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Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
by John H. Selkreg, 1894; D. Mason & Co., Publisher
The town of Lansing lies in the north part of Tompkins County, west of Groton and on the east side of Cayuga lake. The surface rises in a rolling upland to about 500 feet above the lake, with abrupt ledges in some places. The soil is chiefly a gravelly loam, well adapted to grain growing. Salmon Creek in the principal stream, rising in Cayuga county and flowing southerly through this town near its center. Its valley is narrow, and from its east side the land rises in a gradual slope and extends eastward with a comparatively level surface, which is divided into beautiful and fertile farms. To the westward from the creek valley the surface rises into what is known as the "Ridge." Salmon Creek has small tributaries in Gulf, Townley, Hedden, and Upper Hedden Creeks. On Townley Creek are the three Indian Falls, forty to sixty feet in height, and noted for their natural beauty. On Hedden Creek are the Buttermilk Falls, also noted for their natural picturesque attractions. There are other cascades on the small streams of this town which contribute to the many romantic beauties of the locality.
One of the old military townships of Cayuga county was named "Milton," and was erected January 27, 1789. On the 20th of February, 1802, the town of Locke was set off from Milton. On the 6th of April, 1808, the name was changed to Genoa, from the south part of which the town of Lansing was set off on the 7th of April, 1817, under the act that created Tompkins county. It retains its original limits and contains 38,808 acres, of which about 32,000 are improved. Settlements were made in what is now Lansing, of course, long before it became a civil organization. In March, 1791, Silas LUDLOW, his brother Henry, and Thomas, son of the latter, with their families came into the town from Ithaca, drawing their little store of goods on a handsled on the ice of the lake. Reaching the mouth of Salmon Creek they followed up its ravine to the falls on the site of Ludlowville and there located. The water power there was attractive to them and they bought military lot No. 76 for sixty dollars. Henry built his first log house where Charles G. BENJAMIN now lives. These men became prominent in founding the little community, and their descendants were active in public affairs. Several of the latter removed from the town. Jehiel LUDLOW was member of assembly, sheriff, and justice of the peace.
Samuel BAKER and his brother-in-law, Solomon HYATT, passed through this town on their way to Canada in 1788 or '89, inspected lot No. 54, and BAKER afterwards bought it, probably in 1791. In the spring of 1792 he hired a man to aid in chopping, and they came in and built a log house on the site of Lansingville. October 13, 1792, BAKER exchanged his lot for the one adjoining, and started in the spring of 1793 from Peekskill, on the Hudson, on a sloop with his family on his journey towards his wilderness home. Arriving at Lunenburg, on the Hudson, he learned that his title was worthless. He was a good blacksmith and went undauntedly at work at his trade, saved up a hundred pounds sterling, with which he purchased 100 acres of the first lot he had bought of the owner in Albany, and came on by the usual route up the Mohawk in a bateau, through Oneida Lake, Seneca River, and Cayuga Lake to Himrod's Point, where Mr. HIMROD had made a settlement in 1793. Ebenezer HASKIN had located in the same year a mile east of the lake on the site of Lake Ridge, and with his oxen helped BAKER to move his goods to his lot. There BAKER built a blacksmith shop, and between that time an 1801 purchased the remainder of the military lot. He at one time owned about 1,200 acres. He was the first supervisor of the town of Milton, and his children and grandchildren have been conspicuous in the town. He was a magistrate many years, a preacher of some note, and built the first canal boat that ran from Cayuga Lake.
Capt. Benaja STRONG and his son Salmon came in 1791 and purchased 2,000 acres on both sides of Salmon Creek, and began a clearing a mile and a quarter east of Lansingville on lot No. 63, where Albert SLOCUM now lives. He gave his sons each a farm and they settled in the town. Two of his daughters married Zoel and Daniel BACON, and settled near the site of North Lansing, in the northeast part of the town, in 1793. Captain STRONG was a noted pioneer and lived to ninety-six years, and had been in the Revolutionary War; his son, of the same name, was in the War of 1812 as a soldier.
John BOWKER came in 1791 from Ulster county, by way of Owego and Ithaca, and settled near North Lansing, where his son James afterwards lived. He was a justice of the peace, constable, and supervisor in the town of Milton. His brothers, Joseph and Noah, came in 1792. John BOWKER had twelve children, all of whom reared families, and at the time of his death, in 1855, was father, grandfather and great-grandfather to 130 children.
Andrew MYERS with his wife and two children came down the lake in 1792, and settled at what has been known as "Myers Point." His son Andrew built a large grist mill there about 1832.
Moses and Nicholas DEPEN settled at the mouth of Salmon Creek in 1792.
Ephraim BLOOM was of German descent, and came from Pennsylvania in 1791 and took up lot 91, building his cabin where Lewis BLOOM lived in recent years. Two Indians spent the succeeding winter with him, and in the spring of 1792 he brought in his family, two sons and five daughters. He died in 1828, a few days more than 104 years old. His wife lived to a few days more than 100 years.
