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Endowment for Studies 


Human Civilization 

3 1924 063 952 638 


Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 




1800- 1900 







O, beautiful stream, how calm is thy flowing. 
Through grass-waving valley and dense, silent wood; 
On thy banks what gay summer blossoms are growing- 
Those banks where so often, enchanted, I've stood. 

Fair Susquehanna! 

Rare Susquehanna! 
Pride of the country where courses thy flood. 

0, famous old river, how graceful thy winding. 
Like a serpent of silver all molten and bright; 
Reflecting the sun in thy bosom and blinding 
T he eye that dares gaze at so potent a light. 

Fair Susquehanna! 

Rare Susquehanna! 
Thou art as lovely and queenly as nigh/. 

O, jubilant stream! how fleet is thy motion. 
So happy and free in thy race to the South; 
Smiling the more as thou nearest the ocean. 
And having a look of delight at thy motith. 

Fair Susquehanna! 

Rare Susquehanna! 
Ne'er captured or held in gaunt thraldom of drought. 

O, radiant river, with soft moonlight varnished. 
Thy murmuring tnusic I hear in the dell; 
May never thy fresh, lambent ripples be tarnished. 
But dance on unsullied thro' the fallow and fell. 

Fair Susquehanna! 

Rare Susquehanna! 
Empress of Waters, by thee may I dwell. 


The formation of state and town organizations of Sons of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, Colonial Dames, local historical associations in almost 
every hamlet throughout the Union, and the late efforts made by Har- 
vard University faculty to collect and preserve biographical data per- 
taining to their professors and instructors, all tend to show the uni- 
versal interest taken in such matters by leaders of public opinion. I 
make no apology, therefore, for the part I have taken in the publica- 
tion of this work. It was needed, and that it is the most complete 
record of Binghamton and Broome county yet published, I have every 
confidence. Neither is there egotism in this belief, for the work has 
been such a stupendous undertaking that the assistance of many able 
contributors has been secured, who have searched all available written 
records, both in the capitol at Albany, and those in public and private 
libraries here and elsewhere, and who have also faithfully sought out 
facts from the older citizens. My work has been largely that of 
revising and condensing the mass of material thus brought together; 
a heavy task, and yet a light one. Those who are ever pleased (and 
who is not?) to know the past history of their homes; that this 
street or highway was once a noted Indian trail, that an old legend 
tells of wonderful happenings among the natives on play-grounds 
they loved as children, that a noted chief of the red men once held 
high carnival on the same spot where he first saw the light of day; 


readers who take delight in such facts will understand what a pleasure 
it has been to superintend the work, and yet can readily see how 
difficult to free it from all errors, — for errors undoubtedly exist. 

Those who would have given us dates — those who came on life's 
stage at the dawn of the century — have gone to their reward. Would 
that we could turn the dial back and stand face to face with the 
rugged, common sense men, who constituted the first settlers of this 
vicinity, and hear from their lips the story of distinguishing events, 
which would stand out like bold landmarks indicating the line of march 
through many trials to final success. 

The Pioneers are asleep ! 

Their influence only survives them. By their pluck in overcoming 
obstacles; by their untiring industry; by their economy and thrift, 
they laid foundations deep and wide for their children to build upon. 
The men whose memory we desire to perpetuate were free from the 
ambition and love of gain which seem to be the mainsprings of this 
generation. With them the ownership of a home was the height of 
their hope and aim. 

When the preparation of this volume was begun, at the first step it 
was found that the general public (without whose co-operation the 
undertaking would have been futile) looked askance at the enterprise. 
Many prejudices had to be overcome because of the shortcomings of 
previous publications purporting to be historic. Other matters of 
which it is needless to speak stood in the way. But " a good tale will 
bear telling twice," especially when improved in the manner of the 
telling: The gathering of this tale has been attempted many times 
with varying success in the manner of production. The reason for 
failure in some past works was carelessness. Not so in this work 
for it represents eighteen months of tireless application to the task. 


The writers of this latest " Binghamton " have labored under disad- 
vantages, which have been overcome by painstaking effort and research 
that do not become apparent to the reader in the perusal of the 
volume. Much of the matter has been obtained under circumstances 
of difficulty, owing to the fact that nearly all the traditions are fast 
disappearing. " The rude forefathers of the hamlet" have long been 
in their silent, narrow beds. Their children's children remember 
nothing of the trials and hardships of their ancestors, nor of the 
events of the early days of the land which gave them birth. 

To those who have helped in the preparation of this work, I wish to 
give due credit. It being impossible to mention all who have given 
facts never before recorded, facts which were the more valued for that 
reason, or to personally thank those who have aided the several con- 
tributors, I will content myself with naming a few who have specially 
assisted in lightening this labor of love: Lewis C. Aldrich, John P. E. 
Clark, Edward K. Clark, George B. Curtiss, Israel T. Deyo, John J. Doo- 
little. Dr. George F. Hand, Walter M. Hand, Major Charles H Hitch- 
cock, Dr. David Post Jackson, Julius P. Morgan, Dr. John Gay Orton, 
Clinton F. Paige, Dr. Frederick W. Putnam, Dan S. Richards, and 
Peter D. Van Vradenburg. 

Bespeaking a kindly and charitable reception to this volume over 
which I have devoted so much thought and care, I leave it as my con- 
tribution to the Historical Literature of this community. 

W. S. Lawyer. 

Binghamton, May 1, 1900. 



Our Country— Early European Discoveries and Explorations— Champlaio In- 
vades Iroquois Territory— The First Battle— The French in Canada, the 
Puritans in New England and the Dutch in New York— Rival Powers— Over- 
throw of the Dutch— French and English Rivalries— The Iroquois Confed- 
eracy — Its Origin, Its League and Its Conquests— The Tuscaroras United 
with the Five Nations — Occupy the Valley of the Susquehanna ....._ 1 


French Influence Among the Indians — English Jealousy Aroused — Missionary 
Laborers in the Province — Beginning of the French and English Wars — The 
Final Struggle for Supremacy — Overthrow of the French Power in America 
— The Mohawks and Tuscaroras Fight under Col. William Johnson — Return 
to the Former Habitations 8 


Before the Revolution — Johnson's Influence Among the Indians — Causes Lead- 
ing to the War — The Johnsons Depart for Canada — The Continental Con- 
gress— Outbreak of the War— British Make Allies of the Iroquois — Employ 
Them to Attack American Settlements — Brief Allusion to Events of the 
Period — The Susquehanna Valley Becomes a Frequent Route of Travel — 
Sullivan's Campaign — Gen. Clinton Invades the Valley — Indian Villages 
Destroyed — Ochenang on the Site of the City, and Otsiningo, on the Che- 
nango, Destroyed --_ 11 


Reminiscences of the Revolution, with a Roll of Honor Showing the Names of 
Patriots of that War Who Afterward Settled in Broome County — The Memo- 
rial to Congress Praying that Pensions be Granted to Soldiers of Militia and 
State Troops 22 



The Land Titles — Charters by the Crown — Conflicting Claims of Massachusetts 
and New York — The Hartford Convention — The Boston Purchase — Bing- 
ham's Patent — Brief Sketch of William Bingham, in whose Honor Bingham- 
lon was Named^The Castle Reservation 32 


Earliest Settlers in the Vicinity of Binghamton — Rise and Downfall of Chenango 

Village. __ .. H9 



TON ...: fi4 


chapter' X. 















CEMETERIES _-_ --- - 553 


THE WAR OF 1861-65 556 


FIRST N. Y. VOL. INF., 1898 ---- 598 

















THE TOWN OF KIRKWOOD __._ .__. 804 






INDEX.. - - 1021 


Arms, Taylor L facing 330 

Balcom, Ransom facing 828 

Bartlett, Isaac L._ _ facing 106 

Bartlett, James H. _ ". facing 828 

Bennett, Abel ... facing 305 

Bingham, William facing 37 

Brigham, Elijah W facing &66 

Chapman, Orlow W facing 346 

Crary, Horace H facing 836 

Curtiss, George B. . facing 368 

Day, Frank A ... , .. facinglOlO 

Dickinson, Daniel S ... ..facing 336 

Doubleday, Dr. Ammi facing 405- 

Downs, Francis W. . . facing 367 

Dunham, Thomas L... facing 952 

Dunn, George W . facing 882 

Faatz, William G. facing 948 

Ford, Rodney A facing 832 

Green, George E. facing 892 

Grummond, Fred W. facing 938 

Hall, Samuel H. P. facing 109 

Hand, Stephen D. , M. D facing 414 

Hill, William H ..facing 956 

Hitchcock, Charles H 608 

Hodge, Hial, Dr., ., facing 939 

Hotchkiss, Giles W facing 342 

Jenison, Lewis. _. _ facinglOlS 

Johnson, C. Fred facing 968 

Johnson, George F facing 886 

Jones, Edward F. facing 841 

Lentz, William F facing 854 

Lincoln, George D facing 964 

Magoris, A. Eugene, M. D. facing 434 

Martin, Celora E facing 324 

Millard, Stephen C. facing 362 

Moon, George Q. f^^i^g gog 

O'Connor, Edmund.. facing 348 

( )sborn Wilham R fa^j„| 934 

^h u V?^"^ — - --- facini356 

Scott, Marcus W f acin| 848 

Seymour, Lewis faoinS- 34'i 

Squires, Merritt S. f^n °f rr^ 

Swift, John H... -- — - -^"°Sin?5 

Talbott, Page W. " f^"°^^2nl 

Wells, JohnStuart " ---facmg 904 

White, Le Roys.." "-" " ^"°S otn 

Wilson, Dr. ^^^uiam H.:::::::::::: ::::::;:;;:::;;::;;:;;:::::;;;;::;: J--| IZ 



Bevier street School _ __ _.. 244 

Binghamton— 1840 _ 137 

Binghamton — A View of Court street from the Chenango bridge to the Court 

House, drawn June 4, 18 10, by George Park, esq 129 

Binghamton in 1856 — View east of the Court House _ _. 115 

Binghamton in 1856 — View showing corner of Court and Chenango streets and 

buildings northwest _ __ 116 

Binghamton in 1856 — Brigham Hall in the foreground 118 

Binghamton in 1856 — Showing buildings on the north side of Court street be- 
tween State street and the Weed building 119 

Binghamton in 1856 — Showing Congdon's marble shop. Way's hotel and other 

buildings ._ 120 

Binghamton Academy 227 

Binghamton City Hospital facing 160 

Cafferty House, the. 491 

Central Fire Station— 1899 206 

Central High School 250 

Chenango street in 1856 '. 302 

Court House, Second County. ._ 48 

Court House, Third County 51 

Court. House, 1897-98 53 

Court House Square, 1889 53 

Exchange Hotel, the 493 

Faatz Brush and Felting Works - - 665 

Fairview School. - _ - - 246 

Firemen's Hall— 1857-95. 157 

Granite Block, the original... 489 

Jarvis Street School 348 

Laurel Avenue School 243 

Lestershire Fire Station, Municipal Building and Club House 654 

Lewis House, the --: ..494 

Map of Bingham's Patent ^ 37 

Map of Village of Binghamton in 1808 127 

Map of Binghamton in 1825 131 

Map of Binghamton in 1838 134 

Map of Chenango Point in 1797 126 

Municipal Building - .-- 159 

Oak Street School - 234 

Peterson s Inn 493 

Rossville School - 247 

St. John's Avenue School 349 


Its Settlement, Growth and Development. 


Our Country — Early European Discoveries and Explorations — Champlain Invades 
Iroquois Territory — The First Battle — The French in Canada, the Puritans in New 
England and the Dutch in New York — Rival Powers — Overthrow of the Dutch — 
French and English Rivalries — The Iroquois Confederacy — Its Origin, Its League 
and Its Conquests — The Tuscaroras United with the Five Nations — Occupy the Val- 
ley of the Susquehanna. 

In 1492, Christopher Columbus, a Genoese, sailing under the flag of 
Spain, landed on the shores of the American continent. This event 
has always been mentioned in history as the discovery of America, yet 
the first Europeans to visit the western hemisphere were Scandina- 
vians, who colonized Iceland in A. D. 875, Greenland in 983, and about 
the year 1000 had cruised southward as far as the Massachusetts coast. 
Following close upon the discoveries of Columbus and other early ex- 
plorers, various foreign powers fitted out fleets and commissioned navi- 
gators to establish colonies in the vast and then unknown country. 
These events, however, will be briefly treated and only those will be 
mentioned which had at least an indirect bearing upon our subject. 

In 1508 Auburt discovered the St. Lawrence river; and in 1524 Fran- 
cis I, king of France, sent Jean Verrazzani on a voyage of exploration 
to the new world. He entered a harbor supposed to have been that of 
New York, and it is believed that his crew were the first Europeans to 
land on the soil of what is now this state. This Gallic explorer sailed 
along the Atlantic coast about 2100 miles, cruising as far north as Lab- 
rador, and giving to the whole region the name of " New France " — a 
name by which the French possessions in America were afterward 
known during the dominion of that power, In 1534 the same king sent 


Jacques Cartier to the country. He made two voyages and ascended 
the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal. The next year he again visited 
the region with a fleet which brought a number of the French nobility. 
This party determined upon the colonization of the country, but after 
passing a severe winter on the Isle of Orleans, and suffering much from 
the rigors of the climate, they abandoned the scheme and returned to 

Here we may properly remark that as a beginning of the long list of 
needless and shameful betrayals and treacheries to which the often too 
confiding natives were subjected by early European explorers, Cartier 
inveigled into his vessel the Indian chief Donnegana and bore him and 
several others into hopeless captivity and final death. 

The real discoverer and founder of a permanent colony in New 
France was Samuel de Champlain, who in 1608 planted a settlement at 
Quebec. This intrepid explorer joined with the Canadian Indians and 
invaded the country southward, where he discovered the lake which 
now bears his name, and where he met in hostile conflict the Mohawks 
of the Iroquois confederacy. In the battle which followed the Mohawks 
lost two of their chiefs, both of whom fell at the hands of Champlain 
himself. Thus was signalized the first hostile meeting between the white 
man and the Indian. Low as the latter may have been m the scale of 
intelligence and humanity, and terrible as were many of the subsequent 
deeds of the Iroquois, it cannot be denied that their early treatment by 
the whites could foster in the savage heart any other than feelings of 
bitterest hatred. "I had put four balls into my arquebus," said the 
wily Frenchman, and the "Iroquois were greatly astonished at seeing 
two of their men killed so instantaneously." This event, however, 
was but a single early testimony of how little mercy the Iroquois were 
thenceforth to receive from their northern enemies and the pale-faced 
race which was eventually to drive them from their domain. "It was an 
age, however, in which might was appealed to more frequently than in 
later years, and it is in the light of the prevailing custom of the old 
world in Champlain's time that we must view his ready hostility to the 
■ Indian." 

A few weeks after the battle between Champlain and the Indians, 
Henry Hudson, a navigator in the service of the Dutch East India com- 
pany, anchored his ship (the Half-moon) at the mouth of the river 
which now bears his name. This event took place September 5, 1609. 
Hudson met the natives and was hospitably received by them, but be- 


fore his departure he furnished them freely with intoxicating h'quors, 
from which followed results more disastrous and baneful than those in- 
flicted by Champlain with his murderous weapon. 

Hudson ascended the river to a point less than a hundred miles from 
that reached by Champlain, then returned to Europe, and, through in- 
formation he had gained, soon afterward established a Dutch colony 
(for which a charter was granted in 1614) naming the region "New 
Netherlands." In i621 the Dutch West India company was formed 
and took possession of the Netherlands, and five years later the terri- 
tory was made a province of Holland. 

Meanwhile, in 1607, the Enghsh made their first permanent settle- 
ment at Jamestown, Virginia, and in 1620 planted the historic colony 
at Plymouth Rock. These two colonies became the successful rivals of 
all others in that strife which eventually made them masters of the 
country, but that strong power and dominion was itself overthrown in 
the results of the Revolutionary war, more than a century and a half 
after the New England colony was established. 

Thus it is seen that on the discoveries and colonizations noted in pre- 
ceding paragraphs, three European powers based claims to at least a 
part of the territory of the state of New York: first, England, by rea- 
son of the discoveries of John Cabot, who sailed under commission from 
Henry VII, and in 1497 reached the coast of Labrador, and also those 
of his son Sebastian, who in the next year explored the Atlantic coast 
from Newfoundland to Florida, claiming thereby a territory eleven de- 
grees in width and extending indefinitely westward; second, France, 
from the discoveries of Verrazzani, claimed a portion of the Atlantic 
coast, and also under the title of " New France " an almost boundless 
region westward; third, Holland, based on Hudson's discoveries a 
claim to the entire country from Cape Cod to the southern shore of 
Delaware bay. 

The Dutch became the temporary occupants of the region, but their 
dominion was of brief duration. The miserable and ill-considered pol- 
icy of Governor Kieft provoked the Indians to hostilities, and disorder 
reigned throughout the colony for a period of ten years, and until Peter 
Stuyvesant succeeded to the governorship. His firm and equitable 
policy restored quiet among the natives, but his control of affairs con- 
tinued only from -1647 to 1665, when the Dutch dominion in the Neth- 
erlands was overthrown. 

On March 13, 1664, Charles II, of England, granted by letters pat- 


ent to his brother James, Duke of York and Albany, all the territory 
from the River St. Croix to the Kennebec in Maine, together with all 
the land from the west bank of Connecticut river to the east shore of 
Delaware bay. The duke at once sent a squadron to secure his gift, 
and on September 8, following, the Dutch surrendered. Gov. Stuyve- 
sant being impelled to such action by the colonists, who preferred peace 
with the same privileges accorded to English settlers rather than a long 
and probably fruitless contest with a stronger power. The English 
changed the name of New Amsterdam to New York. 

Thus ended the Dutch dominion in America, but their colonists did 
not withdraw from the territory after the surrender. Many of them 
were thrifty and became prosperous by trading guns and rum to the 
Indians in exchange for furs, thus establishing friendly relations with 
the natives and supplying them with doubly dangerous weapons. This 
peaceful relation was established mainly under Gov. Stuyvesant's rule, 
and was continued after the English accession, but at the same time 
strife and jealously between the English and French was engendered 
and rapidly increased in intensity through many years. The English 
settlements were of a more permanent character than those of their 
rivals, and moreover, they succeeded in forming an alliance with the 
Iroquois, thus gaining a steady advantage over the French, whose treat- 
ment of the Mohawks through Champlain had not been forgotten. The 
alliance between the English and the Iroquois was maintained for more 
than a century, continuing throughout the Revolution (except one or 
two of the nations who were friendly to the Americans), but the results 
of that struggle did not have the effect to deprive them of their terri- 
tory without compensation. 

After the termination of the Dutch rule in the Netherlands, the ter- 
ritory comprising this state was held by three powers— two foreign and 
one native— the French, the English and the famous Iroquois confed- 
eracy, the latter better known as the " Five Nations " of Indians. The 
main possessions of the French were in the Canadas, but through the 
zeal of the Jesuit missionaries their outposts were extended south and 
west of the St. Lawrence, and some attempts at colonization (with par- 
tial success) had been made. Early French accounts indicate occa- 
sional visits by missionaries to the Indian occupants of the Susquehanna 
valley, but the peculiar situation of the region, lying .between the pos- 
sessions of the Iroquois and their old enemies, the Lenni Lenapes ren- 
dered this an unsafe place of abode even by the red man previous to 
about the middle of the seventeenth century. 


The occupied possessions of the English at the time indicated in the 
preceding paragraph were chiefly in the eastern part of what is now 
this state and also in New England and Virginia. With steady and 
sure advances this people were gradually nearing the French. At this 
time, and for many years afterward, the French and English were con- 
flicting powers, struggling for the mastery on both sides of the Atlan- 
tic ; and with each succeeding outbreak of war in the mother countries 
there were renewed hostilities between their American colonies. But 
directly between the French and English possessions lay the territory 
of the Iroquois. The French called them "Iroquois;"' the Dutch 
named them " Maquas," while to the English colonists they were known 
as " Mingoes." Among themselves, however, the men of the confed- 
eracy were known as " He-do-no-sau-nee," which means literally "they 
form a cabin," thus in an expressive manner describing the close union 
existing among them. The Iroquois were also frequently called " The 
People of the Long House;" but by whatever names they may have been 
known, they were a confederation of savages whose peculiar and last- 
ing organization, prowess on the field of battle, loyalty to friends, bar- 
barous revenge upon enemies, stoical indifference to torture, together 
with eloquence of speech in councils, made them the wonder of all civ- 
ilized nations, and evoked from Volney their denomination as " the 
Romans of the New World." 

The origin of this famous confederacy has always been clouded in 
obscurity, and few indeed of our most noted Indianologists agree as to 
the source whence they came. Iroquois tradition ascribes the founding 
of the league to an Onondaga chieftain named Tadodahoh, but such 
traditions are of very little value in fact. Our best and closest students 
of Indian history assert that the league was formed during the early 
part of the fifteenth century (about the year 1416), and was thereafter 
maintained almost wholly intact until the outbreak of the war of the 
Revolution. In 1712 the Tuscaroras, who had been at war with the 
Powhattans and whites in the south, were driven from their territory 
and found refuge with the Five Nations. This, according to well au- 
thenticated history, was only the payment of a debt of gratitude by the 
Iroquois, they having been given substantial aid by the Tuscaroras 
when the Iroquois were waging war against their enemies, the Lenni 

When the Tuscaroras were received into the confederacy the Five 
Nations became the Six Nations, and the added people were assigned 


to territory south of the Oneidas and Onondagas, and therefore became 
inhabitants of the Susquehanna valley. In common with all others of 
the Indian race, the Tuscaroras established villages at convenient 
points in their country and soon took tribal names suited to the locality 
in which they lived. In the beautiful valley of the Susquehanna river, 
after the acquisition referred to, there dwelt the Shawnees, the Susque- 
hannas, the Nanticokes and the Neshaminies, the greater part of whom 
were descended from the Tuscaroras, with others from the related tribes 
of the confederacy, and a few from the conquered Delawares of Penn- 
sylvania. The name Tuscarora was preserved in this locality, but dur- 
ing the later years of the confederacy it had lost much of its individual 

Reliable chroniclers of Pennsylvania history state that the Susque- 
hannas and the Nanticokes were of Delaware and Lenni Lenape origin 
while so good an authority as the late Judge Charles P. Avery, one of 
Tioga county's most accurate historians, informs us that the Susque- 
hannas and Nanticokes were of original Iroquois origin. 

The war between the Iroquois and the Delawares was one of the most 
memorable conflicts ever waged among the savages of America. The 
feud dated back, according to Indian tradition, more than one hundred 
years previous to the formation of the Iroquois confederacy, but it was 
not until about the middle of the seventeenth century that the conflict 
began in earnest; and it was continued until the Iroquois had conquered 
and subjugated the Delawares, who occupied the regions of Pennsylvania 
and the south; until every opposing tribe and race in America was 
overthrown and made to acknowledge the supremacy and authority of 
the conquerors. Indeed, after the conquest of the Delawares, the Iro- 
quois were the acknowledged owners of the territory occupied by the 
former, and the treaty between the Penn proprietary and the Delawares 
could not be consummated until the consent of the victors had been se- 

History informs us that this memorable conflict took place between 
1640 and 1655, and that the subjugation was both complete and perma- 
nent. For many years previous to that time the nations had been at 
enmity and battles of a minor character were frequent. As is well 
known, the main possessions of the Iroquois lay across the state of New 
York (or the territory afterward comprising the state), the Mohawks 
farthest east, then following the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas 
and the Senecas, in the order named, the latter (the most fierce and 


warlike of the nations) occupying and guarding the western extremity 
of the Long House. 

The Delawares, who were descended from the Lenni Lenapes, were 
scattered throughout the territory of the (afterward) state of Pennsyl- 
vania, occupying chiefly the fegions bordering on the larger rivers. 
They, like the Iroquois, took names from the localities in which were 
their principal villages, and as their seat of government, on the advent 
of the whites into the region, was on the Delaware river the whole na- 
tion took the general name of Delawares. 

The valley of the Susquehanna river from Tioga Point (Athens, Pa.) 
to Ingaren (a small Tuscarora village on the site of Great Bend) and 
Onoquaga (Ouquaga) constituted the frontier territory for both the Iro- 
quois and the Delawares previous to the conquest referred to, and was 
not regularly or permanently inhabited by the Indians of either nation. 
Indeed, this was disputable and debatable ground, and its occupancy, 
unless by a superior force, would subject the one people to an attack 
from the other. Therefore it was the existing condition of enmity that 
virtually deprived our valley of any interesting Indian history previous 
to the conquest of the Delawares by the Iroquois; and while the region 
was afterward a common hunting and fishing ground for both victors 
and vanquished, there was no permanent Indian occupation of the val- 
ley until it was assigned to the Tuscaroras in 1713. According to Will- 
iam Fiske Warner, whose contributions to Indian history in the Sus- 
quehanna valley are of great value, the seat of government of the Tus- 
caroras was at Tioga Point (variously known in the Indian tongue as 
Teyaogen and Teiohogen, meaning " the gate ") where the Six Nations 
afterward established a guard for the purpose of ascertaining the char- 
acter of all persons who crossed over into their country. Zeisberger, 
the Moravian missionary, passed through the valley in 1750, and found 
a guard at that point, but in 1778 Col. Hartley destroyed the village and 
drove the occupants from the region. This subject, however, will be 
treated' more at length in a later chapter. 



French Influence Among the Indians— English Jealousy Aroused— Missionary La- 
borers in the Province— Beginning of the French and English Wars— The Final 
Struggle for Supremacy— Overthrow of the French Power in America— The Mo- 
hawks and Tuscaroras Fight Under Col. William Johnson— Return to Their Former 

Notwithstanding the unquestioned superiority of both the French 
and the English over the Iroquois, neither power at first showed a dis- 
position to conquer and drive them from their lands. In their zeal to 
actually possess and occupy all the territory claimed under the name 
of New France, the first half century of their dominion in America 
witnessed remarkable inroads upon the territory of the Senecas and 
Cayugas by the French. The task of planting Christianity among the 
savages was assigned to the Jesuits, a name derived from the Society 
of Jesus, founded in 1539 by Ignatius Loyola; and while their primary 
object was to spread the gospel among the Indians, their scarcely less 
important purpose was to extend the dominion of France. The first 
Jesuit missionary is said to have come into the province as early as 
1625, and within the next twelve years the number had grown to more 
than fifteen. They increased rapidly and extended their influence 
throughout the tribes of the confederacy, even to the Mohawks at the 
eastern end of the Long House, but their progress during the second 
half century was accomplished as much by force of arms as by moral 
and Christian influences. 

In the meantime the Moravian missionaries had established them- 
selves a few miles below Wyalusing, in what is now Bradford county, 
Pennsylvania, from which point they engaged in the commendable 
work of attempting to Christianize the Indian occupants of the Susque- 
hanna valley. They labored faithfully, but were at last forced to ad- 
mit that their efforts as a whole were unsatisfactory and discouraging. 
The same is also true of all later attempts to establish Christianity and 
education among the Indians, and while yielding perhaps sufficient re- 


suits to justify their prosecution, all endeavors in this direction constantly 
met with discouraging obstacles. No strong controlling influence for 
good was ever obtained among the savages of this province previous 
to the time of Sir William Johnson, and even then it is a question 
whether they were not more moved by the power of purchase than love 
of right. 

However, the Jesuit fathers did succeed in obtaining a strong foot- 
hold among the natives, which had the effect to so arouse English jeal- 
ousy that in 1700 the provincial authorities of New York passed an act 
which, were it strictly enforced, inflicted the death penalty on every 
Jesuit priest who should thenceforth come voluntarily into the province. 
But this measure had not the full desired effect although by it many of 
the priests abandoned the field, and French influence among all but the 
Senecas gradually declined. 

Of course all these events took place previous to the permanent oc- 
cupation of the Susquehanna valley by the Six Nations, hence we have 
no record of Jesuit missionary labors in this vicinity, although French 
accounts indicate a knowledge of the region through information gained 
from their priestly emissaries. The names of the more conspicuous 
Jesuits are well known in early New York history, but need no repeti- 
tion here. They left the province within ten years after the overthrow 
of French power in America, and were followed by such noble Christian 
workers as Henry Barclay, John Ogilvie, Talbot, Ziesberger, Spencer, 
Timothy Woodbridge, Rev. Gideon Hawley, Eleazer Wheelock, Rev. 
Samuel Kirkland, Bishop Hobart, Eleazer Williams, Dan Barnes 
(Methodist) and others of perhaps less distinction. 

The advent of the European nations was the forerunner of the down- 
fall of the Iroquois confederacy. In the same manner the rivalries and 
jealousies and wars between the English and French led to the ultimate 
overthrow of foreign power in America and the founding of the govern- 
menfof the United States. English and French contentions in Amer- 
ica began soon after the end of the Dutch dominion, and were con- 
tinued for a period of nearly one hundred years, with brief intermissions 
of peace which were devoted to active preparations for renewed hostil- 

During the same period the French themselves had frequently be- 
come involved in wars with the Iroquois, and the latter were finally 
driven to seek a friendly alliance with the English. The French in- 
vasion of 1693, and that of three years later, cost the confederacy half 


its warriors. About the same time (1690) a convention of English col- 
onists determined to subjugate Canada, and for several years war was 
waged with varying results when the treaty of Ryswick (1697) put an 
end to hostilities, but left unsettled the status of the Iroquois who had 
been friendly to the English. The treaty provided that each nation 
should return to the territory occupied at the beginning of the hostilities, 
which would have brought Montreal within English territory as the 
Iroquois, who were allies of the English, had captured that post and 
were also in possession by conquest of the shores of the St. Lawrence 
river. This situation led to another wrangle between the rival powers 
as the French claimed undisputed authority over the territory by virtue 
of a treaty of peace and purchase accomplished by De la Barre. 

Thus the two powers disagreed for a long series of years over the 
country which but a short time before was the undisputed domain of 
the Iroquois. During the early years of the seventeenth century out- 
breaks between the contending nations were frequent, but not until 
1744 was begun the final struggle for supremacy in America. The 
Iroquois would not take part in this strife until 1746, and were greatly 
disappointed at its sudden termination by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 
in 1748, they having compromised themselves with their old enemies, 
the Indian allies of the French in Canada. 

During the eight years of nominal peace which followed the treaty 
referred to, the authorities of New York had made every endeavor to 
effect a permanent alliance with the Iroquois, and through the influ- 
ence of Sir William Johnson several of the tribes were rallied under 
the British standard. In 1756, after two years of open hostilities, the 
powers were again at war. The Mohawks, and a portion of the Tusca- 
roras of the Susquehanna valley, fought under Sir William Johnson, 
but the Senecas were friendly to the French, though unwilling to battle 
against their brethren of the Long House. The other tribes of the 
confederacy maintained a strict neutrality. 

The events of this final struggle for supremacy in America are not 
necessary to our narrative, as none of the conflicts were waged in the 
Susquehanna valley, and our Tuscarora savages who fought under 
Johnson performed their deeds of valor in localities remote from this. 
The French were at first victorious, but after William Pitt entered the 
councils of George II, England renewed the contest with greater spirit 
than before, and from the fall of Fort Duquesne to the final achieve- 
ments of 1760, history shows an almost unbroken series of British vie- 


tories. With the capitulation of Fort Niagara French dominion over 
any portion of the province of New York was ended, and in the treaty 
of peace in February, 1763, between England and France, Canada was 
ceded to the former power. 

Thus ended the French dominion in America. The Mohawks re- 
turned to the ever willing protection and support offered by Sir William, 
while nearly all the Tuscaroras sought their former habitation along 
the Susquehanna, resuming their occupations of hunting and fishing, 
and in a crude way making some attempt at cultivating the soil. They 
had now become accustomed to the manners of the whites, but there 
was little in their later life to indicate that they ever profited by white 
associations. Throughout the succeeding ten or fifteen years they were 
the peaceful occupants of the valley, but with the outbreak of the Rev- 
olution many of them were arrayed on the side of the king, and as 
allies of a falling power were made to suffer the punishment inflicted 
by Clinton's destroying forces during the summer campaign of 1779. 


Before the Revolution — Johnson's Influence Among the Indians — Causes Leading 
to the War — The Johnsons Depart for Canada — The Continental Congress — Out- 
break of the War — British Make Allies of the Iroquois — Employ Them to Attack 
American Settlements — Brief Allusion to Events of the Period — The Susquehanna 
Valley Becomes a Frequent Route of Travel — Sullivan's Campaign — Gen. Clinton 
Invades the Valley — Indian Villages Destroyed — Ochenang on the Site of the City, 
and Otsiningo, on the Chenango, Destroyed. 

At the outbreak of the Revolution there had been a little more than 
three score years of continuous Indian occupancy of the Susquehanna 
valley. During the latter part of the French and EngUsh wars, this 
region was the occasional thoroughfare of travel between the eastern 
and western extremities of the Long House of the Iroquois, as the 
tribes which maintained neutrality during that period were inclined to 
keep as far as possible from the actual scenes of strife, hence followed the 
southern trail leading up the Susquehanna to the Chenango, and thence 
crossed over north and east to the country of the Mohawks. 

During the war of the Revolution the condition of Indian affairs was 


materially changed, and all the tribes of the Six Nations, except the 
Oneidas and a few of the Onondagas and Tuscaroras, allied themselves 
to the cause of the king. At this time, or during the years immedi- 
ately preceding the war, the influence of Sir William Johnson with the 
Iroquois was paramount, and had the baronet lived it is firmly believed 
he would have espoused the cause of the colonists as against the mother 
country, as his every speech and manner clearly indicated such a pur- 
pose. But upon his death (July 11, 1774) the baronial estate, together 
with much of his former influence over the Iroquois (but never Sir 
William's popularity with the confederacy) descended to his son, Sir 
John Johnson, while the ofiice of superintendent of Indian affairs, which 
the baronet had also held, was given to Colonel Guy Johnson (nephew 
of Sir William), assisted by Col. Daniel Claus. These unworthy suc- 
cessors proved to be the most contemptible and scheming tories in all 
the country, and through the designing and merciless instigation of Sir 
John and his associates were perpetrated some of the most inhuman 
and dastardly outrages of the Revolution. He set the Indians upon 
our frontier settlements, and it is believed the horrible affairs at Wyo- 
ming and Cherry Valley were the results of his instigation. Early in 
the war the Johnson contingent, followed by the tories, Mohawks and 
others, fled from the province and took up a residence in Canada, 
from whence the attacks upon the American frontier were planned. 
However, before proceeding to this part of our narrative a brief allusion 
to the causes leading to the war for American independence is proper. 
The political situation in the provmce of New York, and throughout 
all the colonies, at the outbreak of the Revolution was both unique and 
interesting, since it included influences politically antagonistic, while 
socially there was no feeling of animosity among the pioneers. The 
settlements founded by Sir William Johnson in the Mohawk valley were 
entirely under his control during his lifetime, and the militia was sub- 
ject to his command. His death and the accession of his son to author- 
ity caused a marked change in political events, and one which created 
a division of sentiment and in many instances a rupture in friendship. 
Upon Sir John's departure for Canada that unworthy son took with him 
the Mohawk warriors, a large number of tory settlers who were in the 
valley, and as well a considerable body of Scotch Highlanders who were 
previously located north of Johnson Hall. This evacuation removed 
from the province one of its most obnoxious disturbing factors, but one 
which was the source of much trouble in later years. The magnificent 


Johnson estate, one of the finest in the country, was seized and sold for 
public benefit under the law authorizing the confiscation of tory lands. 
These events, while perhaps having no direct bearing on the subject of 
life in the Susquehanna valley, are nevertheless interesting from the 
fact that the vicinity of Johnson Hall was the source from which ema- 
nated all measures having an influence over the western and southern 
regions of the province at that time, and were, moreover, in a measure 
instrumental in effecting the settlement and development of the more 
remote localities of the state within a very few years after the close of 
the war. 

The foregoing observations naturally lead to an examination of the 
prevailing causes of the war and of the political division above men- 
tioned ; and also occasions a review of events of the period. It is first 
proper to state that while the tory element was numerous the patriots 
were strongly in the majority. 

The policy and practice of taxing the colonies by the mother country 
really began almost as far back as the overthrow of the Dutch power, 
for it seems to have been the king's determination to make them self- 
supporting without any burden whatever upon the home government. 
The burden of the debt was of course very heavy upon Great Britain, 
but it had been chiefly created by the wars in which she had engaged 
on her own side of the Atlantic. The portion, however, incurred by 
wars on this side she proposed to be paid by the colonies alone, not- 
withstanding the vast increase of her domain by the acquisition. But 
the time at length arrived when submission to the measures proposed 
could no longer be endured. The colonies themselves were heavily 
burdened with expenses of the late French wars, yet almost before the 
smoke of battle cleared away the ministry began devising means to tax 
them without asking their consent. In 1764 a proposition was sub- 
mitted to the House of Commons for raising revenue in the colonies by 
the sale of stamps, and a bill to that effect was passed in March, 1765. 
It was bitterly denounced in the colonies, especially in' New York, and 
the Sons of Liberty were organized to oppose it. So great was the 
popular indignation that parliament finally repealed the act, but in its 
place were enacted other oppressive laws, one of which required the col- 
onies to pay for the support of the British soldiery in New York city; 
and when the province refused to comply with the provisions of the 
act, parliament, in retaliation, annulled its legislative powers. In 1767 
another bill imposed a duty on tea, glass, lead, paper and painter's 


colors imported into the colonies, which so aroused the indignation of 
the colonists that organizations were created to oppose the measures. 
One of these was the famous "Boston Tea Party," among whom were 
a few determined New Englanders who afterward became settlers in 
the old town of Chenango. Excited by the bold defiance by the Yan- 
kees, the ministry again retaliated by closing the port of Boston^an 
outrage which awoke national indignation and was the occasion of pub- 
lic meetings in all the colonies, resulting in the assembling of the con- 
tinental congress. 

The continental congress was convened at Philadelphia in Septem- 
ber, 1774, and having adopted a declaration of rights, it added a peti- 
tion to the king and an appeal to the people of Great Britain and Can- 
ada. The New York assembly, however, did not sanction the proceed- 
ing, and instead addressed a remonstrance to parliament, which was 
treated with disdain. Thus varying interests and emotions actuated 
the policy of the colonial assemblies until submission and argument 
were no longer of avail, and the battle of Lexington in April, 1775, an- 
nounced the beginning of the struggle for independence. Following 
close upon the first hostile meeting came the daring exploits of Allen 
and Arnold at Ticonderoga and on Lake Cham plain, but it was some 
time before Tryon county, which then included this region, was made 
the scene of war and strife. 

The policy of the Americans had been to secure simply the neutral- 
ity of the Indians, but their success was practically limited to the 
Oneidas, while the British made undisguised efforts to unite them in 
close alliance with the royal cause. One of their officers exclaimed : 
"We must let loose the savages upon the frontier of these scoundrels 
to inspire terror and make them submit." Joseph Brant, the Mohawk 
chief, who had been educated by Sir William Johnson and who had 
been taken to England and shown marked favor by the government, 
was empowered to lead all who would follow him against the frontier 
settlements; and faithfully did he execute his terrible trust. Lord 
Chatham, however, hurled his bitterest invective against this inhuman- 
ity, and when in 1777 it was advocated in parliament in such words 
as these: " It is perfectly justifiable to use all the means that God and 
nature have put into our hands," he indignantly exclaimed: " I know 
not what idea that lord may entertain of God and nature, but I know 
that such abominable principles are equally abhorrent to religion and 
humanity." But Chatham's appeal was in vain, and the secretary of 


war (Germain) gave instructions to employ the Indians in fighting the 
Americans. A council had been held in Montreal by the chiefs and 
warriors of the Six Nations, the Johnsons, Butlers and Brant and others 
taking part, swearing fealty to the king. This was the first act in the 
long catalogue of slaughter and devastation that followed. 

So far as the Susquehanna valley was concerned, the earlier years of 
the war furnished little of interest. The chief point of operations by 
Brant and his Indian and tory followers was on the Canadian border, 
but he also had an occasional headquarters at De-u-na dillo (Unadilla). 
From the latter place he frequently sent out untiring scouting parties, 
and also more formidable forces composed of English regulars, rangers, 
tories and Indians, keeping in a state of constant alarm the settlements 
along the Mohawk, the Delaware, some of the tributaries of the Hud- 
son, and as well various localities in the valley of the Susquehanna. 

On July 2, 1778, a party of Indians made a descent upon the settle- 
ment of Cobleskill, and two days later occurred the terrible affair at 
Wyoming. The latter event has always been referred to in history as 
"The Massacre." According to the facts no quarter was given during 
the conflict, and the tories and Senecas pursued and killed all they 
could, but those who reached the fort and afterward surrendered were 
not harmed, nor were any of the non-combatants. It was a battle, not 
a massacre. Soon after Wyoming the settlement of Andrustown, six 
miles from German Flats, was plundered by Brant and his warriors, 
and in November of the same year Brant and Butler, with 300 tories 
and 500 Indians, fell upon the settlement at Cherry Valley, plundered 
the dwellings and ruthlessly slaughtered the inhabitants. 

During the period of these and other outrages, the Susquehanna val- 
ley became a frequent thoroughfare of travel for the marauding parties 
of Indians and tories in passing between the western part of the state 
and the Mohawk country. Referring to this subject, Judge Avery's 
narrative says: " The old mode of communication between the valley 
of the Mohawk and Upper Canada, well known to the natives and used 
by them, namely: up the headquarters of that river to Wood creek, 
thence to Oneida lake and Oswego river, was rendered unsafe for them 
by the erection of Fort Schuyler. To reach within striking distance of 
his old home upon the Mohawk, Brant was forced to adopt another 
route, through the valley of the Susquehanna. Coming from the Brit- 
ish possessions on Lake Ontario, he landed his forces at Irondequoit 
bay, near the mouth of the Genesee ; thence up that river to the mouth 


of one of its tributaries ; thence up the tributary to a point near the 
headwaters of the Conhocton; thence down that stream to Painted 
Post ; thence down the Tioga (or Chemung, as otherwise called) through 
Elmira (Skwe-dowa) to Tioga Point (now Athens, Penna.), his south- 
ern headquarters; thence up the Susquehanna through Owego (Ah- 
wa-ga), Binghamton (O che-nang) and Ouquaga (Onuh-huh-quan-geh) 
to Unadilla (De-u-na-dillo), his northern headquarters." 

" Between Unadilla and Tioga Point," continues Judge Avery's nar- 
rative, "free communication was maintained by the Iroquois through- 
out the war, interrupted only for a brief interval in the summer of 1779 
by the appearance of a well appointed American force under General 
Clinton. Well beaten trails on both sides of the river, of considerable 
width, were the avenues of communication used by the natives, and 
over them bands of warriors passed and repassed without hindrance, ex- 
cept the one just alluded to. By the same trail our pioneer settlers 
soon after the close of the war made their way into the valley. They 
were found wide enough for the use of pack horses and cattle, and 
proved in after years upon careful survey the most direct and feasible 
routes from the east and north part of the state. " 

"Prom Tioga Point to Unadilla our valley was their [the Indians] 
stronghold and war path, unvisited by the colonists throughout our 
memorable struggle, except as captives, or as officers or soldiers of 
our army of invasion. Here they drilled in martial exercise, trained 
themselves to warlike feats, and prepared for those deadly incursions 
into the frontier settlements, and for those more formidable engage- 
ments where disciplined valor breasted their wild charge. To this val- 
ley they returned, as to a fastness, with their captives and steaming 

In May, 1778, the Indians made an attack upon Wysockton and cap- 
tured many prisoners, all of whom were taken to Tioga Point and de 
livered up to the British officer in command. Here they were kept un- 
til after the attack upon Wyoming, when all the prisoners (including 
Mrs. Jane Whitaker, who also was a captive), together with the Indians 
and other forces, came up to Owego and thence up the Susquehanna to 
Bainbridge and Unadilla. They remained in this vicinity about two 
weeks, and the captives had the privilege of a fireplace for the purpose 
of cooking. At Bainbridge two British soldiers deserted and attempted 
to make their way to Tioga Point, but were pursued and overtaken in 
the present town of Nichols, where they were shot down without cere- 


As has been fully narrated in preceding paragraphs, the Indian dep- 
redations of 1778 at last determined congress upon a specially equipped 
expedition, the object of which was not only to punish the Indians in 
retaliation for their cruelties, but also to drive them from the region. 
In 1778 Col. Hartley was sent to destroy the Indian encampment and 
village at Tioga Point, but still more severe punishment awaited them 
in the following year. The command of the expedition of 1779 was in- 
trusted to General Sullivan, and in the orders issued to him General 
Washington said: " The immediate objects are the total destruction of 
the hostile tribes of the Six Nations, and the devastation of their set- 
tlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as 
possible." Sullivan was also directed to "to liy waste all the settle- 
ments around so that all the country may not only be overrun but de- 
stroj'ed." Later events showed how faithfully Sullivan performed the 
duty committed to him. Washington had said to him to push " the 
Indians to the greatest practicable distance from our settlements and 
our frontiers; to throw them wholly on the British enemy," and also 
" to put it out of their power to derive the smallest succor from their 
settlements " in case they should attempt to return to them during that 

Sullivan's campaign contemplated the formation of two considerable 
forces of Americans, the southern branch of Which was to proceed 
across the state of Pennsylvania to Tioga Point (the common rendez- 
vous), while the other was to be organized under General Clinton in 
the eastern Mohawk valley and thence proceed to the headwaters of 
the Susquehanna river ; thence down that stream to Tioga Point and 
there unite with Sullivan's army and devastate the country of the Sen- 
ecas in the western part of the state. Of the two forces Sullivan's moved 
with greater dispatch and arrived at the rendezvous far in advance of 
Clinton's men. The latter organized at Schenectady and thence moved 
up the Mohawk to Fort Plain, from the latter place marching to the 
outlet of the Otsego lake. In making this part of his journey Clinton 
was compelled to open a road, and at the outlet of the lake he con- 
ceived the idea of constructing a dam to raise the waters that the army 
might be floated down the river with greater speed. In doing this his 
movements were somewhat delayed, therefore when Sullivan arrived 
at Tioga Point he sent a sergeant and eight men up the Susquehanna 
to inform Clinton of his whereabouts and the appointed rendezvous. 
In this party were Job Stiles, William Weston and John Rush, the last 


two of whom afterward became residents of Broome county and were 
among its substantial pioneers. The party came up the Susquehanna 
to the Chenango, thence up the latter to the Forks, from which point 
they made their way east and north across the country to Otsego lake. 
On returning they came with Clinton's men as far as where this city 
now stands, and thence followed the nearest route to Tioga Point. 

Although considerably delayed in his movements, Clinton at last 
started down the river on the swollen waters. On August 23 he ar- 
rived at Fort Sullivan, having in the meantime devastated the Indian 
country throughout the upper Susquehanna valley. On Thursday, 
March 13, his men destroyed Albout (also called Aleout, and Ouleout), 
a Scotch tory settlement on the river five miles above Unadilla. Next 
Conihunto, fourteen miles below Unadilla, was laid waste, while near 
Unadilla (the village itself having been destroyed by Col. William But- 
ler in 1778) the army burned the only grist and saw mill then in the 
Susquehanna valley. On the 14th the troops destroyed the Indian 
town of Onoquaga (Ouquaga), which was described by Lieut. Beatty as 
one of " the neatest Indian towns on the Susquehanna, being built on 
both sides of the river, with good log houses, with chimneys, and with 
glass windows. " The village also had a church and burying ground 
and a large number of apple trees. In the same locality was found the 
ruins of an old fort, being one probably built for the Indians in 1756 by 
Sir William Johnson. (Rev. Gideon Hawley was a missionary here 
at a very early day.) 

On August 17 the troops marched down to one of the Tuscarora vil- 
lages which had been burned the previous fall by Col. Butler. Here 
the men forded the river and found a small village called Shawhiangto, 
containing about ten or twelve houses, all of which were burned. This 
settlement was within the present town of Windsor. On the same day 
the army crossed over the barren mountainous country to the south and 
came to the Indian village of Ingaren, about on the site of Great Bend, 
where was found a few scattered houses and large fields of growing 
corn, potatoes and other vegetables. Here also was discovered a crude 
tanning establishment, with several hides in the tan pits, and near by 
the decayed body of a man, presumably a white from the fact that a 
Scotch hat was found near the spot. 

On the next day the march was resumed, and as the army was now 
approaching the site whereon stands the city of Binghamton, the writer 
has recourse to the journal of Lieut. Erkuries Beatty, one of Clinton's 


officers, who kept a diary of each day's events. This is important as 
bearing upon the early history of the region, as undoubtedly this was 
the first considerable body of men ever within the limits of the city ; 
and it is a well-known fact that through the information gained on this 
memorable expedition the first settlers were induced to come to the 
vicinity. The journal referred to reads (literally) as follows: 

" Wensday 18 — Marched from Ingaren 7 oclock through a very fine 
rich country very well timbered but poorly watered, scarce any. Ar- 
rived at Chenango river at 4 oclock where we forded it about 4 feet 
deep & almost as wide as the Susquehanna but not so deep. As soon 
as we got over we halted and Major Parr with 100 men went up the 
river to destroy the Chinango town which lay 4 miles up the river, but 
when we came there we found the town was burnt which consisted of 
about 30 houses. It seems when the Indians evacuated last winter 
they destroyed it, therefore we returned and found the army encamped 
3 mile below the Chinango river. Marched to day 23 miles and burnt 
several Indian houses on the road. This evening came up the river 
two runners who informed us that General Poor with 1,000 men was 
within nine miles of us coming to meet us and that Genl. Sullivan lay at 
the mouth of Tyoga and that he had sent part of his army up to Sha- 
mong [Chemung]," etc. 

The foregoing quotation from Lieut. Beatty's narrative is taken ver- 
batim, as the same is recorded in the published account of Sullivan's 
historic campaign. Another interesting narrative is found in the jour- 
nal of Lieut. William McKendry, who was quartermaster in Col. Alden's 
Sixth Mass. Regiment. From Lieut. McKendry's diary we make ex- 
tracts as follows: 

"August 18 — Embarked at 7 o'clock a., m. proceeded one mile and 
burnt one house right side of the river. Went a little further and burnt 
two more. Arrived half a mile below Cheningo creek and turned back 
to said creek and encamped. The general detached a party of men to 
go up said creek and destroy Cheningo town, which was done. Two 
men from Gen'l. Poor arrived to Genl. Clinton and informs that Genl. 
Poor will be within eight miles from this camp this night to escort 
Genl. Clinton's troops to Genl. Sullivan." 

This narrative seems to confirm the statement of John Rush, who 
was with the army, that a camp was established temporarily on the site 
of what is now the city. It is hardly to be presumed that Gen. Clinton 
kept his men in a compact body, for such was not the case, The main 


force was held practically to the valley of the Susquehanna, and detach- 
ments were sent to such points as contained Indian houses or growing 

Lieut. Rudolphus Van Hovenburgh was an officer in Lieut. -Col. Weis- 
senfel's 4th New York Regiment, and kept a journal of each day's move- 
ments. In reference to the events taking place in this immediate vicinity 
the officer said: "Tuscarora, August 18, Wednesday. — We decamped 
and marched at 6 in the morning as far as Shenengo, which is about 16 
miles, and encamped about 4 miles below the Shenengo where it emp- 
ties itself into the Sisquehannah river." And further: " Shenango, 
August 19, Thursday. — We decamped and proceeded on our march at 
6 in the morning as far as Chuckenugh [then an Indian town called 
Chugnutt, but in the locality now known as Choconut] where we met 
with a detachment from Sullivan's army under the command of Gen- 
eral Poor." 

Chugnutt just mentioned was an important Indian town of about fifty 
or sixty houses, nearly all of which were on the south side of the river, 
at the mouth of Big Choconut creek, on the site of the present village 
of Vestal. The Indian village was burned by Gen. Poor's detachment, 
the main body of which, however, was camped on the north side of the 
river near the present village of Union. At this place Clinton's force 
joined Poor's and then proceeded to Ahwaga upon the devastating ex- 
pedition into the Seneca country. The first and in fact the only serious 
battle between Sullivan's army and the Indians was that fought at 
Newtown (Elmira) on August 31, 1779, where the enemy was found 
not only in force but strongly intrenched behind breastworks, while 
their position was surrounded with fallen timber to obstruct the move- 
ments of the attacking army. Notwithstanding this Sullivan assaulted 
the works with such vigor that the Indians and tories were driven from 
their position and fled precipitately in the direction of Fort Niagara, 
a British stronghold. The conquering army then marched hastily to 
the head of Seneca lake, thence down both sides thereof, burning and 
destroying as they went, but meeting with no serious opposition from 
the thoroughly disheartened Indians. The villages were found almost 
entirely deserted, but all the habitations were burned, growing crops 
and fruit trees were destroyed, and the country was laid waste. The 
British soldiers who had opposed Sullivan at Newtown, together with 
their tory allies and Brant's murderous horde of savages betook them- 
selves to the protection of Niagara, from which point the Indians could 


not again be prevailed upon to repossess their former villages during 
the remaining years of the war. 

The results of the campaign to the Americans were important and 
valuable. In all forty-one villages and hamlets were burned, thirteen 
of which were of considerable size, while it was estimated that 150,000 
bushels of corn were destroyed, besides large quantities of other grain, 
crops, vegetables and fruit orchards. To the Indians this blow was a 
more serious matter than the destruction of their villages in earlier 
times, as contact with the whites had taught them to adopt more per- 
manent domestic habits, and had learned them to depend more on ag- 
riculture and less on the chase. They had not only cornfields, but gar- 
dens, orchards, and sometimes comfortable houses. By this time they 
had adopted many of the customs of civilized life, though without re- 
linquishing any of their primitive pleasures, such as tomahawking pris- 
oners and scalping the dead. 

Although Clinton's men were supposed to have destroyed every ves- 
tige of the Indian habitations and crops in this vicinity, the earliest 
pioneers found on Chenango Point, and on the site of the old village 
up the Chenango, scattered evidences of the former occupation. So far 
as published records throw any light upon the subject, it is believed the 
Indian settlement of Ochenang was situated on the point of land be- 
tween the rivers, and was probably well up toward Susquehanna street 
(as afterward laid out), as the land on the extremity of the point was 
low and subject to inundation from the rivers. The village referred to 
as Otseningo was located on the west bank of the Chenango, a short 
distance above the point where Mt. Prospect extends farthest east 
toward the river. The Indians had abandoned and partly destroyed 
the village before the arrival of Major Parr's detachment. 

In this chapter we have been thus particular and treated in detail re- 
garding the events which took place in this immediate locality from the 
fact that past accounts have been somewhat conflicting. As has been 
stated, on the city site the destroying army found a few scattered 
Indian habitations, and while Judge Avery mentions the locality by the 
Indian name of Ochenang, neither of the officers whose journals have 
been consulted appears to have dignified the place with a name. The 
main body of Clinton's army soon passed on down the river and en- 
camped on the north bank, about where the highway leading to Union 
crosses the Erie tracks (where in later years a hamlet settlement was 
started), while the detachment sent to destroy Otseningo made a tem- 
porary encampment on what is now the city site. 


Returning from this important digression, let us briefly refer to the 
closing events of the war in other localities, which had gone forward 
with varying fortunes. The Johnsons and Walter Butler from their 
safe retreat in Canada kept the Indians busy with marauding depreda- 
tions on the American frontier, but the scenes of Wyoming and Cherry 
valley were not repeated, as the campaign of 1779 had broken the 
strength of the confederacy and the Six Nations were no longer a pow- 
erful factor in the British interest. In 1781 Cornwallis surrendered, 
after which there were no active hostilities, although peace was not 
formally declared between the United States and Great Britain until 


Reminiscences of tlie Revolution, with a Roll of Honor Showing the Names of 
Patriots of that War who afterward Settled in Broome County — The Memorial to 
Congress Praying that Pensions be Granted to Soldiers of the Militia and State 

The war of the Revolution was the first and most interesting event 
in connection with early history in the Susquehanna valley, and partic- 
ularly the region now called Broome county. During the war the de- 
sirability and fertility of the land in this locality became known to the 
hardy New Englander, and after the return of peace he was not slow 
to avail himself of the opportunity to exchange life among the rough 
and rugged hills of New England for the rich and level lands of the 
Susquehanna and Chenango valleys. 

Clinton's army opened the way for civilization and development, and 
it is believed the Massachusetts commissioners had definite knowl- 
edge of this locality when they selected the lands between Owego creek 
and the Chenango river as the balance of their tract after securing the 
pre-emptive right to the magnificent Genesee country. 

In General Sullivan's conquering army were soldiers from several 
states, but the men forming CUnton's division were chiefly from eastern 
New York and New England; and within two years after the Hartford 
convention, and almost before the Indian titles to land in this vicinity 
had been extinguished, we find the hardy pioneers seeking homes in 


this new and undeveloped region. Among them were many patriots 
of the Revolution, and it is said that one of their number was the first 
pioneer who settled in this part of the valley. James McMaster located 
on the site of Owego village in 1784. He had served in Clinton's army, 
and through his representations, aided by the influence of Amos Draper, 
Capt. Joseph Leonard, the recognized pioneer in the vicinity, was in- 
duced to come to the locality. He too had seen service in the war then 
recently ended, and was a man noted for bravery and strong actions. 

During the early years of Broome county history, many old survivors 
of the Revolution came and settled in the valley, and so far as the most 
patient inquiry has been rewarded their total number was about 250 
men. Through the persevering efforts of the historian of Tuscarora 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution,' the names of 
these settlers have been secured and thus preserved for the use of future 
generations. The reproduction of their names forms our first " Roll of 
Honor," and while the purpose of this volume is to treat only of Bing- 
hamton and its immediate vicinity, the writer cannot forbear to furnish 
the entire list regardless of location of the patriot settler. 

It is sometimes difficult to believe that 250 survivors of the Revolu- 
tion came and made homes for themselves and their families in the 
region we now call Broome county, yet such appears to have been the 
case; and as the preceding pages have been devoted to a resume of the 
events of that memorable struggle, the present con aection seems appro- 
priate in which to record the names of the participants who afterward 
lived in the county. The descendants of many of them are still living 
in the vicinity, and from them reliable data of their ancestors is ob- 

I Tuscarora Chapter of the National Society of the Daug:hters of the American Revolution 
was orgfanized in Binghamton, October 13, 1895, and was chartered October 30, of the same year. 
The charter members were Kate Moss Ely, Helen D. Orton, Augusta E. Childs, Minnie E. Wood- 
bridge, Mary A. Mason, Mary Thurston Campbell, Ella E. Woodbridge, Susan Doubleday 
Crafts, Frances O. Doubleday, Caroline Shoemaker Phelps, Adele C. Boyd, Sarah B. Craver, 
Nellie M. Grow, Minnie Shepard Matthews, Cornelia Pope Crafts, Bessie V. H. Dickinson, Lucy 
Ely, Catherine R. Ely, Lottie E. Morris, Olive Newell, Frances Kinney, Louise R. Woodruff, 
Annie Mason, Belle Armstrong Mason and May O Barnes. 

The first officers were Kate Moss Ely, regent ; Helen D. Orton, vice-regent ; Mary A. Mason, 
secretary ; Augusta E. Childs, registrar ; Minnie E. Woodbridge, treasurer ; Mary Thurston 
Campbell, historian. Tuscarora Chapter now numbers 96 members. The office of regent has 
been filled in succession by Mrs. Kate Moss Ely, Miss Susan Doubleday Crafts, Mrs. Kate M, 
Bartlett and Mrs, Cora Thompson Farnham. The present officers are Cora Thompson Farnham, 
regent ; Caroline Shoemaker Phelps, Sarah Bates Craver, Mrs. Elmer E. Ensign and Mrs. Anna 
Cor^ielia Gregg, vice-regents ; Mrs. Orlando J. Rowe, chaplain ; Mrs. Mary Northrup, registrar ; 
Mrs. Minnie Shepard Matthews, historian ; Miss Cornelia Pope Crafts, treasurer ; Frances Cruger 
Ford, recording secretary ; Mrs. Annie Mason, corresponding secretary ; Mrs. Kate M. Bartlett, 
Lillian Gould, Mrs. Harriet Bedford Leighton and Mrs Emilie Trowbridge, board of managers. 


tained, but in a majority of cases the information is meagre, hence the 
name only of the person is given. 

Among these patriots were some of the strongest characters in early 
Tioga and Broome county history ; men who molded and influenced 
the social and political course of the community in later years, and 
whose names are worthy to be recorded in history. Others among 
them were perhaps equally worthy but who were quiet, unassuming 
artisans and agriculturalists, whose lives lay along a different path and 
drew no attention to themselves. But, so far as known, all were earn- 
est, upright pioneers who as soldiers opened the way for civilization 
and settlement, and who came to reap the benefits of life in a locality 
as promising as any in the southern part of the state. 

The roll of Revolutionary soldiers follows, and may be considered 
reasonably accurate. 

Capt. Joseph Leonard, born 1751, died 1843 ; was in battles of Bunker 
Hill, Wyoming and others. For further notice see later pages. 

Abel De Forest, a noted character in early village history, and father 
of the late Capt. William De Forest. This surname is preserved in our 
present De Forest street, on the north side of which still stands the old 
pioneer's dwelling, and in which, if tradition be correct, many notables 
were entertained in early times. Abel De Forest was one of Andre's 
guards, and gained much prominence during the war. 

Sergt. Elias Pratt, born 1743, died 1834: enl. 1777 and served one 
year, when he was dis. for disabilities; served in Capt. Christopher 
Ely's 1st Regt. of Conn, troops. Sergt. Pratt was the grandfather of 
the late Hallam, George, Frank and William H. Pratt. 

Sergt. Jesse Hinds, born in Greenwich, Mass., died 1843; served in 
Mass. militia; was taken prisoner and recaptured ; enlisted again in 1779 
in Capt. Dan Shay's company; came to Binghamton in 1818. 

Gains Morgan, father of Maj. Augustus Morgan, and grandfather of 
Tracy R., Julius P., and the late Frederick A. Morgan. Of his military 
service little is known. He came here from Connecticut when an old 

William Stuart, born 1759, died 1831; abandoned school and entered 
the colonial army at the age of 16 ; served seven years and was in many 
important battles, including the surrender of Cornwallis; attached to 
thestaff of the commander-in-chief; original member of the "Society 
of the Cincinnati " ; married a daughter of James Clinton ; further men- 
tion in later chapter. 


Capt. John Sawtell, pioneer on the farm now owned by Luke Dick- 
son, where he kept tavern and entertained Talleyrand when the latter 
passed through Chenango Point; served at Bunker Hill, and was one 
of the famous " Boston Tea Party." 

Lieut. Selah Squires, born 1754, died 1837; enlisted as volunteer in 
Apr., 1775, in Conn, troops; enlisted 1776 and served three months. 
Lieut. Squires learned the trade of hatter with Lewis Keeler, and in 
1804 started a hat shop at the southeast corner of Court and Washing- 
ton streets. He was a notable character in early village history, and 
some of his descendants still live in the city. 

Andrew Hauver (also spelled Hawver), born 1754, died 1816; served 
three years; moved to Chenango in 1810. Some of his descendants 
have attained prominence m various walks of life. 

Col. William Rose, enlisted three times and served with credit through- 
out the war, gaining the title of colonel. He came to Chenango in 
1786; was the first school teacher in the vicinity, and a man of much 
note in the county. 

Ebenezer Tracy served three years in a company of Mass. Infantry. 
At death he was buried in Lisle. He was probably related to Thomas 
Tracy, a pioneer in Vestal and grandfather of Gen. B. F. Tracy, of 
New York. 

Aaron Forbes, enlisted 1780 in Col. Harris' regiment of Mass. troops. 
William Harris, enlisted 1775 in Capt. Harridan's company of Mass. 
line troops; was at Bunker Hill, White Plains, Ticonderoga, Lake 
George, Burgoyne's surrender; served five years. 

Azel Crandall, born 1755 in Westerly, R. L ; enlisted 1775 and served 
at King's Bridge, New London and elsewhere under Gen. Tarbox; 
moved to Chenango in 1822. 

David Hurlbut, enlisted and served three years in Conn, state line. 
He was the ancestor of the Hurlbut families well known in later village 


James Osborn, born 1760, in Ridgefield, Conn., died 1853; enlisted 

1775 in Mass. state troops, and in 1777 in Col. Smith's Mass. regiment; 
served 13 months; settled in Chenango in 1840. 

Moses Barlow, born in Norwalk, Conn, in 1750, died 1834; enlisted 

1776 in Gen. Van Nest's brigade, and in 1778 in Col. Humphrey's reg- 
iment and Gen. Clinton's brigade; later served with Gen. Ten Brock's 
brigade; settled in Chenango in 1816. 

Henry Palmer, born in Pond Ridge, N, Y., in 1763, and enl. at 16 


years of age in the State Coast Guards ; enl. 1780 in Col. Wisenfeldt's 
Regt. and served as a minuteman in the militia; came to the vicinity 
of Chenango Bridge in 1810, and was the ancestor of one of the promi- 
nent Palmer families in Chenango. 

Robert Meeker, born in Conn, in 1753, died 1835; enl. 1775 arid 
served three months in Col. Van Ness' regiment of state troops ; re enl. 
1777 at Fort Edward in Gen. Schuyler's command and served through- 
out the war; came to Chenango in 1807 and settled on the farm next to 
Gen. Whitney's. 

Sergt. Amos Beecher, born in Conn, in 1763, died 1832; was a vol- 
unteer in Col. Willis's state troops ; also served in Col. Webb's com- 
mand and helped build the fort at Dorchester Heights; was also in the 
naval service. 

Timothy Cross, born 1760, in Conn., served as private three months; 
was at Ticonderoga, and in Gen. Stark's regiment at battle of Benning- 
ton; was also at Stillwater (Saratoga) and afterward in Gen. Poor's 
regiment, regular army; settled in Chenango in 1819. 
David Mathewson, enl. 1781 in 3d Conn. line. 

Smith A. Scofield, served in Conn, state line regt. ; was the ancestor 
of the Scofield families living north of Binghamton. 
Asa W. Durkee, New Hampshire state line. 
William Walker, Penna. state line. 

Gen. William Whitney, who was among the early settlers north of 
the city site, was a soldier of prominence during the Revolution, but 
data of his career is meagre. He was an original member of the " So- 
ciety of the Cincinnati." 

Henry Brewer, teamster; enl. 1775, served six years. 
John Swan, enl. 1781 in Mass. state troops. 

Moses Ashley, commonly referred to as General Ashley ; a man of 
much note in early local history, and believed to have been a soldier of 
prominence during the war. 

There were also Capt. Raymond, Col. David Pixley (a conspicuous 
figure in early Owego history), John S. Smith and Charles Stone, all of 
whom, with those previously mentioned, are recorded in the archives 
of the Daughters of the Revolution as having some time lived in the 
town of Chenango as originally created. 

James Britton, born Kingston, N. Y., 1763, entered the army in 
1776, and later on served in the N. Y. militia; died 18:-3- •settled in 
Vestal in 1802. ' 


Abraham Winans, served as private throughout the war. 

Davis Truesdell, served in Col. Delavan's cavalry, and also in other 
branches of the army; settled in Vestal in 1801. 

Jacob Skillman, private, settled in Union in 1800, and was the ances- 
tor of a prominent family in the town. 

John Wilson, private in N. Y. troops; settled in Union in 1839. 

Solomon Robbins, private in N. Y. troops; settled in Union in 1831. 

Isaac Potts, private in N. Y. troops. 

James Brown, jr., private in Mass. line. 

Penenas Pomeroy, served in Mass. line. 

Adjutant-General Joshua Mercereau, one of the distinguished officers 
of the Revolation, and the friend and associate of Washington. Gen. 
Mercereau is believed to have settled first on the Vestal side of the 
river and afterward moved to Union. He was a prominent figure in 
local affairs and from him have descended some of the best families of 
the county. 

John Mercereau, brother of General Mercereau, came to Vestal in 
1793 but soon removed to the site of Union village, in which locality 
some of his descendants have ever since lived. For further mention of 
General and John Mercereau see chapter relating to Union. 

John Durfee, enl. in Conn, state troops and was sent to Rhode Isl- 
and, where he saw both land and naval service. 

John Wilson, also a patriot, settled in Union, but of his career noth- 
ing is now known. 

James Roberts, enl. as substitute in 1776 in Conn line troops. 

William Matthewson, who settled in Triangle in 1807, and who died 
in 1835, had an honorable Revolutionary record. 

Ashbel Osborn, who settled in Colesville in 1807, and whose name is 
well preserved in the town, was a teamster in the service. 

Joel Curtis, of Colesville, was a private. 

Edmund Kattell, of Colesville, was a Rhode Island soldier, and set- 
tled in this county in 1830; died 1833. From this surname we have 
the little hamlet called Kattellville, and also several prominent families 
in that part of the county. The late Alonzo and Judge Edward A. 
Kattell were descended from this Revolutionary pioneer. 

Thomas Eldridge, who settled on the river in Vestal in 1793, was 
an officer of militia and of marines during the service, and also served 
on a privateer and French frigate. 

Of the remaining Revolutionary soldiers who found homes in this 


county, few were located in the vicinity of what is now the city, there- 
fore we may record their names briefly and collectively, and without 
regard to the particular service of each unless of an unusually promi- 
nent character. 

In addition to those before mentioned may be recalled the names of 
Thomas Greene, of Triangle; John Wheeler and William Wood, of 
Lisle; Joel Garnsey, of Windsor, of the 4th Regt. of Conn, troops; 
Roswell Higley settled in Windsor in 1793, and served at Montreal and 
Quebec; Elijah Gaylord, who settled in the county in 1829; Benj. John- 
son, Triangle, settled 1810; Sergt. Nathaniel Cole, of Colesville; 

Rogers (whose christian name was either John or Simeon), Barker; 
Jedediah Blanchard, Lisle; Moses Lyon, Sanford; Elias Bevier, Conk- 
lin, settled 1815; Joshua Baker, settled in Colesville 1812; Paul Atwell, 
said to have come to Windsor in 1780; Samuel Stow, settled in Wind- 
sor 1793 (grandfather of Nelson and George W. Stow); Martin In- 
gram, Maine ; William Weston, who was one of the bearers of dispatches 
from Sullivan to Clinton in 1879, one of the first white men to trav- 
erse the Susquehanna valley, was a fifer in Gen. Poor's troops and 
later a soldier, a pioneer and for many years a resident of Vestal; 
Capt. Luther Mason, born in Litchfield, Conn., and served with troops 
of that state (settled in Windsor, died in 1843; was the ancestor of 
Mary A. Mason, well known in local, social and literary circles) ; Ma- 
lachi Loveland, Windsor, served as ensign; David Manning, Lisle; 
John Stewart, Windsor; Joseph Stoddard, Lisle, great-grandfather of 
Mrs. George Whitney; John Rush, Vestal, one of Poor's brigade and 
one of the dispatch bearers who came through the valley in 1779, and 
with his companions was on the site of Binghamton before the war was 
ended. (Patriot Rush is recalled as a man of unusual stature and of 
excellent mental qualities. He was one of Washington's body guard, 
and served in many of the most important battles of the war; was 
guard over Andre, and one of the men appointed to escort Lord Corn- 
wallis into the American camp after his surrender; John Rush, of the 
war of 1812, was son of the Revolutionary Rush, and La Fayette Rush 
is the son of John, jr.); Jedediah Seward, Maine, settled in 1786, was 
under Washington's command; John Thomas, Conklin, private in Mass. 
troops; John Conklin, Conklin, was present as guard at execution of 
Andre; John Ramsey, Lisle, Conn, line; Orange Johnson, Lisle, Mass. 
line; John Wasson, Colesville, Conn, line; Joseph Hess, Windsor, black- 
smith; Jonas Underwood, Windsor, Mass. line; Ambrose Barnes and 


Benj. Parker, Lisle; Thaddeus Thompson, Lisle, Mem. Soc. of the Cin- 
cinnati; Davis Hulbert, Lisle; Capt. Horatio Ross, Union (Owego); 
Samuel Phipps, Lisle; Richard Walling, Owego; Garret Cronk, Lisle; 
Anson Camp, Campville; Silas Walton, Lisle; James Roberts, drummer, 
a pioneer of Hooper; Jasper Edwards, Lisle, set. 1793; Jos. Cleveland, 
Hooper, set. 1813; Seth Edson, Colesville; Benj. Warner,. Windsor, 
set. 1801; Elmore Russell, Windsor, set. 1800; Aaron Benedict, Lisle, 
set. 1808, died 1836; Samuel Hinman, Triangle; James Knox, Coles- 
ville; Nathaniel Rogers, Triangle; Chris. Coates, Barker; Thomas 
Crawford, town unknown; "Tom," the Indian scout, who gave splen- 
did service during the war. 

