Organization of the Town of Antwerp, New York

Antwerp was erected a town on the 5th of April, 1810. Its territory — the same which is included in its present boundaries — was partitioned off from Le Ray. Its name was given in honor of the Antwerp company, who owned large tracts of land in this and in the neighboring townships.

The organization went into effect on the 1st of January, 1811, and the first annual meeting of the new town was held on the 5th of the following March, “at the house of Francis McAllaster, occupied by William Fletcher, innkeeper, in said Town.” Daniel Sterling was chosen moderator, and the following persons were elected to the town offices, viz.: Daniel Heald, supervisor; Samuel Randall, clerk; John Jenison, Zopher Holden, and Silas Ward, assessors; Francis McAllaster, Oliver Stowell, and Elkanah Pattridge, commissioners of highways; William Fletcher and John C. Foster, overseers of the poor; Daniel Sterling, Jeduthan Kingsbury, Salmon White, Matthew Brooks, and Samuel Hendrix, overseers of highways; Elkanah Pattridge, constable and collector.

Among the other business transacted at that meeting the following is found recorded:

“Resolved by a majority of the meeting, that Daniel Sterling‘s barnyard be made use of as a pound for the ensuing year,” and ” that Hopestill Foster officiate as pound-keeper.”

Resolved, That there be Five Dollars raised for the purpose of destroying the animal Woolf by a majority of said meeting, and payed for each full-grown woolf caught and killed in said Town the ensuing year.”

Resolved, That no Horn Cattle nor Sheep shall be admitted to run upon the highways within fifty rods of an inn from the 15th day of November to the first Tuesday in March in said Town the ensuing year.”

And it was resolved that the next annual meeting “be held at the house of Daniel Sterling, now occupied by Hopestill Foster.”

During the past sixty-six years the following-named persons have been elected to the office of supervisor in Antwerp: Daniel Heald, 1811 to 1817, inclusive; Silvius Hoard, 1818-19 and 1823-24; John Howe, 1820, ’21, ’22, ’25, and ’26; Joseph H. Bagg, 1827; Ralph Rogers, 1828; William Skinner, 1829; Rufus H. King, 1830, ’32, ’35, ’39; David McAllaster, 1833-34; Edward Fowler, 1836; Tilley R. Pratt, 1837-38; William McAllaster, 1840; James White, 1841-42; Alanson Drake, 1843; Alden Adams, 1844-49, inclusive; Joseph H. White, 1850-51; Josiah S. Conkey, 1852; John H. Conklin, 1853, and 1855-64, inclusive; Robert Ormston, 1854; Levi Miller, 1865, ’66, and ’68; Elijah Fulton, 1867, ’73, and ’74; Hiram B. Keen, 1869, ’71, and ’72; John D. Ellis, 1870; Alonzo Chapin, 1875-76; and George D. McAllaster, 1877.

The population of the town in 1814, four years after its erection, was 303; in 1820, it was 1319; in 1825, 2557; in 1830, 2412; in 1835, 2614; in 1840, 3109; in 1845, 3380; in 1850, 3665; in 1855, 3763; in 1860, 3318; in 1865, 3132; in 1870, 3310; and in 1875, 3363.

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 276-277.

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