Organization--Changes of Area--Streams, Soil, and Forest Growth--Population--Early Settlers--The Strawbridge Lands--Business and Manufacturing Enterprises--Schools--Early Physicians and Justice--Churches and Cemeteries--Villages.
Deerfield township, so named from the abundance of deer within its boundaries at the time of its first settlement, was organized in 1814, and was taken from Delmar township. Its original area of about 150 square miles, embraced the territory within the boundaries of Brookfield, Westfield and Chatham townships, nearly all of Clymer, and the greater part of the borough of Osceola. The territory embraced in Westfield, Brookfield and the larger part of Clymer was taken from it in 1821, and that of Chatham, as first created, in 1828. In 1850 the area embraced within the limits of Knoxville borough was separated from it. In 1878 it recovered from the northern part of Chatham a strip two miles north and south, by six miles east and west. The same year an L-shaped strip was taken from its northeastern quarter and added to Osceola. As now constituted, it contains, exclusive of Knoxville, an area of 20,725 acres. It is bounded on the north by the State of New York and Osceola; east by Osceola and Farmington; south by Chatham, and west by Westfield and Brookfield.
The Cowanesque river enters the township from the southwest, and flows through it in a northeasterly direction. Near the Brookfield township line it receives Inscho run and, at Knoxville, Troup’s creek, both of which flow from the northwest, out of Brookfield township. At Academy Corners it receives Yarnall brook, which flows north out of Chatham township. Other small, unnamed streams find their way down the ravines on either side of the river valley, which is wider here than in Westfield township, the hills that line it being less bold and precipitous. The valley land is noted for its richness and productiveness, and is cultivated like a garden. The hillsides and uplands are also fertile, and Deerfield, as a whole, ranks among the leading agricultural townships of the county. The altitude above tide water in the river valley will average 1,200 feet; the summits of the hills rise from 400 to 600 feet higher. When the township was first settled its entire surface was covered with a heavy forest growth of white oak, maple, walnut, butternut, buttonwood, pine and hemlock. This has nearly all disappeared before the woodsman’s ax, and the land whereon it stood now produces annual crops of grains, grasses, fruits and vegetables.
In 1814, when it was created, it contained sixty-three taxable inhabitants. The census returns of 1820 showed a population of 678; 1830, 568; 1840, not separately mentioned; 1850, 721; 1860, 677; 1870, 665; 1880, 908, and 1890, 883.
James Strawbridge, the first white man to settle in the township, is supposed to have located on the site of the village of Academy Corners during the Revolutionary War. Here the settlers who came in 1798 found a log house and a partly cleared field, enclosed with a log fence, on the north bank of the Cowanesque river, and on the south side, near the mouth of Yarnall brook, a nearly completed mill race. One tradition asserts that he was compelled to abandon his home here on account of the hostility of the Indians, at the time of Sullivan’s Expedition up the Susquehanna and Chemung rivers, while another fixes the date of his settlement six years later, and asserts that he "was driven away by white squatters, who killed his oxen, purloined his plow, and destroyed his crops, on the belief that his claim to title in the lands was antagonistic to their interests." Be that as it may, the fact remains that on May 17, 1785, Strawbridge obtained land warrant, No. 451, which he located June 25, of the same year, on land along the Cowanesque river, and on a portion of which stands the village of Academy Corners. Strawbridge subsequently located other warrants, and also acquired the lands located upon by warrants issued in 1785 and 1786 to Thomas Proctor, and in 1790 to James Stewart. This gave him the ownership of all the land in the Cowanesque valley north of the river within the township. To each tract, according to an English custom, he gave a distinguishing name. The one where he made his first settlement, he called "James’ Choice." That on which the borough of Knoxville stands was named "Delight," while the others received such names as "Mount Pleasant," "Blooming Grove," "Fertility," "Richland" and "Spring Field." These lands, as a whole, became known as the "Strawbridge Tract."
It appears that James Strawbridge, the patentee, during his lifetime, executed a mortgage to Jonathan Smith and others, of Philadelphia, as trustees, for the widow and heirs of John Strawbridge, deceased, which mortgage was foreclosed and these lands sold by the sheriff at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, November 30, 1807, when George Strawbridge, a brother of James Strawbridge, became the purchaser, and from him the settlers derived title. January 24, 1822, he conveyed the unsold lands to Jonathan D. Ledyard, his brother-in-law, who on March 6, of the same year, sold to Silas Billings the same lands, amounting to "about 7,000 acres," from whom and his heirs they afterwards passed into the hands of actual settlers. In 1792 and 1793 the lands south of the river were surveyed upon patents issued to Thomas M. Willing, Robert Blackwell and William Lloyd. They were subsequently acquired by William Bingham, the elder, and became a part of the "Bingham Estate."