The rolls of the society also contain many names of soldiers whose 
place of residence was not known. Among them were Daniel Culvert, 
Charles Ripley, Benj. Parker, John Parker, Isaac Potts, Winthrop Roe 
(Union), Perley Rogers, George Ramsey, Keene Robinson, Josiah Swift, 
Silas Seward (McClure Settlement), Jonas Underwood (Sanford), James 
Watson, James Wheeler, Silas Walton, Anthony West, Stephen Sey- 
mour, David Chamberlain, Samuel Ingraham, Elias Bayless, Simeon 
Gould, John Gee, Caleb Gleason, Joseph Handy, Reuben Holbrook, 
Joseph Heath, Seth Hamlin (North Sanford), Wm. Harris, Wm, John- 
son, Edward and Orange Johnson, Reuben Legg, John McMullin, 
Gardner Knowlton, Eli Nichols, George Notewire, Joseph Pike, David 
Potter, Paddock Pierce, Sylvanus Finch, Abner Rockwell, John Wilkin- 
son, Orringh Stoddard (the last four of Union), Joshua Wilson, Wm. 
Wood, Jos. Howland, Isaac Livermore, John Allen, Azel Bentley, Cald- 
well Cook, Oldham Coates, Elijah Dewey, Elisha Dickinson, Jonathan 
Hervey, Samuel Greenly, Elnathan Gload, John Goodale, John Nash, 
Caleb Nourse, Henry Newton, Cornelius McClease, and Titus Paige. 

There were also Solomon Frost, Eri Kent, John Bartis, Israel Alden, 
Nathaniel Burlingame and Joshua Knowlton of Windsor; Samuel 
Badger, of Colesville; Solomon Armstrong, of Barker; John Andrus, 
of Kirkwood; Benj. Lawrence, of Conklin; Asaph Morse, of Nanticoke. 

Nearly all of these old patriots of the war for American iudepeudence 
were in modest circumstances, some of them very poor, while few in- 
deed of the number could afford any of the luxuries of life as then en- 
joyed. They came to the region, as did other pioneers, hoping to ben- 
efit their condition and provide comfortable homes for their families. 
Their land was purchased at reasonable prices, and they at once set 
about its cultivation and development. As it was with the survivor of 


the Revolution so it was with his neighbor who did not take part in 
that struggle, but it so happened at that time that the patriots had 
cause to exclaim against an existing condition. 

Under a law of congress passed March 18, 1818, pensions were pro- 
vided to be paid to those soldiers of the Revolution who had served in 
the regular or United States army, and they alone were entitled to its 
benefits, to the exclusion of the militia or state troops, whose service in 
man)' cases was fully as meritorious and hazardous as that of their more 
favored fellows. The injustice or at least the discriminating provisions 
of the act were so manifest that the whole body of troops, both regulars 
and militiamen, were loud in their denunciation of them, yet more than 
twelve years passed before congress remedied the wrong. In 1830 and 
1831 the militia troops of the country sent petitions to congress, pray- 
ing that they too be admitted to the benefits of the pension act; and in 
pursuance of the prevailing sentiment of the period, the surviving sol- 
diers of the Revolution then living in the town of Chenango, with a 
few from other towns, but representing the body of survivors in the 
county, regardless of the branch of service with which they were con- 
nected, assembled in mass meeting at Binghamton on June 7, 1833, and 
adopted a memorial to be presented tg congress. The petition was duly 
prepared, read and adopted, and ordered sent to congress. It was 
signed by the 47 delegates present, and was as follows : 

"To the Honorable, the Congress of the United States of America 
in Senate and House of Representatives assembled. 

"The memorial of the undersigned, inhabitants of the county of 
Broome, in the State of New York, sheweth : That your memorialists 
enlisted and were actively engaged as soldiers and artificers and at- 
tached to that portion of the army known as state troops, in the war of 
the Revolution ; that^they have received in fact no compensation for their 
services either from the government of the United States, or from the 
state, in the militia on which many of your memorialists' served ; that 
some of your memorialists can show the scars of honorable wounds re- 
ceived in the service of their country against the common enemy and 
that they are fast approaching the termination of life, broken down by 
mfirraities, oppressed by poverty, and their only hope of relief is in 
this, their earnest appeal to the justice of this country. 

" Your memorialists therefore pray that some provision may be made 
by an act of your honorable body, to relieve their necessities in th^ir 
declming years, and thus smoothe the passage to that humble grave 


which they are fast approaching; and your memorialists will ever 

"May 8, 1831." 

As previously stated, the memorial was signed by forty-seven of the 
petitioners, chiefly those who are mentioned as having lived in the 
town of Chenango, as then constituted. 

Memorials of a similar character were forwarded to congress from 
various portions of this state, and from other states, and the result was 
an act passed June 7, 1832, extending the benefits of the pension laws 
to all soldiers of the Revolutionary war whose service was in the organ- 
ized militia of state troops. 

Immediately after the passage of the act another meeting of surviv- 
ors was held at the " Binghamton Hotel," at which time Col. William 
Rose was chosen chairman, and John Rodgers, of Barker, secretary. 
At this time a series of resolutions were adopted, one of which was as 
follows: " Resolved, That our representatives in congress who have 
been instrumental in procuring the passage of the act of June 7, 1833, 
granting pay and pensions to the surviving soldiers of the Revolution, 
have and are justly entitled to our thanks." 

The second resolution provided that George Park be appointed at- 
torney to act for and secure to the survivors the pensions authorized in 
the act above referred to. 

At that time and for many years afterward George Park was one of 
the prominent characters in village history. He was perhaps best 
known as "Squire" Park by reason of his connection in one capacity 
and- another with the administration of law. Squire Park's reminis- 
cences of early life in the village would form one of the most interest- 
ing chapters in local history, for his especial delight was to sit with the 
pioneers and draw from them in his pleasant manner the best of their 
recollections of old times. His maps and manuscripts were preserved 
throughout his life, but after his death they were unfortunately regard- 
ed as of little value, hence were scattered and lost. It was Squire Park 
who drew and prepared the outline map of Binghamton in 1810, which 
has been reproduced in almost every work treating of early life in this 
most interesting locality. He came to the village in 1810 and was a 
continuous resident to the time of his death, about twenty years ago. 
(See Bench and Bar chapter for further notice). 

Of the old Revolutionary survivors who once formed a considerable 
element of population in Chenango, not one now remains to tell again 


the story of life either in the army or the almost equally eventful period 
of pioneership in the region. They are all gone, and while their de- 
scendants are still numerous in the county, the records of the Daugh- 
ters of the Revolution show but two members who were daughters in 
fact of those patriotic ancestors. Like the original, the second genera- 
tion has now almost entirely passed away. 


The Land Titles — Charters by the Crown — Conflicting Claims of Massachusetts 
and New York — The Hartford Convention — The Boston Purchase — Bingham's Pat- 
ent — Brief Sketch of William Bingham, in whose Honor Binghamton was Named — 
The Castle Reservation. 

The treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United States es- 
tablished the boundary line of their respective possessions along the 
center of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence and Niagara rivers, and Lake 
Erie, but regardless of this the British held forts on the American side, 
maintained garrisons and frequently attempted to incite the Senecas to 
make war on the Americans. The treaty made no provision whatever 
for the Indian allies of Great Britain. Theirs had been an alliance with 
a falling power, and the savages could expect no consideration at the 
hands of the victorious Americans. They had neither the means nor 
the capacity to measure the cost or consequences of war. The United 
States, and also this state, treated them with great consideration and 
with much moderation, although they had twice violated their pledges 
and engaged in war against the colonies. They were nevertheless ad- 
mitted to the benefits of peace and were recognized as the owners of 
all the land in the state over which they had roamed previous to the 
Revolution. The " line of property," as it has been called, ran along 
the eastern boundary of Broome and Chenango counties and thence 
northeast to a point seven miles west of Fort Stanwix (Rome) This 
line was established at a council held at Fort Stanwix in 1768 between 
American commissioners, headed by Sir William Johnson' and the 
sachems and chiefs of. the Six Nations. All the lands of the'state east 
of the Ime were to be regarded as a part of the English territory while 


the Indians held the country west of the line. At a treaty held at Fort 
Herkimer in 1785 the Onondagas and Tuscaroras sold to the state all 
the land between the Unadilla and Chenango rivers, but the Tuscaroras 
received no portion of the proceeds. In this purchase the state acquired 
from the Indians eleven full townships of land and parts of four others 
in the present counties of Broome, Chenango and Tioga. In 1788 the 
Oneidas ceded all their remaining lands to the state, except certain 
reservations in Oneida and Madison counties. In the same year the 
Onondagas sold to the state all their lands, except a hundred mile res- 

The earlier cessions of land above referred to were indirectly the out- 
growth of an existing controversy between the states of Massachusetts 
and New York regarding their respective boundary lines. This dispute 
had an important bearing on the question of land titles in Broome 
county, and therefore deserves attention in this connection. 

As has been stated in a preceding chapter, in 1606 James I, of Eng- 
land, granted a charter to certain residents of Plymouth which carried 
title to all the territory between the 40th and 48th parallels of latitude, 
and extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The Plymouth Council 
was incorporated in 1630 and was authorized to make any transfer of 
the land held under the charter of 1606. The so-called Massachusetts 
Bay grant was made in 1608, and was confirmed in 1629. The Con- 
necticut charter was made in 1630, and was confirmed by Charles II in 
1663. In 1664 the same king granted by letters patent to his brother 
James all the territory from the St. Croix to the Kennebec in Maine, 
and from the west bank of Connecticut river to the east side of Dela- 
ware bay. This was the grant mentioned in a previous chapter, the 
immediate result of which was the overthrow of the Dutch dominion 
in the Netherlands. It created for the benefit of the duke a proprietary 
government similar to that under which Pennsylvania was granted to 
and settled by William Penn. But in 1685 the Duke of York succeeded 
to the throne, and his charter thereupon merged in the crown. There- 
after New York was governed as a royal province instead of a propri- 
etary, which fact in a measure accounts for the loyalty to the crown of 
all its governors previous to the Revolution. Tryon was the meanest 
and torylike of the lot, and it was through his inimical conduct that 
New York furnished so many tories to the British arms during the war. 

From what has been stated in preceding paragraphs it must be seen 
that the charters for the eastern companies and that for New York 


were conflicting, and that the grant to the Duke of York overlapped 
that of the Plymouth company. Previous to the Revolution settle- 
ments had not extended far in the western country, and as America 
was then composed of struggling colonies no attention was given by 
them to their boundaries ; but after state governments had been estab- 
lished, and the perpetuity of the United States was assured, the states 
began looking carefully to the extent of their respective possessions. 
The result was a dispute concerning the ownership of, and jurisdiction 
over, this state, and for a time the controversy was carried on with 
much warmth. Finally the federal government called for a cession of 
the territory on both sides with an intention to settle the matter amica- 
bly between the contestants; but in the meantime commissioners rep- 
resenting the states met at Hartford, Conn. (Dec. 16, 1786), and com- 
promised the dispute. According to the determination of the commis- 
sioners. New York retained sovereignty and jurisdiction over all the 
territory of the state, while to Massachusetts was ceded the right of 
pre-emption of the soil (that is, right of first purchase from the native 
Indians) of substantially all the tertitory west of a line drawn due north 
from the 83d milestone on the Pennsylvania north line extending north 
through Seneca lake to great Sodus Bay, in Lake Ontario. New York 
also ceded to Massachusetts the pre-emptive right to 330,400 acres of 
land lying between Owego creek and the Chenango river. The south 
boundary of this tract extended due east and west between the 
mouth of the Owego creek and a point about a mile above the mouth 
of the Chenango. The line in fact began about 500 feet north of the 
north line of Prospect street and thence extended west across the north- 
east corner of Spring Forest cemetery and the Seymour farm to Les- 
tershire, entering the river just west of the mouth of Little Choconut 
creek. The lands (now in Vestal) whereon pioneers Daniel and Sam- 
uel Seymour settled were included in the purchase, but about a quar- 
ter of a mile west of the mouth of Patterson's creek the line recrossed 
the Susquehanna and thence continued due west to Owego creek. 

Thus it is seen that a small part of what is now Vestal is on the Bos- 
ton Ten Towns tract, but a comparatively small part of our city is 
within the purchase. The towns of Maine, Nanticoke, Lisle Triangle 
Baker, are within the tract, as also are parts of Chenango a'nd Union' 
The village of Union, with a small extent of territory northward is a 
part of the tract originally granted to Hooper, Wilson and Bingham, 
which IS referred to in a later paragraph. 


The Boston Purchase, as' it is generally known, has an interesting 
history. In 1787 330,000 acres of it were purchased by eleven resi- 
dents of Berkshire county, Mass. , at a cost of twelve and one-half cents 
per acre, and subject to whatever title the Indians might have. The 
original grantees subsequently admitted others to their association un- 
til the number became sixty, but for convenience the conveyance was 
made to "Samuel Brown and his associates." When Brown came to 
the region to treat with the Indians for their title he found two white 
settlers in the valley, through whom he met with considerable trouble. 
These men were Amos Draper and James McMaster, the former of 
whom came into the valley in 1783 and established himself as a trader 
at Chugnutt, the site of the old Indian town at the mouth of the Choco- 
nut, near the present village of Vestal. By trading with the Indians 
Draper had gained their confidence and was a power among them. 

James McMaster was a soldier in Clinton's army, and the expedition 
of 1779 impressed him with a desire to dwell in the Susquehanna val- 
ley. In 1784 he came on a prospecting tour, and at Chugnutt fell in 
with Draper. The two formed a firm friendship, and at the same time so 
ingratiated themselves in the Indian affection that the trusting natives 
were persuaded to make McMaster a concession of land on Owego 
creek. The latter at once began improving his tract, for he was both 
farmer and frontiersman, while Draper was only a trader and tempo- 
rary occupant. 

When Samuel Brown sought to purchase the Indian title he found 
McMaster comfortably located on the site of Owego, and warned him 
off. This, however, did not avail and when the worthy proprietor at- 
tempted to arrange a treaty with the Indians the latter would not be 
persuaded to meet him until a generous concession of land was promised 
to McMaster as "original occupant," first settler, and a great friend to 
the red man. McMaster selected and secured a half-township of 
land (extending three miles up the Susquehanna and six miles up 
Owego creek), including the site whereon now stands the village of 
Owego, after which the Indians consented to a treaty. The first meet- 
ing was held in 1787, on the west bank of the Chenango river, about 
three miles above the city. Nothing was then accomplished on account 
of McMaster's objections above mentioned, but at a subsequent treaty 
held at Ochenang (the city site) the Indians were induced to sign away 
their domain. 

The foregoing statements relative to treaties are somewhat at vari- 


ance with the narrative contained in the "Annals of Binghamton," and 
are taken chiefly from Judge Avery's admirable sketches of early times 
in the Susquehanna valley. In the Annals, Mr. Wilkinson says the 
commissioners sent by the company to treat with the Indians were Eli- 
jah Brown, Gen. Orringh Stoddard, Gen. Moses Ashley, Capt. Ray- 
mond and Col David Pixley, and that the first meeting with the natives 
was held on the east side of the Chenango, two or three miles above the 
city, in the early part of the winter of 1786; but that nothing was then 
accomplished, and that at an adjourned treaty held at the "Forks of the 
Chenango," the transaction was completed. It is also said that be- 
tween 300 and 400 Indians were present at the occasion. 

The question as to where the treaty was held, or what was then ac- 
complished, is not of special importance to our narrative, but both ver- 
sions are given that all the facts may be known. However, it is cer- 
tainly gratifying to be able to state that at least one treaty was held on 
the site of our city, therefore we are inclined to give much credence to 
Judge Avery's account. 

Bingham's Patent. — Among the several tracts of land which con- 
tribute to the area of the city, that commonly known in published 
records as Bingham's patent is of first importance, for through the 
direct proprietorship of William Bingham, who owned the tract, a set- 
tlement was founded, a half-shire was established, a county seat was 
located, and eventually a thriving village was built up. We have no 
direct authority for the statement that Mr. Bingham ever visited his 
purchase here, but he unquestionably did so, for he was one of the 
shrewd and successful business men of the country, owning and de- 
veloping lands in various localities, and while he could not give close 
attention to each tract he nevertheless exercised constant supervision 
over all of them. He was especially fortunate in selecting Joshua 
Whitney as his agent in this locality, for through the management of 
the latter the settlement was removed from up the river to the "Point " 
and development was begun and carried on with much vigor. 

The greater part of the city stands on Bingham's patent ' The tract 
has ever been known by the name just used, yet it is a question whether 
as a matter of strict accuracy such a designation is proper notwith- 
standmg the fact that all public official records recognize and sanction 
the name On June 27, 1786, a land patent was granted by the state 
to Robert Lettis Hooper, James Wilson and William Bingham for a 
tract of land contaming 30,630 acres, lying on both sides of the Sus- 



quehanna river, and including parts at least of the present towns of 
Union, Vestal, Binghamton, Conklin aad Kirkwood. On February 11, 
1790, the proprietors partitioned their lands among themselves, and the 
deed from Hooper and Wilson to Bingham bears that date. In this di- 
vision the western part of the tract fell to Mr. Wilson, and afterward 



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Map of Bingham's Patent. 

took the name of " Wilson's patent," although Hooper probably held an 
interest with him for a time. The Bingham tract lay on the eastern 
end of the entire purchase, and, as has been stated, included nearly all 
the land whereon our city now stands. South of the Bingham tract, 
and including portions of the present fifth and sixth wards, is one of 
the Sidney tracts, which was patented to Robert Morris, Dec. 13, 1787. 
The north part of the city, east of the Chenango river, forms a small 
portion of the commonly called Clinton & Melcher Tract, which was 
patented to James Clinton and Isaac Melcher, March 19, 1787. 

William Bingham, in allusion to whom our city is named, was an 
Englishman by birth and a man of much note in business and mercan- 
tile life in Philadelphia. He was an early American colonist, and cei- 
tain accounts state that he served with credit in the American army 
during the Revolution, and earned a commission in the service. How- 
ever, of this part of his life our information is limited. Mr. Bingham 


was educated for the legal profession, but on coming to America he 
saw promise of greater success in mercantile pursuits, therefore estab- 
lished himself as an importing and domestic merchant in Philadelphia. 
He was successful and accumulated a fortune, and after the close of the 
Revolution, in common with nearly all the men of means in his time, 
could not resist the temptation to invest largely in lands in various 
parts of the country. Here, too, he was abundantly successful, and 
from the Bingham tract alone it is believed he reaped a fortune. He 
was a generous proprietor and made excellent provision for the future 
growth of the village founded under his ownership. 

In this locality Mr. Bingham's agent and active manager was Gen. 
Joshua Whitney, a choice which later events showed to have been the 
best for local interests that could have been made. At that time Che- 
nango Point was a half-shire town of Tioga county, and Mr. Bingham 
promised to donate for the site of a court house and other public build- 
ings a favorably situated tract of land. This, however, was not con- 
summated during his lifetime, and not until after Chenango Point had 
become the county seat of Broome county was this done by his repre- 
sentatives. Mr. Bingham died Jan. 30, 1804, his will naming Alexan- 
der Baring, Henry Baring, Thomas Mayne Willing, Robert Gilmor 
and Charles Willing Hare as his executors. 

After Mr. Bingham's death Gen. Whitney continued to act for the 
estate until all the lands were disposed of, the executors making con- 
veyances according to the direction of the agent. But it appears that 
only two of the executors joined in the conveyances, while the others 
delegated authority by letters of attorney to their energetic fellows to 
act for them. This was said to have been unlawful, on the ground 
that executors could not delegate authority in such cases to their asso- 
ciates, and at one time it was thought that many of the land titles in 
the village would fail, or rest only on the insecure foundation of " title 
by adverse possession" ; but with certain enabling acts of the legisla- 
ture, together with commonly recognized validity of the titles the 
question was of no more than temporary discussion, and it is now' con- 
ceded that the foundation of land titles in the city is as firm and valid 
as in any part of the state. 

In treating of land titles and the acquisition of Indian rights to prop- 
erty an interesting incident is recalled in connection with the treaty 
made by Samuel Brown and the natives relative to the Boston Pur- 
chase. It appears that the Indians were accustomed to get ingloriously 


drunk every night, but during the day invariably kept sober; nor could 
they be persuaded to negotiate their lands while at all under the influ- 
ence of intoxicants. It is not claimed, however, that the commission- 
ers' of the Boston proprietary furnished liquor to the Indians in order 
to influence their action or make their own task more easy. In the 
treaty it is said that the Indians reserved the right to hunt and fish on 
the ceded tract for a term of seven years, and also reserved a half 
mile square of land for their use at the mouth of Castle creek. Reliable 
accounts state that the Indians occupied the tract during the full term 
of their reserved privileges, and some of them remained in the vicinity 
many years afterward. As late as 1830 parties of red men were fre- 
quently seen prowling about the village outskirts causing much fright 
among the children of the settlers. 


Earliest Settlers in the Vicinity of Binghamton — Rise and Downfall of Chenango 

All the writers of cotemporary history accord the honor of having 
been the pioneer settler in the vicinity of Binghamton to Captain Jo- 
seph Leonard, a patriot of the Revolution, who became acquainted 
with the region through the representations of Clinton's men, but who 
was induced to make the settlement through the influence of Amos 
Draper, the Indian trader of Chugnutt. The details of Capt. Leonard's 
journey up the Susquehanna from Pennsylvania in 1787 are not neces- 
sary to our narrative, and it is sufficient to state that the pioneer was 
accompanied by his wife and hired man, the latter propelling the boat 
up the river while Leonard made the trip by land, riding or driving 
his team of horses. On arriving at the mouth of the Chenango, Leon- 
ard made his way up that stream about three miles, and disembarked 
his goods at a favorable site on the rich flat land that stretches away in 
almost every direction in the vicinity of and just above the present 
county farm. 

In this locality, but somewhat lower down, was subsequently estab- 
lished a hamlet called Nimmonsburg, but afterward known by the 


undignified name of "Goosetown." According to Capt. Leonard's 
reminiscences of his journey, when he reached the west bank of the 
Chenango, and had passed up the stream nearly a mile he found a man 
named James Lyon occupying a temporary cabin just south of the pres- 
ent Ferry street bridge and about where stood Col. Paige's potash works 
of half a century and more ago; but as to the character of Lyon's set- 
tlement, of the length of his residence in the community, the writer 
has only obscure light. He lived here for a time, however, and kept a 
ferry across the Chenango, about where the Ferry street bridge is built. 
Lyon was a squatter on Bingham's patent, and with others joined in a 
petition to be quieted in his possessions, but it is really unfortunate 
that so little is known of the pioneer in fact of the city site. 

In Capt. Leonard's family was a son, Amos, who is said to have been 
the first white child born in this county. He lived on the old farm to 
the time of his death, just previous to 1870. 

Soon after his arrival Capt. Leonard, in company with Amos Draper, 
brought the Indians together in council near the Leonard cabin, and 
there secured from them a concession or lease for a term of 99 years, 
which was proposed to carry title to a square mile of land in the locality 
of the settlement. The lessees agreed to pay an annual rental of one 
barrel of corn. At the time it was a common practice in this state for 
companies and individuals to negotiate long leases with the natives, and 
on one occasion an enterprising company of capitalists secured a lease 
of all the Indian lands in the state for a term of 999 years. The sale of 
Indian lands to companies and individuals had been previously forbid- 
den by law, and the long term lease practice was only an evasion. But 
none of these transactions was confirmed by the state, hence the title 
of the lessees failed. So it was with the Leonard and Draperlease, but 
supposing it to be valid, Col. William Rose and his brother, who settled 
just above Leonard within a month after the latter came purchased 
Draper's interest in the lease bargain. The land thus acquired included 
the sites whereon Leonard and Rose made their improvements Col 
Rose's brother soon removed to Lisle and thence to Pennsylvania but 
the other proprietors held to their lands and lived and died on them 
After the failure of the title by lease they either bought from the Bos' 
ton Ten Towns proprietary for consideration, or were quieted in their 
possession by Samuel Brown. Notwithstanding the records the latter 
course is believed to have been followed ' 

In 1787 the little settlement up the Chenango was increased by the 


arrival of Joshua and General William Whitney and Henry Green, all 
of whom with their families came from Hillsdale, Columbia county, and 
settled on the west bank of the river, about two miles from its mouth, 
in a locality which was long afterward known as Whitney's Flats. 

About this time the proprietors of the various tracts or patents had 
completed their preliminary surveys and opened their lands for sale, 
and the result was a rapidly increasing tide of settlers, many of whom 
made purchases and began improvements. Capt. John Sawtell located 
on the east side of the Chenango, on land now owned by Luke Dickson, 
while just north of the city limits, Samuel Harding made an improve- 
ment. One Butler, whose Christian name is not recalled, located on 
the river bank just below Leonard. In the same year also was made 
another settlement on the cit}' site by Solomon Moore and Jesse Thayer, 
the former at the lower end of what is now Washington street, near 
what was afterward known as "The Point," and Thayer on the west 
side of the Chenango, at the foot of Front street. In the same year a 
settlement was made on the south side of the Susquehanna, on what 
for many years has been known as the Eldridge tract, by Peter and 
Thomas Ingersoll, but how long they remained, or what eventually be- 
came of them, is not known. The name figured but little in eai-ly vil- 
lage annals and soon became lost in the general growth of the hamlet. 
The surname Moore has ever since been known in local history, and 
has always stood for undoubted integrity and worth. 

Solomon Moore, the pioneer of the family, settled on Chenango Point, 
about on the clearing formerly of the old Indian village of Ochenang, 
near the lower end of what is now Washington street, in 1787. After 
one year he removed to the Genesee country, remaining a year, when 
he returned and purchased land in Union. His title failed through some 
deception practiced on him, after which, on April 7, 1801, he purchased 
of Joshua Whitney as agent for William Bingham a 90 acre tract of land 
on the south side of the Susquehanna, where his later life was passed, 
as also was the life of his son John Moore, who succeeded him in own- 
ership. After John Moore's death the farm was divided, and is now 
owned, in part at least, by Charles F. and John P. Moore and Lewis 

One of the very earliest occupants of land in this part of the Che- 
nango valley, according to reliable chronicles of early life in the region, 
was one Cole, whose place of habitation was north of Capt. Leonard's 
and Col. Rose's. Cole, whose Christian name seems not to have been 


worthy of preservation, lived practically among the Indians, and kept 
aloof as much as possible from the whites. If local tradition be true 
Cole was a renegade white man, an Englishman by birth, who cast his 
lot with the British and Indians during the Revolution, and is said to 
have led the latter in the attack upon the frontier settlements at Min- 
nisink and Wyoming, where charges of almost inhuman cruelties were 
laid against him. Soon after the war Cole sought a home in some ob- 
scure place where his only companions were red men. Bat he could 
not always conceal his abode and identity, and on one occasion two 
strangers came up the river from Minnisink for the avowed purpose of 
avenging the murder of their parents by Cole. They met with Col. 
Rose and Joshua Whitney, to whom they told their story, but were 
persuaded from their purpose by these worthy settlers, who represented 
to the strangers that Cole was then living peaceably in the valley, and 
that he had a family who were entirely respectable. 

Another similar character in the young community was one Thomas 
Hill, commonly called "Tom Hill," who was charged with complicity 
in the Wyoming affair, and who was said to have married the noted 
Queen Esther. During his lifetime, Hill informed Squire Park that 
he lived with the queen about two years, but that they never were mar- 

Referring still further to the subject of early settlement in the local- 
ity, we may state that in 1788 Samuel Harding located on the after- 
ward known Sturges Cary place in the north part of the city, and while 
still others may have come during the same year past records give no 
information concerning them. In the next year Daniel Hudson (after- 
ward Judge Hudson) settled between Leonard and Rose, and about the 
same time Jonathan Pitch came from Wyoming and settled on the 
stream which afterward took his name. Major Fitch had been a mer- 
chant, and also sheriff, in his former county in Pennsylvania, and in the 
new community was a man of considerable importance. He was the 
first elected member of assembly from Tioga county (which then in- 
cluded this county) in 1792. 

Another early comer was Elder Howe, a Baptist preacher who first 
visited the settlement in 1789, and through whose efforts the scattered 
mhabitants were first drawn together in religious worship, and through 
whose almost unaided labors an informal church society was formed 
Elder Howe located near the foot of Mt. Prospect, within the present 
hmits of the city, anTtrereTiis irttle-primitiVe meeting house was built 


As a matter of historic interest it may be stated that the society was 
continued until about 1800, and was the first of its kind in this locality 
and one of the first in southern or western New York. In 1798 a 
Dutch Reformed society was formed at the little hamlet further up the 
river through the zeal of Rev. Mr. Finney, but this, too, had only a 
brief existence. 

Chenango Village. — Through the several settlements mentioned in 
preceding paragraphs the hamlet up the Chenango became established, 
but it is hardly probable that pioneers Leonard, Rose and Whitney had 
in mind the fouading of a village at that time. The location was per- 
haps the most desirable, as through the Chenango valley west of the 
river led one of the principal trails between the lower Susquehanna 
valley and the interior portions of the state, and was the common thor- 
oughfare of travel for prospectors and immigrants visiting the region, 
as well as for the Indians before them. Tioga on the west was settled 
chiefly by New Englanders and others from New York and New Jersey, 
and the valleys of the Chena ngo and Susquehanna were the main ave- 
nues of travel through th e re gion whether the pioneers traveled by land 
or wateK The country north of us was settled about the same time, 
and many of its pioneers were from the regions of Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey; and in the same manner the old Indian trails and the 
water courses were the only convenient routes of travel thereto. Indeed 
after the question of land titles was fully settled, and the proprietors 
of the various patents had opened their lands for sale, the enterprising 
agent of each tract was active in his endeavors to induce purchasers to 
visit the region, and much rivalry sprung up between them. As a result 
the locality was constantly flooded with prospectors, speculators and 

Looking back an hundred years, it seems almost incredible that the 
primitive Indian trails which threaded the valleys of our rivers were 
the common and in fact the only avenues of travel into the region, or 
that they were almost constantly swarmed with a stream of sturdy men 
in quest of favorable sites and cheap lands, but such was the fact. It 
is small wonder therefore that pioneer Sawtell opened his first tavern 
near the place where the trail crossed the Chenango and "forked" to 
the north and east; and it is clear that a hamlet settlement on the op 
posite side of the river must follow when the principal trails up the 
river led past the Whitney, Leonard and Rose places, and every sur- 
rounding condition pointed to the necessity of a temporary resting place 


for the weary wayfarer. In the course of a few years the trails lost 
much of their original character, as the frequent passage of horse and 
ox teams necessitated cutting out and widening the roads to permit 
easy travel for wagons and carts. 

These things, with the continuous tide of travel up and down the 
valley, led to the founding of the old village ; but at best it was hardly 
more than a mere hamlet of about a dozen houses. It began to take 
form about 1791 or '93, after Elder Howe had succeeded in erecting the 
primitive meeting house, and after Col. Rose had built a little log school 
house nearby. About this time Lewis Keeler came from Norwalk, 
Conn. , and opened a public house and also made hats ; Daniel Cruger 
founded a newspaper to proclaim the advantages of the locality through- 
out the land, but he remained only a short time and removed to Bath 
under the tempting offers of the agent of the Pultney estate. To add 
to early interests, two settlers named Lee and Webster started a distil- 
lery ; Drs. Bartholomew and Forbes came to practice their profession, 
while settlers Delano and Monroe opened a stock of goods for trade. 
Soon afterward Jacob McKinney came up the river and began general 
merchandising. The interests thus mentioned gave the hamlet an ap- 
pearance of some importance, and with the few other settlers engaged in 
developing the land the locality was the scene of considerable activity. 
Col. Isaac Sayres and Selah Squires were at this time residents of the 
settlement, and the latter was afterward a citizen and one of the 
founders of Chenango Point. 

During the closing years of the last century Chenango village held a 
position of prominence among the new settlements of the region, and 
came to be known by the name just mentioned. This prominence was 
only temporary, and when in 1800 Joshua Whitney became agent for the 
sale of lands on Bingham's patent, he had no difficulty in drawing the 
business interests, with much of the population, to the new locality. 
Thereafter Chenango village lapsed into a sleepy hamlet in a fertile 
agricultural region. A tavern and perhaps one or two other interests 
were maintained there for a time, but at a later period the settlement 
took the name of Nimmonsburg, in allusion to one of its prominent 
families, but afterward, in derision, became known as "Goosetown"; but 
now, either as hamlet or village, it exists only as a memory. 



In the chapters immediately preceding mention is made of the settle- 
ment of the region comprising the city and its vicinity, with not more 
than incidental allusion to either the county or the village. It is 
therefore proper that succeeding chapters be devoted specially to the 
civil and political organization of the districts mentioned, together with 
a description of the various county and city public properties, which 
have in themselves formed an important element of history in the lat- 
ter jurisdiction and have been strong contributing factors in its gen- 
eral growth and prosperity. 

When Clinton's army first visited this part of the Susquehanna val- 
ley in the summer of 1779 there was no civilized occupancy of the 
region, hence there was no need for the attempted exercise of civil 
authority in the locality. At that time all that part of the state which 
lay west of the Delaware river and a line extending thence north 
through Schoharie county and along the east border of Montgomery, 
Fulton and Hamilton counties (as now existing) and thence direct to 
Canada, comprised a single county by the name of Tryon; so created, 
set off and organized from Albany county by an act of the provincial 
legislature passed in 1772. The new jurisdiction was named in honor 
of William Tryon, who was then governor of the province of New York, 
and through the influence of Sir William Johnson the seat of justice 
was established and the county buildings were erected at Johnstown. 
During the Revolutionary war the conduct of Gov. Tryon was so offen- 
sive to the Americans that in 1784 the name of the county was changed 
to Montgomery, and so called in allusion to Richard Montgomery, a 
patriotic American general who fell before the walls of Quebec. In 
1788 the boundaries of the counties then existing in the state were ac- 
curately defined and Montgomery county was made to include all the 
territory of the state west of Ulster, Albany, Washington and Clinton 

The first reduction in the territory of the mother county was made 


in 1789, when Ontario county was set off. On February 16, 1791, old 
Montgomery was again reduced by the creation of four new counties, 
and Hamilton, Herkimer, Otsego and Tioga counties were brought 
into existence. Under the act Tioga county included substantially all 
the territory between the pre-emption line on the west (the present 
west boundary of Chemung county) and the Delaware river on the east, 
and extended north from the Pennsylvania line to include a part of the 
military tract. The first reduction in the territory of Tioga county 
was made in 1798, when Chenango county was created; second in 1806, 
when Broome county was set off; third, in 1823, when Tompkins county 
was erected; and fourth, in 1836, when Chemung took from Tioga its 
entire western district. 

From what has been stated the reader will learn that all settlement and 
development in the region of Binghamton previous to 1806 was accom- 
- plished while the territory formed a part of Tioga county. In preced- 
ing chapters frequent mention is made of the towns of Union and Che- 
nango. They were original subdivisions of Tioga county, and were 
created with the latter, February 16, 1791. Union, within its original 
boundaries, included all the land between Owego creek and the Che- 
nango river, together with all lands south of the Susquehanna river be- 
tween the streams first mentioned. Chenango included nearly all the 
eastern portion of Tioga county which lay east of Chenango river, and 
has contributed its territory to the subsequently created towns of Wind- 
sor (1807), Conklin (1834), Binghamton (1855), and Port Crane, now 
Fenton (1855). The village and city of Binghamton includes portions 
of the original towns of Union and Chenango. Its settlement was be- 
gun in Chenango, and as the hamlet increased in population and com- 
mercial importance develo^lBreqt west of the Chenango was a natural 
result. In the same manner that part of the city which lies south of 
the Susquehanna, while originally a part of Chenango, was taken into 
the corporate limits of the town of Binghamton, the latter having been 
created from the former in 1855, as has been stated. 

Court Houses.— KitQxT^o^s. county had been created by the Legisla- 
ture there immediately sprung up in its sparsely settled territory a 
strong desire to possess the county buildings, and considerable rivalry 
and a little bad feeling was the result. The inhabitants of the extreme 
western part of the county were at once clamorous for the coveted des- 
ignation, and in their little settlement called New Town Point (now 
Elmira) they set to work and built a log court house and jail. (In this 


connection the writer cannot resist the temptation to remark, paren- 
thetically, that the same earnest interest which impelled the few inhab- 
itants of New Town Point to generously erect a court house and jail 
more than a century ago has characterized each succeeding generation 
of their descendants to the present time. In some respects Elmira and 
Binghamton have been rival cities, but it must be conceded that the 
people of the Queen City have ever been devotedly loyal to home inter- 
ests and home progress.) 

In 1793 the legislature passed an act authorizing the supervisors to 
levy a tax of 300 pounds for the purpose of erecting a court house and 
jail, and appointed three commissioners to superintend the construc- 
tion of the same. The act directed, however, that the buildings be 
erected east of Nanticoke creek, at a point to be fixed by the justices 
and supervisors. In the meantime courts were ordered to be held at 
the house of pioneer Nehemiah Spaulding (situated east of Nanticoke 
creek). The dwelling house of pioneer Spaulding was at that time 
reasonably near the center of the inhabited portion of the county, and 
the erection of the county buildings in that vicinity was of course 
proper; but before the justices and supervisors had fixed upon a loca- 
tion the enterprising inhabitants of New Town Point had completed 
their county buildings, and even secured an act of the legislature 
(January 14, 1793) designating their settlement as the seat of justice of 
the county until other legislative provision should be made. At the 
same time the legislature directed that courts be held alternately at 
New Town Point and at the house of Joshua Whitney, at Chenango, in 
the town of Union. 

This disposition of the courts was maintained until 1801, when (March 
31) the legislature authorized the division of the county into jury dis- 
tricts and directed that circuits be thereafter held at the house of Joshua 
Whitney, at Chenango Point, in the town of Chenango. Under this 
act courts in this district were held in General Whitney's dwelling, which 
then stood very near the northwest corner of Court and Water streets, 
and were so continued until the erection of the first court house on the 
site of the present Perry building, at the corner of Court and Chenango 

The first court house in Binghamton was built in 1802, when this 
region formed a part of Tioga county, and when the village was known 
as Chenango Point. The court house was a small structure, 34 x 36 
feet in size, with a log jail attachment, the latter having only two cells for 



the confinement of prisoners. The jailer occupied rooms on the first floor 
and courts were held on the floor above. In the course of a few years, 
and soon after Broome county was set off from Tioga, the building was 
moved across to the square and placed on land previously promised by 


w cc'Qwmr ffi®"LffsiSo 

•laf jjwvy:'*- 

Second County Court House. 

William Bingham to be donated for public purposes. It stood near the 
northwest corner of the square as now laid out, but at that time Collier 
street had not been opened. The building was somewhat crude though 
substantially constructed, and was sufficient for its time and the needs 
of the county ; and within its humble and unpretentious walls were as- 


sembled on court occasions some of the strongest legal lights in this 
part of the state, among whom were Judge Stuart, Daniel Le Roy, 
Mason Whiting, William Low, Judge De Hart, Daniel Rogers, John 
A. Collier, George Park, Thomas G. Waterman and a host of others 
of far more than ordinary prominence in early county history, whose 
names were almost household words and whose fame was known 
throughout this section of the state. Crude and unpretentious as the 
first court house may have been, it was none the less the home of 
learning and distinguished legal ability during the period of existence. 

At length, however, the constantly increasing business of the courts, 
the growth of the county and the strong contingent of members of the 
bar who flocked to the county seat, necessitated the erection of a larger 
and more suitably appointed court house, but it was not until the years 
1838-29 that the desired end was accomplished. For the purposes of 
the new building the supervisors was authorized to raise by tax the sum 
of $5,00'), and Dr. Ammi Doubleday, Grover Buel and George Wheeler 
were appointed to superintend the work of construction. After some 
delay the building was completed, but its cost was in excess of the orig- 
inal appropriation. 

The second Broome county court house was a brick structure and 
combined theeisential elements of both court house and jail. Its ex- 
terior was plain, with very little attempt at architectural display. The 
basement was used for prisoners' cells and also for cellar purposes by 
the sheriff or jailer. The cells were arranged along the south side of 
the basement. The jailer occupied about all the floor space of the first 
story, but the entire upper floor was used for court and jury rooms. 
This building, like its predecessor, stood quite near Court street, and 
about half way between Exchange and Collier -streets. The entrance 
was on the west side and was elevated several steps above the ground. 
While the second court house was not one of the pioneer institutions of 
the village it was one of great importance in its time, and many of the 
lawyers who had achieved legal victories in the old building were like- 
wise expounders of law and facts in the new, and the more ample sur- 
roundings of the greater house of justice seemed to inspire firmer logic 
and finer rhetoric in their clients' behalf, and the passers-by on the 
public streets were not infrequently impelled to stop and listen to the ora- 
tory of a Dickinson, a Robinson, a Collier, a Bosworth, a Rugg, a Loomis, 
a Birdsall, or perhaps any other of the score or more of worthy legal 
lights who were in the professional ranks between 1830 and 1855. The 


second court house withstood the elements from without and the elo- 
quence of lawyers within for a period of about thirty years, when the 
constant march of improvement created a demand for still a more com- 
modious and modern building. 

At last the supervisors were persuaded to favorably consider the 
proposition and consented to a complete separation of the court house 
and jail buildings. Previous to this time the county buildings had been 
erected on the square without reference to street lines or grade. In- 
deed, at the time they were erected only Court and Chenango streets 
were laid out, and neither Collier, Exchange nor Hawley streets were 
then contemplated. The reader of course understands that during the 
early history of the village the surface of the square was greatly ele- 
vated above its present level, and that Court street from Commercial 
avenue to Phelps building was laid out " up a hill," while on the east 
side, above Exchange street, was a considerable depression in the land 
surface. Old residents of Binghamton remember the " hollow " east of 
the square, traces of which may still be seen in rear of the buildings east 
of the Hagaman corner. As years passed and the village increased in 
size and importance the trustees caused Court street to be cut down, 
and Warring S. Weed is of the belief that this was done not less than 
three times. In the meantime Collier and Exchange streets had been 
laid out to conform with the Court street grade. Therefore when the 
supervisors consented to erect the third court house the square was 
considerably above its bordering thoroughfares. 

The supervisors' committee wisely decided to erect the new court 
house at a suitable height above Court street, yet somewhat lower than 
the crown of the hill, hence the contractor was required to remove the 
earth to a considerable depth before excavating for the cellar proper of 
the building. This arrangement placed the new court house for a time 
"in a hole," but the awkward condition did not long remain as the 
surrounding bluffs were soon removed and the sand (the entire hill 
was a sandbank) was utilized in the erection of dozens of buildings in 
the village. 

The third Broome county court house was erected in 1857 by John 
Stuart Wells, a native of the county and one of the most progressive 
factors in its history. The building cost $33,000 and was one of the 
most substantial and attractive structures of its kind in Southern New 
York. It was of brick with stone trimmings, two stories high, and 
was surmounted with a circular dome, which with its cupola and figure 



of justice reached the height of 120 feet. In size the building was 
58 X 96 feet, but in 1890 the supervisors contracted with Alexander B. 
Carman for the erection of an addition on the east and west ends, by 
which the length was increased 40 feet. This work cost $19,000, but 
its benefits were numerous. Between 1857 and 1890 the population of 

Third County Court House. cPe'rl's 0ffi4 

the county had more than doubled, and the increase in its business was 
in like proportion. Previous to the enlargement, the Supreme court 
justice had chambers in the library, but no privacy whatever. The 
supervisors' room was too small, as were all others on the ground floor, 
and was put to a variety of uses. The county judge and surrogate's 
quarters were cramped and the accumulation of records and valuable 
papers had no safe depository. During Judge Edwards' term a fire 



started in the basement, and many active men worked vigorously in re- 
moving papers from tlie office. 

Whien contractor Carman's work was completed the enlarged build- 
ing was a great convenience to the county officials as w-as Colonel 
Wells' handsome structure of 1857. Judge Martin was provided with 
comfortable offices; the library was placed in the east end of the build- 

T^a^ ssesT^ 

Court House Square, 1880. 

ing; the surrogate was given a comfortable court room; several jury 
rooms were provided on the second floor, and the supervisors were fur- 
nished with large quarters at the west end of the upper floor. But the 
court house of 1857-96 at length passed into history It was burned 
December 38, 1896, at a time when the county and city were least pre- 
pared for such a disaster. The Firemen's hall had been recently con- 
demned as unsafe, and the city clerk and common council, by favor of 
the supervisors, were furnished with office in the court house ; but the 
flames spared little of the property of either city or county, and many 
valuable records were destroyed. The Supreme court library, compris- 



ing one of the finest collections of law works in the state, was seriously 

While the loss of the court house and a portion of its contents was 
indeed serious, the heaviest burden of the event fell upon the country 
members of the board of supervisors. They had recently (after much 
pleading and begging by the city ; after condemnation by several grand 

Court House, 1897-98. 

juries, and after intercession by several Supreme court and county 
judges) unloosed the knotty county purse strings to the extent of about 
|50,000 for a new jail, hence the enforced expenditure of a still greater 
sum for a new modern and perhaps costly court house wellnigh drove 
a few of them to distraction; but the majority manfully responded to 
the requirements of the occasion and voted for a new building. 

The fourth and present Broome county court house was erected in 
1897-98 by contractor Miles Leonard, of Binghamton, at a total cost, 
including furnishing and ground improvements, of about $130,000. It 


Stands upon the lines and in part upon the foundation of its predecessor, 
but in appearance and finish is materially different. The building is of 
Ohio sandstone, with bluestone trimmings, while the dome is of copper. 
The entire structure, both in architectural design and mechanical ex- 
ecution, is almost a work of art and reflects credit upon all who were 
connected with its erection ; and that notwithstanding the fact that the 
supervisors were made subject to the grand inquisition of the county 
under charges varying from indiscretion to felony. But the charges 
were evidently not well founded and no stigma has ever attached to 
any official by reason of his connection with the events of the time. 

At distant view the new court house has much the appearance of the 
old, but close inspection discloses marked differences. The new portico 
is much wider; the columns are solid stone with capitals beautifully 
carved in a blending of the ionic and doric styles. In the gable above 
the columns is the seal of Broome county, artistically carved in solid 
stone. One of the most noticeable and praiseworthy features of the 
whole structure is the clock in the formerly tenantless dome. It was 
the voluntary and generous gift of Harvey Westcott. 

The interior arrangement of the building is admirable, and every 
office and apartment suggests convenience, comfort and safety. Fur- 
ther description and comment are unnecessary; the court house stands 
as an honor to the county and an ornament to the city, and the boards 
of supervisors of 1896, '97 and '98 are entitled to the enduring gratitude 
of all our people. 

County Clerk' s Offices. — The first clerk's office is said to have occupied 
a site near the court house on the northwest corner of Court and Che- 
nango streets. It is also said to have been a small building, about 12 
X 14 feet in size. Some doubt has been expressed as to the real char- 
acter of this building and whether such in fact did exist. During 
nearly all the years in which the court house was maintained on its 
original site Chenango was a half-shire town of Tioga county, but for 
public convenience the legislature in 1804 directed the county clerk to 
keep his ofiSce within three miles of Owego village. After Broome 
county was set off and the court house had been removed to the square, 
a county clerk's office was built on the south side of Court street a few 
rods east of the corner of Washington street. It was kept there until 
1829 when the records were removed to the new brick building which 
stood between the present court house site and Collier street. The 
Court street property was then sold by commissioners Ammi Doubleday 
and Samuel Smith to John A. Collier. 


The county clerk's office on the square is well remembered by all 
old residents in Binghamton. It was a plain brick building, one story 
high, and was constructed with especial reference to security against fire. 
It was well lighted and each window was provided with iron shutters. 
It was built under the direction of Dr. Doubleday and Samuel Smith. 
The office was occupied from 1839 to 1872, and was vacated upon the 
completion of the present clerk's office in the latter year. This build- 
ing stands on the site for many years occupied by the old Binghamton 

County Jails. — The first and second county jails were in combination 
with the first two court houses, of which a full description is given in 
this chapter. After Col. Wells had completed the court house in 1857 
the proposed removal of the old building necessitated the erection of a 
new jail. In fact the county had then outgrown the old "prison," and 
the supervisors made the appropriation with which the new sheriff's 
residence and jail was built in 1858. It was substantially constructed 
and did good service for nearly two score years, during which time it 
was the temporary abiding place of a few noted criminals (the number, 
to be sure, was not large, for our county has never been able to boast 
a long and distinguished criminal roster). Edward H. Ruloff, who 
murdered young Myrick in Halbert Bros.' store in 1870, was perhaps 
the most noted prisoner ever confined in the jail. He was hanged in 
the jail yard in 1871, and so widespread was his notoriety in the annals 
of crime that the whole state felt a degree of relief when Under-sheriff 
Edmister completed his unpleasant duty. Menkin, too, was a prisoner 
in the old jail and through a very cunning device succeeded in making 
his escape. He was recaptured, however, though at much cost to Sher- 
iff Brown. Menkin was tried and convicted in this county, and was 
hanged in the jail yard, although his crime was committed in Chemung 
county. His trial came to Binghamton as a quasi legacy from Elmira. 

The old jail had an interesting history and a chapter might be de- 
voted to the subject. It served the purposes of the county about thirty 
years, from 1858 to about 1888, but in the meantime our population had 
so increased that a new, larger and better appointed structure became 
desirable. The building by reason of its unsanitary condition had become 
an actual menace to health and the grand jury frequently recommended 
a new one, but the rural members of the board of supervisors refused 
to support the measure; and the stronger the appeals of the city mem- 
bers of the board even more determined became the opposition of.their 


country associates. At last, however, the condition of the jail became 
such that the board was compelled to act to save themselves from the 
grand jury, and they voted an appropriation of $50,000 for a new sher- 
iff's residence and jail combined. The buildings were erected in 1896 
by contractor Miles Leonard, at a total cost, including interior cell 
work, of $51,000, and are as complete in every respect as modern arch- 
itecture and sanitary science can make them. But this long-sought end 
was not attained without the now customary charges of collusion and 
fraud, involving within their sweeping range supervisors, architects 
and contractors alike. In fact, here originated charges of corruption 
that took deeper root in the new court house proceedings and finally 
resulted in the ill-timed action of the grand jury. The whole matter, 
however, was given an effectual quietus in Judge Arms' prompt dismissal 
of the indictments. 

The Court House Square. — ^In several preceding chapters frequent 
allusion has been made to the public square on which stands our county 
buildings, yet earlier writers of local history have given no attention to 
this interesting property. The original tract comprised a little more 
than four acres and was deeded to the county for a nominal consider- 
ation ; the entire tract is now estimated to be worth nearly a million 

When Chenango was made a half-shire town of Tioga county William 
Bingham promised to donate to the public an ample plot of ground for 
county buildings, but during his lifetime the deed was not executed. 
The worthy proprietor died in 1804, and on April 23, 1808, his executors 
conveyed to the county through its supervisors (Daniel Le Roy, Daniel 
A. Wheeler, Chester Lusk, George A. Harper, Stephen Mack and John 
Brown) four and one-half acres of land, comprising the present square 
with the addition of portions of Collier and Hawley streets, and except- 
ing a strip off the Exchange street side and a part of the Hawley street 
side. It appears that a strip of land on the east and south sides was 
not included in the original tract, and title thereto was not acquired by 
the county until about 1873. Any person whose memory of Bingham- 
ton dates back forty years will remember Fountain Hose and Cataract 
Engine companies' houses which stood fronting on Court street at the 
northeast corner of the square. Next south of these buildings was an 
open space occupied chiefly as a yard in connection with Job N. Cong- 
don's marble works, the shop standing about opposite the south end of 
the Pope building. Still further south on Exchange street, and about 


in the order mentioned, were a barn, Jackson's blacksmith shop, Mor- 
decai Loveland's wagon shop, the old Universalist church (eventually- 
burned), Hezekiah P. Brown's residence, and Dennis O'Day's black- 
smith shop and dwelling house, and John Waterhouse's residence, the 
latter being on the corner of Hawley street. It is not understood that 
the firemen's quarters were held under title, but merely occupied a site 
on the square. In December, 1871, and the early part of 1872, Job N. 
Congdon, Hezekiah P. Brown, Mordecai H. Loveland, Dennis O'Day 
and Elizabeth L. W. Bowker, owners of the land just described, ex- 
ecuted deeds to the county, thus vesting title in the grantee to the en- 
tire square. The buildings were soon removed and, as the board of 
supervisors has subsequently felt disposed to make small appropriations 
for the purpose, the tract has been improved and adorned, and is now 
one of the largest and most attractive court house grounds in the state. 
As far as possible the old shade trees have been preserved, but much 
of the credit for later improvement of this character has been due to 
public spirited officials and citizens. The drinking fountain was the 
gift of George A, Kent. The soldiers' monument was erected by James 
H. Barnes, contractor, the funds therefor having been raised from 
various sources. 


Notwithstanding the fact that this work is proposed to be devoted 
chiefly 'to the history of Binghamton and its immediate vicinity, it is 
thought proper in the present connection to furnish a complete county 
civil list that the succession of officials may be preserved in full chrono- 
logical order. It will be seen, however, that the village and city have 
furnished a majority of the incumbents of public office, and that many of 
them have attained to positions of distinguished prominence in national, 
state and county government. 

Presidential Electors. — Chester Patterson, 1824; John Hyde, 1832; 
Daniel S. Dickinson (at large), 1844; John A. Collier, (at large), 1848; 
Sherman D. Phelps, 1860; Benjamin N. Loomis, 1868; Barna R. John- 
son, 1872; Alvin Devereau, 1884; Patrick J. McTighe, 1892; Charles 
M. Dickinson, 1896. 

Senators in Congress. — Daniel S. Dickinson, Nov. 30, 1844-Mar. 4, 

Representatives in Congress. — John Patterson (8th),' 1803-5; John R. 

' The figures in parenthesis indicate the sessions of congress. ' 


Drake (15th), 1817-19; Elias Whittemore (19th), 1825-37; John A. 
Collier (32d), 1831-33; William Seymour (24th), 1835-37; Judson Allen 
(26th), 1839-41; Ausburn Birdsall (30th), 1847-49; Giles W. Hotchkiss 
(38th), 1863-65; Giles W. Hotckiss(39th), 1865-67; Giles W. Hotchkiss 
(41st), 1869-71; Stephen C. Millard (48th), 1883-85; Stephen C. Millard 
(49th), 1885-87. 

Solicitor General of the United States. — Orlow W. Chapman, ap- 
pointed May 29, 1889. 

Commissioner Circuit Courts of United States. — Charles S. Hall, ap- 
pointed Dec. 13, 1856. 

United States Commissioner. — Charles S. Hall, appointed July 1, 

Master and Examiner in Chancery, U. S. Courts. — Charles S. Hall, 
appointed Nov., 1879. 

Minister Plenipotentiary to Norway and Sweden. — Joseph J. Bartlett, 
March 19, 1867. 

United States Consul General to Constantinople. — -Charles M. Dickin- 
son, September, 1897. 

United States Attorney, Southern Dist. of N. Y. — Daniel S. Dickin- 
son, April 10, 1865. 

Members of State Constitutional Conventions. — Charles Pumpelly, 
182L; John Hyde, 1846; Dr. Stephen D. Hand, 1867; George F. Lyon, 
Member of Constitutional Commission. — ^Barna R. Johnson, 1^67. 
Lieutenant Governors. — Daniel S. Dickinson, 1842;' John C. Robin- 
son, 1872; Edward F. Jones, 1885; re elected, 1888. 
Comptroller.— ]o\iri A. Collier, appointed Jan. 27, 1811. 
Attorney General. — Daniel S. Dickinson, Nov. 5, 1861. 
Collector Port of New F(7r/fe. —Daniel S. Dickinson, appointed March 
30, 1853. 

Naval Officer of Customs.— h.u%\,\x'C'ix Birdsall, appointed Feb. 15, 

Deputy Collectors Port of New York.— ]ohn R Dickinson, Charles 
Davis . 

Warden Sifig Sing States Prison.— Q,h.s.T\Qs Davis, appointed March 
1, 1878. 

Superintendent Insurance Department.— OtIo^ W. Chapman, ap- 
pointed Nov. 22, 1872, resigned Jan. 31, 1876. 

• Date of election unless otherwise stated. 


Railroad Commissioner. — George W. Dunn, appointed Feb. 16, 1897. 

Commissioner of State Capitol. — Isaac G. Perry, April 5, 1883-Jan., 

State Board of Pharmacy. — Clark Z. Otis, appointed July 8, 1884. 

Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals. — Celora E. Martin, elected 
Nov. 5, 1895. 

Justice of Supreme Court Sitting in Court of Appeals. — Ransom Bal- 
com, appointed Jan., 1863. 

. Justice of General Term of Supreme Court. — Celora E. Martin, ap- 
pointed Nov. 23, 1887. 

Justices of the Supreme Court. — Ransom Balcom, Nov. 6, 1855, re- 
elected Nov. 3, 1863; Celora E. Martin, Nov. 6, 1877, re-elected Nov., 
1891; George P. Lyon, Nov. 5, 1895. 

State Senators.— 'X:\ioxD.QS, G. Waterman, 1827-30; Daniel S. Dickin- 
son, 1837-40; Samuel H. P. Hall, 1848-49; Levi Dimmick, 1860-51; 
Orlow W. Chapman, 1868-71; Peter W. Hopkins, 1878— died at Albany 
February 7, 1879; Edwin G. Halbert, March 25, 1879-81; Edmund 
O'Connor, 1880, re-elected, 1891 and 1893. 

Members of Assembly. — John Miller, representing Broome and Tioga 
counties, 1807; Emanuel Coryell, the same in 1808; Eleazer Dana, Nov. 
session, 1808, and Jan. -March, 1809; James Pumpelly, 1810; no returns 
in 1811; Chauncey Hyde, 1812-13; John H. Avery, Jan. -April, 1814; 
Asa Leonard, Sept., 1814 — Jan. -Apr., 1815; Mason Whiting, Jan.- 
April, 1816; Joshua Whitney, Nov., 1816— Jan.-Apr., 1817; John W. 
Harper, 1818; Chester Patterson, 1819-21; Chauncey Hyde, 1822; Jon- 
athan Lewis, 1823; Thomas G. Waterman, 1824; Briant Stoddard, 1825; 
Peter Robinson, 1826-31; Vincent Whitney, 1832-33; David C. Case, 
1834; Neri Blatchley, 1835; Judson Allen, 1836-37; James Stoddard, 
1838; John Stoughton, 1839; Cornelius Mercereau, 1840; Gideon Hotch- 
kiss, 1841; Robert Harper, 1842; Gilbert Dickinson, 1843; John B. Rog- 
ers, 1844; Cyrus Johnson, 1845; Salfronius H. French, 1846; Oliver C. 
Crocker, 1847; Jeremiah Hull, 1848; John Q. Whittaker, 1849; Edward 
Y. Park, 1860; Roger W. Hinds, 1851; William L. Ford, 1852; Joseph 
E. Ely, 1853; Robert Harper, 1854; Charles McKinney, 1855; Walter 
L. Peck, 1856; Enos Puffer, 1867; John S. Palmer, 1868; Osborne E. 
Bump, 1859; Henry Mather, 1860; Friend H. Burt, 1861; George Bart- 
lett, 1862; Francis B. Smith, 1863; Mulford Northrup, 1864; Edward C. 
Mercereau, 1865; Milo B. Eldridge, 1866; James Van Valkenburg, 1867; 
Chauncey C. Bennett, 1868; William M. Ely, 1869-72; William L. Ford, 


elected March 5, 1872, vice Ely, deceased; William L. Ford, 1873; 
George Sh«rwood, 1874-75; Rodney A. Ford, 1876; Edwin C. Moody, 
1877; Alexander E. Andrews, 1878; Henry Marean, 1879; Alex. E. An- 
drews, 1880; L. Coe Young-, 1881; Francis B. Smith, 1883; Lewis Ches- 
ter Bartlett, 1883; Rev. William H. Olin, 1884-85; Isaac C. Edson, 1886- 
87; AlonzoD. Lewis, 1888; Israel T. Deyo, 1889-93; Joseph H. Brow- 
nell, 1893-94; Joseph H. Brownell, first dist., Chas. F. Tupper, second 
dist., 1895; Chas. E. Fuller, first dist., Chas. F. Tupper, second dist, 
1896; Chas. E. Fuller, first dist., Edgar L. Vincent, second dist, 1897; 
James T. Rogers, first dist., Edgar L. Vincent, second dist., 1898. 

County Judges. — Previous to the constitution of 1846 this office was 
known as first judge of the Court of Common Pleas. Under the con- 
stitution a county court was organized in each county of the state, ex- 
cept New York, and provision was made for the election of a judge in 
each. The following succession gives tie date of appointment of each 
first judge of the Common Pleas and date of election of the subsequent 
county judges: John Patterson, April 2, 1806; Daniel Hudson, March 
2, 1809; James Stoddard, May 31, 1809; Stephen Mack, Nov. 9, 1812; 
John R. Drake, April 8, 1815; Tracy Robinson, Jan. 31, 1833; William 
Seymour, April 12, 1833; Edward C. Kattell, June, 1847 ; John R. Dick- 
inson, Nov., 1851; Horace S. Griswold, Nov., 1855; Benjamin N. 
Loomis, appointed Aug. 18, 1870, vice Griswold, deceased; William B. 
Edwards, Nov., 1870; Taylor L. Arms, Nov., 1888, re-elected Nov., 

Surrogates. — ^Eleazer Dana, April 3, 1806; Peter Robinson, Feb. 12, 
1831; George Park, March 37, 1833; Joseph K. Rugg, Feb. 13, 1836; 
Hamilton ColUer, Feb. 19, 1840; John R. Dickinson, Feb. 19, 1844; 
county judge since June, 1847. 

District Attorneys. — This office was originally known as assistant at- 
torney-general. The office of district attorney was created in 1801. 
Each county was made a separate district in 1818. The office was ap- 
pointive previous to the constitution of 1846. Judge William Stuart, 
so well known in early Binghamton history, was assistant attorney-gen- 
eral of Tioga county from 1786 to 1803. Under the act of 1801 the 
seventh district comprised the counties of Cayuga, Onondaga, Ontario, 
Steuben and Tioga, the latter including what is now this county. The 
thirteenth district was formed April 15, 1817, and comprised Broome, 
Cortland, Seneca and Tompkins counties. The incumbents of the office 
of assistant attorney-general and district attorney in this county since 
1818 have been as follows: 


John A. Collier, June 11, 1818; Thomas G. Waterman, Feb. 35, 1823; 
Mason Whiting, April 10, 1833; Peter Robinson, May 30, 1833; Mason 
Whiting, Nov. 30, 1831; Joseph S. Bosworth, 1837; Hamilton Collier, 
Dec. 1, 1837; Ausburn Birdsall, Feb. 13, 1842: Lucher Badger, elected 
June, 1847; Jacob H.Morris, Nov. 38, 1849; Francis B. Smith, 1853; 
George A. Northmp, 1856 ; Orlow W. Chapman, appointed vice North- 
rup, Sept. 4, 1863, and afterward elected; Peter W. Hopkins, appointed 
vice Chapman, resigned, Jan. 6, 1868, and afterward elected; Theodore 
F. McDonald, 1874, '77 ; David H. Carver, 1880 ; George B. Curtiss, 1883, 
'86; Winthrop D. Painter, 1889, '93; Harry C. Perking 1895, '98. 

Sheriffs. — Under the first constitution sheriffs were appointed by the 
council'of appointment, could hold no other office, must be a freeholder 
in the county to which appointed, and could not hold more than four 
successive years. Since the constitution of 1831, sheriffs have been 
elected for a term of three years, and are ineligible to immediate re- 
election. In Broome county the sheriffs, with year of appointment or 
election, have been as follows: 

William Woodruiif, 1806; Jacob McKinney, 1808; Chester Patterson, 
1809; Thomas Whitney, 1813; Oliver Huntington, 1816; William Cham- 
berlain, 1818; Chauncey Hyde, 1831; Joseph Patterson, March, 1831; 
Noah Shaw, 1833; Benj. B. Nichols, 1835; Jesse Hinds, jr , 1828; James 
Stoddard, 1831; Robert O. Edwards, 1834; Robert Harper, 1837; Levi 
Dimmick, 1840; Joseph Bartlett, 1843; Usebe Kent, 1846-47; Benj. T. 
Miller, Jan., 1848— Dec, 1848; William Cook, Nov., 1848; Mason Wat- 
tles, 1851; James B. Balch, 1854; Erastus Burghardt, 1857; John B. 
Bowen, 1860 ; Frederick W. Martin, 1863 ; Robert Brown, 1866 ; Frederick 
W. Martin, 1869; Philotus Edmister, 1873; George W. Dunn, 1875; 
Lewis Chester Bartlett, 1878; S . Foster Black, 1881; James Brown, 1884; 
Winfield S. Stone, 1887; Frederick P. Ockerman, 1890; Urbane S. 
Stevens, 1893; Augustus G. Wales, 1896. 

County Clerks. — Previous to the constitution of 1831 this office was 
appointive, but since that time has been elective for a term of three 
years. Ashbel Wells, April 3, 1806; Jacob McKinney, May 31, 1809; 
William Woodruff, Feb. 36, 1810; Mason Wattles, Feb. 18, 1811; Wm. 
Woodruff, Nov. 9, 1813; Ammi Doubleday, Aug. 38, 1817; Latham A. 
Burroughs, Feb. 14, 1831; DanieLEvans, Nov., 1823 (elected).; Bar- 
zilla Marvin, 1831; John C. Moore, 1840; George Burr, 1843; John C. 
Moore, 1846; Erasmus D. Robinson, 1849; William C. Doane, 1855; 
Hallam E. Pratt, 1858; Charles O. Root, 1861; Joseph M. Johnson, 


1867 ; Pliny A. Russell, 1873 ; Marcus W. Scott, 1876 ; Charles F. Tup- 
per, 1882; Henry Marean, 1888; Frank B. Newell, 1894 and 1897. 

County Treasurer. — Under the authority of the constitution of 1847, 
the legislature on Dec. 16, 1847, provided for the election of a county 
treasurer in each county of the state. Previous to that time treasurers 
were appointed by the supervisors. 

Richard Mather, 1848, '51; Nelson J. Hopkins, 1854, '57, '60; Alonzo 
C. Matthews, 1863, '66, '69, '72; David L. Brownson, 1875, '78, '81; 
John A. Rider, 1884, '87, '90, '93, '96, '99. 

County Superintendents of Common Schools. — By an act passed April 
17, 1843, the supervisors were directed to appoint county superintend- 
ents of common schools. The office was abolished March 13, 1847. 
The incumbents of the office in Broome county were as follows: George 
T. Frazier, J. Taylor Brodt and Alvin Wheeler. 

School Commissioners. — Previous to 1857 the incumbents of this office 
were appointed by the supervisors, but since that time have been 
elected. The first election under the act creating the office was held 
in November, 1859; term, three years. Broome county is divided into 
two commissioner districts, which have been known as the first and 
second, and also as the eastern and western districts. The succession 
follows : 

First or eastern district — Lucius H. Moody, Albert Ross, James N. 
Lee, Eleazer Osborn, Henry S. Monroe, Hiram Barnum, William D. 
Kerr, Hiram Barnum, Arthur G. Wilson, Charles E. Fuller, Wallace 
Thompson, Eber S. Devine, John W. Kniskern, Mary L. Kniskern. 

Second or western district — George Burr, Harry Lyon, William W. 
Elliott, Newton W. Edson, George Jackson, Eleazer Osborn, Stephen 
D. Wilbur, James L. Lusk, Erwin B. Whitney. 

Superintendents of the Poor. — The meagre and unsatisfactory charac- 
ter of county records previous to 1848 precludes the possibility of a 
complete succession of incumbents of th is office ; but since that time have 
been as follows : 

Samuel Stow, Samuel Peterson, Daniel I. Davidson, 1848 ; Samuel 
Peterson, 1849; Pelatiah B. Brooks, 1850; Samuel Stow, 1851; Arthur 
Gray, 1852; John Chubbuck, 1853; Allen Perkins, 1854; Arthur Gray, 
1855; Augustus Morgan, 1856; Lewis Haight, 1857; Cornelius M. Mer- 
sereau, 1858; Augustus Morgan, 1859; Daniel Clark, 1860; Cornelius 
M. Mersereau, 1861; Augustus Morgan, 1862-63; James G. Hall, Adam 
A. Kedzie, 1864; Augustus Morgan, 1865; James G. Hall, 1866; Adam 


A. Kedzie, 1867; Evander Spaulding, 1868; James G. Hall, 1869; Adam 
A. Kedzie, 1870-71; Wm. W. Mersereau, 1872; James G. Hall, 1873; 
Evander Spaulding, 1874-76; Milo B Payne, 1877-86; Ira S. Cook, 
1889-92; Leonard S. Carter, 1893; Leonard Whitney, 1896. 

Coroners. — The explanation in the preceding paragraph relating to 
superintendents of the poor applies with equal truth to coroners. In- 
complete records deprive us of the full succession, but from 1847 the 
list may be found accurate, as follows: 

Enos C. Brainard, 1847; William Butler, 1848; John W. Sheldon, 
Zenas Pratt, 1849; Christopher R. Mersereau, 1850; Wm. Butler, 1851 
Joseph Congdon, Charles A. Seymour, 1852; Wightman Williams, 1853 
Humphrey D. Gilbert, 1854; Lorenzo Parsons, John Congdon, 1855 
William W. Davenport, 1856; Samuel B. Monroe, 1857; Elmer W. 
Brigham, Humphrey D. Gilbert, 1858; Allen C. Jeffords, 1859; Michael 
Bauder, 1860; Elmer W. Brigham, Andrew W. Brownson, 1861; Charles 
A. Seymour, 1862; William B. Ralyea, Humphrey D. Gilbert, Michael 
Bauder, 1863; Elmer W. Brigham, 1864-65; Walter L, Barber, Michael 
Bauder, Enos C. Brainard, 1866; John P. Worthing, 1867-68; Michael 
Bauder, James D, Guy, Isaac C. Edson, 1869; John P. Worthing, 1870; 
Evander Spaulding, 1871; Frank Sturdevant, Harvey S. Beardsley, 
Henry Harris, 1873; Charles B. Richards, 1873; Frank Sturdevant, 
Henry Harris, Harvey S. Beardsley, 1875; Charles B. Richards, 1876; 
Frank Sturdevant, Harvey S. Beardsley, Solomon P. Allen, 1878; 
Apollos Comstock, Austin B. Stillson (vacancy), 1879; Solomon P. Al- 
len, Harvey S. Beardsley, J. Humphrey Johnson, 1881 ; Austin B. Still- 
son, 1882; A. Judson Osborn, 1884; Barna E. Radeker, 1885; Edward 
A. Pierce, Francis D. Gridley, Myron N. Smith, 1887 ; Barna E. Rade- 
ker, 1888: Edward A. Pierce, Myron N. Smith, 1890; Barna E. Rade- 
ker, 1891 ; Lyman H. Hills, Ralph A. Seymour, Francis D. Gridley, 
1893; Barna E. Radeker, 1894; Lyman H. Hills, 1890; Harvey Wilcox 
jr., Edwin L. Spencer (vacancy), 1897. 




Among the several extensive land proprietors in this region William 
Bingham appears to have acted with less haste than many others, and 
especially the proprietors of the Boston Ten Towns. As has been fully 
stated in a preceding chapter, the patent from the state to Hooper, 
Wilson and Bingham was dated June 27, 1786, and the partition deed 
from Hooper and Wilson to Bingham bore date Feb. 11, 1790. All 
purchases of land on the Bingham tract during the succeeding ten years 
were the result of direct negotiation with Bingham, as no record indi- 
cates that he had a regular representative on the tract other than the 
surveyors employed to run the lines and lay out farm lots. However, 
during the ten years referred to events of an important character in 
this vicinity took place, all of which had much to do with founding a 
village on Chenango Point. 

In 1791 the legislature passed an act dividing the old county of Mont- 
gomery and out of its territory creating a new jurisdiction which in 
extent amounted to almost a principality. The new county was called 
Tioga, and within its boundaries was included a portion of Chenango 
county, all of Broome county, a part of Tompkins county, and all of 
Chemung county, which were set off from the mother territory in the 
order mentioned. In 1792 an act of the legislature authorized a court 
house and jail for the new county, and provided for the appointment 
of three commissioners to superintend their erection, the same to be 
located, according to the act, east of Nanticoke creek. In 1793 an act 
provided for holding courts alternately at New Town Point (Elmira) 
and at "the house of Joshua Whitney, esquire, at Chenango, in the" 
town of Union. " 

Thus the little hamlet up the river, to which attention is given in the 
preceding chapter, was for a brief time the half-shire seat of justice of 
Tioga county. This arrangement was maintained a little less than ten 
years, when (March 31, 1801) an act authorized the formal division of 


the county into jury districts, and declared it lawful to hold courts in 
the eastern district at "a house to be erected for that purpose at Che- 
nango Point, in the town of Chenango." This indicates that in the 
meantime Chenango Point had gained an ascendancy over the rival 
hamlet up the river, or, in other words, that Joshua Whitney, son of 
pioneer Joshua, had assumed the management of Bingham's patent, 
and had succeeded in changing the seat of justice from Chenango vil- 
lage to Chenango Point. 

Joshua Whitney became agent for the Bingham lands in 1800, but 
previous to that time an attempt had been made to lay out a village 
plot and lots on the city site, but by whom and under what direction is 
not now clear. A crude plan was made in, 1797, and a copy is now in 
existence, but it is understood that no development was made in ac- 
cordance with it. Previous to Mr. Whitney's (he was more commonly 
known in later years as " General " Whitney) connection with the tract 
all parcels sold had been conveyed agreeable to the survey into farm 
lots, as there was then no probable intention to establish a village, and 
much less a county seat. Mr. Bingham owned the land and made gen- 
erous provision for public buildings and local interests, but the main 
honor for having in fact founded the village and permanently estab- 
lished its institutions must in justice be accorded to General Whitney. 
About the time he undertook control. Gen. Whitney acquired considera- 
ble tracts of village land by purchase, and it is probable that the pro- 
prietor also made certain concessions to him in order to stimulate en- 
ergetic action. 

