Oliver Stevens

Brewerton’s  First Settler

The first white settler in the town of Cicero was a Mr. Dexter, a blacksmith, who settled opposite Fort Brewerton in 1790. Mr. Oliver Stevens, father of the late Judge John L. Stevens; settled at the fort in 1789. He cultivated a garden on the south side of the river, to which he removed in a few years, and died there in 1813. Mr. Stevens was an Indian trader, and was induced to come here through the representations of his two brothers who had been soldiers at the garrison from 1756 to 1758. He carried on an extensive trade with the Indians in furs, peltry, &c., Fort Schuyler being at that time the great mart west of Albany. Mr. Steven’s also kept a boatman’s tavern; furnishing supplies and other necessaries to those who navigated the lake and rivers. He sometimes spent his winters at Salina, and there in 1802 his son, Hon. John L. Stevens, was born.

Royan Bingham settled at Fort Brewerton in 1791, and subsequently removed to Salina, where he was appointed the first Justice of the Peace. All the first settlements in the town of Cicero were made along the Oneida River and Lake. John Leach settled at Cicero Corners in 1802, and for several years kept a tavern in a small log cabin. Elijah Loomis was the first settler at South Bay, on the lake shore, in 1804, where he purchased a lot on which he resided.b He was a Revolutionary soldier and received a pension from the Government. Martin Woodruff settled near him the same year. Their nearest neighbors were at Brewerton, five miles distant.

Captain John Shepard, who served in the Revolutionary war, drew Lot No. 11, of the township of Cicero, lying on the lake shore east of Brewerton. At an early day he took possession of his lot, sold part, cleared and cultivated the rest, and with his family lived upon it till his death, in 1824. He was the only man who occupied a lot in this town for which he served. He was the first Justice of the Peace in the town in 1804.

The first town meeting for the town of Cicero, (then including Clay,) was held at the house of. Patrick McGee, at Three River Point, in 1807. Moses Kinne was Moderator; Thomas Pool was elected Supervisor, and Elijah Loomis, Town Clerk. Isaac Cody was the first merchant in town. He erected a store at Cicero Corners in 1818, filled it with goods, and did quite an extensive business. Samuel Warren opened the next store in 1825. Daniel Olcott was the first regular physician; located in the town in 1817, and had an extensive practice. Alexander Cook, Esq., settled in the. town as the first practicing attorney, in 1841. In 1820 a post office was established at the Corners, Isaac Cody, Postmaster. The mail was then carried once a week on horseback.