Revolutionary War Soldiers


Town of Cicero

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

Source:  Dwight H. Bruce, Onondaga's Centennial.  Boston History Co., 1896, Vol. I, pp. 164-165.

Nine Revolutionary soldiers are known to have lived at some time in the old town of Cicero, which included what is now the town of Clay.  Only one of these was a grantee under the law creating the Military Tract who settled on his lot; this was Capt. John Shepherd.  The following made application for pensions under the act of 1818:

Caldwell, John--Made his affidavit on May 29, 1827, enlisted for nine months in a Massachusetts regiment, served his time and was discharged at West Point.  In September following he re-enlisted in Colonel Livingston's regiment, New York troops, and was stationed at Fort Ann.  A month later he was taken prisoner with the whole garrison and sent to Montreal, where he was held until November, 1782, when he was exchanged at Boston.  He was sixty-seven years old in 1827, and he owned four acres of land in Oxford county, Ohio, worth $40, "also one common hoe and garden hoe, valued at nine shillings."  He was without a family and had lived two years with Eben T. Dennis.

Desbrow, Henry--Was sixty-seven years old when he came into court in February, 1821; enlisted in the spring of 1777 in a Connecticut regiment and was discharged in 1780.  Included in his assets, which were worth $67.81, was a note against Gershom Tilly of $12.50, given for fifty salt barrels.  he had a wife and two children.

Hooker, Israel--Was sixty-two years old in 1820, and served one year, 1776.  His property was worth $71.98, but he owed $100.  He had a right to occupancy of eighteen acres of land during his life.  He said he was a common laborer, "but was unable to labor as he had but one eye and one arm."  He had a son Israel, and a wife.

Loomis, Elijah--Went into court September 10, 1830, and testified that he had a lease of twenty-five acres of land for life in the town of Cicero, and all his property was worth $146.63.  Loomis was the first settler at South Bay, in 1804.  He and his wife were living in 1847 on the same property where he settled; he was then eighty-six years old.

Shepherd, Capt. John--Applied for a pension February 27, 1821, when he was sixty-four years old.  He enlisted in the spring of 1777, in Col. Udney Hay's regiment, and in 1779 he was commissioned captain.  Ill health compelled his retirement from the army in the fall of 1781.  He had personal property worth $66.96, and among his liabilities was $16 due Dr. Gordon Needham, of Onondaga Hollow.  Captain Shepherd drew lot 11, on which he lived to 1824, when he died.

Other soldiers of this town of whom brief records are found are the following:

Bragden, Samuel--Was living with Thomas Bragden in Clay in 1840, when he was seventy-eight years old.

Lynn, John--Was a pensioner, living in 1840 in Clay, and was eighty-eight years old.

McGee, Patrick--Sometimes erroneously credited with being the first white settler in what is now Clay; he located at Three River Point in 1793, and there built the first frame house in 1808 or 1809.

Smith, James--Was a Revolutionary pensioner in 1840, aged eighty years, and was then living with Leonard Smith in Clay.

Submitted 2 August 1998