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This town derives its name from that of Mrs. Jacob Brown, whose maiden name was Pamelia Williams, a daughter of Captain Jude Williams, of Williamstown, and sister of Judge Nathan Williams of Utica. The act of incorporation is dated April 12, 1819, and the first town meeting was directed to be held at the school house, near Elias Wager. By an act of April 1, 1824, a small part of Penetís Square, south-east of Perch Lake, was annexed from Orleans, which gave the town its present limits. The act also directed the name of the town to be known, after the first of March next, as Leander; but this clause was repealed April 9, 1825, before the act had taken effect. This change is said to have been effected by a man, then in the legislature, who had a son by that name.
The first officers elected were John Stewart, supervisor; Henry Gotham, clerk; Russel Weaver, Benjamin Still, Simeon Woodruff, assessors; S. Woodruff, B. Still, overseers of the poor; Alfred Comins, S. Woodruff, B. Still, commissioners of highways; Horace Mather, collector; Osmon Banister, Nehemiah Van Nest, Joseph Mayor, commissioners of common schools; Amos Eames, William Usher, R. Weaver, John N. Gunn, Baker Massey, Charles Brown, Inspectors of schools; Jacob J. Greene, Benjamin Pease, Horace Mather, constables.
Supervisors. -- 1820-26, John Stewart; 1827-28, Russel Weaver, 1829-30, Gustavus A. Foster; 1831-55, Bernard Bagley; 1836, Chillingsworth Colwell; 1837-41, B. Bagley; 1842, William Wilson; 1843-45, Henderson Howk; 1846-47, Josiah Bonney, Jr.; 1848-49, B. Bagley; 1850, Abram M. Harger; 1851-52, Charles D. Wright; 1853, Josiah Bonney.
This town began to settle at about the same time with Le Ray and Brownville, being under the same ownership and agency. In 1799, two men by the name of Boshart, and Kitts, made a location three miles from Watertown, on the farm now owned by George Webb; but their families becoming discontented, they returned the same fall to Lewis County, where they afterwards settled. Pamelia Village, opposite the lower part of the village of Watertown, began to settle about 1804, upon the building of a bridge; and very soon after, a dam and mills were erected here. The place first received the name of Williamstown, which was given it by Jacob Brown, who made strenuous efforts to secure the location of the public buildings of the county here, when he found they could not be procured at Brownville. This village is a place of but little business, excepting its mills, distillery, &c., as from its vicinity to Watertown, it is found hopeless to attract trade or business to this point. The same applies to the erection of churches. Its location is, however, admirably adapted for building, and it is already beginning to attract the notice of those seeking eligible dwellings, and doing business in Watertown. Several new streets have been recently opened, and the place will doubtless share in the rapid growth which the Capital exhibits itself, and impart to all around it.
Pamelia Four Corners, on the military road, six miles from Watertown, and three from Evansí mills, is the centre of business for the country around, and is the seat of a post office.
Juhelville, a suburb of Watertown, opposite Factory Village, was named from Madame Cornelia Juhel, the mother of Mrs. V. Le Ray. It began to assume importance after the erection of the upper dam, for the Hamilton Manufacturing Company in 1836. There are here at present two saw mills, a tannery, carriage factory, pump factory, &c., and a factory for making cotton yarn, wicking, batting, carpet warp and twine, which was erected by A. Anderson, in 1849. It has a population of about 500, mostly mechanics or operatives in the neighboring establishments. The bank of the river, below the village, is cavernous and affords several interesting grottoes. The caverns in this town, opposite Watertown Village and adjacent to the river, possess much interest to the geologist and will be fully described in a future chapter.
An act of April, 1834, authorized a loan of $600 in Watertown, and $500 in Pamelia, for rebuilding bridges, to be repaid by a tax in two equal instalments, and to be expended by the road commissioners. On the 5th of May, in the same session, the amount and propriety of these loans, if not decided at the last town meeting, might be expressed by a special town meeting, called for the purpose.
The Pamelia Farmerís Scientific Library, was formed April 1, 1822, having for its first trustees John Steward, Russell Weaver, Joel Nims, Simeon Woodruff, Ansel Mills, Thomas Goodrich, and Wm. Cole.
Religious Societies. -- The Union Church in Pamelia was formed Nov. 16, 1847, with Reuben Lock, Jacob H. Zoller, and Peter M. Salisbury, trustees. A house of worship has been erected by this society, two miles from Pamelia Four Corners, on the road to Brownville.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church in the town of Pamelia, was formed Feb. 29, 1848, with James Jones, C. G. Harger, Orvis Goulding, Asa Barnes, Daniel Gould, Jacob Harwick, Abraham Ogsbury, and Joseph Countryman, trustees.Return to Index of Hough Articles & Map Return to Shirley Farone's Homepage