JAY was separated from the original town of
Wilisborough on January 16th, 1798, and received its name from
Governor John Jay. At first it embraced, besides its present
territory, parts of Keene, Wilmington, and Elizabethtown. The
following is the notice of application by the inhabitants of Jay (or
Mallory's Bush, as it was then called) to be set off in a town by
"Notice is hereby given that the
inhabitants of Mallory's Bush, in the Town of Wilisborough,
northwest district, have called a meeting and unanimously agreed to
make application to the Town of Willsborough to be set off and to be
incorporated into a town by themselves, and have chosen John
Cochran, jr., to attend the annual meeting, Wilisborough, to do said
business of the application. The boundaries of said Town so to be
set off are as follows: Beginning where the military line intercepts
the south of Wilisborough, then north to the 12 mile tree, then
north 45 degrees east to the south line of Peru, then west to the
southwest corner of said Peru, or west line of Clinton county, then
south to the northwest corner of Crown Point, then east to the place
ELY VANE, Clerk.
"Dated at Mallory's Bush the 12th of March, 1797."
Afterwards (1822) the town was enlarged by
the annexation of parts of Peru in Clinton county, and Chateaugay in
Franklin county. The present town is situated in the northern part
of Essex county, between Chesterfield and Lewis on the east, and
Wilmington and Keene on the west. Along the western boundary extend
the Ausable mountains, of which Mounts Clark, Hamlin, and Bassett,
all reaching an elevation of more than two thousand feet above tide,
are the highest peaks. The southern strip of territory projecting
between the towns of Keene and Lewis contains a number of the
Adirondack peaks. This is the wildest and most picturesque part of
the town, and is surpassed in grandeur by few sections of the
entire county. The east or south branch of the Ausable
River, having its source in the Ausable ponds in the extreme
southern part of Keene, and draining some of the most mountainous
regions in Northern New York, flows north through the west of Jay,
and joins the other branch at the "Forks."
The whole of this town is elevated, and the surface broken by lofty
and precipitous mountains. The soil is chiefly a light sandy and
gravelly loam, and in the valleys vigorous and fertile. Upon the
table-lands, which extend in parallel ridges through the entire
town, the soil is highly productive. Veins of black lead have been
discovered in quantities too small to be worked with profit. Iron
exists in great abundance, and but for the difficulty of
transportation, owing to the broken and uneven surface of the
country, the town would unquestionably be an inexhaustible fund of
wealth to the county.
There are three villages in the town, Ausable Forks, lying between
the junction of the two branches of the river of that name in the
north line of the county; Jay, situated on the south branch of the
Ausable near the center of the town, and Upper Jay on the same
stream about four miles farther south. Several considerable
settlements were made in various parts of the town previous to its
formation in 1798, by emigrants attracted hither by the fertility of
the soil, the almost unlimited quantities of lumber, and the rich
promise held out by the, numerous veins of iron ore existing in
various parts of the town.
The earliest settler was Nathaniel Mallory, who came to the present
site of the village of Jay as early as 1796 and probably gave the
village its early name of Mallory's Bush. Among the other early
settlers were John W. Southmayd, an early farmer and iron
manufacturer who was here prior to 1814, and who lived until about
1855 two miles south of the village of Jay; Joseph Storrs, a farmer
living near Jay, who died some time before Southmayd, and John
Purmort (before 1798), an iron man who, in pursuance of a scheme
initiated by Joseph Storrs, virtually established the iron business
afterwards carried on by J. & J. Rogers. He had a forge in Jay
before 1812. Robert Otis also lived here before the beginning of the
present century. Ezekiel Lockwood lived here in early days.
