January 2, 2005

1803 to 1812

I'm hoping to finish typing in George Goodrich's Centennial History of Dryden in 2005, though at my current pace that will probably be done around the end of the year. In this installment, Goodrich starts with an eclipse and then looks at the arrival of new settlers from 1803 to 1812, noting the tremendous population growth in this period.

There's also a strange paragraph at the end in which Goodrich extols the "superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race", but also argues that this superiority came from "the fact that it is made up of a union of different races having at no remote period the same common origin," and cheers on the further blending that has taken place in Dryden. I'm not really sure what Goodrich would have to say about the current ethnic composition of the town.

Chapter IX.

Events from 1803 to 1812.

One of the memorable occurrences of this time in the town of Dryden was the "Great Eclipse" which was witnessed June 16, 1806, when total darkness came on suddenly at mid-day, and the fowls went to their roosts as though it were night. This was the only total eclipse of the sun to be visible in this section of the country during the nineteenth century, and, as we may well imagine, it made a deep impression upon the minds of the local inhabitants, who, as we may safely say, were more superstitious and less informed upon those subjects than are we of the present age. It furnished a means of fixing dates, and old people in later years were accustomed to speak of things as having taken place before or after the "Great Eclipse," as the case might be. The immigation to the town was very rapid during this time, so much so that when the government census came to be take in 1810, it was found that the town of Dryden alone contained 1,893 inhabitants, considerably more than one-third of the number of the present population of the town.

We shall speak more particularly hereafter in connection with Dryden village, of the arrival of the Griswolds from Connecticut and the Wheelers from New Hampshire in 1802, and of Jacob Primrose and others who settled at West Dryden, when we treat of that particular locality. Thomas Southworth, a tanner and currier, originally from Massachusetts, and his son John, then ten years of age, located first at Willow Glen in 1806, and we shall have occasion to refer to them often hereafter in connection with Willow Glen, and Dryden village to which they afterward came. Rev. Daniel McArthur, from Scotland, settled in 1811, on the farm which was after his death owned and occupied by the late Ebenezer McArthur, who in his will (having no surviving children) devised it, subject to the life estate of his wife, to the town of Dryden as an addition to the school fund of the town.

At about this time a small company of emigrants from the north of Ireland, who had temporarily made a home in Orange county of this state, located in the South Hill neighborhood at a place which, from this fact, has since been known as the Irish Settlement. This colony included Hugh Thompson, who became a rigid and prominent member of the Presbyterian church in Dryden village, William Nelson, the father of Robert Nelson still residing in town, and Joseph McGraw, Sr., who in after years was known to the writer as an active, talkative, but quick-witted old man, displaying in his ready speech a rich Irish brogue. His son John, born in this "Irish Settlement" in 1815, became one of the most accomplished and successful business men which this or any other town ever produced, and his family will merit from us later a special biography. We here give the list of those, some of whom have not already been mentioned, who are known to have become inhabitants of the town before 1808, many of them being the ancestors of their now numerous descendants and of many of whom we shall again have occasion to speak when we come to mention the particular families or localities with which they are associated. The list is as follows:

Bartholomew, Jesse,Girvin, Samuel,McKee, Robert,
Barnes, Ichabod,Gray, George,Ogden,Daniel,
Brown, Zephaniah,Giles, Isaiah,Owens, Timothy,
Brown, Reuben,George, Joel,Pixley, Enoch,
Blew, Michael,Griswold, Edward,Palmerton, Ichabod,
Brown, Israel,Griswold, Abram,Rhodes, Jacob,
Brown, Obadiah,Grover, Andrew,Southwick, Israel,
Brown, Obadiah, Jr.,Hile, Nicholas,Skellinger, Samuel,
Bailey, Morris,Horner, John,Snyder, Jacob,
Bush, Peter,Hart, Joseph,Smith, William,
Carr, Job,Hollenshead, Robert, Teeter, Henry,
Carr, Peleg,Hoagland, Abraham,Van Marter, John,
Carr, Caleb,Hemmingway, Samuel,Wheeler, Seth,
Conklin, John,Jennings, Benjamin,Wheeler, Seth, Jr.,
Clark, Samuel,Jay, Joshua,Wheeler, Enos,
Callon, William,Jameson, Thomas,Woodcock, Abraham,
Cornelius, John,Lewis, Amos,Wickham, John,
Carpenter, Abner,Lewis, David,White, Richard,
Cass, Aaron,Legg, Matthew,Waldron, John,
Dimmick, Elijah,Luther, Nathaniel,Weeks, Luther,
Fortner, Lewis,Luce, Jonathan,Whipple, Ithamar,
Fulkerson, Benjamin,Mineah, John,Yeomans, Jason,
Genung, Benjamin,McKee, James,Yeomans, Stephen,

