Adams, like many others in the southern part of Jefferson County, formed a part of Mexico, and was set off 1 April 1802. Named for President John Adams, it was part of the Eleven Towns or the Black River Tract. Surveyor, Benjamin Wright, did the survey in 1796 and had favorable comments for the township. Town No. 7 fell to the share of Nicholas Low (Law) and in the subdivision of the eleven towns by ballot and was divided into 56 lots. Lots varied from 240 acres to 676 acres for an aggregate of 26,505 acres. The tract was mortgaged to William Constable on 15 June 1796 by Henderson, Low, Harrison and Hoffman. It was assigned to the Bank of New York but Low succeeded in getting a release on 16 June 1804. (Transcriber's note: The surname "Low" was probably "Law" from Oneida County, NY. )
In June 1799 a company that consisted of Nicholas Salisbury, Robert Fulton, Caleb Ellis and son Daniel, Joel Guile, Abram Wilcox, John and Gideon Howard and Elihu Phillips, followed up the creek from Ellisburg, through Rodman and were struck with the probable fertility and value of the town. Salisbury was so struck with the probable value of the town that he went to New ork in the fall of 1799 and purchased a tract one mile below the village. The following list of land buyers was taken from the land books of Nicholas Low, the book having passed to I. W. Bostwick, Esq. of Lowville NY, the agent under whom the town was mostly settled:
1798 Elisha Phillips
29 Oct. 1799 Stephen Shippey
Nicholas and Alex. Salisbury
6 Nov 1799 Eliph't Edmonds
14 Nov 1799 George Cooper
John W. Smith
1 Dec. 1799 Squire Read
1800 Josiah Godfrey
David and Stephen Grommons
1801 Abijah Miller
Robert, Solomon and Asher Robbins
Henry H. Walrodh
Chauncey and Roswell Mills
1802 Nathan Loveland
Sylvanus P. Daggart
John C. Toll
John C. Scott
1803 Truman and Theodore Bunce
G. M. Gaylord
1804 Job Taylor
John C. Dickinson
Aaron Webster (and others)
In the fall of 1799, parties were looking for lands but no settlement was made until 16 April 1800 when Nicholas Salisbury from Western NY, found his way into town through Lowville. The journey took twenty-six days by ox team and sled. He brought his family and goods. Solomon Smith and son came with him as hired men. John Smith, Francis McKee, Consider Law, David Smith, Peter Doxtater and others with families, came into town and began small clearings, mostly in the valley of Sandy Creek. Terms of purchase were $3 per acre and an obligation to clear two acres and build a house within a certain period of time. In the spring of 1800, David Smith took up 500 acres and later in the year numerous settlers came, mostly from Oneida Co. NY.
In 1801, Jacob Kellogg, John Cole and others moved in and a flood of immigration in the next two years filled the town. The first deed of land to actual settlers were given on 20 Aug. 1802 to George Houseman, Peter Doxtater, Francis McKee, Robert Myrick and David Smith, and Dr. Hough. The first acre of clearing was cut in May and June 1800 by Samuel Fox, three miles above the village. On 21 March 1801, the first death was that of Alexander Salisbury, who was drowned while attempting to cross Sandy Creek in a scow above the dame, at Adams village. His widow married Daniel Ellis on 8 June 1802, which was the first wedding in town.
Nicholas Salisbury built the first log house in 1800. He later built a frame house a mile below the village. Nicholas died on 11 Dec. 1834. A short distance above the village lived Jacob Kellogg, who moved from Paris, NY in 1801. He died on the homestead in 1854.
The Lisk and Wright Settlements were farther above Smith's Mills. Eliphalet Edmonds settled at Lisk, and the first town meeting was held at his house. Also at Lisk were Francis McKee and Bradford Lisk who had a tannery; a Mr. Munn who had a tavern there; Priam Thompson, Elijah Fox, Appleton McKee, Myron Cooper and others also settled. The fox brothers - Samuel and Daniel, Samuel cleared the first ground and Daniel lived on the farm he settled until his death on 23 June 1873. Daniel was born at Groton, CT on 1 March 1771 and was 102 years old when he died. All of the above-named settlers came to Lisk before 1802. Later, the well known brothers, Thomas R. and Joseph L. Greene, lineal descendants of Gen. Nathaniel Greene, came from Berlin, NY to settle. Thomas R. Greene later moved to Adams Center where he died in 1874. Joseph L. was a continuous resident of Adams village; he had three sons: George E. who died in 1870; David M. who was a naval officer for eight years and deputy State engineer; and Albert S. an engineer in the United States Navy.
