Gazetteer of Towns

    GUILFORD was formed from Oxford, April 3, 1813. It was at first called Eastern, but received its present name March 21, 1817. It lies on the east border of the County, south of the center. The surface is hilly and broken, constituting a portion of the high lands between Unadilla and Chenango Rivers. The hills rise to the height of from 200 to 700 feet above the valleys. It is drained by the Unadilla River and its tributaries, Guilford Pond Creek, Nursery Creek and numerous smaller streams. Guilford Pond Creek has a fall of 140 feet in passing through Guilford Village, affording a very valuable water-power. The soil is a gravelly and slaty loam, occasionally mixed with clay.

    Guilford, (p. v.) situated in the valley of Guilford Pond Creek, contains three churches, a foundry and machine shop, several mills and manufactories and about 300 inhabitants.

    Guilford Center, (p. v.) situated near the center of the town, contains two churches and about twenty dwellings.

    East Guilford, (p. v.) in the south-east corner of the town, contains a church, a mill and about a dozen dwellings.

    Mount Upton, (p. v.) situated on the west bank of the Unadilla, contains four churches, several mills and manufactories and about 200 inhabitants.

    Rockdale, (p. v.) situated on the river in the east part of the town, contains two churches, several mills and about twenty-five dwellings.

    The first settlement was made in 1787, by Ezekiel Wheeler, a little north of Mount Upton, on the farm since occupied by Silas Wheeler, the grandson of the first settler. Joshua Mercereau and his brother, two Frenchmen, settled at the mouth of Guilford Creek, and erected the first mill in town in 1789. In 1790 James Phelps and a Mr. Button settled near Rockdale, and Robert McLeod on lot 1, and Isaac Fuller from Guilford, Connecticut, in 1791. Daniel Savage, John Nash and Nelson Robbins, from Balston Spa, settled at and near the old Four Corners, in 1792. John Secor, from Haverstraw, settled on lot 2; Gurdon and Wyatt Chamberlin, at Mount Upton, and William and Nathaniel Hyer, in the east part of the town, in 1793. Among the other early settlers were Major Richmond and his sons, Joseph and Seth, Asa Haven, father of Hon. Solomon G. Haven, Daniel T. Dickinson, father of Hon. Daniel S. Dickinson, Caleb Burdick, Samuel Smith and Paris Windsor.

    The first child born was Prudence Fuller, in April, 1791; the first marriage, that of __ Powell and the widow of Isaac Fuller, in 1793, and the first death that of Isaac Fuller, in 1793. The first inn was kept by Ezekiel Wheeler, in 1796, and the first store by Sullivan Reynolds, in 1790. He also erected the first mill, the same year, upon the Unadilla. The first school was taught by Nathan Bennett, in 1794. The first church (Baptist) was formed by Elder Orange Spencer, in 1803. The first town meeting was held at the house of Jehiel Parsons.

    The population of the town in 1865 was 2,423, and its area 38,144 acres.

    The number of school districts is 19; number of children of school age, 795; number attending school, 687; average attendance, 336, and the amount expended for school purposes for the year ending September 30, 1868, was $4,079.29.


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