In 1802, two years after Henry Coffeen built his hut upon, or near, the spot where the Watertown National Bank now stands, the first school was established in a barn where is now the brick block next to the Times and Reformer building on Arcade street. Henry Coffeen had been soon followed by Zachariah Butterfield, Hart Massey, Asaph Mather, Thomas Butterfield, and others, and this pioneer school, attended by the few children of the settlement, had for its teacher Sally Coffeen, the daughter of the first settler. She was succeeded by her sister, Heiress Coffeen, who obtained more comfortable quarters in a log house built directly in front of what is now known as the Philo Johnson house, which is on the corner of Washington and Sterling streets. This school was maintained until 1804, when the first school district of Jefferson County was organized, embracing the whole town of Watertown.
Very soon thereafter there was erected a small frame building on the crest of what was then quite a steep hill, and where now stands the Universalist Church. This house was elevated about four feet from the ground on the west side, “underpinned” at each corner, and in the middle by three pieces of logs set on
*We are indebted to Mr. Fred Seymour, clerk of the board of education, and superintendent of schools, for this excellent sketch of the schools of Watertown.
The furniture of the school room was of the most primitive kind. Pine boards on three sides, running the whole length, were the best that could be done for the accommodation of the scholars, while the central, and by far the most comfortable, part of the room was reserved for the teacher.
The first court of Jefferson County was held in this building in 1807, at which were present Smith Thompson, as presiding justice, Augustus Sacket, Joshua Bealls, and Perley Keyes, judges, and Lyman Ellis, assistance justice. The statement, as per the court records, that this court was held in a school-house “next south of Cowan’s mill,” does not conflict with the foregoing account, as it probably means that the school-house was situated next south of Cowan’s mill property, which was true; in fact the early maps show no building lying directly between the mill and the school-house. It is said that after the formal adjournment of the first court a mock tribunal was organized, and the scene of fun and frolic that ensued has seldom been equalled.
The first teacher employed in the new school-house was a Mr. McGregor, a Scotchman, of whom little is remembered, as he remained but a short time. After him a missionary, by the name of Leavenworth, attended to both the spiritual and secular education of the community, but after a couple of years, finding that his increasing clerical duties demanded the greater part of his time, he was obliged to resign the ferule to Roswell Babbitt, an uncle of the former sheriff of this county. Mr. Babbitt was soon succeeded by a Mr. Laidlow, and he in turn by Jeremiah Bishop, who was commonly known as “long-legged Bishop.” The latter’s expenses seem to have far exceeded his small income, and he soon found himself plunged in hopeless debt. Although his creditors did not entirely distrust his honesty, it was thought advisable to place him upon the jail limits. His plan of ridding the Common---what is now Public Square---of thistles, by sprinkling them with salt so as to make them more palatable to the cows and sheep, gives some idea of his eccentricity.
After Mr. Bishop resigned a Mr. Cowan was employed for a short time, who was succeeded by Joel Everett, to whom tradition ascribes great efficiency and rigid discipline. Mr. Everett remained until 1816, when he left to take charge of a school at Sackets Harbor, under the patronage of the army officers stationed at that post. Soon after this the old school-house fell into disuse, and was removed to the corner of Arsenal and Arcade streets, where it was burned in the fire of 1849.
The founding and growth of woolen and other industries had tended to increase the population to such an extent that, at the time of the incorporation as a village in 1816, a division into two school districts, with Washington street for the dividing line, was found necessary. The following year the lots now occupied by the Arsenal street school and the Methodist parsonage were bought of Hart Massey for $214, and a plain one-story brick building was erected thereon at a cost of $696. This, for a number of years, was the only school in the western district of the village.
To get a better idea of what was done in the eastern district it will be necessary to go back to 1810. At this time the first effort was made to establish a public seminary in Jefferson County. A subscription paper was drawn up, $2,500 subscribed, a lot bought of Judge Keyes for the site of an academy, and the following year a plain two-story brick building, about 32 x 40, was erected for academical purposes. This building did not stand, as some suppose, on the present site of the First Presbyterian Church, but rather directly in the rear of the present residence of B. B. Taggart, on the corner of Washington and Academy streets. Soon after the completion of this building came the war with Great Britain, and it was turned over to the United States forces and occupied by them as a hospital until 1814, the sum of $400 being allowed Mr. Keyes for its use.
Soon after the close of the war the Rev. Mr. Banks opened a select school in the lower story, which was maintained for several years, while a little later an effort was made to establish a “Lancasterian” school, something on the plan of the present “Kindergarten” system, in one portion of the building, but it was soon abandoned.
In 1817, when the new building heretofore mentioned had been erected in the western district, the building on Academy street was taken by the eastern district for its school, and the Hon. Avery Skinner, then but a youth of 20 years, was employed as the teacher. He taught from 1817 to 1823, and was no less distinguished as an efficient teacher than he was in later years as an upright and worthy legislator.
A large debt having accrued on this school property, it was appraised at $1,000, and sold on foreclosure of mortgage to the trustees of the First Presbyterian Church in 1820, although the building was used for school purposes until 1823. Soon afterwards it was taken down, and the material used in building what was then known as the Watertown Female Academy, on Clinton street, and at present the residence of Elias Hagar. This academy was maintained until 1837; it had a high reputation, and did much toward encouraging similar enterprises throughout the county.
The sale of the academy building to the Presbyterian Church in 1820 rendered necessary the erection of a new school-house for the eastern district. But as there was considerable difference of opinion as to the proper location it was decided to divide the district, State street being the dividing line. That portion lying north of said street purchased a wooden building on Factory street, and fitted it up for school purposes, but in a few years this was replaced by a brick building in front of what is known as the Acker carriage shop, on the corner of Factory and Mechanic streets. In 1823 the portion of the district lying south of State street purchased the lot now occupied by Grace Church, on the corner of Jay and Sterling streets, and erected a stone school-house thereon.
This must have been the state of affairs in 1840, when the first Village Directory speaks of three school districts: the school on the corner of Arsenal street and “Madison Square,” J. W. Weeks, principal, with 95 pupils; that on Factory street, C. H. Wright, principal, with 140 pupils; and that on Sterling street, Samuel Myrick, principal, with 50 pupils. These districts were under control of trustees the same as any country district is managed.
The progress of the schools from 1840 to 1864 did not satisfy those particularly interested in their welfare. Their supervision by town superintendents, and afterwards by the county school commissioner, was necessarily imperfect. There being no uniformity of text books, people moving from one district to another were subject to continual and useless expense. Private schools had become quite numerous, and did much to hinder the growth and lower the standard of public schools.
The Arsenal street school building, by occasional repairing and enlargement, continued to accommodate all the children from that district which is now known as the 3d and 4th wards, until 1856, when it was replaced by another building, to which an addition was built in 1871 at a cost of $2,584.23, which again in 1883 was entirely remodeled and a new addition built thereto, at a total cost of $10,976.76.
