NEW BERLIN was formed from Norwich, April 3, 1807.1 A part of the town was annexed to Sherburne in 1853. It lies upon the east border of the county, north of the center, and is bounded on the north by Columbus and Sherburne, on the east by Otsego county, on the south by Norwich, and on the west by Norwich and North Norwich. The surface is a rolling and hilly upland, the ridges extending north and south. The Unadilla river forms its east boundary; and Great Brook, its principal tributary, flows south through the center, dividing the town into two nearly equal portions. These are the only streams of any considerable importance. Matthewson Pond,2 situated near the center of the west border, is about a mile in length and three-fourths of a mile in breadth, in its widest part, and about forty feet deep. It is principally fed by hidden springs. The natural outlet was changed many years ago by Noah Matthewson, who settled in the locality at an early day and from whom the pond derives its name. Mr. Matthewson cut a ditch through a stone embankment in the northeast part and utilized the water to propel a saw-mill, which is now owned by Clinton Guile. The scenery in this vicinity is very fine, and from the proximity of the pond to Norwich and New Berlin, it is frequently resorted to by picnic and pleasure parties from these villages for recreation during the summer months. A hotel---the Chenango House---has been erected on the pond and has been kept since the spring of 1873 by Richard M. Sholes. The pond furnishes good fishing and the surrounding woods good hunting; and the hotel accommodations have been supplemented by fine sail and row boats, a bowling alley, croquet grounds, dancing hall and bath houses.
The town is underlaid by the rocks of the Catskill, Portage, Hamilton and, though less distinctly, the Genesee groups. The Catskill group covers the western portion; the others the eastern, the Hamilton being confined to a narrow strip along the Unadilla. It furnishes good expositions of all these rocks. The soil is sandy loam, sometimes intermixed with clay.
The industries of the town are chiefly agricultural, and the leading branch of Agriculture is dairying; indeed, the town like the county generally, is utilized to its utmost capacity in the productions of the dairy. There are six creameries in the town, which receive in the aggregate the milk from about 1,850 cows.3
In 1875 the population of the town was 2,303; of whom 2,235 were native, 68 foreign; 2,301 white, 2 colored, 1,122 males, 1,181 females, and 6 aliens. The number of males of voting age was 704, of whom 669 were natives. The number of land owners was 428; and of persons twenty-one years old and upwards who were unable to read and write, 8. Its area was 27,776 acres; of which 20,543 acres were improved, 6,615, woodland, and 608 otherwise improved. The cash value of farms was $1,053,640; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $150,525; of stick, $182,403; of tools and implements, $46,610. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $141,529.
There are eighteen common and one Union school districts in the town, each of which has a school house in the county. The number of children of school age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877,4 was 689. During that year there were fourteen male and twenty-five female teachers employed, twenty of whom were licensed and teaching at the same time for twenty-eight weeks or more; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 513, of whom eighteen were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 262,757; the number of volumes in district libraries was 1,516, the value of which was $622; the number or school-houses was nineteen, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing four acres and ninety-three rods, valued at $2,030, were valued at $8,025; the assessed value of taxable property in the district was $1,382,950. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts Sept. 30, 1877, was 326, of whom 266 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year, and 23 were instructed at home for a like period.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:---
Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876 $ 20.24 " apportioned to districts 1,996.57 Proceeds of Gospel and school lands 190.25 Raised by tax 2,143.56 From teachers' board 209.00 " other sources 400.85 _________ Total $4,960.47 Paid for teachers' wages $3,259.27 " libraries 7.39 " school apparatus 3.06 " school-houses, sites, out-houses, fences, repairs, furniture, etc 1,248.75 Paid for other incidental expenses 348.15 Amount remaining on hand Oct. 1, 1877 93.86 _________ Total $4,960.48
This, the 16th Township, as well as the 17th, as we have previously seen, were purchased by John Taylor, of Albany, in the interest of himself and associates, John I. Morgan, William Simmons and William Boyd, of New York city.
The first settlement in New Berlin was made in 1790 by Daniel Scribner, who came with his family from Ballston, Saratoga county, intending at first to settle in Morris, Otsego county, but learning of Indian improvements on the Unadilla that could be purchased, he left his family at the head of Otsego Lake, and set out for that place, traveling through the woods until he arrived at a small clearing on the west bank of the Unadilla, opposite the Indian Fields in Pittsfield, where he found apple trees growing from seeds planted by the Indians and there he located. Having decided upon his location he returned for his family, which he brought by canoe down the Susquehanna and up the Unadilla to the locality selected for his future home. He built a large and commodious log house on a piece of high ground a short distance from the river, commanding a fine view of the valley. There he opened the first inn in the town. There, too, occasionally, the town meetings of Norwich, which then embraced this town, were held. He was an industrious, prudent farmer, and with the help of his two sons, Samuel and Gamaliel, who were nearly grown up, he soon cleared up his farm.
During the first year of his residence in this place he was obliged to go to Chenango Forks for grain for subsistence. This journey he performed in a canoe, down the Unadilla and Susquehanna to Binghamton, thence up the Chenango to the Forks. Having purchased his grain he returned by the same route, extending his journey up the Susquehanna to Wattles Ferry, where was the most accessible grist-mill. The journey occupied eighteen days and the distance traveled was nearly two hundred miles. So great was the labor of carrying grists to mill that the primitive method of reducing the grain by the mortal and pestle was resorted to. A little later when the number of settlers had increased, in order to lessen the burden, their grists were united and brought to Scribner's, whence they were conveyed in a canoe constructed from an immense pine tree, to Tubb's mill at Toddsville, near Cooperstown. Two men, though sometimes only one, took charge of the cargo. The journey there and back occupied a week and sometimes more.
Samuel Anderson and Silas Burlingame were among the first settlers on lots 76 and 77, on which New Berlin village is located. Anderson came from Massachusetts the latter part of the last century and erected his dwelling on the north bank of the creek which runs through New Berlin village, between the creek and S. L. Morgan's store.
Silas Burlingame came from Providence, R. I., and settled on lot 76, south-east of the bank. He had several children, some of whom settled near him. Josiah, his eldest son, built his house near where the old factory store now stands, the latter being now occupied as a dwelling. His barn yet remains as one of the old landmarks of former times. The premises are now owned by Deloss Medbury. Josiah taught the first school in New Berlin. The first frame schoolhouse stood near the iron bridge across the Unadilla in the village of New Berlin. Another son, Daniel, was a distinguished pioneer preacher of the Methodist church. His house stood on the east street near the iron bridge. Joel, son of Daniel, and father of Hon. Anson Burlingame, was born in that house. He was a man of strong mind, great energy and considerable acquirements. He removed in 1824 to a farm in Seneca county, Ohio, where he lived for ten years, and in 1833, again removed to Detroit, and from thence two years later to a farm at Branch, in Michigan. He was a delegate from Oregon to the Convention which nominated Abraham Lincoln for President.
Anson Burlingame, the distinguished diplomatist, was born in Ambler Settlement in this town, Nov. 14, 1820, and was three years old when his father removed to Ohio.
Levi Blakeslee, Charles Knap, Joseph Moss and Jeremy Goodrich were the chief promoters of New Berlin's prosperity. In 1800 Blakeslee purchased a building lot of Silas Burlingame, on the corner where Fuller, Ball & Co.'s store now stands. He built a small one-story dwelling house and store under one roof. This was the first store in the town. From him the place was for some time known as Blakeslee's Corners. He was associated in the mercantile business at different times with Harry W. Green and Ebenezer Bivins, the latter his son-in-law. After discontinuing mercantile business he kept a tavern several years in the building near the depot, owned by Lorenzo Jaquith. Mr. Blakeslee built a paper-mill on the site next above the furniture establishment of G. W. Bentley & Son, and till recently occupied by the mill of Daniel Harrington. The paper-mill was burned a few years ago, rebuilt, and again burned in November, 1877, but not rebuilt. In those days paper was made by hand, with the help of very little machinery. It was pressed by a screw press turned with a lever, and dried in the sun or air, in an open room on tenter bars. The process was slow and required the labor of many persons. He also owned the grist-mill built by Daniel Vail, which stood on the site of the furniture factory, and was burned in October, 1878. He gave much aid to public improvements.
Charles Knap came to New Berlin in the spring of 1801 and commenced the business of tanning. The same spring he married Betsey, daughter of Thomas Loomis, a soldier of the Revolution. He afterwards built a mill to manufacture oil from flax seed, a woolen factory, and the store owned by J. S. Bradley. Gen. H. DeForest was his partner in the mercantile business and the manufacture of woolen cloth. Mr. Knap was once the President of the Bank of Chenango, at Norwich, and his son Tracy was the President of the First National Bank of New Berlin at its organization. Only one child, Charles, now living in Philadelphia, is left. The elder Knap died Oct. 21, 1852, age 78, and his wife, Oct. 7, 1849, aged 66.
Joseph Moss was born Sept. 8, 1775, and was one of the early settlers of the town. In 1812, when the Farmers' and Mechanics Manufacturing Company was chartered, he became its agent. Under his supervision the dam across the Unadilla in New Berlin and a canal was constructed from it to the place of business, a small wooden building which stood on the site of the new grist-mill, where the manufacture of cotton cloth was begun. The yarn was spun by water-power machinery, but wove into cloth by hand, as water-power looms were not then in use. Weavers from near and distant neighborhoods were employed to weave the yarn into cloth, and performed the labor at their homes. The business increased to such an extent that in 1827 a large stone factory was erected and water-power looms introduced to accommodate it. That building was destroyed by fire the same season, and rebuilt in 1828, and the business was continued under the agency of Mr. Moss till 1849, when the business agency terminated. Mr. Moss died Oct. 29, 1859. Horace Moss, son of Joseph, who during his father's agency in the cotton mill was engaged there as clerk, is the only child remaining here.
Jeremy Goodrich came from Connecticut in the latter part of the last century. He married Lydia, daughter of the widow Abigail Downing, who then lived in a log house on the Captain Samuel White farm, now occupied by the widow of his son Samuel White, nearly opposite to where the old brewery stood. Goodrich commenced the manufacture of potash and pearlash from black salts. In the early settlement of the town the business of clearing the lands and boiling black salts was an important one, for that was the only product the settlers relied on to obtain money to pay for their farms. No other product could be sold for money in those primitive days. His ashery was on the north side of the village creek, near the North street bridge. Mr. Goodrich became the owner by purchase from Samuel Anderson, of the land where the ashery stood, on both sides of the creek down to the Unadilla. In 1798, he built on the south side of the creek a small structure which was the first frame house in the town. There for a term, from about 1802, he sold merchandise, and in the progress of business, about 1814 or '15, he erected a large wooden building fronting the east and north streets. The eastern part was made into a dwelling for the family, and the other part into a large store, in which he carried on mercantile business for many years in connection with his potash and pearlash business. He also kept tavern in that building for a while. The building was recently torn down by Mr. Jacobs, who bought the property. In addition to his other multifarious business, he was postmaster for some years. He died Jan. 9, 1830, aged 61, leaving a valuable property. His wife died April 6, 1833, aged 52; and her mother in 1841, aged 93, retaining the full vigor of her mental faculties to the last.
Captain Samuel White, a native of one of the eastern States, settled about 1793, on the farm now occupied by the widow and daughter of his son Samuel, in the north edge of New Berlin village, and the north part of lot 76. The farm has since been cut up into smaller ones and village lots. His first house was a log structure. He afterwards built a small frame house with a quaint scalloped piazza in the front. Captain White, after he had cleared his farm, engaged extensively in apple culture. He transplanted from a distant nursery a thousand young apple trees, mostly grafted, and covered the whole hillside of his farm with the orchard which, in after years, furnished the inhabitants far and near choice and valuable fruit. Being on elevated ground, the orchard, when in blossom, presented a gorgeous and beautiful appearance amid the surrounding forest scenery. He died June 4, 1814, aged 49, and Isabella, his wife, March 15, 1844, aged 75. He left sons and daughters to inherit the fruits of his labors, all of whom are gone, except David H., who still lives in the village.
