his little volume owes its existence to a desire, on the part of members of the Unadilla Valley Historical Society, to preserve valuable records which had their first and only previous publication in a local newspaper, of which probably not more than one or two files now remain.
The Society was so fortunate as to secure, some time ago, the loan of a complete file of the papers containing Mr. Hyde's historical articles, and at a meeting held December 11, 1905, their publication was discussed. A committee--Mr. George H. Willard, Miss Mary I. White and Mr. Horatio P. Ball---was appointed to consider the matter. This committee made its report at a meeting held April 16, 1906, and at the next meeting, June 11, 1906, it was decided by the Society to publish the papers, and the same committee was continued to take charge of the work.
In view of the value of Mr. Hyde's contributions of more than a generation ago to the history of the village and vicinity of New Berlin, at a time when others seem not to have been particularly concerned for the preservation of the data which he, perhaps better than anyone else then living, could give, it would appear that those now interested in the early annals of the community owe to his labors more than a passing acknowledgement.
For this reason, the committee early determined upon an attempt to make the work consigned to them something more than a plain pamphlet, and deemed it best not to confine it to a bare reprint of the papers.
To this end, a brief biographical sketch of Mr. Hyde has been included, with a portrait and an illustration of the little office which was the scene of his labors, and foot-notes have been appended where necessary to the elucidation of the text for the present generation.
The committee, while conscious that their work may be in many ways imperfect and unsatisfactory, pleads for the lenient consideration which inexperience should secure. Its members have regarded the work as a labor of love, and have earnestly tried to make this, the first publication of the Unadilla Valley Historical Society, something of a memorial to the annalist who, long after reaching the years of the Psalmist's allotment, was the pioneer historian of the Unadilla Valley.
he facts in the following sketch, and, indeed, much of its language, are taken from the files of the "New Berlin Gazette" and from a paper on "The Lawyers of New Berlin" by Harry J. Mosher, Esq., read before the Unadilla Valley Historical Society on February 13, 1905.
John Hyde was born at Franklin, Connecticut, June 24, 1791. His parents removed to Hartwick, Otsego county, in 1801, and from there to Columbus, Chenango county, the next year. For a time he attended school at Hamilton, finishing his school life there---and made his frequent visits to his home on foot, a distance of fourteen miles.
In 1811, he commenced the study of law with Stephen O. Runyan, a prominent attorney of Oxford, completing his studies with John Tracy, Esq., of the same place. While in Oxford, he for a time taught in its famous Academy.
Admitted to the bar in 1816, he began the practice of his profession in New Berlin in the same year, equipped with a law library consisting solely of four volumes of Blackstone, of the edition of 1799, which he had purchased from his preceptor, Mr. Runyan. These four volumes are still in the possession of his daughter. He at first occupied a portion of the office of Dr. Ebenezer Ross, the second physician to locate in New Berlin. This was situated on Genesee street, near the present residence of John L. Fuller. In 1821 he built on the property which he acquired on North Main street, the little brick office which he thereafter occupied, and which was for eighty years one of the landmarks of the village. It is shown, together with his residence in the background, in one of our illustrations. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of this State at the January term in 1821, his commission bearing the signature of Chief Justice Ambrose Spencer. Like most of the young men of that time, Mr. Hyde was interested in military affairs, and on May 3, 1816, he was commissioned Lieutenant in the 133d Regiment by Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins. March 9, 1820, Gov. De Witt Clinton made him Adjutant of the 190th Regiment, and on April 28, 1827, he was commissioned Judge Advocate of the Second Brigade of Horse Artillery.
On January 9, 1840, he was admitted to practice in the Court of Chancery in this state by Chancellor Reuben Hyde Walworth. This eminent jurist was distantly related to Mr. Hyde, and the latter's name appears in the Hyde genealogy compiled by the Chancellor.
Mr. Hyde was Town Clerk in 1821 and 1826, and President of the Village of New Berlin in 1853 and 1855. He took an active interest in political affairs, being a Whig in his earlier years, and identifying himself with the Republican party from its formation. He was witty as well as wise, with an excellent educational equipment for his times, and was a fine penman. His kindness, honesty and integrity commanded the esteem and respect of his fellow-citizens.
Among the students who gained a knowledge of the legal profession in his office were George Blakeslee and Levi Blakeslee, Jr., sons of that Levi Blakeslee after whom the village of New Berlin was first called Blakeslee's Corners. Another was John P. Usher, who came from Brookfield, was admitted to the bar in 1837, practiced in company with Mr. Hyde for two years, and then removed to Indiana, from which state he was called to the position of Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Lincoln.
Mr. Hyde married, in 1818, a daughter of Lemuel Bennett, of Pittsfield. She died in 1869, leaving one daughter, who still survives.
In the ninety-seventh year of his age, Mr. Hyde died at his home in this village on January 17, 1888, after an illness of only a few days, following an attack of paralysis. He remained in the fullest possession of his faculties up to his final illness, having never worn glasses, though able to read fine print during the last year of his life.
Mr. Hyde lived to an age when his recollections of early days and early settlers ante-dated that of any other living resident. Writing of him in an article in the "New Berlin Gazette" of May 8, 1886, Rev. E. T. Jacobs, who himself had been a pastor of the Baptist church in New Berlin almost half a century earlier, said:
"He remembers coming to New Berlin on an errand for his father, who was building a barn and wanted nails. Levi Blakeslee was keeping a store, the first in town, and the only one at that time. On calling for nails he was told to go to the blacksmith shop run by Peleg Fields, the first in town, and they would make some. There he found nails forged out, yet, like some of the boys in town, they had no heads. A young man was busy heading nails by putting them into the vice and a few strokes of the hammer flattened down the end and made a head. That young man was A. C. Welch, afterwards General Welch, distinguished as a military officer, a commanding figure on general training days so much enjoyed by young and old in ye olden times."
|I.||--- Historical Sketch|
|III.||--- The first emigrants|
|IV.||--- Anderson - Burlingame|
|IX.||--- Stoneman - Simmons - Harris|
|XI.||--- Arnold - Medbury|
|XII.||--- Hill - Dilley - Williams - Leach - Mayhew - Sherman - Burlingame|
|XIII.||--- Mathewson - Skinner - Kinney|
|XIV.||--- Sarle - Angell - Phelps|
|XV.||--- Vail - Taylor - Calkins|
|XVI.||--- Ambler - Rich - Mathewson - Sage|
|XVII.||--- Munroe - Chapin - Brewer - Pike - Winslow - Tammany|
|XVIII.||--- Welch - Medbury|
|XIX.||--- Medbury - Brown - Sherman - Knap - Chapel - Haight - Goodrich|
|XX.||--- Welch - Clark - Walker - Dyer|
|XXI.||--- Judson - Cheney - Coleman - Hatch - Bivens - Atherton - Van Dyke - Thompson|
|XXII.||--- Hills - Hooper - Moffatt - West - Angell - Hill - Cowan - Bradford|
|XXIII.||--- Church histories|
|XXIV.||--- Foote - Ross - Hurd - Loomis - (Unavailable for the forseeable future.)|
n the Fourth day of July, 1776, the Congress of the United Colonies agreed to the Declaration of Independence, the delegates signed it and published it by order of Congress. From that period the Fourth of July has always been celebrated as the anniversary of the birth-day of the nation.
