PAGES 46 - 51

Source: Historical Souvenir Series No. 20
Wolcott, N.Y. and Vicinity
Copyrighted June 1905, "Grip," 109 Corning Ave., Syracuse, N.Y.

Mrs. F. L. Knapp, located in Wolcott January 1, 1905, coming from Buffalo, with new and fashionable styles in millinery, and she has provided the village with a stock of the latest style of goods. Mrs. Knapp is a progressive, business woman and the people of Wolcott are giving her the patronage such a place deserves.

William Warren Paddock - During a period of forty-six years William Warren Paddock was one of the leading citizens and active business men of Wolcott. It was during the period that Wolcott grew up from a scattering village of a few small houses and wooden stores to a well built and prosperous town. To that growth Mr. Paddock contributed his full share in every way, so that any account of Wolcott would be incomplete which did not take him into consideration.

Mr. Paddock was born at Vienna in Oneida County, N. Y., on the 6th day of June, 1832 and was the second of nine children born to Jacob and Polly Paddock. When he was four years old his parents moved to the town of Huron and five years later removed to the town of Wolcott to the farm on Port Bay street known as the Benjamin Brown farm. Upon this farm Mr. Paddock spent his early life doing farm work and attending the district school for a few weeks at a time as he could be spared from the work. When he was eighteen years of age he determined to learn some trade. For a short time he tried harness making in Clyde but not finding that to his liking he entered the employ of the hardware firm of Bradish and Bourne at Lyons, N. Y. The spirit with which he entered upon his business career may be gathered from this incident: Upon applying to this firm for employment, they asked what terms and wages he expected, his reply was, "any terms, provided I thoroughly learn the trade." After a two years' apprenticeship with this firm, he worked as tinner for a few years at Clyde and Lyons.

In 1857 Mr. Paddock came to Wolcott and opened a hardware store in partnership with Mr. Samuel Foster. This store was a wooden building at the corner of Mill and Main streets on the site now occupied by the Lawrence Marble and Granite works. After a few years Mr. Foster took over the hardware business and for about two years Mr. Paddock ran a canning factory in connection with Mr. Ephraim Nichols. This was during the Civil War and the firm canned meats, vegetables and fruits on a large scale for that time, for the use of the soldiers in the Union army. At the close of the War this business was wound up and he bought back the entire hardware business of Mr. Foster. After the fire of 1872 he built the brick store at No. 14 Main street where he carried on his hardware business until his death.

Mr. Paddock always took an active and prominent part in all matters of public interest. Although his own educational opportunities had been limited to a few weeks per year in a district school, he was one of the founders and for years the treasurer of Leavenworth Institute. He with Col. Dutton planted the trees which now ornament the campus of that Institution. He also at his death provided for a scholarship at Syracuse University to be used for the benefit of needy Wolcott students. In politics Mr. Paddock was a Republican and although he never desired or held office outside of village affairs he never failed to exercise his right of franchise and take an active interest in the questions of the day. In village administration he was for one or more terms President of the village and many times trustee.

Mr. Paddock was converted and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church when a young man about eighteen years of age and was a lifelong and active member of that church. The building of the present Methodist Episcopal church of Wolcott was financed and managed by him. He gave personally in money towards its construction the sum of $2,000, which was one-fourth of his entire property at that time. During most of the years of his life at Wolcott he was a member of its official Board and a writer has said of him that "he brought to the use of the Church the same hard headed business sense that made him a success in his own private affairs, and from a struggling group of worshipers that society has grown to be one of the strongest in this community." At his death Mr. Paddock left this Church an endowment of $2,000, as a permanent fund for building repairs.

At twenty-three years of age Mr. Paddock married Mary A. Lester of Lyons, N. Y., who still survives him. Five children were born to them, four of whom are living, H. Lester of Fulton, N. Y., William H. and Bessie Tiftt Paddock and Mrs. Edw. T. Brown of Wolcott, N. Y.

Until his death, which occurred Nov. 24, 1903, he was active in business and interested in village affairs, constant in his devotion to his family, and was held in the highest respect by all who knew him.