Artemas Herrick with some kinsmen and families settled on lot 74, while the town was a wilderness, except here and there a small bit of clearing and a log house. He was an enterprising, energetic pioneer. He built a dam across the Unadilla adjoining his farm, and erected a grist-mill and saw-mill. With the exception of Job Vail's mill, which dates from nearly the same time (1795 or '6,) these were the first mills on the Unadilla. They proved a great convenience to the settlers. The Herrick farm, the Herrick mills, and Herrick Brook, were familiar names to the early settlers, but do not dwell in the memory of the present generation. After the farm was sold to pay debts incurred by Herrick in building the mills and making other improvements, and he had gone to other lands, the stream was called the Aunt Pat Brook, the pet name of a celebrated ancient landlady, whose husband kept a tavern a few rods over the line in an other town, which name it retains to the present day, although the landlord the landlady and the tavern itself have long ago ceased to exist, and the mills, passing to other hands, are now known as the red mills, and owned by Mr. Low, who changed the grist-mill into a cheese-box factory, which now stands unused, a wreck of its former usefulness.
Gideon Peck, Herrick's father-in-law, was well advanced in years when he left his native home in Connecticut to settle in the new country log cabin. The ten acre lot which Mr. Peck owned was bought of Artemas Herrick, and is now owned by Mr. Porter. His log house stood on the hill to the west side of the road, and the frame dwelling in which he and his aged wife afterwards lived stood at the foot of the hill on the east side of the road. Both buildings have long since been torn down.
Sabin Warner, another settler on lot 74, was a thrifty farmer. His wife is yet living on the farm with one of her sons, who now manages it.
Richard Stoneman was the only early settler on Herrick's lot (74). He was from London, England, or its neighborhood, and arrived at New Berlin about the beginning of the present century. He purchased a few acres of Herrick in the north-west corner of that lot.
John and Stephen G. Simmons, brothers, were natives of New York city. Their father, who was wealthy, was the owner of several lots in New Berlin and Columbus. John Simmons, in the beginning of the first settlement of this town, located on one of his father's lots, No. 75, adjoining the Anderson lot on the north, and his brother, Stephen G., about the same time, on another of their father's lots, No. 78, adjoining the Burlingame lot on the south. John Simmons, after making some improvements sold his farm to Thomas Steere, a Rhode Island farmer, who emigrated from that State with his brother-in-law, Major Chas. Harris, who bought the north part of that lot, and Steere the south part, except a piece on the east end adjoining the river, which Simmons had previously sold to Levi Blakeslee, and a piece on the west end which he had sold to Jeremy Goodrich. Steere and Harris were practical farmers and brought the Simmons' farm to a good state of cultivation. Mr. Harris died May 24, 1828.
Thomas Steere left his farm to his children on his decease, and after passing though the hands of seven owners, it is now owned by Warren Reynolds, a son-in-law of Welcome Arnold's, who has lately erected a large, commodious and splendid dwelling on the ground.
About 1797, Thomas Brown came with his family and effects from Rhode Island, the land of his nativity, to New Berlin. One or two years previous James and Barnabas, his sons, had been sent to explore the new country and prepare a dwelling place for the family. They came with an ox team, bringing some necessary articles for the occasion, and fixed the future home of the family on a lot situated on Great Brook.
Thomas Brown died about 1814. His son James inherited the homestead and at his death it descended to his heirs. It is now owned by the heirs of Jason Matthewson.
Barnabas Brown married Nancy, daughter of Nathaniel Medbury and settled on the lot next to Samuel Anderson's on the west, about a half mile west of New Berlin, on the farm now occupied by Thomas Low. He commenced house-keeping in a new log house erected for that purpose near where the old orchard stands, on the north side of the road running east and west through the farm. That orchard was among his first works after he commenced clearing up his farm. After a few years he built a more commodious house, where yet may be seen the old red-painted, one story, steeple-roof building which was the residence of Judge Barnabas Brown, amidst his happy family of sons and daughters, through a long and useful life spent in private and public employment. He was commissioned Justice of the town of New Berlin by the Council of Appointment and serve in that capacity several years. He was Supervisor for several years in succession, in which office he has been reputed even to the present day the best Supervisor the town ever had. He was Judge in the Common Pleas Court in the Clintonian times of State politics. He died Dec. 6, 1855, at the ripe age of 93 years, 11 months and 3 days. His wife died March 6, 1846, aged 69. Lewis Brown, son of Barnabas, is residing in New Berlin village; and Peleg, another son, is a resident of Alabama.
The Arnolds and Medburys came from Rhode Island. Nathaniel Medbury was the leading one. He purchased the wild lot adjoining on the south the farm of Thomas Brown, on Great Brook, and with the help of his son Hezekiah, a stalwart young man, soon transformed the wild woods into well-cultivated fields. He represented this county in the Assembly in 1812-'13, but was stricken down before the close of his term by a virulent epidemic which entered the Hall of Legislature. His son Hezekiah remained on the farm many years after his father's death. He finally sold the homestead and removed to the town of Bainbridge, where he died Feb. 22, 1859, aged 79. Benjamin Medbury, a relative of Hon. Nathaniel Medbury's and co-immigrant with him settled on the next lot south of the latter. Joseph Medbury, a brother of Benjamin's settled on a lot a short distance north of the James Brown premises, where he remained till his death. Stephen Medbury, another brother of Benjamin, settled on the hill west of New Berlin village. He was a good enterprising farmer and turned his wild lot into an excellent farm. He also carried on the trade of cooper. He died May w, 1856, aged 85, and Tabitha, his wife, April 25, 1852, aged 75.
Jabez Arnold came from Gloucester, R. I., his native home, and settled about one and one-fourth miles west of New Berlin, on the farm now occupied by his grandson Eddy Arnold, where he resided till his death. He had a large family of sons and daughters, who occupied distinguished places among New Berlin's inhabitants. Five sons and two daughters accompanied him in the settlement.5 One son, Welcome, remained behind, and followed the family in 1805, Othniel, the eldest son, came in 1799, in company with Thomas Richmond, a carpenter and joiner, of whom he was learning the trade, and with whom he staid until his father came in. William, the youngest, was born here, and died at the age of about nineteen. The Medburys' Browns and Arnolds were intimately connected by intermarriage and were a numerous class among the settlers.
William and Andrew Knight, brothers, came from Gloucester, R. I., about 1799. The former sold his farm to Jabez Arnold in 1803, and returned with his family to Rhode Island. Andrew settled in the south part of New Berlin village, where Sanford Kingsbury now lives, and some five or six years after removed with his family to Pittsfield, Otsego county. Harriet, wife of Alfred Thompson, living in New Berlin village, is a daughter of Andrew's.
Capt. Barnet and Caleb Hill, brothers, and Michael Phillips, were the first settlers on the land lying between the Silas Burlingame lot, 77, now a part of the village site, and the Jabez Arnold lot. Caleb Hill died June 26, 1814, aged 59. The Barnet Hill farm is now in the hands of his grandson, a son of Nehemiah, residing at New Berlin village. Two other sons of Barnet's, one named Barnet, are living in Pittsfield, below the Indian Fields. Capt. Barnet Hill died Nov. 24, 1832, aged 71. The Michael Phillips farm is now owned by Darius Atherton.
Reeve and John Dilley, brothers, settled on a wild lot next west of one of the Simmons' lots, west of Great Brook. Asa Williams settled on a wild lot some little distance from the Dilley's towards Norwich. Nehemiah Leach came from Connecticut about 1804, and settled on a side-hill lot beyond Asa Williams, near the west line of the town, which was afterwards known as Leach Hill. The farm is now occupied by Josiah Rowley. About this time he married Anne Aylesworth, of Edmeston, Otsego County. He lived there till within a few years of his death, when he removed to an adjacent farm in the town of North Norwich, where he died in 1847. He had a numerous family, six of whom are still living in the county, viz:---Athelinda, widow of Harvey Sherman, and Emeline, wife of Harvey Crosby, in New Berlin; Eliza Ann, who is living in Pitcher; Lavinia, widow of Brown Tiffany, living in Norwich; Nehemiah, the keeper of the Chenango county poor-house; and Julania, wife of Alvin Cook, now living in Lincklaen.
William and John Mayhew, brothers, settled on a lot near one of the Simmons' lots, on Great Brook. Isaac Sherman settled on the brook emptying into Great Brook, west of the Mayhews, and built on his farm a saw-mill. It was among the first erected in the town and furnished much valuable pine lumber. It is still in operation and it, as well as the farm, are still in possession of his descendants. Isaac and Abner Burlingame, brothers, settled on Great Brook, on the lot next north of the Simmons' lots.
Noah Matthewson, a strong, robust Rhode Islander, came about 1800 and settled first on the Unadilla. He afterwards removed to and built his log cabin on the high land near the pond which bears his name. He soon after built a more commodious one-story frame dwelling, which still stands, and was one of the first frame buildings erected in the town. His son, Noah, resides on a farm near the pond. Waterman Matthewson is also a son of his. Stephen Skinner, at an early day, settled on the same highland ridge some miles north of Matthewson's farm, and near the north line of the town. The place is known as Skinner Hill. Stephen and Nathaniel Kinney were among the first settlers in the neighborhood of Mr. Skinner. William Robinson was one of the first settlers in the same neighborhood. Thomas Sarle, a native of Rhode Island, settled on a river lot a short distance below Scribner tavern. Asa Angell settled on the lot below the Sarle farm. He came from Rhode Island, moving his young family on an ox sled. The journey occupied four weeks. Mr. Angell was an exemplary man. William, Pliny and Joseph Phelps, brothers, settled on the river on adjoining farms, a little below the Dr. Foote farm. William, as he advanced in years, occasionally went forth to preach the gospel, which he conceived to be his duty.
Job Vail, who is reputed to have been tinctured with tory sentiments during the Revolution, was a pioneer in the valley of the Unadilla. He took up a lot near the Asa Angell farm. After he had provided a shelter for his family he next built a grist-mill and saw-mill, two conveniences greatly needed and appreciated in the new settlement. 6
Nathan Taylor owned the lot on which the village of South New Berlin is located. He was an honest and industrious farmer and took an active part in the management of town business. He held town office from time to time, was a Justice under the Council of Appointment, and for some time a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
John Ambler was an early settler on Great Brook, at what is known as Ambler Settlement, a name the locality derives from him.
Charles Rich was an early settler on an adjoining farm.
Jonathan Matthewson settled near Ambler Settlement and was actively and extensively engaged in business.
Peleg Field came from Scituate, R. I., in 1796, and the following year opened a shop and worked at his trade of blacksmith. He was the first blacksmith in the town, and was for many years the only man in the county who had a trip-hammer or who could fix mill irons. He was born Jan. 30, 1776, and died Jan. 10, 1857. Captain Lemuel Munroe was also a blacksmith. He came about the beginning of the present century and opened a shop on the south side of East street in New Berlin village. His home stood on the place now owned by the widow of Benajah Chapin. At his death, May 28, 1818, aged 58, he left the homestead property to his son, Lines W. Munroe. Jacob Brewer, another blacksmith, settled on the opposite side of the street. The shop he occupied is still standing, though but a wreck of its former usefulness. John Pike, also a blacksmith, purchased the old shop and carried on the blacksmith business several years. He married Parmelia, sister of General Welch, who died April 25, 1830, aged 37. After her death he married the widow Harris. He died May 31, 1860, aged 68.
Lewis Winslow, who built, owned and occupied the house where his daughter, the widow of William Mann, now lives, was a carpenter, and worked at his trade till the time of his death. A man named Tammany, who was a tailor, had a shop and worked at his trade where the widow of Albert Spencer now lives. He was the first person to engage in that business in New Berlin.
Gen. Augustus C. Welch was prominent among the early settlers. He was engaged in the manufacture of nails in a shop which stood on the north bank of the creek which runs through New Berlin village, between the creek and Morgan's store. He shaped and headed the nails by hand. When machinery was introduced in the manufacture of nails Mr. Welch abandoned the nail business and engaged in mercantile business and inn keeping. He purchased the tavern-stand on the corner now occupied by Mr. Gaskin, which was then a small building, having been enlarged by subsequent owners. He built a store west of the tavern and during the most active portion of his life continued these two branches of business. He purchased the lot and built the house now occupied by J. T. White where he lived the rest of his life. That part of the building now occupied by the bank he used a while for a store. He then bought the corner formerly owned by L. Blakeslee, tore down the old Blakeslee store, and built that now occupied by Fuller, Ball & Co., where he traded until his last sickness, the better part of the time in company with John T. White, who had formerly been his clerk, and is now cashier of the New Berlin Bank. He held various town offices; was Member of Assembly from this county in 1827; and in 1828 was elected Sheriff of the county. In the military service he passed through the different grades from a private soldier to the rank of Brigadier-General. He died Jan. 23, 1853, aged 66; and Sally, his wife, Feb. 27, 1841, aged 48.