And on the 4th of July, 1876, the nation numbers one hundred birthdays. The Genius of Liberty still presides in our councils, and the flag of the nation retains its accustomed place on the dome of the capitol, emblem of the national character and evidence that the union of the United States remains unimpaired and the people of all the States may celebrate the centennial birthday of the nation as free citizens.
In the early days of the Republic the topics that occupied the thought, and claimed the attention that occupied the thought, and claimed the attention on 4th of July celebrations, where the causes which incited to action and aroused the people to declare their right to withdraw all allegiance from the British crown, and be admitted into the family of nations as a free and independent State.
Then, on such occasions the patriots, statesmen and soldiers who had been actors in the grand drama of the Revolution formed the audiences to listen, and to hear recounted the battles fought and won by the oppressed against the oppressor in the sacred cause of freedom in resisting the arbitrary power of the British monarch, and to discuss, explain and comment upon the Declaration of Independence, and the principles therein contained.
But the seats of the patriots and the statesmen and the soldiers at the centennial celebration are vacant; they are no more an audience to hear the Declaration of Independence read, and the noble deeds performed to uphold and maintain it rehearsed. A new generation occupy their place, but freedom's cause for which they had toiled and fought, survives the wreck of time and the limit of human life, and the blessings of the Constitutional Government, established by our ancestors, continue to be enjoyed by all the inhabitants of the land.
Having on the battlefield overturned and confuted the doctrine of the divine right of kings to rule over and oppress unwilling subjects, and established the more consistent and rational creed, that all men are created equal, and by force of arms, compelled the British monarch to acknowledge the independence of the thirteen United States, and having established a free and independent government, a new field of enterprise engaged the attention of New England's busy, industrious, working men, who, with promptitude entered upon the work of extending the benefits of civilization into the wilds and securing homes for the surplus population of the Atlantic States.
A large tract of wild land on the west side of the Unadilla river was included in a territory within the twenty townships ceded to the State by the Indians, in a treaty held by George Clinton at Fort Schuyler, September 22, 1788. This tract is sometimes called Clinton's purchase, and sometimes called the Governor's purchase, and in 1793, Feb'y. 14th, the 16th township was sold by the state to John Taylor, of the city of Albany, who together with John I. Morgan, William Simmons, and Mr. Boyd, of the city of New York, became the owners, and also the owners of the 17th township at the same time. These owners made a division of the lots into a ballot box, and each person alternately drawing out the number to be his lot. The twenty towns were formerly designated by their numbers, now by the names since given them.
The twenty towns were laid out each six miles square and subdivided into 250 acre lots as near as could conveniently be done. The sixteenth township contained 18,713 acres, and the adjoining town, seventeenth township, 18,068 acres. The land after the division had been made, was offered for sale to settlers, and at once attracted the attention of the eastern people or Yankees, as the Indians called the white people when they first came among them on the Atlantic coast.
The sixteenth township began to be settled in the latter part of the last century, by these eastern Yankees mostly. Some came from the land of johnny-cakes and clams, some from the land of blue laws, wooden clocks and tin peddlers, and others from the land of Boston notions and Salem witches.
The emigrants who first undertook to settle this wild forest, encountered the privations and difficulties of frontier life, with strong Yankee resolution and toiled and worked and labored until the sixteenth township was changed from a wilderness into cultivated farms, and the hills and valleys, where unmolested once roamed the wolf, the panther and the bear, now feed choice breeds of domestic animals, the pride of the farmer and the wealth of the town.
aniel Scribner was one of the first emigrants who settled in the sixteenth township. He came with his family1 into the town in 1790, and settled on a lot on the west side of the Unadilla river, and opposite the place called the Indian Fields, and near the celebrated sheet of water called Shacktown Pond,2 and a Jew who had a tract of land called the Jew's Patent, had laid out a city in embryo adjoining the pond, which project, had it been carried into execution, would have made Mr. Scribner's location an important situation in process of time, being on the opposite bank of the river. But the Jew died, and the city advanced no farther in the process of civilization than to become a cow pasture.
Mr. Scribner built a large and commodious log house on a high piece of ground a short distance from the river, commanding a fine view of the valley up and down the river, and the scenery on the other side. He kept tavern several years. The sixteenth township at that time was part of Norwich and town meetings and elections were held at his house part of the time, and at Amasa Mead's or Hascal Ransford's taverns on the Chenango river at other times. Mr. Scribner was an industrious, prudent farmer, and with the help of his two sons, Samuel and Gamaliel, who were nearly grown up, he soon cleared up his farm.
Neighbors were "few and far between" in those days, but were kind and friendly. Among the many inconveniences attendant upon the fully realized by the first settlers was the difficulty of procuring their corn ground into meal, the nearest grist mill being at a far-off distance up the Susquehanna river, and none but water communication to the mill. To lessen the burden of this domestic grain-grinding necessity the neighbors united together and brought their bags of grain to Mr. Scribner's house. A canoe, dug out of an immense pine tree, was duly launched into the Unadilla river and the grists put on board.
Two men, though sometimes only one, took charge of the cargo and away they sped down the crooked Unadilla river into the Susquehanna, and up that river to the grist mill, situated on Oake's creek, about two miles from its mouth, where it empties into the Susquehanna river. This creek is the outlet of Schuyler's Lake, and this mill was erected in 1790. The voyage to and back from the grist-grinding expedition took about a week and sometimes longer. In fair weather the voyage was pleasant sailing along the river current under the branches of the overhanging forest trees, and when could be seen on the distant hill-side the antlered deer sporting in their native wilds with their young fawns, or the white lake gulls floating in the air winging their flight from one lake to another, and, cheering on in their peculiar sounding voices, flocks of wild ducks might be seen in the coves swimming about heedless of the passing canoe, for as yet they had not learned the danger and inhumanity of man. But sometimes adverse weather met the inland mariners and compelled them to take shelter on the shore during the dark and tempestuous night. Then might be heard the muttered growling of the wolf, and other wild beasts sounded discordant notes on the unwilling ear and too near to permit quiet sleep to the weary travelers. But escaping "the perils of flood and field," the inhabitants were made glad by the safe arrival of provisions to relieve their half-famished families when the voyage was of a protracted length of two weeks' duration, as sometimes happened.