Nathaniel Ray was connected with the building of the forge at the
village of Jay. Josiah Way and Joseph Fowler attained some
prominence when the country was the home of pioneers. William
Mallory built the first mill erected in the town and in company with
Nathaniel Mallory (probably a brother) owned a grist-mill, saw-mill,
and later a forge and carding-machine. Anson Bigelow was born in
Chesterfield in 1804 and came to the site of Ausable Forks about
1819. Stephen Griswold came to the Forks about 1812. In the vicinity
of Upper Jay were Elisha and Charles Prindle, Isaac Williams, James
B. Wood, Daniel Williams, Samuel Cook, and Josiah W. Hewitt, a
These are a majority of the most prominent pioneers of the town.
There were others who deserve, perhaps, as much credit as these, but
it is impossible to give all, even of the early inhabitants, the
words of praise which their efforts might entitle them.
Of course the industries remained in a crude and incipient state
until the avenues of transportation not only on the lake but to and
from the lake, over the lofty mountains and through the almost
impenetrable forests, were opened and made passable.
The oldest living inhabitant takes his pipe from between his lips
and tells us of the forges and saw-mills at "The Forks" and
Mallory's Bush, and we are prone to erect in our imaginations an
image of the solid and formidable forges and saw-mills of the
present day. But these pictures are rudely blotted out by the
succeeding portrait which our informant draws with vivid hand, of
the aboriginal grist-mill, constructed from a stump hollowed into a
convenient basin which was used as a hopper, and a weight depending
from the nearest sapling as a grindstone. These infant industries
were all "brought up by hand."
The earliest road to Mallory's Bush was a primitive passage-way
through the woods between that place and Westport, then called
North-West Bay. It could not have been used earlier than the year
1796. About the same time or soon after, the road which leads along
the west bank of the south branch of the Ausable river was
constructed. The road on the east bank of the same stream between
Lower and Upper Jay was not ready for wagon traffic in 1812.
The pioneers of this region were not, however, barbarians.
Considering their meager opportunities they supplied their own wants
with surprising ingenuity. Between 1800 and 1812 schools and
religious meetings were established in the most thickly populated
districts. There was a school in Jay long before 1812, and by that
time Methodist classes had been formed for religious exercitation
and discipline. A Baptist Church was formed here in 1798.
Lumbering was one of the earliest industries of the town. At the
beginning of the War of 1812 huge spars were cut in this town and
drawn to the lake, and thence floated north to the English market at
Quebec. Josiah Fisk was one of the most prominent of the pioneer
lumbermen. A Mr. Sleeper at one time with seven yoke of oxen drew an
enormous spar to the lake from Mallory's Bush. A short time after
the period just mentioned square timbers came into great
requisition, and were shipped in large quantities over the same
route. In the vicinity of Upper Jay the lumber business was killed
as early as 1820, by the girdling of all the trees to facilitate the
clearing of land. At Ausable Forks the most enterprising lumber
dealers were Burt & Vanderwarker, the firm comprising George and
Justus Burt, and James and Isaac Vanderwarker. Their lumber was
taken to Port Kent via the Ausable river.
The iron business has received mention. The first forge was built at
Mallory's Bush. now Lower Jay, in 1798. Joseph Storrs, John Purmort
and G. A. Purmort & Co. were interested in it. In 1809 the works
were extensively enlarged. Before 1820 Apollos A. Newell constructed
and ran a two-fired forge about a mile south of Lower Jay, which was
destroyed by the freshet of 1856. It had soon after its erection to
compete with the forge of Jesse Tobey and Robert G. Hazard. Long
before 1825 a forge was built at Ausable Forks and run by Burt,
Vanderwarker & Co. Taverns, distilleries, asheries, sawmills, and
several stores abounded. William Mallory built a saw-mill near the
site of Jay in about 1798. Though liquor was dispensed in many
private houses, there is no remembrance of a tavern here (Jay) until
about 1820, when Jesse Tobey and Elihu Bartlett opened houses which
they kept until about 1830. Both buildings were, soon after that
year, destroyed by fire. For some time prior to 1823 a man named
Cook kept an inn on the site of Coppin's present house in Upper Jay.
Elisha Wells managed a distillery and grist-mill in Upper Jay in
1823. In the same place and year Steven G. Williams and Daniel
Williams conducted an ashery. Not much business of any kind
excepting lumbering and the manufacture of iron was done in Ausable
Forks until 1825.
