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Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
by John H. Selkreg, 1894; D. Mason & Co., Publisher
On the 4th of August, 1791, John W. WATKINS, Royal FLINT and their associates, mostly resident in and about New York City, filed with the secretary of state a proposal to purchase all the ungranted lands of the State lying between the military townships on the north and the township of Chemung on the south, the Owego River on the east, and the pre-emption line on the west. The pre-emption line was the east line of the lands granted to Massachusetts in settlement of a long dispute over State boundaries.
The offer was accepted by the commissioners of the Land Office, a board consisting of the principal State officers and of which Governor George CLINTON was at that time president. A survey was directed to be made under the supervision of the surveyor-general, whose return was filed April 7, 1794.
His arithmetic made the territory amount to 336,880 acres. Several reservations were made, but their area was not included in the above aggregate. A patent therefor was issued, dated June 25, 1794, to John W. WATKINS, who very soon conveyed by deed to Royal FLINT and associates their respective shares in the deal, as interest appeared. The names of WATKINS and FLINT having been first affixed to the formal proposal to purchase, the tract took the name of the WATKINS and FLINT purchase and comprised a tract thirty-five miles in length by fifteen in width. The price paid by the syndicate was three shillings and four pence per acre.
Very soon after the deal had been consummated, two men named JOHNSON became the proprietors of a very large part of it, probably nearly or quite one-third ,and including most or all that part of it now in Tompkins county. They were Robert C. and Samuel W. JOHNSON, of Stratford, in Connecticut. The "Johnson Lands," as they were called, included, with some few reservations, the towns of Caroline, Danby and Newfield, or the southern tier of the county of Tompkins.
James PUMPELLY, a surveyor from Connecticut, settled at Owego and became their Resident agent and business manager in the laying out, subdivision and mapping of the territory for sale to actual settlers, and in some instances in considerable quantities to smaller speculators. Many large purchase were conducted in this manner, notably those of the BEERS of Danby, and the SPEEDS, BOYES, HYDES and PATILLO in Caroline, who this bought in the aggregate a number of thousand acres.
The name of Samuel W. JOHNSON was borne on the annual tax rolls of one or more towns until some time in 1849-1850, and JOHNSON was an occasional visitor to the region and would return east with a small drove of live stock taken in payment for land, as the great majority of settlers bought by "article", so called. Of James PUMPELLY, the celebrated land agent of this region in pioneer days, it may be said that he was of Italian descent. His dealings with the settlers were always honorable, courteous, and very methodical and exact. His land office in the stone building close beside the Susquehanna at Owego was a famous place in its day.
The town of Caroline occupies the southeast corner of Tompkins county and contains 34,523 acres. Its surface is upland, broken by irregular ridges running northeast and southwest. The soil is gravelly and calcareous loam, the latter chiefly in the southern part, and is adapted to grazing and grain growing. The dairying interest in the town has been extensively and profitably developed in recent years. The streams are Six Mile Creek and Owego Creek, the latter forming the eastern boundary, and their branches. The deep valleys of these streams are generally bordered by lofty and steep hills.
This town was organized February 22, 1811, when it was set off from Spencer, but did not become a part of Tompkins county until March 22, 1823. It received its name in honor of a daughter of Dr. Joseph SPEED, one of the pioneers.
Settlement in Caroline was begun by Captain David RICH, originally from the western part of Massachusetts, but later from Vermont where he had kept a tavern, who came to the east part of the town in 1795, by way of New Jersey (where he made a short stay), Apalachin (Tioga county), and thence up the Owego Creek. He purchased between 100 and 200 acres, and his deed is the first recorded to an actual settler in Caroline. He had been a tavern keeper before his removal to this town, and followed the same business here, first in a log house and later where his son, Orin P. RICH now lives. He held several town offices, and died, aged ninety-two, in 1852.
In 1795 Widow EARSLEY came into the town with her ten children, and at the same date with Captain David RICH. The maiden name of Mrs. EARSLEY was Maria JOHNSON. Her native country was Holland, from which she came to this country with her parents when twelve years of age. She married Francis EARSLEY, who was born in Ireland of English parents and was by trade a weaver. He lived at Roxbury, Essex county, N.J., after arriving in this country, and became a farmer. He served with one of his wife's brothers during the Revolutionary war, and died in 1790, leaving him surviving a widow and ten children, the youngest of whom were two twin girls only nine months old. In company with her brother and her eldest son she set out on horseback to find a new home in the summer of 1794. In her travels she met one Simmons PERKINS, a surveyor who made a map of Township No. 11, of the Watkins and Flint purchase. In company with PERKINS and six others, among whom were her son, her son-in-law, and her brother, Zacheus JOHNSON, she prospected for land. They camped out in the woods nights. One day as they were crossing the little brook which still meanders through the fields, Mrs. EARSLEY said, "This is my home." She bought the land, 100 acres, at $3.00 per acre. They removed from New Jersey to Union, remained there four weeks, and went to Apalachin, where they lived till coming to this their new home. During this time the eldest daughter, Nelly, married Beniah BARNEY. In the fall the eldest son, John, came and built a cabin on the land. Mrs. EARSLEY traveled over the route between her new home in the forest and the old one in New Jersey twice. She rode in all over 500 miles on horseback. The family when it left New Jersey consisted of the mother and ten children, five boys and five girls, the eldest of whom married and remained in Apalachin. In the spring they came with oxen and sleigh, the snow being quite deep. They arrived on the ground March 4, 1795.
Mrs. EARSLEY was the first to locate and make preparation for a home, but Captain RICH was the first to arrive on the ground in the spring, which he did one week previously. His land adjoined hers on the east. The two settled in what was at that time the extreme northeast limit of the old township of Owego, in Tioga county.
The next settlers in the town were Thomas TRACY and his son Benjamin, who in 1797, located near the site of the Charles P. TOBEY dwelling. They were from Western Massachusetts originally, but came here from near the present village of Apalachin. After seven or eight years Thomas TRACY sold out to Samuel ROUNSVELL, who kept bachelor hall here many years, and ROUNSVELL sold to Walter J. THOMAS about 1832. The son returned to their old home near Apalachin and reared a family. General B. F. TRACY, ex-secretary of the navy, is his son. A brother of Thomas TRACY, named Prince TRACY, also settled in Caroline a few years later than THOMAS, but after the War of 1812 sold out to the SCHOONMAKER family and left town.
The next settler in Caroline, and a member of a family who became very conspicuous, was John CANTINE, jr., a son of General John CANTINE, of Ulster county, N. Y. The CANTINE family were from Marbletown, Ulster county, and of Huguenot descent. General CANTINE gained his military title by honorable service in the militia of the Revolution. He also was at times member of the Assembly, of the State Senate and of Congress, and was associated with most of the eminent men of New York State of those stirring times. The last few years of his life were passed at the home of his son, John, and a married daughter (Mrs. CHAMBERS) at Brookton (Mott's Corners), where he died April 30, 1808. He became as early as 1767 identified with the then wild lands of the province of New York. After the close of the Revolutionary War, many adventurous parties from Eastern New York penetrated the interior wilderness and settled along the Susquehanna, Chemung and Tioga Rivers in advance of all surveys and allotments of the lands. Many of them were entitled to military bounty lands, and some conflict arose over titles. In 1788 the Legislature appointed commissioners to settle all these disputes in this region. General CANTINE, General James CLINTON and John HATHORN were named, and were known as the "Chemung Commissioners." In laying out and surveying the lands of Chemung township (before Tioga county was formed), they made large selections of land in this and other localities for themselves and their friends. One of these selections was a tract of 3,200 acres, now in the town of Caroline, known locally as "The Cantine Great" and the "Cantine Little Locations." The law required that such selections of land should be made in square tracts, and General CANTINE secured large sections in the valley of Six Mile Creek, without including much hill land, by laying out several squares adjoining each other along the valley. He made three separate "locations," two of 1,200 acres each and one of 800 acres. He made also several locations on the site of the village of Wilseyville, now in Tioga county.
