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ITHACA. N. Y. 14853 









Descriptive and Biographical Record of 

Genesee County 



Safford E. North 

The Boston History Company, Publishers 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


It has occurred to me many times in the course of the preparation of 
this book that those who have purchased it have invested even wiser 
than they knew. The interest and value of this volume are certain to 
increase and the man or woman who shall be the possessor of a copy a 
century hence will realize the force of this suggestion. Even at this 
time there is a great deal of interest in the pioneer history of this region, 
fostered as this interest is by the local society of The Daughters of the 
American Revolution and by the Holland Purchase Historical Society. 
This interest is likely to increase as the years go by. It is often said 
that history repeats itself, but such history as is made up of blazing path- 
ways through primeval forests and of fighting battles with Indians will 
not be repeated in Western New York, and when viewed in the romantic 
light in which time robes the distant past will become of even more ab- 
sorbing interest than at the present day. 

While attempts have been made in past years towards placing in per 
manent form the interesting history of Genesee county and its immediate 
vicinity, it is generally conceded that such attempts, although quite 
worthy in some of their features, have not as a whole resulted satisfac- 
torily. In undertaking the preparation of a work bearing the title, 
" Our County and Its People," as a successor to such books of local 
history as previously have been issued, it was fully comprehended that 
if a favorable verdict was expected from readers it could be secured 
with nothing less than a publication that would stand as the best of its 
kind, containing a complete, comprehensive and reasonably correct his- 
torical and biographical record of the county. An earnest and pains- 
taking effort has been made by all who have shared in this task to reach 
that high standard. It remains with the public to determine how far 
the effort has been successful. 

To those whose ancestors settled and who have long dwelt in this 


locality ; who have figured in its memorable historical incidents or shared 
in its important events ; who have watched the growth and contributed 
to the welfare of the community; who have Aided in developing its in- 
dustries, in clearing and making productive its lands, and in founding 
its institutions, the skillfully told history of the region will have a pe- 
culiar interest and charm. Events and objects long familiar, perhaps, 
gain a new and more vivid fascination when the story of their creation 
or occurrence is placed upon the printed page, possibly linking them 
closely with vastly more momentous events of early times. The often- 
rehearsed story of a local battle ground is read with renewed interest 
by one who learns that his neighbor's sire or grandsire there shed his 
blood. A road so often traveled that its every feature is permanently 
pictured in the mind, becomes more than a familiar highway when the 
reader learns its history as an Indian trail, or that his immediate ances- 
tors laid it out through the primeval forest. The very hills and valleys 
and streams assume a new and more interesting aspect when the his- 
torical record peoples them with the men and women of long ago. These 
are facts which enhance the value of all properly prepared local history 
and biography, through which the reader is made acquainted with the 
past of his dwelling place, and in which are preserved records that no 
community can afford to lose. 

Local history bears to general history a similar relation to that of a 
microscopical examination and one made with the naked eye. The 
former must take cognizance of a multitude of minute details which of 
necessity must be passed over in the latter. Minor facts of little value 
in themselves, often assume great importance when considered with 
their attendant circumstances and surroundings. It is the gathering, 
compilation, and arrangement of these many minor details that demand 
patience, time, and skill. Descriptions of local events, unless of par- 
amount importance, frequently went unrecorded in early years, thus 
doubling the task of obtaining them at the present time. The placing 
on record of hundreds of dates and thousands of names is alone an ar- 
duous task and one demanding the utmost watchfulness and care to 
avoid error. Harsh criticism will, therefore, be tempered with mild- 
ness by the fairminded reader who may find a single error among a 
myriad of correct statements. 

It is impossible to perform the otherwise pleasant task of expressing 
gratitude to the many persons who have given substantial aid during 
the preparation of this work. This is especially due to George B. An- 


derson in recognition of his scholarly and valuable work. He devoted 
several months to research, in gathering and arranging material for the 
pages of this history, to the examination of the records of the office of 
the Secretary of State at Albany, old newspaper files and to local rec- 
ords public and private wherever available. It seemed tome through- 
out his work that he brought to bear not only great industry and zeal 
but the literary discrimination of a mind thoroughly fitted for historical 
research. In this connection it will not be considered invidious to men- 
tion the assistance cheerfully accorded by the various county and town 
officials, and the heads of many institutions that have been founded in 
the county, all of whom have shown their interest in the progress of 
this work. 

A word should be said with reference to that portion of this work de- 
voted to personal sketches. It has not been attempted to go much 
further than to include the subscribers to the work and their kindred. 
To have attempted to include a sketch of every family in the county 
would have been out of the question, while any effort to discriminate 
by arbitrarily selecting from among living residents those who might be 
considered "prominent " would have been more impossible. The chap- 
ter referred to therefore is distinctly a subscribers' chapter. Those 
who are paying for this work are afforded an opportunity to preserve 
in permanent form a family sketch, with some detail as to ancestry. It 
is believed that upon reflection no subscriber can complain that a like 
opportunity has not been given to all others or that those who have 
prepared the work have not attempted the task of selecting from non- 
subscribers those especially deserving of notice. 

Batavia, August 1, 1899. 



Erection of Genesee County and Its Subdivision — Surface and Geology of the 
County — Its Streams — Numerous Railroads Traversing Its Territory — Erec- 
tion of the Various Townships in the County __ 1-5 


The Great Iroquois Confederacy — Its Foundation, Customs and Laws — Its Wide 
Dominion — The Seneca Indians, the Aborigines of Genesee County — Subdi- 
visions of the Five Nations — Political Aspect of This Powerful Savage Re- 
pulic ___ __ 5-21 


From the Discovery of the Hudson to the Inauguration of the Final Contest for 
Supremacy of the American Continent Between the French and English — 
Expeditions of Champlain. La Salle, De Nonville and Others — Construction 
of the Fort at Niagara — La Hontan and His Expedition — The Attack Upon 
Montreal — Struggle Over the Control of Lake Ontario 22-36 


The Final Struggle Between the French and English for Supremacy in North 
America — Capture of the Fort at Oswego — Bradstreet Takes Fort Frontenac 
— General Prideaux's Expedition Against Fort Niagara — The Tragedy of 
Devil's Hole — End of French Dominion in America _ 37— i3 


The War of the Revolution — Expedition of General Sullivan into the Genesee 
Country — The Seneca Indians Routed — Lieutenant Boyd's Awful Fate — 
First White Settlement at Buffalo Creek _._ 48-50 



From the Close of the Revolution to the Famous Purchase of the Holland 
Land Company — Cession of the Sovereignty of the "Genesee Country" by 
Massachusetts to New York — Sale of the Territory to Individuals — The Mor- 
ris Purchase — The Holland Land Company Enters the Field — Morris Extin- 
guishes the Indian Titles to the Land He Had Purchased 50-65 


The Holland Land Company and Its Representatives in America — Joseph EUi- 
cott, the First Agent on the Purchase, and His Operations — Old Indian 
Trails — Taxpayers in Genesee County in 1800 — Sketch of Joseph Ellicott_. 65-79 


From 1800 to 1812 — Increase of Settlements on the Holland Purchase, Particu- 
larly in Genesee County — Early Taverns Between Bataviaand Buffalo — The 
First Town Meeting — First Courts in Genesee County — Division of the 
Town of Batavia — Life of the Pioneers — The First Church in the County 
— Other Pioneer Religious Organizations — The First Murder Trial — The 
First Printing Press and Newspaper — The Arsenal at Batavia _ ,80-90 



The War of 1813, and the Part Taken Therein by the Inhabitants of Genesee 
County _-_ _ _ __ ,119-147 


Changes Along the Various Lines of Endeavor in Genesee County from the Close 
of the War of 1812 to the Erection of the Present County of Genesee in 1841 
— Some of the Settlers of Those Days— Early Hotels — The Establishment of 
Important Manufacturing Industries — Schools — Many New Churches Founded 

— Effort to Remove the County Seat to Attica — The Farnsworth Trial The 

Morgan Episode— A New Jail— The Land Office War— Discontent Among 

the Land Holders — Formation of the County Agricultural Society Erection 

of the New Court House— Division of the Old and Creation of a New Gen- 
esee County - 147-188 



From the Erection of the Present County of Genesee to the Beginning of the 
War of the Rebellion — Two Decades of Steady Industrial and Commercial 
Development — New Churches Organized During That Period — Creation of 
the Town of Oakfield — Railroads Built in Genesee County — The Long Era 
of Peace Rudely Ended 188-198 



From the Close of the Civil War to the Present Time — Establishment of the Mod- 
ern Manufacturing Industries of the County — Banks and Banking Since the 
War — Le Roy and Its Numerous Manufactures — Mills and Milling — The 
Malting Industry— The Salt Wells of Le Roy and Pavilion and Their De- 
velopment—The Great Marl Bed in Bergen — Disastrous Fires in Bergen, 
Oakfield and Le Roy — Organization of the Genesee County Pioneer Asso- 
ciation — Building of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg Railway — Bergen 
Again Laid Waste by Fire — The West Shore Railroad— The Lehigh Valley 
Railroad — Fatal Railroad Accidents — Remains of a Mastodon Unearthed 
Near Batavia — Genesee County's Participation in the War With Spain — 
Fatal Accident on the New York Central Railroad Near Corfu — Churches 
Established in Genesee County During this Period 227-25.'5 


HISTORICAL MUSEUM ._ _ _355-266 

THE VILLAGE OF BATAVIA .._ _ ..366-333 















Part I..._ _ 163-194 

Part II. ._ .._ 194 

Part III ....195-199 



Dellinger, John facing page 533, Part II 

Ellis, John J page 72, Part III 

Ellicott, Joseph ._ facing page 366, Part I 

Gillette, George M __ _ page 101, Part III 

Hough, Charles W _ _ _ _ facing page 504, Part II 

Huntlej', Byron E _ facing page 316, Part 1 

Hutchins, Horace S., Dr _ _ facing page 506, Part II 

Jackson, A. P., Dr., __ page 114, Part III 

Kingman, Franklin D _ facing page 508, Part II 

Maxwell, Robert A -._ facing page 511, Part II 

North, SafEord E. _ frontispiece 

Pardee, Tracy _ ._ facing page 515, part II 

Parker, Samuel - . _ - - _ .facing page 303, Part I 

Richardson, William E facing page 518, Part II 

Richmond, Dean facing page 519, Part II 

Sanders, Archie D _ facing page 531, Part II 

Townsend, Morris W. , Dr facing page 473, Part I 

Ward, John H. _ facing page 301, Part I 

Wiard, George facing page 307, Part I 

Worthington, Gad B - facing page 530, Part II 

Relics of Primitive Man __ ..facing page 450, Part I 



Erection of Genesee County and Its Subdivision — Surface and Geology of the 
County^Its Streams — Numerous Rajli'oads Traversing Its Territory — Erection of 
the Various Townships in the County. 

The original ten counties of the Province, now the State, of New 
York, were created November 1, 1683, and named New York, Kings, 
Queens, Suffolk, Richmond, Westchester, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess 
and Albany. March 13, 1772, Tryon county was taken from Albany 
county, and the name was changed to Montgomery in 1784. Mont- 
gomery county originally included nearly all the central and western 
part of the State. January 27, 1789, Ontario county, occupying most 
of the western portion of the State, was set apart from Montgomery 
county. March 30, 1802, all that part of the State lying west of the 
Genesee river and a line extending due south from the point of junc- 
tion of the Genesee and Canaseraga creek to the south line of the State, 
was set off from Ontario county and designated as Genesee county. It 
will thus be seen that the original Genesee county comprised all the 
territory embraced within the present counties of Genesee, Orleans, 
Wyoming, Niagara, Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua, and the western 
portions of Monroe, Livingston and Allegany counties. 

The first division of the original county of Genesee occurred April 7, 
1806, when Allegany county was set off by act of the Legislature. 
Allegany county then comprised parts of Gejiesee, Wyoming and Liv- 
ingston counties. The northern section was set off to Qenesee county // 
in 1811, apd the northern central part was set off to Wyoming and 
Livingston counties in 1846. March 11, 1808, the counties of Catta- 
raugus, Chautauqua and Niagara were erected, the latter then includ- 
ing Erie county, which was erected as a separate county April 2, 1821. 


February 23, 1821, the size of the county was still further reduced by 
the erection of Livingston and Monroe counties, whose western portions 
lay within the original limits of Genesee. A part of Covington was 
annexed to Livingston county in 1823. November 11, 1824, Orleans 
county was taken off, and April 5, 1825, the town of Shelby was an- 
nexed from Genesee county. The final reduction in territory occurred 
May 14, 1841, when the major portion of the present Wyoming county 
was taken off. 

It will thus be seen that in recording the history of Genesee county 
prior to 1841, the writer is compelled to deal with a very large portion 
of Western New York, and the early history of all that region is inti- 
mately connected with the story of the modern development of this 

Genesee county lies in the midst of one of the most fertile regions in 
the vicinity of the Great Lakes, joining the most westerly tier of the 
New York counties on the east. It is bounded on the north by Orleans 
and Monroe counties, on the east by Monroe and Livingston, on the 
south by Wyoming and Livingston, and on the west by Erie and Niag- 
ara. A narrow strip in the extreme southeastern corner is also bounded 
on the west by Wyoming county ; a portion of the town of Le Roy is 
bounded on the north by Monroe county and an extremely small strip 
of the same town is bounded on the south by the same county ; and 
portions of Le Roy and Pavilion are bounded on the south by Livings- 
ton county. The area of Genesee county is five hundred and seven 
square miles. 

The surface of the county is mostly level or gently undulating, except 
along the southern border, which is occupied by ranges of hills extend- 
ing northerly from Wyoming county. Some of these hills rise to an 
elevation of from two hundred to three hundred feet above the flat 
lands, and about one thousand feet above the level of the sea. Ex- 
tending east and west through the county, north of the centre is a 
terrace of limestone, bordered in many places by nearly perpendicular 
ledges. In the extreme eastern and western parts of the county this 
terrace ranges from fifty to one hundred feet in height, but toward the 
central portion the height averages from twenty to forty feet. 

The principal streams are Tonawanda creek," which, rising in Wy- 

' The name Tonawanda, strangely enough, when the generally sluggish course of the stream 
is considered, signifies in the Indian language, " swiftly running water," from the rapid current 
for about ten miles below Batavia. 


oming county, enters the town of Alexander from the south, flows in a 
northeasterly direction through that town and Batavia to the village of 
Batavia, where it turns and flows in a westerly, then northwesterly, 
direction through the latter town, Pembroke and Alabama, leaving 
the latter town at a point a trifle north of the centre of its western 
boundary. The course of Tonawanda creek is exceedingly tortuous, 
and for the most of its course it flows in a very sluggish manner. 
An idea of its tortuosity may be gained from the fact that between 
Attica, in Wyoming county, and Batavia this stream flows between 
two parallel roads about a mile apart; and while the distance be- 
tween these two points is about eleven miles by the highway, by the 
course of the stream it is forty-three miles. 

The principal tributaries of Tonawanda creek are Little Tonawanda 
and Bowen's creeks. Oak Orchard creek has its source near the centre 
of the county, and winds its way through Batavia and Elba, turning 
at the northeast corner of the latter town and continuing westerly 
and flowing through the great Tonawanda swamp, which occupies the 
northern part of the towns of Elba, Oakfield and Alabama. Black 
creek, known by the Indians as Checkanango creek, flows in a north- 
erly direction through the central parts of the towns of Bethany, 
Stafford and Byron, and thence easterly through Bergen into Monroe 
county. Its principal tributaries are Spring and Bigelow creeks. 
Oatka creek flows across the southeast corner of the county. Mur- 
der creek and Eleven Mile creek flow through the southwest corner. 
Tonawanda, Black and Oatka creeks form a series of picturesque cas- 
cades in their passage down the limestone terrace north of the cen- 
tre of the county. 

The lowest rocks in Genesee county form a part of the Ortondaga 
salt group, extending along the northern border. Gypsum abounds in 
large quantities in Le Roy, Stafford and Byron. This is succeeded by 
hydraulic, Onondaga and corniferous limestone, which form the lime- 
stone terrace extending through the county. The outcrop of these 
rocks furnish lime and building stone. Succeeding the limestone, in 
the order named, are the Marcellus and Hamilton shales, which occupy 
the entire southern part of the county. The surface generally is cov- 
ered thick with drift deposits, and the underlying rocks appear only in 
the ravines of the streams. Most of the swamps contain thick deposits 
of muck and marl, furnishing in great abundance the elements of future 
fertility to the soil. Nearly all the springs and streams are constantly 


depositing lime in the form of marl. Along the n orthern boundary of the 
county are numerous wells yielding water which is strongly impregnated 
with sulphuric aid, and known as " sour springs. " Salt was discovered 
in the town of Le Roy in 1881, at a depth of six hundred and fifteen 
feet. The supply is considered practically inexhaustible 

Genesee county is well supplied with railroads, furnishing transpor- 
tation facilities equalled by but few counties in New York State. Ba- 
tavia and Le Roy are the two principal railroad centres, as well as the 
most populous villages. 

The main line of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad 
enters the county at the eastern boundary of Bergen, and passes in a 
generally southwesterly direction through that town, Byron, Stafford, 
Batavia, Pembroke and Darien. The Tonawanda railroad has its east- 
ern terminus at Batavia, and extends thence westerly through that town 
and Pembroke. The West Shore Railroad passes easterly and westerly 
through the northern part of the county, traversing the towns of Ber- 
gen, Byron, Elba, Oakfield- and Alabama. The Buffalo and Geneva 
Railroad enters the town of Le Roy at its eastern boundary and extends 
in a generally southwesterly direction through Le Roy, Stafford, Ba- 
tavia, Pembroke and Darien. The Delaware, Lackawanna and West- 
ern Railroad crosses the southern part of the county from east to west, 
traversing the towns of Pavilion, Bethany, Alexander and Darien. 
The Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad enters the county at 
the southern boundary of Pavilion, runs northerly through that town 
arid Le Roy to the village of Le Roy, where it turns and extends east- 
erly, leaving the county at the east bounds of Le Roy. The New 
York, Lake Erie and Western Railroad enters the county at the west- 
ern boundary of Darien, crosses that town to Alexander and runs 
thence to Attica. At the latter place one branch takes a northeasterly 
and southeasterly curve through the .southern parts of Alexander and 
Bethany, leaving the county near the southwest corner of the latter 
town. Another branch runs northeasterly through Alexander and Ba- 
tavia to the village of Batavia, where it turns and thence pursues an 
easterly course through the towns of Batavia, Stafford and Le Roy. 
The Batavia and Canandaigua Railroad enters the county at the east- 
ern boundary of Le Roy, passes westerly through that town, Stafford 
and Batavia to the village of Batavia, where it forms a junction with 
the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad. 

There are thirteen towns in Genesee county — Alabama, Alexander, 


Batavia, Bergen, Bethany, Byron, Darien, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield, 
Pavilion, Pembroke and Stafford. 

Of these towns Batavia is the oldest, having been erected when the 
original county was formed, March 30, 1802. As at first constituted it 
comprised the territory now composing the towns of Alexander, Bergen, 
Byron, Bethany, Pembroke, Darien, Elba and Oakfield, and parts of 
the towns of Alabama and Stafford. Alexander, Bergen (including 
Byron), Bethany and Pembroke (including Darien and a part of Ala- 
bama) were taken off June 8, 18J2; Elba (including Oakfield) and a 
part of Stafford were taken off in March, 1820. Le Roy was formed 
from Caledonia (Livingston county) June 8, 1812, and was originally 
called Bellona. Its name was changed April 6, 1813. A part of 
Stafford was taken off in 1820 and a part of Pavilion in 1842. Stafford 
was formed from Batavia and Le Roy March 24, 1820. A part of Pa- 
vilion was taken off in 1842. Alabama, originally called Gerrysville, 
was formed from Pembroke and Shelby (Orleans county) April 17, 1826. 
Its name was changed April 21, 1828. A part of the town of Wales 
was annexed in 1832. Pavilion was formed from Covington (Wyoming 
county) May 19, 1841. Parts of Le Roy and Stafford were annexed 
March 22, 1842. 


The Great Iroquois Confederacy — Its Foundation, Customs and Laws — Its Wide 
Dominion — The Seneca Indians, the Aborigines of Genesee County — Subdivisions 
of the Five Nations — Political Aspect of This Pov;rerful Savage Republic. 

The Seneca Indians, the immediate predecessors of the Holland 
Company in the occupancy of the region west of the Genesee river, 
were the fifth and most westerly nation of the great Iroquois Confed- 
eracy. The Mohawks were the original Confederates, their abode be- 
ing along the banks of the Mohawk river. The Oneidas were located 
upon the southern shore of Oneida lake ; the Onondagas near Onon- 
daga lake; the Cayugas near Cayuga lake ; and the Senecas upon Seneca 
lake and Genesee river. These localities were the seats, or places of 
the council fires of the various tribes, though the tribes did not con- 
fine themselves to these localities alone. They really occupied, in de- 


tached villages, nearly the entire State, from the Hudson to the 
Niagara river. Each nation had a principal seat, as indicated, with 
tributary villages. 

The actual dominion of the Iroquois had a much wider range, how- 
ever, than the territory mentioned. They laid claim to sovereignty to 
" all the land not sold to the English, from the mouth of Sorel River, 
on the south sides of Lakes Erie and Ontario, on both sides of the Ohio 
till it falls into the Mississippi ; and on the north side of these lakes that 
whole territory between the Ottawa River and Lake Huron, and even 
beyond the straits between that and Lake Erie.'" When the settlement 
of Manhattan, Beverwyck and Rensselaerwyck was begun by the Dutch, 
the Long Island Indians, those on the north shore of Long Island 
Sound, and those inhabiting the banks of the Connecticut, Hudson, 
Delaware and Susquehanna rivers were dominated by the Iroquois, to 
whom they paid annual tribute. Even the powerful Canadian tribes 
were conquered by the warlike Five Nations. Schoolcraft says : 

At one period we hear the sound of their war cry along the Straits of the St. Mary's, 
and at the foot of Lake Superior. At another, under the walls of Quebec, where 
they finally defeated the Hurons, under the eyes of the French. They put out the 
fires of the Gah-kwas and Eries. They eradicated the Susquehannocks. They 
placed the Lenapes, the Nanticokes, and the Munsees under the yoke of subjection. 
They put the Metoacks and Manhattans under tribute. They spread the terror of 
their arms over all New England. They traversed the length of the Appalachian 
Chain and descended like the enraged yagisho and megalonyx, on the Cherokees and 
Catawbas. Smith encountered their warriors in the settlement of Virginia, and La 
Salle in the discovery of Illinois. 

In 1660 the French declared the number of the Iroquois warriors to 
be 2,200; in 1677 an agent of England, dispatched to their country for 
the sole purpose of ascertaining their strength, confirmed the French 
estimate. Bancroft says that their geographical position " made them 
umpires in the contest of the French for dominion in the west." ' 

The strength of these Five Nations lay in the fact that they were 
confederated. The nations they made war against were detached, and 
not only would not join in attempting to bar the progress of the tri- 
umphant Iroquois, but doubtless had feuds among themselves. The 
Iroquois, on the other hand, invariably acted as one nation in war, 
always in perfect accord. Perhaps by reason of their constant inter- 
course and interchange of ideas, possibly from other reasons, they had 
a physical and mental organization, a certain degree of enlightenment, 

' Smith's History of New York. 


far ahead of that of all other tribes or nations. They were most appro- 
priately termed the Romans of the West, a name first applied to them 
by Volney, the French historian. " Had they enjoyed the advantages 
possessed by the Greeks and the Romans," wrote President D wight in 
his " Travels," " there is no reason to believe they would have been at 
all inferior to these celebrated nations. Their minds appear to have 
been equal to any effort within the reach of man. Their conquests, if 
we consider their numbers and circumstances, were little inferior to 
those of Rome itself. In their harmony, the unity of their operations, 
the energy of their character, the vastness, vigor, and success of their 
enterprises, and the strength and sublimity of their eloquence, they 
may be fairly compared with the Greeks." 

While the Seneca Indians were the aboriginal inhabitants of the 
eastern portion of the territory which subsequently became the original 
Genesee county, the Neutral Nation inhabited that part of the territory 
contiguous to the Niagara river and the eastern end of Lake Erie. 
The Senecas were the most numerous of the five nations known as the 
Iroquois, or the Five Nations, and they occupied the most westerly 
portion of the territory controlled by this great confederacy. The 
English called the Iroquois the Confederates; the Dutch, more partic- 
ularly those who settled the Mohawk valley, knew them only as the 
Mohawks and Senecas; and the Indians called themselves the Aganns- 
chioni, meaning "United People." They also called themselves the 
Hodenosaunee, meaning " People of the Long House," all their habita- 
tions being low, narrow and as a rule very long. They also likened 
their confederacy, stretched for two hundred miles along a narrow 
valley, to one of the long wigwams containing many families.' 

The Five Nations were composed of the Mohawks, on the east; next 
west being the Oneidas, then the Onondagas, then the Cayugas, and 
finally the Senecas, who held^most of the original county of Genesee. 
When the Tuscaroras, from the Carolinas, joined the confederacy 
known as the Five Nations, they became amalgamated with the 
Oneidas and gradually lost their identity. When the confederacy was 
established is not known. In David Cusick's history he relates the 
Indian traditions relative to the origin of the kingdom. The following 
is abstracted from the work referred to : 

* For the brief resu me of early Indian history contained in this chapter the writer is indebted 
to David Cusick's sketches of ancient history of the Six Nations, with annotations by W. M. 
Beauchamp, and to data furnished by the late George S. Conover, the well known authority on 
Indian history. 


By some inducement a body of people was concealed in the mountain at the falls 
named Kuskehsawkich (now Oswego). When the people were released from the 
mountains they were visited by Tarenyawagon, i. e. , the Holder of the Heavens, 
who h)^d power to change himself into various shapes; he ordered the people to pro- 
ceed toward the sunrise as he guided them and come to a river and named Yenon- 
anatche, i. e., going around a mountain (now Mohawk), and went down the bank of 
the river and come to where it discharges into a great river running towards the 
midday sun ; and Shaw-nay-taw-ty, i. e , beyond the pineries (now Hudson), and 
went down the bank of the river and touched bank of a great water. . . The 

people were yet in one language ; some of the people went to the banks of the great 
water towards the midday sun, but the main company returned as they came, on the 
banks of the river, under the direction of the Holder of the Heavens. Of this com- 
pany there was a particular body which called themselves one household; of these 
were six families and they entered into a resolution to preserve thp chain of alliance 
which should not be extinguished in any manner. The company advanced some 
distance up the river of Shaw-na-taw-ty (Hudson), the Holder of the Heavens directs 
the first family to make their residence near the bank of the river, and the family 
was named Te haw-re-ho-geh, i. e., a speech divided (now Mohawk) and their lan- 
guage was soon altered; the company then turned and went towards the sunsetting, 
and traveled about two days and a half, and come to a creek, which was named 
Kaw-na-taw-te-ruh, i. e.. Pineries. The second family was directed to make their 
residence near the creek, and the family was named Ne-haw-re-tah-go, i. e.. Big 
Tree, now Oneidas, and likewise their language was altered. The company con- 
tinued to proceed towards the sunsetting ; under the direction of the Holder of the 
Heavens. The third family was directed to make their residence on a mountain 
named Onondaga (now Onondaga) and the family was named Seuh-now-kah-tah, i. 
c, carrying the name, and their language was altered. The company continued 
their journey towards the sunsetting. The fourth family was directed to make their 
residence near a long lake named Go-yo-goh, i. e., a mountain rising from the water 
(now Cayuga) and the family was named Sho-neana-we-to-wah, i. e., a great pipe, 
their language was altered. The company continued to proceed towards the sun- 
setting. The fifth company was directed to make their residence near a high moun- 
tain, or rather nole, situated south of the Canandaigua lake, which was named 
Jenneatowake and the family was named Te-bow-nea-nyo-hent, i. e.. Passing a 
Door, npw Seneca, and their language was altered. The sixth family went with the 
company that journeyed towards the sunsetting, and touched the bank of a great 
lake, afid named Kau-ha-gwa-rah-ka, i. e., A Cap, now Erie, and then went towards 
between the mid-day and sunsetting, and travelled considerable distance and came 
to a lajrge river which was named Ouau-we-yo-ka, i. e., a principal stream, now 
Mississippi. . . . The family was directed to make their residence near Cau-ta- 
noh; i. e., Pme in water, situated near the mouth of Nuse river, now in North Caro- 
lina, and the family was named Kau-ta-noh, now Tuscarora and their language was 
altered. . . . The Holder of the Heavens returns to the five families and forms 
the mode of confederacy which was named Ggo-nea-seab-neh, i. e.. A Long House, 
to which are 1st— Tea-kaw-reh-ho-geh; 2d— New-haw-teh tah-go; 3d— Seuh-nau-ka- 
ta ; 4th — Sho-nea-na-we-to-wan ; 5th — Te-hoo-nea-nyo-hent. 


This organization is supposed to have taken place between 1900 and 
2000 years before Columbus discovered America, or between 400 B.C. 
and 500 B.C. While this account is purely traditional it is conceded by 
most authorities to be the most authentic in existence. 

When the white intruders first discovered that such an alliance ex- 
isted, all that was known of the organization of the form of govern- 
ment so remarkable among a savage people was, as we have shown, 
mere tradition. Each nation of the confederacy was independent of 
every other in all matters of a local character, and in the councils no 
sachem was superior to another, except by reason of higher intellectual 
attainments, such as they might be. The fifty offices created at the 
organization of the confederacy were distributed among the nations 
according to their numerical strength. Although these offices were 
hereditary, no one could become a ruler or sachem until elevated to 
such a place by a council of all the sachems of the original American 
confederacy. The sachems, who, in council, constituted the legislative 
body of the union were also the local rulers of their respective nations. 
While a sachem or chief had civil authority, he could not be a chieftain 
in war until elected to that position. Every sachem went on the war- 
path as a common warrior unless he had been doubly honored and 
made a military leader as well as a civil officer. The Iroquois nation 
then was practically a republic, founded on much the same principles 
as the United States of America. 

The policy of the Iroquois nation in war appears to have been not 
alone for the sake of war, but for conquest and the extension of the 
nation's power and influence. So successful were they in their efforts 
that at the end of the seventeenth century they dominated a very large 
portion of what is now the United States. The Iroquois of New York 
and the Algonquin tribes of New England were perpetually at war. 

For many years, during the early French and Indian wars and doubt- 
less for a long period prior thereto, the principal and probably the 
most western of the permanent villages of the Senecas, was located at 
Boughton Hill, about twenty miles east of Rochester. Sporadic camps 
were to be found among the forests and in the sheltered places in 
the territory further west, which afterward became Genesee county; 
but aside from a village (probably a summer encampment) on the site 
of Buff^alo, we have no knowledge of the existence of any centres of pop- 
ulation among the Senecas west of the Genesee river prior to 1687, 
when Governor de Nonville of Canada made his first invasion. As late 


as 1779, when Sullivan entered upon his campaign against them, he 
went no further west than the Genesee river. The year following the 
Senecas, who had deserted their villages at Sullivan's approach, estab- 
lished a permanent settlement on Buffalo Creek, on territory from which 
they had driven the Kah Kwah tribe. This settlement was made upon 
the advice and under the auspices of the British at Fort Niagara, to 
whom the Indians had fled from the French for protection and relief. 

The Neutral Nation (the Kah-Kwahs), to which reference has been 
made, occupied the territory adjoining the Niagara river on both the 
east and the west, but they ventured but a short distance eastward from 
that stream. They had but four villages on the east side of the river. 
The Kah-Kwahs were called the Neutral Nation by reason of the fact 
that they found it necessary for their own preservation to maintain 
peaceful relations with both the Iroquois of Central New York and the 
Hurons of Canada. The two latter nations were hostile, but they met 
under an armistice in the territory of the Kah-Kwahs. The latter were 
unable to continue their policy of peace and neutrality for long, and 
the nation was finally disrupted and overthrown by death in battle, and 
adoption into the rival tribes of the Hurons and the Iroquois. 

It is a fact worthy of note that the confederacy recognized no relig- 
ious functionaries, though in each nation there were officers who offici- 
ated at the religious ceremonies held at stated intervals throughout the 
year. Among most of the aboriginal nations there existed a regular 
religious profession ; but among the Iroquois this was unknown. In 
reality the Iroquois were governed but'little. Each warrior was in a 
measure independent. But the moral state of the Iroquois was high, 
and it was their boast that they had ever maintained it. 

There were in each nation eight tribes, named as follows: Wolf, 
Bear, Beaver, Turtle, Deer, Snipe, Heron and Hawk. The Wolf tribe 
was divided into five parts, one-fifth being located in each of the five 
nations. The remaining tribes were similarly divided and distributed 
thus giving to each nation the eight tribes, and in their separated state 
making forty tribes in the confederacy. Between the separated parts 
of each tribe there existed a relationship which linked the nations to- 
gether with firm bonds. The Mohawk Indian of the Hawk tribe rec- 
ognized the Onondaga or the Seneca of the Hawk tribe as his brother 
and each considered the other bound to him by ties of consanguinity. 
This custom prevailed among all the tribes of the various nations, prob- 
ably furnishing the chief reason why the fragments of the ancient con- 


federacy continued to cling together long after it was disrupted by the 
encroachments of the whites. The wisdom of these divisions and dis- 
tributions is shown by the history of the nation ; for its various nations 
never fell into a state of anarchy, nor did any nation ever hint at such 
a thing as secession. The confederacy was, in fact, a lasting league of 
tribes, interwoven into one great family, the tribes themselves, in their 
subdivisions, being composed of parts of many households. Thus it 
will be seen that the basis of the entire organization was the family 

The Wolf, Bear, Beaver and Turtle tribes were brothers to one an- 
other and cousins to the tribes known as Deer, Snipe, Heron and Hawk. 
These groups were not permitted to intermarry. But any of the first 
four tribes could interrnarry with any of the last four. Whoever vio- 
lated the laws of marriage incurred everlasting disgrace and degrada- 
tion. In the course of time, however, the rigor of this system was 
relaxed until the prohibition was confined to the tribe of the individual. 
The children always followed the tribe of the mother. 

Naturally, in accord with such a system, the separate rights of each 
tribe and of each individual were jealously guarded. One of the most 
remarkable civil institutions was that which confined the transmission 
of all titles, rights and property in the female line to the exclusion of 
the male. For example, if the Wolf tribe of the Senecas received a 
sachemship at the original distribution of these offices, the descent of 
such title being limited to the female line it could never pass out of 
the tribe. One of the most marked results of this system was the per- 
petual disinheritance of the son. Being of the tribe of his mother it 
formed an impassable barrier against him; and he could neither suc- 
ceed his father as a sachem nor inherit from him even his medal or his 
tomahawk. For the protection of tribal, rather than individual or 
family rights, the inheritance was thus directed from the descendants 
of the sachem to his brother, his sister's children, or some individual 
of the tribe at large under certain circumstances. 

The method of reckoning degrees of consanguinity was clear and 
definite. No distinction was made between the lineal and collateral 
line, either in the ascending or descending series. The maternal 
grandmother and her sisters were equally grandmothers ; the mother 
and her sisters were equally mothers ; the children of a mother's sisters 
were brothers and sisters ; the children of a sister would be nephews 
and nieces ; and the grandchildren of a sister would be grandchildren — ■ 


that is, the grandchildren of a person from whom the degree of relation- 
ship is reckoned. These were the principal relatives within the tribe. 
Out of the tribe the paternal grandfather and his brothers were equally 
grandfathers; the father and his brothers were equally fathers; the 
father's sisters were aunts, while in the tribe the mother's brothers were 
uncles ; the children of the father's sister were cousins, as in the civil law ; 
the children of these cousins would be nephews and nieces ; and the 
children of these nephews and nieces would be his grandchildren. 
The children of a brother were reckoned as children, and the grand- 
children of a brother were grandchildren. The children of a father's 
brothers were brothers and sisters; and their children were reckoned 
as grandchildren.' 

The peculiarities of the mode of computing the degrees of blood re- 
lationship were nothing as compared with the intricacies of the succes- 
sion among the rulers of the confederacy. Some authorities claim that 
the sachemships were elective offices; others have endeavored to point 
out that they were hereditary. Apparently they were, many times, both 
elective and hereditary. One fact should be borne in mind, in order 
that the casual reader may not be misled ; and that is that the titles of 
of sachem and war- chief are absolutely hereditary in the tribe to which 
they were originally assigned, and can never pass out of it, except with 
its extinction. 

As has been shown, the sachem's brothers, and the sons of his sisters, 
are of his tribe, and therefore in the line of succession. Between a 
brother and nephew of the deceased there was no law establishing a 
preference. Between several brothers, on the one hand, and several 
sons of a sister, on the other, there was no distinction in the law. Nor 
was there any positive law that the choice should be confined to the 
brothers of the deceased ruler, or to the descendants of his sister in the 
female line, before a selection could be made from the tribe at large. 
It thus appears that the offices were hereditary in the particular tribe 
in which they ran, while being elective as between the male members 
of the tribe itself. 

Upon the decease of a sachem a council of the tribes was held to 
select his successor. In the absence of physical and moral objections 

1 The names of the several degrees of relationship recognized among the Iroquois are as fol- 
lows, in the Seneca tongue: Grandfather, Hoc-sote; grandmother, Uc-sote; father, ha-mih; 
mother, Noh-yeh; son, ho-ah- week; daughter, go-ah- week; grandchildren, ka-ya-da; uncle, hoc- 
no-seh; aunt, ah-geh-huc; nephew, ha-yan-wan-deh; niece, ka-yan-wan-deh; brothers and sis- 
ters, da-ya-gwa-dan-no-da; cousin, ah-gare-seh. 


the choice generally fell upon a son of the deceased ruler's sisters, or 
upon one of his brothers. If the new sachem was an infant a guardian 
was chosen for him, and such guardian performed the duties of a 
sachem until the young sachem reached a suitable age. It seldom 
happened that a selection from the tribe at large was made unless the 
near relatives or direct heirs proved unfit for or unworthy of the office. 

The tribes held the power of deposition as well as that of selection. 
If a sachem lost the confidence and respect of the tribe, and was deemed 
unworthy of authority, he was at once deposed by a tribal council. 

The manner of selecting names for infants was unique. Soon after 
a birth occurred, a name for the infant was selected by the near rela- 
tives of the same tribe. At the next national council public announce- 
ment of the birth and name was made, with the name and tribe of the 
father and name and tribe of the mother. When an individual was in- 
vested with authority as a sachem, his original name was cast aside and 
that of his sachemship itself assumed. The same rule applied to war- 
chiefs. When a chief was chosen, the council of the nation performing 
the ceremony took away the original individual name and assigned to 
the incumbent a new one. Thus, when the celebrated Red Jacket was 
raised to the dignity of chief, his original name, O-te-ti-an-i (meaning 
Always Ready), was laid aside and the name of Sa-goyewat-ha 
(meaning Keeper Awake), signifying the power of his eloquence, was 
bestowed upon him. 

A tribe of the Ho-de-no-sau-nee involves the idea of descent from a 
common mother. In the formation of an Iroquois tribe portions were 
taken from many households and bound together by a tribal bond, in 
reality by the ties of consanguinity. All the members of the tribe were 
connected by easily traceable relationship. The wife, her children, 
and her descendants in the female line were forever linked with the 
destinies of her own tribe and kindred; and the husband, his brothers 
and his sisters, and the descendants of the latter in the female line, 
were held by affinity to the mother tribe. 

This magnificent republic was founded upon terms of absolute equal- 
ity. Those apparently special privileges that were granted to certain 
tribes arose solely from locality. For instance, the Senecas, located 
upon the western frontier of the nation, were allowed to have the head 
war-chiefs; while the Mohawks, by reason of their most easterly loca- 
tion, became receivers of tribute from the subjugated nations to the 
north, east and south of them. 


A great peculiarity of the confederacy was that unanimity was one of 
the fundamental laws. Such a thing as majority rule was unkaown. 
With the idea of obviating altercations in council, as far as possible, the 
founders of the confederacy divided the sachems of each nation into 
classes, usually of two and three each. No sachem was allowed to ex- 
press an opinion in council until he had agreed with the other sachems 
of his class upon the opinion to be expressed and had been designated 
as spokesman for his class. Thus, the eight sachems of the Senecas, 
being divided into four classes, were entitled to but four opinions. The 
four sachems representing the four classes then held a consultation, and 
when they had agreed they selected one of their number to express 
their opinion. This opinion was the opinion and decision of the nation. 
The final settlement was reached by a conference of the individual rep- 
resentatives of the several nations; but no determination was reached 
until these delegates were unanimously agreed upon the question at 
issue. Thus, the Iroquois war against the French was declared by a 
unanimous vote; but when the question of an alliance with the British 
in the Revolution came up, the council was divided, and although most 
of the confederates were allies of the British in that war, it was by rea- 
son of the fact that each nation was permitted to act as it deemed best. 

The earliest detailed notice, from English sources, of the territory 
which subsequently became, for the most part, the original county of 
Genesee, was contained in a work published in London in 1780 under the 
title of " Chalmer's Political Annals of the United Colonies." The de- 
scriptive article which was of interest in this connection appeared under 
the heading of "Observations of Wentworth Greenhalph, in a journey 
from Albany to the Indians westward, begun the 28th of May, 1677, 
and ended the 14th of July following." After describing the country 
of the first four nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, the writer alludes 
as follows to the Senecas and their abode: 

The Senecas have four towns, viz: — Canagorah, Tistehatan, Canoenada, Keint-he. 
Canagorah and Tistehatan lie within thirty miles of the Lake Frontenac ; the other 
two about four or five miles to the southward of these ; they have abundance of corn. 
None of their towns are stockaded. 

Canagorah lies at the top of a great hill, and, in that as well as in the bigness, 
much like Onondagoe,' containing one hundred and fifty houses, northwestward 
of Cayuga seventy-two miles. 

Here the Indians were very desirous to see us ride our horses, which we did. They 
made feasts and dancing, and invited us. 

' Onondagoe is described as " situated on a hill that is very large, the bank on each side 
extending itself at least two miles, all cleared lands, whereon the corn is planted." 


Tistehatan lies on the edge of a hill ; not much cleared ground ; is near the river 
Tistehatan, which signifies bending.' It lies to the northward of Canagorah about 
thirty miles; contains about one hundred and twenty houses, being the largest of all 
the houses we saw ; the ordinary being fifty or sixty feet long, and some one hun- 
dred and thirty or one hundred and forty feet long, with thirteen or fourteen fires in 
one house. They have good store of corn growing about a mile to the northward of 
the town. 

Being at this place, on the 17th of June, there came fifty prisoners from the south ■ 
westward, and they were of two nations ; some of whereof have a few guns, the 
other none. One nation is about ten days' journey from any Christians, and trade 
only with one great house, not far from the sea; and the other, as they say, trade 
only with a black people. This day, of them were burnt two women and a man, and 
a child killed with a stone. At night we heard a great noise, as if the houses had all 
fallen ; but it was only the inhabitants driving away the ghosts of the murdered. 

The 18th, going to Canagorah, we overtook the prisoners. When the soldiers saw 
us, they stopped each his prisoner, and made him sing and cut off their fingers and 
slashed their bodies with a knife ; and, when they had sung, each man confessed 
how many men he had killed. That day, at Canagorah, there were most cruelly 
burned four men, four women and one boy; the cruelty lasted about seven hours; 
when they were almost dead, letting them loose to the mercy of the boys, and taking 
the hearts of such as were dead to feast on. 

Canoenada lies about four miles to the southward of Canagorah ; contains about 
thirty houses, well furnished with corn. 

Keint-he lies about four or five miles to the southward of Tistehatan ; contains 
about twenty-four houses, well furnished with corn. 

The Senekas are counted in all about 1,000 fighting men. 

Whole force — Magas 300 

Oneydoes 200 

Onondagoes 350 

Cayugas 300 

Senekas 1,000 

Total 2,150 fighting men. 

Rev. Samuel Kirkland left Johnson's Hall at Johnstown, Fulton 
county, January 16, 1765, accompanied by two Seneca Indians, upon a 
mission embracing all the centres of population among the Iroquois. 
He finally reached Kanadasagea, the principal town of the Senecas, 
where he delivered to the sachem the message, or letter of introduc- 
tion, furnished to him by Sir William Johnson. He was received in a 
friendly spirit, excepting by a limited number of Indians, who appeared 
to dislike his advent. The Senecas, after deliberating over the mat- 
ter, finally decided that he should establish his residence among them. 
A few weeks after his arrival he was formally adopted into the family 

' Probably the Genesee. 


. of the chief sachem of the nation. This adoption was effected only- 
after formal ceremonies. Upon his entrance into the council one of 
the chiefs, after a short period of silence, said : 

Brothers, open your ears and your eyes. You see here our white brother who has 
come from a great distance, recommended to us by our great chief. Sir William John- 
son, who has enjoined it upon us to be kind to him, and to make him comfortable and 
to protect him to the utmost of our power. He comes to do us good. Brothers, this 
young white brother of ours has left his father's house, and his mother, and all his 
relations. We must now provide for him a house. I am appointed to you and to 
our young white brother, that our head sachem adopts him into his family. He will 
be a father to him, and his wife will be a mother, and his sons and daughters will be 
his brothers and sisters. 

The head sachem of the Senecas, arising, then took him by the hand, 
called him his son and led him to the spot where his family were seated. 
"A smile of cheerfulness sat on every countenance," says Mr. Kirkland 
in his journal, " and I could not refrain from tears; tears of joy and 
gratitude for the kind Providence that had protected me through a 
long journey, brought me to the place of my desire, and given me so 
kind a reception among the poor savage Indians." 

Unfortunately, however, the relations begun on such a friendly basis 
were destined to be interrupted with a menace against the missionary 
sent out by Sir William. A few days after Mr. Kirkland had become 
a member of the Indian family referred to, the head of this family, a 
man greatly respected, fell ill and died. Several of the Senecas, who 
were jealous of the young missionary on account of his great popularity 
among the nation as a whole, at once made the death of this Indian a 
pretext for creating, or attempting to create, a feeling of prejudice 
against him, alleging that the death was produced by magic, or that it 
was "an intimation of the displeasure of the Great Spirit at his visit and 
residence amotig them." They insisted that the safety of the remain- 
der of the nation demanded that the newcomer must instantly be put 
to death. Upon these presentations councils were convened, and for 
several days the Senecas deliberated over the matter. In this hour of 
trial the chief sachem proved the steadfast friend of Mr. Kirkland, 
opposing every proposition to do him any harm of whatsoever nature. 
The counsels of the friends of the threatened minister prevailed in the 
end, and thereafter he lived, as he said in his journal, " in great har- 
mony, friendship and sociability." For eight years prior to the Revo- 
lution he lived among the Senecas, and during that struggle, though 
he had been sent among them by a warm adherent of the British cause. 


he succeeded in diverting many of the members of the nation from ad- 
herence to the cause of the crown. He exerted a strong influence 
among them, and in after years his services were much sought by those 
who desired to hold councils with them for the purpose of entering up- 
on treaties with them. 

About a hundred years ago Red Jacket was a powerful chief of the 
Senecas, who at that time had lost their independent power and become 
wards of the American nation. In 1793 he and Farmer's Brother, 
representing the Senecas, visited the American capital, Philadelphia, 
when President Washington presented to the former a silver medal, 
which he wore on State occasions during the remainder of his life. 
Red Jacket at that time professed to be friendly to civilization, but in 
after years he became a slave to spirituous liquors and lost much of his 
prestige, both with the federal government and his own tribe. He 
died January 30, 1830. Farmer's Brother was an influential and elo- 
quent chief and warrior. During the latter days of his life he was the 
staunch friend of peace and civilization and did much to spread princi- 
ples of temperance among his tribe. Another famous Indian of those 
days was John O'Bail, commonly known as Cornplanter, who was ac- 
knowledged as leader by a band of Senecas on the Allegany Reserva- 

Red Jacket was born in 1756. His birthplace is believed to have 
been at a place formerly called " Old Castle," about three miles west 
of Geneva. His Indian name was Sa-go-yon-wat-ha, signifying " one 
who keeps awake by magical influence." During the Revolution the 
Senecas fought under the British standard. Although quite young, his 
activity and intelligence attracted the attention of the British officers, 
who presented to him a richly embroidered scarlet jacket. This he 
wore on all occasions, and from this circumstance arose the name by 
which he was known among the whites. During the Revolution he 
took little or no part therein as a warrior, but his personal activity and 
transcendent talents won the esteem of his tribe. A gentleman who 
knew him intimately for more than thirty years in peace and war spoke 
of him in the following terms : 

Red Jacket was a perfect Indian in every respect, in costume, in his contempt of 
the dress of the white men, in his hatred of and opposition to the missionaries, and 
in his attachment to and veneration for the ancient customs and traditions of his 
tribe. He had a contempt for the English language, and disdained to use any other 
than his own. He was the finest specimen of the Indian character that I ever knew, 
and sustained it with more dignity than any other chief. He was second to none in 


authority in his tribe. As an orator he was unequalled by any other Indian I ever 
saw. His language was beautiful and figurative, as the Indian language always is, 
and delivered with the greatest ease and fluency. His gesticulation was easy, grace- 
ful and natural. His voice was distinct and clear, and he always spoke with great 
animation. His memory was very strong. I have acted as interpreter to most of 
his speeches, to which no translation could do adequate justice. 

Many interesting anecdotes, illustrative of the peculiarities of his 
character and his ready eloquence, are related. At a council held with 
the Senecas, a dispute arose between Governor Tompkins and Red 
Jacket,' in relation to a treaty of several years' standing. The governor 
made a cerain statement, and the famous chief insisted that the reverse 
was true. " But," came the reply, " you have forgotten — we have it 
written down on paper." " The paper then tells a lie," was Red Jack- 
et's reply; " I have it written here," placing his hand with great dig- 
nity upon his brow. "You Yankees are born with a feather between 
your fingers; but your paper does not speak the truth. The Indian 
keeps his knowledge here — this is the book the Great Spirit gave us — 
it does not lie. " The treaty in question was immediately referred to, 
when, to the astonishment of all present, and to the triumph of the 
bronzed statesman, the document confirmed every word he had uttered. 

At a treaty held with the Indians during the Revolution, La Fayette 
was present. The object of the convention was to effect a union of the 
various tribes in amity with the patriot cause. The majority of the 
chiefs were friendly, but there was much opposition made to the pro- 
posal, especially by one young warrior, who declared that when an al- 
liance was entered into with America, he should consider that the sun 
of his country had set forever. In his travels through the Indian coun- 
try, when on his last visit to America, La Fayette referred to the treaty 
in question at a large assemblage of chiefs, and turning to Red Jacket 
said: " Pray tell me, if you can, what has become of that daring youth 
who so decidedly opposed all propositions for peace and amity?" " I 
myself, am the man," answered Red Jacket, "the decided enemy of 
the Americans so long as the hope of successfully opposing them re- 
mained, but now their true and faithful ally until death." 

During the war of 1812 Red Jacket and his tribe enlisted in the 
American army. He fought through the entire war, displaying un- 
daunted intrepidity ; and in no instance did he exhibit the ferocity of 
the savage nor disgrace himself by any act of inhumanity. 

Red Jacket was the foe of the white man until late in life. His na- 
tion was his god; her honor, preservation and liberty his religion. He 


hated missionaries, because he feared some secret design upon the lands, 
the peace or the independence of the Senecas. He could never com- 
prehend the apparent mysteries of Christianity. He was a keen ob- 
server of human nature, and saw that among both white and red men 
sordid interest was equally the promoter of action. Naturally enough 
he therefore suspected every stranger who came to his tribe of some 
design on their little but dearly prized domains. 

His tribe was divided into two factious, one of which was called the 
Christian faction, by reason of its favorable attitude toward the mission- 
aries; the other, from their opposition, was known as the pagan party. 
His wife, who attended the religious meetings of the Christian party, 
was persecuted by him on this account. But during his last sickness 
his ffeelirigs respecting Christianity appeared to have undergone quite 
a change. He frequently remarked to his wife that he was sorry that 
he had persecuted her, that she was right and he was wrong; and on 
his deathbed he said to her; "Persevere in your religion. It is the 
right way." 

A few days before his death he sent for the local missionary, whose 
name was Harris ; but as the latter was in attendance upon an ecclesi- 
astical council he did not receive the message until after the great 
chieftain's death. In his last wandering moments he is said to have 
directed that a bottle of cold water should be placed in his coffin, so 
that he might have something with which to fight the evil spirit. Many 
persons from Buffalo attended his funeral, some, of whom wished him bur- 
ied according to the pagan custom. But in accordance with the expressed 
desire of his Christian wife and other relatives he was buried in the 
Christian manner. He left two wives, but none of his children survived 
him. Two of his sons are believed to have died Christians. Rev. 
Jabez B. Hyde, who taught among the Senecas prior to the war of 1812, 
was authority for the statement that one of Red Jacket's sons was the 
first convert to Christianity from this tribe. 

For several months prior to his death time had made such ravages 
on the old chief's constitution as to render him fully sensible of his 
approaching dissolution. He often referred to that approaching event, 
but invariably in calm and philosophic terms. He visited successively 
all his most intimate friends at their cabins, conversing with them upon 
the condition of the nation in the most affecting and impressive manner. 
He told them that his counsels would soon be heard no more. He ran 
over the history of his people from the most remote period to which 


his knowledge extended, and pointed out, as few could, the wrongs, 
the privations and the loss of character which almost of themselves 
constituted that history. " I am about to leave you," he said, "and 
when I am gone, and my warning shall no longer be heard or regarded, 
the craft and the avarice of the white man will prevail. Many winters 
have I breasted the storm, but I am an aged tree and can stand no 
longer. My leaves are fallen, my branches are withered, and I am 
shaken by every breeze. Soon my aged trunk will be prostrate, and 
the foot of the exulting foe of the Indian may be placed upon it in 
safety; for I leave none who will be able to avenge such an indignity. 
Think not I mourn for myself! I go to join the spirits of my fathers, 
where age cannot come ; but my heart fails when I think of my people, 
who are so soon to be scattered and forgotten.'" ■ 

Ganothjowaneh, a distingui.shed chief of the Seneca tribe, is said to 
have been an orator superior even to Red Jacket. The whites called 
him Big Kettle. It is stated that he never tasted intoxicating liquors, 
opposing the practice among the Indians, and suffered some persecu- 
tions on that account. During the early period of his life he opposed 
the introduction of Christianity, but later was favorable to the faith. 
Mr. Wright, a missionary living among the Senecas near Buffalo in 
1840, attempted to persuade him to embrace the Christian religion. 
When told that he was a sinner in the sight of God, Big Kettle appar- 
ently was greatly surprised. Throwing himself into an oratorical atti- 
tude he recounted a long list of his good deeds and endeavored to make 
it appear that he was not a sinner. Once he said to Mr. Wright : 
" Does God overrule all things? " Being answered in the affirmative he 
continued: " I tell my people so, in council, but when I am alone and 
think how much iniquity is practiced by the white people in getting 
away our lands, etc., and how they go on without being punished, I 
have my doubts." He concluded by saying that the preaching of the 
missionaries was good, and that the Indians would listen to and follow 
it; but it would have little effect, for the bad habits of his people were 
so strong and confirmed that the attempt to break them up would be 
as idle as to "stop the wind from blowing down Lake Erie." 

Cornplanter was the son of a white man who lived in the vicinity of 
Fort Plank. His mother was a young woman of the Seneca tribe. 
During the Revolutionary war he led the Senecas against the Amer- 

' This sketch o£ Red Jacket was compiled from various sources, but principally from Vol. 
XIV of the New York Mirror, where it appeared soon after the death of this celebrated chieftain. 


icans in the Mohawk valley, and during one of his incursions he took 
his father prisoner. However, he treated him well and released him 
from confinement. In a letter written by this great chief to the gov- 
ernment of Pennsylvania in 1833, complaining of the attempt to impose 
taxes upon him and the Senecas residing on the Allegany, he began as 
follows : 

"When I was a child, I played with the butterfly, the grasshopper, and the frogs. 
As I began to grow up, I began to pay some attention, and play with the Indian 
boys in the neighborhood, and they took notice of my skin being a different color from 
theirs, and spoke about it. I inquired of my mother the cause, and she told me that 
my father was a resident of Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark dish ; I 
grew up to be a young man, and married me a wife, but I had no kettle or gun. I 
then knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white 
man and spoke the English language. He gave me some victuals while at his house, 
but when I started to return home he gave me no provision to eat on the way. He 
gave me neither kettle nor gun, neither did he tell me that the United States were 
about to rebel against the government of England," etc., etc. 

Cornplanter lived to a great age, having deceased within the last eight or ten 
years. He was an able man, distinguished in subsequent negotiations. He was elo- 
quent, and a great advocate for temperance. He made a very effective and char- 
actertistic speech upon that subject in 1823. 

" The Great Spirit first made the world, and next the flying animals, and found all 
things good and prosperous. He is immortal and everlasting. After finishing the 
flying animals, he came down upon the earth and there stood. Then he made dif- 
ferent kinds of trees, and wobds of all sorts, and people of every kind. He made 
the spring and other seasons, and the weather suitable for planting. These he did 
make. But siilh, to make wiskey to give to the Indians, he did not make. . . . 
The Great Spirit told us that there were three things for people to attend to. First, 
we ought to take care of our wives and children. Secondly, the white people ought 
to attend to their farms and cattle. Thirdly, the Great Spirit has given the bears 
and deers to the Indians. . . . The Great Spirit has ordered me to quit drink- 
ing. He wishes me to inform the people that they should quit drinking intoxicating 
drink." In the course of the same speech, he gave evidence that he was not very 
much pleased with the admixture of his own blood. . . . "The different kinds the 
Great Spirit made separate, and not to mix with and disturb each other. But the 
white people have broken this command, by mixing their color with the Indians. 
The Indians have done better by not doing so." ' 

' Stone's Life of Brant. 



From the Discovery of the Hudson to the Inauguration of the Final Contest for 
Supremacy on the American Continent Between the French and English— Expedi- 
tions of Champlain, La Salle, De Nonville and Others — Construction of the Fort at 
Niagara— La Hontan and His Expedition — The Attack Upon Montreal — Struggle 
Over the Control of Lake Ontario. 

Soon after sunrise on the third day of September, in the year 1609, 
a small band of one of the aboriginal tribes of America stood at the 
doors of their rude dwellings on the northern part of Sandy Hook 
and gazed in amazement and fear at the white sails of a small vessel 
sailing slowly along the coast in a northerly direction In abject terror 
at the strange apparition the savages fled to the mainland and spread 
ahiong their tribe the news of the mysterious object they had be- 
held. The vessel, in the meantime, continued on its course, and soon 
lay at anchor in the water now known as the Lower Bay of New York. 
It is almost superfluous to add that this strange craft was the little 
ship Half Moon, in command of that daring English navigator. Sir 
Henry Hudson, who had been engaged to sail hither by the Dutch 
East India company for the purpose of discovering, if possible, a 
northwest passage, around the American continent. Two days after 
entering the bay the intrepid explorer landed, but on the 10th of the 
month he again set sail and entered the noble river which still bears 
his name. 

As the result of Hudson's voyage Holland set up a weak claim to 
the country extending from Cape Cod to Delaware bay, to which it 
gave the name of New Netherland. This territory claimed by Hol- 
land ^Iso extended inland an indefinite distance, and included all the 
vast unknown West of which the territory embraced within the confines 
of Genesee county formed a part. Great Britain and France treated 
the claim with contempt, but Holland nevertheless began the settle- 
ment of the rich territory between these two points, making the first 
permanent settlement on the island of Manhattan. 

At this time the Netherlands, which but a comparatively short time 
before had won their independence from Spain, had fairly entered upon 


the heroic period in their history. They had become powerful on the 
sea. They felt that the right of discovery entitled them to full con- 
trol of a region of practically unexplored country which since has be- 
come the richest and m'ost populous on the American continent. For 
more than a score of years — despite the threatening attitude of the 
English and the French claimants to practically all of the soil of North 
America north of Florida — the stupid Dutch government maintained 
nothing in the territory it claimed excepting a few trading posts. 
Then, when it was too late to remedy the condition brought about by 
its stolid indifference to the menace confronting it, and after having 
allowed ignorant and most thoroughly incompetent men to manage its 
affairs in the New World, the government partially awoke to the ne- 
cessities of the occasion — if it would retain possession of its rich claim. 

The English government steadily contended that the Dutch had no 
right to the territory in question, particularly inasmuch as no well de- 
fined plan for colonization had been adopted. The latter therefore 
concluded that the only way in which they could make their tenure of 
the territory secure and their title indisputable was by actual occupa- 
tion. Their next step was the founding of the patroonship system, 
which resulted in the establishment of colonies on the Delaware and on 
the Hudson. The latter was successful, but the Delaware colonies 
failed and soon after the French government had made extensive grants 
in that region to its subjects. In the meantime the English settlements 
in New England were encroaching upon the domain claimed by the 
Dutch. Both the English and French claimed priority of discovery, 
excepting a limited region near the Hudson, and even this territory the 
English included in their claim. The advent of the Dutch, as we 
shall soon see, was the cause of a general awakening to the danger of a 
conflict of authority on the part of both the French and English. 

The French based their claim to the vast expanse of territory in 
question to the early explorations of Cartier and Champlain. Cartier 
sailed from France in 1534, just three-quarters of a century before 
Hudson ascended the river bearing his name, discovered and named 
the St. Lawrence river, raised the standard of the King of France on 
the site of the city of Montreal, proclaimed the country to be a posses- 
sion of the French crown and named it New France. The year fol- 
lowing he made another voyage to the same region. In 1540 Francis 
de la Roque sailed with a commission from his king and made an effort 
to effect a permanent settlement. But little was done in this direction 


until 1603, when Samuel de Champlain began his famous voyage of 

Champlain was a navigator of experience. With several other 
Frenchmen, he had received the royal authority to form colonies on 
the St. Lawrence and to explore the country as he should see fit. 
Fitting out an expedition in 1603, he ascended the St. Lawrence as far 
as the site of Quebec, where he determined to erect a substantial fort. 
Soon the fur trade and the enormous profits to accrue to him therefrom 
became the subject uppermost in his mind. In order to hold this trade 
for the French he finally decided to join the Hurons and Algonquins 
in an expedition against the Iroquois tribes of New York, hoping 
thereby to conquer the latter and unite all the Indian tribes in an alli- 
ance with France. Had he better understood the situation and the 
relations of these tribes, he would have hesitated before waging war 
against the powerful and warlike Iroquois confederation. 

July 2, 1609, Champlain, at the head of a considerable party of French 
and Canadian Indians, left Quebec and began the ascent of the Sorel 
river.' Here the majority of the French invaders returned with their 
vessel to Quebec, finding the Chambly rapids impassable with their 
craft, and left Champlain and two other white men at the head of the 
Indian band to continue the journey in canoe-s. Soon they reached the 
lake which now bears the name of its discoverer. Landing at the south 
end of the lake, near the site of Ticonderoga, N. Y. , they met a body 
of Mohawk Indians, and the first battle on American soil ensued. Had 
Champlain exercised discretion on this first expedition and sought to 
make friends of the Iroquois, the entire course of future events in 
American history might have been different. But the warlike and re- 
vengeful Mohawks, and their fellow tribes in the great Five Nations, 
never forgot the wanton killing of one of their number by a French 
musketoon, and when the opportunity came, they and, in later years, 
their sons and their grandsons carried the war repeatedly into the 
country of the French and Algonquins, finally forming an alliance with 
the English for the purpose of wreaking still further vengeance on their 
hated enemies. 

In 1615 Champlain planned and carried out a greater expedition, 
this time entering the heart of the country of the Onondagas, bringing 
defiance to all the Iroquois tribes, and spreading death and devastation 
on every side. On this expedition he discovered Lake Ontario, the 
name meaning, in the Indian tongue, the "beautiful lake." He ex- 


plored its shores along the western border of northern New York in the 
vicinity of what was afterward known to the French as La Famine. 
On his return he passed near the head of the St. Lawrence, thus be- 
coming the first explorer of the Thousand Island region. 

During the same year in which Champlain made his first expedition 
into the Iroquois country, and even a day or two before he saw the 
waters of Lake Champlain, Sir Henry Hudson had entered the mouth 
of the Hudson river. But before either of these expeditions, the Eng- 
lish had begun their attempts to colonize a part of the territory now 
claimed by both the Dutch and the French. In August, 1606, the 
Plymouth company sent their first ship to America. The voyage was 
but half completed when the company's vessel was captured by a Span- 
ish man-of-war. In the fall another ship was sent out. This party re- 
mained on the American coast until spring, and then returned with 
glowing accounts of the new country. In 1607 the first colony was 
sent out, but it met with disaster. About the same time the London 
company sent a colony to America, and Jamestown was founded. But 
it was not until 1620 when the Pilgrim fathers arrived, that the first 
permanent and successful English colony was founded. 

It will thus be seen that at the close of the first quarter of the seven- 
teenth century the English had permanent settlements in Massachu- 
setts, the French had settlements on the St. Lawrence and Chesapeake 
bay, and the Dutch had possession of Manhattan island and had a fort 
on the site of Albany. Little was known of the interior country, and 
each of these nations set up a claim to most of the disputed territory. 
The Dutch standing between the two fires and being represented in 
America by ignorant, stupid men, the result was inevitable. Their 
power was eventually annihilated and the struggle for supremacy nar- 
rowed down to the French on one side and the English on the other.' 

Unfortunately for the French, success did not attend their efforts to 
colonize the region of country to which they had set up a stout claim. 
But the disappointment of their government was lessened by the in- 
defatigable labors of the Jesuit priests who had come from France to 
America. In 1615 a number of Franciscan friars had come to America 
with Champlain, but soon they were supplanted by the more powerful 

* Though many of the events narrated in this chapter transpired at points far from Genesee 
county, they were closely connected -with the conflict which ultimately resulted in English do- 
minion in this country, whose original territory at one time formed the objective point of a series 
of frontier struggles. The long struggle for supreme control of this territory and its outcome, 
have had a great influence in directing the destiny of Genesee county and its injiahitants. 


order of Jesuits. The latter arrived in Canada in 1635, and at once be- 
gan preparation for penetrating the interior wilderness by way of the 
St. Lawrence, with the purpose of carrying the principles of civiliza- 
tion and the Christian religion to the Indian tribes. As early as 1626 
Father De La Roche Daillon visited the Neutral Nation and spent the 
winter among them. Other priests soon had stations established as far 
west as the eastern shore of Lake Huron. Champlain died in 1635, 
and his successors in charge of the French colonies had small capacity 
for carrying on the great work he had inaugurated. The hostility of 
the Iroquois nation — incurred by Champlain himself through his early 
expeditions against the great confederacy — had resulted in the destruc- 
tion of many of the habitations of the French colonists along the St. 
Lawrence and the material reduction of the number of its inhabitants 
at Quebec and elsewhere. Nevertheless, the French had succeeded in 
establishing fur-trading posts at four points on the Great Lakes as 
early as 1665. The Canadian Indians being friendly to the French, the 
missionaries traveled the northern path of the traders in comparative 

The English control of Manhattan and the Hudson river region be- 
gan in 1664, when the Dutch were compelled to capitulate. It was not 
until 1670, however, that English control of the country hitherto known 
as New Netherland, embracing Genesee county, was made permanent. 
But the Dutch continued to be a powerful factor in the fur trade, as 
well as in the development of the agricultural resources of the territory 
whose control had been wrested from them ; and, moreover, they es- 
tablished the firm foundation on which the higher social fabric of the 
future was to rest. The English were discreet enough to continue the 
peaceful relations which their predecessors had established with the 
Iroquois confederacy, which fact redounded greatly to their advantage 
when the final struggle for supremacy between the English and French 

To Robert de La Salle, the most illustrious of the French explorers, 
his country owed the greatest debt. In 1673 Joliet and Marquette had 
passed down the Wisconsin river and penetrated the wilderness to the 
Mississippi, sailing in their canoes on that river below the mouth of the 
Arkansas river. But it remained for La Salle to determine whether the 
waters of that great river were discharged into the southern gulf or 
into the broad. Pacific. In 1665 La Salle came to Canada and engaged 
in the fur trade at La Chine, where the Sulpitian Fathers gave him 


an extensive grant of land. His love for adventure was great, and his 
imagination having become excited by the story of the voyage of Mar- 
quette and Joliet, he determined to push still further south in the hope 
of discovering the desired route to the " South Sea," erecting a line of 
military posts and trading stations along the route. This, he believed, 
would give France a still stronger claim to this vast territory. 

In 1672 Frontenac was made Governor- General of Canada. Their 
aspirations being of the same nature, it was easy for La Salle to secure 
the co-operation of the former. Returning to France in 1674, La Salle, 
received grants to large tracts of land about Lake Ontario and a title of 
nobility was conferred upon him by the king. Returning to Canada he 
sought a monopoly of the fur trade, but his prosperity and ambition re- 
sulted in the creation of animosities on the part of numerous rivals, and 
in 1677 he again returned to France to maintain his position, and also to 
obtain aid and authority to complete his plans for explorations in the far 
west. In this he was successful. May 12, 1678, the French crown 
granted to him the sole authority over all the western part of New 
France, with permission to construct all the forts necessary to the accom- 
plishment of his purpose, and a commission for the discovery of the 
Great River. The commission read as follows : 


Granted by the King of France to the Sieur de La Salle, on the 12th of 

May. 1678. 

Louis, by the Grace of God, King of France and Navarre, to our dear and well 
beloved Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle, greeting: — 

We have received with favor the very humble petition which has been presented 
to us in your name, to permit you to endeavor to discover the western part of our 
country of New France ; and we have consented to this proposal the more willingly 
because there is nothing we have more at heart than the discovery of this country, 
through which it is probable that a passage may be found to Mexico ; and because 
your diligence in clearing the land which we granted to you by the decree of our 
council of tfie 13th of May, 1675, and by letters patent of the same date, to form 
habitations upon the same lands, and to put Fort Frontenac in a good state of de- 
fence, the Seigniory and government whereof we likewise granted to you ; affords us 
every reason to hope that you will succeed to our satisfaction, and to the advantage 
of our subjects of the said country. 

For these reasons, and others thereunto moving us, we have permitted, and do 
hereby permit you, by these presents, signed by our hand, to endeavor to discover 
the western part of our country of New France; and for the execution of this enter- 
prise, to construct forts wherever you shall deem it necessary ; which it is our will 
you shall hold on the same terms and conditions as Fort Frontenac, agreeably and 


conformably to our said letters patent of the 13th of May, 1675, which we have con- 
firmed as far as is needful, and hereby confirm by these presents,— and it is our 
pleasure that they be executed according to their form and tenure. 

To accomphsh this, and everything above mentioned, we give you full powers; on 
conditions however, that you shall finish this enterprise in five years, in default of 
which these presents shall be void and of none effect ; that you carry on no trade 
whatever, with the savages called Outaouacs, and others, who bring their beaver 
skins and other peltries to Montreal ; and that the whole shall be done at your ex- 
pense, and that of your country to which we have granted the privilege of trade in 
buffalo skins. And we call on Sieur de Frontenac, our governor and lieutenant- 
general, and on Sieur de Chesneau, intendant of justice, poHcy and finance, and on 
the officers who compose the supreme council of said country, to affix their signatures 
to these presents ; for such is our pleasure. Given at St. Germaine en Laye, this 
13th day of May, 1678, and of our reign the thirty-fifth. 

.[Signed] LOUIS. 


Late in the summer of 1678 La Salle, accompanied by Tonti, an 
Italian, a number of mariners and mechanics, and carrying naval and 
military stores and goods for the Indian trade, arrived at Fort Fronte- 
nac. Here his formidable expedition was joined by Father Louis 
Hennepin. Early in the fall, accompanied by Father Hennepin and a 
part of his company, he embarked in a wooden vessel of ten tons bur- 
den, crossed Lake Ontario and sailed up the Niagara river as far as 
Lewiston. Upon the present site of Fort Niagara at Youngstown he 
established a trading post. Proceeding thence to a spot on the east 
side of the Niagara river, now the site of the hamlet of La Salle, he 
built a ship of sixty tons burden, called the Griffin." Tonti and Father 
Hennepin meanwhile established friendly relations with the Senecas. 
August 7, 1679, La Salle, having completed his boat, and also having 
dispatched messengers to apprise the inhabitants of the Illinois district 
of his intended visit, set sail up the Niagara river, carrying a colony of 
fur traders destined for the valley of the Mississippi. In Father Hen- 
nepin's account of this expedition of La Salle he says: 

On the 14th day of January, 1679, we arrived at our cabin at Niagara to refresh 
ourselves from the fatigues of our voyage. . . . On the 30th, I heard, from the 
banks where we were, the voice of the Sieur de La Salle, who had arrived from Fort 
Frontenac in a large vessel. He brought provisions and rigging necessary for the 
vessel we intended building above the great falls of Niagara, near the entrance into 
Lake Erie. But by a strange misfortune, that vessel was lost through fault of the 
two pilots, who disagreed as to the course. The vessel was wrecked on the southern 
shore of Lake Ontario, ten leagues from Niagara. The sailors have named the place 

' This ship was built upon the bank of Cayuga creek on the present Angevine farm. 


La Cap Enrage (Mad Cap). The anchors and cables were saved but the goods and 
bark canoes were lost. Such adversities would have caused the enterprise to be 
abandoned by any but those who had formed the noble design of a new discovery. 

The Sieur de La Salle informed us that he had been among the Iroquois Senecas, 
before the loss of his vessel, that he had succeeded so well in conciliating them, that 
they mentioned with pleasure our embassy, which I shall describe in another place, 
and even consented to the prosecution of our undertaking. This agreement was of 
short duration, for certain persons opposed our designs in every possible way, and 
instilled jealousies into the minds of the Iroquois. The fort, nevertheless, which we 
were building at Niagara, continued to advance. But finally the secret influences 
against us were so great, that the fort became an object of suspicion to the savages, 
and we were compelled to abandon its construction for a time, and content ourselves 
with building a habitation surrounded with palisades. 

On the 23d we went two leagues above the great falls of Niagara, and built some 
stocks, on which to erect the vessel which we needed for our voyage. We could not 
have built it in a more convenient place, being near a river which empties into the 
strait which is between Lake Erie and the great falls. In all my travels back and 
forth, I always carried my portable chapel upon my shoulders. 

On the 26th, the keel of the vessel and other pieces being ready, the Sieur de La 
Salle sent the master carpenter named Moyse, to request me to drive the first bolt. 
But the modesty appropriate to my religious profession, induced me to decline the 
honor. . . . Finally the Sieur de La Salle undertook his expedition on foot over 
the snow, and thus accomplished more than eighty leagues. He had no food, except 
a small bag of roasted corn, and even that had failed him two days' journey from 
the fort. Nevertheless he arrived safely with two men and a dog which drew his 
baggage on the ice. ... In the meantime the two savages of the Wolf tribe, 
whom he had engaged in our service, followed the chase, and furnished us with roe- 
bucks, and other kinds of deer, for our subsistence. By reason of which our work- 
men took courage and applied themselves to their business with more assiduity. 
Our vessel was consequently soon in a condition to be launched, which was done, 
after having been blessed according to our church of Rome. We were in haste to 
get it afloat, although not finished, that we might guard it more securely from the 
threatened fire. The vessel was named The Griffin (Le Griffon), in allusion to the 
arms of the Count de Frontenac, which have two Griffins for their supports. For 
the Sieur de La Salle had often said of this vessel, that he would make the Griffin 
fly above the crows. . . . 

After a few days, which were employed by the Sieur de la Forest in treating with 
the savages, we embarked with the vessel, having with us fifteen or sixteen squaws, 
who embraced the oppotunity, to avoid a land passage of forty leagues. As they 
were unaccustomed to travel in this manner the motion of the vessel caused them 
great qualms at the stomach, and brought upon us a terrible stench in the vessel. . . 

A few days after, a favorable wind sprung up, and Fathers Gabriel de la Ribourde 
and Zenobe Mambre and myself embarked from Fort Frontenac in the brigantine. 
We arrived in a short time at the mouth of the river of the Senecas [Oswego], which 
empties into Lake Ontario. . . . On the 4th of August I went overland to the great 
falls of Niagara with the sergeant, named La Fleur, and from thence to our ship- 
vard, which was six leagues from Lake Ontario ; but we did not find there the vessel 


we had built. Two young savages slyly robbed us of the little biscuit which re- 
mained for our subsistence. We found a bark canoe, half rotten and without pad- 
dles, which we fitted up as well as we could, and having made a temporary paddle, 
risked a passage in the frail boat, and finally arrived on board our vessel, which we 
found at anchor a league from the beautiful Lake Erie. Our arrival was welcomed 
with joy. We found the vessel perfectly equipped with sails, masts and everything 
necessary for navigation. We found on board five small cannon, two of which were 
brass, besides two or three arquebuses. A spread griffin adorned the prow, sur- 
mounted by an eagle. . . . 

We set sail on the 7th of August, 1679, steering west southwest. . . . On the 
8th a favorable wind enabled us to make' about forty-five leagues, and we saw 
almost all the way, the two distant shores, fifteen or sixteen leagues apart. . 

Aug. 11. We sailed up the strait [Detroit river] and passed between two small 
islands of a very charming appearance. This strait is more beautiful than that of 
Niagara. It is thirty leagues long, and is about a league broad, except about half 
way, where it is enlarged, forming a small lake which we called Sainte Claire, the 
navigation of which is safe along both shores, which are low and even. 

Reaching Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Griffin took on a rich cargo of 
furs and started on the return voyage. After sailing from that point 
no tidings were ever received of the vessel or crew, which undoubtedly 
were lost in a storm on one of the lakes. Soon after La Salle and the 
remnant of his band were obliged to return on foot to Fort Frontenac, 
a distance of a thousand miles. During his absence Father Hennepin 
traversed Illinois and explored the Mississippi northward as far as the 
Falls of St. Anthony. 

In 1681 La Salle returned to his station on the Illinois, bringing men 
and supplies. Another boat was built and launched, and early in the 
following year the heroic adventurer, with a small band of companions, 
descended the river to its mouth and entered the Mississippi. He 
finally reached the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and after a brief so- 
journ he started on his return journey. This adventure was one of the 
greatest exploits of modern times. 

Returning to Quebec La Salle immediately set sail for France. That 
country was now in a state of high excitement on account of the mar- 
velous expedition which the intrepid adventurer had successfully carried 
out. Vasit plans were at once made for beginning the work of coloniz- 
ing the valley of the Mississippi. 

In the meantime De la Barre had been appointed Governor of Can- 
ada, in 1682. His brief administration was a failure. In 1684 the Sen- 
ecas, who had been at war with the western Indians, pillaged a number 
of French canoes and captured fourteen prisoners. De la Barre was 


ordered to invade the Seneca country ; but before he did so he sought 
from Governor Dongan of the province of New York a pledge that the 
latter would not permit the sale of guns or ammunition to the Iroquois 
Nation. The English were on terms of friendship with the Iroquois, 
and consequently Governor Dongan refused to pledge himself to neu- 
trality. De la Barre then made an invasion of the country of the Sen- 
ecas and Onondagas, but the fiery eloquence of Garangula, a celebrated 
Onondaga chieftain, so thoroughly alarmed him that he was glad to 
leave the country. Disgusted with his weakness, his government re- 
called him in 1685, and Marquis de Nonville was appointed to succeed 

In July of the same year in which De la Barre allowed the Iroquois 
to overawe him, La Salle left France at the head of a colony of two 
hundred and eighty emigrants, in four ships commanded by Beaujeu. 
His plan was to ascend the Mississippi river and plant colonies on its 
banks and tributaries. Against La Salle's entreaties the blundering 
captain allowed the fleet to be carried out of its course, beyond the 
mouth of the Mississippi. Here a landing was effected and the first 
colony in Texas planted, on the shores of the bay of Matagorda. After 
several unsuccessful effbrts to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi, 
La Salle finally set out overland, with sixteen companions, to cross the 
continent to Canada. The march began in January, 1687, and on the 
20th of March following the intrepid explorer was assassinated by two 
conspirators in his company. 

In the meantime De Nonville, the new Governor of Canada, began 
preparations for subduing the Seneca Indians, who inhabited most of 
the territory within the limits of the original county of Genesee. He 
proposed energetic measures, including the establishment of a strong 
fort at Niagara and another on Lake Erie, for the double purpose of 
holding the Indians in check and preventing the English from further 
extending their fur trade among the western nations. In 1686 he 
wrote to his government : 

War once declared, it is an indispensable necessity to establish and maintain a 
post of two hundred men at Niagara, where married farmers ought, m my opinion, 
be placed to make clearances and to people that place, in view of becoming, with 
barks, masters of Lake Erie. I should greatly wish to to have a mill at Niagara.' 

De Nonville also advised the erection of other fortifications on account 
of the defenseless condition of the French, insisting that the Iroquois 

» O'Callaghan's Doc. Col. Hist. o£ N. Y. 


were powerful and hated the French, and that their ability to procure 
arms and ammunition from the English made them dangerous foes. 
He also corresponded with Governor Dongan, insisting that the French 
had the first rights in Western New York. Meanwhile he had pushed 
his preparations for invading the country of the Senecas 

June 13, 1687, De Nonville left Montreal with a force of two thousand 
men, four hundred of whom were Canadian Indians. Arriving at Fort 
Frontenac on the 30th, he proceeded July 4 to the south shore of Lake 
Ontario, landing at what is now Irondequoit, Monroe county, where 
the forces at Niagara had been ordered to meet him. After erecting 
a small stockade he started for the interior July 12, leaving a garrison 
of four hundred men to occupy the fort. The Senecas, finding the in- 
vading force so vastly surperior, fled before the French, burning their 
villages before they did so. 

The Indian village of Gannagaro, located near the present village of 
Victor, Ontario county, was the first point attacked. On the 13th they 
arrived at a defile near the Indian village, where they were ambushed 
by a considerable force of Senecas. Many of the invading force threw 
away their guns and clothing to escape into the woods, so great was 
their consternation. The Senecas finally retreated before the French 
army, burning all their villages, and sought refuge among the Cayugas. 
The French remained in the Indian country, however, until the 24:th. 
The deserted villages were entered and large quantities of corn and 
beans destroyed. The Indian allies of the French scouted the country 
and tomahawked and scalped those Senecas who fell behind in the 
flight. In his report of the expedition to the king De Nonville painted 
his exploits in very vivid colors; but Baron La Hontan, one of his offi- 
cers, in his account of the expedition, accused De Nonville of coward- 
ice, or at least timidity. 

De Nonville was so dispirited with the fright that had struck his men 
that his Indians could not persuade him to pursue. He halted the re- 
mainder of the day, and the next day proceeded on with the intention 
of burning the village; but the Senecas had laid their settlement in 
ashes. On the 24th, finding his invasion practically fruitless, the expe- 
dition returned to the bank of Lake Ontario 

The four Indian villages which De Nonville visited are supposed to 
have been as follows: 

Gannagaro, as the French called it, or Gaosaehgaah in the Seneca 
language, near Victor, Ontario county; Gannogarae, in the town of 


East Bloomfield, in Ontario county, near where the ancient Indian trail 
crossed Mud creek; Totiakto, or Deyudihaakdoh as the Senecas called 
it, on the northeast bend of Honeoye outlet, near West Mendon, in 
Monroe county ; and Gannounota, or Dyudonsot in the Seneca tongue, 
about two miles southeast of East Avon. 

On the 26th of the month the whole army set sail for Niagara, where 
it arrived on the morning of the 30th, having been delayed by head 
winds. There the army at once began the erection of a fort "at the 
extremity of a tongue of land between the river of Niagara and Lake 
Ontario, on the Iroquois side. " In three days the post was in good 
condition for defense in case of assault. In his journal De Nonville 
says his object in constructing this fortification was for the protection 
of the Indian allies and to enable them to continue the war against the 
Iroquois. He left a garrison of one hundred Troyes there, with am- 
munition and provisions for eight months; but they were besieged by 
the Senecas, and a sickness which broke out soon after killed off nearly 
the entire garrison. 

August 3 De Nonville left Niagara, reaching Montreal August 13, 
having left one hundred men at Fort Frontenac. The Senacas soon 
after returned and occupied the territory they had deserted. In oppo- 
sition to his personal desires La Hontan was directed to assume com- 
mand of a detachment and accompany the returning western Indian 
allies. At Lewiston, "where the navigation stops," his men carried 
their canoes up "the three mountains," launching them again at 
Schlosser, in the southeastern part of- the present city of Niagara 
Falls. A large body of Senecas were soon upon his trail. From the 
foot of Canandaigua lake, where they had temporarily encamped, they 
started for the vicinity of Niagara Falls, for the purpose of attacking 
the French troops or their Indian allies. The latter had just sailed 
from Schlosser, when a large body of Senecas appeared on the bank 
of the river. La Hontan's forces proceeded along the north shore of 
Lake Erie, and eventually reached the fort of St. Joseph's, relieving the 
garrison at that point. 

During the succeeding winter a party of Huron Indians started for 
the fort at Niagara, intending to enter the Seneca country and kill or 
capture detached parties of trappers. On their way through Canada 
they fell in with a party of Iroquois and killed or made prisoners of the 
entire party of sixty. When they returned to Mackinaw some of the 
prisoners informed La Hontan that they were members of the band 


which had intended to capture him and his command at Niagara Falls. 
When they left, they said, eight hundred Indians had besieged the fort 
at Niagara, and famine and disease were rapidly reducing the small 
French garrison there. 

De Nonville's invasion, the most formidable which the French had 
yet undertaken, served to aggravate the strained relations between that 
nation and the English, the latter insisting that the French had entered 
territory belonging to England. But the French occupation of the 
post at Niagara was short lived. The Iroquois Indians, thoroughly 
enraged over the attacks made upon them by the white invaders, har- 
assed the fort constantly, until the P'rench were compelled to sue for 
peace. In the summer of 1688 De Nonville ordered an armistice and 
invited five hundred Iroquois to meet him at Montreal to conclude 
peace negotiations. At the same time a band of twelve hundred warriors 
were ready to attack the French settlement there if the results of this 
convention should prove unsatisfactory. The Iroquois insisted upon 
the destruction of Fort Frontenac and Fort Niagara, the payment to 
the Senecas of a sufficient sum to reimburse them for the losses they 
had incurred by reason of the French invasion of their country, and 
the return of a number of their tribe who had been carried in captivity 
into Canada. 

The French were willing to concede what the Iroquois asked and these 
stipulations were inserted in the treaty then and there made. But, un- 
fortunately, the peaceful intentions of this convention were foiled by 
an act of treachery on the part of the Hurons. A chief of that tribe, 
accompanied by a hundred braves, visited Fort Frontenac for the pur- 
pose of assuring the French of his friendship. Reaching the latter place 
he learned of the friendly negotiations then in progress between the 
French, his allies, and the Iroquois, his enemies; jealousy prompted him 
to ambush the band of Iroquois returning from their mission to Montreal, 
killing many of them and making prisoners of the remainder. His 
treacherous spirit prompted him to tell the prisoners that he had at- 
tacked them under directions of De Nonville. He then liberated the 
prisoners, who returned to their country and spread the story of French 

The consequence was inevitable. The enraged Iroquois immediately 
went upon the warpath for revenge. July 26 twelve hundred warriors 
attacked Montreal, slaughtered about a thousand of the French settlers 
and left the village in ruins. This left the French in desperate straits, 


and on the other hand strengthened the bonds of friendship between 
the Iroquois and the English. To this fact, more than any other single 
occurrence, the victory of the .English in their contest against the 
French was due. The latter immediately abandoned Forts Frontenac 
and Niagara; and war between France and England having been de- 
clared, the allied forces of English and Iroquois wrought havoc among 
the French settlements in Canada. The enemies of the English dev- 
astated Schenectady and a portion of the Onondaga country; but the 
victory lay with the English. The treaty of Ryswick, in 1697, again 
brought peace, but for a few years only. 

The main point which produced the contest between these two 
nations — the conflicting territorial claims — unfortunately was not settled 
by this treaty; and until the boundaries between the colonial posses- 
sions of the two countries should be settled hostile operations were in- 
evitable. The Jesuit priests in Canada continued actively to spread 
their religion among the Indians, giving offense to the English by 
establishing missions among the Iroquois. The result was easily fore- 
seen. The differences between the two nations grew wider until the 
conflict known as Queen Anne's War, which began in 1702 and con- 
tinued until 1713. Before the inauguration ' of this war the French, 
gaining the friendship of the Western Indians through the offices of 
the Jesuit priests, had strengthened their position by the erection of 
numerous forts and the establishment of settlements. The French 
considered western New York — the territory subsequently becoming 
the original Genesee county — a great point of vantage to them ; but 
the English directed their attentions principally to other points. The 
details of this war are of little interest in this connection. Peace was 
concluded with the treaty of Utrecht April 11, 1713, France ceding to 
England Nova Scotia and Port Royal, and agreeing to refrain in the 
future from molesting "the Five Nations subject to the dominion of 
Great Britain. " Still the most important matter of all — the boundary 
question — was left unsettled and made another war certain. 

Little by little it became evident to the French that the English had 
determined to obtain control of Lake Ontario. In 1731 or 1732 the 
latter established a trading post at Irondequoit, and in 1726 one at 
Oswego. France still claimed the territory. To strengthen her posi- 
tion she erected, in 1726, a new fort at Niagara, on or very near the 
site of the present stone fort there. The French had objected to the mili- 
tary occupation of the two points on the lake by the English; the latter 


contended that the French were going beyond their rights in erecting a 
fort at the mouth of the Niagara river. The positions at both ends of 
the lake were of the highest commercial and strategic importance to 
both parties, as the nation holding both could absolutely control Lake 
Ontario and the bulk of the great fur trade. Both intrigued with the 
Indians in the hope of securing their allegiance. 

In 1713 the remnant of the Tuscarora tribe was adopted by the Iro- 
quois Confederacy, becoming the sixth nation of that republic. The 
Tuscaroras originally came from North Carolina, where they had in- 
habited the country of the Neuse and Tar rivers. In 1708 their twelve 
hundred warriors inhabited fifteen towns. In 1708 they had a rupture 
with the colonists, and soon after they were robbed of their lands. 
Hostilities followed, and many warriors were slain, while larger num- 
bers were made captives. Tired of their persecution and hopeless over 
their defeats, the remainder of the tribe who had not remained neutral 
migrated to New York. 

In 1744 war was declared involving not only England and France, 
but Spain and Austria. During the summer of that year the old stock- 
ades at Niagara were strengthened, but little else of direct interest in 
this connection transpired before the peace of October 18, 1748. While 
there was peace on paper, the conflict in America in reality never ceased. 
Both nations struggled with intensity to secure the undivided allegiance 
of the powerful Iroquois. In 1754 the English, probably aware of the 
fact that their enemies were planning to capture Oswego, repaired the 
fortifications at that point. While Braddock's stubbornness was leading 
him into the greatest of mistakes, Governor Shirley of Massachusetts 
strengthened the post at Oswego, which was heavily garrisoned, built 
Fort Ontario on the east side of the river, and created a small navy on 
the lake. In the meantime the French were bettering the condition of 
Fort Niagara, which had been saved from Shirley's contemplated attack 
by reason of storms on Lake Ontario. These preparations were pro- 
gressing during the period of technical peace. The next, and final, 
struggle for supreme control was not inaugurated until the formal dec- 
laration of war on May 18, 1756. 



The Final Struggle Between the French and English for Supremacy in North 
America — Capture of the Fort at Oswego — Bradstreet Takes Fort Frontenac — Gen- 
eral Prideaux's Expedition Against Fort Niagara — The Tragedy of Devil's Hole — 
End of French Dominion in America. 

Before the beginning of actual hostilities in 1756 it had become evi- 
dent to each party to the impending struggle that the other had been 
preparing with great energy to make a most desperate effort to main- 
tain its claims in America. At the beginning of the war the outlook 
for the cause of the English was far from flattering. It was, indeed, 
ominous. The French had been exceedingly active, and had secured 
many of the best points of vantage. Niagara had been placed in 
splendid condition by the French. Abercrombie's expedition against 
the post was unsuccessful. A few days after the declaration of war 
Commodore Bradley, commanding the little English fleet at Oswego, 
started for Niagara, but was soon compelled to return by reason of 
tempestuous weather on Lake Ontario. On his second expedition in 
June one of his vessels was captured by the French squadron. 

In August, 1756, Montcalm, the successor of Dieskau, commanding 
the French army of Canada, led five thousand men, consisting of reg- 
ulars, militia and Indians, against the English fort at Oswego, which 
Governor Shirley of Massachusetts had left in charge of Colonel Mer- 
cer and a garrison of seven hundred men. Erecting trenches about 
the fort, he opened a terrific fire August 13. The English had but a 
small supply of ammunition, and were compelled to retreat across the 
river to Little Fort Oswego, spiking their guns before they left. Mont- 
calm at once occupied the deserted fort, and from it assaulted the lesser 
fort, killing Colonel Mercer and many of his men. On the 14th the 
disheartened English capitulated, and the French were for the time 
being practically masters of the Great Lakes, as well as Lake Cham- 
plain and Lake George. 

Montcalm destroyed the fort at Oswego after he had captured it, 
principally for the purpose of showing the Iroquois that the French did 


not intend to maintain a military station in their territory. This move 
caused many of the Indians to turn to the French, greatly to the ela- 
tion of the latter. 

The campaign of 1757 was also disastrous to the English, leaving 
their enemies in control of the West. In 1758 the English, strength- 
ened by a better organization of the regular and colonial volunteer 
forces, succeeded in capturing Fort Frontenac. 

Colonel Bradstreet, who first suggested the attempted capture of 
Fort Frontenac, was placed in commad of the army assigned to 
the great task.' At the head of about three thousand men, with 
eight cannon and three mortars, he left Lake George and embarked 
at Oswego. On the evening of August 25 he landed about a mile 
from the fort. Within two days he had planted his batteries and 
opened fire. On the 37th the French commander surrendered one 
hundred and ten men, nine vessels, sixty cannon, sixteen mortars, 
many light arms and large quantities of military stores, provisions and 
merchandise. The fort was destroyed, as was everything else which 
could not be carried away by the victorious English army. 

The tide had turned, and the French were now as despondent as they 
had been elated. Their anxiety was also greatly increased by the rapid 
development of the English colonies, whose population was increasing 
at an entirely unanticipated rate. 

The spring of 1759 found the French in a wretched condition. While 
their crops had failed and there had been no considerable accession to 
their forces, the numerical strength of the English had become greater 
and the internal ties between the colonies, fighting in a common 
cause, stronger. On Fort Niagara the French placed their greatest 
dependence. The Iroquois had' now come out openly in favor of the 
English cause, and even the courageous Montcalm was discouraged. 

Among the expeditions planned by the English was one against 
Niagara. Major-General Amherst had become commander of the Eng- 
lish forces in North America. So successful had the English been 
that they now planned the complete conquest of Canada. The three 
strong positions still held by France were to be attacked simultaneously. 
Quebec was to be besieged by General Wolfe, the hero of Louisburg. 
General Amherst was was to proceed against Crown Point and Ticon- 
deroga, and after taking those places, cross Lake Champlain and join 
Wolfe. General Prideaux, accompanied by Sir William Johnson, was 
to have charge of the expedition against Fort Niagara. General Stan- 


wix and his detachment was to guard Lake Ontario and reduce the re- 
maining French posts in the Ohio valley. 

Early in the summer General Prideaux, at the head of an army of 
European and Provincial troops and Indians, proceeded to Oswego, 
coasted along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, and landed at the 
mouth of Four Mile creek July 6. When this army reached Niagara it 
consisted of two thousand whites and one thousand six hundred Indians. 
Despite the fact that it was broad daylight the French knew nothing 
of the approach of their enemy until the forces had passed the fort and 
entered the river.' 

July 7 seven English barges appeared near the shore. Scouts sent 
out by Captain Pouchot reported that fifteen or twenty barges, all told, 
lay near by, while numbers were flocking on the beach. The following 
day the English camp on the lake .shore was assaulted and broken up. 
On the 9th the surrender of the position was demanded by the besieg- 
ers, but Pouchot sent word to Prideaux that he should defend the post. 
On the 15th the fort was shelled, wounding several French soldiers- 
All this time the English had been strengthening their position, from 
which the assault was continued each day. July 19 General Prideaux 
was accidently killed in the trenches by the carlessness of a gunner who 
was preparing to fire a shell. 

The English kept up a regular fire, doing great damage to the fort 
and killing and wounding niany of the garrison. The French were 
running short of ammunition and many of their arms had become 
worthless. So desperate had their condition become that they were 
compelled to resort to the use of hay, straw, and even the mattresses 
and linen from their beds for wadding for their cannon. By the 24th 
the French had not more than a hundred muskets fit for use. Rein- 
forcements dispatched to the relief of the fort by Aubrey and Lignery, 
at Fort Machault and Presque Isle, were driven back by the English. 
Seeing that further resistance was useless Pouchot surrendered, upon 
the demand of Sir William Johnson, on July 25, when the victors took 
possession of the fort. 

By this victory the Niagara river, which the French had controlled 
for more than a century, came under English domination. Quebec, 
falling before the magnificent assault under Wolfe, French dominion 
on the American continent was forever at an end. Still Canada was 

' The account of the ensuing operations in this campaign is taken from the memoirs of 
Pouchot, commander of the French forces at Niagara. 


not ceded to England until the signing of the treaty of 1763, so tena- 
ciously did France cling to her colonies. 

Immediately after the surrender of Fort Niagara the English took 
possession of the frontier of Western New York, with the intention of 
keeping control of a means of communication with their western points. 
Of all these posts the most important to England, as it had been with 
France, was Niagara. In 1760 this carrying-place was placed in charge 
of John Steadman, who was instructed by Sir William Johnson to open 
and improve the road. This step was highly displeasing to the Senecas. 
who, disregarding the authority of Johnson as superintendent of Indian 
affairs, united with western tribes in marauding expeditions, pursuing 
their depredations almost to the gates of Niagara. In these attacks 
several Englishmen were killed. 

At this time the Senecas had no settlements between the Genesee 
and the Niagara. The English had erected a palisaded fort on the 
east bank of the Niagara near the east boundary of the present city of 
Niagara Falls, which they named Fort Schlosser, in honor of its first 
commander. Captain Joseph Schlosser. Fort Niagara, which had been 
greatly strengthened, was for the time used as a base of supplies for 
the West and the growing Indian trade. A few of the Senecas in- 
habited cabins on the present site of Lewiston, where they assisted the 
English in transporting goods across the river. 

July 24, 1761, Johnson reached Niagara on his way to Detroit. Here 
he remained for four weeks inspecting the various points on the frontier. 
He also learned that attempts were being made by certain traders to 
cheat the Indians, a course well calculated to produce an uprising 
among them. In 1763 Johnson, learning of the murder by the Indians 
of two traders who were passing through the Seneca country, informed 
the natives that any future crimes of this character would be followed 
by summary punishment. But the Senecas, foreseeing their ultimate 
expulsion from their country and their extinction as a nation, seemed 
determined to retard, if not prevent, the encroachments of the whites. 
The portage between Lewiston and Fort Schlosser, passing most of 
the way through the woods, was a dangerous road, and soldiers were 
stationed at both ends to protect and accompany trading teams. Soon 
after this occurred the terrible massacre at Devil's Hole, a point on the 
east bank of the Niagara river a short distance north of the city of 
Niagara Falls. The following old account of what took place at that 
spot is considered authentic by historians: 


In 1760 Mr. Stedman, an Englishman, contracted with Sir William [Johnson] to 
construct a portage road from Queenston Landing, nowLewiston, to Fort Schlosser, 
a distance of about eight miles. The road having been completed, on the morning 
of the 17th of September, 1763, fifteen wagons and teams, mostly oxen, under an 
escort of twenty-four men, commanded by a sergeant, and accompanied by the con- 
tractor, Stedman, and Captain Johnson, as a volunteer, set out from Fort Niagara, 
with stores, &c., intended for the garrison at Fort Schlosser. Arriving something 
over two miles from the top of the mountain above Lewiston, and ten or twelve from 
Niagara, the escort and wagons halted about eleven o'clock, on a little savanna of 
green sward to rest and take refreshments, beside a gulf called in Indian and Eng- 
lish, the Devil's Hole. This is a semi-circular precipice or chasm of some two hun- 
dred feet in diameter up and down the river on the summit, but less at the bottom. 
A little distance from the brink of the hole is a kind of natural mound, several feet 
in height, also of crescent shape ; and sixty feet from the top issues a fine spring, 
which dashes down through the underbrush to the river. A small brook in the 
neighborhood, called the bloody-run, now runs into the chasm. The Seneca Indians 
continued in the French interest at this period, and fearing a hostile movement on 
their part, a detachment of volunteers consisting of one hundred and thirty men 
under the command of Captain Campbell, marched from Queenston to strengthen the 
escort. Just as the troops under Capt. C. reached the spot where the escort halted, 
about five hundred Indians, who bad been concealed behind the mound, sprang from 
their covert with savage yells, and like so- many tigers began an indiscriminate 
slaughter of the troops, who were thrown in the utmost confusion. Resistance , 
against such odds did not long continue, and those of the party who were not killed 
or driven from the precipice with their teams, attempted their escape by flight. In 
the midst of the conflict, Stedman sprang upon a small horse, and giving the faithful 
animal a slap on the neck with his hand, it bore him over the dead and dying, and 
through the thick ranks of the foe, who discharged their rifles, and hurled their 
tomahawks in vain at his head. 

Of those who jumped directly down the precipice in front, some seventy or eighty 
feet, which has an uneven surface below, only one escaped with life. This was a 
soldier named Mathews, from whom these particulars were obtained by the tourist. 
He was then living on the Canada shore, near Niagara, and familiarly called Old- 
Brittania. Several trees were growing from the bottom of the hole, the tops of which 
reached near the surface of the ground. Into one of these trees Corporal Noble 
leaped and hung, in which position eleven bullets riddled his body. Captain John- 
son, of the escort, was killed, and Lieut. Duncan, of the relief, a native of Long Isl- 
and, and a promising young officer, was wounded in the left arm, of which he died. 
The whole number of troops and teamsters was about one hundred and seventy-five, 
of this number only some twenty-five escaped with life, and all of them, except Sted- 
man and Mathews, did so below or near the north end of the hole, at a little sand 
ridge, which served to break the fall. Of Capt. Campbell's command, only eleven 
escaped with life. The loss of the enemy was inconsiderable compared with that of 
the British. A short time after this horrid affair, the Indians, who considered Sted- 
man a charmed man, gave him as a reward for his daring feat, a large tract of land, 
which embraced all that he rode over in his previous flight. He returned to England, 


taking along this favorite horse, and never afterwards would he allow it to be sad- 
dled or harnessed. ' 

Most other accounts of this treacherous and bloody attack agree with 
the one quoted in its essential points. Some state that it occurred 
September 14 instead of September 17, the date given by Mr. Simms; 
that the escort consisted of twenty-five men instead of twenty four, and 
that the train was bound for Detroit instead of Fort Schlosser. But 
these details are of minor importance. Some recent publications state 
that but eight men are believed to have escaped, whereas Mr. Simms's 
informant, who was one of those whose lives were spared, puts the 
number at about twenty-five. 

In the meantime Pontiac's war had broken out in the West, the cause 
being similar to that which resulted in the massacre at the Devil's Hole — 
the English encroachments upon Indian territory and their defeat of the 
French. In July, 1764, General John Bradstreet, at the head of eleven 
hundred provincial troops, started for the west to put down the up- 
rising inaugurated by the wily Ottawa chief. At Oswego his forces 
were augmented by five hundred Iroquois under Johnson, and at Niag- 
ara the army was nearly doubled, three hundred of the additional forces 
being Seneca Indians. While waiting in this vicinity the erection of 
Fort Erie was begun. 

October 19, 1763, while six hundred English soldiers in command of 
Major Wilkins were on their way to Detroit in boats, the rear guard, 
consisting of one hundred and sixty men, were fired upon from the 
shore by a band of Senecas, who were concealed in the woods about on 
the site of Black Rock. At the first volley thirteen men were killed 
and wounded. Fifty men were sent ashore, where three more men 
were killed and twelve seriously wounded. This was the last serious 
attack on the part of the Senecas. In April, 1764, representatives of 
the nation signed a treaty of peace at the home of Sir William Johnson 
at Johnstown. 

From that time to the Revolution comparative peace reigned 
throughout Genesee county. The trade with the Indians increased at 
a satisfactory rate, and the Niagara frontier was a scene of great activ- 
ity. Sir William Johnson devoted much of his attention toward se- 
curing a continuance and enlargement of the policy of peace and hon- 
esty toward the Indians oq the part of the British government. Janu- 

1 This account is taken from Jeptha R. Simms's Border Wars of New York (1845). The author 
obtained the story from the lips of one of the survivors, as appears in the narrative. 


ary 16, 1765, Rev. Samuel Kirkland, accompanied by two Seneca In- 
dians, left Johnstown on a mission through the Iroquois country. He 
remained some time at Kanadesaga, the chief village of the Senecas, 
spreading the principles of the Christian religion among them. For 
six years he labored assiduously among the Six Nations, and his serv- 
ices were most valuable in breaking down the feelings of animosity 
which these nations entertained toward the English. 

During this period of peace, Tryon county, afterward Montgomery, 
was erected from Albany county in 1773. The new county comprised 
all New York State west of the present western boundaries of Saratoga 
and Schenectady counties, and of course included all the territory which 
subsequently was set apart to form Genesee county. Few other events 
of importance occurred before the Revolution. Little attempt was 
made to effect settlements at a distance from the trading posts, for the 
whites still felt insecure from the attacks of the Indians, whom all had 
learned to distrust. The condition of Western New York, then, was 
to all intents and purposes the same at the opening of the Revolution- 
ary war as at the close of the long series of conflicts which gave to 
England the supremacy over France on the American continent. 


The War of the Revolution — Expedition of General Sullivan into the Genesee 
Country — The Seneca Indians Routed — Lieutenant Boyd's Awful Fate— First White 
Settlement at Buflfalo Creek. 

The details of that tremendous struggle of the American colonies for 
independence from the tyrannical, but short-sighted, British govern- 
ment, need no recounting in connection with the brief story of Gen- 
esee county's participation or immediate local interest in the war. The 
causes of this remarkable contest existed even before the echoes of the 
French and Indian war had died away, and are too familiar to require 
even a mention in this connection. During all that long period of hos- 
tilities, beginning in J 775 and terminating in 1783, no part of the actual 
contest occurred in the county of Genesee, excepting sporadic Indian 
attacks. At one time, however, the victorious American army came 


as far west as the easterly bounds of the. original county, but there 
paused and retraced its steps. The original plan contemplated the in- 
vasion of Genesee county and an attack upon Fort Niagara. 

While the Western New York frontier had very little immediate' con- 
nection with the events of the war, the post of Fort Niagara was an 
important one from a military standpoint for either of the contesting 
powers. During the entire war it remained in the undisputed posses- 
sion of the British. 

As during the French and Indian war, the fealty of the powerful 
Iroquois Confederacy became an object of considerable importance to 
two nations of white men. The great influence of the noted Johnson 
family, now led by Sir John Johnson and Colonel Guy Johnson, the 
latter having succeeded Sir William as superintendent of Indian affairs, 
was strongly exercised in the interests of the British cause. The re- 
sult was that all the Iroquois nations except the Oneidas and Tus- 
caroras allied themselves with the British as against the colonists. 
The Seneca nation hesitated for some time before coming out openly 
for an alliance, but the pay promised them by the Johnsons and their 
natural disposition to go upon the warpath finally converted them. 
After 1777 they were active partisans of the British crown. It is a 
matter of record, though not official, that at a council held at Oswego 
the agents of the British government gave numerous presents to the 
Senecas and promised them "a bounty on every scalp that should be 
brought in." ' But the Americans were equally as active as the British 
in seeking an alliance with the New York Indians, though not success- 
ful in their efforts. 

Col. John Butler, the notorious Tory; Joseph Brant, the celebrated 
Mohawk chief; the Johnsons and other enemies of the colonies made 
Fort Niagara their headquarters during the period of the war, and fre- 
quent expeditions against exposed portions of the country were planned 
and put into execution at that point. Butler organized the notorious 
Butler's Rangers, whose very name inspired the hearts of the colonists 
of New York with terror, and their commander became one of the 
most conspicuous figures in the border wars. 

The massacre of Wyoming, in July, 1778, and the attack upon 
Cherry Valley in November of the same year thoroughly alarmed the 

' This is according to the narrative of Mary Jemison, the white woman whose history appears 
in a succeeding chapter. The truth o£ her statement has been gravely questioned, and never 
definitely settled. 


colonists. On the former occasion a motley band of Tories and Indians 
under command of Butler entered the Wyoming valley about four 
hundred strong, on July 3. This locality, unfortunately, already had 
sent two companies into the Continental army, leaving only old men, 
women and children, with a small body of soldiers for its defense. The 
unsuspecting inhabitants were attacked by the invading party, who 
soon killed and scalped more than two hundred of them. Many of the 
prisoners were either tortured or slaughtered in the most savage fash- 
ion. On the night of July 4, after a number of fugitives who had taken 
refuge in the fort had been offered humane terms of surrender, the In- 
dians overran the beautiful valley and completed their work of desola- 
tion and murder. Nearly every house in the valley was burned and 
the remaining inhabitants obliged to flee to the mountains for their 
lives. In this massacre the Indians consisted principally of Senecas. 

November 11 of the same year a band of Indians and Tories under 
command respectively of Joseph Brant and Walter N. Butler, a son of 
Col. John Butler, descended upon Cherry valley, killed thirty-two of 
the inhabitants and sixten soldiers garrisoned there, and carried nearly 
forty men, women and children into captivity. 

Two expeditions against the Indians were now planned. The first 
of these was made against the Onondagas in the spring of 1779, under 
Colonels Van Schaick and Willet, but it accomplished little. During 
the summer a more extensive expedition with the same end in view — 
the chastisement of the Senecas — was organized. Congress authorized 
General Washington to send an expedition into the country of the Iro- 
quois, lay waste their villages and retaliate for the wrongs they had in- 
flicted upon the colonists. The expedition was to be primarily for 
punitive purposes, but the design also embraced an attack upon Fort 
Niagara, the headquarters of the British and their Indian allies in this 
region of the country. 

The Senecas, being located at a remote point from the headquarters 
of the American forces, for a long time had been comparatively free 
from fear of retributive justice ; and they were in a position, by reason 
of their location, to do the patriot cause incalculable injury. 

Washington gave General John Sullivan command of three thousand 
Continental troops, gathered in the Wyoming valley and the surround- 
ing country, and directed him to proceed against the Senecas. The 
capture of Fort Niagara, which was being held by the notorious Colo- 
nel John Butler, was a possibility consequent upon the routing of the 


Indians. Reaching Tioga Point August 22, Sullivan was joined by 
General JaniBS Clinton in command of the eastern division, composed 
of one thousand six hundred men. About a mile below Newtown, 
now Elmira, the Indians, though strongly fortified, were routed. 

The force opposing Sullivan consisted of Butler and his notorious 
Rangers and a large body of Indians under the famous Mohawk chief, 
Joseph Brant. The latter consisted of Senecas, with a few Delawares. 

August 39, after having laid waste all the Indian country he had 
traversed. General Sullivan prepared to attack the British and Indians 
in the position they had chosen to defend. After two hours of desper- 
ate fighting, during which Sullivan had so disposed his forces as nearly 
to surround the position of the enemy, the latter, becoming fearful 
that they would be hemmed in and annihilated, suddenly abandoned 
the post and fled. For two miles Sullivan followed in pursuit. The 
enemy lost heavily, while the American loss was but six killed and 
about forty wounded. 