The calls for volunteers during the Rebellion were promptly and
heartily responded to by the inhabitants of the town. Other towns of
greater population may have furnished a greater number of men and
contributed more largely of their money to the cause, but they were
more thickly inhabited and more affluent. Not one of them, however,
could have given money more willingly or offered men of greater
bravery. Further details on this subject will be found in the
chapter devoted to the military history of the county.
Town Officers. - The first town meeting was held in 1798, at which
Elisha Bingham was elected supervisor and Ely Stone town clerk. The
commissioners of highways were Leonard Owen, John W. Southmayd and
Ezekiel Lockwood; and the assessors were Zenas Graves, David
Clemmons and John Donlap.
Following is a list of supervisors from the year 1800 to the present
time, with the respective years of their service:
1800, Ezekiel Lockwood; 1801-2, John
Cochrane; 1803, John Douglass; 1804-5, Robert Otis; 1806-7, Ely
Stone; 1808 to 1811 inclusive, Joseph Storrs; 1812, Jonas B. Wood;
1813 to 1815 inclusive, Joseph Storrs; 1816, William Finch; 1817-18,
Reuben Sanford; 1819, Joseph Storrs; 1820, Reuben Sanford; 1821 to
1826 inclusive, Joseph Storrs; 1827, William Wells; 1828, Joseph
Storrs; 1829, William Wells; 1830-31, Isaac Vanderwarker; 1832 to
1836 inclusive, Joseph Storrs; 1837, Thomas Brewster; 1838, Joseph
Storrs; 1839, Josiah W. Hewitt; 1840, John Purmort; 1841, Jesse
Tobey, jr.; 1842-43, Benjamin Wells; 1844, Josiah W. Hewitt;
1845-46, William H. Butrick; 1847-48, Daniel Blish; 1849, Thomas D.
Trumbull; 1850, Samuel West; 1851, Thomas D. Trumbull; 1852, Daniel
Blish; 1853, Monroe Hall; 1854, Heman G. Powers; 1855, Jeremiah B.
Briggs; 1856, Samuel West; 1857 to 1859 inclusive, Nathaniel C.
Boynton; 1860, Henry D. Graves; 1861, N. C. Boynton; 1862, George S.
Potter; 1863 to 1867 inclusive, Gardner Pope; 1868-69, Henry Smith;
1870 to 1872 inclusive, Henry D. Graves; 1873, Gardner Pope;
1874-75, Henry M. Prime; 1876, Richard D. McIntyre; 1877, Henry
Smith; 1878, A. S. Prime; 1879-80, Amos Bosley; 1881, Spencer G.
Prime; 1882, John C. De Kalb; 1883-84, Silas W. Prime; 1885, Fred E.
Trumbull. The present town clerk is John A. Simpson.
Jay. - This village was without
doubt settled the earliest of the three which are now comprised in
the township of Jay. It was near here, as has been mentioned, that
the Mallorys and Purmorts wielded their iron influence in primitive
times. It has always been best known for the iron manufactured in
its forges and the timbers hewn upon the mighty shoulders of its
hills. George Griswold, who came here in 1812, has a clear
recollection of the condition of the village when he came. A small
school was partly filled with a small number of small pupils, and
had been in existence then a number of years. A man named Parsons
brought the "daily papers" on horseback to the bustling populace of
Jay, while Elihu Hall, general merchant, who had control of the
post-office department here, regulated the distribution of the mail
matter. Mr. Hall was postmaster for a number of years. It is not
known who followed him until 1834, when Elihu H. Bartlett
officiated. Since that year G. G. Tobey, the present postal
dignitary, has been in office almost without intermission. He was
out several years immediately preceding i 864, when A. M. Pitcher,
N. C. Boynton and Byron Boynton filled the position in chronological
order as named.
The hotels of the past in Jay have had troublous and precarious
careers, and have been almost invariably overtaken by a tragic fate.
