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Utica, New York

UTICA, NEW YORK, a city and the county-seat of Oneida county, New York, U.S.A., on the Mohawk river, about 45 m. E. of Syracuse and about 85 m. W. of Albany. Pop. (1890) 44,007; (1900) 56,383, of whom 13,470 were foreign-born, including 3696 Germans, 2458 Irish, 1661 Italians and 1165 Welsh; (1910, census) 74,419. Utica is served by the New York Central & Hudson River and several lines leased by it, including the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg; the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western; the New York, Ontario & Western; and the West Shore railways; by the Erie Canal, and by interurban electric railways. The city is situated on ground rising gradually from the river. There are many fine business and public buildings, especially on Genesee Street, the principal thoroughfare, and Utica is known for the number of its institutions, public and private. Those of an educational character include, in addition to the public schools and the Utica Free Academy, the New School (for girls) and the Utica Catholic Academy. Among the libraries are included the Public Library (1893) with 54,000 volumes in 1909, the library of the Oneida Historical Society (which occupies the Munson- Williams Memorial Building) , the Utica Law Library and the Deutscher Leserverein. The city is the seat of a State Hospital for the Insane (1843). Among its many charitable institutions are a Masonic Home and School (1893), a Home for the Homeless (1867), St Elizabeth's Home (1886), St Luke's Home (1869), a Home for Aged Men and Couples (1879), Utica Orphan Asylum (1830), St Joseph's Infant Home (1893) and St John's Female Orphan Asylum (1834), both under the Sisters of Charity; the House of the Good Shepherd (1872; Protestant Episcopal); and the General (1873; City of Utica), Homeopathic (1895), St Luke's (1869; supported by the Protestant Episcopal Churches), St Elizabeth's (1866; Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis) and Faxton (1873) hospitals. Among the public buildings are a Federal building, the city hall, the County Court House, a Y.M.C.A. building, a Masonic Temple, an Odd-Fellows' Temple and a State Armoury and Arsenal. The city has a number of fine parks. In Forest Hill Cemetery are the graves of Horatio Seymour and Roscoe Conkling. On West Canada creek, about 15 m. N. of Utica, are Trenton Falls, which descend 312 ft. in 2 m., through a sandstone chasm, in a series of cataracts, some of them having an 80 ft. fall. From the geological formation here the name Trenton is applied to the upper series of the Ordovician (or Lower Silurian) system, and, particularly, to the lowest stage of this series.

Utica has varied and extensive manufactures. In 1905 the capital invested in manufacturing industries was $21,184,033, and the total value of the factory products was $22,880,317, an increase of 38-8% since 1900. Of this product, hosiery and knit goods, with a total value of $5,261,166, comprised 23% of all, and] cotton goods ($4,287,658), 18-7%. The hosiery and knit goods constituted 3-9% of the total value of that product of the entire country. Other important products were: men's clothing ($2,943,214); foundry and machineshop products ($1,607,258); steam fittings and heating apparatus ($1,010,755); ma -lt liquors ($933,278); and lumber products ($869,000). Among the other manufactures are food preparations, wooden ware, wagons and carriages, stoves and furnaces, boots and shoes, tobacco and cigars, flour, candy, gloves, bricks, tile and pottery, furniture, paper boxes and firearms. Utica is a shipping point for the products of a fertile agricultural region, from which are exported dairy products (especially cheese), nursery products, flowers (especially roses), small fruits and vegetables, honey and hops.

The territory on which Utica was built was part of the 22,000- acre tract granted in 1734 by George II. to William Cosby (c. 1695-1736), colonial governor of New York in 1732-36, and to his associates, and it was known as Cosby's Manor. During the Seven Years' War a palisaded fort was erected on the south bank of the Mohawk at the ford where Utica later sprung up. It was named Fort Schuyler, in honour of Colonel Peter Schuyler, an uncle of General Philip Schuyler. A fort subsequently built at Rome also was at first called Fort Schuyler (and afterwards Fort Stanwix), and the fort at Utica was then distinguished from it by the prefix " old " and it was as " Old Fort Schuyler " that Utica was first known. The most used trade route to the western country crossed the Mohawk here. In default of payment of arrears of rent Cosby's Manor was sold at sheriff's sale in 1792 and was bid in by General Philip Schuyler, General John Bradstreet, John Morin Scott and others for 1387, or about 15 cents an acre. Soon after the close of the War of Independence a settlement was begun, most of the newcomers being Palatine Germans from the lower Mohawk. In 1786 the proprietors had the manor surveyed. An inn was erected in 1788, and new settlers, largely New Englanders, began to arrive. Among these, in 1789, was Peter Smith (1768-1837), later a partner of John Jacob Astor, and father of Gerrit Smith, who was born here in 1797. In 1792 a bridge was built across the Mohawk. In 1797 Oneida county was established, and the village was incorporated under the name of Utica. The first newspaper, the Gazette, began publication in the same year, and the first church, Trinity (Protestant Episcopal), was built. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, added to Utica's prosperity. Utica was chartered as a city in 1832.

See Pomroy Jones, Annals and Recollections of Oneida County (Rome, N.Y., 1851); M. M. Bagg, Pioneers of Uttca (Utica, 1877); Outline History of Utica and Vicinity (Utica, 1900) ; and the publications of the Oneida Historical Society (Utica, 1881 sqq.).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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