BROOME COUNTY was formed From Tioga, March 28, 1806, and named in honor of John Broome of New York, who was then Lieut. Gov. of the State, and who acknowledged the compliment by presenting the County with a handsomely executed silver seal, appropriately designed by himself, emblematical of the name. Berkshire and Owego were annexed to Tioga County, March 21, 1822. It is situated near the center of the south border of the State, centrally distant 110 miles from Albany, and contains 706 square miles. Its surface is greatly diversified, consisting of rolling and hilly uplands, broad river intervales and the narrow valleys of small streams. The hills extend from the Pennsylvania line northerly through the County. They are divided into three general ranges by the valleys of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers. The first range, lying east of the Susquehanna, forms the east border of the County. Its highest summits are 400 to 700 feet above the Delaware, and 1,400 to 1,700 feet above tide. The declivities of the hills are usually steep, and the summits spread out into a broad and hilly upland. This ridge is divided by the deep ravines of a large number of small streams, and in several places it rises into peaks. The second ridge lies in the great bend of the Susquehanna, and is bounded by the valleys of that river and the Chenango. The highest summits are 300 to 500 feet above the Susquehanna, and 1,200 to 1,300 feet above tide. The hills are generally bounded by gradual slopes, and the summits are broad, rolling uplands. The southern portion of this ridge is high above the valleys; but towards the north the hilly character subsides into that of a fine rolling region. The third ridge lies west of the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers. Its summits are a little less in elevation than those of the second ridge; and the general characteristics of the two regions are similar. The wide valley of the Susquehanna divides it into two distinct parts, the southern of which is more hilly than the northern. The hills in the central and western parts of the County are rounded and arable to their summits. The narrow valleys that break the continuity of the ridges are usually bordered by gradually sloping hillsides.1
The geological formation of the County is so exceedingly simple that it scarcely received notice in the report of the geological and mineralogical surveying parts of the State at an early day. It possesses little attraction to the scientist. The principal rock is graywacke, which is found lying in strata, in a nearly horizontal position, in all the hills and in the beds of the largest streams, and which forms the basis of the mountains. All the rocks are included in the Chemung and Catskill groups. The former---consisting of slaty sandstone and shales---occupies all the north and west portions of the County; and the latter---consisting of gray and red sandstone, red shale and slate---crown all the summits in the south and east portions. Much of the more level portions of the surface is covered to a considerable depth by depositions of sand, gravel, clay and hardpan. The rocks crop out only upon the declivities and summits of the hills.2 The valleys throughout the County give evidence of having been excavated by the action of water, whose currents exerted a force immensely greater than any which seek the ocean through these channels at the present day. Their origin is referred by geologists to the drift period---a time when the gorgeous hillsides which now afford so many attractive homes, were inundated, and the productive vales pulverized and prepared by the mighty agencies then at work for the occupancy of man. Weak brine springs were early found, extending for several miles along the valley of Halfway Brook in the north part of the County.3 Sulphur and other mineral springs are found in various parts of the County.4 Several excavations for coal have been made, but without success, as all the coal measures are above the highest strata of rocks found in the County. It is believed that the County has no valuable minerals, or at least none in sufficient quantity to render them profitable. Traces of copper and nickel are supposed to have been found at Osborne Hollow, but too little is known regarding it to warrant an assertion.
The principal streams are the Susquehanna, Delaware, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Otselic rivers; Oquaga, Okkanum, Nanticoke, Little Snake, Big and Little Choconut, Castle, Yorkshire, Bradley, Tracy and Kattel creeks; and Halfway, Page and North brooks.5
The soil along the river intervales is generally very fertile, consisting of deep, sandy and gravelly loam, mixed with disintegrated slate and vegetable mold. The narrow valleys of the smaller streams are also fertile. The soil upon the north and west hills consists principally of gravelly loam intermixed with clay and disintegrated shale, and is well adapted to grazing. The declivities of the south and east hills are similar to the last in character, but their summits are generally covered with clay and hardpan. The large proportion of upland and the unevenness of the surface render this County best adapted to pasturage. While all branches of agriculture are pursued, fruit culture, and stock and wool raising, in connection with the products of the dairy, form the leading interests.6 Manufacturing is carried on to a limited extent at Binghamton and other places. A stronger disposition to engage in this branch of industry is manifest.
