COVENTRY was formed from Greene, Feb. 7, 1806 and derives its name from Coventry, in Connecticut, from whence the first settlers came. Parts of Green and Oxford were annexed in 1843. It lies near the center of the south border of the county and is bounded on the north by Oxford, on the east by Bainbridge and Afton, on the south by Afton and Colesville, in Broome county, and on the west by Greene. It occupies the ridge which forms the water-shed between the streams which flow into the Susquehanna on the south-east, and the Chenango on the north-west. The hills, whose highest elevations are midway between the rivers, are about 800 feet above the valleys, and generally have gradual slopes and are tillable to their summits. The surface is well distributed into arable, pasture and meadow lands. Its waters consist of the headwaters of small streams, the principal of which are Harper's and Kelsey's creeks, both tributaries of the Susquehanna. It is wholly underlaid by the rocks of the Catskill group. The soil is mostly a sandy and gravelly loam, interspersed occasionally with beds of red loam. The town is admirably adapted to grazing. Dairying forms the chief branch of its agriculture. There are four factories for cheese and butter, one known as the Babel Factory, located in the south-west part of the town, which has a capacity for 300 cows, and is owned by Horace Packer of Oxford, by whom it was built in 1873, one located two and one-half miles south-west of Coventryville, owned by Timothy Parker, by whom it was built in 1878, and one located one and one-half miles south-east of Coventry, owned by T. D. And Ezra Foote, in which about 85 pounds of butter and 300 pounds of cheese are made per day.
In 1875 the population of the town was 1,345; of whom 1,307 were natives, 38 foreigners, and all white.
Its area was 27,815 acres; of which 21,326 were improved; 6,465 woodland; and 24 otherwise unimproved.1
There are eleven common school districts in the town, each of which has a school-house within the town. The number of children of school age residing in the districts Sept. 30th, 1877, was 373. During the year ending Sept. 30th, 1878, there were 7 male and 14 female teachers employed, of whom 11 were licensed; the number of children residing in the districts who attended school was 309; of whom only 4 were under five or over twenty-one years of age; the average daily attendance during the year was 171.391; the number of volumes in district libraries was 280, the value of which was $44; the number of school-houses was 11, all frame, which, with the sites, embracing 2 acres and 142 rods, valued at $425, were valued at $3,600; the assessed value of taxable property in the districts was $688,030. The number of children between eight and fourteen years of age residing in the districts Sept. 30th, 1877, was 179, of whom 166 attended district school during fourteen weeks of that year.
Receipts and Disbursements for School Purposes:---
Amount on hand Oct. 1, 1876 $ 101.15 " apportioned to district 1,194.10 Proceeds of Gospel and School Lands 2.68 Raised by tax 712.03 From teachers' board 336.50 --------- $2,346.46 Paid for teachers' wages 1,838.27 " " school apparatus 5.00 " " " houses, sites, fences, outhouses, repairs, furniture, etc. 353.96 " " other incidental expenses 119.76 Amount remaining on hand Oct 1, 1877 29.47 --------- 2,346.46
SETTLEMENTS.---The first settlement in the town of Coventry was made in 1785 by Simon Jones, who came from Coventry, Connecticut, and located on the old Chenango road, near the center of the town, on 100 acres, which are now occupied by Timothy D. Parker, and died there childless Jan. 12, 1817, aged 67. William Goodell and Andrew Clark settled near Mr. Jones, on the same road, the following year, the latter on land which now forms a part of Timothy Parker's farm. They remained but a short time and but little is known of them.
Benjamin Jones, cousin of Simon Jones, came in from the same place in 1788, and settled on the same road, one and one-half miles south-east of Coventry village, where Thomas Tifft now lives. He took up 250 acres of land, and kept there that year the first inn in the town, in a frame building which is still in use as a wagon house. He kept tavern but a few years, being principally engaged in farming. He was for some years the agent for the sale of lands in this locality. He removed about 1833 with a portion of his family to Wellsville, where two of his children now reside, Zenas H., a lawyer, and Clarissa, wife of William Gifford. Two sons remained here, Benjamin John Lewis and Luman P., the latter of whom still lives here, having carried on the boot and shoe business in Coventry some thirty-five years. The former settled about two miles east of Coventry, where Edgar Pearsall now lives. He subsequently removed to Susquehanna, where he died June 22, 1858, aged 52. Sylvia M., his wife, died Feb. 16, 1875, aged 63.
Benjamin Jones joined the Revolutionary army at the age of eighteen years, and served till the close of the war. During his residence here, in 1806, he represented this county in the Assembly, and during his legislative term he was instrumental in securing the formation of the town, of which he was one of the first officers, and in giving it the name of his native place in Connecticut. He was the first member of the Legislature from this town,2 and was one of the first assessors of the town of Bainbridge in 1791. The first post-office of the town was kept in his house and was removed to Coventryville on the establishment of the tavern there.
Burrage Miles came from New Haven, Conn., about 1789, and took up 200 acres, comprising the whole of the site of Coventryville, where he settled. Having kept a hotel in New Haven, Conn., his native place, he erected a frame house in which he kept tavern. In 1811 he built the present hotel in Coventryville, which he kept till his death, Sept. 12, 1848, aged 83. He married in New Haven, Elizabeth, sister of Ozias Yale, of Cheshire, Conn., who died Sept. 15, 1832, aged 68. His children were Betsey, who married Augustus Martin, Luman, who is now living in Coventryville, and is the only surviving member of the family, and Burrage, who lived and died in Coventryville July 23, 1829, aged 24. They were all born in Coventry, and Luman, who was born in a hotel, has kept one ever since he was able to do business.
When Miles came in, Royal Wilkins had squatted on the creek, one-fourth mile south of Coventryville, and had made a small clearing and built a shanty; but he removed soon after to Afton, where he settled and raised a family. His location here was near where Charles Pearsall now lives.
Ozias Yale and Deacon William Stork made settlements in 1792, and Deacon Richards about that time. Yale came from Cheshire, Conn., and settled one-half mile north of Coventryville, where T. M. Williams now lives, and died there May 26, 1853, aged 86. He was a farmer, and held the office of justice several years. He was twice married. Hannah, his first wife, died Dec. 23, 1810, age 55; and Agnes A., his second wife, March 8, 1875, aged 88. Two sons are living, Thomas, in Bainbridge, and Robert in Norwich. Evaline, wife of Nathaniel Smith, living in Norwich, is a daughter of his. The deaths of his daughter Hannah and son H., both children by his first wife, the former Oct. 3, 1796, at the age of three years, and the latter July 9, 1800, at the age of six years, were among the earliest in the town; and the birth of the former, must have been among the first, if not the first in the town.3
Deacon William Stork was also from Cheshire, Conn. He took up 100 acres, in the east part of the town, where he and his wife died, the former Dec. 3, 1822, aged 52, and the latter, Rebecca Parker, March 17, 1832, age 59. He was a carpenter and joiner, and carried on that business in connection with farming. He had eight children, only four of whom lived to attain their majority. Two were born in Connecticut, but died in infancy, as also did the other two, who died young. The four who lived to maturity were Julia, who was born in Coventry, Sept. 16, 1799, married Don C. Parker, of Cazenovia, where they settled (and where she now lives,) afterwards removed to Greene, where he died Nov. 2, 1862; Anna, who died a maiden lady on the homestead in Coventry; Lauriston, who married Rheuby, daughter of William Clark, of Cazenovia, where they settled and he died; and William L., a lawyer, now living in Cazenovia.
