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History of Schuyler co., NY - written c.1877

       Beaver Dams       Burdett       Dix / Catlin       Reading Center

This is a History of Schuyler County found in an attic.
It was from strips cut from the Watkins Democrat newspaper,
and the only date I can find is 1877.  There is no name of an author and
nothing to show the order that it appeared.   The Propietor was
William H. BALDWIN.  I will type it as it is and show where something has been
torn away, as I think it should be saved.  [typed by Helena Howard].


   "It  would be well for the vast multitudes who, during the Centennial epoch, are so busily engaged in making imaginary bows and courtesies to fancied processions of departed greatness and illustrious ancestors, to pause occasionally in their reverential exercise of filial duty, and turn an eye towards the habits of economy and industry, once practised by the subjects of their visionary and ideal reverence.
   Our respect for our fathers' memories is copius, diffusive and immense, our regard for their simple habits of  (?) labor and frugality is sickly, (?) and contemptible.
   Although the foregoing is not exactly "local history," we trust our readers will excuse its introduction here, suggested by the following extracts from the Town Roll of Catlin, which was made in 1835, upon six sheets of fools-cap paper.  This Roll is made with manifest precision and completeness, and contains as many written lines as are now embraced, within the Roll of Dix.  It is signed by S. L. ROOD, Smith CLARK and Abraham HYATT, assessors, and certified to by A. G. EVERTS, supervisor:

