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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 130: The City of Utica.

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 1823-1855 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Biographies | Illustrations | Maps | Portraits

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"Crossroads of New York" — Historical, political, industrial, commercial, educational, military and sociological study of Utica, from 1758 to 1925 — The city of parks and trees — A strategic commercial and transportation center, with varied industries — Textile center of America — A Mohawk Valley metropolis and one of America's great eastern cities, steadily increasing in population and importance.

Utica is near the geographical center of the state, the actual point being about twenty miles west, at Eaton Hill, 1,340 feet sea elevation.

New York State's land boundary limits have a peculiar conformation, roughly resembling a three-pointed star. Utica occupies a place very centrally located from all these three points, the northern (178 miles to the Canadian border and 233 to Montreal from Utica), the southeastern with New York City (237 miles from Utica) at its limit, and the western with Buffalo (202 miles from Utica) at its western end. The foregoing are railroad mileage figures over the New York Central Lines.

Utica virtually lies at the western limits of the highlands of the Mohawk, which gradually recede from the narrow river flats, west of Dutch Hill (1,060 feet sea elevation, three miles east of Utica), on the southern shore, and Staring Creek, opposite this small mountain, on the northern shore. The city lies in this westerly widening basin of river flatlands, which are here three miles in width, from the base of the Adirondack foothills known as Deerfield Hills on the north, to the foot of Forest Hill (832 feet sea elevation and 428 feet above the Mohawk) on the southern city limits. The city site is practically level, the rise from the Mohawk to the base of Forest Hill being only eighty feet in the three miles, northeast to southwest, in which lie the Utica municipal limits. From the Genesee Street railroad bridge to the Mohawk turnpike (north shore) at Deerfield Corners, lies a practically level flat a mile in width. Deerfield Township of Oneida County lies opposite Utica, on the north bank of the Mohawk. To the west is the Oneida County Township of Whitestown, south, that of New Hartford, and to the east the townships of Frankfort and Schuyler, Herkimer County.

Roscoe Conkling Park and beautiful Forest Hill Cemetery are located on a sightly spur of Frankfort Hill, a small mountain, 1,420 feet sea elevation and a height above the Mohawk of 1,016 feet. Its summit lies two miles southeast of the city limits. Several city water reservoirs lie on the slopes of this hill.

Forest Hill has a sea elevation of 832 feet and rises 428 feet above the Mohawk River, the highest point being on its summit near the flagstaff in Roscoe Conkling Park.

West of Utica the Mohawk south shore heights rapidly recede from the river, the edge of these Appalachian highlands running almost due west from Forest Hill. Westward from Utica the main summits of these foothills are Crow Hill (1,303 feet, five miles southwest), College Hill (1,080 feet at Clinton, ten miles west), Prospect Hill (1,380 feet, twelve miles west), Eaton Hill (1,340 feet, eighteen miles west and five miles southeast of Oneida Castle, twenty-four miles west), which is the geographical center of New York State. These highlands are the most northerly of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in New York State.

Seneca Road

The old Seneca road section of the New York-Buffalo automobile highway skirts the northern base of these foothills from Utica to Syracuse, fifty miles west. This is the present (1924) main route of this great highway between these two cities.

In 1921 a movement was inaugurated to make the New York-Buffalo highway a "Road of Memory", with hundreds of thousands of native trees planted along its 450-mile length to commemorate the brave sons of New York State who fell in the World war. The initial planting of these memorial trees was scheduled for 1921, when 20,000 elms were to be set out on the Utica-Syracuse section.

Utica's Parks

[Photo: Thomas R. Proctor Monument, Utica, N. Y.]

Utica is surrounded to the southward by a series of beautiful parks, the gift to the city of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Proctor. On the west side are Addison C. Miller and Horatio Seymour (14 1/2 acres) parks. On the south side is Roscoe Conkling Park (385 acres), the largest in the city. This lies on the northern front of Forest Hill. It has tennis courts, a baseball diamond and a menagerie and deer park. Forest Hill is a western spur of Frankfort Hill and rises 428 feet above the Mohawk, thus commanding an extensive view of the city and the Upper Mohawk Valley. A statue of Mr. Proctor stands on the central slope of this park. Thomas R. Proctor and Frederick T. Proctor parks (together comprising more than 200 acres) lie on the east side of the city adjacent to the Masonic Home grounds. Starch Factory Creek is a picturesque feature of these parks. All these parks are connected by a parkway, in which stand statues of Vice President Sherman, General Steuben and the picturesque Hiker statue, a figure of a Spanish war soldier commemorating Utica's part in that conflict. A monument to Utica's soldiers and sailors of the Civil war stands on Genesee Street, in Oneida Square.

The total area of Utica's parks is 700 acres. Chancellor Square (3 1/2 acres) became a public park in the days when Utica was a village. Steuben Park consisted of one acre when it was set apart from the John Post purchase over a century prior to this writing (1925). It has since been considerably cut down by street building. Truman K. Butler and J. Thomas Spriggs parks have each less than one acre. Watson Williams Park has about four or five acres. The Masonic Home, with 300 acres of park and farm land, combined with the Proctor parks, give a large area of beautiful open land to the eastern part of Utica. There are several attractive park sites in the northern section of Utica, on the north side of the Mohawk River.

A tall monument on the summit of New Forest Hills Cemetery, adjoining Forest Hill Cemetery, marks the grave of Justus H. Rathbone (1839-1899), founder in 1864 of the Order of Knights of Pythias. Many famous Uticans are buried on this sightly hill and here is one of the noted "Oneida stones," which came from Oneida Castle in 1849, these stones being connected with the rites and ceremonials of the Oneida Indians.

The Deerfield Hills, north of Utica, are southern foothills of the Adirondacks. They are the western heights of the Hasenclever group of hills which form the western watershed of the West Canada Creek. The main Deerfield hill summits, from east to west, are Bell Hill, 1,178 feet above the Mohawk and 1,582 above the sea; Smith Hill, 803 feet above river, 1,207 feet above sea; Marcy Hill, 1,260 feet above sea, 856 feet above Mohawk. Bell Hill is the highest summit rising directly from the Mohawk River flats. Its gentle slope is deceptive as to its height. Smith Hill is the northern height, seen framed by the buildings of lower Genesee Street. The best Utica view of the Deerfield Hills is from Forest Hill (832 feet sea elevation, 428 feet above the Mohawk), in Roscoe Conkling Park. Fine views of Utica are obtained from the Black River Road over the Deerfield Hills.

Genesee Street

[Photo: "The Busy Corner," Utica]

Genesee Street, one of America's most beautiful avenues, is the backbone of Utica and its most characteristic feature. One cannot think of Utica without visualizing Genesee Street. It runs from old Deerfield Corners, on the Mohawk Turnpike in present Utica, west to beyond New Hartford, in which six miles it is built up the entire distance. Actually the same street is building northward, on the Black River Road, so that Genesee Street before many years, will extend as a built up tree-lined street from Deerfield Hills to Clinton and Hamilton College, a distance of twelve miles. From Baggs Square to beyond Hopper Street, Genesee Street is a business street, traversing the heart of the business section, which is rapidly encroaching on the Genesee Street residential section, southwest. Many of Utica's finest business buildings and residences lie on Genesee Street.

Genesee Street was originally the Indian trail to the Seneca country, later known as the Genesee Road and improved as the Seneca Road in 1800, by which name this beginning of the road to Buffalo is known today. The trail from Old Fort Schuyler and the old Mohawk River ford passed over present Park Avenue and met the Genesee trail at present Oneida Square.

Genesee Street is the Mohawk River crossroads of a trail which runs from the St. Lawrence River to Utica and thence by forks south to Chesapeake Bay and west to Buffalo.

At Utica the New York-Buffalo highway has a sea level elevation of about 440 feet, the same as that of the divide at Karner's, between Albany and Schenectady. The Utica-Syracuse highway reaches its highest point at Lairdsville, ten miles west of Utica and three miles west of Kirkland, at a sea elevation of 720 feet.

Three small streams pass through the city and enter the Mohawk, the most westerly having had its bed utilized by the Chenango Canal, now (1924) abandoned. The other creeks are Ballou and Starch Factory creeks. The Sauquoit enters the Mohawk between the western city suburban villages of Yorkville and Whitesboro. Several suburban industrial places are located on the Sauquoit south of Utica.

In the construction of the Barge Canal (1905-1918) a movable dam and a terminal lock were located at Utica terminal harbor. West of Utica to Rome and eastward to Frankfort, the Barge Canal follows a land-line cut on the north side of the Mohawk River.

The New York State Hospital for the Insane is located near the western limits of Utica. The Marcy division of the Utica State Hospital is located on the Utica-Rome highway, about five miles west of Utica.

Utica Characteristics

Utica still maintains the pleasant reserve and dignity of handsome iron fences and hedges about its better residences — a feature again properly coming into vogue.

Utica has other characteristics all its own differentiating it from the American Mohawk Valley towns to the eastward with their "Mohawk Dutch" antecedents. Utica shows its British heritage by observing Christmas eve with lighted candles and household illumination. Utica has its Proctor day (June 11) and its Kite day. Its ragamuffin parade is on Election day night, instead of Thanksgiving day, as in New York. Halloween is widely observed, its parties often stretching over two weeks time.

Because of its tree-lined streets, Utica is frequently called "The City of Trees." On account of its beautiful parks it is sometimes called "The City of Parks." By reason of a line of Shakespeare it is affectionately called "Pent-up Utica," the "Pent-up City" or "Old Pent-up," just as the lovers of Schenectady fondly term it "Old Dorp." It is also called "the Crossroads of New York," from its central location as regards motor roads and railroad lines.

Utica, Charitable, Social, Fraternal

Utica has the General, Faxton, Homeopathic, St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth hospitals, Home for the Homeless, Home for Aged, Utica Orphan Asylum, St. Vincent's Industrial School, House of the Good Shepherd, and the New York State Masonic Home. There are a number of private schools.

Utica Day School and the Yahnundasis Golf Club are located at New Hartford. The Utica Golf and Country Club is at New York Mills; the Sadaquada Golf Club on Hart's Hill. An aeroplane flying field has been located at Utica.

[Photo: Fort Schuyler Club]

[Editorial note: the first line of this paragraph was left out] porated community chest, through which funds for charity are raised annually in one week's intensive effort; there are many thousand contributors to this chest; 70 churches, representing all denominations; 23 Masonic organizations; five modern hospitals; the very best hotel accommodations with ample facilities in up-to-date hostelries to care for all large gatherings that may assemble in Utica; 60 fraternal societies; 16 organizations of Odd Fellows; many clubs, including three for women; an Elk's lodge, with a membership of two thousand and possessing a magnificent club house; Knights of Columbus Council, owning and occupying commodious property which includes club house, auditorium, gymnasium, swimming pool, etc.; Rotary, Kiwanis, Exchange, Lions, Harmony, Kirotex, Ad and Zonta luncheon clubs. Other clubs include the Fort Schuyler Club, Elks Club, City Club, University Club, Moose Club, Republican Club, Y. M. C. A., Y. W. C. A., etc.

Utica Schools, Public Library, Music and Art Center

Utica's schools are noted for their efficiency. Utica Free Academy, occupying a series of large and attractive buildings, is famous for a century of high educational standards.

[Photo: The Utica Public Library]

The Utica Public Library has a beautiful building on Genesee Street and is recognized as one of the model public libraries of the state. It has an art gallery which houses frequent traveling exhibitions. Here the Utica Society of Fine Arts (organized in 1922) holds its annual exhibition, while it maintains an art school elsewhere.

The Utica Public Library is as old as the city itself. It came into existence the year (1832) that the city was incorporated. It has nearly 150,000 volumes and a circulation close to one-half million books a year. There are branch libraries and a special service to schools. It costs about $75,000 a year to maintain these libraries. The Utica Library will celebrate its centennial with that of the city in 1932.

Utica is a noted musical center for a city of its size, largely because of its large proportion of Americans of Welsh descent, insuring a racial heritage of music. There are a number of musical organizations and a Conservatory of Music has been in existence here for many years. Organs for churches and theaters are made in Utica.

There are several musical clubs, including the B Sharp Club, composed of 1,500 women; the Haydns, a famous male chorus, and the Philharmonics, a mixed chorus that has won laurels over a wide territory. In addition, Utica is the home of the Cymreigyddion society which each year conducts a great Welsh musical festival covering a period of several days and attracting vast throngs from the eastern states to compete in the various musical contests or to enjoy this wonderful occasion of music, art and story. Here also recently was organized the National Eisteddfod Association, a Welsh organization devoted to the promotion of music and art.

Utica is a church city, with many handsome churches representing nearly all the leading denominations, many of these churches being fine specimens of architecture. There are seventy churches in Utica.

The amusement side of Utica is well represented by theaters and moving picture houses. Utica has for years supported an excellent theatrical stock company during the summer months.

In the Munson-Williams Memorial Building are located the important historical collections of the Oneida County Historical Society. They are open free to the public, which is cordially invited to inspect them.