In 1803 Cyrus Eddy of Massachusetts settled two miles north of the village and lived there until his death in 1859. Of his two sons, Justus survived and provided much valuable information about the town to Durant and Peirce in 1878. In 1804 others from Massachusetts arrived: W. Wright with a family of eight; Canni Wright with a family of 12; John Wright and his wife; Eli Wright, Rufus Nims, Lemuel Arms and sons, Richard, Luman, Hiram and John. And others for a total of 38. By 1878 Luman Arms at Adams Center was age 81 and Eli Wright of Adams village was 93 - they were the only survivors still living. Many of the settlers served in the War of 1812.
The Thomas Settlement on Sandy Creek a few miles below Adams village, was named for the Thomas family who settled in April 1800. There were four brothers - William, Benjamin, Ezra and Ira, who arrived from Halifax, VT by ox-team. In 1801, their mother and two younger brothers, Elihu and Joel, followed. The Wright family had a fondness for music and the Thomas drum corps was an institution of the town. There was a Capt. Barney who kept a tavern in the settlement about 1810 and he added some goods and a store, in connection with the inn. He closed out his business and moved to Watertown where he kept a hotel but later drowned in Black River. Farther up the road towards Adams, O. Salisbury opened another tavern in 1811.
William Gilbert from Marlboro VT came to Adams in 1810 and Edward Barney came about 1801.
The first town meeting was held a the house of Eliphalet Edmonds and at the election held on 1 March 1803 the officers were chosen:
Supervisor, Nicholas Salisbury
Clerk, Phineas Keith
Assessors, D'Estaing Salisbury, John W. Smith, David Grommon, Thomas White
Collector, Isaac Baker
Overseers of the Poor, Thomas White and David Comstock
Commissioners of Highways, Paul Stickney, Jacob Kellogg, Simeon Hunt
Constables, Isaac Baker, Anson Moody
Fence-viewers, David Comstock, David Smith, George H. Thomas, George Cooper
Poundkeepers, Jacob Kellogg, Benjamin Thomas
Overseers of Highways, Abraham Ripley, James Perry, Enan Salisbury, John Cowles, Consider Law, Solomon Robbins, Hezekiah Tiffany, Thomas White, Daniel Mansfield, Asa Davis, Squire Read, Abel Palmer
Deer reeves, David Comstock and Simeon Hunt.
Captain Daniel Compstock and Lt. Jacob Kellogg were elected poor masters and agreed to pay interest for the money they should receive, in 1805.
Wolf bounties of $5 were offered in 1803 and raised to $10 between 1804 and 1814 but by 1815 the bounty had reached $15. Wild cats brought a $10 bounty but foxes only $1.
Residents of Adams who served in the Revolutionary War were: Peter Doxtater, who was taken prisoner by the Mohawk Indians and kept for three years, had served as a scout in the Revolution and received a pension from Congress in 1834. He died at Adams on 1 Dec. 1842. Others on the pension roll were John Merriam, Abel Bassett, Danforth Doty, Lucy Thompson and Cynthia White. Paul Stickney was a sailor under Paul Jones and Preserved Redway was one of Washington's body guards. He was also present as corporal of the guard at Burgoyne's surrender.
Many of the Silver Grays of Adams served in the War of 1812. The Civil War brought a special town meeting on 16 Dec 1863 when the vote passed which paid $300 bounty money to enlisted men. On 12 Aug. 1864, a meeting was held that authorized the town board to issue bonds so they could pay volunteers $1,000.
In 1802 a bridge over Sandy Creek was built at Smith's Mill. In the spring of 1804 the state road to Rome, via Redfield, was opened and ten years later the state road from Salina to Adams, best known as the Sale Point Road. Several times the bridges at Adams were swept away. A stone bridge was completed in 1863. The Adams and Ellisburg Plank Road Co was recorded on 14 Feb. 1849. Judge Skinner was interested in that plank road, but being hemlock, it soon rotted away and the road was abandoned in 1855. The Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburgh Railroad was built through Adams in 1851.
