History of Spencer, NY

Contributed and prepared by:

Sherlene Belden.


Historical Gazetteer of Tioga county, New York, 1785-1888
Compiled and edited by W. B. Gay.
Published by W. B. Gay & Co., Syracuse, N. Y. in 1888.

Original page breaks have been maintained for accurate reference use.

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SPENCER * lies in the extreme north-western corner of the county, and is bounded north by the county line, east by Candor, south by Barton, and west by the county line.

The town was formed by an act of the legislature passed February 28, 1806, receiving its name in honor of Judge Ambrose Spencer. At this time, however, it was a town of great extent, set off from Owego (now Tioga). From this large territory have been formed the towns of Candor, Caroline, Danby and Newfield, the latter three in Tompkins county, set off February 22, 1811; and Cayuta, in Schuyler county, organized March 20, 1824. Thus Spencer may truly be said to be a "mother of towns;" but these large

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concessions have shorn the parent town's territory to an area of only about 29,136 acres, 20,000 acres of which is improved land.

Topography. - The north-eastern portion of the town forms the water-shed between the Susquehanna river and Cayuga lake. The ridges have a general north and south direction, their declivities steep, and their summits broad and broken. Catatonk creek, flowing east, breaks through these ridges at nearly right angles, forming a deep and narrow valley. This is the principal stream, though there are numerous small tributaries to it. The soil is a gravelly loam in the valleys, and a hard, shaly loam upon the hills. Dairying, stock-raising, and lumbering are the chief pursuits of the people.


Benjamin Drake, in connection with Joseph Barker, made the first settlement in the town of Spencer, in the year 1794. The place of his nativity is not known, and as none of his descendants are now living here, nothing of his early life, previous to settlement here, can be ascertained. He settled on the site of Spencer village, or what was for many years the village, the lower corners, as the north and west portions of the village have mostly been built up in comparatively a few years. Mr. Drake's first cabin was built of logs, poles and bark, near the bank of Catatonk creek, half, or three-quarters of a mile east of the village. His time was occupied in clearing his land, and when, after the labors of the day were over, and the shades of night had gathered around the humble home of the settlers, and they had retired to rest, their sleep was often disturbed by the howling and snarling of the wild beasts that inhabited the wilderness around them. Tradition says that Mr. Drake built the first frame dwelling-house in town, a part of which is standing on the spot where Andrew Purdy formerly resided, and known for many years as the "Purdy tavern," and now owned by the estate of Hon. Abram H. Miller. He also built the first grist-mill. How long he resided here, and the time or place of his death, is not known. His daughter, Deborah, was the first white child born within the present town limits.

Joseph Barker, as stated above, came to Spencer in the year 1794, from Wyoming, Pa. He settled on the place now owned by C. W. Bradley, a little north of the center of the village of Spencer, his land extending south of and including the old

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cemetery, which he partially cleared off and gave to the town as a public burial-place. At the early day there was no town organization, and consequently no town officers, common interests prompting the settlers to friendliness and a general effort to build up good society, and also to extend a cordial greeting and welcome to those who came to settle and make a home among them. But as their numbers increased, the necessity for forming such an organization became apparent, and it was effected in 1806, and the first town meeting was held April 1st, of that year, Mr. Barker being elected justice of the peace, an office he held till the election of Israel Hardy, in 1830. The first school was organized in Mr. Barker's house, but the date is not known. Many of his descendants are still living in this and adjoining towns. He was a man of strict integrity, and was respected and honored by all around him.

Edmond and Rodney Hobart, brothers, came from Canaan, Litchfield county, Conn., in the year 1795. Edmond settled on the farm now owned and occupied by James B. Hull, his brother Rodney going about a mile farther north, where he resided for many years, the place now being owned by Benjamin F. Lewis, excepting about four acres where the house stands, that is now owned by Mr. E. Signor. Edmond Hobart is said to have put in and harvested the first crop of wheat, and he also built the first saw-mill. His family consisted of seven children, five boys and two girls, and their conveyance from Yankee land to Spencer was a wagon drawn by oxen, and they were seventeen days on the road, making the third family in the town. Their oldest son, Prescott, while using the axe - the principal and most useful tool the settlers had - received a slight cut which terminated in lockjaw, the first year they were here, his death being the first one in town. Charlotte, the oldest daughter, married Daniel McQuigg, of Owego, who purchased the homestead of the heirs, in 1815, (Mr. Hobart died in 1808) and it was kept in the family many years, his son Daniel occupying it till about the year 1844, when it was sold to Deacon James B. Hull, who now lives on it. Esther, the youngest daughter, married Horace Giles, of Owego, in 1814, and in a few months moved to Spencer, where the widow lived till her death, in 1832. Mr. and Mrs. Giles lived on the same farm for fifty-fife years. He died December 16, and she, December 18, 1870, aged eighty and seventy-seven years, respectively. Two daughters and one son are now living, one, Charlotte Giles Converse, occupying the homestead.

