History of Herkimer county, New York

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Finally McDonald, becoming desperate, rushed up to the block-house and attempted to force open the door, and while thus engaged he was shot through the leg and disabled. He was then dragged inside and relieved of the ammunition with which he was well supplied, and of which the garrison was very much in need. McDonald was also detained as a hostage.

While the Shells were taking a brief respite, the besiegers made a charge upon the block-house in a body and some of them thrust their gun-barrels through the loop-holes. Shell stood not idle while this was going on, but seizing an ax she used it to such good effect on the guns that many of them were forever silenced. The attacking force was again repulsed. Darkness had now settled over the scene, it was night.

The fight had been in progress from two o'clock in the afternoon. After the last repulse of the enemy Shell went up into the top story of the block-house and shouted to his family below that he could see troops from Fort Dayton coming to their rescue. This was one of Shell's "bluffs," but it had the desired effect, and the Tories and Indians fled to the woods.

Shell and his family took advantage of the opportunity and made their escape, arriving safely at Fort Dayton a few hours later. McDonald was left at the block-house overnight, but next day he was brought to Fort Dayton where his death occured as a result of the amputation of his injured leg. Investigation showed that six of the attacking party were killed in the assault upon the block-house, and the two young Shell boys, who were afterward rescued, reported that of twelve wounded, nine died while on their way to Canada.

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Brave old Shell finally came to his death at the hands of the savages. He and his sons were at work in a field near their home when the father was shot down by an Indian concealed in a nearby wheat field. Shell's sons defended him from the would-be scalpers until help came from Fort Dayton, but one son was killed and another wounded in doing so. On the 29th of October following, Colonel Willett with a force of four hundred picked men and sixty Oneida Indians, started from Fort Dayton up the West Canada Creek to intercept a party of British Regulars, Tories, and Indians, numbering about six hundred and led by Major Ross, and a Tory encamped for the night in the wilderness, while one of his trusted lieutenants named Sammons, conceeded cautiously until he descried the camp-fires of the foe, who had also encamped for the night on what is called Butler's Ridge, in the north-eastern part of the town of Norway.

Sammons returned as quickly as possible and reported his discovery to Colonel Willett, who at once entered upon the work of arranging for an early morning surprise of the enemy. It was Willett's intention to head off Ross' and Butler's forces and lie in ambush, but the latter were on the move as early as Willett and his men, and the two opposing forces arrived at the junction of two roads almost simultaneously.

A brisk skirmish at once ensued and one American was fatally wounded. The Tory forces fled across Black Creek closely followed by the Americans. A running flight was kept up nearly all of the way down to the West Canada Creek, which was about ten miles distant and which was reached in the late afternoon. As the Americans reached the Creek and a few had waded in to cross over, the fog which had obscured the opposite shore suddenly lifted and revealed the enemy on the bank.

Butler, doubtless believing that the stream afforded a barrier to further pursuit by Willett, mounted the trunk of a fallen tree and insultingly defied his pursuers. His reckless bravado cost him his life. One of the Americans, named Carpenter, and an Oneida Indian, both raised their rifles and fired at the same instant. Butler was seen to fall, and at this his forces became panic stricken and fled.

Some of the Americans then waded the ford of the West Canada Creek and found Butler dead, shot twice through the head. The raid of Butler and Ross was the last serious invasion of the Mohawk Valley. Herkimer village is the oldest in the county of Herkimer, and the land upon which it is principally located was in early times called the "Stone Ridge. The "Stone Ridge" was included in lot No. On the 1st day of July, , the owner of lot 17, executed a deed to forty-six of the Burnetsfield lot owners, conveying to them sixty-two and three-fourths acres, this being that portion of lot 17, extending southerly from a line running east and west near the northerly end of the Palmer House block on Main Street.

That portion of lot 17 lying north of this line and south of the Turnpike road, now German Street, Mrs. The sixty-two and three-fourths acres were not immediately used for a village by the inhabitants. The trouble arising from the war of the Revolution prevented a distribution of the new lots among the forty-six Burnetsfield lot owners until , when proceedings were instituted in the Court of Common Pleas of Herkimer County for this purpose.

