Note: This Souvenir Booklet is very fragile and the photocopy is not the greatest. The booklet is the only one I've seen and I was very grateful to have access to it to make the copy. --Shirley Houck, December, 1998 --electronic text by Carol Parrella.
(Copyrighted by "Grip," 1897.)
Vol. V. No. 6. Albany, N. Y., June, 1897. 12 Nos. $1.00
(Entered at the Albany, N. Y., Post-office as second class mail matter.)
Historical Souvenir, Series No. 4
DELHI AND VICINITY
The village of Delhi is situated in the heart of Delaware county, being the terminal of the Delhi branch of the New York, Ontario & Western railway. The elevation above the sea on the main street in the village is 1,453 feet. The population is about 2,000. It is located in a deep valley protected by a high range of mountains, spurs of the Blue Mountain range, on each side. The distance to Walton, where the branch unites with the main line of the railway is seventeen miles; the distance to New York is 196 miles; to Albany, via the N.Y., O.&W. And the D.&H. Railroads, is 142 miles; to Binghamton, via D.&H., 77 miles.
The Delaware river, commonly known as the West Branch, flows nearly west through the valley at this point separating the mountain range on the south from the village. Upon the foot or slope of these mountains are the sites of beautiful villas, some of them the homes of families of men who have acquired a competence in active business life. One of the finest of these residences and grounds is that of E. B. Sheldon, well known as a prosperous Chicago business man. Across the valley are rich hillside farms stretching over the summit of mountains, and below with a perspective that delights the eye are numerous elevated sites for pretty homes.
Towering on the south of the river, overlooking the main part of the village, is Mount Crawford, with a forest clad summit which presents to the eye a nearly perfect dome. Federal Hill stands to the east presenting a view up the river which is grand. Two miles above, Elk Creek empties into the Delaware, the two streams coming down separate valleys which unite at the base of a bold and lofty mountain from the summit of which the view down the valley is remarkably str(illegible).
Opposite the village on the north rises what is locally termed Youmans' Hill, a succession of rolling summits which shut off from the cast a narrow valley through which Steele's Brook flows to a junction with the Delaware in the western end of the village. Farther below, the mountains close in upon the river, terminating with a lofty barrier which presents a gracefully curved sky line-the summit of Mount McGregor. One mile below the village the Little Delaware empties into its more pretentious namesake. Near this point in the valley is the home of Mrs. John Sherwood, the well known authoress.
The scenery in summer has a setting of dark green foliage wherever the eye turns. It presents all of the richness and none of the harsh lines of the virgin forests. In fold after fold this beautiful curtain drops on all sides, broken here and there with light green patches of lawn dotted with pretty specimens of modern architecture.
The railroad winding along the river enters the west end of the village. There it stops, not venturing farther intrusion where nature sits enthroned in all its rural loveliness.
The village stretches along the Delaware for nearly a mile. A broad evenly graded avenue guarded by majestic trees constitutes the business street of the village, intersected with numerous streets laid out at right angles. The average dwelling is of the better class of houses, surrounded with a pretty lawn and an abundance of shade and having an am(illegible) garden plat.
The soil is fertile and (illegible) in fair seasons are abundant. Delhi is the (illegible) of a class of people in good circumstances. Many of the families trace their ancestry to the early settlers of the county and village. There are several churches, an academy in which the scholars may prepare for college and a public school.
A reservoir of clear spring water furnishes an inexhaustible supply distributed by gravity. The waterworks include modern conveniences and are owned by the village.
There are two staunch and conservative banking institution, which do a large business and are really indispensable.
Three weekly newspapers with an extended circulation among the farmers and the residents of the several villages throughout the county are conducted by able and intelligent editors.
A large condensary furnishes the extended dairy farms a market for from twenty to thirty thousand quarts of milk a day, which is shipped to New York. The Crawford wagon works furnishes employment to numerous mechanics and supplies the market with all styles of vehicles with a special manufacture of running gear which has proven to be very popular with horsemen.
Then there is a woolen mill, a tannery, saw mills and feed mills.
The stores are well stocked with all classes of goods and the retail business of the town is quite extensive, a few neighboring villages contributing not a small portion of the customers.
The first Board of Supervisors was as follows: Colchester, William Harper; Franklin, Enos Parker; Harpersfield, Roswell Hotchkiss; Kortright, Benajah Beardsley; Middletown, Benjamin Milk; Stamford, John Lamb; Walton, Robert North.
Village Officers. PRESIDENT-HENRY S. GRAHAM; TRUSTEES-JAMES E. HARPER, CHARLES E. KIFF, JOHN D. FERGUSON, W. BLAIR WOODRUFF; CLERK-J. C. STODDART; TREASURER-S. FORMAN ADEE; COLLECTOR-ARTHUR G. FRISBEE; STREET COMMISSIONER-N. EVERY; FIRE WARDENS-JOHN BLAKE, (ILLEGIBLE) E. STOUTENBURG; JANITOR-J(ILLEGIBLE) (ILLEGIBLE)LAKE; STREET SPRINKLER-R. H. NEAL.
Charles S. Woodruff, the County Treasurer and the Vice-President of the Delaware Bank, is personally active, and a good contributor, in all matters tending to promote public improvement and to advance the interests of the village. Being a member of the firm of J. W. and C.S. Woodruff, of which his father is the head, and which conducts a large business in dry goods that was established many years ago; also being an active worker in the Republican party, Mr. Woodruff is well known throughout the county. On different occasions he has represented the county in state conventions and has made many friends among Republicans who are distinguished in state politics. On the occasion of the state ball and subsequently the complimentary dinner to Senator Platt, both of which were given in Albany last winter and were notable functions of a political character exceeding in importance any state event for years and attended by distinguished statesmen, Mr. Woodruff served on the reception committee. He is a member of the executive committee of the State League of Republican Clubs and represented that important organization as delegate to the National Republican League at Milwaukee in 1896. He has been honored with a number of local offices, having served as treasurer of the village of Delhi in 1892-3; treasurer of the village fire department in 1891-2; president of the Delaware County Agricultural Society in 1889-90, of which he is still a director, and one of the pro(illegible) and most active of members in the village (illegible) of trade, of which he was the secretary and (illegible).
He became connected with the Delaware bank in 1894. For the past three years he has been one of the directors and for the past two years the vice-president.
In the fall of 1893, being candidate for county treasurer he made such a spirited canvass in the face of several other aspirants for the position that when the convention was called it was found that he had shut out all opposition, having all the delegates, and was consequently nominated by acclamation. Last fall at the expiration of the term he was renominated and re-elected, that office being conceded a two-term office. Mr. Woodruff was secretary of the county committee in 1891-2. His services in public office give satisfaction generally through the county. He is broad in his views, genial to meet, and like all men who succeed on their own merits courteous to all with whom he comes in contact. He is a member of Delhi Chapter, No. 240, R. A. M., of which he is one of the officers, and the Delhi Lodge, No. 439, F. & A. M. He was born in Delhi, March 5, 1857, and was educated in the Delaware Academy in that village, from which he was graduated in 1877. While attending school he clerked in his father's store and in 1880 he bought an interest in the business. On April 30, 1890, he married Miss Ida, the daughter of John Hutson, of Delhi. In 1895 he built one of the prettiest residences in Delhi. It stands at Main and Clinton streets surrounded with fine grounds. The house is lighted with electricity and the interiors are fitted in modern style in hard wood with oak and sycamore trimmings. The plumbing is perfect throughout.
Mr. Woodruff was deeply interested and took an active part in the movement for observing Centennial year with an appropriate celebration. He was a member of the General Committee and spent a good deal of time in assisting to make the celebration a success.
Delhi Lodge, No. 439, F. & A. M., was instituted in 1858, with P. B. Merwin as Master. Mr. Merwin was re-elected Master in '59, '60 and '61; Robert Parker was Master for the next four years and H. S. Page for three years; in 1868 and 1870 O. W. Smith was Master and was followed by R. P. Cormack for one year and then Thomas Jackson, J. M. Preston, A. W. Abbott and J. H. McIntosh each serving two years. T. W. Robertson was Master in 1880 and was followed for two years each by W. H. Fisher and M. Farrington; Frank L. Norton was Master in 1885, '86 and '87; W. R. Bill and M. O. Landon then served two years each; W. G. Edgerton was Master in 1892, '93 and '94, and W. J. Humphries in 1895, '96. The Lodge has a membership of about 140 and meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month, at 8 p.m., in pleasant rooms on the third floor of the Page Block. The present officers are: W. M., Howard Bell; S. W., John J. Burke; J. W., Elbridge L. Hitt; Treasurer, Aaron Stern; Secretary, Frank L. Norton; S. D., A. C. Douglas; J. D., C. L. Huber; S. M. C., Edward Boyd; J. M. C., James Arbuckle; Chaplain, R. P. Cormack; Organist, W. L. Bell. __________________
The first consignment of freight to Delhi over the New York, Ontario & Western railway were a carload of flour for Messrs. Hutson and a carload of coal for Mr. Edgerton.
HISTORICAL REVIEW OF DELHI.
Delhi is one of the oldest incorporated villages in this State. The act was passed by the legislature March 16, 1821, and on the 1st of the following May the voters met at the court house and elected village officers. The board met on the 21st of that month and organized. In June, 1822, an ordinance was passed providing for village hay scales and the board adopted a village seal. In 1824 Charles A. Foote was chosen president. The public square was planted with threes in 1825. That was the year in which the people of the village were greatly frightened over the appearance of a case of small-pox.
A record of the first settlers of a town is interesting to study, as many names well known in contemporaneous history are brought up bringing to the older residents a flood of recollections. It will be noted that in the very large list of Delaware county men named in this brief review there are many whose descendants are still living here, honored and respected by all.
The first village officer, elected in 1821, were: PRESIDENT-CHARLES A. FOOTE; TRUSTEES-ERASTUS ROOT, JABEZ HITCHCOLK, G. H. EDGERTON, NATHANIEL STEELE, JR.; CLERK-GUERDON H. EDGERTON; OVERSEER OF HIGHWAYS-JABEZ HITCHCOLK.
The First State Lines.
In 1799 Amon Bostwick commenced a weekly mail stage between Kingston and Bainbridge (then Jericho), running through Delhi. In 1805 Amon drove the state to Catskill.
In 1825 or '30 William Moscript started a stage line between Delhi and Liberty.
Stage lines since then were run from Delhi to Andes, Franklin, Bovina, Meridith, Stamford and Oneonta.
The first taverns, built of logs, were opened in 1790 by Gideon Frisbee in the upper end and Geor. Yendes further down.
In 1798 Mr. Denio opened a log tavern on a knoll now enclosed by the fair grounds.
In 1880 Levi Baxter constructed a log tavern. This was purchased in 1807 and afterward conducted by Elijah Smith. This was afterward replaced by a modern hotel.
