Farmington Township

               Farmington Township was formed from Pine Grove Township in 1853. It is in the northernmost part of the county and lies below the New York state line. Lander is the largest settlement in the township.

               When the first settlers arrived, many began lumbering, and a number of saw and shinglemills were built. As the forests were cut, farming took over as the township’s most important industry. Farmington Township held some of the earliest agricultural fairs in the county beginning in 1859.

               The first settler in the township was probably Hugh Marsh, in 1798. In 1830, William Cody became the first settler in what is now the community of Lander. Originally, the town was called Scranton Corners, named after settler Aaron Scranton. After receiving a post office in 1853, the community went by a number of names including Beech Woods and Farmington, before the name Lander was adopted. The town was finally named in honor of General Lander, a Civil War officer and friend of President Lincoln.

               Farmington was a prosperous and busy township. By 1900, Farmington had three churches, eight schools, four blacksmith shops, two stores, one hotel, two sawmills, a grist mill, a wagon shop, a harness shop, a shoe repair shop, a library, a meat market, two post offices, and two creameries. Many of those businesses and services were in Lander, where area farmers could come to buy, sell, trade, fix their wagons and machinery, and get together to socialize and exchange news.

               The town pump was one of the most important places to meet in Lander. It stood at the intersection of Miller Hill Road and the Russell and Sugar Grove Road. The pump may have been at this spot as early as 1860. At first, it was wood and later, cast iron. The pump had a dipper for people to use and a watering trough for animals.  People stopped to pass the time of day, and travelers stopped to water their animals. When cars began to replace horse-drawn vehicles in the twentieth century, people no longer needed to stop and water their animals. As cars became faster, the town pump became an obstacle in the road, and it was hit several times. The community landmark was removed in 1951 by highway crews.

               Hugh Marsh taught at the first school in Farmington Township, beginning in 1803. A number of small grade schools have operated in the township over the years and a high school was built in Lander in 1909. Many schools were closed in the twentieth century as buses made it easier to transport students to centralized schools. Today, Farmington Township has one school; Eisenhower High School, which was built in 1955, houses students from the Lander, Russell, and Sugar Grove areas in grades Kindergarten through Twelveth Grade. The formerly operated Lander Elementary School was built in 1963.


Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society