The Cantine great and little locations in Caroline include the territory where Slaterville and Brookton (Mott's Corners) stand, with adjacent lands. His certificates of location for the land were filed with the secretary of state March 6, 7 and 21, 1792, and the patents were issued in the same month. General CANTINE had located the lands upon the claims of militia soldiers called class men, who were entitled to 100 or more acres each. Many of these he had bought in advance, and others were assigned to him for location in large parcels, he afterwards reconveying them to the proper persons.
When John CANTINE, jr., came to Caroline in 1798, as stated, his father gave him his choice of the land, where he finally settled, in Caroline, or of another tract which included the site of the city of Elmira. The son chose the Caroline tract for its superior water privileges on Six Mile Creek at Brookton. There he built a log house, which he occupied several years. His wife was a daughter of a Frenchman, who was driven out of his country in the reign of terror and who fled to America. His name was CARTE'. He opposed his daughter's marriage to CANTINE, and an elopement followed. The father disowned his daughter, but in after years, when she was the happy mother of a family, he relented and sent her children presents. One of the sons of CANTINE was named John J. Carte' CANTINE, and a former boy had been named John Marat CANTINE.
Two years later (1800) General CANTINE built a grist mill for his son at the falls, Brookton, the first real grist mill this side of Owego. A saw mill was added, the care of which and the clearing of his farm occupied Mr. CANTINE'S time while he lived in Caroline, 1798 to 1828. The pioneer lodge of Free Masons (the Eagle Lodge) in the county was organized in 1808 at his house, which is still standing, and the meetings for a time were held here and alternately at the inn of Luther GERE in Ithaca. Mr. CANTINE's old home, built in 1804, and long called "The Mansion House," was the first frame dwelling erected in Caroline. He was an active, public-spirited man, held several local offices and had a large family, who are all dead. In 1828 he sold his property in Caroline to his brother Charles and removed to Ithaca, where he lived at 72 North Cayuga street until his death in 1834, aged sixty-six years.
Hartman (or Hartmore) ENNEST, with three others, came from Marbletown in 1800 and settled on the old Sullivan place. ENNEST had made other previous improvements on the old Deuel farm, but sold out to Dr. Joseph SPEED. Joseph CHAMBERS, Richard BUSH and Oakley BUSH came probably in 1800 from Marbletown. Soon after his arrival Richard BUSH built a large square house of hewn logs, a little west of where the Velotus STEVENS residence stands, on the south side of the road, and began keeping tavern - the first public house in the town. This was long known as the "Old Bush Stand." Oakley BUSH lived at first a near neighbor to ENNEST, but later went over on the present John RIGHTMIRE farm, southwest of Slaterville.
Richard BUSH and Joseph CHAMBERS were both grantees of General CANTINE and settled, the former near B. F. MEAD's, and the latter on Michael C. KRUM's farm. CHAMBERS sold out to KRUM in 1838, and went to Illinois with his sons. BUSH died about 1815, but his widow and her family lived on their old place a great many years. It has since been subdivided. Widow BUSH continued the tavern after her husband's death.
Benoni MULKS was a millwright by trade. He was a soldier in the army of General GATES and took part in the first and second battles of Saratoga, but was prevented from witnessing the final surrender through the following circumstance: General BURGOYNE's army having burned the mills at Schuylerville, Mr. MULKS, being a millwright, was detailed from the ranks with a squad of men to rebuild them to grind corn for the American army. This occurred three days before the final surrender of the British at Saratoga.
In 1800 he came to Caroline to build the Cantine grist mill, where Brookton now is. One Sunday going up the Six Mile Creek hunting and fishing he for the first time passed the flats about Slaterville. A tract of 325 acres here was owned by two merchants at Chemung and was for sale. It had originally been a part of CANTINE's location. On the premises was a fine large spring of water near the bank of the creek. It was then he for the first time conceived the idea of purchasing the land and removing thither. Three of his old neighbors from the east had just settled near by, one of whom, Joseph CHAMBERS, was his brother-in-law. When, early in the fall, his son John came in with General CANTINE and a party of young men to prospect the locality, the father and son decided to purchase it, and did so. Their deed bears date of September 30, 1800, 325 acres for $1,000.
They erected a log house by the spring the same fall, in readiness for their coming the next season. Early next year (1801) Levi SLATER, John ROBISON and Lemuel YATES, arriving a little earlier, occupied the log house with their families until they could build one for themselves on their lands near by. The MULKS party came in June, arriving on the 15th of the month. There were eight souls in the party, the eldest being the aged grandmother of seventy, and the youngest an infant of six months. The first season (1801) they cleared off six acres in readiness for winter wheat, and during the following winter and spring seven acres more for corn. At the same time they brought with them, among other live stock, thirty sheep, which were taken to Lansing and let on shares for a few years until they could keep them.
Two or three years later another son, Moses, came and also a married daughter, Mrs. DanielNEWKIRK. John MULKS lived in Caroline twenty-five years. He built a grist mill, saw mill and distillery on his farm. In 1826 we went west. He was a pioneer in four different States - Central New York in 1801; Michigan Territory in 1826; Indiana State in 1833, and Wisconsin Territory in 1838. In each case he settled in a new, undeveloped country, and the last three times on government land. He lived to the age of eighty-four, and died in Whitewater, Wis., in 1864.
Levi SLATER, a Yankee schoolmaster, came to this town with General CANTINE in the summer, and having a knowledge of surveying, used the instruments owned by John CANTINE in laying out land in this vicinity. In the spring of 1801 he built and settled in a log house on the site of Slaterville (named from him), which stood where W. J. CARNS's house now stands. He had bought of General CANTINE 100 acres at $3.75 per acre. He brought his wife and child, the latter of whom was the late Justus SLATER, of Jersey City. When Mr. SLATER arrived here he found two men from Chemung running a large sugar bush on the flats owned in the late years by John BOICE. They were about to go away and left their kettles and utensils. Mr. SLATER took up the work and made for himself quite a quantity of maple sugar and molasses. The next few years were spent in clearing land and its cultivation, and by 1812 he had most of the land in and around Slaterville under improvement. He also taught school at intervals in winter months. A few years afterwards his brother Thomas, and brother-in-law, Joseph GOODRICH, moved here from the east, the latter settling where John SCHUTT now lives, in the town of Caroline, but till recently in Dryden. In the war of 1812 Mr. SLATER was captain of the local company, and when the British burned Buffalo, he and his company were ordered to the frontier.
For a few years after the locality around Slaterville was settled by a number of families, a small party of Indians came each fall to hunt in that vicinity. They were Oneidas and were led by one whom the settlers called WHEELOCK. Their usual camp was on the farm now owned by Aaron SCHUTT, first settled by Matthew KRUM in 1806. This WHEELOCK was killed in the war of 1812, while fighting the Americans; after that the Indians came to the town no more.
