drake Miller, Assessors; John Whitmore and Philip Gage, Poormasters; Joshua Lamb, Collector; Jonathan Hubby, Adam Dickey and Philip Gage, Commissioners; Joshua Lamb, Constable; Edward Williams, Joseph Doan and Redman Spurr, Fence Viewers; Jonathan Brownell, Pound Master; Samuel Calkin, Charles Carter, Esek Olney, Redman Spurr, Gerret Reed, Melvin Tuttle, Abel Hyde, Joseph Wilbur, Allen Cole, Josiah Rathbun, Gilbert Strong, Drake Miller, Thomas Richmond, Benjamin Bartlett, William Clark, Simeon Nutting, Stephen Sears, William Howard and Joseph Page, Overseers of Highways.
The following list of the officers of the town of Columbus for the year 1880-81, was kindly furnished us by Perry Warren:---
Supervisor---Deloss N. Matterson.
Town Clerk---Perry Warren.
Justices---Austin Barrows, Henry Crary (elected in the place of A. Barrow,) Hiram Gritman, Orson E. Lottridge, Charles Crego.
Assessors---Henry Lottridge, Warren H. Myers, Benjamin Cone.
Commissioner of Highways---Charles E. Clark.
Overseers of the Poor---B. Alvin Church, M. Lewis Jaquith.
Constables---Dennis Blackman, Edwin S. Maxson, Joseph M. King.
Collector---Irvin L. Richer.
Inspectors of Election, District No. 1---George H. McCall, Isaac Holmes, Irwin Langworthy.
Town Auditors---Orrin D. Larchar, Lewis E. Simmons, John K. Lloyd.
Game Constable---Gates E. Pope.
Excise Commissioners---Daniel G. Spaulding, Austin Barrows.
The following named persons have served the town as supervisors and clerks:---
|1805-6,||Tracy Robinson.||Ambrose Hyde.|
|1816,||Joshua Lamb.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1817.||Stephen Howard.||Ambrose Hyde.|
|1818.||Nathaniel Spurr.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1820.||Joshua Lamb, Jr.||do.|
|1825.||Elijah Smith.||Isaac Finch.|
|1826-'9.||Henry Crary.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1830.||Nathaniel Spurr.||Isaac Jones, Jr.|
|1835.||Benjamin Storrs.||Rensselaer W. Clark.|
|1838-9.||do.||Hiram E. Storrs.|
|1840.||Samuel Campbell.||Chauncey Carrier.|
|1841.||Josiah G. Olney.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1842.||Rensselaer W. Clark.||do.|
|1843-4.||Lewis Spurr.||Chauncey Carrier.|
|1845-6.||Hiram E. Storrs.||do.|
|1847.||Rensselaer W. Clark.||Chauncey Perkins.|
|1850.||Benjamin Storrs.||Timothy P. Bissell.|
|1851.||Royal D. Cone.||do.|
|1853.||do.||John L. Whitmore.|
|1854.||Chauncey Carrier.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1855.||Hiram E. Storrs.||John L. Whitmore.|
|1856.||Jefferson Spurr.||Benjamin Storrs.|
|1857.||Truxton G. Lamb.||Chauncey Carrier.|
|1858-60.||E. Darwin Hayward.||do.|
|1861.||Chauncey Carrier.||Earl Knight.|
|1862-3.||Nelson W. Matteson.||do.|
|1864.||E. Darwin Hayward.||do.|
|1865.||Almon L. Tuttle.||Orrin D. Larchar.|
|1867.||Samuel L. Brown.||Edwin P. Jones.|
|1868-9.||do.||Charles E. Cone.|
|1870.||Almon L. Tuttle.||do.|
|1871-2.||John L. Pope.||do.|
|1873-5.||Harlow R. Lamb.||do.|
|1879.||Deloss W. Matterson.||Dennis Blackman.|
Columbus is situated near the center of the town and is distant about 4¾ miles from New Berlin and 6½ miles from Sherburne, with both of which it is connected by daily stage. It contains three churches, (Congregationalist, Methodist Episcopal and Universalist,) a district school, one hotel, two stores, a steam saw and grist-mill, a cheese factory, a wagon shop, kept by A. D. Dutcher, two blacksmith shops, kept by Perry Warren and Elliot Sherman, a cooper shop, kept by Albert Talcott, two shoe shops, kept by Earl Knight and D. Lyon, and about a score of dwellings.