The Factory street school building continued to accommodate the children from that portion of the village lying between State street and the river until 1852, when it was sold, and the original Lamon street building was erected to supply its place. The latter was thoroughly repaired in 1872, and a new addition built thereto, at a cost of over $6,000.
The children from the district south of State street, now known as the 2d Ward, were accommodated in the little stone building on Sterling street until 1846, when this was replaced by another building which was used for school purposes until 1868, when it was sold to Grace Church for $2,000, and the stone academy on Academy street bought to supply its place. For a correct knowledge of this Academy street building one must go back a number of years.
As has been stated there was a successful female seminary from 1828 to 1837, but up to 1832 no institution had been founded for the education of young men higher than that to be obtained in the ordinary district school. In that year the “Watertown Academy” was incorporated, with Micah Sterling, Henry D. Sewall, Thomas Baker, Reuben Goodale, Orville Hungerford, Alpheus S. Greene, Egbert Ten Eyck, Justin Butterfield, William Smith, Jasan Fairbanks, Joseph Goodale, Loveland Paddock, Joseph Kimball, George S. Boardman, and John Safford as trustees. A two-story stone building, with basement, was erected on Academy street, and first opened for the reception of students September 19, 1832.
La Rue P. Thompson was the first principal, who was succeeded by Samuel Belding, and he by Joseph Mullin. From 1832 to 1838 the school seems to have enjoyed a fair degree of prosperity, although never received under the visitation of the Regents. After the incorporation of the “Black River Literary and Religious Institute,” which will be described later, the usefulness of this school was impaired, or at least transferred to the stronger institution, and in 1841 the property was formally deeded to its trustees. By them, in 1842, it was deeded to Micah Sterling. Finally, after various periods when it was occupied for school and other purposes, and longer periods when it was entirely abandoned, it came into the possession of the First Wesleyan Methodist Church, and was deeded by its trustees to the village of Watertown, July 11, 1866, consideration $2,000, although the old Sterling street property was not sold to Grace Church, and the school was not transferred to Academy street until 1868. This building, although rather dilapidated, and in some respects unfit for school purposes, was all the 2d Ward had until 1886, when the present elegant and commodious building was erected, directly in the rear of the old structure, at a cost of over $20,000, and the following school year, when the new building was ready for occupancy, the old landmark was taken down.
On March 21, 1836, a meeting of committees appointed by the Watertown Presbytery and the Black River Association was held in the Second Presbyterian Church, on Factory street, to consider the subject of “establishing a literary and religious institution for the young,” which, while it should avoid a sectarian discipline, would be surrounded by a salutary religious and moral influence. Application was made which procured the passage of an act (May 25, 1836) for the incorporation of the “Black River Literary and Religious Institute.” Its first trustees were Marcus Smith, James H. Monroe, Eli Farwell, Jason Clark, George S. Boardman, Hart Massey, Roswell Kinney, Crafts P. Kimball, Elisha Camp, Lewis A. Wickes, Henry Jones, George W. Knowlton, E. H. Snowdon, John Covert, E. M. Adams, Elisha P. Cook, David Spear, Charles B. Pond, Artemus Crittenden, John A. Cathcart, David Granger, Abel L. Crandall, Roswell Pettibone, and William Crittenden.
These trustees, authorized to establish a seminary of learning in Watertown, whose annual income should not exceed $4,000, and who were to elect the faculty and supply vacancies in their board, met on the 4th of June. A constitution was then adopted that provides, among other rules, that the board of trustees shall consist of six clergyman and six laymen of each denomination in charge of the institution, and in supply vacancies a person of the same class or sect should be elected.
The following persons were elected as the first faculty: Rev. James R. Boyd, principal; Rev. John Covert, vice-principal; Mrs. Covert, preceptress. The lot on the corner of State and Mechanic streets was purchased for $4,5000, a wooden building was fitted up for temporary use, and in the spring of 1837 was commenced the erection of a building, of stone and brick, 40 by 75, two stories high, with basement, at a cost of $6,500. The corner-stone of this edifice was laid with religious ceremonies, and in presence of a large audience, June 5, 1838, Governor Marcy being present. The inauguration of the faculty occurred on the 13th of September, 1836; the institution was received under the visitation of the Regents, January 30, 1838, and it has since shared in the distribution of the “Literature Fund.”
At a meeting of the trustees February 23, 1846, it was voted to make an application for a change of name, which was granted by the legislature on the 12th of May following, and the name was changed to the “Jefferson County Institute.” In January, 1847, a portion of the real estate was sold to liquidate the debts of the institution. This is the part now occupied by the State Street Methodist Church.
In June, 1848, Mr. Boyd, who had filled the office of principal since the beginning, resigned, and D. M. Linsley was appointed. He taught until May, 1852, when he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. Alvin Parmelee, who taught until June, 1856. Mr. Parmelee was succeeded by Rev. J. Sessions, who was principal until July, 1859, to be succeeded in turn by M. P. Covert, who served until 1861. Rev. George Kerr was principal from 1861 until 1865. The school during all this period, from 1836 to 1865, had enjoyed considerable prosperity, and may be said to have been, in an educational sense, a successful institution.
In April, 1865, the special act relating to the public schools of Watertown was passed, and in this act the trustees of the Jefferson County Institute were authorized to lease, or transfer, by deed, their property to the village for a High school. It was also provided that, while they did so lease their property, they would be entitled to be represented by two members on the board of education.
In June, 1865, a lease for three years of all the property hitherto belonging to the trustees of the Jefferson County Institute, including apparatus, library, and all appurtenances, to the village of Watertown, was executed, and Milton H. Merwin and John C. Sterling were appointed to represent said trustees on the board.
The “Watertown High School” was opened in September, 1865, as part of the graded system of the public schools of the village, with William Reed, Jr., as temporary principal, and Miss A. M. Allen, preceptress. Mr. Reed was succeeded in the spring of 1866 by N. M. Merrill. In March, 1868, Miss Cornelia M. Johnson was appointed as assistant to Miss Allen, whom she succeeded as preceptress at the end of that school year. Edward P. Nichols succeeded Mr. Merrill as principal in the fall of 1868, and remained only until the following year, when he resigned to accept a more lucrative position, and G. B. Manley took his place. Watertown had now become a city, and the schools of North Watertown were brought into the system, as will be spoken of later. The old lease having expired a new one was executed for 10 years to the city of Watertown. Mr. Manley resigned in January, 1870. and Hannibal Smith was employed in his place, and taught until the close of the school year 1873-74, when he resigned and was succeeded by W. K. Wickes.
In 1878, the 10 years’ lease having expired, the board of education decided that it would be unwise to renew the lease unless the property should be improved, and the board was unwilling to make these necessary improvements and changes unless the lease should be executed for a long enough term to warrant the expense. The trustees of the Jefferson County Institute consented to the proposition, and a lease was drawn for 20 years. The old building was entirely overhauled, repaired, and refitted at an expense of $5,034.09, and a new addition built on the north side at a cost of $4,200.
