Early Settlers of Ontario Co., NY
excerpted from the HISTORY OF ONTARIO COUNTY; compiled by Lewis Cass
Aldrich; edited by George S. Conover; 1893;
Town of Phelps
A worthy pioneer, John Decker Robison, built and opened a tavern in
1793. His son, Harry H. Robison, was the first white child born
in the town. In 1789 Mr. Robinson's family came to the town, and
nine days later there also came Pierce and Elihu Granger, Nathaniel
Sanborn and a Mr. Gould but all these returned to Connecticut in the
fall, leaving Robison and his
family alone in the town, eight miles from the nearest settlement in
The next settlers were Jonathan Oaks, Seth Dean, Oliver Humphrey,
Charles Humphrey and Elias Dickinson. In 1793 or '94 Mr. Oaks
built a large frame house, which for many years was occupied as a
hotel, and was located at Oaks' Corners, a small hamlet of the
town. Philetus Swift was a pioneer of 1789, a man of much energy
and influence, particularly in early political history; and also
prominent in military affairs being commander of a company during the
war of 1812. Seth Dean was a pioneer on the Phelps village site,
and here in the company with Oliver Phelps he erected a saw mill on
Another prominent early pioneer was Dr. Joel Prescott, who settled
town at an early day and was one of the prominent physicians of the
county. He came as early as May 1788, and probably for awhile
settled at Kanadesaga as his name is found as a witness on several
papers dated at that place. At the first town meeting in Phelps,
1796, Dr. Prescott was elected school commissioner and assessor, was
appointed justice of the peace, January
1798; was supervisor of the town from 1797 to 1809 inclusive, except
and for several years chairman of the board. He located on a farm
one mile west of Oaks' Corners and was the first physician of Phelps,
practice being very extensive and laborious with the old time saddle
strapped to his saddle. He was married in Phelps to Lucy Reed,
8, 1793, and had seven children, two of whom died in infancy. He
born June 20, 1759, and died October 5, 1841. His funeral was
by the largest number of people that had ever been gathered on such an
occasion, from 1000 to 1200 being present.
Horatio Jones was one of the early pioneers at Kanadesaga and
Geneva. In 1788, having been joined by his brother, John H., at
that place, and having obtained a yoke of oxen in the spring of 1789,
the two brothers went into the town of Phelps, found an open spot,
ploughed and planted five or six acres of corn, which they sold on the
ground, and finally removed to the
west of the Genesee River.
Other early settlers were John Salisbury, who settled in 1791 a
west of Melvin Hill. Also in the same year came Walter Chase and
Pullen; in 1792, John Patten and David Boyd; in 1793, Jonathan Melvin;
1794, John Sherman; in 1795, Osee Crittenden and Cornelius Westfall; in
Jesse Warner and John Newhall; in 1797 or '98, Theodore and Lemuel
who located just north of Oaks' Corners.
Deacon John Warner was a pioneer at Orleans, while the first settler
at Melvin Hill was Jonathan Melvin. Jesse Warner settled at
Warner Hill, east of the Flint Creek. Joseph Vandemark, Lodowick
Vandemark, John and Patrick Burnett, came about or during the year
was a skillful millwright, and put up an excellent saw mill in the
Other early settlers were Coll Roy; Joseph, Eleazer and Cephas
Augustus Dickinson. About 1799 Cephas Hawks, Augustus Dickinson
Theo. Bannister built a grist-mill on the outlet, on the site in later
known successively as Dickinson's, Norton's, and the Exchange Mills.
In 1800 George Wilson and Harvey Stephenson came to the town,
followed in 1802 by John Hildreth. John R. Green was the first
merchant at Oaks' Corners. Wills Whitman came with the
Oaks. The first marriage in the town was that of Joseph Annin
with the daughter of pioneer Seth
Reed. Magistrate Thomas Sisson performed the ceremony.
Hawks erected the first plaster mill, and about the same time Luther
Francis Root, Ezekiel Webb, and Nathaniel Hall bought the Seth Dean
and converted it into a plaster-mill.