Charles Medbury, a cooper by trade, was an enterprising man and took an active part in the early settlement of New Berlin. His dwelling, an old-fashioned two-story building stood on the south side of East street in New Berlin village. He worked at his trade for several years. His shop stood on the same premises. He also kept tavern a part of the time. He afterwards engaged in mercantile business, in which he was interested a part of the time with Ebenezer Bivins, an educated apothecary, with whom he continued till the latter's marriage and business association with his father-in-law, L. Blakeslee. He died May 23, 1859; and Lucretia, his wife, Jan. 16, 1870. They had a large family of children.
The first settler on the site of Holmesville was Jedediah Holmes, who came from the New England States about 1840, with his family, consisting of his wife, Hannah Brown, and eight children. He located just above the grist-mill in that place. His log house stood some five rods north of the mill. The place derives its name from his son, Abraham, who was extensively engaged in business enterprises here. In 1832 he removed to Ohio, and he and his wife died there.
Uzziel Roe settled early in the west part of the town and died in North Norwich, Aug. 24, 1860, aged 84. Sarah, his first wife, died Feb. 8, 1848, aged 70; and Patience, his second wife, Feb. 6, 1857, aged 87.
Lawson Judson came from Connecticut about 1814 and settled in New Berlin village. He bought a lot on South street and built thereon a one-story house and shop, which he afterwards raised to the dignity of a two-story dwelling. Russel Cheney, who became the owner of Judson's place, and whose widow still owns it, married Phila, daughter of Charles Harris, and during her life worked at the shoemaker's trade. Some time after her death, (Sept. 5, 1860, aged 59,) he sold the place formerly occupied, purchased the Judson premises, and married Miss Pratt. He died Feb. 27, 1871, aged 73. David Atherton, who was a saddler, came from Connecticut and built a one-story dwelling on the premises now occupied by Amenzo Cady's shop and the Medbury store in New Berlin village. He afterwards sold to Isaac VanDyke and removed to the adjoining town of Columbus. His wife died here Dec. 2, 1809, aged 27.
Calvin Thompson, a carpenter and joiner, was one of the early settlers in New Berlin village. He was much esteemed for his industrious and quiet habits. His son, Alfred Thompson, occupies the homestead, which is situated on the west side of the road a little below the Baptist church.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the house of Jeremy Goodrich March 1, 1808. Charles Knap was chosen moderator, and the following named officers were elected: Barnabas Brown, Supervisor; Levi Blakeslee, Clerk; Matthew Calkings, Asa Williams, and Thomas Brown, Jr., Assessors; Matthew Calkings and Charles Knap, Poor Masters; Gideon Wetmore, Collector; Nathan Taylor, Joseph Medbury, Anthony Roberts, Commissioners of Highways; Nathan Taylor and Gideon Wetmore, Constables; Job Vail, Thomas Sarles, Jas. Simonds, Wm. Whitman, Humphrey Tiffany, Miles Curtis, Samuel "Gernouney" and Jos. Wilcox, Fence Viewers; Daniel Sage, Peleg Fields and Waterman Fields, Pound Masters; Asa Perry, Sealer of Weights and Measures.
At an election held April 26, '7 and '8, 1808, the following votes were cast:---
For Francis A. Bloodgood, for Senator 97 " Walter Martin, " " 96 " Sylvanus Smally, " " 96 " Luther Rich, " " 89 " Silas Halsey, " " 95 " Henry McNiel, " " 36 " Francis Henry, " " 40 " Samuel S. Foreman, " " 26 " Wilhelmus Myndert, " " 36 " Roswell Hopkins, " " 25 " Othaniel Arnold, " " 1 " Uri Tracy, for Congressman 123 " Isaac Foote, " " 25 " Ebenezer Foote, " " 2 " Ebenezer Wakeley " Assemblyman 125 " Samuel Campbell, " " 106 " Obadiah German, " " 101 " Isaac Rosa, " " 40 " Nathaniel Waldron," " 38 " Tracy Robinson, " " 17 " Jeremy Goodrich, " " 1 " Joseph Medbury, " " 1
May 3, 1808, Barnabas Brown, Matthew Calkings and Nathaniel Medbury, Commissioners of excise, granted to the following applicants, who were "of good moral character" and had "accommodations according to law," as follows: to Levi Blakeslee, Jeremy Goodrich, Pliny Phelps, Joseph Medbury and Daniel Scribner, tavern licenses; and Levi Blakeslee, Jeremy Goodrich, Noah Matthewson, Abraham Holmes & Co., and Heman Dewey & Co., permits to retail spirituous liquors in quantities less than five gallons.
For the following list of the officers of the town of New Berlin for the year 1880-81, we are indebted to Austin White:---
Town Clerk---Austin White.
Justices---Charles J. Pratt, Herbert Robinson, Truman I. Matterson, J. S. Bradley.
Assessors---Darius T. Atherton, R. J. Butts, Thomas Dye.
Commissioner of Highways---W. H. Robinson.
Overseer of the Poor---H. L. Haight.
Constables---A. M. Coats, Alanson Hecox, Lewis Lamphire.
Collector---Samuel K. Pike.
Inspectors of Election, District No. 1, John A. Dilley, A. A. Handy, Edwin Wilber. District No. 2, Burdett Simons, Daniel S. Hoadly, George E. Hawley.
Town Auditors---E. R. Fuller, C. L. Reed, L. B. Powers.
Sealer of Weights and Measures---C. G. Smith.
Game Constable---John Connery.
Excise Commissioners---Henry D. Cole, David Pendleton, Edward Wightman.
The following have been the Supervisors and Clerks of New Berlin from the organization of the town to the present time:---
|1808-9||Barnabas Brown.||Levi Blakeslee.|
|1818-19.||"||Augustus C. Welch.|
|1820.||Charles Medbury.||Noah Ely.|
|1824-5.||Augustus C. Welch.||"|
|1827.||Charles Medbury.||Marshall Downing.|
|1828.||Charles Rich.||Caleb S. Butts.|
|1830.||"||Silas A. Conkey.|
|1832.||Augustus C. Welch.||Jesse Beardslee.|
|1835.||William Shaw.||William S. Bennett.|
|1836-7.||Thomas Brown.||Oliver C. Goodsell.|
|1838.||Enos T. Halbert.||Edward C. Williams.|
|1839.||Augustus C. Welch.||Hiram Ostrander.|
|1840.||Enos T. Halbert.||Willard Conkey.|
|1841-2.||Samuel Medbury.||Joseph B. Smith.|
|1845.||Joseph B. Smith.||William T. Brown.|
|1847.||"||Royal D. Cone.|
|1850.||J. S. Matterson.||John T. White.|
|1851.||Albert L. Pritchard.||"|
|1853.||Elisha A. Simons.||William H. Clarke.|
|1854.||Joseph Arnold.||Hobart Babcock.|
|1855.||A. J. Carpenter.||Nelson Demming.|
|1856.||Daniel Harrington.||Joseph K. Fox.|
|1857.||Elisha A. Simons.||Eleazer R. Fuller.|
|1860.||Samuel Medbury.||Solomon L. Morgan.|
|1861.||Elisha A. Simons.||"|
|1862.||Eleazer R. Fuller.||Charles B. Williams.|
|1863.||Andrew J. Sage.||Ira K. Ball.|
|1864, 6.||Daniel Harrington.||Sidney A. Finch.|
|1865.||"||Elias M. Jenkins.|
|1867.||William Lewis.||Jesse M. Jenkins.|
|1868.||H. H. Harrington.||Joseph K. Fox.|
|1869.||Alvin C. Hazard.||Henry M. Aylesworth.|
|1870.||Warren Reynolds.||Truman I. Matteson.|
|1871.||Chan. H. Babcock.||Joseph K. Fox.|
|1872-3.||Oscar F. Matteson.||"|
|1874-5.||"||George C. Dimock.|
|1876.||"||Adelbert A. Handy.|
|1877.||Elisha A. Simons.||George C. Dimock.|
|1878.||T. I. Matterson.||Austin White.|
NEW BERLIN is pleasantly situated on the Unadilla, in the north-east part of the town, and is the northern terminus of the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad. It is connected by daily stage with Sherburne, which is eleven miles distant. It contains four churches,9 an academy, two district schools, one newspaper office,10 a national bank, five general stores, two drug stores, four groceries, two hardware stores, two clothing, five millinery and two furniture establishments, a tannery, two grist-mills, a steam saw-mill, a foundry, three hotels,11 four blacksmith shops,12 three carriage shops,13 a shingle mill, three harness shops,14 two jewelers,15 a flour and feed store, and a population of about 1,000. The village was incorporated April 17, 1816.
Following is a list of the Presidents and Clerks of the village since 185016:---
|1851.||A. C. Welch.||John T. White.|
|1852.||Daniel Haight.||S. W. Willard.|
|1853.||John Hyde.||H. O. Southworth.|
|1854.||Shadrach Steel.||S. W. Willard.|
|1855.||John Hyde.||Daniel Harrington.|
|1857-8.||O. N. Shippey.||O. F. Matterson.|
|1859.||John T White.||"|
|1861.||Hiram D. Jacobs.||"|
|1863.17||O. M. Shippey.||William H. Brownell.|
|1864.||Asa Pope.||H. H. Harrington.|
|1866.||E. R. Fuller.||"|
|1868.||O. M. Shippey.||"|
|1869-70.||Daniel Harrington.||A. R. Bates.|
|1871.||William F. Jenks.||Ira K. Ball.|
|1872.||S. L. Morgan.||G. H. Littlewood.|
|1873.||R. B. Dimock.||"|
|1874.||"||William F. Jenks.|
|1876.||"||Ira K. Ball.|
|1877.||J. M. Angell.||"|
The following named village officers were elected March 4, 1879:---
Trustees---Charles V. Hall, John Simonton, Sidney A. Finch.
Assessors---David H. White, Ira K. Ball.
Police Justice---C. A. Church.
Treasurer---John T. White.
Police Constable---Almon Babcock.
At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, March 8, 1879, M. Alcott was chosen President, and Ira K. Ball, Clerk. March 11, 1879, Almon Babcock was appointed Collector; George P. Shippey, J. S. Bradley, and A. Handy, Fire Wardens, and Burt Gaskin, Pound Master.
MERCHANTS.---The prominent early merchants in New Berlin were Levi Blakeslee and Jeremy Goodrich. The former commenced trading in 1800, and the latter about 1802. Both have been fully noticed in connection with the early settlers.
Lawrence McIntyre, an Irishman, traded a few years in the building now occupied by George Sage, the frame part of which he built about 1805 or '6. The building has since been remodeled and repaired.
About 1815, Charles Knap, who came from Connecticut in 1801, and was engaged in the tanning business in New Berlin, built the brick store now occupied by Jesse S. Bradley, and commenced mercantile business in company with Henry DeForest, who came from Connecticut to Edmeston, in Otsego county, and from thence about 1815 to New Berlin. After they dissolved partnership, DeForest built the store now occupied by S. L. Morgan, where he traded in company with Silas A. Conkey.
Wm. Turpin Brown, son of Barnabas Brown, a pioneer settler in this town, traded here some five or six years immediately preceding his death, which occurred March 9, 1856.
Coleman & Joyce opened the first drug store in the early part of the present century, in the small gamble-roof building on the north side of East street, now occupied as a dwelling by the widow Rhodes. They traded here several years, but had removed previous to 1816. Asahel Hatch came from Hamilton about 1814 and after Dr. Coleman's removal engaged in the drug business, to which both he and Coleman had been specially educated. Hatch occupied the store built by Isaac Van Dyke on South street, known as the Medbury store. He left New Berlin about 1818. Ebenezer Bivins succeeded Hatch in the drug business in the same store. He married here the eldest daughter of Levi Blakeslee.
The following are now engaged in mercantile business in New Berlin; Morgan, Finch & Phelps, dealers in general merchandise. The business represented by this firm was commenced in 1857 by Solomon L. Morgan.
George Sage is carrying on a general merchandise business which was established in the fall of 1860, by W. A. Lull and William A. Medbury, the former from Morris and the latter a native of New Berlin. They continued in company till August 7, 1868, when Medbury sold to C. L. Robinson and E. A. Sage, and the name became Robinson, Lull & Sage. April 7, 1873, Robinson withdrew and George and Andrew J. Sage became partners, under the name of Lull, Sage & Co. In 1875, Andrew J. Sage retired, and the remaining partners continued the business till the fall of 1878, when they sold to George Sage, the present proprietor.
Fuller, Ball & Co., general merchants, are the successors to a business established in 1863, by E. R. Fuller, a native of Cooperstown, who removed to New Berlin with his parents in 1836, at the age of two years. In 1865, Henry M. Cushing became his partner, and the business was conducted under the name of Fuller & Cushing till 1868, when Cushing retired and I. K. Ball and J. M. Angell became his associates. The business has since been conducted under the name of Fuller, Ball & Co., though Mr. Angell retired in 1878.
James McFarland, clothier, commenced business in 1864. He had worked the three preceding years for Morgan & Hawkins of New Berlin.
Jesse S. Bradley, hardware merchant, commenced business in 1865, in which year he bought of Henry Tew, who came from Morris and traded five years.
Charles H. Pope, dealer in boots, shoes, groceries and ready made clothing, commenced business in 1866, in which year he bought out I. T. Butterfield, for whom he had clerked seven years.
Dimock & Matterson, (George C. C Dimock and Truman I. Matterson,) general merchants, have done business in company since 1867.
Church, Morgan & Co., (C. A. Church, S. L. Morgan and C. L. Robinson,) dealers in flour, feed, coal, lime, plaster and grain, commenced business in 1870. The only change which has taken place in the firm occurred in 1876, when C. L. Robinson took the place of George and Eugene A. Sage and W. A. Lull, who were members of the original firm.
Hazard & Dykes, (Dr. A. C. Hazard and James L. Dykes,) druggists, commenced business Jan. 10, 1871. They bought, at his death, the stock of E. E. Blossom, who came from Norwich in the fall of 1868.
Henry J. Halstead, hardware dealer, commenced business here in 1871, in company with B. J. Haight under the name of B. J. Haight & Co. In March, 1879, he bought Mr. Haight's interest. Mr. Halstead is a native of Otsego county and came here from Oxford.
L. Spafard & Co., (Lewis Spafard and A. D. Sprague,) general merchants, commenced business in 1875.
Adelbert A. Handy, grocer and baker, commenced business in October, 1874, at which time he bought out Adelbert Snow, who did business here about a year and a half. Mr. Handy is a native of New Berlin.
G. W. Bently & Son, (Edward C.,) furniture dealers and undertakers, came in 1876 from Brookfield, where the Elder Bently established the business in 1853, continuing there the manufacturing interest, in company with his son Edward C. from 1873, until Feb. 10, 1879, when the establishment at Brookfield was burned. After the fire at Brookfield, the manufacturing department, which gives employment to eight persons, was transferred to New Berlin, where the sales department had been since 1876. A building, thirty by fifty feet, three stories high, was erected for its accommodation on Mill Creek, in New Berlin village, which affords a fall at this point of about thirty feet. The building was begun May 1, 1879, and was ready for occupancy July 1st, following. They manufactured all kinds of furniture and burial caskets. Their ware-house is in the building formerly occupied by E. A. Bell as a dry goods store, which they remodeled and repaired in November, 1879.
Sidney E. Olin, grocer, is a native of New Berlin, and commenced business in 1876. Tracy H. Morse, merchant tailor, came here from Unadilla in 1877. Horace J. Wood, druggist and grocer, commenced business in April, 1879. He came from Greene, where he had carried on the drug business for ten years, and bought out the grocery stock of J. C. Oatley, to which he added drugs. He is a native of Utica. M. S. Willard & Co., (Mrs. G. W. Archambault,) bakers and confectioners commenced business August 14, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster in New Berlin was Jeremy Goodrich, who has been succeeded in that office by Noah Ely, Samuel Medbury, William D. Knap, John T. White, George W. Williams, Edward C. Williams, George W. Sumner, Jesse Bradley, Arthur Bates, Joseph Arnold, Thomas A. Avery, Stiles Gray and Thompson White, the latter of whom was appointed September 13, 1871, and is the present postmaster.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician at New Berlin was Ebenezer Ross, who came here from Connecticut about 1804-'05 and opened an office in a small building, afterwards occupied in part as a law office by John Hyde. It stood near the residence of Henry Tew, which was built by Dr. Ross about 1815 or '16. He practiced till his death Feb. 4, 1826, aged 46.
Royal Ross, nephew of Dr. Ebenezer Ross, who had lived and studied with his uncle, came from Connecticut, and attended Fairfield Medical College in company with Nathan Beardslee, and with him removed to Sherburne and commenced the practice of medicine. He was licensed by the Chenango County Medical Society Nov. 10, 1821.
Russell B. Burch, from Hartwick, Otsego county, commenced practice here as early as 1830, and continued till within a short time of his death, from consumption, June 21, 1861, aged 54. Dr. P. H. Hard, who studied medicine with Dr. Mitchell, of Norwich, and licensed by the Chenango Medical Society in March, 1825, practiced here a year or two before 1840, and removed to Oswego. D. Herman Grey came here from the Eastern States about 1834, and removed in 1841 to Wisconsin. Caleb G. Hall was practicing here in 1840, and removed in the fall of that year to Cooperstown. James Harrington, who was licensed by the Chenango County Medical Society in the fall of 1830, and was practicing with Dr. Hall, removed the same year to Pennsylvania. A. T. Lyon was practicing here in 1850. Frank B. Abbott was practicing here in 1861, and G. A. Jones in 1868. They remained only two or three years. Abbott removed to Vallonia Springs, Broome county, and Jones to Albany.
The present physicians are Dyer Loomis, Alvin C. Hazard, James B. Noyes, Hobert S. Dye and Floyd D. Brooks.
Dyer Loomis was born in Ashfield, Mass., Feb. 5, 1801, and was educated in Sanderson's Academy in Ashfield. He pursued his medical studies with Dr. Barney Colwell, of St. Johnsville, N. Y., and subsequently with Dr. Daniel Ayers, of East Canada Creek, N. Y. He was licensed by the Montgomery County Medical Society in June, 1826, and was graduated at Fairfield Medical College Jan. 31, 1827. He commenced practice in Palatine and remained there five years. He removed thence to Butternuts, and after five years' practice there attended another course of lectures at Fairfield Medical College. After completing the course, in 1840, he removed to New Berlin, where he has practiced till within the last two years, when he retired from Active practice. He still resides in New Berlin. He is the third son of Rev. Josiah Loomis.
Alvin C. Hazard was born in Great Bend, Penn., June 21, 1838, and was educated in the Academy in his native place. He commenced the study of medicine in 1860 with Dr. E. A. Wilmot, of Great Bend. In 1863, he entered the United States Railroad Medical Department, connected with the army, as assistant surgeon, serving in that capacity two years, and one year in charge of the United States Military Railroad Hospital at Alexandria, Va. He left the military service in January, 1866, and located at South New Berlin, where he practiced his profession for five years, removing in 1871 to the village of New Berlin, where he has since practiced. He was licensed by the Chenango County Medical Society in May, 1866. He was Supervisor of New Berlin in 1869, and was elected Sheriff of Chenango county in November, 1879, on the Republican ticket.
LAWYERS.---The first lawyer to locate at New Berlin was Abijah Bennett, who came with his parents from Connecticut the latter part of the last century and settled in Pittsfield, N. Y. About 1804 or '5 he removed to New Berlin and opened an office and practiced here till the war of 1812, when he entered the United States regular army, in which he held a lieutenant's commission, and died here July 18, 1813, aged 32.
Noah Ely, who was born in Berkshire county, Mass., in 1786, came from thence to New Berlin about 1814 or '15, and practiced till old age compelled him to desist. He died here in January, 1871.
Henry Bennett was born in New Lisbon, Otsego county, Sept. 29, 1808. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1832. He located about this time in New Berlin and continued to practice here till his death. He was elected to Congress in 1848, and served in that capacity ten successive years, from 1849 to 1859. He lacked only one vote of being nominated for the sixth time to that office. In the 34th Congress, 1855-57, he was Chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, and reported a number of important bills for the benefit of the Western States. He was a member of the same committee in the 35th congress.
John P. Usher came from Brookfield, N.Y., about 1831 or '2, and read law with Hon. Henry Bennett and subsequently with John Hyde, both of New Berlin. He was admitted about 1837, and practiced in company with his preceptor, Mr. Hyde, two years, when he removed to Indiana.
Alonzo Johnson came from Milford, Otsego County, between 1830 and 1840. After practicing a year or two he removed to Greene.
Henry O. Southworth came from Bridgewater, Oneida county, about 1841 or '2, and completed his legal studies with Noah Ely. He practiced here a few years and removed to Rome.
Samuel S. Randall, a native of Norwich, son of Perez Randall, practiced law here a few years previous to 1840, and married here.
Nathan Beardslee, a native of Pittsfield, Otsego county, came here about 1825 or '6 from Sherburne, where he lived a year or two. He practiced here till his death, Oct. 16, 1831, aged 35.
George W. Sumner, a native of Guilford, in this county, came to New Berlin as a student and read law with Henry Bennett. He served as Justice of New Berlin two successive terms; and represented this county in the Assembly in 1864 and '5. He was drowned in Crooked Lake, Aug. 10, 1865, while visiting an associate Member of Assembly. He was born Dec. 27, 1821.
The present lawyers in New Berlin are John Hyde, Oscar F. Matteson and Henry H. Harrington.
John Hyde was born in Franklin, Conn., June 24, 1791, and removed with his parents in 1802 to Columbus, then Brookfield. He commenced his law studied in 1811 when Stephen O. Runyan, of Oxford, and completed them with John Tracy. He was admitted in 1816 and commenced the practice of his profession that year in New Berlin, where he has since continued. Mr. Hyde is the author of some admirably written sketches on the early history of New Berlin and Columbus, which he has kindly placed at our disposal, and as he is an authority on these subjects we have made liberal extracts from them. In his old age he enjoys in an eminent degree the respect and confidence of his fellow townsmen, who have honored him at different times with various town offices.
Oscar F. Matterson was born in Burlington, Otsego county, Aug. 29, 1832, and was educated in the common and select schools of his native town. He commenced the study of law in 1852, with George S. Gorham, of Burlington, and was admitted in 1854. He commenced practice in December, 1855, in New Berlin, where he has since continued in company with W. F. Jenks.
Henry H. Harrington was born in Garrettsville, Otsego county, Oct. 17, 1838, and was educated in the academies of Cooperstown, Fort Plain and New Berlin, to which latter town his parents removed in 1854. He commenced the study of law in 1859, with James E. Dewey, of Cherry Valley, with whom he remained till his admission in 1861. He was supervisor of New Berlin in 1868.
BANKS.---The First National Bank of New Berlin was organized June 24, 1863, under the act of Feb. 25, 1863, with a capital of $60,000, in shares of $100 each, and was privileged to increase the capital to $150,000.18 The charter continues its corporate existence for nineteen years, unless sooner dissolved by a majority of the stockholders. The organization certificate bears date of Oct. 21, 1863.
At a meeting of the stockholders, held at the hotel of N. Deming Nov. 2, 1863, Tracy S. Knap, Solomon L. Morgan, Cyril Beardslee, Joshua Lamb, John T. White, Henry Tew, Charles Medbury, Charles W. Fox and Eri Deming were elected directors, each receiving the entire number of votes cast---320. At a meeting of the directors held at the house of Nelson Deming Nov. 2, 1863, Tracy S. Knap was elected President; Solomon L. Morgan, Vice-President. John T. White was appointed Cashier. The bank was authorized to commence business by Hugh McCulloch, Comptroller of the Currency, Dec. 11, 1863, and opened its doors for business Jan. 2, 1864. Application for permission to begin business was made Dec. 7, 1863, at which time $57,000 had been paid in as permanent capital. Jan. 12, 1869, Jonas H. Brooks was appointed Teller.
Jan. 14, 1873, Solomon L. Morgan was elected President in place of Tracy S. Knap, and Charles Medbury, Vice-President, in place of Solomon L. Morgan; both have since held their respective offices. Jan. 13, 1874, F. T. Arnold was appointed Teller in place of Jonas H. Brooks, resigned, and still holds that office. John T. White has been Cashier since the organization of the bank.
The trustees elected Jan. 14, 1879, were: S. L. Morgan, Charles Medbury, T. G. Lamb, Cyril Beardslee, O. F. Matterson, Harvey Howard, E. D. Hayward, Charles B. Williams and John T. White.
