ESSEX was formed
from Willsborough on the 4th of April, 1805. It lies
on the shore of the lake, north of the center of the
county. It is bounded on the north by the town of
Willsborough, east by the lake, south by Westport,
and west by Lewis. The southeastern coast is marked
by the projection into the lake of Split Rock. On
the south side of Split Rock is an oval bay called
Grog Harbor, from the seizure and destruction at
that place of a bateau-load of rum, captured from
the British during the War of the Revolution. The
rum was spilled into the harbor to save it from
recapture. It is nearly opposite the mouth of Otter
Creek and Fort Cassin on the Vermont side. In 1814
the British, designing to seize the stores and
ammunitions at Vergennes, attacked the fort The
onslaught was made on a Sunday afternoon and was
witnessed by large numbers of people who stood on
the mountain side south of Split Rock. After the
firing of two hundred cannon shots and the
dismantling of five of the seven guns of the fort,
the discomfited fleet withdrew. This defeat of the
British was the precursor of their subsequent
overthrow at Plattsburg. On the north side of Split
Rock sparkle the waters of Whallon's bay, a place of
surpassing natural beauty.
In 1786 Judge R. A. Heirn settled on a tract of a
thousand acres of land west of this bay, erecting
large dwellings, barns and tenement houses in the
English style, and assuming manorial dignities. His
wife was a dusky daughter of the West Indies. The
manor is now owned and occupied by Wesley G. Lyon.
(See chart made by Judge Heirn and inserted in
subsequent page.) Judge Heirn engaged largely in the
lumber business, and, through some mismanagement,
lost heavily and was forced to dispose of his
estates and leave for other parts. The old buildings
are still standing and have been put in. repair by
the present owner. "The broad piazzas, the lawn of
many acres sloping down to the shore, the splendid
elms and fruit trees, remain as they were planned
and set by the original proprietor."
In the northwestern part of the town is the Boquet
mountain, as it is locally termed, with an elevation
of about fifteen hundred feet above tide. It is one
of the most symmetrical and impressive mountains in
the county. The Boquet river flows northerly through
nearly the center of the town. It has been described
in the preceding history of Willsborough. The
formation known by geologists as the Terraces of
Lake Champlain are very marked in Essex. They run
nearly parallel with the line of the shore, and can
be traced for some miles into the interior. The
surface of Lake Champlain is only about ninety feet
above tide-water, and in the process of excavating
in the town, large quantities of marine shells are
discovered every year. These shells are also found
on the summit of Poke-o'-Moonshine mountain in
Chesterfield, a mass of solid azoic rock over two
thousand feet above tide. The soil of Essex is clay,
loam and gravel, and is well adapted for farming and
grazing purposes. The township contains some of the
finest farms on Lake Champlain. Large quantities of
hay, beans, wool and butter are annually exported.
The mineral composition of the soil is a hypersthene
rock overiaia with Chazy and Trenton limestone and
Hudson river slate. Potsdam sandstone crops out in
places along the line of the Boquet river. The
limestone is of a superior quality for building
purposes and the manufacture of lime. Large quarries
have been opened in the town for public works, for
building the canals, and for the masonry of the
Vermont Central Railroad. It is so stratified that
blocks of nearly every thickness can be easily
quarried. It takes a high black polish, and has been
much used in ornamental work. Great quantities have
been burned into lime -in the village of Essex and
shipped to various markets. A fine cement rock is
also found in this town. The formations of rock are
highly interesting on account of the varied and
numerous fossils contained in them. In the south
part of the town, on the lake shore at Cannon Point,
is a remarkable natural curiosity, giving certain
evidence of a prehistoric eruption. From a point
near the shore, bearing unmistakable signs of having
at one time formed the crater of a volcano, is a
center from which radiate three veins, or rather
streams of igneous rock, one extending towards the
lake and constituting the point, one running to the
northwest, which has been traced nearly two miles,
and the third running to the southwest, which has
been traced more than three miles. This melted rock
has also filled in many of the horizontal spaces
between the strata of lime rock in the vicinity, as
may be readily seen along the bluffs of the lake
shore. The rock of this overflow is a handsome
porphyry filled with rectangular crystals of compact
feldspar, which is very hard, susceptible of the
highest polish, and has been much used for
In the south part of the town, on the lot owned by
William R. Derby, is found a very valuable deposit
of rose quartz of a superior quality and adapted to
the manufacture and finishing of china and
stoneware. Many porphyry dykes are also found in
The territory embraced in the boundaries of the town
of Essex, in common with the other lake towns of the
county, was first taken from the hands of the
aborigines by the French. On the 13th of June, King
Louis XV. of France gave a large tract of land to
Sieur Louis Joseph Robart, his storekeeper at
Montreal. Nathaniel B. Sylvester, in his valuable
work, Northern New York and the Adirondack
Wilderness, quotes the description of this
seigneurie as follows: "Three leagues front by two
leagues in depth on the west side of Lake Champlain,
taking, in going down, one league below [north of]
the River Boquet, and in going up, two and one-half
above said river." The French, who never effected a
settlement, were forced to recede before the power
of British aggressions on the conquest of 1760.
Their possessions were practically confiscated by
the British government and disregarded in the
location of its subsequent grants. The French
claimants for a long time appealed to both the
courts and crown of England to obtain the
restitution of their possessions, but without
success. In many cases they were conciliated by
equivalent grants of land in Canada. Even since the
Revolution they have a number of times asserted
their claims in the courts of this country. In 1809
the Supreme court of New York rendered a decision
adverse to the validity of the French concessions.
There was no settlement in the town which tended to
the permanent colonization of the country until the
arrival of William Gilliland in the spring of 1765.
This eminent pioneer first purchased parts of the
seigneurie of Sieur Robart, king's storekeeper at
Montreal, and attempted to found a baronial manor,
in imitation of those situated on the Hudson river.
His first tract was six miles front on the lake and
from three to four deep. He afterwards purchased
other extensive tracts, a full account of which and
his later persecutions is given in earlier chapters
of this work.
He was born near the city of Armagh, Ireland, about
1734, and received his education there. His cultured
manners, general intelligence, and fine person, made
him a favorite wherever he was known. He became
attached to a young lady of fortune and noble
parentage named Lady Betsey Eckles. The disparity in
their birth and fortune reared a barrier, and her
family secluded her and used their influence to
secure his banishment. He then enlisted in the 35th
Regiment of the line, and after four years' service
was discharged, alone and friendless, in
Philadelphia. He went to New York, entered a
prominent mercantile house, and within a year became
a partner. He married Elizabeth Phagan (February
8th, 1759), the beautiful and accomplished daughter
of his partner, receiving with her a dowry of £
1,500. His later operations in Essex county are, as
we have said, detailed in preceding chapter.
