Reading 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

Reading Township

(p. 249--250)

The town of  Reading was formed by an act of the legislature, Feb. 17, 1806, as a town in Steuben county, taken from Frederickstown.  See also session 47, chap. 171, laws of 1824, and laws of 1854.  It is bounded on the north by the county of Yates, on the east by Seneca Lake, on the south by Dix and Orange, on the west by Orange and Tyrone.  The town of Reading is beautifully located on the west shore of  Seneca Lake, and is rich in the orchard and agricultural products.  The Northern Central rairoad, and the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning railroad pass thru the township.

Early settlers were:  John Dow, David Culver, Alexander Hinton, William Roberts, Joseph Roberts, James Roberts, John Roberts, Valentine Hitchcock, Richard Phillips, Elisha Benedict, John French, Samuel Gustin, Elida Parker, Alfred Rich, Anson Rich, James Calvert, Alpheus Calvert, George Calvert, John Calvert, Andrew McDowell, Caleb Fulkerson, Richard Laning, Daniel Shannon, Anson Sutton, Nathaniel Sutton, John Sutton, John Davis, Alpheus Davis, Asaph Corbett, Jason Peck, Erastus Peck, Tenant Peck, Benoni Peck, Lewis Lafevre, Thomas Torrance, John Diven, John Diven, jr., Frances Diven, George Diven, William Diven, John Hurlburt, John Hurley, James Drake, Jonathan Tremain, James Hayes, Alpheus Schofield, Abner Piper, Ichabod Andrews, Amherst Andrews, Daniel C. Norris, Samuel Norris, Samuel Sellen, Samuel Ross, James Ross, Alexander Ross, William Ross, Samuel Ross, jr., Alonzo Simons, Hiram Chapman, Ira Parker, Abner Hurd, Ephraim Ainsley, James Drake, John Carpenter, Chester Corbett.

--The first town meeting was held in 1806.
--Elida Parker built the first saw mill in 1805.
--David Culver opened the first tavern in 1801.
--David Culver, jr. opened the first store in 1806.
--The Methodist erected the first church, in 1818.
--David Culver jr. built the first framed house in 1807.
--The only highway in Reading, in 1807, was the Lake road.
--Judge John Dow harvested the first crop in Reading, in 1798.
--The first birth was Miner Culver, son of David Culver, in 1801.
--Lucy Dow, daughter of Judge Dow, taught the first school, in 1807.
--The post office in Reading was established in 1816. Hiram Chapman first post master.
--Elisha Culver and Susan Diven were married in 1805.  The first marriage in the town.

--Reading Center is a station on the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning R.R.
--The Syracuse, Geneva & Corning railroad was constructed thru Reading in 1877.
--The first religious society organized was the Baptist, under the ministrations of Rev. Roswell Goff, in 1809.
--John Roberts was the first blacksmith.  His anvil was placed on a maple stump, and all out doors was his shop.
--The Jefferson and Canadaigua railroad was constructed thru Reading in 1852.  It is now controlled by the Northern Central railroad.
--John Dow was the first settler in Reading, in 1798.  He was justice of the peace, supervisor, judge and member of the legislature, and died in 1858.  He was from Voluntown, Windham county, Connecticut, and was one of the old vanguards of democracy.
--Reading Grange, No. 50, organized Jan. 15, 1874:  J.W. Warner, master;  Thomas Ellis, overseer;  A.W. Sutton, lecturer;  M.W. Sutton, steward;  H.D. Skiff, assistant steward; James O'Daniels, chaplain; G.S. Hilliman, treasurer; Isaac Conklin, secretary;  Eugene Smith, gate keeper; Mrs. Frank Diven, Ceres; Mrs. Mary Hilliman, Pomona; Mrs. Jane Ellis, Flora; Mrs. Adaline Skiff, lady assistant steward.
--The Baptist Church of Reading was organized Jan. 12, 1833 by Rev. Thomas S. Sheardown, assisted by representatives from Trumansburg, Plainville, Tyrone, Hector, Barrington, Elmira, and Southport,  Rev. A. Abbott, presided.  The first members were John Carpenter, James Hawkins, Ann Weaver, Deborah Hawkins, M. Granby, Margaret Hurley, Benjamin Drake, Russell Skiff, John Hurley, Catherine Drake, Sarah Skiff, Elizabeth Skiff.  Church erected in 1835.
--The Second Baptist Church of Reading was organized Mar. 4, 1808, by Rev. Roswell Goff.  Its first members were: Rhoda Peck, Jerusha Culver, Thankful Davis, James Drake, John Hurlburt, Hannah Hurlburt, John French, Rebecca French, Lewis Lafevre, Nancy Lefevre, John Hurley, Margaret Hurley, John Sutton, Elizabeth Sutton, Elisha Benedict, Thankful Benedict, Ephraim Ainsley, Jessie Whitkin, Sarah Roberts, Susannah Culver, Reliance Wait, Mary Benedict, Anna Hitchcock, Anna Miner, Zelina Ward, Alpheus Calvert, Polly Benedict.  Meetings were held in private dwellings and groves, organization dissolved in 1833.

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