Deacon Richards settled on the old Chenango road; also Hardin Bennett, about 1792-5.
Roger Edgerton settled about four mile south of Coventry, where his grandson, George Edgerton, now lives, and was killed there by falling down stairs. He came as early as 1790, in which year a son of his died, his death being the first in the town. Two of his sons are living, Hiram in Franklin, Delaware county, and Albert in Minnesota. One other grandchild is living in Coventry, Eliza Ann, widow of Cyrus Smith.
Philo Yale settled in the town in 1794, when nineteen years old, and built his house in 1800. He dug the first grave in the cemetery at Coventryville, for William Button. It is in the north-east corner of the yard.
Moses Allis came in as early as 1795 and Zenas Hutchinson and Levi Parker about that year. Allis was a shoemaker and settled three miles south of Coventry, where the widow Martin now lives. He resided there till well advanced in years, when he went with his son to Ohio, where he died. None of his children are living here. His son William, who is generally supposed to have been the first child born in the town, removed to Ohio about 1830 and died there. Hutchinson came from Coventry, Conn., where he was born Sept. 17, 1782, and settled on the first farm west of Coventry village, which is now owned by John Kales. He afterwards removed to the Corners and died there Nov. 3, 1869. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for thirty years, and was town clerk and school teacher a great many years. He married Electa Trumbull, who was born March 3, 1794, and whose father was an early settler in the town, where she died Feb. 18, 1870. He had two children, both daughters, Calista, wife of Chauncey S. Williams, living in Coventry, and Sophia, who died at the age of seventeen. Parker came from Cheshire, Conn., and settled on the site of the Congregational parsonage in Coventry village. He afterwards removed to the west part of the town, to the place where his son Levi now lives, and died there April 9, 1846, age 79. Phebe, his wife, died Oct. 4, 1859, aged 89. His children were Eldad, who settled at Coventryville, where he died June 4, 1820, aged 26; Levi, who married and settled where his daughter, Mrs. Daniel Beecher, now lives, and died there Oct. 3, 1864, aged 68, and Polly G., his wife, Oct. 5, 1854, aged 59; Aaron, who was a Baptist minister, and is now living at an advanced age; Luman, who settled at Coventryville; Laura, who married Merit Stoddard, and after his death Oct. 12, 1820, Ahira Barden, with whom she is now living in Tioga county, aged about 90; Phebe, who married A. B. Dodge, and is living in Triangle, Broome county, aged about 70; and Lucinda, who died young and unmarried. James S. Parker, a merchant in Coventry, Mrs. Daniel Beecher, of Coventry, Merrit S. Parker, a merchant in Greene, and Mary, wife of Dr. M. B. Spencer, of Guilford, are grandchildren of his.
Record Wilbur came in from Vermont as early as 1798, and settled about a mile south of Coventry, on the place where Loren B. Porter now lives, and died there Jan. 29, 1862, at the advanced age of 99 years. Naomi, his wife, died Jan. 21, 1842, aged 76. They had no children. A man named Childs, whose wife was a sister of Record Wilbur's, came in soon after Wilbur and made a clearing and planted corn on the place now owned by Susan Judd. He remained only one summer, and returned to Vermont, from whence he came. His wife never came here.
Captain Jotham Parker came in as early as 1795, probably about that year, and settled one mile south of Coventryville, on the place now owned by Reuben Pearsall. He built in that locality, in 1795, the first grist-mill in the town. He kept there also, in an addition to the south part of his house, the first store in the town. Hiland, his son, afterwards kept store there in company with Benjamin Jones. Capt. Parker also kept a tavern. He died there, after a short but active business life, July 19, 1815, aged 62. His wife, Sarah, survived him many years, and died Nov. 15, 1848, at the advanced age of 90 years. His children were: Hiland, Jotham, Jr., who died in February, 1839, aged 42; Luman, who died Oct. 8, 1801, age 20; Emily, and the widow Loveland. Emily is the only one now living.
The grist-mill built by Captain Parker was located on a small brook, one-fourth mile south of Coventryville, near the residence of Charles Pearsall. A portion of the stone foundation may yet be seen. It was operated as a grist-mill till about 1854, when William Warner converted it into a carpenter shop, which was burned about four years ago.
Simeon Parker settled at an early day one and one-half miles north of Coventryville, where his grandson, Peter Parker, now lives, and where he and his wife died, the former Feb. 7, 1824, aged 48, and the latter July 30, 1835, aged 60. He married Polly Sprague. Their marriage was the first one contracted in the town. Their children were: Lucius, Hiram, Simeon, Joel, Henry, Merrit, Polly, Betsey, Sally, Louisa and Nancy, only two of whom are living, Nancy, a maiden lady, in Oxford, and Betsey, who married a man named Cox and is living in Butternuts.
A man named Stimson settled in the north-east corner of the town on the farm now occupied by Draper Easton, in 1800, and died there. He had six children, Jason, who married Betsey Johnson, Simeon, Roswell, who married a sister of Jason's wife, Nancy, who married Ira Bartholomew, Betsey, and another daughter who married the father of William Gilbert, all of whom are dead.
Deacon John Stoddard, who was born July 1, 1763, came in from Watertown, Conn., his native place, in 1801, and settled at Coventryville, on the farm now owned and occupied by his grandson, Wm. A. Stoddard, where he died Feb. 24, 1821. He came in with his family, consisting of his wife, Sarah, daughter of Nathan Woodward, of Watertown, Conn., and six children, Curtis, Merit, Polly, John, Sarah and Elijah Woodward. Three were born after they came here, Abigail, Wells and Abiram, but not one of the nine is living. He took 250 acres of land, nearly 100 acres of which is still occupied by his grandsons, John and William A. Stoddard. His wife died January 2, 1849, aged 83.