He has numerous descendants still living, in this
town and in Willsborough, which it will be
interesting to name.
William Gilliland's daughter Elizabeth married
Daniel Ross about 1785, and settled at what was then
called Elizabeth, now the village of Essex. His
daughter, Eliza Ross, was the first white child born
in the town (i 786). Daniel Ross was the first
settler in what is now the town of Essex. He built
the first iron works in Willsborough in 1800, and
was always a most liberal patron of the iron trade
in all its branches. He was sheriff of Clinton
county before its division, and represented that
county in the State Legislature. He was appointed
the first judge of Essex county, when it was formed,
and held the office nearly thirty years. One of his
sons, General Henry H. Ross, afterwards a prominent
man in Essex county, was one of the first white
children born in the town (1790). General Ross lived
in Essex all his life and died in September, 1862.
He was unanimously elected the first judge of the
county under the new constitution of 1846, and
several times represented his district in Congress.
As adjutant of the Thirty-seventh Regiment of
Militia he served on General McComb's staff at the
battle of Plattsburg, and was afterwards and for
some time a major-general in the militia. Of his
descendants, his youngest son, Anthony J. B. Ross,
two daughters, Mrs. Ellen B. Fairbanks (widow of
Rev. J. N. Fairbanks, an Episcopal clergyman), and
Frances J. Ross, now live together in the old
homestead called "Hickory Hill" in the village of
Essex. This homestead was built by Henry H. Ross in
1820. In 1822 Henry H. Ross married Susannah
Blanchard, daughter of Judge Anthony J. Blanchard,
of Salem, N. Y. She died February 26th, 1877.
James B. Ross, another son of Henry H. Ross, is now
practicing law in Denver, Col. His son, Henry H.
Ross, 2d, in July, 1881, married Anna Noble, and in
December, 1882, died at Denver, leaving one child, a
son, James H. H. Ross, who was born the day before
his father died. He now lives with his mother in the
village of Essex, at her place called "Rosslyn," and
represents the fifth generation in the direct line
of the descendants of William Gilliland. The other
descendants of Daniel Ross and Elizabeth Gilliland
were William D. Ross, who passed all his life in the
village of Essex, and died in 1844. He was
extensively engaged in lumbering and mercantile
business, and the manufacture of iron. His
descendants are now living in Chicago, Plattsburg,
and in Washington county, N. Y. Edward Ross, another
son, who died unmarried in 1825, aged thirty-three
years. The two daughters of Daniel Ross were Eliza,
wife of Charles Platt and afterwards of Ransom
Noble, late of Essex, and Sarah, wife of Charles
Noble, late of Elizabethtown.
The children of Henry H. Ross, now living in Essex
county, are James B. Ross, lawyer, of Denver, Col.;
Frederick H. Ross, merchant, of Dowagiac, Mich.; and
John Ross, for many years engaged in building steam
and sail vessels, and in general wood manufacturing
at Essex, and flO\v of the Plattsburg Dock Company.
His adopted daughter, Susannah Ross, is the wife of
Rev. E. D. Cooper, D.D., rector of the Church of the
Redeemer at Astoria, Long Island, N. Y. Sarah
Shumway, granddaughter of Charles H. Platt and Eliza
Ross (above named daughter of Daniel Ross and
Elizabeth Gilliland) is also a resident of Essex.
Charlotte Gilliland, another daughter of William
Gilliland, was married about 1786 to Stephen Cuyler.
Their son, John Cuyler, married Phcebe Hoffnagle. Of
their children now living in the town of
Willsborough are John B. Cuyler and Susannah Cuyler,
who reside together about two miles south of the
village of Willsborough. Other descendants of
Stephen Cuyler are living in New York, Philadelphia
Another daughter of William Gilliland, Jane
Gilliland, was married to John Bleecker, of Albany,
where many of his descendants now reside.
His other child, William Gilliland, settled near
Plattsburg, the present residence of his
Anthony J. B. Ross has, in his custody a paper in
the handwriting of General Henry H. Ross, containing
valuable historical memoranda relating to the town
of Essex. It was written about 1840. It states that
the first settlers were from Duchess county, and
numbered Daniel Ross, Isaac Sheldon, Thomas Pray,
and Abram Reynolds. Shortly afterward Amos and
Benjamin Stafford came from Scituate, Rhode Island.
The first school in the town was kept by Mrs.
Erasmus Towner. The first male teacher was Enoch F.
Henry, who taught in 1789. The first tavern was
built by William Ring in 1786. The first grist-mill
was erected in 1810, at Boquet, by William D. Ross.
About the same time and at the same place he built a
rolling and slitting-mill and nail factory. The
first store was built and conducted in the village
of Essex in 1784 by Daniel Ross, who about the same
year built a saw-mill at Boquet and a grist-mill at
Willsborough. The first regular religious service
was initiated by Henry Boynham, an English
Episcopalian, in 1800. Delevan Delance, a resident
of Essex, was one of the earliest sheriffs of the
county. Reuben Whallon, of Whallonsburgh, held the
office of first judge of the old Court of Common
Pleas. The first law office in the towns of Essex
and Wilisborough was built of stone about midway
between the two villages about 1800 by Judge Martin
Aiken. It is now a tenement house on the farm of
Other pioneers of Essex were Daniel Murray, Henry
Van Ormand, Dr. Colborn Clemens (the first
physician), David and Abner Reynolds, Nehemiah Payn
James Eldrich, Thomas Stafford, E. Eggleston, and
Soon after the close of the Revolution, and before
the inhabitants of the town had settled into the
habitual repose of continued peace, a block-house
was constructed about three-fourths of a mile north
of the village of Essex on the farm now owned by
James B. Ross (now called Faulderwood). It was an
pretentious structure built of logs, and evidently
intended rather as a protection against the
unbridled ferocity of Indian hatred, than against
the assaults of civilized enemies. In 1799 upon the
formation of the county it was converted into a
court-house, and used as such until, under the act
of 1807, the county buildings were erected at
Elizabethtown. There is considerable uncertainty
about the date of the construction of this building.
Mr. Watson in his valuable history has united with
French's Gazetteer in placing the date as late as
1797. But, as will be seen by reference, it is
indicated in the Heirn chart made in 1786 and
printed in these pages. Captain Martin Eggleston
thinks it was erected in 1775, but this seems
improbable from the slight possibility that it could
survive the devastations of the war, and the fact
that there was probably no need of a block-house
here at so early a date. The most probable theory,
therefore, seems to be that it was built soon after
the War of the Revolution.
Resuming the narrative of early settlement it may be
stated that General Ransom Noble came to Essex in
about 1800 and engaged successfully in the tannery,
lumber, and iron business. His sons, H. and B.
Noble, succeeded him in business. Henry Noble,
another son, now deceased, settled at Elizabethtown
where his family now reside. Charles Noble, also a
son, formerly resided in New York city. The family
of Harmon Noble, deceased, now live in Essex, and
the family of Belden Noble, are at Washington, D. C.
Henry Harmon Noble, son of Harmon Noble, and the
only male representative of the family at Essex,
resides in the house formerly occupied by his
father, and in earlier days by General Noble
himself. The place is appropriately called
"Sunnyside." (See biographic sketches in later
Amos and David Stafford occupied two lots on
Whallon's bay immediately after the close of the
Revolution. In 1792 Judge Charles Hatch moved into
that part of Essex known as Brookfieid, where he
remained until 1804. He then went to Westport. Mr.
Watson states that the removal of his family from
Brookfield to Westport (on North West bay), a
distance of eight miles, occupied two days, and
required the labor of four men to open a roadway for
Such was the general condition of the neighborhood
previous to the beginning of the present century.
The villages and settlements increased gradually in
population and business activity. Lumbering was
carried on extensively, the iron industry was a bud
of great promise; taverns owned by men who were
endowed with generous licenses to engage in the
traffic of liquors grew abundant, and potash
factories flourished with an ease that made them
seem indigenous. Commerce on Lake Champlain did not
reach its greatest activity for a number of years,
but something of its future began to be manifest,
and the village of Essex, the most thriving of the
three which exchanged courtesies in the town of
Essex, sprang into considerable prominence as a
commercial and ship-building center.
Before the War of 1812 the craft that sailed the
lake were very small, there being none, according to
the statement of Captain Martin Eggleston, that
would carry more than forty or fifty tons. Several
large sloops were built in Essex in 1811 and 1812,
and, indeed, the principal boat-building on this
side of the lake was done here. Richard Eggleston
built in 1810 the first sloop that ever sailed the
waters of these northern lakes. She was built for
William D. Ross, who named her the Euretta. Soon
after, when the clouds of approaching war hung
threateningly over the whole country, larger craft
were required, and Richard Eggleston built eight or
ten vessels of more than one hundred and fifty tons
burden. He undoubtedly constructed more than a
hundred freight vessels in all. In 1811 and 1812 he
commenced building two sloops, The President and The
Richard, the former for John Boynton, of Plattsburg,
and the latter for Gideon King, of Burlington, who,
among others, had obtained letters of marquee and
reprisal, and designed using the sloops for
privateering purposes. Before the craft were
finished news arrived that the British fleet was
coming to bombard Fort Cassin on Otter creek, across
the lake. The sloops were hastily caulked, launched,
taken to Barn Rock on the south side of Split Rock
Point, put in the bay and completely concealed
beneath huge masses of brush. In about two weeks the
British bombarded Fort Cassin in order to weaken the
strength of the navy yard at Vergennes, but without
success. After the bombardment the British anchored
in a line in front of Essex, furled their top-sails,
threw out their guns towards the village and made
every preparation to fire. The British commander
came in towards shore and wanted to know if the
citizens desired a truce. In response to a signal
from General Henry H. Ross they came ashore, and a
parley was held. The Englishmen spied upon the shore
the spars which had been prepared for the sloops,
and demanded information concerning the whereabouts
of the vessels. He was told they were at Whitehall,
whereupon he ordered his men to cut the spars to
pieces. He immediately retracted his order, however,
with the observation that the Revolutionists "could
easily get more." The sloops were afterwards
finished and passed through exciting vicissitudes,
under the names of the Growler and the Eagle. They
were taken by the British and recaptured at
This was not the only visit paid to the site of
Essex village by British enemies. In the War of the
Revolution the fleeing British, retreating from
Ticonderoga after the defeat of Burgoyne, were
intercepted here by a party of "Green Mountain Boys"
under Ebenezer Allen, who captured fifty prisoners
and all their military stores.
The lumber markets in those days, it will be
remembered, were Montreal and Quebec. Enormous
quantities of square timber and sawed lumber were
shipped there from all points along Lake Champlain.
A number of sloops were manufactured to carry lumber
south after the completion of the canal to Troy.
Between 1825 and 1836 there were probably one
hundred and twenty five sloops sailing the lake.
Richard Eggleston also built two hundred and fifty
row galleys or bateaux for the American fleet on the
lake. His son, Captain Martin Eggleston, who was
born at Essex in 1806, sailed on the lake from 1821
As early as 1810 there were three asheries in the
territory now composing the town of Essex. One near
Whallon's bay, owned by Judge Heirn, one about six
miles west of the village of Essex, owned by Daniel
Ross, and one in the village of Essex, owned by
William D. Ross. It is estimated that these three
asheries manufactured from two hundred to three
hundred tons of potash annually. General Ransom
Noble owned and conducted a tannery in Essex as
early as 1800, and was extensively engaged in the
lumber and iron business. About 1810 there were
three taverns in the village of Essex, kept by Amos
Anson, Nathan Nichols and Isaac Drew. There were
seven outside the village, as follows: one at
Whallon's bay, kept by a Mr. Miller; one at
Whallonsburgh, kept by Sawyer Carter; one kept by
Benjamin Stafford in the west part of the town; one
on the same road toward Westport from Stafford, kept
by John Burt; one six miles west of the village of
Essex kept by Jesse Reynolds, near the potash
factory of Daniel Ross; one kept by N. Wallace,
about a mile west of the village, and one at Boqüet.
Shortly after 1810 General Wright kept the hotel now
run by J. C. Baldwin.
William D. Ross had a distillery just north of Essex
before 1820, which was probably the only one in the
Farming remained at a low ebb until as late as 1830,
when the lumber trade began to decline. The western
parts of the town were cultivated first, although
the most fruitful soil lies along the shore of the
Town Officers, etc. - The records of this
town are not in existence until after the year 1820,
as far as we have been able to ascertain, which
prevents the publication of the names of the first
officers. We have, however, obtained the names of
the successive supervisors after and including the
year 1818. They are as follows: 1818-19, Reuben
Whallon; 1820-21, Ralph Hascall; 1822 to 1824
inclusive, William Smith; 1825-26, Ransom Noble;
1827 to 1829 inclusive, Reuben Whallon; 1830-31,
John Gould; 1832, Richard Eggleston; 1833 to 1835
inclusive, Henry H. Ross; 1836-37, William D. Ross;
1838-39, Abel Baldwin; 1840, Henry H. Ross; 1841-42,
Samuel Shumway; 1843-44., Belden Noble; 1845-46,
Daniel North; 1847-48, Michael H. Stower; 1849-50,
Edward S. Shumway; 1851-52, Palmer E. Havens;
1853-54, William D. Ross, 2d; 1855-56, Eli W.
