Historic Markers


Emily Chubbuck – Emily was born in Eaton, New York, and lived as a child in a cabin (Underhill Cottage)  built by her grandfather Simeon Chubbuck a Revolutionary War soldier.  The rustic cabin was located just off today’s route 26 and the spot now sports a historic marker, though the cabin is long gone.

Emily’s father never had much money and worked at a number of jobs including being a postman.  Her mother came from a fine family that most likely thought she had married beneath her.  So to help the family finances Emily was sent to work at a young age working for a woolen business, a silk thread business, and through need had to educate her self.

At 16 she walked to Nelson seeking the man who could hire her as a teacher, something that she did well, though in reality she made far less money as a teacher than as a worker.

Emily managed to start writing little books of a religious nature.  Her mother, father & sister became stayed members of the Eaton 2nd Baptist Church thats pastor was Nathaniel Kendrick who became head of Madison University, today’s Colgate. It is interesting to note however, that Emily did not join a church until later and she was chided by the locals who asked her, “When are you going to be saved?”

She eventually got a job at the Utica Seminary for woman where she bartered her education for teaching and made friends with the owners.  Taking a trip to New York with a friend she was struck by the difference and glamorousness of the city and wrote a tongue and check letter to N P Willis, editor of the New York Mirror – asking if he would hire her.  The letter was signed “Fanny Forester”, which became a sensation for its day.  Willis never paid her for her writings, but he did make her famous, and her many articles about her hometown and life on the Eatonbrook became a book entitled Alderbrook Tales. or Musings and Trippings in Authorland.  These and her humorous pieces for the Mirror made Fanny Forester a well known name.

Fame did go to her head a bit, and she started enjoying spending time with friends in Philadelphia. It is there that she was introduced to a man 30 years her junior who was looking for someone to write a biography of his dead wife. The gentleman’s name was Adoniram Judson, one of America’s first Baptist Missionaries to Burma – a man who became a star in the Baptist circles that supported him. Emily ends up marrying him.

After the marriage she went back to Burma with Judson and becomes the missionary Emily C. Judson.  Emily bore Judson two children, a girl who lived and a boy that died at the same time as her husband.  After his death Emily returned to America and started writing poetry and pieces for  the missions.

Sick with Tuberculous, Emily died a short time later – after having been three famous people… teacher Emily Chubbuck, writer Fanny Forester, and the missionary  Emily C. Judson.

Her age at her death was only 37 years old… an interesting hometown woman that had been around the world and was an early woman writer of note!



Wood, Tabor & Morse – Eaton is the home of Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine Works the maker of agricultural steam engines, The company also made and sold steam engines that worked the fields.

The first four-wheel drive traction engine transmission that used metal gears like today’s models  was the brain child of Allen Wood and his engineer Loyal Clark Tabor.  They had a  wish to make this unit available to pull traction engines into the field with all of its equipment…..in other words the precursor of today’s tractor.  Yes it meant man rode on it into the field for the first time. To accomplish this, Tabor invented and patented its design with all its gears…

Allen Nelson Wood founder of the company was born in the community of Middleport, one of the stops on the Chenango Canal just below Eaton. His mother and father named him after the great Lord Nelson. Captain Allen Wood Sr., Allen’s father, was a Revolutionary War veteran and a well-known Freemason. His death recorded on March 16, 1823, resulted in the largest Masonic funeral in Madison County history up until that time and for some years to come, because of the decline in Masonry after the William Morgan incident.

Allen Wood Sr. married Lucinda Newcomb of Lebanon, they had five children – Alonzo born in 1808, (he married Lydia Hodges), Olivia, born in 1810, (she married Oliver Whitaker), Tirza (married David Smith of NYC), Polly Hale (married Dr. Orson Gregory of NYC) and Allen Nelson Wood, born on August 14, 1818.

Mr. Wood was a respected member of the area, the Congregational Church, and the business community. Wood was a director, and one of the largest stockholders of the First National Bank of Morrisville as well as director and a major stockholder of the Hamilton National Bank. In 1880.  Allen Wood was the also the main stockholder of the Morrisville National Bank, owning personally sixty-five shares. He traveled as the business agent of the company that had offices in Chicago, Augusta GA. and of course, Eaton, NY.

Through his records of stock found in Cornell’s Olin Library it was evident that Mr. Wood invested in many banks across America.  Mr. Wood was also instrumental in bringing the Midland Railroad to the area. To bring the railroad in, Eaton agreed to bond for $150,000.

The railroad, of course, allowed an easier and wider distribution of the steam engines and parts, as well as affording the company an easier way to bringing the needed iron ore from the Clinton area to Eaton for use in the foundry, and the coal from Pennsylvania. A foundry, we might add, which made all the parts for the engines – even to casting all of the needed gears.  Wood and company also employed many through the deepest depressions of the post Civil War period and set up and sold rights to the Oneida Royal Company.