Utica — Industrial, Statistical, Power

The 1924 area of Utica was twenty and one-half square miles, which probably will necessarily be enlarged to accommodate the growth of the city. In 1910, thirty-six per cent of the population was of foreign parentage and nearly twenty-nine per cent of foreign birth, southern and eastern Europeans predominating.

Utica has mills that operate approximately 400,000 spindles; industries that convert 150,000 bales of cotton into yarns and fabrics annually; foundries that use over 100,000 tons of iron each year.

A plentiful supply of hydro-electric power, generated at Trenton Falls, north of Utica, is available here. This hydro-electric power is supplemented by an extensive steam plant system. The development of the proposed super-power plan in the eastern states contemplates Utica as one of the load centers and distributing points. This fact is of vast significance and importance and will prove a powerful incentive for locating many new industries in Utica.

The Utica Gas and Electric Company owns and operates the Trenton Falls hydro-electric plant (producing 35,000 h. p. in 1924 from its plants there, at Little Falls and Dolgeville), together with a city steam plant. This company issued a very handsome and informing work on the industries and transportation of the upper Mohawk Valley in 1923, entitled "The Upper Mohawk Valley." (See "Chapter 132 — The Utica Gas and Electric Company and Hydro-Electric Development in the Upper Mohawk Valley.")

Utica, America's Textile Center

Utica is the center of an industrial district producing a great variety and amount of manufactures, which are constantly increasing. The textile industry is Utica's greatest manufacturing line and Utica is the chief textile manufacturing center in the United States.

In 1919, Utica had 370 factories, with 18,564 workers; 40,419 primary horse power; capital of $67,255,000; annual value manufactured product of $77,746,000 (1920 U. S. Census Report).

In 1924, Utica manufactured white goods, cotton yarn, cloth and worsteds, heating furnaces, metal beds and springs, firearms, fire apparatus, locomotive repairs, machinery, brass goods, automobile and wheel rims, metal goods, cutlery, engines, clothing, millinery, food products, cigars and tobacco, paper goods, paper, woodwork, furniture, pearl buttons, knit goods, caps, fire alarms, street sweepers, air compressors, fishing rods and tackle, trunks and luggage, germicides, radiators, church organs, printed and lithographed goods, engraving, woolen cloth, corduroy cloth, sheets and pillow cases, toys, suspenders, box board, paper boxes, emblems, badges, auto bodies and accessories, metal stampings, farm implements, chemical products, extracts, sportsmen's clothing, sporting rifles and pistols, buffing wheels, pliers and nippers, boilers, tanks, mail boxes, electric washing machines, refrigerator equipment, etc.

For information regarding Utica's manufacturing and industrial features and possibilities write Secretary, Utica Chamber of Commerce, 8 Elizabeth Street, Utica. The Chamber publishes "Greater Utica" and the "Utica Blue Book."

According to the census of 1920, Utica was proportionately the fastest growing city in New York State. Its 1925 population is estimated at 110,000, with 135,000 in the Utica metropolitan district, within a radius of ten miles of the Utica City Hall. The increase in population and material wealth of Utica has, however, been solid, substantial and enduring. Inflation and boom methods are discredited here.

Utica, Banking, Insurance, Wholesale and Retail Business Center

Utica is an important banking, financial and insurance center of New York State, these institutions being housed in handsome buildings.

There are three National banks, three trust companies, one savings bank and two state banks in Utica. Their combined resources are $150,000,000. Savings deposits in these institutions aggregate $80,000,000.

Utica is an important manufacturing and transportation center of America. It is also increasingly important as a wholesale and retail business center, receiving the trade of the western Mohawk Valley, the Adirondack region (of which it is a gateway) and of that of a great part of Northern New York, while, to the south, it competes with Syracuse for the trade of the Susquehanna Valley. Utica has an increasing number of beautiful specialty shops, while its larger stores give metropolitan shopping opportunities. In every way Utica is passing from the conservatism of its earlier growth and taking on the character of a metropolis of Central New York. Its fine banking, insurance, office and store and other structures are constantly increasing in number.

Dairy Center and Milk Shipping

Utica is a center of the great belt of dairy country which runs north and south through central eastern New York — up the Hudson and Mohawk valleys to Utica and Rome, thence up the Black River Valley to the St. Lawrence and along the St. Lawrence and the Canadian frontier to Lake Champlain.

Utica is the (1924) headquarters of the Dairymen's League. It is the point from which milk from the north is sent to New York at express speed. Milk is one of the chief items of the express traffic of the New York Central and the Mohawk Valley fills a great part of the metropolitan milk can. Following the decline of Little Falls (about 1890) as the chief cheese market of the east, Utica became the chief market for a number of years, but Watertown is (1924) now the chief eastern market, with Gouverneur in second place.

Utica, Transportation

The location and site of Utica offer possibilities for great industrial development. The railroad terminal facilities are unsurpassed, all roads entering Utica having the privilege of use of all the city railroad freight terminals. The Barge Canal affords waterway transportation to Duluth on the Great Lakes, New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico (by way of the Chicago Canal and the Mississippi River) and to New York City on the Atlantic. The great trunk highways entering Utica allow motor freight trucking to all points. The electric power available and possible and the large amount of level land, lying close to these transportation routes, afford most unusual industrial possibilities. Roger W. Babson, the financial expert, in 1922 prophesied that the Mohawk Valley, because of its strategic industrial position, would eventually become America's greatest manufacturing district — and he has made investments to back his own faith. The Upper Mohawk Valley of today is one of America's leading industrial centers and is becoming increasingly important.

Utica, Railroad Center

Utica is known as the "Crossroads of New York State." It occupies a dominating position as a center of railroad and automobile transportation. In the days of canal transportation, it was also a waterway center as the Chenango Canal from the south here met the Erie Canal and, 15 miles west, the Black River Canal entered the Erie at Rome.

Utica is a railroad and automobile gateway northward to the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands and Canada and southward to the Susquehanna Valley.

Utica is a very important railroad center of the northeastern United States. The beautiful Union station is one of the finest in the East and serves the following lines:

The New York State Railways operate electric trolley lines eastward to Little Falls, westward to Rome and Syracuse.

New York Central Railroad — Union Station — Utica Freight Yard

The New York Central Railroad maintains a railroad school, where instruction is given in telegraphy, station work and other branches of railroading in the Union Station.

The New York Central Lines constitute not only the biggest business enterprise in the Mohawk Valley but the most valuable property under one management in the world, being valued at two billion dollars. It is also the world's greatest railroad system.

