DAVENPORT was settled later than any town around it. Its immigrants, came from all sides. The Yankees came down the Middle brook; the Dutch descended the stream they called Ajaquitauga. It was approached on the south by the remote descendants of the Gaels. A variety came up from the west. The mixed population was slow in forming society. Each element kept alive old associations by whatever Bible or hymn-book they had brought with them. They buried their dead near their temporary cabins without marking the spot. No early monument remains.
There was lately in tile local papers a legend of a love-lorn Indian maiden; how she built herself a birch bark canoe, trod the melting snows to the Charlotte river, launched upon the mad spring waters, and sailed in pursuit of her lover, who enlisted as a brave under Brant, and how she went under, while the stream echoed her name, Adaquitancie. In 1818 it took the name of the princess, daughter of George IV.
But Brant is no myth. The Indians and the English promoted him because he was educated. He was a student under President Wheelock, in Moor's Indian charity school, both before and after it was moved from Lebanon, Ct., to Hanover, N.H. While its preceptor in 1838, the writer was told by an intelligent Indian pupil that the territory of a tribe is the slopes that drain into a given river. The chief must be the most learned man. The outlet of a lake which is the headwater of a stream is neutral ground--the place for the council fires of the tribes. In this region the outlets of three lakes, nearly in a row and not far apart, were the sacred meeting grounds of the Indians. Utsayantha is the most eastern water of the Delaware. Zufa lake is the most eastern water of the Susquehanna. The lake at Summit is the most western water of the Schoharie creek. To these were gathered warriors from the pine woods and the tamarack swamps of Davenport. It was in the most eastern part of this town that the trail from the outlet of Otsego lake struck the Charlotte.
SETTLERS AND PIONEER ENTERPRISE.
When the Indians' scouts appeared. the famous border hero Tim Murphy used to be assisted by one Wilbur. He was the first man who is known to have owned land in the township. He settled on the north side of the Charlotte, opposite to the mouth of the Middle brook. The lumber thieves that were there before him have covered their own tracks. Others, doubtless, built shanties and made clearings earlier, but they have left nothing to tell us who they were.
They let in sufficient light to show what a beautiful valley nature had made. There came down the Dona brook, following the general southwest slope and full of trout. Opposite to it southward was High Point, around which panthers prowled and from which deer shied away to the sand-grown shrubs to stamp out the vipers of Rattlesnake Den. Hollow brook starts toward the Charlotte from Mine hill, in whose side is a pit dug, but whether by white or red hands all signs are blotted out. From this pit Mine patent was named. The Ouleout drains the southwest corner of the town toward Franklin. The loveliest water is Sixsmith's lake - the native home of the bullhead and the pickerel. It has for ages shed its water over a ledge of hard white sandstone, in which was lately found imbedded a tropical plant. The maid of Middle brook knows still more of the past, for she draws her water from a ledge near Jefferson wearing the ripple marks of the retreating tide waves on the sandy beach of some former ocean.
The wild deer lingered latest of the large animals. The writer saw one on the hills in 1843, and tasted the venison of one caught in the valley in 1845. The trout, that yielded to the liquor from the tanneries, will return now the bark is gone.
The first permanent settlers that raised the native born population either cleared their first acre or bought out improvements not long before or after 1800. Some of them were as follows:
Robert Riddle settled on lot No. l, William McMorris on lot No. 2 and Benjamin Parker on lot No. 32, in the Kortright patent. They and their wives were of Gaelic or Scotch and Irish descent.
Andrew G. Ten Eick bought lot No. 16 of the Charlotte River patent, south side, along the Middle brook. He and his wife and his three brothers were Dutch from Albany county.
Peter Shellman and his wife, of German blood, spent their domestic life on lot No. 18, Charlotte River patent, south side.
The following were from New England: John Davenport, from whom the town was named, kept the first store on lot No. 24 of the last named patent. On the next lot, No. 25, Joseph and Seth Goodrich, farmers, lived and died. Each of the brothers had by one wife four sons and six daughters. Jesse Booth was long a justice of the peace. His brother Selah was a farmer, whose son, Sherman Booth, became a distinguished abolitionist and politician in Wisconsin. Stephen Olmstead was an early schoolmaster. Elijah Paine was a lumberman at the center of the town. There were Ford & Wade, on the Susquehanna, and Houghtaling on the Ouleout. The children of these leading families by intermarriages formed the first social and moral institutions of the town. They were educated in the first four public schools. The school-house between the Center and the village became the place for holding the first religious meetings.
