June 1993

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History of Bath

for the First Fifty Years


Ansel J. McCall

Historical Address, June 6, 1893
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII

Part VI

The District of Williamson

The previous winter, Charles Williamson had been appointed one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of Ontario county. As yet there were no towns with prescribed boundaries in the county. The act of the Legislature erecting the County of Ontario provided that the Justices of the Sessions should proceed to divide the new county into two or more districts for town purposes. They had, in 1791, made the "District of Painted Post," which embraced the entire territory of the present County of Steuben. All the then settlers were located on the Chemung, Tioga and Canisteo Rivers. In 1793, Jedediah Stephens of Canisteo, was elected Supervisor of the district At the January session, 1794, through the influence of Captain Williamson, there was made a new district embracing all the territory west of the second range, under the name of Williamson, as appears by the adjustment of certain accounts between the district of Erwin, or Painted Post, and the district of Williamson, made by Eli Mead and Eleazer Lindsley, of the first part, and Jedediah Stephens and George Hornell, of the other, on April 26, 1794, recorded in the minutes of the district of Painted Post, by E. Lindsley, Jr., town clerk of that district. There is no record of this division to be found in the Clerk's office of Ontario county. Bath was included in the new district; but when and where its town meetings were held is not now known. The records of the town clerk have been destroyed, or lie moulding in the rubbish of some garret If they could be brought to light they would furnish a rare treat to the local antiquarians.

As yet there were but few post-roads or post offices in the country. The nearest place for deposit of letters on the south was at Northumberland, one hundred and forty miles distant To meet the want, Captain Williamson employed his own post-riders to and from that place, who made the trip once a fortnight. Tommy Corbett rode to the Block House and exchanged with Alexander Smith of Lycoming, who filled the route from that place to Northumberland. Charles Cameron was the local distributor of the letters here. After his removal to Sodus, William Kersey performed the duties until the Government office was established, January 1, 1801, with Dugald Cameron postmaster.

Historical Address of Ansel J. McCall, June 6, 1893,
published in The Centennial of Bath, New York 1793-1893,
reprinted by the Steuben County Historical Society 1992
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Part VIII
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