The Mohawk division (Albany to Syracuse) is the oldest and most important division of the New York Central Lines carrying not only the New York metropolitan district traffic but that of Boston and New England to the West and return. Its passenger, mail, express, milk and freight haulage is enormous. The Central and West Shore tracks, from Rotterdam Junction to Syracuse, on the Mohawk division, constitute the only six-track railroad in the world. The New York Central Lines haul one-tenth of the freight railroad traffic of the United States and one-twelfth of its passenger traffic. There is a large freight yard at Utica, equipped in the most modern way. The Union Station, which was recently erected, is a beautiful modern structure, costing $2,000,000. Its interior is architecturally attractive, with a double row of huge marble columns in the center of the waiting room. In 1925 the Utica station was second only to New York City's Grand Central Terminal, in size, beauty, utility and comfort, among the New York Central Railroad stations on the line from New York to Chicago. The Central railroad school is housed in this building. The upper floors are fitted for offices, including administrative offices of the New York Central Railroad. All Mohawk River towns, from Rome to Schenectady, are fortunate to be situated on the main line of the world's greatest railroad and Utica is particularly favored as it is an important junction point of the New York Central Lines.

See Chapter 100 — "The New York Central Lines."

Utica, Automobile Cross-Roads Of New York

[Map: Utica: "Crossroads of New York"]

Utica is the "Cross-Roads of New York" on the most important automobile route in the world — the Albany to Buffalo Highway (Iroquois Trail), comprising the Mohawk Turnpike in its eastern section (Albany to Utica), and the Seneca Road in its western section (Utica to Buffalo).

Utica is a center where several automobile trunk lines meet. They radiate north, south, east and west from Utica. The foregoing railroad routes are practically paralleled by these important highroads and they are important as freight as well as passenger motor car routes. Motorists run north over these roads to the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands and Canada, and south to the Susquehanna Valley. The Mohawk Turnpike here connects with the Seneca Road westward to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo and thence to Chicago and the Pacific Coast.

Automobilists information bureaus are maintained in the Hotel Utica, Hotel Martin and Baggs Hotel.

[Photo: Masonic Auditorium]

The Masonic bodies of Utica contemplate the erection of an imposing auditorium with a seating capacity of 4,500. The auditorium will be available within a reasonable time for use by conventions and other considerable gatherings in Utica. Because of this auditorium, Utica's excellent hotel accommodations and the city's central location, Utica will surely eventually become a favorite convention city for New York State.

Utica and Oneida County

[Map of Oneida County]

Utica is the county seat of Oneida County (formed 1798), which takes its name from the Iroquois tribe of Oneida Indians, who occupied its territory on the Dutch occupation in 1614. The county contains much of the headwaters of the Mohawk River, Black River, Oneida Lake and three small headwaters of streams belonging to the Susquehanna system. Outside of the manufacturing districts of Utica and Rome and some villages, the county is devoted to dairying and general agriculture.

1910 population Oneida County, 154,157; 1920, 182,485; area, 1,215 square miles.

Utica, Historical — Indian Trail Center

The old Indian path from Ya-nun-da-da-sis [the site of Utica] to Ga-na-wa-lo-ha-le [Oneida Castle] here intersected the trail from Ska-na-tat [Schenectady] to De-o-wain-sta [the portage at present Rome]. Also from the river ford an Iroquois trail ran north to the Oswegatchie [Black River] and thence to Canada, while to the south a trail led up Oriskany Creek to the Chenango River headwater stream of the great Susquehanna Valley. This made Utica an Indian cross roads and as these trails developed into pioneer roads, after the Revolution in 1783, this made the site of present Utica eventually an important transportation center, which is the original cause of the city's early development. All the roads mentioned are now great motor car highways.

The Oneida Indians

The crossing trails on the site of present Utica not only indicate the commanding commercial position occupied by the present city but it symbolizes the strategic position occupied by the Five Nations on the Iroquois Trail (from Albany to Buffalo) which enabled them to become masters of the Indians of northeastern North America.

Ya-nun-da-da-sis is an Oneida word meaning "around the hill," referring to the south shore Mohawk Trail's course around Dutch Hill to the east of the city. Ga-na-wa-lo-ha-le, meaning "head-on-a-pole," was the name of Oneida Castle, some twenty miles westward. The site of Utica formed the eastern limits of the jurisdiction of the Oneida nation and the western limits of that of the Mohawks.

In 1821 the greater part of the Oneidas were removed to Chippewa Bay, Wis., in spite of their protests. In 1910 there were about thirty Oneida Indians living in Oneida County and about 200 in the state, some being in Madison County.

The City of Utica lies in a land patent known as Cosby's patent or Cosby's manor, granted in 1734 and surveyed in 1762.

Old Fort Schuyler, 1758-60

In 1758 British Colonial army engineers here built a fort, one of a chain of defenses which extended along the Albany-Oswego water route during the great French war (1754-60). This local fort was an earthwork with palisades and it stood on Main Street, near the Mohawk River, just below Second Street.

This fort was christened Fort Schuyler, in honor of Col. Peter Schuyler of Albany, uncle of Gen. Philip Schuyler of the Revolution. It was garrisoned from 1758 until 1760, when it was abandoned. When the American army reconstructed Fort Stanwix (at present Rome) in 1776, its name was changed to Fort Schuyler in honor of General Schuyler, which name it generally bore in army records until after the Revolution. To differentiate between the Rome and the Utica Forts Schuyler, the Utica fort site was then referred to as Old Fort Schuyler. The same name for the two forts has been the cause of endless historical confusion. After the Revolution (1775-1783) the Rome fort resumed its name of Fort Stanwix, which is its present appellation.

The Fort Schuyler Club of Utica takes its name from the Utica fort, which is now generally referred to as Fort Schuyler, while the Rome fort is known as Fort Stanwix. This is based on the best historical authorities and also the usage of convenience.

Settlement of Deerfield Corners, 1773

In 1773 the Weaver, Reall and Damuth families settled present North Utica at Deerfield Corners. They were driven out and their homes burned in 1776 by hostile Indians. They returned and settled permanently on their old lands in 1784, as stated later.

General Herkimer and his American army of valley militia here at Utica crossed the Mohawk ford, August 5, 1777, from the north to the south bank, on his way to the battleground of Oriskany. The site is marked by a bronze tablet erected in 1912 by the D. A. R. at the site of Old Fort Schuyler.

After the Oriskany battle, August 6, 1777, the wounded General Herkimer was brought by litter to Old Fort Schuyler, where the little army of heroic American survivors made their night camp. Here he was put on a boat and that night he was rowed down the Mohawk sixteen miles to Fort Herkimer. Other wounded were taken down the valley the same way.

Lleutenant-Colonel Campbell and Major Samuel Clyde of Cherry Valley commanded the retreat of the American army from Oriskany down the valley.