In April 1796, the inhabitants were so many that it became advisable
to organize the town and elect officers. Prior to this, the town
part of a district known as Sullivan; when organized in 1796 it was
to Phelps. The officers elected at this first town meeting were:
Supervisor: Jonathan Oaks; town clerk:
Soloman Goodale; assessors: Joel Prescott, Philetus
Swift and Pierce Granger;
collector: Augustus Dickinson; overseers of the
poor: Oliver Humphrey and Patrick Burnett;
commissioners of highways:
Jesse Warner, Oliver Humphrey and Philetus Swift; overseers
of the highways: Cornelius Westfall, Abram D. Spurn, Charles
Humphrey, Elijah Gates, John Patten Augustus Dickinson, and David
Woodard; pound-master: Jonathan Oaks.
Village of Phelps
John Decker Robison was a pioneer of the town and also of the village
of Phelps. Seth Dean also located on the village site and became
identified with Oliver Phelps in the erection of a saw-mill on Flint
Creek, where the Nelson & Bowker mill of later days was
built. When John Decker Robison
erected his tavern in 1793, the locality became a trade center, and
long Orin Redfield started a mercantile business on land now occupied
the Phelps Hotel. Hotchkiss and O'Neil opened trade in 1810 in
Root's bar-room; Wing & Nelson began business in 1813; Dwight and
1816; and David D. Van Auken and the Thayers were later businessmen.
Seth Dean built the first grist-mill followed by the larger mill
built by pioneers Hawks, Dickinson and Bannister. In the village about
1812, Luther and Francis Root and Erastus Butler built a rather large
woolen-mill, and established an industry that prospered about three
years and then was abandoned.
David McNiel was the first postmaster; weekly mails were at first
carried by Francis Root and Lyman Williams.
Town of Richmond
The town of Richmond was organized in 1796, first called Pittstown
after pioneer Captain Peter Pitts. The name was changed to
Honeoye in 1808 and to Richmond in 1815. Captain Pitts became the
owner of 3000 acres of land near the foot of Honeoye Lake and the first
improvements were made in 1790 by his sons, Gideon and William
Pitts. In December of 1790 Captain
Pitts and John Codding and their families became permanent settlers.
Early settlers included: Elisha Pratt who lived with Captain
Pitts; Eber Sibley, Edward Hazen, Edward Taylor, Silas Whitney, John
Farrer and Jonathan Rhodes. Other early residents were Noah
Joseph and Elias Gilbert; David, William, Sanford and Heman Crooks;
Reed and his sons: John F., Silas, Wheeler, William and Philip;
Marsh; John and Eleazer Freney; Deacon Harmon; Isaac Bishop; Rhoderick
Cyrus Wells; Isaac and Alden Adams; Daniel H. Goodsell; and Orasmus
In the northeast part of the town the early settlers were Lemuel and
Chipman; Asa Dennison; Levi Blackmer; David Aiken; Thomas Wilson; Mr.
William Baker; Aaron and John Abbey; Seth Tubbs; David Crawford; Moses,
and Nathaniel Allen; James Garlinghouse; Joseph Garlinghouse; Cyrus
Sylvester Curtis; Mr. Boyd; Mr. Jenkins; Hugh Gregg; George Fox; Abram
Gideon Gates; David Pierpont; and person named Caldwell.
Other settlers in the town were Joshua Phillips; Nathan Hicks;
Pierce Chamberlain; Asa Dennison; Levi Blackmer; Roswell Turner; Calvin
Philip Reed; Col. Lyman Hawes; George McClure; Amos and John Dixon;
Lyon; William Warner; Parley Brown; Parley Drury; Luther Stanley; Mr.
James McCrossen; Rufus Bullock; Caleb and Thomas Briggs; James Green;
Frost; Gates Pemberton; Caleb Smith; Nelson Skinner; John Norton; James
Abijah Wright; William Arnold; Amos Jones; Jesse Stephens; A.S.
Philip Short; Walter Stephens; Caleb Arnold; Abel Short; Artemas
John Beecher and Gilbert Kinyon.
Others who came early were Hugh Hamilton; George Gordon, William
Layne; David Knapp; John Parker; Edmund Downs; William Judevine; Job
Wood; Jacob Flanders; Col. John Green; the Skinner family; the Vinals;
James Moore; Daniel
Smith; Aaron J. Hunt; Andrew Bray; and Jacob Bowers.
The following officers were elected in 1796:
Supervisor - Lemuel Chipman
Moses Risden operated a tannery; succeeded by Daniel Phillips.