The hotels which Jesse Tobey and Elihu Bartlett kept in the second
quarter of this century, burned. About 1830 Jesse Tobey built
another hotel on the corner directly opposite the site of D. K.
Day's store. The ownership fell soon to G. G. Tobey, who sold it in
1856 to Mrs. Caroline Green. She owned it when it too was destroyed
by fire. It has never been rebuilt. The hotel now in operation has
been under the superintendence of Nelson Patterson since December,
The oldest store in the village is D. K. Day's. Mr. Day opened a
store in the same building he now occupies in 1869, when he bought
out Monroe Hall. Hall had been a general merchant in the place a
long time. The villagein population and thrift was then about what
it is now.
G. A. Purmort & Co., who had formerly owned the forge at Jay, were
dealing in merchandise in 1869, and had been since early in the
George Slyter came to Jay in December, 1884, and opened a grocery
and furniture store and began the undertaking business.
J. & J. Rogers's Iron Company have a general store in connection
with their iron business, which provides for the wants of their
The forge now owned by the J. & J. Rogers Iron Company, whose
headquarters are at Ausable Forks, was started in 1809 by John
Purmort. Afterwards the title was in G. A. Purmort & Co., from whom
it passed into the hands of the present owners in 1864. It has now
six fires. (For account, of their works, see Ausable Forks.)
The village possesses three physicians, Dr. Ezra Robinson, of about
three years' practice here, Dr. St. Pierre Fuller, who has been here
many years, and Dr. Frank Kendall, of eight Or ten years' standing.
There are no lawyers here.
Churches.- The Baptist Church of Jay was organized in 1798,
although at the beginning itwas a part of the Peru Church, and the
same pastor, Rev. Solomon Brown, officiated at both places. The
records from 1799 to 1807 are lost. Licentiates who preached for
these churches then were Dana Clark, Cyrus Call and Eli Stone. The
last-named were ordained in 1817. In 1815-16 Abel Bingham, an Indian
missionary, was one of the deacons. Eighty members were added to the
church in that season. In 1818 Cyrus Call preached and was paid a
salary. About this time, through some difficulty with a refractory
member, the church was disbanded, but it was reorganized in 1822,
with a membership of only thirty-seven. Stephen Wise, of Chazy, was
ordained in 1826, and Joel Peck in 1827. The Saranac Church was
separated from it in 1828. A church edifice was commenced the same
year, but was not ready for dedication until 1835. Meanwhile, 1830,
the church was agitated considerably by the Masonic and temperance
excitements during the pastorate of Revs. Conant Sawyer and Isaac
Sawyer. Notwithstanding these impediments, there were very fruitful
revivals under the ministrations of both the Sawyers. In 1835-37
Rev. Bryant was pastor. There have been twenty-one pastors called to
this church, and four ordained. Rev. Isaac Sawyer was succeeded by
Rev. John A. Dodge. Since his time the following have officiated:
Revs. Charles Berry, William Kingsley, Joseph W. Sawyer, J. J.
Babcock, H. Steelman, J. J. Townsend, W. H. Pease, C. D. Fuller, A.
W. Stoekiom, M. F. Negus and G. N. Harmon. Besides the revivals
during the labors of Revs. Conant and Isaac Sawyer, there were
important additions under Revs. Charles Berry and J. J. Babcock.
There have been in this church (in September, 1884) 416 baptisms,
152 additions, 256 dismissed by letter, sixty-nine expelled, 106
died, sixty-five dropped. Five licentiates have been sent out. The
Sunday-school was started in 1830. The bell which swings from the
cross-beams in the belfry of this old stone church is widely known
as of a rich and mellow tone. The rivers that find their sources
near at hand and flow in diverse directions, find their outlets as
far apart as Long Island Sound and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The
idea suggested by this and its situation has found expression in the
following beautiful poem by Frank Daniel Blish -
"The bell at Jay, the rivers, breeze,
To North and South send greeting;
Beneath the Adirondack trees
The Hudson's heart is beating.