The roads, which consisted at first of blazed trees along both banks of the main stream and along the route which the lumber took for the Delaware, were the result of natural, rather than artificial, surveys. The travel along the north side of the Middle brook made it necessary that the first bridge in town should be across the Charlotte, just above the junction of the two streams. The first dam across any stream was about a mile above the junction. There were the first mills and .the first blacksmith shop.
The township has had for physicians Dr. Westcott, a moral and religious man, from 1830 to 1840, and Dr. John Ferguson for the next twenty years.
Of attorneys, Rufus King made the beginning in 1850.
About 1855 Philo Osborn made his own kiln and built the only brick house.
TOWN OFFICERS AND EARLY ORDINANCES.
At the first annual town meeting for the town of Davenport, held at the house of Widow Sigsby. on Tuesday, the 8th day of April, 1817, Jesse Booth and David Olmsted, jr., justices of the peace, were in attendance; Hugh Orr was chairman, and Gardner Westcott clerk. The following persons were elected town officers for the current year: John Davenport, supervisor; Seth Goodrich, town clerk; David Olmsted, John Banner and Gaius Northway, assessors; Andrew G. Ten Eick and David Brewer, poor masters: Stephen Olmsted, Conrad Burger and Joseph Goodrich, commissioners of highways: David P. Brower, constable and collector; John H. Ten Eick and Justus Silliman, Constables; David Olmsted, jr., Caleb Crandall and Hugh Orr, commissioners of common schools: Gardner Westcott, Jesse Booth, Whitman Bryant, Asa Emmons and Nathan Bennett, inspectors of common schools. Pathmasters for the south of Charlotte river--first beat, William Swort; second, Harmon More; third, Stephen Miller; fourth, Nathan Kellogg; fifth, Andrew G. Ten Eick; sixth, William Merrill. Pathmasters on the north side of Charlotte river--first beat, Daniel Pierce; second, John Breese; third, Henry Bree; fourth, Caleb Crandall; fifth, Joseph Straden; sixth, Ephraim Davis: William Moon, for Prosset Hollow: Robert Crawford, for Hotaling settlement; Benjamin Turner, for the road from Booth's to the Kortright line. Ira Metcalf and Nathan Bennett were chosen pound masters, and John Davenport, Jacob Banner, Gaius Northway and Nathan Bennett, fence viewers. The following is a complete list of supervisors and town clerks for this town from 1817 to 1879, inclusive:
Supervisors.--1817-20, 1822, 1826, 1828, John Davenport; 1821, 1824, 1825, 1827, 1832-35, 1842, 1843, Jesse Booth; 1823, Gaius Northway; 1829, John M. Ten Eyck; 1830, 1831, Carlton Emmons; 1836, Abijah Paine; 1837, 1838, 1840, 1841, Thompson Paine; 1839, Benjamin Parker; 1844, 1845. David Morrill; 1846, 1847, Zebulon E. Goodrich; 1848, Morton B. Emmons; 1849, 1850, 1859, 1860, William Simson, jr.; 1851, 1855, 1856, Henry Ten Eyck; 1851, 1853, George C. Paine, who served till Oct., 1853, when George W. Goodrich was elected to fill vacancy; 1854, George W. Goodrich; 1857, Cornelius Miller; 1858, Sanford I. Ferguson; 1861-64, Aaron Ford; 1865-68, D. M. Dibble; 1869, 1872, 1873, William F. Ford; 1870, 1871, John Hitchcock; 1874, 1875, 1879, William McDonald; 1876, Jacob E. Norwood; 1877, 1878, J. George Lockwood.
Town Clerks.--1817-22, Seth Goodrich; 1823, Jesse Booth; 1824, 1825, Andrew G. Ten Eyck: 1826, 1827, Stephen Olmsted; 1828, Wilhelmus Banner; 1829-31, Joseph A. Goodrich; 1832, Philo Andrews; 1833, Philander Smith; 1834, George Ten Eyck; 1835, 1836, John Sherman; 1837, David Goodrich; 1838-41, 1850, 1851, George C. Paine; 1842-44, Bethuel Foote; 1845-49, John Shue; 1852-54, 1859, Ezra Denend; 1855, 1856, 1860-65, 1868, 1870-73, John Coulter; 1857, 1858, Moses B. Miller; 1866, 1867, 1869, F. A. Brown; 1874-76, Robert B. Kerr; 1877, Delos Munson; 1878, 1879, John A. Coulter.