The agent at once began to draw attention to the locality by 
directing his energies toward the citizens of Chenango village, repre- 
senting to them that the lands on the Point were more desirable than 
those up the river, and proposed to, and did, remove several of their 
buildings to the new site, locating them in accordance with the regular 
survey. The most attractive proposition made by him was one looking 
to the construction of a bridge across the Chenango at the foot of what 
is now Court street. This the shrewd young agent announced to the 
inhabitants of Chenango in the bar-room of Lewis Keeler's famous hos- 
telry, and accompanied the information with the suggestion that further 
building on the old site be discontinued, and work resumed in the 
village-to-be, " down where the bridge is to be built." 

It appears, however, that previous to Gen. Whitney's connection 
with the Bingham lands considerable settlenient had been made thereon 


soon after 1792, and between that year and 1798. The settlers were 
squatters, not claiming to hold under regular title, who had made some 
improvements to the land, hence wished to become owners either by 
the generosity of Mr. Bingham or by the payment of a modest annual 
rent. In the hope that the proprietor would be persuaded to confirm 
their title to the lands, these worthies addressed a petition to Mr. Bing- 
ham, a copy of which is as follows : 
"To the Honorable Wm, Bingham: 

' ' A petition from the inhabitants and settlers on said Bingham's Pat- 
ent, on Susquehanna river, in the towns of Union and Chenango, county 
of Tioga, and state of New York, humbly prayeth : 

" That whereas we, your petitioners, having been to considerable ex- 
pense in moving on said land and making improvements, we pray your 
honor would grant us three lives' lease, and we will pay an annual 
rental for the same; otherwise let us know on what terms we can have 
the land, and, your petitioners as dutiful tenants, shall ever comply. 

"Chenango, Feb. 1, 1798." 

The names of the petitioners, who joined in this somewhat strange 
request (though not an unusual proceeding at that time) are preserved, 
and a glance at the list will show several who were afterward residents 
of the village and were identified with its best history : 

The petitioners were Abraham Sneden, Daniel Sneden, Abraham 
Sneden, jr., William Miller, Ebenezer Park (the father-in-law of Judge 
Chamberlain), Joseph Compton, Zachariah Squires, James Squires (not 
the pioneer tanner), Asa Squires, James Ford, Silas Moore, Ezra Keeler, 
Ira Keeler, Joseph Limerick, Robert Foster, Roswell Jay, Nathaniel 
Taggart, John Carr, Arthur Miller, Barnabas Wixon, Solomon Wixon, 
Jonathan Dunham, Zebulon Moore, Daniel Delano, Levi Bennett (the 
two latter of whom lived in the locality which for many years was 
known as Millville), Samuel Bevier, James Lyon (who kept the ferry 
near what is now Ferry street), Abraham Carson, William Brink, Silas 
Hall, Asher Wickham, Thomas Cooper, Walter Slyter (evidently mean- 
ing Slater), Andrew Cooper (who lived between the Ferry street bridge 
and the site of the old Marshall Lewis mills), David Compton, Amos 
Towsley and William Chamberlain, the latter afterward one of the most 
prominent men in the county, holding the office of justice by appoint- 
ment in 1802, sheriff in 1817, assistant judge and also judge of the 
Common Pleas court. He was one of the founders of the Episcopal 
church, and withal one of early Binghamton's best citizens. 


In that early day the discomforts and inconveniences of poverty were 
not as keenly felt as in more modern times, nor was the lack of means 
a bar to the door of society. Many of our most wealthy and influential 
citizens of the present day are descended from pioneer ancestry as 
humble and poor as any in this community. These settlers came to 
better their condition and to build up for their families and descendants 
comfortable homes and, if fortune favored, substantial fortunes. Many 
of them cast their lot in a new and undeveloped country and not find- 
ing a resident agent from whom to purchase or reilt the land, they set- 
tled in convenient places and began to make improvements, hoping, 
however, that the owner would confirm their titles for modest consider- 
ation. This, tradition says, Mr. Bingham did, with a generosity which 
has been said to have ever characterized his career; but in disposing 
of his lands at reasonable prices the proprietor not only succeeded in 
settling them, but he also reaped the benefit of the increased value of 
adjacent reserved tracts. 

In general the pioneers on Bingham's patent were a determined, 
courageous set of men and women, nearly all of whom came to the 
region from the east to contend against the hardships which have al- 
ways beset life in a new country. Many of them had seen service dur- 
ing the Revolution and were now prepared to face new dangers in the 
hope that their own and their families' comfort might be assured. The 
character and condition of the Susquehanna and Chenango valleys had 
been told in the east by the soldiers of Clinton's army, and under the 
inspiring influence of their representations there came the pioneers 
who cleared the lands, built the cabins and the primitive mills, and thus 
prepared the way, and made lighter the path and the toil, of his family 
and followers. All honor, then, to this vanguard of a new civilization, 
whose struggles and hardships brought into life a new county in just 
five short years after the first pioneer came. All honor to the pioneers 
of Bingham's patent and the Boston purchase, alien or citizen, foreign 
or native, for through their lives and work the county came into being 
and took a place among the civil divisions of the state; a jurisdiction 
as beautiful, as diversified with the wildest extremes of nature's fancies, 
as rich and fertile in all the staples that agricultural and commercial 
industry can produce as almost any in this great commonwealth 

Binghamton, hamlet, village and city, is just closing the hundredth 
year of its existence, and wonderful indeed have been the changes 
wrought during that period. No man now lives who saw the first irn- 


provements on the city site, and few indeed of the sons of the pioneers 
are still living in the locality. All is changed; the first settlers are 
gone, the primitive structures are removed, the name Chenango Point 
is no longer known, the old institutions are superseded by others more 
modern. In truth, so many and so great have been the changes of the 
century just closing that it sometimes seems as if the last thirty years 
of city history had no connection with an earlier period; still, looking 
back into the dim but not forgotten past, the close observer may easily 
discern the connecting link which binds together the old generation of 
factors and the new, and men yet live who trace their ancestry to the 
city in its hamlet days, and in fact to the pioneers who leveled the for- 
ests, cleared the land and prepared the way for succeeding generations. 
Their names and deeds it is the purpose of this work to record, giving 
honor where honor is due, and then, having recalled the laying of the 
foundation of the subsequent growth and welfare of the village, to trace 
the history of its progress to the close of the present century, and thus 
preserve for coming generations a narrative of the works of those who 
have been contributing factors in this splendid growth. Indeed, in 
many respects this work may be regarded as a centennial history of 
Binghamton, including three distinct elements of evolution — the ham- 
let, the village and the city. 

If it were possible that Solomon Moore, Joshua Whitney, James Lyon, 
Nathaniel Delano (who is said to have built a cabin on the north bank 
of the Susquehanna, just above the site of the present Rockbottom 
bridge, as early as 1788, and to have attempted to maintain himself at 
blacksmithing), or any other of the pioneers on the city site, could 
again visit the scenes. of their early experiences they would discover 
little even in topographical features of the locality to remind them of 
times long passed, when they made the first improvements on the land. 
Like the primitive structures, the land surface has been materially 
altered by the ever progressive hand of man, but in no part of the city 
has there been more marked change than in the vicinity of the court 
house square and about the point where Chenango and Exchange streets 
touch Court street. 

Previous to the erection of the court house of 1856 this locality was 
known as " Court House hill. " The name survived until the removal 
of the old academy and the Broome County bank and the erection of 
Phelps bank building. When the village was laid out the summit of 
the hill near this point on Court street was about twenty feet above the 

Growth and development. 69 

present grade, and from there "the boys" (some younger, some older) 
were accustomed to coast down to the Chenango river, while as long as 
the academy building stood the descending ground from the court house 
to beyond Hawley street was a famous " sliding place," and thousands 
of accidents and incidents are associated with its memories. 

The changes of grade in other localities have been frequent, particu- 
larly since the village became a city. Near the corner of Main and 
Front streets was a considerable elevation, the old Myron Merrill resi- 
dence on the site of the present Wilkinson building having been built 
on "high ground." Down Main street about a mile another ridge ex- 
tended north and south, and a portion thereof is still to be seen near 
where once stood "Bige" Green's shop. Originally the entire vicinity 
was covered with a heavy forest growth. The only clearing of conse- 
quence found by the pioneers was that made by the Indians for their 
habitations and gardens. They, however, did not clear the land as did 
the settlers, but burned over desired tracts, and thus destroyed growing 
trees and vegetation. The region was also said to contain considerable 
area of swamp and marsh land, but with the removal of the forests, the 
depressed places were dried up, and a little filling by owners and mu- 
nicipal authorities has resulted in a comparatively level tract upon 
which the city has been built. 

The next morning after Mr. Whitney made known to the inhabitants 
of Chenango village that he proposed to start a settlement "down on 
the Point," he, with Selah Squires and four other stalwart settlers, took a 
boat and paddled down the river to a point about at the foot of what is 
Court street, landing on the east bank. "Boys, here is the spot," said 
Whitney, after which all set to work and during the day cleared about 
an acre of land near the intersection of Court and Water streets. When 
night came and the party was about to re-enter their boat, young Squires 
noticed the remarkable similarity of two large elm trees, one on each 
bank of the river. "They are twins," he exclaimed, and from that re- 
mark the name "Twin Elms' was given to the immediate vicinity. 
After that, it was " We are going down to the Twin Elms," and also, 
"Agent Whitney is going to build a bridge at the Twin Elms." The 
locality was for a time thus designated. 

In this connection it is interesting to note that the "twin" on the 
west side of the river still survives, having served in its time many and 
various purposes. It sheltered from sun and storm the red man of the 
forest and the white-faced pioneer who succeeded him ; it protected from 


the action of the water the earth in its vicinity and the river bank be- 
low ; it was a shield from the morning sun for all the children in Miss 
Mcintosh's select school in an adjacent building; it served as an anchor 
for a ferry cable; it held within its powerful and wide-spreading 
branches a platform large enough to seat a score of men ; and now, 
after a century of constant guardianship, its " stump " still stands and 
may be seen in rear of the buildings at the west end of the bridge. Its 
companion on the east bank withstood the devastations of man and 
action of the elements for many years, but at last, having become un- 
dermined, it gradually leaned toward the water, and in the spring of 
1865 was swept away. Stc transit. 

After making the clearing above mentioned. General Whitney laid 
out Court and Water streets, the former extending east to about Ex- 
change street, and the latter beginning at Court street and extending 
thence south with the river, almost its present course, though it was 
not then so wide. (On June 19, 1813, the commissioners of highways 
of the town of Chenango were authorized to lay out Water street 60 
feet wide from Court street to the Susquehanna river. Soon afterward 
this became a main traveled thoroughfare and a part of the old Bing- 
hamton and Montrose turnpike. A ferry crossed the river at the foot 
of the street and connected with the turnpike on the south side, leading 
directly in front of the residence of the late Christopher Eldredge, now 
occupied by his descendants, thence ran to a point about ?00 feet south 
of the junction of the avenue with Cro.'ss street, where it "angled " to 
the east, across the creek ; thence southeast along what is now Park 
avenue up the hill west of Ross park. ) 

On July 4, 1800, William Bingham conveyed to Joshua Whitney 215 
acres of land in what is now the city tract, and in the next year Whit- 
ney erected a substantial dwelling house on the north side of Court 
street, about opposite the termination of Water street, the latter then 
not extending north of Court street. Thus it appears that Joshua 
Whitney was the active agent through whom the settlement was actu- 
ally founded, and was also its first permanent settler under recognized 
authority. It is said, however, by reliable writers that John G. Chris- 
topher built the first substantial dwelling pn the city site, the same 
standing about where the gas works forme-rly stood on Water street. 
How long Mr. Christopher lived here is not known. On the Bingham 
Patent map he is shown to be the owner, of a considerable tract of land 
on the south side of the Susquehanna river, adjoining and east of the 

Growth and development. 7l 

Moore tract. It is also said that when the Whitney house was built 
the Christopher domicile was in a dilapidated condition, from which it 
may be assumed that it was hardly more than a cabin for temporary 

In our narrative thus far progressed the name of Joshua or General 
Whitney has been so frequently mentioned that it must be seen that he 
was the all-important factor in founding the village settlement and 
securing for it a substantial growth in later years. In early local an- 
nals the Whitney surname appears more frequently than any other, 
hence a brief allusion to the life of Joshua Whitney seems appropriate. 

Joshua Whitney, the land agent, who is mentioned both as Joshua 
and as General Whitney, was commonly known among the early set- 
tlers by the brief cognomen of "Josh," his military title and standing 
having come with later years. He was born August M, 1773, hence 
was 14 years old when his father — Joshua Whitney, the pioneer — came 
into the Chenango valley. According to tradition, the young man in- 
herited many of his father's traits of character, one of which was a 
capacity to manage and successfully direct large enterprises, and when 
a boy he was frequently sent on long journeys on business of impor- 
tance. He occasionally visited Philadelphia and thus undoubtedly be- 
came acquainted with Mr. Bingham, who, admiring the honest manhood 
and business qualities of the young man, saw in him the spirit neces- 
sary to profitably manage the lands in this vicinity, which were then 
brought into active competition with other equally desirable patents in 
the state, and also with the fertile Genesee country west of Seneca lake. 

In making the selection Mr. Bingham acted wisely, for subsequent 
events proved that young Whitney was probably the only man then in 
the valley who could accomplish such remarkable results in so short a 
time. As the owner of more than 200 acres of land on the tract his in- 
terest was twofold, for by selling lots either on Bingham's or his own 
tract he enhanced the value of both. 

Joshua Whitney played an important part in the history of Chenango 
Point and subsequent village of Binghamton, yet it is not necessary to 
here recall all his works in developing the region, as the narrative as it 
progresses will bring them into prominence. Mr. Whitney's wife was 
Rhoda Jewell, by whom he had nine sons and two daughters. Nearly 
all of the sons attained a position of distinction in this locality, and were 
identified with the most interesting history of Binghamton, hence their 
names may with propriety be recalled. They were Virgil, Vincent, 


George, Washington and Franklin (twins), Joshua, William, Charles 
and Robert, the latter having died in infancy. To an/ native of Bing- 
hamton, now past the middle period of life the mention of these 
familiar names suggests many pleasant associations and memories, and 
it is indeed difficult to resist the temptation to refer at length to the 
career of each of them, but space forbids. 

In 1801 the work of settlement and development was begun in ear- 
nest. In that year Jacob McKinney, who had for a year kept a stock 
of goods at the upper village, came down to the Point and built a store 
near the corner of what is now Water and Stuart streets. The building 
was 28 feet square, but a little later on a large grain store house was 
built on the west side of Water street, in anticipation of increasing trade 
and in the hope that this might become the center of an extensive grain 
growing region. Mr. McKinney was a prominent figure in early his- 
tory, and was best known as Judge McKinney, through his connection 
with the county courts. He was sheriff in 1808 and county clerk in 
1809. For a time he was partner with General Whitney, and their 
operations carried them into other fields than general merchandising, 
but their efforts were not always rewarded with the success they de- 

(The storehouse property was sold by the firm to Crosby & Blanchard, 
both of whom came from Philadelphia. The new firm restocked the 
store, but soon dissolved partnership, Blanchard removing to Owego, 
and Crosby taking Gen. Whitney as partner. In the meantime the store 
building had been enlarged and raised two stories, thus becoming the 
largest business structure in the village. Mr. Crosby came here through 
the influence of Mr. Bingham; but he died soon afterward.) 

Judge McKinney was a man of the highest character and was always 
greatly respected in the community. His wife was Eliza Sabin, and 
three well known and worthy sous were among their seven children. 
Silas and Sabin McKinney, two of these sons, entered the Presbyterian 
ministry, although during Sabin's later life he was in the coal business 
in this city. Charles McKinney was for many years one of our best 
and most useful citizens, liberal, public spirited and benevolent. He 
was in the assembly in 1855, and in 1875 was elected mayor of the city. 
Silas was less known in local circles than his brothers, and a portion of 
his life was spent in other fields. All of those worthy and honored 
citizens of Binghamton are now passed away. 

Lewis Keeler, the former tavern keeper and hatter at the upper vil- 


lage, came to the "Point" in 1801 and built a hotel at the southeast 
corner of Court and Water streets, where for many years afterward a 
public house was maintained. (One of the most conspicuous buildings 
on this site in later years was the American Hotel, succeeding the 
"Binghamton Hotel," the latter being the successor to Robinson & 
Morgan's famous "Btnghamton Coffee House. " Still later the name 
was changed to CafEerty House, but for several years past the building 
has been occupied solely for mercantile and dwelling purposes. ) 

James and Balthazer De Hart were settlers here in 1801. Both were 
members of the bar, the latter having the title of judge, which was 
acquired in New Jersey. They were quiet, dignified, gentlemanly law- 
yers and enjoyed the respect of the entire community. Further men- 
tion of them is made in the Bench and Bar chapter. 

John Yarrington came about the same' year, possibly earlier, and set 
up a blacksmith shop on a lot at the northwest corner of Court and 
Washington streets, his land extending west to include the site of the 
Sampson building. On the latter site Yarrington had his shop, while 
his dwelling stood where is now the First National bank. Lewis Kee- 
ler's hotel barn stood about on the southwest corner of Court and Wash- 
ington streets, or, speaking after the custom of earlier years, on Rex- 
ford's corner, for the drug store of Levi M. Rexford made this a famous 
locality. The name cannot be forgotten, nor the incidents connected 
with the store, within whose doors once ran a wild deer, which was 
caught in the arms of Isaac Aldrich. General Whitney soon removed 
Keeler's barn and sold the lot to John Townley, a carpenter and cabinet 
maker by trade, whose services in the village were much needed, and 
who proved in every respect a useful and esteemed citizen. In 1812 he 
suddenly disappeared and was never afterward heard from. Mr. Town- 
ley came from New Jersey, and is remembered as the father of the late 
Col. Augustus Townley, the latter also for many years a worthy resi- 
dent of Binghamton. 

Daniel Le Roy was one of the most prominent settlers added to the 
little hamlet in 1801, and was a conspicuous figure in later village life. 
He was a lawyer of ability and by his work in the profession and other 
directions contribijted much to early local growth. He bought a lot 
and built a dwelling house at the northeast corner of Court and Wash- 
ington streets, where now stands the City National bank. In Le Roy 
street is still preserved the name of this worthy settler, although Le 
Roy Place was a popular name before the village acquired the impor- 


tance of a city. The name designated the buildings erected in 1839 by 
John A. Collier at the corner of what is now Court and State streets, 
and extended thence east to include the site of the present Ross and 
O'Neil buildings. In 181? Mr. Le Roy disposed of his remaining prop- 
erty and moved west. 

Guido Bissel came during the same year and purchased a lot on Water 
street, on which then stood a plank house. Recollections of Bissel are 
not distinct and he probably lived here only a short time. His lot was 
soon occupied by the homestead of Zenas Pratt, a settler of 1807, and 
one of the conspicuous figures in village life for several years. 

Those whose names are recalled in preceding paragraphs were the 
prominent figures in the village during the first two years of its exist- 
ence. It is more than probable that others came about the same time 
but their names have not been preserved in the records of the past, and 
no man now lives who knew the settlement at that early day. General 
Whitney devoted his attention both to the village site and the surround- 
ing lands of the patent, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that lots 
outside the surveyed village tract, and within the present city limits, 
were occupied by settlers as worthy as those we have mentioned; yet 
by any present means their names cannot be recalled. 

In 1806 the new arrivals in the village, so far as is now known, were 
William Seymour, Giles Andrus, Christopher Woods, Samuel Roberts, 
Joseph Lewis and John R. Wildman. Wildman was the first village 
tailor and built a dwelling and shop on the lot on which in later years 
Dr. Ely erected the Exchange buildings, on the north side of Court 
street, between Washington and State streets, as now laid out. Wild- 
man carried on business for some time but his name has not been known 
in local circles for many years. Threeqaarters of a century ago tailor 
Wildman was a man of great consequence in the community. Giles 
Andrus was a carpenter, but after a short residence here he went fur- 
ther west. Of Woods, Roberts and Lewis, little is now known. Will- 
iam Seymour studied law in Mr. Le Roy's office, and was licensed to 
practice at the first term of court held in this county after it was set 
off from Tioga. A few years later he settled in Windsor, but in 1843 
he was made first judge of the Common Pleas and then returned to the 

The crowning event, however, in connection with our village history 
in 1803 was the erection of a court house and jail. This mention sug- 
gests a brief recapitulation of still earlier events. As has been stated 


an act of the legislature passed in 1793 authorized terms of court in 
Tioga county to be held alternately at Newtown and at the house of 
Joshua Whitney at Chenango, in the town of Union (at that time Union 
included all the territory between Chenango river and Owego creek). 
Therefore, from the year mentioned until 1802, courts in this district 
of the county were held at the settlement up the Chenango, but in 1801 
another act directed courts in this district to he held at the "house to be 
erected for that purpose at Chenango Point, in the town of Chenango," 
(Chenango then embraced a large extent of territory east of Chenango 
river) instead of the house of Joshua Whitney, in the town of Union 
By this great change the victory of Chenango Point over the rival vil 
lage of Chenango was made complete, and while the latter was thence 
forth doomed to decay the future prosperity of the former was assured 

"The house to be erected for that purpose," quoting from the act 
was duly provided for through the generosity of Mr. Bingham and the 
enterprise of General Whitney. It was the first Broome county court 
house, erected in 1803, and was an unpretentious structure standing 
near the corner of Court and Chenango streets, about on the site of the 
Perry building, where, before the erection of the latter, laid a portion 
of the spacious grounds surrounding the residence of Cyrus Strong. In 
size the building was about 34 x 36 feet, with two strongly constructed 
log rooms for jail purposes. A few years later the movable portion 
of the building was taken across the street and placed on the square, 
though not on the site of the present court house. In its way the old 
building did practical service for nearly a quarter of a century and then 
gave way to a new structure more commodious, modern and attractive. 
It was very suitable for the time, and its erection was the direct means 
of drawing to the village a desirable class of residents, representing 
various callings in life, which added both to population and busi- 
ness importance, and gave to it, even at that early day, a special prom- 
inence among the settled localities of this part of the state. The 
pioneers laid the foundation for the hamlet, but the acquisition of the 
county buildings proved the corner and keystone of future prosperity, 
upon which the municipal superstructure was afterward built up, event- 
ually establishing Binghamton the leading and largest city in the south- 
ern tier counties of New York. 

While the years preceding 1803 witnessed settlement by a worthy and 
energetic set of men and families, the period from that time to 1813 
was marked by the arrival of others equally prominent, and through 


the combiued efforts of all, the village acquired sufficient importance 
to take to itself a limited corporate character. The succeeding pages 
of this chapter will be devoted to the factors of this period. 

Among the prominent persons who came to the village in 1803 was 
William Stuart, a former resident of Tioga county, and its first district 
attorney when the office was known as assistant attorney-general. He 
was appointed district attorney in 1802, and is recalled as a lawyer of 
unusual ability, possessing the fortunate quality of retaining perfect 
self-possession even under the most trying circumstances. When the 
limited corporate character was taken in 1813 Mr. Stuart is said to have 
been one of the first trustees, and was a guiding spirit in that body of 
worthies. Judge Stuart, for by this title he was commonly designated, 
lived for a time in the General Whitney house at the head of Water 
street and afterward in the Townley domicile at the corner of Washing- 
ton street, but later purchased the Christopher property on Water 
street, to which he gave the name "Cottage house." William Stuart, 
jr., who is remembered as one of the strongest newspaper editors in 
early Binghamton journalism, and also the late Alexander Stuart, were 
sons of Judge Stuart. 

In the same year Thomas Whitney, brother to the General, began the 
erection of a dwelling on Water street, in the then most populous por- 
tion of the village, but soon sold the unfinished structure to Henry 
Pinkerton (otherwise known as Pinckerton) who completed and rented 
it to Benjamin Sawtell, son of Capt. Sawtell. Several property changes 
were made among the inhabitants about this time, for nearly every one 
of the settlers were Yankees or of New England descent, hence swap- 
ping and dealing were necessary elements of vigorous growth. John 
Townley purchased from Squire Whiting the house the latter bought of 
General Whitney, while the squire himself built further down Water 
street. The next year he built an office on the same street, and there- 
after for many years the name of Whiting was prominently connected 
with nearly every transaction relating to this section. 

About this time Henry Shipman came from Saybrook, Conn., built 
an addition to what was afterward Zenas Pratt's cabinet shop, and took 
a position among the worthy spirits of the place. He is remembered 
as a shrewd, driving Yankee, proud of his ancestry and possessing a 
strong vein of humor in his personality. He was the father of Captain 
Henry W. Shipman, who was for many years a conspicuous figure in 
Binghamton. At a later date Mr. Shipman lived on Court street (very 


near where Harvey Westcott now resides) and worked at his trade of 

Sherman Page and William Low came about 1803 and began the 
practice of law, but evidently found this an unprofitable field, hence 
soon left for other parts. David Brownson came about the same time 
and located two miles west of the village, on the Union road. He 
was the progenitor of a line of descendants who have since lived in the 
vicinity, and some of them in the city, where for many years they were 
identified with mercantile pursuits. 

William Woodruff also settled here in 1803, and was a conspicuous 
figure in political history in the county. He was sheriff of Tioga county 
by appointment in 1805, and the first sheriff of Broome county in 1806; 
twice he was county clerk, and from 180t) to 18"il was clerk of the board 
of supervisors. He afterward removed to Hyde Settlement, where he 

Selah Squires, who has been mentioned among the pioneer settlers 
in Chenango village, and who was apprenticed to learn the hatter's 
trade with Lewis Keeler, was a "jour" workman when he came to 
Chenango Point in 1803 and set up in business on a lot he purchased at 
the southeast corner of Court and Washington streets; a site whereon 
was afterward erected the "Eagle buildings," but which for many 
years has been known as Whitney's jewelry store corner. Mr. Squires 
was a young man at that time, yet he took an important part in village 
affairs. A brother, Lewis Squires, came in 1804, and was a carpenter 
and builder. He is believed to have been the first architect in the vil- 
lage, and as such had much to do with the construction of several large 
buildings of the locality. His first purchase was on the site of 
the Exchange buildings (between Sisson building and the City National 
bank) on Court street, where a dwelling was erected, but soon after- 
ward he bought a lot and built another house on the opposite side of 
the street. It stood, in part, on land afterward taken for the Chenango 
canal (now State street), and was partially removed. The remaining 
part was taken down in 1839 and v;as replaced with a three-storied 
brick building erected by John A. Collier and christened " Le Roy 

James Squires, brother to Selah and Lewis, came from Connecticut 
in 1805 and bought Selah's property, the latter having an inclination to 
move west. In 1806 James Squires purchased a tract of land compris- 
ing substantially the south half of the entire square between Court, 


Hawley, Washington and Collier streets. None of these thoroughfares, 
except Court street, were then laid out. Mr. Sqaires built a tinnery 
on the land, the buildings standing about where are now the Shapley 
& Wells foundry and machine shop. The vats and bark yards occu- 
pied a considerable space around the building and the locality was a 
noted play-ground in later years ; especially after Lewis Squires and 
Col. Abbott had built a tannery about on the site of the Kent building 
on State street. James Squires' dwelling stood very near the corner of 
Washington and Hawley streets, as afterward laid out, and the entrance 
to his premises was through a lane leading east from Water street. At 
that time Mr. Squires' works were practically out of the village, and 
much of the bark used by him for several years was taken from hem- 
lock trees cut in the immediate vicinity. Indeed, as late as 1811 or '13 
the court house square was not cleared of its first growth of oak and 
pine trees. 

James Squires was undoubtedly the best representative of the sur- 
name in the early history of Binghamton, and was regarded as one of 
the most substantial men of his time in the county. The name is not 
now represented in Binghamton, but collateral relatives remain and 
are among the highly respected families of the city. 

The village had now attained sufficient size and importance to war- 
rant the removal of Dr. Phineas Bartholomew from the upper village to 
the Point; and according to reliable data he was the pioneer doctor of 
both settlements. Further mention of Dr. Bartholomew naturally be- 
longs to the chapter devoted to the medical profession. After a few 
years in the village he returned to his former home in Coxsackie. 

Dr. Elihu Ely, who for a period of nearly half a century was one of 
the prominent men of Binghamton, came here in the fall of 1805 and 
began practicing medicine. Although an extended mention of his life 
belongs to another chapter, he was so closely connected with the early 
development of the village that some allusion to his works seems nec- 
essary in this place. In 1806 Dr. Ely started a drug store on Court 
street, in the Wildman dwelling, but a year later he built a store up the 
street, on the western slope of the court house hill, about on the west 
line of the building now occupied by C. A. Weed & Co., where he put 
in a general stock of goods. In 1810 he bought of James Park a lot 
immediately opposite the court house, paying for one and one-half 
acres of land in that locality the sum of $300 (the same property to-day 
with its buildings is worth at least $300, 000). In November of the same 


year he purchased the site whereon now stands Phelps bank building. 
On this corner once stood the old Berrian tavern, and afterward the 
Broome County bank. In 1811 Dr. Ely purchased property farther 
down Court street, including the Wildman house (just below the Sisson 
building), paying for two acres of land in that vicinity the sum of 
$1,100 (the same property, with its buildings, is now worth more than 
$1,000,000). The dwelling in which Dr. Ely first lived was built on 
land purchased in 1813, and was on the site of the Brown & Bragg store 
of later years. It was very near the position of the present City Na- 
tional bank. 

Dr. Ely was also the owner of several other village lots, and was a 
man of great enterprise in his time, as well as the possessor of consid- 
able means.' He retired from active professional life in 1833, and died 
in 1851. He was the father of the late Elihu and Richard Ely, 
whose descendants are still in the city. 

James and John Park, who were twins, and brothers of Squire George 
and Rufus Park, came to the village in 1806, and were the earliest rep- 
resentatives of an afterward notable family in the village history. The 
brothers first mentioned purchased the lot on which the first court house 
stood and begaa merchandising. They were in business here several 
years, but their store afterward was vacant. The Perry building now 
stands on the lot. In the same year Rev. John Camp, a deposed Presby- 
terian clergyman, who had lived in the vicinity several years, came to 
the village and occupied the house said to have been built by black- 
smith Delano away back in 1788. Mr. Camp first entered the Episcopal 
priesthood but afterward became a Presbyterian. He occasionally con- 
ducted religious service in the village, and is remembered as an exceed- 
ingly good man, but over whose life had come a heavy cloud of sorrow. 

Christopher Eldredge was one of the most conspicuous characters in 
local circles throughout the period of his residence here. He came in 
1806 and first engaged in mercantile business with D.miel Le Roy, but 
soon afterward interested himself largely in milling and land operations. 
In the course of a few years he associated with John A. Collier, and 

^ According to the distinct memory of Warring S. Weed, Dr. Ely was regarded as the richest 
man in this vicinity and frequently loaned money to persons desirous of buying lands or erect- 
ing buildings. He at one time owned nearly all the land between Chenango and Washington 
streets (north of Court street) and extending north beyond where Henry street was laid out. 
His last residence was on Washington street, and his barn, which was a very large building, 
stood about on the line of that thoroughfare. The dwelling was afterward removed to a point 
on Washington street, opposite the head of Ferry street, where it still stands. Through some 
misfortune Dr. Ely lost much of his splendid property and died in moclerate circumstances. 


still later with Hazard Lewis, and through their joint efforts the inter- 
ests of the village were greatly increased, resulting in constantly grow- 
ing population and commercial importance. They conceived and carried 
out the idea of building a bridge across the Susquehanna just above 
the mouth of the Chenango, and secured an act of the legislature author- 
izing iti construction, though the bridge itself was erected by a stock 
company. Eldredge and Lewis also secured an act authorizing the 
construction of a dam' from the south bank of the Susquehanna to the 
island^ for milling purposes, and in connection with their lumbering 
operations they, with Mr. Lewis, became owners of about a square mile 
of land in what is now the fifth ward, extending east from the Moore 
tract to about Mill street. This they afterward divided among them- 
selves, Eldredge taking the west. Collier the center and Lewis the east- 
ern portion. Mr. Eldredge made his home on the bank of the Susque- 
hanna, where he afterward lived and died. In his family were several 
sons, who for a long time were well known in Binghamton, but all of 
whom are now dead. Our older residents still hold in familiar remem- 
brance the names of James, Hobart, Hallam, Charles, Robert, John and 
Henry (twins) and William Eldredge, the sons of " Uncle Kit," as the 
venerable father was frequently called in later life. Jane Eldredge, a 
daughter, married with James Hawley, for whom the Hawley turnpike 
(now Pennsylvania avenue) was named. 

The year 1807, like those preceding it, witnessed several changes in 
local affairs as well as the arrival of new settlers in the village; and 
each event was a step forward in the direction of municipal prosperity. 
In this year Robert Monell came and began practicing law, and soon 
afterward built an ofSce on Water street. In 1811 he removed to 
Greene, and in Chenango county attained a high professional standing. 
In local business circles the changes of the year included the accession 
of Jacob McKinney to the proprietorship of the Keeler tavern, and the 
erection of a new store by General Whitney. 

Another prominent figure in early village history was Zenas Pratt, 

' As early as 1815 an act o£ the legislature authorized Joshua Whitney and others to construct 
a dam across the Susquehanna. In 1838 Joshua Whitney and Hazard Lewis were authorized to 
huild a dam across the rivsr between their part o£ lot 14, Bingham's patent, on the south side, and 
village lots 74-5 on the north side of the river. 

= Undoubtedly, the island referred to was situated about mid-stream in the Susquehanna, 
above where the Washington street bridge stands. It included several aces of land, and in 
early days was a common resort on all festive occasions. When Warring S. Weed and Solomon 
Aldrich were boys, " general trainings " were held od the island. When the state abandoned the 
canal, the surface earth of the island was taken to raise the canal bed to proper street and lot 


who came in 1807 and started a carpenter and cabinet shop on Water 
street (near Hawley). His dwelling was purchased from Henry Ship- 
man. For many years Mr. Pratt lived in the village and was in all 
respects a worthy and industrious citizen. His shop was a general re- 
sort for the townsfolk, and many were the ideas which took form under 
the discussion of the worthies congregated there. Mr. Pratt was the 
father of the late George, Hallam E., William H. and Frederick Pratt. 

In 1808 Daniel Rogers came and formed a law partnership with Mr. 
Le Roy, which had the effect of comparative release for the latter from 
professional work and permitted him to engage in other enterprises. 
In this year a bridge was constructed across the Chenango at the foot 
of Court street. It had been promised eight years before by General 
Whitney, but the necessary means could not be secured. In the mean- 
time those of the inhabitants who had occasion to visit the undeveloped 
lands over the river, were compelled to "take the ferry," or ford the 
stream just below the twin elms. 

The toll bridge across the Chenango was built by Marshall Lewis and 
Luther Thurston, at the expense of Lucas Elmendorf, of Kingston, 
who saw in prospective toll rates sufficient remuneration for his outlay. 
Later events proved this to be an excellent investment, as the locality, 
for many years afterward known as "Canada," in local parlance, was 
opened for settlement and development. The region comprised the 
present first, second, third and fourth wards of the city, and while 
from a business point of view it has not since gained a standing of 
special importance, it is nevertheless the most desirable residential por- 
tion of the city. Daniel Le Roy was quick to see the advantages of 
this locality, and in 1809 made a purchase of land and built a dwelling 
near the foot of what is now Front street. Hobart Eldredge afterward 
owned the property, but the octagonal shaped dwelling on "Lovers' 
lane ' is the only present reminder of the earlier period. 

For several years "Uncle Tommy" De Witt was toll taker. He was 
followed by " Uncle Joe " Chambers, and others. 

Soon after the bridge was finished, David Brownson built a tavern 
on the lot now occupied in part by the Congregational church edifice. 
The hotel was a famous hostelry for many years, and several remarka- 
ble events in local history took place within its doors. It was once 
known as the " Peterson House," in allusion to Samuel Peterson, who 
for many years was its landlord, but later on the hotel took the name 
of "Chenango House," and as such passed through many proprietor- 



ships previous to its destruction by fire about the beginning of the war 
of 1861-5. 

Front and Main streets were laid out about this time, hence the four 
corners just west of the bridge became a busy locality. Aaron Burrell, 
whose name was soon well known in the village, a wheelwright and 
wagon maker by trade, erected a building on the southwest corner, on 
the elevated ground afterward occupied by the residence of Myron 
Merrill, and now the site of the Wilkinson building. On the northeast 
comer James McKinney (nephew of Judge McKinney) built a store, 
the same building in which Mr. Powell did business, but later on, after 
a brick building succeeded to the site, the location was for many years 
known as " Wiser's corner." 

Among the new arrivals in the village in 1809 were two of the most 
prominent characters in its history in later years, and each of whom 
was an important factor in its growth and development. They were 
John A. Collier and Col. Oliver Ely. Mr. Collier was then a young 
lawyer just entering professional life, and was doubtless attracted to 
the village by reason of its having recently become the seat of justice 
of a new county, hence promised the most substantial results to a young, 
energetic and capable man. These qualities Mr. Collier certainly pos- 
sessed, yet nothing in his later life and career ever indicated a con- 
sciousness of the fact on his part. He is remembered as an exceeding- 
ly companionable gentleman on all occasions. Any extended mention 
of his career as a lawyer properly belongs to another chapter of this 
work, but as a business man and a developer of the resources of this 
special region some allusion to him in this connection is necessary. He 
first purchased from Lewis Squires a lot on the south side of Court 
street, a portion of which was afterward taken for the Chenango canal, 
but later on he became one of the extensive land owners of the village, 
both in lots and farm tracts. In 1823 Mr. Collier, with others, pur- 
chased a part of the Arthur Gray farm, which lay north of the present 
Erie tracks, on a part of which he in 1837-8 built the mansion in which 
he afterward lived and died. He had an office on Franklin (now 
Washington) street, about half way between Court and Hawley streets, 
adjoining which he built a substantial residence for his father, Thomas 
Collier. The house was subsequently the home of Hamilton Collier, 
brother to John A., and for years one of the worthy men of the village. 
In 1829 Mr. Collier bought the county clerk's office property, which 
was located about where now stands W. S. Smith's Sons' store. Soon 


afterward he also obtained the adjacent lot on the east, and thus be- 
came the owner of one of the most pretentious three-story buildings in 
the place. 

As has been mentioned, Mr. Collier erected his splendid residence 
in the northern part of the village, at what is now the corner of Pros- 
pect avenue and Eldridge street. Large and attractive grounds were 
laid out surrounding the mansion on all sides, and to the property he 
gave the name of "Ingleside." It was then and for many years the 
most elegant residence in the village, but recently much of the land has 
been taken for building purposes, and the grace and symmetry of the 
place is thus destroyed. The row of large brick buildings on North Depot 
street stand on this once noted ground. The old mansion itself still stands, 
but much of its glory and beauty has faded away. Miscellaneous ten- 
antry has worked its usual results, and now the structure has a dilapi- 
dated appearance. Previous to his removal to Ingleside, Mr. Collier 
lived at the corner of Court and Collier streets. The lot on which the 
McNamara block now stands was originally called Collier's corner. 

In 1835 Mr. Collier purchased Watts' patent, a tract of about 14,000 
acres of land between Binghamton and Colesville. He was also largely 
interested in land and lumber operations with Christopher Eldredgeand 
Hazard Lewis, and through shrewdness, enterprise and good judgment 
he acquired a fortune. He lived to a good old age and ever enjoyed 
the confidence and esteem of his fellow men and professional associates. 
Henry and James Collier were sons of John A. Further mention of 
Mr. Collier's professional and political life will be found in the Bench 
and Bar chapter. 

Col. Oliver Ely, a brother of Dr. Elihu Ely, began his career in the 
village as an employee in the county clerk's ofHce and as teacher in the 
district school. In 1810 he became partner with his brother in a gen- 
eral mercantile business, thus establishing one of the strongest firms 
then in this section. The partnership was dissolved in 1819; immedi- 
ately after this Col. Ely purchased the Yarrington dwelling and prop- 
erty on the corner of Court and Washington streets, moved the house, 
and on its foundation erected a store building. He then began a long 
and successful business career, and one which brought him into a gen- 
eral acquaintance throughout the region. Col. Ely lived many years 
on Washington street, first in the Yarrington house, but later on in a 
substantial brick residence further up that street. The latter was built 
in 1831 and was one of the best dwellings in the village at the time. 


The latter part of Col. Ely's life was passed on his farm east of the vil- 
lage, but now within the city limits, and is generally known as Fair- 
view. The late Joseph E. and William M. Ely, both of whom were 
closely identified with business and political life in the county, were 
sons of Col. Ely. 

Dr. Tracy Robinson was another well-known character in early times 
and came to Chenango Point in 1810. He was a physician by profes- 
sion and formerly lived in Chenango county. He started a drug store 
on the north side of Court street, and in 1813 took Ur. Ammi Double- 
day as partner. In a few years the junior member of the firm suc- 
ceeded to the business, after which Dr. Robinson opened a dry goods 
store, but did not-give up practice. Three years later he sold the store 
and devoted his attention wholly to his profession until 1819, when he 
and Major Morgan became proprietors of the old hotel at the corner of 
Water street, which was established by Lewis Keeler and was afterward 
kept by Judge McKinney. The new landlords, Robinson & Morgan, 
gave to the house the name "Binghamton Hotel," and made it one of 
the most famous hostelries in the region ; and it long maintained an 
honorable standing in the village. After ten years in hotel business 
Dr. Robinson returned to the dry goods trade, and so continued until 
1833 when he was appointed postmaster, being the second incumbent 
of that office after the village was called Binghamton. In political cir- 
cles Dr. Robinson was a conspicuous figure, and was looked upon as 
one of the influential men of the county. He was justice of the peace 
and one of the Common Pleas judges in 1811, and in 1823 was made 
first judge of the court. Dr. Robinson lived through three distinct 
periods of local history, having witnessed the growth of the hamlet of 
Chenango Point into the village of Binghamton, and the ultimate char- 
tered city of the same name. He died in November, 1867. He was 
the father of the late General John C, Henry L. and Erasmus D. Rob- 
inson. Dr. Robinson's daughter became the wife of Major Augustus 

In 1810 one Atwell came to the village and set up a blacksmith shop 
on a part of the site of the Phoenix (Exchange) Hotel. Atwell was 
also a noted violinist and soon won favor in the community by teaching 
dancing among the village youth (and incidentally to many who had 
passed the age called youth), accompanying his instruction with music 
from his ever ready fiddle. 

Two other men canie to the village in this year. They were George 


Park and Marshall Lewis, the latter the father of Hazard Lewis, and 
the grandfather of the late Frederick Lewis and also of the wife of Col. 
Clinton F. Paige. 

George Park, or, as he was more familiarly known to our people for 
half a century, "Squire" Park, was a native of Dutchess county, a 
lawyer by profession, a mineralogist and archeologist by taste and in- 
clination, and, by long association with the pioneers of the locality, a 
recognized authority on all historical subjects. His collection of min- 
erals was large and his manuscripts and drawings relating to early 
events in Binghamton were much prized by all descendants of pioneers ; 
but all are now scattered and lost. For more than three-score years 
Squire Park was a familiar figure on our streets, and he, too, was one 
of the few men who lived to witness the growth of Binghamton from a 
mere hamlet to a progressive city. 

Soon after Marshall Lewis moved into the village he built a saw and 
grist mill at the head of Water street, as afterward laid out. The mills 
stood on the south bank of the "raceway," and an increased water 
power was secured by a dam across the branch of the river which flowed 
east of the island. Even in early times this was a busy locality, and 
the logs were piled high all over the mill yard, which included nearly 
all the land south of Ferry street and west of Washington street. On 
the death of Marshall Lewis, his son. Hazard Lewis, succeeded to the 
business, and was one of the most enterprising men of the village for 
many years. During his career he engaged in extensive land and lum- 
bering operations, acquiring a competency and a property in land near 
the head of Washington street that in itself was worth a fortune. Col. 
Lewis was associated in business with such men as Christopher Eldredge 
and John A. Collier, and was at least an equal factor with them in build- 
ing up a progressive village. He was chiefly instrumental in securing 
the construction of a bridge across the Chenango on the site of the 
present Ferry street bridge, thus opening for sale a desirable tract of 
land in the vicinity now called Dwightville, but which was formerly 
known as " Dickinson's brook meadow location." 

The Lewis saw mill continued in active operation as long as good 
growing timber stood on the neighboring hillsides, and as long as the 
Chenango river was a waterway for rafting logs. The grist mill sur- 
vived after the saw mill was abandoned, but now the entire locality 
of these once thriving industries is covered with large brick buildings 
occupied for entirely different manufacturing enterprises, and the old 


water power has been almost wholly superseded by steam. Water 
street has been extended across the old mill yard and a substantial 
bridge spans the raceway, thus connecting the island with the mainland. 

The island, too, has seen many changes under the ever progressive 
hand of man, which, previous to about twenty years ago, was a large 
area of unoccupied land, covered with splendid trees and a thick growth 
of alders and nettles, the latter being particularly annoying to the 
troops of village boys who in summer bathed in the race or ran like 
Indians through the dense thickets of the island. (The writer believes 
that at least a hundred of our present business men can attest the truth 
of this remark. ) 

Several substantial buildings are now on the south end of the island 
and the heavy bridge abutments of two trunk line railroad companies 
find a secure resting place in its soil. Originally this was known as 
Lyon's Island, and afterward as Gray's Island, in allusion to its owner, 
Arthur Gray, who also owned the mainland east of the river, but later 
on, with each succeeding owner, the name was changed. It was after- 
ward called Lewis' Island, and now Noyes' Island. For several years 
there has been a strong inclination in business circles to surround this 
desirable tract with a substantial retaining wall and thus make its entire 
area available for practical ventures. In this way the land bounded by 
Ferry and Water streets. Spice alley and the river has been made of 
great value by the enterprise of the late Moses T. Morgan. (The local 
wiseacres shook their heads dubiously when Mr. Morgan began the ex- 
pensive and questionable work of building a retaining wall from Court 
to Ferry street, but ultimate results have shown the wisdom of his 
judgment, as several acres of valuable land have thereby been made 
available for business purposes and many of our best manufacturing 
enterprises have been established thereon. The entire region between 
the streets mentioned has been filled to a depth varying from six to 
fifteen feet, and all the buildings are on made land. Indeed, from 
Court to Ferry street, west of Water street, nearly the whole surface 
had been raised, but the Court street vicinity was brought to grade 
long before Mr. Morgan became a unit in Binghamton history). 

Lewis St. John came from Canaan, Conn., in 1811, and settled on the 
road leading south from Chenango village to the Point, in what was then 
the town of Union. In 1815 he purchased from Daniel Le Roy a farm 
tract of about 107 acres of land lying west of what is now Front street, 
extending from the Susquehanna river north to a point about 600 feet 

Growth and development. s't 

south of Main street. For this excellent piece of land Mr. St. John 
paid $30 per acre. It is now one of the most desirable portions of the 
city for dwelling houses, many of the average building lots being now 
worth more than was originally paid for the entire tract. For many 
years Mr. St. John occupied his land exclusively for farm purposes, but 
after the village had acquired a considerable population, and business 
men began looking for residence sites away from the trading center, 
this part of "Canada," as it was called forty and more years ago, was 
subdivided and offered for sale in lots. At that early day several of the 
most pretentious homes in the village were erected in that vicinity. 
Less than thirty-five years ago there was not a building of consequence 
between the St. John dwelling and the corner, and Johnson place, and 
the highway was known as "the river road." Now the street name 
is changed to Riverside drive. Both sides are now lined with resi- 
dences which, as a class, are the most beautiful and expensive in the 
city. Naturally, the growth, subdivision and sale before mentioned re- 
sulted in a splendid fortune for Mr. St. John, all of which was left as an 
inheritance to his children. Lewis St. John's children were Vincent 
and Halmina, the latter of whom married Locy Halsted. Vincent St. 
John's children were Nelson A., who lives in the house built by his 
father, Mrs. David E. Cronin, and Lewis St. John, of Greene. 

Myron Merrill was another prominent settler in the village in 1811, 
moving here from Chenango county, where his parents settled in 1800. 
He began business as hatter in a building standing near the west end 
of the bridge on the north side of the street. In 1818 he purchased the 
property at the corner of Main and Front streets (where now stands 
the Wilkinson building), paying for a large lot the sum of f 1,100. From 
the time he began business to the day of his death Myron Merrill was 
a worthy and conspicuous character in village history, and was, withal, 
one of the best men of his time in the place. His efforts were reward- 
ed with substantial success, and he richly deserved all that he received. 
With Joshua Whitney and Stephen Weed, he erected a large stone 
building on the north side of Court street, nearly opposite the old Bing- 
hamton hotel. Here Mr. Merrill was in business many years, and 
among his partners may be recalled the names of Richard Mather 
(1832-27), Isaac Leavenworth (1828-35), and still later Mr. Root. The 
store of Merrill & Root was for years the common resort of the leading 
men of the village who met to discuss general and political topics ; and 
it is said that many Democratic doctrines and consequent propositions 


were originated in and promulgated from this special location. Mr. 
Merrill always kept the old home property at the corner of Front street. 
The house stood on ground about six or eight feet above the street, and 
commanded a pleasant view in every direction. Alfred Merrill, much 
of whose life has been spent in the west, was a son, and Mrs. Lewis S. 
Abbott was a daughter, of Myron Merrill. 

Joseph B. Abbott, who was for many years a familiar figure on our 
streets, and who was more frequently known as Colonel Abbott, came 
to Ccienango Point in 1811 with the family of Lewis St. John. He was 
then twelve years old, and very soon afterward began to make his own 
way in life. He was apprenticed to James Squires to learn the tanner's 
trade, but after his term had expired, and he had become a practical 
tanner, young Abbott traveled through Pennsylvania, Maryland and 
Virginia to acquaint himself with the business branch of the trade and 
also to form the acquaintance of men operating tanneries. Mr. Abbott 
had then determined to launch out in business for himself and wanted 
to have a practical understanting of all its details. In 1831 he married 
the daughter of Lewis Squires, and in partnership with his father-in-law 
soon afterward started a tannery about on the site of that part of State 
street lying immediately south of Court street and extending thence 
south and west to include a portion of the land in rear of the Exchange 
hotel property, where the Kent building now stands. (When the latter 
was built, a few years ago, the workmen in excavating for the founda- 
tion walls found portions of the old vat timbers which had been placed 
there nearly three-quarters of a century before.) 

Col. Abbott's first business venture was successful, and in 1838 he 
and Mr. Squires erected the once well-known " Broome County house," 
on the site of the present Exchange hotel building. The property was 
soon sold to Lorenzo Seymour for $10,000. The building was burned 
in the disastrous fire of 1838. At a later period Col. Abbott was part- 
ner with Marshall H. Weed (father of James B. and Fred. M. Weed) in a 
tannery on the site of the Wilkinson plant just below the Rockbottom 
dam. Still later he was partner with his brothers, William E. and 
Charles N. Abbott, both of whom were well known in Binghamton for 
many years. His son, Lewis S. Abbott, was his last partner (the latter 
still lives and is one of the few sons of pioneers now in the city). Col. 
Abbott was engaged in active business for many years, and his life of 
industry and frugality was well rewarded with a comfortable fortune. 
He at one time lived in a dwelling house standing on the northwest 


corner of Washington and Hawley streets. Lewis S. Abbott was for 
many years supervisor from his ward in the city, and was regarded as 
one of the most valuable men who ever represented the city in that 

William E. and Charles N. Abbott came to Binghamton much later 
than the colonel, and began their partnership with him in 1836. Both 
are now dead. John W., Joseph B., jr., Fred and Frank Abbott were 
sons of William E. Abbott, and Charles E., James and Ed. N. Abbott 
were sons of Charles. 

James C. Smead was another worthy settler in the village in 1813. 
He started a blacksmith shop on Water street on the site where three 
generations of his family carried on the same business. James C. 
Smead, the pioneer, was succeeded by his son James, and the latter, in 
turn, was followed by his son Charles (everybody knew him as 
"Charlie"), who died in the prime of manhood. The Water street 
property is still owned in the family. 

Major Augustus Morgan, whose name is frequently mentioned in 
preceding pages of this chapter, came to the village in 1813, and soon 
afterward set up a printing establishment. From that time until his 
death, Sept. 36, 1869, he was one of the leading influential men of this 
region, and was identified in many ways with the best history of Bing- 
hamton. He evidently soon abandoned the printing business, for in 
1819, in company with Dr. Robinson, he undertook the management 
of the hotel on the corner of Court and Water streets, then known as 
the "Binghamton Coffee house," but which name they changed to 
Binghamton hotel and made it one of the most popular hostelries in 
the region. In 1830 Major Morgan established a line of stages, and as 
years passed and new village settlements were built up, other lines 
were opened, until the entire region of southern New York and north- 
ern Pennsylvania was provided with stage and post coaches, and in all 
of which Maj. Morgan was directly interested. As a result of this en- 
terprise on his part Binghamton was given easy communication with 
Albany, Newburgh, New York and Philadelphia, on the east, and the 
entire Genesee country on the west. Binghamton also become a gen- 
eral headquarters, and the hotel in early staging days was always a 
place of busy activity; and it was not an uncommon sight to observe 
dozens of stages and other vehicles standing around the barns of the 
Binghamton hotel. By this means, too, many travelers were brought 
into the village, who either remained or spent their cash, and the results 


were beneficial to all interests. After ten years in the hotel business 
the proprietors sold out and Maj. Morgan devoted his attention wholly 
to operating the stage lines. He so continued until the business be- 
came unprofitable through the construction and operation of canals and 
railroads. Besides his prominence in business life Maj. Morgan was a 
man of great influence in this locality and enjoyed the confidence and 
respect of the entire community. In later years his sons also became 
closely identified with business interests in the village and city. They 
were Tracy R., Frederick A. and Julius P. Morgan, of whom the first 
and last mentioned are still living. Frederick A. Morgan died in Jan- 
uary, 1899. He was one of the oldest Odd Fellows in the state, and a 
man much respected in the city. One of Maj. Morgan's daughters 
married William L. Ford. Another daughter married Timothy Mc- 
Namara. Albert C. Morgan, another son of the Major, died in young 

The year 1813 was made memorable in local annals through the 
somewhat unexpected visit of several Indian chiefs, representing the 
former occupants of the region and especially those who claimed rights 
under the seven year reservation of the Castle tract up the Chenango 
river, to which allusion is made in a preceding chapter. The visiting 
chiefs came to repossess themselves of the land on behalf of themselves 
and their ancestors. They laid their case before John A. Collier, who, 
after fairly investigating the facts, informed them they had no valid 
claim to the land . The Indians remained a few days in the locality 
and then quietly departed. 

At that time it was not unusual to see two or more straggling Indians 
loitering about the village, as some of them remained in the vicinity 
many years after their title to the land had been extinguished, and oc- 
casionally were the source of much annoyance to the housewives, for 
they were inveterate beggars, and if the male members of the family 
happened to be absent they were often inclined to be insolent in their 
demands for food and drink. They seemed to know by intuition that 
nearly every well regulated family then kept a jug of good liquor in the 
cupboard . 

The event of 1812 was about the last visit of any considerable body of 
Indians in this locality, and the occasion naturally suggests a brief final 
allusion to the former owners of the territory now comprising our city. 
Prominent among the Indians in this locality in pioneer times was one 
Antonio, commonly known as "Squire Antonio," an Onondaga, who 


was said to be a chief, and from whom the pioneers gained much infor- 
mation concerning their tribal relations and custons. Squire Park be- 
came well acquainted with Antonio and from him drew a portion of the 
rich fund of Indian recollections for which he was noted among the 
villagers. Antonio was the father of Abraham Antonio, the latter an 
ungrateful, drunken and shiftless creature who attempted to kill his 
sire by pushing him in a fireplace. Still later the young savage com- 
mitted a dastardly murder for which he was hanged in public on the 
hillside just north of Morrisville village, in Madison county. Solomon 
Orcutt, who was born in the adjoining town of Madison, but the greater 
part of whose life was spent in Binghamton, was then a boy, and was 
present at the "hanging." 

In 1813 the village population was increased by the arrival of at least 
four new settlers who afterward played an active part in local history. 
They were Thomas G. Waterman, Dr. Ammi Doubleday, JohnT. Double- 
day and Stephen Weed. In this connection it is both interesting and 
gratifying to state that descendants of each of these pioneers are still 
living in the city, and among them are some of our best business men. 
Thomas G. Waterman, or, as he was more frequently called in the 
village. General Waterman, came from Salisbury, Conn., and was a 
lawyer by profession, though much of his life here was given to other 
pursuits . He was chiefly engaged in lumbering and milling enterprises 
and land operations, and thereby accumulated a fortune. For a time 
he had an office and residence about on the corner of Court and Wash- 
ington streets, on a lot given to his wife as a marriage present by her 
father. General Whitney. In 1818 General Waterman moved into the 
splendid mansion then recently built by him on the west side of Front 
street, and there he afterward lived and died. The property is still 
called the Waterman place, as the old house still stands, though the 
once spacious grounds surrounding it have been reduced by the sale of 
lots and the erection of other dwellings. The once well-known Water- 
man mills were at the foot of what is now Carroll street, about on the 
site of the present Lyon's mills; they narrowly escaped destruction in 
the great flood of 1834. At that time the current of the river so changed 
as to cut a channel several feet deep entirely around the north side of 
the mills, and of such width that a raft could easily pass through it. 

Aside from his extensive business connection Gen. Waterman stood 
high in the estimation of the people of the county. He was an impor- 
tant political factor and held a position of influence in this part of the 


State. In 1824 he was appointed brigadier-general of state militia, 
hence the military title by which he was afterward known. On his 
staff were Virgil and Franklin Whitney, Richard Mather and Charles 
W. Palmer, all of whom were popular young men of the village. 

Dr. Ammi Doubleday came from New Lebanon, Columbia county, 
with a determination to locate and begin practice in the Susquehanna 
valley, about which region he had heard many favorable reports. He 
came on horseback and after visiting the village passed on to Berkshire, 
Tioga county. Here he made many friends who earnestly appealed to 
him to remain permanently in that settlement, but the young doctor 
decided not to act hastily, and told his acquaintances that he believed 
the valley of the Susquehanna promised better results than their vicin- 
ity. In the course of a few months he returned to New Lebanon and 
married Susan Pierce (a sister of Harry Pierce who once lived on the 
corner where now stands the Arlington Hotel). With his young wife, 
Dr. Doubleday settled for a few months in Windsor, but in December, 
1813, he came to Binghamton and started a drug store in partnership 
with Dr. Robinson. After a year he sold his interest to his brother, 
John T. Doubleday, and devoted his attention to other pursuits. For 
several years he operated a lime kiln on land eight miles up the Che- 
nango, and may have lived for a time in that vicinity. In 1817 he was 
appointed county clerk, upon which he made his residence on the west 
side of Washington street, between the houses of Mr. Collier and Col. 
Abbott, about opposite the residence of James Squires which then stood 
near the site of the recently known Franklin house. James Prender- 
gast's store and the Mudge building stand very near the site of the 
Doubleday domicile. Later on he built the dwelling in which his 
daughter (Mrs. Dr. Crafts) now lives. 

Dr. Doubleday is remembered as a man of good education, profes- 
sional and general, and as a business man of excellent capacity. He 
had means which he invested judiciously in lands both in the village 
and outside, and their ultimate increase in value yielded him a fortune. 
He owned a valuable lot on Chenango street (opposite the Baptist 
church) on which he built a modern dwelling. He lived here with his 
second wife, whose maiden name was Anna Maria Peck, of a prominent 
Triangle family. Dr. Doubleday had a large family of children by his 
first marriage. They were Henry P., who died young; William T., 
born in Binghamton, March 28, 1818, a clergyman of the Presbyterian 
church, one of the oldest living natives of the city; Ammi (5th), a well 


known figure on our streets for many years, who died May 25, 1896 
Maria P., who died young; Susan Pierce, who became the wife of Dr, 
Edward G. Crafts; John H., much of whose life was spent in Kirk 
wood; Charles F., who died young; Helen Maria, who married Dr 
John G. Orton ; and Robert B. Doubleday, of Binghamton. Dr. Ammi 
Doubleday died July 13, 1867. 

John T. Doubleday began his business career in the village as clerk 
in the drug store owned by his brother and Dr. Robinson, but after a 
year succeeded the former in the firm. Later on he was deputy county 
clerk under his brother and afterward continued in the office many 
years. In local circles he was a well known figure, and a man highly 
respected throughout the county. He at one time owned the "gun 
house" on Water street, in which the village cannon was stored, and in 
1828 the legislature passed an act authorizing him to remove the build- 
ing to a new site to be determined by the clerk of the county. The 
cannon house building stood about on the site now owned by Peter 
Klee. After many years' residence in the village Mr. Doubleday went 
to New York, where he died. His sons, John Mason, and William Ed- 
ward Doubleday, were afterward prominent business men in that city. 

William B. Doubleday, who is still well remembered by our people, was 
a younger brother of Dr, Doubleday, and came to the village to assist 
the latter in his building and real estate operations. He lived here 
until the time of his death, and is remembered as an eccentric person, 
a sort of recluse. He was a jeweler, clock repairer and piano tuner. 
His wife was Diantha, daughter of Stephen Weed, and sister to War- 
ring S. Weed. His children were Henry H., a pension lawyer at Wash- 
ington, D. C. ; James W., until recently a hardware merchant of this 
city; and Julia Weed Doubleday of Washington. 

Stephen Weed came to Binghamton in 1813 and was one of the first 
builders in the city who made contracts for the erection of large busi- 
ness blocks. He lived here many years and was prominently connected 
with early events in the locality. Mr. Weed acquired a fair property 
but was not wealthy. His children were Diantha, wlio married Wm. 
B. Doubleday; Warring S., now president of the First National bank ; 
and James Alexander Weed, who died a few years ago. 

Among the unusual events in village history in 1813 was the accident 
that took place in connection with the erection of Christopher Eldredge's 
store, the work on which was done by Benjamin Sawtell. The builder 
followed the custom of the period and had a "raising," as the work of 


setting- up the frame was called. At the time an army recruiting offi- 
cer happened to be in the village with his company, and all were in- 
vited to take part in the affair. Of course the men complied, knowing 
very well that a liberal quantity of " good cheer" would be dispensed 
during the progress of the work. The results, however, were unfor- 
tunate, for when the heavy timbers were nearly all in place the entire 
frame 'fell to the ground, seriously injuring several persons. The 
building was eventually completed and with two others adjoining was 
provided with a brick front. It stood on the site of G. M. Harris' hard- 
ware store. 

John B. Mcintosh came to the village in 1814, and many years after- 
ward worked at tailoring. At one time he lived in a frame house about 
on the site of the present West building. His house stood one story 
above, and two below the level of the roadway leading to the bridge. 
One of Mr. Mcintosh's daughters married the late E. H. Prince, father 
of lawyer Robert E. Prince . Another daughter taught select school in 
the basement of a building standing on the river bank near the " Twin 
Elm," and in rear of the West building. 

Julius Page, better known as General Page, came to the village in 
1814 and found employment in Whitney & Eldredge's store. He was 
a native of Chenango, born 1799, and was the son of Jared Page, a 
pioneer who settled in this vicinity in 1791. In 1820 Julius Page began 
mercantile business in Lisle, but in 1821 removed to the village and 
opened a store in the building afterward occupied by Whiting & Squires, 
between Water and Washington streets. Two years later he moved to 
the south side of Court street, where he continued business several 
years. At one time Robert M. Bailey was partner with General Page. 
Samuel Smith came to the village in 1815 and started a tannery and 
currier shop on the west bank of the Chenango river, just below the 
bridge. Squire Smith (he was justice or the peace ten years) at one 
time lived on Le Roy street, but later on built a house on Front street, 
the same which Dr. Brooks afterward occupied. 

Richard Mather, who was more frequently known in Binghamton as 
Deacon Mather, came from Lyme, Mass., in 1815, and was clerk in 
Col. Ely's store. In 1823 he began business for himself, and in the fol- 
lowing year built and occupied the residence on Front street now owned 
by Edward K. Clark. The house on lower Washington street, in 
which he lived so many years and in which he died, was erected in 
1838. Deacon Mather is remembered as one of Binghamton's most 


substantial men and one whose influence in the community was always 
for good. He owned the old lime kiln on the east side of the canal, 
near where now is the front part of the armory. He was a devout 
Christian and for many years a deacon in the Presbyterian church. 
His wife was Caroline, daughter of Mason Whiting. One of their chil- 
dren married J. H. De Pue, a former crockery merchant of the village. 
James E., Richard and Rev. John H. De Pue were children of this 
marriage. Another daughter married the late Edwin E. Jackson. Mrs. 
Jackson and Miss Rhoda Mather, another daughter of Richard Mather, 
now live in the city. Mason Mather was a son of Deacon Mather. 

Henry Mather, brother of Richard, was also for many years closely 
identified with business interests in Binghamton, although he did not 
reside here until 1838. He was engaged in various enterprises and for 
many years was partner with his brother in mercantile business. Like 
his brother, Henry Mather was a man of undoubted integrity, of up- 
right Christian character and was highly respected throughout the 
county. His wife was Frances, daughter of Squire Whiting. Mr. 
Mather has been dead several years, but his widow still lives and is 
perhaps the oldest native of Binghamton. Their daughter is the wife 
of Judge George F. Lyon. The late Prof. Richard Henry Mather, of 
the faculty of Amherst college, was the son of Henry Mather. 

Jonas Waterhouse came from New York city in 1816 and purchased 
400 acres of land on the south side of the Susquehanna river. The land 
was afterward owned in part by Mr. Eldredge. Mr. Waterhouse kept 
the ferry connecting Water street and the Montrose turnpike, and did 
a good business until the White bridge was built, but later on mis- 
fortunes came and swept away his property. 

John Congdon, more frequently known for many years by reason of 
his prominent connection with the Baptist church and also by reason of 
his upright Christian character, as Deacon John Congdon, came into 
the village in 1813 and was employed in and about Col. Lewis' mills. 
Deacon John was a millwright as well as miller, and at one time 
operated the Lewis mill at the south end of Rockbottom dam. He was 
a highly respected citizen of Binghamton to the time of his death, in 
1871. He was the father of the late Job N. Congdon, the latter being 
one of our foremost citizens for many years; and was also the father 
of Davis and Joel G. Congdon, both of whom are now dead. Deacon 
John probably was the pioneer of his family in this region, as his father 
did not come to the locality until 1816. 


Ezra Congdon, brother to Deacon John, was also a miller, and was 
employed by Col. Lewis from 1815 to ]86i. He built several mills in 
this vicinity and also in the west. For eighteen years he was proprietor 
of a grist mill at Port Dickinson. He died in 1880. The late Edwin 
Congdon was his son, and Fidelia and Angeline Congdon were his 

Joseph Congdon, brother of John and Ezra, came to the village in or 
soon after 1816 and kept tavern on the corner where now stands the 
City National bank. Later on he was a teamster between this village 
and New York city. He afterward removed to a farm on Congdon 
hill, but at length returned to the village, where he "took the census" 
in 1830 and again in 1840. After the completion of the canal he was 
employed in the canal office in this place. Mr. Congdon died in 1859. 
His sons were Nathaniel C, George, John G. and Jesse H. Congdon; 
and his daughters were Sophia L., Eliza L. , Martha W. and Sarah M. 

John Congdon, father of the sons above mentioned, came from Bran- 
don, Vermont, in 1816 and settled on the now known Cutler farm, on 
the west side of the Chenango a few miles above the city. He had a 
large family and at one time all his sons and daughters lived in this 
locality, and several of them in the village. The sons were Joseph, 
Ezra, Job, John, Nathaniel, Elias and Joel G. Congdon. The daughters 
were Susannah, Dolly, Betsey, Lois and Lavina Congdon. 

Philip Bigler came from New Jersey to Union in 1805, and in 1817 
located in Binghamton. He was a baker and was probably the pioneer 
of that branch of business in the village. He was the father of Simon, 
William and James Bigler, all of whom were formerly well known in 
this locality. Philip Bigler, clerk in the First National bank, is the 
great-grandson of the pioneer. 

David Tupper, a sturdy Connecticut Yankee, came from old Tolland, 
Conn., to Binghamton in 1816, remained here three months and then re- 
turned eastfor his family. On January 9, 1817, the family came and took 
up a residence on Main street, on the site where now stands J. Stuart 
Wells' residence. Six months later they removed to the site of the 
residence of the late B. F. Sisson. Mr. Tupper was a carpenter and 
millwright, and built several saw and grist mills for Col. Lewis, one of 
which was at the south end of the Rockbottom dam. Pioneer Tupper 
lived in Binghamton to the time of his death, Sept. 37, 1841. His 
children were Mason, a well known figure in local history many years, 


and father of Mason F., Charles F. and Nathaniel E. Tupper, of this 
city; Maria A., widow of the late Abial C. Canoll, now aged 87 years; 
Sarah; Catharine, who married the late Samuel W. Rogers, the old 
village justice; Charles, a carpenter now living in Chicago; Nancy; 
Ann; and Lydia, who married John P. Worthing. 

Major Martin Hawley, for whom the village of Hawleyton was named, 
came to Binghamton in 1818 and bought of Gen. Whitney the store on 
the south side of Court street, just below Rexford's corner, where he 
began business in partnership with Gilbert Tompkins. The latter con- 
ducted the store while Major Hawley turned his attention to land 
operations. With Col. Reuben Tower he purchased 70 acres compris- 
ing the eastern portion of the village tract, which he subdivided and 
sold in lots. In 1829 he purchased 2500 acres of the Cooper tract, 
which included nearly all that part of the town of Binghamton south of 
the Bingham patent line. On this tract were about 20 squatter families, 
but neither they nor the previous owners considered the land of any value 
for agricultural purposes. To settle the question Major Hawley moved 
on the tract in 1833, and three years of faithful effort satisfied him that 
this locality was as fertile and productive under proper cultivation as any 
in the county. Thereafter he had no difficulty in disposing of farms to 
settlers. The late James Hawley, through whose efforts the Hawley 
turnpike (a part of which is now called Pennsylvania avenue) was laid 
out, was a son of Major Hawley. A daughter of Major Hawley mar- 
ried Elias Hawley, the latter being for many years a prominent citizen 
of Binghamton. Elias Hawley lived at the corner of Washington and 
Susquehanna streets. He was the father of Mrs. S. Mills Ely. 

John Butler came to Binghamton with his family in 1820, and settled 
on the west side of the Chenango river when there were less than half 
a dozen houses on Main and Front streets. In the Butler family were 
three sons. Nelson, Joel and Lewis, all of whom were more or less 
identified with early village history. Nelson Butler learned the black- 
smith's trade with Horatio Smead. Fire Commissioner Irving W. Butler 
is the son of Nelson Butler. 

Among the later settlers in the village were many who occupied 
positions of prominence in business and professional life, but as our 
narrative has already been extended beyond the days of pioneership 
mention of the new comers must be brief. Still, our record would 
hardly be complete without at least a passing allusion to those of more 
recent settlement here who were identified with Binghamton's history. 


In 1830 Jeremiah Campbell came and started a blacksmith shop and 
for many years afterward worked at his trade in the village. He was 
a respected citizen always. 

Thomas and James Evans came in 1821 and were for many years 
identified with village growth and prosperity. They were tinsmiths 
and started in business on the corner of Court and Washington streets. 
They were also industrious, thrifty and prosperous and accumulated a 
fair property. James, however, seems to have been the money-maker 
of the firm and acquired a fortune. Thomas Evans erected a frame 
building at the southeast corner of Court and Washington streets, in 
which location the brothers carried on business several years. James 
then retired from the firm and was succeeded by Horatio Evans, son of 
Thomas. In 1834 Horatio and Alfred J. Evans became proprietors 
and for the next four years conducted one of the largest establishments 
in the region, furnishing employment to many workmen. Their store 
was on the corner lot, but in the rear was a large shop and factory 
building used for tinsmithing and sheet-iron working. However, on 
June 19, 1838, a serious fire destroyed all the buildings and ruined 
nearly all the tools and machinery. The buildings were then owned by 
Horatio Evans, and they were well insured, but the business panic 
which prevailed about that time had so crippled the companies that of 
more than $50,000 insurance he realized only about $1,000. This mis- 
fortune swept away nearly all of Mr. Evans' fortune, but he afterward 
built on the corner the well-known " Eagle building," which still stands, 
and also retained his 160 acre farm tract south of the Susquehanna 
river. This property, which lay east of Telegraph street, was for many 
years used solely for farming purposes, but with the constant growth 
of the city it was subdivided into building lots, yielding its owner a 

Horatio Evans was for many years one of Binghamton's most re- 
spected men, an earnest Christian and a faithful member of the Epis- 
copal church. He died a few years ago. His sons were John Evans, 
civil engineer and contractor, and Major Edwin Evans, who for nearly 
twenty years has been steward of the Binghamton State hospital. Ho- 
ratio Evans' daughters were Elizabeth (Mrs. J. Lewis Weed), Harriet 
(Mrs. Kress), and Lucy Evans. 

