Steuben County
New York


Newspaper Tidbits

1887 Death Record

Gazette's Outline History

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 623.

-- was formed in March, 1796. A part of Troupsburgh was taken off in 1808, Hornellsville in 1820, and parts of Greenwood and Jasper in 1827. A part was annexed to Troupsburgh in 1818. It is an interior town, lying s. w. of the center of the co. The surface is mostly a hilly upland, broken by the deep valleys of the streams. Canisteo River flows eastward through the N. part of the town. Its valley is about 1/2 mi. wide and is bordered by steep hillsides 400 feet high. From the s. the river receives Bennetts and Col. Bills Creeks, which also flow through deep valleys bordered by steep hills. The soil is generally a clayey and gravelly loam. Canisteo, (p.v.,) on Bennetts Creek, in the w. part of the town, is a station on the N. Y. & Erie R. R., and contains 2 churches, a flouring mill, a tannery, and 60 houses; Crosbyville, (p.v.,) a station on the Erie R. R., contains 1 church and 20 houses. Center Canisteo (p.o.) is a hamlet of 10 houses. Bennetts Creek is a p.o. in the s. w. part. The first settlement was made in 1789, by Uriah Stephens, Sen., from Conn. The first preacher - Rev. Geo. Spaulding - settled in town in 1805. There are 3 churches in town. 8
     7 Col. John Stevens, Benj. Crosby, Arthur Erwin, Solomon Bennett, Joes Thomas, Uriah Stevens, jr., Jedediah Stephens, Wm. Baker, James Hadley, Joshua Stephens, W. S. Thomas, Isaac and Israel Jones and Asa Downs were among the early settlers. The first birth was that of Oliver Stephens; the first marriage, that of Richard Crosby and Hannah Baker; and the first death, that of Henry Stephens. Solomon Bennett built the first gristmill and kept the first store; and Jedediah Stephens kept the first inn.
     8 Presb., M. E., and F. W. Bap.


A List of the First Pioneers To Inhabit Gravel Run Hill Section
Daniel Ordway of This Village Left Adrian in 1848 and Struck Out into the Dense Forest. Building a Home for Himself and Family.

     Daniel Ordway was the first to break into the forest from Adrian in 1848; David Barklow, Samuel Barklow and William Barklow in 1849. Next, Newman Brentonin 1858; Elezer Marvin in 1856; Orin Dewey in 1856 and James E. Hallett in 1858. Daniel Ordway moved with his family and a few household goods from Adrian on an ox cart up the slope of the south river ridge int he spring of 1848, cutting his way through the forest hillside. One wheel of the cart was higher than the other to prevent tipping over as there was no road or means of gradeing at that time. Mr. Ordway had selected his tract of land on which he had built a log house in readiness for his family. His first feat was to cut and burn a ten acre follow, made a bee and logged it up in one day. Five gallons of whiskey were provided for the day, but proved insufficient and 3 more gallons were sent for which made a finish of the day and work. He hired Thomas Hallett an expert wood chopper for $14 per month with board for a period of time, succeeded in clearing up the farm, built a commodious house and barn which are doing good service now. At the close of the Civil war, he rented the farm to William Barkalow with 150 sheep. From the wool clip he received $1.00 per pound. He then moved back to Adrian and entered the dry goods business as a partner with N. S. Haker. Mr. Ordway is past 93 years of age, very active with a clear retentive mind. He is now enjoying a pleasant life in Canisteo, having been a resident here for many years.
     Joseph Brown settled the first farm on the hill. Justin Loper's farm is second, having once been owned by attorney William B. Jones, as non-resident. Harrison Cooley, third farm, now occupied by S. A. Barklow. The fourth, Howe farm now occupied by Wayne Shelly. Fifth farm, Mr. Lovejoy. Sixth farm William Barkalow. Seventh, Samuel Barkalow, non-resident. Ninth, owned by Matthew Converse, then the Ordway farm. Eleventh farm, owned by Mr. Preston, and 2 other farms before reaching the Pierce settlement. Mr. Pierce took up a large tract of forest land, built a large mill and manufactured lumber for many years. He had a son Edw. Pierce, who was a sailor on a man-of-war before the Civil war and was on a three years cruise visiting nearly all the sea ports of the world, which was quite a feat in those days.
     On the organizing of a school district a log house was built back from the highway where school and religious services were held for many years, when a more modern house was built, and now ocupied on the public road. James Hallett occupied lands lying along the river ridge west from the school house where a fine view was had of Hallett's corner, Canisteo and Hornell. The farms enumerated are now very productive and are occupied by our most energetic farmers. The proposed change of road bed from the foot of the hill to give an even grade for a distance of three-fourth of a mile would accomodate some of our most worthy citizens, as the hill by the Gravelrun school house is practically beyond repair.
     The farm of A. W. Sage and son was first settled by Willard and Shenroe Stearns, brothers. The Stearns were lumber and raft men running their lumber by water to Baltimore. Once their winter lumbering was lost by missing the shute and going over the Shamokin dam thirty feet high. Their raft was torn to pieces and only single boards floated away. The men suceeded in grasping the bridge piers as the raft passed under the bridge above the dam. Mr. Sage is the third occupant of the farm since settlement.
     About 1850, Thomas Jamison acquired the land, then a forest, now owned by Leon Dennis, known as the Milo Brown farm. The highway at that time dropped under the bench by the Newton barns and continued along on the bottom lands to the upper barn of Fred Bowles, where it connected with the present road. There was a small board house on the road a little south of the Dennis house occupied for years by a family. The road passed just west of Mrs. Preston's house. John Brown when path master of highways, with the consent of the Adsits of Hornell who owned, at that time, the present Fred Bowles' farm, straightened the highway from the above barn mentioned to the Newton house, crossing Mr. Jamison's land at an expense of $75. Mr. Jamison cleared the land and following the Civil war, sold it to Hosea Buner, who built the present house and barn. Holley Wilson as carpenter, built the house and later James Murphy built the barn. Mr. Bruner sold the farm to Milo Brown and Mr. Brown sold to Leon Dennis. The fifty acre frontage of the William Skillman farm was settled by Abram Thomas, his occupancy dates back to the late forties. Mr. Thomas built the foundation of the Hiram Cosgrove and Mr. Nugent, owners, who added a large tract of land to the farm and has since added to the house modern fixtures annenxed. Mr. Skillman is an up-to-date and all around successful farmer.