Town of Hopkinton
From Child's Gazetteer of St. Lawrence County
HOPKINTON(1) was formed from Massena, March 2, 1805(2). Russell was taken off March 27, 1807; Parishville, April 15, 1818; and a part of Lawrence April 21, 1828. It is the south-east corner town and extends from the south border along nearly three-fourths the east border. It contains 283,498 acres, being by far the largest town in the county, more than doubling in size the next largest, Fine, and is the second largest town in the State, being exceeded in size only by the town of Wilmurt in Herkimer county. In the north the surface is level, but in the south it is broken and hilly. It is watered in the north by the east branch of the St. Regis, which forms its northern boundary; in the central part, by Racket River and the west branch of the St. Regis; and in the south, by the head waters of Grass River. There are numerous lakes and pons, lying chiefly in the south part, the principal of which are Trout Lake in the north-east and Tuppers and Massawepie lakes in the south(3). The soil in the north part is a fertile loam, well adapted to the crops common to the northern part of the State. Extensive intervales extend along the valleys of the smaller streams, but the valleys of the larger streams are more contracted and sharply defined. Little of its fine soil however is improved, for, with the exception of the extreme north part and a small tract upon Tuppers Lake, the town is a wilderness, covered with a heavy growth of maple, beech, elm, basswood, butternut, etc., with some oak and walnut on the low plains, and cedar, pine, spruce and fir in the swamps, and considerable hemlock in the south part.
A little south-west of Hopkinton village, on the Parishville road, is a quarry of sandstone, similar to the Potsdam sandstone, which is worked to a limited extent for local purposes. It is a fine flagging and building stone, but its distance from market prevents its extensive use.
The population in the town in 1870 was 1,907, of whom 674 were native, 233 foreign, and all, except five, white.
During the year ending Sept 30, 1872, the town contained sixteen school districts and employed sixteen teachers. The number of children of school age was 762; the number attending school was 601; the average attendance, 289; the amount expended for school purposes, $2,889.09; and the value of the school houses and sites $5,680.
HOPKINTON, (p.v.) in the north part, on Lyd Brook, is a village of 200 inhabitants(4), and contains a church (Cong.), one hotel, a fine brick town house, 38 by 54 feet, erected in 1870, a store, millinery shop, starch and cheese factory, butter-tub factory, and one wagon and five blacksmith shops.
NICHOLVILLE on the line of Lawrence, will be more fully described in that town.
FORT JACKSON is a small village situated on St. Regis River, in the north part of the town. It contains one store, a grist mill, saw mill, shingle mill, starch factory, barrel and butter tub factory, blacksmith, wagon and shoe shops, and about thirty houses.
The settlement of the town was commenced in May 1802, by Judge Roswell Hopkins(5), B. W. Hopkins, his son, Jared Dewey, Alpheus Newton and Eliphalet Branch, from Vergennes, Vt., and Samuel and Joel Goodale from Hartford, Washington County. Judge Hopkins purchases a part of Islington that month, previous to his arrival. Having made arrangements for clearing land he returned to Vermont in June. In crossing the St. Regis, which was much swelled by heavy rains, his horse was partially thrown over by the violence of the current, and his portmanteau, containing in one end the provisions for his journey, and in the other several hundred dollars in specie, was swept down stream and lost. On the approach of winter the rest of the party also returned. The following March, Judge Hopkins, Abraham Sheldon and Eli and Ashbel Squire moved their families into the town. The former settled at Hopkinton village, whose name still perpetuates his memory. That year Mr. Hopkins erected a grist mill, the first in town, on Lyd Brook, near the village. Previous to its completion, the settlers carried their grists to the Long Saut, on the Canadian shore. Mr. Hopkins also built the first log house, near the brook in Hopkinton village, in 1892. In December of this year the first birth occurred, in the family of Abraham Sheldon. Thomas Remington, Gaius Sheldon, Reuben Post, Eliakim Seeley, Henry McLaughlin, Thadeus Abbott came in 1804 and 1805, many of them with families. In May, 1807, the first death - that of an infant - occurred. The first framed house was built in 1809 by Abraham Sheldon. Dr. Stephen Langworthy, who settled at an early day, was the first physician in the town. Dr. Gideon Sprague, from New Haven, Addison County, Vt., who came in 1811, was the second. Isaac R. Hopkins built a saw mill on the site of Fort Jackson, which received the name the village bears at the raising. In February 1814, a detachment of British troops under Major DeHeirne, visited Hopkinton in quest of flour which they learned belonged to the American army and was stored there. They arrived early in the morning before the inhabitants were up, and proceeded to search every place in which it was supposed arms were concealed and succeeded in capturing about twenty stand. Many muskets, however, were saved by being secreted in bed. Some three hundred barrels of flour were stored in a barn owned by Judge Hopkins and occupied by Dr. Sprague, and as the party had facilities for transporting only about half that quantity, it was proposed to destroy the remainder, but they were dissuaded from doing so by the inhabitants among whom it was finally distributed. No exactions were made upon the property of individuals, and the party conducted themselves with the utmost decorum. The year 1816 was one of remarkable severity. Snow and frost occurred in every month, and crops of all kinds, except grass and oats, were nearly destroyed. In the spring of 1858 a company of thirteen families located in the vicinity of Tuppers Lake, under the auspices of a company consisting of Chas G. Atherton, John H. Gage and Daniel H. Dearborn of Nashua, N.H., Eldridge G. Read and Wm. D. Beason , of Chelsea Mass., and Moses A. Herrick, of Boston, who purchased the township of Mortlake, Oct 23, 1853, for its timber. There is a settlement of about twenty families in the township of Hollywood.
