|Town Historian||BERNARD MACKLEN||232-4674||24530 Macklen Rd, Lorraine, 13659-3150|
|Town Clerk||LAURA MACKLEN||232-2694||24800 Co Rt 189; Lorraine 13659|
Contributors for the History of the Town of Worth from THE HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY NY by Durant & Peirce, published in 1878
History of the Town of Worth from "RAY'S PLACE" transcribed from OUR COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE by EDGAR C. EMERSON, 1898
History of the Town of Worth, taken fromA HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK by FRANKLIN B. HOUGH, A. M., M.D. linked from Shirley Farone's Home Page
Although the Town of Worth seemed to get an early start, having been first surveyed and laid out in 1795, it was slowed by confusion over later surveys, and the hardships of the year without a summer, 1816. The first settlers arrived in 1802, and a few more in 1803. Settlement began in the northwest corner of the town, then covered with dense forest. It comprised Town #2, or Fenelon of the Boylston Tract.
The Town of Worth, the smallest town in the county, is also the most elevated area in the county, being from 1200 to 1500 above sea level. It occupies the southeasternmost corner of Jefferson County, with Lorraine to the west, and Rodman on part of its northern boundary. All its remaining border is with Lewis County. Of the named communities in the township, Wilcox Corners became Worthville, Worth Center is a small hamlet, and Diamond and Fredericks Corners make up the original names. A recent map also shows Bullocks Corners, and Seven by Nine Corners.
The northeast quarter of the town was sold in 1803 for $7,662. to a company comprised of Timothy Greenly, Joseph Wilcox and Elihu A. Gillette. They sold over twenty lots from this section, most to Connecticut families. The first settlers, an association from Litchfield, Herkimer County, arrived by ox cart in 1802, and a few more in 1803. They traveled by way of Rome and Redfield. That part of the town was then covered with dense forest, which had to be cleared before the families could plant their crops. Among the first settlers were Amos and Abijah Gillett, Nathan Matoon, W. Flower, Lodowyck Edwards, John Griswold, Asa Sweet, Abner Rising, and Phineas Rose.
Leonard Bullock built the first cabin in 1804. Like settlers' usual first cabins, it was of logs with no windows or door. The floor was the earth it stood on, pounded hard by foot traffic. The family hung a blanket over the door opening to keep out the cold. The next year Joseph Wilcox built a cabin complete with floor, a door, and oiled paper to cover the windows.
In 1810 Joshua Miles built a combined saw and grist mill on Sandy Creek, west of what is now Worthville. The residents voted in 1810 to separate Worth from Lorraine, but the War of 1812 stopped proceedings, and the delay continued until 1848. Up until 1848, Worthville had been called Wilcox's Corners.
Because of the embargo acts forbidding the potash trade with Canada, followed by the War of 1812, and then the disastrously cold year of 1816, many of the families returned to Herkimer County. Some came back at the close of the war. After the year without a summer, 1816, only about half of the original twelve families remained. Others came and then left because of these privations, and poor management on the part of the proprietors. From about 1818 to 1830, little progress was made in settling the town, and Worth was partially abandoned.
Not until 12 April 1848 did the state legislature create the Town of Worth from the Town of Lorraine. They named it for William J. Worth, a colonel in command of troops at Sackets Harbor during the War of 1812, later a general. Only 43 voters were present at the first town meeting, and one may assume that number represented most of the voting population.
By 1848 Worth had two or three blacksmiths, three general stores, a milinery shop, a boot and shoe shop, a furniture factory, fifteen sawmills and a Post Office. In 1850, 320 people lived in Worth, but by 1880, there were 951.
In 1850 Edward Cornell and a group of people left Worthville and started a settlement at Worth Center, three or four miles southeast of Worthville on Abijah Creek. Mr. Cornell built a sawmill, store, hotel, and school. By 1874 134 people lived within a radius of one mile from there. Today four or five houses (including seasonal camps) remain within the one mile radius.
Diamond, originally called South Woods, was settled by George and Nancy (Weaver) Bellinger with their nine children, and Benjamin Van Brocklin. Two brothers by the name of Diamond came to help clear the land. Diamond is located near the southwest corner of the town. At one time it had a Diamond Cheese Factory, a school, and several homes and farmes. Today, only a couple of farms and camps are left.
Snellville was located two miles south of Worth Center and two to three miles east of Diamond, near the Oswego County line. W. D. Snell started a community there in 1894. In December 1897 much of the community burnt to the ground. Today this area is part of the Little John State Wildlife Management Area.
The Union Church, Worthville, held services from 1874 to the mid 1920s. The Methodist Protestant Church, Diamond, held services from 1880 to the late 1920s.
The Methodist Protestant Church, Worth Center, held services from 1898 to 1926. There was a small cemetery behind the church, but all the people buried there were reinterred in the Worthville Cemetery, or in Rodman. St Paul's Episcopal Church, Fredericks Corners, was open from 1888 until 1923, The White Chapel, 7x9 - Barnes Corners Road, was built in 1916 and discontinued in 1924/25.
The Town of Worth contained 10 districts. The first school started in 1807 in
the log barn of Asaph Case. Later a log schoolhouse was built at Worthville.
This became District # 1.
District # 2, Stears Corners district.
District # 3, Greenley district
District # 4, Worth Center
District # 5, Diamond Corners
District # 6, on the milestrip
District # 7, 7x9 Corners.
District # 8, Bice Road
District # 9, Snellville. Built in October 1895, it burnt December 1897.
District # 10, at the end of Hayes Road.
The oldest cemetery was on Town Line Road between Worth and Rodman, but it had poor drainage, and a more favorable spot was found in Worthville. The Sdtears Corners Cemetery is on the road between Stears Corners and Frederick Corners. There are also some small family cemeteries, but the only known one is on the old Houghtaling place on the Fredericks Corners - Worth Center road.
Revolutionary war: Joel Caulkins, Levi Smith
War of 1812: Captain Joseph Wilcox, Colonel Sterling Wilcox
Civil War: W. P. Ackley
George W. Conant
Duane W. Fox
William W. Hopkins
William H. West
Marcus J. Walker (KIA)
John G. Weaver
From the 1864 Jefferson County Atlas: a summary of statistics for Worth ACRES OF LAND Improved 3,981 Unimproved 21,835 1/2 VALUATION Real Estate 66,690 Personal Property 3,350 Total 70,040 POPULATION Males 253 Females 257 Number of Dwellings 104 Number of Families 110 Freeholders 90 SCHOOLS Number of Districts 6 Children Taught 177 LIVE STOCK Horses 109 Working Oxen and Calves 245 Cows 405 Sheep 169 Swine 120 AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS Bushels of Grain Winter Spring 11,790 1/2 Tons of Hay 1,016 Bushels of Potatoes 5,583 Bushels of Apples 111 Dairy Products Pounds of Butter 22,298 Pounds of Cheese 30,818 YARDS OF DOMESTIC MANUFACTURE 586
Names of the Early Settlers
BELL, ROBERT R.
BULLOCK, LEONARD and BATHSHEBA (HANCOCK)
CAULKINS, JOSEPH and BETHIA (BARRASS)
GILLET, ALBERT S.
GILLET, ELIHU and MARY (---)
GILLET, ELIHU Jr
GILLET, LORENZO P.
|GREEN, RILEY W.
GREENLY, TIMOTHY and POLLY (KELLOGG)
JENKS, BOOMER K.
MOORE, CARLTON C.
PRIOR, JESSE PRIOR, PAUL
RISING, JOSEPH H.
RISING, VENUS C.
WILCOX, JOSEPH and HANNAH (BANNING)
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