~~~  Causes leading to the Creation of the County,
The Succession of Officers  & Sundry County Institutions  ~~~


    The record of events in what is now Fulton county, up to the time of its comparatively recent formation from Montgomery, is a part of the history of the latter, and as such it was necessary to relate it in an earlier portion of the work.  The experience of Fulton county has been one of peace, and the occurrences of such a period - the improvement of the country and development of population and industry - though of transcendent importance, make less show in the pages of the historian than the destructive operations of war.  The history of the territory embraced in the county, however, like that of all this part of the State, is long and eventful.  To trace its earlier stages, the reader need but turn to the other pages of the work, on which the relations and connection of the events to be narrated made it necessary to record them.

    The formation of Fulton county, as already intimated, was caused chiefly by the natural dissatisfaction felt by the people of the northern part of Montgomery upon the removal of the county courts and offices from their  ancient capital to an upstart village, as it seemed to them, with no adequate claims to the honor.  Historic Johnstown has been the county seat for nearly seventy years, some of them the most momentous in the nation's annals, and was a settlement of some importance and much promise four score years before it was proposed to transfer its honors and advantages as a judicial centre to a rival just springing into existence.  The agitation resulting from such natural considerations was powerful enough to procure the organization of a new county, which has been amply vindicated by the development of the district so incorporated, especially by the prosperity of Johnstown and the notable growth of Gloversville, Fulton having now within its picturesque and fertile domain but a trifle less population than the parent county.

    The act creating Fulton county became a law April 18, 1838.  The county has an area of 544 square miles, and the population at the census of 1875 was 30,155, over half of it in the town of Johnstown.  The assessed valuation of real estate was $3,753,666, and of personal property $460,328;  total $4, 216,199.  The first law-suit tried in the county under its present organization was a case of ejectment, brought in the Court of Common Pleas, by Jabez K. Phillips against Stephen Chase, April 1, 1839.  A. Lamont pledged himself solemnly under oath, in April 1845, to perform to the best of his ability the duties of the office of inspector of sole-leather--no laughing matter in a region where tanning has been a staple industry.  The details in the annals of the county not already given will be found in full in the town and village histories.



The first election for new county was held in the autumn of 1838.  The Assemblymen chosen from the district (now consisting of Fulton and Hamilton counties) at that time and since, with the dates of the election, have been as follows:

James Yanney 1838 Henry W. Spencer 1858
Langdon I. Marvin 1839 James Kennedy 1859
Jenison G. Ward 1840 Jas. H. Burr 1860
John Patterson 1841 Jas. H. Burr 1861
John L. Hutchinson 1842 Willard J. Heacock 1862
James Harris 1843 William A. Smith 1863
Garret A. Newkirk 1844 Walter M. Clark 1864
Clark S. Grinnell 1845 Joseph Covell 1865
Darius Moore 1846 Joseph Covell 1866
Isaac Benedict 1847 Samuel W. Buell 1867
John Culbert 1848 Wm. F. Barker 1868
Cyrus H. Brownell 1849 John F. Empire 1869
John Stuart 1850 Mortimer Wade 1870
Alfred N. Haner 1851 Samuel W. Buell 1871
Wm. A. Smith 1852 Willard J. Heacock 1872
Wesley Gleason 1853 John Sunderlin 1873
Wesley Gleason 1854 Geo. W. Fay 1874
Isaac Lafever 1855 John J. Hanson 1875
Patrick McFarlan 1856 Geo. W. Fay 1876
John C. Holmes 1857 John W. Peek 1877



The following gentlemen have served as sheriffs of the county, being elected at the dates attached to their names:

David I. McIntyre 1838 Austin Karson 1859
Knapthalee Cline 1841 Jacob P. Miller 1862
Michael Thompson 1844 James Purson 1865
Daniel Potter 1847 William P. Brayton 1868
Amasa Shippee 1850 Oliver Getman 1871
Elisha Bentley 1853 John Dunn 1874
Bradford T. Simmons 1856 Hiram Praim 1877



The following is a list of County Clerks of Fulton county, with dates of  election:

Tobias A. Stoutenbergh 1838 Mortimer Wade 1859
Stephen Wait 1841 Mortimer Wade 1862
Stephen Wait 1844 Mortimer Wade 1865
Stephen Wait 1847 Mortimer Wade 1868
Peter W. Plants 1850 Mortimer Wade 1871
Archibald Anderson 1853 William S. McKie 1874
Archibald Anderson 1856 William S. McKie 1877


The following gentlemen have been incumbents of the several county offices mentioned, the dates of their election being specified in connection with their names:



