History of Edmeston, New York/1830s
The history of Edmeston, New York: 1830 through 1839
By 1830 Edmeston had added to its other places of business a store, a tannery, and a post office [opened in February 20, 1816]. The store had been opened in 1824 by Lyman White, near the Peet Tavern and the tannery had been built by John Bilyea on this same street at the foot of the hill. Despite the fact that there were few houses in Edmeston Center in 1830, the Town of Edmeston in that year had its largest population, 2087. — Hazel L. Jones
Esq. David Chapen carried on a large shoe shop, and also a tannery, keeping six or eight hands each. In the shoe shop was Pitman Cook, John Bilyea, Mason Davis, Pardon Wolley, Elisha Burnam, Waterman Davis, and others. John Bilyea built the first tannery at the Centre. Thomas Southworth had a shoe shop on the corner, where Jared Robinson now lives and kept four or five hands. Rufus Graves also ran a shoe shop, and employed several hands, and all had all they could do.
Col. Aden Deming lived among the Shakers until he was 21, when he pulled out and settled the farm where he died in 1847, aged 79 years. He was in the War of 1812. He called out his company and volunteered himself, and Benjamin Hopkins, Thomas Southworth, Israel Taylor, Joseph Howard, Ruben Rosier, and Merrill Lewis. But the Col. and Hopkins were taken sick and did not stay long — Col. Deming became a great farmer having 500 or 600 acres [2 to 2.4 km²] of land all in a body. Besides he had a timber lot in Norwich, and one in Pitsfield. He built a saw mill on his land, and had a room furnished in the corner with a stove and bed in it, and I have heard his wife say he would often stay there from Monday morning until Saturday night. He kept a large stock of cattle and sheep, for them days and made butter and cheese and fatted a good deal of pork. I have known him to start for Albany with four or five teams with butter, and cheese and pork. When he washed his sheep. all hands went, and when they were done all hands must play ball until chore time. he would sit and keep tally, and hold the jug. I remember I reaped for him one day in a seventy acre [283,000 m²] lot of rye. We could just reap through and bind back by dinner time. He had hands that worked for seven or eight years in succession. Among them were Mr. Catly, Mr. Forbush, Edwin Phelps, George Tyler, and Aaron Noble. He was poor master in town for a great many years and I don't think he ever had a charge against the town in the time. He would take those who applied to him for aid home with him and, make them pay their way. He was a very thorough man, never hurried his hands, but they must keep busy. His rule was, when chopping down a tree, never to look up after he struck it until it was half off, no matter how large it was.
Erastus Waldo was a noble man; He held some town office the most of the time until he left town. Martin Lee was a man of some note and held several offices. Esq. David Chapen was justice of the peace from the time the town was organized in 1808 until his death in 1821. Mr. Rufus Graves was a noted man, the first to keep a tavern in town. He had two sons, Rufus and Amos. Rufus died here some sixty years ago, but Amos went to Michigan, where he died some twenty years ago.
There were many substantial men here at that time. I can remember when they held town meetings in the school house. they would come together and say "Who shall we have for Supervisor? Someone would nominate Mr. Waldo, or some other person, and he was elected, and so on through until all officers were elected, and then get home before night. Isaac Brown held the office of Town Clerk for over twenty years in succession. Silas Peet was justice of the peace for a great many years, and held other offices.
Joseph Bootman was a cloth dresser and wool carder and bought out Mr. Stern. He was father of our townsmen Truman and Edgar Bootman. Wm. Stickney came here about 1820, and in company with Samuel Simmons, started a trip hammer shop below the mill. m They also manufactured scythes and rifle barrels. John Bilyea built the first tannery at the centre. Lyman White the first store, where the old tavern now stands. Nelson Green built a blacksmith shop and forge, where his son Lewis now holds forth. Captain John Gross a cooper shop to the west and Arthur Hawkins a saw mill a little south. Perry and Pierce Pope, a blacksmith and hame shop at South Edmeston. About this time Wm. Stickney bought the mills and the Kennedy farm, built a large house and lived there until he died, some thirty years ago. — Yours truly, James Slocum
From 1830-1860 Edmeston Center continued to increase in population and improve in appearance. In 1836 the grist mill which had been built by the Kennedy brothers in 1801, was replaced by a stone mill. (The stone from that mill now,1953, forms a large part of Dr. L.N.Harrington"s home in Utica, N.Y.. — Hazel L. Jones
Post office established at Edmeston Manor (Carr farm) (8/4/32) (discontinued 3/3/1840). — Dorothey scott Fielder
Charles Hammond and Wright Caulkins built a cabinet shop and dwelling near the present Opera House site in 1832.