In 1817 it was" Resolved, That no Buck sheep shall be aloud to run at large after the tenth day of September till the tenth of November. Enny Buck sheep found at large between the time forfeited to any persons taking up the same." "Resolved, That No Hogs Shall Not Bee free commoners unless they are well yoked and Ring." In 1818 it was voted that "Hogs or swine shall be considered free commoners, provided they are well yoked and a sufficient ring in the nose; and if any hog or hogs shall break into any inclosure and do damage, the owner of said hog shall forfeit double damage."
THE FIRST TAVERN AND ITS PATRONS.
Where were the first dam and mills mentioned above still stands what was the first tavern in the vicinity. Out of its records - ledger and day-book from 1829 to 1823 - we are able to fix some dates and to gather some facts which would otherwise be lost. It furnishes a picture of society at that period. Its whole furniture, as it changed hands in 1832, brought but $19.13. This included eleven benches. On them the girls were arranged for the dance. Thus was evolved an inordinate love of frolic. The articles with which the swains treated them stand charged thus: "To cake and cheese, sixpence." "To one rum-sling, a shilling." "To one rum cocktail, sixpence." The prices recorded for certain staple commodities were: Hay, $6 a ton; wheat, $1.25 a bushel; rye, 62 cents per bushel; corn, 50 cents; buckwheat, 30 cents; oats, 25 cents; eggs, 11 cents a dozen. Much gin and brandy was then drunk at $1.50 a gallon. One family got charged seven and a half gallons of whisky in one week of July, 183o, at three shillings a gallon. The head of that family furnished the first marked grave in the first permanent burying ground, on the beautiful moraine around which the road winds towards the Charlotte.
WATER POWER AND MANUFACTORIES.
Nature was working for West Davenport as early as the glacial period. Below the coming together of many streams she made a natural race around the knolls. Wheels were there in advance of settlements. The oldest inhabitants went there through four miles of woods to get a grist in the dry summer of 1816. The village and its factories are the result of its water privilege.
Heman Copley left his farm on Quaker hill and gave a permanent operation to the tannery in the extreme east end of the town. There William Simpson made his fortune.
Hosea Reynolds long after built a leather factory eastward on the turnpike.
Before railroads, most of the stock from the westward- droves of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs--were driven to market along the Charlotte turnpike. The construction of that road ranks next to nature in controlling the destiny of the town. The business enterprise that put it through developed its strength in a previous interest.
THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD.
About 1825 John Davenport had willed $500 on condition that a house of worship be built not over a mile from his premises. The center of the population descended from Calvinists was eastward. The mile was measured from his old store. A building was nearly finished when it burned down. The heirs then claimed the $500. The pluck of the people was now tested. They must either lose what was consumed by fire and do without a church, or double their subscriptions. They did the latter, and the meeting-house now stands. When it was finished they had no preacher, and the Methodists, who could all preach, went in and had a long meeting. The present site, with room for sheds across the road, was deeded by Ira Metcalf and wife to the trustees of the First Congregational Society of Davenport, November 18th, 1830. At that time the Arminian method of making special religious efforts was being introduced into orthodox churches. Protracted meetings spread like wildfire over the country. The Congregationalists tried one in their new building. The church records show that they voted the converts into their communion daily as fast as they were converted. By 1831 they had a church of thirty members. George Ten Eick and his wife were among the number, and soon ceased to be landlord and landlady of the old tavern.
A reaction followed. The men took shares in the Charlotte Turnpike Company. The Rev. Mr. Smith. who conducted the protracted meeting, left. The young female church members joined the ploughboys in having balls nearly every Friday night. There was a blank in the church records for ten years. The trustees of the society held over for that length of time. Labor on the turnpike made money plenty. A parsonage was built, and a Rev. Mr. Redfield occupied it one year without much effect. A rivalry sprang up between two families. Joseph Goodrich's daughters married Yankee and his brother's daughters Dutch husbands. Each family commenced the building of a store and a tavern in the village on the bank.
Meanwhile, as the turnpike crossed the Charlotte near the center of the town, social enterprise began there. The Methodists formed a class; and a house of worship was deeded by Frederick Shaver and wife and Rebecca Shaver to John Banner, Peter P. Smith, John Snider, Frederick A. Davis and Elijah Whitney, trustees of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Davenport, August 6th, 1834. John Bangs and Silas Miller were among their first preachers.