The County Seat is located at Binghamton, at the junction of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers. Previous to the erection of this County, Binghamton (the Chenango Point) was a half-shire of Tioga County, and courts were held a part of the time at the house of J. Whitney, until 1802, in which year a court house7 was erected. The County (Tioga) was divided into two jury districts in 1801. In 1828 8 an act authorizing the erection of a new court house passes the Legislature, and $5,000 were raised in the County for that purpose.9 In 1857 the court house erected in 1828 was superseded by the present elegant structure, which is located at the head of Chenango street, fronting on Court street.10 The County Clerk's office is a fire-proof building situated on court house square, adjacent to the court house.11 The jail is on Hawley street a short distance from the court house.12
The County Poor House is located on a farm of 130 acres, about three miles north of Binghamton, on the west side of the Chenango River. Of its management, the committee appointed to inspect it in 1871, say in their report, "that we found the house in excellent order; and everything (apparently) done for the unfortunate inmates, that the liberality of the County and the kind and humane treatment of the keeper and his family could do to make them comfortable." The children receive instruction at the Susquehanna Valley Home, in the city of Binghamton.13
The principal works of internal improvement are the Chenango Canal 14; the N. Y. & Erie R. R.15; the Syracuse, Binghamton & N. Y. R. R.16; the Albany & Susquehanna R. R.17; the Utica, Chenango & Susquehanna Valley R. R.18; the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co.'s R. R.19; and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R.20 These routes, which traverse the County in various directions, afford ample facilities for traveling and commercial purposes, and bring the agricultural lands within easy reach of the great eastern markets, and the business and manufacturing centers in close proximity to the coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania. The increasing agricultural and commercial importance of the County may warrant the opening of new avenues in those parts of the County furthest removed from any of the great thoroughfares. The several plank roads which were built at an early day are now mostly abandoned.
There are ten newspapers published in the County; two dailies, one semi-weekly and seven weeklies.
The BINGHAMTON DAILY REPUBLICAN was started as The Daily Iris, in 1849, by Wm. Stuart and E. T. Evans. It was soon after changed to its present name and was published by Wm. Stuart alone, until 1864, when he leased it to Messrs. Carl Bros. and J. W. Taylor for five years. They, after publishing it about three years, sold their lease to Malette & Reid, the present publishers, who bought it of Wm. Stuart, April 1, 1867.
THE BROOME REPUBLICAN was established at Binghamton, by Major Augustus Morgan, in 1822. It was published by him until 1824, by Morgan & Canoll until 1828, by Evans & Canoll, until 1835, by Canoll & Cooke until 1839, when it passed into the hands of Davis & Cooke. It was continued by Benj. T. Cooke until 1848, and by E. R. Colston until 1849. It subsequently became the property of Wm. Stuart, who published it until 1864, when he leased it for five years to Messrs. Carl Bros. and J. W. Taylor, who, after about three years, sold their lease to Malette & Reid, the present publishers, by whom the paper was purchased of Wm. Stuart, April 1, 1867, and by whom, in January, 1869, it was consolidated with The Binghamton Standard, and printed in connection with that paper as the Republican & Standard. July 4th, 1870, the two papers were disconnected and the original title, The Broome Republican, was resumed. It is published as a weekly.
THE BINGHAMTON STANDARD & SEMI-WEEKLY REPUBLICAN was started as The Binghamton Standard in Nov. 1853, by J. R. VanValkenburg, by whom it was sold to G. W. Reynolds, and by the latter to F. N. Chase. It was afterwards successively purchased by Alvin Sturtevant, M. L. Hawley & P. D. VanVradenburg and, in Jan. 1869, by Malette & Reid, who consolidated it with The Broome Republican, and adopted a name embracing that of both papers, the Republican & Standard. July 4, 1876, it was renewed as a separate paper, under its present name.21
THE BINGHAMTON DEMOCRAT was started at Binghamton, as the Broome County Courier, in 1831, by J. R. Orton, who continued it until 1837, after which it passed successively into the hands of Sheldon & Marble, I. C. Sheldon, E. P. Marble, E. P. & J. W. Marble, and Marble & Johnson. In 1842 or '3, its name was changed to The Binghamton Courier & Broome Co. Democrat and was published by J. & C. Orton. It passed into the hands of Dr. N. S. Davis, in 1846, into those of J. L. Burtis in 1847, and its name was by him changed to the Binghamton Courier. Mr. Burtis sold it J. T. Brodt, who published it until 1849, when it passed into the hands of Hon. J. R. Dickinson, who changed its name to The Binghamton Democrat and published it until 1855, when he took W. S. Lawyer as a partner. This firm continued its publication until 1857, when Mr. Dickinson sold his interest. It was published by Messrs. Adams & Lawyer until the death of Mr. Adams in 1861, when it was continued by Mr. Lawyer alone until 1866, at which time his brother, G. L. Lawyer, was admitted to an interest. It is still published as a weekly by the Lawyer Bros.
