COLESVILLE 1  was formed from Windsor, April 2, 1821. 2  It lies upon the north border, east of the center of the County. Its surface is broken by an elevated ridge whose summits rise from 400 to 700 feet above the valley of the Susquehanna, by which it is cut in two. The Susquehanna and several small streams tributary to it are the only water-courses. The soil upon the river bottom is a deep, fertile, gravelly loam, while upon the summits of the hills it consists of clay and slate. It is generally much better adapted to pasturage than tillage. The town is traversed by the Albany & Susquehanna and the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co.'s railroads, both of which enter the town on the north line, at Nineveh, and pursue a circuitous course, the former in a general south-west direction and the latter along the valley of the Susquehanna. It covers an area of 47,283 acres, of which, in 1865, according to the census of that year, 29,696 , were improved. The population in 1870 was 3,400. During the year ending Sept. 30, 1871, it contained thirty school districts and employed twenty-nine teachers. The number of children of school age was 1,218; the number attending school, 1,011; the average attendance, 472; the amount expended for school purposes, $6,948; and the value of school houses and sites, $9,090.

    HARPERSVILLE (p. v.) is situated north of the center, about one-half mile west of the Susquehanna. It is about one mile south-west of the depot on the A. & S. R. R., at Nineveh, and is about one0half mile from the D. & H. Canal Co.'s R. R., in the same direction. It contains three churches, (Baptist, Episcopal and ___,) two dry goods stores, two drug stores, one grocery, one hardware store and tine shop, two cabinet ware rooms, one saw mill, a furnace and machine shop, a shoe shop, a merchant tailor's store, four blacksmith shops, three carriage shops, one harness shop, one hotel and 320 inhabitants.

    CENTER VILLAGE (p. v.) is situated on the Susquehanna and the D. & H. Canal Co.'s R. R., a little east of the center of the town. It contains two dry goods stores, two grist mills, one saw mill, one lath mill, one carriage shop, two blacksmith shops, a tannery, a shoe shop, a harness shop, a wool carding machine, a hotel (now closed) and thirty houses.

    NINEVEH (p. v.) is situated on the north line, on the Susquehanna and on the D. & H. Canal Co.'s and A. & S. railroads. It contains two churches, (Presbyterian and ____,) two dry goods stores, two carriage shops, three blacksmith shops, one cooper shop, one harness shop, a shoe shop and about 225 inhabitants.

    DORAVILLE (p. o.) is located on the Susquehanna and on the D. & H. Canal Co.'s R. R. It contains a jewelry store, a grocery, a blacksmith shop, two cooper shops and about a dozen dwellings.

    VALLONIA SPRINGS 3  (p. o.) is located near the north-east corner of the town and on the line of the contemplated branch of the N. Y. & O. Midland R. R.

    NEW OHIO, (p. o.) located in the north-west part, near the tunnel 4  on the A. & S. R. R., on which road it is a station, contains a telegraph office, two groceries, a blacksmith shop, a few dwelling houses and a church (M. E.)

    NORTH COLESVILLE, (p. o.) located in the north-west corner, contains a grocery, a saw mill, a shoe shop and seventeen dwellings.

    OUAQUAGA, (p. o.) situated on the Susquehanna, near the center of the south line, contains one church, (M. E.) one store, two blacksmith shops, a carriage shop, two shingle mills, two planing mills, two lath mills, one saw mill, a grist mill and twenty-three dwellings.

    OSBORNE HOLLOW, 5  located in the west part, on the A. & S. R. R., contains one church, one hotel, three groceries, two blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one steam saw and feed mill and several dwellings.

    WEST COLESVILLE, (p. o.) in the south-west part, contains a church, (Baptist,) a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and a few dwellings.

    COLESVILLE (p. o.) is located a little south of the center. It contains a Free Church.

    John Lamphere, from Watertown, Conn., made the first settlement in 1785. He was followed by Lemuel and Nathaniel Badger and Casper Spring in 1786; Nathaniel and Vena Cole, Daniel Picket, J. Merchant, Bateman S. Dickinson, _____ Wilmot, Daniel Crofoot and Titus Humeston in 1795; John Ruggles and Isaac Tyrrell in 1796; and Eli Osborne and Peter Warn in 1800. The birth of Louisa Badger, which occurred May 28, 1788, was the first one in the town; the death of John Lamphere, which occurred the same year, was the first in the town; and the marriage of Benj. Bird and Mrs. John Lamphere, in 1794, was the first marriage. The first inn was kept by Benj. Bird, in 1794; and the first store, by Bateman S. Dickinson, in 1805. Job Bunnel taught the first school.

    Religious services were conducted here by Rev. Joseph Badger as early as 1793, though it does not appear that his ministrations resulted in the formation of a church until 1799, in which year (April 15th) the St. Luke's Church, (Episcopal) at Harpersville, was organized. 6  Their house of worship, which will seat from 300 to 400 persons, was erected in 1828, at a cost of $2,193, and was consecrated Sept. 28th of that year, by Rt. Rev. Jno. Henry Hobart, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of New York. The first pastor, or missionary was Rev. Philander Chase; the present pastor is Rev. E. Dolloway. There are ninety members. The Church property is valued at $10,000.

    The First Baptist Church of Colesville, located at Harpersville, was organized with seven members 7  in 1811, but their house of worship, which will seat 250 persons, was not erected until 1846. Its cost was $1,600. Elder Levi Holcomb was the first pastor; Rev. T. D. Hammond is the present one. The church property is value at $2,500. There are 105 members.

    The First Methodist Church, of New Ohio, was organized by "Billy Way," in 1825, with eight members, and the Church edifice, which will seat 250 persons, was erected in 1844, at a cost of $800. The first pastor was Rev. Morgan Ruger; the present one is Rev. Chas. Shepard. There are twenty-five members. The church property is value at $1,500.

    The Presbyterian Church of Nineveh was organized with thirty-five members, by Rev. M. Pratt, in 1831. The first Church edifice was erected in 1829; and the present one, which will seat 375 persons, and on which, in 1870, $4,000 was expended in enlargement and repairs, twenty years later, at a cost of $2,000. The first pastor was Rev. Willard M. Hoyt; the present one is Rev. Wm. H. Sawtelle. There are 180 members. The Church property is valued at $8,000.

    The Baptist Church, at West Colesville, was organized with seven members, in 1846, and their Church edifice, which will seat 150 persons, was erected the following year, at a cost of $600. The present value of church property is $1,000. The first pastor was Elder A. B. Earle; the present one is Rev. Harvey Cornell. It has forty-one members.

    The Ouaquaga M. E. Church was organized with forty-six members, by Dewitt C. Olmstead, in 1867, and their house of worship, which will seat 300 persons, was erected in 1868, at a cost of $3,000, which is the present value of Church property. Rev. Wm. Round was the first pastor; the present one is Rev. Wm. W. Andrews. There are fifty-two members.

    The Colesville Free Church, located at Cole's Hill, is composed of twenty members, and is ministered to by Rev. Charles D. Shepard. Their house of worship 8  will seat 125 persons. The Church property is valued at $1,000.


1 - Named from Nathaniel Cole, one of the first settlers.
2 - The first town meeting was held on Coles Hill, at the house of Nathaniel Cole, in 1822, and the following named officers were elected: "John W. Harper, Supervisor; Daniel Sanford, Town Clerk; Ozias Marsh, Harvey Bishop and Gervase Blakeslee, Assessors; Nathaniel Cole Jr. and Elisha Humastun, Overseers of the Poor; Amos Smith, Alpheus Goodenough and Daniel Sanford, Commissioners of Highways; John Wasson and George Wilcox, Constables; John Wasson, Collector; John W. Harper, Jeremiah Rogers and Harvey Bishop, Commissioners of Common Schools; Harvey Martin, Garry Ruggles and Joel K. Noble, Inspectors of Common Schools; Geo. Wilcox, Samuel Badger and Samuel Martin, Trustees of Gospel and School Lands; Ira Bunnell, Sealer of Weights and Measures."
3 - The waters of this spring have acquired some fame on account of their medicinal properties and are making this a place of considerable resort. They are impregnated with sulphur, magnesia and iron, and are not only efficacious in cutaneous diseases but are highly prophylactic.
4 - This tunnel is one-half mile long. The rock through which it is constructed was at first hard and compact, but exposure to the atmosphere slacked and dissolved it and rendered it necessary to arch it with stone.
5 - There is believed to be a rich vein of lead ore here, and a mining shaft has been (May, 1872,) sunk to the depth of eighty-three feet, nearly to where it is expected to strike the ore bed. Specimens of ore, containing lead, zinc, copper and silver have been taken out.
6 - The meeting at which the organization was effected, was presided over by Rufus Fancher as chairman, and Rev. Philander Chase (afterwards Bishop) as secretary. At this meeting Titus Humeston and Rufus Fancher were chosen church wardens; and Isaac M. Ruggles, Josiah Stow, Asa Judd, Abel Doolittle, Samuel Fancher, Daniel Merwin, David Way and Wright Knap, vestrymen.
7 - The names of the original members are: Nathaniel J. Gilbert, Stephen and Polly Barker, Silas Moon, Silas Hall, Peter Newton and Lucinda Deuny.
8 - The house was built by the Presbyterians who occupied it several years. It was subsequently used by the Baptists for a term of years; but becoming dilapidated it remained for some time unoccupied. In 1853 it was repaired by the Methodists, who have since occupied it.
Transcribed by Mary Hafler - January, 2007.
Business Directory
Town of Colesville
Broome Co, NY Page
There were 824 visitors from 20 Apr 2007 to 30 Jul 2011. Visitor stats since 30 Jul 2011 lost by former server host.
Last updated: 18 May 2015