Montour / Havana History 1999--These pages are part of the Schuyler co., NY Genweb page.  Not for commercial use.

The History of Schuyler co., NY (pub. abt. 1885)

Montour Township and Havana Village


"Montour was organized by an act of the legislature, of the state of New York, March 3, 1860, taken from the western portion of the town of Catharine.  It is bounded on the north by Hector, on the east by Catharine, on the south by Veteran, and on the west by Dix, and is one of the smallest townships in area in the county of Schuyler.  The principal village within its limits is Havana, which was incorporated in 1886.

At the first election held for the village of Havana June 7, 1886, William L. Noble, John G. Henry, Edwin H. Downs, Hiram W. Jackson, William Skellinger  were elected trustees; Hiram W. Jackson, president; Sylvester Hazen, clerk; Peter Tracy, treasurer; Alexander Clauherty, constable and collector; Josiah C. Robinson, David Lee, Sidney S. Decker assessors.
At the first election held for the town of Montour, May 1, 1860, Charles Cook was elected supervisor; William H. Skellinger, town clerk; John I. Lawrence, Charles J. Broas, Amos Hoyt, Minor T. Broderick, justices of the peace; Adam J. Campbell, Asa Fox, Samuel W. Sacket, assessors; Russell W. Leavenworth, Caleb Hill commissioners of Highways; William McDonald, overseer of the poor; Hiram W. Jackson, Joseph B. Wilkins, Alpheus Keyser, inspectors of election; Robert F. Hedges, collector; Chester O. Sheffield, Henry W. Severn, Robert F. Hedges, Nathaniel C. Williams, constables.

Early Settlers:  Phineas Catlin, Anthony Broderick, Joseph Frost, Asa Coe, William Lyon, Samuel Bennett, David Lee, Israel Lee, Samuel Nichols, William Ayers, Henry Ayers, Ebenezer B. Crofut, Thomas L. Fanton, Minor L. Sherwood, Joseph Brown, Nathaniel Thompson, John C. Larew, Albert Brown, George C. Wickham, Solomon Williams, Jacob Hendricks, James P. Shearer, Samuel W. Sackett, J. Laban, A.M. Freeman, Jonathan M. Couch, Charles Cook, Silas Walcott, George Mills, James Wilson, John Richardson, William McClure, Phineas Bowers, John King, Henry Stevens, David Ayers, Thomas Nichols, jr., Dr. George W. Hinman, George Kimball, Joshua Morse, Ebenezer Risley, Darius Ballou, Abram Massiker, Roswell Wakely, Daniel Tracy, John F. Phelps, William T. Jackson, Samuel G. Crawford, John W. Jobett, F.D. Goodwin, Flaviel Gaylord, John G. Henry, Hiram W. Jackson, Adam G. Campbell, Minor T. Broderick, Elijah Hinman, Alva Nash, Nathan Hall, Peter Quick.
--The first sloop was laugched in 1796.
--Charles Cook settled in Havana in 1829.
--George Mills was the first merchant, in 1805.
--George Mills kept the first tavern in Havana.
--Cook Academy was established April 12, 1854.
--William T. Jackson built a woolen mill in 1836.
--The first steamboat was the Seneca Chief, in 1828, July 4.
--George Kimball was the first blacksmith in Havana, in 1801.
--Silas Walcott was the first permanent white settler at Havana.
--William Skellinger built a foundry and machine shop, in 1834.
--Bowers and Kimball built the first grist mill in Havana, in 1802.
--Havana stoneware manufactory established by Charles Cook, in 1844.
--William Skellinger was deputy sheriff of Chemung county, from 1840--1843, and sheriff of Chemung county from 1846--1849.
--Havana received its name in 1829.  It had previously been known as Catharine's town and Mill's Landing.
--Post office first established at Catharine's town, in Oct. 1802, George Mills was first post master.
--Bank of Havana was incorporated Nov. 10, 1851, Charles Cook, president; C.C. Clark, cashier.

