Gazetteer of New York, 1860 & 1861 page 720
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YATES COUNTY.

from the head of the w. branch of Crooked Lake e. to the e. branch. The highest point in this
valley is about 70 ft. above the lake. The ridge on the w. rises gradually for 3 or 4 mi. and attains
a height of about 700 ft. above the lake, where the surface spreads out into a rolling upland. The
soil is a gravelly and slaty loam, and is well adapted to both pasturage and tillage. Branch-
port, (p. v.,) situated at the head of the w. branch of Crooked Lake, contains 3 churches and
about 55 houses. Kinneys Corners (Bluff Point p. o.) is situated in the
e. part of the town;
Shermans Hollow and Yatesville are p. offices. The first settlement was made by
Jemima Wilkinson, in 1789.1 In that year crops of wheat were harvested in the town, and a mill
was erected that made flour the same-season. The first, and for a long time the only, religious ser¬
vices in town were conducted by Jemima, at her own house. There are 4 churches in town
.2

720


MIBBXESEX—was formed in 1789, as “Augusta.” Its name was changed April 6, 1808.
Potter was taken off in 1832, and a part was annexed to Potter in 1856. It is the
n. w. corner
town, lying upon the
e. bank of Canandaigua Lake. Its surface consists chiefly of high ridges
separated by narrow valleys. The summits are 500 to 600 ft. above the lake. The valley of West
Biver divides the ridges, and the valley of a small stream known as Boat Brook divides the w.
ridge into two peaks, the
n. of which is known as “Bare Hill.” The soil is clayey on the summits
of the hills, and gradually changes to a deep gravelly loam in the valleys. Near Federal Hollow,
a mile from Rushville, is an inflammable spring
.2 Middlesex Center (Middlesex p.o.) con¬
tains 3 churches and 20 dwellings. Overacfcers Corners is a hamlet. The first settlement
was made in 1789. Judge Potter, one of the surveyors of Phelps and Gorham’s purchase, was the
original purchaser of the town, and took an active part in its first settlement
.3 Many of the first
settle'rs were adherents of Jemima Wilkinson; and for a considerable time there was no other
religious association in the town. There are now 4 churches
.4

MIX©—was formed from Benton, March 6, 1818. A part of Torrey was taken off in 1851.
It lies on the
e. border of the co., between Seneca and Crooked Lakes. Its surface rises from
Seneca Lake in a gentle and gradual slope for
2 mi., where it attains an elevation of about 400 to
500 ft. From this summit the land spreads out into an undulating region, gradually declining
on the w. to the valley of Crooked Lake. The soil is principally a gravelly loam, with some clay
in the vicinity of Penn Yan and on the shore of Seneca I^ake. Penn Yam,6 (p. v.,) the county
seat, was incorp. April 27,1833. It is situated at the foot of Crooked Lake, and is an important
station on the Elmira, Jefferson & Canandaigua R. R. A daily steamer connects it with Ham-
mondsport, at the head of Crooked Lake. It contains
6 churches, a high school,7 2 newspaper
establishments, and a bank. Pop. 2,277,—2,114 in Milo, 163 in Benton. Milo Center (p. v.)
contains 150 inhabitants.; and Himrods Corners (Milo p. v.) 78. The first settlement was
commenced in the
n. part, by the followers of Jemima Wilkinson, from R. I., in 1787.8 The first
religious services were conducted by Jemima Wilkinson. There are now 10 churches in town
.9

POTTER10—was formed from Middlesex, April 26,1832, and part of Middlesex was annexed
Dec. 18,1856. It lies near the center of the
n. border of the co. Its surface is hilly in the s. w., and
rolling in the center and
n. Flint Creek, the principal stream, flows northerly through near the
center of the town. A swamp of 1 to 1J mi. wide extends along its course for
8 mi. n. of Potter
Center. The soil is a slaty lo^m in the s. w., and a gravelly and sandy loam, with an intermixture
of clay, in the remaining parts. Buwhville (p. v.) is partly in Gorham, Ontario co., but princi¬
pally in the
n.w. part of this town. Pop. 583,—408 in Potter, 175 in Gorham. Potter Center
(Potter p. o.) contains 20 houses. Voah is a p,o. on the line of Benton. Settlement was begun
in 17.88, by the followers of Jemima Wilkinson. The most prominent among them were William

6 Among the early settlers of the village were a Pennsylvanian
and a Yankee, each of whom wished to name the place. The
matter was finally compromised by uniting the first syllable of
their respective designations,—Penn and Yan.

7 The Penn Yan High School was incorporated as an academy
in 1857. The building is now in process of erection.

8 The first settlers were Abraham Dayton, Richard Smith, Jas.
Parker, John Lawrence, Stephen Card, Samuel Hartwell, Heze-
kiah. Townsend, David and Peleg Brigg, John Supplee, Elijah and
Micajah Brown, David Wagener, aud Adam Hunt and his sons,
Abel and Silas. The first death wag that of Mrs. Jedediah Holmes,
in 1788. As Jemima Wilkinson’s creed was the dominant reli¬
gion of the town at that period and for some time after, there
were no marriages, and of course "no known births. It was an
era in which people died and none were legitimately born. He-
zekiah Townsend kept the first inn, a little
e. of Penn Yan, and
James Hill the first store.

8 3 Bap., 2 M. E., Cong., Wes. Meth., Presb., Prot. E., and R. O.

10 Named from Arnold Potter, an original proprietor and tfta
first settler in town.


1

The first settlers were Thomas Hathaway and Daniel Brown.
In 1789, Jemima,
“The Universal Friend,” as she was called,
entered the town with a large retinue, among whom were Sarah
Richards and Rachael Malin, her two “
Witnesses,” Isaac Kinney,

2

Bap., M. E., Presb., Univ. * Beck’s Mineralogy NF. Y.,p. 166.

3

* Among the first Settlers were Michael Pierce, John Walford,
Jahez French, John Blair, James Lewis, and John McNear, all
from R.I. William Bassett taught the first school, in 1796; Jesse
Gilbert kept the first tavern, near Rushville, and Nelson Wilder
the first store. John Walford, jr., built the first sawmill. The

4

first death was that of Mrs. Lucy Walford, in 1791.


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