Elisha Morgan was engaged in mercantile business as early as 1810, at Columbus Corners, which was then more considerable of a settlement than the Center. He continued in trade till 1831.
Deacon Benjamin Storrs, from Connecticut was engaged in mercantile business at the Center, in company with his brother Lathrop, from 1815 to 1821, and subsequently alone till about 1831, when he was succeeded by his son Experience, who continued the business till this death, October 26, 1833. On the death of his son Experience, who continued the business till his death, October 26, 1833. On the death of his son Experience, Benjamin resumed the business, which after a few years, he sold to his son Hiram, who built the store now occupied by Larchar & Bryant, and traded there till 1856, when he failed.
John Beach was trading in 1819, in the building now occupied as a dwelling by Elliot Sherman, but remained only a few years, when he went west.
Abner Burlingame, cousin to Anson Burlingame, commenced business at the Center in 1837, and continued till 1848.
In 1847, before Myers commenced trading, Harvey Howard and E. Darwin Hayward were associated with Hiram E. Storrs about four months under the name of Storrs, Howard & Co., Storrs continuing till his failure in 1856. In 1856, Monroe Gates commenced trading in the Clark store and continued till about 1858, when he returned to Plainfield, Otsego county, whence he came. Wesley H. Lottridge, a native of Columbus, bought Gates' stock in the fall of 1858 and traded till 1863, when he sold to Silas Clark, who still continues the business.
The only other merchants engaged in business here are Larchar & Bryant, (O. D. Larchar and George M. Bryant.) The business was established in 1871, by Jerome Norton.
The earliest physicians in Columbus were Drs. Noah B. Foot and Tracy Robinson, though which was first is not certain. Dr. Foot located a half mile west of the village, but remained only a few months. Dr. Robinson located two and a half miles east of the village at what is known as Columbus Corners, where, at an early day, there was a post office, which was removed across the river to South Edmeston some forty years ago. Dr. Robinson removed previous to 1817 to Binghamton, where he became prominent and died.
Isaac Finch came from Saratoga county about 1807-10 and located a half mile east of the village, where he practiced till the spring of 1839, when he removed to Columbus Corners and practiced there so long as he was able.
Caleb G. Hall practiced here from about 1815 to 1835, when he went to New Berlin, where he continued till after 1840. He then returned to Columbus, practiced one year, and removed to Cooperstown, where he died.
Levi Hayward came from Saratoga county in 1812 and practiced with his brother-in-law, Dr. Isaac Finch, till 1814, when he removed to Solon. He returned to Columbus in 1817 and practiced here till 1821, when he removed to Edmeston. After practicing there three years he again returned to Columbus, locating at the Corners, where he remained till February, 1826, when he went to New Berlin, and died there March 25, 1827.
A. Buckingham came from Otsego county in 1826 and located at Columbus Corners, where he practiced about a year and removed to the Center, where he remained till 1830, when he removed to Sherburne. After a year or two he removed to Columbus, and two or three years later again removed to Sherburne and established himself in the drug business, mostly giving up medical practice.
Elias B. Harris came from Otsego, his native county, in the spring of 1847, and after two years' practice removed to Waterville, N. Y. Aristus Brown came from Edmeston, Otsego county, in 1858, and practiced one year, when he returned to South Edmeston.
The present physicians are E. Darwin Hayward and Benjamin Alvin Church.
E. Darwin Hayward was born in Solon, N. Y., June 10, 1814, and removed with his parents to Columbus in 1817.
Benjamin Alvin Church was born in Coventry, in this county, Sept. 11, 1855.
Although Columbus has been remarkably devoid of those elements which contribute to the support of the legal fraternity she has furnished a goodly number who have embarked in the legal profession. The following are the names of lawyers whose parents were early settlers in this town: John Tracy, John Hyde, John Morgan, Edwin D. Lamb, Ira Barnes, Silas Warren, Charles Fuller and Lewis Campbell.
