History of Chenango county, New York

At various times, and at stated intervals, the annals of this county have been given to the public by numerous historians in their accounts of the State; but, so far as the writer has been able to inform himself, nothing has appeared 111 print that is not of too general a character for the precise information sought by the particular reader. For instance, book-makers tell us that Norwich is a pleasant, salubrious, and thriving village, situated upon a plain, near the junction of two streams. That It has so many churches, and schoolhouses, so much population, so many hotels, so much machinery, a courthouse, and, indeed, they give full particulars of precisely what every inhabitant already knows, but nothing more. This kind of intelligence is satisfactory as a guide book to a traveler, but of no consequence to a resident.

There are many incidents connected With the early settlement of the county resting in the recollection of aged people. If these are not soon recorded they will be lost. Many valuable sources of information arc already cut off by the death of individuals. It is believed that but three of the original settlers of this village are yet alive, and these three are far advanced in life.

It must be apparent that in writing a sketch of this nature from personal observation, from details and incidents collected promiscuously, as opportunity presents, a lucidus ordo (or arrangement) cannot be strictly regarded. It is proposed to introduce so much extraneous matter, both National and State, as will serve to illustrate our county's rise and progress. It will be necessary also to consider Indian affairs with some minuteness. If we have time we contemplate giving some Geological information applicable to the county.


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Chenango County derives its name from the river which flows through its territory; and the river is indebted for its beautiful designation to the Indians who once wandered along its borders, and in whom was vested the original possessory title to the soil in this region. The County was established in 1798, over soil taken from Herkimer, and Tioga counties. Up to 1806 it included also Madison county. The county is rather more than half a century in years. It is thirty-five miles long, and 28 wide. Herkimer and Tioga counties were taken from Montgomery county in 1791. Montgomery county originally comprised what, during the Revolution, was known as Tryon county; the name was changed from Tryon to Montgomery in 1784. Chenango county, therefore, traces back her lineage through Herkimer and Tioga to Montgomery, the original Tryon county, so famous in revolutionary history.