[The following excerpt, “History of Essex, New York”, has been taken from Chapter XXXIV (pp. 540-559) of History of Essex County with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, edited by H. P. Smith, published by D. Mason & Co., Publishers and Printers, 63 West Water St., Syracuse, NY 1885. Text has been cross referenced between the print original (in my possession) and an online facsmimile found at history.rays-place.com.]
History of the Town of Essex
ESSEX was formed from Willsborough on the 4th of April, 1805. It lies on the shore of the lake, north of the center of the county. It is bounded on the north by the town of Willsborough, east by the lake, south by Westport, and west by Lewis. The southeastern coast is marked by the projection into the lake of Split Rock. On the south side of Split Rock is an oval bay called Grog Harbor, from the seizure and destruction at that place of a bateau-load of rum, captured from the British during the War of the Revolution. The rum was spilled into the harbor to save it from recapture. It is nearly opposite the mouth of Otter Creek and Fort Cassin on the Vermont side. In 1814 the British, designing to seize the stores and ammunitions at Vergennes, attacked the fort The onslaught was made on a Sunday afternoon and was witnessed by large numbers of people who stood on the mountain side south of Split Rock. After the firing of two hundred cannon shots and the dismantling of five of the seven guns of the fort, the discomfited fleet withdrew. This defeat of the British was the precursor of their subsequent overthrow at Plattsburg. On the north side of Split Rock sparkle the waters of Whallon’s bay, a place of surpassing natural beauty.
In 1786 Judge R. A. Heirn settled on a tract of a thousand acres of land west of this bay, erecting large dwellings, barns and tenement houses in the English style, and assuming manorial dignities. His wife was a dusky daughter of the West Indies. The manor is now owned and occupied by Wesley G. Lyon. (See chart made by Judge Heirn and inserted in subsequent page.) Judge Heirn engaged largely in the lumber business, and, through some mismanagement, lost heavily and was forced to dispose of his estates and leave for other parts. The old buildings are still standing and have been put in. repair by the present owner. “The broad piazzas, the lawn of many acres sloping down to the shore, the splendid elms and fruit trees, remain as they were planned and set by the original proprietor.”
In the northwestern part of the town is the Boquet mountain, as it is locally termed, with an elevation of about fifteen hundred feet above tide. It is one of the most symmetrical and impressive mountains in the county. The Boquet river flows northerly through nearly the center of the town. It has been described in the preceding history of Willsborough. The formation known by geologists as the Terraces of Lake Champlain are very marked in Essex. They run nearly parallel with the line of the shore, and can be traced for some miles into the interior. The surface of Lake Champlain is only about ninety feet above tide-water, and in the process of excavating in the town, large quantities of marine shells are discovered every year. These shells are also found on the summit of Poke-o’-Moonshine mountain in Chesterfield, a mass of solid azoic rock over two thousand feet above tide. The soil of Essex is clay, loam and gravel, and is well adapted for farming and grazing purposes. The township contains some of the finest farms on Lake Champlain. Large quantities of hay, beans, wool and butter are annually exported. The mineral composition of the soil is a hypersthene rock overiaia with Chazy and Trenton limestone and Hudson river slate. Potsdam sandstone crops out in places along the line of the Boquet river. The limestone is of a superior quality for building purposes and the manufacture of lime. Large quarries have been opened in the town for public works, for building the canals, and for the masonry of the Vermont Central Railroad. It is so stratified that blocks of nearly every thickness can be easily quarried. It takes a high black polish, and has been much used in ornamental work. Great quantities have been burned into lime -in the village of Essex and shipped to various markets. A fine cement rock is also found in this town. The formations of rock are highly interesting on account of the varied and numerous fossils contained in them. In the south part of the town, on the lake shore at Cannon Point, is a remarkable natural curiosity, giving certain evidence of a prehistoric eruption. From a point near the shore, bearing unmistakable signs of having at one time formed the crater of a volcano, is a center from which radiate three veins, or rather streams of igneous rock, one extending towards the lake and constituting the point, one running to the northwest, which has been traced nearly two miles, and the third running to the southwest, which has been traced more than three miles. This melted rock has also filled in many of the horizontal spaces between the strata of lime rock in the vicinity, as may be readily seen along the bluffs of the lake shore. The rock of this overflow is a handsome porphyry filled with rectangular crystals of compact feldspar, which is very hard, susceptible of the highest polish, and has been much used for ornamental purposes.
In the south part of the town, on the lot owned by William R. Derby, is found a very valuable deposit of rose quartz of a superior quality and adapted to the manufacture and finishing of china and stoneware. Many porphyry dykes are also found in this town.
The territory embraced in the boundaries of the town of Essex, in common with the other lake towns of the county, was first taken from the hands of the aborigines by the French. On the 13th of June, King Louis XV. of France gave a large tract of land to Sieur Louis Joseph Robart, his storekeeper at Montreal. Nathaniel B. Sylvester, in his valuable work, Northern New York and the Adirondack Wilderness, quotes the description of this seigneurie as follows: “Three leagues front by two leagues in depth on the west side of Lake Champlain, taking, in going down, one league below [north of] the River Boquet, and in going up, two and one-half above said river.” The French, who never effected a settlement, were forced to recede before the power of British aggressions on the conquest of 1760. Their possessions were practically confiscated by the British government and disregarded in the location of its subsequent grants. The French claimants for a long time appealed to both the courts and crown of England to obtain the restitution of their possessions, but without success. In many cases they were conciliated by equivalent grants of land in Canada. Even since the Revolution they have a number of times asserted their claims in the courts of this country. In 1809 the Supreme court of New York rendered a decision adverse to the validity of the French concessions. (See Johnson’s rep. 18, 163.)
There was no settlement in the town which tended to the permanent colonization of the country until the arrival of William Gilliland in the spring of 1765. This eminent pioneer first purchased parts of the seigneurie of Sieur Robart, king’s storekeeper at Montreal, and attempted to found a baronial manor, in imitation of those situated on the Hudson river. His first tract was six miles front on the lake and from three to four deep. He afterwards purchased other extensive tracts, a full account of which and his later persecutions is given in earlier chapters of this work.
He was born near the city of Armagh, Ireland, about 1734, and received his education there. His cultured manners, general intelligence, and fine person, made him a favorite wherever he was known. He became attached to a young lady of fortune and noble parentage named Lady Betsey Eckles. The disparity in their birth and fortune reared a barrier, and her family secluded her and used their influence to secure his banishment. He then enlisted in the 35th Regiment of the line, and after four years’ service was discharged, alone and friendless, in Philadelphia. He went to New York, entered a prominent mercantile house, and within a year became a partner. He married Elizabeth Phagan (February 8th, 1759), the beautiful and accomplished daughter of his partner, receiving with her a dowry of £ 1,500. His later operations in Essex county are, as we have said, detailed in preceding chapter.
