Steuben County
New York


Newspaper Tidbits

1796 Letter

Gazette's Outline History

1801 Letter

Steuben Co. Poorhouse

Gazetteer of the State of New York: Embracing a Comprehensive View of the Geography, Geology, And General History of the State, and a Complete History and Description of Every County, City, Town, Village, and Locality. With Full Tables Of Statistics. By J. H. French. Syracuse, N.Y.: Published By R. Pearsall Smith 1860.

Page 622.

 5 -- was formed March 18, 1796. Pulteney was taken off in 1808, a part of Howard and Cohocton in 1812, a part of Wheeler in 1820, Urbana in 1822, a part of Avoca in 1843, and a part of Cohocton in 1852. A part of Urbana was annexed April 26, 1839. It lies a little N.E. of the center of the co. Its surface is broken and hilly. The Conhocton Valley, extending S.E. through the center, divides the town into two nearly equal parts. The S. half is a hilly upland, and the N. half consists of a series of wide valleys broken by several steep and isolated hills. The streams are Conhocton River and its tributaries Five Mile and Mud Creeks from the N., and Campbells and Stocktons Creeks from the S. The Crooked Lake Valley extends N.W., and opens into the Conhocton Valley at the village of Bath, 340 feet above the lake. The soil is chiefly a gravelly and clayey loam, with a deep alluvium in the valleys. Bath, (p.v.) incorp. April 12, 1816, is situated upon the N. bank of the Conhocton. It is a half-shire of the co. It commands the trade of a rich agricultural district and has a manufacturing business of considerable importance. It contains the co. buildings, 6 churches, 2 banks, and 2 newspaper offices. Pop. 2,012. Kanona(p.v.,) N.W. of Bath, a station on the B., N.Y. & E.R.R., contains 2 churches and 40 houses; and Savona7 (p.v.,) S.E. of Bath, a station on the same R.R., contains 2 churches and 232 inhabitants; Sonora (p.v.) contains 1 church and 20 houses. The first settlement was made at Bath Village, in 1793, by Charles Williamson, land agent for the Pulteney estate, with 15 families, mostly Scotch and Germans. 8 The first settled minister was Rev. John Niles, who moved to the town in 1807. 9
     5 Named from Lady Bath, only child and heiress of Sir Wm. Pulteney, of London. She was succeeded July 15, 1808, by Sir John L. Johnstone, of Scotland, who appointed Robert Troup agent. Its Indian name was Tanighnaguanda. - McMaster's Hist. Steuben, pp. 111, 142.
     6 Formerly "Kennedyville" p.o., from a resident named Kennedy.
     7 Formerly "Mud Creek" p.o.
     8 Dugald and Charles Cameron, Thos. Metcalf, Hector McKenzie, Andrew Smith, Geo. McClure, James McDonald,Henry McElwee, James Reese, Robert Campbell, and William Dunn settled in the town in 1793; and Wm. Kersey, John Wilson, Geo. D. Cooper, Daniel McKenzie, and Gustavus and Brown Gillespie soon after. Charles Williamson Dunn, born in 1795, was first male child born in town. The first saw and grist mills were built in 1793, by Charles Williamson; and the first inn was kept the same year, by John Metcalf.
     The proprietors of the pulteney estate indulged in visions of boundless wealth to result from the settlement of their lands. They supposed that the natural avenue to market from the rich "Genesee country" was down the Susquehanna, and that a city might be founded upon some of the headwaters of that stream which would command the entire trade of the West. After a survey of the region, the present site of Bath was selected as the location of the future city. Every inducement was held out to lure settlers; and for several years the markets of Bath proved a mine of wealth to the few who raised more grain than enough for their own use. Williamson erected a theater within a few years after the first settlement, in anticipation of the future metropolitan character of the place. A race course was also established, which for many years attracted sportsmen from all parts of the country. The golden visions of civic grandeur were never realized.
     9 The census reports 9 churches in town; 3 Presb., 2 Bap., 2 M.E., Prot. E., and R.C.