This victory convinced the Indians that further resistance would be 
useless, and Sullivan found no further bar to his progress into the 
Genesee country. As the Americans proceeded, however, they found 
that the principal villages of the Senecas had been abandoned. Only 
once again did the enemy make the slightest preparations to impede 
the progress of the patriot army. Near the head of Conesus lake they 
selected a position and began arrangements for an ambuscade, but 
when Sullivan's forces came up the flight was continued as expe- 
ditiously as before. Sullivan continued his march, devastating every- 
thing that could be of use to the Indians. While Sullivan was con- 
structing a bridge over a creek which led to Little Beard's Town, 
Lieutenant Boyd and a scouting party had a severe battle with a 
superior force of Indians in the vicinity of what is now the town of 
Leicester, Livingston county, originally within the confines of Genesee 
county. Boyd and a man named Parker were made prisoners, and the 
former was tortured to death in the most horrible manner. The fol- 
lowing account of the incident is taken from Wilkinson's Annals of 

From Canandaigua the array proceeded to Honeoye, which they destroyed ; and 
passing by Hemlock lake, they came to the head of Connissius lake, where the army 
encamped for the night, on the ground which is now called Henderson's Flats. 

Soon after the army had encamped, at the dusk of evening, a party of twenty-one 
men, under the command of Lieut. William Boyd, was detached from the rifle corps, 


which was commanded by the celebrated Morgan, and sent out for the purpose of re- 
connoitering the ground near the Genesee river, at a place now called Williamsburgh, 
at a distance from the place of encampment of about seven miles, and under the 
guidance of a faithful Indian pilot. The place was then the site of an Indian vil- 
lage; and it was apprehended that the Indians and rangers, as their allies were 
called, might be there, or in its vicinity. 

When the party arrived at Williamsburgh, they found that the Indians had very 
recently left the place, as the fires in their huts were still burning. The night was 
so far spent when they got to the place of their destination, that the gallant Boyd, 
considering the fatigue of his men, concluded to remain quietly where he was, near 
the village, sleeping upon their arms, till the next morning, and then to dispatch two 
messengers with a report to the camp. Accordingly, a little before daybreak, he 
sent two men to the main body of the army, with information that the enemy had 
not been discovered, but were supposed to be not far distant, from the fires they 
found burning the evening before. 

After daylight. Lieutenant Boyd and his men cautiously crept from the place of their 
concealment, and upon getting a view of the village, discovered two Indians lurking 
about the settlement, one of whom was immediately shot and scalped by one of 
the riflemen by the name of Murphy. Lieutenant Boyd — supposing now that if 
there were any Indians near they would be aroused by the report of the rifle, and 
possibly by a perception of what had just taken place, the scalping of the Indian — ■ 
thought it most prudent to retire and make his best way back to the main army. 
They accordingly set out and retraced the steps they had| taken the evening before. 

On their arriving within about one mile and a half of the main army, they were 
surprised by the sudden appearance of a body of Indians, to the amount of five hun- 
dred, under the command of Brant, and the same number of rangers, commanded 
by the infamous Butler, who had secreted themselves in a ravine of considerable ex- 
tent, which lay across the track that Lieutenant Boyd had pursued. These two 
leaders of the enemy had not lost sight of the American army since their appalling 
defeat at the narrows above Newtown, though they had not shown themselves till 
now. With what disrnay they must have witnessed the destruction of their towns 
and the fruit of their field?, that marked the progress of our army ! They dare not, 
however, any more come in contact with the main army, whatever should be the 
consequence of their forbearance. 

Lieutenant Boyd and his little Heroic party, upon discovering the enemy, knowing 
that the only chance for their escape would be by breaking through their lines, 
an enterprise of most desperate undertaking, made the bold attempt. As extraor- 
dinary as it may seem, the first onset, though unsuccessful, was made without the 
loss of a man on the part of the heroic band, though several of the enemy were killed. 
Two attempts more were made, which were equally unsuccessful, and in which the 
whole party fell, excepting Lieutenant Boyd and eight others. Boyd and a soldier 
by the name of Parker, were taken prisoners on the spot ; a part of the remainder 
fled, and a part fell on the ground apparently dead, and were overloooked by the In- 
dians, who were too much engaged in pursuing the fugitives to notice those who 

When Lieutenant Boyd found himself a prisoner, he solicited an interview with 
Brant, preferring, it seems, to throw himself upon the clemency and fidelity of the 


savage leader of the enemy, rather than trust to his civilized colleague. The chief, 
who was at that moment near, immediately presented himself, when Lieutenant 
Boyd, by one of these appeals and tokens which are known only by those who have 
been initiated and instructed in certain mysteries, and which never fail to bring suc- 
cor to a distressed brother, addressed him as the only source from which he could 
expect respite from cruel punishment or death. The appeal was recognized, and 
Brant immediately and in the strongest language, assured him that his life should 
be spared. 

Boyd and his fellow-prisoners were conducted immediately by a party of Indians 
to the Indian village called Beardstown, after a distinguished chief of that name, on 
the west side of the Genesee river, and in what is now called Leicester. After their 
arrival at Beardstown, Brant, being called on service which required a few hours' 
absence, left them in care of Colonel Butler. The latter, as soon as Brant had left 
them, commenced an interrogation, to obtain from the prisoners a statement of the 
number, situation, and intentions of the army under Sullivan ; and threatened them, 
in case they hesitated or prevaricated in their answers, to deliver them up immedi- 
ately to be massacred by the Indians ; who, in Brant's absence, and with the encour- 
agement of their more savage commander, Butler, were ready to commit the greatest 
cruelties. Relying probably upon the promises which Brant had made them, and 
which he most likely intended to fulfill, they refused to give Butler the desired infor- 
mation. Upon this refusal, burning with revenge, Butler hastened to put his threat 
into execution. He delivered them to some of their most ferocious enemies, among 
which the Indian chief Little Beard was distinguished for his inventive ferocity. In 
this, that was about to take place, as well as in all the other scenes of cruelty that 
were perpetrated in his town. Little Beard was master of ceremonies. The stoutest 
heart quails under the apprehension of immediate and certain torture and death ; 
where too, there is not an eye that pities, nor a heart that feels. The suffering lieu- 
tenant was first stripped of his clothing, and then tied to a sapling, when the Indians 
menaced his life by throwing their tomahawks at a tree directly over his head, 
brandishing their scalping-knives around him in the most frightful manner, and 
accompanying their ceremonies with the. most terrific shouts of joy. Having pun- 
ished him sufficiently in this way, they made a small opening in his abdomen, took 
out an intestine, which they tied to a sapling, and then unbound him from the tree, 
and by scourges, drove him around it till he had drawn out the whole of his intes- 
tines. He was then beheaded, and his head was stuck upon a pole, with a dog's 
head just above it, and his body left unburied upon the ground. Throughout the 
whole of his sufferings, the brave Boyd neither asked for mercy, or uttered a word 
of complaint. 

Thus perished William Boyd, a young officer of heroic virtue and of rising talents; 
and in a manner that will touch the sympathies of all who read the story of his 
death. His fellow soldier, and fellow sufferer, Parker, was obliged to witness this 
moving and tragical scene, and in full expectation of passing the same ordeal. Ac- 
cording, however, to our information, in relation to the death of these two men, 
which has been obtained incidentally from the Indian account of it, corroborated by 
the discovery of the two bodies by the American army, Parker was only beheaded. 

The main army, immediately after hearing of the situation of Lieutenant Boyd's 
detachment, moved towards Genesee river, and finding the bodies of those who were 


slain in the heroic attempt to penetrate the enemy's hne, buried them in what is 
now the town of Groveland, near the banli of Beard's creek, under a bunch of wild 
plum trees, where the graves are to be seen to this day. 

General Sullivan for some time continued the work of devastating 
the country of the Senecas, destroying everything necessary to the 
maintenance of life. The Senecas were completely humbled and sub- 
dued and fled to Niagara for succor; but the patriot forces returned 
without proceeding to Niagara, whose capture might easily have been 

General Sullivan's journal of his carppaign against the Senecas shows 
that the aboriginal inhabitants of Genesee county by this time had 
made considerable progress in the arts of peace. The majority of them 
had left the chase and turned to agriculture, but fled upon the approach 
of the Continental army, seeking sustenance at Niagara. In July, 1780, 
Colonel Guy Johnson, writing to Lord Germain upon Indian affairs, 

The large body that was to be provided for at this post, during the last winter, in 
consequence of the rebel invasion, and the destruction of many Indian towns, occa- 
sioned much expense, and great consumption of provisions, which I have endeavored 
as far as consistent with the service, and the Commander-in-Chief afforded his assist- 
ance for re-establishing them, and enabling them to plant, as early as he could; to 
promote which, as well as to forward parties, I have lately visited their new settle- 
ments ; one on the Ohio route is increasing fast, and I have already induced about 
twelve hundred of their people to settle and plant these places, which will lessen the 
burden of expenses. 

Buffalo Creek was on the Ohio route referred to, and here one of the 
principal Indian settlements was located, early in the summer of 1780. 
The Senecas who settled here were under the leadership of Siangar- 
ochti, or Sayengaraghta, an aged sachem, known popularly as Old 
King. The Gilbert family of fifteen persons, who were captured in 
April, 1780, by eleven Indians, at their home in Northampton county, 
Pa., were carried by the Senecas to Fort Niagara. Subsequently some 
members of the family were taken to Buffalo Creek. One member of 
the family carried to the latter place was Elizabeth Peart, wife of 
Thomas Peart, son of the elder Mrs. Gilbert by a former husband. A 
Seneca family had adopted her, but her child, a few months old, was 
adopted by another family living near Fort Niagara. Early in 1781 
the Indians at Buffalo Creek were compelled to go to Fort Niagara for 
provisions. She accompanied them to see her child, but on arriving at 
the fort she learned that it had been bought by a white family. Mrs. 



Peart contrived to escape to Montreal with her husband and children. 
Other members of the family were held prisoners for some time, and 
the last of them were not released until 1783. 

Buffalo Creek being deemed an advantageous point for trade, a num- 
ber of English located there a short time after the establishment of the 
Indian settlement. This was the first white settlement in that locality. 

From this time to the close of the Revolution few events of more than 
passing interest occurred within the limits of what afterward became 
the original county of Genesee. During the winter and spring of 1780- 
1781 Brant made a few unimportant forays from Niagara, but as the 
territory in the vicinity of the fort was held by the British and their 
Indian allies, no important results followed. The Niagara frontier was 
quiet from this period to the close of the general hostilities; but al- 
though peace was declared in 1783, the formal surrender of the frontier 
did not take place until July, 1796. This facts accounts in a large 
measure for the late development of the resources of this community 
by the whites. 


From the Close of the Revolution to the Famous Purchase of the Holland Land 
Company — Cession of the Sovereignty of the " Genesee Country " by Massachusetts 
to New York — Sale of the Territory to Individuals — The Morris Purchase — The Hol- 
land Land Company Enters the Field — Morris Extinguishes the Indian Titles to the 
Land He Had Purchased. 

The war of the Revolution, while disastrous in its effects upon most 
sections of the country, was not without its benefits. The country west 
of the Genesee river received a great amount of advertising as a direct 
result of the war. A large portion of the American army, drawn from 
other States as well as from New York, was encamped in or marched 
through this section on frequent occasions. Before the close of the war 
" the Genesee country " had become widely known as one of the most 
fertile and productive tracts anywhere in that section of America which 
had been thoroughly explored. The officers and soldiers of the patriot 
army, most of whom resided in the New England States, learned of 
the character of the land, mingled with the pioneers and in several in- 


Stances married daughters of some of the inhabitants of the new coun- 
try. The result was that when the war ended and they returned to 
their homes they gave roseate accounts of the wonderful farm lands in 
the region which had sheltered them and of the numerous other attrac- 
tions, with the result that large numbers of the inhabitants of New 
England began planning to found new homes in that part of New York 
which afterward became the original county of Genesee. 

With the signing of the convention commonly known as the treaty 
of Fort Stanwix, which event took place October 32, 1784, the Indian 
titles to all lands west of the line fixed by the treaty were extinguished, 
and the red men were guaranteed peaceable possession of the territory 
east of the line. An illustration of the honesty of purpose on the part 
of the United States in its dealing with the Indians in those days is 
found in the case which arose in 1790. In that year the great sachems, 
Cornplanter, Half Town and Great Tree, complained to President 
Washington that they were being ill-treated in various ways and that 
the rights guaranteed them by the treaty of 1784 were not being ac- 
corded them. Washington promptly assured them that they would be 
fully protected in their rights and that the whites would be compelled 
to observe the provisions of the compact into which they, through their 
representatives, had entered. For some time thereafter, in accordance 
with instructions issued by the president, the local Indians had no 
cause of complaint, though they ultimately were compelled to relin- 
quish control of the lands they and their forefathers had held for many 

Soon after the peace of 1783 emigration westward began to assume 
considerable proportions, for the fame of the Genesee country had 
spread throughout the Union. Many of the newcomers followed Sul- 
livan's old route as far. as the Genesee river, proceeding thence to 
Lewiston, on the Niagara river. About 1790 or 1791 a road was opened 
as far west as the crossing at Black Rock. From Batavia this road fol- 
lowed the high ground on nearly the same course as the old stage road 
to Buffalo. 

In 1789 Ontario county was erected from Montgomery. The original 
Ontario county embraced practically all the territory west of Seneca 

In the month of April, 1791, the War Department dispatched Colonel 
Thomas Proctor on a mission to pacify the Indians in the west, against 
whom General St. Clair was preparing an expedition. The United 


States government had been led to believe that the British, who still 
occupied the posts on the frontier, had been encouraging the Indians 
to continue their depredations on the frontier. Colonel Proctor visited 
the village of the chief called Cornplanter, located on the Allegany. 
Thence he proceeded to the Cattaraugus settlement, in company with 
Cornplanter and a number of his warriors. Continuing down the 
beach to Buffalo Creek he made efforts to induce the Senecas to use 
their influence to put an end to the Indian depredations in the west. 
At this time the famous chieftain, Red Jacket, had become very influ- 
tial, and when he learned Proctor's plans he questioned the latter's 
authority. Proctor proved to the Indians that he had authority direct 
from the government, and the next day Red Jacket announced that he 
would remove the council to Fort Niagara. Proctor objected ■ to this 
step, and a compromise was' effected by the Indians sending to Niagara 
for Butler. Two or three days afterward Butler arrived, and on May 
4 the sachems and leaders met him in council. When the council was 
ended Proctor prepared for an expedition further west, and Red Jacket 
announced that the women of his tribe had decided that the sachems 
and warriors must aid the commission and that a number of them would 
accompany him on his errand of peace. But the British threw obsta- 
cles in Proctor's path, the officer in command opposite Fort Niagara 
refusing the request of the American officer for transportation up Lake 
Erie on a British merchant vessel, the chief having refused to make the 
journey in an open boat. Proctor endeavored to bribe Red Jacket, but 
the expedition finally was abandoned and May 21, after having spent 
nearly a month at or near Buffalo, Proctor started for Pittsburg. The 
expedition had proven a failure. 

In 1794 General Anthony Wayne began his famous campaign against 
the western Indians, completely subduing them. Two years later the 
British surrendered Fort Niagara and other frontier posts, and the 
Indians began to understand that their interests would be best con- 
served by maintaining friendly relations with the victorious Americans. 
After 1796 their attitude was such as to give the American government 
little concern. As soon as absolute peace was thus assured, settlers 
began flocking to the rich and productive region of country of which 
we are writing, and whose fame had been spread throughout the length 
and breadth of land. 

Much confusion has arisen in the minds of average readers as to the 


meaning of the widely- used term, '/the Genesee country." During 
the Revolutionary war, and as late as 1789, that part of New York State 
west of a line drawn north from about the site of the present city of 
Elmira was known as ' ' the Genesee country. " The lands were claimed 
by both New York and Massachusetts, and the British forts at Niagara 
and Oswego menaced both the claimants long after the close of the 
Revolution. Simcoe, then governor of Upper Canada, protested against 
the settlement of the country " during the inexecution of the treaty 
that terminated the Revolutionary war." The British considered the 
treaty of 1783 a mere truce, to be followed by the speedy failure of the 
new republic and the restoration of the colonies to the mother country. 
Beside the constant menace of the British the country abounded in un- 
friendly Indians. So bad was the reputation of the entire section that 
when apprentices were bound or slaves sold it was stipulated that they 
should not be taken into the Genesee country. In 1788, five years after 
the signing of the treaty of peace, when Oliver Phelps left his home in 
Connecticut to go to the notorious country for the purpose of looking 
after his great claim his friends called him a fool ; and a number of the 
more religiously inclined among them accompanied him to the limits 
of his town with prayers and tears. 

Oliver Phelps and Daniel Gorham, the latter also of Connecticut, had 
purchased from Massachusetts the entire tract west of "the pre-emption 
line, " agreeing to pay $1,000,000 therefor. This was at the rate of 
fourteen cents per acre for the seven million acres. This line ran 
northward from the eighty-second milestone on the Pennsylvania border 
to the shore of Lake Ontario. Massachusetts had ceded to New York 
all political jurisdiction to the territory west of this line, reserving the 
right of pre-emption. In 1788 Phelps held a council with the repre- 
sentatives of the Six Nations on the site of the present village of Can- 
andaigua, purchasing their right to two million five hundred thousand 
acres in this tract, the Massachusetts title to which already -had been 
invested in himself and Gorham. He then opened, at what is now Can- 
andaigua, the first land office in America for the sale of virgin lands to 
actual settlers. /But later on these partners in this gigantic speculation 
met with financial reverses and were obliged to surrender all of the 
tract the Indian title to which had not been extinguished, and the major 
portion of it afterward was purchased by the Holland Land company/ 

It will thus be seen that the original " Genesee country " was a term 
which included not only the tract eventually known by that name, but 


also the Holland tract and other tracts. What was finally known as 
"the Geneseecountry,"after the failure of Phelps and Gorham, embraced 
an area of two million two hundred thousand acres. It was bounded on 
the east by the pre-emption line, and on the west by a line drawn through 
the "Big Elm" at the junction of the Canaseraga creek with the Gen- 
esee river, near the present village of Mount Morris This line met 
the Pennsylvania line at the south. Two miles north of Canandaigua 
now Avon, it turned westward at a right angle, and then followed the 
course of the Genesee river to Lake Ontario, a distance of twelve miles. 

When the war of the Revolution had been brought to a close and the 
independence of the colonies had been established, a serious dispute 
arose between the State of New York and the Commonwealth of Mas- 
sachusetts regarding the territory now comprised in Western New 
York. Massachusetts claimed the title to this land by virtue of a grant 
by King James I to the Plymouth Company, made November 3, 1620. 
New York laid claim to it by virtue of the grant from Charles I to the 
Duke of York, dated March 13, 1664, and the voluntary submission of 
the Iroquois nations to the British crown in 1684.' 

At a convention held at Hartford, Conn., December 16, 1786, at 

1 James I, King of Great Britain, in the year 1620, granted to the Plymouth Company, a tract 
of country denominated New England ; this tract extended several degrees of latitude north and 
south, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean east and west. A charter for the government 
of a portion of this territory, granted by Charles I, in 1628, was vacated in "1684, but a second 
charter was granted by William and Mary in 1691. The territory comprised in this second charter 
extended on the Atlantic ocean from north latitude 43 degrees 2 minutes to 44 degrees 15 minutes, 
and from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. Charles I, in 1663, granted to the Duke of York and 
Albany, the province of New York, including the present State of New Jersey. -The tract thus 
granted extended from a line twenty miles east of the Hudson river, westward rather indef- 
initely, and from the Atlantic ocean north to the south line of Canada, then a French i^'ovince. 
By this collision of description, each of these colonies (afterwards states), laid claim to the juris- 
diction as well as to the pre-emption right of the same land, being a tract sufficiently large to 
form several states. The State of New York,' however, in 1781, and Massachusetts, in 1785 ceded 
to the United States all their rights, either of jurisdiction or proprietorship, to all the territory 
lying west of a meridian line run south from the westerly bend of Lake Ontario. Although the 
nominal amount in controversy, by these acts, w^s much diminished, it still left some nineteen 
thousand square miles of territory in dispute, but this controversy was finally settled by a con- 
vention of Commissioners appointed by the parties, held at Hartford, Conn., on the 16th day of 
December, 1786. According to the stipulations entered into by the convention, Massachusetts 
ceded to the State of New York all her claim to the government, sovereignty and jurisdiction of 
all the territory lying west of the present east line of the State of New York; and New York ceded 
to Massachusetts the pre-emption right, or fee of the land subject to the title of the natives, of all 
that part of the State of New York lying west of a line, beginning at a point in the north line of 
Pennsylvania, 82 miles north of the northeast corner of said State, and running from thence due 
north through Seneca lake, to Lake Ontario; exceptmg and reserving to the State of New York 
a strip of land east of and adjoining the eastern bank of the Niagara river, one mile wide, and 
extending its whole length. The land, the pre-emption right of which was thus ceded amounted 
to about six millions of acres.— Turner's History of the Holland Purchase. Page 325. 


which the States of New York and Massachusetts were represented by 
commissioners, the conflicting claims of the two States to that portion 
of what is now New York lying west of a line drawn northwardly from 
the eighty-second milestone on the Pennsylvania line to Lake Ontario, 
excepting a strip one mile wide the length of the Niagara river on its 
east side, had been adjusted to the satisfaction of both parties to the 
contract. Massachusetts had ceded to New York complete jurisdiction 
over the land, and New York had yielded to Massachusetts the pre- 
emption or proprietary right. In other words the State of Massachu- 
setts as an individual, held the proprietary title to lands in New York 
State. The tract in question contained about six million acres. 

In April, 1788, Massachusetts contracted to sell to Oliver Phelps of 
Granville, Hampshire county, Mass., and Nathaniel Gorham of Charles- 
town, Mass., their pre emption right to all the lands in Western New 
York, for the sum of one million dollars, to be paid in three annual 
installments. This was at the rate of about seventeen cents per acre. 
The contract required that the payment should be made in a kind of 
scrip known as "consolidated securities," at that time much below par; 
but a rise to par prevented them from fulfilling the terms of their 

In July, 1788, Phelps and Gorham purchased of the Indians, at a 
convention held at Buffalo, the Indian title to about 3,600,000 acres of 
the eastern part of their purchase from Massachusetts. This purchase 
was bounded west by a line beginning at a point in the northern bound- 
ary of Pennsylvania due south of the point made by the confluence of 
the Canaseraga creek with the Genesee river, running thence exactly 
north to the junction of these two streams, thence northwardly along 
the waters of the Genesee river to a point two miles north of Cana- 
wagus village, thence running due west twelve miles, thence running 
northwardly to a point on the south shore of Lake Ontario twelve miles 
west of the Genesee river. November 21, 1788, the State of Massa- 
chusetts conveyed to Phelps and Gorham all the right and title to this 
tract, the latter having extinguished the Indian title. These lands in- 
cluded most of the territory comprised within the limits of the present 
counties of Allegany, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben, 
Wayne and Yates. 

As soon as practicable this tract was surveyed into townships about 
six miles square, and these townships subdivided into lots, many of 
which were soon sold to white settlers. 


May 11, 1791, the State of Massachusetts sold to Samuel Ogden, as 
the representative of Robert Morris, all the balance of its land except- 
ing that which Phelps and Gorham had retained. This included about 
3,750,000 acres which the latter had been compelled to reconvey to the 
State, finding themselves unable to pay for the same. 

Oliver Phelps was a native of Windsor, Conn. He served through 
the Revolutionary war, during which he became acquainted with Rob- 
ert Morris. In 1802 he removed to Canandaigua, remaining there un- 
til his death in 1809. He became first judge of Ontario county, and 
also served as a member of Congress from his district. His son, Leices- 
ter Phelps, assumed the name of Oliver Leicester Phelps after his 
graduation from Yale college. The latter died in 1813. He was the 
father of the late Judge Oliver Phelps of Canandaigua. Nathaniel 
Gorham, the partner of Mr. Phelps, was a citizen of Boston, Mass., but 
never resided upon his purchase. His son, Nathaniel Gorham, became 
an early resident of Canandaigua, where he died in 1826. 

Robert Morris, who lived in Philadelphia, was the great patriot and 
financier, who had been Superintendent of Finance for the Revolution- 
ary government, and his hand had guided that government in safety 
through the pecuniary perils which had beset and almost wrecked it. 
,j This great tract of land, known in history as the " Morris Purchase," 
I became the original county of Genesee." The east line of the Morris 
Purchase commenced upon the Pennsylvania line 44. 78 miles west of 
the pre-emption line and ran due north to an elm tree and the forks of 
the Genesee river and Canaseraga creek, thence northerly along that 
river to a point two miles north of the Canawagus village, thence due 
west twelve miles, thence north twenty-four degrees east to Lake On- 
tario. Soon after his purchase, Morris made a treaty or contract with 
the Indians residing on the territory he had acquired in which they 
agreed to relinquish their title to all the land in question excepting a 
few reservations of moderate area.^ 

■ The English translation o£ the Indian name Genesee is " The Beautiful Valley." 
2 The tracts reserved by the Indians were the Canawagus Re.servation of two square miles, 
on the Genesee river west of Avon ; Little Beard's and Big Tree Reservations of four square 
miles, on the Genesee opposite Geneseo ; Squakie Hill Reservation of two square miles, on the 
Genesee north of Mount Morris ; Gardeau Reservation of twenty-eight square miles, on both 
sides of the Genesee, in Castilp and Mount Morris ; the Caneadea Reservation of six square miles, 
on both sides of the Genesee in Allegany county ; the Oil Spring Reservation of one square mile, 
on the line between Cattaraugus and Allegany counties ; the Allegany Reservation of forty-two 
square miles, on both sides of the Allegany river, extending north from the Pennsylvania line ; 
the Cattaraugus Reservation of forty-two square miles, on both sides of the mouth of Cattaraugus 
creek ; the Buffalo Reservation of one hundred and thirty square miles, on both sides of Buffalo 


The Gardeau Reservation, which lay partly in the town of Castile, in 
the southeastern corner of Wyoming county, formerly a part of the 
original Genesee county, was a tract of ten thousand acres which the 
Indians conferred upon Mary Jemison, the historic "white woman," 
who resided upon it until her decease, at a very advanced age, in Sep- 
tember, 1833. 

Mary Jemison was a remarkable woman. She was born at sea, of 
Irish parents, during their passage to America in 1743 or 1743. Her 
parents settled upon what at that time was the frontier of Pennsyl- 
vania. One of her uncles was a member of Washington's command, 
and fell at Braddock's defeat. In the spring of 1755 Mary, her parents, 
two brothers and several other inmates of the house in which she was 
residing were made prisoners by a party of six Seneca Indians and four 
Frenchmen. They were taken to the woods, where every member of 
the captured party except Mary was murdered. She was exposed to 
all the hardships and privations of a prisoner until her arrival at a 
Seneca town, where she was adopted as a daughter into an Indian 
family. She was treated with kindness, but laid plans for escape ; these 
being frustrated she finally resigned herself entirely to the Indian life 
and customs. Soon she fell in love with a young Delaware Indian, and 
married him, becoming the mother of children. 

Her Delaware husband dying, at about the beginning of the Revo- 
lution, she married a chief of the Senecas, residing in the Genesee valley. 
Her new husband was one of the most bloodthirsty members of that 
warlike tribe, but was ever kind to his spouse. Through all her career 
among the savages she retained her family name, Jemison, and gen- 
erally spoke the English language; but although her parents had given 
her careful religious instruction, she embraced the religion of the sav- 
ages and became thoroughly Indianized — adopting and becoming 
enamored of all their manners, habits and customs. 

Her life was full of incident, with many wild adventures. She was 
always held in the most exalted esteem by the Indians, as was evinced 
by the grant of the Gardeau tract, a fertile section upon which she re- 
sided until a few years before her death, which occurred on the Buffalo 
Creek Reservation. In obtaining this grant, or reservation, she showed 
all the cunning of her adopted people. Thomas Morris, who conducted 

creek ; the Tonawanda Reservation o£ seventy square miles on both sides of Tonawanda creek, 
mostly in Genesee county ; and the Tuscarora Reservation of one square mile, three miles east 
of Lewiston, Niagara county. Portions of some of these reservations are still held and occupied 
by descendants of the original Indian owners. 


the treaty for his father, is reported as having said that when a request 
for a reservation for the " white woman " was made to him, he supposed 
that the petitioning Indians meant only a farm of two hundred or three 
acres ; but the woman herself, by artfully indicating certain bounds 
with which he was not familiar, overreached him and obtained a tract 
of ten thousand acres, including the whole of what was known as the 
Gardeau iiats and the romantic walls of rock and hill within which they 
are sequestered. 

During the Revolution the house of Mary Jemison frequently shel- 
tered Brant and Butler when making their invasions upon the frontier. 
In 1775 she attended the treaty of Genesee flats, held by General 
Schuyler. In 1833 the story of her romantic life, as told by her, was 
taken down in writing, and was full of incident and adventure. Many 
of her experiences were very thrilling, and some most pathetic. She 
never would consent to cast ofiF her Indian costume, even after her 
home had become completely surrounded by the increasing white pop- 
ulation, but to the end of her life she adhered with great tenacity to all 
her Indian customs. She was wealthy and her thousands of acres 
were worked by tenants. One of her sons became a physician and ob- 
tained a surgeon's commission in the United States navy. Though a 
woman of unusually marked peculiarities Mary Jemison was humane 
and benevolent, and her influence, particularly in her latter days, was 
always ^employed for the accomplishment of good, principally among 
the members of the fast decaying Indian tribes residing in Western 
New York. 

In the summer of 1789, the year after the purchase of Western New 
York by Phelps & Gorham, Oliver Phelps left Granville, Mass. , with 
men and means for the purpose of exploring and surveying this exten- 
sive territory. The wilderness was penetrated as far as Canandaigua, 
then considered on the frontier of civilization. By the assistance of the 
Rev. Mr. Kirkland, the missionary among the Six Nations, and a com- 
missioner on behalf of Massachusetts, Mr. Phelps succeeded in collect- 
ing the chiefs and warriors of those tribes whose warlike spirit still 
rankled, on account of the chastisement inflicted by Sullivan's expedi- 
tion. This conference with the Indians was held on a beautiful eleva- 
tion overlooking Canandaigua lake. 

Two days had passed away in negotiation with the Indians for a cession of their 
lands. The contract was supposed to be nearly completed, when Red Jacket arose. 
With the grace and dignity of a Roman senator he drew his blanket around him, 


and with a piercing eye surveyed the multitude. All was hushed. Nothing inter- 
posed to break the silence save the rustling of the tree-tops, under whose shade they 
were gathered. After a long and solemn, biit not unmeaning pause, he commenced 
his speech in a low voice and sententious style. Rising gradually with his subject, 
he depicted the primitive simplicity and happiness of his nation, and the wrongs 
they had sustained from the usurpations of the white man, with such a bold but 
faithful pencil that the Indian auditors were soon roused to vengeance or melted into 

The effect was inexpressible. But, ere the emotions of admiration or sympathy 
had subsided, the white men became alarmed. They were in the heart of an Indian 
country, surrounded by more than ten times their number, who were inflamed by 
the remembrance of their injuries, and excited to indignation by the eloquence of a 
favorite chief. Appalled and terrified, the white men cast a cheerless gaze upon the 
hordes around them. A nod from the chiefs might be the onset of destruction. At 
that portentous moment. Farmer's Brother interposed. He replied not to his brother 
chief; but, with the sagacity truly aboriginal, he caused a cessation of the council, 
introduced good cheer, commended the eloquence of Red Jacket, and, before the 
meeting had reassembled, with the aid of other prudent chiefs, he had moderated 
the fury of his nation to a more salutary review of the question before them.' 

The Revolution resulted in the financial ruin of Robert Morris, and 
soon after making his great purchase, a speculation in which he hoped 
partially to retrieve his fortunes, he was compelled to part with his land. 
In 1792 and 1793 he disposed of most of his holdings to representatives 
of men in Holland who afterwards became known as the Holland Land 
Company. The property was conveyed by four separate deeds. De- 
cember 24, 1793, he deeded one and one-half million acres to Herman 
Le Roy and John Linklaen. February 27, 1793, he deeded one million 
acres to Herman Le Roy, John Linklaen and Gerrit Boon. July 20; 
1793, he deeded eight hundred thousand acres to the last named per- 
sons ; and on the same day deeded three hundred thousand acres to 
Herman Le Roy, William Bayard and Matthew Clarkson. 

These tracts were purchased with money furnished by a number of 
capitalists residing in Holland and held in trust for their benefit, the 
laws of the State forbidding aliens to purchase and hold real estate in 
their own names. The State Legislature finally sanctioned transfers 
of portions of the land, and the entire tract was conveyed by the trus- 
tees by three separate deeds to the individuals composing three separ- 
ate branches of the Holland Land Company. Although these deeds of 
conveyance were given to three 'distinct companies of proprietors, their 
interests were very closely blended, several of the persons having large 
interests in each of the three different estates. They appointed one 

' Barber and Howe's "Historical Collections of the State of New York." 


general agent for the whole, who conducted the concerns of the tract 
generally as though it all belonged to the same proprietors, making no 
distinction which operated in the least on the settlers and purchasers. 

The tracts thus sold by Robert Morris became famous as the "Hol- 
land Purchase." This sale was made before the Indian title to the land 
was extinguished, accompanied by an agreement on the part of Morris 
to extinguish that title, with the assistance of the company, as soon as 

The Holland Purchase comprised about seven-eighths of the entire 
Morris Purchase, Robert Morris reserving to himself a strip of an aver- 
age width of twelve miles, lying between the Phelps and Gorham Pur- 
chase and the Holland Purchase, and known as the Morris Reserve. 
The line forming the division between the Holland Purchase and the 
Morris Reserve commenced upon the Pennsylvania line twelve miles 
west of the west line of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, and from 
thence ran due north to near the center of the present town of Staf- 
ford, Genesee county; thence due west 2.07875 miles thence due north 
to Lake Ontario. This line is known as the " Transit Line," from its 
being run by a transit, then used for the first time in making surveys. 

The Morris Reserve subsequently was disposed of in several large 
tracts to different purchasers. A tract containing 87,000 acres, lying 
immediately west of Phelps & Gorham's "mill yard," was sold to Le 
Roy, Bayard & McEvers, and is known as the Triangular Tract. The 
Connecticut Tract lies immediately west of the Triangle, and contains 
100,000 acres. It was purchased by the State of Connecticut and Sir 
William Pultney and was divided between them. The Cragie Tract, 
containing 50,000 acres, joins the Connecticut Tract on the south, and 
immediately east is the Forty Thousand Acre Tract. South of these 
are successively the Ogden Tract of 50,000 acres; the Cottinger Tract 
of 50,000 acres; the Sterritt Tract of 150,000 acres; and the Church 
Tract of 100,000 acres. A tract joining the Forty Thousand Acre 
Tract on the south is known as Morris's Honorary Creditors' Tract and 
contains 58,570 acres. Of these tracts the Connecticut and Cragie 
Tracts, with the Holland Purchase, occupied all of what is now Gen- 
esee county. 

Soon after the purchase made by the Holland company, a colony con- 
sisting of about seventy German families was sent over from Hamburg 
to settle on the land acquired; but having lived in large towns these 
immigrants were unaccustomed to the hard labor necessary to the clear- 


ing up and early development of a new country, and rioting followed 
the first attempt at settlement. After this the company opened an 
office for the sale of its lands, which were disposed of in this way for 
many years. 

Immediately after the title had been obtained by the individuals or 
the associations of individuals referred to, in the foregoing, steps were 
taken to extinguish the Indian titles and to survey the tract. 

Though Robert Morris desired a speedy settlement of his transactions 
with the Hollanders, it was not until 1796 that he requested President 
Washington to order a treaty and appoint a commissioner to represent 
the United States. Morris's delay in making this application was due 
entirely to motives of public consideration. His letter was as follows: 

Philadelphia, August 25, 1796. 

Sir — In the year 1791 I purchased from the State of Massachusetts a tract of coun- 
try lying within the boundaries of the State of New York, which had been ceded by 
the latter to the former State, under the sanction and with the concurrence of the 
Congress of the United States. This tract of land is bounded to the east by the 
Genesee river, to the north by Lake Ontario, to the west partly by Lake Erie and 
partly by the boundary line of the Pennsylvania triangle, and to the south by the 
north boundary line of the State of Pennsylvania. A printed brief of the title I take 
the liberty to transmit herewith. To perfect this title it is necessary to purchase of 
the Seneca nation of Indians their native right, which I should have done soon after 
the purchase was made of the State of Massachusetts, but that I felt rnyself restrained 
from doing so by motives of public consideration. The war between the western 
Indian nations and the United States did not extend to the Six Nations, of which 
the Seneca Nation is one ; and, as I apprehended that, if this nation should sell its 
rights during the existence of that war, they might the more readily be induced to 
join the enemies of our country, I was determined not to make the purchase whilst 
the war lasted. 

When peace was made with the Indian nations I turned my thoughts toward the 
purchase, which is to me an object very interesting ; but upon it being represented 
that a little longer patience, until the Western posts should be delivered up by the 
British government, might be public utility, I concluded to wait for that event also, 
which is now happily accomplished, and there seems no obstacle to restrain me from 
making the purchase, especially as I have reason to believe the Indians are desirous 
of making the sale, 

The delays which have already taken place and that arose solely from the con- 
siderations above mentioned, have been extremely detrimental to my private affairs ; 
but, still being desirous to comply with formalities prescribed by certain laws of the 
United States, although these laws probably do not reach my case, I now make ap- 
plication to the President of the United States and request that he will nominate and 
appoint a commissioner to be present and preside at a treaty, which he will be 
pleased to authorize to be held with the Seneca nation, for the purpose of enabling 
me to make a purchase in conformity with the formalities required by law, of the 


tract of country for which I have already paid a very large sum of money. My right 
to pre-emption is unequivocal, and the land is become so necessary to the growing 
population and surrounding settlements that it is with difficulty that the white people 
can be restrained from squattering or settling down upon these lands, which if they 
should do, it may probably bring on contentions with the Six Nations. This will be 
prevented by a timely, fair, and honorable purchase. This proposed treaty ought 
to be held immediately before the hunting season, or another year will be lost, as the 
Indians cannot be collected during that season. The loss of another year, under the 
payments thus made for these lands, would be ruinous to my affairs ; and as I have 
paid so great deference to public considerations whilst they did exist, I expect and 
hope that my request will be readily granted now, when there can be no cause for 
delay, especially if the Indians are willing to sell, which will be tested by the offer 
to buy. 

With the most perfect esteem and respect, I am, sir, your most obedient and most 
humble servant, Robert Morris. 

George Washington, Esq. , President of the United States. 

In accordance with Morris's request Washington designated Isaac 
Smith, a member of Congress from New Jersey, as commissioner. But 
Mr. Smith subsequently having been appointed a judge of the Supreme 
Court of New Jersey, he declined the appointment, and Colonel Jere- 
miah Wadsworth, who had been a member of Congress from Connecti- 
cut, was named in his place. Morris being unable personally to par- 
ticipate in the convention, he appointed his son Thomas and Captain 
Charles Williamson as his attorneys; but the latter declined to act, on 
account of pressing private business, and the entire responsibility for 
conducting the difficult negotiations devolved upon the younger Morris. 

It was decided to hold the convention at Big Tree, near the site of 
the present village of Geneseo. Thomas Morris entertained the prin- 
cipal persons participating in the treaty, and caused a large council 
house to be erected.' Late in the month of August the Indians began 
to arrive at Big Tree. Of the fifty-two who signed the treaty, many 
were foremost sachems. The leaders of the Senecas included such 
noted chief tains as Young King, chief warrior. Red Jacket, Cornplanter, 
Handsome Lake, the Prophet, Farmer's Brother, Little Billy, Pollard, 
the Infant, Little Beard, Destroy Town and Blacksnake. There were 

' In Doty's History of Livingston county it is asserted that the Indian village of Big Tree was 
west of the Genesee river, but that the historic big tree itself rose from the eastern bank of the 
river. Some historians claim that the village was east of the river. Both are correct, as the vil- 
lage was moved ; but it was west of the Genesee at the time of the treaty. Not only does it ap- 
pear so on the first map of the region made from actual surveys, but in the treaty as agreed upon 
it was stated that the reservation of Big Tree should embrace the village. EUicott's map of 1804 
shows the reservation to be west of the river. The village was moved in 1805, and on the map 
showing the Phelps and Gorham Purchase in 1806, Big Tree village is located on the east of the 
Genesee. In all probability the council house erected by Thomas Morris stood on the east bank. 


two Indians known to the whites as Big Tree. Ga-on-dah-go-waah, some- 
times called Great Tree, was a full-blooded Seneca of the Hawk clan 
and for many years resided at Big Tree village. July 8, 1788, when 
Phelps and Gorham made their purchase, he attended the Buffalo treaty. 
In 1790 he went to Philadelphia with Cornplanter and Half Town to 
protest against what they deemed unjust treatment on the part of 
Phelps and his associates. In 1793 he went there again in company 
with Red Jacket and died in that city in April of that year. His daugh- 
ter had a son whose father was a Niagara trader named Pollard. He 
became a famous chief, named Ga-on-do-wan-na, and was also known 
as Big Tree. He was one of the signers of the Big Tree treaty. He 
was almost the equal of Red Jacket as an orator, but had a finer char- 
acter, becoming one of the noblest of the Senecas, especially after the 
death of the famous Cornplanter. He was one of the first Indians at 
the Buffalo Creek Reservation to become a convert to Christianity, and 
after his conversion his life was pure and beneficent. He was known 
by many as Colonel John Pollard. His death occurred on the Buffalo 
Creek Reservation April 10, 1841, and his body was interred in the old 
Mission cemetery. 

August 23 Thomas Morris reached the Genesee valley. The com- 
missioners arrived four days later. Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth rep- 
resenting the United States and General William Shepherd appearing 
for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Among the others who were 
there were Captain Israel Chapin, who had succeeded his father, Gen- 
eral Israel Chapin, as superintendent of Indian affairs; James Rees, 
later of Geneva, who acted as secretary to the commission ; William 
Bayard of New York, the agent of the Holland Land Company; two 
young Hollanders named Van Staphorst, relatives of the Van Stap- 
horst who was one of the members of the Holland Land Company; 
Nathaniel W. Howell, Horatio Jones and Jasper Parrish. 

At one o'clock on the afternoon of August 38, 1797, the council was 
formally opened. The first to speak was Cornplanter. The two com- 
missioners then presented their credentials and addressed the council, 
assuring the Indians that no injustice should be done them, but that 
their interests would be fully protected. Young Morris then informed 
the Indians of his father's desire, and concluded by offering the sum of 
$100,000 for the entire tract, allowing the Senecas to retain such reser- 
vations as might be needed for their actual occupation. 

In order to give the Indians time f'or deliberation, the council was 


then adjourned. Upon reassembling Farmer's Brother replied to the 
propositions made by Morris, stating that the Indians had various ob- 
jections to selling. Morris answered the arguments advanced, and 
another adjournment was taken. Upon reconvening, the famous Red 
Jacket arose to announce the determination of his people. At the 
previous session Morris had thoughtlessly remarked, in referring to the 
small value of the lands while remaining in the natural and unproduc- 
tive state, that their only value while in that condition arose from the 
consciousness of their ownership that the Indians felt. In the famous 
speech now delivered by Red Jacket he admitted the truth of the re- 
mark, but added : 

That knowledge is everything to us. It raises us in our own estimation. It creates 
in our bbsoms a proud feeling which elevates us to a nation. Observe the difference 
between the estimation in which a Seneca is held and that of an Oneida. We are 
courted, while the Oneidas are considered a degraded people, fit only to make brooms 
and baskets. Why this difference ? It is because the Senecas are known as the pro- 
prietors of a broad domain, while the Oneidas are cooped up ill a narrow space. 

For two weeks the question was discussed in all its aspects. The 
Indians not yet agreeing to sell, the commissioners exhibited impa- 
tience and urged upon young Morris the wisdom of more vigorous 
action. The latter protested, insisting that he knew the Indian char- 
acteristics better than his advisers ; but so strongly did the commission- 
ers insist that at the next session Morris pronounced an emphatic neg- 
ative to the proposition of the chiefs, declaring that if they had nothing 
better to offer the council might as well end. Springing to his feet 
Red Jacket exclaimed : 

You now have arrived at the point to which I wished to bring you. You told us 
in your first address that, even in the event of our not agreeing, we would part as 
friends. Here, then, is my hand. I now cover up the council fire. 

This decision was received with great applause, and to all appear- 
ances the council was ended. The commissioners, realizing how un- 
fortunate had been the results of their interference, now begged Morris 
to endeavor to rekindle the council fire. The latter acted promptly 
and with great sagacity. Approaching Farmer's Brother he declared 
that, according to the Indian custom, the council fire could be put out 
by none other than by him who had kindled it; that Red Jacket had 
exceeded his authority, and that the council fire was still burning. The 
force of Morris's argument was admitted. The latter then called the 
Seneca women together, distributed handsome presents among them 
and argued with them in favor of the proposed transfer of the lands. 


According to the Indian laws the lands belonged to the warriors who 
fought for them and the women who cultivated them. While the treaties 
generally were negotiated by the sachems, the warriors and the women 
held the right to interfere when the question involved was the sale of 
land. Morris knew this, hence his diplomatic dealings with the women 
of the nation present. As the result of his efforts, the women here ex- 
ercised their inherent right and the council reassembled. Cornplanter, 
the principal war chief, superseded Red Jacket and conducted the 
negotiations for the Indians. After a comparatively brief conference 
the Indians decided to accept the offer made by Morris, and September 
15, 1797, the treaty was signed. By its provisions all the land now 
embraced within the counties of Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee, Erie, 
Cattaraugus and Chautauqua was sold to Robert Morris,' amount paid 
therefor to be invested in the stock of the bank of the United States 
and held in the name of the president for the benefit of the Indians. 


The Holland Land Company and Its Representatives in America — Joseph EUicott, 
the First Agent on the Purchase, and His Operations— Old Indian Trails — Taxpayers 
in Genesee County in 1800— Sketch of Joseph EUicott. 

The main office of the Holland Land Company was located at Phila- 
delphia, and the members of the company were Wilhelm Willink, Jan 
Willink, Nicholas Van Staphorst, Jacob Van Staphorst, Nicholas Hub- 
bard, Pieter Van Eeghen, Christian Van Eeghen, Isaac Ten Cote, Hen- 
drick Vallenhoven, Christina Coster, Jan Stadmitski and Rutger J. 
Schimmelpennick. Theophilus Cazenove, the first general agent of the 
company, took charge of all the business relating to the company from 
the time of the first purchase of the lands until 1799. Upon his retire- 

' Certain modern writers who have investigated the subject have produced what appears to 
be documentary evidence that Morris and the representatives of the Holland Land Company 
were compelled secretly to bribe the Seneca warriors to induce them to consent to the sale of 
their lands. It is said that Cornplanter received an annuity of two hundred and fifty dollars as 
long as he lived as his share of the bribe, while Red Jacket, Young King and Little Billy received 
one hundred dollars per annum. Robert Morris himself evidently expected that the Indians 
would have to be bribed, for in his letter of instructions he said: "Annuities of $20 to $60 may be 
given to influential chiefs, and to the highest chiefs $2.50 to $.300. Some dollars may be promised 
before the treaty and paid when finished, to the amount of $500 or $600, or, if necessary $1,000." 


ment Paul Busti succeeded to the management, remaining in charge 
until 1834, a period of a quarter of a century. He in turn was suc- 
ceeded by John J. Vander Kemp, who remained in control until the 
final settlement of the affairs of the company. 

Joseph EUicott, an eminent surveyor, was employed by the famous 
Holland Company to survey their lands and manage the sale of them, 
his engagement with them dating from July, 1797. He at once took 
charge of the surveys of these lands, completing them in a little less 
than a dozen years. Surveying began on a big scale in 1798, after 
elaborate and extensive preparations. Besides Mr. Ellicott there were 
eleven surveyors, each of whom was provided with a corps of assist- 
ants." A part of this force, under the leadership of John Thompson, 
proceeded westward over the usual route to Buffalo, where a portion 
of their outfit was left for use on the western part of the purchase. 
The remainder was taken to Williamsburg, on Genesee river, where a 
storehouse for the use of the surveyors had been built. At the start 
these two points were the principal depots for the surveyors ; but before 
the end of the year Mr. Ellicott, who had personally surveyed the Tran- 
sit Line, made the principal headquarters at the point on that line 
known as the Transit storehouse. The Transit Line extended from 
Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario, forming the basis for the future surveys 
and divisions of the territory. These surveys were continued until 
the whole territory was divided into ranges and townships. The ranges 
were numbered from east to west and the townships from south to 

The first plan of the agent of the company was to divide each 
township, which was six miles square, into sixteen portions, one 
and a half miles square, to be called sections, and to subdivide 
each section into twelve lots, each lot to be three-quarters of a mile 
long (generally north and south) and one-quarter of a mile wide, con- 
taining about one hundred and twenty acres each. It was presumed 
that many wealthy farmers would purchase one section each, while 
those possessed of moderate capital would content themselves with the 
smaller farms. The surveys of twenty-four townships were begun in 

' The principal surveyors engaged during the active season o£ 1T98, in township, meridian 
line and reservation surveys, and in lake and river traverses, were as follows; Joseph and Benja- 
min Ellicott, John Thompson, Richard M. Stoddard, George Burgess, James Dewey, David Elli- 
cott, Aaron Oakford, jr., Augustus Porter, Seth Pease, James Smedley, William Shepherd, 
George Eggleston. In addition to these were two Frenchmen, Messrs. Haudecaur and Autrechy, 
who were employed in some surveys of Niagara river and the falls. The last were rather en- 
gineers than surveyors.— Turner's History of the Holland Purchase, page 406. 


conformity to this plan, although the surveyors departed from the uni- 
formity of the size and shape of the lots where large streams like the 
Tonawanda creek, running through townships, were made convenient 
boundaries of lots. 

From experience, however, it was ascertained that, in the purchase of land, each 
individual, whether father, sou or son-in-law, would locate himself according to his 
own choice or fancy. That this formal and regular division of land into farms, sel- 
dom was found to be in conformity to the topography of the country, nor to the dif- 
ferent requirements as to quantity, likewise th^t the addition of sections to townships 
and lots, rendered the descriptions of farms more complex, and increased the liability 
to err in defining any particular- location ; for which reasons, the practice of dividing 
townships into sections was abandoned, and thereafter, the townships were simply 
divided into lots of about sixty chains or three-fourths of a mile square, which could 
be divided into farms to suit the topography of the land and quantity required by the 
purchasers. In those townships in which the surveys had been commenced to divide 
them into sections, and not completed, the remaining sections were divided into four 
lots only of three-fourths of a mile square each. These lots consequently contained 
about three hundred and sixty acres each, but could not be laid off exactly uniform 
in shape and area.' 

When the survey of the Holland Purchase began in the spring of 
1798, all travel westward to, Buffalo was along the ancient Indian trail. 
During the preceding winter, however, the State Legislature had ap- 
pointed Charles Williamson a commissioner to lay out and open a State 
road from the Genesee river to Buffalo Creek and to Lewiston. The 
Holland Company subscribed $5,000 toward defraying the expense of 
constructing this road. Mr. Williamson began his task in the summer 
of 1798, following the Indian trails as closely as possible. Mr. Ellicott, 
with the aid of a party of Senecas, opened the iirst wagon road early in 
the season as a preliminary to the work of the survey, improving the 
trail from the East Transit to Buffalo Creek to an extent that made it 
passable for wagons. The construction of this road was undertaken 
thus early for the purpose of providing a good highway to those who 
might settle on the lands of the company. That the managers of the 
company's business appreciated the value of such a road is evident 
from the following extract of a letter from Paul Busti, who in 1799 
succeeded Theophilus Cazenove as agent of the company, to Mr. Elli- 
cott, dated August 15, 1800: 

The opening of communication through the country, is a matter deemed of such 
importance, that it will not escape your attention, and that the application of money 
for that purpose has been appropriated on a much larger scale than you thought 

• Turner's History of the Holland Purchase, page 405. 


necessary. By extending the amount of expenditures on that head, I mean to 
evince to you how much I am persuaded of the usefulness of having practicable 
roads cut out. You will have to take care that the roads to be laid out at present, 
are to be cut in such a direction as to become of general advantage to the whole 

The old Indian trail, on which the principal part of this road was 
built, crossed the Genesee at Avon, passed thence through Batavia and 
down the north side of Tonawanda creek, entering Erie county at the 
Tonawanda Indian village; from there it crossed the site of Akron, 
passed through Clarence Hollow and Williamsville to Cold Spring, and 
thence followed nearly on the line of Main street, in Buffalo, to the 
creek. A branch continued to Black Rock, where the river was crossed. 
Another branch extended from Clarence to Lancaster and ran thence 
along Cayuga creek to the Seneca Indian village. Another trail ex- 
tended from Little Beard's Town, on the Genesee, to the boundary of 
Erie county near the southeast corner of the town of Alden and con- 
tinued westerly to the Seneca village. There were also trails up Caz- 
enove and Eighteen Mile creeks and between Cattaraugus and Buffalo 

As late as the summer of 1799 no house had been built on the road 
from the East Transit Line to Buffalo. To remedy this situation, 
June 1, 1799, Paul Busti authorized Mr. Ellicott to induce six persons 
to locate on the highway about ten miles apart and to open taverns, in 
consideration of which each was to receive from fifty to one hundred 
and fifty acres of land at a low price and liberal terms of payment. 

In accordance with the offer of Mr. Ellicott three persons immedi- 
ately grasped the opportunity presented. Frederick Walthers took one 
hundred and fifty acres, including the East Transit storehouse and the 
site of the village of Stafford. Soon afterward Asa Ransom of Buffalo 
located on a one hundred and fifty-acre tract at Clarence Hollow.' 
September 16, Garritt Davis took one hundred and fifty acres east of 
and adjoining the Tonawanda Reservation. These three persons at 
once erected houses for the accommodation of the traveling public. 

As soon as Mr. Ransom had erected his tavern, at " Pine Grove," as 
it soon became known, Mr. Ellicott made it his headquarters. His ap- 

> Harry B. Ransom, who was born in the house built here in November, 1799, was the first 
white male child born in that part of the original Genesee county, now Erie county. IMr. Ellicott 
made Ransom's house his headquarters as soon as it had been constructed. Elias Ransom built 
a frame house on the road from Batavia to Buffalo, seven miles east of the latter place, which 
was probably the first frame building west of Batavia. The three public houses referred to in the 
text were constructed of logs. 


pointment as local agent of the company took eflfect October 1, 1800, at 
which time he began the sales of land. His office was located in one 
end of Ransom's tavern. James W. Stevens of Philadelphia acted as 
his clerk, and occasionally Mr. Brisbane assisted in the work of the 
office, though the latter spent most of his time at the Transit store- 
house. January 16, 1801, Mr. Ellicott wrote to Mr. Busti as follows: 

I have the satisfaction to inform you (although after a diasgreeable journey) that 
I arrived here in good health the 1st instant, since which period I have been busily 
employed in making arrangements for the sale of the land placed under riiy charge. 
The season of the year being such as to prevent persons from making their establish- 
ments, prevents me at present from effecting any bona Jide saXes. Settlers generally 
wishing to defer entering into articles before they are able to commence their im- 
provements. I have, however, abundant reason to conclude, that at the opening of 
Spring I shall effect the sale of considerable land. 

May 7 of the same year Mr. Ellicott, writing to Le Roy and Bayard, 

In respect to sales of land, we have not as yet made rapid progress. The best and 
most eligible situations are only in demand. However, we dispose of more or less 
almost every day. Settlements form more rapidly on the east side of the Purchase 
than on the west, owing to its contiguity to the old settlement in the Genesee, where 
provisions and necessaries for their beginning is more easily attainable. However, 
there are some going on the western side, and I continue to live under the expecta- 
tion of selling a considerable quantity of lands in the course of the summer and fall, 
and presume after this season the sales will increase, the ice will then be broken, 
and conveniences will be had for settlers on the Purchase. 

The survey of the Holland Purchase into townships was concluded 
in 1800, by which time several of them had been divided into lots. In 
the same year Mr. Ellicott, while on a visit to the East, had printed a 
number of hand bills headed " Holland Company West Genesee Lands," 
in which he portrayed the attractions of the territory and announced 
that it was for sale on reasonable terms.' 

* A portion of this handbill reads as follows : 

"The Holland Land Company will open a Land Office in the ensuing month of September, 
for the sale of a portion of their valuable lands in the Genesee country. State of New York, sit- 
uate in the last purchase made of the Seneca Nation of Indians, on the western side of Genesee 
river. For the convenience of applicants, the Land Office will be established near the centre of 
the lands, intended for sale and on the main road, leading from the Eastern and Middle States to 
Upper Canada, Presque Isle in Pennsylvania, and the Connecticut Reserve. Those lands are sit- 
uate, adjoining and contiguous, to the lakes Erie, Ontario, and the streights of Niagara, possess- 
ing the advantage of the navigation and trade of all the Upper lakes, as well as the river Saint 
Lawrence, (from which the British settlements derive great advantage) also intersected by the 
Allegany river, navigable for boats of 30 or 40 tons burthen, to Pittsburgh and New Orleans, and 
contiguous to the navigable waters of the west branch of the Susquehanna river, and almost sur- 
rounded by settlements, where provision of every kind is to be had in great abundance and on 


In May, 1801, acting as the special agent of Le Roy and Bayard, he 
employed Richard M. Stoddard to survey the Triangular Tract, giving 
explicit directions, particularly as to laying off five hundred acres at 
" Buttermilk Falls." In a letter to Mr. Munger, at the Transit store 
house, dated at Ransom's in May, 1801, he states that he has been in- 
formed that " the inhabitants of your neighborhood have undertaken 
to open the road to Ganson's. You will please consider me a subscriber 
toward the expense of the undertaking." 

For a period of more than twenty years Mr. Ellicott had practically 
exclusive control of the local business of the Holland Company. Under 
his management an immense tract of wilderness was converted into one 
of the finest agricultural regions in the world. He was identified with 
all the enterprises of Western New York, and in the construction of 
the Erie canal he took a great interest. Paul Busti, who had succeeded 
Cazenove as general agent at Philadelphia, managed the general affairs 
of the company with great shrewdness and ability for a period of 
twenty-four years. 

In 1874 David Seaver of New York, in an article contributed to the 
Batavia Spirit of the Times, gives a synopsis of a work published in 
1795 by Rochefoucauld Liancourt, a French adventurer or traveler, who 
prior to that time had made a journey from Philadelphia through 
Western New York as far as Niagara Falls. After describing his meet- 
ing with Red Jacket, the noted Indian chief, Liancourt says : 

The road from Ontario to Canawago (Canawaugus) is a good one for this country, 

reasonable terms renders the situation of the Holland Land Company Geneseo Lands more 
eligible, desirous, and advantageous for settlers than any other unsettled tract of inland country 
of equal magnitude in the United States. The greater part of this tract is finely watered (few 
exceptions) with never failing springs and streams, affording sufficiency of water for gristmills 
and other water works. The subscriber, during the years 1798 and 1799, surveyed and laid oft the 
whole of these lands into townships, a portion of which, to accommodate purchasers and settlers, 
is now laying off into lots and tracts from 190 acres and upwards, to the quantity contained in a 

" The lands abound with limestone, and are calculated to suit every description of purchas- 
ers and settlers. Those who prefer land timbered with black and white oak, hickory, poplar, 
chestnut, wild cherry, butternut and dogwood, or the more luxuriant timbered with basswood or 
lynn, butt;ernut, sugar-tree, white ash, wild cherry, cucumber tree, (a species of the magnolia) 
and black walnut, may be suited. Those who prefer level land, or gradually ascendmg, afford- 
ing extensive plains and valleys, will find the country adapted to their clioice. In short, such are 
the varieties of situations in this part of the Geneseo country, every where almost covered 
with a rich soil, that it is presumed that all purchasers who may be inclined to participate in the 
advantages o£ those lands, may select lots from 120 acres to tracts containing 100,000 acres, that 
would fully please and satisfy their choice. The Holland Land Company, whose liberality is so 
well known in this country, now offer to all those who may wish to become partakers of the 
growing value of those lands, such portions and such parts as they may think proper to pur- 
chase, Those who may choose to pay cash will find a liberal discount from the credit price." 


but as usual it leads through the midst of the woods, and within a space of 12 miles 
we saw only one habitation. In this journey we discovered two Indians lying under 
a tree ; though we had seen a considerable number of them, yet tliis meeting had for 
us an attraction of novelty, as we found them in a state of intoxication which scarcely 
manifested the least symptoms of life. One wore around his neck a long and heavy 
silver chain, from which a large medallion was suspended ; on one side whereof was 
the image of George Washington, and on the other the motto of Louis XIV., nee 
pluribus impar, with the figure of the sun, which .was usually displayed with it in 
the French army. This Indian, no doubt, was his excellency in a ditch, out of which 
we made repeated efforts to drag him, but in vain. . . . 

Canawago is a small town, the inhabitants few, but Mr. Berry keeps there one of 
the best inns we have seen for some time. 

Wednesday, June 17th, 1795. After remaining half a day at Canawago, we at 
length set out to traverse the desm'ts, as they are called. A journey through un- 
interrupted forests offers but little matter for speculation or remark ; the woods are 
in general not close, but stand on fruitful soil. The route is a footpath, tolerably 
good upon the whole, but in some places very miry ; winding through the forests 
over a level ground that rises but seldom into gentle swells. After a ride of 12 hours, 
in which we have crossed several large creeks (Oatka and Black), we arrived at Big 
Plains (Oakfield), which is 38 miles distant from Canawago. We breakfasted at 
Buttermilk Fall (LeRoy), and dined on the bank of the Tonawaugo (Batavia), and 
for both these meals our appetites were so keen that perhaps we never ate anything 
with a better relish. 

Liancourt then describes his visit to the tribe of Indians which then 
had a small village at Tonawaugo. 

In another contribution to the same paper Mr. Seaver gives extracts 
from a book written by John Maule, and printed in London, wherein 
the writer describes his experiences during a journey over practically 
the same route followed by Liancourt, but made five years afterward. 
Maule stopped for a while at Canawaugus, whence he proceeded on his 
journey August 20, 1800, accompanied by an Indian named Hot Bread. 
He arrived at Ganson's, now Le Roy, at eleven o'clock in the morning, 
where he made the following entry in his journal : 

When my friend L. passed this place last year, Ganson's was a solitary house in 
the wilderness, but it is now in the midst of a flourishing township, in which 31 fam- 
ilies are already settled. A new tavern and a number of dwelling houses are build- 
ing. Two hundred and ninety-eight miles ; recross Allen's creek ; the bed a flat lime- 
stone rock, 15 or 20 rods wide, with three or four inches of water ; a handsome 
bridge was building. This creek is the western terminus of Capt. Williamson's pur- 
chase (Pultney tract). A very handsome road four rods wide has been cut, and the 
whole distance from Genesee River to Ganson's being 13 miles in nearly a straight 
line. I now entered into what is called the Wilderness, but at 3 p. m. reached the 
Holland Company's storehouse and Frederick Walther's tavern (Stafford), 3041^ 


The Holland Company consists of a number of merchants and others, principally 
residents in Holland, who purchased a very large tract of Mr. Morris. This terri- 
tory, for such it may be called, is on the east bounded by Williamson's purchase, and 
on the west by Lake Erie and Niagara River. No part of the land is, I believe, yet 
settled, but at present under survey for that purpose. One of the principal survey- 
ors and his gang were at the tavern, and fully occupied the lodging hut; this, with 
the additional circumstance of there being no hay for my horses, and no other feed 
than oats, cut green in the stra\y, induced me to give up the design of sleeping here 
this night, but rather to push on to the next station. . . . At 4 p. m. we left 
Walther's, and at 309 miles (Batavia) fell in with the Tonawautee Creek, sluggish, 
shallow and broad. At 6}4 p. M. we reached Garret Davis's tavern, 316 miles (Winan's 
farm near Dunham's Corners) near a small run of good water. This is one of those 
three stations which the Holland Company has this year established for the accom- 
modation of travelers, who hitherto have been obliged to sleep in the woods. Davis 
first began to ply his axe in January last ; he has now a good log house, a field of 
green oats (sowed 18th of June, the only feed I could get for my horses), and a very 
excellent garden, the most productive of any of its size I have seen since leaving New 
York. He had also cleared a pretty extensive field for wheat. On this land the logs 
were now burning, and I passed a greater part of the night in making up the fires. 
This employment I preferred to harbouring with a number of strangers, one of whom 
was sick and not expected to live till morning. This, however, was only the fearful 
conjecture of Davis. I got got some maple sugar for my tea, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Davis paid me every possible attention, but I cannot praise them for neatness. Per- 
haps I ought not to expect it when tlie peculiarity of the situation and a large family 
of children are taken into account. From Allen's Creek to Walther's was excellent 
lands, but miserable roads, at times impassable, and the wagoner would take his axe 
to cut a new passage. From Walther's to Davis's the road is better. At Davis's the 
woods are composed of small, tall saplings, closely crowded. This morning we ex- 
perienced a very keen frost with a bright sun, and so late as 11 A. m. I stood in the 
sun to warm myself, my hands being benumbed with the cold. Very scorching sun 
in the afternoon after leaving Walther's, and troublesome flies and mosquitoes. 

Thursday, August 31, 1800. Start at day light, 318 miles; we leave the thick 
woods and enter upon the Big Plains. These plains (Oakfield) are open groves of 
oak, in a light shallow soil on limestone. . . . These plains are many miles in 
extent, and it struck me I had seen park grounds in England much like them. At 
331 miles the oaks are smaller and more compact, and at 333 miles we enter the 
woods of beech and maple. At TJ^ a. m. we reached the Indian town of Tonawautee, 
330 miles. This settlement is on the west bank of the creek, which I now crossed 
for the second time. It bore, however, a different character here than at 819 miles 
(Batavia), being clear and rapid. 

Left Tonawautee and passed through open plains of oaks with less of tamarisk 
and more grass to 334 miles, where I fell in with the old road. At 10:80 a. m. 
reached Asa Ransom's station, distance 344 miles (Clarence, Erie county). I was 
here greatly surprised with an excellent breakfast of tender chicken and good loaf- 
sugar for my tea. Ransom, Hke Davis, sat down in the woods in January; he has 
150 acres, ten acres cleared and in oats. . . . The Holland Company has laid 
out a new road from Ganson's to Buffalo Creek, which passes to the south of Davis's 


station, but in with the present road at Ransom's, and this new road will make a 
difference of 10 miles in 42. Ransom informed me that by an account, he had kept, 
no less than 155 families with their wagons have passed his house this summer, emi- 
grating from Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Canada. Sixteen wagons passed in 
one day. 

In the office of the secretary of state at Albany is the original map of 
the famous Holland Land Company's tract. This map is about eight 
feet square, the scale being half an inch to the mile. The eastern 
boundary — the Transit Line run in 1798 — starts on the Pennsylvania 
line, at the southeast corner of the Willink Purchase, and runs directly 
northward, crossing the Genesee river " at 21 miles going northwest 
and at 33 miles going northeast," reaching Lake Ontario at a place 
known as " the Devil's Nose." 

The ranges, averaging about six miles in width, have boundaries 
parallel with the Transit Line. They begin six miles west of that line, 
and are numbered to the westward from one to fifteen inclusive. The 
townships run from south to north, beginning at the Pennsylvania line, 
and average six miles square. No range has more than sixteen town- 
ships and when the western end of the State is reached (in what is now 
Chautauqua county) there are but three townships in the fifteenth 

Between the seventh and eighth ranges a strip about two miles wide 
runs from the Pennsylvania line northward to Lake Ontario. It 
pierces the present counties of Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara, and on 
the map is marked as the property of Wilhelm and Jan Willink. The 
same persons are also credited with ten townships in the eastern and 
southern parts of the present Allegany county. Between the first range 
and the Transit Line is a strip about six miles wide running from Pennsyl- 
vania to Lake Ontario. This is assigned, with the respective number 
of acres named, to the following persons: J. Sterrett, 5,000 acres; A. 
Hamilton, 100,000; Cottinger, 39,784; Ogden, 33,784; Cragie, 3,375; 
Watson Cragie, 100,000. The lands of Sterrett and Hamilton are in the 
present county of Allegany; those of Cottinger and Ogden in Wyoming; 
that of Cragie in Genesee, and that of Watson Cragie in Orleans. 

East of the Transit Line are two parcels of land. The first of these, 
located in the present county of Allegany, has one hundred and fifty 
thousand acres, credited to S. Sterrett. The second is a triangle of 
seventy six thousand one hundred and seventy-three acres, assigned to 
Le Roy, Bayard and McEvers. The northern boundary of this triangle 


is Lake Ontario, the western the Transit Line, and the third a diagonal 
beginning at the intersection of the southern line of the Phelps and 
Gorham Purchase with the Transit Line, near the present village of 
Le Roy, and running northeasterly until it reaches Lake Ontario. The 
slanting boundaries of the eastern townships of Genesee county and of 
the western townships of Monroe county are laid along this diagonal 

All that part of the State was known to the province of New York 
as Tryon county, but after 1784 it was called Montgomery county. All 
to the west of the "pre-emption line " was erected into Ontario county 
in 1788, and the present western counties have been taken from the 
original territory of Ontario county since that date. 

The extent to which the early settlement of the territory west of the 
Genesee river had reached, during the closing years of the eighteenth 
century, is illustrated by reference to the following tax roll, the first 
one made for this territory (then all included in the great town of 
Northampton). About fifteen names are missing from the first page of 
the roll, which bears date of October 6,'1800: 

Value of Real Amount 
and Personal of 

Estate. Tax. 

Curtis, William § 30 | .06 

Carter, William 94 .19 

Charaberlin, Hinds .. 384 .40 

Curtis, Augustus 500 .61 

Curtis, Jonathan 387 .54 

Campbell, Peter . 52 .09 

Chapin, Henry _ 3,000 6.50 

Chapman, Asa _.. 112 .23 

Cumins, Joseph _ 20 .04 

Conatt, Samuel 38 .06 

Chamberlin, Joshua. _ __ 60 .12 

Cary, Joseph 948 1.61 

Coats, Timothy --- 396 .54 

Dugan Christopher 1,306 1.63 

Douglas, Cyrus __ 78 .14 

Davis, Daniel--- - -- -- 572 .72 

Davis, Garrett 350 .45 

Davis, Bela 105 .22 

Davis, Samuel - 312 .37 

Ellicott, Benjamin - 600 .71 

Fish, Josiah 1,516 1.86 

Farewell, Elisha - 288 .37 

Fuller, David 80 .12 

TAX ROLL OF 1800. 75 

Value of Real Amount 
and Personal of 

Estate. Tax. 

Forsyth, John 330 .43 

Granger, Eli ._ _ _ 100 .14 

Goodhue, George 176 .20 

Ganson, John, jr 1,640 2.10 

Ganson, James 12 .02 

Griffith, EH 658 .98 

Hencher, William 1,036 1.64 

Hicks, Samuel 44 .09 

Heth, Reuben , _ 40 .09 

Hunt, Elijah ' _ 68 .14 

Harris, Alpheus 72 .15 

Hall, Friend 200 .30 

Hunt, Joseph 64 .13 

Hopkins, Timothy 42 .09 

Hayne, John _ 50 .11 

Hawley, Chapman 112 .18 

Hall, Gilbert. __ 370 .52 

Hoit, Stephen _._ _ 153 .34 

Jones, H. John --- 140 .23 

Jones, Elizabeth 153 .24 

Johnson, Moses 800 1.07 

Johnson. William - 2,034 3.50 

Kith, M.Michael 42 .09 

Kimball, John 700 1.03 

Kent, Elijah _ --- 96 .14 

Lane, Ezekiel .- 114 .24 

Laybourn, Christopher i 470 .62 

Lyon, John ..- -.- --- 40 .08 

Leonard, Jonathan 40 .06 

Lewis, Seth-- - 60 .14 

Mills, William : - -- 714 .94 

Mills, Lewis --- 72 .16 

Mills, Alexander 80 .19 

Mills, Samuel : 250 .30 

Morton, Simeon 50 .11 

Mading, Timothy - - 128 .16 

McCloning, John - 40 .09 

McCloning, John, jr.. 12 .02 

Middaugh, Martin - 45 .09 

Mayle, Lewis 30 .09 

, __ 84 .19 

Mulkins, Henry - - 54 .11 

Nettleton, Philemon 592 .80 

Morgan, Joseph 870 1.11 

McNaughton, John .- 48 .11 



Value of Real Amount 

and Personal of 

Estate. Tax. 

McPherson, Dan 100 -23 

Patterson, Lawrence 500 .90 

Pebody, Stephen 86 .18 

Palmer, John - 483 .72 

Pangman, William -- 300 .66 

Quivey, Norton.. '''0 -15 

Redford, John. 130 .19 

Rhan, Alexander.. 85 .12 

Stimson, Leonard 52 .11 

Stimson & Jones 200 .29 

Stoughton, Amaziah - 164 .21 

Sheffer, Peter 4,260 5.36 

Scott, Isaac 1.108 1.45 

Shelly, Phiros - 150 ,18 

Scott, Salmon _ _ 796 .95 

Scoonover, Jacob 1 , 731 1.00 

Thompson, Adriandner ___ 30 .07 

Utley, Asa 901 1.17 

Olmstead, Jeremiah __ 120 .29 

Wilber, Charles _ 60 .31 

Walther, Frederick __ .-- 488 .68 

Wemple, Henry 27 .17 

, 43 .10 

King, Thomas 30 .07 

King, Simeon -. 40 .10 

Render, Stephen - 12 .02 

Ransom, Asa _ _ 410 .61 

Erwin, John 428 .96 

Woolman, John 162 .36 

Philips, William.... 30 .07 

Carver, John , 316 .40 

Eli, Justin 5,000 9.91 

Barnard, Ebenezer _ 1,950 3.87 

Phelps, Enoch 4,437 8.80 

Hartford, Charles _ 2,333 4.62 

King, Gideon (heirs)... 4,500 8.93 

Hinkley, Samuel _ 

Stone, John 5,000 9.91 

Wadsworth, James _ 34,500 68.38 

Williamson, C. and others 34,500 68.28 

Gilbert, Warren 2,190 3.60 

Colt, Judah 1,330 3.61 

Morris, Thomas 4,200 8.32 

Hall, Amos 700 1.38 

Holland Company 3,300,000 5,231.52 


Value of Real Amount 
and Personal of 

Estate. Tax. 

Williamson, Charles 155,150 307.41 

Williamson & Phelps 100,000 219.14 

Craigie, Andrew 50,000 73.96 

Ogden, Samuel _ 50,000 109.57 

Cottinger, Garrit _._ 50.000 109.57 

Church, Philip 100,000 319,14 

Unknown j 27,210 59.41 

Le Roy & Bayard. -..:.. 82,000 179.68 

Le Roy & Bayard 40,000 87.66 

Phelps & Jones, supposed to be owned by Thomas Morris 40,960 89.36 

Joseph Fitts Simmons _. 

Joseph Higby _._ 600,000 1,314.84 

Total ...-$4,785,368 $8,387.11 


No man was more closely identified with the history of Western New 
York, and especially of the Holland Purchase than Joseph EUicott. As 
the general land agent of the Holland Company, superintendent of 
their surveys and settlements, his name has become associated with the 
early history of nearly every town and village. A conflict of authority 
exists as to the origin of the ancestors of Joseph Ellicott. In sketches 
of the family prepared for publication by descendants of the family at 
Ellicott Mills, Md., it is asserted that his grandparents, Andrew Elli- 
cott and Ann Bye Ellicott, came to this country in 1731 from Cullopton, 
Wales, and settled in New York. Other reminiscences of the family 
state that they came from Cullompton, Devonshire, England, and set- 
tled in Bucks county. Pa., where they were married in 1731, soon after 
their arrival. ' Nathaniel, Joseph, Andrew and John Ellicott were the 
sons of Andrew, and as early as 1770 we find them settled in business 
as owners of a tract of land and mills on the Patapsco river in Mary- 
land. This settlement has long been known as Ellicott's Mills. Of the 
sons of Andrew named in the foregoing, Joseph was the father of the 
Joseph Ellicott of Holland Purchase fame. Another son, Andrew, 
eldest brother of Joseph, became eminent as a surveyor. He surveyed 
the Spanish boundary, so called, during Jefferson's administration, and 
afterwards was made surveyor-general of the United States. At the 
time of his death, about 1831, he was professor of mathematics in the 
United States Military Academy at West Point. 

At the age of fourteen Joseph Ellicott became, with his father's fam- 


ily, a resident of Maryland. Previous to this time he had enjoyed only 
such advantages as were afforded by the pioneer schools and the in- 
structions of his brother Andrew in surveying. When the site of the 
city of Washington was selected as the national capital he assisted his 
brother in its survey. In 1761 Timothy Pickering, secretary of war, 
designated him to run the boundary line between the State of Georgia 
and the territory of the Creek Indians. His next engagement was to 
survey the lands of the Holland Company in Pennsylvania, under 
Theophilus Cazenove, their general agent. This brought him into the 
notice of the company and resulted in his appointment in their service 
soon after, where he continued for upwards of twenty years. 

Mr. Ellicott's commission as principal surveyor of the Holland Com- 
pany's lands in Western New York dated from July, 1797, but his 
actual service did not commence until after the council of the Septem- 
ber following, when the company's titles to these lands were perfected. 
His first duty was to make a traverse and survey of the north and north- 
west bounds of the tract for the purpose of estimating the quantity of 
land it contained. On this expediton he was accompanied by Augustus 
Porter, as surveyor for Robert Morris. Commencing at the northeast 
corner of Phelps and Gorham's tract, west of the Genesee river, they 
traversed the south shore of Lake Ontario to the Niagara river, thence 
along the Niagara river and the southeast shore of Lake Erie to the 
western boundary of New York State, that being a meridian line run- 
ning due south from the western extremity of Lake Ontario, as previ- 
ously established by United States Surveyer-General Andrew Ellicott. 
This work was completed in November following and Mr. Ellicott re- 
turned to Philadelphia for the winter. 

Early in the spring of 1798 he again arrived in the territory with 
a large force of assistants. The work of this season was to commence 
the division of the territory into townships in accordance with plans 
already made, and the establishment of the eastern boundary of the 
purchase. A number of men were detailed for town work, while Mr. 
Ellicott, with his brother Benjamin, and several assistants, undertook 
the difficult task of running a true meridian line from the Pennsyl- 
vania boundary to Lake Ontario. A stone monument was erected on 
the Pennsylvania line, exactly twelve miles west from the eighty-sec- 
ond milestone, as a starting point. Providing himself with a transit 
instrument, Mr. Ellicott commenced his labors. His progress was 
very slow and laborious. Trees and underbrush had to be cut away to 


a width of three or four rods, that an uninterrupted view might be ob- 
tained in advance of the instrument. About the first of December 
following the work was completed. For nearly twelve years Mr. EUi- 
cott was actually engaged in the work of surveying this large tract, and 
finally became local agent of the company. * 

In person, Joseph EUicott was a man of commanding presence. He 
was six feet three inches tall, and possessed of a splendid constitution 
and great powers of endurance. In his business he was methodical, 
prompt and faithful. He was a most agreeable companion, being pos- 
sessed of unusual conversational powers. Turner, in his History of the 
Holland Purchase, says of him : " His education was strictly a prac- 
tical one. He was a good mathematician, a scientific surveyor, a care- 
ful and able financier. The voluminous correspondence he has left 
behind him, with the general agency at Philadelphia, with the prominent 
men of this State of his period — in reference to the business of the com- 
pany, political measures, works of internal improvement, and public 
policy generally — indicate a good degree of talent as a writer, and en- 
larged and statesman-like views." During his life Mr. Ellicott accu- 
mulated a large estate. He never married, and at his death his estate, 
by special bequests, was divided among his surviving relatives. During 
the last years of his life his mind became greatly impaired and he was 
removed to Bellevue hospital. New York, for treatment. Here, escap- 
ing the vigilance of his attendants, he took his own life in August, 
1836. His remains were afterward brought to Batavia, where they 
now rest, marked by a beautiful monument erected to his memory. 



From 1800 to 1812— Increase of Settlements on the Holland Purchase, Particularly 
in Genesee County— Early Taverns Between Batavia and Buffalo— The First Town 
Meeting — First Courts in Genesee County — Division of the Town of Batavia — Life 
of the Pioneers— The First Church in the County— Other Pioneer Religious Organ- 
izations—The First Murder Trial— The First Printing Press and Newspaper— The 
Arsenal at Batavia. 

The beginning of the nineteenth century witnessed the development 
of order out of chaos throughout the greater portion of the Genesee 
country. March 30, 1803, the county of Genesee was erected from 
Ontario, and included all of the State west of the Genesee river. The 
survey of this immense tract had progressed to a point where the Hol- 
land Company was prepared to supply newcomers with good farms as 
rapidly as they -should make application for them. Soon after the 
erection of the county Joseph EUicott established his land office .on the 
site of the present village of Batavia, of which he became the founder. 
This location he chose because it was central; and furthermore it was 
on the line of the Indian trail from Canada to Southern New York, and 
directly in the path of the immigration that was then moving west- 
ward. Within a few rods of his office the Indians had a council ground. 
His first office was a wooden structure, but early in the century it was 
replaced by the stone structure which stands to-day, one of the most 
historic and interesting edifices in Western New York. The Land 
Office was in all respects the headquarters of the entire Holland Pur- 
chase. It was practically the capital of a rapidly developing colony, 
atid all enterprises of any import were discussed and settled there. Mr. 
EUicott, a courtly, dignified, honest and extremely pleasant gentleman, 
maintained his important position in a manner that has caused his name 
to be remembered even to this day with feelings of profound respect 
and admiration. 

The fame of the region was extending, and methodical settlement, 
under the auspices of the Holland Company, began. At first there was 
some difficulty in disposing of the company's lands on account of the 
demand for ten per cent. cash. The price set was $2.75 per acre. 


Many of those who desired to buy had little if any money ; and most of 
those who were able to pay the advance demanded were reluctant to do 
so, as the clearing of the land would immediately require a large out- 
lay of time and some money. Referring to this matter Mr. EUicott 
wrote to Mr. Busti that " if some mode could be devised to grant land 
to actual settlers who cannot pay in advance, and at the same time not 
destroy that part of the plan which requires some advance," he was 
convinced that "the most salutary results would follow." 

There is no doubt that Mr. EUicott was greatly disappointed at the 
slow sales of land. While he had believed that the favorable terms 
offered, coupled with the great natural advantages of the region, would 
result in a very general migratory movement westward, he evidently 
had not taken the scarcity of money into consideration. On December 
4, 1801, while at his temporary headquarters at "Pine Grove," he wrote 
to Mr. Busti as follows : 

I have made no actual sales this fall where the stipulated advance, has been paid. 
I begin to be strongly of the opinion you always expressed to me (but which I must 
confess I rather doubted), that few purchasers will come forward and pay cash for 
land in a new country. 

But the prospects grew brighter with the beginning of another year, 
and Mr. EUicott announced that many settlers were preparing to estab- 
lish homes and begin the clearing and cultivation of their lands as soon 
as the spring opened. The opening of highways and the establishment 
of taverns added to the conveniences of the locality and doubtless 
helped to make it more attractive to newcomers. 

" Among the primitive tavern keepers there was a backwoods phi- 
losopher. It was the Mr. Walthers who had been sent from Philadel- 
phia to be the landlord at the Transit Store House. Established in his 
location, he made himself quite officious ; his letters came thick and 
fast upon Mr. EUicott, whenever he knew where they would reach him. 
They were an odd mixture of philosophy and advice and suggestions in 
reference to the best manner of settling a new country. In one letter 
he would talk of his domestic troubles ; in another he would announce 
that one, or two, or three landlookers had been his guests, not forget- 
ting to assure Mr. EUicott how hard he had labored to convince them 
of the splendid prospects of the new country; in another he would in- 
form him of false reports that had been started as to the title of the 
land, and how he had put a quietus upon them ; in another he would 
express his regrets that his house was full of strangers, who were pass- 


ing the Purchase, and going to ' swell the numbers of his Britannic 
Majesty's subjects in Upper Canada.' In Mr. Ellicott's absence he was 
wont to consider himself a sub-agent; taking some airs upon himself, 
from some favors that had been shown him by the general agent at 
Philadelphia. He did not last long, as will be observed in an extract 
of a letter from Mr. Ellicott to Mr. Busti. Mr. Ellicott answers a let- 
ter received from ' Mrs. Berry and Miss Wemple ' — (names familiar to 
old settlers, as household words). They were applicants for two town 
lots at the 'Bend of the Tonewanta. ' He very courteously informs 
them that when he lays out a town there the lots will contain forty 
acres each, and their application will be held in remembrance." ' 

The first town meeting on Holland Purchase was held at the log 
tavern of Peter Vandeventer on March 1, 1803. The functions of this 
meeting extended over territory having a radius of a hundred miles, 
though the most distant settlements were at Buffalo, twenty-two miles 
west, and at the East Transit, twenty-four miles east. But, despite 
the long distance many of them were compelled to travel, and in the 
season of the year when new roads were very apt to be almost impassa- 
ble, the number of the assembled voters was so large that the polls 
were opened out of doors by Enos Kellogg, one of the commissioners 
appointed for the purpose of organizing the town of Batavia. 

The meeting was a unique one. Mr. Kellogg, after calling the vot- 
ers to order, announced that Peter Vandeventer and Jotham Bemis of 
Batavia village were candidates for supervisor. The vote was then 
taken, the procedure being novel. Mr. Kellogg placed the two candi- 
dates side by side in the road and then directed the voters to fall in 
line, each beside the man of his choice. Seventy-four men stood by 
Vandeventer and seventy by Bemis, and the former was declared 
elected. A little later on, when the men from the east of Vandeventer's 
(who were considered Batavians) gathered in the one place, and those 
from the west of there in another, they took note of their absent neigh- 
bors and found that there were but four to the eastward and five to the 
westward who had failed to attend. This makes the whole number of 
voters on the Holland Purchase in that year one hundred and fifty- 
three, one hundred and forty-four of whom were present at this primi- 
tive election. 

The balance of the officers chosen on that occasion were as follows, 
the election being conducted by uplifted hands : 

' Turner's History. 


Town clerk, David Cully ; assessors, Enos Kellogg, Asa Ransom, Alexander Rhea ; 
commissioners of highways, Alexander Rhea, Isaac Sutherland and Suffirenus (?) 
Maybee ; overseers of the poor, David Cully and Benjamin Porter ; collector, Abel 
Rowe; constables, John Mudge, Levi Felton, Rufus Hart, Abel Rowe, Seymour 
Kellogg and Hugh Howell ; overseers of highways, Martin Middaugh, Timothy S. 
Hopkins, Orlando Hopkins, Benjamin Morgan, Rufus Hart, Lovell Churchill, Jabez 
Warren, William Blackman, Samuel Clark, Gideon Dunham, Jonathan Willard, 
Thomas Layton, Hugh Howell, Benjamin Porter and William Walsworth. 

The first State election on the Holland Purchase was held at the 
same place the following month. At the latter meeting one hundred 
and eighty-nine votes were cast for member of assembly, evidence of 
the rapid increase in the number of settlers. At this election the vote 
was as follows : 

For Senators— Caleb Hyde, 146 ; Vincent Mathews, 5. 

For Members of Assembly — Daniel Chapin, 182; Ezra Patterson, 155; John Swift, 
160; Polydore B. Wisner, 4; Nathaniel W, Howell, 28; Amos Hall, 9. 

In June, 1803, the court house at Batavia being nearly completed, 
the first courts of the county were organized there. The judges were 
Ezra Piatt, John H. Jones and Benjamin Ellicott, and Nathan Perry 
was an assistant justice. Among those admitted to practice in the new 
court as attorneys and counselors were Timothy Burt, Gouverneur 
Ogden, John Greig, Richard Smith and George Hosmer. At this term 
of court the first grand jury west of the Genesee river was organized. 
Itconsistedof Alexander Rhea, Asa Ransom, Peter Vandeventer, Daniel 
Henry, Samuel F. Geer, Lovell Churchill, Jabez Warren, Zerah Phelps, 
Jotham Bemis, Seymour Kellogg, John A. Thompson, Jonn Ganson, 
jr., Isaac Smith, Elisha Farwell, Peter Shaeffer, Hugh McDermott, 
John McNaughton and Luther Cole. In November following, at a 
second session of the courts, Ebenezer F. Norton, Robert W. Stoddard, 
Jonathan T. Haight, John Collins, Daniel B. Brown and Jeremiah R. 
Munson were admitted to practice. The first issue joined in a court of 
record west of the Genesee river was tried at this term. It was the 
case of Rufus Hart versus Erasmus Enos. 

At the next term of courts in June, 1804, several indictments were tried, 
and the jury was the first traverse jury drawn and organized in the new 
court. It consisted of William Rumsey, Joseph Selleck, Abel Rowe, 
John Forsyth, Benjamin Morgan, Alexander McDonald, Peter Camp- 
bell, James Woods, Benjamin Gardner, Lovel Churchill, John Ander- 
son and John McVean. The first jury empanelled in a civil suit in these 
courts consisted of Job Pierce, Andrew Wortman, Gilbert Hall, John 


McNaughton, Isaac Smith, Archileas Whitten, Isaac Sutherland, Sam- 
uel Davis, Ransom Harmon, Peter Vanderventer, Hugh McDermott, 
and Jabez Fox. 

The Big Tree road, or the Middle road, as it was known by the Hol- 
land Company, was surveyed and cut out in the summer of 1803 by 
Jabez Warren of Aurora, who was paid |3.50 per mile for surveying 
and $10 per mile for cutting out the road. This highway extended 
from near Geneseo to Lake Erie in a nearly westerly direction. It ran 
about a mile south of the southerly line of the Big Tree Reservation. 

The Legislature of 1804 divided the town of Batavia into four towns. 
These were: Batavia, on the east; next, WilHnk, including the 4th, 
5th and 6th ranges; next Erie, containing the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th 
ranges, the State Reservation and adjacent waters; then the town of 
Chautauqua, consisting of the remainder of the purchase. 

Dr. Dwight, who traveled through the town of Pembroke in October, 
1804, while making a tour of the West, notes the circumstance of his 
passing through "oak plains" or " openings," as he refers to them. 
He describes these grounds as having a varied surface, and in a great 
degree destitute of forests, but covered with grass, weeds and shrubs 
of various kinds. He supposes these openings to have been caused by 
the Indians burning them over, to produce pasturage for deer. In the 
fourth volume of his " Travels " he writes: 

When one of these plains is seen at a little distance, a traveler emerging from the 
forest naturally concludes, that it is the commencement of a settled country, and as 
he advances toward it, is instinctively led to cast his eye forward to find the village 
of which it is the outskirt. *From this impression his mind will be unable to free 
itself; for the thought, though given up, will recur again and again, in spite of his 
absolute conviction that he is in the heart of an immense wilderness. At the same 
time a sense of stillness and solitude, a feeling of absolute retirement from the world, 
deeper and more affecting than any in which he has ever suspected before, will be 
forced upon him while he is roving over one of these sequestered regions. No passage 
out of them is presented to his eye. Yet though the tract around him is seemingly 
bounded everywhere, the boundary is everywhere obscure ; being formed by trees 
thinly dispersed, and retired beyond each other, at such distances, as that while in 
many places they actually limit the view, they appear rather to border dim, indis- 
tinct openings into other tracts of country. Thus he always feels the limit to be un- 
certain ; and until he is actually leaving one of these plains, will continually expect 
to find a part of the expansion still spreading beyond the reach of his eye. At every 
little distance, especially on the higher grounds, the view is widely, though indefi- 
nitely extended along the surface ; and a little above where he looks through the 
stems of the trees, is bounded only by the horizon. On every side a multitude of 
chasms conduct his eye beyond the labyrinth by which he is surrounded ; and [pre- 


sent an imaginary passage back into the world, from which he is withdrawn ; bewil- 
dering him with expectation, continually awakened to be continually disappointed. 
Thus in a kind of wild, romantic rapture, he wanders over these plains, with emo- 
tions similar to those with which, when a child, he roamed through the wilderness 
created in Arabian tales, or the imaginary regions spread before him m a dream. 
He is not only separated from all human beings, but is every moment conscious of 
this separation. Whenever he ascends one of the superior elevations, he seems to 
stand above the rest of the globe. On every side he looks downward ; and beholds 
a prospect with many vistas, opening indeed around him, but conducting his eye to 
no definite object, and losing it in confusion and obscurity. His view is confined by 
neither forests nor mountains ; while yet trees in a thin dispersion partly interrupt 
it; but at the same time discover, through their various openings, that it has no 
other limitation than the skirts o£ the heavens. While he wanders on through this 
bewildering scenery, he cannot fail to remember, that on these plains Indians have 
lived, and roved, and hunted, and fought, ever since their first arrival from the 
shores of Asia. Here, unless they molested each other, there was nothing to molest 
them. They were the sole lords, the undisturbed possessors of the country. Here, 
therefore, he will call up before his imagination the secret windings of the scout; the 
burst of the war-whoop ; the fury of an Indian onset ; the triumphant display of scalps ; 
and the horrors of the war dance before the tortured and expiring captive. Whether 
these thoughts will be excited in the mind of any future traveler, I know not ; in my 
own they sprang up instinctively. 

An idea of the manner in which some of the pioneers lived, and of 
the business of those early days, may- be gleaned from the following 
narrative of William H. Bush, a pioneer who came from Bloomfield, 
Ontario county, and located upon the Tonawanda three and a half 
miles below Batavia:' 

I moved my family from Bloomfield in May, 1806. The settlers on Buffalo road, 
between my location and Batavia village, were Isaac Sutherland, Levi Davis and 
Timothy Washburn. Rufus McCracken, Daniel McCracken-, Thomas Godfrey, Linus 
Gunn, Henry Starks, Alanson Gunn, David Bowen, John Lamberton, lived on the 
road west. There were then* less than one hundred acres of land cleared on the 
Buffalo road in the distance of six miles west of Batavia. 

I built a log house, covered it with elm bark — could not spare time to build a chim- 
ney ; the floor was of slabs and hemlock boards. I immediately commenced building 
a saw mill and had it completed before the middle of October. That summer my 
wife did the cooking for family andhired men by an out of door fire, built up against 
stumps. The first winter, I attended my own saw mill, working in it from daylight 
to dark, cutting my firewood and foddering my stock by the light of a lantern. Be- 
fore winter set in, I had built a stick chimney, laid a better floor in my house, plas- 
tered the cracks, and hired an acre of land cleared— just enough to prevent the trees 
falling upon my house. When the mill was built I had it paid for, but to accomplish 
it, I had sold some pork and grain I had produced by working land upon shares in 
Bloomfield — in fact, everything but my scanty household furniture. My saw mill 

' Turner's History, page 471. 


proved a good investment, boards were much in demand at seven dollars and fifty 
cents per thousand ; the new settlers stocked the mill with logs to be sawed on shares. 

In 1808 I built a machine shop, a carding and cloth dressing establishment. These 
were the first upon the Holland purchase. On the 10th of June of that year, I carded 
a sack of wool, the first ever carded by machine on the Holland Purchase. It be- 
longed to George Lathrop of Bethany. In February, 1809, I dressed a piece of full 
cloth for Theophilus Crocker, the first ever dressed upon the Holland Purchase. 
There are on my books, the names of customers, from as far south as Warsaw and Shel- 
don ; from the east, as far as Stafford ; from the west to the Niagara river and Lake 
Erie, including Chautauqua county ; from pretty much all of the settled portion of the 
Holland Purchase. I carded in the season of 1808, 3,039 lbs. of wool ; the largest 
quantity for any one man, was 70 lbs., the smallest, 4 lbs. The lots averaged 18 lbs. 
Allowing 3 lbs. to a sheep, the average number of sheep then kept by the new set- 
tlers, would be six; although it is presumed that the number is larger, as in those 
days, much of the wool was carded by hand. 

The machinists of the present day, may be glad to learn how I procured my ma- 
chinery. I bought my hand shears of the Shakers at New Lebanon ; my press plate 
at a furnace in Onondaga; my screw and box at Canaan, Conn., my dye kettle, 
press papers, &c. at Albany. My transportation bill, for these things, was over two 
hundred dollars. 

I built a grist mill in 1809 ; in 1817, a paper mill and distillery. I manufactured 
the first ream of paper west of the Genesee river. 

During all the period of my milling operations I was clearing up the farm where 
I new reside, coming into the woods as I have related, dependent almost wholly 
upon the labors of my hands, in the first twenty years, success had so far attended 
my efforts, that I had accumulated some fifteen or sixteen thousand dollars. 

An exhaustive search among the records of the oldest churches in 
Genesee county adduces evidence of the most reliable character that 
the first religious society to be established in this county is the First 
Congregational church of Bergen, which was organized in December, 
1807, by the Rev. John Lindsley and thirteen other inhabitants of that 
town who became the first communicants. ' This church, in all proba- 
bility, was not only the first to be founded in Genesee county, but it is 
the oldest religous organization west of the Genesee river, with the 
single exception of the old Scotch Presbyterian church at Caledonia, 
Livingston county. At the time of its organization Bergen was a part 
of the great town of Northampton. At the time of the organization 
Levi Ward, sr., and Benjamin Wright were elected deacons, and Levi 
Ward, jr., clerk. January 25, 1808, organization was perfected by the 

' Some authorities claim that the Presbyterian church in Alexander was organized a short 

, time prior to this date ; but this statement cannot be thoroughly authenticated. It is possible, 

however, that the Presbyterian church at Alexander and the First Congregational of Bergen, in 

the absence of positive documentary evidence, may have to divide the honor falling to the 

pioneer church of Genesee county. 


election of Alexander White, Simon Pierson and Levi Ward, jr., as 
trustees. The other original members were John Ward, John Gifford, 
Josiah Pierson, Selah Wright and W. H. Hunger. The Rev. John 
Lindsley preached for the new society for a few months, but the first 
regularly ordained pastor was the Rev. Allen Hollister, who was in- 
stalled July 4, 1810. The first church edifice was built on Cemetery 
Hill, about a mile to the south of the second location, to which place 
the church was removed in the spring of 1854, during the pastorate of 
the Rev. A. O. Whiteman. Although organized as a Congregational 
church, the society placed itself in charge of the Presbytery soon after 
its organization, since which it has remained a Presbyterian church. 

Meetings had been held by the Presbyterians of Alexander for over 
two years, under the direction of Elder Burton, before the Presbyterian 
church in that town was organized. The exact date of the establish- 
ment of this church is not known. It was in existence in 1808, and 
some authorities claim that it was founded about the same time as, or 
even shortly prior to, the organization of the Congregational society in 
Alexander. Harvey Hawkins and Cyrenus Wilbur were the principal 
promoters of the movement which resulted in its formation. It was 
not a strong society at the start, as is shown by the fact that upon its 
reorganization, or the perfection of its organization, in 1818, it had but 
ten members. The first house of worship, a stone structure, was not 
erected until 1838. The Rev. Solomon Hibbard was the first regular 
pastor. A second edifice was constructed in 1845, at an expense of five 
thousand dollars. 

The first murder case in the court of Genesee county occurred at the 
term held in June, 1807, when James McLean, who had been indicted 
for the murder of William Orr, was placed on trial. Hon. Daniel D. 
Tompkins was the presiding judge, and Judge Howell was council for 
the prisoner. A right then existing by common law, but long since 
abolished by statute, was that the accused, being an alien, was entitled 
to be tried by a jury one-half of whom were aliens. In accordance 
with the demand of the counsel for the defense a jury thus composed 
was selected, as follows : 

Citizens — Benjamin Morgan, Ebenezer Cary, Samuel Geer, Worthy 
L. Churchill, John Olney and Daniel Fairbanks. 

Aliens — Duncan McLelland, James McLelland, John McPherson, 
John McVane, Daniel McKinney and Patrick Powers. 

The jury convicted the prisoner, who was sentenced to be hanged in 


August following. The crime was committed near Caledonia Springs. 
McLean,Orr and a man named McLaughlin, who were squatters on the 
forty thousand acre tract, had been to the Springs together, had drunk 
at least one glass of beer each, but McLean was not intoxicated. While 
there a dispute arose regarding a tree located on land which McLean 
claimed, and which had been felled by Orr. McLean knocked Orr 
down with an axe, killing him at the second blow. McLaughlin in- 
terfered to prevent a tragedy, and he too was killed. That night the 
murderer remained in a hollow log near his house, and the following 
morning took to the woods. As soon as the news of the crime reached 
the ears of the authorities Judge Piatt ordered out the militia, which, in 
small squads, searched the entire region. Several days passed, when 
McLean was captured while attempting to make his escape eastward, 
he having been recognized at a tavern a few miles east of Canandaigua, 
where he was arrested. A great crowd from all parts of the country 
attended the public execution, the first to take place in Genesee county 
and consequently an event of extraordinary interest for those days. 

Several other events of interest occurred in the county during the 
period prior to the war of 1812. The development of the numerous 
resources of the community progressed favorably during these years. 
In the villages of Batavia and Le Roy, as well as in the smaller settle- 
ments, the spirit of progress was constantly in evidence. New busi- 
ness buildings were erected annually to accommodate the increasing 
trade of the community, and many handsome residences also were 
erected. Road improvement during these years was carried on at a 
satisfactory rate, enabling the rapidly increasing farming community 
to carry on trade with the villages with greater facility. 

In 1807 the first printing press ever seen west of the Genesee river 
was set up in Batavia, and soon after the opening of the office the first 
number of the Genesee Intelligencer, the pioneer newspaper of the 
county, and indeed of the entire Holland Purchase, was issued from 
that press, by Elias Williams, editor and publisher. 

Until 1810 James Brisbane and Ebenezer Gary were the only mer- 
chants in the village of Batavia. In that year an extensive store was 
opened by Ephraim Hart, who intrusted its management to Clark 

The pioneer religious society of Batavia was organized September 
19, 1809, by Rev. Royal Phelps, a missionary sent out by the Hamp- 
shire Missionary Society of Massachusetts. It was of the Congrega- 


tional denomination. This church was not regularly incorporated until 
Feburary, 1811. Its first regular pastor was Rev. Ephraim Chapin, 
who served in this capacity from 1818 to 1821 inclusive.' 

The fourth religious society to be founded in Genesee county was the 
Freewill Baptist church at West Bethany, which was organized in 1809 
by the Rev. Nathaniel Brown. Every town in Genesee county, ex- 
cepting Bethany, received from the Holland Land Company a grant of 
one hundred acres of land for religious purposes. But this neglect on 
the part of the Land Company did not dampen the spiritual ardor of 
the adherents of the Baptist denomination in Bethany, as is demon- 
strated by the very early establishment of their church society. This 
church experienced a steady, though not rapid, growth from the start. 
Lack of means, however, deterred the society from erecting a house of 
worship for three decades, the first edifice, a frame building, not being 
erected until 1839. 

The first church in the town of Byron was of the Baptist denomina- 
tion. This society was organized at Byron Centre in 1810, but after 
a few years it disbanded. Religious services had been conducted in 
that town, however, a year before the establishment of this pioneer 
society, by the Rev. Royal Phelps, a Presbyterian missionary from 
Cayuga county. In the same year (1810) the Rev. Joshua Spencer, a 
Congregational minister, held services in Pembroke and organized a 
Congregational church at Long's Corners, now Corfu. This was the 
first religious society in the town of Pembroke. Its existence covered 
but a brief period. 

The East Elba Methodist Episcopal church began its existence by 
the formation of a class of eleven under the leadership of Joseph Wal- 
ton, an exhorter of that denomination. Among those who thus asso- 
ciated themselves together for worship were Elder Grant, John Howe, 
Seth Howe, Zalmofl Luttington, Fayette Luttington and others. The 
class was organized by the Rev. Ralph Lanning. A year later the 
Rev. Marmaduke Pierce became the first regular pastor of the society, 
and in 1814, so greatly had the organization prospered, that the erec- 
tion of a small house of worship was found practicable. In 1830 a new 
church was dedicated, and Levi Barnes, John Taylor, Phineas Howe, 
William Knapp, Isaac Barber and Locklin Norton were chosen to be 
its trustees. 

In 1811 a public library, the first in the county, was established in 

1 This church afterward became the First Presbyterian church of Batavia. 


Alexander. The trustees were Alexander Rea, Harvey Hawkins, Seba 
Brainard, Samuel Latham, Henry Hawkins, Noah North and Ezra W. 

It was not until February 7, 1812, that the first Presbyterian church 
of Le Roy was organized, although religious services had been held in 
that town with some degree of regularity ever since 1800, when they 
were inaugurated by the Rev. David Perry, a missionary from Massa- 
chusetts. The Le Roy church of 1812 at once was increased in num- 
bers by the admission into membership of the local adherents of the 
Congregational denomination. The organization of the society was 
perfected by the Rev. Oliver Ayer and the Rev. Reuben Parmalee. 
David Anderson was the first to be ordained to the deaconate. The 
Rev. David Fuller, the first resident clergyman, served the society for 
a short time, when the Rev. Calvin Colton was installed as the first 
regular pastor. A substantial house of worship was erected by the 
society in 1826. 

The old arsenal at Batavia, which was abandoned about 1816, was 
erected just prior to the war of 1812. This was one of the numerous 
measures for defense adopted by the State Government for the pro- 
tection of the frontier as soon as it was seen that hostilities were in- 
evitable. About 1810 the State entered into a contract with Joseph 
Ellicott for the construction of a building twenty feet square and twelve 
feet in height, to be used for the storage of military supplies. The 
arsenal remembered by the present generation was not built until after 
the close of that war. 

In 1811 a Protestant Episcopal church was established in Sheldon 
(Bennington), then in Genesee county, this being the first church of 
that denomination organized upon the Holland Purchase. The first 
wardens were Joshua Mitchell and Fitch Chipman, and the first vestry- 
men were John Rolph, John W. Coleman, Seneca Reed, James Case, 
Philo Welton and James Ward. The Union Religious Society was es- 
tablished in 1812 at Warsaw, then also in Genesee county. The first 
trustees were Isaac Phelps, Abraham Reed, John Munger, William 
Bristol, Zerah Tanner and Shubael Goodspeed. The first Baptist 
church of Sheldon was organized in 1812 with the following trustees: 
Pelatiah Case, Darius Cross, Justin Loomis, Solomon King, William W. 
Parsons and Ezra Ludden. 




The settlement of the territory west of the Genesee river was re- 
tarded greatly by reason of the continued Indian troubles. Immediately 
after the close of the war a number of New England farmers, princi- 
pally from the western part of Connecticut, started out with their fam- 
ilies to build new homes in the already famous "Genesee country;" 
but soon after entering the State of New York they lea,rned of the 
dangers that beset the whites in that locality, and abandoned the pro- 
ject. Some returned to the locality whence they had come, and others 
located in the Mohawk valley or in Saratoga county. As early as 1783 
two families, named Reynolds and Rogers, left Canaan, Connecticut, 
with the intention of settling west of the Genesee river, but their jour- 
ney ended in Saratoga county. 

While the tide of immigration in the direction of the rich and productive 
plains of the famed Genesee country was not very strong until the close 
of the eighteenth century, still a number of daring seekers after new 
homes found their way into this region prior to 1805. In a preceding 
chapter appear the names of most of the taxpayers west of the Genesee 
river in 1800. Just when they came and where they located has never 
been ascertained in some cases. The pioneers of those days, while 
building for posterity, did not keep a record of their movements and 
other important events, consequently later generations have been com- 
pelled to live on with but msagre knowledge of the careers of their 
ancestors, excepting rare cases. 

It is probable that the first white man to locate in the territory now 
comprised within the confines of the county of Genesee, and perhaps 
the first to locate permanently at any point on the Holland Purchase, 
was Charles Wilbur, who, in 1793, began the cultivation of a farm 
which subsequently became a part of the site of the village of Le Roy. 
Wilbur erected a small log house, which he used as a residence and a 
tavern. There has been some difference of opinion on this point, but 
modern research, reinforcing the records of the past, leads to the con- 


elusion that Wilbur was the first white man to found a home in that 
part of New York State west of the Genesee river. 

While Wilbur was the pioneer settler, his residence at this point cov- 
ered a comparatively brief period, and he did little to perpetuate his 
name or fame. It is to the Ganson family that the credit for pioneer 
progress and industi'y properly belongs. 

Captain Ganson was born in Bennington, Vt., in 1750. At the be- 
ginning of the Revolutionary war he enlisted as a private in the patriot 
army, went at once with a Vermont regiment to Boston, arriving there 
in time to participate in the battle of Bunker Hill. During that en- 
gagement a British musket ball carried away one of his fingers. Soon 
after he was commissioned as captain, and kept command of a com- 
pany until the close of the war, when he returned to his home at Ben 

During a part of the war Captain Ganson was a member of the com- 
mand of General, Sullivan, and as such participated in the latter's ex- 
pedition against the Seneca Indians. During his brief sojourn in the 
borders of the famed "Genesee country" he was impressed by the 
remarkable fertility of the land and the agreeable climate. It was to 
him an ideal spot for a home and for carrying on agricultural pursuits. 
Compared with the rugged hills of Vermont, it was little short of a 
paradise for a farmer. 

With the close of the war Captain Ganson decided to make a still 
further personal investigation of the wonderful new country, and the 
fear of the dreaded Seneca Indians did not deter him from starting out 
on his trip of inspection. In 1789 he left Bennington, accompanied by 
his two sons. Of these, John was fourteen years of age and James was 
twelve. Late in the fall of that year they reached a point about two 
miles south of the site of the village of Avon, where he purchased land 
on which to build his future home. 

Leaving his sons in the custody of a friendly Seneca he returned to 
Vermont for the purpose of bringing the remainder of his family west 
with him. But soon after reaching home his wife died, and it was not ' 
until late in the spring of 1790 when he began his final journey west- 
ward with the remnant of his family. At this time there were few 
settlements west of Utica, and most of the latter part of the journey 
had to be made over Indian trails. From Canandaigua to the Genesee 
river, a distance of over twenty miles, hardly a white habitation was to 
be seen. Soon after settling upon the Genesee the GansonS erected 


the first grist mill located upon that river. It was a log structure and 
a primitive affair, but it proved a great convenience to the pioneers for 
miles around. 

In 1797 Captain Ganson and his sons decided to remove to the west 
side of the river, and the former purchased the farm and house owned 
by Charles Wilbur. This place was the beginning of what subsequently 
became generally known as "the Ganson settlement, " the neighborhoo.d 
which ultimately developed into the thriving village of Le Roy. Here, 
a few years later, following the completion of the Holland Land Com- 
pany's surveys, came immigrants in large numbers, and for many years 
the tavern of John Ganson, who as a lad of fourteen came west with 
his father, was one of the most noted between the Hudson river and 
the Great Lakes. 

Both Stafford and Le Roy have long laid claim to the honor of being 
the location of the first permanent settlers in Genesee county. Though 
Captain Ganson purchased the Wilbur farm in 1797, it is generally be- 
lieved that he did not remove there until the following spring. On 
this point there is some doubt. In 1798 James Brisbane, the first mer- 
chant on the Holland Purchase, came to Stafford with a load of sup- 
plies and general merchandise for sale to the surveyors at work under 
direction of Joseph Ellicott. He at once opened a store, on the site of 
the present village of Stafford, which was called the Transit store- 
house ; but its exact location is not now known. Though the truth 
is not definitely known, there are many reasons for believing that Cap- 
tain Ganson had moved upon his newly acquired property in Le Roy a 
short time before Brisbane built his store, where he also at first re- 
sided. It is not likely that the mooted question will ever be definitely 

Settlements were also made at Batavia in 1798. These are more 
fully described in the chapter devoted to the history of the village of 

To revert to "the Ganson settlement: " Immigration hither assumed 
large proportions immediately after the completion of the surveys made 
by the Holland Land Company. Capt. Jotham Curtis, one of the 
earliest to come, was a farmer and tavern keeper. Joseph Hewitt and 
Daniel Davis came soon after. All three were there, however, before 
1802, the year when the surveys were completed. Chapman Hawley 
located east of Le Roy village about 1801, and was well known as "the 
fiddler" for that section. For some time he was an important func- 


tionary at local dances and other entertainments. Richard M. Stod- 
dard, who came to this neighborhood in 1803, was the first local agent 
for the Triangle tract. Ezra Piatt, who removed here from Canandai- 
gua, either in 1801 or 1803, probably the latter date, was the first to re- 
ceive the appointment of judge of Genesee County Court of Common 
Pleas. Stephen A. Wolcott, who came from Geneva in 1803, was the 
first cabinet-maker and builder in town. 

Daniel Davis, whose settlement here has already been noted, married 
Naomi Le Barron soon after his arrival. She came from Killing- 
worth, Conn., with the family of Philemon Nettleton. Their marriage 
was the first in the Ganson settlement and their daughter, Naomi 
Davis, was the first white child born there. Charles Wilbur, the firsc 
justice of the peace, performed the wedding ceremony. At the same 
time and place Gardner Carver and Lydia Davis were married by Jus- 
tice Wilbur. Davis's farm was about two miles east of that of the 
Gansons, near the eastern edge of the present town. 

Hinds Chamberlin was one of the very earliest pioneers, and one of 
the most enterprising and useful citizens in the community. In all 
public movements he was conspicuous as a leader for many years. He 
opened the first road from the Genesee river to Ganson's, over the old 
Indian trail, under direction of Richard M. Stoddard. The farm he 
first opened he sold in 1801 to Asher Bates, who in that year came 
from Canandaigua. 

Richard M. Stoddard was one of the most conspicuous and influen- 
tial men of the community in its early days. He came from Canan- 
daigua with Ezra Piatt. In May, 1801, Joseph EUicott, then acting as 
special agent for Le Roy and Bayard, engaged Mr. Stoddard to make a 
survey of the Triangle tract, giving explicit directions as to the laying 
off of a tract of five hundred acres at " Buttermilk Falls." This tract, 
which was purchased in 1803 by Mr. Stoddard and Ezra Piatt, is now 
entirely covered by the village of Le Roy. They erected on the Oatka 
a grist mill, which is believed to have been the first west of the Genesee 
river. Mr. Stoddard became the first sheriff of Genesee county and to 
his efforts is due in a very large measure the peaceful conditions which 
surrounded the inhabitants of this county during a portion of the first 
decade of the present century. He also built a commodious tavern 
and several other houses. He was a man of wide influence, which he 
invariably exercised for good. 

In 1799 Gilbert Hall began the cultivation of the farm known in 


recent years as the Phelps farm. Friend Hall came soon after and 
located near by. Jabez Fox and James Davis, jr., settled in town 
about 1800. Lyman Prindle built a home on West Main street in 1801. 
The following year Richard Waite came from Canandaigua. His home 
was frequently used in the early days as a house of worship. Daniel 
D. Waite, for many years editor of the Batavia Advocate, was his son. 
Captain James Austin was an early millwright in Le Roy, and Thad- 
deus Keyes had the first tannery there. Ebenezer Fox, one of the 
pioneers, conducted a singing school for some time. Aaron Scribner 
and Samuel Davis removed to this town about 1803. The latter was 
the proprietor of an early tavern. In a drunken brawl which occurred 
in his house he met his death at the hands of his son, James, and Elijah 
Gray, sr. Both were tried and convicted of the murder. Gray was 
sentenced to State prison for life, but sentence was subsequently com- 
muted. James Davis was hanged for the crime, at Batavia, in 1839. 
Among others who settled in the town prior to 1803 were Captain 
Nathaniel Buel, John Sweatland and Orange Judd. 

In 1805 Jeremiah Hascall came from Connecticut and settled upon 
the farm east of the village which in more recent years has been known 
as "Dreamland." He had four sons— Jeremiah, Amasa, John and 
Augustus P. — and two daughters. 

In 1808 Simon Pierson located near Fort Hill. He was a descendant 
of Abraham Pierson, the first president of Yale University. He served 
as a major in the war of 1813, and enjoyed a reputation as an authority 
on Indian antiquities. He made numerous excavations in the ancient 
Indian fort near his home and discovered large numbers of Indian 
relics. Some of these he found below the largest trees, proving that 
the works were very ancient. 

Contemporaries of Major Pierson were George W. Blodgett, the first 
saddler and harnessmaker, who settled upon the farm afterward occu- 
pied by his daughter, Mrs. J. R. Anderson ; Mr. Brown, who was the 
pioneer blacksmith; John Gilbert, a blacksmith and axe maker, father 
of the distinguished artist; Levi Farnham, the first manufacturer of 
clothing; Captain Isaac Marsh, who built an early saw mill, probably 
the first in town; John Hay, the first stone mason, who built the first 
Episcopal church ; William Whiting, who came from Canandaigua in 
1806; Colonel William Olmsted, who came from Williamstown, Mass., 
in 1806, father of John R. Olmsted of Le Roy. 

Among others who located in the town of Le Roy prior to the begin- 


ning of the war of 1813 were Heman J. Redfield, who became a dis- 
tinguished citizen of Genesee county; Augustus H. Ely, Stephen Still- 
well, Daniel Woodward, David Anderson, Alexander Anderson, Joseph 
Austin, Jonathan Wright, Benjamin Webb, Joel Butler, Thankful 
Buel, Joy Ward, Captain William Thomas, Edmund Beach, Jonas Bart- 
lett, Christopher Cadman, Joseph Cook, Amasa Clapp, Lee Comstock, 
Thomas Studley, Thomas Severance, James Roberts, Elias Peck, 
Henry Goodenow, Ezekiel Hall, Israel Herrick, Daniel Pierson, Rus- 
sell Pierson, Ebenezer Parmelee, David W. Parmelee, Zalmon Owen, 
William Holbrook, Moses McCollum, Alfred Morehouse, Jesse Beach, 
Philip Beach, Colonel Norton S. Davis, Dudley Saltonstall, whose 
daughter became the wife of Richard M. Stoddard; Phineas Bates, 
Cyrus Douglass, Dr. David FaircEild, Jabez Fox, Amos Hall, Nathan 

Harvey, Alexander McPherson, Abel Nettleton, Scofield, Amzi 

Stoughton, Richard Waite, Stephen A. Wolcott, Dr. William Coe, Cal- 
vin Davis, John McPherson, Samuel B. Wolley, Daniel White, David 
White, Allen McPherson, Gideon Fordham, John Franklin, Jacob Mc- 
Collum, Robert Nesbit, Captain David Scott, Asa Buell, Moses Lilly, 
Isaac Perry, George A. Tiffany, David Emmons, Jason Munn, Philo 
Pierson, Simon Pierson, the author; Abram Butterfield, Ithamar Coe, 
John Elliott, Dr. Frederick Fitch, Dr. Benjamin Hill, Captain Theodore 
Joy, H. Johnson, Silas Lawrence, Hugh Murphy, R. Sinclair, Stephen 
P. Wilcox, Major Nathan Wilcox, Harry Backus, Timothy Backus, 
Ebenezer Miles, Salmon Butler, Chester Barrows, Willis Buell, Ward 
Beckley, Jacob Coe, Silas Fordham, William Harris, Seth Harris, Mar- 
tin Kelsey, Uriah Kelsey, James McPherson, jr., Captain Isaac Marsh, 
Graham Newell, Stephen Olmsted, Harvey Prindle, Elias Parmelee, 
Dr. Chauncey P. Smith, Dr. William Sheldon, Thaddeus Stanley, 
Alanson Stanley, J. Harlow Stanley, Thomas Tufts, Thomas Warner, 
Chester Waite, Captain John Webb, Washington Weld, Joseph. Annin, 
Abraham Buckley, Nathan Bannister, Joseph Curtis, Levi Farnham, 
Julius Griswold, Samuel Gilbert, Ebenezer Lawrence, Pliny Sanderson, 
Elisha Stanley, John Thwing, Stephen Taylor, Stephen Walkley. 

The mill of Stoddard & Piatt was the first erected in Le Roy, its 
operation beginning in 1803. This mill antedates that which the Hol- 
land Land Company erected at Batavia. 

The year before a wooden bridge had been erected over the Oatka. 
These two institutions served to attract people to Le Roy from the sur- 
rounding country, and were in a measure responsible for its early 


growth. The bridge was built by James Ganson, under direction o£ 
Charles Wilbur and Jotham Curtis, commissioners of highways. The 
town voted $50 towards paying the expense of construction, and $200 
more was raised by popular subscription. The work was finished five 
days after it had been begun, as men from all the adjacent country 
participated in the work, donating their services. 

The post office at Le Roy was established in 1804, Asher Bates being 
the first to officiate as postmaster. Richard M. Stoddard and James 
Ganson were his immediate successors. 

Richard M. Stoddard was the first to offer any merchandise for sale 
in town, but he did no general business. The first regular store in 
town was opened in 1806 by George F. Tiffany on the east side of the 
Oatka. Philo Pierson was also an early merchant, opening a store at 
the corner of Main and North streets in Le Roy about 1810. David 
Emmons and Captain Theodore Joy were proprietors of a general store 
at this point during the period under discussion. Captain Joy was one 
of the best known merchants between Canandaigua and Buffalo. M. 
& B. Murphy and James Annin located very early here. The latter 
first had a store on the east side of the Oatka, but like several others, 
he removed to the west side of the creek as soon as it became evident 
that that locality was to be the business centre of the village. 

Dr. William Coe was the fii'st regular practitioner to locate in Le 
Roy, where he settled in 1803. Besides practicing his profession he 
taught several of the higher branches of learning in the evening. Many 
of the prominent persons of the generation succeeding him owe to Dr. 
Coe the education they obtained. Dr. Frederick Fitch, Dr. Ella Smith, 
Dr. Chauncey P. Smith and Dr. William Sheldon practiced in town 
during this period. Graham Newell was the pioneer lawyer in town. 

The name of the town was changed to Caledonia in 1807. In 1811 it 
was called Bellona, from the goddess of war, nearly every able-bodied 
man in town having enlisted in the American arm}' to fight against the 
British. The name was not changed to Le Roy until 1813. 

In the year 1798, Joseph and Benjamin Ellicott and James Brisbane 
are recorded as inhabitants of the town of Batavia. The separate 
chapter in the history of the village of Batavia furnishes more detailed 
information regarding these noted pioneers and some of their contem- 
poraries. The early records show that John Branan located in town in 
1800. In the township outside the village the first settlers were Isaac 
Sutherland, who built a substantial log house on his farm about two 



miles west of the land office in the village, and General Worthy L. 
Churchill and Colonel William Rumsey, who located in the eastern sec- 
tion of the town. Soon after Benjamin Morgan, John Lamberton and 
Samuel F. Geer settled in the town. 

The life and services of Joseph EUicott, the founder of Batavia, have 
been touched upon in extenso elsewhere in this work. Let us now 
take a retrospective view of some of the less distinguished, though 
prominent and influential pioneer inhabitants, than the first agent of 
the Holland Land Company. Perhaps James Brisbane deserves the 
first place in the list. 

Mr. Brisbane was born in Philadelphia, of Irish parentage, October 
13, 1776. At the age of twenty-two years he left the City of Brotherly 
Love with a large quantity of supplies and general merchandise for sale 
to the corps of men then engaged in surveying the Western New York 
wilderness under the direction of Joseph Ellicott. Mr. Brisbane and 
those who accompanied him first stopped at Stafford, where a building 
called the Transit storehouse was erected. This was in 1798. January 
3, 1800, he accompanied Mr. Ellicott back to Philadelphia. Returning 
in the spring of 1802 he located permanently in the new village of Ba- 
tavia, which was laid out in that year, offering for sale the first lot of 
general merchandise ever shipped to that point. July 31, 1803, Gideon 
Granger, postmaster-general, commissioned him as the first postmaster 
of Batavia. This was the second post-office west of the Genesee, that 
at Lewiston being the first. Isaac Sutherland and Samuel F. Geer had 
erected a building on the northeast corner of Main and Church streets, 
which was immediately rented for use as a store by Mr. Brisbane, and 
afterward purchased by him. In 1806 he resigned the postmastership 
and Ebenezer Cary was appointed in his place. At the same time he 
disposed of his stock of goods and rented his store to Trumbull Cary. 
He soon after went to New York and engaged in the book business for 
two years. Returning to Batavia in 1808 he resumed business at his 
original stand, remaining there until 1831. During the earlier years 
of his residence in Batavia he purchased large parcels of real estate, 
which soon became exceedingly valuable. In 1833 he became the prin- 
cipal incorporator and largest shareholder of the Tonawanda railroad. 
Mr. Brisbane was married in 1807 to Mary Lucy Stevens, a sister of 
James W. Stevens, the first clerk of Genesee county. His death oc- 
curred May 39, 1851. He was survived by two sons: Albert, born in 
1809, and George, born in 1813. 


Among the other pioneers of the town, prior to the war of 1813, were 
the following: 

James W. Stevens, a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Prince- 
ton College, came in 1800. At the earliest period of its land sales in 
Western New York he became connected with the Holland Land Com- 
pany, and remained in that capacity until the affairs of that concern 
were closed up. He was the first clerk of Genesee county, holding 
office from 1804 to 1810. No man in all Genesee county was more 
highly esteemed than he. 

David E. Evans, a nephew of Joseph Ellicott, came from his home 
in Maryland to assume a clerical position in the Holland Land office. 
He was elected to the State Senate in 1818 and served in that body 
four years. He became a member of congress in 1826, but resigned 
in that year in order to accept the agency of the Holland Company, to 
succeed Jacob Otto, a position he filled with great fidelity until 1837, 
when the affairs of the company were closed up. His death occurred 
in 1850. Mr. Evans was a public-spirited man, and a liberal contrib- 
utor to all worthy enterprises, public or private. ' 

Ebenezer Cary accompanied Mr. Ellicott as a surveyor to the Hol- 
land Purchase, and served the company for some time in various ca- 
pacities. He was an early merchant in Batavia, succeeding James 

Dr. David McCracken and Roswell Graham came in 1801, and James 
Cochrane in 1802. The latter was the proprietor of a bell foundry on 
Bank street. He died in 1826. 

Trumbull Cary, brother of Ebenezer Cary, was born in Mansfield, 
Conn., August 11, 1787. He came to Batavia in 1805, and after spend- 
ing four years as clerk for James Brisbane and Ebenezer Cary, bought 
out that firm and remained in business until 1840. He also served as 
postmaster for part of that time. He served in both branches of the 
State Legislature, and was an adjutant in the war of 1813. He was 
the founder of the Bank of Genesee, and was for many years one of the 
most successful business men and financiers in this section of the State. 
He died June 30, 1869. 

Ebenezer Mix was born at New Haven, Conn., December 31, 1789. 
In 1809 he came to Batavia and worked at his trade as a mason in the 
summer and taught school in the winter. In 1810 he began the study 
of the law with Daniel B. Brown, but in the spring of 1811 entered 
the employ of the Holland Land Company, where he remained as 


contracting clerk for twenty-seven years. During this period he was 
for twenty-one years surrogate of Genesee county. While serving in 
that office, he codified the State laws relating to the descent and distri- 
bution of estates. He served with distinction in the war of 1813, act- 
ing as the volunteer aide of Gen. Peter B. Porter at the memorable 
sortie at Fort Erie, September 17, 1814. He was recognized as one of 
the best mathematicians in the State, and was the author of a work en- 
titled "Practical Mathematics." He also assisted Orsamus Turner in 
the compilation of his " History of the Holland Purchase." March 30, 
1815, Mr. Mix married Jemima Debow. His death occurred in Cleve- 
land, O., January 13, 1869. 

Aaron Van Cleve, who came to Batavia in 1809, was born in New 
Jersey in 1768. In 1791 he married a daughter of Benjamin Stevens 
and a sister of James W. Stevens. In 1799 he assisted Joseph EUicott 
in running the West Transit Line. In 1809 he removed to Batavia, 
and two years later was appointed sheriff, serving until 1814. He also 
held other offices of trust. 

In addition to those persons mentioned in the foregoing, the follow- 
ing are recorded as holders of property in Batavia village or township 
as early as 1803 : 

Elisha Adams, Joseph Alvord, Dr. J. Arnold, Thomas Ashley, Will- 
iam Blackman, Hiram Blackman, Russell Crane, Charles Cooley, Silas 
Chapin, Daniel Curtis, James Clements, Jeremiah Cutler, James Coch- 
rane, Gideon Dunham, Garrett Davis, Dr. C. Chapin, John Forsyth, 
E. Gettings, Samuel F. Geer, Rufus Hart, James Holden, Paul Hink- 
ley, Paul Hill, Jesse Hurlburt, Joseph Hawks, John Lamberton, P. 
Lewis, Daniel McCracken, Rufus McCracken, James McKain, Ben- 
jamin F. Morgan, David Mather, Elisha Mann, R. Noble, Zerah Phelps, 
Peter Powers, Benjamin Porter, Stephen Russell, Benjamin Russell, 
H. Rhodes, Abel Rowe, Amos Ranger, Rowland Town, E. Tillottson, 
Henry Wilder, Aaron White, J. Washburn, William Wood, Elijah 
Spencer and Isaac Spencer. 

Beside these the following are on record as having been owners of 
property between the year 1803, when Batavia village was founded, 
and the outbreak of the war of 1813: 

John Alger, David Anderson, David Bowen, William H. Bush, Ben- 
jamin Blodgett, Ephraim Brown, Isaiah Babcock, Daniel B. Brown, 
M. Brooks, William Curtis, Benjamin Gary, Elisha Cox, Nathaniel Cole- 
man, Eleazer Cantling, L. L. Clark, Simeon Cummings, Peleg Doug- 


lass, Levi Davis, Silas Dibble, jr., Hugh Duffy, John Dorman, L. Dis- 
brow, John De Wolf, Andrew A. Ellicott, Gideon EUicott, John B. 
Ellicott, William Ewing, Seymour Ensign, Phineas Ford, Libbeus 
Fish, Eden Foster, Ezekiel Fox, Othniel Field, David Goss, R. Godfrey, 
Thomas Godfrey, Linus Gunn, Alanson Gunn, Hugh Henry, James 
Henry, John Herring, Hinman Holden, Samuel C. Holden, General 
Amos Hall, David Hall, Winter Hewitt, James G. Hoyt, H. Jerome, 
Samuel Jacks, Seymour Kellogg, Zenas Keyes, Chauncey Keyes, Will- 
iam Keyes, Solomon Kingsley, John S. Leonard, Henry Lake, William 
Lucas, Amos Lamberton, Reuben Lamberton, Thomas Layton, A. 

Lincoln, Leonard, Asa McCracken, E. Messenger, Azor Marsh, 

David C. Miller, N. Miner, William Pierce, Blanchard Powers, Patrick 
Powers, James Post, Nathan Rumsey, Samuel Ranger, J. Z. Ross, 
Reuben Town, L Norman Town, Benjamin Tainter, Joel Tyrrell, Jona- 
than Wood, Reuben W. Wilder, Oswald Williams, Ellas Williams, Abel 
Wheeler, John B. Watkins, Abraham Starks, Joshua Sutherland, David 
Smith, Isaac Smith, Henry Starks, J. P. Smith, S. Stoughton, N. 

James Brisbane, the first settler in the town of Stafford and the 
first merchant on the Holland Purchase, remained in that town but 
a short time. In 1802, when Mr. Ellicott began the work of laying 
out the village of Batavia, one of the first men to take advantage of 
the superior opportunities for trade which that locality offered was 
Mr. Brisbane. He had abandoned his storehouse, which probably was 
located on the west side of the creek, north of the bridge, in the 
present village of Stafford, some time before. 

In 1799, the year after the arrival of Mr. Brisbane, James Dewey, 
one of the surveyors employed by Mr. Ellicott for the Holland com- 
pany, was induced by Mr. Brisbane to clear about ten acres of land 
just west of the Transit, which he sowed with oats. 

Frederick Walther located in Stafford during or prior to 1800. He 
was one of the first men to accept the offer of the company in 1800, re- 
garding the establishment of taverns. Paul Busti, the general agent 
of the company at Philadelphia, had given authority " to contract with 
six reputable individuals to locate themselves on the road from the 
Transit Line to Buffalo Creek, about ten miles apart, and open houses 
of entertainment for travelers," in consideration for which they were 
to have "from fifty to one hundred and fifty acres of land each, at a 
liberal time for payment, without interest, at the lowest price per acre." 


In accordance with this offer Walther took a tract of one hundred and 
fifty acres west of and adjoining the Eastern Transit Line, including 
the company's storehouse. He had already located on a part of this 
tract, but how long he had been there at this time is unknown. His 
stay was brief in this community on account of his unpopularity. 

One of the earlist permanent settlers of whom any record has been 
left was Colonel William Rumsey, who came from Hubbardton, Vt. , 
in 1802 and located on Stafford Hill. Colonel Rumsey also was a sur- 
veyor employed under direction of Mr. Ellicott, and a man of sterling 
worth. He became one of the most influential men in the town and 
county. His son, Joseph E. Rumsey, settled here the same year, but 
subsequently removed to Chicago. 

In 1803 Nathan Marvin bought a large tract of land, upon which he 
settled, but he eventually sold the property and moved to Ohio. 

General Worthy Lovell Churchill, who became one of the most con- 
spicuous men in Genesee county in its early days, settled upon a farm 
near that of Colonel Rumsey in 1803. He served as an officer in the 
war of 1812, commanded the One Hundred and Sixty-fourth Regiment 
of New York State Militia, and served as sheriff of the county from 
1820 to 1825. I 

John Debow and Zenas Bigelow began the cultivation of farms in 
Stafford in 1804. From that time to 1812 newcomers were quite nu- 
merous. Among those who came to town during that period were Eben 
Eggleston, who kept a tavern on the Big Tree road; D. Hall, Leonard 
King, Henry Rumsey, Josiah Churchill, Phineas White, John Bean, 

Malachai Tyler, Amos Stow. Seymour Ensign, Falconer, Nathan 

Bannister and Betsey Bigelow. Tyler operated a small wood turning 
shop, where he turned out chairs, spinning wheels, bowls and other 
wooden implements. He also did blacksmithing. Amos Stow built a 
saw mill on Bigelow creek in 1811, and in the same year Seymour Ensign 
built a grist mill in the same neighborhood. The latter also conducted 
quite a business in wool-carding and cloth dressing. Captain Nathan 
Cash and Elisha Prentice removed to the town in 1812. Nathaniel Wat- 
son and Daniel Prentice located about 1812 on the Pultney lands of the 
Connecticut tract. 

In 1806 Esther Sprout opened a private school on or near the present 
site of the village of Stafford. This undoubtedly was the first school 
in town. Nothing is known of any other schools which may have ex- 
isted during this period. 


Beside the Walther tavern referred to, Jonathan Bemis kept a public 
house in Stafford as early as 1804. David Danolds was another early 
landlord, his tavern being on the site of the one Walther had occupied, 
just west of the building occupied by Mr. Brisbane as a storehouse. 
Eben Eggleston's tavern on the Big Tree Road, opened in 1809, for 
many years was a famous hostelry. 

Religious services were held in town as early as 1810, by the Rev. 
William Green, a Baptist preacher. The earliest meetings were held 
at the house of Colonel Rumsey. From these services sprang the first 
Baptist church of Stafford. 

The town of Oakfield was first settled in 1801, when Erastus Wolcott 
and Aaron White built homes and began the cultivation of farms. 
Gideon Dunham located here soon after, in the same year, his neigh- 
borhood soon becoming known as Dunham's Grove. A little later in 
the same year Erastus Wolcott, Peter Rice and Christopher Kenyon 
moved into the town. Peter Lewis immigrated from Vermont in' 1803 
and settled on a farm near that of Gideon Dunham. Daniel Ayer and 
Job Babcock also came in 1802. The records show the following as 
having located here in 1803 : Hiram Smith, James Robinson, Lemuel 
L. Clark, Silas Pratt, William McGrath, Philip Adkins, Darius Ayer 
and George Lathrop. Rufus Hastings, Roraback Robinson, Samuel 
Jerome, sr., Samuel Jerome, jr., Benjamin Chase and Solomon Baker 
came in 1804, and Caleb Blodgett, sr., Caleb Blodgett, jr., Micajah 
Green, George Hoge, Ezra Thomas, William Parrish, David Clark, 
Eldridge Buntley, George Harper, John Harper, David Woodworth, 
Nicholas Bentley and James Crossett came in 1806. In 1807 Elijah 
Blodgett, a native of Vermont, came from Ontario county and settled 
at what is now Mechanicsville. William McCrilless settled here in 1810 
and George W., John and Jeremiah H. Gardner in 1811. In the latter 
year George Driggs located on the north line of the Reservation. He 
cut that portion of the Lewiston road from Alabama to Walsworth's 
tavern. Other early settlers included John Orr, Russell Nobles, Othniel 
Brown, Harvey Hubbard and Laurens Armstrong. 

The first mills in Oakfield were those built by Christopher Kenyon 
in 1811. Gideon Dunham was the first tavern keeper. 

The earliest inhabitant of Bergen was Samuel Lincoln, who pur- 
chased a farm in that town in 1801. Soon afterward, in the same year, 
Benajah Worden, George Letson, William Letson, James Letson, David 
Scott, Gideon Elliott, Richard Abbey, Jesse Leach and Solomon Levi 


settled in various portions of the town, mostly in Lincoln's neighbor- 
hood. From that timfe to 1812 the following were recorded as settlers 
in Bergen, all being landholders: Alexander White, Alexander Bissell, 
Amos Hewitt, A. E. Wilcox, John Landon, Abram Davis, Captain 
James Austin, James Landon, Isaac Wallace, Orange Throop, Joseph 
Throop, David Potter, Levi Bissell, Aaron Bissell, Wheaton South- 
worth, John Gifford, Samuel Butler, Jesse Barber, Jedediah Crosby, 
Captain William Peters, Samuel Gleason, Oliver Avery, Aaron Arnold, 
Eben Arnold, Deacon Benjamiii Wright, Deacon Pitman Wilcox, Deacon 
John Ward, Deacon Levi WanJ, Deacon Timothy Hill, James Munger, - 
Joarab Field, Wickham Field, Joel Wright, Stephen R. Evarts, David 
H. Evarts, Captain Phineas Parmelee, Nathan Field, Uriah Crampton, 
Captain Samuel Bassett, Selah M. Wright, Bela Munger, William H. 
Munger, Harvey Field, Joshua Field, Dr. Levi Ward, Colonel W. H. 
Ward, Hamilton Wilcox, General Daniel Hurlburt, M. C. Ward, Josiah 
Pierson, Simeon Pierson, John Pierson, Philo Pierson, Linus Pierson, 
Russell Pierson (brothers), David Franklin, Ishi Franklin, Sylvanus 
Franklin, Reuben Franklin, Daniel Franklin (brothers), Harvey Kelsey, 
Captain Daniel Kelsey, Uriah Kelsey, Martin Kelsey, Charles Kelsey, 
Thomas Stevens, Daniel Stevens, Jesse Griswold, Josiah Buell, Job Sew- 
ard, Roswell Parmelee, Ebenezer Parmelee, Abner Hull, Ebenezer Hull, 
Phineas Nettleton, John Smith, Samuel Smith, Deacon Selden, Major 
Nathan Wilcox, Calvin Seward, Augustus Buell and Jonathan Wright. 

Hamilton Wilcox was a member of a colony which came from East 
Guilford, Conn., in 1808. At the age of sixteen years he began 
teaching school in Bergen. In the winter of 1813-14, when troops 
were called for, he left his schtfbl to take command of a company. On 
the night of December 30, 1813, as the British were crossing the river 
at Black Rock, he was wounded by a bullet. He was taken back to 
Bergen, where his arm was amputated, causing his death four weeks 

Aaron Arnold was the oldest son of Enoch Arnold, and was born in 
Berkshire county, Mass., in 1781. In 1806 he married Eliza Allen 
of Canaan, Conn., and the following year he removed to Bergen and 
began farming. He became a man of wealth and influence, and served 
his town several terms as supervisor. 

Ebenezer Arnold, youngest son of Daniel Arnold, came from East 
Haddam, Conn., in 1802. He was for many years a deacon in the First 
Congregational church of Bergen. 


Wickham Field came from Killingworth, Conn., in June, 1809, in 
company with several other pioneers of Genesee, and settled about two 
miles west of Bergen village. 

AbnerHull, who came also from Killingworth, Conn., in 1808, served 
as justice of the peace and supervisor of Bergen for many years. He 
was a man of upright character, noted far and wide for his integrity. 
One of his sons, Ferdinand H. Hull, was sheriff of Genesee county 
from 1860 to 1863 inclusive. Carlos A. Hull, who has served as county 
clerk continuously since 1867, is another son. Abner Hull's wife was 
Rachael Parmelee. 

The first religious organization in Bergen of which there is any record 
was the Congregational church organized January 35, 1808, at the 
house of Deacon John Ward. But before this date religious services 
had been held by Rev. Calvin Ingalls, a missionary, in the barn of 
David Franklin. ^^ 

Harvey Kelsey was the earliest school teacher. Titus Wilcox, Joshua 
Field and Hamilton Wilcox were other teachers of the pioneer days. 

Jared Merrill erected the first saw mill in Bergen. The store of Dr. 
Levi Ward, opened in 1808, and that of Josiah Pierson, opened in 1811, 
are believed to have been the first in town. In 1809 Samuel Butler 
opened a tavern, the first public house in Bergen. 

The earliest settlements in Bethany were made in the year 1803, when 
John Torrey, Orsamus Kellogg, John Dewey, Charles Culver, Captain 
George Lathrop, Richard Pearson, Samuel Prindle, L. D. Prindle, 
David Hall, O. Fletcher, Nathaniel Pinney, Horace Shepard and Jed- 
ediah Riggs took up farms in town. Whether all these actually settled 
here in that year or not is not shown by the records. Captain George 
Lathrop settled in town in that year, but he had two neighbors who 
were there before him. Captain Lathrop was an officer in the war of 
1813. Solomon Lathrop came in 1804, but remained but a short time. 
Henry Lathrop, who settled here the same year, resided in town until 
his death. Richard Pearson, sr., came from Lyme, Conn., in 1803, and 
purchased a good sized tract, but did not perrftanently settle in Bethany 
until 1815. Richard Peck, who located here in 1806, was a lieutenant 
in Colonel Rumsey's regiment in the war of 1812. Jedediah Lincoln 
located in town in 1805, and Peter Putnam a short time afterward. 

Among the other inhabitants of the town who are recorded as having 
resided herebeforethe war of 1813 were the following: Solomon Kings- 
ley, Peter Adley, John Boynton, William Coggeshall, W. B. Cogge- 


shall, James Cowdrey, Jeremiah Cowdrey, Lewis Disbrow, Peleg 
Douglass, John Grimes, Elisha Giddings, Joseph Hawks, Thomas 
Harding, John Halsted, Alanson Jones, John Roberts, Israel Shearer, 
David Tyrrell, Joel S. Wilkinson, Isaac R. Williams, William Williams, 
David Anderson, Israel Buell, Abel Buell, Erastus Bennett, James 
Bennett, Jeremiah Bennett, Joseph Bartlett, Eli Bristol, Jason Bixby, 
Jonathan Bixby, John Chambers, Ezekiel Fay, John Greenough, John 
Huntington, Thomas Halsted, Asher Lamberton, Gershom Orvis, Eli 
Perry, Alfred Rose, Richard Stiles, Josiah Southard, Elisha Wallace, 
Peter Wilkinson, Isaac Wilson, Philo Whitcomb, Joseph Adgate, Elisha 
Andrews, Lewis Barney, D. W. Bannister, Peter Davidson, Chester 
Davidson, Moses Goodrich, Liberty Judd, David Ingersoll, David Mor- 
gan, Henry Miller, Mather Peck, Thomas Starkweater, David Stewart, 
Joseph Shedd, Eben Wilson, Heman Brown, Buell Brown, Sylvester 
Lincoln, jr., Moses Page, Elisha Hurlburt, Nathaniel Brown, Calvin 
Barrows, Eleazer Faunce, O. Walker, W. Waite, sr., Israel Cook, Al- 
exander Grimes, Daniel Marsh, Jesse Rumsey, Judge Wilson, Charles 
Smead, Robert Lounsbury, Israel Fay. 

The first mill in Bethany was built about 1808, at Linden, by a man 
named Coles. The dam was twenty four feet high. In 1810 another 
mill was built at that point by Judge Isaac Wilson. In 1809 or 1810 
Calvin Barrow erected a carding and woolen mill, which was widely 
patronized for many years. Judge Wilson had one of the first general 
stores in town. He was also a justice of the peace for several years, 
and the first postmaster at Linden. Joseph Chamberlain was the pro- 
prietor of the first tavern at that point. The first tavern in the town, 
however, was that kept by Sylvester Lincoln and opened for business 
in 1805. At Canada a mill was in operation very early, perhaps as early 
as 1808. Its proprietor was a man named Bennett, and the locality 
was known for some time as Bennett's Mills. Nathaniel Brown built a 
grist mill at West Bethany in 1811. 

Religious services were held in Bethany as early as 1810, when the 
Methodist brethren conducted camp meetings at "Bennett's." The 
year following services were held by Benjamin Barlow, a local preacher. 
Brother Howe and Father Waller. Dr. Jonathan K. Barlow was the 
pioneer physician of the town. 

The first inhabitant of Darien was Orange Carter, who came from 
Vermont in 1803 and located near Darien village, or Darien City. The 
year following Isaac Chaddock, also from Vermont, located in the same 


vicinity. Stephen Parker opened a tavern in 1808, which was the first 
in town. Amos Humphrey built the first saw mill in town in 1809. It 
was located on the banks of Eleven Mile creek. 

Saxton Bailey, accompained by his son Joshua, removed to Darien in 
1806 and purchased a farm of six hundred acres. His family followed 
two years later. Of these one son, Daniel, became a captain in the war 
of 1812. John Bard well and his family, including his son Dexter, re- 
moved here from Orange county, Vt. , in 1810. Peleg Bowen, a native 
of Galway, Saratoga county, N. Y., removed to Darien in 1811. He 
spent his life upon his farm, and served with honor in the war of 1812. 
Owen Curtis, a native of Warren, Conn., came to Darien in 1808 and 
bought a farm, on which he resided for seventy years. 

The pioneer Orange Carter was born December 23, 1774, in Connec- 
ticut. His wife was Betsey Rumsey of Vermont. Mr. Carter had been 
employed for several years assisting in the survey of the Holland Pur- 
chase, and the farm he selected in the north part of the town was one 
of the finest in Genesee county. For a year his nearest neighbor lived 
three and one-half miles distant, in Alexander, and he had to travel six 
miles to find a grist mill. Mr. Carter served in the war of 1812. He 
died in Wisconsin in 1855, aged eighty-one years. 

Brazilla Carter, a native of Connecticut, settled in 1812 in Darien, 
after a trip of six weeks, with an ox sled and cart, from his New Eng- 
land home. He died at the age of eighty-six years on the farm where 
he first settled. 

Abner C. Colby, Reuben Colby and Daniel Colby removed to Darien 
from Canaan, N. H., in 1812, taking contracts for land at three dollars 
per acre, with ten years' time for payment. Their farms adjoined one 
another and the settlement became known as the Colby neighborhood. 

Jonathan Durkee, a graduate of Dartmouth College, came to Darien 
in 1810 and took up four hundred acres of land. He became promi- 
nent in the affairs of the town, serving as justice and supervisor. 

Alva Jefferson and Ichabod Jefferson were pioneers of 1812, locating 
in the southern part of the town. 

Colonel Abraham Matteson, a native of Bennington, Vt., removed 
from that place to Darien in 1808, with his wife, formerly Betsey 
Woodard of Bennington. He entered the war of 1812 as a private 
and was mustered out as a colonel. He held numerous offices, serving 
as a justice for sixteen years. He also represented Genesee county in 
the State Assembly. -He died in 1831. 


Henry Saulsbury, born atSchodack, Rensselaer county, N. Y., about 
1790, removed to Darien in 1810, residing there the balance of his life. 
He held numerous local offices and was a man of influence. 

Other pioneers of Darien of this period included George Wright, 
David Goss, Rufus Kidder, Israel Doane, James Day, Captain Jonathan 
Bailey, Benjamin Carter, David Carter, John Long, David Long, John 
Lamberton, Stephen Parker, Joseph Peters, Samuel Carr, S. D. Cleve- 
land, A. L. Clemens, Owen Curtis, Amos Humphrey, John Sumner, 
James G. Tiffany, H. G. Tiffany, D. Tiffany, Major William Thayer, 
Jonathan Vaughan, Daniel Jones, Levi Jones, Jotham Sumner, Orris 
Boughton, E. N. Boughton, John Ball, Peleg Brown, Nathaniel Jones, 
John Murray, Jerome Sumner, Joel Sutherland, Harry Stone, Jonas 
Kinne, Winslow Sumner, Tyler Sumner, David Sutherland, John Suth- 
erland, John Stickney, Daniel Carter, Frank Chapin and Ira J. Tisdale. 
Elba was first settled in 1804, July 11, 1803, the Holland Land Com- 
pany issued to John Young a deed to land south of Elba village. In 
the spring of the following year Mr. Young and his wife came from 
Virginia on horseback, and located on their new farm. For a while 
they endured great hardships and privations. It is related that their 
first bed was a large cotton bag which they purchased of Mr. Brisbane 
at the Transit storehouse and filled with the down of "cat tails." Mr. 
Young at once set to work to clear up and cultivate his land, and soon 
found himself in possession of a most fertile and productive farm. His 
log house was the first erected in the town of Elba. 

Soon after the arrival of John Young, in 1804, John Roraback estab- 
lished himself at the point which afterwards became known by the 
name of Pine Hill. He was a weaver, and for many years manufac- 
tured "homespun" for most of the settlers within a radius of several 
miles. A little later Bannan Clark, Thomas Turner and Ephraim 
Wortman settled in the same community. Patrick O'Fling was also a 
very early inhabitant. He and his three sons and a son-in-law fought 
in the war of 1813. Mr. O'Fling had previously served in the Revolu- 
tion. The Drake family — -Samuel, John, Jesse and James — came to 
town in 1811. Lemuel Foster came about the same time. In 1808 
Eleazer Southworth, Asa Sawtelle, Sherrard Parker and Daniel Mills 
located here. George and John Mills settled near the latter, and that 
community was known for years as the Mills neighborhood. Near the 
latter Locklin Norton located about 180^. In 1808 Isaac Higley 
founded a home in the eastern section of the town. Borden Wilcox, 


Dudley Sawyer, Deacon Seymour, Sylvanus Humphrey and Enos Kel- 
logg were also residents of the town during or prior to 1812. The ex- 
isting records also show the names of Dr. Daniel Woodward, Reuben 
Perry, Col. E. J. Pettibone, David Kingsley, Elisha Kellogg, John 
Willis, Archibald Whitten, Thomas Parker, Nathaniel Johnson, Hiram 
Smith, Col. Samuel Hall, Mark Turner, Nelson Parker, Phineas Barr, 
Loren Barr, John Lamberton, Ira Howe, Isaac Barber, John Howe, 
Phineas Howe, Simeon Hosmer, Cornelius Barr, Richard Edgerton, 
Dudley Sawyer, Samuel Cummings, Nathan Miner, Silas Torrey, Ed- 
mund Burgess, Horace Jerome, Joel Jerome, Joseph Mills, Aaron 
White, Stephen Harmon, Mason Turner, Asa Babcock and Samuel 

Horace Gibbs and Comfort Smith erected the first saw mill and grist 
mill on Spring creek in 1810. 

Mason Turner opened a school on Gifford Hill, at the house of J. W. 
Gardner in 1811. This was the first school established in Elba. 

Dr. Daniel Woodward probably was the first physician to practice in 
this town. 

The exact date of the first permanent settlement within the limits of 
the present town of Alexander is not definitely known. Early gazet- 
teers state that Alexander Rea or Rhea located here in 1803, and that 
John Oney (Olney), Lewis Disbrow, George Darrow and William 
Blackman followed in 1802 and 1803. It is known that Alexander 
Rhea, for whom the town was named, obtained a deed to a tract of 
land in 1802, but it is doubtful if he settled upon it in that year. He 
erected a saw mill on the site of Alexander village in 1804, but may 
have become a resident before that date. Mr. Rhea was one of the 
surveyors employed by the Holland Land Company. Later on he was 
a brigadier-general of the State militia, and also served as State senator 
for several terms. He was a man of influence and amassed a fortune. 
In 1809 he removed from his first farm and took up a larger tract, since 
known as the Pearson farm. 

Some authorities refer to William Blackman as the first actual set- 
tler, though it probably never will be known whether his occupation of 
land in the town antedated that of Rhea. EHjah Root and William 
Johnson came in 1803 or 1804. In the latter year Lillie Fisher, Caleb 
Blodgett, Benham Preston, Joseph Fellows, Elisha Carver, Elias 
Lee, John Lee, Solomon Blodgett, Samuel Russell and Elijah 
Rowe were recorded as owners of land. Some of those who took up 


land in 1806 were John Churchill, David Clark, Henry Rumsey, Jonas 
Blodgett, Isaac Chaddock, Captain Ezekiel T. Lewis, Alexander Little, 
B. Lyman, J. McCoUister, David Carter, John Chamberlin, Aaron 
Gale, Timothy Fay, Henry Williams, Elnathan Wilcox and Amos 
Jones. The latter taught the first school in the town, Ezekiel Church- 
ill, G. W. Wing, Philo Porter, S. Bradway, Rudolphus Hawkins and 
Joseph Gladden settled here in 1807. Timothy Hawkins came during 
this period from Tolland, Conn. William Adams, who located in the 
village about 1807, built a saw mill and grist mill soon afterward. He 
was for some time a lieutenant in the State militia. 

William Parrish and his son Isaac came from Randolph, Vt., in 1806. 
The latter was pressed into service during the early part of the war of 
1812, while on a business trip to Batavia, but was allowed to return 
home after reaching Buffalo. Hon. Abel Ensign and Harvey Hawkins 
settled in town in 1808, and were proprietors of the first tavern and 
store. The year following Lyman Riddle, John Squires, Thomas Rice, 
Shubael Wing and Edmund Tracy purchased land and founded homes. 
Levi Thompson and Moses M. Page located here in 1810, and soon 
afterward Colonel Seba Brainard settled in the same neighborhood. 
John and Samuel Latham, who came about the same time, erected the 
first frame dwelling in Alexander. In 1810 and 1811 Gehial Stannard, 
William Waite, Spencer Waldo, John Cady and Return B. Cady be- 
came their neighbors. Captain Elisha Smith, who settled at Alexander 
village in 1812, was a native of Washington county, N. Y. , and a soldier 
in the war of 1812. Timothy Mooers built the first mill at Alexander 
village. Leverett Seward, another pioneer, was a soldier in the war of 
1812 and served twice in the Assembly. 

The early history of Pembroke is closely identified with that of 
Darien, and the names of most of the early settlers of the former town 
are contained in the preceding pages of this chapter devoted to the pio- 
neer history of Darien. David Goss made the first settlement in 1804. 
He came from Massachusetts and erected a dwelling which he also used 
as a tavern. Dr. David Long, from Washington county, N. Y., John 
Long, his son, and Samuel Carr settled in town in 1808, and Joseph 
Lester, from Connecticut, in' 1809. Samuel Carr built the first grist 
mill and saw mill, and also kept a tavern, believed to have been the 
first in Pembroke. The Longs located at what is now Corfu, and for 
many years that neighborhood was known as Long's Corners. Dr. 
Long was the first medical practitioner to establish himself in Pem- 


broke. Anna Horton opened a school in 1811, the first in town. Jonas 
Kinne, who came to Long's Corners in 1812, soon after erected a com- 
modious two story tavern, which became a famous public house for 
those days. 

Although the old gazetteers affirm that Peter Crosman, who located 
in Pavilion in 1809, was the first settler in that town, recent research 
shows that settlements were made within the present limits of the town 
at least four years earlier than that date. Isaac D. Lyon, who removed 
to this town in 1805, doubtless was the pioneer white inhabitant. The 
next record extant shows that in 1807 Richard Walkley and the Law- 
rence family established homes in the town. Peter Crosman came in 
1809, and in the same year we find settlements made by Levi and James 
McWethy, Solomon, Ezra and Laura Terrill. Reuben Burnham, Dr. 
Benjamin Hill, William Halbert, Orange Judd, Rowland Perry, Joshua 
Shumway, Calvin Spring, Erastus Spring, Amos Spring, Elliott Ter- 
rill and Ezra Walker came in 1810; Barber Allen, Amasa Allen, 
Issachar Allen, William Almy, Leman Bradley, Samuel Bishop, H. B. 
Elwell, Libbeus Graves, Calvin Lewis, Daniel Lord, Samuel Phelps, 
Elijah Phelps, Page Russell, Cyril Shumway, Noah Starr, Isaac Storm, 
Jesse Sprague, Daniel Walker, Isaac Walker, Loomis Walker and Syl- 
vanus L. Young in 1811 ; and Harry Conklin, Lovell Cobb, Francis Her- 
rick, Richard Pearson, W. E. Pearson, D. W. Matteson, Isaac Shepard, 
Hazel Thompson, Dr. Abel Tennant and Dr. Daniel White during or 
before 1812. 

Ezra Terrill, one of the most prominent of the earliest pioneers, came 
from Vermont in 1809. He bought four hundred and eighty acres near 
Union Corners, and erected thereon a log house. He married Rox- 
anna Elliott. Daniel Lord was a tailor, and he and his wife made 
many suits of clothing for the soldiers of the war of 1812. Captain 
James Sprague, a native of Connecticut, in company with Aaron 
Spaulding, built the first saw mill in the neighborhood, on the Oatka. 
Amasa Allen and his wife, formerly Lucinda Loomis, was one of those 
who came in 1811. Captain Issachar Allen, his son, was an officer in 
the State militia. Dr. Daniel White, the first physician in town, was 
a surgeon in the war of 1812. 

James Walsworth, who came to Alabama in 1806, and opened the 
first tavern there, was the first settler in that town. As far as can be 
ascertained from careful study of the records he was the only one to lo- 
cate in that town prior to 1812. 


Benham Preston, who originally located in Batavia, and who removed 
to Byron in 1807 or 1808, was the first permanent settler in that town. 

In 1808 Elisha Taylor and Hoskins took up land and built homes 

there. Mr. Taylor came from Otsego county, N. Y. The following 
year the colony was increased by the arrival of Wheaton Carpenter 
from Rhode Island, Elisha Miller from Pennsylvania and Chester T. 
Holbrook from Cayuga county. In 1810 Nathan Holt came from 
Otsego county, and in 1811 Asa Merrill immigrated from Oneida county. 
Chester T. Holbrook taught the first school, which was opened in 1810. 
The earliest religious services were held in 1809 by Rev. Royal Phelps, 
a Presbyterian clergyman from Cayuga county. The first religious so- 
ciety in town was the Baptist church organized in 1810 by Elder Ben- 
jamin M. Parks. The first grist mill and saw mill were erected by 
Samuel Parker in 1809 or 1810. 

In addition to those already mentioned as pioneers of Byron, the fol- 
lowing are recorded as having settled in the town in the years men- 
tioned: 1806, Sherrard Parker; 1807, Benoni Gaines; 1808, Elijah 
Loorais; 1809, Asahel Cook; 1810, Richard G. Moses, Elijah Brown, 
Elkanah Humphrey, E. Taylor; 1811, John Bean, David Cook, An- 
drew Dibble, Benajah Griswold, Amasa Walker; 1812, Paul Bullard, 
David Shedd, Ezra Sanford, Zeno Terry, William Terry. 

According to the survey of the Holland Purchase into ranges and 
townships, the various counties and their towns, as at present organ- 
ized, were included in the ranges and townships of the original survey 
as follows: 

Allegany County. — Bolivar, Township 1, Range 1. Wirt, t. 3, r. 1. 
Friendship, t. 3, r. 1. Belfast, t. 4, r. 1. Caneadea, t. 5, r. 1. Hume, 
t. 6, r. 1. Genesee, t. 1, r. 2. Clarkesville, t. 2, r. 2. Cuba, t. 3, r. 
2. Belfast, eastern part of t. 4, r. 2. New Hudson, western part of t. 
4, r. 2. Rushford, t. 5, r. 2. Centreville, t. 6, r. 2. 

Wyoming County. — Pike, t. 7, r. 1. Gainesville, t. 8, r. 1. War- 
saw, t. 9, r. 1. Middlebury, t. 10, r. 1. Eagle, t. 7, r. 2. Weathers- 
field, t. 8, r. 2. Orangeville, t. 9, r. 2. Attica, t. 10, r. 2. China, t. 7, 
r. 3. Java, t. 8, r. 3. Sheldon, t. 9, r. 3. Bennington, t. 10, r. 3. 
China, t. 7, r. 4. Java, t. 8, r. 4. Sheldon, t. 9, r. 4. Bennington. 
t. 10, r. 4. 

Genesee County.— Bethany, t. 11, r. 1. Stafford, eastern part of t. 
12, r. 1. Batavia, western part of t. 12, r. 1. Elba, t. 13, r. 1. Alex- 
ander, t. 11, r. 2. Batavia, t. 12, r. 2. Elba, eastern part of t. 13, r. 


2. Oakfield, western part of t. 13, r. 2. Darien, t. 11, r. 3. Pem- 
broke, t. 12, r. 3. Alabama, t. 13, r. 3. Darien, t. 11, r. 4. Pembroke, 
t. 12, r. 4. Alabama, t. 13, r. 4. 

Orleans County. — Barrre, t. 14, r. L Barre, southern part of t. 15, 
r. 1. Gaines, northern part of t. 15, r. 1. Carlton, t. 16, r. 1. Barre, 
t. 14, r. 3. Ridgeway, western tier of lots in t. 15, r. 2. Barre, south- 
eastern part of t. 15, r. 2. Gaines, northeastern part of t. 15, r. 2. 
Carlton, t. 16, r. 2. Shelby, t. 14, r. 3. Ridgeway, t. 15, r. 3. Yates, 
t. 16, r. 3. Shelby, t. 14, r. 4. Ridgeway, 1. 15, r. 4. Yates, t. 16, r. 4. 

Cattaraugus County. — Portville, t. 1, r. 3. Portville, southern part of 
t. 2, r. 3. Hinsdale, northern part of t. 2, r. 3. Hinsdale, southern part 
of t. 3, r. 3. Rice, northern part of t. 3, r. 3. Lyndon, t. 4, r. 3. Far- 
mersville, t. 5, r. 3. Freedom, t. 6, r. 3. Olean, t. 1, r. 4. Olean, 
southern part of t. 2, r. 4. Hinsdale, northern part of t. 2, r. 4. Hins- 
dale, southern part of t. 4, r. 4. Rice, northern part of t. 3, r. 4. Lyn- 
don, eastern part of t. 4, r. 4. Franklinville, western part of t. 4, r. 4. 
Farmersville, t. 5, r. 4. Machias, southwestern corner lot of t. 6, r. 4. 
Freedom, residue of t. 6, r. 4. Burton, t. 1, r. 5. Burton, t. 2, r. 5. 
Humphrey, t, 3, r. 5. Franklinville, t. 4, r. 5. Machias, t. 5, r. 5. Ma- 
chias, southern tier of lots in t. 6, r. 5. Yorkshire, part of t. 6, r. 5. 
Yorkshire, southeastern part of t. 7, r. 5. Carrolton, t. 1, r. 6. Carrol- 
ton, southern part of t. 2, r. 6. Great Valley, northern part of t. 2, r. 6. 
Great Valley, t. 3, r. 6. Ellicottville, t. 4, r. 6. Ellicottville, southern 
part of t. 5, r. 6. Ashford, northern part of t. 5, r. 6. Ashford, south- 
ern part of t. 6, r. 6. Little Valley, t. 1, r. 7. Little Valley, t. 2, r. 7. 
Little Valley, t. 3, r. 7. Mansfield, t. 4, r. 7. Otto, t. 5, r. 7. Otto, 
southern part of t. 6, r. 7. Ashford, part of t. 6, r. 7. South Valley, 
t. 1, r. 8. Cold Spring, t. 2, r. 8. Napoli, t. 3, r. 8. New Albion, t. 4, 
r. 8. Otto, eastern part of t. 5, r. 8. Persia, western part of t. 5, r. 8. 
Otto, southeastern part of t. 6, r. 8. Persia, southwestern part of t. 6, 
r. 8. South Valley, t. 1, r. 9. Randolph, t. 2, r. 9. Connewango, t. 3, 
r. 9. Leon, t. 4, r. 9. Dayton, t. 5, r. 9. Perrysburgh, t. 6, r. 9. 

Erie County. — Sardinia, northwestern part of t. 6, r. 5. Sardinia, 
northern and western parts of t. 7, r. 5. Holland, t. 8, r. 5. Wales, 
t. 9, r. 5. Alden, 1. 11, r. 5. Newstead, t. 12, r. 5. Newstead, southern 
part of t. 13, r. 5. Sardinia, northeastern part of t. 6, r. 6. Concord, 
northwestern part of t. 6, r. 6. Sardinia, eastern part of t. 7, r. 6. Con- 
cord, western part of t. 7, r. 6. Colden, t. 8, r. 6. Aurora, t. 9, r. 6. 
Lancaster, 1. 11, r. 6. Clarence, t. 12, r. 6. Clarence, southern part of 


t. 13, r. 6. Concord northeastern part of t. 6, r. 7. Collins, north- 
western part of t. 6, r. 7. Concord, eastern part of t. 7, r. 7. Collins, 
western part of t. 7, r. 7. Eden, western tier of lots in t. 8, r. 7. Bos- 
ton, eastern part of t. 8, r. 7. Hamburg, t. 9, r. 7. Black Rock, two 
western tiers of lots in t. 11, r. 7. Amherst, northern tier of lots in t. 11, 
r. 7. Cheektowaga, residue of t. 11, r. 7. Tonawanda, two southeast- 
ern lots in t. 12, r. 7. Amherst, residue of t. 12, r. 7. Amherst, south- 
ern part of 1. 13, r. 7. Collins, northern part of t. 6, r. 8. Collins, t. 7, 
r. 8. Eden, t. 8, r. 8. Evans, southwestern part of t. 9, r. 8. Ham- 
burg, residue of t. 9, r. 8. Buffalo City, as constituted in 1850, south- 
western part of t. 11, r. 8. Black Rock, residue of t. 11, r. 8. Tona- 
wanda, southern and eastern parts of 1. 12, r. 8. Brandt, southern part 
of t. 8, r. 9. Evans, northern part of t. 8, r. 9. 

Niagara County. — Royalton, northern part of t. 13, r. 5. Royalton 
t. 14, r. 5. Hartland, t. 15, r. 5. Somerset, t. 16, r. 5. Royalton, 
northeastern part of t. 13, r. 6. Lockport, northwestern part of t. 13, 
r. 6. Royalton, eastern part of t. 14, r. 6. Lockport, western part of 
t. 14, r. 6. Hartland, eastern part of t. 15, r. 6. Newfane, western 
part of t. 15, r. 6. Somerset, eastern part of t. 16, r. 6. Newfane, 
western part of t. 16, r. 6. Pendleton, northern part of t. 13, r. 7. 
Lockport, eastern part of t. 14, r. 7. Cambria, western part of t. 14, 
r. 7. Newfane, eastern part of t. 15, r. 7. Wilson, western part of 
t. 15, r. 7. Wheatfield, northwestern part of t. 12, r. 8. Wheatfield, 
t. 13, r. 8. Cambria, eastern part of t. 14, r. 8. Lewiston, western 
part of t. 14, r. 8. Wilson, eastern part of t. 15, r. 8. Porter, western 
part of t. 15, r. 8. Niagara, t. 13, r. 9. Lewiston, t. 14, r. 9. Porter, 
t. 15, r. 9. 

Chautauqua County. —Carroll, t. 1, r. 10. Poland, t. 2, r. 10. Elling- 
ton, t. 3, r. 10. Cherry Creek, t. 4, r. 10. Villanovia, t. 5, r. 10. Han- 
over, t. 6, r. 10. Ellicott, northern tier of lots in t. 1, r. 11. Carroll, 
southeastern part of t. 1, r. 11. Busti, southwestern part of t. 1, r. 11. 
Ellicott, t. 2, r. 11. Gerry, t. 3, r. 11. Charlotte, t. 4, r. 11. Ark- 
wright, t. 5, r. 11. Hanover, four lots in the southeastern part of t. 6, 
r. 11. Sheridan, residue of t. 6, r. 11. Busti, eastern part of t. 1, r. 12. 
Harmony, western part of t 1, r. 12. Busti, southeastern part of t. 2, 
r. 12. Harmony, southwestern part of t. 2, r. 12. Ellery, northern 
part of t. 2, r. 12. Stockton, northern tier of lots in t. 3, r. 12. Ellery, 
residue of t. 3, r. 12. Stockton, t. 4, r. 12. Pomfret, t. 5, r. 12. Pom- 
fret, t. 6, r. 12. Harmony, t. 1, r. 13. Harmony, t. 2, r. 13. Stock- 


ton, northeastern lot in t. 3, r. 13. EUery, residue of the eastern tier 
of t. 3, r. 13. Chautauqua, western part of t. 3, r. 13. Stockton, east- 
ern tier of lots in t. 4, r. 13. Portland, northwestern part of t, 4, r. 13. 
Chautauqua, residue of t. 4, r. 13. Portland, t. 5, r. 13. Clymer, t. 1, 
r. 14. Sherman, t. 3, r. 14. Chautauqua, eastern part of t. 3, r. 14. 
Westfield, western part of t. 3, r. 14. Chautauqua, southeastern part 
of t. 4, r. 14. Westfield, residue of t. 4, r, 14. French Creek, t, 1, r. 15. 
Mina, t. 3, r. 15. Ripley, t. 3, r. 15. 

The names of all the purchasers of land in Genesee county, from the 
commencement of the land sales up to January 1, 1807, are given be- 
low. They appear in the order in which the contracts were taken each 
year, their locations being designated by townships and ranges. 
Reference to the plan of Genesee county as it appears in the foregoing 
tabulation will show in what towns these settlements were made, and 
what year : 

1801. — Batavia village, Abel Rowe, Stephen Russell, David Mc- 

Township 13, range 1, Worthy L. Churchill, William Rumsey, Daniel 
Curtis, William Blackman, Hiram Blackman, William Hunger, Eleazer 
Cantling, Nathaniel Walker, John A. Thompson, Peter Stage, Jesse 
Rumsey, John Dewey, Zenas Bigelow. 

Township 13, range 3, Gideon Dunham, Isaac Sutherland, Samuel 
F. Geer, Peter Lewis, John Forsyth, John Lamberton, Russel Noble. 

Township 13, range 5, Orlando Hopkins, Otis Ingalls, David Cully, 
Peter Vandeventer. 

Township 13, range 3, Aaron White, Peter Rice. 

1803. — Batavia village, Charles Cooley, James McKain, Elisha Gett- 
ings, Joseph Alvord, Zerah Phelps, Elijah Tillotson, James W. Stevens, 
Hezekiah Rhoads, Rufus Hart, Israel M. Dewey, James Brisbane, Will- 
iam Wood, Major Nobles, Russell Crane, Oswald Williams, Rowlen 
Town, Silas Chapin, Ebenezer Cary, Paul Hinkley, Timothy Washburn, 
Moses Hayse, James Holden, Elijah Spencer, Benjamin Russell, Paul 
Hill, Peter Powers, Daniel Curtis, Libbeus Fish, Henry Wilder, Jesse 

Township 11, range 3, Lewis Disbrow. 

Township 13, range 1, Elisha Adams, Roswell Graham. 

Township 11, range 3, Alexander Rea," John Olney, George Darrow. 

Township 13, range 3, Samuel F. Geer, Benjamin Morgan. 

' This name appears on the records as both Rea and Rhea. 


Township 13, range 2, Daniel Ayer, Job Babcock. 

1803. — Batavia village, John S. Leonard, James Clement, Jeremiah 
Cutler, Elisha Mann. 

Township 11, range 1, John Torrey, Charles Culver, Abner Ashley, 
Elisha Wallace, David Hall, Sylvester Lincoln, M. Scott, Nathaniel 
Pinney, Orsamus Kellogg, George Lathrop, Solomon Kingsley, Jedediah 
Riggs, Horace Shepherd, John Dewey, Lyman D. Prindle, Samuel 
Prindle, Oliver Fletcher. 

Township 13, range 1, Lewis Disbrow, Ebenezer Eggleston, Peter 
Powers, Enos Kellogg, Charles Culver, John Henry, Moses Dimmick, 
Robert Berry, Stephen Wickham, Lemuel T. Pringle, James Guttridge, 
James Fuller, John Berry, John Spencer, Burgess Squire, Moody Stone, 
Asa Osborne, Elisha A. Eades, Parley Fairbanks. 

Township 13, range 1, Archileus Whitten, David Kingsley, Thomas 

Township 11, range 3, Ezekiel Churchill, George Darrow, Elijah 
Root, Joseph Fellows, Miles Wilkinson, Benedict Ames. 

Township 13, range 3, Peleg Douglass, Alanson Gunn, Benjamin 
Tainter, Henry Lake, John Lamberton, Hugh Henry, Amos Lamberton, 
Joshua Sutherland, William Pierce, Elisha Cox, David Bowen, Abraham 
Starks, William Lucas. 

Township 13, range 3, Hiram Smith, Silas Pratt, William McGrath, 
George Lathrop, Darius Ayer, Philip Adkins, Lemuel L. Clark, James 

Township 13, ^range 3, Jesse Tainter, Abner Lamberton, Micajah 

1804. — Township 11, range 1, Peter Adley, Isaac Wright, Elijah 
Bristol, Israel Shearer, Alanson Jones, Joseph Hawks, Joel S. Wilkin- 
son, Peleg Douglass, Isaac R. Wright, Elisha Giddings, John Smith, 
Abner Ashley, Charles Culver, William Coggshall, William B. Cogg- 
shall, John Halstate, John Grimes, James Cowdry, John Roberts, David 

Township 13, range 1, Nathaniel Walker, Pardon Starks, ZenosKeyes, 
Benjamin Cary, Alfred Lincoln, Horace Jerome, Nathan Miner. 

Township 13, range 1, John S. Sprague, Nathaniel Johnson. 

Township 11, range 3, Elijah Root, Samuel Russell, Benham Preston, 
Elisha Carver, Elias Lee, Jesse Hawkins, Solomon Blodgett, Rufus 
Blodgett, John Lee, Ezekiel T. Lewis, Elijah Rowe. 

Township 13, range 3, Elizur Messenger, Isaac Smith, Levi Davis, 
Azor Marsh, David Smith. 


Township 13, range 3, Rufus Hastings, Roraback Robinson, Benja- 
min Chase, Solomon Baker, Samuel Jerome, sr., Samuel Jerome, jr. 

Township 12, range 3, David Goss. 

Township 12, range 4, John Richardson, Stephen B. Tilden, Jacob 

Township 13, range 4, James Walworth. 

1805. — Batavia village, William Ewing. 

Township 11', range 1, Phineas Smith, Harvey Prindle, Cyrenus 
Glass, William Williams, David Anderson, Solomon Lathrop, Jonathan 
Bixby, John Bixby, Ezekiel Fox, Philo Whitcomb, John Greenough, 
Gershom Orvis, Heman Brown, Nathaniel Brown, Peter Putnam, Pat- 
rick Alvord, Alford Rose, Richard Stiles, John Chambers, Thomas Hal- 
stead, John Boynton, Eli Perry, Abel Buell, Joseph Barlett, David Mor- 
gan, Asher Lamberton, Israel Buell, William Bannister, Amasa Robbins, 
Jesse Cowdry, Isaac Wilson, Josiah Southard, John Grimes. 

Township 12, range 1, Asa Webster, James Heacocks, OliverSweat- 
well, Asa Osborn, Hiel Chapman, Abel McKain, Nathan Graham, Jo- 
seph Bentley. 

Township, 13, range 1, Hiram Smith, Colonel Samuel Hall, Horace 
Carr, Benjamin Chase, Elisha Kellogg, Dudley Sawyer, Samuel Cum- 
mings, Nathan Miner, Silas Torrey, Edmund Burgess. 

Township 11, range 2, John McCormick, Levi Harris, William Prout, 
Asa Buckley, Ezra Blodgett, Noah Brooks, Asa Frost, Nathanial East- 
man, Thomas Lee, Daniel Rawson, David Rowland, Elisha Fox, Seth 
Landon, Stephen Day, Abijah Warren, Samuel Reed, Daniel Davis, 
Manna Chase, Amos Adams, Joseph Gladden, Joseph Cady, John Olney, 
Gurdon Williams, Jonas Marsh, Charles C. Jackson, Elisha Sutton, Will- 
iam Burton, William King, Isaac King, Samuel Benedict. 

Township 12, range 3, Timothy Washburn, Thomas Godfrey, Reuben 
W. Wilder, Rufus McCracken, AzorNash, Lemuel L. Clark, Joel Tyrrell, 
Hugh Duffy, James Henry, Richard Godfrey, John Algur, John Herring, 
Jonathan Wood, Reuben Lamberton, Amos Lamberton, Paul Hill, Silas 
Dibble, jr. 

Township 11, range 3, Orange Carter, Israel Doane, Samuel Russell, 
James Jones, David Clark. 

Township 12, range 4, Francis B. Drake, David Sarles, Noah Pease, 
Ephraim Pease. 

1806. — Township 11, range 1, Daniel W. Bannister, Jerry Cowdry, 
Thomas Starkweather, Mons Goodrich, Lewis Barney, David Morgan, 


Ebenezer Wilson, David Filkin, Peter Davidson, Chester Davidson, 
Franklin Putnam, David Stewart, Lyman D. Prindle, Joseph Shedd, 
Henry Miller, Orsamus Kellogg, Ebenezer Eggleston, Henry Rumsey, 
Elisha Bristol, Elijah Andrews, David IngersoU, Joseph Bartlett. 

Township 13, range 1, Solomon Sylvester, Daniel B. Brown, Israel 
Graham, -Moses Norton, Peter Putnam, Amos Jones, Alvah Jones, Ste- 
phen Powell, Webster Powers, Robert Norton, Benjamin Graham, Jo- 
seph Savacool, Henry Stringer, jr. , Samuel Ranger, Peter Stage, Gur- 
don Huntington, John Gould. 

Township 13, range 1, Joel Jerome, James Mills, Horace Jerome, 
Aaron White, Enos Kellogg, Ephraim Wortman, Benjamin Chase, Syl- 
vester Eldridge, Silas Torrey, John Roraback. 

Township 11, range 2, Elijah Root, jr., Ezra Whipple, John Hum- 
phrey, James Clisby, Jacob Thomps:on, Amos Thompson, George Har- 
rick, Joseph Carpenter, David S. Clement, William Wood, Noah Brooks, 
Benjamin C. Goodrich, Joel Munn, Phineas Munn, John W. Lawson, 
Andrew McLean, Ebenezer Seeley, John Olney, Joseph Van Debogart. 

Township 12, range 2, Newcomb Godfrey, Elijah Clark, Richard God- 
frey, William J. McCracken, Edmund Badger, William H. Bush, Othniel 
Field, James Post, Caleb Blodgett, Samuel Risey, Elisha A. Eades, 
Joshua Barrett, Elisha Morehouse, Thomas Godfrey. 

Township 13, range 2, Micajah Green, Caleb Blodgett, jr., George 
Hoge, Eldridge Buntley, Nicholas Bentley, George Harper, James Cros- 
sett, John Harper, David Woodworth, David Clark, William Parrish, Ezra 
Thomas, Caleb Blodgett. 

Township 11, range 3, Amos Jones, Joseph Fellows, Timothy Fay, 
Henry Rumsey, David Carter, Elnathan Wilcox, John Chamberlin, 
Alexander Little, Nahum Thompson, Jonas Blodgett, Isaac Chaddock, 
John McCoUister, Burnhan Lyman, Henry William, David Clark, John 
Churchill, jr., Reuben Nichols, Joseph Peters, Aaron Gale. 

Township 12, range 4, John Richardson, Jariel Scott, Samuel Carr. 

Following are the names of the first persons who took contracts and, 
in most instances, became pioneer settlers in the various towns of Gene- 
see county embraced within the limits of the Holland Purchase in 
which no contracts were taken previous to January 1, 1807. The names 
of those who settled in the county previous to that date are found in a 
list which appears in previous pages: 

1810. — Township 13, range 3, town of Alabama, Jesse Lund, David 
Gary, Charles Bliss, Levi Smith, John S. Wolcott, Nathan McCumber. 


1807. — Township 11, range 4, town of Darien, William Humphrey, 
Emery Blodgett, Joshua Bailey, Josiah Lee, Rufus Kidder, Amos 
Humphrey, David Long. 

1822. — Township 13, range 4, town of Alabama, Benjamin Patterson, 
Solomon Force, Augustus L. Barton, Joseph Barber, Ezra N. Russell. 


The War of 1813, and the Part Taken Therein by the Inhabitants of Genesee 

While the United States and Great Britain were ostensibly at peace 
during the period from 1783 to the beginning of 1813, the two nations 
were far from being on friendly terms. Great Britain continued her 
depredations wherever practicable. She maintained military posts on 
the Canadian frontier, despite the treaty stipulations to the contrary, 
and constantly menaced our trade and commerce and our frontier 
settlements. When Congress, realizing probably that another conflict 
was inevitable, began to build a navy. Great Britain took offense. In 
1797 this country put into commission three frigates — the Constitution, 
the Constellation and the United States. Each carried a full comple- 
ment of guns. At the close of the year 1798 the United States had a 
navy of twenty-three vessels, with an aggregate of four hundred and 
forty-six guns. 

As soon as it was learned that this country was placing itself on a 
war footing, the British formed a plan to cripple the American navy. 
The first intimation of the intentions of Great Britain came November 
16 of that year, when Captain Phillips, in command of the American 
cruiser Baltimore, sailed from the harbor of Havana, Cuba, to escort a 
number of merchant vessels to Charleston, S. C, and protect them 
from attack by French privateers, which then infested the western 
waters of the Atlantic. Just outside the harbor Captain Phillips met a 
British squadron and advanced toward the Carnatick, the flagship, to 
speak with the commander as an act of courtesy. 

Then, without a word of warning, the British squadron bore down 
upon the American merchantmen and seized three of them. Captaiii 


Phillips went on board the Carnatick to protest, but was informed that 
every man on the Baltimore who could not prove that he was a native- 
born American would be compelled to enter the British service then 
and there. Captain Phillips announced that he would prefer to make a 
formal surrender, but this privilege was denied him. Upon returning 
to his own vessel he found that a British officer was mustering the 
American sailors. Fifty- five of these were transferred to the Carnatick, 
but later, when Phillips struck his flag, all but five of them were re- 
turned. These five men, with the three merchant vessels seized, were 
carried away by the British squadron. 

Great Britain at that time was the acknowledged mistress of the seas, 
consequently all that the United States government could do was to pro- 
test against the outrage. Not only was no attention paid to the protest, 
but Great Britain continued to prey upon American commerce upon the 
high seas, impressing into her service the best American sailors during 
the next fourteen years. Great Britain claimed the right of search, not 
only as regarded American vessels, but also all neutral vessels, her de- 
sire being to look for British subjects to press them into the British naval 
service for her war with France. Every time America offered to en- 
deavor to reach a friendly understanding with Great Britain on the 
subject the offer was rejected or not noticed. 

In 1807 Napoleon, in his attempt to compel the United States to be- 
come his ally as against Great Britain, issued a decree declaring all ves- 
sels which submitted to the right of search and impressment by Great 
Britain to be denationalized and subject to capture if caught going to 
or coming from a British port, or on the high seas. Spain and Hol- 
land, desirous of pleasing Napoleon, issued similar decrees. These 
acts placed the commerce of the United States in a dangerous position. 
The menace was all the greater by reason of the fact that our principal 
foe maintained a naval force along the American coast for the purpose 
of preying upon our commerce. 

Early in 1807 the British frigate Leopard fired upon the United States 
frigate Chesapeake upon the refusal of Commodore Barron, in com- 
mand of the latter vessel, to grant to the British commander the privi- 
lege of searching his vessel, killing and wounding twenty men. As 
soon as the American colors werp hauled down the Chesapeake was 
boarded by officers of the Leopard. Commodore Barron tendered his 
vessel as a prize, but Captain Humphrey, the British commander, re- 
fused to accept her, knowing that such anact would give the Americans 


a valid claim against his government. The crew of the Chesapeake 
was then mustered. Three Americans who had once been impressed 
into the British service were placed in irons, and John Wilson, a British 
seaman who had deserted, was taken on board the Leopard. All four 
were sentenced to be hanged, and Wilson was executed, but the three 
Americans reprieved upon condition that they should enter the British 
naval service. 

This act naturally aroused an intense feeling of resentment upon the 
part of the people of the United States. The British government dis- 
claimed the act and recalled Humphrey from service in the navy; but 
two of the captured Americans sailors were held in slavery on British 
ships for five years, while the third died in the service. 

Up to this time the strife between the Federalist and Democratic 
parties in America had been so fierce that a great civil war was feared. 
Taking advantage of the situation, Great Britain endeavored to increase 
this antagonistic feeling by establishing a propaganda of anti-democ- 
racy. John Henry, an Irishman, who was a naturalized citizen of the 
United States, residing in the State of Vermont, contributed to the 
press some letters denouncing the federal officials for their incom- 
petency and declaring that the country was incapable of self-govern- 
ment. His letters were noticed by Sir James Craig, governor of Can- 
ada, who in 1806 sent the author an invitation to come to Montreal. In 
that city arrangements were made by which Henry was to devote his 
entire time to the propagation of popular discontent in the United 
States, Sir James promising him ^30,000 if he should succeed in in- 
citing the Americans to civil war. He was granted authority to offer 
the Federalists the support of British influence, should such a promise 
be needed to encourage them. After five years of steady work this 
project failed, and Henry was refused compensation for his labors. 
Piqued at his treatment, he came to the United States and revealed the 
entire plot to President Madison. All knowledge of the plot was denied 
by the British ministry, but when it was proposed to submit to a court 
of inquiry all the correspondence in Henry's possession, the proposition 
was voted down by the House of Lords. 

In 1807 the United States Senate passed an embargo bill prohibiting 
all ships then in American ports from sailing for any foreign port, ex- 
cepting that foreign ships might sail in ballast. This act was a decla- 
ration to the world that the United States would voluntarily sever all 
connections with the rest of the world until Great Britain, France, 


Spain and Holland should end their obnoxious practices and allow 
American ships to sail the seas unmolested. The effect of this act was 
to annihilate the commerce of this country, and in 1809 it was repealed 
upon the urgent solicitation of the business men of the country. In its 
place was passed a non-intercourse act, which simply prohibited trade 
with Great Britain and France. A little more than a year later this 
act was also repealed. Madison now having succeeded Jefferson as 
president, upon the recommendation of the former another embargo 
act, to obtain for sixty days, was passed, and the country, the limit of 
its endurance having been reached, began preparations for war.' 

War was formally declared June 19, 1812. At that time the British had 
in Upper Canada a force of fifteen hundred regulars, besides six thousand 
in the valley of the St. Lawrence. Canada had a British population of 
four hundred thousand and a militia of forty thousand to draw from. 
They also had formidable strongholds along the American frontier. Op- 
posite Buffalo stood Fort Erie ; near the falls of Niagara was Fort Chip- 
pewa, and at the mouth of the Niagara river stood Fort George. At sea 
they were simply overwhelming in strength, as compared with the United 
States. The only forts the Americans possessed in this vicinity were 
at the mouth of the Niagara river and at Oswego. To handicap us still 
further thirty five hundred American sailors were at that time practi- 
cally held in slavery on board of British men-of-war, where they would 
be compelled to fight against their own country. 

The population of the entire region west of the Genesee at the begin- 
ning of the war probably was between twenty five and thirty thousand. 
The^population principally centered upon the Buffalo road and in the 
few small villages. Away from this thoroughfare the population ex- 
isted in small neighborhoods and isolated families. The region was 
poorly prepared for war. There were no perfect military organiza- 
tions, although there were several small local militia companies, organ- 
ized more for parade than anything else. Their training, when it came 
to a question of actual warfare, amounted to practically nothing. But 
the American spirit was the same in 1813 as in '76, and the peaceable 
pioneers were transformed as if by magic from raw and inexperienced 
soldiers into brave and effective fiyhting men. The spirit of patriotism, 
of liberty, became the father to the genius of warfare. The backwoods- 
men of Genesee county were among the bravest and hardiest soldiers 
who served in that crisis in the affairs of the American commonwealth. 

' These events have been cited simply to explain the causes leading up to the stirring 
events which took place in and near the original county of Genesee during the years of 1812-1814. 


The proclamation of President Madison, carried by couriers mounted 
on fleet-footed horses, traveling by relays, reached Fort Niagara June 
26 and Black Rock, the headquarters of Colonel Swift, the same day. 
As these couriers passed through the country they spread the news as 
they rode, so that the entire community was informed of the advent 
of war almost as soon as the official intelligence had been received by 
the officers on the frontier. There was a general feeling of insecurity, 
almost of helplessness for, the moment, as it was known that the enemy, 
close at hand, were fully prepared for a war, and even for invasion of 
our territory, while the preparations for defense upon our side were 
almost wholly lacking. Some of the more timid, magnifying the 
danger which menaced them, fled eastward across the Genesee. At 
the same time immigrants from New England and other eastern points, 
fearless and undismayed, continued their journey into the heart of the 
famed " Genesee county," willing and anxious to take up arms to repel 
the invader if necessary. 

Unfortunately the news of the declaration of war reached Canada at 
least twelve hours before the officers on the American frontier had 
been informed. John Jacob Astor, who had immense fur interests in 
Canada, dispatched a messenger from New York to notify Thomas 
Clark, his representative at Queenston. This measure was adopted by 
Mr. Astor for the purpose of insuring, if possible, the safety of the 
immense cargoes of furs coming down the Great Lakes. As soon as 
the news had been received in Canada all Americans in that country 
were arrested, and preparations for hostile actions were immediately 
begun. The first intelligence the people of Buffalo had of the inaugu- 
ration of hostilities was when a small vessel, bound up Lake Erie from 
Black Rock with a cargo of salt, was captured and taken to Fort Erie. 

May 21, 1812, the armed force upon the Canadian frontier of New 
York consisted of about six hundred men only, excepting the garrison 
at Fort Niagara. These men had been called out by the governor of 
the State in pursuance of an act of Congress. While the governor's 
requisition was for a draft of the militia, most of these soldiers were 
volunteers, under command of Colonel Swift. July 4, eight days after 
the news of the declaration of war was received, this force had been 
increased to about three thousand. General William Wads worth first, 
assumed general command, but he was soon succeeded by General 
Amos Hall, who in turn was succeeded, August 11, by General Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, who made his headquarters at Lewiston. The Cana- 


dian troops_were in command of General Brock, the acting governor 
of the province. 

" One of the most fruitful sources of apprehension and alarm in the 
earlier stages of the war was the fear that the Seneca Indians would 
revive their ancient predilections and be found allies of the British and 
Canadian Indians. Their position was at first enigmatical — undefined. 
Their chiefs, prominent among whom was Red Jacket, at that period, 
counseled and maintained neutrality ; and neutrality was unfavorably 
construed by the border settlers. Their position of neurrality was, 
however, early secured by a talk in council. But when these appre- 
hensions were partially quieted, every breeze that came from Canada 
or from the west brought with it to the scattered border settlements of 
the Holland Purchase rumors rife with accounts of contemplated Indian 
leagues, and banded descents with the tomahawk and scalping knife. 
Judge Erastus Granger, the then government Agent of the Senecas, 
took an early opportunity to hold a council with them and get assur- 
ances of neutrality. In a letter from Mr. Ellicott to Mr. Busti, dated 
July 7, 1813, he assures him of the entire safety of the country from 
invasion — of comparative quiet, and adds: — 'I send by the mail that 
carries this letter our last newspaper, which contains a speech made by 
an Indian chief to the inhabitants of this village, and our reply, by 
which it will be seen that our Indians are disposed to be on good terms 
with us — and that they have declared the Mohawk Indians, residing in 
Canada, out of the confederation of the Six Nations, and of course, 
"enemies in war, in peace, friends."' This position of neutrality, 
partially preserved in the first stages of the war, was not long main- 
tained. The Senecas, rightly determining their true position and in- 
terests, soon became fast friends to the United States, — useful armed 
allies, in several contests." ' 

At a council held by the Indians in the summer of 1812 a formal dec- 
laration of war Was adopted and placed in writing by an interpreter." 
It read as follows : 

We, the chiefs and counselors of the Six Nations of Indians, residing in the State 
of New York, do hereby proclaim to all war chiefs and warriors of the Six Nations 
that war is declared on our part against the provinces of Upper and J^ower Canada. 
Therefore, we command and advise all the war chiefs and warriofs of the Six Nations 
to call forth immediately the warriors under them, and put them in motion to pro- 
tect their rights and liberties. 

' Turner's History of the Holland Purchase, pages 588 and 589. 
2 This is probably the only document of the kind ever issued by an Indian nation or tribe. 


Despite this formidable declaration, and through the influence of 
such of their chiefs as desired to maintain a strictly neutral attitude 
during the war of 1812, the Indian share in the work of the battlefield 
during that struggle was very small. Doubtless the early American 
disasters had something to do with causing this proclamation to remain 
practically a dead letter. 

The hastily organized militia which began to hurry to the frontier 
was enthusiastic, but the organization of these bodies was imperfect and, 
for the most part, the discipline very poor. When this militia finally 
reached the field of actual hostilities and the smell of burning powder 
and the rattle of artillery and musketry reached its members, it is 
hardly remarkable that the trial was too much for most of them. 

The plan for the campaign of 1813 embraced the invasion of Upper 
Canada, at Detroit and at Niagara, and the employment of regulars, 
volunteers and militia. Governor Hull of Michigan, who was in Wash- 
ington in the spring of this year, told the president that the British, 
anticipating war with this country, had sent throughout the northwest 
emissaries bearing arms and presents to the Indians and endeavoring 
to procure an alliance with them. For this reason Hull objected to the 
invasion of Canada from Detroit, as this would leave Michigan open to 
attacks from the savages. In pursuance of his advice. Commander 
Stewart was sent to Lake Erie with orders to construct a fleet. The 
president also called upon Governor Meigs of Ohio for twelve hundred 
militia, which, with a regiment of regulars, assembled at Dayton. May 
35 Hull arrived and assumed command. When he arrived at Detroit 
on July 4 he found the British erecting fortifications at Sandwich, 
across the river. Hull's defense of Detroit was a complete and shame- 
ful failure, largely the result of his own incompetency, and August 16 
the fort and the troops, about two thousand, were surrendered to the 
enemy. Hull was afterward court-martialed, convicted of cowardice 
and sentenced to be shot, but his age and service in the Revolution 
caused the court to recommend mercy, and he was pardoned by the 

Early in the campaign it became evident that American success on 
the northern and Niagara frontiers could be achieved only with abso- 
lute control of Lake Ontario. The Americans therefore built a small 
navy on Lake Ontario. During the summer important events occurred 
on the Niagara frontier, which was thinly settled at that time. August 
13 Major-General Stephen Van Rensselaer, in command of the detached 


militia of New York State, arrived at Fort Niagara. At this time the 
condition of Niagara was pitiable. Five thousand men had been 
promised to General Van Rensselaer, but as late as September 1 his 
entire force on the Niagara frontier was but six hundred and ninety. 
Two weeks later he asked Governor Tompkins and General Dearborn, 
who was highest in command in the Lake region, for reinforcements, 
explaining in detail the precarious situation in which his army and the 
frontier then was. By October 1 detachments of regulars and bodies 
of militia began arriving, the former, under command of General Alex- 
ander Smyth, halting at Buffalo, and the latter, under General Amos 
Hall, being stationed at Lewiston. In the latter were numbers of men 
from Genesee county. 

The plan to be carried out by Van Rensselaer, if possible, was to 
concentrate the regulars near Niagara, where they were to cross the 
river, and storm and take Fort George from the rear. At the same 
time the militia, under the personal command of Van Rensselaer, were 
to cross the river from Lewiston and take the heights of Queenston. 
But through the delay and disobedience of General Smyth, a proud 
Virginian attached to the regular army, who "could not bend to the 
necessity of obedience to a militia general," ' Van Rensselaer was 
greatly delayed in undertaking offensive operations. 

In the meantime Lieutenant J. B. Elliott of the United States Navy 
had captured the Detroit and the Caledonia off Fort Erie. The former 
was originally the brig Adams, taken by the British at the surrender 
of Hull, and the latter was the property of the Northwestern Fur Com- 
pany, laden with a cargo valued at two hundred thousand dollars. Un- 
fortunately the captors were compelled to burn the Detroit and set her 
adrift to keep her from again falling into the hands of the forces of 
General Brock, but the Caledonia was saved and afterwards did service 
under Commodore Perry on Lake Erie. This daring exploit caused 
unbounded enthusiasm throughout the United States, and correspond- 
ingly depressed the enemy." 

After tolerating the insolent conduct of Smyth until the American 
troops were on the verge of mutiny, October 10 General Van Rensselaer 
prepared to move upon Queenston Heights. The force under his com- 

' Lossing. 
'' General Brock, in a letter to Sir George Prevost, October 11, 1813, said : " The event is par- 
ticularly unfortunate, and may reduce us to incalculable distress. The enemy is making every 
exertion to gain a naval superiority on both lakes, which, if they accomplish it, I do not see how 
we can possibly retain the country." 


mand comprised thirty-six hundred and fifty regulars and twenty-six 
hundred and fifty militia, stationed at Niagara, Lewiston and Black 
Rock, while the British force numbered seventeen hundred and fifty, 
including two hundred and fifty Indians under John Brant. The enemy 
had planted batteries at every formidable point, commanding the land- 
ings at both Lewiston and Queenston. It was decided to make the at- 
tack upon Queenston at three o'clock on the morning of October 11, 
the invading force to be under command of Colonel Solomon Van 
Rensselaer. The attack was destined to be delayed, however. The 
troops assembled for embarkation at the hour designated, but Lieu- 
tenant Sims boarded the first boat and rowed away in the darkness, 
preventing the dispatching of the remaining boats, all the oars for the 
expedition having been stored in the boat taken by him. Passing a 
considerable distance beyond the point selected for landing, he stepped 
on shore and fled at his utmost speed. Whether this act was the result 
of cowardice or treachery will never be known. This incident neces- 
sarily resulted in the temporary abandonment of the plans. 

At three o'clock in the morning of October 13 the troops crossed the 
river, and the regulars, under command of Captain John E. Wool, 
charged gallantly up the heights, which were soon gained. The ap- 
proach of the Americans was soon noted by the enemy, and lively 
firing began, Colonel Van Rensselaer and Captain Wool both being 
wounded. When the battle began General Brock was at Fort George, 
seven miles down the river. He at once proceeded to the scene of the 
action at full speed, accompanied by his staff, but Wool and his men 
came upon them as soon as they had reached the heights. The entire 
company of officers fled in dismay, and the American flag was soon 
floating over the battery near which they stood. Brock's next step was 
to lead a body of his troops to drive Wool from the heights. The su- 
perior force of the British pressed the Americans back to the edge of 
the precipice, which rises perpendicularly two hundred feet above the 
Niagara; but at this critical moment, when they seemed to be lost. 
Wool's heroism and cheering words inspired the little band of Amer- 
icans, who turned furiously upon the enemy, driving them in utter rout 
down the hill. 

A few moments later, as Brock was rallying his men at the foot of 
the hill preparatory to an attempt to take the position from which they 
had been forced, he fell, mortally wounded. 

Until Gen. William Wadsworth of the New York militia arrrived to 


take command, Wool was left in charge of the heights. In the mean- 
time General Sheaffe assumed command of the forces of the enemy, 
which he again rallied. Lieut. -Col. Winfield Scott had crossed the 
river and joined the Americans on the heights as a volunteer, and at 
the request of General Wadsworth assumed active command. Early in 
the afternoon a band of Indians under the leadership of John Brant 
attacked the American pickets with great fury. The militia were 
about to flee, when the loud voice and towering form of Scott checked 
them. Then, an instant later the entire body under him, about six 
hundred, turned on the savages and drove them into the woods. 

By this time General Van Rensselaer was endeavoring to forward re- 
inforcements from Lewiston ; but these refused to go, evidently through 
cowardice, announcing that they were not compelled to leave the soil 
orf the United States. They therefore remained safely at Lewiston, 
while their fellow countrymen were being killed bj' the score. While 
Van Rensselaer was entreating these troops to accompany him across 
the river, the troops engaged in the action were fairly overwhelmed by 
the enemy, and soon were compelled to surrender. Their loss had 
been one hundred and ninety killed and wounded. Nine hundred were 
made prisoners, and sent to Newark. The loss of the enemy in killed, 
wounded and prisoners was only about one hundred and thirty. 

Thoroughly disgusted by the unaccountable conduct of the militia 
and the jealousies of some of the regular officers, General Van Rensse- 
laer now resigned his command to the boastful and proud General 
Smyth, who at once began to concentrate troops at Buffalo preparatory 
to the invasion of Canada. While these preparations were being made, 
the enemy began the bombardment of Fort Niagara, on November 21, 
from breastworks in front of Newark. At nightfall the fort had been 
considerably damaged, but it was gallantly and successfully defended 
by its little garrison. 

General Smyth had planned his invasion of Canada for the morning 
of the 28th. But before moving he had issued innumerable proclama- 
tions, which gave the enemy all the information they needed about the 
contemplated movements of the American army. The landing on 
Canadian soil was effected at three o'clock in the morning, but by a 
small force only. The general embarkation, for some mysterious rea- 
son, was postponed one day, while those who had reached the western 
shore of the river fell captives to the enemy. By this time the whole 
American force was thoroughly disgusted with the actions of the wordy 


Smyth. The general embarkation began at three a. m. on Tuesday, 
December 1, when 1,500 men entered the boats. General Porter was 
to lead and direct the landing. But by the time everything was in 
readiness to proceed Smyth astonished his officers by suggesting — in 
fact, ordering — that the invasion be not made at all that season. Con- 
sequently the troops were all ordered ashore, the militia and many of 
the volunteers were sent to their homes, and the regular army went 
into its winter quarters. 

So great was the indignation against the incompetent Smyth for this 
act of tremendous folly that he was more than once fired upon when he 
left his tent. General Porter charged him with cowardice, and in the 
quarrel which ensued Smyth challenged his accuser to mortal combat. 
Porter accepted the challenge and a meeting was had. After each had 
fired, and neither had been injured, the two men apologized to each 
other and shook hands. Smyth resigned December 33, being suc- 
ceeded by Col. Moses Porter. Thus closed the campaign of 1813. 

The campaign of 1813 opened almost at the same time on the shores 
of Lake Ontario, on the coast of Virginia and in the valley of the 
Maumee. General Harrison's operations in the West were successful, 
and he was able to protect the inhabitants on the borders of Lake Erie. 
But the spring was well advanced before much activity was seen on the 
Niagara frontier. At this time General Dearborn was in command of 
the entire northern frontier. April 35 he sailed from Sackett's Harbor 
in Commodore Chauncey's fleet, with seventeen hundred troops under 
the immediate command of General Zebulon Pike. The plans of both 
the navy and army were to attack York (Toronto), Fort George, Fort 
Erie and Chippewa, and then proceed to Kingston. April 27 the fleet 
appeared before Toronto and began the attack; but the British, in des- 
peration, blew up their powder magazine located on the lake shore, 
killing fifty-two Americans and wounding one hundred and eighty. 
General Pike and ten of his aids were among those mortally wounded. 
The British lost forty killed in the same explosion. The place soon 
after surrendered, but the Americans, deeming it of little strategic 
value, abandoned it. 

On account of tempestuous weather the attack upon Fort George 
was delayed a week. Commodore Chauncey, General Dearborn and 
other officers of the fleet and army proceeded in advance of the main 
body and chose a landing place four miles east of Fort Niagara. At 
that time the force of the enemy in and near Fort George, all under 



command of General Vincent, numbered about eighteen hundred. 
May 8 the American troops landed at the place designated, and Chaun- 
cey returned to Sackett's Harbor for reinforcements and supplies. May 
22 he reached the American camp east of Fort Niagara. Oliver Haz- 
ard Perry reached that point the evening of the same day. 

May 27 the troops were taken to a spot a short distance west of the 
mouth of the Niagara, where a landing was effected under cover of 
the guns of the fleet. Under the leadership of Colonel Scott and the 
dashing young Perry, and in the face of a terrific fire the brave Amer- 
icans ascended the bluff which skirts the shore at that point, and the 
British retreated a short distance. After spiking their guns and de- 
stroying their ammunition, the enemy abandoned the fort and retreated 
to Beaver Dams, where they had a stock of supplies. 

While the victory at Fort George was being accomplished, the garri- 
son at Fort Erie opened a brisk cannonade upon Black Rock ; but the 
following morning the British exploded their guns and magazine, de- 
stroyed their stores, and abandoned the fort, which was immediately 
occupied by the Americans under Colonel Preston. Within a brief 
time the enemy had destroyed everything else that could be of value 
to the Americans and which was located near the river on the Canadian 
side, leaving the latter in full possession of the entire Niagara frontier. 

By midsummer General Dearborn's operations had progressed so 
little and met with such small success that he was superseded, on July 
6, by Major-General Wilkinson. Meanwhile five vessels which had 
been quietly fitted out at the mouth of Scajaquada creek sailed away, 
on June 15, and joined Perry's fleet at Erie. 

In June General Dearborn had withdrawn the regular soldiers from 
Buffalo and Black Rock, leaving a large quantity of stores practically 
unprotected. Realizing his error, probably, he stationed ten artillery- 
men in the block house at Black Rock and issued a call for five hun- 
dred militia from neighboring counties. A few days before Dearborn 
relinquished command about three hundred of these militiamen arrived 
and were posted in the warehouses at Black Rock, under command of 
Major Parmenio Adams of Genesee county. Before the work of gar- 
risoning this point was completed, however, a British expedition of 
about four hundred men under Colonel Bishopp started to attack the 
place. On the afternoon of July 10 this force left its headquarters at 
Lundy's Lane, rowed up the river and at daylight of the 11th landed a 
mile below the mouth of the Scajaquada. Soon the forces under Major 


Adams learned of the advance of the enemy, and fled precipitately, 
without firing a gun or making the slightest show of resistance. The 
British at once occupied the camp which the American militia had 
abandoned, and small detachments started out to capture officers and 
prominent citizens at their homes. General Porter managed to escape 
just before the British reached his home, but left his arms and part of 
his clothing. As he was approaching the village he met a body of one 
hundred regulars under Captain Cummings, whom he ordered to sta- 
tion themselves near by and await reinforcements. At Black Rock fifty 
citizens placed themselves under Captain Bull and went to reinforce 
Cummings's command. About one hundred of Adams's retreating mili- 
tia, who had been kept together by Lieutenant Phineas Staunton, rallied 
for the recapture of the position. Chief Farmer's Brother of the Sen- 
ecas also gathered a band of his warriors together and joined the 
American forces. Volunteers came in from other places in the neigh- 
borhood, all eager to make the attack upon the unsuspecting British, 
who believed they had effected a victory whose results would be per- 

At eight o'clock the assault was ordered. The surprise of the enemy 
was complete. Colonel Bishopp fell from his horse badly wounded, 
and his men became demoralized. When the American regulars 
pressed forward the entire British force fled in confusion to the bank 
of the river. The militia, which had fled in fright a few hours before, 
now fought like veterans, springing to their work with the utmost enthu- 
siasm and bravery. The forest resounded with the war-whoops of the 
Senecas engaged in the fight. After retreating as far as Black Rock 
the enemy embarked in boats found there, but the pursuing Americans 
kept up a strong fire on the craft, mortally wounding the gallant Colo- 
nel Bishopp, who died five days later. The boat in which he lay was 
the last to leave the shore, and immediately after he fell it signalled its 
surrender. The entire British loss during this expedition in killed, 
wounded and missing has been variously estimated at from seventy to 
one hundred. The Americans lost three killed and five wounded. The 
British did not destroy more than one- third of the valuable naval stores 
at Black Rock, destined for the use of Perry, nor did they succeed in 
reaching the military stores at Buffalo. 

During the succeeding few weeks several minor engagements took 
place. August 12 Perry and his little Heet left Erie, reaching Put-in 
Bay on the 15th, where a plan of campaign was arranged with General 


Harrison. On September 10 occurred his memorable battle with the 
British fleet under Captain Robert H. Barclay, after which he sent to 
General Harrison the historic dispatch: " We have met the enemy and 
they are ours." 

This remarkable naval victory gave the Americans undisputed con- 
trol of Lake Erie, and inspired the entire country. Other successes 
followed during the balance of the year, and the feeling of discourage- 
ment which had pervaded many sections of the country gave way to 
general expressions of joy.' But while success rewarded the valor of 
American arms elsewhere, the campaign along the Niagara frontier 
was wretchedly managed during the ensuing few months. General Wil- 
kinson unwisely withdrew the main body of his troops to the lower end 
of Lake Ontario, though strongly advised not to do so by General 
Porter and other officers. Porter, Chapin and McClure offered to raise 
a thousand men to aid him in making a sally from Fort George; or, if 
provided with artillery, they offered to invade the enemy's country and 
conquer the British. Wilkinson's stubborn refusal to see the wisdom 
of either of these suggestions was the beginning of the mismanagement 
which marked operations on the frontier from that time until the spring 

When Wilkinson left Fort George he turned over the command of 
that post to General McClure, who now had one thousand militia, sixty 
regulars and two hundred and fifty Indians. The terms of enlistment 
of volunteers and militia were rapidly expiring. He endeavored to 
retain them by offering small bounties, but they declined to remain in 
the service. Soon after the news came that Generals Drummond and 
Riall had arrived on the peninsula with reinforcements from Kingston, 
and that a body of troops under Colonel Murray was moving on Fort 
George. Upon being apprised of this movement McClure determined 
to abandon his post and post his garrison in Fort Niagara. Before do- 
ing so, however, he notified the inhabitants of the village of Newark 
that he intended to burn that place, which he did a few hours after 
notice had been given. Of the one hundred and fifty houses in that 
village but one was left standing, and a large number of women and 
children were driven from their homes to face the blasts of a severe 
winter with no other protection than that afforded by the clothing they 

' "The people were becoming more and more a unit in opinion concerning the righteousness o£ 
the war on the part of the Government, and its beneficial effects in developing the internal re- 
sources of the country; also in demonstrating the ability of a free government to protect itself 
against a powerful foe," — Lossing. 


wore and could carry with them. This cruel and totally unnecessary 
act was roundly condemned by many of McClure's officers, but it had 
been sanctioned by the War Department.' 

After abandoning Fort George and making an attempt to destroy it 
by explosion, McClure stationed one hundred and fifty regulars in Fort 
Niagara, and on December 12 proceeded to Buffalo, whither he called 
two hundred additional regulars from Canandaigua. Soon after Col- 
onel Murray, with five hundred British soldiers and Indians, occupied 
the ground which the Americans had abandoned. 

General McClure's unwise and unnecessary act in devastating New- 
ark was justly censured by those who believed in honorable warfare, 
and particularly, as an imprudent measure, by those who felt confident 
of the retributive blow that soon was to follow. 

Soon after the British had taken possession of Fort George, the 
awful work of devastation on the part of themselves and their Indian 
allies began, in retaliation for the burning of the village of Newark. 
About sunrise of December 19 a party of Indians who had left the main 
body reached Lewiston, where a small force was stationed under com- 
mand of Major Bennett. The Americans retreated with the loss of 
half a dozen men. Among those killed in the indiscriminate slaughter 
that followed the attack was Dr. Alvord, one of the pioneer physicians 
of Batavia. As soon as the assault began the inhabitants of that part 
of the frontier began a retreat eastward. With them went the Tus- 
carora Indians, whose village was in that vicinity. The invaders met 
with no formidable resistance, except upon Lewiston Heights, as they 
attempted to advance to Niagara Falls. Here Major Mallory and a 
small body of volunteers, who had been stationed at Schlosser, drove 
the enemy down the hill ; but the lost ground was soon recovered, and 
there was a fine show of resistance all the way to the mouth of Tona- 
wanda creek. 

During the summer of 1814, the British being in possession of Fort 
Niagara, parties of Indians from that stronghold occasionally ventured 
out and attacked inhabitants who had returned to their homes. -^ In 
these expeditions the Indians — and frequently the British, too — inflicted 
great damage upon the inhabitants of that region. Terror reigned in 

* The Secretary of War, then at Sackett's Harbor, addressed General McClure, " or officer 
commanding at Fort George," as follows, under date of October 4, 1813: " Understanding thatthe 
defense of the post committed to your charge may render it proper to destroj' the town of New- 
ark, you are hereby directed to apprise the inhabitants of this circumstance, and invite them to 
remove themselves and their effects to some place of greater safety. JOHN ARMSTRONG." 


all the territory west of the Genesee. Anticipating a further march of 
the invading force, and an attack upon Batavia, where there were an 
arsenal and considerable military stores, General Hall soon collected a 
force from General Wadsworth's brigade, and a number of volunteers 
from Genesee county, and established headquarters at Batavia. On 
Christmas day, a considerable force having been organized and armed, 
the troops started to march to Buffalo. There he found a disorganized 
and confused body of troops, and all were in consternation and dismay. 
These were organized with the force already under his command and 
preparations for resisting the enemy were made at once. 

About midnight of December 39 news was received at Buffalo that a 
British force had crossed the Niagara river near the head of Grand 
Island, fired on a patrol of mounted men, and taken possession of a 
battery located upon the site of the lower village of Black Rock, Gen- 
eral Hall at once ordered out the troops at Buffalo, but believing that 
the attack at Black Rock was intended simply to draw off the main 
force at Buffalo, in order to enable the enemy successfully to attack 
that place, he decided not to proceed against the British. Colonels 
Warren and Churchill, who were in command at Black Rock in the 
absence of General Hopkins, were ordered by General Hall to attack 
the enemy, dislodge them from their position they had taken and drive 
them from their boats. The attack was hastily prepared and made 
under cover of intense darkness, but failed to accomplish its purpose. 
The attacking force was dispersed; whereupon the main body of troops 
at Buffalo v/as ordered to proceed toward Black Rock. A small corps 
of men headed by Colonel Chapin and Major Adams made a second as- 
sault upon the battery, but this force, too, was dispersed. These two 
failures foreshadowed what was to come. The story of the events of 
the morning of December 30 is told in the following extract from an 
official dispatch from General Hall to Governor Tompkins: 

As the day dawned I discovered a detachment of the enemy's boats crossing to 
our shore, and bending their course toward the rear of Gen. Porter's house. I im- 
mediately ordered Col. Blakeslie to attack the enemy's force at the water's edge. I 
became satisfied as to the disposition and object of the enemy. Their left wing, 
composed of about one thousand regulars, militia, and Indians, had been landed be- 
low the creek, under the cover of the night. With their centre, consisting of four 
hundred royal Scots, commanded by Col. Gordon, the battle was commenced. The 
right, which was purposely weak, was landed near the main battery, merely to divert 
our force; the whole under the immediate command of Lieut. Col. Drummond, and 
led on by Maj. Gen. Riall. They were attacked by four field pieces in the battery at 


the water's edge, at the same time the battery from the other side of the river opened 
a heavy fire upon us, of shells, hot shot and ball. The whole force now opposed to 
the enemy was, at most, not over six hundred men, the remainder having fled, in 
spite of the exertions of their oflScers. These few but brave men, disputed every 
inch of ground, with the steady coolness of veterans, at the expense of many valu- 
able lives. The defection of the militia, by reason of the ground on which they must 
act, left the forces engaged, exposed to the enemy's fire in front and flank. After 
standing their ground for half an hour, opposed by an overwhelming force and 
nearly surrounded, a retreat became necessary to their safety, and was accordingly 
ordered. I then made every effort to rally the troops, with a. view to attack their 
columns as they entered the village of Buffalo, but all in vain. Deserted by my 
principal force, I fell back that night to Eleven Mile creek, and was forced to leave the 
flourishing villages of Black Rock and Buffalo a prey to the enemy, which they have 
pillaged and laid in ashes. They have gained but little plunder from the stores ; the 
chief loss has fallen upon individuals. 

This disaster was the culmination of a series of e\rents in a badly 
managed campaign. The efficient forces upon that part of the frontier 
had been withdrawn and untrained and unorganized militia from West- 
ern New York assigned to the important duty of defending one of our 
most vulnerable points. The entire invading force under General Riall 
was but a little over one thousand, while our force was numerically 
superior; but the enemy had the advantage of thorough organization 
and fair discipline. 

Though the cowardice and flight of many of the soldiers who partic- 
ipated in this engagement, not to speak of the panic-stricken ones who 
fled without making a show of resistance, was a disgrace to American 
arms, the records show that the untrained soldiers from Genesee county 
who volunteered their services behaved most admirably. This county 
complied promptly with the military requisitions made upon it, though 
the majority of those who so bravely went to the front made greater 
personal sacrifices than the representatives of most communities who 
fought in that war. The growing crops, whose failure meant little less 
than the desolation of many homes, were deserted when the call to 
arms was issued ; and this meant much in a new country like that west 
of the Genesee. The absence of the tillers of the soil and the conse- 
quent neglect of the crops produced unusual distress and suffering 
among the inhabitants. 

The volunteer militia performed valiant service, frequently equal to 
that of the regulars; but as a rule the work of the men who waited to be 
drafted was wretched, cowardly. It was the latter class that permitted 
itself to be so completely routed by General Riall's forces.. 


About three o'clock on the afternoon of the 30th, after the invading 
forces had reduced Buffalo and Black Rock to ashes, the enemy crossed 
the river from the latter point with the public and private property 
they had captured. They also took with them about ninety prisoners, 
about half of whom were from Colonel Blakeslie's troops. More than 
forty were killed and denuded and their mutilated bodies left upon the 
snow. Among the Americans slain, the highest ofi&cer was Lieutenant- 
Colonel Boughton of Avon. The enemy lost about thirty killed and 
sixt}' wounded ; but not an officer was killed, and only two were wound- 
ed. Had the two thousand Americans been well disciplined and in com- 
mand of thoroughly efficient officers in all cases, there is little doubt 
that the enemy might have been driven back across the river and held 
at bay, temporarily at least, and much loss and suffering averted. 
When General Hall reached Williamsville he rallied a few hundred 
fugitives and called for reinforcements, but this step was taken too late, 
as there was no more fighting. 

The scenes and incidents of that memorable day, December 30, along 
the principal thoroughfares leading eastward, including the Big Tree 
road, can never be properly described. In the rush was an indiscrimi- 
nate mob of militia, citizens, sleighs, ox-sleds, wagons, horsemen and 
horsewomen, children and infants, all with one thought uppermost in 
their minds — to get as far from Buffalo and Black Rock as possible, 
and with the greatest speed. "An ox sled would come along bearing 
wounded soldiers whose companions had pressed the slow team into 
their service ; another with the family of a settler, a few household 
goods that had been hustled upon it, and one, two or three wearied 
females from Buffalo, who had begged the privilege of a ride and the 
rest that it afforded ; then a remnant of some dispersed corps of militia, 
hugging as booty, as spoils of the vanquished, the arms they had neglected 
to use; then squads and families of Indians, on foot and on ponies, the 
squaw with her papoose upon her back, and a bevy of juvenile Senecas 
in her train ; and all this is but a stinted programme of the scene that 
was presented. Bread, meats and drinks soon vanished from the log 
taverns on the routes, and fleeing settlers divided their scanty stores 
with the almost famished that came from the frontier." ' The news of 
the disaster flew faster than the fugitives, and many homes were found 

January 1 a body of the enemy again appeared at Buffalo and burned 

' Turner's History of the Holland Purchase. 


the few remaining houses, excepting one occupied by an aged woman 
and her two daughters. Just as the work of destruction was completed 
a detachment of mounted men was seen crossing Scajaquada, and the 
British hastily mounted and rode down the hill. The Americans fired 
upon them and Adjutant Tottman, who was in command, was killed. 

For weeks the frontier remained deserted and desolate. The vil- 
lages of Buffalo, Black Rock, Niagara Falls, Lewiston and Youngstown 
and the intervening tenements and farm houses presented one long 
panorama of ruin. 

Batavia, being the principal place at a comparatively safe distance 
east of Buffalo, became the final rallying point of what was left of the 
American army, and the headquarters for the homeless refugees from 
the frontier. The most valuable articles, including the records, of the 
Land Office, were carried east of the Genesee river. Mr. EUicott's 
residence was converted into headquarters for the officers of the army, 
and his office into a hospital ; barns and sheds were occupied and many 
private houses were thrown open. Had it not been for the hospitality 
of the inhabitants of Batavia the condition of the fugitives would have 
been inestimably worse than it was. The following letter will give some 
idea of the condition of the country west of Batavia during the period 
immediately succeeding the disaster on the Niagara frontier: 

Canandaigua, 8th Jan., 1814. 
Gentlemen ; 

Niagara county and that part of Genesee which lies west of Batavia are completely 
depopulated. All the settlements in a section of country forty miles square, and 
which contained more than twelve thousand souls, are effectually broken up. These 
facts you are undoubtedly acquainted with; but the distresses they have produced, 
none but an eye-witness can thoroughly appreciate Our roads are filled with 
people, many of whom have been reduced from a state of competency and good pros- 
pects to the last degree of want and sorrow. So sudden was the blow by which they 
have been crushed, that no provision could be made either to elude or meet it. The 
fugitives from Niagara county especially were dispersed under circumstances of so 
much terror that in some cases, mothers find themselves wandering with strange 
children, and children are seen accompanied by such as have no other sympathies 
with them than those of common sufferings. Of the families thus separated, all the 
fnembers can never again meet in this life ; for the same violence which has made 
them beggars, has forever deprived them of their heads, and others of their branches. 
Afflictions of the mind so deep as have been allotted to these unhappy people, we 
cannot cure. They can probably be subdued only by His power who can wipe away 
all tears. But shall we not endeavor to assuage them? To their bodily wants we 
can certainly administer. The inhabitants of this village have made large contribu- 
tions for their relief, in provisions, clothing and money. And we have been ap- 


pointed, among other things, to solicit further relief for them, from our wealthy and 
liberal minded fellow citizens. In pursuance of this appointment, may we ask you, 
gentlemen, to interest yourselves particularly in their behalf. We believe that no 
occasion has ever occurred in our country which presented stronger claims upon in- 
dividual benevolence, and we humbly trust that whoever is willing to answer these 
claims will always entitle himself to the precious reward of active charity. We are, 
gentlemen, with great respect, Wm. Shepard, 

Thad's Chapin, 
Moses Atwater, 


Myron Holley, 
Thomas Beals, 
Phineas p. Bates, 
Committee of Safety and Relief at Canandaigua. 
To the Hon. Philip S. Van Rensselaer, 

Hon. James Kent, 

Hon. Ambrose Spencer, 

Stephen Van Rensselaer, Esq. , 

Elisha Jenkins, Esq., 

Rev. Timothy Clowes, 

Rev. William Neill, 

Rev. John M. Bradford. 

In response to this appeal the State Legislature immediately appro- 
priated $50,000; the Common Council of Albany, $1,000; the Common 
Council of New York, $3,000. Liberal subscriptions were also made 
by residents of New York, Albany, Canandaigua and other localities, 
including $2,000 by the Holland Land Company and $300 by Joseph 
Ellicott. The entire relief fund amounted to about $63,000, which did 
much toward relieving the immediate wants of the sufferers from the 

As soon as the intelligence of the invasion reached the national cap- 
ital, President Madison directed General Lewis Cass to proceed to the 
scene, investigate the causes of the disaster and suggest such measures 
of relief and defense as should appear necessary. In a letter written 
by General Cass to the Secretary of War, dated January 12, 1814, the 
former says: 

The fall of Niagara has been owing to the most criminal negligence. The force 
in it was fully competent to its defence. The commanding officer. Captain Leonard, 
it is confidently said, was at his own house, three miles from the fort, and all the 
other officers appear to have rested in as much security as though no enemy was 
near them. Captains Rogers and Hampton, both of the 34th, had companies in the 
fort. Both of them were absent from it. Their conduct ought to be strictly inves- 
tigated. I am also told that Major Wallace of the 5th was in the fort. He escaped 


and is now at Erie. The circumstances attending the destruction of Buffalo you 
will have learned before this reaches you. But the force of the enemy has been 
greatly magnified. From the most careful examination I am satisfied that not more 
than six hundred and fifty men, of regulars, militia and Indians, landed at Black 
Rock. To oppose these we had from two thousand five hundred to three thousand 
militia. All except a very few of them behaved in the most cowardly manner. They 
fled without discharging a musket. The enemy continued on this side of the river 
until Saturday. All their movements betrayed symptoms of apprehension. A vast 
quantity of property was left in the town uninjured, and the Ariel, which lies four 
miles above, is safe. Since the first inst. they have made no movement. They con- 
tinue to possess Niagara, and will probably retain it until a force competent to its 
reduction arrives in its vicinity. 

The campaign of 1814 was as brilliant and successful, as a whole, as 
that of 1813 had been disastrous. Experience had been a bitter, hut 
competent, teacher, and the campaign was now conducted by the 
Americans with more vigor and judgment. In the spring troops be- 
gan to arrive on the frontier. New officers were in command, and 
rigid discipline and general efficiency were inaugurated. General 
Riall commanded the Canadian frontier and had headquarters on 
Queenston Heights. The One Hundredth Regiment of the British 
army was stationed along the river from Chippewa to Fort Erie. April 
10 General Winfield Scott arrived at Chippewa. A few weeks later 
Major-General Jacob Brown arrived on the frontier and assumed the 
chief command. His forces comprised two brigades, commanded re- 
spectively by General Scott and Colonel Eleazer W. Ripley, to each of 
which was attached a, small body of artillery. There was also a small 
troop of cavalry. All were under excellent discipline and high spirits. 
In addition to these troops were about eleven hundred volunteers from 
New York and Pennsylvania, and about six hundred Indians who had 
been inspired to help the Americans by the eloquence of the famous 
Red Jacket. These volunteers and Indians were under the chief com- 
mand of General Peter B. Porter. 

In the latter part of May General Scott removed his headquarters to 
Buffalo, where the troops were constantly drilled and perfect discipline 
maintained. By July 1, the Americans were ready for action. The 
day following Generals Brown, Scott and Porter reconnoitered Fort 
Erie and laid plans for its capture. The capture of these works was 
comparatively easy. Sunday morning the army passed over the river. 
General Scott's brigade and the artillery corps of Major Hindman 
landed nearly a mile below Fort Erie, between two and three o'clock in 
the morning. General Ripley and his brigade landed, about the same 


distance above the fort. A little later a small force of Indians crossed 
over. The enemy was completely surprised. The fort was approached 
on both sides by the army, while the Indians skirted the woods in the 

General Brown demanded the surrender of the garrison, giving the 
commander two hours to reach a determination. Meantime a battery 
of "long eighteens " was planted where it commanded the fort. But 
the enemy was overawed and surrendered at six o'clock, being im- 
mediately sent over the river to the American shore. The prisoners 
numbered over one hundred and seventy, all being in command of 
Major Burke. Several pieces of ordnance and some military stores 
were also captured. During the brief period of firing which took 
place in the morning one man was killed and two or three wounded 
on each side.' 

This almost bloodless capture of Fort Erie was but the beginning of 
a vigorous and successful campaign. July 4 Scott and his brigade pro- 
ceeded to Black Creek, a few miles above Chippewa. Ripley advanced 
on the afternoon of the same day. The next day Scott was joined by 
General Porter with his volunteers and Indians. General Riall was 
still in command of the British forces, which in the meantime had also 
been considerably reinforced. 

About daybreak of July 5 operations began by attacks on the Ameri- 
can picket lines, the chief purpose of the enemy being to divert atten- 
tion from the main attack against the American centre. But this plan 
failed. The American commander, feeling sure of his position and 
strength, gradually drew in his pickets and thereby led the enemy into 
a general action. The Indians fought splendidly under command of 
General Porter, Red Jacket and Captain Pollard, and the British were 
soon forced back towards Chippewa with heavy loss. General Porter's 
command followed, but on reaching the outskirts of the woods he en- 
countered the main body of the enemy, and most of his men, being un- 
accustomed to the din of battle, broke away in confusion. The re- 
mainder of the army, however, soon came upon the scene, and after a 
sharp conflict the entire British force broke and fled to the entrench- 
ments below Chippewa creek, destroying the bridge and thus prevent- 
ing the victorious Americans from pursuing them. In this battle the 
American loss was sixty-one killed, two hundred and fifty-five wounded 

'This account o£ the capture of Fort Erie is taken from the story published in the Buffalo 
Gazette in its issue next succeeding the event described. 


and nineteen missing. The British loss was six hundred and four, of 
whom two hundred and thirty- six were killed. 

General Riall, in his retreat, proceeded to Queenston, occupying 
Fort George with part of his troops and making his headquarters 
twenty miles to the westward, near Lake Ontario. General Drum- 
mond, completely chagrined over the defeat of the British veterans by 
what he considered raw American troops, resolved that the British arms 
should redeem themselves. He therefore at once organized a large 
army, and with a force one third larger than that of the Americans 
under General Brown, advanced to give battle. Brown in the mean- 
time had moved forward to Queenston, where he hoped to find Chaun- 
cey's fleet awaiting on the Niagara river to co-operate with the land 
forces. But Commodore Chauncey's fleet did not appear and the army 
was compelled to prepare to fight it out alone. Rial!, however, had 
received considerable reinforcements in the meantime. General Brown 
therefore ordered a retreat to Chippewa. On the morning of the 35th 
news came from Lewiston that the British were at Queenston and on the 
Heights in considerable numbers, and that five of the enemy's fleet had 
arrived and were proceeding up the river. Soon after it was learned 
that they were landing at Lewiston. General Drummond had arrived 
from Kingston with reinforcements, while Riall's troops at the same 
time had been put "in motion. That morning a large part of the forces 
under Lieutenant Colonel Pearson held a commanding position on an 
eminence in and near Lundy's Land. Brown evidently had not re- 
ceived intelligence of this movement, for he made plans to attack him 
at Queenston. Late in the afternoon he ordered a forward movement. 
Soon after he was informed that a large British force had been seen at 
Niagara Falls, but he believed that it was Drummond and his troops 
going up the river to capture the store of supplies at Schlosser. For 
the purpose of recalling the enemy he decided to menace the forts at 
the mouth of the river. Accordingly, about four o'clock he ordered 
General Scott to march rapidly after them with Towson's artillery and 
all the mounted men at his command. 

Within twenty minutes after receiving his orders Scott's command 
was in motion. About half past five he crossed the Chippewa, believ- 
ing that a large body of the enemy was on the other side of the Niagara 
instead of directly in his front. But he soon learned the true situation. 
He met the forces of Riall, and the memorable battle of Lundy's Lane 


Scott's command consisted of about 1,200 men. The British force 
was greatly superior in point of numbers. Retreat would have been 
fatal to the Americans, and Scott heroically decided to fight, though 
the odds were so greatly against him. Halting a moment to send a 
dispatch to his commonder notifying the latter of the true situation, he 
began the attack. General Brown realized that the battle was in prog- 
ress even before he had received Scott's dispatch, for he could plainly 
hear the report of musketry and the cannonading. Ordering the brig- 
ade under Ripley to follow him, he hastened to the field at .the head 
of his personal staff. Meeting Scott's messenger, he ordered the latter 
to continue on and bring the whole force into the field. As soon as 
Ripley's brigade reached the field, General Brown, seeing that Scott's 
brigade was becoming greatly exhausted by the severe fighting they 
had been doing, interposed a new line between them and the enemy, 
thereby holding the latter in readiness for a new conflict. 

The British now fell back, their right resting on a height command- 
ing the whole plain on which they and the American forces were 
moving. It was now perceived that this height must be carried or the 
Americans would lose the battle. McRee was ordered to detach Col. 
James Miller with the Twenty-first Regiment for this hazardous and 
difficult duty, and to proceed with the remainder of the Second Brigade 
down the Queenston road in order to divert the attention of the enemy 
from his right, which was to be attacked. Turning to Colonel Miller, 
General Brown said: 

" Colonel, can you storm that work and take it ?" 

" I'll try, sir," was the laconic response. And he did take it. 

Miller's assault was a brilliant one.' The British retired in confusion 
from the line of advancing bayonets, leaving their cannon and several 
prisoners in possession of the Twenty-first Regiment. About the same 
time Ripley's brigade advanced and encountered the enemy on the 
right of Miller's operations. A part of his brigade was broken under 
the galling fire of the British regulars, but the line was immediately 
formed again and brought into action. At this moment Major Jesup, of 
Scott's brigade, who had been ordered to act independently on the right 

> With three hundred men he moved up the ascent steadily in the darkness, along a fence 
lined with thick bushes that hid his troops from tlie view of the gunners and their protectors who 
lay near by. When within a short musket range of the battery, they could see the gunners with 
their glowing linstocks, ready to act at the word, fire. Selecting good marksmen. Miller directed 
each to rest his rifle on the fence, select a gunner and fire at a given signal. Very soon every 
gunner fell, when Miller and his men rushed forward and captured the battery. — Lossing. 


of the American army, after capturing and sending to camp General 
Riall and several other British officers, proceeded toward the heights as 
far as the Queenston road. At this point he was joined by General 
Brown, who directed him to advance up Lundy's Lane and form on the 
right of Ripley's brigade, whose left was resting upon the height de- 
fended by the captured cannon. Meantime General Porter had arrived 
with his command and was formed on Ripley's left. 

Fresh troops had been sent from Queenston and Fort George to re- 
inforce the enemy, which now advanced in strong force. At the first 
fire, however, the British fled in great confusion. A second attack was 
made, and the enemy fought with great obstinacy, but two or three 
volleys sufficed to drive them down the height. Soon another desper- 
ate assault was made, but this, too, was repulsed after a terrific hand 
to hand contest, the enemy fleeing in great disorder and leaving many 
prisoners in the hands of the victorious Americans. In the last 
both Generals Brown and Scott were wounded. The former was shot 
twice, but remained on his horse. General Scott, however, was disabled 
and carried from the field. 

The Americans now fell back to Chippewa, having effectually re- 
pulsed the enemy. Here General Brown ordered Ripley, upon whom 
the command had devolved, to rest awhile and then reoccupy the bat- 
tlefield. The latter disobeyed orders and remained at Chippewa, and 
this so irritated General Brown that he sent to Sackett's Harbor for 
General Edmund P. Gaines with orders for the latter to assume tempo- 
rary command on the Niagara frontier. Through Ripley's disobe- 
dience the Americans were deprived of the substantial advantages of 
the hardly-earned victory, for the British returned, captured most of 
the cannon and again occupied the field.' 

While the Americans were really the victors, the British also laid 
claim to the honor by reason of their having taken possession of the 
battlefield after the Americans had left it. In this engagement the 
American loss was one hundred and seventy-one killed, five hundred 
and seventy-one wounded and, one hundred and ten missing. The loss 
of the enemy was eighty-four killed, five hundred and fifty-nine wound- 
ed, one hundred and ninety-three missing, and forty-two prisoners. 

On the morning of the day following the battle General Brown, Gen- 

' This battle was fought entirely between sunset and midnight. The moon was shining 
brightly, and as there was no breeze its later and more sanguinary incidents occurred among 
dense clouds o£ smoke caused by the burning powder. 


eral Scott, Major Jesup and the other wounded officers were taken to 
Buffalo, Colonel Ripley being left with orders to hold his strong posi- 
tion at Chippewa until he could be reinforced. Hardly had the wound- 
ed officers left the scene when Ripley destroyed the military works and 
stores, demolished the bridge and fled with his army to the Canadian 
end of the Black Rock ferry. But for the strenuous opposition offered 
by McRee, Wood, Towson, Porter and other officers he would have 
crossed with the army to the American shore. He actually rode to 
General Brown and asked for orders to do so, but that valiant com- 
mander treated the proposition with justifiable scorn, and ordered Rip- 
ley to move his army to a good position on the lake shore just above 
Fort Erie, strengthen the fort and erect new defenses in expectation of 
a siege.' 

Within two or three days Drummond, having received eleven hun- 
dred reinforcements, prepared to move up the river. August 3 the 
enemy drove in the American outposts surrounding the fort and camped 
two miles from the fort. In the meantime the works around the fort 
had been strengthened and three armed schooners were anchored near 
at hand. Within a few days a detachment of the enemy met two hun- 
dred and forty riflemen under Major Lodowick Morgan, near the Sca- 
jaquada creek ; but the British were driven back across the river. 
While this fight was transpiring Drummond opened a cannonade on 
Fort Erie. This was of short duration, and at its close both sides 
worked hard for several days in strengthening their respective posi- 

August 4, General Gaines arrived at Fort Erie and assumed the chief 
command, Ripley again takmg command of his brigade. On the 7th 
the British began the siege by a heavy cannonade, which continued for 
a week. On the evening of the l-4th a British shell exploded with ter- 
rific force in an empty magazine in the fort, and the enemy, believing 
that this would result in the demoralization of the American force, pre- 
pared for a direct assault upon the fort. At two o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the loth a picket of one hundred men was attacked, and a few 
moments later fifteen hundred of the enemy assailed Towson's battery 
and an abattis between that work and the shore of the lake. After a 
brief but desperate struggle they retired. In the meantime the Doug- 
lass battery, a stone work with two guns on the extreme American 

' Had General Drummond known of the weakness o£ the American force at this juncture he 
might have successfully assailed their position. 


right, was attacked by five hundred infantry and artillery of the enemy. 
This force was soon repulsed, when a body under Drummond endeav- 
ored to force an entrance over the walls with the aid of scaling-ladders. 
After being repulsed twice at this point, the gallant British commander 
went around the ditch and, in the face of a hot fire and after several 
attempts, he reached the parapet with one hundred of the Royal 

The success of this endeavor fairly crazed Drummond. Ordering no 
quarter for the Americans, he posted a band of Indians where they 
could rush into the works at the first opportunity and aid in the anni- 
hilation of the garrison. The British now made a fierce bayonet charge, 
mortally wounding several American officers who were standing the 
brunt of the attack. Lieutenant McDonough was killed by Drummond 
himself after asking for quarter. The latter fell a minute later with a 
bullet through his heart. Three attempts were then made to drive the 
enemy from the fort. Just as a fourth charge was to be made the mag- 
azine was blown up, whether by accident or design has never been 
learned. Many of the enemy were killed in the explosion, and the 
remnant, being instantly attacked by artillery and infantry, broke and 
fled from the fort in the greatest confusion. The explosion of the mag- 
azine doubtless saved the American force from the utter annihilation 
which otherwise might have been their fate. In this terrible fight the 
British lost two hundred and twenty-one killed, one hundred and seventy- 
four wounded and one hundred and sixty-eight prisoners. The Ameri- 
can loss was seventeen killed, fifty-six wounded and eleven missing. 

From this time until about the middle of September the Americans 
spent their time in strengthening their position and increasing their 
force. The British did likewise. Until the first of the month the en- 
emy threw shells, hot shot and rockets into the fort. During this 
bombardment, August 28, General Gaines was so injured by an ex- 
ploding shell that he was compelled to retire to Buffalo for the treat- 
ment of his wounds. Upon learning of this General Brown proceeded 
from Batavia and placed Ripley in command of the forces occupying 
the fort; but learning of the unpopularity of this officer he almost im- 
mediately assumed personal command, though still suffering from the 
wounds he had received in the previous action. 

September 17 General Brown ordered a sortie, during which two of 
the British batteries were captured after thirty minutes' hot fighting, 
General Porter's forces accomplishing this victory. Immediately after- 



wards a block-house in the rear of another battery was taken, the gar- 
rison made prisoners, the cannon destroyed and the magazine blown up. 
But this brilliant victory was dearly purchased, for Brigadier General 
Daniel Davis,' Colonel Gibson and Lieutenant Colonel Wood all fell 
mortally wounded. In the meantime General Miller had taken two of 
the enemy's batteries and seized the block-houses in the rear. Toward 
the close of the action Ripley's reserve was ordered up and he was 
severely wounded. Within forty minutes after the beginning of the at- 
tack the Americans were in possession of the entire British works, and 
Fort Erie was saved. Not only this, but in all probability this magnifi- 
cent victory saved the entire Niagara frontier and Western New York. 
This sortie is recorded in history as more skillfully planned and gal- 
lantly executed than any other, and as one of the very rare instances in 
which a single sortie resulted in the raising of a siege. The Americans 
lost seventy-nine killed and two hundred and fourteen wounded. The 
British lost five hundred killed, wounded and missing and four hundred 
prisoners. So- complete was the demoralization of the enemy that on 
September 31 Drummond broke up his camp and retired to the in- 
trenchments behind Chippewa creek. 

This splendid victory at Fort Erie was the most important closing 
event of the war on the Niagara frontier. Soon after. General Izard 
proceeded from Sackett's Harbor to Lewiston, reaching the latter place 
October 5. Six days later his forces encamped about two miles north 
of Fort Erie, where he assumed chief command, General Brown re- 
turning to his former post at Sackett's Harbor. Izard's command soon 
numbered eight thousand troops, with which he made preparations to 
march against the army under command of Drummond. Leaving Fort 
Erie well garrisoned, he proceeded toward Chippewa and endeavored 
to draw the enemy into an engagement — but in vain. The British 
commander had seen enough of the undisciplined Yankee farmers, and 
fell back to Fort George with as much haste as he could make without 
giving evidence of undue fear. Izard then returned to Black Rock 

* Brigadier General Daniel Davis resided in Le Roy and was the commander of the local 
volunteer soldiers. He was a man greatly beloved by those who served under him, though a 
strict disciplinarian. In the first military organization in Le Roy, in 1801, he was chosen lieuten- 
ant. He had a strong passion for military life. He was among the first to enlist in the war of 
1812, and was rapidly promoted for his coolness and bravery until he attained the rank of briga- 
dier general. These characteristics were especially conspicuous during the sortie from Fort 
Erie. With sword in his hand he led in advance of his division, and ascended the parapet, though 
warned not to do so. Reaching this point he instantly was shot through the neck, falling into the 
arms of his aide-de-camp, who had bravely accompanied him. He was buried at Le Roy. 

FROM 1813 TO 1841. 147 

ferfy, whence the entire American army crossed over to the American 
side, abandoning Canada. This practically ended the war, as far as the 
participation of the inhabitants of Genesee county and Western New 
York therein was concerned. If some of the inhabitants of Genesee 
county had exhibited those traits in the early part of the war which 
brought upon their heads deserved censure, those who participated in 
the events of the last year of the war won undying fame by reason of 
their high patriotism, their coolness and bravery, their splendid obedi- 
ence to the commands of their officers and their general behavior dur- 
ing the most critical periods of the contests in which they took part. 


Changes Along the Various Lines of Endeavor in Genesee County from the Close 
of the War of 1813 to the Erection of the Present County of Genesee in 1841 — Some 
of the Settlers of Those Days — Early Hotels — The Establishment of Important 
Manufacturing Industries — Schools — Many New Churches Founded — Effort to Re- 
move the County Seat' to Attica — The Farnsworth Trial — The Morgan Episode — A 
New Jail — The Land Office War — Discontent Among the Land Holders — Formation 
of the County Agricultural Society — Erection of the New Court House — Division of 
the Old and Creation of a New Genesee County. 

At the close of the war of 1813 the county of Genesee was in a lament- 
able condition. Money was scarce, commerce and industry in its vari- 
ous branches either paralyzed or seriously crippled, and the settlement 
of the new districts almost at a standstill. Strangely enough, during 
the war many brave immigrants had taken up lands within the confines 
of the county, while, as soon as the war was ended, such settlement 
almost ceased. Batavia and Le Roy suffered less from the effects of 
the war than most other communities, yet even these centres of popu- 
lation were in a deplorable condition. A few persons from the East, 
possibly not realizing the situation, or not fearful of the probable hard- 
ships which they might be called upon to endure, had the hardihood to 
come west and locate in the county. In Batavia the following are re- 
corded as settling during the few years succeeding the war: 

1814, R. O. Holden, John Hickox, Silas Hollister, Alpheus Reynolds, 
T. B. Campbell, Joseph Wheaton; 1815, Guilliam Bartholf, T. Beck- 


with, Samuel Thomas, Richard Williams, M. Wurts, Alva Smith,' E. 
M. Cook; 1816-1817, Libbeus Allen, Dr. John Cotes, Andrew Dibble, 
Richard Dibble, Oren Follett, Thomas Green,- George W. Lay, Thomas 
McCulley, Lemon Miller, Tracy Pardee, Moses Taggart, James Wal- 
ton, William Sullings, Richard Smith, William Seaver, William Wat- 
kins; 1818, Ira Boutwell, James A. Billings^ Clement Carpenter, Daniel 
Upton, Moses Wilcox, Aaron Wilcox; 1819, J. I. Bartholf, Thomas 
Bliss, Andrew Adams; 1820, Wheaton Mason, Seth Wakeman. 

These settlements were recorded in the tow^ of Le Roy during the 
same period: 

1814, Levi Beardsley, William Le Roy Bishop, Manley Colton, Paul 
E. Day, John Gilbert, P. McVane, Abel Noyes, John Richards, Elisha 
Severance, A. Williams; 1815, Jeremiah Buell, James Ballard, James 
Campbell, John Deming, Daniel Foster, Timothy Fitch, W. G. Gustin, 
Harry Holmes, Timothy Hatch, Joseph Keeney, Marshfield Parsons, 
Joseph Tompkins; 1816, Versal Bannister, Isaac Crocker, Elijah 
Crocker, Jacob Gallup, Daniel Harris, Timothy Judd, Harry Lathrop, 
Solomon Root, Deacon Clark Selden, Elliott L. Stanley, Joel White, 
Parker Weld; 1817, C. Butler, Nathaniel Farnham, E. Hart, Uni 
Hurlburt, A. Perry; 1818, Samuel Bishop, Silas Jo-nes^ Miles P. Lamp- 
son, Thomas C. Ladd, Charles Morgan, S. Tiffany, Levi Ward, jr. ; 
1819, Dr. S. O. Almy, Albert Hill; 1830, S. M. Gates, Daniel Le 

In Alabama: 

1814, John Richardson, James Richardson, jr., Hannah Carr, Samuel 
Sheldon; 1815, William Daniels; 1817, Jonas Kinne, Benjamin Gumaer, 
Henry Howard; 1819, E. F. Norton; 1821, Robert Harper, James Peter, 
Joseph Holmes; 1822, James Gardner; 1824, Samuel Whitcomb; 1825, 
Samuel Basom; 1826, Selah Vosburgh ; 1827, Thomas R. Wolcott; 
1828, Jesse Lund, Gideon M. Taylor, David Webster, Leonard Webster, 
Nahum Loring; 1829, Sterling Hotchkiss; 1830, Daniel Thayer, Ryal 
Ingalsbe, Elijah B. Ingalsbe ; 1832, Gideon Howland, Parley V. In- 
galsbe; 1834, Elijah and Ebenezer Ingalsbe, Samuel Burr, James Burr, 
Isaac Duell, N. Baker, jr.; 1835, Jacob Martin, David Martin; 1836, 
Anson Norton; 1837, James Filkins, George Wight, Abbott Wight. 

Numerous settlements were made in Alexander during, these years. 
Among those who located in that town, despite the calamity which had 
befallen Western New York, were the following, most of whom came 
in 1815: 

FROM 1812 TO 1841. 149 

General Josiah Newton, Captain Marcellus Fellows, Asahel Warner, 
Stephen Day, Josiah Goodrich, Wolcott Marsh, Emory Blodgett, Solo- 
mon Blodgett, Frederick Balch, Luther Chaddock, Thomas Chaddock, 
Dennis B, Chaddock, Newcombe Demary, Nathaniel Loomis, Joshua 
Rix, all of whom came during or just previous to 1815; Noah North, 
James A. North, and Eben North, sons of Noah North (a pioneer of 
1808), Daney Churchill, Cherrick Van De Bogart, Timothy Haskins, 
James R. Jackman, G. Kelsey, James Lewis, Lyman Brown, Ira Newton, 
N. Manson, J. G. Tiffany, who came in 1816; Silas Southwell, Jonas 
Stimars, James Stimars, Ezra W. Osborn, S. C Spring, David Halsted, 
^1817; Ebenezer Scoville, Guy Shaw, Philip Cook, 1819; Daniel F.Bowen, 
S. B. Brainard, Sanford Riddle, C. J. Hawkins, S. B. Smith, 1820; Eliph- 
alet Peck, Horace B. Houghton, Benjamin Simonds, John Simonds, 
Moses Dickinson, Philo Porter, O. T. Fargo, 1824; Charles Austin, 1825. 

Among those who located within the limits of the present town of 
Bergen during the few years succeeding the war were William P. Mun- 
ger, William Gorton, Lathrop Farnham, Linus Beech er and Alva Ste- 
vens, who established homes there between 1814 and 1816. The tem- 
perance society established in town in 1836 had these members : Rev. 
Josiah Pierson, Rev. Heman Halsey, Deacon Pitman Wilcox, Deacon 
John Spencer, H. H. Evarts and Henry D. Gifford. Others who resided 
in town during this period, some of whom may have come before the 
war, included Rev. R. Darwin, John T. Bliss, David Fancher, Milton 
Bird, Thomas Templeton, Daniel Robinson, Levi Ward, Levi Ward, jr., 
Benjamin Wright, Alexander White, John Gifford, Simon Pierson, Selah 
Wright, Rev. Allen Hollister, Russell Pierson, Luther C. Pierson, Rev. 
Elisha Mason. 

Most of the settlements in Bethany were made before the war of 
1812. Among those who located there after that event or during the 
last year of the war were the following : 

1813, Abner Ashley, S. Bowers, Josiah Churchill, Captain Lodowick 
Champlin, W. R. Dixon, John Eastland, I. Everest, John Metcalf, 
Harvey Prindle, John Page, Nathan Rumsey; 1814, Thomas Adgate, 
Charles Dixon, T. Fay, Alanson D. Lord, Rufus Munger, W. F. Nor- 
ton; 1815, James Bennett, jr., Charles Brisbee, Richard B. French, 
John Green, John Lincoln, A. Parsons, J. Saunders, James Stewart, 
Benjamin Smith; 1816, G. Cottrell, J. Rolfe, Asahel Shepard, James 
Shepard; 1817, Daniel Hyde, B. Barlow; 1818, David Merritt, Jared 
S. Lord; 1819, S. Debow, Gardner; 1824, James Baker; 1825, 


Orange Allen, R. R. Brown; 1828, Aaron Bailey; 1829, E. C. Dibble; 
1832, Nathaniel Huggins; prior to 1825, Richard Powers, Ira Waite, 
Matilda Wedge, Samuel Jolles, C. J. Lincoln. 

Some of those who settled in Byron were: 

1813, Abner Thompson, Andrew Hunter Green, William Shepherd; 

1814, John Searls, Ira Newburg, Asa Williams; 1815, Seth C. Lang- 
don, Jason Adams, James Tillotson, Asa Merrill; 1816, Chester Mann, 
A. Norton, Abner Chase, William Warn, Lyman Warn, Milo Warn; 
1817, Joseph Barker, Marcus Barker, Andrew Adams, Jonathan 
Wright, William Peckhafn, David Mann, Charles Beswick; 1818, Moses 
Gillett, Levi Fish, Calvin Wells; 1819, Harmon Norton, Erastus Nor- 
ton, W. S. Miller; 1828, Miles G. White; 1818, Rev. Herman Halsey; 
1823, Jacob Bushman; 1822, Milton Allen; 1826, Pierpont E. Bull. 

In Darien these settlements are recorded : 

1813, Harvey Butler, Anson Ackley, Jonathan Hastings, Hiram 
Hedges, John A. Lathrop, Josiah Lee, William Vickery, Thomas 
Vickery, John McCoUister, Thorp Wildman; 1814, Daniel Marsh, 
Horace Sloan, William B. Garfield, John Webb, Jonathan Vickery; 

1815, Baxter Gilbert, Ezra Clark, A. Hutchinson, Shadrach Harmon, 
Quartus Lee, D. J. Lee, Obadiah Jenks, Elijah Lamb, Joshua Peters, 
jr., David Salisbury, Ephraim Sumner; 1816, David Anderson, Col- 
onel Jesse Safford, Benajah Griswold, William Cole, Daniel C.Stoddard, 
John L. Hoyle, Julius Wildman, John Seaver; 1817, C. Dodge, John 
W. Brown, Elisha H. Lathrop, Davis Huntley, Hugh Wallis, Noah 
Winslow; 1818, Elijah Lee, Philo Farnham, Lemuel Stickney, Adna 
Tiffany, Silas Tiffany; 1819, James Booth, Justus Fales, L. H. Colby, 
Samuel Harroun, Oliver Harper, Zebulon Jones, Stephen King, Anson 
Lathrop, Caroline Lathrop, William Shumway, John W. Willett, Ben- 
jamin Sloan. 

In Elba the following located during this period: Chester Scott 
about 1817; Nathaniel Ford and Thomas Griffin, 1820; prior to 1822, 
Washington Gardner, James Fuller, John Wilson, Elisha Buck, Robert 
Irwin, Abraham Sleeper, James Harris, Richard Shotwell, Isaac Shot- 
well, Smith Lane, Wanton Aldrich, Israel Hoag, Miles Britton ; about 
1819, Samuel Laing; and the following, the years of whose coming are 
unknown, though all were residing in the town in 1820; Lemuel Foster, 
Mason Turner, George Mills, Charles Woodworth, John Underbill, 
Erastus Wolcott, Isaac Benedict, Jeremiah Wilford, Mark Turner, 
Dudley Sawyer, Isaac Higley, Eleazur D. Davis, Ichabod Hinckley 

FROM 1812 TO 1841. 151 

Samuel White, Nehemiah Ingersoll, Martin Wilson, Joseph Jones, 

Abraham Gifford, Joseph Walter. 

Few settlements were made in Oakfield during these years. Aaron 

Brown came from Chili in 1815, John Underhill and his son, Alfred 

Underhill, came at the same time. Isaac Stringham and Reuben Norton 

came about 1818. David C. Reed came in 1825. 

Among those who removed to Pavilion were the following : 

1813, Aaron Tufts, Ezra Coe, Harry Coe, Isaac Crocker, Francis 

Ruby; 1814, J. E. Holcomb, Leonard Anson, Elijah Cheney, John 

Hendee, Elijah Olmsted, W. C. Smead, Marshall Smead, Jesse Snow; 

1815, T. Butler, Naomi Davis, Rufus Glass, William Glass, Seth Miles, 
Darius Howe, James Nobles, John Reed, Elijah Rogers, Seth Smith, 
James Tompkins, Daniel Ward, Washington Weld, Samuel Webb ; 

1816, Chester Hannum, Horace Hannum, Eli Carr, Joel Crofoot, Fran- 
cis Royce, Amos Halbert, Bial Lathrop, Daniel Knowlton; 1817, 
Horace Bates, Erastus Bailey; 1818, Chauncey Tillotson, John Ward; 
1819, Oswald Bond, Carlton Cooley, Albert Hill, Charles Hill; 1820, 
William Gilmore, George Tubbs; 1822, Jason Duguid, Asa Higgins; 
1823, Dr. Warren Fay; 1834, John Doty; 1825, Horace S. Coe, George 
Murray, Simeon Dutton, Alexander Boyd; 1826, Edward Lauderdale; 
-1827, Ira Townsend. 

The number of settlements in Pembroke during this period was lim- 
ited. Calvin Cummings came in 1816, Reuben Millett in 1827, Rev. 
Hugh Wallace in 1816. Other early settlers, the dates of whose arriv- 
als are not known, included Benjamin Wells, Daniel McCracken, George 
Porter, Henry Porter, Selah Kidder, George Dennison, Burnham Barber. 

The records show the names of the following settlers in the town of 
Stafford : 

1813, Merritt King; 1814, Peter Stage; 1815, Eden Foster, Noble 
Daniels; 1816, Adget Lathrop, David McCracken; 1817, Abel Cross; 
1818, Chester Scott; 1819, Joel Philleo, B. Clark, J. J. Reynolds, John 
S. Blair; 1821, B. Bristol. Beside these the following located on the 
Craigie tract: 

1815, J. Bushnell, D. Biddlecome; 1817, C. Sweetland; 1820, E. 
Northrup; 1821, D. Laid; 1823, E. Wright; 1824, S. Plant; 1827, E. 
W. Cobb. Other early inhabitants included families named Lent, 
Bannister, Coon, Snow, Tomlinson, Tanner, Pratt, Lewis, Beckley, 
Reynolds, Terry, Drury, Hubbard, Bangs, Kelsey, Ellis, Danolds, 
Kendall, Judd, Blish, Stutterd, Hinsdale, Kellogg, Smith and Randall. 


The newcomers were for the most part men in rugged health, vig- 
orous intellects, indomitable courage and possessed of the true spirit of 
enterprise. No prospects of hardships daunted them. Whatever prob- 
lem confronted them, they uniformly rose superior to the occasion. 
By reason of their efforts the country was rapidly developed. New 
mills, new shops, foundries, stores and other forms of industry dotted 
the country here and there, replacing the half dead community with 
signs of life and activity on all sides. They built school houses and 
founded churches. Obstacles, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, 
were finally overcome by the sturdy and determined inhabitants, and 
Genesee county took on a new lease of life. 

The industrial development during the period between the close of 
the war of 1812 and the beginning of the war of the Rebellion — four 
years less than half a century — was gradual, but steady and, best of all, 
of the most substantial and beneficent character. Batavia experienced 
greater results than any other section of the country.' Second to Ba- 
tavia came Le Roy. 

The development of the village of Le Roy fortunately had not ceased 
during the war, though of necessity the inhabitants suffered greatly. 
Even while the war was in progress, in 1812, J. & A. Nobles built a 
carding factory in the village. Another was in operation during and 
after the war by a man named Stewart. Brick yards were conducted 
by Martin O. Coe and Uni Hurlburt. There were several distilleries 
— for, while corn would not pay for its transportation, the whiskey 
which could be made from it would. Thomas Tufts was the first to 
open a distillery. Elisha Stanley soon after built one on Fort Hill. 
Others were conducted by William Morgan, J. & M. Colton, J. H. Lent, 
Dickey, Lampson, Merry and Foot. In 1823 Joseph Annin built the 
largest distilling plant in Western New York at that time, manufactur- 
ing proof spirits for the eastern trade. 

In 1817 Elijah Warner began the manufacture of potash, which he 
continued until 1823. Thaddeus Joy and Mr. Sherman also engaged in 
the same business soon after Mr. Warner opened his ashery. In 1815 
or 1816 an oil mill was started by Martin O. Coe. This afterwards be- 
came successively the property of L. C. Morgan, Foreman, Starr & 
Co., I. M. Foreman, and Mr. Rogers. In 1820 James Ballard began 
the manufacture of hats, which he continued for about a dozen years. 

' An account of the industrial, commercial, educational, religious and social development of 
this town appears in the chapter devoted to the history of Batavia, 

FROM 1812 TO 1841. 153 

About the same time A. E. Hutchins and D. Seavey operated a small 
chair factory. 

In 1831 John Tomlinson built a large grist and flour mill two miles 
southwest of Le Roy village, on the Oatka. Several years after a mill 
was operated at the same point by Thomas Tufts. In 1833 Jacob Le 
Roy built a flouring mill about a mile north of the village. In 1869 
this property was sold to W. F. Jones, who made wrapping paper there 
until 1887, when it was destroyed by fire. An early tannery, located 
on the flats below Tomlinson's mill, was conducted by D. & W. Graves. 
Samuel Clifford began the operation of a carding mill in 1833. Thomas 
Ladd opened a wagon shop in 1818, working there at his trade for about 
forty years. In 1854 his son, M. A. Ladd, constructed a two-story 
stone building, in which he continued the business established by his 

Le Roy was well supplied with taverns in these early days. In 1819 
Major James Ganson, eldest son of Captain John Ganson, sr., built the 
Eagle hotel on Main street, on the site of the original Eagle tavern, 
which had been previously conducted by "Auntie" Wemple. He also 
built a tavern on the corner of Main and North streets, which he after- 
ward sold to Mr. Hosmer of Avon. The Globe and Eagle tavern, built 
in 1816, was first conducted by Rufus Robertson. Mr. Walbridge suc- 
ceeded to the management in 1837, and after him Elisha Stanley, J. H. 
Stanley, Lyman Ballard, A. G. Collins and others were proprietors. 
John Lent also had a tavern on the hill. 

The malting industry was inaugurated at Le Roy at an early day, 
but there is in existence no authentic record regarding it. The 
flouring mill built by Jacob Le Roy, which has been referred to, was 
sold by him, upon his removal to New York, to Joshua Lathrop. After 
various changes the property came into possession of C. F. Prentice 
and J. D. Cameron in 1866. 

So great had been the development of Le Roy, and so progressive 
was the spirit of its inhabitants, that in 1834 it was decided to ask the 
Legislature to grant it a charter. This was done on May 5, 1834. By 
this act incorporating the village, the corporation limits were defined as 

All that part of the town of Le Roy, in the county of Genesee, bounded as follows, 
to wit; Beginning at a point in the centre of the Niagara road, where a road run- 
ning north by Israel Rathbun's west line intersects the Niagara road; thence along 
said north road so far that a line running west drawn parallel with the Niagara road 


shall intersect the triangular road at George W. Blodgett's north line ; thence west 
on said line to a line running south, drawn parallel to the west side of John Lent's 
farm ; thence south on said line so far as to intersect a line running east parallel to 
the Niagara road, by the south side of the widow Munn's land; thence east on said 
line so far as to intersect a line running north, to the place of beginning; thence 
north to the place of beginning. 

The charter further provided as follows: 

The first annual meeting . . . shall be holden on the first Monday in June 
next, at two o'clock in the afternoon, at the house now kept by Theodore Dwight. 

At this election Joshua Lathrop, John Lent, Rufus Robertson, Theo- 
dore Dwig-ht and Dennis Blakely were chosen trustees. S. M. Gates 
was elected clerk and Heman J. Redfield treasurer. 

With the rapid increase in the business of various kinds transacted in 
Le Roy came the necessity of better banking facilities, and the mer- 
chants and manufacturers of the town decided, in 1838, to establish a 
bank in that village. This institution was organized as the Genesee 
County Bank December 8, 1838, with these directors: Israel Rathbun, 
Miles P. Lampson, John Lent, Elisha Stanley, jr., Samuel Skinner, 
Isaac N. Stage, Alfred Wilcox, Marshall Smead, Lucius Parks, Noah 
Starr, James C. Ferris, Warren Fay and John B. Skinner. The first 
officers of the bank were: Israel Rathbun, president; John Lent, vice- 
president; Miles P. Lampson, cashier; Samuel Skinner, attorney. From 
the date of its incorporation to the present time there has been no break 
in the operation of the bank, though it has been reorganized and re- 
named on several occasions. In 1865 it was succeeded by the First 
National Bank of Le Roy, with these directors : Miles P. Lampson, 
William Lampson, Miles P. Lampson, jr., Benjamin F. Ballard, Ran- 
dolph Ballard and Miles F. Bixby, who were also its first shareholders. 
The capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars was increased June 
5, 1865, to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Miles P. Lampson 
was the first president, William Lampson the first vice-president, and 
Benjamin F. Ballard the first cashier. Miles P. Lampson died March 
37, 1869, having served continuously as an officer of the bank from the 
date of its organization. 

January 3, 1886, the National Bank of Le Roy was authorized to be- 
gin business with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, suc- 
ceeding to the business of the First National Bank. Of this bank the 
first directors were William Lampson, Miles P. Lampson, jr., Ran- 
dolph Ballard, John Maloney and Butler Ward, who were also the only 

LE ROY, 1812—1841. 155 

shareholders. The National Bank of Le Roy went out of existence 
July 1, 1889, and upon the same day its successor, the Bank of Le Roy, 
a State institution, which still transacts business under that name, be- 
gan its career. Amid all these changes the original bank and its suc- 
cessors have always occupied the old building on the northeast corner of 
Main and Bank streets. Miles P. Lampson, jr., died December 14, 
1896; William Lampson died February 14, 1897, and Butler Ward, the 
present chief officer of the bank, assumed the duties of his position 
February 23, 1897. 

In the existing records of the bank there is a hiatus, from August, 
1855, to the date of the organization of the First National Bank in 
1865. The records show the following officers of the Genesee County 
Bank from 1838 to 1855: 

Presidents.— 1838-40, Israel Rathbun ; 1841-44, John Lent ; 1845-47, 

Marshall S mead; 1848-49, John Lent; 1850 , Miles P. Lampson. (It 

is known, however, that Mr. Lampson remained president as long as 
the bank existed). 

Vice-presidents.— 1838-40, John "Lent; 1841-43, Marshall Smead ; 
1843, Rufus H. Smith; 1844-47, James C. Ferris; 1848-50, Elisha 
Stanley; 1851 , John Lent. 

Cashiers. — 1838-49, Miles P. Lampson; 1850-51, H. U. Howard; 

1852 , S. T.Howard. (Mr. Howard served as cashier as late as 1860, 

and perhaps later). 

The officers of the First National Bank of Le Roy were as follows: 

Presidents. — 1865-68, Miles P. Lampson; 1869-85, William Lampson. 

Vice-presidents. — 1865-68, William Lampson; 1869-71, Charles Mor- 
gan; 1772-77, Elisha Stanley; 1878-82, Randolph Ballard; 1883-85, 
Miles P. Lampson, jr. 

Cashiers.— 1865-72, Benjamin F. Ballard; June, 1872, to 1885, But- 
ler Ward. 

Assistant Cashiers. — 1868, Miles P. Lampson, jr. ; 1884-85, Robert 
L. Taft. 

During its brief career the National Bank of Le Roy had these offi- 
cers, without change : 

President, William Lampson ; vice-president. Miles P. Lampson, jr. ; 
cashier, Butler Ward ; assistant cashier, William C. Donnan. 

The Bank of Le Roy has had the following officers: 

Presidents.— 1889-97, William Lampson; February 23, 1897, to the 
present time, Butler Ward. 


Vice-presidents.— 1889-96, Miles P. Lampson; 1897-98, John Ma- 

Cashiers.— 1889-97, Butler Ward; 1897-98, William C. Donnan. 

Assistant Cashiers.— 1889-96, William C. Donnan; 1897-98, Harold 
B. Ward. 

Le Roy's citizens at an early date adopted measures for protection 
against the ravages of fire. For many years the custom of keeping fire 
buckets distributed conveniently about the village was in vogue, and 
many an incipient blaze was thereby quenched before it could make 
any considerable headway. In 1834 the village authorities purchased a 
hand engine operated by two hand cranks. A few years later a small 
brake engine was purchased for the use of the fire company. February 
8, 1851, a regular fire department was organized. In the same year 
the Le Roy Firemen's Benevolent Association was chartered, its mem- 
bership being limited to active members of the fire department. 

Among the enterprises founded in Stafford during these years of 
commercial and manufacturing development were the Roanoke roller 
mills, which were built in 1835 by the firm of Lay, Ganson & Co. They 
were located on the Oatka. In 1887 they became the property of H. C. 
Duguid & Son. 

In 1836 Holland Earl built a flour and grist mill on Tonawanda creek 
at North Pembroke, which he operated for many years. In later years 
the mills became known as the Excelsior flouring mills. 

In 1817 or 1818 Erastus Bailey and Bial Lathrop built a grist mill on 
the site which afterward became generally known as Bailey's Mills. A 
new dam was built in 1828. In 1835 the property was sold to Mr. Bos- 
ley, in 1840 to D. W. Olmsted, and in 1843 to Erastus Bailey, the orig- 
inal part owner, who built a stone mill five years later. 

In 1840 S. Pierce began the operation of a woolen factory at Stafford 
which had been built several years before by a man named Northrup. 
In 1845 it became the property of Knowlton, Rich & Co., and in 1853 
was owned by Shaffer & Hardy. It was destroyed by fire in the latter 

While devoting the main part of their energies to the development 
of the resources of the county, the establishment of various commercial 
institutions and manufacturing industries, etc., the inhabitants of Gen- 
esee county were not unmindful of the education of the youth ' in their 
charge or the fostering and healthful development of the spirit of piety. 

^ See Chapter on Education in Genesee County. 

CHURCHES, 1812—1841. 157 

The first church to be organized during the period covered by this 
chapter was St. James Protestant Episcopal church of Batavia.' This 
society was formally organized at a meeting held in the court house on 
June 6, 1815. 

In the same year a stone house of worship was built by the Baptist 
congregation in Stafford, nearly half a mile west of the East Transit 
Line on the road to Batavia. The earliest services of this denomination 
in Stafford were conducted in 1810 by the Rev. William Green, who 
preached at the house of Colonel Rumsey. The first regular pastor of 
this church was the Rev. William Lampson. In 1816 a Christian 
church was organized by the Rev. Joseph Badger, and was at once 
consolidated with the Universalist society there. The Rev. H. Thomp- 
son was the first pastor, and the house of worship was built in 1833. In 
1870 the church became purely Christian. Another society of the same 
denomination built a church in the eastern part of the town in 1836 ; but 
in 1867 the property was sold and the society ceased to exist. In 1821 a 
Congregational church was organized, under the charge of the Presby- 
tery. For the first four years of its career the Rev. Mr. Huxley acted 
as pastor. Subsequently a Congregational and Presbyterian union 
church was formed, but dissatisfaction arose over the occupancy of the 
building and disorganization resulted. 

In 1816 Elder Leonard Anson established the first Baptist church in 
Pavilion, with fourteen members. For several years meetings were 
held at various places in the neighborhood, and it was not until 1834 
that the society erected a house of worship for its use. The cemetery 
adjoining this church is one of the oldest in the county, the first inter- 
ment therein, that of Peter Crosman, having been made in 1812. 

Four new churches were formed in the county in 1817. Of these the 
First Presbyterian church of Pembroke was organized under the direc- 
tion of the Rev. Hugh Wallis, who acted for several years as general 
missionary for the Presbyterian church on the Holland Purchase. This 
church, small in numbers at first, experienced a steady and substantial 
growth. The Rev. F. B. Reed served as stated supply in 1825. The 
Rev. L. B. Sullivan became pastor in 1828, and three years later the 
first house of worship, a frame building with a seating capacity of one 
hundred, was erected. 

St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal church of Le Roy was also organized 

' A more complete history of the various religious organizations in Batavia will be found in 
the chapter devoted to " The Village of Batavia." 


in 1817, under the direction of Rev. Samuel Johnson. As early as 1803 
or 1804 Episcopal services had been held in Le Roy by the Rev. Da- 
venport Phelps, a missionary for Western New York. The number of 
adherents of this denomination continued to increase until it was finally 
deemed advisable to establish a parish. The first officers, chosen in 
1817, were: Wardens, Timothy Hatch, Hugh Murphy; vestrymen, 
Abel Noyes, Solomon Root, George A. Tiffany, Ezra Piatt, Thaddeus 
Stanley, Elisha Stanley, Manly Colton and Graham Newell. In 1836, 
during the rectorship of the Rev. Seth W. Beardsley, a stone church 
was erected on the site of the present edifice on Church street, on land 
donated for the purpose by Jacob Le Roy, who also gave one thousand 
dollars toward defraying the expense of constructing the building. 
The church was consecrated August 7, 1827, by Bishop Hobart. This 
house of worship served the parish until 1869, when it was torn down 
to make way for a new church, the corner stone of which was laid April 
24, 1869, under the pastorate of the Rev. J. H. Waterbury. The edi- 
fice was formally opened for worship December 32, 1870, but was not 
consecrated until November 23, 1876, when the Rt. Rev. Arthur Cleve- 
land Coxe, bishop of Western New York, performed that ceremony. 
The Rev. Dr. T. M. Bishop was serving as rector at the time of the 
consecration. The rectors of the parish who succeeded the Rev. Mr. 
Beardsley have been: 1830, J. M. Rogers; 1831, Dr. H. F. Cummings; 
1833, Dr. .Kendrick Metcalf; 1841, George D. Gillespie; 1846, T. D. 
Chipman; 1850, George H. McKnight; 1856, R. J. Parvin; 1862, A. M. 
Wylie; 1864, A. H, Gesner; 1868, J. H. Waterbury; since which time 
the parish has been served successively by Revs. T. M. Bishop, D. D., 
L. D. Ferguson, J. H. Weibel, Arthur W. Sloan and Pierre Cushing, the 
present rector. 

The Stafford Christian church, located at Morganville, was organized 
October 30, 1817, by the Rev. Joseph Badger and Levi Hathaway, with 
eleven members. The house of worship was built some time prior to 
1835. The first pastor was the Rev. Hubbard Thompson. Succeeding 
him the following have served the society: 1820, Jeremiah Gates; 1839, 
Daniel Call; 1831, Joseph Badger; 1832, Allen Crocker; 1833, Thomas 
Fiske; 1835, David Millard; 1836, Ebenezer Adams; 1842-45, R. A. 
Burgess and A. C. Parker; 1845, Joseph Weeks; 1861, J. Burlingame; 
1864, I C. Tryon; 1868, William G. Wade; 1871, J. Worden; 1873, I. 
C. Tryon; 1876, P. R. Sellon; 1881, William Case; 1887, L C. Tryon; 
1888, J. B. Clark; 1890, J. H. Carr; 1893, A. J. Wayman; 1895, Alden 
Allen, the present pastor. 

CHURCHES, 1812—1841. 159 

The Congregational church of Bethany, located at East Bethany, was 
founded June 17, 1817, by John Bliss, a missionary from Connecticut. 
Its original membership numbered eleven. For several years this 
church was without a regular pastor. The first to serve in that capacity 
was the Rev. Reuben Hard, who located there in 1823. The following 
year a brick house of worship, costing three thousand dollars, was 
erected; and in the same year the society abandoned the Congregational 
form of government and united with the Presbytery of Genesee, since 
which it has remained a member of the Presbyterian denomination. 

Two churches were organized in 1818 — the First Baptist church of 
Le Roy, and the First Congregational church of Byron. 

The first Baptist service held in Le Roy was when Elder Peck, a 
missionary of that church, visited the settlement in 1806 and preached 
in the school house there. A few months later Elder Bennett, another 
Baptist preacher, delivered a sermon in the same place. In 1810 Hinds 
Chamberlain's barn was opened as a temporary house of worship, and 
Elder Witherell preached a sermon therein. After that several sermons 
were delivered by the Rev. Donald Mann, the pastor at Caledonia, and 
Elder Leonard Anson. The number of adherents of this faith contin- 
ued to increase, and on June 35, 1818, the First Baptist church was for- 
mally organized at the school house near Oliver Langworthy's, Rev. 
E. Vining acting as moderator and Henry Slayton as clerk. Twenty- 
six persons received the right hand of fellowship. Elder Ames Lamp- 
son was selected for the first pastor, and Hinds Chamberlain as deacon. 
In 1823 the society began the erection of the present church edifice on 
the eastern part of Main street, which was completed in 1829. Six 
years later it was removed to Church street, on land purchased of Joshua 
Lathrop. The church was incorporated as " The First Baptist Society 
of Le Roy" in May, 1841, with Austin Phelps as president of the board 
of trustees and P. M. Smith as clerk. In 1858 a parsonage costing 
nearly two thousand dollars was built on Wolcott street ; but this was 
afterward exchanged for a residence on Church street, which was rebuilt 
in 1881. Those who have acted as pastors of this church, in the order 
of their service, are Amos' Lampson, E. M. Spencer, David Morris, 
John Minor, Barach Beckvvith, Ely Stone, A. Willey, John Miller, W. 
I. Cram, Ichabod Clark, William Hutchinson, H. Daniels, A. C. Bar- 
rell, D. Moore, O. A. F. Spinning, I. Clark, W. F. Basten, E. P. Brig- 
ham, D. D. Reed, A. L. Wilkinson, C. M. Rupe, O. C. Kirkham, and 
D. L. Martin, who became pastor September 1, 1881. In 1895 the so- 


ciety purchased the F. C. Lathrop property on East Main street, which 
will be held as a site for a future new house of worship. 

The First Congregational church of Byron was organized November 
20, 1818, at the house of John Thompson of Batavia, by the Rev. Her- 
man Halsey, a minister sent out by the New York Evangelical Society 
of Young Men. The original members numbered eleven. In 1819 the 
place of worship was moved to a brick school house about one and one- 
half miles south of Byron Centre. In 1823 it was fixed at Byron. In 
1837 the First Congregational Society of Byron was chartered accord- 
ing to law. The society met in various places in Byron Centre until 
1830 when a church edifice was erected and dedicated. In 1834 the so- 
ciety united with the Genesee Con association of the Congregational 
Church, and transferred its relation to the care of the Genesee Presby- 
tery in 1831. In 1845 it was changed to the Presbyterian form of gov- 
ernment, under the pastorate of Rev. John B. Preston. In 1866 the 
church edifice was extensively repaired at an expense of about $3,300. 
In 1893 a beautiful new parsonage was erected, a gift of the Boynton 
estate. In 1896 the floor of the auditorium was raised and a suite of 
rooms added below. The following ministers have served the church, 
now known as the Byron Presbyterian church : Revs. Herman Halsey, 
1818; William P. Kendrick, 1826; Lot B. Sullivan, 1838; Lewis Cheese- 
man, 1830; Herbert A. Reed, 1831; B. B. Gray, 1833; A. Sedgwick, 
1837; Eber Childs, 1839; Francis Danforth, 1843; John B. Preston, 
1844; J. Partington, 1850; A. O. Wightman, 1855; R. H. Dexter, 1856; 
N. M. Clute, 1857; John M. Ballou, 1863; T. M. Hodgman, 1866; Ed- 
win Allen, 1873; J. F. McLaury, 1885; J. W. Stitt, 1890. 

St. John's Methodist Episcopal church of Batavia' was organized in 
1819, and became connected with the " New Amsterdam Circuit and 
Genesee District," but no house of worship was erected until 1823-34. 

The three churches organized in the year 1820 were the First Bap- 
tist of Bethany, the Freewill Baptist of Byron and the Friends' Society 
of Elba, now defunct. The first of these, the First Baptist church of 
Bethany, was, founded May 7 of that year with a membership of 
twenty-six. In 1840 it reported a membership of one hundred and 
forty, but owing to great changes in the population of the town it has 
since decreased in members. The original house of worship, built in 
1826, is still standing. Those who have served as pastors are: 1820-21, 
John Blain; 1822-35, John Mudge; 1826-28, Bartemus Brayman; 1829- 

' A full history of this society will be found in the chapter relating to the village of Batavia. 

CHURCHES, 1812—1841. 161 

31, William Gildersleve; 1832-33, Daniel Peck; 1835-36, William 
Smith; 1836-40, H. R. Stimpson; 1841-42, Henry Shute; 1842-43, R. 
C. Palmer; 1844-45, Bela Palmer; 1846-47, Hobart Leavenworth; 1847- 
49, L. W. Olney; 1850-53, A, M. Starkweather; 1853-55, James Mal- 
lory; 1856-58, William Buxton; 1860-64, Smith Hulse; 1864-68, Jesse 
Elliot; 1869-71, F. B. Mace; 1873-74, T. A. Edwards; 1874-76, C. 
Townsen; 1876-98, J. M. Scarff. 

The Freewill Baptist 'church of Byron, located at North Byron, was 
organized in 1820 by the Revs. Nathaniel Brown and Harmon Jenkins. 
The first house of worship was erected in 1833. A Baptist church was 
established in Byron as early as 1810, but it ceased to exist many years 
ago. The First M. E. church of that town, founded about 1822, has 
also been extinct many years. 

The Friends' Society organized in Elba in 1820 originally consisted 
of forty-eight heads of families in that town, besides several others from 
adjoining towns. Among the leading members at the foundation were 
Jonathan Ramsdale, Elijah Pond, Abraham Giflford, Ira Lapham, Will- 
iam Cromwell and Joseph Jones. The first house of worship, a log 
structure erected in 1820, was replaced in 1838 by a stone church. The 
society has always been in a prosperous condition. Rev. James D. 
Wood is the present pastor. 

The First Presbyterian church of Elba was organized as a Congrega- 
tional society with sixteen members October 8, 1822. It remained 
Congregational in form, although for a part of that time under the care 
of the Presbytery, until November 3, 1866, when it became a duly or- 
ganized Presbyterian church. The Rev. Solomon Hibbard was the 
first pastor of the church. The first church, erected in 1822, of wood, 
was supplanted in 1875 by a commodious structure costing seven thou- 
sand dollars. Revs. E. H. Stratton, R. Whiting and G. S. Corwin were 
early pastors. The present pastor is the Rev. Farley Porter. 

The Second Baptist church of Elba was formed September 13, 1822, 
with sixteen members. Two years later a house of worship was erected. 
The Rev. John Miner acted as the first pastor of the society. The first 
church was destroyed by fire in 1837, and not rebuilt until 1849-1850. 

St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal church of Stafford dates from the 
year 1823. As early as February 16 of that year Lucius Smith, Rich- 
ard Smith and E. Mix ' of Batavia organized a church under that 
name." In February, 1833, a parish was regularly organized at the 

^ Probably Ebenezer Mix. ^ No records of this early church are in existence. 



village of Stafford and given the name of Trinity parish. The Rev. 
John P. Robinson was the first rector in charge. The records of the 
church in the year following show that there were forty communicants. 
For a few years services were held in the old union stone church. In 
1841 the society began the erection of an edifice for its own use, and 
this was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Delancey in 1842 under 
the name of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church. The Rev. George 

D. Gillespie, afterwards bishop of Western Michigan, was the first rec- 
tor, and John Warren, sr., and Richard Warren were the first wardens. 
Those who have served as pastors are: Stephen C. Millet, John P. 
Calhoun, Milton Ward, Philemon E. Coe, Richard Radley, Rev. Mr. 
Edson, E. R. Armstrong. 

The Presbyterian church of North Bergen was organized November 
18, 1833, in the house of Jonah Guthrie, by the Rev. A. Darwin, Josiah 
Pierson, John T. Bliss and David Fancher. It was first known as the 
Congregational church of Bergen, Byron and Clarendon, and had 
twenty-one members when organized. April 11, 1827, it united with 
the Rochester Presbytery, and D. Fancher, Milton Bird, Thomas Tem- 
pleton and Daniel Robinson were chosen elders. Milton Bird was the 
first to be ordained deacon. The Rev. N. Clapp, the first pastor, was 
ordained and installed February 25, 1827. April 2, 1829, the society 
was named after the post-office of that time — -Lyme — but in 1840, when 
the name of the post-office was changed to North Bergen, the name of 
the church was likewise changed. In 1833 a commodious frame edifice 
was constructed. This has been remodeled several times. In 1892 .a 
parsonage was built. The following have served as pastors of the soci- 
ety, in the order given: Rev. Mr. Clapp, ordained and installed Febru- 
ary 5, 1829; Revs. Colton Meade, Isaac Bliss, John Walker, Lemuel 
Clark, L. Cheeseman, Bela Fancher, Hiram Gregg, N. M. Clute, 
Albert Bigelow, L. W. Billington, O. H. Barnard, L. W. Billington, 

E. W. Brown, C. W. Remington, John H. Perkins, Shubal Carver, 
L. C. Butler, Mr. Boon, A. R. Vosburg, and Rev. J. C. Long, the pres- 
ent pastor. 

The Freewill Baptist church of Alabama was organized in 1824 
through the instrumentality of Elder Samuel Whitcomb, who was not 
only its first pastor, serving for many years, but also for a long period 
the only preacher in the town of Alabama. 

A Baptist mission church was organized on the Tonawanda Indian 
Reservation in 1825 and placed in charge of the Rev. Mr. Bingham. 

CHURCHES, 1813—1841. 163 

Several years later the society built a brick church, which is still in use. 
The membership has never been very large. 

In 1826 Zion Protestant Episcopal church of Bethany was founded. 
The corner-stone of the house of worship was laid July 4 of that year 
under the direction of the Masonic fraternity, on which occasion an 
oration was delivered by William Mitchell, afterwards first judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas. The early records of this church are not in 

The First Congregational church of Darien, which ceased to exist in 
1860, was organized May 9, 1823, at Darien Centre, with the Rev. 
Hugh Wallace as pastor and twelve members. A wooden church was 
built in 1839. Among those who served as pastors were the Revs. T. 
Baldwin and L. A. Skinner. 

The Free Baptist church of Wheatfield, in the town of Alabama,' 
was organized in 1826 and reorganized in 1837. Joseph Holmes and 
Holland Fuller were the first deacons. The present church building 
was built in 1850. The pastors of the church, in the order of their 
service, have been: Revs. H. Gilman, H. Blackmer, Horace Perry, 

E. P. Talman, R. Martin, Smith, L. Johnson, W. Peck, C. H. 

Hoag, S. R. Evans. Mr. Evans, the last resident pastor, left his charge 
in 1890. 

A society known as the Batavia and Pembroke Baptist church was 
established at East Pembroke February 18, 1826, by Daniel McCracken, 
Benjamin Wells, Chauncey Wolcott, William Upton, Mary A. Mc- 
Cracken, Lydia Wolcott and Sally Harrington. The Rev. Amos 
Lampson was chosen as the first pastor. The first church, a frame 
building built in 1840, was superseded in 1867 by a fine brick edifice 
costing seven thousand dollars. 

The Alexander M. E. church was organized in 1827. The earlier 
records are not in existence. The church now standing is the first one 
built by the society. The various pastors since 1851, as far as shown 
by the records, have been: 1851, M. Scott; 1853, E. R. Keyes; 1855-57, 
M. W. Riply; 1861, D. B. Worthington ; 1862-63, J. N, Simpkins; 1864, 
R. D. Miller; 1865, P. Woodworth; 1866, E. W. Hill; 1867, G. De La 
Matyr; 1868, M. W. Riply, 1870-71, T. E. Bell; 1872, F. W. Conable; 
1873-74, T. W. Chandler; 1875, R. L. Waite; 1876, H. J. Owens, 
R. L. Waite, J. McEwen; 1878, T. H. Perkins and R. L. Waite; 1879- 
80, T. H. Perkins; 1882-84, C. S. Daly; 1885, J. McEwen; 1887-88, W. 
L. Moore; 1889, F. E. King; 1890-94, H. A. Slingerland; 1895, A. B. 
Taylor; 1896, William Magovern; 1897-98, A. H. Mason, 


The Methodist Episcopal church of Le Roy was not organized until 
September, 1828, though preaching service had been held there for 
several years and a class had been organized as early as 1823, composed 
of Alfred Morehouse and his wife, Orange Scott and his wife, Asenath 
Judd, John Hay, Julia Herrick, I. Herrick and his wife, Alanson Stan- 
ley, Mrs. Stanley and Henry Goodenow. The Rev. Micah Seager was 
the first regular pastor of the society. For a year services were held 
every two weeks in the school house east of the village. In 1829 a 
small brick church was built at a cost of $950 and dedicated by Bishop 
Roberts. In 1884 this church was ruined by fire, and plans for a new 
building were at once made. The corner-stone of the handsome new 
edifice on Trigon Park, East Main street, was laid May 20, 1885, by the 
Rev. J. E. Bills, D. D., presiding elder of the Genesee district of the 
Genesee conference, and the structure was dedicated September 17, 
1886. It is of grey sandstone and cost $26,000. Those who have 
served as pastors of this church, and the years of their appointment, 
are: 1823, Micah Seager; 1824, J. Hustes; 1825, C. V. Adgate; 1827, 
W. Hoag;1829, S. Madison; 1830, R. Parker; 1831, Micah Seager; 
1832, S. Madison; 1833, R. L. Waite; 1834, L. B. Castle; 1835, I. 
Chamberlyne; 1836, G. Osband; 1837-38, J. Latimer; 1839-40, P. E. 
Brown; 1841, D. D. Buck; 1842, M. Seager; 1843, P. Woodworth; 
1844-45, A. Steele; 1846-47, C. C. Houghton; 1848-49, R. L. Waite; 
1850, H. R. Smith; 1851-52, J. M. Fuller; 1853-54, A. P. Ripley; 
1855, S. C. Clark; 1856-57, J. McEwen; 1858, G. De La Matyr; 1859- 
60, P. R. Stover; 1861-62, E. A. Rice; 1863, C. Shelling; 1864-66, K. 
D. Nettleton; 1867-69, P. R. Stover; 1870-71, W. S. Tuttle; 1872, J. 
Hartwell; 1873, J. Morrow; 1874-75, J. B. Wentworth; 1876, R. F. 
Kay; 1877-78, R C. Brownlee; 1879, K. P. Jervis; 1880-82, M. C. 
Dean; 1883-85, G. H. Dryer; 1886-89, W. C. Wilbor; 1889-90, I. M. 
Dalby; 1891-92, J. A. Smith; 1893-98, G. M. Harris; from October 
1898, Frederick S. Parkhurst, Ph. D. 

The Second Congregational church of Le Roy and Bergen, now 
known as the " Presbyterian Society of Stone Church," is the offshoot of 
the First Congregational church of Bergen, and was founded March 18, 
1828, with S. Dibble and J. Ward as deacons and Russell Pierson, 
David Byam and Luther C. Pierson as assistants. The original " Stone 
church '' was begun September 24, 1828. In 1864 a frame edifice was 
built upon the site of the first church and was dedicated the following 
year. October 28, 1828, the Rev. Elisha Mason became the first pas- 

CHURCHES, 1813—1811. 165 

tor of the society. The society changed from the Congregational to the 
Presbyterian form of government in 1882. 

The Methodist society was organized in Bethany in 1830 by Dr. 
Jonathan K. Barlow, the pioneer physician in that town, but its ex- 
istence was brief. A Bethany Union church was formed in 1838 and a 
second M. E. society in 1832, but all are now extinct. 

The second Presbyterian church in Bethany was organized October 
30, 1829, by Messrs. Whiting, Bliss, Watts and a few other persons. 
The first pastor was the Rev. W. Whiting. In 1839 the society erected 
a house of worship, which since that time has been repaired several 

The Universalist church of Le Roy was organized in 1831, though 
services had been held there by preachers of that denomination as early 
as 1812. Among the early ministers after the formation of the society 
were Tomlinson, Knapp, Kelsey, Peck, Brayton, and others. The so- 
ciety held its meetings in the old "Round House." In 1858 the Rev. 
Charles Cravens was chosen pastor, and the society was reorganized. 
The " Round House " was purchased in 1859 and razed to the ground. 
In its place was erected the present church edifice, costing at that time 
about $8,000. After a severe and protracted struggle the society paid 
for the building, and it remains to this day unincumbered. Mr. Cra- 
vens, after a long and successful pastorate, retired, and was followed 
by Rev. F. M. Hicks. He was succeeded by the Revs. Charles Datton, 
G. W. Powell, E. W. Fuller, M. L. Hewitt, H. B. Howell, M. D. 
Shumway, William Knott, C. L. Haskell, J. A. Copeland and E. L. 
Conklin, in the order named. 

The First Methodist Episcopal church of Bergen was organized April 
5, 1831. The records of the society show that Rev. Reeder Smith 
founded asociety prior to this date, which was called the " First Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal church of Bergen." In 1838 an edifice 
costing $1,000 was erected. In 1853 the society removed to the present 
site, purchased the former edifice, and beautified and enlarged it at a 
cost of over $3,000. In 1873 the society was a part of the Churchville 
circuit, but under the labors of Rev. T. E. Bell, the membership in 
that year swelled to one hundred and eighteen, and sixteen probation- 
ers, and a separate existence was created. In 1876 a parsonage was 
erected at a cost of $1,200, and August 3, 1883, the present elegant 
brick edifice, built in Gothic style, was dedicated, with Rev. J. B. 
Countryman, pastor. In 1898 a chapel was built at a cost of $1,200. 


The records show the following to have served as pastors. The list is 
not complete, but no further data is in existence. 1831, Reeder Smith ; 
1832-33, Benajah Williams and Preston R. Parker; 1836, G. Taylor 
and Salem Judd; 1839, Gideon Laning and David Nutten; 1840, N. 
Fellows, G. Taylor and E. O. Hall; 1841-44, Daniel Anderson; 1845, 

H. Ryan Smith; , Amos Smith; 1852-53, Micah Seager, John 

Fuller; 1854, John B. Lanckton ; 1855-56, Sheldon H. Baker; 1857, 
Richard Cooley ; 1858, James M. Fuller; 1859, John McEwen ; 1860-61, 
Sumner C. Smith; 1862-63, Benjamin F. McNeal; 1864, John Kennard; 
1865, Chauncey S. Baker; 1866-67, Henry W. Annis; 1868, J. N. 
Simpkins; 1869-70, N. Jones; 1871, E. S. Furman; 1872, W. L. 
Warner; 1873, Thomas E. Bell; 1874, J. L. Fprster; 1875-78, H. C. 
Woods; October, 1878, to October, 1879, T. C. Hitchcock; 1879-82, 
J. B. Countryman; 1882-85, Thomas Cardus; 1885-88, T. T. Rowe; 
1888-91, J. A. Smith; 1891-94, C. G. Stevens; 1894 to the present time, 
John R. Adams. 

The First Universalist society of Pavilion was organized October 10, 
1831, by James Sprague and Elijah Olmsted, with thirty-eight mem- 
bers. The year following a house of worship was erected. The first 
pastor was the Rev. L. L. Sadler. Others who have acted as pastors 
named in the order of their service have been the .Revs. Alfred Peck, 
A. Kelsey, J. Davy, J. S. Brown, N. M. Fisk, Orville Brayton, Charles 
Cravens, Charles Dutton and M. D. Shumway. 

The Oakfield and Alabama Baptist church at Great Valley was also 
one of the four churches organized in Genesee county in 1831. No- 
vember 25, 1829, a meeting was called at the house of Mrs. Betsey 
Barker at Oakfield Five Corners. Brother Shears and wife, Brother 
Calkins, and Sisters Dickinson and Barker were constituted a branch 
of the Baptist Church at Elba. December 27, 1831, a council was con- 
vened at Shears school-house one mile east of South Alabama, and this 
branch became the church of Oakfield with twenty-five members. 
During the first ten years the society had eight pastors — Rev. Messrs. 
Gould, Brown, Hall, Griswold, Fuller, Blood, Fairchild and South- 
worth. January 24, 1839, the society voted to unite with the Alabama 
church and build a house of worship. This was completed in 1840, 
and has been repaired three times — in 1855, 1870 and 1883. The pas- 
tors since 1840 have been as follows, named in the order of their service: 

Revs. A. Warren, James Mallory, Reed, R. Baker, R. D. Pierce, 

R. C. Palmer, Eli Stone, W, D. Corbin, L. Atwater, L. L. Gage, B. 

CHURCHES, 1812—1841. 167 

F. Mace, Charles Berry, J. M. Derby, William Garnet, J. M. Coley, B. 
F. Mace, Marion Forbes, M. W. Hart, P. W. Cranell, W. H. Holt, J. C. 
Newman,, G. F. Love, A. A. Shaw, D. E. Burt. 

Asbury M. E. church of Pavilion was built at Union Corners in 1832, 
chiefly through the efforts of the Rev. Hiram May, who was then 
preaching on that circuit. The society disbanded in 1876. The old 
church was occupied for a time by the Free Methodists, but was finally 
abandoned. The Union church was built at Pavilion Centre at an early 
day, and was used by all denominations. It subsequently was con- 
verted into a public hall. 

The Alabama Baptist church was organized in 1832 by Elijah In- 
galsbe, Mr. Bennant and wife, Charles P. Brown and wife, Adna 
Ingalsbe and wife and others. Elder Hall was the first pastor, Mr. 
Bennant and Adna Ingalsbe the first deacons and Charles P. Brower 
the first clerk. The church united with the Niagara Association in 
1833. The next year one of the greatest revivals in the history of the 
county occurred. Seventy persons were baptized in one day, three 
ministers being in the water together and baptizing at the same time. 
Soon after this Hiram K. Stinson became pastor and baptized eighty- 
one more, making the total of one hundred and fifty-one baptisms for 
that associational year. Mr. Stinson was ordained to the ministry in 
this town. In 1880 the house of worship was thoroughly repaired, 
making it practically a new building. Four years later a parsonage 
was built. Since Mr. Stinson's pastorate the following have served the 
society: 1836, Augustus Warren; 1840, J. Packer; 1843, Alexander 
Mede; 1845, E. J. Corey; 1846, I. A. Whitney; 1848, J. Packer; 1850, 

C. Clutz; 1854, Augustus Warren; 1876, Mace; 1877, L. S. 

Stowell; 1879, Fowler; 1882, D. J. Ellison (supply); 1885, H. H. 

Thomas; 1886, J. B. Lemon; 1888, I. Child; 1890, O. N. Fletcher 
(supply); 1892, F. Redfern; 1894, G. R, Schlanch; 1896, J. S. Nas- 

The year 1833 witnessed the establishment of no less than five church 
organizations in Genesee county. These were the Universalist church 
in Alexander, an M. E. church in Darien, a Methodist Protestant 
church in Elba, a Presbyterian church in Oakfield, and an Episcopal 
church in Stafford. 

The First Universalist church of Alexander built and dedicated a 
frame house of worship in June, 1833, the year of the organization of 
the society. The first trustees of the society were Colonel Nelson, 


Capt. Royal Moulton and Joseph Rix. The pastors of the church and 
the years of the beginning of their pastorates follow: 

1833, J. S. Flagler; 1839, Samuel Goff ; 1843, B. B. Bunker; 1845, W. 
B. Cook; 1848, E. W. Locke; 1850, William McNeal; 1852, C. F. Dodge; 
1858, T. J. Whitcome; 1863, C. C. Cravens; 1871, G. W. Powell; 1874, 
B. Hunt; 1876, George Adams; 1878, C. C. Richardson; 1881, M. D. 
Shumway; 1884, H. W. Hand; 1889, H. W. Carr; 1891, T. E. Potterton; 
1893, C. R. East; 1893, Miss Frankie Cook. 

The first Methodist Episcopal church of Darien was organized March 
18, 1833. The society had but a brief existence, and the records can- 
not be found. The present M. E. church in that town was organized 
in 1841 by Rev. J. W. Vaughn with fifty-three members. The present 
church building was erected in 1848. Services at Darien Centre were 
held until 1874 in the Congregational church, when through the efforts 
of the pastor. Rev. E. S. Furman, aided by Jacob Nichols of Darien 
Centre, the present church building was erected. 

The names of the pastors in the order of their service are: Revs. 
J. W. Vaughn, 1841; H. M. Ripley, 1843-43; A. Herrick, 1844-45; P. 
Woodworth, 1846; P. Roberts, 1847; K. D. Nettleton, 1848; J. W. 
Vaughn, 1849-51; J. Hagar, 1853; J. Torrey, 1853; J. N. Simpkins, 
1854; H. Butlin, 1855-56; J. R. Wooley, 1857-58; A. P. Ripley, 1859- 
60; J. McClelland, 1861-63; D. D. Cook, 1863-64; C. Eddy, 1865-66; 

A. Plumley, 1867-68; C. S. Baker, 1869-71; E. S. Furman, 1873-74; W. 

B. Cliff, 1875-77; R. F. Kay, 1878-79; J. B. Peck, 1880-81; L. E. Rock- 
well, 1883-83; W. S. Tuttle, 1884; W. Magovern, 1885; J. Criswell, 
1886; H. A. Slingerland, 1887-88; G.A. Bond, 1889; I. Harris, 1890-93; 
E. W. Pasko, 1893-95; E. W. Shrigley, 1896; L. J. Muchmore, 1897-98. 

The first Methodist Protestant church of Elba was organized with 
twenty-five members in 1833 by the Rev. Isaac Fister. The following 
year a church edifice was constructed. This was remodeled and en- 
larged in 1878. This property was originally deeded by Asa Babcock 
and wife to a board of trustees consisting of Eden Foster, James Fuller, 
Loring Barr, Martin Scofield and Jeremiah Wilcox. Among those who 
have served as pastors are Isaac Fister, E. A. Wheat, D. S. Skillman, 
O. P. Wildey and B. Poste, who was appointed to the charge in 1898. 

The Rev. C. Fitch established the Oakfield Presbyterian church De- 
cember 10, 1833, with seven members. The first church edifice, a 
frame building, still in use, was not erected until 1843. The dedica- 
tory sermon was preached by the Rev. William C. Wisner, D. D. The 


Rev. Ebenezer H. Stratton, the first paator, assumed his relations with 
the society in 1834. 

The Episcopal church of Stafford, organized in 1833, is the successor 
of the first Episcopal church in that town — St. Philip's — established in 
1823. Its history is found in preceding pages. 

The First Baptist church of Batavia dates from July 8, 1 834, though 
organization was not perfected until November 9, 1837.' 

The First Methodist Episcopal church of Pavilion was established in 
connection with one at Moscow, N. Y., and one at Covington, and 
moved from Covington to Pavilion in 1840. The house of worship was 
erected in the latter year. 

The Methodist Episcopal church at Roanoke was founded as a Union 
church in 1840, with about fifty members and the Rev. Daniel Burke 
as pastor. In 1843 a house of worship costing fifteen hundred dollars 
was built. 

In the interval covered by this chapter numerous changes took place 
throughout the county at large, in addition to those noted in the various 

In 1818 and 1819 a strong effort was made by the inhabitants of the 
southern part of the county to secure the removal of the county seat to 
Attica. During the same time a movement to divide the county was 
also inaugurated. It being apparent to all at this period that the old 
court house, erected in 1802 and 1803, was inadequate and inconvenient 
for the purposes for which it was intended, Mr. EUicott, determined to 
save the county seat to Batavia, addressed a letter to the judges of the 
county courts and the board of supervisors of the county recommend- 
ing the erection of a new court house. He also offered, as the repre- 
sentative of the Holland Land Company, to convey to the supervisors, 
for the comparatively small sum of three thousand dollars, the triangu- 
lar piece of land bounded by Ellicott, Main and Court streets ; also a 
strip of land one hundred feet wide, located about midway between 
Main and Ellicott streets and extending from a point on what is now 
Clark place, back of the store occupied by M. H. Bierce; also a strip 
about thirty-five feet in width extending from Main street to the other 
strip mentioned, the last-named piece of land being known on the map 
of the village as lot No. 81. The offer of Mr. Ellicott was accepted, 
and a few years afterward a new jail was completed." About the same 

• For a history of this church see the chapter devoted to the Village of Batavia. 
" This is the building now used as the headquarters of the hoolj and ladder company. 


time a county clerk's office was erected in the northeast corner of the 
triangle. Both were built of brick.' 

The Genesee County Bible Society was organized July 14, 1818. 
Rev. Calvin Colton, then pastor of the church of Le Roy, and after- 
wards distinguished as the author of " Life and Times of Henry Clay," 
and other works, was corresponding secretary, which office he contin- 
ued to fill for several years. Colonel Martin O. Coe of Le Roy was 
chosen the first president. Deacon Hinds Chamberlain and Samuel Gran- 
nis, vice-presidents; Seth M. Gates, recording secretary, and Colonel S. 
M. Gates, treasurer. The society was organized two years after the Amer- 
ican Bible Society was founded. As the records of the society from 
from 1818 to 1833 have been lost, but few items of its early history can 
be furnished. Theodore F. Talbot of Batavia was president in 1834, 
Isaac Wilson of Middlebury in 1836, William Seaver of Batavia in 1838 
and 1839, and Gains B. Rich of Attica in 1830. In 1833 the society 
was reorganized and a constitution adopted. Colonel Martin O. Coe 
of Le Roy was chosen president and was re-elected to that office for 
several successive years. The records furnish no data of any meeting 
from 1834 to 1839. In 1839 Colonel Coe was again elected president, 
continuing in that office for several years. In 1841 the county of Gen- 
esee was divided, and the society has operated since that year within 
the present bounds of Genesee county. Since 1840 these persons have 
served as president of the society : 

1840, P. L. Tracy; 1851, J. E. Tompkins; 1853, P. L. Tracy; 1864, 
John Fisher; 1867, A. J. Bartow; 1873, John Fisher; 1873, A. D. Lord; 
1875, R. L. Selden; 1876, A. D. Wilbur; 1881, William Swan; 1883, 
John W. Sanborn; 1884, William W. Totherob; 1888, A. D. Draper; 
1891, W. L. Lloyd; 1893, J. H. Durkee; 1895, Thomas Cardus. 

One of the most remarkable trials ever occurring in any court in 
Genesee county, and in many respects one of the most peculiar on 
record in any court, took place in the court house at Batavia in July, 
1833. A man named Farnsworth was arrested and committed to jail 
on the charge of having forged " United States land warrants," and a 
special session of the United States District Court was ordered to be 
held for the trial of the case against him. The court was convened (by 
what authority is unknown) in July. Hon. Roger Skinner presided as 
United States district judge, and Jacob Sutherland, afterward one of 

' The clerk's office was used as such until the present court house was built, in 1&1.3, when the 
clerk's office was removed to the basement of the same. The office remained there until the con- 
struction of the present county clerk's and surrogate's office in 1873. 


the judges of the Supreme Court of New York State, acted as United 
States district attorney. 

The grand jury which had investigated the charges against Farns- 
worth was composed of men of intelligence, some of whom were quite 
prominent in the community. After due deliberation they presented 
a true bill, and the accused was immediately arraigned for trial. Public 
interest in the case was intense, and the sentiment of the populace was 
almost unanimously against the accused. People came from remote 
sections to hear the proceedings, which were of an unparalleled char- 

On both sides able counsel was employed. District Attorney Suth- 
erland was considered learned in the law and a man of great sagacity. 
General Ethan B. Allen, who conducted the defense, was a lawyer of 
considerable prominence and enjoyed a wide reputation as an orator. 
Nevertheless subsequent events proved that the presiding judge and 
the prosecuting attorney knew a little more law than that laid down on 
the statute books. The trial was a long one. The judge charged the 
jury adversely to the interests of the prisoner, and the intelligent jurors 
soon returned with a verdict of guilty. The only penalty known to the 
court for such an atrocious offense as that of which the accused had 
been convicted was death, and Farnsworth accordingly was sentenced 
to be hanged on the gallows on September 30 following. 

Farnsworth's attorney, satisfied that the verdict was an unjust one, at 
once sent to President Monroe a petition for a pardon or commutation of 
the death sentence, but the grounds on which he based his request are 
not known. Few persons believed that the president would overturn 
the decision of the august and learned court, and the inhabitants pre- 
pared to convert September 30 into a gala day. Little sympathy was 
expressed for the culprit who had violated one of the most sacred of 
the federal laws, and thousands of persons from far and near flocked to 
the village to witness the execution of the death penalty. 

Much to the surprise and chagrin of the assembled witnesses a mes- 
sage from the chief magistrate of the nation was received just as the 
final preparations for the hanging were being conducted, and the local 
authorities were compelled to announce to the disappointed throng that 
the execution had been suspended for six months, during which time 
the merits of the case were to be investigated. To take the edge off 
the keen disappointment of those who had assembled to witness the 
hanging, it is said that the turnkey, without the knowledge and consent 


of the sheriff, took Farnsworth from his cell, seated him on a platform 
at the north end of the old court house, which at that time was hidden 
from public view by a high board fence, and admitted a large number 
of visitors into the jail yard to behold the monster who, temporarily at 
least, had escaped from the gallows. Each visitor, however, was re- 
quired to pay a shilling as an admission fee. 

The farcial character of the whole proceedings is illustrated in the 
subsequent events. President Monroe and his legal advisers made a 
thorough examination of the case, with the result that it was ascer- 
tained that Farnsworth had violated no law of the United States, and 
that his arrest, trial and conviction were without legal authority ! The 
accused was, therefore, pardoned and discharged from custody. 

A most extraordinary event, and one which temporarily disrupted 
the order of Free and Accepted Masons in the United States,* prompted 
the organization of a political party which had for its aim the annihila- 
tion of that great and powerful secret order and threatened to involve 
the country in civil war, transpired partly within the limits of Genesee 
county in 1826. The details of the transaction are too generally 
known to need more than a brief description here. The event is 
known in history as the " Morgan affair." 

William Morgan, then residing in the village of Batavia, was arrested 
and conveyed to Canandaigua on a criminal warrant issued by a magis- 
trate of the latter place, the charge against him being the larceny of 
certain articles of small value. He was found innocent of that charge 
and acquitted, but was immediately rearrested for a debt of about two 
dollars and again thrown into jail. That evening he was discharged 
from jail, but was abducted and taken in a closed carriage from Canan- 
daigua by way of Rochester and Lewiston to Fort Niagara. From this 
point no absolute evidence as to what disposition was made of him was 
ever obtained, though it was the popular belief that he was killed for 
the purpose of preventing him from divulging the secrets of Free 

Prior to his arrest members of the Masonic fraternity learned that 
Morgan, in connection with David C. Miller, was planning to issue a 
publication disclosing the unwritten secrets of Masonry. Consequently 
his sudden and mysterious disappearance and reported violent death at 
the hands of members of that powerful order created a tremendous 
sensation, not only in Western New York, but throughout the entire 
country; and this feeling resulted, first, in a lengthy and vigorous in- 


vestigation which resulted in satisfying the majority of the public that 
Morgan had met his death at the hands of conspirators among cer- 
tain members of the fraternity whose secrets he was about to expose, 
and second, in the formation of a strong Anti-Masonic political party 
whose slogan was "Death to Masonry!" The most commonly ac- 
cepted belief as to the fate of the missing man was that he had been 
drowned either in Lake Ontario or the Niagara river near its mouth. 
A prolonged search for his remains was made, but no body that could 
be positively identified as that of the missing man was found. 

In October of the following year, about eleven months after Morgan's 
disappearance, a dead body was found on the Lake Ontario beach near 
the mouth of Oak Orchard creek. An inquest was held but no one 
recognized the body. A verdict of accidental drowning -was rendered 
and the body was buried, but the clothes found upon it were preserved. 
Soon afterward the sensational story that this body was that of Morgan 
spread, creating intense excitement. Committees from Batavia and 
Rochester were sent to disinter and examine the body, and they re- 
ported, after a most critical investigation, that the remains were not 
those of Morgan. 

This report did not satisfy a certain class who had been making po- 
litical capital out of the lamentable tragedy, and the body was again 
disinterred and brought to Batavia, where a spectacular parade was 
held and the body declared to be that of the missing man. Mr. Morgan's 
widow (taking it for granted that the man was dead at this time) was 
the chief mourner in the funeral procession. The body was buried in 
the village cemetery. 

Several weeks before these gruesome scenes were enacted, a man 
named Timothy Monroe was drowned at the mouth of the Niagara 
river, and from the description of the body found at the mouth of Oak 
Orchard creek it was believed that it might be that of Monroe. His 
widow, then residing near Toronto, was notified of the finding of the 
body, and her description of the clothing he wore when last seen alive 
corresponded so exactly with that of the clothing taken from the 
mooted body that unprejudied people everywhere believed that the 
body interred at Batavia as that of Morgan in reality was that of Tim- 
othy Monroe. The result of this disclosure was the holding of another 
inquest at Batavia, when, after an exhaustive investigation, the coro- 
ner's jury determined that the body in question was that of Monroe.' 

' The statements contained above are substantially those made by William Seaver of Bata- 
via, an eye witness to some of the deplorable events described, in his history of Batavia. 


Another account of the " Morgan affair " contains statements of in- 
terest that do not appear in the story as told in the foregoing. The 
following account appears in " Historical Collections of the State of 
New York," written by John W. Barber and Henry Howe and pub- 
lished in 1841, and is a synopsis of the oflficial report of Mr. Whittlesey 
and others at the United States Anti-Masonic convention held in Phil- 
adelphia, September 11, 1830: 

Morgan, it appears, was born in 1774 in Culpepper county, Va. His occupation 
was originally that of a bricklayer and stone mason. He removed from Virginia in 
1821, and went to York, U. C. ; from thence he removed to Rochester. From vari- 
ous misfortunes, he became quite reduced in circumstances, and in the summer of 
1826 he resided in the village of Batavia. While here, he became connected with 
D. C. Miller, a printer, for the purpose of publishing a work disclosing masonic obli- 
gations, secret signs, &c. Morgan, it appears, was a royal arch mason ; and when 
the fact became known that he "was preparing a work to reveal the secrets of ma- 
sonry, many of the masonic fraternity became much excited, and appeared deter- 
mined to put an end to his disclosures For this purpose, his character was assailed 
jn the public prints. In July, 1826, Morgan was arrested on a civil suit at Batavia, 
and gave bail ; he was afterward arrested and hurried to jail, without time being 
given him to procure bail, and search was made at his lodgings for his papers on 
some pretended process, the sheriff in the meantime absenting himself. An attempt 
was afterward made to burn down Miller's printing office, where " Morgan's Book " 
was printing. 

On Sunday, Sept. 10th, application was made to J. Chipman, Esq., a magistrate 
of Canandaigua, for a warrant to apprehend Morgan for stealing a shirt and cravat, 
which it appeared afterward he had only borrowed. The warrant being issued, the con- 
stable at Canandaigua, attended by five other persons from that place, immediately 
set out for Batavia, where they arrived in the evening. Early the next morning 
(Monday), Morgan was arrested and taken to the public house where the party had 
slept ; an extra stage-coach was procured, and the party left Batavia for Canandai- 
gua, with Morgan in their custody. Miller attempted to procure the release of Mor- 
gan just as the carriage was starting, but he was pushed aside, and the driver was 
urged to drive fast till he should get out of the county. Having arrived in Canan- 
daigua, Morgan in the evening was taken before the magistrate who had issued the 
warrant, and was by him examined and discharged. One of the party immediately 
applied to the same magistrate for a warrant against Morgan for a debt of about 
$2, which he said had been assigned to him by a tavern keeper. Judgment was en- 
tered against Morgan for $2.69, debt and costs, and an execution immediately issued. 
Morgan took off his coat and offered it to the constable to levy upon for the debt. 
The constable declined receiving it, and Morgan was committed to the Canandaigua 
jail the same evening, where he remained until the evening of the next day. 

On the 12th of Sept., about 9 o'clock in the evening, the wife of the jailer, at the 
request of the plaintiff in the execution, consented to let Morgan out of the prison. 
As he was leaving the jail steps, he was violently seized by two persons; he strug- 
gled and cried " murder," a number of times. Two other persons now came up, one 


o£ whom stopped Morgan's outcry by thrusting a handkerchief, or something similar, 
into his mouth. Ai a signal given by one of the party, a two-horse carriage now 
drove up; two of the party thrust Morgan into the carriage, and then got in 
themselves. This carriage arrived in Rochester about day-dawn the next morning. 
Another carriage was procured, and relays of horses were obtained. When the party 
arrived at New Fane, about 3 miles from Lockport, they sent to the sheriff of Niagara 
county, to assist them in getting Morgan into Canada. The sheriff accordingly left 
Lockport, attended the party, and assisted them in procuring horses, &c. They 
arrived at Lewiston about midnight ; here another carriage was procured, and the 
party was driven to the burying ground near Fort Niagara. Here they left the car- 
riage and proceeded with Morgan in their custody to the ferry, and crossed over to 
the Canada side. After conferring with a number of persons in Niagara village, 
Morgan was brought back, as arrangements had not been completed for his recep- 
tion. This event it appears had been anticipated. Morgan was taken to the inaga- 
zine of Fort Niagara, and locked in before day-dawn, on the morning of the, 14th of 

On the day that Morgan was put into the magazine, a royal arch chapter was in- 
stalled at Lewiston, which event called together a considerable assemblage of Ma- 
sons from the vicinity. In the evening, 20 or 30 persons came to the fort from 
Lewiston. About midnight, 7 persons, stated to be royal arch masons, held a con- 
sultation on the plain near the graveyard, as to the manner in which Morgan should 
be disposed of. The prevailing opinion among them appeared to be, that Morgan 
had forfeited his life for a breach of his masonic obligations, and that they ought to 
see the penalty executed by drowning him in the river ; some of the company dis- 
covering a reluctance to go to such lengths, the project was abandoned at that time. 
On the night of the 16th, a similar consultation was held between four persons, but 
nothing was decided on. As to the disposition of Morgan, after the evening of the 
14th of September, nothing has yet been known judicially, but circumstances are 
strong, to induce the belief that he was put to death on the night of the 19th of Sept. 
1826, by being cast into the depths of Niagara river. 

Recent investigation into the case seems to prove that Morgan was 
never made a Mason. By some means he obtained enough knowledge 
of the craft to induce a Mr. Warren of Batavia, a Mason in good stand- 
ing, to believe that he had joined the order in Canada. Mr. Warren 
vouched for him, and he gained admission to the lodge in Batavia. In 
1826 a charter was secured for a chapter in Batavia. On account of 
his dissolute habits Morgan was refused membership, and this caused 
him to become furious in his opposition to Masonry. The only lawful 
degree that he ever received was in the Royal Arch, at Le Roy, May 
31, 1835, after the deceit practiced upon Mr. Warren, who was his em- 
ployer. But that did not make him a member of the craft. 

As soon as the chapter rejected his application for admission he be- 
gan his crusade against the order. His colleagues were David C. Mil- 


ler, editor of the Batavia Advocate, and his three partners. Miller had 
received the degree of Entered Apprentice ; but further advancement 
was denied him, and he, too, was bitter against the order. 

An interesting, and now believed by many to be a trustworthy ac- 
count of Morgan's disappearance, is thus given by Robert Morris, a 
Masonic writer of high repute: 

In September, 1836, Morgan was on the jail limits on judgments for debts. The 
limits were a mile square, with the jail for the centre. John Whitney and Morgan 
met in Donald's tavern and set down to supper together. In answer to Whitney's 
inquiries Morgan said he was in a bad fix ; that he had not a friend but his wife, and 
she ought not to be on account of his treatment of her. She had a baby only three 
weeks old and cried continually, fearing that they were going to starve. He was 
out of work ; the Masons made him no more donations and threatened to kill him ; 
he said he had sold himself to Miller, who had promised him half a million dollars; 
he never had more than a shilling at a time, and that with abuse. 

" I am authorized," said Whitney, "to give you relief. I will give you fifty dol- 
lars in cash with which to buy yourself suitable clothes and help your family in its 
present need if you will go to Canada and settle there. When you are located in 
Canada you shall have five hundred dollars, and your family shall be sent to you. 
I pledge you that they shall be provided for until they rejoin you." 

Morgan quickly accepted the offer and consented to submit to a legal process for 
his removal for trial to Canandaigua on the charge of having stolen a shirt and neck- 
tie from the landlord there. This charge was not pressed and Morgan, following out 
a preconcerted plan, went to Canada, escorted to Fort Niagara by six men whose 
names are well known. He was rowed across the river and received on the Canada 
side by two Masons who were in the arrangement. Morgan was paid his five hun- 
dred dollars and went away quite happy. Among those who were with the party 
that saw Morgan over the border was Colonel King. He was very conscientious 
about the matter and insisted upon knowing the full circumstances. In answer to 
the queries which his persistency brought out, Morgan made the following statement : 
" That he had contracted with Miller and others to write an expose oi Masonry; that 
he had never been a Mason in any lodge, but had received the Royal Arch degree in 
a regular manner and felt bound by that obligation, and never intended to reveal 
the secrets of that degree ; that he had been treated kindly by the gentlemen who 
formed his escort ; that he was willing and anxious to be separated from Miller and 
from all ideas of a Masonic expose; wished to live in habits of industry and respect- 
ability; to go to the interior of Canada and settle down as a British citizen and have 
his family sent to him ; was sorry for the uproar his proceedings had made and for 
the disgrace he had caused his family." . . . 

The Anti-Masons succeeded in carrying the State that fall upon the strength of 
of their opposition to Masonry and the display they made in prosecuting the persons 
who were engaged in Morgan's deportation. Colonel King became alarmed, and he 
sent a confidential messenger into Canada to look for'AIorgan and bring him back. 
Morgan had changed his name, changed his clothes, bought a horse and left the vil- 
lage within forty-eight hours of the departure of those who took him there. The 

NEW JAIL. 177 

colonel sent a second messenger, who employed an old Indian scout, thoroughly 
posted in the calling, to follow Morgan up. It was learned that he had gone east at 
the rate of fifty miles a day to a point down the river not far from Port Hope. He 
had sold his horse and disappeared. Doubtless he boarded a vessel there and sailed 
out of the country. At any rate that was the last trace of him ever obtained. 

The Anti-Masonic movement which originated in 1826 was, to a cer- 
tain extent, complicated with an increasing opposition to the Holland 
Land Company. Many farms were still burdened with debt to the 
company, and though the latter had treated the debtors liberally by 
accepting farm produce in lieu of cash, though losing money by the 
operation, many of the farmers found it next to impossible to meet 
their maturing obligations. The situation was made still more distress 
ing by persistent reports that the company was preparing to advance 
the prices of all lands oh which the original time of payment had 
elapsed. About this time Mr. Otto was succeeded by Mr. Evans in the 
conduct of the local affairs of the company, and under the administra- 
tion of the latter contracts were somewhat modified in favor of the 
purchasers of laiid. But the general dissatisfaction continued to in- 
crease, manifesting itself in questioning the validity of the company's 
titles, in recommending heavier taxation of the property of the com- 
pany, and in various other ways. The rising sentiment of opposition 
to this company was bound, in later years, to bring about serious 
trouble. It led, in fact, directly to what is known in local history as 
"The Land Office War." 

The act of the State Legislature passed March 19, 1831, authorizing 
the erection of a new jail in Genesee county contained the following 

The supervisors of the county of Genesee shall cause to be assessed . . . for 
the purpose of erecting a new jail in said county, the sum of three thousand dollars. 
. . . The said jail shall be built on the pubUc ground now belonging to said 
county, in the village of Batavia, and David Scott of Attica, Ziba S. Beardsley of 
Alexander, Daniel H. Chandler, Hinman Holden and Benjamin Porter junior, of 
the town of Batavia, are hereby appointed commissioners to superintend the build- 
ing of the said jail, and they, or any three of them, are hereby authorized to fix or 
lay out the site, and devise a plan for the same. . . . The said commissioners 
shall be allowed the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per day for their serv- 
ices in the actual performance of their duty. . . . 

The jail was built under the direction of the commissioners named, 
and still stands on the south side of West Main street, in Batavia. 
By act of the Legislature April 26, 1831, Nathan Rumsey, Henry C. 



Jones and James Sprague, second, were appointed commissioners to 
lay out a public highway from Angelica, Allegany county, to Batavia. 
By the opening of this road traffic between the two points named was 
greatly expedited, and the rural community particularly were bene- 
fited by the improvement. 

One of the most noteworthy events in the history of Genesee county 
in these days was the disturbance which since has been generally known 
as " the land office war." Though some of the principal scenes in this 
uprising transpired in the village of Batavia, the trouble was not con- 
fined to that community, but was widespread throughout Genesee 
county and over a large portion of the Holland Purchase. Batavia was 
seriously involved in the trouble as the principal land office of the com- 
pany was located in that village. Several accounts of this little "war" 
have been written. One of the most trustworthy appears in William 
Seaver's " Historical Sketch of the Village of Batavia," which is here 
reproduced : 

The origin of tlie difficulty, as we understand it, was briefly this: Early in 1836 
certain companies purchased of the Holland company all its unsold lands, mortgages, 
contracts, &c., indeed, all its remaining interest in these western counties, and im- 
mediately instituted a new order of things in reference to the settlers. Previous to 
this, however, a restive spirit, (engendered as it was said, by certain lawyers, anx- 
ious for a fee) had for some time been manifested against the company in reference 
to its original Title to the lands, so that when the new landlords came in, the settlers 
were by no means in the most amiable mood towards either the old or the new pro- 

This state of things did not deter the new owners (or some of them at least) from 
going forward in the exercise of their legal rights and adopting some new and more 
stringent measures than had before existed for the collection of land debts, and by 
way of stimulus to prompt payment, a little addition to the price of the land was 
also proposed in case the old contracts were not fulfilled. All this had the effect 
to exasperate many who were directly interested, and their indignation at length 
broke forth in open acts of violence, intended not only to affect the interests of 
the new proprietors, but also the old company in consequence of whose transfer the 
new order of things had been introduced. 

In Chatauque and the south part of Erie and Genesee counties the excitement 
prevailed with more intensity than in any other sections. Large and enthusiastic 
public meetings were there held, for the purpose, either by argument or intimida- 
tion, of inducing the proprietors to rescind some of their measures and adopt a more 
lenient system, but as these movements failed of producing the designed effect, open 
war was declared, and the belligerent forces were marshalled for the conflict. 

The first object was to destroy the Land Office at Mayville, and for that purpose a 
large mob assembled on the night of Feb. 6th, 1836, commenced the grand assault, 
and without meeting the slightest resistance demolished the whole superstructure, 


laying it even with the ground. They tore open the vault whose impregnable walls 
withstood their efforts for three hours, and having collected all the books and papers 
in one pile on the green, the torch was applied, and they were offered up as a burnt 
sacrifice to the demon of mobocracy. 

Exulting in the complete success of this brilliant achievement, the belligerents, 
taking courage from victory, began to pant for wider fields of glory, and having 
proved the temper of their " maiden swords " on the Fortress of Mayville they re- 
solved upon the higher and more chivalrous feat of undertaking to storm and de- 
molish the very citadel of Land Office power at Batavia. Accordingly emissarys 
were sent in every direction to rouse up all the disaffected forces, and congregate 
them on a certain night prepared for the grand assault. 

Meantime David E. Evans Esq., who then held the Land Office keys, and who 
had been informed of the transactions at Mayville, was also apprised of the threat- 
ened attack at Batavia, but not knowing when the demonstration might be made, 
he took the precaution to send all the books and valuable papers to Rochester be- 
yond the reach of danger in any untoward emergency. Thus several weeks passed 
on, and as no hostile movement appeared, the books &c. were brought back and 
hopes were entertained that the storm would quietly subside. These hopes, how- 
ever, were of short duration, for the fires of discontent had only been smouldering 
preparatory to breaking forth with renewed violence. 

To give some idea of the feeling which prevailed in the south part of Erie county 
we quote the language of an agent sent into that quarter, who reported that " all 
labor is suspended, the whole adult male population meeting at taverns and stores, 
vowing vengeance against the ' land sharks,' threatening to burn their houses, and 
intimating that assassination will be the consequence of attempts to enforce the 
terms proposed by the new purchasers." 

Without dwelling upon further preliminaries it will be sufficient to say that the 
ferment continued to increase until about the 13th of May, when intelligence was 
received that a very large nlob from the south part of this and Erie counties were 
gathering, with the avowed intention of marching to this place and tearing down 
the land office, and the jail (in which two of their friends were imprisoned), and of 
committing other depredations on some of our citizens who had become obnoxious to 

To know that such an attempt would be made was sufficient for our people at 
once to resolve upon the most firm and united resistance, and accordingly our public 
authorities both civil and military, aided by the citizens, made immediate prepa- 
rations to repel the foe. The Laud Office was converted into a sort of fortification, 
well stored with arms and ammunition, and thus matters rested in suspense, not 
knowing when the attack would be ma'de, until about midnight on the 13th of May, 
when messengers arrived post haste from Attica and Alexander giving information 
that the mob was concentrating at the latter place in great force, supposed to be 
from 700 to 1,000, and that it would soon be upon us. 

No sooner had this intelligence been received than all the bells in the village rang 
the alarm and a general muster of our "fighting" men immediately followed. 
Videtts were sent out by the sheriff on the different roads, to reconnoiter the enemy, 
and men were sent to the arsenal for a sufficient supply of muskets to arm all our 
citizens. Two boxes of ball cartridges of 1,000 each were also brought up, one of 


which was left at the Land Office, and the other taken to the Court House where the 
sheriff (Nathan Townsend), who was the commanding officer on the occasion, held his 
headquarters, surrounded by the "chivalry" of the village ready for the conflict. 
What then followed we cannot better describe than in the language of a letter, from 
D. E. Evans, to J. J. Vanderkemp, written soon after the event and from which we 
are permitted to make the following extracts: 

"Our force in the Land Office consisting of fifty men, remained patiently await- 
ing the arrival of the enemy till about sun rise, and none appearing we concluded 
they had abandoned the enterprise, and we appointed a committee to go to Alexan- 
der to ascertain what number had been there and who their leaders were. Col. Sea- 
ver. Col. Davis, and myself (the committee) immediately started, and meeting Mr. 
Cary near the bridge took him with us. We had proceeded but two miles when we 
met two of our expresses returning at full gallop, who told us they had just left the 
mob at Fargo's Tavern, two miles distant, forming in order to march to Batavia. 
They estimated the whole number at 700, about 400 of which were armed with fire- 
arms, and the residue with bludgeons, crow-bars and sledge hammers. 

Previous to leaving the office I requested Mr. Chandler to remain at it with thirty 
men, till we either returned or sent him positive information that the mob had dis- 
persed. On receiving information that the mob had really advanced to Fargo's, the 
committee lost no time in returning, and taking such requisite steps to reassemble the 
citizens, most of whom had gone to their respective homes. The mob soon after 
appeared in sight and halted on the road east of Judge Stevens's House, where they 
were met by Gen. Verplanck, and asked what they wanted ? They answered " to 
right themselves." He asked in what manner? and was answered, " that it was 
none of his business." He then said it was his duty to inform them that if they com- 
mitted any outrages in an organized body, upon either public or private property, 
they would be fired upon. Some of them then said they wished to have a conference 
with me, and he promised to inform me of it, and came to the office and did so. I 
desired him to return and say, that I positively declined having any communication 
whatever with an armed mob. Their number he estimated at about five hundred 

Soon after he returned they put themselves in motion, crossed the bridge, 
marched to the office, and I supposed we should soon come to blows. After having 
halted in front of the office, and become sensible that an attack upon it would be at- 
tended with danger, it was evident to all spectators that they felt the awkwardness 
of their situation. After remaining still for a few minutes, four men came under the 
window in which I was sitting, and requested a conference with me, which I de- 
clined, refusing in a peremptory manner to have anything to do with them, and bid 
them defiance in no measured terms. 

About this time I saw a sudden movement among them which I could not account 
for, but which I soon learned was occasioned by the (to them) unexpected appear- 
ance of Sheriff Townsend, with 120 men, armed with bright muskets, with bayonets 
fixed, in full march for the Office. He halted his men in front of my house, and ad- 
vanced himself with three or four attendants, towards the mob, and was met by sev- 
eral of them. He told them his object in meeting them was to say, that if they at- 
tempted to destroy any building in the village, he should, without any further notice, 
fire a full volley among them. One of them was proceeding to argue the legality of 


his doing it, but he cut the matter short by assuring them that he should do it 
whether legal or not, and advised them to be off very quickly. 

They soon after went down the street half a mile, and had a boisterous consult- 
ation, some professing to wish to return and attack the Office, but by far the greatest 
part thought it best to go home. Some forty or fifty continued on westward, and 
the residue returned as they came, passing the Office without apparently looking at 
it. The most of them re crossed the Bridge and went off, but a few lurked about 
the Village, some of whom were apprehended and committed to prison, and among 
the number their reputed leader, a man by the name of Hill, a Constable in Holland, 
Erie County. 

As you may readily imagine, our Village remained for several days, in a high state 
of excitement. The Military were called out, and two Cannons, assigned to Artillery 
Companys at Le Roy and Bethany, were sent for, and brought to the Village, and 
strong guards, composed of the Villagers only, were kept at night, as great appre- 
hensions were entertained that the Village would be set on fire by incendiaries, which 
was threatened by the mob on their retreat, and those threats were reiterated from 
sections of the Country where we had reason to expect better things. Almost all 
business was at a stand in the Village, the Country people afraid to come to it, and 
the consequence was, the Mercantile men. Tavern-keepers, Grocers, and Mechanics, 
became apprehensive that the business of the place would go elsewhere. 

It therefore became obvious, that either the office must be removed from this place, 
or some means devised to defend it with a few men, and I determined on erecting 
two strong block houses, one on the northeast, and the other on the southwest cor- 
ners. They are made of solid timber from 10 to 13 inches thick, and each armed 
with thirty muskets, and amply supplied with ammunition, and twelve men in each, 
would drive a mob of 1,000 men from the vicinity of the office in a very short time. I 
have employed four men as a night guard, with directions to keep three of their 
number in the Block-houses, and one on the look-out on the outside. I now consider 
the office secure. 

After the mob had taken their departure, and the citizens their breakfast, notice 
was given that a meeting would be held at the Court House to take measures for the 
security of the village. At this meeting, Messrs. Wm. Seaver, D. H. Chandler, 
and myself, were appointed a committee of safety, the duties of which -I found vastly 
more arduous and unpleasant than I imagined. Having received positive informa- 
tion that a considerable number of persons, residents of Chautauque, Erie, and Gen- 
esee counties, were passing from town to town, endeavoring to raise another and 
larger, and in every respect more efficient force than the last, we concluded to lay 
the case before the Governor, and ask him to issue a proclamation, not that we sup- 
posed it would tend to allay the irritation against the new land company, but to sat- 
isfy the malcontents, that the state Government was not friendly to their proceed- 
' ings, which they had been made to believe. Accordingly we despatched Dr. Van 
Tuyl to Albany, deeming it advisable to send a person who could give a clear 
and distinct account of the actual state of the country. 

When the Doctor arrived in Albany the Governor was at Saratoga Springs, but re- 
turned next day, and very promptly issued the proclamation. He also authorized us 
to retain the two six-pounders we had, as long as we might want them, sent us two 
more with a supply of powder and round and canister shot, and several thousand 


musket cartridges, and authorized us to take two twelve pounders from the arsenal 
at Canandaigua. 

The captain of an artillery company at Bennington, by the name of Norris, having 
stated that he and his company and gun, a brass three pounder, were ready at any 
moment's notice, to turn out and attack Batavia, we represented the case to the Gov- 
ernor, who immediately directed the commissary general to order Capt. Norris to 
deliver the gun to the keeper of the arsenal at this place, forthwith. The Capt. 
was very unwilling to obey the order, pleading as an excuse that the people in the 
neighborhood would not permit the gun to be taken away but on being threatened 
to have his delinquency reported to the commissary general, and told that the conse- 
quence would be very serious to himself, he concluded to bring it." 

Having been apprised of our formidable preparations for a. determined resistance 
to mobocracy, the malcontents were not slow in coming to the wise conclusion that 
"prudence was the better part of valor," and all further attempts to attain their ob- 
ject by violent means, was at once abandoned as utterly hopeless. 

Thus terminated the " Land Office War," and so far as the people of this place 
were concerned, it is but justice to say that they acquitted themselves in a. manner 
worthy of all praise. No matter what may have been their individual opinions in 
regard to the origin of the difficulty, no sooner did they know that lawless violence 
was about to be committed, and that an enfuriated mob, perhaps with the midnight 
torch, was preparing to invade us, than the fire of '76 kindled in every bosom, and 
they were prepared to resist, even at the price of their blood, the threatened aggres- 
sion. As the ' Times ' well said, "never before ha4 we witnessed the interesting 
spectacle of a whole village of peaceful and quiet citizens transformed at the mo- 
ment, and by a common impulse, from the varied and ordinary pursuits of business 
into efficient citizen soldiers — all, from highest to lowest, actuated by a common im- 
pulse — that of self defense at any and every hazard." The affair satisfied us by 
ocular demonstration that there is nothing so potent to quell a mob as ball and bay- 
onet, and sure we are that had it not been for a fear of those articles in the hands of 
resolute citizens, and a perfect assurance that they would be used "to kill" in case 
the slightest aggression had been committed, the mob would have destroyed at least 
the Land Office and the Jail. 