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Others came soon after the settlement was begun, but the exact date cannot now be ascertained. John and George K. Hall, from Westchester county, N. Y., came about 1798, and settled on a part of what for many years has been known as the John McQuigg farm. Soon after the year 1800, the arrivals became more frequent. Among them may be named the following: Joshua Ferris, from Westchester, Doctor Holmes, from Connecticut, and Stephen Bidlack, from Wyoming, in 1800; Henry Miller, Andrew Purdy, Thomas Mosher, C. Valentine, John and Leonard Jones, David and Richard Ferris, from Westchester county, N. Y., and George Watson, from Canaan, Conn., between that date and 1805; Truman, Joshua, Abram and Benjamin Cowell, brothers, came from Connecticut about 1807 or 1808; George Fisher and family, from Albany, N. Y., in 1810; Thomas Fisher and family came soon after, and settled in what has long been know as Fisher's Settlement, his wife being the first person to drive a horse from the settlement (now the village), through the woods to their home; Solomon Mead, Joseph Cowles, Alvin Benton, Thomas Andrews, H. Lotze, Joel Smith, Benjamin Jennings, Moses Reed, Levi Slater, Ezekiel Palmer and his son, Urban Palmer, came prior to 1815; Shubael Palmer and wife, with a family of six children, came in February, 1817, bringing both family and goods by oxen through woods and over hills, with roads such as is usually found at that time of the year. The next few years arrivals were numerous, and among them may be found the names of Dodd, Lake, Lott, Dean, Garey, French, Sackett, Riker, Vose, Harris, Bradley, Wells, Benton, Nichols, Adams, Casterline, Schofield, Swartwood and Butts.

Isaac, William and Daniel Hugg, brothers, came from Canaan, Conn., the first two in 1800, and Daniel four years later, and settled in that part of the town known for many years as Hugg Town, now called North Spencer. Isaac settled at the head of the pond, his land extending to the road leading from Spencer to Ithaca: but built his house and resided till his death, in 1837, where Horace Furman now lives. This family consisted of eleven children, six girls and five boys. The youngest daughter, Sophia, is still living, and is in good health for one who has seen eighty-four years.

William Hugg settled on the farm afterwards occupied by his brother, Daniel. His family consisted of twelve children, eight daughters and four sons, none of whom are now living. He only

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resided here three or four years, moving to West Danby, where he and his wife were both buried.

Daniel Hugg arrived in Spencer, in 1804, and settled on the farm previously occupied by his brother, William, where Frank Adams now lives, and resided there till the death of his wife, in 1849, after which he lived with his children till his death, in 1855, having been a resident for Spencer for fifty-one years. His family of six daughters and one son are all dead. At the organization of the First Congregational church, Daniel Hugg and Achsah Hugg, his wife, were two of the original members, and he was one of the first deacons, a title he retained until his death. The descendants of these three brothers can be counted by the score, and are not only to be found in Spencer and surrounding towns, but in several different States of the Union, and as far as known are honored and respected members of the communities in which they reside.

Rev. Phineas Spalding was born in Woodstock, Vermont, in 1759. While a mere boy he enlisted in the revolution, was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, saw him deliver his sword to his captors, and was one of the guard placed over the prisoners taken at that time. Afterwards, in the darkest hours of that terrible struggle, he joined that portion of the army with Washington, late in the autumn of 1777, and when the inclemency of the weather rendered it necessary to go into permanent winter quarters they marched for eight days, leaving marks from their bleeding feet upon the frozen ground, till they came to Valley Forge, where they spent the winter. Their cabins were made with the boughs of trees hung on sticks or poles, under which they would build their fires, and gather around them, poorly clothed, and many without blankets, coats or shoes, and often obliged to feed on horse meat, which, in consequence of their extreme hunger, seemed to taste sweeter than any meat they had ever eaten before. After leaving the army he married a Miss Rebecca Jacques, by whom he had three children, Rebecca, Phineas, and Polly, the latter of whom was only a few weeks on when Mrs. Spaulding died. After marrying again (Miss Susanna Hotchkiss), he removed to Whitehall, N. Y., where Nancy, Amy, and William were born. About 1796, he came to what was then called Tioga Point, and lived for one year on a place called the Shepard farm, during which time his son James was born. While living here, he came to Spencer and selected the place upon which he afterward settled his family, in the year 1798. The place has been