Incidents sometimes occurred among the early settlers, partaking of the ludicrous in the development. As well as difficult and dangerous in the performance. An instance of the kind took place on Doctor Dan Foote's farm,3 the river runs below Mr. Scribner's. Dr. Dan Foote was one of the first settlers, an amiable man, a good neighbor and skillful in his profession, and was possessed of a strong and determined resolution, well calculated to meet and surmount the difficulties and dangers of a frontier and any jeopardy, come how it might.
At considerable expense and trouble he had become the owner of a valuable porker, an animal detested by the Jews but liked by Christians, as well as certain savage roamers of the forest. This porker was installed in a tenement, with a nice litter of pigs almost full grown. A dense swamp was on one side of the pen, and a high, steep hill on the other. This pig family, on one eventful summer's day, gave the alarm that a savage foe had broken in upon them, by boisterous loud squealing signs of distress. It was a favorable opportunity for the pilferer; the Doctor and his men Esquire Marvin and Elisha Marvin were absent in a distant hayfield at work, and none but women were left to guard the premises. The women, on hearing the commotion, went out to discover the cause, and soon found that a huge black bear, the monarch of the forest, who in right of his forest law, had seized and taken possession of one of the best members of the hog family, was in the very act of pulling the unwilling member out of the pen. The signal horn was blown, but before the expected aid arrived the ravenous prowler had dragged his bleeding victim away up the mountain path, and into the sheltering woods, where, undisturbed, he could feed on the swine-flesh, his favorite food, at his leisure. But the avengers were on his track and found him in his lair before he had finished his dinner.
The Doctor came, armed with a shot-gun, and immediately discharged it at the bear. As the gun was fired, the Doctor's dog rushed in and the bear pulled him in under. Doctor Foote then struck the bear with his unloaded gun, to save the dog. The bear, good a gymnastic exercises, warded off the blow and hauled under Doctor Foote. Elisha Marvin cam to the rescue and was put under. Esquire Marvin followed in to help, and shared a like fate with the rest; all under the supreme strenght of the bear. So far the "wager of battle" between civillized man and brute force, in regard to the question of title to the hog, appeared to be in favor of the captor, and the bear likely to finish his dinner without further interruption. The dog in the confusion had extricated himself and ingloriously fled, howling, home, covered with blood. In the meanwhile the bear had his three assailants down and apparently at his mercy, but Dr. Foote managed to get his pocket knife out, and with one hand and teeth, to open it, his other hand being confined, and with the dexterity and knowledge of a practical surgeon, struck one vigorous blow aimed at the heart. The blow was fatal; the old bear arose off his wounded assailants, left them, staggered down the hill a few rods and fell dead. Civilized arts of war were victorious over brute force. When the dog arrived home covered with wounds and blood, the women, anxious for the fate of their friends, sent a young man by the name of Franklin to ascertain, who met the bear in the midst of its last struggle in the agonies of death, and as the bear fell and began to roll down hill, the messenger turned and fled back, supposing the bear to be in pursuit of him, and told the women that the men were all dead. He was then sent to ask Elder Camp, who lived on the other side of the river to come over and help them. The young man, when he came to the bank of the river, the canoe being on the other side, yelled to the Elder and told his errand, and said that there were four men dead, "Dr. Foote, Esquire Marvin, Elisha Marvin and myself, all killed by a bear." Stronger minds than this boy had, have conceived more irrational things by illusion of the imagination than this boy did when he included himself among the number killed because he was "chased" by a dead bear.
Soon after, Elder Camp came over to assist in performing the last sad duty the living owe to the dead, the supposed dead men arrived home from the battle-field somewhat disfigured by the casualties of war, blood-stained by wounds, limbs torn and scratched, clothes rent, fingers bitten, but all safe from serious danger.
They received the congratulations of friends for the narrow escape and much rejoicing was had over the carcass of the grim old dead bear, who, while living had been the pest and terror to the whole neighborhood, as much as was the wolf killed by "old Put," of Revolutionary memory; and for this noble, hazardous and perilous undertaking of dr. Dan Foote, he deserves to go down to posterity with as much credit for killing the ferocious bear, as did Gen. Putnam for killing the wolf. Let their names be associated in the narration, and the stories of the wolf and the bear be told on the same page in the future school book editions.
NOTE---The site of the old Scribner tavern mentioned in the foregoing paper, is located on the farm now owned by L. S. Chapin.
he first emigrants who began a settlement in the town of New Berlin, were oftentimes sorely troubled for provisions before they were able to clear up their wild lands and raise crops for bread. Many times has the mother been obliged to send her children supperless to their bed, while the husband and father was absent, traveling the forest path to a distant settlement in quest of food to supply the family wants.
Having located his lot, the first important business for the emigrant is to build a log house, a family residence. For this purpose he selects a place near a spring of water or a running brook and clears it off, ready for the erection of his dwelling house, to be composed of materials furnished by his own labor. With his woodman's axe, he cuts down trees of suitable size and of proper length intended for the dimensions of the building and a sufficient number for the height. Those logs are to form the body of the building. Poles of suitable size and length are cut for the rafters. Elm bark supplies the place of shingles and basswood logs split into slabs furnish the floor.
All being ready, the neighbors are invited to a log house raising. The main building is to be made of logs packed upon each other, and the ends interlocked by a dovetail process of construction, belonging to the ingenuity of a backwoodsman in the art of house building.
The building is made without the aid of the square and compass or any other of the carpenter's tools, or nails or iron or glass and like Solomon's temple, "there was neither hammer or any tool of iron (except the axe) heard in the house while it was building." The roof is made of bark, peeled from the elm and tied on to the rafters with strings made of the inner rind of the bark, and the floor is made of split basswood slabs.
A "house warming," is considered proper for the introduction of the new comers into their new abode and to the more intimate acquaintance of their neighbors. A pastime called a "log-rolling bee" was not infrequent amongst the early settlers. After the "summer fallow" had been prepared, the trees felled and cut into log-rolling length, and the brush heaps burned, the neighbors are invited to a log-rolling bee. On the day appointed they come with their ox-teams, the logs are drawn and rolled into heaps, and the united strength of kind neighbors accomplishes a work which could not have been performed by one man alone. An agricultural log-rolling of former days smutted the outward man and his clothes; political log-rolling of the present day bedaubs the inner man and his reputation.