O Bell sublime
In ancient dust
Earth's archives rust;
But not thy rhyme
Thy voice is clear;
I hear it here,
Subdued by time!
"Thy counterfeits resemble thee
As murmurs in commotion
Upon the tongue-tied midland sea
The speech of unbound ocean.
While music fills
And echoes mock
While grandeur thrills Thy tones will last;
Thy zone was cast
Between the hills!
"My wish for fame I'll gladly spurn
As youth's companions meet me
When I to childhood's home return
If thy glad welcome greet me.
Thy slender fronds
Of brake and fern
May shake and turn;
At lips of bronze
Thy challenge fling;
Thy welcome ring
My heart responds!"
Methodist. - The Methodist Episcopal
Church of Jay dates its organization about the year 1815, when it
was a part of the old Plattsburg circuit. There was a class here in
1812. The first quarterly meeting was held in 1816 in Elihu Hall's
barn. The first church edifice (frame) was erected in 1820, across
the square from the present brick church, which was built a year or
two prior to 1850. One of the first pastors was the Rev. Eighamy.
About 1816 the Revs. Eli Barrett and Jeremiah McDaniels were here.
These early preachers traveled about from one place to another in
their circuit on horseback. Since 1817 the following pastors have
officiated: Revs. J. Boyington and Moses Amidon; Gilbert Lyon and
Harvey De Wolf; Cyrus Silliman and Phineas Doane; Harvey De Wolf and
Cyrus Prindle; Darius Stephens, Ibri Cannon and Hiram Meeker; Orrin
Peer and Phineas Doane; James Coville and Jacob Leonard.
In 1861 Rev. J. S. Mott was the pastor, and was succeeded by pastors
as follows: Revs. W. W. Foster, Edward Turner, I. Le Barron, D. C.
Ayres, A. C. Lyon, A. S. Bigelow, R. J. Davies. In 1879-82 Rev. E.
J. McKernan preached here, and was followed by the present pastor,
Rev. F. K. Potter, whG came in the spring of 1882. The present
membership of the church is two hundred and seventy-two. The church
property is valued at $4,500.
The Sunday-school was started soon after the first church was built,
and has continued to the present. The first superintendent was
George Griswold, G. G. Tobey is the present superintendent.
Upper Jay - The early industries of Upper Jay have been
spoken of in the introductory matter of this chapter. The oldest
inhabitant now living in the village is Henry Prime, who came here
in 1823. According to his recollection the hotel which in 1823 was
run by Mr. Cook went into the possession of Benjamin Wells about
1830. Shortly afterwards Alanson Hayes kept it about two years, when
Henry Prime bought it. During the first two years of Prime's
ownership George Kline kept it for him. The hotel was burned in
1865. An old carding-machine and dye-shop, which had been owned by
Isaac Williams some time before 1820, was moved on to the site of
the old hotel a few months after the fire by Charles Smith, who
purchased the land of Mr. Prime. The present hotel has been kept by
Charles Coppins for the past three years.
In the spring of 1867 A. S. Prime started a general store here and
continued sole proprietor of the business for five years. For three
years after that Silas W. Prime was his partner. Then Spencer G.
Prime went in with them. This relation subsisted until 1883, when A.
S. Prime went out. The business has grown to large proportions. They
expend from $100,000 to $125,000 annually in the purchase of stock.
In January, 1885, a grist-mill owned by Prime Brothers and John T.
Heald was destroyed by fire. It was built in 1847 by Sylvanus Wells.
About a mile north of Upper Jay a saw-mill is owned and run by W. &
W. Nye. There are also two wheelwright shops here, one owned by A.
S. Prime, and another by Charles Fish. George W. Stickney owns a
cardingmachine, and conducts a cloth-dressing shop and cider-mill
all in the same building. Elibridge Storrs is the undertaker for the
village. Dr. A. J. Merrill has practiced medicine here a number of
years. The only lawyer in the place is George Smith, who has been
located here about five years.
