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Lisbon Town

Lisbon Town Hall is located at 6963 County Route 10, Lisbon NY 13658; phone: 315-393-5988.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Lisbon lies on the St. Lawrence River, northwest of the center of the county. Its soil is fertile and well adapted to the growth of the various grains and fruits raised in this latitude, but more especially for grass. The surface is usually level, slightly undulating in places, and is watered by the ten miles of river front, and in the rear by numerous brooks, springs and creeks. The Grass River crosses the southeast corner and has numerous tributaries rising in the town. The islands in the St. Lawrence opposite the town near the American shore, such as Isle aux Galloup, the historic Chimney Island, Tick and Lalone's Islands, are parts of the town of Lisbon, which increases the acreage over several of the other towns of the county.

The organization of the town of Lisbon differs somewhat from that of the other towns of the county. Previous to its organization the ten townships were attached to the counties of Montgomery, Oneida and Herkimer, to which places the settlers were obliged to go to transact legal business. With a view of overcoming this difficulty and in expectation of securing the county seat for the new county to be soon erected, twenty-three of the settlers presented a petition to the Legislature February 9, 1801, praying that the ten townships be erected into a town named Lisbon, to be attached to Clinton county. An act conforming to this petition was passed March 6, 1801, and the new town was attached to Clinton county. The first town meeting was held at the house of Alexander J. Turner.

It will be seen that there were not sufficient men in the ten townships qualified to hold office, as some held from one to three offices and were scattered over the entire territory. The settlers in the various townships had to go to Lisbon (Galloupville) to vote at the fall election, and the poll list shows that the firm of Ogden & Ford was considered freeholders of the value of one hundred pounds or upwards, and the remaining settlers of the ten townships numbered just twenty one and were assessed as renting real estate worth at least forty shillings per annum.

John Tibbets, of Troy, had purchased of Alexander Macomb, February 22, 1789, a tract of 9,600 acres of land lying on the St Lawrence and near the western border above the Galloup Islands, in Lisbon, for the sum of £860 New York currency. He mortgaged the same for part payment, with the condition that no interest should be charged if kept out of the peaceable possession thereof by Indians, or by reason of any claims which the Indians might have. The records show that no interest was paid from 1791 to 1796 inclusive, for this reason.

Samuel Allen was the first to commence a settlement on the banks of the St. Lawrence river in Lisbon. He with his family and others came from Vermont. Allen settled just below the Galloup rapids, in February, 1797, but sold out in 1802 and went to Madrid.

Andrew O'Neill came from Canada, but originally from Ireland; he crossed the St. Lawrence in October, 1799, and settled on a farm now owned by his son Andrew, about two miles below the village of Galloupville. The following summer Mrs. O'Neill was about to be confined, and as there were no neighbors near the place, she crossed over to Canada and stopped with her friends until her troubles were over. The town was then being surveyed for the proprietors by Reuben Sherwood. Tibbets's tract was principally surveyed by Daniel Church. Mr. O'Neill employed men from Canada to build him a log house near the river side. He afterwards erected a large frame dwelling which served him during his lifetime, and which his son in after years used as a granary; this he has carefully preserved in memory of his boyhood days.

  1. Curtis, Gates, ed., Our County and Its People: A Memorial Record of St. Lawrence County New York, D. Mason & Company, Publishers, Syracuse, N.Y., 1894
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