Alfred Kilborn House
Gunn’s Corners, Town of Clayton
Jefferson County, New York
In spite of the fact that Gunn's Corners is now only a crossroads' name on the map, where the Limerick - La Fargeville road intersects the Watertown - Clayton state highway, it has figured frequently in the news during the last century and a half. At one time there was a tavern, few stores and a small cluster of houses at the corners where the towns of Clayton, Brownsville, and Orleans came together. Just over the boundary in the southeast corner of the Town of Clayton lies the house of Alfred Kilborn, which is over a century old. Gunn's Corners got its name from John N. Gunn, a veteran of the War of 1812 who settled in the Town of Pamelia sometime before 1819 operating a store at Pamelia Four Corners. On September 1st 1836 he bought 10.34 acres in the Town of Clayton within the vicinity of the corner named after him. Then on April 11th 1842, he bought another plot of 16.4 acres nearby. He married Orra Moffett born about 1796 died in 1888. John N. Gunn died at his home in the Town of Clayton, NY December 17th 1850, at 71 years.
Jane E. Gunn daughter of John N. & Orra (Moffett) Gunn married Alpheus J. Kilborn son of Jacob & Catharine (Knapp) Kilborn. Alpheus J. Kilborn enlisted during the Civil War in the Town of Orleans NY on September 11th 1862 rank of Private. He mustered into Co G, 10th NY Heavy Artillery and was honorably discharged at Petersburg, VA on June 23rd 1865. Alpheus J. (born 1839 - died 1913) and Jane E. (born 1832 - died 1928) are buried in the Brownville Cemetery, Brownville, NY.
Jacob Kilborn, a Revolutionary War veteran, born in Litchfield, Conn., son of John Kilborn. He settled in the Town of Brownville NY about 1805. He latter moved to Town of Clayton, NY where he died May 17th1851 at the age of 81. In 1796 Jacob married Catharine Knapp of Adams, Mass. She died in 1864.
Children of Jacob Kilborn and Catharine Knapp
- Alfred (twin)
- Alpheus (twin)
1850 Census - Town of Clayton, New York:
- Joel Kilborn - 53y male - Tavern keeper - pob: CT
- Betsey - 32 female - pob: NY
- Alpheus - 11y male - pob: NY
- Orin - 6y male - pob: NY
1850 Census - Town of Clayton, New York
- Jacob Kilborn - 80y male - Laborer - pob: Mass
- Catherine - 70y female - pob: Conn
- Hannah - 45y female - pob: NY
Alfred Kilborn born in Adams Mass., on September 23rd 1798, about 7 years old when he moved to the town of Brownville NY with his parents. In February 1838, Alfred married Eliza E. Cobb daughter of Samuel & Esther (Hildreth) Cobb of Town of Orleans. . Just when Alfred Kilborn bought this house and its 141 1/2 acres of farmland at Gunn's Corners is not known. Nor does it immediately appear from whom he purchased it, but on August 24th 1865 he sold it for $3,000 to his nephew John H. Kilborn
John H. Kilborn farmed the property until his death on June 21st 1878. Under the provision of his will executed three days before his death, his widow, Helen Isabelle Kilborn, received all of his personal property including the avails of his Pamelia Four Corners property, and life use of the Gunn's Corner house and farm. After her death it was to go to members of the Kilborn family, if she died without children. Accordingly on February 18th 1886, John H. Kilborn's aunt, Mrs. Asaph (Lydia) Green of Chilton, WI. Quit-claimed her interest in the old house and farm to William P Smith of Brownville. On March 12th 1887, Alpheus J. and his wife Jane E Kilborn with Frances E. (Kilborn) Steele quick-clamed their interest to William P. Smith.
William P. Smith, of the Town of Brownville NY tied in with the Kilborn family through marriage. Married first to Clara Lounsbury of Niagara Country, their son died in 1878. He then married Mrs. Belle Isabelle Kilborn of the Town of Clayton; daughter of Lewis and Helen (Cramer) Lawton. William P. Smith a successful Perch River area farmer a Civil War veteran enlisting on January 1st 1864 at Johnstown NY as a Pvt. mustering into Company G 10th NY Heavy Artillery. He transferred into Company G 6th NY Heavy Artillery on July 19th 1865. William P. Smith born in 1839 died 1929. Note: Mrs. (Belle Lawton Kilborn) Smith's grandfather Hezekiah Lawton, fought in the War of 1812 at the Battle of Sackets Harbor.
On October 15th 1924, William P. Smith and his wife Belle disposed of the old house, farm, and all 141.5 acres to Leslie Landon, Town of Orleans.
Leslie Landon was born September 19th 1874, on Wells Island (today known as Wellseley Island), Town of Alexandria, NY the son of Augustus and Harriet Duclon Landon. (Augustus Landon born February 10th 1833 died October 10th 1909, his wife Harriet born July 11th 1836 died May 16th 1922 both are buried in Houghton Cemetery, Town of Alexandria, NY.) Leslie married on April 6th 1895 to Mary Ann Constantine born in 1874 a native on London, England. They resided on Wells Island until they bought the Kilborn farm. Leslie and Mary Ann resided on the Kilborn farm until his death at the age of 78, on December 27th 1952, his wife having died on April 15th 1950. The farm went to their children, Norman H. Landon of Gunn's Corners born in 1896 died 1965, and Mrs. Hanley (Bertha) Cupernall of Fisher's Landing. Note: Both Hanley Cupernal, born 1888 - died 1981, and his wife Bertha, born 1902 died 1959, are buried in Riverside Cemetery, Wellesley Island, NY. The house is credited as being one of the finest old Georgian houses in Jefferson County, New York.