FENNER was formed from Cazenovia and Smithfield, April 22, 1823, and named, at the suggestion of Col. Arnold Ballou, in honor of James Fenner, Governor of Rhode Island. It is an interior town, lying north-west of the center of the county, and is bounded on the north by Lenox and Sullivan, on the south by Nelson, on the east by Smithfield, and on the west by Cazenovia. Its surface is a rolling upland, occupying the most elevated portions of the ridge which divides the waters in this county. A branch of Chittenango creek, which forms the major portion of the west boundary, rises in the eastern part, while the head waters of Canaseraga creek and a minor branch of Cowasselon creek lie in the northern part. These are fed by innumerable streams which issue copiously from the hill-sides in all parts of the town.
Perryville Falls, on the Canaseraga, are situated but a few rods below, or north of the depot in Perryville. The water makes a descent of about 150 feet by a succession of sloping falls, and has apparently, at some time, plunged from a limestone ledge on a level with the present layer, and on a line with the spurs which project with some prominence on either bank, 200 to 300 feet in advance of the ledge over which it now makes its first descent. The huge basin defined by the banks between these points and the falls has apparently been hollowed out by the action of the water when its volume was much greater than at present. The chasm is partially filled with drift and surface washings, which supports a sparse growth of timber. The valley which spreads out below the falls, extending into the town of Sullivan, is one of great beauty.
The underlying rocks are almost wholly those of the Hamilton group. The limestone crops out in the north and north-west part. Quarries are opened in the former on the farm of Elon G. Maine, in the north-east part of the town, and on the Dean farm in the south-west part, the material obtained being used in the construction of road beds and fences. Extensive deposits of marl exist in the north-west corner of the town, on the farm of Charles Keeler, on which also calcareous tufa crops out in various localities in the bank of Chittenango creek. They make a good lime, and large quantities are burned and ground. Mr. Keeler has a lime mill in operation in that locality, to which some five or six years since he added a small grist-mill.
The soil is a gravelly and clayey loam, well adapted to mixed farming. The cereals are successfully and quite extensively cultivated, the Hess barley, which was originated in Fenner, by David Hess, being a staple production, while of hops, which are the staple product of the county, this town raises the least of any in the county. Dairying is an important industry, but is carried on less exclusively than in the more southern towns. There are three cheese factories in the town, which received the milk of about 8oo cows; one at Perryville, built in 1868, by Webster C. Hill, and owned by Avery & Wadsworth; one on the mile strip, about three miles south-east of Perryville, built about 1869, by Monroe Lownsbery, and also owned by Avery & Wadsworth; and one at Fenner Corners, owned by the widow of William P. Lownsbery, by whom it was built about 1864.
The Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad, (Cazenovia and Canastota) extends through that portion of the west border defined by Chittenango Creek. The population of the town in 1875 was 1,265; of whom 1,139 were native, 126 foreign, 1,258 white, 7 colored, 653 males and 612 females. Its area was 18,935 acres; of which 15,716 acres were improved, 2,568 woodland, and 651 otherwise unimproved. The cash value of farms was $974,920; of farm buildings other than dwellings, $ 68,810; of stock, $168,280; of tools and implements, $39,008. The amount of gross sales from farms in 1874 was $117,133.
There are fourteen common school districts in the town. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1879, there were fourteen licensed teachers at one time during twenty-eight weeks or more. The number of children of school age residing in the districts at that date was 421. During that year there were eleven male and seventeen female teachers employed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 337; the average daily attendance during the year was 178.443; the number of volumes in district libraries was 977, the value of which was $170; the number of school-houses was thirteen, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing 1 acre and 42 rods, valued $705, were valued at $4,140; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $548,950.
Receipts and disbursements for school purposes:-
|Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1878||$ 1.00|
|Amount apportioned to districts||1,301.15|
|Raised by tax||734.87|
|From teachers' board||56.00|
|From other sources||25.85|
|Paid for teachers' wages||$1,903.04|
| " school-houses, sites, fences, out-|
houses, repairs, furniture, etc.
|" incidental expenses||144.29|
|Amount remaining on hand Sept. 30, 1879||22.44|
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlements are said to have been made in 1793, in the west part of the town; but they were not probably of a permanent character as the Indian title was not extinguished till two years later, although the New Petersburgh Tract, which embraced the major portion of this town, w. leased of the Indians by Peter Smith in 1794 It was subsequent to that time that the important settlements were begun. The closing years of the last century witnessed the settlement of many families, among whom were Jonathan and James Munger, Alpheus Twist, John Needham, Thomas Cushing, David Cook, Lt. David Hutchinson, Seneca Robinson, and John Barber.
Jonathan Munger was a soldier of the Revolution and came here from Connecticut with his son James. He settled a mile north of Fenner Corners, on the place now occupied by his grandson William C. Munger, son of his youngest child, Chauncey, who was born here in 1802. There he resided until his death in 1808, caused by falling from the roof of his house. He had two wives, the first of whom died several years previously, and the second, in 1822. James was a son by his first wife. He married and settled in Fenner, where he lived till advanced in years, when he removed to Verona and died there. His children by his second wife were Horace, Rachel and Eliza. Horace was a soldier in the war of 1812. He married and settled in Fenner, but afterwards re-moved to and died at Oconomowoc, Wis. Rachel married an Aldrich and settled in Fenner, but after-wards removed to Hamilton, where, after his death, she married James Wickwire, father of the Wickwires of Hamilton. Jonathan Munger built on the farm on which he settled, about 1800, the first framed barn in the town. It was built by the scribe and rule and is still standing. Dr. George B. Munger, of Perryville, is a grandson of Jonathan Munger's.
Alpheus Twist was also from Connecticut and settled shoots mile south of Fenner Corners, on the farm now occupied by Orlando Allen and Mr. Bond, where he kept tavern at an early day and resided till his death. He had three sons and one daughter, Salem, Alpheus, Charles and Clementine, the latter of whom married Erastus Parks and settled in Wyoming county. Salem married in Cazenovia, and Charles, a Betsinger, of Clockville. Both settled at first in the county and Salem died in Cazenovia. None of the family are left here. Twist's wife was the first person who died in the town; and his son Alpheus was the first white child born in the town.
John Needham, who had previously been here and purchased a farm, came from Ingham, Mass., in 1797 or '98, with his wife, Betsey Cushing, a native of Ingham, whom he had then just married, and settled a mile west of Fenner Corners, where Aaron Hyatt now lives, where he died in 1853 and his wife in 1852. They had seven children, all of whom were born here, Betsey, John, Olivia, Be1a C., George, Peleg and Juliette. Betsey, Peleg and Juliette died on the homestead of consumption, unmarried. John married Anna, daughter of Samuel Root, of Farmington, Conn., and settled first in Fenner, afterwards removing to Cazenovia, where he died May 15, 1852, aged 53. His wife died there Oct. 26, 1879. Olivia lived on the homestead till the death of her father, when she removed to Cazenovia and died there unmarried. Bela C. married Almy, sister to his brother John's wife, and settled on a farm adjoining the homestead, to which he succeeded on the death of his father, .d occupied till his removal to Lowell, Mich., some ten years ago. He is the only one of the family living. George married Rica Titus and lived for a time on the homestead with his father. He afterwards re-moved to Kansas and died there some ten years ago.
Thomas Cushing and his sons Enos and Hawks settled in the same locality as Needham. Enos was a surveyor. He pursued that vocation many years, till his death, some twenty years ago. He was widely and favorably known.