In 1812 Matthew Ray opened a tavern.
The present hotels are the Edgerton, the American, the Central and the Kingston.
Early Business Enterprises.
In 1795 Mat Ray opened a blacksmith shop.
In 1819 D. Newcomb, William Collins and J. McPherson opened a shop.
Thomas L. Landon opened a shop in 1820.
In 1797 James Tift started brickmaking.
John Doll opened a general store in 1806.
In 1819 H. D. Gould and Jabez Hitchcolk opened stores. In the same year T. B. Whitmarsh began the drug business.
Next followed a hat store by A. & C. Thurber.
In 1796 Clark Green went into the cooper business.
In 1798 Benajah Bill was engaged in turning wooden ware on the Little Delaware.
In 1820 Edward Flint started a harness shop.
In 1827 R. D. Paine began business. Early in the century the tannery near Bridge Street was in operation. In 1870 Mr. Frederick Stiefel purchased it.
In 1826 a grist mill was constructed by George Sherwood who operated it until 1839 when it passed into the hands of Richard Titus. In 1870 Smith & Penfield purchased the property and constructed a new building, equipping it with improved machinery.
The Woolen Mill.
In 1821 the Delaware Woolen Factory Company commenced the construction of the dam and works. The company was composed of Samuel Sherwood and H. D. Gould, principal owners. In 1839 it was purchased by Richard Titus, who operated it until the business was assigned to the Delaware Bank, which corporation continued it for a few years. In 1865 the firm of O. S. Penfield & Co. took possession and continued until 1870, when it was succeeded by the firm of Smith & Penfield. For some years following it did a large business giving employment to several men and women, manufacturing annually from 20,000 to 25,000 yards of woolen cloth and furnishing a market for about 30,000 pounds of wool annually.
The Delaware Bank was organized April 4, 1839, Herman D. Gould president and Giles M. Shaw cashier. On October 1, 1850, Mr. Gould resigned and Charles Marvine succeeded him. In 1842 Mr. Shaw was succeeded by Dubois Burhans. On April 27, 1845, John W. Sherwood was elected cashier. He was succeeded August 5, 1848, by Walter H. Griswold. In 1865 the organization became a National Bank. The original capital was $100,000.
The first board of directors were H. D. Gould, G. H. Edgerton, Amasa J. Parker, S. Gordon, N. K. Wheeler, Charles Hathaway, D. Burhans, C. Marvine, John H. Gregory, Darius Maples, Jonas More, Martin Keeler, Jr., Orrin Griffin.
The Railway Bank, a private institution, was organized March 1, 1872, with Seth H. White as president and William F. White cashier.
We have been able to find in records the following names of early physicians:
Dr. Thomas Fitch practiced from 1803 to 1810, then moving to Philadelphia.
Dr. Asahel A. Paine began in 1807.
Dr. Ambrose Bryan joined the medical society in 1807.
Dr. David S. Denio, born in Delhi in 1793.
Dr. Ebenezer Steele, admitted to the society in 1821. Died December 3, 1865.
Dr. Turner Vermilyea, admitted in 1828. Died September, 1830.
Dr. Cornelius Root Fitch joined the society in 1815.
Dr. Feris Jacobs came to Delhi in 1833.
Dr. Abraham Miller joined the medical society in 1834.
Dr. Almeron Fitch came to Delhi in 1839. Died January 6, 1877.
Dr. Calvin Howard was located at Hobart many years but prominent in this section long before he moved to Delhi, in 1847. He died in 1873.
Dr. John Calhoun moved to Delhi in 1865.
The Delaware Gazette, the first paper in the county, was founded by John J. Lappon, November, 1819. On April 3, 1822, it passed into the hands of David Johnson; on March 27, 1833, became the property of Anthony M. Paine and Jacob D. Clark. On May 15, 1859, Mr. Clark retired. On February 1, 1872, George H. Paine and Ira B. Kerr took the paper. Sherrill E. Smith, the present editor, succeeded Mr. Kerr and afterward bought out Mr. Paine.
The Delaware Express was founded in January, 1839, by Norwood Bowne, who conducted it for over fifty years to the time of his death. In the spring of 1890 Mr. P. M. Gilles and Mr. Charles N. Bowne became the owners. In March, 1891, Mr. S. F. Adee purchased the paper and conducted it until October 1, 1891, when he sold it to Mr. William Clark, the present editor and proprietor.
The Delaware Republican was founded May, 1860, by Alvin Sturtevant and T. F. McIntosh. In October, 1863, the Franklin Visitor was purchased and consolidated with the Republican. In February, 1868, Mr. Sturtevant sold his interest to Joseph Eveland. In December, 1869, Mr. T. F. McIntosh purchased Mr. Eveland's interest. The present proprietors are Mr. T. F. and his son R. P. McIntosh.
The Delaware Journal was issued April 16, 1834, by Whipple & Wright, but was discontinued after a short time.
The Voice of the People (the organ of the anti-rent party) was issued by W. G. Hawley, in June, 1846, and was published a few years.
The Star of Delaware was issued in December, 1859, by Rev. C. B. Smyth.
The Young Patriot was printed for a short time in 1860, and The American Banner, in 1862, for a short time also, by Ira G. Sprague. We have been unable to get a copy of the same containing an illustration of an encounter between two disciples of Blackstone during a trial before a justice of the peace here.
In July, 1887, Jack VanDerCook started a monthly publication here called The Croaker, and published it two or three years.
The earliest known record of this academy was an endowment of $6,000 secured by an act of the legislature April 12, 1819. It was incorporated by the Regents of the State University February 12, 1820. The first building was erected on land contributed by Gen. Erastus Root on the south side of court house square. In 1856 the trustees purchased twenty acres where it now stands, and through the efforts of Prof. John L. Sawyer and William Wight, largely, raised $10,000 with which the present building and the boarding hall were constructed.
Present Officers and Trustees-John W. Woodruff, president; Jerome I. Goodrich, secretary; Charles E. Hitt, treasurer; Edwin B. Sheldon, James R. Honeywell, George H. Millard, Henry Davie, Henry A. Gates, Herbert A. Pitcher, Wallace B. Gleason, John T. MacDonald, George W. Youmans.
The Fire Department.
The Delhi Fire Department was organized April 11, 1860. It consisted of 65 members with the following officers: Chief, A. Cook Edgerton; Assistant, Dexter Pottengill; Clerk, John A. Parshall; Treasurer, Caleb A. Frost. There were two companies: The Coquago Engine Co. No. 1, 40 members, and the Red Jacket Hose Co. No. 2, 25 members, now Youmans Hose Co. No. 2.
The Delhi Water Company.
It was incorporated February 19, 1872. The incorporators were H. N. Buckley, Charles Hathaway, William Youmans, Charles Marvine, James H. Graham, W. C. Sheldon, T. Benjamin Meigs, James H. Wright, Daniel T. Arbuckle and Caleb A. Frost. At the first meeting, March 15, 1872, Charles Marvine was chosen president, Charles Hathaway vice-president, D. t. Arbuckle secretary and treasurer, and J. H. Wright superintendent. The capital stock was $20,000. The reservoir is on Steeles' Brook, three quarters of a mile from Main street.
Theophilus F. McIntosh, senior editor and publisher of the Delaware Republican, was born in Kortright, Nov. 30, 1829, of Revolutionary and pioneer stock, his paternal and maternal ancestors having both settled in Kortright near the end of the 18th century. The parents of Mr. McIntosh removed to the town of Delhi in 1833, and in 1843 at the age of 14 years, he entered the office of the Delaware Gazette to become a printer, remaining with Gen. A. M. Paine, its proprietor, seven years. After a brief term at school and a short period as journeyman at Bainbridge he was summoned back to Delhi to accept a situation in the office of the Delaware Express and also to act as Assistant Postmaster under N. Bowne, the editor and postmaster. After four years in the position and a new postmaster having been appointed, he went to Bloomville to work on the Mirror, the first journeyman employed on that paper, which was then small and had been conducted by Mr. Champion aided by his mother and sister. In 1858 he was married to Frances S. Keeler of Bloomville, and in 1859 he returned to Delhi having purchased material and become the publisher of the "Star of Delaware", which he had last been engaged in issuing at the Mirror office, its editor being Rev. C. B. Smyth, then of Delhi.
In 1860 in connection with Alvin Sturtevant, the interest of Mr. Smyth in the Star was purchased by them and the present Delaware Republican was then founded. Mr. Sturtevant sold his interest in 1868 to Joseph Eveland, now of the Dairyman. In 1869 Mr. McIntosh became and continued the sole proprietor until 1895, his eldest son became a member of the firm, now known as T. F. & R. P. McIntosh. That the paper has been reliable and therefore reasonably successful from the first is well known, and its history is the history of its epoch from the stirring times of the war period in which it was born until the present day.
Mr. McIntosh was elected Treasurer of Delaware County in 1869 and again in 1873 for a like three year term; has served many years on the County Republican Committee and in 1884 was a member of the Republican State Committee, and when younger was many times a delegate to its important State Conventions and active in local party work as well as in his advocacy of Republican principles in the columns of the Republican.
He is now in his 68th year. His wife died in December last. Besides his son and partner with whom he now resides, he has two sons engaged in lumbering in Missouri, son Charles, of Syracuse, for the last twelve years Railway Mail Clerk, a daughter residing in Syracuse, and one son who graduates at Delaware Academy the present term.
Like the paper of which he was one of the founders, he has been before the public eye for many years of faithful service and has reason to hope that his labors have not been unworthy the appreciation they have experienced from many friends and patrons.
Prof. Sherrill E. Smith, Ph.D., proprietor and editor of the Delaware Gazette, is one of the best known editors in this section of the state. In 1881 he became editor of the Gazette, and on February 1, 1895, the sole proprietor. During his younger years he taught school and during that time made a high reputation as an instructor, having charge of important schools. As a speaker his services were in demand, and it was customary to call upon him to lecture at teachers' institutes, at anniversaries and reunions of literary societies. In 1891 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress from the 26th district, comprising the counties of Delaware, Chenango, Broome, Tioga and Tompkins, all strongly Republican. The result of the canvass showed that he had made a good run, which was all that he had reason to expect. For five years he was trustee of the village of Delhi and was president in 1891, '93 and '94. From the time of his residence in this village he exercised considerable personal influence in the party, taking part in caucuses, and attending county, congressional and state conventions as a delegate. Since he had charge of the Gazette it has been a potent factor in the party in this county. His writing is clear and forcible and to the point. Being a vestryman of the Episcopal church, which position he has occupied for years, he is an active worker in that society. Whatever may be proposed in the interest of public enterprise finds in Prof. Smith a zealous promoter. He was born at Innuendo, N. Y., September 29, 1834, was fitted for college in the Delaware Academy in this village and was graduated at Union College in 1860. He was principal of the academy at Prattsburg, Steuben Co., N.Y., six years, and two years at the head of the Unadilla Academy. In 1869 he came to Delhi and with Prof. William Wight was for six years associate principal of Delaware Academy. During the succeeding five years he was principal in sole charge of that institution. In 1880 Union College in recognition of his eminent services as an educator conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy. In 1862 he married Miss E. A. Newman of Unadilla. They have two children, Mrs. Walter G. Edgerton, wife of the Cashier of the Delaware National Bank and Miss Laura Gay Smith.