1835 Catlin Town Tax Roll
   Names                 Acres       Value       Tax
Joseph F. BABBITT         168        $850       $3.91
Chas. BENNETT             106         600        2.76
Willis BALDWIN, 6 village lots        200         .92
Czar BARNHAM               10          45         .21
Jonas BLOWERS              38         370        1.70
Jacob BUCHER              108         337        1.60
Watson COLE                50         215         .99
Thomas CULVER             172         588        2.70
Johnson CARTER            183         550        2.00
John DIVEN                150         925        5.14
Alanson G. EVERTS          50         290        5.02
Lewis EDMINISTER           79         222        1.02
Phillip GANO               67         320        1.48
Squire GRISWOLD            67         300        2.48
Robert GORDON          grocery         75         .35
Gilbert S. GILBERT        207         656        3.03
Abraham HYATT             100         336        1.55
Joseph HASTINGS           150         934        4.30
Jonathon KING             100         434        1.95
Jacob KING                214         859        3.94
Miles KELLOGG              30         100         .46
Hiram JACKSON             100         630        2.90
Masters WILLIAM           300        1035        5.50
Philander NORTON  ashery & lots       150         .69
Daniel PRATT               62         296        1.36
Edward QUINN             6 lots       275        1.27
Daniel RACE        village lots        75         .34
William R. SMITH          110         360        1.00
John STILES               100         300        1.30
Jacob SNOOK               520        2470       11.36
Abel N. SWEET             100         340        1.56
Jacob M. SHOEMAKER        193         579        2.66
Daniel TRACY              286         940        4.29
Daniel TUTTLE         personal        500        2.30
Tunis VOORHEES            302        1000        4.65
John VanVLEET            8 lots       425        1.75
William R. WILLIAMS      tavern       300        1.30
WILLOVER & MITCHELL      lots         400        1.84
Roswell WAKELEE           128         991        5.47
Samuel WATKINS           3444      24,160      111.14
   Stephen B. MUNN, a non-resident, had 1234 acres in the N.W. section of township No. 1, Watkins and Flint Purchase.  His lands were bounded on the south by Big Flats, Chemung co., NY.
   There were 2,944 acres remaining unsold of the tract known as Smith's Section, for the sale of which Hector MAXWELL, of Elmira, acted as agent.
   The tract designated as Moreland Manor belonged to the heirs of Charles CARROL, and was situated in the southeast and southwest sections of township No. 2, Watkins & Flint Purchase.  Dr. Joseph SPEED, of Caroline, Tompkins Co., was agent for this estate, and Judge CRAWFORD a sub-agent.  There were over 4,000 acres of these lands not disposed of in 1835.
   Richard C. JOHNSON, another non-resident, had 555 acres at that time.  Harmon POMPELLY, of Owego, was his agent.
   Daniel NORRIS, Esq., of Reading, was the representative of the interests of the heirs of  Richard HARTSHORN.
   The averaged assessed valuation placed upon the non-resident lands was not far from three dollars per acre, and the aggregate number of acres was something in excess of  10,000.
   In 1835 the statute provided that individuals who were in debt for their land should receive credit upon the payment of taxes, corresponding to the amount of their indebtedness, at [bottom of column torn off] highest per acre of any land upon the roll.
   Lewis EDMINISTER, who was for sixty years a well known citizen of Tioga and Chemung counties, and became a large land owner and farmer, died at his residence upon Big Flats within the past year.
   Phillip GANO, father of Levi M., Jonas D. and Halsey GANO, still occupies the premises assessed to him forty-one years ago.  They are situated about one mile west of Havana.
   Abraham HYATT, whose name appears as one of the assessors on the roll, lived about one half mile east of Catlin Centre school house.  He was an active influential man, and father of three sons.  The eldest, Nelson HYATT, has been a publisher in Waterloo, N. Y., and now resides at Ovid.  The second son, who is a prominent and respected citizen of Iowa, has served as Mayor of the city in which he resides.  The third is an attorney at Buffalo, N. Y.
   Jacob and Jaduthan KING were brothers, who came from Tompkins county to Martin's Settlement about half a century since, and while they remained in town were counted among its most intelligent and worthy citizens.  they became disgusted with their location, however, and emigrated west within a year or two subsequent to this assessment.
   Miles KELLOGG came from Danby, Tompkins Co., and located where M. H. GRAY now lives in Moreland.
   William MASTERS, another thriving farmer, in the southeast part of the town, continued to reside upon the farm he first "took up," and died there only two or three years since.-- His brother for several years resided at North Reading, in this county.
   Daniel PRATT, who is represented as the owner of sixty-two acres of land, assessed $296, and upon which, according to the same authority, he owed considerable more than that sum, lived upon the place lately bought by Col. L. G. RENO of Mr. WOODWORTH.   We have heard Mr. PRATT say that when he lived upon this place it was no unusual thing for him to take a cord of wood to the village with his oxen, and trade his load for a gallon of molasses, valued at five shillings.  But this was not the kind of commerce which Nature had intended Mr. PRATT should follow.  He soon gave up his farm, and settled in Havana.  Before coming to this part of the country he had acquired some knowledge of the manufacture of woolen cloths, and at that time determined to abandon farming and engage in manufacturing pursuits.  He leased and occupied (we think)  the "Woolen Mills" of Major SKELLINGER four years.  At the expiration of that time, together with his brother Ransom PRATT, he established in Elmira the business which subsequently grew to large proportions, and from which the family derived a handsome fortune.  Mr. PRATT has long been regarded as one of Elmira's "solid" men, and not withstanding all his opportunities for observation, and the acquirement of varied knowledge, afforded by extensive travel and intercourse with able men, he still attributes much of his success in life to the stern discipline and habits of economy enforced upon him in his early life by that "new, stumpy, sterile farm in Dix."
   Wm. R. SMITH, whose farm is now occupied by Capt. TEN BROOK, lived about one mile south of Judge CRAWFORD's place.  He was associated, for a time with Charles COOK, of Havana, [bottom of column torn off].
Hiram CHAPMAN, at Irelandville.--  These premises were soon after sold, when his son went back to Martin's Settlement, and bought a farm near to his father's former home.  He, the son, is one of the most enterprising and successful farmers now living in the town.
   Tunius VOORHEES, who had three hundred acres, where Wm. SAYLER, M. K. PALMER and the Sylvester GOODWIN place now are, sold out and went to Beaver Dams, Wisconsin.
   Roswell WAKLEE pays taxes on the same premises now that he did then, and although middle aged in 1835, is still a sprightly, active, cheerful man.
   The disbursements for the year in which this toll was made, were $999.27.  Of this amount, $202 were for town expenses, $210 for highways, $145 for schools, $413 for county charges, $12 bad debts, and $8 for a rejected tax.
   Burdett, and Irelandville, were then of as much importance as Salubria.  This was before Wm. HARING, Geo. B. GUINNIP or Alva NASH had come to Jefferson, and not a single clergyman, attorney or physician now remains in either the town of Catlin, or the town of Dix, who was at that date engaged in his profession within the limits of the town.  So far as our information reaches, Esq. PECK, Michael WILLOVER and Wm. H. WILLIAMS are the only survivors of those who had engaged in business enterprises prior to that time."