David Cook came from Rhode Island about 1797 or '98, with an ox team, bringing his family, consisting of his wife, Lydia Smith, and nine children, Lillis, David, Lydia, Nancy, Rachel, Met, Reuben, Amy and Lovina. They came seventeen miles through the forest without finding a single inhabitant in all that distance. Mr. Cook settled a half mile north of Fenner Corners, on a farm of 213 acres, which included the whole of the Corners lying north of the east and west road. His house stood near the present residence of Frank White, which remained in the family till within two years. In his log house his son David opened soon after they came in the first tavern in the town, and there he also kept tavern after his son's removal to another location. His wife kept stacked up in the cupboard a goodly supply of Indian bread, which w. facetiously called Mrs. Cook's library. Mr. Cook was a man of prominence and influence. He was for some years a justice of the peace and in 1806 became a judge of the Common Pleas Court, which office he held for several years.
Lieutenant David Hutchinson came from Connecticut and located on the farm now owned by William Farnham, where he took up 120 acres, on which he kept tavern and raised a family of four sons and three daughters. He was a revolutionary soldier. He continued to reside there till he was advanced in years when he went to live with his son Loring, in Fenner, and subsequently with his grandson, David Hutchinson, also in Fenner, where he died Aug. 13, 1853, aged 89. His wife (Lydia,) died on the homestead March 29, 1834, aged 66. His children were Loring, Myron, Nancy, Polly, Melissa, Lafayette and Merillo, the latter two of whom died young. The others, except Myron, who settled in Pennsylvania, married and settled in Fenner, where all died, except Polly, widow of Harry Woodworth, who still lives in the town.
Seneca Robinson, of Irish descent, son of Dr. Isaac Robinson, of Stanford, Vt., came from there about 1798 or '99, with his family, consisting of his three children, Clark, Orpha and Francis K., all of whom are dead. He settled about two miles south-east of Perryville, on the farm now owned by Alvin Wells. He took up 50 acres of heavily timbered land, three acres of which he cleared the first year and sowed to wheat and on which he built a log cabin, which he covered with hollow basswood logs. In 1800 he sold to Enos Wells, went to Albany and bought 600 acres in Lenox, on the south line, about a mile and a half from the west corner, all of which, except for 50 acres, he sold to different individuals.
John Barber was a native of Worcester county, Mass., and emigrated thence to Oneida, whence in 1799 he removed to Fenner, settling on 542 acres on lot 23. March 14th of that year he married Lavina Thompson, a native of the same place as himself, whose parents had settled in the town of Madison. He started an ashery, which was one of the first in this section of country, and with the exception of ten years spent in Cazenovia, resided here till his death, Nov. 30, 1869, aged 94. His wife died Aug. 31, 1866, aged 84. His son Darlin Barber succeeded him on the homestead.
Enos Wells came from Williamstown, Mass., in 1800, with his wife Betsey Smith, and two children, Elisha and Polly, both of whom are dead. He settled on lot 6, on the New Petersburgh Tract, a mile and a half north-east of Fenner Corners. The farm is now owned and occupied by his son Alvin. There he died Dec. 16, 1851, aged 84; also his two wives, the latter Polly, widow of Rev. Alvin Wales, a Baptist minister who preached in this locality, June 11, 1859, aged 80. He had three children by his second wife, Betsey, Menla and Alvin, the latter of whom is the only one living, on the homestead The others married and died in Fenner, though Betsey spent most of her married life in Nelson.
William, Arnold and George Ballou, brothers, were natives of Smithfield, R. I., and removed thence in 1800 to Fenner. William married in Rhode Island, and settled a little north of the residence of Melvin Woodworth, where he and his wife died. None of their children are left. Arnold, who was born March 26,1772, married Nancy, daughter of Judge David Cook, who was born in Adams, Mass., Jan. 10, 1784, and died in Fenner, May 31, 1857. He settled with his brother William, and there in company with him, erected on the Canaseraga, the first saw-mill in the town. It was in operation for many years. Arnold afterwards removed to the place now occupied by John Gostling, about a mile north of Fenner Corners, where he died Oct. 10, 1833. He was a colonel in the American army during the war of 1812. He was also an early tavern keeper. George Ballou married Lillis Cook, sister to Col. Arnold Ballou's wife, and settled in the south edge of Lenox, where John Brewer now lives. They afterwards removed to Quality Hill in the same town, where both died. They had three children, all of whom are dead.
James Cameron, a native of Blair Athol, Scotland, emigrated thence about 1800 to Fenner, and settled about two and one-half miles west of Peterboro, in the east edge of Fenner, on a farm which has since remained in the family, being now occupied by G. Howard, who married his daughter Catharine, the latter of whom died there in April, 1878. There he resided till his death at an advanced age about sixty-three years ago. He married in Scotland, Margaret McIntosh.
John Douglass, another worthy Scot, emigrated from his native country to Johnstown, about 1799. There he married Abigail Poole, and about 1801 removed to Fenner, locating in the south-east part of the town about two and one-half miles south-west of Peterboro. He took up about 110 acres, which were divided between himself and his brother Daniel, who came with him from Scotland and to this town. John settled on the farm now occupied by James Campbell, and Daniel, on the Neil Eastman farm. John and his wife died where they settled, the former about twenty-five years ago. His wife survived him four years. They had thirteen children, all born in Fenner, eleven of whom lived to maturity and married and settled in that locality. Daniel Douglass also married in Johns-town, Grace Steward, by whom he had nine children, all of whom were born in Fenner and raised on the farm on which they settled. He afterwards removed with his family to Caledonia, N. Y., where he died a few years after.
Other Scotch families who settled early in that locality were those of John Robertson and Robert Stewart. Robertson settled on the farm now occupied by his grandson of the same name. There his wife died. He died in Lenox. His son Robert, father of the present occupant, succeeded him on the homestead farm and resided there till his death. None of the children of the elder Robertson are living. Robert Stewart settled on the farm adjoining that of John Stewart on the west, and resided there till his death, which occurred in Lenox. His first wife died in Johnstown, whither she went to live with her parents after she was taken sick. His second wife, Lucy May, died on the homestead farm in Fenner, previous to his death. He had three sons and three daughters, all by his first wife.
Guy Hatch, a native of New London, Conn., came from Springfield, Mass., in company with his brother-in-law, William Parsons, in 1801. Each bought of Peter Smith 75 acres in the south-west part of the town. Hatch settled on the farm now owned and occupied by his son Leroy, and died there. They made a small clearing, and in the fall returned to Massachusetts. They came again the following spring and built a log-house upon the clearing made the previous year, and in the fall Hatch brought in his family, consisting of his wife, Mary Parsons, and two children, William and Mary. His wife died on the homestead. Six children were born here---John, Leonard, Henry, Hannah, Charles and Leroy, of whom three are living. Gideon Parsons, Guy Hatch's father-in-law, came from Springfield, Mass., in company with Hatch in the fall of 1802, and brought with him his wife, Mary, and three sons, Gideon, Walter and Festus, each of whom settled in that locality. Gideon settled on the farm bought by his son William in 1801, and died there, he and his wife. It is now owned by Mr. Hyde. William and Festus succeeded their father on the homestead farm. They afterwards removed to Cicero and died there. Gideon went west and died there. Walter died in the town of Cazenovia.
