Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Comstock's History Page Twenty-five

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 Twenty-five
Sherwood and the mail came direct to Bolt’s Corners, Sherwood and Aurora.
In 1816, James Aiken came into the settlement and soon discovered the wealth of the Creek and proceeded to erect a sawmill one mile south east of his corner. This proved a success and he soon built a grist mill, an grew rich and finally died in 1855 full of years and honors and leaving a large number of descendants who have never brought dishonor to his name.
His three daughters married A. Wood, Noyce Merrill, and D. C. Gould, and a granddaughter was the wife of the Honorable William B. Woodin.
Mr. Aikin sold the mill in 1838 to Moses T. Fell, a modest disciple of George Fox and William Penn. He ran the sawmill for 24 years and sold to Frank Howe who only operated for a year or so and sold to Jonas Wood to be followed by his son George  and later by his grandsons, Fred and Frank, but it finally lost its popularity and was abandoned and finally torn down in 1937.
In 1820, Bolt’s Corners had become, next to Aurora, the center of wealth and refinement in the Town of Scipio, and the people decided to build a fashionable church. William Johnson, an earnest young preacher of the Presbyterian faith, was asked to come and work out the problem. Meetings were held in improvised places during the year and a large society was formed.
The following year, 1821, resulted in the erection of a church, the most grand and impressive edifice outside of the city of Auburn. The building was large enough to hold a large congregation and the finishings were very fine and pews very comfortable as were no doubt necessary where the sermons were generally two hours or more in length. The steeple was over 100 feet in height. Reverend Johnson was the hard working and devoted pastor of this church until 1828 when there had been accessions to the membership so that there were over 300 on the roll.
Johnson was succeeded by Reverend Smalley who was a different type of man. Less solemn, but more dressy and genteel, a gentleman of education and talent, but he did not possess the tranquil disposition to make him a successful preacher. Still, during the four years of his administration, he had built up his congregation to over four hundred.
This was the zenith of its glory and began its decline. The popularity of this bachelor pastor was on the wane. His good name was tarnished and his honesty doubted, his virtue questioned, and his chastity challenged. The busy tongue of scandal was accusing him of teaching “tough” doctrines in regard to final destructions and everlasting disposition of infants. This doctrine was revolting to parents, especially those whose children had died in infancy, and shocking to relate, the pastor was accused of

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