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known for many years as the John McQuigg place. Here, in the woods, the sturdy pioneer erected his log cabin, cleared his land, and made himself and family a home, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing the growing crops, and also neighbors settling around him. Here three more children were added to Mr. Spalding's family, viz: Susanna, Jesse, and Joseph. As neighbors increased, and he being the only male professor of religion in the town, he was impressed that duty called him to preach the gospel to those around him, and yielding to these convictions, he preached, in his own house, the first gospel sermon in the town, in 1799. At the organization of the Baptist church, 1810, he was chosen deacon, licensed to preach, and in 1813, was ordained, and was for many years pastor of the church. Previous to this he removed to a farm about two miles south of West Danby, where he lived several years, and here Ebenezer and Betsy were born. Mrs. Spalding died there in 1831, after which he lived with his children. He died in 1838, aged seventy-nine years, at the residence of his daughter Amy (Mrs. Barker), at West Danby, and his remains repose in the old cemetery in Spencer. Three of his children are still living, Mrs. Amy Barker, at West Danby, N. Y., aged ninety-four years; Ebenezer, in Wisconsin, aged seventy-nine years; and Mrs. Betsey Cowell, at North Spencer, aged seventy-seven years. Those who have died lived most of them to be old, and were useful and honored citizens. Phineas died at Havanna, aged eighty-six years. Polly, the next oldest child, was married to John Underwood, and this was the first marriage in town. She died in Spencer, aged seventy-five years. Nancy moved to Ohio at an early day, and died in 1838. James died at West Danby. Joseph died in Washington, and William, where he had lived for many years, at Mottville, aged eighty-two years.

Stephen Bidlack, son of James, came to Spencer, from Athens in 1800, and made the first settlement of the farm now owned by Ransom Bidlack. He married Lois, daughter of Capt. Samuel Ransom, and reared eight children, only one of whom, Ransom, is living.

Richard Ferris came from Peekskill, in 1805, and located on land now owned by Elmer Garrott. He reared a family of nine children, only one of whom, Mary is living. The latter was born March 22, 1787, and has lived here since she was eighteen years of age. She is the widow of John Forsyth, who was a pensioner of the war of 1812.

Truman Cowell, one of the early settlers, came from Coxsackie,

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about 1806, and made the first settlement on the farm now owned by Edward Cowell. He had born to him two sons and eight daughters, viz: Nathan, James, Naomi, Eunice, Anna, Roxy, Polly, Rhoda, Della, and Harriet.

Nathaniel Scofield, an early settler, located on the farm now owned by Luther Blivin, about 1806. His son Horace married Naomi Cowell, and six children were born to them, as follows: Betsey M., Nathaniel, Mary A., Truman, Roxanna and Horace. William Loring, son of Abel, was born in Barre, Mass., November 18, 1780, and moved from there to Granville, N. Y., when quite young. He married Hannah, daughter of Theophilus Tracy, of Norwich, Conn., October 8, 1808, and nine children were born to them, viz: Horace, William T., Lucena, Wealthy, Susan, Sarah, Louisa, Mary, and Harriet. Mr. Loring located in this town in February, 1811. Lucena Loring married James B. Hull, and has one son, Loring W.

Arthur Frink was one of the early settlers here, and located on the farm now owned by William Ransom.

Peter Signor came from Greenville, N. Y., in March, 1812, and purchased the farm which was settled by Bartley Roots, in 1810, and which is now owned by Albert Signor. He married Lorena, daughter of Adonijah Roots, and had born to him three children, Albert, Adonijah, and Anna, widow of Jehiel House, of Danby. Albert was born in Greenville, May 12, 1803, married Anna, daughter of Levi English, and has two children, Adonijah and Mary A. (Mrs. Ira Patchen), of Danby. In 1834 he purchased the farm where he now lives, which was then a wilderness, with no building except an old saw-mill, built a few years previous, and which he has re-built, and has cut from 100,000 to 400,000 feet of lumber annually.

One of the first settlers of what is known as the Dean Settlement, was Nicholas Dean, who came from Westchester county, in June 1816, and built the first house on the place now owned by Mary Deyo, in October, 1817. Among other early settlers who came to this location were Elisha Sackett, from Peeksill, in 1820, locating where Jasper Patty now lives, John Williams, who settled on the farm now owned by George Pearson, and Eli Howell, who settled on the farm now owned by W. H. Fleming.

Maj. Tunis Riker came from New York city, in 1817, and located on the farms now owned by O. P. Riker and Antoinette Riker. He served as a major in the war of 1812. He was a carpenter by trade, which occupation he followed here. He mar-

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ried Eleanor Moore, of New York, and reared a family of twelve children.

Edward Bingham came from Jay, Vt., about 1819, and located on the farm now owned by his grandson, I. A. Bingham. He served in the war of 1812. Ira, one of his twelve children, married Sally, daughter of Elisha Holdridge, and five children were born to him, viz.: Eliza, deceased, Sarah, Mary, I. Augustus, and Seth H.

Edward Hobart, an early settler, made the first settlement on the place now owned by James B. Hull. It is said that the first piece of wheat raised in the town was grown on this farm.