Joel Downer was a native of Pownall, Vt., and in 1801, at the age of twenty-one, he removed to the New Petersburgh Tract in Fenner. The following year he purchased a farm in the east part of the town, and in 1806, on the day of the great eclipse, married Loving, daughter of Stephen Risley, an early settler in Smithfield. Prosperity rewarded his energy and industry. He died in 1864, at the age of 84. His wife died Sept. 17, 1866, aged 80. Samuel Nichols, who settled in Cazenovia in 1793, removed thence in 1802 and took up a large farm on the mile strip, which he and his sons brought to a good state of cultivation. But few of this numerous family remain in this town. Silas Ballou, cousin to William, Arnold and George Ballou, came from Providence, R. I., about 1803 or '04 and settled in the east part of the town.
Hezekiah Hyatt came from North Salem, Westchester county, in 1804, and took up 115 acres in the south part of the town, a part of which he afterwards sold. He was a physician and practiced in that locality many years. He died in April, 1845, and his wife, Deborah Crosby, in 1853. They had eight children, only two of whom are living, Bethiah P., who was born Jan. 17, 1789, married David Truesdell, of North Salem, Westchester county, and is now living at Nelson Flats, with a clear mind but a confirmed invalid, and Stephen, who is living on the homestead in Fenner.
David Baldwin came from Worcester, Mass., about 1804 or '05, and settled about two miles south-east of Perryville, on the farm now occupied by William Munger, where he confirmed to reside till his death. He lost a leg in Massachusetts by being run over by an ox team, and though he took up a farm he was principally employed in malting rakes in a small way. His youngest son, Aaron, came in with him and worked the farm. He married a daughter of Elijah Thompson, of Madison, and died on that farm a few years after. Others of David's children who came here within a year or two of that time were John and David. John married in Massachusetts Ruby King, with whom and some three or four children he settled on a farm adjoining his father's, which is now cut up into three different farms and occupied by William Farnham, Frank Hayes and George Woodruff. He afterwards removed to Nelson to live with his son Palmer, and died there August 15, 1847, aged 75. His wife survived him and went to live with her son-in-law, Avery Main, in Wayne county, where she died Sept 3, 1865, aged 91. David, who married Penelope Miles, came with his wife and seven children about 1806 or '07, to Lenox, settling in the south-west part of that town, about two miles north-east of Perryville, where Charles Baldwin, a relative now lives. He removed about 1812, to his father's farm in Fenner, where he resided till his death. His wife survived him several years and after his death went to live with her son Asa in Sullivan, where she died February 9, 1855, aged 83. They had twelve children, all of whom, except one, lived to maturity, and six of whom are living, two in Madison county---Alvin in Sullivan, and Celia, widow of George Woodworth, in Fenner. Four daughters of the elder David Baldwin, Sibyl, Lydia, Abigail and Susan, came to this county about the same time. The first three married in Massachusetts; the last here. Sibyl married David Cranson, who settled in Lenox, in the locality of her brother David, where they lived and died. Lydia married John Miles who settled on so acres of the old Pratt farm adjoining her father's in Fenner. After some ten years they re-moved to Chautauqua county and died there. Abigail married Reuben Green, who settled and died on the Cowasselon in Smithfield. Susan married Phineas. Town, who came with his brothers Abel and A. from Massachusetts, and settled on a farm jointly taken up by himself and Abel, who was a bachelor, and is now occupied by Phineas' son and daughter, Abel and Susan, both of whom are unmarried. Phineas and his wife died on that farm, likewise their other two children, Washington and Artemas, who died young. Abel made his home with his brother Phineas. Asa Town settled M the same locality on the farm now occupied by Patrick McCarthy. He married here Sibyl, daughter of David Cranson, and both died on that farm. Their only child Asa is living in the west.
Other early settlers were J. D. Turner, who settled in the south-west part of the town. His sons were George and Robert, the former of whom died many years ago in Cazenovia, and the latter still lives in Fenner; Martin and Daniel M. Gillet, who came from Lyme, Conn., and settled about sixty rods east of Fenner Corners, where they kept ashery and a store, (which is believed to have been the first in the town,) in the building, which, having been removed, is now occupied as a residence by Augustus Daniels. He served many years as Justice and Supervisor and was a Member of Assembly in 1823 and again in 1832. He died August 28, 1853, aged 71; Thomas Wilson, who settled a mile west of Fenner Corners, where Wallace Woodworth now lives, and died there June 2, 1822, aged 75; Erastus Woodworth, who came here from Rensselaer county, and settled about a mile east of Fenner Corners, and afterwards removed to a farm about a mile and a half west of the Corners, where Mr. Bassett now lives. He died August 7, 1861, aged 80, and Hannah, his wife, Dec. 3, 1843, aged 56; Benjamin Woodworth, who settled about two miles north-east of Fenner Corners, where the widow of his son, Major George Woodworth, now lives with her son George, who carries on the farm. He died August 5, 1842, aged 83, and Survivah his wife, Oct. 20, 1837, aged 73. His father, Lemuel Woodworth, died here August 15, 1804, aged 70. None of Benjamin's children are left here. The last one, Major George, was killed by the cars at Canastota, June 28,1878, aged 73; ----- Page, who located in the north part of the town; Col. Elisha Farnham, who was born in Hampton, Conn., Sept. 24, 1768, settled in the south part of the town in 1797, and died Jan. 7, 1848; Ithuriel Flower, Amos Webster and Amanda Munger, who also settled in the south part; Samuel and Zattu Payne, who settled in the east part of the town; Timothy Foster, who settled on a farm adjoining Thomas Wilson's on the south, and was killed at an early day by the fall of a tree; Drake Sellick, who died April 25, 1862, aged 73; Russell Ransom, who came from Schoharie county in 1811, and took up a large farm near Perryville, and died June 4, 1861, and Elizabeth, his wife, Nov. 2, 1855, aged 71; Asa Dan, a Revolutionary, soldier, who settled in the south part of the town in 1800, whose talents and enterprise tended largely to promote the development of that section, and whose family have filled positions of high responsibility and honor in various parts of the State; and many others who are deserving of mention, but too numerous for the scope of this work.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held in the school-house near David Cook, Jr.'s, May 6, 1823, and the following named officers were elected Daniel M. Gillet, Supervisor; Sardis Dana, Clerk; John Needham, William Esselstyne and Ralph J. Gates, Assessors; John F. Hick, Collector; John Needham and Samuel Nichols, Overseers of the Poor; Samuel Ives, Amasa Ives, Jr., and Noah Blakeslee, Commissioners of Highways; John F. Hicks and William Nichols, Constables; Sardis Dan, William Doolittle and Daniel Pratt, Commissioners of Common Schools ; John Needham, Jr., Federal Dana and Erastus E. Park, Inspectors of Common Schools ; David Cook, Pound Master.
The following list of the town officers of Fenner for the year 1880-'81, was kindly furnished by George M. Hutchinson :---
Town Clerk---George M. Hutchinson.
Justices---Charles S. Hyatt, Norman B. Hill, Fisher A. Cushing, Marshall M. Gallup.
Assessors---Marlin Lyon, Lysander Woodworth, Melvin Woodworth.
Commissioner of Highways---William Burke.
Overseer of the Poor---Augustus Bumpus.