Alfred J. Evans was a son of Thomas Evans and for many years was 
engaged in the jewelry trade in the city. The prominent firm of Evans 
& Manning is still well remembered by our business men. Mr. Evans, 


throughout the long period of his career was much respected both in 
business and social circles. He was a modest, retiring and thoroughly 
conscientious man. 

Edwin T. Evans was another son of Thomas Evans, the pioneer, and 
is remembered as an early merchant in the village. He married a 
daughter of Judge Stuart, and built and lived in the brick house at 
the corner of Washington and Stuart streets. A daughter of Thomas 
Evans married Joshua Whitney, son of General Whitney. She still 
resides in the old homestead in the east part of the city, and is one of 
the surviving daughters of early settlers. 

Samuel Peterson, who has been mentioned as landlord of the old 
tavern on the corner of Main and Front streets, came to the village in 
1821. Hamilton Collier, a well-known lawyer in later years, came in 
1823. Dr. Silas West, of whom mention is made in the medical chap- 
ter, and who is remembered as one of the most prominent physicians 
of the village for many years, came in 1822. David Lanterman came 
the same year and was partner with Dr. West in the drug business, 
the firm occupying the " red store" on Water street. In 1830 Lanter- 
man and Solon Stocking became partners and did business in the for- 
merly known "Centre buildings," on the south side of Court street, be- 
tween Water street and the bridge. Mr. Lanterman was a prominent 
man in village politics and was actively interested in the growth of the 
place. He was village trustee in 1837. 

In 1823 Charles Aldrich moved from the town of Union to the village 
and occupied a log house standing about where Horatio Evans after- 
ward lived. Later on he moved across the river and lived in a house 
on the east bank of Brandy wine creek. While living here he made 
brick for General Whitney, the brickyard being up the creek and near 
the yard afterward owned by Allen Perkins. Charles Aldrich was one 
of the earliest practical brick makers in this vicinity and worked at the 
trade many years. At a later date he lived in a plain plank house 
which stood near the site afterward occupied by the Phelps mansion. 
He next moved to the Moore farm on the south side of the Susque- 
hanna. The sons of Charles Aldrich were Charles, Solomon and Isaac, 
each of whom has been more or less identified with subsequent village 
and city history. Charles was a brick maker, living on Mary street, 
and worked for Elmer W. Brigham in a brick yard that included much 
of the land between Mitchell avenue and Mary street, and extended 
south about twenty rods from Vestal ave. Solomon Aldrich was for 


many years a contracting builder and afterward a dealer in real estate. 
Isaac was a carpenter and joiner for about half a century. 

John Peter Wentz was the pioneer head of one of the largest and 
most prominent families who settled in the Susquehanna valley. His 
descendants in the county and city also have been numerous, and have 
included men in almost every business calling in life. In 1793 John 
Peter Wentz, with his wife and two children, Elizabeth and John, and a 
negro servant, left Pennsylvania and started for New York state. At 
Great Bend the pioneer purchased a scow, on which he loaded his fam- 
ily, effects and mules, and floated down the river to Kirkwood, where 
he made a settlement. In 1806 he removed to lot No. 16, Bingham's 
patent; thence to the south side of the river, and finally on August 26, 
1827, removed to the village of Binghamton, where he died Jan. 4, 
1833. His children were Elizabeth ; John, the fifer; William, "Uncle 
Billy," the surveyor; Justus, the old deputy sheriff and jailer; Peter, a 
prominent citizen of Binghamton and Waverly, a local preacher of the 
M. E. church, an abolitionist of great prominence, and the father of 
John E. Wentz, city assessor, and seven other children; Catharine, 
wife of George Hanna; Jacob, the lumberman and raftsman ; Sally, 
wife of Albert Orser; Julia, who married John Swartwood, father of 
Mrs. Miles Leonard ; and George H. Wentz. 

William Wentz, who was commonly known in the village as " Dutch 
Billy," in order to distinguish him from "Uncle Billy," the surveyor, 
although one was as much of a " Dutchman" as the other, being de- 
scended from the same ancestral head, was born in Northampton, Pa., 
in 1789, and came to Binghamton in 1822. He set up a cooper shop 
on the corner of Susquehanna and Water streets and carried on busi- 
ness in that locality many years. The old shop still stands on the lot 
next north of the corner and is occupied for dwelling purposes. Mr. 
Wentz was one of the respected men of the village for more than half 
a century, and was a strong supporter of the M. E. church. He died 
Jan. 23, 1873. He was twice married, and had a family of seven chil- 
dren, one of whom, by his second wife, is James Monroe Wentz, once a 
clerk in Col. Ely's store and now one of the most wealthy men of New- 
burg, N. Y. 

William Wentz, the school teacher and surveyor, was born in the 
town of Chenango, Feb. 18, 1794, and died in this city about ten years 
ago. His collection of maps, surveys, field notes and other documents 
of a quasi public nature, were of great value and of much historic interest. 


yet upon his death they were allowed to be scattered and lost. Mr. 
Wentz began his career as a school teacher, and in 1812 was clerk in a 
store in Lehigh county, Pa. In 1813 he was clerk in a recruiting office 
in Willkesbarre, and during that summer he enlisted about 70 men for 
service during the war of 1813-15. He then returned to Corbettsville 
and worked as clerk in the only store between Binghamton and Great 
Bend. In 1815 he opened a store at Park's tavern, in Kirkwood, pur- 
chasing his stock through the assistance of Daniel Le Roy and Judge 
McKinney, to whom he gave security; but as his venture was unsuc- 
cessful his entire property was sacrificed to pay debts. In 1818 he be- 
gan teaching school at the northeast corner of Washington and Hawley 
streets, and in 1821 he took a school on the south side of the Susque- 
hanna river (either the school on the Moore farm or that which once 
stood near the site of Columbus Stevens' present residence on Conklin 
avenue). Soon afterward he gave his entire attention to surveying, 
and in 1824-5 he surveyed every lot in Bingham patent and also about 
8000 acres east of Chenango Forks, the latter a part of the estate of 
Gov. John Jay. In 1834 he made the preliminary surveys for the Erie 
railroad between Elmira and Deposit, and at one time he was resident 
engineer of the road between Binghamton and Deposit. In 1868 he 
located about 30 miles of road for the Albany and Susquehanna R. R. 
company. Mr. Wentz was twice married. His children were Delisle 
P., Erasmus Livingston, Aseneth, Phebe C. (first wife of the late 
Francis T. Newell), Margaret R., Permela S. and William W., by his 
first wife, and Charles H., Adalaide A., Myra I., Frances J., William 
W. , Francis E. and Richard W. , by his second marriage. 

Jesse and Giles Orcutt came to the village about 1823 from Madison 
county, where their father was a pioneer. They were for many years 
identified with local growth and history, as also were their brothers 
Solomon, Luther and Paul, and several sisters, who came soon after 
them. Jesse and Giles were hotel keepers of much prominence, and 
all the brothers, except Luther and Paul, were more or less engaged 
in the same occupation. In his later life Giles Orcutt kept a livery 
stable in this city. At one time he was partner with his brother Sol- 
omon in the dry goods and grocery business, Jesse was a hotel keeper 
throughout the active portion of his life, and was closely identified with 
the civil history of the village. Solomon Orcutt is said to have been 
the first practical baker in the village, and kept a bake shop on the 
canal bank. He was also a famous bugler, and on frequent occasions 


displayed his musical ability on the packet boats on the Chenango 
canal. His bakery was sold to Pope & Tucker, and the latter were 
succeeded by Duncan R. Grant, the veteran baker who still lives in the 
city. Luther Orcutt, the only one of the brothers now living, learned 
the baker's trade with his brother Solomon, but left Binghamton many 
years ago for a residence in Corning . Paul Orcutt, who was a butcher 
by trade, died many years ago. Of the sisters above mentioned who 
came to live in Binghamton, Maria married Amos Barnes; Emeline 
died unmarried; Tryphena married Edwin H. Freeman, father of E. 
H. Freeman, our former postmaster; and Maria married Lewis Cole. 

Rev. Solon Stocking, a clergyman of the M. E. church, came to 
Binghamton in 1834. In less than two years failing health compelled 
his retirement from the ministry, and in 1826 he began mercantile busi- 
ness. In 1838-9 he erected the "Centre buildings," on the site after- 
ward occupied by the more commodious structure called Stocking 
block, and also La Fayette block, both in allusion to La Fayette Stock- 

Oliver Bradford, who is remembered as a watchmaker and silver- 
smith of many years' residence in the village, came here in 1834. In 
1835 Thomas Allen came and set up a harness and saddler's shop just 
west of "Collier's corner," as the site of the McNamara building was 
at one time called. Mr. Allen was father of Alfred Allen and Mrs. John 
E. Williams. John D. Smith came the same year. He was a farmer, 
a prominent Methodist, and was the father of Lewis L. Smith, the lat- 
ter for many years a merchant in the city. 

William Slosson, who died Feb. 13, 1899, aged 98 years, 6 months, 31 
days, came to Binghamton from Richmond, Mass. , in 1825, and lived in 
the village just 35 years. While here he was proprietor of a cloth dress- 
ing and wool carding mill at "Lewis Mills," as the busy locality at the 
head of Water street was once known. Mr. Slosson was an industrious, 
upright citizen, for whom all our people had great respect. In 1850 he 
removed to a farm at Chenango Bridge, where he afterward lived and 
died. He had a family of three sons and five daughters, one of the for- 
mer being Henry Andrew Slosson, one of our worthy citizens, and an 
acknowledged authority on all local subjects of general interest. 

Rev. Peter Lockwood came to Binghamton in August, 1837, to supply 
the pulpit of the Presbyterian church, relieving the pastor who was in 
feeble health. The following year the pastor died and Mr. Lockwood 
succeeded him. This relation was continued until 1833 and was then 


dissolved at Mr. Lockwood's request, he himself then being in impaired 
health. After spending a winter in the south he returned in 1834, and 
in order to educate his children, and at the same time to occupy his 
attention with some profitable employment, he opened a select school 
for boys. Thus it was that Mr. Lockwood was once a school master in 
the village, as is mentioned in the educational chapter of this work. 
From 1837 to 1847 Mr. Lockwood spent much of his time away from 
Binghamton, but in the year last mentioned he returned permanently 
and lived in the old homestead at the corner of Chenango and Lewis 
streets (which was built in 1828 and is still standing) until his death, 
November 16, 1879. Mr. Lockwood was the owner of a large tract of 
land adjoining the Erie railroad, and its subdivision and sale yielded 
a fortune. 

Isaiah Matthews first visited Binghamton in 1820 and found the vil- 
lage tract, outside the settled district, so thickly covered with scrub 
oak that he went on down the river to Nichols, where he made a set- 
tlement. In his family were twelve children, and several of his sons 
afterward came to Binghamton and were closely identified with its best 
history. Ephraim F. Matthews, who was perhaps better known as 
" Deacon " Matthews, was the eldest son. He came here about 1828 
or '29 and started a plow factory on the east side of what is now State 
street, and on the site of where now stands I. S. Matthews' Sons' store. 
Isaiah S. Matthews was partner with the deacon in the plow works 
about ten or twelve years, after which the latter removed to his farm 
west of the village. Stephen and Joseph Matthews, also brothers of 
the deacon, were employed in the plow factory several years, but were 
not permanent residents here. Isaiah S. continued in business in Bing- 
hamton many years, eventually changing from plow making, to dealing 
in agricultural implements generally. In this line he was a pioneer in 
the village, and was, withal, one of our most upright business men. His 
sons succeeded to the business on the death of their father, thus con- 
tinuing in direct descent one of the oldest mercantile houses in Bing- 

John De Voe came from Cayuga county about 1825 and was partner 
with William Slosson in wool carding and cloth dressing at Lewis Mills. 
About 1860 Mr. De Voe removed to a small farm west of the village. 
His children were Julia, who married Thomas J. Clark; Henry, of this 
city; Benjamin, the veteran Republican and former internal revenue 
collector, whose familiar form is seen daily on our public streets ; and 
Mary, who died young . 


Charles W. Sanford and Levi Dimmick were important acquisitions 
to the village in 1838, and for the next three years were partners in 
mercantile business. The firm was then dissolved but in business cir- 
cles both its former members were for many years afterward exceed- 
ingly prominent figures. Mr. Sanford was interested in various enter- 
prises, mercantile and otherwise, but gradually drifted into real estate 
and loaning investments. He accumulated a fortune and occupied a 
high position among business men. He was vice-president of the Bank 
of Binghamton from 1853 until that institution was merged in the City 
National bank, and continued with the latter in the same position till 
1868, when he was elected president. Mr. Sanford died in 1870. His 
residence was at the corner of Henry and Chenango streets, and is now 
owned by Dr. Chas. W. McCall. 

Levi Dimmick may have been less successful than his partner, Mr. 
Sanford, in accumulating wealth, but he achieved a greater prominence 
in social and political circles. But Mr. Dimmick was a good and rea- 
sonably successful business man and had numerous friends all through 
the county. He was a contractor and at one time was associated in 
business with his son Henry. The latter died comparatively early in 
life but is still remembered as one of the popular young men of the vil- 
lage ; his wife was Emily E., daughter of Captain Marinus Pierce. (Mrs. 
Dimmick afterwards became the wife Wm. S. Lawyer, and died March 
13, 1898.) Levi Dimmick was sheriff of the county in 1840-43, and 
was state senator in 1850-51, resigning the latter office Nov. 12, 1851. 
After his election to that office Mr. Dimmick was always addressed as 

The Bartlett family in Binghamton, so well known in county, village 
and city history for a period of nearly three-quarters of a century, were 
the descendants of Captain Isaac and Col. Loring Bartlett, natives of 
Salisbury, Conn. In 1813, according to well authenticated Tioga 
county records, Capt. Bartlett and his family settled in Owego. The 
pioneer himself was a blacksmith and wagon maker, while his sons 
Joseph and Robert S. were gunsmiths. The children in the family 
were Eliza, Joseph, Alvin, Robert S., Abigail, Isaac L., Jerusha, Will- 
iam B. and Charles Bartlett, not all of whom, however, settled in 
Binghamton, nor did all of them come with the pioneer to Owego. 
The representatives of Col. Loring Bartletfs family in Broome county 
were Dorcas, George and Phebe Bartlett, all of whom lived and died 
in this city. Loring Bartlett never lived in this state. Isaac and ifsk- 


ing Bartlett were sons of Sylvanus Bartlett, and grandsons of Sylvanus 
Bartlett, sr., the latter a patriot of the Revolution. The family in 
America was descended from Robert Bartlett, who came to Plymouth 
on the ship Ann in 1623, and was of Puritan stock. Some of the de- 
scendants of Robert afterward settled in Salisbury, Conn., and from 
them sprung the branch of the family that came into southern New 

In 1829 Capt. Isaac Bartlett and his family removed from Owego to 
Bingham ton, and with the best interests and history of the latter muni- 
cipality his sons and their children were afterward identified. Joseph 
and Robert S. were gunsmiths and started a shop on the north side of 
Court street, between the site of the present Sisson building and the 
corner next east. Their property was taken by the State in the con- 
struction of the canal, after which they purchased land on the west side 
of Franklin street (now Washington), where for a period of about fifteen 
years they carried on an extensive gun making business, employing at 
times as many as twenty- five workmen. Isaac L. Bartlett was prob- 
ably associated with his older brothers in gun making, and in the same 
building he also made plows. Soon after 1850 the manufacture of guns 
by machinery in the large cities seriously interfered with the success 
of the Bartlett factory in this village, therefore the business was closed 
and the building was sold to Mr. Tichenor. In the meantime, while 
their business was yielding good results, Joseph and Robert S. Bartlett 
purchased a large farm east of the village, and placed it in charge of 
their father. After selling out in the village Joseph Bartlett moved to 
the farm and afterward lived there nearly his whole life time. Joseph 
Bartlett was for many years closely identified with Broome county his- 
tory, and was, withal, one of the most prominent men in this locality. 
He filled various public offices, the most important of which, perhaps, 
was that of sheriff, from 1844 to 1847. He was at one time superin- 
tendent of this division of the Chenango canal, and in many other ways 
associated with the history of this region. His wife was Deborah Caf- 
ferty, of an old and highly respected family in Union. They raised to 
maturity a large and interesting family of children, several of whom in 
later years occupied positions of distinction in business, professional 
and political life. 

These children were William Alvin, the noted divine of Chicago and 
Washington, but now living in New York; Joseph J., who became a 
major-general in the Union army during the war of 1861-65, and was 


afterward appointed U. S. minister to Norway and Sweden; Frederick, 
who was a sea captain many years and who with his vessel was lost and 
never afterward heard of ; Robert, Frank, L. Chester, a major on his 
brother's military staff, once sheriff of Broome county and also mem- 
ber of assembly; Benjamin, Henry, Edward, Julia, and one other 
child who died young. 

Robert S. Bartlett lived in Binghamton from 1839 to the time of 
his death, July 23, 1881. He is remembered as a man of quiet and 
conservative habits, whose chief aim in life was the comfort of his 
family and the welfare of the village and city. He was connected 
with the village government in various capacities, such as collector, 
highway commissioner, school district trustee and assessor. He was 
deputy sheriff under his brother and also deputy under the latter in 
the canal superintendency. He was appointed railway mail agent 
in 1853 and served in that capacity until about five years before his 
death. His wife was Dorcas M., daughter of Col. Loring Bartlett. 
Their children were Eliza, who married Oilman L. Sessions; John S., 
of Buffalo, for more than twenty years northwestern passenger agent of 
the Erie railroad ; James H. Bartlett, deputy postmaster at Bingham- 
ton; George, now of Binghamton but formerly freight agent of the 
Northern Central railroad at Elmira ; and Anna Bartlett, who married 
Oliver W. Sears and now lives in the old homestead on Court street. 
Isaac L. Bartlett, for many years one of our most prominent business 
men, was born in Salisbury, Conn., June 30, 1813. He came with his 
father's family to Binghamton in 1829, and soon associated with his 
brother in their gun factory. In their Franklin street shop he added a 
plow making branch to the business, which he carried on several years. 
He afterward started a yard on the canal bank and dealt extensively in 
hard and soft lumber. In 1864 the firm of Blanchard & Bartlett was 
formed, and purchased the old Collier mill on the corner of Hawley 
street and the canal. Later on the firm purchased the Kenyon & New- 
ton mill, which stood on the north bank of the Susquehanna, below the 
Rockbottom dam . This plant was destroyed by fire, after which the 
firm operated the Collier mill, doing a general lumber manufacturing 
business, until 1867, when the Evans warehouse property on the east 
side of the "basin " was purchased, rebuilt and made into a large sash, 
blind and door factory and planing mill. The buildings were subse- 
quently enlarged until the factory became one of the largest in south- 
ern New York. John W. Rowlingson came into the firm about 1873, 



but two years later, through business misfortunes, the entire property 
passed into the hands of Bartlett Bros. (Arthur S. & Charles J. Bart- 
lett.) The junior partner died in September, 1886, upon which the 
firm name was changed to Bartlett & Co. , as since known in business 
circles. Isaac L. Bartlett, the founder in fact of this leading industry, 
died December 20, 1888, after almost sixty years of active business life 
and of residence in Binghamton. He was much respected in social and 
business circles, and is remembered especially for his exemplary habits 
and correct life. His wife, with whom he married in May, 1846, was 
Emily Banks of Bridgeport, Conn. Their children were Arthur S. , 
now senior partner in the firm of Bartlett & Co. ; Laura B., who mar- 
ried Herbert E. Smith; Isaac L., jr., now dead; Charles J., now dead; 
and Emily B., who became the wife of Sidney T. Clark. 

Curtis Thorp came to this locality in 1819, and probably was the first 
nurseryman in the region. Later on he owned a considerable tract of 
land in what is now the second ward, and Thorp street was named in 
allusion to him. Mr. Thorp is also remembered as being one of the 
most zealous abolitionists in the vicinity, and was specially emphatic in 
all his discussions of the slavery question. 

Michael Van De Bogart came into the village from Columbia county 
in 1830, when he was twenty years old. He was a carpenter and joiner 
and devoted his entire life to industrious effort. He died in 1885. His 
sons were Robert, now superintendent of public school buildings in the 
city; Henry V., commonly known as " Harry," who was killed at Pe- 
tersburg, Va., June 17, 1864; Herbert E., who died a few months ago, 
and John, who died in the army during the war of 1861-5. 

Daniel S. Dickinson, Lewis Seymour and Joseph K. Rugg came to 
the village in 1831. Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Rugg were lawyers (see 
Bench and Bar chapter), but Mr. Seymour was a merchant, and at one 
time was partner with James and John McKinney in managing a large 
general store. Mr. Seymour was a son of Samuel Seymour, the latter a 
pioneer in Union. He was also the father of the late Lewis Seymour, 
who was for several years the leader of the Broome county bar. The 
elder Lewis Seymour was drowned in the Chenango river while at- 
tempting to save the life of an unfortunate young man who had fallen 
in the water. 

John R. Dickinson and Ausburn Birdsall came in 1833, and both af- 
terward entered the legal profession. Mr. Dickinson was a brother of 
Daniel S. Dickinson, and while a good lawyer he did not attain the dis- 


tingmshed prominence of the latter. Mr. Birdsall became prominent 
in the profession, in politics and in business. He owned a considerable 
tract of land in the northeast part of the city and its development 
nearly cost him his fortune. He removed to New York, where he now 
lives, but our citizens have pleasant reminders of him and his fertile 
brain in frequent valuable contributions to the columns of the city 
newspapers. Mr. Birdsall has known Binghamton almost seventy years, 
and his recollections of early life here are both interesting and instruc- 
tive. Laurel O. Belden came here in 1833, and was followed by Joseph 
Boughton in 1834. Both entered the legal profession in 1836. 

Ephraim A. Barton, who was a millwright and carpenter, and one of 
the best mechanics in the village in his time, came to Binghamton from 
Windsor in 1833, and was employed in the mills in the locality then and 
for many years afterward known as "Millville." John Hazard, broth- 
er-in-law of Mr. Barton, came with the latter, and afterward returned 
with him to Randolph Settlement, in the town of Windsor, where Mr. 
Barton's life was chiefly spent, although he died at Hickory Grove, Pa., 
in 1883. Mr. Barton was prominently connected with the construction 
of bridges for the Erie railroad company. Mrs. Thatcher, wife of Prof. 
S. N. Thatcher of this city, is the daughter of Ephraim A. Barton. 

Benjamin N. Loomis, Dr. Stephen D. Hand, Major Mills, Hamden K. 
Pratt and Hiram Birdsall came to the village in 1835. Mr. Loomis read 
law and eventually became our respected Judge Loomis, of whom men- 
tion is made in the Bench and Bar chapter. Dr. Hand was equally 
prominent in his profession, and while not perhaps the father of homoe- 
opathy in the village was nevertheless one of its earliest and most 
worthy representatives. Major Mills was never engaged in any busi- 
ness in Binghamton, but was a retired army officer. He lived on Main 
street, just west of the residence of William Wentz Hamden K. Pratt 
started the first regular hardware store in the village. His location 
was on the site afterward occupied by John E. Sampson. Hiram Bird- 
sall was a merchant doing business on the south side of Court street, 
just below the Exchange hotel. Samuel Brown, who was afterward 
partner with George F. Bragg in the firm of Bragg & Brown, came here 
in 1836. The firm did business on the corner where now stands the 
City National bank. The store was centrally located and both mem- 
bers of the firm were popular men, hence their place of business was a 
rendezvous for all the worthies of the village for several years. Dr. 
Pelatiah Brooks, for many years a well-known physician of Bingham- 



ton, came here in 1836. Samuel H. P. Hall came in 1837 and was one 
of our most prominent business men. He first carried a large stock of 
general merchandise in a store on the north side of Court street, but is 
remembered in later years in connection with his crockery business on 
the south side of the street. In the latter Mr. Hall succeeded J. H. De 
Pue. United States Commissioner Charles S. Hall, now and for many 
years a prominent lawyer of Binghamton, was a son of Samuel H. P. 

Uriah M. Stowers was another prominent figure among Binghamton's 
former business men, and began his career here about 1825 as clerk in 
Richard Mather's store. In 1837 he became partner with Col. Ely and 
continued for twenty years or more. The firm did business for a time 
on the site of the First National bank, and afterwards just east of the 
old American hotel. Mr. Stowers finally removed to Scranton, where 
he afterward lived and died. Morris Stowers, now of Scranton, was a 
son, and Mrs. Mary Stowers Lewis, of Binghamton (widow of the late 
Dr. George C. Lewis), was a daughter of Uriah M. Stowers. 

Among the other noteworthy settlers who came to the village about 
this time was Henry Jarvis, who soon became proprietor of the well- 
known Binghamton hotel and was otherwise associated with early 
events; Mr. Jarvis was the father of the late Henry San ford Jarvis, 
whose name is to be mentioned as one of Binghamton's substantial 
business men. 

In the same year Samuel Johnson, the artist, took up his abode here, 
and with his brush and ready manner attracted considerable attention 
for some time. Dr. Nathan S. Davis was another arrival of 1837, and 
at once began practice. He afterward removed to Chicago and attained 
an enviable prominence in his profession. 

Jacob I. Lawyer also came in 1837 from his native county of Scho- 
harie. He was a wheelwright by trade, and is remembered as an ex- 
cellent mechanic. His shop stood on the rear end of a lot about oppo- 
site the site of the present Crandall house, and his dwelling was on the 
site of B. S. Curran's splendid residence on Carroll street. Mr. Lawyer 
died in 1842. His sons were William S. and George L. Lawyer, both 
of whom are veterans in Binghamton journalism. A third son died 
young. Mr. Lawyer's daughters were Margaret J. (Mrs. Parsons), and 
Caroline E. (Mrs. George S. Beach). 

Dr. Edwin Eldridge came to Binghamton in 1838, and was perhaps 
the most prominent new arrival of that year. He is recalled as a phy- 


sician of ability, and a friend of such genial qualities that he soon won 
the respect of all the villagers and occupied a prominent position in 
local society circles. Dr. Eldridge's most notable work in the village 
was the founding of the grove which afterward bore his name. The 
tract comprised several acres of land and was situated on the south side 
of Eldridge street, west of Liberty street. It was covered with a 
splendid growth of shade trees, and in the center of the plot stood the 
doctor's villa, the latter one of the most hospitable homes in the village 
for years. The grounds were used as a picnic resort, aad several 
Fourth -of- July celebrations (and occasionally the colored festivities of 
July 5) were held there. At length, however, the doctor sold his prop- 
erty in Binghamton and removed to Elmira, where he founded Eldridge 
park. The D. & H. tracks and round house occupy a part of the grove 
site, and all vestiges of the once popular resort have now disappeared. 

Thus might the list be continued indefinitely but space and policy 
forbid. In the same manner as on preceding pages it might be possible 
to recall the names of many other men who were prominent in business 
and political circles in still later years, but in 1834 Binghamton became 
an incorporated village and within the next five years had acquired a 
population of about 2000 inhabitants, hence settlement had then be- 
come almost wholly lost in the general work of development and the 
onward march of progress. 

In this chapter the writer has attempted to recall the names and 
something of the lives of men who were in some manner connected 
with the prominent events of the period, and whose part in the work 
of development was of such character as to naturally place them in a 
more conspicuous light before the public than many of their associates, 
thus making them the especial objects of attention on the part of past 
chroniclers of Binghamton history. There was, however, another 
element of population in the village which included men of equal worth 
with those previously mentioned, but whose share in the events of the 
period was such that the attention was not drawn to them or their 
works; hence historical records give no account of their lives and deeds, 
while the older residents now living have little more than an obscure 
recollection of them. It is our purpose, however, to recall the names 
of as many as possible of those persons who were residents in the vil- 
lage earlier than 1835, and who have not been mentioned. 

A portion of the data upon which the preceding portion of this chap- 
ter is based was obtained from the work commonly known as "Wilkin- 


son's Annals of Binghamton. " At least that narrative has been taken 
as an authentic guide, but there has been added the recollections of 
present residents of the city who were on this field of action nearly a 
score of years previous to Mr. Wilkinson's time. The present writer 
makes no criticism of the work referred to, as its author had access to 
records now lost, and also had the advantage of personal interviews 
with many of the pioneers as well as the first generation of their de- 

At the time the Annals was prepared the corporate limits of the vil- 
lage were only a fraction of the present area of the city, and the author 
made no pretense to including within the scope of his work a narrative 
of events taking place beyond the boundaries as then established. 
When in 1813 the legislature created a limited corporate character for 
the village its boundaries were the two rivers, Brandywine creek, and 
a line drawn from the foot of Gray's Island east to the creek. The 
tracks of the D., L. & W. R. R. company are not far from the north 
line then established. Therefore, all our present " north side," "east 
end" or " Fair view," together with the large areas included in the city 
lying west of the Chenango and south of the Susquehanna rivers were 
hardly considered as more than incidental portions of the village. 

In another chapter of this volume will be found a record of the civil 
and political organization of the village and subsequent city, from the 
first limited act of incorporation to this time, including the several ex- 
tensions of corporate boundaries. In the present connection it is pro- 
posed to bring to notice the names and something of the deeds of in- 
habitants outside the boundaries established in 1813. This can best be 
done at this late day by recourse to the memory of the oldest living 
residents of the city and presented to the reader in the form of reminis- 
cences and recollections. 



The events narrated in the preceding chapter cover substantially the 
iirst thirty-five years of village history, and relate chiefly to the well 
settled portion of the territory included within the corporate limits es- 
tablished in 1813. While settlement was thus progressing in the local- 
ity mentioned the lands beyond the village limits were also being 
cleared, improved and occupied. All of this surrounding territory is 
now included in the city, hence some brief allusion to its settlers and 
early occupants is appropriate. However, for want of reliable data 
little more than the names of early residents can be given. 

On the south side of the Susquehanna river John Moore, John G. 
Christopher, John R. Waterhouse, Christopher Eldredge, John A. Col- 
lier, Capt. Marinus Pierce, Andrew and Aaron Moore, Col. Ransom and 
Horatio Evans were the early developers of the territory, although few 
of them were original settlers on the lands. Aaron, father of the late 
Chester Rood, was an early settler south of the river in the vicinity of 
Ross park. About 1830 Christopher Wood lived in a log house about 
where is now the park entrance. The southern portion of the park 
lands were cleared for Eldredge and Collier by Clinton Chambers, after 
which a crop of wheat was grown there for several years in succession. 
The tract is now entirely covered with " second growth '' timber. 

Another prominent character in early times in this location was one 
Scutt, who lived near where the Ross Memorial church now stands. 
The so-called Rossville creek, which borders Pa^ avenue on the west, 
is properly called Scutt creek, after the pione™ In the family were 
three stalwart sons, William, Samuel and Frank. 

Scutt creek was an important factor in early lumbering days in this 
locality. About where Cross street joins Park avenue stood the old 
Waterhouse saw mill, the bed timbers of which were removed in build- 
ing the Cross street bridge. About half a mile further up the stream, 
in rear of the once known Gandolfo farm house, now Charles D. Al- 
drich's residence, was a saw mill owned and operated by Mason Whit- 


ing. Down near the mouth of the same stream and fronting on the 
Montrose turnpike was Waterhous"''" jistillery, which was a notable 
industry in early times. 

Among the other early residents of this locality may be recalled the 
name of William M. Brown, who lived in a log house about on the line 
of Hotchkiss street, and whose daughter Emily taught school in her 
father's domicile. Charles Aldrich lived below Lewis Baird's present 
location, in a hewed log house built by Lark Moore. Jared Gould lived 
next below Aldrich in the old shingle mill house. He had two sons, 
Hallam and Henry Gould, good, hard-working, industrious boys. About 
forty rods east of Winfield S. Stone's house lived Capt. Ebenezer Brown, 
while his son Palina lived on the Stone place. Capt. Brown was a ma- 
son by trade, and also taught school. He is remembered as a man of 
good education for his time. Henry Bakeman also lived in the same 
locality, his lands joining the Moore farm on the west. 

Further up the river, at a point about opposite the south end of the 
Rockbottom dam, one Brant was one of the earliest residents. He, 
with his son Amos, helped to clear much of the land in that vicinity, 
the logs being worked into lumber in Christopher Eldredge's mill, at 
the end of the dam. The saw mill was the first industry in this neigh- 
borhood, and was followed by the grist mill, the latter being burned 
previous to 1870. This immediate locality retains nothing of its orig- 
inal appearance. A few years after the grist mill was burned the 
state appropriated the lands at the south end of the dam for canal pur- 
poses, thus crowding the highway several rods south of its former 
course, and, still worse, necessitating the destruction of a splendid 
growth of pine trees which grew along the brow of the hill. The canal 
was eventually completed, but never was used for its intended purpose. 
In later years the substantial bulkhead, or lock, became decayed and 
the place presented a dilapidated appearance. The water commission- 
ers ultimately acquired title to the land at the end of the dam, with an 
intention to furnish at least an auxiliary supply of water from that 
point, but as yet this has not been done. 

Still further east, in the vicinity of the present Clapp farm, Andrew 
Moore was the pioneer. He was the head of a large family of children, 
one of whom was the late John C. Moore, the old county clerk, who, 
in 1835, made the pen picture of Binghamton which is shown in this 
chapter. At one time Andrew Moore was considered one of the richest 
settlers in the locality. Aaron Moore, brother to Andrew, settled on 



the farm afterward owned by Capt. Pierce, but none of his descendants 
are now in the city. 

Capt. Marinus Pierce and Sturges Gary came to this locality in 1835 
and settled on lands purchased by them at that time. Mr. Gary took a 
part of the now known Glapp farm, while Capt. Pierce purchased lands 
adjoining on the west. Both were former residents of Dutchess 
county, Mr. Gary living in the town of Beekman, where he was a 
farmer, cattle dealer and justice of the peace. As early as the early 
thirties Mr. Gary and Capt. Pierce visited the western and southern por- 
tions of the state to buy cattle, which they drove to Dutchess county, 
fattened them and sold them in New York markets. In 1834 they 
visited the southern part of the state and bought a drove of sheep. 
They came up the south side of the Susquehanna from Owego to Bing- 
hamton, and when arrived at a point about two miles east of the latter 
village a severe thunder storm compelled them to seek shelter in a pine 
grove and brush lot on the old Andrew Moore farm, a portion of which 
Mr. Gary afterward purchased. Capt. Pierce dismounted, tied his 
horse and sat down under the protecting branches of a large tree, while 
Mr. Gary watched the sheep, that they might not become scattered and 
lost. The drovers were thus occupied when suddenly a blinding flash 
of lightning struck very near Capt. Pierce, stunning him for the instant 
and killing his horse. Mr. Gary soon came to the assistance of his 
comrade, and both returned to the village to procure another horse. 
They then returned to Dutchess county without further accident, but 
the unfortunate event probably had no discouraging effect upon either, 
for in the next year both became permanent residents of the locality, 
selecting lands close to the scene of their mishap. Mr. Gary did not 
reside on his lands, but Capt. Pierce moved on his own tract, and in 
1842 Stephen Baxter built the residence in which the captain afterward 
lived. It still stands on its original site, just east of Pierce creek. 

Mr. Gary took up his residence in the village and in the same year 
became a member of the old firm of Hart, Haight & Gary, general mer- 
chants, whose store was on the north side of Court street, about four 
doors west of the corner of Washington street. In a few years Mr. 
Gary retired from the firm, sent for his son Solomon F. Gary, who was 
then clerk in a store in New York, and with the latter engaged in busi- 
ness in the Eagle building on the southeast corner of Court and Wash- 
ington streets. The firm continued until about 1874, when the senior 
partner retired to spend the remainder of his life in comfort and quiet 



on the farm which he had previously purchased north of the village, 
and on which he had then lived many years. This tract comprised be- 
tween 30 and 40 acres, and was a part of the old Benjamin Green farm 
of early years. Under Mr. Gary's ownership a portion of the farm was 
laid out as a fair ground and for several years was used by the Broome 
County Agricultural society for the annual county fair, and also by local 
horsemen as a trotting course. 


View east of the Court House; the old storehouse on site of Pope building 
in the foreground. 

Mr. Gary died in 1876, aged nearly 83 years. After his retirement 
from the firm the business was continued by his sons, Solomon F. and 
Oliver A. Gary, until the latter removed to Corning. Solomon F. Gary 
was afterward in business to the time of his death, a few years ago. 
Sturges Gary was a widower when he came to Binghamton to live. 
The children of his first marriage were Solomon F. , Cornelia (wife of 
Tracy R. Morgan), Cynthia, Oliver A., Phebe M. and James S. Gary, 



and one other child who died in infancy. Abel De Forest Gary, An- 
drew S. Gary, Anna Gary-Sisson and the late Gharles H. Gary are chil- 
dren of Sturges Gary by his second marriage. 

Golonel Ransom was another, early settler in the locality south of the 
river and east of the village, but recollections of his family or life are 
indeed meagre. A portion of the Ransom and Pierce lands was sold 


View showing corner of Court and Chenangro streets and buildings north- 
west. The Perry building now stands on the corner, and where is 
shown Cyrus Strong's residence is now the Masonic Temple. 

to Edward Tompkins, who began the erection of the now called Sus- 
quehanna Valley Home buildings, the same having been intended as a 
private residence. Tompkins removed to California and exchanged his 
property to one Gove, of Boston, who finished the buildings, but who 
soon became discouraged with his bargain, whereupon, by some now 
unknown procedure, the property afterward reverted to Tompkins. 
But notwithstanding the fact that many builders and contractors were 
serious losers by their connection with the Tompkins enterprises in this 


locality, the improvements were of much importance in the early his ■ 
tory of the village. Through the energy of Mr. Tompkins a large sash 
factory was erected on East Court street, near the river bank, and 
through the same agency a substantial bridge was constructed across 
the Susquehanna at the head of Court street. The factory enterprise 
was not a complete success, and during the early years of the war of 
1861-65 the building was occupied as a barracks for troops. The bridge 
served a valuable purpose for years, but eventually it was purchased by 
the Rockbottom Bridge company and was taken down to repair and 
strengthen the bridge at Millville. Thereafter, and for a number of 
years lands in Tompkinsville, or Tompkins' location, were much de- 
preciated in value and were converted into farm tracts instead of home 
and dwelling sites, as was originally intended. They have been re- 
claimed, however, during more recent years and now the entire region 
is well built up with attractive residences and constitutes a valuable 
portion of the city. 

Previous to the incorporation of the village. General Whitney was 
one of the most prominent residents of the vicinity east of Brandywine 
creek, and he lived on the homestead until his death. Above his place, 
on lands owned by the late William M. Ely, lived Deacon Samuel Stow, 
while still further up was the farm of Judge William Chamberlain, 
father of the late Isaac and Park Chamberlain, all of whom were life- 
long residents of the locality. North of the village was Peter Robin- 
son's farm, and also Barzilla Gray's, Benjamin Green's and Abram Be- 
vier's lands, all or portions of which are now within the city limits. 
The development of the lands west of Chenango river was accomplished 
in much the same manner as is indicated in preceding paragraphs, but 
the events of that growth are so fully narrated in another chapter that 
further mention in this connection is not necessary. 

In 1840 Binghamton contained about 2000 inhabitants. The Che- 
nango canal then had been in operation three years and the preliminary 
surveys for a railroad were being made. At that time the village mer- 
chants numbered hardly more than a half dozen, among the more 
prominent of whom were Stowers & Ely, Samuel H. P. Hall, Hart, 
Haight & Gary, Hallam and Frank Pratt, Levi M. Rexford, Albert C. 
Morgan, Horatio & Alfred J. Evans, Thomas Allen and perhaps a few 
others whose names are lost with the lapse of years. Eight years later, 
in 1848, the New York and Erie railroad was opened and immediately 
afterward the village began to show a more rapid growth. Previous 



to that the territory north of the railroad had only a few scattered 
houses, and there had not been made any attempt to establish a busi- 
ness community in that region; but after the road was opened the lands 
soon came into market for building purposes. 

Brigham Hall in the foreground. 

In 1850 the population had grown to more than 4000 inhabitants, and 
at the end of another decade the number was still further increased to 
about 9000. This was in 1860, just before the Civil war, but at the 
time all business interests were fairly represented and Bingham ton was 
called one of the most important stations on the line of the Erie rail- 
road between New York and Buffalo. This ascendancy was never 
afterward lost although for several years Elmira asserted a certain 
supremacy over our thriving village and subsequent city. 

In 1858 a faithful chronicler of local history described Binghamton 
as "a beautiful village situated on the north bank of the Susquehanna 
at its junction with the Chenango river;" and further remarked that 
the place then contained the State Inebriate asylum, the Binghamton 
academy, the Susquehanna seminary, three female seminaries (Miss 



Ingalls' Riverside seminary, Mrs. Barton's seminary on Henry street 
and Harmony Retreat seminary north of the railroad, conducted by the 
Misses Marsh), Lowell & Warner's commercial college, two water cures 
(the Binghamton water cure, established in 1855 by Dr. O. V. Thayer, 
and the Mt. Prospect water cure under the supervision of J. U. North), 
nine churches, five newspaper offices and several manufactories. The 

Binghamton in 1856. 

Showing buildings on north side of Court street between State street and 
the Weed building. 

writer also truthfully stated that the village was on the main line of 
the Erie railroad, that it was connected with Syracuse by railroad, and 
was the southwestern terminus of the Chenango canal and the Albany 
and Susquehanna railroad ; that it was the center of a large trade and 
an important point for the transhipment of coal. In 1857 there was 
transhipped from the D., L. & W. railroad cars to Chenango canal boats 
51,700 gross tons of coal, and from these boats to the cars 25,895 tons of 
Oneida county iron ore. 

That the reader may have some knowledge of the old business factors 
in Binghamton history the writer has been furnished with a copy of the 
first village directory (published in 1858 by A. L. Jones and printed by 
Adanrs & Lawyer). From this reliable source of authority it is learned 
that the merchants, manufacturers and other business men of the vil- 
lage in that year were as follows : 



Agricultural implement dealer, Isaiah S. Matthews. 
Artists, Frances Howe, Washington Ruger. 
Auctioneers, Daniel Lyons, Thomas Young. 
Bakers, Duncan R. Grant, Gerard Hillers. 

Barbers, C. F. Moeller, Wm. H. Nooe, Adam Ray, Wm. M. Strather, 
Lewis West, Wm. Wood. 


^ Showing Congdon'.s marble shop on the site now occupied by the Hagaman 

building ; Way's hotel on the Crandall house site, and other buildings. 

Blacksmiths, G. F. Hungerford, Van Arsdale & Whitney, Moses T. 

Bookbinders, J. H. Burdick, Samuel Wells. 

Booksellers, H E. Pratt & Brother, Preston & Sears. 

Boots and shoes, Charles N. Abbott, L. B. Harding, Harrison De Hart, 
Henry Fish, Richard H. Lee, Lester Bros. & Co. , William Pratt, David 
C. Pugsley, Abram R. Wood, William Apsey. 

Brewers, White & Fuller. 

Broker, James F. Bloomer. 

Carpenters and builders. Bloomer & Holmes, Peter H. Terhune, Mi- 
chael Van De Bogart, John S. Wells, John J. Youmans. 


Carriage and wagon makers, Alonzo Davis & Co., Miller, French & 
Co., Amos D. Stockwell, Homer B. Twitchell. 

Clothiers, George Large, Chauncey Marvin, Myron Newman, Thomas 
O'Hara, A. Praslow, Alexander Sandman. 

Coal dealers, McKinney & Doubleday. 

China and glass ware, James H. De Pue, William S. Hall. 

Confectioners, Gerard Hillers, Sabina Hipp, Henry Tichenor. 

Coopers, William F. Young. 

Daguerreotypists, Gilmore & Nixon, Francis W. Nixon, A. B. Tubbs. 

Dentists, Albert Hooper, McCall & Turner, Jacob C. Robie, Marvin 
P. Smith, Solon P. Stocking, Thomas J. Wheaton. 

Sash, doors and blinds, Kinyon & Newton. 

Druggists, David J. H. Chubbuck, George Dwyer, J. P. McNamara, 
Taylor & Pope, Cornelius H. Webster. 

Dry goods, S. F. Cary & Co., A. S. Davis, E. F. Davis, Hirschmann 
Bros. & Co., John Hungerford & Co., Augustus Knowlton, Daniel 
Lyons, Sheridan & Brother, B. F. Sisson & Co., Oliver A. Sisson, Wick- 
ham & Bennett, W. N. Wilson & Co. 

Dyer, George Large. 

Engraver, Olive H. Eraser. 

Express companies. United States Express Co., Washington street 
near Court; Utica and Bingham ton Express Co., Washington street near 

Flour, feed and grain, Richard Ely, Moore & Myer, De Witt C. Stry- 

Furniture — qianufacturers and dealers — Howard & Robinson, James 
H. Parsons, A. & W. J. Rennie, Anson Seymour, Isaac Warren, B. G. 

Gas fitter, Frank Blackstone. 

Groceries and provisions, Henry Allard, Barnes & Smith, Bidwell & 
Co., Donley, Carringtoa & Co. , George W. Freeman, Gandolfo & Bene- 
dict, J. & D. Guilfoyle, M. A. Holmes, Usebe Kent & Co., G. Lentz, 
Wm. H. Linnaberry, Marks, Scott & Co., James Marquisee, Matthews & 
.Vosbury, Moore & Myer, James E. New, S. H. Newcomb, Newell & Shel- 
don, Henry Per Lee, Lewis L. Smith, Southwell &. Fancher, Stouten- 
burgh & Dunham, D. C. Stryker, Taylor, Stowers & Co., Van Every & 
Knight, Weed, Ay'ers & Morgan, James S. Mersereau. 

Gunsmith, Charles Stuart. 

Hardware, William Harris, John E. Sampson, W. S. Smith. 


Harness makers, Boardman & Minkler, C. N. Fancher, G. E. & S. J. 

Hats, caps and furs, Erasmus ChoUar, Septer P. Quick, John H. 
Tweedy, Chauncey Williams. 

Hotels, Bingham house, corner Court and Water streets ; Chenango 
house, corner of Front and Main streets; Exchange hotel, 58 and 60 
Court street; Farmers' hotel (the old Brandy wine), Court street near 
Liberty; Franklin house, Washington street, between Court and Haw- 
ley; Globe hotel, Water street south of Court; Lewis house, corner of 
Canal and Lewis streets; Way's hotel (now the Crandall), Court street. 

Insurance agents, Charles S. Hall, Wickham & Bennett, Wm. R. 
Osborne, Hiram C. Rodgers, Merrick C. Hough, Nelson J. Hopkins, 
Philo B. Stillson, James S. Cary, Franklin A. Durkee. 

Iron founders and machinists, Empire Iron works, Morgan S. Lewis; 
Benj. H. Overhiser, Shapley, Dunk & Co. 

Leather and findings, J. B. Abbott & Son, Lester Bros. & Co. , Will- 
iam Pratt. 

Livery stables, Joseph G. Hinds, John Lockwood, Morris & Terwil- 
liger, Ostrom & Race. 

Lumber dealers, Isaac L. Bartlett, Austin W. Tyler & Co., Isaac V- 

Marble works, Congdon & Bevier. 

Meat markets, John H. Allen, George S. Beach, Castle & Bump, 
Marsh & Hazley, B. F. Ruggles, Stephen Solomon, Sperring & Austin, 
Elijah Castle. 

Music stores, Henry W. Boss, Henry A. Kellogg. 

Newspapers, Binghamton Democrat (J. M. Adams and Wm. S. Law- 
yer) ; Binghamton Daily Republican (Wm. Stuart, editor); Broome 
Republican (Wm. Stuart, publisher); Binghamton Standard (James 
Van Valkenburgh, publisher.) 

Painters, Charles S. Burrows, Crary & Johnson, Ansel K. Martin, 
Evander Spaulding. 

Physicians, Pelatiah B. Brooks, Titus L. Brown, George Burr, John 
Chubbuck, Edward G. Crafts, Levi Davis, William C. Doane, Martha 
French, Whiting S. Griswold, Thomas Jackson, J. H. North, John G. 
Orton, Orson V. Thayer, William Wachter, Thomas Webb, Henry S. 
West, Silas West, Washington W. Wheaton. 

Picture frames, Vincent Graves. 

Real estate dealers, Solomon Aldrich, Nelson J. Hoplsins Henry 
Mather. J f , y 


Refreshment saloons, Orson Cone, Cornelius E. Dunn, Henry Hel- 
ler, Theodore N. Remmelee, Merritt Stanton. 

Soap and candle makers, George W. Gregory, steam soap and candle 
works, on Evans' basin; Rensselaer Jackson, Canal st. near Henry; 
James A. Weed & Co. (James A. Weed, Warring S. Weed, Darius S. 
Ayers), on Washington st. between Court and Henry. 

Spoke and hub works, Amos G. Hull, west side of Evans' basin. 

Stove dealers, Carrington Bros. (Ira N. and Lewis Carrington), Isaac 
W. Overhiser. 

Storage and forwarding merchants, Richard Ely, Usebe Kent & Co., 
McKiuney & Co. (Charles and Sabin McKinney.) 

Tanners, J. B. Abbott & Son, Marshall H. Weed. 

Tailors, Chauncey Marvin, John N. Ring, Myron Newman, Thomas 
O'Hara, A, Praslow, Alexander Sandman, S. F. Cary & Co. 

Tinware, sheet iron and copper, Carrington Bros., Samuel J. Olm- 
stead, Isaac W. Overhiser, Pratt & Booth. 

Tobacco and cigars, Diblin & Butler, Daniel Evans, Henderer & 
Carman, Westcott, Benedict & Co. (Harvey Westcott, S. S. Benedict 
and Eli Westcott.) 

Undertakers, Adam & William J. Rennie, Zenas Pratt. 

Upholsterer, Ransom Hooper. 

United States commissioner, Charles S. Hall. 

Watches, clocks and jewelry, Charles E. Burnham, Lewis A. Butler, 
Evans & Allen (Alfred J. Evans and Henry M. Allen), Charles G. Hart. 

Wines and liquors, Gatefield & Lyon (Alonzo Gatefield and Addison 
J. Lyon), J. B. Lewis & Co. (James B. and George C. Lewis), Pitts & 
Durfee (Paul R. Pitts and Stephen Durfee), Erastus Ross, Wheeler & 
Gordon (Daniel Wheeler and Alfred Gordon.) 

In 1858 the corporation officers were Benjamin N. Loomis, village 
president; Daniel D. Denton, trustee 1st ward; Orson Cone, 2d; Fred- 
erick Lewis, 3d ; Thomas J. Clark, 4th ; Austin W. Tyler, 5th ; and Ho- 
ratio Evans, 6th; Charles S. Hall, attorney; Hiram C. Rodgers, treas- 
urer; Vincent Graves, clerk; William E. Abbott, chief of police; John 
Whitney, street commissioner; John R. Harris, poundmaster; Selah 
P. Rood, sexton. 

The officers of the iire department were Frederick A. Morgan, chief; 
Abraham De Witt, first asst. ; Henry C. Preston, second asst. ; Vincent 
Graves, clerk ; James S. Cary, treasurer. 

The engine and hose companies were Phoenix No. 1, Robert H. Mc- 


Cune, foreman ; Rescue No. 3, Benj. W. Morse, foreman; Independent 
No. 5, Job N. Cong-don, foreman ; American No. 6, Morgan S. Lewis, 
foreman; Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co., Charles D. Rogers, foreman; 
Lawyer Hose Co. No. 1, William S. Lawyer, foreman; Fountain Hose 
Co. No. 4, M. A. Holmes, foreman. 

The public halls or places of entertainment were Brigham hall, at 
the corner of "Court and Collier streets; Congdon hall, on Court street, 
next west of Brigham hall corner; Eldredge hall, on Washington 
street north of Hawley street ; Firemen's hall, on the site where now 
stands the Municipal building; La Fayette hall, at the corner of Court 
and Water streets; Matthews' hall, at No. 67 Court street; Masonic 
hall and Odd Fellows hall, both on Washington street north of Court 

The Young Men's Library association was then in successful opera- 
tion, occupying quarters at the corner of Court and Washington streets. 
The officers at the time were Tracy R. Morgan, president ; Oilman L. 
Sessions, vice-president; Whitman Kinyon, secretary, and Solomon F. 
Cary, treasurer. 

The Binghamton Academy of Medicine, comprising resident, non- 
resident, honorary and corresponding fellows, was also in operation, 
and was then officered as follows: Whiting S. Griswold, president; Pel- 
atiah Brooks, vice-president ; John G. Orton, secretary, and Silas West, 

The banking institutions were the Bank of Binghamton, the Broome 
County bank, the Chenango Valley Savings bank, and the Susquehanna 
Valley bank. 

The churches were the Baptist, Bethel M. E. (colored), Christ P. E., 
Court Street M. E. (corner Court and Carroll streets), First Congrega- 
tional (on the site of Smith & Kinney building), Henry street M. E. 
(on the site of the Republican building), Presbyterian (Chenango street), 
St. John's (now St. Patrick's), Universalist (on Exchange street about 
opposite the present church), and Zion's church, colored (on Whitney 

The secret and benevolent societies were Binghamton lodge, No. 177, 
F. & A. M. ; Binghamton Chapter, No. 139, R. A. M. ; Otseningo lodge, 
No. 435, F. & A. M. ; Malta Commandery, No. 31, K. T. ; Calumet lodge. 
No. 221, I.O.O.F. ; Binghamton Encampment, No. 50, I.O.O.F. ; Bing- 
hamton Temple of Honor, No. 7 ; and Binghamton Division, No. 63, 
Sons of Temperance. 


In 1867, then containing a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants 
and having commercial interests equal in number and importance to 
those of any village in the southern tier, Binghamton laid aside its for- 
mer limited municipal character and became an incorporated city. 
From that time to the present its growth has been constant and health- 
ful and at times rapid. The census reports for 1870 showed the city to 
contain 13,692 inhabitants, and in 1875 the number had increased to 
15,518. In 1880 the population was 17,317, and during the next ten 
years the city more than doubled in number of inhabitants, while all 
commercial interests were correspondingly enlarged, numerically and 
in productive capacity. Through political complications there was no 
enumeration of inhabitants in 1885, but in 1890 the city was found to 
contain a total population of 35,005. The unofficial and prejudiced 
count of inhabitants made for purely political purposes in 1892 gave 
the city a population of 34,514, and while there has not been a subse- 
quent official enumeration, the most conservative and fair estimates 
have placed the present population of the city fully 45,000, and from 
that number to 50,000, 

Having thus traced the history of the city from the beginning of the 
century to the time when pioneership and early settlement became lost 
in the general growth and advancement, and having recalled the names 
and something of the deeds of as many as possible of the persons and 
families who were instrumental in accomplishing achieved results, it is 
now proper that the subject of municipal history be divided into its 
component elements, and classified, and that a record of each branch be 
made for the use of future generations. 




The first known survey for a village plot on the site of the city was 
made in 1797, but by whom and under what authority is not now per- 
fectly clear. It is probable, however, that the work was done by James 
Wilson, one of the proprietors of the Hooper- Wilson-Bingham tract, as 

MAT or 

IN 1797, 

he was engaged to run the lines of the purchase and also to complete the 
survey and subdivision into farm lots. The plot referred to is of no 
consequence in village history as nothing shows that it was ever used 
in making sales. According to the map the village was laid out in lots, 
though the place was not then designated by name. The general situ- 
ation of the region in 1797 is shown in the map herewith produced, 



which by special permission is taken from Wilkinson's Annals of Bing- 

At the time indicated a few settlers under title and a larger number 
of squatters were scattered over the territory. The only cleared space 
of any size was that formerly occupied by the Tuscarora village of 
Ochenang, but the Indian hrabitations had been destroyed by Clinton's 
men nearly twenty years before. 

Village of Binghamton in 1808. 

Settlement and development under recognized authority were begun 
in 1800, under the agency of Joshua Whitney, and in that year, upon 
the suggestion of Selah Squires, the name "Twin Elms" was tempo- 
rarily used to designate the proposed site of the village. When the 
work was fairly progressed the inhabitants adopted the name of " Che- 
nango Point," while " Chenango village " was the name of the little 
hamlet up the river. The lower village was called Chenango Point as 
early as 1803, and in the next year a post-office under that name was 
established there. In all early court records and public documents the 
place was so called for at least fifteen years, while the post-office name 
was retained until 1830. 

In the meantime the inhabitants determined to agree upon and adopt 


an appropriate name for their growing- settlement, and having in mind 
the many generous actions of William Bingham, a due sense of grati- 
tude naturally suggested a name in his honor. The result was " Bing- 
hamton," athough the action was wholly informal and with many per- 
sons the old name was continued for many years; but it was generally 
corrupted into " Chenang Pint." 

In 1808 Roswell Marshall made a survey of the village plot, under 
the name of " Village of Binghamton," and subdivided into lots all the 
land north of the Susquehanna, south of Lyons' (now Noyes') island, 
east of about Murray street (as now known), and west of Brandywine 
creek. The Marshall map was recorded in book 4 of deeds, at page 67, 
and was taken as the basis of all later surveys on the portion of Bing- 
ham's patent included in it. For the benefit of the reader the map is 
reproduced in this work and furnishes an interesting study. It at least 
shows us that on paper Binghamton was then a place of importance, 
though as a matter of fact the inhabitants numbered less than 200. 
Only one or two stores were opened, while away from Court and Water 
streets the lands were not even cleared of their original forest growth. 
In that part of the village south of what is now Hawley street (except 
on Water street) no timber had been cut, and the same was true of the 
locality above Dr. Ely's land north of Court street . Indeed, woods and 
wilderness surrounded the village on every side, and the settled locality 
covered only the little space between the court house and the Chenango 
river and Water street south of Court. As late as 1811 the court house 
grounds were covered with a growth of pine and oak trees, and the 
general situation was not specially inviting to the proposed purchasers 
who were constantly visiting the place. In 1813 Ebenezer Woodbridge 
came from the east with the intention of investing in lands here, but 
after examining that part of the village east of Chenango and north of 
Court street, he concluded that the land was not worth owning and 
soon afterward passed on to Candor. But Dr. Doubleday had greater 
faith in the future of the place, and although urged to cast his lot else- 
where, he firmly believed the settlement at the junction of the Sus- 
quehanna and Chenango rivers would eventually becoilie the site of an 
important city; and it must be said that subsequent events proved the 
wisdom of his judgment. 

At the time mentioned the buildings farthest east were the court 
house on the square and the tavern on the Phelps' bank corner. Squire 
George Park had then recently come to the village, and his impressions 



lage officers, while others equally well informed are of the belief that 
no complete organization was effected. Whatever the truth may have 

been, cannot now be determined, and no person now living has any 
knowledge of the previous existence of such record. 

The fair presumption would be that with such men in the village as 


those mentioned the proposition to incorporate and establish a munici- 
pal government would be carried into effect. It is believed that this 
was done, although for some now unknown reason the organization 
was afterward suspended or abandoned . This would appear to be true 
from the fact that in 1834 the legislature passed " an act to revive an 
act to vest certain powers in the freeholders and inhabitants of ' Bing- 
hampton.' " (This was perhaps the first time in our history that any 
authority presumed to interpolate the letter "p" in the orthographical 
construction of the name of the city. It was an unfortunate example, 
and was studiously followed by uninformed persons for many years. 
All native and all loyal Binghamtonians naturally resent this unwar- 
ranted assumption. Throughout the century of our history the name 
was never correctly spelled otherwise than plain Binghamton.') 

The effective portion of the act of 1824 was as follows: Be it enacted, 
etc. , that the act entitled an act to vest certain powers in the freehold- 
ers and inhabitants of Binghamton, passed April 3, 1813, be and the 
same is hereby revived, and all its provisions and restrictions. It was 
further provided that the qualified voters should meet on the first Tues- 
day in May following and elect trustees, treasurer and collector in the 
manner prescribed in the act revived. 

The character and quality of organization under the second act is 
also veiled in mystery on account of the total absence of records cover- 
ing the period of its operation. At best the act conferred limited pow- 
ers and afforded only the rudiments of the municipal government we 
now enjoy. At that time, however, the population approximated 1,000 
and the rapidly increasing commercial and industrial interests demanded 
greater protection than was possible without a corporate act of some 
kind. The business portion of the village was well built up with brick 
and frame structures, several large mills were in operation on both 
rivers, the residence section had been extended across the Chenango to 
a point beyond Oak street and also up Court street almost to Fayette. 
Several churches had been built, places of public assemblage were 
opened and all interests demanded an improved municipal condition 
both as to means of convenience and safety. Hence the act of revival 
above quoted, but for the reasons stated any detail of proceedings un- 
der it is impossible. 

Ten years later the village was regularly and permanently incor- 
porated. The act was passed May 3, 1834, and defined boundaries as 
follows; "Beginning on the north bank of the Susquehanna river, 


at the southwest corner of Lewis St. John's farm, and running thence 
north 2 degrees west, 89 chains, 25 links, to the southwest corner of lot 
29, Bingham's patent; thence south 73 degrees east, 49 chains, 50 links, 
to the Chenango river; thence to the southwest corner of Christopher 
Eldredge's farm ; thence north 88 degrees, 30 minutes east, to the west 
line of Joshua Whitney's farm ; thence south one degree, 30 minutes 
east, to the Susquehanna river; thence to and down the middle of the 
same to a point directly south of the place of beginning, and thence to 
the place of beginning. " 

The territory within the boundaries described was declared to be a 
body corporate and politic by the name of '■^The village of Binghamton. " 

Section 2 of the act divided the territory into five wards, as follows : 
First ward, all that part of the village lying west of the Chenango 
river; second ward, all that part of the village east of the Chenango 
river, south of the center of Court street, and west of the center of 
Centre (now Collier) street ; third ward, all east of the Chenango river, 
north of the center of Court street and west of the center of Chenango 
street ; fourth ward, all east of Chenango street and north of the center 
of Court street ; fifth ward, all east of Centre street and south of Court 

Section 3 provided that the qualified voters should meet on the first 
Tuesday in June, 1834, and elect one trustee and one assessor in their 
respective wards; in the first ward at Samuel Peterson's inn, unde; the 
supervision of Samuel Smith; in the second ward at A. Davis' inn, un- 
der the direction of George Park; in the third ward at the Methodist 
chapel, under direction of Levi Dimmick; in the fourth ward at the 
Baptist church, under direction of William Seymour; in the fifth ward 
at the new school house (now the Carroll street school), under direction 
of Edward Kellogg. * 

The act also provided that the annual election be held on the first 
Tuesday in September, and that the trustees annually elect a freeholder 
residing in the village, not one of their own number, to be president, 
and also to choose a treasurer, clerk, attorney, police constable, and 
five fire wardens. 

Agreeable to the act, the first village election was held on the first 
Tuesday in June and resulted as follows: Samuel Peterson, trustee, 
and Vincent Whitney, assessor, in the first ward ; George Park, trustee, 
and Joseph Congdon, assessor, in the second ward ; Stephen Weed, 
trustee, and Augustus Morgan, assessor, in the third ward ; William 



Seymour, trustee, and William E. Abbott, assessor, in the fourth ward ; 
William B. Doubleday, trustee, and Henry Whittlesey, assessor, in the 
fifth ward. It may be stated that Major Morgan declined to serve as 

assessor in the third ward, and at a special election held August 4, 
James Munsell was chosen in his place. 

The first meeting of the trustees was held at Samuel Peterson's inn 
on June 4, at which time officers were appointed as follows: 

President, Daniel S. Dickinson; clerk, Erasmus D. Robinson; attor- 


ney, Joseph S. Bosworth; treasurer, Julius Page; police constable and 
collector, Joseph Bartlett ; fire wardens, Myron Merrill, George T. Ray, 
Levi Dimmick, Gary Murdock and Isaac Leavenworth, representing 
the several wards in the order mentioned. 

Thus did Binghamton become a fully incorporated and organized 
village and entered upon a career of municipal prosperity which has 
endured to the present time. By the incorporation proceedings the 
village in a measure became separated from the surrounding territory 
of the town of Ghenango. Its authorities were at liberty to provide for 
improvements not otherwise obtainable, and in payment for which the 
town at large could not be called upon to contribute. The first meetings 
of the trustees were devoted to the preparation and adoption of suitable 
ordinances, then commonly called by-laws and regulations, after which 
street lines and grades received attention. One of the most important 
subjects, however, to engage the attention of the trustees was the organ- 
ization and equipment of fire companies, and the adoption of measures 
best calculated to protect the inhabitants against serious loss by fire. 
Indeed, during the first five years of municipal history the clerk's rec- 
ords indicate that more attention was given to fire company matters 
than any other branch of government. 

On May 6, 1837, the legislature amended the incorporating act, and 
gave the trustees the same control and authority over the village streets 
as overseers of highways then possessed, with power to lay out, im- 
prove and pave the same; and also authorized the trustees to purchase 
and hold real estate for the purpose of a public cemetery. Under the 
authority of this act the village cemetery north of the railroad was 
acquired by the corporation. 

On April 11, 1851, the legislature passed an "act to amend the several 
acts incorporating the village of Binghamton." This act extended the 
village limits and included a part of the territory south of the Susque- 
hanna river. The boundaries then established were as follows : Be- 
ginning at the northwest corner of lot 31, Bingham's patent, and run- 
ning thence east to the northeast corner of lot 37 ; thence south to the 
Susquehanna river; thence across the river to the northeast corner of 
lot 13 ; thence south to the south line of Bingham's patent ; thence west 
to a point opposite the west line of lot 31 ; thence north across the Sus- 
quehanna river to the southwest corner of lot 31, and thence north to 
the place of beginning. A fair idea of the extent of the village at that 
time may be gained by comparing the description just given with the 
map of Bingham's patent. 


The act divided the territory into six wards, as follows: First ward, 
all west of the Cheaango river; second ward, all east of the Chenango 
river, south of Court and west of Centre (Collier) street; third ward, 
all east of Chenango river, north of Court and west of Chenango street ; 
fourth ward, all east of Chenango street and north of Court street ; fifth 
ward, all south of Court and east of Centre street ; sixth ward, all south 
of the Susquehanna river. 

The officers authorized under the act of 1851 were a president of the 
board of trustees (to be appointed by the trustees), one trustee and 
one assessor in each ward, a clerk, treasurer, police constable, and a 
village attorney. The trustees and assessors only were to be chosen 
by the people. The first election under the act was held on the first 
Tuesday in May, 1851. The annual election was provided to be held 
on the first Tuesday in February. 

The evident purpose of this act was 'to secure a charter for the vil- 
lage, but the benefits of such a step were not fully realized, hence two 
years later recourse was again made to the legislature, and on April 12, 
1853, there was passed "an act to amend and consolidate the several 
acts relating to the villiage of Binghamton. " The boundaries were 
the same as before, but under the new act the village was declared to 
be a corporation by the name of "the village of Binghamton," author- 
ized to have a seal, and was clothed with the same powers as other like 
municipalities in the state. The wards described in the act of 1851 
were maintained, but the village president, like the trustees and asses- 
sors, was to be elected by the people. The trustees were to receive an 
annual salary of $25 each. The annual meeting of the board was to be 
held on the second Tuesday in February. 

Amendments to the charter were frequent in later years, but a detail 
of the provisions of each is not necessary in this work. By the amend- 
ment of 1858 the president was declared to be the presiding officer of 
the board of trustees. In 1861 "an act to amend and consolidate the 
several acts relating to the village of Binghamton" was passed, but its 
provisions were not of an important character. 

The city of Binghamton was chartered^ and incorporated by virtue of 
chapter 291, laws of 1867, passed by the legislature April 9, of that 
year. This was the crowning achievement in municipal history, and 
by it the city became entirely separated from the town of which it had 

■ The city charter was prepared by Charles S. Hall, and was an arduous task admirably ac- 


council was a majority of Republicans sufficient to secure the appoint- 
ment of a full contingent of minor city officials of that party. The first 
board contained several of the most prominent men of the city, and as a 
whole was one of the strongest in our municipal history. The same was 
also true of the first representatives of the city in the board of super- 
visors, Lewis S. Abbott being the only successful Democratic candidate 
for that office. 

Subsequent acts supplementary to and amendatory of the charter of 
1867 were numerous, and occasionally of an important character. In- 
deed, it is doubtful if any city in the state having no greater population 
has been subject to more frequent legislative enactment than Bingham- 
ton ; and while as a whole these acts have resulted in ultimate benefit 
many of them were of doubtful propriety. A recapitulation of all their 
provisions is not necessary to this chapter, hence the date of the pas- 
sage of the more important ones will serve the purpose of the reader. 

Among the many subsequent acts relating to the city these may be 
briefly noted: May 5, 1868, relating to supervisors; April 23, 1869, in- 
corporating the fire department; March 10, 1870, defining powers of 
city officers; March 10 and April 7, 1871, authorizing a loan for im- 
proving the court house grounds and regulating police powers; May 
30, 1872, authorizing the city, after Sept. 1, 1872, to use for a public 
street that part of the Chenango canal between the north end of Pros- 
pect avenue and the south line of Susquehanna street; May 9, 1873, 
authorizing day and night policemen, the appropriation of $8,000 for 
contingent fund, $4,000 for the fire department and salaries of chief 
and assistant engineers, and also authorizing the appointment of a su- 
perintendent of schools; March 6,1874, relating to sewers; April 18, 
1874, authorizing the council to appoint certain city officers, a chief of 
police and not more than 8 policemen; April 6, 1874, authorizing an 
appropriation of $17,000 for cemetery purposes and $8,000 for a city 
park; February 19, 1875, authorizing appointment of city attorney; 
June 17, 1875, extending city limits and including the Ross park terri- 
tory; June 19, 1875, authorizing a loan of $75,000 for a city hall and 
lockup, and appointing Charles McKinney, Rodney A. Ford, Sherman 
D. Phelps, Delancey M. Halbert, Solomon F. Cary, Job N. Congdon and 
William Tremain commissioners to negotiate for a site ; May 20, 1876, 
providing for school commissioner elections on the third Tuesday in 
September; June 3, 1877, increasing clerk's salary to $800; June 4, 
1878, authorizing the use of the Chenango canal for street purposes ; 


May 23, 1878, creating a board of park commissioners; May 38, 1880, 
providing for the election of justices of the peace; April 8, 1881, organ- 
izing the police department and force under a commission; May 13, 
1881, relative to minor city affairs; Feb. 9, 1883, providing that city 
officers, except justices, enter upon their duties on the Tuesday next 
following their election or appointment; June 3, 1883, relating to sew- 
ers and dividing the city into six wards; Feb. 9, 1884, amending the 
police act; Feb. 16, 1884, amending the fire department act; May 31, 
1884, increasing city appropriations ; May 31, 1885, relating to the as- 
sessors; April 31, 1886, relating to appropriations for city purposes; 
April 36, 1886, authorizing loan of $33,000 for bridge across the Sus- 
quehanna at the foot of Washington street; March 4, 1887, relative to 
city officials; March 38, 1887, authorizing the U. S. government to 
acquire lands for federal building; May 3, 1887, relating to sewers; 
May 16, 1887, relating to city appropriations; May 19, 1887, relating to 

On May 3, 1888, the legislature passed an act revising the charter of 
1867 and the acts amendatory thereof. The revisionary act was so 
sweeping in its character that a substantially new and advanced form 
of municipal government was established. Under it the elective city 
officers were the mayor, two justices of the peace, four constables, 
three assessors and an overseer of the poor, all on the general city 
ticket, and an alderman and supervisor in each ward. The territory of 
the city was divided into ten wards. The council* was authorized to 
appoint a recorder, clerk, treasurer, city engineer, corporation counsel 
and other officers of minor importance. The annual city election was 
to be held the second Tuesday in February, and the first meeting of 
the new council on the next succeeding Tuesday. The mayor was to 
hold office two years and receive an annual salary of $500 ; the clerk to 
hold two years and receive not more than $1,300 salary ; the recorder 
to hold four years and receive $1,500 salary; the treasurer to hold two 
years and receive $1,300 salary; the assessors to hold three years and 
receive a per diem compensation of $3 ; the overseer of the poor to hold 
three years and receive $3 for each day's service ; the supervisors to 
serve one year and receive the compensation usually allowed such offi- 
cers. The aldermen were to serve two years but not to receive pay. 

Under the act there was constituted a board of fire commissioners, 
comprising four members to be appointed by the mayor from the prin- 
cipal political parties of the state, the appointees, after the first board, 


to hold office four years; also a board of street commissioners, consti- 
tuted in the manner above mentioned and authorized to appoint a clerk 
and superintendent of streets; a board of education comprising two 
members from each of the five commissioner districts into which the 
city was divided ; a board of police commissioners, constituted as first 
above mentioned, with power (under act of April 11, 1894) to appoint 
a clerk at a salary of $150 per annum. The ward officers were one 
alderman and one supervisor to be elected in each of the ten wards of 
the city. 

The principal amendatory acts subsequently passed were as follows : 
March 30, 1889, relating to annual appropriations; March 4, 1890, re- 
lating to the police and defining the powers of the council ; April 4, 
1890, extending the city limits and dividing the territory into thirteen 
wards; Feb. 16, 1893, increasing the amount of annual appropriations; 
March 28, 1893, among other things fixing the city engineer's term of 
office at two years, and his salary at not more than $3,500 per year; 
April 11, 1894, fixing the 2d Tuesday in February as the time of the 
charter election, and also relating to the office of overseer of the poor. 

