The first Masonic Lodge in the town was organized in 1804 at Quality Hill while that section was a part of the Town of Sullivan.
It was called Sullivan Lodge No. 109. Jacob Patrick was the first Master. It continued until the Morgan episode. The last record in the minutes of the lodge are in 1829. This lodge was rechartered in 1848 and since then has held its meetings in Chittenango Village, purchasing the building it now occupies in 1916 and rebuilding it, as it now stands in 1929. It is in a very prosperous condition with a large membership scattered throughout the United States.
Chittenango Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, No. 321, was organized June 19, 1922, and received its charter March 3, 1923. Most of the charter members came from Manlius Chapter. While one of the youngest chapters in the State it is in sound condition and doing very efficient work.
Beatrice Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, No. 389, was organized June 12, 1906, with thirty members. The charter was granted October 17, 1906. It is well established and is very active, especially in the social side of the order.
Joseph Bonney Post, No. 64, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized and chartered in 1878. The charter members were: Peter P. Carl, J. M. Vosburg, W. S. Guild, S. C. Barnes, George W. Adams, W. H. Case, John Horn, F. W. Stillman, Michael Kinney, A. Van Allen, C. M. Vickerman, John Lillie, William Borman, John Snow, E. A. Drew, J. Bonchen, C. E. Pennock, George Hines, Rev. J. Henry Enders. It continued to meet occasionally for about thirty years. One by one taps were played for its members and eventually the charter was surrendered. Ichabold Boothroyd was the last commander.
Chittenango Lodge No. 196, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organized in 1879, with twenty members. It continued for several years. Finally the remaining members decided it was too much work for a few to keep going and surrendered their charter.
Chittenango Tent, Knights of the Maccabees, was organized here about thirty years ago. During its entire existence Patrick Lynch has been record keeper. The society is now quite small.
A lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose was organized here August 12, 1920, with Alfred B. Christian as the first dictator. It is still meeting regularly in the Moose block.
A Townsend Club was organized November 15, 1938, with C. E. Hurd as its first president. It is in a flourishing condition, adding to its membership very rapidly and having about one hundred members already.
Right after the village was incorporated, on May 30, 1842, a meeting was held and the following were appointed firemen: Thomas Dickinson, Isaac R. Cuyler, Isaac Colyer, E. M. Tobey, Daniel P. Kellogg, James A. Monroe, Charles A. Warner, Benjamin D. French, Marcus E. Walrath, James S. Brown, Benjamin Jenkins, A. I. Wells, Jonathan Burt, Edward Sims, P. Harrington, James Crouse, William Plank, P. S. Fairchilds, Marcus Plank, A. V. Boardman, N. Hemsted, James Walrath, C. R. Norton, Damon Wells. The following were named as a Hook and Ladder Company: Wallace Riddle, E. Henry Cobb, James Jones, A. Beck-with, James Cole, Luke Brissau, Henry Eigenbraut, Mr. Schoonmaker, W. H. Gale.
On November 10, 1842, it was voted to raise $250 to purchase a fire engine and apparatus for the hook and ladder company. The first engine proved defective, but a second one, costing $325, proved satisfactory. An engine house was built in 1843 at a cost of $142.62.
For reasons unknown this company disbanded July 29, 1848.
A new company was promptly appointed, consisting of Thomas Dickinson, Marcus Plank, James Crouse, James Walrath, James Rouse, Joseph Young, Daniel F. Kellogg, Edward Sims, William Plank, Daniel D. Walrath, Damon Wells and George Downer.
In July, 1880, Hope Engine Co. No. 1 was organized with 30 members, and the Yates Hose Co. No. 1 was also formed with ten members.
In February, 1883, occurred the "big fire" of Chittenango. It started in the basement of a hardware store in the early evening. Those noticing it first sounded the alarm by yelling "Fire." Most of the firemen were at a party at Canastota. In a short time there were enough gathered to drag the old hand pumper from the fire house, then located a short distance above the bridge, on the east side. Extreme cold caused water in the pump to freeze and so rendered it practically useless. The fire burned everything between what is now Fenton's Market north to the north of the present engine house. Squire J. J. L. Baker is credited with saving the present Metcalf block with a "snowball brigade." He persuaded the spectators to throw balls at the building, the heat making the snow pack easily. The Cazenovia Fire Company called upon for help, put their apparatus on bob sleighs. In their hurry through the deep snow a horse was killed. A heavy south wind was blowing and sparks from the fire were blown as far north as the canal. George Walrath, then president of the village, incurred the displeasure of a number of the village fathers by ordering suppers for the fire fighters.