Rogers; 1857-58, James Stafford; 1859-60, Phillip S.
Baldwin; 1861-62, Belden Noble; 1863 to 1865
inclusive, John Hoskins; 1866 to 1868 inclusive,
John Ross; 1869-70, George W. Palmer; 1871, Jonathan
Mather; 1872, Buel D. Bacon; 1873-74, Jonathan
Mather; 1875, Andrew J. Tucker; 1876 to 1878
inclusive, Walter D. Palmer; 1879, W. H. Stower;
1880 to 1883 inclusive, Charles W. Tucker; 1884 to
present time, Anthony J. B. Ross.
Population of Town.- 1850, 2,351; 2,115;
1860, 1,633; 1865, 1,501; 1870, 1,600; 1875, 1,867;
The first muster roll from the county at the
outbreak of the Rebellion was taken in the town of
Essex. Captain William D: Ross, eldest son of
General Henry H. Ross, took about forty men from the
town early in May, 1861, and had them incorporated
with the Anderson Zouaves, under Colonel Riker at
New York city. The following is a list of the
volunteers as named in said roll, most of whom he
commanded as lieutenant and captain. The roll is
dated May 2d, 1861: William D. Ross, Belden R.
Parkill, James Phillips, Charles Hoffnagle, Edmund
Atherton, Albert Green, John Maloy, Joseph Hall,
William E. Pratt, Horace A. Pratt, John Gordon,
Franklin J. West, Samuel F. West, Henry H. Tucker,
Andrew Todd, Napoleon Durant, Joseph Martin, Friend
A. Smith, Charles P. Saywood, Henry W. Baldwin,
George Tucker, James Stone, John Reed, Peter Lowe,
Ira P. Knapp, Nathan W. Lincoln, E. Story, John
Damady, Horace Smith, Franklin Flurry, Edwin
Clemmons, F. A. Brown, George Chase, Artemas
Woodruff, Daniel Cross. With a few exceptions the
above names represent the men who left the town in
May, 1861, to take an active part in the great
struggle. The brave and gallant captain of this
company, William D. Ross, did not live to see the
cause, for which he was willing to sacrifice his
life, victorious. On the 25th day of October, 1861,
while in the line of his duty, the railroad track
near Washington, he was struck and killed by a
passing train. He was buried with military honors at
Washton, where his remains rested until his death
was made known to his friends in Essex, when he was
brought home and buried in the family vault. At the
time of his death he was thirty. one years of age,
and had been in the practice of law in Essex for
about eight years. For further military details see
the chapter devoted to that subject.
The town of Essex contains
three villages, Essex, Whallonsburgh, and Boquet.
The village of Essex, the largest and oldest of the
three, is situated on the shore of the lake in the
northeastern corner of the town. As stated in the
earlier part of this chapter, it was at one time one
of the chief ports on the lake, and until after 1840
was an important ship-building center. Iron was
manufactured here extensively at one time, but these
industries have died and have been replaced by
Mercantile. - As early as 1815 William D.
Ross, Ransom Noble, and John Gould were
store-keepers here. How long they continued is not
known, but they had been succeeded by others years
before the oldest merchant now in the village began
The merchant of longest standing in the village is
William R. Derby, who has traded here since
September, 1854. At that time he bought out the
general store of Wesley G. Lyon, who had been a
general merchant in the place about eight years
preceding. Mr. Derby has occupied his present
building about eight years. Andrew J. Tucker has
sold general merchandise in this village since 1861.
He was in partnership with Welsey G. Lyon until
1864, when that relation was dissolved and a new
partnership established between Mr. Tucker and D. E.
Field. This firm was not separated until 1880. Mr.
Tucker has been in the building he now uses from the
start, with the exception of the six years between
1863 and 1870. He carries a stock estimated at
$8,000. Buel D. Bacon opened a hardware store in
Essex in the fall of 1868. He then purchased the
stock and good will of Theodore Calkins, who had
conducted the business for several years previous.
Mr. Bacon has been in his present building since
1881. In 1873 S. D. Derby started a general store in
company with his brother, W. R. Derby, and remained
with him four years. Since 1877 he has been alone.
He carries a stock of about $15,000.
W. J. Hoskins commenced dealing in furniture about
1875. In July, 1884, his brother, E. W. Hoskins,
entered into partnership with him. W. J. Hoskins
died in January, 1885, since which time his brother
has conducted the business alone. E. H. & C. H.
Stafford (brothers) began to keep a general store
here in 1882, being successors to W. G. Lyon, who
had conducted a like business in the same building
George D. Anson established a store in the building
now occupied by him in i88o. It is the same building
which H. D. Edwards had used as a store years ago,
but it had been vacant for some time when Mr. Anson
came into it. Ira C. Stafford, a jeweler, also has a
jewelry and music store in the village. W. W. Wilson
has had a feed store here since November, 1884.
Mosier Ferguson has had a shoe-shop in this village
since 1875, and Charles Michon since 1878. R.
Fortune, tailor, has been engaged in his present
occupation here since 1842. For the first twenty
years he occupied the house now used as the
Congregational parsonage. He came into the building
he now occupies in 1867.
Manufactures. - The Essex Horse Nail Company
(Limited) was incorporated in June, 1879. There were
originally, and are now, about fifty shareholders in
the company. The first officers were: President,
Palmer E. Havens; vice president, Alpheus A. Morse;
secretary, Walter D. Palmer; treasurer, William R.
Derby; superintendent, James Mills. Directors
besides the officers above named: Stephen D. Derby,
Wesley G. Lyon, Anthony J. B. Ross, Seth Crosman,
Charles A. Martin, Lyman Barton, John N. Oliver,
James H. Howe.