The BINGHAMTON DAILY DEMOCRAT was commenced in 1869, by W. S. & G. L. Lawyer, and is still published by them.
THE BINGHAMTON TIMES, weekly, was started by The Binghamton Times Association, April 6, 1871, and published by them until April 27, 1872, when it was purchased by A. L. Watson, who, on the first of August of the same year, took as partner Mr. E. H. Purdy and enlarged the paper from a quarto to a folio. It is now published by the firm of Purdy & Watson.
THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER, weekly, was started at Binghamton by A. W. Carl and E. H. Freeman, Sept. 10, 1869. Mr. Carl purchased Mr. Freeman's interest July 1, 1871, and still continues its publication.
THE UNION WEEKLY NEWS was started as The Union News, in June 1851, by A. J. Quinlan, who published it until his death, in 1854, when it was purchased of the heirs by R. Bostwick, who continued it a short time and sold it to Cephas Benedict and E. M. Betts, by whom it was published about two years, when Mr. Benedict purchased Mr. Betts' interest and controlled it alone until 1865, at which time he sold it to E. C. & G. W. Mersereau, but continued its editor. Mr. Benedict repurchased it in 1867 and again sold it May 15, 1868, to M. B. Robbins, the present proprietor, who changed its name to that it now bears. It is an independent journal.
THE DEPOSIT COURIER, weekly, was started in the spring of 1848, by M. R. Hulse, who published it five years, when it passed into the hands of his brother, S. D. Hulse, by whom its name was changed to The Deposit Union Democrat, and published seven years. In 1860 it passed into the hands of Lucius P. Allen, who changed its name to The Delaware Courier and its character to the advocacy of the principles of Republicanism. Mr. Allen published it seven years, when he sold it to Ambrose Blunt and Joshua Smith, who changed the name to that it originally bore, and now bears, and, after about two years, sold it to J. B. Stow. It was subsequently published by Charles N. Stow (son of J. B. Stow) and Adrian L. Watson. In March 1872, Mr. Watson retired and Mr. Stow continues its publication alone.
THE LISLE GLEANER was commenced at Lisle, May 24, 1871, by Gilbert A. Dodge, who sold it, March 7, 1872, to Eugene Davis, the present publisher, by whom it was enlarged from a twenty to a twenty-four column paper. It is a weekly and is independent in politics.22
The first step looking to the settlement of the country adjacent to and partially included within the limits of this County, seems to have been taken in 1785, on the 28th of June of which year a treaty was held at Fort Herkimer between the Governor and Commissioners of Indian Affairs in behalf of the State, and the Oneida and Tuscarora Indians, by which the latter for $11,500 ceded all their lands, bounded north by an east and west line from the Chenango to the Unadilla, ten miles above the mouth of the latter, east by the east line of the County,23 south by Pennsylvania and west by the Chenango and Susquehanna. At the Hartford convention, in 1786, a tract of 230,400 acres, bounded by the Chenango24 and Tioughnioga rivers on the east, Owego Creek25 on the west, by the north line of the tract previously granted to Daniel Cox and Robert Lettice Hooper on the south, and extending as far north as to include the number of acres specified, was ceded to Massachusetts.26 This tract was sold by the State of Massachusetts to Samuel Brown and fifty-nine others, principally from Berkshire county, in that State, Nov. 7, 1787, for $1,500, and was designated the Boston Ten Townships. These persons were induced by the favorable representations of individuals who had viewed this country wile connect with the expedition against the Indians under Gen. Sullivan, in 1779, to make the purchase. The tract, according to the grant made to the company, was to be bounded on the south by the Susquehanna, but when the agents of the company arrived they found that previous grants embraced the valley of that river, consequently its southern boundary was determined by the north line of these grants. The company appointed as commissioners to treat with the Indians, Elijah Brown, Gen. Oringh Stoddard, Gen. Moses Ashley, Capt. Raymond and Col. David Pixley. There gentlemen met the Indians in treaty on the east side of the Chenango, two or three miles above Binghamton, in the forepart of winter, but did not fully complete negotiations, and adjourned to meet at the forks of the Chenango. The second treaty resulted satisfactorily.27 "The nominal sum paid for this tract is not now known, but the payment was made, one-half in money, and the other moiety [sic] in goods, consisting of rifles, hatchets, ammunition, blankets and woolen cloths. The last, it is said, the savages, in perfect character with their taste, immediately tore into strings for ornament." The total cost of the land, including the purchase price, the expense of the treaties and the survey, was about one shilling per acre. The first sales were uniformly made at twenty-five cents per acre, but after a little they rose to one dollar and even more.28 The deeds of partition were executed in 1789, and were legalized March 3d, of that year, in an act reciting the names of the sixty associates. The several owners commenced selling and settling their respective allotments. Grants were made in the south and east parts of the County to Hooper, Wilson, Bingham, Cox and others, several of whom resided in Philadelphia.29