He has numerous descendants still living, in this town and in Willsborough, which it will be interesting to name.
William Gilliland’s daughter Elizabeth married Daniel Ross about 1785, and settled at what was then called Elizabeth, now the village of Essex. His daughter, Eliza Ross, was the first white child born in the town (i 786). Daniel Ross was the first settler in what is now the town of Essex. He built the first iron works in Willsborough in 1800, and was always a most liberal patron of the iron trade in all its branches. He was sheriff of Clinton county before its division, and represented that county in the State Legislature. He was appointed the first judge of Essex county, when it was formed, and held the office nearly thirty years. One of his sons, General Henry H. Ross, afterwards a prominent man in Essex county, was one of the first white children born in the town (1790). General Ross lived in Essex all his life and died in September, 1862. He was unanimously elected the first judge of the county under the new constitution of 1846, and several times represented his district in Congress. As adjutant of the Thirty-seventh Regiment of Militia he served on General McComb’s staff at the battle of Plattsburg, and was afterwards and for some time a major-general in the militia. Of his descendants, his youngest son, Anthony J. B. Ross, two daughters, Mrs. Ellen B. Fairbanks (widow of Rev. J. N. Fairbanks, an Episcopal clergyman), and Frances J. Ross, now live together in the old homestead called “Hickory Hill” in the village of Essex. This homestead was built by Henry H. Ross in 1820. In 1822 Henry H. Ross married Susannah Blanchard, daughter of Judge Anthony J. Blanchard, of Salem, N. Y. She died February 26th, 1877.
James B. Ross, another son of Henry H. Ross, is now practicing law in Denver, Col. His son, Henry H. Ross, 2d, in July, 1881, married Anna Noble, and in December, 1882, died at Denver, leaving one child, a son, James H. H. Ross, who was born the day before his father died. He now lives with his mother in the village of Essex, at her place called “Rosslyn,” and represents the fifth generation in the direct line of the descendants of William Gilliland. The other descendants of Daniel Ross and Elizabeth Gilliland were William D. Ross, who passed all his life in the village of Essex, and died in 1844. He was extensively engaged in lumbering and mercantile business, and the manufacture of iron. His descendants are now living in Chicago, Plattsburg, and in Washington county, N. Y. Edward Ross, another son, who died unmarried in 1825, aged thirty-three years. The two daughters of Daniel Ross were Eliza, wife of Charles Platt and afterwards of Ransom Noble, late of Essex, and Sarah, wife of Charles Noble, late of Elizabethtown.
The children of Henry H. Ross, now living in Essex county, are James B. Ross, lawyer, of Denver, Col.; Frederick H. Ross, merchant, of Dowagiac, Mich.; and John Ross, for many years engaged in building steam and sail vessels, and in general wood manufacturing at Essex, and flO\v of the Plattsburg Dock Company. His adopted daughter, Susannah Ross, is the wife of Rev. E. D. Cooper, D.D., rector of the Church of the Redeemer at Astoria, Long Island, N. Y. Sarah Shumway, granddaughter of Charles H. Platt and Eliza Ross (above named daughter of Daniel Ross and Elizabeth Gilliland) is also a resident of Essex.
Charlotte Gilliland, another daughter of William Gilliland, was married about 1786 to Stephen Cuyler. Their son, John Cuyler, married Phcebe Hoffnagle. Of their children now living in the town of Willsborough are John B. Cuyler and Susannah Cuyler, who reside together about two miles south of the village of Willsborough. Other descendants of Stephen Cuyler are living in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
Another daughter of William Gilliland, Jane Gilliland, was married to John Bleecker, of Albany, where many of his descendants now reside.
His other child, William Gilliland, settled near Plattsburg, the present residence of his descendants.
The sketch or chart on the next page is a fac-simile of an original map found among the papers of the late General Ross, and forms a comparison of the handwriting and statements, with other early records, deeds and surveys showing the ownership and description of lands in the vicinity at the date of its making; it is identified as the work of Robert A. Heirn, whose history has been elsewhere given in this chapter. It includes a large tract then owned by him, and was made in the year 1786. It is without doubt the oldest sketch in existence showing the location of farming lands and highways in Essex county, just after the Revolution.
The following is a statement showing the present owners of the tracts named in the map, or of tracts included in or including said tracts, furnished by Mr. Anthony J. B. Ross, of Essex:
OLD MAP. PRESENT OWNERS.
Gilliland Block-house farm James B. Ross.
Higgins David S. Hayward.
Ross Northerly part, including the
house, designated on map William R. Derby.
Southerly part Belden Noble.
Easterly part Essex Village.
Gilliland Easterly part Essex Village.
Central part Farm of A. J. B. Ross & Sisters.
Westeriy part Adam K. Stafford & M. McFarland.
Heath Easterly part Village of Essex.
Westerly part Adam K. Stafford.
Northerly part Ezra K. Parkhill.
Southerly part Henry H. Noble.
Hoffnagle, 100 acres, (No. 4) Henry H. Noble.
Heath lot, 100 acres, Henry H. Noble.
200 acres, (next south) Northerly part Roswell C. Waite.
200 acres, Southerly part Samuel D. Tuttle.
Botts, Samuel D. Tuttle.
Hoffnagle, 100 acres, (No. 3) Stephen D. Derby.
Jewett, 100 acres, Stephen D. Derby.
W. Low lot, 50 acres, Stephen D. Derby.
Hally’s lot, 50 acres, Stephen D. Derby.
Hoffnagle lot, 160 acres, (No. 1) John Burt.
Havens lot, Wesley G. Lyon.
The lot obtained of Bolts, 125 acres, Westerly part Joseph W. Cross.
The lot I live on, 110 acres Easterly part, Wesley G. Lyon.
My 600 acres Easterly part Wesley G. Lyon.
Westerly part Jos. W. Cross & G. J. Walker.
C. Havens, 100 acres Gardner J. Walker.
I. Daniels. Michael Hyland.
Amos Stafford Ira A. Stafford.
Benjamin Stafford Ira A. Stafford.
Hoffnagle, 110 acres, (No. 2) Horace E. Sheldon.
Daniels & Stillwell, 200 acres Sorrell Jordo & Hazelton.
E. Eggleston. Titus H. Bigelow.
Anthony J. B. Ross has, in his custody a paper in the handwriting of General Henry H. Ross, containing valuable historical memoranda relating to the town of Essex. It was written about 1840. It states that the first settlers were from Duchess county, and numbered Daniel Ross, Isaac Sheldon, Thomas Pray, and Abram Reynolds. Shortly afterward Amos and Benjamin Stafford came from Scituate, Rhode Island. The first school in the town was kept by Mrs. Erasmus Towner. The first male teacher was Enoch F. Henry, who taught in 1789. The first tavern was built by William Ring in 1786. The first grist-mill was erected in 1810, at Boquet, by William D. Ross. About the same time and at the same place he built a rolling and slitting-mill and nail factory. The first store was built and conducted in the village of Essex in 1784 by Daniel Ross, who about the same year built a saw-mill at Boquet and a grist-mill at Willsborough. The first regular religious service was initiated by Henry Boynham,an English Episcopalian, in 1800. Delevan Delance, a resident of Essex, was one of the earliest sheriffs of the county. Reuben Whallon, of Whallonsburgh, held the office of first judge of the old Court of Common Pleas. The first law office in the towns of Essex and Wilisborough was built of stone about midway between the two villages about 1800 by Judge Martin Aiken. It is now a tenement house on the farm of Benjamin Fairchild.
Other pioneers of Essex were Daniel Murray, Henry Van Ormand, Dr. Colborn Clemens (the first physician), David and Abner Reynolds, Nehemiah Payn James Eldrich, Thomas Stafford, E. Eggleston, and Richard Eggleston.
Soon after the close of the Revolution, and before the inhabitants of the town had settled into the habitual repose of continued peace, a block-house was constructed about three-fourths of a mile north of the village of Essex on the farm now owned by James B. Ross (now called Faulderwood). It was an pretentious structure built of logs, and evidently intended rather as a protection against the unbridled ferocity of Indian hatred, than against the assaults of civilized enemies. In 1799 upon the formation of the county it was converted into a court-house, and used as such until, under the act of 1807, the county buildings were erected at Elizabethtown. There is considerable uncertainty about the date of the construction of this building. Mr. Watson in his valuable history has united with French’s Gazetteer in placing the date as late as 1797. But, as will be seen by reference, it is indicated in the Heirn chart made in 1786 and printed in these pages. Captain Martin Eggleston thinks it was erected in 1775, but this seems improbable from the slight possibility that it could survive the devastations of the war, and the fact that there was probably no need of a block-house here at so early a date. The most probable theory, therefore, seems to be that it was built soon after the War of the Revolution.
Resuming the narrative of early settlement it may be stated that General Ransom Noble came to Essex in about 1800 and engaged successfully in the tannery, lumber, and iron business. His sons, H. and B. Noble, succeeded him in business. Henry Noble, another son, now deceased, settled at Elizabethtown where his family now reside. Charles Noble, also a son, formerly resided in New York city. The family of Harmon Noble, deceased, now live in Essex, and the family of Belden Noble, are at Washington, D. C. Henry Harmon Noble, son of Harmon Noble, and the only male representative of the family at Essex, resides in the house formerly occupied by his father, and in earlier days by General Noble himself. The place is appropriately called “Sunnyside.” (See biographic sketches in later pages.)
Amos and David Stafford occupied two lots on Whallon’s bay immediately after the close of the Revolution. In 1792 Judge Charles Hatch moved into that part of Essex known as Brookfieid, where he remained until 1804. He then went to Westport. Mr. Watson states that the removal of his family from Brookfield to Westport (on North West bay), a distance of eight miles, occupied two days, and required the labor of four men to open a roadway for the wagon.
Such was the general condition of the neighborhood previous to the beginfling of the present century. The villages and settlements increased gradually in population and business activity. Lumbering was carried on extensively, the iron industry was a bud of great promise; taverns owned by men who were endowed with generous licenses to engage in the traffic of liquors grew abundant, and potash factories flourished with an ease that made them seem indigenous. Commerce on Lake Champlain did not reach its greatest activity for a number of years, but something of its future began to be manifest, and the village of Essex, the most thriving of the three which exchanged courtesies in the town of Essex, sprang into considerable prominence as a commercial and ship-building center.
Before the War of 1812 the craft that sailed the lake were very small, there being none, according to the statement of Captain Martin Eggleston, that would carry more than forty or fifty tons. Several large sloops were built in Essex in 1811 and 1812, and, indeed, the principal boat-building on this side of the lake was done here. Richard Eggleston built in 1810 the first sloop that ever sailed the waters of these northern lakes. She was built for William D. Ross, who named her the Euretta. Soon after, when the clouds of approaching war hung threateningly over the whole country, larger craft were required, and Richard Eggleston built eight or ten vessels of more than one hundred and fifty tons burden. He undoubtedly constructed more than a hundred freight vessels in all. In 1811 and 1812 he commenced building two sloops, The President and The Richard, the former for John Boynton, of Plattsburg, and the latter for Gideon King, of Burlington, who, among others, had obtained letters of marque and reprisal, and designed using the sloops for privateering purposes. Before the craft were finished news arrived that the British fleet was coming to bombard Fort Cassin on Otter creek, across the lake. The sloops were hastily caulked, launched, taken to Barn Rock on the south side of Split Rock Point, put in the bay and completely concealed beneath huge masses of brush. In about two weeks the British bombarded Fort Cassin in order to weaken the strength of the navy yard at Vergennes, but without success. After the bombardment the British anchored in a line in front of Essex, furled their top-sails, threw out their guns towards the village and made every preparation to fire. The British commander came in towards shore and wanted to know if the citizens desired a truce. In response to a signal from General Henry H. Ross they came ashore, and a parley was held. The Englishmen spied upon the shore the spars which had been prepared for the sloops, and demanded information concerning the whereabouts of the vessels. He was told they were at Whitehall, whereupon he ordered his men to cut the spars to pieces. He immediately retracted his order, however, with the observation that the Revolutionists “could easily get more.” The sloops were afterwards finished and passed through exciting vicissitudes, under the names of the Growler and the Eagle. They were taken by the British and recaptured at Plattsburg.
This was not the only visit paid to the site of Essex village by British enemies. In the War of the Revolution the fleeing British, retreating from Ticonderoga after the defeat of Burgoyne, were intercepted here by a party of “Green Mountain Boys” under Ebenezer Allen, who captured fifty prisoners and all their military stores.
The lumber markets in those days, it will be remembered, were Montreal and Quebec. Enormous quantities of square timber and sawed lumber were shipped there from all points along Lake Champlain. A number of sloops were manufactured to carry lumber south after the completion of the canal to Troy. Between 1825 and 1836 there were probably one hundred and twentyfive sloops sailing the lake. Richard Eggleston also built two hundred and fifty row galleys or bateaux for the American fleet on the lake. His son, Captain Martin Eggleston, who was born at Essex in 1806, sailed on the lake from 1821 to 1863.
As early as 1810 there were three asheries in the territory now composing the town of Essex. One near Whallon’s bay, owned by Judge Heirn, one about six miles west of the village of Essex, owned by Daniel Ross, and one in the village of Essex, owned by William D. Ross. It is estimated that these three asheries manufactured from two hundred to three hundred tons of potash annually. General Ransom Noble owned and conducted a tannery in Essex as early as 1800, and was extensively engaged in the lumber and iron business. About 1810 there were three taverns in the village of Essex, kept by Amos Anson, Nathan Nichols and Isaac Drew. There were seven outside the village, as follows: one at Whallon’s bay, kept by a Mr. Miller; one at Whallonsburgh, kept by Sawyer Carter; one kept by Benjamin Stafford in the west part of the town; one on the same road toward Westport from Stafford, kept by John Burt; one six miles west of the village of Essex kept by Jesse Reynolds, near the potash factory of Daniel Ross; one kept by N. Wallace, about a mile west of the village, and one at Boqüet. Shortly after 1810 General Wright kept the hotel now run by J. C. Baldwin.
William D. Ross had a distillery just north of Essex before 1820, which was probably the only one in the town.
Farming remained at a low ebb until as late as 1830, when the lumber trade began to decline. The western parts of the town were cultivated first, although the most fruitful soil lies along the shore of the lake.
Town Officers, etc. – The records of this town are not in existence until after the year 1820, as far as we have been able to ascertain, which prevents the publication of the names of the first officers. We have, however, obtained the names of the successive supervisors after and including the year 1818. They are as follows: 1818-19, Reuben Whallon; 1820-21, Ralph Hascall; 1822 to 1824 inclusive, William Smith; 1825-26, Ransom Noble; 1827 to 1829 inclusive, Reuben Whallon; 1830-31, John Gould; 1832, Richard Eggleston; 1833 to 1835 inclusive, Henry H. Ross; 1836-37, William D. Ross; 1838-39, Abel Baldwin; 1840, Henry H. Ross; 1841-42, Samuel Shumway; 1843-44., Belden Noble; 1845-46, Daniel North; 1847-48, Michael H. Stower; 1849-50, Edward S. Shumway; 1851-52, Palmer E. Havens; 1853-54, William D. Ross, 2d; 1855-56, Eli W. Rogers; 1857-58, James Stafford; 1859-60, Phillip S. Baldwin; 1861-62, Belden Noble; 1863 to 1865 inclusive, John Hoskins; 1866 to 1868 inclusive, John Ross; 1869-70, George W. Palmer; 1871, Jonathan Mather; 1872, Buel D. Bacon; 1873-74, Jonathan Mather; 1875, Andrew J. Tucker; 1876 to 1878 inclusive, Walter D. Palmer; 1879, W. H. Stower; 1880 to 1883 inclusive, Charles W. Tucker; 1884 to present time, Anthony J. B. Ross.
Population of Town.- 1850, 2,351; 2,115; 1860, 1,633; 1865, 1,501; 1870, 1,600; 1875, 1,867; 1880, 1,462.
The first muster roll from the county at the outbreak of the Rebellion was taken in the town of Essex. Captain William D: Ross, eldest son of General Henry H. Ross, took about forty men from the town early in May, 1861, and had them incorporated with the Anderson Zouaves, under Colonel Riker at New York city. The following is a list of the volunteers as named in said roll, most of whom he commanded as lieutenant and captain. The roll is dated May 2d, 1861: William D. Ross, Belden R. Parkill, James Phillips, Charles Hoffnagle, Edmund Atherton, Albert Green, John Maloy, Joseph Hall, William E. Pratt, Horace A. Pratt, John Gordon, Franklin J. West, Samuel F. West, Henry H. Tucker, Andrew Todd, Napoleon Durant, Joseph Martin, Friend A. Smith, Charles P. Saywood, Henry W. Baldwin, George Tucker, James Stone, John Reed, Peter Lowe, Ira P. Knapp, Nathan W. Lincoln, E. Story, John Damady, Horace Smith, Franklin Flurry, Edwin Clemmons, F. A. Brown, George Chase, Artemas Woodruff, Daniel Cross. With a few exceptions the above names represent the men who left the town in May, 1861, to take an active part in the great struggle. The brave and gallant captain of this company, William D. Ross, did not live to see the cause, for which he was willing to sacrifice his life, victorious. On the 25th day of October, 1861, while in the line of his duty, the railroad track near Washington, he was struck and killed by a passing train. He was buried with military honors at Washton, where his remains rested until his death was made known to his friends in Essex, when he was brought home and buried in the family vault. At the time of his death he was thirty. one years of age, and had been in the practice of law in Essex for about eight years. For further military details see the chapter devoted to that subject.
The town of Essex contains three villages, Essex, Whallonsburgh, and Boquet. The village of Essex, the largest and oldest of the three, is situated on the shore of the lake in the northeastern corner of the town. As stated in the earlier part of this chapter, it was at one time one of the chief ports on the lake, and until after 1840 was an important ship-building center. Iron was manufactured here extensively at one time, but these industries have died and have been replaced by others.
Mercantile. – As early as 1815 William D. Ross, Ransom Noble, and John Gould were store-keepers here. How long they continued is not known, but they had been succeeded by others years before the oldest merchant now in the village began business here.
The merchant of longest standing in the village is William R. Derby, who has traded here since September, 1854. At that time he bought out the general store of Wesley G. Lyon, who had been a general merchant in the place about eight years preceding. Mr. Derby has occupied his present building about eight years. Andrew J. Tucker has sold general merchandise in this village since 1861. He was in partnership with Welsey G. Lyon until 1864, when that relation was dissolved and a new partnership established between Mr. Tucker and D. E. Field. This firm was not separated until 1880. Mr. Tucker has been in the building he now uses from the start, with the exception of the six years between 1863 and 1870. He carries a stock estimated at $8,000. Buel D. Bacon opened a hardware store in Essex in the fall of 1868. He then purchased the stock and good will of Theodore Calkins, who had conducted the business for several years previous. Mr. Bacon has been in his present building since 1881. In 1873 S. D. Derby started a general store in company with his brother, W. R. Derby, and remained with him four years. Since 1877 he has been alone. He carries a stock of about $15,000.
W. J. Hoskins commenced dealing in furniture about 1875. In July, 1884, his brother, E. W. Hoskins, entered into partnership with him. W. J. Hoskins died in January, 1885, since which time his brother has conducted the business alone. E. H. & C. H. Stafford (brothers) began to keep a general store here in 1882, being successors to W. G. Lyon, who had conducted a like business in the same building since 1868.
George D. Anson established a store in the building now occupied by him in 188o. It is the same building which H. D. Edwards had used as a store years ago, but it had been vacant for some time when Mr. Anson came into it. Ira C. Stafford, a jeweler, also has a jewelry and music store in the village. W. W. Wilson has had a feed store here since November, 1884. Mosier Ferguson has had a shoe-shop in this village since 1875, and Charles Michon since 1878. R. Fortune, tailor, has been engaged in his present occupation here since 1842. For the first twenty years he occupied the house now used as the Congregational parsonage. He came into the building he now occupies in 1867.
Manufactures. – The Essex Horse Nail Company (Limited) was incorporated in June, 1879. There were originally, and are now, about fifty shareholders in the company. The first officers were: President, Palmer E. Havens; vice president, Alpheus A. Morse; secretary, Walter D. Palmer; treasurer, William R. Derby; superintendent, James Mills. Directors besides the officers above named: Stephen D. Derby, Wesley G. Lyon, Anthony J. B. Ross, Seth Crosman, Charles A. Martin, Lyman Barton, John N. Oliver, James H. Howe.
The company purchased the ground and buildings of Lyon & Palmer, who had up to that time, 1879, used them for the manufacture of sashes and blinds. One of the buildings was remodeled into the present machine-shop, and another converted into the store-house. The office and other buildings were erected anew. The total cost of the building and remodeling was about $20,000, and of machinery and fixtures about $25,000. The works and office are situated on the shore of the lake. where the company own a wharf for their own convenience. It affords those interested in lake traffic the benefits of competition between this wharf and three others in the same village. The company employ, when running in full force, sixty or seventy hands. The president of the company now is Hon. Palmer E. Havens; the vice president is D. F. Payne; secretary and treasurer, W. D. Palmer; superintendent, C. W. Woodford. Mr. Woodford has been superintendent since May, 1880. The capital stock of the company is $80,000, paid up. (See biography of C. W. Woodford herein.)
The old sash factory of Lyon & Palmer, mentioned above, stood on ground which formed originally the ship-yard of Hoskins, Ross & Co., the firm being composed of John Hoskins, John Ross and Wesley J. Hoskins. Subsequently James B. Ross became interested in the concern, the firm title was changed to The Essex Manufacturing Company, and the business to the manufacture of sashes and blinds. Lyon & Palmer bought them out in 1877. The old shipbuilding business was killed by the construction and opening of railroads on both sides of the lake.
Hotels. – Essex village has two hotels. The oldest one, that now kept by J. C. Baldwin, was erected and kept by General Wright before the beginning of the present century. Some parts of it are supposed to be a hundred years old. It is a fairly well-preserved centenarian. General Wright conducted the hotel business therein until about 1810. The present proprietor has been here since May 1st, 1874. He was preceded by Eli Farnsworth. Some years before the beginning of the Civil War, Charles G. Fancher came into possession, and was followed successively by William Brainard, who left in 1861, Martin Eggleston, Edward Burt, Webster W. Royce, Parker Torrance, Sidney Carr, Eli Farnsworth and J. C. Baldwin.
North’s Hotel was built by Delavan Delance about the year 1830 for a private dwelling house. Afterwards Noble Clemmons remodeled it into a hotel and kept it until about 1850. The present proprietor, De Lloyd W. North, took possession in 1882. Before that it was vacant for a time, the last proprietor before the vacancy being Harry Palmer. William Brandeau preceded him, his term beginning May, 1874. Before Brandeau was Eli Farnsworth; prior to Farnsworth’s occupancy the house lay idle for years, probably since 1864 or ’65. In 1861 William Brainard came in and remained three or four years.
The Professions.- Hon. Palmer E. Havens began the practice of law in the village of Essex in 1841. He was admitted at Plattsburg after passing a period of study in the office of General Henry H. Ross. He has ably represented his county and district in the Legislature as Assemblyman and Senator. (See biography.)
James B. Ross, now of Denver, Col., was admitted in 1854, and practiced in Detroit until 1859. From there he removed to Houghton, Mich., where he stayed nine years as the attorney for the copper mining companies of Michigan. He came to Essex in 1868. In 1874 his brother, Anthony J. B. Ross, who practices here now, went in with him. They practiced together under the firm style of Ross & Ross until 1882, when James B. Ross moved to Denver. During his residence in Essex, James B. Ross was one of the wardens of St. John’s Church. He was also largely interested in the business pursuits of the town. Anthony J. B. Ross graduated at Hobart College, Geneva, N. Y., in 1866, and was admitted to practice at Albany in 1874 after studying the requisite period with the firm of Hand, Hale, Swartz & Fairchild, of Albany. He is the present supervisor of the town. The law-office now occupied by Mr. Ross was built (of stone) by General Henry H. Ross in 1812.
Edwin R. Chase, M.D., aged fifty-seven years, came to Essex in 1858. He received his professional education in the Albany Medical College.
Dr. Edward B. Atkins, aged thirty-six years, was graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1874, and came to Essex in May, i88o. In 1877 he received the Adeundem Degree from the University of New York city.
Union School. – The Essex Union School was formed April 12th, 1866. The first trustees were Wesley G. Lyon, E. R. Eaton, and Robert Fortune, one year; Ezra Parkhill, E. R. Chase, M.D., and R. Morse, two years; Palmer E. Havens, John Hoskins, and John Ross, three years. The office of first clerk and librarian devolved upon Wesley G. Lyon E. R Brougham was the first principal. Under the new regime the school remained for a short time in the old brick house which now stands about ten rods south of the one at present occupied. The trustees very soon secured an old dwelling house, formerly owned and occupied by General Ransom Noble, and moved it on to the school lot. It was denominated the Academy building. Finding it unfit for the purposes to which it had been converted, the board in 1867 erected the present structure at a cost not exceeding $5,000. The primary department has been since added. The present trustees of the school are as follows : – Committee on teachers: Wesley G. Lyon, W. J. Hoskins (since election deceased), William H. Stower. Committee on finance: Walter D. Palmer, Dwight E. Field, Henry H. Noble; committee on buildings, etc., H. W. Parkhill, Myron Eggleston, and George Anson. The present clerk of the board, H. W. Parkhill, has officiated continuously since 1875. There are three teachers in constant employment, F. M. Hickok being at present the principal. The average attendance of the school is about one hundred and thirtyeight.
Churches. – The most ancient church organization now existing in the village of Essex is undoubtedly the Congregational Church, though it cannot date its origin back of the period of religious services held by the Episcopalian, Henry Boynham, mentioned in the memoranda of Henry H. Ross.
