Marshall Historical Society

Conversational Memories
(subject to correction)
Arthur Sanders, 2008

This area of Oneida Territory was loaned to a group of friendly Christian Indians - survivors of various tribes in Connecticut and Long Island. They called themselves "Brothertons" and the settlement was named Brothertown in 1783.

The "Four Corners" of Deansville, now Deansboro, was in the right place at the right time. The Chenango Canal was completed in 1832. The Waterville to Utica Plank road was opened in l840. The NY & W Railroad was started in 1867, and by 1884 there were eight trains stopping each day. A cooper shop - barrel factory - was built in 1870. Sunshine Condensed Milk Company started in 1902 with 20 workers. A cheese factory started in 1883. Nearby Forge Hollow had a commercial forge in 1810 operated by Daniel Hanchett, making hoes and plow points.

In the earlier days there was no post office. The Post Rider was met by an elder and the mail was distributed on the spot. When the need for a Post Office arose, it was two bookshelves in a corner at GB Northrup's General Store. When politics became Democratic, it was moved across Route 315 to A.D. Van Vechten's store. Great confusion in mail deliveries caused by poor handwriting, resulted in mail being sent to Dansville, N.Y. near Rochester, so the name was changed from Deansville to Deansboro in 1894. About this time, Evan Jay Davis built his little post office on canal bank land adjoining his home and he and his son, Jay Evan Davis, ran it for years.

The Deansville Record Print Shop did a lot of job printing and also published the Oriskany Valley Gazette until 1901. This building was probably the old Waterville to Utica Plank Road toll collecting booth, which was moved back over near the little stream which flows at the side of Walt's Body Shop and under the road and between Benedicts and Dale Allen's . This was a "waste weir" for the Chenango Canal and fitted with laid-up stone sides. The Print Shop was near Dale Allen's side of the weir, and near the elbow at the back of this plot.

Al Benedict's house was originally a hotel, operated by a Mr. Hamilton. But George I Hovey, who owned several acres of land on the corner of West Hill Road and Route 12B, built a larger hotel, called the Hamilton House, with Mr. Hamilton running it.

There was a dress-making shop across from the Congregational Church, operated by Mrs. Jefferson Hewitt who employed five girls. The house and barn next door was a blacksmith, wagon and wagon-painting shop. The house across the road had a large barn which was Nathan Park's Tin Shop, supplying pans, pails, syrup-boiling-pans, ladles and "suds- buckets".

A schoolhouse was erected in 1830, south of the present Town Hall, which served until the new Deansboro Union School two-story schoolhouse was built in l883. This had all the grades through senior high. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in l930. The original schoolhouse became a storage barn, which was bought by Arthur R. Skerritt and moved to the location of Sehn's garage. Skerritt raised the roof one story higher and used it as a blacksmith shop.

The Religious Society of Deansville was organized in l834, using the old Indian Schoolhouse, and in 1853 built the Congregational Church.

The Methodist Church was erected in 1832. It burned to the ground and was rebuilt in 1883 with additions to allow for a bell and a clock. By 1886 both clock and bell were in place and working. The E.Howard of Boston weight driven clock has an eight foot long pendulum, and to this day it registers time on all four dials and can be accurate to the second for months on end. The bell is nearly four feet in diameter at the base, and is embossed-Henry McShane & Co, Baltimore-1884.

The Macabee Hall was built in 1897 as a meeting place for KOTM-Knights-of-the-Macabees, who also installed a wide concrete sidewalk in front with the initials of members at the corners of each slab. This building was used for dances, early silent movies, fund-raising dinners and even Marshall Town Hall, and later a restaurant which burned.

Concerned residents developed a Volunteer Fire & Hose Company as early as 1885. When D.W. Barton offered land and money, the Barton Hose Company was formed in 1895. Plumber, John Barker was in charge of buying used hydrants and pipes and valves and finding help to install everything. Deansboro Water Company was capitalized at $100,000 in 1896 as a stock company with 12 hydrants and valves, a mile of water main, a reservoir up on West Hill Road, and 300 feet of one-inch hose on a wheeled cart.

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