The first sale of land by Mr. SLATER was to Isaac MILLER in 1816, about three acres, owned in later years by D. B. DRUMMOND. MILER built a store and started in trade, but died soon after, and Mr. SLATER succeeded to the business. Within the lapse of a few years a hamlet gathered around at that point and took the name of "Dutch Settlement." A post-office was opened in 1823, with John ROBISON as postmaster, and the name of Slaterville was given to it. Mr. SLATER became a leading man and interested with his sons in various enterprises. About 1828 he failed, and his real estate passed to James HALL, of New York. Mr. SLATER was supervisor five years in early times, and died at the age of seventy-eight years.
John ROBISON, grandfather of Henry, came in 1801 from Marbletown and settled next east of SLATER, where C. H. DEUEL's house now stands; and in the same year Lemuel YATES came in and settled where Robert G. H. SPEED now lives.
To the eastward of Slaterville a number of pioneers from New England gathered, giving it the local name of "Yankee Settlement," by which title it was distinguished from the "Dutch Settlement," as the locality where Matthew JANSEN settled. JANSEN came in 1802 and was a blacksmith. He brought a few slaves into the town. Benjamin TRACY, son of Thomas, who had settled the Charles P. TOBEY farm, in the same year, and Daniel NEWKIRK, a tailor, about the same time. Daniel NEWKIRK was the son-in-law of Benoni MULKS. He settled on the STILWELL farm in 1803 and lived there till 1814, when he exchanged farms with Isaac STILWELL, of Hector, and Mr. STILWELL then moved on to the farm, where he lived most of his life. He has descendants in Caroline. Rev. Garrett MANDEVILLE, from Ulster county, settled in 1803 near the site of Mott's Corners, on the William PERSONIUS farm (Brookton), and was a prominent citizen, and left several descendants in the town. He was the founder of the Dutch Reformed church of Caroline back in the twenties.
The first settlers of what became known as "Tobey's" were from New England. One of them was George VICKERY, who came in 1804 and located where the widow of N. M. TOBEY lives. Edward and Thomas PAINE, the latter a Revolutionary soldier, and Dr. Elisha BRIGGS and Dr. James and Simeon ASHLEY were others who settled early in that section; also five brothers by the names of Abiathar G., Samuel, William, Sylvester and Bradford ROUNSVELL, all of whom settled along the turnpike on farms which they cleared up. They all came before the war of 1812. William was the first supervisor. The ROUNSVELLs were a valuable addition to the new country, and were from Bristol county, Mass.
Two brothers, Nathaniel and Samuel TOBEY, were early settlers in Caroline, coming from Massachusetts. Nathaniel came in 1810, having married a short time previous. He settled first on the Levi GOODRICH farm, west of "Rawson Hollow," lived there one year and then moved to what has been called the Widow ROUNSVELL farm, where Abiather ROUNSEVELL lived in early times. Later Mr. ROUNSVELL and Mr. TOBEY traded farms; they were brothers-in-law.. Mr. TOBEY kept a tavern many years on the turnpike. Mr. TOBEY had two sons, Nathaniel M. and Charles P., and several daughters. The father died in the early years of the late war, and both sons died in 1885. Samuel TOBEY was a younger brother of Nathaniel, and came to town at a later date. At his death he left three sons, Austin, Edwin and William. Austin and William learned the printing trade at Mack & Andrus's office in Ithaca.
In 1800 John ROUNSVELL (sometimes spelled "ROUNSVILLE") settled on the farm which became the Dr. SPEED homestead. He was from New Hampshire, and with him came Joel RICH. ROUNSVELL was the father of the late Charles J. ROUNSVELL, who was a member of assembly in 1849. His daughter Harriet has repeatedly been stated to have been the first while child born in the town. This is not true. David RICH, jr., was the first, born January 18, 1797, as shown in the family record. Harriet ROUNSVELL was not born till 1801. There were also four others named ROUNSVELL who settled in the town, all brothers.
Robert FREELAND was an Irishman and a carpenter. He came to Caroline in 1801 with the family of John ROBISON, who was his father-in-law. He bought the farm (now the T. B. JUNE place) about 1804, and adjoining parcels later, and owned nearly 400 acres at one time. He was well educated and one of the leading men of his day.
Jonathan NORWOOD, son of Francis NORWOOD, came to the town probably at a later day than his father. He lived to a great age.
Henry QUICK was the first of that name to settle in the town. He took the farm now owned by his son, Daniel H., about the year 1804. His brother Jacob came later, and also others of the name. Henry QUICK married a daughter of Widow EARSLEY.
Moses HIGGINS told Charles F. MULKS, in an interview in 1883, the following reminiscences: The REEDs, Moses, Daniel and Belden, three brothers from Rhode Island, were early settlers in Caroline. Moses was the eldest, and came first and bought the present HIGGINS farm, east of Slaterville, together with a part of the TOBEY farm lying on the south side of the turnpike. He first settled on the Tobey part, lived there a few years, cleared about five acres, when he traded with the senior J. J. SPEED. Mr. SPEED built a dwelling and a store in a block house and lived there several years. It is still called the old Jack SPEED place. Daniel REED, who was a minor, joined Moses, and for several years the family consisted of the two brothers and their step-mother. Upon her death John HIGGINS, a brother-in-law of the REEDs, came with his family, a wife and two or more children. He came from Ulster county, N.Y., and lived with Moses REED, who was a bachelor. The HIGGINS family arrived in the town in the spring of 1808. Daniel and Belden REED went to live together on land now owned by Moses BULL, on the south side of the turnpike. When Moses HIGGINS came to the town there was no house between the ROE farm below Mott's Corners and the Cantine mill and Mansion House. From there it was all woods until they reached CHAMBERS's, where M. C. KRUM now lives. From KRUM'sup past Slaterville it was much cleared and quite thickly settled, and nearly all by old Dutch neighbors from Ulster county. Samuel ROUNSVELL was then living where Charles P. TOBEY now lives. Thomas TRACY had lived on the place, but had sold to ROUNSVELL. The first school attended by Mr. HIGGINS was kept by John D. BELL in the old MULKS log house, the family having just built a new frame house. He afterwards attended the Lyman Cobb school. The first man to enlist from this town for the war of 1812 was Richard ROBISON, son of Capt. Ebenezer Lewis ROBISON. Capt. John CANTINE raised a volunteer artillery company for three months' service. John J. SPEED was keeping a small store when HIGGINS came, and also a post-office called Speedsville on the turnpike. The mail was brought up by a post rider from Ithaca in a small bag. From the turnpike Mr. SPEED removed to the "city" lot, and subsequently to the Morrell farm, as elsewhere noted.
The SPEED family, who were to become conspicuous in the history of the town and county, were from Mecklenberg county, Va. Dr. Joseph SPEEDstudied medicine with the celebrated Dr. Benjamin RUSH, of Philadelphia, where Dr. SPEED practiced a few years before coming to what was then the town of Spencer, Tioga county. De Witt CLINTON visited this region in 1810, as before noted, and in his journal of Augst 10, of that year, he wrote: "Fourteen miles southeast from Ithaca, in the town of Spencer, Tioga county, there is a settlement of Virginians called SPEED; they are all Federalist."
