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Looking Backward: Wright's Corners School, District No. 12

Its most likely namesake was Lewis Wright. Although he probably settled here even earlier, he first appears at Wright's Corners in 1830. Subsequent censuses confirm that this is where he stayed through 1870. Maps of the area from 1860 and 1874 picture his farm on the southwest corner of the crossroads. This is kitty-corner across from the schoolhouse. Lewis died in 1878 at the age of 74. His final resting place is just up the road at Chase Cemetery, where he's buried with his wife, Rhoda or "Roby," and two of their children. She died in 1877 at the age of 79. Chase Cemetery is one mile north of Wright's Corners, on the right just before you cross into Oswego County. As you would expect, in addition to folks named "Wright," Chase Cemetery is also full of folks named "Chase."

That's because there have been Chases around here almost as long as there have been Wrights; long enough that Wright's Corners could just as easily have been named 'Chase's Corners.' As early as 1840, the Chase family was living in the home just northwest of the school, across the State Road. In fact, according to an article by Lysander Town Historian Pearl Palmer in the 1943 edition of the Messenger, "The house now occupied by the Chase family, century farmers of the Lysander township, was erected between 1855 and 1859, as an older sister was born in the house during the former year, while Stephen's (Stephen H. Chase's) birth occurred in the home where he still resides with his son, Leonard S. Chase and family."

The article further states that "The name Chase, so familiar to residents of the north end of the township of Lysander, must have first appeared in this section between 1835 and 1838, for according to inscriptions on a monument in Chase Cemetery, Daniel Chase (Stephen's great grandfather) died July 28, 1838, aged 85 years . . . Since the name Chase is not recorded on the Lysander assessment role (sic) of 1835 and the first family burial occurred in 1838, it is logical to assume that this large land owner arrived with his family and aged parents during that three year interval; (son) Stephen took up a 600-acre tract of land extending from Wright's Corners northward very nearly to the Oswego county line, and including the greater part of the cemetery, which bears his name in acknowledgment of the grant of land which he gave the public for burial purposes. Apparently his father was the first burial, and the family plot inclosed (sic) by an iron fence and located in the south central part of the cemetery, provided the nucleus for the Chase Cemetery."

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