718 YATES COUNTY.
with the other public buildings, near the center of the village. The co. poorhouse is located on
a farm of 123 acres in the town of Jerusalem, about 5 mi. s. w. of Penn Yan.1 The average
number of inmates is 86, and they are supported at a weekly cost of $1 40 each. A school is
taught in the house during a portion of the year, and religious services are held occasionally.
The Crooked Lake Canal extends along the outlet of Crooked Lake, and enters Seneca Lake at
Dresden. It opens a direct water communication with Yates co. and the n. portion of Steuben,
and affords an easy and cheap means of transportation. The Elmira, Jefferson & Canandaigua
It. R. extends through the co., e. of the center, connecting with the N. Y. C. R. R. at the n.
terminus and with the N; Y. & E. R. R. at the s. These two works of internal improvement fur¬
nish market facilities equal to those generally enjoyed by the interior cos, of the State.
Three newspapers are published in the co.2
The early history of this co. is intimately associated with the history of the “Friends," a religious
sect founded by Jemima Wilkinson.® This singular woman took the name of the “Universal
Friend,” and was regarded as a prophet by her followers, among whom were persons of respecta¬
bility, wealth, and influence. At a general meeting of the sect, in Conn., in 1786, it was resolved
to emigrate to some unsettled region and found a colony where they might live in peace and in the
undisturbed enjoyment of their religious opinions. Three of their number were delegated to
seek out a proper location.3 They proceeded to Penn., went up the Susquehanna River, and fol¬
lowed the route of Gen. Sullivan to Seneca Lake, where they finally determined to locate. In
June, 1787, 25 “Friends" set out for the land of promise by the way of the Mohawk Yalley. They
settled about 1 mi. s. of the present village of Dresden, the location being fixed upon from its
close proximity to the fine waterfalls upon Crooked Lake Outlet.4 During the fall they prepared
the land, and in the following season sowed it with winter wheat, which they harvested in 1789;
and this was the first wheat crop raised in Western N. Y. In 1789, Wm. Potter and Thos. Hathaway,
two of their number, purchased of the State 14,000 acres of land lying between Seneca Lake
and the Pre-emption Line, and subsequently Thos. Hathaway and Benedict Robinson purchased
the town Jerusalem of Phelps and Gorham.5 In 1789, Jemima and a large number of her followers
no cap, letting her hair hang down as has been described. She
wears.her neckcloth like a man; her chemise is buttoned around
the neck and wrists. Her outside garment is a robe, under which
it is said she wears an expensive dress, the fashion of which is
made to correspond neither with that of man nor woman. Her
understanding-is not deficient, except touching her religious fa¬
naticism. She is very illiterate, yet her memory is very great;
artful in discovering many circumstances which fall out amon g
her disciples. On all occasions she requires the most extra¬
ordinary attentions that can be bestowed upon her: one or more
of her disciples usually attend upon her and perform the most
menial services. Her pronunciation is after the peculiar dialect
of the most illiterate of the countrypeople of New England. Her
preaching has very little connection, and is very lengthy,—at times
cold and languid, but occasionally lively, zealous, and animated.”
When she first arose from her bed of sickness, she assumed that
there was once such a person as Jemima Wilkinson, but that she
died and went to heaven, after which the Divine Spirit reanimated
that same body and it arose from the dead; now, this divine in¬
habitant is Christ Jesus our Lord, the Friend to all mankind,
and gives his name to the body to which he is united, and there¬
fore body and spirit conjointly is the “Universal Friend.” She
assumed to have two “Witnesses,” corresponding in all respects
to those prophesied in Rev. chap. xi. from 3d to 13th verses,
These were James Parker and Sarah Richards. During her whole
life she never yielded the pretensions which she at first made; and
her whole career had the merit of consistency. Among the prin¬
cipal peculiar tenets of the sect was the strict enforcement of the
Shaker doctrine of celibacy as indispensable to a pure life. The
meetings were conducted after the manner of the Quakers, the
whole congregation often sitting in perfect silence for an hour or
more.—See Turners Hist, of The Phelps and Gorham Purchase.