The first dividend, 3½ per cent., was declared in May, 1864. Up to May 11, 1869, a semi-annual dividend of 4 per cent. was paid. Nov. 12, 1869, a 5 per cent dividend was paid, and it was continued at that rate until Oct. 14, 1873. From April 14, 1874, to Oct. 8, 1878, 4 per cent. was paid; and April 8, 1879, and Oct. 14, 1879, 3½ per cent.
Following is a report of the condition of the bank Oct. 2, 1879:---
|Loans and Discounts, ...........||$ 67,121.32|
|U. S. Bonds to secure circulation ........||100,000.00|
|U. S. Bonds on hand ...||34,100.00|
|Other Stocks, Bonds and Mortgages, .....||11,900.00|
|Due from approved Reserve Agents, ...||48,381.04|
|Due from other National Banks,||930.28|
|Due from State Banks and Bankers, .....||10.50|
|Furniture and Fixtures, ..||500.00|
|Current expenses and taxes paid, ..||2,133.67|
|Checks and other cash items,||540.53|
|Bills of other Banks,||1,475.00|
|Fractional currency, (including nickels,)||89.61|
|Specie (including gold Treasury certificates,) .....||5,546.70|
|Legal Tender Notes,||2,115.00|
|Redemption Fund with U. S. Treasurer, 5 per cent. of circulation,.....||4,500.00|
|Capital Stock paid in,||$100,000.00|
|Other undivided profits,||6,288.00|
|National Bank Notes outstanding, ..||90,000.00|
|Dividends unpaid, ..||38.50|
|Individual Deposits, .....||67,155.41|
|Demand Certificates of Deposit, .....||6,211.80|
|Cashier's checks outstanding, ..||42.00|
|Due to other National Banks,||238.68|
MANUFACTURERS.---As early as the beginning of the present century workers in wood and iron and in other manufacturing trades, commenced building workshops on either bank of the village creek, from near its source to the Unadilla, its recipient. The stream runs directly east course through the center of the village. In its upper course it flows through a rugged glen, and, though small in volume, it furnishes some valuable mill sites. On the head waters of the stream, near the west line of the village, Thomas Medbury, a gunsmith, built a shop and manufactured rifles and smooth-bore shot-guns. His dwelling is now owned and occupied by John Low. Barnabas Brown, Jr., bought the house and shop of Mr. Medbury, and turned the latter into a clothing and cloth-dressing establishment, and with Buel Sherman, whose wife was his sister, carried on that business several years. The building and its apparatus have long since disappeared.
Next down the creek was Knap & DeForest's woolen factory, which has been noticed in connection with the early settlements. James Denison bought the buildings and mill privilege and manufactured ropes from flax. While Mr. Knap owned the establishment, Asahel Edson carried on the business of wool-carding in it. Mr. Denison sold the premises to Thomas Chappell, who changed the building into a dwelling and built a brewery near by, where he made strong beer. He also had a cider-mill on the premises for grinding apples by water power. On the death of Mr. Chappell, Feb. 5, 1867, the property ceased to be used for manufacturing purposes. Knap's oil-mill stood on the creek near the present foundry; and down the creek below its junction with the north branch, in the paper-mill pond, are yet to be seen the remains of an old saw-mill, whose water-preserved timbers antedate this generation's memory as to the time this mill was built or by whom owned.
Up the north branch of the creek there stood another saw-mill, also a carding machine and cloth-dressing establishment. An accidental fire destroyed all the buildings and much of their contents. No mills were afterwards erected.
The ancient grist-mill owned by Blakeslee & Mallet, and more recently by Mr. Nichols, who also attached thereto a cider-mill and cooper shop, stands next below the Blakeslee paper-mill, to which reverence has been previously made. Below the grist-mill, at the foot of the hill, on the south bank of the creek, where now stands the house built by Chauncy Babcock, was a distillery. Next in order were Knap's tannery, and Field's trip-hammer works, the former on the south and the latter on the north bank of the creek. Both drew water from the same mill pond. Goodrich's tannery, near the junction of the creek with the river, terminated the long row of ancient workshops.
Aruna Welch, a house painter, was an early settler in New Berlin village, and occupied as a paint shop, the building in which Augustus C. Welch made nails. About 1820 he removed to Ohio. The shop was afterwards occupied by a gunsmith named Jackson, who acquired the sobriquet of "Stub and Twist Jackson," because he manufactured what he termed stub and twist rifle barrels from old nail heads, and points procured from blacksmith shops.
Vine Welch was one of the first settlers in New Berlin village, and was engaged in the manufacture of spinning wheels. He died at an early day and was survived some years by his wife, who died April 6, 1830.
Moak & Pratt's tannery was built about 1840, by Tracy S. Knap, on the site of one built about 1813, by Charles Knap, and burned about 1840. Mr. Knap and his son carried on the business till about 1860, and sold to O. B. Matteson and C. A. Church. Matteson bought Church's interest in 1869, and in 1870 sold to Ephraim and F. A. Moak and C. J. Pratt. In 1874, F. A. Moak withdrew from the firm, in which there has since been no change. The tannery contains forty liquor vats, and employs four men and a capital of about $10,000. They tanned in 1878 about 4,000 sides, which is about two-fifths of the capacity of the tannery.
James and Thomas Gibson are proprietors of a grist-mill and saw-mill located on the Unadilla, but operated by steam. The saw-mill, which contains one circular saw, was built in 1872; and the grist-mill, containing one feed run, in 1876, both by the Messrs. Gibson.
The Eagle Mills, flouring and grist, were built in 1878, by S. C. Tinkham, the present proprietor. The building, which is of wood, is 46 by 75 feet, with two stories and basement. It has one run of stones. The motive power is furnished by water from the Unadilla, which is conducted to the mill by a race about a quarter of a mile long. It occupies the site of the Ross cotton factory, which was destroyed by fire.
The foundry and machine shop of which Henry L. Haight is proprietor, was established some sixty years ago, by Thomas and Miles Rice, brothers, who carried on the business several years, till 1839, when they sold to B. J. Haight, father of the present proprietor, who succeeded his father in 1873. Plows are the principal article of manufacture. The establishment is located on the creek, about a quarter of a mile above the village. The creek has a fall at this point of twenty-two feet.
Cushman, Sexton & Co., (A. S. Cushman, Samuel Sexton and A. Wilcox,) are engaged in the manufacture of all kinds of furniture. The business was established in 1870, in the building now occupied by L. Spafard & Co. as a store, and removed thence in 1876 to the present building, which was erected the latter year by this firm for its accommodation. The works are operated by steam and give employment generally to two persons. Orville Spicer put a shingle-mill into the same building in the early part of 1879, and is now making about 4,000 shingles per day. He employs one man besides himself.
NEW BERLIN FIRE DEPARTMENT---July 27, 1867, the village trustees were authorized to expend not to exceed $2,000 in the purchase of a fire engine and apparatus. The engine, "Excelsior No. 2, of Utica," was bought for $1,000 and a hose cart, for $175. A house and lot for an engine house was purchased of Edward Wales, in 1867, for $375. The engine was received in the fall of 1867. Sept. 28, 1867, "Excelsior Fire Engine Co." was constituted with all the rights and privileges conferred by the law of April 28, 1847.19
April 26, 1868, $800 were voted for the purpose of building a new engine house. June 11, 1870, Henry Tew was appointed Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, and was re-appointed to that office the three succeeding years. E. R. Fuller was appointed Chief, May 28, 1874. He is the present incumbent of that office. March 11, 1873, the office of Assistant Engineer was created and J. McGuire appointed to fill it. Sept. 1, 1874, permission was given for the formation of an independent hose company; and July 1, 1876, consent was granted Crystal Hose Co. to become incorporated as an independent hose company.
Everything connected with the Fire Department was destroyed by fire in the winter of 1877-'8. In May, 1878, a portable force pump, with hose attached, was purchased, and now forms a part of the equipment of the Department. An engine, hose-cart and hose were purchased the same month at a cost of $1,000. June 5, 1878, the contract for building a new engine house, of wood, was awarded to D. D. Pendleton, to be completed in ninety days from June 7th for $795. Sept. 14, 1878, the engine house was accepted by the village trustees as being completed.
Considerable strife existed for the possession of the force pump. The village records of June 7, 1878, say "there are now three proposed companies in the field," contending for it; and the record ludicrously adds, "The Board moved to lay them all on the table for the present."
EXCELSIOR FIRE CO. NO. 1 was organized Jan. 6, 1872. The first officers were: A. C. Hazard, Foreman; E. R. Fuller, Assistant Foreman; Am M. Chase, Secretary; T. I. Matterson, Treasurer; J. M. Brooks, Janitor. The present officers are: T. I. Matterson, Foreman; F. D. Brooks, Secretary; S. Sexton, Treasurer; N. Prentice, Janitor. The number of members is twenty-three.
ARGONAUT FIRE CO. NO. 2 was organized June 17, 1878. The first officers were: H. S. Dye, President; E. C. Bentley, Foreman; W. F. Knap, assistant Foreman; J. S. Matthewson, Treasurer; L. A. White Secretary. The present officers are: Dr. J. B. Noyes, Foreman; H. S. Wightman, Assistant Foreman, L. A. White, secretary; E. C. Bentley, Treasurer.
NEW BERLIN ACADEMY20 was incorporated by the Regents Feb. 13, 1844, and opened in the spring of that year under the principalship of Alonzo Phelps. The whole number of pupils during the first year was 133.
From the Report of the Regents for the year ending August 31, 1879, we glean the following particulars regarding this Academy. The school building is of wood, 60 by 140 feet, two and a half stories high. The first story contains two large study rooms, a hall and recitation room; the second story, a large study room, chapel, hall and library room. The rooms are well seated and contain ample blackboards and furniture in good order and suitable for school work.
The resources of the Academy consist of a lot valued at $1,200; school building, valued at $3,200; library, containing 365 volumes, valued at $415.02; and philosophical apparatus, valued at $298.61; total value, $5,113.73.
The teachers are Gilbert Jeffrey and Mrs. Henry Bennett, both of whom were educated in New Berlin.
The whole number of scholars taught during the year ending August 31, 1879, was 85; of whom 50 were males and 35 females. Their average age was 15 1-10 years. The number of academic students Aug. 31, 1879, or enrolled during any part of the year ending on that day, and who are claimed by the trustees to have pursued for four months or more of that year, classical studies or the higher branches of English education, or both, having passed the preliminary academic examination, was 6 males and 6 females. The average age of the males was 18 3-10 years, and the females, 16 9-10 years. The number of scholars pursuing classical studies during the year was 12, of whom 8 were males and 4 females.
Rates of tuition: Common English studies, $13.50; Mathematical and Higher English, $16.50; Classical, including the preceding, $22.50. The present trustees are S. L. Morgan, John T. White, E. R. Fuller, A. J. Sage, H. H. Harrington, D. Harrington, J. S. Bradley and Chauncey Todd.
CHURCHES.---St. Andrew's Church, New Berlin, was organized April 14, 1814, by Rev. Daniel Nash, who had held occasional services in the village previous to that time. A meeting of the constituent members was held at that date, at the house of Asa Perry, in New Berlin. Rev. Daniel Nash presided and Augustus C. Welch was chosen clerk. At that meeting a vestry was elected and the above name adopted. Mr. Nash officiated as rector, and services were held in a church edifice erected by the united efforts of persons of different denominations, but which was amicable yielded to the use of this church, such being the desire of a majority of the contributors. The church was consecrated by Bishop John Henry Hobart, Sept. 6, 1816.
The seats were first rented in October, 1816. They were rented by auction sale above the appraised value, and were let from January, 1817, to January, 1818. The highest sum appraised to any pew appears to have been $25; the lowest, $3. A. C. Welch was the auctioneer.
In November, 1816, a committee was appointed to purchase a suitable lot in the village for a parsonage, as Rev. William B. Lacy, who had been engaged as rector one-fourth of his time, apparently as early as 1815, at a salary of $175, intended to reside here. In 1817, Mr. Lacy resigned his charge, and in August of that year the vestry requested Asahel Davis to assume it, giving three-fourths of his time to this parish, and agreed to pay him $375 for such service. His services were discontinued on or before Nov. 18th, and the vestry, on the 5th of that month, appointed a committee to arrange with Rev. D. Nash to assume the charge of the parish the next year. Mr. Nash resigned March, 1820, and Rev. Mr. Wheeler was invited to visit the parish with a view to the rectorship; but he did not assume the charge till the close of the year. His services continued till 1825. After he left there seems to have been an interim of three years, in which there was no settled rector. Rev. E. Andrews commenced his labors Aug. 17, 1828, at a salary of $400 and house-rent. He gave one-fourth of his time to the adjoining parish of Sherburne, with the understanding, nevertheless, that whatever remuneration he received there, should be deducted from the amount paid at New Berlin.