Richard and Charles TOWNLEY, brothers, originally from New Jersey, reached this town in December, 1792, coming by way of Ithaca, and built a log cabin which they occupied first on Christmas day. Once settled in their cabin, Charles left his brother and family and returned to the Susquehanna, not far from Wilkesbarre, where they had lived four years after leaving New Jersey. Richard TOWNLEY was a man of superior native talents, and though not well educated, was an intelligent reader, closely observant, and became remarkably well informed. He learned surveying and practiced it throughout the county, was supervisor of Milton in 1802; justice of the peace in 1804; associate judge of Cayuga county; member of assembly ten years from 1804. As school commissioner he divided the town into districts and sold the public school lots. He was a presidential elector in 1816, and delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1821. He left a family of ten children at his death, which occurred in 1840. His descendants have been prominent in the town.
Abram MINIER, son of George, of Northampton county, Pa., came with his brother Daniel into the lake country in 1787 or 1788. Daniel went on to the Genesee country, but a deed shows that Abram purchased 600 acres of Captain VAN RENSSELAER, of Albany, in 1792. He brought his family and took possession in 1793. His land was on the site of South Lansing or "Libertyville." He reared a family of four sons and five daughters, on of the latter became the wife of Robert Tennant SHAW, who was named after the celebrated Presbyterian minister of New Jersey.
George RHODES, from Cherryville, came in 1793, with Frederick STORMS, of the same place, purchased 240 acres of land, which they divided, and the two farms are now occupied by John CONKLIN, and Frederick STORMS, a grandson of the pioneers. The first RHODES built and operated a distillery.
Zenas TICHENOR settled on military lands in Lansing in 1789-90, and was the first school teacher of the town. He was one of twelve brothers, all of whom were soldiers of the Revolution; one of his sons was in the War of 1812, and three of his grandsons were soldiers in the war of the Rebellion: Col. Isaac S. TICHENOR, of the 105th N. Y. V.; Maj. James H. TICHENOR, of the 32d N. Y. V.; and Capt. A. W. KNETTLES, of the 132d Regiment.
Tilman BOWER was a settler in 1794 from Pennsylvania, and three years later, his five sons, Honteter, John (who located near their father), Samuel, Adam and George (who settled at or near North Lansing) came into the town.
John HOLDEN came from Great Bend, in 1793, and settled on Lot 47, a mile west from Beardsley's Corners, where his son William now lives. In the same year John BEARDSLEY, of Stratford, Conn., came with his wife and five children, and settled on one-half of Lots 48 and 49, near the Baptist church site. He was justice of the peace and judge of the county.
In 1794 Robert ALEXANDER settled with his family on what has been known as the Allen farm. His title was proved worthless, several years later, and he removed to Newfield. Weston ALLEN purchased the farm of Mr. CHAPMAN, the successful litigant, moved upon it, and it is now occupied by his grandson, Nicholas.
In 1794, Micajah STARR settled a little south of Lake Ridge; Deacon GILLETT and Solomon KELLOGG a little east of there, and Jonah TOOKER a mile west of Ludlowville, where he kept the first store in Lansing. Henry TEETER, from Stroudsburg, Pa., settled in 1794 where Peter and John HEDDEN lived in recent years; he kept a public house a number of years; it was burned and his wife perished in the fire. John MEAD came this year from Chenango county and bought the north half of Lot 93 for $150 of William HARDENBURG. Mead was a Revolutionary soldier. His land was occupied by his sons in 1814. John M. MEAD was his grandson.
Daniel BACON, the father of Daniel L. BACON, of Lansing, came with brother Joel from Connecticut and purchased 215 acres in lot 47 where they settled in 1793; half of this tract is now owned by Daniel L. BACON.
William GOODWIN settled near the site of the Asbury church in 1793. He presented the land for the burial ground. His daughter married Col. Henry BLOOM. The latter was the son of the pioneer, Ephraim BLOOM, obtained his title in the War of 1812, and was wounded at Queenstown. He held the office of supervisor, sheriff and member of assembly. His brother Abram was a captain in the War of 1812.
Daniel and Albert WHITE, brothers of Rev. Alvord WHITE, who was a circuit preacher in 1794, settled near Lansingville or "Teetertown," about 1796.
In 1797 Jacob SHOEMAKER came to this town from New Jersey. His sons, Jacob and Henry, afterwards lived on the homestead, where his grandson Jacob now lives. John OZMUN came in about the same time and left many descendants in the locality. Abram VAN WAGNER bought a soldier's claim of 109 acres on lot 94, where his son-in-law, Dr. J. F. BURDICK lived. The latter practiced in the town for many years and died here.
George LA BAR became a settler about 1798 and was father of Ephraim LA BAR, who held the office of sheriff at one period. Daniel NORTON, Joseph GIBBS, Samuel DAVIS and Sidney DRAKE (father of Ogden, Samuel and Benjamin), all came to the town in 1795-99. DAVIS was an early carpenter. Other settlers before or in 1800 were Cornelius HARING (grandfather of John), John KIMPLE, Daniel CLARK (at Ludlowville, where he built a carding and fulling mill and dye works), Nathaniel HAMILTON (three-quarters of a mile west of Lansingville at "White's Settlement"). David MOORE, Jonathan COLBURN, John S. HOLDEN (father of Hiram, of Genoa), Matthias MOUNT (Three miles north of Ludlowville), and perhaps others.