The Baptist Church of Nicholville was organized with seven members by Rev. Samuel Rowley, a missionary from Vermont, Sept 11, 1808. The Society was ministered to for some time by Revs. Rowley and Palmer, but so far as the records show Rev. Solomon Johnson became the first settled pastor Oct 30, 1819. A house of worship was not erected until 1831. The present house was erected in 1852, at a cost of $2,039. It will seat 300 persons. There are 86 members, who are under the pastoral care of Rev. G. N. Harmon. The Church property is valued at $2,500(6).
The First Congregational Church of Hopkinton, at Hopkinton village, was organized with eleven members by Rev. John W. Church, July 6, 1808. Their house of worship was erected in 1827, at a cost of $2,800. Repairs involving the almost entire rebuilding of the church are contemplated at the present year (1873). The first pastor was Rev. Hiram S. Johnson. The present church is without a pastor.
(1) Names from Roswell Hopkins, the first settler. It originally included only the Townships of Catharineville and Islington and that part of Chesterfield annexed to Massena, in Great Lot No. II. Of Macomb's Purchase; but for the purposes of civil government it is made to embrace Townships Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12 and 15, or Oakham, Mortlake, Jamestown, Piercefield, Hollywood, Kildare, Riversdale, and Islington, of that tract.
(2) At a town meeting held at the house of Roswell Hopkins March 4, 1806, that gentleman was elected Supervisor; Henry McLaughlin, Town Clerk; AmasaBlanchard, Joseph Armstrong and Reuben Post, Assessors; A. Blanchard and Seth Abbot, Overseers of the Poor; Abraham Sheldon, Constable and Collector; A. Sheldon, R. Post and H. McLaughlin, Commissioners of Highways; Eli Squier, Oliver Sheldon, and A. Blanchard, Fence Viewers; and Oliver Sheldon, Pound Keeper.
(3) A reservoir is now being constructed on Grass River, near the outlet of Massawepie Lake, in the township of Jamestown, at a cost of $30,000. It will flow some 6,000 acres. The dam is to be 28 feet high, and will raise the water 25 feet. It is to consist of two piers, each 65 by 50 feet, and 28 feet high, with a bulk head 50 feet square in the center. An earth embankment 120 feet at the base and 14 feet on the top, will extend from the river to high land. Its water slope will be 2 1/2 feet to one foot of rise, and land slope, 1 1/2 feet to one of rise.
(4) Census of 1870
(5) Roswell Hopkins was born in Armenia, N.Y., in May 1757. His services were early enlisted in the stirring events of the Revolution, in which he took an active part. He was taken prisoner in the vicinity of West Point, after serving two or three campaigns, and remained as such until near the close of the war, when he was paroled. He settled at Arlington, Vt., where he resided until his appointment as Secretary of State, when he removed to Bennington, then the seat of government. He was reelected to this office annually for some ten years or more, until he tendered his resignation. He also held several other responsible State offices, and was once appointed presidential elector. Upon his removal to Hopkinton, the privations to which settlers in a new country are exposed rendered ample scope for the display of that great benignity and benevolence which characterized his social and business intercourse with others. Soon after the organization of the county he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in which capacity he served several years. In 1810 he was elected to the State Legislature, where he occupied a seat that and three succeeding years. He retired from public office some years before his death which occurred at Chazy, Clinton County, Sept 5, 1829, from an injury sustained by being thrown from a wagon.
(6) Information supplied by Royal Smith