Mr. Wickes resigned at the close of the school year 1887-88, after 14 years of very efficient service. He was succeeded by H. M. Hill, who had been teacher of the sciences and higher mathematics since 1881. Much to the regret of all concerned Mr. Hill resigned after one year’s service as principal. He was succeeded by F. D. Shaver, the present incumbent. Miss C. M. Johnson is still the preceptress, having served in that position for 22 years. The Watertown High School has been a remarkably prosperous and successful institution. It has had 408 graduates, and has taken a very high rank among the institutions under the jurisdiction of the board of Regents.
There are at this writing (March, 1890) nine public schools in Watertown. The High School, Academy street, Arsenal street, and Lamon street schools have already been mentioned. The old Mullin street school was built in 1867 at a cost of about $6,000, but as the ventilation was very bad, and the building in other respects so unfit for school purposes that people in the 3d Ward would not send their children there, the board decided to replace it with a suitable building. Accordingly early in 1889 additional land was bought, and a new and elegant building was erected directly in the rear of the old building, which will be ready for occupancy at the beginning of the school year 1890-91, and which, when completed, will have cost about $20,000. The old building will be taken down at the end of the present school year.
In 1870 the board purchased a lot on Coffeen street for $700, with a view to erecting thereon a school-house for the better accommodation of pupils living west of the R., W. & O. Railroad tracks. But it was found that this location would be too far from the little old wooden school-house on Boon street, which, although entirely inadequate, has been used since 1865, and the lot was exchanged in 1873 for one on Boon street, a few rods north of the old building, and on the other side of the street. During the following winter a contract was let for building a new school-house on this lot for the sum of $9,590, but owing to unexpected difficulties arising in the attempt to find a secure foundation for the building the original plan was materially altered, and additional expense incurred. The consequence was that the lot, building, fences, outbuildings, furniture, walks, and grading cost not far from $15,500. Up to 1886, when the new Academy street school-house was erected, the Boon street building was the best in the city, and even now it is not excelled in some respects.
When in 1869 Watertown became a city the three schools formerly in North Watertown and Juhelville became part of the city system of public schools. The little stone building on Bradley street, erected in 1824, has been repaired and still serves as a primary school, although, judging from the growth of that part of the city, a larger school building will be demanded for that section before a great while. In 1887 a new addition to Cooper street school was built at a cost of $9,5009.49, it being in reality half of a proposed building, capable of receiving scholars from the two smaller schools, Bradley street and Pearl street, and thus providing for all the children on the north side of the river until they shall be ready for all the children on the north side of the river until they shall be ready to enter the High School. The stone school-house on Factory street, erected in 1823, although totally unfit for school purposes, was used as a primary school until 1888-89, when a new building was erected on the corner of Pearl and Vincent streets, at a cost of $6,368.37, the old school abandoned, and the property sold.
The board of education was first organized in June, 1865: Following is the list of those who have served as presidents of the board: ---
Theodore Babcock.............................. 1865 to 1868
Allen C. Beach................................... 1868-69
Theodore Babcock............................. 1869-70
Beman Brockway............................... 1870 to 1876
William W. Taggart........................... 1876 to 1878
John Lansing...................................... 1878 to 1881
William W. Taggart........................... 1881-82
Edmund Q. Sewall............................. 1882 to 1884
Hannibal Smith................................ 1884 to 1886
John Lansing...................................... 1886 to 1888
Azariah H. Sawyer............................. 1888 to _____
J. Felt, Jr., was the first clerk of the board, acting also as superintendent of the schools. He served but one year, 1865-66, when he was succeeded by H. H. Smith, who served for three years. In 1869 W. G. Williams was elected clerk. He resigned in February, 1870, and Hannibal Smith, at the time principal of the High School, acted as temporary clerk until March, when Mr. Smith was appointed superintendent of the schools, and Edwin Baylies, assistant superintendent and clerk. This arrangement continued until December, 1870, when Mr. Baylies resigned, to be succeeded by Daniel G. Griffin. Messrs. Smith and Griffin served until 1872, when the two offices were again united, and Mr. Griffin became full superintendent and clerk, serving until 1875, when he resigned, to be succeeded by A. R. Beal. In 1877 the two offices were again divided, with William K. Wickes, then principal of the High School, as superintendent, and Fred Seymour, assistant superintendent and clerk. In 1879 Mr. Seymour was appointed full superintendent and clerk, which position he has held up to the present writing.
The writer, in closing this sketch of the schools of Watertown, wishes to acknowledge valuable aid from the records of the Jefferson County Institute, kindly furnished by T. H. Camp, and from the excellent report of the former superintendent D. G. Griffin, for the year 1872-73. He is also indebted to Messrs. John G. Sterling, Beman Brockway, and Lotus Ingalls, all of whom have served on the board of education.
p. 740 - 745
Watertown has been repeatedly devastated by fires, some of which produced a decided check to its prosperity, while others acted beneficially, by removing rubbish that would otherwise have disfigured the village from time indefinite, and from which the place recovered with an elastic energy characteristic of a progressive age and people. On February 7, 1833, a fire occurred which burned the extensive tannery and oil-mill of J. Fairbanks, the paper-mill and printing office of Knowlton & Rice, and a morocco factory and dwelling of Kitts & Carpenter; loss $30,000. The destruction of Beebee’s factory, July 7, 1833, and the Black River woolen-mills, December 22, 1841, have been mentioned elsewhere. March 21, 1848, at 3 o’clock in the morning, a fire occurred in an old stone shop, in the rear of the Union mills, and a little above, which spread rapidly to the buildings on the island opposite, and to others above, which, with the bridge, were rapidly consumed, and two men, Leonard Wright and Levi Palmer, perished in the flames, having entered a woolen-mill for the purpose of rescuing property. Among the buildings burned were the paper-mill of Knowlton & Rice, the satinet factory of Mr. Patridge (sic), occupied by W. Conkey, a row of mechanic shops on the island, etc. This fire threw many mechanics out of employment, and was seriously felt by the public. Contributions for the sufferers were raised in the village, and nearly $1,100, ere distributed among them.
On Sunday, May 13, 1849,* occurred the “great fire” in Watertown. The driver of the late stage from
*This account of the most disastrous fire that ever occurred in Watertown, and also that of December, 1851, which destroyed Perkins’s Hotel and other property, were written by John L. Hotchkin, and published in 1885, in a pamphlet containing a history of the fire department, etc.
Utica, who had left two of his passengers on Clinton street, was the first to discover the fire about 2 A.M., on his return to the stage barn on Arsenal street. By this fire the fairest portion of the business part of town was consumed. The fire broke out in a storage in the rear of where the First National Bank now stands. When the writer, on proceeding to the fire soon after the alarm had sounded, had reached the point where the Stone street church now stands he witnessed an explosion that sent the burning timbers, fire brands, and cinders into the air, and covered the shingle roofs of the American Hotel and Paddock buildings with sparks and coals. Almost in an instant the wood work of the buildings was in a fierce blaze. The rooms of the hotel were fully occupied by boarders, and the situation was perilous in the extreme. It was an hour when all had retired and were in slumber. The landlord, a Mr. Mallery, was aroused from his sleep, and with his clerk, George Higbee, gave the alarm to the boarders by passing through the halls, staving in the doors of the rooms and awakening the sleepers. All were saved, but none too quickly, as the flames were coming in through the rear windows, and the inmates had to escape in their night dresses in many instances, some of them having to fight fire in the passage and stairways to save themselves, and it was supposed for some days that one or more person had been lost in the hotel.
