Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 255
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CORTLAND COUNTY.    255

TRFXTON1—named in honor of Commodore Thomas Truxton, was formed from Fabius,
April
8, 1808, and embraced the s. half of the latter town. The n. 4 tiers of lots of Solon were
annexed April 4,1811. Cuyler was taken off in 1858. It is the
sr. e. corner town of the co. The
surface consists of a broken upland divided into ridges, which have a general northerly and
southerly direction. The east branch of the Tioughnioga River flows in a s. w. direction through
the center of the town, cutting the ranges of hills diagonally. The Truxton Hills are the highest
in the co. North of the river, nearly the whole surface is divided into sharp ridges with steep de¬
clivities, their summits being technically termed “ hog hacks.” Muncey Hill, in the s.
e. part, the
highest land in town, is a wild, broken region, poorly adapted to cultivation. On the N. border is a
small lake known as Labrador Pond, noted for its wild and picturesque scenery. Upon a small
brook, which flows into the outlet of this pond from the
e., is a beautiful cascade, called Tinkers
Falls. The soil is generally a sandy and gravelly loam. In amount of dairy products this town is
one of the first in the State. Truxton (p. v.) contains 257 inhabitants, and Cuyler (p. v.) 112.
Keeney Settlement is
a hamlet on the n. line. There are in town a woolen, a sash and
blind, and butter tub factory, and an extensive carriage shop. The first settlers were Sami. Bene¬
dict, Chris. Whitney, and Jonas Stiles, in 1795, who located on Lots 12, 93, and 2, respectively.2
The first church (Bap.) was formed in 1806, under Eld. Rufus Freeman.3

VIRGIE—was formed from Homer, April 3, 1804. Harford and Lapeer were taken off in
1845. A small portion of its
e. part has been annexed to Cortlandville and Freetown. It lies upon
the w. border of the county, s. of the center. Its surface is a broken and hilly upland. The
Owego Hills, in the s.w. part, are about 600 feet above the valleys and 1600 to 1700 feet above
tide. The valleys are narrow, bordered by the steep declivities of the hills. Yirgil Creek, flowing
w., and Gridley Creek, flowing
E., are the principal streams. The soil is a sandy and gravelly loam,
and is best adapted to grazing. Virgil (p. v.) contains 206 inhabitants, and East Virgil (p. v.)
about 60. State Bridge (Messengerville p. o.) is a
r. r. station. Franks Corners is a
hamlet in the s. w. part. The first settler was Joseph Chaplin, in 1792.* The first religious meeting
was held in 1802; and the first church (Cong.) was formed, Feb. 5, 1805, by Rev. Seth Williston.4

WIEEET —was formed from Cincinnatus, April 21, 1818, and was named in honor of Col.
Marinus Willett, of Revolutionary memory. It lies in the s.
E. corner of the county. Its surface
consists of the narrow valley of the Otselic River and of the high ridges which rise on either side.
The uplands are broken by the narrow ravines through which the small streams flow. Nearly
one-third of the town is yet unsettled, the surface being too rough for profitable cultivation. In
the N. w. part of the town is a small lake, known as BlQody Pond,—its sanguinary name having
been bestowed in consequence of the vagaries of
delirium tremens. The soil is a sandy and gravelly

known as ‘ The States Hundred.’ By giving notice that he
wished to retain his land together, and paying $8.00 for the sur¬
vey, the patentee could retain the whole lot. In 'default of the
payment, the State retained 50 acres of the
Mile Square, called
the ‘ Survey of Fifty Acres.’ ” As an illustration of the hard¬
ships to which the pioneers of this town and co. were subjected,
we extract the following:—“In the spring of 1797, John E. Roe
came on from Ulster co. and made a beginning on his lot,—tli^
same occupied till recently by himself and family,—boarding
with Mr. Frank. He cleared a spot, put up the body of a log
house, split plank and laid a floor, peeled bark for a roof, and
agreed with a man in Homer to put it on. He also cut and
cured some of the wild grass growing in the swamp, for hay,
and returned. Preparations were then made for moving on;
which was done in the winter following. He and his wife came
in a sleigh, with a young cow following them. When they came
to the river, opposite Mr. Chaplin’s, they found the water high,
and the canoe that had been used in crossing carried away. Mr.
Chaplin’s hog trough was procured, and Mrs. Roe was safely
carried over in it. She then stood upon the bank to await the
crossing of what remained. The horses, being urged in, swam
across with the sleigh, the cow following, and came near being
carried away with the current, but, after a hard struggle, made
the shore in safety. They put up for the night, the horses
being fastened to the sleigh, (as no accommodations could be
procured,) and they ate out the flag bottoms of the chairs to
allay the keen demands of appetite. The snow was two feet
deep, with no track, and the whole day was consumed in
coming from the river to their new home. When they arrived,
they were surprised to find their house without covering, con¬
sequently the snow as deep in it as out of it. Persons of less
perseverance would have been disheartened. But no time was
to be lost. The snow was cleared away from a portion of the
floor, a fire built against the logs, some blankets drawn across
the beams for a covering, the horses tied in one corner, with
some of that coarse hay before them; and thus their first and
several successive nights were passed.”

6 The census reports 5 churches; Bap., F. W. Bap., Cong,
M. E., Union.


1

In Nov. 1858, this town was divided into 2 nearly equal parts
by a line extending n. and S.; and the E. half now forms the
town of Cutler.

2

Among the other first settlers were Robt. Knight, (from Mon¬
mouth, N. J.,) Hugh Stewart, (from Colerain, Mass.,) John
Jeffrey and Enos Phelps, (from N. J.,) Billy Trowbridge and

3

Dr. John Miller, (from Dutchess co.) The last named was the

4

was a child in the same family. A. W. Baker taught the first


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