The Stoddards have been a prominent, influential and highly respected family. Curtis married Hepsey, daughter of Samuel Martin, from Watertown, Conn., who came in with Mr. Stoddard in 1800 and prospected the lands they took up and accompanied him in his settlement the following year. Mr. Martin died here Jan. 17, 1840, aged 76, and Phebe, his wife, March 22, 1841, aged 76. Curtis Stoddard settled on 50 acres of his father's farm, where he raised a family of eight children. After the death of his wife he removed to Little St. Joseph, Ohio, where he died in 1834. Merit Stoddard, married Laura, daughter of Levi Parker, and settled in the west part of the town, where he died Oct. 12, 1820, aged 32 years. Polly Stoddard married Sylvester Stephens, of Camden, Oneida county, and removed with him to that county, where he died. After his death she returned to Coventry, and subsequently married Daniel Benedict. She died here in 1876. John Stoddard, who also became a deacon, married Merab, daughter of Oliver Parker, an early settler in the town, where he died March 29, 1856, aged 85, and Abigail, his wife, Jan. 10, 1861, aged 89. John settled on the homestead of his father and died there Jan. 20, 1855, aged 60. His wife died March 20, 1857, aged 60. He was a Justice of the Peace for twenty years. Sarah Stoddard married Deacon William Albert Martin, a resident of Coventry, where both lived and died. He died March 22, 1846, aged 53. Elijah Woodward Stoddard, who was born in 1799 and died in 1837, was graduated at Hamilton College in 1823, studied theology in Philadelphia and was licensed to preach in June, 1826. He married Althea Coye, of Cooperstown, and in 1826 was settled as pastor at Lisle. He subsequently preached in Windsor, in each place six years, and removed to Little St. Joseph, Ohio, where he died. Abigail married Miles Doolittle, a resident of Coventry, who build in 1815 the first and only carding-mill and cloth-dressing establishment in the town. It stood on a small stream which was early known as Great Brook, about a mile south of Coventryville.4 Abigail died Aug. 7, 1830. Wells Stoddard married Eunice, daughter of Eliakim Benedict, and settled in Coventry. They removed in 1833 to Marion, Iowa, where he died in 1853, and where his widow still resides. Abiram married Lavinia Smith, of Derby, Conn., where he practiced medicine and died in 1839. Four of John Jr.'s children, Henry, John, Albert and Lewis, and one of Curtis', Hepsey, wife of Joseph Johnson, are living in Coventry.
Deacon Philo Minor came from Woodbury, Conn., 1802, a single man, and made a clearing of two acres about a mile east of Coventryville, on the place now occupied by C. Burlison. He returned to Connecticut the following fall and married Polly Stillson, and in the winter brought his wife on an ox sled. About 1850 he removed to the place now occupied by Lewis Stoddard, and subsequently to Afton, where he died Nov. 16, 1864, aged 83. His wife died Feb. 6, 1848, aged 64. He had nine children, five of whom are living, George, born in 1803, Clark, and Esther, widow of Seneca Reed, in Coventry, and Mary, wife of Sylvester Cornwell, and Sarah A., widow of Calvin Franklin, who died Sept. 8, 1861, in Norwich.
At one time Mrs. Philo Minor left her home to go to a place near the Brocket Pond to arrange some weaving. She went on horseback. There were then no roads except "log roads". Taking the wrong one she got lost and remained in the woods all night. It was dark and rainy, and when she could no longer see she perched herself upon a leaning tree as high as she could and still hold the horse. She placed the saddle over her head as a protection against the falling rain and so passed the night, with the wolves howling all around her, but she kept them at bay by beating the stirrups together, thus making music which they apparently did not like.5
John Minor came in about the same time, and he and his wife, Anna G. Beardsley, died here, the former Feb. 9, 1854, aged 84, and the latter March 4, 1852, aged 79. Their daughter, Elizabeth D., married John Foote, a native of Coeymans, N. Y., who was a tanner and shoemaker, and settled in Coventry, where he held several military and town offices, and was Deacon of the Congregational Church. They had two children, Lydia Ann, who married Henry Milton Ketchum and removed to Minnesota, and Jane Amanda.
John Mandeville and Elisha Warren came in from Massachusetts, the former from Granby in that State, in 1805. Mandeville settled in the south part of the town, four miles south of Coventry, on 50 acres which now forms a part of Charles Martin's farm, and died there about 1819. He was the first Supervisor in Coventry. He had eight children, Asenath, who married Chauncey Brewer, Sophia, who married Lemuel Jennings, John, William C., James, Horace, Homer and Melancthon S., only two of whom are living, Homer in Foxburgh, Pa., and Melancthon S., in Coventry. Two grandsons, Asahel and Harry, are living in the town on lands afterwards acquired by him. Warren settled in the east part of the town, one and one-half miles south-east of Coventryville, on the place now occupied by Clark L. Horton, where he died Jan. 13, 1806, aged 41. Lois, his wife, survived him many years. She died March 20, 1848, aged 80. He had three sons and one daughter, Woodward, who was born in Watertown, Conn., Jan. 17, 1791, was an architect and carpenter, and died Sept. 7, 1855, aged 64, Elisha, Lydia, who married Hial Benedict, and Romeo, the latter of whom represented this county in the Assembly in 1856, and now resides in Coventryville, is the only one living.
Settlements were made in 1806 by Jabez Manwarring, Henry Chandler and Pardon Beecher.
Jabez Manwarring came from New London, Conn., and settled first three miles south-west of Coventry, on the farm owned by John Beals and occupied by Franklin Seymour. In 1812 he removed to the farm lying next north, and resided there till his death, April 23, 1861, aged 80. In 1808, he married Sally Hopkins, from Waterbury, Conn., who died Oct. 21, 1863, aged 79. They had ten children, seven of whom are living, viz.: Charles B., in Nanticoke, Broome county, Henry and Edward S., in Windsor, Broome county, Lucius in Coventry, William in Grandville, Mich., and Samuel and Albert in State Center, Iowa. George, who died in Clinton county, Iowa, about 1864, and Sally Maria, who married Albert Pratt, of Afton, and subsequently David Blakley, of Wisconsin, where she died, were children of theirs.
Deacon Henry Chandler came from Brattleboro, Vt. He stopped about six months in Bainbridge, and removed thence to this town. He settled at Coventryville and had charge of the grist-mill which was then in operation a little south of that village. He built a log-house into which he moved his family, and after about a year he bought a farm of nearly fifty acres about one and one-half miles south of Coventryville, now known as the old Sanford place. He afterwards removed to the farm now occupied by Benedict Foote, in the north part of the town. He went to live with his children in Bainbridge during the latter years of his life, and died there July 21, 1826, age 72. Penelope, his wife, died March 25, 1841, aged 72. His children were Nelly, who married Hardin Burnett, Sophia, who married Phineas Bennett, Nabby, who married Calvin Niles, Michael, Henry, Selah, Rufus, David, Lockwood and Lois, who married William Wilson. Rufus, who resides in Coventry is the only one living.
Parson Beecher removed from the parish of Salem, Conn., now Nangatuck, and, like many others of the early settlers, fearing the miasmatic diseases and reputed sickness of the low lands and river courses, sought out an elevated location between the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers. He took up 100 acres of wilderness land a mile below Coventry, and there raised up a family to usefulness, honesty and sobriety. He continued his residence there till his death, Aug. 10, 1843, aged 60. His house is said to have been the first frame house on that part of the Livingston tract lying in Coventry, and the first on the Catskill and Ithaca turnpike between Bainbridge and Greene, a distance of sixteen miles. There town meetings and elections were "regularly held", as well as stated preaching every fourth Sabbath. In January, 1808, he married a lady of his native town, (who died in 1875, at the advanced age of 91 years, with mind unimpaired,) and removed her to a log cabin in his forest home. The farm was retained in the hands of the family till within some 25 years, when Julius Beecher, who succeeded his father in its occupancy, sold it and removed to Wellsville, Alleghany county, where he now lives. Parson Beecher's other children were Sarah, who married a son of Curtis Stoddard, and after his death, Amos Yale, and is now living a widow on the Amos Yale place in Guilford, where her husband died Feb. 17, 1857, aged 49; Daniel, who was twice married, and is now living with his second wife, Betsey Parker, in Coventry; Annette, who married Russell M. Smith, and died in Coventry in the spring of 1877; Harris H. and Harry, twins, the latter of whom married the widow Phebe Ann Rice and is now living in Norwich; Hector, who married a lady named Leonard, with whom he is now living in the south edge of Oxford; Elbridge, who married and removed to Ohio and died there; and Jane, who married John B. Hoyt, both of whom are living in Pittston, Pa. Julius married Elizabeth Payne, and after her death, Sarah Ann Stewart, who is living with him in Wellsville.