These pioneers of the years preceding the beginning of the century were sturdy, industrious, and generally moral and God-fearing people, and under their patient and self-sacrificing toil the wilderness soon became not only habitable in a comfortable sense, but productive of most of the necessaries of happy living. Their lives were not filled with the ease and luxury that characterize those of many of their descendants, but that they were contented and hopeful is susceptible of ample proof. Many stirring incidents occurred to vary the monotony of their daily labor, but our limited pages will admit but meager record of them. Mr. TOWNLEY related to her friends that "one stormy day, when Mr. TOWNLEY was away and not expected home, she was in her log cabin alone with her four children. About ten o'clock in the morning she heard a noise at the door; soon it began to open slowly, and she saw a bayonet coming in followed by an Indian, who went to the fire-place and sat down on the floor, the fire being below on the ground. Not a word was said, and soon there came in three more, all Indians except one, who was a white man in Indian costume; but little was said by them for some time, and that in Indian language. Each was armed with a gun, bayonet, and tomahawk slung on his back. One of the little boys (James, who died in 1826), attracted by the wampum on their garments, jumped down from where he was sitting and went to them. Soon one of them asked who lived there and she told them TOWNLEY, and they commenced talking about one TOWNLEY at Wyoming, and told their stories of the fearful massacre. They finally asked her for something to eat, and she brought out what she had, and they carried away all they did not eat. Two years afterwards an Indian was through that country selling moccasins. Mr. TOWNLEY purchased and paid him, but he put back a shilling, saying: 'Me owe your squaw loaf bread so big.' He was one of the uninvited guests on that stormy day, and probably never had met an Indian agent."
The following Indian stories have also been preserved, which relate to this immediate region. The first incident was contributed to the Christian Union by Mrs. Mary L. TOWNLEY, granddaughter of the pioneers, as follow:
In estimated the barbarity of this action, we should remember that the savage blood was probably provoked to retaliation by the wholesale, sweeping desolation of their trees, fields and orchards by SULLIVAN's army, then marching through their country.
The following incident is from the "History of Cortland County," by Hermon C. GOODWIN, and relates to this territory: "A little west of the residence of Dr. J. F. BURDICK, and where he had a flourishing peach orchard, were some eighteen or twenty cabins. Here lived a tall, swarthy Indian chief, generally known among the warriors of the Six Nations as 'Long Jim,' with whom he was a great favorite. He was of Mohawk and Oneida extraction, and possessed many of the more prominent characteristics for which the two tribes have been justly celebrated. He was usually kind, benevolent, and just, but if insulted without proper cause, would assume the ferocity of a tiger, and act the part of a demoniac monster. He was an orator and a warrior, and possessed the art of swaying the multitude at will. He believed in witches, hobgoblins, and wizards, and often pretended to be influenced by a tutelary goddess, or guardian spirit. Shrewd and artful, dignified and generous, yet at times deceptive and malevolent, he studied to acquire influence and power, and in most of his marauding depredations was successful in keeping the arcanum of his heart as in a 'sealed fountain.' His unwritten history represents him as acting a conspicuous part in numerous tragical events, which were perpetrated by detached parties from BURGOYNE's army.
"A venerable chief, who resides on the New York Indian Reservation, informed us that, according to the tradition of his tribe, Long Jim was the main cause, instigator, and perpetrator of the bloody massacre of Miss Jane MCCREA, too well known in history to be recorded in these pages. He was the leader and controlling spirit of the band who met the Winnebagoes, in whose care she was, and, unwilling to see the prize gained by the other party, he fiercely tore her from her horse and tomahawked her on the spot, afterwards bearing her scalp triumphantly to he expectant lover."
Between 1800 and 1810 settlers came rapidly to Lansing, its beautiful situation beside the lake and its fertile soil proving very attractive. John ROYAL came soon after 1800 and settled near North Lansing, and Daniel DE CAMP, John LANE, and Jacob CONRAD located near by about the same time. Reuben COLTON settled at East Lansing in 1802 on lot 100. Thomas DARRITY settled in 1802 on lot 75, and had for a time the earliest tannery. Samuel BROWN located in that year in the south part of the town.
Joseph WYCKOFF, a harnessmaker, came about 1802 and settled on lot 95, where Samuel ROBINSON afterwards lived. He had three sons: Jesse, Levi, and Joseph, the former living and dying on the homestead. He (Jesse) had four children, and was the grandfather of William O. WYCKOFF, the well-known stenographer and manufacturer of the Remington typewriter.
In 1801 or 1802 John BROWN settled on Salmon Creek north of Ludlowville, and was elected to the Legislature in 1814-15, and was judge of the Common Pleas in 1816, and supervisor thirteen years. Aaron HEDDEN settled in 1802 and left descendants in the town. Joseph KNETTLES, from Pennsylvania, father of Capt. A. W. KNETTLES, settled about this time, and sold goods a few years.
Joseph MILLER came in 1803 and bought 100 acres on the southwest corner of lot 74 for an old Continental musket. He was the father of Marvin B. and George W. MILLER. Joseph E. NORTH, who was a captain in the army of 1812, was an early settler where Benton HALLADAY now lives.
Jacob MARKELL, of New Jersey, drew military lot 51, and his son settled on it in 1808. Benjamin BUCK came from Great Bend in 1805 with his wife and twelve children. Six of his sons and four daughters became settlers and residents of the town. In 1807 or 1808 Conrad TEETER settled at what became locally known as "Teetertown," where he built the first tavern. When the first post office was established the name of Lansingville was given to the place.
