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Yates County Towns in 1810


By the year 1810 the settlement of the county was more than 20 years old, and several of the towns had enough population to have been formally organized. Jerusalem had its modern boundaries except for the Bluff Point peninsula, still part of the Steuben County town of Wayne. 

Benton was organized in 1803 as the town of Vernon; the name had already been used the previous year in Oneida County and in 1808 it was changed to Snell by the state legislature, after a state senator from Montgomery County. The local people found this an unsuitable solution to the problem, and soon afterward met at Luman Phelps' inn in Penn Yan to make up a petition asking that the name be changed to Benton, after Levi Benton, one of the county's early settlers and the first in township 8 in the first range. The legislature accepted the change in April 1810, just in time for the census to bear the new name. 

Italy was still part of Naples in 1810, that being the new name given to part of Middletown in 1808. Middlesex had also received its new name in 1808, and still included the modern town plus its neighbor to the east, the modern town of Potter. 

The town of Wayne in Steuben County had shrunk somewhat from the old boundaries of Frederick's Town, but still comprised far more than its modern area, including the modern town of Barrington. Reading included the modern town of that name plus the entire area of Starkey. Thus the line between Steuben and Ontario Counties still ran right across the middle of what is now Yates County.