On June 1, 1895, the- legislature passed an act revising the charter 
previously existing and provided, among other things, for the biennial 
elections to be held in November of each odd-numbered year. Under 
the act the city was authorized to raise annually for contingent expenses, 
$8,000; for salaries of officers, $30,000; for printing, $3,000; for the 
police department, $25,000; for the fire department, $30,000; for the 
city hospital, $5,000; for hospital purposes, the board of health and 
board of plumbers and plumbing, $3,000; for the park commissioners, 
$5,000; and for the street department the sum of 50 cents on each $100 
of ass'essed valuation. The act of April 21, 1896, authorized $30,000 
for the police department, and $10,000 for the maintenance of a non- 
sectarian hospital. The amendatory act of May 32, 1897, was passed 
to harmonize the city and state laws relating to the election of officers. 
By the same act the mayor's salary was increased to $1,500, and the 
incumbent of the office was declared to be an ex-officio member of the 
police, fire department and street commissions. An act passed June 
16, 1897, extended the jurisdiction of the commissioners of Ross park 
over any lands thereafter to be acquired for park purposes. The act 
of March 4, 1898, related chiefly to the terms of office of the mayor and 
other elective officials 

It is not claimed that in preceding paragraphs reference has been 


made to every act of the legislature relating to the city or its govern- 
ment, but that the synopsis furnished gives something of an idea of the 
subject matter of the leading acts passed from time to time. In other 
chapters of this work reference will be made to still other acts of the 
legislature relating to subjects there treated, hence no special allusion 
to them is considered necessary in the present connection. 

As now municipally constituted and governed, Binghamton is one of 
the most fortunate cities in the state. Throughout the period of its 
history there seems to have been shown on the part of all public officials 
an earnest and honest endeavor to accomplish the greatest possible 
good with a reasonable expenditure of public moneys ; and while the 
city is known throughout the land as the home of many retired persons 
who are said to look with disfavor upon measures of public improve- 
ments which involve a considerable outlay of money, or suggests a 
proposition to issue bonds, it cannot truthfully be asserted that the tax- 
payers of Binghamton have ever been especially niggardly in this re- 
spect, or have arbitrarily and unreasonably opposed measures for the 
real public welfare. On the contrary actual contact with such proposi- 
tions has shown that our qualified voters have generously supported 
bonding measures which never should have been submitted for ap- 

The persons chosen to administer the affairs of city government have 
been men of business capacity, who have shown the same interest in 
the public welfare as in their own personal concerns. Our municipal 
record has ever been and still is a clean page of history, and a retro- 
spective glance over the last thirty years shows much to commend and 
very little to condemn ; and to-day the advanced position which Bing- 
hamton occupies among the cities of the state is in a good measure due 
to the honesty, enterprise and good judgment of its governing officials. 
These were the distinguishing qualities of early village officers, and the 
commendable example then set seems to have had an enduring influ- 
ence with later officials. 


Village Presidents.— YisxiXQl^. Dickinson, 1834-36; John A. Collier, 
1837; Daniel S. Dickinson, 1838; Thomas G. Waterman, 1839; Martin 
Hawley, 1840-41; Myron Merrill, 1843-43; Henry Mather, 1844; Ammi 
Doubleday, 1845; Stephen Weed, 1846; Thomas G. Waterman, 1847-48; 
Samuel H. P. Hall, 1849; Levi M. Rexford, 1860; Christopher Eldredge' 


1851; VincentWhitney, 1853-53 ; Augustus Morgan/ 1854; John Corn- 
wall, 1855, resigned June 16, 1855, and George Park elected July 8, 1855 ; 
Benjamin F. Sisson, 1856; George Park, 1857; Benjamin N. Loomis, 
1858; Tracy R. Morgan, 1859; John S. Wells, 1860; Daniel D. Denton, 
1861; Cyrus Strong, 1862; Frederick Lewis, 1863-64; Frederick A. 
Morgan, 1865 ; Erasmus D. Robinson, 1866-67. 

Mayors.— Khe\ Bennett, 1867; Jabez F. Rice, 1868; Job N. Congdon, 
1869-70; Walton Dwight, 1871; Sherman D. Phelps, 1872; Benj. N. 
Loomis, 1873; Delancey M. Halbert, 1874; Charles McKinney, 1875; 
John Rankin, 1876; Charles Butler, 1877-78; James H. Bartlett, 1879; 
Horace N. Lester, 1880 ; Duncan R. Grant, 1881 ; James K. Welden, 
1882; John Stuart Wells, 1883; George A. Thayer, 1884-85; Joseph M. 
Johnson, 1886; George C. Bayless, 1887; Tracy R. Morgan, 1888; Frank 
H. Stephens, 1889-90; Benajah S. Curran, 1891-92; George E. Green, 
1893-97; Jerome De Witt, 1898-99. 

Village Clerks. — Erasmus D.Robinson, 1834-36; George E. Isbell, 
1837; John C. Robinson, 1838; Alfred Hovey, 1839-40; Charles McKin- 
ney, 1841; George Park, 1842-43 ; Warring S. Weed, 1844; Erasmus D. 
Robinson, 1845 ; Theodore A. Thayer, 1846 ; Charles P. Cook, 1847 ; 
Richard Ely, 1848 ; James La Grange, 1849 ; Phineas P. Tompkins, 1850- 
51; Frederick Lewis, 1852; A. G. Stillson, 1853; Vincent Graves, 1854- 
60 ; Julius P. Morgan, 1861 ; Junius F. Tozer, 1862 ; Frank Loomis, 1863 ; 
William M. Hull, 1864; Julius P. Morgan, 1865-67. 

City Clerks. — Julius P. Morgan, 1867; George W. Seymour, 1868; 
William H. Scoville, 1869-74; Lewis C. Aldrich, 1875 ; Charles A. Hull,' 
1876-77; Chauncey L. Saunders, 1878-80; Francis W. Downs, 188l'; 
Edward H. Freeman, 1882-86; Walter J. Flanigan, 1887-90; Michael T. 
Garvey, 1891-92; Lewis Seymour, 1893-96; Burr W. Mosher, 1897-98; 
Selden D. Kane, 1899. 

Village Treasurers. — Julius Page, 1834-36; Henry Mather, 1837; Julius 
Page, 1838 ; Henry Mather, 1839-41 ; Tracy R. Morgan, 1842-43 ; Will- 
iam M. Ely, 1844-46; R. C. Trivett, 1847; Levi M. Rexford, 1848; 
Alfred J. Evans, 1849-50; Rodney A. Ford, 1851; J. T. Brodt,' 1852; 
Tracy R. Morgan, 1853; William R. Osborne, 1854; Hiram C. Rodgers' 
1855; James S. Cary, 1856; Hiram C. Rodgers, 1857-58; Alonzo c! 
Matthews, 1859; Hiram C. Rodgers, 1860 (office declared vacant by 
the Supreme court, and Ammi Doubleday appointed July 24, I860)- 

» Major Morgan was the first elected viUage presideni ; previous to 1854 the incumbents were 
appointed by the trustees. 


H. Clay Preston, 1861; Byron Marks, 1862-63; Arthur Vosbury, 1864- 
66; James W. Manier, 1867. 

City Treasurers.— ~^ . W. Elliott, 1867; Harris G. Rodgers, 1868; 
Clark L. Hood, 1869, resigned Nov. 11, and Tracy R. Morgan ap- 
pointed; Stephens. Newton, 1870; David M. Worden, 1871-75 ; Frank- 
lin T. Maybury, 1876-80; Abram M. Clonne}', 1881; James B. Arnold, 
1882-85; Nicholas M. Clonney, 1886; Walter P. Pratt, 1887; David M. 
Worden 1888-90; Jacob Wiser, 1891-92; Charles P. Radeker, 1893-98; 
Reeves Darling, 1899. 

Village Attorneys.— loi.&i^'^ S. Bosworth, 1834-35; Joseph K. Rugg, 
1836-38; Mayhew McDonald, 1839-40; Horace S. Griswold, 1841; 
Benj. N. Loomis, acting, 1842; no appointment in 1843; Horace S. 
Griswold, acting, 1844; Jacob Morris, 1845-46; Horace S. Griswold, 
1847-50; George A. Northrup, 1851; George Bartlett, 1852-53; Giles 
W. Hotchkiss, 1854; Philo B. Stillson, 1855; Charles S. Hall, 1856-57; 
John R. Dickinson, 1858; George A. Northrup, 1859; George Bartlett, 
1860; William Barrett, 1861-62; Dan S. Richards, 1863; Solomon 
Judd, 1864-67. 

City Attorneys. — William H. Scoville, 1875; William J. Ludden, 
1876-77; A. De Witt Wales, 1878-79; George Whitney, 1880; A. De 
Witt Wales, 1881-86; Marvin CannifE,' 1887-90; Charles F. O'Brien, 
1891-92; Frank Stewart, 1893. 

Recorders. — Alexander E. Andrews, 1867-72; Frederick W. Martin, 
1873; Albert D. Armstrong, 1874-77; Perry P. Rogers, 1878-81 ; Fran- 
cis W. Downs, 1883-94; James H. Roberts, 1895-Dec. 20, 189 7; Hen- 
ry C. Olmsted, Dec. 20, 1897-98; S. Mack Smith, 1899. 

City Engineers. — Henry C. Merrick, 1888, resigned March, 1890; A. 
A. Caille, acting engineer from April, 1890, to August, 1890; Henry 
C. Merrick, August, 1890, died July 8, 1892; Samuel E. Monroe, 1892. 

Justices of the Peace. — Samuel W. Rogers, 1868; William M. Crosby, 
1870; Samuel W. Rogers, 1872; Perry P. Rogers, 1873; Lyman B. 
Smith, 1874; Perry P. Rogers, 1876; William H. Hecox, 1878; Will- 
iam L. Griswold, 1880; Albert Hotchkiss, 1882; William H. Hecox, 
1884; Albert Hotchkiss, 1886; William H. Hecox, 1888; Albert Hotch- 
kiss, 1890; Watson E. Roberts, 1892; Watson E. Roberts, 1893; Al- 
bert S. Barnes, 1894-99. 

Overseers of the /'(7<?r.— Walter Follett, 1868; Selah P. Rood, 1869-74; 
Robert Campbell, 1876-76; Charles M. Brown, 1877-79; William B. 

^ Under the act of 1888 this office became known as corporation counsel. 


Kirby, 1880-81; Pierre W. Cunningham, 1883-85; Charles B. Dodge, 
1886-91 ; John F. Severson, 1893. 

Presidents of Common Council. — Frederick A. Morgan, 1867; George 
W. Lester, 1868 ; Daniel Lyons, 1869 ; Henry B. Ogden, 1870-73 ; Zan 
L. Tidball, 1873; James H. Armstrong, 1874; William H. Stilwell, 
1875; James H. Barnes, 1876; Fred M. Weed, 1877-78; Orlando W. 
Earle, 1879; Marvin Canniff, 1880; Orlando W. Earle, 1881-83; Lewis 
Baird, 1883; Albert Hatten, 1884; Lewis Baird, 1885; James A. 
Wheeler, 1886; William O. Douglass, 1887; George E. Green, 1888; 
Augustus G. Wales, 1889; Timothy Good, 1890; Robert J. Johnson, 
1891; John E. Wentz, 1893-94; William Mason, 1895-96; George M. 
Moffatt, 1897; James H. Tobin, 1898; Robert J. Swink, 1899. 

Superintendents of Streets. — James Dillon, 1867; Thomas Prender- 
gast, 1868; Thomas J. Clark, 1869-73; Charles A. Beach, 1874-75; 
William Whitney, 1876-77; Charles E. Burgett, 1878; Henry C. Mer- 
rick, 1879-80; Harlan G. Blanding, 1881-83; Orlando W. Earle, 1884- 
85; Miles Leonard, 1886; Ely O. Everts, 1887-April 14, 1893; Cicero 
H. Montrose, April 14, 1893. 

Village Trustees* 1834 — Samuel Peterson, George Park, Stephen 
Weed, William Seymour, William B. Doubleday. 

1835 — Samuel Smith, Joseph Congdon, Gilbert Tompkins, Joseph K. 
Rugg, John Hazard. 

1836 — Lewis St. John, David Lanterman, Ammi Doubleday, Ezra 
Congdon, John D. Smith. 

1837 — James S. Hawley, Jesse Orcutt, Oliver Ely, Barzilla Marvin, 
Uriah M. Stowers. 

1838 — Myron Merrill, Horatio Evans, Gary Murdock, no choice in the 
4th ward, Uriah M. Stowers. 

1839— Dr. Silas West, Joseph B. Abbott, Gilbert Tompkins, Hampden 
K. Pratt, Elias Hawley. 

1840 — Roger W. Hinds, James Squires, Stephen Weed, Ezra Cong- 
don, John E. Sampson. 

1841 — Dr. Silas West, Joseph K. Rugg, Lewis Haight, John C. Moore, 
N. S. Davis. 

1843 — Vincent Whitney, Levi M. Rexford, Erasmus D. Robinson, 
Harry Pierce, Benjamin N. Loomis. 

1843— Vincent Whitney, Joseph B. Abbott, Hazard Lewis, Dr. Ed- 
win Eldridge, Silas A. Newton. 

* Unless otherwise stated the trustees are mentioned by wards in numerical order. 


1844 — N. B. Booth, Joseph B. Abbott, Nathan Tucker, JohnC. Moore, 
James Munsell. 

1845— Samuel H. P. Hall, Joseph B. Abbott, Hazard Lewis, John E. 
Sampson, Job N. Congdon. 

1846 — Samuel H. P. Hall, Joseph B. Abbott, Erasmus D. Robinson, 
Edward J. Boyd, Edward C. Kattell. 

1847 — Rodney A. Ford, Jacob Morris, William M. Ely, John Lewis, A. 
W. Jackson. 

1848— William Wentz, 2d, Robert C. Trivett, William M. Ely, Marvin 
P. Smith, Jacob C. Robie. 

1849 — Rodney A. Ford, William Stuart, Cyrus Strong, jr.. Warring 
S. Weed, Jacob C. Robie. 

1850 — Rodney A. Ford,, William Stuart, Erasmus D. Robinson, Aspin- 
wall Martin, Job N. Congdon. 

1851— Samuel H. P. Hall, Jacob Morris, William W. Stow, Samuel W. 
Rogers, Job N. Congdon, Elmer W. Brigham. 

1852 — Lewis S. Abbott, George Park, Hazard Lewis, Samuel W. Rog- 
ers, Job N. Congdon, Elmer W. Brigham. 

1853 — J. Stuart Wells, George Park, Erasmus L. Wentz, Martin Stone, 
John H. Smith, William S. Beard. 

1854— J. Stuart Wells, Samuel J. Olmsted, Cyrus Strong, Tracy R. 
Morgan, Eli Pratt, William S. Beard. 

1855 — Benjamin F. Sisson, Samuel J. Olmsted, Morgan S. Lewis, 
Lewis S. White, Jabez F. Rice, Chester Rood. 

1856— John S. Wells, Giles Orcutt, Cyrus Strong, jr., Lewis S. White, 
Allen Perkins, Chester Rood. 

1857 — Ezra F. Davis, Giles Orcutt, Frederick Lewis, Henry H. Be- 
vier, Paul Perkins, Chester Rood. 

1858— Daniel D. Denton, Orson Cone, Frederick Lewis, Thomas J. 
Clark, Austin W. Tyler, Horatio Evans. 

1859— Moses T. Morgan, Charles W. Sears, Frederick A. Morgan, 
Thomas J. Clark, William H. Pratt, John Eldredge. 

1860— Homer P. Twitchell, Harris G. Rodgers, Hiram M. Myers, 
Thomas J Clark, William Roberts, John Eldredge. 

1861— Charles S. Hall, Charles W. Sears, J. Lewis Weed, Charles 
McKinney, Francis T. Newell, William Davidson. 

1862— Rodney A. Ford, Orson Cone, Frederick A. Morgan. James K. 
Evans, Francis T. Newell, Chester Rood. 

1863— John S. Wells, Daniel B. Simpson, Clinton F. Paige, James K. 
Evans, Paul Perkins, John Evans, 


1864 — Horace N. Lester, Orson Cone, Lewis Morris, Samuel Stow, 
Paul Perkins, Charles F. Moore. 

1865 — Thomas A. Sedgwick, Orson Cone, Frederick A. Morgan, Sam- 
uel Stow, William B. Booth, Chester Rood. 

1866 — Thomas A. Sedgwick, Orson Cone, Frederick A. Morgan, John 
S. Conklin, William Hanlon, Josiah V. Simmons. 

1867— Thomas A. Sedgwick, Amos G. Hull, Fred. A. Morgan, Eras- 
tus W. Kent, William B. Booth, Hallam Eldredge. 

Aldermen^ 1867 — George W. Lester, John T. Whitmore, first ward;" 
Amos G. Hull, Frederick A. Morgan, second ward; Henry B. Ogden, 
Thomas W. Waterman, third ward; Hiram Sanders, Isaiah S. Dunham, 
fourth ward; Daniel Lyons, Charles Stuart, fifth ward. 

1868— George W. Lester, John T. Whitmore, Amos G. Hull, Andrew 
J. Phelps, Henry B. Ogden, George Burr, Hiram Sanders, Benajah S. 
Curran, Lewis L. Smith, Daniel Lyons. 

1869— Dan S. Richards, John T. Whitmore, Edwin E. Jackson, An- 
drew J. Phelps, George Burr, Henry B. Ogden, Luke Doolittle, Bena- 
jah S. Curran, Daniel Lyons, Lewis L. Smith. 

1870 — Dan S. Richards, Thomas A. Sedgwick, Edwin E. Jackson, 
William Ogden, Henry B. Ogden, George Whitney, Harvey Westcott, 
Luke Doolittle, Josiah V. Simmons. 

1871 — Thomas A. Sedgwick, Moses T. Morgan, William Ogden, 
James H. Armstrong, Henry B. Ogden, George Whitney, Harvey 
Westcott, Lowell Harding, Josiah V. Simmons, Augustus M. Brown. 

1872 — Moses T. Morgan, Matthew Hays, James H. Armstrong, 
David L. Brownson, Henry B. Ogden, Zan L. Tidball, Lowell Hard- 
ing, William H. Stilwell, Augustus M. Brown, John H. Jessup. 

1873 — Matthew Hays, Orson V. Thayer, James H. Armstrong, David 
L. Brownson, Zan L. Tidball, Charles O. Root, William H. Stilwell, 
James H. Bartlett, John H. Jessup, Robert Crozier. 

1874 — Matthew Hays, Orson V. Thayer, James H. Armstrong, T. 
Edson Porter, Charles O. Root, George Germond, William H. Stilwell, 
James H. Bartlett, John H. Jessup, Robert Crozier. 

1875— Matthew Hays, Frederick M. Weed, T. Edson Porter, Daniel 
P. Fuller, George Germond, James H. Barnes, William H. Stilwell, 
James H. Bartlett, John H. Jessup, Robert Crozier. 

1876— Fred. M. Weed, James K. Welden, Daniel P. Fuller, Chauncey 

' In subsequent paragraphs the names only of aldermen will be given. They are mentioned 
in the order of wards unless otherwise indicated. 


B. Waterman, James H. Barnes, Alonzo Roberson, James H. Bartlett, 
W. Gus Chittenden, Robert Crozier, Lewis Baird. 

1877— Fred. M. Weed, James K. Welden, Chauncey B. Waterman, 
Burton M. Babcock, Alonzo Roberson, Robert W. Mosher, James H. 
Bartlett, W. Gus Chittenden, Lewis Baird, James E. WhiLbeck. 

1878 Fred. M. Weed, L. M. Sherwood, Edward L. Lewis (short 

term). Burton M. Babcock, Edwin D. Simpson (long term), George 
Germond, Robert W. Mosher, James H Bartlett, Edwin Taylor, James 
E. Whitbeck, Benj. L. Harford. 

1879 — L. M. Sherwood, Frank H. Stephens, Edward L. Lewis, Ed- 
win D. Simpson, George .Germond, Horace B. Darrow, Edwin Taylor, 
Orlando W. Earle, Benj. L. Harford, James Stone. 

1880 — Frank H. Stephens, Edwin W. Peabody, Edward L. Lewis, 
John H. Gaffiney, Horace B. DarroAr, Marvin Canniff, Edwin Taylor, 
Orlando W. Earle, James Stone, Lewis Baird. 

1881 — Edwin W. Peabody, Matthew Hays, John H. Gaffney, Elbert 
A. Beman, Horace B. Darrow, Marvin Canniff, Edwin Taylor, Orlando 
W. Earle, Lewis Baird, Albert Hatten. 

1882 — Matthew Hays, William D. Stevens, Elbert A. Beman, John 
W. Lyon, Horace B. Darrow, John C. Hanley, Orlando W. Earle, 
Watson A. Heath, Lewis Baird, Albert Hatten. 

1883 — William D. Stevens, John Kelly, John W. Lyon, James A. 
Wheeler, John C. Hanley, Alonzo Everts, Watson A. Heath, Ezra 
Murphy, Lewis Baird, Albert Hatten. 

1884— Frank H. Stephens, John Kelly, James A. Wheeler, Charles 
Gale, Alonzo Everts, Alonzo Roberson, Watson A Heath, Ezra Mur- 
phy, Lewis Baird, Albert Hatten, William W. Cafferty, Robert Barnes. 

1885 — Frank H. Stephens, Herbert E. Stone, James A. Wheeler, 
Charles Gale, Alonzo Roberson, George C. Bayless, Watson A. Heath, 
Henry P. Clark, Lewis Baird, Walter Campbell, W. W. Cafferty, 
Michael McMahon. 

1886— William O. Douglass, H. E. Stone, James A. Wheeler, J. Ed- 
ward Shapley, George C. Bayless, William H. Stone, Henry P. Clark, 
M. L. Hollister, Walter Campbell, Andrew Moses, William W. Youngs, 
Michael McMahon. 

1887— William O. Douglass, Theo. P. Calkin, J. Edward Shapley, 
Edward F. Leighton, William H. Stone, George E. Green, M. L. Hol- 
lister, George H. Buck, Andrew Moses, John C. Oliver, William W. 
Youngs, Michael McMahpn, 


1888— Theo. P. Calkin, Joseph C. Jones, Edward F. Leighton, Will- 
iam P. Morgan, George E. Green, Augustus G. Wales, George H. 
Buck, Abram Van Wormer, John C. Oliver, Egbert M. Gaige, Michael 
McMahon, Timothy Good. 

1889— Joseph C. Jones, Eli S. Meeker, Timothy Good, Egbert M. 
Gaige, Jacob M. Bennett, Michael McMahon, A. Van Wormer, William 
P. Morgan, George H. Buck, Augustus G. Wales. 

1890 — Alexander B. Carman, Robert B. Johnson, Timothy Good, E. 
G. Freeman, John P. McHale, Peter Wentz, Urbane S. Stevens, John 
A. O'Hara, Charles S. Stone, George W. Welden, Walter P. Pratt, 
John E. Wentz, Romeo H. Whiting. 

1891— Alex. B. Carman, Robt. J. Johnson, Timothy Good, E. G. 
Freeman, John P. McHale, Peter Wentz, Urbane S. Stevens, John A. 
O'Hara, Charles S. Stone, George W. Welden, Walter P. Pratt, R. H. 
Whiting, John E. Wentz. 

189i— Chas. E. Smith, Robt. J. Johnson, Charles A. Wilkinson, Paul 
A. Malles, David Campbell, Cornelias H. Lacey, George L. Parker, 
John A. O'Hara, Henry C. Olmsted, Alex. S. Patten, La Motte 
Blanchard, R. H. Whiting, John E. Wentz. 

1893— Chas. E. Smith, R. J. Johnson, Chas. A. Wilkinson, Paul A. 
Malles, David Campbell, C. H. Lacey, Geo. L. Parker, Henry C. Olm- 
sted, A. S. Patten, La Motte Blanchard, R. H. Whiting, John E. 

1894 — Frank E. Slater, James E. Northrup, William Mason, Paul 
A. Malles, James L. Talbot, Daniel Lyons, George L. Harding, 
Schuyler C. Brandt, James H. Tobin, Edgar L Bennett, Reuben B. 
Jump, John E. Wentz. 

1895— Frank E. Slater, Jas. E. Northrup, Wm. Mason, Paul A. 
Malles, Jas. L. Talbot, Daniel Lyons, George L. Harding, Michael T. 
Garvey, S. T. Brandt, Jas. H. Tobin, E. L. Bennett, R. B. Jump, John 
E. Wentz. (Mr. Wentz resigned Jan. 14, 1895, and was succeeded by 
Irving C. Hull). 

1896-97— Chas. E. Smith, Jas. E. Northrup, Wm. Mason, Wm. R. 
Ashcraft, S&lden D. Kane, Page W. Talbot, Nelson E. Severson, M. T. 
Garvey, S. C. Brandt, Jas. H. Tobin, Chas. E. Thompson, R. B. Jump, 
George M. Moffatt. 

1898-99— John F. Ring, S. L. Smith, L. H. Quackenbush, Chas. 
Darling, Selden D. Kane (Mr. Kane resigned in Jan., 1899, and Edward 
Guilfoyle was elected to the vacancy in February), Robt. J. Swink, H. 


H. Woodburn, James Culhane, Timothy J. McNamara, James H. 
Tobin, Chas. E. Thompson, C. M. Blewer, Irving C. Hull. 

Village yi5^^55<7?-.f.— 1834— Vincent Whitney, Joseph Congdon, Augus- 
tus Morgan, William E. Abbott, Henry Whittlesey. 

1835— Levi M. Rexford, Jesse Orcutt, James Munsell, John R. 
Dickinson, Robert S. Bartlett. 

1836— Lewis Seymour, Thomas Allen, Jesse Hinds, George G. 
Lay, Edward Kellogg. 

1837 — Roger W. Hinds, Joseph B. Abbott, William Slosson, Chas. 
B. Pixley, Oliver C. Bradford. 

1838 — Roger W. Hinds, Henry Mather, Abial C. CanoU, Jared M. 
Root, Bildad Gleason. 

1839— William C. Johnson, Robert S. Bartlett, Thos. S. Sleeper, 
Chas. McKinney, Bildad Gleason. 

1840 — Wm. C. Johnson, Orson Cone, Abial C. Canoll,Chas. McKinney, 
Gould Stratton. 

1841 — Samuel Peterson, Thomas Allen, Wm. M . Ely, Ezra Congdon, 
Milton Edwards. 

1842 — Samuel Peterson ; no others reported in the records. 

1843 — Samuel Peterson, Robert S. Bartlett, James Munsell, Samuel 
W. Rogers, John Congdon. 

1844 — Samuel Peterson, Robt. S. Bartlett, E. D. Robinson, Amos 
D. Stockwell, Eli Pratt. 

1845 — Robert S. Bartlett, Orson Cone, Harvey Way, Eli Bowker. 

1846— Roger W. Hinds, Robert S. Bartlett, Samuel Weed, Hamden 
K. Pratt. 

1847 — Nathaniel P. Pratt, Joseph Chambers, Samuel Peterson, 
Hamden K. Pratt, Austin W. Tyler. 

1848 — Isaac W. Overhiser, Samuel J. Olmsted, Samuel Peterson, 
Benj. Howland, C. M. Scott. 

1849— N. P. Pratt, S. J. Olmsted, Benj. H. Overhiser, H. K. Pratt, 
Lewis L. Smith. 

1850— Ashbel Fred Stone, S. J. Olmsted, Joseph E. Ely, H. K. 
Pratt, A. W. Johnson. 

1851— Peter H. Terhune, Lorenzo B. Olmsted, Azariah C. Angel, 
A. D. Stockwell, Augustus B. Brandt, 

1852— N. P. Pratt, S. J. Olmsted, James H. Parsons, Vincent Graves, 
Orson Cone, Aug. B. Brandt. 

1853— A. F. Stone, P. H. Terhune, J. H. Parsons, Vincent Graves, 
A. W. Tyler, Chas. Moore. 


1854— A. F. Stone, I. L Bartlett, L. B. Olmsted, Vincent Grave^ 
Henry Allard, Harvey Andrews. 

1855 — John Lockwood, Wm, S. Benedict, James Munsell, Nathan 

B. Ellis, A. W. Tyler, James Remmele. 

1856 — Homer P. Twitchell, Isaac L. Bartlett, Frederick Lewis, 
Augustus L. Harding, Charles N. Abbott, James Filmer. 

1857 — Homer P. Twitchell, Orson Cone, Jesse Orcutt, Nathan B. 
Ellis, Collins Brown, Lorenzo Baird. 

1858 — Homer P. Twitchell, Loring Cook, Jesse Orcutt, Hamden K. 
Pratt, Chas. N. Abbott, James Remmele. 

1859— H. P. Twitchell, Loring Cook, E. D. Robinson, H. K. Pratt, 

C. N. Abbott, Jas. Remmele. 

1860 — James Prendergast, Loring Cook, E. D. Robinson, Wm. D. 
Hotchkiss, Luke Doolittle, Lorenzo Baird. 

1861 — James Prendergast, Spencer J. Reed, James Munsell, Gilbert 
S. Angel, Luke Doolittle, Lorenzo Baird. 

1862— Homer P. Twitchell, S. J. Reed, Jas. Munsell, A. L. Harding, 
Collins Brown, John W. Burnett. 

1863— H. P. Twitchell, S. J. Reed, Jas. Munsell, John Guilfoyle, 
William Hanlon, John Martin. 

1864 — H. P. Twitchell, Wm. F. Young, James Munsell, none in the 
4th ward, Wm. Hanlon, Lorenzo Baird. 

1865 — John F. Wells, Wm. F. Young, James Munsell, Wm. Barnes, 
Wm. M. De Long, Jas. Whitbeck. 

1866— John F. Wells, Wm. F. Young, Jas. Munsell, Jno. P. Worth- 
ing, Moses E. Conklin, Jno. W. Burnett. 

1867— Jno. F. Wells, Wm. F. Young, Jas. Munsell, Jas. M. Donley, 
Moses E. Conklin, Wm. D. Stevens. 

Ciij Assessors. — 1867, William F. Young; 1868, Rodney A. Ford, 
Nathan B. Ellis; 1869, William F. Young, long term; 1870, John Guil- 
foyle; 1871, Amos G. Hull; 1872, Rodney A. Ford; 1873, Erasmus 
Chollar; 1874, William S. Beard; 1875, Edwin E. Jackson; 1876, Eras- 
mus Chollar; 1877, Alonzo Everts; 1878, Wm. S. Beard; 1879, Allen 
A. Perkins; 1880, Erasmus Chollar; 1881, Wm. S. Beard; 1882, Allen 
A. Perkins, Wm. S. Beard; 1883, Alfred Dunk, Allen Perkins; 1884, 
Jabez F. Rice, Alfred Dunk; 1885, Chauncey B. Waterman, Charles 
N. Abbott, Jabez F. Rice; 1886, Erasmus Chollar, C. B. Waterman, 
C. N. Abbott; 1887, Erasmus Chollar, Robert Brown, Charles D. Al- 
drich; 1888, Robert Brown, Chas. D. Aldrich, Perry P. Rogers; 1889- 


94, Robert Brown, Charles D. Aldrich, William E. Bray; 1895-99, 
Robert Brown, Charles D. Aldrich, John E. Wentz. 

Supervisors. — The village of Binghamton had no separate represent- 
ation in the board of supervisors previous to 186?, but notwithstand- 
ing the fact the supervisor of the town was generally chosen from the 
village. The town of Binghamton was created from Chenango by the 
board of supervisors, December 3, 1855, which action was approved by 
the legislature at that time. For the purpose of a complete village 
and city civil list the following succession begins with the organization 
of the town of which the village formed a part. From 1855 to 1866, 
inclusive, the town supervisors were as follows; 

John S. Wells, 1856; Lewis S. Abbott, 1857; Job N. Congdon, 1858- 
59; Joel Fuller, 1860; Benjamin F. Sisson, 1861; Austin W. Tyler, 
1862-63; Francis T. Newell, 1864-66. 

City Supervisors. — 1867, Lewis S. Abbott, William Ogden, Thomas 
J. Clark, Job N. Congdon, John Evans. 

1868— Lewis S. Abbott, Wm. Ogden, Duncan R. Grant, Job N. 
Congdon, Lewis Baird. 

1869 — Lewis S. Abbott, Wm. Ogden, Martin Stone, Ensign Conklin, 
Darwin Felter. 

1870— Lewis S. Abbott, John A. McNamara, Martin Stone, Evan R. 
Jones, Robert Campbell. 

1871 — Henry S. Jarvis, John A. McNamara, Martin Stone, Barna R. 
Johnson, Robert Crozier. 

1872— Lewis S. Abbott, William L. Griswold, Martin Stone, William 
B. Booth, Robert Crozier. 

1873 — Lewis S. Abbott, Jno. A. McNamara, George Germond, Ly- 
man B. Smith, Darwin Felter. 

1874— Lewis S. Abbott, Wm. Ogden, Henry C. Merrick, Harry 
Lyon, Darwin Felter. 

1875— Lewis S. Abbott, Wm. Ogden, H. C. Merrick, John E. Wentz, 
Lewis Baird. 

1876— Lewis S. Abbott, Charles M. Cafferty, Robert W. Mosher, 
William H. Wilkinson, J. Lewis Weed. 

1877— Carlos Cortesy, J. A. McNamara. Jas. J. Rogers, Wm. H. 
Wilkinson, Benj. L. Harford. 

1878— Henry S. Jarvis, J. A. McNamara, Ozias L. Stevens, Wm. H. 
Wilkinson, Albert Hatten. 

1879— D. Post Jackson, J. A. McNamara, H. C. Merrick, Dudley T. 
Finch, Edwin Evans. 


1880— Henry S. Jarvis, J. A. McNamara, Chas. O. Root, Henry W. 
Chubbuck, Edwin Evans. 

1881— Alfred J. Inloes, J. A. McNamara, Chas. O. Root, Philo H. 
Lee, Edward Harris. 

1882 — Alfred J. Inloes, J. A. McNamara, Michael J. McKaige, Philo 
H. Lee, Michael McNamara. 

1883— William H. Hecox, George W. Penrie, M. J. McKaige, Dud- 
ley T. Finch, Connell Harley. 

1884 — J as. B. Cosgrove, Lewis Buffum, M. J. McKaige, D. T. Einch, 
Connell Harley, Lewis S. Abbott. 

1885 — Rozelle H. Meagley, Virgil W. Ford, Ambro ,e L. Davis, Dud- 
ley T. Finch, Arthur Normile, Lewis S. Abbott. 

1886— R. H. Meagley, V. W. Ford, A. L. Davis, Joseph H. Mason, 
Oscar D. Chapel, Lewis S. Abbott. 

1887— R. H. Meagley, V. W. Ford, A. L. Davis, J. H. Mason, James 
C. Eldridge, L. S. Abbott. 

1888 — R. H. Meagley, Robert Morris, Norman Sherwood, Alvin D, 
Fancher, Chas. A. Evans, Oscar D. Chapel. 

1889 — Alexander B. Carman, Robert J. Johnson, Dennis J. O'Connor, 
William G. Leslie, Elbert Bishop, Alvin D. Fancher, William Brown, 
Henry T. Alden, John J. Irving, Norman Sherwood. 

1890 — Francis Gallagher, Leonidas B. Gleason, Thomas F. Sweeney, 
Wm. G. Leslie, William Pickard, Alvin D. Fancher, Wm. Brown, H. 
T. Alden, J. J. Irving, James E. Waite. 

1891— James F. Kelly, L. B. Gleason, L. S. Abbott, Chas. P. Rade- 
ker, W. G. Leslie, Moses N. Downing, Edwin Taylor, Wm. Brown, J. 
J. Irving, J. E. Waite, A. A. Ainsworth. 

1893— Leonard Whitney, L. B. Gleason, John E. Stowell, Henry 
De Voe, W. G. Leslie, Jesse W. Jansen, Edwin Taylor, Frank Lynch, 
J. J. Irving, J. E. Waite, Alex. E. Andrews. 

1893 — Andrew D. Jackson, L. B. Gleason, J. E. Stowell, Lemuel A. 
Clift, Harry Rhoades, Samuel N. Thompson, Edwin Taylor, Frank 
Lynch, Lee M. Cafferty, J, J. Irving, J. E. Waite, A. E. Andrews, 
Philo R. Newton. 

1894-95— A. D. Jackson, L. B. Gleason. J. E. Stowell, Lemuel A. 
Clift, Harry Rhoades, Willard Ruger, Edwin Taylor, Taber M. Reed, 
L. M. Cafferty, Walter S. Lyon, J. E. Waite, Ernest H. Ballou, Crosby 
T. Moffatt. 

1896-97— Martin A. Dunham, L. B. Gleason, George D. Foster, 


Harry Rhoades, John A. Lyon, George H. Buck, T. M. Reed, Fred- 
erick W. McCall, W. S. Lyon, John P. Worthing, E. H. Ballon, C. J. 

1898-99— E. D. Griswold, F. B. Overfield, M. T. Knapp, G. D. Fos- 
ter, James E. Collins, F. W. Van Patten, George H. Buck, Joseph S. 
Germond, Samuel Hanford, John J. Irving, John P. Worthing, Charles 
L. Pake, E. J. McCann. 


On the first day of April, 1803, a post-office was established at Che- 
nango Point. The first postmaster was William Woodruff, who also 
was landlord of the village tavern and combined both avocations under 
one roof. The first post-office in this vicinity was that at Chenango 
village, just above Mount Prospect, on the west side of the Chenango 
river. It was established in 1795, Joshua Whitney, the pioneer, being 
the postmaster. About ISOOOrringh Stoddard succeeded Mr. Whitney 
and removed the office to the valley of the Susquehanna river, about 
five miles below Chenango Point. This removal was a serious incon- 
venience to the inhabitants of Chenango Point, hence an application 
was made for a new office in this locality. The result was that land- 
lord Woodruff was appointed postmaster of the newly created office at 
Chenango Point. The name was continued until May 39, 1830, and 
was then changed to Binghamton. 

In 1887, Mr. Millard, then our representative ia congress, secured 
the passage of an act appropriating $150,000 for a federal building in 
this city. Later on a special representative of the post-office depart- 
ment visited the city and selected lands on Wall street as a site for the 
proposed structure. The building was erected in 1891, and was occu- 
pied' for post-office purposes in March, 1892, during the postmastership 
of Colonel Dunn. 

The postmasters at Chenango Point and Binghamton, with date of ap- 
pointment of each, have been as follows : 

William Woodruff, appointed April 1, 1803; Robert Morrell, January 
1, 1810; Jacob McKinney, January 1, 1813; William Woodruff, July 1, 
1813; Jacob McKinney, July 1, 1816; Zenas Pratt, October 28, 1818 
John C. Swain, January 25, 1832; Virgil Whitney, August 36, 1823 
Virgil Whitney, May 39, 1830;' Tracy Robinson, October 38, 1833 

' Reappointed when the name of the office was changed from Chenango Point to Binghamton. 


Benjamin T. Cooke, April 14, 1841; Tracy Robinson, October 22, 1842 
John H. H. Park, March 3, 1847; Benjamin T. Cooke, April 18, 1849 
Franklin Whitney, March 30, 1852; Virgil Whitney, January 14, 1853 
Joseph B. Abbott, August 1, 1856 ; Virgil Whitney, October 24, 1866 
William Stuart, March 28, 1861; Edward B. Stephens, April 21, 1870 
George W. Dunn, December 20, 1881 ; Edward H. Freeman, July 26, 
1886; James C. Truman, November 30, 1888; George W. Dunn, March 
18, 1889; Charles A. Hull, November 6, 1893; Charles F. Terhune, 
May 6, 1896; James H. Roberts, February 23, 1898. 


Previous to the erection of Firemen's hall in 1857-58 the village 
trustees had no regular place for holding meetings. The first board 
meeting in 1834 was held at Samuel Peterson's tavern, on the corner 
where now stands the Congregational church edifice. Landlord Peter- 
son was not only a hospitable entertainer but also was one of the first 
trustees and, withal, one of the worthies of the village. The board 
frequently assembled at his house and as often perhaps in other places 
on the east side of the river. Henry Jarvis' and Albert Way's taverns 
were occasionally utilized for the transaction of corporation business 
by the trustees, while nearly all the public houses of the village were 
designated as polling places on annual election day. On one occasion 
during the early fifties the election was held at hotels in five of the six 
wards of the village. If one of the trustees happened to be a merchant 
or professional man meetings were occasionally held at his place of 
business. The village records were generally kept at the residence or 
place of business of the village clerk, or in the safe of one of the trus- 
tees, for the board during the first twenty-five years of corporate 
existence was generally composed of the foremost business men of the 

Firemen's Hall — As early as 1850, when the population numbered 
about 3,500 inhabitants, the village authorities felt the need of a corpo- 
ration hall, and discussions looking to that end were frequent; but 


about that time the expenditures for public improvements, houses and 
equipments for the fire department were so large that the question did 
not advance beyond the agitation period. The subject, however, was re- 
vived during the winter of 1856, and on April 10, of the following year, 
the legislature authorized the trustees to borrow, "on the faith and 
credit of the village," a sum not exceeding $10,000 for the purchase of 
a site and the erection thereon of an engine house together with suit- 
able rooms for corporation purposes, and a "Firemen's hall." 

In accordance with the act a special election was held June 3, 1857, 
when the proposition to borrow money was submitted to the qualified 
voters of the village. The result was 79 votes for and 30 against the 
measure. About the same time the trustees appointed a committee 
comprising Frederick Lewis and Paul Perkins to procure a suitable site 
for the engine houses which the supervisors had then ordered removed 
from the northeast corner of the court house square. The committee 
acted with due diligence, but the act of the legislature and the result 
of the special election necessitated a change in proceedings; therefore, 
on June 6, after the trustees had wrestled with the subject and had 
finally succeeded in removing the objections which always arise in cer- 
tain quarters in municipal affairs, a new committee, comprising 
Frederick Lewis, Paul Perkins and Frederick A. Morgan, was appointed 
to examine sites, enquire as to the probable cost of the same, and re- 
port to the board as soon as possible. Then arose the conditions usual 
to such an emergency, and available lots increased in value with sur- 
prising rapidity. The committee faithfully performed its duty, exam- 
ined with critical eyes and a corresponding sense of responsibility the 
proposed sites, every one of which they had known for years; they 
heard the claims and representations of owners, none of whom really 
cared to dispose of their lands, but under the circumstances felt it their 
duty to do so. The committee reported to the trustees but nothing 
further was done for several days, except that the board discussed the 
matter as a committee of the whole. 

On July 6, Giles Orcutt, Paul Perkins and Frederick A. Morgan were 
directed to procure plans and specifications for a brick engine house. 
Commissioners Orcutt and Perkins were well qualified to pass upon 
the quality of material proposed to be used in the work of construction, 
while Mr. Morgan was chosen to particularly look to the interior 
arrangement of the building for its intended use. His experience in 
fire department affairs and his thorough understanding of its require- 
ments especially fitted him for this work. 



In the meantime the trustees were casting^ about for a favorable site, 
and on July 20 the committee reported an offer from Barzilla Marvin 
to sell to the village a lot of land 75 x 75 feet in size, on Collier street, 
for the sum of $3,750. Among the several sites offered this appeared 
the most satisfactory, and on October 6 the trustees directed its pur- 
chase, the price having in the meantime fallen to $2,084. The com- 

Firemen's Hall, 1857-1895. 

mittee on plans had also completed its work, and on the same day the 
board directed its president (George Park) and clerk (Vincent Graves) 
to enter inter a contract with Allen Perkins for the erection of " Fire- 
men's Hall," according to plans drawn by architect A. R. Cole. The 
contract price was $7,916, thus exhausting the appropriation to a math- 
ematical nicety. Firemen's hall was one of the conspicuous public 
buildings of Binghamton for a period of forty years. It was of brick, 
with stone trimmings, three stories high, well built, and was an honor 
to its builder and the committee and architect who supervised its plans. 
The ground floor was divided into five compartments for fire company 
occupancy ; the second story was occupied in part for company business 
rooms and parlors, and also for many years as board of education and 


common council rooms, and also as police headquarters and city re- 
corder's ofiSce;' the third floor was wholly occupied as the once famous 
Assembly hall, where the senior Fred. Lamoreaux taught dancing 
classes and gave "hops and balls;" where city and county conventions 
were held, and where teacher's institutes and other notable assemblages 
were accustomed to gather. Indeed, for many years the hall was the 
most popular place in the village and city for all public gatherings, 
social, fraternal and political, but at last, having faithfully served its 
every purpose, the building was declared unsafe for further occupancy, 
at least by large audiences on the upper floor. The bell in the cupola 
became too great a weight for the structure longer to sustain, hence in 
1874 the city fathers caused its removal and the erection of a bell tower 
over Academy street. 

About this time there arose in official circles a demand for a new, 
larger and more modern city hall to replace the old building. On June 
9, 1875, the legislature passed an act authorizing a loan of $75,000 for 
the erection of a city hall and lockup, and designated Charles McKin- 
ney (the mayor), Rodney A. Ford, Sherman D. Phepls, Delancey M. 
Halbert, Solomon F. Gary, Job N. Congdon and William Tremain com- 
missioners to negotiate for the purchase of a suitable site therefor. 
Nothing, however, was accomplished under the act, and the old build- 
ing was repaired and afterward held some of the largest gatherings 
ever assembled in the hall ; and that notwithstanding the fact that ad- 
vocates of the new building project loudly declared the structure to be 
absolutely unsafe. 

The Municipal Building and Fire Station. — Soon after 1890 the de- 
mand for a new city hall was renewed with increased energy, the old 
arguments and others of more recent origin being urged in its favor. 
The legislative power was again invoked, the authority was granted, 
and in February, 1895, a resolution was ofEered in the council request- 
ing the committee on city buildings and property to take immediate 
steps toward erecting a new city hall in place of the old structure. The 
committee had the matter under consideration when, on April 23, an- 
other resolution declared that two-thirds of the council were of the 
opinion that the sum of $150,000 should be expended in tearing down 
firemen's hall and erecting a new city hall and fire station on the site. 

> For a short time Abraham De Witt occupied a portion of the second floor rooms as a place 
o£ residence, and his son, Charles K. De Witt, enjoys the pleasant distinction of having been the 
only child born in the building. The event took place July 6, 1868. 



The resolution was objected to and "went over under the rule,'' but 
was called up on May 6, at which time matters had assumed a different 
form. It was then resolved to submit to the taxpayers a proposition to 
raise $125,000 for a city hall, and a further sum of $35,000 for a fire 
station on another site. 

' t. 1 ' ^ 

Municipal Building. 

This question was determined at a special election held May 38, 1895, 
when 735 votes were cast for and 183 against the city hall project, and 
687 for and 308 against the fire station. For the purposes of the latter 
building the council, by resolution passed August 19, 1895, purchased 
the Corbett and Gray property on Chenango street, paying therefor 
$10,000. On November 4 the plans prepared by architect A. W. Rey- 
nolds were adopted, and on November 35 the contract for construction 
was awarded to Alexander B. Carman, the consideration being $11,605. 
The building was completed in due time, and has since been occupied 


by Crystal and Mechanics' hose companies, the steamers "City of Bing- 
hamton" and " Bennett," and also as department headquarters. 

On March 4, 1896, the common council ordered a special election to 
be held on March 24, at which time the taxpayers were asked to vote 
an appropriation of $20,500 for the purchase of an additional fifty-three 
front feet of land adjoining the firemen's hall site on the north. The 
result was 471 votes for and 469 against the measure. The city there- 
upon acquired of Frances M. Brown the premises so long occupied in 
earlier years by Barzilla Marvin and his successor, Dr. Titus L. Brown. 

Ample grounds being thus provided, the council advertised for plans 
for a large and elegant municipal building, and referred the question 
of selection to a special committee. After the latter had reported, con- 
struction bids were invited, and on April 7, 1897, the contract for erec- 
tion was awarded to James Stewart & Co. of Buffalo. The corner 
stone of the building was laid with Masonic ceremony on July 5, 1897, 
and during the latter part of 1898 the work was pronounced cornplete. 

The municipal building cost $121,549. It is of stone, and from an 
architectural point of view is one of the most attractive structures in 
this part of the State. 

The City Hospital — Previous to the early part of 1887 the city was 
without a public hospital for the care of sick and injured persons, 
and the only institution which offered. any relief whatever for such 
cases was the hospital department of the House of the Good Shepherd, 
the accomodations of which were limited, while the house itself was a 
purely denominational institution. 

In the early part of January, 1887, a number of interested citizens 
held a meeting in the parlors of Hotel Bennett for the purpose of test- 
ing public sentiment in relation to the hospital question, and also to 
effect a partial organization in case a favorable opinion of the project 
was found to prevail. Dr. Orton was chosen chairman, and Fred 
Westcott secretary of the meeting. Opinions were freely exchanged 
and a resolution was unanimously adopted in favor of organizing a hos- 
pital association. Radcliffe B. Lockwood, Harvey Westcott and James 
W. Manier were appointed to suggest the names of nine trustees for 
the proposed association (the number was afterward increased to 
fifteen trustees), but Mr. Wescott and Mr. Manier were constantly en- 
gaged with other pressing business affairs, hence much of the prelimi- 
nary work of organizing and perfecting the association naturally fell 
upon Mr. Lockwood, who was a retired business man, 


On January 24, 1887, the " Binghamton City Hospital " was duly in- 
corporated by articles of association filed in the Broome county clerk's 
office. The incorporators named were Radcliffe B. Lockwood, J. 
Warren Merchant, Harvey Westcott, James K. Welden and James W. 
Manier. The trustees for the first year were John Anderson, Horace 
H. Crary, George Crav^r, Stoddard Hammond, jr., Edward F. Jones, 
J. Warren Merchant, Edmund O'Connor, George L. Parker, Julius E. 
Rogers, James K. Welden, Radcliffe B. L6ckwood, James W. Manier, 
Harvey Westcott, John G. Orton and Charles B. Richards. As stated 
in the articles of association, the object of the organization was to 
"establish and maintain a charitable hospital for the medicinal and 
surgical treatment of human diseases, and such other charitable work 
as may be incidental thereto." 

The organization being thus effected, the association became perma- 
nent at the meeting of January 39, 1887, when officers were elected as 
follows: President, Edward F. Jones; vice-president, Harvey West- 
cott; secretary, Radcliffe B. Lockwood; treasurer, Stoddard Ham-- 
mond, jr. 

In February, 1887, Cyrus Strong donated to the association the sum 
of $1,000 on condition that the trustees transfer to him any contingent 
interest the association might have in the House of the Good Shepherd 
home and hospital. This action in fact released the home from any 
obligation to maintain a hospital for city or emergency cases and made 
it more distinctively a denominational institution. 

In January, 1888, the association leased the Lowell Harding resi- 
dence and property for hospital occupancy, and soon after the institu- 
tion was opened for the reception of patients. The trustees also made 
a contract of purchase for eighty front feet of the Harding lands, with 
the intention to erect a modern hospital building, but all their plans 
were not fully carried out. In fact, the necessity of a general city hos- 
pital under municipal control had by this time become apparent. The 
common council voted an annual appropriation for hospital mainte- 
nance, which, with the proceeds of a series of entertainments, and con- 
tributions from generous citizens, enabled the trustees to carry on their 
admirable work. The association enterprise was an entire success, yet 
the need of a strictly city institution was constantly increasing. This 
feeling became fully evident in 1893, when the trustees proposed to 
raise by popular subscription the sum of |25,000 for 'the erection of a, 
suitable hospital building. 


Much of the success of the association during the seven years of its 
corporate management was due to the persevering efforts of the board 
of lady managers, appointed in March, 1888, the personnel of which, 
originally, was as follows : Mrs. A. D. Armstrong, Mrs. M. L. Barnes, 
Mrs. H. W. Chubbuck, Mrs. Asher Coates, Mrs. H. H. Crary, Mrs. 
George Dwyer, Mrs. Dr. L. D. Farnham, Mrs. F. A. Hoag, Mrs. G. W. 
Lester, Mrs. Daniel Lyons, Mrs. J. W. Merchant, Mrs. C. D. Middle- 
brook, Mrs. Joseph Schnell, Mrs. Gilman L. Sessions and Mrs. Harvey 

The officiary of the board of trustees under the association manage- 
ment was as follows: Edward F. Jones, president; Harvey Westcott, 
vice-president; Radcliffe B. Lockwood, secretary, and Stoddard Ham- 
mond, jr., treasurer, all elected January 29, 1887. On February 12, 
1887, General Jones resigned and Harvey Westcott was chosen presi- 
dent in his stead. At the same time James W. Manier was elected 
vice president, vice Westcott ; Almerin Johnson succeeded John Ander- 
son as trustee. Mr. Manier subsequently resigned and James M. Stone 
succeeded him as trustee. On January 7, 1888, Mr. Westcott was 
elected president ; Horace H. Crary, vice-president; Radcliffe B. Lock- 
wood, secretary, and Stoddard Hammond, jr., treasurer. In Novem- 
ber, 1889, the officers elected were Harvey Westcott, president; Horace 
H. Crary, vice president; George L. Parker, secretary, and Stoddard 
Hammond, jr., treasurer. In November, 1890, Mr. Crary was elected 
president; Julius E. Rogers, vice-president; George L. Parker, secre- 
tary, and Stoddard Hammond, jr., treasurer. In November, 1891, 
Julius E, Rogers was elected president; Robert J. Bates, vice-presi- 
dent; George L. Parker, secretary, and Mr. Hammond, treasurer. In 
November, 1892, '93 and '94 the officers of 1891 were re-elected. 

At a meeting of the common council held April 23, 1894, Mayor 
Green called attention to the necessity of immediate steps toward the 
erection of a city hospital, although the initial movement in that direc- 
tion had been taken in the preceding year. Soon afterward, the ques- 
tion having been favorably discussed both in official and general circles, 
the council determined to act, and advertised for sites for the proposed 
hospital buildings. Many were offered and considerable feeling was 
manifested in the matter. The most favorable proposal was that of 
Burton M. Babcock, who offered several lots on Mitchell avenue, with 
a Park avenue front, for $5,000. This offer was accepted August 3, 
1894, all preliminaries having been settled, and the necessary appropri- 


ation of money having been sanctioned by the taxpayers, in June, 1895, 
the council awarded the contract for constructing the buildings, the 
work being apportioned to several builders. Our present city hospital 
is the result of this action, although in later years several important 
additions and changes have been made to the structure. 

Under "an ordinance providing for the control and management of 
anon-sectarian city hospital, " passed April 3, 1893, the affairs of the 
institution were vested in a board of managers, of six members, citi- 
zens, electors and taxpayers, appointees of the mayor, chosen equally 
from the two principal political parties of the state, and to hold office 
six years after the expiration of the terms of the members of the first 
board. The first appointees were James K. Welden, for one year; 
Francis W. Downs, two years; Julius E. Rogers, three years; Robert 
J. Bates, four years; Charles M. Stone, five years; and William S. 
Lawyer, six years. 

The subsequent changes in the personnel of the board have been 
about as follows: Mr. Welden died January 13, 1895, and on March 12, 
following, Charles F. Sisson was appointed his successor. Judge Downs' 
term expired May 8, 1895, and James Sullivan was appointed to suc- 
ceed him. Mr. Bates resigned November 21, 1895, and Robert H. Rose 
was appointed to the vacancy. In 1896 Mr. Rogers was reappointed. 
In September, 1897, managers Rogers and Stone resigned, and William 
H. Cannon and W. R. Turner were appointed to succeed them. On 
January 18, 1898, Mr. Turner resigned and H. Chester Larrabee was 
chosen in his stead. In May, 1899, Manager William S. Lawyer was 

Under the regulations of the board the mayor is entitled to preside at 
all meetings. The by-laws adopted April 13, 1896, provided for a 
president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer of the board, but by 
subsequent change the officers are a president, secretary and treasurer. 
Previous to 1896 the officers were the chairman and secretary. Mr. 
Rogers was the first chairman and Mr. Welden the first secretary of the 
board. Mr. Stone became secretary after Mr. Welden's death, and 
served in that capacity until his resignation in September, 1897. In 
1896 Mr. Rogers was chosen vice-president, Mr. Stone secretary and 
Robert H. Rose treasurer. These officers were re-elected in 1897. In 
March, 1898, Mr. Sisson was elected vice-president, William S. Lawyer, 
secretary, and Robert H. Rose, treasurer. The officiary of the board, 
as established in March, 1899, is as follows : Charles F. Sisson, presi- 
dent; William S. Lawyer, secretary; H. Chester Larrabee, treasurer. 


A board of lady visitors was established under the by-laws of April, 
13, 1896, and was constituted as follows: Mrs. Joseph Schnell, Mrs. 
Oilman L. Sessions, Mrs. William H. Wilkinson, Mrs. C. F. McCormack, 
Mrs. Stoddard Hammond, jr., Mrs. George M. Harris, Mrs. Horace 
H. Crary, Mrs. A. D. Armstrong, Mrs. M. L. Barnes, Mrs. P. L. 
Brintnall, Mrs. N. H. Bump, Mrs. John P. Moore and Mrs. J. M. Far- 
rington. In later years the personnel of the board has been somewhat 

City Water Works — Previous to the construction of a modern system 
of water works in 1867 and the years immediately following, Bingham- 
ton was inadequately provided with means for contending against 
fires, while domestic wants were supplied from wells of varying depths 
scattered throughout the village. These were generally dug on private 
property and designed for family use, though from six to ten or more 
houses were frequently furnished with water from a single well. 
Occasionally several public spirited citizens would unite in digging a 
well for the public benefit, the same being located in the near vicinity 
of their dwellings or places of business; and it frequently happened 
that the well was located near the center of the highway, after the es- 
tablished custom of all country villages. 

In the early history of the village several wells of the latter descrip- 
tion were constructed, one of the most conspicuous of which was 
"Peterson's well," located on Main street, near the corner of Front 
street. It was named in allusion to Samuel Peterson, whose tavern 
stood on the nearby corner and was the common resorting place for all 
the villagers West of the Chenango river. Still further down Main 
street was the " Stocking well," which also was dug in the middle of 
the road near the residence of Solon Stocking, after whom it was 
called. Near the corner of Court and Washington streets, and just 
outside the present curb line in front of the City National bank building, 
was a well built by Dr. Elihu Ely and other owners of land in that 
vicinity. This well supplied all the stores and residents in that neigh- 
borhood for many years, and was finally covered with stones and earth 
after street lines and grades were established. On Water street, a few 
rods north of Court street, was once the well known "Tompkins well." 
Another was at the foot of Carroll street, and was a famous well in 
"Millville" for a long time. Still another was at the foot of Varick 
street, and was in service until about twenty years ago. 

Private family wells were numerous throughout the village, but no 


attempt will be made to recall any except those which happened to be 
so located as to attract public attention. Not every owner could afford 
the expense of digging, stoning up and curbing a well on his own land, 
hence the custom of several families using water from the same well, 
the well having been dug at the cost of all with the understanding that 
the water should be common to all. But the old well .standing on the 
knoll near the Broome County bank was strictly private property, yet 
it supplied water to all the business places and families near the corner 
of Court and Chenango streets. The same was equally true of the 
"Bartlett well," on Washington street between the Hamilton Collier 
dwelling and Robert S. Bartlett's dwelling. This was one of the much 
used wells of tlie village, and, to quote the words of an' old resident, 
"its waters were seldom quiet." James Prendergast'6 store stands 
very near the site of the Bartlett well. On Collier street, on land 
now occupied by the Barrett building, was the "Brown well," from 
which the academy pupils, occupants of firemen's hall and a score of 
other buildings obtained their daily supply of water. An old well also 
existed on the Court House grounds, east of the Court House, from 
which the jail supply was obtained for many years. 

A board of health of perhaps somewhat informal character was es- 
tablished in the village soon after 1850, and it was the custom and duty 
of that body to look to the surroundings of the public and private wells 
and see that the water was free from impure matter. Rodney A. Ford, 
Job N. Congdon and Dr. George Burr were among the earliest mem- 
bers of the village board of health. 

At length, however, the population had so increased that the public 
welfare and safety detnanded more modern means of supplying the vil- 
lage with water for domestic and manufacturing purposes, as well as 
providing more efficient means of extinguishing fires than was afforded 
by pumping water from the rivers, the canal, Brandywine creek or 
any of the several cisterns which the trustees had caused to be con- 
structed in various remote and unprotected localites. This subject first 
attracted serious attention about 1855, and two years later steps were 
taken, though more than ten years passed before the desired improvement 
was secured. 

On April 13, 1857, the legislature passed an act to incorporate the 
Binghamton Water Works company. The prime movers and incorpo- 
rators in the enterprise were James Eldredge, George Park, Charles 
Eldredge, Levi M. Rexford, Thomas Jackson and Phineas B. Tomp- 


kins, who were authorized to perfect the company organization with 
$100,000 capital, and also to construct and maintain a system of water 
supply for the village. The company began its preliminary work with 
a fair prospect of success, but for some now unknown reason the project 
was soon afterward abandoned. 

On February 18, 1860, the act of 1857 was amended by the legisla- 
ture, and John A. Collier, Sherman D. Phelps, Daniel S. Dickinson, 
William R. Osborn, Hazard Lewis and Samuel H. P. Hall were de- 
clared to be a body corporate by the name of " The Binghamton Water 
Works company," with a capital of $50,000. This company, like its 
predecessor, was authorized to acquire and hold real estate, construct 
reservoirs or other source of water supply, lay pipes through the public 
streets of the village, and to do all acts necessary to establish a com- 
plete water works system. 

The second company encountered the same obstacles as did the first, 
and still other embarrassments due to the political situation just pre- 
ceding the war of 1861-65, hence proceedings under the enabling act 
were so long delayed that the incorporators took no further steps to- 
ward the construction of the works. Then for a period of seven years 
more the people of the village continued in the primitive ways of early 

In 1866 the subject was revived, but in another form, as the village 
authorities proposed to construct the water works as a corporate meas- 
ure and maintain it as such. However, before definite action was taken 
the village became a city, and when on April 25, 1867, the board of 
water commissioners then created became a distinct municipal body, 
vested with the authority necessary to construct the system at the pub- 
lic expense, and in payment therefor to issue bonds on the credit of the 
city to the extent of $100,000. 

The first board of water commissioners comprised William P. Pope, 
Edward F. Jones, J. Stuart Wells, Sabin McKinney and Frederick 
Lewis, and under their direction the work of construction was begun. 
On the permanent organization of the board Mr. Pope was elected 
president, Frederick Lewis, treasurer, and Julius P. Morgan, clerk. 
The Holly pumping system of machinery was adopted, upon which the 
board secured a tract of land between Brandywine creek and the rail- 
road bridge, on the river front. Here the necessary buildings and 
pumping station were erected, and two large storage and supply wells 
were constructed. These wells are still in use although the subsequent 


growth of the city necessitated additional sources of water supply in 
other and still larger wells, with an intake pipe extending into and up 
the Susquehanna a considerable distance, thus securing an abundant 
supply of pure water beyond the possibility of pollution from city 

The original work of erecting buildings and settling machinery And 
of laying main pipes through the city streets occupied the attention of 
the commissioners during the year 1867 and the early part of 1868. In 
the latter year water was first pump'ed into the mains for general dis- 
tribution. The system was an admirable one for the time, but at 
length the cement pipes began to show weakness under fire pressure, 
and were afterward required to be replaced with pipes wholly of iron. 
The work of relaying of course covered a period of several years, and 
not until about 1890 was the last of the old cement piping taken from 
the streets. 

During the thirty and more years of operation of our water works 
system, frequent changes, enlargements and additions in all its depart- 
ments have been made by the commissioners, but each step has been 
one of progression and increased capacity, keeping even pace with the 
growth of the city in other directions. The commissioners, too, have 
been selected from the best business men of the city and, fortunately, 
partisan politics has rarely been a factor in the choice. Unlike any 
other auxiliary department of city government, the members of the 
board are elected by the people, annually in June, and in the event of 
vacancy the remaining members have power to fill the place by ap- 

After the completion of the original works the revenues derived from 
water rates were not equal to the annual expenditures and payments of 
interest and principal on the bonds, and it was not in fact until after 
1887 that the department became self-sustaining. Again, the rapid 
growth of the city necessitated the constant extension of the service to 
distant localities, with a consequent outlay of money in carrying out 
the work. On the morning of March 10, 1874, the pumping station was 
seriously damaged by the explosion of one of the large boilers . In this 
disaster engineer David J. Smith was instantly killed, and fireman 
William J. Courtney and John Malane were seriously injured. To re- 
build the boiler house and replace the boiler cost the city nearly 

A few weeks after the accident all the commissioners resigned, and 


on the first Monday in June following an entire new board was elected, 
as follows: Harper Dusenbury (for 5 years), John Evans (4 years), 
James B. Weed (3 years), John Anderson (2 years), Abel Bennett 
(1 year). The new board organized June 8, 1874, by the election of 
Harper Dusenbury, president, James B. Weed, treasurer, and Thomas 
A. 'Sedgwick, superintendent and clerk. 

From that time to the present the affairs of the board have been 
managed prudently and upon safe business principles, and no serious 
event has since disturbed the councils of the commissioners. As occa- 
sion has required, with but a single exception, the taxpayers have 
promptly consented to all the bonding measures suggested by the 
board, and full harmony has always characterized the relations of the 
people and the commissioners. 

Unfortunately, during the first fifteen years of existence of this 
branch of city government, the records of the board were not well kept, 
hence much information which might be of interest in this connection 
cannot be furnished; but beginning with the current year 1885, the 
minutes of proceedings have been fully recorded and an annual report 
has been published. These reports disclose that in the years 1885-87 
the city made annual appropriations for maintenance and extension of 
the water works system as follows: In 1885, |14,170; in 1886, $14,065; 
in 1887, $12,460. 

The city has a present total of 66 miles 345 feet of street main pipe, 
921 valves, 662 general and 13 private fire hydrants. The total num- 
ber of taps (presumably meaning water takers) is between 6,000 and 
7,000. About 480 water meters are in use. The amount of water 
bonds outstanding is $163,000. 

The following table shows the aggregate receipts and expenditures 
of the board of water commissioners from 1885 to 1899. The table is 
interesting in that it illustrates the growth both of the water works 
department and the city: 

Receipts. Expenditures. 

1885 $41,477.23 $58,292.11 

1886 46,663.58 60,786.92 

1887 54,725.86 66,190.81 

1888 61,582.98 62,726.68 

1889 66,106.67 57,895.26 

1890.... 70,713.59 91,622.66 

1891 73.237.17 73,969.88 

Growth and development. i69 

Receipts. Expenditures. 

1893 80,119.26 64,184.77 

1893 77,276.54 63,127.20 

1894 81,044.90 58,648.31 

1895 87,455.74 54,939.88 

1896 ._ 90,908.04 86,030.26 

1897 92,168.50 101,494.07 

1898 93,013.13 73,644.52 

Water Commissioners (with date of election or appointment). — Wm. 
P. Pope, Edward F. Jones, J. StuartWells, Sabin McKinney, Frederick 
Lewis, designated April 25, 1867, under the act creating the commis- 
sion; William E. Taylor, appointed June 24, 1867, vice Jones, resigned; 
William E. Taylor, 1870; J. Stuart Wells, 1871; Frederick Lewis, 1872; 
Wm. P.Pope, 1873; Simeon C. Hitchcock, appointed October, 1873, 
vice Wells, resigned; Harper Dusenbury, John Evans, James B. Weed, 
John Anderson, Abel Bennett, new board elected June 1, 1874; Abel 
Bennett, 1875; John Anderson, 1876; James B. Weed, 1877; John Evans, 
1878; Harper Dusenbury, 1879; Abel Bennett, 1880; John Anderson, 
1881; James B. Weed, 1882; Duncan R. Grant, 1883; George W.Lester, 
1884; Jefferson Kingman, 1885; John Anderson, 1886 ; James B. Weed, 
1887; Duncan R. Grant, 1888; George W. Lester, 1889; John Bay less, ap- 
pointed January 2, 1890, vice Weed, resigned; Jefferson Kingman, 1890; 
William Shanley, appointed September 16, 1890, vice Lester, resigned; 
John Anderson, 1891; Stoddard Hammond, appointed Nov. 21,1891, 
vice Anderson resigned; JohnBayless, 1892; Stoddard Hammond, 1892; 
Duncan R. Grant, 1893; Moses Stoppard, 1894; Jefferson Kingman,.- 
1895 ; Stoddard Hammond, 1896 ; John Bayless, 1897 ; Duncan R. Grant, 

Presidents of the board— William P. Pope, June 12, 1867-June, 1874; 
Harper Dusenbury, 1874-84; John Anderson, 1884-91; Duncan R. 
Grant, Nov. 21, 1891-99. 

Treasurers— Frederick Lewis, June 12, 1867-June, 1874; James B. 
Weed, June 8, 1874-Jan. 2, 1890; John Bayless, Jan. 2, 1890-99. 

Secretaries— Julius P. Morgan, June 12, 1867-Sept. 23, 1868; Thomas 
A. Sedgwick, Sept. 23, 1868^July 30, 1874; Albert A. Rose, July 30, 
1874-Sept. 15, 1875; Chauncey L. Saunders, Sept. 15, 1875-June4, 1883; 
Perry P. Rogers, June 4, 1883-March 3, 1884; Horace E. Allen, March 
3, 1884-died Nov. 4, 1891; John Anderson, Nov. 21, 1891-99. 

Superintendents— Thomas A . Sedgwick, July 25, 1868-April 12, 1875 ; 
Darwin Felter, April 12, 1875-99. 


The personnel of the present board of water commissioners, with the 
office staff, is as follows : Commissioners, Duncan R. Grant (president), 
John Bayless (treasurer), Jefferson Kingman, Moses Stoppard, Stod- 
dard Hammond ; John Anderson, secretary ; Darwin Felter, superin- 
tendent; John D. Davidson and Michael F. Dillon, inspectors. 

The Police Board — The board of police commissioners as established 
by act of the legislature passed April 3, 1881, and now existing, had 
the effect to entirely remove that important branch of municipal 
government from the uncertain control of political factions and to 
place it in charge of a non-partisan body of men whose chief aim has 
been to increase the efficiency of the police force. Previous to the 
creation of the board the common council held the power to regulate 
the force, and each political change in city government was followed 
by a corresponding change in the police department, with all its attend- 
ing inconveniences and complications. Under the act referred to the 
mayor was authorized to appoint four police commissioners to consti- 
tute the board, the first appointees to hold office one, two, three and 
four years, as lot should determine. Later appointments were made 
for a term of four years, beginning February 1. The mayor is an ex- 
officio member of the board. 

In 1867 the first city police force comprised chief James Flynn and 
five policemen. In 1881 Charles D. Rogers was elected chief, C. Bur- 
dette Able, assistant chief, and at the same time nine policemen were 
appointed to comprise the force. That there has been substantial im- 
provements and enlargements in later years is shown in the fact that 
the present force includes a chief and two assistants, two roundsmen, 
twenty-nine patrolmen and a detective. In 1867 an annual appropria- 
tion of $5,000 was ample for the ordinary and contingent expenses of 
the department; the charter now authorizes $30,000 for the same 

The personnel of the board of police commissioners from 1881 to the 
present time has been as follows: 

Commissioners— Tracy G. Rich, appointed Feb., 1881, for one year; 
reappointed 1882 and 1886; service expired Feb., 1890. J. Stuart 
Wells, appointed Feb., 1881, for two years; re-appointed 1883; resigned 
Feb. 13, 1883. George W. Dunn, appointed Feb., 1881, for three 
years; re-appointed 1884; resigned Feb. 28, 1885. Lewis S. Abbott, 
appointed Feb., 1881, for four years. Edward F. Jones, Feb. 15, 1883. 
Jas. F. Carl, appointed Feb. 14, 1884; re-appointed 1885 and 1889. 


Peter K. Burhans, appointed Feb. 28, 1885; re-appointed 1888. Patrick 
J. McTighe, appointed April, 1885; reappointed 1887. Frank B. 
Newell, appointed 1890; re-appointed 1894; resigned Feb., 1895. John 
B. Simpson, appointed Feb., 1881. Erasmus C. Delavan, appointed 
1893; resigned July 34, 1893. Patrick J. McTighe, appointed Feb , 
1893; re-appointed 1897. Jonas M. Kilmer, appointed July 34, 1893; 
re-appointed 1896. Nehemiah L. Osborn, appointed 1895; died May 
36, 1898. Charles R. Williams, appointed 1895, Thomas B. Crary, 
appointed 1898. George W. Welden, appointed June 4, 1898; re-ap- 
pointed 1899. 

The present commissioners are Jonas M. Kilmer, term expires 1900; 
P. J. McTighe, term expires 1901; Thomas B. Crary, term expires 
1903; George W. Welden, term expires 1903. 

Secretary. — Charles W. Gennet, appointed Feb. 14, 1881, and served 
continuously to the present time. 

Police Attorneys.— (Under act of Feb. 9, 1884,) Millard Fillmore 
Brown, appointed March 3, 1884; A. De Witt Wales, appointed May 6, 
1889 ; Rollin W. Meeker, appointed Feb. 4, 1895 ; James T. Rogers, 
appointed May 6, 1895; Albert Hotchkiss, appointed March 7, 1898. 

Chiefs of Police. — James Flynn, 1867; Barzilla Kent, 1868; James 
Flynn, 1869-75; Thomas Johnson, 1876-77; Jesse Germpnd, 1878-79; 
Jaines Flynn, 1880; Charles D. Rogers, 1881-88; Charles Meade, 1889- 
98; William Moore, 1899. 