John Wells 1847 McIntyre Fraser 1871
Nathan J. Johnston 1851 A. D. L. Baker 1875
John Stewart 1855    



Charles A. Baker
Aaron Bartlett
1847 Jenison G. Ward
Peter W. Plantz
Wm. Spencer
David Kennedy
1849 Harley Bartlett
Seth Cook
Aaron Nellis
David Kennedy
1850 Henry G. Enos
Wm. Spencer
Peter R. Simmons
1851 Morgan Lewis
Henry G. Enos
Lucius Rice
John P. Cline
1852 Rules Eastman
Jeremiah S. Austin
Lucius Rice
Daniel Lassell
1853 David Kennedy
Morgan Lewis
Henry C. Johnes
Aaron Nellis
1854 Alozono J. Blood
David Kennedy
Wm. Spencer
James Stewart
1855 Jeremiah S. Austin
John J. Hayes
Henry W. Spencer
James Stewart
1856 Watson Turner
John L. Hutchinson
Ira Beckwith
Wm S. Ingraham
1857 David Kennedy
Harvey D. Smith
Jeremiah S. Austin
David Getman
1858 Wm. J. Robb
Jeremiah S. Austin
James Stewart
Seth Cook
1859 Wm. J. Robb
Wm. Spencer
James Creighton
Seth Cook
1860 Ephraim Bronk
Ephraim Van Slyke
David Kennedy
1861 Emerson Brown
William Coppernoll
Robert Whitlock
Emanuel Thumb
Wyant Lepper
Daniel B. Whitlock



John W. Cady 1840 John S. Enos 1853
Clark S. Grinnell 1840 J. M. Carroll 1859
Clark S. Grinnell 1845 R. H. Rosa 1862
John W. Cady 1846 R. H. Rosa 1865
Thos. L. Wakefield 1847 R. H. Rosa 1868
A. Hamilton Ayers 1848 R. H. Rosa 1871
William Wait 1849 Jerry Keck 1874
I. H. H. Frisbee 1852 Jerry Keck 1877
James M. Dudley 1853    



William Wait 1855 Lucius F. Burr 1866
E. B. Towner 1857 Cyrus Stewart 1869
Ira H. Van Ness 1860 John M. Dougal 1872
Lucius F. Burr 1863 James H. Foote 1875



Daniel Stewart 1845 Eugene Bertrand 1857
Burnett H. Dewey 1846 David A. Wells 1860
Rodney H. Johnson 1847 Burnett H. Dewey 1863
Archibald Anderson 1848 James P. Argersinger 1872
Daniel Edwards 1854 James P. Argersinger 1875



Morgan Lewis 1844 Collins Odell
A. H. Van Arnam
Aaron Nellis
William G. Wait
John P. Claus
Ephraim A. Campbell
1845 John P. Claus
George Beach
John R. Mitchel
Samuel R. Dudley
Morgan Lewis
I. B. Yost
1846 George Beck 1849


    The alms house at West Bush was established in 1853.  Since that date the superintendents have been J. B. Levitt, Richard Fancher, J. D. Foster, W. W. Washburn, J. H. Washburn, and Lubin S. Capron, the last-named having been elected in 1874.  The alms-house stands on a farm of nearly 100 acres, which is made to yield a considerable revenue, and has generally some fifty or sitxty inmates.  The children attend a public school.



    An agricultural fair was held in Johnstown as early as early as Oct. 12, 1819, by a society organized that year, of which Henry F. Cox was president, and James McIntyre secretary.  Jacob Boshart won the society's first premium for the best milch cows exhibited ($8); the best heifer ($7), and the best pair of two-year steers ($8).  Each premium was accompanied by a testimonial, gotten up in better style than many similar documents of the present day.  Fairs have been in most of the years since this first one.

    In 1865 the society bought about eighteen acres of ground, near Johnstown, for a permanent fair ground, on which a half mile race-course was  laid out.  The necessary fencing, building, etc., at the time, cost between $2,000 and $3,000, and a show building erected in the autumn of 1877, at an additional expense of about $1,000.  At the time of the purchase of the fair ground Elisha Briggs was president of the society, Isaiah Yauney (to whom we are indebted for these facts) secretary, and Mortimer Wade Treasurer.  The present officers are:  President, Nicholas H. Decker; secretary, John P. Davidson; and treasurer, James I. Younglove; with a number of vice-presidents and directors.



     This organization was incorporated May 12, 1871, and its articles of association filed three days later.  It has a paid-up capital of $18,000 in shares of $100 each, and six trustees, namely:  A. Judson, Gloversville, president; L. Calen, Gloversville, secretary and treasurer; W. A. Heacock, Gloversville; D. A. Wells, Johnstown; L. Veghte, Johnstown; and D. B. Judson, Kingsboro.



    The Fulton County Medical Society was organized June 16, 1867, by Dr. W. H. Johnson, Francis Burdick, P. R. H. Sawyer, P. R. Furbeck, Jehiel Lefler, W. L. Johnson and Eugene Beach.

    An election of officers was had, which resulted in the choice of Dr. W. H. Johnson as president; Dr. Sawyer, vice-president; Dr. Lefler, treasurer; Dr. W. L. Johnson, recording secretary, and Dr. Burdick, corresponding secretary.

    Annual, and latterly more frequent meetings have been held, usually at Johnstown or Gloversville, for professional discussion and social intercourse. 


Source:  "History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y.", (New York: F. W. Beers & Co.) 1878, pages 173-175.

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Copyright 1999, Jeanette Shiel
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Last updated Tuesday, 13-May-2008 13:14:21 PDT