Mr. Wood’s great granddaughters visited the Wood House on Brooklyn Street in 1996, and took pleasure in telling of how… their great grandfather, Mr. Wood, who was considered the larger than life pillar of the community… Mr. Wood was on the Board of Directors or Trustee for the banks, the Eaton Congregational Church where he was also a Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent, he was Trustee of the Eaton Village Cemetery Association, and an abolitionist whose house was and Underground Railroad stop and of course – the founding member and co-owner of the famous Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine Works… stood only 5 foot three inches tall.

For more information on Mr. Wood, Wood, Tabor and Morse, Patents for the machines visit the Old Town of Eaton Museum on River Road in Eaton.  For information visit their facebook page >>> Old Town of Eaton Museum.

*An interesting side note for genealogists is Lucinda’s sister Jerusha, who married their father’s brother John Newcomb, lived and is buried in Eaton. One of Lucinda’s brothers Daniel married Anna Clark of Eaton.


morse house

Morse Family Home – The Stone Morse house dates to 1802 when it was built by Joseph and Eunice Bigelow Morse who came to Eaton (Log City) from Sherburne, Mass. in 1796. At Joseph’s death the house passed by will in 1819 to Ellis Morse his eldest son.

In 1869 Ellis Morse died leaving it to his second wife, Adaline Bagg Morse, and his children by both wives.  All the children quitclaimed to Adaline at this time. 1874 in went from Adaline Bagg Morse by will to all living children of both wives.  So Jane Morse, the daughter of Ellis and Lora Ayres Morse, the only unmarried child living, occupied the house until her death in 1908.

Then in 1923 on October 13, Adaline Morse Mott, daughter of Walter Morse, who was a son of Ellis, became sole owner as all possible heirs quitclaimed and the deed was recorded.  In December 7, 1923 by deed, Walter Webster Mott and Rowena Mott, children of Adaline Morse Mott became joint owners. In 1946 by deed, the house passed from Rowena Mott to Walter Webster Mott and his wife, Josephine Holcombe Mott. They became the owners who in 1963 also became the occupants.  The house was vacant from 1908 to 1946, and then only occupied on vacations and weekends until 1963.

Over the years the house changed from a one-story house with outside wall fireplaces to the structure we see today.  The main alterations coming in 1846, when Joseph’s oldest son, Ellis Morse, who had inherited the “home place” from his father, remodeled the house.  In a letter, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Mott, written April 29, 1846, by Adaline (Ellis’ wife) to her “Aunt Dana” in Princeton, Massachusetts, we can get a glimpse of that work.

Adeline wrote, “We are now on the eve of great changes.  Mr. Morse proposes… to make alterations on the house, to tear out chimneys and take down the battlements and finish with a cornice, remove the bedroom from the east end of the house to the west end and have folding doors between the two rooms on the south side, a piazza on the east end with four large columns…. (He) is expecting something like thirty men in less than a month from now and designs to prosecute with vigor until finished…”

They made all these changes as planned, and many more also.  The fireplaces and chimneys were removed.  A chimney was built between the northeast room (now parlor) and the southeast (now library) wall with a fireplace in the southeast room.  In it is a Franklin “set in” with a handsome mantel and hearth.  Unusual feature of the mantelpiece is a panel in the pilaster-like projection at either side of the entablature under the mantelshelf that contains a picture frame complete with glass for pictures of “latest dear departed.”  A chimney that is now used by the furnace was built from basement to roof on the west wall of the northwest rooms.  The chimneys had stovepipe holes in all rooms to accommodate the small iron stoves provided in lieu of fireplace.  Four of the little stoves still existed at the time of this survey.

Today the house remains vacant and neglected not even the lawns are clipped and vines have overgrown one of the most beautiful colonial homes in Southern Madison County. As neglected, with a large gash in the roof, is the old land office from 1802 that sold scripts for the Skaneateles Turnpike and acted as a firehouse for the main house called then a manor. The old hose reel it contained is gone like all of the past occupants


Eli Perkins – MeIville Landon –  If traveling near Eaton in the late 1800’s, you might have gone out of your way to see an oddity as noted here in HOUSE BEAUTIFUL MAGAZINE.

Eli Perkins Japanese Bungalow at Eaton is a unique summer home. It looks up and down the Chenango Valley for miles, and it is so pretty that travelers go out of their way to see it. Outside and inside it looks as if it had been dropped down from feudal Japan. The lawn is dotted with huge Japanese vase and porcelain lanterns, and scampering around them were a half dozen sacred Japanese dogs. Inside are Japanese servants dressed in the costumes of old Japan, and when they walk around porcelain curios, bronze storks and ugly dragons from Kyoto, the visitors think they are in the “Flowery Kingdom” 

Melville Landon was born in Eaton, N.Y., 1839, he was known under the pen name of Eli Perkins. Landon attended Madison University (now Colgate) and graduated from Union College in what was called the ‘war class of 1861.’

After graduating from Union College, he went to Washington with other Union graduates. After Fort Sumpter was fired upon, he assisted in organizing and then serving in the famous Cassius M. Clay battalion, which bivouacked in the White House, War Department and Capitol until the Seventh New York Regiment and Fifth Massachusetts marched through Baltimore to Washington attaining the rank of Major. During the War he was asked to take over two seised plantations that he ran to prove that free men would work harder than slave labor.