Reminiscences of Old Timers East of the Creek - Wagons were Made from the Rough in Sebring's Shop - Beech leaves Kept Family in Food:-

A. W. Chase, living east of the creek in the house where he and his wife began housekeeping fifty-five years ago, is eighty years old. His father, Oliver Chase, located over near Port Bay in 1826 in a log house. "That summer, my father having no supplies or means of getting them," said Mr. Chase, "the family were compelled to live on beech leaves for six weeks, which they cooked as you would greens.

"Our family the first night they were in this section stayed at Levi Smith's house. He built the old cobble stone house. He thought he would keep a cold water tavern and ran one for about a year. Then he changed it into a store which he had until about 1841 or '42 when it became a dwelling.

"Along in 1842 or '43 I worked at wagon making for Roswell Cleveland whose shop stood where the Methodist Church now stands.

"Between the present grist mill and the site of the old saw mill in the gulf I helped build a saw mill for Middaw in which was placed a 40-horse power engine and which burned down. I have seen that whole yard about the mills piled up twenty logs deep.


"Jerry Sebring bought Foster's farm and built a saw mill where Wadsworth's place is now, on the North Wolcott road, in a hollow. The water wheel could not raise the saw, which was an old muley saw, but Sebring had to start it going by putting a lever under the teeth of the saw. Then Sebring and I constructed a wheel with 20-inch buckets and you can bet that went. As the land was ditched and drained the stream gave out and Sebring got a steam engine. Alden Hale finally rented the mill. Then it was sold to Hall & Co. who put in machinery for cutting out barrel staves and heads, but they never did any business. The mill burned up.

"One of the old gunsmiths in later days was David Pease. I worked for him. He had a shop on Mill street at the foot of Auburn street in a building put up for a tavern.


"Roswell Benedict was one of the earliest farm owners this side of the creek, north of Red Creek road. Pat Casey had the farm adjoining it on the east and Caleb Millicins owned the James Hyde Farm. Next north was the Plank farm.

"My grandfather, Nathaniel Chase, came here a year before my father. He tended Plank's mill after it was rebuilt.

"Millington & Cornwell built the old White hotel just within my recollection. Jerry Sebring had a wagon shop where you turn off on to the Port Bay road. One season I made nine lumber wagons in that shop. I sawed out the fellies from the rough timber.


"Spooky Hollow was where they said the moans of a man who had been murdered could be heard, and many people avoided the place until it was found that the noise proceeded from one tree grinding against another.


"When N. W. Tompkins owned the grist mill I worked there. Warren Youngs was the miller. Then Tompkins traded the mill for a farm with a man named Olmstead and he brought along Miles Crane for the miller. I didn't like him and quit a month after.

"Moore's old distillery in the hollow near the Clyde road I remember well. Bert Saxon used to draw four-foot wood to the distillery and I can now see him driving four oxen hitched to a load. He got seventy-five cents a cord. In those days whiskey brought eighteen pence a gallon but we never had use for it."

Reminiscences of the Old "Black House Farm" Buildings; Describing the Condition of Main Street Fifty Years Ago:-

The old "Black House" farm buildings, the sites of which are now built up with beautiful village homes surrounded by lawns and gardens, are described by D. A. Foote. There are others living who remember them.

"After Dr. David Arne who was for years the owner and occupant of them had moved to Auburn, there to educate his children, M. P. Foote, his son-in-law, came to Wolcott to engage in business," said David A. Foote, "and the old Melvin buildings became his charge. The house he re-clapboarded thus disposing of the wretched appearance given it by being painted black. He spent $2,000 in repairing the house. It was a long, two-story building, now standing on Smith street, with its gable toward the street.

"Across Main street stood the carriage house, now where Captain Curtis lives. A large sheep barn stood south of it in the field. The Langwell residence on Draper street stands a little east of the site of that barn.