   "Its location - Origin of the name - surroundings - Churches, Hotels and Mills - Business, Professional and industrial interests, &c., &c.

   The village of Burdett is situated in the southwestern section of the town of Hector, three and a half miles northeast of Watkins, on the stage and mail route leading to and from the last name place and Ithaca, and about six miles north of Havana.   The location is an elevated, pleasant and healthful one, and the village contains quite a number of fine residences and beautiful residence grounds.   It is surrounded by a rich and fertile agriculture country, and though slow of growth for a term of years past, has nevertheless much wealth and many elements of prosperity.  It received its name many years ago, at the suggestion of Richard R. WOODWARD, Esq., brother of the late Horatio H. WOODWARD, in honor of Sir Francis BURDETT, a distinguished English nobleman of high character and excellent repute, and probably is the ancestral line of Miss Burdett COUTTS a distinguished English lady of the present day.
   The stream of water which, broken into a number of beautiful cascades, aggregating more than 200 feet in height, when falling into Seneca Lake a mile west of the village, is known as Hector Falls; it passes through the center of the village, furnishing a good water power, for flouring and other mills, and is a valuable natural feature and element of prosperity, the loss or absence of which would be severly felt.  It is a well established fact that Sullivan's expedition against the Six Nations, or Seneca Indians, of the Genessee country, in 1779 -- 98 years ago -- crossed this stream but a little west of Burdett and between the village and Hector Falls, on its way northward, after leaving the head waters of Seneca Lake.


Named after Dr. Edwin ELDRIDGE, late of Elmira (who was formerly a resident of Burdett, and engaged in medical practise there many years ago), a beautiful and attractive summer resort, which has in the past five years attained to no little celebrity, and become a popular picnic ground, is but a mile and a half northwest of the village, at the lake shore, and only half a mile north of Hector Falls.
   In former years, during the days of those two remarkable men -- BAKER and Charles MILLER, Burdett did an immense grain, flour, dry goods, grocery and provision business, the village and Hector Falls, then, while their career lasted, having been two of the most stirring localities now embraced within the limits of Schuyler County.  The failures of BAKER and MILLER were severely felt by the surrounding farming community, which lost heavily by both, and [?] depressing effect upon the village  [?]  some extent still visible, although a fair and encouraging amount of business is being done at the present time.   It is the place at which the polls of the 3rd election district of Hector are held, in general elections and henceforth on town meeting days.


