History of Edmeston, New York/1900s

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The history of Edmeston, New York: 1900 through 1999

1900[edit | edit source]

PUCKER STREET: Who can tell what gave rise to the bestowal of this name to this hamlet? Where is Pucker street? Well, sixty years ago when a lad ten years old was making trips with his parents from the Goodrich school district to Burlington Flats to visit his Grandparents he traveled this street under cloudless, balmy skies and through winter's blustry winds and high piled snows.

When the old bobtailed brown mare topped the hill out of Edmeston, N.Y., where the journey was about one half done, she would bravely strike into a trot through Pucker Street, down to the home of Denzil Robinson, where they turned into the road that led to Burlington Flats.

Pucker street was a very well kept and quite populous stretch of road, through fertile lands. The name of this street made an impression upon this lad's mind that even now brings clearly to his mental vision this bit of highway.

The first residence on the right hand of Pucker Street when leaving Edmeston, was the rather imposing home of William Northrup. Among those who resided on this street, there is now recalled the names of Daniel Kelsey, Mary Comstock, an old maiden lady, Barty O'Brian, a caretaker for Mary Comstock, and John Sawyer had had a mill in the village [w:hamlet (place)|hamlet] of Edmeston where he produced barrel staves and manufactured cherry wood levels for carpenters' and masons' use. James F. Pope resided for some time on this street, while he employed his time as tin and lead worker and also made trips about the country, mending household utensils, repairing clocks and purveying novelties, notions, etc., which he made, and flavoring essences of his own compounding.

Wesley Harrington, Martin Merrit and Rube Talbot were residents, as well as U. D. Payne, who lived near the cemetery that was established there about that time and which has now grown to be what Eddie Guest calls one of "God's Great Slumber Groves." I think if not the first, that among the first to be laid at rest in this beautifully located and well kept cemetery was Joseph Talbot.

At one time, near the home of John Talbot was a cheese factory, where several times I was given curd to eat before they were pressed into cheese, which at that age, I prized as a great delicacy. Later it was occupied as a cider mill but now stands idle.

John Talbot resided in a large well built house at the entrance to the fair grounds, where the "Peet Hook" fairs were held for many years, with large attendance. The east side of these grounds was bounded by the highway that turned off to take the traveler to Taylor Hill.

Beyond, lived Henry Wheeler and John Prisco, a great fox hunter, who had a son killed in the world war. Pucker Street also had a school house located on it, which is now used for other purposes.

When we got down near the bridge, where crossing of the Wharton Creek was made to enter "Burlington Hook," now called West Burlington, we found the home of Otis Parker and John Taylor's carding mill, where wool was formed into rolls about the size of your finger, which the ladies would spin into yarn.

Fortesque Anderson had a mill near here, where was made from hard maple wood the best designed and finished butter ladles the world has ever known. Robert Pierson, who has helped refresh our memory, was a workman in this factory.

Denzil Robinson, who lived on the farm where the road branches off which you may take to Burlington Flats, was one of the pioneer settlers and resided there until his death. His son Jared Robinson, conducted this farm from his father's death until he died, when it came into possession of Jared's son Floyd, who established a nursery for trees, shrubs and fruits, on it fertile acres; since floyd's death until now, it has been conducted by his widow and son.

The old brown mare in her bondage, made her way through the mud, dust and snows to Burlington Flats over this road, which now is laid down with concrete ands improved for the accommodation of motor driven vehicles. The radiator of the old brown mare never froze up and the only cranking that was done, was to sing out, ged-dap. — Edmeston Local

1901[edit | edit source]

Steam heat was installed in the Gaskin House.

1902[edit | edit source]

The following was derived from Otsego county New York Geographical and Historical. Edwin F Bacon, Ph D. 1902 Oneonta N.Y.:

EDMESTON. Area 27,075 acres [110 km²]. Population 1,767.
Edmeston was formed from the town of Burlington in 1808. The surface is an elevated upland, broken by numerous valleys. The highest elevations are about 400 feet above the Unadilla river which forms its western boundary.
The township takes its name from Col. Edmeston, an officer in the old French war (1754-1763), who for his services received from the crown a tract of 110,000 acres along the Unadilla river. To this tract Col. Edmeston sent Percifer Carr, a faithful old soldier of his command, who remained here until carried away with his family captive by the Indians, but after the Revolution he returned.
In 1818 William Stickney and Samuel Simons built a forge and trip hammer for the manufacture of axes, rifle barrels, scythes, and wrought iron plow shares.
The first physician was Dr. Gaines Smith, who came with his family from Vermont in 1800. His grandson, Hon. David B. St.John became a resident of the town in 1820.
Other early settlers in the town who have living descendants were
David Chapin with his large family, Nathan Langworthy, Stepen Hoxie,
Adin and Lyman Deming, John S. Coon, Charles F. Goodrich,
Levi D. Banks, Daniel R. Barrett, Abel Matterson,
Charles Burlingham, Erastus Waldo, Joseph Bootman,
James P. Ackerman, Ephraim Chamberlain, Edwin Phelps,
John T. Richards, Hiram Wright, Benjamin Peet,
George B. Talbot, Elder Taylor, Andrew Hawkins,
George Arnold, Daniel Chapin, and Jacob Talbot.
VILLAGES: There are three villages in this township:
  • Edmeston (population 749),
  • West Edmeston (population 222), and
  • South Edmeston (population 206).
  • Number of districts 13.
  • Number of teachers 17.
  • Children of school age 266.
The Edmeston High School is under the supervision of the Board of Regents.
The academic department has a well equipped laboratory, a library of 1,000 volumes, and all necessary reference books.
The faculty consists of a principal and four assistants.
CHURCHES: There are six churches in the township of Edmeston, namely:
  • Baptist, Methodist and Free Methodist at Edmeston village;
  • Baptist and 7th day Baptist at West Edmeston and
  • a Union church at South Edmeston.
NEWSPAPERS: :The Edmeston Local, established in 1882, circulates also as a local organ in the townships of
Caleb Clark, formerly president of the First National Bank of Edmeston, approaches his nintieth year at his home in West Burlington, or with his grandchildren in Oneonta, with a cheerfulness that is an explanation of his long life.

1904[edit | edit source]

In 1904 Mr. Bert Talbot brought the first car to Edmeston, after attending an automobile show in New York City. He bought the horseless carriage (a Locomobile Steamer) and had it shipped by freight to Edmeston. The curious came from miles around to view the wonder of the age and when the time came to run it down the hill from his barn the crowd was so great he could hardly get though. — Sandra Lohnas Haggerty

1905[edit | edit source]

In 1905 the second Edmeston flood occurred. There was no loss of life but damage was determined to be in excess of $100,000. — barns were thrown off their foundations and knocked apart — debris pelted the Opera House — the railroad bridge was washed away and several rods of track uplifted. All communication — both rail and stage — was cut off. A gully was carved across the road in front of the Opera House so large that a bridge had to be built. Many dams were washed out north of the village [editor’s note: hamlet] and their positions are evident today (circa 1960). — Sandra Lohnas Haggerty