Calvin BURR began business at Ludlowville in 1812, and his descendants were long associated with business interests in the town. Oliver PHELPS moved into the town in 1811 and built the first store at Ludlowville; his clerk was Arad JOY. Mr. PHELPS built the first steamboat on the lake, about 1825. Benjamin JOY was an early and long resident, and was very prominent as a temperance worker. He was foremost in organizing the Lansing Temperance Society in 1828, which is still in existence, holding annual meetings on the 30th of December. James A. BURR, of Ithaca, is the present president of the society. Silas K. NEWTON came in 1813 from Ulysses and worked at shoemaking. David CROCKER came from Lee, Mass., in 1817, and settled where his son David afterwards lived, on the farm now owned by Edwin DAVIS. Casper FENNER was a settler of 1817, purchasing military lot 42. Henry B. LORD, the long time bank cashier of Ithaca, came into Ludlowville in 1838, and was connected with the BURRs in business. Joseph IVES, Abram MILLER, Benjamin GROVER and John KELLY were the other settlers of this period.
The modest career of the venerable Roswell BEARDSLEY, of "Beardsley's Corners" (North Lansing) is most remarkable in some respects. He came to that place in 1827-28, and was made deputy postmaster in June, 1828. He was appointed postmaster by John Quincy ADAMS, and has ever since, through a period of about sixty-five years. It gives him the present distinction of being the postmaster longest in continual incumbency in the United States.
Benjamin JOY, many years a resident of Tompkins county, was descended from Thomas JOY, who came to America from Hingan, Norfolk county, England, in the year 1630 in company with John WINTHROP, first governor of the Colony of Massachusetts, and eight hundred others. The JOY family had its full share of patriots and soldiers both in the French and the Revolutionary Wars, among whom was David JOY and his brother Abel, who, after the battle of Bunker Hill, joined an army of patriots at Cambridge and served throughout the war. In the year 1800 David disposed of his somewhat sterile farm near Gilford, Vt., and removed with his family to Fabius, Onondaga county, N. Y. On the 23d day of June, 1800, Benjamin was born. His father died when he was but thirteen years of age, and the following year he removed with his brother to Ludlowville, his home for fifty years thereafter. At an early age he entered his brother's store as clerk and remained in this capacity until manhood.
In the year 1822 he commenced business for himself, and in the following year was married to her who became his greatest comfort and blessing throughout life.
In the year 1827 Mr. JOY entered upon his life work, his attention having been aroused be a series of sermons form the pen of Lyman BEECHER. It soon became his practice to address large meetings in his own and adjoining counties, and at their close to present the pledge of total abstinence. Mr. JOY's labors extended through more than a quarter of a century.
While he was one of the best known and honored men of his day, loved and revered alike by friends and foes, yet he battled to uproot and destroy, and often called down upon himself bitter denunciation and malignant opposition.
In 1854 Mr. JOY was chosen as a Prohibition representative of the Legislature of his county, where he speedily became a leader. In the year 1864 he removed to Penn Yan, where he died February 18, 1869. In his new home, as in his old, his labors were incessant in the church and in the great causes of reform.
It is impracticable to further follow the records of these men and their later descendants who have labored to bring the town of Lansing to its present prosperous condition; but notice of others in the present community will be found in part III of this work. In its educational and religious institutions the town has kept well to the front, the first school having been established before the beginning of the century in a log house across the street from where Jonah TOOKER opened the first store at Ludlowville, in 1795; and a church society was instituted and a log church erected a mile west of Ludlowville before 1800. There are now twenty-three districts in the town, with neat school houses in most of them.
Some first occurrences in the town may here be properly placed on record. The first primitive grist mill of Henry and Thomas LUDLOW, built in 1795, has already been mentioned; previous to that time grain for grinding was carried across the lake to Goodwin's Point and thence to Abner TREMANs mill at Trumansburgh.
John GUTHRIE sold the first goods from a boat load brought by him from Schenectady to the mouth of Salmon Creek. Jonah TOOKER opened the first regular store in 1795, and the first tannery was built of logs by Thomas LUDLOW a little west of Ludlowville; a few years later he built another on the site, where a public house has been kept since. Thomas DARRITY built the first tannery. Henry BLOOM and Catherine GOODWIN were united in the first marriage in the town.
The town of Lansing is chiefly an agricultural district, and while there are several small villages and hamlets, there is none of importance, and the trade interests are only sufficient for the needs of the several sections. There has never been extensive manufacturing in the town. Grain growing, fruit production, and stock raising have been the principal occupations of the farmers, with a tendency in recent years towards dairying and the raising of hay and fruit growing. The peace and prosperity of the town has been undisturbed except by the war of 1861-65, during which the people of the town evinced the same ardent patriotism shown by other towns in the county. The town furnished 143 men to the Union armies, several of whom became officers of high rank, and many sleep in soldiers' grave.
For the past twenty years the town of Lansing has been a temperance town, the majority of the votes cast being in favor of temperance and no license.
The officers of this town for 1894 are as follows: John H. CONKLIN, supervisor; Charles E. WOOD, town clerk; Barnard M HAGIN, justice of peace; James G. BUCK, assessor; Milo HOWELL, commissioner of highway; Delos C. HARING, overseer of the poor, Charles R. BOWER, collector; William H. MYERS, Almon M. TARBELL, Bradford AUSTIN, Albert VAN AUKEN, constables; Samuel HUDSON, John W. PRATT, Harrison W. BOWER, inspectors of election District No. 1; Dana SINGER, excise commissioner; Frank HARING, Charles H. BACON, Henry KARN, inspectors of election District No. 2; Fred A. TOWNLEY, George LANTERMAN, Michael EGEB, inspector of election District No. 3.
Following is a list of the supervisors of this town as far as we have been able to obtain them:
1829 Josiah HEDDEN
Churches: In 1795-6 Rev. A. OWEN and Alward WHITE were appointed to Seneca Circuit and formed the First Methodist Episcopal Society at Jonah TOOKER's house, a mile west of Ludlowville, and at Robert ALEXANDER's south of Lake Ridge. A log house was built in 1801 half a mile west of Lansingville, which was burned in 1802. A frame structure took its place, which was the first frame church building in Genesee Conference. >From an old record we learn that "there were no roads at that time. Indian paths and flayed trees were the only guides. In the fall of 1796, as the ALEXANDER family were sitting around the fire in the evening, they were startled by a strange cry which seemed to come from a distance, and rushed to the door to discover the cause. It was evident that it proceeded from the adjacent forest, between them and Cayuga Lake, but whether from a panther or human being they could not tell. Mr. ALEXANDER decided that it was a call for help, and hallooed in reply. Soon after the sound appeared to be nearer, and by repeated calls the lost traveler was guided to their cabin, when, to their astonishment, they beheld A. OWEN, with whom they had been acquainted in Pennsylvania. This was his first round on his circuit, and losing the Indian path on the lake shore in the darkness, he had taken that course to find a friend." A quarterly meeting was held in a barn near the site of the Asbury meeting house in 1797, and a class was formed with Reuben BROWN leader; the other classes were formed as above noted. Three of these classes united, and a log church was built in 1797, which was burned in 1801 or 1802. A frame structure took its place, which was 34 by 36 feet in size and was used until 1833, when a brick edifice was built at Lansingville. This was burned February 26, 1863, and in the following year the present frame church was erected. The present pastor is Benjamin FRANKLIN, who resides at North Lansing.
Since the above was written, a valued contributor has sent in the following account of Methodism in and near this town, which merits a place herein, even at the risk of minor repetitions:
There are traces of Methodist preachers in Lansing in the year 1793; in this year William COLBERT, jr., preacher on Northumberland Circuit, Penn., was sent on a tour of exploration through the then "Western Wilds of New York." He started from Wilkesbarre, Penn., went as far as Niagara, Canada; on his return he came through Lansing and stumbled on to a Methodist, a new settler by the name of CONKLIN. COLBERT, who was a full fledged Methodist preacher, was dressed in knee buckskin trousers, kept bright by occasional applications of yellow ochre (what changes a century has wrought in preachers' costumes!) While COLBERT was "staying for a rest" at the cabin of CONKLIN (who, by the way, lived six mile north of the present site of Ithaca, which must be within the precincts of this Asbury church), they heard of a preacher that had newly moved into the settlement of Ithaca, then a town of three families. The preacher was a Baptist minister, known as "Elder STARR," who in a few days announced that he would preach to the settlers on the following Sabbath. CONKLIN and COLBERT heard of the appointment and resolved to attend the meeting. The Sabbath was a fine one in June, 1793, and the few inhabitants gathered for the first time to hear the gospel in their new home. Settlers from the adjacent country heard of the appointment and a few came in to hear the new preacher. In the congregation were two who knelt during prayer; a smothered whisper went around the cabin "they are Methodists." After the conclusion of Elder STARR's sermon CONKLIN arose and introduced his companion as a Methodist, and asked the privilege for him to preach. Elder STARR arose and said: "The Methodists are a new sect, holding strange doctrines, and the people do not care to hear them." During the year 1797 a Methodist class was formed at Asbury. The names of the members of Asbury class are as follows: Reuben BROWN was appointed class reader by the pastor, Anning OWEN. BROWN lived one mile east of West Dryden Corners, and often started on foot, accompanied by his wife, and carrying a babe in their arms, over the then corduroy road, to attend church and lead his class at Asbury Chapel, a distance of six miles. This same year two log "meeting houses" were built, one at Teetertown and the other at Asbury. The one at Asbury stood at the east end of the present Asbury Cemetery and was used for district school purposes on week days and divine service on Sunday. The church and school house have gone hand in hand from the beginning of American Methodism. This same year, 1797, Asbury and Teetertown were attached as appointed to Seneca circuit. A. OWEN was the first regularly appointed pastor of Lansing Methodism. His remains, with those of his wife, now lie in the Kline Cemetery under a monument erected by the Wyoming Conference. The first quarterly conference of Lansing Methodism was held in a barn near the spot where the present Asbury church now stands. In 1811 the log meeting houses became too strait to hold the inquirers after Zion and was discarded. A brick house was built and the famous red meeting house at Asbury. Shortly after the completion of the red meeting house Bishop ASBURY, first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church, passed through Lansing and preached in the new meeting house, and in honor of him it was named Asbury Chapel. The preachers during the decade 1801 to 1811 were Jonathan NEWMAN, Jacob GRUBBER, Smith WEEKS, John BILLINGS, Miller HILL, Thomas DUNN, John HUSSELKUSS, James POLEMUS, Thomas ELLIS, John P. WEAVER, Parley PARKER, Joseph SCULL, Benoni HARRIS, Elijah BATCHLOR, George W. DENSMORE. This last is the minister who organized Foxtown, or more properly, the West Dryden Society, which from its organization to the present time has been connected with the Asbury. The ministers from 1812 to 1822 are first the venerable James KELSEY, who has at this writing a daughter living in Freeville, N. Y., and who, when a small girl, sat on Bishop ASBURY's knee. She is a member of the West Dryden M. E. church. Her name is Mrs. Samantha GEORGE. Mr. KELSEY had for his colleague S. L. HANLEY. They were followed by such veterans as Dan BARNES, Palmer ROBERTS, William CAMERON, Jonathan HEUSTIS, Loring GRANT and John KIMBERLIN, whose dust lies in Asbury Cemetery underneath where the pulpit stood in which he so often preached. He was buried there according to his own request. In 1844 a disaster befell the Asbury Society. On January 1 the famous red meeting house was no more; it was burned to ashes, but after the fire had burned out, a copy of the Scriptures was taken from the corner-stone where it had lain for thirty-three years. During this year (1844) the present house was built, and some who hewed the timbers and helped to raise the frame are with us today. This sketch covers a period of 101 years - from 1793 to 1894. The present pastor's name is Rev. W. Owen SHEPHERD. The present membership is fifty.
Ludlowville and Lansingville, which had formed one charge for many years, were divided in 1891, and Lansingville became the head of a new charge, Lansingville and North Lansing; and Asbury, which for ninety-seven years had been associated with West Dryden, was attached to Ludlowville. The present pastor of the M. E. Church at Ludlowville is Rev. W. Owen SHEPHERD, with approximate membership of seventy.
Baptist Church of East Lansing - This society was organized March 27, 1804, and was first known as the "Second Baptist church of Milton." The early records are not in existence, but the first pastor was a Rev. M. TUTTLE, in 1805. Reuben COLTON and wife, Noah BOWKER, Phoebe BUCK and Mr. STEBBINS were among the first members. Meetings were held at first in a log school house on the corner west of the present church site; afterwards in Philmore BARNEY's barn a mile north of that corner, until Benjamin BUCK built a large barn about one-fourth of a mile south of where the church stands. The membership was much scattered, some living five miles from the place of meeting. Rev. P. P. ROOT, one of the early ministers, was a missionary in Central new York. Another was Elder STILLWELL, a blind man, who preached occasionally in various places. Elder WEEKLY, another early minister, lived at Lake Ridge, and preached once in two weeks. This was about 1814. Then came Rev. William POWERS (1818), followed by Elders HARMON and STARR. Rev. E. W. MARTIN was the first settled pastor, in 1821, closing in 1825. There was a good deal of controversy as to the location of a church edifice, some wanting it in Groton and others in Lansing. At a meeting held December 17, 1822, the following resolutions were passed:
Resolved, That subscriptions be drawn for the purpose of erecting a meeting house on the land now in possession of John LUDLOW, on lot 79, in the town of Lansing, and adjoining the east and west road from Luther BARNEY's to the Groton Line.
The church was finished in 1823 at a cost of $2,000, and dedicated November 20, sermons being preached by Elders BENJAMIN and ANDREWS and Elder Oliver C. COMSTOCK.
Rev. T. B. BEEBE began his labors about 1825, held protracted meetings, and closed his labors in 1834. The first business in 1832 was the appointment of a committee to revise articles of faith and covenant. T. B. BEEBE, Noah BOWKER, and J. MORRISON were appointed. The church in 1832 reported 108 members. Rev. B. ANDREWS preached one year, 1834-5. In April, 1835, Rev. Asa CALDWELL received a call from the church. Rev. D. B. PURRINGTON preached from April, 1838 to 1840. Asa CALDWELL again served the church from May, 1840 to January, 1842. The following pastors came next: P. WORK, 1842 to 1847; B. GIBBS supplied the pulpit during the last named year; Daniel GARTHWAITE came for a short time; Rev. A. BAILEY, 1848; T. J. COLE, December, 1849 to October, 1852; Rev. Edgar SMITH, October, 1853 to May, 1860; this year the parsonage was rebuilt at a cost of $1,200; July 1, 1855, O. FAWCETT was allowed to preach in the church at 4 o'clock P. M.; Rev. M. LIVERMORE, 1860 to 1863; Rev. P. WORK visited the church about this time. Next G. B. GIBBS supplied the pulpit for some time. Rev. E. L. BENEDICT April, 1866, one year; Rev. M. H. PERRY, one year from April, 1868; this year the church was extensively repaired at an expense of $2,200, and was re-dedicated August 20, 1868. Rev. S. C. AINSWORTH, October, 1869 to September, 1876; Rev. R. CORBETT, one year from April, 1877; Rev. F. PURVIS, from June, 1878. Rev. John E. MCALLEN preached from 1881 to 1886; Rev. Edward ROYCE came in 1886 and left in the fall of 1890; Rev. D. P. RATHBONE came in spring of 1891 and left in May, 1892. The present pastor, Rev. S. H. HASKELL, came in June, 1892. A Sabbath school was organized about 1831, after an extensive revival, and is still continued. The trustees are William METZGAR, R. M. HOLDEN, G. L. CUTTER; senior deacons, John HARING, J. G. BUCK, A. TALLMADGE. A cemetery is connected with the church.