Shortly after the fire Mrs. Samuel Fuller donated the lot on which the present fire house stands. The same year the village built the present fire house. The old one was moved and remodeled and is now used for a barber shop by James Urciouli.
The fire company was reorganized as the Fuller Hose Company, which continued for some years. Then for years there was no organized company. At the time of the Presbyterian Church fire in 1916 there was no organized fire company and no apparatus but the old hand pumper. The next year the village bought a Ford fire truck equipped with a pumper.
The present Fire Department was organized April 11, 1922, with the following members: Kenneth B. Allen, Edward T. Bassett, Arthur Batten, Chauncey Baker, Harold Brown, Fred Brown, Arthur Bloss, Robert Bloss, W. H. Breen, Harry Dibble, Claude Casler, G. P. Green, L. L. Hitchcock, James F. Johnson, Lee W. McHenry, Charles Nourse, Dayton Robinson and Harry B. Smith.
There are now two motorized pumpers in the village fire house--one for use in the village and one for outside in the township. The Fire Company also owns a Ford Pickup truck, equipped with a Barton pump and chemicals.
The present officers are: President, LeRoy Carpenter; vice-president, Noel Bloss; secretary, Ronald Waterbury; treasurer, Philip Dwyer; chief, Robert Bloss; first assistant, Lee W. McHenry; second assistant, Melvin Devendorf; trustees, Merle Button, Earl Fancett, and Claude Casler.
Early in the war the counties of Chenango, Cortland and Madison, forming the 23rd Senatorial District, were designed as one military district, with Sherburne as the main recruiting office. The first regiment this district raised was the 114th, but, nearly as can be learned none from Sullivan enlisted in it.
A large number from this town enlisted in the 157th recruited at
Hamilton in July, 1862. On the way to the front they stopped at Canastota for dinner and to say the final farewells. In raising this regiment and the drafts that followed this town furnished its full quotas.
The first record of an official action by the town was a special meeting at the Dixon House in August, 1864, when, by a vote of 176 to 83, it was decided to pay each person who volunteered or furnished a substitute a town bounty of $300 in addition to the county bounty. This was later raised to $500. The town furnished the Union Army 392 men, of whom 16 were officers.
The following list of those from Sullivan Township who served in the Union Army is as complete as available records make possible:
Alonzo Roach, Lewis Damon, Nathan Damon, Alonzo Moore, Spencer Eaton, Amenzo Kneeskern, Edward Dunham, John Shetler, Lorenzo Lower, Harvey Rector, William Plank, Richard Sartwell, Paul Gifford, Nathan Meeker, Henry Moore, Charles Fairchilds, William Fairchilds, William Draper, David Draper, John Wesley Spencer, John Brezee, Augustus Brezee, Harvey Brezee, Thomas Brezee, John Wright, Horace Anguish, Ransome Coon, James Grey, Albert Campbell, Theodore Campbell, Charles Grey, George Warner, O. E. Messenger, Harvey Omdorf, Lyman Kellogg, Wesley Farington, George McNeal, William Fox, Addison Fonda, Adam Helwigh, Charles Fox, John Fox, Addison Cole, George Carpenter, Matthew Schieple, James K. Fox, Philetus Fox, Duane Bushnell, Samuel Ingham, Edwin Hubbard, Albert Atkins, Bradford Butler, Henry Snyder, Hale More, Warren Wright, William Hart, John Hart, Lewis Hart, Alec Wiltsie, James DePugh, Eugene Rich, Peter Tice, H. P. Pixley, Peter P. Carl, J. M. Vosburgh, W. S. Gould, S. C. Barnes, George H. Adams, W. H. Case, John Horn, F. W. Stillman, Michael Kinney, A. Van Allen, C. M. Vickerman, John Lillie, William Borman, John Snow, E. A. Drew, J. Bonchen, C. E. Pennock, George Hines, Rev. J. Henry Enders, Isaac Bothroyd, C. Davenport, Chester Bartholomew, Richard Jones, Newton, Marks, William Billington, George Lamphere, George Dixon, John Kennedy, Charles Hurd, George Penner, Frederick Anguish, George Case, J. J. Phillips, George Brown, John Lee Near, Benjamin Staring, James Rice, James Moth, Frank Watson, Hiram Camp, Michael Geary, Allen Culver, Henry Lawyer, D. E. Keeler, James Case, Steven TenEyck, Jonathan Kent, Francis Biggs, Cyrus Vickerman, Frederick Vickerman, John H. Chapman, L. D. Abbott, Robert Harrington, Thomas M. Hatch, Charles Salem, Warren Townsend, N. F. Foote, William Jolly, Jacob Walker, Samuel Gleason, Walter Duell, Charles Van Epps, Ansel Porter, Judson Dibble, George H. Adams, Jacob Argersinger, William H. Moore, James H. Storms, Henry Herrick, John Maxon, George Shaver, Romaine Walters, Jefferson Hosley, Henry Hawley, Clement Cook, Leaander Burley, Edwin Tripp, Thomas Towson, Mathew Sheipley, Marcus Casler, Edward Craytor, William Barbur, Henry Anguish, George Dayharsh, George Hinds, Albert Green, Moses Kilts, George Loveland, Gurdun Keeler, Francis
Briggs, Edward Butterly, Franklin Suits, Edward Post, Ascia Barns, Joseph Case.