Board of Health. — In the early history of the village the trustees 
occasionally made informal provision to improve the sanitary condition 
of the property and buildings in the immediate business centers, and 
while authorized by laws then existing to enforce stringent measures 
in that direction their action seldom went beyond a request to remove 
such nuisances as were positively dangerous to public health. As early 
as 1853 the board appointed John Congdon and Rodney A. Ford as 
health officers, and in the next year Dr. George Burr was added to their 
number. The appointments to this office, however, were not regularly 
made, nor was there a regularly constituted board of health previous to 
the charter of 1867. 

Under the charter the council was authorized to appoint two of its 
members as a " committee on public health," which appointees, with 
the mayor and city clerk, was the constituted board of health of the 
city. The appointment of a health officer was also authorized by the 
charter, and upon the physician thus designated generally devolved the 


entire duties of the board, as the mayor and clerk gave the subject little 
if any attention, while the council committee only heard complaints and 
requests and then referred them to the health officer. The board pos- 
sessed all necessary power to act yet seldom enforced the strict provis- 
ions of the law. 

In 1883, in pursuance of an act of the legislature, a regularly consti- 
tuted board of health was established in the city, and was vested with 
more arbitrary powers than was possessed by any auxiliary department 
of local government. Its authority was and still is supreme, and gen- 
erally final in that it is seldom resisted. Men of determined character, 
who believe in the fearless enforcement of unpleasant duties, are best 
fitted for service as health commissioners. Fortunately for Bingham- 
ton, the members comprising the board have possessed the essential 
qualities for the faithful performance of their duty, and the result of 
their efforts is seen in the admirable sanitary condition of the city at 
the present time. 

The board as now constituted was created in 1883, and comprises six 
members, with the mayor ex-officio, the latter being its presiding offi- 
cer. The appointees of the board are a health officer, secretary and 
registrar of vital statistics, sanitary inspector, bacteriologist and at- 
torney. Originally the board appointed only a health officer, who also 
performed the duties of secretary, but as the business of the depart- 
ment increased with the growth of the city other officers were made 
necessary. The succession of members of the board of health since 
1883 has been as follows: 

Commissioners.^ — Thomas J. Clark, Alvah Bloomer, Edwin Taylor, 
George A. Bishop, S. W. Crandall and Dan S. Burr, original members 
appointed 1883; Jas. F. Carl, September, 1883; Charles C. Edwards, 
1883; J. Frank Rice, Homer B. Boss, 1884; Theodore B. Schenck, 1885; 
Hiram Barnum, Charles B. Richards, Stephen B. Drass, 1886; James H. 
Barnes, 1887; D. Post Jackson, Albert Hatten, 1889; Orrin P. Mason, 
1891; N. Love, 1892; D. A. Davis, George B. Curtiss, Timothy Good and 
Lyman Clock, 1893; E. E. Snyder, 1895; Edward E. Powell, 1896; 
Christopher P. Pratt and Leslie M. Wilson, 1897 ; T. B. Van Alstyne and 
John Ehresman, 1898. The present board comprises Timothy Good, 
C. P. Pratt, T. B. Schenck, Leslie M. Wilson, T. B. Van Alstyne and 
John Ehresman. 

Health Officers.— D. Post Jackson, 1869-73; Henry Oliver Ely, 1873- 

1 The year of appointment only is given. The regular term begins in May. 


75; C. D. Spencer, 1876; Dan S. Burr, 1877-79; Joseph H. Chittenden, 
1880; D. Post Jackson, 1881; C. D. Spencer, 1883-85; Wm. F. Race, 
1886-88; Dan S. Burr, 1889-98; I. Adalbert Hix, 1898-99. 

Secrttaries and Registrars. — Dan S. Burr, protem., 1882; C. D, Spen- 
cer, 1882-86; W. F. Race, 1886-89; Dan S. Burr, 1889-95; Caroline 
Davis, 1895; William H. Abbott, Aug. 1, 1896-99. 

Sanitary Inspector. — Orrin R. Mason, appointed Feb. 27, 1893. 

Attorney. — Charles H. Hitchcock, appointed 1895. 

City Bacteriologist. — Mrs. E. H. M. Fancher. 

The Street Commission. — Previous to the charter revision of 1888 the 
affairs, control and management of the public streets of the city was 
vested exclusively in the common council and the committee on streets, 
walks and bridges. In the year mentioned the legislature passed an 
act establishing a bi-partisan board of street commissioners, comprising 
four members (appointees of the mayor), who should hold ofBce four 
years. The first board, however, was to determine the term of office 
of its members by lot. In accordance with the act, Mayor Morgan 
appointed George A. Kent, James Prendergast, Benjamin De Voe and 
Philo H. Lee to comprise the first board. The board was organized 
June 10, 1888, and from that time the control of the streets has been 
under its charge. The mayor is ex-officio president of the board, but 
has no vote in its councils except in case of a tie. The board appoints 
the superintendent of streets and also its own clerk. Previous to May 
1, 1893, the city clerk acted as clerk of the board, but on that day Reu- 
ben H. Waters was appointed to the position. The present clerk, W. 
Paul Mosher, was appointed September 22, 1896. The superintendents 
of streets since the board was established have been Ely O. Everts and 
Cicero H. Montrose, whose appointments are noted in the city civil 

The board of street commissioners has been in existence ten years, 
but while none of its original members are now in office only seven new 
appointmments have been made by the mayor. The succession of 
members, with the year in which new appointments have been made, 
has been as follows: George A. Kent, James Prendergast, Benjamin 
De Voe, Philo H. Lee, 1888; Elbert A. Beman, August, 1888; vice 
Kent lesigned; Lewis Baird, 1890; George H. Barlow, 1891; William 
Mosher, 1893; Charles Wales 1896; Edward E. Powell, Jan., 1898, 
vice Wales resigned ; William E. Carpenter, 1899. 



"The Lookout" ' at Night. 

by leon mead. 

The wilding splendors of the year 
I find asserted bravely here ; 
And through the hemlock boughs afar, 
Burns brilliantly the Northern Star ; 
And yonder moon's bright amber sheen 
Gives all the leaves a tawny green. 
Fit place is this to think and rest. 
On " Lookout's" open, level crest. 
The city's lights are spread below, 
Like ghosts of fallen stars they glow ; 
And where the two fair rivers meet 
The scene with beauty is replete. 

And to the East, with feudal guile, 
Looms up a spacious granite pile ; 
Oh, do the wild eyes there behold 
The God-made grandeur manifold. 
That reaches out on every hand, — 
The witching, valley-dimpled land? 
Hid is Chenango's placid face 
In Susquehanna's close embrace ; 
And onward thence unto the sea 
Is lost her own identity. 

Previous to the year 1875 the city of Binghamton had no public 
park or other similar place of resort except the limited enjoyment de- 
rived from the ample grounds surrounding the court house. The sub- 
ject of a park had been frequently discussed by the people and the 
press, yet no encouraging effort was made in that direction until 
Erastus Ross made a generous gift of land in 1875. 

The deed by which this splendid property was conveyed to the city 
was dated July 28, 1875, and although the tract included about 100 
acres of land no consideration whatever was asked by the donor. 
It was indeed a generous gift and was doubly welcome from the fact 
that it was wholly unexpected; still, the act was only the reflex of Mr. 
Ross' liberal spirit. He had long been a resident of Binghamton and 
in the course of his business career had accumulated a fortune. 

The park tract was formally accepted by the common council August 

' " The Lookout " is one of the most delightful localities in the park. 


9, 1875, but before that time the public had accepted the gift with 
abundaat expressions of appreciation and gratitude. The informal 
opening was celebrated by a picnic and demonstration which was at- 
tended by thousands of our people. The council, too, soon took action 
and designated a commission comprising Edward F. Jones, William 
B. Edwards, Byron Marks, John Anderson, Tracy R. Morgan, Job. N. 
Congdon and Edwin G. Halbert, under whose direction the lands were 
surveyed, mapped and laid out as a public resort both for pleasure and 

The commission above mentioned was the inception of our present 
board of park commissioners, although nearly three years passed before 
the latter was created by the legislature. The board organized by elect- 
ing General Jones chairman. Judge Edwards as treasurer, and Byron 
Marks as secretary. The prelimiary surveys and improvements were 
made under the direction of Charles A. Beach. 

Thus was Ross Park established. The council made small appropri- 
ations for improvements during the early years of the commission, but 
the expense of performing the first work was really borne by individual 
subscribers to a general fund. At the opening picnic more than $1,000 
was raised in this way, and in the years following still greater sums 
of money were contributed in the same manner. After the commission 
was established the work of improvement was carried on from year to 
year, and as the popularity of the resort increased with the city's 
growth the council gradually enlarged the annual appropriations for 
the use of the commissioners. The park to-day shows the result of 
more than twenty years development, yet with annual appropriations 
varying from $3,500 to $3,350 little-more than maintenance of present 
improvements can be accomplished. 

The office of park commissioner was created by the legislature in an 
act passed May 33, 1878, and under its provisions the mayor was 
authorized to appoint seven citizens to constitute the board of ' ' park 
commissioners of the city of Binghamton." On June 1, 1878, Mayor 
Butler designated William B. Edwards, Tracy R. Morgan, Job N. Cong- 
don, Edwin G. Halbert, Matthew Hays, Byron Marks and John Ander- 
son as the first board. The latter was almost identical with that which 
existed under the common council. General Jones of the first board 
resigned in April, 1876, and Matthew Hays was appointed in his place. 
The officiary of the old board was also maintained during the year, 
Judge Edwards being chairman and treasurer, and Byron Marks secre 


After the permanent organization the board at once began the work 
of improving the park tract and otherwise making it an attractive and 
safe resort for all persons, and particularly for women and children. 
How well the task was accomplished is attested in the widespread pop- 
ularity of Ross park at the present time. However, much of this for- 
tunate condition of things is due to the efforts of the Park Amusement 
company, an adjunct of the Binghamton Railroad company. 

The city charter authorizes an annual expenditure of $5, 000 for park 
purposes, but the greatest amount yet placed at the disposal of the com- 
missioners was $3,250. On April 15, 1897, the authority of the com- 
mission was extended over all lands thereafter acquired for park pur- 
poses, hence the fund must be divided according to the demands made 
by the added tracts. 

The act creating the park board provided for the appointment of 
commissioners by the common council, but gave to the board the right 
to appoint incumbents when the council failed to do so. The records 
show that the appointees have been more frequently designated by the 
commissioners than by the council. 

The park commissioners,' from 1875 to present time, have been asfol 
lows ; Edward F. Jones, William B. Edwards, Byron Marks, John An- 
derson, Tracy R. Morgan, Job N. Congdon and Edwin G. Halbert, ap 
pointed July 26, 1875; Matthew Hays, May 29, 1876; Wm. B. Edwards 
Tracy R. Morgan, Job N. Congdon, E. G. Halbert, Matthew Hays, 
Byron Marks and John Anderson, appointed June 1, 1878; Alonzo 
Evarts, Duncan R. Grant and Truman I. Lacy, 1883; Burton M. Bab 
cock, 1886; Reuben H. Butler, 1887; George E. Green and Marillo L. 
Hollister, 1889 ; Alvah Bloomer, Fred. E. Ross and Eli S. Meeker, 1890 
Allen Banks and Michael McMahon, 1891; Arthur S. Bartlett, 1896. 

Presidents— Edward F. Jones, 1875-76; Wm. B. Edwards, 1876-85 
Truman I. Lacy, 1885-92; Byron Marks, 1892-93; Truman L Lacy, 
1893-94; John Anderson, 1894-95; Michael McMahon, 1896-98 ; Arthur 
S. Bartlett, 1898-99. 

Vice-presidents— Byron Marks, 1891; Truman I. Lacy, 1892; John 
Anderson, 1893; Eli S. Meeker, 1894; T. L Lacy, 1895-96; Arthur S. 
Bartlett, 1897; Eli S. Meeker, 1898-99. 

Secretaries— Byron Marks, 1875-85; William B. Edwards, 1885-90; 
Marillo L. Hollister, 1890-99. 

■ The succession furnished shows the year of appointment of the original commissioners, and 
also the year in which new members came into the board. Many incumbents served several 
years and the date of their reappointment is not deemed necessary to this chapter. 


Treasurers— William B. Edwards, 1875-79; Tracy R. Morgan, 1879- 
83; Byron Marks, 1883-85; Duncan R. Grant, 1885-88; Reuben H. But- 
ler, 1888-90; Fred. E. Ross, 1890-95; John Anderson, 1895-99. 

Superintendents' — Henry Sherman, 1884; Nelson Cohoon, 1885; 
Henry Sherman, 1887 ; Frank S. Smith, 1893-99. 

Examining and Supervising Board of Plumbers and Plumbing. — This 
branch of city government was established under chapter 603 of the 
laws of 1892, by which the mayor was authorized to appoint two mas- 
ter plumbers, one journeyman plumber, the city engineer and one mem- 
ber of the board of health to constitute the examining and supervising 
board of plumbers and plumbing for the city. In accordance with the 
provisions of the act on August 4, 1893, Mayor Curran appointed Mar- 
tin S. Bramble and David J. Malane, master plumbers; Virgil Hadley, 
journeyman plumber; Elisha S. Monroe, city engineer, and Theodore 
B. Sclienck, of the city board of health, to comprise the first board. 
Sinc6 that time the composition of the board has changed but little. 
On May 6, 1895, Orrin R. Mason, sanitary inspector for the board of 
health, replaced Mr. Schenck as ex-ofScio member of the plumbing 

In 1894 L. A. Galpin, master plumber, was appointed by Mayor Green 
to succeed Mr. Bramble, whose term had expired. On January 7, 1895, 
Frank Kelley, journeyman plumber, was appointed to succeed Mr. Had- 
ley. In the same year D. J. Malane, master plumber, was reappointed. 
In September, 1897, Mr. Kelley resigned and John N. Schnepper, jour- 
neyman plumber, was chosen in his place by Mayor Green. In De- 
cember following Mr. Hadley was appointed to succeed Schnepper. In 
1898 Mr. Malane was again appointed. On July 1, 1899, Mr. Hadley 
resigned and was succeeded'by John F. Hurley, journeyman plumber. 

The board in 1899 is comprised as follows: L. A. Galpin, master 
plumber, president; D. J. Malane, master plumber; J. F. Hurley, jour- 
neyman plumber; S. E. Monroe, city engineer; Orrin R. Mason, sani- 
tary inspector. John J. Irving has been clerk of the board since July, 

The presidents of the board, in succession, have been D. J . Malane, 
Theodore B. Schenck, L. A. Galpin, D. J. Malane, L. A. Galpin. 

Civil Service Commission. — Previous to 1884 the civil service rules of 

■ The ofiBce was originally known as superintendent of work and was filled during the pleas- 
ure of the board. Captain Smith was the first regularly appointed superintendent of the park. 


the state applied only to cities having more than 50,000 inhabitants, 
but under chapter 410 of the laws of that year all cities of the state were 
brought under the provisions of the act. 

Soon after the act became a law Mayor Thayer appointed William F. 
Van Cleve, Dr. D. S. Burr and Frank Stewart members of the local 
civil service commission. The duties of the office were not then oner- 
ous, as only policemen were subject to the civil service rules, but in 
later years the rules were extended to include within their scope nearly 
all employees under the several departments of city government. 

With each succeeding political change in the mayoralty a new or par- 
tially new board was created, but it appears that the incumbents of the 
office did not keep a reliable record of proceedings, hence the complete 
succession of commissioners cannot be furnished in this connection. 
Under Mayor Green's term of office few changes were made and the 
affairs of the commission were conducted in a business-like manner. 
David M. Johnson, Clark Z. Otis and Jacob M. Henwood then com- 
prised the commission, with Mr. Otis acting as clerk a part of the time. 
These commissioners resigned in January, 1899, and were succeeded by 
Charles E. Smith, Adelbert J. Schlager and Hiram Goldsmith, ap- 
pointees of Mayor De Witt. Mr. Smith declined to serve and Harry 
C. Walker was appointed in his place, and was made president of the 
board. Eldon R. Carver was a former clerk of the commission. 


The first attempt to organize a fire department in Binghamton was 
in 1834, under the act of the legislature incorporating the village, 
although the act of 1813, conferring limited corporate powers on the 
inhabitants of the village, authorized the formation of a fire company 
of not more than twenty-five members. It is understood that under 
the original act no steps were taken in the matter of providing appa- 
ratus or means of extinguishing fires other than the ordinary precau- 
tions of the citizens in keeping in convenient places primitive leather 

The act of May 3, 1834, authorized the trustees to establish and or- 
ganize one or more fire and hook and ladder companies of not more than 


sixteen members each, who, "when attached to any engine, " were 
exempt from military duty, except in case of insurrection or in- 
vasion. The trustees were also authorized to remove firemen and 
appoint others in their places; to prescribe the powers and duties of 
the companies in preventing and extinguishing fires; to compel every 
male inhabitant to keep two water buckets of a size and kind described 
in the general by-laws governing the village; to construct cisterns and 
reservoirs for the use of the village in case of fire. 

Section 2 of the ordinance passed June 18, 1834, directed that "every 
householder or occupant of any store, shop, room or building in 
the village shall procure, by the first day of September next, and keep 
two leather buckets, holding not less than two gallons each, to be used 
in case of fire;" but by ordinance adopted August 11, the time in which 
to procure the buckets was extended to October 1, the number of buck- 
ets was reduced to one, and they were to be furnished by owners of 
buildings instead of occupants. 

By an ordinance adopted June 30, 1834, the trustees appointed these 
persons as members of hook and ladder company No. 1 : George E. 
Isbell, George P. Bragg, Locy Halstead, Levi M. Rexford, Jesse 
Orcutt, E. B. Freeman, John M. Brownson, Walter Rood, James A. 
Smith, Avery W. Dewey, Elisha S. Avery, Horatio Smead, Alfred J. 
Evans, Hector Kneeland, Rulandus B. Hinman and William H. Pratt. 

At the same time and under the same ordinance the trustees ap- 
pointed the following members of hook and ladder company No. 2: 
Joseph K. Rugg, Cyrus Butler, Horatio Evans, Henry W. Shipman, 
James Munsell, James Jones, Vincent St. John, Ephraim P. Matthews, 
Jared N. Root, Roger W. Hinds, David Lanterman, John D. Smith, 
Ross W. Esterbrook, Henry Mather, Vincent Whitney and Edward 
W. Kellogg. 

The members of the companies thus appointed were directed to meet 
at the house of Orcutt & Preeman (the old hotel on Water street, 
which is still standing) on August 18, and proceed to elect by ballot, 
in each company, a captain, foreman, clerk and three auditors, who 
should hold office until the next annual election. It was also provided 
that every member who refused to attend the election should be sub- 
ject to a fine of $2 ; and every officer who declined to accept the posi- 
tion to which he should be chosen should be subject to a fine of $5. 

The trustees by their ordinances prescribed the duties of all officers 
of the department, and clothed the auditors with judicial powers to 
hear excuses for non-attendance or neglect of duty at fires, and in case 


they found the "delinquent to be culpable," to report him to the trus- 
tees that he be fined according to the ordinances, not exceeding one 
dollar for each offense. The duties of firemen were also particularly 
defined, and they were subject to call from the captain for "exercise," 
at such times as he thought proper. The ordinances were signed by 
Daniel S. Dickinson, village president, and Erasmus D. Robinson, 

At the time of organizing the fire companies referred to in preceding 
paragraphs, the trustees directed Stephen Weed and George Park to 
procure a supply of hooks, ladders and axes, and also to cause the erec- 
tion of a suitable ladder house in some convenient place. Under this 
authority the committee employed Tompkins & Avery to construct 
eleven ladders, for which they paid $30. 90. They also caused a ladder 
house to be built on the northeast corner of the court house square. 
The work was undoubtedly done by Stephen Weed, who at the time 
was a builder and contractor. The building was a primitive structure, 
being an open shed with rack arranged under the roof for storing the 
ladders. Every villager had access to the house and in the course of a 
short time nearly all the apparatus was taken away by whoever had 
need for its use. This practice was the source of much annoyance to 
the trustees, the records disclosing the frequent appointment of com- 
mittees to look up the ladders and have them returned to their proper 
places. The trustees also provided a long wagon to serve the purpose 
of a truck, which was kept in the ladder house, but it appears to have 
shared the fate of the other apparatus, for when the companies had 
need of it only the "hind wheels" remained. 

Such was the character and composition of the fire department of 
Binghamton as established in 1834. A glance at the list of firemen 
who comprised the first fire companies will disclose the names of many 
of the foremost men of the village at that time, who were prominently as- 
sociated with its early and most interesting history. Not one member of 
either of the old companies now lives, but in the city at the present 
time may be found scores of the descendants of those whose names are 
recorded on the honorable roll. It is the purpose of this chapter to 
bring to the reader's attention the names of as many as possible of the 
members of the village fire department during the earlier years of its 
existence, and thus preserve for future generations not only their names 
as firemen, but also as men who took an unselfish interest in the 
growth and welfare of the village, the safety of its inhabitants and 
the protection of its property. 


It appears, however, that notwithstanding the promptness of the 
trustees in organizing the first fire companies, the latter were not par- 
ticularly efficient in the performance of their duties. The real founder 
of a fire company in the village was Thomas Parker, a mason by trade, 
who took an active part in early affairs. He formed a hook and ladder 
company and was its first foreman, and was also instrumental in the 
erection of the ladder house on the square, on the site afterward occu- 
pied by Cataract engine company's building. 

From the village records it appears that the first fire wardens were 
appointed by the trustees at their first meeting in 1834, and were Myron 
Merrill, George T. Ray, Levi Dimmick, Gary Murdock and Isaac 
Leavenworth, representing the five wards in the order mentioned. The 
wardens in 1835 were Myron Merrill, David Lanterman, Levi Dimmick, 
Gary Murdock and Edward Kellogg. 

On June 25, 1836, a petition signed by ninety one citizens, whose 
names are not found on the records, requested the trustees to raise 
$600 for the purchase of a fire engine ; and at the same time a petition 
signed by William H. Pratt and fifteen other citizens (whose names, 
unfortunately, are not preserved) requested the board to organize 
^"^ Naiad Fire Company." Nothing was done at the time in response 
to the petitions, but on July 13, the board resolved to raise $800 by tax 
to purchase an engine and other apparatus for the village, and directed 
Joseph K. Rugg to secure them. Under this authority Ghief Rugg 
purchased a small "Button engine," which was used by the firemen 
for some time, and was afterwards manned by the members of Gataract 
No. % until it became unserviceable and was abandoned. A little later, 
Henry M. Gollier, who succeeded Rugg as chief, bought another Button 
engine and organized original " Water Witch " company. The latter 
company used the engine until Mr. Button came on to get his money, 
upon which the trustees paid for the machine, and turned it over to 
Phoenix No. 1. 

Water Witch Fire Company, the original company so called, was or- 
ganized in pursuance of a resolution of the trustees in July, 1836, under 
the name of " Binghamton Fire company," and comprised the follow- 
ing members: William H. Pratt, Henry M. Collier, James Eldredge, 
George Gongdon, James Smead, A. W. Martin, Peter Glow, Isaac L. Bart- 
lett, Caleb Roberts, James Bigler, William Bigler, John^ Scoville, Isaac 
Bishop, Thomas Johnson, J. P. Sutton and D. Horton. After the com- 
pany went into service and was accepted by the trustees, it became 
known as Water Witch No. 3. Henry M. Collier in fact fathered the 


organization and bought the engine, but after the trustees assumed the 
obligation and paid for the machine, it was temporarily kept in a va- 
cant building owned by John A. Collier standing on the site of the Ross 
block, at the corner of State and Court streets.' Under Chief Rexford 
the engine was turned over to Phoenix No. 1, which was then com- 
manded by Foreman Abraham De Witt. The latter company used the 
engine until the trustees procured a new one, after which the old ma- 
chine was placed in charge of Rescue No. 3, a company organized on 
the west side of the Chenango river, occupying quarters on the east 
side of Front street, a few rods south of the corner of Main street. 

On January 10, 1837, trustees Lanterman and Congdon were ap- 
pointed a committee to ascertain the cost of a site for an engine house, 
and in due time reported that a lot could be purchased from John D. 
Smith for $250. On March 15 the trustees resolved to buy the Smith 
lot "on the west side of Exchange street, commencing at the southwest 
corner of John Bartholomew's lot, thence running south 20 feet, and 
thence west to the public land." The purchase secured to the village 
the land at the northeast corner of the Court House square, where Cat- 
aract and Fountain companies were afterward located, and about where 
also stood the old ladder house, of which mention has been made. 

Previous to this time an engine house had been built (probably by 
private subscription and the exertions of the firemen) on the east side 
of Collier street, about opposite the present municipal building. It 
stood on the square on a tract of land formerly used as a sand bank and 
gravel bed. The constant removal of the earth had made the spot 
comparatively level, and the site was quite convenient for the purpose 
of an engine house. After the village purchased the Smith lot the 
building on the sand bank was moved to the new location, and was 
raised to two stories in height, thus making it a presentable and ser- 
viceable structure. It was occupied by Cataract No. 2, and adjoining 
it on the east was the building soon afterward erected for and occupied 
by Fountain Fire company, now Fountain Chemical Engine No. 4 Fire 
company, the only one of the many organizations of its kind which has 

' Sometime during the forties Water Witch No. 3 lost its identity as a fire company. In fact 
it was not until several months after the company was formed that the trustees formally accepted 
its service. Under the department reorganization in February, 1843, the approved members of 
Water Witch No. 3 were Henry M. Collier, W. H. Patterson, Samuel Hogg, jr., Stephen Baxter, 
E. L. Wentz, Solomon Aldrich, David W. Gage, Samuel Hogg, sen., Matthias Chitterling, E. S. 
Hart, Matthew Hogan, D. L. Ronk, Wm. Hanlon, C. L. Campbell, Nicli. Carman, jr., John El- 
dredge, John B. Scoville, S. D. Heard, John Boyle, Maurice Byrne, John H. Smith, B. W. Morse, 
A. R. Sprout, A. Stiles, A. H. Seaman, James Pelter, Reuben Delano, J. M. Walker, J. G. Ervine, 
A. Bennett, Thos, Ireland and John Lewis. 


had dn unbroken record from pioneer fire department days to the pres- 
ent time. 

On June 6, 1837, the trustees purchased from Wm. Piatt & Co, anew 
engine and apparatus, paying therefor $1,033. This purchase secured 
the engine which was given in charge of Cataract No. 2, and also a 
two wheeled tender strong enough to carry 200 feet of hose. 

Phoenix Fire Company was organiKcd by the trustees August 1, 1837, 
with the following members: Charles L. Robinson, James H. Halsted, 
Evan M. Johnson, John H. H. Park, Albert C. Morgan, Russel B. Tripp, 
Charles Rogers, Jacob Morris, jr., John McNiel, Thomas G. Halsted, 
Frederick A. Morgan, Charles Tapper, Charles Cole, William Castle, 
George Dyer and William H. Abbott. 

On April 9, 1838, upon petition of the citizens, the trustees directed 
Barzilla Marvin to purchase not more than thirty feet of hose for the 
use of No. 1. Mr. Marvin carried out his instructions by employing 
Thomas Allen to make the hose. It was much smaller than the hose 
now used, and was made to fit the capacity of the engine. The seams 
were sewed, and not riveted, but the work was well done and " Uncle 
Tommy's " hose gave good service for several years longer than the 
average similar product of the present day is warranted to wear. 

The company adopted a constitution and became formally organized 
under the ordinances of the village, November 28, 1842. At that time 
the members who signed the constitution were Charles B. Stow, Thomas 
Ryder, Luther Sawtell, AsaK. Starkweather, William L.Woolsey, John 
P.Worthing, Morgan S. Lewis, Abraham De Witt, Thomas Totten,Wm. 
Mahar, G. S. Ronk, James Calph, Benj. S. Phillips, Joshua Hamblin, 
Wm.. C. Capron, C. H. Tupper, Albert C. Morgan, Samuel Johnson, 
Hugh Crow, Job N. Congdon, C. L. Robinson, Jacob Shear, John S. 
Wells, Samuel Weed, John H. H. Park, N. Cary, Mordecai Corsaw, 
Joshua H. Whitney, Vincent Graves, Benj. Ingraham, Lewis S. Abbott, 
Isaac Aldrich. 

The roll was again revised in February, 1843, and the names of John 
A. Wells, C. H. Tupper, Henry Eldredge, Frederick Lewis, Hobart El- 
dredge, Andrew Titus and Charles De Witt were added to the member- 
ship. In August following Tracy R. Morgan, Robert Meacham, George 
W. Moore, Richard Squires, "Jack" Keyes, William F. Colwell, Joel 
E. Bancroft, John Sullivan and Phillip Stever were approved by the 
trustees and members. Subsequent reorganizations of the company 
were effected June 19, 1857 (when Junius F. Tozer was foreman; James 


Hazelej^ assistant foreman; Robert H. McCune, 3d assistant; Z. Hen- 
derer, treasurer, and Albert C. Morgan, clerk) and June 19, 1860. 

Phoenix Fire company had no permanent quarters for storing its 
apparatus previous to 1841, in which year the trustees resolved to build 
an engine house for its use. It was proposed to erect the building on 
the lot with the school house on the corner of Franklin (now Washing- 
ton) and Hawley streets, but after the sills were laid Daniel S. Dickin- 
son, who lived on the adjoining lot (where now stands the Dairy Asso- 
ciation building) strongly objected to an engine house so near his 
dwelling, and coupled the protest with the information that the lot was 
conveyed for the sole purpose of a school ; whereupon the firemen and 
carpenters carried the timbers to a vacant lot on the east side of Frank- 
lin street, where now stands a building owned by Harvey Westcott. On 
this lot was built the engine house of Phoenix Fire company, better 
known as "old No. 1." Here the company maintained its headquar- 
ters for nearly ten years, using the coffee mill until the trustees con- 
sented to purchase a new and improved apparatus. In 1850 the village 
leased a lot on Collier street, where now stands the municipal building, 
to which location Solomon Aldrich moved the eagine house from Frank- 
lin street during the summer of that year. In November following, 
through trustee Rodney A. Ford, the village purchased the Collier 
street lot, paying therefor the sum of $300. 

The year 1842 was memorable in the history of this veteran fire- 
fighting organization. The company had long felt the need of a new 
and modern engine, as the sweeping fires of 1838 and '39 had demon- 
strated the inefficiency of the primitive machines then owned by the 
village. Still the trustees were not disposed to invest in additional 
apparatus as they believed the village finances hardly justified the out- 
lay. But the company and its friends were persistent, and determined 
to bring the subject to the attention of the board with a petition so 
formidable that the trustees would not decline to act. To this end a 
petition was signed by all the officers and members of the company, 
and at the same time several other petitions were circulated through- 
out the village, all praying the trustees to grant the company's request, 
on the main ground that the organization was too efficient to be allowed 
to disband for want of proper apparatus. 

The several petitions of the occasion are herewith reproduced, as an 
interesting reminiscence of village history, showing not only the names 
of members of the company at the time, but as well the names of nearly 
all the voting population of the village. 


The petitions were as follows : 

" To the Honorable the President and Board of Trustees of the Vil- 
lage of Bingham ton; greeting: 

"Your petitioners, the foreman and members of the Phoenix fire 
company, respectfully represent that the engine now under the 
control of your petitioners has by long use become so worn and broken 
as to be of very little utility; and that notwithstanding the demands 
upon the company for repairs have been constant and tedious, they 
have found it impossible to keep it in order or i-ender it effective. 

" The prayer of your petitioners is therefore that a new and more 
efficient engine, with suction and leading hose, be purchased for their use 
with such other aid to be granted as by your honorable body shall be 
deemed necessary. 

"Praying your early attention to this our petition, we subscribe 

"Your Honors' humble petitioners. 

"William H. Abbott, foreman; Charles F. Marsh, assistant fore- 
man; Henry S. Smith, clerk; Albert C. Morgan, Morgan S. Lewis, 
John H. H. Park, Thomas Ryder, Abraham DeWitt, William Woolsey, 
Thomas Woolsey, Vincent Graves, John Calph, Hugh Crow, Enos N. 
Rexford, Benj. Phillips, Thomas J. Landers, William Capron, John 
Lown, G. W. Abbott, Samuel E. Weed, Failing Harder, William 
Mahar, Job N. Congdon, Thomas Totten, Jacob Shear, Luther Saw- 
tell, C. H. Tupper, B. Ingraham, Charles De Witt." 

The cititizens' petition was as follows : 

"The undersigned, citizens of Binghamton, second the petition here- 
with presented by the individuals forming the Phoenix Fire Company, 
and would urge to the president and trustees of said village, that said com- 
pany have surmounted many difficulties, and have, with an inferior and 
imperfect machine, as yet sustained their character, as firemen; and 
regarding the remarkable prevalency oi fires in this village for the two 
of three preceding years, we cannot dispense with the services of so 
well a disciplined company." 
Petition No. i: 

"Vincent Whitney, Samuel Smith, Mason Whiting, jr., John B. 
Ogden, James Squires, jr., J. N. Root, James Squires, B. T. Cooke, 
Thomas Johnson, Thomas G. Waterman, E. F. Matthews, I. S. Mat- 
thews, Myron Merrill, Elijah Sturtevant, jr., Levi B. Sturtevant, Jas. 
Brooks, H. M. Baldwin, J. S. Hawley, Chauncey Morgan, Rial Arm- 
strong, Gabriel Armstrong, P. B. Brooks, P. Mills, Frederick Stone, 


John Harder, Vincent St. John, Franklin Morse, Lewis St. John, 
James TerwiUiger, Benjamin Morse, R. C. Chase, Wm. C. Johnson, 
William Bennett, Jos. Corby, Robert Woodruff, Franklin Whitney, 
Amos Patterson, Eli W. Watrous, Hazard Lewis." 
Petition No. 2: 

"Isaac L. Bartlett, Robert Bartlett, Oliver C. Bradford, Edward C. 
Cofan, L W. Overhiser, Matthias Chitterling, Joel Butler, Jacob B. 
Hyzer, John Dolph, James Price, Hiram Birdsall, C. J. Orton, John R. 
Dickinson, Barzilla Marvin. Wm. Gilmore, Wm. H. Waterman, Thomas 
Evans, S. D. Hand, Henry Hull, Thomas Ryder, D. Lanterman, Alfred J. 
Evans, R S. Eaton, AmosG. Hull, Robert Eldredge,Wm. D. Jones, Chas. 
Rogers, Daniel Fuller, William M. Ely, James A. Weed, Elias Hawley, 
Rodney A. Ford, G. Munsell, Edwin Eldridge, H. Collins, A. Camp- 
bell, B. G. Watkins, Ezra M. Mclntyre, John G. Stearns, Henry Chis- 
mon, Joseph Chambers, Peter Miller, Giles Orcutt, Jesse Orcutt, J. E. 
Titus, Tracy R. Morgan, A. Doubleday, jr., G. E. Isbell, E. H. Prince, 
Levi Dimmick, Solomon Orcult, Orson Cone, David I. Parks, Stephen 
Weed, Hiram Whiting, Aaron Williams, J. I. Lawyer, B. J. Kipp, E. 
Butler, J. H. Smith, Edwin T. Evans, L. M. Rexford, Giles W. Hotch- 
kiss, Solon Stocking, Richard Mather, Jeremiah Campbell, W. H. 
Denison, W. B. Booth, Joel Fuller, Ira Corby, S. R. Leach, J. E. 
Clark, Mason Whiting, Zenas Pratt, David T. Ronk, Christopher 
Eldredge, Joel Butler, Thomas Allen." 
Petition No. j: 

"Matthew Hogan, H. W. Shipman, H. H. Bevier, Chas. N. Abbott, 
Allen Austin, Wm. M. De Long, G. Nash, T. F. Fairchild, Thomas De 
Witt, John Garow, Guy White, Reuben Starkweather, Daniel Landers, 
Horace White, Joseph B. Bennett, John Congdon, Benj. Green, Edward 
C. Kattel, H. Johnson, Z. Wilber, John Capron, M. H. Weed, Milton Ed- 
wards, S. A. Newton, Joseph A. Wooster, William L. Carpenter, Mar- 
cus Stow, Samuel Calvin, A. L. Heard, W. Clark, Hiram Crissy, Joseph 
Rutherford, Andrew Morehouse, Noah Badgley, Martin F. Root, Thom- 
as Prendergast, Asahel Fairchild, Gould Stratton, J. Denslow, J. B. Ab- 
bott, James Eldredge, Wm. B. Doubleday, Thomas O'Hara, Elmer W. 
Brigham, David W. Guy, S. Simpson, Otis M. Capron, Smith Park." 
Petition No. 4. : 

"Waring S. Weed, J. C. Hubbard, William L. Ford, Cornelius De 
Witt, William P. Pope, C. P. Tucker, Henry Mather, Paul Turner, jr., 
James M. Matthewson, Eli Bowker, Israel Adams, John Bowker, Na- 
than Starkweather, Joseph Durkee, James Worthing, Daniel Shear, 


Amos D. Stockwell, Hiram Deming, Joel Sawyer, T. L. Sleeper, Wm. 
S. Benedict, Jewett Johnson, Anthony Holmes, Samuel Brigham, Ches- 
ter Rood, James Remmele, William Slosson, E. D. Robinson, J. Tripp, 
A. C. CanoU, L. R. Cook, John E. Sampson, A. Woolsey, C. R Cooke, 
Albert B. Root, George Park, Wm. Seymour, Samuel Weed, H.Tucker, 
Nelson Bowker, L. N. Safford, Jonathan Ogden, Harley Stilson, Arch- 
ibald Campbell, William Hanlon." 
Petition No. 5 .• 

"John G. Ervine, F. S. Van Bergen, John A. Bogart, Thomas S. 
Washburn, Edwin Congdon, Ezra Congdon, John Hill, Wm.W. Jones, 
Charles Sprout, D. C. McAUaster, Gilson Keyes, Allen Perkins, Philip 
Tripp, E. C. Bennett, M. F. Tupper, Henry Miller, Nicholas Carman, 
jr., Lyman S. Wright, Thomas H. Parker, John Bartholmew, James 
Angell, Azariah C. Angell, Abel W. Jackson, J. R. Harris, William 
Bigler, Calvin Capron, R. C. Negus, John P. Totten." 

The petitions above mentioned of course secured the desired end, 
although the purchase of the engine was delayed for some time. When 
it at length arrived it was found more than equal in capacity to the 
combined fire-destroying power of both old engines, hence with the 
new acquisition Phoenix No. 1 became the pride of the department and 
the admiration of the entire village. Indeed, No. 1 was always a pop- 
ular company ; the length and strength of the petition fully proved the 
fact. The company afterward enjoyed a long and successful career, 
and when it finally passed out of existence as an organization of the 
village fire department few indeed of the old names were found on 
the roll of active members. The construction of the city water works 
worked the dissolution of No. 1, and whatever then remained of the 
company formed the nucleus of Mechanic's Hose company of the pres- 
ent day. In truth it may be said that the successor company may well 
be proud of its honorable ancestry. 

Cataract Fire Company No. 2 was approved by the trustees under the 
village ordinances, February 3i, 1840, although the company was in 
fact organized July 6, 1836, as was indicated by the date mark painted 
on the end of the box of the old "goose-neck" engine with which the 
members performed such excellent service. 

The original members of No. 2, as shown by the proceedings of the 
village trustees, were Henry M. Collier, J. D. Duygan, E. S. Hart, 
George P. Monell, Charles McKinney, J. E. Tilus, H. C. Nash, Jacob 
Morris, L. N. Safford, M. M. McDonald, Thomas Johnson, Joseph De 
Witt, William Bigler, Robert Eldredge, A. W. Martin, Samuel Brown, 


jr., James Jackson, John E. Sampson, Charles N. Abbott and John 

Subsequent additions were made to the membership as follows: 
April 12, 1841, Orlando Baldwin, Alfred Meeker, Richard Oliver, Nel- 
son Twining, Henry Houghtailing, Marshall Curtis, John Bartholmew 
and Daniel Hall; June 25, 1841, Joel Simpson, William S. Benedict, 
Robert C. Whitmore, Charles G. Hart, William M. Ford, Nelson Bowker, 
Paul Turner, F. S. Van Bergen, Crary Congdon, Eri Park, James 
Madison and James K. Walker; January 17, 1843, Philip Tripp, James 
Eldredge, Jesse W. Clark, Edwin C. Coffin, Edwin Congdon, Azariah 
C. Angell, Charles J. Orton, R. C. Chase, E. C. Burnett, William E. 
Abbott, Morris Shehan, Wm. F. Caldwell, John Campbell, Jackson G. 
Brookins, Zephaniah Wilbur and William H. Abbott. 

In February, 1843, the trustees reorganized the fire department, at 
which time the personnel of Cataract No. 2 was as follows: A. W. 
Martin, J. M. Matthewson, Wm. L. Ford, W. S. Benedict, William E. 
Abbott, Chas. N. Abbott, Philip Tripp, James Eldredge Waring S. 
Weed, J. N. Twining, Edward C. Coffin, J. L. Campbell, J. W. Clark, 
Orlando Baldwin, Thomas Johnson, Ezra C. Bennett, Zeph. Wilbur, 
N. C. Congdon, D. S. Hall, Jeremiah Clark, Chas. J. Orton, Robt. C. 
Whitmore, Jackson G. Brookins, John Bartholmew, Wm. H. Abbott, 
A. C. Angell, F. S. Van Bergen, Edwin Congdon, James Dunn, Wm. 
T. Caldwell and Marshall Curtis. 

Cataract No. 2 was one of the worthy organizations of the village 
during the period of its existence. Its headquarters were in the engine 
house originally built on the gravel bed lot on the east side of Collier 
street (opposite the present municipal building), the same being re- 
moved in 1837 to the lot purchased of John D. Smith at the southeast 
corner of the court house square. In the same year the village pur- 
chased an engine and two-wheeled tender for the company, the engine 
being of the "goose-neck " type, and fairly serviceable for its time. 

Notwithstanding the auspicious conditions under which No. 2 came 
into existence, its later history was attended with many vicissitudes, 
and through some disturbing causes was practically dissolved. The 
organization was revived, however, under Chief Fred. A. Morgan, and 
was again placed upon a substantial basis; and for a time known, ac- 
cording to the memory of Abraham De Witt, as Neversink Engine Co. 
No. 2. This ^a.5 in February, 1855, at which time a company under 
that name was approved by the village trustees. About the same time 
the county acquired title to the lands on which the engine house was 


built, and sDon afterward the structure was removed to the lawn south 
of Cyrus Strong's residence, where now stands Chas. A. Weed & Co.'s 
building. In the course of a few months the company went out of ex- 
istence and the engine house was removed to Oak street and rebuilt for 
dwelling purposes; and for a number of years the old name "Cataract 
Engine Co. No. 3" was plainly visible on one side of the building. 

Fountain Fire Company was organized and accepted under the ordi- 
nances of the board of trustees, October 15, 1842, agreeable to a peti- 
tion presented to that body by a number of active young men of the 
village who asked to be incorporated into a company to attend fires with 
buckets. The records show that on the date mentioned the trustees 
resolved that " the following named persons be appointed members of a 
bucket company in this village, viz.: Julius P. Morgan, J. B. Casterline, 
Hiram Wentz, F. V. L. Squires, Phineas B. Tompkins, O. C. Pooler, 
F. Burrell, G. S. Hovey, J. Farrel. D. Ross, John T. Whitmore, Thos. 
D. Downs, Thomas Woolsey, C. A. Shipman, A. C. Hovey, W.W. Pea- 
body, M. Denslow, Merritt Andrews, Solomon F. Cary, Alfred Merrill, 
J. H. Doubleday, W. J. Lytle and Darwin Stocking; whose duty it shall 
be to attend fires in the village; to be united to the fire department of 
the same; subject to the same laws, rules and regulations, and entitled 
to the same privileges as other fire companies, and are hereby styled 
Fountain Fire Co. No. ^." 

The constitution of the company was adopted at the same time, and 
provided for the election of a foreman, assistant foreman, clerk and 
treasurer; prescribed the duties of officers, and authorized a member- 
ship of 32 persons, whose duty was to proceed immediately to the 
bucket house in case of alarm, and thence to the scene of fire. The 
officers were declared to be a judicial board. The members were re- 
quired to meet on the first Monday in each month, in uniform, for 
"discipline." A committee was provided, whose duty was to examine 
the buckets and see that the bucket house was kept clean. Fines were 
established for neglect of duty, and ranged from twelve and one-half to 
twenty-five cents. The first officers of the company were Julius P. 
Morgan, foreman; Jesse B. Casterline, assistant foreman ; Hiram Wentz, 
clerk; F.V. L. Squires, treasurer. On June 17, 1843, the membership 
was increased by the addition of W. Barton, M . Mosier, G. Capron, L. 
Harvey, I. W. Weed, J. Corby, J. D. O. Mills, Joshua Hamblin, D. 
Prendergast, J. W. Hatch, Charles Meigs and E. Fanning. 

On April 19, 1843, under the revised ordinances, the company was 
received into the department, and the members who subscribed to the 


ordinances were duly approved by the trustees; and thus having been 
incorporated as a part of the village fire department, the company was 
given the name of " Fountaiil Fire Co. No. L" On March 19, 1846, 
Lewis S. Abbott was appointed by the trustees to confer with the chief 
engineer in relation to placing " the hose in charge of Fountain Fire 
Co ,"' and was directed to report to the board at its next meeting. The 
report, however, does not appear on the records, but the early history 
of the company discloses that in September of that year the bucket 
system was substantially abandoned and the company took charge of 
the hose, and thenceforth became known and recognized as Fountain 
Hose Co. No. ^. The name was more commonly rendered " Fountain 
Hose No. 4," and was continued without interruption until December 
13, 1882, when articles of incorporation were adopted under the name 
and style of ''Fountain Hose No. 4. Fire Company." By the acquisition 
of the chemical engine common custom informally changed the name 
to " Fountain Chemical Co.," but the old designations of "Fountain 
Fours," "Four Hose" and "Fountain Hose" have ever been used in 
distinguishing the oldest surviving organization of the village fire de- 

An unbroken record of fifty-seven years of service in the Bingham- 
ton fire department is found in the history of the company, and during 
that time wonderful indeed have been the changes wrought. When 
first formed the company had neither quarters nor apparatus, but 
through the favor of Phoenix No. 1 the bucket boys (for nearly all of 
them were then boys) were permitted to occupy the engine company's 
rooms on Franklin street. Later on they removed to rooms in Solon 
Stocking's building on the south side of Court street, between Water 
street and the bridge. However, on June 30, 1845, the trustees deter- 
mined to erect a building for the use of the hook and ladder and bucket 
companies on the Court House square, and accordingly, on August 26, 
Joseph B. Abbott, James Munsell and Nathan Tucker, representing 
the village, made a contract with Solomon Aldrich to perform the work 
at the agreed price of $235. In the fall of that year Protection Hook 
and Ladder Co. and Fountain Bucket Co. occupied their first regular 
quarters. The former soon passed out of existence, after which Foun- 
tains occupied the building until it was removed from the square. The 
next permanent quarters were in Firemen's hall, the company being 
assigned the north room in that building, with parlors on the second 
floor. These apartments were for a time shared with old Phoenix No. 
1, thus repaying a debt of gratitude incurred in former years. 


While quartered in Firemen's hall much of the most interesting his- 
tory of the company was made, and during that time it acquired the 
reputation which placed it at the head of the city iire department. In 
later years the company lost none of its old-time popularity, and while 
remarkable changes have been witnessed during the period, the stand- 
ard of efficiency has been constantly advanced. Fountain's members 
never imitated the example of another company, nor did they in any 
sense set themselves up as the rivals of another, but, on the contrary, 
have ever been the originators of advanced departmental reforms. 

During its nearly three score years of continuous existence, Fountain 
Hose evolved from a bucket brigade to a chemical engine company, 
with apparatus of the most modern and approved type. The first ma- 
chine was a little long wagon with poles and hooks along either side, 
and on the latter the leather buckets were hung. It was a crude affair 
but sufficient for its time and in full keeping with the other apparatus 
of the department. The first hose carriage, or cart, was built by "Joe" 
Pine, and was then considered a remarkable production, being "double 
geared," and handsomely painted and ornamented by the artistic hands 
of James Halsted. The beauty of the carriage, coupled with the popu- 
larity of the company, gave the latter a certain enviable reputation 
throughout the state, and so swelled the ranks with members that the 
organization of another company from Fountain Hose became desirable. 
Accordingly, in 1856, a number of members withdrew and for-ned 
Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1. Two years later Fountain's 
membership was again reduced in the same manner to form the effi- 
cient organization known as Lawyer Hose Co. No. 1, now known as 
Crystal Hose, for many years one of the most active and enterprising 
companies of the city fire department. Thus it happened that two of 
the best companies in the department, both of which have had a con- 
tinuous growth for a period of more than forty years, were direct out- 
growth of old Fountain Hose Co. No. 4. 

In 1863 Henry Per Lee designed the splendid parade carriage which 
gave Fountain Hose far more than a statewide acquaintance and popu- 
larity among volunteer fire organizations. The carriage was a marvel 
of beauty and workmanship, and won praises from the people and press of 
New York and Philadelphia, as well as all the interior cities and large 
villages of the regions of New York and Pennsylvania which were, 
visited by the company on festive occasions. Fountain's grand gift 
entertainment was held in Firemen's hall in 1871, and netted the com- 
pany a profit of $2,000. In September following was made the famous 


excursion to Albany, Newburg and New York, and in September, 1876, 
occurred the crowning triumph in the company's popularity in the trip 
to Philadelphia, in company with Linta Hose, of Towanda, Penna., 
on the occasion of the Centennial Exposition. 

In October, 1883, the silver parade carriage was sold to Emerald 
Hose of Cortland. On December 11 of the same year articles of asso- 
ciation were adopted. Under this proceeding the company was incorpo- 
rated under the name of "Fountain Hose No. 4 Fire Company," thus 
preserving as nearly as possible the old designation by the village 
trustees in 1846" The object of the incorporation was the purchase of 
real estate and the erection of a building for fire department business. 
The capital stock was $20,000, in shares of $50 each. The corporators 
were James H. Bartlett, Alexander S. Patten, James H. Arnot, Henry 
T. Alden, Charles H. Presby, Michael Hanrahan, Fred. W. Welch, 
James W. Lyon, William H. Watson, Marillo L. Hollister and Theo- 
dore P. Calkin. The trustees for the first year were Messrs. Bartlett, Pat- 
ten, Hanrahan, Lyon, Arnot, Alden and Calkin. The three-story brick 
building (with the lot on which it stands). No. 163 Water street, was 
purchased in 1883, and was ready for occupancy in August, 1884. 

The first horse hose carriage was purchased in 1884. This of course 
was an innovation in the city fire department, but was a successful ven- 
ture, and the example was afterward followed by the other companies, 
except Alert No. 3, with whom the idea originated. The result was 
an increased fire protection for the entire city. However, in 1889 an- 
other advance step was taken when a committee of the company visited 
several larg'e cities with a view to purchasing a modern chemical engine. 
The committee comprised Alexander S. Patten, James W. Lyon, Henry 
A. Slosson and Charles E. Abbott, and as a result of their investiga- 
tions the company purchased of S. F. Haywood & Co , of New York, a 
"Champion" chemical engine, paying therefor $3,000. The new ap- 
paratus was given its first trial May 30, 1889. 

Thus has Fountain Fire company progressed step by step from the 
primitive bucket brigade of more than half a century ago to the present 
ownership of the most approved device for extinguishing fires. In 1843 
Foreman Morgan's bucket boys proved themselves worthy of recogni- 
tion by the village trustees in the faithful performance of duty at fires, 
and in the same manner in subsequent years the succeeding members 
of the company have given even better service to the growing city. 
Throughout the period of its history the rolls of the company show a 
total membership of more than 600 persons, from among whom have 


been chosen to places of responsibility in political affairs in the city, 
county and state, some of the best and most worthy incumbents of pub- 
lic office. 

Protection Hook and Ladder Company is first mentioned- in the pro- 
ceedings of the village trustees in June, 1843, although the organization 
is believed to have been formed previous to that time. Thomas H. 
Parker was its foreman, organizer and guiding spirit, and developed a 
degree of efficiency that gave his company a special prominence in the 
early fire department. Moreover, the members of the company were 
among the most active young men of the village at the time. The 
apparatus comprised the hooks, ladders, axes and other equipment 
mentioned on a preceding page, and were kept in the ladder house 
which has also been described. But it appears that the fire-fighting 
implements under the company's control were so frequently taken from 
the ladder house by citizens that the efficiency of the organization was 
seriously impaired. Hence the company had only a brief existence. 

Under the constitution adopted in January, 1843, the officers and 
members of Protection H. & L. Co. were Thomas H. Parker, foreman; 
Dr. S. D. Hand, 1st assistant; Benjamin N. Loomis, 2d assistant; Will- 
iam P. Pope, treasurer; William H. Butcher, clerk, and members, 
Amos G. Hull, Daniel L. Brainard, John B. Ogden, Henry W. Shipman, 
Samuel Weed, Moses Dutcher, James Angell, David Parker, Francis M. 
Pratt, B. G. Watkins, Franklin Morse, J. R. Waterhouse, Silas A. New- 
ton, Charles McKinney, Martin F. Root and L. N. SafEord. In Feb- 
ruary following there was added to the roll the names of Theron Bur- 
nett, William Cooper, Thomas Prendergast, O. C. Pooler, Noah Badg- 
ley, E. H. Benjamin, H. Hotchkiss and Charles Abrams. 

In March, of the year mentioned, the chief engineer was directed to 
procure a hook and ladder wagon, at a cost not to exceed $75, and also 
a supply of rope for the use of Protection company. This was done, 
but, like the other apparatus, the truck was subject to the depredations 
of the villagers, and when a fire occurred only one set of wheels and an 
axle could be found in the ladder house. At the longest, the company's 
existence was not more than six or seven years. 

Rescue Engine Company No.j was organized in 1850, and was chiefly 
composed of residents west of the Chenango river. At first Rescue 
was undoubtedly an independent company and did not report its mem- 
bership to the trustees as was the custom of the period if village assist- 
ance was desired. By reason of this condition the original roll of mem- 



bers has not been preserved. The first mention of the company in the 
records appears in the proceedings of August 7, 1854, when, having 
complied with the ordinances, the trustees approved of the election of 
John S. Wells, foreman; B W. Morse, first assistant; J. K. Hamblin, 
second assistant; R. C. Whitney, secretary; Stephen Houck, treasurer; 
and Charles Gale, pipeman. 

When first organized the company was allowed the use of the old 
goose-neck engine, previously in charge of No. 1, but at that time the 
engine was practically worn out and of little service to No. 3, who 
were the chosen guardians of property on the "Canada" side of the river; 
but notwithstanding the possible inferiority of their apparatus the com- 
pany v/as well organized and officered, and included in its membership 
many substantial young men of the First ward. The members leased 
a building on the east side of Front street, a few rods south of Main 
street, which was arranged for temporary occupancy, but after the 
company had been reorganized the village purchased of Benjamin F. 
Sisson a lot adjoining his residence on the north. Negotiations to this 
end had been pending for a few months but the serious illness of Mr. 
Sisson about that time was the occasion of some delay. The engine 
house was built in 1863, but on May 11, 1866, the taxpayers voted 
$1,000 for a new building. Some time elapsed, however, before the en- 
gine house was finally completed. The site is now occupied by the 
comfortable quarters of Alert Hose No. 3, the latter being the almost 
direct outgrowth of and successor to Rescue No. 3. 

On April 10, 1855, at a special election the taxpayers voted to appro- 
priate $1,000 to purchase new apparatus for No. 3, and soon afterward 
a Button engine of good capacity was secured. Thus equipped, the 
company took a prominent place in the fire department, but in 1859, 
owing to some unfortunate misunderstanding, the men refused to 
obey an order of Chief De Witt while on duty at a fire, upon which that 
vigilant officer locked the engine house doors and relieved the company 
from further service to the village. On May 10 a reorganization was 
effected under the sanction of the trustees and at the request of many 
citizens of the First ward. The new officers were John S. Wells, fore- 
man; Lewis S. Abbott, first assistant; Charles Gale, second assistant; 
H. S. Hitchcock, secretary and treasurer. Including officers, the com- 
pany numbered forty members. 

After the reorganization No. 3 gave the village excellent service 
until the completion of the water works, when its usefulness was practi- 


cally destroyed by the superior capacity of the city pumpmg-machinery. 
Soon afterward the company was dissolved, and was succeeded by Ford 
Hose Co., the latter having come into existence in 1868. On August 1, 
1869, the company was reorganized under the name of 

Alert Hose Co. No. 2. — This company for a period of thirty years has 
been one of the active and progressive elements of the city fire depart- 
ment, and through the watchfulness and energy of its members has 
secured its full share of "first waters." The first hose cart was built by 
M. McMahon, and was considered one of the best in the city at that 
time. In 1883 the company was the first to introduce a horse hose cart, 
and two years later appeared with two splendid grey horses, the fleetest 
team in the department for several years. To add still further to its 
fairly earned laurels, the company in 1886 purchased a combined hose 
cart and chemical engine, and thus took first rank in department circles. 
The chemical apparatus was afterward removed from the cart (an un- 
doubted mistake on the part of the city) and since that time Alerts have 
done effective service as a hose company alone. A grand gift enter- 
tainment in 1885 netted the company $1,800, which was largely used in 
fitting up and furnishing the company quarters. The present members 
number about eighty men, and the company is regarded as one of the 
mainstays of the city fire department. During the period of its history 
Alert Hose No. 2 has furnished the department a full quota of its most 
capable officers. 

Independent Engine Co. No. 5, was organized March 3, 1853, and, as 
indicated by the name, was independent of the control and authority of 
the village trustees. At the time there was need of just such a com- 
pany in Binghamton, and the constituent members of No. 5 possessed 
the requisite spirit to effect an organization and purchase apparatus 
without aid from the corporate exchequer. The first engine, which 
was purchased by Abraham De Witt, was paid for almost wholly by 
the members, the fund therefor being increased by generous citizens 
of the village. On February 3, 1855, the company was recognized by 
the trustees, and on May 13 following was placed under control of the 
chief engineer. At the same time the board appropriated $300 for the 
company's expenses for the current year. 

The original members of the company were Abraham De Witt, Will- 
iam H. Stilwell, H. B. Clark, Ansel K. Martin, Matthew Allen, John 
Bally, C. W. Tracy, H. F. Sterling, R. D. Curtis, J. N. Martin, M. L. 
Murphy, N. B. Ellis, B. A. De Witt, J. L. Buck, Washington S. Hard- 


ing, H. P. Bates, J. F. Gary, T. G. Negus, E. R. Jones, James Van Gor- 
den, G. Bissell, William Quaif, Samuel S. Mantz, T. Holbert, George 
Jacoby, Oliver W. Loomis, John Rennie, Thomas Welch, Martin Ger- 
man, J. C. Purple, C. A. Vliet, J. L. Purple, H. P. Gilbert, Hiram San- 
ders, F. Weyant, E. D. Tracy, William De Witt, Seymour S. Horton, 
C. St. John, Robert Bartholomew, John S. Hinds, R. Chase, C. S. Bur- 
rows, W. W. Harvey, Benj. De Voe, Jacob C. Robie, B. S. Campbell, 
Charles Coles, James L. Finch, Thomas Eastwood, M. H. Ganun, S. J. 
Hall, Arnold Newcomb, Edward Taylor, D. Sullivan, Wm. P. Minor, 
Isaac W. Sleight, O. S. Tracy, C. H. Williams. 

The first officers were Abraham De Witt, foreman; William H. Stil- 
well, 1st assistant; H. B. Clark, 2d assistant; Ansel K. Martin, 1st 
pipeman; Matthew Allen, 3d pipeman; John Bally, secretary; C. W. 
Tracy, financial secretary; H. F. Sterling, treasurer; R. D. Curtis, 

About 1860, after two unsuccessful attempts by private corporative 
companies to establish a water works system in the village, and after a 
like futile endeavor by the village trustees, the business men and mem- 
bers of the fire department presented the question of procuring a steam 
fire engine. Such apparatus was then regarded a public necessity, but 
the trustees were slow to act. The proposition was finally presented at 
a meeting of the board held May 16, 1863, but was voted down. On 
June 13 following the measure was revived and all the trustees voted 
for an appropriation of $1,000 for the purpose mentioned. But before 
the board had taken further action in the matter, in the summer of 
1862, Independent Engine Co. No. 5 purchased a steamer, and on Au- 
gust 7 of that year the trustees voted $1,600 toward reimbursing the 
company's expenditure. 

In the meantime, on April 3, 1858, the legislature passed " an act to 
incorporate Independen,t Engine Co. No. 5, of Binghamton, N. Y.," by 
which Job N. Congdon, William H. Stilwell, Evan R. Jones, Benjamin 
De Voe, Tracy R. Morgan, Abraham De Witt, Henry B. Clark, Sey- 
mour S. Horton, Henry W. Horton, William H. Close, C. G. Williams 
and their associates were declared to be a body corporate, capable of 
holding property to the amount of $10,000; .were authorized to make 
and establish by-laws, rules and regulations ; to appoint not to exceed 
75 firemen as members of the company, and to have the care and man- 
agement of a fire engine. 

Independent No. 5 was the first company in the department to secure 


an act of incorporation, and was also the first to purchase a steamer for 
the greater protection of property against loss by fire. The active his- 
tory of the company covered a period of less than 20 years, yet during 
that time it developed a degree of efficiency equal to that of any similar 
organization in the state. Its first hand engine was purchased by Abra- 
ham DeWitt and was of good capacity, but was soon exchanged for 
another of more improved type. Still later, in 1862, came the first 
steamer, which was eventually sold about the time the water works was 
established, after which the company for a time manned the new steam- 
er "City of Bingham ton. " The latter, however, was too heavy to be 
drawn about the unpaved streets with the force of men usually found 
on the "drag," and the subsequent provision of the council for the use 
of a team for that purpose so seriously impaired the service of the com- 
pany that disbandment was a natural result. However, the social com- 
pany organization was maintained until about 1880. During the entire 
period of its history the active and honorary rolls of the company 
showed a total membership of 467, of which number nearly one-half are 
now dead. 

American Engine Co. No. 6 was organized by the trustees April 14, 
1855, in response to a petition signed by many residents of the Third 
and Fourth wards. The organization was duly perfected but the com- 
pany never had any apparatus and frequently failed to report for duty 
at fires. For this cause it was disbanded January 38, 1859. 

Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. No. i was organized chiefly from mem- 
bers of Fountain Hose Co. No. 4, and in answer to a demand for an 
efficient hook and ladder company in the village. To this end on Janu- 
ary 36, 1856, an application was presented to the trustees by more than 
twenty young men who sought to be incorporated under the village 
ordinances and received into the department under the name first men- 
tioned. The petition was signed by N. A. Newton, Erastus R. Camp- 
bell, H. E. Norton, L. H. Clussman, Henry Per Lee, James B. Bodle, 
R. B. Whitney, Len. Clearwater, Hiram Sanders, Charles D. Rogers, H. 
W. Miner, Harris G. Rodgers, C. Rodgers, Daniel Wheeler, Sherman 
Harris, Henry C. Jackson, H. Clay Preston, Charles W. Sears, Hiram 
C. Rodgers, Albert Phyfe, George H. Cooke, D. J. H. Chubbuck and 
Chauncey B. Waterman. 

The proposition to form a truck company in the village was received 
with general favor and the request of the applicants was immediately 
granted. On March 6, 1856, at a special election held for the purpose, 


an appropriation was voted for the purchase of apparatus and supplies 
for the new company, after which a duly appointed committee secured 
a good, light, serviceable "Sickles" truck, with all the necessary lad- 
ders, hooks, axes and buckets usual to the complete equipment of a 
modern hook and ladder company. 

Thus was brought into existence one of the most efficient and relia- 
ble companies of the village fire department, and one which has had a 
continuous and progressive history to the present time. Excelsior 
Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, more frequently referred to as the " Truck," 
has always been noted for the substantial character of its membership 
and also for the general conservatism of its policy. It never made an 
application to the trustees or the council without more than a reason- 
able cause, while much of the unimportant equipment was provided at 
the company's expense. But notwithstanding its controlling policy, the 
company was never justly charged with lack of enterprise or progress- 
ive spirit, for it has ever been fully up to the standard of the depart- 
ment; and its present condition indicates that all measures of improve- 
ment have received proper consideration. 

The original truck which the company used so many years was pur- 
chased at an expense of $475 and in 1856 was regarded as a wonderful 
apparatus, especially when compared with the crude equipment of old' 
Protection Hook & Ladder Co. of still earlier years. The improved 
truck was designed for hand use, and a dozen boys on the drag would 
frequently make lively work for the man on the tiller. Occasionally on 
annual parade the apparatus was drawn by a team, thus lending 
greater dignity to the event. After the village became a city team use 
was regularly employed and the previously much sought office of " til- 
lerman" became hazardous in attempting to keep pace with the 
running horses. However, the old truck was a valuable apparatus and 
is still retained in the department for use in emergency. The present 
apparatus is a Hayes truck of the improved order, and was purchased 
in 1891 at a cost of $3,250. Three horses are used in handling it. In 
1890 the fire commissioners purchased a lot of land on the west side of 
Water street, on which in the following year the council caused the 
erection of a comfortable brick building for the use of the company. 

On March 11, 1881, Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 was regu- 
larly incorporated, and thereby acquired the right to purchase and hold 
real estate and other property. 

Lawyer Hose Co. No. i. This company was organized during the 


summer of 1858, and was comprised of former members of Fountain 
Hose with a less number of interested young men of the village who 
realized the necessity of a new hose company in the department. The 
preliminaries being settled, application was made to the trustees for 
admission to the department. On August 17 the matter was considered 
by the board and the request was granted. At that time the officers 
and members of the company were as follows: William S. Lawyer, 
foreman; E. De Silva, assistant foreman; Laurel L. Olmsted, secre- 
tary; J. H. Kellogg, treasurer; Milton S. Lewis, J. Sherman Ogden 
and Charles Pierce, trustees, and Benjamin DeVoe, Wm. H. Nash, 
George L. Lawyer, D. D. Gregory, Asa D. Gates, Judson M. Spauld- 
ing and L. B. Freeman. 

As the name indicates, Lawyer Hose was so called in allusion to 
William S. Lawyer, one of the organizers and the first foremen of the 
company, and who had previously held the office of foreman of Foun- 
tain No. 4. 

After being equipped with a good duty cart, Lawyer Hose entered 
upon a career of usefulness which soon gained for it an enviable stand- 
ing in the department. Its numerical strength was perhaps not so 
great as some other companies, yet in general efficiency and prompt 
attention to duty it was the equal of any. Indeed, it was said that the 
organization of No. 1 had a stimulating effect upon the entire depart- 
ment, and elevated the standard of the latter to a degree of efficiency 
not previously known. 

From the time of organization to the latter part of 1865 the history 
of Lawyer Hose was a record of continued success, but in the year 
mentioned, on account of disturbing elements in the company, a re- 
organization was necessary. The causes of discontent having been 
removed, the old-time service was restored and continued throughout 
the remaining years of the company's existence under its original name ; 
and the record thus established was one of the chief inheritances of its 
immediate successor. 

Crystal Hose Co. No. i was a continuation of Lawyer Hose, the name 
having been changed July 14, 1869. The membership then, as pre- 
viously, comprised many active young men of the city, and in later 
years the organization enlarged upon the foundation so substantially 
laid by its predecessor. Crystal Hose is now thirty years old, and 
•throughout that period it has ranked among the best fire companies in 
the department. Its first apparatus was a skeleton duty cart, while on 


public occasions the men appeared in neat regulation uniforms, draw- 
ing an attractive "Crab " parade carriage; but not being fully content 
with the latter, about 1870 the company purchased a handsome Crystal 
carriage at a cost of $2,500. It was elaborately rebuilt in 1876, at 
an additional cost of $2,500, and when completed was regarded as one 
of the most beautiful devices of its kind in the country. About 1888, 
after the fire department had passed the exhibition period and become 
a strictly business organization, the carriage was sold to Werner Hose 
Co., of Kingston, N. Y. 

Crystals first appeared with a horse on the duty cart about 1885, but 
about five years later a second horse was added, thus keeping even 
pace with the growth of the city, the department, and the company's 
constant aim to furnish the best possible service in a purely volunteer 
organization. In 1892 the police commissioners engaged the services 
of Crystal Hose as a patrol wagon, in payment for which $600 is annually 
added to the company treasury. 

A glance at the membership rolls of Lawyer and Crystal Hose Cos. 
discloses the names of some of the foremost business and professional 
men of Binghamton. The aim and ambition of both organizations was 
accomplished, and the village and subsequent city have profited there- 
by. The department, too, has secured some of its best officials from 
the ranks of Lawyer and Crystal Hose Cos. 

Otseningo Hose Co. No. J was organized by the trustees August 19, 
1858, in answer to a petition for a hose company to be attached to Res- 
cue Engine Co., and to be stationed west of the Chenango river. The 
company, however, had only a brief existence. Among its earliest 
members were Almond Taylor, A. H. Allard, G. W. Stone, Levi R. 
Johnson, John Van Wagoner, Schuyler Holland, Robert C. Whitney 
and John Herrick. 

From 1858 to the establishment of the water system no attempt was 
made to organize another fire company in the village. During this 
period the department was sufficient for the business interests and pop- 
ulation and was in all respects a well equipped and efficient body. In 
1862 Chief Fred. A. Morgan made an exhaustive report to the board of 
of trustees, and was so thorough in his review that the communication 
was deemed worthy of publication in pamphlet form. From the report 
we make liberal extracts that the reader may know something of the 
character and quality of the fire department at that time. 

'"The department consists of a chief, two assistant engineers, two 


first-class hose carriages, two first-class jumpers and one first-class hook 
and ladder truck, all in good order, except Engine No. 1." 
" There is now in the basement of Firemen's hall two old engines and 
two old jumpers, which are perfectly useless to' this corporation, and I 
would recommend that your honorable body take No. 1 engine, which 
is greatly out of repair, together with the old engines and jumpers, and 
negotiate with some engine builder for a new engine for No. I's com- 
pany, as the men are greatly discouraged and it is with the greatest 
difficulty that they can be kept together." 

" Your honorable body should bear in mind that the corporation owns 
but one effective engine — No. 3. No. 5 is owned by the company, and 
is hired from year to year, and they could at any time take the engine 
out of service, which would leave us in rather bad condition as regards 
engines. Lawyer Hose owns its own carriage and jumper, and receives 
for services $50 per annum besides running expenses. Fountain Hose 
Co. owns its own jumper, but the corporation owns the carriage, and I 
would recommend that the company receive the same compensation as 
other companies as it does all its duty with the jumper." 

"The expenses for the year are as follows: Phoenix Engine Co., 
$10.39; Excelsior H. & L. Co., $13.59; W. S. Lawyer Hose Co. No. 1, 
$56.90; Rescue Engine Co. No. 3, $51.28; Fountain Hose Co. No. 4, 
$9.84; Independent Engine Co. No. 5, services, $300; total, $342. 
General bill for hose repairs, $26.50. Total expense, $368.50." 

The report continues: "We have now three cisterns, located as fol- 
lows: One in the First ward, corner of Oak and North streets; two in 
the Fourth ward, one at the corner of Coart and Carroll, and the other 
at the corner of Pine and Payette streets. All are in good order. There 
has been built in the past year two run-ways to the river, one in the 
First ward near the residence^of D. D. Denton (now Fred. M. Weed's), 
and the other in the Fifth ward, near Hawley street, which, with the 
cisterns, are of great convenience to the department." 

The chief, in describing the several companies of the department, 
comments as follows: 

Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, located in Firemen's hall, truck 
and apparatus in good order; house in good condition; number of men, 
45 ; officers, H. G. Rodgers, foreman, D. L. Brownson, assistant, T. T. 
Mersereau, secretary, H. W. Miner, treasurer. 

Phoenix Engine Co. No. 1, located in Firemen's hall; engine greatly 
out of repair ; house in good condition ; number of men, 62 ; officers, 


R. H. McCune, foreman, S. A. Smith, 1st assistant, F. Holmes, 2d 

W. S. Lawyer Hose Co. No. 1, located in Firemen's ball; carriage 
and jumper in good order; house in good condition; number of men, 
57; carry 1,000 feet of hose; officers, George L. Lawyer, foreman, 
George C. Hemingway, assistant, George R. Munsell, secretary, Benj. 
DeVoe, treasurer. 

Rescue Engine Co. No. 3, located No. 72 Front street; engine in 
good order; house in very bad condition; should be rebuilt; number 
of men, 53; officers, Robert Barnes, foreman, Chas. Dilly, 1st assistant, 
Henry Youngs, 2d assistant, A. W. Carl, secretary, W. J. Rennie, 

Fountain Hose Co. No. 4, located in Firemen's hall; carriage and 
jumper in good order; house in good condition; number of men, 53; 
carry 1,000 feet of hose; officers, James H. Bartlett, foreman, Chas. 
Gale, assistant, Chas. H. Smith, secretary, H. De Hart, treasurer. 

Independent Engine Co. No. 5, located in Firemen's hall ; house in 
good order; engine and apparatus in good condition; number of men, 
74; officers, Job N. Congdon, foreman, S. S. Horton, 1st assistant, W. 
H. Close, 2d assistant, H.C. Perkins, recording secretary, J. R. Water- 
house, financial secretary, T. R. Morgan, treasurer. 