At these social gatherings of the roundabout settlers, mirth and merriment mingled with the labors of the day, and cheerful and national songs enlivened the workmen; resounding in freedom's choicest notes and loud echoing through the woods might be heard, "Hail Columbia, happy, happy land." In the primitive society of New Berlin, the divine command, "Love thy neighbor as thou lovest thyself," seems to have been literally fulfilled in the mutual assistance rendered to each other.
Raising of crops on new land was simple and the tools of husbandry were equally so. In planting corn the turf was turned up with a hoe, kernels of corn tucked under the turf turned back, and no farther labor was required but to keep the fire-weeds down until the corn harvest. Grain was sowed and harrowed in with a two pronged. Wooden-tooth harrow, and harvested with a reaper's sickle, threshed with a flail and winnowed with a fan. Grass was mowed by a scythe, raked by hand and drawn on a sled to the stack or barn. Stumps and roots prevented the plough from being used in fixing the land for crops, or other machines for gathering them.
Flax was raised for summer clothing for family, for there were no cotton factories. Flocks of sheep furnished wool for winter garments. Wives and daughters were good spinners and made fine linen out of flax, and cloth out of the tow, and flannel out of wool which the clothier manufactured into cloth, some for women's wear, and some for men's wear. This kind of family clothing furnished a better protection against the summer's heat or winter's cold than can be had in this age of boasted improvement. Children were allowed to tumble about in coarse, loose dress, unshackled by gewgaw wrappings, enjoying the free use of their limbs; no steelspring carriages with stuffed seats to weaken the muscles and enfeeble the body. Girls and boys were early taught in the school of industry, acquiring habits of prudence and economy; success in after life was the result.
In that economical age of New Berlin's history, the tailor, with his yard stick, shears, needles, thimble, pressboard, and goose, went from house to make up the winter clothing for the family. The shoemaker did not forget his vocation, and with his knife, wax, awls, strap, lasts and bench went his rounds, to mend, patch and make the family shoes and boots. And while the emigrants were engaged in clearing up their lands and providing food and clothing for their families, they were not unmindful that other duties were incumbent on them to perform in aid of civilization and the maintenance of social relations.
Common schools were founded, school districts formed, log school-houses provided, and school-masters employed during the winter months and school-mistresses during the summer season, to teach the common school branches of education. The parents paid the teachers' wages in proportion to the number of scholars they sent to school. This early attention to common school education by the first settlers of New Berlin has been the direct productive agent in the growth and prosperity of the people.
In the arrangements for the general welfare, religion was not overlooked. Religious meetings were held in school houses, in barns or in dwelling houses, as convenience directed. The ministers were usually supported by contributions, seldom by salaries. Occasionally there might appear one, who, like the apostles of old, preached without money and without price, and his doctrine was considered to be orthodox and sound in the cause of Christianity. Missionaries sometimes found their way into the infant settlements and at such times large gatherings from every quarter of the neighborhood came forth to hear the glad tidings of the gospel preached, and with a sincerity and honesty of purpose, equal to the well dressed congregations of the present time.
amuel Anderson and Silas Burlingame were the first settlers on Lots 76 and 77, being the two lots which are now the village of New Berlin. Samuel Anderson came up from the old Bay State and made his settlement the latter part of the eighteenth century and erected his dwelling on the north bank of the creek running through the village and between the creek and where now stands S. L. Morgan's store.4 Mr. Anderson was active and industrious, possessed good abilities, and was appointed a justice of the peace under the old Council of Appointment. He sold some of his land for building lots, and other parts of it for agricultural purposes until all was sold and he went to live among his children. By trade he was a carpenter. His wife died several years before the family left the old house to strangers.
Silas Burlingame immigrated from Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and came on to lot 77 about the same time Anderson came on to the other lot. He built his dwelling house some rods east of the south village street and southeast of the Bank. He had several children, some of whom settled near him. Josiah Burlingame, his eldest son, built his house near where the old factory store now stands.5 His barn yet remains as one of the old landmarks of former times.
Josiah taught the first school in New Berlin. Another son, Daniel, was a preacher of the gospel, and he built his dwelling house on the village east street near the river bridge. Joey Burlingame was born in that house and he was the father of Anson Burlingame, who will claim particular attention, not only as a prominent member of the Burlingame family, but for his pre-eminent public life. Joel, his father, emigrated to Oregon, and was a delegate to the convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln as a candidate for the office of President of the United States. At that time he revisited the place of his nativity and gave to the writer of this article much information relating to his son Anson, and his younger days.
Anson Burlingame, whose native place New Berlin claims to be, received in his youth a common school education, under old-fashioned school-masters in old-fashioned times when pure English language in its true proper idiom was considered an important branch in a young man's education. He was faithful and diligent in acquiring a thorough knowledge of the art of speaking his own language with propriety and effect. As he advanced in years he made the science of government and the social relations of nations with each other his peculiar study. He was elected a member of Congress from the city of Boston, where he had resided some years, and was a member of Congress, when the disgraceful attack was made by Congressman Brooks upon Charles Sumner.
On that occasion Anson Burlingame, in language strong, earnest and energetic, exposed the brutal conduct and cowardice of Preston Brooks to the indignant scorn and contempt of the public. For this public arraignment of Congressman Brooks for his misdeeds, he is sensitively affected. His southern courage has been called in question, his honor tarnished. Blood must wipe out the stain. The code of chivalry must be enforced. A challenge is promptly given and accepted. But Bob Acres' courage oozes out, he withdraws his challenge and remains a stigmatized coward the rest of his life, shunned by all good citizens for his dastard and treacherous assailment of his defenceless victim.
Mr. Burlingame attained a high position in the estimation of the public for his manly defence of his fellow-townsman and intimate friend, and for his stern and inflexible integrity in the discharge of his duty while a member of congress.
President Lincoln appointed him on a mission to the Chinese government. In this new employment he broke through all the barriers which for ages had prevented any national intercourse between the Chinese people with the outer world. He induced the Chinese government to enter into a treaty with the United States, a condescension never before yielded to any nation. And so skillfully and prudently did Mr. Burlingame proceed in his negotiations that the pride and pomp and circumstance of this oriental nation was quieted, and gave way to the reasoning powers of the plain American statesman. Their grave men listened and became convinced of the advantage of entering into a treaty of commercial intercourse with the western nations, and the Chinese government took Mr. Burlingame into their councils, and appointed him plenipotentiary to negotiate treaties of commerce with all other nations. But in the midst of this extraordinary and arduous undertaking, he fell a victim to the rigor of a Russian winter. This brief reference to Hon. Anson Burlingame belongs to and forms a part of the history of his native town, New Berlin.
t is not saying too much to say that Levi Blakeslee, Charles Knap, Joseph Moss and Jeremy Goodrich, were the chief architects and builders of New Berlin's success. Levi Blakeslee left his native state, the land of steady habits and Puritan principles, and came up to York State, to teach the Dutch the English language. He commenced his school-master's calling in a Dutch settlement about twenty miles on the west side of Albany, at a place where Cheeseman kept a store and tavern. Cheeseman discovered in young Blakeslee, qualities more fitting for other pursuits than the one he had chosen, and furnished him with goods to commence the merchant's trade in some new settlement. It was near the end of the eighteenth century that Mr. Blakeslee purchased a building lot of Silas Burlingame, on the corner where now stands the store of E. R. Fuller.6 He built a small one-story dwelling house and store under one roof. The place was known by the people of former times as Blakeslee's Corners. He became a successful merchant and was energetic in the management of his business affairs. In the mean time settlers had made large improvements---their farms were productive, surplus crops of wheat were raised, and the distant market and impassable roads required a remedy. To provide for the contingency, Mr. Blakeslee entered into a plan of conveying grain to market by water. He built a large kind of boat called an ark, and took a cargo of wheat down the Unadilla and Susquehanna rivers to Baltimore. But it was found that the transportation of grain to market by water was too hazardous and expensive, and the experiment was not renewed, and the farmers were left to draw their wheat by horse power over the hills, a distance of ninety-six miles to the Albany market.
Other branches of industry engaged Mr. Blakeslee. He built a paper mill on the site where the mill of Daniel Harrington, Esq., now stands.7 In those days paper was made by hand, with the help of very little machinery. The paper was pressed by a screw press turned with a lever, and dried in the sun or air in an open room on tente bars. The process from the pulp made from rags to paper ready for use was slow and the work required the labor of many persons. Now, with the newly invented machinery used for making paper, the pulp starts from the tub on its journey to be transformed into paper, traveling on its way over different sets of rollers and at one place over heated air, and when it arrives at the end it is fit for immediate use. The time required to turn the pulp into finished paper is the work of but few moments, such has been the inventive genius in paper-making since the art was first practiced by Mr. Blakeslee. Mr. B. gave much aid to public improvements in the village. He was one of the principal persons to procure our first village charter, and he aided in obtaining the sixteenth township to be set off from the town of Norwich, and named New Berlin, in honor of Silas Burlingame, one of its first settlers. The act was passed April 3d, 1807. He owned the land where the Episcopal church stands, and the old burying ground, al of which he donated to the society for the purposes to which it has been applied, besides giving money to help build the first church thereon erected. He had a large family of children, and after they had grown up he moved into one of the western states, and the old homestead passed into the possession of strangers. One only of his children remained in New Berlin, Mrs. Burch, widow of Dr. Burch, deceased, who lives in the house built by her husband, a skillful physician and a worthy member of society. He and his family belonged to the Episcopal church and gave much assistance to the choir department.
HARLES KNAP came to New Berlin in the spring of 1801, and commenced the business of tanning leather. The same spring he married Betsy Loomis, a daughter of Thomas Loomis, a soldier of the revolution. He had learned the trade of James Averil, of Cooperstown, as an apprentice. When he commenced the tanning business his means were limited to a few vats, a small building to work in and an old fashioned mill with a large stone wheel propelled by an old horse driven by a boy around a circle, to crush the bark for his little tannery, which by the careful management and industrious habits of Mr. Knap gradually increased in capacity until from small beginnings his tannery became a large and profitable establishment, and enabled him to extend his business into other branches of industry. He built an oil-mill to manufacture flax-seed into oil, erected a woolen factory, and made cloth from sheep's wool, and built the brick store now owned by Capt. J. S. Bradley. In the business of merchandise and manufacturing of woolen cloth, Gen. H. DeForest was a partner with him. Gen. DeForest was a resident of New Berlin, and then owned the premises where S. L. Morgan now resides.8 Mr. Knap was once the president of the Chenango County bank, and his son Tracy S. Knap, was the president of the First National bank of New Berlin, on its organization. Mr. K. and his wife were members of the Episcopal church, and among its main supporters. Some of their children were also members. Mr. Knap was a hard working, industrious man always, prudent and economical, and his wife was a willing and skillful helper in all that pertained to domestic indoor household affairs. They were much esteemed and respected in society.
Joseph Moss was one of the early settlers of New Berlin. For a time he boarded with Josiah Burlingame, and paid his board-bill by cutting fire-wood, which service was performed morning and evenings; the intervening time he was engaged in his daily labor of making labor of making leather into shape to fit customers. That economy of time in the beginning saved his trade labor earnings and laid the foundation of his after-life success. The young mechanics of modern times, if they would take heed, might profit by such examples. In 1812, the Farmers' and Mechanics Manufacturing Company was chartered, and Mr. Moss was made agent of the company. In this new capacity he devoted himself with untiring zeal. Under his supervision a dam across the Unadilla river was made, and a canal from thence to the place of business---a small wooden building, where the manufacture of cotton cloth was commenced. The yarn was spun by water-power machinery, but woven into cloth by hand, as water-power looms were not yet in use. Weavers from near and distant neighborhoods were employed to weave the yarn into cloth. The weavers took the yarn at the factory, carried it to their homes, wove the yarn into cloth, and returned the cloth to the factory. The quantity of yarn was ascertained when taken and the number of yards of cloth was found by measurement when returned, leaving no loop-hole wherein dishonesty might enter to disturb the quite and fair dealing between the parties. By the strict, prudent, and careful management of the factory interest, the business of making cloth increased to such an extent that it was deemed advisable to enlarge the buildings, accordingly, in 1827, a large stone factory building was erected and water-power looms supplied the place of hand looms. That building caught fire by accident in the same season and was destroyed, and was re-built in 1828, and the business continued under the agency of Mr. Moss, until 1849, when the business agency was terminated. The company business by the prudent and careful management of Mr. Moss and his son Horace Moss, yielded goodly profits to the owners, and the toilers were liberally paid for their labor. Mr. Moss accumulated a fair compensation and heritage for the faithful performance of the trust. The family mansion built by Mr. Moss is now owned and is the residence of his son Horace Moss and family. 9
The factory having passed into the possession of new owners, and being no longer under the control and guidance of its once careful, experienced and capable directors, success was transient and uncertain. With one owner it was a sorry jade and proved a failure---with another a glimmering of success marked its onward course, passing from one owner to another until finally amid the whirl of its wheels and spindles and weaving looms, a little pebble ignited the mass of combustible cotton and the ruins now show where once stood the old cotton manufactory building.
