Hornby sections of  W. W. Clayton, "History of Steuben County, New York", 1879

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                  GENERAL DESCRIPTION.

Hornby was erected from the old town of Painted
Post, on the 27th of January, 1826, and was named in
honor of John Hornby, an eminent English land-holder.
The town of Campbell was taken from it in 1831, and
part of it was annexed to Orange, Schuyler Co., April 11,
1842. It lies near the centre of the east border of the
county, and has a high, rolling surface, intersected by deep,
narrow valleys, chiefly formed by Dry Run and Post and
Border Creeks. Border Creek is in the southwest part
of the town and flows into the Chemung, while Post
Creek, in the south, enters the Chemung opposite Corning.
The soil is a clayey and shaly loam of superior quality.

                      EARLY SETTLEMENT.

Asa and Uriah Nash, the first settlers in Hornby, set-
tled in 1814 in the north part of the town, called Nash
Settlement. Edward Stubbs, Ezra Shaw, Samuel Adams,
and Jesse Understood settled in 1815. In the same year
Jesse Platt, John Robbins, and Amasa Stanton, settled in
the Platt Settlement, in the southwestern part of the
town. James S. Gardner, Chester Knowlton and Aden
Palmer settled in the Palmer Settlement in 1816. Others
came near the same time, among whom were Hiram and
Benjamin Gardner, John St. John, Isaac Goodell, Aaron
Harwood, John Sayer, and Jacob Goodsell, with his two
sons, Daniel W., aged thirty-three, and Henry, aged twenty-
eight, each having families.

The first tavern was kept by E. Shaw, in the Under-
wood District, near the present school-house. A. B. Dick-
ason, who afterwards spelled his name Dickinson, opened
the first store on the old homestead about 1824. One of
the first settlements was that of Levi, father of Ira Nash,
the schoolmaster, near Nash Lake, a bottomless body of
spring water, comprising some 60 acres, surrounded by
hills and abounding with fish. Nash built a saw-mill at
the outlet of the lake. Isaac Goodsell kept the earliest
tavern at Hornby Forks.

Lorena A. Hendrick, daughter of Theodore and Char-
lotte Hendrick, the first white child born in Hornby, was
born Jan. 19, 1818.

John Bidler and Lucy A. Platt, the first couple mar-
ried in Hornby, were married Feb. 2, 1813 or 1814, by
William Mulhollen, justice of the peace, and commenced
housekeeping on Mead's Creek (now Campbell).

In 1838 the farmers first commenced to break up or
plow land. Most of the land was sowed on new fallows
with winter wheat, but sometimes with spring wheat and
oats. In no case was there a failure of a crop.

To guard against wolves, Hon. A. B. Dickinson in early
times built a high fence around a field to preserve his
sheep. Wild-cats were numerous, destroying sheep for J.
H. Humphreys as late as 1859, and one was killed in 1875.

Mr. St. John, a native of Rutland Co., Vt., came from
Otsego at the age of twenty-four years, and located near
where he now lives, in 1816, and boarded with his neigh-
bor, Asa Nash, built the log house whose walls are still
standing, made a small clearing, and returning brought out
Theodore Hendrick, and bought the Nash place. His
housekeepers locating for themselves, he again returned to
Otsego, bringing his sister, who remained with him until
he found a permanent housekeeper, Lucinda, daughter of
Ledger Shumway, of Connecticut, and sister of Mrs. Jesse
Underwood, whom he married in 1822. Mr. St. John
had three daughters, one of whom was the wife of Mr. M.
Nichols, Esq., of Bath. Although nearly eighty-seven
years of age, he is still in good health and vigor, and well
remembers the events of the early days in which he par-
ticipated. He is the oldest of the early settlers remaining,
and one of the few who, living in the land of game and
hardy adventure, stuck quietly to his business, and made
himself a home, while the early hunters of his day are
"hunters" still, though less successful than in days of

At that time a crowd of upwards of 100 would assem-
ble for their annual three days' election and general holi-
day, when an unusual amount of jollification took place.
Wolves levied their tax upon sheep, so that it was almost
impossible to keep them. Hogs fattened upon beech-nuts,
which were abundant in the woods. Indians were never
numerous nor troublesome, through their appearance some-
times did frighten the women. In 1824 they clothed
themselves in home-made and home-spun wool and flax,
which when made into cloth was taken to the primitive
factory to be finished. The nearest store previous to Dick-
inson's was Bonham's, kept, at the river, by William Bon-
ham, a small, thick-set, slow and easy man, who had the
generation reputation of being "a good fellow." Goods were
brought from Newburg, on the Hudson, in wagons, and
consisted of bake-kettles and skillets, in place of the modern
stoves. Ammunition was a heavy item of trade, all the
boys having guns of some kind. Tea, coffee, and notions,
which were sold in exchange for hides and grains, which
were sent down the river in arks, or maple-sugar, which the
teamster took North on his way after goods, many families
making the greater part of their living from the sap brush.
Wheat sold for five shillings and oats one shilling a bushel.

