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Benajah Boardman

Fayette, Seneca Co., NY



Source: Biographical Sketch from Centennial Historical Sketch of Fayette, Seneca Co., NY 1800-1900 by Diedrich Willers [Press of W.F. Humphrey, Geneva, NY, 1900; reprinted by W.E. Morrison & Co., Ovid, NY, 1982], p.91-93.


      "Benajah Boardman, son of ISrael Boardman, was born at Newington, in the township of Wethersfield, State of Connecticut, May 14,1749.

      His ancestors came to this country from England as early as 1638m locating for a few years in Massachusetts, and about 1640 removing to Connecticut.

      Very little is known of Mr. Boardman's early history. In May, 1772, he married, and his only child by this marriage, a son, Meekins Boardman, became in after years, with his father, an early settler of this county. His wife dying a year after their marriage, he in 1775 married a second time, and became the father of eight children by this marriage - three sons and five daughters.

      In, or about the year 1788, Mr. Boardman removed with his family to Newtown, near the present city of Elmira, NY, where he resided several years. He removed to the Town of Ovid, in this county in 1791, and while a resident in that vicinity, built about 1893, a primitive grist mill a short distance west of Ovid Village, which was the earliest mill erected in the south part of the county.

      Mr. Boardman was at one time a large land owner, owning a number of lots and tracts of land in the Town of Romulus; and removing into the territory of that town, was elected the first supervisor of Romulus - then extending in area to Lake Ontario - in the spring of 1794, and was re-elected in 1795 and 1796. He was also elected a commissioner of common schools in April, 1796.

      Mr. Boardman, it is known, lived for several years upon Military Lot No. 29, Romulus, and there kept a public inn in a locality known as Boardman's Burgh, near the center of the present Town of Fayette, and it is probably that he resided there already during a portion of the time while serving as supervisor of Romulus. He was appointed a justice of the peace for Herkimer County, March 12, 1793, and for Romulus, Onondaga County, Mrch 14, 1794, and he continued to hold that position for Cayuga County after the erection of Fayette in 1800. His name appeared also as a justice of the peace in the first commission of magistrates issued for Seneca County in 1804, he having thus served as justice for four counties, while living all the time within the bounds of the present Seneca County.

      During the last year of the eighteenth century, or the first year of the present century, Mr. Boardman removed to Canoga Springs, and became interested in the first grist ill and distillery erected at that place. Hamilton Childs' Gazetteer and Business Directory of Seneca County, published at Syracuse, N.Y., in 1867, says that this grist mill was erected in 1799. He also kept a licensed inn at Canoga Springs as early as 1803.

      In the spring of 1802, Mr. Boardman ws elected commissioner of highways, and in 1803 was elected supervisor for Washington (Fayette) under its new territorial area.

      He was afterwards, in 1805, elected to the office of assessor, and in that year, and also in 1806, was selected by town meeting to serve upon a committee to ask from the Legislature an alteration of the boundary line between Fayette and Junius, and his interest in public affairs continued unabated during his life time.

      Mr. Boardman died while residing upon a farm north of Canoga Village, near Cayuga Lake, Feb. 27, 1813, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, from an epidemic fever, known also as the army or camp fever, supposed to have been introduced by returning soldiers of the War of 1812. His wife survived him only about three months - with several children."


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