John Hill was born in New Hartford, Oneida Co., N. Y., March 8th, 1800. He was a son of Daniel Hill, a soldier of the revolution, belonging to General Washington's guard. His mother, Alice DeGross was a French woman. He moved with his parents into the town of Lenox, Madison Co., N. Y., when he was seven years old. Was a kind son, taking care of his parents with a loving thoughtfulness, in their old age. In 1824 he married Isyphene Annas and moved upon a farm he owned in the town of Fenner, Madison Co., N. Y. Mr. Hill was a prominent man in political affairs and held the offices, at various times, of Supervisor, Justice of the Peace and Loan Commissioner. In 1833, he bought a country hotel known as the Baldwin House, accomodating travelers upon the old stage route from Chittenango to the Chenango Valley. In 1837, he moved his family into Perryville, purchasing the property known as the Oran S. Avery farm, and Dykeman Mill: With large natural endowments, a keen incisive intellect united with rare vigor and much natural heroism, he was peculiarly fitted to become a leader among men, which, within his sphere, he was. His courage and energy were simply wonderful and irrepressible. Was active, full of life, indefatigable in labor, honorable in deal, prompt and accurate in his executive ability; few posess such intuitive penetration of character. Men in trouble seemed to instinctively turn to Mr. Hill for counsel, sympathy and help. A man with ways positive, direct and unmistakable, he had the capacity to stamp his personality upon whoever he came in contact with and therefore was widely known throughout Madison Co. It was never in his heart to deliberate wrong to any one and many can testify they have been helped on in this life's battle by his sympathy and aid. As a father, be was eminently kind and paternal, for his daughters, especially, he exhibited a love that was chivalrous and beautiful. He delighted in a social life, with a generous hospitality. Was the father of ten children: John W., born Aug. 11th, 1825, in Fenner, Madison Co., N. Y., is a lawyer and farmer, residing in McPherson, Kan., Mary, born Dec. 14th, 1826, in Fenner, married Q. A. Ballou, son of Col. A. Ballou, Nov. 9th, 1846, died Jan. 9th, 1858, leaving a daughter who is wife of Judge T. O. Harrison in Grand Island, Neb.; Mason, born June 18th, 1828, in Fenner, lawyer and farmer, residing in Nashotah, Wis.; Flaville, born Dec. 14th, 1829, in Fenner, married Capt. C. P. Morey, Jan. 5th, 1853, a resident of Buffalo; Isyphene, born Nov. 23d, 1831, in Fenner, married John Haywood, son of William Haywood, of Sullivan, April 6th, 1854; Webster, born Dec. 7th, in Fenner, a farmer, residing in Perryville ; Nancy, born May 7th, 1836, in Fenner, married Capt. H. G. Morey, Jan. 6th, 1856, in Perryville, died a resident of Buffalo. N. Y. April 5th, 1874; Norman, born Jan. 11th, 1839, in Perryville, Justice of the Peace and farmer, resident of Perryville; Nellie, born Nov. 21st, 1840, in Perryville, married Sept. 25th, 1860, M. N. Moot, son of Col. D. B. Moot, of Lenox; Rosa, born 10th of June, 1845, married Dec. 2d, 1863, Oran F; Britt, son of Benjamin Britt, of Sullivan, died April 7th, 1879.
John Hill died Sept. 23d, 1879, leaving not only the results of his industry and care, but what his children may prize more, his principles of honor.
Isyphene Annas Hill was the daughter of Oliver Annas, who moved with his father into the town of Nelson, Madison Co., N. Y., from the state of Vermont. Her father married Aphema Aldrich, in Wooster Co., Mass. Oliver Annas bought and cleared a farm in the town of Fenner, where Isyphene, their first living child was born, June 30th, 1806. Her parents were of the old Quaker stock, rigid in their principles and exemplary in their habits. She was brought up to understand all kinds of spinning, weaving and the patchwork of those primitive times. At the early age of eighteen, considering herself an adept in those arts, she consented to marry and start in life with John Hill, a promising young man, who knew, even at that early age, many of the hardships of life. They were married Sept. 19th, 1824 and began for themselves, with but a small portion of this world's goods. If one of the Proverbs from the "good book," may be quoted here, with slight variation. "She did him good, all the days of his life," being a true and loving help-meet to the man with whom she chose to walk life's rugged pathway, combining a rare sweetness with great firmness of disposition, she was a helmet of safety, for her somewhat spirited family to rely upon, in all differences, exercising a remarkable wisdom in protecting each from the faults and weakness of the other, thereby producing a harmony of which she was ever the strongest, sweetest note. Always remembering the time when a thorough education would have been a luxury to herself and a power to her husband, with his natural abilities, could the state of the country schools in those times have furnished such matter, when they were at the age to prize an ample course of study, they united in many a noble self-sacrifice and gave generously to their family the advantages of which they had been deprived, encouraging their improvements with loving admonitions. At the age of thirteen she united with the Methodist church and as will be acknowledged by her church society, neighbors and friends, been a worthy christian character. " Her children rise up and call her blessed." And although left for a period of widowhood, she awaits the call of the divine Master, with peaceful resignation. Her daughters can tell theirs, of the good wrought by a brave christian woman, who taught her children all to pray, believing it the key which opens the door to all good thoughts within the mind. Heroic in patience, strong in adversity, sweet be the close of life, hoping for the words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
Constables---Frank Faulkner, D. R. Robinson, A. Nash.
Inspectors of Election---James Bixby, Paul S. Maine, Rufus May.
Game Constable---Orrin Austin.
The following have been the Supervisors of the town from its organization to the present time:---
1823, Daniel M. Gillet; 1824-26, Czar Dykeman; 1827, Nathaniel Hazelton; 1828-31, Daniel M. Gillet; 1832-3, Nathaniel Hazelton; 1834, Asa Blakeslee; 1835-6, John Needham; 1837-9, Sardis Dana; 1840, Charles G. Dibble; 1841-2, Walter Clough; 1843-8, Robert G. Stewart; 1849, David Hess; 1850, Sergeant Britt; 1851, R. G. Stewart; 1852, Jesse Watson; 1853, D. Miner Gillet; 1854, John Hill; 1855, Hervey W. Kendall; 1856, Thomas Marshall; 1857-8, Asa R. Maine; 1859, Asahel A. Annas; 1860-1, James Monroe Lownsbery; 1862-3, L. Vander C. Hess; 1864-6, Orra B. Hamblin; 1867, L. Vander C. Hess; 1868, John Woodcock; 1869, Theodore Mead; 1870, John Wilson;1 1871, John Woodcock; 1872-3, J. Somers Hill; 1874-5; Norman B. Hill; 1876-7, Charles W. Barrett; 1878-80, Andrew Whipple.