An event which occurred in Erie and Niagara counties in 1836 was of 
interest to many of the inhabitants of Genesee county. Benjamin Rath- 
bun, a daring speculator residing in Buffalo, who seemed not to have 
profited by the financial disasters and ominous conditions of 1836, made 
plans for carrying on his speculations on a gigantic plan. He bought 
.land and laid out a magnificent city at Niagara Falls, advertising an 
auction sale of lots for August 3. Just before this David E. Evans of 
Batavia, agent for the Holland Land Company, had made the discovery 
while on a visit to Philadelphia that Rathbun had forged his name on 
notes for large amounts. Returning to Buffalo after Rathbun had con- 
ducted his great sale at Niagara Falls, Mr. Evans confronted the swind- 
ling speculator, who confessed his crime and admitted that the paper 


bearing Mr. Evans's name was but a small item in a large list of similar 
forgeries. The forgeries had reached nearly a million dollars. Rath- 
bun's arrest followed at once. His trial began in Batavia March 29, 
1837, and he was found guilty and sentenced to State prison for five 

The general discontent and feeling of discouragement produced by 
the stringency of the money market augmented and intensified the 
opposition to the Holland Land Company. The holders of many farms 
owed not only the principal but the interest for many years on the 
debts on their lands, and the scarcity of money rendered payment more 
difficult than ever. Meetings were held in various places, not only in 
Genesee but in other counties whose territory was included in the Hol- 
land Purchase, where this dissatisfaction and opposition was publicly 
expressed. At these meetings the company was denounced, a modifi- 
cation of its terms of payment demanded, legislative interference re- 
quested, and the attorney-general called upon to contest the title of the 

In February, 1837, a meeting termed an " agrarian convention " was 
held at Aurora, the counties of Genesee, Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua 
being represented. Dyre Tillinghast of Buffalo acted as president, 
Charles Richardson of Java and Hawxhurst Addington of Aurora as 
vice-presidents, and H. N. A. Holmes of Wales and A. M. Clapp of 
Aurora as secretaries. Resolutions were adopted expressive of the 
sentiment of those present as indicated in the foregoing, and those who 
favored the company were termed " Judases " and strongly censured. 
In some sections actual resistance to the agents of the company was 
offered. If an agent made an attempt to take possession of a farm, 
the holder of which was in arrears, threatening notices were placed be- 
fore his eyes, and armed men so terrified him that he was glad to es- 
cape without having accomplished his mission. The Legislature refused 
to accede to the request of the farmers, knowing full well that there 
was no ground for contesting the title. In many of the towns the ma- 
jority of the settlers succeeded in discharging their indebtedness. In 
a few localities the resistance was so stubborn and long continued that 
the company deferred the final resort to force until the holders acquired 
title to their farms by adverse possession, in which they were sustained 
by the courts. This condition of affairs in the rural communities un- 
doubtedly tended to cripple the energies of the settlers, prevent progress 
and seriously delay improvements which would have been made under 


more favorable circumstances. And all this time the conditions in 
favor of an ultimate open armed revolt were ripening. 

Though the existing Genesee County Agricultural Society was not 
organized until 1839, an association with a similar aim and scope had 
been founded in Genesee county just a score of years previous to that 
date. On June 33, 1819, a number of representative men of Batavia 
and vicinity met at the home of Hinman Holden in that village and 
made arrangements for holding annual fairs. An agricultural society 
was organized at that meeting, with Joseph Ellicott for president, Hon. 
Samuel M. Hopkins president protem., and Parmenio Adams treasurer 
pro tem. It was decided to hold a meeting and exhibit in the month 
of October following, and those present agreed to raise five hundred 
dollars to defray the expenses of the event. Of this amount three 
hundred and fifty dollars was appropriated for premiums. Colonel 
Green and Colonel Towner were appointed marshals of the day. Little 
is known of this early agricultural society, but it must have been pros- 
perous to a certain degree, as it was in existence for nearly, if not 
quite, twenty years. 

The present society was organized in 1839. For twenty years the 
annual fairs were held in various places, sometimes on the Mix prop- 
erty, opposite the jail; some on Walnut street across the creek; others 
on the Clark property, at the head of Jackson street. But by the end 
of that time the society had reached such proportions, and its facilities 
were so limited that it was decided to purchase a permanent site for 
the annual fair and erect thereon buildings adequate to the needs of the 
growing organization. A half-mile track for horse racing and stock 
exhibits was constructed, on the old grounds on Ellicott street, costing 
$3,047, and the expositions held annually under the auspices of the 
society became more successful with every succeeding year. The so- 
ciety was. incorporated with the secretary of state. May 34, 1856, with 
these officers: President, Eden Foster; vice-president, John F. Plato; 
secretary, Horatio N. Wright; treasurer, Chauncey Kirkham, jr. In 
1890 the society sold its old grounds to the Buffalo and Geneva Rail- 
road Company and voted to purchase what was known as the Redfield 
grounds, the price agreed upon being six thousand dollars. This is 
the old " driving park property " of nearly twenty-four acres, and eight 
and one-half acres additional on the east side of the track, which in- 
cludes an oak grove of two and one-half acres. A short time after- 
ward the society purchased two additional acres of Mr. Redfield, mak- 
ing its total possessions about thirty-five acres. 


Unfortunately the records of the society prior to 1870 are missing. 
Since that year, however, the principal officers have been as follows: 

1870.— President, I. A. Todd; secretary, Lucien R. Bailey; treasurer, 
Augustus N. Cowdin. 

1871.— President, George Burt; secretary, L. R. Bailey. 

1873.- President, E. G. Townsend; secretary, G. H. Robertson; 
treasurer, A. R. Warner. 

1873.— President, M. N. Moulthrop; secretary, F. M. Jameson; treas- 
urer, A. R. Warner. 

1874.— President, S. B. Lusk; secretary, J. H. McCulley; treasurer, 

A. R. Warner. 

1875.— President, Warren J. Tyler; secretary, J. H. McCulley; treas- 
urer, A. R. Warner. 

1876. — President, Cortland Crosman; secretary, E. R. Hay; treas- 
urer, A. R. Warner. 

1877. — President, I. S. Durfee; secretary, E. R. Hay; treasurer, A. 
R. Warner. 

1878. — President, Albert Parker; secretary, J. H. Robson; treas- 
urer, E. L. Kenyon. 

1879. — President, C. W. Van De Bogart; secretary, Nelson Bogue; 
treasurer, Robert A. Maxwell. 

1880. — President, C. W. Van De Bogart; secretary. Nelson Bogue; 
treasurer, Robert A. Maxwell. 

1881. — President, John H. McCulley: secretary, George W. Pratt; 
treasurer, Robert A. Maxwell. 

1883. — President, Eli Taylor; secretary, J. B. Neasmith; treasurer, 
J. Holley Bradish. 

1883. — President, D. L. Hodgson; secretary. Nelson Bogue; treas- 
urer, O. Town, jr. 

1884. — President, Nelson Duguid; secretary, J. M. McKenzie; treas- 
urer, B. George Kemp. 

1885. — ^President, Nelson Duguid; secretary, J. M. McKenzie; treas- 
urer, B. George Kemp. 

1886.— President, B. F. Peck; secretary, J. M. McKenzie; treasurer, 

B. George Kemp. 

1887. — President, Nelson Bogue; secretary, J. M. McKenzie; treas- 
urer, B. George Kemp. 

1888. — President, E. J. Ingalsbe; secretary, Frank B. Redfield ; 
treasurer, William Torrence. 


1889. — President, R. R. Losee; secretary, L. F. Rolfe; treasurer, 
Frederick B. Parker. 

1890. — President, James Z. Terry; secretary, L. F. Rolfe; treasurer, 
Frederick B. Parker. 

1891. — President, Dwight Dimock; secretary, Greenville R. SafEord; 
treasurer, Frederick B. Parker. 

1892. — President, J. M. McKenzie; secretary, Albert E. Brown; 
treasurer, Frederick B. Parker. 

1893-1894.— President, Wolcott Vandebogart; secretary, Albert E. 
Brown; treasurer, Frederick B. Parker. 

1895. — President, W. E. Sumner; secretary, Albert E. Brown; treas- 
urer, Frederick B. Parker. 

1896. — President, Cyrus P. Bell; secretary, Albert E. Brown; treas- 
urer, Charles D. Harris. 

1897. — President, J. N. Parker; secretary, Albert E. Brown; treas- 
urer, Charles D. Harris. 

1898. — President, F. T. Miller; secretary, Albert E. Brown; treas- 
urer, Charles D. Harris. 

In May, 1840, the State Legislature passed an act providing for the 
erection of a new court house in Genesee county, appointing Walter 
Hubbell, Joshua A. Spencer and Amos P. Granger commissioners to 
locate the site and authorizing a loan of $10,000 from the State to the 
county to defray the expense of building. Batavia having always been 
the county seat of the old Genesee county, the inhabitants of that vil- 
lage naturally expected that the proposed new court house would be 
erected there; but after the erection of Orleans county, Batavia was 
considered north of the geographical centre of the county, and the in- 
habitants of the southern towns made an effort to secure the location 
of the court house at a more central point. The discussion that fol- 
lowed was sharp and for a time bitter, but the advocates of a more 
southerly location finally withdrew their objections to Batavia's claim, 
with the understanding that residents of the northern part of the county 
would not oppose its division and the erection of a new county, a sub- 
ject which began to be agitated at the time the court house project was 
instituted. The commissioners thereupon selected Batavia as a site for 
the new county building, soon after which the board of supervisors ap- 
pointed Paul Richards of Orangeville and John Tomlinson of Le Roy 
as building commissioners. They contracted with Elias Pelton to do 
the mason work and Ira E. Phillips and Jonathan Hutchinson to con- 


struct the wood work. Knowlton Rich and Consider Warner of Le 
Roy furnished the cut stone and Samuel- R. Clifford of Le Roy fur- 
nished and put in position the pillars, caps, etc., of Lockport stone. 

May 19, 1841, soon after the work of construction was begun, the 
county was divided, Wyoming county being erected from the southern 
portion of what was then Genesee county. The law dividing the county 
contained these provisions, among others: 

All that part of the county of Genesee lying and being on the south side of a line 
beginning at the northwest corner of the town, of Bennington, in the county afore- 
said, and running thence east on the north line of the towns of Bennington, Attica 
and Middlebury, to the west line of the town of Covington; thence south on the east 
line of Middlebury to the southwest corner of the Craigie tract ; thence east on the 
south line of said Craigie tract, and on the south bounds of the forty thousand acre 
tract to the east line of the said town of Covington, shall be a separate and distinct 
county of the State of New York, and be known by the name of Wyoming, and en- 
titled to and possessed of all the benefits, rights, privileges and immunities, and sub- 
ject to the same duties as the other counties of this State, and the freeholders and 
inhabitants thereof shall possess and enjoy all the rights and immunities which the 
freeholders and inhabitants of the several counties of this State are by law entitled 
to possess and enjoy. All the remaining part of the present county of Genesee shall 
be and remain a separate and distinct county by the name of Genesee, 

All that part of the town of Covington which lies north of the aforesaid line, shall 
be and remain, from and after the passage of this act, a separate and distinct town 
of the said county of Genesee, by the name of Pavilion. . . . 

There shall be a meeting of the board of supervisors of the present county of 
Genesee, on the second Tuesday of June next, at the court house in the village of 
Batavia, to transact such business as may be necessary in consequence of the pas- 
sage of this act. . . . 

The said supervisors when so convened as aforesaid, shall have power to form 
themselves into two separate and distinct boards, those residing in the county of 
Genesee to be considered as the board of supervisors in and for the said county of 
Genesee, and those residing in the county of Wyoming to be considered as the board 
of supervisors in and for the county of Wyoming. . . . 

It shall be the duty of the treasurer of the county of Genesee and of the treasurer 
of the county of Wyoming, so to be appointed as aforesaid, to meet with the said 
supervisors at their said special meetings ; and the said supervisors and treasurers 
when so assembled in joint board, shall apportion and divide all debts owing by the 
said county of Genesee, or to said county, and shall make such arrangements in re- 
lation to the poor-house property and the support of the county poor, as shall be just 
and equitable. 

The said county of Genesee shall be entitled to elect two members of assembly, 
and the said county of Wyoming shall be entitled to elect two members of assembly, 
in the same manner as other counties of this State are by law entitled to elect mem- 
bers of assembly ; and the said counties of Genesee and Wyoming shall compose the 
twenty-ninth congressional district. 


Paul Richards, one of the building commissioners for the new court 
house, being a resident of the newly formed county of Wyoming, re- 
signed that office and Pardon C. Sherman was named as commissioner 
in his place. The building, excepting the basement, was completed in 
1843, and the first court therein was held in February of that year. 
Horace U. Soper and Moses Taggart were afterward appointed com- 
missioners to complete the county clerk's office in the basement. The 
cost of the completed edifice was about $17,000. 


From the Erection of the Present County of Genesee to the Beginning of the War 
of the Rebellion — Two Decades of Steady Industrial and Commercial Development 
— New Churches Organized During That Period — Creation of the Town of Oakfield 
— Railroads Built in Genesee County — The Long Era of Peace Rudely Ended. 

The period beginning with the erection of the new county of Gen- 
esee in 1841, and terminating with the inauguration of that terrific in- 
ternecine struggle known in history as the war of the Rebellion, was 
characterized by few stirring or unusual incidents in Genesee county. 
In all communities, however, there were constant evidences of a steady, 
healthful development. Here and there new industries were founded 
and old ones strengthened, increasing the wealth of the community and 
enhancing values everywhere. In no case was there anything resem- 
bling a forced development. The inhabitants were then, as they are 
now, too conservative and thoughtful for that. The development was 
slow, steady, sure, permanent. Great pride was also shown by the 
inhabitants of the county in their educational institutions. The relig- 
ious spirit, too, continued to thrive, and now and then the Christian 
people in the various communities organized themselves into church 
societies, and erected substantial, and in several cases handsome, 
houses of worship. The commercial world also became broader ; and 
the establishment of banking institutions indicated the increasing pros- 
perity along all lines. The opening of a railroad as far west as Batavia 
as early as 1837 gave a tremendous impetus to trade, which was still 
further increased in 1843 by the extension of the line to Buffalo. This 
was but the beginning, for within a few years the county was intersected 

FROM 1841 TO 1861. 189 

again and again by new steel thoroughfares, until it was furnished with 
transportation facilities excelled by those of no other county in the 
Empire State. 

The first official act under the law dividing the county was performed 
June 8, 1841, when the board of supervisors of the new civil division 
met in Batavia and, in accordance with the provisions of the law en- 
acted on May 19, organized the new county of Genesee with twelve 
towns, as follows: Alabama, Alexander, Batavia, Bergen, Bethany, 
Byron, Darien, Elba, Le Roy, Pavilion, Pembroke and Stafford. The 
town of Pavilion was increased in size March 23, 1842, by the annexa- 
tion thereto of parts of the towns of Le Roy and Stafford. The town 
of Oakfield' was erected from a portion of Elba April 11, 1842. That 
portion of the legislative act creating the new town provided as fol- 

From and after the first Monday of March next, all that part of the 
town of Elba, in the county of Genesee, lying west of a north and south 
line, beginning at the southwest corner of lot three, section five, town- 
ship thirteen, range two of the Holland Land Company's land, running 
north upon said line of lots to the north bounds of said town, shall be a 
separate town by the name of "Oakfield," and the first town meeting 
thei-ein shall be held at the house of Isaiah Olcott, on the first Tuesday 
in March, eighteen hundred and forty-three, at which Perez Rowland, 
John C. Gardner and Clitus Wolcott shall preside. 

The remaining part of the town of Elba shall be and remain a sepa- 
rate town by the name of Elba. 

In May, 1842, a treaty between the Six Nations and commissioners 
on the part of the United States, the States of New York and Massa- 
chusetts and the Ogden Company, was held at Buffalo. By this con- 
vention it was agreed that the Ogden Company should have immedi- 
ate possession of the unimproved lands on the Buffalo arid Tonawanda 
Reservations, and that within two years from that date the Indians 
should leave the improved lands also on those reservations and go to 
those of Allegany and Cattaraugus counties, which they were to re- 
tain during their pleasure. The lands thus thrown into possession of 
the company were promptly surveyed, divided among the members 
and placed on the market. 

The first religious society of which any record is left as having 

> So named by reason of the large area of oak timber laud comprised within its limits in the 
early days. 


been organized during this period of nearly a score of years was the 
Second Methodist Episcopal church of Byron, which was established 
at South Byron September 26, 1843. John Cook was one of the leaders 
in the movement which resulted in the organization. The first pastor 
was the Rev. Alva Wright. In 1853 a church edifice was erected at a 
cost of about $3,500. The First Methodist Episcopal church estab- 
lished at Byron Centre at an early day has been extinct many years. 

A public meeting held at the house of Adna Tenny in Darien Jan- 
uary 7, 1843, adopted a set of resolutions unique in their character. 
This action on the part of the inhabitants of that town was simply an 
incident of the hard times of that period. The resolutions adopted 
were as follows: 

Resolved, That we as citizens of the State of New York, do hold, that a true and 
strict equality ought to be instituted between man and man in this free and enlight- 
ened Republic ; and that all privileged orders ought to be unknown in a land of 
Freemen, where every man has a right to claim the equality we advocate. 

Resolved, That we will use our united efforts as true andloyalcitizens to establish, 
through our public servants that equality we now claim. 

Resolved, That in order to effect this equality we will recommend to the Legisla- 
ture of this State to instruct our Senators and recommend to our Representatives in 
Congress the necessity and propriety of reducing the wages of the members of Con- 
gress, at least one-half, or to an equality with the compensation received by the 
Farmer and Mechanic for their labor. 

Resolved, That we will recommend to the Legislature of this State the necessity 
of reducing the fees of the Surrogate in said county of Genesee, and that all other 
officers in the several counties and in the State, or in other words to the county and 
State officers to an equality with that standard of comj)ensation by which the labor- 
ing part of the community are governed and to which they are made to submit. 

Resolved, That we recommend and petition the Legislature of this State, to abro- 
gate that part of our Common School law requiring the board of .Supervisors in each 
of the counties in this State, to appoint a Deputy Superintendent in their county. It 
creates an office of which we do not approve, and which we believe is not called for 
by a majority of the people of this State, and which is considered a drain to our 
common school fund which carries more out than it is able to return back again, by 
its best exertions, into that fountain from which it is taken, and we do further peti- 
tion the legislature of this State to amend that part of our common school law relat- 
ing to inspectors of common schools in the town of Darien so as to limit the meeting 
of such inspectors to two days in each year, one day in the fall, for the inspection of 

One of the most important occurrences in the history of Genesee 
county was the construction of the early railroad lines extending 
into and through the territory embraced within the county. The 
first railroad communication eastward from any part of Genesee 

FROM 1841 TO 1861. 191 

county came with the opening of that portion of the Buffalo and 
Rochester railroad extending from Rochester as far west as Bergen, 
in 1836. During the following year the road was completed and 
put in operation as far as Batavia. The Attica and Buffalo rail- 
road, chartered in 1836, was opened late in 1842. The Tonawanda 
railroad, chartered in 1832, was also first put in operation in 1842. 
By 1843 the first road named was also in operation between Buffalo 
and Rochester, thus forming a continuous chain of transportation by 
way of steam railroads from Buffalo to Albany and thence to New 
York. The first through train from Rochester to Buffalo was run, 
via the Attica and Buffalo line, January 8, 1843. The Buffalo and 
Rochester road was formed December 7, 1850, by a consolidation of 
the Attica and Buffalo and the Tonawanda railroads. In 1852 this 
company opened a direct road from Buffalo to Batavia, maintaining 
that part of the Attica and Buffalo line between Attica and Buffalo as 
a branch. Though the Attica and Buffalo line was organized prior to 
1836, its operations were postponed by the financial panic of that time. 
Auburn and Syracuse had been connected by rail since 1838, and Utica 
with Syracuse since 1839, while in August, 1841, a road was opened 
from Auburn to Rochester. These were the early-forged links in the 
great New York Central consolidation of 1853, and greatly facilitated 
passenger and freight transportation to and from the East. 

The Niagara Bridge and Canandaigua railroad, originally the Can- 
andaigua and Niagara Falls railroad, filed, articles of incorporation 
March 1, 1851, was opened for traffic April 1, 1854, and leased to the 
New York Central Railroad Company September 1, 1858. The road 
has since been merged in the New York Central & Hudson River Rail- 

In 1852 the Buffalo and New York City Railroad Company' opened 
a line of road from Buffalo to Batavia, thence eastward to Avon, and 
thence southeastward to Corning. In a short time, however, the track 
between Batavia and Buffalo was taken up, while the line beyond Ba- 
tavia became thg property of the Erie Railroad Company. 

In May, 1853, the various companies and roads between Buffalo and 
Albany were consolidated under the name of the New York Central 
Railroad. The importance of this road was still further increased in 
1869 by the absorption of the Hudson River road. 

' In 1857 the name was changed to Buffalo, New York and Erie. Its road was subsequently 
leased to the Erie Railroad Company. 


An idea of the passenger transportation facilities of these days may 
be gleaned from a report of a convention of delegates representing all 
the railroad companies between the Hudson river and Buffalo, namely, 
the Attica and Buffalo, the Tonawanda, the Auburn and Rochester, the 
Auburn and Syracuse, the Syracuse and Utica, the Utica and Schenec- 
tady, the Mohawk and Hudson, and the Troy and Schenectady rail- 
roads, held at the American hotel in Albany, January 31, 1843. On 
this occasion resolutions as follows were adopted : 

Resolved, That it is expedient to run two daily lines between Buffalo and the 
Hudson river, connecting with the morning and night boats out of Albany and Troy, 
and that each line be run in 35 honrs, including stops, and that the same be appor- 
tioned as follows: 

Buffalo to Rochester, 6 hours ; Rochester to Auburn, 6 hours ; Auburn to Syracuse, 
3 hours; Syracuse to Utica, 4 hours; Utica to Albany and Troy, 7 hours — 25 hours. 

* * * 

Resolved, That during the winter months the train shall leave Buffalo at 7 in the 
morning, reach and remain over night at Syracuse ; and leave Albany at 9 o'clock in 
the morning, and stay over night at Auburn, so that a passenger may make the 
passage between Albany and Buffalo in two days. 

In 1845 the Rev. A. C. Paine, M. D., gathered together fifteen ad- 
herents of the Methodist faith in the town of Pembroke, at Corfu, and 
organized the "First Methodist Protestant church of Pembroke." 
After worshiping in various places for eight years, the society, in 1853, 
erected a brick house of worship at a cost of three thousand dollars. 
The society had a prosperous career. 

Three churches were founded in Genesee county in 1849. The First 
Christian church of Pembroke, located at North Pembroke, was organ- 
ized June 30 of that year, with fifteen members, by the Rev. Joseph 
Weeks. A year later they built an edifice, which was enlarged and re- 
modeled in 1888. 

April 8, 1849, St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church of Batavia' be- 
gan its existence as an independent church and parish, under the pastoral 
charge of the Rev. Father Edward Dillon, who was appointed to the 
charge by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Timon. The first services were held in 
the historic brick school house on the corner of Main and Eagle streets. 
The present edifice, located on the corner of East Main and Summit 
streets, which cost forty-five thousand dollars, was not erected until 

It was through the efforts of Father Dillon of Batavia that St. Peter's 

' See History of the Village o£ Batavia, 

FROM 1841 TO 1861. 193 

Roman Catholic church of Le Roy was organized, in 1849, a short time 
after his appointment to the newly organized parish in Batavia. With- 
in a few weeks after coming to Batavia Father Dillon visited Le Roy 
and said mass in the famous old Round House, on the site of the pres- 
ent Universalist church. Monthly services were held thereafter for 
some time, and during July Bishop Timon made his first visit to the 
congregation In September following Father Dillon purchased a lot 
on Pleasant street and erected thereon a frame church, in which the 
first mass was celebrated on Christmas night following. From October, 
1850, to October, 1863, various pastors conducted services. On the lat- 
ter date the Rev. Francis O'Farrell assumed charge, remaining four 
years. In the meantime he also served the churches at Batavia and 
Attica. Father Brown and Father McGlew succeeded him in turn. 
Owing to the growth in the membership of the church he, bought a lot 
on Myrtle street. The Rev., Thomas Cunningham, who came in 1860, 
bought eight acres of land on Exchange street, laid out St. Francis's 
cemetery, increased the church accommodations and established a fund 
for a new church. A parish was organized in December, 1868, and the 
Rev. Daniel De Lacy Moore became the first resident priest. He 
purchased a lot on Lake street and made plans for a new church. Un- 
der his ministrations the work of construction was begun. But he died 
in January, 1871, and the Rev. L. Vanderpool, the present pastor, who 
had assumed charge in December, 1870, completed the task. The 
church was dedicated in December, 1873, by Bishop Ryan of Buffalo. 
A parochial school house was opened September 2, 1889. 

The Presbyterian church of Pembroke and Batavia was organized 
December 24, 1854, through the offices of the Rev. William Lusk of 
Batavia. The original members numbered twenty-two, and the Rev. 
Daniel C. Houghton was the first pastor. The first church edifice, 
built in 1855, a frame building, cost five thousand dollars. 

St. Michael's Episcopal church of Oakfield dates from 1858. It has 
had an unusually interesting career. In 1856 the Rev. G. V. C. East- 
man became head master of Cary Collegiate Seminary. Finding in 
town several people who had been attached to the Church of England, 
he began to hold services in the chapel of the seminary. The move- 
ment soon acquired sufficient strength to warrant the organization of a 
parish. The records show that June 14, 1858, a meeting was held for 
that purpose. The Rev. Mr. Eastman presided ; two wardens, A. C. 
Dodge, Cyrus Pond, and eight vestrymen were elected. In 1861 the 



Rev. H. V. Gardner became rector and was succeeded, May 4, 1865, 
by the Rev. James R. Coe, who held the rectorship until his death, 
March 16, 1874. 

After Mr. Coe's death, the Rev. Henry A. Duboc served a brief but 
acceptable rectorship. His successor was the Rev. Charles H. Kellogg, 
who resigned May 2, 1878. The following October the Rev. H. M. 
Brown assumed the rectorship, which he held till 1881. Subsequently 
for several years the parish was served by R. H. Coe as lay reader, 
with occasional services by the Rev. Dr. Hitchcock and other clergy- 
men. The Rev. A. J. Warner was then called and was rector from 
November, 1886, to September, 1889. The Rev. C. C. Gove, deacon, 
was elected minister-in-charge October 4, 1889, and having been ad- 
vanced to priest's orders in St. Michael's church by Bishop Coxe, on 
St. Thomas day, 1891, was then made rector and is the present incum- 

Until February 1, 1885, the services were held in the chapel of the 
seminary. On that day services were celebrated for the first time in 
St. Michael's church. June 18 following. Bishop Coxe of Buffalo, as- 
sisted by five clergymen, consecrated the edifice. 

Though the First Roman Catholic church of Bergen was organized 
about 1850, the house of worship was not erected until 1859. The Rev. 
Father McGowan, who for several years had pastoral charge of the 
congregation, was chiefly instrumental in the erection of the church. 
In 1883 the original building was torn down and the present handsome 
edifice erected, under the supervision of Father Maloy. The parish 
had no resident priest until 1886, when the Rev. Father O'Riley came. 

Ingham Collegiate Institute of Le Roy ' was incorporated April 6, 
1852. The trustees named in the charter were A. P. Hascall, A. S. 
Upham, Allen Ayrault, I. Chandler, M. L. R. P. Thompson, William 
C. Wisner, John Chester, Charles N. Mattoon, G. H. McKnight, J. B. 
Shaw, W. W. Evarts, D. C. Houghton, Stephen G. Austin, Pelatiah 
Perit, A. F. Barton, Aristarchus Champion ,Mi]es P. Lampson, Marshall 
Smead, Dennis Church, James R. Bond, Albert Brewster, James Falk- 
ner, Phineas Stanton and M. M. Ingham. 

In 1853 the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank, which had been estab- 
lished in Batavia in 1838, was removed to Buffalo, principally through 
the influence of Elbridge G. Spaulding, who was elected president in 
1852. The first board of trustees consisted of E. G. Spaulding, Rufus 

' See the chapter on Education in Genesee Connty. 

FROM 1841 TO 1861. 195 

L. King, John S. Ganson, William R. Gwinn and H. Pompelly. The 
original capital of the bank was one hundred thousand dollars. 

In the meantime noticeable improvements were effected in the various 
towns of the county. The industrial development was steady, though 
not rapid, as the increase in population was not v^ry marked during 
this period; Among the first of the new industries to be established 
were the Oakfield mills, located on a branch of Oak Orchard creek in 
the town of Oakfield. These mills were built in 1842 by Stephen Olm- 
sted, who operated them successfully for fourteen years. In 1856 they 
were purchased by Calvin Nobles. He continued their operation alone 
until 1883, when he sold them to his son, N. C. Nobles, who remodeled 
the mills and put in modern roller machinery, using both steam and 
water for motive power. In 1842 Stephen Olmstead purchased the old 
Nobles mill at Oakfield. In 1856 he constructed, in connection there- 
with, a plaster mill, the original capacity of which was twenty-five tons 
per day. The stone has always been taken from the town, in the vicin- 
ity of the mill. In 1893 the business went into the hands of the Olm- 
sted Stucco Company, consisting of F. A. Olmsted, C. P. Olmstead and 
H. W. Olmsted. The plant was destroyed by fire in August, 1893, and 
was rebuilt on a larger scale and in operation again in December fol- 
lowing. In 1896 the enterprise was sold to the Otto B. Englisch Plas- 
ter company, which still operates it. It is one of the principal indus- 
tries of the town. 

In 1837 Caryville, the principal village in Oakfield, changed its name 
to Plain Brook. Soon after the name was changed to Oakfield, under 
which name it was incorporated in 1858. August 7 of that year the 
first officers under the charter were elected, as follows : Trustees, An- 
drew Thompson, Virgil C. Calkins, Asa A. Woodruff, Abner C. Dodge, 
S. P. Champlin ; assessors, Rice Baldwin, Samuel Fellows, Horace R. 
Holt; clerk, Solomon H. Parmalee; treasurer, Cyrus Pond; collector, 
Thomas Brown; poundmaster, De Witt C. Colony; inspectors of elec- 
tion, Samuel March, A. A. Woodruff, S. P. Champlin. 

Batavia experienced many changes during these two decades. In 
1850 John Enger purchased the old stone church on West Main street, 
built by the Methodist society in 1827, which he converted into a 
brewery. In 1855 the Batavia Gas Light Company was organized 
with a capital of $33,500. In 1857 Eh Fish built large ale vaults on the 
site of the old brewery built by Libbeus Fish in 1837. 

In Le Roy prosperity was in evidence on all sides. But the place 


had been devastated by several fires in earlier years, and the inhab- 
itants were now awakening to the necessity of securing better protec- 
tion against the ravages of the destructive element. Consequently a 
fire department was organized February 8, 1851, with John W. Shedd 
as chief engineer, John G. Barber as first assistant chief, and A. O. 
Comstock as secretary. The department for many years consisted of a 
chemical company, a hose company and a hook and ladder company. 
For nearly thirty years Samuel F. Comstock was secretary of the de- 
partment. He died in 1893, since which time F. A. Steuben has served 
in that office. The Le Roy Chemical Engine Company was organized 
October 5, 1885, with these members: F. M. Comstock, W. C. Boak, 

F. L. B. Taft, T. W. Larkin, C. E. Curtiss, J. K. Boak, F. H. Morgan, 
S. D. Gilbert, W. F. Huyck, Hobart S. Kelsey, L. W. Steuben, Frank 
W. Ball, Charles M. Rider, W. F. McKenzie, Edward P. Freeman, John 
C. Ross, W. M. Chapman, Edward Priester, H. H. Falkner, S. H. 
Murdock, W. E. Humelbaugh and J. W. Olmsted. November 2, 1896, 
the village trustees engaged a steam engine of the Silsby Manufactur- 
ing Company of Seneca Falls, paying therefore twenty dollars per week, 
until the completion of the new waterworks system in that village. 
The chief engineers of the fire department have been as follows: 

1851, Colonel John W. Shedd; 1852-1856, John G. Barber; 1857, 
Samuel T. Howard; 1858, records missing; 1859-1861, John G. Barber; 
1862, Angus L. Tompkins; 1863, John G. Barber; 1864-1867, James 
Allison; 1868-1873, W. S. Brown; 1873-1874, A. S. Tryon; 1875, John 

G. Barber; 1876, Gideon Fordham (removed by the village trustees 
and W. S. Brown elected in 1877 to succeed him); 1878-1886, Angus 
L. Tompkins; 1887-1890, John Wiss; 1891-1893, Frank Siez; 1893- 
1895, Sephrine D. Gilbert; 1896-1898, Stanley M. Smith. 

The Le Roy Firemen's Benevolent Association was incorporated 
April 11, 1853, the first officers being: President, John J. J. Tompkins; 
vice-president, Abram D. Lampkins; secretary, John H. Lent; treas- 
urer, Charles Morgan; directors, John H. Stanley, Seaman T. Wright, 
Samuel T. Howard. The following is a list of the presidents of the 
association : 

1853, John J. J. Tompkins; 1854, A. O. Comstock; 1855, Solomon T. 
Wright; 1856-57, John H. Stanley; 1858-63, John J. J. Tompkins; 
1864-76, John G. Barber; 1877, W. S. Brown; 1878-79, Gideon Ford- 
ham; 1880, Angus L.Tompkins; 1881-85, Edwin L. Bishop; 1886-98, 
S. Percy_Hooker. 

FROM 1841 TO 1861. 197 

The charter of Le Roy was amended by act of the Legislature passed 
April 6, 1857. By this instrument the boundaries of the village were 
defined as follows : 

All that district of country hereafter described shall be known and distinguished 
by the name of the village of Le Roy, that is to say; all that part of the town of Le 
Roy, in the county of Genesee, bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point in 
the centre of the Niagara road, on the west line of James R. Lynn farm ; thence 
along said west line north, so far that a line running west dra>vn parallel with the 
Niagara road shall intersect Brockport street at George W. Blodgett's north line; 
thence west on said parallel line with the Niagara road, until it strikes a line run- 
ning north from the east line of land formerly known as the Benjamin Wilcox farm ; 
thence south on said line to the east line of said Wilcox farm, on said Niagara road; 
thence continuing south on the east line of said Wilcox farm, so far as to intersect a 
line which, running due east, will meet the road crossing Allen's creek, near Has- 
kin's mill, where the same intersects the Bethany road; thence easterly along the 
said road crossing Allen's creek, to where said road intersects the Pavilion road, by 
the south side of land formerly owned by widow Munn ; thence east on a parallel 
line with said Niagara road, so far as to intersect a line drawn due south from the 
place of beginning; thence north to the place of beginning. 

The first trustees of the village under the new charter were A. P. 
Hascall, S. S. Bryant, S. Chamberlin, A. G. Carpenter and J. H. Stan- 

Le Roy has suffered from numerous destructive fires, one of the most 
disastrous of which, during the period under discussion, occurred at 
three o'clock on the morning of January 17, 1855. The flames origin- 
ated in an old wooden building occupied by the printing office of the 
Genesee Herald, owned by Mr. Grummon, and Mr. Pinney's tobacco 
store. Among those whose places of business were destroyed were 
Samson & Elmore, Foreman & Sons, Barton & Olmstead, James Annin, 
Browning & Kelsey, Hascall & Bangs, Mr. Olmsted and Mr. Adams. 
The total loss was about one hundred thousand dollars. 

The Le Roy Gas Light Company was organized in July, 1860, with 
a paid-in capital of twenty-five thousand dollars. Lucius N. Bangs 
and Chauncey L. Olmstead were largely interested in establishing the 
company. The first officers were : President, NathanJRandall ; treas- 
urer, Patrick H. Agan; secretary, superintendent and inspector, Charles 
M. Randall. The works, located at Allen's creek between the Central 
and Erie railroads, were opened in 1861. In 1890 the company added 
an electric light plant to its establishment, but the village now operates 
that plant under condemnation proceedings instituted in 1897. Nathan 
Randall served as president of the gas company until 1865, when he 


was succeeded by Chauncey L. Olmstead. General C. Fitch Bissell 
became president in 1874, and his son, D. Jackson Bissell in 1889, the 
latter still serving in that office. 

Among the other industries established in Le Roy during this period 
were the broom factory of Jerome French, which was started in 1849 
in the old Rockwell hotel, two and one half miles south of the village. 
In 1854 M. A. Ladd established a, carriage shpp in the village, erecting 
a stone building of two stories. 

In Darien Henry L. Harlow, in 1844, began the manufacture of car- 
riages in a small way at Harlow's Corners. Soon after he admitted his 
younger brothers, Jefferson P. and Charles J. Harlow, into partner- 
ship. From time to time the business increased and the market was 
extended until at one time the firm employed thirty-five men and sold 
the product of its factory in seven or eight different States. The busi- 
ness was continued in Darien, and then in Lancaster, for a period of 
about forty years. 

While Genesee county, in common with the country at large, was 
enjoying an era of prosperity following the financial panic of 1857, the 
country passed through the most important presidential campaign 
which had occurred since the formation of the Union. This was the 
campaign of 1860 — the forerunner of the tremendous crisis in the affairs 
of state which terminated in the Civil war. There were four national 
tickets in the field, headed respectively by Abraham Lincoln, John C. 
Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas. Of the three hun- 
dred and three electoral votes, Lincoln received one hundred and 
eighty, Breckinridge seventy-two. Bell thirty-nine, and Douglas twelve. 
The result produced great rejoicing in the triumphant Republican 
party in the Northern States, but with it was intermingled an ever- 
increasing volume of dissatisfaction and rage, which came up from the 
South like a tidal wave, culminating in open rebellion and the seces- 
sion of several of the Southern States. Before the country could real- 
ize the catastrophe which had overtaken it, Sumter had been fired upon 
and the nation was involved in all the horrors of what proved to be a 
sanguinary civil war, the greatest in the history of the world. 



On the morning of April 15, 1861, the daily newspapers which 
reached Batavia bore the sorrowful tidings of the bombardment of Fort 
Sumter on the 13th and 13th of the month. On that day business of 
all kinds, public and private, was neglected for the discussion of the 
portentous event. War was the sole topic of conversation; but even 
yet it was believed by most men of intelligence and judgment that the 
moment that the powerful arm of the government was uplifted against 
the offenders they would abandon their treasonable outbreak and bow 
in submission to the federal authority. Many months elapsed, how- 
ever, blood was shed in the border States, and millions of treasure 
were expended before even the highest government officials realized 
that a long and desolating war had begun. 

April 15, the day of the evacuation of Fort Sumter, President Lin- 
coln issued a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand militia for 
three months' service. This call in itself was sufficient evidence of the 
general belief at the national capital that the war would prove to be no 
more than a summer-long conflict. The quota of New York State un- 
der this call was 13,380, and it was more than filled. May 3 another 
call for troops was issued, under which, and acts approved July 22, 
half a million men were required. No sooner was the first call for 
troops made public than Genesee county was plunged into a fever of 
martial enthusiasm. Flags were unfurled to the breeze from hundreds 
of windows, and an intensely war-like spirit pervaded the atmosphere 
everywhere. An enthusiastic meeting was held immediately at Batavia, 
when twenty volunteers were enrolled. The same evening a meeting 
was held at Le Roy, and others in the various towns of the county fol- 

April 18, the county authorities received official information that 
five hundred men would be needed from Genesee county. In accord- 
ance with this demand public meetings were held on the afternoon and 
evening of Saturday, April 20, at Concert hall, in Batavia, at which 


forty-eight young- men were enrolled. On that occasion Trumbull 
Gary, John Fisher, Junius A. Smith, Seth Wakeman and James M. 
Willett were named as a committee to solicit subscriptions to a fund for 
the support of the families of those who enlisted. For a similar pur- 
pose a committee of three was appointed in each town, as follows: 

Alabama. — Chauncey Williams, George H. Potter, Edward Halsey. 
Alexander. — Heman Blodgett, Earl Kidder, E. G. Moulton. 
Bethany. — Lemuel F. Lincoln, A. G. Torrey, Carlos Huggins. 
Bergen. — Horatio N. Reed, Samuel Richmond, Josiah Pierson. 
Byron. — J. T. Boynton, Loren Green, Addison Terry. 
Darien.— J. W. Hyde, Colonel A. Jefferson, T. C. Peters. 
Elba.— Alva U. Willis, A. Hulett, C. H. Monell. 
Le Roy.— Hon. A. S. Upham, Walter Gustin, A. O. Comstock. 
Oakfield. — Charles H. Chamberlin, John C. Gardner, William Dunlap. 
Pavilion. ^ — -Oswald Bond, Warren Fay, George Toralinson. 
Pembroke.— G. W. Wright, D. N. Wells, R F. Thomson. 

From the beginning of the work, local recruiting progressed rapidly. 
April 29 the formation of the first company in the county was com- 
pleted, and under the command of Captain Augustus I. Root it left the 
county to become part of the Twelfth Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Inf. May 
14 a second company, in command of Captain James R. Mitchell, left 
to join its regiment. The third company, commanded by Captain Will- 
iam L. Cowan, followed May 15. 

While these military companies were being formed, the patriotic 
women of Genesee county began the organization of associations for 
providing for the soldiers in the field comforts, and even luxuries, which 
the government did not furnish — such as flannels, havelocks, articles 
of clothing, medicines, etc. These things were supplied in liberal 
quantities, and accomplished much toward the amelioration of the far 
from pleasant condition of the men who had gone to the front for the 
, preservation and maintenance of the American Union. Among those 
who were leaders and most active workers in this noble and gracious 
cause, were Mrs. Gad B. Worthington, Mrs. Richard Cotes, Mrs. John 
Fisher, Mrs. George H. Holden, Mrs. Alva Smith, Mrs. E. R. Pratt, 
Mrs. Levi Jackson, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. N. G. Clark, Mrs. Putnam, Mrs. 
Thomas Yates, Mrs. John Wood, Mrs. Seth Wakeman, Mrs. Levant 
B. Cotes, Mrs. S. C. Holden, Mrs. Junius A. Smith, Mrs. Dean Rich- 
mond, Mrs. H. U. Howard, Mrs.' Macy, Miss M. Mallory, Miss Parsons, 
Miss Carrie Pringle and many others. 

The first engagement participated in by any company sent to the 


front by Genesee county occurred on Monday, July 18, 1861. On that 
day the Twelfth Regt. N. Y. Vol. Inf., of which Company K was or- 
ganized in Batavia, took a leading part in the sharp skirmish at Bull 
Run Creek, Va., the preliminary movement in the memorable battle of 
Bull Run, which occurred three days later. About 2 p. m. Richardson's 
Brigade of Tyler's Division, consisting of the First Massachusetts, Sec- 
ond Michigan, Third Michigan and Twelfth New York Regiments of 
Infantry, with the New York Regiment in advance, arrived at Centre- 
ville after a long and weary march from Vienna, and turned to the left 
from Centreville Heights towards Bull Run. The division had ad- 
vanced to a point about a mile and a half south from Centreville, when 
the rebels opened fire upon it with artillery. Company K, commanded 
by Captain A. I. Root, being on the left flank, was nearest the rebel 
battery and was among the first to feel the effects of its fire. The New 
York regiment was immediately formed in line of battle in an open 
field and two companies, deployed as skirmishers, at once advanced 
toward a thicket of small pines where the rebels were supposed to be 
in force. They were followed and supported by the remaining eight 
companies of the regiment, and these were followed and supported by 
the balance of the brigade. As the skirmishers approached the woods 
they were received with a heavy fire from the enemy's advance posted 
there, but were promptly and nobly sustained by the regiment. The 
order was: 

" Twelfth New York, fix bayonets and clear the woods! " 
Bayonets were fixed, an intervening fence was scaled, and the regi- 
ment rushed double quick into the woods ten or twelve rods with bay- 
onets at charge, when the boys were met with a sudden and fierce fire 
from Longstreet's entire division of the rebel army. The bullets fell 
like hailstones. Fortunately the rebels were not experienced fighters 
and the bullets flew high. The rattle of the balls against the trees was 
terrific, and branches and leaves fell like grass before the mower. The 
regiment was thrown into confusion and compelled to retire to form in 
line again, and it fell back to the other side of the field over which it 
had just charged In this charge the regiment suffered a loss of over 
four hundred men in killed, wounded and prisoners. Company K, of 
Batavia, lost Privates Lathrop, mortally wounded; Grimes, severely 
wounded ; and Charles Durant and Johnson, taken prisoners. 

While the regiment was being re-formed a youthful lieutenant, fresh 
from West Point, and on that day acting as aid to General Tyler, rode 
up and said : 


" I know some of those boys. They are from Batavia. Let me lead 
their regiment down through this ravine and attack the rebel flank. " 

The desired permission was not granted, however, though the opin- 
ion has been expressed, by several who participated in that action, that 
it could have been a wise and successful one. That young lieutenant 
was a Batavia boy, Emory Upton, afterwards Major General! 

There was no more fighting that day. The division fell back to Cen- 
treville Heights, where it remained until it advanced to participate in 
the bloody battle of Bull Run of July 21. 

The action of July 18 was Company K's first " baptism of fire." Bat 
the members of this company afterwards participated in many of the 
battles of the war. Its captain attained the rank of colonel and died at 
the head of his regiment — the Fifteenth New York Cavalry — in one of 
the closing battles of the war. Its orderly sergeant became major — 
Major S. D. Ludden. Its second sergeant became captain — Captain 
Charles F. Rand. Private John B. Foote became a lieutenant. This 
company, the first to organize in Genesee county, and the first to depart 
from Batavia for the scene of the conflict, had the following officers: 

Captain, Augustus I. Root; lieutenant, William P. Town; ensign, Lucius Smith 
sergeants, Samuel D. Ludden, Charles F. Rand, James F. Taylor, Thomas Tanzey 
corporals, Samuel McChesney, William P. Jones, James P. Taylor, Joseph L. Hunt 
musicians, Albert A. Mead, Francis M. Lincoln. 

The privates were as follows: 

William B. Aird, George W. Baars, John W. Bartlett, John C. Beach, Almon G. 
Bentley, Franklyn Billings, James Brayley, John Briggs, Henry R. Casler, James 
Clifton, Zelotus R. Colby, James Conway, James E. Cross, Charles F. Davenport, 
Robert Dearlove, Michael Delano, Charles Durant, William Enwright, Harrison 
Ferguson, John B. Foote, Daniel W. Ford, Alvin Fox, Patrick Garrity, John G. 
Gartner, Jasper Gibbs, John Glansbroth, William Graham, Jacob Heiber, Charles A. 
Hickox, William Johnson, Barney Karker, George Keem, William Lathrop, William 
H. Leonard, Peter Mischlin, Frank Murphy, William H. Nickols, Robert Peard, 
Cornelius W. Post, George W. Reynolds. Michael Roach, Michael Ryan, Frank 
Searnons, James Shepard, George Smith, Hiram W. Smith, Parmenis Skinner, 
Albert P. Stage. John Stone, William Thompson, Timothy Tierney, Horace F. 
Tracy, William Wheeler. 

The Twelfth Regiment, of which Captain Root's company formed a 
part, was commanded by Col. Ezra L. Walrath and was mustered into 
the service May 13, 1861. 

The Twenty-eighth Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Infantry, was organized 
at Albany to serve two years. The companies of which it was com- 


posed were raised in the counties of Genesee, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans 
and Sullivan. The members of the regiment left Batavia May 13, 1861, 
and on May 23 the organization was mustered into the service of the 
United States at Albany. The Genesee county company, organized by 
Captain James R. Mitchell, afterwards major, was in command of Cap- 
tain Charles H. Fenn. Its other officers were: 

First lieutenant, William W. Rowley; second lieutenant, George M. Ellicott; ser- 
geants, Lucien R. Bailey, Charles D. Searles, George W. Sherwood, Edward J. Watts ; 
corporals, Leander Hamilton, Chandler Gillam, Robert E. Whitney, Darwin Fel- 
lows; musicians, John Frost, Silas Bragg. 

The following persons went out with the company as privates: 

Calvin Anuis, George H. Allen, William F. Albro, Edmund Bragdon, Byron 
BrinkerhofE, James F. Bennett, Riley Blount, George Barnard, Lafayette Baker, 
Oscar Barnes, Philip Bettinger, George H. Bolton, Henry Baldwin, John S. Barber, 
William H. Colburn, Roswell Coddington, Robert Chappell, Henry Close, Charles 
H. Crandell, Alexander Comyns, Henry Dykeman, Joshua C. Davis, Melvin Dodge, 
Decatur Doty, Irvin H. Ewell, Kirkland Ewell, Theodore Eldridge, Joseph Ennis, 
George Griffin, Cleveland Gillett, Joseph Gibson, Peter Howland, William Rowland, 
Porter Howard, Truman M. Hawley, George M. Hamilton, Isaac Hotchkiss, James G. 
Lawton, Charles G. Liscomb, Joseph Luce, John Moran, Barnard Murray, Lyman 
B. Miner, William McCracken, Richard Outhardt, Charles A. Perkins, Flavius Per- 
kins, Edward C. Peck, Erastus Peck, Franklin Peck, Michael Quirk, Charles B. 
Rapp, Harlow M. Reynolds, Michael Ryan, Howard M. Snell, Henry Scott, William 
B. Simmons, Stephen Tayler, Robert Thompson, Milton Tripp, George Thayer, 
John Van Buren, Francis M. Weatherlow. 

The regiment of which this company formed a part remained at 
Camp Morgan, Albany, about three weeks, and was then ordered to 
Washington. The next orders carried them to Martinsburg, Va. 
Soon after, at Harper's Ferry, it was attached to the Third Brigade, 
Ninth Army Corps, under command of General George H. Thomas, 
and spent the summer and fall in doing picket duty along the Potomac, 
Early in the winter the regiment went into quarters at Frederick, 
Md. January 1, 1863, it moved to Hancock, Md., where it remained 
two months. March 1, the day designated for the grand move of the 
Army of the Potomac, the Twenty-eighth proceeded to Virginia, pass- 
ing the summer in the Shenandoah Valley. In the fall it marched to 
Martinsburg again, thence to Culpepper Court House. In this place 
and vicinity a month was passed. After the battle of Chancellorsville 
it proceeded to Washington, and soon afterward left for the North. It 
was mustered out of the service of the United States at Lockport, June 
3, 1863. 


The regiment participated in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Antie- 
tam and Chancellorsville. At the battle of Cedar Mountain Colonel 
Donnelly, commanding the regiment, received wounds which resulted 
in his death August 15, 1862; Lieutenant Colonel Edwin F. Brown had 
an arm shot ofif; Major Elliott W. Cook was made a prisoner; Adjutant 
Charles B. Sprout was killed in action, and Lieutenant Bailey of Com- 
pany F was wounded. The regiment lost heavily in this engagement. 
The record of the officers of this regiment who went from Genesee county 
follows : 

Major.— James R. Mitchell, commissioned June 30, 1861 ; resigned September 30, 

Captains.— William W. Rowley, commissioned November 10, 1862; mustered out 

with regiment. James R. Mitchell, commissioned ; promoted to major June 20, 

1861. Charles H. Fenn, commissioned July 4, 1861 ; mustered out with regiment. 

First Lieutenants — Charles H. Fenn, commissioned ; promoted to captain May 

19, 1861. William W. Rowley, commissioned July 4, 1861 ; promoted to captain No- 
vember 10, 1863. George M. Ellicott, commissioned November 10, 1863; mustered 
out with regiment. 

Second Lieutenants. — William W. Rowley, commissioned ; promoted to first 

lieutenant May 19, 1861. George M. Ellicott, commissioned July 4, 1861 ; promoted 
to first lieutenant November 10, 1863. Lucien R. Bailey, commissioned February 
7, 1863; mustered out with regiment. 

Capt. William L. Cowan's company (Company D) of the Fourteenth 
Regiment, New York Volunteer Militia, was recruited in Genesee 
county, organized at Batavia, inspected May 8, 1861, and mustered into 
the service of the United States May 17, 1861, for two years. Captain 
Cowan was a resident of Darien. The other officers commanding the 
company were: 

First lieutenant, Robert H. Foote, of Batavia; second lieutenant, George E. Gee of 
Darien ; sergeants, Thomas R. Hard wick of Pembroke, Almon C. Barnard, Jesse R. 
Decker of Batavia, Irwin H. Crosman of Alexander; corporals, David W. Manning, 
Harry Parsons, Hiram H. Van Dake, Thomas L. Ostrom; musicians, James B. Pot- 
ter and Gregory Shaver. 

The following were mustered as privates : 

Orlando Aldrich, Charles Archer, Charles Averill, Lucius F. Brown, James Bailey, 
Freeman F. Barber, William H. Barnett, Martin W. Bliton, Thomas Bowie, John H. 
Brown, Warren P. Burr, Austin A. Bagley, George Carpenter, George Chamberlin, 
Daniel Chamberlin, Martin Coon, Ira S. Cross, William E. Crissey, Ellery L. Delano, 
James Derick, George Drain, Stephen Eunis, Henry Farnham, George Fisher, De- 
metreus Glenn, Clark E. Gould, Abram Haner, Bruce Herington, Henry Hike, Na- 
than B. Hopkins, Lowell Howe, Nelson Jenkins, Daniel Johns, Phillip Lapp, An- 
drew Lee, James A. Lewis, John Lyon, Artemas Maxon, Richard P. Merrill, James 


McDermit, Arthur O'Niel, Martin Pilgrim, William H. Randall, Almon Secord, Rob- 
ert Scovell, Joseph Shaw, William Shaw, William Smith, Francis D. Smith, Andrew 
Seiber, Andrew Strobel, Paddock L. Tucker, Charles H. Tessey, Carmel D. Townsend, 
Edward Tibbits, Randolph Tubbs, Arthur Tumalty, Peter Van Valkenburg, Charles 

B. Vickery, Ira Woodin, Benjamin Winans, Amos B. Wyman, Millard D. York, 
Menden Younge. 

As the quota of New York State was filled when Captain Cowan or- 
ganized his company, when he left Batavia for Albany with his com- 
mand, May 15, 1861, he acted entirely upon his own responsibility. 
Upon arriving at Albany, however, he succeeded in having his com- 
pany assigned to the Fourteenth Regiment, commanded by Colonel 
James McQuade. Soon afterward the regiment proceeded to the front, 
being first stationed at Camp Douglas, where it received its arms and 
equipments. Upon leaving Camp Douglas, it proceeded to Miner's 
Hill, Va., where for some time it performed picket duty. March 16, 
1862, it joined McClellan's army. It participated in several of the 
most important battles of the war. The complete list is as follows: 
Gaines's Mill, Turkey Bend, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Big Bethel, Chan- 
cellorsville, Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Hanover Court House, 
Mechanicsville, White Oak Swamp, Fredericksburg, Siege of Yorktown, 
Warrenton Junction, Snicker's Gap and Williamsburg. 

Captain Walter B. Moore's company of the One Hundredth Regi- 
ment of Infantry was recruited principally among the inhabitants of 
Genesee county. The regiment, popularly known as the Second Regi- 
ment of the Eagle Brigade, commanded by Colonel James M. Browi^, 
was mustered for three years' service. The Genesee county company 
consisted of the following : 

Captain, Walter B. Moore; lieutenants, Melancthon Howell Topping, Martin S. 
Bogart; sergeants, Rodney Dexter, Leonard D. Howell, Edward S. Peck, Peabody 
Pratt, Myron P. Pierson; corporals, William Wheeler, William M. Thomson, Donald 
McPherson, Norman H. Meldrum, John C. Davis, Milo L. Olmstead; musicians, 
Joseph O. Price, Samuel Makers ; wagoner, Willard Josslyn. 

Privates, Irvin Austin, Robert Brears, Edward E. Boyd, Benjamin Bain, Henry 

C. Bolton, George N. Benjamin, Charles Clough, William N. Crosby, Edward P. 
Cooley, Benjamin C. Coon, Henry G. Copeland, Mortimer L. Daniels, Fritz Dato, 
Ord. M. Davis, Leonard R. Delamater, George Eberhart, Jacob Edgarton, George 
C. Fales, James Fox, Charles D. Foot, William H. French, Barney Growney, Theo- 
dore O. Geer, John Golland, Philip Geize, Henry M. Haskins, Albert Howell, John 
Jordan, Andrew Lynd, John J. McCall, George Moore, Timothy McMullin. Joseph 
Maud, Gordon B. Meldrum, John McFhail, Thomas McCann, Daniel Mclntyre, 
Charles Meyrer, James McPherson, Mather Moore, William Newton, William Olm- 
sted, John B. Ott, Albert J. Pervorce, Joseph P. Pierson, John C. Presbry, Albert 


Russell, Hiram Robison, Phillip Ryan, William P. Swift, James V. Swarthout, "Will- 
iam Seeley, Chester F. Swift, George Swift, Peter Treehouse, Robert Trimball, Ly- 
man Taylor, Sanford C. Thomson, Peter Tracy, Louis H. Todd, Stephen Walkley, 
Augustus P. Weller, John G. Wicks, Abram L. Wood, Matthias Winkle, Albert U. 
Ward, James Walker. 

The One Hundred and Fifth Regiment, N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, 
was recruited largely from among the residents of Genesee county. The 
names of the officers and men from Genesee county, as they appear 
upon the State muster rolls, follow: 

Field and Staff. — -Colonel, James M. Fuller, Le Roy; lieutenant-colonel, Henry S. 
Achillis, LeRoy; major, John W. Shedd, Le Roy; quartermaster, Charles Strong, 
Le Roy; surgeon, David C. Chamberlin, Le Roy; chaplain, Byron P. Russell, Le 
Roy; commissary sergeant, Jerome J. Shedd, Le Roy. 

Company A. — Second lieutenant, George W. Dickey, Batavia; first sergeant, 
George H. Smith, Batavia; sergeant, Harrison Barber, Elba; corporals, Marony 
Shadbolt, Alexander; Clinton Brace, Batavia; George S. Winslow, Batavia; Leman 
T. Miner, Batavia ; musician, Lonson R. Chaffee, Le Roy ; privates, Samuel Avery, 
Frederick Bramsted, Edward Brewer, Jefferson Curtain, Lorenzo Croft, Alonzo 
Croft, Oliver N. Campbell, William Dingman, John Free, Alvirus D. Harrington, 
George F. Hundredmark, John Killen, Burr Keuyon, John Nash, Malcom G. Petti- 
bone, Henry H. Ruland, Lewis Skinner, John Tyrrell, Henry E. Thomas, John 
Thomas, William Thomas, Isah Thomas, Abram Vanalstine, Andrew Whitney. 

Company B. — Corporal, Merit White; privates, Philip S. Frost, Cornelius Ryan, 
William Rose. 

Company C. — Corporal, Edward Thompson ; privates, Joseph M. Cook, Charles 
H. Hodge, Peter A. Mclntyre, Malcom Mclntyre, Edward Mercer, Erasmus R. Ste- 
phens, William H. Thompson, Orrin Thompson, John B. Way. 

Company D. — Sergeant, George W. Griffith, Le Roy; musicians, John Foster and 
Emogine Daniels, Le Roy; privates, Charles H. Miller, James Shine. 

Company E. — Captain, George Babcock, Batavia; first lieutenant, Willis Benham, 
South Byron ; second lieutenant, John J. White, Batavia ; sergeants, Edwin J. Hyde 
and Lucius F. Rolfe, Bethany, Patrick H. Graham, Batavia ; corporals, George W. 
Mather, Herbert Stacey and Edward Brennan, Batavia, James A. Sherwood, Byron, 
Clarence H. McCabe, Darien, Taylor Hart, Alexander, Newell J. Hamilton, Oak- 
field; teamst&r, Philbrook Holden, Batavia; privates, John F. Armstrong, William 

F. Albro, Chauncey Bowen, John Blake, John Barnard, iHerrick C. Crocker, William 
E. Crane, Thomas Cady, Owen Gaskin, William H. Heal, Jacob Hagisht, Lawrence 
Henesey, Wesley Hawkins, James H. Hogan, Edwin S. Heath, John Keenan, James 

G. Lawton, Ezro Mann, John Moore, William Martin, Robert C. Odion, David 
Powell, James Parshall, WiUiam Riley, Michael Strieff, Levi Schrem, Joseph Sco- 
field, Harlam Trumbull, James P. Thomas, James H. Turner, Franklin Terry, Isaac 
Wakeley, Isaac P. Wakeley. 

Company F —Corporal, William J. Deshon, Bethany; privates, Arthur Carmel, 
Thomas Close, Edward Hibbison, Oliver B. Olin, Sylvester Primmer, George 

Company G. — Private, Thomas Coady. 


Company K. — Corporal, Sheldon I. Brown, Oakfield; privates, Frederick Ellris, 
George Fauset, John Johnson. 

This regiment was mustered into the service of the United States in 
March, 1863, and consolidated with the Ninety-Fourth New York Vol- 
unteers in March, 1863. The regiment participated in the following 
battles: Cedar Mountain, Rappahannock Station, Thoroughfare Gap, 
Second Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericks- 
burg. The names of the officers and their records follow : 


James M. Fuller, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; resigned August 2, 1863. 

Howard Carroll, commissioned August 2, 1863 ; not mustered as colonel. 

John W. Shedd, commissioned October 10, 1863: mustered out at consolidation. 
March 17, 1863. 

Henry L. Achilles, commissioned March 24, 1863 ; resigned March 35, 1863. 

Howard Carroll, commissioned April 10, 1863; died September 29, 1862, of wounds. 

Richard Whiteside, commissioned October 10, 1862; mustered out at consolidation. 
Majors: ' 

John W. Shedd, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to colonel October 10, 1862. 

Daniel A. Sharp, commissioned October 10, 1862 ; mustered out at consolidation. 
A dj tit ants: 
Daniel A. Sharp, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; promoted to major October 10, 1863. 

John L White, commissioned November 24, 1863; mustered out at consolidation. 
Quartermasters : 

Charles Strong, commissioned April 10, 1863; discharged August 12, 1863. 

Jerome J. Shedd, commissioned December 17, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth 
Surgeon : 

David C. Chamberlain, commissioned April 10, 1863; transferred to Ninety-fourth 
Assistant Surgeons : 

James W. Casey, commissioned April 10, 1863; mustered out at consolidation. 

John T. Brown, commissioned September 17, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth 
Chaplain : 

Byron P. Russell, commissioned April 10, 1863; resigned September 12, 1863. 

Captains : 

Richard Whiteside, commissioned April 10, 1863; promoted to lieutenant-colonel 
October 10, 1862. 

John C. Whiteside, commissioned November 19, 1862; transferred to Ninety- 
fourth Regiment. 

James B. W. De Long, commissioned April 10, 1862; discharged October 1, 1862. 

Charles F. Rodgers, commissioned November 24, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth 
Regiment; brevet major N. Y. V. 


Henry E. Smith, commissioned April 10, 1863; discharged October 13, 1862. 

Thomas A. Steadman, commissioned November 19, 1862; mustered out at consoli- 

Isaac S. Tichenor, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; mustered out at consolidation ; 
brevet colonel U. S. V. 

George Babcock, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; discharged October 6, 1868. 

Willis Benham, commissioned November 24, 1862 ; transferred to Ninety-fourth 

Abraham Moore, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; transferred to Ninety-fourth Regi- 

John McMahon, commissioned April 10, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth Regi- 

Patrick W. Bradley, commissioned April 10, 1863; mustered out at consolidation. 

Thomas Purcell, commissioned April 10, 1863; discharged September 17, 1862. 

Joseph E. Conway, commissioned December 23, 1862; not mustered as captain. 

Salah J. Wilber, commissioned April 10, 1863; discharged January 16, 1863. 
First Lieutenants: 

John C. Whiteside, commissioned April 10, 1863 ; promoted to captain November 
19, 1863. 

Benjamin Whiteside, commissioned December 33, 1862; transferred to Ninety- 
fourth Regiment. 

Charles F. Rodgers, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to captain November 
34, 1862. 

Frederick J. Massey, commissioned November 24, 1862; transferred to Ninety- 
fourth Regiment. 

Thomas A. Steadman, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to captain Novem- 
ber 19, 1862. 

John De Graff, commissioned November 34, 1862 ; not mustered as first lieutenant. 

Horace D. Bennett, commissioned April 10, 1863; dismissed October 17, 1863. 

Augustus Field, commissioned December 33, 1863; transferred to Ninety-fovirth 

Willis Benham, commissioned April 10, 1863 ; promoted to captain November 34, 

Lucius F. Rolfe, commissioned February 20, 1863; mustered out at consolidation; 
brevet captain N. Y. V. 

William Clark, commissioned April 10, 1862; discharged September 13, 1863. 

William Knowles, commissioned November 34, 1863; transferred to Ninety- 
fourth Regiment. 

Dennis Graham, commissioned April 10, 1862; discharged October 9, 1862. 

Isaac Doolittle, commissioned October 30, 1863; transferred to Ninety-fourth 

David C. Smith, commissioned April 10, 1863; resigned November 38, 1863. 

George W. Connelly, commissioned February 19, 1863; not mustered as first heu- 

Michael McMuUen, commissioned April 10, 1863; mustered out at consolidation. 

David Gould, jr., commissioned April 10, 1863; resigned July 13, 1862. 

Eli D. Wood worth, commissioned July 21, 1862; mustered out at consolidation. 


Second Lieutenants: 

George W. Dickey, commissioned April 10, 1862; discharged September 10, 1862. 

Thomas Burrows, commissioned December 22, 1862 ; transferred to Ninety-fourth 

Frederick J. Massey, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant 
November 24, 1862. 

Charles T. Mesler, commissioned December 22, 1863, transferred to Ninety-fourth 

John De GrafiE, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; missing since December 13, 1863. 

James H. Bushnell, commissioned December 33, 1862 ; mustered out at consolida- 

Augustus Field, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant Decem- 
ber 22, 1862. 

Oscar F. Hawkins, commissioned December 33, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth 

John J. White, commissioned April 10, 1862 ; promoted to adjutant November 24, 

Lucius F. Rolfe, commissioned November 24, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 30. 1863. 

William Knowles, commissioned April 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant No- 
vember 24, 1862. 

Edwin A. Dayton, commissioned December 22, 1862; transferred to Ninety-fourth 

Isaac Doolittle, commissioned April 10, 1863; promoted to first lieutenant October 

30, 1863. 

George W. Connelly, commissioned December 22, 1862 ; mustered out at consolida- 

John Hayes, commissioned February 10, 1868; not mustered. 

Joseph E. Conway, commissioned April 10, 1862; mustered out at consolidation. 

George French, commissioned December 22, 1862 ; not mustered. 

Charles C. Buckley, commissioned April 10, 1862; killed in action at Antietam, 
Md., September 17, 1862. 

Garwin Longmuir, commissioned January 31, 1863; not mustered. 

Eli D. Woodworth, commissioned April 10, 1863 ; promoted to first lieutenant July 

31, 1862. 

George Wilbur, commissioned July 31, 1862; mustei'ed out at consolidation. 

The One Hundred and Twenty-ninth Regiment of New York Vet- 
erans was recruited largely from Genesee county. It was organized at 
Lockport, to serve three years, and was mustered into the service of 
the United States as an infantry regiment August 32, 1863. In Febru- 
ary, 1863, it was changed from infantry to heavy artillery and desig- 
nated as the Eighth N. Y. Heavy Artillery. It belonged to the Second 
Army Corps. 

Two additional companies were organized for this regiment in Janu- 



ary, 1864. The entire organization was raised in the counties of Gene 
see, Niagara and Orleans, comprising the Twenty-ninth Senate district. 
Companies G, H, I and K were transferred to the Fourth New York 
Artillery June 4, 1865. Companies L and M were transferred to the 
Tenth New York Volunteer Infantry, and the remaining six companies 
were mustered out June 5, 1866, in accordance with orders from the 
War Department. This regiment participated in the following battles, 
according to the official report of the adjutant-general of the State of 
New York : Spottsylvania, Tolopotomoy, Cold Harbor, North Anna, 
Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, Ream's Station and Boyd- 
ton Road. The casualties of this regiment during the campaign which 
closed with Lee's surrender, were officially reported at 1,171 officers 
and men. As far as can be learned the following is a list of the Gene- 
see county members of this regiment. 

Major. — James M. Willett. 

Company G. — Captain Elbridge T. Sherwin ; lieutenants, J. R. Cooper, Orrin C. 
Parker; sergeants, John H. Nichols, John F. Hutton, John J. Thomas, James W. 
Young, George Ford ; corporals, J. D. Safford, Lewis Teller, Wm. H. Bennett, M. 
M. Kendall. Peter Welch, W. W. Burton, M. Manahan, Thomas Cuthbert, James H. 
Horton, Peter Barber ; musicians, M. McNamara, Joseph H. Horton ; artificer, John 
G. Foster. 

Privates. — Albert Amidon, John Adams, Nelson F. Bowen, Wm. A. Burris, Charles 
Brooks, John Bisher, H. L. Bennett, Charles Buell, L. C. Briggs, M. Birmingham, 
Wm. Brower, Charles Collins, James H. Charles, Christopher Cooper, Wm. Cleve- 
land, George A. Cole, J. Cook, J. Donnigan, L. C. Dorman, A. E. Darrow, A. J. 
Denham, Anthony Davis, Delos Eddy, Nicholas Felter, Harry Fernerstein, Edward 
W. Flanders, Charles H. Fuller, George A. Fuller, Peter Fowldin, Frank Gleaser, 
Warner Howe, Henry Helfrrian, Wm. Hutton, Christopher Johnson , Henry Johnson, 
Lyman C. Kendall, Wm. H. Kendall, John Kimmerling, Daniel W. Kinnie, Wm. 
Morford, Norman Martin, Moses Millington Peter McDermid, Daniel McDermid, 
Charles W. McCarthy, Cain Mahaney, Joseph Murdock, Peter Metzler, George 
Metzler, S. Myres, J. McLaughlin, John Munz, George Merlan, Conrad Merlan, 
Abram Norris, Van A. Pratt, Robert Peard, Wm. J. Pindar, M. S. Parker, F. W. 
Rice, Fernando Robbins, Charles H. Rice, Nathaniel Rowan, Wm. H. Ship, John J. 
Sherman, Wm. Smith, Devolson Smith, Henry Thomas, Joseph Thompson, George 
W. Thomas, Lewis Van Dyke, G. H. Van Alstine, Reuben Van Wart, S. A. Wil- 
son, W. W. Wyman, W. Ward, W. P. Wright. Joseph Willett, Leroy Williams, N. 
W. Wakeman, Wm. Wood, R. H. Waite, Richard Welch. 

Those recruited and sent on after the regiment had gone to the front 

F. A. Altmeyer, John W. Amlong, N. F. Bowen, William N. Barton, Mark Bossard, 
Joseph Bongordon, John W. Babcock, A. J. Bennett, M. F. Bowe, John Brown, Will- 
iam Boehme, W. H. Bennett, Peter Barber, P. Colson, Henry Conklin, G. R. Cochran, 


John Camp, Hibbard Chase, John Collins, James B. Clark, Patrick Collins, Daniel 
Dibble, Hugh Duflfy, C. M. Dodge, Robert Denham, M. W. Elston, Abram Elston, 
Robert A. Erwin, Lawrence Flynn, Christopher Follett, K. B. Finley, Matthew 
Gleaser, J. M. Gilson, Charles C. Gilson, George F. Jones, Ezra Kirby, James Moore, 
John McNamara, Virgil Marsh, Hiram Marsh, A. J. Mahew, F. B. Maynard, N. A. 
Mitchell, M. Manion, N. Martin, Charles Nichols, R. Ovendan, Thomas E. Peard, 
John Perkins, George W. Parshall, D. M. Pannell, M. W. Parker, George Perry, W. 
O. Robinson, John Reed, Charles Sanford, J. B. D. Sawtell, Martin Steves, William N. 
Smith, Jacob M. Smith, Joseph Steffin, Horatio Thomas, John Thomas, Cassimere 
Thomas, O. Tiramerson, N. Truesdall, Seth J. Thomas, Thomas Wilson, John Was- 
chow, Albert Wilber, Rowley Wilson, Luke White, Edwin Wade, C. M. Whitney, J. 
Walsh, J. M. Wiggins, F. F. Waterman, E. A. Perrin, Silas Smith. 

Company H. — Captain, Stephen Connor; lieutenants, George Wiard, J. H. Rob- 
son, W. H. Raymond, Archibald Winnie; sergeants, Henry Bickford, W. H. Rober- 
son, William Grant, Louis Mather, Stephen Vail, O. E. Babcock, A. W. Aldrich, R. T. 
Hunn; corporals, E. P. Cowles, Charles Cox, E. J. Winslow, A. M. Allen, C. Chamber- 
lain, William Jones, W. H. Fidinger, W. H. Griffin, E. A. Whitman, Joseph Webber, 
H. B. Salisbury, L. H. Robinson; musicians, C. D. Davis, Henry C. Ward; artificers, 
F. Krager, W. Cole ; wagoner, R. Crosby. 

Privates. — Orrin Allen, Arthur Allen, Ed. Anthony, Frank Anthony, Thomas 
Anthony, Henry Anthony, J. O. Aldridge, H. L. Austin, Albert Algo, J. Armidick, 

D. H. Bailey, F. Burgomaster, J. K. Brown, H. E. Brooks, J. C. Beach, Ira Baker, 
Henry Britton, James Bush, John S. Barber, W. R. Crook, Eli Cope, J. M. Cook, 
J. W. Chappel, Joseph Cheney, Robert Caple, P. Carlton, Robert Conroy, Edward 
Dyer, Alvin Dyer, Ferdinand Dorf, H. E. Duell, Charles Derby, Frank Derson, M. 
T. Bailey, N. J. Eaton, William Fenner, Daniel Fenner, Irvine Fenner, Leon Feller, 
N. Frenberger, C. Foster, J. C. Fidinger, A. J. Frayer, J. E. Friesman, W. B. Gra- 
ham, Jacob Gleaser, R. L. Gumaer, W. J. Gregg, John C. Gray, G. A. Haight, J. E. 
Haight, Sam Haight, G. Z. Howard, J. B. Hescock, J. D. Henderson, S. B. Holmes, 
James Heal, Robert Heal, Jonas Holmes, John Hix, J. W. Hildun, Charles Havens, 

E. G. Havens, F. M. Harden, O. S. Holcomb, F. Johnson, D. V. Johnson, Frank 
Jones, W. S. Joslyn, H. D. Johns, Thomas Johns, Daniel Johns, F. A. Kenyon, W. 
P. Kidder, J. W. Kasson, B. R. Lamkins, Fred Lord, C. Lafleur, D. E. Lamphear, 
William Lewis, James Laighbody, Charles Lilly, J. D. Mason, W. J. Moore, J. K. 
Merrill, W. A. McMillan, N. N. Morse, Pat Murphy, H. D. Myers, J. McDaniels, J. 
McAllister, W. H. Mattison, J Mahannah, A. T. McCracken, Byron Murdock, W. L. 
Norton, Alfred Riker, G. W. Reynolds, John Radford, A. E. Spauldmg, Paul Ste- 
vens, D. Sherman, Festus Stone, H. T. Sautell, Moore Smith, W. I. Skidmore, A. 
V. Simmons, H. F. Snook, Arba Shaw, J. Spaulding, H. Suits, Daniel Suits, H. C. 
Searls, M. Sutfin, Thomas Steele, H. C. Timby, Samuel Throop, George Thomas, 
M. O. Tyrrel, E. Tibbitts, S. D. Tuttle, W. B. Tallman, B. K. Tallman, H. L. Van 
Dresser, M. L. Watson, J. A. Wall, Robert Walker, W. M. Walker, John H. Wea- 
ver, B. F. Wood, James W. Wood, Julius Wies, Jacob Wies, Thomas Warner, War- 
ren West, J. H. Williamson, Edson Weed, E. G. Webster, J. M. Warren, Alpha 
Warson, N. H. Winslow, A. B. Ward, W. F. Young, Peter Stevens, John Shum, 
George Walker, J. M. Zimmerman. 

Company L— Captain, Alexander Gardner; lieutenants, M. M. Cook, S. R. Staf- 


ford, E. R. Loomis, Edward Gillis; sergeants, Thomas J. Dean, Seth C. Hall, M. 
Duguid, M. Van Antwerp, J. B. Arnold, N. S. Nier, John P. Thomas, E. H. Norton ; 
corporalSi J. R. Perry, J. H. Taggart, L. A. Clark, S. J. Feagles, E. B. Randall, W. 
H. Elwell, Marcus Wilcox, Thomas Houston, Charles Pindar, Fred. Walter, W. L. 
Benedict, Orville Bannister; musicians, W. F. Osborne, George W. Lower; artificers, 
George Kelley, W. F. Perkins; wagoner, W. H. Miller. 

Privates. — J. D. Ames, James Agett, jr., James Avery, W. Allen, A. C. Bushman, 
John Byzn, James Byzn, Leonard Bland, J. F. Bell, J. B. Beardsley, C. Cook, Fred 
Cook, Joseph Cook, Joseph Cook, 2d, John Cook, Ebenezer Cook, D. Chamberlain, 
H. A. Church, W. L. Calvert, Elias Chappell, H. T. Clark, Jerome Clark, Charles 
Carpenter, J. B. Curtis, Thomas Cauffield, G. J. Chandler, Peter Campbell, S. B. 
Doty, Albert De Wolf, W. H. Dayton, A. K. Damon, F. Eberhardt, Fidelo Eddy, 

A. Etherefington, John Fulton, W. H. Fuller, W. L. Farr, Sylvester Farr, F. H. 
Fordham, F. Furey, John Folk, W. H. H. Gillett, C. Gibhartt, Peter Gallagher, 
Nich. Gossie, W. H. Gordon, G. H. Holmes, George Heath, E. P. Hoyt, Sylvester 
Hoyt, John Houston, William Houston, E. N. Henderson, James Hunter, W. A. 
House, E. W. Herrick, D. Y. Hallock, W. H. Howell, Elmer Howell, Dauiel Jones, 
E. M. Kline, John Kelley, Philip Lougle, Joseph Lougle, H. J. W. Lewis, Seymour 
Lewis, Alonzo Lewis, P. McDonnell, William McGuire, M. H. McNeil, D. McMartin, 

B. F. McHenry, P. Mingus, Michael Mahan, Alfred Murdock, Dwight Mann, John 
Monroe, Nicholas Nowe, Alonzo Nichols, F. H. Olmsted, W. D. Perkins, J. B. 
Palmer, Lewis Payne, S. A. Pease, George Phillips, D. Russell, Robert Reid, Ash- 
ley Randall, E. P. Ross, A. J. Reibling. T. C. Rawson, R. E. Robertson, W. W. 
Stamp, Ed. Stamp, Ed. Sharp, William Sharp, F. A. Shipley, J. A. Sherwood, J. M. 
Sherwood, L. K. Spafford, E. D. Shader, Delos Shattuck, James .Sifert, Almon 
Secor, Ed. Strouch, Riley Stevens, Alexander Shaw, S. L. M. Stafford, Emory M.~ 
Tone, J. A. Tone, John Thomas, Amos Topliff, H. W. Trobridge, A. E. Townsend, 
A. N. Van Antwerp, William Waynian, J. W. Wilson, John Walter, H. A. Williams, 
Harry Wilhs, Joel Willis, John Woltz, Charles Wooliver, E. A. White, F. C. Waltby, 
E. B. Clark, C. S. Holbrook, J. H. Hoyt, John Shipley, W. H. Thompson, A. R. 
Terry, G. W. Terry, J. E. Young. 

Company L. — ^Captain, S. Dexter Ludden; lieutenants, Hiram H. Van Dake, 
George H. Robertson, W. L. Totten; sergeants, Darwin L. Fellows, E. T. Forman, 
W. O. Bartholomew, E. H. Ewell, Joseph Shaw, C. A. Whipple, Edward Bannister, 
W. H. Hunn ; corporals, D. K. Austin, Allen Buell, J. A. Clark, Robert Chappie, 
James Drain, Kirk Ewell, Harrison Ferguson, E. F. Ives, G. W. Kendall, George 
Metzger, William Page, Edward Williams; musicians, Julius Kassler, William Kisor; 
artificers, G. A. Barner, Loren Hedger ; wagoner, Eugene Plumley. 

Privates.— W. H. Anderson, P. Anthony, N. Armstrong, J. Babcock. Charles G. 
Ball, Samuel Barnes, William Battersby, Joseph Bloedt, M. Buck, O. S. Burgess, D. 
W. Burleigh, George Cacner, A. E. Carpenter, C. B. Carpenter, J. S. Carpenter. E. 
L. Carpenter, W. T. Chapman, James H. Childs, O. A. Churchill, W. H. Clancey, 
Chauncey Clark, Lewis Clark, James Conway, James Courtney, William Craig, I. S. 
Cross, Orrin Crocker, M. M. Cummings, H. V. Day, D. M. Dean, E. M. Doty, A. J. 
Drake, Thomas Duffy, Harley Dunham, James Ellis, M. Filkins, James Fluker, G. 
W. Freelove, W. M. Fuller, Robert Gibson, C. N. Goodenow, G. W. Gould, E. J. 
Stratton, H. N. Goodenow, D. P. Goodrich, David Greening, Adam Grile, Charles 


Hale, S. Hamilton, John Hersch, John G. Hersch, John Hewitt, Thomas Hellman, 
W. H. H. Holden, R. D. Holley, Edwin Hoops, C. A. Howland, Ira Howland, W. 
R. Howland, Riley Ingalsbe, Joel B. Jewett, Jefferson Judd, W. M. Kendall, Alfred 
Keyser, Henry Knapp, E. G. Moulton, John Kunst, Lewis Kraft, William Lewis, A. 
W. Lingfield, Mortimer Lingfield, Charles Loomis, O. D. Lyman, L. D. Mapes, 
Morris Marquot, W. C. McCabe, Daniel McMullen, Morris McMuUen, M. Myers, 
Stephen Myers, Charles Mertz, Caleb Miller, James Morton, William Nixon, Dennis 
O'Connor, H. Z. Owen, Isaac Page, F. G. Passmore, R. H. Perkins, A. D. Petrie, 
G. W. R. Pettibone, Harris Phillips, E. P. Pierce, F. Prescott, William Radley, 
Frank Reinhart, E. H. Rich, E. Robinson, Wesley Robinson, George Rose, E. K . ' 
Sage, Frank Sage, I. H. S.anford, Ira Smith, Joseph Sorrell, H. R. Stevens, M. B. 
Stevens, John Thomas, George Totterdale, D. C. Tracey, C. D. Vickery, George 
Walker, Tooker Walker, W. H. Walker, H. I. Wallace, H. C. Warner, William 
Welch, E. Wentworth, L. Whipple, E. G. Wurtz, Charles Youngs. 

The following is a list of officers who served in the regiment, with 
the dates of their commission, and their promotion, discharge, dismissal, 
transfer, or death : 


Peter A. Porter, commissioned September 10, 1863; killed in action at C old Har- 
bor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

Willard W. Bates, commissioned June 14, 1864; not mustered. 

James M. Willett, commissioned July 13, 1864; discharged January 14, 1865, 

Joel B. Baker, commissioned January 30, 1864; transferred to the Tenth N. Y. In- 
fantry June 4, 1865. 
Lieutenant Colonels : 

Willard W. Bates, commissioned August 18, 1863; died June 35, 1864, of wounds 
received in action. 

James M. Willett, commissioned June 14, 1864; promoted to colonel July 13, 1865. 

Lawrence Kipp, commissioned June 13. 1864 ; declined. 

Joel B. Baker, commissioned January 13, 1865 ; promoted to colonel January 30, 

Joseph W. Holmes, commissioned January 30, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment 
June 5, 1865. 
Majors : 

James M. Willett, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; promoted to lieutenant-colo- 
nel June 14, 1864. 

Joel B. Baker, commissioned June 17, 1864; promoted to lieutenant-colonel Janu- 
ary 13, 1865. 

S. Dexter Ludden, commissioned January 17, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Edwin L. Blake, commissioned February 10, 1864 ; died June 19, 1864, of wounds 
received in action. 

Joseph W. Holmes, commissioned September 14, 1864 ; promoted to lieutenant- 
colonel January 30, 1865. 

James Low, jr., commissioned January 30, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Erastus M. Spaulding, (brevet lieutenant-colonel N. Y. Vols.), commissioned Febru- 
ary 33, 1864 ; discharged December 10, 1864. 


Henry M. Starr, commissioned December 33, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Adjutant : 

Edwin L. Blake, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; promoted to major February 
10, 1864. 

Quartermasters : 

George B. Wilson, commissioned September 10, 1863; mustered out with regiment. 

Franklin J. Fejlows, commissioned May 10, 1865 ; not mustered (see second lieu- 

Surgeons : 
James M. Leet, commissioned September 10, 1863; resigned October 34, 1863. 
Alonzo Churchill, commissioned November, 1863; mustered out with regiment. 

A s sis t ant Surgeons : 
Henry C. Hill, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; discharged December 3, 1863. 
Charles H. Pegg, commissioned March 19, 1863; discharged November 28, 1864. 
Julius A. Freeman, commissioned January 31, 1865; not mustered. 
Simon G. Place, commissioned March 33, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 
Richmond S. Hayes, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; resigned June 7, 1863. 
John W. Freeman, commissioned June 34, 1863 ; discharged February 33, 1864. 
William A. Wiser, commissioned February 23, 1864; discharged May 7, 1864. 
Francis P. Casey, commissioned May 11, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Chaplains : 

Gilbert De La Matyr, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; discharged January 9, 

Joshua Cooke, commissioned April 6, 1863 ; transferred to Tenth N. Y. Infantry. 

Captains : 

Erastus M. Spaulding, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; promoted to major Feb- 
ruary 33, 1864. 

Henry M. Starr, commissioned February 23, 1864 ; promoted to major December 
38, 1864. 

Samuel K. Green, commissioned December 33, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Joel B. Baker, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; promoted to major June 17, 

James Low, jr., commissioned August 23, 1864; promoted to major January 30, 

David L. Pitcher, commissioned January 30, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Riley M. Tinkham, commissioned September 10, 1863; resigned July 8, 1863. 

George A. Hoyt, commissioned August 17, 1863 ; died July 5, 1864, of wounds re- 
ceived in action. 

George D. Church, commissioned July 27, 1864; discharged December 3, 1864. 

George H. Robertson, commissioned March 30, 1865; transferred to 10th N. Y. 

James Maginnis, commissioned September 10, 1863; killed in action at Ream's 
Station, Va., August 35, 1864. 

Morris R. Blodgett, commissioned October 31, 186i; not mustered (see first lieu 


Joseph W. Holmes, commissioned September 10, 1863; promoted to major Sep- 
tember 14, 1864. 

Roderick Baldwin, commissioned September 16, 1864; not mustered (see first lieu- 

Stephen R. Stafford, (brevet major U. S. V.), commissioned December 23, 1864; 
mustered out with regiment. 

William J. Hawkins, commissioned September 10, 1863; died June 24, 1864, of 
wounds received in action. 

Samuel Sully, commissioned July 16, 1864; not mustered (see first lieutenants). 

Eli S. Nichols, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Elbridge T. Sherwin, commissioned September 10, 1862; died July 30, 1864, o£ 
disease, at City Point, Va. 

John R. Cooper, commissioned August 13, 1864 ; transferred to 10th N. Y. Infantry. 

Stephen Connor, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; discharged October 17, 1864. 

George Wiard, commissioned October 31, 1864; not mustered (see first lieutenant). 

Archibald Wmne, commissioned March 35, 1865 ; not mustered (see first lieutenant). 

Samuel B. Dinsmore, commissioned May 10, 1865; transferred to 10th N. Y. In- 

Alexander Gardner, commissioned September 10, 1862; killed in action at Cold 
Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

Marshall N. Cook, commissioned June 31, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

James B. Pratt, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; discharged October 30, 1864. 

Simon P. Webster, commissioned October 81, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

S. Dexter Ludden, commissioned February 33, 1864 ; promoted to major January 
17, 1865. 

Thomas Low, commissioned January 36, 1865 ; died April 35, 1865, of wounds re- 
ceived in action. 

George B. Wilson, commissioned May 10, 1865 ; not mustered (see first lieutenants). 

Hazard A. Sheldon, commissioned March 15, 1864; discharged October 28, 1864. 

Orrin C. Parker, commissioned November 30, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 
First Lieutenants : 

Henry M. Starr, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; promoted to captain February 
33, 1864. 

Judson Thomas, commissioned March 15, 1864; discharged September 33, 1864. 

DeWitt C. Wickham, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regi- 

Edwin L. Blake, commissioned September 10, 1863; appointed adjutant September 
10, 1863. 

Samuel K. Green, commissioned February 10, 1864 ; promoted to captain December 
33, 1864. 

Thomas Mayberry, commissioned December 33, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

James Low, jr., commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted fo captain August 
23, 1864. 

David L. Pitcher, commissioned August 23, 1864; promoted to captain ' January 
80, 1865. 

Henry A. Botsford, commissioned March 13, 1865 ; transferred to Tenth N. Y. In- 


Eli S. Nichols, commissioned February 10, 1864; promoted to captain November 
30, 1864. 

Romeo G. Burnes, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

George A. Hoyt, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; prornoted to captain August 
17, 1863. 

Charles H. West, jr., commissioned August 17, 1863; killed in action at Ream's 
Station, Va., August 25, 1864. 

William B. Gardner, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; resigned March 14, 1864. 

George W. Webster, commissioned March 30, 1864; dismissed December 12, 1864. 

William M. Sloan, commissioned December 30, 1864; not mustered. 

Morris R. Blodgett, commissioned February 10, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 

John E. Owens, commissioned October 31, 1864; dismissed December 12, 1864. 

Michael Metzger, commissioned March 18, 1865; transferred to Tenth N. Y. In- 

Roderick Baldwin, commissioned September 10, 1862; discharged December 
5, 1864. 

Joseph Willett, commissioned August 23, 1864; not mustered (see second lieuten- 

Henry R. Swan, commissioned February 10, 1864; died June 14, 1864, of disease, 
at Cold Harbor, Va. 

Frank H. Boyd, commissioned July 16, 1864; dismissed October 10, 1864. 

Charles H. Kugel, commissioned October 31, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Samuel Sully, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; discharged November 5, 1864. 

Lewis C. Hosmer, commissioned October 31, 1864; not mustered (see second lieu- 

William H. Wescott, commissioned March 13, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

George W. Rector, commissioned February 10, 1864; died October 29, 1864, of 
wounds received in action at Hatcher's Run, Va. 

William Leggett, commissioned November 30, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 

John R. Cooper, commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted to captain August 
13, 1864. 

John Nichols, commissioned August 13, 1864; not mustered (see second lieuten- 

John D. SafEord, jr., commissioned October 31, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Owen C. Parker, commissioned February 10, 1864 ; promoted to captain November 
30, 1864. 

James W. Young (brevpt captain U. S. A.), commissioned November 30, 1864; 
mustered out with regiment. 

Martin W. Roberts, commissioned September 10, 1862; discharged December 
3, 1862. 

George Wiard, commissioned December 17, 1863 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Joseph Clapsaddle, commissioned March 13, 1865; transferred to Tenth N. Y. In- 

Joseph H. Robson, commissioned February 10, 1864; discharged October 28, 1864, 
on account of wounds received at Cold Harbor. 

E. H. Taylor, commissioned March 13, 1865 ; transferred to Tenth N. Y. Infantry. 
Marshall N. Cook, commissioned September 10, -1863; promoted to captain June 
21, 1864. 


Edwin R. Loomis, commissioned June 31, 1864; not mustered (see second lieu- 

Stephen R. Stafford, commissioned February 10, 1864; promoted to captain De- 
cember 22, 1864. 

Seth C. Hall, commissioned December 23, 1864 ; mustered out with regiment. 

George D. Church, commissioned September 10, 1863 ; promoted to captain July 
37, 1864. 

Archibald Wmne, commissioned September 16, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Le Roy Williams, commissioned March 30, 1865; transferred to the Tenth New 
York Infantry. 

Simon P. Webster, commissioned February 10, 1864; promoted to captain October 
31, 1864. 

Ellis P. Wolcott, commissioned October 81, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

George H. Robertson, commissioned February 23, 1864; promoted to captain Octo- 
ber 81, 1864. 

William H. Raymond, commissioned March 30, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Hiram H. Van Dake, commissioned February 23, 1864; discharged September 6, 
1864; recommissioned. 

Darwin L. Fellows, commissioned October 31, 1864; not mustered; killed in action. 

Henry H. Van Dake, commissioned December 8, 1864; not mustered. 

Erwin H. Ewell, commissioned January 38, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Frederick R. Derrick, commissioned March 15, 1864; discharged October 37, 1864. 

Walter J. Collins, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Adelbert G. Clapp, commissioned March 15, 1864; died November 31, 1864, of 
wounds received in action. 

William H. Crowley, commissioned January 19, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

George B. Wilson, not commissioned, but name on the records of the War De- 
partment; mustered out with regiment. 
Second Lieutenants: 

Charles H. West jr., commissioned September 10, 1863; promoted to first lieuten- 
ant August 17, 1863. 

George N. Webster, commissioned August 17, 1863 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 30, 1864. 

Robert Glass, commissioned March 80, 1864; died July 15, 1864, of wounds re- 
ceived in action. 

Joseph Clapsaddle, commissioned October 31, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 18, 1865. 

Edgar B. Lewis, commissioned March 13, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Judson Thomas, commissioned January 18, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 15, 1864. 

Samuel B. Dinsmore, commissioned March 15, 1864 ; promoted to captain May 10, 

A. J. Budlong, commissioned May 13, 1865; not mustered. 

Eh S. Nichols, commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1865. 

Fayette S. Brown, commissioned February 17, 1864; killed in action at Cold Har- 
bor, Va., June 8, 1864. 


Romeo G. Burnes, commissioned January 31, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
■November 30, 1864. 

Franklin J. Fellows, commissioned December 7, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Daniel L Pitcher, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
August 23, 1864. 

William H. Crowley, commissioned August 22, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
January 19, 1865. 

Eugene C. Fuller, commissioned January 16, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Nathan J. Cornell, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; resigned November 6, 1862. 

William D. Lord, commissioned November 24, 1862 ; resigned June 27, 1863. 

Samuel K. Green, commissioned August 16, 1863; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1864. 

John Safford, jr., commissioned August 22, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant Oc- 
tober 31, 1864. 

James Young, commissioned October 31, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant No- 
vember 30, 1864. 

Le Roy Williams, commissioned November 30, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 30, 1865. 

Eugene K. Sage, commissioned March 30, 1865 ; transferred to Tenth N. Y. In- 

Walter Collins, commissioned February 24, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant No- 
vember 30, 1864. 

Owen C. Hibbard, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Morris R. Blodgett, commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1864. 

John E. Owens, commissioned February 17, 1864; dismissed December 12, 1864. 

William A. George, commissioned October 31, 1864; transferred to Tenth N. Y. 

Arthur L. Chase, commissioned February 13, 1864; killed in action at Cold Har- 
bor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

Charles B. Lacker, commissioned July 18, 1864; not mustered; discharged as en- 
listed man. 

William Grant, commissioned November 30, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Henry R. Swan, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1864, 

Francis H. Boyd, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
July 16, 1864. 

Charles H. Kugel, commissioned July 16, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant Oc- 
tober 31, 1864. 

Edward Taylor, commissioned November 30, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 13, 1865. 

Charles T. Behan, commissioned May 13, 1865; transferred to Tenth N. Y. In- 

Ellis P. Wolcott, commissioned March 21, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant Oc- 
tober 31, 1864. 

William Wescott, commissioned October 31, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 13, 1865. 


Reed Pierce, commissioned March 13, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

George W. Rector, jr., commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant February 10, 1864. 

Lewis C. Hosmer, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; discharged December 9, 1864. 

Charles Moore, commissioned January 19, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Archibald Winne, commissioned March 23, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant Sep- 
tember 16, 1864. 

William M. Sloan, commissioned September 16, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
December 30, 1864. 

Samuel W. Waldo, commissioned March 13, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Orrin C. Parker, commissioned September 10, 1862 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1864. 

John Nichols, commissioned February 17, 1864; discharged September 32, 1864. 

Melvin M. Kendall, commissioned August 13, 1864; not mustered. 

Walter P. Wright, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; killed in action before Peters- 
burg, Va., June 16, 1864. 

Thomas Mayberry, commissioned February 23, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
December 23, 1864. 

Samuel B. Butler, commissioned December 29, 1864 ; not mustered. 

John G. Lacey, commissioned March 30, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

George Wiard, commissioned September 10, 1862; promoted to first lieutenant De- 
cember 17, 1862. 

Joseph H. Robson, commissioned December 17, 1862 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 10, 1864. 

William H. Raymond, commissioned February 17, 1864; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant March 30, 1865. 

William H. H. Bickford, commissioned July 16, 1864; died March 9, 1865, of dis- 
ease, at Camp Parole, Annapolis, Md. 

Myron H. Hale, commissioned March 30, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Joseph W. Caldwell, commissioned March 3, 1864; killed in action at Cold Harbor, 
Va., June 3, 1864. 

De Witt C. Wickham, commissioned June 31, 1864; promoted to first lieutenant 
November 30, 1864. 

Henry A. Botsford, commissioned November 30, 1864 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 13, 1865. 

Myron Sherwood, commissioned March 3. 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Stephen R. Stafford, commissioned September 10, 1863; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant February 10, 1864. 

Edwin R. Loomis, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; discharged April 12, 1865. 

Joseph Dean, commissioned June 31, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Edgar Gillis, commissioned February 17, 1864; discharged October 17, 1864. 

Manfred Duguid, commissioned October 31, 1864; mustered out with regiment. 

Simon P. Webster, commissioaed September 10, 186'i; promoted to first lieuten- 
ant February 10, 1864. 

Thomas Westcott, commissioned February 17, 1864 ; discharged October 4, 1864. 

Erwin H. Ewell commissioned January 19, 1865 ; promoted to first lieutenant Jan- 
uary 28, 1865. 


Edward T. Forman, commissioned February 10, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Wallace B. Hard, commissioned February 17, 1864; killed in action at Cold Har- 
bor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

Ashley P. Hawkins, commissioned June 21, 1864 ; discharged January 25, 1865. 

James M. Cook, commissioned March 13, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

William L. Totten, commissioned February 13, 1864; discharged January 14, 1865. 

James M. Waite, commissioned February 13, 1865 ; mustered out with regiment. 

Joseph M. Willett, commissioned February 23, 1864; died February 17, 1865, at 
Danville, Va. 

William O. Bartholomew, commissioned August 23, 1864; mustered out with regi- 

Oliver M. Campbell, commissioned March 15, 1864 ; killed in action at Cold Har- 
bor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

Michael Metzger, commissioned January 19, 1865; promoted to first lieutenant 
March 13, 1865. 

Hosmer G. Curtiss, commissioned March 13, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

George W. Gladden, commissioned March 15, 1864; killed in action at Cold Har- 
bor, Va., June 3, 1864. 

William H. Stearns, commissioned June 31, 1854; discharged January 30, 1865. 

Augustus Riebling, commissioned March 30, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

Samuel Wilson, commissioned March 30, 1865; mustered out with regiment. 

In February, 1864, this regiment was recruited to the maximum 
number, eighteen hundred and thirty-nine. The records of the de- 
partment disclose the fact that the loss sustained at the battle of Cold 
Harbor was larger than that sustained by any other regiment in any 
battle of the war, with the single exception of a Maine artillery regiment. 
This interesting fact was published in one of the Century Magazine war 
articles. The "Eighth Heavy" contained far more Genesee county 
men than were enlisted in any other regiment, and its record is one of 
bravery and unflinching fidelity to duty. 

The following from Genesee county were members of the Fifteenth 
N. Y. Cavalry Regiment: 

Company E. — Quartermaster-sergeant, Noah B. Lincoln ; sergeants, Thomas 
Gormley, William Hawkins; corporals, Franklin H. Wells, William Lake, John 
James, Thomas H. Scott, George W. Sherwood; saddler, William Cooper; privates, 
William Houghton, Franklin Busbee, Charles H. Butler, Melvin C. Dodge, Charles 
DufEner, Civilian Halbert, John Hayes, William Heal, Alonzo Heath, George Lear- 
man, Richmond Lilley, John Metzler, John P. Michels, Peter Michlian, Richard 
Oothoudt, Max Pagefall, Sylvester Primmer, Peter Sabel, William Smith, Frank 

The Fifteenth Regiment was organized at Syracuse to serve three 
years. The companies of which it was composed were raised in the 
counties of Genesee, Onondaga, Erie, Ontario, Orange, Oneida, Chau- 


tauqua, Cattaraugus and Tompkins. It was mustered into the service 
of the United States from August 8, 1863, to January 14, 1864. It 
was consolidated with the Sixth New York Cavalry, June 17, 1865, 
the consolidated force being designated the Second New York Pro- 
visional Cavalry, which was mustered out of service August 9, 1865. 
The latter organization was in command of Colonel Charles L. Fitz- 
hugh and Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison White. 

Following is a list of the officers from Genesee county who served 
with the Fifteenth Cavalry, with the dates of their commissions, and 
their promotion, discharge, dismissal, transfer or death. The list is 
as nearly complete as can be gleaned from the existing records: 

Lieutenant-Colonel. — Augustus I. Root, commissioned November 30, 1863; killed 
in action April 8, 1865.' 

Major. — George M. EUicott, commissioned June 17, 1865; not mustered as major. 

Adjutant. — Sidney Tuttle, commissioned November 30, 1863; resigned May 33, 

Captain. — George M. Ellicott, commissioned November 30, 1863; discharged at 

First Lieutenants. — Ralph D. Short, commissioned November 20, 1863; died Jan- 
uary 20, 1865. Edson Griffis, commissioned January 6, 1864; resigned January 7, 
1865. Heman H. Griswold, commissioned August 26, 1864; not mustered; declined. 

The Twenty-second New York Independent Battery was organized 
in Genesee county by Captain John D. Newman of Niagara county and 
mustered into the service of the State of New York at Lockport Sep- 
tember 4, 1862. October '28 following it was mustered into the service 
of the United States at Elmira by Major A. T. Lee, and soon after- 
ward all but seven members of the command were transferred to the 
Ninth New York Heavy Artillery, commanded by Colonel Joseph Well- 
ing and William H. Seward, jr. The officers and men when mustered 
into the United States services were : 

Captain, John D. Newman; senior first lieutenant, Melancthon D. Brown, of Alex 
ander ; junior first lieutenant, D. D. W. Pringle, of Batavia ; senior second lieuten- 
ant, Robert C. Worthington, of Bethany ; junior second lieutenant, Edwin F. Clark 
sergeants, James M. Waite, Francis N. Parrish, Asahel M. Abby, Daniel E. Waite 
William I. Parrish, William E. Wright, John Oldswager and Josiah T. Crittenden 
corporals, Hugh T. Peters, Edward F. Moulton, William H. Maltby, Thomas Walsh 
Eugene B. Wing, Robert Fowles, Henry Nulty, Orville Thompson, John Connor 
John D. Bartlett, George Brown and James G. Hatch; musicians, Charles Foster 
and Edson H. Pond; artificers, Levi T. Garrett, Henry Wood; guidon, William M. 
Moulton; stable sergeant, Edwin Lock; company clerk, George Avery; privates, 
Hezekiah Brown, William T. Barrett, E. J. Benton, John Bower, Seymour S. Brown, 
Thomas C. Barnard, C. W. Brown, Charles W. Bradley, Truman Bailey, jr., Miles 


T. Brown, Isaac Bruett, Charles J. Cleveland, George T. Chase, Rowland Champion, 
John Carmel, John Cox, Alva N. Colt, James W. Case, Michael Carney, James Car- 
ney, Thomas Cook, Henry Connelly, Benjamin Cox, Zina W. Carter, Oran H. 
Conant, William B. Cole, Jerome Canfield, Dioclesian Covey, William H. Chappie, 
George D. Dodson, James Dunn, Earl A. Dodson, Sylvester Deraary, Dennis Dibble, 
George Edwards, William R. Eddy, Elias Eastwood, James Emory, Orson J. Forbes, 
Robert Finley, Charles Fairfield, William Faber, Harmon Fitch, Ansel Ford, John 
E. Field, John Griffis, George Gann, Cyrus A. Gowing, Charles R. GrifEn, Paul 
Glor, Amos Humphrey, John Harmon, Ira E. Haight, Edward J. Hollenbeck, Archie 
Hollenbeck, John Hassett, David Hill, Henry Johnson, John L. Kingdon, Albert 
Knapp, Patrick Keating, Stephen R. King, James Kidder, Silas Knapp, John Kell- 
ner, Libbeus King, Henry L. Kreatzer, George B. Lawrence, Henry Lapp, Samuel 
Lathrop, Benjamin Lewis, Henry Leverington, James M. Lapp, Elias Lyons, 
Charles Loplow, Thomas McManis, Marion F. Meredith, Jacob Moore, Elias Martin, 
David Milles, Albert H. Moulton, Archie McMillen, John Munt, Alexander Mc- 
Donald, Angus Mcintosh, Lucius A. Munger, Joseph Marsh, Moses Nichols, Michael 
O'Donnell, Robert Plant, Thomas W. Paden, James Porter, John J. Peard, Norman 
M. Putnam, George Rogers, Frederick Reichert, Mortimer Rich, Alonzo Rich, 
Ambrose Rich, Nathan E. Rumsey, Charles E. Smead, Henry Shafer, Gilbert 
Shader, David S. Spring, Edwin Shadbolt, John D. Shiller, Edsil Shaw, Charles A. 
Smith, Wallace M. Smith, Edward B. Smith, Stephen Thompson, Frederick Tanger, 
Homer L. Tisdale, Stephen Taylor, Henry Vishon. Charles Van Kuren, Frederick 
Vickens, Gilbert Wade, Jonah C. Wicker, John J. Warren, Edwin Ward, John 
Worthington, Warren West, Stephen T. Wing, William Welch, John W. Williams, 
Walter S. Wright and Christian Zwetsch. 

The original company numbered one hundred and sixty-eight, seven 
of whom were transferred to the Billinghurst Battery. By reason of 
his mismanagement, Captain Newman was discharged April 18, 1863. 
Lieutenant Brown was discharged April 16, 1863, and Lieutenant 
Pringle October 28, 1864. Lieutenant Worthington resigned January 
29, 1863. Lieutenant Clark was discharged September 4, 1862, never 
having reported for duty. The company served with the Ninth New 
York Heavy Artillery, as Company M, until June 25, 1865, when it was 
consolidated with the Second New York Artillery. After the discharge 
of Captain Newman the company was commanded by Captain Anson S. 
Wood, until the latter was promoted to major, when Captain William 
L Parrish assumed command. Captain Parrish entered the company 
as a sergeant, and was promoted from one rank to another until April 
4, 1864, when he received a commission as a captain. He remained in 
command of Company M until it was discharged from the service Sep- 
tember 29, 1865. He was also brevet major of New York Volunteers. 

This company fought in the following engagements: Cold Harbor, 
Petersburg, Monocacy, Charlestown, Second Winchester, Cedar Creek, 


Second Petersburg, Sailor's Creek and Lee's surrender. During these 
battles the regiment was attached to the Second Brigade, Third Divis- 
ion and Sixth Army Corps. After the battle of Petersburg, June 22, 
1864, the command was the color company of the regiment, remaining 
in this post of honor until the close of the war. At the battle of Cedar 
Creek Lieutenant John Oldswager was killed by a shell. He was a 
resident of the town of Alexander, and was the only officer in the com- 
pany killed during the war. The number of men in the company who 
were killed was small, compared with the losses sustained by other 
companies; but the loss in wounded and prisoners was as large as that 
sustained by any other company in the regiment. Of the one hundred 
and sixty-eight men who left for the front but sixty-five were left in 
the command to be discharged at the close of the war. 

The Twenty-fifth Independent Battery of Light Artillery was re- 
cruited in the counties of Genesee, Orleans and Niagara. It was mus- 
tered in at Lockport in September, 1862, went to New York the follow- 
ing December, and joined the forces of General Banks. The company 
sailed thence to Fortress Monroe, and from there to Ship Island, but 
was wrecked on the coast of Florida, The men were picked up by a 
Union gunboat and landed at Key West, and in January, 1863, sailed 
to New Orleans. The company participated in the siege of Port Hud- 
son, the battle of Lafourche, and in the Red River campaign. In the 
spring of 1865 they went on the expedition to Mobile, and August 5 
of that year were mustered out at Rochester. The Genesee county 
members of the battery were as follows: 

Second Lieutenant, Irving D. Southworth ; sergeant,' Edgar A. Fisher, corporals, 
Aaron Hartwell, Henry C, Denton, John Kersch; privates, Rodney Alexander, Jo- 
seph Brill, Peter Busser, Lewis Beck, Albert Cook, John Clark, Peter Clench, James 
Darkin, Wallace W. Fisk, William R. Fisher, Harvey M. Graves, Addison Gates, 
Fred Hartwick, William J. Hemstreet, Charles Hartley, Charles A. Kendall, Peter 
Linn, Nathan Leonard, Arthur Little, James McMullen, Frank D. Murdock, Jacob 
Miller, Francis McCann, John Madagan, William Moss, Paul Notham, John Oberton, 
William J. Pike, Cunningham Primrose, Valentine Ricker, E. Fitch Rapp, John J. 
Snyder, William Sheldt. Patrick Sage, William Squires, Peter Tarnisch, William 
Willgin, Field B. Wright, William Walton, Henry Wall, John Wright, William 

The officers of the Twenty-fifth Battery and their records were as 
follows : 

John A. Grow, commissioned November 29, 1862 ; discharged August 19, 1864. 


Irving D. Southworth, commissioned December 7, 1864 ; mustered out with battery. 
First Lieutenants: 

William H. Perry, commissioned November 29, 1862; resigned May 11, 1863. 

Irving D. Southworth, commissioned December 19, 1863; promoted to captain 
December 7, 1864. 

John C. Flanders, commissioned February 14, 1865 ; mustered out with battery. 

Albert Cook, commissioned February 14, 1865 ; mustered out with battery. 
Second Lieutenants ; 

Irving D. Southworth, commissioned November 39, 1862 ; promoted to first lieu- 
tenant December 19, 1868. 

John C. Flanders, commissioned December 29, 1863 ; promoted to first lieutenant 
February 14, 1865. 

James F. Emery, commissioned February 14, 1865; mustered out With battery. 

David F. Burgess, commissioned December d, 1862; discharged December 19, 1862. 

David H. Parks, commissioned February 14, 1865 ; mustered out Vifith battery. 

The Forty-ninth Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Infantry, was organized at 
Albany to serve three years. The companies of which it was composed 
were raised in the counties of Genesee, Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua. 
It was mustered into the service of the United States from August 32 
to September 30, 1861. The original members, excepting veterans, 
were mustered out on the expiration of term of service, and the regi- 
ment, composed of re-enlisted men and recruits, was retained in ser- 
vice until June 27, 18G5, when they were mustered out. The Forty- 
ninth Regiment participated in the following battles: Drainesville, 
Yorktown, Williamsburg, Golding's Farm, Savage Station, White Oak 
Swamp, Malvern Hill, Crampton's Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg, 
Marye's Heights, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, 
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Fort Stevens, 
Opequan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. 