"Along Main street, east of the farm house, now the site of a row of hands me dwellings, was the barnyard running from the street back ten rods. The barn shed, a long open structure for sheltering stock, formed the west boundary to the yard with one end resting on the street. The grounds of Will Paddock's residence occupy that site. Along about in the rear part of Will Paddock's lot was the big barn, enclosing the barnyard on the north. You can now see the old well where the stock was watered with its covering of boards in the midst of Campbell's lawn. That stood outside of the east fence to the barnyard and the water was run through a pipe into a trough in the yard. A pair of bars opened the way from the street into the barnyard. Where Campbell's residence stands was a tenant house belonging to the farm.

"Down here on Main street, along in front of Will Church's and G. H. Northup's residences, extending to Campbell's store, was a pond over which I have poled myself on a raft when a boy.

"I recall an old office structure - a small frame building - on the site of Campbell's store, which rested on blocks sawed out of logs to keep it out of the marshy ground and you got into the door by walking a plank. The pond is now replaced with a macademized street and fine lawns, and a modern business block stands in the place of the little shop on blocks.

"When the cannon exploded on the Fourth of July which you have spoken of, a piece of the metal fell through the roof of the Presbyterian church and crashed through the floor very close to where Jennie Boylan was standing.

"I recall the time when the upper balcony of the hotel went down with several people, at some doings in town, and injured a number. Mrs. Bissell was hurt the worst.

"My personal recollection of old timers include Abijah Moore, Dr. Wilson, James Wright and Hiram Church.

"I was born in Wolcott in the forties and learned the art of photography from Charles Ravel, beginning work for him in 1861 in the gallery over what is now Campbell's store. He made ambrotypes which soon after disappeared, being replaced with the wet plate process. Deguerrotypes had gone out of use before my time.

"Chauncey P. Smith had a general store in the present Campbell store at that time."

Draper Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, named for the late Dr. Edwin H. Draper, a Master Mason of long standing, was installed at Wolcott on February 25, 1898, by Past Grand Matron Elizabeth Raymond, assisted by Raymond Chapter, No. 100, of Savannah, N. Y.

The Chapter started on its career with sixty charter members, and a charter was granted it by the Grand Lodge on Sept. 9, 1898.

The first Worthy Matron and first Patron of the local chapter were Mrs. Bertha Kelly and Geo. W. Roe, respectively, who were both re-elected and held office for two years.

They were succeeded by the following Worthy Matrons:--Nellie C. Graves; Jennie R. Foster; Ada A. P. Stewart; Minnie T. Hammond and Mrs. Lillian D. Kellogg, the present incumbent. The following are Past Worthy Patrons:--Samuel Cosad; L. H. Carris; and Lloyd C. Jones, who holds the office at this writing.

Since the institution of the chapter it has initiated sixty-three members, and has at present the membership of 101. In its more than seven years of existence it has lost but four members by death.

It is one of the most flourishing and useful orders in the village, and does much to promote right living and good cheer.

A. B. Sabin, proprietor of the Sabin Hotel, was born in the town of Wolcott on his father's farm at Port Bay, the old homestead of which he is to-day the owner and in which he takes much pride. Mr. Sabin was a small boy when his father died. Leaving home at an early age and with a small capital from the sale of a horse he owned, he got into business in the west where he lived thirty-two years, and returned east in 1892 after making a success in acquiring property. Leaving Oswego on a steamboat, a mere stripling, he went to Michigan, Missouri and other states. In several places he became manager or owner of fine hotel property, especially in Kalamazoo, Mich., and in Hannibal, Mo., and in some cases built up the business of hotels that had not been flourishing.

In 1871 he married Estelle Bowen, a native of New York State, at Plainwell, Mich. they have one son, A. B. Sabin, Jr., who was educated at Notre Dame College, South Bend, Ind., and who is the manager of Mr. Sabin's farm.

At Manistee, Mich., on the lake opposite Chicago, Mr. Sabin lost every dollar he possessed in a fire which cleaned out the town and which very strangely sprung up the same day of the Chicago fire. But this did not dampen his ardor as a few years later he succeeded in recovering all he had lost, and making even a greater success than before.