Caroline was then a part of Spencer, and Dr. Joseph SPEED was the most prominent of the little colony alluded to by CLINTON, the members of which came in between the years of 1805 and 1808. So far as known their names were John James SPEED, William SPEED, brothers, who came in 1805, and were followed three years later by their father, Henry SPEED, and Dr. Joseph SPEED also in 1805, with his brother John, cousins of the two brothers above named; Robert H. HYDE came in 1805, and two years later was followed by Robert's father, also named Robert, and by John and William PATILLO and the family of Thomas HEGGIE. Robert H. S. HYDE, the lawyer, was the son of Robert H., and was born in town some years later. Augustine BOYER came from Maryland in 1803, and purchased through the agency of James PUMPELLY 1,000 acres of land of the JOHNSONS, who were the eastern proprietors under the WATKINS & FLINT syndicate. The other southerners, of whom we have spoken, also bought largely of wild lands in the town, and nearly all of the brought slaves with them, who were held until the institution was abolished in 1827.
The senior John James SPEED had been a merchant in Virginia, and had owned slaves, as had also others of this colony. He was a man of noble bearing and lived to about ninety years of age. He removed to Ithaca in 1832, and a little later to Cortland village, where he was connected with paper making. After other removals, he died in the State of Maine in the fall of 1860.
In Caroline, John J. and William SPEED opened a small store in 1805 in a log house half a mile east of the site of Slaterville, and there in 1806 secured a post-office, with John J. as postmaster, the office being named "Speedsville". A few years later, when John J. SPEED, sr., left the turnpike, he removed to a place now called the "City Lot." This was about the time of the war of 1812-15. He built a little collection of log and plank-sided houses, and families lived in a part of them. He also built a small grist mill and a saw mill on the little streams of that neighborhood and moved his store and the post-office there. The settlers gave it the name of "The City;" but Mr. SPEED soon abandoned his project and moved upon the hill and lived there several years, conducting a large farm, since subdivided, but the homestead of which now belongs to F. C. CORNELL, of Ithaca. When he left there it was to live for a time with his son, John J., on the Caroline Center road, whence he removed to Ithaca. The Speedsville post-office had traveled across the town, and up the hill and down the hill without hindrance until about 1832, when the younger Mr. SPEED was its custodian. At that time the citizens of Jenksville wished to have it removed to their little hamlet and the name changed to Jenksville. This Mr. SPEED, jr., opposed, and his influence prevented such action. While he cared nothing for the post-office, he did wish that the name should be perpetuated. A compromise was effected by which the name was retained; the Speeds resigned the office, and another postmaster was appointed at Jenksville, which was thenceforth called "Speedsville." This office was supplied in early days by a horseback rider, whose regular weekly round trip was from Ithaca to Danby; thence via Spencer court house to Owego, and returning by way of Berkshire and Speedsville. The site of Speedsville when the "City Lot" was booming is now a back pasture on the Cornell-Morrell farm.
John J. SPEED, jr., became very prominent in the history of the county. While still living in Caroline he was elected to the Assembly, and after engaging in business at Ithaca was a presidential elector and a candidate for Congress. Between 1830 and 1840 he exchanged his property in Caroline for the mercantile business of the late Stephen B. MUNN, jr., on the northeast corner of State and Cayuga streets, Ithaca. He continued business there a few years, and was conspicuous in the company which established the Fall Creek Woolen Mills, a project which was highly useful, but destined to failure. Mr. SPEED failed, and afterwards was associated with Ezra CORNELL in building early telegraph lines, retrieved his fortunes, and paid all the debts incurred before his failure.
Aaron BULL came here in 1806 from Ulster county, N.Y., but was originally from a locality on the Housatonic River, Connecticut. He had gone to Ulster county, lived and married there before moving to Caroline. His children, Moses, Henry W., Mathew, Justus, and John are still living. John has been a merchant and a miller at Slaterville for several years, and supervisor of his town. Matthew KRUM, a brother-in-law of Aaron BULL, settled in the same year just north of the latter. Other early settlers were Moses REED, Joseph GOODRICH, Moses CASS, who had an early store; Josiah CASS, brother of Moses, and who built a tavern about 1815 where H. S. KRUM now lives; it passed three years later to Aaron BULL, who kept it nearly thirty years; Aaron CASS, father of Moses and Josiah, who was the pioneer on the present Hasbrouck farm, a soldier of the Revolution, and in Captain ELLIS's company in 1812, and killed at the attack on Queenstown; Isaac MILER, an early merchant; Nathan GOSPER on the Edward J. THOMAS farm; Joseph SMITH on the WILLEY farm; Marcus PALMERTON on the Hollister farm; John DOTY on Chauncy L. WATTLES farm; Captain Alexander STOWELL at Caroline Center, and others.
It is interesting to record that the effects of the war of 1812-15 were felt in this town, for Captain Levi SLATER was then in command of a local company of Caroline militia. When the British burned Buffalo in 1813 the militia was very generally ordered out, as before stated. Captain SLATER received his orders and there was much local excitement. The company departed, but after a march of a day and a half reached Canandaigua, where they received notice that the danger was passed and they could return. Several of the Virginian settlers before described, notably Dr. Joseph and John J. SPEED, were members of the company, and , being Federalists, were opposed to the war. They, however, furnished substitutes, as did also Augustine BOYER, whose substitute received a gun, knapsack, and $20 cash, which proved excellent remuneration for the short trip to Canandaigua.
After the war of 1812, and between that and 1820, the town filled up quite rapidly. Abraham BOICE, jr., came in from Ulster county in 1816 and first cleared lands in the town of Dryden, and later on the farm owned in recent years by Edward J. THOMAS, east side of Dryden road. It was from the BOICE family that "Boiceville," a hamlet west of Slaterville, took its name. Dr. James ASHLEY came in 1814, with wife and two sons, Samuel P. and James, jr., from Massachusetts, and located on the Charles B. HIGGINS farm. Simeon ASHLEY, a brother of Dr. James, came in seven years later. Deacon Isaac HOLLISTER, from Ulster county, settled near the site of Caroline Depot. George N. ATWOnow, from Worcester county, Mass., settled on the farm where the late Simon V. Snow lived. James H. and Jonathan W. SNOW married one of his daughters; and Mr. HOLLISTER had sons, Kinner, Timothy and Justus. In 1816 Jonathan SNOW were his sons.
In an interview with Charles F. MULKS in 1879, and then written down, Eli BOICE gave the following information: Eli came in when thirteen years old with this father, Abraham. The latter bought out Captain ROBISON, who lived on the SMILEY farm. Old Henry QUICK and Moses and Simeon SCHOONMAKER were then living near; Moses where his son Jacob now lives, and Simeon on the McWhorter place. Prince, brother of Thomas TRACEY, had lived up there previously but had gone away. Spencer HUNGERFORD was then living on the present Camp Reed farm, but afterwards moved to the place named after him. John MULKS's first log house was then standing, and Ben EIGHMEY, father of Thomas and Philip, was then living in it. Moses CASS was living on the present Norwood farm. John MULKS was then engaged in building his grist mill, borrowing most of the money for the purpose. He and his son Daniel did most of the mill work. He also operated a distillery. The Sloughter family lived on the hill on what is now the south part of John RIGHTMIRE's farm. The SLOUGHTERS sold to Thomas BUSH, when the latter ran the saw mill, one hundred splendid pine logs for an old bull's-eye watch, worth now perhaps $2.50. Charles MULKS, brother of John, was noted for raising large crops of fine wheat. Eli BOICE bought the Norwood farm from the younger John James SPEED.