Pitts, Mr. Way and Abner Mather were the first blacksmiths.
Pitts built a sawmill and a grist mill.
Town clerk - Gideon Pitts
Assessors - Philip Reed, William Pitts, Solomon Woodruff
Constable and collector - Jonas Belknap
Commissioners of highways - Solomon Woodruff, Gideon Pitts, Elijah
Fence viewers - Stiles Parker, Roswell Turner
Poundmaster - Edward Hazen
Pathmasters - Peter Pitts, Cyrus Chipman, Solomon Woodruff, Aaron Hunt,
Overseers of the poor - Peter Pitts, Philip Reed
Commissioners of schools - Philip Reed, Cyrus Chipman, Jonas Belknap
Town of Seneca
Early settlers in the Town of Seneca include Captain Joshua Whitney,
of the original purchasers; he came in 1789 to examine the area and
a permanent settler in 1790. Among other settlers were:
Dodge, Abraham Burkholder, Peter Van Gelder, Zora Densmore, John Berry,
Ackley/ Eckley, Ammi Whitney, Robert Carson, Leonard Isenhour, Peter
William Esty and Thomas Tallman all before 1800 and many before
The families of Clemons, Parker, Harris, Fiero, Charlton, Torrence,
McPherson, Culver, Latta, Darrow, McCauley, Halliday, Duttons,
and Ringer (John and Jacob).
Other early pioneers as early as 1800 were Thomas Ottley, Nathan
Whitney, Eben Burt, Isaac Amsden, Peter Gray, Mathew Rippey, David
McMaster, Abram Post, Israel Webster, Simeon Amsden, Joel Whitney, Hugh
Fulton, and Gamelial Brockway. Also included in the early
settlement were William Rippey, Joseph Fulton, Edward Rice, Philip
Gregory, John Dixon, Seba Squier, Jacob Reed, Thomas Densmore, Soloman
Gates, Col. Wilder, and David Barron. The family
of Seth Stanley settled in 1796.
On the old Geneva and Rushville Turnpike at an early day
settled: Peter Diedrich, George Simpson, William Fiero, and
George Rippey. Elsewhere
in the town came Salma Stanley, Thomas McCauley, Mathew Rippey, Peter
Mr. Hartford, John McCullough, Captain William McPherson, Whitney
Jonathan Reed, the Phillips family, Squire Parks, James Rice, James
Leonard and William Smith, Chauncey Barden, Alfred Squier, Aaron Black,
Careys, John Wood, John Rippey, Robert Parks. Timothy Miner, James
Aden Squier, Edward Burrall and Samuel Wheadon.
Others that should be named are: John Hooper, Foster Sinclair,
Dorman family, Adam Turnbull, Richard Bell, William Foster, William
John Scoon, Aaron Black, Mr. Stockoe, Jonathan Phillips, George Conrad,
Vartie, Edward Hall, Sherman Lee, William Wilson, the Cooleys, the
and Robsons, James Beattie, George Crozier, the Straughtons, the
Rufus Smith, Robert Moody, Valentine Perkins, David Miller, Mr. Clark,
Barden family, Daniel Sutherland, Sylvester Smith, Levi Gland, and John
The first town officers were elected in 1793 as follows:
(understand that at that time this would include what is now the Town
of Geneva and City
Supervisor - Ezra Patterson
Town clerk - Thomas Sisson
Assessors - Oliver Whitmore, James Rice, Phineas Pierce
Commissioners of highways - Patrick Burnett, Samuel Wheadon, Peter
Collector - Sanford Williams
Overseers of the poor - Jonathan Oaks, David Smith
Constables - Charles Harris, Stephen Sisson, Whelds Whitmore
Overseers of the highways - Nathan Whitney, Oliver Humphrey, Jerome
Jeremiah Butler, Benjamin Tuttle, William Smith, David Benton, Benjamin
Fence viewers - Amos Jenks, John Reed, Joseph Kilbourn, Seba Squires,
Poundmasters - Peter Bartle, Jr., David Smith
Sealer of weights and measures - Peter Bartle Sr.