Since returning to Wolcott Mr. Sabin has bought and sold different farms. He is now the owner of the splendid Webster Thorn fruit farm of fifty-four acres near the lake, in which he takes a good deal of pride. This is without a superior in growing fruit. The buildings are in fine shape and the location is grand, giving a view of Lake Ontario. The residence is a fourteen-room house and there are on the place three good sized barns. One of them is 90x35 feet, another 30x42 and the third 32x20.

Mr. Sabin has bought and sold considerable village real estate and is an active promoter of public affairs. He is a member of the Colantha Lodge, No 50, K. of P., of Niles, Mich., and the Wolcott lodge of Odd Fellows; also the N. P. L. of Wolcott.

G. F. Kellogg opened a pool and billiard room in the Horton Block in October, 1903, and a cigar business connected therewith, equipping the place with the famous Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.'s tables which have the professional doweled slate beds and the best Monarch cushions. He conducts a popular resort for men who enjoy billiards or pool, or a good cigar. Mr. Kellogg was born in Wolcott and has always resided in the village or vicinity. He is a member of Red Creek Lodge, No. 725, I. O. O. F., and has been through all the chairs in that lodge. To Miss Cora Houghtaling of Westbury, Cayuga Co., N. Y. he was married December 8, 1895, but she died in April, 1900, leaving two children, who since the death of their mother have, with their father, made their home with Gilbert Fisher, Mr. Kellogg's grandfather.

Judgments Wound Up the Wolcott Interests of Three Earliest Business Operators; Men who Purchased their Lands:-

From Hiram Church's historical sketches we condense the following concerning the financial difficulties that wound up the Wolcott interests of Jonathan Melvin, Obadiah Adams and Adonijah Church.

Jonathan Melvin, Adonijah Church and Jacob Viele were endorsers of Obadiah Adams paper to the Geneva and Utica banks for money to carry on his business.

Soon after 1823 his endorsed paper went to protest and it terminated in a suspension of most of his business operations. His endorsers made arrangement with the banks to put off prosecution for a time. Mr. Melvin had moved back to Phelps and Mr. Church, on account of sickness, was unable to look after Mr. Adams' affairs. After consultation with Melvin, Adams built the blast furnace but his creditors dispossessed him.

Judgments were obtained against Mr. Melvin and Mr. Church and on the execution of the judgments the sheriff sold the last of Melvin's lands in Wolcott, about 450 acres, now included in the corporation limits. In the meantime Adams was confined for a short time in the jail limits at Lyons. Melvin's farm in Phelps was also sold leaving him his only support a revolutionary pension.

The sheriff also sold the farm of Adonijah Church consisting of 175 acres, but not until after his death. It is now the farm of Mrs. Wm. Dutton. The widow's right of dower--about $500--was all that was left to support herself and five children.

Jacob Viele paid about $2,500 to satisfy the claims against him on the Adams' paper.

Elias Y. Munson bought of the bank the land belonging to Adams including the tavern. He sold the farm on the north side of Main street, now including the site of the stores on that side of the street--to S. P. and C. A. Keyes and kept the tavern.

The bank sold 250 acres of what Melvin owned--the "Black House" property--to David Arne for $17 an acre. Melvin's property on the east side of Mill creek the bank sold to Levi Smith who built the cobble stone house.

Nathan Pierce, his son-in-law, built the White Hotel. [This statement is contradicted by those who say that it was built by Millington and another].

The balance of the Melvin farm, about sixty acres, taken by the bank, was sold to Hiram Bement from Vermont. It was later known as the Roswell Benedict farm.

The Melvin mill property was sold to Dr. Tripp by the bank who also bought the residence of Melvin's son Alanson. This wiped out all of Melvin's property interests in Wolcott, as well as those of Adonijah Church and Obadiah Adams.

School Acre Donated by Melvin Subject of Controversy when the Baptist Church was Erected - Settled by Arbitration:-

The village green, including an acre of ground, was donated to the village by Jonathan Melvin in 1813 for school purposes, giving the privilege of religious worship there also. This was construed in many ways by later settlers when a controversy over the use of the public green had started. Some maintained that it meant the right of building a church. Others held that the lot was exclusively for a school but holding the district to the proviso that at all times, when not interfering with school purposes, the building must be left open to religious services.