Another class grew out of the first meeting in the Congregational house, and built an edifice in a huddle further east, now Fergusonville. It was deeded by Garrett Burtis and wife to Isaac Pierce, jr., Charles Johnson, Darius Pierce and Ezekiel Miller, trustees of the Second Society of the Methodist Episcopal church of Davenport, April 23d, 1836. This left the villagers with an empty meeting-house for four years.
Two churches grace but one place in the town. One was deeded to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church of West Davenport by Anna Fero, September l0th, 1852. Another was deeded by Cornelius Miller and wife to the trustees of the First Free Will Baptist Church of Davenport, April 26th, 1870.
LOCAL CONGREGATIONAL HISTORY.
There came along in 1841 a miserable dyspeptic. The Congregationalists set him to preaching. They soon called the neighboring ministers together and had him ordained. He proved to be a student of high literary honors. He undertook to reform the church. The girls were neither willing to be turned out of the church nor out of the ballroom. They could not get him to say that the sin of balls consisted in dancing. They sent their leading gallant a hundred miles to bring proof that the clergyman had married a dancer who believed in balls. Finally the most willful of them was excommunicated, and she joined the Methodists. The next generation of youth attended the weekly prayer-meeting at the parsonage. Then it was noised abroad that many of them had been several weeks in the enjoyment of religion. The Methodist wife of a Congregational member demanded that a protracted meeting be held in the Congregational church, and that her pastor run the machinery. On being refused she brought down the wrath of her husband, her pastor and others upon the reformer's head. The youth and others all joined the Congregational church. At the close of four year's labor it consisted of sixty members in good and regular standing, in 1845. The gallant Z. E. Goodrich threatened that he would see the end of that church; and he only had to stay fifteen years longer in Davenport to see it. Its downfall commenced immediately. Not one church in a thousand, so large, ever perishes in so short a time. Abraham Becker bought of Thomas Patten a debt against the society, nearly paid up and nearly outlawed. A suit in the Supreme Court was so managed as to bring a very heavy judgment. The trustees had to sell the parsonage to pay it. A Mr. Ellis bought his own house in the village and became the preacher. He died suddenly at the end of a year, in the summer of 1847. Rev. E. Holmes took his place. He was tried by a council in 1850, and came very near being deposed. He was the last Congregational preacher.
There have been three secret societies in the township.
The Fugine Society was organized in 1843. It was anti-church and free-love.
During the rage for an American party there was a dark-lantern lodge that claimed to Know Nothing about it.
The Free Masons were also represented.
The commissioners of the common schools of the town met on the 26th of April, 1817, to divide the town into school districts, which they described as follows:
No. 1.--Beginning at the Susquehanna river on the Franklin line; then running easterly, on the town line, two miles; then northeasterly to the southerly corner between Harmon More and land belonging to the heirs of William Mitchel. deceased; then northerly on said line to the Charlotte river; then down that river to the Susquehanna; then along that river to the place of beginning.
No. 2.--Beginning at the Charlotte river, then running on Harmon More's west line to the south bounds of Charlotte patent, to the height of land; then easterly on the height of land so as to include all the settlers in Prosser Hollow, to the southeast comer of James Harlow's farm; then on Har1ow's east line to the Charlotte river; then on the same course to the north line of the town; then westerly on said line to the line of Midford; then southerly on said line to the Charlotte river; then down the river to the place of beginning.
No. 3.--Beginning at James Harlow's northeast corner; then running southerly to the south bounds of Charlotte patent; then easterly so as to include Rowe and Conrad Burge, and all the settlers in the neighborhood, on to Ezra Denninger's southeast corner; then northerly on said Denninger's east line to the Charlotte river; then northerly and westerly so as to include all the settlers on the north side of the Charlotte river until opposite the place of beginning.
No. 4. --Beginning at the northeast corner of Ezra Denninger's lot; then southerly on the line of Denninger's lot to the south bounds of Charlotte patent; then easterly on the line of that patent to the southeast corner of the lot that Colonel William Harper now dwells on; then northerly on the east line of Harper's lot to the Charlotte river; then down the river to Jeremiah Breese's west line; then northerly and westerly until opposite the place of beginning; so as to include all the inhabitants on the north side of Charlotte river opposite district No. 5.
No. 5. -- Beginning at Colonel William Harper's northeast corner; then running southerly on Harper's east line; then on the same course to the town line; then easterly on the town line until it strikes Middle brook; then down Middle brook to William Morrill's east line; then northerly on Morrill's east line to Sir William Johnson's patent; then northerly to the town line; then on the town line round to the place of beginning, including Jeremiah Breese in said district.
