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Davenport Town

Davenport Town Hall, P.O. Box 88, Davenport Center, NY 13751; phone: 607-278-5600.

Beginnings [1]

The westward march of civilization probably had not reached the territory embraced by the present town of Davenport prior to the Revolutionary war. The frontier of New York being exposed to the depredations of a race of savages more fierce and warlike than those inhabiting any other state, of course no settlements were made during the time of that struggle. But as soon as peace was established, the "Star of Empire" resumed its westward course and, as early as 1786, the enterprising pioneer had made his way into the Charlotte valley.

An old publication states that the first settlers were Daniel Farnsworth and [Mr.] Pross, who settled at Davenport Center. But they could not have much preceded Daniel Olmstead who settled about 3 miles east of Oneonta about 1790, and that in making the journey to Schoharie, the Olmstead settlement was the first one passed. The orchard on his farm was probably the oldest in the town.

Among the other early settlers were Humphrey Denend, Harom Moore, George Webster, Elisha Orr and a Mr. VanValkenburg. The first physician was Daniel Fuller who settled in the town about 1796. The first mill dam was built in the town was across the Middlebrook; a saw and grist mill was erected there about 1793, Daniel Prentice being the builder.

The greater part of the Town of Davenport was embraced in a tract of 26,000 acres granted to Sir William Johnson, the Indian Superintendent of the British Government.

The present town was formed from parts of Kortright and Maryland, on March 21, 1817.

At the first town meeting, in April, 1817, John Davenport was elected supervisor, and Seth Goodrich town clerk.

  1. David Murray, LL.D., editor, Delaware County New York, History of the Century, 1797-1897, Centennial Celebration, William Clark Publisher, Delhi, N.Y., 1898.

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