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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 133: The Village of Whitesboro.

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 1874-1876 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Settled in 1784 — Postoffice established in 1796 — Village of "Whitehall Landing" in 1811 — 1802 to 1850, Whitesboro "half shire" town of Oneida County — Iron works established, 1871 — Knit goods manufacture, 1890 — Lock No. 20, eastern summit level lock of the Barge Canal — Whitesboro in 1920 a part of the Utica city district — Sauquoit Creek outlet.

Whitesboro Village is in the Township of Whitestown, on the New York Central Railroad, the south shore highway and the Mohawk River and Barge Canal. The town lies on the west side of Sauquoit Creek, at the foot of a low hill which rises southward, about 200 feet above the Mohawk to a fertile and picturesque plateau. The Mohawk River flats are nearly two miles wide. A bridge here crosses the Mohawk.

An interurban trolley connects with Rome and Utica. There is a considerable interchange of workers with the latter city. The principal manufactures are knit goods, furniture and heaters.

The village has water works, electric light and power and a sewer system.

Settlement by Hugh White, 1784

The location of Judge White at Whitesboro in 1784, is here commemorated by a monument. From Judge White, its founder, the village of Whitesboro and township of Whitestown take their names.

Regarding Judge White's settlement here [Pomeroy] Jones' "Annals of Oneida County" has the following, which is of interest as it shows the way in which many of the early settlers came into the Mohawk Valley, the manner in which they started to live, their contact with the Indians, etc.:

Hugh White [1733-1812] removed from Middletown, Connecticut, in May, 1784, and arrived in what is now Whitestown on the 5th of June. He came by water to Albany, crossed by land to Schenectady, where he purchased a batteau, in which he made a passage up the Mohawk River to the mouth of the Sauquoit Creek. His four sons, a daughter and a daughter-in-law accompanied him. When he left Middletown he sent one of his sons with two yoke of oxen by land to Albany, who arrived there about the same time as did his father. As the family proceeded up the Mohawk in the boat, their teams kept even pace by land.

Judge White was one of the purchasers of the Sadaqueda patent with Zephaniah Platt, Ezra L'Hommedieu and Melancthon Smith. On White's arrival (1784) at the Sauquoit he built a temporary bark shanty. His next house of logs he built at the eastern termination of the village green and about six rods southerly from the Utica Road. "The house erected was peculiar. He dug into the bank so that the lower story was underground and the upper was built in true primitive log house style. The ridge pole for the support of the roof was upheld by forked trees, cut and set in the ground, and the roof was composed of slabs, split for that purpose from logs. This was the first house erected on the Indian and Military Road, between Old Fort Schuyler (Utica) and Fort Stanwix."

Early Whitesboro settlers were pioneers by the names of Platt, Gold, Wilcox, Tracy, Capron, Green, Cheever, Walcott, Maynard, Mosely, Bradley, Stevens, Doolittle.

For ten years following its settlement Whitesboro was the most important settlement in the state west of Herkimer.

In 1791 some steps were taken to improve the road west to the Genesee River and in 1792 stages ran up the south shore road from Schenectady to Whitestown, extending their route westward to Geneva in 1794. In 1796 a postoffice was established here.

In 1811 the "Village of Whitehall Landing" was incorporated but the name was changed to Whitesborough. In 1812 Judge White, founder of the settlement, died at the age of 79 years.

Oneida County court was alternately held at Utica and Whitesboro from 1802 to 1850, since which time Rome and Utica have been the shire towns of Oneida County, court being held in each city. The court house and jail were donated by Judge White and his grandson, Mr. Philo White, donated the property to the village as a town hall and council chamber.

An iron works and machine shop were established here in 1871 and knit goods manufacture was started in 1890. In 1921 the Utica Heater Works removed to Whitesboro where they have a large plant. A large percentage of the population is (1924) employed in the manufactures of Utica and its industrial district.

Summit Level Barge Canal Lock No. 20

On the western limits of Whitesboro, and over one mile east of Oriskany, is the Barge Canal Lock No. 20, which is the eastern lock of the canal summit level running westward 18 m., to New London, marking the divide between the waters of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic seaboard. This Oriskany lock raises the water from a sea-level elevation of 404 feet below to 420 feet sea elevation of the summit level above the lock.

A bridge crosses the canal just above this lock. Over it a highway runs north through Marcy to the Black River and Adirondack roads which diverge at Barneveld.

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