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FROM STEUBEN COUNTY, PART OF ROOTSWEB-NY GenWeb - Judy Allen Cwiklinski coordinator

Steuben County, New York

Township page
History of the Settlement of Steuben County, New York
by: Guy McMasters [1853]

                 
 
 
 
                  THE SETTLEMENT OF THE TIOGA VALLEY 
 
                 The first settlements in the Tioga Valley were
             made just over the Pennsylvania line, in the 
             neighborhood of Lawrenceville. Samuel Baker,
             afterwards of Pleasant Valley, in this county,
             settled upon the open flat, at the mouth of the 
             Cowenisque Creek, in 1787, and not long afterwards
             a few other settlers, the Stones, the Barneys, the
             Daniels, who also afterwards removed to Pleasant 
             Valley, erected cabins in the wild grass and hazel
             bushes of the vicinity. 
 
                 Col. Eleazer Lindley, a native of New Jersey, 
             and an active officer of the “Jersey Blues” during 
             the Revolutionary War, rode through the Genesee 
             country previous to the year 1790, to find a tract
             of land which he might establish himself, and gather
             his children around him. The sickliness of the
             regions around Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes
             deterred him from locating his township in the rich           
             northern plains, and he purchased township number 
             one of the second range, a rugged and most
             unpromising tract for agricultural purpose, but 
             intersected by the fine valley of the Tioga. The 
             healthy hills, the pure springs, and the clear 
             beautiful river, descending from the ravines of
             the Alleganies, promised,, If not wealth, at least
             freedom from those fevers, agues, cramps and 
             distempers, which prostrated the frames and 
             wrenched the joints of the unfortunate settlers 
             in the northern marches. 
 
                  In the spring of 1790, Col. Lindley started 
             from New Jersey with a colony of about forty persons,
             who, with their goods, were transported in wagons to
             the Susquehanna. At Wilkes-Barre the family and 
             baggage was transferred to seven-ton boats and poled 
             up the river, according to the practice of emigrants 
             penetrating Ontario county by the valley; while the
             horse and cattle, of which there were thirty or 
             forty, were driven along the trails, or rude roads,
             on the bank. On the 7th day of June, 1790, the colony
             reached the place of destination. 
 
                  Two sons of Col. Lindley, Samuel and Eleazer, 
             and five sons-in-law, Dr. Mulford, Ebenezer Backus,
             Capt. John Seely, Dr. Hopkins and David Payne, 
             started with the colony from New Jersey. Dr. Hopkins 
             remained at Tioga Point to practice his profession.
             The others settled near Col. Lindley. 
 
                  The river-flats were “open,”,” and overgrown 
             with strong wild grass and bushes. Ploughs were made
             by the settlers after their arrival, and as soon as 
             these were finished, the flats were immediately broken,
             as on the Canisteo, with four oxen to each plough. The
             season was so far advanced, that the crop of corn was
             destroyed by frost, but a great harvest of buckwheat 
             was secured. With buckwheat, milk and games, life was
             stayed during the first winter. History, looking 
             sharply into the dim vale of ancient Tioga, smiles 
             to see the image of “Old Pomp,” negro pounding
             buckwheat in a samp-mortar, for the first ice in 
             November till the breaking up of the rivers in March,
             when canoes can find a passage to Shepard’s Mill, on
             the Susquehanna. History also, in this connection will
             embrace the opportunity to rescue Old Pomp from 
             oblivion for the notable exploit of killing four bucks 
             at a shot, and has the pleasure, therefore, of handing
             the said Pompey down to future generations as a fit
             subject for as much admiration as an intelligent and
             progressive race may think due to the man who laid 
             low, with a musket at one shot, four fine bucks, as 
             they were standing in the water. 
 
                   Colonel and Mrs. Lindley were members of the
             Presbyterian Church, at Morristown, in New Jersey. 
             In his settlement the Sabbath was strictly observed.
             Traveling missionaries were always welcomed, and when
             none such were present, the settlers were collected to
             hear a sermon read by Col. Lindley himself. In 1793, 
             Col. Lindley was elected a member of the Legislature,
             and while attending the session of the body died in 
             New York. Numerous descendants of Col. L. live in the 
             neighborhood settled by him. His son, Hon. Eleazer 
             Lindley, was, for several years, a Judge of the County
             Court. He died in 1825. 
 
 
 
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