Towns of Pompey and Lafayette

Submitted by Kathy Crowell

Source:  Dwight C. Bruce (ed.), Onondaga's Centennial.  Boston History Co., 1896, Vol. 1, pp. 147-152.

In 1840 there were 112 Revolutionary soldiers alive in Onondaga county, all of whom were drawing pensions.  We begin the list with the town of Pompey, which was early settled by a number of soldiers and officers from Connecticut and Massachusetts.  In that old town, which included the present town of La Fayette, were fifty-six Revolutionary soldiers who made their homes there.  Several Hessians also lived in Pompey, among whom were John Bars, Hendrick Upperhousen and John Hill:

Baldwin, Elisha--Served three years in the Connecticut line; was sixty-one years old in September, 1820.  He valued his property at $45.74, but against that he owed debts of $46.  He had a wife and five children, and testified that he was infirm and suffering.

Beard, David--Was a Revolutionary pensioner in 1840, of the town of Pompey, and aged eighty-five years.

Benedict, Amos--Enlisted in 1775 in a Connecticut regiment; served seven months and was discharged on account of illness.  In May, 1778, he again enlisted in a Massachusetts regiment for ten months.  He was a blacksmith, sixty-two years old, and had a wife and five children.  His assets were valued at $126.86 while he owed $1,000.  In his pathetic story he said "Proceedings of ejectment have been commenced against me to put me off the farm, as it has been sold on execution."  In 1806 Benedict had a blacksmith shop two miles north of Delphi.

Bishop, Sylvanus--Was one of six brothers who settled in Pompey in 1793, having previously served in the Revolution.  He moved to Oswego about twenty years later.

Blackman, David--Enlisted in May, 1777, also in a Connecticut regiment; served three years and was sixty-two years old.  His property amounted to $36.97 and his debts were $26.  He had been wounded and was unable to support himself.

Bookhunt, James--Another pensioner of 1840, was seventy-nine years old and lived with his own family.

Bunce, Daniel--Enlisted in 1777 in the First Massachusetts Regiment, and served through the war; was seventy-one years old in 1820.  He had a wife and three children, and his property was valued at $41.36, while he owed $50.

Bush, Conradt--Was a matross in the army, drew military lot 47 in Pompey, and when he came to locate thereon he found a man with nine grown sons occupying it.  He proceeded to eject them.  He gave his age as eighty-four years in 1840.  He is mentioned by Clark as one of the few soldiers "who resides on the lot for which he served."  Six years after receiving his deed from the State, Bush sold his lot to Elias Jackson for 450 pounds.  A matross was an assistant gunner.

Butler, Ebenezer, sr.--Served in both the French and Indian wars and in the Revolution; also aided in suppressing Shays's Rebellion.  He was a resident of Onondaga in 1800, and died in 1829 at the age of ninety-six.

Butler, Ebenezer, jr.--(Son of the former), was without doubt the first white settler within the present limits of Pompey.  He served in the Revolution, was taken prisoner, and suffered great hardships on a prison ship.  At the close of the war he returned to his former home in Connecticut, when he migrated to Onondaga.  His name appears in the Onondaga census of 1800.

Clapp, Paul--Has many descendants in Onondaga county, served in the Revolution, was a member of an expedition through the northern wilderness against the Indians, was taken prisoner, carried to Canada, and experienced great suffering.  He took up a large tract of land in Pompey, and worked at farming until his death in 1845.

Clark, Hezekiah--His affidavit was made by a committee in the person of Daniel Gilbert of Salina, Clark being, in November, 1822, a lunatic.  He had been surgeon's mate in the army, and was residing with his son, John H. Clark, in Pompey.  He had a wife and seven children.  His assets were valued at only $30, while he had a large indebtedness to James Jackson of Manlius, and Daniel Tibbals, Victory Birdseye, Buel & Stanton, and Thomas Marsh of Pompey.  Dr. Clark was made surgeon's mate in the Third Connecticut Regiment, where he served two years.

Cole, Adonijah--Was a pensioner living with Chauncey Cooper in 1840, when he was eighty-three years old.

Cook, Lemuel--A historical name in the town of Pompey.  He served two years and six months, from December, 1780, in Colonel Sheldon's regiment of light dragoons.  He was fifty-five years old and had a wife and three children.  The value of his property was $24.19.  In 1810 he was one of the subscribers toward the erection of the famous Pompey Academy, and was one of the incorporators.

Cook, William--The pension list of 1840 gives this man's age as seventy-nine years; he was then living with Albert Cook.  William Cook's name appears frequently in the early town records; in April, 1796, he was made an assessor, and in 1813 supervisor.  The academy subscription list also contains his name.

Crandal, Jeremiah--A pensioner whose age was eighty-four years in 1840, then lived with Elanson Watkins.

Dixon, Thomas--The balloting book of the military tract shows that Thomas "Dixon" drew lot No. 4 in the town of Pompey--northwest corner of the present town.  Clark says that in 1848 he was one of the last four and only survivors of Colonel Lamb's regiment of artillery.  He then lived just over the line in the town of La Fayette.  In 1840 he was eighty years old.

Drake, Asa--Another old soldier, lived in the north part of La Fayette.

Foot, Jekiel--Served two years and two months, from April, 1781, and was sixty years old in 1820.  He was in the Second Massachusetts Regiment.  He had a wife and seven children, and the value of his property was $71.10, while his debts were $55.67.  Among his property were 'A broken bake kettle, three salt barrels, a candle mold, a flail, and a hundred sheaves of wheat."  The census of 1840 showed Foot still living.

Gage, Nathaniel--Resided with Amos Gage in 1840, and was seventy-seven years old.

Goodrich, Jacob--Was eighty-six years old in 1840, and then lived with Elijah Goodrich in what is now La Fayette.

Green, Caleb--This soldier was probably in an expedition which marched to the relief of Fort Schuyler in the summer of 1777.  He came to what is now La Fayette in 1806, from Washington county, and died at the age of sixty-three years March 29, 1817.

Greenfield, Enos--Was seventy-one years old in 1820; enlisted for one year in the latter part of 1775 in a Connecticut regiment.  He had no family and lived with his son-in-law at Pompey.  His estate was valued at $87.25.

Hale, Francis--Was sixty-four years old in 1820, and said in his affidavit, "I am infirm and have been lame ever since the war, occasioned by misplacing the knee-pan of my left knee while in service, and my left hip is partially perished in consequence of rheumatism."  With him lived his wife, a daughter and a son.  In 1802 Hale purchased lot No. 12 of Judge Butler.

Hayes, Benjamin--Was the head of a family, eighty-two years old in 1840, and a pensioner.

Hibbard, David--Settled on lot 6, about 1794.  This lot originally drawn by Michael Leaster, was sold to Jeremiah Van Rensselaer in November, 1790, for 20 pounds, and to David Hibbard in August, 1792, for 200 pounds.  He was father of a numerous family.

Hiscock, Richard--Served as a private through the war, soon after which he moved from Massachusetts to Pompey, where he was an early settler.  In 1840 he was eighty-one years old and lived with Luther Hiscock.  He had a son Richard, father of Frank Hiscock, of Syracuse.

Holbrook, Baruch--This soldier's name appears in the rolls of Military Lodge No. 93, F. & A. M., as a soldier who was commissioned major and was a member of Washington's staff.  He settled at Pompey Center in 1794, where he purchased seventy-five acres on lot 53 from Hosiah Holbrook, May 23, 1794.

Humphreys, Samuel--Enlisted in 1777 in a company of artificers in the Connecticut or the Massachusetts line.  He was living in 1840 at the age of eighty-four, in the town of La Fayette.

Jackson, Col. Jeremiah--This early settler in the county was an old Indian fighter, as well as a Revolutionary soldier.  He was at the taking of Quebec under General Wolfe, in 1759, afterwards married and settled in Massachusetts, and joined the American forces in the Revolution, with a captain's commission; he had three sons with him.  His acquaintance formed with Maj. Asa Danforth in the army led to his moving into Onondaga territory in 1791, and the purchase of Danforth's mills.  He died in 1802.

Jackson, Jeremiah--Probably a son of Col. Jeremiah Jackson, of the Revolutionary war, and an early settler near Jamesville (see history of the town of Dewitt), where he had large business interests.  This pensioner was in a Massachusetts regiment and was far more wealthy than most of the Revolutionary soldiers, his property being valued at $1,806.72; $1,600 of this was in eighty acres of land.  He was sixty years old in 1820, and had two sons.

Johnson, Samuel--Was sixty-eight years old in 1820, and served in a Connecticut regiment.  He said in his affidavit, "I have no family, and I reside in the family of Adolphus Sweet, and I depend on his charity for my daily support, except the amount of my pension."

Knapp, Moses--Was a pensioner in 1840, eighty-six years old, and lived with his own family.

McMillen, Joseph--Made his affidavit in May, 1821, and served both on sea and land.  He was sixty-three years old, and owned twenty-five acres of land in Pompey, worth $12 an acre, but there was a mortgage of $428 on it.  He testified as to the service on board the frigate Warren of his brother Peter.

McMillen, Peter, brother of Joseph--Seventy-one years old, said he was supported by the overseers of the poor, and lived with his wife.  His property he valued at $40.87, and among it was a sea chest and a transit.

Medler, Christopher--The military tract ballot book shows that Christopher "Medler" drew lot 32, in the eastern part of the town.  In 1796 the award of the commissioners gave this 600 acres to the heirs of "C. Medler."  He was a brother of James Midler, the name being spelled differently.