We may here properly refer to the fact that the population of Dryden, as well as of our county in general, was early made up of individuals from different, though nearly related nationalities and from localities widely separated. Ethnological scholars tell us that the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race is accounted for from the fact that it is made up of a union of different races having at no remote period the same common origin. The Saxon, Norman, Dane and ancient Briton were none of them especially distinguished as a nationality by themselves, but when united for a number of generations the result was the formation of the Anglo-Saxon race, who power and influence among the nations of the earth now surpasses all others, and whose language, it is now conceded, will in time become the universal language of the world. May we not in like manner expect great results from the development of a population whose progenitors included the McGraws, McElhenys, Nelsons, McKees and Lormors, emigrating from Ireland; the Lamonts, McArthurs, Robertsons and Stewarts direct from Scotland; the Snyders and Albrights, of Dutch, as well as the Dupee and DeCoudres families of French ancestry, while the great majority of the early settlers, the groundwork, so to speak, of the new society, were of the genuine New England Yankee stock of recent English derivation, many of them coming here from the very confines of the "Nutmeg State."

Goodrich, George B. The Centennial History of the Town of Dryden, 1797-1897. Dryden: Dryden Herald Steam Printing House, 1898. Reprinted 1993 by the Dryden Historical Society. Pages 28-30.

(The Dryden Historical Society, which sells this book, may be reached at 607-844-9209.)

Posted by simon at January 2, 2005 10:27 AM in
Note on photos


Vaun Skellenger said:

I have been looking for Samuel Skellinger's (Skellenger) anscestor for nigh on to 15 years. I have seen Goodrich's book in the past, and have copied certain pages from it. I know that Samuel bought 120 acres from one Peter Snyder, in Dryden, in about 1802, but the moved to Canadice, NY, where he died in 1838. However, I don't know from where he came, or who were his parents. I believe he came from Chester, NJ, via Little Egg Harbor, but can't prove it. Any Info? Thanks. Vaun Skellenger

Katherine Hammond said:

Hello, my g-g-great grandmother was Temperance Skellinger, born 11 Oct 1821 in Tompkins County, New York. She was the daughter of Samuel and Eleanor (Alexander) Skellinger both born in New Jersey. Temperence married my g-g-great grandfather Joseph Winfield in 1849, in Canadice, Ontario County, New York. He and other siblings later moved to Michigan. I just discovered the Skellinger name through a biography on Joseph Winfield which was included in the History of Hillsdale County, Michigan. This may or may not be of help, but sometimes any clue unlocks another avenue. Thank you.

Elise said:

My family: Folkert Folkartson married 3rd wife, Sarah Skellinger (spelling?) about 1765-1810 Roxbury County NJ and Cayuga County NY died. Contact me.

ruth said:

Where and when was Minor T. Wickham born in Dryden? Anyone with infor on his son Minor and father John Carr Wickham and grand father Asher?

Paul said:

This is fascinating - My great great great grandfather Lewis Hubert had a brother named John B. Hubert. John B. married Sally Maria Waldron 14 Jun 1834 in Dryden. Sally's father was John Waldron (1776-1830) and mother was Mary Moore (1776-1859). John Waldron is listed within this blog post.

Sally and John B. moved to Parma, Michigan shortly after marrying. One child of theirs died on the way. They came back to Dryden and then made a second attempt. They eventually arrived in Parma, MI where they settled... Anyway, I could go on forever...