1864 Map of Adams New York

Civil Government of Adams New York

The first town meeting was held at the house of Eliphalet Edmonds, and at the election held March 1, 1803, the following officers were chosen: Supervisor, Nicholas Salisbury; Clerk, Phineas Keith; Assessors, D’Estaing Salisbury, John W. Smith, David Grommon, Thomas White; Collector, Isaac Baker; Overseers of the Poor, Thomas White, David Comstock; Commissioners of Highways, Paul Stickney, Jacob Kellogg, Simeon Hunt; Constables, Isaac Baker, Anson Moody; Fence-viewers, David Comstock, David Smith, George H. Thomas, George Cooper; Pound-keepers, Jacob Kellogg, Benjamin Thomas; Overseers of Highways, Abraham Ripley, James Perry, Enan Salisbury, John Cowles, Consider Law, Solomon Robbins, Hezekiah Tiffany, Thomas White, Daniel Mansfield, Asa Davis, Squire Read, Abel Palmer; Deer-reeves, David Comstock and Simeon Hunt.

The following have served as supervisors since the organization of the town:

  • 1803-12. Nicholas Salisbury.
  • 1813. Jacob Kellogg.
  • 1814-17. Nicholas Salisbury.
  • 1818-20. Eliphalet Edmonds.
  • 1821-26. William Hart.
  • 1827-28. Isaac Baker.
  • 1829-30. Cyrus Eddy.
  • 1831. Chauncey Baker.
  • 1832. Isaac Baker.
  • 1833. Cyrus Eddy.
  • 1834. Wells Benton.
  • 1835. David J. M. Howard.
  • 1836. Isaac Baker.
  • 1837. Samuel Bond.
  • 1838. D. J. M. Howard.
  • 1839-40. John H. Whipple.
  • 1841. Robert B. Doxtator.
  • 1842-43. Rufus Herrick.
  • 1844. Abram Sheldon.
  • 1845-47. Joseph L. Greene.
  • 1848. Charles Potter.
  • 1849-52. John C. Cooper.
  • 1853. Joseph L. Greene.
  • 1854. John C. Cooper.
  • 1855. John H. Whipple.
  • 1856-57. Justus Eddy.
  • 1868-62. Charles A. Benjamin.
  • 1863-64. George W. Bond.
  • 1865-67. Charles A. Benjamin.
  • 1868-70. Royal Fuller.
  • 1871. Oscar D. Allen.
  • 1872. Royal Fuller.
  • 1873-77. O. De Grasse Greene.

Important special town-meetings were held Nov. 10, 1803, when a remonstrance was voted against taking three ranges of lots from the north side of the town to annex to the contemplated town of Newport; also to agree to the division of the town on the line between towns 7 and 8; in April, 1813, ” for the purpose of making provision for the maintenance of Mary Richards, said woman being struck off to Zephemah Tucker, by the town paying him $44 1)other expenses of said meeting amounted to 812.50— total, $56.50;” April 23, 1823, at the office of William Doxtater, when the vote of the town relative to the selling of the poor was reconsidered, in all cases except those already sold. At the sale of the poor in 1822 and 1823 the bids ranged from 75 cents to $2.50 per week. The subject of maintaining the poor occasioned much legislation, and in 1823 the town voted against adopting the poor-house and house of industry recommended by the supervisors. At a later day appropriations were made to secure the removal of several indigent families. In the main, the poor of the town have received proper care. In 1804 it was voted, —

” That the fines incurred by Thomas, James, and John Richards, for selling liquors be remitted to them.”

“That the pound-keepers provide pounds that they will be accountable for.”

” That hogs run at large with yokes.”

In 1805, voted:

“That Peter Doxtater’s fine for killing deer be remitted to him.”

Captain Daniel Compstock and Lieutenant Jacob Kelogg were elected poor-masters, and agreed to pay interest for the money they should receive.

1807.—”That cattle shall not run at large within half a mile of Smith’s Mills, between the first day of December and the fifteenth day of March.”

1808.—”That Benjamin Sawyer’s fine for selling liquor shall not be collected.” “That Mansfield’s fine for profane swearing shall not be collected of Dr. Eli Eastman.” “That C. Lewis’ fine for profane swearing shall not be collected of Ephraim Joy

1812.— A penalty of $5 was voted for allowing Canada thistles to go to seed.

1813.— “That ten dollars be given for every wold or painter killed in the town of Adams.”

Wolf bounties of $5 were offered in 1803; of $10 from 1804 to 1814; of $15 in 1815. A bounty of $10 for wild-cats, and $1 for foxes, was also voted this year.

In 1844, Isaac 0. Baker, collector in 1842, who had lost $40 in the discharge of his duties without being in the fault, owing to the failure of a bank of whose issue he held bills, was ordered to be reimbursed.

May 19, 1846, a special meeting was held to determine the sentiment of the people on the license question: 231 voted /or, and 338 against license. Again, April 27, 1847, the matter was tested, and the vote stood 227 for, and 285 against license. The town-meetings were formerly held at Adams village, but for many years past have been held at Union Hall, Adams Centre.

Source:  Durant, Samuel W. and Henry B. Peirce. History of Jefferson County, New York, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1878. p 243-244.


1other expenses of said meeting amounted to 812.50— total, $56.50

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