John TAFT, of Worcester county, Mass., a soldier of the war of 1812, settled in 1820 in the south part of the town, where he died in 1876. His son, William H., was second lieutenant in the 137th Regiment of the late war, and died of fever at Harper's Ferry.
An interview written by Mr. MULKS and had by him with T. M. BOYER in 1879, furnishes the following reminiscences: When Augustine BOYER came north in 1803 he came on horseback and alone. Mr. BOYER left home in May and in August purchased 1,000 acres of land of Mr. PUMPELLY, the agent of Samuel William JOHNSON, of Stratford, Conn. Mr. BOYER hired Elisha DOTY to build him a log house, and then started for his home in Maryland. The journey required eight days; this was in August, 1803. He came back in the fall with a horse and cart and a negro boy named Jerry BLACKMAN; they passed the winter together in the log house. When Mr. BOYER settled here he was unmarried, but in 1805 married into the COMEGYES family, of Maryland. Hugh BOYER, a distant relative, came in with Augustine and located on what became the BRINK farm. The first land sold by Mr. BOYER from his original 1,000 acres was to James LIVERMORE within a few years after the first purchase. This was at Caroline Center, and LIVERMORE's cabin was built a few rods in rear of the site of Sharrad SLATER's house; he sold out a few years later and went west. Mr. Boyer acted for a time as land agent for S. W. JOHNSON, and in that capacity sold to Jonas RHOODE his land on Brearley Hill (elsewhere mentioned). About the time of the war of 1812, when T. M. BOYER was six years old, there was a small frame school house in the corner formed by the turnpike and the level Green road at TOBEY's, where he attended school to Abiathar ROUNSVELL. He also attended at a school kept by Rev. Mr. MANDEVILLE near Caroline Center in what was called "the Old City," from the fact of the several houses built near each other by J. J. SPEED, sr. The "New City" was where Mr. SPEED built some mills. Mr. BOYER attended school in 1820 to BenjaminWALTER in the school house above mentioned on the turnpike. One day when the elder Mr. BOYER was going through the woods from his house to the lower place where he afterwards lived, he saw a bear standing on his hind legs pulling down wild cherry limbs and eating the cherries. Although Mr. BOYER had a loaded gun with him, he forgot for a moment to use it; he hallooed at the bear and the animal ran away. Deer were also plentiful, but Mr. BOYER would never kill one of them.
George BLAIR, Nathan PATCH, Sabin MANN, and a few others, were all from near Worcester, Mass., and settled on new land before the war of 1812, which they cleared. BLAIR settled there in 1809, as a single man, and also did Sabin MANN. Mann was drafted in the war and killed, and Blair married his widow. Austin Blair, Michigan's war governor, and William H. BLAIR were his sons, the latter receiving the family homestead.
The widow Jemima Personius VANDEMARK came to Caroline and settled with a large family on land bought by herself on Bald Hill and owned in late years by one of her grandsons. Her husband had been killed about a year before by the accidental discharge of a gun while on the way to join the army in the war of 1812. She lived on Bald Hill until her death in 1855.
Silas LASON was the early settler on the present James MANDEVILLE farm. He lived there many years and reared a family of sons. The family removed to Virgil, and were succeeded on the farm by Cornelius TERWILLEGER, from Ulster county. He also had a number of sons.
James PERSONIUS, a Revolutionary soldier, was the ancestor of the PERSONIUS family of Caroline, coming to the town late in life. The names of his sons who were early residents in the town were Ephraim, Isaiah, Isaac, Cornelius and James, jr. The latter was a soldier in the war of 1812. The Widow VANDEMARK (elsewhere mentioned) was a daughter of the elder James PERSONIUS, and settled on Bald Hill after the war of 1812. Cornelius PERSONIUS was a noted hunter and is said to have shot two deer at one shot, eighty rods distant, with a rifle which he borrowed of Benoni MULKS.
Henry KRUM, Sr., in a written interview informed Mr. MULKS in 1879 that old Aaron CASS, who lived first on the Hasbrouck farm and afterwards on the McMaster farm at Ellis Hollow, whence he was drafted in the war of 1812 to return no more, was the father of a large family. Of the sons there were Josiah, Aaron, jr., Moses and John. One daughter married Solomon FREER, and was the mother of G. G. FREER; another married Milo HURD, and another Isaac TEERS. Josiah CASS built the tavern so long kept by his uncle, Aaron BULL. Aaron and John CASS went to Canada. Moses CASS operated a distillery and made whisky on the farm. John James SPEED also had a distillery on the Sam JONES farm near Speedsville; and a man named Isaac KIPP operated one at Rawson Hollow. There were two William Motts. The first was a large man and lived at "Tobeytown." He was the father of Harry MOTT and of Mrs. Abram KRUM and Mrs. Landon KRUM.
Erastus HUMPHREY gave in 1884 the following reminiscsences to Mr. Mulks, which the latter wrote at the time: Roswell HUMPHREY, sr., the father of a large family, came to Connecticut Hill, near Speedsville, from Connecticut, in December, 1812. He settled on 100 acres of land, part of the Livingston tract, which he bought of Laban JENKS. The latter had owned 400 acres in one tract, which he sold off to several purchasers. A daughter of Roswell HUMPHREY had married Luman CASE, who settled on what is now G. M. BULL's farm, on Connecticut Hill in the spring of 1811. Roswell HUMPHREY died in 1838 at the age of seventy-three years. He had ten children, one of whom was Erastus. Some of them became quite prominent in various ways.
Dana and Lyman CRUM settled on Connecticut Hill in the spring of 1811 at the same time with Luman CASE; they were the first to locate there. These Crums spelled their names with a "C", while other families of the name spelled it with a "K."
Samuel LEET, father of a large family, also came from Connecticut and settled on Connecticut Hill. There were eight sons and four daughters in the family.
Two brothers, Laban and Elisha JENKS and Michael JENKS, a cousin of these, all from Worcester, Mass., settled early on Owego Creek, near Speedsville, and their descendants were once numerous, and of whom some remain in the town. They probably arrived here about 1800. Samuel JENKS, of the same stock, came in the year after the HUMPHREYs (1814). Laban JENKS settled first below Speedsville on the Berkshire side of the creek. This land he traded for 400 acres covering most of the site of Speedsville. There he opened a little store and began to barter with those around him, thus gathering a little hamlet which was called "Jenksville." The transition of this name to Speedsville is elsewhere described. Mr. JENKS had a large family of boys. He removed to Michigan in 1825.
Moses and Simeon SCHOONMAKER were brothers who came from Ulster county and settled in the Schoonmaker district probably not far from 1812. Moses was the father of Jacob and lived where the latter did in late years. Simeon lived on the David MCWHORTER place and was the father of Garrett and DeWitt SCHOONMAKER.
Moses ROE told Mr. MULKS in 1880 that his great-grandfather, William ROE, settled below Mott's Corners about 1800, and for their first milling they went to Owego; that was before the Cantine mill was ready. William ROE was in the Revolutionary war, after which he was a merchant on Long Island, and later bought land in this town, about 400 acres, or half of HINEPAUGH's location of 800 acres. He had sons, Isaac, William, Gamaliel and John. Gamaliel was the father of Philip ROE, and the descendants of William have reached four generations.
