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Town Of Lee, Oneida County, New York

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Road Inspection Meeting - Town of Lee - 1894

Utica Morning Herald,
Thursday, October 4, 1894

The highways of the town of Lee were inspected Tuesday by Chairman Baker of the supervisors’ committee on good roads, who was accompanied by Supervisor Dewitt C. Smith and Highway Commissioner David Swancott of that town and a Herald reporter. In the evening a meeting of the citizens of Lee was held in the town hall at Lee Center. Among those present were Supervisor Smith, Highway Commissioner Swancott, ex-Supervisor Albert Krebs, ex-Supervisor George Hollenbeck, Dr. T. H. Cox, Postmaster Carl Simon, Justice R. Willett Steadman, Justice Joseph Wallace, Counselor M. N. Willson, Professor Belcher, Jacob Zimmer, Henry S. hall, Charles H. Myer, Henry Stokes, george Lyman, R. J. Lewis, G. W. Toomey, N. L. Powell, Rudy Jennie, George Stewn, P. B. Scothon, Fred Erion and others.

On motion of Supervisor Smith, Counselor M. N. Willson was elected chairman and R. Willett Steadman was chosen secretary.

Chairman Willson thanked his townsmen for the honor conferred, and after stating the object of the meeting, introduced Chairman Baker of the good roads committee.

Mr. Baker began by speaking of the roads in the town of Lee. He said some were in good condition, others passsable, and some were poor, as is the case in other towns. He thought the roads which had been constructed with a foundation of stone and covering of gravel were the only ones that would not rut up in wet weather. He referred to a piece of road near Point Rock, made with a stone foundation and gravel on top, which he understood cost $400, and thought a stone road would not have been more expensive. He spoke of the benefits that the town would derive from good roads and then told of the system of road building in New Jersey and Canandaigua. In conclusion he invited all present to express their minds freely as to how they felt regarding the subject of road improvement.

Supervisor Smith was called on, but said he preferred to hear what his constituents had to say on the question, as he desired to act and vote according to their wishes.

Dr. Cox said he had been greatly interested in the remarks of the speaker. He had always been interested in the subject of roads. In olden times the road were corduroy. About 1830 plank roads were built at great expense in this and other counties. These soon gave out, and then they began to make turnpikes. Usage wore out the turnpikes, and now we have only the remnants, and the beds are soft in the spring and fall. It seem to have been a universal custom to bring back the worn out material and place it on the road again. Then came the road machines, but there are but few men who handle them to advantage. It is difficult to get the necessary horses to operate them. Our Commissioner, continued the speaker, has done noble work with a machine, but there are few men like him. Dr. Cox believed it would be a great thing for the town of Lee to adopt the Canandaigua system. It is enough to discourage anyone to go thru a country and see bushes by the roadsides and muddy highways. It you make stone roads, utilizing the stones on your farms, you will improve your property. I have taken more than 15,000 loads of stone off from twenty acres of land. I hope something can be done to give us better roads.

Ex-Supervisor Krebs - I think all present know my views. I labored a year ago to have a stone crusher purchased. I think the Canandaigua system a good one. I am heartily in favor of better roads.

Supervisor Smith - In Canandaigua have the path masters a right to take the dirt from the sides of the road and put it on top?

Mr. Baker - I don’t know about that, but they do not do it.

Dr. Cox - Did you notice any loose stone on the Canandaigua roads, and is the dirt washed off during a rain?

Mr. Baker - We did not see any loose stones. The road is washed clean by rains.

Secretary Steadman - Are the stones the same thickness at the sides of the roadbed as on top?

Mr. Baker replied in the affirmative, and then proceeded to say that a screen and roller were desirable in building stone roads.

Ex-Supervisor Krebs thought that about $1,400 was expended on roads and bridges last year, besides the usual highway tax.

Chairman Willson said he fully indorsed what had been said and in favor of good roads.

Dr Cox moved that the meeting of voters of the town of Lee request our supervisor to use his influence in behalf of the road improvement system. Carried unanimously.

On motion of Carl Simon, a unanimous vote of thanks was tendered Mr. Baker for his address, and that gentlemen acknowledged the compliment in fitting words.

Meeting Adjourned.

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