Delhi Lodge, No. 625, I. O. O. F., was instituted on August 14, 1892, and meets every Friday evening in pleasant rooms on the third floor of the Bell Block. It has a membership of fifty and its officers are: Noble Grand, D. A. McNee; Supporters, Charles H. Barker, W. W. Hunt; Vice Grand, F. M. Johnson; Supporters, A. McPherson, A. A. McFayden; Secretary, S. N. Thompson; Treasurer, James W. Williams; Warden, Thos. Walker; Conductor, John A. Woodburn; Chaplain, John A. Parshall; Inside Guardian, A. Hammond; Outside Guardian, Thomas Michaels. On March 3. 1847, the first I. O. O. F. lodge in Delaware county was organized and designated as Delaware Lodge, I. O. O. F., No. 265, of Delhi, and its first officers were: Noble Grand, T. H. Wheeler; Vice Grand, J. A. Hughston; Secretary, C. b. Smith; Permanent Secretary, H. Drake; Treasurer, P. Frisbee. After existing for many years this lodge surrendered its charter, and all of its charter members are now dead.
St. John's Episcopalian Church was organized in 1819 at the Court House. With the aid of Trinity Church, of New York City, an edifice was erected in 1831. Rev. David Huntington, of Hobart, conducted occasional services until April 4, 1820, when Rev. J. P. F. Clarke took charge until 1822. Again occasional services were held until 1828, when Re. Hewlitt R. Peters, D. D., took charge. After the erection of the edifice, in 1831, Rev. Orange Clark became the first settled rector and remained until 1834. Rev. Thomas S. Judd became rector on July 4, 1835, and resigned in November, 1841. Rev. George Waters, D. D., officiated from 1842 to 1849, and was followed by Rev. Samuel G. Appleton, serving from May 12, 1850, to July, 1854. Rev. William Walsh was rector from 1854 to 1856, and Rev. A. D. Benedict from April 1856, to March 27, 1864. Rev. Byron J. Hall officiated from July 10, 1864, to December 15, 1867. For a brief period Rev. Edward B. Allen was rector, and in 1869 Rev. Joseph Richey officiated, remaining until 1871. During his vigorous services he infused new life and as a result the church property was greatly improved. Rev. E. B. Russell was elected rector on September 23, 1871, and served until May 1, 1880. The church improved in every respect under his care and many rich gifts, including a fine rectory, were received. Rev. John Vaughn Lewis, D. D., was rector until September 29, 1881, and was followed by Rev. James C. Kerr, who officiated from January 5, 1882, to March 16, 1884. Rev. Robert Spear Gross officiated from May 5, 1881, to November, 1886, and Rev. Frank B. Reazor from January 15, 1887, to October 11, 1891. Rev. Creighton Spencer was rector from January 2, 1892 to June 19, 1893, and Rev. Arthur B. Livermore, the present rector, began his service on December 3, 1893.
The church has been indeed fortunate in the nature of gifts from the members of the Sheldon family, Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry, Robert J. Livingston and others. On May 23, 189-, there was consecrated the finest memorial chapel (erected adjoining the church) in this state. It was given to preserve the memory of "Crawford Bernon Sheldon and Abigail Maxon, his wife", being erected and furnished throughout by their children.
William Clark, editor and proprietor of The Delaware Express, is a veteran newspaper publisher who has achieved success in Delhi and has built up one of the best newspaper and job plants in this section of the state. As an editorial writer he has made the Express an influential weekly paper. Ever aiming to arouse public enterprise and invoke commercial prosperity, Mr. Clark has through the columns of his paper appealed to the public in behalf of any form of legitimate investment which would encourage the building up of the town. He was from the beginning enthusiastic in advocating the proper recognition of the centennial anniversary of the organization of the county; and personally he contributed his services toward making the celebration a success. He was born in the town of Bovina, Del. Co., N.Y., September 30, 1844; the son of Peter and Elizabeth Clark. He was educated at Andes Collegiate Institute, Andes, Delaware Co. On June 1, 1881, he purchased the Andes Recorder, of which he was editor and proprietor until April 4, 1892, when the plant was removed to Stamford, the paper then being continued as the Stamford Recorder with Mr. Clark as editor and manager. While there he encouraged public improvement no only in the columns of the paper but in other ways which were efficacious in attracting outside capital to the town. In August, 1891, he sold his interest in the paper and in October following came to Delhi, purchasing and taking control of the Delaware Express. On January 25, 1871, he married Jennie B. Gill, of Bovina, who died February 28, 1891. He is an active member of the Second Presbyterian Church.
HISTORICAL NOTES OF INTEREST.
The first survey made in the county was by Philip Livingston and Ebenezer Wooster in 1749. The latter located a nucleus of lots in the present town of Colchester, up the Papagonk. Livingston opened a tract on the West Branch. From these surveys sprung a new grant of land embracing two millions of acres.
The first settlers in Delaware county were Christian Yaple, Philip Yaple, Jacob Van Benschoten, Egnor Dumond, John Delemater, Tunis Swart, Gideon Vanakin. Five were Holland born, coming here from Ulster county. Two were American born.
The first deed recorded in the county, filed June 21, 1797, was given by John K. Smith, of New Jersey, to Elias Jackson, of Ontario county.
The shire house of the county for several years was that of Gideon Frisbee at the mouth of Elk Creek in the town of Delhi. It was there that court was held and the supervisors met; the county clerk did all his business there. This continued until the next year when a small building costing $2,051.46 was erected. On April 17, 1820, this building burned and with it a prisoner. The next building cost $8,000. This was replaced 50 years later by the present structure.
In July 1800 the taxable inhabitants of Delaware County were 1,681.
The attorneys who were officers of the first court were Anthony Marvine, Erastus Root, Conrad Elmendorf, Philip Gebbard, David Phelps and Cornelius Yates.
In June 1814, James Graham was convicted of the murder of Hugh Cameron and Alexander McGiffrey. He was hung in Delhi, on July 29, 1814.
The trees in the public square of the village are seventy-two years old.
The property real and personal in the village in 1821 was valued at $20,000. In that year the first assessment was levied.
Division street was laid out in 1837, in which both Kingston and Elm streets were surveyed; Bridge street in 1840; Edgerton, Cherry, Overlook and Prospect in 1874.
The first regular postmaster with an office at Delhi was Adam Doll. Sluman Wattles was the first white settler in the town of Franklin.
The tax for 1897 is 21.50 on $1,000 assessment.
The Indians of Delaware Co.-- The Indian name for Delaware is Lenapewihituk. The beautiful, rich acres now included in the boundaries of Delaware county were the hunting grounds and lodge sites of the Lenape Indians, or as they called themselves, the Delawares. The Tuscaroras were also residents of some portions of the county. The village of Pakatakan in the town of Middletown a little above Margaretville, was a settlement of lodges of Tuscarora braves and their families. Captain White Eyes was a notable warrior of the Lenapes who, at the time the Indians were asked to form an alliance in the revolution against the Americans, replied he would not make war on his white brothers.
The Turtle, Wolf and Bear clan of the Iroquois occupied a part of the territory now constituting the towns along the upper boundary of the county. In fact traces of the occupation of the Delawares have been found all along both shores of the Delaware river. Rude fortifications of earth thrown up in circular form were discovered near Sidney Plains by the first settlers, and the Indians held the tradition that they were thrown up by their forefathers. Trails of Indian war parties cut across the county in all directions. Many of them were important channels of communication between the tribes of remote sections of the state.
War parties which descended upon the Mohawk and Schoharie frontiers fleeing with prisoners and booty to the Niagara forts and the British outposts along the great lakes during the revolutionary war followed the trail leading from the junction of the Mohawk river and Schoharie creek, along the latter stream thence down the Delaware river. The Canajoharie trail intersected the moccasin path following the Charlotte at the point where the latter stream empties into the Susquehanna.
The first white visitors to this section of the Delaware river were undoubtedly fur traders who marketed their furs in Albany.
Early in the revolution the Dutch were largely in the majority among the settlers of Delaware county and they were chiefly Tories. On the other hand there was as vigorous though a smaller party of Patriots headed by the Harpers.
The latter met at Harpersfield in August, 1775, and organized a vigilance committee appointed to watch the hostile tribes and their bloody allies the Tories. The vigilantes were John, Joseph and Alexander Harper, John Harper jr., Isaac and Freegift Patchin, Andres Riber, Wm. McFarland, St. Leger Cowley, Isaac Sawyer, John More and James Stevens.
The first conflict between the white settlers and the Indians was between a company of colonists headed by John Harper and a war party of braves on their way to surprise the settlement of Sidney Plains. The former fell upon the Indians while the latter were in camp and made them prisoners without shedding blood.
Many bloody encounters between the Patriots and their hostile neighbors on the Delaware, followed. In April, 1780, Brant and his braves destroyed Harpersfield. ___________________
In 1846 there were 288 public schools in the county in session on the average, seven months in the year each. The expenditures for tuition that year were $14,013. The total number of pupils was 12, 501
Frank L. Norton is one of the leading businessmen of Delhi, having been in business here for twenty-four years. He is a skilled pharmacist of thirty-five year's experience and is well acquainted throughout Delaware County. The Delaware Pharmacy, as conducted by Mr. Norton and his son, Samuel H. Norton, contains the largest stock of drugs, books, stationery, fancy articles, etc., in Delaware County.
Mr. Norton is a most prominent man in Masonic, Grand Army and Fire Department circles, and was Master of Delhi Lodge, No. 439, F. & A. M., in 1885, '86 and '87; was High Priest of Delhi Chapter, No. 240, R. A. M., in 1889 and '90; was Commander of England Post, No. 142, G. A. R., in 1882 and '83; and Chief Engineer of the Delhi Fire Department in 1888, '89 and '90. He was one of the organizers of Active Hose Company, No. 5, and served many years as Foreman of that company.
Mr. Norton's experience in the army was as Adjutant of the Sixty-eighth Regiment, N. Y. S. N. G., enlisting when less than twenty-one years old.
In 1890 he was appointed a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, and so well did he fulfill the duties of that office that he was reappointed in 1895. He takes a great interest in all that pertains to his profession and has attained a wide reputation as a pharmacist.