The members of this regiment from Genesee county were Peter 
Thomas, Ferdinand Thomas, French W. Fisher, Joseph Mark, Ser- 
geant Hare, Charles Hayden and Sergeant Slingerland. Of these, 
French W. Fisher rose from the ranks to second lieutenant; was pro- 
moted to first lieutenant September 30, 1864; was promoted to captain 
and commissioned May 17, 1865, but was not mustered as captain. He 
was afterward brevetted captain of United States Volunteers. 

In addition to the organizations mentioned, Genesee county contrib- 
uted men to the One Hundred and Fourth Regiment of Infantry. 
Unfortunately it is impossible at this late day to ascertain the names 
of those from this county who served in this command. The records 
in the ofifice of the adjutant-general refer to this organization as fol- 


"The One Hundred and Fourth Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Infantry, was 
organized at Albany to serve three years. The companies of which it 
was composed were raised in the counties of Genesee, Albany, Rensse- 
laer, Livingston, Monroe and Steuben. The regiment was mustered 
into the service of the United States from October, 1861, to March 
1862. Upon the expiration of its term of service the original members 
excepting veterans, were mustered out, and the organization, com 
posed of veterans and recruits, was retained in service until July 17 
1865, when it was mustered out. The One Hundred and Fourth Reg 
iment fought in the following battles: Cedar Mountain, Second Bull 
Run, South Mountain, Mine Run, Wilderness, Fredericksburg, Antie 
tam, Chantilly, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, North Anna, Spottsyl 
vania, Bethesda Church, Weldon Railroad and Petersburg." The reg 
iment was commanded by the following colonels, in the order given 
John Rorbach, commissioned May 17, 1863; discharged October 31 
1862. Lewis C. Skinner, commissioned November 34, 1862; not mus 
tered as colonel. Gilbert G. Prey, commissioned December 3, 1863 
discharged March 3, 1865. John R. Strang, commissioned March 17, 
1865 ; not mustered as colonel. 

Among the other organizations which this county helped to fill were 
the following: Fifteenth Infantry, Twenty-sixth Infantry, One Hun- 
dred and Fortieth Infantry, Fourteenth Artillery, Nineteenth Battery, 
Second Mounted Rifles, Forty-ninth Infantry, One Hundred and Thir- 
tieth Infantry, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Infantry, Ninth Artil- 
lery, First Dragoons, Sixth Michigan Cavalry, Forty- fourth Infantry, 
Ninety-sixth Infantry, One Hundred and First Infantry, One Hundred 
and Thirty-ninth Infantry, One Hundred and Fifty-first Infantry, One 
Hundred and Sixtieth Infantry, Ninth Artillery, Thirty-Ninth Artil- 
lery, Thirty- first Connecticut Infantry, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, 
Twenty-fourth Wisconsin Infantry, Seventeenth U. S. Infantry, Six- 
teenth Infantry, One Hundred and Forty-Sixth Infantry, Third Cav- 
alry, Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Sixth U. S. Cavalry, Twentieth 
U. S. Colored Infantry, Seventh Ohio Infantry, Thirty-third Infantry, 
Ninety-fourth Infantry, One Hundred and Seventh Infantry, One 
Hundred and Eighty-eighth Infantry, Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, 
Sixty- fourth Illinois Infantry. 

One of the most distinguished soldiers who served during the Civil 
war was Gen. Emory Upton, a native of the town of Batavia.' At the 

' A sketch of the life and services of General Upton wiU be found elsewhere in this work. 


battle of Winchester he commanded the Second Brigade of the First 
Division of the Sixth Army Corps. During the early part of the day 
there had been heavy skirmishing, and an advance was anticipated by 
the troops. Our soldiers were discouraged and disheartened, for they 
had been beaten repeatedly. Earthworks had been erected, behind 
which the Union soldiers lay in comparative security. 

Orders were given for a general attack on the rebel line. Realizing 
the condition and feeling of the men, General Upton mounted his horse 
and, accompanied by his full staff, rode along the line. At every con- 
venient point he stopped, dismounted, mingled freely with the men, 
and conversed with them in cheering tones, counseling economy in the 
use of ammunition, a liberal use of the bayonet, and a short, sharp and 
decisive fight when the bugle should sound the command to advance. 
His influence was magnetic. The stimulus he inspired among them 
was marked, and there was not a member of the command who did not 
feel better for the kindly admonition. 

The charge which followed was stoutly resisted by the rebels. Every 
inch of the ground was stubbornly disputed for hours. Soon General 
Upton succeeded to the command of the division. He had been 
wounded in both legs by rebel bullets ; but no sooner was he apprised 
of the condition of things than he directed the detailing of eight men 
from the ambulance corps and the procurement of a stretcher. On this 
he was at once carried to the front, and during the remainder of the 
engagement he was constantly at the line of battle directing the move- 
ment of the troops in person, with perfect calmness, though in the midst 
of a furious storm of shot and shell. He was then a young, graceful, 
dashing, handsome man, brave, quick in action, and greatly beloved 
by his troops. As he raised himself slightly on his elbow and darted 
his restless eyes over the scene of battle, giving his orders in quick, im- 
petuous tones, he seemed to the soldiers like some chained lion, fretting 
and chafing because he could not dash into the midst of the conflict. 
History records the success of the Union troops in this engagement, 
but few of the published histories of the day note the fact that to Gen- 
eral Upton was due that notable success of the Union arms. All day, 
until the eagle of victory perched upon the Stars and Stripes, he re- 
mained upon the field, his presence fortifying the troops, and his ring- 
ing voice, heard above the din of battle, lending additional enthusiasm 
to their efforts. 

An endeavor has been made to give, in this chapter, as complete as 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 327 

possible a list of the inhabitants of Genesee county who fought in the 
war of the Rebellion. It is a fact deeply to be regretted that the rec- 
ords in the office of the adjutant-general of the State of New York do 
not give the places of residence of those mustered into the service of 
the country for this war. In 1865 a law was passed directing the town 
authorities throughout every State in the Union to make a complete 
record of the soldiers sent from each town. The law was generally 
ignored throughout New York State, and the record made in Genesee 
county is very incomplete and unsatisfactory. In all probability an 
authentic and complete list of Genesee county soldiers can never be 
compiled. This chapter is founded upon the official reports as found 
in the office of the adjutant-general at Albany and in the office of the 
clerk of Genesee county. It is authentic, though not as nearly com- 
plete as would have been possible had the various town officers hold- 
ing office in 1865 and 1866 acted in accordance with the law of 1865 
referred to. 


From the Close of the Civil War to the Present Time — Establishment of the Mod- 
ern Manufacturing Industries of the County — Banks and Banking Since the War — 
Le Roy and Its Numerous Manufactures — Mills and Milling — The Malting Industry 
—The Salt Wells of Le Roy and Pavilion and Their Development— The Great Marl 
Bed in Bergen— Disastrous Fires in Bergen, Oakfield and Le Roy— Organization of 
the Genesee County Pioneer Association — Building of the Buffalo, Rochester and 
Pittsburg Railway— Bergen Again Laid Waste by Fire— The West Shore Railroad 
—The Lehigh Valley Railroad— Fatal Railroad Accidents— Remains of a Mastodon 
Unearthed Near Batavia— Genesee County's Participation in the War With Spain- 
Fatal Accident on the New York Central Railroad Near Corf u— Churches Established 
in Genesee County During This Period. 

The condition of the inhabitants of Genesee county at the conclusion 
of the war of the Rebellion was wretched in the extreme. Business of 
most kinds was either at a standstill, or had been annihilated. The 
few industries of the county which had been spared were struggling 
feebly to continue their existence. Others apparently were dead past 
all hopes of resurrection. Money was scarce, provisions were costly, 
credit in most cases was ruined or greatly impaired. Every man 


looked at his fellows with a doubtful eye. During the war period little 
of importance transpired to add to the story of military operations. 
Aside from the establishment of a few minor concerns, which con- 
tributed but slightly to the general welfare and prosperity of the com- 
munity, the induscrial development of the county was practically at a 

It was not until ten years after the restoration of peace that the 
establishment of the great modern industries of Genesee county began, 
though a few steps in the' march of progress along these lines were 
taken before that period. Among the latter was the venture of N. B. 
Keeney of Le Roy, who in 1864 established an extensive produce busi- 
ness in that village. He first purchased of I. B. Phelps a building on 
Lake street, near the railroad. This warehouse being destroyed by 
fire in 1874, the year after he rebuilt on a more extensive scale. So 
great was the increase in the business that in 1888 the firm— now N. B. 
Keeney & Son — built a six-story iron clad building west of the original 
one, equipped with all the modern appliances for conducting their 
business. This industry soon became one of the most important in Le 
Roy, giving employment to a large number of persons. 

In 1865 C. F. Prentice bought the mill property built at Le Roy by 
Jacob Le Roy in 1822 and established his present extensive business. 
In 1896 Mr. Prentice organized the Le Roy Power & Milling Company, 
with himself as president and D. C. Howard Prentice as secretary and 
treasurer, continuing the business which had been operated by the 
former since 1865. The concern now has a daily capacity of one hun- 
dred and seventy-five barrels of flour, besides large quantities of feed, 
meal, buckwheat, etc. Mr. Prentice is also president of the Hydraulic 
Electric Company of Le Roy, organized in 1896, and with his son, D. 
C. H. Prentice, owns the entire plant of the company. 

In 1866 Schuyler C. Wells came to Le Roy and entered into partner- 
ship with his brother-in-law, L. S. Hooker, as Hooker & Wells, in the 
drug business. Three years later this partnership was dissolved, and 
in 1871 Mr. Wells began the manufacture of Shiloh's family remedies. 
In 1877 he erected the four-story brick building on Church street for 
the accommodation of his wonderfully increasing business, to which an 
addition was built in 1883. In the latter year he sold a half interest in 
the business to his brother, George H. Wells, the firm becoming S. C. 
Wells & Co. The latter retired in 1893, and in 1897 a stock company 
was organized for carrying on the business. The enterprise is one of 
the best known of its kind in the country. 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. -229 

The banking house of Francis C. Lathrop of Le Roy was established 
in 1867, and conducted by him until August 9, 1893, when the financial 
depression which afflicted the country compelled him to make an as- 
signment. The business has never been re-established. 

The first concern of its kind to be established in Genesee county was 
the Byron cheese factory. This factory was built in 1867 by a stock 
company, which at once began the manufacture of cheese intended 
especially for the markets of England. The factory was built about 
three-quarters of a mile southwest of Byron Centre, and from the be- 
ginning has been successful. 

The Le Roy Library Association, which has been one of the most 
valuable of the public institutions of that town for a quarter of a cen- 
tury, was founded in 1873 by a number of ladies residing in the vil- 
lage. Mrs. John R. Olmsted was chosen to be the first president, and 
has served continuously since that time in that oflfice. 

In 1874 James McElver purchased the old Cummings foundry in 
Byron and began the manufacture of agricultural implements, his in- 
dustry soon becoming one of the most important in that town. 

Large deposits of limestone of a fine quality and perfectly adapted 
for building purposes having been discovered in the town of Le Roy, 
they were exploited about 1870, and from that time on have been 
worked with profit to the operators. George H. Holmes, Livingston 
D. Howell, and Morris & Strobel were among the first to enter upon 
this important enterprise. Mr. Holmes at one time employed as 
many as one hundred and thirty-five men. The business is still suc- 
cessfully carried on in the town, but the number of men employed is 
not so great as formerly. 

The planing mill built in 1872 at Le Roy by Olmsted & McKenzie 
was the successor of the first mill of the kind erected there about half 
a century before by Chauncey Olmsted. While owned by the latter 
this mill was twice burned and rebuilt. It then passed into the hands 
of William Olmstead, then Laramee & Smith, Olmsted & McKenzie, 
McKenzie, King & Sag^e, Hartwell & Sage, Frost & Murdoch, S. H. 
Murdoch. Another enterprise established in 1873 was the fruit distil- 
lery of Decker & Titman, the only one in Genesee county. In 1875 
Thomas Gallagher & Sons started a broom factory on Exchange street. 
In 1878 J. T.Warren purchased the old Catholic church and there estab- 
lished a foundry and machine shop, engaging chiefly in model and nov- 
elty work. 


In 1876 the famous Wiard Plow Company moved its works from East 
-V Avon to Batavia, and the county seat of Genesee county experienced 
an industrial impetus which within a few years had placed it foremost 
among the manufacturing villages of the country.' Old manufac- 
turing concerns soon appreciated the manifold advantages which 
would accrue to them by locating in that village, with the result that 
within the next few years the county seat of Genesee could boast of 
being the site of half a dozen or more of the most important manufac- 
tures in the country. The effect was beneficial not only to Batavia, but 
to practically the entire country surrounding. 

In 1873 C. B. Rogers & Co. established a sash, door and blind fac- 
tory at what is known as the old oil mill, on the banks of the Oatka, in 
Le Roy. It was operated as such by that firm until the fall of 1889, 
when it was leased to F. C. Rogers, the present proprietor. He pur- 
chased the property in the spring of 1892. The machinery for wood 
working purposes subsequently was removed to Mr. Rogers's new mill 
on Lake street, which is operated by steam. Water power was used 
in the old mill. Six to eight hands are employed regularl)'. 

The American Malting Company's plant at Le Roy was originally 
founded in 1874 by W. D. Matthews & Co. In 1880 Edward Rogerson 
became associated with the firm, remaining until Mr. Matthews's death 
in 1888, when the business was continued by Mr. Rogerson and Wilmot 
D. Matthews. 

In 1895 it was incorporated as the W. D. Matthews Malting Co., and 
in 1897 it became part of the possessions of the American Malting Co., 
whicli organization also operates a considerable number of other similar 
plants in this and other States. The plant in Le Roy is located on the 
line of the Erie, N. Y. C, and B., R. & P. railroads, and comprises four 
commodious malt-houses, which are constructed of stone, and a large 
frame elevator attached. They are fully equipped with improved ap- 
pliances for economical production, including steam power and electric 
lights. The output of the plant is about seven hundred thousand bush- 
els of malt per season, and employment is given to sixty skilled malt- 
sters and assistants. The product is especially noteworthy for high 
quality, and only the finest selected grain is used in its manufacture. 
The product is shipped chiefly to the large brewers of New York and 

' Historical sketches of the Wiard Plow Company and the other great industries o£ Batavia 
will be found in the chapter devoted to the Village of Batavia. 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 331 

Boston. The management of the enterprise is in the hands of Edward 

Though the first discovery of salt in Le Roy was made as early as 
February, 1879, it was not until five years later that actual operations 
for the market were successfully inaugurated. The salt interests of 
Le Roy are among the most important in Genesee county. Soon after 
the discovery of this mineral in Wyoming county in 1878, some of the 
citizens of Le Roy, believing that it existed beneath the surface of that 
town, were induced through the efforts of N. B. Keeney to subscribe 
to a fund of fifteen hundred dollars for the purpose of making the de- 
sired tests. With the guarantee of this sum, C. M. Everest of Roch- 
ester agreed to bore for salt to the Niagara formation, or not to exceed 
one thousand feet in depth. While Mr. Everest believed salt might be 
found, he was more anxious to discover oil. He engaged C. B. Mat- 
thews of Wyoming to look after his interests, and the latter in turn con- 
tracted with Mr. Higley of Bradford, Pa., to drill for the salt or oil. 

The work was inaugurated December 4, 1878, and by the end of two 
months such progress had been made that both gas and brine were 
reached at a depth of five hundred feet. At this point in the operations 
Mr. Matthews, upon the advice of Mr. Everest, ceased work and de- 
manded payment for what he had already done. The contract not hav- 
ing been carried out, the citizens of Le Roy who had guaranteed the 
expenses of the work refused to honor the demand thus summarily 
made upon them. Litigation followed until the fall of 1881, when Mr. 
Everest, learning that the people of Le Roy undoubtedly were in the 
right, proposed to drill another well. The proposition was accepted 
and work was begun by Curtis & Whitaker under the superintendence of 
A. E. Miller, John Eyres representing the citizens, who had guaranteed 
Mr. Everest thirteen hundred dollars if he would assume all the risks. In 
this well brine and a salt vein twenty to twenty- five feet thick were found 
at the depth of six hundred and fifteen feet. 

Satisfied with the result of the experiments the four Le Roy citizens 
back of the enterprise continued the work. The first well, which had 
been obstructed with iron implements, was cleaned, at considerable ex- 
pense, the work not being completed until the summer of 1883. From 
that time work was practically abandoned until the spring of 1883, 
when a plant capable of an output of a hundred barrels per day was 
put in operation under the direction of the American Chemical Com- 
pany of West Bay City, Mich. In September of that year the first 


salt manufactured — one carload — was shipped from the works. But 
the process of this company proved a failure, and early in the summer 
of 1884 the works were remodeled and the grainer process adopted. 

At this juncture, and after the failure of the American Chemical 
Company, it became necessary for those interested in the enterprise to 
determine whether the future business would warrant an increase in 
capital sufficient to continue operations on a more extensive scale. It 
was therefore determined to put down another salt well, this time at 
the junction of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburg and the Delaware, 
Lackawanna and Western railroads on the Gilmore farm three miles 
south of Le Roy, in the town of Pavilion. At the depth of eight hun- 
dred and forty feet that well developed a vein of salt fifty- one feet thick 
between two strata of limestone. Completely satisfied as to the suc- 
cess of future operations, the experimenters decided to establish a per- 
manent plant at Le Roy. Accordingly, in the fall of 1884, C. F. Pren- 
tice, S. C. Wells, A. E. Miller and N. B. Keeney organized and incor- 
porated the Le Roy Salt Company, Mr. Miller being placed in complete 
charge of the works. Two grainers were put in with four boilers. 
With the aid of fourteen workmen fourteen thousand barrels of salt 
were shipped from the factory that fall. 

While this result was satisfactory for a new business in which a small 
force was employed, it was evident to all interested that the output 
could be increased with enlarged facilities. Consequently additions 
were made to the buildings, new grainers were erected, boilers intro- 
duced, and a capital of $30,000 employed, all proving successful. 

Changes, however, were constantly made for more economical pro- 
duction, and by the energy and enterprise of the company under the 
careful management of A. E. Miller, the production reached, on August 
31, 1891, six hundred barrels per day. At this time a large part of the 
works was destroyed by fire, entailing a loss of some $25,000. Through 
the unusual business ability and energy of Mr. Miller, the burnt por- 
tions were rebuilt and manufacturing resumed in January, 1892. Owing 
to overwork and the strain necessary to carry on this work, his health 
began to fail and he died August 38, 1892, and was buried on the 31st, 
exactly a year after the fire. 

As the demand for Le Roy salt was constantly increasing, large addi- 
tions were made from time to time until the plant has become one of 
the largest in the country. In spite of the depression incident to hard 
times and free trade in salt, the business increased every year and in 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 333 

1897 the average output was one thousand barrels per day. The force 
employed is one hundred and twenty five hands. Nineteen boilers 
aggregating two thousand horse power furnish the steam and motive 
power. The salt is made in twenty grainers, operated day and night, 
and a storage capacity is provided of nearly two hundred thousand 
bushels, which is crowded to its limits. The first block erected in 1883 
was thirty-six by three hundred feet. As rebuilt in 1891 it was one 
hundred and thirty-six by three hundred feet, with an addition of forty 
by seventy-six feet. As it now stands the main building is three hun- 
dred and twelve by three hundred and sixty-two feet, with an addition 
of eighty-six by one hundred and sixty- eight feet. The company op- 
erates eleven wells, averaging six hundred and fifty feet in depth, and 
the furthest one being one mile from the works. The officers of the 
company at present are C. P. Prentice, president; John Burden, vice- 
president; C. N. Keeney, secretary and treasurer; J. P. Samson, man- 

Oakfield has shared in general prosperity of the county in these days. 
In 1878 Henry Fishell established in that town a plant for the manu- 
facture of all kinds of agricultural machinery, which he continued to 
operate for eleven years. Albert Rowland succeeded to the business 
in that year. In 1883 Olmsted & Staples built a plant for the manufac- 
ture of barrel heads and staves, a short time afterward adding a plaster 
manufacturing establishment. At the same time a barrel and lumber 
mill was in operation by Harmon Parker. In 1886 M. B. Tarba erected 
a mill of a similar nature in the northeastern part of the town. This 
was burned in the spring of 1889, but was immediately rebuilt. 

In Stafford, John Simmons built an extensive grist mill at Morgan- 
ville in 1878, on the site of the mill erected in 1820 by Adget Lathrop. 
In 1886 Albert H. White embarked in the manufacture of wagons, 
,__c§.rriages, sleighs, potato diggers, etc., in the shop built in 1853. 

In Pembroke, Gillmore & Carpenter built the present roller mills at 
Indian Falls in 1879. They are located at the falls in Tonawanda creek, 
which at this point furnishes a splenid water power, the fall being forty- 
one feet. The mill is still operated by the firm of S. Gillmore & Co. 
The Indian Falls grist and flour mill was established about the same 
time about a quarter of a mile above the falls. D. K. Chaddock was 
an early proprietor. 

In the town of Byron, Rowley H. Douglass built the Genesee rolling 
mills in 1880. They are located on Black creek, about half a mile east 


of Byron Centre, on the site of the mills originally built many years 
before by James Taggart. McKenzie & Bennett succeeded Mr. Doug- 
lass as proprietors. 

In Bergen, Peter Weber began the manufacture of baskets by hand 
in 1864. The business subsequently assumed extensive proportions. 
In 1879 O. J. Miller began the manufacture of steam engines of various 
kinds in that village. Under his skillful management the industry has 
become one of considerable importance. He is still the sole proprietor 
of the business. 

The F. W. Miller Manufacturing Company, composed of F. W. Miller 
and C. W. Bradley, manufacturers of machinery and agricultural im- 
plements, is the successor to the business started by F. W. Miller in 
Caledonia in 1880. Mr. Miller's father died in 1886. The industry was 
removed to Le Roy in 1895, and in May, 1897, the present company 
vjsis formed. The manufacturing plant wras erected in 1895, and the 
average number of hands employed is twenty-five. The products com- 
prise Miller's bean harvesters, bean planters, steel land rollers, wood 
stave land rollers, potato coverers, chilled plows, wheel cultivators, 

The lumber yard of George H. Church at Bergen was started in 
1877. Since 1885 a saw mill and planing mill has been operated in 
connection therewith, the whole enterprise forming a valuable contri- 
bution to the industrial welfare of Bergen. 

About 1880 Alva O. Barden erected in Corfu a large frame building, 
designed for use as a public hall and for stores. The structure was 
named Barden hall, after its owner, but was not a financial success. It 
is now used jointly by a broom factory and the natural gas company of 

Laban H. Robinson of Darien built his feed and saw mills at the vil- 
lage of Darien in 1881, locating them on Murder creek, on the site of 
the mills built in 1854 by Stephen Douglas. Zeno Griswold's grist, 
saw and cider mills were established previous to the former date at 
Sawens, also on Murder creek. 

In Pavilion, J. Quincy D. Page established a cooper works in 1886 
for the manufacture of barrels, tubs, etc. The output has always been 
large. In 1888 Henry Chilson erected a steam grist mill and saw mill 
having a capacity of three hundred bushels of grain per day. About 
that time John C. Doty erected a warehouse for produce and grain on 
the site of two earlier warehouses built by Dr. William B. Sprague, 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 335 

' both of which had been burned. Another enterprise established at 
this time was the fruit evaporator of B. F. Trescott, located where Dr. 
Sprague formerly was engaged in the same line of business. 

In Alabama, William Price erected a substantial steam saw mill in 
1872 on the site of his original mill, built in 1861, but burned in the 
year first mentioned. Soon after he began the operation of a second 
mill. In 1888 S. S. Parker built the model creamery, for the manufac- 
ture of both butter and cheese. 

Early in the period covered by this chapter Judge Ira Rix and 
Alonzo T. Mooers engaged in the grain and milling business in Alex- 
ander. The Messrs. Moulton were extensive millers about the same 
time. George Jones began the manufacture of sash and blinds and Hor- 
ace Hunn operated a saw mill in the sixties. 

In 1881 George Perry built a grist mill in Bethany. Daniel Merritt's 
cooper shop was in operation before that year. 

Some of the principal industries established in Elba prior to 1868 
were Phineas Barr, jr.'s saw mill and shop, E. Murphy's stave and 
barrel factory, French & Co.'s stave and heading mill, Thomas Grif- 
fin's saw mill. Hall & Grimes's woolen mill, Southwick & Staples's stave 
factory, E. M. Whitney's flouring mills, James Bray's woolen mill and 
Frank Kurtz's woolen mill. 

The cold storage warehouse business of P. Gleason, started at Le 
Roy on a small scale in 1887, has developed into one of the most im- 
portant enterprises of its kind in Western New York. The present 
warehouse was built by Mr. Gleason in 1891. Adjoining it is a large 
bean elevator, both of which are fully equipped. Mr. Gleason annually 
handles enormous quantities of apples, pears and beans. Railroad 
tracks adjoin both the houses. The cold storage capacity is about fifty 
thousand barrels of apples at one time, and the annual shipment from 
the plant amounts to about one hundred and fifty thousand barrels of 
apples and pears and three hundred thousand bushels of beans. A 
force of fifteen men and eighty girls is employed by Mr. Gleason, who 
also maintains several other similar establishments in Western New 

The fruit evaporating establishment of Benjamin F. Trescott at 
Pavilion was constructed in 1880 by Mr. Trescott. It does an exten- 
sive local business. 

I One of the most important industries of the town of Pembroke is the 
/ cultivation of flowers in greenhouses for the wholesale and retail mar- 


ket. This business was established in 1883 by Mrs. Irene Tyrrell, who 
now owns four greenhouses at Corfu. Since that time twenty-six 
greenhouses have been built there. Of these William Scott of Buffalo 
owns and operates four large ones. Six are owned by Edward Gid- 
dings, eight by Thomas Webb and two by James Farnham. 

The Exchange Bank of Oakfield, a private institution, was established 
in 1883 by F. E Wright. It was located in the Jackson block for 
several years, but in the fall of 1898 moved into its own building, a 
handsome stone and brick structure. Mr. Wright has always been 
president of the bank. 

In 1883 Orator F. Woodward began the manufacture of patent medi- 
cines at Le Roy. In 1896 he added the manufacture of Grain-O, a 
product now known all over the United States. Four large buildings, 
all owned by Mr. Woodward, are now devoted exclusively to this busi- 

Another important enterprise was added to the industries of Bergen 
when the Cold Spring Creamery Company of that town was incorporated 
in March, 1888. The original capital stock of $1,400 was soon increased 
to $3,000, on account of the unanticipated increase in the company's 
business. Francis W. Fanson was chosen superintendent, secretary and 
treasurer. The annual production of butter ranges from forty to sixty 
thousand pounds. The fence works of Michael Doran at Bergen were 
established in 1889. Mr. Doran's cider and vinegar factory has been 
in operation since 1873. 

Salt was discovered in the town of Pavilion in the year 1890. The 
Pavilion Salt Mining Company was organized in that year, and at once 
secured title to seven hundred and forty acres of land, at a total cost of 
$188,480. This land is a part of the "salt basin" of Western New 
York, being on a direct line between the Retsof mines, ten miles to the 
southeast, and the Le Roy salt wells, four miles to the northwest. 
Salt was struck at the depth of eight hundred and seventy-five feet. 
The upper stratum consisted of a deposit sixteen feet thick, followed 
by a layer of dividing rock six feet thick, then another layer of salt 
thirty-one feet thick. There was no brine, however, and as there was 
no water in abundant quantities convenient the work was abandoned 
temporarily. Subsequently the Le Roy Salt Company began to work 
the Pavilion field. A history of the operations of this company has 
been given in the preceding pages. 

The Pavilion Salt Company, a copartnership, was organized in the 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 237 

spring of 1891 by the Hon. Lester H. Humphrey of Warsaw and Mar- 
cus E. Calkins of Ithaca. The present partners are the foregoing and 
O. S. Humphrey of Warsaw, son of L. H. Humphrey. The company 
began drilling for salt in the southern part of the village of Pavilion in 
May, 1891. The vein of rock salt which had previously been discovered 
at Warsaw, Wyoming coutity, and at other points in Western New 
York, including Le Roy, was struck at Pavilion at the depth of ten 
hundred and twelve feet, and was found to be more than seventy feet 
in thickness. The salt was found to be of exceptionally fine quality, 
being entirely free from the chlorides which make so much of the salt 
sold in this country unfit for table and dairy purposes. Most of the 
salt is made in open iron pans by direct heat, which is the process 
mainly employed in England. The output for seven years has been 
six hundred and fifty thousand barrels of two hundred and eighty 
pounds each. Two thirds of the product has been fine table and dairy 
salt, and about one-third what is called common fine and coarse salt. 
The company employs from thirty to forty persons, men and women, 
and is the most important industry in the town of Pavilion. 

One of the most important industries in that part of the county out- 
side of Batavia is the Oakfield Fertilizer Company, which was incorpo- 
rated in March, 1893, with a capital stock of $350,000. The incorpo- 
rators named in the articles filed in the office of the secretary of state 
were Charles Mager, Horace J. Harvey, Frank P. Vandenbergh, George 
Sandrock, Philip Houck, Aaron D. Coffin, William W. Stevens, Albert 
A. Grinnell, Jacob Davis, John Irlbacker, Charles E. Benedict and 
Francis J. Henry. From the start the concern has been very success- 
ful, the output finding a market in all parts of the Union. It is noticed 
by a bulletin of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station 
appearing in August, 1896, that the Oakfield Fertilizer Company's 
brands were found to be of a higher percentage of value than was 
guaranteed by the company. 

Several new industries were organized in 1894, and some changes in 
the established enterprises occurred. Frank Richards in that year suc- 
ceeded C. S. Thompson as owner and operator of the Star Roller Mills 
at Alexander, the principal industry in that town. At Le Roy Kroner 
& Lapp established a large plant for the manufacture of sash, doors, 
blinds, mouldings, cisterns, etc., and at once erected a commodious 
building for carrying on their business. The Randall Fence Company 
of Le Roy was also founded in 1894. The Randall fencing was de- 


signed by William P. Randall and first introduced by him in 1890. The 
fabfic, being new to the trade, had to be made by specially prepared 
machinery, worked by hand power, which was also designed by Mr. 
Randall. The industry soon became quite well known by sales to a 
prominent seedman in New York city, who used the fabric for garden 
trellis. Accordingly in 1894 Mr. Randall organized a stock company 
with a capital stock of $15,000 and these officers: President, George 
F. Lowe ; vice-president, William P. Randall ; secretary and treasurer, 
Calvin E. Bryant. In 1895 Mr. Bryant sold his interest to S. C. Doug- 
las, and in 1897 Mr. Lowe sold his interest to William F. Huyck. Mr. 
Randall remains vice-president, Mr. Huyck is president and treasurer, 
and Mr. Douglas is secretary. The company enjoys a trade scattered 
through twenty- six States. 

Le Roy Lodge No. 73, I. O. O. F., was organized at Le Roy April 
19, 1895, with thirty-one members and Henry Duguid as noble grand. 
The Le Roy Bicycle Club was organized June 15, 1896, with the follow- 
ing officers: President, T. W. Larkin; vice-president, J. P. Muller; 
secretary, Frank Woodruff; treasurer, Walter Given; collector, Ralph 
Wilcox; captain, A. J. Hooker; first lieutenant, Carl Wells; second 
lieutenant, George G. Seyffer. 

About this time Clarence O. Richards, who for some time had been 
operating the old flour, feed and saw mill near the depot at Corfu, en- 
larged his plant and increased his facilities for the manufacture of cider. 
The industry has become one of considerable importance in the town of 

At Pavilion R. L. Hutchinson built a large flour and feed mill near 
the railroad in 1893, and has since remained its proprietor. 

In the spring of 1894 the creamery at East Pembroke was built and 
opened for business in April. The first officers of the company oper- 
ating it were: President, James F. Bennett; treasurer, D. L. Wilkin- 
son; secretary, L. C. Case; directors, J. F. Bennett, Henry P. Ellin- 
wood, Abraham Mook, William Uphill, John Moore. The Byron 
cheese factory was also opened for business in May of this year. Dur- 
ing the year the Oakfield and Alabama Fish and Bird Protective 
Association was organized with the following officers: President, 
Seneca Allen; vice-presidents, G. H. Craft, Thomas O'Reily, Frederick 
B. Parker; secretary and treasurer, E. F. Hickey. The Co-operative 
Insurance Company of Wyoming and Genesee Counties was organized 
February 22, 1892. 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 239 

The year 1895 witnessed the inauguration of an important industry 
in the town of Pembroke — the development of the natural gas found 
beneath the surface of the earth in the vicinity of Corfu. The first gas 
well, located about a quarter of a mile north of that village, was driven 
early in the summer of 1895 by the Corfu Gas Company, of which 
George W. Archer of Rochester is president. The balance of the stock 
of the company is held by the estate of Robert Roy of Bradford, Pa. 
Soon after five other wells were sunk, and a plant costing twelve thou- 
sand dollars was erected at Corfu. The gas was first discovered on the 
farm of Wilder E. Sumner. 

At Le Roy the roller mills of McEwen & Cole were constructed and 
began operation in 1896. The year following E. W. Miller came from 
Caledonia and established his iron foundry. Both are located near the 
depot of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad. 

In response to a demand for local banking facilities, the private 
banking house of W. S. & C. E. Housel was established in Bergen 
September 25, 1896. W. S. Housel became president and C. E. Housel 
cashier, both still remaining in those respective offices. This is the 
first and only banking institution to be established in Bergen. 

Nicholas Schubmehl came from Cohocton, N. Y., to Bergen January 
1, 1897, and started a cigar factory in the latter village under the style 
of Schubmehl & Co. The factory employs from thirty to forty hands, 
and manufactures cigars only, for the jobbing trade. The output 
averages about three million cigars annually. 

John J. Ellis established at Darien Centre a few years ago a grain 
and produce business which has undergone many changes and improve- 
ments, until it is to day an enterprise of considerable proportions. It 
is one of the most important establishments of its kind in Genesee 
county, outside of the village of Batavia. 

Though yet in its infancy, with the product undeveloped, there ex- 
ists in the town of Bergen the foundation for one of the most important 
industries in all Western New York. Early in the summer of 1897 a 
gentleman who is superintendent of a large manufacturing plant was 
traveling through Genesee county on the West Shore railroad, when 
his attention was attracted to the peculiar formation of the earth, 
almost white in color, through which a cut had been made in the con- 
struction of the railroad. So impressed was he that he alighted from 
the train at the next station, walked back to the cut, procured samples 
of the earth, and proceeded to his destination on the next train. Plac- 


ing the samples thus secured in the hands of a chemist for analysis, 
he was surprised to learn that the earth was almost pure lime, contain- 
ing 97.6 per cent, of this mineral. Subsequent investigation showed 
that the deposit covered about three hundred acres of land, and that 
the average depth was ten feet. Large quantities of blue clay were 
also discovered in the immediate vicinity. Other experiments were 
conducted, and from these two materials a superior quality of Portland 
cement was made. Early in 1898 the Iroquois Portland Cement Com- 
pany was organized at Buffalo, and incorporated under the laws of 
West Virginia. The company at once secured the rights to the land, 
containing at dry weight over five million cubic yards of marl, which 
will be sufficient to supply a plant with a capacity of one thousand 
barrels per day for forty years. The company is capitalized at one 
million dollars. Its officers are: President, Jacob Davis; secretary, 
John C. Bertand; vice-president, A. D. Coffin; treasurer, Edward L. 
Davis; attorney, William E. Webster. These, with John S. Hertel 
and Eugene Bertand, are comprised in the board of directors. The 
development of this great marl bed has not yet begun, but plans are 
being made to carry on the work. 

Another concern incorporated in 1897 was the Diamond Wall Cement 
Company of Oakfield. The broom factory of Nelson Brown was 
started at Corfu in November, 1898. E. W. Boyce, manufacturer of 
machinery supplies, etc. , established his business in Oakfield April 1, 

The first industry of its kind existing in the town of Bergen for a 
period of half a century is the concern known as the Bergen Roller 
Mills, which were constructed in Bergen village in 1898 by Thomas J. 
Tone. These mills, having a capacity of fifty barrels per day, employ- 
ing seven hands and being operated by steam power alone, began run- 
ning December 13, 1898, manufacturing flour and feed. They are 
among ths best equipped mills in the country. 

Standard's sash, door and blind factory at Bergen was erected in the 
fall and winter of 1898. 

In March, 1898, Miller Bros. & Co. purchased of Daniel J. McPherson 
his grain and coal business and elevator at Bergen. This business was 
established many years ago by Platts & McPherson. In 1882 the junior 
partner, Donald McPherson, purchased the interest of Henry Platts 
and took his son, Daniel J. McPherson, into partnership. In 1896 
D. J. McPherson assumed sole control of the business, retaining it until 
its sale to Miller Bros. & Co. 

- FROM 1865 TO 1898. 341 

A destructive fire laid a large part of the village of Bergen in ruins 
on the night of Monday, January 15, 1866. The flames originated 
about eleven p. m. in the hardware store and tin shop occupied by Sam- 
uel C. Tulley, located at the foot of Main street adjoining the New 
York Central railroad, and within two hours "every building on the 
west side of the street up to the crossing of the main street, running 
east and west, together with the large and commodious warehouse in 
the rear, belonging to Beecher & Marvin, was in ruins." The latter 
was considered one of the finest buildings of its kind in Western New 
York. The section destroyed embraced nearly all the business portion 
of the village. Among the principal buildings burned, beside the 
warehouse referred to were the two-story shoe store owned by Lawrence 
Crosby, the three-story dry goods store of E. F. Hubbard, the new dry 
goods store of J. D. Doolittle, Smith & Co., S. C. TuUey's hardware 
store, Harvey Mullen's shoe store, John H. Parish's flour and feed 
store, Samuel C. Carpenter's clothing store and residence, residence 
and oyster saloon occupied by Augustus C. Hamlin and owned by Sam- 
uel C. Carpenter, a building owned by J. D. Doolittle and occupied by 
W. Thopson and wife as a dwelling and dressmaking establishment, 
harness shop owned by Lawrence L. Crosby and occupied by William 
H. King, dwelling of Eleanor Crosby, dwelling of W. N. Beardsley. 
The total number of buildings destroyed was seventeen, and the loss 
aggregated between $40,000 and $50,000. 

On Friday night, June 1 5, 1866, fire originated in A. A. Woodruff's 
hardware store in the village of Oakfield, and before the flames were 
quenched the following buildings were destroyed: A. A. Woodruff's 
hardware store, loss $11,000; John D. Stedman's shoe store, loss $1,000; 
E. T. Jacquith's shoe store, loss $500; C. H. Jacquith's cabinet shop, 
loss $600; A. C. Dodge's harness shop, loss $1,300; George Stegmen's 
harness shop, loss $300; C. H. Chamberlain's dry good store, loss about 
$6,000; millinery store and meat market of Mrs. George W. Brown, 
loss.$600 ; dwelling house owned by Mrs. Calder and occupied by George 

A destructive fire visited Le Roy on the evening of Thursday, Janu- 
ary 28, 1869. The flames originated in the cabinet shop of G. & H. 
Steuber, and before they could be quenched they had destroyed several 
large buildings. Among the heaviest losers were the Steuber Brothers, 
loss $11,000; W. S. Brown & Co.'s carriage works, loss $11,000; John 



Wiss's hotel, $4,000; L. J. Bissell's bakery, loss $3,500; Morton & 
Dean's shoe store ; and other establishments. 

The Genesee County Pioneer Association had its genesis in a meeting 
held at Union hall in Batavia, August 25, 1869, at which a number of 
the pioneer settlers of Genesee county were present. The meeting was 
presided over by Stewart Chamberlain, and Marcus L. Babcock acted 
as secretary. Before the meeting adjourned it was decided to form an 
association of the living descendants of the pioneers of the county, and 
Hon. Moses Taggart of Batavia, Marcus L. Babcock of Batavia, Syl- 
vester Willis of Oakfield, Alanson Fisher of Darien, Samuel Scofield of 
Elba, Stewart Chamberlain of Le Roy, and Augustus P. Hascall of 
Le Roy were named as a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws 
to govern the contemplated society. This committee presented a con- 
stitution at an adjourned meeting held in the court house at Batavia 
October 5, 1869, when the organization was perfected by the election 
of the following officers : 

President, Hon. Heman J. Redfield; vice-president, Hon. Seth 
Wakeman; secretary, Phineas Ford; assistant secretary, Augustus P. 
Hascall; treasurer, James P. Mitchell; vice-presidents for their respec- 
tive towns: Alabama, Joseph Lund; Alexander, Earl Kidder; Batavia, 
James S. Stewart; Bergen, Ebenezer Scofield; Bethany, Luman Stevens; 
Byron, Cyrenus Walker ; Darien, Alanson Fisher ; Elba, Samuel Sco- 
field; Le Roy, Stewart Chamberlain; Oakfield, Sylvester Willis; Pa- 
vilion, Chester Hannum; Pembroke, David Anderson ; Stafford, Daniel 

Since that time the officers of the society have been as follows : 

1871. — President, Moses Taggart; secretary, David Seaver. 

1872. — President, Alden S.Stevens; secretary, David Seaver. 

1873.— President, Benjamin Pringle; secretary, David Seaver. 

1874. — President, Benjamin Pringle; secretary, David Seaver. 

1875. — President James P. Mitchell; secretary, J. M. Waite. 

1876. — President, James P. Mitchell; secretary, J. N. Beckley. 

1877. — President, Albert Rowe; secretary, Safford E. North. 

1878. — President, Albert Rowe; secretary, Safford E. North. 

1879. — President, Albert Rowe; secretary, Safford E. North. 

1880. — President, Israel M. Peck; secretary, Safford E. North. 

1881. — President, James P. Mitchell; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

1882. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

J.883. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 343 

1884. — President, Albert Rowe; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

1885.^President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

1886. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

1887. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, Frank S. Wood. 

1888.— President, E. C. Walker ; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1889. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1890. — President, Lucius Atwater; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1891. — President, S. B. Lusk; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1893. — President, S. B. Lusk; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1893. — President, S. B. Lusk; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1894.— President, Adin G. Gage; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1895.— President, Sylvanus Ford; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1896. — President, Sylvanus Ford; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1897. — President, Sylvanus Ford; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1898. — President, Jacob Nichols; secretary, John H. Yates. 

1899. — President, Jacob Nichols; secretary, John H. Yates. 

A number of the leading citizens of Stafford met in 1870 and organ- 
ized the Stafford Benefit Association, a mutual insurance association. 
The institution was reorganized in 1877 and incorporated according to 
the laws of the State of New York in 1881. The society soon became 
one of the most prosperous in the State, and its officers have been the 
most highly esteemed residents of the town of Stafford. 

In the summer of 1875 Le Roy was again visited by a destructive 
fire, which laid in ashes the Starr block, with an adjacent block, con- 
taining stores, oifices and the public library. The loss of the latter 
could not be replaced, as it contained many rare books of value. 

The Rochester and State Line Railroad Company secured a charter 
from the State of New York October 6, 1869, to build a railroad from 
Rochester, the northern terminus, southwest through the Genesee and 
Wyoming valleys to Salamanca, a distance of one hundred and eight 
and one-half miles. The section between Rochester and Le Roy, 
twenty-four and one-tenth miles, was opened for business September 
16, 1874. At this time the following officers and directors were in 
charge: President, M. F. Reynolds; treasurer, G. E. Mumford; sec- 
retary and assistant treasurer, D. McNaughton; engineer and superin- 
tendent, C. S. Masten, all of Rochester; directors, M. F. Reynolds, C. 
F. Smith, Thomas Leighton, G. H. Perkins, Edward Harris, George 
Darling, George E. Mumford, of Rochester; D. D. S. Brown, Scotts- 
ville, N. Y. ; Oliver S. Allen, Mumford, N. Y. ; William Bristol, War- 
saw, N. Y. 


The line to Salamanca was completed and opened for traffic May 16, 
1878. When originally commenced the intention was to build to the 
bituminous coal fields of Western Pennsylvania. The city of Roches- 
ter put $600,000, and the towns along the line $500,000, into the enter- 
prise. In 1879 the Vanderbilts acquired the control of the road, in- 
tending to make it a connecting link between the old Atlantic and Great 
Western Railroad (now Chicago and Erie Railroad) and the New York 
Central and Hudson River Railroad. The authorities of the city of 
Rochester concluding that the Vanderbilts were responsible for the 
company, and that the original intention of building to the coal fields 
had been abandoned, brought action against the company and the Van- 
derbilts for upwards of one million dollars, and at the same time the 
contractor commenced legal proceedings for a large amount. These 
actions were tried and dismissed by the court. 

Finding that it was impossible to obtain an undisputed title to the 
property without long and tedious litigation, the Vanderbilts abandoned 
the road, and default being made on the bonds, a foreclosure was com- 
menced, and Mr. Sylvanus J. Macy appointed receiver February '^3, 
1880. In January, 1881, the property was sold under foreclosure pro- 
ceedings, and reorganized as the Rochester and Pittsburgh Railroad 

With this change disappeared all connection of local men with the 
road. In 1884 the road again passed into the hands of a receiver by 
reason of a default on its second mortgage bonds. Sale under fore- 
closure proceedings took place in October, 1885, when the property was 
purchased by Adrian Iselin of New York, and associates, and reorgan- 
ized under the name of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway 
Company, its present title. The road now operates four hundred and 
eighty-nine miles of track. 

Practically the entire business portion of the village of Bergen was 
destroyed by fire on the night of Sunday, February 29, 1880. The 
buildings burned comprised thirty-one business houses, seven residences 
and five barns. The principal sufferers and the amount of the loss on 
the part of each was as follows : 

S. K. Green, dry goods and groceries, $18,000; Samuel C. Tulley, 
hardware, $17,000; George H. Church, hardware, $6,000; Mrs. Har- 
ford, Brennan hotel building, $4,000; John Walker, dwelling house, 
barn and two tenement houses, $6,000; H. S. Andrews, grocery, $1,400; 
L. A. Pratt, store, $1,000; H. A. King, grain warehouse, $5,000; Harvey 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 245 

Mullen, boot and shoe store, $1,500; Southworth & Tone, grain ware- 
house and barn, $10,000; V. C. Calkins, drug store, $3,000; William 
P. Hunger, King warehouse, $2,650; F. M. Merrill, printing office, 
$4,000; G. F. Buell, grocer, $3,000; E. E. Spencer, grocer, $1,800; 
A. T. Southworth, house and barn, $3,800; Miss Chalker, millinery, 
block and stock, $1,000; Morey and Son, empty block, $3,300; S. Car- 
penter & Son, clothing store and Fisher drug store building, $6,800; 
Parish block, $1,000; A. S. Fisher, drug store, $4,500; Mrs. B. M. 
Hall, dwelling and contents, $3,000; Morton Bros., clothiers, $3,500. 

Soon after the fire Benedict Harford erected a hotel on the site of the 
Brennan hotel, now known as the Harford house. The new hotel was 
at first conducted by Patrick Brennan, then by John Brennan, then 
Mr. Eckler, and finally by Benedict Harford, who has been proprietor 
since 1885. The Walker house on the opposite corner was also erected 
in 1880 by William C. Walker, who has been its proprietor since that 

The New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad was opened 
through for traffic in January, 1884. Its line passes through the north- 
ern tier of towns in Genesee county. December 5, 1885, the property 
was transferred to the newly organized West Shore Railroad Company, 
and on the same date the line was leased to the New York Central 
and Hudson River Railroad Company for four hundred and seventy- 
five years. 

The village of Bergen having been a great sufferer by fire in preced- 
ing years, the agitation in favor of adopting a system affording better 
protection against the ravages of the destructive element resulted in 
the organization of the Bergen Fire Department on November 17, 1886. 
The first officers elected were: George O. Emerson, president ; Michael 
F. Bergin, vice-president; Daniel S. Thompson, secretary; Homer L. 
Gage, treasurer; William A. Bowen, chief engineer. Fifty one origi- 
nal members signed the department roll. Of these, Charles T. Good- 
win, W. T. Bergin, S. J. Getman, Richard Haley, Eugene Snyder, 
Grant W. Buell, Harvey Boyce and E. L. Fisher were selected as mem- 
bers of the hose company. The remaining sixty-three members of the 
department were assigned to the engine company. Grant W. Buell 
v;as chosen foreman and Charles T. Goodwin assistant foreman of the 
hose company, and N. A. Eckler was chosen foreman and Myron H. 
Parmelee assistant foreman of the engine company. The apparatus of 
the department has always consisted of a hand engine and a hose cart. 


Three reservoirs, located at convenient points throughout the village, 
furnish the supply of water for use at fires. 

The chief engineers of the department have been as follows: William 
A. Bowen, elected in December, 1886, died in office April 17, 1888; 
James R. McKenzie, elected December, 1888; Myron H. Parmelee, 
1889; John W. Day, 1893; John S. Gleason, 1894; George M. Gillette, 
1898. The first secretary, D. S. Thompson, was succeeded by Mr. 
Emerson, who in turn was succeeded in 1895 by Daniel J. McPherson, 
the present secretary. 

A terrific thunderstorm occurred in Genesee count}' on the afternoon 
of Tuesday, July 3, 1889. In Batavia it is recorded as having been the 
worst in the history of the county seat. Streets were flooded, cellars 
were filled with water, and the sewers, inadequate to the extraordinary 
demands made upon them, overflowed. In several business places in 
town stock in cellars was ruined or badly damaged by the flood, and 
considerable damage was done by lightning. The electric fluid also 
shocked many individuals, but none was injured seriously. The year 
1889 was also marked by the incorporation of the Buffalo and Geneva 

A catastrophe accompanied by the loss of three lives occurred De- 
cember 31, 1890. Workmen were employed on the Lehigh Valley 
Railroad extension on the farm of John Simmonds near Morganville, 
in the town of Stafford. During the discharge of a heavy blast large 
quantities of earth and stone were thrown among the body of laborers, 
three of whom — Andrew Hunt, John Nosky and Andrew Hoodock — 
were either instantly killed or died soon after the occurrence, by 
reason of the injuries received. The Buffalo extension of this road 
was completed the following year and opened for traffic September 
1, 1892. 

The Le Roy Business Men's Association was formed August 32, 1890. 
The first officers, chosen on that date, were as follows: President, Ed- 
ward Rogerson; vice-presidents, Thomas B. Tuttle, Charles F. Pren- 
tice, J. B. GiUett; secretary, William E. Humelbaugh; treasurer, George 
H. Wells; directors, C. N. Keeney, Dennis Scanlon, JohnWiss, D. Jack- 
son Bissell, S. Loucks. 

The Lehigh Valley Railway Company was organized June 33, 1890. 
This road was formed by the consolidation of sundry roads outside of 
Genesee county, and of the Buffalo and Geneva Railroad, projected to 
run from Buffalo to Geneva, N.Y., and to traverse the county, and or- 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 247 

ganized about May 1, 1889. The Lehigh Valley Railway was com- 
pleted and opened for business about September 1, 1893. The road 
runs from the Pennsylvania State line north of Sayre, Pa., to Buffalo, 
N. Y., and through the towns of Le Roy, Stafford, Batavia, Pembroke 
and Darien. The Lehigh Valley Railway was leased to the Lehigh 
Valley Railroad Co. — a Pennsylvania corporation — January 1, 1891, 
and has since been operated by the latter company. 

July 26, 1891, a disastrous fire occurred in the village of Oakfield, 
causing a loss of about seventeen thousand dollars. The flames orig- 
inated in the basement of J. C. Doolittle & Co.'s bakery in the north 
end of Seymour Reed's brick block. The other business places burned 
were C. H. Griffin's store, in the Reed block; J. C. Black & Co.'s meat 
market, A. C. Dodge's harness store, and Warner H. Smith's blacksmith 
shop, in the building owned by Charles H. Chamberlain. August 31 
of the same year the plant of the Le Roy Salt Company at Le Roy was 
damaged by fire to the extent of thirty thousand dollars, but the estab- 
lishment was soon rebuilt. In the following October the East Elba M. 
, E. church, a structure which had been built sixty-one years before, was 
destroyed by fire. It was at once rebuilt, the dedication taking place 
May 5, 1893. January 19, 1894, the plant of the Matthews Malting 
Company at Le Roy was damaged by fire to the extent of thirty thou- 
sand dollars. 

An accident attended by the loss of the lives of five persons, which 
occurred near the village of Le Roy on Sunday, August 30, 1893, 
brought sorrow to the hearts of the inhabitants of Genesee county. 
Lorenzo J. Bovee of Le Roy, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Adelia 
Bovee ; his daughter. Miss Ola Bovee ; and Miss Emma Bowden of New 
York and Miss Lena Wicks of Le Roy, was driving from his home near 
the village to services in the Le Roy Presbyterian church. On the 
Lake road crossing of the Lehigh Valley Railroad the vehicle was struck 
by an express train and all five persons were instantly killed. Mr. 
Bovee was fifty-eight years of age and one of the best known residents 
of eastern Genesee county. He had for several years carried on an 
extensive lumber business at Tonawanda, and was the owner of large 
tracts of timber land in Michigan. 

The village of Oakfield, was again visited by a most disastrous fire 
on May 11, 1895. The flames originated in the rear of Harris & Cha- 
pin's hardware store in the Chamberlin block, owned by Charles H. 
Chamberlain. In this block were located, beside Harris & Chapin's 


store, Dr. Pugsley's drug store, Eugene T. Chamberlin's dry goods 
store, and the offices of Dr. A. G. Zurhorst and B. F. Hawes, justice of 
the peace, all of which were destroyed. Beside these the following 
were burned: L. A. Weaver's furniture store, R. B. McVea's store, 
both located in a building owned by the former; H. C. Martin & Son's 
store, with the office of I. J. Stedman, justice of the peace, located in 
the same building; Callan & Gilmore's meat market, John B. Arnold's 
hotel and barns, and two private dwelling houses. August 28 of this 
year the Le Roy Power and Milling Company of Le Roy was incorpo- 
rated with a capital stock of sixty-five thousand dollars, and these 
directors: Charles F. Prentice, Dr. C. H. Prentice, Calvin E. Keeney, 
John P. Sampson, William F. Huyck. The Le Roy Hydraulic Electric 
Company was incorporated on the same day. 

May 15, 1896, a number of the leading business men of Bergen or- 
ganized the Bergen Board of Trade, having these officers: President, 
D. J. McPherson; vice-president, C. N. Carpenter; secretary, A. A. 
Roberts; treasurer, J. S. Gleason. 

In 1897 an event of considerable note occurred in Le Roy in the 
the death of William Lampson, the wealthiest resident of that town 
and for many years the president of the Bank of Le Roy, on February 
14. When his will was opened it was found that the bulk of his estate, 
valued at about six hundred and fifty thousand dollars, was bequeathed 
to Yale University, of which he was a graduate. Mr. Lampson was 
a son of Miles P. Lampson, founder of the Bank of Le Roy, and for 
many years was one of the most prominent men in Genesee county. 

In November, 1896, a number of the fruit growers of Genesee county 
met at Batavia and organized the Genesee County Fruit Growers' 
Union, with these officers: President, Nelson Bogue; vice-president, 
J. G. Fargo; secretary and treasurer, D. L. Dodgson; executive com- 
mittee, N. H. Green, George Douglass, W. H. Chaddock. 

The Citizens' Bank of Le Roy was incorporated as a State institution 
in November, 1896, and was opened for the transaction of business 
January 1, 1897. The charter directors were Wilbur F. Smallwood, 
Frederick R. Green, Thomas B. Tuttle, Mathias Muller, William F. 
Huyck, John P. Sampson and Edward H. Butler, and the capital stock 
is fifty thousand dollars. The present officers of the bank have held 
office since its organization. They are : President, Wilbur F. Small- 
wood; vice-president, Thomas B. Tuttle; cashier, Frank E. Chaddock. 

Two events of importance to the village of Le Roy occurred in 1897. 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 349 

March 30 the taxpayers of the corporation of Le Roy voted in favor of 
corporation ownership of the electric light plant in that village. The 
village therefore pui'chased for $27,750, of General C. Fitch Bissell, 
owner of the gas and electric light plants of Le Roy, that industry. 
The Supreme Court subsequently decided that the action of the tax- 
payers of the village was illegal and ordered the corporation to turn the 
property over to the original owner. General Bissell refused to accept 
the title to the concern, and the case was carried to the Court of Ap- 
peals, where it now lies. The charter of the village of Le Roy was 
amended by the Legislature in 1897, one of the principal features of 
the act being a provision for the election of the village president di- 
rectly by the people. Prior to that time the presiding officer had been 
chosen by the trustees from among their number. The first person to 
serve as village president under the amended charter was L. T. Will- 
iams, who was chosen at the corporation election in 1897. 

September 8, 1897, while workmen were making excavations in a 
swamp on the farm of General C. Fitch Bissell of Le Roy, located on 
the Alexander road a short distance south of the village of Batavia, por- 
tions of the remains of a prehistoric animal, probably a mastodon, were 
unearthed. The day following additional relics were found. These in- 
cluded large tusks of ivory, portions of ribs, a jaw bone holding two 
enormous teeth, vertebrae, etc. Prof. H. L. Ward of Rochester, a 
naturalist, expressed the opinion, after investigating the remarkable 
discovery, that the bones had been under the earth from three to six 
thousand years, and that the weight of the animal, when alive exceeded 
five tons. Twelve or fifteen years before this discovery, the antlers of 
a prehistoric animal were unearthed on Dr. Horn's farm on the State 
road. The remains of the mastodon found in 1897 are now on exhi- 
bition in the Holland Land Office in Batavia. 

A new era in the agricultural development of Genesee county began 
in 1897, when about one hundred and fifty of the farmers of the county 
began the culture of sugar beets. Expert authorities expressed the be- 
lief that the soil of this county is unusually adapted to the culture of 
this product. Though the industry is still in its infancy, the outlook is 
that the culture of sugar beets eventually will become a most important 
factor in the agricultural interests of the county. 

The Genesee County Volunteer Firemen's Association was organized 
in Batavia January 12, 1898, at which time these officers were chosen: 
President, Stanley M. Smith of Le Roy; first vice-president, James A. 


Le Seur of Ratavia; second vice-president, D. J. McPherson of Bergen ; 
secretary, Edward A. Short of Bata\da; treasurer, L. W. Stuber of Le 
Roy; executive committee, Anthony Harsch of Batavia, J. S. Gleason 
of Bergen, Wilder E. Sumner of Corfu, John S. Brown of Le Roy, 
Warner Smith of Oakfield, and Dr. W. O. Burbank of Pavilion. 

When President McKinley issued his first call for volunteers to serve 
in the war with Spain in the summer of 1898, Genesee county re- 
sponded promptly to the summons. Patriotism was instantly apparent 
on all sides, but unfortunately the volunteers from this county were 
destined to get no nearer the scene of conflict than Virginia or Tennes- 
see before the peace protocol was signed and the order for the return 
home of most of the troops was issued. 

The total number of residents of Genesee county who were connected 
with the armed forces of the nation during this brief war was thirty- 
nine. Of these thirty-six served in the army and three in the navy. 
The largest delegation went with the Two Hundred and Second Regi- 
ment, N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, which eventually was in service in 
Cuba. In the Two Hundred and Second Regiment were the following 
from Genesee county: 

Batavia. — William Cope, Burnett F. Crowell, Frederick W. Griffis, 
Joseph A. Michaels and Mortimer E. Stringham of Company K ; David 
L. Parsons, Otto Ackerman and Peter Crowley of Company H ; Harry 
W. Dodge and Willis J. Rumsey of Company I. 

Alexander. — Corporal Lucien B. Greene, George Harrison and 
Charles C. Baldwin of Company L; Howard Carroll of Company H. 

Elba. — William H. Baube and Harvey Merrills of Company F; John 
F. Duggan of Company K. 

Oakfield. — Charles L. Pinder, Zonoah Reed and Alfred Watts of 
Company I. 

Pembroke. — Robert D. Owen, F. A. Redman and Peter Wolf of 
Company I. 

Alabama. — Stanton E. Barrett of Company K. 

Le Roy. — Charles H. Valentine of Company K. 

Residents of Batavia who entered the Sixty-fifth Regiment, N. Y. 
Volunteers were: Frank S. Holdeu, quartermaster's clerk; Robert D. 
Wallace, John B. Roy, James A. Boyd, J. F. Haller, George W. Fotch, 
privates. Company D; Roger Donoghue, cook. Company K; William 
H. Coon, flute player, regimental band. Elba was represented by 
George Swartz, company clerk, and Frank Eckert, private. Albert 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 351 

Murray Steel of Batavia was a corporal in Company H of the Third 
New York. Arthur Beals of Alabama and Morton S. Rundel of Oak- 
field were also members of the Third Regiment. Stephen Moll of 
Batavia, John D. Toll of Bethany and Richmond L. Rathbone of Oak- 
field served in the navy, the latter as an assistant engineer, with the 
rank of ensign. Miss Minnie E. Bates of Batavia went out as nurse, 
and for some time was located at Fort McPherson, Ga. 

Former Genesee county men who served in the Sixty-fifth Regiment 
were: J. Wesley Jewell, William Bentley, Harry W. Diepold, William 
A. Town, formerly of Batavia; Captain George H. Norton, formerly 
of Pembroke; James McPartlin, formerly of Bergen; Lieutenant Nel- 
son T. Barrett, formerly of Alabama. Other former Genesee county 
men who served in the army were : Roscoe D. Ives, formerly of Batavia, 
Seventy-first Regiment N. Y. Vols. ; Peter Reagan, formerly of Bata- 
via, First Battalion of Engineers, Cleveland, O., Grays; Charles L. 
Brockway, formerly of South Byron, captain of Company F., First 
Regiment, South Dakota Vols. ; Frank N. Robinson, formerly of Bata- 
via, second lieutenant, First Separate Battalion, District of Columbia 
Vols. ; Charles Anthony, formerly of North Oakfield, Thirteenth N. Y. 
Vol. Infantry. Arthur Carlisle of Le Roy accompanied one of the ex- 
peditions to the Philippine Islands as a soldier in the infantry. Joseph 
F. Hall of Batavia accompanied the Sixty-fifth Regiment as a newspa- 
per correspondent. Color Sergeant Richard Silvey of the Marine 
Corps, who had the distinction of being the first to plant the American 
flag on Cuban soil at Guantanamo bay, was born in Oakfield. 

There was great disappointment over the sudden termination of the 
war on the part of many of the zealous patriots who evinced such anxi- 
ety to see actual service. Not only was the disappointment experienced 
by those whose connection with the army has been noted, but also by 
hundreds of other inhabitants who stood ready to respond quickly to 
their country's call. April 7, 1898, Captain Lina Beecher of Batavia 
received instructions from the War Department to receive the names 
of men who desired to enlist in the Volunteer Cavalry Regiment to be 
organized in Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties. April 11 he 
opened a recruiting station at No. 3 Jackson street in Batavia. A few 
days later the counties of Niagara, Wyoming and Allegany were em- 
braced in the order. So enthusiastic were the young men of Genesee 
over the project that by April 20 three hundred and seventy-five names 
had been enrolled. April 20 a second recruiting station was opened in 


Pembroke by First Lieutenant George W. Thayer. The whole num- 
ber enrolled exceeded two thousand, who were offered either as cavalry 
or infantry. As early as April 6 the services of this organization had 
been tendered the adjutant-general of New York State by letter. 
April 36 Senator Humphrey of Warsaw, Wyoming county, went to 
Albany to urge the adjutant-general to accept the services of the com- 
mand, but as the supply of men greatly exceeded the demand, the ten- 
der could not be accepted. The field officers in command of the regi- 
ment at this time were: Colonel, Lina Beecher of Batavia; lieutenant- 
colonel, W. B. Tallman of Perry; majors, M. J. Woodworth of Warsaw, 
J. A. Smith of Attica; surgeon, Dr. H. A. Morse of Batavia; assistant 
surgeon. Dr. B. F. Showerman of Batavia. 

An accident resulting in the loss of eight human lives occurred on 
the New York Central Railroad at Winspeare bridge, near Corfu, on 
the morning of Tuesday, December 13, 1898. A body of men shovel- 
ing snow from the tracks stepped from one track to avoid a freight 
train, and an east bound passenger train dashed among them, instantly 
killing eight men and injuring four others. Those killed were John 
Warner and Henry Gunnison of Buffalo, and six men supposed to be 
Poles. All resided in Buffalo. 

Churches. — During the entire period of the Civil war but three relig- 
ious societies were organized. These were an Evangelical church in 
Batavia, one of the same denomination in Pembroke, and an Advent 
church in Darien. 

A society of the Evangelical Association was organized in the village 
of Batavia, by the Rev. M. Pfitzinger, February 30, 1863. The first 
church building was erected on the corner of EUicott and South Liberty 
streets, and was dedicated March 15, 1863, under the pastorate of the 
Rev. J. Siegrist. In the year 1871 this edifice was sold and the present 
brick structure erected on the corner of Center and School streets and 
dedicated September 28, 1873, the Rev. Theodore Schneider having 
charge at the time. Daring the pastorate of the Rev. C. A. Wiessemann 
1879-81, a parsonage was built on Center street next to the church. 
Both the church and parsonage have undergone extensive repairs. 
The following ministers have had charge of the church: M. Pfitzinger, 
F. Klein, Theodore Schneider, C. F. Boiler, Philip Bahn, J. Siegrist, J. 
Greneback, Philip Miller, C. A. Wiessemann, G. Gelser, L. Hermann, 
William Mentz, F. E. Her, G. F. Buesch, S. B. Kraft, H. A. Schneider. 

The Advent Church of God was organized at North Darien, January 

FROM 1865 TO 1898. 253 

16, 1864, by Elder C. W. Low. The original membership was forty. 
The Rev, A. C. Newell served the congregation as its first pastor. In 
1867 the society built its first house of worship, which has since served 
for the purposes for which it was intended. 

A church of the Evangelical Association was established at Indian 
Falls, in the town of Pembroke, in 1865, chiefly through the efforts of 
the Rev. John Siegrist, a member of the association. It began with 
sixteen members, and at the end of its first year built a church edifice 
at an expense of $1,100. The society has enjoyed a steady growth 
since its formation. The Church of the Disciples of Christ was organ- 
ized at Richville, in Pembroke, in 1867, by J. C. Goodrich. It started 
with seventy-five members and the Rev. W. H. Rogers as the first 
pastor. A house of worship was erected in 1868. 

St. Mary's Roman Catholic church at East Pembroke was organized 
in 1868. Its first house of worship was erected in 1890. The corner 
stone was laid September 38, 1890, by the Rev. Father Barrett. 

The Free Baptist church at Indian Falls, Pembroke, was foundedjune 
13, 1869, with nine members. W. B. Hopkins was elected the first 
deacon, and still serves in that office. The house of worship was com- 
pleted and dedicated in 1878. Some of the records have been lost, but 
as nearly as can be learned these pastors have served the society: Revs. 
J. F. Smith, L. Johnson, M. H. Blackman, W. H. Peck, O. B. Buffum, 
D. M. L. Rollin, H. N. Plumb, G. Donnocker, F. O. Dickey, F. L. 
Foster, S. W. Schoonover, W. W. Holt, E. L. Graves, A. J. Osborn 
and E. Jones, the present pastor. 

In 1870 the Presbyterians of Alabama organized a mission, under 
Asher Wright. They subsequently erected an edifice costing two 
thousand dollars. In the same town a mission of the M. E. church was 
organized in 1888 by the Rev. S. S. Ballon. 

The Episcopal church in Bergen was organized as a mission in June, 
1872, by the Rev. E. L. Wilson. In 1874 Mrs. Cynthia L. Richmond 
gave to the trustees of the parochial fund of the diocese a deed of a lot 
as a memorial to her late husband, Dean Richmond, upon which the 
ceremony of laying the corner stone of the new church was held June 
6, 1874, Bishop Coxe presiding. The structure was dedicated January 
6, 1875, and consecrated June 15, 1880. The church is known as St. 

A number of the German inhabitants of Batavia met and organized 
the society known as St. Paul's German United Evangelical church 


April 20, 1873. The first pastor chosen to preside over the congrega- 
tion was the Rev. George Field, and the first officers of the society 
were: President, John Friedl)'; treasurer, Martin Wolfley; secretary, 
Louis Uebele. In the following year a Methodist Episcopal church was 
erected by the society at Darien Centre. 

In May, 1876, the first Episcopal services were held by the Rev. Jay 
Cooke at Corfu. The denomination continued to grow in that town, 
and June 14, 1880, the corner stone of a church costing three thousand 
dollars was laid. The society is the outgrowth of a mission started at 
Corfu by the members of St. James's Episcopal church of Batavia. All 
Souls' Union church at Corfu was organized in July, 1881, by the Rev. 
C. C. Richardson, with about twenty-five members. Mr. Richardson 
became the first pastor, and' through his efforts a house of worship cost- 
ing four thousand dollars was erected during the first year of the so- 
ciety's history. 

In January, 1885, the First Freewill Baptist church of Batavia was 
organized. Four years later a church .structure was built at a cost of 
about ten thousand dollars. The society had its inception in a meeting 
held in Odd Fellows' hall September 38, 1884, at which the Rev. J. H. 
Durkee presided. 

November 1, 1886, the Rev. Carl Stocker, Lewis Shultz, Carl Bloom, 
John Harloff, Gottlieb Wayback and Fred Harloff organized the Ger- 
man M. E. church of Oakfield, which started with thirty members and 
the Rev. Carl Stocker as pastor. A frame house of worship was 
erected in 1886 at a cost of about two thousand dollars. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Congregational church of Byron 
Centre was founded May 5, 1887, by Rev. Voegele of Le Roy, as the 
Evangelical Lutheran Trinitatis Congregation. August 25, 1889, the 
Rev. L. Gross became the first pastor. The church was incorporated 
under its present name October 24, 1889, and the house of worship was 
dedicated December 18 of the same year. The pastors have been : Rev. 

L. Gross, 1889-1891; P. F. Becker, 1892-1893; August Stein and 

Euchler 1894; Otto Poesche, 1895; E. F. Holls, 1895-1898; August 
Klein, 1898. 

The Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's church of East Oakfield was 
founded in 1891 by the Rev. G. Bartling of Medina, N. Y., and incor- 
porated in the same year. November 23, 1891, the church was dedi- 
cated. The trustees at that time were C. Voss, C. Pasel and Fr. Beck. 
The Rev. G. MUhlhauser of Roseville, Mich. , the first pastor, was called 


January 30, 1892. He was succeeded August 13, 1893, by the Rev. E. 
F. Holls of Bayonne, N. Y. The present pastor, the Rev. A. B. Klein, 
succeeded Mr. Holls in August, 1898. This society, and that at Byron 
Centre became connected with the Synod of Missouri in 1894. 

The Roman Catholic church at South Byron was erected through the 
efforts of the Rev. Father Kean of Bergen, and dedicated July 36, 1892, 
by Bishop Ryan of Buffalo. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Salem church at Le Roy was 
founded March 23, 1895. The house of worship was consecrated July 
21 of that year, the principal address on that occasion being delivered 
by the Rev. G. Helmkamp of Rochester. August Dringeman is presi- 
dent of the society, and the Rev. Karl Edward Wenzel is pastor. 

The Catholic church at Corfu was built in 1898 through the efforts of 
the Rev. Father F. L. Burns of East Pembroke. 



An event which marked an epoch in the history of Genesee county 
occurred October 13, 1894, when the ancient office of the Holland Land 
Company, located on West Main street in the village of Batavia, was 
dedicated as a historical museum. The occurrence was a most note- 
worthy one, and called to the county seat many distinguished person- 
ages from all parts of the country. 

The first sign of interest shown by the public in the project for the 
saving' and restoration of the old building was a special meeting of Up- 
ton Post, G. A. R., held in Batavia on the evening of Friday, July 28, 
1893, for the purpose of taking action toward this end. At this meet- 
ing the members of that body resolved that an attempt should be made 
to obtain possession of the structure and place it in possession of a his- 
torical society. 

On the evening of Tuesday, August 1, 1893, a number of Batavia's 
representative citizens assembled at the rooms of the board of education 
to take further action in the matter. Daniel W. Tomlinson, president 


of the Bank of Batavia, explained the object of the meeting and called 
for suggestions. After a general discussion of the matter, on motion 
of Dr. J. W. Le Seur a committee consisting of William C. Watson, 
Daniel W. Tomlinson, John H. Ward, Prof. John Kennedy and Carlos 
A. Hull was appointed to formulate a plan of action and devise means 
to secure the building. The matter drifted on for over a month, but 
on the afternoon of September 18 the committee decided to raise by 
popular subscription a sum sufficient to purchase the building — two 
thousand dollars — making the minimum subscriptions one dollar and 
the maximum ten dollars. Soon after an option was secured on the 
property for one thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars, the option 
to expire October 20, 1893. The plan of the citizens' committee was to 
raise eight hundred and fifty dollars, paying that amount in cash and 
giving a mortgage for the balance. The members having charge of 
the subscription papers pushed matters vigorously, but up to within a 
week before the expiration of the option but five hundred dollars had 
been secured. The balance, however, was soon pledged, and on the 
morning of November 13, 1893, a deed was filed in the county clerk's 
office conveying to Daniel W. Tomlinson the Land Office property, the 
consideration being one thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars. 
From that time subscriptions continued to pour in, each one making 
the donor a charter member of the Holland Purchase Historical So- 

A meeting was held on Friday, January 12, 1894, to discuss the de- 
tails preparatory to drawing up articles of association, constitution and 
by-laws. February 6 incorporation papers were prepared to be sent to 
Albany. It was decided that the society should be known as the Hol- 
land Purchase Historical Society, and officers were elected as follows: 

President, Mrs. Mary E. Richmond; vice president, William C. Wat- 
son; recording secretary, Herbert P. Woodward; corresponding secre- 
tary arid librarian, Arthur E. Clark; treasurer, Levant C. Mclntyre; 
managers, Gad B. Worthington, George Bo wen, Frank B. Red field, 
John Kennedy, Mrs. Adelaide R. Kenny, John H. Ward, Daniel W. 
Tomlinson, Julian J. Washburn and George D. Weaver. 

July 17 Vice-President Watson named a general committee to prepare 
a programme for the dedication. This committee consisted of the fol- 

Dr. J.W. Le Seur, chairman; Hon. SaffordE. North, Frank S.Wood, Daniel W. Tom- 
linson, Hinman Holden, Dr. H. J. Burkhardt, Louis B. Lane, J. J. Patterson, E. A. 


Washburn, A. W. Caney, John H. Yates, John H. Ward, Frank B. Redfield, F. A. 
Lewis, John McKenzie, A.W. Skelley, Fredd H. Dunham, C. A. Snell, D. D. Lent, C. R. 
Winslow, A. E. Clark, R. S. Lewis, W. E. Webster, Dr. Ward B. Whitcomb, G. S. 
Griswold, J. A. LeSeur, John M. Hamilton, A. J. McWain, William C. Watson, J., 
H. Bradish, J. F. Hall, B. R. Wood, J. C. Barnes, Nelson Bogue, W. D. Sanford, 
H. T. Miller, C. W. Hough, D. Armstrong, Dr. C. L. Baker, F. E. Richardson, A. 
D. Scatcherd, M. H. Peck, jr., C. Pratt, E A. Dodgson, Delos Dodgson, C. H Dol- 
beer. Rev. J. H. Durkee, S. Masse, Rev. Thomas P. Brougham, Arthur Ferris, 
Rev. C. A. Johnson, Carlos A. Hull, John Dellinger, S. A. Sherwin, W. T. Eager, 
H. O. Bostwick, John Glade and J. W. Holme.s. 

Hon. Robert A. Maxwell of Batavia, then fourth assistant postmaster- 
general, from the outset had manifested great interest in the project. 
Soon after the organization of the historical society he began to inter- 
est his friends in President Cleveland's cabinet in the forthcoming ded- 
ication, with the idea of securing their attendance. Therefore, when 
Judge Safford E. North, representing the society, visited Washington 
on August 33, 1894, to see Secretary Carlisle, who had virtually prom- 
ised to deliver the dedicatory address, and have a date fixed for the 
ceremony, he found the way made easy for him. Judge North, in com- 
pany with Mr. Maxwell, visited other cabinet officers, several of whom 
promised to accompany Secretary Carlisle. Arrangements for the ded- 
ication were then perfected as speedily as possible. 

Those who first proposed the preservation and enlisted in the movement resulting 
in the dedication had in mind an unostentatious transfer of the Land Office property 
to a society organized to hold and maintain it. The old structure was considered to 
have a historic value as the office where the sales of lands to the early settlers were 
consummated. It was the office whence deeds of the pioneers' lands were issued, 
and where the original purchasers from the Holland speculators paid their money 
for their possessions ; and these facts attached to it an interest that seemed sufficient 
to warrant it being held in veneration. Prof. John Kennedy, superintendent of 
schools in Batavia, became engrossed in the subject, however, and in a number of 
admirably written articles, the first appearing in the News of July 20, 1893, connected 
Robert Morris of Revolutionary fame with the old office, through his sale to the Hol- 
landers of the greater part of the territory west of the Genesee river. These articles 
attracted considerable attention, and when the Land OfBce finally was secured by the 
Historical society Prof. Kennedy's suggestion that it be dedicated to the memory of 
Robert Morris and made a National affair, by reason of its consecration to his mem- 
ory, being a tribute to the first financial officer of the Federal Government, was in 
its main parts favorably acted upon.' 

On the day set for the dedication, thousands of visitors thronged the 
streets of Batavia. The parade held in the morning was the largest 

» Batavia Daily News, October 13, 1894. 


and most imposing ever seen in Genesee county. Practically all in- 
terests — industrial, religious, educational and civic — were represented. 
Upon passing the historical Land Office the column was reviewed by 
officers of the day and distinguished guests, including the orator of the 
day. Here the tablet erected to the memory of Robert Morris was 
unveiled by Hon. Walter Q. Gresham, secretary of state, and a dedi- 
catory prayer delivered by the Rt. Rev. Stephen Vincent Ryan, bishop 
of the Catholic diocese of Buffalo. The order of the parade was as 
follows : 

Advanced guard o£ mounted men under command of W. L. Colville; aids, George 
Douglass, L. A. Terry and M. S. Dunlap. 
Marshal, James A. Le Seur; chief of staff, I. D. Southworth; adjutant, L. L. 
Crosby; orderlies, J. F. Read and Burt Williams; marshal's staff, C. S. Pugsley, A. 
D. Lawrence, Collis Samis, Asher Davis, Harry Ames, Prank Harris, William Tor- 
rance, Roy Barringer, George Parish, Frank Lusk and William Lusk. 

First Division. 

G. W. Stanley, assistant marshal ; W. W. Plato, Dwight Dimock and Walter Chad- 
dock, aids. 
Sixty-fifth Regiment Band and Drum Corps. 
National Guard. 
G. A. R. Posts. 
Sons of Veterans. 
Continental Drum Corps. 
High School Cadets. 
Clerks from Erie County Clerk's Office. 
Indian Band. 

Second Division. 

Captain Timothy Lynch, assistant marshal; James McMannis, John Leonard, 

William Burnes and P. Buckley, aids. 

Select Knights' Band. 

C. M. B. A. 

C. B. L. 

A. O. H. 

Le Roy Total Abstinence Society. 

St. Aloysius Society. 

Third Division. 

F. Lewis, assistant marshal ; Ira Howe, William H. Walker and I. W. White, aids. 

Citizens' Band. 

Johnston Harvester Company, 

Wiard Plow Works. 

Ott & Fox. 


Batavia Wheel Works. 

Wood Working Company. 

Cope Brothers. 

L. Uebele. 

Fourth Division. 

C. H. Reynolds, assistant marshal ; Wolcott Van De Bogart, C. B. Avery, Edward 

Moulthrop, aids. 

Le Roy Band. 

Le Roy Chemical Engine Company. 

Bergen Fire Department. 

I. O. O. F. 

A O. U. W. 

Turners. ' 

School Children. 

Fifth Division. 

G. A. Wheeler, assistant marshal, R. I. Page, Lewis Johnston, George Constable, 


Bergen Band. 

Pioneers in Carriages. 

Officers in Carriages. 

The exercises at the State Institution for the Blind in the afternoon 
were impressive and interesting. The programme carried out was as 
follows : 

Selections by the Sixty-fifth Regiment band; music, "To Thee, O 
Country," chorus; prayer, by Rt. Rev. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, bishop 
of Western New York; music, " Zion, Awake," chorus; dedication 
poem by John H. Yates, read by the author; music, " O Columbia, 
Columbia Beloved," from Lucretia Borgia, chorus; address, Hon. John 
G. Carlisle, secretary of the treasury; music, "America," chorus; clos- 
ing prayer and benediction by Rev. Philos G. Cook, the oldest clergy- 
man on the Holland Purchase. 

Perhaps no better idea of the life and services of Robert Morris can 
be gained than from the address delivered by the Hon. John G. Carlisle. 
Such extracts of that memorable address as are deemed appropriate in 
in this connection follow : 

Robert Morris, or, as he was sometimes called, Robert Morris, jr. , was for many 
years one of the con.spicuous figures in the galaxy of great men whose statesman- 
ship and courage achieved the independence of the American colonies, and to him 
more than to any other man in a civil station, the people were indebted for the suc- 
cessful termination of the Revolutionary war. . 

It is alike creditable to the patriotism and the liberality of the citizens of Western 


New York that they have organized the first public association and inaugurated the 
first practical movement for the purpose of paying a long deferred tribute to the 
memory of a man who, notwithstanding all the malignant accusations made against 
him while in the public service, has left a record in which the critical researches of a 
hundred years have failed to discover a trace of dishonor, or any lack of unselfish 
devotion to the true interests of his countrymen. . . . 

Robert Morris was born at Liverpool, England, on the 31st day of January, new 
style, and, according to a statement in his father's will, came to America in the year 
1748. . . . 

By a contract, or treaty, entered into at Hartford on the 16th day of December, 
1786, between commissioners of the State of New York and the State of Massachu- 
setts, the conflicting claims of the two States to certain territory west of a line drawn 
northwesterly from the eighty-second milestone on the boundary of Pennsylvania to 
Lake Ontario, except a strip one mile wide the length of the Niagara river on its 
east side, were adjusted, Massachusetts ceding to New York full sovereignty and 
jurisdiction over the land, and New York yielding to Massachusetts the pre-emption 
or proprietary right. The tract thus described was supposed to contain about six 
million acres. In 1788 the State of Massachusetts sold all the land to Phelps and 
Gorham, but they failed to pay the whole purchase money and in March, 1791. re- 
conveyed about 3,750,000 acres to the State. On the 12th of March, 1791, the State 
sold to Samuel Ogden, who was acting for Robert Morris, all the land, excepting one 
million acres, or thereabouts, which Phelps and Gorham had paid for and retained. 
This purchase embraced all Western New York west of a line which corresponds, 
substantially, with the Genesee river, or, in other words, nearly all that part of the 
State west of Rochester. In 1792 and 1793 Morris sold 3,400,000 acres of this land 
to the Holland Land Company, but the conveyances were at first made to other par- 
ties, probably on account of the alienage of the Hollanders. Afterwards, however, 
conveyances were made direct to the individuals composing the company, of which 
Wilhelm Willink, through whom one of the public loans in Holland had been nego- 
tiated while Morris was Superintendent of the Finances, appears to have been the 
president. After this purchase a colony of Germans, consisting of seventy families, 
was formed at Hamburg and sent over to settle on the land. They were furnished 
with tools and put to work to construct a road from Northumberland to Genesee, but, 
having come mainly from cities, they were unaccustomed to such labor and the set- 
tlement finally broke up in a riot. After this, an office was opened by the company 
and the land was sold and conveyed in parcels to suit purchasers until 1839, when 
its affairs were closed. In 1803 its office was removed to Batavia, and in 1804 the 
building which you are here to day to dedicate to the memory of Robert Morris, was 
erected, and for more than a third of a century the titles to the homes of the people 
who now inhabit the counties of Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Niagara, except 
the Indian reservations, and nearly all thecountiesof Orleans, Genesee,Wyoming and 
Allegany were prepared and executed within its walls. Thus it is that nearly every 
home in the western part of the beautiful valley which suggested the Indian name, 
of the river which flows through it, is connected with the name of Robert Morris, 
and, though all others may neglect his memory, and even forget the name of the 
great financier of the Revolution, his fame will live on in this historic region as long 
as the people love the land on which their children were born and in which their 
fathers sleep. 


Morris's pecuniary affairs grew worse from day to day, and finally his creditors be- 
came so importunate that he was compelled to remain constantly in his home to avoid 
them. They watched his house, even at night, and lighted fires on his premises in 
order that he might be intercepted if he attempted to escape. One of them, a 
Frenchman, went so far as to threaten to shoot him if he made his appearance at the 
window. In January or February, 1798, he was committed to a debtor's prison, 
where he remained for more than three years and a half. It was his habit, while 
confined, to walk around the prison yard fifty times each day and drop a pebble at 
the completion of each circuit in order to keep the count. During the hardest of his 
misfortunes he never became despondent or uttered a complaint, except to express 
his profound regret that he was unable to discharge his honest obligations. He 
never referred to the great service he had rendered his country, or appealed to the 
sympathy or charity of the public, but silently submitted to unjust accusations, to 
prolonged imprisonment and to the indifference and ingratitude of his countrymen 
with the heroic fortitude of a great and noble mind. 

No period of his long and honorable career better illustrates the stalwart and in- 
dependent character of the man than those closing years of his life. He had stood 
on the very pinacle of fame and listened to the enthusiastic plaudits of his emanci- 
pated countrymen and had received even the forced homage of their defeated an- 
tagonists. He had been the confidential adviser and trusted agent of the govern- 
ment, when a serious mistake would have been fatal to its existence, and had proved 
his statesmanship and patriotism by the wisdom of his counsels and the cheerful 
sacrifice of his personal interests. He had been the bosom friend of Washington 
and nearly all of the great Americans whose names have come down to us from the 
last half of the eighteenth century and had been the peer of the greatest among 
them. He had lived in luxury and had at his command all that wealth and political 
influence and official station could procure ; but now he was broken in fortune, im- 
prisoned for debt, denounced as a reckless speculator, separated from his old per- 
sonal friends and ungenerously neglected by the government and the people he had 
served so long and so well. But he endured it all without a murmur, and after his re- 
lease from prison went uncomplainingly to his dismantled home, and by the practice 
of close economy managed to live in a tolerably comfortable condition, for which he 
was mainly indebted to the Holland Land Company, which paid to Mrs. Morris as 
long as she lived an annuity of $1,500. 

Morris died on the 8th day of May, 1806, in the seventy-third year of his age, and 
was buried in a little churchyard on Second street in Philadelphia, where his remains 
now rest, with no monument over them except an ordinary stone slab. The great 
country which he helped to rescue from the domination of its oppressors has grown 
rich and powerful under the constitution he helped to frame ; the three million people 
whose liberties he helped to establish, have multiplied until they largely outnumber 
the population of the mother land ; the thirteen feeble States on the shores of the 
Atlantic, which he helped to unite under a compact of perpetual peace and mutual 
protection, have become the progenitors of a mighty sisterhood of prosperous com- 
monwealths, whose confines are limited only by their western seas ; and still, no 
obelisk rises to tell the story of his great services, his unselfish patriotism, his honor- 
able life, and its melancholy close. 


Following is the dedication poem written for the occasion by John 
H. Yates of Batavia and read by him : 

When to the banks of Jordan's rolling tide 
The hosts of God from far off Egypt came — 

With cloudy pillar their long march to guide, 
Past Sinai's awful mount of-smoke and flame, 

The found no passage the dark waters o'er. 

No way to cross the overflowing stream, 
And Israel's warriors stood upon the shore 

But could not reach the Canaan of their dream. 

Then Joshua, their leader, strong and true. 

Lifted his voice and soul to God in prayer. 
While angel hands the billows backward threw, 

And made a passage for God's people there. 

The ark of God moved on at his command. 

And forward moved the host o'er Jordan's bed ; 

Their feet as dry as when, through burhing sand, 
Their weary way the cloudy pillar led. 

Then reared they high a monument of stone, 

To tell to generations yet unborn 
How he, the King of Kings, on throne of thrones. 

Held back the waters on that glorious morn. 

In after years, when sunny youth inquired 

" What mean these stones?" the gray-haired fathers told 

The story that again their bosoms fired, 
The story of deliv' ranees of old. 

Before us stands this monument of ours. 
That hath these many years the storms withstood ; 

Reared 'mid the perfumes of the forest flowers, 
In shadows cast by monarchs of the wood. 

Reared on the banks of Ton-a-wan-da's stream, 
Which, fed by living springs and rippling rills, 

Winds down the vale as gentle as a dream. 
From the blue domes of the Wyoming hills. 

Reared at the junction of two Indian trails. 
Where chieftains met to seal some white man's doom ; 

Where war cries mingled with the night-wind's wails 
And council fires lit up the forest's gloom. 

To-day, when sunny youth of us inquires 

" What mean these stones?" we stop with pride to tell 

Of wonders wrought by high Ambition's fires, 
And honest toil, o'er every hill and dell. 


As sea shells sing forever of the sea, 

Though borne inland a thousand miles away, 
So do these walls give forth to you and me 

The sounds and songs of our forefathers' day. 

I hear the echo of the woodman's stroke 

Resounding through the aisles of forest gray ; 
The crash of giant elm and sturdy oak, 

As they for towns and fertile fields make way. 

I hear the stage horn's blast at close of day. 

The wheels that rumble o'er the rugged road. 
While feeding deer affrighted speed away. 

To tangled thickets of their wild abode. 

I hear the postman as he hastens here 
From forest op'nings, where the blue smoke curled, 

O'er winding pathways, desolate and drear, 
Where now are beaten highways of the world. 

The breaking twigs in thicket dense I hear, 

Where stealthy panther creeps upon his prey ; 
The victim's struggle and his cries of fear. 

Which fainter grow, and die, at last, away. 
I hear the whirring of the spinning wheel. 

The crackling of the logs on fireplace bright, 
The scythe stone grinding on the blade of steel, 

The owl complaining through the lonely night. 

I hear the merriments of olden times, 

The apple-parings and the husking bees ; 
The laughter ringing out like merry chimes 

From rustic haunts beneath the forest trees. 

" What mean these stones ? " They tell of honest men. 
Who lived in years now flown away. 
Who toiled for us with hammer, plow and pen. 
From rosy morn until the evening gray. 

Their grandest castles, builded in the air, 

When they at noon sought rest in shady dell. 
Were not, though fancy painted, half so fair 

As these in which their children's children dwell. 

We now enjoy the fruitage of their toil. 

From where the Genesee's bright waters flow. 
To where Niag'ra's billows in turmoil 

Plunge o'er the precipice to depths below. 

All honor to those noble men who laid 

The firm foundation of our wealth and pride ! 
They rest to-day beneath the maple's shade, 

All undisturbed by traffic's surging tide. 


O, could they wake from slumber of the tomb, 
What changes would they note beneath these skies 

A wilderness transformed to Eden bloom, 
With wonders everywhere to greet their eyes. 

What though their forms have crumbled into dust, 
Their deeds shall shine resplendent as the sun ; 

What though their plowshares are consumed by rust. 
The work they wrought will never be undone. 

All honor to that man who forward came 
In " times that tried men's souls," long years ago, 

And gave his wealth and pledged his spotless name. 
To drive forever from our shores the foe. 

The memory of Morris long shall stand. 
With honor crowned beneath these sunny skies ; 

The sons and daughters of our favored land 
Will not forget his love and sacrifice. 

'Twas he who wakened from their wild repose 
These hills and valleys, stretching far away, 
That now unfold their beauty like the rose 
That gives its dew drops to the kiss of Day. 

When armies falterecl for the lack of bread. 
When bugles ceased to call and drums to beat, 

He came with patriot heart and hasty tread. 
And laid his millions at his country's feet. 

Freedom's immortal Declaration bears 
The name of Morris on its sacred page ; 

With changing years his record brighter wears. 
While granite crumbles at the touch of Age. 

Then dedicate this structure to his name. 
While music sweet floats out upon the air. 

The walls shall to the earth speak forth his fame, 
And this fair valley shall be still more fair. 

As sea shells sing forever of the sea. 
Bear them away from ocean where thou wilt. 

So shall ye sing, O walls, through years to be, 
Of great success on firm foundation built. 

The storms and tempests of the rolling years 
Have beat thy granite walls by night and day. 

Yet thou hast stood, amid man's hopes and fears. 
To see the hands that made thee mould away. 

Thou shalt remain to bid this land rejoice. 
Till these fair youths who gaze upon thee now 


Shall speak thy praises with a trembling voice, 
When hoary hairs adorn each wrinkled brow. 

The waves of progress which have swept away 
Thy brother landmarks, built of wood or stone. 

Broke at thy feet and vanished into spray. 
And left thee, gray old monarch, here — alone. 

"A thing of beauty " thou hast always stood, 

"A thing of beauty" thou shalt ever stand, 
At first the glory of the lonely wood. 

But now the glory of the teeming land. 

Sing on, O walls, though years their changes bring, 

Sing on while all the bells of progress chime. 
Sing of the past, of future glory sing. 

While thy quaint form defies the march of time ! 

The chorus which participated in the exercises of the day consisted 
of about a hundred voices under the direction of Prof. E. F. Crane, as 
follows : 

Sopranos — Mrs. E. Kirby Calkins, Mrs. I. E. Mecorney, Mrs. W. R. 
Durfee, Mrs. Frederick H. Fargo, Mrs. P. Welch, Mrs. Charles Scott, 
Mrs. Sarah Peck, Mrs. C. B. Peck, Mrs. Bessie Carpenter, Mrs. Kate 
Crosby, Mrs. Lounsbury, Mrs. B. H. Bean, Mrs. Preston Case, Mrs. 
George Crofoot, Mrs. Lord, and Misses Ella Hirsch, Ida Kellar, Miriam 
Kellar, Emily Carr, Mary A. Lewis, E. Alice Smith, Edna King, Bes- 
sie Kellar, Emily Hartshorn, Gracia Morse, Minnie Ingersol, Frankie 
Ingersol, Cornelia Brownell, Rachael McNab, Mertie McNab, Lizzie 
Shepard, Ada Mockford, E. Maud Baker, Edith M. Knapp, Mertie 
Knapp, Grace Perkins, Lillian Hatch, Jessie Wallace, Cora J. Gardner, 
Alice Parmelee, Ora Rapp, Mary Poultridge, Mary Maltby, Ruth Ben- 
jamin, H. A. Langdon, Adelle Clark, Eva Milward, E. F. Wood, Nellie 

Contraltos — Mrs. W. C. Gardiner, Mrs. E. E. Leavenworth, Mrs. F. 
A. Lewis, Mrs. Clara Mills, and Misses Lottie Rogers, Mary Milward, 
Helen M. Iveson, Cora W. Palmer, Gertrude Cardus, Bertha L. John- 
son, Agnes C. Rimmer, Hattie Hartshorn, Jean Brownell, Louise H. 
Morse, Nellie McNair, Blanche Lewis, Fannie Stanley. 

Tenors — J. T. Whitcomb, Frank E. Howe, Clarence Meserve, George 
Mower, A. H. Plock, S. P. Stephens, E. L Nott, Edward Gamble, 
Charles B. Peck, F. C. Chadwick, F. A. Lewis. 

Bassos — Henry Chiswell, Matthew Robinson, William Mills, E. H. 
Perry, William C. Gardiner, C. A. Snell, Rev. Thomas Cardus, Lucius 


A. Parmelee, John C. Squires, Frederick H. Fargo, E. E. Leaven- 
worth, George W. Pratt, Myron A. Pratt, Myron A. WilHams, W. H. 
Kearns, John Skehan, Harry C. Norton, Thomas Trick, Wilbur 

Lunch was served in the corridors of Hotel Richmond at one o'clock 
p. M. Among the guests who sat at the table were Robert Morris of 
Johnsonburg, Pa., a great-grandson of Robert Morris; S. Fisher Morris 
of Eckman, W. Va., also a great-grandson of the distinguished patriot; 
Mrs. Morris, a descendant of the family of George Washington ; Mr. 
and Mrs. John B. Church of Geneva, the latter being a descendant of 
Robert Morris; Hon. Walter Q. Gresham, secretary of State; Hon. 
John G. Carlisle, secretary of the treasury; Hon. Daniel S. Lamont, 
secretary of war; Hon. Wilson S. Bissell, postmaster-general; Hon. 
Hilary A. Herbert, secretary of the navy; Hon. Hoke Smith, secretary 
of the interior; Hon. Frank Jones, first assistant postmaster- general; 
Hon. Thomas E. Benedict, public printer; and a number of other in- 
vited guests. 


Hon Joseph Ellicott was the founder of Batavia. Late in the summer 
of 1797 he came from Philadelphia to Genesee to attend a convention 
for the purpose of entering upon a treaty with the Indians at that place, 
when the lands west of the Genesee river were purchased from them 
by Robert Morris. In September of that year the treaty was concluded, 
and after having made arrangements for the survey of the Holland 
Company's lands, Mr. Morris returned to Philadelphia in the following 
February. In May, 1798, he again started for the Genesee country, 
accompanied by his brother, Benjamin Ellicott, and Ebenezer Gary. 
He arrived at Buffalo in June. 

April 18, 1798, James Brisbane and John Thompson left Philadelphia 
with a supply of stores for Mr. Ellicott and the men who were to sur- 
vey the Morris Purchase. May 15 they arrived at the mouth of the 
Genesee river, having traveled from Oswego in batteaux, via Lake 
Ontario. At this point Mr. Brisbane proceeded up the Genesee river 



to WilHamsburgh, taking with him one batteau loaded with stores. 
Mr. Thompson proceeded westward on the lake until he reached the 
mouth of the Niagara river, whence he proceeded to Buffalo with the 
remainder of the stores. Mr. Brisbane remained at WilHamsburgh, 
located between Mount Morris and Geneseo, until October, 1798, when 
he removed with the stores in his charge to what is now the village of 
Stafford. Headquarters were maintained here until January 2, 1800, 
when the entire party — consisting of Joseph and Benjamin EUicott, 
Mr. Gary, Mr. Brisbane and James W. Stevens, started to return to 
Philadelphia. November 1 of that year Joseph Ellicott received the 
appointment of general agent for the great Holland Land Company. 
A few days afterward he returned to Buffalo, arriving there early in 
January, 1801. Late in that winter he removed to Ransom's Tavern, 
in what is now the town of Clarence, Erie county, where he opened an 
office for the disposal of the lands of the Holland Company. 

At a very early date, probably before March, 1801, Mr. Ellicott de- 
termined to make the present site of Batavia the location for the land 
office of the company he represented, deeming it a fine location for the 
village he hoped to found.' As the fact became known, a number of 
persons visited the spot with a view to making it a place of residence. 
Among them was Abel Rowe, who arrived in March, 1801, and erected 
the first building in the village, on the lot directly opposite that selected 
for the site of the land office. The building, which was made of logs, 
was used for a tavern, and for some time was widely known as " Rowe's 
hotel." Soon afterward Stephen Russell erected a log house on the 
land subsequently occupied by the Genesee house. 

It was the original intention of Mr. Ellicott to name the place Busti- 
ville or Bustia, in honor of Paul Busti, general agent of the Holland 
Land Company. He communicated the fact to Mr. Busti, but the 
latter entreated him to use another name, suggesting Ellicottstown ; 
but Mr. Ellicott refused to honor himself in this manner, and announced 
that the place should be known as Tonnewanta. But this name evi- 
dently did not satisfy the founder of this village, for a few months later 

' February 17, 1801, writing from Ransomville to Richard M. Stoddard at Canandaigua, Mr. 
Ellicott said : " I expect to make my establishment at or near the Bend of Tonnewanta, and 
there let the Genesee Road fork, one to be directed to Buffalo and the other to Queenston, and 
place my office in the fork looking Eastward." The " fork*' subsequently became the site for the 
arsenal. In a letter to Stephen Russell at Blooomfield, written in May, 1801, he says : '' I expect, 
shortly, to have all the Lots laid out at the Bend. Since I saw you I conceived it best to post- 
pone them for the present, in order to attend to laying out a piece of Road before the leaves 
became so thick as to prevent us from seeing the country," 


he began referring to it as Batavia, in accordance with a suggestion 
made by Mr. Busti. November 7, 1801, Mr. Ellicott wrote to Mr. 
Busti, dating the letter " Batavia." ' 

One of the first steps taken by Mr. Ellicott after deciding to make 
" the Bend " his headquarters was the erection of a dam in the creek 
and a saw mill. The latter was completed about the middle of Decern - 
ber, 1801, and kept in constant operation manufacturing planking and 
boards for the houses which were planned by the pioneers of Batavia." 

As there was no pine timber nearer the mill than at a point six miles 
distant, in the present town of Elba, Mr. Ellicott engaged Isaac 
Sutherland to cut a road to the Pinery (Pine Hill), and the work was 
begun January 18, 1803. 

The first land office building was completed in December, 1801. It 
was a two-story log structure and was situated on the north side of 
West* Main street, nearly opposite the site of the old land office now 
standing. Immediately after its completion this building was occu- 
pied by John Thompson and others in the employ of the company as a 
boarding place ; but Mr. Ellicott did not remove his office from Ran- 
som's until the spring of 1802. 

February 20, 1803, John Lamberton was engaged by Mr. Ellicott to 
cut a public road through the village of Batavia. Lamberton, assisted 
by a man named Mayo, began the work the day following, cutting a 
road one hundred feet wide and two miles long, its western terminus 
being in front of the arsenal. This roadway, the clearing of which 
cost twelve dollars per acre, or about two hundred and ninety dollars, 
was completed in the following May. It at once became, and always 
has remained, the principal thoroughfare in Batavia — Genesee, now 
Main, street. The land now occupied by this street was at that time 
covered with timber. Mr. Lamberton's contract called for the cutting 
away of this timber and preparing it for logging. The road was con- 
structed, probably, by the owners of lots fronting on the new street. 

The necessity of a grist mill manifested itself at an early date. The 
first allusion to the enterprise is contained in letters from Mr. Ellicott 
to Mr. Busti, dated at Batavia, February 28, 1803, and forwarded by his 

' In this letter Mr. Ellicott wrote : "In regard to the name of this place, it heretofore was 
called the Bend, from the circumstance of the Bend of the Creek, and is generally known by that 
name, but I have Baptized it by the Name of Batavia." 

" This saw mill was torn down about 1822. 


brother, Benjamin Ellicott.' This mill was not completed until late 
in the year 1804. 

When the Holland Land Company mapped out the village of Batavia 
in 1801, they divided it into about one hundred lots. These lots had 
a frontage of twenty rods each on what is now Main street. They were 
marked from No. 1 up, the even numbers being on the north side of 
the street and the odd numbers on the south .side. Each lot was in- 
tended to be one mile deep, and the extent of land covered in the 
original map was much larger than that of the present corporation. 
The western boundary line ran through the spot formerly occupied by 
the State arsenal. From what is now Jackson street to the court house 
the lots were subdivided, and in the original map did not contain as 
much land as the others. Main street was then called Batavia street 
west of the court house and Genesee street east of that point. 

The first sale recorded on the old records, and doubtless the first 
sale of village property, was made January 1, 1803, the purchaser being 
Stephen Russell. The lot was bounded on the east by what is now 
State street, was of sufficient depth to comprise an area of eight and 
one-half acres, and was sold for five dollars per acre, or forty- two dol- 
lars and a half for the whole lot. A four-acre lot having a frontage on 
Main street was sold April 30, 1807, to James Cochran, also for five 
dollars per acre. The lot on what is now the west corner of Jackson 
and Main streets, extending west to a point about the centre of the old 
Holden store, was sold March 21, 1810, to Samuel Peck and Benjamin 
Blodgett, for one hundred and fifty dollars. 

A contributor to the Batavia Spirit of the Times of April 39, 1883, 
thus describes the improvement of the sanitary condition of Batavia 
from 1800 to 1883: 

The first settlers were prostrated with bilious, typhus, typhoid fevers, ague and 
fever, dysentery, jaundice, and all the aggravated disorders of the liver to such an 
extent that there were not enough of the well to take care of the sick. Sickness 
compelled many who had located here to leave. Many of the settlers from New 
England went to Wyoming county, where the surface of the country was hilly and 
the water was soft. Even in 18ii9 the ague and fever prevailed to such an extent 
that the usual fall militia drill and militia exercises were dispensed with. Malaria 
with its attendant diseases still prevailed to a very great extent and created the 
greater portion of the sickness of that time. 

' In this letter Mr. Ellicott, after alluding to certain business matters to be explained by his 
brother, the writer says: " His object is also to procure such necessaries in the Lower Country, 
as will be required for the completion of the Grist Mill erecting on account of the Company, and 
also to procure if practicable, a good Mill- Wright to construct the running gear of said mill." 


The early physicians of that day were David McCracken, Ephraim Brown, Winter 
Hewitt, John Cotes, Levant B. Cotes, Chester Bradford, John Z. Ross, Richard 
Dibble, Truman H. Woodruff, Charles E. Ford, who ranked high in their profession 
and were skilled in the treatment of the malarial diseases of the country. Their in- 
vestigation of the causes and their story of the character of the prevailing diseases 
and their conviction of the urgent necessity for their prevention made them strong 
advocates of surface drainage as the only effectual safeguard against sickness. This 
period closed with the year 1830, with some modification and abatement in the ma- 
lignant type of the disease. 

The second term ranges from 1830 to 1860. During this time a marked change 
was produced, resulting from a thorough and more extensive system of surface 
drainage. The Tonawanda Railroad drained the ponds at Mount Lucy, and filled 
the streets along its line nearly three feet. The village authorities inaugurated an 
effective system of surface drainage on the north and south sides of Main street. 
The spring, fall and winter overflow of the creek was checked by raising the road 
and making a dyke along its banks at Toad Point. The genial rays of the sun evap- 
orated the latent miasma from a soil freed from the stagnant waters. The plow and 
the spade lent a helping hand, and the village to a certain extent was liberated from 
the slimy pools of water which had hitherto dotted its surface. Still the medical 
faculty insisted that many instances of malarial disease were constantly occurring 
where the drainage was iniperfect. Dr. John Cotes, Levant B. Cotes, Truman H. 
Woodruff, Charles E. Ford, Holton Ganson, John Root, John R. Cotes O. P. Clark 
were the leading physicians of this period. A still more efficient mode of drainage 
was Strongly advocated by all these medical men. They admitted that the sanitary 
condition of the place showed marked improvement, and that they were not obliged 
to resort to the violent remedies of former years. 

The last term extends from 1860 to 1882. During this time another marked 
change has taken place. The system of surface drainage has been abandoned and 
the tile system has been adopted. The population of the village has doubled and 
houses have been erected in close proximity to each other. No sanitary restraints 
have been enforced in regard to the position of wells and outhouses, and the contents 
of water closets and house drainage are poured into closed tile sewers running to the 
creek, the grade of which is so small that it produces a sluggish and impeded move- 
ment of its slimy contents. The outlet empties into the creek at low water mark, 
subject to have its malarious germs swept back into every cellar during the high 
floods of the creek. Below the outlet the waters of the creek are polluted with the 
offensive sewage and exhale a pestiferous miasma, poisoning the atmosphere along 
its banks. This has produced a return to the malarious condition of the time from 
1830 to 1830. Ague and fever, bilious, typhus and typhoid fevers, dysentery, dis- 
ordered action of the liver have again reappeared, and with them that class of dis- 
eases engendered by sewer gas, diphtheria, scarlet fever, roseola, malarial fever, 
mental depression, loss of vitality, general lassitude and debility and all the various 
types of nervous maladies which are the marked characteristics resulting from the 
poisonous emanations of sewer gas. Among the physicians of the last term. Dr. Le- 
vant B. Cotes was the veteran survivor of all his compeers. Dr. Ganson followed 
next in seniority, than in succession John Root, John R. Cotes, O. P. Clark, N. G. 
Clark, L. L. Tozier, John F. Baker, H. S. Hutchins, Hamilton, Morse, Davidson, 
Rand, Walkinshaw and others. 


It was almost entirely through the efforts of Mr. Ellicott that the 
county of Genesee was erected, with Batavia for a county seat. The 
population of the new village was increasing at a satisfactory rate, and 
the legislative act de.signating Batavia as the capital of the new county 
gave it a prestige which instantly proved most beneficial. Determined 
that the village which he had founded should enjoy the full benefits 
which naturally should follow its selection for this important purpose, 
Mr. Ellicott at once began plans for the erection of a court house and 
jail, having stipulated, in his agreement with the Legislature, that 
these buildings should be constructed at the expense of the Holland 
Land Company. In a letter to Mr. Busti, written May 8, 1802, he 

I am happy in the promptness with which you have agreed to carry into efEect 
the erection of the Court House and Jail, as stipulated to be erected at the expense 
of the Company, by Mr. D. A. Ogden and myself. This stipulation was one of the 
principal inducements towards our effecting the passage of the Law establishing the 
new County. This money I conceive to be well laid out, for had we not have pro- 
cured this Act for establishing the County, and bounded it as we have fortunately 
done, the Company would, in all probability, have had to erect another Court House 
and Jail, as well as that at Canandaigua, at their expense, and in which they would 
have been but little benefited. 

It was in contemplation by Mr. James Wadsworth, and interest was actually mak- 
ing for that purpose, so to divide the county of Ontario, as to make his residence in 
the town of Hartford [now Geneseo], on the Genesee River, the County town of a 
County. . . . 

In regards to the Court House and Jail, your ideas perfectly accord with my own, 
in erecting them in such a maner as will be the most economical, and at the same 
time answer well the purposes intended. I have received a Plan from New York, 
which my friend, D. A. Ogden, was kind enough to procure from an Architect of 
that place. It is not, in my opinion, calculated for the meridian of this Western 
World, this Century, but might probably answer for the meridian of the cities of 
London or Amsterdam. 

Mr. Ellicott engaged Isaac Sutherland and Samuel F. Geer as archi- 
tects for the court house, which was to be built after his own plan, and 
of wood. The frame was set up about November 1. Its raising " was 
a Herculean task of three days, and inconsequence of the sparsenessof 
population, required all the men that could be mustered in the surround- 
ing country, even from Buffalo. The timber was exceedingly heavy, 
being almost exclusively oak, and we are told that the workmanship 
was so perfect, as to elicit the admiration of every one who saw it. Not 
the slightest mistake was discoverable, and when the frame was put 


together, every joint was as perfect as mallet and chisel could make it. ' ' 
Though the building was not completed until 1804, the work had pro- 
gressed so far b)' the spring of 1803 that the first sessions of the courts 
after the organization of the county were held in it at the time last 

The first frame building in the village was erected by Isaac Suther- 
land in the spring of 1803, about two months before the construction of 
the court house was begun. It stood west of the Presbyterian meeting 
house, and was occupied as a residence by Mr. Sutherland and his fam- 
ily. About the same time Mr. Sutherland and Samuel F. Geer built 
another frame house on the ground subsequently occupied by the Pres- 
byterian church, intended for their own use as a joiner's shop. 

In the spring of 1803 James Brisbane visited New York and pur- 
chased a stock of groceries, provisions and general wares with which to 
stock a store which he had arranged to conduct under the patronage of 
the agents of the Holland company. Arriving with his stock at Batavia 
about the middle of May, he rented the building which Sutherland and 
Geer had erected for use as a joiner's shop and at once began business 
as a merchant — the first in town. A few weeks later he purchased the 
building and occupied it until 1833, when it was removed to make room 
for the Presbyterian meeting house. 