EREMY GOODRICH came up from the land of steady habits and wooden nutmegs and settled in New Berlin towards the last of the eighteenth century. He was married to Lydia Downing, a daughter of widow Abigail Downing. She at that time lived in a log house on Capt. Samuel White's farm, nearly opposite the old brewery, where it then stood. After their marriage Mr. Goodrich, his wife and Mamma Downing, as she was familiarly called, resided together as one family the remainder of their lives. Mr. Goodrich commenced manufacturing black salts into pot and pearlash. For this purpose he bought the salts from farmers, who, when clearing their lands in burning the log heaps, took the ashes accruing therefrom and leached the ashes and boiled the lye into black salts. In the new settlement of the town, the business of clearing the lands and boiling black salts, as the term was used by back-woodsmen was an important affair, for that was the only product relied on to obtain money to pay for the farms. No other product could be sold for money in those primitive days of our early settlers. Mr. Goodrich's ashery was on the north side of the village creek near the North street bridge, where he had a long row of potash kettles set in arches to boil salts into potash and ovens to make pearlash.
The business was profitable to him and advantageous to the settlers, making a market for their salts. In the spring days might be seen ox-teams with sled loads of salts coming down the mountain paths in every direction and wending their way to Goodrich's ashery, with their loads, and when arrived await their turn to have their salts weighed and receive their money. On such occasions the crowd of business seemed almost equal around the ashery to the cheese and butter business in modern times around the depot. In the one case the money obtained from the sale of the proceeds was applied in payment for farms, in another in payment for luxuries mostly.
Mr. Goodrich became the owner by purchase of the land where the ashery stood on both sides of the creek, down to the Unadilla river. On the south side of the brook he built a small house, where for a time he sold merchandise and in the progress of business he erected a large wood building fronting the east and north streets. The eastern part was made into a dwelling for the family, and the other part was made into a large store in which he carried on the mercantile business for many years, in connection with his pearlash business. He also kept tavern in that building for a while. He was postmaster some years. In that home dwelling, Mr. Goodrich, his wife and her mother resided until their decease. Their habits were peculiar, seldom mingling in social intercourse with their neighbors.
Mr. Goodrich, somewhat deficient in common school education, was nevertheless, a correct business man in all his dealings. He had a capacity to determine things rightly, but he was much aided in all his affairs by the assistance of Mrs. Lydia, a term he always applied to his wife, and Mamma Downing, who took an active part in the selling of goods, etc., and he never made a bargain without consulting with "Mrs. Lydia and Mamma." It was an old and trite observation that "they were his right hand men."
After the lands became cleared up and the facilities for making potash no longer existed, he closed up the business and built a tannery on the creek near the river. In that business he was successful and made it his principal occupation during the remainder of his life. He also purchased a piece of land on the south side of the east street extending from South street down East street to the Charles Medbury homestead lot. On the corner lot opposite his store, he kept bees in large numbers of hives. That piece of ground is now occupied by a tavern and the hum of the busy bee colony in their daily toil, is changed into the humdrum discordant sounds of barroom loungers.
Mr. Goodrich died in 1830, at the age of 62 years, leaving a valuable property earned by his industry and the help of his female co-workers, but no child to inherit his estate. Mamma Downing survived him eleven years. She died in 1841 at the age of 93 years. She was born nearly a quarter of a century before the Revolution, and retained the full vigor of her mental faculties to the last period of her existence. The writer of this article wrote her will but a few months before her decease and makes the statement from personal knowledge in regard to her mental faculties. She was a remarkable woman.
The Goodrich estate was made the subject of long, acrimonious litigation after his decease, by the distant relatives of his wife. As in the usual event of such things, lawyers claimed deodands on the dead man's estate and consequently in the final distribution between the legal profession and wranglers, a few thousand dollars only found lodgement with a grand-daughter of Mr. Jeremy Goodrich's wife. Thus ended the Goodrich property. A few years after his decease his tannery caught fire and was consumed, but has never been rebuilt.
No relation now owns any part of his estate which he died seized of. On the bank of the creek where his ashery business was carried on, now stands two sumptuous, enticing buildings. Within are large, magnificent and splendid rooms furnished with tables covered with rich green baize cloth. On the tables are a number of round balls of different colors and long slender poles, and around these tables may be seen young men, youth and middle-aged men, day after day, and night after night, toiling with anxious faces, pushing with those long poles, the balls around on the table, gradually melting away the patrimony their ancestors acquired by honest labor. The store part of the Goodrich building has been taken down and the place remains vacant,10 except a small round music building erected on the corner. The Goodrich dwelling for the family remains, and is now owned and occupied by Lewis Brown, a son of the late Judge Barnabas Brown, one of the oldest settlers, and who will be noticed more particularly in a subsequent article.
RTEMAS HERRICK, with some kinsmen and families moved up country and settled on lot 74 in New Berlin while the town was a wilderness, except here and there a bit of clearing and a log house where the smoke in curling circles arising about the forest tree-tops showed the advance of civilization into the western wilds and the places where it was being commenced. Marked trees exhibited the line of communication and the forest paths the common road for wayside travelers. Gideon Peck and his wife wee an aged couple when they left their native home in Connecticut to make their abode in a new country log cabin, but they lived to see large improved farms take the place of the wild woods, their own log-cabin changed into a comfortable framed dwelling-house, and grandchildren growing up around them, and that they wee ending their days in a thickly settled neighborhood. They were respected for their kindness and hospitality. The ten acre lot which Mr. Peck owned is the same lot that Mr. Porter now owns, and the log house stood on the hill to the west side of the road and framed dwelling-house in which they lived afterwards, stood at the foot of the east side of the road. Both buildings have long since been torn down and removed.
Mr. Artemas Herrick was an enterprising, energetic pioneer in the new settlement. He erected a dam across the Unadilla river adjoining his farm and built a gristmill and sawmill, two things much needed. They were the first mills built on the Unadilla river, with the exception of Job Vail's mill which dates about the same time. It was a great benefit to the inhabitants when the mills were completed and commenced business. It relieved them of the burden of traveling to a distant mill to have their grain ground, or the more tedious process of pounding it in a mortar, which necessity sometimes required the first settlers to do.
The Herrick farm and the Herrick mills, also the Herrick brook, once a fine trout stream, which ran through the farm, were familiar names to the ancient inhabitants, but do not dwell in the memory of the present generation. After the farm was sol to pay debts which Mr. Herrick had incurred in building the mills and making other improvements, which he was unable to pay, and he had gone to other lands, the brook was called Aunt Pat brook, the pet name of a celebrated ancient landlady whose husband kept a tavern a few rods over the line in another town, which name it retains to the present day, although the landlord, the landlady and the tavern itself have long ago ceased to exist, and the mills passing to other hands are now known as the Red Mills and owned by Mr. Low, who changed the grist mill into a cheese-box factory, but now it stands there idle, unused and a wreck of its former usefulness. The scenery around the old Red Mills is romantic. Far up the valley may be seen the river winding its way through cultivated meadows and pasture lands on each side until for a while its course is staid by an artificial dam built for the use of the mills, then regaining its current and tumbling over the obstruction, making a beautiful cascade among the surrounding shrubbery. The river rolls up against the rock-bound mountain on the east side or bank, and then turns down the valley to be lost in the distance. Near where the course of the river is arrested by the mountain rocks is suspended a bridge, the eastern end resting on the rocks. One of the first bridges built across the Unadilla was erected at the place where the present bridge stands. Not many years ago a man and his wife were proceeding across the bridge in a wagon when an accident happened and they were separated forever.