Perryville is situated on the north line of the town and lies partially in the three towns of Fenner, Sullivan and Lenox, but principally in the former two, the east and west road running through the village being the town line. It is on the line of the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad, and is about equidistant from Cazenovia and Canastota. It contains two churches, (Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal,) two district schools, one store, a grist-mill, a saw-mill, a cheese factory, one hotel; two blacksmith shops, (E. S. Marshall and Daniel S. Hill,) one shoe shop, (David Nash,) a wagon shop, (David H. Coot,) and a population of 278. It is located on the upper waters of Canaseraga creek, and though the stream is small, the fine fall supplies several good mill sites. Perryville was formerly of more commercial importance than at present. Its decline may be said to date from the panic of 1837, to which some of its most prominent business men succumbed. It received a blow at that time from which it never fully recovered. It is not likely to regain its former prestige. The multiplication of railroads tends to lessen its chances, and its location brings it in sham competition with rival villages which surround it. It is distant seven miles each from Canastota, Chittenango depot, (with the village of Chittenango intermediate,) Cazenovia, Peterboro and Nelson.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchants at Perryville were Tyre & Cole, who carne here about air, and opened a store in a building which stood near the bridge and was afterwards converted into a dwelling house. The Weeks Brothers came here from Paris about the close of the war of 1812 and traded in the building now used as a hop house by John Hill. Captain Justus Durkee, a sea captain, and ------- Bowen preceded the Weeks Brothers, and occupied a building which stood on the opposite side of the road from their store and nearer the creek, near where Ziba Cloyes now lives, but neither of them remained. William Doolittle came here from Paris about 1820 and traded till his failure about 1828, when he removed to Chittenango and taught school winters. He died April 20, 1854, aged 57. Samuel Hill and ------- Stillson, both from Jamesville, succeeded Doolittle and traded some three years. Hill returned to Jamesville; Stinson went west. Leonard Gough came from Plainfield, Conn., and lived on the farm now occupied by William Sellick, which he sold to Buckley Brainard, who won after sold to Drake Sellick. Gough engaged in mercantile business about 1835 and continued till his death, about 1850. He was for much of the time the only merchant here. John Hill, who had previously kept tavern on the Peterboro road, about a mile south-east of Perryville, commenced trading here about 1839 and continued till about 1858 or '59, engaged also a part of the time in milling and distilling. He was associated in mercantile business some four or five years with his brother-in-law, Mason Annas, and subsequently with his son, Webster C. Hill, who succeeded him in the business about 1858 or '59, and continued it till the spring of 1875, with the exception of three years when he was engaged in cheese making. John Hill was the youngest son of Daniel Hill and was born in Deerfield, Oneida county, in 1800. About 1807, his father removed to Lenox and settled on the mile strip, where he took up quite a large fan, which he afterwards sold and bought in Fenner the farm still known as the Hill farm, and now occupied by his grandson, Stephen Hill. In 1837, John Hill bought of Enoch Dykeman the grist-mill property in Perryville, which he sold after some five years to Lobdell & Rich.
H. L Keeler commenced trading here in 1864, and Feb. 7, 1876, sold to Paul S. Maine, a native of Fenner, who is the present merchant
POSTMASTERS.---The post-office at Perryville is believed to have been established in 1816, with Oren S. Avery as the postmaster. He held the office till his death, Aug. 3, 1836. Mr. Avery was one of Perryville's ablest, most enterprising and highly respected men. He was prominently identified with the most substantial interests of the village and active in promoting the varied industries of his day. He carried on the tanning business in Perryville in the building now standing unused near the residence of Norman Hill, and in connection with it an extensive boot and shoe factory, which employed many hands. He was succeeded in the post-office by Silas Judd, who held it till about 1845; Leonard Gough, 1845 to 1849; Its Bates, 1849 to 1851; Silas Judd, 1851 to 1854; Orrin J. Woodworth, till April 1, 1859; Joseph V. Wells, till April 1, 1861; Webster C. Hill, till Oct. 13, 1871; H. L Keeler, till Feb. 29, 1876; John Hill, Oct. 21, 1876; and Paul S. Maine, the present incumbent, who was appointed Oct. 21, 1876.
PHYSICIANS.-John Didama, father of Dr. Henry D. Didama, of Syracuse, .me here from Germany about 1810 or '12 and married here Lucinda Gaylord. He practiced medicine here a great many years, as late as about 1843, though not much during the latter years. When he had become advanced in years he went to live with his son Edward, first at Ovid, afterwards at LeRoy, where be died. After his death his wife returned to live with her only daughter, Antoinette, (who became the wife of Asahel Annas,) and died in Cazenovia. Three sons are living, Edward, in Orleans county, Simon, in Michigan, and Dr. Henry D., in Syracuse.
Dr. Reed and Nelson Powers practiced here about a year, about 1833 or '34. Reed removed to Chittenango and afterwards to Oswego. Powers removed from here to Peterboro and from thence after a few years to Syracuse, where he died a few years ago. Powers R. Mead came here from Nelson as early as 1835 or '36 and practiced till about 1852, when he removed to Nelson. Theodore Mead, a native of New Hampshire, removed thence to Auburn and subsequently to Nelson, where he studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. Onesimus Mead. He subsequently attended a course of lectures at Gene. Medical College and was licensed by the Censors of Madison county. He commenced practice in Nelson about 1847, and in 1851 removed thence to Perryville, where he practiced fill June, 1874, when he removed to Cannon, and from there April 1, 1877, to Oneida, where he is now practicing. John H. Ramsey came here from Ohio about 1845 and practiced till about 1852 or '53, when he removed to Connecticut. He returned here after about a year and died March 20, 1854, aged 60.
Dr. Sylvanus Guernsey located about a mile south-east of Perryville and practiced there several years, till about 1832 or '33, when he went west. Dr. Cornwall practiced in the same locality a short time. He also went west.
The present physicians are: George R Munger, who was born in Fenner, Oct. 13, 1835, educated at Cazenovia. Seminary, studied medicine in Perryville with Dr. Theodore Mead, was graduated at the University Medical College of New York in March, 1862, commenced practice with his preceptor at Perryville, removed after six months to Morrisville, and from thence March 1, 1863, to Munnsville, where he practiced seven years and then returned to Perryville; Benjamin Rush Mead, who was born in Nelson, Oct. 5, 1850, educated at Cazenovia Seminary, studied medicine with his father, Dr. Theodore Mead, at Perryville, was graduated at New York University in the winter of 1872-'73, and entered upon the practice of his profession in Perryville in the spring of 1873; George W. Miles, a native of Auburn, where he studied medicine with Dr. Button, a former physician of the Insane Department of Auburn Prison, a graduate of Hamilton College and of Columbus College, Ohio, who came to Perryville from Auburn in June, 1879.
MANUFACTURES.---The Perryville Mills.-The first grist-mill in Fenner was located on the site of David Nash's residence. It was built soon after 1800 by Richard Card, and now forms the shed to the present grist-mill, which was built in 1824 by Enoch Dykeman, who succeeded Mr. Card in the proprietorship of the former one. The property came into possession of the present proprietor, E. S. Hamblin, in 1877. He bought of E. G. Crosby. The mill contains two runs of stones, which are propelled by water from the Canaseraga, which has a fall of twenty-four feet. It is in Fenner.
The saw, cider and planing mill located near the depot in Perryville (in the town of Sullivan,) was originally used for carding wool and cloth dressing, a business which was established here in 1815 by Alpheus Britt, who had followed cloth dressing in Dansville, Vt., whence he removed about 1809 or '10 to Lenox, locating about a mile south of Canastota, where he established and pursued the same business till his removal in 1815 to Perryville, where he pursued wool carding and cloth dressing in a building which occupied the site of the above works till 1831, when he transferred the business to his son, Sergeant, who continued it some twenty years till it became unprofitable, having erected, about 1835, the present building, which he owned till 1861, though he had used it only as a cider-mill during the last ten years of his occupancy. In 1861 E. S. Hamblin bought the property and converted it into a saw and planing mill. He carried on that business till the fall of 1877, when he sold to E. G. Crosby, who sold to the present proprietor, Abram Colyer, in 1879. It is situated on the Canaseraga, which furnishes the motive power, with a fall of sixteen feet The first saw-mill in Perryville was built in am by Abram Wendell, a little above Perryville Falls.