Elisha Holdridge came from Bridgewater, Pa., in the spring of 1822, and purchased a farm, now owned by Dr. Norris, where he lived until 1837 or 1838, when he removed to Genoa. He married Mary Shaff, and reared nine children, only two of whom, Amos, of Spencer, and Samuel, of Hillsdale, Mich., are now living. Amos was born in Bridgewater, Pa., July 13, 1813, and was nine years of age when he came here. He married Wealthy, daughter of William Loring, of Spencer, and has two children, Edgar P., of Cortland, and William A., who lives here.

Lewis Van Woert, son of Jacob, was born in Cambridge, N.Y., December 5, 1794; married Tabitha Gould, and settled here on the farm now owned by Lewis J. Van Woert, in 1827. He reared five children, namely, William G., Lewis J., Eleanor M., Lydia E., and Mehitable, deceased.

John Brock came here in 1830, and purchased the farm now owned by William Lang. He was a farmer, and was also engaged in droving until within two years of his death, which occurred in 1872. He married Mary, daughter of A. Whitney, of Maryland, N.Y., and seven childrlen were born to them, viz.: William, deceased, Ethiel, Ann E., wife of Seth Bingham, of Danby, John, Adaline, widow of Stockholm Barber, Thomas, and Dewitt C.

Benjamin Coggin located here, on the farm now owned by his grandson, George E. Coggin, in 1832. He married Phebe Vose, and six children were born to him, as follows: John, Loama T., Albert, Rachel V., Mary V., and Eveline C.

Solomon Davenport, son of Martin, wasa born at Port Jervis; lived in Caroline, N.Y., several years, and located here, on the farm now owned by Mrs. Valentine, in 1836. He married Ann, daughter of Samuel Snyder, of Caroline, and eight children were born to him, viz.: Henry, Sherman, Mary C., Jane A., Charlotte, Emma E., Sarah and Harriet A.

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James Hagadorn came from Cherry Valley, in 1840, and settled on the farm now owned by his son David B. He married Lockey Genung, and five children were the fruits of this marriage, namely, Horace, who served as major in the late war, in Co. H, 3rd N. Y. Infantry, and was killed in front of Petersburg, June 15, 1865, Rebecca, wife of Henry C. Shaw, Emma, wife of William Stone, of Curtis, Neb., Aaron, also of Curtis, and David B.

Jacob T. Shaw was an early settler of Flemingville, and located here, in 1840, on the farm now owned by William A. Shaw.

Alonzo Norris, son of Matthew N., who was an early settler of Erin, Chemung county, was born in Erin, October 2, 1833, studied medicine with E. Howard Davis, of Horseheads, for three years, and graduated from Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, Pa., March 12, 1860. He began practice at Halsey Valley, where he remained about a year, and then located in this town. He has two children, John N. and Olive K., both residing at home.

Dr. Ezra W. Homiston was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., June 10, 1859. He studied in the public schools, and with his father, Joseph M., and graduated at the Bellevue Hospital College in March, 18883, and began practice in Brooklyn. In August, 1885, he came to Spencer, and has practiced here since. He married Adele Bumsted, of Jersey City, in 1882.

Rev. Luther Bascom Pert, son of Thomas Pert, was born in this town October 12, 1819. When fifteen years of age, he left home to prepare for college, at Cortland academy. He entered Hamilton College, and graduated, in the class of 1843. From 1849 to 1869 he practiced law in New York city, and in April, 1870, he was licensed to preach by the third New York Presbytery and continued a faithful minister to the time of his death. He was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Raisin, Mich., from 1870 to '74, at Londonderry, N. H., from 1874 to '79. In 1843 he married Miss Ellen P. Smith, of Spencer, by whom he had one daughter, Helen M., wife of Rev. W. W. Newman, Jr., who are now living abroad. Mrs. Newman has three sons, viz.: George Kennedy, a student in Williams College, William Whiting, now of Colorado, and Oliver Shaw, who is traveling with his parents. Rev. Mr. Pert died at Bergen Point, N. J., May 29, 1881, and his remains were brought to the home of his boyhood for interment.

Stephen Vorhis, son of Jotham Vorhis, was born in this town

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in 1812. His preparatory education was received in Owego; he entered Hamilton College and graduated in 1836, and from Auburn Theological Seminary in '38. He was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Akron, O., for two years, at Danby, N. Y., fourteen years, Phoenix, N. Y., five years, Hammondsport, N. Y., eight years, and at Spencer fifteen years before his retirement. He married A. Louisa Ward, of Allegany co, N. Y., by whom he had three children, viz.: Mary H., Lillian, who died at the age of six years, and Harry S. Mr. Vorhis died July 17, 1885.