The present postmaster is A. P. Prime, who is of about ten years'
standing. For forty years or more before his entrance to the office
Benjamin Wells officiated.
Ausable Forks. - Ausable Forks is the largest and most
thriving though not the oldest village in the town. A considerable
portion, both of its population and business, is in Clinton county,
on the north bank of the Ausable river. Most of the territory now
occupied by the village of Ausable Forks was once owned by Zephaniah
Palmer. In 1825 Burt & Vanderwarker bought the property of Palmer,
and built several saw-mills on the Ausable. In 1828, in connection
with Keese, Lapham & Co., they erected a four-fired forge, which was
then supplied with ore from the Arnold bed and Palmer Hill. About
this time a second saw-mill was put up. A stock company was
organized in 1834, and entitled the Sable Iron Company, Reuben
Sanford, Arder Barker, James Rogers, John Fitzgerald, Richard H.
Peabody, Robert B. Hazard and Calvin Cook being trustees. In 1835
the business was conducted for the company under the management of
their agent, John Woodman. Owing to business embarrassments,
operations were suspended in 1836 and until 1837, when James and
John Rogers purchased the entire property. In 1848 they erected a
forge on the dam on the west branch of the river, consisting of four
fires. The most important of the works are situated on a point of
land extending into the south branch of the river from the southern
bank. The rolling-mill was built in 1834.
The J. & J. Rogers Iron Company had its origin in a business
established at Black Brook, Clinton county, in 1832, by two
brothers, James and John Rogers. As above stated, they became the
owners of the works at the Forks in 1837, although they held
prominent interests there in 1834. In 1864 they bought out the
Purmort iron interest at Lower Jay, and immediately enlarged the
works at that place.
In 1870 (December 29th) a joint stock company was organized, called
the J. & J. Rogers Iron Company, which succeeded the former
partnership interests at these three villages. The first officers
were: President, James Rogers; vice-president, John Rogers;
trustees, James Rogers, John Rogers, Halsey Rogers, son of James,
and Thomas Rogers, son of John. In 1871 Halsey Rogers died, and in
the same year Henry D. Graves, son-in-law of James Rogers, was
elected to fill the vacancy thus caused in the board of trustees. In
1872 Thomas Rogers withdrew from the company by reason of ill
health. Hiram W. Stetson succeeded him as trustee. James Rogers
retired in 1876, and in January following his son-in-law, George
Chahoon, became a member of the board. John Rogers was then elected
president, and Henry D. Graves vice-president. John Rogers retired
in May, 1879 (and died in a few days), and his position was filled
by the election of Benjamin E. 'Wells. Henry D. Graves was then
elected president, Hiram W. Stetson vice-president, and Benjamin E.
The company runs four fires at Ausable Forks and six at Jay. The
business here and at Jay is under the supervision of H. D. Graves
and George Chahoon, while Hiram W. Stetson and Benjamin E. Wells
conduct the works at Black Brook. The general superintendent at Jay
is Ezra Fairbanks. In addition to their iron business at Jay, this
company is largely engaged in the manufacture of brick.
The ore is taken exclusively from the Palmer bed, two miles north of
the Forks, in Clinton county, and is the finest of Bessemer. The
products of the company's works are charcoal blooms, and bars for
conversion into cast steel, Peru horse-shoe iron, round and square
iron, and Sable-cut nails.
Although the aggregate result of the industry and capable exertion
of the leading spirits of this company pronounce their efforts a
wonderful success, they have been many times subjected to the
severest of reverses. The wellremembered freshet of 1856, and
another in 1857, caused fearful devastation among the works on both
branches of the river at Ausable Forks, and the Messrs. Rogers lost
by each flood no less than $25,000. In 1864 they lost $90,000 by
Mercantile.- In July, 1864, Henry Smith and George Featherston
entered into partnership and, under the firm name of H. Smith & Co.,
began the sale of general merchandise in the building which they
still occupy and which they then erected. They started with a stock
of about $10,000 value and are now quoted as carrying from $50,000
W. J. Gillespie started a drug store here in April, 1874, and
removed into his present quarters in October following. In March,
1880, his brother, H. E. Gillespie, purchased an interest in the
business. They have two stores in Ausable Forks - one on either side
of the river, and one in Bloomingdale. The total value of their
stock is estimated at $24,000.
