THIS town was set off from Galen, November 24, 1824, and its organization perfected, by the election of officers, the April following. It is situated in the southeast corner of Wayne County, and constitutes the east part of lot 27, in the
"Military tract." It was surveyed, in common with the whole tract, in lots of six hundred acres each, and covers, within its limits, an area of twenty-one thousand nine hundred and eight acres. Its surface, in the north and central part of the southern half, is uneven, being broken by ridges of drift-sand, some of which are high and steep. These ridges slope gradually on the south, but generally have an abrupt descent on the north. They invariably extend north and south. An immense open marsh exists in the southwest part of the town, extending over about one thousand nine hundred acres. It produces a coarse grass, which grows thick and heavy, and which was quite successfully used for the manufacture of printing-paper, in 1867, by the two paper-mills then in operation in Clyde. Efforts have been made to reclaim this immense tract of swamp to cultivation, by a system of drainage. A project was set on foot to turn the course of Crusoe creek, flowing into the Seneca river, to the northeast, but, owing to an opposition of commercial interests in Oswego, it was abandoned, and the project still remains an open matter. Another project was to blast out the bed of Seneca river, and lower it sufficiently to drain the surface - now on a lower level than the bed of that river. But, for the want of means, it has never been carried into effect. This plan appears sufficiently feasible to warrant a State appropriation for that purpose. Certain it is, that this vast tract of the richest and most valuable soil must be lost to production, until some method is adopted whereby the back-water can be drawn off. At present, in the spring and fall, it presents the appearance of a continuous inland lake, - a soft yielding soil, covered with shallow water. With such aspects, it is not strange that the town should have been called "Savannah." The entire surface is a rich black muck, and underneath, at the depth about of four feet, a stratum of valuable shell and marl. Many thousand dollars were lately expended by one of the citizens in an effort to reclaim a portion, and bring it under a good state of cultivation, but, in an incredibly short time aler the work was suspended upon it, it was matted over with the original foul growth, and is now undistinguishable from that adjoining. A short distance north of this swamp is a small body of shallow water, known as Crusoe.lake, connected with Seneca river by Crusoe creek. Marsh creek, entering from Galen, passes through the north end of this marsh, flowing north-east into Crusoe lake. The large body of highland thus surrounded (some six miles long, and three or four broad), lying between the swamp and Seneca river, a, known as Crusoe island, and extends south to Clyde river, in Seneca county. More than one-half of this "island" is located within the town of Savannah.
Crusoe creek rises in the north part of Butler, and flows south, through South Butler, into Savannah, and the head of Crusoe lake. Quite extensive lowlands or marsh also extend along this stream, from the north town line to the lake, and thence south, connecting with the great marsh. Others also border along Seneca river in the southeast corner of the town, and north of the mouth of Crusoe creek. Seneca river forms both the town and county line on the southeast, for a distance of nearly five miles. The Erie canal cuts off about twenty-five acres in the south-west corner. In 1854 the direct line of the New York Central Railroad was constructed through the town, south of the centre, and located Savannah station, which has since grown up to be an incorporated village.
The old Galen salt-works-established before the organization of this town, and hence its name, were located on lot 37, in the vicinity of Crusoe lake. The original patent of this lot was held by Dr. James Young, of the Revolution. A well was put down here four hundred feet, which produced a very strong brine, and one well emitted inflammable gas. The works were not prosecuted with much success, and were finally discontinued, in consequence of the successful competition of the Salina salt-works, which produced a superior brine, and in much larger quantity. The town was nearly all covered originally with a heavy growth of timber, except the large open marsh in the southwest. Even Crusoe island, in the south part of the town, is largely a woodland marsh, which, at the time of settlement, appeared to be the natural condition of the whole town, aside from the drift-ridges. The soil in the north is a sandy and gravelly loam, and in the south it is composed principally of muck and shell-marl. It is very strong, fertile, and productive. The cereals, and all the productions indigenous to this latitude, are grown with success, and yield abundantly. Fort Hill, south of the railroad, and near Seneca river, is the highest elevation in the town.
The first town meeting for the election of the first officers of the town government was held in April, 1825, at the Crusoe House, a tavern one-half' mile east of Crusoe lake, on the direct Savannah and South Butler road, and near the centre of' the town. David Cushman, Esq., was elected first supervisor. The names of the other officers are not ascertained, neither the succeeding supervisors down to 1845, as the records covering those years are missing, or, at least, are no longer in possession of the town clerk. From that date the supervisors were Sylvanus Thompson, 1845; Nelson Payn, 1846; Chauncey T. Ives, 1847 to 1848, both inclusive; Nelson Payn, 1849; Benajah Abrams, 1850 ; Charles D. Haddon, 1851 to 1852; Ebenezer Fitch, 1853; Frank Knapp, 1854; Benajah Abrams, 1855; James M. Servis, 1856 to 1861; R. M. Evans, 1862 to1863; William G. -Soule, 1864 to 1865; William R. Stultz, 1866 to 1871; Charles Wood, 1872 to 1874; and John A. Munson, 1874 to 1876, office expiring April, 1877. The other officers elected in April 1876, are as follows: Town Clerk, William H. Avery; Justices of the Peace, David E. Carncross, Ammon S. Farnum, Jesse Seeley, and Edson S. Wood; Collector, William H. Burritt; Assessors, Isaac T. Farrand, John North, and Andrew Pearsall; Town Auditors, James B. Wiley, Mansfield B. Winnegar, and Alfred E. Carey; Overseers of the Poor, Alonzo D. Wood and Henry Stuck; Commissioners of Highways, George A. Ferrin, Daniel Harrington, and Russell Widrig; Commissioners of Excise, Eli Wilsey, Jacob Ray, and Andrew J. Holdridge; Constables, Hutchins E. Newton, Andrew J. Broadway, James G. Foster, Oliver C. Secor, and Charles Conyer Game Constable, Oliver M. Helmer; and Inspectors of Election, Jacob Ray, Marion F. Johnson, and Henry Carncross. For many years the town meetings and State elections were held at the Crusoe House, as being the only public-house in town and the most central and convenient, but were removed to the village soon after the completion of the railroad.
