1779, by the authority of the United States Congress, an army of approximately 5,000 men, placed under command of General
Sullivan, sought out hiding-places of Native Americans. At Newton, now Elmira,
both sides met and a desperate engagement of several hours in which both sides fought bravely, however the Native Americans
were overpowered. Defeated and confused the Native Americans fled across the
river, following the Chemung Valley and
down the east side of Seneca Lake, with Sullivan still pursuing.
The area was surveyed and welcomed civilization.
first permanent settler arrived in 1790, his name was William Wickham, and he left Orange
County with his family; a wife and four children, and came as far as Tioga Point,
now Athens, where they passed the winter.
In spring, the moving resumed, the family loaded their belongings and a barrel of flour that was just purchased. They paddled up the Chemung to Newton, then working their way through the pine swamp
slowly and laboriously, as best as they could, to Catharinestown, then paddled on down the creek and lake until they reached
the point on lot No.40, which Mr.Wickham had just purchased. They climbed the
hill for a short distance, and came to the road that had been made by Sullivan’s army, and is now known as the Lake
Road. This was undoubtedly the first house built in
are several descendants of William Wickham living in the town; among them is Erastus Wickham, of Bennetsbury. The town of Hector has profound beauty. The town is drained by many creeks, one of which, Cranberry Creek, rises in the center of the town, flows
in a southwesterly direction, and empties into Seneca Lake. Bennetsbury
and Burdett are situated on this stream; Hector Falls
is also on this stream. Other streams empty into Seneca Lake, among which is
Breakneck Creek near north Hector, Taghanic is also another stream, and it’s tributaries; Bolter and Mecklenburgh Creeks,
which flow in an easterly direction through the town, and unite in Ulysses, gliding along toward Taghanic Falls.
There are four self-rule villages in Schuyler County,
the largest is Watkins, and the second largest is Montour Falls. The official dates of erection of
the villages that make up Schuyler County
are thus followed; Catharine (1803), Hector (1802), Cayuta (1824), Dix (1835) and Montour (1860)