   Presbyterian Church - Rev. E.W. TWICHELL, pastor
   M. E. Church - Rev. Daniel CHASE, pastor.
   Baptist church - Rev. Silas DURAN, pastor.
   Two good common or district schools.
   Jackson House - Mrs. M. F. KIRKENDALL, proprietor - N.T. WILLIAMS, assisstant manager.
   Fuller House - John A. LAMPHIER, proprieter.
   N. N. NIVISON, M.D., physician and surgeon and professor in Syracuse Medical University.
   J. A. NORTHRUP, M. D. , physician and surgeon.
   J. W. LYON, dentist, veterinary surgeon, &c.
   A. PATTERSON - Postmaster.
   W. M. LAMBERT - Justice of the Peace.
   Wm. C. COON, Grant ELLIS, Allen C. BECKER, James ROWE - Notaries Public.
   Willow Grove Flouring and Custom Mills -- Wm. C. COON, proprietor.   Has an excellent water power, three run of stone, first class machinery, and does an extensive and profitable business.   Its proprietor purchases all kinds of grain for cash, and deals largely in flour, feed, meal, &c.   A valuable property, and exercises a most salutary and beneficial influence on the business of the village.
   W.C. GEROWE - saw and lathe mill, picket, scroll and ornamental work for fences buildings &c.  Manufacturer of picture frames, mouldings, &c., &c.  Good water power, excellent machinery and facilities, and its owner and manager is a first class mechanic.
   J. F. ROE - plaining and shingle mills, turning, and cottage chair manufacturing.
   Norman N. THOMPSON - dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hats and caps - general merchandise.  North side of stream and opposite Fuller House.
   Wm. A.  HURD - dry goods, groceries, hardware, &c. - general merchandise, including boots and shoes, hats and caps, crockery and glassware, &c.
   LAMBERT & BURGE - groceries and provisions, clothing, drugs, boots and shoes, hats and caps, etc.
   Wm. C. COON - groceries, provision etc., etc.
   Ansel ELLIOT - groceries, boots and shoes, drugs, notions, etc.   Located in north part of Jackson House.  Recently started and doing a lively business.
   H.B. MILLER - grain dealer , cash for all kinds of grain, grass seed, etc.  Grain warehouse at lake shore, north side of Glen Eldridge.  Best grain market in the town of Hector; purchases only on commission; pays cash on delivery, and does a large business.
   Alanson BAILEY - cattle dealer, buys and sells fat cattle, sheep, etc.
   A. PATTERSON & Son - harness making.  All kinds of light and heavy harness, plain, fancy and ornamental -- latest styles and trimmings.  None but first quality oak-tanned leather used, and prices as low, or lower than at any other harness making establishment in Schuyler County or elsewhere in this section of the State.
   Burge's Hall - Robert BURGE, proprietor.  Good sixed village hall, and only one in the place.
   James ROWE - custom boot and shoe manufacturing, repairing, etc.
   C.F. REYNOLDS - boot and shoe shop.
   Ira ROSENCRANS - wagon making shop, repairing, etc.
   Amos JOHNSON - wagon making etc.
   POWERS Bro's - meat market, etc.
   WILCOX & BENJAMIN - meat market, etc.
    BEYEA & Wheat - blacksmithing, general jobbing, carriage ironing, etc.  Horseshoeing a speciality;  long and practical experience in the business; no machine made shoes; special attention given to difficult cases and satisfaction guaranteed.
   C.C. CARRIGAN - blacksmith and general jobbing shop.
   E. AMES - cooper shop.
   C.F. REYNOLDS, Wesley REYNOLDS, Hobart TYRRELL - carpenters and joiners.
   John S. HOWELL - mason, paper hanger, and general house repairer and removator.


   The proprieter of the Willow Grove Flouring and Custom Mills has probably been in the milling business longer than any other man in the county, with the exception of Hobert Mills of Watkins, having been engaged in it for the past 20 years.  He has been in the grocery trade for many years, longer if we mistake not, than any other man now living within the County limits.   He has also (in former years) been a school teacher, town Superintendent of common Schools in Hector territory (10 miles square), represented Tompkins County once in the Legislature before Schuyler was formed, and twice represented the last named County in that body in the years 1870 and 1871.
   But few of the old settlers of Burdett remain.  Joseph CARSON - long and familiarly known as "Uncle Joe Carson" having been one of the last to pass away.  General Daniel JACKSON, long identified with the place, and for many years proprietor of the Jackson House, which still bears his name, is now a resident of Watkins.  The same may be said of H. M. RAKER, senior proprietor of the Fall Brook House in Watkins, who was a resident of Burdett for many years though not one of the first settlers.  Rev. F. S.  HOWE, former pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Watkins, has (on the other hand) become a resident of Burdett, and Mrs. D. LACY(formerly) Mrs. Hiram CHAPMAN) of Watkins, also resides there with her husband (a former resident of Yates County) both families having pleasant and comfortable homes.


   The Jackson House, Mrs. M. F. KIRKENDALL, proprietor;  Mr. N. C. WILLIAMS (late of Watkins) assistant;  is a well and pleasantly conducted house, and does a good business; and the new proprietor of the Fuller House, J.A.LAMPHIER, comes well recommended, and intends that his house shall be conducted creditably to himself and the village.


   The flouring and custom mills of Wm. C. COON, the saw, lath, scroll work, moulding and picture frame mill of W. C. GEROWE, and the planing shingle and chair making mill of J. F. ROE are all three valuable aids and adjuncts to the place, and should, in all possible ways, be encouraged by the community.  We are happy to see unmistakable signs of their prosperity, among which, as far as Mr. GEROWE is concerned, is the building of a new and really attractive, and inviting residence on the route leading to his place of business, which speaks as much for his good taste and mechanicle genius as does the splendidly working machinery (much of it of his own invention) which can be seen in operation at his mill.