Lewis Warren, son of Nathaniel Warren, came in from Watertown, Conn., about 1808 or '9, and settled about three miles south-west of Coventry, where Ira Fairchild now lives. He returned to Connecticut about 1811, and remained there till 1822. He died in the west part of the town, where his widow and two daughters now reside. Harvey Judd removed from Watertown to Delhi, Delaware county, in 1809, and the following year to Coventry, to the place now occupied by Monroe Foote, but owned by the widow of Harvey P. Judd, about a mile south-west of Coventry, where he, his wife, Sarah Castle, and son Harvey P., died. He died Sept. 27, 1857, aged 94; his wife Feb. 18, 1845, aged 80; and his son Dec 27, 1869, aged 64. Only one child is living, Susan, widow of Lewis Warren, who was 89 years old June 9, 1879.
Francis Kales came from Albany in 1811 and settled on the south line of the town, on the farm now occupied by Mark J. Keogh, but owned by his father, William Kales. Both he and his wife were of Irish descent and both died there, the former in April, 1852, and the latter in February, 1847. John and William, both residing in Coventry village, are the only members of the family living. The latter was a Member of Assembly from this county in 1858.
David Hungerford came in from Watertown, Conn., his native place, in 1812, and settled about three miles south-west of Coventry, where his son Chauncey has lived since his birth in 1830. He continued to reside there till his death, Jan. 12, 1860. His widow, who is a native of Vermont, still survives him, in her 97th year, with mental faculties but little impaired. He came in with his wife, to whom he was married in Watertown, and four children, Maria, widow of Moses Hatch, and Susan, widow of Harvey P. Judd, living in Coventry; Rachel, wife of John R. Gobles, living in Fulton City, Ill.; and Lavinia, who married Joseph Snell and died in Kattelville in Broome county March 6, 1849. Two sons and three daughters were born after their settlement here, Sally, a maiden lady, living with her brother on the homestead; Anna, widow of Townsend Barnum, living in Hastings, Minn.; Laura, wife of Ralph Baird, living in Coventry; David, living in Kansas; and Chauncey, living on the homestead.
Most of the early settlers in the locality of Coventryville and on the road extending north into the south part of Oxford were from Cheshire, Conn., from which fact the little hamlet in the south part of that town derives its name, and the road in question is known as Cheshire street.
The first school-house in the town was a log structure, located about ten rods north of Charles Pearsall's blacksmith shop.6 Sherman Page, the first teacher, then a young, single man, was a resident of Unadilla, and afterwards became somewhat distinguished as a lawyer and legislator. Among the first school-girls were Roxy Miles, Patty Miles, Hannah Yale and Sally Miles, who afterwards became respectively the wives of Russell Waters, Amasa Ives, ______ Jones and ______ Beckwith. Mrs. Walters died April 10, 1873, aged 85, and her husband, May 11, 1835, aged 48; and Mrs. Ives, March 16, 1858, aged 84, and her husband Oct. 6, 1823, aged 60. After a few years another school-house was built in what was called the Warren district. It stood between the lands now occupied by Erastus Judd and Joel Judd, (formerly know as the Benedict farm,) and was afterwards removed to near where Elam Barstow now lives, where it remained till after that district was united with the Coventryville district.
TOWN OFFICERS.---The first town meeting was held at the school-house, near Burrage Miles', (Coventryville,) Tuesday, March, 1806, and the following named officers were elected:---
Assessors--Jotham Parker, Moses Allis and Abijah Benedict.
Overseers of the Poor-- Ozias Yale and Simon Jones.
Commissioners of Highways--John Stoddard, Samuel Martin and Nathaniel Manning.
Constables--Daniel Wylie and Jabez Manwarring.
Fence Viewers--Benjamin Jones, Record Wilbur and Luther Holcomb.
Pound Keepers--Benjamin Burnett and Nathaniel Manning.
Overseers of Highways--George Lowry, Joel Goodenough, Peter Bowen, John Stoddard, Simon Jones, Benjamin Jones, William M. Thomas, Nathaniel Manning and Henry Allen.
Sealer of Weights and Measures--Oliver Parker.
At an annual election held in this town April 29 and 30, and May 1, 1806, the following votes were cast:---
For Freegift Patchen, for Senator 12 For Evans Wharry, " " 12 For John McWhorter, " " 12 For Joseph Annin, " " 12 For John Ballard, " " 10 For Nathan Smith, " " 10 For Salmon Buel, " " 10 For Jacob Gebhard, " " 10 For Reuben Humphrey, for Member of Congress 42 For Thomas Lyon, " " " Assembly 43 For Benjamin Jones, " " " " 14 For Elisha Smith, " " " " 9 For Obadiah German, " " " " 3 For Roswell Marshall, " " " " 2 For Ozias Yale, " " " " 1
John Mandeville, Moses Allis and Jotham Parker were the Inspectors of that election.
Town officers elected in Coventry, in February, 1880:---
Supervisor--J. M. Phillips.
Town Clerk--J. D. Guy.
Justice--J. S. Parker
Assessor--C. L. Horton.
Commissioner of Highways--D. B. Easton.
Overseer of the Poor--Miles Hartwell.
Constables--Frank Pierce, Nelson Cahoon and Charles Laman.
Inspectors of Election--District No. 1, Lucius Manwarring, H. E. Ingersoll and J. H. Willoughby; District No. 2, to be appointed.
Town Auditors--Romeo Warren, E. D. Newton and John Wylie.
Game Constable--Martin Seeley.
Excise Commissioner--Henry Andrews.
Coventry is pleasantly situated a little north-west of the center of the town, bout seven miles east of Greene and eight west of Bainbridge, with which villages it is connected by daily stage. It contains three churches, (Congregational, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal,) a district school, a hotel, the first in the village, which was built by Henry Allen shortly before 1812, and is now kept by Frederick H. Scofield, one general store, a grocery, a tannery owned by Joel Guy and operated by Edson Dibble, a blacksmith shop, kept by Chester Tryon, a wagon shop, kept by Luther T. Hazen, a harness shop, kept by Vincent White, two shoe shops, kept by L. P. Jones and James Nelson Hoyt, and a population of about 150.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Coventry, it is believed, was Henry Allen, who came in from Coventry, Connecticut, shortly previous to 1810, and kept a store in a part of his tavern. He left the town at an early day. Dr. Diodate Cushman opened a store about 1818 or '19 and continued as late as 1827, about which time he left the town. George Ryder was associated with him about a year.