About seventy of these are buried in Oakwood Cemetery. Among them is one lone Confederate veteran, O. J. Daniels, whose grave on Memorial Day receives the same attention as his Union brethren.
Prior to August, 1871, the system of schools in the village of Chittenango consisted of Yates Polytechnic Institute and two common school districts.
These schools did not furnish adequate or suitable educational facilities for about 500 children of school age. The Polytechnic buildings were out of repair and unsuitable for school purposes. For several years school had been maintained there only at irregular intervals.
During the pear 1870, a number of public-spirited inhabitants of the village called a meeting of the citizens to consider what proper action might and should betaken to improve the educational advantages of the place. The meeting resulted in no action, the obstructionists to progress being numerous and zealous.
August 14, 1871, the inhabitants of the two village districts, Nos. 2 and 17, convened at Union Hall, pursuant to a legal call of the trustees of said districts. Charles Kellogg was chosen chairman and Lyman Gay and J. J. L. Baker, secretaries. School Commissioner O. W. Sturdevant of Oneida was present and made pertinent remarks relative to the advantages of Union schools. The following resolution was adopted by a vote of 101 in favor and 8 against:
"Resolved, That a Union Free School be established within the limits of district No. 2 in the Town of Sullivan and district No. 17 in the Town o€ Sullivan, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 555 of the laws of 1861 and the amendment thereof."
At an adjourned meeting August 18, 1871, the following named persons were elected trustees to constitute the Board of Education: For one year, Robert Kennedy, P. J. Flaherty and Charles V. Harbottle; two years, James S. Atewell, Charles Kellogg and J. H. H. French; three years, Lyman Gay, J. J. L. Baker and A. H. Downer.
The board was organized by the appointment of Charles Kellogg, president, and J. J. L. Baker, clerk.
August 25, 1871, the board established an Academic Department of the school and adopted the Yates Polytechnic Institute as such department--the Polytechnic trustees subsequently consenting to such action, declaring their offices vacant and delivering the Institute and all its appurtenances to the Union School district. School Commissioner O. W. Sturdevant designated the new district Yates Union School District No. 2 of Sullivan, annulled the Anguish district and added its territory and a portion of the Van Valkenburgh district to the Union School district. A special meeting of the voters changed the old school houses and designated the Polytechnic premises as the new site, three votes being recorded against the change.
The Polytechnic buildings were thoroughly remodeled at a cost of about $9,000, raised by tax. Schools were opened about the first of November, 1871, in the old school houses, under the supervision of Mrs. Annie Jones, acting principal, with Mrs. Helen O. E. Loomis and Miss Minnie Barnes as assistants.
Repairs of the Polytechnic having been completed, the school was transferred to that building March 11, 1872, Miss Ella Carroll, Miss Josephine Elinore and Miss Helen Hood having been added to the corps of teachers.
The following named-persons have filled the position of principal in the early days of Union school: H. E. Barrett, E. I. Ayre, A. H. Bedee, A. Dygert, V. Downer, P. H. Edick, H. L. Taylor, F. H. Wood and J. G. Riggs. Miss Hattie Van Valkenburgh served as preceptress in the school with marked ability.
There were many obstacles encountered in the establishment and organization of the school, Many clung to the time-honored Polytechnic--its name and past records were dear to them. They vigorously opposed its supplanting, insisting that a Union school would never be so efficient and predicting that the latter would be a source of enormous expense--"A mortgage on the citizens' homes," which could never be redeemed. The action of the Board of Education was severely denounced and the raising of money to make needed repairs contested at every step. Unwavering faith in the future benefits and permanency of the school and strenuous efforts for its foundation were exercised on the part of the pioneers of the movement. Many devoted much time and persistent labor without recompense to the enterprise. Some of these were: William Henry Walrath, Lyman Gay, James S. Atwell and P. J. Flaherty.