The fire crossing Court street like a flash, the Wooster Sherman Bank was soon in flames, and a brisk wind starting up drove the flames down the street, firing the Safford, Hayes, and Peck blocks in an instant. The fire, in the meantime, had commenced on the Fairbanks stone block on the west side of Court and was coming down on that side of the street. The flames crossed the narrow street, causing a complete arch of fire and smoke, grand to look at, but “fearful to contemplate.” Norris M. Woodruff was at this time chief of the fire department, and upon duty that night, mounted upon his horse, he seemed “everywhere at once,” giving imperative orders to every one to go to work, “man the brakes,” save property, and he asked no one to go where he would not lead. When Court street was a lane of fire, and the goods of the merchants were piled in the street only to burn where they lay, the chief galloped his horse through the street and over the obstructions, with fire and smoke to the right and left of him and flames overhead.
The new Woodruff block, similar to the present Iron block, and standing upon the same spot, had only been erected in the summer of 1848, and, of a more modern style of architecture, was the finest building in town. Covered with a tin roof it was the opinion of many, and hope of all, that the new building would resist the flames, but one fatal defect was in the wooden cornice. The fire from the Sherman Bank roof licked around the corner tower of the fine cornice and set it in a blaze, working under the roof, and soon for want of sufficient water the fire was not only rapidly consuming that fine building, but extending down the Public Square. An expression of dismay went through the great crowd when the new block ignited, but the owner, the chief, seemed to be more energetic than ever, and never did men and women work to save property harder than on that eventful night.
Fanned by the wind the fire spread in different directions, burning every structure on Court street to the old county clerk’s office, yet standing and now used as a grocery. That building was arched with stone with a wooden roof, which was thrown off by some of the residents of the neighborhood, leaving no “food for fire,” and by the veering of the wind towards the river the conflagration was stayed, --at the corner of Jackson street, burning, however, both sides of the streets to that point. The Trinity Church that stood upon the site of the present one was burned. The town clock, located in the tower, struck the hour of four while the spire was enveloped in flames, and within 30 minutes thereafter the steeple fell. The fire also worked up Arsenal street, burning both sides to the point where the Watertown Post printing office now stands, consuming another hotel, the Columbia House, standing upon the site of the present Globe. The intermediate space between Arsenal and Court streets was burned over, not a structure escaping. The buildings but one west of Anthony street, and where the Woodruff House stands, were burned. Towards the south the flames did not make such headway, being against the wind. A building had been torn away a few days before on the spot where stands Messrs. Sterling & Mosher’s store. The course of the fire was arrested at that point, but the territory now covered by the arcade, Arcade street, American barns, Delong’s livery barns, and reaching to the residence of Mr. Woodruff was burned over. The only business blocks that stood in the village after the fire were the block comprising the building owned by O. Hungerford, John Clarke, Watertown Bank, and Lansing & Sherman, and, on the opposite side of Washington street and Public Square, Perkins’s Hotel block and Franklin building, with the building on the north side of the Square, now occupied by Van Namee Brothers, and the furniture stores, Streeter’s block, and White’s block. Four banks, nearly every dry goods store, and all printing offices but one were burned.
The “water supply” of the village consisted of a cistern sunk upon the spot where stands the drinking fountain at the head of the park, which was supplied by a lead pipe from a living spring at the corner of Washington and Sterling streets, but the suction pipes of the engines soon drained the “reservoir” dry, the private wells and cisterns near the burning district gave out, and upon Court street houses would take fire and burn down with scarcely a pailful of water to apply during the fire; and before daylight people in the Square, in “looking aloft,” saw what appeared to be sparks of fire flying southward and against the wind; they proved to be great flocks of wild pigeons attracted by the fire, their breasts reflecting the light as they passed over. For several days afterward the adjacent “woods were full of them.” The ground upon the Square was covered with all descriptions of goods and merchandise piled in promiscuous heaps. Soon after daylight a rain set in, and the owners, to prevent damage by another element, had to cover their goods with oil-cloths, etc., and also to station a guard of constables to protect their property from thieves.
No services were held in any of the churches upon that Sabbath. The fire raged until nearly noon; the clergy were all at work saving property. All classes, both men and women, used their efforts to save their neighbors’ property, and the event was one long to be remembered in the annals of Watertown.
The fire department of the village in 1848 and on duty at the fire consisted of Norris M. Woodruff, chief engineer; Benjamin F. Hotchkin, first assistant; E. C. Lewis, second assistant. Neptune Engine Company No. 1, William A. Loomis, foreman; Rough and Ready Company No. 2, Nathaniel Farnham, foreman; Jefferson Company No. 3, William Buck, foreman; Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, Samuel Fairbanks, foreman. The engines were of side-break pattern, and required much strength of muscle to work them. But they were “worked with a will,” and only stopped when all available supply of water was exhausted.
On September 24, 1850, a fire occurred on Sterling street, from which the burning shingles were wafted to the steeple of the Universalist Church, and when first noticed had kindled a flame not larger than that of a candle; but before the place could be reached it had enveloped the spire in flames, beyond hope of arresting it, and the building was consumed. With the utmost exertions of the firemen and citizens of the village the fire was prevented from extending further.
In December, 1851, occurred a great conflagration destroying the buildings then upon the site of the present Washington Hall block, comprising Perkins’s Hotel, a large three-story frame building, with the book store and bindery of the old stationery firm of Knowlton & Rice, and stores of other dealers. The fire was discovered at 12 o’clock, noon, just at the hour that people were leaving their work, consequently the members of the fire department were out in full force to combat with the fire, that looked at one time as if it would seize the barns and shops in the rear and sweep Franklin street in its course. The proprietor of the hotel was Charles Perkins, an elderly man lying upon a sick bed. He was taken from the burning building upon a mattress to a place of safety, but he did not long survive this exposure, dying soon after.
The department then consisted of Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, Samuel Fairbanks, foreman; Neptune Engine Co. No. 1, William A. Loomis, foreman; Rough and Ready Engine Co. No. 2, Nathaniel Farnham, foreman; Jefferson Engine and Hose Co. No. 3, Thomas Dory, foreman. The engines were of the old brake pattern, and did excellent service on that occasion. The water supply was from the cistern at the head of the present park in Public Square.