At first the school being erected--about where the present engine house stands-- in 1813, it was used for all purposes, school, "strolling players," knitting societies [now it is aid societies] and occasional preaching. Here Elder Butterick preached under the auspices of the Presbyterian Board which in those days kept traveling preachers in all of the thinly settled part of New York state. Then, no church society thought of building. But a few years later Obadiah Adams bought and moved this school building across the street for an addition to his tavern, and the district erected the red school building still farther south. This was used for religious services, entertainments, etc., and in 1843 was succeeded by the new two-story school building which was then considered an imposing school. This was burned in 1865. After that the public school and Leavenworth Institute were united in the Institute building.


In the meantime the different church societies when they set about to build turned their eyes upon the village green. Hiram Church has written that the Presbyterians and Methodists successively rejected a building site on the green and, as we know, built in other parts of the village. But the Baptist society claimed a building site there. Then arose the controversy over its location between the society and the school district.


The course followed in settling the dispute has been told by Mr. Church as follows: "The opposition to the claim of the trustees of the church society became more bitter when they commenced their [church] foundation. Before going any farther they made a halt and the whole question as to their right to build on the lot and how much ground they were to occupy according to the conveyance given by Mr. Melvin to the trustees of Wolcott school district No. 1 was settled by arbitration, which was submitted to Judge Sisson of Lyons, Thomas Armstrong of Butler and Mr. Ferris of Cato," who rendered a decision in writing which gave the church the occupancy of the ground it had chosen for the foundation of the building and defined the limits of the lot, which the society has since occupied.

First Families in Wolcott; How They Got Started for this Section:-

"Dr. Zenas, Gen. Ebenezer and John Hyde, three eldest sons of Maj. John Hyde, with Osgood and Adonijah Church and Obadiah Adams (who married Eunice Church) and Jarvis Mudge, a drover who for years drove cattle and horses to the Philadelphia market,"--such was the description of the first party coming to Wolcott to settle, which was written for a local paper in 1876 by Milton Barney at Brooklyn, Cal. They lived at new Marlborough, Berkshire Co., Mass., and, except Gen. Ebenezer, they agreed to move to the "Great Sodus Bay country." Mr. Barney wrote; "Obadiah Adams was the pioneer merchant of that section. Zenas Hyde and his brother John had grown up children. The Church families were young. Jarvis Mudge's children were mostly grown. *   * As I was passing from Wolcott to Clyde forty or fifty years since [between 1826 and '36] I called on Deacon Abram Knapp who had moved from New Marlborough; they had a daughter, about my age, blind, who was precocious in learning from memory; they had also a son, Samuel, who was a preacher. Mrs. Knapp was the mother of Philo C. Fuller, who was Assistant Postmaster General for several years at Washington."


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Page 48
Top Row (left to right):- Mrs. Clifford Brewster, Mrs. C. D. Walker, Miss Nellie Moses, Mrs. Annie Dusenbury, Mrs. Wm. Olmstead, Miss Sue G. Craft, Mrs. Dr. Day, Miss Fannie Fish, Mrs. F. L. Knapp, Miss Carrie H. Bliss, Mrs. Dr. L. C. Jones. Middle Row:- Miss Carolyn D. Exner, Mrs. C. H. Hammer, Mrs. Arthur Jurden, Mrs. E. H. Kellogg, Dr. L. C. Jones, Mrs. Dr. S. W. Houston. Lower Row:- Mrs. Rollo Steward, Mrs. Charles Graves, Mrs. J. A. Murphy, Mrs. U. G. Brewster, Mrs. C. H. Wethy.

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Typed by Faye Brown.

"I have gotten a great deal of information from the Wayne County site. Both of my parents were born and raised in Wayne County. The names of my ancesters were Farnsworth, Jordan, Ayers, Wicks, Austin, Gifford and West, among many others."

For information about individuals, businesses and organizations mentioned on this page, please direct all inquiries to the Office of the County Historian.

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