Historical Events


The Early Settlers


Fairfield, White Creek and Vicinity


Mrs. Jane S. Raynore
Newport, N.Y.

Part 4

Noblesboro Settled

About 1818 there was a Mr. Brabazon Noble, who owned a thousand acres of land in Noblesboto and he wanted ten settlers. They were to clear ten acres each and he would give them a deed of 100 acres.

Mother, for her second husband, (her name then was then Betsy Eastman) married Jeremiah Pratt. They were married by Elisha Eaton of Eaton's Bush and they went as one of the ten settlers. My uncle, William Pratt, went also. He married Katy Chesley. My aunt Louisa, being a widow, married Alfred Dewitt.

Among the settlers were two young men, by the name of Ebenezer Dan Martin and Jock Wright. Jock Wright discovered a lake that today goes by the name of Jock's Lake.

There was a family by the name of Shaft. The woods were full of trappers going and coming and the Indians were plenty at that time, but very friendly.

Mr. Noble was an Episcopalian in belief. He furnished each of the ten settlers with a bible, with his name in it; also a set of Episcopal books, some of them being Baptists. My father secured a license and sometimes preached. There was an Elder Ash, who often preached. He was from Fairfield.

My father cleared his ten acres and got his deed for 100. His health failed and he came out of the woods intending to go back after a while. He stopped for some time on Lawton street and finally sold his place and went down on White Creek. He worked for Dr. Aaron Griswold and moved into the house belonging to Abner Post's widow, where I was born.

At that time Dan Post lived on the corner as you turn to go from lower White Creek to Old city and Nat Post lived on the corner opposite the stone school house. Before my remembrance my father moved further up the creek, just over the second bridge on a road that leads to a stone house, then owned by Noble Ross.

My father bought forty acres of land in Deerfield. The first that I remember was of waking one morning and seeing a large looking glass hanging on the wall opposite me and seeing my brothers catching frogs. My father's health was so poor that he sold his Deerfield farm and went back to Fairfield. He gave up business for a while but worked, when able to, for Mr. Collins Wood. His health improved and he took a small farm near Diamond Hill in Salisbury belonging to Arphaxed Loomis of Little Falls. While there he attended church at the Salisbury church. The first Sunday school I ever attended was at that church. It was comparatively a new thing. Old and young engaged in it. My father and mother were members of that church. We had to learn seven verses and repeat them every Sunday. My father used to hold meetings in the North woods.

The first I remember of attending a 4th of July celebration was in the Baptist church at Salisbury Corners in the year 1836. There were present some 8 or 10 Revolutionary soldiers. Some were deaf, some were nearly blind, some had lost a limb, but there was one of them however who was apparently well and sound. He went into the pulpit and after making some remarks read the Declaration of Independence. The emotion of the reader nearly overcame him. A young man of Fairfield delivered an oration.

At that time there were no trees on the green and they went to the woods and brought evergreens and set them in the ground, set the tables and enjoyed themselves. It left an impression on my mind that I shall never forget.

My father's health again gave out and we moved back into Fairfield on the old farm. There were four of my father's family; three daughters and one son, Stephen Rossell, who enlisted in the Mexican war and never returned; Louisa M., who married John Quinn; Abby, who married Silas Clapson of Newport and myself who married Lewis Raynore.

After a few years my father concluded to travel to the sea shore and try the effect as he had relatives in Connecticut. He went there but returned home sick and died with consumption at the age of 54. I stayed with my mother that winter and the next spring went on White Creek. She went to live with my half sister and I went to work for a Mrs. Dan Giles. I was then eighteen years old. The next winter I went to school in the old stone school house and boarded at Nat Post's, where I finished my education.

The school was taught by James Davis, a young man that uncle John Fortune brought up. He later married Amy Buell and removed to Illinois.

The next spring I worked for Jeremiah Corey in the hotel for a few weeks until his help came. Then I went back to the Old City where I was previously engaged to work for Joseph Lawton. In 1847 I was married to Lewis Raynore and we went to the Old City. He worked for a Mr. Samuel Coon in a cabinet shop. The next winter we went into Dr. Aaron Griswold's house near the Griswold saw-mill. He worked in Dr. Griswold's house which he was building and worked for Elder Chassell some of the time and the next year hired to Charles Post by the month.

Dr. Griswold for his first wife married Polly Ford. They had two sons born to them, Gaylord and Walter. For his second wife he married Clarissa Perce, my mother's sister. Mr. and Mrs. Griswold had two sons and two daughters; Orrin, who married May Carpenter; Olive who married George Sanford of Newport village and Irving, who married Ellen Parkhurst.

Ellen and Irving had a son and daughter, Fred and Lena. Fred died of injuries received in a railroad accident. Lena is in Gloversville. Irving died of injuries received on the Narrow Gauge R. R. in 1881.

In the following year after Lewis Raynore worked for Charles Post, we bought the Jenks Benchley house in Newport on Main street. Fifty one years ago we came up on White Creek, where I live yet. We bought two acres of the Hale farm, then belonging to Archibald and Larned Jackson. We also bought five acres of Reuben Lewis which formerly belonged to Elihu Robinson. The Hale place is now owned by Dennis Leary.

While we lived in the village of Newport in 1853, I joined the First Baptist church and Lewis Raynore joined it later on.

We had born to us eight children; six sons and two daughters. The sons were Marcus, Lafayette, George, Charles Lewis, Herman and Henry. The daughters were; Helen Louisa and Christina. Christina married William Hendrix of Ilion. Lafayette was drowned in 1874. George died in 1907. Helen married Abraham Snyder and lives in Stockbridge. Charles and Herman live in Madison county.

Lewis Raynore died in Feb. 1907. Had he lived until July 11, we would have lived together sixty years.


At the time that my father lived on White Creek, Dan Post lived on the corner where the road turns toward the Old City. Levi Rich lived on the next farm above. Welcome Phillips lived on the creek with Nat Post. Post carried on a saw-mill and William McAllister owned a mill on the creek and a man by the name of Howell was a wheelwright.

George Smith owned the place that Clifford Bateman now owns, at the foot of Woodchuck hill. There was a blacksmith shop carried on by Alpheus Spencer and later by Josiah Harris. It is now owned by Clarence Varney. Joseph Clark owned the place now owned by Harvey Carpenter. There was also a family of Bigfords on the creek at that time. (Note: since there are no Pratts mentioned in this segment, we assume that the printers should have used Post as the heading.)


Levi Rich and wife had two sons and four daughters. The daughters were; Tryphena, Tryphosa, Fanny and Eliza. The sons were; Harvey and Horace. Horace married Nancy Howell. Tryphosa married Jere Fenner of Newport village. Tryphya married Marshall Giles of Norway. Fanny married George Smith. Eliza married ___.


There was a family of Ross, an old gentleman, his wife and son, William. He also had a married son, Noble, living in a stone house. Noble's sons were; Dayton, Charles, Chauncy, Dan and Lesser. His daughters were, Jemima, Eliza, Clarina, Sophia, Emily and Almeda. Clarina married Henry Parkhurst. Sophia married Benjamin Spencer of Newport. Almeda married Jefferson Waful. Eliza married Nick Gardenier. Dan married Angelina Phillips.

My father at that time lived on a place then owned by a family of Thorntons. The next was the David Angell farm. The house still stood there when we moved up here 51 years ago, but is now torn down. The Angells are buried there on the old farm. Although their tombstones are fallen to the ground, they still show the names and ages.

"David Angell died in the year 1819, aged 65 years. His wife died in the year 1820, aged 68.".

Ezekiel Angell came up there a number of times to visit the old farm. He claimed to be a grandson of Daniel Angell. Ezekiel used always to want one of my boys to go with him. I think the last time that he came up here he hitched his horse to the yard fence and wanted Lafayette to go with him and the boy had a very pleasant time and came back very much elated by hearing the malediction that Ezekiel bestowed on the small fence which he had to crawl through, with his large body.


Josiah Harris and his sister, Polly, were born in the town of Fairfield and at an early age came to Newport village. Josiah went on White creek, married Stanton Weeden's daughter and they had three sons, Edwin, Irving and John.

Polly Harris married Lyman Lawton and they had six daughters; Louisa, Nancy, Esther, Marion, Emily and Helen. Louisa married Peter Crossett. Nancy married Arza Newman. Esther died unmarried. Marion married Terry Willoughby. Emily married Horace Windsor. Helen married James Herendeen.


Colonel Hines owned a farm and put up a sawmill on Ross creek and it was run for a time by William Delano. Delano and William McAllister were brothers-in-law. They came from New Hampshire with their families and went into a log house belonging to Colonel Hines. Delano ran the Hines mill and McAllister ran the mill on White creek, later on owned by John Campbell. When we came into the Hollow 51 years ago Levi Hines owned my father's farm. It is now owned by his son, Alfred.

The David Angell place was owned then by Elishu Smith and now by Charles Evans. The Hale farm was then owned by Arch and Larned Jackson and is now owned by Dennis Leary. The Dayton Ross place is now owned by Thomas Hammersly. The Green place, then owned by Reuben Smith, is now owned by John Baird.

The Dr. Willoughby place, where Henry Barney lived, is now owned by Edward Montana. Richard Brown's place is owned by Frank Stroup. Noble Ross' stone house is owned by Marietta Jackson Phelps. The place once owned by Josiah Dodge (the house is gone) is now owned by Harvey Carpenter. The James Clark place was owned by Low Carpenter and is now owned by his son, Harvey. Nat Post's place is owned by Clarence Smith. George Smith's place is now owned by Clifford Bateman. Abram Hardendorf's place is owned by Wesley Carpenter's widow. The Howell place, once owned by Josiah Harris, is owned by George O'Connor. Dean Kelley's place is owned by Robert Patten. Levi Rich's place, where Solomon Gook lived, is owned by Walter Fenner. Phillip Gargan's place is now owned by John H. Raynore, better known as "Diver". He obtained the name when he was a small boy by falling into the raceway at Newport and going through uninjured. The year that we came to the creek, William Morey lived on Dan Post's corner. It is now owned by Herman Fitch.

There are only three persons on the creek living, that were here 51 years ago. They are Harvey Carpenter, J. H. Raynore and Marietta Jackson. Such are the changes of life in this world and we should bear in mind that we are passing away as fast as the wheels of time can carry us.

It was not my intention when I commenced this biography to write so much of my own life, but it seems that it becomes necessary, to make out the programme.

I have heard some few regrets that there was not more information handed down concerning our forefathers, and if my memory and efforts will be to the edification of anyone, I shall be content.

The End

This fourth and final installment completes Jane Scott Raynore's 1909 reminiscences of Old Fairfield. In our transcription we have been true to the errors in spelling and punctuation, and probable type-setting errors, of this small privately printed book.

Our appreciation to Jane Dieffenbacher, Fairfield Town Historian, for sharing this gem from her personal collection.

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Last Updated: 10/14/97
Copyright ©1997 Martha S. Magill/ Jane Dieffenbacher
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