The company purchased the ground and buildings of
Lyon & Palmer, who had up to that time, 1879, used
them for the manufacture of sashes and blinds. One
of the buildings was remodeled into the present
machine-shop, and another converted into the
store-house. The office and other buildings were
erected anew. The total cost of the building and
remodeling was about $20,000, and of machinery and
fixtures about $25,000. The works and office are
situated on the shore of the lake. where the company
own a wharf for their own convenience. It affords
those interested in lake traffic the benefits of
competition between this wharf and three others in
the same village. The company employ, when running
in full force, sixty or seventy hands. The president
of the company now is Hon. Palmer E. Havens; the
vice president is D. F. Payne; secretary and
treasurer, W. D. Palmer; superintendent, C. W.
Woodford. Mr. Woodford has been superintendent since
May, 1880. The capital stock of the company is
$80,000, paid up. (See biography of C. W. Woodford
The old sash factory of Lyon & Palmer, mentioned
above, stood on ground which formed originally the
ship-yard of Hoskins, Ross & Co., the firm being
composed of John Hoskins, John Ross and Wesley J.
Hoskins. Subsequently James B. Ross became
interested in the concern, the firm title was
changed to The Essex Manufacturing Company, and the
business to the manufacture of sashes and blinds.
Lyon & Palmer bought them out in 1877. The old
shipbuilding business was killed by the construction
and opening of railroads on both sides of the lake.
Hotels. - Essex village has two hotels. The
oldest one, that now kept by J. C. Baldwin, was
erected and kept by General Wright before the
beginning of the present century. Some parts of it
are supposed to be a hundred years old. It is a
fairly well-preserved centenarian. General Wright
conducted the hotel business therein until about
1810. The present proprietor has been here since May
1st, 1874. He was preceded by Eli Farnsworth. Some
years before the beginning of the Civil War, Charles
G. Fancher came into possession, and was followed
successively by William Brainard, who left in 1861,
Martin Eggleston, Edward Burt, Webster W. Royce,
Parker Torrance, Sidney Carr, Eli Farnsworth and J.
North's Hotel was built by Delavan Delance about the
year 1830 for a private dwelling house. Afterwards
Noble Clemmons remodeled it into a hotel and kept it
until about 1850. The present proprietor, De Lloyd
W. North, took possession in 1882. Before that it
was vacant for a time, the last proprietor before
the vacancy being Harry Palmer. William Brandeau
preceded him, his term beginning May, 1874. Before
Brandeau was Eli Farnsworth; prior to Farnsworth's
occupancy the house lay idle for years, probably
since 1864 or '65. In 1861 William Brainard came in
and remained three or four years.
The Professions.- Hon. Palmer E. Havens began
the practice of law in the village of Essex in 1841.
He was admitted at Plattsburg after passing a period
of study in the office of General Henry H. Ross. He
has ably represented his county and district in the
Legislature as Assemblyman and Senator. (See
James B. Ross, now of Denver, Col., was admitted in
1854, and practiced in Detroit until 1859. From
there he removed to Houghton, Mich., where he stayed
nine years as the attorney for the copper mining
companies of Michigan. He came to Essex in 1868. In
1874 his brother, Anthony J. B. Ross, who practices
here now, went in with him. They practiced together
under the firm style of Ross & Ross until 1882, when
James B. Ross moved to Denver. During his residence
in Essex, James B. Ross was one of the wardens of
St. John's Church. He was also largely interested in
the business pursuits of the town. Anthony J. B.
Ross graduated at Hobart College, Geneva, N. Y., in
1866, and was admitted to practice at Albany in 1874
after studying the requisite period with the firm of
Hand, Hale, Swartz & Fairchild, of Albany. He is the
present supervisor of the town. The law-office now
occupied by Mr. Ross was built (of stone) by General
Henry H. Ross in 1812.
Edwin R. Chase, M.D., aged fifty-seven years, came
to Essex in 1858. He received his professional
education in the Albany Medical College.
Dr. Edward B. Atkins, aged thirty-six years, was
graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1874,
and came to Essex in May, i88o. In 1877 he received
the Adeundem Degree from the University of New York
Union School. - The Essex Union School was
formed April 12th, 1866. The first trustees were
Wesley G. Lyon, E. R. Eaton, and Robert Fortune, one
year; Ezra Parkhill, E. R. Chase, M.D., and R.
Morse, two years; Palmer E. Havens, John Hoskins,
and John Ross, three years. The office of first
clerk and librarian devolved upon Wesley G. Lyon E.
R Brougham was the first principal. Under the new
regime the school remained for a short time in the
old brick house which now stands about ten rods
south of the one at present occupied. The trustees
very soon secured an old dwelling house, formerly
owned and occupied by General Ransom Noble, and
moved it on to the school lot. It was denominated
the Academy building. Finding it unfit for the
purposes to which it had been converted, the board
in 1867 erected the present structure at a cost not
exceeding $5,000. The primary department has been
since added. The present trustees of the school are
as follows : - Committee on teachers: Wesley G.
Lyon, W. J. Hoskins (since election deceased),
William H. Stower. Committee on finance: Walter D.
Palmer, Dwight E. Field, Henry H. Noble; committee
on buildings, etc., H. W. Parkhill, Myron Eggleston,
and George Anson. The present clerk of the board, H.
W. Parkhill, has officiated continuously since 1875.
There are three teachers in constant employment, F.
M. Hickok being at present the principal. The
average attendance of the school is about one
hundred and thirtyeight.
Churches. - The most ancient church
organization now existing in the village of Essex is
undoubtedly the Congregational Church, though it
cannot date its origin back of the period of
religious services held by the Episcopalian, Henry
Boynham, mentioned in the memoranda of Henry H.
Presbyterian Church. - This church was
organized on the 3d day of December, 18 15, by the
Rev. Cyrus Comstock, of the Berkshire and Columbia
Missionary Society. The records show the first
members to have been Ira Manley, Reuben Whallon,
Ralph Hascall, Mary Hascall, Theodosia Gould, Annis
Wallis, Asa Frisbie, Mrs. Fairchild, Mrs. Higby,
Mrs. Throop, Chloe Higby. Among the members who were
soon after added to the society were Fanny Little,
Julia Lynde, Betsey Earle, Ellen Gilbert, Mrs.
Boynton, Dr. Abel P. Mead, Dr. Samuel Shumway,
Hannah Shumway, Phoebe Eggleston, Eliza Whallon,
The first preaching, in addition to that of the Rev.
Mr. Comstock, was by Rev. Asa Messer. About the year
1823 Ira Manley preached occasionally. At this time
meetings were held in the brick school-house in
Essex and in the school-house near Wilisborough
Falls. It was a Congregational Church until
December, 1830, when the members from Essex adopted
the ecclesiastical government of the Presbyterian
Church. Previous to this time the society embraced
the towns of Essex and Wilisborough; but when the
Essex congregation changed to the Presbyterian
government, the two towns separated their church
interests and the Wilisborough congregation
continued under the original form of worship.
