FRENCH'S HERKIMER COUNTY, Part 2

HERKIMER COUNTY


from the

GAZETTEER OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

by J. H. French

Published by R. Pearsall Smith
Syracuse, N.Y. 1860




GERMAN FLATS (1) -- was formed, as a district of "Tryon co.," March 24, 1772. Its name was exchanged with the Kingsland District, March 8, 1773. It was recognized as a town March 7, 1788. Frankfort, Litchfield, and Warren were taken off in 1796, and a part of Little Falls in 1829. It lies upon the S. bank of the Mohawk, S. of the center of the co. A fine intervale extends along the river, and from it the surface gradually rises to a height of 300 to 400 ft. and spreads out into an undulating upland. The valley of Fulmer Creek divides this upland into two nearly equal parts. The other streams are small brooks. The soil is a clay and slaty loam upon the hills, and a gravelly loam and alluvium in the valleys. Mohawk, (p.v.,) a canal village, in the N. W. part of the town, was incorp. April 16, 1844. It contains 3 churches, a bank, and newspaper office. Pop. 1,355. Ilion (p.v.) is a canal village, 1-1/2 mi. W. of Mohawk. It contains 2 churches, a bank, and RemmingtonŐs rifle factory. Pop. 813. Fort Herkimer, upon the Mohawk, in the E. part contains 2 churches and 20 houses. Denisons Corners (Denison p.o.) and Pains Hollow are hamlets. The first settlements were made in 1722, by a colony of Palatinates who had previously located upon the Hudson. (2) The population rapidly increased until 1756, when the whole settlement was laid waste by a party of Canadians, French, and Indians. (3) A council was held with the Indians at this place, June 28, 1775, at which the Oneidas and Tuscaroras agreed to remain neutral. (4) During the Revolution the Indians committed many murders in town; and in July, 1782, they destroyed nearly the whole settlement. (5) The German inhabitants early espoused the Patriot cause; and the first liberty-pole in the Mohawk Valley, erected here, was cut down by Sheriff White and a body of militia, who came up from Johnstown for the purpose, in the spring of 1775. At the close of the war the settlements progressed with great rapidity. A treaty was held with the Indians at Fort Herkimer, June 28, 1785, at which time the Oneidas and Tuscaroras ceded to the State the territory lying between Unadilla and Chenango Rivers. The first church was built of logs, in 1725; it was superseded by one built of stone, in 1767. The building is still standing, and is the most ancient structure in the co. It was commenced under a permit granted in 1746, but from apprehension of Indian troubles it was delayed, and a new permit was granted Oct. 6, 1751. It was not fully completed for use until 1767. On the 24th of Sept. 1730, Nicholas Wolever deeded Lot 30 of Burnetsfield Patent for church and school purposes. A society was formed soon after, and the conveyance was perfected April 26, 1733. Lots 45, 46, and 47 in German Flats were conveyed Sept. 18, 1755, by Hans Dedrick Stelly, and others, to Peter Remsen, for the support of the Ref. Prot. D. church at this place. The first preacher was Rev. A. Rosegrantz. (6)

1 Named from the German settlers who located on the Mohawk Flats at this place.
2 Among the early settlers were families named Erghemar, Herkimer, Fox, Editch, Bellinger, Starring, Wolever, and Harter, -- names still common in the co.
3 This attack was made Nov. 11, 1776. The settlers were totally unprepared, and the greater part were murdered or captured, without resistance. The French account states that a mill, 60 houses, and a large number of barns, were destroyed, 40 persons were killed, and 150 taken prisoners. These numbers were doubtless much exaggerated. A small stockaded fort, called Fort Kouari, was garrisoned at this time, and afforded shelter for a portion of the inhabitants. On the 30th of April, 1758, the French and Indians made another attack upon the settlers, and killed 30, losing 15 of their own number.
4 On the 15th and 16th of Aug. 1775, another council was held here by Turbot Francis and Valkert P. Doud, on the part of the Commissioners for the Northern Department, to induce the Indians to go to Albany to hold a great council. They attended at Albany soon after; but sufficient inducements could not be offered to detach them from the royal cause.
5 In July, 1782, a party of 600 Indians and tories entered the settlement, and were discovered by Peter Wolever, who, with Augustinus Hess, lived about 60 rods from the fort. Both families escaped to the fort, except Hess, who was killed at the picket gate. Valentine Starring was tortured within hearing of the fort, which was too feeble to attempt a rescue. -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 406.
6 There are now 7 churches in town; 2 Ref. Prot. D., Bap., Ev. Luth., F. W. Bap., Univ., and Union.

HERKIMER (1) -- was formed from Kingsland District, March 7, 1788. A part of Palatine (Montgomery co.) was annexed in 1791. Norway and Schuyler were taken off in 1792, a part of Newport in 1806, and a part of Little Falls in 1829. A part was annexed to Schuyler in 1808, and restored in 1811. It lies on the N. bank of the Mohawk, near the center of the settled portions of the co. A wide intervale extends along the river, and from it the surface gradually rises to the N. line of the town. West Canada Creek flows S. through near the center, dividing the uplands into two distinct ridges. The Hasenclever Mts., W. of the creek, are 600 to 800 ft. above the Mohawk. The soil upon the hills is a gravelly loam, and in the valleys a deep, fertile alluvium. Herkimer, (2) (p.v.,) upon the Mohawk, W. of the mouth of West Canada Creek, was incorp. April 6, 1807. It contains the co. buildings, 3 churches, a bank, newspaper office, paper mill, (3) and gristmill. Pop. 1,371. It is a station upon the N. Y. C. R. R. Eatonville (p.o.) is a hamlet, in the N. E. corner, on the line of Fairfield and Little Falls. The early history of the town is blended with that of German Flats, of which it formed a part until its organization as a town. The first settlements were made by Palatinates, under the patronage of Gov. Hunter, in 1722. (4 ) It had its share of suffering during the Revolution; and all the patriot families that remained during the war were those sheltered by Fort Dayton. This fortress stood upon a point of the stone ridge about 30 rods above the present site of the courthouse. After the destruction of Fort Schuyler by flood and fire, in May, 1781, Forts Dayton and Herkimer became the frontier defenses of the Mohawk Valley. (5) After the war, many of the Indians and tories who had been actively engaged in hostilities returned to the settlements; but they were received by the settlers in a way little calculated to inspire sentiments of friendship, and the greater part emigrated to more congenial places. (6 ) The first church (Ref. Prot. D.) was formed at an early period, by Rev. A. Rosegrantz; but the precise date has been lost. (7)

1 Named in honor of Gen. Nicholas Herkimer. It was intended to apply the name to the territory including the old residence of the General, but by mistake it was given to this town. The Kingsland District was one of the divisions of Tryon co. formed March 24, 1772. Its name was exchanged with that of German Flats District, March 8, 1773. It included all the portion of the co. lying W. of Palatine District and N. of the Mohawk. This town embraces the whole of Winner's and a part of Burnetsfield, Hasenclever's, Colden's and Willet's Patents, and small portions of the Royal Grant and Glen's Purchase.
2 Originally called "Stone Ridge."
3 This paper mill was established in 1849; it gives employment to 120 hands.
4 Among the early settlers were Johan Joost Petrie, Frederick and A. M. Pell, Jury Doxtater, Nicholas Feeter, Melgert Fols (?) Henry Hager, __ Lendert, Frederick Johan, Adam and Philip Helmer, and families named Schmidt, Weaver, and Bellinger. The first schools were German. __ Robinson taught the first English school at the village.
5 Lieut. Solomon Woodworth was stationed at Fort Dayton with a small force of Continental troops. He rendered great service to the settlers in this part of the valley. In the summer of 1781, with 40 men, he went out to reconnoiter; but about 3 mi. N. of Herkimer the party fell into an Indian ambuscade, and only 16 escaped. The commander and 20 men were killed. A Mrs. Smith, scalped by the Indians during the war, recovered and lived to a good old age. On the 6th of August, 1781, a party of tories and Indians, under Donald McDonald, a Scotch refugee, from Johnstown, made an attack upon the settlement at Shells Bush. The inhabitants mostly fled to Fort Dayton; but John Christian Shell and his family, consisting of his wife and 6 sons took refuge in their own house, which was a strong blockhouse. His two little sons, twins, 8 years of age, were taken prisoners; but the remainder of the family escaped within and secured the entrance. In trying to force the door, McDonald was wounded, and made prisoner. The attack continued until dark, when the tories fled, with a loss of 11 killed and 6 wounded. McDonald died of his wounds the next day. The two little boys were returned after the war.
-- Benton's Herkimer. 6 John Adam Hartman, an active and successful ranger, was engaged in perilous service through the war. Soon after the peace, an Indian came into an inn, in the W. part of this town, where Hartman was present, and getting intoxicated, began to boast of his exploits and showed a tobacco pouch made from the skin of a white child's arm and hand, with the nails still on. When the Indian left, Hartman found business on the same road. They both passed into a swamp; and the Indian never came out. In reply to questions put to him, Hartman said that he last saw the Indian, some distance ahead, standing on a log; and that he fell as if hurt. Hartman was tried for murder, but was acquitted. He lived in town till his death, in the spring of 1836 -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 409.
7 There are 3 churches in town; 2 M. E., Ref. Prot. D.

LITCHFIELD (1) -- was formed from German Flats, Feb. 5, 1796. A part of Winfield was taken off in 1816. It lies on the W. border of the co., S. of the Mohawk. Its surface is elevated and moderately hilly, its mean elevation being about 500 feet above the river. A series of ridges in the W. and S. are known as the "Dry Lots,Ó"(2) no water being found upon them. The streams are small; some flow S. into the Unadilla and others N. into the Mohawk. In the E. part is a sulphur spring.3 Litchfield (p.v.) contains 1 church and about 15 houses; Cedar Lake (p.o.) 1 church and 9 houses; Jerusalem, a hamlet near the center, 2 churches and 7 houses. The first settlement was commenced about 1789, by Jabez Snow, on Snow Hill. (3) The first religious services were held in 1794; Rev. __ Spaulding was the first preacher. (4) 1 Named from Litchfield, Conn., whence many of the early settlers came.
2 These hills have limestone ledges belonging to the Helderbergh series. These lots, 2 in number, contain about 1,600 acres each. Water is obtained by wells at great expense.
3 The Columbian Springs, in Browns Hollow, have been brought to public notice, but have yet gained only a local reputation.
4 Among the other early settlers were John Everett, Nathaniel Ball, and Ebenezer Drury from N. H.; and Ezekiel Goodell and S. Sherry, from Conn. Selah Holcomb settled 2 mi. E. of Jerusalem. Wm. and Thos. Jones, Oliver Rider, Joseph Crosby, and others, were also early settlers. The first birth was that of Luke Andrews, in 1790; the first marriage, that of Joseph Day and ___ ___, in the same year. Jeremiah Everett taught the first school; Joseph Shepard kept the first inn; David Davis kept the first store; ____ Talcott built the first sawmill, and John Littlejohn the first gristmill in 1806-07.
5 The census reports 8 churches in town; 2 Presb., 2 M. E., 2 Univ., Bapt., and Wes. Meth.