   Burdett has but few equally healthful, pleasant and inviting rivals in Schuyler County, being within easy distance of Watkins and Havana Glens, the Magnetic Springs at the late named village, and in the near vicinity of several beautiful ravines, waterfalls and Seneca Lake, on which unrivaled and truly magnificent sheet of water splendid views are obtained on the routes to Havana, Watkins, Hector Falls and Glen Eldridge;  and those who make the summer acquaintance of this village and its kind, intelligent, neighborly and social inhabitants, will not wonder that they are strongly, and many of them enthusiastically, attached to the locality.         M.E.

Although Schuyler, as organized in 1854, was formed from Tompkins, Steuben and Chemung, there was a period not remote in its history when all its territory was embraced in one county.  And we know of no authentic evidence that indicates that Montgomery [county] was in any wise discommoded or inconvienced by the possession of so large and extensive a domain as Schuyler's present area.  The region now known as Schuyler remained wholly within Montgomery county until 1789, when that portion afterward belonging to Steuben, was set off with Ontario.
   In 1796, Steuben was organized, and fifty-seven years later, in "fifty-four", helped beget Schuyler.
   The towns of Hector, Catharine, Dix and Cayuta remained in Montgomery two years after the erection of Ontario.  And in 1792, Herkimer and Tioga were also formed:  Chemung being taken from Tioga in 1836.  The towns of Dix, Montour, Catharine and Cayuta were therefore first in the original county of Albany, then Montgomery, then Tioga, next Chemung and finally in Schuyler.
   While Hector commencing in Albany successively belonged to Montgomery, Herkimer, Onondaga, Cayuta, Seneca and Tompkins.
   Although it has been a constituent element of eight different counties, during the past century, Hector has, by no means been used up or exhausted by its frequent mutations and transfers, since it still contains over sixty thousand acres of land, and nearly or quite one-fourth the population of the county
   There appear to have been few or no really permanent settlements in Schuyler prior to 1790, or thereabouts.  After Sullivan's raid, and the exploring parties who followed in its wake but little is known of the region until 1790, when George MILLS, the McCLUREs and two or three other families settled on the flats near the village of Havana.  An apparently unsuccessful effort to establish a beginning in the woods was made about the same time, nearer the head of the lake, upon the present site of Watkins.  A year or two later, in 1791-2 the WICKHAMs with one or two neighbors also moved into Hector.  But immigration was feeble, and the "newcomers" few and far apart, until the years 1797-8, when the advent of pioneers and adventures became more frequent, and the occupation and development of the country was actually commenced.
   At this time, John DIVEN and Wm. BASKIN with their families, removed from Pennsylvania, and settled upon the county line road, about 1 mile west of the head of the lake.  Mr. BASKIN "took up" the premises known as the Alexander ROSS place, and DIVEN the farm still occupied by members of the family, just above the county line burying ground.  There were several children born of these families and their names have long been prominent in local and public matters.
   Clark J.  BASKIN, Esq., now residing in the town of Reading and the longest resident practising attorney and counsellor in the county, is a son of Wm. BASKIN, and if we are not in error, was the first native born citizen of the town of Dix who received the advantages of a collegiate course of study
   Rebecca BASKIN, a sister of Clark J., married Jarius CHAPMAN, who came with his father from Saratoga Co., NY to this section in 1820, and located near what has long been known as the Partridge tavern stand in Reading.
   John DIVEN had several sons and daughters of whom the Hon. Wm. DIVEN, late of the town of  Reading, and Gen. A. S. DIVEN, of Elmira, have been the most conspicuous before the public.
   Wm. DIVEN was, for many years, Justice of the Peace in the town of Reading, and in 1847 he represented the county of Steuben in the legislature of this State.  He was three times married.  His first wife was a CULVER, the second Mrs. Clarissa HEBARD, and the third a daughter of the late Daniel NORRIS, Esq., of Reading.  The character and services of Gen. A. S. DIVEN are too well known by our readers to require mention in these notes.
   When Messrs. DIVEN and BASKIN settled in this county, the surrounding country was of course a wilderness, and for several years after their arrival their neighbors to the south and east were George MILLS at what is now Havana, and Judge CATLIN, who resided near the present village of Odessa.  The MILLS and CATLIN families were also large, and for a long time the children of these four families constituted the young society of what would now be considered a pretty widely scattered neighborhood.