Cereal grains - barley in particular were grown in the area. By 1850 it was discovered that the soil and climate were favorable to the growth of vegetables such as peas and beans. J. M. Cleveland's Seed House produced about 15,000 bushels a year. The product was grown on contract by 200 farmers, and Cleveland furnished the seed. He took the crop at a stipulated price. Thirty varieties of peas and eighteen of beans were grown. The competitor was T. V. Maxon's Seed House, established in 1854. By 1877 he grew 28 varieties of peas and 30 of beans. Hop growing was begun by A. D. Stanley in 1863; he began with five acres and increased the acreage to 17 acres of hops.
General S. D. Hungerford began importing the best strains of Ayrshire cattle in 1853. The cattle came from Scotland. A herd of shorthorns was imported in 1854, but Hungerford focused on the Ayrshires; his herd numbered 80. In 1852, H. C. Averill of Adams Center, engaged in horse breeding, having purchased a Black Hawk stallion. Other breeders of blooded horses were J. D. Snell of Adams Center and R. P. White of Adams village. The White stable held at one time 80 horses. In 1873, David G. Aldrich of Worcester, MA imported eleven head of Leviss cattle.
The Ellisburg, Adams and Henderson Agricultural Soc. Was organized about 1856. The last fair was in 1875; William H. Eastman was president and G. B. R. Whipple was secretary of the Society. The Union Agricultural Society of Adams, Rodman and Lorraine was formed about 1857 - chief promoters were S. D. Hungerford, R. P. White, T. V. Maxon, Albert Webb and Hugh Heustis.
The dairy interests in the area prompted the cheese factory business. The Smithfield Cheese Factory was the pioneer in the town and was built in 1861 by a company composed of A. D. Stanley, O. M. Stanley, D. M. Hall and Charles Mills. Seven hundred cows were needed to produce the product. Next in the order of time was the Adams Factory built in 1864 by Ingraham, Lewis and Heusties. The F. M. and J. B. Muzzy Factory was built the same year. P. S. Maxson's Factory was built in 1867. C. A. Benjamin's Factory was built in 1866. N. Thomas' Factory was established in 1877. The Lewis Creamery in the Greene settlement was opened by Frank Lewis in May of 1877.
The Greene Settlement was founded by Charles Greene of Rhode Island; he reared his family and in 1805 immigrated to Lewis County NY and in 1810 several of his children became citizens of Adams. Charles Greene brought settlers; David served as an agent for Bostwick; Leander R. and several grandsons came to Adams. Baxter Adams was a prominent early settled. Joshua Clark opened a blacksmith shop. Both Samuel Marot and Lorenzo Rhodes kept dry goods establishments. Charles Greene and Samuel Crosby built a saw mill in 1835. The first school was taught about 1815; the building later became the dwelling for Dewey Bell.
In North Adams, Roger Read came from Vermont in 1806. Of his three sons, one was Asahel Read of Watertown. Heman Colton came from Otsego County, and son Chauncey lived on the homestead. Benjamin Sweet and Albert Rice were early settlers. Prior to 1812, a man named Waddell built a grist mill. Willet Ranney was the miller for many years and sold his interest, which eventuall was sold to Samuel Cook. Cook built a new mill in 1828 and in 1836 James Moulton owned the property. Heman Colton built a saw mill, as did Philo Ellenwood - his was destroyed by fire and rebuilt by him and sold in 1867 to James Hodge. A turning mill/corn grinder attached was built and operated by Richard Oatman. Gideon Gifford put up a saw mill in 1830 and it burned down in 1847. The post office of North Adams was opened about 1845 and Benjamin Sweet was postmaster. Shortly after, Albert Rice moved it to his house and in 1862 William Stanley was appointed. Soon after it was discontinued.
The Second Congregational Church of Adams was organized at the house of Roger Read, by Rev. D. Spear on 1 Nov. 1809. Members were: Timothy Betts and wife; Simon Reed and wife; John Patrick; Elizabeth Miller; Esther Price; John Barnard and wife; Ebenezer Foot and wife; Lydia Read and Sally Lyon. On 5 Dec. 1816 a society was formed at Asher Robbins' house, John Barnard, Asher Robbins and Ruel Pearsons were trustees. On 28 Jan. 1817 Simon Read, Daniel Hall, Jr. and Amos Bosworth were added as trustees. By 1818 a membership of 70 dictated the building of a frame house at John Grave's and on 11 Nov. 1818 the first pastor, Edward W. Rossiter, was installed. When the Society split, it was fatal to the group. The last official meeting was held 3 Sept. 1855, with Asahel Read, Elisha Read and James Graham as trustees.