In 1890, Yates Union Free School and Academy consisted of five departments: Primary, intermediate, grammar, academic and music.
Three courses were offered in the academic department. The academic course, introducing German, was on a parallel with those of our older and most efficient academies and high schools. The Latin-scientific course was practically the same as the preceding one with the exception that a thorough training in Latin was substituted for German. The college preparatory course offered all that was required for entrance to the best colleges. The courses offered the following studies:
I. In mathematics: Arithmetic, algebra, geometry-plain, solid.
2. In sciences: Physics, chemistry. astronomy, zoology, botany, geology, physiology, physical geography.
3. In Latin, Greek and grammar. All that the colleges required for entrance.
4. In literature: English and American literature, rhetoric and English composition.
5. In history: American history, Greek history, Roman history, English history.
6. Miscellaneous: Bookkeeping, civil government, political economy, elocution.
Two literary societies were in successful operation--the Sibylline Society, under the direction of the preceptress for the young ladies, and the Yates Debating Club for the young men, under the immediate supervision of the principal. These societies offered large advantages in many ways and while no place was made for them in the course of study, the benefits derived were often of more value than two or three studies pursued. Declamations, music, essays and orations were held at regular intervals through the year in each grade of the academic department.
Rhetorical exercises consisting of rhetorical classes were formed in which scholars received a thorough and systematic course of rhetorical training and in this way took up the work of elocution required in each term of the academic course. Special attention was given to teaching the use of the English language in its strength and simplicity. Declamation, etc., were required of all pupils.
A successful lecture course, an invaluable educator in the community, was provided by patrons of the school, tickets for which were sold to all pupils at a reduction. An excerpt taken from an article regarding the "Academy Lecture Course" in 1890, says: "The course opened with the renowned lecturer, Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, whose subject was "What shall we do with our daughters?" The second number was the world-famed elocutionist, Burbank. The third number was given by the little Esquimau lady, Miss Olof Krarer, who lectured on her native land, "Greenland." Many famous lecturers were enjoyed by the pupils.
The music department was under the direct supervision of Miss Sophie E. Blair, the vice-president of the New York State Music Association. Her reputation was
known far and wide. This department was of high standing. A person having an elementary diploma from it could enter the Fine Arts College at Syracuse. Vocal music was also taught throughout the different departments of the school.
The School Palladium was begun in 1890 under the guidance of Earl R. Walrath, editor; Fred H. Flaherty, assistant editor; Clarence L. Hobart, manager advertising department; Hattie Crichton, treasurer.
For many years this publication was issued quarterly, but for some time past the School Palladium has been issued annually.
A great event in this school's history was the erection of the new school house. The old school building was over 100 years old. There was much discussion. A new location off Route 5 was desired; also one where the light was better. Finally, the present site was agreed upon, as were also plans for the present building. Bonds to the amount of $138,000 were issued to finance the work.
The old site and building were sold to B. Frank Metcalf, who erected modem dwellings where the old school once stood.
The Board of Trustees at this time were Ezra E. Cook, William S. Fenton, Merton R. Holdridge, Carl Fisher and Smith C. Bettinger.
The new building is of brick construction, two stories high, with a large auditorium and a very complete gymnasium. The school provides for about 400 pupils. The class rooms are well managed and school buses bring the children in from the neighboring country. The yearly cost per pupils is one of the lowest in the state.
The faculty for 1938-9 was as follows: Principal, Le Grand Spawn; Marguerite Barmore, Ethelyn Bettinger, Mary Born, Anthony G. Borzelle, Genevieve Borzelle, Vernon Chapman, Leah N. Chapman, Esther F, Collins, Marian B. Dewey, Edith G. Evans, Ariel Filsinger, M. Celestine Hale, Ella M. Harrison, Laura M. Hodge, E. Hope Palmer, William Pashley, Yvonne Thompson.
The town of Sullivan is dotted with cemeteries, the largest of which is Oakwood on Lake street, in Chittenango Village.
On October 22, 1864, the following men met for the purpose of forming a legal cemetery association: Damon Wells, Peter Walrath, Benjamin Jenkins, Marcus C. Walrath, Ebenezer Pennock, Joseph J. Wager, Daniel B. Walrath, Fay Hutchins and Albert M. Downer. The meeting was in the office of Daniel D. Walrath in Chittenango. Marcus C. Walrath was chosen chairman and Abner M. Downer, clerk. It was decided to call the organization The Oakwood Cemetery Association of Chittenango, N. Y.