The day was extremely cold, and it was with difficulty that the machines were kept from freezing. The buildings were of wood and shingle roofs, old and very inflammable, and it required hard and unremitting work to keep the fire within the boundaries of the present Washington Hall building. But it was mastered after several hours’ work. The difficult feat of the day, however, and one that has hardly been excelled since, was the “cutting out” of the fire at the east end of the hotel, where the Franklin building, owned by J. B. & B. F. Hotchkin, and yet standing, and now owned by Gates & Spratt, in which there were no brick partition walls, and stored with combustible goods, was saved by the efforts mainly of Nathaniel Farnham, foreman of No. 2, and Austin Skinner, a veteran fireman of No. 1. The two men, clinging to the slippery shingles, cut, with axes, holes in the steep roof for the nozzels; then holding the pipes from the engines extinguished the fire effectually at that point. The loss was estimated at about $25,000.
October 16, 1852, a fire occurred on the west side of Washington street, which consumed all the buildings south of Paddock’s block, viz: Hungerford’s block, Citizens’ Bank, and Sherman’s block; loss about $14,000. Mechanics Row, below the Union mills, was burned November 5, 1852, loss about $20,000. Hudson Haddock, aged 19 years, perished in the flames while endeavoring to rescue property. July 23, 1853, the car factory and machine shop of Horace W. Woodruff, on the north bank of the river, opposite Beebee’s Island, was destroyed by fire, with its contents. On the night of December 1, 1853, a fire consumed the building erected for a tannery, but used as a sash and butter-tub factory, on the south side of Beebee’s Island, adjoining the bridge, and owned by Messrs. Farnham & Button.
The destruction by fire of the Black River woolen-mills, in which conflagration several lost their lives, and many others were severely injured by jumping from the burning building, was one of the saddest calamities ever experienced by this community. The following is condensed from an account published at the time in the New York Reformer: About half past 5 o’clock Friday afternoon, May 6, 1859, the bells of Factory Square sounded the dreaded alarm, and in 30 minutes the well-known woolen factory in the east end of the village was a mass of ruins. At the factory the most heart-rending scenes were being enacted. The fire originated in the “picking room,” and an ineffectual effort was made to extinguish it with buckets of water. This was soon desisted from, and Mr. King at once gave the order to start the flooding pump. This was done, and the wheel and pump worked well---but all was ineffectual. Mr. King then started to alarm the operatives, of whom there were 130, scattered through the five stories, the only means of egress from all above the second being down a winding stair. Many of the operatives heard the alarm and rushed down the stairway, and the ladders outside the building, in comparative safety. Over a dozen, owing to the great confusion and want of time, were not so fortunate, and found themselves completely shut off from egress. Some of these were very badly burned in getting down the ladder after the fire had become a mass of flame in all but the fourth story; but the greater number of them threw themselves from the windows to the hard and stony ground below. We append their names and injuries received by each: Miss Angeline Stone, aged about 21, jumped from the fourth story, was picked up insensible, and died in about half an hour. John Shepherd was an object of excruciating suffering. He was deeply burned on the face, arms, breast, and neck, and died on Sunday afternoon about 3 o’clock. Mrs. Vincent White jumped from the fourth story and sustained serious injuries to her spine. Miss Maria Greenwood, aged about 18, jumped from the fourth story and was badly injured. Miss Celia Blodgett jumped from the fourth story, and her escape from any other injury than the mere shock was really wonderful. She arose from the spot without help, and walked one-fourth of a mile to her home. James M. Griffin escaped from the weavers’ room down a ladder, with his little girl, seven years of age, between his legs. He was deeply burned on his left arm. His child was burned slightly on her right leg. Mr. and Mrs. Marshall were both badly burned on the face, breast, and neck, but not fatally. Thomas Farrar was badly burned on the left arm. Mrs. Elizabeth Franch (sic), aged about 26, jumped from the fourth story. Her ribs were broken, and she was badly burned . Mary Harris jumped from the third story and sustained a broken ankle. Mary A. Huntley and Mrs. Hannah Rogers were severely burned. Thomas Osburn was deeply burned in the face, neck, and arms. Miss Simms was injured by jumping from the third story, and was also badly burned. This completes the list of injured. The most probably conjecture as to the origin of the fire is that it originated by a piece of iron or stone passing through the picker, and igniting the linty combustible. Once started it spread too rapidly for human efforts to extinguish. The water works at this time did not extend father east than High street, and the hose carts were consequently useless. The building was the property of the old Black River Woolen Company, and was rented to Messrs. Elting, King & Co., at $1,650 per year. The building and machinery were worth at least $35,000.
The original charter incorporating the village of Watertown provided for the election of five fire wardens, each of whom was supplied with four ladders. Each owner or occupant of any building was obliged to furnish one or two buckets, according to the size of the structure, and to have them properly marked, and kept in a convenient place for use. It was also “ordained” that, on an alarm or cry of fire, every male inhabitant of 15 years and upward should repair to the place of the fire, “forthwith” and put himself under the direction of the fire wardens. A fine of $1 was imposed for “disobeying orders.” Each warden was furnished with a white staff seven feet long by which to “distinguish” himself.
The first fire company was organized May 28, 1817, and on September 27 following, at a meeting of the “freeholders,” the sum of $200 was voted toward the purchase of a first-class fire engine. The “Cataract” was purchased soon afterward. The same meeting authorized the formation of a Hook and Ladder Company, and William Smith was its first captain. August 6, 1832, the second engine company was formed and attached to the fire engine belonging to the Jefferson cotton-mills. This company was No. 1, and the one previously organized, Cataract Co. No. 2; Dyer Huntington was chosen chief engineer, and Adriel Ely, assistant. In April, 1835, Neptune Engine Co. No. 3 was formed, with the first brake engine
used in town. In 1837 this company became No. 1. In 1842 a company was organized to take charge of the engine formerly belonging to No. 1. This company disbanded in 1845, and the same year, a new engine having been purchased, a new company was formed and called Jefferson Hose No. 3. Cataract Co. No. 2 was disbanded about this time, its engine having been damaged. In June, 1848, a new engine was purchased for No. 1, and in July of the same year Central Hose Co. No. 2 was organized, taking the old “machine” of No. 1, which was called “Rough and Ready,” and which was stored in barns or sheds as place could be found. These companies exist to-day (1890), with slight variation in names, and are doing excellent service. On April 10, 1850, the fire department was chartered by an act of the legislature, and the status of the active branch of the department, January 1, 1890, was as follows: ---
Name of Company.
Neptune Hose & Steamer Co. No. 1.
Central Hose & Steamer Co. No. 2.
Jefferson Hose Co. No. 3
John Hancock H. and L. Co. No. 1
June 10, 1817
In addition to the above Star Hose Co. No. 4 was organized January 20, 1890, for the better protection of that portion of the city lying north of the river. It has 12 members and occupies a building on Curtis street owned by the city. There are at present five companies of “exempt firemen,” with a total membership of 266.