According to statement of John BREARLEY, his father, Joseph BREARLEY, was among the first to settle on Brearley hill, coming there from Lansing in 1811. He located a mile above Jonas RHOODE, who settled three years later; he was from Massachusetts.
Philip D. HORNBECK said in 1879 that William MOTT 2nd, so long a leading business man of Mott's Corners, and who was then living at Watkins at the age of eighty years, learned the carpenter's trade of Ira TILLOTSON, of Ithaca, who built the Methodist church on Aurora street and the Tompkins house. William MOTT afterwards owned six saw mills along Six Mile Creek and also several farms. He did a large lumber business, but eventually failed. The lower mill at Mott's Corners was built by him, and afterwards burned down. He afterwards bought the old Cantine Mill at the falls, and turned the old mill into a plaster mill, and built a large grist mill on the site on the north side of the falls, which he operated a number of years. In later years Mr. MOTT removed to Ithaca and lived on State street, and removed from there to Watkins.
Caroline has the honor of being the home of Lyman Cobb, author of Cobb's Spelling Book, which is well remembered by persons fifty years old and upwards. Mr. COBB taught school at Slaterville in a small school house which stood on the farm of Charles MULKS, now owned by John BOICE. Mr. Cobb taught there about two years, and during that time compiled his spelling book, the first edition of which was issued in 1819. Several of the neighboring farmers helped him to publish the book, among whom were Levi SLATER, Erastus BENTON, of Berkshire, Isaac STILLWELL and Charles and John MULKS. Mack & Andrus, of Ithaca, were the publishers for New York and the Middle States, and millions of copies of the book were printed in this and other States. Cobb sold the copyright to several parties in New England, the Southern and Western States. Mr. COBB afterwards compiled other school books.
Peter LOUNSBERY, father of Cantine, Edward and Richard LOUNSBERY, came from Ulster county in 1820 and settled where Richard's widow now lives. He was a prominent citizen, member of assembly in 1844, etc. Charles COOPER came in 1816 and settled on a farm. His sons were William, J. A. D., and Hiram COOPER.
About the year 1828 a Mr. TERRY lived on the corner where Smith STEVENS now lives, about half a mile west of the site of Caroline depot. Mr. TERRY was made postmaster in about 1835 by the President, and the post-office was named "Terryville;" it was probably the first post-office between Ithaca and Owego. Mr. Terry was removed by president Jackson, as a result of a petition gotten up by William MOTT charging Terry with being what is now-a-days termed an "offensive partisan." The office was, therefore, removed to "Mott's Hollow" about a year after it was established and named Mott's Corners, and William MOTT 2nd was the first postmaster. Eugene TERRY, of the surrogate's office in Ithaca, is a grandson of Postmaster Terry.
A man who, with his descendants, exerted considerable influence upon the town of Caroline was Charles H. MORRELL. He was an early settler in the town of Lansing near Lake Ridge, and eventually died there. He went there from New Jersey. About 1832 he bought of John J. SPEED, sr., two large farms in Caroline. In his lifetime Mr. MORRELL, and his sons after him, were noted for successful sheep husbandry and were the most extensive sheep breeders and dealers in Central New York. In his will Charles H. MORRELL bequeathed his large sheep herd, about 2,000 head, to his sons and daughters; 800 to Henry K., of Caroline; 500 each to Lewis A. and Charles H., jr., of Lansing, and 200 to his daughter. To his son Henry K. he also willed the Speed farm in Caroline, now owned by F. C. Cornell. To his daughter, wife of J. J. SPEED, jr., he gave a large farm in Caroline. L. A. Morrell became very active and prominent in sheep husbandry, and was the author of a valuable work on that subject. Henry K. MORRELL removed from the town about 1860.
Marlin MERRILL came from Connecticut in 1830 and settled first at Mott's Corners, and afterwards on the farm where Charles BOGARDUS lived. Michael C. KRUM came in from Ulster county in 1838 and settled where he now lives. In the same year Eleazer GOODRICH, father of Levi L. GOODRICH, came in from Berkshire, Tioga county, where he had settled in 1820. George BLAIR, father of Austin BLAIR, settled early on the Blair farm. The names of many other early and later residents of the town will be mentioned in the account of the villages and in the biographic department of this volume.
T. M. BOYER told Charles MULKS in 1880 that the winter of 1835-6 was remarkable for its deep snow. It began snowing January 1 and continued four consecutive days. During the winter not less than ten feet of snow fell. There were many deer about Shandaken and a man named GILMAN hunted them on snow shoes. He went to Ithaca and contracted to deliver there six or eight deer within a specified short time, the Ithacans not believing he could fulfill and thinking they would have a joke on him. He delivered the deer on time and demanded his money.
Six Mile Creek rises in Dryden and its whole course is about sixteen or seventeen miles. There have been twenty-three mill sites on the stream since the country was settled, including saw and grist mills. There have been fifteen saw mills, seven grist mills, two or three woolen mills, a gun factory, and a few small cider mills operated at sundry times. There are now only two or three saw mills and one grist mill, water and steam being used in some cases.
The "Bottom Mill," so called, on the upper Six Mile Creek, was a saw mill built by Elijah POWERS in 1808 and was one of the first saw mills built on that stream. POWERS lived on the Chauncey L. SCOTT farm, which after him was owned by a Mr. HASKINS. The Bottom Mill passed into the hands of the Van Pelts, who operated it a long time until it was worn out. The mill stood at the upper branches of Six Mile Creek
At the first town meeting held in Caroline, at the tavern of Richard BUSH, as directed by the act forming the town, in April, 1811, the following officers were chosen: William ROUNSVELL, supervisor; Levi SLATER, town clerk; Ephraim CHAMBERS, Nathaniel TOBEY and Laban JENKS, assessors; John ROBISON, Nathaniel TOBEY and Moses REED, commissioners of highways; Charles MULKS, collector; John ROBISON and Joseph CHAMBERS, overseers of the poor; Richard CHAMBERS and Robert HYDE, constables; Dr. Joseph SPEED Charles MULKS and Robert FREELAND, fence viewers; Richard BUSH, poundmaster.
Following is a list of supervisors of Caroline from 1811 to the present time, with dates of service:
1811-12. William ROUNSVELL
At the town meeting of 1817 it was voted "That whoever kills a fox in this town shall be entitled to a bounty; for killing a wolf, $5; for killing a wild-cat, $1."
At the town meeting in 1816 it was "Resolved, That Lyman RAWSON be prosecuted for retailing 'speerits' without a license."
Ephraim CHAMBERS, John ROBISON, Abram BLACKMAN and Dr. Joseph SPEED were the first justices of the peace in this town, appointed by the Board of Supervisors and judges of Common Pleas jointly. The office was made elective by the people in 1827. The first justices elected were Dr. James ASHLEY (one year), Milo HEATH (two years), Aaron Curtis (three years), and Silas Hutchinson (four years).
When Caroline was set off from Spencer and separately organized in 1811, all the preliminaries were satisfactorily agreed upon but the people could not agree upon the name. It was proposed and assented to that the spelling book should be taken and opened and the first female name they should find should be the name of the town. At the same time John CANTINE and Dr. SPEED agreed that the first girl that should thereafter be born in the family of either should be named Caroline. Diana Caroline SPEED became Mrs. Vincent CONRAD, and Caroline CANTINE a Mrs. GIDDINGS. Both have been dead many years.