Several other improvements were made in 1803. During the sum- 
mer of that year William Munger erected the west part of what after- 
ward became the Keyes house, which he conducted as a tavern. He 
was succeeded by Mr. Rowe, and then by William Keyes, under whose 
management it became the principal hotel in the village. About the 
same time Mr. EUicott erected a frame building for use as a land office, 
tearing bown the original log building and moving the records of the 
office into the new one about January 1, 1803. This building was after- 
ward altered and became a portion of the residence occupied for many 
years by D. E. Evans. Stephen Russell also erected a two-story frame 
building as an annex to his log tavern, on the site which afterward was 
occupied by the Genesee house. It will thus be seen that the develop- 
ment of the village of Batavia was progressing at a most satisfactory 
rate as early as 1803. 

The indomitable energy and public spirit of the founder of Batavia 
is everywhere in evidence. On every possible occasion he promoted 
the welfare of the village. All legitimate enterprises were encouraged 

' Historical Sketch of the Village o£ Batavia, by William Seaver. 1849. 


by him in a practical way and he was never slow to take the initiative 
when he believed the young village would be benefited by his projected 
act. May 15, 1802, he addressed to Gideon Granger, postmaster- gen- 
eral, a petition for the establishment of a post-office at Batavia, and 
recommending the appointment of James Brisbane as postmaster. In 
his petition Mr. EUicott said : 

Although I cannot flatter the Post Master General with much augmentation to the 
revenue which may arise from an establishment of this kind, yet as the country is 
fast settling, and the Land Office is kept here for the sale of a large extent of coun- 
try, there is little doubt but that in a short period, a considerable revenue will arise 
from this establishment, as well as be productive of great convenience to the inhab- 

The postmaster-general promptly appointed Mr. Brisbane postmaster ; 
but there already being a post-office named Batavia in Greene county, 
the new office was designated Genesee Court House. The commission 
for the first postmaster was dated July 21, 1802, and the following 
month he entered upon the discharge of his duties, maintaining the 
office in his store. The mail was carried once in two weeks, either on 
foot or on horseback. The route west was from Canandaigua to Ba- 
tavia, Lewiston and Fort Niagara, and eastward from Fort Niagara to 
Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Williamsville, Van Deventer's, the Indian Vil- 
lage, Batavia and Canandaigua and other points east. Soon afterward 
the increasing population warranted the establishment of a weekly mail 
from Canandaigua to Buffalo direct, Batavia being a post on the route. 

An idea of the population of Batavia, and of Genesee county, in 1802, 
may be gained from a statement made in a letter written by Mr. EUi- 
cott to Seth Pease May 15, 1802: 

As you were acquainted with this part of the country before any settlement took 
place, it may not be altogether uninteresting to be informed of the number of votes 
given in at this village last election, for Members of Congress, which will be some 
data to form an opinion of the progress of settlement. 

Oliver Phelps, Esq., Republican, 50 votes. ^ 

Nat. W. Howell, Esq., anti-Republican, 1 vote. 

In this county, (Genesee), in consequence of the sparse settlements, not more than 
one third of the people could with any convenience attend the election polls, therefore 
we only voted 133, of which 117 were Republican and for Oliver Phelps, and the res- 
idue for Nat. W. Howell, so that it appears this county may be styled Republican. 

The organization of Genesee county took place in 1803. The first 
court was held in the new court house June 14, when Richard Smith 
was admitted to practice as an attorney and counselor. November 8 



the second court was held, at which Daniel B. Brown was admitted to 

During the early days of the village a favored few were permitted to 
purchase from twenty to forty acres of land fronting on Genesee, now 
Main, street, running back one mile in length. These had all been 
well schooled in the arbitrary doctrines of a landed aristocracy, the po- 
litical creed of Joseph EUicott. For years these men held their broad 
acres undiminished by a sale. They were hostile to the idea of any 
street parallel to Main, which they would have considered an invasion 
of their sacred rights. They held their corn and pasture lands for their 
own pleasure and convenience, claiming that the public had no right 
to sacrifice them for highway purposes ; that public necessities were 
subject to their private interests. As a natural consequence Main 
street was filled with handsome residences. For years all taxes and 
improvements were lavished upon that broad thoroughfare. The re- 
sult was that a residence upon that fine avenue became, to a certain 
extent, the arbiter of social position. 

In the original village plot, as planned by Joseph Ellicott, all the 
streets converge at the bridge. He designed that the business part of 
the village should be built around the mill site and west on the banks 
of the creek. The business location was largely determined by the low 
prices at which Stephen Russell sold his subdivisions of lots 20 and 22. 
The first new street to be opened by the necessities of the pioneers was 
Mechanic street, now State. Then followed Center, then Bank, Lib- 
erty, Summit, South Liberty, Evans, Swan and Ross. They were 
generally occupied and built upon before they were legally opened as 
highways, becoming streets from the demands of a growing population 
and not in conformity to any plan laid down in the original village 
plot. North street was the only parallel street on the north side of 
Main. It was opened as a highway in 1842 and 1843. Ellicott avenue 
was laid out by the State. 

The year 1807 was noteworthy by reason of the establishment of a 
printing office in the village, the press used being the first ever seen 
west of the Genesee river. Soon after the opening of the office the 
first newspaper in the county, the Genesee Intelligencer, was published 
b)'- Elias Williams. Unfortunately publication was suspended in the 
following October. The early history of the press in Batavia is graph- 
ically told in a letter written by Benjamin Blodgett, one of the first ed- 
itors, to Frederick Follett, in November, 1846. A part of this interest- 
ing letter follows : 


The first paper published in this County was in the spring of 1807. Elias Williams 
purchased in Manlius, an old Ramage Printing Press that had been laid aside as 
useless, and a box of old type in pi, intended to sell as type metal, and brought them, 
in the winter of that year, to Batavia. After a laborious winter's work of assorting 
his old type, and patching up the old press, he published the first number of a paper 
called the "Genesee Intelligencer." This paper was printed upon a half sheet of 
medium size, with a subscription list of 100, and two or three columns of advertise- 
ments from the Holland Land Company, one Elopement, and one runaway appren- 
tice Boy, for whose apprehension a bag of bran was offered as a reward. This was 
all the advertising patronage, if my recollection serves me right, that the paper com- 
menced with. The paper was a sorry looking thing — the mechanical execution 
being so bad that it would have puzzled a Philadelphia Lawyer to find out what it 
was. I ought to have preserved a copy— it would be looked upon by the craft at 
this day, not only as a literary but a mechanical curiosity. Williams, becoming 
disheartened at the shabby appearance of his paper, and about to fail for the want of 
funds, induced me to go into partnership with him. Anxious to see my name at the 
head of a newspaper, as Printer, Publisher, and Editor, too, of the "Genesee Intelli- 
gencer," I embarked my all of this world's effects into the enterprise, which 
amounted to the vast sum of forty-eight dollars and seventy-five cents, the hard 
earnings of the summer before, as Pack Horseman and Cook to a Company of Sur- 
veyors on the Holland Purchase, a pursuit better fitted to my capacity at that day, 
than Editor of the " Genesee Intelligencer.'' 

About the first of July, 1807, the firm of Williams & Blodgett resumed the publi- 
cation of the "Intelligencer," with an increased subscription list and advertising 
patronage. After publishing 13 numbers, Williams went to Alexander to attend a 
Military Review, and has never since been seen or heard of in this country. This 
unceremonious leave-taking of Williams put a mighty damper upon the prospects of 
Mr. Editor Blodgett, who instead of realizing the golden dreams he had anticipated, 
found himself involved in debt about $300, flat on his back with the fever and ague, 
which continued about six months without intermission ; and for the want of help, 
not being a practical Printer myself, was obliged to abandon the publication of the 
"Intelligencer." However, in the spring of 1808, 1 rallied again, and in company 
with a man by the name of Peek, I started the " Cornucopia," (a very classic name,) 
with an enlarged sheet and new type, under the firm of Peek & Blodgett, with a sub- 
scription list of about 300. In the fall of 1811, Peek was taken sick and died, and 
with his death the " Cornucopia" went down. 

I then, under the mechanical superintendence of David C. Millar, (afterwards 
Colonel, with his little cane and breeches,) commenced the publication of the "Re- 
publican Advocate,'' with a new Press and new type, and continued its publication 
for several years, when I sold out to Colonel Millar, who became sole proprietor of 
that paper.' 

Up to the year 1810 James Brisbane and Ebenezer Gary were the only 
merchants in town. In that year Ephraim Hart opened a mercantile 
establishment of extensive proportions, the management of which he 
intrusted to Clark Heacox. 

' From the History of the Press in Western New York, by Frederick Follett. 


For the first half dozen years in the history of Batavia no regular 
religious organization was supported, though meetings were held 
occasionally by laymen and itinerant preachers. The first religious 
society was organized September 19, 1809, when "a regular meeting 
was held at the Center School House in this place, this afternoon, 
agreeable to previous notice being given, for the purpose of forming a 
Congregational Church. The Rev. Royal Phelps, a missionary from 
the Hampshire Missionary Society in the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts presided, and officiated in the transactions of the day. We spent 
the meeting with a sermon adapted to the occasion, from Joshua 24th 
Chap. 15th Verse, 2d Clause." ' 

At the conclusion of the sermon Silas Chapin, David Anderson, Ezek- 
iel Fox, Solomon Kingsley, Eleanor Smith, Elizabeth Mathers, Eliza- 
beth Peck, Esther Kellogg, Hulda Wright, Patience Kingsley, Esther 
Kingsley and Polly Branard, signed the Articles of Faith and Church 
Covenant and were pronounced the constituent members of the new 
Congregational church. September 24, 1809, Rev. Royal Phelps 
preached "at Rumsey's barn " and administered the ordinance of 
the Lord's Supper, this doubtless being the first occasion of that kind 
in the history of the town. The church was regularly incorporated in 
February, 1811. The first regular pastor of the congregation was Rev. 
Ephraim Chapin, who received a call January 23, 1818, and served four 

The impending hostilities between Great Britain and America which 
were inaugurated in 1812 prompted the State government to adopt 
measures for the protection of the Canadian frontier from invasion. 
The plans for defense included the erection of an arsenal for the storage 
of arms and ammunition at Batavia. In 1810 or 1811 the State made a 
contract with Joseph EUicott for the erection of a log building twenty 
feet square and twelve feet high to be used for this purpose. This 
"arsenal," not a very imposing edifice, but large enough and possibly 
strong enough for the purposes for which it was intended, was situated 
above the mill, on the opposite side and near the bend of the creek, on 
the Alexander road. It was abandoned soon after the close of the war 
of 1812, when the old stone arsenal in the west end of the village was 
erected by the State, under the supervision of Major Isaac Sutherland. 

June 6, 1815, after a series of services according to the ritual of the 
Protestant Episcopal church had been conducted by Rev. Alanson W. 

' From the church records. 


Welton, a number of the resident adherents of that denomination met 
in the court house for the purpose of organizing a Protestant Episcopal 
church. Rev. Mr. Welton presided, and these officers were chosen: 
Wardens, John Hickcox, Samuel Benedict; vestrymen, Richard Smith, 
Isaac Sutherland, Isaac Spencer, John Z. Ross, Chauncey Keyes, Da- 
vid C. Miller, Aaron Van Cleve, Oswald Williams. It was decided 
that the society then organized should be known as St. James's church 
in Batavia. The record was certified by the chairman, S. Cummings, 
and Trumbull Gary, in the presence of Samuel Risley and Isaiah Bab- 
cock, acknowledged before Hon. D. McCracken, one of the judges, of 
the Genesee county courts, and recorded in the county clerk's office by 
Samuel Lake, deputy county clerk. At the first meeting of the vestry, 
held at Hickcox's inn, July 1, 1815, Richard Smith was appointed 
clerk, and it was resolved that Isaac Sutherland, John Z. Ross and 
Chauncey Keyes " be a Committee to wait on the Agent of the Holland 
Land Company, to ascertain what aid may be obtained frorn the said 
Company towards the erection of a Protestant Episcopal Church, in 
the Village of Batavia, and that the said Committee report at the next 
meeting of the Vestry." July 15 the committee reported " that in be- 
half of the Holland Land Company, the Agent would make a donation 
towards the erection of a Protestant Episcopal Church, if of Wood, of 
One thousand Dollars, and if of Brick, of Fifteen hundred Dollars." 
At a subsequent meeting of the vestry at Hickcox's inn, which occupied 
the southern part of the court house, Aaron Van Cleve and Isaac 
Sutherland were appointed a committee to ascertain from the agent of 
the Holland Land Company what site might be obtained for the church. 
October 21 of that year Isaac Sutherland was designated to superintend 
the erection of a brick church. At the same time Richard Smith, the 
clerk of the vestry, was appointed treasurer and Chauncey Keyes and 
Isaac Spencer collectors. Major Sutherland declining to act as super- 
intendent, another person was appointed in his place. The vestry im- 
mediately contracted with David Canfield and Thomas McCulley of 
Schenectady to perform the mason work, and on April 10, 1816, ground 
was broken and the erection of the new church was begun. The 
church was not completed until 1823. The first regular rector. Rev. 
Levi S. Ives, subsequently bishop of North Carolina, did not enter 
upon his duties until 1822, and his minstrations closed in summer of 

Soon after the organization of St. James's church, a Methodist Epis- 


copal class, which had been organized as early as 1816, perhaps prior 
to that time, began to take steps toward the organization of a regular 
church society. December 15, 1819, a meeting of the local Methodists 
was held at the court house. Rev. Elisha Howse presided, assisted by 
Jeremiah Bennett, and Thomas McCulley, Samuel F. Geer, Jeremiah 
Bennett, Seymour Ensign and Silas Hollister were elected trustees of 
a congregation which it was then and there decided should be known 
as the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Batavia. The first church 
edifice was not erected until 1833. 

The Batavia branch of the Genesee County Bible Society was organ- 
ized April 5, 1819. The meeting was held in the old brick school 
house, and Rev. Mr. Chapin acted as moderator and Thomas Mc- 
Culley as secretary. The society was organized by the election of 
these ofificers: Chairman, Ephraim Towner; clerk, Thomas McCulley; 
treasurer, Parmenio Adams; collector, Urial Spencer; distributing 
committee, Lemuel Foster, Amherst Crane, Ahimaz Brainard, Thomas 

A fair idea of the commercial and industrial progress made by the 
village during the period closing with the year 1819 may be gathered 
by reference to the following list of business men in town in that year: 

Merchants, James Brisbane, Gary & Davis, Jonathan Lay, William H. Wells, J. P. 
& A. Smith, William R. Thompson, W. S. Moore & Co. Druggists, H. Tisdale, 
Hewitt & Billings. Leather and shoe store, Ephraim Towner. Jeweler, C. C. 
Church. Milliner, Miss Ann Forbes. Tailors, James Cawte, H. B. Pierpont, Sam- 
uel Mead. Hatter, Nathan FoUett. Tavernkeepers, William Keyes, Hinman Hol- 
den, Horace Gibbs, Mrs. Leonard, Joseph Baker. Lawyers, Richard Smith, Daniel 
B. Brown, P. L. Tracy, Ethan B. Allen, T. C. Love, C. Carpenter. Physicians, 
D. McCracken, Ephraim Brown, John Cotes, Winter Hewitt, John Z. Ross. Sad- 
dler, Simeon Cummings. Cabinet and chairmaker, Thomas Bliss. Tanners, E. 
Towner, Oswald Williams. Meat market, Mr. Folsom. Book store, Oran FoUett. 

The year 183^1 was marked by the first fire of any importance which 
occurred in Batavia. The number of buildings destroyed and the 
pecuniary losses appear small when compared with the great fires 
which are so common in these days, but the destruction of even $10,- 
000 worth of property was heavily felt by the citizens of Batavia over 
three-quarters of a century ago. The Spirit of the Times describes the 
fire, which occurred on the night of December 32, as follows: 

The flames were discovered to proceed from a block of buildings occupied as stores 
and shops on the north side of Main street, and exhibited to the agitated minds of 
our citizens a scene terrible and alarming in the highest degree ; the destructive ele- 


ment was raging with the greatest fury in the heart of our village, and a prospect 
almost inevitable of the fairest portion of it being laid in ashes. The fire had made 
such progress before it was discovered, as to forbid all attempts to save the buildings 
situated on either side of Mr. L. Baker's Silversmith shop where it is supposed the 
fire originated. The active exertions of the citizens were turned to prevent it ex- 
tending its ravages to the adjacent building. The struggle was long and doubtful, 
but the cool and deliberate action of a few individuals, favored by the stillness of 
the night, and the constant pouring of water over the sides of the exposed buildings, 
accomplished at last what the most sanguine hardly dare hope. 

Mr. Gibb's dwelling house on the west, and the Grocery Store of Mr. Davis at the 
east, were situated but a few feet from the building burnt, yet they were saved with 
no other means than the use of buckets. The injury they sustained is trifling. 

The destruction of property is of considerable amount. Three buildings destroyed. 
One of them was occupied by Messrs. Mo ore &_F inch as a Dry-goods store and . 
owned by Mr. Horace Gibbs. Another by L. Baker as a Silver-smith shop, also 
owned by Mr. Horace Gibbs. The other was occupied by Mr. James P. Smith, Mer- 
chant, Charles C. Church, watch-maker. The upper part was occupied by D. C. 
Miller, Esq., as the Advocate Printing Office, which was totally destroyed. The 
building was owned by Messrs. F. & T. Palmer. Mr. Miller is probably the great- 
est sufferer in this dreadful calamity, having lost the whole of his printing apparatus, 
list-books, accounts, etc. 

The amount of property destroyed may be estimated at about $10,000. The great- 
est amount was consumed in the building occupied by Messrs. Moore & Finch, but 
it gives us pleasure to state, that their loss, between 5 & |6,000 was covered by an 


The first direct result of the fire, aside from the temporary set-back 
to the business development of the village, was an agitation for the es- 
tablishment of an adequate system of fire protection and the incorpora- 
tion of the village. June 23, 1832, a mass meeting of citizens was held, 
when Silas Finch, William H. Wells and Trumbull Gary were appoint- // 
ed a committee to petition the State Legislature for an act of incorpora- 
tion. For some reason the first attempt in this direction failed ; but at 
the next succeeding session of the Legislature a charter was granted, 
on April 33, 1833. Following is the original act incorporating the vil- 
lage of Batavia. 

Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York represented in Senate and 
Assembly: That the inhabitants resident within all that part of the Village of 
Batavia in the county of Genesee as Surveyed by Joseph EUicott bounded as follows ; 
Beginning at a point in the East line of lot Number forty-four in said Village eighty 
rods north from the centre of Genesee street thence westwardly parallel with the 
centre of Genesee and Batavia streets Eighty rods therefrom to the western bounds 
of Lot Number Three in said Village thence southerly on the west line of said lot 
number fourteen to the Southwest corner of said Lot, thence continuing in the same 
direction to the south bank of Tonnewanta Creek thence up the Southern bank of 


Tonnewanta Creek to a point eighty rods south of the Centre of Genesee Street 
thence eastwardly parallel with said Genesee Street to the East line of Lot Number 
Forty-five thence northerly on said line to the place of beginning shall be a corpo- 
ration by the name and Style of the Trustees of the Village of Batavia and by that 
name they and their Successors may have perpetual succession, shall be known in 
law ; shall be capable of suing of being sued and of defending and being defended 
in all Courts and places whatsoever and in all manner of actions and causes and 
they and their Successors may have a common Seal and may alter the same at 
pleasure and shall be in Law capable of purchasing holding and conveying any real 
or personal Estate for the use of said corporation and shall have power to erect and 
keep in repair one or more fire Engine or Engines and Ladder fire hooks and other 
instruments for extinguishing fire ; to improve the streets and sidewalks and remove 
and prevent encroachments thereon ; to prevent horses cattle and swine from run- 
ning in the streets; to erect hay scales and regulate the assize of bread and to raise 
money by Tax to carry into eflEect the above mentioned powers and for defraying 
the incidental expenses of supporting the several bye laws and regulations. Which 
money to be raised shall not exceed the sum of three hundred dollars annually Pro- 
vided that no part of the said sum to be annually raised shall be applied to the mak- 
ing or repairing sidewalks, and shall be assessed upon the freeholders and inhab- 
itants of said Village who are voters there in proportion to their property real and 
personal within said Corporation by the Trustees thereof and collected by the Col- 
lector of said Village in the same manner as the Taxes of the County of Genesee 
and collected by virtue of a warrant to him directed signed by a majority of the 
Trustees of said Corporation and by him paid into the hands of the Treasurer 
thereof; provided that no tax shall be levied or monies raised for any of the pur- 
poses aforesaid nor any public buildings erected nor any purchase or sale of any real 
or personal estate be made nor any fire Engine house or houses erected or disposed 
of without the consent of the freeholders and inhabitants of said Corporation as- 
sembled qualified to vote as hereinafter mentioiied or a majority of them to be 
given at a public meeting duly notified as hereinafter mentioned. 

And be it further Enacted That the Inhabitants residing within said Corporation 
and who shall have been in possession of real property within said Corporation for 
six months next Previous to the time of voting and shall have paid highway or other 
Taxes within the limits of said Village may on the first tuesday of June next meet at 
some proper place within the said Corporation to be appointed by any two Justices 
of the Peace of the town of Batavia a notice whereof shall be put up in at least three 
Public Places within said Corporation ten days previous to said first Tuesday of June 
next and then and there proceed to Elect five discreet persons resident within said 
Corporation and who shall have resided therein for the space of one year then next 
previous to such election and having freeholds therein to the value of Five hundred 
Dollars or other property to the value of One thousand Dollars to be the Trustees 
thereof and who when Chosen shall possess the Several rights and powers hereafter 
specified and Such Justices shall preside at such meeting and shall declare the Sev- 
eral Persons having the greatest number of votes duly Elected Trustees and on every 
first tuesday of May after the Election of Trustees there shall in like manner be a 
new election of Trustees for said Corporation and the Trustees so elected shall hold 
their offices for one year and until others are Elected in their stead and the said 


Trustees or a majority of them shall after the first Election as aforesaid perform the 
duties required from the said Justices in respect to notifying the inhabitants of Said 
Village and presiding at Such Election. 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be lawful for the said Trustees of said Vil- 
lage or a major part of them and their Successors to make ordain constitute and Pub- 
lish such prudential bye Laws rules and regulations as they from time to time shall 
deem correct and proper and for the benefit of said Village relating to the objects 
mentioned in the first section of this act and not inconsistent with the Laws of the 
State or of the United States and shall further be lawful for the said Trustees to or- 
dain constitute and publish such fines and forfeitures for the breaking any such laws. 

And be it further Enacted That the inabitants of said Village qualified to vote for 
Trustees as aforesaid at their first and annual meetings thereafter shall and they 
are hereby authorized and empowered to choose one Treasurer and one collector 
being inhabitants of said Village and having resided therein One year next previous 
to such election and the persons having the greatest number of Votes for each 
office respectively shall be deemed duly chosen and in case a vacancy shall happen 
in either of the above Offices by death removal from said Village or refusal to 
serve the trustees shall have the power to appoint some other person of the Qual- 
ification aforesaid to supply such vacancy until the annual meeting and the person 
so appointed shall be liable to the same penalties and restrictions as if duly 
elected at the annual meeting which said Treasurer and Collector shall be entitled 
to receive for their several services such suitable compensation as the legal voters 
of said Corporation or a majority of them at their annual meeting shall deem proper. 

And be it further Enacted That the Trustees Treasurer and Collector shall 
before they proceed to execute their several offices and within ten days after their 
election respectively take and subscribe an oath or affirmation before any Justice 
of the peace of the town of Batavia for the faithful Execution of the Office or 
trust to which they may be severally elected Provided nevertheless That the said 
Treasurer and Collector before they take the oath or affirmation aforesaid shall re- 
spectively give security to the Trustees of said Village for the faithful discharge 
of their respective Offices in such sum and in such manner as the majority of them 
shall deem sufficient. ' 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be lawful for the Trustees of said Vil- 
lage or a majority of them to appoint not exceeding fifty firemen out of the inhab- 
itants of said Village and the same or any of them to remove at pleasure and to 
appoint others in their stead and to regulate the times of meeting and exercise of 
said Company of firemen to appoint their Captain and other officers and to make such 
bye laws rules and regulations for the government of said Company and regulate 
ordain and establish such penalties for the breaking or disobeying of such bye Laws 
rules and regulations as they may deem expedient Provided that no penalty shall be 
inflicted on any fireman exceeding the sum of fifteen Dollars for any one offence and 
that the said Trustees or a majority of them shall have the power of remitting such 
fine or any penalty when they may deem it expedient. 

And be it further Enacted That the Trustees within twenty days after their election 
or a major part of them shall and it is hereby made their duty to assemble at some 
convenient place in said Village and there choose and appoint some one suitable per- 
son of their body to be President of the said board of Trustees and some other suit- 


able person being a taxable inhabitant of said Village to be Clerk to said board of 
Trustees and it shall be the duty of the President when present to preside at the 
mee'tings of the Trustees, to order extraordinary meetings of the Trustees whenever 
he may conceive it for the interest of the Village ; to hear and receive complaints of 
the breach of any of the laws of said Corporation to see that all the bye laws rules 
and regulations of said Village are enforced and faithfully executed to prosecute in 
the name of the Trustees all offenders against or violators of the bye laws ordained 
and published as aforesaid to keep the seal of said village and to affix it together 
with his signature to all such rules and regulations as a majority of the Trustees 
shall deem proper and in case of the Death removal or inability of the President to 
discharge the duties of the Office it shall be the duty of the Clerk to notify the other 
Trustees of such death removal or inability who shall within ten days thereafter 
meet and elect another President out of their body to hold his office until the next 
annual meeting: and it shall further be the duty of the President to take care of pro- 
tect and preserve all the property belonging to said Village as a Corporation to pre- 
side over all public meetings of the villagers for the purposes and to do all such other 
acts and things as may be proper for the President of the Trustees'to do and it shall 
be the duty of the Clerk to keep the minutes of all such votes orders rules and reg- 
ulations as are made by the freeholders and inhabitants of such Village at their pub- 
lic meetings, and also to attend the meetings of the trustees and record all the bye 
laws rules and regulations passed by them ; and the Trustees shall have power to re- 
move such clerk and to appoint a new one, and to appoint one pro tempore in case of 
the absence of the Clerk as a majority of them shall agree, and the Clerk shall re- 
ceive such compensation for his services as a majority of the trustees shall deem suf- 
ficient to be paid out of the funds of said Village. 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be the duty of the Trustees and their Suc- 
cessors annually to assess on the several inhabitants and freeholders residing in said 
village the amount of the taxes which the freeholders and inhabitants of said Village 
shall at the annual meetings determine to be raised levied or collected in proportion 
to their property real and personal within said village and they shall likewise exer- 
cise the office of fire wardens in said village in case of fire. 

And be it further Enacted That the Collector shall within such time as shall be 
hereafter limited by the bye laws of said Corporation after the receipt of his 
warrant for collecting of any Tax that may have been ordered to be raised collect and 
pay the same to the Treasurer and that such collector shall have and exercise the 
same power in the Collecting such Taxes by distress and sale as the several collect- 
ors of Towns have in the levying and collecting of Taxes and that all monies which 
may at any time be in the hands of the Treasurer shall be liable to be drawn out by 
the Trustees or a majority of them and applied and disposed of as shall have been 
directed by the freeholders and Inhabitants of said Village or agreeably to the pro- 
visions of this act; Provided nevertheless that the Trustees shall have the Power to 
apply and dispose of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated for any 
purpose or purposes for the benefit of said Corporation in their discretion anything 
in this act to the contrary notwithstanding. 

And be it further Enacted That the said Trustees shall keep an account of their 
necessary disbursements and shall exhibit the same to the Taxable inhabitants of 
said Village at their annual meeting or any other legal meeting of said Corporation 
when required by a vote thereof. 


And be it further Enacted That if any one of the inhabitants of said Village qual- 
ified as aforesaid shall hereafter be elected and chosen a trustee and shall refuse or 
neglect to serve as such it may be lawful for the Trustees duly qualified or the major 
part of them to impose and inflict upon such person so neglecting or refusing such 
reasonable fine or fines as they may think proper Provided That such fine for any 
one offence shall not exceed the sum of Ten dollars to be recovered in the same man- 
ner that other fines or penalties are recoverable by this act and that in all cases when 
the Trustees of the Village of Batavia shall sue or prosecute by virtue of this act it 
shall be sufficient for the said Trustees to declare generally that the Defendent is 
indebted to them by virtue of this act to the amount of twenty five dollars or under 
and give any special matter in evidence under such declaration and in any action or ac- 
tions which may be brought for or against the Trustees or for or against any other 
person or persons for anything done under this act the freeholders or Inhabitants of 
said Village shall be and they are hereby declared Competent Witnesses or Jurymen 
for either party in such action. 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be the duty of the President of the Board 
of Trustees to give notice to the Inhabitants of said Village of all public meetings at 
least one week previous thereto in such manner as a majority of the Trustees may 
deem proper and that it shall be lawful for the Trustees or a majority of them to 
call a public meeting of the inhabitants of said Village when they may think it ex- 

And be it further Enacted That all fines penalties and forfeitures and all monies 
obtained in any manner whatever by virtue of this act shall be paid into the hands 
of the Treasurer for the public use of said Village and the Treasurer shall and he is 
hereby authorized in case any person having so received any money by virtue of this 
act to and for the use and proper benefit of said Village and shall refuse or neglect 
to pay the same to him to prosecute every such Offender in the name of the Trustees 
of said Village for monies had and received to and for the use of said Village. 

And be it further Enacted That each and every individual owning or being in 
possession of land in the said Village adjacent to the Street of said Village shall 
make and improve side walks in front of such land under the direction and superin- 
tendence of the Trustees Provided nevertheless that no individual shall be compelled 
to expend a greater sum than Ten Dollars in any One year for such purpose and in 
case any person shall neglect or refuse to build or repair such side walk in front of 
his or their land after being duly notified by the Trustees the said Trustees may 
erect or repair the same and charge such person or persons therewith and recover 
the same in the same manner that other penalties are recoverable by virtue of this act. 

And be it further Enacted That this act be and the same is hereby declared to be 
a public act and shall be construed in all Courts of Justice within this State benignly 
and liberally to effect every beneficial purpose therein mentioned and contained. 

A supplementary act passed April 9, 1834, contained the following 
provisions : 

Be it enacted by the people of the State of New York represented in Senate and 
Assembly That in addition to the powers vested in the Trustees of the Village of 
Batavia in and by the act of which this is a supplement that the said Trustees 
have full power and authority to determine the number of groceries to be kept in the 


said Village and to license such and so many thereof for such sum or sums of money 
as they the said Trustees or a majority of them shall determine to be just and 
proper which said money shall be paid into the hands of the Treasurer of the said 
Corporation for the use of the said Corporation the said Trustees shall also have full 
power and authority to compel each and every house keeper or person being in pos- 
session of any building in said village to keep their fire places chimneys and stoves 
clean and in good repair also to order and direct each and every person who shall be 
in possession of any building in said Village to provide themselves with one or more 
fire buckets the said Trustees shall also have full power and authority to suppress 
and prevent nuisances generally and may make and ordain such prudential by-laws 
rules, and regulations in reference to the above objects as to them or a majority of 
them shall seem meet and proper. 

And be it further Enacted That the person or persons in possession of any real 
estate in said Village at the time any tax is assessed shall be liable to pay the 
amount assessed thereon and if such person or persons is or are not bound by con- 
tract or otherwise to pay such tax or any part thereof he she or they shall and may 
recover the same from the owner or owners of such real estate or other person whose 
duty it was to have paid the same. 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be lawful for the freeholders and inhab- 
itants resident in t^le Village of Batavia qualified to vote at their annual meeting in 
each and every year to choose and elect by ballot a Village Constable who when 
elected shall be vested with the same powers and authority and subject to the same 
duties in all cases civil and criminal as by law appertain or belong to constables 
chosen at the annual Town meetings of the Town of Batavia Provided however that 
the said Constable shall not have power or authority to execute any civil process ex- 
cept the Corporation of said Village shall be a party thereto or interested therein 
and provided further that the said Constable shall within ten days after his election 
and before he enters upon the Duties of his ofiice shall take and subscribe an oath 
or affirmation before any justice of the peace faithfully to execute the Duties of his 
office and shall also give security to the Trustees for the faithful discharge of the 
duties of his office in such sum and in such manner as Majority of the said Trustees 
shall deem proper and sufficient. 

And be it further Enacted That it shall be and is hereby made the duty of the 
Trustees of the Village of Batavia at each and every annual meeting of the inhab- 
itants of said Village to exhibit a just and true account of the expenditure of all 
monies which shall have been assessed or otherwise received for the use of the Cor- 
poration of said Village. 

In accordance with the provisions of this charter a meeting of the 
inhabitants of the village was held June 3, 1823, at the tavern of James 
Ganson. C. Carpenter and D. Tisdale, justices of the peace, presided, 
and the following were chosen officers for the first year : 

Tru.stees, Daniel H. Chandler, David E. Evans, Nathan Follett, Simeon Cum- 
mings, Silas Finch ; treasurer, Trumbull Cary; collector, Parley Paine. 

These officers met June 14 and made these appointments: 


President, Daniel H. Chandler; clerk, Oliver G. Adams; assessors, SiUs Finch , 
Nathan Follett; superintendent of streets and sidewalks, Simeon Cummings; pound- 
keeper, Robert P. Betts. 

While the original charter of the village of Batavia and its supplement 
are quaint documents, they are hardly more interesting than the first 
ordinances adopted June 5, 1833, by the trustees, signed by Daniel H. 
Chandler as president, and printed and posted in conspicuous places 
throughout the village. These ordinances related exclusively to the 
subject of impounding stray animals, fast riding or driving, and defin- 
ing sidewalks. After describing the duties of pound master and the 
limitations of owners of animals, the first ordinance provides that ' ' such 
Pound keeper shall receive for his services the following fees, to wit : 
for driving each swine to pound, six cents, and six cents for each day 
he shall keep the same; and for driving each horse to pound, twelve 
and an half cents, and twelve and an half cents for each day he shall 
keep the same; and six cents for advertising, and six cents for selling 
each swine or horse impounded as aforesaid. '* Sidewalks were defined 
as " the space of twelve feet, on each side of the streets." It was also 
ordained that "there shall be no running or racing of horses in the 
several streets within the boundaries of the Corporation of the Village 
of Batavia. . . . Each and every person running a horse upon any 
of the streets within the said Corporation, shall forfeit and pay to the 
trustees of the said corporation, the sum of one dollar, with costs of 
suit; and each and every person running a single horse, with a carriage, 
sled or sleigh, on any of the streets aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay as 
aforesaid, the sum of Two Dollars ; and each and every person running 
a pair or span of horses, with a carriage, sled or sleigh, on any of the 
streets aforesaid, shall forfeit and pay as aforesaid, the sum of Five 
Dollars ; and each and every person, who shall a second time be guilty 
of a violation of this ordinance, shall forfeit and pay as aforesaid, double 
the amount for each and every offence above enumerated, with costs of 
suit as aforesaid." 

From this time on the village began to realize the benefits of incor- 
poration. Streets were improved, sidewalks constructed, street lights 
were provided for and measures were taken to guard against the rav- 
ages of fire. The first fire company was not organized, however, until 
April 30, 1834. The "Rules and Regulations enacted by the trustees 
of the Village of Batavia in relation to the Fire men and Fire Company 
in said Village April 30th, 1834," read as follows: 


There shall be one fire company established in the village of Batavia to consist of 
twenty-five men, and shall be denominated Batavia Fire Company, and located at 
such place as the Trustees may hereafter designate. 

The following persons are hereby appointed fire men in said company: 

William Seaver, Jun., Captain; Nathan Follett, Hinman Holden, Norman Town, 
William R. Thompson, Benjamin Allen, Stephen Grant, Naham Loring, John S. 
Moon, Jonathan Lay, Horace Gibbs, David M. Gardner, Rufus Burnham, Walter 
Seymour, Daniel H. Chandler, Frederick Follett, William Purcel, Parley Paine, 
Oran FoUet, William Piatt, Daniel Gates, Ralph Stiles, Hezekiah Piatt, William 
Dickinson, Charles C. Church. 

The members of said Company shall hereafter elect their captain by a plurality of 
the votes of the members present, and, such person so elected shall be respected in 
his office, and shall discharge the duties of the same and shall hold his office for one 
year, and until another shall be elected. . . . 

It shall be the duty of the members of said company, in the event of fire, to repair 
with all possible dispatch to the place of rendezvous, and conduct themselves in an 
orderly and efficient manner in discharging their duties in extinguishing fire, under 
the penalty of Five Dollars for each offense, to be prosecuted for and recovered and 
applied according to law. 

In case of fire ... it shall be the duty of every person present to obey the 
directions of the Trustees of the Village, in the formation of Bucket Lines, and to 
render such other assistance as may be required, and any person present who shall 
refuse to comply with such orders, shall for each offense, pay to the Trustees for the 
use of the Inhabitants of said Village, a fine of five dollars. 

This was the first fire company organized in Batavia, and the found- 
ation of the modern fire department of the village. 

May 4, 1824, the board of trustees of Batavia, consisting of Daniel 
H. Chandler, David E. Evans, Silas Fink and Nathan Follett, reported 
that they had expended the sum of $395.51 for street improvements; 
also that " the trustees have very recently expended fl7. in construct- 
ing a sluice way across the street near Mr. Burnhams in order to drain, 
a pond, which threatens, unless speedily removed, to create consider- 
able sickness." 

A tragic event, the notorious " Morgan affair," which had its incep- 
tion in Batavia, transpired in the year 1826. The details of this lament- 
able occurrence are given in an earlier chapter on the history of the 

The brewing industry in Batavia had its inception in a brewery and 
malt house established in 1827 by Libbeus Fish. The business grew 
steadily until by 1860 the annual output amounted to eight thousand 
barrels. Libbeus Fish was sole proprietor until 1835, when his son, 
Eli H. Fish, became proprietor. In 1862 the latter sold the business 
to Boyle & Smith, who in turn sold it in 1864 to Mr. Fish. The build- 


ings were burned in 1865. The same year Mr. Fish erected a malt 
house on the site, conducting it until 1871, when he formed a partner- 
ship with Robert A. Maxwell. Early in 1872 Maxwell & Ensign suc- 
ceeded to the business. The plant was destroyed by fire in December, 
1873, but within a few months had been rebuilt by Mr. Fish, who then 
formed a partnership with A. H. King. In 1876 the interest of Mr. 
Fish was purchased by A. H. King & Son. Fire again destroyed the 
plant in May, 1883; but King & Son at once rebuilt it, increasing its 
capacity twofold. In 1886 Mr. King became sole owner, and in 1888 
the property passed into the hands of Upton & Warner. 

In 1850 John Eager bought the old stone Methodist Episcopal church 
on West Main street, which he converted into a brewery. This he con- 
ducted until 1862, when it was destroyed by fire. He then erected a 
commodious brick building on the opposite side of the street, in which 
he continued the business. Mr. Eager died December 23, 1869. His 
widow conducted the business for a short time, since which it has been 
in the hands of his sons and daughter, Wellington T. Eager, Herbert 
B. Eager, and Mrs. E. M. Whitcomb. 

In 1857 Eli H. Fish constructed capacious ale vaults on the site of 
the original Fish brewery. This plant changed hands several times 
until, in 1880, it came into possession of William Gamble, who operated 
it until 1887, in which year the buildings were burned. Soon after the 
Batavia Brewing Company was formed, with William Gamble as super- 
intendent, and this company erected a new building in the eastern part 
of the village in the fall of 1889. 

The Bank of Genesee of Batavia was incorporated in 1829 with the 
following directors: Alva Smith, James C. Ferris, Oliver Benton, 
Henry Hawkins, Gains B. Rich, Jacob Le Roy, Trumbull Gary, kufus 
H. King, Jonathan Lay, Roswell L. Burrows, Israel Rathbone, Phineas 
L. Tracy, Joseph Fellows. 

Its capital stock originally was one hundred thousand dollars, but 
this was increased the first year to one hundred and fifty thousand dol- 
lars. The first president was Trumbull Gary and the first cashier Will- 
iam M. Vermilye. In 1851 the institution was reorganized as a State 
bank. In March, 1865, it became a national bank, under the name of 
National Bank of Genesee, having a capital stock of one hundred and 
fourteen thousand four hundred dollars. In 1885 the charter was re- 
newed and it continued business as a national bank until June, 1888, 
on which date the charter was surrendered and the bank was reorgan- 


ized as a State bank having a capital of seventy- five thousand dollars. 
Among those who at various times have served as directors of the Bank 
of Genesee are Jacob Le Loy, Oliver Benton, Trumbull Gary, Alva 
Smith, James C. Ferris, Gains B. Rich, Rufus H. King, Henry Hawk- 
ins, Phineas L. Tracy, Israel Rathbone, Joseph Fellows, Jonathan Lay, 
R. S. Burrows, John Foot, G. W. Lay, David E. Evans, James Wads- 
worth, Horatio Stevens, John S. Ganson, Samuel Skinner, C. M. Lee, 
John B. Skinner, Benedict Brooks, Horatio Averill, Thomas Otis, 
William M. Sprague, J. E. Robinson, Benjamin Pringle, S. Grant, 
Aaron D. Patchen, Walter Gary, J. S. Wadsworth, T. H. Newbold, 
Miles P. Lampson, Thomas Brown, William Lampson, H. U. Howard, 
E. H. Fish, R. T. Howard, Augustus N. Gowdin, Trumbull Gary, Dr. 
Gharles Gary, J. N. Scatcherd, and H. F. Tarbox. The following 
have served as officers of the bank: 

Presidents. — Trumbull Gary, from the organization to March 31, 
1840; Phineas L. Tracy, 1840-1851; Benjamin Pringle, 1851-1855; 
H. U. Howard, 1855-1885; Augustus N. Gowdin, 1885-1898; Trum- 
bull Gary, 1898 to present time. 

Vice-Presidents.— Y\Ary%ss, L. Tracy, 1834-1840; J. C. Ferris, 1840- 
1844; J. B. Skinner, 1844-49; Benjamin Pringle, 1849-1851; Alva 
Smith, 1851-1853; H. U. Howard, 1853-1855; Alva Smith, 1855-1857; 
J. B. Skinner, 1857-1870; E. H. Fish, 1870-1879; Walter Gary, 1879- 
1883; W. Lampson, 1882-1885; H. F. Tarbox, 1891-1894; J. N. 
Scatcherd, 1894-1898. 

Cashiers. — William M. Vermilye, from organization to May, 1830; 
J. S. Ganson, 1830-1838; J. E. Robinson, 1838-1851; T. G. Kimberly, 
1851-1858; M. L. Babcock, 1858-1859; Augustus N. Gowdin, 1859- 
1885; Trumbull Gary, 1885-1898; Lewis F. McLean. 

For many years the Bank of Genesee was the only financial institu- 
tion in this section of the State, and its business extended over nearly 
all of Western New York. 

The first official record of any fire engine in the village of Batavia is 
found in the annual report of the board of trustees for 1830: 

An attempt had made some years ago, to organise a fire Company ; but it had 
failed, probably, because the Corporation had no Engine ; an essential object, to con- 
centrate and direct the attention and discipHne of such a company. 

In September last, a small Engine, upon an improved and cheap plan, was bro't to 
this village, exhibited for several days to the inhabitants, and offered for sale on a 
year's credit, at $370, with interest. 

A Memorial was presented to the trustees, signed by forty-seven persons, contain- 


ing the names of the most respectable inhabitants, and heaviest taxpayers in the 
Corporation, praying the trustees to purchase said Engine, and pledging themselves 
to vote for a tax to meet the payment for the same. 

In compliance with so respectable, and so reasonable and proper request, the trus- 
tees purchased said Engine, and gave a Note for the same, under the seal of the 
Corporation, on interest. 

The faith and credit of the Village are therefore pledged for the payment of it, 
and it is hoped and presumed they will be honorably redeemed. 

Immediately upon the purchase of the Engine, a Fire Company was organized, 
under the command of William Seaver Esq., Captain. 

This organization was known as Triton Fire Company. Its officers 
and members were as follows: 

Captain, William Seaver ; first engineer, Daniel H. Chandler; second 
engineer, Nathan Follett ; secretary, Abraham Van Tuyl ; treasurer, 
John S. Ganson; members, Henry Tisdale, Daniel Latimer, Ralph 
Stiles, B. Humphrey, James B, Lay, John Wilson, Alva Smith, Joseph 
Clarke, Albert Hosmer, James Milnor, Homer Kimberly, Stephen 
Grant, V. M. Cummings, Frederick Follett, George A. Lay, Norman 
Town, D. C. McCleary, John Chatfield, L N. Town, Junius A. Smith. 

In the annual report for 1831 the trustees said: 

It will be recollected that in the year 1829 an Engine was purchased for the use of 
this Village. That the Engine was purchased in good faith, by the then acting Trus- 
tees, there can be no doubt, — indeed they did not venture upon its purchase, without 
first obtaining the consent of the citizens of the village to do so. The Engine was 
purchased, and a Corporation Note, for $370 given for the payment thereof, payable 
in one year from date. The Note became due, we believe in September last. At 
the last annual meeting of the Electors of the Village, a vote was taken to raise $300 
by tax, in order to meet the payment of said Note. Before the Note became due, 
the Trustees were satisfied, that the Engine did not answer the recommendation 
given of it at the time it was purchased. It therefore became a subject of some 
moment, whether it should be paid for, or not. In order to determine this question, 
it was thought best to refer the subject back to the inhabitants of the Village for their 
decision. A meeting for this purpose was called — and it was the unanimous opinion 
of those present, that a compromise should be made, if possible, with the owners of 
the Note, by paying them for all damages which the Engine might have sustained, 
during the time it has been in our possession, and that they take the same back — 
and in case they would not do this, the Trustees were advised to stand trial, on the 
suit, if one should be commenced. The President of the Village, accordingly wrote 
to the Agent of the Company, who resided in New York. The only answer which 
has ever been received to this letter, was one from a Lawyer in that city, informing 
that the Note had been left with him for collection, and that unless immediately 
paid, the same would be prosecuted. Some four or five months have since elapsed, 
but no prosecution has been commenced. That the Engine is, comparatively, good 
for nothing, there can be no doubt. It may perhaps, be well for the Electors now as- 


sembled, to take some order on this subject. We leave this, however, entirely to 
your good judgment. 

Two destructive fires occurred in Batavia in 1833. The first of these 
occurred about two o'clock on the morning of March 4, and was first 
discovered in a wooden building on Main street, near the corner of 
Jackson street, in which was located a billiard parlor. This building 
was destroyed, together with one on the west side occupied by William 
Manley as a saddler's shop, and two small buildings on the east side, 

occupied respectively by G. C. Towner as a law office and by 

Wentworth as a shoe shop. Most of the contents of these buildings 
were saved. 

A more disastrous fire occurred April 19, 1833, the flames first being 
discovered between one and two o'clock in the morning in a small 
wooden building nearly opposite the Eagle Tavern. It spread with 
great rapidity along Main street "until its progress eastward was 
arrested, though with difficulty, at the intersection of Mechanic street, 
and westward by the new three-story Arcade Buildings erected by A. 
Champion of Rochester. The following buildings were destroyed: 
The Tavern House at the corner of Genesee and Mechanic streets, to- 
gether with its appurtenances, occupied by Harvey Rowe, and owned 
by Messrs. Lamberton and Hurlburt. Mr. Rowe's goods and furniture 
were principally saved. Loss of buildings, about $1,200. An uncom- 
pleted building, owned by Joseph Wilson, which was fitting up for a 
grocery, valued at about $300. A small building occupied by R. 
Blades as a Tailors' shop. Loss of building about $150. Some of Mr. 
Blade's goods and furniture were destroyed. A building owned and 
occupied by Joseph Wilson as a grocery, together with most of the 
goods. Loss about $500. The Store of Messrs. Sherman and Cran- 
dall, occupied by them as a Dry Goods and Book Store, and Book 
Bindery, most of the goods were saved. Whole loss about $3,000. A 
building owned by William Dickinson, and occupied by J. T. Allen, 
Watch-maker and Jeweller, and Messrs. Gilbert & Seward, Tin and 
Sheet Iron manufacturers. Mr. Dickinson's loss $400; Mr. Allen 
about $100. A small building owned by Mrs. Ross, occupied by Hugh 
Evans as a grocery and Bakers shop, Valued at about $100. A two- 
story building, owned also by Mrs. Ross, and occupied by W. P. Gold- 
smith as a Tailors shop; Charles Seward as a dwelling; E. C. Dibble, 
Attorney at Law, and Doct. L. B. Cotes, as a Druggist Store. In the 
basement was a grocery, kept by Caleb Allen. Building estimated at 


$800, insured $300. A share of the loss is sustained by G. W. Allen, 
to whom the building was leased for a term of years, and who had 
fitted it up and rented it to the present occupants. Although the num- 
ber of buildings was considerable, yet as will be perceived, some of 
them were not of very great value. The aggregate loss of buildings is 
estimated at about $4,000. There has, however, been some consider- 
able other loss, but to what amount we are unable to state.'" 

The report of the village trustees, submitted May 7, 1833, shows 
that the village paid John Anderson the sum of five hundred dollars 
for a " fire engine and apparatus; " and that the further sum of $49.89 
was paid to William Dickinson for "hooks and ladders, axes, etc." 
The year following one hundred dollars more was paid to John Ander- 
son "for engine;" $18.50 to D. Latimer "for storing engine;" and 
$40 to William Dickinson "for carriage for hooks and ladders." 

A still more disastrous fire than that of 1833, which might properly 
be dignified by the name of conflagration, occurred in Batavia May 30, 
1834. The buildings destroyed burned with great fury. There had 
been no rain for some time and everything was quite dry. Added to 
this, a strong wind was blowing from the southwest. The local fire 
company responded quickly to the alarm, bringing the little fire engine 
called the "Triton." William Seaver, the historical writer, who was 
foreman of the fire company at that time, in referring to this apparatus 
says that it " could only be worked by six men at a time, three on each 
crank, like turnmg a grind-stone, and its effect on that fire was about 
equal to a pewter syringe on the crater of Mount ^tna." As soon as 
the roofs of the two big hotels caught fire, the gale drove the blazing 
shingles to great distances, at one time threatening to destroy the whole 
village. Fortunately, about half an hour after the fire started the wind 
suddenly veered to the northeast. The most authentic account of this 
conflagration appeared in the Advocate of June 3, 1834: 

The most destructive fire ever known in this county, broke out in this village on 
Friday last, about 5 o'clock p. M. It was first discovered in some combustible ma- 
terials near the barns and stables connected with the Eagle Tavern. The out-houses 
were quickly one mass of flame, and being situated near the Eagle Tavern, it was 
found to be impossible to prevent the destruction of that noble edifice, and soon the 
devouring element was seen bursting in large volumes from its windows. A gentle 
gale was blowing from the southwest nearly in the direction of Genesee street, which 
caused the flames to expand along the line of buildings on the south side of that 
street with alarming rapidity, and to progress in that direction in spite of every effort 

• From the Batavia Advocate of March 5, 1833. 


to avert them, till every building was a blazing heap of ruins from the Eagle Tavern 
to Mr. Latimer's house near the corner of Jackson street, where by indefatigable and 
persevering efiforts of the Fire Company, the march of the destroyer was at length 

The fire extended south from the Eagle Tavern along Court street to Mr. Wood's 
blacksmith shop on Bigtree street. The spectacle presented by the conflagration 
was truly appalling. The following estimate of the number of buildings destroyed, 
the amount of Insurance, loss &c. on each, will be found nearly correct. 

Genesee street. — B. Humphrey's Eagle Tavern, estimated loss of buildings, barns, 
sheds &c. 110,000. Insured $7,000. 

Tavern house occupied by H. Rowe, and owned by A. Champion of Rochester, no 
insurance. Loss $3,000. 

Taggart & Smith's Law Office, no insurance. Loss $300. 

Jones & Leech, tailors shop, owned by M. Taggart Esq., no insurance. Loss $300. 

Law Office and dwelling house, owned by T. Fitch Esq., no insurance. Loss $1,300. 

Building owned by E. B. Seymour, and occupied by Mr. Buxton as a Cabinet 
shop, by Gilbert & Seward as a Tin Factory, and by T. Cole as a tailor's shop. In- 
sured $300. Loss of building $600. 

Dwelling House owned by Mrs. Hewett, no insurance. Loss $800. 

Dwelling house owned and occupied by Richard Smith Esq., no insurance. Loss 

Allen & Chandler's Law Office. 

Dwelling house owned by E. B. Allen, and occupied by Mr. Ottoway, and Wm. 
Fursman. Loss $1000. 

Two small buildings, one occupied as a grocery and the other as a dwelling. 

Court Street. Two dwellings owned by H. & E. C. Kimberly. Loss $600. 

Barns and sheds owned by A. Hosmer. Loss $500. 

Big-Tree Street. — Two dwelling houses owned by Jesse Wood. Loss $900. In- 
sured $500. 

Considerable furniture and other property were also destroyed, of which it is im- 
possible to form an estimate. 

The whole number of buildings, including dwellings, barns, &c, is about 35. Ag- 
gregate loss of property, it is supposed cannot be less than $30,000. 

By this fire a large number of persons were rendered homeless, and 
the central and most conspicuous and valuable portion of the village 
was annihilated. 

For many years the " Snake Den tavern," located on the corner of 
Main and State streets, was a largely patronized hostelry. This hotel 
was built in 1834 by Truman Hurlburt, sr., and named the Genesee 
house. It was also popularly known as the Snake Den tavern. 

The fourth church established in Batavia, the Baptist church, was 
organized November 19, 1835, at a meeting held in the court house. 
Gideon Kendrick and P. S. Moflfit presided over the meeting. It was 
voted that the society be called the " Baptist Society of Batavia Vil- 


lage," and Richard Covell, jr., John Dorman, William Blossom, Will- 
iam D. Popple and Calvin Foster were elected the first trustees. Rev. 
J. Clark was at once engaged as the first pastor, and a house of wor- 
ship was erected on Jackson street in the same year by T. J. Hoyt and 
Thomas McCulley, on land donated to the society by William D. Popple. 

Even before the territory devasted by the great fire of 1834 had been 
again improved by the reconstruction of the edifices destroyed, another 
fire, though not of such serious proportions, occurred. It orignated 
early on the evening of November 8, 1837, in a building on the north 
side of Genesee street owned by William Blossom and occupied as a 
dwelling by John Kenyon, which, with the building occupied by the 
Misses Vaughns as a millinery establishment and Mr. Staniford as a 
tailor's shop, were consumed. The flames then continued in an east- 
erly direction, destroyed the barber shop, G. W. Allen's jewelry store, 
H. Noble's tailor shop and John Kenyon 's grocery store. The progress 
of the fire was stopped by tearing down a frame building occupied by 
D. N. Tuttle as a hat factory and Isaac M. Joslyn as a gunsmith shop. 

One of the most exciting events in early times in Batavia was the 
attempt of a mob to assault and destroy the office of the Land Company 
during the so-called " Land Office war " in 1836. Fortunately the in- 
habitants of the village were apprised of the impending trouble in ample 
time to arm themselves, and when the mob reached the village they 
found that such a determined and organized resistance had been pre- 
pared that all efforts on their part looking to the destruction of the land 
office or any other property would be accompanied by the death of 
greater or less numbers of the invading party. Consequently they re- 
tired and the threatened attack was never made.' 

The Exchange Bank of Genesee was organized at Alexander in 1838, 
by Samuel Benedict, jr.. Earl Kidder, Henry Martin, Van Rensselaer 
Hawkins, Henrj'' Hawkins, Jesse Hawkins, Stephen King, Josiah New- 
ton, Charles Kendall and others, with a capital stock of one hundred 
thousand dollars. Among those who served as cashiers at various times 
during the career of this institution were Heman Blodgett, E. S. 
Warner, H. T. Cross and J. E. Pierpont. The bank was authorized 
by the Legislature on March 11, 1848, to change its place of business 
from Alexander to Rochester, but with the proviso that it continue an 
office at Alexander for the purpose of closing up its business there, for 
a period not exceeding one year. But the institution never took the 

■ A more detailed account of this disturbance will be found in a preceding chapter. 

2^4 OUk COtrNtY AlSfD Its t'EOPLfi. 

step authorized by the Legislature. Soon after his removal to Alex- 
ander D. W. Tomlinson bought up all the stock and removed the bank 
to Batavia, where it finally discontinued business about 1858. 

The Batavia Lyceum was incorporated April 17, 1843, "for the pur- 
pose of establishing and maintaining a library, reading room, and rooms 
for debates and lectures on literary and scientific subjects; and such 
other means of promoting moral and intellectual improvement, with 
power for such purposes to take by purchase, devise, gift or otherwise, 
and to hold, transfer and convey real estate and personal property, to 
the amount of ten thousand dollars ; and also further to take, retain 
and convey all such books, cabinets, library furniture and apparatus as 
may be necessary to obtain the objects and effect the purposes of said 
corporation." The incorporators named in the charter were HemanJ. 
Redfield, Trumbull Gary, Lucius A. Smith, Isaac A. Verplanck, Joshua L. 
Brown, William G. Bryan, John F. Ernst, Joel Allen, Brannon Young, 
Seth Wakeman, Frederick Follett, John L. Dorrance and their associ- 

By the amendment to the village charter passed April 33, 1844, the 
bounds of the village of Batavia were fixed as follows : 

Beginning at a point in the east line of lot number forty-four in said 
village, one hundred rods north from the centre of Genesee street ; 
thence westerly parallel with the centre of Genesee and Batavia streets 
one hundred rods therefrom to the westerly bounds of lot number nine 
in said village; thence southerly on the west line of said lot number 
nine, to the southwest corner of said lot; thence continuing in the 
same direction to the north bank of Tonewanta creek, thence up the 
northern bank of said creek to a point one hundred rods south of the 
centre of Genesee street; thence eastwardly parallel with the centre 
of Genesee street to the east line of lot number forty-five; thence 
northerly on said line to the place of beginning. 

In 1847 the trustees reported that, pursuant to the vote at the pre- 
ceding annual town meeting, they had " proceeded to the selection of 
a site and commenced the building of a suitable Engine and Hook and 
Ladder House, and to complete the same they were compelled to bor- 
row Two Hundred Dollars." The trustees further reported that the 
engine owned by the village was not satisfactory, and continued: 

Inasmuch as the corporation now own a good and sufficient Engine House, the 
Trustees flatter themselves that the citizens will carry out the work of encouraging 
the Fire Department by purchasing a good and substantial Engine, and one that 
will give satisfaction to the Firemen as well as the citizens. 


In accordance with the recommendation of the board and the res- 
olution then adopted by the voters, the trustees purchased of Thomas 
Snooks a fire engine, paying therefor seven hundred dollars. 

In 1851 the trustees reported that they had "caused to be built, pur- 
suant to the vote of the electors of said village, two large reservoirs, 
and have caused a well to be dug and furnished with a pump and en- 
closed with good and substantial railing, so that each reservoir can be 
filled and kept supplied with water for the use of the Fire Department. 
They have also exchanged the old fire engine Red Jacket for a new En- 
gine, for which they have given their official note for $200. " 

In 1852 they report: "The Engine which was procured by the ex- 
change of the old Engine Red Jacket was found upon trial not to be of 
sufficient power, and the trustees have sold that for the sum of $200, 
and have purchased a new engine for the sum of $756. . . . They 
have also sold the old Engine house (located on Jackson street) and 
have procured in place thereof a permanent Lease of the basement of 
the Old Court house for the use of the Fire department. They have 
also purchased a new Hose Cart for the use of Engine No. 2; also 200 
feet of new Hose." 

By the amended charter adopted in April, 1853, the bounds of the cor- 
poration were fixed as follows : 

The territory embraced within the following bounds, that is to say: Beginning in 
the east line of lot number forty-six (as laid down on the map or survey of the village 
of Batavia into village lots made by the Holland Land Company by Joseph Ellicott, 
surveyor) at a point half a mile northwardly fi-om Genesee street : thence westwardly 
parallel to said Genesee street and half a mile distant therefrom to a point two chains 
and fifty links westwardly of the east line of lot number sixteen; thence still west- 
wardly parallel to Batavia street and half a mile distant therefrom to the west line of 
lot number eight; thence southwardly on the west line of lot number eight to Batavia 
street, thence continuing southerly in the same direction to the south bank of the 
Tonawanda creek ; thence up said creek on the south bank thereof to the west line 
of lot number fifty seven ; thence southerly upon the said west line of lot number 
fifty seven to the plank road of the Buffalo and Batavia Plank Road Company ; thence 
easterly along said plank road to the west line of lot number fifty five; thence south- 
erly on the west line of said lot number fifty five to the south line of the second or 
straight line of railway of the Buffalo and Rochester Rail Road Company ; thence 
easterly on the southerly line of said railway to the western bank of the Tonawanda 
Creek ; thence up said creek on the westerly and southerly bank thereof to a point 
twenty rods due south from the street or highway now known as Chestnut street ; 
thence eastwardly to the northerly bank of the Tonawanda creek, at the point where 
the east line of lot number twenty nine intersects the same : thence eastwardly in 
a direct line to the point where the east line of lot number forty seven intersects 

3^6 obR COUlSI'tY Akb t'ts pfeoi'Lfe. 

Bigtree street ; and thence northwardly on the east line of lots number forty sevetl 
and forty six to the place of beginning, shall constitute the village of Batavia, and 
the bounds thereof are altered and extended accordingly. 

It is interesting to note at this juncture the names of the persons en- 
gaged in the various branches of trade, in the professions, etc., half a 
century ago, as illustrating the commercial development of the village 
of Batavia during that period of its career. The following is the list 
as it was published in 1849.' 

Ministers. — J. A. BoUes, Byron Sunderland, S. M. Stimpson, Allen Steele, D. C. 

Doctors. — John Cotes, Levant B. Cotes, H. Ganson, C. E. Ford, John F. Baker, 
Chauncey D. Griswold, J. Delamater. 

Lawyers.— Richard Smith, P. L. Tracy, G. W. Lay, H. J. Redfield, B. ' Pringle, 
E. C. Dibble, I. A. Verplanck, M. Taggart, J. L. Brown, J. H. Martindale (district 
attorney), H. J. Glowackie, W. G. Bryan, S. Wakeman, J. D. Merrill, T. Fitch, M. 
W. Hewitt, H. Wilber, H. U. Soper (Judge of Genesee county), J. F. Lay, M F. 
Robertson, E. Pringle, B. Young (county treasurer), J. H. Kimberly. 

Forwarding and Commission Merchants. — L. A. Smith, J. Foot, J. Ganson & Co. 

Dry Goods Merchants.— Wm. H. Wells & Son, Smith c& Warren, G. A. Lay, Na- 
than T. Smith, Thorn & Holden. 

Hardware Merchants. — Belden Otis & Co., R. Haney. 

Hotels. — American, B. G. Tisdale, Genesee House, S. N. Bierce, Western Hotel, 
I. Backus, Eagle Tavern, E. Hall, Railroad Depot, S. Frost, Dutch Tavern, A. 

Livery Stable. — Ferren & McCormick. 

Cabinet Makers.— C. Kirkham, C. T. Buxton, J. T. Buxton, O. Griffith. 

Carpenters and Joiners. — O. Dustin, R. W. Craig, D. Palmer, J. Coleman, S. 
Tuttle, J. L. Gardner, W. Lowden, L. Knapp, Mr. Rice, H. Graham, J. Palmer, J. 
R. Hart, L. Barner. 

Blacksmiths.— F. Baxter, A. Tyrell, M. Kellogg, G. W. Miller, S. Lynn, J. Clark, 
J. Trumbull & Son. 

Gunsmith. — L M. Joslyn. 

Saddle and Harness Makers.— Wm. Manley, A. J. Ensign, J. T. Carr. 

Masons. — T, McCully, H. Murphy, J. Holten, D. Johnson, A. Wilcox. 

Stonecutter. — Fellows & Co. 

Furnacemen. — T. Hurlburt, J. R. Smith. 

Baker.— B. C. & O. Page. 

Cradle Maker. — H. Naramor. 

Cooper. — Z. York. 

Brewer.- E. H. Fish. 

Barbers — J. Leonard, D. Leonard. 

Butchers. — R. Fowler, R. Winn. 

Druggists and Booksellers. — Wm. Seaver & Son, Fellows & Co. 

> This list appears on the last page of Wm. Seaver's History of Batavia, 


Grocers. — C. A. Russell, John Wilson, John Kenyon, J. McCuUant, Wilson & 
Austin, S. A. Wilson, G. Knowles, J. & R. Eager. 

Jewellers.— J. A. Clark, E. S. Dodge. 

Hatters.— H. & E. M. McCormick, P. Warner. 

Boot and Shoe Store.— T. Yates, A. Joslyn, H. M. Warren, Spencer & Merrill, M. 
Rupp, J. P. Phillips, J. Baker. 

Milliners. — Mrs. Denslow, Mrs. Blake, Mrs. Griffith, Mrs. Showerraan & Halbert. 

Tailors.— G. B. Hurlburt, D. Ferguson, J. Jordan, J. M. Royce, Nathan Smith, 
John Allen, Biessenger & Rebstock. 

Printers. — Wm. Seaver & Son, D. D. Wait. 

Book Binder. — G. Kiesz. 

Painters.— H. W. Ashling, Howe & Barnard, P. S. MoflEett, E. Woolsey, O. N. 
Sanford, W. Mclntyre. 

Carriage Makers. — J. Clark, G. W. Miller, A. Peck. 

On February 17, 1850, Batavia was visited by the most destructive 
fire in the history of the village up to that time. The fire originated 
about 11.30 A. M. in the two story wooden building on the north side of 
Genesee (Main) street, occupied by R. Haney as a hardware store. 
The wind was blowing strong from the west and the flames swept 
eastwardly until every building to the corner of Genesee and Bank 
streets was consumed. Among the principal buildings destroyed were 
the hardware store of R. Haney, loss $8,000; the office and residence 
of Dr. H. Ganson, loss $2,000; store of S. C. Holden, loss $1,200; store 
owned by Hinman Holden and occupied by C. Kirkham as a cabinet 
shop ; next the American hotel, the largest and most expensive build- 
ing in the village, having cost over $25,000, owned by Alva Smith 
and kept by B. G. Tisdale; a two story brick building owned by D. W. 
Tomlinson, who was fitting it up for the use of the Exchange Bank of 
Genesee, then located at Alexander ; a building owned by Moses Tag- 
gart and occupied by Dr. J. Delamater as an office and dwelling, by 
Dr. Stevens, dentist, and by Mrs. Williams as a residence. 

The year 1850 was marked by the organization of companies for the 
construction of plank roads between Batavia and Buffalo and between 
Batavia and Oakfield. The work of construction was begun soon after 
the formation of the companies referred to. 

The Spirit of the Times of December 14, 1852, contained the follow- 

There is no mistake but this ancient Capital of the " Holland Purchase," is des- 
tined to maintain its rank and dignity, through all the changes that are constantly 
going on within and around it. To satisfy any of this fact, they have only to look 
at our thronged streets, and the business-like appearance of our stores, shops and 


warehouses, all indicating continued, if not increasing prosperity. . . . We have 
now the great Central Railroad, with its six daily trains, beside the cross road to 
Attica, connecting us with the Buffalo and N. Y. City R. R. These, to which wilj 
soon be added the Canandaigua and Niagara Falls road, now nearly completed from 
this place westward, and the Buffalo and Conhocton Valley road to be finished next 
season, all combine to give us greater facilities for business or pleasure than an,y 
other town in the interior can boast, and tend directly to point out Batavia as "the 
greatest place of its size " in Western New York. 

While thus blowing the trump of fame for the generalities of our Village, we must 
not omit to notice some of its new embellishments, prominent among which is the 
elegant Brick Block recently erected by Messrs. Dodge, Yates and the Odd Fellows, 
on the corner of Main and Jackson streets. The part owned by Mr. Dodge, on the 
Corner, is finished off in elegant style as a Jewelers store, and filled with his new 
stock of glittering wares, presents a splendid appearance. The other store belong- 
ing to Mr. Yates, is fitted up for a Shoe and Leather store, in a style and beauty, 
favorably comparing with that of Mr. Dodge. Both together, with their wide, ele- 
gantly finished doors, and immense sized glass set in metallic sash richly plated 
with silver, present a front truly magnificent, and the whole does honor to the en- 
terprising proprietors. 

The three story brick building erected by Mr. Godfrey, for Messrs. Onderdonk 
and Carr, as a Saddlery establishment, adjoining the store of W. H. Wells & Son, is 
now completed in a substantial and tasteful manner, and adds much to the beauty- 
of that part of the village. Another decided improvement has been made by Mr. 
John Kenyon, in erecting a large addition to his old store. . . . 

The Stone building formerly occupied by Mr. Ganson's Bank, is also undergoing 
improvements in the front, preparatory to its being occupied by Mr. Tomlinson with 
his Exchange Bank. 

The Batavia Gas and Electric Light Company was organized as the 
Batavia Gas Light Company in 1855, with a capital of thirty two thou- 
sand five hundred dollars and these directors: George Brisbane, Dan- 
iel W. Tomlinson, Gad B. Worthington, S. C. Holden, Alva Smith, 
Frank Chamberlain and R. Merrifield. Mr. Tomlinson was president, 
secretary and treasurer, and W. H. Tompkins Was superintendent. 
The first gas holder had a capacity of thirteen thousand five hundred 
feet. A new gas holder, with a capacity of thirty-five thousand feet, 
was built in 1878. Early in the year 1885 new works were erected 
for the manufacture of gas from crude petroleum. In 1886 the com- 
pany established an electric lighting and heating plant, which it has 
since operated in conjunction with its gas plant. 

The Batavia Fire Department was incorporated April 32, 1863, with 
the following trustees: David Seaver, Sanford S. Clark, Albert R. 
Warner, William M. Tuttle, Louis M. Cox, Benjamin Goodspeed, 
William H. Brown, Joljin Passmore, Marsden J. Pierson, William D. 

ttiE Village of bataVIA. S9S 

W. Pringle, George D. Kenyon, Hollis McCormick, Henry G. Champ- 
lin, James Nugent and Samuel Jennison. The charter officers were: 
President, David Seaver ;' vice-president, Sanford S. Clark; secretary, 
Albert R. Warner; treasurer, George P. Pringle. 

July 28, 1862, the board of trustees of the village adopted an "or- 
dinance establishing fire districts" as follows: 

District Number One. — All that portion of the village of Batavia 
lying north of Main and west of Bank street. 

District Number Two. — All that portion of the village lying north 
of Main and east of Bank street. 

District Number Three. — All that portion of the village lying south 
of Main and east of Jackson street. 

District Number Four. — All that portion, of the village lying south 
of Main and west of Jackson street. 

The ordinance also provided that ' ' at each and every fire it shall 
be the duty of the Sexton, or person or persons ringing the Fire 
Alarm Bell, to ring a general alarm for at least one minute, or until 
the district wherein the fire occurs, can be ascertained, and immedi- 
ately thereafter to strike the number, then to repeat the general 
alarm for one minute, and afterwards the district alarm, continuing 
the repetitions at proper intervals for at least thirty minutes, or 
until the said alarm shall be ascertained to be false." It was also pro- 
vided that " any watchman, sexton or other person who shall first 
ring the correct district alarm of any actual fire, shall be entitled to 
one dollar for each actual fire it is so rung. " 

The fire department, it was ordained, should consist of a chief en- 
gineer and two assistant engineers, in addition to the trustees of the 
village of Batavia, "and such fire engine men, hose men, hook and 
ladder men, axe men and bucket men as are and may from time to 
time be appointed by the Trustees of the Village of Batavia." 

Before the organization of the department several fire companies had 
been in existence in Batavia. Reference to some of these is found in 
preceding pages. As early as September, 1829, Triton Fire Company 
was organized. A hook and ladder company was formed in 1836, 
while in 1850 two companies were formed — Pioneer Hook and Ladder 
Company No. 1 and Neptune Engine Company No. 2. Red Jacket 
Engine Company was another old fire company which existed for many 
years. Hose Company No. 3 was organized in 1863 and Alert Hose 
Company No. 1 in 1868. The old Rescue Engine Company No. 1 was 


formally disbanded October 10, 1870. The first officers of Alert Hose 
Company were : President, C. E. Fish; vice-president, J. A. Mackey; 
foreman, J. E. Warren; assistant foreman, J. B. Hewitt; secretary, 
D. W. Tomlinson. The company, the oldest in the department, was 
incorporated May 5, 1879, the directors being J. M. Hamilton, Hinman 
Holden, M. K. Young, Ellis R. Hay and George J. Austin. The first 
fire attended by this company was that in the Western hotel, which 
stood on the site of the Schafer Commercial building, soon after the 
organization of the company. 

At a meeting of the trustees of the fire department held July 14, 
1863, the following persons were confirmed as firemen and the first 
members of the department: 

Pioneer Hook and Ladder Ladder Company No. 1. — Henry S. Morse, 
George B. Edwards, William H. Preston, John Westphal. 

Neptune Engine Company No. 3. — James E. Rosecranse, Patrick 
Donahue, Ernst Welker, Martin Erion, John Menger, Lemuel L. Tozier, 
Frank Nelo, Josiah P. Pierson, Michael Moran, Wm. E. Blake, Lyman 
Kraing, Henry Erbleding, Frank McDonald. 

Neptune Hose Company No. 2. — Louis Mann, Byron S. Cotes, James 
H. Royce, Jeremiah O'Connell, Horatio Thomas, Daniel A. Lynch, 
John Corby. 

Rescue Engine Company No. 1. — John Munger, Henry Steuber, 
Frank Newell, Brainard E. Forbes, Gottlieb Greishaber, Lewis Tevinn, 
John Strong, Horace Ford, Anson T. Bliss, James Giddings, James 
McKay, Adam Feurstein. 

Rescue Hose Company No. 1. — Frank Decott, Frank Riley, Charles 
Morris, Daniel Councils, Thomas Kinney. 

At the meeting held August 11 the following additional members 
were approved : 

Neptune Engine Company No. 2. — James Buckley, James Whitman, 
Christian Wolf. 

Neptune Hose Company No. 2. — Peter Lane, Charles A. Hastings, 
Ambrose N. Hanna, Collins Pratt. 

Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. — Joseph Houltman, A. 
F. Lawrence, Peter Warner. 

Eagle Hose Company No. 1 was organized in 1862 and disbanded April 
8, 1865. In the same year it was reorganized, and in 1868 it was again 
disbanded and Alert Hose Company organized in its place. Amphitrite 
Hose Company No. 2 and Union Hose Company No 3 were organized in 



1863. Amphitrite Hose Company was disbanded in 1867 and Richmond 
Hose Company No. 2 was formed in its place. The original Neptune En- 
gine Company was disbanded August 33, 1869. Citizens' Hook and Lad- 
derCompany was formed in 1872, disbanded in 1874, reorganized in 1874, 
again disbanded in 1877, and once more reorganized in the latter year un- 
der the present name of Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. Zephyr Hose 
Company No. 3 was formed January 7, 1885, and Ellicott Hose Company 
No. 4 in November, 1896. The department at the present time consists of 
Alert Hose Company, Richmond Hose Company, Zephyr Hose Com- 
pany, Ellicott Hose Company and Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. 

The chief engineers of the department have been as follows: David 
Seaver, 1862-63; Albert R. Warner, 1864; Hollis McCormick, 1865; 
Pepworth Crabb, 1866; John L. Foster, 1867-71; Hollis McCormick, 
1872-74; James M. Walkenshaw, 1875; Alvin J. Fox, 1876; O. J. Wa- 
terman, 1877-78; James M. Walkenshaw, 1879-1881; Joseph H. Rob- 
son, 1882; Cornwell D. Morgan, 1883-84; L. S. Croaker, 1885-86; 
Cornwell D. Morgan, 1887; Clarence B. Austin, 1888-97 (died in 
office); L. W. Hahn, 1897-98. 

The Farmers' Bank of Batavia was established in 1856 as the Far- 
mers' Bank of Attica, at Attica, by Leonidas Doty. The bank was 
moved to Batavia in 1860, and in 1862 the name Was changed to the 
present one. Mr. Doty was also one of the founders of the First 
National Bank of Batavia. A few years ago the Farmers' Bank erect- 
ed a commodious banking house at the southeast corner of Main and 
Jackson streets. A few year before that date John H. Ward had been 
admitted into partnership with Mr. Doty, and the former has been, 
since Mr. Doty's death in 1888, manager of the business. Since the 
death of Mr. Doty his widow, Mrs. Selina A. Doty, has controlled 
the interest of her husband in the bank. 

The First National Bank of Batavia was founded March 21, 1864, 
with a capital stock of fifty thousand dollars and the following officers : 
R. H. Farnham, president; C. H. Monell, cashier; R. H. Farnham, 
Tracy Pardee, Henry Monell, Charles H. Monell and George Bowen, 
directors. Mr. Monell never held the position of cashier, Marcus L. 
Babcock being elected to the position June 4, 1864. May 31, 1865, the 
capital stock was increased to seventy-five thousand dollars, and Jan- 
uary 9, 1883, it was further increased to one hundred thousand dollars. 
The following have served as officers of the bank : 

Presidents.— R. H. Farnham, March 21, 1864, to June 29, 1865; Tracy 


Pardee, June 29, 1865, to January 10, 1884; Levant C. Mclntyre, Jan- 
uary 10, 1884, to 1898; Samuel Parker, from April 21, 1898, to date. 

Cashiers. — Charles H. Monell, March 21, 1864 (did not act); Marcus 
L. Babcock, June 4, 1864, to February 8, 1865; Daniel E. Waite, Feb- 
ruary 8, 1865, to August 13, 1866 ; Levant D. Mclntyre, August 13, 
1866, to January 16, 1884; Jerome L. Bigelow, January 16, 1884, to 

Assistant Cashier. — George F. Bigelow, January 22, 1896, to date. 

The various changes in the directorate of the bank have been as fol- 

1864, Reuben H. Farnham, Tracy Pardee, Henry Monell, Charles 
H. Monell, George Bowen; 1866, John McKay, to succeed Henry 
Monell; 1867, Leonidas Doty; 1868, John Fisher, to succeed John 
McKay ; 1869, number of directors increased to seven, and Tracy Par- 
dee, Reuben H. Farnham, Leonidas Doty, John Fisher, George Brown, 
Gad B. Worthington and Cyrus Walker were elected; 1874, number of 
directors decreased to six, and all but Reuben H. Farnham were re- 
elected; 1881, E. B. Wilford; 1882, Daniel W. Tomlinson, to succeed 
E. B. Wilford; 1883, Samuel Parker, to succeed John Fisher, and Le- 
vant C. Mclntyre to succeed Tracy Pardee ; 1898, E. A. Washburn, to 
succeed Levant C. Mclntyre, deceased. 

The Genesee & Venango Petroleum Company was organized in Ba- 
tavia in the winter of 1864-65, with a capital stock of three hundred 
thousand dollars, for the purpose of mining for petroleum in the oil 
regions of Pennsylvania. The charter officers of the corporation were : 
President, Reuben H. Farnham; vice-president, Ellas A. Lewis; treas- 
uter, Eli H. Fish; secretary, William H. Story; trustees, Trumbull 
Cary, Eli H. Fish, E. M. McCormick, Elias A. Lewis, Johnson B. 
Brown, Tracy Pardee, Lyman Terry, H. L. Onderdonk, R. H. Farnham. 

The funeral services held at Batavia in honor of President Lincoln on 
Wednesday, April 19, 1865, were of a most impressive character. Up- 
on the conclusion of religious services held in the respective churches, 
a procession formed in front of EUicott hall at 1.30 p. m., under the di- 
rection of Hon. H. U. Soper, marshal, and J. Haskell, S. B. Lusk, 
Capt. Robert L. Foote and Lucas Seaver as assistant marshals. The 
large funeral car was draped in mourning and covered with the Amer- 
ican flag. Beside it marched the following pall bearers: Daniel W. 
Tomlinson, Harry Wilber, J. C. Wilson, W. S. Mallory, E. A. Lewis, 
D. D. Waite, H. I. Glowacki, Seth Wakeman, Wilber Smith, John 


Fisher, M. H. Bierce and R. O. Holden. On either side of the car the 
following gentlemen were mounted on horseback as a guard of honor: 
Captain L. Phillips, E. Wakeman, C. H. Dolbeer, B. S. Cotes, E. Stim- 
son, O. S. Pratt, P. H. Smith and George Foote. Following them 
came the village officers, the Batavia fire department, public offi- 
cers, veterans of the civil war and civic organizations. The pro- 
cession marched down Main street to the Oak Orchard road, thence 
back along Big Tree street to Jackson, to Main, to Cemetery street to 
the front of the court house, where the following exercises took place : 

Music, "Old Hundred," choir; prayer. Rev. Morelle Fowler; music, 
"The Departed," choir; address, Rev. Mr. Mussey; music, "Dead 
March, " from Saul, Batavia band ; address, Judge Soper ; music, ' ' Amer- 
ica," choir; address, Wm. G. Bryan; benediction. Rev. S. M. Stimson. 

The Western Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company for many years 
was a strong institution in Genesee county. In 1866 its officers were: 
President, Samuel Richmond ; vice-president, Samuel Heston ; secretary 
and treasurer, Horace M. Warren; directors, Samuel Willett, Heman 
J. Redfield, Samuel Richmond, Joseph Vallett, Elijah Piatt, Samuel 
Heston, James L. Paine, Jacob Grant, Alvin Pease, Daniel Rosecrance, 
Hiram Chaddock, L. Douglass and John F. Plato. 

The "Commercial building," located on the south side of Main street 
a short distance west of Jackson street, was originally occupied as a 
hotel. In 1837 a tavern known as the Central house was opened there 
by Daniel Latimer. In 1840 it became the property of Lamont H. 
Holden, brother of Hinman and Samuel C. Holden, who changed its 
name to that of Farmer hotel. It was in this hotel, while under the 
management of Mr. Holden, that the meetings of Batavia Lodge No. 
88, F. & A. M., were held for some time. The property finally became 
known as the Western hotel. It was destroyed by fire May 20, 1860. 
Subsequently a commodious brick building was erected on the site, and 
for many years was run as a hotel under the names of Washburn house, 
Parker house, and others. In 1892 the property was repaired and re- 
modeled for mercantile purposes, and is now one of the principal busi- 
ness blocks in Batavia. 

The Batavia Farmers' Club was organized at Batavia in February, 
1862, with these officers: 

President, Henry Ives; vice-president, P. P. Bradish; secretary, J. 
G. Fargo; treasurer, Sanford Wilber; directors, Charles Gillett, C. D. 
Pond and Addison Foster. 


The Batavia Library Association was incorporated by act of the Leg- 
islature April 37, 1872. The first trustees named in the charter were 
Gad B. Worthington, Edward C. Walker, Myron H. Peck, Sidney A. 
Sherwin, Robert B. Pease, Wilber Smith, Daniel W. Tomlinson, 
Henry F. Tarbox and George Bowen. By an act of the Legislature 
passed in 1887, the corporation was dissolved. The library, consisting 
of about 4,000 volumes together with $3,500 in money, was turned 
over to the trustees of the Union Free School District, No. 2. The 
condition of the gift was that the fund should be kept forever intact 
and the income derived therefrom used, so far as needed, to maintain a 
reading room which the trustees were authorized to provide for, in con- 
nection with the Richmond Memorial Library. 

The Bank of Batavia, now recognized as being one of the strongest 
financial institutions outside of the larger cities in Western New York, 
was incorporated July 11, 1876, with Jerome Rowan as president and 
William F. Merriman as cashier. Its original capital stock was fifty 
thousand dollars. Mr. Merriman. resigned in September, 1878, and 
Marcus L. Babcock was elected to succeed him. In February, 1879, 
Mr. Babcock resigned and was succeeded by H. T. Miller. Mr. Rowan 
resigned as president in February, 1882, at which time Daniel W. Tom- 
linson was elected to succeed him. Up to this time the bank had not 
been successful ; but with the change in management new life was put 
into the establishment, and from the smallest institution of its kind in 
Batavia, it soon grew to be the largest, its capital being increased 
twice — from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand dollars in March, 
1883, and to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in March, 1891. 
The payment of dividends was begun in the fall of 1883, since which 
time they have been regularly paid twice each year. At the same 
time the bank has built up a surplus of over one hundred thousand 
dollars, with resources exceeding one million one hundred thousand dol- 
lars. In 1895 the new fire proof building on the south side of Main 
street was erected. This is probably the finest building occupied ex- 
clusively by any country banking house in New York State. 

Considerable enthusiasm over military affairs developed in Batavia 
in 1876, with the result that a number of the citizens of the village 
made application to General Franklin Townsend of Albany, adjutant- 
general of the State of New York, for permission to organize a separ- 
ate company of the National Guard of the State of New York. The 
desired permission was granted in the following order by the adju- 


tant-general, the company having previously been formed and officers 
elected : 

General Headquarters, State of New York, 
Adjutant-General's Office. 

Albany, July 28, 1876. 
Special Order No. 120. 

Application having been made in proper Corra for the organization in the village 
of Batavia, Genesee county, of a Company of Infantry, to be attached to the 31st 
Brigade, 8th Division, National Guards, State of New York, said Company is here- 
by organized with the following named Officers, who will be commissioned with 
rank from July 22, 1876: 

Captain, Orrin C. Parker ; first lieutenant, George W. Griffis ; second lieutenant, 
Alvin J. Fox. 

Said Company will be known and designated as the Fifth Separate Company of 
Infantry of the 81st Brigade, National Guard, State of New York. 
By Order of the Commander-in-Chief. 

(Signed) Franklin Townsend, 


The original members of the company in 1876 were as follows: 
Captain, Orrin C. Parker; first lieutenant, George W. Griffis; second 
lieutenant, Alvin J. Fox; first sergeant, James M. Waite; quarter- 
master-sergeant, Lawrence L. Crosby; second sergeant, Henry C. Fish; 
third sergeant, Charles V. Hooper; fourth sergeant, John G. Johnson; 
fifth sergeant, Peter Thomas; first corporal, George Crawford ; second 
corporal, Andrew Rupp; third corporal, William H. Kendall;" fourth 
corporal, Thomas Gallagher ; fifth ' corporal, Henry A. Thompson ; 
sixth corporal, Robert Peard; seventh corporal, John A. Mackey; 
eighth corporal, Frederick F. Smith ; musicians, William H. Bradish, 
Herbert L. CoUamer. 

Privates, Aaron Alpaugh, Ira Brady, Harlan J. Brown, Hiland H. 
Benjamin, George H. Buisch, Frank W. Biddleman, William H. Buck- 
holts, John Buckholts, Levant Bullock, Henry Crego, Frank S. Cross, 
Henry A. Cross, Henry Curry, James C. Cummings, Thomas Cum- 
mings, John Cummings, Frank C. Campbell, William E. Casey, John 
P. Casey, William E. Dawson, Philip Ditzel, John Didget, Jacob Erion, 
Chester Ford, Charles E. Fish, Pratt Flanders, Walter K. Gould, Jo- 
seph T. Gamier, Frederick Hess, James M. Harris, Hiram Harris, Ellis 
R. Hay, Alonzo N. Henshaw, Frank Homelius, Henry W. Homelius, 
John M. Hamilton, Anthony Horsch, Frederick L. Hovey, George M. 
Hermance, Newton Johns, Frank Johnson, Homer N. Kelsey, Harvey 
W. Kendall, Benjamin F. Lowns, John B. Leonard, Edwin S. Lent, 



AlvaW. Lewis, Charles Lawson, Asa F. Lawrence, Charles Little, John 
D. Maloy, Malcolm D. Mix, Samuel P. Mix, John W. Mix, jr., Redmond 
Manning, Frank S. Moloney, Robert A. Maxwell, William Metzger, 
Callaghan McDonald, John B. Neasmith, Rodger O'Donohue, Edward 
O'Connor, Charles B. Peck, William T. Pond, Robert Peard, William 
Powell, Van A. Pratt, Charles W. Pratt, Wirt B. Quale, Michael Reb- 
meister, Daniel Rodgers, Joseph Roth, Marvin A. Seamans, Silas H. 
Smith, Sanford Spalding, Frederick M. Sheffield, M. Cleveland Terry, 
Peter Tompkins, John Thomas, Charles A. Thompson, Charles J. Tryon, 
W. W. Whitney, Albert Weber, Frederick E. Williams. 

This company, which bore the name of " Batavia Rifles," enjoyed 
an interesting career of about seven years, and was disbanded in 1883. 
A second independent military company, also known as the " Batavia 
Rifles," was organized December 24, 1894, with these officers: Pres- 
ident, C. B. Stone; secretary, Claude Giddings; treasurer, Frank Home- 
lius; collector, Edward Thomas; captain, H. W. Homelius; first lieu- 
tenant, W. A. Hooker; second lieutenant, Charles Moll; orderly ser- 
geant, James Dunning ; color guard, Frank Stephenson. This company, 
however, had but a brief existence, and never became an organization 
of the New York National Guard. 

'^ The Wiard Plow Company is one of the most celebrated establish- 
ments in the world devoted to the manufacture of plows. The concern 
is also the oldest of its kind in the United States, having been founded 
in 1804 by Thomas Wiard, sr., a blacksmith and farmer residing at 
East Avon, N. Y. His first plow was of the ancient pattern known as 
the "bull plow," large numbers of which were made by hand by Mr. 
Wiard for the use of the pioneers of Western New York. In 1815 
Jethro Wood of Aurora (then Scipio), N. Y. , the inventor of the first 
successful cast-iron plow, sold Mr. Wiard the necessary castings, which 
the latter completed and attached wooden handles thereto in his shop. 
Four years later he found his facilities for manufacture entirely inad- 
equate, by reason of the increasing population of the community and 
the consequent growing demand for the output of his little smithy ; so 
he erected a foundry at East Avon, where he made patterns for im- 
proved plows, manufacturing all the parts thereof himself. Here, in 
connection with his three sons — Beth, Henry and Matthew — he con- 
tinued the manufacture of these implements until his death about 1820. 
One or more of these sons continued the business at East Avon until 
1871. All were men of great ingenuity and constantly were at work 


devising improvements in the plows they manufactured, until they had 
become celebrated as the makers of the most satisfactory implements 
of this nature in the country. 

October 1, 1871, George Wiard, son of William Wiard, became half 
owner of the establishment at East Avon. In 1871 Charles W. Hough, 
treasurer of the company, purchased the interest of Matthew Wiard, 
the firm becoming Wiard & Hough. 

During the career of the concern at East Avon the works were de- 
stroyed by fire and rebuilt several times. In 1876, to such proportions 
had the business grown, it was decided to remove the industry to a 
point where the transportation facilities would be better than those 
offered at East Avon. Learning of the determination of the company, 
the citizens of Batavia donated a site for the proposed new plant, lo- 
cated on Swan street, between the New York Central and Hudson 
River and the Erie railroads, and the company accepted the proposition 
offered. The new plant was completed in September, 1876, and about 
the same time a new company was organized and incorporated under 
the name of the Wiard Plow Company, with a capital stock of fifty 
thousand dollars. This amount was subsequently increased to one 
hundred thousand dollars. George Wiard was the president of the new 
corporation and C. W. Hough the secretary and treasurer. The other 
incorporators were Eli Fish, John Green and Joseph H. Smith. Mr. 
Wiard also assumed the duties of superintendent. These gentlemen 
still occupy the same offices in the company, excepting that J. J. Wash- 
burn acts as secretary, relieving Mr. Hough of a share of his duties. 
Mr. Washburn succeeded Mr. Smith in the concern in May, 1880. The 
original capital stock of the company, sixty-three thousand dollars, was 
increased at the end of the first year to one hundred thousand dollars, 
and five years later to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, the pres- 
ent capital. While the principal business of the company is the man- 
ufacture of its widely celebrated plows, it is also the inventor of im- 
provements in sulky hay rakes, which it has been manufacturing for 
several years. The establishment turns out many varieties of plows, 
adapted to all kinds of soil and all other conditions. It also manufac- 
tures hop and potato cultivators, patent sulky plows. Emperor sulky 
rakes, Morgan patent spading harrows, Wiard disc harrows, Wiard ad- 
justable weeders, and automatic hand corn planters. The company's 
territory includes everything east of Lake Michigan and as far south as 
Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, including those States, and 


many foreign countries. The present plant covers about five and a 
half acres. Numerous improvements thereto have been made from 
time to time, among the latest being the new office building erected in 
1897. An average of one hundred hands is employed the year around. 
It is a notable fact that the company has never shut down in its history, 
excepting for a few days in the summer of each year for the purpose of 
making the necessary repairs. Its employes are for the most part 
thoroughly skilled workmen. 

The Batavia Preserving Company is an institution which could flour- 
ish in few places as it does in the geographical centre of Western New 
York, the most famous fruit-growing country in the world. The en- 
terprise was established originally in 1879 by John Pierson, who began 
canning fruits and vegetables for the market, at Bushville. Though 
supplied with all the necessary appliances, lack of proper attention to 
the details of the business rendered it pecuniarily unsuccessful at the 
beginning. In 1881 the establishment became the property of the Bank 
of Batavia, which for one year conducted the, business at Bushville. 
The following year it was purchased by Sprague, Warner & Co. of 
Chicago, who a year afterward removed it to the village of Batavia, 
where a marvelous development of the business was begun. So great 
was the increase in the demand for the product of the establishment 
that the erection of more commodious and convenient buildings was 
necessary. Into these the industry was removed in May, 1888. The 
business still growing at a wonderful rate, the present company was 
incorporated in 1891, and placed under the management of C. H. Fran- 
cis. To-day the company controls three factories — at Batavia, Middle- 
port and Brockport, N. Y., located in the heart of what undoubtedly 
is the finest fruit and vegatable growing section of the world. The 
Batavia factory has a floor area of over fifty thousand square feet, and 
the other factories are nearly as large, and of similar character. The 
Batavia factory is run exclusively, during the season, upon green peas 
and sweet corn, using the production of hundreds of acres of the best 
farming lands in Genesee county. Nowhere in the world are better 
vegetables grown than in Western New York, and nowhere are they 
better prepared for the trade with more skill and care than in the fac- 
tories operated by this company. Each of the factories devotes itself 
only to such products as can best be raised in that locality and market- 
ed at their doors in best condition. Thus the factory at Brockport 
packs small fruits, tomatoes, string beans and apples ; while the plant 


at Middleport is devoted to peaches, pears, squash, etc. The company 
also cans Bahama pineapples, baked beans, jams, jellies, preserves and 
crushed fruits, fruit syrups and juices for soda-fountains. Chicken and 
turkey are also canned in large quantities. The industry naturally is 
closely identified with the prosperity of the rural sections of Genesee 
county and Western New York. 

The Genesee County Bank, of Batavia, was organized April 4, 1879, 
as the Genesee County National Bank, with a capital stock of fifty 
thousand dollars, and the following officers : President, Solomon Masse, 
vice-president. Dean Richmond, jr.; cashier, William F. Merriman; 
directors, Solomon Masse, Dean Richmond, jr., Dr. H. S. Hutchins, 
Charles R. Gould, Henry Craft, William C. Watson, William F. Merri- 
man, J. C. Guiteau, Edwin Darrow, H. A. Huntington, and F. C. 
Lathrop. December 31, 1884, the bank surrendred its charter to the 
federal government and was reorganized as a State bank. At its an- 
nual meeting January 14, 1890, the bank voted to go into voluntary 
liquidation, and is still engaged in closing up its business. The officers 
of the bank have been : 

Presidents. — Solomon Masse, April 4, 1879, to July 14, 1885; Royal 
T. Howard, July 14, 1885, to September 10, 1894; H. A. Huntington, 
September 10, 1894, to date. 

Vice-Presidents. — Dean Richmond, jr., April 4, 1879, to January 12, 
1882; Dr. H. S. Hutchins, January 12, 1882, to January 9, 1883; Will- 
iam C. Watson, January 9, 1883, to date. 

Cashiers. — William F. Merriman, April 4, 1879, to June 2, 1880; 
Charles R. Gould, June 22, 1880, to August 28, 1882; Jerome L. Bige- 
low, August 28, 1882, to January 18, 1884; Jphn W. Smith, January 
18, 1884, to date. 

An institution which has proven a great boon to a large number of 
inhabitants of Batavia is the Genesee County Permanent Loan and 
Building Association, which was organized April 15, 1879. Organiza- 
tion was perfected by the election of the following officers: 

President, Wilber Smith; vice-president, Charles H. Howard; secre- 
tary, Frederick M. Sheffield ; treasurer, Frank S. Wood ; attorney, Saf- 
ford E. North; directors — three years, Royal T. Howard, Charles H. 
Howard, Dr. Horace S. Hutchins; two years, George Wiard, Wilber 
Smith, Lucien R. Bailey; one year, Theron F. Woodward, James R. 
Mitchell, Charles Houghton. 

The capital of the association consists of shares of one hundred and 


twenty-five dollars each, payable in weekly installments of twenty-five 
cents for each share. The charter provides that the number of shares 
outstanding at any one time shall not exceed five thousand. 

Wilber Smith was succeeded as president in 1881 by George Wiard, 
who has served continuously in that office since that time. Hon. Saf- 
ford E. North has served as attorney for the association continuously 
since its organization. The officers of the association in 1897 were: 
President, George Wiard: vice-president, M. B. Adams; secretary, W. 
G. Pollard; treasurer, J. W. Pratt; attorney, Safford E. North; direc- 
tors, George Wiard, M. B. Adams, J. W. Pratt, Safford E. North, W. 
W. Lewis, G. S. Griswold, John P. Casey, F. W. Board and George J. 

On the 4th day of August, 1880, General Garfield, then the Republi- 
can nominee for the presidency, passed through Batavia. Although at 
a very early hour in the morning General Garfield was dressed and ap- 
peared at the rear platform of the car where he spoke a few words to 
the large crowd which had assembled. He introduced Gen. Benjamin 
Harrison who spoke about three minutes, when the train' moved away. 
Batavia thus had the unusual distinction of having within its borders at 
the same time two men destined to become president. 

The only time Grover Cleveland ever appeared in public at Batavia 
was during the famous grape sugar trial in 1880. He was one of the 
attorneys for the plantiff. Hon. Loran L. Lewis of Buffalo, who has 
since won distinction as a justice of the Supreme Court, was the lead- 
ing counsel for the plaintiff. He examined most of the witnesses, 
opened the case to the jury and summed it up with the masterly skill 
for which he is justly famed. Associated with him were Mr. Cleveland 
and Addison G. Rice of the Buffalo bar and Hon. George Bowen of Ba- 
tavia. The defendants were represented by Sherman S. Rogers and 
Franklin D. Locke of Buffalo and William G. Watson of Batavia. The 
title of the case was John L. Alberger against the Buffalo Grape Sugar 
Company, Cicero J. Hamlin and William Hamlin. Hon. Albert 
Haight presided. The trial began November 30 and on the 10th of 
December the jury rendered a verdict for the plaintiff for $247,135; 
this was by all odds the largest verdict ever rendered in Genesee 
county and one of the largest verdicts ever rendered by a jury in this 
State. No appeal was ever taken and the judgment was promptly paid 
with costs. 

This case, in some respects the most remarkable ever tried in Gene- 


see county, originated in Erie county, the venue being laid there. A 
trial at Buffalo resulted in a disagreement of the jury; the place of trial 
was removed to Genesee county on the ground that the case had at- 
tracted so much attention in Erie <5ounty that an impartial jury could 
not be obtained. A struck jury was ordered, the only one ever drawn 
in Genesee county. Forty-eight prominent citizens Were selected by 
the county clerk as provided by law, and from this number eleven ju- 
rors were obtained, the panel was then exhausted and William Carpen- 
ter, who happened to be sitting in the court room, was drawn as a 
talesman. The jurors were as follows: Perry Randall, foreman; El- 
bert Townsend, Miles B. Adams, Henry P. Ellenwood, Edward A. 
Brown, Sherman Reed, Joseph F. Stutterd, Robert S. Fargo, David 
C. Holmes, Richard Pearson, Ancil D. Mills and William Carpenter. 

Mr. Cleveland's firm were not the attorneys of record in the case. 
He acted as advisory counsel throughout the trial and conducted the 
direct examination of Williams, the plaintiff's principal witness, and 
who was understood to be the real party in interest. 

The E. N. Rowell Company, manufacturers of paper boxes at Bata- 
via, was originally instituted in 1881. It is an offshoot of one estab- 
lished before 1860 at Utica, N. Y., by Dr. A. S. Palmer, who made his 
own pill boxes with implements of his own. invention. After Dr. 
Palmer's death the business was carried on by his children until 1881, 
when it was removed to Batavia. The business increased rapidly, and 
in 1890 a stock company was incorporated by Edward N. Rowell, the 
former sole owner of the business, Edward G. Buell and William W. 
Dorman. The factory is located in a three-story brick building located 
on Ellicott street, at its junction with Main, where about one hundred 
and twenty-five persons are employed. The present officers of the 
company are : President and treasurer, Edward N. Rowell ; vice-presi- 
dent, Edward G. Buell; secretary, C. H. Ruprecht. 

The Batavia Club was founded July 28, 1882, with nine directors, as 
follows: Lucien R. Bailey, Daniel W. Tomlinson, John HoUey Bradish, 
Arthur E. Clark, Frank S. Wood, Augustus N. Cowdin, John H. Ward, 
A. T. Miller and W. L. Otis. Daniel W. Tomlinson was elected the 
first president, J. H. Bradish vice-president, A. T. Miller secretary, 
Frank S. Wood treasurer, and Lucien R. Bailey, W. L. Otis and Arthur 
E. Clark house committee. January 4, 1883, the club took possession 
of its first quarters, located on East Main street near Dellinger's opera 
house. This building was destroyed by fire February 16, 1886, and 


April 17 following the club removed to the building it now occupies, 
on the northeast corner of East Main and Bank streets, formerly occu- 
pied by the Bank of Genesee. The club was incorporated April 7, 
1888, and soon afterward purchased the building it occupies. 

The Batavia Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1883 to 
manufacture the Post sewing machines, by Lucien R. Bailey, H. I. 
Glowacki, Columbus Buell, C. J. Ferrin, jr., and C. H. Howard. The 
Batavia Sewing Machine Company was organized in 1884 to succeed 
the first-named company. No machines were ever manufactured and 
the company soon ceased to exist. 

Upton Post No. 299, Grand Army of the Republic, so named in 
honor of General Emory Upton, was organized October 25, 1882, under 
general orders from department headquarters, dated October 14, 1882. 
The officers who instituted the post were as follows: H. S. Stanbach, 
Post 9, commander; L. S. Oatman, Post 9, senior vice-commander; 
C. S. King, Post 219, junior vice-commander; A. G. Rykert, Post 219, 
adjutant; L. F. Allen, Post 219, quartermaster; A. J. Lorish, Post 219, 
chaplain; Jacob U. Creque, Post 226, officer of the day; G. S. Farwell, 
Post 220, officer of the guard; E. N. Havens, Post 9, inside sentinel; 
E. A. Halcomb, Post 219, sergeant major; Julius Baker, Post 219, 
quartermaster sergeant. The charter members of the post were as 
follows : 

W. J. Reedy, W. H. Raymond, George Thayer, John O. Griffis, O. C. Parker, 
Morris McMuUen, C. R. Nichols, Peter Thomas, L. L. Crosby, Russell Crosby, Tim- 
othy Lynch, Lucius R. Bailey, Henry C. Fish, Charles A. Sloan, Irving D. South- 
worth, William Radley, B. M. Chesley, George W. Mather, George H. Wheeler, 
Daniel W. Griffis, William H. Hunn, Edward F. Moulton, Peter Walker, James F. 
Bennett, Oscar D. Hammond, Charles Lilly, John K. Giddings, James Conway, 
Frank Fanning, William Squires. 

The post had for its first corps of officers the following comrades: 

Commander, W. J. Reedy; senior vice-commander, W. H. Raymond; junior vice- 
commander, George Thayer; quartermaster, John O. Griffis; officer of the day, O. 
C. Parker; officer of the guard, Morris McMullin; chaplain, C. R. Nichols; adjutant, 
Peter Thomas; sergeant major, L. L. Crosby; quartermaster .sergeant, Russell 
Crosby. At the first meeting of the post the following comrades were mustered in 
as members of the post: Edson J. Winslow, Edwin J. Fox, Edward C. Peck, George 
McGregor, Charles McGregor, Burr Kenyon, William Gay, Fred. Kelpenberg. 

Following is a complete list of the commanders and adjutants of 
Upton Post from the date of its organization to the present time : 

Commanders.— 1883-1885, William J. Reedy; 1886, Timothy Lynch; 1887, W. J. 



Reedy; 1888, Whiting C. Woolsey; 1889, Edward A. Perrin ; 1890, John Thomas; 
1891, Frank M. Jameson; 1892-1893. John Thomas; 1894, D. W. Griffis; 1895-1896, 
George W. Stanley; 1897, George H. Wheeler; 1898, Addison G. Negus. 

Adjutants.— 1883-1885, Peter Thomas; 1886-1888, L. L. Crosby; 1889-1894, Anson 
M. Weed ; 1895-1897, Addison G. Negus. 

The names of the members of the post at the present date, with their 
residences and the names of the commands with which they served 
during the Civil war, are : 

Ahl, Henry.. Batavia 

Austin, N. J __Albion 

Barton, Isaac R __ Batavia 

Buell, Melvin _ Batavia.. 

Bo we, E. A Batavia 

Burns, James M Batavia. 

Birmingham, M Batavia 

Bloss, E. L Batavia 

Burroughs, Wm. A Pembrolce 

Braley, Wm Elba 

Conrad, Jacob Alexander 

.Co. D, 15th H.A. 
.Co. D, 9th Cav. 
.Co. F, 42d Ohio Vol. 
.Bat. L, IstN. Y. 
.3d 76th N. Y. Vol. 
.Co. C, 4th H.A. 
.Co. G, 139th N. Y. Vol. 
.Co. H, 85th N. Y. Vol. 
.Co. G. 8th N. Y. H. A. 
.Co. I, 81st N. Y. Vol. 
.Co. G, 160th N. Y. Vol. 

Colville, W. L.. Batavia.. 

Crosby, L. L Batavia . . 

Crosby, R Elba 

Conway, James Batavia . . 

Co. L, 2dN. Y. Cav. 

U. S. Signal Corps. 

Co. H, 129th N. Y. Vol. 

Co. K, 12th N. Y. Vol. and Co. 

L, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Colt, J. B .Batavia Co. A, 9th N. Y. Cav. 

Collins, John Batavia Co. M, 8th N..Y. H. A. 

Capel, Robert Elba Co. D, 49th N. Y. Vol. 

Clark, Livingston Batavia Co. I, 12th N. Y. Vol. 

Collins, Albert G ^ Batavia Co. I, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Cooper, James A Batavia Co. F, 110th N. Y. Vol. 

Crocker, George .Bethany Co. L, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Churchill, R. E Batavia Co. K, 10th N. Y. Vol. 

Dolbeer, Charles Batavia 24th N. Y. Battery. 

Dewey, C. E Batavia Co. A, 90th N. Y. Vol. 

Durfey, Charles Batavia Co. G, 184th N. Y. Vol. 

Duffy, John Batavia Co. C, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Edwards, C. D Batavia Co. A, 140th N. Y. Vol. 

Elliott, Edwin R. East Pembroke Co. E, 140th N. Y. Vol. 

Follett, E Batavia 

Foster, J. P Rochester 

Foley, Tim Batavia 

Ford, George Batavia , 

Farnsworth, S. W. Oakfield. 

Griffi.s, J. O.. Batavia 

Griffis, D. W : Batavia. 

Co. K, 12th N. Y. Vol. 

Co. A, 9th H. A. 

Co. A, 11th N. Y. Vol. 

Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Co B, 1st N. Y. Dragoons. 

22d N. Y. Battery and 2d N.Y. 

Co. C, 151st N. Y. Vol. 



Giddings, John K Batavia Co. C, 44th N.Y.Vol. 

Gardiner, J. A Batavia Co. F, W. Va. Vol. 

Gardiner, W. C Batavia Co. D, 26th N. Y. Vol. 

Greene, J. O Alexander Co. A, 3d N. Y. Cav. 

Gibhart, C Elba Co. I, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Hunn, William H Elba ...Co. I, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Holloran, M _ Batavia Co. I, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Hammond, O. D Batavia Co. G, 160th N. Y. Vol. 

Hoyt, J. H ...Elba Co. I, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Hayes, M Batavia Co. C, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Hundredmark, G. F ..Oakfield Co. A, 105th N. Y. Vol. 

Hough, C.W ..Batavia.. Co. E, 138th N. Y. Vol. 

Jones, D. M Batavia Co. M, 8th H. A. 

Jameson, F. M _ Batavia Co. G, 140th N. Y. Vol. 

Kelley, John Batavia ...Co. H, 34th N. Y. Vol. 

Kelley, Seneca Auburn Co. A, 89th N. Y. Vol. 

Kendall, W. C. _ Batavia Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Kenyon, E Batavia.. Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Kinell, Charles _ Batavia 114th N. Y. Vol. 

Lynch, T Batavia Co. E., 100th N.Y.Vol. 

Lock, W. G Batavia 14th N. Y. Vol. 

Lesler, Peter Pembroke 25th N. Y. Ind. Batt. 

Lefler, G. W __- Batavia Co. G, 50th N. Y. Vol. Eng. 

Lincoln, F. M Batavia Co. K, 12th N. Y. Vol. 

Moulton, A. H _ Alexander 32d Ind. Batt. 

Muntz, John Batavia Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Moulton, E. F ._ Batavia U. S. Signal Corps. 

McPhail, John Batavia Co. B, 100th N. Y. Vol. 

Mahoney, Cain .Batavia Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Myers, John Batavia Co. D, 49th N. Y. V. 

Negus, A. G Batavia Co. G, 9th Hawkins Zouaves. 

Nash, F.._ -. - Batavia Co. B, 93d N. Y. Vol. 

Odion, R. C. .Batavia Co. E, 105th N. Y. Vol. 

Osgood, A. W. Batavia .Co. G, 23d N. Y. Vol. 

Perrin, E. A Batavia Co. F, 4th N. Y. H. A. 

Power, E Batavia __ Seaman on " Juniata." 

Prescott, F _ Batavia __.Co. I, 8d R. Corps. 

Putnam, J. H .Batavia Co. A, 76th N. Y. Vol. 

Quance, Willard Batavia Co. F, 94th N. Y. Vol. 

Raymond, W. H Elba Co. H, 139th N. Y. Vol. 

Radley, William Batavia Co. I, 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Rolfe, Lucius .Batavia. Co. E, 105th N. Y. Vol. 

Robinson, W. N Batavia Co. A, 1st N. Y. Infantry. 

Reed, J. E... ..Batavia Co. B, 164th Ohio N. G. 

Robbins, F. J... ...Bethany 36th N. Y. Batt. 

Russell, C. M.. Batavia Co. H, 38th N. Y. Vol. 

Stanley, G. W Batavia Co. D, 3d N. Y. Cav. 


Stanley, L. B Batavia Co. I, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Southworth, L D Batavia _..35th N. Y. Ind. Batt. 

Squiers, W. Batavia 35tli N. Y. Ind. Batt. 

Scheer, George Batavia Co. B, 9th Ohio Vol. 

Sennate, R Batavia Co. G, 26th N. Y. Vol. 

Smith, J -_- Batavia Co. C, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Staveley, J. Batavia E. V. C. N. Y. 

Thayer, G. W _... Indian Falls Co. F, 38th N. Y. V. M. 2 M. R. 

Travis, L Batavia Co. D, 3d Mich. Inf. 

Taylor, Thomas Batavia Co. B, 10th N. Y. Cav. 

Toll, Simon J : Bethany Co. B, 1st Iowa Cav. 

Thomas, John Batavia Co. G. 8th N. Y. H. A. 