Neptune Company occupies a substantial brick building on Factory street, and Central Company a similar building on Goodale street, both owned by the department. The last two occupy Firemen’s hall on Stone street, built by the village in 1854. The city pays the regular expenses of the organization, including rent, etc. January 11, 1851, the department was in debt 56 cents. It has now an ample fund on hand, received chiefly from taxes on insurance companies outside the state, doing business here, for the support of disabled firemen. It has also erected two engine-houses, and February 8, 1875, by resolution of its directors, decided to purchase a fire-class steam engine for especial use along the river, at important manufacturing points not easily reached by fire hydrants. A Silsby rotary engine, one of the best in the world, was purchased for $4,000. It has already done effective service, and demonstrated its superiority. The city, the same summer, placed in the court-house tower a fire alarm bell weighing 4,000 pounds. In 1880 a new steamer, costing $4,100, was purchased of the Silsby Mgf. Co., and named “Roswell P. Flower,” in honor of a former member of the department, the city and the department being joint owners. No further facts are needed to demonstrate that Watertown is well protected against large of dangerous fires, especially when it is remembered that the reservoirs described elsewhere furnish at all times a plentiful supply of water for fire purposes, by means of 100 fire hydrants placed at convenient points about the city.
Following is a list of chief engineers of the department since its formation: 1832 to ‘37, Dyer Huntington; 1838, Asher N. Cross; 1839, W. H. Robinson; 1839 to ‘48, records destroyed; 1848 to ‘51, N. M. Woodruff; 1852 to ‘53, N. Farnham; 1854 to ‘65, Fred Emerson; 1866-67, S. B. Hart; 1868-69, T. C. Chittenden; 1870-71, G. L. Davis; 1872-73, J. M. Carpenter; 1874-75, W. S. Carlisle; 1876, R. L. Utley; Henry A. Smith;* 1879, John E. Bergevin; 1880-81, Eugene C. Van Namee; 1882-83, Egbert W. Knapp; 1884, William H. Cole; 1885-86, Silas L. George; 1887-88, John L. McCarty; 1889, William Clark; 1890, Charles E. McClare.
* March 25, 1878, Mr. Smith resigned, and J. E. Bergevin was elected to fill the vacancy.
Following are the officers of the department for 1890; Chief engineer, Charles E. McClare; 1st assistant, John E. Gray; 2d assistant, Bradley C. Bauter; secretary, Ross C. Scott; treasurer, Edgar C. Emerson. The present efficient secretary of the department has held that office for 25 consecutive years.
As early as May 22, 1821, a plan for supplying the village with water was discussed, and action was taken towards the erection of reservoirs; but the measures were not carried out. June 14, 1828, the sum of $50 was appropriated by the trustees for the purpose of boring for water on Factory Square. At the annual meeting in 1829 the proceeds of licenses in the First Ward were applied towards procuring water for the village. May 21, 1829, the sum of $200 was voted for the purpose of boring for water, and in pursuance of this object an artesian well was commenced on Public Square. After it had been sunk many feet a steel drill was maliciously dropped into it, thereby stopping the work.
In 1829 an association was formed for boring for water on Factory Square. A hole 2-1/2 inches in diameter was drilled to the depth of 127 feet, when water was obtained, and, having been tubed, discharged for many years, until about 1860, a copious volume of water slightly charged with sulphur and iron. On Sewall’s Island a similar well was bored into the rock, which at 80 feet discharged water and an inflammable gas, but being drilled deeper these both were lost.
April 10, 1826, the Watertown Water Company was incorporated, but nothing definite resulted, and a similar result followed the incorporation of the Watertown water works, April 11, 1845. But in 1853 (March 22) L. Paddock, G. C. Sherman, I. H. Fisk, and H. Cooper were incorporated as the water commissioners of the village of Watertown. These citizens gave a joint bond of $60,000, were empowered to borrow on the credit of the village $50,000 for a term of 30 years. Soon after their appointment the commissioners contracted with J. C. Wells for the construction of a pump-house and reservoir, the latter to be 150 x 250 feet at the water line and 12 feet deep, properly made with two center walls for filtering. The reservoir was located about a mile southeast of the village, on a lot of six acres, upon the brow of the limestone ridge, 180 feet above the village, and was given a capacity of 2,000,000 gallons. On November 23, 1853, the water works were completed and water for the first time was pumped into the reservoir, and let into pipes communicating with residences and fire hydrants. An experiment then made showed the water could be thrown 120 feet perpendicularly.
No serious fires have devastated the city since the completion of the reservoir, but the growth of the city, and the increasing demands of its people, led the water commissioners, in 1871, to construct still another reservoir. This was located by the side of the former, and was completed in 1873. Its dimensions are 250 x 200 feet, and its capacity 4,500,000 gallons.
In 1882 another pump-house was built, on the south side of Black River, at the Delano Falls, and just within the city limits, at a cost, including main pipe to the reservoir, of about $60,000. The whole river falls about 18 feet, over a natural dam of limestone, and furnishes an abundant power for driving the pumping machinery which supplies the city with water. The building is of stone, 48 x 80 feet, and contains two duplex, double acting pumps, with 18 by 36 inch plungers. Each pump is driven by two 72-inch turbine wheels. The raceway is blasted is blasted from the solid rock, and the pumps and machinery stand upon rock foundations. Water was introduced on the north side of the river in 1887, and there are now nearly five miles of mains on that side. Within the city limits are located 203 hydrants, and 189 gate valves for conducting the flow of water through. There are at present about 1,500 taps and 23-3/4 miles of pipes in the city. The entire amount of water bonds of the city, issued at different times, aggregate $235,000.
The Henry Keep Home was incorporated March 11, 1879, by Emma A. Keep-Schley, Roswell P. Flower, Allen C. Beach, Pearson Munday (sic), George W. Flower, Anson R. Flower, and their associates. The object of this corporation is to provide a home and support for destitute and homeless men, women, and children. It is located on Washington street, a short distance from the business center of the city, and is surrounded by 35 acres of excellent tillable land, which is the property of the institution. The building is a handsome brick structure of gothic style of architecture, and is three stories high in front and rear gable. Its dimensions on the ground floor are 114 by 55 feet. A veranda extends entirely around the Home. Inside, the arrangements for comfort and living are complete. It is heated by steam from both direct and indirect radiators, and ventilation is obtained in every room by direct communication with the towers. The building contains 40 rooms for inmates, besides a dining room, kitchen, pantry, laundry, reception room, reading room, and parlor. There are gas fixtures and steam radiators in every room, while bath rooms and closets are distributed throughout the building, with hot and cold water on every floor. A complete system of sewerage makes the sanitary arrangements of the institution complete. This worthy charity was established through the munificence of Mrs. Emma Keep-Schley, in memory of her husband, Henry Keep, who was a native of Jefferson County, and long a resident of Watertown. It has about 30 inmates, and the rents from the property have paid all expenses, a surplus of about $10,000 now being in the treasury. The present officers of the institution are Mrs. Emma Keep-Schley, president; Allen C. Beech, vice-president and treasurer; Silas L. George, secretary; Mrs. Emma Keep-Schley, Mrs. Emma Keep-Halsey, Roswell P. Flower, Allen C. Beach, Anson R. Flower, Wilbur F. Porter, Byron B. Taggart, S. T. Bordwell, and Silas L. George, trustees.