--She-qua-gah was the Indian name for the Havana Falls, and signified roaring waters.
--Louis Phillippe, afterwards King of France, was a guest at the old hotel kept by George Mills in 1797.
--Patrons of Temperance of Havana, organized January 12, 1878.  A.S. Durkee, W.S.; R.T. Dearborn, W.P.; Susan Stotenburg, secretary; G. Thompson, treasurer.
--Havana Division No. 55, Sons of Temperance organized Sept. 1, 1878.  Rev. I. Hendricks, W.P.; R. Burchfield, W.A.; P. Hendricks, R.S.; R. Ershine, F.S.; A.S. Durkee, T.
--Montour township derives its name from the Indian half breed Queen, Catharine Montour, who resided at Havana, or within the limits of the township in 1779, and previously.
--Montour Post, No. 22 G.A.R. was instituted Sept. 14, 1871. Hull Fanton, commander; E. Miller, S.V.; H. L. Couch, J.B.; A.P. Hallatt, adjt.; Frank Vanduzer, quarter-master.
--Myrtle Lodge No. 731, F.A.M. was instututed March 8, 1860.  John E. Mulford, W.M.; A.H. Decker, S.W.; Alpheus Keyser, J.W.; Bela P. Beebe, Treas.; William H. Skellinger, Sec.; M. G. Lewis, S.D.; Daniel L. Couch, J.D.
--The M.E. Church of Havana was formed as a class, in 1820, organized as a society in 1829 and incorporated in 1835.  Church erected in 1832.  First trustees were Elijah H. Goodwin, Silas E. Ayres, Elijah White, William Skellinger, Jacob Walker.
--Montour Grange, No. 356, P. of H. was organized Sept. 6, 1875.  Master, Joel A. Bailey; Overseer, James P. Shearer; secretary, I.H. Smith; treasurer, George Corwin; Ceres, Mrs. I. H. Smith; Pomona, Mrs. Isaac Peck; Flora, Nettie Shearer.
--Havana Literary Library Association was organized in 1872.  Elma A. Gillespie, Lucy A. Tracy, Elbert P. Cook, trustees; Miss Mary Hinman, secretary; Willis H. Tracy, treasurer; Mrs. G.W. Carpenter, librarian; Miss Frank J. Hinman, assistant librarian.
--St. Paul's Episcopal church was organized April 10, 1856.  First rector Rev. Peter S. Ruth; William Skellinger, Adam G. Campbell, wardens; Seth L. King, Edwin H. Downs, Calvin VanDusen, Charles Cook, George T. Hinman, Orvile Harris, Robert P. Beebe, Archibald Campbell, vestrymen. Church erected in the year 1853.  Cost, $12,000, was the gift of Hon. Charles Cook.
--First Presbyterian Church of Havana, was organized in 1829.  The first members were: Flaviel Gaylord, Garrett Compton, William P. Lee, Charles G. Judd, Cyrus Hickox, Lewis B. Butler, Jonathan P. Couch, Stephen P. Butler, Stephen Gabbit, Abigail Gaylord, Elizabeth Lee, Hannah Denton, Elizabeth Cummings, Alice Hibbard, Harriet Dresser, Lucy Butler, William T. Jackson, John Compton, Eliza Cleveland, Mary Compton, Margaret Cornell.  First minister, Rev. James Boyle.  First elders, Flaviel Gaylord, Charles G. Judd. Trustees, John D. Downs, Calvin Cooley, David Lee, William P. Lee, Myron Collins, William T. Jackson, John P. Cornell. Church erected in 1832.
--The Northern Central Railroad runs thru the town of Montour, from north to south, and  has a station at Havana.
--The First Baptist Church of Havana was organized April 10, 1869, by Rev. H. E. Ford.  The first officers were L. C. Crandall, Jacob Yaple, E. W. Cook, deacons;  G. W. Hall, E. T. Merritt, Henry Whitford, F. A. Ganung, E. W. Cook, Minor T. Broderick, trustees.  Church erected in 1873.  The gift of E. W. Cook.
--Montour Cemetery Association organized August 13, 1860. Peter Tracy, president; George W. Jackson, vice president; Dr. George T. Hinman, secretary; John F. Phelps, treasurer; John  F. Phelps, George W. Jackson, Adam G. Campbell, George T. Hinman, Peter Tracy, Caleb Hill, Minor T. Broderick, trustees.
--Havana Lodge No. 56, I.O.O.F. was established Feb. 4, 1846.  Freeman D. Goodwin, Noble Grand;  Green Bennett, Vice Grand; G.D. Bailey, secretary; David Evans, treasurer; Charter members: Green Bennett, J.D.Bailey, George Quinn, Daniel Evans, Freeman D. Goodwin, Alva Nash, Alonzo Gaylord.
--Than-and-an-aga Encampment No. 38, I.O.O.F. instituted in 1847. First officers George T. Hinman, C.P.; Calvin Spalding, H.P.; G.D. Bailey, S.W.;  Caleb Hill, J.W.; H.L. Couch, scribe; Charter members:  D.L. Couch, Caleb Hill, G.D. Bailey, D.W. Whippy, George T. Hinman, Calvin VanDusen, Calvin Spalding, H.L. Couch, C.E. Noble.

MONTOUR--HAVANA--SCHUYLER....These names are very suggestive. Montour is of French and Indian origins. Havana of Spanish, and Schuyler of the Dutch Patroons, who first established themselves upon the waters of the Hudson...."

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