William Church, whose father Josiah Church, from Vermont, was an early settler at Church Hollow, which derived its name from him, commenced business about 1830, in company with David Everett, who sold soon after to Rufus Chandler and Zerah Spencer, the latter of whom died Feb. 5, 1832, aged 33. About which time the business was discontinued. Church returned to Church Hollow and opened a store there. Chandler resumed business about 1834, with Gilbert D. Phillips, to whom after about a year he sold his interest.
Mr. Phillips came in from Greenville, Greene county, and settled three miles south-west of Coventry, where he engaged in farming, wagon-making and running a foundry, which he continued till he engaged in mercantile business, when he removed to the village, where he died Dec. 18, 1872, aged 82. His widow is till living in Coventry in her 83d year. From 1840 to 1858, he was associated in mercantile business with his sons Edgar A., and James M. Phillips, under the name of G. D. Phillips & Sons. Amasa J. Hoyt became a partner in 1851 and Frederick LeRoy Martin in 1858, in which year the name was changed to Phillips, Hoyt & Martin. James M. Phillips withdrew in 1852 and F. L. Martin in 1860, since which time the business has been conducted by the remaining partners, Edgar A. Phillips and Amasa J. Hoyt, under the name of Phillips & Hoyt, who keep a general stock of merchandise.
Romeo Warren, William Church and Edwin Birge bought out Dr. Cushman. After about a year Rufus Chandler bought Birge's interest. The business was continued some two years, when Chandler and Warren sold to Church, who continued trading some four years.
J. S. Parker & Son, grocers, commenced business in February, 1877.
POSTMASTERS.---The first postmaster at Coventry was Dr. Tracy Southworth, who was appointed about 1833 or '4 and held the office several years. Gilbert D. Phillips next held it five or six years, and was succeeded by his son Edgar A., who held it some four years. George Cornish next held it about two years, till his removal. He was succeeded by William Church who held it till about 1860, when his son Charles was appointed and held it till June, 1861, when Amasa J. Hoyt was appointed. Hoyt was succeeded Dec. 10, 1877, by Mary A. Kales, the present incumbent.
PHYSICIANS.---The first physician was Diodate Cushman, who commenced practice in the east part of the town as early as 1813. He afterwards located in Coventry and practiced there till within a few years of his death, which occurred abut 1838 or '9, while on his way to New York with a drove of cattle. He was also engaged in mercantile business here and at Chenango Forks. The next was Tracy Southworth, who came from New Berlin during the latter part of Cushman's practice, as early as 1827, and practiced here some ten years. Alfred Griffin came in about 1830 and was succeeded in the spring of 1835, by Asahel Wilmott, who removed in 1843 to the west part of the State. George Sturges came in from Coventryville in 1843 and practiced a year or two. S. B. Prentiss practiced here some two years, about 1845, and at the meeting of the County Medical Society June 9, 1846, was made the subject of commendatory resolutions by reason of his contemplated removal. He went to Kansas, having sold his practice to William H. Beardsley, from Butternuts, who removed to a farm about three miles south of Coventry in April, 1869, and is still practicing there. R. Ottman came in from Pennsylvania in 1845, but remained about a year only.
The present physicians are James D. Guy and Jesse E. Bartoo.
James D. Guy was born in Oxford, N. Y., Dec. 23, 1840, and studied medicine at Harpersville, Broome county, with his uncle, Dr. Ezekiel Guy, and at Nineveh, in the same county, with another uncle, Dr. Timothy Guy. He entered Geneva Medical College in the fall of 1866, and was graduated Jan. 21, 1868, in which year he commenced practice in Harpersville. He removed thence to Coventry Nov. 28, 1869, and has since practiced here.
Jesse E. Bartoo was born in Jasper, Steuben county, Feb. 28, 1847. He studied medicine in Dansville, N. Y., with Dr. Preston, and in Greene with Dr. R. P. Crandall. He entered the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati in the fall of 1875, and was graduated there May 9, 1876. He commenced practice in Greene in that year, and continued till the spring of 1879, when he removed to Coventry.
CHURCHES.---The Second Congregational Society of Coventry was organized Dec. 9, 1822, at a meeting held in the school-house near Pliny Nichols', in said town, which was attended by David Beebe, Samuel Porter, Oliver Trumbull, Jehu Minor, Parson Beecher and many other inhabitants of the town of Coventry, and of which Samuel Martin was chosen moderator and William A. Martin clerk. Parson Beecher, Timothy B. Bidwell and Samuel Porter were elected trustees.
The following named persons were members to Jan. 5, 1825: Samuel Martin, David Beebe, Ralph Johnson, Oliver Packard, Samuel Bronson, Philo Scott, Artemas Goodenough, Paul Beardslee, Gideon B. Minor, Samuel Porter, Calvin Thayer, Mark Scott, Juna Humiston, Ira S. Beardslee, John B. Hodge, Lemuel Beardslee, Jabez Manwarring, Geo. L. Rider, Timothy B. Bidwell, Gilbert D. Phillips, Sheldon Porter, Diodate Cushman, Anson Packard, Justus Dayton, Reuben J. Warner, James Smilie, David Lowry, Parson Beecher, Enoch Johnson, Oliver Trumbull, John Niven, Daniel Rigby, Chauncey Smith, Abel M. Beardslee, Elisha Porter, Case Larkin, D. Packard, Jonathan Atwater, Nathaniel Blakeslee, Elnathan Beebe, Henry Chandler, Reuben Cary, Luther Stork, Joel Smith, Rufus Chandler, Loren B. Porter, William A. Martin, David Chandler, Jeriah Seymour, Zebah W. Matson.
At its organization the Society consisted of twenty-seven members, who withdrew from the First Congregational Church of Coventry for that purpose.
In the early part of 1824 they commenced building their church edifice, which was finished during the year, and dedicated in the early part of 1825. In 1849, the original building being found too small for the accommodation of the Society, it was decided to enlarge and thoroughly repair it, which was done at an expense of about $1,000.
The Church proper connected with this society was organized June 21, 1845, as the Second Congregational Church of Coventry. The original number of members was fourteen, viz: Calvin Thayer, Curtis Stoddard, William A. Martin, David Beebe, Sarah Beebe, Samuel Porter, Lucy Porter, Phebe Martin, Sally B. Beardslee, Phebe Case, Margaret Beecher, Azubah Trumbull, Esther Scott and Patty Porter, all of whom were members of the First Church.
There have been but few changes in its ministry. It had only two settled pastors in the early days of its existence. The first of these was Rev. Ira Smith; the second Rev. Asa Donaldson; but they served for only brief seasons, the Church depending mostly on supplies. The first stated supply was Rev. Seth Burt, who labored successfully, while the Church manifested a steady increase for the space of three years.