Alpheus Britt bought of Peter Smith a farm of some 115 acres, including the site of his manufactory, and after transferring that to his son, confined his energies to his farm, which he had previously managed in connection with his other business, and continued till his death, Sept. 23,1844, aged 66.
The tannery established at an early day by Mr. Glass, the extensive boot and shoe manufactory established by Oren S. Avery, who succeeded to the proprietorship of the tannery in 1817, and the several shops connected with the manufacture of carriages, established by Eli Blakeslee at a later period, were important institutions in their day; but the former were discontinued with the death of Mr. Avery in 1836, and the latter crippled by the failure of Mr. Blakeslee the same year.
HOTELS.---The Perryville House was built about 1825 or '26 by Simeon Jenkins, who kept it a few years. The present proprietor is William T. Cross, who has kept it since March, 1857. The first tavern in the village was built at an early day by Enoch Dykeman, and was kept for some years by Alpheus Britt. It is now occupied as a residence by Edwin S. Hamblin, the proprietor of the grist-mill in Perryville.
CHURCHES.---St. Stephen's Church (Episcopal,) at Perryville, was organized Sept. 18, 1816, before there was any church organization of this denomination in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Oswego or Watertown, and when there were but two parishes in Oneida county---St. Paul's, of Paris Hill, the oldest in western New York, organized in 1797, and Trinity, of Utica, organized in 1804. This is an offshoot from the Paris Hill parish. Bishop Hobart visited this parish twice, at least, and administered confirmation, the first time Oct. 22, 1819, when he confirmed nine persons, and again Sept 20, 1827, when he confirmed six persons.
The following named clergymen also at various times and on various occasions officiated in this parish, part of the services being occasional by clergymen from Paris Hill and Manlius: Revs. William A. Clark, Amos Pardee and Z. Geere were the first. Afterwards appear the names of Revs. Dyer, Hollister, Wheeler, J. Bulkley and J. B. Youngs. Then Amos Pardee's name appears again; so also Rev. Marcus Perry officiated here about this time and taught a select school, as did some others of the clergy. Rev. Mr. Huse (probably Nathaniel,) officiated a few times at this period. About 1830 Rev. David Huntington commenced services and remained till some time in 1831. During his ministry there were about fifty communicants. In 1831 Rev. Mr. Northrop took charge of the parish, and Sept. 1st of that year Bishop Onderdonk visited the parish and confirmed a class of eight. Northrop officiated here as late as 1835, and occasionally in Augusta and Eaton. From this time to about 1848, Rev. William Webber officiated both here and at Peterboro, where he lived, and on account of ill health occupied part of his time in cultivating a farm. From this time till 1868 the parish depended principally on such services as could be rendered by the rectors of St Peter's, Cazenovia. Dr. Coxe officiated in the parish more or less for about two years, and since then Dr. Smith gave such services as he could.
In 1851 Dr. Smith reported the parish as being "old and feeble." It had but 18 families, 100 individuals and 25 communicants.
In 1868, there were nine communicants. H. V. Gardiner was the rector for a few months in that year. He was succeeded by Rev. J. D. S. Pardee, who commenced a rectorship of nearly two years' duration about 1870, and preached also at Chittenango, where he was located, dividing his time between the two places. E. A. Ely succeeded him after an interval of a few months and remained about a year, also officiating in St. Paul's Church, Chittenango. Robert Paul became the rector Feb. 8, 1874, about a year after Ely left, and continued his labors till Sept 18, 1878, having, after the first year, officiated also at Chittenango, Canastota and Peterboro. William Stone Howard officiated from Oct. 13, 1878, to April 25, 1879, in connection with the parishes of Chittenango, Canastota, and parts adjacent. There have been no services since then (Nov. 20, 1879). The present number of communicants is 31.
Their church was built some forty-six years ago, and was consecrated by Bishop Onderdonk Sept. 5, 1833, Rev. Beardsley Northrop being then the rector.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Perryville was organized as a class under the leadership of Charles Blakeslee in 1831, at which time there were but four Methodists in the place, viz: Charles Blakeslee, Buckley Brainard, Simeon Pennock and Samuel Pennock. Large accessions to this number were soon received, and Perryville was made a regular preaching place on Lenox circuit. Charles Blakeslee afterwards attained considerable eminence as a clergyman in the Methodist Episcopal church. He died, widely and deeply mourned, Aug. 20, 1875, aged 66.
The early meetings were held in the school house, which stood a little west of the Methodist parsonage, and in the upper story of Eli Blakeslee's wagon shop. They were continued in the latter till the church now in use was erected, in 1839. The deed for the lot on which the church stands is dated May 17, 1839, and was executed by John Hill and Isyphene, his wife, to David Irish, Sanford Tuttle and John W. House, trustees of this church. The church was dedicated in the fall of 1839. It was extensively repaired and enlarged in 1865, at a cost of about $1,5000. The church property at Perryville, is valued at $2,500, and at Chittenango Falls, which is on this charge, at $1,500. The parsonage, which is located at Perryville, was bought in 1867 and repaired in 1873. It is valued at $1,000. The membership at Perryville is 54 and at Chittenango Falls, 32.
Perryville was for many years included in the Lenox circuit, Cayuga district. In 1838, the Cazenovia district was organized and Lenox fell within its limits. It remained on the Lenox circuit till 1859, in which year it became a charge. In 1869, the church, which had been previously in the Oneida Conference, became a part of the Central New York Conference.
The following have been the appointments since its organization: Roswell Parker, 1831; B. G. Paddock and J. Watson, 1832; E. L. North, (now living at South Onondaga,) 1833; James Atwell and Zetto Barnes, 1834; J. Atwell and B. G. Paddock, 1835; B. G. Paddock, 1836; James Kelsey and D. Anthony, 1837; W. W. White and D. Anthony, 1838; Z. Barnes and Isaac Foster, 1839; Ezra Squire, 1840; W. W. White, 1841; John Young, 1842; L. H. Stanley and Benjamin, 1843; E. C. Brown, and Charles Blakeslee, 1844; E. C. Brown and George Colegrove, 1845; L. Bowdish and O. Hesler, 1846; L. Bowdish and ----, 1847; Wesley Fox, 1848; W. Fox and J. P. Newman, (whose name is now national,) 1849; L. Anderson and R. H. Clarke, 1850; L Anderson and L Hartsough, 1851; T. B. Rockwell and T. Harroun, 1852 ; A. T. Matteson and F. W. Tooke, 1853; A. Benjamin and A. J. Grover, 1854; George W. Smith and Arvine C. Bowdish, 1855; A. Button and W. A. Wadsworth, 1856; James Gutsell and William Adams, 1857; James Gutsell and W. D. Fox, 1858; O. N. Hinman, 1859; W. Curtis, 1860; William H. Curtis, 1861; H. C. Hall, 1862; Hezekiah C. Hall, 1863; A. Brown, 1864; Joseph B. Sherar, 1865-'66; W. F. Tooke, 1867; Wesley F. Tooke, 1868; Lyman A. Eddy, 1869 ; A. Harroun, 1870-'72; A. C. Smith, 1873-'74; F. W. Tooke, 1875-'77; J. Lloyd Jones, the present pastor, who entered upon his labors in October, 1878.