What caused it remains a mystery. Whether the mountain goblin spirits were holding their nightly revels around the place and barred the passage, or some unseen power controlled her destiny, is to mortal ken unknown; the old horse turned and made a backward movement. The husband rushed from the impending danger, and ignoble left his wife, who, for an instant hung suspended, then dropped into the floating waters, that closed around her and the sum of human life was extinguished. Her body was afterwards found among some floodwood about 100 rods below where the catastrophe happened. The man, horse and wagon were saved.
Mr. Herrick's wife was the daughter of Gideon Peck, of whom mention has been made. Mr. Herrick sold to Enos Kimball the farm now owned by Mr. Hollis Ward. Mr. Kimball was one of the early settlers and a good, respectable farmer. He was a saving, prudent man, and his little farm was productive. His income enabled him to load little sums of money about the neighborhood, at 14 per cent. in the hard times succeeding the war of 1812, and his visits with his pasteboard revolving interest table under his arms, going along the village streets indicated that he was on his semiannual collection tour, after his interest crop. But he was not overbearing to the debtor. In those times money was not as easily obtained as in these piping times of inflation. Mr. Kimball ended his days with his son-in-law, William D. Knap, in the New Berlin village.
Mr. Lord, another early settler, purchased of Mr. Herrick the place afterwards owned by James Eaton, and is part of lot 74. Mr. Lord was a hatter. He built his-dwelling house on the knoll. It was a large two-story building and made a fine appearance. He and his wife were a sociable, pleasant couple; they came from Barnhill, in old Norwich town, in Connecticut, where it was the invariable custom to heat the oven and bake a kettle of beans and loaves of rye and Indian bread on Saturday, preparatory to the Sabbath rest. This bake bean custom Mr. Lord brought with him and adhered to it always. He and his family are no longer known to this generation, having long since passed away.
Mr. Sabin Warner, another settler on a part of lot 74, was a thrifty farmer, and brought green peas to an early market. His wife is yet living on the farm with one of her sons, who now manages it. All the first settlers on Mr. Herrick's lot, 74, have now been mentioned except Mr. Richard Stoneman.
ICHARD STONEMAN, a stranger from the city of London or its neighborhood arrived in New Berlin about the commencement of the present century, in search of a new home and finally in the course of his wanderings, purchased a few acres of land from Artemas Herrick, on the northwest corner of his lot 74 and made to himself a dwellling-place in that secluded nook, where he lived a retired life the rest of his days, seeking but little intercourse with society.
He possessed intellectual accomplishments of a superior order, and it was supposed that in his native land he had occupied a higher station in old England's aristocratic society than is to be found among our New England Yankee equality folks. His wife was an amiable woman and the family were highly esteemed.
After the decease of Mr. Stoneman, his wife successfully managed to domestic affairs, and trained up the children, who became useful members of society. One daughter married Asa Pope, then a resident of the village. He owned the premises where Mr. Phelps lives11 on North street, and built the dwelling-house thereon. Mrs. Pope was much esteemed for her social and amiable qualities. Some years after her decease Mr. Pope sold the premises and went to Sherburne where he lived the rest of his life.
The Stoneman boys, while yet young men, emigrated into the western states, and the grandson of Mr. Stoneman, George Stoneman, Junior, became a student in the military school at West Point, where he graduated and continued in the United States service. When the rebellion broke out he was promoted to the office of General of cavalry, in which capacity he made successful raids through the rebel country with his squadrons, and did good service to his country, and taught southern traitors that northern valor was superior to southern pride and arrogance. At the close of the war he was put upon the retired list, and went to lower California, and is engaged in agriculture.
John Simmons and Stephen G. Simmons were brothers, and their native place was the city of New York. Their father was a wealthy citizen, and the owner of the several lots in New Berlin and Columbus known as the Simmons lots among the early settlers of those towns.
John Simmons, in the beginning of the first settlement of New Berlin, came up from the city and settled on his father's lot 75, adjoining the Anderson lot on the north, and his brother, Stephen G., about the same time, settled on his father's lot 78, adjoining the Burlingame lot on the south.
Mr. John Simmons, and his brother Stephen, found that a city education was not adapted to the agricultural pursuits of backwoodsmen, however, they were both robust, strong young men, floundered along, clearing up their farms and raising crops as best they might. Mr. John Simmons, after making some improvements, sold his farm to Mr. Thomas Steere, a Rhode Island farmer, who emigrated from that state with his brother-in-law Charles Harris, who purchased the north part of said Simmons lot, and Steere, the south part except a piece of land on the east end of said lot adjoining the river, which Simmons had previously sold, to Levi Blakeslee, and also a piece on the west end of the lot which Simmons had sole to Jeremiah Goodrich. Mr. Steere and Mr. Harris were practical farmers, and brought the Simmons farm into a good state of cultivation.
Mr. Harris, a few years before his death, fell a considerable distance on to his barn floor from a hay-loft and received a lasting injury to his spine, which rendered him a cripple, confined to his bed the remainder of his life. In his case, the old maxim, necessity is the mother of invention, received a practical illustration. While lying in this monotony and helpless condition, he learned and practiced the art of making hair fish-lines, for which he found a ready and profitable market, for in those days, our woodland streams were well stored with speckled trout, and the river with pickerel, and fish-lines were in good demand.
Mr. Harris left his farm to his wife, who, sometime after her husband's death, sold it to Welcome Arnold, now a citizen of this village. Thomas Steere left his farm to his children on his decease, and after passing through the occupancy of seven owners, it is now owned by Warren Reynolds, a son-in-law of Welcome Arnold, who has lately erected a large, commodious, and splendid dwelling-house, on the old dwelling-house grounds, superior no doubt, to the mansion owned by the Simmons family, in the city of New York, when the son John left his father's house to become a resident on the Simmons lot in New Berlin.
