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William Schellinger

William Schellinger was born in Poland August 2, 1806, and is therefore eighty-nine years of age. He is the son of William Schellinger SR and Betsey Waterhouse Schellinger. He is still in rugged condition. In a recent conversation with him he remarked that he well remembered hearing his elders relate that Captain George Waterhouse and Joshua Dunn carried the only two Democratic votes for Thomas Jefferson thrown in Poland at the latters first election in 1800. The election was held at the house of Captain Waterhouse, now the Barton place (so called) near Poland corner. He also said that John Thurlow, grandfather of Alfred G Thurlow was the first licensed minister under the Massachusetts law in Poland preaching in various places in town, considerably on Johnson Hill and sometimes out of town. Mr. Schellinger’s mind is very clear as regards the early history of Poland. He well remembers the cold season of 1816 when but little corn was raised and there was a frost every month in the year. And as a little boy he was sent out with shears to trim the dead leaves from the stalks so that the corn might take a new start. He also gives a vivid description of the husking bees and how on these memorable occasions three hundred bushels of corn would be husked in a single evening.

Also a considerable amount of New England rum disposed of at the same time. He mentions the first plow he ever saw a wooden structure made by one Lazarus Rand covered with iron straps. He also alludes to the baking ovens of those days which were made of stones piled on a large flat rock or ledge on which a large quantity of dry wood was burned and which sufficiently heated them to bake the pots of beans and loaves of bread. Mr. Schellingers memory is very good respecting many interesting events of those early days and from him has been gained more information about the first settlers of this town than from any man now living.