Ferenbaugh's, five and one-half miles from Corning, is
in the town of Hornby, in a thickly-settled farming local-
ity, four miles from Hornby Forks, on an old farm first
opened by Fredalius Ferenbaugh, in 1826. The first farm
on the left, just opposite the creek bridge, is that of Mr.

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Thomas Oldfield, which was the first settlement between
Beaver Dams and Corning. A Mr. Hodge was the pio-
neer; afterwards came Martin Lane. Samuel Lilly, one of
the earliest settlers yet living, resides just above on the
same road. He is eighty-five years old, having been born
in 1793. William W. Cole and Benjamin Lewis, Jr., were
his pioneer companions.

An almost continuous row of farm-houses extends from
Mr. Oldfield's along the foot of the hills to the left, sur-
rounded by shrubbery and fruit-trees and backed by well-
tilled lands, until you pass Benedict Ferenbaugh's, when
the hills open to admit the beautiful valley of Post Creek,
which is divided by the east line of the town and county.

In 1824, the only building in this valley was the little log
house, on the present Oldfield place, and Mr. Samuel Lilly
came up the creek in 1822, $300 in debt, with a family of
nine children, and opened a claim on the Pulteney estate,
paying for it by hard labor, such as only the early pioneers
of a heavily-timbered country can realize, clearing 104
acres of timber-land with his own hands. At the time of
this entry the country was all a wilderness, with only an
occasional small opening, teams going up the creek to Wat-
kins for goods and returning via Horseheads.

When up to Bath to make a payment on his lands, Mr.
McCay, the agent, asked of Lilly, "How do you get along
for roads?"  He answered, "We don't get along at all."

After he had explained the condition of things the agent
informed him that if he would open a road, the work thus
done should apply on payment for his lands, at the rate of
$1 per rod. This report was received with incredulity by
his few neighbors, but Mr. Lilly complied, making 180
rods that year which was accepted and applied, and also 89
rods the next year. This road was opened along the valley
below high-water mark, and subsequently had to be moved
to the foot of the hill. Before this it took two days to go
to Corning. Game of all kinds was especially abundant.

The first stage-route was established by A. B. Dickinson
and Mr. Seymour, a tavern-keeper in Corning.

Among the early settlers was Isaac Lefevre, who built
the first grist-mill in town, and Jane C. Leach, who is
credited with having taught the first school. George Stan-
ton was the first male child born in the town. The first
death was that of John Stanton.

Alonzo Gaylord was also one of the first school-teachers
in the town as well as first assessor. He was intimately
connected with the development of the town for several
years, and much of the early improvement was due to him.

The late Hon. Andrew B. Dickinson became, at a later
day, a resident of Hornby, and was perhaps the most re-
markable and distinguished man who has ever lived in the
town. Major Dickinson represented this Senatorial district
for four years, and for many years was a leading and in-
fluential politician. At the time he was one of the
most extensive farmers and stock-growers in this part of the
State. Under Mr. Lincoln's administration he was ap-
pointed minister to Nicaragua, where he displayed so
much diplomatic ability that the government who which he
was accredited made particular request, and offered pecuniary
inducements, to have him returned. He finally consented,
and settled in that country, purchasing a sugar plantation
and living upon it until his death, which occurred April
21, 1873.

Biographical sketches:


 Among those whose names appear upon the pages of our
county history, none have a better record of an honest, indus-
trious life than the subject of this sketch. Colonel N. B.
Stanton, son of Deacon Amasa Stanton and Dimmis Brown,
was born. in Charleston, Montgomery Co., N. Y., Jan. 29, 1814.
He was the oldest of a family of seven children, all of whom
save the colonel- were born in Hornby, his brother George
being the first boy born in Hornby. The colonel's grandfather
was a native of Connecticut, and hence his ancestors were in
America before the Revolutionary war, and undoubtedly were
of English origin.
 The colonel's father was also a native of Connecticut, and
one of the early pioneers of this county, and settled in Hornby
in 1816. He cut the road through from Painted Post to his
home in Hornby. He married Dimmis Brown, a native of
Connecticut, who was born in 1795, and emigrated to Mont-
gomery County; married about 1813, and settled in Hornby in
1816. Amasa died in 1842, and she died Sept. 13, 1878, in
Grand Rapids, Mich., and was buried in Hornby, at her request,
The colonel came from one of the best pioneer families of the
county. He was reared to industry and sobriety, and in youth
imbibed those principles so earnestly maintained by his devoted
parents. Be was reared a farmer, which honorable occupation he
successfully followed. He purchased his present farm about 1840,
and since has added thereto, until now the family have two hun-
dred and seventy-five acres. He has made nearly all the im-
provements on his farm, chopping and clearing the same. His
farm was always in a good state of cultivation, and he was con-
sidered one of the leading farmers in the town or county. He
married Samantha Tracy, daughter of Deacon John and Polly
Stanton Tracy, of Charleston, Montgomery Co., N. Y., Sept. 12,
1841. Mrs. Colonel Stanton was born July 6, 1824. The
Tracys originally came from Connecticut, and settled in Mont-
gomery County.
 Of this happy union of Colonel and Mrs. Stanton nine
children have been born, eight of whom are living, namely: Au-
gustus W., Esther, Olive A. (who died at the age of seven), J.
Amasa, Ophelia R., Frank P., Adelia, Charles A., and Elmer E.
 In politics Colonel Stanton affiliated with the Republican
party from its organization, having previously been a Whig.
During the war he was very active in raising troops; was
supervisor for some eight years during the war. He held
various offices of  trust in the town, to the general satisfaction of
his constituents. In 1870 he was elected vice-president of the
Agricultural Society, and in 1876 was chosen president of the
same. In his official position he won the respect and confidence
of a host of friends, and to him more than any other person is
due the increased interest and membership. Colonel Stanton
was identified with the State militia of his county, and has held
the various military positions from private to colonel. Colonel
Stanton was a man highly respected by all who knew him, and
by his kind, genial disposition won the esteem of his neighbors.
As a man, he was courteous and obliging; as a husband, kind
and true; as a father, tender and affectionate; as a son and
brother, loving and sincere. He came to a sudden death, April
16, 1878, by accidentally falling into a well. He left a good
name as the priceless legacy to his widow and children. He
left his family in good circumstances. At the time of his death
he had lived longer in town than any other man. He was a
temperance man.


son of John, Sr., and Susannah St. John, was born at
Hubbardton, Rutland Co., Vt., Sept. 29, 1792. His
parents were natives of Fairfield Co., Conn., and settled
in Vermont. The St. Johns are of English origin, and
John St. John's mother was of French and English descent.
At the age of seven Mr. St. John commenced living
with an uncle, with whom he remained till he was twenty-
one. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. About 1816
he emigrated to Steuben County, and made a permanent
settlement in the spring of 1817 on the farm now owned
by Ira Hendrick, and has lived in this locality ever
since. On Oct. 1, 1821, he married Lucinda Shumway,
daughter of Elijah and Chloe Shumway, of Woodstock,
Mass. Mrs. St. John was born, Feb. 6, 1798, at Pomfret,
Conn. Four children were horn, viz.: Clarissa S., who
married Wm. Nichols, Esq., of Bath. Minerva, who
married Dr. Daniel Slauson, of Corning; they had three
children, one of whom, John, lived with his grandparents
and family after he was about one and a half years old,
and continued to do so till the fall of 1875, when he
went to Port Hudson and resided with his father until
the terrible epidemic of 1878 occurred in the South, when
he and his father both fell victim to the yellow fever;
the son preceded his father only three days. Francis
O., another son of Deacon St. John, resides at home with
his father, and his daughter, Sarah A., is living with her
father and brother.
   In politics Deacon St. John is a Democrat. He cast
his first presidential vote for President Madison when he
was a candidate the second time, and has been able to
vote at every presidential election since. He has been
assessor of Hornby. When a young man he and Mrs.
St. John joined the Baptist Church of Hornby, and for
nearly forty years he has been deacon of the same. By
word and deed he has tried to maintain a Christian char-
acter, and has done his part to build up the cause of
Christ in his community. Mrs. St. John died March
6, 1860, leaving a record of devotedness to the society of
which she was a bright and shining light. Her memory
is ever green to her family.
   Deacon St. John is now an old man of eighty-six
years, yet he is hale and hearty, of sound mind, and is
surrounded by the comforts of a happy home. He
is now living with his two children, Francis O. and
Sarah A., who are devoted to the wants of their aged


