In 1844, the town was formed from West Turin and was made up of Township Eight or Rurabella and Township 13 or Hybla, both of the Boylston tract. Miss Anna Jay, later Mrs. Henry E. Pierrepont of Brooklyn, requested that the town be named “Osceola” to honor the great Indian warrior, Chief Osceola.
Benjamin Wright’s survey shows 37,041 and 1/2 acres, which he subdivided in 1795 into 151 lots in Township 13. He subdivided Township Eight into 111 lots in 1805, and it contains 28,419 acres. Henry Pierrepont’s mother, Anna, was the daughter of William Constable, Sr., and his father, Hezekiah B. Pierrepont, was one of the executors of Constable’s estate and the owner of over a half million acres given to him and his wife by Constable as a wedding present – including all of what is now the town of Osceola. Several people were agents for the Pierrepont heirs.
Seymour Green was Pierrepont’s agent in Township 13 in 1839. He is considered the founder of Osceola; he is buried, as is his wife, in the Osceola Village Cemetery. Seymour Green was born in 1794 and died in 1883. He built his home on the corner of the Osceola Road and the Redfield (or the Donovan) Road. Mr. Green sold Pierrepont “lands at a $1.50 cash, or $2.00 on a credit of four years” (presumably per acre).
By 1860, there were three inns, a store, a school, a sawmill, a tannery 200 feet long for the manufacture of sole leather, chiefly from Spanish hides, and a post office. The Independent Congregational Society had been organized.
Settlers came from Vermont and other New England states, from the factories of Oriskany, and some were Erie Canal workers. As the years went on, many men earned their living as sawmill workers or in the woods as loggers. Farming became a principal industry. There were oar shops, and broom handle plants; there were merchants, wagon or carriage makers, and coopers. The early settlers in small towns became self-sufficient, but yet, the census aspects of 1875 show a thought-provoking fact: there were 23 abandoned or unoccupied residences. It could be the life had been too severe or, hopefully, some had built more spacious and comfortable homes; or it may indicate that some families chose a more advantageous site.
There were other figures of interest, the pay in 1875: farm laborers – $1.00 per day, $20 per month; carpenters – $2.50 per day; teachers (male) – $35 per month; teachers (female) – $16 per month; women in housework – $2.00 dollars per week; teamsters with two horses – $5.00 per day.
Nowadays, the cheese factories are gone; there is no tannery; no novelty works; there are no blacksmith shops, sawmills or other small shops. Only the log trucks continue to haul the logs to other towns. Most permanent residents earn their living in Camden, Rome, or as far away as Syracuse. Population figures follow: in 1843, 250 people; in 1865, 712 people; in 1905, 503 people; in 1971, 167 people; in 1980, 321 people; and in 2010, 229 people.