The Utica ford marker was one of a number erected by the Mohawk Valley D. A. R. Chapters in 1912, marking General Herkimer's march to the Oriskany battlefield. The markers are granite, with a relief inscription. At the top of each marker is a bronze tablet showing in relief the route of Herkimer's march.

Great Western Migration Through Utica After 1783

Following the Revolution's close, in 1783, the great westward migration began. A few settlers went along the Mohawk roads in 1784 to homes in the upper Mohawk Valley (in what is now Oneida County) and further west. In 1785 the flood tide began and the next five or ten years witnessed the full flow of one of the most remarkable movements of people in the history of the world — that of the American people themselves, largely through the Mohawk Valley to new homes in the great West. The bulk of these migrating people were New Englanders or "Yankees" and Oneida County was largely settled by them and by people from the British Isles, a large element being Welsh, which made their most important early location here at Utica.

The majority of Utica's early settlers were Yankees, English and Welsh, but many pioneers of Dutch and German ancestry from down the Mohawk located in Utica as well as in Oneida County. In fact, John Post, the first merchant of Utica, the present great city of the western Mohawk Valley, removed from Schenectady, the present great city of the eastern valley.

The Mohawk roads and river formed the summer route of the majority of settlers who went from the east to people the west and in that season the river was dotted with their westward moving boats and the roads with their covered wagons or "prairie schooners." However, winter was also a favorite moving time, as the snow smoothed out the rough roads, furnishing an easy journey on sleighs. At Old Fort Schuyler (as Utica was called from 1785 until 1798) nearly all of this westward movement left the Mohawk over the road to the Genesee country, to Lake Erie and the great West. Others turned north and peopled the Black River Valley and northern New York State.

Situated as it is at the western gateway of the Mohawk highlands, Utica is indeed a "gateway to the west," just as Little Falls is the middle gate and Schenectady the eastern valley gateway.

Settlement of Utica (North Utica), 1784 — Old Fort Schuyler (Utica), 1785

The first settlement within the limits of Utica was made in 1773, in present North Utica at Deerfield Corners, by George J. Weaver, Mark Damuth and Christian Reall and their families. These were people of Palatine German ancestry from the German Flats (Herkimer) neighborhood. Reall's Creek takes its name from Christian Reall, whose house stood near it. These first settlers of Utica were all Whigs or patriots. As they did not have, in their front yards, the Tory emblem of a horse's skull on a stake, they had to flee to their old homes on the approach, in 1776, of a Tory and Indian raiding party, which burned their homes. All probably served in the American armies. Damuth was a captain with Gen. Herkimer's army which marched to aid Fort Stanwix. Damuth, John Adam Helmer and another unknown were the three scouts sent by Herkimer with dispatches for Gansevoort. Damuth was severely wounded in a later valley enemy raid and Weaver was taken a prisoner to Canada. In 1784 the three families again united on their farms and thus became the first settlers of Utica. As these settlers plowed, planted and raised crops that year on their old lands ([Pomeroy] Jones' Annals of Oneida County, pp. 141-142) they merit attention as possible first settlers of Oneida County. They certainly were the first permanent settlers within the present city limits of Utica. One of the Damuths was a first settler of the old Fort Schuyler section of Utica in 1785.

In 1786 there were log houses in present Utica, south of the Mohawk, of families by the names of Damuth, Cunningham and Christman, all "upon or near the old road to Fort Stanwix, corresponding nearly with Main and Whitesboro Streets," thus being at the lower end of Genesee Street.

In 1788 the town of Whitestown was formed from the township of German Flats. Whitestown then had 200 population and embraced all of the state westward. Following 1786, new settlers by the names of Alverson, Morey, Foster and Silyea came to Utica.

John Post, Utica's First Merchant, 1790

John Post, Utica's first merchant, can be justly considered the founder of the city. He came here and established a trading post in 1790, previous to which time he had been a trader among the Iroquois, largely in ginseng root for export to China. Post was born in Schenectady in 1748. He was an officer in the Revolutionary American army, serving on Gen. Gates' staff at Saratoga, on Sullivan's expedition, at the battle of Monmouth and at Yorktown, when Cornwallis surrendered in 1781.

In the spring of 1790, having purchased land near Old Fort Schuyler, John Post removed from Schenectady to present Utica. At Schenectady he loaded merchandise, furniture, provisions and building material on boats. With himself, his wife and children and a carpenter as passenger and a crew of boatmen, he slowly came up the Mohawk, making the trip of eighty miles in nine days. "So deep was the mud in the road, now Genesee Street, that the children had to be carried to the big 'palace' previously erected. The persons then residing here [1790] were Uriah Alverson, John Cunningham, John Christman and Widow Damuth and their families and probably some others."

Post erected a frame three-story warehouse on the river and later one near the Genesee Street river bridge. Post owned a fleet of Mohawk River boats which were engaged in transporting merchandise and in bringing settlers and their effects from Schenectady to Utica. Three of these were Mohawk River packet boats, fitted with covers and seats, which carried passengers only, this transportation being preferred by many to the stages on the rough river roads.

Post built a store and had an important trading post and business here until he was burned out in 1806, which disaster ruined him and he died in poverty in 1830.

Settlers came rapidly to Old Fort Schuyler after Post's settlement in 1790 and by 1795 there was a thriving busy little village here with log and frame houses, stores, taverns and shops of various kinds.

In 1792 a bridge was built across the Mohawk, near First and Second streets, and a stage route was established running from Albany and Schenectady to Utica and Whitestown. This route was extended westward over the Genesee Road (later Seneca Road) to Geneva in 1794.

First Mohawk Valley Newspaper, 1793

In 1793 the first Mohawk Valley newspaper was founded at the settlement of New Hartford, to the south, then a larger settlement than Old Fort Schuyler. This was the Whitestown Gazette, which was removed to Utica later. The Utica Observer-Dispatch is a remote descendant of this original Valley newspaper.

In 1793 the First Presbyterian Church was organized. In 1801 the Welsh Presbyterians had a church here and Trinity Episcopal Church was begun.

Old Fort Schuyler Village, 1797

River, bridge and highway improvements of 1797 boomed Utica, which became a great travel center by both routes. In that year $2,200 was appropriated by the state for the improvement of the "great Genesee road" between "Old Fort Schuyler" and Geneva. From this great road, its city section, Genesee Street, takes its name. The same year a river bridge was erected at the foot of Genesee Street at a cost of $400.

Utica Village, 1798

In 1796 there were thirty-five houses here and in 1798, when the place was incorporated as a village, there were fifty houses, with over 200 people here. The name of the place had been Old Fort Schuyler from 1776 to 1798. A number of prospective names were suggested and written on slips. The name drawn from these was Utica.