Surveyor of lumber - Jeremiah Butler
Town of South Bristol
The town of South Bristol was formed from the Town of Bristol March
1838 and the pioneer settlement began as early as 1789 when Gameliel
and his sons Daniel, Jonas, Joseph and Asa came along with Theophilius
and wife; Jonathan, John, and Nathan Allen; Jeremiah Spicer; Aaron
Jared Tuttle; and Elisha Parish. In 1791 Gameliel Wilder built a
mill and distillery.
Other early settlers were Nathan Hatch and Pliny Hayes and his
brother. Erastus Hill was an early schoolmaster. Others who
came early were David
Gilbert, James Wilder, the blacksmith, Warren Brown, Thomas Lee,
Brown, the wheelwright, the Kaufman family, Phineas Perkins, Deacon
Forbes, Richard Bishop, Abraham Roberts, Levi Austin and Mr. Fay.
Nathan Hatch came before 1800 with his sons: Nathan, George, John,
Thomas, Charles, Lyman, and Luman. Other settlers were Aaron
Spencer in 1790, Nicholas Burbee, Capt. Reuben Gilbert, Deacon
Parmelee, "Lawyer" Butler, Mr.
Reed, Gideon Beaman, James Corel, John Wood, Ezra Wood, Gains Randall,
and Jonathan Forbes, Jeremiah Spicer, Luke Coye, Thomas Francisco, Ezra
Clark Worden, David Knickerbocker, Mr. Maloy, John Perry, Thomas
the Loveridge family, Amos Miner Jr., Phineas Lee, Lucius Lincoln,
Lee, Richard Ingraham, Jonathan Green, Dr. David Williams, Anson
William Gates, John Fox, Harrison Salisbury, Pitts Walker, Jeremiah
Eleazer Parker, David Parker, Jonathan and Jacob Frost, Hazard Wilcox,
McNair, William Dunn, John Lee, Erastus and Cyrus Hill, Franklin Pierce
Eli Allen born in 1791, son of Theophilus Allen and Eliza Parrish,
was the first white child born in the town. Ephraim Brown built a
grist mill in 1805 and George Wilder kept the first store in the
first schoolhouse was built of logs and Joanna Forbes and Eliza Parrish
said to have been the first teachers.
Town of Victor
All authorities concede to Jared Boughton the honor of being the first
pioneer settler in the town of Victor. Enos Boughton, brother to
Jared, was a clerk for William Walker, the principal agent for the
surveys and sales of the Phelps and Gorham Co. Enos purchased
township No. 11, fourth range, from the proprietors, paying therefor
twenty cents per acre for the land, the money being furnished by his
father, Hezekiah Boughton, and other members of the family. In
the spring of 1789 Enos and Jared Boughton came to Canandaigua, and
soon afterward visited the recently purchased township, in their
journey following the old Indian trail. In the extreme south part
of No. 11, they built a small cabin and made other preparations for
a permanent residence in the then wilderness region. In June
following, Hezekiah Boughton, jr., and Jacob Lobdell arrived at the
with them cattle and implements for household and farm use. After
making improvements and clearings, and harvesting the season's crop,
pioneers, except Lobdell, returned to the east for the winter. In
February, 1790, Jared Boughton and his family set out upon the journey
their future home, and after many noteworthy incidents and some
they safely arrived on March 7.
Hezekiah Boughton, the father, with his son Seymour and daughter,
Theodoria, came to the town in the fall of 1790, and settled in a
locality afterward called "Turner's Hill." Hezekiah Boughton in
1792 built the first framed
house in the town, which he put to use as a tavern. He died in
and was succeeded as landlord by one Dickinson.
Jared Boughton left the town in 1799, but two years later returned
and remained until his death. Frederick, son of Jared, was the
first child born in the town on June 1, 1791.
Claudius Victor Boughton, child of Hezekiah, jr., became a prominent
man in the town, after him the town was named.
Jacob Lobdell, who was about 18 years old when he first came, became
the owner of a 100-acre farm by purchase from the Boughtons; he married
daughter of Levi Boughton, and sired a large family. He was the
supervisor elected for Victor, and was otherwise prominent in town
He died in 1847.