Mr. Norton was born at Albany, N.Y., in 1842, and in 1869 was united in marriage with Miss Helen Odell, the daughter of Dr. E. Odell, of Unadilla. He has two children, a son, Samuel H. Norton, who is in partnership with him, and one daughter, Miss Catharine F. Norton. His residence on Clinton street is one of the prettiest in this pleasant village.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
The Delhi Fire Department was organized on April 11th, 1860, in pursuance of an Act of the Legislature passed March 30th of that year, and of the Trustees who presided at that first election two are still living, viz.: John A. Parshall and J. S. Page, both residents of Delhi.
The first Department officers were elected on that evening and were: Chief Engineer, A. Cook Edgerton; Assistant Chief Engineer, Dexter Petengill; Treasurer, Caleb A. Frost; Clerk, John A. Parshall and the latter is the only one of them now living. The Chief Engineers have been as follows: A. Cook Edgerton, Dexter Pettengill, Thomas Jackson, Robert P. Cormack, John C. Howard, George H. Smith, Alexander Hunt, William H. Douglass, George H. Maxwell, Thomas Elliott, Charles R. Stilson, William J. Clark, Thomas J. Jackson, Morris T. Menzie, Frank L. Norton, J. Kennedy Hood, James L. Meeker and William R. Price. The present officers are:
CHIEF ENGINEER - JOHN J. BURKE.
FIRST ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER - JOHN A. WOODBURY.
SECOND ASSISTANT CHIEF ENGINEER - JAMES . CUNNINGHAM..
CLERK - W. A. McINTOSH
TREASURER - D. L. WIGHT.
Prior to the organizing of the Department there had been two hand engine companies, The Phenix and the Cataract, but both had disbanded.
Coquago Engine Company No. I, was organized on April 11, 1860, and elected the following officers: Foreman, James Cormack; Assistant Foreman, George A. Sturges; Secretary, John H. Griswold; Treasurer, Minor Stilson. The two last named are dead. Mr. Sturges lives in Delhi and Mr. Cormack in California. Coquago is the name given by the Indians to the West Branch of the Delaware River. This company has a membership of 30 and the officers are: Foreman, James Menzie; Assistant, E. P. Mace; Secretary, T. F. McIntosh; Treasurer, F. Stiefel.
Red Jacket Hose Company, No. 2, was also organized on April 11, 1860, and its first officers were: Foreman, Charles F. Churchill; Assistant Foreman, John C. Howard; Secretary, J. Henry Gould; Treasurer, A. D. Cramer. Messrs. Churchill and Howard are still residents of Delhi, Mr. Gould resides in Binghamton and Mr. Cramer in New York City. On May 14, 1873, this company changed its name to Youmans Hose, in honor of William Youmans, Esq., of Delhi, and it now has a membership of 23 and the following officers: Foreman, James L. Meeker; Assistant Foreman, F. M. Johnson; Secretary, Howard Hunt; Treasurer, Marshall Gladstone.
Delhi Hook and Ladder Company, No. 3, was organized on March 31, 1861, with the following officers: Foreman, D. Williamson; Assistant Foreman, Albert Smith; Secretary, S. Rice. Messrs. Williamson and Rice reside in Delhi, and Mr. Smith is dead. On June 22, 1868, they changed their name to Graham Hook and Ladder Company, in honor of Hon. James H. Graham, of Delhi, and they now have a membership of 27 with the following officers: Foreman, Frank Leal; Assistant Foreman, Clark Gray; Secretary, Charles Cole; Treasurer, Henry Haines. Sheldon Hose Company, No. 4, was organized on October 19, 1865, being named after William C. Sheldon, of New York City, who is a native of Delhi, with the following officers: Foreman, Myron Graham; Assistant Foreman, John Van Hoesen; Secretary, Russell Frost; Treasurer, H. W. Price. Mr. Graham now resides in New York City; Mr. Frost in Connecticut. Its present membership is 25 and its officers are: Foreman, William R. Price; Assistant Foreman, Charles Brady; Secretary, Edward Rockefellow; Treasurer, George H. Smith.
Active Hose Company, No. 5, was organized on April 9, 1877, with F. L. Norton as Foreman. Its present membership is 20 and its officers are: Foreman, G. A. Heckroth; Assistant Foreman, M. M. Blakeley; Secretary, M. L. Fuller; Treasurer, Daniel Franklin, Jr.
Athletic Hose Company, No. 6, was organized on September 1, 1877, and is composed of colored men and has been continuously. Its first officers were: Foreman, W. G. Woods; Assistant Foreman, George Bronk; Secretary, Henry Jackson; Treasurer, Miles R. Bennett. Mr. Bennett is dead and the others reside in Delhi. The present membership of the company is 22 and its officers are: Foreman, W. G. Woods; Assistant Foreman, Peter Robins; Treasurer, Henry P. Woods; Secretary, William A. Law.
The Second Presbyterian Church was organized at the Court House, in March, 1831, and the organization was completed on April 6, 1831, by a committee from the Chenango Presbytery. A building 40x60 feet in extent and costing $3,500 was erected and was dedicated on October 1, 1832. Rev. Samuel G. Orton was the first pastor, but Rev. Orlando L. Kirtland commenced his labors in May, 1832, as the first regularly ordained pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Waterbury in December, 1835, who served until January, 1838. Rev. Bloomer Kent served one year, being followed by Rev. Nathaniel H. Griffin, who terminated his pastorate in 1841. Rev. S. C. Spees was installed on December 29, 1841, and was succeeded by Rev. Josiah Leonard in 1845. From 1847 to 1849 Rev. Mr. Wynkoop, and from 1849 to 1863 Rev. Dr. Torrey were the pastors. In 1863 Rev. Theo. F. White became pastor and he was succeeded in January, 1866, by Rev. F. A. M. Brown, who ceased his pastorate on April 1, 1882. Rev. Frank H. Seeley, the present pastor, began his labors on May 1, 1882.
In 1865 an addition was made to the church and in 1878 it was found necessary to remodel and enlarge it, which was done at a cost of over $7,000. The church is centrally located, on the east side of and facing the public square. It will seat fully 600 and is one of the handsomest churches in the county. The first trustees of this church chosen in March, 1831, were: Silas Knapp, Charles Hathaway, Timothy Perkins, Patrick Beardsley, James C. Leal, Jabez Hitchcolk, William Millard, Joseph Dodge and H. D. Gould.
Capt. J. K. Hood, the County Clerk, was elected to that position December 6, 1894, receiving 3,105 majority, the largest ever given a candidate in Delaware County. It was a fitting recognition of his services as a Republican that the party placed him in nomination, and it was a marked compliment to his standing as a citizen that he received so flattering a vote. For nearly thirty years he engaged in the mercantile business, entering civil life fresh from four years of active military service in the struggle to maintain the Union.. In the maintenance of that bond of fellowship between the veterans of the late war and the advancement of the G. A. R., in which order he has had all the honors that the comrades of the State of New York could confer, he is ever active and persistent. Always in attendance at encampments and devoting much of his time and means to the good of the order, he has become widely known among the veterans from other states. He was born in Oakdale, Washington County, Ill., September 1, 1843. John Hood, his father, a South Carolinian in active sympathy with the anti-slavery movement, the cause which his son shouldered arms when 17 years of age to maintain, emigrated to Illinois, where he was one of the earliest settlers in Washington County, erecting a log cabin and tilling the virgin prairies. By industry and perseverance he accumulated three hundred acres and erected large well constructed farm building. There he died in 1861. By his second wife, who was Rachel Kennedy, of Greencastle, Pa., and who died in 1849, he reared five children. Three of them, James, Mary, and John C., are buried in the family plot at Oakdale. The two survivors are the Captain and his brother Archie, a wholesale merchant in Columbus, Kansas, who served three years in the Tenth Missouri Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. Hood attended the district school and the Sparta Union Academy. In 1859 he entered the Fayetteville, Pa., Academy, where he pursued his studies until the time of his enlistment in Company K, 126th Pennsylvania Volunteers, which were mustered in at Chambersburg, Pa., in 1861, he being in the senior class of the academy at the time. After serving nine months he re-enlisted in Company K, 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry, as sergeant. Six months later he enlisted in Company G, of the same regiment. His term of service was about four years and three months, during which time he participated in many bloody fights from Bull Run to Appomattox, including the engagements at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and the Wilderness, being from time to time promoted to various ranks until he attained that of Captain. He was discharged at Lynchburg, Va., July 18, 1865. He first engaged in mercantile business in New York in 1866 with T. Hastings as partner and two years later assumed the business alone. In 1869 he went to Andes and engaged in the general store business for about a year, buying the business of Connor & Glendenning. During the 16 years he was in Andes W. D. Dunn and J. W. Dickson were partners part of the time. The Captain came to Delhi and entered into a general store business with one of the Bell Bros. In February, 1892, he having in the meantime bought the entire business, John A. Douglass was admitted as partner and under the firm name of Hood & Douglass a large business, one of the leading of the county, was conducted until he was elected County Clerk.
While living in Andes the Captain was married to Miss Mary E. Norris, a native of New York City, December, 1875. Three children were the fruit of the union, John K., who died at four years of age, and Mary B. and Florence Irene, both students at the Delhi Academy. Captain and Mrs. Hood are active workers in the Presbyterian church. They have a very pretty home on High Street in an elevated section of the village. Capt. Hood served on the Republican County Committee for nine years, during three of which he was chairman. He also served as president of the village and as chief of the fire department, of which he is a member. He cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln while at the front. He was instrumental in organizing England Post, of Delhi, of which he was formerly commander. As a member of the National Staff, he served as one of the Council of Administration of the Department of the State of New York. In 1889 he was elected to the position of Senior Vice Commander in this State, which is next to the highest office. He has been delegate to state and national encampments for several years, receiving the highest number of votes of any delegate on the national ticket as a delegate to the national encampment in Indianapolis. He is a member of Delhi Lodge, F. & A. M., No. 439.
Delos H. Mackey, Member of Assembly from Delaware County, 1896 and 1897, is a resident of the town of Meredith, in which he owns 900 acres of as rich soil as there is in the county. He has a large dairy of Jerseys and is a breeder of fine horses to a considerable extent, paying personal attention to their care and handling. He is secretary of the town insurance company. For eight years he was town clerk and two years supervisor. He was also postmaster for four years. He is quite active in town and county politics, having been a member of the county committee and a delegate to state conventions. As a member of assembly Mr. Mackey has proven a zealous and tireless representative, and his service in the legislature of 1896 was fittingly recognized by returning him the following year, an honor rarely accorded a member of the legislature from Delaware County, and without precedent for twenty years. The first year of his election he received 6,488 votes as against 3,495 given his opponent. Last year he received 7,761 and his opponent 4,450. In 1896 he was a member of the committees on Villages, Public Lands and Forestry, and Soldiers' Homes. In 1897 he was a member of Commerce and Navigation, Agriculture, and Fisheries and Game. Mr. Mackey was born in Meredith April 7, 1849. Nelson Mackey, his father, was a farmer who made a notable success. Betsey, the daughter of Robert Crawford, was his wife. The subject of this sketch was educated in the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin. At the age of 21 years he opened a store at Meredith, with Chester Shaver as a partner. This continued four years. Later Mr. Mackey built a store where he was engaged in business for eight years. Since then he has devoted his time altogether to his farm property and stock. He married Jennie, the adopted daughter of Reuben Mackey.