The Court appointed three commissioners to make the division and they divided the sixty-two and three-fourths acres into what was termed the easterly and westerly divisions of the village of Herkimer, the present Main Street being the dividing line. They then ran a street through each of the two divisions, parallel with Main Street, and these streets are now known as Washington and Prospect Streets.

The land, by which these streets were bounded, was then laid out into village lots and it made forty-six lots in each division. Each of the forty-six Burnetsfield lot owners was given two lots, one in each division. John Jost Herkimer, to whom was assigned two lots in this partition, was dead many years before the partition was made, but the title to his lots was held by his descendants.

Herkimer County, New York - Wikipedia

John Jost Petrie and others, who were assigned lots upon the partition, were also dead when the partition took place, and the titles to the same went to their descendants. The title to the portion of the "Stone Ridge" retained by Mrs.

Gertrude Petrie, with the exception of one acre of land belonging to the Dutch Reformed Church, passed to General Michael Myers shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, and from him the title to all that portion of the village of Herkimer was received including the title of the county to the land upon which the Court House, and County Clerk's Office now stand including the Old Jail.

The map for the Herkimer divisions and the report of the commissioners who divided the sixty-two and three-fourths acres were recorded in the Oneida County Clerk's Office, and may be seen there in Book of Deeds No. The County buildings are located in this place.

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Herkimer County Historical Society

Fox Hall is 40 by 80 feet and capable of seating persons. Herkimer Paper Mill is by feet and two stories high, employs thirty hands and manufactures about three tons of wall paper daily. Herkimer Stone Mills are 60 by 75 feet, three stories high, besides the basement, and have a capacity for grinding bushels daily. The water-power for these manufaetories is furnished by Canada Creek. The Herkimer Cemetery lies a short distance west of the village. It contains about fourteen acres, is tastefully laid out with gravel walks, and ornamented with shade trees, shrubs and flowers. Eatonville is a postoflice in the north-east part of the town.

It is owned by Messrs. Pine, Gray and Smith, and took the first prize awarded to any factory in the State. Its capacity is sufficient for the milk of cows, though it has been running the present season with about half that amount.


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Herkimer Union Cheese Factory is owned by a stock company and makes about , pounds annually. Shells Bush makes about , pounds.

Archaeological Excavation of The Forgotten Well in Herkimer, NY 2014

There are several saw mills in various parts of the town. Osborm Hill M. Church is in the north part of the town. The society was organized in with forty members, but since the erection of other churches the membership has diminished. The first settlement of this town was commenced by Palatinates, under the patronage of Gov. Hunter, in Petrie was one of the original patentees of Burnetsheld. The present village of Herkimer occupies a portion of this lot. The adjacent flats were liable to inundation, and this ridge was the only land upon which they could safely build.

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This circumstance caused so much dissatisfaction among the settlers that Mr. Petrie divided this lot into smaller portions and gave them to the owners of the low lands adjacent. He was one of the principal men of the colony and had accumulates considerable wealth. Those who remained during the struggle for Independence took shelter in Fort Dayton. In November of that year a band of Canadians and their Indian allies swept down on the little fort at Oswego, captured it, and immediately hurried down the Black and Mohawk rivers and massacred the inhabitants of the section on the north side of the Mohawk near the present village of Herkimer.

A full account of this and later wars are to be found in other chapters of this work. To one interested in the events of the early Revolution, particularly those which took place in this section, the account of battles along the Mohawk, especially those in which General Herkimer defeated the forces of St. Leger's on the Oriskany near Utica on August 17, , preventing his juncture with Burgoyne, will bear reading.

This engagement was one of the severest of the Revolution, numbers being considered. With the coming of peace, came also a resettlement of the Herkimer district, in which many New Englanders had a share, and the establishment of industries and means of transportation.

The thin line of travel wormed its way through the Mohawk Valley as the easiest route westward. The first State road through Herkimer was from Albany to Utica, constructed in The Mohawk was naturally the first means of handling heavy freight, although the rapids at Little Falls interfered badly.

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This difficulty was overcome by the building of a canal around the rapids in Some of the masonry of these old locks is still in a fair state of preservation. In O the Erie Canal was complete, superseding the Mohawk, and in the late thirties the Utica and Schenectady Railroad increased the transportation facilities.

Villages were being founded everywhere, great sections of Herkimer's original territory were being taken to form other counties, and the county had subdivided its area into towns.