East Adams had settlers in 1801 and prior to 1805; they included: Heath, Grommon, Loveland, Truman, Harris and Talcott families. Later the Davis family settled and son, Joseph Davis, built a store. Near the Watertown line, Daniel Talcott built a tavern. The post office was opened in February 1827 and E. M. Howard was the first postmaster. It was discontinued about 1840.
The Adams Baptist Church was begun at David Grommon's house in September 1802. In June 1806 Elder Timothy Heath was employed with meetings held in his house and barn. On 14 Dec. 1824 a society was formed with Daniel Tallcott, Jacob Heath and Asa Lewis as trustees.
State Road Cemetery Association was formed in 1868 with William Fuller, Royal Fuller, R. J. Hill, Daniel Fox, George hall, D. S. Loveland, Simeon Loveland, Lyman Heath and R. W. Phelps as trustees. The cemetery was half an acre and had been donated to the Baptist Society by Elijah Harris in 1835, having been used for burial purposes since that period. Additions increased the size to three and one-half acres. Richard Otis was the first interred on 18 Oct. 1824.
Smithville Village was founded by Jesse Smith, partly in Henderson. Settlement was begun in 1804 by Daniel Hardy, although a little east, Chauncey Mills from CT took up land I 1803. In 1805 he built a saw mill and lived there until his death in 1821 where he reared a family. John Mills resided on the homestead. In 1805, Abel Myrick, Henry Knapp, Samuel and Andrew McNitt and others located. Kendall and Powell built a mill dam and built a saw mill. The mill was purchased by Jesse Smith. He remained at Smithville and Sackett's until 1838 when he moved to Newark, Ohio. He also built a large frame grist mill opposite the saw mill and was sold to the Carter brothers. The saw mill had numerous owners and became the property of Leonard A. Wheeler. Smith also had a large distillery, and those products were conveyed to Sackett's Harbor and shipped to Montreal and Quebec.
A man named Sprague built a tannery and O. H. Rundell and Abram Cromer were successors. The old mill when vacated was turned into a wagon shop by the Carter Brothers; it was destroyed by fire and a new one rebuilt on the site. Later, F. B. Hallet and others used it for a cabinet shop. Wheelwrights were H. Yates & Co, John Downie and A. Wakefield & Co. Samuel Eaton opened a carding mill about 1830, followed by D. Hardy and Willard Dodge, and consumed by fire. Jesse Smith had a cooper shop which employed many men. Other shops were those of Elisha Peck and Duane Cooley. John Ivery was possibly the first blacksmith and succeeded by son, Jonas. Other smiths were: John Corey, David Hunter and Joel Smith and F. Babcock. Vernon Brigham was a pioneer shoemaker, followed by O. H. Rundell, who employed five or ten workmen. Other shoe shops were by George Lewis and Captain Collins. Duncan Campbell and ___Wetherell were clothiers very early. Daniel Hardy had the first tavern prior to 1810, succeeded by Brooks Harrington. The first store was by Jesse Smith; once enlarge it was used for mercantile purposes, later held by William H. Rice. In 1831, Jesse Smith built a stone storehouse. Other business men were: Robert McGregor, Dudley and Burr, John Bishop, Bliss and Gibbs, Abram Cromer, George Babbitt, Thomas Angel, H. Knapp and A. Schuyler.
The first post office had Brooks Harrington as postmaster. The Smithville Library was formed on 16 Feb. 1824 with Abel L. Crandall, Henry Keither, Daniel Hall, Jr., Jon M. Bart, C. M. Adams, Roswell Bosworth and Brooks Harrington as trustees. At the onset they had 362 books.
Dr. E. Adams located about 1825, one of the first physicians. Later, Doctors Seymour, Breed, Pierson and Lord came in.
Adams Centre settlement was first made in 1816 by Luman and Hiram Arms, who had a farm just north of the village. The timber was cedar and hard woods and clearings were difficult. The first house was built by a man named Priest who sold out to Luman Arms. South of the village lived R. Warriner, who kept a tavern in a frame house as early as 1810 and continued until 1827. Other settlers came in 1818, and in 1822 Hiram Arms built a wagon shop where he and his brother carried on for more than 40 years. Julius Palmer built another shop in 1850 and then Pliny Wright. A blacksmith named Wellman came in 1823, In 1827 Luman Arms built the Arm's Inn. Eventually it became the Talcott House. The house known as Merchants' Hotel was used as a private residence until 1867 when Dr. Wilder changed it to an inn. After the railroad was completed, a hotel was built near the depot by E. Oatman. Jonathan Davis built the first store about 1830 and business was so successful that he built a fine business block. After his retirement, O. Davis and W. D. Arms followed. Calvin Green built a store in 1835 and Joseph Dewey a little later, where Joseph Davis was in trade for a number of years.