No. 6.--Including all the settlers over the height of land south of Prosser Hollow.
To education applies the truth that the stream cannot rise higher than the fountain. A Miss Smith assisted the cause of good morals by keeping a select school in 1843. Four city boys were fitting for college here in 1848. The villagers opposed all but public schools. Ira S. Birdsall proposed to build an academy for them, but they discouraged him, and he built in Harpersfield. About the same time Elder Samuel Ferguson commenced the boarding school in the place named after him. It gave the Methodists a new and permanent impulse. On changing owners and passing into the hands of the Olivers, it helped to originate and sustain the United Presbyterian church that worships in the meeting-house of the Congregational society, which has had for pastors Robert Stewart, and J. H. Wright, now of Philadelphia.
THE CHARLOTTE VALLEY NEWS.
Near the close of the year 1877 Marcus M. Multer started the Charlotte Valley News, a weekly paper, in the village of Davenport. In 1879 Edward O'Connor bought it and established it in town.
VICTIMS OF THE CIVIL WAR.
Of volunteers in the war of 1861-5, James M. Way was buried on Folly Island. Augustus Fletcher was killed at Vicksburg. Zebuion Fletcher died south, and his remains were brought back to be buried in the village cemetery.
A STORM-STRICKEN LOCALITY.
Between the two main branches, a spur of the hills, presents itself in the middle of the valley. it tends to check the showers as they approach it from the west. Near it, on lot No. 16, John Ten Eick was killed by lightning. On lot No. 17 a barn was struck and burned. From the superstition that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, another barn was built in the same spot. It was struck and burned in 1843. Soon after, on lot No. 18 about a hundred young maples turned suddenly red. On inspection, their stems were found to be peeled and their bark to lie in strips on the ground. The maple is a natural lightning rod. As the electricity goes down, it changes the sap into steam so suddenly as to throw the bark in every direction.
Fergusonville Academy was founded in 1848 by Revs. Samuel D. and Sanford I. Ferguson. It was the outgrowth of the need felt by city parents for a better opportunity of physical development for their children during the period of their mental training, as well as their removal from the distracting and often corrupting influences of large business centers. A site was chosen in the open country, as giving larger liberty than smaller towns afford, and in a mountainous district, as affording the most beneficial change of air.
This quiet family school was a success from the beginning, retaining its patronage in the same families; and those whom it has prepared for the active duties of life now gratefully acknowledge its efficient work by placing their children here in turn. In 1856 the Messrs. Ferguson retired, and Prof. James Oliver is the present principal. Since 1856 the management has been in the hands of the present proprietor.
The location of the school, among the western spurs of the Catskills, in the Charlotte valley, is one of marked beauty even in this picturesque region of the State. It is sixty miles west of the Hudson, and four miles from the Albany and Susquehanna railroad at Schenevus, and is reached from New York by way of Albany.
Any objection on account of distance disappears before its beautiful surroundings, its quiet, its isolation from corrupting influence and the unsurpassed healthfulness of the pure mountain air, untainted by any malarial influence. The grounds are ample for ball, quoits, croquet or other games, with plenty of shade for quiet reading or study.
The academy aims so to train the young that they shall grow up to be good, healthful and intelligent. Prayers are attended morning and evening in the chapel; church services Sabbath morning, and Sabbath-school in the afternoon. No profane or vulgar language is tolerated, neither is the use of tobacco in any form allowed.
The good health of students belonging to this institution is a matter of general remark.
A well furnished gymnasium, free to all the students, is connected with the school. There are vacations in April and October.
The students are held strictly to their work during school and study hours. Their number is limited to forty, but they have the services of four experienced and thoroughly competent instructors. All the branches taught in the best seminaries may be pursued here. Students are fitted for college or for business pursuits. A thorough drill in the theory and practice of vocal music is given to all the students daily.
The expenses for the term of twenty-one weeks, for board and tuition, use of textbooks --except dictionaries-- furnished room, washing. gymnastics, church dues, and use of library, traveling expenses from New York to the school and returning, are $125, payable one-half at the commencement, and the balance at the middle of the term. Extras: piano music, with use of instrument, $20; painting in oil. $10; painting in water colors, $5; drawing, $5; French, German and Spanish, each, $5; to replenish library, fifty cents.
Applications for circulars, etc., may be made to G. P. Putnam's Sons, 182 Fifth avenue, New York.