Presbyterian Church. – This church was organized on the 3d day of December, 18 15, by the Rev. Cyrus Comstock, of the Berkshire and Columbia Missionary Society. The records show the first members to have been Ira Manley, Reuben Whallon, Ralph Hascall, Mary Hascall, Theodosia Gould, Annis Wallis, Asa Frisbie, Mrs. Fairchild, Mrs. Higby, Mrs. Throop, Chloe Higby. Among the members who were soon after added to the society were Fanny Little, Julia Lynde, Betsey Earle, Ellen Gilbert, Mrs. Boynton, Dr. Abel P. Mead, Dr. Samuel Shumway, Hannah Shumway, Phoebe Eggleston, Eliza Whallon, Daniel Lynde.
The first preaching, in addition to that of the Rev. Mr. Comstock, was by Rev. Asa Messer. About the year 1823 Ira Manley preached occasionally. At this time meetings were held in the brick school-house in Essex and in the school-house near Wilisborough Falls. It was a Congregational Church until December, 1830, when the members from Essex adopted the ecclesiastical government of the Presbyterian Church. Previous to this time the society embraced the towns of Essex and Wilisborough; but when the Essex congregation changed to the Presbyterian government, the two towns separated their church interests and the Wilisborough congregation continued under the original form of worship. Following are the names of the elders after the change: James S. Whallon, Abiel P. Mead, Asa Frisbie, Colonel William Smith. The first church building was erected in the year 1818. The movement which resulted in the building of the church was preceded by the circulation of the following subscription paper : – “We, the subscribers, do hereby associate ourselves into a society for building a meeting house, or a place of public worship, in the town of Essex, on or near the site of the old school-house which was burned, on the hill in the rear of the dwelling house of Ezra Parkhill. And we do severally agree to pay to a committee of three persons the several sums respectively annexed to our names for the purpose aforesaid, which said sums shall be paid in four equal quarterly installments, in cattle, grain or iron, to wit: The one-fourth part of which sums to be paid by the first day of May next; the remaining three installments by the first days of August, November and February next thereafter, in cattle, grain or iron, or in material acceptable to said committee, who are to be chosen and elected by the said subscribers at a meeting to be held at the house of Delevan Delance in Essex, on the first Monday in December next. And the pews or other property of the said meeting house and the ground appropriated for the same shall be disposed of according to the resolutions of the said subscribers at a subsequent meeting; shall be at such time and place as shall be appropriated by the first meeting aforesaid. Dated Essex, November 10th, 1817. “Henry H. Ross, $400 including an acre of land at $125; W. D. Ross, $300; Ransom G. Hatch, $250; Ralph Hascall, $150; John Gould, $100; (name illegible) $100; D. Delance, $50; D. B. McNeil, $75; Charles McNeil, $5 (cash); Luther Adgate, $50; Ezra Parkhill, $50; Charles B. Prindle, $50; Luther Prose, $40; John Earl, $25; Jonathan Little, $75; James M. Hayes, $20; Sawyer Carter, $25 ; Simeon Pangburn, $5; H. A. Hawley, $25; Ezra Coats, jr., $5 (a gratuity); David Delance, $4; Willard Church, $5; Asahel Row, $4; J. G. Cornell, $5; D. W. Sturtevant, $5; David Jacobs, $5; Joshua Martin, $50; Russell Vaughn, $5; Dean Delance, $6; Samuel C. Taylor, $25; Elijah Carter, $15; John Hoffnafle, $50 (but if preparations are making for building a meeting-house in Wilisborough, before the frame of Essex meeting-house is raised, then $25 to be deducted;) Hine Clemons, $50; Solomon Cook, $25; William Braman, $10; Thomas Edwards $10; Phineas Haskins, $5; Silas C. Perry, %5; These names were all signed with a wafer and seal numbered consecutively.
The church erected in 1818 was used until 1821, when a supplemental subscription paper was issued to raise funds to complete the building. In this subscription paper appears the name of H. A. Hawley for “$2 towards painting, and $3 towards interior finishing, when the same shall be half done.” The present church was erected in 1853 at a cost of about $10,000. The corner stone was laid December 13th, 1853, the services being conducted by Rev. J. T. Willet. The value of the church property, including the parsonage, is about $10,000.
Following are the names of the successive pastors who have served the church since 1827: 1827-30, Rev. Vernon D. Taylor; 1831-32, Rev. J. B. Baldwin; 1832 to 1844, Rev. Joel Fisk; 1844 to 1847, Rev. A. Bronson; for a short time after 1847, Rev. Moses Chase officiated; 1850-51, Rev. J. G. Randall; 1852 to 1865, Rev. J. T. Willet; 1865 to 1882, Rev. C. N. Wilder; 1882-83, Rev. Thornton Mills; present pastor, Augustus Frederick. The present church officers are as follows: Trustees, Henry H. Noble, C. W. Tucker, Thomas Maguire, William H. Stower, E. R. Chase, M.D., C. H. Stafford, William R. Derby, D. E. Field, A. A. Morse. Elders, A. A. Morse, B. F. Lee, Edwin R. Chase, M.D., O. C. Morse, E. P. Morse, C. H. Stafford, W. E. Atherton. Deacon, Asa Hale. The membership is one hundred and thirty-one.
There has been a Sunday-school connected with the church from about the beginning of the organization. A. A. Morse has held the office of superintendent for more than twenty years. Membership is ninety.
Methodist Episcopal Church. – This church was organized January 12th, 1835, the original trustees being as follows: First class, William D. Ross, John Gould, Hine Clemons; second class, Noble Clemons, Lewis Ladd; third class, Charles C. Cheney, Asa Derby. The present church edifice was begun soon after the organization, but it was several years before it was finished. In 1852 the Wilisborough people, who had been associated with the church during the first seventeen years of its life, effected a separation. The ministerial succession in the church has been as follows: Lewis Potter and John Graves and John Haslan; Arunah Lyon and Benjamin Cox; Aaron Hall and O. J. Squires; J. D. White and Benjamin Pomeroy; J. D. Burnham and A. Garvin; S. Coleman and Henry Taylor; J. D. White and ____ ; J. D. Burnham and M. B. Wood; William Arner and ____ ; David Osgood and O. J. Squires; John Graves and J. D. Wescott; Josiah Chamberlain and D. H. Loveland; William Arner and ____ ; in 1852 W. H. Meeker; followed by Andrew McGilton, Matthias Ludham, Joel Eaton, Joseph Cope, J. M. Puffer, George W. Brown, D. N. Lewis, John Vrooman, J. D. White, M. N. Curry, J. W. Thompson, C. H. Richmond, W. P. Rulison, George H. Robbins, 1876-79; E. J. Guernsey, 1879-82; J. M. Edgerton, 1882-85; and the present pastor, Elam Marsh, who came in the spring of 1885.