LITTLE FALLS (1) -- was formed from Fairfield, Herkimer, and German Flats, Feb. 16, 1829. It lies in the interior of the co. S. of the center. Its surface is a broken upland, divided by the deep, narrow gorge of the Mohawk. A range of hills extends N. and S. from the village. They are rocky and precipitous near the river, but less rugged on the N. and S. borders. (1) The Mohawk flows N. E. through near the center of the town in a series of cascades and rapids. Its banks are rocky and in places precipitous. The soil is a sandy, gravelly loam. Little Falls, (p.v.,) in the E. part, on the line of Manheim and Danube, was incorp. March 30, 1811. Its name was changed to "Rockton,"April 16, 1850, and again changed to Little Falls, April 16, 1852. It is an important station on the N. Y. C. R. R. It contains 9 churches, a bank, 2 printing offices, the Little Falls Academy, a union school, and a large number of manufactories. (2) Pop. 3,984. Jacksonburgh, in the W., on the canal, has 206 inhabitants; and Bethel, in the S., 1 church and 15 houses. Paines Hollow is a p.o. Lots 12 and 13 of Burnetsfield Patent, embracing all the waterpower N. of the river, were owned before the Revolution by ____ Petrie. This town also embraces portions of several other patents issued at an early period. (3) The first settlements were made by a colony of Palatinates, in 1722. (4) The settlers suffered much during the war, and most of them were driven off. (5) The first settler at the village after the war was John Proteus, in 1790. (6) A great impulse was given to the business and population of the place by the construction of the locks of the Western Navigation Co. in 1796. (7) The first church was built about 1815. It was octagonal, with a steep roof, and surmounted by a cupola. The census reports 10 churches in town. (8)

(1) The rocks at Little Falls are chiefly hypersthene and gneiss, overlaid by calciferous sandstone on the S. side of the river. Falls Hill, S. of the village, is 518 feet above the canal, and Roll Way Bluff, N. of the village, is little less in height. In the immediate vicinity of the village are quarries of limestone, from which are obtained lime and a good building material. Small caves and pot holes are numerous among the rocks near the river. The largest of the latter is 28 feet in diameter and 37 feet deep. The break through the mountains at this place was one of the most formidable barriers in the construction of the Erie Canal. The N. part of the town is covered with Utica slate, and the S. part by the Hudson River and Clinton groups.
2 Among these manufactories are 4 paper mills, turning out $150,000 worth of paper annually; 2 woolen factories, producing about $250,000 worth of goods annually; a stocking yarn mill, producing goods to the amount of $30,000, and a starch factory, using $30,000 worth of corn, annually. Besides these are 2 flouring mills, a cotton factory, 3 large shoe manufactories, and an extensive carriage shop.
3 This town includes a portion of the Glen Purchase of 1739; Guy Johnson's Tract, granted in 1765; Vaughan's Patent, granted in 1770; Fall Hill Patent, granted in 1752; 6 lots of Butterfield's Patent, granted in 1725, and small portions of several other patents.
4 Among these early settlers were John Joost Temouth, Mary Beerman, Nicholas Kester, Johannes Pouradf, and Christian Fox. John Petrie kept the first inn, before the Revolution. A gristmill built on Casler Creek, in the N. part of the town, was stockaded during the war.
5 In June, 1782, a party of tories and Indians invaded the town, burned a gristmill on Furnace Creek, killed Daniel Petrie, and carried away several prisoners.
6 Among the first settlers after the war were Wm. Alexander, Richard Phillips, Thos. Smith, Joel Lankton, Richard Winsor, Wm. Carr, Wm. Moralee, Washington Britton, Alpheus Parkhurst, John Drummond, Eben Britton, and Josiah Skinner, -- all of whom came in town between 1790 and 1800.
7 These locks were planned by Roswell Weston, an English engineer, and built under the direction of Philip Schuyler. The first locks, built of wood, were replaced by stone in 1804.
8 Bap., Ev. Luth., M. E., Af. Meth., Meth. Prot., Presb., Prot. Episc., R. C., Univ. and Union.

MANHEIM (1) -- was formed from Palatine, (Montgomery co.,) April 7, 1817. It lies on the N. bank of the Mohawk, upon the E. border of the co. Its surface gradually rises from the intervales along the Mohawk to the N. border, where it attains an elevation of 500 ft. above the river. East Canada Creek forms its E. boundary. (2) Cathatachua Creek flows S. through near the center, and Gillett Creek flows S. E. through the N. E. corner. Upon East Canada Creek, 1 mi. above its mouth, is a series of cascades, where the water descends 180 ft. in three-fourths of a mi. The soil is a gravelly loam upon the upland, and a fine, fertile alluvium in the valleys. Brocketts Bridge, (p.v.) upon East Canada Creek, in the N. part, contains 2 churches, a large tannery, (3 ) gristmill, and 50 houses; and Inghams Mills, upon East Canada Creek, 3 mi. below Brocketts Bridge, a church and 25 houses. East Creek (p.o.) is a hamlet and station upon the N. Y. C. R. R., near the mouth of East Canada Creek. Manheim Center is a p.o. The first settlements were made by Germans, probably in about the year 1736. (4) During the Revolution they were frequently attacked by the Indians and were mostly destroyed. On the 30th of April, 1780, a party of 60 tories and Indians fell upon the settlements at Rheimen Snyder's Bush, burned a gristmill, and carried 19 persons into captivity. (5) The first church, built in 1774 or '75, was burned during the war, and was rebuilt soon after. The census reports 5 churches; 2 M. E., 2 Union, and Ref. Prot. D.

