Newark Valley

 
 

Town of Newark Valley History

By

Shirley Callahan, Historian


In the year 1785 or 1786 there was formed in Boston, Mass., a company of eleven men (later enlarged to sixty) for the purchase of land “in the west.” Three of the original eleven soon came to this part of the county to “view the land.” These men were Amos Patterson, his brother-in-law, Co. Avid Pixley and Captain Joseph Raymond. The company, or syndicate, as it would be termed now, purchased this tract of land from the “Government of Massachusetts,” then called the Boston Purchase or Boston Ten Townships. They called themselves the “Boston Purchase Company.” Col. Pixley was one of the commissioners sent out to trade with the Indians for “rights to the soil.” He learned the Indian language and greatly endeared himself to the Indians.

This tract of land comprising the Boston Purchase included the parts of the counties of Broome and Tioga which lies between the Chenango River on the east, and the Owego Creek on the west and extended Northward from the Susquehanna River about twenty-five miles. It contained about 230,000 acres of land and was divided into lots, each of the sixty proprietors taking his share of lots according to the amount of money he invested. On the original map (now property of Library of Cornell University) each lot was marked on inch wide by two and one-half inches long.

The size of the lots must have been large, for there is a record of Amos Patterson having given twenty-two acres of the southwest corner of lot number 103 to Joseph Hosford, a fellow soldier in the Revolutionary War, for whom Amos felt sorry. Hosford built a log house on the west side of the “Spring Brook,” which is the outlet from the old Trout Ponds. He put up a wheel factory (turning shop), getting his power from a dam in the brook located where what is now known as Silk Street and Bridge Street. This shop was successfully operated by Enoch Williams, Jesse Truesdale, Samuel Moses and Aaron Stevens and remained standing until about 1883.

Our present Main Street was then only an Indian trail, leading from the Susquehanna to the Onondaga salt springs. Trees had to be cut down and a “good wagon road” for ox teams had to be opened before settlers and their families could come in. Four maple trees were left standing and there is a marker on Main Street today showing where the last one stood.

In 1791, Mr. Patterson began to clear land on the north bank of the Susquehanna, near now what is called Hooper. In 1793 he had built a log house there and traveled to Massachusetts to get his family. The trip took thirteen days as they traveled by sleds, drawn by oxen. He later built a mansion near the log house that became the well-known Washington Hall after it sold by the Patterson family. The name was derived from the fact that it was a meeting place of an early temperance society called the “Washingtonians.”

At this time this whole area was known as Tioga. Our town began its existence on April 1, 1791, when five men arrived from Stockbridge, Mass. after traveling for thirty-seven days, bringing their tools and provisions on two sleds, drawn ox-drawn sleds. These pioneers were Isaac and Abraham Brown and John Carpenter, sons of Beulah Patterson Brown, Daniel Ball, and Elisha Wilson. John Carpenter came as a hired man of the Brown’s. This part of Tioga then became known as Brown’s Settlement until 1808. From then until 1823 it was called Berkshire; then 1823-1824 it was known as Westville; then in 1824 became Newark (suggested by Rev. Marcus Ford, an early pastor of the First Church, who was originally from New Jersey). In 1862 it became Newark Valley. The name had to be changed because there was another post office with the same name in Wayne County, N. Y.

Beulah Patterson Brown, a widow and one of the sixty associates in the purchase of the Ten Townships came to Brown’s Settlement in February 1796 with her sons, John, Joseph and Samuel, her other two sons having come five years earlier. She settled on lot number 257, three miles north of the present village. The first church in Tioga County was built on her property and she was one of the constituent members.

The first settler on the sit of what is now the Village of Newark Valley was Ezbon Slosson. He was born at Stockbridge, Mass. in 1769. He married Electa Williams August 26, 1790. She was the daughter of Azariaha and Beulah Brown Williams. He came to Brown’s Settlement in 1792 and began to build a log cabin with a bark roof on lot 138, near where Moses Dam stood. His wife, father and family came in 1793 and they all lived together until his father, Enoch built his own log cabin. Later, Enoch built the first frame house in the town. He was the first postmaster. His wife and daughter were the first white women to come here. It was six months until they saw another white woman. Enoch was the son of Nathaniel and Margaret (Belden) Slosson.

Asa Bement (one of the sixty) owned lot 177. In 1792 he cleared his land and in 1794, he brought his wife and four children to the “land of promise.”

Today, the Town of Newark Valley has a Supervisor, Town Clerk and Collector, two Town Justices, four Council-people, an Assessor, Highway Superintendent, Attorney, two Fire Prevention and Code Enforcement Officers, Dog Control office and Town Historian. The Village has a Mayor, four Trustees, Village Clerk and Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Works, Code and Fire Enforcement Officer, Attorney and Dog Control Officer. The 1990 Census shows that the Town and Village of Newark Valley had a total population of 4189.



 

Newark Valley

Visit the Newark Valley Historical Society’s Web site at:   http://www.nvhistory.org/

110 Front Street, Owego, NY 13827                                  Phone: 607-687-2460                                Email: museum@tiogahistory.org