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Iron Bridge Over The Kuyahoora, Poland, N.Y.

Iron Bridge Over The Kuyahoora, Poland, N.Y., dated 1923
Image ©1997 Martha Magill

Our section for the town of Russia began with the Hamilton Child 1869-70 Directory, the 1870 profile of the town, and a link to a history of the village of Poland. So far we've received two large contributions - the George W. Collins Letters, and the listings of members of the Russia Union Church. If you've researched ancestors in Russia or its small villages, how about sharing your photos, newspaper articles and obits, maps, cemetery lists, info about your own ancestors, etc.?

1888-1889 Herkimer County Directory: Russia
1888-1889 Herkimer County Directory: Cold Brook

Town Officials 1807-1890
Ilion Citizen Newspaper, March 14, 1907
Various Old Newspaper Clippings
Old Postcards of Poland NY

1810 Census of Russia
Excerpts From the 1855 Census of Russia

Russia Family Sketches

Early Russia Families: from the book "Russia Union Church, 110th Anniversary, 1820-1930"
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8

The Combs Family of Grant
John W. Stanton of Norway and Russia
Bio of Caleb Hull
Profile of Lottie Webster
Joel White family of Russia, NY
Lineage of Daniel Williams

Marriages Performed by Elder P. Wright 1857-1871
1842 Letter from Dea. Nathan Johnson to Martin W. Johnson

Bickford-Robertson Cemetery
Century Cemetery
Gravesville Cemetery: a 2003 Reading
Poland Cemetery
Poland Cemetery: a 2003 Reading
Wheelertown Cemetery
Woodin Corners Cemetery: a 2005 Reading

The Civil War Letters of George W. Collins

History of the Village of Poland: this is a link to another site. Please use your back button to return.
Paul Keesler: Paul Keesler was the author of several fine books of local interest. Click throughout for interesting photographs, local history and current happenings and projects. This is a link to another site.

A little tidbit sent in to us, found at the National Archives in Boston:

Revolutionary War pension files:
JOY, Abiather S13556 of Vermont
b. 1762 Rehoboth MA. Resided at enlistment in Apr 1778 at Guilford, Windham Co, VT. Applied for pension 14 Aug 1832 at Russia, Herkimer Co NY. No family data.

Another Russia tidbit, from Clarence Lannon
In Russia there is an old road leading back to what was once two Lanning farms, the name of the road was Lanning Road. There are two Lanning family plots back there, probably going to be lost without help. Also, my great-grandfather was the son of Richard Lanning, grandson of Conrad Lanning. His name was accidently changed from Conrad Lanning to Conrad Lannon by the Union Army when he enlisted in Saginaw Mich. He was wounded, moved to Montrose, Mich. where he spent the remainder of his life. He married a Juliah Sisco and had 10 children.

from the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Herkimer County, N.Y. 1869-70

RUSSIA was formed from Norway, as Union, April 7, 1806. Its name was changed April 6, 1808. A part of Wilmurt was taken off in 1836. It lies on the west border of the County, north of the Mohawk, and extends to the border of the great northern wilderness. Its surface is rolling and moderately hilly, and on the west descends abruptly to the valley of West Canada Creek. The hills are from 800 to 1,000 feet above the Mohawk. West Canada and Black Creeks flow west through the north-west part, the former forming a part of the west boundary. Extensive lumber works have been erected on this stream. Trenton Falls, upon West Canada Creek, are on the west border. The soil is a sandy and clayey loam.

Russia , (p.v.) in the south part of the town, contains two churches, viz., Union and Baptist; a union store, a tin and hardware store, a school house and about 100 inhabitants.

Gravesville , (p.v.) names in honor of Wm. Graves, who erected the mills, is situated in the south-west part and contains two churches, viz., Methodist and Universalist; a store, a furniture manufactory, a wool carding and cloth dressing mill, a grist mill, two saw mills, a cheese box factory, a wagon shop, a blacksmith shop and about 100 inhabitants.

Cold Brook , (p.v.) in the south part, contains a Methodist church, a hotel, a union store, a grocery, a planing mill, a cheese box factory, a grist mill, two wagon shops, two blacksmith shops, a cabinet shop, a saw set factory and 155 inhabitants.

Grant (p.v.) located on Black Creek, near the center of the town, contains two churches, viz., Methodist and Union; a hotel, two stores, a tannery, two saw mills, a grist mill and 85 inhabitants.

Poland (p.v.) located on West Canada Creek, in the south part, contains a F.W. Baptist church, a store, a hotel, a grist and saw mill, a tannery, a sash and blind factory, a wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, a cheese box factory, a cabinet shop, a manufactory of bootjacks and ladders, and about 200 inhabitants.