CHURCHES.---Methodist Episcopal Church at Chittenango Falls.---The earliest meetings which resulted in the organization of this church were held at the school-house in the winter of 1843-44, and were conducted by Rev. Jesse Watson, under whose labors 40 or more were converted. The church was organized June 4, 1844, and the house of worship built the same year at Chittenango Falls at a cost of about $800. About the year 1865 an addition and repairs were made at an expense of about $1,600. The original number of members was about 30, among whom were Benjamin Wormuth and family, S. B. Howard, Philo Hutchinson, Abram and Isaac Wormuth, E. D. Robbins, Martin Watkins. Asaph Humaston, though not a member, gave the site for the church. Benjamin Robbins and Thomas Clay, though members of other churches, contributed to the building of a house of worship. Present membership about 56. Among the ministers we find Revs. Button, Wadsworth, Brown, Thomas and A. Harroun, Gutsell, Gray, Winslow, Fox, W. F. Tooke and F. W. Tooke, Smith, Sherar, Adam, Brooks, Hinman, Bowdish, Curtis, Blakeslee, Hall, Eddy, J. L. Jones (present pastor,) and others. The choir has been sustained and led from the organization of the church to the present time by Lysander Nourse, who has proven himself eminently worthy of the position. About 1870 an organ was purchased for the church. The present choir consists of L. Nourse, Esq., H. J. Nourse, George Adams, Mrs. Nettie Johnson, Mrs. Fannie Mead, Mrs. Arletta Winchell and Mrs. Libbie Wormuth; Miss Eva Brown, organist.
Fenner Comers is situated near the center of the town and contains one church, (Baptist,) a district school, a blacksmith shop, kept by Perry Tibbitts, and nine families. In consonance with the New England custom of developing the geographical center this place gave early promise of becoming the center of Fenner's business enterprises; but the natural advantages of Perryville determined this question in its favor, and the utilization of its water-power sapped the commercial vitality of the Corners.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchants were the Gillets (Martin and Daniel M.,) previously adverted to. Charles F. Kellogg came from Cazenovia some fifty years ago and traded a short time in the store formerly occupied by the Gillets, which had stood vacant for some time. Hiram Preston came from Cazenovia some thirty-five years ago and traded about a year and a half in the building which stood just south of the house now occupied as a dwelling by Messrs. Daniels and Hutchinson, and, having been removed to the east road is now occupied as a residence by the widow of William Lownsbery. Martin Woodworth traded there about six months in 1861 having previously carried on blacksmithing at the Comers. He exchanged for a farm, with Daniel Sayles, who traded about a year. Perry Tibbitts came from Cazenovia in the spring of 1875, and traded a short time. Augustus Daniels came from Cazenovia in the fall of 1878, and traded a few months.
POSTMASTERS.---The first post-office at Fenner Corners was established between 1820 and 1825, and Ebenezer Dunton was the first postmaster. He held the office several years, and was succeeded by Elias Munger, who held it a little more than eleven years, Anthony Barrett, who held it till his death, and was followed by his son William, daughter Caroline and son Charles, the latter of whom held the office till 1865. Many changes have taken place within the last fourteen years. During that time it has been held by Alanson Roach, Frank W. Dewey, Lawrence Young, Joseph Mathers, VanBuren Stafford, William Lownsbery, Alfred Loomis, Walter K. Smith and Perry Tibbitts, the latter of whom is the present postmaster, having received the appointment May 8, 1876.
PHYSICIANS.---The only physician who located at Fenner Corners was Powers R. Mead, who came here from Nelson and practiced about two years previous to his removal to Perryville.
Dr. Daniel Pratt came from Belchertown, Mass., his native place, previous to 1800, in company with his brothers Jonathan and James, the former of whom was the pioneer physician in Madison, and the latter in Eaton. He studied medicine in Madison with his brother Jonathan. He returned to Belchertown, and in 1804, established himself in the practice of his profession Maine. In 1814 he removed to Fenner, locating on a farm of fifty acres a mile and a half north of Fenner Corners, nearly midway between Fenner and Perryville. There he practiced his profession many years, cultivating at the same time his farm, to which he more exclusively devoted himself as he advanced in years. He took an active part in town affairs, held various minor offices, and was deeply interested in educational matters. He died Nov. 18, 1864, aged 83, and his wife Jan. 11, 1849, aged 73. His children were Darwin D., Sally, Harriet and William.
The Fenner Baptist Church was organized August 23, 1801, by Elder Thomas Tuttle, with seven members, as follows: John Fisher, Moses Davis, Isaac Davis, Thomas Robbins, Daniel Woodworth, Elizabeth Munger and Jonathan Munger. All, except the last, who joined by letter, had been recently baptized. They were recognized by a council which convened at the house of Jonathan Munger June 3, 1802.
The first baptism occurred April 25, 1802. The ordinance was performed by Elder Nathan Baker, of De Ruyter; the candidates were: Seth Smith, Lydia Smith, David Hutchinson, Lydia Hutchinson, John Barber, Loving Barber, Eunice Davis and Lydia Miles, the last survivor of whom, John Barber, died Nov. 30, 1869, aged 94. His wife, Loving, died three years previously, Aug. 31, 1866, aged 84.
Frequent meetings were held, though without a pastor, till Jan. 15, 1813, when they voted to call Elder Nathan Baker to preach to them once every two weeks. Jan. 22, 1803, they "voted to allow Elder Nathan Baker $1.50 for the six Sabbaths past on which he has served us." A few months after they voted him the same compensation for every Sabbath's labor, and, to provide the means therefor, to raise $20, one-fourth of which was to be paid at the close of the year, and the rest in "three equal quarterly payments thereafter." This was to be averaged on the property of each individual member, the church property in the aggregate being assessed at $358. Their meetings were held in school and dwelling houses in different parts of the town till 1820, when their house of worship was built.
Aug. 24, 1804, they licensed Jacob Crapsey to preach, calling him at the same time to preach to them every other Sabbath. This he continued to do till April 14, 1805. During the succeeding four years they were supplied by several ministers, chiefly Elders Truman &man and Roswell Beckwith, having, however, only occasional preaching.
January 20, 1809, they called, as thieir first pastor, Rev. Alvin Wales, who labored with them till his death, June 2, 1810, having, during his brief pastorate, baptized thirteen. They were without a pastor till March 25, 1811, when they engaged Rev. Nathaniel Moore, who remained till Nov. 9, 1817. April 8, 1818, Nathaniel Cole, who was one of the subjects of a revival experienced during the pastorate of Elder Moore, was ordained to the ministry and labored with his church till May, 1825, when his health failed and he resigned. He died July 4, 1828. Nov. 26, 1825, Rev. Samuel Gilbert was engaged as pastor. He served them seven years and baptized 72. After his departure Rev. David Searls supplied the church till March 15,1833. In April, 1853, Rev. Orrin Beckwith was invited to become the pastor. He accepted and remained two years. Rev. H. C. Skinner next served a like period and baptized 26. At this time the church numbered 195. Some time in 1837, Rev. Aaron Parker was engaged as pastor. He resigned May 10, 1840, having baptized ten. Succeeding the resignation of Elder Parker the church was without a pastor nearly a year, but was supplied by several pastors, among whom were Elders F. P. Hall, Brownson, Glanville and Dill. Feb. 11, 1841, Rev. Samuel Davison was engaged as pastor, but he served them only seven months. The church was supplied by Elder Parmalee for a few months, till April, 1842, when Rev. S. C. Ainsworth entered upon his duties as pastor. He preached one year. In May, 1843, Rev. J. B. Pixley was called to the pastorate. He resigned April 1,1847. June 16, 1847, Rev. Bela Palmer was called to the pastoral care of the church. He remained till April 1, 1851, when he resigned. During his pastorate 23 were baptized and the church edifice thoroughly repaired. For about six months after his departure the church was chiefly supplied by Rev. Judson Davis.