Dr. J. H. Tanner was born in Virgil, Cortland county, N. Y., October17, 1834, and lived in that town some thirty years. He studied medicine with Dr. Knapp, in Harford, and graduated at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1863, when he returned home and formed a partnership with Dr. J. H. Knapp, which continued only for a short time. In October, 1863, he moved to Nineveh, Broome county, N. Y. In May, 1864 he married Cornelia G., eldest daughter of James Heath, of Harford. He continued to practice in Nineveh until January, 1865. He bought out Dr. Knapp, of Harford, and late in January, he removed to that place where he continued his practice until the summer of 1866, when he sold out to Dr. Knapp, and moved to Weltonville, Tioga county, where he continued to practice until October, 1877. Here he buried his wife. In the fall of 1878, he married his second wife, and settled in Spencer, Tioga county, N. Y., where he now resides. He has one son, J. Henry.

Samuel Bliven, of Westerly, R. I., was a soldier of the revolution, and married Mary Green, by whom he had eight children. Among them was Luther, who married Rebecca Cook, by whom he had nine children. Of these, Samuel G., was born in Hartford, N. Y., January, 1, 1799, lived there until he was a year old, when his people removed to Fort Ann, N. Y. When twenty-four years of age he came to Spencer, and has since resided here,-- a period of over sixty-two years. He married Rebecca, daughter of Phineas Spalding, by whom he has had six children. He has been engaged principally in farming, and now lives retired in the village of Spencer. Mrs. Bliven died September 8, 1885, aged seventy-five years. Capt. John Fields was another of the very early settlers of this town, and who in his early years was a member of the Queen's Rangers, a regiment of the British army. When his time of enlistment expired he asked for his discharge, but it was denied him.

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He awaited his opportunity, and deserted, coming to this country, and in the war of 1812 took arms against the British, and served the American cause faithfully. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Lundy's Lane, and after a period of confinement was discharged. When the war closed he retired to his farm, in the eastern part of the town of Spencer, where he spent the remainder of his life. His wife was Lydia Bates, who died, leaving no children.

Joshua Tompkins was born in Oxford, England, September 22, 1815. On April 30, 1836, he left Liverpool in the packet "Napoleon," and arrived in New York the following month. He came direct to Spencer, where he located on the farm now owned by his brother James, and this town has been his only home in America. He married Susan, daughter of William and Hannah Lorring. He is now engaged in farming, and in building operations within the corporation of Spencer village. Mr. Tompkins is probably one of the oldest foreign born citizens of the town.

James Silke was born in Cork, Ireland, and for thirteen years after his arrival in this country he was in the employ of Halsey Brothers, of Ithaca, who were running one of the largest flouring mills at that time in Central New York. In 1874, he came to Spencer to take the management of A. Seely's mill, which position he still holds. He married Mary Wasson, of Ithaca, and has four children.

Dr. G. W. Davis was born in Trenton, Dodge county, Wis., May 29, 1851. When he was only seven years old his parents removed to Ithaca, N. Y., where he received his education. He entered the office of Dr. John Winslow, of Ithaca, and also the office of Dr M. M. Brown, and Dr. P. C. Gilbert. Her graduated from the University of Buffalo, in 1882. He located first in Newfield, Tompkins county, where he remained one year, and since then he has been located in Spencer village. He married Eva, daughter of Holmes Shepard, of Van Ettenville, by whom he has one child.

Truman Lake came to this town from Greenville, Green county, N. Y., in 1815, and settled on the farm now owned and occupied by Fred W. Lake. He married Clarissa, daughter of Rufus Brown, of New Malbury, N. Y., by who he had six children viz.: Betsey, wife of Erastus Meacham, of Owego, Maria (Mrs. Jacob Vorhis), Harvey, Rachel (Mrs. Joshua Philo), Hiram and Rufus, all deceased except Mrs. Meacham, who is now in her eighty-fifth year, and resides in Owego.

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J. Parker Vose, son of John Vose of this town, married Nancy B., daughter of Isaac Buckley, of Danby, N. Y., in June, 1853. Their children are Emma J., wife of J. B. G. Babcock, of Owego, and Charles E.

S. Alfred Seely is a son of Seymour A. and Polly Seely, and was born in Newfield, Tompkins county, in 1842. Till the age of sixteen he attended the district school near his home, finishing his school days by several terms in Spencer and then in Ithaca. He taught school several terms, and at the age of twenty-one went to Elmira, N. Y., and in company with his brother, Seymour, commenced the manufacture of lumber, under the firm name of A. Seely & Bro. After eleven years in Elmira, they transferred their business to Spencer, purchased several acres of land near the G. I. & S. R. R. station, put up a large steam sawmill, and went to work, employing at times two hundred men. In 1875 they erected a steam flouring-mill near their saw-mill and this is now the only mill of its kind doing business in the town. Within a year or two, an addition has been made to it, in which the grinding is done by the roller process, and large quantities of the best flour are almost daily shipped to different parts of the country. In 1877, they commenced, in a small way, the mercantile business, which has enlarged till at present they occupy a large brick block, their stock including nearly everything needed or used in a farming or manufacturing community. In 1880, they built near their mills a large creamery, and it is now receiving the milk or cream from about 700 cows, brought from four or five towns and from three different counties. January 1, 1887, the partnership was dissolved, Seymour retiring and Alfred continuing the business alone. Mr. Seely married Emily LaRow, of Newfield, October 20, 1863, who bore him one child, a girl, who died at the age of four years. Mrs. Seely died in September, 1879,; and in November, 1880, he married Mary E. Williams, of Romulus, N. Y., and has three children.

