The Town of Worcester



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

Page 67. WORCESTER. Area 29,030 Acres. Population 2,409.

Worcester was formed from Cherry Valley in 1797, and then embraced in
addition to its present territory the towns of Maryland, Decatur and
Westford. These towns were set off from it in 1808. The surface is a
hilly upland. It is fertile, particularly along the Schenevus creek and
Charlotte river. The first settlements were made soon after the

Prominent among the pioneers was Silas Crippen. He was supervisor eight
years, justice of the peace, judge of the court, and a member of the
state assembly in 1816. He built, about 1796, the first grist-mill and
saw-mill in the town. His son Philli was the first white child born in
the town. He had nine other children. Abram Garfield, the grandfather
of President Garfield, lived near Worcester and sleeps in a burial plot
now in the heart of the village.

Other pioneers were John Waterman, Henry Stever, Moses Essex Luther,
Lester S. Thomas and Deacon Joseph Flint, Samuel Russ, Jonathan
Jennings, Amos Belding, Hazard Smith, Samuel Hartwell, John P. Russ,
John Pratt, J.H. Herrington, J.B. Hollenbeck, Green White, John Alvord,
David and Alpheus Scott and Phillip Becker. Uriah Bigelow was the first
physician in the town. Abraham Becker, a son of Phillip, was a leading
lawyer at South Worcester. A prominent pioneer at East Worcester was
John Champion, a native of Connecticut. At twelve years of age, being
too young to carry a musket, he entered the army of the Revolution as a
teamster and served in this capacity until the close of the war. He
then married and removed to the town of Worcester, where he settled on
what is known as "Elliot Hill." which is now in Decatur. About 1805 he
removed to East Worcester, where he built a grist mill and other
buildings. He raised a family of twelve children, seven sons and five
daughters, who have numerous descendants, among them a number of
distinguished men. His son Aaron was the father of S.B. Champion, the
well known editor of the Stamford Mirror.

Among the interesting reminiscences of the early times, Mr. Champion
relates the following:

"The first doctor I remember was old Dr. Warner. He was one of the old
fashioned kind, and did not believe in people continually pouring down
medicine to keep well. He used to say that people doctored too much, as
some politicians now say we are governed too much. Near us settled a
newly-married couple. The wife was as neat as could be, and everything
was in keeping with her personal appearance. Their first-born, a son,
was kept, like a doll-baby, in the house. It did not thrive, and Dr.
Warner was called in to see it. He looked it over, admired its perfect
form and features, took it up and started out of the house with it. The
mother was alarmed, and said the doctor would kill it if he did not
bundle it up. It was in the spring, and the father of the child was
making a garden. The doctor put it down in the newly made onion bed.
The baby took up a handful of dirt and commenced eating it. The mother
was more frightened, but it was allowed to eat all it wanted. Then the
old doctor left them with the remark, "give it plenty of air, for its
lungs, clean dirt for its bones, and you will have a large,
rosy-cheeked, healthy child, instead of a poor, pale, weakly, emaciated

Other early settlers near East Worcester were Joshua Bigelow, Joseph
Bowers, James Lockwood, Isaac Caryl, Adolphus Gott, Calvin Jennings,
Cary Pepper, and Maj. Gen. James Stewart, whose father, James Stewart,
was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. His son, Dr. William Stewart,
was a physician at South Worcester for 60 years. 

VILLAGES: There are three villages in this township, viz.: Worcester
(population 1,030), East Worcester (population 430) and South Worcester
(population 150). Worcester is a flourishing village, provided with
electric lights and with pure water from a mountain reservoir 80 feet

SCHOOLS: Number of districts 15; teachers 23; children of school age
470. The Worcester High School, under the Regents, has a modern
building, complete scientific apparatus, a thorough academic course and
a well selected library. The faculty consists of a principal and seven

CHURCHES: There are eight churches in the township, viz.: At Worcester,
Baptist, Catholic, Congregational and Methodist; at East Worcester,
Baptist and Methodist; at South Worcester, Lutheran and Methodist.

NEWSPAPERS: The Worcester Times, established 1876, published at

Transcribed by Karen Flanders Eddy. 

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