Veteran Township. Veteran was organized by an act of the Legislature, approved by Governor Joseph C. Yates, April 1823, taken from Catharine. It is bounded on the north by Catharine and Montour in Schuyler county: on the east by Cayuta in Schuyler county and Erin in Chemung county; on the south by Horseheads; on the west by Catlin. It was originally covered with an immense growth of white pine timber, and the Catharine creek which runs centrally through the town from south to the north, furnishes wafer power for a large numb of saw mills which were erected along its banks.
The Chemung Canal passed through the township following the valley of Catherine creek, which, after 1833 enabled the lumbermen to get their lumber to the Geneva, Utica, Albany and New York markets. The business of boat Page 151 building was also carried on extensively, as many as two hundred boats at a time could be seen upon the sto~ in the course of construction.
By the time that the Elmira and Jefferson Railroad was completed (which also passes through the valley of the Catharine creek), the timber to a great extent had become exhausted. During the lumber excitement rival villages sprang up, vis: Millport and Pine Valley. and great feeling and enthusiasm were at various times manifested The great thoroughfare leading from Elmira to Seneca. Lake also passed through the town, following the valley, where daily stages loaded with passengers, enlivened the scene.
This valley was also distinguished by having been the route which General Sullivan marched his army, in 1779. For many years scarcely any attention was paid to agricultural pursuits; so intent were the people interested in lumbering and boat building. But after the pine trees had been cut down, and there was nothing more to be done in the lumber business, the inhabitants commenced devoting their attention to extracting the pine stumps, clearing the land and raising wheat, corn, oats and potatoes stocking their farms with neat cattle and sheep, thus presenting a day-to-day town rich in agriculture.
Early settlers were Green Bently, Abiard Latten, Elder Ebenezer Mallory, Daniel Parsons Augustus Lyon, David Coe, Asa Coe, Luther Coe, John Dailey, Hawkius Fanton, Nathan Bedient, Eli Banks Zackeus Morehouse, John MeDonga1 David Banks, John St. John, Myron Collins, James Gifford, Elijah Sexton, Erastns Crandall, Eber Crandall, Allen Kendall, Amos Crandall, Harvey Turner, William Van Duzer, John Turner, Morris Hewitt, Welcome Mosher, David Turner, Welcome Mosher, Jr. John L. Sexton, Richard Dearborn, John Egbert, P. S. Tanner, Benjamin Hackney, Ebenezer Longstreet, Horton Frost, Dr. Horace Seaman, Jeremiah Hackney, J. D. Mandeville, Jabez Bradley, Jarvis Langdon, William H. Phillips, Patrick Quinn, William Bentley, B. B. Parson, Thomas McCarthy, Ransom Latten, Oliver Greeno, Jacob Weller, Caleb Allen, Levi Mallet, Curtis Miles, Uriah Hall, Nathan Botchford, L. Compton, Dederich Shaffer, John Burch, Richard Dinmner, Reuben Tift, Moses Cole, John Densen, Solomon Bennett, Thomas C. Sleeper, Henry Taylor, Sen., Chauncey Taylor, William Duscam a revolutionary soldier, James M. VanDuser, Henry Hall, Samuel A. Beardsley, William Christler, Sr.,. Ezra Mallett. (Note from JMT - Most or all of these male pioneers had wives who were also early pioneer settlers but whose names were not included in the old histories.)
--Daniel Parsons kept the first tavern
--Elder Mallory cut the first fellow, in 1806.
--The first saw mill was built by Jacob Teal.
--The first school teacher was Simeon Squires.
--Erastus Crandall built the first store, in 1825.
--James T. Gifford built the first tannery in 1825.
--The first road was built by Gen. Sullivan in 1779.
--Dr. Horace Seaman was the first physician in 1830. --The first church was built by the Methodists, in 1832.
--The first framed house was built by Daniel Parsons in 1805. --Myron Collins built a cloth dressing and filing mill, in 1823.