The following were the first twelve trustees, one third going out of office each year: Damon Wells, Peter Walrath, Benjamin Jenkins, Marcus C. Walrath, Ebenezer Pennock, Richard C. Walrath, Joseph J. Wager, John W. Walrath, Fay W. Hutchens, Daniel D. Walrath, William H. Walrath and Abner M. Downer. They were sworn in by William R. Spencer, justice of the peace. Meetings were to be held the first Mondays in October of each year.
The first land was bought from the Robert Riddle estate, and was known as the Robert Riddle Grove. It was surveyed and laid out as it is now by William H. Walrath. He died soon after and was the first to be laid away in the resting place he had laid out for so many.
The Association now owns about thirty acres of land, and the cemetery now contains over twenty-five hundred graves.
The dates of the starting of most of the other cemeteries in the town are unknown for there was no filing of papers for them at Albany.
In the old cemetery on Lake street, across from the High School, are the graves of thirty people born before 1800.
Walnut Grove Cemetery, about a mile south of Chittenango, on what is called the "Dike" road, is in a very neglected condition, yet it is the resting place of Hon. John B. Yates, one who did more than any other to make Chittenango a business center. Several other prominent early residents are buried there, including Fullers, Inghams, Knowles and others.
The Fyler Cemetery was given by Silas Fyler. But his remains do not repose there, he and his being buried in Bolivar Cemetery.
The North Manlius Cemetery is well laid out and well kept. The original cemetery was given by the first David Dewey in this town about 1807. It contains 30 graves of men and women born before 1800. Buried there are several generations of Dewey, Deck and Adams families, together with the less numerous other families.
In the very early days Eliger Wilcox lived near North Manlius and made coffins. In season he stained them with Choke Cherry juice. At other times he used skim milk and lamp-black.
The Gates Cemetery was instituted by Jeremiah Gates and Thomas Clark, who leased the land from Sandford Freeman on March 18, 1819, for an annual rental of "one ear of Indian Corn, if lawfully called for, the lease to run for 999 years, Gates and Clark to keep a decent fence." The deed was witnessed in presence of Philip Wager.
In the old cemetery at Bridgeport are the graves of thirty persons born before 1800. Among them that of Rosell Barnes, who kept the first hotel there, now part of the Draper residence.
In the Barnard Cemetery, on Route 5, at Sullivan, east of Chittenango, are buried thirty-nine born before 1800. A silent testimony to its age.
In the Smith Ridge Cemetery sleep several born before 1800. It is still being used, and is very well kept.
In the Mycenae Cemetery, just over the county line, lies Jacob Shaver, one of Gen. George Washington's body guard. He was the father of Mrs. Sophronia Case, the last real Daughter of the Revolution to survive in this section.
There are family burying grounds on the following farms: The J. J. Benson farm on Route 5, west of Chittenango; Brown farm at Sullivan; on the south side of the A. D. Case farm at Bolivar; on the East road near the town line is buried Deacon Abraham Webster, 1752-1831, a near relative of Noah and Daniel Webster. On the George Ehle farm, now owned by Robert Bender, is buried Peter J. Ehle, a Revolutionary soldier. There are old cemeteries on the Gifford farm, west of Lakeport; near the Henry Brown farm, two miles east of Bridgeport; in North Manlius, near the church; on the Frank Garlock farm; on the Owen Bettinger farm, on the Salt Springs road; the late Eugene Ladd farm; the Anguish farm; the Sampson Robinson farm; also a small one on the Perkins farm.
The material for this chapter was largely obtained from Miss Evelina Hubbard, who has done much research in this subject. Probably there are many more old-time, forgotten cemeteries about the town, resting places of early pioneer men and women, about which we have been unable to learn.
A surprising number of town of Sullivan men have filled important offices in the county, the state and the nation.
Sylvanus Smalley was named county judge when Madison County was formed. In 1806 he resigned to run for Member of Assembly and was elected. He also served as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas and Council of Appointment, as did David Cook. David Matthews was a captain of the county brigade in the war of 1812.
In 1807 Jacob Patrick was named a justice of the peace; Zebulon Douglas was a brigadier-general; William Hallock was a major; Ambrose Andrews and Timothy Brown were captains; Pardon Barnard and William Ambercrombie were lieutenants and Asahel Prior was a surgeon.
In 1808 Sylvanus Smalley was elected State Senator and John Lee and John Knowles justices of the peace and members of the Council of Appointments.
In 1809 Philip Wager, Roswell Harrington and Chauncey Butler followed in their footsteps.
In 1810 Myndant Wimple was named coroner and David Beecher a justice of the peace.
Hon. John B. Yam was elected county judge in 1836.
Samuel French was elected sheriff of Madison County in 1843, and William I. Tyler was elected sheriff in 1906.
