Town of Hammond
From Child's Gazetteer of St. Lawrence County
Hammond(1) was formed from Rossie and Morristown March 30, 1827(2). The line bordering on Morristown was changed May 2, 1837. A part was annexed to Macomb April 11, 1842, and a part to Rossie Feb 7, 1844. It lies upon the St. Lawrence, in the angle formed by that river and the south-west boundary line of the county, and contains 35,815 acres. It includes several islands in the St. Lawrence, which are a portion of the Thousand Islands, the last of which lie opposite this town. This group of islands, so well known to the tourist and traveler of present day, commence at the outlet of Lake Ontario, and extend along the entire river front of Jefferson County. They consist principally of gneiss rock which rises above the pellucid waters in an almost infinitude of pleasing varieties, ever provoking profound admiration from the beholder. Their varied size, shape and physical appearance -- some being almost infinitesimally small (comparatively) and presenting a rugged and sterile aspect from their naked rocks, while others, covering an area of many thousand acres, and clothed with the verdure of cultivated fields or the varied hues of the primitive forests -- afford a vast fund of instructive amusement. The surface of the town is generally level, being broken on the north and south borders by low ridges of gneiss and white limestone. A level terrace of sandstone, forming a continuous and regular mural elevation, extends from the north shore of Black Lake through the center of the town into Jefferson County. Chippewa and Black creeks flow through the town in parallel, but opposite directions, the former through the north part to the St. Lawrence and the latter through the south to Black Lake, extending through a stagnant swamp boarding upon the sandstone terrace. Upon Cross-Over Island, above Oak Point, is a light house, connected with the keeper's house, with a fixed light visible at a distance of twelve nautical miles. It was built in 1847, and refitted in 1855. The tower is twenty-five feet above the base, and the light thirty-seven feet above water. It is fitted with a No. 4 lens. The soil is a deep, fertile loam, and amply rewards the labor bestowed in its cultivation. Though the town does not at present possess railroad communication with other points, it is reasonable certain that the Black River & Morristown R. R. will soon afford this advantage. The grading for this road is now in progress through this town.
The population of the town in 1870 was 1,757, of whom 1,345 were native, 412 foreign, and all, except one, white.
During the year ending Sept 30, 1872, the town contained thirteen school districts and employed thirteen teachers. The number of children of school age was 587; the number attending school 455; the average attendance, 225; the amount expended for school purposes, $2,954.41; and the value of the school houses and sites, $3,300.
HAMMOND (p.o.) is a pleasant and thriving village, situated a little east of the center, and contains three churches, (M.E., Presbyterian, and Universalist), one hotel, two stores, and a cabinet shop.
CHIPPEWA (p.o.) is situated upon Chippewa Bay, near the mouth of Chippewa Creek, and about the center of the west border. It contains one hotel, two stores and a blacksmith shop. Much of the lumber manufactured in the town seeks a market by way of the St. Lawrence from this point. The waters of the bay are too shallow to admit vessels of heavy draft.
NORTH HAMMOND (p.o.) in the north part, contains a store, blacksmith shop and shoe store.
OAK POINT is a hamlet upon the St. Lawrence, in the extreme north part.
SOUTH HAMMOND is a hamlet in the south part.
The first settlement in the town is said to have been made by Wm. McNeill, from Vermont, several years previous to 1812. He made no attempt to clear land, but lived, like a hermit, in a niche in the rocks at Chippewa Bay, and subsisted upon game and fish. The first clearing was made by Wm. Wiley from Vermont, in the summer of 1812, on the site of Hammond village. A Mr. Barker, from Rossie, moved in the following year and settled a mile south of Wiley, where he opened a tavern. At this tavern, in 1814, a party of fifty or sixty Canadians under Duncan Fraser, attempted the capture of a refugee, who had rendered himself obnoxious to his Canadian neighbors by repeated depredations committed in revenge for real or supposed injuries; but being advised by the family of their presence, the pursued fled half dressed to the woods, narrowly escaping a shower of balls aimed at him, and eluded his would-be captors. Sept 12, 1814, David Parish purchased of Abijah Hammond 28,871 acres, and under his liberal management the settlements increased. No titles to land were taken in the town by actual settlers until after this purchase, the first contract being taken by Wm. Wiley in July, 1818. Loren Bailey came into the town as the agent of Mr. Parish, July 31, 1818, and located on Chippewa Bay, and from his advent its material growth may be dated. Several Scotch families who immigrated to this country between the years 1818-1821, without any particular destination in view, were met by the agents of Mr. Parish and induced to settle here. The favorable representations of those persons led others of their friends and neighbors to join them, and thus the town early experienced a healthy growth and activity from this frugal and industrious class of people, who by their enlightened exertions have amassed considerable wealth and have proportionately enriched the town. These persons settled principally between Hammond and Chippewa, where they and their descendants still reside. John and David Gregor, John Baird, Peter Allen, ___ Cowan and John and James Hills, all of whom, except the last two, were married, settled in 1818; Thomas Caswell, Wm. Nickol, James Rodgers, Robert Morris, Robert and Andrew Shields, John Mercer, Thomas Dodds and Wm. Burke, the latter an Englishman, several of whom were single, in 1819; and John Brown, in 1821. Samuel Webster and Wm. Tappan, from Vermont, made the first settlement on the military road in the south part in 1819, and were joined the next year by Jonathan King, of Herkimer county, who opened an inn. Mr. Cowan was killed by the fall of a tree in the winter of 1818, and Mr. Parish, with characteristic liberality, paid the expenses of his widow's return to Scotland. A school opened in the Scotch settlement in the winter of 1819-1820, and taught by Dr. James Scott of Lisbon, is believed to have been the first school in the town. Abram Cooper, settled at Chippewa soon after Mr. Bailey and commenced improvements there. The first settlement at Oak Point was made by George Elliot. In 1824 he was followed by ___ Cowan, who opened a small store. Earl Atwood, Abram Schermerhorn, from Trenton, N. Y., and ___ Matthews and others came soon after.