A Baptist church was organized at North Lansing in 1844. The first pastor was Elder B. AMES, who was followed by Rev. William B. DELANO, William WILKINS, S. GARDNER, S. S. DAY, - BURDICK, C. A. SMITH, E. W. BENEDICT, E. J. LEWIS, and others. In 1860 the membership reached sixty, but for ten years past it has been about twenty. Rev. H. S. HASKALL is the pastor. The trustees are John H. CONKLIN, CHARLES A. BOWER and Anson HOWSER. The church building was erected in 1852.
Baptist Church at Lake Ridge - This society, first known as the "First Baptist Church of Milton," was organized October 31, 1796, with the following fourteen persons as members: Micajah STARR, Anna STARR, Benajah STRONG, Abigail STRONG, Charles TOWNLEY, Lydia GILLETT, Luther BARNEY, Sarah BACON, Joel BACON, Thankful BACON, Pierpont BACON, Jerusha BACON, William AVERY, Abigail WOODRUFF. Elder Micajah STARR was chosen the first pastor and served until his death in March, 1820. Early meetings were held at the houses of the members and in school houses, until November 1, 1840, when the society occupied its new church at Lake Ridge. Various pastors served the church until 1863, since which time there has been no regular service.
Presbyterian Church - A Presbyterian society, called the "Second Church of Milton," was organized about the year 1805. Its formation was due partly to a disagreement in the First Church of the town respecting a site for a house of worship. It was locally known as the "Teetertown Church." When the name of the town was changed to Genoa, the name of the church was correspondingly changed, and the same course was followed when the town of Lansing was organized, it being then called the "Church of Lansing." It passed under the care of the Geneva Presbytery January 28, 1806, but was transferred to the Presbytery of Cayuga when that body was organized. Rev. Jabez CHADWICK organized the church, and on February 26, 1806, was installed pastor. Rev. John BASCOM succeeded him in 1818, and remained to his death in 1828. Mr. CHADWICK returned and remained to 1831, but religious views underwent change, and a division occurred in the society. Rev. Alexander M. COWAN was a supply for the church in 1834-36, and soon afterward most of the members joined the "Free Congregational Church of Genoa," then located at Five Corners, organized by Mr. CHADWICK. September 25, 1805, an immense frame church was built on ground now embraced in the Lansingville cemetery. The church having no right to sell this property, in 1853, through the efforts of David CROCKER, who was then in the Assembly, and act was passed giving the title to the Lansingville Cemetery Association, and the building was sold at public sale to S. S. TODD, for $175, who took it down and used the timbers in other structures. The original cost of the church was $2,000. An effort was made by Dr. WHITE to turn the structure into an institution of learning before it was sold and torn down, but it failed. This church society went to decay some fifteen years before the building was sold.
Presbyterian Church of Ludlowville - At a meeting held in pursuance of regular notice in the school house at Ludlowville, September 9, 1817, Thomas LUDLOW acted as moderator, and Lewis TOOKER secretary. The following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That this society be hereafter called and known as the "Presbyterian Society" in Ludlowville, in the town of Lansing, and that nine trustees be elected; and Ebenezer BROWN, John BOWMAN, Julius ACKLEY, Oliver PHELPS, Edward WALKER, Abijah MILLER, Thomas LUDLOW, Joshua JENNINGS and Gideon MOREHOUSE were chosen as such trustees.
The church was organized in December, 1817, by Rev. Dr. WISNER and Rev. Samuel PARKER of Ithaca, with eighteen members. Rev. William ADAMS was the first pastor, installed on April 21, 1819. January 17, 1823, a committee was appointed to superintend the building of a church, which was duly finished, and the first meeting held therein January 10, 1825. Prior to that time services had been held in an addition to the school house. The society is now without a pastor, the last one having been Rev. S. H. MEADE. In 1855 the membership was about eighty, but it has declined to about sixteen.
German Lutheran Church - Several German families at the "BOWER Settlement," north of Lansingville, organized an Evangelical Lutheran church in 1803. John HOUTZ was the first pastor, and also taught school in a log building; Jonathan MARKLE also preached for a time, services being held every four weeks. The Synod embraced churches in Waterloo, Geneva and Seneca Falls, with the Lansing church. The last services were held in 1842, with John IZENLORD as last pastor.
Ludlowville - This is the largest village in the town of Lansing, and is situated on Salmon Creek, about a mile from the lake shore. It dates back to about the beginning of the century, as we learn from the Journal of De Witt CLINTON, written in 1810. He says: "Nine miles from Ithaca we pass Salmon Creek, a considerable stream, on which are a mill, built by one LUDLOW; and a mile farther we ascended a very elevated hill, from which we had a prospect of Ithaca, the lake, and a great part of Seneca county. Here are some houses and a post-office." The village now contains 300 inhabitants, and has two churches, six stores, two blacksmith shops, one drug store, kept by Fred MOORE, a hardware store and tin shop by Charles E. WOOD, tow shoe stores by Fillman SMITH and John BAILEY respectively, a meat market by Frank LOBDELL, a millinery store by Margaret VAN AUKERN, an Odd Fellows Hall and the public hall owned by Nelson E. LYON, a flouring mill, feed mill and saw mill. The old hotel and premises are now owned and occupied by Nelson E. LYON. The village is the principal place in the town, with enterprising merchants, and other business men. The largest general store is owned and conducted by Nelson E. LYON, and the second largest by Charles G. BENJAMIN. Among the earlier prominent business men were, Oliver PHELPS, who came from Fabius in 1811 and built the first store; he also built the first steamboat on Cayuga Lake. Arad JOY came from Fabius in 1811 on horseback, with the key to Mr. PHELP's store in his pocket, and acted as clerk for Mr. PHILPS. Calvin BURR began business here in 1812. Henry B. LORD, now cashier of the First National Bank in Ithaca, acquired an interest in the business of Mr. BURR in 1838. The village at one time had seven dry goods stores and other business places, and was a more important point than Ithaca. About three and a half miles above Ludlowville on Salmon Creek is a grist mill owned and operated by James FORD, which was built in 1819 by Ambrose BULL. Another mill, half a mile above this one, was owned still earlier by a Mr. MCCLUNG. The present postmaster of Ludlowville is Charles G. BENJAMIN, an old resident and merchant, who received his commission in November, 1893.