The incorporation of the city in 1867, and the introduction of a pump- 
ing system of water works in the same year, led to a complete revolu- 
tion of the fire department. The old brake hand engines of former 
years at once lost their usefulness, and even the utility of the steamer 
was for the time impaired. With the reorganization which followed 
soon after the events noted the old apparatus was consigned to store 
rooms and other obscure places, but a part of it was eventually sold to 
junk dealers and others. The old engines, which were used succes- 
sively by Water Witch, Phoenix No. 1 and Rescue No. 3, with the 
equally primitive goose neck which brought fame to Cataract No. 2, 
were disposed of in the manner indicated, while the more modern ma- 
chines of the village department gave later service to companies in 
other places. Our present city department has few remaining relics of 
its earliest period. If it were possible that the coffee mill or the goose 
necks could again appear on our public streets the most interested 
spectators in the crowds around them would be men now past the 
three-score period of life. To them the scene would have a rejuvenat- 
ing effect in suggesting days long gone by, when they once ran with 
the machine. 


The real surviving companies of the reorganization of 1867-68 were 
Fountain and Lawyer Hose and Excelsior H. & L. companies, neither 
of which lost its identity in the changes then effected. Mechanic's 
Hose was the outgrowth of old Phoenix No. 1. Alert Hose was the 
successor of Rescue No. 3, but the duty performed by each was of a 
character unlike that of their predecessors. The later hose companies, 
Independent No. 5, Rockbottom No. 6, and Protection No. 7 were orig- 
inal formations and were designed to furnish more complete protec- 
tion to propert}- in outlying districts. 

At a little later period the steamer "City of Binghamton " again 
came into use, and as the city itself increased in size and business im- 
portance still another steam engine became a necessity. Then, about 
1885, the city purchased the ' ' Bennett, " a good steamer of the La France 
type. In January, 1899, the efficiency of the department was still fur- 
ther increased by the purchase of another and more powerful La France 

Our prosperous city makes a fair provision for the maintenance of its 
fire department, but the spirit of liberality came only after long years 
of waiting on the part of the companies ; and it was difficult to impress 
upon the official mind the real need of a well compensated department, 
or that the purely volunteer services of the firemen were of any money 
value. The village trustees made occasional small contributions to the 
engine companies in return for their services, yet the first board of 
aldermen could hardly understand why Fountain and Lawyer Hose 
Cos. should make a request for expense money, or that either had made 
more than a nominal outlay in its own behalf. This matter was before 
the council in 1868, upon the petition of the companies referred to. On 
the part of Fountains, it was shown that the expenditures from 1863 to 
1867 on account of hose carriage and other equipment was $4,308.37, 
and that during the time the village had paid the company only f 250. 
The expenses of Lawyer Hose from 1865 to 1867 were $1,723.65, while 
the amount received from the trustees was $100. 

The petitions mentioned were well supported by substantial argu- 
ments and so impressed the council that a special election was ordered 
held on May 25, 1868, to determine whether $5,000 should be raised by 
special tax for fire department purposes. The proposition was carried 
by a good majority, and soon afterward the council voted to pay Foun- 
tain and Lawyer Hose Cos. $200 per annum for their services. The 
same compensation was also paid to other companies as they were 


formed, but this was the beginning of the compensation system in the 
department. About the same time the council was authorized to raise 
in the city budget the sum of $4,000- for department purposes. The 
amount comfortably maintained the companies at the time, but as the 
city has subsequently increased in area, and population, so, too, have the 
appropriations been enlarged to a present authorized total of $30,000 
for the use of the commissioners. The council, however, does not al- 
low the board the full amount. 

The creation of the city and the construction of the water works at 
about the same time placed the council in a position of uncertainty as 
to the actual requirements of the fire department. The hand engines 
were no longer of use, and the question for determination was as to the 
number of hose companies necessary for the ample protection of prop- 
erty. "The matter was decided in the course of a year or two, when 
three new companies were formed. These were Ford Hose (now Alert 
No. 2), successor to Rescue Engine Co. No. 3, of which mention has 
been made; Protection No. 3, and Independent No. 5. About the 
same time, as has been stated on a preceding page. Phoenix Engine Co. 
No. 1 became Mechanic's Engine Co. No. 1, but soon afterward chang- 
ed both name and character and became Mechanic's Hose Co . No. 6. 
The mention of these companies naturally suggest some allusion to each 
of them, and also to the only other and more recent company, Rock- 
bottom Hose Co. No. 7. 

Mechanic's Engine Co. No. i is first mentioned in the council pro- 
ceedings of May 4, 1868. The company was the outgrowth of the old 
Phoenix No. 1, but a few months after the water works was completed 
the engine was replaced with a hose cart, upon which the organization 
became known as Mechanic's Hose Co. No. 6. The company was in- 
corporated Dec. 18, 1883. For a period of thirty years this has been one 
of the hardest working companies of the department; a purely business 
organization from which much was expected and from which much has 
been received. Its duty has been honestly and faithfully performed, 
and when other companies purchased horses. Mechanic's did the same. 
It now occupies quarters in the central station and is ever ready for 

Protection Hose Co. No. j was organized February 26, 1869, and was 
received into the department by the common council May 8, following, 
with direction to the chief engineer to place with the company " any 
apparatus not now in use, and to furnish as much hose as can be spared 


by the department." Thus Protection Hose had an humble beginning, 
but its value to the city was soon apparent and the citizens of the north 
side assisted in the purchase of a suitable duty cart. The horse hose 
cart came at a later date. 'The company now numbers 75 members, 
and comprises a highly efficient body of men. 

Independent Hose Co. No. 5 was received into the department in 1869, 
and was quartered in the east end of the Gaylord block, on South Main 
street, (now Vestal avenue). Later on it occupied rooms in the Dilly 
shop, but in 1881 the city built a brick building at the south end of the 
Washington street bridge. The present commodious quarters were 
erected in 1897-98. Number 5 is one of the mainstaj's of the fire de- 
partment, and the especial guardian of the Fifth ward. Its horse 
hose cart was purchased in 1896; the second horse was added in 1898. 
The company was incorporated March 16, 1886. Its present member- 
ship is 45 men ; and as determined a lot of workers as ever faced a fire. 

Rockbottom Hose Co. No. 7 was organized in 1875, and was comprised 
chiefly of young men residing in the locality known as "Millville." 
Their territory was a manufacturing district in which an outbreak of 
fire demanded immediate attention. The company was formed for such 
emergencies and subsequent events showed the efficiency of the organ- 
ization. After several years occupancy of a little frame building 
on Carroll street, the city erected comfortable quarters for the company 
on Whitney street, near Carroll, from which point No. 7 covers its orig- 
inal territory and is also within convenient reach of the business center 
of the city. The company was incorporated March 33, 1885, and soon 
afterward appeared with a substantial horse hose cart. 

The Binghamton fire department at the present time comprises 
Crystal Hose Co. No. 1, quartered at the Fire Station; Alert Hose Co. 
No. 2, on Front street; Protection Hose Co. No. 3, on State and 
Chenango streets; Fountain Hose No. 4 Fire Co. (chemical), on Water 
street; Independent Hose Co., No. 5, on De Russey street; Mechanic's 
Hose Co. No. 6, at the Fire Station; Rockbottom Hose Co. No. 7, on 
Sherman Place; Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, on Water 
street; and also the steamers " City of Binghamton," "Bennett," and 
the recently acquired La France engine as yet unnamed. The latter is 
held in readiness for immediate use, and the others in reserve. 

The affairs of the department are managed by the board of fire com- 
missioners, comprising William F. Lentz, James W. Lyon, Alvin D. 
Fancher and Irving W . Butler. In action the department is under 



command of Chief Engineer Charles N. Hogg, who is constantly on 
duty. The first assistant engineer is James Eldridge, and the second, 
A. H. Lyon. In 1898 the commissioners provided a horse, wagon and 
driver for the chief, and a horse for first assistant. The department 
comprises anaggregate of more than 500 men. 

Central Fire Station— 1899. 

Collectively, and in the personal character of the members compris- 
ing its several companies, the Binghamton fire department holds a posi- 
tion in the front rank of the volunteer firemen of the country, and 
compared with similar organizations in cities of equal size with ours, in 
equipment, efficiency and disicipline the Binghamton department 
stands at the head. Discipline was one of the organic laws embodied 
in the ordinances regulating the fire department of the village as es- 
tablished in 1834, and the trustees went so far as to impose a fine upon 
every person elected to ofiQce in the department and who refused to 
serve. Company members were subject to like penalties for non- 
attendance at fires or other neglect of duty as firemen. The lesson of 


obedience was well learned during the early history of the department, 
and the spirit and letter of the principle have been cardinal features of 
each successive period of advancement in this branch of city govern- 
ment from 1834 to 1900. The results of this early forethought and 
provision are manifest in each annual review; and the superiority of 
the local department was never more strikingly demonstrated than in 
the grand pageant of fire companies in the city in August, 1898. On 
that occasion no less than eight local companies appeared in full uni- 
form and marched and maneuvered according to approved military 

In at least one other respect has our fire department enjoyed a 
special prominence, and that in the excellent personal character of the 
individual members comprising the several companies. This, too, ap- 
pears to have been an inherent trait handed down from the original 
generation of village firemen. A casual glance at the rolls of members 
comprising the fire department from 1834 to 1843 will disclose the 
names of men who afterwards filled high places in business, professional 
and political life, and who were men of high moral charcter. Indeed, 
the original hook and ladder companies were chosen from the best men 
in the place, and as the department afterward increased with the village 
population the best element of society found a place in the company 
ranks. This same commendable spirit has prevailed throughout all 
subsequent years, and to-day the personnel of the companies compris- 
ing our enlarged department numbers hundreds of men of mental and 
moral worth. 

In organizing the first fire department of the village the trustees 
authorized the men to elect their own company officers, and while no 
special provision appears to have been made for the higher ofi&cers the 
trustees reserved that authority to themselves. Under the revised 
ordinances the companies held an annual election of department officers, 
but the period was not without its disturbances, and the office of chief 
engineer was occasionally required to be filled by the trustees through 
some disagreement among the firemen. The village records indicate 
such a condition in 1842, when the board recommended the appoint- 
ment of Peter Miller as chief, and Tracy R. Morgan as assistant engi- 
neer. A few months afterward both resigned and the trustees appointed 
Major Augustus Morgan as chief, with power to select his own assistant. 
However, after the ordinances relating to the department were more 
fully revised, and especially after the companies had adopted constitu- 


tions for their own government, the positions of chief and assistant 
engineer were regularly filled at an annual election. Unfortunately, the 
early department officers kept no records ; at least, none are now in ex- 
istence. The village records, so far as they relate to fire department 
elections, are incomplete. Previous to 1852 there was neither depart- 
ment clerk nor treasurer, the only officers being the chief and his 
assistant. Under the charter of 1851 the offices of second assistant 
chief, clerk and treasurer were authorized to be filled at the annual 
department election. From 1852 to 1888 all department officers were 
elected by the companies, but in the year last mentioned the legisla- 
ture revised the city charter and established a board of fire commission- 
ers. Since that time the department officers have been appointed by 
the board and have no fixed term of office. 

The act establishing the board provided for the appointment of four 
commissioners, two from each of the principal political parties of the 
state; and according to its provisions, on June 30, 1888, the mayor, 
Tracy R. Morgan, designated William F. Lentz commissioner for four 
years, William S. Lawyer for three years, Jerome De Witt for two 
years, and Frank Stewart for one year. Subsequent appointments 
have been made for a term of four years. The mayor is ex- officio a 
member of the board, but has no vote in the councils of the board unless 
in case of tie. 

The first commission began its duties July 10, 1888, and since that 
time the affairs and control of the firemen and fire department have 
been under its management. The act was certainly a wise provision 
of law, and has had the effect to entirely eliminate all discordant ele- 
ments from the department. Previous to the enactment of 1888 the 
annual department election occasionally partook of the unwholesome 
semblance of a heated political contest and unfriendly rivalries some- 
times followed. Now all is changed and under the present system 
perfect harmony prevails, and the greatest degree of efficiency is at- 
tained. The first board of commissioners comprised four veteran fire- 
men, each of whom possessed the entire confidence both of the depart- 
ment and the people. Subsequent appointees have likewise been 
chosen with reference to their capacity and worth, and their labors have 
elevated this branch of city government to a standing hardly hoped for 
by the most zealous advocates of the commissioner system. The per- 
sonnel of the commision will be found on a later page of this chapter. 

The fire department was incorporated under an act of the legislature 


passed April 23, 1869, providing that "all such persons as now are or 
hereafter may be engineers of the fire department of the city of Bing- 
hamton, or members of any company recognized by the common 
council, are hereby constituted a body corporate and politic, by the 
name of ' The Fire Department of the City of Bingham ton.' " Under 
the act the department was authorized to purchase and hold real estate 
not exceeding in value the sum of $10,000, but its principal object was 
to accumulate a fund for the relief of indigent members who were in- 
jured in the actual performance of their duties as firemen, or such other 
persons as had become entitled to and received their certificates of ex- 
emption as firemen, and also for the relief of families of the aforesaid 
persons. Otherwise the fund was made available for the purchase of a 
firemen's burial, lot in Spring Forest cemetery, and the erection there- 
on of a suitable monument; also fortheendowmentof a firemen's bed in 
the city hospital, and an annual expenditure of $200 on the occasion of 
the firemen's parade. 

The trustees of the incorporated department comprise the chief and 
the assistant engineers, the department clerk and the treasurer and the 
foremen of the several companies. The chief engineer is ex-officio pres- 
ident of the board of trustees, and the clerk and treasurer of the de- 
partment, perform their respective duties in connection with the cor- 
porate body. The firemen's burial lot in Spring Forest cemetery was 
purchased August 23, 1869, and contains 2,738 square feet of land. 
The splendid monument was erected in 1873. The department fund 
aggregates about $15,000. It is derived chiefly from the authorized as- 
sessments levied on non-state fire insurance companies doing business 
in the city. 

Having thus referred at length to the origin, growth and develop- 
ment of the Binghamton fire department, it is proper in closing this 
chapter to furnish a list of the department officers. However, as has 
been stated, the early records relating to this subject are both defective 
and incomplete, from which fact the years of service of several of the 
officers cannot be given. 


Chief Engineers. — Joseph K. Rugg, Henry M. Collier, Peter Miller, 
appointed May 18, 1842, resigned Aug. 4, 1842; Maj. Augustus Mor- 
gan, appointed Aug. 4, 1842 ; Tracy R. Morgan, 1843 ; Levi Dimmick, 
1844; Levi M. Rexford, 1845; George Bartlett, declined to serve; 



Frederick A. Morgan, 1848; Jacob Morris, 1851-55; Frederick A. Mor- 
gan, 1856-58; Abraham De Witt, 1859-60; Frederick A. Morgan, 
186-1-64; William S. Lawyer, 1865-66; Erastus R. Campbell, 1867-72; 
Edward A. Roberts, 1873; Harlan G. Blanding, 1874; Stephen B. 
Drass, 1875; James W. Lyon, 1876; William F. Lentz, 1877-78; Jerome 
DeWitt, 1879-80; Albert W. Lockwood, 1881; Frank W. Lovelace, 
1882; Dan S. Burr, 1883; Loren S. Harding, 1884-85; John F. Morris- 
sey, 1886; Frank Stewart, 1887; Fred. W. Welch, 1888; Frank B. 
Newell, 1889-90; Irving W. Butler, 1891; Charles N. Hogg, 1892-(now 

First Assistant Engineers. — Tracy R. Morgan, 1842; John D. Day, 
1843; Tracy R. Morgan, 1844; Abraham DeWitt, 1848; Job N. Cong- 
don, 1851-52; AshbelFred. Stone, 1853; Ashbel F. Stone, 1854; Wm. 
E. Abbott, 1855; J. Stuart Wells, 1856; Abraham DeWitt, 1857-58; H. 
Clay Preston, 1859; Hiram C. Rodgers, 1860-61; Evan R. Jones, 1862; 
Benj. DeVoe, 1863; Lewis S. Abbott, 1864; Isaiah S. Dunham, 1865; 
Erastus R. Campbell, 1866; David L. Brownson, 1867; Henry F. Steb- 
bins, 1868; Robert Crozier, 1869-71; Stephen B. Drass, 1872; Horace 

E. Allen, 1873; Stephen B. Drass, 1874; James W. Lyon, 1875; William 

F. Lentz, 1876; Irving W. Butler,- 1877; Jerome DeWitt, 1878; Samuel 
J. Bennett, 1879-80; Frank W. Lovelace, 1881; Dan S. Burr, 1882; 
Loren S. Harding, 1883; John F. Morrissey, 1884; Frank Stewart, 
1885; Thos. F. Baker, 1886; Paul A. Malles, 1887; Thomas F. Lynch, 
1888; John J. Farrell, 1889; M. F. Whalen, 1890; Charles N. Hogg, 
1891; James Eldridge, 1892. 

Second Assistant Engineers. — Abraham De Witt, special election 
March 7, 1856; Lewis S. Abbott, 1857; H. Clay Preston, 1858; Erastus 
R. Campbell, 1859; Myron A. Holmes, 1860; Evan R. Jones, 1861; 
Lewis S. Abbott, 1862; Elijah F. Bloomer, 1863; Charles Gale, 1864; 
Jordan Lockwood, 1865; John A. McNamara, 1866 ; Henry F. Stebbins, 
1867; Frederick Severson, 1868; Fred. A. Holmes, 1869; Charles Per- 
kins, 1870; Lee Dawson, 1871; Wm. H. Van Slyck, 1872; Harlan G. 
Blanding, 1873; James W. Lyon, 1874; Dan S. Burr, 1875; Irving W. 
Butler, 1876; Jerome DeWitt, 1877; Samuel J. Bennett, 1878; James 
Van Emburg, 1879 ; Albert W. Lockwood, 1880; Dan S. Burr, 1881; 
Loren S. Harding, 1882; John Morrissey, 1883; Samuel W. Avery, 
1884; Fred. W. Welch, 1885; Paul A. Malles, 1886; Wm. H. Gohring, 
1887; Martin F. Whalen, 1888; James W. Aldrich, 1889; Thomas 
Christian, 1890; Jas. Eldridge, 1891; A. H. Lyon, 1892. 


C/f/-/^j.— Vincent Graves, 1853-61 ; Abraham DeWitt, 1861-63; J. W. 
Williams, 1864; Abraham De Witt, 1865-80; George H. Foster, 1881; 
Owen J. Coughlin, 1882; Thomas C. Baker, 1883; Charles A. Everett, 
1884; S. D. Reynolds, 1885; J. M. Henwood, 1886; Thomas Lynch, 
1887; Fred. Michelbach, 1888-97; Henry C. Maxwell, 1898. 

Treasurers.— TTSiCj K. Morgan, 1853; J. T. Brodt, 1853; Fred. A. 
Morgan, 1854-55; James S. Gary, 1856-58; Fred. A. Morgan, 1859; 
George L. Lawyer, 1860; H. Clay Preston, 1861-66; Lewis S. Abbott, 
1867; John A. McNamara, 1868; Lewis S. Abbott, 1869-76; Alexander 
S. Patten, 1870-98 ; William W. Sisson, 1898. 

Fire Commissioners. — William F. Lentz (four years), William S. 
Lawyer (three years), Jerome De Witt (two years), Frank Stewart (one 
year), appointed June 30, 1888; Frank Stewart, 1889; Jerome DeWitt, 
1890, resigned May 36, 1890, and James W. Lyon appointed to the 
vacancy; Joseph Gilbert, 1891; William F. Lentz, 1893; Frank Stew- 
art, 1893, resigned February 31, and Alvin D. Fancher appointed ; James 
W. Lyon, 1894; Joseph Gilbert, 1895; William F. Lentz, 1896; Alvin 
D. Fancher, 1897; James W. Lyon, 1898; Irving W. Butler, 1899. 

The Simpson Medal. — The idea of awarding a gold medal to members 
of the fire department originated in 1889, with one of Binghamton's 
public-spirited citizens — John B. Simpson — an ex-fireman and retired 
manufacturer. The purpose of the medal is to show proper apprecia- 
tion of valor on the part of an active fireman on duty. The award is 
not made indiscriminately, and only for acts of pure, unselfish heroism, 
and is left to the discretion of the commissioners. One medal annual- 
ly is awarded if the commissioners decide that an act worthy of the gift 
has been performed. The prize was first splendidly won by George 
Allen, of Crystal No. 1, March 34, 1893. 


This notable organization of veteran firemen was brought into exist- 
ence June 10, 1860, under the provision of law which declared that 
"any fireman who shall have served five years in any recognized fire 
company, and who shall have received an honorable discharge, shall 
be exempt from military duty, or serving as juror in any courts of this 
state, or from paying a poll tax." 

On the day mentioned in the preceding paragraph a number of exempt 
firemen of Binghamton held a meeting and perfected an organization 
adopted a constitution and by-laws, and elected officers for the ensuing 


year. Among other things, the laws of the association provided for 
duty at fires, when the members devoted themselves to saving and pro- 
tecting property, preventing the operations of thieving and mischievous 
persons, forming lines about burning buildings and keeping idlers from 
interfering with the work of firemen, and also generally performing 
police and patrol duty on such occasions. 

On January 26, 1866, the association organized what was known as 
Exempts Fire company, which was recognized by the trustees. The 
officers were Frederick A. Morgan, foreman; Erastus R. Campbell, 
first assistant; Charles Gale, second assistant; Oliver A. Cary, secre- 
tary, and Hiram Sanders, treasurer. The company had twenty-nine 
members besides officers. It was a famous veterans' organization, 
auxiliary to the association, and was of great service both to the village 
and the department until May 11, 1868, when it was dissolved. 

The Exempt Firemen's association also had its fraternal and benevo- 
lent sides, and on numerous occasions gave relief to sick and indigent 
members, and also to others who were not of their number but who 
were worthy of help. The members were, and still are, distinguished 
by a badge, a neat device appropriately inscribed and bearing on its 
face the symbolic letters of the association. Few indeed of these 
badges are now in existence, but wherever found are regarded as em- 
blems of faithful service and an honor to the wearer. 

Early in its history the association inaugurated the custom of an annual 
chowder party, a purely festal occasion for both veteran and active fire- 
men and their friends. Later on and beginning in 1872 an annual 
clambake was established. These were highly popular events and 
were well patronized by the laity of the department and business men 
of the city. 

The affairs of the association have always been conducted on business 
principles, yet during its history there have been times when the inter- 
est waned, or when adverse circumstances compelled a temporary 
suspension of meetings; but the association never at any time ceased 
to exist. One of these lapses occurred in 1865-66, another in 1868-72, 
and a third in 1894-97. Reorganizations were effected in 1873 and 
1898. The present members number 114 exempt firemen. The entire 
roll of membership from the founding of the association includes more 
than 400 names. 

The succession of officers since 1860, so far as the records disclose, 
have been as follows : 


Presidents.— FveA. A. Morgan, 1860; Abraham De Witt, 1861-67; 
Job N. Congdon, 1873; J. Frank Rice, 1874; Benjamin De Voe, 1875; 
George L. Lawyer, 1876; Duncan R. Grant, 1877; Henry A. Slosson, 
1878; Charles D. Rogers, 1879; Charles Gale, 1880; James H. Bartlett, 
1881; S. Foster Black, 188:2; James W. Lyon, 1883; W. S. Harding, 
1884; John A. McNamara, 1885; A.J. Champagne, 1886; Benj. De 
Voe, 1887; Henry T. Alden, 1888; Henry A. Slosson, 1889; Frank H. 
Stephens, 1890-91; Charles D. Rogers, 1892; Charles Gale, 1892-97; 
Alfred Allen, 1898. 

Vice-Presidents.— R. Clay Preston, 1860; Morgan S. Lewis, 1861 
Evander Spaulding, 1862-67; Benj. DeVoe, 1873; Daniel Lyons, 1874 
Charles D. Rogers, 1875; Charles Gale, 1876; Ed. A. Roberts, 1877 
Stephen B. Drass, 1878; Wm. F. Lentz, 1879; James H. Bartlett, 1880 
S. Foster Black, 1881; James W. Lyon, 1882; Henry A. Slosson, 1883 
Seymour S. Horton, 1884; A. J. Champagne, 1885; A. S, Patten, 1886 
Henry T. Alden, 1887; Wm. E. Patten, 1888; Louis Kolb, 1889; W. J 
Stone, 1890-91; George L. Lawyer, 1892; Abraham De Witt, 1893-97 
B. H. Reynolds, 1898. 

Secretaries. — Benj. De Voe, 1860; George H. Cooke, 1861; Solomon 
F. Cary, 1862; Laurel L. Olmsted, 1863; Fred. A. Morgan, 1864-65; 
Oliver A. Cary, 1867; Geo. L. Lawyer, 1873-75; Henry A. Slosson, 
1876-77; Geo. L. Lawyer, 1878-81; Wm. H. Mosher, 1882; Geo. L. 
Lawyer, 1883-88; James M. Bullis, 1889-91; Henry A. Slosson, 1892- 
97; James M. Bullis, 1898. 

Treasurers.— Da.m&\ Lyons, 1860; Erastus R. Campbell, 1861; S. F. 
Cary, 1862; Lewis S. Abbott, 1863-64; Fred. A. Morgan, 1867; Jno. 
A. McNamara, 1873-76; Fred. A. Morgan, 1877; S. F. Cary, 1878; 
Jno. A. McNamara, 1879; Fred. A. Morgan, 1880-85; Henry A. Slos- 
son, 1886-87; Abraham De Witt, 1888-92; Job N. Congdon, 1893-97; 
W. S. Harding, 1898. 



The educational system of the village and city of Binghamton has 
shown a slow, conservative and uniform growth from the early years of 
the present century, and during that period has developed from the 
primitive germ into an organism as complete as modern methods can 
produce. School houses and books now offer to the poorest student the 
lights and opportunities of knowledge which royalty could not command 
one and two centuries ago. The highest institutions of learning of a 
hundred years ago did not afford the opportunity of education equal 
to that of our present central high school. In the early years of the 
century the schools in existence were organized in conformity with the 
State laws, but such mention naturally suggests a brief inquiry into 
the origin and subsequent growth of our common school system. 

The King's college in New York city was incorporated in 1754, and 
was endowed by a lottery and grants of land. At the outbreak of the 
Revolution it was the only incorporated institution of learning in the 
colony. In 1784 its name was changed to Columbia college, and in 
connection with it an extensive scheme of education was devised, in 
which the college was the center of the system, with branches in dif- 
ferent parts of the state. The whole was to be under control of a 
board of " Regents of the University," the latter to consist of the prin- 
cipal state officers knd one member chosen from each religious denom- 
ination. The board was subsequently increased by the addition of 33 
others, 20 of whom resided in New York city. But the whole scheme 
was found to be impracticable, hence by the act of April 13, 1787, it 
was superseded by a system which has continued without essential 
change to the present time. 

The regents of the university were constituted by the act, and com- 
prised the governor, lieut. -governor and 19 other persons therein named. 
The board was given power to incorporate colleges and academies, pro- 
viding the annual revenue of the latter did not exceed the value of 
" four thousand bushels of wheat." The latter provision was subse- 


quently modified. In 1843 the secretary of state, and in 1854 the 
superintendent of public instruction, were made ex-officio members of 
the board. The regents inspect the academies of the state, prescribe 
rules for making their returns, apportion moneys annually distributed 
among them, and report to the legislature the statistical returns of col- 
leges and academies, with such recommendations as they deem proper. 
The members of the board hold their offices for life, unless vacated by 
resignation, removal from the state, neglect to attend one meeting of 
the board each year, or accept some office inconsistent with their mem- 
bership. One or two of the early academic institutions of the village 
were incorporated by the regents of the university, while our academic 
school has always been under their control. 

The office of superintendent of public instruction was created by act 
of the legislature, March 30, 1854. This officer has general superin- 
tendence of the public free schools of the state; apportions the public 
moneys appropriated by the state for the support of schools; gives ad- 
vice and direction upon questions arising under the school laws; hears 
and determines appeals involving school controversies, and is charged 
with general control and management of teachers' institutes. The of- 
fice is also vested with various other powers not necessary to be men- 
tioned in this chapter. 

Previous to the Revolution no general system of education was estab- 
lished in the state, and all the schools which had been founded were of 
a private character or the result of special legislation. The necessity 
of common schools had not then been recognized and education was 
principally confined to the wealthier classes. In 1787 Gov. Clinton 
called the attention of the legislature to the subject of education and a 
law was thereupon passed creating the board of regents. Two years 
later an act appropriated certain portions of the public lands for gospel 
and school purposes. In 1793 the regents suggested the establishment 
of a general system of common schools, and in 1795 the governor 
strongly advocated the same measure. On April 9, 1795, the legisla- 
ture passed an act for the purpose of encouraging schools in the several 
cities and towns of this state, in which the children of inhabitants 
should be instructed in the English language, or be taught English 
grammar, arithmetic, mathematics and such other branches of knowl- 
edge as were most useful and necessary to a good English education. 
Under the act the sum of $50,000 was to be appropriated annually for 
five .years for the support of common schools. Boards of supervisors 


were required to raise by tax one- half as much money as they received 
from the state. Each town was to elect from three to seven commis- 
sioners to take charge of its schools, examine teachers and apportion 
the moneys among the several districts. 

The beneficial result of this system, imperfect as it was, was appar- 
ent, and in 179S no less than 1,352 schools were organized under its 
provisions. Further legislative measures were adopted to increase the 
funds and improve the system, one of which was an act (in 1799) 
authorizing the raising of $100,000 by four lotteries, seven-eighths of 
which amount was for the benefit of common schools. In 1801 another 
like sum was raised by lottery, one-half of which was devoted to the 
schools. In 1800 the assembly appropriated |50,000 for the support of 
schools, but the measure was defeated in the senate. During the 
.several years following 1800, the successive governors urged the legis- 
lature to enact new laws for the encouragement of common schools, yet 
nothing substantial was accomplished until 1811, when five commis- 
sioners were appointed to report a complete system of organization. 
The commissioners reported February 14, 1812, and accompanied their 
plan with a proposed bill. The former was accepted by the legislature, 
and the bill became a law. Under the act Gideon Hawley' was ap- 
pointed superintendent and held the office from 1813 to 1821. The 
system proved successful, and the changes of subsequent years had the 
effect to still further improve the condition of the public schools. In 
1821 the office of state superintendent was abolished and its duties de- 
volved upon the secretary of state. In 1835 a law was passed providing 
for a teachers' department in eight academies, one in each senatorial 
district. In 1838 the district library system was established, and in 
1841 the office of deputy superintendent was created. In 1843 the 
office of town inspectors of schools was abolished, and that of town 
superintendent was substituted. On May 7, 1844, an act was passed to 

1 In 1813 Gideon Hawley notified the clerk of Broome county that the amount of school money 
apportioned to the county for that year was $423,85. In 1817 the commissioners of common schools 
of the town of Chenango were Mason Whiting and Oliver Ely. In 1818 the commissioners were 
Mason Whiting, Horace Williston and Zenas Pratt. In 1820 the town contained twenty entire and 
two partial districts. The number of children of school age — between five and fifteen years- 
then in the town was 611 ; number of children attending school, 650; amount of public money 
apportioned to the town, $180.19. The commissioners in 1820 were Mason Whiting, Oliver Ely and 
John McKinney ; in 1833, Ammi Doubleday and Thomas G. Waterman ; in 1824, Col. Oliver Ely 
and Myron Merrill ; 1825, Isaac Tompkins and Augustus Morgan; 1826, Myron Merrill and William 
Wentz ; 1827, Mason Whiting, Oliver Ely and Augustus Morgan. In 1826 A. C. Flagg, state super- 
intendent, apportioned to Broome county $959.47. In that year the county's population was 
13,893 ; the town of Chenango had 7,282 inhabitants, and received $172.10 of the public school funds. 


establish a State Normal school, and accordingly such an institution 
was opened at Albany in December of the same year. 

The establishment of a State Normal school for the professional edu- 
cation of teachers had been strongly advocated by distinguished friends 
of the measure for several years, and the grand results accomplished 
during the early period of its operation led to still other institutions of 
the same character in different parts of the state. The legislature was 
constantly besieged with applications looking to that end, and the vil- 
lage of Binghamton was not without aspirations in the same direction. 
The proposition was before the village trustees in 1866, when Dr. John 
G. Orton, Benjamin N. Loomis, William W. Elliott, Cyrus Strong and 
John B. Bowen were appointed a committee to visit Albany and present 
the subject to the legislative committee. The request, though strong- 
ly urged, was not granted. 

In 1847 the office of county superintendent of common schools was 
abolished, although the measure was strongly opposed by many of the 
best friends of education in the state. In the same year teachers' in- 
stitutes, which had previously existed as voluntary associations, were 
legally established. They have ever since been maintained and have 
been productive of great benefit to teachers in th^ district schools. 

On March 25, 1849, the legislature passed an act to establish free 
schools throughout the state. Under the act the old rate bill was abol- 
ished and the expense of the schools above the state appropriation was 
made a tax upon the districts. The act was submitted to the people 
and was sustained by a majority of 3 to 1. The system, however, 
proved impracticable, in consequence of the lack of uniformity in com- 
plying with the tax laws, and demands for its repeal poured upon the 
legislature from all parts of the state. In 1850 the law was again sub- 
mitted to the people and was again sustained. However in 1851 the 
free school act was repealed and the rate bill system was restored. 

Union free schools were authorized under the act of 1853, and with 
their full organization and operation under the liberal provisions of the 
law the old tuition academic system soon passed out of existence. The 
creation of the new system was a complete recognition of the free 
school principle and was an important step in the progress of education 
in the state. While the department of schools was a subordinate branch 
of the department of state it was impossible to give to the former that 
character and efficiency necessary to the best interests of the schools 
in general ; but in 1854 the office of superintendent of public instruc- 


tion was created, thus restoring the original system of general super- 
vision. With the welcome change every branch of education felt a new 
impulse and constantly improved and developed from that to the pres- 
ent time. The compulsory education act is one of the most important 
recent measures, and its effect has been to greatly reduce the ratio of 
illiteracy and juvenile crime in the state. 

The office of school commissioner was created in 1856, and by the 
same act the office of town superintendent was abolished. This sub- 
stantially restored the county superintendency system, the abolition of 
which in 1847 was so disastrous to the interests of education. Soon 
after 1840 provision was made for the maintenance of separate schools 
for the education of colored children in districts where the association 
of the whites and negroes was offensive to the people. Such a school 
was opened in Binghamton about 1845, and was continued several 
years. In 1861, when the village districts were consolidated a separ- 
ate school was organized for colored pupils, and was maintained until 
after Mr. Lincoln's emancipation proclamation of 1868. This subject, 
however, will be further mentioned on a later page. 

The early village schools were established in conformity with the laws 
of the state and chiefly under the act of 1812, to which reference has 
been made. Tradition says the first school in the vicinity was that 
owned by Col. William Rose in a little cheerless log house that stood 
near the Dutch Reformed church at the foot of Mount Prospect. This 
was as early as 1790 or '91, but the school was soon abandoned in favor 
of another in the Bevier locality east of the Chenango. This, too, had 
only a temporary existence, and was soon succeeded by a new school 
on the west side of the river, in the Squires neighborhood, as near as 
can now be ascertained. These were the original schools of Bingham- 
ton, and were opened and supported wholly at private expense. The 
first teachers were generally men having families, and there was little 
inclination at the time to place a school under the charge of a young 
woman. Following Col. Rose, who is remembered as one of the 
pio-neers of the valley, the later teachers in the locality mentioned were 
a son of General Patterson, a Mr. Fay, Mr. Cook and a Mr. Sleighter, 
whose christian names are lost with the lapse of years. All, however, 
taught school previous to 1800. 

So far as any known record discloses there was no regularly organized 
school in the village previous to the act of February 14, 1812, but in 
the next year the territory comprised a part of at least two school dis- 


tricts, and possibly others. Unfortunately, the old town records of 
Chenango are lost, and data relating to early schools are meagre and 
unsatisfactory. It is known that soon after 1813, districts Nos. 3 and 
13 were organized and included much of the village tract, the former 
east and the latter west of the Chenango. 

On November 33, 1813, Joshua Whitney conveyed to the freeholders 
of school district No. 3, of the town of Chenango, lot No. 57 in the vil- 
lage tract of Binghamton, for the purpose of a public school, " and for 
no other purpose, " as the deed recites. Under this conveyance the dis- 
trict became possessed of the lot at the southeast corner of Washington 
and Hawley streets, as now known, although at the time Hawley street 
was nothing more than a lane leading from Water street to Squires' 
tannery. The lot originally contained one acre and 37 rods of land, but 
in opening Hawley street in 1838 one-fourth of an acre was taken for 
that thoroughfare. 

Although the land was acquired in 1813, the school house was not 
built on the lot until many years afterward. One of the earliest schools 
in this locality was kept in the now called Seymour building, on the 
northeast corner of Hawley and Washington streets. It was maintain- 
ed several years, and among its earliest teachers were Pamelia Wentz 
and Miss Waterhouse. The exact date of erection of the building on 
the lot donated by General Whitney is unknown. It was for many 
years a familiar landmark in the village and the survivor of all the old 
school buildings. It was of brick, one story high, and within its walls 
many of our now older men and women acquired their early education. 
In later years the school house was frequently mentioned as Mrs. 
Mantz' school, that estimable woman having taught the children of the 
district many terms. The building was in service until 1879, when it 
was replaced with the large structure known in board of education cir- 
cles as school No. 3. 

The present Oak street school is the direct outgrowth of old district 
No. 13 of the town of Chenango, the latter having been organized in 
1813. The trustees' records from 1818 to 1843 are in possession of 
Charles B. Johnson, son of Thomas Johnson, the latter one of the old 
district clerks. Of the several districts including portions of the city 
territory, this was the only one of which any reliable record can now be 
found. It discloses many interesting facts, both of school and village' 
history, and in a way furnishes information concerning the early resi- 
dents of the district. The territory of the district included all that part 


of the city west of the Chenango river and a considerable area beyond 
its limits. 

Through information gathered from the best sources it appears that 
the first school house in district No. 12 was built on a lot on the west 
side of Front street, about on the site now occupied by the Abbott resi- 
dence. On July 11, 1814, Daniel Le Roy conveyed this lot to "Seeley 
Squier," David D. Whitmarsh and Daniel Le Roy as trustees of school 
district No. 12, of the town of Chenango, the consideration mentioned 
in the deed being the nominal sum of one dollar, and an interest in the 
"promotion of literature," which was felt by the worthy grantor. The 
deed also mentioned the fact that a school house was then standing on 
the lot, from which it is assumed that the building must have been 
erected as early as 1813, and possibly before that year. A school was 
maintained in this location at least fifteen years. The building was 
two stories high, and in the upper story was the Masonic lodge room. 
Waring S. Weed and Maria (Tupper) Canoll distinctly remember the 
old building, having attended the school. Both also remember certain 
Masonic figures painted on the stair walls, all of which made a dis- 
quieting effect on the youthful mind during the anti-Masonic period. 

In 1834 the legislature passed an act authorizing the district trustees 
to sell the property on Front street and use the proceeds to purchase 
another site for a school. Accordingly, Vincent Whitney, Samuel 
Smith and Samuel S. Hill, as trustees, conveyed the land to John A. 
Collier, and in exchange therefor received a deed from Mr. Collier for 
seventy-seven square rods of land in lot No. 32 of the village plot. This 
lot was at the corner of Oak and North streets, as now known, although 
at the time Oak street was merely a lane leading north from Main 
street, and was known by the undignified name of "Pig Alley." 

At a district meeting held in 1818 the inhabitants voted to employ 
a Mr. Ketchum as teacher and to allow him $2.50 for each pupil taught 
seventy-two days, the worthy pedagogue, however, .being required to 
collect his own school bills, board himself and furnish fuel for the 
school house. At this time John McKinney was district clerk and 
kept the records. In 1839 the district was changed to No. 4, and was 
much less in area than formerly.' In the year last mentioned, accord- 

■ In 1834 William M. Waterman deeded to the trustees of district No. 17, of Chenango, and No. 
31, of Union, a lot of land on the north side of the "main road leading from Bingh'amton to 
OWego," and west of the "Berkshire road." The school house was built soon afterward, and 
was torn down only a few years ago. It was a brick building, one story high. This old school is 
easily remembered as standing on the north side of Main street in the western part of the city. 


ing to the report of the trustees (Peter Mills, Pelatiah B. Brooks and 
Jason R. Orton), the number of children of school age — between five 
and sixteen years— in the district was 111, of whom eighty-six attended 
school. They were the children or lived in the families of the house- 
holders mentioned in the report. The names of the heads of families 
are reproduced here for the purposes of our record and also that the 
reader may know who were residents of the district at the time. The 
figure following each name indicates the number of children of school 
age then in the family. The list was as follows: 

Gabriel Armstrong, 4; Myron Merrill, 2; J. Boughton, 1; S. Smith, 
3; P. B. Brooks, 1; Thomas G. Waterman, 2; V. Whitney, 3; J. Whit- 
more, 3; F. Whiting, 6; E. White, 6; J. S. Hawley, 3; R. Morris, 2; 
O. Waterhouse 3 ; W . Whitney, 3 ; A. Root, 1 ; C. C. Baldwin, 2 ; Wm. 
Wentz, 4; Francis Berrian, 2; B. Morse, 3; L. Terwilliger, 1; S. A. 

Newton, 2; Patterson, 4; T. Weyant, 2; M. Wells, 2; C. J. Orton, 

1; Solon Stocking, 4; Peter" Mills, 2; T. O'Hara, 3; Samuel Peterson, 
1; John Stone, 1 ; J. R. Orton, 2; W. C. Johnson, 1; Ephraim F. Mat- 
thews, 1; Samuel H. P. Hall, 3; G. Campbell, 6; G. Newell, 3; Lewis 
Seymour, 3; L. Hardy, 4; J. Sexton, 3; G. Nash, 3; J. B. Mcintosh, 2; 
J. Rose, 4; Hugh Murray, 1. 

Nothing is found in the record to indicate the year in which the first 
school was built on the Oak street site, although present opinion in- 
clines to the belief that it was done very soon after the exchange of 
property was effected. 

The schools in districts Nos. 3 and 12 were in existence and were 
well attended when the village was incorporated in 1834, and were, 
with perhaps a single exception, the only public schools' within its 
limits. At the time mentioned the inhabitants numbered about 1,500 
and quite a settlement had been made in the Whitney neighborhood, 
as the eastern part of the village was called. Whether a new district 
was created for this portion of the town is not known, but as early as 
1836 or 1827 a little log school house stood near the southeast 
corner of Court and Liberty streets. The lands south of the Susque- 
hanna were then sparsely settled, but as early as 1835 a school house 
was built on the Moore farm. It is still standing and is one of the 
oldest buildings in the city. About the same time a school house was 
built in the Scutt settlement. It stood about on the line of Hotchkiss 
street as afterward laid out and perhaps twenty rods southwest from the 

1 A doubt exists as to whether the Millville school was then in fact built. 


old Montrose turnpike. The Scutt neighborhood included all the 
region surrounding the present Ross Park. A school was maintained 
in this locality until the park was taken into the city, upon which the 
country district merged into the city school system. 

In the upper portion of the Sixth ward was the once known Ransom 
school, the ultimate outgrowth of which was the Tompkinsville school, 
and still later the Alfred Street school. However, when the territory 
south of the river was comparatively well settled the district built a 
more centrally located school house on Mary street, which soon took the 
name of the Brighamville school, the present New Street school being 
its successor. 

In the same manner as indicated in preceding paragraphs, the con- 
stant growth of the city and the extension of its corporate limits have 
taken from the town of Binghamton much of its territory and merged 
its schools into those of the city. Among the more important of these 
districts was that in the Bevier settlement, where a school of some kind 
has been maintained for about a century. Another was the Pierce 
Creek school, which was absorbed by the city system only a few years 
ago. Still others were in the west, northwest and extreme eastern por- 
tions of the city, all of which in turn have been superseded by the 
admirable schools maintained by the board of education. 

The schools mentioned on preceding pages as having been in exist- 
ence during the period from 1813 to 1861, were established and main- 
tained in accordance with the district school system of the state. They 
were generally known as common schools, and afforded only the rudi- 
ments of an education. They were supported in part by the limited 
appropriation of the state for school purposes, and in part by the tax 
levied by each district for school maintenance. The aggregate of the 
funds was variable, and rare indeed were the occasions on which the 
freeholders voted a liberal sum for school support. They considered 
themselves too poor to afford the expense, and as a consequence the 
education of the children was seriously neglected. In early times the 
teacher was paid a certain small amount for each pupil taught and, as 
in district No. 13, the pedagogue was generally required to board him- 
self, collect his own school bills and provide fuel for use during the 
winter months. At best the system was imperfect, the teachers as a 
rule were not well qualified for their work, and school teaching was a 
makeshift rather than a profession. There was no fixed standard of 
capacity previous to the inauguration of the institutes, hence the facili- 


ties for acquiring even a fair education in the common schools were 
exceedingly limited. The select and academic schools were intended 
to remedy the defects in the district system, and accomplished their pur- 
pose to a certain extent, yet through that medium the opportunities for 
an education were practically confined to the children whose parents 
could afford to pay for the privilege, l^urthermore, during the period 
of their existence, select and academic schools were chiefly confined to 
villages and cities. 

The period of private and select schools in Binghamton began soon 
after 1820 and continued until the Union Free system was inaugurated. 
One of the earliest private schools in the village was opened in a 
building which stood about on the site of the Chenango House on 
Water street. It was taught by one Hovey for a time and also by J. B. 
Wilkinson, author of the Annals of Binghamton". Mr. Wilkinson after- 
" ward taught in a dwelling house at the corner of Hawley and Collier 
streets, opposite Bartlett's mill. He was a noted teacher in his time, 
and was a peculiar, though accurate writer of local history. Among 
the other select schools was that taught by Nancy Bowers, at the cor- 
ner of Chenango and Henry streets, and another by Nancy Keyes, at 
the corner of Washington and Hawley streets. Other early teachers in 
the village were Emeline De Witt, Eunice Brigham, Mary Jane and 
Pamelia Peterson, Frances and Sophia Tully, Adeline, Frances and 
Mary Marvin, Carlos J. Tucker, John H. H. Park, Calista Starkweather, 
Lydia A. Dunn (on Oak street north of Maiden Lane), Eveline E. 
Stockwell, Miss L. A. Sciple, Hannah Sciple, Virena M. Austin, 
Delaphine Stocking and Sarah Baird. Margaret J. Lawyer was princi- 
pal in the Oak Street school in 1844-45. 

Soon after 1830 an academic high school was opened at the corner of 
Chenango and Lewis streets, in the house in which Rev. Peter Lock- 
wood afterward lived and died. The teachers here were the Misses 
White, ladies of refinement and education, who conducted a Catholic 
school of high order, and one which attracted attention and attendance 
from nearly all the large cities in the state. A special teacher in French 
was one of the distinguishing features of the school. Although generally 
advertised and known as an academic school, the institution was not in- 
corporated. It was in successful operation several years in the location 
on Chenango street, and was then removed to the (now) Barlow residence 
site on Front street, where it was continued for a time. This school was 
the nucleus of St. Joseph's parochial school, the latter one of the largest 
and best educational institutions of its kind in this part of the state. 


After the removal of the academic high school from the Lockwood 
corner, Emily and Mary Hill conducted a private school in the build- 
ing about one year. They had thirteen pupils, three of whom were 
young ladies ; the others were children. 

The Binghamton Female seminary was another popular select school 
of the village for a period of several years, and was opened soon after 
1830 in a house said to have been erected for the purpose by Rev. Peter 
Lockwood, at the southwest corner of Chenango and Lewis streets, on 
the site of the present Moon building. The school was under the 
charge of Mrs. Jared N. Root. The institution passed out of existence 
about 1840. 

About the same time Mr. Lockwood conducted a boys' school in a 
house on the north side of Lewis street, west of the corner of Chenango 
street. Among his pupils may be recalled the names of Rev. Wm. T. 
Doubleday, George D. Marsh, John M. Doubleday, and also the sons 
of Edward Tompkins, General Waterman and Mr. Lockwood. 

The once famous " Harmony Retreat seminary " was opened in the 
village in November, 1842, by Mary and Eliza Marsh, daughters of 
Norman Marsh. The school was admirably conducted and found favor 
with the people. Soon after 1850 Hannah Marsh was added to the 
corps of teachers, and in 1851 Fanny Marsh began work in the same 
capacity. In the latter year a building was erected especially for 
school purposes, and from that time to 1861 the seminary was one of 
the most noted schools for young ladies in this part of the state. Dur- 
ing the period of its history the total enrollment numbered more than 
500 pupils, among whom were the daughters of many of the most prom- 
inent and wealthy residents of the village, with a good patronage from 
other places. The old attendance rolls contain the names of hundreds 
of young women who afterward married with our best business and 
professional men. The seminary building stood on Chenango street, very 
near the site of the North Presbyterian church. About 1862 the board 
of education urged a union of the seminary with the free schools of the 
village, but this was not accomplished. 

The Binghamton Female seminary was another popular school for 
young ladies, and was conducted on the liberal basis that characterized 
Harmony Retreat seminary. It was opened in August, 1848, as a 
boarding and day school for young ladies, under the supervision of 
Ruth S. Ingalls, preceptress, in the house formerly occupied by Mr. 
Charles G. Hart, on Front street, about where now stands the resi- 


dence of William W. Sisson. Miss Ingalls was a graduate at the Oneida 
Conference seminary, of Cazenovia, and was a woman of culture and 
refinement as well as a teacher of excellent capacity. The musical de- 
partment was under the immediate charge of Mrs. J. C. Robie, who is 
still well remembered by many of our citizens. The institution also 
furnished an excellent course of study in French and the classics. 

The seminary was well patronized by the people of Binghamton and 
drew a fair attendance from other places. It was successfully conduct- 
ed for a period of about 20 years, and only declined with the accession 
of the academic department of the Union Free schools. In its course 
of study and general management the Binghamton Female seminary 
was the fair competitor of the Harmony Retreat seminary on Chenango 
street, yet there was no rivalry between them. 

Another young ladies' school of more than passing note was Miss 
Barton's seminary in the Orton block, on Henry street. It was opened 
in 1857 and was contiuued until about 1870. 

In the same connection may be mentioned the young ladies' school 
opened in 1861 in the old Brandywine hotel building (now the Lady 
Jane Grey school) by Susan Kent Cook, the daughter of Rev. J . B. 
Cook. Miss Cook was unquestionably one of the most refined and cul- 
tured teachers ever in Binghamton, although for some cause the 
school was not a financial success. In the east Miss Cook was a favor- 
ite pupil of the distinguished Agassiz, and after leaving Binghamton 
she filled a high position in the Packer Collegiate institute, of Brooklyn. 
Miss Cook's French teacher was Madame Peugos, a woman of finely 
cultured literary talents. 

Among the many other private and select schools' which at one time 
and another had an existence in the village, mention may be made of 
the larger and more prominent. In 1841 John J. Millen, A. M., was 
principal of what was then known as the Binghamton Academical 
school. It was a boys' school and had only a brief existence. Benja- 
min N. Loomis, afterwards Judge Loomis, was an early successful 
teacher in the village. De Witt C. Vosbury was another early teacher 
in this class of schools, and was regarded as one of the most competent 
school masters of his time. It is understood that his work here began 
in the district schools, after which he taught independent of trustee 

' At one time in the early history of the village an academic school was opened on Wash- 
ington street, very near the present residence of Dr. Moore. In allusion to this fact the thorough- 
fare was originally called Academy street. Rev. Wm. T. Doubleday has an indistinct recollec- 
tion of this old school. 


supervision. About 1859 or '60 he opened the " Eclectic," in a build- 
ing formerly occupied for hotel purposes, which stood on the lot where- 
on is now the Mandeville residence on Court street. The school was 
liberally patronized by the people in the eastern part of the village. 
George Bartlett, who is best remembered as a leading member of the 
county bar, once taught a boys' school in Binghamton. For a time 
Miss Bowers conducted a select school at the corner of Chenango and 
Henry streets, where the Johnson building now stands. Later on Miss 
Park taught in the same place and had a larger school than her prede- 
cessor. At the west end of the Chenango bridge, about in the rear of 
the site now occupied by the West building, Adaline Mcintosh taught a 
private school for children. It was continued several years. About 
the same time (1850) Mrs. Backus taught a small school in a room on 
Front street. Mrs. Stevens had a school for children on upper Court 
street. Mrs. Mantz taught in the same locality and also in her dwell- 
ing on Stuyvesant street. She was one of the most capable teachers 
for children in the village and possessed the fortunate faculty of con- 
trolling her pupils without recourse to the " switch." She also taught 
many years in the public schools, and her work always gave good re- 
sults. Miss Pamelia Peterson was another old teacher in village days, 
and kept a little school in her house at the corner of Court and Fayette 
streets. Still another school worthy of mention was that taught by 
Mrs. Shipman, on Hawley street. 

These schools were in existence previous to 1860, and some of them 
at least fifteen or twenty years earlier. They were easily established, 
the chief requirements being a few desks and benches, a blackboard 
and perhaps a -good rule or a stout switch. Parents furnished the 
books, and occasionally two or more authors' editions of arithmetic, 
spelling-books and readers would be found in the school room. This 
made no difference as the teacher was prepared for any emergency, 
and as long as the tuition bills were promptly paid a rudimentary edu- 
cation was always assured. 

But at length the village emerged from its primitive condition and 
assumed a position of importance among the municipalities of the 
region ; and with its gradual growth in population and business interests 
the old institutions were swept aside and were replaced with others 
more modern, advanced and complete. So it was with the private and 
select schools. They filled a place for a time, and while a few of them, 
as we have noted, were of excellent standing, the majority were of a 



transient character and quickly vanished before the improved methods 
of the district schools, and particularly of the free school system. 

The Binghamton Academy was undoubtedly the most substantial of 
the early educational institutions of the village, and continued in exist- 
ence in its original form for a period of twenty years. The founders 
evidently did not avail themselves of a special act of the legislature, 

Binghamton Academy. 

neither were they incorporated by articles of association. However, 
during the years 1841 and 1842 they perfected an organization and 
erected a large three-story brick academy building on the site now oc- 
cupied by the county clerk's office. The school was opened June 1, 
1843, and was incorporated under the regents of the university on 
August 33, following. The founders and controlling spirits of the in- 
stitution were Daniel S. Dickinson, John Clapp, Myron Merrill, Sam- 


uel H. P. Hall, Oliver Ely, Elias Hawley, Christopher Eldredge, 
Barzilla Marvin, and the Revs. E. Andrews, D. D. Gregory, S. W. 
Bush, T. A. Stanton and Robert Baird. 

These worthy and public-spirited citizens comprised the board of 
trustees, and through their enterprise the academy was brought into 
active operation. The trustees did not acquire title to the land on 
which the academy was erected but were tenants by sufferance of the 
supervisors of the county. They expended several thousand dollars in 
erecting the building and improving its surroundings, yet within the 
next twenty years the supervisors called upon them to vacate the prem- 
ises. This somewhat peremptory demand was refused and litigation 
followed. In 1861 the trustees transferred the academic interests in 
the institution to the then recently established village board of educa- 
tion, but the suit was prosecuted to judgment. The trustees appealed 
to the General Term, and the judgment of the lower court was 
affirmed. Then the academy was doomed to destruction, but through 
the courtesy of the supervisors, the board of education was permitted 
to occupy the building until a new location could be found. 

The academy was formally opened June 1, 1842, under the principal- 
ship of Prof. S. H. Wilson, with Mrs. Wilson in charge of the female 
department. According to the trustees' advertisement, the institution 
offered a thorough English and classical course of study, at tuition rates 
varying from $3 per term of fifteen weeks in the primary department to 
$5 per term in the department devoted to Latin and Greek, natural, 
mental and moral philosophy, chemistry, botany, mathematics, astron- 
omy and rhetoric. In addition to the regular course of study the 
academy faculty offered a special class for the instruction of pupils who 
intended to make teaching a profession. 

Prof. Wilson is remembered as a thorough and capable teacher, and 
soon gave the institution a standing of prominence among the academic 
schools of the state. Just how long he retained his position is not now 
known, but in 1846 Prof. E. M. Rollo was principal and William A. 
Niles assistant. The other teachers at the time were Miss M. A. 
Hinckley, preceptress, and Mary A. McCrea, assistant; N. S. Davis, 
lecturer on chemistry and physiology; Mrs. J. C. Robie, teacher of 
music. Myron Merrill was then the president and Barzilla Marvin 
secretary of the board of trustees. 

In 1847 Prof. Rollo was still principal, with the following assistants: 
Levi Tenny, teacher of languages; Hannah Hinckley, preceptress; 


Juliet Gardner, teacher of primary department, and Mrs. Robie, teacher 
of piano and music. 

The almost entire absence of reliable records deprives us of much in- 
teresting information concerning this once famous institution, but from 
the repeated expressions of old pupils ' the fact is well known that the 
school was well patronized and well supported ; yet for some cause as a 
financial venture it was not specially profitable to the stockholders. It 
was regularly and continuously maintained and offered better opportu- 
nities for a thorough education than any institution of its class in the 
south part of the state. Soon after 1850 the trustees of the several dis- 
tricts comprising the village increased the facilities of their respective 
schools, and thereby naturally drew many pupils from the academy. 
It is said that between 1845 and 1850 the rolls frequently .showed as 
many as 250 pupils in attendance; ten years later the number had de- 
creased from thirty to forty per cent. In 1856 and 1857 Frederick S. 
Lyon was principal. He was followed by De Witt C. Vosbury, the 
veteran teacher, who was in turn succeeded by Rodman Lewis, he be- 
ing the last principal under the trustees' management. On October 6, 
1861, the board of education of the union free schools of the village ac- 
cepted a proposition of the academy trustees and transferred the school 
to the jurisdiction of the then newly created system. 

Soon after this time the people were seriously discussing the question 
of a high school, but sentiment was divided on the subject of location. 
The sites most strongly favored were the Castle lot on Court street and 
the Wells property on Main street. To determine this question, and 
the equally important proposition to bond the village to the extent of 
nearly $45,000 for both site and building, a special election was held in 
1866. The advocates of the Main street site were successful at the polls 
but the bonding proposition was defeated; and with the result the 
whole scheme failed. In 1867 the academy pupils occupied temporary 
quarters in Brigham Hall, and in the same year the old building on the 
square was razed to the ground. For about three years the academic 
pupils also occupied the east wing of the Pine street school building, 

1 In the possession of Charles S. Hall the writer found the academy catalogue for the year 
ending December 3, 1846. At that time the trustees were Myron Merrill, president ; John Clapp, 
secretary ; John C. Moore, treasurer, and Gilbert Tompkins, Christopher Eldredge, Elias Hawley, 
Silas West, Hazard Lewis, Samuel H. P. Hall, Vincent Whitney, Levi Dimmick, Wm. M. Patter- 
son, Benjamin N. Loomis, Jason R. Orton and Barzilla Marvin. Among the pupils then attend- 
ing the academy were William A. and Joseph J. Bartlett, Butler Bixby, Pelatiah Brooks, James 
S. Gary, Cyrus S. Clapp, Luke Dickson, Walton Dwight, Wm. B. and Theodore P. Stow, Wm. J. 
Waterman, James L. Weed and Wm. W. Wentz. 


but before the final completion of the B. C. H. S. building they were 
temporarily quartered in Firemen's hall. 

The Susquehanna Seminary was founded' in 1854 by the Wyoming 
conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, with the intention to 
make it a purely denominational institution. This was a somewhat 
hazardous undertaking at the time, but regardless of the doubts ex- 
pressed in many quarters, the promotors of the enterprise erected the 
large and attractive seminary building which still stands fronting on 
Chestnut street. The structure is 161 feet long and four stories high. 
It was opened for school purposes in the year mentioned and began its 
career with a gratifying attendance ; but notwithstanding its early suc- 
cess the end of the seventh year found the institution hopelessly incum- 
bered with debt. In 1858 the school was closed, after which the build- 
ing was unoccupied several years. In 1867 it was repaired and refitted 
at the expense of the state, with the intention of occupying it as an in- 
stitution for the blind. This, however, was not done, and soon after- 
ward the property passed into the hands of a Mr. Place, a man of 
means, influence and commendable ambition, who designed founding 
an institution under the name of Place college, for the advanced educa- 
tion of young ladies. A part of Mr. Place's plans were carried out, but 
the hoped-for success and permanency of the institution were not real- 
ized. After a fair attempt at establishing a successful school Mr. Place 
was obliged to close the doors, soon after which the building passed 
into the control of the board of managers of the Susquehanna Valley 
home. The location was vacated for the present home property in 

In 1872 Dean Smith purchased the seminary property and founded 
Dean college, an institution devoted to the education of young ladies. 
Mr. Smith himself was the head of the school and was assisted by his 
wife and daughters as teachers. As a corps of instructors the mem- 
bers of the family were exceedingly well equipped for their work, but 
the institution failed to secure a permanent foothold, owing undoubt- 
edly to the constantly increasing efficiency of the city schools, and espe- 
cially to the high standing then attained by the Central High school. Mr. 
Smith became heavily involved in debt, but struggled nobly against 
adversity until his death, in 1877. Rev. Robert A. Patterson, who mar- 
ried with the daughter of Mr. Smith, next assumed charge of the college 
and continued it with indifferent success until 1880, when the building 
was vacated and closed. The property soon afterward passed into the 
control of the trustees of St. Mary's CathoUc orphan asylum. 



By chapter 322 of the laws of 1861, passed April 19, it was provided 
that the several wards of the village of Binghamton should form one 
school district, to be known as the " Union School District of the Vil- 
lage 'of Binghamton ; " and further, that said district should constitute 
five subdivisions to be called "commissioner districts," each of which 
was to remain separate and distinct for the purposes and to the extent 
mentioned in the act. The First ward was declared to be the first com- 
missioner district ; the 2d and 3d wards the second district ; the 4th 
ward the third district; the 5th ward the fourth district; and the 6th 
ward the fifth district. 

The act designated Daniel S. Dickinson as commissioner for district 
No. 1; Horace S. Griswold for No. 2; Hallam E. Pratt for No. 3; Joel 
Fuller for No. 4, and William S. Beard for No. 5. It was also provided 
that within fifteen days after the passage of the act the board of trustees 
should appoint four persons to act as school commissioners in behalf of 
the union district thereby established. The district commissioners 
previously mentioned, with the appointees of the village trustees, were 
declared to be a body corporate by the name of the ' ' Board of Educa- 
tion of the Village of Binghamton. " 

A subsequent section of the act provided that on the second Tuesday 
in October, 1861, there should be elected one commissioner in each 
commissioner district (resident therein) to fiU the places of the persons 
above designated as commissioners; and that on the Monday preceding 
the second Tuesday in October, the village trustees should appoint four 
persons to be commissioners in place of those appointed within fifteen 
days after the act went into effect. "Annually thereafter, on the sec- 
ond Tuesday in October," said the act, "there shall be elected five 
commissioners for the commissioner districts, and two commissioners 
shall be appointed by the trustees for the union district, to fill the 
places of those whose terms shall next expire. " 

The act also provided that the commissioners elected in the several 
districts should hold office for one year from the second Tuesday in 
October. The commissioners appointed by the board of trustees were 
divided into two classes, and were directed to meet and determine by 
lot which of their number should serve for one year and which for two 
years. The trustees were authorized to fill any vacancies in the board 
of education. 


This somewhat peculiarly constituted board was authorized to elect a 
president, secretary and librarian, and the village trustees were like- 
wise authorized to raise by tax such sums of money as the board of 
education should certify to be necessary for the maintenance of the 
public schools. The board of education was also authorized to estab- 
lish such and so many schools in the union district (including the com- 
mon schools then existing, and also including one academic high school) 
as they might deem expedient. The board was directed to report to 
the school commissioners of the Western district of the county, between 
the 1st and 15th days of October annually, the number of school houses 
and a description of all common schools within the union district ; also 
the number of children taught, and the amount of money received by 
the treasurer of the village during the preceding year. 

"Whenever in the opinion of the board," said the act, "it shall be 
advisable to establish a high school or academy in connection with the 
union school system, the said board of education shall report an esti- 
mate of the cost thereof to the village trustees, upon which th.e ques- 
tion shall be submitted to the taxpayers for determination." The 
trustees of Binghamton academy were authorized to transfer to the 
board of education all their title and interest in real and personal prop- 
erty for the purposes of an academic or high school in connection with 
the general free school system contemplated by the act. The title to 
all school property was declared to be vested in the village. The sev- 
eral members of the board of education were declared to be trustees of 
the library. The board was also authorized to cause a separate school 
for colored children to be taught in the union district, and also author- 
ized, whenever deemed expedient, to appoint a superintendent of public 

The act of April 19, 1861, was amended by an act passed April 25, 

1864. Under the latter the term of office of all commissioners ap- 
pointed by the village trustees was to end on the first Tuesday in 
October following, and on the third Tuesday in September the inhab- 
itants were directed to elect one commissioner in each district in the 
same manner that district commissioners were elected. The district 
commissioners then serving were continued in office until October 1, 

1865, but annually thereafter on the third Tuesday in September their 
successors were to be elected. Each commissioner was to hold office 
two years. 

On April 33, 1861, in accordance with the act establishing the 


union school district, the village trustees appointed Myron Merrill, Dr. 
George Burr, Benjamin N. Loomis and William Sprague as commis- 
sioners to represent the union district; and they, with the district com- 
missioners designated in the original act, constituted the first board of 
education. It is doubtful if ever in the history of the village or city a 
stronger body of men has been chosen to represent any department of 
local government. The composition and arrangement of the board was 
both novel and interesting. The elective commissioners were chosen 
as the immediate representatives of the several districts, while the ap- 
pointive commissioners were intended to represent the union district 
generally. To fully appreciate this unusual situation some knowledge 
of the then existing conditions is necessary. 

At that time the village comprised parts of six school districts, each 
of which was under control of one, two. or three trustees elected in the 
district. The districts were not in any manner connected with each 
other, and it frequently happened that two or three sets of text books 
were in use in schools within the village limits. Families living in one 
district would provide their children with a set of books used in the 
school, but on removing to another district, as frequently happened, an 
entirely different set of books would be found in use, This condition 
led to much confusion, as parents could not afford to purchase the works 
of all authors. At one time representatives of the several districts at- 
tempted to remedy the existing evil and adopt a uniform set of text 
books for all the village schools. The matter, however, was not satis- 
factorily settled, and the old nuisance was maintained until the adop- 
tion of the union system. 

When the consolidation was effected there were certain outstanding 
debts and other matters of importance to be settled between the school 
districts previously existing and the board of education. The elected 
commissioners in each of the commissioner districts were presumed to 
represent to a certain extent the interests of the district from which each 
was chosen, and in the same manner the commissioners appointed by 
the village trustees were supposed to represent the union district in 
the councils of the board of education. It nowhere appears that any 
dispute arose regarding the adjustment of accounts, and entire har- 
mony characterized the proceedings of the board. 

The school property that came under control of the board of educa- 
tion by virtue of the act of 1861 may be briefly described in this con- 
nection; and incidentally many interesting facts of history may be 



School No. I, corner of Oak and North streets. — This is the property- 
mentioned in a preceding- paragraph as having been conveyed to the 
trustees of district No. 12 by Mr. Collier in 1834. A small school 
house was standing on the lot in 1861. Subsequent material additions 
were made to the building in 1867, at a cost of $2,000, and again 
1886 (a three-story brick addition), at a cost or $10,123. 

School Nos. 2 and j, corner of Washington and Hawley streets. — 
The date of erection of the one-story brick building on the lot given by 
General Whitney to the trustees of school district No. 3 in 1813, is not 
now known. In arranging the numbers in 1861 this school was desig- 
nated as Nos. 2 and 3, from the fact that the building was the only 

Oak Street School. 

school house in wards two and three. Later on the "3" was discon- 
tinued and was given to the Robinson Street school. In 1879 the old 
building on the Washington street lot was removed, and in its place 
was erected the present large three-story structure, at a cost of $12,374. 
From 1880 to 1889 the offices of the board of education and superin- 
tendent of schools were in the Washington street building, but in the 
year last mentioned were removed to the municipal building on Collier 
street. The city school library is also kept in school house No. 2. 

School No. 4, corner of Pine and Fayette streets.— The first school 
house in this district (No. 3, of the town of Chenango,) stood on Pine 


street, about three lots west of the corner of Fayette. On December 4, 

1851, trustees Tracy R. Morgan, William E. Abbott and Samuel W. 
Rogers bought of Stephen Hoag the northeast corner lot, and in 1853 
erected a one-story brick school house. D. C. Vosbury was the first 
principal of the school, and was followed by W. W. Elliott and Milo B. 
Eldredge, in the order mentioned. Colonel Eldredge was the last prin- 
cipal under the old district system. Thomas J. Clark was sole trustee 
of the district in 1859-60, and through his efforts the school was made 
self-sustaining without the collection of a single rate bill. In this re- 
spect district No. 3 stood alone in the village. Under the board of 
education a considerable addition was made to the building in 1867. 
Subsequent additions were made in 1870, at a cost of $13,510, and 
again in 1897, at a cost of $4,936. 

School No. 5, corner of Carroll and Whitney streets. — The original 
school house in the so called Millville district stood on a rear lot on the 
south side of Susquehanna street, a little east of Exchange street. A 
lane led to the school house from Susquehanna street, and continued to 
the river bank. In 1833 Henry Beckman sold to Bildad Gleason, Justus 
Wentz and Ansel Andrus, as trustees of school district No. 29, of the 
town of Chenango, the land on which the school house was built. The 
building was erected in 1834, and Delilah Wentz, daughter of William 
Wentz, was one of the first teachers in that location. About 1840 the 
building was removed to a lot on Whitney street, about on the site of 
the box factory. In 1851 Uriah M. Stowers sold to the trustees of the 
district (then No. 2) a lot at the southeast corner of Carroll and Whit- 
ney streets, and on this site a new school house was built in 1851 or 

1852. It was a large two-story frame building and one of the best 
school houses in the village at that time. Charlotte Burghardt (now 
wife of John E. Wentz) taught school in the old building on Whitney 
street, and was the first teacher in the new school on the corner. John 
P. Worthing and William M. Crosby were later teachers there. After 
the village schools came under the supervision of the board of educa- 
tion the lands surrounding the school lot were enlarged by purchases 
from Collins Brown, Daniel L. Brainard and Martin Stone. With one 
of these purchases the board acquired a dwelling which, was fitted up 
for temporary school purposes. Both buildings were removed in 1871, 
and were replaced with a large brick school house, which cost $17,400. 
A material addition was made to the building in 1897, at a cost of 


School No. 6, New street. — One of the first school houses on the city 
tract south of the Susquehanna river was that on the Moore farm, to 
which reference has been made. It was used as a school until about 
the time the village boundaries were extended south of the river, when 
by reason of the increasing settlement in the locality commonly called 
" Brighamville " (in allusion to Elmer W. Brigham and his extensive 
brick-yard, which occupied nearly all the lands between De Russey and 
Mary streets, south of Vestal avenue) a more centrally located school 
became necessary. In 1853 Joseph Beard, Elm-er W. Brigham and 
Chester Rood, trustees of school district No. 29, of Chenango, purchased 
from Henry Coolidge a lot on the east side of Mary street, on which 
lot a school house was built during that year. It was a little frame 
building, sufficient perhaps for the time, but soon became too small for 
the rapidly increasing population of the district. The building was oc- 
cupied under the union school system until 1867, when the board of 
education purchased from Epenetus Piatt the present school lot on 
New street. In the same year the board appropriated $3,000 for the 
erection of a school house 27x42 feet in size, two stories high, in all re- 
spects similar to that previously built for the Robinson street school. 
Considerable additions to the New street building were made in 1878, 
at a cost of $2,870; in 1887, at a cost of $7,000, and in 1891, at a cost of 

School No. 7, Alfred street.— One of the earliest school houses in 
this part of the town of Chenango was that built about 1822 on a part 
of the lot where now stands Columbus Stevens' residence. It was a log 
building and was used about fifteen years, when a frame school house 
was built near Pierce creek. The latter came into possession of the 
city a few years ago. It appears that the center of population in this 
part of the town was farther west than the Pierce Creek school. There- 
fore in 1859 trustees Samuel J. Olmsted, John W. Burnett and Abram 
R. Coles purchased from Horatio Evans a lot on Alfred street. In the 
same year Columbus Stevens built a one-story brick school house on 
the lot. Two years later the school was transferred to the union sys- 
tem of the village. In 1873 the board purchased an additional lot from 
Mr. Evans, and in 1875 the school building was enlarged, at an expense 
of $3,740. Later additions were made in 1889, at a cost of $5,194, and 
in 1892, at a cost of $5,490. 

The preceding brief description of district school property gives the 
reader an idea of the physical character of the schools of the village 


when the old system merged into the new in 1861. The only other 
school which is not particularly described was that maintained for the 
benefit of colored children. It was generally located in the vicinity of 
Whitney street between Carroll and Fayette streets, a neighborhood 
usually called " Guinea Hill." This school was not regularly supplied 
with a teacher, and of course was not under the supervision of district 
trustees. The only allusion to the colored school found in any village 
record previous to 1861 is in the proceedings of the village trustees. 
On May 7, 1847, Edward C. Kattel and Erasmus D. Robinson were ap- 
pointed a committee to obtain from the state the sum of money to 
which the village was entitled under the provisions of the act then re- 
cently passed for the support of schools for colored children. In 1861 
the board of education made more adequate provision for the colored 
school, as will be seen by reference to later pages of this chapter. 