This was the last town settled in the county, and presented to immigrants the least attractions of any, in its wild and gloomy lowlands and wastes of marsh constituting much of its area. Long years passed after the settlement of other towns before the salt-works were established,- about the commencement of the present century, and other long years ere any other efforts at settlement were made, except on the borders of the town. The late Eli Wheeler visited this country in 1808. He found the Galen salt-works apparently prosperous, and, upon a road which had been opened by that company from its works to Sodus bay, he purchased a two hundred-acre farm, one mile north of the town line of Savannah. In 1810 he took up his residence there with his family. Prentice Palmer then lived half a mile north of him, but moved the next year down to Galen, to take care of the then silent works, the manufacture of salt having ceased. Palmer was a live Yankee, from Massachusetts, - tall, sharp-featured, sallow complexion, energetic in action, and quick of speech. He became a man of some note, - a justice of the peace (and hence dubbed "Squire"), constable, and collector, for many years. He is recollected as a generous man and kind neighbor. In 1815 Mr. Wheeler removed his residence down to the town line, half a mile west of the present village of south Butler. Daniel Harrington, the grandfather of the present well-known citizen of that name, then lived at that point where the Galen road intersected the Musketo Point road and turned west, which was long known as Harrington's Corners. The old Galen road from there to the river by this time was scarcely passable on horseback, much less with team. Between the two points was a dense and unbroken wilderness. The highway to the salt-works, when. they were erected and subsequently, was by water, up and down Seneca river, in Durham boats or other water craft, propelled by hand-power. Some twelve or fifteen years later the salt-works were dismantled; the buildings, which were stylish and expensive for such purpose, were taken down and, with their contents, transported to " parts unknown," by water, as they came; and a solitary poplar-tree now marks the lawn of the principal dwelling-house once there, and is the only vestige of Galen salt-works to be seen.
At Mr. Wheeler's residence the Galen road turned north. From this place, long known as Wheeler's Corners, an old military road, called the State road, led west to the Block-house (now Clyde), but it was not then passable for teams or vehicles of any kind. On the south side of this road (in Savannah), about sixty rods west of Mr. Wheeler's, Noah Peck, with his younger brother Horace, settled in 1815; and in the same year Aaron Hall and Peter Blasdell settled in the woods, a mile and a half southwest of these, on adjoining farms, the former being now occupied by his (Aaron Hall's) venerable widow and her son-in-law, Mr. Stephen Sprague, and the latter by Mrs. Peter C. Blasdell, widow of the grandson of the old pioneer. These four families constituted the neighborhood for a number of years.
The southern border of the town was broached about as early as these settlements on the north, Smith Ward settling at that time at what has since been known as the "Penstack," on the Montezuma turnpike, near the south line of the town. He came in by water from Montezuma to May's Point, and thence up the island to his future residence; but there was no road, no sort of communication, between these border settlements, and scarcely any knowledge of each other for several years. Nor was it till 1817 that any permanent residence was established between Harrington's Corners and the old Galen salt works. In that year, Michael Weatherwax, a sturdy descendant of the Teutons, on the Hudson, settled on the old Galen road, a mile aud a half south of Harrington's, on the farm now owned and recently occupied by David R. Hamilton, Esq., and Job Cushman, about a mile farther on towards the salt-works. David Cushman, son of Job, married Prentice Palmer's eldest daughter, Polly Ann, and resided there till he died; and one of the daughters of his widow, by her second husband (John Gorham), is the wife of Mr. George Wilson, who now occupies the old Cushman homestead. Orrin Wellman, son of Paul Wellman, the jolly old Revolutionary soldier, residing half a mile north of Mr. Wheeler's, married Hannah, another daughter of Esquire Palmer, and resided some years subsequently in the woods, half-way from Cushman's to Galen (on the old road), under a lease from Jacob Winchell, which has been made an initial point in the claim of title to lot 39, celebrated in the annals of litigation for the last thirty years. Charles Clapp took up the farm on the south of Mr. Weatherwax, a few years after the latter came in, and built a house where Mr. Chester Hogan now resides; and Mr. Clapp's brother-in-law, Howell Bidwell, about the same time established himself on the Galen road between Weatherwax and Cushman's, where Byron C. Clark now re sides. Mr. Bidwell's younger brother, Horace, settled there with him, and subsequently married Rhoda, the youngest daughter of Paul Wellman, just mentioned.
There was a sort of road in which an ox-team could pass through the woods from Weatherwax's to Crusoe creek when he moved in. Joseph Mosher and George Vredenberg had found their way thus far up the creek from Seneca river, and there settled. The landing-place was on the left bank of the creek, about forty rods below the present bridge. From this landing there was carried on, for several years thereafter, a small commercial business in row-boats, down the creek and then up the Seneca river and Cayuga outlet and lake to Spring Mills (since Spring Port and now Union Springs), the early settlers exchanging maple-sugar and potatoes, etc., for tea and other much-needed family goods. Mr. Mosher's house was a short distance east of the subsequently well-known Crusoe House. He was famous for his numerous swarms of bees.
In the summer or fall of 1818, Mr. Nehemiah Bunyea penetrated the forest to the northern part of the island, and built a house on the present site of the old Soule's homestead, and the next spring was joined there by his father-in-law, Elias Converse. In the following year, and while there was yet no bridge over Crusoe creek, and no road beyond, Vredenberg moved over on to the island and lived in a log house, some twenty rods back east from the present road, opposite Mr. Peter Albright's present residence. George Vredenberg subsequently married Sallie, the younger daughter of Elias Converse, and their eldest child is said to have been the first one born in the town.
Mr. Bunyea, after living only one or two years on the Soule's place, moved down to and took charge of the Kingsbury farm, where Mr. Wirts now lives, and built a barn thereon for the owner, being the first barn built on the island, and subsequently moved to Montezuma, erected there for the respective owners, Dr. Clark and Jethro Wood (the famous plowman) the two conspicuous dwelling-houses on the hill that have been land-marks during the last half-century; and also the first bridges across the Cayuga and Canandaigua outlets, on the marsh west of Montezuma, for the Turnpike company. His daughter married Dr. William May, the first physician settled at Montezuma, who became an extensive land-owner on the island "May's Point" taking its name from him-and was long and well known in Savannah. While Mr. Bunyea occupied the Kingsbury place, Stackus built and occupied a small log house under the west brow of
Fort Hill, where be busied himself in getting out oak staves and heading for barrels, for which a market was sometimes found at Montezuma. On the top of this hill, overlooking all the surrounding country, there were and still are, the outlines of an ancient earthwork, supposed to have been a work of defense; hence the name " Fort Hill," which it yet bears; but when, or by whom, it was erected or for what purpose, tradition furnishes no satisfactory answer.
During these last-mentioned years some further progress in the way of settlement was made on the northwest part of the town. Noah and Horace Peek gave place to Edward Bivins and Benjamin Hall (whose wives were sisters), from Malta, Saratoga county, in 1818; and a year or two later Richard Rice came in and established an ashery on the Savannah side of the old State road, half a mile west of Wheeler's Corners, on what was then known as the " Indian Camp," one of the Indian huts standing there when Mr. Rice came in. His father-in-law, Thomas Hall, came soon after and built a house there, and for some years occupied the farm, which subsequently passed into the hands of John Sedore, who occupied it several years, and then to William Robinson, and from him to his brother-in-law, John Corham, whose son-in-law, William Reed, Esq., now occupies it. The Thomas Hall here mentioned should not be confounded with the "Old Esq." Thomas Hall, from Saratoga county, the father of Joshua, and Benjamin, and Elias, and Stephen and Peter, who first settled with his son, Benjamin, in Savannah, near Mr. Wheeler's, and subsequently a mile and a half north from there. The first named was a sort of "journeyman" Baptist preacher from Junius, in Seneca county, who tried to make himself useful in that vocation, though there was then no organized church in Savannah or Butler. His ministrations were held in the few rustic dwellings of the neighborhood, and were the first the town.
In 1819, Titus Lockwood, a veteran of the Revolution, the better for having one leg, settled on the old State road, in the extreme northwest corner of the town, where "Frank" Cobb resides. He was a man of great physical powers and was fond of talking of the battle of White Plains, in which he participated. He gave place to Mr. John M. Cobb (father of "Frank") in 1825 or '26. "Jerry" Mead, from Cayuga county, settled in the woods, half a mile south of Mr. Lockwood, about as early as he came in, with no road except such as he made for himself. He died there but a few years later. Mr. Lockwood had two neighbors, Messrs. James Sears and John Caywood, just over the town line across Marsh creek, on adjoining farms, which subsequently composed part of the famous "Briggs farm." Mr. Caywood lived where Mr. Wm. S. Hunt now does, and Mr. Sears not far from the spring, subsequently Briggs', and now Hunt's pond. The latter (Sears) sold to Fletcher, and went again into the woods on the "Stringer land," half a mile south of Mr. Wheeler's, and the former (Caywood) subsequently moved on to the Jerry Mead place, south of Cobb s where he remained during the remainder of his long life, extending to one hundred and two years!
Game was plenty on Marsh creek when Mr. Lockwood came in, the taking of which at and before that time engaged the attention of several persons notably the elder Harrington and his sons, John (Irish), Nehemiah (father of the present Daniel), Theophilus, Ira, and Peter, who frequently amused themselves with trap and gun in that locality, capturing sundry fur-animals, and with hook and taking from the creek many of the finny tribe, which in those days ventured thus far up that tributary of the Seneca.
In 1820, Mr. Leonard Ferris, yet living, at the venerable age of ninety, with his son-in-law, Riel Betts, in the westerly part of Savannah, settled on the old State road, three-f'ourths of a mile west of Wheeler's Corners, a short distance east of the present residence of Prentice Cushman.
With Mr. Ferris came his father, Caleb, and his mother, "Judah," the former having been a steward, and the latter a nurse in the Stewart family, in the city of New York, whereof Lispenard Stewart and his sister, the first wife of Colonel James Watson Webb, were members. With Mr. Ferris came, also, Mr. Richard Ryan (brother of his wife), yet and for many years familiarly known as "Uncle Richard," residing in the west part of the town. Mr. Ryan lived for some year with his mother, on the present site of the residence of William P. Stiles.
On the next hill west of Cushman's, then called the "big hill," and now occcupied by William H. Hamlin's orchard, a log school-house was erected, in which Maneh Westcott taught the first school in that neighborhood, in the winter of 1822-23, and Austin Roe the next winter, at ten dollars per month; the Lockwood and Ferris and Wheeler boys, and the Scotts (then living opposite), being pupils. John Allen, son-in-law of the elder Peter Blasdell, settled in that neighborhood as early as 1821 or 1822, and his son, Peter B. Allen, late deputy sheriff of Clyde, and his daughter, Lucretia, subsequently the wife of Joseph Ferris, eldest son of Leonard, were also pupils at this school.
In the wilderness west of Crusoe lake, a mile and a half, southwest of Aaron Hall's, with no road between them, Philip Cook settled in 1822. His widow and his son Moses still occupy the same place. Between that place and the subsequent residence of Mr. James Stiles, now the residence of Mr. Charles Reed, and while there was no road between those places, Mr. Henry O'Neil, a tall, brawny son of the Emerald Isle, built a log house, and occupied it with his family, in the midst of large trees, which, if felled, would reach far across it. Mr. Stiles did not move in till 1827. At that time, Medad Blasdell, son of Peter, the elder, lived over opposite, to the east, on the south half of the original Blasdell farm; and Samuel Gilbert, Esq., occupied the south part of the original Aaron Hall farm. Gilbert was superseded by Mr. Hubbard Hamlin, and he by his son-in-law, Mansfield B. Winnegar, who now resides there.
Three miles east of Harrington's Corners, on the site of the present residence of Mr. E. D. Wood, Stephen Titus located prior to the year 1808, his residence being the only one between Musketo Point and Mr. Wheeler's in that year. In 1810, Noah Starr was living half a mile west of Mr. Titus, where Mr. Hiram Abrams now resides; and just west of him, where Mr. Peter Baggerly now lives, Ephraim Burch resided in that year. Mr. Silas Winans settled half a mile east of Harrington's, where Mr. Lyman H. Dratt now lives, as early as 1812; and in l813, Seth Craw, who resided two miles north of Wheeler's Corners, where Mr. A. C. Scott now resides, sold that place to Mr. Ezekiel Scott (grandfather of A. C. Scott) and moved down near the town line, about two miles east of Wheeler's, where Mr. Seth C. Wood now resides. Soon after moving there, Mr. Craw conveyed fifty acres of his farm to his son, Moms, who built a house thereon and took up his residence where Mr. William Fowler now lives, and there established "Craw's tavern," long and favorably known in all the country round. The Craws extended their domain over into Savannah, where Thomas Johnson, Esq., a son-in-law of Morris Craw, now lives, and just west of which Almond Searle, who married Sophia, the youngest daughter of Seth Craw, now resides.
Amos Winnegar settled on the present John McGonigal place adjoining the Winans place on the east in 1820; and his brother, Henry Winnegar, south of the Winans farm (where his son, James R., now lives), about ten years later. Mr. Ashley Hogan settled on the farm south of Thomas Johnson, in 1823 or 1824. A mile east of Craw's, on the Savannah side of the Musketo Point road, Russell Palmer settled a year or two earlier. He was a younger brother of Prentice Palmer, and a man of considerable capacity, who took an active and leading part in public affairs of the town, and held various town offices, supervisor, justice of the peace, etc. And between Craw and Palmer, in Savannah, where Edwin Campbell now lives, Luther Chapin settled in 1824 or 1825. Of quiet, unobtrusive, and gentlemanly deportment, Mr. Chapin, without eminent ability, acquired the respect and confidence of the community, and in l828-29 was one of the two members of the legislature from Wayne County.
Down to this time, say nearly a quarter of a century from the first settlement, the interior of the town, to a great extent, remained unsettled. But the construction of the Montezuma turnpike, and the opening of the Erie canal, about the time of the formation of the town, thereby opening a thoroughfare and a prospective market at Montezuma, gave an impetus to further settlement. A road was constructed from the turnpike at the west border of the Montezuma marsh, across the island to Crusoe creek, and the one from there to the north line of the town worked and improved. The first house on this road, between that of Mr. Converse and one where Mr. Kingsland now lives, was built and occupied by Mr. Henry Taylor, near the present railroad station. In the same year (1824) Royal Torrey, of Montezuma, desirous of improving his real estate west of the marshes, settled his son, George F. Torrey, and some others, on various purchases in the neighborhood of Crusoe. Chauncy Ives and Garry Burnham settled about the same time in that neighborhood.
On a small tributary of the Crusoe creek, a mile east from the Crusoe House, Royal Torry erected a saw-mill-the first in the town-in 1824: In that year the famous " Crusoe House" was erected, which was not only a place of rest and refreshment for the weary traveler, but the headquarters of all political gatherings in the town, until the building of the " Direct line" of the Central Railroad across the island, twenty-five years later.
In that house the first town meeting was held in April, 1825, at which Russell Palmer was elected supervisor.
About ten years later a mail route was established from Auburn via Montezuma, and across Savannah to South Butler, and so on to Wolcott, and thereon a post office was established at Crusoe. This post-route was discontinued, and this post-office transferred to the depot upon the opening of the railroad, and has there remained, the only post-office in town since that time.
The early prospect of a market town for Savannah at Montezuma faded away and finally vanished as the manufacture of salt at that place languished and at length ceased. Subsequent hopes of a market were entertained from the construction of the "Eastern plank road," from Clyde to Port Byron including the bridge across the river from the site of Galen salt-works to Howland's island. But the practical operation of plank-roads soon dispelled the delusive hopes of their stockholders; this road, therefore, though graded to the river, was planked only eastward to the highway leading north from the depot, and the bridge across the river after a few years was neglected, and finally suffered to go to wreck entirely.
Finally, the construction of the "direct line" of the Central Railroad in 1853-54 gave a new impulse to the development of Savannah. Until that time much of the lowlands retained their primeval forests. Those lands down to that time had only a sort of fictitious value, like fancy stocks in Wall street, amounting only to about six dollars per acre; but when the railroad came those lands were immediately worth forty dollars, and soon thereafter rose to one hundred dollars per acre for the wood.
Of course, they were speedily bereft of timber. Fields of grass took the place of the lowland wilderness. Grain-fields and orchards, and dwelling-houses and barns, covered and beautified the hill-sides, and in their midst there sprang up a pleasant village, with churches, schools, stores, shops, and dwellings.
Michael Curry's "grocery," a sort of stopping-place for wayfarers to and from Montezuma, and Mr. Henry Taylor's residence, comprised all there was of the present thriving village at the depot prior to the railroad.
In mills and manufacturing Savannah has been obliged to contend with disadvantages and ill fortune; the result has, therefore, not been flattering. The stream upon which the first saw-mill was built, diminished as the forests about its sources disappeared, so that in about twenty years the mill has lost its power, the last vestige of which disappeared some years since from the premises of James Early. As this mill waned, Messrs. Kendrick & Bixby erected a steam saw-mill on the left bank of Crusoe creek, near the plank-road crossing, and in about the year 1850 sold it to Mr. Othniel Palmer (second son of Prentice Palmer), who had then lately been running the first-mentioned mill; but within a few years thereafter the steam-mill was destroyed by fire, and has never been rebuilt.
There is now no water-power afforded by any stream in the town.
About twenty-five years ago the late Charles A. Rose, Esq., sold (for fifty dollars per acre) the timber upon a part of his six-hundred-acre farm, and mainly for the purpose of utilizing which Mr. A. Wise erected a steam saw-mill near the west line of the town. But it accomplished its purpose and ceased to operate within a few years, having served the purpose of extinguishing the finest grove of hemlocks ever seen in this part of the country.
On the eastern plank-road, a mile and a half southeasterly from this site, another steam saw-mill was erected about the time of the construction of the railroad there, and ran for a number of years, but a mound of saw-dust is all that now remains.
About ten years ago a steam saw-mill was also erected at the westerly base of Fort Hill, by the late Mr. Archibald Munson, for the purpose of disposing of the timber on the "Hooper farm" (so-called) belonging to the estate of the late Mr. Samuel Norsworthy, of New York; and that likewise finished its course when those acres were bereft of their native attire; and thus vanished the best lot of oak, hickory, chestnut, and whitewood timber that ever stood upon land in this section of country.
Mr. Gideon Ramsdell has a steam saw-mill running near the site of the old Galen salt-works, which he erected a few years since to facilitate his extensive lumber and timber operations for the railroad.
Mr. Hiram Dieffendorff, first president of the village board of trustees, erected an extensive steam manufactory of barrel-staves and headings, at the depot, but his establishment was destroyed by fire within two or three years; and after being rebuilt soon shared the same fate.
Captain Dodge, at a later period, erected a flouring-mill, saw-mill, and cider-mill, and a wheelbarrow-manufactory, at the depot, but within about the third year of its operations the whole establishment was burned.
The saw-mill at South Butler village (within the town of Savannah) is now the remaining mill of the town. That was erected by the late Samuel B. Tucker, Esq., in connection with his brother-in-law, Mr. 0.11. Wheeler, in 1839. After undergoing many mutations and passing through the hands of half a dozen owners, the present owners, Messrs. Bradway & Crofoot, took it in hand, four or five-years ago, and have since been conducting with it a successful business. In connection with it they carry on a large shingle-making and cooperage business.
Fishing, in years gone past, has been quite attractive in the waters along the border of this town. "Daimwood's Landing," on the left bank of Seneca river, directly east of Savannah station, has been noted as a fishing station, as has Bluff Point, over on the opposite bank, for a time as far back as Esquire Palmer's residence at the old salt-works. The size and numbers of the fish, have, however, been much diminished in later years.
These "Montezuma marshes" (so-called), bordering on this town, produce, among other things, a species of wild oats, which, in autumn, attract there immense flocks of blackbirds-a sort of visitor not particularly desirable on cornfields, to which they are apt to resort for a relish with the wild oats.
Large numbers of ducks also resort to these marshes, attracting the attention of sportsmen from considerable distances.
This village is located on the New York Central Railroad, and covers almost entirely Military lots 64 and 65, of township No.27, each containing six hundred acres, and both reserved and set apart for the support of the gospel; although, until twelve years ago, no church organization existed within the limits of the town. Savannah village is, strictly speaking, a railroad town; not even a hamlet being in existence here prior to 1854, when the new station was erected. Thirteen years after its first beginning, in 1867, it had attained the dignity of an incorporated village, when the following officers were chosen, viz.: Board of Trusees, Hiram Dieffendorff, president, Peter J. Powell, Nicholas C. Vaught, and Patrick McCullum; Police Justice, Joseph Renyon; Assessors, William R. Stults, John Evans, and Horace Wadsworth; Collector, Hezekiah Stults; Clerk and Treasurer, Edward Luce; and Street Commissioner and Police Constable, M. Quackenbush. The succeeding presidents have been W. E. Smith, 1868, Peter J. Powell, 1869 and 1870, Charles Wood, 1871, Cyrus Andrews, 1872, Delos Betz, 1873, Andrew J. Holdridge, 1874, and Charles H. Hamilton, 1875. The village officers for 1876 are: Board of Trustees, Charles Wood, president, David C. Bockover, Alexander Gregg, and Delos Betz ; Police Justice, Lorenzo D. Remer; Assessors, A. J. Holdridge, William C. Bell, and William H. Avery; Collector, Abe Quackenbush; Treasurer, Willis G. Smith; Clerk, Ammon S. Farnum; Street Commissioner, John Comby; and Police Constable, George Taylor.
It now has three church societies, - the Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, and Roman Catholic, - a commodious two-story brick union school-house, costing five thousand dollars, one hotel, one large steam stave-mill, stores, shops, and quite an extensive and constantly increasing mercantile trade. Undoubtedly, it will in a few years become a point of considerable importance in commerce, as it is already the centre of a large circuit of very strong and productive farming lands. In the great freshet that occurred in the spring of 1865, which inundated the country on the line of Crusoe creek, and carried away all its bridges, much damage was done in this vicinity, and all the parts flooded, which caused much inconvenience to the inhabitants before the damage could be repaired. The first house erected here was put up by Archibald Munson, about 1825, when he settled on a farm at this place. The first store was built and kept by John Evans, in 1854. He commenced in a small way in the building now occupied by Dr. Smith, on the west side of the street, north of and near the railroad. After one year at this place, be removed, in connection with R. W. Evans, to a new building erected by Winans Winnegar, between the Savannah hotel and the railroad, where a larger business was carried on. It was afterwards kept by R. W. Evans and William R. Stults, and by W. G. Smith. Savannah hotel, the only public-house in the place, and the second one in the town, was erected by Archibald Munson in 1858, and opened on February 20,1859, by Bela Smith and A. J. Squires, lessees. In October following, Mr. Smith sold his interest to a Mr. Burroughs. Stephen Compson superseded in ownership, and was followed by Peter Powell, Norris, John Fowler, and Wright & Bivins, the present owners. Joseph Remer built and ran the first blacksmith-shop in 1854; and William B. Dodge recently erected the cider-distillery now in operation. The steam stave-mill, belonging to Hiram Diffendorff, was burned to the ground in the fall of 1866, and was rebuilt the following year.
Savannah Lodge, No. 764, F. and A. M., was organized about two years ago by the resident members of the order of Freemasons. At the last election, held December 21, 1876, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year, viz.:
A. Munson, W. M.; A. E. Casey, S. W.; J. N. Westbrook, J. W.; J. B. Carris, Treasurer; A. S. Farnham, Secretary; 11. E. Newton, S.D.; J. K. Bixby, J. D.; B. G. Clark, S. M. C.; D. E. Carncross, J. M. C.; and A. Gregg, Tyler. The lodge has ample rooms fitted up, regular meetings with good attendance, and is in a flourishing condition.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH of SAVANNAH.
was organized in the district school-house in that village, in 1864, by Rev. Mr. Wilson and Rev. Mr. Young, a committee of ministers, of Lyons, and with seventeen constituent members, viz.: Elisha Merriman, Charlotte Merriman, Daniel E. Campbell, Mary Campbell, John North, Sebel W. North, Moses Treat, Sarah Treat, Willis C. Smith, Almira Smith, Ogden Pearson, Julia Pearson, Mary Pearsall, Jane E. Kirkhuff, Nancy J. Broderic, Frances A. Wells and Harriet E. Evans. The first minister was Rev. George W. Warner; and Moses Treat and John North were appointed the first bench of elders, and also to serve as deacons. The weekly services of the church continued to be held in the district school-house until the completion of their present church edifice, which was begun immediately alter its organization. It is located in the central part of the village, forty-five by sixty feet in size, and cost about five thousand dollars. It was opened for services, and consecrated to Divine worship, on August 18, 1864, by Rev. Horace Eaton, D.D., of Palmyra. Rev. George W. Warner, the first minister, occupied the pulpit one year, and was superseded by Rev. George Smith, who also served one year. Mr. Smith was followed by Rev. Charles Anderson, who, after preaching two years, was succeeded by Rev. Lemuel S. Pomeroy, the present incumbent, now completing his sixth year. John North and Willis Smith are the present elders, and also serve as deacons; and the present church membership is forty-eight. The church has had a regular minister nearly all the time since its organization, though Rev. L. S. Pomeroy is the first regularly-installed pastor, - the preceding three serving as supplies. A revival occurred in the third year of its existence, under the ministration of Rev. Charles Anderson, also in 1872, and in 1876. The Sabbath-school was organized in the same school- house, in 1862, and in unison with the members of the Methodist Episcopal church, by John North and others. Archibald Munson was chosen first superintendent. The pupils who were children of Methodist parents were afterwards withdrawn and connected with the church of that denomination. The school now comprises seven teachers and about sixty pupils, under charge of Warren E. Knapp, present superintendent. It also has a carefully-selected library of three hundred volumes, with Edward P. Pomeroy, librarian. The church and school are both prosperous.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
of Savannah was the second religious organization established in the town dating from about 1867; their church building was erected soon after. It was dedicated in November, 1870. Long before the organization of this church the Methodists held frequent services in the school-house. This church owes its foundation mainly to the late Archibald Munson; he contributed about a thousand dollars donated also the ground upon which the church was built, and was a zealous supporter of everything connected with the organization up to the day of his death.. The church is a commodious wooden structure, with a high basement for classrooms, Sunday-school, etc. Both the society and school are in a prosperous condition.
THE SAINT PATRICK'S CHURCH OF SAVANNAH (ROMAN CATHOLIC).
was commenced in the summer of 1875. It is located on the east side of the road, on the old Michael Curry farm, south of the railroad, and about one-fourth mile from the village. It is a wooden structure, twenty-five by fifty feet in size, and will cost when completed about two thousand four hundred dollars. The architects and builders are Grace & McCarthy, of Weedsport. The lot was donated to the church, in fulfillment of the wishes of Mrs. Michael Curry by her daughter, Mrs. Andrew McDade, of Rochester. Savannah belongs to Clyde parish, and is consequently under the supervision and charge of Rev. Fatheh P. W. O'Connel, D.D., pastor of St. John's church in that village, who conducts the services of this church, and to whose energy and zeal, aided by the effective support of Edward Flinn, of Savannah, the present undertaking is due For the past twelve or fifteen years mass has been celebrated and church services held in private houses, as priests would occasionally visit the village; most prominent -among whom are Fathers J. P. Stewart and P. W. O'Connel. The Catholic congregation of St. Patrick's church is about one hundred and fifty.
SOLDIERS' RECORD FOR SAVANNAH.
Adams, William, 3d Artillery. Enlisted January, 1861; died July, 1864.
Abrams, Edwin D., 9th Artillery. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Albright, Isaac, 50th Engineers. Discharged 1865.
Allen, Charles, 9th Artillery. Enlisted September, 1861; discharged 1865.
Adams, Lewis, 3d Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Ayers, Alfred, 16th artillery.
Beadle, Justus, Company B, 111th infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Butts, Henry, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted May, 1864; discharge July, 1864.
Burnham, C., 15th Engineers. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Burke, Thomas, 9th Artillery. Enlisted December, 1863; discharged 1865.
Bixby, Joseph A., Co. H, 138th Inf. Enlisted August, 1862; died in prison Nov. 9, 1864.
Burke, Henry A., Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted 1862; died of wounds May 6, 1864.
Beadle, Justin, Company B, 111th Inf. Enlisted August, 1862; died January 8, 1864.
Beadle, George E., 75th Infantry. Enlisted November, 1861; killed in battle July, 1864.
Betts, R. P., 9th Artillery. Enlisted January, 1864; killed July 9, 1864.
Besemer, James E., 75th Infantry. Enlisted September, 1861; discharged 1865.
Besemer, John, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted 1863; discharged 1865.
Baggerly, Peter, 9th Artillery. Enlisted December, 1863; discharged 1865.
Barrell, Charles L.
Burnham, A. W.
Bivins, James, corporal, Company H, 138th Infantry.
Beadle, Joseph O., 9th Artillery.
Blaisdell, William, 9th Artillery.
Beauchamp, Henry, 111th Infantry.
Baker, Henry A., 111th Infantry.
Bohn, Henry, 16th Artillery.
Clark, Samuel I., 126th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; died of wounds July 17, 1863.
Cady, Egbert H., 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; killed at Cold Harbor.
Coy, Edwin, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; killed at Wilderness.
Court, M. D., 75th Infantry. In service three years.
Conklin, Gilbert, 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Cornell, Z. A. Enlisted September, 1862; discharged 1865.
Cornell, Warren, 111th Infantry. Enlisted February, 1863; discharged 1865.
Campbell, Rufus, lieutenant, 138th Infantry. Enlisted September, 1862; disch. Nov, 1864.
Caton, William, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1863.
Carver, Charles R., 76th Infantry. Enlisted July, 1863; discharged 1865.
Cain, T., Company H, 138th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1864; discharged 1865.
Calvin, William A., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Carnell, J. A., Company H, 138th Infantry.
Carncross, William H., Company H, 138th Infantry.
Davenport, Edwin, 10th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Dunbar, Dorus, 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged February, 1864.
Davenport, Newman, 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1864; discharged February, 1865.
Darling, Philip, 9th Artillery.
Faris, Henry H. Enlisted April, 1861.
Foster, John, 9th Artillery. Enlisted January, 1864; discharged 1865.
Flattery, William, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Foster, W. A., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Gibson, John W., 19th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Gay, Perry, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Graham, Charles, 193d Infantry. Enlisted March, 1865; discharged.
Greenfield, Alonzo, 111th Infantry. Enlisted 1861; discharged 1865.
Greenfield, Elijah, 147th Infantry. Enlisted July, 1863; discharged 1865.
Gravel, Joseph, Co. B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Garry, Patrick, Jr., 15th Engineers. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Holdridge, Andrew J. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Hollenbeck, David, 8th Cavalry. In service three years.
Hopkins, Almon, 9th Artillery. Enlisted September, 1862; discharged 1865.
Hamilton, Charles A., 76th Infantry. Enlisted April, 1863; discharged 1865.
Holdridge, Martin, 50th Engineers. Enlisted January, 1862; discharged 1865.
Hubbard, Charles, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Hall, Aaron G., 134th Infantry. Enlisted December, 1864; discharged 1865.
Hall, Stores, 9th Artillery. Enlisted January, 1864; discharged 1865.
Helmer, Oliver, Company B, 138th Infantry.
Holley, Thomas S., Co. B, 111th Infantry.
Hind, William E., Co. B, 111th Infantry.
Hoffman, Franklin, sergeant, Company G, 138th Infantry.
Harris, A., Company H, 138th Infantry.