The first doctor was John T. Dickinson followed by A. P. Hale; in 1846 E. R. Maxson practiced; in 1855 William C. Bailey; C. D. Potter and later Dr. Wilder and Dr. C. F. Wright. O. DeGrasse Greene built the Adams Centre Sash and Blind Factory and was also a builder. The Handy Package Dye Factory was built by Dr. C. D. Potter in 1874, manufacture of dyes commenced in 1870.
A roll call of businesses in Adams Centre: architect, O. DeGrasse Greene; attorney A. E. Corley; physicians, Wm. C. Bailey, J. F. Wright; general merchants, Jacob Tittsworth, J. C. Heath, E. C. Crosby; druggist, M. D. Tittsworth; furniture and undertaking R. C. Langworthy; millinery, Mrs. J. E. B. Curry, Mrs. J. C. Heath and Mrs. Jacob Tittsworth; grocer, George Horth; hotels, Talcott House, F. A. Talcott; Railroad House, B. K. Dewey; flour and feed store, Alvah Green; express and station agent, Daniel Fox. There were 3 wagon shops, 3 blacksmiths, 2 coopers, 1 tailor, 1 harness maker, 2 shoemakers and a few others.
The post office was opened early with Danford Doty as an early postmaster. The Adams Centre Cornet Band was organized in 1871 with 15 members, J. C. Heath its first leader, followed by George L. Fox.
The Union Cemetery Association of Adams Centre was formed 1 April 1867 with nine trustees: Luman Arms, Joel Dewey, Leonard R. Green, Abram Sheldon, A. J. Green, Eli A. Seely, Charles Potter, Peter W. Dyer and Hiram Segur. The association secured the old burial ground south of the village which was set aside in 1808; it contains the graves of a number of soldiers from the War of 1812 and was enlarged to about four acres. John Cooley was the first burial in the new ground on 30 April 1867.
The first school house was a small plank building erected in 1823 by L. and H. Arms, R. Warriner and Major Earl. In 1829 a stone house was built and another building in 1857. The first Board of Education was: C. D. Potter, J. A. D. Snell, J. J. Witter, E. C. Crosby, T. Williams, W. Fuller, A. J. Green, Asa M. Green, J. Q. Arms. J. Q. Arms was elected president, C. D. Potter as clerk and J. C. Heath as treasurer and collector.
The Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Adams began in 1817 when several families moved from Berlin, NY to Adams Centre and soon held meetings. On 9 June 1822 the church was formally organized with members: Rev. William Greene, Charles Greene, Jared G. Potter, Joseph Greene (2nd), James Main, Ethan Greene, Elisha Crosby, Russel Greene, Sela Burdick, Mercy Greene, Roswell Saunders, Amy Greene, Olive Sweet, Martha Greene, Mary Saunders, Sarah Crosby, Amanda, Betsey, Cynthia, Clarissa and Mercy Greene (2nd). William Greene was ordained pastor by Revs. William B. Maxson and Daniel Coon; Jared Potter was elected deacon. Meeting were held in the school house and a small wooden structure was completed in 1837. In March of 1852, a splinter group formed the Independent Seventh Day Baptist Church of Adams. The Evangelical Seventh Day Baptist Society was formed on 3 Jan 1853 with H. Bunce, Job Spencer and Joel Saunders as trustees. In March 1862 a church was organized with Samuel Walsworth and wife, Job Spencer and wife, Edward Spencer and wife, Jasper L. Green and wife, William Green, Henry Bunce and wife, Hannah Green and L. Green members; Samuel Walsworth was deacon. About 50 members withdrew from the old Adams church and formed in the Centre on 17 Dec. 1852 the Adams Centre Baptist Church. Abram Sheldon, J. W. Horton, and L. Allen were elected deacons. The Society was formed in 1853 with 32 members, Oliver McKee and Ezra Hull and Silas Glasier as trustees.
When David Smith settled at Adams Village in 1800, he attracted a large number of settlers within the next few years, so much so that by 1806 nearly every clement of an older community existed. David lived in the town until his death. By 1878 of the hundreds who came 75 years prior, only Perley D. Stone, C. J. Witcomb and Erastus Hale remained.