Howard Division, No. 112, Sons of Temperance, of Delhi, was organized on September 22, 1891. W. A. McIntosh was elected Worthy Patriarch, and the other officers chosen were: Worthy Associate, J. D. Schlafer; Recording Scribe, John A. Woodburn; Treasurer, R. P. McIntosh; Financial Scribe, Charles McPhail. The Division is named in honor of the late Dr. Howard, of Delhi, who was a prominent temperance worker, having been the organizer and was at the head of a band of young people of Delhi, who were known as the "Cold Water Army". Annually he took them for a picnic to "Spring Rock", a short distance from this village. They meet on every Monday evening in the pleasant rooms on the third floor of the Page Block, on Main Street, and have a membership of 60.
The present officers are: Worthy Patriarch, Charles Stein; Worthy Associate, James Williams; Recording Scribe, John W. Brady; Assistant Recording Scribe, Harry McInstosh; Financial Scribe, Thomas Hughes; Treasurer, John A. Woodburn; Chaplain, F. H. Shevalier; Conductor, John T. Steward; Assistant Conductor, M. Meehan; Inside Sentinel, Thomas Mannion; Outside Sentinel, William Ward; Past Worthy Patriarch, G. C. Husted.
John A. Parshall, of Delhi is a well known veteran printer, one whose record for continuous service in one establishment it is doubtful if any living printer can equal. Mr. Parshall was born on September 25, 1818, near Cooperstown, Otsego Co., N.Y. In the latter part of February, 1835, he entered the office of the Otsego Republican, at Cooperstown, as the devil of the office. He remained there until September, 1838, when he accepted a position in the small book office of Sackett & Adams, on Gold Street, in New York City, where he remained for about two weeks.
On October 17, 1838, he commenced work in the office of the Delaware Gazette, at Delhi, and has been there continuously ever since. The office is in the same building and his case has been at the same window for over 56 years. He has frequently set up the notice of the golden wedding of parties for whom he had put in type the original marriage notice fifty years before. In February, 1841, he set up the marriage notice of a couple in Delhi and in February, 1891, he set up their golden wedding notice (having attended the same and written the account thereof), using the same composing stick in which he set up their marriage notice.
A remarkable and noteworthy coincidence in Mr. Parshall's long service is the fact that in February, 1839, he set up the notice of the marriage of Miss L. to Mr. B.; in February, 1889, he wrote and set up a notice of their golden wedding; in May, 1891, he attended the funeral of Mrs. B. and wrote and set up the obituary notice; in August, 1893, he wrote and set up an account of the marriage of a grand-daughter of this couple; in October, 1893, he attended the funeral of Mr. B., and wrote and set up his obituary notice; but the most remarkable fact of all was that all of these notices were written and set up by Mr. Parshall in a building which Mr. B. assisted in raising the summer of 1837.
In 1841 Mr. Parshall became a member of Phenix Hand Engine Company, of Delhi, serving three years, and he was the first clerk of the Delhi Fire Department, serving four years. In May, 1844, he was elected a village trustee, and has served 31 years and six months as a trustee, president, clerk and one of the board of health. There is now living but one trustee who was elected previous to 1844, besides Mr. Parshall. He has annually been elected a school district officer since January 1866. On March 30, 1898, he will have served 24 years as a Notary Public for Delaware County.
He has been nine years a trustee of the Second Presbyterian Church. Three times he was elected town auditor and in February, 1895, was elected an excise commissioner of Delhi. His first vote was case in 1839 and he has never missed casting a fall election or town meeting vote since.
Mr. Parshall was married on June 4, 1841, to Miss Juliette Thurber, and began housekeeping in April, 1847, and remained in the same house until April, 1895. He was elected a member of Delaware Lodge, No. 265, I. O. O. F., at its organization on March 2, 1847, and of the six charter members and fifteen who were initiated that evening he is the only one surviving and is now an active member, being Chaplain of Delhi Lodge, No. 625, I. O. O. F. He was chosen Historian for the town of Delhi for the Centennial Celebration this year.
The compilers of this Souvenir are under obligations to Mr. Parshall for valuable data.
A BIRDSEYE OF THE COUNTY.
Delaware County is one of the most mountainous of those counties which are regarded as good sections for the production of staple crops generally. Yet it is notably a dairy county, the richest and highest priced butter being produced in quantities second only to the production of Oneida county. Cheese making is an important industry. Other extensive productions are fruit, oats, potatoes, rye and lumber.
The water power is abundant and but little improved; although affording excellent opportunity for manufacturing. At one time leather and cloths were manufactured to a considerable extent and lumbering was largely carried on.
The soil is varied and very productive. On the hills it is sandy loam and in the valleys a rich deep mould of lasting fertility.
The mountains are densely timbered with beech, birch, maple, ash, elm, basswood, pine, wildcherry, butternut, hemlock and small quantities of oak.
The surface rock of the county is the old red sandstone of the Catskill group underlaid by the shales and sandstone of the Portage and Chemung groups. A large quarry on the spur of the mountains in the lower end of the town of Hamden, near the village of that name produces considerable flag of a fine quality which is quarried in very large pieces with a remarkable uniformity of thickness. During the early period of settlement bog iron ore was discovered but has never been utilized. Copper has been found but in small quantity and so extensively diffused as to offer no opportunity for mining.
There are several mineral springs, so scattered and with a supply so limited as to attract no particular attention. A brine spring near Delhi was discovered many years ago but never utilized.
The Rivers.-There is no better watered county in the state, the rivers and creeks flowing in abundance the year around during dry as well as wet seasons, fed by numerous tributaries which rise in innumerable springs on the mountains and in the valleys. A pure, cold and unfailing supply of water for the stock is as important as luxuriant pastures in contributing to the rich and abundant yield of milk.
The Susquehanna bounds the county on the north-west for about the distance of twenty miles, bordering the town of Sidney. Its principal tributaries in Delaware county are the Charlotte river rising in Schoharie and Greene counties, which flows through the town of Davenport, and the Oulcout creek which rises in Meredith and flowing through the greater part of that town and through the towns of Franklin and Sidney empties into the Susquehanna near the village of Unadilla, Otsego county.
The Mohawks or main branch of the Delaware river rises in Schoharie county, running thence in a south-westerly direction in nearly seventy miles through the center of the county to the village of Deposit, where it takes a south-easterly course forming the boundary line between the towns of Tompkins and Hancock and the state of Pennsylvania. The course of this river in Delaware county is between the town of Stamford on the south and Harpersfield and Kortright opposite and through the towns of Delhi, Hamden, Walton and Tompkins. The principal feeders are Elk creek, Steele's brook and the Little Delaware. The Mohawks is the local name of the Delaware above the village of Deposit.
The Papachton, or East branch, rising in two streams, the main source in Ulster county and the other in the town of Roxbury, flows through the towns of Middletown, Andes, Colchester and Hancock, emptying into the Delaware near the village of Hancock, sixty-five miles from its main source. The principal feeder is Big Beaverkill, with sources in Ulster and Sullivan counties, flowing through the valley which separates the Blue and Pine mountain groups in the town of Colchester.
The Mountains.-There are three distinct parallel mountain ranges passing through the county trending south-west by north-east, and more largely grouping in the western and southern tiers of towns. The Blue Mountains comprise the group forming the south-western section of the three ranges, embracing the southern and western parts of Franklin and the towns of Walton, Sidney, Tompkins, Hancock, Hamden, Masonville and the north-western part of Colchester.
The Kaatsberg comprise a lofty group spreading over the town of Meredith and the northern and eastern sections of Franklin and ranging in low parallel ridges through the towns of Bovina, Kortright, Davenport, Harpersfield, the principal part of Delhi and Stamford. This group extends along both sides of the Mohawks or west branch of the Delaware river, enclosing the village of Delhi where it terminates on the south side of the river in Crawford and Scotch peaks and on the north side in Sherwood Summit. The Kaatsberg is a spur of the Catskills forming a tongue extending nearly at right angles with the latter to the Susquehanna river on the west and receding in altitude along the south shore of that river for several miles east of Oneonta.
Abram C. Crosby, a leading lawyer of Delaware County, was authorized to procure speakers for the Centennial Celebration of the organization of said county, which was held at Delhi, June 9, 10, 1897, and he succeeded in securing the services of a number of distinguished men for that occasion. He was chosen president for the first day of the celebration and delivered the address of welcome.
He was district attorney of Delaware County in the years 1878-80. He was supervisor of the town of Delhi in 1882, continued to discharge the duties of that office four successive terms, and during the years 1884-5, was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Delaware County.
He was a prominent member of the sixth New York State Constitutional Convention, which convened in Albany on the eighth day of May, 1894, representing the twenty-fifth senatorial district of the state, and was a member of the following named standing committees: On the Legislature-Its Organization and the Number, Apportionment, Election, Tenure of Office and Compensation of its Members; State Prisons and Penitentiaries and the Prevention and Punishment of Crime; and Privileges and Elections.
During the session of the convention he devoted his attention specially to the questions of legislative organization and apportionment and was one of the three members of a sub-committee who proposed the plan of division of the state into senate districts and the rules regulating the formation of the assembly districts, which were afterward adopted by the convention.
Prominent among his speeches on the floor of the convention may be mentioned his argument in favor of the proposition against prison contract labor, on August 25; his speech in support of an amendment providing for an absolute right of appeal to the Court of Appeals by a defendant sentenced to imprisonment for life, made on August 22; his opposition to the proposition providing for the sale of the Salt Springs of the state without proper legislative investigation and restriction, and his strenuous fight against the civil service amendment.
Politically he has been an earnest Republican, taking an active interest in public affairs, serving for several years of the state and county committees of his party and as a campaign speaker for a quarter of a century earnestly and zealously upholding the principles of his party.
Mr. Crosby was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, New York, May 25, 1847. He was educated in the common schools, the Roxbury Academy, the Delaware Literary Institute at Franklin and Cornell University. While a law student he was appointed clerk to the Surrogate's Court of his county and discharged the duties of that position for two years. He was admitted to the bar in March, 1872, and has since devoted himself to the practice of his profession in Delhi where he now resides.
He married Jennie C., daughter of John Hutson, of Delhi, on March 16, 1875. They have three children, Julia, Grace and Howard, who are all attending school.
