Monday, April 25, 2011

Early History of Phelps, Phelps Citizen 1889, Part 1

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Amanuensis Monday, hosted by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.


Three branches of my family were all in Ontario County, New York in the early 1800's, with the Hall's and Glover's settling in the town of Phelps at Oaks Corners. In celebration of the town's centennial the Phelps Citizen ran many pieces about the early history. I have been transcribing items as I have time. Other transcriptions may be found here.


The Phelps Citizen, Thursday, May 2, 1889

Early History of Phelps

The following communication was sent by request to Miss Elmira Northam, of this place, by Mrs. Philomenia Wright, of West Candor, Tioga County, N.Y., a lady about 75 years of age, who spent her earlier years in Phelps, and gives evidence of remarkable powers of memory in a lady of her years:

West Candor, N.Y., April 16, ’89.

My dear Friend; - I am very glad to give any information that I am able to in regard to the early settlement of our town. Ambrose Porter I never knew. Caroline Porter left Oaks Corners before she married, I do not know who she married. Charles married a Miss Caroline Ward, she did not live long in the place, and was not very much known. I do not know when they came into town. It was longer ago than I can remember. Joshua Porter, who I suppose is still living, and father of Mrs. Stephenson, of Phelps, is a nephew of Mrs. Grover’s first husband. The house where your people lived, I have always heard spoken of as the Northam house, and supposed your grandfather built it. The Glover homestead was always the same from my earliest recollections. I do not remember of any house on either place previous to the ones in question, neither do I recollect of any families who occupied either house previous to the Northams and Glovers. I do not know when they came to town, but I can remember them back seventy years ago.

John Taylor owned the farm now occupied by Mr. Cook, about a mile west of Oaks Corners. He was a good citizen, a kind neighbor, very kind to the poor, and the father of nineteen children. His first wife was the mother of seventeen children, and the later wife had two more. Very few of the family located around the old home, but the settled in different parts of the country, and have all passed away years ago.

Dr. Joel Prescott owned the farm adjoining the Taylor farm now owned by Prof. Ezra J. Peck. He was the first physician in town, and the first Justice of the Peace. He died in 1811, in the prime of his life, and in the midst of his usefulness.

My father came into the town seventy-eight years ago. Of course the country was new, and my father and mother knew something of pioneer life, but I think I will leave their history for sister Doolittle to write, she will do them better justice than I can.

I do not know where Nicholas Pullen lived or died. I think he was the father of Mrs. Cortright and Mrs. Spoor.

You remember the little house between your old house and Mr. Burtis’, where old Charely Burnett, as every one called him, lived. I think that place belonged to his farm, probably Mrs. Burnett, who was formerly Mrs. Pullen, had the use of that place her life time. It run in bank [sic], I do not know how far, but the lot the we used to own, was originally bought of the Pullen heirs. John and Charley Pullen’s father was James Pullen, and if I am right, he was the son of Nicholas. Cotton Dickinson, the Rev. Wm. Young and Mrs, Hugh Boyd, were the grandchildren of Nicholas Pullen.

Philander Glover lived on Melvin Hill, His first wife was a Melvin. She left two children, a son and a daughter. The second wife had two sons, Wellington and Livingston. I think Wellington was a lawyer, Livingston became quite a noted minister, a D. D. He died some two or three years ago.

I have just received a copy of the PHELPS CITIZEN containing an article from Mr. Root. Speaking of the Glovers, he said there was one whose name he could not recollect. I think it was Whitfield.

Joel Thayer kept the Oaks Corners Inn, also had a store on the opposite corner, the lot now owned by J. W. Lyon.

Daniel Trowbridge, who was a very prominent man in the church and society at Oaks Corners, lived opposite the cemetery, one-half mile or more west of Oaks Corners. He came from Buckland, Mass., I think in 1816, a young man and a young convert to Christianity, full of zeal for the Master. He organized the first Sunday School, not only at Oaks Corners, but the first in Ontario County. He started the first prayer meeting that was established there years before the church at Oaks Corners and Phelps divided, and when the same ministers supplied the pulpit at both places alternately. Mr. Trowbridge sustained afternoon or evening service at the school house the year round with a full house. He removed to Ohio in 1833, where died a few years ago. The Trowbridge, Mr. Root speaks of, is Samuel Trowbridge, a brother of Daniel.

To be continued.


my Heritage Happens said...

Enjoyed part 1, looking forward to the next part! As you know, I like parts!

Gini said...

Excellent post, Apple. I love your letters and transcriptions. I have yet to come across treasures like this in my family history . . . hopefully one day I will. Looking forward to the next in this series.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Cheryl - This series will be very brief and certainly not edge of your seat stuff like your recent adventure!

Gini - I have been very lucky! I do hope you find hidden treasures soon.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Glad to see you blogging again, Apple. :-)