The church building was extensively improved in 1876 and again in 1884, the last time at a cost of about $1,000.
The present officers of the church are as follows: Stewards, W. H. Adsit, (district steward); 0. Parker, B. D. Bacon, M. Sibly, Z. Clark, G. D. Anson, C. E. Hoskins, E. W. Hoskins, L. L. Calkins, recording steward. Leaders, A. E. Winslow, W. D. Palmer, D. S. Whallon. Trustees, John Hoskins, chairman, W. G. Lyon, B. D. Bacon, W. H. Adsit, M. E. Eggleston, clerk. Sunday-school superintendents B. D. Bacon and Mrs. F. J. Avery.
The Baptist Church of Essex village was an offshoot of the Essex church at Brookfield, and was organized in 1838, with a membership of eighteen. Elders Hodges and Walden of Elizabethtown supplied the pulpit the first three years and increased the membership to one hundred and five. The church was begun in 1840 and completed in 1842. Fifteen ministers have officiated, viz.: Revs. C. W. Hodges, J. H. Walden, Lyman Smith, Isaac Waldron, Elias Huriburt, C. H. Pierson, K. Smith, C. W. Walker, E. A. Wyman, George E. Henderson, Calvin Fisher, Luman Kinney, Stephen Wright, I. E. Howd, S. W. Nichols, J. R. Taylor, A. H. Stock. Rev. A. H. Stock left in April, 1884, since which time the church has been without a pastor. The present deacons are Philip S. Baldwin and Aiken E. Sheldon, who also perform the duties of church trustees. Albert Baldwin is the present church clerk.
St. John’s Church, Essex, (Episcopal,). – The church was organized March 21st, 1853, the missionary in charge being Rev. F. C. Putnam. The persons present at the first meeting were, Rev. F. C. Putnam, Henry H. Ross, William H. Low, Henry N. Gould, Ezra Parkhill, H. A. Palmer, Elihu Gilbert, Seth Crossman, Peter Chamberlain, William Buch, Henry D. Edwards, Henry Barker, Charles A. Martin, William E. Sayward, Asa P. Hammond, and George E. Atwater.
The organization of this church was mainly due to the efforts and influence of Mrs. Henry H. Ross, and her daughter, Susannah M. Ross, now Mrs. Cooper. The first officers were as follows: Henry H. Ross, senior warden; Asa P. Hammond, junior warden. Vestrymen, Henry N. Gould, William H. Low, Henry W. Putnam, Ezra Parkhill, Seth Crossman, Elihu Gilbert, George E. Atwater, Charles A. Martin.
From 1853 to 1877 services were held in a building erected by Henry H. Ross about 1835 for a school-house on the lot where the present church edifice stands, and by him devoted to the uses of the church during those years. In 1877 the church purchased the building and lot, removed the old building to its present site and rebuilt it in its present form, from designs by the Rev. John Henry Hopkins, D.D. In the same year the rectory was built on the same lot. The church is a frame building supported by buttresses on the east side. with a wing for the organ chamber and vestry-room, and a bell cot at the north end. It contains a marble altar constructed from stone found in the town. The base is of blue limestone, sanded, the sides and top of dolomite cut from a boulder found in the vicinity, which presents a variegated surface resembling mosaic work. It is supported at the sides by pillars of black marble (blue limestone polished), and surmounted by a super-altar of the same marble and a cross of dolomite which, as well as the front of the altar, is inlaid with porphyry and marbles of different colors. It was made from designs by Dr. Hopkins and was his gift to the church. The church also contains a tablet to the memory of Henry H. Ross, the founder of the parish, and another to the memory of the Rev J N. Fairbanks, the third rector of the parish, both being erected by the vestry.
The following have officiated as rectors of this church: 1853-54, Rev. Fernando C. Putnam; 1855-56, Rev. Edmund D. Cooper; 1857-60, Rev. J. N. Fairbanks; 1862-65, Rev. Edmund D. Cooper; 1865-66, Rev. Charles Husband; 1867-68, Charles C. Fiske; 1868-69, Elias Weil; 1869-70, Rev. John Henry Hopkins, jr., D.D.,; 1871-72, Rev. James E. Hall; 1873-76, Rev. J .W. McIlwaine 1878-83, Rev. E. L. Toy; 1884, Rev. Norman Irish, D.D., who is the present pastor.
The present number of communicants is ninety. The officers are: Stephen D. Derby, senior warden; Andrew J. Tucker, junior warden; A. J. B. Ross, Robert Fortune, Moses Knowlton, H. E. Woodford, Edward W. Richardson, Charles. W. Woodford, Edward B. Atkins, M. D., vestrymen.
A Sunday-school was organized at the same time with the church; the rectors have been superintendents.
St. Joseph’s church (Roman Catholic.) – This church was organized in 1872. The first trustees were Michael McFarland and Terence McFarland.. First priest, Rev. James Shields. The church building was begun in 1872 and finished in the next year, at a cost of about $9,000. Following are the names of the successive priests who have served the church: Rev. John Redington, Rev. John H. Sullivan, Rev. Mr. Devlin, M. A. Holihan, the present priest. The present membership comprises about one hundred families. The trustees are Terence McFarland and Victor Fuller. A Sunday-school has been conducted since the organization of the church, with the priest as superintendent.
Freemasonry. – Essex lodge No. 152 (the first in the county), was chartered February 14th, 1807. Its records are lost but it seems to have been in existence as late as 1822. The present Masonic lodge of Essex (Iroquois lodge, No. 715), was chartered June 7th, 1862. Its original membership numbered about fifty. The first officers were: James B. Ross, W. M.; Andrew J. Tucker, sen. warden; George Alexander, junior warden. The present officers are as follows: Charles J. Merriam, W. M.; W. M. French, senior warden; 0. E. Hayes, junior warden; John B. Cuyler, senior deacon; G. F. Eggleston, junior deacon; Dwight E. Field, secretary; A. J. Tucker, treasurer; G. A. Calkins, senior master of ceremonies; David S. Hayward, junior master of ceremonies; H. J. Hinkley, tiler. Lodge meetings are held in the store building in which Stafford Brothers keep store.