   Dr. Madison MILLS, a son of George MILLS, has long held a distinguished position in the Medical Department of the regular army.  Phineas CATLIN, Esq., a highly respected and wealthy citizen of Catharine, is a son of Judge CATLIN, and his sister Mary became the wife of the late Judge John CRAWFORD, of Crawford's settlement.
   The homes of these early prominent settlers served as stopping and resting places for the tired and exhausted parties who came on later, and were pushing their way farther on, over the hills and into the wilderness toward the western boundaries of the county.
   There are numerous citizens still living in the towns of Dix, Orange and Tyrone, who can recall with grateful recollection the favors thus afforded them, by those who were already established in the new country, and who were in a situation that enabled them to proffer the hospitality calculated to restore and renew the strength and courage that had been so heavily taxed by a long and wearisome journey through the woods.
   In the southwestern part of the town of Dix there were no actual residents previous to the year 1818.
   HACKETT, HASKINS, PALMER, a man by the name of PERRY, and Edward LEE first located in the region at and about Beaver Dams.  HASKINS lived on the place now owned by Truman G. BEECHER.  HACKET had a shanty near the foot of the hill, on the farm now owned by W. C. SAVORY and  Frederick PALMER had built a house on the corner now occupied by Wm. S. BEERS before 1820.
   Edward LEE, father of David and Emory LEE, had pitched his tent at the foot of the high hill, on the southern portion of what is now SAVORY's place, and Wm. HAINES lived on what has long been called the COLE farm, about half way back from the north and south road, towards the foot of the hill, where Elijah PHELPS located a few years later.
   In 1824 Underhill FROST, father of Capt. David FROST, and George FROST, Esq., of Watkins, removed from Hector, and bought the premises adjoining and opposite the Beaver Dams cemetery.
   The first school house erected in the Post Creek valley was built in 1826, by the volunteer labor and contributions of the community, and Miss Amanda HOTCHKISS, sister of the Rev. Edward HOTCHKISS, taught the first school.
   The first grist mill in the town was located in what is generally known as the VanZANDT's hollow, near its northwest bodudary(sic), by a Mr. HUBBELL.   Daniel KENT soon after bought it, and kept in operation for several years.  In 1831 or 2, Ira DODGE built the first mill located upon the mill seat now owned and occupied by John RHODES.
   In the portion of the town known as Crawford's Settlement, or Moreland, John CROUT was the first settler.  He had a lot south of Esq. BARTLETT's residence, given to him by the agent of the Harper tract as an inducement to settle there, and for several years was quite alone in the dark and gloomy hemlock forests.
   Judge Crawford, Col. Green BENNETT, the CLEAVLANDs [CLEVELANDs], Joshua PEARCE, the LOOMIS family and Wilson BAILEY were all in the neighborhood, however, over fifty years ago, and may justly be regarded as its pioneers.
   Fifty-six years ago Wm. LANE, father of Frederick LANE, of  Beaver Dams, located upon the hillside west of the valley, and with his brother-in-law, a Mr. EASLING, was for sometime the only occupants of that vicinity.
   At the period of which we write, the territory now included in the Town of Dix was, of course, known as the town of Catlin, which extends from the northern boundary of Big Flats to the head of Seneca Lake.  Then Post Creek, Martin's Hill, Hubbard's Run and Edminister's settlement were in the same town with the "county line," Watkins and Townsend.  John CORNELL, who after the division of the town  became a resident of Dix, was for fourteen consecutive years Town Clerk of Catlin and of Dix;  and it is no disparagement to his successors in office to remark that a more beautiful and correct record has never been kept by a subsequent clerk in that office.
   At Townsend, Claudius TOWNSEND, Mr. EVANS, Dods BENSON and Samuel PRICE were among the earliest settlers.  Benj. PRIEST, Rockwell and Hon. Simeon L. ROOD and Daniel TRACEY, father of John G., Albert and Ebenezer TRACY came soon after the first settlements were made, and their descendents constitute a large portion of the present population.
[torn off]

Early Settlement and Location.--Present Condition.--Business Names---Industries, &c.,&c.
 Reading Center, the most important village in the town of Reading, Schuyler county, N. Y. (aside from that portion of Watkins embraced within its southeastern boundaries) seems to have been so named because of its central position in the town. -The territory of Reading, or a considerable portion of it, was formerly a part of the old county of Cayuga, but was many years ago annexed to Fredericksburg, in the county of Steuben, from a part of which large town Reading was subsequently formed, and, in 1854, became a part of the county of Schuyler.