City Hospital--House of the Good Samaritan, located at No. 35 Ten Eyck street, was established in 1880. The object of this institution is the care of all persons with diseases not contagious or incurable; care free when unable to pay. The present officers are H. M. Stevens, M. D., president; H. H. Babcock, vice-president; Rev. John Nichols, secretary; Rev. R. A. Olin, treasurer; Mrs. Caroline Fitch, matron.
pp. 749 - 753
Religious services were held in Watertown almost as soon as the town began to settle. In 1801, the first Sunday after Hart Massey had removed his family here, his neighbors met in his rude log cabin and held the first religious services ever enjoyed within the present limits of the city. The first society in the town was formed at Burrville, July 3, 1803, as a Congregational Church, by Rev. Ebenezer Lazelle, and meetings were held in the barn of Caleb Barnham. The church was supplied with preaching by missionaries until October 5, 1815, when Daniel Banks was installed as first pastor, remaining until 1821, when the form of its government was changed to Presbyterian, and its location fixed at Watertown. This was the formation of the First Presbyterian Church. The first deacons were Hart Massey and T. Redfield.
The First Presbyterian Church (incorporated as the Watertown Ecclesiastical Society) was formed in 1803, as mentioned above, and at its organization consisted of 15 members. Their first house of worship, a stone building, was completed in 1821. In 1851 the present brick building, corner of Washington and Academy streets, was erected, costing about $20,000. It will comfortably seat 1,100 persons, and is now valued, including grounds and other church property, at $50,000. It now has a membership of 388< under the pastoral charge of Rev. Allen Macy Dalles. The Sunday-school has 340 members.
First Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1804. The first services were held by Griffin Sweet and Asa Cummings. The present house of worship, a brick structure, located on Arsenal street, was built in 1880. It will seat 500 persons, and is valued, including grounds and other church property, at $22,000. The present membership is 580, under the pastoral charge of Rev. J. B. Kenyon. The Sunday-school has a membership of 435.
The First Universalist Church was organized in 1820 by Rev. Pitt Morse, the first pastor. Their first house of worship, a stone building, was erected about 1824, and was burned in 1850. In 1852 the present brick structure was erected on Public Square. It will comfortable seat 350 persons, and is valued, including grounds, etc., at $30,000. The church has 184 members, and Rev. Richmond Fisk, D. D., is the pastor. The Sunday-school has a membership of 175.
St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, located on Massey street, was organized in 1831 by Rev. Father O’Reilly, and at its organization consisted of about 50 persons. The first pastor was Rev. Father Salmon. Their first house of worship, a wooden building, was purchased from the Baptist Society in 1838, was located on Factory street, and cost $1,250. Their present house of worship, a brick structure, located on Massey street, was build (sic) in 1854, by Rev. Father McNulty, then pastor, and cost about $25,000. It will comfortably seat about 800 persons, and is valued, including grounds and other church property, at about $30,000. The present number of members in the parish is about 1,500, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Father T. Glenn. The Sunday-school has an average attendance of about 300 children.
St. Patrick’s Parochial School, located at 31 Massey street, was organized in September, 1885. It is in charge of the Sisters of Mercy, employs six teachers, and has an average attendance of 180 pupils.
The Watertown Baptist Church was organized May 29, 1823, with 17 members, by a council representing the Black River Association, and Elder Norman Guiteau was the first pastor. Their first house of worship, a wooden structure, was built in 1828. This gave place, in 1837, to another wooden building, which was burned in 1846, and the same year the present brick structure, corner of State street and Public Square, was erected at a cost of about $10,000. It will comfortably seat 400 persons, and is valued, including grounds and other church property, at $16,000. The present pastor is Rev. C. E. Maxfield. The Sunday-school has a membership of 250.
Trinity Church (Protestant Episcopal) was organized in May, 1828, by Rev. Joshua M. Rogers, who was the first rector. The first house of worship of the society, located on Court street, was built of wood in 1833, and was destroyed by fire in the great conflagration of May 13, 1849. In 1851 another wooden church, also on Court street, was completed, and was used until the erection of Trinity House, of stone, on Trinity Place, in 1888. The large church now being constructed, adjoining Trinity House, was commenced in 1889, and will probably be finished the present year (1890). It will seat 1,000 persons, and will cost, when completed, about $100,000. This beautiful church and the adjoining chapel were presented to the parish principally by Hon. Roswell P. and Anson R. Flower. The present value of church property, including grounds, etc., is about $160,000. The church has 675 communicants, and the present rector is Rev. Russell A. Olin, who is assisted by Rev. Frederick P. Winne. The Sunday-school has a membership of 547 offices and scholars.
Stone Street Presbyterian Church was organized October 10, 1831, as the Second Presbyterian Church, by Revs. Abel L. Crandall and George S. Boardman, under the direction of the Watertown Presbytery, with J. W. Baker, H. Kitts, and G. W. Knowlton, trustees. It sprang from the First Presbyterian Society, and its organization number 21 members. Rev. James R. Boyd was the first pastor. Their first house of worship, a wooden structure, was erected in 1831. The present brick building, which was erected in 1864, cost about $20,000. It will seat 500 persons, and is valued, including grounds, etc., at $25,000. The present membership of the church is 380, under the pastoral chargeo f Rev. S. A. Hayt, D. D. The Sunday-school has 225 members.
State Street Methodist Episcopal Church was organized January 29, 1849, by Bishop E. S. Janes, D. D., and at its organization consisted of 138 members. The first pastor was Rev. James Erwin. In 1850 the society erected a church, of wood, which will seat 500 persons, and is valued, including grounds, etc., at $20,000. The present membership of the church is 315, under the pastoral charge of Rev. Charles W. McCormick. The Sunday-school has about 300 members.
Grace Church (Protestant Episcopal) was organized in August, 1867, by Hon. F. W. Hubbard and 19 others of Trinity Church, Watertown. The first service was held at the court-house, Rev. Dr. Edwin M. Van Dusen officiating. The first rector was Rev. John A. Staunton, who began his ministrations October 4, 1868. In 1868 the brick school house on Sterling street, corner of Jay, was purchased and transformed into a house of worship, at a cost of about $6,000, and has since been occupied by the society. A new church, which will cost about $40,000, is now in process of erection on the same site, and will probably be finished this year (1890). The present rector is Rev. John F. Nichols. The Sunday-school has a membership of 14 teachers and 118 scholars.
he Free Methodist Church was organized in 1878 by Rev. T. Wiffin, the first pastor. The house of worship of the society, a wooden structure, was built about 1878, and cost $1,000. It will seat 150 persons, and is valued, including grounds, etc. at $1,500. The present membership is about 12, and Rev. L. H. Robinson is pastor.
Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Roman Catholic), located on Thompson street, was built in 1878 by Rev. Father J. F. Durin, M. S. H., who was the first priest in charge. The number of parishioners at that time was about 600. The church is of wood, will seat about 250 persons, and cost originally about $6,000. In connection with the church are St. Joseph’s Apostolic School, in which young men are educated for the priesthood, and the Institute of the Sacred Heart, which teachers a commercial course. The school has accommodations for about 60 scholars, and 30 boarders are in attendance. The entire property is incorporated under the name of St. Joseph’s School of the Sacred Heart, and is valued at about $30,000. The parish consists of about 600 person, and Rev. Father C. Ramot, M. S. H., is present pastor.
