Gazetteer of Towns

    GREENE, named in honor of General Nathaniel Greene, was formed from Union (Broome Co.) and Jericho, (now Bainbridge,) March 15, 1798. A part of Jericho was annexed in 1799. Coventry was taken off in 1806 and Smithville in 1808. A part of Barker (Broome Co.) was taken off in 1840 and a part of Coventry in 1843. It lies in the south-west corner of the County. That part of the original township of Greene lying east of Chenango River was included in a purchase made by the State from the Oneida and Tuscarora Indians in 1785. The lands were subsequently sold by the State to individuals. The surface of the town is a rolling and hilly upland. The hills rise from 500 to 700 feet above the river and are broken by the ravines of the streams. Chenango River enters the town near the north-east corner and leaves it near the south-west corner, passing diagonally through the town near the center. The valley of this stream is about a mile wide and is very productive. Chenango Canal passes through this valley, crossing the river a little below the village of Greene. Genegantslet Creek flows south through the west part, in a wide valley, and enters the Chenango a few miles below the village of Greene. Pages Brook flows through the south-east corner, and several small streams flow into the Chenango. The soil is a gravelly and shaly loam upon the hills and a fine fertile alluvium in the valleys.

    Greene, (p. v.) incorporated April 12, 1842, is beautifully situated on the Chenango River and Canal, near the center of the town. It contains four churches, viz., Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal and Methodist, a union school, two banks, two hotels, a grist mill, two plaster mills, a foundry and machine shop, several stores and mechanic shops, a large storage and forwarding establishment and about 850 inhabitants. The Union School is surrounded by beautiful grounds, well calculated to allure the children in the ways of knowledge. The foundry and Machine shop of Lyon & Son turns out some beautiful specimens of iron fence and almost all articles usually made in such an establishment. The town fair ground, with a half mile track, is situated in the village. The view from the surrounding hills as the traveler approaches the village is very fine. The knife factory of McMoran Brothers, situated on Genegantslet Creek, about one and a half miles from the village, turns out about two hundred and fifty dozen knives per week, said to be among the best in the country. Near this factory is a small pond, called Round Pond, nestled among the hills, with high, precipitous banks, and having an outlet but no visible inlet. The view of this Pond from the road that winds along its border is one of rare beauty. Mr. Almon B. Robinson, one of the largest egg dealers in the State, if not in the United States, resides in this town. During the spring and summer the eggs are collected and put into vats with a solution of lime and other substances, and in the fall are take out, dried, packed and shipped. He sometimes packs twenty-five hundred barrels per year.

    East Greene, (p. v.) in the north-east part, on the river and canal, contains a Baptist church, a hotel, a store, a sash and blind factory, a shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, a dry dock and about 100 inhabitants. A church at what was formerly called East Greene is now used by all denominations.

    Chenango Forks, (p. v.) in the south-west corner, partly in this town, is a station on the S. B. & N. Y. R. R.

    Genegantslet is a hamlet.

    The first permanent settler in this town was Stephen Ketchum, who located within the present bounds of the village of Greene in 1792. Mr. K. was from Ballston, in this State, and erected a cabin that was a house of refuge for all adventurers in the "Chenango Country," though he did not pretend to keep a hotel. In the fall of this year a party of French refugees came on and formed a settlement. One of their number, Charles Felix De Bulogne, had preceded them and purchased a tract of 15,000 acres of land, lying on the east side of Chenango River, for which he paid a part of the price and gave a mortgage for the remainder. The first detachment of these settlers came on from Philadelphia, where they had been spending several months, and consisted of the following persons: --M. Bulogne, M. Shamont, M. Le Fevre, M. Bravo, M. Du Vernet, and M. Obre. Some of these had families, and there were several young ladies in the party. They came from Philadelphia, via New York, Albany, Schenectady and Fort Plain, thence through Otsego County, where they were met by Simon Barrett who had formerly resided in Philadelphia. They laid out a town on the east bank of the river, each lot containing ten acres and the plat embracing about three hundred acres. Each was to select his farm in other parts of the tract. Subsequently M. Dutremont joined the colony, also Joseph Juliand. In the spring of 1795, M. Bulogne was drowned while on his way to Philadelphia, and a failure to pay the balance of the purchase money caused the title of the land to revert to the original owners. These and other causes resulted in the dispersion of the colony. In 1794 Talleyrand, the celebrated French diplomatist, visited his countrymen in Greene. He came from Philadelphia on horseback, accompanied by a traveling companion and a servant, and after remaining a few days returned by the way of Albany.

    Captain Joseph Juliand, who was the only French emigrant who attained a permanent residence, deserves more than a passing notice. He was born in the city of Lyons, France, January 17, 1749, and in early life received a good academical education. He subsequently studied medicine, but after a time abandoned that for the sea; and in due time became the master of a vessel in the mercantile marine of France. In this capacity he made several voyages across the Atlantic, principally to Boston and Philadelphia, in the United States. On the occasion of his periodical visits, he visited the interior, mingled freely with the people and omitted no opportunity to learn the language, habits and customs of the people. On one of these occasions, while spending some time in the vicinity of New Haven, Conn., he made the acquaintance of Miss Hannah Lindsley, who afterwards became his wife. In 1788 he married, abandoned the sea and decided to make this country his future home. He removed to a farm near Greenfield, Mass., where he remained several years. Having heard of the establishment of a French colony in Greene, he disposed of his property and with his family penetrated the unbroken wilderness with the expectation of finding a new home and congenial society. On his arrival he found that the colony was broken up, several families had already left and others were preparing to do so. Nothing daunted, he purchased the land which his countrymen had abandoned, including the town plat, and henceforth made this his residence. He assumed possession of this property in 1798, reared a large family, and after enjoying the fruits of his industry and enterprise many years, died on the 13th of October, 1821.