The first settlements in the County were made in the valleys of the Susquehanna and Chenango, in 1785, by persons who had traversed the region during the Revolution. They located while the country was still threatened with Indian hostilities, and before Phelps and Gorham opened the fertile lands of Western New York to immigration. The early settlement was retarded by a remarkable ice freshet in 1787-88, which destroyed most of the property of the settlers upon the river intervales. Scarcely less calamitous to life and property was the scarcity that followed in 1789. Oquaga was a noted rendezvous of Tories and Indians during the Revolution.30 Most of the invasions into the Schoharie and Mohawk settlements, as well as those upon the frontiers of Ulster and Orange counties were made by was of the Tioga and Susquehanna rivers from Niagara; and this war-path, with its sufferings and cruelties, has been often described in the narratives of returned captives.31
We extract from the Annals of Binghamton, by J. B. Wilkinson, the following interesting and amusing particulars relative to the extent to which the early settlers engaged in fishing and hunting, which are illustrative not only of the hardihood and daring of the early settlers, but also of the struggles which many of them so heroically encountered in their efforts to obtain a subsistence.
"In early times, when the country was first settled, and for a long time since, shad ran up the Susquehanna in great numbers as far as Binghamton, and even some to the source of the river. Thousands of them were caught from year to year, in this vicinity, especially at the three great fishing places, at Union, opposite Judge Mersereau's; at Binghamton, opposite the dry bridge, and upon the point of an island at Oquaga. There were two other places of less note; one on the Chenango, opposite Mr. Bevier's; the other at the mouth of Snake Creek. (The shad arrive here, and began to be caught generally about the last of April, and the fishing continued through the month of May.) It was made quite a business by some, and after the country was sufficiently filled with inhabitants to create a demand for all that could be caught, the business became a source of considerable profit. * * * Several hundred (were) sometimes caught at one draught. Herring also ran up at the same time with the shad; but as it was no object to catch them while a plenty of shad could be caught, their nets were so constructed as to admit them through the meshes.
"The nets employed were from sixteen to thirty rods long; (and each employed from six to eight men to manage it.) Their time for sweeping was generally in the night, as the shallowness of the water would not allow them to fish in the day time. Again the shad, in the night, [ran] up on the riffles to sport, which gave the fishermen another advantage. They [made] their hauls the darkest nights, without lights, either in their boats or on shore. They had their cabins or tents to lodge in; and [were] notified when it was time to haul, by the noise the shoal of fish [made] in sporting at the shallow places.
"The shad seemed never to find either a place or time at which to turn and go back. Even after depositing their eggs, they [continued] to urge their way up stream, until they had exhausted their entire strength; which would, being out of their salt-water element, after a while fail them. The shores, in consequence, [were] strewed with their dead bodies, through the summer, upon which the wild animals [came] down and [fed.] Their young fry [passed] down the stream in the fall, having grown to the length of three or four inches, in such numbers as to choke up the eel-weirs.
"They have discontinued running up so far as this, for twelve or fifteen years [from 1840, when the Annals were published]; consequently none within that time have been caught. The numerous mill-dams and mills on the streams, together with the number of rafts that pass down in the spring undoubtedly deter them from coming.
"As we have spoken of fishing in early days, which was so different from what it is at present, so will we speak of the hunting of early times.
"It is allowed by the old hunters that wild animals were uncommonly plenty here when the country was first settled. Martins were plenty, and caught in dead-falls for their fur. Panthers were frequently met with and shot by hunters. Bears were numerous and large. Wild cats were also found. But deer, which may be considered the staple commodity with hunters in a new country, were decidedly numerous. They would be seen sometimes twenty and thirty in a flock. Of this species of game great numbers were yearly killed. There appear to have been no wild turkies found here when the country was first settled. A solitary flock, some twenty-five or thirty years ago appears to have wandered from its native forests, and was observed in the neighborhood of Oquaga by Deacon Stow, who was at that day a distinguished hunter. He dropped his work in the field, and obtaining a gun from the nearest neighbor, he managed to kill one, before the flock got entirely out of his way. It remained in the neighborhood forest, until the turkies were all shot, except the last one, which was caught in a trap.