The steam saw and grist-mill in Columbus village owned by Nicholas Richer, was built in 1876 by Goodnow, Richer & Co., on the site of one built by the same firm in 1873, and burned in the spring of 1876, in which year Mr. Richer purchased the interest of the remaining partners. It contains one log saw and one feed run, which are propelled by a thirty horse-power engine. It gives employment to three men in the manufacture of lumber and cheese boxes.
The hotel at Columbus was built by Jonathan Brownell at an early day, as early as 1805. It originally stood where the horse barn connected with it now stands, and was removed to its present location in 1834. Dennis Blackman, the present proprietor, bought the property of Lucius Marble Oct. 20, 1868. Mr. Blackman is also the postmaster and keeps the office in the hotel. He received the appointment Feb. 5, 1869.
CHURCHES.---The first religious services in the town were held in 1797, on the occasion of the funeral of Mrs. Dorcas Howard, whose death was the first in the town. The services were conducted by Elder Campbell, a Baptist preacher.
The Congregational church at Columbus village and the Free-Will Baptist church in the south part of the town were organized about the same time, 1806, and there was a strife between them for the benefit of the gospel lot belonging to this town which was located in the town of New Hartford. Their representatives met in Albany, whither they had gone to apply for the proceeds of the gospel lot; but the papers of neither were correct, and the proceeds of that lot were finally applied to the benefit of common schools by a resolution passed in the town meeting of March 3, 1812. The latter church ceased to exist some thirty years ago. Its legal existence dates from May 6, 1809, when, at the house of Noah Barnum, The First Baptist Church and Friendship Society was formed. Elder William Burch and Deacon Noah Barnum presided as judges of election, and David Cole, Peter German and Joseph Page were elected trustees.
A good deal of religious activity centered in this town at that period, for on the 6th of June of the same year, (1806) a convention to which Messrs. Ballou, Farewell, Flagg, Dean and Stacy were the delegates, met at the house of Alvin and Joshua Lamb, and organized The Western Association of Universalists of the State of New York. This was the first association of Universalists in the State, and the third organization of the kind in America.
The First Congregational Church of Columbus. On the 12th of June, 1806, Jared Clark and Lucy, his wife, Stephen Sears and Sarah, his wife, Gideon Peck and Sarah, his wife, Seth Stowel and Mary, his wife, Clarissa Williams and Wealthy Bardwell produced letters certifying to their good standing in other churches, and after due examination and listening to a sermon by Rev. Mr. Knapp, were constituted a church. David Dickey was chosen clerk; and at a meeting held in his house in Burlington, Dec. 5, 1806, Jared Clark and Stephen Sears were chosen deacons.
Jan. 28, 1814, it was incorporated as The First Congregational Society of the town of Columbus. The meeting for this purpose was presided over by John Tracy, and Oliver Stevens acted as clerk. Benjamin Storrs, was chosen treasurer, Elisha Morgan, collector, and Benjamin Storrs, James Williams, David Baker, Oliver Stevens, Walter Clark, David Dickey, John Tracy, Elisha Morgan and Sanford Lacy, trustees.
April 11, 1814, it was resolved to accept the proposition of Jonathan Brownell to lease for a building site a plot of ground on the corner between his own house and that of Benjamin Storrs, beginning at the junction of the turnpike with the road leading north by Benjamin Storrs, extending sixteen rods on the east side of that road and ten rods deep, at $7 per annum, Brownell agreeing to give a deed for the same at any time when the Society paid him $100. Elisha Morgan, Benjamin Storrs, and Walter Clark, were appointed a committee to agree with Gilbert Barnes or some other person to build the meeting-house. Oct. 15, 1815, the committee met to inspect the house to see if it was done according to contract, and "found a deficiency of nails in some part of the work," which Mr. Barnes agreed to supply. The cost of the house was $825. It was previously agreed, August 11, 1815, which is the first record of a meeting held in the church, to dedicate the house on Thursday, Sept. 21, 1815, and to invite Revs. Knight and Truair to attend. May 16, 1816, the seats were rented, the prices ranging from $1.75 to $13 for single seats. April 3, 1817, it was voted to buy the building site.