William E. Lansing was elected county deck in 1855.
Daniel Kellogg was appointed district attorney in 1809 and William K. Fuller in 1821. William E. Lansing was elected district attorney in 1850.
William K. Fuller served as a member of Congress 1833-37, and William E. Lansing followed him, 1861-63.
Charles Kellogg was a member of the New York State Senate, 1874-75.
Francis H. Gates was State Senator 1904-08, and his son followed him, 1927-32.
John W. Gates, son of Francs H. Gates, was State Senator 1927-32.
Luke McHenry was named Clerk of the New York State Assembly for the session of 1911.
Charles A. Hitchcock, justice of the Supreme Court of New York State, 1923.
The township of Sullivan has elected many of its citizens to the New York State Assembly. The list includes: Daniel Van Horn, 1808-10; Zebulon Douglas, 181l; Walter Beecher, 1812-3; David Beecher, 1814-5; Solomon Beebe, 1819; John Knowles, 1828; William K. Fuller, 1829-30; John B. Yates, 1836; Friend Barnard, 1839; Job Wells, 1842; John I. Walrath, 1845; Peter Van Valkenburg, 1847; George Grant, 1848; Jarius French, 1851; Robert Stewart, 1858; Daniel Kellogg, 1864; Robert Stewart, 1867; Merchant Billington, 1877; John W. Gates.
The first Supervisor of the Town of Sullivan was Jacob Patrick, who served 1807-09. His successors include: 1810-14, Soloman Beebe; 1815, John Lee; 1816-18, John Knowles; 1819, Horatio G. Douglas; 1820-22, John Knowles; 1823-24, Horatio G. Douglas; 1825, John Adams; 1826, Job Wells; 1827-31, William K. Fuller; 1832, John Adams; 1833, George Grant; 1834, John Knowles; 1835-36, Job Wells; 1837, John Knowles; 1838, Daniel Walrath; 1839, John Knowles; 1840, Peter Van Valkenburg; 1841-42, George Grant; 1843-44, George K. Fuller; 1845-46, Daniel F. Kellogg; 1847-48, James Beebe; 1848-50, John Knowles; 1851-52, Damon Wells;
1853-54, David Dunham; 1855-57, Albert Mabie; 1858, George Grant; 1859, Ebenezer Pennock; 1860, R. D. Tuttle; 1861, Albert Mabie; 1862, Alvin Keller; 1863, W. E. Barnard; 1864, Daniel D. Walrath; 1865, Timothy Brown; 1866-70, Marcus Walrath; 1871-75, William Lincoln; 1876, Daniel D. Walrath; 1877-81, Francis H. Gates; 1882-89, Albert Dunham; 1890-91, Abram Walrath; 1892-93, Fritz C. Block; 1894-95, Philip Wager; 1896-05, Fritz C. Block; 1906-11, Ralph O. Cook; 1911-15, John W. Gates; 1916-21, William I. Tyler; 1922-25, Charles C. Brown; 1927-28, William I. Tyler; 1928-29, Charles C. Brawn; 193033, Fred Gifford; 1934-37, William I. Tyler; 1938, Frank Dwyer.
For years Chittenango was the principal village of this section. In its early days the community boasted a gristmill, sawmills, tanneries, shoe manufactories, the large stone woolen mill, foundries, cotton mill, paper mill, asheries, lime kilns and numerous stores, hotels, churches and the Yates Polytechnic Institute.
Bolivar and Chittenango Landing boogied with the canal.
Chittenango Station and East Boston thrived on the railroads; North Manlius had its Matthews Mills and Bridgeport its gristmill, sawmill, carding mill, tanneries and cooper shops; Lakeport its sawmills. The fish from Oneida Lake helped to support the last two communities.
The first bank in Chittenango was "The Chittenango Bank," which opened April 1, 1853. The first directors were: George Crouse, George Grant, John A. Lamphere, James Crouse, John Knowles, John Crouse, Jarius French, William E. Lansing, Daniel Gates, George E. Downer, Daniel Stewart, John A. Campbell, Hiram Brown. The first president was George Crouse. He was followed by Damon Wells and Daniel Gates. The bank building was erected in 1853. The bank closed in 1864. "The First National Bank of Chittenango" was organized about the time the other closed. This did business for several years. It was followed by the "Walter H. Stewart Banking House." When that closed the village was without a bank for several years, until the present one, "The State Bank of Chittenango," was organized in 1923. The present officers are: President, J. L. Robinson; vice-president, C. E. Fisher. Directors are J. D. Boyd, H. I. Tyler, F. R. Lennox. H. J. Batten is cashier.