In 1829 Rev. John B. Hoyt became the stated supply, dividing his labors between this Church and the First Church of Greene. He was installed pastor of this Church June 19, 1833, and sustained that relation for thirty years. In 1860, owing to feeble health, Isaiah B. Hopwood, then a licentiate of Auburn Theological Seminary, was invited to labor with Mr. Hoyt as stated supply during his summer vacation of that year. In the early part of 1861, Mr. Hopwood having finished his theological studies, was invited to become the pastor of the Church, to which he assented; but his acceptance was afterwards modified by making the condition that of his being associated with Mr. Hoyt in the pastorate. This being agreeable he was ordained and installed July 15, 1861. March 20, 1861, the Church resolved to raise annually $250 for the support of Mr. Hoyt, so long as he remained with them. His long and happy pastorate was closed by death July 4, 1862, at the age of 68 years. Mr. Hopwood closed his pastoral labors in Jan., 1863, and was succeeded by Rev. W. A. Smith, of Maine, who commenced his labors Aug. 1, 1863, and continued them till Jan. 9, 1865. Rev. A. J. Buel sustained the pastoral relation from Feb. 27, 1865, to Jan. 6, 1868.
Jan. 4, 1869, a call was extended to Rev. Amos Crocker, who entered upon a pastorate which continued until Jan. 29, 1878. He was followed in Jan. 1879, by Rev. Dr. William B. Stewart, the present pastor.
In 1831 and '32 the Church was visited by a most fruitful revival, 110 persons being received into the Church on profession of faith. Several marked seasons of revival occurred during the pastorate of Mr. Hoyt, in 1834 and '5, 1840, 1843, 1846, 1851, and lastly the winter of 1855 and '6, as the fruits of which 340 were received on profession of faith.
Following is a summary of its membership up to Nov., 1861, when the number of members was 205:---
Original number of members 14 Received on profession of faith 383 Received by letter 123 --- 520 Dismissed 195 Deceased 75 Suspended 34 Withdrawn 8 Excommunicated 3 --- 315 --- Number of members in Nov., 1861 205
The number of members in June, 1879, was 184; the average attendance at Sabbath School about 80.
The Coventry Baptist Church.---The meetings by members of this denomination in Coventry were held in 1814, and the first church organization was perfected the same year. It was composed mainly of the members of twelve families who were formerly members of the First Congregational Church of Coventry, but believed in immersion. As the early records of the church were lost in the fire which destroyed their house of worship in 1843, the number of original members can not now be ascertained; but prominent among them are remembered Oliver Parker, William Spencer, Perez Gilmore, Phineas Nichols, Levi Parker, Oman Gilmore, David Hodge and Record Wilbur.
The Society connected with this church was organized Sept. 27, 1819, at a meeting held at the school-house near Treat Spear's, which was attended by Levi Parker, Oliver Parker, William Spencer, Perez Gilmore, William Stork and many other inhabitants of the town of Coventry, and of which Perez Gilmore was chosen moderator, and Phineas Nichols, clerk. The Baptist Society in the Town of Coventry was adopted as the name, and Levi Parker, Oman Gilmore, and Perez Gilmore were elected trustees.
Their first church edifice was built in 1819 or '20, and was destroyed by fire on the morning of Jan. 1, 1843. The present one was soon after built.
The first ministers were two brothers name Holcomb, and were succeeded in the order named by Revs. Gray, Sawyer, Kellogg, Tucker, Robinson, Birdsall, Parker, Litchfield, Bush, Church, Parker, M. M. Everts, N. R. Everts, Merrills, Turnbull, Beebe, Hobart and E. T. Jacobs, the latter of whom is the present pastor.
For the last twenty years the church has suffered largely from diminutions in its numbers, by the removal of many prominent members from its borders, who have gone to help swell the membership of churches in the far west and elsewhere. The present number of members is 34. The attendance at Sabbath School is 45.
The church has ordained and called to the ministry Aaron Parker, Daniel Root, F. M. Beebe and N. R. Everts. The latter is now pastor of a prominent Baptist church at Sing Sing, N. Y.
The Coventry Methodist Episcopal Church.---The first organization of Methodists in Coventry dates back to 1819, April 20th of which year a meeting was held in the school-house in district No. 6 of Coventry, at which "Michael Burdge, Elder and Joseph B. Young, preachers, both the regular ministers of said society, were chosen to preside," and the "First Methodist Episcopal Society in Coventry called Union" was formed. Philo Clemmons, Ransom Adkins, Samuel I. Thomas, Whiting Cornish and William M. Thomas were elected trustees.
The West Coventry Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, formed in 1829, seems to have been a reorganization of the above society. It was organized at the same place, and if we substitute the name of Apollos Tuttle for that of Ransom Adkins, the official board was the same.
A house of worship was erected three miles south of Coventry, and occupied a good many years. It has been taken down, and the center of Methodism in Coventry is now in Coventry village.
The Coventry Methodist Episcopal Church, in Coventry village, was organized as a separate station in 1849, and their house of worship was built in 1853.
The following named pastors have officiated here since 1849: E. D. Thurston, L. D. Brigham, who died shortly after coming here, _______ Nickerson, Hiram Gee, who was here in 1853, during the building of the church, which he labored hard to consummate, W. M. Spickerman, Wesley Peck, 1854, M. S. Wells, 1855-6, E. H. Orwin, 1857, S. G. Green, 1858, T. M. Williams, 1859-60, E. Puffer, 1861-3, L. Bowdish, 1864 and '5, H. R. Northrup, 1866 and '7, D. Bullock, 1868-70, David Davies, 1871 and '2, George E. Hathaway, 1873, T. C. Roskelly, 1874 and '5, L. A. Wild, 1876 and '77, and William Burnside, the present pastor, who commenced his labors in the spring of 1878.
The number of members reported in the spring of 1879 was 82. The attendance at Sabbath-school is 10 teachers and 75 scholars. The estimated value of church property is---church $2,000, parsonage, $1,000.
Coventryville is situated about one and one-half miles east of Coventry, on the stage route from Greene to Bainbridge. It contains one church (Presbyterian,) a district school, one hotel, kept by George A. Race, built in 1811 by Burrage Miles, whose son, Luman Miles, now owns it, one store, a cooper shop, kept by William Laman & Sons, a wagon shop, kept by Henry H. Calkins, a blacksmith shop kept by Henry Willett, and a population of 50.
MERCHANTS.---The first merchant at Coventryville is supposed to have been Otis Loveland, who traded some thee or four years from about 1809. He was succeeded by Russell Waters, who traded till 1816, when he removed to the farm now occupied by Charles Pearsall.
About 1818 or '19 Levi Parker built a store on the site of the residence of George Minor, which is believed to have been first occupied by Thomas W. Watkins, whose father-in-law, Burrage Miles, leased the land on which it stood, the condition of the lease being that it should be occupied as a store and nothing else "so long as grass grows and water runs". A part of Minor's residence is still fitted up as a store, to comply with the requirement of the lease, though it is not occupied as such. Watkins traded but a few years. John Reed and Charles G. Osborn traded in the same place, under the name of Reed & Osborn till about 1833. George Minor kept a small store on the same ground about two years, when Benjamin Slater, from Norwich, rented it and kept it some two years. In the meantime he built the store now occupied by William H. Ireland, which he occupied till 1851, when he sold to Calvin Franklin and Peleg Pendleton, who traded about three years and removed to Greene. Harris Briggs and Rufus L. Cornwell bought out Franklin & Pendleton and traded some two years, when Cornwell bought Briggs' interest. In the spring of 1867, Cornwell sold to William H. Ireland, who has since carried on the business, having been associated about one and one-half years, in 1867-8, with his cousin, Oliver Ireland, and afterwards with his brother-in-law, Thomas Green.
