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“History of Springwater” by Orson Walbridge

Early History of Springwater New York

Chapter 8 - North of the Reynolds Gull - by D. B. Waite.

by Orson Walbridge


The farm now occupied by Alva Peabody, his father William Peabody first settled. He came from Stonington, Connecticut, in 1706, to Albany County, and lived there until 1804, when he moved to Manlius in Onondaga County. In the winter of 1813 and ‘14 he came and took up the farm mentioned; (returned), and he and his family were five days on the road, arriving at their destination the last of February. He erected the first log house on that side of the gull east of Gilbert hollow. He then returned to Manlius and worked by the month through the summer and came back on the 18th day of August and assisted his boys in sowing a small piece of wheat, they having chopped it off during his absence. In the spring of 1831, he not having been very prompt in paying on his land according to agreement, Stephen Higgins, Sen., obtained an article for the purpose merely to enhance the price, which Peabody refused to pay. He left the place the next year and built a log house on the north edge of the John Pursel farm in Canadice, where he died in January 1833, and his wife died soon after. While he had possession of the premises in question, another log house was built near the apple trees on the south edge of the place, where his son Thomas lived for awhile, also another son, Daniel after him, and he was succeeded by Ezra Brown. While Higgins had charge of the place Archibald Coleman from Conesus resided there, when the place was deeded by the office to Fowler Clark who sold it to Henley Thomson. Thomson lived on it until 1853 and sold it to Adney Gibbs, of Livonia. Gibbs sold it in the fall of 1855 to the present owner. While Gibbs owned it Garret Mott, a brother-in-law to Peabody occupied it. Thomson came from Maryland in 1812 to the town of Canandaigua, and to the town of Canadice on the Joseph Gilbert farm in 1817.

The farm next west of there was first claimed by Reuben Mann, in 1813, but he did not build on it or clear any. In 1815 Alpheus and Elisha Martindale came on it, and sold out the west half in 1830 to Salmon B. Howe, and he sold in 1832 to Green Waite, and he to Furman Thomson the present owner, in 1868. The Martindales disposed of the east half in 1831 to Ira Howe, a brother to Salmon. Ira sold in 1834 to Isaac Evens, and he in 1836 to Francillo Stuart. Stuart sold in 1846 to John McCrossen and he to Henley Thomson who willed it to his son Furman, and he deeded it to his daughter, the wife of Oscar F. Ray.

The George W. Bailey farm had a Mr. Kinney for its first claimant in 1813. Noah Crittenden succeeded him, and then followed Seth Sylvester Sen., Seth Sylvester Jr., Josiah Short, Breeze, Twitchell, Snyder and Boothe to Bailey. Kinney built his house in the lot some distance east of the road, and Crittenden lived in the same. Seth Sylvester Sen. built a log house at first where Bailey’s barn now stands, but the Sylvesters before they sold to Col. Short erected the house now standing on the place. Josiah Downs, Daniel Peabody, Nelson Waite, Craton Eldred, George W. Beardsley, William Prine, D. C. Chapman, John McCrossen, L. D. Beers, Isaac H. Bishop, Edmund Dalrymple and Elder Newel have lived on the premises under the different proprietors.

In about 1816 Benjamin Reynolds and his brother-in-law Hill took possession of the farm now owned by Clarke W. Stuart. From old school rolls in my possession, he must have sold in 1834 or ‘5 to Seth Sylvester Sen. Sylvester died there in about 1837, when the premises passed into the hands of Seth Jr., who sold it to David Lyon, and he to Francillo Stuart in 1847. While Reynolds and Hill owned the place they built a grist and sawmill in the gull southwest of the house. The grist mill was a small affair, but was a great accommodation to the neighborhood, and the sawmill was used for a long term or years, but in its last days it became so bewitched under the superintendence of Alpheus Conger that he bored the posts full of holes and plugged in the troublesome things. Reynolds also had a grocery where he kept the common necessaries of life. While Sylvester Jr., owned the premises he gave one acre of land to Elder Amos Chapman and moved the grocery building on it for a dwelling. George and D. C. Chapman, sons of the Elder, afterwards bought another acre on the west, making two acres, on which the family lived for a number of years after the Elder’s death. This is the house in which John W. Struble lives. Below there a short distance, years ago, stood a log house, but who built it I am unable to learn, and on the knoll north of the brook stood a blacksmith shop where Walter D. Willis once blacksmithed. Giles Norton is the first one I can recollect living in the house, Walter D. Willis next, and Alpheus Conger was the last occupant.

The farm on which George Buckner now lives was in an early day occupied by Samuel P. Benedict, who, when he left the place was boxed up and carried to Buffalo, to avoid being arrested for debt. Jesse Mills was the next occupant, then Liberty W. Butler whose heirs sold it to Samuel Robertson, and his heirs to John Reeves the present owner. At the same time that Benedict was on the main past of the farm, old Mr. Bliss was on the east part. Mason King was next after Bliss, and Butler bought of King.

At an early day the highway led across the gull on this farm, and ma that point a sawmill was built by, I think, Stephen Walbridge, and William Pursel lived there, and after him E. A. Still-man. Benedict went to Michigan, Mills also: King to Iowa, and Bliss, Butler and Robertson died on the premises, Pursel died in Springwater and Stiliman lives in Canadice. The Butler heirs are In Illinois.

The Bay farm was first taken by Josiah Downs and Ezra Brown. Brown lived on the east half and Downs on the west half. Stephen Cornell and Edwin Blackmer undermined Brown and Downs, and John Bay, father to Richmond, bought it of them. Cornell I think died there. Brown long went by the name of “Sheep” or “Mutton” Brown. He died I think on the knoll west of Hyde Marvin’s.