Smith & Prime have a drug store on the Clinton side.
John C. De Kaib came here in August, 1882, and established a general
store on Main street, Essex side. He owns the building, which he
built himself. He carries a stock valued at about $12,000.
Hotels. - The American House, Clinton side, was built by
James Rogers. John Hargraves assumed control of the property and
business in i868. In 1870 his son-in-law, E. D. Fillmore, went in
with him. This relation was dissolved January, 1885, by the death of
Mr. Hargraves. Mr. Fillmore is now the sole proprietor.
What is now called the Ausable House was built in 1832 by George M.
Burt, and was one of the earliest frame houses in the village. At
the time of its erection it was the largest hotel between Whitehall
and Plattsburg. It had no name until about 1854, when Justus G.
Failes kept it under the name Tahawas House. It took its present
name when Parker Torrance ran it. Torrance bought it in 1862 of
Joseph Downey. He was followed by H. H. Sherburne, now of the Valley
House in Elizabethtown. Patrick Hogan kept it about eighteen months
after Sherburne left. In 1876 C. H. Kendall, now of Saranac Lake,
became the proprietor and remained until February, 1883, when the
present proprietor, A. E. Barrett, came into possession. H. Smith &
Co. have owned the hotel property since 1875.
Tannery. - Isaac Lake now owns a tannery on the Clinton side,
which was begun about 1840. Benoni Lake owned it originally.
Professional Men. - Thomas D. Trumbull was admitted at
Plattsburg in 1844 as attorney and in 1848 to general practice. He
opened an office here in 1845, in the same building he now occupies.
He passed his preliminary period of study with Gardner Stowe, then
of Keeseville, four years, and with Lernuel Stetson, of the same
place, six months. His son, Thomas D. Trumbull, jr., occupies the
same office as his father, but conducts an independent practice. He
was admitted in Michigan in 1875, and re-admitted to practice in
this State at Albany, November 18th, 1881, after a clerkship of
eighteen months in his father's office. The Messrs. Trumbull are the
only attorneys in the village.
Dr. Conant Sawyer began to practice medicine on the Essex side in
1867. He was educated for his practice in the Albany Medical
University. His first office was in the Graves block.
Dr. Francis J. D'Avignon commenced practicing in Ausable Forks
September 12th, 1875, after an experience of eighteen months at
Clintonville. He was just before that graduated from the Louisville
Medical College of Louisville, Ky.
Dr. Andrew W. Riley was graduated from the medical department of the
University of New York in 1880. In March, 1880, he opened an office
in Clintonville. He came here January, 1st, 1882, and formed a
partnership with Dr. D'Avignon, which still subsists. On the istof
December, 1883, they were burned out, their office then being over
the drug store of Smith & Prime. They removed into an office over
Gillespie's drug store, where they remained until their last change,
January 1st, 1885, at which time they came into their present
Press. - There is no newspaper in Ausable Forks at present.
D. L. Hayes began the publication of a weekly paper called the
Mountain Echo about 1878, but after a flickering struggle for
existence of about five years it expired.
Fire Company. - The Ausable Forks Fire Department was
organized June 29th, 1878, with the following officers: Chief
engineer, George Chahoon; assistant chief engineer, Peter Fremyea;
treasurer, H. D. Graves; secretary, John Brenan. It comprises three
companies: Graves Hose Company No. 1, Engine Company No. 2, and the
Adirondack Hook and Ladder Company No. 3. The membership of the
entire department is sixty.
Masonic Lodge. - Tahawas Lodge (U. D.) was established
October 6th, 1884, with the following officers: W. J. Gillespie,
master; George A. Everrest, senior warden; N. B. Slater, junior
warden; George Chahoon, treasurer; J. G. McKinnon, secretary; J. H.
