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Oneonta Town

Otsego County, New York

Oneonta Town Hall is located at 3966 State Highway 23, West Oneonta NY 13861.
Phone: 607‑432‑2900.

Oneonta was incorporated in 1830 from parts of Milford and Otego.

Beginnings [1]

Prominent among the early settlers of Oneonta was Jacob Dietz, who removed into the settlement from Schoharie County about the year 1804. Mr. Dietz was early appointed a justice of the peace, and continued in office either by appointment or election for a great length of time. He was active in the affairs of the town and an energetic man of business. He was a long time in mercantile business, and his store, which was situated where now stands the brick building occupied by the First National Bank, was the center of a lively trade for those times. Mr. Dietz accumulated an extensive estate, and reared a large family of children. He became the owner of extensive tracts of land, some of which are now occupied by the streets and residences of the village. Some of his representatives are now living in the west and are deservedly esteemed where they reside.

At about the date last mentioned, one Schoolcraft erected a modest structure on the site of the Susquehanna House. Schoolcraft's house became in a short time the leading tavern of the community, where poor grog and worse food were dispensed to the villagers and wayfarers, doubtless much to the gratification of their primitive tastes.

About the same period, 1804-5, one Joseph Westcott, from the present town of Milford, erected a store nearly opposite the residence of D.M. Miller. These stores—Dinninny's, Dietz's and Westcott's — were all of the most primitive order, and, especially the first named, contained but a meager stock of goods, the stock generally consisting of a barrel of New England rum of the most violent nature, several old bull ploughs, a little crockery ware, a few cooking utensils, and a small amount of dry goods. There was but little money and the merchant's trade was carried on mostly in the way of barter, the tradesman exchanging his merchandise for grain, lumber and shingles.

  1. Campbell, Dudley M., A Sketch of the History of Oneonta, Herald and Democrat Press, Oneonta, 1883