The records do not show who was the pastor previous to 1813. In the fall of that year Rev. Mr. Gleason entered upon his ministerial labors with this church and continued them till 1817. He was succeeded by Rev. Asa Donaldson; and March 14, 1818, it was "voted to attempt to raise money" for his support as a settled minister with a salary of $350 the first year, with an addition $10 annually till it amounted to $400. But notwithstanding this tempting prospective increase in salary he closed his labors some time in 1818. May 5, 1819, it was resolved to employ Rev. E. Conger to preach, the conditions being that the Society move his family from Hartwick to Columbus, find a house for them rent free, furnish his fire wood, keep a cow and horse, and give him $130. June 1, 1820, an agreement was made with Mr. Conger to preach one year on the following terms, viz: $300--$50 in cash at the beginning and end of the year, and the remainder in produce, also the use of the parsonage and a supply of fire wood, the year to commence May 1, 1820.
May 17, 1822, the question of extending a call to Rev. Charles E. Avery to become the settled pastor was considered. He was ordained Sept. 19, 1822. April 25, 1828, his request to be dismissed from the pastorate was granted. After the close of Mr. Avery's pastorate, Revs. A. Miller, Lilly Bradford, Ladd and Sidney Mills seem to have labored here for indefinite periods. Mr. Lily was apparently settled as pastor, in 1828. August 19, 1828, it was voted to hire Rev. A. Miller; and May 11, 1829, Rev. Mr. Bradford. Rev. C. W. Rexford was preaching previous to Feb. 26, 1830, and for eight or nine weeks subsequently. May 24, 1830, Mr. Lilly was present and it was voted to make an effort to employ him. He was hired two-thirds of his time for one year, for $200, including parsonage and wood. August 26, 1831, it was resolved to raise money for the support of Mr. Ladd from August 14, 1831 to May 1, 1832. August 17, 1832, it was voted to employ Rev. S. Mills three or four Sabbaths in addition to the two he had spent, and offer him $5 per Sabbath. Nov. 19, 1830, it was voted to raise $200 to compensate Mr. Mills for his services one-half time for one year, commencing Oct. 18, 1832. Dec. 7, 1833, it was resolved to give Rev. Isaac F. Adams $250 in addition to the $100 received from the Home Missionary Society, and the use of the parsonage.
Rev. Samuel F. Storrs succeeded Mr. Adams in the pastorate as early as July 19, 1839, and during his pastorate, in 1842, a new parsonage was built. April 24, 1843, Rev. Mr. Holmes was hired for one year from April 16, 1843, for $250 and the use of the parsonage. May 19, 1845, it was voted to hire Rev. Mr. Redfield the ensuing year at a like compensation. Jan. 17, 1848, it was voted to hire Rev. William R. Tompkins and pay him $300 and give him the use of the parsonage. He continued his labors till 1856, Sept. 29, of which year it was voted to be not advisable to attempt to raise the support of a minister the coming year. June 23, 1858, it was voted to fit the parsonage for the residence of Rev. John McLeish, Jr., and June 27, 1860, to circulate a subscription for the support of Rev. J. S. Jones for the ensuing year. Succeeding Mr. Jones the pulpit was supplied by Messrs. Davis, Bigger, Alden, Senky, Sheffield and Bickford, students from Auburn Theological Seminary, and Mr. Jaynes, of Auburn, from May till August 1869.
Feb. 5, 1872, an application was made to the American Home Missionary Society, for the appointment of Rev. Samuel F. Porter, late of Oberlin, Ohio, to preach for them for one year. March 1 following, Mr. Porter commenced his labors and closed them during the summer of 1874. Revs. E. G. Bickford and E. F. Atwood subsequently officiated and in September, 1875, a call was given the latter but declined. In November, 1875, a call was given to Rev. E. B. Bassett for one year from Nov. 1, 1875, and accepted. He continued his labors till March, 1877, and was followed July 8th, of that year by Rev. C. C. Johnson, who also officiated April 6, 1878. The present pastor is Rev. E. B. Turner, whose name first appears in that connection Jan. 11, 1879.