The first court house stood in the center of the present court house square. George Fisher and Levi Baxter donated the plat from their farms. On June 18, 1812, the legislature authorized the court house to be used as a tavern. On April 17, 1820, the building was burned. A jail and a court house were built the same year. The new court house was dedicated January 30, 1871. The present county clerk's office was built in 1878 but not occupied till April, 1879.
Dr. J. H. Brett was the first and presiding judge in the county.
Prof. Willis D. Graves was born in Bainbridge, Chenango County, N. Y., August 18, 1856. Gaylord S. Graves, his father, was descended from English ancestors who came to this country about 1637 and settled in New England. For over forty years he was a successful merchant in Bainbridge. His wife was Harriet E. Pettys. Prof. Graves was educated in the public schools; also in the Afton and Bainbridge academies. He was graduated from the Albany normal school in June, 1879. For six years he was the principal of the Bainbridge Union School and Academy. In 1885 he came to Delhi and leased the Academy, conducting the school in a manner that raised in to one of the leading educational institutions in the state. Having the selection of the staff of teachers he procured the ablest instructors that could be obtained; men and women who understood the best methods of teaching. In April, 1897, he was appointed Inspector of the Training Classes of this state by Superintendent Skinner, of the Department of Public Instruction, his appointment being urged by leading men. The Professor has given particular attention to mathematics, science and training class work and he is especially fitted for the important position in which he has been placed. It is an important post and the selection was in accord with the policy of the department, seeking men who have been identified with public education all their lives. In 1880 Prof. Graves married Miss Elizabeth M. Rexford, a graduate of Vassar College in the class of 1877. She is a member of the faculty, the Instructor in Latin and German. Mr. And Mrs. Graves are members of the Second Presbyterian Church, in the welfare of which they are earnestly interested. They have one child, Gaylord W. Graves, born January 25, 1881 Henry W. Cannon's Early Career.-When the First National Bank of Delhi was established we are unable to state, but think it must have been in the early part of 1863; neither can we give its first board of directors, and when it voluntarily ceased. James H. Graham was its president, and George E. Marvine its cashier. The building now occupied by W. Winter as a drug store was built especially for it. In this bank Hon. Henry W. Cannon first entered upon his successful career as a banker, being employed therein as a clerk. He afterward went to St. Paul in his uncle's bank, the late E. S. Edgerton; from there to Stillwater; from there to Washington, to accept the position of Comptroller of the Currency offered him, and afterward accepted the presidency of the Chase National Bank of New York City.
The Delhi Telephone Company-Officers: President, S. F. Adee; Vice-President, Henry D. Crawford; Secretary, H. S. Graham; Treasurer, W. I. Mason. This company leases about 200 Telephones in the village and vicinity, which is an unusually large number for so small a place. Several farmers are among the subscribers, having the phone in their farm houses. The exchange is maintained in the store of Gladstone & Paine, where the long distance lines connect Delhi with the rest of the world.
The Drives.-Few counties which are not wholly within mountainous sections offer such grand and inspiring drives as Delaware. Take Delhi as a center and the roads that radiate from that point are noted for the scenic views that are presented on all sides. At every turn of the road a picture as sublime as nature alone portrays appears to view, exciting unbounded admiration. Eight miles of easy traveling along the Delaware river connects Delhi, the terminus of the New York, Ontario & Western railway with Bloomville, the terminus of the Ulster & Delaware railway. The drive to Walton, following the river in the opposite direction is through a valley and along a very level road. But the grandeur of mountains and valleys is more than pen can describe on the drive between Delhi and Andes. The road ascends and descends but there are no long heavy hills. This distance is thirteen miles. The drive to Oneonta, nineteen miles, is over the summit of a high range of hills, ascending gradually to Meredith Square, six miles, and when within three miles of Oneonta descending a long and steep hill, but over a good road.
The Gerry Place-On the road from Delhi to Andes, seven miles from the former village, is the summer residence of Elbridge T. Gerry, the distinguished head of the society which does so much for the care and protection of children, commonly known as the Gerry Society. This remarkable and romantic country estate takes in both the primitive forest lands and highly cultivated acres. It stretches for miles over valleys and mountains and embraces swiftly flowing streams, crystal springs and a magnificent body of water known as Lake Delaware. Mr. Gerry is a liberal entertainer and many of his friends have whiles away hours fraught with enjoyment at his beautiful summer home.
THE DELAWARE ACADEMY.
The Delaware Academy, one of the oldest educational institutions in the state, is delightfully situated on an eminence in the western end of the village overlooking the town and valley, with the river winding around two sides of the base of the terrace upon which the buildings stand. The campus is one of the prettiest stretches of level, velvety greensward that can be found anywhere. It is shaded by over 150 gigantic trees. The grounds, comprising ball, tennis and croquet fields, include twenty acres purchased in 1856. The school was originally located on the public square but had outgrown its accommodations. The business was constantly expanding; the reputation was reaching out and large numbers of scholars were coming in every year.
The Academy building is a high, square structure in plain white with a broad veranda across the front, relieved by a row of towering columns supporting a gable. The rooms and halls are large and airy and all the comforts of a modern school building together with the features of a colonial structure are obtained. Near the academy building stands the boarding hall with the best accommodations and all the comforts of home.
The academy building contains the chapel, study and recitation rooms, drawing room, library, chemical and physical laboratory, society hall and gymnasium. It is heated by the Gurney hot water system, has solid slate blackboards and modern furniture. The boarding hall accommodates fifty students and the faculty. It is heated throughout with the hot water system and has a radiator in every room. The ladies' and gentlemen's quarters are in separate parts of the building. It contains music rooms, parlors, office, reception rooms, bathrooms and every convenience. It has a complete provision for flooding any room at a moment's notice in case of fire. The water used comes from a private sprint situated on the mountain.
The number of students at the hall is not large enough to destroy the quiet of home life. The faculty and students constitute one family, all interested in one another. Every evening during study hours teachers are accessible to students and seldom does an evening pass when the office of the principal and the rooms of the teachers are not frequented by students desiring to be assisted in their studies. The health of the students is carefully watched.
The library contains 2,300 volumes consisting of the latest works of reference, historical and scientific works and standard literature.
The laboratory contains the latest and most improved physical and chemical apparatus, Ward's collection of rocks and minerals and much valuable apparatus for teaching Astronomy, Natural History, Physiology, Geography and Mathematics. A representative of the Regents of the University of the State of New York who inspected the laboratory valued it at $1,200.
The school also possesses maps, charts, globes, a sciopticon and a thoroughly equipped gymnasium.
Conducted by private enterprise it offers the best facilities of a high class private school. The faculty comprises the best instructors that can be obtained. The graduates of this school include many who have taken the highest honors in the leading colleges in the country.
One of the students fully prepared at this academy recently took the Learned Scholarship at Yale College valued at $600, graduating the youngest man in his class. The academy prepares many students for teaching and has had over sixty graduates teaching in Delaware county. The number of diplomas granted by the Regents of the University to this academy exceed the average number granted to similar schools with the same attendance.
During the single year ending June 1, 1896, the academy sent graduates to Yale, Vassar, Columbia, Princeton, Union, Hamilton, St. Stephen's, LaFayette, Westminster, Oberlin and Geneva colleges; the University of Chicago and Cornell and Colgate universities. This is a record to be proud of. The year the students to the academy came from four different states, eight counties of the state and twenty-six places of residence.
WILLIS D. GRAVES, Prin., Natural Science, Mathematics.
ELIZABETH M. GRAVES, A. B., Latin, German, Literature.
GEORGE J. DANN, A. B., Greek, French, History.
AGNES ARBUCKLE, A. B., German English, Mathematics.
HENRY A. GATES, M. D., Physiology and Hygiene.
MARY R. CHAMPION, Preparatory and Primary.
ANNA M. PRESTON, Vocal and Instrumental Music.
JENNIE FULLER, Drawing and Oil Painting.
AUGUSTA A. HUGHSTON, Elocution.
The Railroads. - The first survey for the Ulster & Delaware railroad was made in 1853. On October 4, 1865, a meeting was held in Delhi to project a road west from the Hudson. The next day they elected a board of directors for a company to build a road from Rondout to Oneonta. The board was O. M. Allaben of Margaretville, Henry Dowie of Andes, and C. H. Bell and William Youmans Jr. of Delhi. Another meeting was held at Margaretville May 26, 1866. On August 22, 1866, the route decided upon was through Middletown, Roxbury, Stamford, Harpersfield, Kortright and Davenport. In June, 1875, the railroad having been constructed as far as Stamford, the company assumed the title of the Ulster & Delaware Company.
The survey of the Delhi branch of the N.Y., O. & W. railway was completed in October, 1868. Ground was broken near Hamden May 4, 1869.
Regular trains on the main line began running from Sidney Plains to Oswego in the middle of June, 1870. November 6, 1871, the road was completed to Walton.
The road was completed to Delhi January 18, 1872. A few hours after the last rail was laid the officers arrived on a special train. Cannon were fired and a public meeting was held. Dinner was served at Cottrell's Hotel. The Delhi branch is one of the best paying sections of the road today. During the summer there is a large travel of summer pleasure seekers.
Delhi is a feeder for a wide stretch of country. The shipments of merchandise is very large and the town is a popular point for the commercial traveler, the hotel facilities being better than in the average town which is much larger, there being four good hotels.
The average tonnage of shipment to Delhi including all class of goods except coal is three millions pounds monthly. The shipment from this station of milk averages 30,000 quarts daily. Large quantities of eggs and cheese are shipped from Delhi.
The station agent is C. H. Mullock. His assistant and the operator is N. B. Cormack. The baggage agent is George Person; his assistant is Daniel Franklin, Jr.
The first court comprised Patrick Lamb, William Horton, Gabriel North, Isaac Hardenburgh, Alexander Leal. _______________
Col. Robert P. Cormack, the postmaster of Delhi, is prominent in G. A. R. circles and an active worker in the Democratic party, having served as Commander of England Post, 142, G. A. R., and as Chairman of the Democratic County Committee for several years. He was president of the village at one time and chief of the fire department for successive terms. In 1878 he represented the county of Delaware in the Assembly. He was appointed Postmaster by President Cleveland December 11, 1895, and his service in that office gives general satisfaction. He is also a member of Delhi Lodge, No. 439, F. & A. M. He was born in the town of Forfar, Scotland, November 1, 1829. His parents came to this country when he was three years of age and settled in the Delaware county fifty-three years ago. At the age of 14 years he was apprenticed at shoe making in which trade he worked seven years. When 20 years old he went to California where he remained six years, when he returned to this county and has since lived in Delhi. On June 3, 1857, he married Elizabeth Woollerton of Delhi, by whom there were four children, Fannie who died at the age of five, Charles F. of San Francisco, Nelson B. at the depot, and Mrs. Lillace S. Gordon.