The number of the inhabitants of the town has remained surprisingly uniform for forty-five years, as shown by the following census returns: 1835 and 1840. 2,052; 1845, 2,143; 1850, 2,305; 1855, 2,233; 1860, 2,362; 1865, 2,238; 1870, 2187; 1875, 2195.
Davenport, the largest village in the town, is located in the eastern part of the town, on the Charlotte river. The village at present contains about 325 inhabitants. It has one church (Scotch Presbyterian), two hotels, one printing office, four dry goods and grocery stores, one hardware store, one jewelry store, three harness shops, one grist-mill and saw-mill, three cooper shops, two blacksmith shops and two shoe shops.
Charlotte River Lodge F. & A. M., located at Davenport, was organized November 28th, 1865. The first officers were John Ferguson, W. M.; V. D. Perry, S. W.; A.H. Tyler, J.W. V. D. Becker, S. A. Warner, William McDonald, Thomas Douglas, A. H. Tyler, and C. G. Burrell served each one year or more as master. The lodge ceased working during the fall of 1877.
is a small hamlet lying in the eastern part of the town, three miles northeast of Davenport. It has a Methodist Episcopal church, an academy, one grocery, one blacksmith shop, one shoe shop, etc.
The Methodist Society of Fergusonville was organized about the year 1835. The first board of trustees was elected January 4th, 1836. They were Gerret Burtis, Isaac Pierce, jr., Charles Johnson, Darius Pierce and Ezekiel Miller. The church was erected in 1836, at a cost of about $800. A deed for the land was given by Gerret Burtis and wife to the trustees. In 1868 the church was rebuilt at a cost of $1,400. Following is a list of ministers who have served this church, with the years: 1834, Harvey Brown; 1835, 1836, O. G. Hedstrom; 1837, M. Vandusen, John Bangs; 1838, D. Bullock, G. L. Fuller; 1839, 1840, John Carver; 1841, 1842, E. S. Hibbard; 1843, 1844, A. C. Fields; 1845, D. Bullock, A. Davis; 1846, A. Lee, John Bangs (sup.); 1847, R. S. Scott, John Bangs (sup.); 1848, R. S. Scott, S. D. Ferguson (sup.); 1849, 1850, H. Lamont, H. D. Ferguson (sup.); 1851, L. H. King, N. Lovett; 1852, L. H. King, R. Kerr; 1853, D. Gibson, A. M. Hough; 1854, D. Gibson, Royal Courtright; 1855, 1856, J. W. Smith, George Hearn; 1857, J. M. Burger, J.P. Burger,; 1858, J. M. Burger, O. P. Dales; 1859. A. C. Morehouse, T. Davis; 1860, A. C. Morehouse, S. I. Ferguson; 1861, N. O. Lent, S. I. Ferguson; 1862, 1863, R. Kerr; 1864, 1865, R. H. Kelly; 1866, C. W. Lyon: 1867, 1868, W. W. Shaw; 1869-71, W. S. Winans; 1872-74. E. White; 1875, 1876, J. H. Wood; 1877, 1878, J. Keogan; 1879, T. Elliott.
Up to 1862 the circuit comprised Fergusonville, Davenport Center and West Davenport. At that time it was divided and two circuits formed, viz., Davenport and Fergusonville.
Davenport Center, as the name implies, is nearly in the center of the town, lying on the south side of the Charlotte river and at the mouth of the Kortright creek. It has a population of about 195, a Methodist Episcopal church, one hotel, three grocery stores, one tannery, three saw-mills, one shinglemill, one sash and blind shop, two cooper shops, one wagon shop, one blacksmith shop and one shoe shop.
M. E. Church. -- There are no records to show when this society was organized. or when the church was built. By the best authority we are informed that the society was organized about the year 1832 or 1833. Horace Hebbard has been classleader for the last 40 years. In 1872 Ezekiel Miller deeded to the trustees a house and lot to be used as a parsonage. The church was repaired in 1875, at a cost of $1,200. The Sabbath-school was first organized in 1840, with Horace Hebbard superintendent. The list of pastors up to 1861 for Davenport Center and West Davenport will be found under Fergusonville. Since that date the ministers at Davenport Center have been as follows: 1862, N. O. Lent: 1863, E. B. Pierce; 1864, A. N. Mulnix; 1865, P. V. Schermerhorn; 1866, 1867, W. D. Fero; 1868, 1869, J. Elliot; 1870, 1871, .I.. G. Niles; 1872, A. Gaylord; 1873, 1874, W. W. Taylor; 1875, 1876, M. Couchman; 1877, 1878, E. P. Craine; 1879, E. Hunt.