Smith, senior deacon; George L. Gray, junior deacon; D. G. Cronk,
tyler; Emerson Featherston, Benjamin E. Wells, H. G. Graves,
trustees. The first registry shows a membership of fifty-seven.
School.- Prior to July 24th, 1883, Ausable Forks had only a
district school. At that time, however, the present union system was
adopted, and the following board of education chosen: James Rogers,
George Featherston, Dr. A. W. Riley, William Hopkins and George L.
Gray. In 1882 the old school-house had been entirely rebuilt at an
expense of about $2,500. It was originally erected in 1870. There
are now' six departments in the school - academic, grammar,
intermediate, and three primary departments - conducted by a corps
of seven teachers. The first principal was C. M. Bean, of Cortland
county, who remained until the close of 1883. The present principal
is S. McKay Smith, of Herkimer county. There are three buildings now
in use, of which the main one is on the Essex side.
Churches.- The first prayer-meeting held in Ausable Forks
under the auspices of the Presbyterian denomination was started by
Joseph Horr, who moved here from Keeseville in 1836. It was held in
the old school-house. In 1837 the church edifice was erected. The
present organization of the church was not completed until May 2d,
1839. Among the first members were Joseph Horr, Esther Horr, John T.
Duncan, Fanny Duncan, Warren Bigelow, Sarah Hawkett, Mariah Burt,
Minerva Whitley and Parthena White. The first elders were Joseph
Horr and John T. Duncan. Joseph Horr was the first deacon.
Rev. E. B. Baxter, from Jericho, Vt., filled the pulpit for a short
time. In September, 1839, Rev. Calvin B. Cady accepted a call from
the church. In the summer of 1843 Rev. Thorm supplied the pulpit.
From 1848 to 1851 the pastor was Rev. James Miller; in 1851, Rev. P.
Q. H. Myers; 185 3-54, Rev. John Scott. During the pastorate of Rev.
John Scott the church building was destroyed by fire, and the
present structure immediately erected, at a cost of about $3,000. In
1856-57 Rev. Amos W. Seeley was the settled pastor, and was
succeeded in the latter year by Rev. John S. Stone. Although Mr.
Stone labored here for several years he eas not called until 1860.
In 1862 he went to the war as chaplain, and was killed. From 1864 to
1867 Rev. G. T. Everest served.
The first Sunday-school in the village was organized in the spring
of 1837 by Joseph Horr. James W. Flack and Charles Brewster were the
first superintendents. From 1856 to 1873 the duties of that position
were performed by R. C. R. Chase, since which time the pastor has
been continuously elected superintendent. The present assistant is
G. M. Beckwith.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Ausable Forks was organized about
the year 1840. Among the first members were the Vanderwarkers, John
Gibson and wife, Benjamin Kent and family, Mrs. Farrington, Joel
Bull, Zimri Carpenter, George Griswold. The name of the first pastor
does not appear in the records. In 1848 Revs. Charles L. Hagar and
Andrew McGilton were sent to the Wilmington circuit, which included
Ausable Forks. During that and the following year the church edifice
was completed, at a cost of about $3,000. In 1874 and '75, under the
influence of Rev. G. H. Robbins, the church was enlarged and
thoroughly repaired, and a new bell swung, at a total cost of about
eighteen hundred and fifty dollars.
The Sunday-school was organized in 1857, under the superintendence
of L. D. Gray. The second superintendent was C. D. Meigs. In 1860 E.
A. Richardson followed him and held the position until May, 1884,
when the present incumbent, Nathan Jones, was elected.
In 1854 North Jay, and in 1876 Palmer Hill, were attached to the
Ausable Forks charge, and are now considered a part of the church.
The total membership of the church is one hundred and twenty-four,
and of the Sundayschool one hundred and twenty-five. The present
pastor is Rev. E. C. Farwell. The trustees are E. A. Richardson,
William Weston, G. L. Gray.