    Charles F. Barnett, now residing about two miles south of the village of Greene, was about six months old at the time of his advent to this town, in 1793, and is the oldest of the first settlers and the only survivor of the original French colony.

    Among the early settlers who located permanently in this town were Nathaniel Kellogg, Zopher Betts, Benajah Loomis, Cornelius Hill and Daniel Tremaine, who located at East Greene in 1793. The first road that was cut through the town was called the Chenango Road. It extended from the present village of Bainbridge to the mouth of Page Creek, on the Chenango, a distance of about twenty-five miles. The first settlers on this road within the limits of Greene, beginning at the west were Nathan Bennett, Joshua Root, Eleazur Skinner, Thomas Elliott, Joab Elliott, Roswell Fitch, Aden Elliott, Philo Clemmons, Captain Mandeville, Simeon and Benjamin Jones, Harden Bennett, Record Wilber and Deacon Richards, who came in from 1792 to 1795. The settlers who located in the south part, west of the river, were James and Hermon Terwilliger, Elisha and Noah Gilbert, Stephen Palmer, and Joseph and Cornish Messenger, all of whom settled here about the year 1796.

    The first birth was that of Johnston Rundall, son of Joseph Rundall. For this distinguished honor the mother received from the Hornby Estate a deed of fifty acres of land. The first physician in the town was Doctor Charles Joslyn, who located at Conrad Sharp's in 1805. The next year he removed to the village, where he continued to reside and practice his profession for twenty years.

    The pioneer settlers of this town were subject to great hardships and privations. Their roads were little better than Indian trails along the streams. The canoe was the principal mode of conveyance. Their corn was pounded and converted into samp by means of a mortar made in a stump, with a pestle suspended by a sweep, or taken to Tioga Point, a distance of sixty miles. These journeys occupied several days. The road upon the west side of the river was first traveled in 1794. The road on the Genegantslet was made passable in 1802. Edward Loomis, in the employ of the Hornby Estate, cut the road from Oxford to Smithville Flats in 1804. The Susquehanna and Bath turnpike, which passed east and west through the town, was made in 1807. The first bridge over the Chenango was built the same year.

    The first town meeting was held at the house of Conrad Sharp on the first Tuesday in April, 1798. Nathaniel Kellogg was the Moderator, Benajah Loomis, Supervisor, John Hallenback, Town Clerk, and James Wiley, Isaac Perry and Allen Button, Assessors. Mr. Hallenback was Town Clerk for eight years.

    The first grist-mill was built on the creek in 1794, by Abraham Storm and Henry Vorse. The second was by Deacon Richards, a short distance south of Coventryville, in 1797. The first saw-mill was built by Mr. Sharp in 1795. The first tavern was kept by Conrad Sharp in 1794, and the first store by Jotham Parker, in what is now Coventry, in 1799; the second was by Elisha Smith, in the village. The first frame house was built by Thomas Wattles, as a public house, on the site now occupied by the Chenango House, in 1803. Greene post-office was established in 1806, and David Finn was the first post-master. The mail route was from Cooperstown to Oxford, and thence to Chenango Point, (now Binghamton,) and was carried twice a month by Charles Thorp. A weekly mail was carried on horseback on this route as late as 1819, when a semi-weekly stage route was formed between Utica and Binghamton. In 1822, a tri-weekly stage was run from Catskill to Ithaca, which became one of the best stage routes in the State. The village of Greene was lad out in 1806, under the direction of Elisha Smith, agent for the Hornby Estate, and was called Hornby, but as the post-office was Greene, the recorded name of the village never came into general use. The first school was taught near Chenango Forks, by an Englishman by the name of Cartwright, in 1794. In 1796, a school was started at East Greene, by Enoch Gray, who taught ten winters in succession.

    The first church organized in the town was the Baptist Society at East Greene, in 1795, by Elder Nathaniel Kellogg. This was the first Baptist Church established in the County. Elder Kellogg continued pastor of the church about thirty years. The second Baptist Church was formed in 1807, on the Genegantslet, by Elder Jeduthan Gray, who continued its pastor for twenty-five years.

    The Congregational Church was organized in 1811, but had no settled pastor until 1820, when Rev. John B. Hoyt became their pastor.

    The Episcopal Church was organized in March, 1833, Rev. Francis Tremain being the first rector. Charles Cameron and Joseph Juliand were the first wardens. The church edifice was dedicated June 6, 1836.

    The first newspaper established in this town was the Chenango Patriot, in 1830. It was published by Nathan Randall, and was succeeded in 1833 by the Chenango Democrat, which continued about two years.

    The population of Greene in 1865 was 3,314, and its area 44,352 acres.

    The number of school districts is twenty-two; the number of the school population, 1151; the number attending school 924; the average attendance 446, and the amount expended for school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868 was $7,975.63.

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