"There were several modes of hunting the deer. Besides the ordinary way of pursuing them by day-light with hounds, the hunters [resorted] to the deer licks, of which there were many, and ascertaining, as nearly as they could, where they stood to lap the water, they set their guns so as to take the deer when they came by night to drink. This they [did] before night-fall, and then [remained by their guns and watched.] They could hear the deer when in the act of drinking, by the noise they made in lapping the water. [This was the signal to discharge their guns, which they often did, several together.] If they heard the deer fall, they went and cut its throat, or their throats, as they sometimes shot more than one at a discharge, and brought them off the ground. They would then set their guns again, and wait for the well-known sound of the lapping to be renewed. They would continue their vigilance according to their success; sometimes till twelve and two, and sometimes till the dawn of the next morning. The dressing of the game was ordinarily reserved till the next day.
"Another mode pursued by the hunters was, to take the deer when they came down late in the summer or fall to feed upon the sedge or eel grass which grows in the river. Two men would get into a skiff, or boat of any kind that would answer the purpose, [in the forepart of which was a platform covered with turf]; upon this they would kindle a brisk fire, and one would sit in the fore-part, near the fire, with his rifle in his hand; the other would sit in the hinder-part and impel and guide the boat with a single paddle, taking care to make no noise, either in the water or at the side of the boat. The deer, at seeing the moving fire, would raise their heads and stamp with their feet, without moving much from their place, even at quite a near approach of the boat. This [enabled] the hunter to come as near to their game as they wished, and to make sure their aim. Sometimes they would take their stand upon the shore and watch by moonlight.
"A story is told of two of the early settlers of Oquaga, one a Dutchman by the name of Hendrickson, the other a Yankee by the name of Merryman. They had been in the habit of going together to a little island in the Susquehanna, called Fish Island, to watch for deer, with the understanding always, that each was to share equally in the game. One fine evening, while the moon was shining in its fullness, it occurred to the Dutchman that he would go down to the island and watch for deer, without letting his brother Yankee know of it. The same thought occurred to the Yankee. They both went down to the island and took their stations accidentally, at each end. In the course of the evening while waiting for deer, to their apprehension, two made their appearance and entered the river, and passing by the upper end of the island were fired upon by the Yankee, whose station happened to be at that end; the deer bounded, with a mighty splash, down stream; and passing the lower end of the island were fired upon by the Dutchman, whose shot took effect and brought one down. As the latter went out to drag in his game, the Yankee called out and claimed the deer, as he had fired first. The Dutchman muttered some objection, and continued wading. When he came to the weltering and dying animal, to his surprise, instead of a large deer, which he was in full expectation of, behold! He had killed one of his neighbor's young cattle--a two year old heifer; and which he readily recognized. 'Well, den,' said he to his companion, who was making his way down to him, 'you may have de deer; it is yours, I believe.' The Yankee, when he [also found] what had been done, and feeling they were about equally implicated, proposed that they should send the animal down stream, and say nothing about the matter, as they could not afford to pay for it. The Dutchman---and here we see the characteristic honesty of the one, as well as the characteristic dishonesty or disingenuousness of the other---objected; saying they would take it to the owner, and tell him how they came to shoot it; and as it would, when dressed, be very good eating, he did not think they should be charged very high for the accident. While they were disputing which course they should pursue, they heard at some little distance, near the shore, or upon it, a noise and difficult breathing, as of an animal dying; they went to it, and partly hid among weeds and grass, they found, to their further dismay, another heifer, belonging to another neighbor, in her last struggles, having received a death-wound from the first shot. The Yankee now insisted, with greater importunity, that they should send them both down stream, as they could never think of paying for both. But the Dutchman as strenuously objected, and proposed that the Yankee should go the next morning to the owner of one, and he would go to the owner of the other, and make proposals of restitution on as favorable terms as they could obtain. The Yankee finally acceded, and each went the next morning to his respective man. The Yankee made a reluctant acknowledgement of what had been done the night before, and showed but little disposition to make restitution. The owner was nearly in a rage for the loss of his fine heifer, and was hard in his terms of settlement. While The Dutchman, as if to be rewarded for his honesty, found his neighbor, when he had announced what he had done, and proposed to make satisfactory restitution, as ready to exact no more from him, than to dress the animal, and to take half the meat home for his own use.
"Another distinguished hunter of these early times, and one that was considered pre-eminent above all the others for markmanship and daring feats, was Jotham Curtis, of Windsor. An anecdote or two, related of him, will best express his celebrity.