Dec. 7, 1851, Rev. D. B. Collins was invited to the pastorate. He labored faithfully and acceptably till the fall of 1854, when he resigned, having baptized 28. Dec. 23 and 24, 1851, the semi-centennial of the church's existence was celebrated; and Oct. 13, 1853, R. S. Dean was ordained to the ministry.
The pastoral changes were now quite frequent. Towards the close of 1854 Rev. C. E. Brown was engaged. He labored two years and resigned. In May, 1855, Judson Goff was licensed to preach. In 1856, Rev. R Z. Williams commenced a two years' pastorate. For the next three years they were without a pastor, but were supplied by Rev. L. E. Swan, of Cazenovia, and by students from Hamilton. Among the latter who served the longest in this capacity were G. L. Lasher and William James. Rev. Jesse N. Seeley was engaged as pastor in 1861, and served them one year; followed in 1862 by Rev. A. Graham, who served them two years; and in 1864 by Rev. P. L. Hakes, who served them till December, 1867, when failing health compelled the acceptance of his resignation. He died April 3, 1868. October 27, 1867, E. M. Barber was called as a supply. He continued as such till Oct. 1, 1868, when he was ordained pastor, which relation he still sustains.
When the church was first organized it was designated The Third Baptist Church of Christ in Cazenovia. When the town of Smithfield was formed, the membership falling largely within its limits, the name was changed to The Baptist Church in Smithfield. This name was retained till the formation of Fenner, when the present name was assumed.
During the Association year, ending June, 1879, the church edifice was thoroughly repaired and greatly beautified, $3,000 having been expended in that object. The church was reported out of debt. Its membership was 99. The Sabbath School, of which J. W. Davis was superintendent, was composed of nine officers and teachers and forty scholars.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting held Saturday, Jan. 1, 1863, at 1 P. M., at the house of Mrs. Sarah A. Barrett, it was resolved to raise not to exceed $2,800, to be applied to the payment of bounties; and John Wilson and L V. C. Hess and a third person to be appointed by them, were delegated to raise by loan on the credit of the town, to be reimbursed Jan. 10, 1864, the amount necessary to secure the 28 men needed to fill the quota of 52. This action was sanctioned by a vote of 64 to 53.
A special meeting was held at the same place Tuesday, Aug. 30, 1864, and it was voted to pay a bounty of $600 to each volunteer for one year to the number necessary to fill the quota under the call for 500,000 men. O. B. Hamblin, John Wilson and Joseph Stafford were appointed by the Town Board a disbursing committee to carry into effect the provisions of that resolution.
At a special meeting held at the same place Jan. 5, 1865, it was resolved to raise a sufficient amount to pay a bounty of $400 for one year's, $500 for two years', and $600 for three years' volunteers, to fill the quota under the call of Dec. 19, 1864. L. V. C. Hess, Ora R Hamblin and John Woodcock were appointed a committee to disburse said money, and were allowed as compensation for such services $2 per day and "cash expenses" for the time actually spent therein.
|The amount raised by Fenner by tax for|
war purposes was
|The amount received by Fenner from the|
State for war purposes was
The number of men raised by Fenner for the army during the war was 75, of whom only one appears from the record to have been a native of the town, and one, Henry Hall, was drafted. Of the number 8 enlisted in Fenner, 44 in Oswego, and the rest in various places, mostly in this county; 17 enlisted for one year, 2 for two years, 43 for three years, and 3 for twenty months. They were distributed among the various branches of the service as follows: 1 in the 24th, 5 in the 35th, 1 in the 75th, 9 in the 114th, 2 in the 110th, 4 in the 157th, 8 in the 184th, (New York;) and 30 in the 16th (U. S.) infantry regiments; 2 in the 22d cavalry regiment; 1 in the 1st N. Y. Lt. Artillery; and 1 in Bates' Battery, 2d N. Y. Artillery.
Statement of bounties paid, as exhibited by the record:---
|1||received a||town||bounty of||$200|
Francis Austin Hyatt was born at Ridgefield, Fairfield county, Conn., August 5, 1828. The family came from England at the earliest settlement of the colonies. The first mention of the name in this country, is that of Thomas Hyatt in the records of Stamford, Conn., of 1641.
The first five generations here were represented in direct descent by the name of Thomas Hyatt.
Thomas Hyatt, 2d, settled at Norwalk, Conn. The records of that town show that he received bounty lands for having participated in the " direful swamp fight" of "King Philip's war," which took place Dec. 29, 1675.
Thomas Hyatt, 3d, became one of the twenty-five original purchasers and settlers of Ridgefield township. The purchase was made in 1708 of "Catoonah, Sachem of Ramapoo Indians," for consideration of "One Hundred Pounds." Deacon James Benedict was also one of said original purchasers, and married Sarah Hyatt, sister of Thomas, April 7, 1708.
Thomas Hyatt, 5th, emigrated to Nelson, Madison county, N. Y., with his son Abijah, in 1830. Abijah Hyatt was chiefly noted as a pioneer Methodist, both in his old, and new home; and always an honor to his creed. His son Aaron S. Hyatt, settled in Fenner, N. Y., in 1832, bringing on an emigrant wagon, his household goods and family. He was among the first to develop the dairy interest in Central New York. As early as 1842, he was proprietor of a dairy of fifty cows, and for a long time took high rank, and deep interest in the business. His children are Francis Austin, Aaron S. Jr., and Electa, wife of Marlin Lyon. After learning first principles as taught in the District School, Mr. Hyatt was educated at " Red Creek Union Academy," and " Oneida Conference Seminary," becoming a student at the Seminary, spring term of 1844. He remembers with pride as students of that term, Gen. Joseph R. Hawley, Gov. Leland Stanford, Bishop Andrews, Judge Andrew; and many others less conspicuous, but who have acted well their part in life. After leaving school, Mr. Hyatt located on a farm in Fenner. His first experience in political life was as candidate for clerk of the town, on the Anti "Know Nothing ticket." Everybody in those days were Know Nothings, and of course, he was beaten. Next year he was nominated on the same issue, and elected. Having held numerous town offices, he was in 1860, nominated by acclamation for Member of the Legislature, and elected by 822 majority, receiving more votes in his town, than Abraham Lincoln. He was again nominated for the Assembly in 1871, elected by a much larger than usual majority, and declined re-nomination.
Making no pretensions to a brilliant political career, he has, always recorded his vote on side of the taxpayers, and against all appropriations for other than the legitimate expenses of government. Mr. Hyatt was married to Elizabeth Martha Robinson, of Perryville, Oct. 22, 1850, by whom he has three sons,-Frank H., a lawyer of Morrisville, Aaron Sanford, a physician at Wacousta, Mich., and Theodore Fremont. Mrs. Hyatt died March 20, 1869. He was married June 26, 1878, to Mary Elizabeth Benedict, of Brooklyn, formerly of Sherburne, Chenango county. She is a lineal descendant of Deacon James Benedict, of Ridgefield, before mentioned.
Tolerably successful in business, with comfortable home surroundings, and a disposition to do to the best of his ability whatever he undertakes, the subject of this sketch is a fair representative of the large class of workers, known as "independent farmers."