Sunday, July 6, 2014

Comstock's History Page Fifteen

CAYUGA COUNTY NEW YORK by Austin B. Comstock

I will be posting each page of this history separately. The index, posted on June 24, 2014 in 4 parts, provides the page numbers; you can also search the blog for a particular name appearing anywhere within it. 
The index is also being published at and will eventually have a link back to this blog.
I hope you find something new!

Page Fifteen
who sold it to Augustus Howland in 1833; it descended to George Howland, a grandson of the George Howland mentioned elsewhere, and at the death of the last George was sold to present owner who is a great grandson of Augustus, who bought the place in 1833.
Not long after the settlement at Sherwood’s was made, it was reminded of the need of a burial place.
Samuel Phelps volunteered to donate the beautiful spot now occupied by the cemetery which they enlarged by another gift of land in 1837 by his son, Samuel Phelps the Second. He also left orders for the building of a vault wherein his remains repose. The farm of Jesse Otis is part of one mile square originally bought of a soldier by Henry Watkins in 1792.
The Otis farm and the farm across the road owned by James Emerson was given by Watkins to his son-in-law, William Allen who made the first settlement on it. Allen sold the place to David Stout in 1815. After some years Stout sold to Joseph Frost, who deeded it to Leonard Searing in 1836, who transferred it to James D. Otis in 1846; it then descended to the present owner. The William Allen just mentioned was a Justice of the Peace for several years and was a member of Assembly in years 1821-1822. He died in Scipioville about 1840.
 The Walter Lawton farm was part of the Watkins tract, and was sold in 1813 to Aaron Baker, who improved and occupied it until 1855, when he died.
After Baker's death the farm passed into the hands of his son-in-law Charles W. Searing who died in 1875 and William Searing came into possession. Sometime after his death his heirs sold the place to the present owner. Deacon Austin Phelps owned 1 acre of land on the site afterwards occupied by the Wilder shop (i.e. on the Northwest corner where what is familiarly known as Goose Lane joins the Ridge road). In 1821 he erected a log house and lived there.
He was an undertaker and carried on the business until 1827 when he sold his place to Mathew Barker and moved to Scipioville. From his old book it appears that the average price for the burial of the dead was seven dollars. Now, about 115 years later, even the cost of the burial in a “Potter's Field” is 10 or 12 times as much and the average cost would be at least 30 times as much. So much for “Pomp and Show”.
In 1803 there was a Baptist church building erected directly across the street from where the above-mentioned Phelps house stood later. So far as is known this was the first church of any denomination in the south end of this county. The house was very large, 60 feet square and very substantial, though never painted outside or in.
Elder David Irish was installed as pastor and continued to serve until 1807 when he was succeeded by Elder Rathbun who stayed a year or so, when

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