In 1852, Rev. Mr. Hughes was the rector. He remained such however for only a short period; for Oct. 19, 1834, a committee was appointed to wait on Rev. E. Andrews, then rector, and request him to continue his services another year. He remained till 1836, on the 4th of November of which year a call was given to Rev. Charles Jones, who entered upon the duties of rector on the 11th of that month. He resigned the charge at the end of the year, much to the regret of the vestry. He was succeeded by Rev. R. Wheeler, who gave up the charge in February, 1841, when the parish placed themselves under the Bishop's directions. Rev. Andrew Hull took charge of the parish that year.
At a meeting of the vestry in April, 1843, it was unanimously voted that the seats of the church should thenceforth be free and open to all attendants upon the church without charge. From that time the church has been essentially free, the clergymen being supported by subscription.21
In November, 1846, a meeting was held to take action upon the subject of a new church, and a committee was appointed to circulate subscriptions. A stone building to cost about $5,000, was decided on. The plans were procured from R. Upjohn, a New York architect, and the work begun. The cornerstone was laid in the summer of 1847, and the building was completed in the fall of 1848, the entire cost, exclusive of furniture, being $8,000.
In May, 1849, Mr. Hull resigned the rectorship, to which, in the summer of that year, the vestry called Rev. Richard Whittingham, who entered upon his duties in November, 1849.
Jan. 12, 1863, Rev. Mr. Whittingham tendered his resignation, which was accepted February 23. A call extended to Rev. George W. Dunbar, of Olean, Sept. 3, 1863, was accepted, and he entered upon his labors August 26. With his rectorship the pledged offertory was substituted for the free offertory system. The parochial school was discontinued on the removal of Mr. Whittingham. Dec. 1, 1866, Mr. Dunbar tendered his resignation, which was accepted Jan. 4, 1867. His connection with the parish ceased March 1, 1867.
July 3, 1867, a call was given Rev. J. B. Robinson, of Clinton, N.Y., and accepted, the interval having been filled by J. T. White as lay reader.
Mr. Robinson tendered his resignation May 31, 1878. It was accepted the same day, to take effect June 9th. July 2, 1878, a call was given Rev. Charles A. Poole, the present rector.
The following officers were elected April 15, 1879: Horace O. Moss and Jesse Beardslee, Wardens; D. Loomis, J. T. White, W. A. Lull, John Austin, W. Reynolds, J. Gaskill, Edward Todd and F. T. Arnold, Vestrymen.
The present number of communicants is 162; the offerings for missionary and charitable purposes, during the year ending Oct. 5, 1879, amounted to $453.33.
The Baptist Church of New Berlin was organized August 6, 1831, at the white school house in the village of New Berlin.22 Rev. Nathaniel Otis, of Oxford, was moderator, and Rev. David Cutler, clerk of the council which convened at that time to reorganize it as a church. Rev. Jabez H. Swan, of Norwich, preached the sermon. The number of constituent members was twenty-three. The church edifice was erected in 1840, at a cost of about $3,000, and dedicated in October of that year.
Following are the names of the pastors in the order of their settlement:---
Rev. David Cutler, from August, 1831 to __________ 1837. " E. T. Jacobs, " Sept., 1838 to July, 1841. " H. A. Smith, " Feb., 1842 to June, 1845. " Geo. F. Post, " July, 1846 to May, 1852. " S. S. Hayward, " " 1852 to April, 1854. " E. T. Jacobs, " Oct., 1855 to " 1857. " Jesse Evans, " April, 1859 to March, 1861. " D. L. Lockwood, " " 1861 to April, 1863. " J. H. Chamberlin, " " 1863 to " 1867. " G. E. Flint, " " 1867 to Jan., 1870. " J. L. Ray, " " 1870 to Sept., 1873. " H. A. Smith, " Oct., 1873 to April, 1875. " B. F. Williams, " July, 1875 to " 1877. " C. A. Stone " " 1877, present pastor.
The present number of members is 140; the attendance at Sabbath School, 106.
The church has given two of its members to the ministry, viz.: Rev. Edward Royce, who was ordained by this church Sept. 19, 1843; and Rev. Hiram Fisher, who was ordained by this church Feb. 27, 1855.
The church joined the Otsego Association immediately after its organization, but after two years withdrew and united with other churches in forming the Chenango Association in 1833.
The First M. E. Church in New Berlin. It is now known when this church was organized as not record is preserved. Its legal existence dates from Dec. 17, 1832, at which time a meeting was held in the house of Abel Judson, in New Berlin village of which Rev. Luman Beach was chairman and Abel Judson, secretary. Benjamin Jacobs, Abel Judson, Elisha Babcock, John D. Bates and Thomas Sayrles were then elected trustees; and the name of The First Society of the M. E. Church in the town of New Berlin was adopted.
The church was originally a part of the old New Berlin circuit, which comprised New Berlin, South New Berlin and King's Settlement. About 1846 New Berlin was cut of and made a station, with rev. Mr. Anderson as pastor; but finding themselves unable to support a minister, Columbus and South Edmeston were added.
The church edifice, which was originally built in 1841, was re-built in 1875, at a cost of about $1,200. It was built in 1871, under the pastorate of Rev. R. W. Van Schoick. In 1875, the church at Columbus, which is on this charge, was repaired at a cost of about $1,700.
Rev. Mr. Shepard was the pastor in 1869; Rev. W. B. Thomas, in 1870; Rev R. W. Van Schoick, in 1871; Rev. J. A. Wood 2d, in 1872; Rev. William Burnside, in 1873; Rev. L. A. Wild, in 1874-'5; Rev. N. J. Hawley, in 1876-'7; and Rev. J. C. Shelland, the present pastor, in 1878-'9. The present number of members is about 200.
The Presbyterian Church of New Berlin.---March 12, 1838, a meeting was held in the school-house in the south part of the village of New Berlin, and Zalmon Hubbell having been called to the chair and Hial Fitch appointed secretary, Lee DeForest, Zalmon Hubbell, Hial Fitch, Marcus S. Willard, William Smith and Chauncy Calkins were elected trustees, and the name of The Congregational Society of New Berlin adopted. At the same meeting Nelson Brown was chosen clerk of the Society, and Zalmon Hubbell, Lee De Forest and Hial Fitch were chosen a building committee. A lot was purchased in the upper part of the village, where the houses of Mr. E. Wallace and Miss Medbury now stand. The erection of the church was entrusted to Messrs. Hills and Thurber, and in the fall of 1838, the building was enclosed and the basement was completed. In the latter services were held till the latter part of the next summer.
August 11, 1839, the Congregational Church of New Berlin was formed by the Rev. S. P. Storrs, of Columbus. Thirty-one persons, who presented letters from various Congregational and Presbyterian churches, united in its organization. Of this number Joel L. Fuller, C. G. Smith and Mrs. Mary Ross are the only ones who remain with it.
Sept. 11, 1839, Rev. Julius S. Pattengill was invited to become the pastor. He was then a young man and commenced his labors immediately. He was ordained as an evangelist by the Otsego Presbytery in February, 1840, regularly called by this church in June of that year, and installed as pastor on the 12th of August following. He closed his labors in February, 1848. During his stay, in February, 1840, the church was dedicated. Up to October, 1841, the church had struggled with a debt of $400, which was canceled at that time by voluntary subscription.
The second pastor was Rev. Samuel Wright, who began his labors in the fall of 1848. His pastorate was a short but acceptable one, for on the 20th of March, 1851, he requested a dissolution of the pastoral relation. For a little over a year after Mr. Wright left, Rev. Mr. Gamage, LL. D., supplied the pulpit, and during his ministry there were several additions. He was succeeded by Rev. A. Van Houten, who commenced his labors here Aug. 15, 1852, and remained till Oct. 25, 1853.
About this time land was bought of Charles Knap by Lee De Forest and William Smith and given by them to the society, to be used for church purposes, on condition that if the society should ever disband the proceeds of the sale should be divided between the Boards of Foreign and Domestic Missions.
On Sunday, April 8, 1855, the first service was held in the church after its removal, Rev. Alford White at that time beginning his labors with this people. The church was re-dedicated on the 30th of May following. Mr. White remained till April, 1856, and was succeeded by Rev. H. P. Herrick. The next pastor was Rev. John McLeish, who commenced his labors in October, 1858. He left in the spring of 1861. Rev. J. L. Jones, who for a short time had been supplying the church at Columbus, became the pastor in July, 1861, and preached his last sermon here April 29, 1866. The Sabbath after Mr. Jones preached his farewell sermon, Rev. Thomas Thompson, a young man from Madison University, commenced to preached here and remained a year. From May to August, 1867, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Myron Adams, a student of Auburn Theological Seminary. Oct. 6, 1867, Rev. C. M. Whittlesey, from the Seminary at Auburn, began his labors as pastor, and in April, 1868, was ordained by the Chenango Presbytery. He remained till June 6, 1868.
Mr. Whittlesey's successor was Rev. E. P. Adams, who commenced his labors Nov. 21, 1869, and continued them for two years. The succeeding few months the church was without preaching. Rev. A. C. Swain, of Madison University, supplied the pulpit for three months from March, 1872. In the fall of 1872, Rev. Horatio Pattengill, brother of the first pastor, took the pastoral charge. In the spring of 1873 he was instrumental in inducing the church to change its form of government from Congregational to Presbyterian. In accordance with this vote, April 12, 1873, it was resolved to elect three elders, and Joel L. Fuller, Uziel Thurber and Eleazer R. Fuller were elected to that office, to which they were ordained on the 20th of April. Mr. Pattengill labored here till April 1, 1876, and was installed pastor Sept. 26, 1876.
In 1877, a new pipe organ was put into the church at a cost of about $1,000. The present membership 113; the attendance at Sabbath School, 100.
SOCIETIES.---Phoebus Lodge No. 82, F. & A. M., was re-chartered June 5, 1841. Charter officers were: Rouse Clark, Master; Abraham Baker, S. W.; Samuel Angell, J. W. The present officers are: Granville G. Beers, W. M.; Truman I. Matterson, S. W.; Charles P. Cushman, J. W.; William J. Mann, Treasurer; John McGuire, Secretary; E. C. Bentley, S. D.; Albert Snow, J. D.; John T. Chapin, S. M. of C.; Henry H. McGuire, J. M. of C.; Chauncey Todd, Tiler; A. J. Manchester, Chaplain; M. Alcott, Marshal; Willie G. Peck, Organist.
South New Berlin, situated on the Unadilla, in the south-east part of the town, is a station on the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad, eight miles below New Berlin, and contains two churches, (Baptist and Methodist,) a Union School, two hotels, five stores, a steam shingle, planing and cider-mill, a steam saw and grist-mill, a cabinet shop, kept by Thomas A. Dye, who has carried on the business here thirty-three years, one wagon shop, kept by A. Owens, three blacksmith shops, (kept by J. Morton, W. S. Gage and A. Pinney,) two harness shops, (kept by G. Potter and N. P. Dixon,) one shoe shop, kept by G. R. Potter, a tin shop, kept by D. H. Wales, a cooper shop, kept by T. A. Dye, and a population of about 300. A very small portion of the village lies in Otsego county.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant of whom we have any definite information was Judge Nathan Taylor, a native of Rhode Island, who came from Pittsfield, Mass., in 1803, with his young wife, and cleared up a farm in the south part of the village. He was a Justice for fourteen years. He commenced trading here about 1812, in a building which stood on the south-east corner, on the site of Chancellor Babcock's store, and was afterwards burned.
Caleb Botts came from Delaware county about 1820 and opened a store in a building which stood on the north-west corner, where the Breffle House now stands.
Ephraim Wood, who had been engaged in shoemaking at New Berlin, and had kept a small store a short time in Holmesville, commenced mercantile business here about 1835. He was a prominent merchant here for a good many years.
The following are the merchants now engaged in business in South New Berlin:---
C. B. and H. Babcock, (Charles B. and Hobart,) general merchants. This business was established in 1841, by Ephraim Wood, Jr., who was associated with Charles B. Babcock from 1854 to 1857, under the name of Wood & Babcock.
