The Town of Hartwick


Image and text from Otsego county New York Geographical and Historical
by Edwin F Bacon, Ph B. 1902 Oneonta NY

Page 33. HARTWICK. Area 25,980 Acres. Population 1,800.

Hartwick was formed from Otsego in 1802. Its surface is hilly, the
highest summits being 200 to 350 feet above the valleys. It is drained
by several small streams that flow into the Susquehanna and the east
branch of the Otego creek. The township was named in honor of the Rev.
John Christopher Hartwick, who, in 1752, purchased from the Indians for
the sum of 100 pounds, a tract of land embracing nearly all of the
present township and amounting to 21,500 acres. Mr. Hartwick was a
native of the dukedom of Saxe-Gotha in the province of Thuringia in
Germany, and had come as a Lutheran missionary to this country. He was
for many years a noted preacher throughout the country from New England
to Virginia, and it was not until after the Revolution that he settled
down upon his purchase and established a colony. Through the agency of
Judge William Cooper he let a great part of his land to settlers at an
annual rental of one shilling per acre, with the privilege of purchasing
at fourteen shillings per acre.

HARTWICK SEMINARY. In his will Mr. Hartwick left his whole fortune for
the establishment of the Seminary that bears his name. The school was
opened on the 15th of December, 181, with the Rev. Dr. Ernest Lewis
Hazelius as principal. It now has three departments--Regents,
Collegiat, and Theological. The builngs have recently been remodeled
and enlarged. The institution is located four miles south of
Cooperstown, on the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley railroad.

Cnspicuous among the natives of Hartwick was William H. Bissell who was
born in this town in 1811, but early removed with his parents to Milford
where he grew to manhood. He prepared himself for the medical
profession, but abandoned it for the law. In 1837 he removed to
Illinois, from which state he served as a colonel in the Mexican war.
He also represented his district in congress from 1849 to 1855. In 1856
he was elected governor of the state, was re-elected and died at
Springfield, Ill., in 1860, while serving his second term.

Among the early settlers were the brothers John and Nathan Davidson,
William and Nathan Field, Jerry Potter, Jedediah Ashcraft, Joseph Marsh,
Nicholas and Rufus Steere, Amos and Joseph Winsor, Benjamin and Nicholas
Camp, John and Phillip Wells, Hopkins Burlingame, Isaac Bissell, Deacon
Ziba Newland, Amasa Peters, Uriah Luce, Stephen Ingalls, David and
Josiah Maples, Daniel Murdock and Col. Henry Wheeler. The first
supervisor was Phillip Wells, and the first town clerk was Rufus Steere
who built the cotton factory at Toddsville.

VILLAGES: There are five villages in this township, viz.: Hartwick
(population 605), Hartwick Seminary (population 124), South Hartwick
(population 63), Toddsville (population 302), and Hyde Park (population
150). Chase is a rural post office. Clintonville, formerly a cotton
cloth manufacturing village, has now only an electric lighting plant,
from which Cooperstown is supplied, post office at Milford. On the
Fourth of July, 1902, Hartwick village celebrated its 100th anniversary.

SCHOOLS: Number of districts 16; number of teachers 17; number of
children of school age 342. The Hartwick Union Free school has a
commodious building, newly furnished and provided with a good library,
natural history and chemical apparatus, and other appliances for
teaching. It is a school of four grades and confers Regents' diplomas
on its academic graduates.

CHURCHES: There are eight churches in this township, viz.: At
Hartwick, Baptist, Christian and Methodist; at Toddsville, Union and
Methodist; at Hartwick Seminary, Lutheran; at Hyde Park, Methodist; and
a Christian church near Christian Hill in the northern part of the

NEWSPAPERS: There are two weekly papers, the Hartwick Review and
Hartwick Visitor, published at Hartwick village. The Hartwick Seminary
Monthl and Eastern Lutheran, the organ of Hartwick Seminary, is edited
and published at the Seminary.

Transcribed by Karen Flanders Eddy.

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