This extraordinary woman exerted a strong influence over her
followers, who gratuitously planted and hoed her corn, sowed
and reaped her wheat, and cut and gathered her hay, always
having care to be of no trouble or expense to the Friend upon
these occasions. On one occasion she addressed, through an inter¬
preter, a band of Oneidas who had encamped near her settlement
on their way to a treaty, endeavoring to convince them that she
was Christ. They listened with apparent attention, and, when
she had finished, one of the chiefs arose and delivered a short ad¬
dress to his countrymen. She requested to have it interpreted
to her,—-when the savage contemptuously replied, in broken Eng¬
lish, that if she were the character she assumed to be, she would
have understood the poor Indian as well as any one. She died
July 1,1819, and her sect has long since been broken up.—Hud¬
son’s Life of Jemima Wilkinson.
* Abraham Dayton, Richard Smith, and Thomas Hathaway.
6 The first gristmill in Western N.Y. was built in 1789, by Rich’d
Smith, James Parker,and Abraham Dayton, 21 mi. from PennYan.
6 “It was a rule at that early period with Messrs. Phelps &
This building, erected 25 years ago, is 100 ft. by 50, and 3 stories
high, including basement. The farm yields a revenue of $1,000.
The Penn Yan Herald was established at Penn Yan in May,
1818, by Abraham H. Bennett. In 1820 it appeared as
The Penn. Yan Democrat. In 1835 it was pub. by
Bennett & Reed, in 1842 by Reed & Bennett, and in
1847 by Alfred Reed. In 1850 Darius A. Ogden became
proprietor, in 1853 Reuben Spicer, and in 1857 Geo. D. A.
Bridgman, its present publisher.
The Yates County Republican was started Dec. 16,1824, by E. J.
Fowle, and continued 10 years. He then sold it to John
Remmick, who published it as
The Penn Yan Enquirer about 2 years, when it was discontinued.
The Western Star was pub. at Penn Yan in 1833 by H. Gilbert.
The Miscellany• was pub. at Penn Yan in 1833 by Thos. H. Bassett.
The Democratic Whig was commenced in 1837 by Wm. Child.
About 2 years after it passed into the hands of Nicholas
D. Suydam, who changed its name to
The Yates County Whig. In 1845 it passed into the hands of
Rodney L. Adams. In 1852 Mr. Adams sold it to Cleve¬
land & Look. Mr. Look soon retired, and in 1856 its
name was changed to
Tlie Yates County Chronicle. It is now published
by Stafford C. Cleveland.
The Democratic Organ was commenced in 1844 at Penn Yan by
Harvey L. Winants, and published about 2 years.
The Penn Yan Telegraph, da., was issued from the office of The
Whig, for 6 mos. in 1846.
Tlie Dundee Record was commenced at Dundee, Jan. 25,
1844, by Gifford J. Booth. Edward Hoagland succeeded
to its editorship in 1847, John J. Diefendorf in 1853, and
D. S. Bruner, its present publisher, in 1857.
dead,—that her carnal existence was ended and henceforth her
life was to be spiritual and divine,—and that she was endowed with
the power of prophecy. She soon commenced traveling and ex¬
horting, and succeeded in converting many persons, among whom
were several substantial New England farmers. The following
description of her person is copied from “The New Haven
Gazette and Connecticut Magazine,” dated March, 1787. “ She is
about the middle size of woman, not genteef in her person, rather
awkward in her carriage; her complexion good, her eyes re¬
markably black and brilliant, her hair black and waving with
beautiful ringlets upon her neck and shoulders. Her features are
regular, and the whole of her face is thought by many to be per¬
fectly beautiful. As she is not to be supposed of either sex, so
this neutrality is manifest in her personal appearance. She wears