Daniel R. Barrett located in Edmeston in 1832, on the farm I think where his grandson, Dan Barrett, now lives. One of his sons, John, married Chrissa Deming, daughter of Col. Eri Deming and built the house in 1860 where Mrs. George Barrett and Lisle now live. — Myrta Kelsey
At an early date a still and potash building was erected on the upper side of the road from the grist mill and in 1832 Charles Hammond and Wright Caulkins built a cabinet shop and dwelling not far from the present opera house site.
In 1832 Nathan Hoxie came and settled on a farm near the villages of West Edmeston and South Edmeston. His sons Samuel and Solomon did much to promote the agricultural interests of the town and greatly improved the dairying industry by introducing new and better breeds of cattle. Samuel Hoxie was a leading member of the Unadilla Stock-breeders Association and was instrumental in its organization. — Hazel L. Jones
In 1833 our father was sent to the legislature (Philo Bennet) and spent two winters, I think in Albany. I remember when he came home one time, he had the stage coach stop at the school house and take us children home with him, which was fine for us. He brought a number of song books, new and very charming songs, a bolt of small neat figured calico. Calico was of some account in those days; and a Chintz dress for mother, a dark ground with small bright roses all over it, very fine, but she feared to gay for her. It was made with large sleeves, such as are worn now (Dec. 21, 1895), with pillows of down to make them puff out. She wore cape with full pleated boarder trimmed and tied with ribbon, such was the style, and a woman at forty was considered old. — Matilda C. Bennett
All the original building erected in Edmeston village [hamlet] was "on the hill" on East Street. As late as 1834 there was but one street running east and west and there were but 16 houses from where the late Fred Hickling lived to the home of Howard P. Talbot. — Sandra Lohnas Haggerty
My father moved into Edmeston when I was 12 years old in 1834. At that time there was but one street in the Village, the one running east and west and but 16 houses from where Reuben Talbot now lives to the present residence of Israel Talbot, about a mile [2km] apart. [1953, Dorr Hickling and Howard P. Talbot respectively]. About 1840 my husband bought a little over three acres [12,000 m²] of land on the corner and built what is known today as the Gaskin House [1992 location of the central National Bank]. — Esther Preston
Besides the settlements already mentioned, two others had been made in the Town of Edmeston on the Unadilla River. The one in the northwestern part of the town was first called Coonsville, or Coontown because so many people by the name of Coon settled there. John S. Coon was born in Plainfield, Otsego County, in 1807. When he was 28 years of age (1835) he built a furnace (at what is now West Edmeston) In which he made all kinds of farming implements, and continued to follow the same trade for some twenty years, then he manufactured wagons and cutters. For many years he was the sole owner of all the mills at West Edmeston. — Hazel L. Jones
West Edmeston Postmasters:
1836 Alanson Clarke 1854 John L Carrier 1890 Orson Champlin 1840 E.Chamberlain 1858 Jeffrey Champlin, Adolph M. Nichols 1894 Ancell Angell 1848 E.H.Coon 1862 Ira J. Ordway 1916 Otto I. Mayne 1850 John Gaskin 1874 Orson Champlin 1946 Foster Tice acting 1851 Joshua Maxson 1886 Reuben White 1947 Foster Tice P.M. — Flora Underwood
The first school building in Edmeston Centre was built at the foot of West street in 1838. [a frequent misquote, locations and dates are defined in "A register of the Property of the Town of Edmeston 1809"] The second school building was also located on West St. opposite Mrs. John Barrets residence. — Hazel L. Jones
On the last Sunday in May, Coroner Isaac Lewis of this village [Cooperstown] was called to Springfield, to hold an inquest on the bodies of five persons who were drowned in Lake Summit. They attempted to cross that pond in a leaky boat, which sunk with them. — S. M. Shaw