In 1813 there was still a large part of the town assessed and taxed as non-resident lands. The largest of these non-resident owners was Samuel W. JOHNSON, of Stratford, Conn. He owned 1800 acres in one solid body in the southwest corner, embracing the whole of the lands since known as the PUGSLEY, RIDGEWAY, LANE, and several lesser farms.
In round numbers the assessed valuation of residents was, in 1813, $88,553; and of non-residents, $27,828. This was the second year after the town was organized.
Following is a list of the principal officers of this town for 1894; William K. BOICE, supervisor, Slaterville Springs; Charles E. MEEKS, town clerk, Brookton; William P. RICH, collector, Caroline; George H. NIXON, justice of the peace, Speedsville; Charles LEWIS, constable, Speedsville; John E. VAN ETTEN, constable, Brookton; Adelbert M. DEDRICK, constable, Slaterville Springs; Elnathan H. CARD, constable, Slaterville Springs.
STATISTICS.--The number of acres of land in Caroline, as given in report of Board of Supervisors, 1893, is 34,747. Assessed valuation of real estate, including village property and real estate of corporations, $851,495. Total assessed value of personal property, $32,550. Amount of town taxes, $2,330.09. Amount of county taxes, $1,518.53. Aggregate taxation, $5,370.29. Rate of tax on $1 valuation, .0061. Corporations--D., L. & W. Railroad Co., assessed value real estate, $40,000; amount of tax, $244. E., C. & N. Railroad Co., assessed value of real estate, $45,000; amount of tax, $274.50. N. Y. & P. Telegraph and Telephone Co., assessed value of real estate, $500; amount of tax, $3.05. W. U. Telegraph Co., assessed value real estate, $300; amount of tax, $1.83. Town audits, 1893, $1,056.38.
SLATERVILLE.--This small village is situated on Six Mile Creek, on the northern line of the town. The derivation of its name and most of the early settlers have been already mentioned. Others who may properly be mentioned as residents early and at later time in that vicinity were John ROBISON, Robert FREELAND, Lemuel YATES, Francis NORWOOD and others.
With the establishment of the early mills and mercantile stores, and the organization of churches and schools, most of which have been described, the hamlet grew to a few hundred inhabitants and remained in about that condition many years. The post-office was established in 1823, with John ROBISON as postmaster; he also kept a tavern at the time. The present official in the office is Mrs. E. M. WATTLES, who has had it continuously since 1872.
In 1816 or 1817 John ROBISON and Mr. HEDGES built a tannery and operated it a few years; it stood on the site of the present barn of Carn's Hotel. ROBISON and HEDGES were succeeded in the business by Milo and James HEATH, who continued it many years. The HEATH family, father and brothers, came from Connecticut originally, but removed to Caroline from Delhi, N.Y., in 1818, and were long influential men in the town.
About the same time Isaac MILLER built a frame store across the road from the tannery and began trade; he died soon afterwards.
Levi SLATER was his successor, and carried on trade there about eight years. Between 1816 and 1820 the little village saw its greatest prosperity, at least until the discovery of the merits of the Magnetic Springs. This event took place about 1871, when a well was sunk by Dr. William GALLAGHER. The waters of these springs contain a large percentage of mineral constituents, and have proved efficacious in the cure of many diseases. The Slaterville House was a hotel built many years ago and kept at various periods by Zophar T. MCLUSKY, James HALL, Richard FREER, S. Edward GREEN, George CLARK, Josephus BULLMAN, Josephus HASBROUCK, and perhaps others. When the springs began to be developed, and the reputation of the waters became known, W. J. CARNS took this house, renamed it the Magnetic Springs House, enlarged and improved it, beautified the grounds, drilled for a supply of the water, and opened it to the public. He has kept the house ever since.
The Fountain House was built by Hornbeck & Benjamin Brothers in 1872, and in 1875 was sold to Moses DEDRICK. Mr. CARNS is now also conducting this house, having purchased it of Harrison Halstead.
A flour mill was built at Slaterville in 1820 by Solomon ROBISON, who rebuilt it in 1836. It was burned in 1863, and three years later the second mill was erected by Jason D. ATWATER. This mill was burned down in 1891 and not rebuilt.
In 1818 an old frame school house stood on the land of Charles MULKS. It was partly demolished and rendered useless by a party of mischievous boys, and in the next winter school was taught in the old Freer log house in Slaterville, and in the following year (1828) the "Red School House" was built.
SPEEDSVILLE.--The settlement of this small village and the events connected therewith have been already described. The place was known in early years as "Jenksville," from Laban JENKS, an early settler. About the year 1835 a movement was started to secure a post-office there under that name, the inhabitants not taking kindly to the removal of the office which had already been opened under the name of Speedsville down to the old road whither John J. SPEED had removed. The inhabitants finally succeeded in forcing Mr. SPEED into a compromise, under which the office was taken back to "Jenksville," but under the name of Speedsville, which Mr. SPEED was desirous should be retained. Leroy W. KINGMAN was the first postmaster after the removal and was appointed February 4, 1835. Other succeeding postmasters have been Isaac L. BUSH, Samuel P. ASHLEY, G. H. PERRY, Josiah LAWRENCE, Isaac L. BUSH, D. B. GILBERT (who held the office more than 15 years), and was succeeded by W. S. LEGGE and Mrs. Dr. JOHNSON. The present postmaster is J. I. Ford.
Many of these carried on mercantile business in connection with their official business, and A. N. FORD, D. B. GILBERT & Son, Asa PHILLIPS, and others, formerly kept stores. The present merchants are J. L. FORD and E. L. FREELAND. Trout Brook Creamery is in this village, owned and operated by Truman & Thompson, of Owego. About 500 pounds of butter are made here daily.
MOTT'S CORNERS.--This place was known in early years as Cantine's Mills, and its name was changed from Mott's Corners to Brookton in recent years. The village is situated on Six Mile Creek, near by stations on the Elmira, Cortland and Northern Railroad and Caroline depot on the D., L. & W. Railroad. The settlement of Gen. John CANTINE here, as well as others, has been quite fully detailed in preceding pages. The building of the early mills at this point determined its locality as a site for a village. The Upper Grist Mill, as it has been known, stands nearly opposite the site of the old Cantine Mill, which was built about the year 1800, and was burned in 1862, while owned by Joseph CHAMBERS. The present mill was built by George WHITE in 1865, and was sold by him to F. C. CORNELL. This mill is not now running. It was at one time owned by William MOTT 2nd, as was also the mill on the present Voorhis site several years previous. The latter mill was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by David C. ROE in 1850. It passed through several hands to the Voorhises, father and sons, and was burnt in 1890 or 91. Fred E. BATES then became proprietor of the site and built thereon the present mill, and very soon after resold it to the VOORHIS brothers. Daniel M. WHITE and Fred E. BATES have two saw mills there.
There were formerly two woolen factories in operation at this place. A man named LOSEY for many years owned and carried on a gun factory below Brookton. The business was originally started at Taghanic Creek in Ulysses and removed to Brookton. They were followed by Mr. LULL and son, who changed the establishment into a factory for the manufacture of blankets. After a few years this was discontinued.