Helping Hand Lodge, No. 869, I. O. of G. T. was instituted by Rev. B. K. Douglas, G. D. D., with 20 charter members. R. D. Miller served the first four quarters as W. C. T. His successor was J. L. Smith; he was followed by W. N. Hebbard, who is the present W. C.T. The lodge now has a membership of about 42.
West Davenport lies in the western part of the town, near the county line, on the north side of the Charlotte. It has a population of 125, two churches (Methodist Episcopal and Free Will Baptist), a hotel, a store, a grist-mill, a saw mill, a woolen factory, a blacksmith shop, a harness shop and three cooper shops.
The Methodist Episcopal Society at this place was organized February 25th, 1851, with about 30 members. George H. Smith was the first classleader. George H. Smith, E. B. Fero, George Lockwood, Cornelius Miller and Beecher Miller were elected trustees in the spring of 1852. The church was built the following summer at a cost of about $1,500. It was rebuilt in 1874 at a cost of $1,800. For the list of ministers see Fergusonville up to 1861; from that time to date, Davenport Center. The Sabbath-school was organized in 1851, with George Lockwood superintendent; average attendance, 30.
Free Will Baptist Church of West Davenport. - This society was first organized as a branch of the East Meredith church in 1863, and organized as a separate society in 1871. David Marvin, Samuel Kinyon, W.W. Morell, Cornelius Miller, S.H. Moon and Henry Orr were elected trustees in 1870. The church was built in 1870 and 1871, at a cost of $4,000. David Marvin and Samuel Kinyon were the first deacons. The following are the ministers who have served here: A.P. Bunnel, O.T. Moulton, B.A. Russel, T.A. Stevens, S.R. Evans. The Sunday-school was first organized in 1871, with A.P. Bunnel as superintendent.
West Davenport Lodge, No. 892, I.O. of G.T. was instituted June 14th, 1878, by Rev. B.K. Douglas, G.D.D. Adelbert Bisby was the first W.C.T. W.W. Morell, J.E. Smith and Frank Houghtaling have served one or more quarters as W.C.T. The lodge now has a membership of 28.
J.H. Baldwin is an old and respected citizen and farmer of Davenport. He was born in 1819, and has been twice married - first to Mary E. Tabor, who died November 7, 1861, leaving two children; second to Loanda A. Eggleston, who is living, and has two children.
David Blakley was born in Kortright January 2nd, 1827, and was a farmer there before he moved to Davenport. In 1858 he married Sarah M., daughter of George Cobine, of Franklin. They have adopted two children, David J. and Sarah E. Mr. Blakley holds town offices.
Perry Butts is a native of Davenport, and was born June 23d, 1836. He was formerly a carpenter and joiner, but is now engaged in farming. He has been twice married - the last time to Hannah McDonald, of Stamford, in 1870. Gussie, a child of his first wife, and William D., of the present Mrs. Butts, are his only children.
William Butts is an old resident of the county, having been born in Kortright May 9th, 1799, and has been a farmer for over fifty years. In 1823 he married Laura Johnson, of Harpersfield, and they have eight children living.
C.B. Clark is a native of Harpersfield, and was born October 16th, 1835. He is an experienced cooper, and well known as such in Harpersfield, Stamford and Davenport. He married Caroline C. Davenport, and has four children.
Martin Covert began farming in 1847. He was born April 3d, 1826. He married Clarinda Morell, of Davenport, in 1848. They have one son, Chauncey M., born September 9th, 1852. Mr. Covert's father was an old pioneer and was in war of 1812; his mother, aged 85 is still living.
John Davenport is a son of John Davenport, after whom the town was named and resides upon the same farm where his father died. He was born October 20th, 1824, at Harpersfield. He married Catherine Flansburgh of Oneonta, and they have seven children.
Loren A. Davenport is one of the sons of John Davenport, and was born in the town. He is a jeweler at Davenport, where he was born in 1856. Miss Elizabeth Shellman became his wife March 26th, 1879.
John Davenport, Jr. was born in 1851. He is an experienced house painter, and established his business here in 1871. In 1873 he married Eliza Hamel, of this town. Clara E. is their only child.
Leonard Decker, farmer was born July 31st, 1813, in Greene county. In 1845 he married Elizabeth Cargill, of Greene county. Henry C. and Hannah L. are their children. Mr. Decker's father was a soldier of 1812.