"He went out [one] afternoon to a deer-lick, and having killed a deer, he dressed it and hung the body upon a tree, bringing only the skin home with him. This he threw upon a work-bench in an apartment of the house he used as a shop. In the night he was awakened by a noise which he supposed to proceed from a dog at his deer-skin. He sprung up and opened the door that led into his shop; and about over the work-bench he beheld the glare of two eye-balls, which he knew---so versed was he in the appearance of such animals---to be those of a panther. Without taking his eye from those of the animal, he called to his wife to light a pine stick, and to hand it to him, with his rifle, which she did. With the torch in his left hand, and the gun resting upon the same arm, he took his aim between the eyes, and shot the panther dead upon the bench. It is related to have been a very large one. It had entered the shop through an open window.
"He was one day hunting and came across two cubs. He caught one, and seating himself by a tree, with his back close to it, that he might be sure to see the old one when she [came.] He took the young one between his knees and commenced squeezing its head, to make it cry, which he knew would be likely to bring the old one. In a short time she was seen coming with full speed, with her hair turned forward, an indication of rage, and her mouth wide open. He waited deliberately, till she was near enough, and then, with his unerring fire, he brought her to the ground. Some one asked him afterward, what he supposed would have been the consequence had his gun missed fire? Oh ! he said, he did not allow it to miss in such emergencies."
and the following, the causes of pauperism of persons relieved or supported in the County, during the same year:
|Children having intemperate parents||20||40||60|
|Wives having intemperate husbands||20||20|
|Debauchery of parents||5||7||12|
|Deaf and Dumb||3||3|
|Indigent and destitute||65||125||190|
|Children having destitute parents||80||122||202|
" " sick "
|Females having sick husbands||27||27|
The first cost of the land and the erections on it was $3,000. The present estimated value of the whole establishment is $30,000.
14 - This Canal was authorized Feb. 23, 1833, in which year it was begun, and was finished in 1837, at a cost of $1,737.703. It connects the Erie Canal at Utica with the Susquehanna River at Binghamton. It is ninety-seven miles long, exclusive of thirteen and three-fourths miles of feeders, none of which are navigable. It is supplied by the Chenango River and six reservoirs, viz: Madison Brook, Woodmans Pond, Lelands Pond, Bradleys Brook, Hatchs Lake and Eaton Brook reservoirs, all of which are in the south part of Madison County. The Canal extends across to and up the valley of Oriskany Creek to the summit level and down the valley of Chenango River. From Utica to the Summit it rises 706 feet, by 76 locks, and from thence it descends 303 feet, by 38 locks, to the Susquehanna. Of its 114 locks, two are stone and the remainder composite. Upon the feeders are twelve road and eighteen farm bridges. It enters the County on the north line of Fenton and follows the course of the Chenango, on the east side.
Attempts have been made to effect the extension of this Canal to Athens, Penn., and large appropriations have been made by the State for that purpose and considerable work done, but it still remains a huge, unfinished ditch, with little prospect of its being perfected according to the original design. Efforts, which seem likely to prove successful, are being made to secure from the State the right of way along this route for the road-bed of a new railroad.
15 - The N. Y. & Erie R. R. was authorized April 24, 1832, and the company organized in July, 1833. The first preliminary survey was made in 1832 by DeWitt Clinton, Jr., by order of the Government. In 1834 the Governor appointed Benj. Wright to survey the route; who, assisted by James Seymour and Chas. Ellett, began the survey May 23d, and finished it the same year. In 1845 the Company was reorganized, and forty miles were put under contract. Various financial embarrassments, necessitating State aid and increased private subscriptions, and involving the relinquishment by the original stockholders of one-half the amount of stock held by them, confronted this gigantic enterprise and retarded its accomplishment, so that its final completion to Dunkirk was not effected until May 14, 1851. It enters the County at Deposit and extends through the town of Sanford, across the south-east corner of Windsor, when it leaves the County, passing into Pennsylvania, and enters it again on the east bank of the Susquehanna, extending along the west line of Kirkwood, through the north part of the town and city of Binghamton, and the southern part of Union, leaving the County in the south-west corner of that town. Being the first road opened through the County, it contributed largely to the latter's growth and development.