In August, 1869, a chapter (Split Rock chapter, Number 243), containing a membership of twenty-five, was organized. The first high priest was John Ross. William Hoskins held the office of king; Franklin D. Bennett, of scribe; Ambrose Brunell, of captain of the host; and Joshua Bennett, of principal sojourner. The present officers are: D. E. Field, H. P.; D. S. Hayward K.; H. S. Stower, S.; A. J. Tucker, C. of H.; Anthony J. B. Ross, P. S.; John B. Cuyler, R. A C. (royal arch captain); J. W. Chamberlain, M. 3d V. (master of the third veil); George Alexander, M. 2d. V.; Asa Frisbie, M. 1st. V.; H. J. Hinkley, tiler.
Postmasters. – The first postmaster of which any record can be found is Judge John Gould, who officiated from a date antecedent to 1818 until about 1838. He was succeeded by Dr. E. P. Mead, who served his country in the capacity of mail distributor four or five years, and was in turn superseded by Charles J. Fancher. He gave place to Robert Fortune about six years after he had taken the oath of office. By another presidential transformation Charles G. Fancher became successor to Mr. Fortune. The latter was re-instated after a short period, and in a few years again gave place to Mr. Fancher. In about 1875 Walter D. Palmer was appointed and retained the office until the spring of 1885, when E. W. Hoskins, the present incumbent assumed the duties of the office.
Boquet. – This is a small hamlet situated about three miles to the southwest of the village of Essex, on the Boquet river. It was formerly a flourishing manufacturing community. The first manufacturing efforts of civilized man in this village were put forth in 1810, when William D. Ross erected a grist, mill on the bank of the river, and about the same time built quite an extensive rolling and slitting-mill and nail factory. As early as 1784, however, Daniel Ross conducted a general store here for the accommodation of the early settlers who had established themselves in scattered families along the river side. There must have been, too, at that early date, some lumbering done about the site of Boquet, for Daniel Ross also ran a saw-mill here in 1785. It was probably engaged entirely in supplying the home demand. After 1810 the place began to assume considerable local importance. Business did not die out there for many years. Henry H. Ross, in his memoranda before mentioned, written about 1840, states that in Boquet there was then “a large mill for the manufacture of rolled iron and nails, a grist-mill, etc.” There has never been and is not now a post-office here. In 1828 a district school-house was built of stone and in octagonal shape. It still serves the original purpose of. its erection. In 1855 an Episcopal chapel was built on the hill in the south part of the village, but was purchased by the Baptist and Presbyterian element of the community in 1880, and is now used as a union church. Brookfield and Essex clergymen supply the pulpit. Little remains of the business activities of ancient days. The old dam has been worn away rather than washed away, and the mills are the more silent in that they arouse an idea of former thrift and industry. The only business now conducted in the old village is that of C. W. & W. A. Tucker, dealers in produce and general merchandise. They started a hay barn about eight years ago, and soon after built the store near the railroad. They still press hay and dispense merchandise to the inhabitants of Boquet and vicinity.
Brookfield is a farming settlement in the west part of the town, which has one store, that kept by James Reynolds for the past three years. There is also at Brookfield one of the oldest Baptist Churches in the county. About the beginning of the present century they held services in an old log building, and afterwards in a barn, until their church edifice was completed (before 1809). In 1809 Rev. Solomon Brown, who founded the churches of Keeseville, Elizabethtown, Jay and Westport, is named as a delegate from the Essex Church (at Brookfield) to the association held at Elizabethtown. The church then had eleven members. Sixteen pastors have presided over her ecclesiastical councils: Solomon Brown, Jeremiah H. Dwyer, J. B. Wilkins, E. Goodspeed, E. P. Adams, J. S. McColum, Charles Berry, Elias Huriburt, C. Fisher, E. W. Allen, W. Gussman, W. S. Bush, S. W. Nichols, J. R. Taylor, E. M. Lynch, W. H. Stock. Her largest membership was attained in 1837, when it numbered one hundred and forty-three. Her present membership is about fortyeight. Judge Charles Hatch’s’ residence here from 1792 to 1804 has been mentioned in a previous page.
Whallonsburgh.- Next in size to Essex, though last in the date of its existence as a village, is Whallonsburgh. R. A. Ferguson, who came to the place in 1870 with his father, John Ferguson, describes it as being then an unbroken forest. His father, a carpenter, struck the first blow to clear the land and build the first dwellings and factories of the new settlement. He came from Washington county, N. Y., in the service of Reuben Whallon, who had come from the same vicinity about two years before. Mr. Ferguson built a saw-mill, just in the rear of the present site of William F. Blinn’s store, and a clothing factory near where the sash factory now is. The place grew very gradually; lumbering constituted the principal business of the inhabitants. A. Hale soon built a grist-mill on the hill in the western part of the village, and was soon followed by William Smith and James S. Whallon, who erected a grist-mill which now forms the west end of the sash factory. Smith & Whallon, not being contented with their milling profits, built a plaster factory adjoining the grist-mill. This business throve mightily, teams frequeatly coming from Vermont for loads of plaster. In 1840 a fine forge existed here, built by the proprietor, James S. Whallon. The clothing works and one grist-mill were still running. William Smith, probably the first postmaster, had received his appointment prior to 1825. James S. Whallon followed Smith, Lewis Cady followed Whallon, and in about 1860 Eli W. Rogers followed Cady. Mr. Rogers has officiated uninterruptedly from that time to the present. The industries now active in the village may be briefly noticed as follows: In 1881 Edgar Chamberlain and Eugene, his brother, succeeded William H. Richardson in the manufacture of blinds and sashes. The business originated in 1869, Samuel Root, William H. Richardson and V. C. Spencer being the first proprietors. In 1872 Messrs. Root and Spencer withdrew. James S. Whallon built the mill which was formerly used as a carding-mill. The Chamberlain Brothers lease the premises of Samuel Root. They keep about fifteen hands busy and can turn out about seventy doors in a day, and have made as many as 1,500 pairs of blinds in a month.
The grist-mill now running, in Whallonsburgh was built about 1830 by James S. Whallon, soon after the former mill of Smith & Whallon had been damaged beyond repair by a freshet. Jonathan Mather, the present owner, has held the title for a great many years. John R. Mather superintends the running of the mill.
F. J. Avery has been a general merchant here since 1870. He established the business himself. William F. Blinn started a store here in April, 1885. John R. Mather is proprietor of a cabinet shop, and G. J. & J. G. Waiker run an extensive hay barn.
The village boasts a Union Church, which was organized not far from 1830. The present edifice was erected before 1840, James S. Whallon contributing most generously towards its construction. The Presbyterian and Methodist clergymen at Essex preached here. Rev. Joel Fisk first officiated, and Rev. Joseph T. Willet preached here for about thirteen years. They organized a Sabbath-school almost at the beginning.
The present school-house was built in 1851. Miss Mattie Stafford is the present teacher. The district is extensive, and consequently the school always has a large attendance.