Sullivan township has always maintained an unusual number of well-equipped business places. At Chittenango it had these merchants: The Crouse's, John A. Lamphere, James A. Atwell, Ambrose E. Gorton, the Stewart's, French's, Atwater Bros., the Walrath's, Lyman Gay, who was succeeded by his son Harlan L. Gay; A. N. Charitan, Abner Hatch, Clement Cool, Thomas Mitchell, Dexter & Davis, George C. Clark, Costello & Root. The present merchants at Chittenango are: W. I. Tyler & Sons; A. L. Bailey, the Victory Chain, Inc.,Howard Havener, manager; the American Stores, Inc., Floyd Marsaw, manager; B. F. Metcalf & Son, Inc., Tiffany's Food Store, W. S. Fenton, R. C. Goodfellow, Hyde's Department store, Paul A. Meade, Irving J. Laning, Perrin Drug Co., etc.
At Chittenango Station the first merchant was J. T. Burton. Later there were A. W. Green, George W. Carpenter, William Hurlburt, L. W. Culver, George Hildreth, A. R. Peters, William Gillette.
John Cryan, blacksmith, has been continuously in business longer than any other individual. He began his blacksmithing here in 1901 and is still operating.
At Bridgeport stores were kept by Dunham & Sharpe, J. O. Terpenny, Charles Billington, Emerson Kneeskern, Wallace Billington, D. H. Brown, now operated by D. H. Brown's Sons; the Bridgeport Cash Store, managed for several years by Mrs. Lulu Van Alstine. H. V. Draper had a hardware store for years.
At Lakeport a store building was built in 1855 by Perry Edwards. Merchants there have been A. W. Green, Ransome Malone, J. W. Phillips, Albert Larkin, Hinkson & Harry, Morris Cohen.
Until within a generation nearly every store and market maintained a peddling wagon with a variety of merchandise to sell or trade for butter, eggs and occasionally a horse or cow. This gradually changed to taking orders and delivering, but very little of this is done now.
Grist mills, which were the most important industry of most villages where there was water power in the early days, were early established at Canasaraga, Chittenango, North Manlius and Bridgeport. The gristmill at Chittenango was built by Judge Sanger and Judge Young of Whitesboro. In 1816 they sold the property to John B. Yates, William Fuller, David P. Hoyt and William Britton. In 1854 it was sold to Rathborne & Son. Since then it has changed hands several times. It is now owned and operated by the firm of E. H. Cook & Son.
At Canasaraga there was a gristmill before 1805. It is not known who built it. It was later owned by Simon D. Paddock, Daniel Hull, Allen S. Scoville and others. It has not been operated for some years.
At Bridgeport and North Manlius gristmills and sawmills were built about 1805.
The cotton factory at Chittenango was in its prime in the eighteen sixties and seventies. It is now unoccupied.
One of the industries of the early railroad era was furnishing wood to fire the boilers. Thousands of cords would be banked along the railroad tracks measured and waiting to be measured. If, by mistake(?), some was measured twice, so much more profit. Several farmers made this their winter's work. Ebenezar Pennock was engaged thus more extensively than the others. He owned several thousand acres of wood land. At that time he lived at Bolivar, in the house now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Prosser. About 1870 Mr. Pennock, after trying different crops on the muck land of the valley, began raising onions. Onions have been one of the main crops of the town ever since.
About 1930 the firm of Smith-Canastota, Inc., purchased a large amount of the muck land formerly owned by Mr. Pennock and began raising potatoes extensively. They already had large holdings east of this tract. They now raise annually over 100,000 bushels of potatoes, besides car loads of onions. Celery and lettuce are also grown. The principle crops of the hard land are hay and milk for New York city markets.
Until the year 1900 the sale of fish was a great source of income to most of the residents of the northern part of the town. Although net fishing was illegal, it was carried on extensively, especially in the spring when the suckers run. Twine for nets and rubber boots were bought with a promise to pay "when the sucker bank opened." Then there were flat nets on the aprons beside the dam, now removed; drive nets in the creek and in the shallow water, about ten trap nets between the dam and lake, with an unknown number in the lake. A fisherman once showed the writer six barrels of pike in a barn, on which there was a fine of $25 a fish to have in one's possession.
The Madison County Times was first published at Chittenango in August, 1869, by Arthur White. He sold it to H. E. Barrett. The paper was purchased by Luke McHenry in 1883, and is now published by his son, Lee W. McHenry. Earlier newspapers were the Chittenango Herald, established March 1, 1831; the Phoenix, established December 13, 1848, and the Democratic Gazette, established March 26, 1853.