Silvenes Shepard was born in the town and county of Otsego, January 23, 1823. His parents moved to Virgil, Cortland county, in 1826, where he lived until the fall of 1839, at which time they moved on to a farm near the white school-house, at East Spencer. He worked on a farm summers and taught school winters, until the spring after he was of age, when he commenced the manufacture of tomb-stones, at East Spencer. He removed to the village in 1847, and continued in the business until his health gave out, in 1849. He, with his brother-in-law, commenced manufacturing

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tin-ware and selling stoves, in 1852, continuing in the business a few years, when he went to farming, working as he was able, until 1862, when he found employment in the store of Lucius Emmons, father of the Emmons Bros. He remained in their store five years, when he commenced business for himself, at the same place he now occupies. In April, 1867, without application or solicitation on his part, he received the appointment of postmaster, which office he held till October 17, 1885. He has been the recipient of many favors from the citizens of Spencer, having held the office of overseer of the poor, assessor, and supervisor. To the latter office he has been elected six times. He has been interested in the educational interests of the town nearly half a century, an advocate for free schools long before the enactment of our grand "free school law." While positive and decided in his views on all public questions, and free to express them in proper times and places, he is willing to concede the same right to others. He has always taken a decided stand against intemperance.

Charles J. Fisher's grandfather came from Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, to this country, in 1754, and, it is believed, settled in New York city. His son, George, came to Spencer, in 1810, his family consisting of nine children- five girls and four boys. Charles H., the third son, was born in Spencer, in 1817. He attended the common schools till the age of eighteen, when he entered his father's store as clerk, which business he followed for different merchants till 1850, when he commenced business for himself, carrying a stock of dry goods and groceries, and continued till some time during the rebellion, when he sold his stock of goods and opened a drug store, the first one in town, which business he still continues. He now lives on the place formerly occupied by his father, has always lived and done business on, or very near, the spot where his father settled, in 1810.

Dr. William Henry Fisher, son of Charles J. Fisher, was born January 31, 1854. He studied in the Spencer Academy, and studied medicine with Dr. T. F. Bliss, of Spencer, and entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1874, graduated in 1876, and immediately began practice in Spencer village, where he has since resided. The Doctor married Alice Knight, daughter of Harding A. Knight, of Spencer, November 14, 1877, and has two children, a son and a daughter.

Roger Vose was born in Bedford, N. H., February 26, 1770. He married Anne Bassett, of Sharon, Mass., February 14, 1793,

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and moved with his family from Bedford, N. H., to Spencer, in the fall of 1826, and purchased the farm on which he lived until his death, which occurred November 24, 1843. His wife, Anne Vose, died March 2, 1834. Their children were: Samuel Vose, born at Bedford, N. H., December 27, 1793. He came to Spencer from Bedford, about the year 1818, and died here, August 3, 1;854. John Vose was born at Bedford, N. H., October 20, 1796. He came to this country with his brother, Samuel, about 1818, and died March 5, 1871. Jesse Vose was born at Bedford, N.H., May 23, 1801, and died in 1845. Charles Otis Vose was born at Bedford, N. H., May 1, 1807, and died May 31, 1829. Alfred Vose was born in Bedford, N. H., August 10, 1812. He moved to this town from Bedford, at the same time of his father; was reared and continued to live on the place purchased by his father, up to the time of his death, which occurred September 20, 1883.

Lucius Emmons was born in Hartland, Hartford county, Conn., April 31, 1810. In early life he worked on a farm, later did office work, and then started out as a peddler, to what was then called the West (New York state). He came to Spencer to live in the spring of 1839, and married Nancy, daughter of Roger Vose, July 4, 1839. They removed to Candor, thence to Simsbury, Conn., in the fall of 1841, and thence back to Spencer, in the spring of 1844, where he remained until his death. He immediately started in the mercantile business on a small scale, and being a peddler himself, he soon formed the idea of sending out peddlers, which he did on a large scale, and for many years carried on a large business in general merchandise. He was taken sick in 1856 with a complication of diseases, from which he had nearly recovered at the time of his death, which occurred March 19, 1864.