Although James Strawbridge, either through fear of the Indians, or by reason of the depredations of white squatters, was compelled to leave his improvements on the Cowanesque, he did not abandon the title to either them or the land. In 1897 he approached Ebenezer Seelye, a native of Connecticut, and a Revolutionary soldier, then residing temporarily near Painted Post, New York, and offered him the land, including the improvements, for $2.50 an acre. Seelye accepted this offer, but not caring to venture into the wilderness alone, he offered to William Knox, Sr., the improvements if he would join him. The offer was accepted by Knox, and in 1798 he and his son, William, camped on and enlarged the Strawbridge clearing. In the spring of 1799 the two families journeyed from Painted Post to Nelson, first known as Beecher’s Island, and from there traveled up the Cowanesque river on the ice to their new home in the wilderness. The Knox family located on the old Strawbridge clearing and the Seelye family half a mile further east, building a cabin of bark, which was replaced a year and a half later by a log house. These two families thus became the first settlers of the township.
On March 28, 1800, the first male white child born in the Cowanesque valley was added to the household of William Knox. This was James Know, who died September 20, 1881, having spent his entire life in the township. On May 4th of the same year a daughter, Sally, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Seelye, who afterwards became the wife of Prince King, of Westfield township. She was the first female white child born in the township.
Among the first to settle in the township after the Knox and Seelye families, was Bethlehem Thompson, who located on the Emmer Bowen place, but soon sold out to Reuben Cook. In 1803 John Howland and his son, Dr. Eddy Howland, whose Puritan ancestors came from England in the Mayflower in 1620, settled on what was long known as the Eddy Howland place. They came from Rhode Island. Emmer Bowen, a native of Rhode Island, came in 1804 and bought out Jesse Rowley, who appears to have been here at that time. James Costley, an early gristmill owner, came before 1805 and settled south of the river opposite Knoxville. Rev. David Short settled in 1806 upon the farm afterward owned by A. H. Bacon, and lived there until 1813. Newbury Cloos settled in 1807, in which year also Joshua Colvin settled near Academy Corners. About this time, also, John and Reuben Short, Jonathan M. Rogers, Curtis Cady, David Short and James Yarnall settled. In 1811 Jonathan Solomon and Alexander Matteson and their parents came from Salisbury, Herkimer county, New York. Jonathan, with whom the old folks lived, settled on the site of Knoxville, his land embracing the greater part of the present borough area. Solomon and Alexander settled east of him. In 1811 Levi Cook, a blacksmith, the year of whose coming cannot be ascertained, sold his place east of Knoxville to Zadoc Bowen, a carpenter, and a brother of Emmer Bowen, Sr. Joseph Falkner, Sr., a native of the State of New York, was an early settler, and cleared the farm now occupied by the widow of his son, Joseph Falkner. Eleazer Clark, a native of Rhode Island, came on horseback from his native state in 1814, and settled on the farm now owned by his son, E. H. Clark. James King, a native of Rhode Island, settled in the western part of the township sometimes between 1815 and 1820. about 1821 the family removed to Westfield township. John Wakely was also an early settler. He removed to Brookfield township in 1827. George Champlin, a native of Rhode Island, came in 1821, worked a farm on shares for a year, and then removed to Potter county. Fifteen years later he settled in Westfield township. Hiram Gilbert, a carpenter, and a native of New England, settled in the township in 1824, worked at his trade for several years, and then embarked in the boot and shoe business in Knoxville. Moses Inscho, well known as a lumberman, came in from Lawrence township in 1825. Nathan Baker, a native of Otsego county, New York, settled in 1828 on the farm now owned by his grandson, Allen Baker. Others came whose names and the year of their coming have not been ascertained, but the names given are, with a few exceptions, those of men who cleared the lands upon which they located, and became permanent residents of the township. In this, as in other townships, there were those who made but a temporary stay, and who always found it more in harmony with a moving and adventurous spirit to be with the advance guard of the westward marching army of civilization.
BUSINESS AND MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES.