1 Named from Manheim, in Baden, the native place of the early settlers. The town embraces 6 lots of Glen's Purchase, a part of the fourth allotment of the Royal Grant, the Patents of John Van Driessen and of Snell and Zimmerman, a part of the patents of Rev. Peter Van Driessen and of Vrooman, and several minor tracts granted since the Revolution.
2 This stream was called by the Indians Ci-o-ha-na and Sag-o-ha-ra.
3 This is the largest tannery in the co. It has a capital of $250,000, consumes 6,000 cords of bark per annum, and manufactures sole leather, exclusively.
4 Among the early settlers were familes named Snell, Zimmerman, and Van Driessen. Snell was the patentee of a large tract. Seven of the name, including several of his sons, were killed at the battle of Oriskany. John Beardsley built the first mill in 1793. The first school (German) was taught by ____ Kaufman.
5 A blockhouse stood at this place, and many of the inhabitants took refuge in it.
Twelve of the prisoners were taken at one house by half the number of Indians, without resistance. The captives all returned after the war, except one who died in Canada, and one that escaped. John G. Snell, while searching for cattle in the woods, was surprised by the Indians and shot through the body. He recovered, however, and lived to an advanced age. The town was deserted after this by all but tories.

NEWPORT (1) -- was formed from Herkimer, Fairfield, Norway, and Schuyler, April 7, 1806. It lies on the W. border of the co. near the center. Its surface is broken by ridges of highlands, which rise 400 to 500 ft. each side of the narrow intervale of West Canada Creek. This stream flows S. E. through the town, near the center. White Creek flows S. through the E. part. The soil is a clayey loam, with some gravel on the hills. It is chiefly underlaid by limestone, which is quarried in some localities. Newport, (p.v.,) near the center, incorp. March 20, 1857, contains 3 churches, 1 bank, a gristmill, cotton factory, (2 ) and 671 inhabitants. Settlement was commenced in 1791, by Christopher Hawkins, from R. I.; (3) Rev. David Haskell (Bap.) held the first meetings, in 1796. (4)

1 Named from Newport, R. I., the former residence of many of the early settlers.
2 A cotton factory was built in 1808, by Benj. Bowen. The Herkimer Manufacturing Co. was formed in 1814, with a capital of $40,000. In 1844 V. S. Kinyon became proprietor by purchase, and at present gives employment to 80 persons, and turns out $45,000 to $50,000 worth of sheetings annually.
3 Among the other early settlers were Benj. Bowen, John C. Green, Israel Wakely, and Geo. Fenner, all from R. I.; Dr. Westel Willoughby, and Sherman Wooster, from Conn. Joseph Renseley, A. M. Daniels, Geo. Cook, and Wm. Whipple were also early settlers. The first death was that of Silas Hawkins, in 1793. Abby Justine taught the first school, in 1795. Wm. Wakely kept the first inn, in 1793, and Geo. Cook the first store, the same year. Benj. Bowen built the first sawmill, in 1793, and the first gristmill, in 1794. The first settlers derived title from parties who had purchased from the courts of forfeiture.
4 The census reports 7 churches in town; Bap., M. E., Calv. Meth., Presb., Union, Univ., and R.C.