Lucius Edward Emmons, son of Lucius and Nancy Emmons, was born at Spencer, August 23, 1846. He attended school at the Spencer academy, and at the age of nineteen years commenced work on his father's farm. At the age of twenty-one years, August 23, 1867, he became a partner with his elder brother, A. S. Emmons, as dealers in general merchandise, under the firm name of Emmons Brothers, succeeding the firm of Mrs. L. Emmons & Son. September 15, 1;872, he was married to Cornelia M. Hull, daughter of Eben Hull, of Spencer. On a spot made vacant by a large fire, and owned by said firm, they erected, in the fall of 1876 and succeeding winter, a three-story brick drug store, and

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after the loss of their wooden structure (general store), on the opposite corner, they erected, in 1878, a large store of brick to carry on the same business. On April 23, 1880, the firm purchased of Dr. William H. Gregg, of Elmira, the formulas for and exclusive right to manufacture Electro-Silicon liniment , also Dr. Shorey's Investigator remedies, which medicine business they conducted under the name of the Electro-Silicon Liniment Co. On September 1, 1886, the firm of Emmons Brothers was dissolved by mutual consent, and by the expiration of the contract; L. E. Emmons continuing the drug business in the same store before used for that purpose. His children are Charlie Hull Emmons, aged eleven years; Freddie Earl Emmons, aged seven years, and Jessie Nell Emmons, aged six years.

Myron B. Ferris was born in Spencer, April 22, 1835, son of Joshua H. and Louisa (Fisher) Ferris. He studied in the Spencer Academy, and graduated from the Ithaca High School in 1849. He soon after began the mercantile business in Spencer, and continued in the same about twenty years, and upon the establishment of the bank here he became its assistant cashier, a position he still holds. Mr. Ferris has represented the town in the board of supervisors four years in succession, and represented his county in legislature of 1873. Mr. Ferris married Hannah M. Cooper, daughter of Jessie B. Cooper, in 1853, and has three children, Nathan B., Stella L., and F. Harry.

The comparative growth of the town may seem by the following citation from the several census enumerations since its organization: 1810, 3,128; 1820, 1,252; 1825, 975; 1830, 1,278; 1835, 1,407; 1845, 1,682; 1850, 1,782; 1855, 1,805; 1860, 1,881; 1865, 1,757; 1870, 1,863; 1875, 1,884; 1880, 2,382. Organization.- At a town-meeting held at the inn of Jacobus Schenichs, Tuesday, April 1, 1806, the following named officers were elected: Joel Smith, supervisor; Joshua Ferris, town clerk; Edmond Hobart, Daniel H. Bacon, Levi Slater, assessors; Moses Read, Benjamin Jennings, Joseph Barker, commissioners of highways; Lewis Beers, Samuel Westbrook, overseers of the poor; Isaiah Chambers, collector; John Shoemaker, Nathan Beers, William Cunan, John Murphy, and Isaiah Chambers, constables; John F. Bacon, John McQuigg, John Mulks, Jacob Swartwood, poundmasters; John I. Speed, John Englilsh, Joseph L. Horotn, Jacob Herinton, Alexander Ennes, and Lewis Beardslee, fence-viewers.

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The history of Spencer as the county-seat, the history of its railroads and newspaper, has already been given, in the general history of the county, in the earlier pages of this work.


SPENCER VILLAGE is located on Catatonk creek, west of the center of the town, and on the G.I. & S. and the E.C. & N. railroads. From 1812 to 1821, it was the county-seat of Tioga county. It contains three churches, the old camping-ground of the Wyoming Conference, one union school or academy, six dry-goods and grocery-stores, two hardware-stores, two drug-stores, one agricultural store, two hotels, one livery-stable, one steam saw and grist-mill, one planing-mill, one plaster-mill, one marble-factory, eight blacksmith-shops, three wagon-shops, two cabinet-shops, three millinery-shops, three shoe-shops, two tailor-shops, one paint-shop, two harness-shops, one dental office, three doctors' offices, two undertaking establishments, one photograph parlor, one meat-market, one job printing office, about one hundred and thirty five dwelling-houses, and seven hundred inhabitants. The busy mills, the large number of neat and commodious private residences, with well-kept grounds attached, and the highly-cultivated fields surrounding the village, attest that the inhabitants have not forgotten the thrift, habits of industry, and economy which characterized their forefathers from Connecticut and Eastern New York.

SPENCER SPRINGS, lying three miles northeast of Spencer village, has valuable springs of sulphur and chalybeate mineral waters. The surroundings are picturesque, and it has been quite popular as a resort during the summer months.

NORTH SPENCER, about three and one-half miles north of Spencer, contains one church (Union), one school-house, a store, about twenty dwelling-houses, and one hundred inhabitants.

COWELL'S CORNERS, a hamlet on Catatonk creek, aboaut one and one-fourth miles east of Spencer, contains a school-house, a shoe-shop, two cooper-shops, and about forty inhabitants.

The Farmers' and Merchants' Bank of Spencer was incorporated in March, 1884, with a paid-up capital of $25,000.00. The first officers were M. D. Fisher, president; O. P. Dimon, vise-president; C. P. Masterson, cashier. The present officers are Thomas Brock, president; O.P. Dimon, vice-president; M. D. Fisher, cashier; and M. B. Ferris, assistant cashier.