The number of members reported to the Association August 31, 1878, was 32---7 males and 25 females. The number of Sunday school scholars was 45; the number of families in the congregation, 18. The church was then without a pastor.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Columbus.---Early in the present century the Methodists in this vicinity were active in the promulgation of their denominational doctrines, though regular meetings were not held until 1816. In 1805 a quarterly meeting was held in Mr. Underwood's barn in Columbus and a warm discourse preached by Rev. Timothy Dewey. The following day a love feast was held, attended by a great concourse of people and among whom were those pioneers of Methodism, J. Jewell, presiding elder, J. Husselkus, Benoni Harris, Ebenezer White, and J. Billings.
In June 1816, six persons, viz: Levi Jaquith, Abigail Jaquith, Lydia Rexford, Levina Henderson, William Lottridge and Rhoda Watson, the number required to draw a circuit preacher, met at the house of John Lottridge and formed a Society. Meetings were held on Tuesday of each week, commencing at 10 o'clock A.M., in the house of John Lottridge during the winter and in his barn during the summer.
At this time Daniel Barnes and Paul Stowell were the circuit preachers who ministered to the little flock at Columbus, and like all others of their sect traveled on horseback from place to place, preaching two or three times every day. Two years after the organization of the Society there were seventy members, and this church was joined to the Brookfield circuit, Oneida district. After this meetings were held in the different school houses until 1845, when a church was built at Columbus Center, at a cost of $800. It was repaired in 1874, at a cost of $1,700.
Soon after their house of worship was built the church was transferred to the New Berlin charge, with which it is still connected. The present number of members is 52; the number of Sunday school scholars 44, teachers 5, and Bible class 12. The library contains 75 volumes.
Following is the succession of pastors, their usual term of service being two years. Many of them were returned after a few years had elapsed since their first pastorate, and for a number of years there were two on the circuit: Daniel Barnes, and Paul Stowell, Wesley Higgins and W. Brunson, Isaac Grant and Eben Doolittle, William Cameron and Anson Tuller, Doolittle and Baker, Cameron and Rogers, Lyman Beach and John Bailey, Martin Marvin and Lyman Eddy, Philo Ferris and J. C. Ransom, Moses Dunham, Francis Higgins, David Davies, Rosmond Ingalls, Dennison Higgins, William Southworth, E. W. Breckenridge, John Crawford, M. M. Tooke, Leonard Bowdish, Elijah P. Beebe, Charles Starr, Henry F. Rowe, Martin B. Cleveland, William W. Andrews, William Burnside, T. M. Williams, E. D. Thurston, O. L. Torry, Wm. A. Wadsworth, Chas. D. Shepard, Walter B. Thomas, R. W. VanSchoick, John Wood, L. A. Wild, N. J. Hawley, C. S. Shelland, the latter of whom is the present pastor.
The Universalist Society of Columbus was organized at a meeting of Universalists held in the red school-house in district number 1, March 14, 1836, of which Nathaniel Spurr and Richard Loyd were chairmen, and T. G. Lamb, clerk. A constitution was adopted and Lewis Spurr, Harvey Howard, Hiram Miller, Oliver Myers and Nathan Clark were trustees.
In June, 1843, action was first taken with reference to building a meeting-house; and July 1, 1843, it was resolved that the site therefore be at Columbus Center, that the estimated cost of the house be $1,500, and Abner Burlingame, M. Brown, L. Spurr, R. W. Clark and Harvey Clark were appointed a committee to circulate a subscription. Sept. 16, 1843, James T. Gillmore, E. D. Hayward, Harvey Howard, R. W. Clark and Lewis Spurr were appointed a building committee. The building was completed in 1844. Previous to the erection of the church meetings were held in the red school-house two and a half miles east of the village.
The first pastor was Rev. Zenas Cook, who left in 1845. He was succeeded by Rev. C. L. Shipman, from 1845 till October, 1849; Rev. A. R. Bartlett, one year from January, 1850; John B. Gilman, from 1851 to 1854; T. J. Smith, one year, in 1854; C. Starr Bailey, from 1856 till his death in July, 1859; Richard Coleman, two years from the fall of 1859; ___ _____; O. K. Crosby; William H. H. Herrington, some three years from about 1868; A. I. Rice, one year; O. K. Crosby, one year, in 1875; since which time Rev. D. Ballou, of Utica, has served them. The church is now undergoing extensive repairs and meetings have been held during the summer of 1879 in the hall over the hotel. There are some twenty-five members.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At the annual town meeting held Feb. 16, 1864, it was resolved that $500 be paid to each volunteer applied on the quota under the last call of the President, and be raised on bonds payable one year from the succeeding fall.