The Poland Tannery was established in 1839 and has a capacity for tanning 130 sides of leather or 600 calf skins per week.

The Cheese Factory was established in 1863, by a stock company, and has a capacity for manufacturing the milk of 800 cows.

Between Poland and Cold Brook are several manufacturing establishments, viz., I. & G. W. Trask's ax and edge tool factory, Stillman's patent saw set factory, D.P. Vincent's cheese box factory, and Thomas T. Rhode's saw and plane handle factory.

Gang Mills is situated in the north-west part of the town, on West Canada Creek. It received its name from the extensive mills of Hinkley & Ballou, erected here in 1848. These mills have a capacity to manufacture ten million feet of lumber annually. The capital invested in mills and improved farms is about $150,000, and give employment to form 100 to 150 men. The improved machinery recently constructed by Mr. J.N. Walters, the Superintendent, gives these mills a place among the first in the State. The logs to supply the mills are cut and floated down West Canada Creek from the north part of Herkimer and Hamilton Counties, a distance of from twelve to forty miles. Besides these mills the village contains three stores, two smith's shops, a tannery, a cabinet shop, several other mechanic shops and about 250 inhabitants.

The settlement of this town was commenced in 1792, by Stodard Squires. Jonathan Millington, from Vermont, ___ Smith, Farley Fuller, George Taylor, Roscum Slocum, William Buck, Jeremiah Smith, Jotham Carpenter, ___ Austin and son, and ___ Coon, were among the other early settlers. Mr. Squires was from Connecticut, and his son, John G. Squires, then seven years of age, resided for more than fifty years on the same farm upon which his father located. Settlers came in quite rapidly for several years after the first opening was made.

The first marriage was that of Farley Fuller and Minerva Smith, in 1794; the first death that of a son of Mr. Allen, and the second that of Waite Robinson. The first school was taught by ___ Morehouse, at Graves Hollow. Another school was taught about the same time by ___ Steund. The first inn was kept by Jotham Carpenter, and the first store by Mr. Swintburn, about a mile north-west of Cold Brook, in 1797. The first saw mill was built in 1797, and the first grist mill, by Benjamin Hinman, the same year.

The first settlers were compelled to go to Utica or Little Falls to have their grain ground. Jonathan Millington, from Shaftsbury, Vt., settled in the town in 1797, and James Barker, from Massachusetts, in 1803.

The first religious services were held by Rev. Benajah Corp, of the F.W. Baptist denomination.

The population of the town in 1865 was 2,030; its area is 37,396 acres.

There are sixteen school districts, employing the same number of teachers. The number of children of school age is 695; the number attending school, 559; the average attendance, 227, and the amount expended for school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868, was $4,410.93

from 1824 Gazetteer of the State of New York, by Horatio Gates Spafford

RUSSIA, a Post-Township at the N. end of Herkimer County, 20 miles N. of Herkimer, formerly Union, erected in 1806 from Norway; name changed to Russia, April 6, 1807: bounded N. by St. Lawrence County, E. by Hamilton County, S. by Norway and Newport, W. by Oneida and Lewis Counties; comprehending all that part of Herkimer County N. of Norway, and being about 40 miles long N. and S., and about 16 wide. But the settlements are confined to 7 or 8 miles of the S. end, or rather a narrow strip along W. Canada creek, at the SW. corner of the town. The northern part is clothed with impenetrable forests of spruce, fir, larch, and some pine, and the soil is as forbidding as its forest woods would indicate. Yet there are tracts of arable land, on which farmers might get a poor living; but the general character of the land is very uninviting. The N. end sends some small waters to Oswegatchie river; and Moose, Beaver, and one or 2 other creeks, run W. to Black river, from its wilds, N. of and near the centre. Brown's Tract, as it is called, is principally in this town, consisting of 7 townships, only remarkable for the moral virtues of their names on the Map. But the southern part is well supplied with mill-streams, and has a tolerable soil. The roads, from Johnstown and Herkimer to the Black River country, unite at W. Canada creek, in the principal settlement of Russia. A new church has been erected about the centre of the settlements, for all religious denominations, where is also a school-house. The Post-Office is 20 miles N. of Herkimer, about the centre of the settled part of this township. Population, 1685: taxable property, $279,303; 339 electors; 8,489 acres of improved land; head of cattle, 2,104; horses, 363; sheep, 3,342; 21,076 yards of cloth: 4 grist mils, 6 saw mills, 2 fulling mills, 2 carding machines, 1 trip hammer, 1 distillery, and 1 ashery: 9 school districts. Nobleborough, is the name of a tract of wild land, in the S. part of Russia.

9/12/03  A Big Thank You to Alice Bagwill for contributing the 1824 directory profile!

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