CAROLINE POST-OFFICE.--This is a hamlet in the northeast part of the town, and is the locality that was first settled, as before described, by Capt. David RICH, Widow EARSLEY, Dr. Joseph SPEED, and others. It was first known as "Yankee Settlement," and later as "Tobeytown," from Nathaniel TOBEY, an early settler, who was the father of Nathaniel M. TOBEY. The post-office was first established here about 1819, and Dr. SPEED was the first postmaster. Wallace W. CONRAD is the present official and carries on the only store.
A saw mill was built here in 1822 by Henry MORGAN and Isaac GOODALE, which passed to possession of N. M. TOBEY in 1865, and he rebuilt it. The present grist mill was built and is now operated by Francis EARSLEY.
The upper mill was built by Mr. TOBEY in 1835, on the west branch of Owego Creek. Mr. TOBEY also built a steam grist mill there in 1854, which he successfully operated until 1863, when it was burned by an incendiary and not rebuilt.
CAROLINE CENTER.--This hamlet is situated near the center of the town, which fact gives it its name. It was in that vicinity that the pioneers Augustin and Hugh BOYER, William JACKSON, Calvin CLARK, Jonathan SNOW, James LIVERMORE, Alexander STOWELL, John TAFT, Abel GATES, Ezekiel JEWETT, John GROUT, Joel RICH (brother of Capt. David RICH), Jeremiah KINNEY, Israel PAINE, and others settled and lived; many of them have descendants still living in the town and county.
The post-office was established here about 1839, with Hiram S. JONES as postmaster. The present official is John DAVIS. There has never been any manufacturing of much account here. Robert E. BRINK is the merchant.
Caroline Depot post-office was established in 1859, the year preceding the building of the depot here. Alvin MERRILL, who was station agent, was the first postmaster. Slaterville, Brookton, and Caroline Center receive their supplies chiefly from this station. A store is kept by Dayton CONRAD, and William B. KRUMis postmaster.
There is a post-office in the town called White Church, over which William HART presides.
Caroline Lodge, No. 681, F. & A. M., was instituted in November, 1867, with twenty-eight members. W. C. GALLAGHER, M.D., was the first W. M.; Moses MUNSON, S. W.; Job NORWOOD, J. W.; R. G. H. SPEED, secretary; R W. WOOD, treasurer. The charter was received in June, 1868, when some slight changes in the list of officers occurred. The present chief officers are: Richard LEONARD, W. M.; C. L. DAVIS, S. W.; C. J. HAMILTON, J. W.; W. K. BOICE, treas.; H. A. DAVIS, secretary; Leroy HEFFRON, S. D.; BOWNE MULKS, J. D.; George ALDRICH, S. M. C.; Leroy MCWHORTER, J. M. C.; R. G. H. SPEED, chaplain, George E. VANDEMARK, marshal; Thomas GIBBS, tyler.
Speedsville Lodge, No. 265, F. & A. M., was instituted June 11, 1851, and worked under a dispensation until June 19, 1852, when its charter was issued and thirteen members enrolled. The first W. M. was Robert H. S. HYDE; S. W., Thomas Band; J. W., Lyman KINGMAN; secretary, Leonard LEGG; treasurer, Robert E. MUIR. The present chief officers are: Nelson SLATER, W. M.; R. F.ABBEY, S. W.; G. H. NIXON, J. W.; S. H. BOYER, treasurer; H. S. AKINS, secretary; W. L. KEENY, S. D; J. I. FORD, J. D.; A. BOSTWICK, chaplain; Collins CARTRIGHT, S. M. C.; F. M. BAKER, J. M. C.; C. A. CLARK, marshal; Mildan MEAD, tyler.
RELIGOUS ORGANIZATIONS.--The first church organization in the town of Caroline was of the Dutch Reformed faith and was due to the efforts of Rev. Gerrit MANDEVILLE. The date was some time in the year 1812; the early records of the church are not accessible, but among the original members were Joseph CHAMBERS, Oakley BUSH, the Widow EARSLEY, and others. Mr. MANDEVILLE remained with the church nearly twenty-five years. A house of worship was built about 1820, which has been demolished, and the society is extinct.
THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH OF CAROLINE.--This church is in Slaterville and the class which preceded it was formed in 1813 with eight members, only one of whom was a man. The first pastor was John GRIFFIN. The church organization was effected November 28, 1831, under the title, "The Garretson Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church," but its subsequent incorporation was under its present name. The first regular pastor was Rev. George HARMON. The church building was commenced in 1832 and dedicated in 1834. It has been since enlarged and repaired. Rev. William H. STRANG is the present pastor.
THE METHODIST CHURCH AT CAROLINE CENTER.--This society was organized about 1820, with thirteen members, by Rev. George Harmon, above mentioned. In 1825 the society built a church at a cost of $1,000, which sufficed until 1866, when it was superseded by the present church. A. F. BROWN is pastor.
THE METHODIST CHURCH AT SPEEDSVILLE.--A class was formed at Speedsville about the year 1820, which was followed in 1851 by a church organization. A house of worship was erected in the same year during the pastorate of Rev. William LISBEE.
A church was built at Speedsville in 1828 by the Methodists, Presbyterians and Universalists, who used it jointly until 1851. The Methodists now worship in their own church, and Rev. A. A. BROWN is pastor.
ST. JOHN'S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SPEEDSVILLE.-- This society was originally organized as a church of the same name at Richford, whence it was removed to Speedsvbille in 1842. Rev. George WATSON was called as a missionary; and Hiram BLISS and Towner WHITON were made wardens. Rev. C. W. MCNISH is pastor.
In 1891 an Episcopal Society was organized at Slaterville, and in the spring of 1894 they finished a beautiful church at a cost of $3,500. Memorial windows were presented by Moses Bull in memory of his wife and daughter; by Mrs. Mary F. TOBEY, in memory of Simon and Sally ANDREWS (her father and mother); and by Mrs. William P. SPEED, in memory of her husband and her sons, Joseph and Daniel. The pastor is Rev. C. W. MCNISH.
THE UNIVERSALIST CHURCH.-- A Universalist Society was organized April 26, 1827, with twenty-seven members and Rev. N. DOOLITTLE pastor. A new organization was effected in 1870 under the name of the "Universalist Church of Speedsville," with forty-three members and Rev. A. O. WARREN pastor. The original society joined with the Methodists and Presbyterians, as before stated, in building a church. The Universalists eventually purchased the building.
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CAROLINE--This society was organized in 1814 with fourteen members and Rev. Pliny SABIN pastor. In 1848 a house of worship was erected; this was removed in 1863 and a neat building erected at Brookton, which was dedicated January 11, 1864; its cost was $2,500. The society also owns a parsonage. The pastor is Rev. William A. HOUSE.
In 1892 a Methodist Society was organized at Caroline, and a church was built in 1894 at a cost of about $1,500. Rev. Charles NORTHROP is pastor.
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.--This society is at Brookston and was organized March 28, 1868, and incorporated in the following month. The original membership was fifty-five, a number of whom were from the Methodist Society of that place and the Reformed church. The first pastor was Rev. William S. HILLS. In 1868 a handsome church was erected at a cost of about $5,000. The pastor is Rev. Sherman MORELAND.
In 1814 a Baptist (Old School) church was organized, over which Rev. John SAWYER was pastor. The house of worship was built in 1843. This society is not now in existence.
Landmarks - Chapter XVI
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