By R. M. Palmer, M. D., Fulton County Historian (1950)
Source: Contributed from the personal collection of James F.
A volunteer fire company has lately been organized to protect
a northeastern section of the town of Johnstown. It will roughly include
the area within a two-mile radius of the Talmadge Parsons farm. The
firehouse has already been built on the west side of the extension of Easterly
street. Attorney S. Edward Brown is the lawyer for this fire company, and
he selected the name for it, Pleasant Square Fire company.
The name, Pleasant Square, has an historical interest.
It was the name formerly attached to the district we now call Phelps
street. However, it seems that Phelps street is the original designation
of the settlement as I have an old newspaper article of unknown author or date
"The name of Phelps street was changed to Pleasant
Square when the postoffice was there established."
The following information has been furnished (to) me by the
Postmaster General, Washington, D. C.: "According to records of the
Post Office Department, a post office was established at Pleasant Square on
January 30, 1833 with William Easterly appointed as its only postmaster.
It was discontinued on April 30, 1839. No information as to why this post
office was discontinued or whether it was ever known by any other name has been
Also from the Post Office Department,
"Early mail routes including Pleasant Square:
No. 608, from Caughnawaga to Caughnawaga (via Johnstown,
Gloversville, Kingsboro, Pleasant Square, Riceville, Mayfield, Cranberry Creek,
Osborne's Bridge, Northville, Newton's Corners, Northampton, Broad Albin,
Fonda's Bush, South Broad Albin, West Amsterdam and Johnstown) let to Peter H.
Fonde of Caughnawaga for the period 1832-1836, 58 miles, six time a week between
Caughnawaga and Johnstown to Kingsboro and from thence twice a week, for $283
No. 705, from Johnstown to Osborne's Bridge, let on May 31,
1837 to Asa D. Tiffany of Johnstown, 18 miles and back, three times a week, for
$312 per annum."
Lose PO Through Controversy
The newspaper clipping of unknown author quoted above also
notes: "The post office was kept in a private house. The first
postmaster was William Easterly and first deputy, Charlick Easterly, nephew of
the post-master. After three or fours years a dispute arose between the
deputy and postmaster and the government was appealed to by the deputy.
The controversy resulted in the people losing their postoffice which was then
removed to Kingsboro to Mayfield by a man on foot. Prior to the
establishment of the Pleasant Square postoffice the mail was carried from
Kingsboro to Mayfield by a man on foot. Individuals also regularly brought
the Phelps street mail and deposited the same with Hiram G. Phelps."
Richard Woodworth has informed me that his father, the late Hiram Woodworth,
when a young man, carried mail on foot between Kingsboro and Mayfield.
It will be seen that the postoffice at Phelps street existed
only six years and three months and yet it furnished to the locality, the name
Pleasant Square, a name which has been attached to various projects in the
vicinity. I have tried, but all in vain, to locate the site of the
postoffcie. In the article which I quoted above it is said that "the
postoffice was kept in private house", but whose house? It also
states that "Phelps street was one mile in length and within that mile was
located the postoffice, tin, blacksmith, shoe and cooper shops and a tanner and
currier establishments. "Then it says "no building now remains
to mark the site of the early postoffice."
PO Site Unmarked
If we consider Phelps street one mile in length as stated
above and start the mile at the corner where Albert Edward's farm is located and
go eastward on the road toward Riceville, the mile ends just beyond the house of
Floyd De Golyer. Accordingly the site of the postoffice is somewhere along
this road within that mile. Next we are told that it was in a
private house and that no building remained to mark its site at the time the
above quoted article was written (probably about 1890). So we need not
look for any building which now remains.
It would be natural to suppose the post office was located in
the house of the postmaster, William Easterly but after examining early deeds in
the county clerk's office and the will of William Easterly in the Surrogate's
office, I find he lived and died on a farm located on the road leading north
from the Parson's farm to the Gloversville reservoir. This would be too
far away from the center of Phelps street and would not be "within the
There was about one hundred years ago a man by the name of
Farrand Easterly who owned and occupied the house now occupied by John J. Borst
which is just beyond the De Golyer place and on the north side of the
road. However the county records show that William Easterly did not live
there and also that Farrand was not a descendant of William so I take it that
this house was never used as the Pleasant Square postoffice.
In the old days without fire protection many a building on
old Phelps street and the neighborhood was reduced to ashes by fire with
helpless occupants looking on. Better days are in store. Pleasant Square
Fire Company is there for [...]vice to the community and we wish it long life