With the advent of the automobile came the improved roads, the garages and gas stations. The town is crossed east and west by Routes 5 and 31, with Route 13 running north and south. There are also numerous county, town and farm-to-market improved roads.
In 1897 Heber and Edwin Lewis and John Logan, potters from England, then employed in the pottery at Syracuse, started the pottery at Chittenango with local capital. The first two buildings burned. The present brick building was then built. It was operated with indifferent success by various parties for several years and finally closed. It is now used by Carl Guy for the manufacture of concrete vaults.
Recently Francis Dock opened a factory on the William Cain property for the manufacture of candy. The enterprise was abandoned after a short time.
The oldest building in continuous use for the same business in the town is the Yates Hotel. It was built before 1805 by a Mr. Wilson. The original structure is embodied in the present building. It is now managed by Fred Kyle.
This being a rural section all the villages have lost some of their former importance.
Perryville in the southeast corner of the town has a high school, Methodist Church, two stores and grist mill. The Balducci stone quarries are just north of the village. The Lehigh Valley Railroad furnishes shipping facilities.
Chittenango, on Route 5, has a high school, gristmill, five churches, shoe shop, two ice cream parlors, two hotels, a candy factory, bank, seven stores, two bakeries, movie house, six garages and several gas stations.
It is also the home of the celebrated "Ham That Am" restaurant, founded by James Durkin and now owned and operated by Mertching and Van Duesen.
The lawyers are Frank R Lennox, Daniel Webber, Demong & Stickles; the two physicians, Dr. John D. Boyd and Dr. C. Edwin Thibault.
Sullivan, the oldest village in the town, has a school, store, two eating places and gas station.
Chittenango Station has lost business along with the railroad. There is one hotel, three stores and postoffice.
Bolivar and East Boston have no business places or churches. Edgar Brownell recently opened a store in Fyler after the community was without any for over
100 years. There are a church and school there also.
North Manlius is in two counties, Madison and Onondaga. The two churches are in Sullivan township, Madison County, while the stores are in Onondaga County. The community has lost much of its former importance.
Lakeport, in the northern part of the town, on the south shore of Oneida Lake, has a hotel, two stores, also eating places and gas stations. Route 31 goes through the village and the lake shore is lined with cottages. The chapel and school are just east, and Oneida Lake church two miles east of the Bridgeport, also on Route 31 in the northwestern part of the town, has a church, three stores, three hotels, a doctor, gristmill, barbers, eating places and gas stations.
It is one hundred and forty-nine years ago that the first people settled within the limits of the present Town of Sullivan. Though the town is strictly a rural community, nevertheless its improved roads, telephones, electricity and gas enable its residents to enjoy all the conveniences of the city home.
At one time there were six dams across Chittenango Creek, making power for industry from Bridgeport to the town line south. Now, the only one left is at Chittenango, furnishing power for Cook's Mill. There were four on Canasaraga Creek. There are none now.
The burning of lime is a thing of the past and few know what an ashery is, though there were plenty in the early days. There is not a cooper shop in the town, though 80 pears ago there were twenty-five. At that time the cotton factory flourished at Chittenango, and the carding mill at Bridgeport. The fish from Oneida Lake made many a payment on farm mortgages. These sources of income are gone. In their place are tons of milk going daily into New York city; also surplus hay and sweet corn and peas for the factories. From the mucklands go potatoes, onions, celery, etc. Thus the old order changeth.
Starting in 1858 fairs were held in the town by the Sullivan Farmers' and Mechanics' Association. Ruel Page was president and in 1859 his wife won first prize on butter samples. We wonder!
Coming down to the present Bridgeport boasts of its new fire house and fire engine; Lakeport of its excellent fishing; North Manlius and Fyler of their numerous families residing on farms their ancestors cleared over a hundred years ago, Chittenango Station offers its shipping facilities, Canasaraga of being the oldest village in the town, Perryville of its Perryville Falls. Chittenango has its High School.
The town produces several times what it uses in the products adaptable to this climate, ample proof of the fertility of its soil. In riding over the town one cannot help but notice the absence of tumble-down buildings and abandoned farms. Hundreds of cottages in the northern part testify to the pleasures of a camp on the shore of Oneida Lake.
Among other things that have passed is the village band. Sixty years ago there was a band at Chittenango and one at Bridgeport. Baseball we still have, and games are played weekly in season at Chittenango Five Corners.
Of the early settlers of the town, very few have descendants who reside within its boundary. Next year being the 150th anniversary of its first white settlers it would be appropriate to celebrate the event with an Old Home Week in every community in the town.
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