Chancellor H. Babcock, general merchant, commenced business in 1863, at which time he bought out E. D. Jackson.
Frank Van Valkenburg, general merchant, commenced business in 1866, in company with his father-in-law, Elijah B. Dixon, whose interest he bought in February, 1871.
George E. Hawley, druggist, commenced the general merchandise business here in 1867 in company with Charles E. Brett. December, 1875, he established himself in the drug business.
Robert H. Dixon & Co., (Elijah B.,) grocers. Elijah B. Dixon commenced the flour and feed business here in the spring of 1872.
De Florence H. Wales, dealer in hardware, and tinware commenced business here in April 1, 1878.
There are two millinery shops in the village, one kept by Mrs. E. A. Brooks, who came from Burlington, Otsego county, in 1876, and commenced business in April, of that year; the other, by Mrs. William Bassett, a native of South New Berlin, who commenced business in 1876.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster at South New Berlin was judge Nathan Tailor, who procured the establishment of the office, which he kept several years, till about 1830, when he was succeeded by Caleb Botts, who was followed by Frederick Phelps. He was probably followed by Daniel Gifford, who held the office in 1842, and was succeeded within a year by Alva Babcock, a blacksmith, who held it from about 1843 to 1850, when Nelson Crandall was appointed, and succeeded by Alva Babcock, who held till 1861, when Grove Babcock, son of Alva, was appointed and held it till February 11, 1862, when Chancellor H. Babcock, the present incumbent, was appointed.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician to locate at South New Berlin of whom the present inhabitants have any knowledge was Horatio G. Knight, who came at an early day, previous to 1813, and practiced till his death, June 8, 1821, aged 33. He was succeeded by Daniel Bellows, who practiced sixteen years, till about 1838, when he removed to Norwich. James Harrington, whose parents were residents of the town, and Russel Taylor, were contemporaneous in their settlement here and practiced in company some time. Harrington remained nine years till 1843. Dr. Taylor, remained some five or six years, and sold to Dr. Dan Foote, son of Dr. Dan Foote, a very early physician and settler at New Berlin centre, where he practiced, principally as a surgeon, till his death. The younger Foote practiced here about six years, and still resides in the village. John P. Harris, a native of Plymouth, came here from Norwich in 1843, and practiced about eight years, till his death, from softening of the brain. Elias M. Jenkins came from Andes, Delaware county, in 1862, and after practicing some four years removed to Michigan. Alvin C. Hazard came from Great Bend, Penn., in 1866, and after practicing five years, removed in 1871 to New Berlin, where he is practicing.
The present physicians in South New Berlin are Stanford C. Gibson, William H. Kinnier and James R. Walker.23
Stanford C. Gibson was born in Berne, Albany county, Jan. 14, 1810.
William H. Kinnier was born in Smithville, July 5, 1844.
LAWYERS.---The first and only lawyer to locate at South New Berlin was Arthur Bennett, who came from Oxford in the summer of 1878 and removed in the spring of 1879 to Tioga county.
MANUFACTURES.---Harrison Camp's steam saw and grist-mill was built in the fall of 1875, by Harrison Camp, the present proprietor. It contains one slab and one circle saw and one run of stones; gives employment to three men; requires a capital of $2,000, and is propelled by a twenty-five-horse-power engine.
Nathaniel B. Baggs' planing, shingle and cider-mill was built in the fall of 1879, and is located on the east bank of the Unadilla. It gives employment to three men; requires a capital of $2,500, and is propelled by a ten-horse-power engine.
HOTELS.---The Williams House occupies the site of the tavern which, as has already been said, was opened by Lot Crandall and kept by him about 1820. That was the first tavern in the village. Crandall sold the property to Caleb Botts, who kept the tavern till his removal to New Berlin. About 1830 it passed into the hands of Avery and Alva Owens, brothers and twins, who came from Laurens, Otsego county, and carried on the wagon-making business in connection with tavern-keeping. They tore down the old building and erected the present one about 1830. The tavern was kept by their brother, Elbridge, who died in Norwich, though his residence was here. The present proprietor, John Williams, who had previously kept for forty years, till 1869, the hotel in New Berlin now known as the Gaskin House, which he built in 1833, took posession of this hotel and has kept it since April, 1869.
The Breffle House was built by Elijah Dixon in 1872, near the depot, and was moved to its present location in April, 1876. It is owned by r. H. Dixon and F. VanValkenburg, and has been rented and occupied by Albert Breffle since its erection.
SOUTH NEW BERLIN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION was organized April 10, 1877, and incorporated in June, 1879. The library comprised 150 volumes of well-selected literature. The shares of stock are $3 each, and the annual fee, which is changeable, $1. The officers for 1879-80 are: Henry Sage, C. E. Brett, and C. H. Babcock, Trustees; Mrs. C. E. Brett, Prof. S. P. Field and Miss Emma Babcock, Book Committee; C. H. Babcock, Librarian and Treasurer; Rev. Wm. Scott, Member of Joint Committee.
SOUTH NEW BERLIN UNION SCHOOL.---At a meeting held in School District No. 5, Jan. 18, 1876, G. E. Hawley and D. S. Hoadley were appointed a committee to ascertain the law relative to the establishment of a Union Free School. At an adjourned meeting held Jan. 25, 1876, of which C. H. Babcock was Chairman and G. R. Potter, Clerk, and which was attended by School Commissioners Freeman and Barber, it was decided by a vote of 24 to 10 (the whole number of voters in the district being 54,) to establish a Union Free School, comprising District No. 5, in New Berlin.
Feb. 1, 1876, a plot of about an acre of the Jewett Sage estate, on the west side of South Main street, in the village of South New Berlin, was selected as the site for a new school-house for the accommodation of the Union Free School, and the following were elected members of a Board of Education: C. H. Babcock, two years, and Jay Sage and Frank Van Valkenburg, three years. Feb. 8, 1876, the plan for a new school-house was drawn and submitted by O. C. Mitchell, was adopted in the main as regards size and style, and the Board was authorized to take such measures as to them should seem best to secure the construction of a house upon the new site.
At a meeting of the Board of Education, Feb. 12, 1876, C. H. Babcock was chosen Chairman, Hobart Babcock, Clerk, C. B. Babcock, Treasurer and Lyman W. Bassett, Collector.
Sept. 25, 1876, it was resolved that the contract made by the Board, with Harrison Camp to build the school-house, had been fulfilled in all respects, and it was further resolved to give Mr. Camp, who had received $600, a note for $800.
March 2, 1878, it was voted to hire Hobart C. Babcock as principal of the school; and Mrs. Mary Kinne to take charge of the primary department. Stanley P. Field was chosen principal Aug. 1, 1878, for a term of ten weeks, commencing Aug. 27, 1878. Sept. 4, 1878, it was resolved to hire a third teacher for the present term, and Miss Jennie Pendell was engaged to assist in the primary department. Mr. Field was re-employed as principal in June, 1879.
In 1879, a bell for the school was bought of Rumsey & Co. at a cost of $19.50. August 5, 1879, the following rates of tuition were adopted: Primary Department, per term, $2.50; Common English, $3.50; Higher English, $6; Languages, $8. The present teachers are Stanley P. Field and Mrs. Mary Kinne. The library is the old district school library, and comprises about 100 volumes.
CHURCHES.---The Baptist Church of South New Berlin was organized in 1799 as the Third Norwich Church, and was then composed of the pastor, Sebe Norton, and thirteen members. The first meetings were held at White Store, four miles south, and on the Great Brook, one mile west of this place. The first house of worship was built in 1819. It was a frame structure and stood on the present site. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Elisha Tucker. The building was burned in February, 1865, and in that year the present edifice, a fine brick structure, was completed and dedicated.
About 1820, a Baptist church, situated two miles north of this place, of which Rev. Simeon Camp and others were pastors between 1790 and 1820, united with this church.
The church was connected at first with the Otsego Association, but united in 1833 with the Chenango Association.
The church has enjoyed the ministrations of the following named pastors:---
Rev. Sebe Norton, 1799-1809; Rev. David Corps, 1809-'19; Rev. Washington Windsor, 1819-'29; Rev. J. H. Chamberlain, 1829-'52; Rev. Albert Grey, 1852-'55; Rev. E. Candy, 1855-'56; Rev. S. A. Douglass, 1856-'58; Rev. N. Ripley, 1858-'63; Rev. John Foster, 1863-'66; Rev. J. A. Hogeboom, 1866-'67; Rev. J. H. Chamberlain, 1867-'71; Rev. H. O. Rowlands, 1871-'74; Rev. Andrew Lindsay, 1874-'76; Rev. Walter Scott, 1876-.
The number of members, as appears from the minutes of the Association in 1879, is 315. The church property consists of the church edifice and a parsonage.
Holmesville is situated on the Unadilla, in the south-east corner of the town, and is a station on the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad, about two miles south of South New Berlin. It contains a Union church, (built in 1861,) a district school, two stores, a grist-mill, a saw, shingle and planing-mill, a cheese factory, (built in 1861,) a cheese factory, (built about fourteen years ago and owned by E. D. Tuttle,) two shoe shops, (kept by Smith O. Dexter and Harvey Isbell,) a blacksmith shop, kept by Watson Woodworth, two wagon shops, (kept by Harmon Hopkins and George Sherman,) two cabinet shops, (kept by Richard Hunt and Horatio G. Littlefair,) a cooper shop, kept by John Lamphier, and a population of 168.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Holmesville was Waterman Fields, a native of the town, whose father came from Rhode Island among the first settlers and located two miles west of New Berlin. Waterman fields built his store in 1833, on the site of the store now occupied by Martin A. Burlingame. It is still standing, having been removed from its original location, and is now occupied as a residence by Mrs. Almira Case.
Abraham Holmes, James Isbell and Zara Arnold opened a store about 1844, in the building now occupied by Charles H. Thornton, which was built for the purpose by Mr. Holmes about that time.
Ira Dibble came from Guilford about thirty years ago and occupied the building vacated by the Isbells. He traded some five years, when he went to New York.
Charles H. Thornton, a native of Holmesville, is now trading here. The only other merchant now trading here is Martin A. Burlingame, who is a native of the place, but came here from New York, and commenced business Feb. 1, 1879.
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at Holmesville was established in the fall of 1871, and George Miller was the first postmaster. He was succeeded in the office by the present incumbent, Wallace Sherburne.
MANUFACTURES.---The Holmesville flouring and grist-mill is owned by the heirs of Mason White, and operated by Rufus S. Whitenden, who took possession Nov. 12, 1878. It contains three run of stones, which are propelled by water drawn from the Unadilla by means of a ditch a quarter of a mile long and affording a fall of six feet.
The saw, shingle and planing-mill now owned by Ira Holmes was built by his father, Abraham Holmes, about sixty years ago, and operated by him till about 1864, when he sold to his son Dennis, who sold in 1873, to his brother Ira, the present proprietor, and Stephen Curtis, the latter of whom sold his interest to his partner some three or four years ago. The grist-mill at this place was built soon after the saw-mill, by Abraham Holmes, and has undergone the same changes in proprietorship till within three or four years. Ira Holmes sold it to Mason White, who operated it till his death, in 1879, since which time it has been in possession of his heirs.
New Berlin Center is a post station on the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad, about the center of the east border of the town. The post-office was established here in 1830. The first postmaster was Benjamin Lull, who held the office two years, when William Lord was appointed. He was succeeded by Martin L. Wood, and in 1841, by Adoniram Green, who held it till 1852, when Avery Williams, the present postmaster was appointed.
Ambler Settlement, located a mile north-west of South New Berlin, contains a Presbyterian church, and a cheese factory owned by George Sage.
Three miles below New Berlin is a saw and grist-mill owned by ----- Skinner, which has been built a good many years. It is operated by water. On Great Brook, about three miles south of New Berlin, is a water-power saw-mill, which was built a good many years ago and is owned by William Smith.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---The earliest action taken by this town with regard to its share in the Rebellion of which there is record bears date of Jan. 1, 1864, at which time a special town meeting was held and it was resolved to pay $310 to every volunteer thereafter applied on the quota of New Berlin under the call then recently made; and to send a copy of the call then recently made; and to send a copy of the resolution to Hon. George W. Sumner, Member of Assembly from this district, urging him to procure the passage of a law legalizing this action. S. L. Morgan, Ephraim Wood, O. F. Matterson, Hobart Babcock, E. R. Fuller, Dennis Holmes, J. H. Sarle, A. J. Sage, Ira K. Bell, Christopher Boyce, H. H. Angell, Robert Jeffrey, Vernon Phelps, Henry Peck, Jesse L. Dilley and Daniel S. Hoadley were constituted a committee to obtain the money to carry out the provisions of the resolution. At a meeting of the committee at the house of A. J. Sage, it was decided to raise $10,000 on town bonds of $100 each, payable in four equal annual installments. Of this amount $9,944.25 was paid for thirty-one volunteers and the expenses attending their procurement.