Some other early names include: (this listing may include
people who were not settlers but speculative landowners who have little
or no record except as holders of title);
Elijah Ingersoll; David Lusk; Asahel Boughton; Jirah Rowley; James
Upton; George Low; Dinah Brooks; Joseph Rowley; Lora Davis; Thomas
Ingersoll; Joseph Thrall; Elisha Coon; Isaac Marsh; DeForest Boughton;
Silas Pardee; Solomon Turner; Nicholas Smith; Timothy Williams; Samuel
Gillis; Jeremiah Hull;
Thomas Hawley; Jabez Felt; Harry Hart; Eleazer Willard; Erie Hawley;
Hughes; Nathaniel Turner; Isaac Root; Elisha Brace; Peter Berry, Elisha
Williams; Jesse Scudder; Israel Simmons; Joseph Brace; Nathaniel
Solomon Griswold; Johanna Marsh; Claudius Victor Boughton; Isaac
Reuben Parmele; Jonathan Smith; M. O. Dickinson; Alice Boughton;
Boughton, Ezekiel Scudder; Ira Seymour, jr.; Ebenezer Bement; Ezra
Reuben Brace; Thos. Beach; Asahel Moore; Abraham Brunson; Abner Hawley;
Jackson; Seymour Boughton; Andrew Colton; Henry Bement; Simeon Parks;
Thayer; Harry Boughton, sr.; John Brace; Gershom Wilmarth; Joseph
Peter Turner; Erastus Ingersoll; Enos Gillis; Asa Root; Samuel Perkins;
Williams; Jabez Hart; Rufus Dryer; Seymour Boughton, jr.; Asahel Lusk;
Bement, Samuel Rawson, Silas Barnes; Manley Hawley.
Asa Hecock settled in the town in 1790, and was the first postmaster
and early tavern-keeper. Abijah Williams also settled in Victor
in 1790, first in the north part but later moving to the southern part
of the town. Nicholas Smith settled in 1790; Ezra Wilmarth in
1796; Reuben Parmele, a
prominent Presbyterian minister; Elisha Brace in 1793.
Josiah and Jabez Morehouse, Dr. Thomas Beach; and Elisha, Herman,
Joseph, Dr. Joel, and Reuben Brace were early settlers in the south
part of the township,
in the locality known as School District No. 2.
The hamlet of East Victor was originally called Scudderville after
Ezekiel Scudder, who built the first permanent mill in the
township. The locality has also been called Freedom. The
pioneers of this district (No. 4) were Abraham Boughton, 1791; Thomas
Hawley, a pioneer saw-mill builder;
Otis Wilmarth, builder of an early grist-mill; Elijah Griswold, who had
a carding-mill as early as 1800; Levi Boughton, settler in 1790; N. O.
tavern-keeper; Samuel Boughton, shoemaker; James Felt, distiller; John
Hughes, carding-miller. There were also settlers: Samuel
Eleazer Boughton; Nathan Jenks, merchant; James Barnhart; Cornelius
and Asahel Moore.
In the southeast corner of the town Solomon Griswold made the first
settlement, remaining only a short time, and giving way to Isaac
Wheeler. In this neighborhood also were Ebenezer Stone,
wheelwright; and William Barber,
said to be a famous hunter.
The west and southwest portions of Victor were not settled until
about twenty years after the eastern and southeastern sections, and a
number of settlers were from the Mohawk valley country. Jonathan
in 1801; Increase Carpenter in 1808; Roswell Murray in 1810; as also
Stephen Ellis and Elston Hunt. Murray's wife was sister to
Young, the Mormon leader. Other early settlers in this locality
John and William Ward; James M. Campbell; Abijah Covill; Ezra Wilmarth;
Samuel Dryer; James Wilmarth; Deacon Sheldon, and James Potter.
In the northwest part of the town is located the railroad station
called Fisher's, named in honor of Charles Fisher, who settled in
Asahel Lusk was an early settler here; Elisha Coan was an early comer
built a saw-mill and distillery; Richard Hayes was proprietor of a
Jonas Allen built a saw-mill in 1814 and a fulling and carding-mill in
Other early settlers were: Gregory Hill; Joseph and Barzilla
Asa Gaskill; David Barrett; Joseph Rowley; Simeon Parks, Eleazer
Jonathan Smith and Isaac Simmons. In the extreme northwest of the
dwelt pioneer Abraham Mattison, who built the first saw-mill on
Creek. A little later David Lyon built both saw and grist-mills
and in 1825 Erastus Hughes operated a fulling-mill. John Earle
Samuel Moore were also early settlers. What became District No. 7
settled by Capt. Jirah Rowley who served in the war of 1812. In
neighborhood also lived at an early day Ichabod Town, the cooper; Allen
or Barmour; Asa Root; DeForest Boughton; John Gould; and Squire Fox, a
The northeast part of Victor was settled very early when the first
improvement was made in 1797 by James Upton and Jabez Hart. In
the next year came pioneers Isaac Marsh, the first tanner; Jirah
Rowley, Abraham Bliss, John Cline, Joseph Trall, Timothy Wilson, John
Rose; John and Timothy Lane; and Jeremiah Richardson.