Following are the names of the elders after the
change: James S. Whallon, Abiel P. Mead, Asa Frisbie,
Colonel William Smith. The first church building was
erected in the year 1818. The movement which
resulted in the building of the church was preceded
by the circulation of the following subscription
paper : - "We, the subscribers, do hereby associate
ourselves into a society for building a meeting
house, or a place of public worship, in the town of
Essex, on or near the site of the old school-house
which was burned, on the hill in the rear of the
dwelling house of Ezra Parkhill. And we do severally
agree to pay to a committee of three persons the
several sums respectively annexed to our names for
the purpose aforesaid, which said sums shall be paid
in four equal quarterly installments, in cattle,
grain or iron, to wit: The one-fourth part of which
sums to be paid by the first day of May next; the
remaining three installments by the first days of
August, November and February next thereafter, in
cattle, grain or iron, or in material acceptable to
said committee, who are to be chosen and elected by
the said subscribers at a meeting to be held at the
house of Delevan Delance in Essex, on the first
Monday in December next. And the pews or other
property of the said meeting house and the ground
appropriated for the same shall be disposed of
according to the resolutions of the said subscribers
at a subsequent meeting; shall be at such time and
place as shall be appropriated by the first meeting
aforesaid. Dated Essex, November 10th, 1817. "Henry
H. Ross, $400 including an acre of land at $125; W.
D. Ross, $300; Ransom G. Hatch, $250; Ralph Hascall,
$150; John Gould, $100; (name illegible) $100; D.
Delance, $50; D. B. McNeil, $75; Charles McNeil, $5
(cash); Luther Adgate, $50; Ezra Parkhill, $50;
Charles B. Prindle, $50; Luther Prose, $40; John
Earl, $25; Jonathan Little, $75; James M. Hayes,
$20; Sawyer Carter, $25 ; Simeon Pangburn, $5; H. A.
Hawley, $25; Ezra Coats, jr., $5 (a gratuity); David
Delance, $4; Willard Church, $5; Asahel Row, $4; J.
G. Cornell, $5; D. W. Sturtevant, $5; David Jacobs,
$5; Joshua Martin, $50; Russell Vaughn, $5; Dean
Delance, $6; Samuel C. Taylor, $25; Elijah Carter,
$15; John Hoffnafle, $50 (but if preparations are
making for building a meeting-house in Wilisborough,
before the frame of Essex meeting-house is raised,
then $25 to be deducted;) Hine Clemons, $50; Solomon
Cook, $25; William Braman, $10; Thomas Edwards $10;
Phineas Haskins, $5; Silas C. Perry, %5; These names
were all signed with a wafer and seal numbered
The church erected in 1818 was used until 1821, when
a supplemental subscription paper was issued to
raise funds to complete the building. In this
subscription paper appears the name of H. A. Hawley
for "$2 towards painting, and $3 towards interior
finishing, when the same shall be half done." The
present church was erected in 1853 at a cost of
about $10,000. The corner stone was laid December
13th, 1853, the services being conducted by Rev. J.
T. Willet. The value of the church property,
including the parsonage, is about $10,000.
Following are the names of the successive pastors
who have served the church since 1827: 1827-30, Rev.
Vernon D. Taylor; 1831-32, Rev. J. B. Baldwin; 1832
to 1844, Rev. Joel Fisk; 1844 to 1847, Rev. A.
Bronson; for a short time after 1847, Rev. Moses
Chase officiated; 1850-51, Rev. J. G. Randall; 1852
to 1865, Rev. J. T. Willet; 1865 to 1882, Rev. C. N.
Wilder; 1882-83, Rev. Thornton Mills; present
pastor, Augustus Frederick. The present church
officers are as follows: Trustees, Henry H. Noble,
C. W. Tucker, Thomas Maguire, William H. Stower, E.
R. Chase, M.D., C. H. Stafford, William R. Derby, D.
E. Field, A. A. Morse. Elders, A. A. Morse, B. F.
Lee, Edwin R. Chase, M.D., O. C. Morse, E. P. Morse,
C. H. Stafford, W. E. Atherton. Deacon, Asa Hale.
The membership is one hundred and thirty-one.
There has been a Sunday-school connected with the
church from about the beginning of the organization.
A. A. Morse has held the office of superintendent
for more than twenty years. Membership is ninety.
Methodist Episcopal Church. - This church was
organized January 12th, 1835, the original trustees
being as follows: First class, William D. Ross, John
Gould, Hine Clemons; second class, Noble Clemons,
Lewis Ladd; third class, Charles C. Cheney, Asa
Derby. The present church edifice was begun soon
after the organization, but it was several years
before it was finished. In 1852 the Wilisborough
people, who had been associated with the church
during the first seventeen years of its life,
effected a separation. The ministerial succession in
the church has been as follows: Lewis Potter and
John Graves and John Haslan; Arunah Lyon and
Benjamin Cox; Aaron Hall and O. J. Squires; J. D.
White and Benjamin Pomeroy; J. D. Burnham and A.
Garvin; S. Coleman and Henry Taylor; J. D. White and
____ ; J. D. Burnham and M. B. Wood; William Arner
and ____ ; David Osgood and O. J. Squires; John
Graves and J. D. Wescott; Josiah Chamberlain and D.
H. Loveland; William Arner and ____ ; in 1852 W. H.
Meeker; followed by Andrew McGilton, Matthias Ludham,
Joel Eaton, Joseph Cope, J. M. Puffer, George W.
Brown, D. N. Lewis, John Vrooman, J. D. White, M. N.
Curry, J. W. Thompson, C. H. Richmond, W. P. Rulison,
George H. Robbins, 1876-79; E. J. Guernsey, 1879-82;
J. M. Edgerton, 1882-85; and the present pastor,
Elam Marsh, who came in the spring of 1885.
The church building was extensively improved in 1876
and again in 1884, the last time at a cost of about
The present officers of the church are as follows:
Stewards, W. H. Adsit, (district steward); 0.
Parker, B. D. Bacon, M. Sibly, Z. Clark, G. D.
Anson, C. E. Hoskins, E. W. Hoskins, L. L. Calkins,
recording steward. Leaders, A. E. Winslow, W. D.
Palmer, D. S. Whallon. Trustees, John Hoskins,
chairman, W. G. Lyon, B. D. Bacon, W. H. Adsit, M.
E. Eggleston, clerk. Sunday-school superintendents
B. D. Bacon and Mrs. F. J. Avery.
The Baptist Church of Essex village was an offshoot
of the Essex church at Brookfield, and was organized
in 1838, with a membership of eighteen. Elders
Hodges and Walden of Elizabethtown supplied the
pulpit the first three years and increased the
membership to one hundred and five. The church was
begun in 1840 and completed in 1842. Fifteen
ministers have officiated, viz.: Revs. C. W. Hodges,
J. H. Walden, Lyman Smith, Isaac Waldron, Elias
Huriburt, C. H. Pierson, K. Smith, C. W. Walker, E.
A. Wyman, George E. Henderson, Calvin Fisher, Luman
Kinney, Stephen Wright, I. E. Howd, S. W. Nichols,
J. R. Taylor, A. H. Stock. Rev. A. H. Stock left in
April, 1884, since which time the church has been
without a pastor. The present deacons are Philip S.
Baldwin and Aiken E. Sheldon, who also perform the
duties of church trustees. Albert Baldwin is the
present church clerk.
St. John's Church, Essex, (Episcopal,). - The church
was organized March 21st, 1853, the missionary in
charge being Rev. F. C. Putnam. The persons present
at the first meeting were, Rev. F. C. Putnam, Henry
H. Ross, William H. Low, Henry N. Gould, Ezra
Parkhill, H. A. Palmer, Elihu Gilbert, Seth
Crossman, Peter Chamberlain, William Buch, Henry D.
Edwards, Henry Barker, Charles A. Martin, William E.
Sayward, Asa P. Hammond, and George E. Atwater.
The organization of this church was mainly due to
the efforts and influence of Mrs. Henry H. Ross, and
her daughter, Susannah M. Ross, now Mrs. Cooper. The
first officers were as follows: Henry H. Ross,
senior warden; Asa P. Hammond, junior warden.
Vestrymen, Henry N. Gould, William H. Low, Henry W.
Putnam, Ezra Parkhill, Seth Crossman, Elihu Gilbert,
George E. Atwater, Charles A. Martin.
From 1853 to 1877 services were held in a building
erected by Henry H. Ross about 1835 for a
school-house on the lot where the present church
edifice stands, and by him devoted to the uses of
the church during those years. In 1877 the church
purchased the building and lot, removed the old
building to its present site and rebuilt it in its
present form, from designs by the Rev. John Henry
Hopkins, D.D. In the same year the rectory was built
on the same lot. The church is a frame building
supported by buttresses on the east side. with a
wing for the organ chamber and vestry-room, and a
bell cot at the north end. It contains a marble
altar constructed from stone found in the town. The
base is of blue limestone, sanded, the sides and top
of dolomite cut from a boulder found in the
vicinity, which presents a variegated surface
resembling mosaic work. It is supported at the sides
by pillars of black marble (blue limestone
polished), and surmounted by a super-altar of the
same marble and a cross of dolomite which, as well
as the front of the altar, is inlaid with porphyry
and marbles of different colors. It was made from
designs by Dr. Hopkins and was his gift to the
church. The church also contains a tablet to the
memory of Henry H. Ross, the founder of the parish,
and another to the memory of the Rev J N. Fairbanks,
the third rector of the parish, both being erected
by the vestry.
The following have officiated as rectors of this
church: 1853-54, Rev. Fernando C. Putnam; 1855-56,
Rev. Edmund D. Cooper; 1857-60, Rev. J. N.
Fairbanks; 1862-65, Rev. Edmund D. Cooper; 1865-66,
Rev. Charles Husband; 1867-68, Charles C. Fiske;
1868-69, Elias Weil; 1869-70, Rev. John Henry
Hopkins, jr., D.D.,; 1871-72, Rev. James E. Hall;
1873-76, Rev. J .W. McIlwaine 1878-83, Rev. E. L.
Toy; 1884, Rev. Norman Irish, D.D., who is the
The present number of communicants is ninety. The
officers are: Stephen D. Derby, senior warden;
Andrew J. Tucker, junior warden; A. J. B. Ross,
Robert Fortune, Moses Knowlton, H. E. Woodford,
Edward W. Richardson, Charles. W. Woodford, Edward
B. Atkins, M. D., vestrymen.
A Sunday-school was organized at the same time with
the church; the rectors have been superintendents.
St. Joseph's church (Roman Catholic.) - This church
was organized in 1872. The first trustees were
Michael McFarland and Terence McFarland.. First
priest, Rev. James Shields. The church building was
begun in 1872 and finished in the next year, at a
cost of about $9,000. Following are the names of the
successive priests who have served the church: Rev.
John Redington, Rev. John H. Sullivan, Rev. Mr.
Devlin, M. A. Holihan, the present priest. The
present membership comprises about one hundred
families. The trustees are Terence McFarland and
Victor Fuller. A Sunday-school has been conducted
since the organization of the church, with the
priest as superintendent.
Freemasonry. - Essex lodge No. 152 (the first
in the county), was chartered February 14th, 1807.
Its records are lost but it seems to have been in
existence as late as 1822. The present Masonic lodge
of Essex (Iroquois lodge, No. 715), was chartered
June 7th, 1862. Its original membership numbered
about fifty. The first officers were: James B. Ross,
W. M.; Andrew J. Tucker, sen. warden; George
Alexander, junior warden. The present officers are
as follows: Charles J. Merriam, W. M.; W. M. French,
senior warden; 0. E. Hayes, junior warden; John B.
Cuyler, senior deacon; G. F. Eggleston, junior
deacon; Dwight E. Field, secretary; A. J. Tucker,
treasurer; G. A. Calkins, senior master of
ceremonies; David S. Hayward, junior master of
ceremonies; H. J. Hinkley, tiler. Lodge meetings are
held in the store building in which Stafford
Brothers keep store.
In August, 1869, a chapter (Split Rock chapter,
Number 243), containing a membership of twenty-five,
was organized. The first high priest was John Ross.
William Hoskins held the office of king; Franklin D.
Bennett, of scribe; Ambrose Brunell, of captain of
the host; and Joshua Bennett, of principal
sojourner. The present officers are: D. E. Field, H.
P.; D. S. Hayward K.; H. S. Stower, S.; A. J.
Tucker, C. of H.; Anthony J. B. Ross, P. S.; John B.
Cuyler, R. A C. (royal arch captain); J. W.
Chamberlain, M. 3d V. (master of the third veil);
George Alexander, M. 2d. V.; Asa Frisbie, M. 1st.
V.; H. J. Hinkley, tiler.