At the annual town meeting held Feb. 16, 1864, it was resolved to pay, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 8, Laws or 1864, passed Feb. 9, 1864, $350 to every volunteer previously credited on the quota of the town who had not already been paid the town bounty, and to all applied on the quota under the last call. April 4, 1864, it was resolved to pay "to every veteran or raw recruit" credited on the quota under the last call for 200,000 men, and the Supervisor was authorized to issue town bonds for the amount, payable in four equal annual installments. April 30, 1864, it was voted to pay $400 to each of six men, and if that number was insufficient to fill the quota under the last call to the number requisite to fill such quota. The Supervisor was authorized to issue bonds in the necessary amount, payable in four equal installments from Feb. 4, 1864.
June 25, 1864, it was voted to pay not to exceed $500 to each volunteer credited on the quota of the town under the next call, and Jesse S. Bradley and Oscar F. Matterson were appointed a committee to act in conjunction with the Supervisor, Daniel Harrington, to obtain the requisite number of men and issue bonds to raise the amount needed. July 30, 1864, it was voted to pay each person who should thereafter volunteer or furnish a substitute credited on the quota under the last call, $200 for one year, $400 for two years, and $600 for three years. August 31, 1864, it was voted to pay to each volunteer credited on the quota under the recent and last call for 500,000 men, such sum as the committee appointed for the purpose deemed necessary, not exceeding $1,100; and to each person furnishing a substitute so credited, $600. The Supervisor was instructed to issue bonds for the necessary amount, and Daniel Holmes, Gilbert Gager, Ephraim Wood, Hobart Babcock, Andrew J. Davis, Alfred E. Hill, Christopher Boyer, Henry Peck, A. R. Bates, O. F. Matterson, I. T. Butterfield, Jason E. Matthewson, H. H. Harrington and John L. Slocum were appointed a committee to raise the volunteers and aid the Supervisor in raising the money.
Jan. 5, 1865, the following preamble and resolution were adopted:---
"WHEREAS, The county of Chenango has not paid the bounty of $300 each to the following volunteers, viz: Enos Guile, Stephen D. Scott, William Howard, Rufus Combs and Daniel S. Winton, who volunteered with the expectation of receiving from the county that sum, and, whereas, the above named men were credited and allowed on the quota of the town of New Berlin under the subsequent call for 500,000 men, and are now and have been in the service; therefore,
"Resolved, That the sum of $300 and the interest from the first day of February, 1864, be paid to such of the above named volunteers in bonds of the town of New Berlin, payable one-half on the first day of February, 1866, with the interest then due, and one-fourth of the principal and interest February 1, 1867, and the remainder on the first day of February, 1868."
The Supervisor was authorized to issue bonds in accordance with the statutes then in force in relation to bounties to soldiers. It was also resolved to pay to each volunteer credited on the quota such sum of money as the committee appointed for the purpose should agree to pay; that any person in the town liable to the draft who should thereafter furnish a substitute for the term of three years, credited to the quota of the town, should be paid in the bonds of the town $600. Thompson White, Dennis Holmes and Oscar F. Matterson were appointed a committee to take all necessary measures in their judgment and discretion to fill the quota of the town; and the proper officers were instructed to issue bonds therefor, payable Feb. 1, 1869. Christopher Boyce, Henry J. Corbin, Horatio Angell and Jesse S. Bradley were constituted a finance committee to procure the money necessary to pay such volunteers; and it was voted to pay the necessary expenses of and reasonable compensation to the committee in the discharge of their duty.
New Berlin furnished during the war 234 men who were credited to this town and 14 who were credited to other towns. Of this number 17 were natives of the town and 16 were substitutes; 26 enlisted for one year, 12 for two years and 206 for three years; 63 received a county bounty of $50, and 32 of $300; 13 received a town bounty of $50, 32 of $300, 6 of $400, 8 of $500, 20 of $600, 20 of $665, and 26 of $1,100.
The Soldiers' Monument Association of the town of New Berlin.---This town has supplemented its action during the war by the erection of an elaborate and appropriate monument in honor of its heroic dead in the sanguinary struggle. It is the only town in the county which has thus memorized the services of its dead heroes. The first effort in this direction was made in 1866. On the 15th of December of that year a meeting was held for that purpose at the hotel of George N. Cole, in the village of New Berlin. Subscriptions to the amount of $988 were given in that and the following year, but they were not collected, a sufficient sum not having been obtained to consummate the object. The organization was not completed and the project was temporarily abandoned.
It was revived in 1871, December 13th of which year an organization was perfected pursuant to the provisions of chapter 273 of the laws of this State, passed March 30, 1866. The meeting for this purpose was held at the office of Aylesworth & Harrington, and attended by Horace O. Moss, Orin Field, Thompson White, Eugene A. Sage, Daniel Harrington, Warren A. Lull, Lewis Brown, Solomon L. Morgan, John T. White and Henry M. Aylesworth. S. L. Morgan was chosen chairman, and John T. White secretary. At that meeting it was resolved that "it is expedient that a soldiers' monument be erected on the ground reserved and prepared for its reception in the new cemetery grounds of St. Andrew's Church in New Berlin;" the above name was adopted, and the following trustees were elected: Horace O. Moss, Noah E. Austin, Eugene A. Sage, Oscar F. Matterson, Daniel Harrington, Solomon L. Morgan, Eleazer R. Fuller, John T. White, Charles B. Babcock and Lewis Angell, in addition to the supervisor and justices of the town who were constituted trustees ex-officio.
At a meeting of the trustees held at the office of H. H. Harrington Dec. 17, 1873, H. O. Moss was elected President; O. F. Matterson, Vice-President; H. H. Harrington, Treasurer; John T. White, Secretary; all of whom, including the trustees, have been continued in office to the present time.24 The Treasurer was authorized to invest in bonds of the town of New Berlin $500 of the $516.43 received as the proceeds of fairs and festivals held in aid of this project.
April 5, 1876, the Treasurer reported at a meeting of the trustees that he had in funds and subscriptions which would probably be paid about $2,450. It was then resolved to proceed to ascertain what kind of a monument could be procured with the funds at their command. April 25, 1876, it was resolved to construct a monument of Westerly, R. I. granite, and H. O. Moss, S. L. Morgan, O. F. Matterson and H. H. Harrington were appointed a committee to correspond with and invite proposals from dealers in granite. June 30, 1877, the monument was accepted as being complete according to the contract entered into with Messrs. Barnes, Blanding & Co., of Binghamton. The amount paid therefore was $3,800.25 It was decided at this meeting to unveil the monument July 4, 1877.26 The oration on the occasion was delivered by Hon. H. J. Coggeshall, of Waterville, N. Y.
The monument is constructed of the best Rhode Island gray granite, stands over twenty feet high, and weighs over thirty-one tons. It is surmounted by the figure of a soldier of the same material. It stands upon one of the most sightly spots in the Unadilla Valley, overlooking the village, of which it commands a fine view.
The names of the following persons who "Died for their Country" are inscribed upon it:---
|FRONT SIDE.||RIGHT SIDE.|
|Smith Haight.||Henry Pickens.|
|Jarvis Howard.||James Read.|
|John Harkins.||George W. Roberts.|
|Chapman Houghtailing.||Jacob Robinson.|
|George E. Jacobs.||Jacob Robinson.|
|Everett D. Jackson.||LaFayette E. Sherburne.|
|Wallace Jackson.||Stephen C. Scott.|
|Morrell Kinney.||Lt. William D. Thurber.|
|Morris J. Lull.||Louis Edwin Tew.|
|Galen Lull.||John C. Talman.|
|Clinton H. Medbury.||Edwin Thatcher.|
|Henry Marks.||Cor'lius Van Valkenburgh.|
|Charles D. Marks.||James J. Wales.|
|Daniel W. Putnam.||Thomas Wiswell.|
|David Porter.||James E. Woodmansie.|
|Francis M. Peck.||Samuel Winsor.|
|William H. Angell.||Henry Bennett, Jr.|
|George Agard.||Andrew J Burrell.|
|Lt. Isaac B. Burch.||Delevan Burlingame.|
|Walter La F. Briggs.||Frank Babcock.|
|Chester L. Buchanan.||John Bunt.|
|Luther Gage.||Chester Cook.|
|William Champlin.||Leonard Edwards.|
|Charles T. Field.||George Ferguson.|
The Amberville creamery receives milk from about 600 cows. " Davis " " " " " 250 " " A. J. Sage " " " " " 250 " " New Berlin " " " " " 400 " " Great Brook " " " " " 200 " " Ainsworth " " " " " 150 "
4 - See footnote on page 307.
5 - Benjamin, Thomas, Lucy, Lucretia, Samuel, Eddy and Jabez.
6 - These mills, located at New Berlin Center, were, says French's Gazetteer of the State of New York, the first in the town, and built in 1795 or '6; but that work says the saw-mill was built by Job Vail, and the grist-mill, by Daniel Vail, on lot 74. Mr. John Hyde, our informant, ascribes the origin of both to Job Vail, and says they "were the first mills in the town, with the exception of Herrick's mills, which were built about the same time."
7 - Thomas Brown was elected Supervisor, Oct. 29, 1831, to fill vacancy occasioned by the death of Nathan Beardslee, Oct. 16, 1831.
8 - Royal D. Cone was appointed Clerk Dec. 24, 1846, to fill vacancy occasioned by the absence of William T. Brown.
9 - Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal.
10 - The New Berlin Gazette, J. K. Fox, Publisher. See page 108.
11 - The Gaskin House, John S. Gaskin, proprietor; the Central Hotel, kept by G. G. Beers; and the Roberts House, kept by James Roberts. The accomodations of the Gaskin House are equal to those of any hotel in the county. This hotel was built in 1833 by John Williams, of South New Berlin, who bought the old hotel on this site in 1827, and kept the hotel till 1869, since which time it has been kept by John S. Gaskin, who bought it April 1, 1878.
12 - These are kept by Albert A. Smith, Amenzo Cady, John N. Davine, and Charles G. Smith.
13 - These are kept by Ackerman & Co., George Matteson and Abram Osterhout.
14 - These are kept by C. A. Sergeant, Adicus Ellis, and Charles Pratt.
15 - A. C. Shepard and H. S. Whitman. Shepard came from Coventry in 1877.
16 - The village records prior to 1850 are missing.
17 - The records do not show who was President in 1850; neither do they show who held the office either of President or Clerk in 1862. The records do not show who was President in 1850; neither do they show who held the office either of President or Clerk in 1862.
18 - April 11, 1865, the Board of Directors resolved to increase the capital $15,000, but rescinded that resolution Sept. 7, 1865. July 26, 1871, the bank was authorized to increase its capital $40,000, and Aug. 10, 1871, it resolved to so increase it. The present capital is $100,000.
19 - This company was disbanded Jan. 6, 1872, and a new one organized.
20 - Promised data relative to the early history of this institution have not been furnished us.
21 - Dec. 1, 1856, the system of subscriptions for rector's salary and church expenses was superseded by the free offertory system.
22 - The society connected with this church was organized "at the usual place of worship in the village of New Berlin," May 27, 1837. J. Randall and R. Herrington, members of the church, were chosen to preside at the meeting, and they, together with Alonzo Hubbel, Azel Peck and Sabin Warner were elected trustees. It was reorganized as The Baptist Church and Society of the Village of New Berlin, July 22, 1839. Edward T. Jacobs, an elder, and Everett Colburn, a member of the church, were chosen to preside at the meeting held for that purpose, and Daniel G. Cook, David B. Cole, Stephen P. Cady, Russel B. Burch and Augustus Sheldon were elected trustees.
23 - Dr. Walker came from Mt. Upton Oct. 23, 1879. See page 243.
24 - There is one exception to this statement. Warren A. Lull was appointed trustee April 25, 1876, in place of Lewis Angell, deceased.
25 - About $500 additional were expended in laying the foundation for the monument, and laying out walks, &c.
26 - The monument bears this inscription-"Erected May 30, 1877."