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  Clinton County Settlements and Settlers


Only one brief century ago but a faint wave of civilization had broken upon the primeval forest surrounding the waters of Lake Champlain. Only was heard the fierce howl of the wolf and the savage sa-sa-quan of the Indian warrior. The circling smoke arose from many an Indian wigwam; the hunter bounded through the forest after the deer and the moose; beavers, otters, and martins were in abundance; the salmon smoked at every campfire; the waters of the lake were parted by the birchen canoe; and the dripping oar of the Indian glistened in the sunlight. Here was the red man in all his glory, and, as far as his unsophisticated vision extended, this sweet dream of peace was destined to remain.

The first white man who passed over the soil of Clinton County, as noticed on a previous page, was Samuel Champlain, in 1609, and one hundred and fifty-four years later came the first permanent white settler. This pioneer was John La Frombois, and he located on what is now known as lots Nos. 70 and 72, Dean's Patent. He built a house on No. 72, and remained there until 1776, when he was driven off by the English and his home burned. Another pioneer in the town of Chazy was Joseph La Monte, who located near La Frombois in 1771.

The first settlement in Plattsburgh was made by Count Charles de Fredenburgh, some time prior to 1769. He erected a dwelling on the south bank of the Saranac, near its mouth, and also a saw-mill at the rapids, three miles above, still known as "Fredenburgh Falls."

The pioneer of Peru was William Hay, who located on Stewart's patent, opposite Valcour Island, in 1772. He soon after removed to Canada, but at the close of the Revolution returned, and settled permanently a short distance south of Salmon River, near the lake-shore.

Beekmantown was settled in 1783, by Gen. Benjamin Mooers, who brought with him to his wilderness home Francis Monty and son, Z. Peasley, Pierre Boilan, Charles Cloutier, Antoine Laran, Joseph Lelouran, Antoine Lasambert, P. Aboir, and John Fassie.

The first settlement in Au Sable was made about the year 1794, by John, Jehial, Beverly, and Emanuel Brindsley, Norman Bull, Gen. Shafner, etc.

The pioneer of the town of Mooers was Joshua C. Bosworth, who located in 1796, on what is now known as the "flats," near the Sheddin Mills, in Mooers village. Here he erected a log cabin, and was joined soon after by his brother, Ichabod E. Bosworth.

To the Canadian and Scotch refugees history must inscribe the honor of having been the first white settlers who penetrated the northern wilderness and planted the standard of Home within the boundaries of the present town of Champlain. They settled soon after the Revolution. The first permanent American settler was Pliny Moore, in 1787. The first permanent settler in what is now Schuyler Falls was Ezra Turner, in 1794.

The pioneer of Altona was Simeon Wood, originally from Shoreham, Vermont. He had for a number of years resided in Plattsburgh, and in 1800, with his wife and nine children, removed to this locality.

The first permanent settler in Ellenburgh was Abner Pomeroy, who came from Vermont, in 1803, and located near Ellenburgh Corners. Previously, however, it is stated that James Hanchett came into the town, but left soon after, probably in 1796.

The pioneer of Saranac it is believed to have been Taylor Allen, an eccentric individual, who lived in a log shanty on premises subsequently occupied by Nathaniel Lyon. Dr. French, in his Gazetteer, published in 1860, says the first settlement in this town was made by Russel Case and Ezekiel Pierce, in 1802.

The pioneers of Clinton came into the town about 1817, and located along the Military Turnpike. Among them were Asa Smith and family, Ebenezer Gates, Gen. Peters, etc.

The first settler in the town of Black Brook was Zephaniah Palmer, who located some time prior to 1825, on what is known as "Palmer Hill."

Dannemora was the latest-settled town in Clinton County. The pioneers were Phineas Hooker and wife, who located on the present site of the village in 1836. Mrs. Hooker still resides in the village at the advanced age of eighty years.

 Clinton County | AHGP New York


Source: History of Clinton and Franklin Counties New York, Publisher, J. W. Lewis & Company, 1880.

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