Cayuga County formed a part of what was called the "Onondaga Military Tract". This tract of land was set aside for the payment of land bounties to Revolutionary War soldiers under laws passed by the U.S. Congress and State of New York. This Act was originally passed by Congress on September 16, 1776. Provisions to the Act were added in 1780 and 1783.
On March 20, 1781 and on March 28, 1783, the New York State Legislature provided further specifications as to which persons were to receive land. They also stated exactly how the bounty land was to be laid out: Each Township was to be six miles square with 156 lots of 150 acres each.
On May 11, 1783 it was stated that the Townships shall contain 60,000 acres. All of this land was wild and uninhabited by non-native people and thus took time to survey and map.
By July 3, 1790, twenty-six Towns had been surveyed, mapped and numbered. Brutus was number four and Aurelius was number eight. All twenty six were given classical names by a clerk in the surveyor's office whose last name was Harpur. He was a student of the classics and went on to found Harpur College.
The Town of Aurelius was formed on January 27, 1789. It was enlarged on March 5, 1794 to include Brutus, Cato and Mentz. At this time, Brutus included the area now called Sennett.
The Town of Brutus detached from Aurelius on March 30, 1802. Sennett detached from Brutus on March 19, 1827 leaving the Town of Brutus with the borders we now have.
~The first Town meeting of the Town of Brutus was held on March 1st, 1803.
~The first settler in the Town of Brutus was Aaron Frost.
(Jeanne Baker--the Town of Brutus Historian, Village of Weedsport Historian and Historical Society Member compiled information from the "History of Cayuga County" by Stork and "Facts About Weedsport" by Hopkins to share some local history with residents. Jeanne has served as Historian for 20+ years. Thank you, Jeanne!)