Lumbering became an important industry in the township soon after its settlement began. The predominance of white pine of a fine quality led to the early establishment of saw-mills, first to supply a growing local demand, and later for shipment. The Cowanesque river was the only highway connecting the settlers of the valley with the outside world. Down this stream, whenever the stage of water permitted, logs and lumber were rafted. All the early mills were run by water power, an under-shot flutter wheel being the one generally used. The usual capacity of a saw-mill was 1,000 feet of pine lumber every twelve hours, an infinitesimal quantity compared with the output of a thoroughly-equipped steam saw-mill of the present day.
In 1804 Eddy Howland built a flutter-wheel saw-mill on the Cowanesque river above Knoxville. In 1818 he sold it to Caleb Smith. About 1826 it became the property of Moses Inscho, who operated it until 1847. He was a well-known and extensive lumberman. A saw-mill was built about 1810 on the Cowanesque river, just below the woolen mills near Academy Corners, by Emmer Bowen and Ebenezer Seelye. It was operated for nearly thirty years. In 1815 Jonathan and Alexander Matteson and Joshua Colvin built a saw-mill on the south bank of the Cowanesque river opposite Knoxville. The first saw-mill on Troup’s creek was built in 1820 by Luke Scott. Ten years later it was undermined and destroyed by high water. A saw-mill was built in 1830 on Yarnall brook, about two miles above its mouth, by Reuben Cloos. In 1831 James Yarnall built one near the mouth of the same brook. In 1832 Luman Stevens built a mill farther up the brook near the township line. This mill was operated until 1866. in 1868 Levi Stevens erected on its site a new mill, 32 by 68 feet, driven by a center-vent water wheel. A circular saw was used. In 1873 steam was substituted for water power. This mill burned in 1879 and was rebuilt. In 1848 Joseph Yarnall built a large mill near the mouth of Yarnall brook. Water was taken from the Cowanesque river, and three saws driven by the power obtained. In 1853 this mill was sold to J. W. and H. E. Potter, and operated by them until 1861, when a flood destroyed the dam and otherwise injured the property. In 1848, also, Joseph Dake built a mill on the south side of the Cowanesque. It was run by a center-vent water wheel which operated two upright saws. This mill was owned by various persons until 1880 when it ceased operations. In 1881 Walker & Lathrop, of Corning, New York, erected a mill at the mouth of Inscho run. It was run by steam power. There is no saw-mill now in operation in the township.
A log grist-mill was built by Bethlehem Thompson in 1811, about a mile above Knoxville. It was propelled by an over-shot water-wheel, the water being conducted from Inscho run in wooden troughs hewed out of pine trees. This mill was purchased by Abram Smith and operated about ten years. In 1815 Joshua Colvin purchased brought a copper still and other apparatus from Herkimer county, New York, and started a distillery in a log building, near a large spring north of Academy Corners. He made whiskey for home consumption, exchanging six quarts of whiskey for one bushel of rye or corn. In 1818 John Knox purchased Colvin’s outfit and built a log distillery by the Strawbridge spring, east of Academy Corners. This he conducted for about five years.
About 1814 Eddy Howland bought a stock of goods and began merchandising in a small way. Most of his sales were for barter, grain, maple, sugar, pelts and lumber being accepted in exchange for goods. In 1877 the "Boss Store" was established by Charlotte A. Inscho at the west end of Troup’s creek bridge. With the exception of the stores at Academy Corners, noticed elsewhere in this chapter, these two stores have been the only ones established in the township.
From 1819 to about 1824 or 1825 John Knox carried on a hotel in a hewed-log building, a short distance east of Academy Corners. From 1830 to 1840 Julius and Elanson Seelye operated a lime kiln on the hill north of the woolen factory at Academy Corners. In 1851 Loren Carpenter built a sash and blind factory on the Cowanesque road between Academy Corners and Knoxville. This he operated until 1863. From 1862 to 1870 he was also engaged in the manufacture of brick, burning one or two kilns a year.
In 1820 two tanneries were built, one by Peter Rushmore, on the west side of Troup’s creek, above Knoxville, and the other half a mile east of Knoxville, by Martin Bowen. Rushmore operated his tannery about ten years, tanning upper leather and skins to supply home demands. Bowen tanned upper leather on shares for one-half of the finished product. He continued in business till about 1835.
The first cider mill in the township was built in 1817 by Eddy Howland, who operated it for about ten years, manufacturing cider for himself and neighbors. In 1828 Ebenezer Seelye built a cider mill which he operated about twelve years.