The town of Hammond furnished 162 men for the Union army in the war of the Rebellion. Of this number nine were wounded and seventeen died of diseases contracted while in service.(3)
There are three churches in the town, all of them located at Hammond village.
The Presbyterian Church was organized with eighteen members by Rev. James Sandford, Aug. 1, 1821. Their first house of worship was erected in 1838; the present one, in 1871, at a cost of $10,000. It is tastily built and is an ornament to the village. It will seat 400 persons on the first floor, and 180 in the basement. The first pastor was James Rodgers; the present on is H. B. Swift. The Society numbers 180 members, and its property is valued at $13,000(4).
The First M. E. Church of Hammond was organized Sept. 29, 1832, and a church edifice was erected a few years after. There are 110 members, who are under the pastoral care of Rev. A. C. Woodward, our informant. The Church property is valued at $1,000(5).
The Church of the Redeemer (Universalist) was organized with thirty-seven members, by Prof. J. S. Lee, Oct. 29, 1870. Their church edifice was completed in September of the same year, at a cost of $3,000. It will seat 275 persons. The Church property is valued at $4,000. Rev. D. L. R. Libby, our informant, was the first pastor, and continues to fill that office. The Society numbers fifty members, including "a large part of the leading minds of the town, and it consequently exerts a strong influence for good." Its aim "is to unite with all others and all good enterprises, and give hearty support in the moral and spiritual advancement of the world."
(1) Named for Abijah Hammond, a merchant and speculator of New York, and former proprietor. It embraces the township of Hammond and a small portion of Somerville in Great Lot No. III of Macomb's Purchase, and a portion of Hague of the Ten Townships.
(2) The first town meeting was held at the house of Asa Baker, May 8, 1827. Sylvester Butrick was elected Supervisor; Roswell Ryon, Town Clerk; Lewis Franklin, Charles Sigourney and Ebin Leonard, Assessors; Orrin Brown, Collector; Benj. Franklin and Wm. Scott, Overseers of the Poor; Loren Bailey, Ebenezer Marvin and David Nickelson, Commissioners of Highways; Orrin Brown and Alfred B. Childs, Constables; Benj. Franklin, Charles Sigourney and James T. King, School Commissioners.
(3) The following commissioned and non-commissioned officers enlisted from this town:
David McGregor, Capt. Co. A., 14th Regt., enlisted Aug 4, 1863, and was mustered out June 14, 1865.
Thomas Hobart, Capt. Co. C., 60th Regt., enlisted Sept 10, 1861, and was mustered out July 17, 1865
Frank Mann Buss, Capt. Co. B., 142d Regt., enlisted Aug 13, 1862, and was discharged July 18, 1865
James Royal Whitting, 1st Lieut. Co. D., 92d Regt., enlisted Nov 11, 1861, and was discharged Jan. 11, 1865
Wm. H. Morris, Lieut. Co. D, 16th Regt., enlisted in April, 1861 and was mustered out in July, 1865
Geo. Densmore Powell, Lieut. Co. B, 160th Regt., enlisted Aug 24, 1861 and was discharged June 1, 1865
Robert Biddle, 2d Lieut. Co. B, 106th Regt, enlisted July 21, 1862, and was discharged Oct 1, 1863
Samuel Milton, Sergt. Co. I, 16th Regt., enlisted April 25, 1861, and died of typhoid fever Dec 21, 1861
Anthony Weaver, Sergt. Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Nov 11, 1861, and was discharged Jan 11, 1865
George Clink, Sergt. Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Sept 10, 1861 and was discharged Aug 29, 1865
George M. Cowan, Sergt. Co. F, 60th Regt., enlisted Feb 22, 1862, and was discharged July 24, 1865
Simon Plantz, Sergt. Co. E, 142d Regt., enlisted Aug 29, 1862, and was discharged June 7, 1865
John C. Smith, Corpl. Co. A, 14th Regt., enlisted in July 1863, and died from wounds in spine
John Lambie, Corpl. Co. B, 16th Regt., enlisted Oct. 5, 1861, and was discharged July 17, 1865
John Norton, Corpl. Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Dec. 22, 1863, and was discharged May 27, 1865
Thomas B. Phillips, Corpl. Co. C., 60th Regt., enlisted Oct 28, 1861, and was discharged Oct 29, 1862
Benj. Carlyle, Corpl. Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Sept 10, 1861
Benj. Austin, Corpl. Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Sept 10, 1861, and was mustered out Oct 30, 1864
Asa Haggerty, Corpl. Co. A, 61st Regt., enlisted Aug 6, 1864 and was discharged Oct 20, 1865 (?)
Geo. Wellington Lawton, Corpl. Co. B, 142d Regt., enlisted Aug. 13, 1862, and was mustered out June 7, 1865
James Breckenridge, Corpl. Co. H, 192d Regt., enlisted in February 1865
Joseph Picket, Musician Co. C, 60th Regt., enlisted Sept. 30, 1861, and was mustered out in March 1865
John L. Lashley, Musician Co. I, 60th Regt., enlisted in February, 1864, and was discharged in October 1864
(4) Information furnished by James Rodgers
(5) The date of the organization of this Society is obtained from Hough's History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties