Hornby sections of  Millard F. Roberts, "Historical Gazetteer of Steuben County, New York", 1891

344                          TOWN OF HORNBY.

HORNBY was formed from the old town of Painted Post,--now
Corning—January 27, 1826. The town of Campbell was taken
off in 1831 and a portion was annexed to Orange now in
Schuyler county, April 11, 1842. It lies near the centre of the
east border of the county, bounded north by Schuyler county east by
a portion of Schuyler and Chemung counties, south by Corning
and west by Campbell. The town was named in honor of John Hornby an
eminent English land holder, who with other English capitalists pur-
chased that tract since known as the “Pulteney estate.’’ The surface
of the town is high and rolling, intersected by deep, narrow valleys, chief-
ly formed by Dry Run, and Post and Bordin creeks. The first of these
streams flows through the northwest part of the town and joining
Meads creek in Campbell empties into the Conhocton in the township of
Erwin. Post and Borden creeks empty into the Chemung river. The
soil is of superior quality, being of a clayey and shaly loam.
The population of this town in 1890, was 1,011. The first set-
tlers in the town were Asa and Uriah Nash from Otsego county,
who settled in the north part of the town, known as “Nash settle-
ment,’’ in 1814. Others soon followed. In 1815, Edward Stubbs,
Ezra Shaw, Jesse Underwood, Samuel Adams, Jesse Pratt and John
Robbins located here. James S. Gardner, Chester Knowlton and Aden
Palmer settled in the ‘’Palmer settlement” in 1816. Among others
who came about this time were Hiram and Benjamin Gardner, John
St. John, Isaac Goodell, Aaron Harwood, John Sayer, and Jacob Good-
sell with his two sons, Daniel W. and Henry. Some years later, settle-
ments were made in the east part of the town. The first made here was
on the Thomas Oldfield farm by a Mr. Hodge. After him came Mar-
tin Lane, Samuel Lilly, William W. Cole and Benjamin Lewis Jr.
Mr. Lilly opened his claim and cleared with his own hands over one
hundred acres. The opening and improvement of the roads was a work
so imperative, that the settlers early bent their energies to accomplish
it. Under the administration of Henry Gardner and James W. Holmes
the work was vigorously pushed. Roads were surveyed from the Elijah
Robbins place three miles around West Hill and to various other points
in the town. The land office allowed Samuel Lilly one dollar a rod for
opening a road, to be applied on his account with the office. He made
one hundred and eighty rods the first year, and eighty-nine the next.
This road was laid along the valley in the east part of the town, below
high-water mark, consequently it became necessary to move it to the
foot of the hill. Before this road was opened it required two days to
make the journey to Corning.
Biographical. --- Deacon Amasa Stanton was one of the pioneers of the
town of Hornby, having settled here in 1816. He cut a road through


                                 TOWN OF HORNBY.                       345

from Painted Post to his claim. He married Dimmis Brown a  native
of Connecticut, in 1813. Mr. Stanton died in 1842, and Mrs. Stanton
in 1878.
    John Sayre came from Orange county about 1816. He cleared the
farm now owned by the McLaughlin brothers. His wife was Laney
Thompson, who bore him two daughters, Sally A. and Rhoda.
    Theodore Hendrick was born in Massachusetts in 1792, and settled
in Hornby near Deacon St. John, in 1817. He married Charlotte Jel-
eff; in 1813. Of this union eight children were born. Mr. Hendrick
died December 13, 1858.
Daniel Goodsell was born in Cambridge, N.Y., May 14, 1788. His
ancestors were English, and settled in this country previous to the rev-
olutionary war. In April, 1820, Mr. Goodsell settled in Hornby, and
until he had attained quite an advanced age resided upon his farm.
   John Harrison came from England, and resided for a time in Orange
county. In 1817 settled in this town near the present residence of
his son, John T. Harrison. He married Priscilla Sayre, by whom he
had nine children.
    Wendell Rhoda came from Charleston in 1817. He located on
the farm now owned by Samuel C. Erwin, and afterward occupied that
owned by Isaac Brazee, His children were Henry, Sarah (Mrs. Sene-
ca Burnap), and Peter.
    Seneca Burnap came at the same time. His children were George,
Hannah (Mrs. Henry Paddleford), Tracy, Joseph, Sally, who died in
childhood, Maria (Mrs. Sylvenus Palmeter), Eliza (widow of Peleg
Gorton), Jane, wife of Obadiah Embody. George married Phoebe C.
Culver by whom he had three children, viz.: Carmine, Emmett and
Ella. He enlisted in Co. G, 50th Regt. Eng. Corps, and died in hos-
pital near City Point, Va., November 3, 1864.
Jesse Underwood was born in Woodstock, Conn., December 30, 1789.
He removed to Butternuts, Otsego county, in the fall of 1818, and in
the following April came to Hornby, there he built a log house on the
farm now owned by his son Orson L.  His wife was Sally Shumway.
    Thomas Jewett came from Vermont, and after a brief residence in the
town of Campbell, settled in Hornby in 1822, first on the Joseph Chap-
man farm, and later on the farm now occupied by Amos Jewett.
    Parnach Haradon, born in Keene, N.H., came from Fort Ann,                                Parnach was actually born in Norton, MA
Washington county, and settled for a time in Dryden, Tompkins coun-
ty. In 1818 he came to this town and located on the Henry Green
farm. Isaac Haradon, his father, settled here at a later date.
    Marcus Gaylord came here about 1818. He had two sons, Alonzo
and Willis, and a large family of girls.
    John Bixby, was born in Hartford, Conn., February 5, 1788. When


346                            TOWN OF HORNBY.

a small boy he removed with his parents to Vermont. On January 1,
1809, he married Rebecca Raymond Wellman who was born March 30,
1788. They came to this town in 1819, and settled on the James Arm-
strong farm, and the following year removed to the farm now occupied
by his son, Rev. Henry W. Bixby. He had but five dollars in money
when he reached the new settlement and as there were no roads into
the town he was obliged to carry his household effects on his back from
Painted Post. For two weeks the family lived in a hut covered with
hemlock boughs, until a more substantial structure could be erected.
Their children were Daniel, born November 2, 1809; Rufus G., Octo-
ber 17, 1811; Betsy A., August 2, 1813; John M., January 27, 1816;
Alanson, April 2, 1818; Henry W., April 8, 1821; Archelaus, May
28, 1824; George W., January 27, 1827; Rebecca M., July 12, 1829;
Reotta K., March 1, 1832, and Lemuel, June 16, 1835. John Bixby
died December 8, 1856. Henry W., is an ordained minister of the
Wesleyan Methodist denomination, and has always resided in this town,
with the exception of eight years spent on the circuit. He has been
pastor of the Shady Grove W. M. church for sixteen years. He married
Sarah Catharine Brazee, July 13, 1844.
Charles G. Wheat, son of Josiah Wheat, was born in Pulteney, Vt.,
February 7, 1816, and in 1819 his father removed to this town and set-
tled on the farm now occupied by H. D. Adams. Mr. Wheat has been
a carpenter and builder, and for twenty years was a merchant at the
Forks. He is now engaged in farming, and in milling.
    Caleb Gardner came here in 1821, and settled on the farm now owned
by Alfred Roloson. He married Sabra McCoon.
    William Easterbrooks was one of the pioneers in the southwest part
of the town. Born in Providence, R.I., June 25, 1775, he in early life
moved to Butternuts, Otsego county, where he resided until the year
1821 Or 1822, when with his wife and large family of children to sup-
port, he removed to West Hill, then an almost unbroken wilderness,
where he succeeded in clearing and paying for a farm, and raising his
family of thirteen children, all of whom grew to manhood and woman-
hood and were among the most intelligent and respected citizens of the
town. He died in 1854 from the effects of a fall. Samuel Easterbrooks,
one of the sons, born in Butternuts in 1816, still owns and occupies the
homestead and adjacent lands, and is one of the most respected and
influential men of the town having been repeatedly elected to the
highest offices in the gift of his townsmen. Another son, Rev. Isaac
Easterbrooks, (an Episcopal clergyman) owns and occupies an adjoining
    Jonas Ward who moved into the northwest part of the town came
from Schoharie, N.Y., about 1824 or 1825, and commenced to clear


  TOWN OF HORNBY.                              347

the farm now owned by Albert Duvall, suffering the many hardships
incident to the life of the frontiersman of that time. He reared a large
family of children of whom Abijah and Morgan Ward and Mrs. Egbert
Pond are now respected citizens of the town.
    Hon. Andrew Bray Dickinson was among the early settlers of the
town and the most noted of Hornby sons. He came from Hector, now
in Schuyler county, between the years 1820 and '24, and purchased a
large tract of land one mile east of Hornby Forks.
    His early education was limited to the advantages of those times, but
he soon became one of the most influential men in public affairs in this
part of the state. In politics Major Dickinson was a  zealous Democrat
until 1837, when, as one of the conservatives, he left the party on the
financial question. In November, 1839, he was elected by the Whigs
as State Senator, serving four years, gaining a reputation for integrity
and intelligent comprehension of legislative topics. In November, 1853,
he was elected to the state senate by the Whigs, and again distinguished
himself as an able and upright member of that body. In April, 1861,
he was appointed by President Lincoln as United States minister resi-
dent to Nicaraugua. Resigning the office in about eighteen months he
returned to New York and was appointed United States marshal for the
northern district of New York. Some months later he was appointed
by president Lincoln United States Minister and Envoy Extraordinary
to Nicaraugua, at the request of that Republic. After the expiration
of his term he purchased a large plantation and did much to introduce
labor-saving  machinery and implements, becoming very popular with
the officials and people. His death, which occurred in 1873, was the
result of an accident.
    Henry Gardner was born in Ware, Mass., October 10, 1873; was the
Otsego county, and came to this town about 1822, where he settled on
the farm now owned by his son, Nathan Gardner. He married Katy
Chamberlain, of Butternuts, Otsego county, May 29, 1807.
  Willis H. Gaylord was horn in Connecticut May 17, 1804. On June
7, 1826, he married Sarah W. Sands, who was born in Cortlandt, West-
chester county, October 29, 1805. Their first settlement was on the
farm now occupied by his son Marcus, near Dibble's Corners. Mr.
Gaylord died September 3, 1862, and his wife July 17, 1886.
    Cyrus Smith came front Hartwick, Otsego county, and as early as
1816 settled below Corning; afterward resided in Lindley. His son,
Clark L;, came to Hornby in 1835. He married Parmelia Coryell,
daughter of David B. Coryell, a Baptist preacher. He worked at the
shoemakers trade until 1884, when he opened a grocery store at the
    Harlow Payne, formerly from Connecticut; came to this town in 1836,


348                           TOWN OF HORNBY.

and settled on the Post creek road. He married Anthia McAllister,
and seven children were born to them. Mr. Payne died in 1871, aged
seventy-four years .
    Elijah Rowlee migrated from Orange county, N. Y., to Penn Yan in
1816. The following winter he moved to Reading, thence to Hornby
in 1832. He died while on a visit to Illinois in 1858. His son, Jona-
than S. Rowlee, married Mary, daughter of Harlow Payne, April 19,
1840. Seven children were the issue of this marriage, four of whom
are living, namely: William, Harlow, Jonathan S., Jr., and Elvira.
    Abram D. Easling came from Trumansburg to this town. He mar-
ried Emeline, daughter of Nehemiah Masters, of New Jersey, who set-
tied here in 1828.
    Hugh Smith was born in Benton, Yates county, May 26, 1809. In
1835 he became a resident of this town, where he has since resided, hav-
ing been engaged in farming and shoe-making.
  Asem Eddy was born in Madison county, N. Y., and in company
with his brother, Dr. Ziba C. Eddy, came here in 1833, and built the
first grist-mill, it is said, in the town. This mill was erected on the
stream called Dry Run, about one mile above the Forks.
    Simeon J. VanNortwick was born in New Jersey and came to Yates
county when a young man, where he married Judah Remerly, by whom
he had three sons, Joseph N., Daniel M., and William G., deceased. He
came to this town in 1832 and settled. where his son Daniel M., now
lives. He was a weaver by trade.
    Peter Roloson was born in New Jersey and settled in Enfield, Tomp-
kins county, and in 1831 came to Hornby and located on the farm now
owned by his son Clayton Roloson.
    William and Andrew B. Dickinson, brothers came from Covert Sen-
eca county, New York. They were then young men but recently mar-
ried, and their father, Gamalial Dickinson, came with them to aid them
in selecting a location. William married Marinda Corwin, by whom he
had eight children, Alanson B., of Chicago; Libbie, wife of Frank Knox,
deceased; John W., of Olean; Ann Eliza, wife of B. W. Goodsell, de-
ceased; Louisa, wife of S.B. Hilton of Big Flats; Delinda wife of E. J.
Easterbrooks of Hornby; Edith wife of Lyman H. Cobb, and Cora, wife
of H. Delos Adams of this town. Mr. Dickinson died January 30,
1884. He was principally engaged in farming and was a keeper in Sing
Sing prison for three years. His second wife was Mary A. Boylen.
    Eldad Stevens, son of Elias Stevens, was born at Big Flats, and when
a young man came to this town where he married Betsy Bixby. They
afterward moved to Otsego county, and remained there two years, when
they returned to Hornby. Mr. Stevens purchased wild land which
he improved and thus cleared about four hundred acres. He worked


                               TOWN OF HORNBY.                            349

on the first framed house and barn built in Corning, and was also en-
gaged in lumbering at the Hammond saw-mill. His children were Caro-
line, (Mrs. L. D. Taylor) and Rebeca, deceased; George E. and Darius
W., both of whom died in the army, being members of Co. F, 141 Regt.,
and Daniel B. The latter married Katie Leddy, of Trenton, N. J. He
has been a locomotive engineer, in constant service from 1867 to 1890.
   Benoni Armstrong came from Hector, Schuyler county in 1843 and
took up his residence where his son James E., now lives; and there
purchased mill property of A. L. Smith. He built the present mill on
this place about 1849 and engaged in lumbering for many years. His
wife was Hannah Turner by whom he had five children: Julia A.; Wil-
liam A.; Robert C.; Eunice H., and James E. Mr. Armstrong died
August 22, 1886. James E. married Emma Hendricks of Potter county,
Pa., and has one child, Nellie. Mrs. James Armstrong died February
29, 1884.
   Nathan Culver was born in Chenango county, N, Y., and came to
this town in 1844, where he settled on the Armstrong farm near Shady
    Francis E. Clark was born in the town of Campbell, June 30, 1844.
He came to Hornby in 1850, and lived with his grandfather, James
Ward, who was an early settler here. Mr. Clark enlisted September
20, 1861 and served until January 1, 1865. He lost his right arm at
the battle of Spottsylvania, C. H., Va., May 10, 1864. After his dis-
charge he came back to this town and engaged in various occupations,
chiefly as salesman, for nearly twelve years, when be became the pro-
prietor of a general store at the Forks. He is serving his fourth year
as justice, and is also an officer of the school board.
    Daniel E. Baker a minister of the Wesleyian Methodist denomina-
tion was born in Tioga county, Pa., and came to this town from Schuy-
ler county in 1854. His wife was Lorinda Matthews, by whom he had
two sons, Manley L., a merchant and now postmaster at Dyke, and
Amasa M., principal of the school at Big Flats in Chemung county.
Rev. Mr. Baker died April 29, 1887.
George W. McCabe was born in the town of Wayne in this county,
June 14, 1846, and resided there until August 14, 1864 when he enlisted
in Co. H., 189 Regt. N. Y. Inft., and served until the close of the war,
when be settled in this town and engaged in farming. He is a member
of the Republican county committee and has taken an active part in
politics. His father, A. P. McCabe, was an early settler in the town of
    HORNBY, locally known as ''Hornby Forks'' is located a little north-
west of the centre of the town on the stream called Dry Run. It con-
tains two churches--Baptist and Presbyterian--a school, town hall, a


350                                 TOWN OF HORNBY.

lumber, feed and cider-mill; two blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, a
tannery, two general stores, a grocery and about twenty dwellings. The
mail is received daily from Corning.
    DYKE post-office was established August 1, 1889, and is located in
what is known as the “Shady Grove” district, at the junction of roads
32 and 33. The settlement contains a Wesleyan Methodist church, a
school, a store kept by Manly L. Baker, who is also postmaster, and
the blacksmith shop of Delos Fancher.


    James E. Armstrong’s mill on road 47 1/2 was built over 50 years ago
by A. L. Smith. The present mill was built by Benoni Armstrong,
father of the present proprietor, about 1849. It is run by steam power,
having a thirty-five horse-power engine and circular saws, and a capaci-
ty of about 10,000 feet a day.
    Wheat & Sons’ mill, located at Hornby Forks, was built by C. G.
Wheat in 1885. It is a saw, planing, shingle and feed mill, and is run
by steam and water power. Its capacity for sawing is about 12,000 feet
a day.


    The Baptist Church of Hornby.--- We quote the following from the
“Life of Rev. Thomas Sheardown”:
    “There were on Nash Hill, in Hornby, a few brethren and sisters
who had once been organized as a church, under the missionary labors
of Elder T.B. Bebee; but they had no organization or visibility when
I saw them. They joined the Catlin church, consequently those who
were baptized were baptized in the Catlin church. At this time I
was gathering more or less at the rallying point on Mead’s creek. In
time it was thought best for the brethren and sisters on the hill to join
the few on the creek. This gave them strength enough to be recog-
nized as a church. * * * * The Hornby church had a common
centre on the upland, some miles off called ‘Robbins’ Hill.’ In pass-
ing to and fro over the country where the church is now located, I used
to preach in a place called ‘Cobb’s barn.’ They were mostly Pres-
byterian people who cared for me --- warm hearted, not troubled a great
deal with sectarianism --- but in those days, any individual who brought
to them the Bread of Life was cordially received. I was invited, when
I passed through that way, to make it my home at a Mr. Pierce’s and a
home indeed it was for the traveling pilgrim. * * * The time ap-
peared to have arrived when Robbins’ Hill, the favorite centre of the
old church, was no longer adapted to meet the necessities of the people.
* * * In the arrangement that was to be made in references to houses
of worship, it was agreed to change the location of the old church to a
place called Hornby Forks,”
     Rev. Mr. Stone who moved from Campbell to Hornby --- between 1824
and 1830, held meetings at both places. In 1840 the society entered
their new church at Hornby Forks.


                                   TOWN OF HORNBY.                           351

    Presbyterian Church. --- A committee appointed by the Presbytery of
Bath, to form a church in the town of Hornby, met at the Knowlton
school-house September 14, 1831. Rev. B. H. Smith delivered the ser-
mon and twenty-one candidates were organized into a church. A sub-
stantial church edifice was erected in 1852.
    Methodist Episcopal Church.--- A class was organized at Abel R.Palm-
er's under the preaching of Rev. James Hall, in 1828. Sylvester
Brooks was class-leader uutil 1838, and was succeeded by Levi Coy. A
division of sentiment occuring, a large number went over to the Wes-
leyan organization in 1843. About 1863 the class was reorganized
under the leadership of Rev. A.H. Shurtliff, with A.P. McCabe as class-
leader. Meetings were then held in the Baptist church, and subse-
quently in the Presbyterian church.
  The Wesleyan Methodist Church was organized in 1843. Meetings
were first held in the Knowlton school house, then at Hornby Forks
until 1851 when it occupied the Presbyterian church every alternate
Sunday. Later they left the church and held services in school-houses.
On March 4, 1877, they dedicated the church at shady grove on
Cutler creek.

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Last update 6 May 1999