It is recorded that he passed many an hour in a literary rendezvous, under a Fifth Avenue Hotel, with many of his celebrated friends, Atemus Ward, Petroleum V. Nasby, and Josh Billings.

He became friends with the Emperor of Japan and was given 4 scared dogs that he bred in Eaton and gave away for fundraisers, one of which is buried in the Eaton Cemetery. The Eaton Museum has much information and artifacts on him, as well as a book I wrote as a fundraiser that contains his humor.

Landon became the President of the New York News Association and attained much wealth, spending his later years traveling to raise money for the YMCA & Civil War Veterans and their wives, spending summers at his Eaton Bungalow.

His family home and his Japanese Bungalow are still standing on Landon Road today, and he is buried in the Eaton Village Cemetery at the top of the steps that lead to Landon Road. His beautiful Coptic cross monument, erected by his wife has an hourglass carved into it with the words.


churchill 001

Wood of WEM & Winston Churchill

I thought of some fun that might make you readers smile, especially since so many people on TV have been talking about Winston Churchill’s wise words so.. here the story of home and a famous cat called Jock!

Winston  Churchill’s mother was Jennie Jerome, a beautiful American who actually has great ties to CNY.  The Jerome Family farms were in CNY and the land that my family built its house on was part of the Jerome Farm…home of Jennie’s grandmother.

Thoughts of the Jerome farm led me to ponder the fact that for Christmas one year I gave my brother the gold watch dad had given me…he had found the old gold watch in the family garden as a young man…a garden that would later become the family compound of homes.  Repaired and running, I thought it was a great family history piece and a great present.

Churchill was supposed to come to speak at a family reunion in Syracuse once, but had to turn back because of the presence of U Boats…he did send a telegram to the family group assembled…a piece of history I learned from the Wood-Eaton sisters who visited me years back in Eaton.  They were relatives and were to be at the reunion and remembered the trip.   They had come to Eaton to visit their great grandfather Allen Nelson Wood’s house, the house I live in.  Isn’t it strange how life is full of so much serendipity?

Mr. Wood was named Allen Nelson Wood…Nelson for Lord Nelson a hero his family honored with the name for many generations…and then suddenly my grey cat Rascal jumped in my lap…hint …one o f Winston Churchill’s most famous cat’s  (grey) was named Nelson to honor Lord Nelson.

Churchill was a cat lover, actually an animal lover.  Winston and his wife Clementine signed their love letters to each other with little drawn pictures…he a dog (Pug) she his cat…and their daughter the PK or puppy-kitten.

His cat stories are famous and many can still picture him speaking with a drink in one hand and the grey cat next to him. One story I love is… after one of his famous speeches (he had a lisp as well as drank) a woman MP in Parliament said, “Sir, you are drunk!”  His replay was “Madame that may be true, but in the morning I shall be sober whereas you will still be ugly!”

His favorite cat in later life cat was a ginger-marmalade colored cat he called  “Jock”, named after Sir John Coville his secretary who gave it to him.  Churchill loved the color and the cat so much that after giving his home Chartwell to the National Trust… he stated in his will that it should always have a ginger colored cat in residence…and to this day it does…and always named appropriately “Jock”.

The Eaton Church was founded on June 6th, 1833 and is the sight I see each morning while writing this blog.


Eaton Church copy
Historic Eaton Church – At that time it was the Congregational Church, its founding members included two of the original incorporators of the Baptist Theological Seminary that became Madison University and today’s Colgate University.

In 1848 the church hosted the Congregational Society’s yearly northeast meeting at which time the Congregational Society officially adopted an anti-slavery stand.  Some information on this is in the Cornell College Library.

The church had many noteworthy pastors including its first installed minister the Reverend E D Willis.  I became interested in Willis because he lived in my house, a house that Allen Nelson Wood and his wife would buy on their return to Eaton.

The church’s members at that time included Allen Nelson Wood founder of the Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine Works and both his partners Loyal Clark Taber and Walter Morse.

Other famous Eatonites who attended services were Melville Delancey Landon and his family. Landon became a well known as both a writer and as a lecturer. Many rich and famous people attended the church during the Victorian era during what time Grover Cleveland’s brother; the Reverend William Cleveland was its pastor.

The church still today houses a historic Meneely Clock and Bell, and the churches windows which bear the names of some of Eaton’s greats… still grace its interior; an interior that sports hand turned pillars turned by Allen Wood himself.

During the Civil War the Eaton Churches banded together and held services attended by each other patrons during the week to pray for the wars end.  Prayers were also read during the Wars that followed.

Eventually, the Congregational Church became part of the Federated Churches of Eaton and then later became a Community Church under the Pastor Thomas Clark who improved not only the building, and but helped institute a fabulous AWANA program. During the time he was pastor the congregation also built a large activities build that is used today for youths to play basketball and games and to host special functions.

The Church located on Brooklyn Street is the focal point of a new display at the Eaton Museum.