Meigs, Phineas--Was sixty-four years old in 1820, served three years in a Connecticut regiment, and had an estate of $139.92, with debts of $219.55.  He had a wife and one son.

Midler, James--Named in a history of Oran as a Revolutionary soldier, and a settler there about 1800.

Moore, Isaac--Was only fifty-six years old in 1820, and served in Colonel Lamb's artillery regiment.  He had $131 in property.

Moulthrop, Moses (or Moultrup)--Was fifty-six years old in 1820, served two years and seven months, from April, 1781, in the Connecticut troops.  He possessed only $9 worth of property and owed $100.  He was a farmer and lived with his son-in-law; he was still a pensioner in 1840.

Nearing, John--Was sixty-seven years old, served in the Connecticut troops, and valued his property at $212.70.  He lived with his wife.

Northway, Ozias (see below)

Northway, Zenas--Settled early in what is now La Fayette, where he kept a tavern.  His brother, Ozias, also came into that town early, and both were Revolutionary soldiers and pensioners.  Zenas was alive in 1840, aged seventy-five years.

Olcott, Hezekiah--A prominent Onondaga man in the early years of the century, is recorded as "Colonel Olcutt," a sergeant of Baldwin's artillery artificer regiment October 1, 1777, and second lieutenant November 12, 1779.  He served to the close of the war, settled in Pompey, and while on the work of surveying the State road between Cazenovia and Skaneateles, in 1804, was taken sick, and died at Pompey West Hill.

Seymour, Zadoc--A Revolutionary hero whose name appears frequently in early Pompey records, particularly in connection with building the academy.  He lived with Eliza Seymour in 1840, and was eighty-three years old and a pensioner.

Smith, Elisha, sr.--Moved into Pompey in 1804, and lived about a mile north of Pompey Hill.  In the Pompey Re-union it is said that he "was a Revolutionary soldier, and was in the army of General Gates, and at the capture of Burgoyne."

Spoor, John--Made affidavit in March, 1821, he was seventy-one years old, enlisted in 1776 in Col Peter Gansevoort's New York regiment, was appointed ensign in 1776, and owned "19 acres of very poor land in Pompey, worth not over $5.00 per acre."  He owed $200.  His wife and daughter lived with him.

Squires, Ambrose--Must have enlisted in the Massachusetts line when fifteen years old, as he was only fifty-four in 1820.  The value of his property was $52.50, and he owed $17.  He lived with his wife and three children.

Sutton, Benjamin--Served three years from January 1, 1777, in Col. Seth Warner's regiment of light infantry; was seventy-five years old in 1820, lived with his sons, Roswell and Moses Sutton, and possessed $21.37.

Sweet, Timothy--Enlisted under Col. Seth Warren, and was at Ticonderoga and Crown Point; was captured in 1775, in the expedition against St. John's, was imprisoned at New York for some time, and afterwards enlisted in the British army as a servant of a Captain Miles, and escaped to Connecticut.  He came to Pompey about 1794.

Townsend, Richard--Made application in March, 1822, when he was sixty-three years old.  He enlisted in 1778 in Colonel Gansevoort's regiment, and his schedule of property showed "barely enough to get victuals on the table!" and it was valued at $18.46.  He had a wife who had been blind four years.

Watkins, David--Was fifty-eight years old in 1820, served three years from June, 1777, and was possessed of fifty acres of land on the town lot in Pompey, which was subject to a mortgage of $450, with four years' interest, which he thought was at least the whole value of the land.  His whole property was valued at $227.95 and he owed $226.  Watkins's family consisted of his wife, six children and a grandchild.  He said he was a cordwainer, and "tolerably healthy."

Webb, Benjamin--Lived in 1840 with Hiram Leonard, in the town of La Fayette, and was eighty-four years old.

Wheelock, Ralph--Was eighty-one years old in 1840, and lived with Gershom B. Wheelock in Pompey.

Wilcox, John--This soldier is credited by many as being the first white settler in the town of Pompey.  He made explorations in Onondaga with an Indian chief from Oneida in the spring of 1789, selected a lot two miles north of the site of La Fayette village, near the old Indian orchard.  He was fifty-nine years old in 1820, and had $55.31 in property.  His first application was rejected, the act of March 18, 1818, not providing for the artificer branch of the service.  He made a second application in February, 1821.

Winchell, Jedediah--Lived in La Fayette, with Jacob Winchell, in 1840, and was a pensioner aged eighty-eight years.

Wood, Ebenezer--Served ten months only, was sixty-six years old in 1820, and owned one and a quarter acres with a building on it, in Pompey.  He thought he was worth $367.93, but he owed $452.75.  He was a cooper by trade, and lived with his wife and crippled son.

Submitted 7 August 1998