Thomas, Peter ..Batavia .- Co. E, 49th N. Y. Vol. 

Tarbox, H. F Batavia Co. C, 108th N. Y. Vol. 

Tripp, A. J Oakfield Co. E, 3d N. Y. H. A. 

Tournier, George M Batavia Co. G, 3d Light Art. 

Thomas, Edward A. Batavia Landsmsn, ship " Shenango. 

Welch, Pat Batavia Co. F, 108th N. Y. Inf. 

Welch, William Alexander Co. M, 9th H. Art. 

Wheeler, G. H Batavia K, 12th N. Y. V. & F, 5tK N. 

Y. V. C. 

Welker, Peter Elba Co. M, 8th N. Y. H. Art. 

Winslow, E Batavia Co. H, 129th N. Y. Vol. 

Woolsey, W. C Batavia .Co. I, 96th 111. Vol. 

Weed, A. M Batavia Co. L, 50 N. Y. Vol. Eng. 

Wright, C. M .Batavia Co. C, 8th N. Y. H. Art. 

Ward, E ...Bergen 22d N. Y. Ind. Batt. 

Whitney, C. M Ray, N. Y Co. G, 8th N. Y. H. Art. 

Wagner, F Batavia Co. C, 151st N. Y. Vol. 

Zurhorst, A. F Alabama Co. G, 31st N. Y. Cav. 

The Batavia Carriage- Wheel Company is the outgrowth of the in- 
dustry founded on a modest scale in 1883 by A. M. Colt, James R. 
Colt and Moses E. True, for the manufacture of clamps, saw handles 
and hardware specialties. In 1885 John M. Sweet became identified 
with the original firm, styled Colt Brothers & True, and the energies 
of these gentlemen were then directed more particularly to the man- 
ufacture of the celebrated Sweet carriage wheels. The works were 
then located on Exchange place. They were destroyed by fire in 1887, 
soon after which the present stock company was incorporated and a 
new plant built on Walnut street, adjoining the tracks of the New 
York Central and Hudson River Railroad. The buildings and ma- 
chinery cost upwards of forty thousand dollars. 

The trade of the Batavia Carriage Wheel Company has steadily de- 
veloped until to-day it extends throughout the entire United States and 


into many foreign lands. Its product includes carriage wheels of 
every description, its specialty in recent years being wheels with rub- 
ber tires. Besides these it manufactures Sweet's concealed band, the 
Kenney band, and the Sarven c& Warner patent and plain wood hub 
wheels. The concern has contributed very largely to the industrial 
development of Batavia. Its officers are : President, Frank Richard- 
son; vice-president, W. C. Gardiner; secretary, William W. Leaven- 
worth; treasurer, A. M. Colt; superintendent, John M. Sweet. 

The Johnston Harvester Company for seventeen years has been 
closely identified with the welfare and progress of the village of Ba- 
tavia. As the iron industry has made Pittsburg famous, as the collar 
industry has made Troy famous, as the knit goods industry has made 
Fall River and Cohoes famous, so has this great industry known as the 
Johnston Harvester Company made the name of Batavia famous 
throughout not only the United States but many foreign countries. 

This concern is not only the most important in Batavia, but it is one 
of the most noted of its kind in the world, and its establishment in 
Batavia has been instrumental, more than any other single agency, in 
directing attention to this thriving industrial centre. This mammoth 
concern had its inception in a small machinery manufacturing firm, 
originally instituted in Brockport, N. Y., by Fitch, Barry & Co., more 
than half a century ago. It was in this early factory, in 1847, that the 
McCormick reapers, now celebrated the world over, were constructed. 
In 1850 this firm became Ganson, Huntley & Co., and in 1853 Huntley, 
Bowman & Co. In 1868 Samuel Johnston, Byron E. Huntley and 
others entered into a co-partnership under the firm name of Joh. a, 
Huntley & Co., for the purpose of continuing and enlarging the busi- 
ness being carried on at Brockport. Mr. Huntley was the principal 
member of the firm, which at first devoted its energies principally to 
the manufacture of the "Johnston Sweepstakes." In 1871 the com- 
pany was incorporated under its present style, with Mr. Johnston as 
president and Mr. Huntley as secretary and treasurer. A few years 
later the manufacture of the old machine was abandoned and the con- 
struction of the now celebrated Johnston harvester was begun. In 
1874 Mr. Johnston withdrew from the corporation and left Mr. Hunt- 
ley still at its head, though the name of the company remained un- 

In June, 1883, while the company was enjoying a prosperous and 
rapidly increasing business, the works at Brockport were destroyed by 


fire. When the company began to consider the question of rebuilding, 
it was decided to locate the new plant in a place offering better trans- 
portation facilities than those which had been enjoyed at Brockport, 
and Batavia was selected as the site for the greatly enlarged and im- 
proved manufactory which it was determined to build. Accordingly 
the present mammoth plant, which has been enlarged and improved 
from time to time, was constructed and occupied, and within an incon- 
ceivably short time after the burning of the plant at Brockport, oper- 
ations in the present magnificent lot of factories were resumed, with 
an increased number of employes and new and improved machinery. 
Commodious as the present buildings are, they have proved entirely in- 
adequate to meet the requirements of the constantly increasing busi- 
ness of the company, and extensive additions to the plant have recently 
been made. 

The works of the Johnston Harvester Company occupy a tract of 
about seventeen acres of land principally between and south of the lines 
of the New York Centtal and Hudson River and the Erie railroads, 
each building being especially designed and adapted for its particular 
part of the work. Probably no other plant in America is arranged in 
a more systematic and orderly manner or more independent of outside 
assistance. Side tracks connect the works with the railways running 
through the village. Over six hundred persons, a large proportion of 
whom are skilled workmen, are regularly employed. The output of 
the company's plant consists exclusively of harvesting machinery, disk 
implements, and sugar beet cultivating and harvesting machinery. 
The principal machines manufactured are mowers, binders, reapers, 
rakes, headers, disk harrows, disk cultivators, corn harvesters, beet 
cultivators, and beet harvesters, and toppers. The company has dis- 
tributing warehouses for its products at twenty of the leading com- 
mercial centres of the United States, and sales agencies at all points 
throughout the agricultural sections of the country, with a European 
office at Paris, France. The officers of the company are : President, 
Byron E. Huntley; vice-president and treasurer, E. W. Atwater: sec- 
retary, L. D. Collins; superintendent, G. A. Farrall. E. J. Mockford, 
who had been vice-president, retired from the company December 1, 

The Richmond Memorial Library was erected in 1887 by Mrs. Mary 
E. Richmond, widow of Dean Richmond, as a memorial to her son. 
Dean Richmond, jr., who died in 1885. The building, a handsome 


fireproof structure, is located on the west side of Ross street, nearly 
opposite the high school. Its front is of light gray Fredonia sandstone 
and red Albion stone, a combination as picturesque and suitable as any 
that could possibly be planned. The style of architecture is Romanesque. 
The building cost about thirty-five thousand dollars. It was completed 
and presented to the village March 13, 1889. It has a capacity of 40,- 
000 volumes, though the number of volumes on the shelves now is be- 
tween 11,000 and 12,000 only. 

The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in the spring of 
1889 with these officers: President, Levant C. Mclntyre; vice president, 
Safford E. North; general secretary, C. H. Harrington; recording 
secretary, A. H. Thomas; treasurer, John M. McKenzie. For some 
time the rooms were located on the corner of Main and Jackson streets, 
but the association now has quarters in the old Alva Smith residence 
at the head of Park avenue which for many years was used for a ladies' 

The Western hotel, owned by Andrew J. 'Wells, was destroyed by 
fire September 13, 1889. A hotel on this site, then conducted by a 
man named Hensinger, was burned in 1850. The latter was the orig- 
inal hotel erected on the site of the old Western hotel, and was a land- 
mark in the first half of the century. 

The Baker Gun and Forging Company, celebrated as the manufac- 
turers of the Baker hammerless shot guns, is the successor to the Syra- 
cuse Forging and Gun Company, which removed its plant from Syra- 
cuse to Batavia in the spring of 1889. The enterprise was originally 
founded in Syracuse in 1886, but the company was reorganized and re- 
named upon the removal of the establishment to Batavia. Oddly 
enough, it began business by manufacturing an improved fifth wheel 
for wagons, finally adding the manufacture of the new Baker gun, the 
invention of W. H. Baker, for several years the general superintendent 
of the company. The market for this gun extends throughout every 
State in the Union, from five to six thousand being sold annually. 
Besides the Baker hammerless, popular grades include the Batavia 
hammerless, the Paragon hammerless and the Baker 1897 model, a 
hammer gun for nitro powder. The manufacturing plant includes 
a two-story main factory and foundry, in which about two hundred 
skilled workmen are employed. The company's officers are: President 
and treasurer, William T. Mylcrane; vice-president, C. W. Hough; 
secretary, E. W. Atwater. 


Hotel Richmond occupies a site that for just three-quarters of a 
century has been occupied by hotel buildings. On that lot the first of 
the famous old Eagle taverns stood. This was a spacious three- story 
brick structure built by Horace Gibbs for Bissell Humphrey and first 
opened to the public on February 1, 1823. It was destroyed by fire 
May 30, 1834. In this tavern Batavia Lodge No. 433, F. & A. M., 
held many of its meetings. The second Eagle tavern was erected by 
a stock company at an expense of about fifteen thousand dollars. Its 
doors were opened December 35, 1835, under the management of Eras- 
tus Smith. In 1869 Albert G. Collins, Andrew J. Andrews and James 
H. White purchased the Eagle hotel property, which was renamed 
Hotel Richmond by Mr. Collins; but numerous residents of Batavia 
protested over the name, believing that it had too strong political sig- 
nificance for those days, and Mr. Collins and his partners were pre- 
vailed upon to change the name, and the satne was changed to that of 
St. James Hotel. Collins & Andrews were proprietors until 1884, 
when Mr. Collins purchased the interest of his partner. In the latter 
year the hotel was remodeled into an arcade with four stories. In that 
year Mr. Collins rented the property to Capt. Orrin C. Parker, who 
conducted it until January 8, 1886, when it was destroyed by fire. The 
present Hotel Richmond, which is said by many travelers to be one of 
the finest hostelries of its class in the country, was erected in 1889 by a 
stock concern known as the Batavia Hotel Company. June 32, 1889, 
the company, in which Mrs. Mary E. Richmond, widow of Dean Rich- 
mond, was a heavy stockholder, executed a ten-year mortgage for 
forty thousand dollars to her. In January, 1896, in defaulc of payment 
of interest, an action of foreclosure was begun by the executors of the 
Richmond estate against the hotel company, and March 9, 1896, the 
property was purchased by the executors of that estate for $43,649.82. 
The hotel has been under the management of Benjamin R. Wood since 
June, 1891. 

The Batavia roller mills, on Evans street, were established in 1884 
by N. D. Nobles, the present proprietor. 

The Ellicott street roller mills were erected by Frank G. Moulton in 

The Consumers' Electric Light and Power Company was organized 
and incorporated in 1889 with a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars 
and these officers: President, Henry Craft; secretary, C. H. Caldwell; 
treasurer, R. L. Kinsey. February 13, 1890, the plant of the Batavia 


Gas Light Company was sold to those interested in the Consumers' 
Electric Light and Power Company. The two companies soon after 
were consolidated under the name of the Batavia Gas and Electric Com- 

The Batavia and New York Wood Working Company was incorpo- 
rated in July, 1892, soon after which it purchased the entire plant, 
business and good will of the New York Lumber and Wood Working 
Company, a concern which had been established about six years. The 
company's main building, exclusive of boiler and engine rooms, is sixty 
by three hundred feet, and three stories in height. The concern 
makes no stock article of any kind, working only to designs and on 
contract. The products comprise doors, sash, blinds, mouldings, in- 
terior hardwood finish for buildings, wainscoting, stairs, office par- 
titions, bank interiors, and fine cabinet work of all kinds, made from 
architects' drawings and in special designs. Many of the finest com- 
mercial and office buildings, hotels, apartment houses and private res- 
idences in the great cities of the East have been supplied with interior 
woodwork by this establishment. It employs regularly about two 
hundred and fifty skilled workmen. The officers of the company are: 
President, J. N. Scatcherd; vice-president, C. H. Honeck; secretary 
and treasurer, A. D. Scatcherd. 

The predecessor of the Batavia and New York Wood Working Com- 
pany — the New York Lumber and Wood Working Company — sprang 
from the Batavia Manufacturing Company, incorporated in 1884 with a 
capital stock of two hundred thousand dollars. Soon after the firm 
was changed to the Batavia Sewing Machine Company, with a capital 
stock increased to three hundred thousand dollars, which contracted to 
manufacture the Post combination sewing machine. During the sum- 
mer of 1884 the company erected the building now occupied by the 
wood working company, near the eastern boundary line of the village, 
at a cost of about forty thousand dollars. The plans of the company 
could not be carried out, by reason of financial difficulties, and in 1885 
the building became the property of the New York Lumber and Wood 
Working Company, formerly the New York Wood Turning Company 
of New York city. The company, whose capital was one hundred 
thousand dollars, was composed of residents of New York city, with 
W. C. Andrews as president, and Charles H. Honeck as superinten- 
dent. In 1892 it sold its business to the Batavia and New York Wood 
Turning Company. 


June 26, 1893, the taxpayers of Batavia decided by vote to authorize 
the trustees of the village to expend twenty-three thousand dollars for 
an electric light plant. The trustees at once acted upon the authority 
thus conferred upon them, and the electric light plant began oper- 
ation July 13, 1894. The apparatus was furnished by the Fort Wayne 
(Ind. ) Electric Company, at an expense of twelve thousand five hun- 
dred dollars, the contract for the same having been awarded January 

25, 1894. 

April 25, 1893, a number of the business men of Batavia held a meet- 
ing and organized the Batavia Board of Trade. The first officers, 
elected on that date, were: President, Charles W. Hough; first vice- 
president, Augustus N. Cowdin; second vice-president, Ashton W. 
Ganey ; corresponding secretary, Edward Russell ; recording secretary, 
David D. Lent; treasurer, Joseph C. Barnes. 

During the gubernatorial campaign in the fall of 1894 William Mc- 
Kinley, then governor of Ohio, stopped in Batavia about nine o'clock 
on the morning of October 26, and made a speech of eight minutes from 
a platform erected for the purpose in the park at the northeast corner 
of the Surrogate's office. The distinguished orator was greeted by a 
vast audience of early risers from all parts of the county. He was in- 
troduced by Judge North as the next president of the United States, a 
prediction destined to be fulfilled. 

The Batavia Street Railroad Company was incorporated February 

26, 1895, to operate an electric street railroad from Batavia to Horse- 
shoe lake, a distance of seven and one half miles. The capital stock 
was fixed at seventy-five thousand dollars, and the company had these 
ori'ginal directors: Amos H. Stephens, A. B. Wilgus, J. H. Wilgus, J. 
S. Lindsay, C. C. Marsh, New York; H. R. Burdick, Maiden, Mass.; 
E. P. Wilgus, Mark Sugarman, Brooklyn; F. G. Fadner, Chicago. 
The road contemplated has never been constructed. 

Among the other local organizations are the following: Lodge No. 
197, LO.O.F., was instituted in August, 1868, by H. S. Andrews, D. 
G.M., with five charter members: Weeden T. Bliss, William Hoyt, Sim- 
eon Lothiem, Thomas Yates and B. P. Fonda. Majestic Lodge No. 
754, I.O.O.F., was instituted June 4, 1896, with Clayton W. Shedd as 
N.G. Richmond Encampment, No. 67, Patriarchs Militant, was insti- 
tuted August 21, 1872. Security Lodge No. 21, A. O. U. W., was 
chartered April 20, 1876, with C. F. Starks as CM. The Batavia 
Farmers' Club was organized in 1872 with P. P. Bradish as president, 



J. G. Fargo as secretary and Henry Ives as treasurer. The Philhar- 
monic Society was organized in 1883. Batavia Lodge No. 5, E. O. 
M. A., was instituted March 15, 1879, with thirty-three charter mem- 
bers. The Batavia Athletic Association was founded in 1887 with 
forty members and M. F. Cross as president. The Batavia Chess Club 
was organized in December, 1898, with Oliver A. Jones as president. 
The Batavia Business Men's Bowling Club was organized January 7, 
1896, with D. W. Tomlinson as president, E. J. Mockford as vice- 
president. Dr. Burkhart as secretary, and Orrin C. Steele as treasurer. 
The Batavia Gun Club was organized April 9, 1896, with George Lewis 
as president and field captain, W. E. Baker as secretary, and H. M. 
Johnson as treasurer. Upton Camp, S. of V., was organized with 
twenty-seven members May 24, 1897, with H. H. Scott captain, George 
A. Gardner first lieutenant and George B. Thomas second lieutenant. 

The shoe factory of P. W. Minor & Son was established in Batavia 
in 1896, and employs about one hundred hands. P. W. Minor already 
had been engaged in the manufacture of shoes for about forty years. 
The industry is a valuable addition to the industries of Batavia. 

Smith Brothers' Shoe Company is the most recent addition to the 
manufacturing industries in Batavia. This company, composed of 
Louis E. Smith and Anthony C. Smith, was established in 1897. The 
factory is located on Railroad avenue, employs from ten to eighteen 
hands, and manufactures ladies', misses' and children's shoes exclu- 

In the spring of 1849 the town of Batavia, at its annual town meet- 
ing, appointed William Seaver, Samupl Heston and Seth Wakeman a 
committee to ascertain and report at the next town meeting the matter 
of procuring a suitable site for a town hall, specifying in such report 
the place, the size of the building proposed and the cost thereof with 
the requisite furnishings. About this time the grand jury of Genesee 
county adopted this resolution : 

That it is advisable that the old courthouse should be either torn down or repaired, 
or that it should be disposed of in such manner as to insure its being kept in a decent 
state of repair. 

The town committee mentioned in the foregoing decided that the old 
court house could be repaired and converted into a town hall, and there- 
fore applied to the board of supervisors for its possession. November 
7, 1849, the county legislature adopted the following resolution : 

Whereas, The old court house owned by the county of Genesee, situated in the 


village of Batavia, is in a perishable and dilapidated condition, and of very little use 
to said county, and 

Whereas, It is represented that the same can be repaired and converted to a use- 
ful purpose, therefore be it 

Resolved by the board of supervisors of the county of Genesee that in conformity 
with an application presented to this board in behalf of the town of Batavia by a 
committee consisting of William Seaver, Samuel Heston and Seth Wakeman, the use 
and occupancy of said old court house, together with the ground upon which it stands, 
be granted to the said town of Batavia for the purpose of converting the said build- 
ing into a town house so long as the said building shall stand and be used for the pur- 
pose aforesaid, upon condition that the said building shall be thoroughly repaired, 
fitted up and appropriated to the uses and purposes set forth in the said application, 
to which this resolution is annexed. 

Resolved, further, in case the said building shall be so repaired, fitted up and 
appropriated by the town of Batavia and kept in good repair, that for the purpose of 
securing to the building of proper care and protection, and that it may be under the 
control and management of some legal authority, it shall be and remain in charge of 
such public ofBcer or officers as the electors of the town of Batavia may at their an- 
nual town meeting by resolution designate which officer or officers shall have the 
exclusive power to grant permission for its use and occupancy, except that it shall 
always be free for holding of town meetings and election meetings of the Genesee 
County Agricultural Society, and meetings for educational purposes, and except that 
the board of supervisors may at any meeting of said board have the use of said 
building or such part thereof as may be desired, and further if at any time the said 
building shall be needed for the purpose of holding any of the Supreme, Circuit and 
County Courts therein, then that it may be used for such purposes. 

Resolved, That the foregoing application, preamble and resolution, be entered in 
the minutes and proceedings of this board. 

The town committee reported at the next ensuing town meeting rec- 
ommending the acceptance of the proposition of the board of super- 
visors, and the town of Batavia, by resolution, accepted the report and 
offer on the part of the county authorities. Thus the old court house, 
the oldest building now standing west of the Genesee river, became the 
property of the town of Batavia, with certain conditions and limitations 
attached to the proprietorship. 

Instead of repairing the building, the town board of Batavia, at that 
time consisting of John B. Pike, supervisor; Isaac M. Joslyn, town 
clerk; Augustus Cowdin, Nathaniel Read, M. W. Hewitt and Richard 
Smith, justices of the peace, entered into a contract with Levi Otis, 
Benjamin Pringle, Rufus Robertson and William L. Mallory, whereby 
the building became the property of these men, they agreeing to make 
these repairs: Raising the building from its foundation, fitting up the 
basement for the use and occupancy of the Batavia Village Fire Depart- 


ment; fitting up the first story into offices; converting the second and 
third stories into one story arid one large room, for use as a town hall ; 
erecting stairways in each of the two semi-octagons, thereby making it 
conveniently accessible ; providing a new roof, new flooring, new win- 
dows and doors, plastering, painting and papering — in short making all 
the alterations and repairs essential to a first class public building. The 
town agreed to pay these four men for such work the sum of one 
thousand dollars, the latter to be entitled to all the rents and profits 
thereof. The town board reserved the use of the building, subject to 
the rights of the county therein, as contemplated by the resolution of 
the board of supervisors giving the structure to the town. 

The building was accordingly repaired and named Ellicott hall, in 
memory of Joseph Ellicott, its founder, and used as a town hall up to 

Since the transfer of the building to private ownership the title has 
undergone several changes. In 1853 William L. Mallory sold his one- 
fourth interest therein to the remaining three partners. In 1868 the 
interest of Rufus Robertson was sold to Horace M. Warren. In the 
same year the one-third interest of Benjamin Pringle was sold to Mr. 
Warren and Levi Otis, leaving the title to the property in the hands of 
the two latter men. In 1870 the board of supervisors deeded to Messrs. 
Otis and Warren a strip of land sixty-six feet to the north of the build- 
ing towards Main street and the full width of the building, for the pur- 
pose of enlarging it and copverting it into an opera house ; but the 
repairs were never made. In 1871 Levi Otis sold his half interest in 
the property to H, M. Warren, who thereby became sole owner. After 
Mr. Warren's death it became the property of his two daughters, Mrs. 
F\,M^ Jameson and Mrs. W. W. Whitcomb. In 1893 Mrs. Whitcomb 
sold her half interest to Mrs. Jameson. 

In the winter of 1897-98 the town board conceived the idea of again 
purchasing the property, the main thought being to preserve it as a 
historic relic. The board therefore appointed John Thomas, supervisor 
of Batavia, a committee to consult Mrs. Jameson for the purpose of as- 
certaining if it could be purchased, and if so, at what price. The terms 
proposed being considered satisfactory, the town board prepared a res- 
olution directing the purchase, which it submitted to the voters of the 
town at the annual town election in the spring of 1898. The resolution 
was adopted by a large majority and the purchase was consummated. 
Soon after, the work of repairing the structure was begun, the original 


colonial style being preserved. The building to-day is considered the 
staunchest in Genesee county. While the repairs were in progress 
Upton Post No. 399, Grand Army of the Republic, made application 
to the town board for the fitting tip of one of the rooms in the building 
for their occupancy ; and the laws of the State permitting this to be 
done, the application was granted by a unanimous vote, and the Grand 
Army post and the local camp of the Sons of Veterans, raised the Stars 
and Stripes over the building, the first flag being donated by Gen. 
George W. Stanley, a member of Upton Post, G. A. R. 

The dedication of this historic building took place on the evening of 
Wednesday, October 26, 1898, Harry Burrows acting as master of cere- 
monies. The Rev. A. M. Sherman opened the ceremonies with a brief 
prayer. This was followed by the singing of "The Star Spangled 
Banner " by the Alert quartette, composed of the Messrs. Telfair, C. 
W. Hutchinson and Frank C. Fix, with Miss Stanley as accompanist. 
John Thomas, supervisor of the town of Batavia, read an interesting 
historical record of Ellicott Hall, prepared by him for the occasion.' 
W. L. Colville, on behalf of Upton Post, thanked the town for giving the 
post new quarters in the building. He was followed by the Hon. Saff ord 
E. North, judge of Genesee county, who delivered the dedicatory ad- 
dress. The singing of "America" by the Alert quartette and the 
benediction by the Rev. A. M. Sherman concluded the exercises. 

In the course of his address Judge North spoke as follows: 

Ninety-six years ago, the thrift and energy of the men, -who, with their strong 
arms and bright axes, blazed a way through the primeval forests, led them to erect 
here, at this junction of two Indian trails, the building which, after the lapse of so 
many eventful years, we are rededicating to-night. With what ceremonies it may 
have been dedicated almost a century ago, or whether without ceremony, we know 
not. Of all those whose hands wrought this substantial structure — whose ponderous 
oaken timbers have withstood wind and rain these many years — not one is left to tell 
the story. It may well be guessed, although we do not know for certain, that not 
one even of the children of those who built so well yet survives to read in to-mor- 
row's paper the story of how, after all the chances and changes of the eventful years 
which lie between us and the time when this structure was erected, it was reserved 
for those who bear the honored title of Sons of Veterans once more to dedicate this 
structure, grown classic with historical associations. 

It was only a year ago that the matter was under serious consideration whether 
this building, grown somewhat unsightly from lack of repair, should not be demol- 
ished. But a few men of sound judgment — and foremost among these, I was glad 

' Many of the facts contained in the above history of this time honored building were gleaned 
from the address of Mr. Thomas. 


to note, was Supervisor John Thomas — said that it was too bad to tear down a struc- 
ture surrounded by so many time-honored memories, and which had been the first 
court house not only for Genesee county, but for all of what are now Erie, Wyoming, 
Niagara, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany, as well as a part of the 
present counties of Livingston and Monroe. 

And so it came about that the proposition was submitted to the voters of Batavia 
at the town meeting in March of this year (1898), and thanks to the good sense of 
our people, old Ellicott Hall with its interesting history and with its ninety-six years 
was elected, not to be torn down, but to receive a fresh coat of paint, to be strength- 
ened, renovated and repaired and to remain the common property of us all, to be- 
come the heritage of our children and our children's children. . . . 


In preceding pages of this chapter the details of the organization of 
the older churches in Batavia appear in chronological order. Follow- 
ing will be found concise historical sketches of the churches from the 
date of their organization to the present time. 

The First Presbyterian church of Batavia is the outgrowth of a Con- 
gregational society organized September 19, 1809, by the Rev. Royal 
Phelps, who had been sent to the Genesee country by the Hampshire 
Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Those who signed the member- 
ship roll upon the institution of the church were Silas Chapin, David 
Anderson, Ezekiel Fox, Solomon Kingsley, Mrs. Solomon Kingsley, 
Patience Kingsley, Eleanor Smith, Elizabeth Mathers, Mrs. Esther 
Kellogg, Elizabeth Peck, Huldah Wright and Mrs. Polly Branard. 
The ancient records show that during the same month in which the 
society was organized a sacramental service was held in Jesse Rum- 
sey's barn. In June, 1810, the Rev. Reuben Parmelee preached in 
Abel Wheeler's barn. Meetings were held after this at Phelps's inn, 
the 'Phelps school house, at Clark's settlement, and at the residences of 
Samuel Ranger and Ezekiel Fox. In 1813 regular services were in- 
augurated in the court house, now Ellicott hall, and continued there 
until 1824, when the first house of worship on Main street, opposite the 
court house, was erected. This was a frame building and cost about 
three thousand five hundred dollars. This was occupied by the society 
until 1856, when a handsome stone structure was erected on East Main 
street, corner of Liberty street. Sunday school rooms were added to 
this church in 1882, a new gallery was built in 1888, and in 1889 the 
interior of the church was renovated and redecorated, completely re- 
juvenating it. 


Up to October 2, 1818, when the church connected itself with the 
presbytery, the society was served by the Rev. Reuben Parmelee, the 
Rev. John Spencer, the Rev. John Alexander, and the Rev. Messrs. 
Ayres, Bliss, Swift, Hanning, Sweezy, Squires, Colton, Duvel, and 
Ephraim Chapin. In 1832 the church was incorporated under its pres- 
ent name. Since 1818 the church has had the following regular pas- 

1818-22, Rev. Ephraim Chapin; 1823-26, Rev. Calvin Colton; 1827- 
28, Rev. Charles Whitehead; 1829-31, Rev. Russell Whiting; 1837-39, 
Rev. Erastus J. Gillett; 1839-43, Rev. William H. Beecher; 1843-51, 
Rev. Byron Sunderland; 1852-55, Rev. William Lusk; 1855-58, Rev, 
Isaac O. Fillmore; 1861-69, Rev. Charles F. Mussey; 1871-74, Rev. 
Chester W. Hawley; 1875-77, Rev. Thomas B. McLeod; 1878-87, Rev. 
William Swan; 1887-91, Rev. Allan D. Draper; Rev. William J. Mc- 
Kittrick, 1891-94; Rev. Henry R. Fancher, March 4, 1895, to date. 

The details of the organization of the First Methodist Episcopal 
church of Batavia, December 15, 1819, appear in earlier pages in this 
chapter. The society was then a member of the "New Amsterdam 
Circuit and Genesee District," and for some time services had been 
held either in the court house or a frame school house located a short 
distance west of the old land office on West Main street. In 1820 and 
1821 the Rev. James Hall and the Rev. Zachariah Paddock were in 
charge of the circuit. James Gilmore and Jasper Bennett served in 
1821-1822, and John Arnold and Asa Orcutt in 1822-1823. May 16, 

1823, the work of raising money for a church edifice, by subscription, 
was begun. June 33 following the trustees of the society contracted 
with Thomas McCulley, Joseph Shaw and Seymour Ensign to build a 
stone church forty by forty-five feet in dimensions. This church, which 
cost about two thousand eight hundred dollars, was dedicated June 13, 

1824. It stood on the corner of Main and Lyon streets. In 1839 this 
building was sold to the First Freewill Baptist church of Batavia. Then 
for about two years the M. E. congregation worshipped in the Nixon 
building, subsequently a district school house, located east of St. James's 
church. A new house of worship on the east side of Jackson street, 
known as St. John's church, was erected in 1841 and dedicated Decem- 
ber 3 of that year; This was sold to William M. Terry in 1866, and 
burned July 15, 1888. After leaving the Jackson street church the 
congregation worshipped about a year in Concert hall, corner of Main 
and State streets. In 1868 anew brick house of worship, costing twenty 


thousand dollars, was erected on West Main street, during the pastorate 
of the Rev. Sandford Hunt, D. D. The corner stone was laid June 30, 
1868, by the Rev. E. E. Chambers, then presiding elder, and the build- 
ing was dedicated September 14, 1869. Those who have served the 
society as pastor, in addition to the early circuit preachers mentioned, 

1822-1841, Revs. John Arnold, Asa Orcutt, John Beggarly, Andrew Prindel, J. B. 
Roach, Benajah Williams, Jonathan Heustis, Asa Abell, John Cosart, Ira Bronson, 
Micah Seag'er, Glenzen Fillmore, Chester V. Adgate, S. W. D. Chase, Levi B. Cas- 
tle, John H. Wallace, Gideon Lanning, Richard L. Waite, John B. Alverson, Will- 
iam Fowler, G. B. Benedict, Daniel M. Murphy, Wesley Cochran, Darius Williams, 
D. Nutter; 1841-1870, Allen Steele, Philo E. Brown, Joseph Cross, John Parker, 
William R. Babcock, Daniel C. Houghton, Philo Woodworth. J. K. Cheeseman, 
William M. Ferguson, Charles Shelling, E. Everett Chambers, James M. Fuller, 
John B. Wentworth, De Forest Parsons, King David Nettleton, Joseph H. Knowles, 
George G. Lyon, Schuyler Seager, Charles R. Pomeroy, Sandford Hunt; 1870-1871, 
Sandford Hunt, D. D. ; 1871-1873, R. C. Brownlee; 1873-1876, James E. Bills; 1876- 
1878, A. D. Wilbor; 1878-1881, T. H. Youngman; 1881-1883, O. S. Chamberlain; 
1883-1885, John W. Sanborn; 1885-1888, C. W. Winchester; 1888-1891. S. W. Lloyd; 
Jan. 1, 1893, to Oct. 1, 1892, C, W. Gushing, D. D. (appointed as supply to fill un- 
expired year of S. W. Lloyd, who resigned Jan. 1, 1892, on account of illness) ; 1892- 
1893, A. F. Colburn, 1893-1898, Thomas Cardus; 1898, A. F. Colburn. 

The early history of St. James's Protestant Episcopal church has 
been given in detail in earlier pages in this chapter. The first house 
of worship, a brick structure, was consecrated by Bishop Hobart Sep- 
tember 23, 1826. The second church, which is still in use, was erected, 
of stone, in 1835 and 1836, and during these years the main part of the 
old rectory was also built. David E. Evans, then agent for the Hol- 
land Land Company, donated the lot on which the church stands, be- 
sides presenting to the society a chandelier and the sum of fifteen hun- 
dred dollars. Trinity church of New York also gave one thousand 
dollars toward defraying the building expenses. 

The Revs. Samuel Johnston and Lewis S. Ives conducted services 
from the organization of the parish until 1823. Since that year the 
rectors of St. James have been as follows: 

Rev. Lucius Smith, 1823:'33; Rev. James A. Bolles, D.D., 1833-54; Rev. Thomas 
A. Tyler, D.D., 1854r-63; Rev. Morelle Fowler, 1863-68; Rt. Rev. C. F. Robertson, 
bishop of Missouri, a few months during 1868 ; Rev. George F. Plummer, 1868-75 ; 
Rev. George S. Baker, 1875-77; Rev. H. L. Everest, 1878-83; Rev. William A. 
Hitchcock, D.D., 1883-^7; Rev. A. M. Sherman, 1887-98. 

The First Baptist church of Batavia was organized under the State 


laws at the court house November 9, 1835, as the " Baptist Society of 
Batavia Village." On that occasion Richard Coville, jr , John Dor- 
man, William Blossom, William D. Popple and Calvin Foster were 
elected trustees. March 17, 1836, a lot on the west side of Jackson 
street was purchased of William D. Popple for $400 and work upon a 
house of worship was begun soon after. About 1865 the church was 
remodeled at a cost of ten thousand dollars. In 1877 the society was 
reorganized and incorporated under its present name. December 3, 
1833, the board of trustees decided to purchase a site for a new edifice. 
A week later they purchased of Mrs. Mary L. Douglass, for four thou- 
sand five hundred dollars, the lot on East Main street on which the 
present handsome church stands. The corner stone of the new struc- 
ture was laid June 17, 1890, by the Rev. Cyrus A Johnson, then pastor 
of the society. The completed edifice, which cost about forty thousand 
dollars aside from the organ, which cost about five thousand dollars, 
was dedicated October 22, 1891, the dedicatory sermon being preached 
by the Rev. J. A. W. Stewart, D. D , of Rochester. During the ded- 
icatory services the sum of seven thousand dollars was contributed to 
liquidate the indebtedness incurred by the society in constructing its 
new home. The pastors of this church, with the date of the commence- 
ment of thfiir work, have been : 

1834, Ichabod Clark; 1837, William W. Smith; 1840, L. A. Esta; 1844, Gibbon Will- 
iams ; l645. S. M. Stimpson ; 1852, D. Harrington ; 1855, J. B. Vrooman ; 1859, L. J. 
Huntley; 1861, S. M. Stimpson; 1865, O. E. Mallory; 1875. D. D. Brown; 1877, Will- 
iam C. Leonard ; 1883, Cyrus A. Johnson ; 1898, John H. Mason. 

Though the Catholic congregation in Batavia was not placed under 
the care of a regular pastor until 1849, services had then been held in 
the village for several years. As early as 1840 the Rev. Father Gan- 
non began to make visits to the few Catholic families then residing 
here, and conducted services as frequently as his duties elsewhere per- 
mitted. At that time there probably were not more than a dozen or 
fifteen adherents of the Catholic faith in Batavia and its immediate 
vicinity. Father Gannon continued his ministrations for a period of 
about three years. Then, from 1843 to 1847, the Rev. Bernard 
O'Reilly, subsequently bishop of Hartford, Conn., and his brother, the 
Rev. William O'Reilly, both of whom were stationed at Rochester 
during those years, conducted services here alternately. Sometimes 
the small but increasing congregation would gather for worship at the 
home of Edward O'Connor, and sometimes at the residence of James 


Ronan. About 1845 the numerical increase of the congregation had 
became such that private residences were too small to accommodate 
them. Learning of this condition of affairs, Messrs. Otis and Worth- 
ington tendered the society, free of charge, the use of a large room on 
the second floor of the building occupied by Gad B. Worthington as a 
hardware store. 

In 1848 the Rev. Thomas McEvoy was appointed to succeed the 
Rev. Fathers O'Reilly in charge of the congregation, which a short 
time before had been established as a mission. He served in this 
capacity until April 4, 1849, when, an independent congregation hav- 
ing been formed, the Rev. Edward Dillon was appointed resident 
priest by the Rt. Rev. John Timon, the first bishop of the newly or- 
ganized diocese of Buffalo. On the following Sunday, April 8 — Easter 
Sunday — the new priest conducted services for a congregation of 
about seventy-five Catholics in the old brick school house located on 
the corner of Main and Eagle streets. Prior to this time the subject 
of a house of worship had been discussed by members of the steadily 
increasing congregation, and now, upon the permanent location of a 
resident pastor, the members of the society went to work to build up a 
fund to pay for the erection of a church. About a month after Father 
Dillon had been installed as pastor, Bishop Timon visited Batavia and 
lectured in a hall near the Eagle Tavern (now Hotel Richmond). In- 
terest in the project for a church edifice was at once greatly enhanced, 
and within a few days the congregation purchased of Benjamin Prin- 
gle, for twelve hundred dollars, a two-story stone dwelling on Jackson 
street, which had been erected for a private school. After the neces- 
sary alterations thereto had been made, regular services therein were 
inaugurated and continued there for several years. Upon the comple- 
tion of the new church this building was used for St. Joseph's parochial 

Father Dillon resigned his pastorate in November, 1850, and was 
succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald. The latter was succeeded 
September 5, 1852, by the Rev. Francis O'Farrell. December 10, 
1855, the latter was appointed vicar-general of the diocese of Buffalo, 
and rector of St. Joseph's cathedral in the city of Buffalo. The Rev. 
Peter Brown was appointed to succeed him. The latter resigned Sep- 
tember 28, 1856. The Rev. James McGlew, who followed him, was 
succeeded December 10, 1860, by the Rev. Thomas Cunningham, with 
the Rev. John Castaldi as his assistant. September 15, 1862, Father 


Cunningham purchased the lot on the northeast corner of East Main 
and Summit streets, from Lawrence Timmons, for two thousand five 
hundred dollars, and soon after began the erection thereon of the 
present handsome and commodious church, which was dedicated to the 
worship of God in 1864. This edifice, built of brick, cost about forty- 
five thousand dollars. A convent was also erected on Jackson street in 

Father Cunningham served as pastor of St. Joseph's for nearly thir- 
teen years, being succeeded by the Rev. P. A. Maloy August 23, 1873. 
After serving exactly one year Father Maloy retired, and was followed 
by the Rev. Martin McDonnell. At the time of the latter's resigna- 
tion in April, 1880, his charge numbered about two thousand two hun- 
dred persons, and a mission had been established art Attica. In January, 
1883, the Rev. James McManus became priest in charge of the con- 
gregation. His continued illness prevented him from the performance 
of his duties, and the Rev. Father Walsh, his assistant, conducted ser- 
vices and performed the other pastoral work. Father McManus died 
in Batavia, at the age of forty years. In February, 1883, the Rev. T. 
B. Brougham was appointed to take charge of the congregation, and 
still serves as pastor. During his first year in Batavia the old convent 
on Jackson street was sold and the present convent and parochial 
school on Summit street, north of and adjoining the church, were 
erected. The Convent of Mercy, a brick structure, is a convent for 
novices, who go there from all parts of this diocese. During the pas- 
torate of Father Brougham the parish of St. Joseph's has experienced 
great prosperity, both spiritual and temporal, and is recognized to-day 
as one of the strongest Catholic parishes in the diocese. Not only have 
the new convent and school been erected during his pastorate, but he 
acquired a large lot east of the church, as a site for a pastoral residence, 
erected in 1893. The church has also been renovated and repaired, 
making it one of the handsomest structures in the State. 

The Evangelical Association of Batavia was organized in 1863 by M. 
Pfitizinger and Adolph Miller. The Rev. Jacob Seigrist was the first 
pastor of the society. In the same year the first house of worship, a 
frame structure, was erected. The present church edifice, of brick, 
was constructed in 1871 at a cost of six thousand dollars. It is located 
on Centre street. The society is small numerically. 

St. Paul's German United Evangelical church was founded April 30, 
1873, by the organization of a society with these officers: President, 


John Friedley; treasurer, Martin Wolfley; secretary, Louis Uebele. 
The Rev. George Field was the first pastor, and the first house of wor- 
ship was located on Ellicott street. A new church, located on Liberty 
street, was erected in 1898, the dedication taking place during the pas- 
torate of the Rev. E. F. Holls December 4 of that year. 

The First Freewill Baptist church of Batavia was organized with about 
twenty-five members January 17, 1886. September 28, 1884, the Rev. 
J. H. Durkee opened a meeting in Odd Fellows hall, which was attended 
by several adherents of this denomination. The meetings thus inaug- 
urated were continued in Odd Fellows hall and in Lorish'shall until the 
organization of the society. The members of the organization council 
were the Revs. J. H. Durkee, L. P. Bickford, J. C. Steele, D. M. L. 
Rollin, and R. E. Nesbit. The church edifice on Bank street, a com- 
modious frame building, was completed early in the summer of 1887, 
and dedicated June 31 of that year. Its cost was about ten thousand 
dollars. Mr. Durkee remained as pastor until 1898, when he resigned. 
The society is now without a pastor. 

A chapel on Ellicott street in Batavia was opened by the newly 
formed Free Methodist society March 2, 1893. The first pastor of the 
society, who conducted services on that occasion, was the Rev. M. T. 



While the judicial system of the State of New York is to a large ex- 
tent founded upon the common law of England, there are important 
differences which are revealed by a study of the laws of our country, 
showing that the American system, in many respects, is an original 
growth. In the simple, yet initiative manner of entitling a criminal 
process, for example, there is a radical difference between the American 
method and that which must be followed in England. Here it is " the 
People versus the criminal," while in England it is " Rex versus the 
criminal." In the one it is a judiciary directly responsible to the peo- 
ple; in the other it is a judiciary responsible to a monarch. This prin- 
ciple of the sovereignty of the people over the laws, as well as their 
dominance in other governmental matters, has had a slow, conservative, 
yet steadily progressive and systematic growth. 

In the colonial history of this State the Governor was in effect the 
maker, interpreter and enforcer of the laws. He was the chief judge in 
the court of final resort, while his councillors generally were his obedi- 
ent followers. The execution of the English and colonial statutes rested 
with him, as did also the exercise of royal authority in the province. 
It was not until the Revolution that he ceased to contend for these pre- 
rogatives and to act as though the only functions of the court and coun- 
cillors were to do his bidding as servants and helpers, while the Leg- 
islature should adopt only such laws as the executive should suggest 
or approve. 

By the first constitution the Governor was deprived of the judicial 
power which he possessed under colonial rule, and such power was 
vested in the Lieutenant-Governor and the State Senate, the chancellor 
and the justices of the Supreme Court; the former to be elected by the 
people, and the latter to be appointed by the Council. Under this con- 
stitution there was the first radical separation of the judicial and the 
legislative powers, and the advancement of the judiciary to the position 
of a CO- ordinate department of the government, subject to the limitation 


consequent upon the appointment of its members by the Council. This 
court, called the " Court for the Trial of Impeachments and Correction 
of Errors," was continued by the second constitution, which was adopted 
in 1821. 

It was not until the adoption of the constitution of 1846 that the last 
connection between the purely political and the judicial parts of the 
State government was abolished. From this time on the judiciary be- 
came more directly representative of the people by reason of the elec- 
tion by them of its members. The development of the idea of the re- 
sponsibility of the courts to the people, from the time when all of the 
members were at the beck and nod of one well nigh irresponsible mas- 
ter, to the time when all judges, even of the court of last resort, are 
voted for by the people, has been very great. Through all this change 
there has prevailed the idea of having one ultimate tribunal from 
whose decisions there can be no appeal. 

Noting briefly the present arrangement and powers of the courts of 
this State and the elements from which they have grown, it is seen 
that the plan is, first, a trial before a judge and jury — arbiters of law 
and fact respectively; second, a review by a higher tribunal of the 
facts and the law; third, a review of the law alone by a court of last re- 
sort. To accomplish these purposes there was devised and established, 
first and highest, our present Court of Appeals, perfected by the con- 
ventions of 1867, 1868 and 1894, and ratified by vote of the people in 
1869 and 1894, and taking the place of the ancient "Court for the 
Trial of Impeachments and Correction of Errors " to the extent of cor- 
recting errors of law. 

As originally organized under the constitution of 1846, the Court of 
Appeals was composed of eight judges, four of whom were elected by 
the people and the remainder taken from the justices of the Supreme 
Court having the shortest remaining time to serve. As organized in 
1870, the court consisted of the chief judge and six associate judges, to 
hold office for a term of fourteen years from and including the first day 
of January succeeding their election. The court exists to-day as then 
organized. It is continually in session in the capitol at Albany, with 
an annual June session in the Town Hall at Saratoga Springs, except 
as it takes recess from time to time on its own motion. It has full 
power to correct or reverse the decisions of all inferior courts, when 
properly brought before it for review. Its decisions are final and abso- 
lute. Five judges constitute a quorum, and four must concur to ren- 


der judgment. If four do not agree, the case must be reargued ; but 
no more than two rehearings can be had, and if four judges do not then 
concur, the judgment of the court below stands affirmed. 

The State Legislature has provided by statute what, how and when 
proceedings and decisions of inferior tribunals may be reviewed in the 
Court of Appeals, and may, in its discretion, alter and amend the same. 
Upon the reorganization of this court in 1869 its work was far in 
arrears, and a Commission of Appeals to aid the Court of Appeals was 
provided for by the constitutional amendment adopted that year. In 
1888 the Legislature adopted a concurrent resolution that Section 6 of 
Article 6 of the constitution be so amended that upon the certificate of 
the Court of Appeals to the governor of such an accumulation of 
causes on the calendar of the Court of i^Ppeals that the public interest 
required a more speedy disposition thereof, the governor might desig- 
nate seven justices of the Supreme Court to act as associate justices of 
the Court of Appeals for the time being, these constituting a second 
division of that court, to be dissolved by the governor when the neces- 
sity for their services ceased to exist. This amendment was ratified at 
the succeeding State election, and in accordance therewith the gover- 
nor selected the seven Supreme Court justices, the new division was 
organized, and began its labors March 5, 1889. Its work having become 
completed this divisioil was dissolved in October, 1892. 

Second in rank to the Court of Appeals stands the Supreme Court, 
which is constituted of several different elements. This court was 
originally created by act of the Colonial Legislature May 6, 1691, and 
finally was fully established by ordinance of the Governor and Council 
May 15, 1699. It at first was empowered to try all issues to the same 
extent as the English Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Ex- 
chequer, except that it did not have equity powers. It had jurisdiction 
in actions involving the sum of one hundred dollars or more, and could 
revise and correct decisions of inferior courts. An appeal from its de- 
cisions could be taken to the Governor and Council. There originally 
were five judges, who made annual circuits of the counties, under a 
commission naming them, issued by the governor, and giving them 
nisi prius, oyer and terminer and jail delivery powers. Under the 
first constitution this court was reorganized, the judges being then 
named by the Council of Appointment. All proceedings were directed 
to be entitled in the name of the people, instead of in the name of the 


The constitution of 1821 made numerous and important changes in 
the character and methods of this court. The number of the judges 
was reduced to three, who were to be appointed by the Governor, sub- 
ject to confirmation by the Senate, to hold office during good behavior 
or until having attained the age of sixty years. They were removable 
by the Legislature when a majority of the Senate and two-thirds of the 
Assembly so voted. Four times every year this court sat in review of 
their decisions upon questions of law. 

By the constitution of 1846 the Supreme Court as it then existed was 
abolished and a new court of the same name, having general jurisdic- 
tion in law and equity, was established. This court was divided into 
General Terms, Circuits, Special Terms, and Courts of Oyer and Term- 
iner. It wa!s composed of thirty-three justices, to be elected by the 
people. The State was divided into eight judicial districts. In the 
first of these five of the judges were to reside, while each of the other 
seven districts furnished four judges. By the judiciary act of 1847, 
General Terms were to be held once in each year in counties possessing 
more than 40,000 inhabitants each, and in other counties as often as 
once in two years. At least two Special Terms and two Circuit Courts 
were to be held annuall}' in every county excepting Hamilton, the pop- 
ulation of which was, and still is, inconsiderable. The court was also 
authorized by this act to name the time and place of holding its terms 
and those of Oyer and Terminer. The latter was to be held by a jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court and two justices of sessions. From 1883 to 
to the adoption of the constitution of 1894 the Courts of Oyer and 
Terminer were held by a single justice of the Supreme Court. 

One of the old courts, the powers of which have been vested in the 
Supreme Court, was the Court of Chancery. This court was a relic of 
the old colonial period. It had its origin in the Court of Assizes, the 
latter being invested with equity powers under the duke's laws. The 
court was established in 1683. The Governor, or such person as he 
should designate, was chancellor, assisted by the Council. In 1698 this 
court ceased to exist by limitation ; but it was revived in 1701, again 
suspended in 1703, and re-established the following year. At first this 
court was unpopular in the Province of New York, the Assemby and 
the colonists opposing it with the argument that the crown had no 
authority to establish an equity court in the colony, and they were 
doubtful of the propriety of constituting the Governor and Council such 
a court. Under the constitution of 1777 the court was recognized as 


still in existence, but its chancellor was prohibited from holding any- 
other office except delegate to Congress on special occasions. In 1778 
the court was reorganized. Masters and examiners in chancery were 
to be appointed by the Council of Appointment; registers and clerks 
by the chancellor. The latter licensed all solicitors and counselors who 
practiced before the court. Under the constitution of 1821 the chan- 
cellor was appointed by the Governor, and held office during good be- 
havior, or until he had attained the age of sixty years. Appeals lay 
from the chancellor to the Court for the Correction of Errors Under 
the second constitution equity powers were vested in the circuit judges, 
whose decisions were permitted to be reviewed on appeal to the chan- 
cellor. Soon after this general equity jurisdiction devolved upon the 
chancellor, while the judges alluded to acted as vice-chancellors in their 
respective circuits. The constitution of 1846 abolished the Court of 
Chancery, and its powers, duties and jurisdiction were vested in the 
Supreme Court. 

By an act of the Legislature adopted in 1848, entitled "The Code of 
Procedure," all distinctions between actions at law and suits in equity 
were abolished, so far as the manner of commencing and conducting 
them was -concerned, and a uniform method of practice was adopted. 
Under this act appeals lay to the General Term of the Supreme Court 
from judgments rendered in Mayor's, Recorder's and County Courts, 
and from all orders and judgments of a court held by a single justice of 
the Supreme Court. 

The judiciary article of the constitution of 1846 was amended in 1869, 
authorizing the Legislature, not oftener than once every five years, to 
provide for the organization of General Terms consisting of a.presiding 
justice and not more than three associates; but by an act passed in 1870 
the existing organization of the General Term was abrogated and the 
State divided into four departments, and provision was made for hold- 
ing General Terms in each. By the same act the Governor was directed 
to designate from among the justices of the Supreme Court a presiding 
justice and two associates to constitute a General Term in each depart- 
ment. By the constitutional amendment of 1882, the following year 
the Legislature divided the State into five judicial departments and pro- 
vided for the election of twelve additional justices, to hold office from 
the first Monday in June, 1884. 

In June, 1887, the Legislature enacted the Code of Civil Procedure 
to take the place of the code of 1848. By this many minor changes 


were made, among them being a provision that every two years 
the justices of the General Terms and the chief judges of the Superior 
City Courts should meet and revise and establish general rules of prac- 
tice for all the courts of record in the State, excepting the Court of 

Previous to the constitution of 1821, modified in 1826, justices of the 
peace were appointed. Since that date they have been elected. The 
office and its duties are descended from the English office of the same 
name, but are much less important in this country than in England. 
Under the laws of this State they are purely the creature of the statute. 

Next in authority to the Supreme Court is the County Court, held in 
and for each county in the State, except New York county, at such 
times and places as its judges may designate. This court had its origin 
in the old English Court of Sessions and, like that court, originally had 
criminal jurisdiction only. By an act passed in 1663, a Court of Ses- 
sions, having power to try both civil and criminal causes by jury, was 
directed to be held by three justices of the peace in each of the coun- 
ties of the province, twice every year, with one additional term in Al- 
bany and two in New York. By the act of 1691 and the decree of 1699, 
all civil jurisdiction was taken from this court and conferred upon the 
Court of Common Pleas. By the radical changes of the constitution of 
1846, provision was made for a County Court in every county in the 
State, to be held by an officer to be designated as the county judge, and 
to have such jurisdiction as the Legislature might prescribe. Under 
the authority of that constitution the County Courts from time to time 
have been given jurisdiction in various classes of actions which need 
not be enumerated here, and also have been invested with certain 
equity powers in the foreclosure of mortgages, the sale of infants' real 
estate, the partitioning of lands, in the admeasurement of dower and 
care of persons and estates of lunatics and habitual drunkards. The 
judiciary act of 1869 continued the then existing jurisdiction of the 
County Courts, and conferred upon them original jurisdiction in all 
actions in which the defendants lived within the county, and where the 
damages claimed did not exceed one thousand dollars. This sum was 
afterward changed to two thousand dollars. 

Like the Supreme Court, the County Court now has its civil and 
its criminal sides. Until the adoption of the constitution of 1894, in 
criminal matters the county judge was assisted by two justices of ses- 
sions, elected by the people from among the justices of the peace in 


the county. It was in the criminal branch of this court, known as the 
Court of Sessions, that all minor criminal offenses were disposed of. 
All indictments from the grand iury, excepting for murder or some 
very serious felony, might be sent to it for trial from the Oyer and 
Terminer. By the codes of 1848 and 1877, the methods of procedure 
and practice were made to conform as nearly as possible to the practice 
in the Supreme Court. This was done with the evident design of at- 
tracting litigation into these courts, thereby relieving the Supreme 
Court in a measure. In this purpose comparative failure resulted, 
however, litigants generally preferring the shield and the assistance of 
the broader powers of the higher court. Under the codes the judges 
can perform some of the duties of a justice of the Supreme Court at 
Chambers. The County Court has appellate jurisdiction over actions 
arising in Justices' Courts and, until their abolishment. Courts of 
Special Sessions. Appeals lay from the County Courts to the General 
Term until the adoption of the constitution of 1894, since which ap- 
peals are taken to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. 
County judges were appointed until 1847, since which time they have 
been elected. By the constitution of 1894, which abolished Courts of 
Sessions except in the city of New York, the jurisdiction of the latter 
courts was transferred to the County Courts. 

Surrogates' Courts exist in each of the counties of the State, and are 
now courts of record having a seal. Their special jurisdiction is the 
settlement and care of estates of persons who have died either with or 
without a will, and of infants. The derivation of the powers and prac- 
tice of the Surrogate's Court in this State is from the Ecclesiastical 
Court of England through a part of the Colonial Council, which existed 
during the Dutch dominion in New Netherland. Its authority was ex- 
ercised in accordance with the Dutch Roman law, the custom of Am- 
sterdam and the law of Aasdom, the Court of Burgomasters and Schep- 
pens, the Court of Orphan Masters, the Mayor's Court, the Prerogative 
Court and the Court of Probates. The settlement of estates and the 
guardianship of orphans, which was at first vested in the director- 
general and Council of New Netherland, was transferred to the 
Burgomasters in 1653, and soon after to the Orphan Masters. Under 
colonial rule the Prerogative Court controlled all matters in relation to 
the probate of wills and settlement of estates. This power continued 
until 1G93, when by act of Legislature all probates and granting of let- 
ters of administration were placed under the hand of the governor or 


his delegate ; and two freeholders were appointed in each town to take 
charge of the estates of persons dying without a will. Under the duke's 
laws this duty had been performed by the constables, overseers and jus- 
tices of each town. In 1778 the governor was divested of all this 
power except the appointment of surrogates, and it was conferred upon 
the Court of Probates. Under the first constitution surrogates were 
named by the Council of Appointment, and under the second constitu- 
tion by the governor, with the approval of the Senate. The constitu- 
tion of 1846 abrogated the office of surrogate in all counties having less 
than forty thousand population, and conferred its powers and duties 
upon the county judge. By the Code of Civil Procedure surrogates 
wel"e invested with all the powers necessary to carry out the equitable 
and incidental requirements of the office. The constitution also gave 
the Legislature authority for the election of special surrogates, who dis- 
charge the duties of surrogate in case of inability, or of vacancies, and 
exercise such other powers in special cases as provided by law. 

The constitution of 1894 made numerous changes in the character of 
the courts of New York State, some of which have been referred to in 
the preceding pages. It abolished the General Term, Circuit Courts, 
Courts of Oyer and Terminer, the Superior Courts of the city of New 
York and of Buffalo, the Court of Common Pleas for the city and 
county of New York, the City Court of Brooklyn, vesting their jurisdic- 
tion in the Supreme Court. Courts of Sessions, except in the city of 
New York, were also abolished. It also provided for the establish 
ment of an Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, to stand second 
to the Court of Appeals only. It directed the Legislature to divide the 
State into four judicial departments, and defined the Appellate Divis- 
ion as consisting of seven justices of the Supreme Court in the first de- 
partment (the county of New York), and of five justices in each of 
the other departments. The power of appointment to this court is 
vested in the governor. To the Appellate Division was transferred the 
jurisdiction exercised previously by the Supreme Court at its General 
Term, by the General Terms of the Court of Common Pleas for the 
city and county of New York, the Superior Court of the city of New 
York, the Superior Court of Buffalo and the City Court of Brooklyn, and 
such additional jurisdiction as may be conferred by the Legislature. 

Under the act of February 12, 1796, this State was divided into 
seven districts, over which an assistant attorney-general was appointed 
by the Governor and Council of Appointment, to serve during pleas- 


ure. The office of district attorney was created April 4, 1801, the 
State being divided into seven districts as before, but subsequently 
several new districts were formed. By a law passed in April, 1818, 
each county was constituted a separate district for the purpose of this 
office. During the period of the second constitution district attorneys 
were appointed by the Court of General Sessions in each county. Since 
then they have been elected by the people. 

The editor of this work has been* requested by the publishers to pre- 
pare a sketch of the lives of the men who in the past have been repre- 
sentative members of the legal profession in Genesee county. The 
scope of this article does not include any lawyer now living. It is only 
of those whose earthly labors are ended that we are to speak. Within 
the limit of space assigned it will be impossible to give more than an 
outline of the lives of these men, many of whom have been among the 
foremost citizens of Genesee county. It is not claimed that mention is 
made of every lawver who has practiced here, neither does this sketch 
include those who have pursued their studies or practiced in this county 
for a short time, but who have made their reputations elsewhere. In 
any community the members of the bar are always in a large sense 
public men. Many important judicial positions are necessarily filled 
from their ranks, while legislative and other official places are often 
occupied by lawyers. The bar of Genesee county forms no exception 
to this rule. There has never been a time when it did not include many 
men of recognized ability, and the bar as a whole has always compared 
favorably with that of any other county of anything like equal size. Of 
those whose names are here recorded only Martindale, Wakeman, 
Hewitt, Taggart, Peck, Glowacki, Ballard, Pringle, Bangs, Heddon, 
H. W. Hascall, Bissell, and Crofoot were personally known to the 
writer. The estimates given of the professional characteristics of the 
men who form the subject of this article have been derived largely from 
conversation with those who knew them as lawyers and citizens, and 
partly, of course, from such printed sketches as were available. The 
historical facts have been gathered from biographies found in many 
different places, from newspaper files, court records, recollections of 
old inhabitants, and in several instances from such meagre statements 
as are chiseled in m.irble in the cemetery, or are written down in not 
less formal phrase in the books of the surrogate's office. 


The first judge of the county was Joseph EUicott, the same man who, 
as surveyor, blazed his way through the primeval forests of Western 
New York, and laid out the counties, towns and villages of the Holland 
Purchase. Mr. EUicott was not a lawyer. He resigned the position 
of judge a short time after his appointment in 1803, and was succeeded 
by Ezra Piatt. Of Judge Piatt but little information is available, ex- 
cept that he discharged the few duties of the office until about 1813. 
His will is recorded in book 1 of Wills in the surrogate's office, at page 
11, and is the third will entered in the county records. The first was 
that of Daniel Totten, recorded January 30, 1808, and the second, that 
of David Franklin, was recorded March 30, 1809, while the record of 
Judge Piatt's will was made January 9, 1813, making three wills in four 

The succeeding judges down to 1847 were John H. Jones, Isaac 
Wilson, John Z. Ross, William H. Tisdale, William Mitchell, Phineas 
L. Tracy, and Edgar C. Dibble. During the same period the surro- 
gates of the county had been Jeremiah R. Munson, whose name does 
not appear in any of the records of the office, Richard Smith, Andrew 
A. EUicott, Ebenezer Mix, Harvey Putnam, Timothy Fitch, and Samuel 
Willett. Mr. Mix filled the office from 1831 to 1840. Under the law 
as it has existed since 1847 the functions of county judge and surrogate 
have been performed by the same official. The duties of surrogate 
prior to that date were few, as estates were seldom settled. 

Richard Smith, whose portrait has for many years hung in the court 
house, over the chair occupied by the presiding judge, was born in 
Connecticut, February 17, 1779, and died December 31, 1869. He was 
a graduate of Yale College and removed to Genesee county in 1803. 
He was at one time a partner of Daniel B. Brown. Judge Smith sel- 
dom, if ever, appeared in court. It is not known that any of the other 
incumbents of the office up to that time were particularly prominent as 
lawyers, neither is much information available as to any county judge 
prior to Phineas L. Tracy. Judge Ross is spoken favorably of as a cit- 
izen and lawyer. He died October 37, 1836, at the age of forty years. 

Few men have been more closely identified with the history of Gene- 
see county than Judge Tracy. He was born December 35, 1786, at 
Norwich, Conn., and graduated at Yale in 1806. He was admitted to 
the bar at Albany in 1811, and removed to Genesee county in 1813. 
For many years he had an extensive and lucrative practice, and was a 
man of marked force and ability. He was elected to Congress in 1837 


and again in 1829, and in 1841 was appointed "first judge" of the 
county by William H. Seward, then governor. After his retirement 
from the bench in 1856 he practiced law but little. He was for many 
years a member of the vestry of St. James's Church. His death 
occurred December 3^, 1876. An obituary published at that time says: 
" He would have been 90 years old on Christmas day. A good and 
just man, full of years and ripe for the harvest, has gone to his peace- 
ful rest." 

The next county judge was Edgar C. Dibble, who held the office 
during the year 1846, and again from 1852 to 1856. Judge Dibble was 
a fairly well read lawyer, a man of good character, and he discharged 
the duties of his office satisfactorily. He died February 28, 1802, at 
the age of fifty-seven years. During the period of his professional 
career he was at different times in partnership with Timothy Fitch, 
John H. Martindale and Martin F. Robertson. 

Judge Dibble was succeeded by Horace U. Soper, who served four 
years. Judge Soper is said to have made a good record upon the 
bench, but was never especially prominent as a practitioner. He was 
an amiable and agreeable gentleman, of attractive manners and large 
general information. He died January 15, 1878, at the age of seventy- 
two years, leaving no descendants. 

Joshua L. Brown became county judge and surrogate in 1856 and 
held the office four years. He died at the age of forty-eight, June 19, 
1860, a few months after the expiration of his official term, at St. 
Louis, Mo. Judge Brown was a good citizen, and a lawyer of exten- 
sive learning and decided ability. He is said to have possessed less 
aptitude for the trial of causes before a jury than for the other duties 
of his profession, although he tried a large number of cases. Before 
the court, or as a counselor in his office, he was a strong, safe man. A 
member of the bar now living tells how he had a habit during the. trial 
of criminal causes, where, as often occurs, the defense was conducted 
by some young man designated by the court, of taking a seat near the 
junior thus assigned, when, as the trial proceeded, he would draw his 
chair up and make suggestions. After a little he would be on his feet 
arguing a law point, and in one case at the close of the evidence he pro- 
ceeded at once to sum up to the jury, much to the discomfiture of the 
young lawyer who had prepared, with great care, an address which was 
to make his reputation. Judge Brown was for many years a partner 
of Maj. Henry I. Glowacki. The firm of Brown & Glowacki enjoyed 


for many years an extensive and lucrative practice, which was at its 
full height at the time of Judge Brown's death. 

Moses Taggart, who succeeded Judge Brown, died at his home in 
Batavia, February 17, 1883, at the ripe age of eighty two years. He was 
the Nestor of our bar, having been in active and continuous practice 
for about fifty-five years. During his eventful life he had endeared 
himself to the profession, of which he was an honored member, and was 
universally respected in the community where he had so long resided. 
As a lawyer he was thoroughly grounded in the elementary princi- 
ples of legal science. Throughout his career he was esteemed for his 
good judgment, safe counsel, and extensive research, rather than for 
any special ability as a trial lawyer. He had little liking or aptitude 
for the work of an advocate. A strong, helpful friend of young men, 
he had witnessed the career of every man at the bar at the time of his 
death, and it is safe to say that every one of the number felt a sin- 
cere attachment for the venerable and honored father of the fraternity. 
Judge Taggart was born at Colerain, Mass., August 21, 1799. At 
the age of eighteen years he left his native town to find a home in 
the newer region of Western New York, and traveled all the way to 
Byron on foot. His legal studies were pursued in the office of Phineas 
L. Tracy. Upon his admission to the bar he became a partner of Albert 
Smith, who at the time was an able and noted practitioner. At dif- 
ferent periods of his life he was in partnership with Daniel H. Chand- 
ler, Charles Henshaw, Seth Wakeman, and during the latter years of his 
life with his son-in-law, W. Harris Day. He was a member of the Con- 
stitutional Convention of 1846, and in 1851 was appointed justice of the 
Supreme Court to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Judge Sill. 
This position he filled until the close of 1853, and during the last year 
of his service became, under the then existing provisions of law, a mem- 
ber of the Court of Appeals. In 1800 he was elected county judge and 
surrogate of this county, and filled the office acceptably for two terms 
of four years each. In 187 L Judge Taggart was appointed postmaster 
of Batavia, which position he held for about four years. He main- 
tained his excellent health and vigorous bearing almost to the end of 
his life, while his intellectual powers remained unimpaired to the last. 

Charles Henshaw was born at Java, Wyoming county, and studied 
law with Gen. L. W. Thayer at Warsaw. He was elected county judge 
and surrogate in 1808, and died in office September 18, 1870, at the age 
of forty-eight years. A man of sterling worth, honest through and 


through, he possessed qualifications which rendered him in some re- 
spects the most remarkable lawyer who has ever practiced at our bar. 
It is doubtful if any other lawyer of this county has acquired so exten- 
sive a knowledge of the law itself. His memory was unfailing, and his 
familiarity with both elementary law and judicial decisions was vast 
and perfectly at his command. He could always say " on such a book 
and page you will find the law." He disregarded all forms, and fash- 
ioned his papers briefly and accurately to suit himself. Unwilling or 
unable to try a case before a jury, he seldom if ever appeared in this 
capacity. His judicial career, upon which he had fairly entered, gave 
great promise, and had he lived Charles Henshaw would have filled 
higher positions upon the bench. 

Among the members of the legal profession who have practiced in 
Le Roy there may be mentioned Jacob Bartow, Alfred F. Bartow and 
Charles Bartow, his sons, Seth M. Gates, Charles Danforth, Samuel 
Skinner, Perrin M. Smith, and Augustus P. Hascall. 

Jacob Bartow, although never distinguished as a lawyer, was a man 
of large attainments and rare scholarly tastes. He was a law student 
with Aaron Burr. He died about 1845. His son, Alfred F. Bartow, 
studied law with Heraan J. Redfield, and later became his partner. 
He removed west and died several years ago in Chicago. Mr. Bartow 
was an excellent practical business lawyer, and was a prominent and 
respected citizen of Le Roy. He was for many years a member of the 
vestry of St. Mark's church, and took much interest in the work of that 
society. Charles Bartow studied law with A. P. Hascall, and during 
the time he practiced in Le Roy was in partnership with Hiram W. 
Hascall, and afterwards with John R. Olmsted. He removed to New 
York, where he died. Augustus P. Hascall was for a longtime an hon- 
ored and prominent citizen of Le Roy. He served as presidential 
elector in 1848, and was a representative in the Thirty-second Congress. 
He died June 27, 1872, aged about seventy-six years. Charles Dan- 
forth was a graduate of Williams College, and was at one time judge 
of Common Pleas in this county. He was a good lawyer and gave sat- 
isfaction as a judge. Samuel Skinner was one of the earliest lawyers 
in Le Roy, and is said to have been an able, well-read member of the 
bar. He was a graduate of Williams College, and was possessed of 
scholarly tastes. He died in Le Roy about the year 1853. Perrin M. 
Smith studied law with Mr. Redfield and became a partner of Mr. Skin- 
ner. He removed from Le Roy to the West, where he died many years 


ago. Seth M. Gates practiced law in Le Roy for many years, and was 
an able man. He was proficient alike as an office lawyer and in the 
trial and argument of cases. He was elected to Congress in 1839, and 
soon after completing his term of service removed to Warsaw, where 
he died about the year 1876. During his residence in Le Roy he was 
ten years associated in business with David R. Bacon. Mr. Bacon was 
at one time a law partner of James Summerfield, but upon becoming 
connected with manufacturing interests several years ago retired from 
active practice of his profession. He died November 1, 1890. 

Among the more prominent of the early BataVia lawyers may be 
mentioned Albert Smith, who in his day had a wide reputation for ex- 
tensive legal knowledge, and for his power as an advocate. He was a 
representative of the Twenty eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses from 
this district, and served in the Assembly in 1843. At different times 
he was associated as a partner with the ablest lawyers of the county. 
Mr. Smith removed west soon after his service in the State Legislature, 
and has long since been dead. 

Daniel B. Brown was born October 18, 1780, and died July 7, 1832, 
leaving, it is said, no descendants or near kindred. He is reputed to 
have been one of the most brilliant advocates whoever practiced in this 
county. He was somewhat intemperate in habits and erratic in dispo- 
sition, and consequently never won for himself the position which he 
otherwise would have gained. It is hardly probable that he is prac- 
ticing law in the other world, yet his tombstone bears the inscription, 
copied quite likely from his sign used while living: " Daniel B. Brown, 
Attorney and Counsellor at Law." 

Levi Rumsey was a prominent citizen of this county at an early day, 
and was intimately concerned in that class of law business connected 
with the formative period of our history. But little information con- 
cerning him is now available, yet an old citizen of Batavia well qual- 
ified to know and judge says of him, that in the prime of life he was 
not only the foremost lawyer of this county, but of Western New York. 
He was unquestionably a man of high character and of decided ability. 
Mr. Rumsey was district attorney of this county from 1829 to 1834. 
He was born in Connecticut, December 8, 1776, and died December 29, 

Ethan B. Allen was among the most prominent of the early lawyers 
of the county, and was a man of high character and unusual attainments. 
In personal bearing he was "a gentleman of the old school." He was 


born in Columbia county, October 21, 1787, and died April 19, 1835. 
He was the father-in-law of that distinguished advocate and jurist, Isaac 
A. Verplanck. Mr. Allen was a State senator from this district from 
1826 to 1830. Upon his tombstone are inscribed the words " intelligent, 
virtuous, and affectionate, he fulfilled the various duties of a legislator, 
a citizen, and a friend." 

Daniel H. Chandler, who was for many years a prominent citizen of 
this county, was born in 1795, and died March 29, 1864, at Madison, 
Wis., where he had removed in 1847. He was district attorney of this 
county from 1834 to 1838. Mr. Chandler was an able and thoroughly 
equipped lawyer, combining in an unusual degree the characteristics 
of advocate and counselor. He was a partner at one time of Senator 
Ethan B. Allen, and later with Hon. Moses Taggart. Mr. Chandler is 
well remembered by quite a number of our older residents, all of whom 
attest his worth as a man and his talents as a lawyer. His ability as a 
trial lawyer brought him actively into the management of many notable 
cases, where he won for himself high commendation from bench, bar 
and clients. He was the father of the late Rear-Admiral Ralph Chand- 
ler, of the United States navy. After his removal to Wisconsin Mr. 
Chandler acquired a large practice, and fully maintained the reputa- 
tion he had gained here. 

George W. Lay, the fourth son of John Lay, esq., was born at Cats- 
kill, N. Y., July 27, 1798. He graduated at Hamilton College, N. Y., 
in the class of 1817. He came to Batavia the same year and studied 
law in the office of Hon. Phineas L. Tracy. After his admission to the 
bar he became a law partner of Mr. Tracy. The firm of Tracy & Lay 
did and extensive law business in the territory now embracing the 
counties of Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans, and enjoyed a wide rep- 
utation and extensiye acquaintance throughout the State. At that 
time the Genesee bar was composed of lawyers of marked ability and 
talent. John B. Skinner, Daniel H. Chandler, Ethan B. Allen, Heman 
J. Redfield, Daniel B. Brown, Moses Taggart, Albert Smith, and many 
others attended the courts and were in full practice. Mr. Lay was a 
close practitioner under the old system, and was noted for his skill and 
dexterity as a pleader. The partnership ended in 1832. Mr. Lay was 
at that time elected to Congress. He then became a partner with 
James G. Merrill and Horace U. Soper. In 1840 he was elected to the 
Assembly of the State of New York, and served as chairman of the 
canal committee. His canal report was characterized as a document of 


marked foresight and ability. In 1842 he was appointed charg^ 
d'affaires at the court of Norway and Sweden, and resided three years 
at Stockholm: After his return home his health failed, he became a 
confirmed invalid, and died October 21, I860. 

Isaac A. Verplanck, who was ranked as one of the ablest lawyers in 
Western New York, practiced for several years in Batavia. He was 
born October 16, 1813, and came to Genesee county in 1831. For a 
considerable time he was in partnership with John H. Martindale, the 
two forming a very strong law firm. Mr. Verplanck lacked the in- 
dustry and indomitable energy which characterized his distinguished 
partner, but compensated by his masterly abilities, by his extensive 
knowledge of the law, and his great forensic power. He was district 
attorney of this county from 1838 to 1842, and again in 1846. Soon 
after this he removed to Buffalo. He was elected one of the judges of 
the Superior Court of that city, and held the position during the re- 
mainder of his life. For the last three j-ears he was chief judge. His 
death occurred October 15, 1873. 

Elijah Hurt}', whose early death terminated a career of marked prom- 
ise and usefulness, was a man of scholarly tastes, genial disposition, and 
excellent character. He was born in Bethany, in this county, and 
when quite a young man became principal of Union School in Batavia. 
Soon after his admission to the bar he formed a partnership with 
Hon. George Bowen, under the firm name of Hurty & Bowen. He 
died August 10, 1854, at the age of thirty-two years. 

James G. Hoyt spent but a small portion of his professional life in 
this county, and although a sketch of his career is hardly within the 
scope of this article, yet so well was he known here that his name 
cannot properly be omitted. He was born in Camden, January 25, 
1800, and removed to Genesee county in 1812. His father died six 
years later, leaving a widow and nine children in such poverty that 
the future jurist was at once thrown upon his own resources. In 
1830 he was elected a constable, and discharged the duties of his 
office with so much promptness and intelligence as to attract the atten- 
tion of leading business men. In 1834 he was elected justice of the 
peace, and the same year began to read law with Moses Taggart. 
Shortly after his admission to the bar he removed to Attica, which 
was then included in Genesee county. He gained almost immediate 
recognition as a lawyer of unusual industry, thoroughness and ability. 
After a few years he removed to Buffalo, and was twice elected justice 


of the Supreme Court. In the discharge of the exacting duties of that 
office he gained a high reputation, and is remembered by all our older 
lawyers as one of the ablest of the many eminent men who have filled 
the position. He died October 23, 1863. 

Probably no firm of lawyers ever enjoyed so varied and extended a 
practice in this county as Wakeman & Bryan, who were copartners 
from 1853 until the death of Mr. Bryan, which occurred in October, 
1867. The combination was one of unusual strength. Seth Wake- 
man was a successful trial lawyer, while William G. Bryan was a coun- 
selor of learning and discretion. Mr. Wakeman was born in Vermont, 
January 15, 1811. His father was a soldier in the War of 1812, and 
died in the service, leaving a widow and a large family of children in 
destitute circumstances. They soon removed to this county. When 
quite a young man Mr. Wakeman was elected a constable of the town 
of Pembroke, and it was by reason of his occasional duties at justice's 
courts that he became interested in law. In 1838 he was elected a jus- 
tice of the peace, and six years later, at the age of thirty-three, he was 
admitted to the bar. After a brief partnership with Joseph Sleeper the 
firm of Wakeman & Bryan was formed. After Mr. Bryan's death Mr. 
Wakeman was for a time a partner of Judge Taggart, and afterwards, 
and up to his forced retirement on account of failing health in 1875, he 
was associated with William C. Watson, the firm doing an extensive 
business. Mr. Wakeman was a Whig until the dissolution of that 
party, when he became a Republican. He was elected district attorney 
in 1850 and served two terms. In 1866 and 1857 he was a member of 
assembly. In 1867 he was a member of the State Constitutional Con- 
vention, and in 1S70 he was elected to the Forty -second Congress. As 
a citizen Mr. Wakeman was generous, companionable and kind. Dis- 
tinctively a self-made man, he was always in warmest sympathy with 
every person whom he found struggling with adverse fortune. While 
eminently fair as a lawyer his strongest antagonists found him " a foe- 
man worthy of their steel." He was an admirable trial lawyer, and 
gained a splendid practice and reputation as such. Possessed of few 
of the graces of oratory, Mr. Wakeman was nevertheless a strong, 
trenchant and convincing speaker. He died January 4, 1880. 

William G. Bryan was born January 28, 1822, in Brighton, England. 
He came to America and settled in Le Roy in 1830. His law studies 
were pursued with Albert Smith and with Moses Taggart. In 1851 he 
formed a partnership with John H. Martindale, which was soon dis- 


solved by the removal of the latter to Rochester. In politics Mr. 
Bryan was an ardent Democrat, and wras a trusted adviser in all party 
matters. He was a lawyer of decided ability, but from choice spent 
his time inside his office preparing papers, giving counsel and examin- 
ing cases. He was a man of refined tastes, of scholarly attainments, 
and great personal worth. Between him and Mr. Wakeman the strong- 
est attachment existed. His untimely death, at the age of forty-five, 
was the result of an accident. He had gone to Burlington, Iowa, on a 
visit, and while there, in endeavoring to control a frightened horse, he 
was thrown from a carriage and killed. A public meeting of the cit- 
izens of Batavia was held on the sad occasion. His accomplished and 
estimable wife, Ruth Bryan, for many years principal of the Bryan 
Seminary, died January 13, 1897, at Buffalo. 

James M. Willett was born October 10, 1831. He graduated at the 
Albany Law School in 1856. In 1859 he was elected district attorney, 
being the first Democrat ever elected to that office in this county. He 
entered the army in 1862 and became a major of the famous Eighth 
New York Heavy Artillery. In the fearful ordeal through which that 
regiment passed at Cold Harbor he was severely wounded. Upon re- 
joining his regiment three months later, he became colonel, and to the 
close of the war commaniJed a brigade. After leaving the army he 
engaged in business in New York until 1870, when he removed to 
Buffalo and formed the well known law partnership of Laning, Folsom 
& Willett. The firm were the legal representatives of the New York 
Central Railroad, and did a large general practice. Colonel Willett con- 
tinued to suffer from his army wounds, his health gave way, and he 
died June 6, 1877. He was a strong, well equipped lawyer, a genial 
and companionable friend, a Christian gentlemen. Few men ever 
practiced at our bar who had so strong a hold on the affections of his 
associates and the people at large. 

Martin F. Robertson was a native of Genesee county, and passed his 
life in Batavia. He was possessed of decided ability, fair legal learn- 
ing, and was a good trial lawyer. As a man he was very companion- 
able and popular. He died March 21, 1868, at the age of forty-eight 
years, never having married. 

Benjamin Pringle, for many years one of the foremost citizens of 
this county, was born in the year 1807, at Richfield, in this State. He 
came to Batavia in 1830 and formed a partnership with Albert Smith, 
and later became a partner of Heman J. Redfield. He was judge of 


the county from 1841 to 1846. In 1852, and again in 1854, he was 
elected to Congress. In 1863 he was member of assembly and ia 1863 
President Lincoln appointed him judge under a treaty between the 
United States and Great Britain for the suppression of the slave trade. 
He remained in the discharge of the duties of this ofiSce for seven years 
at Cape of Good Hope. Judge Pringle was a competent equity lawyer, 
but without special taste for the trial of causes. As a citizen he was 
public spirited and patriotic. In private life he was exemplary. For 
many years he was a warden of St. James's Episcopal church, of which 
he was a devoted member. During his old age he divided his time 
between Batavia and Hastings, Minn., where his sons lived. He died 
at the latter place June 7, 1887. His remains are buried in Bat.avia. 

Marlbro W. Hewitt, though never particularly active as a practitioner 
was a respected member of the bar, and an esteemed and well known 
citizen of Batavia. He was for a great many years a justice of the 
peace and discharged the duties of that office with fidelity and unusual 
intelligence. Mr. Hewitt died January 23, 1880, at the age of sixty- 
four years. 

Heman J. Redfield was born in Connecticut December 27, 1788. His 
father removed to Western New York and the son remained on the 
farm till 1808 when he entered the Canandaigua Academy. He stud- 
ied law with that distinguished jurist, John C. Spencer. He volunteered 
as a private in the war of 1812 and served through two campaigns. 
He was in the battle of Queenslon Heights and was with Gen. Har- 
rison at Fort George where he received a brevet from the commanding 
general for valiant service. In 1815 he began the practice of law at 
Le Roy He was appointed district attorney in 1831; he was State 
senator from 1833 to 1835, and during the last year of this service he 
was appointed one of the New York commissioners to settle a boundary 
question with New Jersey. He served as postmaster in Le Roy for 
more than twenty years. He was offered and declined the position of 
special counsel to assist in th6 trial of the persons accused of abducting 
William Morgan. In 1835 he declined the office of circuit judge ten- 
dered him by Governor Marcy; in 1836 he became the purchaser with 
Jacob Le Roy from the Holland Land Company of its unsold possessions. 
President Pierce appointed him naval officer of New York but he was 
soon transferred to the office of collector of the port of New York and 
he held this position until June 30, 1857, although James Buchanan, 
who had then lately come into office, offered to continue him. During 


the Civil war Mr. Redfield was conspicuous as a War Democrat and his 
intense loyalty was of great value to the Union cause. 

A sketch of his life published many years ago, says, "On Sunday 
evening, July 23, 1877, he sat with the members of his family on the 
veranda of his house, enjoying the cool breezes after the heat of the 
day, appearing in excellent health and spirits. About eight o'clock he 
complained of a dizziness in his head, entered the house, gradually 
grew worse, and became unconscious, and about ten o'clock he peace- 
fully, painlessly, breathed his last. Thus closed the earthly career of a 
good, kind-hearted, benevolent man, find a true and devout Christian. 
During his long life he was an active and devout member of St. James 
Episcopal Church at Batavia, -serving as vestryman and warden. Many 
citizens attested their respect and esteem for their old neighbor and 
friend by their attendance at the funeral service Wednesday evening. 
The procession was one of the longest ever seen in the village. Im- 
mediately following the hearse came the venerable roadster, so long the 
favorite riding horse of Mr. Redfield, saddled and bridled, and led by 
the groom." 

One of the most interesting figures in the history of the bar of Gen- 
esee county and of Western New York was Gen. John H. Martindale. 
Although most of his professional life was passed in Rochester, whither 
he removed in 1852, he had prior to that time served two terms as dis- 
. trict attorney of this county, and had laid the foundation of his brilliant 
career as an advocate and orator. Having received a military educa- 
tion at West Point he entered the army at the breaking out of the 
Rebellion. He did active and efficient service in the field quite early 
in the war, and later served as military governor of the District of 
Columbia, with the rank of major-general. He was elected attorney- 
general of this State in 1865. General Martindale became famous in 
his management of actions for damages for personal injuries brought 
against railroad corporations, particularly the New York Central. His 
most frequent antagonist was that most brilliant and admirable trial 
lawyer, the late Albert P. Laning, of Buffalo. They tried a large 
number of cases opposed to each other in this county, and the memory 
of those days is an ever recurring delight. The court house was always 
filled and the audience always entertained. The limits of this article 
forbid what might be an interesting account of this remarkable man. 
Always eloquent, he had the faculty of being most so in cases otherwise 
commonplace. The writer has heard many of his addresses to juries, 


but the most eloquent is remembered as his summing up in the case of 
Garwood against the New York Central Railroad, an action brought to 
recover damages for injury to plaintiff's mill power by pumping water 
from the Tonawanda Creek into tanks for the use of locomotive boilers. 
The theme was certainly not one which would seem to afford opportu- 
nity for a display of oratory, yet the speaker proved superior to the oc- 
casion, and the result was an address seldom equalled. Although of 
agreeable disposition General Martindale was rather easily ruffled when 
engaged in the trial of important cases. His wily opponent learned 
well his sensitive points, and never failed to take advantage of them. 
As General Martindale always appeared for the plaintiff in rail- 
road cases he had the advantage of the closing address. He was 
quite fond, in talking to a Genesee county jury, of indulging in 
reminiscences, and often referred to his acquaintance with, the 
fathers of some of the younger jurymen, and to old associations con- 
nected with Batavia. On one well remembered occasion, when Mr. 
Laning thought his florid antagonist would be apt to find opportunity 
for a display of this kind, he turned his weapons against him in that 
quiet and inimitable manner so strikingly in contrast with the exuber- 
ant style of his opponent. He told the jury what the general would 
shortly proceed to narrate in their hearing, including all that Martin- 
dale could possibly say about his early home, his dead partner, "the 
classic Verplanck," his friends and neighbors, the old church, etc. 
The result was that the orator was compelled to change his tactics. 
The contests between Martindale and Laning will always be remem- 
bered by those who enjoyed the privilege of listening to and witness- 
ing the efforts of these remarkable but wholly dissimilar men. In pri- 
vate life General Martindale was greatly esteemed. His character 
was above reproach, and he was a man of sincere piety. His personal 
appearance and bearing attracted admiration at all times. In 1881 he 
went to Europe in a vain search for health, but died in Nice, France, 
on the thirteenth day of December of that year, at the age of sixty-six. 
Lucius N. Bangs was born April i, 1825. He studied law with 
Augustus P. Hascall, with whom, after his admission to the bar, he 
formed a partnership. He subsequently became a partner of Elizer 
Hinsdale, who after a few years removed to New York. In 1870 Mr. 
Bangs was elected county judge and surrogate of this county, and held 
the office for twelve years. During his first term Marcus L. Babcock 
was clerk of the surrogate's court, and during his last term the position 



was filled by Frank S. Wood, now of the Batavia bar. Judge Bangs 
did not receive a college education but he was a man of rare scholarly 
tastes and extraordinary attainments, both in the field of his profession 
and in literature and science. His law library was one of the finest 
private collections in the State, while his miscellaneous library was of 
great value, selected as it had been with discrimination and taste. The 
latter collection was unfortunately burned in a fire which destroyed its 
owner's residence. Judge Bangs was not fond of the work of a trial 
lawyer, but in his arguments before the appellate courts he displayed 
great ability and a degree of learning which was marvelous. After his 
term of office expired he removed to Buffalo. He died in thfe city of 
New York December 3, 1893. At a meeting of the bar of Genesee 
county held a few days later, the Hon. George Bowen said that he had 
collected and preserved Judge Bangs's printed briefs, and that he con- 
sidered the discussions contained in them absolutely exhaustive of the 
questions involved, a rare compliment from one well qualified to judge. 
Judge Bangs was a delightful man in his social and family relations, 
and his associates of the bar were much attached to him. 

Henry I. Glowacki was born in Poland in 1816 of a distinguished 
family. He was the son of a prominent general of the Polish war of 
1813. Having participated in the revolutionary movement he was im- 
prisoned for two years, and afterward, about the year 1833, was exiled 
by the Austrian government. In New York he was favored with the 
friendship of Albert Gallatin, who while a foreign minister had known 
his father. Mr. Glowacki made the acquaintance of David E. Evans, 
who offered him a position in the now historic Land Office in Batavia. 
He came here in 1834, and continued for four years in the land office. 
During his later years Major Glowacki used to tell that early in this 
service he was employed to copy records, and that, although wholly 
unable to read the English language, he performed the work by imi- 
tating the handwriting assigned to him to copy. He was admitted to 
the bar in 1840. He was shortly afterward appointed master in chan- 
cery, and served until 1846. He was for several years a law partner of 
Judge Joshua L. Brown, and the firm enjoyed a large and lucrative 
practice. Mr. Glowacki was seldom, if ever, engaged in the trial of 
cases, or in legal arguments, but he was a valuable and accurate office 
lawyer. Major Glowacki was a Democrat, and was for many years 
conspicuous in the councils of his party in State and county. He was 
four times a delegate to national Democratic conventions. He served 


nine years as president of the Batavia Board of Education. Major 
Glowacki was a man of elegant and distinguished personal appearance. 
Although he became a proficient English scholar he always retained a 
marked foreign accent in speech. He died at his home in Batavia in 
November, 1895, having years before retired from the practice of the 
law. s. 

Randolph Ballard died December 26, 1890, at the age of sixty-eight 
years. He studied law with Judge A. P. Hascall. He was at one time 
in business with Gen. C. F. Bissell. Upon the death of Judge Henshaw 
in 1870, Mr. Ballard was appointed by the Democratic governor to fill 
the vacancy, and served for the remainder of the year. No one who 
ever knew him can forget his elegant manners and his fastidious dress. 
Like qualities extended to his business and professional life. He was 
an excellent penman and all his work was neatly, promptly and accu- 
rately done. Judge Ballard tried some cases in court and tried them 
well, but he was essentially a business lawyer and business man and 
was successful as such. In the fall of 1890 he found himself obliged to 
submit to a critical surgical operation. He was unable to rally from 
its effects and died in Rochester on the 36th day of September. 

Thomas P. Heddon was born at Stafford, N. Y., December 2, 1840. 
He was educated at the common schools and at the Genesee and Wyom- 
ing Seminary in Alexander. He studied law with Randolph Ballard, 
and was admitted to the bar in 1865. Mr. Heddon was for several 
years a justice of the peace of the town of Le Roy, and served as dis- 
trict attorney of the county from 1878 to 1881. He was a trustee of 
the village of Le Roy at the time of his death. He was a Republi- 
can in politics, and his services as a public speaker were often in 
demand at political meetings. Mr. Heddon died June 22, 1894. 

Myron H. Peck was born May 28, 1827. At the age of fourteen he 
received an injury which rendered it evident that he must choose a vo- 
cation unattended with active physical labor, and he soon concluded to 
make the law his profession. He studied in Canandaigua in the office 
of Lapham & Metcalf, and after his admission to the bar he became 
the partner of Elbridge G. Lapham, one of the members of this firm 
and afterwards representative in Congress and United States senator. 
The firm dissolved in 1858, and Mr. Peck removed to Batavia. He 
was for a time associated in business with Col. James M. Willett and 
afterwards with Hon. George Bowen, under the firm name of Peck & 
Bowen. In 1882 he was nominated by the Democratic party for the 


office of county judge and surrogate, and was elected. After the ex- 
piration of his term he removed to Buffalo, where he continued in 
practice until his last illness. He died September 2, 1898. A meet- 
ing of the bar was held a few days later at a term of the court. Ap- 
propriate remarks were made by Hon. Nathan A. Woodward, William 
Tyrrell, H. F. Tarbox and H. B. Cone. Judge North, presiding, pre- 
sented the following memorial prepared by him, which, upon the re- 
quest of Mr. Tyrrell, was ordered entered upon the minutes of the 
court : 

" The death of Judge Peck having occurred so soon before a regular 
term of the court over which he presided for six years, the suggestion 
was made by several members of the bar that it would be quite ap- 
propriate that this court room should be selected as a place of a meet- 
ing of the lawyers of the county to take suitable action, in open court, 
expressive of our sorrow at the death of our associate and of our ap- 
preciation of the intellectual qualities which rendered him one of the 
most notable figures in the history of our bar. 

" Here for thirty years he practiced his profession, and could these 
walls speak what memories would they recall ! His thorough prepa- 
ration in every case with which he was connected, his keen and analyt- 
ical mind, his abounding knowledge of the law and the vehement force 
with which he expounded it, his terse and lucid expression of legal 
principles, the contempt with which he brushed aside matters which 
he deemed unimportant, and the power with which he massed all his 
virile force into a few strong points, all of these things combine at this 
hour to bring his familiar face and voice vividly before us. 

"To those of us who have served long enough to have known of these 
qualities, it will be hard to realize that he has gone out from his place 
for the last time, and by every member of our bar from the oldest to 
the youngest he will be remembered as a man of unusual learning in 
the profession which he loved, of great force and strength in the prac- 
tice of the law and as a fair and impartial judge. 

"It may well be added that although his aggressive temperament 
made him a stern and uncompromising antagonist, yet down deep he 
was greatly attached to the members of his own profession and to his 
friends in general, and since his removal from this county nine years 
ago, he has always, on the occasion of his visits to Batavia, evinced the 
warmest interest in the welfare of his old friends and neighbors and 
the liveliest satisfaction at every opportunity to renew old friendships. 


" He is now numbered among those whose lives are of the past, and 
of all of these who have practiced law here it is doubtful if there has 
been one possessed of wider learning in the great profession of which 
he was an honored member." 

Hiram W. Hascall was born at Le Roy, December 18, 1812, and his 
long and eventful life was wholly passed in that town. Up to about a 
year previous to his death he had retained his vigor in a remarkable 
degree, and was as active as at any period of his life. He was a staunch 
adherent of the Republican party, and his devotion to the best interests 
of that organization was proverbial. Business matters absorbed his 
attention quite largely, and he was never particularly active as a prac- 
titioner. He was elected county clerk in 1865, and served for two 
terms. In 1864 he was appointed collector of internal revenue. In 
1869 he was made postmaster of Le Roy, and filled that position to the 
satisfaction of his townspeople for sixteen years. Mr. Hascall was a 
man of upright life and a most kind and genial friend and companion. 
He died December 2, 1898. 

William R. Crofoot was born December 10, 1855, and was reared 
upon his father's farm in Pavilion. He attended the Le Roy Academy 
for some time, and graduated from Amherst College in 1880. He 
studied law with Hon. Randolph Ballard, and after his admission to 
the bar occupied the office with Judge Ballard until the death of the 
latter. Mr. Crofoot was three times elected as a justice of the peace 
of the town of Le Roy and six times village clerk. He was the attorney 
of record for the executors of the will of William Lampson in the im- 
portant litigation connected with the large estate left by Mr. Lampson. 
Mr. Crofoot was a man of agreeable manners and of great kindness 
of heart. His death occurred December 3, 1898. 

C. Fitch Bissell was born in Greenfield, Mass., March 9, 1818. He 
came to Le Roy with his parents in 1838, and resided there until his 
death, which occurred December 11, 1898. Always a striking and in- 
teresting personality, few men have ever been so widely known in Gen- 
esee county. He commenced the practice of law in 1843, with Samuel 
Skinner as a partner. Later he was in partnership with Randolph 
Ballard. For many years before his death he had been associated with 
his son, David Jackson Bissell. He held the position of quartermaster- 
general on the staff of Governor John T. Hoffmann, and the title of 
" general " clung to him the rest of his life. He served as district at- 
torrfey from 1866 to 1809, and again from 1875 to 1878. He was a good 


trial lawyer and a successful business man, both in the management of 
his own affairs and those of his clients. He was always looking out for 
the common sense view of a question, and his keen and analytical mind 
and his natural sense of justice were important factors in contributing 
to his success. Possessed of an abounding humor and fond of com- 
panionship, he made hosts of friends. His intellectual vigor remained 
unimpaired until the end of his life. It was a remarkable circumstance 
that three members of the Le Roy bar died within the space of ten 
days, Hascall, Crofoot and Bissell. All had been public spirited and 
useful citizens. 

Walter H. Smith was born in West Bloomfield, Ontario county, N. Y., 
July 35, 1853, a son of Nelson H. and Ellen B. (Pellett) Smith. His 
mother was a native of Montville, New London county, Conn. His 
father was a native of East Lyme, New London county, Conn., and was 
connected with a book publishing house in Hartford, Conn., for a num- 
ber of years. He subsequently moved to West Bloomfield, N. Y., and 
with a brother purchased a large tract of land. He later met with an 
accident which hastened his death. Walter H. was then an infant. 
Subsequently his mother married Henry G. Deshon and the family 
moved to Le Roy in 1861, where Walter H. attended the Le Roy Aca- 
demic Institute and later Williston (Mass.) Seminary, where he fitted 
for college. He returned to this place and entered the office of Hon. 
Lucius N. Bangs, who was then county judge of Genesee county, and 
studied law for four years, then entered the Albany Law School, from 
which he was graduated with the class of 1876. He immediately began 
the practice of his profession in Le Roy, where he has built up an ex- 
tensive practipe. Mr. Smith has given strict attention to his business 
and has never sought public office of any kind; he ranks with the lead- 
ing members of the Genesee county bar. He is a member of the Ma- 
sonic fraternity, Olive Branch Lodge, Le Roy Chapter and Batavia 

Frederick S. Randall was born in Stafford, Genesee county, N. Y., 
April 3, 1864, a son of Perry and Mary E. (Batchelder) Randall, natives 
of Stafford and Le Roy respectively. His grandfather, Stephen Ran- 
dall, fcame to Genesee county, February 2, 1815, from New Hampshire, 
and purchased a tract of land at Stafford, which is now owned by Perry 
R^an^dall. The original farm was one hundred and fifty acres. Stephen 
died on the farm in 1859; he had a family of fourteen children. Perry, 
the youngest, was born July 16, 1823; he now resides in the village of 


Le Roy and is active and in good health. Frederick S. received his 
preliminary education at Le Roy Academic Institute and was graduated 
from Union College with the degree A. B. in 1886. He studied law 
with William C. Watson, Hon. S. E. North and Edward P. White of 
Amsterdam; was admitted to practice in 1890, and followed his profes- 
sion as a lawyer for four years at Fairport, Monroe county, N. Y. He 
located in Le Roy, in September, 1894, where he has sinx:e been in the 
practice of his profession He was elected to the office of district at- 
torney in November, 1898. He is a member of the I. O. O. F, of Le 
Roy; and politically is a Republican. He married Helene C. Garvin 
of Schenectady and has two daughters, Dorothy and Nanette. Mr. 
Randall is from one of the oldest families in the county, both his 
father's and mother's families being pioneers. 

William C. Watson has been one ot the leaders of the Genesee county 
bar, and for many years a public spirited and prominent citizen of Ba- 
tavia. He is a native of this county, bofn in the village of Pembroke 
in 1837. His early educational opportunities were limited to the com- 
mon schools and a short term in the seminary at Alexander, but from 
his father, who as a justice of the peace held considerable reputation, 
he seems to have derived a legal mind and a love for the profession. 
He began his legal training under the direction of Col. James M. Willett, 
and later entered the office of Wakeman & Bryan. He was admitted 
in 1865 and practiced for a short time with Mr. Tyrrell, and subse- 
quently with Hon. Seth Wakeman. He made rapid strides in his pro- 
fession and soon gained substantial recognition and lucrative practice. 
He has been particularly successful as a trial lawyer. In politics he 
has been an active Republican and a frequent delegate to the conven- 
tions of the party. He has served two terms as district attorney, and in 
1882 was a candidate for member of congress. Mr. Watson has been 
earnest in his support of education, and a frequent member of the school 
board. He has contributed largely to the material prosperity of Bata- 
via through his generous support of manufacturing industries. 

Hon. George Bowen, son of Abiel and Anna S. (Cone) Bowen, was 
born in Shelby, Orleans county, this State, September 28, 1831. His 
father was a physician and practiced in Shelby and vicinity a long term 
of years. Mr. Bowen was educated in the common schools, at Millville 
Academy, and Cary Collegiate Institute, from which he was graduated 
in 1848. Following graduation he was engaged as a teacher for two 
years at Byron in Genesee county, and Royalton in Niagara county. 


May 10, 1851, he came to Batavia and began the study of law in the 
office of Martindale & Bryan. He was admitted to the bar in Decem- 
ber, 1853, and formed a partnership with Elijah Hurty, who had been 
for a number of years principal of the Batavia Union School. Their 
association continued until Mr. Hurty's death in the summer of 1854. 
In the following year Mr. Bowen combined forces with N. A. Wood- 
ward under the firm name of Woodward & Bowen, which continued 
until 1859 when Mr. Woodward retired. For scarcely a year, beginning 
in 1860, Mr. Bowen had as his partner William W. Rowley, who went 
to the defense of the Union in 1861 and became an aide on the staff of 
General Banks. In 1864 the firm of Bowen & Walker was formed (Ed- 
ward C. Walker). The latter retired in 1866 and was succeeded by 
Charles Henshaw, who in 1867 was elected county judge. Mr. Bowen 
practiced alone until 1869 and in that year formed a partnership with 
Myron H. Peck, which continued until May, 1873. From 1878 to 1883 
he was associated with Loren Greene, who removed to Chicago in the 
latter year. In 1889 the present firm of Bowen & Washburn was formed 
by the admission of Edward A. Washburn, who had read law in Mr. 
Bowen's office. Mr. Bowen has been an active Republican and has 
acceptably filled many positions of public trust. He has served as vil- 
lage and town clerk, corporation counsel, district attorney for three 
years, as postmaster of Batavia under President Lincoln, trustee of the 
State Institution for the Blind from 1869 to 1874, and as State senator 
from 1870 to 1874. He was .one of the commissioners appointed to pur- 
chase the park of the State Instituiton for the Blind. Mr. Bowen was 
one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Batavia and has 
been a director since 1864. For years he was a director and president 
of the Holland Purchase Insurance Co. of Batavia. He married in 
December, 1856, Emerette A., daughter of Cyrus Walker of Byron and 
Batavia. One daughter, Anna C. Bowen, has been born of this union. 
Benjamin F. Hawes, son of Dan and Clarissa (Church) Hawes, was 
born in Oakfield, June 8, 1833. His father was a native of Berkshire 
county, Mass., a soldier in the war of 1813, and came to Genesee county 
in 1831. Mr. Hawes was educated at Cary Collegiate Seminary and 
the Albany Law School. He was admitted in 1856 and began practice 
in Oakfield in 1860. He has served continuously as justice of the peace 
since January 1, 1861, and as clerk of the board of supervisors since 
1867. Since the organization of the Union School he has been a mem- 
ber of the board of education of which he is now president. He has 


long been an active member and trustee of the First Presbyterian 
church. His son, Francis L., has been employed for several years in 
the county clerk's office and is at present special deputy clerk. In 
that capacity he officiates as court clerk at all trial terms. 

William F. Huyck was born in Le Roy, N. Y., March 33, 1866, a son 
of William and Phoebe (Harris) Huyck, natives of Columbia county and 
Genesee county respectively. His father came with his parents to Le 
Roy when twelve years of age. William Huyck was a farmer and 
accumulated considerable wealth before his death ; he was quite promi- 
nent in the county and in the building up of the village of Le Roy. He 
was a member of the board of education and a village trustee and presi- 
dent and trustee of the Macpelah Cemetery Association. He owned 
extensive farming interests and village property, among which is the 
Eagle Hotel, which is one of the oldest buildings in the village; he died 
in August, 1896 ; his wife is still living. William F. was the only child, 
and was educated in the Le Roy Academic Institute and Union College 
at Schenectady, from which he graduated in 1887. He then spent a 
year as clerk in the Le Roy post-office; then read law with Walter H. 
Smith for one year, when he entered the Albany Law School and was 
graduated in 1890. He spent two years in Buffalo in the practice of his 
profession, then returned to Le Roy. He is a member of the board of 
education and water commissioners; is a member of Olive Branch 
Lodge No. 39, of which he is past master; Le Roy Chapter No. 183, of 
which he is treasurer and master third vail ; Batavia Commandery, 
Rochester Consistory, Damascus Temple Mystic Shrine, the Knights of 
the Red Cross of Constantine, of which he was a charter member and 
high prelate for a time, and vestryman and treasurer of St. Mark's 
Episcopal church. 

David Dean Lent was born in the village of Corfu, in Genesee county, 
September 3, 1866. He is the youngest child of David and Ruth Jean- 
nett Lent, who came from Otsego county to Pembroke in 1858. He 
received a common school education, graduating from the Batavia High 
School in 1884. He was employed as discount clerk in the First Na- 
tional Bank of Batavia in 1885-6, and then went to Kansas City, Mo., 
to take a position as stenographer with Jacob Dold & Son, pork and 
beef packers. In 1888 he returned to Batavia and entered the law office 
of William C. Watson; he was admitted to the bar in 1892, and in 
March, 1894, formed a law partnership with James A. Le Seur, then 
district attorney of Genesee county. In March, 1895, Mr. Lent, in 


conjunction with Mr. E. K. Calkins, purchased the Spirit of the Times, 
which is now published by the firm of Calkins & Lent, although still 
retaining his law partnership with Mr. Le Seur. 

Frank S. Wood was born in Detroit, Mich., September 14, 1856, and 
came to Batavia with his parents in 1859. Selecting the law as a pro- 
fession he read with William C. Watson, also with Hon. Lucius N. 
Bangs. He was admitted to the bar in 1878 and served as clerk of the 
Surrogate's Court from 1877 to 1883. He was elected district attorney 
of Genesee county in 1886 and re-elected in 1889. Mr. Wood is now 
(1899) a trustee of the New York State School for the Blind at Batavia 
and treasurer of that institution. He enjoys the merited reputation of 
being a discreet business lawyer, accurate and methodical in the prepa- 
ration of papers, and a safe and judicious adviser. He married, Sep- 
tember 4, 1884, Harriet G. Holden. 

Arthur E. Clark was born in the town of Clarkson, Monroe county, 
June 10, 1854, a son of Norris G. and Grace (Plumb) Clark. Norris G. 
Clark was a native of Bloomfield, Ontario county, and came to Batavia 
in 1859; he was a practicing physician until the time of his death, July 
23, 1876, and was recognized as one of the leading physicians of West- 
ern New York, a man whose judgment was sought and respected by 
all who knew him. Arthur E. Clark was graduated from Yale College 
in 1875 and read law with William C. Watson of Batavia. He was ad- 
mitted to the bar in 1878, and remained with Mr. Watson until 1886, 
when he established his present practice. Mr. Clark has been con- 
nected in business with large corporate interests and has arranged suc- 
cessfully many matters of importance for clients against corporations. 
He has lately been successfully engaged in cases against the various 
telephone and telegraph cortipanies for erecting poles on highways. He 
married, in 1890, Miss Alice M. Hurd of Buffalo. 

W. Harris Day, United States commissioner for the Northern Dis- 
trict of New York for the past fifteen years, was born in Stafford, this 
county, June 34, 1841, a son of Thomas H. and Henrietta (Hooper) 
Day. His father was a seafaring man and for many years captain of a 
sailing vessel. Mr. Day was educated at Alexander Academy and 
Genesee College, now Syracuse University. He began his legal studies 
in the office of Judge Taggart of Batavia, and in 1867 was graduated 
from the Columbian Law School at Washington, D. C. Following his 
graduation he practiced in the city of Chicago nearly three years and 
then returned to Batavia and entered into a partnership with Judge 


Taggart, which continued until the latter's death. The firm of Tag- 
gart & Day gained considerable recognition in the profession from their 
connection as the plaintiff's attorneys in the celebrated case of John 
Garwood vs. the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Com- 
pany, brought to prohibit the railroad company from taking water out 
of Tonawanda creek for engines. The first of this class, this case at- 
tracted widespread attention. The judgment in favor of the plaintiff 
was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Mr. Day is one of the execu- 
tors of the estate of Mary E Richmond, wife of Dean Richmond. He 
has been an active member and trustee of the Presbyterian church for 
several years. He married, in October, 1869, Fanny Elma, a daughter 
of Judge Taggart. Seven children were born to them, six of whom 

Fred H. Dunham was born in 1801 at Orangeville, Wyoming county, 
N. Y. , a son of George H. and Louisa (Virgin) Dunham. His father 
was a farmer and well known citizen of Wyoming county, where he 
served for several years as school commissioner. Mr. Dunham was 
educated at the Attica Union School and Cornell University, where he 
was graduated with the class of 1886. In the spring of the following 
year he began the study of law in the office of Hon. A. J. Lorish of 
Attica, but soon came to the office of Hon. Safford E. North in Bata- 
via, with whom he remained until his admission in June, 1889. In 
April, 1891, he formed his present partnership with F. S. Wood (Wood 
& Dunham). 

Edward A. Washburn was born in Randolph, Orange county, Ver- 
mont, January 21, 1868, a son of Julian J. and Martha (Bigelow) Wash- 
burn. He was educated in Batavia, whither he came in 1877. He be- 
gan the study of law in 1885 in the office of Hon. George Bowen and 
was admitted March 39, 1889. In the same year the present firm of 
Bowen & Washburn was formed. Mr. Washburn is serving as referee 
in bankruptcy for this district, a position to which he was appointed in 
December, 1898, by United States District Judge A. C. Coxe. He is a 
director of the First National Bank of Batavia. May 6, 1896, he mar- 
ried Frances Virginia, daughter of James P. Marsh of Chicago. 

Sidney A. Sherwin, son of Jacob R. and Amelia (Allyn) Sherwin, was 
born in Byron, this county, August 27, 1842. He was educated at the 
Gary Collegiate Seminary, Canandaigua Academy, and Hamilton Col- 
lege, from which he was graduated with the class of 1867. He .went 
from Hamilton College to the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute as in- 


structor in rhetoric and oratory. Later he read law and was admitted 
to the bar in 1868, at Brooklyn, N. Y. Mr. Sherwin began practice in 
Batavia in 1869, forming a partnership with H. F. Tarbox, which con- 
tinued until March 1, 1899, a period of thirty years. In politics he has 
been a Republican. Governor Morton appointed him a trustee of the 
State School for the Blind and he still retains this position. He is en- 
gaged in insurance business and is not in active law practice. 

Herbert P. Woodward, son of Nathan A. and Martha (Allen) Wood- 
ward, was born in Batavia, March 28, 1868. He was educated in the 
public schools and at Williams College, from which he was graduated 
with the class of 1888. For two years following he was engaged in the 
profession of teaching in the schools of this county and the State of 
Virginia. Mr. Woodward began the study of law in his father's ofifice 
and was admitted to the bar in 1893. He has served as police justice 
four years. He married, in 1896, Bertha L., daughter of Rev. Cyrus 
A. Johnson of Batavia. ' 

Myron H. Peck, son of Myron H. and Delia M. (Bickford) Peck, was 
born in Victor, Ontario county, June 6, 1850. He was educated at 
Clinton Institute, and began the study of law in his father's office (Peck 
& Bowen). Later he attended the Albany Law School, from which he 
was graduated LL.B., May 6, 1872. Three days later he was admit- 
ted to the bar and has since practiced in Batavia. Mr. Peck was ap- 
pointed postmaster at Batavia in the first administration of Grover 
Cleveland, and served for five years. He has been corporation counsel 
for the village of Batavia for several years. He has been connected as 
counsel in a large number of important cases, and few lawyers in the 
county have appeared so often in the Appelate courts. He has lately 
been associated with District Attorney Randall in t