NORWAY (1) -- was formed from Herkimer, April 10, 1792. Fairfield was taken off in 1796, Russia, as "Union," and a part of Newport, in 1806, and Ohio in 1823. It lies in the interior of the co., N. of the Mohawk. Its surface is elevated and rolling. It is drained by several small streams, tributaries of West Canada Creek. The soil is sandy in the N. W., and loam and gravelly in the E. and S. Limestone is quarried in several places; and fossils have been found near White Creek. There is a sulphur spring 1 mi. N. of the village. Norway, (p.v.,) near the center, contains 3 churches, a cheese box factory, tannery, and 30 houses; Graysville, (2) (p.v.,) on the line of Ohio, contains an extensive tannery and 30 houses. (3) The first settlement was made by ___ Whipple and Christopher Hawkins, from R. I., in 1786; but it was soon abandoned. (4) The first religious meetings were held by Rev. ___ Robertson, in 1792. (5)

1 Named from Norway, in Europe. This town is included in the second and third allotments of the Royal Grant.
2 Named from Lathan Gray, a resident of the place.
3 La Dow's tannery, established in 1853, with a capital of $150,000, employs 75 men, and produces $150,000 worth of sole leather annually. The works are driven by a steam engine of 50 horse power.
4 Jeremiah Potter and his son, Fisher Potter, came in with their families from R. I. in 1788. Their whole store of provisions to carry them through the first winter was a crop of potatoes and some salt. For meat, they depended upon hunting. Thos. Manly settled in 1789. John, Andrew, and Simeon Coe; Capt. Hinman, from Conn.; John and David Corp, N. Fanning, David Underhill, 5 families of Braytons, Angell, Lemuel, and Philip Potter, Edward Henderson, Uri H. Cook, Henri Tillinghart, Abijah Tombling, and Westel Willoughby, were early settlers. The first birth was that of a child of Gideon Brayton; and the first death, that of the wife of E. Hinman. The first school was taught by Jeanette Henderson, in 1793. Amos Coe kept the first inn; Thaddeus Scribner & Bro., the first store, in 1793; Capt. Hinman built the first sawmill, in 1793; and Carpenter Cole the first gristmill, the same year. Vale & Eddy built a fulling mill, in 1793 -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 450.
5 The census reports 5 churches; Bap., F. W. Bap., M. E., Presb., and Prot. E.

OHIO (1) -- was formed from Norway, as "West Brunswick", April 11, 1823. Its name was changed May 3, 1835. A part of Wilmurt was taken off in 1836. It lies in the interior, on the N. border of the settlements. Its surface is moderately hilly, with an elevation of 700 to 900 ft. above the Mohawk. A range of high, steep hills extends through the N. part. It is drained by West Canada and Black Creeks and their tributaries. The soil is a sandy loam, with some clay. A large portion of the town is still a wilderness. Graysville, (p.v.,) on the line of Norway, contains 1 church, a tannery, and 30 houses. Ohio City, (Ohio p.o.,) in the W. part, contains 10 houses. A few scattering settlements were begun before the Revolution, but were broken up during the war. (2) Religious services were first held at Ohio City, in 1808. (3)

1 Named from the State of Ohio. This town includes the Jerseyfield and a small part of the Remsenburgh Patents. 2 ___ Mount settled on Lot 50 of the Jerseyfield Patent some years before the Revolution. During the war, Mr. Mount was attacked by Indians; his two sons were killed, and himself, wife, and daughter fled to Little Falls, a distance of 20 miles. He did not see his wife, and daughter after leaving his house until they met at Little Falls. -- Benton's Herkimer, p. 455. John Miller settled in 1789-90. ___ Warner, David Thorp, Aaron Throp, Harmanus Van Epps, and others, were early settlers. David Thorp kept the first inn, Ephraim Ash the first store, in 1820. ___ Mount built the first mills, before the war. They were burned at the time, or soon after, he was driven off. The infamous Walter N. Butler was killed about 2 miles above the junction of Black and West Canada Creeks, on or near the line between this town and Russia, Dec. 30, 1781. 3 The census reports 3 churches in town; Evan. Luth., German Meth., and R. C.




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