POSTMASTERS.---The postoffice at Coventryville is believed to have been established in 1797 and kept first by Jotham Parker, about a half mile south of the village, where he also kept a tavern and a small store. Just when the office was removed to the village, and who first kept it there, whether Thomas W. Watkins or Russell Waters, who are believed to have followed in succession, is uncertain. Waters, it is presumed, held it till 1816, when he was succeeded by Dr. Edward Cornell, who held it till his death, July 19, 1849. He was succeeded by Leonard R. Foote, who held it about four years and was followed by E. G. Waters, who held it till about 1857, when Peleg Pendleton was appointed, and was succeeded about 1861 by Rufus Cornwell, who held it till the spring of 1867, when William H. Ireland, the present incumbent, was appointed.
PHYSICIANS.---The first of whom we have any authentic information was Asahel Wilmott, who removed to Coventry in the spring of 1835. Edward Cornell, whose father, Lemuel Cornell, was one of the first settlers in Guilford, was practicing here in 1827, and continued till his death, July 19, 1849, at the age of 56. Trace S. Cone came in about 1850 and practiced twelve years, and removed to Oxford. Charles G. Roberts came in a few years after Cone left and practiced till the death of his father, George W. Roberts, in Greene, Feb. 10, 1870, when he went there and took his place. Dwight E. Cone, a nephew of Tracy S. Cone, came in about 1875 and practiced two years. There has been no physician here since.
CHURCHES.---The First Congregation Church of Coventry, at Coventryville, was organized Nov. 19, 1807, by Rev. David Harrower, of Sidney, with the following members: Noah Richards, Stephen Dodge, Benjamin Benedict, Abijah Benedict, Benjamin Hotchkiss, Sarah, wife of John Stoddard; Anna, wife of Eliakim Benedict; Abigail, wife of Abijah Benedict; Lois, wife of Stephen Dodge; Beulah, wife of John Hoskin; Isabella, wife of Noah Richards; Roxalina, wife of Daniel Brown; Hannah, wife of Ozias Yale; and Penelope, wife of Henry Chandler.
For several years previous to the organization of the church, public worship was maintained in private houses, though there was not a man in the settlement who was a professor of religion. The wives of these New England pioneers, impelled by the early training received in their Eastern homes and the desire to perpetuate the sacred offices of religion in their new abodes, incited meetings on the Sabbath. The services consisted at first of reading, singing and praying, and were conducted by a man who was deemed most capable, though he "was not pious". The number who attended was not large at first, but they attended regularly, though they lived at remote distances from each other. They struggled in poverty and in midst of the trials incident to a new country, their dependence for a lead for a year or two being on one man of poor health and one very aged man, holding their meetings after a time in the school-house; but their numbers gradually increased with new accessions to the settlements, which also brought an addition to their leaders, in the person of an aged man, who came five miles on horseback and assisted when he could. The reading of printed sermons was soon added to the services. Their meetings were continued several years, when an old preacher named Camp joined them and preached a part of a year. He was followed by a gentleman from England, styling himself a Presbyterian or Congregationalist, who preached a year or two and left. In 1807 a sufficient number, either professors or those interested in devotional exercises, had settled in the locality to warrant the formation of a society, and articles of faith and covenant were adopted by each of the fourteen previously named, except Stephen Dodge and Beulah Hoskin, who dissented from the article respecting the dedication of children in baptism.
Numerous additions were made to the membership by baptism and otherwise during the early years of the organization. Twenty-four joined the following year, and in 1823 the membership has increased to 116.
Sept. 1, 1808, Christopher S. M. Stork and Noah Richards were chosen deacons.
The Society connected with this Church was organized at the school-house in the east part of the town, at a meeting over which Benjamin Jones and Ozias Yale presided, Feb. 7, 1804, and Jotham Parker, James Wylie, Jr., and Christopher S. M. Stork were elected trustees. The name then adopted was the First Congregational Society in Greene, of which this then formed a part. Sept. 14, 1819, the name was changed to First Congregational Society of the Town of Coventry.
At this time Rev. Horatio T. McGeorge was the pastor. He was dismissed March 16, 1807. Feb. 24, 1808, a call was extended to Rev. Joseph Wood to preach the gospel in this place. It is presumed that the call was accepted, for Sept. 4, 1808, it was recorded that he became a member of the Church.
In the fall of 1811, Charles W. Thorp, of Butternuts, a candidate for the ministry, engaged to preach for a short time in this place, and Jan. 13, 1812, the church voted to call him to the pastorate. He was ordained July 8, 1812, Revs. David Harrower, Joel T. Benedict, Joel Chapin and Henry Chapman being the officiating clergymen.
Mr. Thorp's pastorate was closed June 10, 1823. He was followed after an interval of two years, which was filled by occasional supplies, by Rev. Ambrose Eggleston, who commenced his labors in May, 1825. June 14, 1827, Mr. Eggleston received a call to the pastorate and was ordained June 21, of that year. He continued his labors as pastor three years. During his pastorate several members of this church withdrew to form and unite with the Second Presbyterian Church of Coventry.
In 1830, Rev. N. Gould labored with them a part of a year; and Rev. Oliver Hill a portion of the year 1831, as stated supply. Rev. Daniel B. Butts commenced his labors in 1833, and closed them the third Sabbath in June, 1835. In 1836, Rev. Elijah Whitney was sent by the Home Missionary Society, to whom application for aid was made February 8, 1836. He remained one year. Rev. S. A. McEwen commenced his labors May 15, 1837, and closed them in May, 1841. He was succeeded in the fall of 1841 by Rev. Crispus Wright, who was installed pastor May 11, 1842, and dismissed April 1, 1851. Rev. G. M. Smith entered upon a one or two years' pastorate Sept. 1, 1851, as stated supply. He was succeeded after an interval of about two years by Rev. William H. Lockwood, who served four and one-half years. After an interval of a year Rev. Isaac D. Cornell became the pastor and remained seven years, until 1865. An interval of about a year elapsed, when Rev. S. S. Goodman began his labors and continued them one and one-half years. After an interval of some six months Rev. George D. Horton began an eight years' pastorate. He was succeeded by Rev. Henry C. Cronin, the present pastor, who commenced his labors in December, 1878.
April 7, 1808, the church voted to build a meeting-house 54 by 36 feet, and the following year the present church edifice was erected. Philo and Ozias Yale scored the first stick of timber used in its construction, and the former drew it to the spot where the church now stands after it was hewed by Abijah Benedict. After the church was inclosed, services were held in it for two or three years without any fire to make the worshipers comfortable. Benches without backs supplied them with seats. In this rude structure, contrasting so strangely with the comfortable, even luxurious appointments of our present houses of worship, men, women and children assembled in cold winter weather and listened to two sermons each Sabbath, with naught save clothing of their own manufacture to keep themselves warm. After a time square box pews, then in vogue, were substituted for the rough benches. The church was remodeled and repaired and a new bell and steeple added in 1840, at a cost of $1,492; and some twelve or fifteen years later the interior was repaired and remodeled at an expense of $500. Only occasional trifling repairs have since been made. The church has had a good parsonage for many years.
