Town of
Lincoln
Madison County, NY
 History 


Martha B. Clock Park

History

Old Photos or Papers of the Town?
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Town of Lincoln History:
That part of the old town of Lenox which is now the town of Lincoln was 
settled by the Klocks, a family of German emigres heading west after the
Revolution. They settled in the area of present day Clockville in the 
1790s.


Clockville got its start as a center for milling. By 1820 J. D. Nellis 
had built a gristmill there. A later owner of that mill, H. H. Hathaway, 
patented a hay fork May 21, 1867, and brought out an improved version two 
years later. On December 7 of that later year, he patented a grappling 
hook for suspending horse pulleys.


The Oneida Dispatch (then a weekly) of August 27, 1880, reported further 
that Hathaway "has invented a machine for picking hops . . . it will be 
exhibited at the Lenox Agricultural Fair in Oneida."


Joseph L. Mansfield established a hay fork and rake factory at Clockville 
in 1866. One hundred rakes were produced the first year and for some time
Mansfield was quite successful When his factory did fail, the building was
taken over by the firm of Patten and Stafford, which continued to
manufacture hay rakes. Their company proved so successful that they
eventually relocated in Canastota.


At various times Clockville was the site of such diverse industries as 
cheese, triphammer, and wagon and furniture factories; not only did 
Clockville have the usual gristmills and saw mills, but it also boasted a
plaster mill.


In 1863 a toll road called the Canastota-Peterboro Highway was 
constructed of gravel and wooden planks. Part of the capital was raised by 
or came from the wallet of Gerrit Smith who thought industry in Peterboro 
would be well served by this road which crossed Lincoln from railroadless 
Peterboro to Canastota, an important freight stop on the New York Central
and a port on the Erie Canal. The highway was still a going, toll 
collecting concern as late as 1881. (fig. 6-41)


Loring Fowler, a Canastota attorney, drew up a petition April 20, 1869, 
to build a railroad between Canastota and Cazenovia. The line that was
eventually built became part of the branch line of the Lehigh Valley 
Railroad which extended to Elmira. The line passed through Lincoln, 
serving the area until December 1967.


Alene was the home of yet another cheese factory in addition to mills, a 
blacksmith shop, and a triphammer factory. When a post office was 
established there in 1894, the name Alene was given in honor of the 
daughter of Canastota banker, county sheriff, then Congressman, Milton S. 
Delano. When Rural Free Delivery service was started at Canastota in 1903, 
Alene lost her post office.


Alene is probably best remembered by many older citizens as the site of a 
World Wat II aerial observation post operated by Dorothy Simpson and manned
by area residents.


Solomon Merrill built the first frame house on the site of what became 
Merrillsville, the original spelling of which was Merrellsville. His house 
was called "the mansion," but was later used as a cow barn. A post office 
was organized at Merrillsville as early as 1832 with W. Eddy, postmaster. 
Aside from mills, early industries consisted of a woolen factory and a 
potashery between 1851 and 1870.


In 1859 Merrillsville had two sawmills, a hotel, a post office, a foundry,
plow, and blacksmith shops. The plow shop was eventually relocated to 
Munnsville and absorbed into the Munnsville Plow Works. When Rural Free 
Delivery service from Oneida commenced, about 1905-6, the Merrillsville 
post office, like Alene's before it, closed.


As the mid-1890s approached, Lenox was the largest township in the entire 
state. Intense rivalry between Oneida and Canastota, which were then
considered highly populated urban centers and the need to more easily govern
the town led many to seek a paring down of Lenox. Some like H. H. Hathaway,
wanted four towns carved out of Lenox.


The village of Oneida wanted to be a separate entity but desired to realize
the goal through what was called the Oneida Plan: to have the village's
western boundary encompass Wampsville and extend north to Oneida Lake.


Canastotans and residents along the lake's southern shore favored the 
Canastota Plan: to keep Oneida's western boundary east of Wampsville.
These plans were voted upon in late 1895 with the Oneida Plan going down 
to defeat.


In the spring of 1896 a bill was passed splitting portions of the tired 
giant Lenox into the town of Lincoln and village of Oneida. Lincoln took 
its name from the president who guided a nation torn asunder by regional
friction back into unified brotherhood. The populations of Lenox and 
Oneida in 1896, according to John E. Smith, were 3,850 and 7,8501
respectively (287). Meetings were held in Oneida, Canastota, and Clockville
May 18, 1896, and the bill dividing Lenox passed.


The town of Lincoln, upon its creation in May 1896 contained 14,889 acres 
assessed at $452,875, with a population of 110; in 1976, Town of Lincoln,
USA listed total acreage of 15,585 assessed at $6,838,957, with a 
population of 1,168 (70).

Links:
The 1802 Land Purchase
This link provides some interesting information on the Land Purchase of 1802, as provided by the Madison County Website.
Town of Lincoln Births, Marriages, and Deaths
This is some reference data collected by the late Doug Ingalls on the births, marriages, and deaths in the Town of Lincoln, as provided by the Madison County Website.
Town of Lincoln Cemetery Listing
 This is a list of cemetaries and information, as provided by the Madison County Website.
Early Maps of the Town of Lincoln

This is some early maps of the town dating back to 1802, as provided by the Madison County Website.

Documents:
Town of Lincoln, U.S.A. (PDF - 33.3 MB)
A history of the Town of Lincoln from 1792 - 1976.

A history of the Hamlet of Clockville 1792 - 1992.

A local history of Clockville 1800 - 1908.
Images:
Town Hall 1854
Clockville circa 19th Century
Backside of Clockville Hotel
Backside of Clockville Hotel Caption
Building on village green circa 1950's
Clockville Church
Clockville from 1950's
Clockville Hotel
Clockville Post Office circa 1917
Clockville Superette w/ caption
Clockville Superette w/o caption
Clockville WW II Veterans Honor Roll
Old Mill on Crandall Road
Town of Lincoln Fireman's Auxillary 1950's
Town of Lincoln Fireman's Auxillary 1950's caption
Veterans Memorial Dedication
Veterans Memorial Dedication Captions
Veterans Memorial Dedication 2
Veterans Memorial Dedication 2 Captions
Veterans Memorial Dedication Program
Veterans Memorial Present Day
Toll Booth Late 1800's
Merrillsville Veteran's Honor Roll