Col. Cormack served in the war against the rebellious South for three years and four months, almost to a day, enlisting in the 89th regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry at Delhi, Sept. 16, 1861, and being mustered out in the field in Virginia, Jan. 17, 1865. The Colonel was wounded in the head at Chapin's farm and treated in the hospital near Old Point Comfort. When permitted to leave he reported direct at his post and in time to receive an honorable discharge with the rest of the regiment. He was never absent from his place in line except by authority and was in the heat of many battles. On going to the front as a private he was chosen 1st lieutenant of his company (Co. I) at Elmira. From that he was advanced by promotion to Captain of Company A, wearing the two-barred epaulets more than a year and a half. Upon his return home at the close of the war he was chosen Colonel of the 100th Reg. N. G. S. N. Y. which position he occupied until the reorganization of the State Guard when several regiments were disbanded including that of Col. Cormack's. The 89th regiment under Col. Harrison Fairchild served in the 1st Brig., 3d Division, 9th Corps, later in South Carolina and then in the 1st Brig., 2nd Division, 10th Corps, army of the James, participating in the following engagements: South Mountain, Md., September 14, '62; Antietam, September 17, '62; Fredericksburg, Va., December 13, '62; Siege of Suffolk, April 11, May 4, '63; Bombardment of Ft. Sumter, S. C., Aug. 17-23, Oct. 27, Nov. 9, '63; Operations against Petersburg and Richmond, Va., May 5-31, '64; Swift Creek, Va., May 9-10, '64; Proctor's Creek, May 12, '64; Drewry's Bluff, May 14-16, '64; Bermuda Hundred, May 18-20, '64; Cold Harbor, June 1-12, '64; Petersburg, June 15-19, '64; Chapin's Farm, Sept. 29-30, '64; Fair Oaks, Oct. 27-29, '64; Fall of Petersburg, April 2, '65; Rice's Station, April 6, '65; Burke's Station, April 7, '65; Appomattox C. H., April 9, '65.
The Delaware County Agricultural Society was located on grounds adjacent the river in the east end of the village in 1872, at which time the County society was merged with the Delhi Agricultural and Mechanics' Society. The latter was organized March 8, 1862. Its first officers were: President, Edmund Rose; Vice-President, P. H. Beardsley; Secretary, Norwood Bowne; Treasurer, Anthony M. Pain; Directors, D. G. Landon, L. G. Hollister, Alexander Mable, A. Cook-Edgerton and C. Allen Frost. The present officers are: President, W. H. Fisher; Vice-Pres., Thomas D. Middlemast; Sec'y, R. P. McIntosh; Treas., W. D. Smith; Directors, Robert J. Blair, C. S. Woodruff, E. R. Bell, John B. Mable, Stewart Hymers, Edward Johnson; General Superintendent, D. L. Wight; Assistant General Superintendent, D. W. Shaw; Superintendent of Police, W. J. Humphries; Superintendent of Cattle, J. M. McFarlane; Superintendent of Horses, J. C. Stoddart; Superintendent of Sheep and Swine, H. H. Hume; Superintendent of Poultry, J. S. McMurdy; Superintendent of Fruit and Vegetables, E. J. Brownell; Superintendent of Farm Implements, William McMullin; Discretionary, E. R. Bell; Superintendent of Butter and Cheese, J. B. Mable; Superintendent Ladies' Department, Mrs. H. C. Dann; Superintendent Girls' Department, Mrs. S. C. Simmons; Superintendent Floral Department, Mrs. John M. Thompson; Secretary of the Ladies' Department, Miss S. J. McMullin.
The original poor-house was burned July 13, 1862. Mary Jane Decker, of Middletown, and Phebe Every, of Kortright, perished.
William C. Porter, the Sheriff of Delaware just closing his term, will retire from that position on Dec. 31 of this year with a good record in official life and with the credit of having served as the Sheriff during the Centennial year. For eight years he was Deputy Sheriff and when elected was fully informed as to the requirements of the office. For several years he was engaged in the harness business, in which he made an extended circle of acquaintances. He is a member of the Schenevus lodge, F. & A. M., and was active in affairs of the lodge until he became Sheriff, when his removal to Delhi took him away from that locality. Mr. Porter was born in Davenport, June 2, 1855. His father was a farmer in the town of Davenport in which he was a resident for over fifty years. Mr. Porter attended the district school at Davenport. In the year 1879 he went to Oneonta to learn the harness trade and in Feb. 1881 he opened a shop in Hamden, where he remained until about 1886, when he went into the store of John L. Beardsley, at Davenport. Tow or three years later he engaged in the harness business until after his election as Sheriff in the fall of 1894, when he sold out the business. He was nominated at the County Convention held Sept. 15, of that year, after a protracted and bitter contest in which there were several candidates, and after more than forty ballots had been taken. The office of Sheriff is the only public position Mr. Porter has sought or held, although an active worker in the Republican party. On April 24, 1888 he was married to Miss Dora Beardsley, at Davenport, by which union they have one boy named Harry B., who was born in 1891. Mr. Porter's father and mother, highly respected residents of the town of Davenport, their home for so many years, are still living, both well advanced in years and enjoying good health. Mrs. Porter is the daughter of J. L. Beardsley, a well-known Davenport merchant for many years with an honorable record in his dealings with all, who now is an extensive farmer and a large dealer in live stock.
The Delhi Novelty Club is an association of charming young ladies who meet evenings once a week for improvement of the mind and social enjoyment, a programme of literary and musical selections being provided. The young ladies are loyal to the club and take great interest in making it a profitable form of evening entertainment. Each member is provided with a club badge, a neat little pin-and what do you suppose is the design? A four leaf clover! The club was organized July 21, 1896. The membership, at the limit is as follows: Julia Crosby, Elizabeth Hutson, Harriet Harris, Flora Knapp, Maggie Boyd, Margaret Oliver, Anna Patterson, Jennie Arbuckle, Carrie Peters, Elizabeth Clark, Pauline Farrington, Helen Stilson, May Telford, May Fisher, Jennie Clark.
General Erastus Root settled in Delhi in 1796, coming originally from Connecticut. He was active in securing the formation of the County of Delaware. He died in December, 1846, in New York City while on his way to visit a daughter, Mrs. Hobbie, at Washington.
J. J. Burke, the present Chief Engineer of the Delhi Fire Department, became a member of Active Hose Company, No. 5, in 1892. He served as Foreman of that Company in 1893-4 and as Assistant Chief Engineer of the Department in 1895-6. He is Senior Warden of Delhi Lodge, F. & A. M.., and a prominent worker in both Masonic and Fire Department circles. Mr. Burke was born on February 27, 1865, at Powelsburg, West Virginia, and located here in 1886 engaging in his business as a merchant tailor. He moved to Watertown, N. Y., in 1889 and returning to Delhi in 1891 started in business as a merchant tailor for himself in the Bell Block. In 1895 he was compelled to move to his present location by increasing business and now occupies all of the second floor of the "Delaware Express" Block. Mr. Burke's work has gained for him an excellent reputation as a first-class merchant tailor. He was married on October 14, 1891, to Miss Estelle Stoutenburg, of Delhi, and has one daughter. On June 9, 1897, a Delaware County Firemen's Association was formed at Delhi and Mr. Burke was elected his first President.
England Relief Corps, No. 187, was organized December 31, 1895, with 42 charter members. While the Corps has lost members since then largely owing to removal from town, the interest shown in its welfare and its material aid and comfort to the Post to which it is attached are features which make it an organization of which its members may well be proud. On the institution of the Corps the following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Josephine A. Camp; Senior Vice-President, Mrs. Mary E. Hood; Junior Vice-President, Mrs. Matilda T. Paul; Chaplain, Mrs. Sarah E. Gordon; Treasurer, Miss Isabella K. Penfield; Secretary, Mrs. Annie W. Fisher; Conductor, Mrs. Stelle Burke; Assistant Conductor, Miss Lizzie Gordon; Guard, Miss Anna E. Harper; Assistant Guard, Miss Jessie L. Williamson; Delegate, Mrs. Mary E. Hood; Alternate, Mrs. Mary S. Penfield. The Corps meets every second Tuesday evening. The present officers are: President, Mrs. Mary E. Hood; Senior Vice-President, Mrs. Matilda T. Paul; Junior Vice-President, Mrs. Alice L. Fairburn; Treasurer, Miss Isabella K. Penfield; Secretary, Mrs. Anna W. Fisher; Chaplain, Mrs. Sarah E. Williamson; Conductor, Mrs. Stelle Burke; Assistant Conductor, Mrs. Mary Dann; Guard, Miss Lydia Page; Assistant Guard, Miss Alta Smith; Delegate, Mrs. Anna W. Fisher; Alternate, Mrs. Mary McCall.
Cassia Lodge, No. 180, F. & A. M.-The first Masonic Lodge instituted in Delhi was Cassia Lodge, No. 180, and the warrant issued therefore is dated March 1, 1809. DeWitt Clinton was Grand Master, Erastus Root was Master, Ambrose Bruan Senior Warden, Elnathan Heath, Junior Warden. On August 27, 1825, the corner stone for a Lodge was laid in the village, upon which occasion the Rev. Stephen Fenn delivered a sermon at the court house, before a large audience. The hall was a part of the now Kingston Hotel. How long it was used we do not know, probably not long after the Anti-Masonic excitement when the lodge was broken up. In February, 1833, it was occupied by F. A. Ferguson as a temperance hotel. In February, 1834, J. P. Flower bought it of G. H. Edgerton, and it has been occupied as a hotel ever since.
Sons of Temperance.-The first division of the Sons of Temperance in Delhi was Delhi Division, No. 180. Its charter is dated September 22, 1846. Its charter members were N. Bowne, M. S. Cannon, Ferris Jacobs, Jabez P. Meigs, Theo. L. Schell, E. S. Edgerton, P. P. Wright, Jas. R. Allaben, Jas. H. Wright, Charles Hinckley.
Delhi Chapter, No. 240, R. A. M., meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in their rooms on the third floor of the Page Block and has a membership of about sixty. The officers for 1897 are: M. E. H. P., W. G. Edgerton; E. K., J. R. Honeywell; E. S., M. O. Landon; Treasurer, W. R. Bill; Secretary, George A. Paine; C. H., Howard Bell; P. S., W. J. Humphries; R. A. C., J. B. Fairburn; M. 3d V., C. S. Woodruff; M. 2d V., R. P. McIntosh; M. 1st V., W. Ormiston; Organist, George A. Paine; Sentinel, William Ward.