16 - The Syracuse, Binghamton & N. Y. R. R. was originally formed July 2, 1851, as the Syracuse and Binghamton R. R. The road was opened through, Oct. 23, 1854. It was sold Oct. 13, 1856, on foreclosure of mortgage, and the name changed to Syracuse & Southern R. R. Its present name was assumed under act of March 31, 1857. In 1858 the company were authorized to purchase the Union R. R. to the canal at Geddes. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. company obtained a controlling influence in the road about the first of March, 1869, and still maintain it. It is 79.33 miles in length. It enters the county on the north line of Lisle, and following the west bank of the Tioughnioga to Chenango Forks, it then follows the general course of the Chenango, making a slight detour to avoid the bend in that river between the towns of Chenango and Fenton, passing in its course through Lisle, across the south-west corner of Triangle, through the towns of Barker and Chenango and the north part of Binghamton to the city of Binghamton. It makes the great salt depot at Syracuse and, by its connection with Oswego and Syracuse R. R. at the last named city, the lake and lake ports easily accessible.
17 - The Albany & Susquehanna R. R. was organized April 2, 1851, and opened to Harpersville, in the town of Colesville, Dec. 26, 1867, and to Binghamton, Jan. 14, 1869. With its varied connections it brings Binghamton within easy communication with the northern and eastern parts of the State, and the capital at Albany. Its length is 142 miles. It enters the county at Nineveh and runs in a circuitous course through Colesville, diverging slightly into the east part of Fenton a short distance, through the south part of Fenton and the north part of Binghamton, connecting with the Erie R. R. at the city of Binghamton. It is leased to and operated by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company.
18 - The Utica, Chenango & Susquehanna Valley R. R. enters the county in the south-east corner of Barker, having its southern terminus at Chenango Forks. It was commenced in 1867, and twelve miles were completed that year.
19 - The Delaware & Hudson Canal Co.'s R. R., which was recently completed through the County, enters it at Nineveh, and follows the general course of the Susquehanna, which it crosses at Center Village, through the town of Colesville, to the south line of that town, when it deflects from the river and avoids the bend which commences at this point, and again touches the river a little north of Windsor, extending along its valley to the south line of the town of Windsor, where it leaves the County. Large quantities of coal are already shipped over this road from the coal mines in Penn., to which it leads.
20 - The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. was completed to Binghamton in January or February, 1871. It enters the County in the south-east corner of the town of Conklin, and runs along the west bank of the Susquehanna to Binghamton, where it connects with the Syracuse, Binghamton & New York R. R., and at Syracuse with the Oswego & Syracuse R. R., which road is leased to it. This is an important link in the chain of railroads centering at Binghamton, as it brings that city in direct communication with the valuable mines of this company in Penn.; and with its connections with the S. B. & N. Y., and O. & S., railroads, which are under its control, this company are enable to ship direct to their depot in Oswego, and from that point to the northern part of the State, the lake ports and Canada. Vast quantities of coal are shipped over this road, no inconsiderable amount of which is deposited at Syracuse.
21 - The Binghamton Daily Republican, The Broome Republican and The Binghamton Standard & Semi-Weekly Republican are issued from the same office by Malette & Reid.
22 - The following is a list of obsolete papers published in the County:
The American Constellation was started at Union, Nov. 23, 1800, by D. Cruger, as is shown by a copy of this paper now in the possession of Mr. Beebe of Owego, which is dated "Union, N. Y., Sept. 12, 1801," and marked "Vol. 1, No. 43." It is generally supposed and admitted that this paper was printed at "old Chenango," then located on the west bank of Chenango River, about one mile above Binghamton, as is asserted in the Annals of Binghamton, and, says Dr. Charles J. Seymour, in a letter dated post office at Union, which, says Dr. Seymour, on the authority of a warrant issued by Postmaster General Habershaw, was established June 23, 1798, (Joshua Whitney being appointed postmaster,) at Binghamton, the station at which place was for several years called Union. French says this paper was published at Union Village, in 1800, but the assertion, as regards location, is believed to be unwarranted. How long this paper was published we have been unable to learn definitely, but there are indications that it was removed to Owego, and its name changed to The American Farmer, under which name alone, it is proper to say, Wilkinson refers to it. He says, after referring to The Broome County Patriot, which, he asserts, was the first paper printed in Broome Count, "There had a paper circulated here, which was first printed in old Chenango, and afterward in Owego, called 'The American Farmer.' While issuing from the former place, it was conducted by Daniel Crugar; and while from the latter, it was conducted by Stephen Mack, afterward Judge of the County," who, it will be seen by referring to the history of The American Farmer, in the history of Tioga County, started that paper in Owego, though Stephen B. Leonard, the founder of The Owego Gazette, is of the opinion that The American Farmer was established and always published, in Owego.