The Moses Lee Cheese Factory, the first in the township, was built by Moses Lee in 1862, in what was then a part of Chatham township, a short distance north of East Chatham postoffice. He operated it until 1877.
The E. A. Bean Cheese Factory was established in 1875, by E. A. Bean, who still owns and operates it. It is located on the west side of Troup’s creek, just outside of Knoxville borough. The output of cheese averages 100,000 pounds annually. Mr. Bean also owns and operates a cheese factory at Austinburg, Brookfield township, and one near the Cady school house in Farmington township.
The Taft Broom Factory was established in 1872, by Asa Delos Taft, just east of Academy Corners. He manufactures between 20,000 and 30,000 brooms a year. In 1889 Mr. Taft erected a fruit evaporating plant, which he also operates, handling a large quantity of fruit each season.
J. S. Ingham & Sons Woolen Mill is one of the oldest manufacturing enterprises in the county. The beginning of its history dates to 1837, when William Hurlbut and Eleazer S. Seely purchased from Julius Seelye, a water privilege and began the erection of a woolen factory one mile east of Academy Corners. A building 26 by 70 and three stories high was erected. In 1839 the enterprise passed into the hands of a stock company composed of Eleazer S. Seely, Elanson Seelye, John Brownell, C. C. Welch, Abel Hoyt, Joseph Weaver, A. J. Monroe, Benjamin S. Bowen and Emmer Bowen. Machinery was purchased and business begun in the spring of 1841, with C. C. Welch, foreman. In July, 1843, the shares of the other owners were purchased by Benjamin S. and Emmer Bowen. They continued to operate it until February 7, 1847, when the building, machinery and 13,000 pounds of wool were destroyed by fire. A new building 36 by 80 feet was erected, outfitted with the latest improved machinery, hauled overland from Rochester, New York, and operations resumed June 1, 1848. In 1853 a shingle mill was added and did a large business. In 1863 the entire property was purchased by Joseph Ingham, a native of Leeds, England. In 1864 his son, G. W. Ingham, became a partner, the business being conducted until 1876 under the firm name of J. Ingham & Son. From 1865 to 1876 the firm consisted of Joseph, Joseph S. and Henry Ingham, each owning one-third interest. In 1876 Henry sold his interest to Joseph S. The father died in 1879, and the business was conducted by J. S. Ingham until 1887, when the business of manufacturing cider and fruit jellies was added, and the combined enterprises have since been carried on under the firm name of J. S. Ingham & Sons.
The first school in the Cowanesque valley was taught in the winter of 1802-3, by Betsey Bodwell—afterward the wife of John Hovey—in a log building, eighteen feet square, near the burying ground on the Loren Carpenter place. The building—a typical pioneer school house—was covered with a cobbed roof and floored with puncheons. The benches were split basswood logs with legs. There was a fireplace at one end, the smoke from which escaped through a hole in the roof. Among those who attended this school were Reuben Cook, Jr., Asahel and David Rixford, Elanson, Harvey, Julius, Anna, Mehitabel, Betsey and Lucina Seelye, Abel and Matilda Cloos, and Archibald, John, William and Betsey Knox. Among the early teachers of this school were Caroline Scott, 1809; Mr. Maxwell, 1814; John Knox and Amasa Knox, 1816. the text books during the first term were limited to Webster’s spelling book and Webster’s reader, known as "The Third Part." Another early school house was built near the woolen mill factory. This was known as the Quaker school house. In 1821 a school building known as "Liberty School House" was built at Academy Corners. Gaylord Griswold Colvin taught the first term here. The common school law of 1834 was promptly accepted by the people of the township, since which time new districts have been created and new school houses erected to meet the demands of an increasing population.
