Gazetteer of Towns

    SMYRNA was formed from Sherburne, March 25, 1808, as Stafford. Its name was changed April 6, of the same year. It is the central town upon the north border of the County. Its surface is a broken and hilly upland, the highest summits being from 500 to 800 feet above the valleys. The principal stream is Pleasant Brook, which flows south-east through near the center of the town. The East Branch of the Canasawacta flows south-east through the south-west corner and receives several small tributaries from this town. Cold Brook flows through the south-east corner of the town. Most of these streams flow through narrow valleys bordered by hillsides, a considerable portion of which are too steep for cultivation. The soil is a gravelly and shaly loam.

    Smyrna, (p. v.) situated in the east part of the town, on Pleasant Brook, contains three churches, viz., Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist; a hotel, one large dry goods store and several other stores, a tannery, several mechanic shops of various kinds and about 300 inhabitants. The Midland Railroad is located near the village and at present adds to its importance.

    Upperville is a hamlet near the center of the town.

    The first settlement of this town was commenced in 1792, by Joseph Porter. This was one of the six townships purchased by William S. Smith. Clark's History of Chenango says that Smith's certificate of purchase was dated April 6th, 1793, and his patent was issued April 16th, 1794. According to this statement the first settler must have been a mere squatter upon the land of the State before it was offered for sale. Joseph Tobey came in the spring of 1793; his son John, then three years old, is still living. Apollos Allen came in 1798 with his son Chester, who is still living. Joseph Collins, Joseph Billings, Joshua Talcott, David Wilbur and John Parker were among the other early settlers. In 1795 Collins and Billings erected a grist mill and cloth dressing works, the first in the town.

    The first birth was that of Jerusha Tobey, May 3, 1793. The first death was that of Dr. Samuel Burns. The first religious society was organized by the Friends at an early day, but we have no definite information with reference to it.

    The population of Smyrna in 1865 was 1,677, and its area 24,561 acres.

    The number of school districts is fourteen; number of children of school age, 499; number attending school, 447; average attendance, 223, and the amount expended for school purposes during the year ending September 30, 1868, was $3,548.05.

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