Such has been the change of time within the memory of old people. Stephen G. Simmons sold his farm and moved west many years ago. It is now owned by Mr. A. J. Barney, a respectable farmer. No member of the Simmons family now remains in New Berlin, and the Simmons property, both in New Berlin and Columbus, has long since passed out of the family.
bout the year 1797, Thomas Brown, with his family and household goods, journeyed up from Rhode Island, the land of his nativity, unto the land of New Berlin, and if it were not "a land of promise, flowing with mild and honey," yet it abounded in the amplitude of wild forest game, and the hillside streams filled with trout to supply the settlers with food.
One or two years previous James and Barnabas, his son, had been sent up to explore the new country, and prepare a dwelling-place for the family. They came with an ox-team, bringing some necessary articles for the occasion, and fixed the future home of the family on a lot situated on the Great Brook, and commenced clearing a place among the forest trees to build a log dwelling-house and whilst engaged in this new work, they made a brushwood bower to sleep in, and for a canopy to protect them from the storms of rain and snow, whilst resting from their daily labor, the boards which formed the sled box of the expedition were taken to make the covering roof. These boards were afterwards made into a coffin for a Mrs. Edwards, being the only material which could be procured for such purpose at the time, and Mr. Barnabas Brown, with a few tools brought with him, made the boards into the proper shape, and the rites of sepulture on that occasion, and for the first time in New Berlin's infant settlement, were performed with as much heart-felt mourning and sincerity of purpose as attend the extravagant and costly ceremonial services of the burial of the dead in modern times.
Mr. Thomas Brown died about the year 1814; his son James Brown inherited the homestead estate and on his death it descended to his heirs, where the title yet remains, and the place is now occupied by Agrippa Butts as tenant.
Barnabas Brown, in the course of events, went out from his father's house and took to himself a wife. He married a daughter of Nathaniel Medbury, and settled on the lot next to Samuel Anderson's lot on the west. He commenced housekeeping in a new log house which he had erected for that purpose near where the old orchard is, on the north side of the road, running east and west through the farm.
The orchard was among his first works after he commenced clearing up his farm. The old log house has long since disappeared, but the orchard remains, a monument of labor done in youth's by-gone days. A few years employed in clearing up his farm, and he was enabled to build a more, commodious dwelling-house, where yet may be seen the now old red painted one story, steep roof building which was the residence of Judge Barnabas Brown, amidst his happy family of sons and daughters, through a long and useful life spent in private and public employment.
In the days of the Council of Appointment, Barnabas Brown received a commission as Justice of the Peace for the town of New Berlin, and acted in that capacity several years to the terror of evil-doers and the satisfaction of the orderly inhabitants. Esquire Brown was elected and performed the duties of Supervisor for many years in succession, in which office he has always been reputed, even down to the present day, the best supervisor the town has ever had. He also held the office of a judge in the Court of Common Pleas, for Chenango county, in the Clintonian time of State politics. Judge Barnabas Brown was a much respected member of society, and like the Patriarch Abraham, "died in good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people." And on his tome may be written the epitaph: "Here lies an honest man, the noblest work of God."
he Arnolds and Medburys came up from Rhode Island and founded settlements for their families in the midst of woods, before civilization had made much advance on the west side of the river Unadilla. Nathaniel Medbury was their chief and principal leader. He was reputed to be a man of superior abilities among the class of first settlers, and took an active part in the public affairs of the infant settlement. He purchased the wild lot adjoining, south of the Thomas Brown farm on the Great Brook, and with the help of his son, Hezekiah, a stalwart grown-up young man, soon transformed the wild woods into well cultivated fields, and made to himself and family, a pleasant home on that beautiful trout stream, where, in after years, the trout-fishing disciples of Isaac Walton, on fine spring days, found rural amusement to be enjoyed, equal, if not superior to any described by old Isaac himself.
The popularity of Mr. Nathaniel Medbury procured his nomination as a candidate to the office of a member of the state Legislature in the democratic convention and the ascendancy of that party over the Federal or opposite party at that time secured his election. But before he had an opportunity to put in practice his qualifications as a legislator, his public career was suddenly ended. An epidemic, virulent and beyond the control of physicians, entered the hall of the Legislature and Nathaniel Medbury ceased to exist. His remains were brought home and interred in the cemetery on James Brown's farm. And the hopes, the honors and the expectations of the young legislator were extinguished forever, and the family and friends left to mourn his untimely fate. His son Hezekiah remained on the farm many years after his father's death, and occupied the position of a good and influential citizen, taking an active part in public affairs, but never held any public office in the town. Finally he sold the old homestead farm and moved down to the town of Bainbridge, where he died a few years ago.
Benjamin Medbury, a relative of Hon. Nathaniel Medbury, and co-emigrant with him, settled on the next lot south of Nathaniel Medbury's lot. He became a thrifty, industrious farmer, made large improvements on his farm and also engaged in buying cattle for the Philadelphia and other markets, whereby the inhabitants obtained money to make payments for their lands. He became generally known as an enterprising cattle drover, of not to his own profit, the inhabitants who had cattle to dispose of realized the advantage of selling their cattle for money, which otherwise they could not have obtained. He died several years ago, leaving a wife and several children. The old farm is now owned by Mr. Lysander Parker, who has a large dairy, which he makes the chief business of the farm.
Joseph Medbury, a brother of Benjamin, settled on a lot a short distance north from the James Brown premises, where he remained until his death. He was a good farmer, and held the office of a justice of the peace several years. He was respected as a kind and obliging neighbor. He left a large family of children, none of whom are now living.
Stephen Medbury, another brother, settled on a lot on the hill west of the village. He was a good, enterprising farmer and turned his wild lot into an excellent farm by his industry and the help of his sons. He also carried on the trade of a cooper with his farming business. He was esteemed as a man of probity and good judgment, and was several terms one of the town assessors, and gave general satisfaction for his correct and impartial assessments. At his decease he left his valuable farm to his children.
Jabez Arnold settled on a lot west of the village, which he made into a valuable farm. He sustained the character of an industrious, prudent and economical farmer. He had a large family of sons and daughters, who occupied distinguished places among New Berlin's inhabitants.
His farm is now occupied by his children's children. The Medburys, Browns and Arnolds were intimately connected by intermarriage and were a numerous class among the settlers of New Berlin.
Our anxiety to unravel the tangled skein woven into the Presidential web, caused an error in the final disposal of the Joseph Medbury family sketch, which we proceed to correct. It should be: He left no children who are now living in New Berlin, and the old homestead is in the possession of other owners, but two of his sons are yet among the toilers of the earth. His son Joseph Medbury, a gun-smith in his young days, went to Rochester, made his trade profitable and accumulated wealth and prosperity, and enjoys the character of a respected and influential citizen, in the city of his adoption. Another son, Sylvester, in early life, wended his way from his ancestral home into Columbus, Ohio, where fortune smiled and bade him welcome and partake of her bounties, which he now enjoys.
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