The First Presbyterian Church.-The origin of this church carries us back to the beginning of the present century. It was organized in September, 1805, by the Rev. William McAuly, of Kortright Centre, assisted by Elders Judge Leal and Thomas Simpson. This was the first church organized in Delhi, and for many years was the only church in the town. It naturally at first covered a wide territory and drew its supporters from the town of Meredith and Hamden, as well as of Delhi. The church has had the ministry of five pastors-the Revs. Ebenezer H. Maxwell, James McEwen, Peter B. Heroy, Charles B. Smyth and James H. Robinson, D. D. Thirty-three members have been elected and ordained to the office of Ruling Elders for the life term. Of these, the following have served under the present pastorate: William Douglas, John D. Smith, Ebenezer F. Hutson, Robert H. Patterson, James H. Smith, Robert Young, William McMurdy, Robert Oliver, Robert J. Blair, Francis Graham, Daniel McMullin and William Forrest. The last named six are all that now remain.
Between eleven and twelve hundred members have been received into the communion of the church. When the present pastor, the Rev. J. H. Robinson, D. D., assumed the charge of the church in July, 1863, the church building was located on the flats about one mile and a half below the village. It remained in that location until the beginning of the year 1882, when a new and commodious building was completed, at a cost of $12,000, on an eligible site in Delhi village. This change in the place of worship proved to be a decided advantage in the growth and prosperity of the church. A net gain of 166 members has accrued to the society since they entered the new church, while the departments of religious service have been greatly increased and the interest in them deepened in a marked degree.
The church is now comparatively strong in membership and resources, with its large number of young people to lend a helping hand in the prayer meeting, Christian Endeavor and Junior Endeavor societies, while the missionary spirit, through the woman's society and the pastor's efforts and appeals is being gradually developed and strengthened, so that the church, in addition to its own support, is giving annually a thousand dollars and more to the various mission boards of the church. The church is harmonious in all its Christian activities and furnishes many reasons for thankfulness and renewed courage.
Rev. James H. Robinson, D. D., was born in Argyle, Washington County, N. Y. He graduated from Union College in the class of '59. Attended the Theological Seminary in Allegheny City, Pa., for four years. On graduation he was invited to Delhi and on receiving a call accepted the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church, where he has since remained.
He received the honorary title of D. D. from his Alma-Mater, Union College, in '95 at the time of her centennial celebration.
Mr. Robinson's life has been abundant in labors, not only in outside fields but in the care and administration of his church, which has required large and concentrated effort in bringing and keeping it in its present successful and prosperous state.
J. Duncan Lawrence, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Delaware County, who is prominent in county politics, owns a large and rich farm of 230 acres and is one of the leading citizens of Bloomville in the town of Kortright. He has a large dairy of over forty head of cows, in which he has reason to take special pride and with which he pays much attention. Having had considerable experience in business Mr. Lawrence conducts his dairy on business principles, and when not engaged in the duties which his position as chairman of the board requires of him devotes his personal attention to his property. He was appointed fish and game protector in August, 1895. He has served as supervisor for five consecutive years and as chairman last year and this.
His father, Jacob W. Lawrence, a native of Middletown, Delaware county, where he was engaged in and extensive lumber business, enlisted in Sickles' Brigade in the 91st New York Volunteer Infantry at the breaking out of the civil war, and died in 1862 from injuries received in service, leaving a comfortable fortune. Not only the father but the son offered their services in the defense of the Union, the latter, the subject of this sketch, enlisting in the 56th New York Volunteers, Co. H, Capt. William Joslyn, in September, 1861. He was then only 15 years old,-born January 29, 1846, in Colchester, Delaware County. He served through the war, participating in sixteen battles, among which were Williamsburg, Yorktown and Fair Oaks, and receiving an honorable discharge in November, 1865. Upon returning home he took a coarse in the Andes Collegiate Institute, after which he spent two years traveling and then settled in Binghamton where he remained five years as a clerk in a store. Returning to Delaware county he engaged in buying and selling live stock, in which he met with success. In 1882 he purchased the farm he now owns. On October 30, 1880, he married Miss Kate, daughter of Harvey Keator. For a year and a half after their marriage Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence resided in Kingston. For three years he served as superintendent of the poor. He is a member of the Delaware Valley Lodge No. 612, I. O. O. F.
The Delhi Cornet Band.-As to the band and its origin little can be learned more than there has been a band in Delhi as far back as can be remembered by the oldest inhabitants, but its history is but a repetition of all other similar organizations, they rise and fall almost continually, some move away and some die, thus depleting the ranks while their places are quickly filled up by younger men and more modern ideas and instruments. But with each change in the roster or equipment the marks of progress and improvement are always noticeable, so that what was considered good ten years ago would fall very far short of the demands of the present time. The Band has had its successes and failures under various leaders and teachers, among whom can be mentioned such able musicians as A. M. Crawford, George Persons, Jr., Ed. J. Dickson, Clarence Sutton, and others, sometimes booming up to the highest expectations of their music-loving friends, and then dropping off until only a few faithful ones were left to occasionally break the stillness with their discordant longings to have a good band again. During these spells of lethargy and dullness the soul of music was not dead but sleeping, and only waiting for the master mind to rouse them into activity. This long hoped for spirit was found in the genial gentleman Mr. B. S. Graham, of Newport, Pa., who is not only a bandman and organizer, but a leader and teacher, in every sense of the word, of band, orchestra, piano, etc., playing equally well on a number of instruments. His very presence among them is the incentive to practice, think and play until their roll at this time numbers twenty-five men equipped with fine instruments and uniforms of the latest pattern, the gifts of the public spirited citizens, for which Delhi has a very extended reputation. They have also a fine room to practice in which is painted and papered, and carefully looked after by that musical genius Charles Mace, who is never happier than when manipulating his sheepskin fiddle on parade.
The Zeta Phi Fraternity is composed of the principal business and professional men of the village and has a membership of about 250. This society is honored with the enrollment of many men who have distinguished themselves in public life. It also is remarkable because it has outlived almost a half century and is today stronger than ever. From a historical sketch written by W. P. Lynch and read at an annual festival held on July 27, 1876, we learn that this fraternity has furnished the principal teachers of the first educational institutions of the county, for several years the supervisor of Delhi and for a great many years the chairman of the board of supervisors. From its membership men have been taken to serve as district attorneys, county judges, school commissioners, members of assembly and state senators, a state superintendent of insurance, member of the constitutional conventions of 1887 and 1894, a circuit judge in Wisconsin, a probate judge in Minnesota, two members of congress, a deputy attorney general of this state, a judge of the court of appeals, a commissioner for the northern district of New York and a comptroller of the currency at Washington. Thirty of its members entered the Union army and four the navy in the last civil war, and of that number those who attained rank included one paymaster, five lieutenants, five surgeons, four captains, three majors, two lieutenant-colonels, two colonels and one brigadier-general.
The Zeta Phi fraternity of Delhi must not be confounded with the college Greet Letter society of that name. It is a secret society but altogether local, having its by-laws and written work. The society originated in Delhi, belongs there and there is no similar institution elsewhere. It was organized for mutual improvement and with the view of adopting as members such students at the Delaware Academy of more than ordinary ability as should give promise of future personal success. The membership was therefore established on a durable basis and the roll of honor above inscribed prove that the rule of selection for members was carefully followed. The founders were R. T. Johnson and T. B. Meigs. The former is now a venerable and distinguished practitioner at law at Franklin, Delaware county, and the latter is a large and successful lumber merchant in New York City. The first meeting was held in what the society called its "den" on March 3, 1855. Messrs. Johnson and Meigs initiated the following gentlemen and the society was perfected with eight members-James Lewis, E. K. Meigs, C. B. Perry, Abner Thurber, J. Henry Gould and Samuel A. Fitch. At that meeting a committee was appointed to draft a constitution. The meetings were held at irregular intervals and from the records which are carefully preserved by Prof. Smith, editor of the Delaware Gazette, it appears that a full list of officers was not chosen until at the meeting held on May 26, 1855, when the following names for different officers have been changed. The first officers: Arbiter, James Lewis (now a clergyman at Joliet, Ill.); Scribe, George E. Marvine (living in Delhi); Petrarch, Andrew Thompson (since a clergyman, deceased,); I. Usher, T. B. Meigs (now of New York); O. Usher, J. H. Griswold (deceased); Censor, R. T. Johnson (lawyer in Franklin); Editor, H. D. Gould (merchant in Chicago); Librarian, E. K. Meigs (living in New York). It is remarkable that only two of the number are dead. The fraternity held festivals at irregular periods which were the important social events of the years. In its early history the meetings were made especially interesting by debates. During the height of the anti-slavery agitation the fraternity discussed that question with earnestness. At the meeting held May 19, 1855, the topic of debate was "Resolved, that intemperance is a greater evil than slavery". The first festival was held July 3, 1855; two years later (July 3, 1857) the first public festival. By legislative enactment, April 17, 1861, the society became incorporated under the name, "The Zeta Phi Fraternity," the object of which is stated to be the establishment of a public library, the fraternity to hold property from which the annual income shall not exceed $5,000. The first death was that of Sylvester Richard McKeon, on April 25, 1856. The present officers: Andrew J. McNaught, Jr., Archon; Fred J. Decker, Petrach; Frank M. Farrington, Quester; Walter E. Newcomb, Scribe; John G. Chalmers, Censor; Fred W. Youmans, Outside Usher; Eugene P. Lynch, Inside Usher; Geor. A. Prentice, Librarian.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Delhi was formed on July 23, 1839, a few people meeting at the Court House for that purpose. Rev. Joseph B. Wakeley began at once "supplying the pulpit". James Howe presented the society with a deed of the present site on December 21, 1840, and the church was soon erected. The pastors have been: Rev. Joseph B. Wakeley, Rev. Aaron Rogers, Rev. Sanford Washburn, Rev. W. C. Smith, Rev. H. B. Mead, Rev. John Trippet, Rev. Charles Kelsey, Rev. George Taylor, Rev. Paul R. Brown, Reb. Thomas Carter, Rev. Joseph Elliott, Rev. Robert Burr, Rev. A. T. Sellick, Rev. Robert Kerr, Rev. L. B. Andrews, Rev. C. M. Eggleston, Rev. W. D. Fiero, Rev. M. S. Terry, Rev. A. Ackerley, Rev. J. G. Slater, Rev. A. R. Burroughs, Rev. J. W. McCumber, Rev. S. W. Walsworth, Rev. E. H. W. Barden, Rev. C. W. McPherson, Rev. H. W. Ackerley, Rev. George Hearn, Rev. Robert H. Kelly, Rev. S. G. Keyser, Rev. Thomas Lamont and the present pastor, Rev. W. McKendree Darwood, D. D., who began his duties on April 1, 1897. The Epworth League and the Ladies' Aid Society are important aids to the pastor, and the membership of the church which is a most prosperous one, is nearly 250.
The first jury impaneled in Delaware county met at the house of Gideon Frisbee, at the mouth of Elk Creek, October 3, 1797.
The first court seal of the county was a stream of water issuing from a mountain. ...to be continued...