MORE LOCAL HISTORY                              



Cyrus Abernethy and his family were the first permanent settlers in Madrid. In 1801, they moved to a section along the Grasse River, about two miles downstream from the hamlet of Madrid. The land originally belonged to David and Thomas Ogden, who later deeded some of the property to prominent Madrid resident Joseph Edsall and to Joshua Waddington, for whom the neighboring town was named. At the time, Madrid was just a survey town by that name, laid out in a ten-mile square, as part of the town of Lisbon and annexed to Clinton County.  When St. Lawrence County was formed the following year, one of the first four officially recognized towns was Madrid, which included the unofficial survey town of Potsdam.

The first Madrid town meeting was held on this day -- April 1st in 1802. Joseph Edsall was elected the town's first supervisor, which made him one of the first four men ever seated on the St. Lawrence County Board of Supervisors. He was also one of the county's first judges. In addition to a town clerk, constable and assessors, Madrid residents selected fence-viewers and path masters to oversee highway and fence building.

New Madrid settlers in 1802 included Samuel Chipman, for whom the hamlet of Chipman was named, and Joseph Freeman who was prominent in in St. Lawrence County's early development.  In 1803, Seth Roberts and a Mr. Clark built a sawmill along the Grasse River. Roberts later constructed a grist mill. The community that developed in the vicinity was known for a short time as Roberts' Mills, later Grasse River Falls, then Columbia Village and finally Madrid.


The following brief history of Madrid, used with permission, is excerpted from "St. Lawrence County Almanac" (Volumes 1-4), copyright 1996-2000 Robert J. LaRue.