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Spencer Creamery, S. Alfred Seely Proprietor. -The Spencer Creamery was established in 1880, by Hoke & Seely, and is located in the western part of the village, on Liberty street. At present they are manufacturing from the product of 700 cows, and are doubling their capacity yearly. All their equipments are of the latest and most improved patents. They run two DeLaval cream separators, a steam butter-worker, and all the improved steam-power machinery, which is used in the manufacture of butter. They also manufacture cheese from skimmed milk. There are one hundred hogs and thirty calves fed at the creamery. Beside supplying families with the choicest butter, they ship to New York twice and three times a week. Last year they manufactured over 60,000 pounds. The creamery is under the superintendence of Mr. D. LaMont Georgia.

S. A. Seely's Flour and Custom Mill is situated on Mill street, near the G., I. & S. R. R. depot, and was built in October 1873, by A. Seely & Bro. It was started with three runs of stones, and did at that time custom work, principally. In 1879, it was renovated and enlarged, another run of stones added, and also machinery necessary for making the new process flour. In the spring of 1886, it was again enlarged and machinery added, making it a full-fledged roller-mill. The capacity of the roller department is seventy-five barrels in twenty-four hours. A specialty is made of buckwheat grinding, according to the new process, manufacturing flour from 45,000 to 50,000 bushels annually. Three men are employed, with James Silke, superintendent. Mr. Seely's large steam saw-mill, the largest in the state, has already been spoken of in detail.

Brundage's Carriage and Wagon Works.- DeWitt C. Brundage came to Spencer when about eighteen years of age, and learned the trade of carriage and wagon making, serving an apprenticeship of three years with George Rosekrans. He bought the business of Rosekrans and has since run it almost continuously, at the same stand, in Van Etten street. He manufactures wagons, sleighs, and carriages, of the most approved styles, and does all kinds of repairing in the neatest and most workmanlike manner.

J. T. McMaster's Steam Saw-Mill, located on road 53, is operated by a fifty horse-power engine. It has a lumber-saw, lath-mill, wood-saw, and edger, and also a feed-mill, run by the same power. He employs twelve men, and cuts annually 800,000 feet of lumber and 500,000 lath.

Samuel Eastham's Saw-Mill, located on road 36, is operated by

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water-power, employs twelve men, and cuts from 800,00 to 1,000,000 feet of lumber annually. He has also a hay-barn where he presses hay, and ships 1,000 ton annually.

Richardson & Campbell's Brick Yard, located on road 43, was established in 1882. The clay is first-class. The firm employs thirty-five hands, and have capacity for the manufacture of 3,000,000 brick annually.


The First Congregational Church was organized November 23, 1815, with seven members, as follows: Daniel Hugg, Achsah Hugg, Urban Palmer, Stephen Dodd, Mary Dodd, and Clarissa Lake. Until the year 1828, the society met in dwelling-houses, school-houses, and the court-house, the pulpit being supplied by missionaries. Rev. Seth Williston was the first missionary, he having been sent out by the Congregationalists of Connecticut. Rev. Gardner K. Clark was the first regularly installed pastor. The church edifice was commended July 3, 1826, and completed two years later. It is of the style usually erected for houses of worship in the country fifty years ago. It cost $2,500 and has sittings for about 400 people. Recently the building, through the munificence of Mr. Kennedy, has been extensively repaired and embellished.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1809, by Peter Lott and his wife, Jeremiah Andrews, Esther Dean, Abraham Garey, and Hester Ann Purdy. For many years the society was supplied by circuit preachers of the Oneida Conference, who came once in four weeks. They held meetings in private houses, barns, and school-houses until 1828, when the present church was completed. It cost $2,800, and will seat 450 people. Rev. Loring P. Howard is the present one. This church, too, has recently been extensively repaired.

The Baptist Church.- Phineas Spalding was the founder of this society, and preached to his brethren as early as 1799. The society was more formally organized by Elder David Jayne, February 11, 1810, and consisted of fifteen members, as follows: Phineas Spalding, Susannah Spalding, John Cowell, Deborah Cowell, Thomas Andrews, Joseph Barker, Phebe Barker, Mehitable Hubbard, William Hugg, Lydia Hugg, Polly Underwood, Benjamin Cowell, Benjamin Castalin, and

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Ruth Castalin. Its first church was erected about 1830, and located one mile east of the village. The present one was completed in 1853, costing, with the alterations since made, about $4,000. It is the largest church in the village of Spencer, seats 700 in the audience-room, and 300 in the Sunday-school room.

The Union Church at North Spencer was organized, with thirty members, in 1870, and its church edifice, which will seat 275 people, was erected the same year, at a cost of about $1,500.

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