An efforts was made in 1823 to obtain an act of incorporation for the village but failed. The application was made by: Elihu Morton, David Smith, Benjamin Wright and John Burch. Incorporation was achieved on 11 Nov. 1851. In March 1852, the following town officers were elected: Jeremiah Griswold, J. H. Whipple, C. Skinner, C. R. Totman, W. Benton as trustees; William Merriam, Samuel Harmon, Samuel Greene as assessors; Mason Curtiss as clerk; Nelson Greene as collector; Spencer Woodward as treasurer; Alonzo Maxon, Seeley Hungerford, Perley D. Stone as fire wardens; Samuel B. Bliss as pound master.
On 15 Dec. 1860, the Webster Bros store on Main Street was burgled and set on fire. A strong wind, almost a gale, prevailed and before the flames could be stayed the entire row of business was consumed. Buildings destroyed were Saunders & Holman's machine works, Carter's block, Skinner's block, Rosa's store and Doxtater's corner store. The culprit was caught and David Mitchell was sent to prison on a life sentence. Equally as destructive was a fire in April 1866 which destroyed all the buildings from the mill north to the corner, including the Whipple block and the old Whitney House.
T. P. Saunders, builder, erected the first public hall in 1851. Manufacturing in the village date from 1800. That was the year that David Smith built his saw mill. In 1802 Smith got his grist mill in operation. In 1827 the old mill was superseded by the Adams Mills, built by David Smith's son, Willard. Seth Gaylor had a tannery early after his settlement in 1806. Part of the buildings became a brewery by Samson Jackworth and later, a malt house by A. Kellogg. William Doxtater had a tannery on the site occupied by Ripley's shoe store, but was discontinued in 1832. The Jefferson Tannery built in 1831 on the old site of the distillery of Hale, Hart and Williams, by Wright, Grenell & Co. In 1847 J. S. Lewis became the proprietor. John F. Weaver built a tannery in 1850, using some of the old mill building. Early leather workers were: Isaiah M. Cole and Jeremiah Griswold, harness makers and Chauncy Smith and Edward Willard, shoemakers.
A hoe and fork factory was built in 1856 by a stock company but sold out to T. P. Saunders and David O. Holman. They turned it into a general machine shop and eventually was destroyed by fire. Early wood and iron workers were: Ward Fox, blacksmith; Joseph D. Smith, wagon maker. Niblock, Philips and Mariott carriageworks in 1864. Wheeler's Planing Mill and Sash and Blind Factory was established in 1860 by W. H. Wheeler. Brown's furniture factory was established by Perley D. Stone and Samuel Bond in 1817, which trade they continued for 47 years, followed by Overton Bros. As elsewhere in the county there were pot and pearl asheries, distilleries by E. Morton, Hale, Hart & Williams, and carding mills; later a boot and shoe last factory, a candle factory , a woolen factory and other small factories, all discontinued. A large brick malt house was built at the depot I n1855 by Rufus P. White. In 1877 he sold his interest to W. R. Waite and Henry O. Kenyon. The first mercantile business was conducted by Jesse Hale in 1804. He died in 1808 and left a son, Erastus Hale. Hale, Hart and Williams carried on a large trade and operated a distillery but also supplied goods for the army in 1812. The firm dissolved in 1815 and Hart opened a new store from which he retired in 1825. The 1811 business of H. Brown was sold in a few years to M. V. V. Rosa who was a merchant for more than 30 years; he removed to Watertown in 1850. John H. Whipple began trade in 1820 and continued until 1859. Frederick Harter opened a store at about the same time and remained for 20 years. In 1828 Erastus hale began trade. William Doxtater & Son were in trade until 1848. Whipple, Eddy & Johnson opened a store for several years of business. S. N. Bond opened in 1845. In 1860, A. P. Redway began the book trade at Adams and was succeeded in 1862 by D. A. Dwight who took in Justus Eddy with him the following year.
It was Abel Hart who opened the first inn in a frame house on the site of the Huson House. The site has been for hotel purposes since 1803. South of Sandy Creek was a hotel where "Dad" Williams kept a well-known tavern for many years until he moved west in about 1830. Other tavern owners were John Burch, Waldson and Ranney. In 1867 N. Gaylord opened the hotel known as the Cooper House, followed by the Cooper Brothers, J. W. Bertram and H. C. Case who owned it in 1877.