The pioneers in
District No. 1 and Victor village were few since
extensive landowners. Among them are Peter Turner, Isaac Root,
Blood, Joel Hart, Samuel Burgman, Samuel Rawson, and Michael
Brooks. The village site was owned and occupied by Capt. Abner
Hawley and his son, James. James Hawley kept a tavern and was
succeeded by Rufus Dryer in 1792. Enos Boughton was the pioneer
merchant followed by William Bushnell. Other early businessmen
were Bushnell & Jenks; Giles Arnold,
Thomas Embry; Alfred Gray; T. M. Boughton; John Turner; William Turner;
Collyer; David Stout; Wm. T. Roup; Enos, Samuel and James Gillis.
Town of West Bloomfield
Settlement of the town of West Bloomfield began in the spring of
Peregrine Gardner came and made the first improvement followed in the
year by Ebenezer Curtis and family. Lucinda, daughter of Mr.
was the first white child born in the town in 1791. Amos Hall was
pioneer in this town, the father of six children; Amos died in West
28 Dec 1827.
Other early settlers were David Parsons, the carpenter, in 1796;
Clark Peck in 1790, John Wendle; Reuben Lee; Deacon Daniel Handy in
1796; Nathaniel Shepard in 1805; Martin Minor; Nathaniel Eggleston; Mr.
Stewart; Josiah Eggleston,
a shoemaker; Bayes Baker; Ami Fowler; Phileman Hall; Daniel Curtis; and
The pioneer in the northeast part of the town was Samuel Miller who
in 1790; Miller's Corners was named for him. Others in this
were Josephus Fox, Thomas Larkins, Benjamin Burlingame in 1795, Charles
Benjamin Crowell in 1802 and Robt. Simpson in 1796.
Early settlers in the
south and southeast of the town were Capt.
Robert Taft, Royal Wheelock, John Lute, James Harvey, Lot Rew, Daniel
Riley, Payne Leach, William Carringer, the Algur family consisting of
Benjamin, John, Samuel
and Josiah; George Nichols, Aaron Norton, John Miner, William Paul and
In the southwest quarter settled Capt. Otis Thompson, Jesse Taft,
Job Williams, Jeremiah Simmons, Arnold and Whitley Mann, Mr. Chapman,
Daniels, William Daniels and Watrous Peck. North of this locality
pioneers were Col. Jasper C. Sears, Ebenezer Curtis, Julius Curtis,
Gilbert, Palmer Peck, Jasper Marvin, Loren Waits, Sylvanus Thayer,
Webster, and Reynolds and Abner Peck.
Other pioneers in the north and northeast portion were families
Dixon, Hibard, and Baker. Also there were Daniel and Marvin Gates,
and Beebe Parmelee, Isaac Hall, Daniel and Titus Canfield, Jared
the Butlers, Hayeses, and Madisons.
In 1810 Erastus Hunt had a general store and later Augustus Hall had
store. John Dickson was the pioneer lawyer and Drs. Fairchild and
sold drugs and attended the sick. Dr. Lewis Hodge succeeded
John Cooper made axes and tools; Reuben Pierce was wagon maker, and
Baker made chairs.
In the hamlet of North Bloomfield, an early settler
was Daniel Gates
came in 1790 followed in 1794 by Marvin Gates, a pioneer in the
lumbering business. About 1795 Samuel Miller and one Crites built
a saw-mill. John Blake was an early distiller and Squire and
Jacob Smith operated a grist
mill. Francis Smith established a distillery and James Smith
a store. Other early businessmen were Joseph Chambers; Horace
Robert Huntington, hotelkeeper; and Isaac Hall who ran a forge and
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