In the vicinity of Reading Center was Judge John DOW, of Connecticut, who settled there in the year 1798, having previously resided eight years at the Head of Seneca Lake, where Watkins now is.  Two years thereafter, in 1800, David CULVER and family settled near Mr. DOW, having also moved from the Head of the Lake.  Mr. CULVER built a tavern, dwelling house and barns, &c., and the settlement, thus began by these two noted pioneers, was for a time called Culver's.   Reading Center is in the very heart of a fine and fertile agricultural section, equal to the very best in the County, and the surrounding farmers are, as a general thing, in good and easy circumstances.


It passes through the town, from north to south, (or south to north), and the Depot for Reading Center will be located about a mile southeast of the village, near the residence of John W. WARNER, Esq., and become a convenient shipping point for the grain, hay and other farm produce of the northern half of the town.   As a matter of course, the proximity of the village to this Station, (not with standing that it would have been desirable, could it have been nearer), will have an excellent effect on its business and industrial interests, as a great proportion of the teams, passengers, &c., moving to and from the Depot, will pass through the place.  The Railway will also furnish a full and cheap supply of coal, lumber, &c., and ensure low freights on all kinds of goods coming into the town, and all its farm products seeking a market elsewhere, Reading Center is
and has a fine site, and all the needful surroundings and conditions for a thriving village; and we shall, henceforth, expect to see it put on more business and manufacturing activity, enterprise and public spirit than hitherto.  Its station on the line of the Railway above named is about 24 miles north of Corning, 4 miles north of Watkins Glen, 6 southeast of Dundee, and 32 south of Geneva.  As a shipping point it may be classed with Dresden, Himrods and Beaver Dams, all three of which will undoubtedly ship largely of farm produce over the new road.


   The following is a list of the present churches, business men, and interests, &c. of the place [Reading], and will do to preserve for the future reference and comparison.
   Baptist Church -- Rev. S. ROBESON, Pastor.
   Methodist Church -- Rev. D.F. BLAINE, Pastor.
   Earle's Hotel -- B.B. EARLE, Proprietor, and owner.  It is a carefully and neatly conducted House, creditable alike to its proprietor and to the village where it is located.  It is the only hotel between Watkins and Dundee, and on the stage route between Watkins and Tyrone, and doing a handsome business.
   Roswell SHEPHERD -- Dry Goods, &c.  Lev. SHEPHERD, Manager and Salesman.  Well stocked and has a good trade.
   Thomas ELLIS -- Groceries, Provisions, Hardware, Drugs and Medicine, &c.  South half of SHEPHERD Store.
   David ROBSON -- Post Master
   J. M. COLE -- Town clerk, Carriage painting, &c.,&c.
   George CONKLIN -- Jeweler, &c.
   D. A. JOHNSON, M. D. -- Physician and Surgeon.
  Henry BUDD, M.D. -- Physician and Surgeon
  A. SUTTON -- Justice of the Peace.
   Samuel COLE -- Insurance Agency.
   S.K. CONKLIN -- Dealer in all kinds of Nursey Stock, Fruit, Shade and Ornamental trees, &c.
   L.B.WEAVER -- Harness making.
   C. B. SMITH -- Harness making.
   L. P. C. SNOW -- Meat Market, Slaughter House, Meat Wagon, &c.
   Peter MORLY -- Boot and Shoe Shop.
   Mr. WOOD -- Wagon Making and Repair shop.
   SANFORD & ANDREWS, CONKLIN & PIPER, T.C. MILLER -- Carpenters and Joiners.
   Warren N. HURLEY, H.C. LOTT -- Masons.
   J.T. FINLAN -- Blacksmithing and Wagon Making.
   A.S.WOODWORTH -- Blacksmith and Wagon Maker.

   Reading Center also has a flourishing "Temperance Union" and a "Home Social Circle" with the latter of which is connected a good circulating library.  The population, as well as that of the surrounding town, is remarkable for the general intelligence, industry, sobriety and economy. -- Hence the town (of which Adrian TUTTLE, Esq. has been Supervisor for a term of years past) has but few paupers, and light town taxes.  It may, in fact, be regarded as one of the most carefully managed towns of Schuyler County, worthy, in its internal affairs, of emulation; and as it is hereafter to have the benefit of two railways, running through its whole width or length, (as the case may be), its prosperity, and that of its central village (Reading Center) seems well assured, and on a solid and enduring basis.
M. E.