The Broome County Patriot was commenced in Binghamton in 1812, by Chauncey Morgan. In 1813 it was transferred to Dr. Elihu Ely and its name changed to
The Olio, under which title it was published one year, when it passed into the hands of Dr. Tracy Robinson, who changed its name to the
Binghamton Phoenix. In 1815 Augustus Morgan became partner with Mr. Robinson and it was published by Morgan & Robinson until 1817, when Mr. Robinson's interest was purchased by Anson Howard. The firm then became Morgan & Howard and they published the paper one year, when Mr. Howard purchased Mr. Morgan's interest and continued it until 1819, when it was discontinued.
The Republican Herald was commenced in 1818, and successively published by Morgan & Howard and Abraham Bunell and Dorephus Abbey, until 1822.
The Evening Express, daily, was issued from the Republican office in 1848, by E. R. Colston, and was, after a short time, merged in the Republican.
The Iris, semi-monthly, was started in July, 1839, by C. P. Cooke. In July, 1841, it was purchased by Edwin T. Evans, who enlarged it and published it weekly until 1853, when it was merged in the Binghamton Republican.
The Binghamton Mercury was published a short time by Chester Dehart, as a semi-monthly.
The Susquehanna Journal was started in Oct. 1852, at Binghamton, by Rev. Wm. H. Pearne, and was merged in the Broome Republican in 1855.
The Broome County American was started at Binghamton in May, 1855, by Ransom Bostwick, in advocacy of the Know-Nothing principles, and lived but a short time.
The Binghamton Daily Times was published by J. R. Gould, about 1805 or '6.
The Binghamton Journal was started about 1870, by John E. Williams who published it about six months, when it was discontinued.
The Broome County Gazette was commenced at Whitney's Point in July, 1858, by G. A. Dodge, by whom it was published several years.
23 - This line was agreed upon at Fort Stanwix, in 1768, and was surveyed by Simon Metcalf the next year. It is designated the "Property Line."
24 - The Tioughnioga was then termed the west branch of the Chenango and was treated by the surveyors as the main stream.
25 - This creek was then termed the "Owego River" and was identical with what is now generally called the "West Owego Creek," that being treated as the main stream.
26 - When this tract was surveyed it was found that its northern limits encroached upon the Military Tract by 17,264 acres, and an amount equivalent to this was granted to the claimants in Junius, Seneca County.
27 - "At this and the former treaty, it is said, the Indians, who were furnished with provisions and liquor at the expense of the company, would get drunk almost to a man, by night, but be sober through the day. While the subjects of the treaty were under discussion from day to day, they would sit in circles upon the ground, and listen with the utmost decorum. Their chiefs, when they spoke, would speak in substance, if not in form, in accordance with parliamentary rule. Captain Dean was their interpreter and did their business. * * * The land upon the shores of the two rivers, and for some distance back was, even at the time of the purchase partially cleared, so far as the Indians have their lands cleared. The under-brush was cleared, having been kept down by burning, and grass growing on the flats. The Indians uniformly keep down the shrubbery part of their hunting grounds, that they may, with the more facility, discover and pursue their game. Col. Rose says that he could see deer upon the mountains immediately back of him for a half mile, so free were they from under-brush. He observes also, that the woods exhibited a somber appearance, from their annual burnings. The large island opposite Judge Stoddard's, was, when the first settlers came, covered with grass and the anacum weed, a tall kind of weed, the roots of which they were in the habit of digging and drying, and then grinding or pounding for bread stuff; or rather its apology, perhaps, when their corn failed them."---Annals of Binghamton, p. 50 and 51.
28 - The Indians, in their treaty, reserved to themselves the right to hunt upon the lands sold, for the term of seven years; and also made a reserve of one-half mile square, near the mouth of Castle Creek, in the town of Chenango, as their own possession. This reserve was known as the "castle farm" and upon it those Indians, who did not remove to New Stockbridge, or Oneida, resided.
The means through which they lost possession of this reserve will be detailed in the history of the town of Chenango.
The remaining Indian titles within the County were extinguished by the treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1788.
29 - A tract of land containing 49,710 acres, known as "Chenango Township," was granted to A. Hammond and others; another, containing 61,440 acres, known as "Warren Township," to Robert Harper and others; and another, containing 1,000 acres, on both sides of the Susquehanna, was sold to Jacob and John Springstead, Josiah, David and Daniel Stow, David Hotchkiss and Joseph Beebe. Other tracts were sold to Wm. Allison, Jas. Clinton, Isaac Melcher and others. The islands in the Susquehanna were sold to James Clinton, at four shillings per acre.
30 - Further mention will be made of this place in the history of the town of Windsor.
31 - French's State Gazetteer.