The Jefferson County Bank was located at Adams on 20 June 1817 which was a compromise between Watertown and Brownville. It was removed to Watertown in 1824. The First National Bank of Adams was established on 27 Aug. 1863 by S. D. Hungerford, president, and R. H. Huntington, cashier. In 1873 it merged into the Deposit National Bank of New York. The Adams Bank was not one of issue but more properly a broker's office, opened in 1872 by Whitney Block. The Hungerford National Bank was opened in 1845 as the Hungerford Bank, Solon D. Hungerford, sole owner. In 1853 it became a banking association.
The post office was established about 1806. There were newspapers in Adams: The Censor by Theron Parsons, the first in 1828. The Jefferson County Democrat of 1844; the Jefferson County News; The Adams Visitor; The Northern Temperance Journal; the Jefferson County Journal; the Adams Herald and the Institute Record. Political alliances caused most of the papers to fold rather quickly.
Dr. Eli Eastman was the first physician and attended to settlers on snowshoe. He resided in Adams until his death on 6 Sept. 1844. Dr. Joshua Bealls came about 1806. John Spafford served as a doctor from 1811 to his death in 1828. Dr. Samuel J. Gaines were there from 1823 to 1831. Walter Webb came at the instance of Dr. Spafford, whose practice he assumed when Dr. Spafford died. Webb moved to Brooklyn in 1872. Dr. Wetmore, contemporary of Dr. Webb, moved west in 1870. Dr. Brownell came in 1845 and stayed until 1866. Dr. Bemis began practice in 1854 and stayed until 1875 when he retired. Dr. Paletiah Dwight was in practice for 50 years in Henderson. In 1875 he moved to Adams.
Lawyers in Adams included Lyman Munson who came as the first representative, and opened an office in Benton's tavern in 1804; Micah Sterling followed in 1806 and moved to Watertown. Benjamin Wright opened his office in 1808 and became an elected surrogate. One of his students was Charles G. Finney in 1821, who became a nationally known evangelist and later president of Oberlin College.
David Wardwell came about 1812, associated with Joseph P. Rossiter but did not remain long. Thomas C. Chittenden became an attorney in 1812. His law student, Orson Parker, became an evangelist. Calvin Skinner opened an office in 1824. In 1814, Judge Wright horsewhipped T. C. Chittenden which resulted in a case of assault and battery. The matter was referred to arbitration and was settled by Wright paying for the liquor.
The Adams Library was formed in 1831 with Cyrus Eddy, William Chittenden, Walter Webb, Forester Dexter and Wells Benton as trustees. Wells Benton became the appointed librarian.
The Rural Cemetery Association was formed on 17 Jan. 1848 by 33 citizens who elected Samuel Bond, Samuel Niblock, Jesse Wright, Nathan Saunders, Heman Grenell, Samuel Harmon, Calvin Wright, Peter Doxtater and Wells Benton as trustees, with Peter Doxtater as president. David Smith in the early settlement of the area had given an acre of ground for burial purposes. And grew to over four acres. Elmwood Cemetery was formed in 1867; in that year 18 and one-half acres west of the railroad were secured for a burying ground.
In 1802, a school was taught at Smith's Mills. A two-story frame house was built at an early day and the old house was removed and transformed into a furniture factory. In 1876 the site of the school house was changed and a new structure erected at $4,000. It had four rooms and 200 pupils. Teachers were C. D. Larkins and three assistants. The Adams Seminary was established in 1838 spearheaded by Judge Thomas C. Chittenden.
The First Congregational Society of Adams was formed on 28 August 1805 with Jacob Kellogg, Eliphalet Adams, Elijah Fox and Simeon Meacham, trustees. In 1825 a church was completed for dedication in July 1826. The First Session of the Eldership was organized on 27 January 1821 and had the following six members: Abel Clary, Jacob Kellogg, Josiah Hinman, Westwood Wright, William Grenell, Samuel Bond. Benjamin Wright, Perley D. Stone and John Hinman was elected March 26, 1827. Russel Stow, Hiram Arms, Heman Grenell, Albert G. Redway and Samuel Graves were elected 23 Nov. 1840. The Baptist Church and Society at Adams village was organized on 30 March 1837 with Jesse Wright, Hannibal Miller and Spencer Woodward as trustees.
Information transcribed and contributed by volunteer M. Sapienza. © 2009.
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