At a special town meeting held at the house of Jeremiah Medbury, July 12, 1864, the Town Board were authorized to raise not to exceed $600 for each volunteer to fill the quota under the prospective call for three years, one-half of the money necessary to be raised for that purpose to be paid Jan. 1, 1866, and the remainder Jan. 1, 1867. At an adjourned meeting at Medbury's Aug. 6, 1864, it was resolved to send Samuel L. Brown and Jeremiah Medbury, Jr., to Buffalo, or such other points as they deemed advisable, to look for volunteers. At a special meeting held at the same place Aug. 16, 1864, it was resolved to pay not to exceed $600 to such persons as were liable to the expected draft, who, before the draft, furnished a substitute for three years, to the number necessary to fill the quota under the last call for 500,000 men; that the Town Board have discretionary power to pay volunteers for one, two, or three years, such sums as they deemed advisable, not exceeding $600, to fill the quota; and that as soon as the Legislature approve the act, a sufficient tax be levied to pay each man who may be drafted under the last call $200, and the four men, (Jackson, Stone, Spaulding and Herrick,) drafted in 1863, $600 each.
At a meeting of the Board of Town Auditors at the house of J. Medbury, Jr., Aug. 19, 1864, it was resolved to pay a bounty of $500 to all volunteers for one year credited on the quota of the town; and at a meeting held at the same place, Aug. 24, 1864, it was resolved to increase that bounty to $600.
At a special town meeting held at Mr. Medbury's Jan. 2, 1865, it was resolved to pay $650 to Henry Holmes, Nicholas Richer, Charles E. Cone and Benjamin Cone as a bounty for each volunteer furnished by them for two or three years and credited on the quota under the late call for 300,000 men to the number of twenty, also to pay to each person liable to the draft who furnished a substitute for two or three years $650, when such substitute was credited on that quota. It was further resolved that if the quota was not filled by the above means the committee to be appointed by this meeting be authorized to use such means and pay such bounties as they deemed advisable, not to exceed $1,000 for two or three years, that the Town Board raise the necessary funds by loaning money and issuing town bonds therefore, or such other evidences of town indebtedness as they might find necessary, and that Nelson W. Matterson, Nicholas Richer and E. Darwin Hayward be said committee, whose necessary expenses and services were to be paid, and through whom all credits on the quota were to be made. The bonds were to be made payable, one-half the middle of December, 1865, and one-half the middle of December, 1866. The Board met at the same place and on the same day and resolved to issue bonds for the above purpose.
At the annual town meeting held Feb. 21, 1865, it was resolved to pay David Myers in town bonds $600, payable one-half Dec. 15, 1865, and one-half Dec. 15, 1866, as a bounty, he having re-enlisted Dec. 28, 1863, and been applied on the subsequent quota of the town. It was also resolved that the Board issue bonds for an amount sufficient to reimburse all persons who advanced money by subscription or otherwise to pay bounties to volunteers and the necessary expenses of filling the quota on the call of July 19, 1864, said bonds to be made payable, one-half Dec. 15, 1865, and one-half Dec. 15, 1866, and that a tax be levied by the Supervisor to pay the same.
Columbus furnished during the war 112 soldiers and 22 seamen, of whom 23 were natives of town and 8 substitutes. They were distributed among the following branches of the service: 1 each in the 5th, 12th, 46th, 121st, 134th, 147th, and 157th, 2 in the 61st, 4 in the 140th, 7 in the 76th, 19 in the 161st, and 26 in the 114th infantry regiments; 1 each in the 10th, 15th and 20th, and 2 each in the 2d and 8th cavalry regiments; 1 each in the 3d, (light,) and 16th, (heavy,) 6 in the 1st, (light,) and 15 in the 2d (heavy,) artillery; 1 in the 45th Wisconsin; 2 in the 8th Indiana battery; and 1 in the 1st United States sharpshooters.
|2||received a||town||bounty of||$ 25.00|
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