JEFFERSON COUNTY NEW YORK

TOWN OF RODMAN


EARLY SETTLEMENT OF RODMAN, JEFFERSON CO NY PART 1

BY DURANT AND PEIRCE


The Town of Rodman was erected under the name of Harrison, from Adams on 24 March 1804. The name was derived from RICHARD HARRISON of NY, and eminent lawyer and an associate in several large purchased in Jefferson and adjoining counties. At that time the town embraced its present limits or Township No. 8 and a part of No. 9 of the Black River tract. By an act of 12 Feb. 1808, Township No. 9 was erected into a separate town under the name of Pinckney and the county line changed as to pass around that town instead of across it, which put the town into Lewis County. A few months later on 6 April 1808 the town was renamed from Harrison to Rodman. Rodman was in honor of DANIEL RODMAN, who at that time as a clerk in the assembly and a favorite with the legislators.

The first survey of the town was made about 1798 by BENJAMIN WRIGHT. JOSEPH CRARY made surveys some years later in 1800. The land varied somewhat in price but was generally sold at $3.50 an acre by SILAS STOW of Lowville, who was the agent of Harrison and Hoffman, and opened the town for settlement in 1801. In the spring and summer of that year, ANSON and EBENEZER MOODY; JONATHAN, NOAH AND AARON DAVIS; SIMEON HUNT; BENJAMIN THOMAS and WILLIAM RICE came in and built log houses and made small clearings. In September, MRS. E. MOODY came to join her husband and was the first white woman who settled in the town. A few months later she gave birth to a son, who was the first child born in Rodman. In accordance with a promise of Mr. Harrison to give 100 acres of land to the first-born child, the boy was named WALTER HARRISON MOODY in honor of his benefactor. The child died at age three but Mr. Moody soon after received a title for fifty acres. WILLIAM RICE was a prominent citizen but moved after 15 years. SIMEONE HUNT lived there until his death about 1830 and the Davis families were remembered by many citizens.

On 4 Sept. 1802, TIMOTHY GREENLY from Litchfield NY purchased about 2,700 acres in the southeastern part of the town at 18 shillings per acre. He moved onto a portion of his land where he died on 19 Feb. 1852. THOMAS WHITE, also of Litchfield came in 1802 and settled on Sandy Creek, which later became Whitesville. He was a sub-agent in the town for several years and moved West in 1810. DANIEL TODD from Connecticut came in the same year and settled near White's. He had seven sons: David, Daniel and Enoch L. lived in the town. Daniel, the father, died in 1867. WILLIAM DODGE settled on Lot 13 the year following and had three sons: John, Chester and Sylvester. Sylvester was killed in Sept. 1851, thrown from a wagon. His son, W. S. Dodge, lived on the homestead. REUBEN SMITH found a home on Lot 13 in that same year.

Others who came in 1803-04:

JOHN PECK on Lot 15
JOHN FASSET on Lot 14; son John lived on the homestead
JONATHAN WYMAN from New Hampshire on Lot 12 where he died in 1823 and left a son, O. C. WYMAN, a member of the legislature
The UTLEYS, JOHN and NATHANIEL settled on Lot 18

The books of the land holders show the following additional names of those who contracted for land under date of 1 Dec. 1804:
JESSE SMITH
AARON MOODY
HORACE TOWNSEND
JOSEPH NICKLES
ARNOLD STONE
NATHAN WHITEMAN
AVERY WALLSWORTH
JOSEPH DANA
TITUS KING
THADRICK CASE
LEONARD FAREWILL
JOSHUA TINNEY
JOHN VAUGHAN
LEONARD BAKER

In 1805:
BUEL and WESTCOTT
NATHAN FREEMAN
HAWKS and FRENCH
PIERCE and LAMPSON; WRIGHT, MEAD and others

In 1807:
ASA COOLEY from Whitingham VT settled on Lot 28 where he lived until his death in March 1854.
ABNER FULLER made a home on Lot 1 in the same year.

From 1804 to 1810 the town settled very rapidly:
The GATES were among the most prominent in the western part of the town. Others who became well known were: ZIBA BUEL, STEPHEN COOK, JESSE WRIGHT, JOHN BUTTERFIELD, JOHN BURTON, JACOB HEATH, NATHANIEL HARRINGTON, SOLOMON, JOSEPH and JOB PRIEST.

Besides those already mentioned, the town books show the names of the following who were in Rodman as active citizens prior to 1811:
BAZALEEL GLEASON
ROSWELL BLANCHARD
LUTHER EASTMAN
PETER YANDES
BELOVED RHODES
CYRUS H. STONE
ISAIAH POST
CALVIN CLIFFORD
GEORGE H. THOMAS
ELIJAH RUSSELL
ENOCH MURRY
CALEB WOODWARD
ZACHARIAH WALLSWORTH
EPHRAS MOODY
ABEL LOVELAND
TIMOTHY UNDERWOOD
ABIJAH KELLOGG
STODDART EASTMAN
NATHANIEL TREMAINE
GREENE KELLOGG
AMARIAH BABBITT
HEMAN SWIFT
TITUS KING
LUTHER WOODWORTH
BARNARD M. WARREN
AARON LOOMIS
REUBEN TREMAINE
EBENEZER BLACKSTONE
JOHN HACKET
JAMES WRIGHT
LYMAN LAWRENCE
THOMAS HARRINGTON
NATHAN WHITMAN
WINSLOW G. RACY
WILLIAM A. FLINT
DANIEL FIELD
DANIEL KINNEY
HARRY WAGONER
JOHN BURR
SAMUEL RALPH
JOSEPH PRATT
ALANSON CUMMINS
CHARLES PARMETER
ALVIN BUCK
ANSEL BRAINARD
BENONI EDWARDS
SAMUEL KELSEY
RETURN RUSSELL
PHILO BOOTH
JAMES GLASS
ASA HILL

In 1811, WILLARD M. WINSLOW settled in the town.
In 1813 WILLIAM SILL settled and about the same time, ABEL COLE and NATHAN STRONG, both became members of the legislature and Cole became a judge in 1815.

In 1813 a severe and fatal epidemic caused the death of 60 persons within a three month period.

Transcription by M. Sapienza