A. M. E. Zion Church, corner of River and Court streets, was organized by Rev. H. R. Phoenix. Their house of worship, a wood structure, was built in 1878, and cost about $900. It will comfortably seat 225 persons, and is now valued, including grounds, etc., at $750. Rev. John E. Allen is the present pastor.
The Emmanuel Congregational Church of Watertown was organized July 5, 1887, with 37 members, which have more than doubled in number in three years. The organization of the church, and the building of the chapel and vestry on Rutland street, which the congregation occupies, were the result of the efforts of Rev. William Taverner Stokes, who commenced his labors in Watertown under the auspices of the American Home Missionary Society. The chapel and vestry are frame buildings, and are worth, with grounds, etc., about $5,000. The Sunday-school has a membership of 190, and an average attendance of 100. A newspaper states that Rev. W. T. Stokes, who has been pastor since the organization of the church, has recently resigned.
Watertown Seventh-Day Adventist Society, was organized June 1, 1887, by Elder W. H. Brown, of Adams Center, and at its organization consisted of 14 members. The first pastor was Elder J. E. Swift. Their house of worship, located on Mundy street, a wooden structure, was built in 1887, at a cost of $1,900. It will comfortably seat about 200 persons, and is now valued, including grounds, etc., at about $1,800.
The German Lutheran Society, recently organized, has been holding meetings on Factory street. The society contemplates building a new church, on Emerson street, with a seating capacity of about 200.
Convent of the Immaculate Heart, located at 114 Main street, was established in 1881 by Sister Margaret Mary, who has since been superintendent of the institution. The building it now occupies was erected in 1883. From 75 to 80 pupils attend the school daily. A branch convent is located at Carthage, St. James’ Church, and one also at Cape Vincent, St. Joseph’s Church, all under the supervision of Sister Margaret Mary. The convent is in St. Joseph’s Society.
The Young Men’s Christian Association was organized in 1870. The first permanent officers were elected January 18, 1870, and were as follows: C. C. Case, president; F. R. Farwell, vice-president; H. W. Congdon, second vice-president; Orrin C. Frost, secretary; George L. Davis, treasurer. In January, 1877, the association joined the State Association, and in February of the same year became incorporated under the laws of the state of New York, allowing it to hold real and personal estate, receive bequests, etc. The first general secretary, who received a salary, was C. D. Choate, who was chosen in January, 1877. Since the organization of the association the following have served as presidents: C. C. Case, 1870; J. F. Moffett, 1871; H. W. Congdon, 1872; C. O. Maltby, 1873; G. B. Massey, 1874; I. L. Hunt, Jr., 1875; J. M. Adams, 1875; Dr. C. M. Johnson, 1876; J. D. Huntington, 1875; Phi Norton, 1878; G. R. Hanford, 1879; I. A. Graves, 1880; W. H. Porter, 1881; E. W. Herrick, 1882; H. J. Brimmer, 1883; S. F. Bagg, 1884; J. M. Adams, 1885; L. C. Greenleaf, 1886-89; W. H. Stevens, 1889. The present officers are William H. Stevens, president; William A. Teele, vice-president; Frank M. Bosworth, recording secretary; George B. Massey, treasurer; Ben M. Lewis, general secretary; Charles G. Lang, physical director. The association occupies rooms in Washington Hall block, which block was the gift of J. A. Sherman to the association.
The First Progressive Spiritualistic Society of Watertown was incorporated in November, 1889, with the following officers: President, John Gifford; vice-president, Frederick Mattison; treasurer, Mrs. M. L. Gifford; secretary, Mrs. F. Mattison; trustees, Mrs. Abel Davis, Mrs. S. F. Graves, John Gifford, Mrs. M. L. Gifford, F. Mattison, Mrs. F. Mattison, and A. Burr. The temple of the society, located on Davis street, was erected largely at the expense of Mr. and Mrs. Abel Davis, and was dedicated January 1, 1890. It will seat 400 persons, and is probably the first temple erected in the state of New York for the uses to which it will be put.
The following information was found in the Appendix submitted too late to be inserted. For want of a better place to put it, this typist has included the information here:
The following sketch of the Rev. J. Winslow was prepared by Dr. J. Mortimer Crawe, who was a student of the Jefferson County Institute, while Mr. Winslow was one of the faculty of that institution. Rev. Mr. Winslow has been an active working clergyman in the Protestant Episcopal Church for more than 30 years, is now rector of Christ Church, Sackets Harbor, and will no doubt be an active worker as long as he can stand firmly and squarely on his feet. He belongs to that class of Christians who believed cheerfulness is not an unpardonable sin. He is full of anecdote and tells a good story well, whether in social life or on the public platform. He is probably the only clergyman born and still residing in the county now actively engaged in church work. Mr. Winslow is an active and zealous member of the G. A. R., and at all their reunions is markedly the right man in the right place, --a popular, persuasive, and amusing speaker:--
Rev. Jedediah Winslow, A. M., was born March 20, 1819, in Rutland, Jefferson County, N. Y. He pursued his collegiate studies in Watertown and Canton academies and under private teachers, and was ordained deacon by Bishop De Lancey in Trinity Church, Geneva, N. Y., December 20, 1857, and priest in Trinity Church, Buffalo, August 19, 1862. He was school commissioner from 1859 to 1864 in Jefferson County; principal of Antwerp Academy from September, 1866, to September, 1868; and received the degree of A. M. from Hobart College in 1867. He was a missionary of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Jefferson County from 1857 to 1864, and organized the parishes at Carthage, Champion, and Antwerp, in this county, and Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County; was chaplain of the 20th N. Y. Cav. from April, 1864, to September, 1865; rector of St. Paul’s Church, Brownville, and Christ Church, Sackets Harbor, from 1875 to 1871; rector of Trinity Church, Camden, from April, 1871, till July, 1875; and from July, 1875, till 1880 was rector of St. Stephen’s Church, New Hartford, N. Y., and has since been and is now a resident of the city of Watertown, during which time, to 1883, he lost the use of his voice, which incapacitated him from active ministerial duties. Recovering he resumed work and took charge of St. Paul’s Church, Antwerp, in which work he was engaged three years, when he was elected rector of Christ Church, Sackets Harbor, in which charge he has continued to the present time. He was married by the Rev. Hiram Doane, in Rutland, N. Y., Sunday, August 27, 1847, to Jane Minerva, daughter of Horace and Pamela (Welch) Tyler, of that town. She died March 26, 1870, at Watertown, and is buried with their only son, Byron Tyler, in the family lot in Brookside Cemetery.
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pp. 753-762 included biographical material and photos of Hon. Willard Ives, Henry D. Sewall, Hon. Beman Brockway and Frederick W. Eams. Those items all appear on Nan Dixon’s NYGenWeb site under Biographical Sketches for the City of Watertown