Harris, Erastus, 3d Artillery.
Ingersoll, George W., 19th Infantry. Enlisted April, 1861; died October 26, 1862.
Ives, John T., 15th Engineers. Enlisted September, 1864; died November 10, 1864.
Ingersoll, Gilbert, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Johnson, Morris, sergeant, 9th Artillery. Discharged 1865.
Johnson, Lawrence, 9th Artillery. Enlisted December, 1862; promoted; discharged 1864.
Jones, Leroy S., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Jenny, Enos S., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Jones, William B., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Jenny, Van Rensselaer, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Knapp, Charles E.; 75th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1861; discharged 1865.
Kilmer, Martin, 111th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1864; discharged 1865.
Keifer, Bernard, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Knapp, Lafayette, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Lather, John, 111th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1864; discharged 1865.
Lawrence, Edwin, 50th Engineers. Enlisted January, 1862; discharged 1865.
Lusk, Robert, 75th Infantry. Enlisted November, 1861; killed in battle July, 1864.
Long, William H., 8th Cavalry. Enlisted September, 1861; killed in Wilson's raid.
Ladue, Jeremiah, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Lovell, Cornelius, 75th Infantry.
Mauron, William, 28th Michigan. Enlisted September, 1864.
Myers, L. J., 193d Infantry. Enlisted April, 1865; discharged.
Miller, Chauncey, 111th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1864; discharged 1865.
Matteson, Ira, 111th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1864; discharged 1865.
Mead, Calvin, 50th Engineers. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Murray, Michael, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Mather, Calvin, 9th Artillery.
McCrady, D. H., 9th Artillery.
Mills, F. A., 9th Artillery.
Mackey, Alonzo, 9th Artillery.
Nicholas, J. B., 9th Artillery.
Olmsted, Millard. Enlisted February, 1864; discharged 1865.
Olmsted, Marion. Enlisted February, 1864; discharged 1865.
Olmsted, Simeon. Enlisted April, 1864; discharged 1865.
Parmington, Oliver, 111th Infantry. Enlisted November, 1861; discharged 1865.
Parmington, Horace, 11th Cavalry. Enlisted March, 1862; discharged 1865.
Perkins, Elisha, 111th Infantry. Enlisted February, 1864; discharged 1865.
Potter, Charles, 9th Artillery. Enlisted January, 1864; discharged April, 1864
Phalon, John, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Phelps, Daniel, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Pettys, Freeman, Company H, 138th Infantry.
Palmer, Edgar, 9th Artillery.
Quackenbush, G. B., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Reamer, Joseph, Jr., 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Roberts, Franklin E., 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Robins, Alexander, 9th Artillery. Enlisted September. 1862; discharged 1865.
Russell, John H., 75th Infantry. Enlisted November, 1861; killed at Winchester.
Remington, Chas. A., Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted Aug, 1862; died Jan.24, 1863.
Reynolds, Gilbert, Co. B, 111th Inf. Enlisted Aug., 1862; died July 2, 1864, of wounds.
Remington, George H., orderly sergeant, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Remington, Edgar, third sergeant, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Remington, W. H., fifth sergeant, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Reamer, William, Company B, 111th Infantry.
Reamer, John A., Company B, 111th Infantry.
Robins, Sanford, 9th Artillery.
Reynolds, E. B., 111th Infantry.
Rider, Jay, 75th Infantry.
Searle, F., 9th Artillery. Enlisted December, 1863; discharged 1865.
Saxton, Edson, 15th Engineers. Enlisted August, 1864; discharged 1865.
Sedore, Stephen, 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged.
Stiles, Judson, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Sprague, David, 33d Infantry. Enlisted May, 1861; discharged October, 1861.
Smith, Edgar, 75th Infantry.
Tobin, Thomas. Enlisted November, 1864; discharged May, 1865.
Taylor, George W., Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Taylor, Robert, 75th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1861; fate unknown.
Taylor, Reuben, 9th Artillery. Enlisted February, 1864; fate unknown.
Torry, Franklin, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; died August 11, 1864.
Thornton, Erastus, Company H, 138th Infantry.
Van Dyck, Ralph, 50th Engineers.
Vorce, David, 9th Artillery. Enlisted February, 1863; discharged 1865.
Vorce, George, 193d Infantry. Enlisted April, 1865; discharged.
Vosburgh, Tunis, 138th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged February, 1863.
Webner, Charles, 111th Infantry.
Wright, Philander, 9th Artillery. Enlisted September, 1862; discharged 1865.
Wiley, James B., Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Wescott, Charles, 50th Engineers. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Wormoth, David, 9th Artillery. Enlisted March, 1864; discharged 1865.
Wormoth, Daniel, 9th Artillery. Enlisted September, 1864; discharged 1865.
Wormoth, William, 193rd Infantry. Enlisted April, 1865; discharged.
Wescott, Amos, Company B, 111th Infantry. Enlisted August, 1862; discharged 1865.
Wheeler, Peter, 9th Artillery. Enlisted August, 1862; died of wounds November 20, 1863.
Winegar, Albert A., 111th Infantry. Enlisted March, 1864; died June 13, 1864.
Wares, Charles, Company H, 138th Infantry.
West, Harrison, 9th Artillery.
Williams, Melvin, 75th Infantry.
Williams, Horace, 75th Infantry.
Yeoman, Ashley. Enlisted January, 1864; discharged 1865.
* We are indebted to H. II. Wheeler, of South Butler, for information in regard to the early settlement of Savannah. [the author's footnote]
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