Union Academy is the name of an institution of learning which flourished for a number of years at Academy Corners. Its history is as follows. About 1845 an effort was made to establish in the township an institution of learning higher than the ordinary district school. The idea originated with Allen Frazer, Jr., M. D., who enlisted the aid and co-operation of Caleb Short, John Knox and other citizens. Money was raised by subscription and the erection of a building begun at Academy Corners. Before it was completed, S. B. and William Price bought it, finished it, and opened it for educational purposes, under the name of Union Academy, December 7, 1847. The first principal, Hannibal Goodwin, was assisted by the Price brothers. In 1848 Prof. Young Y. Smith was placed in charge. In 1849 the Price brothers assumed the principalship, with Mrs. S. B. Price as preceptress, a position she held for fifteen years. William Price left the school in 1850 and Samuel B. Price became principal. During 1859 and 1860 the building was leased and the school conducted by Prof. Anderson Robert Wightman, assisted by Mrs. Jane A. (Stanton) Wightman, Miss F. A. J. Conover, and Miss Mary Abigail Stanton. Classes were also taught during a part of this time by Orrin Mortimer Stebbins and Charles Tubbs. Prof. S. B. Price resumed control of the school in 1861. In 1867 Elias Horton, Jr., bough the property, and with the assistance of his wife conducted it until March 1, 1871, when two of the four buildings, which had been erected from time to time, were consumed by fire. They were not rebuilt and the academy passed out of existence. During the twenty-three years of its history there was an average annual attendance of about one hundred students, embracing both sexes. The site of the academy is now owned by William D. Knox, who resides in one of the buildings.
EARLY PHYSICIANS AND JUSTICES.
Eddy Howland, the pioneer, was the first practitioner. The next was Dr. Simeon Power, who came into the county in 1805. He combined coopering with his practice, and boarded with James Costley, on the south side of the river opposite Knoxville. In 1808 he removed to Tioga, remaining there until about 1821 when he located in Lawrenceville, where he passed the remainder of his life. Jonathan Bonney, a one-legged man, practiced through this section during the early part of the century. Allen Frazer, Jr., a thoroughly educated physician came into the township in 1825. He died in 1872. During his lifetime he was prominent, not only as a physician, but as a citizen, and held a number of offices of trust and honor.
The justices of the peace of this township appointed and elected since its organization are as follows: Eddy Howland, 1810; re-elected, 1838, 1840, 1845; Titus Ives, 1815; Arnold Hunter, 1819; Archibald Knox, 1819, re-elected, 1845, 1850; Henry B. Trowbridge, 1823; Godfrey Bowman, 1823; Jonathan Bonney, 1824; John Goodspeed, 1828; re-elected 1840; Luke Scott, Jr., 1827; Shelden Tuttle, 1828; Isaac Metcalf, 1828; Allen Frazer, 1830; Colton Knox, 1832; Archibald Campbell, 1833; Edward C. Young, 1834; John Wakley, jr., 1835; Byram Hunt, 1838; John Knox, 1850; re-elected 1855; Eleazer S. Seely, 1852; re-elected, 1858 and 1863; Jeremiah Stoddard, 1860; John Howland, 1866; Caleb Short, 1872; re-elected 1877, 1882; William A. Falkner, 1876; re-elected, 1881, 1886, 1891; Daniel H. Lee, 1887; re-elected, 1892, 1893; H. F. Daniels, Jr., 1896.
CHURCHES AND CEMETERIES.
The Free Will Baptist Church of Deerfield was organized in march, 1829, by Rev. Samuel Wise, with twelve members, among whom were Orpha Costley, Orva Howland, Laura D. Whittaker, Hannah C. Whittaker, John C. Whittaker, Electa Matteson, Anson Rowley and wife, and Enoch Coffin and wife. This society never had a house of worship of its own. It worshiped at different times in the Liberty school house, Union Academy chapel and the present school house at Academy Corners. The following named pastors have served this church: From 1830 to 1840—Revs. John Steds, Walter Brown, Valorus Beebe, James Bignall and Hiram Bacon; 1840 to 1850—Revs. William Mack, Calvin Dodge and Daniel W. Hunt; 1850 to 1860—Revs. Asel Aldrich and Selden Butler; 1870 to 1880—Revs. W. M. Peck and W. M. Sargent. For a number of years the society has had no regular pastor, the members attending the church at Knoxville. A Sunday-school is still maintained.
The First Baptist Church of Deerfield was organized in 1844, and was known for many years as the Chatham and Farmington Baptist church. The first meetings were held n the Wass school house in Chatham township. Among the original members were Walter Van Dusen, and wife, Chadwick Clark and wife, Hannah Seelye, Mrs. Humphrey, Mrs. Treat, Mrs. Sally Curran, Mrs. Strong, Edward Fish and wife, and William Simpson and wife. Walter Van Dusen and Philip Vincent were the first deacons. Meetings were held in school houses in Chatham and Farmington township. In 1880 the name of the church was changed to the First Baptist Church of Deerfield, and in 1886 the society in Knoxville united with this church and took its name. On February 28, 1888, a new church building costing $2,000 was dedicated. The church now numbers fifty members, with thirty pupils in the Sunday-school, of which Fred. Matteson is the superintendent. Among the early pastors of this church were Elder Hunt, Samuel Bullock, Elder Farley, and others. Since 1865 the pastors have been as follows: C. Beebe, 1866-70; C. K. Bunnell, 1872-74; J. M. Taylor, 1875-76; H. E. Ford, 1877; P. Reynolds, 1878-80; Abner Morrill, 1883; R. K. Hammond, 1884-85; G. P. Watrous, 1888-89; S. A. Field, 1890-91; H. J. Colestick, 1892; J. W. Lyon, 1894, and C. T. Frame, the present pastor, who took charge in February 1896.