 Its location and future prospects ?? Connected with the Syracuse, Geneva & Corning Railway, &c. &c.

   The village of Beaver Dams, is situated in the southwest section of the town of Dix, Schuyler county, and borders on the two counties of Chemung and Steuben, from which counties over two-thirds of Schuyler was taken.  It is located on the new Syracuse, Geneva and Corning Railway, 12 miles north of Corning, 8 south of Watkins Glen Station, and surrounded by a good and productive agricultural region which annually sends a large amount of grain, and other farm products, to market.  The locality takes its name from
                 TWO  BEAVER  DAMS
on a small stream, in the vicinity, found, alive with beaver, by the early settlers, and one of them, or rather a portion of it, remains to the present day.  The place is by no means a large one, but there is every reason to believe that it will be much benefitted (if a liberal policy prevails among its real estate owners) by the new Railway, and will become an important shipping point, a good business center for quite a section of the adjacent country, and a growing and prosperous village.
    A coal yard has already been started, a hay press will be sure to find its way there this fall;  and a grain warehouse, where "Cash For All Kinds of Grain" attracting the farmers for many miles around, will undoubtedly be erected within a short time after the opening of the new Road.  Those influences, with cheap lumber and fuel, cannot fail to lead to more business, building, and a more progressive condition of things, in the near future.


   Beaver Dams has two churches -- Methodist, Rev. L. R. CRIPPEN, pastor, and Universalist, the latter having no regular pastor.   It also has a good and nicely located Union School House, and a good school--the district (No. 11) being made up from a portion of the town of Dix, in Schuyler Co., and a part of Catlin in Chemung Co., and it is a singular fact that the pastor of the M.E. Churches preaches every Sunday in two towns and two counties, and every other Sunday in three.
   F. W. NORTHRUP -- Dry Goods, Groceries, Provisions, &c.  General merchandise.  This is the principal store in the place, and conducted by a live business man, who buys everything that the people of the surrounding country offer for sale, and pays cash -- butter being a leading article.  The consequence is that he is rapidly increasing his trade, which this year will amount to not less than $10,000,  whereas three years ago, when he first took the store, its business amounted to only about $8,000 a year.   Mr. NORTHRUP is just such an enterprising, energetic and capable merchant as the place needs at the present time.   He has a correct idea of the situation -- is a fair and square dealer, deservedly popular with his large and increasing number of patrons, and is therefore succeeding admirably.
   Benoni PECK -- Grocery Store. -- (Formerly in the tailoring business, Justice of Peace, &c.)
   H.D. SEAMON, M.D. [SEAMAN?] -- (Postmaster) Physician and Surgeon. -- The only one at Beaver Dams and has a prosperous and increasing practice in the village and surrounding country.
   Frank SHEWMAN -- Wagon Shop, large dimensions, and does a good business, Undertaking, &c., &c.
   A.P. CROUT -- Boot and Shoe shop.
   E. McCLOSKEY -- Blacksmithing Shop.  General jobbing, Carriage ironing, horse shoeing, &c.
   Miss A. FROST -- (Formerly of Watkins)  Millinery.
   Miss Minnie HOOPER -- Millinery,
Present stores old and new will be made during the next few years.   A new road interchange will be calculated to greatly benefit the locality, is in contemplation and very certain to be opened, from the Post Creek road (leading from Beaver Dams to Townsend) through to connect with the road leading to Monterey, near the residence of Charles TOMPKINS, the distance being less than a mile.   This will form an important connecting link; and the only wonder is that it has not been opened before.

             IN CONCLUSION

It may be observed that Beaver Dams, which has been hitherto numbered among the most isolated and secluded villages of the county, will shortly be in both railway and telegraphic communication with the whole country, and has a better and more cheering prospect before it.   Its location is a splended one for a growing and thriving village, healthful and fertile, and its natural resources ample to make it a lively and prosperous center of enterprise, manufacture and trade.   Hence we predict its steady and continous progress and advancement, commencing with the present year.

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