In 1797 the schoolhouse was enlarged, after which union church services were held therein.

In 1798, Moses Bagg, a blacksmith, opened the original Baggs Hotel. The present south end of the Baggs was built (1813) around the first log structure without interruption to business and Baggs Hotel is probably the oldest large hotel, with a continuous existence, in the United States.

In 1798 Oneida County was formed and, on April 3, 1798, Old Fort Schuyler was incorporated as a village with the name of Utica. Utica and Whitestown were the county seats or "shire towns" until 1854, when Utica and Rome became the half shire towns with courts held at both places.

In 1804 Utica had 120 houses and buildings and had become an important little town with four tanneries, two nail factories, two breweries, a hat factory, and a cabinetmaker, watchmaker, potter, shoemaker, rope maker, besides other shops, stores, taverns, two churches, a schoolhouse, barns and other buildings.

See "Chapter 84 — The Mohawk Valley in 1810," for description of Utica in that year.

Seneca Road, 1800

The building of the Genesee Street river bridge in 1797, the improvement of the Mohawk Turnpike and the construction of the Seneca Road (formerly the Genesee Road) westward from Utica, both in 1800, "were among the first movements which gave Utica a start and secured for it a share of the business heretofore monopolized by Rome and other places in this vicinity." The frontier village of Utica grew rapidly thereafter.

Utica was the greatest national center of military movements in the War of 1812-14, many American troops passing through the city to and from the Niagara and St. Lawrence frontiers. In 1817, Utica Township was formed from Whitestown.

Erie Canal, 1819, 1825

In 1817 Erie Canal construction was begun and in 1819 the canal was completed to Utica and on October 22, 1819, the first boat "Chief Engineer" made the initial trip between Rome and Utica, when a great celebration was held. The opening of the Erie, from Buffalo to Albany, in 1825, greatly stimulated the town.

In 1818 Utica Academy was built and the first public library was opened in 1825.

In 1827 slavery was abolished in New York State and the slavery abolition movement soon agitated Utica, like most northern towns. The Abolitionists were few and despised at first but the movement, which excited much bitter controversy, continued until its objects succeeded in the Civil war (1861-65).

Utica City, 1832

On February 13, 1832, Utica was chartered a city. In the same year it suffered considerably in a national cholera epidemic. In 1835 the city had a population of 10,183, with considerable manufacturing. The population was 12,782 in 1840, with city expenses of $11,734.96 in 1841. In 1845 with 14,000 people Utica had thirteen large and many small industries, with an annual manufactured output of $236,811.

See "Chapter 89 — 1840. Review of the Mohawk Valley," for a description of Utica in 1840.

Utica and Schenectady Railroad — Chenango Canal, 1836

Utica citizens subscribed to $4,300,000 of the stock of the Utica & Schenectady Railroad, which was opened August 1, 1836, and extended to Syracuse in 1839.

In 1836 the Chenango Canal was opened northward from Chenango River headwaters of the Susquehanna, through the Oriskany Creek Valley to Utica, forming a valley outlet for coal from Pennsylvania. This canal was abandoned in 1878. In the modern utilization of trunk waterways, the use of the Chenango Canal may be resumed as well as other abandoned waterways of New York State, the pioneer and leading commonwealth in canalization.

In 1854, the Utica & Black River Railroad (now a New York Central line) was opened to Boonville and later extended to Carthage. The Utica, Clinton & Binghamton Railroad was opened to Hamilton in 1867. In 1883 the West Shore Railroad (now a New York Central line) began running through the southern city limits. In 1902 the trolley route was extended eastward to Little Falls. In 1905 Barge Canal construction was begun and completed from Waterford to Utica in 1916 and opened in 1918. In 1913 Harry Atwood, in his flight from St. Louis to New York City, passed over Utica and down the Mohawk, and, on June 3, 1924, the great United States naval dirigible Shenandoah passed westward over the Mohawk Valley, on its way from New York to Buffalo, adding the final chapter in Utica's history of transportation.

In 1848 the Utica water works and gas company were inaugurated. In 1851 the city hall was begun. In 1862 an armory building was erected, and in 1893 the present armory took its place. In 1883 the Government building and the Y. M. C. A. were built.

Utica Industrial Growth

The first great industrial development in the Utica metropolitan district was the beginning of cotton cloth manufacture in 1808 at New York Mills, at the present western limits of Utica. For the first forty years of its growth, 1785-1825, Utica was largely a trading and transportation center. Manufacturing followed the building of the Erie Canal (here as elsewhere along the waterway) as it furnished the first cheap transportation facilities. The first local industry of importance was the manufacture of plows begun in 1820. Local industries and the dates of their establishment follow: 1823, grist mill, iron foundry; 1826, pottery works; 1832, engine and boiler works, oilcloth factory; 1834, steam planing mill; 1836, ready made clothing; 1842, stoves and furnaces; 1847, woolen goods; 1848, cotton cloth; 1851, locomotive headlights; 1852, iron works; 1861, steam gauges; 1862, firearms; 1863, knit goods; 1868, caps; 1886, worsted; 1890, burial caskets. Other industries have been added and are constantly coming to this increasingly great industrial center.

See "Chapter 102 — History of Mohawk Valley Manufactures and Inventions."

A considerable Italian and Polish immigration to Utica marked the period from 1890 to 1920.

Utica, Civil War (1861-5), World War (1917-18)

Utica, as the county seat, was the center of Civil War activities of Oneida County. The principal military organizations recruited from this and adjacent counties were 14th, 26th, 81st, 97th, 117th, 146th infantry regiments, the Oneida Cavalry and Oneida County had representation in some twenty-five other Civil war commands.

Utica Armory, Headquarters 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry, N. G. S. N. Y.

The Armory at Park Avenue and Rutger Street is the headquarters of the 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry, National Guard State of New York. The Utica units are Company K, Company L and Headquarters Company. Company I, at Mohawk, is (1923) the champion marksmen company of the National Guard of the United States. Company M, machine gun company, is located at Hudson. In 1923 the 3rd Battalion of the 10th ranked first among the battalions of the state in point of efficiency.

[Photo: Statue of "The Hiker"]

Troop G, 101st Cavalry, 27th Division, N. G. S. N. Y., has its armory on Lafayette Street. Many of its members served valiantly in the World War, when most of the guard cavalry units were transferred to machine gun companies.

See "Chapter 95 — Utica Organizations of the National Guard of the State of New York," by Col. H. J. Cookinham, of Utica.

The Lewis Machine Gun in Utica

The World War was won in the arms and ammunition factories of America as well as upon the field. The Lewis machine gun was a great asset in the military strength of Great Britain. It was manufactured in Utica by the Savage Arms Company, which attained the remarkable monthly production of two-thirds of all the output of the factories of Great Britain and Canada combined. The rifle factory of Ilion and the machine gun works of Utica were powerful factors in winning the war for America and her allies.

Utica, Political — Gov. Seymour, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1868

The City of Utica was the home of Horatio Seymour, a brilliant public man, who was a Democratic "war" governor (1862-4) of the greatest patriotism. Seymour was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for president of the United States in 1868, running against General Grant. Utica was the home of United States Senator Roscoe Conkling, the famous Republican politician of the latter nineteenth century, and of United States Senator Francis Kernan, Democrat. See biographies of Seymour, Conkling and Kernan.

U. S. Senator Roscoe Conkling, 1829-1888

[Photo: Senator Roscoe Conkling House in Rutger Park, Utica]

Roscoe Conkling of Utica, was a dominating figure in American National politics during the last half of the Nineteenth Century. He was born in 1829 in Albany, and was the son of Alfred Conkling, a noted lawyer of that day, and a one-time resident of the village of Canajoharie. Roscoe Conkling was elected mayor of Utica in 1858, and, as a Republican, represented the Oneida district in Congress from 1859 until 1867, when he was elected United States Senator from New York, being re-elected in 1873 and 1879. Conkling was a strong supporter of President Lincoln's war policies in Congress. When Grant became President, Conkling became his trusted adviser. In 1873, President Grant offered Senator Conkling the post of Ambassador to the court of St. James and also that of Chief Justice of the United States. Both of them were declined. In 1876, Senator Conkling was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He was unsuccessful. Rutherford B. Hayes being nominated and elected Senator Conkling advocated the nomination of General Grant for a third term in 1880. Conkling's party opponent, James G. Blaine, was also a candidate. James A. Garfield, friendly to the Blaine faction, was nominated and elected. A bitter party feud now ensued between the Conkling and Blaine groups. The Conkling followers called themselves "Stalwarts" and their opponents "Half-Breeds,' names which came into general use. The climax was reached when President Garfield nominated W. H. Robertson for Collector of the Port of New York. The Conkling New York State Republican machine opposed this nomination. When President Garfield refused to withdraw it both United States Senators from New York State, Roscoe Conkling and Thomas C. Platt, resigned. They became candidates for re-election but were defeated, after a contest of 48 ballots, by Warner Miller of Herkimer and Elbridge G. Latham, who were elected by the New York State Legislature on July 17, 1881. There was never a more violent partisan conflict in the history of America, since the Leislerians and anti-Leislerians of 1689-1700, in New York State. President Garfield was assassinated on July 2, 1881, by a lunatic crazed by the prevalent political fury. In 1884, Grover Cleveland, formerly of Clinton, Oneida County, was elected president over James G. Blaine, the political opponent of Roscoe Conkling. The vote was very close and Mr. Conkling became the attorney for the Democratic organization, during the recount which followed. Conkling died in 1888. His handsome stone mansion stands in Rutger Park, Utica. The foregoing political struggle is covered in detail in "Chapter 90 — 1865-1900 — The Mohawk Valley, from the Close of the Civil War to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century."

Vice President James S. Sherman, 1908-12

[Photo: Vice-President Sherman Home]

A prominent political figure of Utica was James S. Sherman, who was for years a Republican Congressman, representing the Utica district and who was elected vice president with William H. Taft on the Republican ticket of 1908. Mr. Sherman was renominated in 1912 on the Taft-Sherman Republican ticket, but died just before the election of President Wilson and Vice President Marshall, Democrats. A statue of Vice President Sherman was erected here in 1923, and his house stands (1924) on Genesee Street. Many other nationally famous men have been residents of Utica.

President Grover Cleveland was a boyhood resident of Clinton and Holland Patent, Oneida County.

Noted Citizens of Utica and Oneida County

After the War of Independence several noted American Revolutionary officers settled in Oneida County. Among them were General William Floyd, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who is buried in Westernville Township of Floyd, 8 m. n. of Rome; Major General Baron von Steuben, "the drillmaster of the Revolution," who removed to the lands granted him by the United States Government, in the Township of Steuben, where he lies buried on Starr Hill, about 20 m. n. of Utica. A statue of Steuben stands at the intersection of Genesee Street and Steuben Parkway, named for the general. General John Cochran was a close friend of Washington and in charge of the American Revolutionary military hospitals. He moved from Palatine Church to Utica and died here. Besides these there were many Oneida County pioneers who were Revolutionary officers of lesser rank.

The last survivor of the War of 1812 was Hiram Cronk, a native of Frankfort, who died at Ava, Oneida County, in 1904, at the age of 104 years. He was given an impressive funeral in New York, where his body lay in state in the City Hall.

Oneida County made great contributions of man power to the Union cause during the Civil War, and the number of commanders of high rank which it furnished to the Union forces is truly remarkable. Major General Henry W. Halleck, Commander-in-Chief of the Union armies for some time, was a native of Westernville, while other noted officers were General Daniel Butterfield, General James McQuade, General Rufus Daggett, Rear Admiral William Mervin, Rear Admiral S. L. Breese, Rear Admiral Montgomery Sicard.

Mention has previously been made of Vice President James Sherman (1908-1912). Among other famous citizens of Utica and Oneida County have been: Horatio Seymour (born 1810, died 1886), Governor of New York, 1852-4, 1862-4, one of New York's finest executives who, as our Civil War governor, was a strong supporter of the Union cause, later unsuccessful candidate for President against General Grant in 1868. U. S. Senator Roscoe Conkling (1829-1888), a noted lawyer and a great power in Republican politics in the third quarter of the nineteenth century; U. S. Senator Francis Kernan (1816-1892), also noted as a lawyer; President Grover Cleveland, who, as a boy and youth, attended school in Clinton and Holland Patent; Hon. Elihu Root, born at Clinton in 1845, who was Secretary of War and Secretary of State under President Roosevelt, and later U. S. Senator; Thomas James, Postmaster General under President Garfield; Lyman J. Gage, Secretary of Treasury under President McKinley; Wm. J. Gaynor, Mayor of New York; Ellis H. Roberts, journalist, historian and U. S. Treasurer; S. N. D. North, journalist; Pomeroy Jones (1789-1884), historian; Daniel E. Wager (1823-1896), lawyer and historian; Thomas R. Proctor, who gave Utica its splendid park system; Harold Frederic (1856-1898), journalist, London correspondent N. Y. Times and one of America's greatest novelists, who used the Upper Mohawk Valley as a background for his fiction (including "The Damnation of Theron Ware," "Seth Brother's Wife," "That Lawton Girl," "The Copperhead," etc.), whose "In the Valley" is regarded as America's best historical novel.

Mohawk Valley Centenarians

Oneida County was the home of O. E. Elmer, who was born in 1786 and died in 1905 at the age of 119 years. The Mohawk Valley has had an unusual number of centenarians, including Delina (Grandma) Filkins of Jordanville, 109 years old in 1924; Sophia Sitts of Starkville, 109 years old at her death in 1883; Hiram Cronk of Ava, 104 years old at his death in 1904, then the last surviving soldier of the War of 1812; David Timerman (near Fort Plain) 101 years, and several others.

For brief biographies of many of the foregoing natives and citizens of Utica and Oneida County, see the biographical volumes of this work.

Utica is a modern, progressive American city with an interesting and important past and a promising future, due to its past and present enterprising and patriotic American citizens and its wonderful industrial and commercial location.

The present Utica city district embraces New Hartford and Clinton on the south and Yorkville, New York Mills and Whitesboro and Oriskany on the west. With the exception of Clinton and Oriskany the city district has reached out until four of the six villages mentioned are now actually part of the Utica city section. Building is continuing along motor roads and trolleys extending towards Clinton and Oriskany, so that it is not improbable that these communities may be part of the city of Utica within the next fifty years, when the city will embrace a quarter million people. Whitesboro and Oriskany are given separate mention among the other Mohawk Valley communities in this volume but New Hartford, Yorkville and New York Mills are now integrally a part of Utica and are considered under the subject of the city of Utica as one municipal area or metropolitan district.

Genesee Street to New Hartford and Clinton

Utica extends its famous Genesee Street southward to and beyond Clinton, just as New York City sends its Broadway north to Albany.

The run from Utica to Clinton (9 m. s.) and Hamilton College is one of the most attractive of the many interesting and beautiful drives which lead in all directions from Utica. The Utica city district embraces a section within a circle drawn ten miles from the Utica City Hall, including the village of Clinton and Hamilton College on its western outskirts. On this route the tourist passes New Hartford (settled 1788), virtually a southern part of Utica. About two miles west of New Hartford the Seneca Road to Syracuse and the west branches off from Genesee Street. This route to Syracuse is described in the Summary in the front of this book. The road from this point to Clinton is the most traveled highway in the Mohawk Valley west of Amsterdam, according to figures of 1922.

Clinton, nine miles south of Utica, is connected with it by trolley, the New York, Ontario and Western Railroad, and by highway, known up to Clinton as Genesee Street. This road continues southward along Oriskany Creek to Oriskany Falls, Hamilton (Colgate University), Norwich to Binghamton. From Hamilton village it runs south along the Chenango River, a headwater stream of the Susquehanna. Clinton is named for George Clinton, governor of New York during and after the Revolution.

Clinton is an attractive residential town, many of its people commuting to business in Utica. A monument, on the village green, marks its settlement by New Englanders in 1787. Clinton lies in a fertile farming country and has important canning industries. Here are two iron mines, one on the north side of the town and the other southward at Franklin Springs. Only the north side mine is (1924) worked, the product being used in the manufacture of metallic paint.

President Grover Cleveland was a boyhood resident of the villages of Clinton and Holland Patent, in Oneida County, in both of which he attended school. His father was a Congregational minister, serving churches in Clinton and Holland Patent.

Hamilton College at Clinton

Rev. Samuel Kirkland, a great American patriot and a missionary to the Oneida Indians, founded Hamilton College in 1794.

Kirkland went to the Senecas as a missionary in 1765 and to Oneida Castle in 1766, where he lived (except during the Revolution) until he removed to the site of Hamilton College in 1791. Kirkland was beloved by the Oneidas and his influence kept the majority of this nation on the side of the Colonies during the Revolution. Sconondoa, the famous Oneida chief, loved Kirkland as a brother. Dying at the age of 101, the great Oneida warrior requested that he be buried beside his white brother. Today, the visitor to the College Cemetery can see the graves of Kirkland and Sconondoa, side by side. For his patriotic services to his country, Kirkland was granted a plot of land two miles square in the present township of Kirkland. He set aside a portion of these lands for the use of an academy for the Oneida tribe. Kirkland had won the regard of Washington and Hamilton, who became the first trustee of Hamilton Oneida Academy, chartered by the Regents of the University of New York, January 29, 1793. In a small clearing, at a spot just south of the present Chapel (now marked by a tablet) the corner stone of the first building was laid by Baron Steuben, July 1, 1794. Kirkland died in 1808. The school expanded until, in 1810, its students numbered 170, a very large attendance for the time and place. May 26, 1812, the college charter was granted and it became henceforth Hamilton College.

See "Chapter 107 — Hamilton College," by Milledge L. Bonham, Professor of History, Hamilton College.

Utica and Upper Mohawk Valley Temperature and Rainfall

The following figures cover the average monthly and annual temperature (covering a period of 35 years) and rainfall (covering a period of 47 years) at Utica. They are furnished by the Weather Bureau at Washington. While the figures refer to Utica, they also may well represent the Mohawk Valley, particularly in its town and city section from Schenectady to Utica. From Little Falls east, the Middle and Lower Mohawk Valley temperatures are somewhat higher than those at Utica, but the difference is slight. The Adirondack and Catskill (Schoharie) regions probably vary more markedly.

The average monthly temperature records, taken at Utica (covering a period of 35 years) are as follows, in temperature degrees:

January, 24; February, 24; March, 32; April, 44; May, 56; June, 65; July, 69; August, 68; September, 59; October, 47; November, 36; December, 26. Average annual temperature, 46.

The average monthly and yearly rainfall, taken at Utica during a period of 47 years, are given as follows, in inches and their percentages:

January, 3.20; February, 2.95; March, 2.95; April, 2.70; May, 3.60; June, 4.15; July, 4.60; August, 3.65; September, 3.55; October, 3.45; November, 3.90; December, 3.35. Average annual rainfall, 42.05 inches.

For reference works regarding the history of Utica and Oneida County, the reader can consult Pomeroy Jones' "Annals of Oneida County," Wager's "History of Oneida County," H. J. Cookinham's "History of Oneida County."

For much assistance in the preparation of and contributions to the foregoing description and history of the city of Utica, the author is indebted to Mr. John G. Duffy and Mr. George J. Winslow, of the Utica Chamber of Commerce. He has also received much help from Mr. W. W. Canfield, editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch, while Hon. H. J. Cookinham, author of a "History of Oneida County" (S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912) also lent valuable aid in reading proof on a considerable part of the foregoing chapter.

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