Postmasters. - The first postmaster of which
any record can be found is Judge John Gould, who
officiated from a date antecedent to 1818 until
about 1838. He was succeeded by Dr. E. P. Mead, who
served his country in the capacity of mail
distributor four or five years, and was in turn
superseded by Charles J. Fancher. He gave place to
Robert Fortune about six years after he had taken
the oath of office. By another presidential
transformation Charles G. Fancher became successor
to Mr. Fortune. The latter was re-instated after a
short period, and in a few years again gave place to
Mr. Fancher. In about 1875 Walter D. Palmer was
appointed and retained the office until the spring
of 1885, when E. W. Hoskins, the present incumbent
assumed the duties of the office.
Boquet. - This is a small hamlet situated
about three miles to the southwest of the village of
Essex, on the Boquet river. It was formerly a
flourishing manufacturing community. The first
manufacturing efforts of civilized man in this
village were put forth in 1810, when William D. Ross
erected a grist, mill on the bank of the river, and
about the same time built quite an extensive rolling
and slitting-mill and nail factory. As early as
1784, however, Daniel Ross conducted a general store
here for the accommodation of the early settlers who
had established themselves in scattered families
along the river side. There must have been, too, at
that early date, some lumbering done about the site
of Boquet, for Daniel Ross also ran a saw-mill here
in 1785. It was probably engaged entirely in
supplying the home demand. After 1810 the place
began to assume considerable local importance.
Business did not die out there for many years. Henry
H. Ross, in his memoranda before mentioned, written
about 1840, states that in Boquet there was then "a
large mill for the manufacture of rolled iron and
nails, a grist-mill, etc." There has never been and
is not now a post-office here. In 1828 a district
school-house was built of stone and in octagonal
shape. It still serves the original purpose of. its
erection. In 1855 an Episcopal chapel was built on
the hill in the south part of the village, but was
purchased by the Baptist and Presbyterian element of
the community in 1880, and is now used as a union
church. Brookfield and Essex clergymen supply the
pulpit. Little remains of the business activities of
ancient days. The old dam has been worn away rather
than washed away, and the mills are the more silent
in that they arouse an idea of former thrift and
industry. The only business now conducted in the old
village is that of C. W. & W. A. Tucker, dealers in
produce and general merchandise. They started a hay
barn about eight years ago, and soon after built the
store near the railroad. They still press hay and
dispense merchandise to the inhabitants of Boquet
Brookfield is a farming settlement in the
west part of the town, which has one store, that
kept by James Reynolds for the past three years.
There is also at Brookfield one of the oldest
Baptist Churches in the county. About the beginning
of the present century they held services in an old
log building, and afterwards in a barn, until their
church edifice was completed (before 1809). In 1809
Rev. Solomon Brown, who founded the churches of
Keeseville, Elizabethtown, Jay and Westport, is
named as a delegate from the Essex Church (at
Brookfield) to the association held at
Elizabethtown. The church then had eleven members.
Sixteen pastors have presided over her
ecclesiastical councils: Solomon Brown, Jeremiah H.
Dwyer, J. B. Wilkins, E. Goodspeed, E. P. Adams, J.
S. McColum, Charles Berry, Elias Huriburt, C.
Fisher, E. W. Allen, W. Gussman, W. S. Bush, S. W.
Nichols, J. R. Taylor, E. M. Lynch, W. H. Stock. Her
largest membership was attained in 1837, when it
numbered one hundred and forty-three. Her present
membership is about fortyeight. Judge Charles
Hatch's' residence here from 1792 to 1804 has been
mentioned in a previous page.
Whallonsburgh.- Next in size to Essex, though
last in the date of its existence as a village, is
Whallonsburgh. R. A. Ferguson, who came to the place
in 1870 with his father, John Ferguson, describes it
as being then an unbroken forest. His father, a
carpenter, struck the first blow to clear the land
and build the first dwellings and factories of the
new settlement. He came from Washington county, N.
Y., in the service of Reuben Whallon, who had come
from the same vicinity about two years before. Mr.
Ferguson built a saw-mill, just in the rear of the
present site of William F. Blinn's store, and a
clothing factory near where the sash factory now is.
The place grew very gradually; lumbering constituted
the principal business of the inhabitants. A. Hale
soon built a grist-mill on the hill in the western
part of the village, and was soon followed by
William Smith and James S. Whallon, who erected a
grist-mill which now forms the west end of the sash
factory. Smith & Whallon, not being contented with
their milling profits, built a plaster factory
adjoining the grist-mill. This business throve
mightily, teams frequeatly coming from Vermont for
loads of plaster. In 1840 a fine forge existed here,
built by the proprietor, James S. Whallon. The
clothing works and one grist-mill were still
running. William Smith, probably the first
postmaster, had received his appointment prior to
1825. James S. Whallon followed Smith, Lewis Cady
followed Whallon, and in about 1860 Eli W. Rogers
followed Cady. Mr. Rogers has officiated
uninterruptedly from that time to the present. The
industries now active in the village may be briefly
noticed as follows: In 1881 Edgar Chamberlain and
Eugene, his brother, succeeded William H. Richardson
in the manufacture of blinds and sashes. The
business originated in 1869, Samuel Root, William H.
Richardson and V. C. Spencer being the first
proprietors. In 1872 Messrs. Root and Spencer
withdrew. James S. Whallon built the mill which was
formerly used as a carding-mill. The Chamberlain
Brothers lease the premises of Samuel Root. They
keep about fifteen hands busy and can turn out about
seventy doors in a day, and have made as many as
1,500 pairs of blinds in a month.
The grist-mill now running, in Whallonsburgh was
built about 1830 by James S. Whallon, soon after the
former mill of Smith & Whallon had been damaged
beyond repair by a freshet. Jonathan Mather, the
present owner, has held the title for a great many
years. John R. Mather superintends the running of
F. J. Avery has been a general merchant here since
1870. He established the business himself. William
F. Blinn started a store here in April, 1885. John
R. Mather is proprietor of a cabinet shop, and G. J.
& J. G. Waiker run an extensive hay barn.
The village boasts a Union Church, which was
organized not far from 1830. The present edifice was
erected before 1840, James S. Whallon contributing
most generously towards its construction. The
Presbyterian and Methodist clergymen at Essex
preached here. Rev. Joel Fisk first officiated, and
Rev. Joseph T. Willet preached here for about
thirteen years. They organized a Sabbath-school
almost at the beginning.
The present school-house was built in 1851. Miss
Mattie Stafford is the present teacher. The district
is extensive, and consequently the school always has
a large attendance.