The pecuniary embarrassments of the church were very great and very great sacrifices were made in these early efforts to sustain the gospel. During Mr. Thorp's pastorate the Society was confronted with the necessity of raising an indebtedness which stood against it or suffer a loss. Mr. Thorp made strenuous efforts to raise the money and after all was raised that it was thought could be there was a deficiency of $65. In this dark hour he went with trouble to Deacon Stoddard, grandfather of the Stoddards now residing in Coventryville. The Deacon was in his field plowing with a yoke of oxen. He sat upon the plow beam, and after a few moments reflection he arose, unhitched the oxen, drove them away and sold them and paid the debt with the proceeds. Such were the difficulties which confronted the little colony in their efforts to establish in the inhospitable wilds of their new home that religious culture which had hallowed the associations of their native land, and such the heroism and devotion with which they were met and overcome. The residents of this town still retain more thoroughly than in most parts of this territory the sterling character of their Puritan ancestry.
The ministers who have been raised in this church are, so far as remembered, Lucius Smith, Elisha W. and Samuel Stoddard, Harvey Smith, a son of Rev. J. B. Hoyt, two sons of Thaddeus Hoyt, (one a Baptist and one a Presbyterian minister,) and Aaron Parker, Baptist, all except the first three from the west church.
Among the prominent men in earlier days noted for piety and energy were C. S. M. Stork, John Stoddard, 1st, John Stoddard, 2d, A. Ives, P. Yale, O. Yale, Philo Minor, B. Benedict, I. Blake, Ithuel Rogers and Russell Waters; and later, Eden, Eliakim and Ira Benedict, Moses Miles, Marshal Miles; and still later, Jared Bassett, B. Bulkly and B. Taggart.
Previous to 1815 the Church was connected with the Northern Associated Presbytery; in February of that year it united with the Union Association.
June 19, 1827, it was received under the care of the Chenango Presbytery. April 17, 1842, it resolved to ask for a dismission from the Association and to stand neutral for a while, until prepared to choose where to unite. June 10, 1845, it was again received under the care of the Chenango Presbytery. At present it stands related with the Presbytery of Binghamton.
The number of members in June, 1879, was 150; the average attendance at Sabbath School was 60.
MANUFACTURES.---About a half mile west of Coventryville is a saw-mill owned by Harry Griswold and built a great many years ago by his brother Samuel.
About a mile north of Coventryville is a saw-mill owned by William Seeley, by whom it was built some twenty years ago; and one and one-half miles north is another owned by George Hodge, and built some fifteen years ago by Edward Ogden.
About three miles south-east of Coventryville is a grist and saw-mill which was built some thirty years ago by John Landers, and owned till recently by his sons Frederick and John.
WAR OF THE REBELLION.---At a special town meeting held Sept. 5, 1862, 131 votes were cast for and 30 against a proposition to raise by tax $1,500 to pay to each of thirty volunteers the sum of $50 as a bounty for enlisting, the men so enlisted to apply on the quota of the town under the call for 600,000 men. March 4, 1863, the Board of Town Auditors issued three bonds for this amount and the expenses connected therewith, the first to Apollos Foot for $550, at six per cent., payable Jan. 1, 1864; the second to R. Chandler for $546.24, at six per cent., $242.24 payable Jan. 1, 1864, and $300 payable Jan. 1, 1865; and the third to T. D. Porter for $450, at six per cent., payable Jan. 1, 1865.
At a special meeting held Jan. 2, 1864, 49 votes were cast for and 4 against a resolution to pay $323 to each person enlisted and applied on the quota of the town (21 men) under the call for 300,000 men; and E. A. Phillips, James S. Parker and David Beecher were appointed a committee to draft the necessary papers and report the most feasible way of obtaining the money. On the recommendation of the committee the officers constituting the Board of Town Auditors were instructed to issue and sell the bonds of the town in sums of $50 to $500. James M. Phillips and S. F. Allis were appointed a committee to act with the Board. To carry out the provisions of this resolution bonds bearing seven per cent. interest were issued as follows:---
17 four years' bonds, $100 each $1,700.00 17 three " " 100 " 1,700.00 16 two " " 100 " 1,600.00 2 " " " 50 " 100.00 15 one " " 100 " 1,500.00 4 " " " 50 " 200.00 --------- $6,800.00 71 revenue stamps at 10c. each 7.10 --------- $6,807.10
At a special meeting held April 11, 1864, it was decided by a vote of 32 to 4 to authorize the Board to pay such a sum as they deemed necessary, not exceeding $500 each to the requisite number of volunteers to fill the quota of the town under the call for 200,000 men; and on that day the Board issued bonds numbered from 72 to 78, both inclusive, amounting to $2,200, and April 25, 1864, a like number, from 79 to 85, in like amount, bearing seven per cent. interest, and payable Jan. 1, 1865.
At a special meeting held Aug. 2, 1864, 127 votes were cast for and 38 against a resolution authorizing the Board to pay such sum as they deemed necessary, not to exceed $500, to each volunteer credited on the quota of the town under the call for 500,000 men. The same provision was extended to persons who might be drafted under that call; and at a special meeting held Aug. 22, 1864, it was unanimously resolved to extend the same provision to persons furnishing substitutes under that call. At a special meeting held Sept. 10, 1864, it was resolved by a vote of 128 to 24 t so amend the latter resolution as to pay each person furnishing an acceptable substitute the sum actually paid to each substitute, deducting all bounties received by the principal from the Government, not to exceed $1,000; to authorize the Board, if they in their judgment deemed necessary to pay, not to exceed $1,000, to each volunteer required to fill the quota under that call; and to rescind the resolution to pay $500 to drafted men. Pursuant to these resolutions the Board issued Aug. 29, 1864, 12 bonds, amounting to $3,150, payable Jan. 1, 1865; and Sept. 19, 1864, 54 bonds, amounting to $24,490, payable, $10,780 in 1865, $11,410 in 1866, $1,200 in 1867, and $1,100 in 1868.
At a special meeting held Dec. 31, 1864, it was resolved by a vote of 131 to 36 to pay to each volunteer credited on the quota of the town under the call for 300,000 men, a sum not to exceed $600 for one year's men, $800 for two years' men, and $1,000 for three years' men. The same provisions were extended to persons furnishing substitutes, but they were in no case to be paid a greater sum than was actually paid for such substitute. Pursuant to this resolution bonds were issued as follows: Jan. 9, 1865, bonds Nos. 67 to 78, both inclusive, amounting to $3,150, payable $900 in 1866, $1,350 in 1867, and $900 in 1868; Jan. 18, 1865, bonds Nos. 79 to 96, both inclusive, amounting to $7,638.50, payable $1,600 in 1866, $2,138.50 in 1867, $2,700 in 1868, and $1,200 in 1869; Jan. 26 1865, bonds Nos. 97 to 109, both inclusive, amounting to $6,350, payable $1,050 in 1866, $4,800 in 1867, and $500 in 1868; and Feb. 14, 1865, bonds Nos. 110 to 114, both inclusive, amounting to $1467.50, payable, $1,300 in 1867, and $167.50 in 1866.