--Elijah Sexton was the first postmaster at Pine Valley, in 1827.
--David Coe and Thomas McCarthy built the first grist mill in 1828.
--The first canal boat in Veteran, was built by Johathan Thomas, in 1834. Page 152
--The first religious services were held by Elder Mallory, in the year 1806.
--Old Oak Lodge, No. 253, F. A M., organized Jan 7 1852. Charles Benson, W. M.
--Moses Cole, a prominent business man of Veteran, died, June 5th 1875 in the seventy-fifth year of his age.
--Order of the Eastern Star was organized in 1871. Mrs. Martin Thomas, Matron; Thomas Dillmore, Patron.
--The Baptist church of Pine Valley was organized Oct. 1867, under the patorate of Rev. E. C. Rollins. (Church erected in 1871.)
--John Hulett, a pioneer died, January 12th, 1847, aged 80 years. He was the father of the late Hon. Charles Hulett, of Horseheads.
--The cholera raged during the construction of the Elmira and Jefferson. railroad. in the year 1848. Three hundred and seventy-eight deaths occurred. --Millport was originally christened Millvale, but after the passage of the bill for the construction of the Chemung Canal in 1829, it was changed to Millport.
--Presbyterian church organized in 1836. Rev. Mr. Jackson was the first pastor. Jarvis Langdon, deceased, of Elmira, (then of Millport,) was the first member admitted to the church.
--A great flood occurred in Catherine creek, in 1867, in the month of
June. The banks of the canal were washed away and lock torn out, and navigation
suspended for about a month
--Elijah Sexton and John L. Sexton, brothers, both erected dwellings upon the spot where General Sullivan encamped, in the year 1779. Elijah Sexton erected his dwelling in 1824 and John L. Sexton in 1829.
--The town of Veteran was the first to fill her quota during the war of the rebellion, and the large number of additional volunteers in the service, more fully confirmed the right to inscribe "Veteran" upon her banners.
--Major Erastus, the friendly rival of Elijah Sexton, the active businessman and polished gentleman, died, January 17th, 1872, at an advanced age. The Masonic fraternity turned out and bore his remains to the silent grave, on Sunday, January the 28th.
--Baptist Church of Millport, organized, December 24th, 1844. Rev. Philander D. Gillette, was the first pastor. P. S. Tanner, Charles C. Costen, Chauncey Palmer, deacons. Church erected in 1871. Cost $1,000. Dedicated, September 27 th, 1871, by Elder J. B. Pixley.
--Mr. and Mrs. John Denton. and Mr. and Mrs. Boston Bement, celebrated their golden wedding, at Millport, December 7th, 1875. P. S. Tanner, Charles C. Costen, Christopher C. Costen and Alfred Tanner, four witnesses to the marriage were present at the golden wedding.
--Veteran Ridge Free Communion Baptist Church, was organized, Nov. 19, 1836, Samuel Dean, first pastor, Members: Joshua Kendall, Ephraim B. Kendall, Jered Strait, Levi Malette, Erastus Andrews, Silas Bates, Philip Aber. In 1840 the society was incorporated. John Turner, Uriah Jacob Weller, trustee page 153
--Green M. Bentley, a revolutionary soldier, settled in Veteran, in 1798. He also served in the French and Indian war, and from his known character for patriotism, when the town was organized it was called "Veteran”, to signalize his valor by being a veteran in war and a veteran pioneer. The village of Millport stands upon a portion of the land that Bentley purchased in 1798.
--Elilah Sexton erected three saw mills, on Catharine creek and he and his sons, Sylvander and Sylvester, for many years carried on the business of lumbering extensively. He also purchased a large tract of timbered lands is the towns of Lindley and Caton, Steuben County, and at Big Flats. He became one of the most prosperous and wealthy men in the town. His eldest son died, in 1839, and Sylvester, in 1844. He died, March 18, 1850, aged 66 years. He was distinguished for his liberality and generosity..