Waddington - From Child's Gazetteer of St. Lawrence, 1873-74

Town of Waddington
From Child's Gazetteer of St. Lawrence County

Link to listing of Individuals in Waddington Business Directory
Link to listing of Businesses in Waddington Business Directory

WADDINGTON was formed from Madrid, Nov 22, 1859. It lies upon the St. Lawrence, near the center of the north border of the county, and contains 32,817 acres. The surface is level or slightly rolling, and the soil fertile. The streams are Big and Little Sucker and Brandy brooks, all of which empty into the St. Lawrence near Waddington village and spread out over the south and west parts of the town. Grass River forms a small portion of the south boundary. There are several islands in the St. Lawrence belonging to this town, the principal of which is Ogdens, which lies opposite the center of the town. The channel between this island and the south bank of the St. Lawrence is dammed and furnished an abundant water power, the excellence of which is surpassed by but few in the state. The dam is built of stone. Rapids Plat, north of the island, falls eleven feet within three miles, or the length of the island. In the channel south of the island this fall was originally gained within fifty rods, forming a dangerous cascade which was called by the French Voyageurs La Petit Saut. The principal fall was near the lower ledge of limestone, and was about eight feet in height; but "the dam has destroyed the romantic scenery of the place, and made a basin of still water, the spot which was once a rapid."

The population of the town in 1870 was 2,599, of whom 1,908 were native; 691, foreign, and all white.

During the year ending Sept. 30, 1872, the town contained fourteen school districts and employed sixteen teachers. The number of children of school age was 964; the number attending school, 683; the average attendance, 410; the amount expended for school houses and sites, $6,500.

WADDINGTON(1) (p.v.) incorporated April 26, 1839, is beautifully situated on the St. Lawrence, near the center of the north border, eighteen miles below Ogdensburg. It contains four churches, a Union school, three hotels, a paper mill, flax dressing mill, tannery, two grist mills, two saw mills, six shingle mills, a marble factory, two blacksmith shops, two carriage factories, a harness shop, cabinet shop, foundry and machine shop, brick yard, gun shop, about a dozen stores, and 800 inhabitants(2). It is a port of entry(3), and its water power is unequaled in Northern New York. The village lies opposite Ogdens Island and nearly opposite Morrisburgh, Canada, with which it is connected by a ferry boat which makes five trips per day.

The Waddington Canal and Water Company, consisting of the resident real estate holders on the northerly side of the canal in the village of Waddington and those who may hereafter become such, were constituted a body politic and corporate, May 11, 1868, for the purpose of widening and deepening the canal in that village, keeping the walls and appurtenances thereof in repair, and of regulating the mode and means of taking water therefrom; and to this end they were vested with jurisdiction over the canal and its appurtenances. The concerns of the company are managed by a board of directors consisting of five of its members, who are elected annually. They are empowered to make improvements and to assess their cost on the property benefited, but not to exceed $300 in any year. The law makes it the duty of lot owners to keep in repair the walls of the canal along or across their lots, and gives to the directors the exclusive power to determine when the walls are out of repair. If owners of lots refuse to make repairs the directors may make them, and the costs are a lein upon the lots upon which they are made.

Waddington Lodge, No. 198, F. & A. M., was organized June 10, 1856, and has 43 members.

Waddington Lodge, No. 348, I. O. of G. T., was organized in January, 1870, with 82 members. Meetings are held Monday evenings in Dr. Stowers' building. The present number of members if 54.

Waddington Agricultural Society was incorporated April 30, 1869, with a capital stock of $3,000, and the privilege of increasing it to $10,000 was granted. The grounds, consisting of twenty-four acres, are located three-fourths of a mile south-east of Waddington Village, and contain a half mile race-course, a dwelling-house, a stable for ten horses, a large barn, a floral hall, 40 by 75 feet, a mechanics' hall, 20 by 60 feet, sheds for 100 cattle, sheep pens, a judge's stand and a grand stand 100 feet long. The net proceeds of the fair held in 1871 were $2,500(4).

CHASES MILLS (p.v.) is on the line of Louisville, and located on the Grass River.

The settlement of the town was commenced in 1798 by Joseph Edsall, a native of Vernon, N. J., and Revolutionary hero, who received the agency from the proprietors, Messrs. David A. and Thomas L. Ogden and Joshua Waddington, June 8th of that year, and settled upon the river. Mr. Edsall, was a surveyor, and his services were engaged in many of the towns when first opened to settlement. He held the office of judge for some time, and died in 1844, at the age of 81 years. His son, Joseph B. Edsall, is still living on the river road, five miles west of Waddington. Joseph Edsall was superseded in the agency of Madrid, (which then embraced Waddington), by Alex Richards, in 1803. Mr. Richards was a native of New London, Conn., where he spent his early life. When a young man he removed to New Jersey, where he formed the acquaintance with the Ogden family which led to his appointment as agent for the sale of their lands. He removed to Waddington upon receiving this appointment and died there Oct 16, 1834, aged sixty-nine. It is asserted that in 1797, teh year previous to the arrival of Col. Edsall, a German family, all the members of which were clad in deerskin, were living on the site of Waddington village. They were squatters, and are not known to have acquired a title to lands or remained long upon them. Other early settlers were John Sharp and Barton Edsall, who purchased in 1798; John Tuttle, Benj. Bartlett, Godfrey Myers, Benj. Campbell, Elias Dimick, Reuben Fields, Asa Freeman, Samuel Allen, Edward lawrence, Asa and Jason Fenton, Alex. Brush, James Kilborn, Jacob Carnes, Allen Patterson, Jacob Redington, Robert Sample, Caleb and Cornelius Peck, Henry Allen, Wm. Osborne, Ira Paine, Oliver Linsley, Joseph Orcutt and Henry and Joseph Erwin, who purchased in 1800; Isaac Bartholomew and Simon Linsley, who purchased in 1801; Allen Barber, Nathan Smith, Aaron Scott, Martin Rosenberg, John Allen, Geo. Rutherford, Thomas Andrews, Walter and Richard Rutherford, borhters, and many others, mostly from New England, who purchased in 1802 and came in by way of Chateaugay, Moira and Stockholm; and Samuel Chipman, from Vergennes, Vt., and others, who purchased in 1803. A grist and saw mill were built at Waddington in 1803-4, and early efforts to establish a commercial and manufacturing interest at this point, by constructing a dam from the south shore of the river to the island, with a lock to admit the passage of boats, was projected. A law authorizing this was passed in 1808, and was extended in 1811 and '15. The dam was built of stone, and the lock of wood, but the latter was soon rendered unserviceable and was replaced a stone one, which, however, owing to its being limited to the passage of Durham boats, was of little use. The era of steamboats and the construction of canals around the principal rapids in the St. Lawrence by the Canadian government effectually diverted commerce from this channel, but the splendid water-power still remains.

In 1812 David A. Ogden built a fine stone dwelling on Ogdens Island, opposite Waddington village, and made that his residence. He immediately commenced to improve the island and convert it into a farm. The residence he built is still standing and is the home of the Ogden family, from whom the island derives its name(5).

St. Paul's Church (Episcopal) at Waddington village was organized with ten communicants, Oct 19, 1818, by David A. Ogden and Jason Fenton, wardens, and Thomas Rutherford, Thomas Archibald Jr., Thomas Short and Robt. McDowell, vestrymen. Their house of worship was erected in 1817 at a cost of $8,000. It will seat 300 persons. The first pastor was Rev. Amos G. Baldwin. There are fifty communicants, but the Church has no pastor. The church property is valued at $12,000(6).

The Old School Presbyterian, (Scotch Presb) at Scotch settlement, was organized with 400 members in 1820, by Rev. Wm. Taylor, the first pastor. The first house of worship was erected in 1820; the present one, which will seat 550 persons, in 1868, at a cost of $6,000. The present pastor is Rev. John Morrison, and the present number of members, 200. The Church property is valued at $8,000(7).

The First M. E. Church, at Waddington, was organized about 1820, about which time the first church was erected. The present house was erected in 1852, at a cost of $3,000, and will seat 280 persons. Rev. H. W. P. Allen is the present pastor and the number of members is forty. The Church property is valued at $4,500(8).

St. Mary's Church, (R. C.) at Waddington village, was organized with 150 members, in 1842, by Rev. J. Mackay, the first pastor. Their first house of worship was erected in 1820; the present one, which will seat 500 persons, in 1842 at a cost of $5,000. There are 450 members, under the pastoral care of Rev. F. McCarthy. The Church property is valued at $9,500(9).


(1) The village was originally named Hamilton, from Alex. Hamilton, a noted lawyer and statesman, who had a business connection with D. A. and T. L. Ogden, the proprietors. The present name is derived from Joshua Waddington, of New York, who was associated with the Ogdens in the proprietorship at an early day. Indian name, Kanataraken, "wet village".

(2) The population of the village in 1870, according to the census of that year, was 710.

(3) The amount of duties collected at this port for the year ending June 30, 1872, was $14,536.38. The value of imports was $100,223; and of exports, $14,206. Eighteen different vessels entered and cleared during the year. Their aggregate tonnage was 1,070.

(4) The first directors were Andrew Tierman, John W. McDowell, Robert R. Hatch, Edmund Doran, Wm M. M. Ogden, Robt. Dalzell, Samuel Clark, Wm. Rutherford and Lawrence Charlton, 2d.

(5) David A. Ogden was born at Morristown, N. J. He, with his father, Abraham Ogden, and brother, Thomas L. Ogden, all of whom then resided in Newark, N.J., purchased the town of Madrid from Wm. Constable in 1796. In 1803, after the death of the father, the two brothers, having become sole owners, sold one-third to Joshua Waddington of New York. David A. Ogden studied law in the office of his father, who was also otherwise intereseted in lands in this county, in connection with Josiah Ogden Hoffman, his brother-in-law. About the time of his father's death he removed to New York, where in company with his brother, T. L. Ogden, he practiced his profession, and formed a business connection with Alex. Hamilton which was terminated by the memorable duel between that gentleman and Aaron Burr. He continued the practice of law in the metropolis until his attention was directed to the establishment of a homestead upon the island which bears his family name. The ready sympathy and assistance he extended toward the early settlers in the town is till remembered with the warmest gratitude. He was elected to the Assembly in 1814 and 1815, and was a Representative in Congress from this state from 1817 to 1819. He held the office of county judge eight years and resigned in consequence of declining health. He died at Montreal, at the age of sixty, June 9, 1829, and his remains were brought to Waddington and interred there.

(6) Information furnished by Richard Harison

(7) Information furnished by Walter Carrruthers

(8) Information furnished by Rev. H. W. P. Allen, the pastor

(9) Information furnished by Edward Armstrong