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History Of Lebanon

In the Gazetteer and Business Directory of Madison Count, N. Y. Hamilton Child described the town of Lebanon thus:

It is the center town upon the south border of the County. Its surface is a hilly upland, lying between the Chenango and Otselic Rivers. The summits in the west part are 500 to 800 feet above the valley. The valley of the Chenango River, extending through the east part is about one mile, and is bordered by steep hillsides.

That picture must have been in the mind of general Erastus Cleveland when he brought before the state legislature the act to split off a portion of the town of Hamilton to create a new township on 6 February 1807. When asked for the new town's name, he cried out, alluding to the Bible "Ah, as the cedars of Lebanon. The new town of Lebanon." The name pleased many of them who had trudged long miles from Lebanon, Connecticut, and they believed that the general had suggested the name as a tribute to them. The area was first settles in 1791 by Joshua Smith of Franklin, Connecticut. Colonel William S. Smith (no known relation to Joshua but his commanding officer during the Revolution), the son-in-law of John Adams, first vice president and second president of the United States, was impressed and purchased the 150,000 acres for $24,375, paying for it in three installments. The colonel had nine brothers who settled in that part of town which became Smith's Valley, near modern Randallsville. One of these brothers, Justus B. Smith, acted as the colonel's land agent, supervising the division of the land into lots and the sale of these lots to pioneers.

Town History: About


Town History: Portfolio
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