East Deerfield Free Baptist Church, incorporated November 26, 1872, known as the "Butler Church," was organized in September, 1852, by Rev. Selden Butler. Among the original members were Rev. Selden Butler, S. P. Babcock and wife, Oliver and William Babcock, Mrs. Sylvia Wheaton, Jared Upham, Stephen Odell and wife, Henry Seamans and wife and Luther Bradley and wife. For several years the congregation worshiped in school houses, barns and dwellings. Finally through the efforts of Rev. Selden Butler, who gave the site on which it stands, embracing a half acre of ground, and in other ways afforded substantial aid, a neat church building 36 by 50 feet, costing $1,500, was erected and dedicated June 1, 1874. It is located in the southeastern part of the township, near the Farmington township line. Rev. Selden Butler served as pastor from 1852 to 1857 and at various times afterward when the society had no regular pastor. His successors have been Revs. William Mack, 1857; W. M. Sargent, 1870-72; Ira Leach, 1873; W. M. Peck, 1877-80; Rev. Donecker, 1881; Selden Butler, 1882; O. J. Moon, 1883-85; Selden Butler, supply; W. S. Smith, 1891-95, and E. F. Lyons, the present pastor, who took charge in April, 1895. The church now numbers about forty-five members.
Cemeteries.—One of the oldest burial places in the county, excepting, of course, the Indian burying grounds, is the oldest cemetery on the Loren Carpenter farm, about a half mile east of Academy Corners. The first interment was made here in 1800, of a member, so it is said, of a surveying party. For lack of a coffin his companions placed the body between two split planks, one above, the other below, and marked his grave "C. C. J., 1800." Here in an unmarked grave lie the remains of William Knox, the pioneer of the township. Here, also, are buried other members of the Knox family, as well as members of the Cloos, Bulkley, Short, Wright, Falkner, Howland, Ingham and other early families.
An acre of ground, situated on the south side of the Cowanesque, opposite Knoxville, was given for a public burying ground, about fifty years ago, by Daniel Cummings. Interments were made here up to within a few years. Many of the early settlers were buried here. The cemetery has never been incorporated.
Highland Cemetery Association, incorporated August 23, 1886, is the successor of the Union Cemetery Company, organized September 14, 1869, for the purpose of purchasing land of Elisha Bowen and Rev. Selden Butler for cemetery purposes. This cemetery, which contains one acre of land, is situated near the "Butler Church." The present board of managers are: A. Kizer, treasurer; A. A. Butler, secretary; A. G. Gates, M. S. Butler and Israel Seamans.
Academy Corners is the name of a village situated on the Cowanesque river, at the mouth of Yarnall brook, a mile and a half east of Knoxville. The first settler on the site of the village was James Strawbridge. The first store was built here about 1840 by William J. Knox. The first hotel about 1819 by John Knox. The Cowanesque Hotel was built in 1854 by William A. Falkner. It had a number of landlords during the nearly forty years of its existence. There are three stores in the village now, the oldest as well as the leading merchant being Martin V. Purple. A postoffice was established at Academy Corners, May 29, 1876, with Martin V. Purple as postmaster. He held the office until October 15,1888, when C. R. Howland was appointed. He was succeeded July 1, 1891, by Mrs. E. H. Campbell, and the latter in may, 1896, by Hattie Cornell.
The village is the meeting place of James Howland Post, No. 508,
G. A. R., and of Valley Grange, No. 876, P. of H. The former was organized
January 15, 1886, with twelve members. It meets in the hall over M. V.
Purple’s store. Besides purchasing a fine silk flag at a cost of $32, this
post has paid out over $500 for the relief of distressed soldiers and their
families. Valley Grange was organized March 25, 1889, and is one of the
strongest granges in the county, having a membership of 150. It owns a
two-story, slate roof hall, purchased in 1889, and is in a flourishing