J.M. Donnelly, physician and surgeon, of Davenport, was born in 1849 in Harpersfield. He taught school winters, worked and studied and acquired an education; studied medicine with Dr. Gallup, of Stamford, and graduated from the New York City Medical College in 1866. After one year with Dr. Gallup he settled in Davenport. He married Frances M. Clark in 1878.
William N. Elwell is an old resident of Oneida county, emigrating from Connecticut in 1810, when six years old. He came to Delaware county in 1863. He is probably the oldest practical miller in the State, having been one more than sixty years. He has dressed over three hundred runs of stones in the surrounding counties. He is also a practical millwright. He married Percy Adams, of Otsego county, in 1828. In 1854 he was again married to Mrs. Rebecca Carroll, who died July 1st, 1877. His present wife was formerly Mrs. Burnside.
Nelson S. Goodrich is now a farmer, but was formerly a painter. In fourteen years of labor at his trade he painted twelve churches. He resides at Prosser Hollow. He married Lovina Rose and has four children.
Job C. Ketchum has been settled upon his present farm since 1857. He was born in Otsego county, N.Y., in 1835. He was engaged in the service of the Union during the last year of the Rebellion. In 1859 he married Rhoda A. Seward, of Meredith. Edith J. and Mary E. are their children.
Frederick Kroft is a farmer, and one of eleven children of Stephen Kroft, who married Elizabeth Flansburgh in 1846, and died in 1877.
Stephen C. Lockwood is a tailor by occupation. In 1849 he moved to Fergusonville, where he followed that trade until 1873. He now sells nursery stock. He was born in 1823. He has filled the highest offices in the town. He was married to Elizabeth A. Lamb, and they have four children.
William McDonald, a retired merchant of Davenport, was born at Stamford June 15th, 1835. He was engaged in mining and mercantile business in California between 1855 and 1865. On his return he attended college in Albany, and then embarked in trade at Davenport. In 1857 [sic] he retired, and he is the present postmaster at Davenport. He married Mina Wickham. He has filled the highest offices in the town.
Lewis C. Millard was born at Gilbertsville, Otsego county, N.Y., October 18th, 1852. On the first of January, 1879, he became the proprietor of the Union Hotel, Davenport village. He was united in marriage with Ann E. Brockway, of Ontario, N.Y., in 1878.
William W. Moreel is a native of Otsego county, N.Y. He was born May 5th, 1830, and came to Prosser Hollow in 1835 with his parents. He follows farming. February 9th, 1853, he married Nancy Houghtaling, of this town. They have one son, Charles D., and an adopted daughter, Ida E.
E.B. Multer has, during the present year, commenced farming. He was formerly a merchant. He was born in 1852 in Atsugi county, N.Y., and in 1873 he married Emeline Bulson. Arthur M. and Clarence are their only children.
Henry Orr, son of Luther Orr, is a native of Davenport, and was born March 23d, 1815. He is a farmer. He was married to Mary A. Jacobs, of Davenport, in 1843. They have one child living, Melissa, who married George H. Jacques in 1873.
Richard G. Pierce is the son of Isaac Pierce, who came from Massachusetts to Harpersfield in 1789. He began farming for himself in 1828. He now resides at Fergusonville. He married Ann R. Birdsall, and has five children.
Asel Rathbun was born in Otsego county, N.Y., in 1832. In 1855 he started as a farmer for himself; he married the same year Jane Young of Davenport, and they have five children. His grandfather James Young, was a Revolutionary soldier.
Nathaniel Sumner, a son of George and Lydia Sumner, was born in Deering, N.H., January 6th, 1807. He graduated at Dartmouth College, in 1837. He married Helen Turnbull, of New Utrecht, N.Y., June 14th, 1842. He preached in Hill, N.H., in 1840, and the next four years in Davenport, N.Y. His health failing, he has since been a farmer. He moved in 1861 from Davenport to North Harpers, where he now resides.
David Taylor is now a farmer, but prior to 1860 he resided at East Davenport and was a wagon maker. In 1835 he married Charity Orr, of Davenport, who died at the age of 65, leaving seven children.
A.H. Tyler is engaged in the manufacture of saddles, harness, and goods of that line. He came here in 1852 from Roxbury, where he was a farmer as well as a mechanic. He married Sarah Grant, of Stamford. He has held several important offices in Roxbury and Stamford. Mrs. Tyler died March 7th, 1879, leaving seven children.
Robert J. Van Dusen, a native of Meredith, was born June 16th, 1829. He has been a prominent farmer of the town since 1852. He married Anna Knapp, of Connecticut, in 1857. They have five children, including one adopted.