Cayuga Lake Salt Company - The business now being prosecuted by this company is undoubtedly destined to be one of the greatest importance to Tompkins county. It has long been known that salt existed deep down in the earth in this locality, and acting upon that knowledge, in March, 1891, Royal V. LAMBERSON, Warren W. CLUTE, and Arthur OLIVER secured an option on lands on the east shore of Cayuga lake, at the mouth of Salmon Creek, sank a well to the depth of 1,500 feet, and struck a stratum of solid rock salt, now known to be thirty feet in depth. The drill has not yet passed through the salt deposit. The location of this site was the result of careful study of the geology of this region, good engineering, and excellent judgement on the part of these men. They organized the company with a capital stock of $50,000, erected a plant and warehouses, and began operations. In the following year they increased the capital stock to $150,000, drilled another well, enlarged their buildings, and began operations on a much larger scale. In 1893 new machinery and processes were adopted, including what is known as the vacuum pan, and improved dryers, and the manufacture of high-grade salt, which commands a ready market and the highest prices, is now produced in large quantities. The daily capacity of the works is 1,000 barrels, and employment is given to about 100 persons. Their shipping facilities are, of course, excellent, as their location is directly upon the railroad. After the success of the first well, the company purchased a tract of twenty-seven acres upon which to conduct their future operations. The men whose names have been mentioned are active and energetic in the business, and all indications now point to the future great success of the industry. The officers of the company are Royal V. LAMBERSON, president; Archibald S. WHITE, vice-president, with Warren W. CLUTE, secretary and treasurer.
Lake Ridge - This hamlet is situated on high ground above the lake, in the northwest part of the town. Frederick FENNER was one of the first merchants in this place, and an early proprietor of the Lake Ridge Hotel, which was built about 1814. A Mr. LAMPORT had a general store here about 1840. Isaac DAVIS built a store building and leased it to Joseph SMITH for ten years. He was followed by Freeman PERRY, who met with reverses, and Henry TEETER took possession of the stock. While selling it, the store caught fire and was burned. William DAVIS was a prominent merchant before 1865, and his store also burned. L. D. IVES purchased and took possession of the hotel and store in 1870. At his death the store passed to his two daughters, and later the younger daughter, Lucy J. SHANK, bought her sister's interest. Her husband, B. O. SHANK, now conducts the store. The postmaster is Joshua B. DAVIS, who received his commission in April, 1892.
South Lansing - This place was formerly called "Libertyville," and the local name of "The Harbor" has also attached to it. It is a mere hamlet in the central part of the town, and now contains a large brick hotel, owned and kept by William MILLER; a grocery by Charles EGBERT, and a blacksmith shop by C. F. CRANCE. Charles M. EGBERT is postmaster and was commissioned in May, 1892.
Lansingville - This is a hamlet formerly known as "Teetertown," and is situated on the ridge west of Salmon Creek, in the north part of the town. It contains a general store kept by Main & Townsend; a hotel by Mr. DE CAMP; a blacksmith shop by Wilmer STOUT; and a church. Mr. STOUT is postmaster.
North Lansing - This little place has also the name of "Beardsley's Corners," from the residents of that name. It is in the northern part of the town, and has a general store kept by Roswell BEARDSLEY; a hotel by Oscar TEETER; a blacksmith shop by Anson HOWSER; tow churches and a post-office. Roswell BEARDSLEY is postmaster and enjoys the unique distinction of having occupied that office longer than any other person in the United States has acted as postmaster. He received his commission in 1820.
East Lansing - A post-office by this name is located in the eastern part of the town, where there is a small collection of dwellings and a blacksmith shop and Baptist church. The postmaster is Chauncey HARING, who was commissioned in February, 1890.
Besides the foregoing there are four other post-offices in this town, but at points where there are no business interests of account. One of these is called Hedden's, which is a station on the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and J. W. BROWN is postmaster; he was appointed in June, 1888. He is a native of Lansing, son of Reuben BROWN. His father died in 1869, and his mother in 1864. He obtained his education in the common schools and a private school in Ithaca, and at twenty-one years of age he learned telegraphy in Ludlowville; from there he went to Hedden's.
Asbury is a post-office under Mrs. Mary HEAD, who was commissioned in 1893, succeeding her son, Horace A. HEAD.
Midway is the name of a post-office located about midway between North and South Lansing. Wm. A. J. OZMUN is postmaster and was appointed in 1875.
At the Ludlowville station is a post-office called Myers, which is in charge of Peter D. DRAKE, who was appointed November, 1891. He is a native of Sheldrake, Seneca county, and son of Lewis B. and Martha DRAKE.
Landmarks - Chapter XX
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