    The subject of this sketch was born in Cambridge, Wash-
ington Co., N. Y., May 14, 1788. His father, Jacob, and
mother, Phebe, were natives of Litchfield Co., Conn., and soon
after their marriage settled in Washington Co., N. Y. Of this
union twelve children were born, of whom Daniel W. was the
second child and oldest son. The ancestors of Daniel W. were
of English origin, and settled in America previous to the Rev-
olutionary war.
    Daniel W. was reared a farmer, which honorable calling he
followed until advanced age compelled him to give it up. As a
farmer he has been successful. In the winter of 1802 he
settled in Westmoreland, Oneida Co., N. Y., in company with
his parents and family.
    He married Miss Dinah Barker, daughter of Lawton and
Hannah Cushman Barker, Oct. 8, 1812. Lawton Barker was
born in Rhode Island, April 5, 1772; married Miss Hannah
Cushman, September, 1794. She was born at Dartmouth,
Mass., April 7, 1773. Of this union seven children were born,
one son and six daughters, of whom Dinah Barker is the eldest.
She was born Oct. 4, 1795, at Cambridge, Washington Co.,
N. Y. As the result of this happy alliance eight children have
been born, viz.: Phebe, Hannah, George, Samuel, Albert, Mary,
William, and Nelson, all of whom still live, save Mary.
    Mr. and Mrs. Goodsell resided one year in Oneida County
after their marriage, then removed to Choconut, Susquehanna
Co., Pa.; remained some six or seven years, and in April, 1820,
settled in Hornby, on a farm near where they now reside. Mr.
and Mrs. Goodsell's eldest child was born in Oneida County,
the next three in Pennsylvania, and the remainder in Hornby.
    Mr. Goodsell has been a farmer by occupation. In politics,
formerly a Jeffersonian Democrat, but later in life a Republican.
He has held the office of assessor of Hornby. Mr. Goodsell
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1828, and
Mrs. Goodsell with the Baptists in 1823.
    In 1869, Mrs. Goodsell received an injury which compelled
them to give up the old farm and live with their daughter Han-
nah, who married Levi Coye. Mr. Coye is a native of Auburn,
N. Y., and settled in Hornby, when but eleven years of age,
with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Goodsell are now far advanced
in life, having lived longer together than any other couple we
know of in the county. More than sixty-six gears ago they
commenced life's journey together, and Mrs. Goodsell is as
smart as ever, save her lameness, But age has made its mark on
Mr. Goodsell.
    They have reared a family who are respected. Mr. Goodsell
was never absent from home more than four weeks at any one
    Levi Coye was born Nov. 8, 1811, and married Hannah
Goodsell, Oct. 11, 1838. Of this union four children were
born, viz.: Minerva O., Alva D. and Alice (twins), and Emma
A. Mr. and Mrs. Coye are members of the Methodist Episco-
pal Church of Hornby, and have been for many years. In
politics, formerly a Whig, and then Republican. Mr. Coye is
one of the substantial farmers of Hornby.


   The paternal grandfather of Samuel Lilly was a native of
Wales; his maternal grandfather was a native of Germany.
His Grandmother Lilly came to America and settled in North-
ampton Co., Pa., many gears before the Revolutionary war.
She had several children, of whom John F., the father of
Samuel, was the youngest. John F. was born in Northampton
Co., Pa., and married Miss Catherine Bowlender, a native of
the same place. Of this union seven children, four sons and
three daughters, were born, of whom Samuel was the sixth child
and youngest son. John F. was a blacksmith by occupation.
In 1818, John F. and family went to Pickaway Co., Ohio, and
he died there in August, 1820. The following November,
Samuel took his mother to Columbia Co., Pa., and resided there
four years. His mother lived to be about one hundred years old.
Samuel Lilly was born in Northumberland Co., Pa., Aug. 7,
1793. He worked with his father at the blacksmith trade
when young; also for some fifteen years was engaged in the
distilling business, and the remainder of his life was engaged
upon the farm. He married Miss Mary Wooliver, daughter of
Jacob Wooliver, of Columbia Co., Pal, May 5, 1814. Of this
union three sons were born, viz., John, Jacob, and Elisha.
Jacob is now dead. Mrs. Lilly died November, 1819, while
living in Pickaway Co., Ohio. Mr. Lilly married for his second
wife Miss Elizabeth Wooliver, sister of his first wife, Septem-
ber, 1821. She was born June 23, 1799. Of this union ten
children, two sons and eight daughters, were born, namely:
Catherine, Hester, Louvina, Mary Ann, Alvin J. (was killed
by an accident in his eighth year), Clarissa, Elizabeth, Miranda,
Matilda, and Willis S., who was horn June 23, 1845, and is
now at home with his father, and is the owner of the old
home. Mrs. Lilly died April 15, 1865, the same day that
President Lincoln died.
   In politics Mr. Lilly was formerly a Democrat, but later in
life a Republican. Mr. Lilly and his second wife are members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
   Mr. Lilly is now an old man of eighty-six years, in good
health, living at the old home in Hornby, where he settled
in 1831. His son was a soldier in the war of the Rebellion;
enlisted Sept. 15, 1864, in Company F, 188th Regiment New
York Volunteers; said regiment was in nine engagements, and
Mr. Lilly was in all of them save one, He was honorably dis-
charged July 8, 1865, and returned home to remain with his
   He married Cynthia, daughter of Daniel Buck, of Beaver
Dam, Schuyler Co., N. Y., Jan 24, 1866. She was born Feb.
21, 1847. Of this union two children, Cassia and Roy, are
born. Mr. Samuel Lilly's son, Elisha, was also in the war of
the Rebellion, and was honorably discharged.

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Last update 6 May 1999