The personnel of the board of education in 1861 is given on a preced- 
ing page. The first meeting of the board was held April 33, at the law 
ofifice of Judge Griswold. Benjamin N. Loomis was chosen chairman, 
and Hallam E. Pratt, secretary. Daniel S. Dickinson was elected 
president of the board, and continued in the office until October follow- 
ing, although much of the time he was out of the village in connection 
with his active political career, which at that time was at its zenith. 

One of the first proceedings of the board was to serve formal notice 
on the trustees of the various school districts in the village, demanding 
possession of the school property by the first of May following. At this 
meeting Hallam E. Pratt was directed to confer with the Young Men's 
Library association concerning the purchase of their library. This was 
accomplished and the library was placed in charge of W. W. Elliott. 
From this small beginning our present city school library has grown. 

On May 33 the board estimated the probable expense of the schools 
for the following year at $7,469.75, of which amount $4,500 was for 
teachers' wages. The amount was duly certified to the village trustees, 
and by that body was approved and ordered raised in the next fax. The 
trustees generally respected the judgment of the board of education in 
estimating the amount of money necessary for the schools, which fact 
may be proclaimed to their credit; but in later years the common coun- 
cil frequently took upon itself the authority to cut down the annual 
estimate certified as necessary for school maintenance. This practice 
frequently led to embarrassments and retarded the progress of educa- 
tion in the city. 


The first corps of teachers in the union schools was as follows: 

No. 1, Oak street, Helen A. Shove, primary; Delaphine Stocking, 

Nos. 2 and 3, Washington street, J. A. Caster, primary; Elizabeth 
S. Armstrong, junior. 

No. 4, Pine street, Adeline N. Marvin, primary; Eliza S. Bascom, 
junior; J. F. McCoUister, senior. 

No. 5, Millville, H. A. Lockwood, primary; J. A. Robinson, junior; 
Clara A. Ingersoll, senior. 

No. 6, Brighamville, Fanny J. Sparks, primary and junior. 

No. 7, Tompkinsville, Sarah J. Thompson, primary and junior. 

Academic School, A. H. Lewis and Mina S. Bascom, teachers. 

The fact that Prof. Lewis and Miss Bascom were appointed teachers 
in the academic school indicates a determination on the part of the 
board to establish such a department previous to the actual transfer of 
the Binghamton academy. The appointment of teachers above noted 
was made May 22, 1861, and the proposition of the academy trustees to 
the board of education was made July 1, following. The proposition 
was accepted August 6, and the transfer was made soon afterward. 

On June 12 the board adopted a code of by-laws and, among other 
things, made provision for the appointment of a president, superintend- 
ent of schools, secretary and librarian; also for the regular classifica- 
tion of pupils in grades; also for a "university " or partial course for 
pupils whose age or circumstances prevented a regular course of study ; 
also for a teachers' class, in which instruction was to be given "in the 
science of teaching." Under the by-laws the schools were regularly 
designated as primary, junior, senior and academic. 

School No. J, Robinson street.— On September 20, 1861, a petition 
signed by thirty-nine residents of that part of the village lying north 
of the railroad asking for a separate school in that vicinity, was pre- 
sented to the board. In answer to the petition the board sought to 
have the Harmony Retreat seminary (which was then under charge of 
the Misses Marsh) transferred to the jurisdiction of the union system; 
but as the seminary was maintained in a building in which the Misses 
Marsh held title only during the lifetime of the widow of Norman 
Marsh, the arrangement was not made. On December 2 following, the 
board rented a building on Pearne street and at once prepared it for 
temporary school purposes. It was soon afterwards opened as school 
No. 3, upon which the "3 " was dropped from the previous designa- 


tion of the Washington Street school. In 1867 the board purchased 
two lots on Robinson street, and leased a third lot with an option of 
purchase. On this land a two-story brick building, 37 x 42 feet in size, 
was at once erected, at a cost of $3,500. Subsequent additions were 
made to the building in 1873, at a cost of $3,485; in 1888, at a cost of 
$3,800, and in 1898, at a cost of $4,885. 

School No. 8, Hawley street. — In November, 1861, the board rented 
from William E. Abbott a small dwelling house on Hawley street, be- 
tween Jay and Fayette streets, which was fitted up as a school for 
colored children. The school was afterward maintained under the 
supervision of the board until about 1873 or 1873, when its pupils were 
assigned to the several regular schools of the city. In 1879 a petition 
signed by many colored citizens was presented to the board, asking 
that the school on Hawley street be discontinued, and the children be 
permitted to attend the general schools. The request, however, was 
refused, as the majority of the white population was not then fully 
prepared to abolish the "color line." The "colored school," as it 
was called, stood on the site of Abraham De Witt's residence. 

In May, 1863, the board passed a resolution by which the sum of $40 
per month was to be paid for the support of "the school on Le Roy 
street." This of course was St. James' parochial school, a purely sec- 
tarian institution, yet one of the best schools in the village at that 
time. The resolution provided for payment during the pleasure of the 
board, and the event was the occasion of much comment and some ad- 
verse criticism in educational circles. The board itself wrestled with 
the subject several days, but finally the resolution was adopted. Just 
how long the payments were continued is not now clear, but the appro- 
priations soon ceased. 

David H. Cruttenden was appointed superintendent of schools April 
33, 1861. This certainly was a most fortunate selection, as Prof. 
Cruttenden possessed the essential qualities of teacher, organizer and 
disciplinarian. He came a stranger to the village, and found the 
schools in a state of utter disorganization, but in the course of a few 
months order followed chaos and a systematic course of operation was 
established. The superintendent himself was a man of excellent edu- 
cation, and although a part of his time was devoted to teaching, he 
almost daily visited the schools and kept the machinery of the new 
system in regular operation. Prof. Cruttenden was the author of sev- 
eral text works on educational subjects, among them being Cruttenden's 


arithmetic and Cruttenden's language, both of which were used in our 
schools with good results. He was also a superior teacher of the 
classics, and in chemistry he appeared especially strong. As a disciplin- 
arian his superior was never connected with our public school system, 
and a single glance from under those long, bushy eyebrows was suffi- 
cient to subdue the most refractory pupil without recourse to the whip. 
Still, if occasion demanded Prof. Cruttenden could apply the beech rod 
with decidedly impressive effect. In 1864 the superintendent resigned, 
being impelled to that course by broken health and a desire to resume 
institute work in which he had previously engaged. He had a natural 
taste for agricultural pursuits, and that, too, influenced his action in 
retiring from our public schools. 

Henry T. Punnell succeeded to the superintendency in February, 1864. 
He was formerly principal of the Millville school; a slight, nervous 
and impulsive man, possessed of good educational capacity, yet was 
better at the head of a school than of a system . 

George Jackson succeeded Mr. Funnell as superintendent in October, 
1866, and served in that capacity until April, 1867. When Prof. Jack- 
son came to Binghamton the union school system was well established, 
and during his term little else was sought to be accomplished than to 
keep the machinery in economical operation. This policy met with the 
approval of several members of the board and also of an influential 
minority of the taxpayers. However, it was not through any fault in 
Prof. Jackson that local educational facilities were not increased during 
his term, but rather the fault of a certain element of our taxpaying 
population. Prof. Jackson was the opposite of Prof. Funnell in per- 
sonal characteristics, and is remembered as a quiet and conservative 
officer, an instructor rather than organizer, and possessing all the dis- 
tinguishing traits of the thorough Cazenovia seminarian. He was suc- 
ceeded in April, 1867, by Norman F. Wright. 

Under the superintendents mentioned in the preceding paragraphs 
the first six years of history of our public schools passed without re- 
markable incident. It was found a somewhat difficult task to convert 
the people of the village to the new methods and to abandon the old 
fixed ideas of school economy. The annual appropriations for school 
purposes contemplated only the payment of teachers salaries and other 
incidental expenses of maintenance without more than $1,000 annually 
for sites, buildings and repairs. The village trustees approved of the 
estimates submitted by the board of education, but when a proposition 


to build was presented the taxpayers made a vigorous protest. At 
length Thomas J. Clark was elected member of the board, and at once 
set to work to secure a large building fund. He prepared an amend- 
ment to the school act, and placed the proposed bill in the hands of 
Orlow W. Chapman, who was then in the senate. Mr. Chapman de- 
clared that the people would never sanction the measure, whereupon 
Mr. Clark reinforced the proposition with the written approval of about 
250 of the largest taxpayers. The amendment was then secured, and 
the board of education was allowed |10,000 for building and extension 
purposes instead of $1,000 as in previous years. Then began a new 
era in our school history, and from that time the cause of education 
was advanced beyond the fondest expectations of its most zealous ad- 

The benefits derived from the increased appropriations for sites and 
buildings were clearly shown in the report of the committee on build- 
ings, sites and repairs, (Thomas J. Clark, Jabez F. Rice and Frederick 
Lewis) from which the following is an extract, viz.: " The additions 
made during the year (1867) will comfortably accommodate about 450 
pupils. This is partly neutralized by the demolition of the academy 
and the change in the Fifth ward. The number of pupils in the city, 
as shown by the enumeration taken in October last, is 3,076. The 
entire school buildings belonging to the city will seat, on the ' packing ' 
principle necessarily adopted, from 1,300 to 1,400 pupils. To account 
for the extraordinary disparity between the number of pupils and the 
school accommodations it is only necessary to recollect that for nearly 
fifteen years up to the current year no additions have been made to the 
school property, while the business and population of the city have 
more than doubled." 

In this connection it is also interesting to note the number of pupils 
on the rolls in the several districts as shown by the superintendent's 
report for the week ending February 21, 1868, viz. : In the Central 
school, 93 ; district No. 1, 253 ; district No. 2, 126 ; district No. 3, 99 ; 
district No. 4, 283; district No. 5, 349; district No. 6, 86; district No. 
7, 35; district No. 8, colored school, 59. 

For a period of about fifteen years following 1868 the attendance at 
the public schools increased proportionately with the general growth of 
the city, yet during that time no special effort was made to increase the 
number of schools (except the erection of the Central High school 
building), or to extend the system beyond the limits then existing. 



However, during the period mentioned many and material additions 
were made to the school buildings, thus increasing their seating capac- 
ity several fold. In 1870 an application was made to the board by the 
managers of the Susquehanna Valley Home, asking that the school 
connected with that institution be taken under the city system. This 
was afterward done, and while the Home school derives benefits from 
the general city system, the board of education is not charged with the 
expenses of maintenance. This school will be further mentioned in 
connection with the history of the Home. 

In 1874 the board made a careful estimate of the value of school 
property within its jurisdiction, as follows : Binghamton Central High 
school, $97,265.10; No. 1, Oak Street, $18,155; No. 3, Washington 
Street, $7,985; No. 3, Robinson Street, $15,058; No. 4, Pine Street, 
$31,464; No. 5, Carroll Street, $30,537; No. 6, Brighamville, $7,906; 
No. 7, Tompkinsville, $2,475. Total valuation, $211,545.10. 

The original compulsory education act was passed by the legislature 
May 11, 1874, yet there was no determined effort to enforce its provis- 
ion previous to 1882 ; and then the attempt was so weak that the law 
was of no special benefit so far as it related to our city schools. The 
act of May 12, 1894, proved far more beneficial, as the enforced 
appointment of a truant officer furnished the means of informing the 
board of violations and evasions of the law. However, it is not deemed 
important to this chapter to refer at length to the provisions of the 
compulsory act, or to the proceedings of the board in enforcing the law 
in this city, other than to mention the fact that in 1894 a truant school 
was opened in the Large building on Oak street. 

School No. p, Clinton street. — In 1884' the board purchased the land 
on which the school house in this district was built. Previous to the 
year mentioned that portion of the city north of the railroad on the 
west side of the Chenango river had no public school, and the creation 
of a new district was a necessity. The school building was erected in 
1884, and cost $6,737. It was the first of the thoroughly modern school 
buildings of the city. 

School No. 10, Laurel Avenue. — The land on which this splendid 
modern building is erected was purchased from Horatio R. Clarke, 
George Gary and Edward S. Gary, June 1, 1889, for the sum of $2,100. 
(Marcus W. Scott and wife also quit-claimed to the city their interest 

' The land was purchased of William H Van Vorst. The deed was dated June 2, 1KS4 ; con- 
sideration, $1,800. 



in certain lots in Gary Place by deed dated June 17, 1889.) The school 
house was built during the same year, and cost $13,679. It is a large 







three-story brick structure, modern in design and construction and an 
ornament both to the district and the city. 



School No. II, Bevier Street.— \-a. this immediate locality, in which 
pioneer Bevier settled more than a hundred years ago, a log school- 





house was built previous to the beginning of the century; and from 


that to the present time a school has generally been maintained in the 
vicinity. A district was formed in this part of Chenango soon after 
1813, and continued under the old system until it was absorbed by the 
city. On August 1, 1890, H. L. Smith, sole trustee of district No. 3, 
town of Binghamton, conveyed the Bevier street school property to the 
city, the consideration expressed in the deed being $73. 33. The area 
of the plot was increased by the purchase of adjoining lots, and the 
property is now one of the best for school purposes in the city. The 
present building, a large commodious two-story brick structure, was 
erected in 1890, at a cost of |16,726.90. 

School No. 8, Helen Street. — This was one of the school properties 
which came to the city with the extension of the limits in 1890.' The 
land was conveyed to the trustees of joint district No. 2, of the towns 
of Binghamton and Union, by Dr. John G. Orton, by deed dated De- 
cember 14, 1878, and for nominal consideration. A small two-story brick 
and frame school house was built on the land, and was occupied for 
district purposes until 1890, when it was taken into the city. In ad- 
justing accounts the city paid the town $3,750 for the property. In 
renumbering the schools in 1890 the Helen street property became No. 
8, which number had previously designated one of the Oak street de- 
partments. The lands occupied by present No. 8 school were conveyed 
to the city August 1, 1890, by Albert H. Bixby, sole trustee of district 
No. 2. 

School No. 12, Fairview. — This property, which is still owned by the 
city, though at present unoccupied, was conveyed to the grantee by 
Harlow H. Bisbee, sole trustee of school district No. 8, of the town of 
Binghamton. The school house is a small brick building. The land 
was deeded to the trustees of the district by Emory Truesdell in 1873, 
but was not suited to the purposes of the board of education where- 
upon, on July 1, 1892, a tract of land on Robinson street was purchased 
from Charles B. Piatt, at a cost of $3,000. The present large brick 

> By an amendment to the charter passed April 4, 1890, the boundaries of the city were ex- 
tended to include all the remaining portion of the town of Binghamton which lay north of the 
Susquehanna except the town of Dickinson, and as well a considerable area south of the river. 
At the same time the wards were increased to thirteen in number, and were made to comprise 
seven school commissioner districts. Under the extension of the limits the city acquired, in 
whole or in part, several previously existing town of Binghamton districts. The east end or 
Pierce Creek school was one of these properties, and was deeded to the city July 2t, 1890, by Cal- 
vm B. Preston, sole trustee of district No. 13; consideration $1,600. The Pierce Creek school house 
was not used by the board, the town district having been merged in the Alfred street or No. 7 
city district. 



school house was erected on this land in 1893, and cost $7,797. An ad- 
dition in 1897 cost $6,337. 


School No. /J, Rossvilh.—Yox several years previous to the erection 



of the present Rossville school building a primary school was conducted 
in the Meeker block on Park avenue. On July 21, 1896, the board pur- 





chased from Burton M. Babcock a large lot of land on Pennsylvania 



avenue, extending east to Park avenue; consideration, $1,500. The 
school house was built in 1896, and cost $8,433. It is a large two-story 




and basement brick building, and is well supplied with modern im- 

Growth and development. 


School No. 14, Jarvis street.— "The land on which this school build- 
ing stands was conveyed to the city by deed from Charles M: Jarvis, 







dated August 3, 1894; consideration $3,300. The building was erected 



the same year, and cost $11,377. The Kindergarten addition was built 
in 1898, and cost $346.50. 

School No. 75, St. John Avenue.— In April, 1894, the board of educa- 
tion purchased on contract the land on which school house No. 15 is 
built. The deed was executed about August 1, 1895, by William E. 
Bray and Austin S. Bump; consideration $3,000. The school building, 
a large two-sto"ry and basement brick structure, was erected in 1896, at 
a cost of $15,958. 

Central High School. 

The Binghamton Central High school, concededly the highest de- 
partment of the city educational system, and one of the most worthy 
institutions of its character in the state, had its inception in the action 


of the board of education in August, 1861, when the Binghamton acad- 
emy was formally transferred to the board by the trustees of the latter 
corporation. Indeed, the union free school act of April 19, 1861, con- 
templated a high or academic school in connection with the general 
system of the village, yet almost ten years passed before the endeavors 
of the friends and advocates of the measure were fully rewarded. The 
first step in this direction was the transfer of the academy on the Court 
House square, but while the course of study in that building was of an 
approved character within the regulations prescribed by the regents" de- 
partment, the best and fullest results were not attained until the erec- 
tion of the Central High school building; ample in its accommodations 
and complete in its appointments for a full classical preparatory course. 
Students graduated at the Binghamton Central High school now enter 
any of our colleges and universities without an intermediate preparatory 
course, while those who do not aspire to a college course are well 
equipped for all the ordinary positions of business, social and profes- 
sional life when they are awarded a graduate's diploma. 

Soon after the transfer of the academy to the board of education it 
became evident that a new central school must be provided, and to that 
end the authorities began preparations. For a few years the subject 
was one of discussion only, but on April 20, 1866, in pursuance of leg- 
islative authority granted therefor, the taxpayers voted on a proposition 
to appropriate $43,395 for the construction of a large academic building. 
The measure, unfortunately, was defeated at the polls by a vote of 315 
against and 157 for the special tax. Three years afterward, under the 
act of April 14, 1869, the taxpayers not only approved of a similar 
proposition, but voted $75,000 for a high school building. Commis- 
sioners Elijah F, Bloomer, Dr. John G. Orton and William E. Knight 
were directed to secure plans and specifications for a suitable modern 
building, and November of the same year (1869) the Prendergast lot on 
Main street was purchased. Other lands were acquired from J. Stuart 
Wells and other adjoining owners, thus providing ample grounds for 
the proposed building. The Way property was purchased at a later 
date, and extended the school lands to the open alley leading from Oak 
street to the " Large " building. 

On June 28, 1870, the contract for erecting the high school building 
was awarded to William Hanlon, for the sum of $63,000. The contract, 
however, was soon afterward transferred to William H . Stillwell, by 
whom the structure was in fact built during the years 1871-72. The 


completed building, including furnishings, cost $100,000. It is a large 
three-storied brick structure, with mansard roof, attractive from an 
architectural point of view, yet devoid of elaboration in that respect. 
It was sufficient for the time, and in its proportions contemplated a con- 
siderable growth in the city without crowding its capacity; now it is 
outgrown, and an additional building to comfortably seat the high 
school pupils must soon be provided by the board of education.' 

The first principal of the B. C. H. S. was Prof. Edward S. Frisbee,' 
who was appointed to that position January 4, 1872. This mention, 
however, suggests the propriety of the succession of principals from 
the time the academy was founded under the board of education in 
1861. The succession is as follows: 

Principals .—D&vid. H. Cruttenden, April 23, 1861-February 1, 1864; 
Henry T. Funnell, February 8, 1864-66 ; George Jackson, October 1866- 
67; Norman F. Wright, April 29, 1867-January 4, 1869;' George Jack- 
son, appointed March 7, 1870; O. B. Bruce, appointed acting principal 
April 6, 1870; Edward S. Frisbee, January 4, 1872-resigned August 
30, 1875; R. B. Clarke, 1875-76; Charles A. Fowler, appointed August 
28, 1876; Eliot R. Payson, appointed July 11, 1879-resigned August 3, 
1891; Charles O. Dewey, August 22, 1891-93; Albert Leonard, 1893- 
98; Samuel G. Landon, 1898—. 

From all that is stated on preceding pages it is evident that "pro- 
gress " has been the constant watchward of the board of education in 
Binghamton from the beginning of the union free school system in 
1861 to the present time. Looking back over this period of almost 
forty years, the person most familiar with our public schools cannot 
but be surprised at the wonderful changes which have taken place and 
the improvements which have been made. The first superintendent of 
schools had at best an insecure foundation upon which to build the su- 

1 The completion of the high school building in 1872 marked the beginninj!^ of a new era in the 
educational system of the city. It was the determination of the board of education to organize 
the high school on a plan of sufficient scope and thoroughness to meet the wants of those who 
sought a comprehensive education, but who did not contemplate a college course. For those who 
did intend to enter college a classical course of study was offered which was second to no pre- 
paratory school either in this state or New England. 

2 In carrying out the determination to establish a high school of superior grade, the board of 
education wisely selected Prof. E. .S. Frisbee as principal of the institution. Prof. Frisbee's 
power of organization, accurate scholarship and his wonderful skill in imparting knowledge 
made the school, during the four years of his principalship, one of the best preparatory schools 
in the statu. 

" The high school principals previous to 1800 were also superintendents of schools. George 
Jackson, appointed IMarch 7, 1870, was the first regular principal of the high school. 


perstructure of the permanent system. True, the inhabitants of the 
several school districts consented to the change from the old method to 
the new, but they did little else, and whatever was conceded to the new 
system was given reluctantly. It was a submission to the will of the 
majority, and nothing more; but when a proposition was presented 
contemplating the erection of the new and larger school buildings the 
strength of an influential minority for a time prevailed against the will 
of the majority. At length, however, 'the work of reconstruction was 
begun, and while the immediate requirements of the school population 
were satisfied, the work of building up and enlarging the general sys- 
tem has continued to the present day; and that work is not yet finished 
notwithstanding the fact that during the last thirty-five years more 
than half a million dollars have been spent in repairing and building 
public schools. 

In 1861 the village contained about 6,000 inhabitants, and the school 
rolls showed 850 pupjls. In the next year the census showed 1,862 
children of school age (between 5 and 18 years) living in the village. 
The subsequent increase may be noted about as follows: 1863, 3,663 ; 
1867, 3,076; 1874, 4,529; 1880, 4,837; 1885, 5,964; 1890, 9,347. 'ln'l870 
the number of children in the city between the ages of 4 and 18 years 
was 7,338." 

The era of progress in fact began with the year 1867, and the great- 
est strides in advancement in the history of education in Binghamton 
have been made since the village became a city. During these years 
the growth of the city itself has indeed been remarkable, and with each 
advance movement in other departments of municipal government the 
officials charged with the duty of guarding the educational standard 
have held a prominent position in the front rank. 

The first board of education certified to the village trustees that 
$7,469.95 would be required for school support during the following 
year. Of this sum $4,500 was for teachers' wages alone. In 1863 the 
board asked for and received $7,298. In 1867 the sum of $17,000 was 
granted for school maintenance. In 1870 the amount had increased to 
$29,000; in 1875 to $31,000; in 1880 to $35,200; in 1885 to $44,567; in 
1890 to $86,645, including an extension fund of $34,000; in 1895 to 
" 1,000; and in 1898 to $116,955. 

1 The enumeration of 1897 was regular, yet undoubtedly incorrect. In previous years the 
census was made under the immediate supervision of the superintendent of schools, and a con- 
stant increase in number of children of school age was noticeable. In 1897, however, the work 
was done under political direction, and without competent supervision. The result should have 
been an increased rather than decreased school population. 


As these annual appropriations increased with the growth of the city, 
so, correspondingly, was there an increase in the state moneys received 
by the board. For several years $3,000 were apportioned to the city 
schools. In 1872 the amount was $6,839.42; in 1875 was $8,529.25; in 
1880, $10,620.40; 1885, $11,248.47; 1890, $14,423.09; 1895, $31,007.48; 
and in 1899, $35,327.50. The board is entitled to receive from the 
common council for school purposes four and one-half times the amount 
apportioned to the city by the state, and such further sum as the liber- 
ality of the council may suggest, but not exceeding six times the 
amount of state moneys received. It may be stated, however, as an 
historical fact that the council has never exceeded the authorized 

As has been mentioned in a preceding paragraph, the board of educa- 
tion during the first few years of its existence, comprised both elective 
and appointive members. In 1864 the appointed branch of the board 
was abolished and all the members were thereafter elected by the peo- 
ple until 1897. During this period the school laws affecting the city 
were frequently amended and the number of commissioners was in- 
creased or diminished as occasion required. This subject, however, 
is not deemed important to the chapter, as the appended list of com- 
missioners shows the years in which the several changes were made. 

By an act of the legislature passed May 32, 1897, school commissioner 
elections were abolished, and in place thereof an appointive system 
was established, the creative power being vested in the mayor. The 
proposed change was bitterly opposed by many of the most earnest 
friends of the schools, while others, equally zealous in promoting the 
cause of education, warmly advocated the change. Despite the oppo- 
sition, the measure became a law; and now, that all the feeling en- 
gendered by the innovation has subsided, it is doubtful if the majority 
of the people would prefer a return to the old custom. 

The personnel of the board of education from 1861 to 1899 is shown 
in the following succession of school commissioners. The succession 
of presidents of the board, superintendents of schools and other otficers 
connected therewith is also furnished for future use and reference. 

Sc]i,ool Commissioners, /(Jd/.— Daniel S. Dickinson, Horace S. Gris- 
wold, Hallam E. Pratt, Joel Fuller, William S. Beard, designated by 
the act of April 19, 1861, as district commissioners; Myron Merrill, 
George Burr, Benjamin N. Loomis and William Sprague, appointed 
April 32 by the village trustees as commissiouers of the union district. 


1861, October Election. — Rodney A. Ford, Frederick Lewis, William 
E. Abbott, Sabin McKinney and Silas G. Pierce, elected district com- 
missioners; H. Clay Preston, Tracy R. Morgan (for two years), 
Benjamin N. Loomis, Lewis S. Abbott (for one year) appointed by 

1863.— J. Stuart Wells, Edwin E. Jackson, H. Clay Preston, Nelson 
J. Hopkins, Frederick Lewis, Harry Lyon and Silas G. Pierce, elected 
commissioners ; William P. Pope and Harris G. Rodgers, appointed by 

1863. — J. Stuart Wells, Edwin E. Jackson, Frederick Lewis, William 
P. Pope, Sabin McKinney and Silas G. Pierce, elected commissioners : 
H. Clay Preston and Clinton F. Paige, appointed by trustees. 

1864. — J. Stuart Wells, Edwin E. Jackson, Frederick Lewis, William 
P. Pope, Sabin McKinney, Silas G. Pierce, Horace N. Lester, Hallam 

E. Pratt, Stephen D. Hand. 

1865. — Moses T. Morgan, H. Clay Preston, Tracy R. Morgan (re- 
signed May 37, 1867, and Sabin McKinney appointed), Josiah V. Sim- 
mons, Erastus R. Fish. 

1866.— William W. Elliott, H. Clay Preston, Thomas J. Clark, J. 
Frank Rice, John Evans. 

1867. — Moses T. Winton, Frederick Lewis, Sabin McKinney, Daniel 
Munson, Josiah V. Simmons. 

1868.— William E. Knight, John G. Orton, Thomas J. Clark, Elijah 

F. Bloomer, Hallam Eldredge (resigned Dec. 6, 1869, and H. A. Bis- 
bee appointed). 

1869. — Moses T. Winton, Frederick Lewi.s, Franklin A. Durkee, 
Daniel Munson, Josiah V. Simmons. 

1870. — William E. Knight, John G. Orton, Thomas J. Clark, Elijah 
F. Bloomer, Hiram A. Bisbee. 

1871. Harris G. Rodgers, Laurel L. Olmsted, Franklin A. Durkee, 

Rev. D. W . Bristol, Daniel Lyons. 

1873. Joseph P. Noyes, T, Edson Porter, Thomas J. Clark, Benajah 

S. Curran, Rollin B. Truesdell. 

1873. Harris G. Rodgers, Laurel L. Olmsted, Ralph S. Darrow, 

William H. Wilkinson, Daniel Lyons. 

1874. Joseph P. Noyes, William Stewart, Thomas J. Clark, James 

F. Carl, Egbert M. Gaige. 

1875._H arris G. Rodgers, Mason W. Bosworth, Ralph S. Darrow, 
Harry Lyon, Daniel Lyons. 


1876.— William E. Knight, William Stewart, Thomas J. Clark, James 
F. Carl, John H. Jessup. 

1877. — Gilbert M. Furman, J. Frank Rice, George Whitney, Joseph 
H. Chittenden, Daniel Lyons. 

1878.— Charles S. Hall, Simeon H. McCall, Marcus W. Scott, James 
F. Carl, John H. Jessup. 

1879.— Dan S. Richards, William P. Morgan, George Whitney, 
Joseph H. Chittenden, Albert Hatten. 

1880. — Charles S. Hall, Simeon H. McCall, Hiram Barnum, James 
F. Carl, Rollin B. Truesdell. 

1881. — Silas W. Crandall, Robert Morris, George A. Kent, Joseph H. 
Chittenden (long term, Fourth ward), Henry P. Clark (short term. 
Fourth ward), Daniel Lyons. 

1883. — James H. Graham, Herbert E. Smith, Hiram Barnum (long 
term), Dan S. Burr (short term), Henry P. Clark, Frederick W. Put- 

1883. — Frank H. Stephens, John B. Van Name, Dan S. Burr, Joseph 
H. Chittenden, Daniel Lyons, Moses Stoppard (long term), Horace E. 
Allen (short term). 

1884.^ — -George A. Bishop, William M. Ely, Hiram Barnum, Henry 
P. Clark, Robert V. Bogart, Horace E. Allen. 

1885.— Henry A. Smith, Charles F. Terhune, Dan S. Burr, Charles 
E. Mann, (died February 16, 1886, and David H. Carver appointed), 
Albert Hatten, William J. Stone. 

1886. — George A. Bishop, William M. Ely, Hiram Barnum, Henry 
P. Clark, Robert V. Bogart, Horace E. Allen. 

1887.— Henry A. Smith, Homer B. Boss, Dan S. Burr, David H. 
Carver, Daniel Lyons, Moses Stoppard. 

1888.— George A. Bishop, William M. Ely, Robert V. Bogart, S. 
Douglas Smith, Hiram Barnum. 

1889. — Henry A. Smith, Moses Stoppard, Homer B. Boss, Daniel 
Lyons, David H. Carver, Dan S. Burr. 

1890. — George A. Bishop, Pliny A. Russell, James E. Barber, Homer 
B. Boss, Theodore B. Schenck, Hiram Barnum (long term), Harvey F. 
Beardsley (short term), George Whitney. 

1891. — Lyman H. Hills, Charles W. Gennet, Daniel Lyons, Julius E. 
Rogers, William M. Shapley, Harvey F. Beardsley. 

1892. — George A. Bishop, Albert H. Bixby, James E. Barber, Homer 
B. Boss, Theodore B. Schenck, William H. Cannon, George M. Ely. 


1893.— Frank E. Slater, Charles W. Smith, Daniel Lyons, Julius E. 
Rogers, William M. Shapley, Harvey F. Beardsley. 

1894.— Alfred J. Inloes, Albert H. Bixby, Robert V. Bogart, Homer 
B. Boss, Theodore B. Schenck, William H. Cannon, Charles J. Cook. 

1895.— William G. Trowbridge, Charles W. Smith, Walter Mosher, 
Julius E. Rogers, William M. Shapley, D . P. Bailey. 

1896.— Dr. F. E. Slater (short term), William F. Van Cleve (long 
term). Dr. Frank P. Hough, Robert V. Bogart, Homer B. Boss, 
Edward M. Tierney, Marcus W. Scott, Charles J. Cook. 

1897. — Appointed by the mayor, September 23: S. Mills Ely, term 
to expire February 1, 1899 ; Edward C. Smith, term to expire February 
1, 1900 ; Charles A. Weed, term to expire February 1, 1901 ; Charles W. 
Gennet, term to expire February 1, 1902; Julius E. Rogers, term to ex- 
pire February 1, 1903; Charles M. Stone, term to expire February 1, 

1898. — Marcus W. Scott, appointed September 30, by Mayor De 

1899. — M. R. F. McCarthy, appointed January, by Mayor De Witt. 

Presidents of the Board. — Daniel S. Dickinson, April 33-October 32, 
1861; Tracy R. Morgan, October 22, 1861-66; Frederick Lewis, 1866,- 
resigned October 6, 1869; Thomas J. Claik, October 5, 1869-75; 
Harris G. Rodgers, 1875-77; Thomas J. Clark, 1877^78; Daniel Lyons, 
1878-79; George Whitney, 1879-80; James F. Carl, 1880-81 ; Joseph H. 
Chittenden, 1881-82; Hiram Barnum, 1882-84; Joseph H. Chittenden, 
1884-85; Albert Hatten, 1885-87; Henry P. Clark, 1887-88; David H. 
Carver, 1888-89; George A. Bishop, 1889-90; David H. Carver, 1890- 
91 ; Hiram Barnum, 1891-92; Daniel Lyons, 1892-93; George A. Bishop, 
1893-94; Julius E. Rogers, 1894-99. 

Superintendents of Schools. — David H. Cruttenden, April 23, 1861,- 
February 1, 1864; Henry T. Funnell, February 8, 1864-October, 1866; 
George Jackson, October 1866-67; Norman F.~ Wright, April 29, 1867- 
January 4, 1869; George L. Farnham.i January 21, 1869-October 26, 
1875 ; R. B. Clarke, October 26, 1875-July 13, 1876 ; O. B. Bruce, July 
20, 1876-December 17, 1877; M. L. Hawley, March 18, 1878-81; J. H. 

' " To Prof. Farnhatn, more than to any other man, belongs the credit for the present excel- 
lent condition of our public schools. He laid the foundations broad and deep. He recognized 
the fact that the most important period of a child's training is in the primary school. He inaug- 
urated a system of primary education which was looked upon in those days as a revolution in 
educational methods; but it is a system which stood the test of more than a quarter of a century, 
and to-day is looked upon with approval by practical educators."— (Extracts from I. T. Deyo's 
alumni banquet address, June 81, 1897). 


Hoose, May 16, 1881-May 1, 1882; George L. Farnham, June 5-July 3, 
1883; Marcus W. Scott, August?, 1883-Junel9, 1886; Rufus H.Halsey, 
July 20, 1896-January 28, 1899; Darwin L. Bardwell, March 1, 1899. 

Secretaries of the Board.—Eleazer Osborn was appointed secretary 
October 26, 1875, and served until July 17, 1876; was re-appointed 
temporary secretary December 17, 1877, and served a short time. 
Arthur E. Knox served a short term beginning May 1, 1882. Dr. 
Alfred J. Inloes was appointed permanent secretary, December 2, 1895, 
and is still in office. 

Attendance Officers.— M.&vti.n L. Hall, December 19, 1894-Febraary 
23, 1895; Albert Rorapaugh, February 22-April 1, 1895; Martin L. 
Hall, April 1-16, 1895 ; Stephen D. Wilbur, September 2, 1895. 

Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. — Robert V. Bogart, Sep- 
tember 5, 1898. 

The Catholic Schools. — In a preceding portion of this chapter mention 
is made of the academic high school for young ladies conducted by the 
Misses White at the northwest corner of Chenango and Lewis streets ; 
and of the subsequent removal of that school to the residence of Edward 
White on Front street (now the property of George H. Barlow.) The 
period of operation of the academic school was between 1830 and 1845. 
In 1847 Father James F. Hourigan was appointed missionary priest for 
the counties of Broome, Chenango and Delaware, with a residence at 
Binghamton ; and within three years from the date of his appointment 
the worthy priest had started a little parochial school in a story and a- 
half frame building which stood adjoining St. John's church edifice on 
the west. The school was placed in charge of Miss Ellen White 
(formerly of the Academic High school) and Miss Dodge, the latter a 
sister of General Dodge. This was the beginning of St. James' school, 
with hardly more than half a dozen children in attendance ; but it was 
well founded and under excellent management, therefore increased in 
strength and usefulness with the growth of the village and' subsequent 
city. Indeed, St. James' school is one of the oldest educational institu- 
tions of Binghamton, and has enjoyed uninterrupted existence for more 
than half a century. 

The original school building was a frame structure and stood on the 
church lot between the present convent building and St. Patrick's edi- 
fice, and was removed to make room for the latter. It now stands on 
the lot next west of the corner of Oak street, on the south side of Le 
Roy street, and is occupied for dwelling purposes. When St. John's 


church edifice was removed from its original site to the Oak street lot 
the school was transferred to that building, and has since been main- 
tained there. 

In 1851 the number of pupils in St. James' school was 160. The 
teachers at that time are believed to have been Miss Ellen White and 
her sister and Miss Dodge, but the task proved too great for their 
strength, and at the end of about two years they were obliged to retire 
from the work. Then came the much esteemed Dennis J. Dowden, a 
former resident on Long Island, who took charge of the girls' depart- 
ment, while Mr. Stoughton conducted the boys' school. The latter 
was succeeded by John Guilfoyle, one of the most competent teachers 
connected with any school in our village history. He taught several 
years, until the convent was opened, when Mr. Dowden took charge of 
the boys' department. Mr. Dowden was connected with St. James' 
school until his death in 1878, and was followed by Mr. Lannon, who 
remained only a few weeks, and was in turn succeeded by Cornelius F. 

St. Joseph's convent building was erected in 1860 by J. Stuart Wells, 
and on completion was at once opened as a parochial school of advanced 
grade in connection with St. Patrick's parish. It was, and still is, under 
charge of the sisters of St. Joseph, and for many years has been recog- 
nized as one of the leading educational institutions of the village and 
city. In 1862 the village board of education passed a resolution appro- 
priating $40 per month for the support of the school, but the action 
aroused such bitter discussion among the people that the payments 
were discontinued. St. Joseph's was afterward taken under the super- 
vision of the regents of the university, and thus shares in the public 
school funds. It has ever been maintained as a high class academic 
school, and draws a large attendance from the protestant element of 
the city. 

The Lady Jane Grey School. — In 1882 Mrs. Jane Grey Hyde, widow 
of Henry Mygatt Hyde, came to Binghamton and opened "Mrs. Hyde's 
home school for girls " in the old and historic building originally known 
as the " Brandy wine Inn," but later the residence of Rufus K. Amory. 
From the beginning the school proved a success and was liberally pat- 
ronized by the best people in the city. In '1887 the name of the insti- 
tution was changed to "Lady Jane Grey School," and was made a 
boarding and day school for young ladies. At the same time the build- 
ing was substantially remodeled and suitably arranged for boarding 


school occupancy. The teachers' corps, then as now, was under the 
principal direction of Mrs. Hyde and her daughters, Mary Rebecca 
Hyde and Jane Brewster Hyde. 

In this school, as in the other high class educational institutions of 
the city, the past ten years have witnessed many changes of im- 
provements. During that period it has grown and developed into one 
of the most popular and exclusive schools for mental and social train- 
ing in southern New York. When formally opened in 1887, Mrs. 
Hyde and daughters comprised the corps of teachers ; now ten assistant 
teachers are employed. Between 40 and 50 pupils are in regular at- 
tendance. The number of boarding pupils is limited to 20. In 1898 
the "cottage " building was fitted for the purposes of a gymnasium and 
girls' apartments. 

Barlow School of Industrial Arts. — On April 15, 1889, the regents 
of the university granted a charter to the Barlow School of Industrial 
Arts. The incorporators named in the articles of association, which 
were recorded in Broome county clerk's office, October 31, 1889, were 
Edward F. Jones, Eliot R. Payson, Charles M. Dickinson, Charles W. 
McCall, David Murray, Harris G. Rodgers, William G. Phelps, George 
C. Bayless, George A. Kent, Frederick E. Ross and Clinton Ross. 

The founder, in fact, of this worthy institution was Allen Barlow, 
who is remembered by nearly all of our citizens as a man of conserva- 
tive habits, of upright and correct life and ever mindful of the physical 
and mental welfare of the youth of the city. Through honest and per- 
sistent effort in business life, and his well known and frugal manner of 
living, Mr. Barlow accumulated a comfortable fortune. His wife pos- 
sessed a temperament much like that of her husband, and together in 
perfect harmony they trod life's path to its inevitable end. 

Allen Barlow was a native of Greene county, N. Y., and was born 
September 17, 1810. His early education was acquired in the common 
schools of his native county, and also in a select academic school at 
Andover, Mass., from which he was graduated. He fully appreciated 
the importance of an early education and the difficulties sometimes en- 
countered in acquiring it, for his own schooling was paid for with money 
he himself had earned. At the age of 17 he began teaching district 
school, and as he became more trained in the work he took charge of 
schools of higher grade. After several years he gave up teaching and 
began work as a clerk in a store at Lexington Heights, and two years 
later purchased an interest in the business. 


In September, 1838, Mr. Barlow married with Lucina Denton Blakes- 
lee, daughter of Col. Enoch Blakeslee. After marriage, having saved 
his earnings of former years, Mr. Barlow began looking for a place of 
permanent settlement, and determined to build a house at Prattsville, 
which he did almost wholly with his own hands. He was thus self 
taught in carpentry and proved an excellent mechanic. In the spring 
of 1849 he went to San Francisco and remained in the gold fields about 
four years, during the time being constantly employed either as carpen- 
ter, merchant, contractor or mining operator ; but at whatever avocation 
he was always industrious and earnest. 

In 1853 Mr. Barlow returned to the east and lived for a time in 
Greene county, but in 1854 he came to Binghamton and purchased the 
Sayles house on Court street, at the corner of Cox, now Chapman street, 
where he afterward lived and died. In 1857 he became partner with 
Levi M. Rexford in a drug business, but soon afterward purchased the 
entire stock. After selling the business Mr. Barlow was not engaged 
in active work until about the time of the outbreak of the war, when 
he was appointed U. S. ganger. He held this office, except from 1872 
to 1878, until 1884, when he resigned. In connection with his official 
duties, which did not occupy all his time, Mr. Barlow made all kinds of 
stencil plate and stamp work. These little industries occupied his 
mind during the latter period of his life, and yielded sufficient profit to 
maintain himself and wife. 

Allen Barlow died August 23, 1894, his wife died in February, 1895. 
He was a firm believer in mechanical industry as well as in education 
in the schools. He was a close student and careful reader, and more 
than twenty years ago concieved the idea of founding an institution in 
which young persons of both sexes might receive training in mechan- 
ical and household arts in connection with their education in the public 
schools. To this end he laid his plans and to their consummation he 
devoted his fortune, the results of more than half a century of earnest, 
persevering effort. 

The incorporation of the Barlow school in April, 1889, was effected 
at the suggestion and request of Mr. Barlow himself, and in May fol- 
lowing the action of the regents, he and his wife executed deeds of con- 
veyance to the school of all their property, real and personal, in the 
city of Binghamton, of the estimated value of $75,000. In return, and 
to carry out the agreement with Mr. Barlow, the trustees of the school 
conveyed to him a life estate in the property deeded to them. Pro- 


vision was also made for a life interest in the residence property at the 
corner of Court and Chapman streets, and an annuity of $300, for the 
benefit of Mrs. Barlow in case she survived her husband. Mr. Barlow 
lived five years after the transfer of his property to the school, and 
during that time, under appointment by the trustees, he acted as super- 
intending agent ; and it was not in fact until after the death of both the 
donor and his wife that definite measures were adopted by the trustees 
in the matter establishing the school. 

The property acquired by the trustees under the deeds from Mr. Bar- 
low comprised the three-story brick store building at No. 143 Washing- 
ton street; the three-story brick block at Nos. 218-320 Court street, 
with buildings in rear on the Rutherford street front; the house and lot 
No. 232 Court street ; the home property. No. 234 Court street ; the 
house and lot No. 12 Summit street (originally Cox but now Chapman 
street), and also personal property of the nominal value of $15,000. 
The trustees sold the residence, No. 234 Court street, and with the 
avails thereof purchased the commonly called large block, situate in 
rear of the high school building; and later on they also purchased the 
Stryker residence on Oak street, which adjoined the former purchase on 
the west. 

The trustees have faithfully complied with every requirement and 
condition of their charter, and, as the articles suggested, have accom- 
plished a union of the Barlow school with the general system of the 
board of education. The latter, in 1895-96, erected a large building on 
the High school lot for the purppses of the industrial school, and soon 
after its completion the building was occupied for its intended use. The 
board of education pays for all supplies used in the school, while the 
trustees of the Barlow school pay the salaries of its corps of instruc- 
tors. It is the ultimate aim and purpose of the trustees of the Barlow 
school to convert all their real estate into money and with the fund 
thereby created to erect a large and specially appointed building in 
which a complete course of instruction in the mechanical and house- 
hold arts shall be furnished to pupils in that department, and have the 
control of the institution vested in the city board of education. 

At the organization of the board of trustees in May, 1889, Harris G. 
Rodgers was elected president, David Murray, secretary, and Frederick 
E. Ross, treasurer. On the death of Mr. Rodgers, Charles M. Dickin- 
son was elected to fill the vacancy, and still holds the position. Mr. 
Murray resigned the secretaryship on his removal from the city, upon 


which Clinton Ross was appointed to fill the vacancy. He resigned 
April 1, 1895, and was succeeded by George C. Bayless, the present 
secretary, upon whom has fallen much of the hard work of the board. 
He was, in fact, the trustee of Mrs. Barlow during her lifetime, and 
was also the trusted friend and adviser of Mr. Barlow previous to his 
death. Had his counsel been more closely followed, the assets of the 
trustees might have been much larger than at present. Frederick E. 
Ross resigned the office of treasurer April 1, 1895, and was succeeded 
by William G. Phelps, the present custodian of the funds. 

The personnel of the board of trustees, as established in 1889, has 
changed by the death of Mr. Rodgers, the resignation and removal 
from the city of David Murray and Eliot R. Payson, and the resignation 
of Frederick E. and Clinton Ross. To fill vacancies George F. Lyon, 
Charles A. Weed and Daniel Lyons have been appointed trustees. 
There are two vacancies in the board at the present time. 


The Binghamton Library Society, the pioneer institution of its kind 
in the village, was incorporated March 10, 1812, and was the result of 
a meeting of citizens held at the house of Marshall Lewis for the "pur- 
pose of establishing a public library in the town of Chenango." The sum 
of forty pounds was then subscribed as a book fund, but of its use and 
the period of operation of the society there is no present record. Not 
one of the founders of the society is now living, and no present resi- 
dent of the city has any recollection of its existence. Yet such an insti- 
tution did exist, and was organized at the time mentioned, Dr. Tracy 
Robinson being chairman of the meeting. The first trustees were Dr. 
Tracy Robinson, Mason Whiting, Joshua Whitney, Archibald Somer- 
ville, Charles Stone, Chester Lusk, William Chamberlain, William 
Stuart and Daniel Le Roy. 

The Binghamton Library, the second society of its kind in the village, 
was incorporated March 11, 1826, by several prominent citizens who 
expressed themselves in articles of association as follows: "We, whose 
names are hereunto subscribed, do hereby signify our content and desire 
to associate for the purpose of procuring and erecting a public library 
in the village of Binghamton, town of Chenango, county of Broome." 
The originators and trustees of this praiseworthy enterprise were 
Nathaniel Huse, Arthur Gray, Charles Howard, Ammi Doubleday, Jere- 
miah Campbell, James Munsell, Tracy Robinson, Daniel Evans, James 


Squires, Gilbert Tompkins, Mason Whiting, George E. Isbell, George 
Park, Lewis Squires, Thomas Evans, Silas West, Samuel Smith, James 
S. Hawley, Erasmus D. Robinson, Locy Halsted, Hazard Lewis, 
Myron Merrill, Julius Page, Richard Mather, James McKinney, Maver- 
ick Pratt, Joshua Whitney and Christopher Eldredge. 

It is understood that the Binghamton library was maintained with a 
moderate degree of success for a period of about twenty years, when it 
passed out of existence. The written record, if indeed any were kept, 
cannot now be found. 

The Young Men's Association succeeded the society last mentioned, 
but all records of its organization and subsequent history have been 
lost. It is believed to have' been formed about 1850. It was continued 
until 1861, when its collection of books was purchased by the board of 
education and used to form the nucleus of the union free school library 
of later years. The records show that $105 were paid by the board to 
the association trustees, and that the sale was made on condition that a 
free library be afterward maintained by the purchaser. This condi- 
tion certainly has been complied with according to its full intent, and 
the city school library, as it is commonly known, now contains a large 
and valuable collection of books. By persons well informed on the 
subject it is said that the library at the present time is one of the best 
of its special kind in the state. The number of volumes exceeds 
13,000. Since 1861 the library has been under control of the board of 
education, its affairs being managed by a committee of that body. Since 
1881 Mrs. Josephine W. Clonney has held the position of librarian, and 
through her careful attention to the details of the office the library has 
been brought to its present standard of excellence. 

The Binghamton Library Association, the largest and most thoroughly 
appointed literary society ever organized in this city, and one which 
has been of the greatest public benefit among the several organizations 
of its character in local history, was incorporated in 1874, with chartei 
members as follows: Celora E. Martin, U. H. Patterson, Henry A. 
Smith, Edwin G. Halbert, Joseph M. Johnson, J. Monroe Lyons, 
George M. Harris, Stephen C. Millard, George F. Lyon, Charles H. 
Amsbry, James H. Barnes, A. De Witt Wales, Theo. F. McDonald, 
Philo H. Lee, Arthur L. Tremain, Homer B. Boss, Alonzo Stryker, L. 
D. V. Smith, David L. Brownson, Cyrus J. Brownell, Henry P. Brush, 
Asa R. Tweedy, Frederick A. Benson, Harlan G. Blanding, Pliny A. 
Russell, David H. Ogden, S. Mills Ely, W. Gus Chittenden, Alonzo C. 
Matthews and William B. Edwards. 


According to the provisions of the constitution of the association, full 
membership was secured upon the consent of the organiEation and the 
payment of a membership fee of $25. This entitled the member to all 
the privileges of the association without further expense. The library- 
books were accessible to non-members upon payment of an annual fee 
of two dollars. An annual lecture course was one of the leading fea- 
tures of the association's history, and was continued with gratifying 
success several years. At length, however, the expenses for rent and 
maintenance, together with the increasing popularity of the union 
school library, suggested to the association the propriety of making 
some disposition of its property. This was done by a transfer of asso- 
ciation stock to members of the Young Men's Christian Association, 
and by this means the latter became possessed of several thousand well 
selected library volumes of books. The transfer was made in 1889, 
since which time only occasional meetings have been held. The organ- 
ization, however, has never lost its identity. The present acting offi- 
cers are the president, David H. Carver, the secretary. Homer B. Boss, 
and the treasurer, James W. Manier. 

In his will the late Colonel Walton Dwight bequeathed to the Bing- 
hamton Library association the sum of $7,500, of which amount the sum 
of $3,500 was to be immediately available for the extension of the 
library, while the balance of $5,000 was to be invested for the benefit 
of the association. Through some defect in the bequeathing clause the 
association did not acquire the $5,000 above mentioned, but it did re- 
cieve $2,500, which has been partially used for the purchase of books. 

The first officers of the association were Celora E. Martin, president ; 
William B. Edwards, vice-president; Homer B. Boss, recording secre- 
tary; W. Gus Chittenden, corresponding secretary; U. H. Patterson, 
financial secretary ; A.lonzo C. Matthews, treasurer. 

From 1874 to 1899 the presidents of the association have been as fol- 
lows: Celora E. Martin, 1874-75; William B. Edwards, 1876-77; 
Stephen C. Millard, 1878-79; Asa R. Tweedy, 1880-85; David H. Car- 
ver, 1886-99. The secretaries have been Homer B. Boss, 1874-76; 
George M. Harris, ,1877-79; Russell B. Merriam, 1880; M. H. Mills, 
1881 ; Homer B. Boss, 1882 ; Hartwell Morse, 1883 ; M. H. Mills, 1884- 
85 ; Eleazer Osborn, 1886-89 ; Homer B. Boss, 1890-99. 



Early Roads and Turnpikes.— Binghamton, and in fact any munici- 
pality or town, owes much of its progress and development to its in- 
ternal improvements. The first settlers who came into this region 
followed the old and well-defined Indian trails up and down the valleys 
of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers, but to permit the free pas- 
sage of wagons and ox carts these primitive thoroughfares were cleared 
of their accumulation of fallen timber, and were widened to about six 
or eight feet. If the road happened to be obstructed by trees of large 
size the hardy pioneer would cut his way around them. The road most 
frequently used in reaching this village settlement followed down the 
north side of the Susquehanna to a point just below the dry bridge 
across Brandywine creek, and then turned northwestward in an almost 
direct line to Lyon's Ferry, near the present Ferry street bridge. When 
the site of the settlement was removed from Chenango village to 
Chenango Point, soon after 1800, a new road was opened from the angle 
near the Brandywine creek to the ferry at the twin elms, or substan- 
tially on the route of Court street. Another trail and subsequent road 
much used by travelers into the region was that on which the old State 
road to Catskill was afterward laid out, reaching across the country from 
the upper Susquehanna valley to the old road on the east bank of the Che- 
nango near Sawtell's tavern stand. At this point a ferry carried travelers 
across the river to the main road leading from Chenango Forks to 
Owego, the latter road being laid substantially on the route of Prospect 
street, as now known. At the foot of Mount Prospect, near the river, 
the road forked and a branch led down the west side of the Chenango 
nearly on the line of Front street to the river road, and thence to Owego 
on the north side of the Susquehanna. Indeed, the street called River- 
side Drive is one of the oldest thoroughfares in the city and at one time 
in its history it was in part built as a corduroy road. From Lyon's 
Ferry, on the west side of the Chenango, a branch road led northwest 
to the highway skirting Prospect hill on the north. 


The foregoing outline furnishes an idea of the situation of the high- 
ways leading into the village about one hundred years ago, but it was 
not until Chenango Point was designated as the seat of justice of the 
newly created county of Broome that turnpike companies were organ- 
ized and began their operation, thus opening more convenient means of 
travel into the region. These old toll roads, however, are considered 
of little consequence in our history, so completely has their importance 
been dwarfed by more modern means of travel. Still, as incidental to 
the subject of internal improvements some brief allusion to them is 

The Unadilla Turnpike company was one of the first incorporations 
of its character, and was authorized to open and maintain a toll road 
from Cuyler's store, in the town of Otego, to Chenango Point, term- 
inating near the house of Joshua Whitney. The company was incor- 
porated in April, 1806. In April of the next year the Salina an3~l 
Chenango Turnpike company was incorporated, among its promoters 
in this locality being Chauncey Hyde and Daniel Hudson. This road 
opened for settlement the country bordering on both sides of the Che- 
nango River, and afforded direct communication with Salina, or Syra- 
cuse, as now known, passing through the towns of Onondaga, Tully, 
Homer, Virgil, Cincinnatus, Lisle and Chenango to Chenango Point. 
In the same year the Otsego and Broome Turnpike company was in- 
corporated and opened for travel and settlement of the country in the 
sections north of the city. 

The Great Bend and Bath Turnpike company was incorporated March" 
11, 1808, and that turnpike became one of the most popular routes of 
travel through the Susquehanna valley. General Whitney was one of 
the incorporators and chief promoters of the road. This was probably 
the highway intended to have been built by the Great Bend and Union 
Turnpike company, which was incorporated but did not begin opera- 
tions under its charter. When the road was in fact built the work was 
done under the direction of General Whitney, Squire Whiting, Judge 
Woodruff, Judge McKinney and Daniel Le Roy, who were authorized 
to open a sufficient highway beginning at the terminus of the Cohocton 
and Great Bend road, thence running on the north side of the Susque- 
hanna to the bridge across the Chenango (at the foot of Court street), 
and thence to the bridge across the Choconut in the town of Union. 
Court and Main streets within the city limits are on the line of this old 


~ The Chenango Turnpike company was incorporated June 15, 1812, 
and was authorized to construct and maintain a toll road beginning at 

j the twenty-eighth milestone on the Pennsylvania line, and running 
thence by the most direct and practicable route to the house of John G. 
Christopher, on the Susquehanna river, opposite the village of Chenan- 

■ go Point. The commissioners to receive subscriptions to the capital 

"stock of the company were Horace. Williston, Judge Woodruff and 
Tracy Robinson. This was the old Montrose turnpike route, as after- 
wards known, and followed in part on the line of Pennsylvania and 
Park avenues, thence up the hill west of the park. The Hawleyton 
turnpike was of much later construction, and united with the Montrose 
road about twenty-five rods south of the present Rossville school house. 
In connection with the Chenango turnpike road, on June 19, 1812, the 
town highway commissioners were directed to lay out Water street to 
the full width of sixty feet from Court street to the Susquehanna river. 
A ferry was put in operation at the foot of Water street where travel 
was maintained across the river just east of the Christopher property 
(now known as the Eldredge estate) until after the erection of the 
White bridge in 1826. It was sometimes known as Waterhouse's 
Ferry, and was kept up until Mr. Waterhouse lost his property, 
when it was discontinued. 

Among the other turnpike companies whose lines of road were de- 
signed to open avenues of travel into the village during the early years 
of its history, were the Chenango and Onondaga Turnpike company, in- 
corporated April 17, 1816, for the construction of a toll road from the 
town of Fabius to Chenango Point. Also the Windsor and Bingham- 
ton Turnpike company, whose road led from Windsor village through 
Cole's Settlement to this village. It was incorporated March 31, 1821, 
and was authorized to be laid out by Chester Patterson, Thomas Blakes- 
lee and Ozias Marsh. The Broome and Tioga Turnpike road company 
was incorporated in 1825, by Dr. Robinson, Otis Lincoln and John 
Speed, jr. The Binghamton and Harpersville company was incorpo- 
rated in May, 1834, and Joseph S. Bosworth, Judge Chamberlain, Henry 
Squires, Nathaniel Cole and James Blakeslee were authorized to re- 
ceive stock subscriptions. The route of this road was from this village 
to the house of Mr. Squires in Conklin, and thence to HarpersviUe, 
in the town of Colesville. These were a few of the many turnpike 
companies incorporated for the purpose of constructing and operating 
toll roads in this county, and were intended for the ultimate benefit of 


the region through which they were severally laid out, as well as for 
the pecuniary profit of their promoters. 

Mail and Stage Coaching. — The first and principal object of the 
turnpike roads above mentioned was the expectation of profit on the 
part of their respective proprietors. Still other roads were projected 
but were not built, but all these endeavors were directly beneficial to 
local interests. As early as 1816 or 17 to firm of Teter & Huntington 
put a mail coach on the road between Newburgh and Owego, Teter 
himself being the driver and traveling with a two horse team the en- 
tire distance, making one trip each way weekly. In 1818 a company 
was formed to operate a mail and passenger stage line over the same 
route, but extended the latter from Owego to Ithaca, and made tri- 
weekly trips. In 1830, Dr. Tracy Robinson and Major Augustus Mor- 
gan succeeded to the company's interest in the line and inaugurated a 
system of travel and transportation which was maintained until the con- 
struction of railroads made the business unprofitable. This, perhaps, 
was Major Morgan's most conspicuous service in connection with the 
early history of Binghamton. He was partner for a time with Dr. 
Robinson but soom became sole proprietor. The firm ran the first 
regular stage coach through this village about 1823. Among the prin- 
cipal lines in which Major Morgan was interested was that from New- 
burgh to Binghamton and thence to Ithaca. Another was from Jersey 
City to Owego, and still another from Catskill to Geneva. All were for 
years operated by the firm of A. Morgan & Co., with this village as 
general headquarters. At the terminal points connections were estab- 
lished and passengers and mails were thereby carried to distant parts of 
the state. In several of the connecting lines Major Morgan had an in- 
terest, though this village was the chief seat of his operations. Among 
his old-time partners, besides Dr. Robinson, were Isaac Tompkins, 
Sidney T. Robinson, and perhaps others whose names are not re- 

As early as 1818 or '19, a two-horse wagon began carrying passen- 
gers between this village and Oxford, under the proprietorship of one 
Willoughby, making weekly trips. After a year or two the number of 
trips was doubled and George Munsell became owner of the line, doing 
his own driving. In 1835 he put a four-horse mail and passenger coach 
on the line and extended his route to Utica, but the easier means of 
travel afforded by the Chenango canal eventually drove him out of 
business. In 1838 John McPherson put a two-horse stage on the Mont- 


rose turnpike, making weekly trips and thus opening communication 
with northern Pennsylvania. Daniel Searle afterward became owner 
of this line. The Montrose stage line was maintained until about 
twenty-five years ago, when the D., L. & W. Railroad and its connec- 
tions superseded the slower means of travel. 

One of the most interesting periods in the early history of our village 
was that usually termed stage coaching days. When the system was 
at its best the daily arrival and departure of the stages was an occasion 
of great moment among the villagers, while the ever active agents and 
speculators were constantly on hand to extol the qualities of the land 
held by them for sale. Our streets were nightly thronged with stran- 
gers and frequently the capacity of the village taverns was overtaxed. 
The old Binghamton hotel, at the corner of Court and Water streets, 
Peterson's tavern, at the corner of Main and Front streets, and the 
Broome County house (afterward the Phoenix and still later the Ex- 
change hotel) were almost daily crowded with guests, business men and 
village hangers-on; and around the barns and in the streets stage 
coaches and vehicles of every description added to the thriving appear- 
ance of the place. The first serious blow to the staging industry in 
this locality was the construction of the Chenango canal, and the finish- 
ing stroke followed when the principal lines of steam railroads were 
opened for traffic. 

In this connection it is interesting to recall the names of some of the 
more prominent stage coach drivers who traveled through the village 
and made headquarters at the taverns of the place. They were "Jack " 
Finch, " Dave " Bartle (who drove on the Binghamton, Corbettsville 
and Montrose line, and was a general favorite along the whole route), 
James Peterson (colored), John B. Bowen (who in later years was one 
of our most respected citizens), Erastus R. Campbell (afterward a busi- 
ness man in the city, for years chief of the fire department, and whose 
familiar figure is daily seen on our public streets), "Hank " Wolverton, 
Isaac Wilber, Ira Jennings, Milton Tousley, James Ager, Lemuel Win- 
ton, John Lampkins, Emory Truesdell (on the Montrose line), Asa and 
Merritt Truesdell, James Rockenstyre, Andrew Carter, "Jake" Hogan, 
Hubert Hogan, David Wormer and Harry Nash. 

River Navigation. — Many of our first settlers came into the region 
by way of the Susquehanna, Tioughnioga and Chenango rivers, using, 
chiefly, flat-bottomed or Durham boats, arks, and occasionally a log or 
bark canoe. This means of travel at the time was both necessary and 


convenient. Previous to 1815 but few dams had been built across the 
larger streams of the county, hence travel by water was an established 
custom of early days. In April, 1813, the legislature passed an act 
by which the Susquehanna river within this state was declared to be 
a public highway. At the same time the construction of dams for 
lumbering and milling purposes was authorized, but few were built in 
this immediate locality until several years afterward. 

All attempts to navigate the rivers of this county with either sail or 
steam craft, except for pleasure purposes, have met with many dis- 
couraging obstacles and very limited success. The movement began 
and had its origin in Owego previous to 1825, when it was proposed to 
navigate the waters of the Susquehanna from that village to the in- 
terior of Pennsylvania. The efforts in this direction were honest and 
commendable, and for a time were rewarded with partial success, but 
the series of rifts, rapids and bars between Owego and Binghamton 
precluded the possibility of commercial intercourse without a greater 
expense than the probable results would justify. In 1825 the Delaware 
and Susquehanna Navigation company was incorporated, and had for 
its object the navigation of the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers in 
this State. John A. Collier and Chester Patterson were interested in 
the company, yet neither they nor their associates were able to establish 
successful river navigation. Still later, in April, 1855, the Bingham- 
ton, Owego and Slack Water Navigation company was incorporated. 
In this enterprise we find the names of James S. Hawley and Dr. Edwin 
Eldridge, of this village, with many other prominent men of Tioga 
county. It was the intention of the company to construct necessary 
dams, locks, gates and other erections for the purpose of making and 
maintaining slack water navigation from the southern tferminus of the 
Chenango canal to the Pennsylvania line in the town of Barton, Tioga 
county. The company, however, never carried out its plans, and all 
like attempts to navigate our rivers for general commercial purposes 
have met with unfortunate results. The southern terminus of the 
Chenango canal, just mentioned, was at the extremepoint of landat the 
angle formed by the junction of the Chenango with the Susquehanna 
river, west of the lower end of Washington street. 


The construction of a canal through the central portion of this State, 
connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie, had a greater stimulating 


effect upon the settlement and development of the region through 
which it passed than all other efforts in that direction, and resulted in 
numerous applications to the legislature for like thoroughfares for the 
benefit of other localities. The Erie canal was begun at Rome, July 4, 
1811', and was finished in October, 1825. Its original cost was |7,143,- 
'" The Chenango canal was authorized by an act of the legislature, passed 
February 23, 1833. The work of construction was begun the same year 
and was finished in 1837,' at a total cost of $1,737,703. From Utica, the 
northern terminus, to the summit of the greatest elevation on its line, a 
series of seventy-six locks gave a rise of 706 feet; thence the canal de- 
scended 303 feet by thirty-eight locks to the southern terminus at the 
junction of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in Binghamton. The 
feed supply was obtained from the elevated water bodies of southern 
Madison county, and were Madison brook. Woodman's pond, Leland's 
pond, Bradley's brook. Hatch's lake and Eaton brook reservoir. The 
length of the canal was ninety-seven miles, and of its feeders, thirteen 
and three-fourths miles. The greatest altitude above tide water was at 
Bouckville, the elevation being 1,128 feet. 

The old canal is now a thing of the past, but during the period of 
its existence it was one of the most important factors of our village 
history, and in a hundred ways it contributed to municipal growth and 
prosperity. The section between Chenango Forks and Binghamton 
was the last to be finished, and the earth excavated from the channel 
through our then village was used to fill Court street between the canal 
bridge and Water street. 

On May 6, 1837, a canal boat arrived in Binghamton, having made a 
trip from Crooked Lake (now Lake Keuka) via Crooked Lake canal, 
Seneca Lake, and the Seneca, Erie and Chenango canals to this village. 
On this memorable occasion, according to the published account in the 
Broome County Republican at the time, there was "considerable rejoicing 
and some powder burnt." Indeed, the celebration was continued sev- 
eral days, for never before in our history had such a gigantic enterprise 
been carried to a successful end. 

The first boat to leave this port was that fitted out by Deacon Wat- 
tles, a worthy resident of the town of Chenango, who was about to take 
his departure for the West. His craft was built on the Chenango river, 
above the village, and thence, with a cargo of household goods, the 
good deacon and his family floated down the river to the outlet lock, 
where his boat entered the canal. 


From the time of the completion of the canal to the time when the 
New York and Erie railroad was opened for traffic the former was the 
principal avenue of commercial intercourse with the markets of the 
East and West. Previous to that time all importations for domestic i 
use were transported from the commercial centers overland by team 
and wagons, but when the canal opened the old custom was discontin- 
ued. One of the first families to reach the village by the new route 
was that of Samuel H. P. Hall, on whose arrival the opening celebra- 
tion was still in progress. 

Hardly a vestige of the old canal is now visible within the city limits, 
except the ill- defined outline east and north of the Chenango street 
crossing. Its general course through the city was on the line of State 
street, which is laid out on the "fiUed-in" canal bed. From Susque- 
hanna street to Chenango street. State street is on the exact line of the 
canal. As has been stated, a stone lock was constructed on the point 
where the canal discharged into the river. The next lock was about in 
rear of the brewery property on Collier street, on the south side of 
-Ivans' basin. Another was about opposite or a little above the West- 
cott building on State street. Still farther up was the well known 
"upper level," the mpst popular skating place in the village. This 
stretch extended from the lock mentioned to the famous "one-horse 
grocery," which stood just south of the Bevier street crossing. The 
lower level, in common parlance among boys of the period, was between 
Court street and the lock on the south side of Evans' basin. The basin 
itself was a favored spot for the pastimes of youth, and also a busy lo- 
cality during the boating season, from May to December. It extended 
from the west curb line of State street east along the south line of 
Hawley street to about the west wall of Bartlett & Co.'s main building; 
thence south between these lines to the brewery property. Its main 
use was for turning and loading boats, and otherwise it served many 
and valuable purposes, not the least of which was a skating ground for 
the academy pupils in particular and the whole townsfolk in general. 
The Evans' warehouse and lime-kiln were on the east side of the basin; 
the brewery and a lumber yard on the south ; Hull's spoke aiid hub 
factory and one or two other industries on the west ; the Collier mill 
and the f oundery on the north , besides lesser business interests scat- 
tered over the locality. 

The basin above Henry street was of less size, yet was in the center 
of an equally busy locality during the boating season and particularly 



SO previous to the burning of the Weed & Ayers steam mill and ad- 
joining buildings. Later on several minor industries were maintained 
in the vicinity, one of the largest of which was the Mather lime-kiln, 
where a poor old darkey, whom we all knew only as " Jeff," was burned 
to death. But on these scenes we cannot dwell, notwithstanding the 
many interesting reminiscences which are associated with the history 
of the old Chenango canal. It was a noted thoroughfare for trade and 
traffic during the period of its operation and was perhaps productive of 
as much good in our village as any of its early institutions. While the 
rivers were important auxiliaries during the lumbering and rafting 
period, the canal at the same time acquired a certain prominence in 
that industry. The Susquehanna carried both lumber and logs to 
markets along the river while the canal boats transported manufac- 
tured lumber to both eastern and western markets. In 1840 Christo- 
pher Eldredge, General Waterman, Col. Lewis, John D. Smith and 
Lewis Seymour shipped four million feet of lumber to market over the 
canal route alone, while like outputs were in the same manner mar- 
keted during the years when that industry was at its height. The 
pioneer of the general shipping and forwarding business on the canal 
pin this village was Charles McKinney, who, by. his energy and thrift, 
! accumulated a fortune. In 1851 he began shipping coal and for years 
J carried on a large business. His example was followed by other enter- 
j prising men, and for at least twenty-five years Binghamton was a ship- 
-'ping point of much importance on the canal. These interests, how- 
ever, will be further mentioned in the chapter devoted to industrial 

On April 18, 1838, the legislature passed an act to extend the Che- 
nango canal from its terminus at Binghamton to the state line near Tioga 
Point, at the terminus of the North Branch canal of Pennsylvania. 
More than twenty-five years elapsed, however, before anything was 
done in the matter of extension, and then under new legislation. The 
next act authorizing an extension was passed April 15, 1864, and ap- 
propriated $500,000 for the work. Further appropriations were made 
as follows: $300,000 in 1869; $200,000 in 1870; $175,000 in 1871 
and $120,000 in 1872. In all, nearly $1,250,000 were appropriated 
—and wasted— in this fruitless undertaking. The scheme contemplated 
a change in the route of the canal through this city by following the gen- 
eral course of the Brandywine creek from a point above Chenango street 
to the mouth of the creek at the Susquehanna river. It was not proposed 


to immediately abandon that portion of the canal which passed through 
the business part of the city. The waters of the Susquehanna were to 
be made more sluggish and deep by raising the Rockbottom dam, while 
at the south end of the dam the extension on the south side of the river 
was to begin. The river itself was to serve the double purpose of a 
canal and feeder for the extension, and for this purpose the dam was 
raised about two feet. This work was done in the summer of 1871, 
but not one boat was ever run into the canal south of the river. The 
mere act of raising the dam would presumably increase the water power 
capacity of the mills on the north side of the river, but a contrary result 
was asserted. Riparian owners also claimed, and were awarded, ex- 
cessive damages, whereas in fact little if any real injury' resulted from 
raising the dam. 

In due time the canal extension was substantially completed, the ap- 
propriations were exhausted, and our city was benefited by the project 
only to the extent that business interests were temporarily advanced by 
the increased trade enjoyed by our merchants. Land owners, through 
whose premises the extension was constructed, were compensated ac- 
cording to the damages suffered by each, but ultimately they were 
again possessed of- their lands under acts of the legislature abandoning 
the canal. 

While the work of canal construction was in progress existing railroad 
companies were constantly extending their lines, and new corporations 
at the same time were adding to the number of roads crossing the state 
in every possible directioa. The completion of the Utica & Chenango 
Valley road worked the downfall of the Chenango canal so far as the 
latter was a factor in the carrying trade between this city and the New 
York Central road which almost paralleled the Erie canal. By the 
canal route from three to four days were required to complete a freight 
boat trip from this city to Utica, while by rail, at about the same ex- 
pense, the distance could be covered in as many hours. The more 
rapid means of travel and transportation proved preferable to business 
men throughout the state, hence in 1872 the Chenango canal was aban- 
doned; and that before the extension to Owego was fully completed. 

The village of Binghamton was indeed a place of busy activity during 
the boating season away back in the forties and fifties, when the canal 
had no competitor in the carrying trade except the New York and Erie 
railroad, and it seemed wrong to close this well traveled thoroughfare 
which had served our business interests so well. Throughout the 


length of the village, from the Point to the Chenango street bridge, the 
canal banks on both sides were busy places and many of our best indus- 
tries prospered under the fortunate conditions then existing; the incon- 
veniences were few while the benefits were many. Originally, on the 
principal east and west streets, Court, Henry and Hawley, the canal 
was crossed on bridges elevated several feet above grade in order that 
canal boats and horses might pass under them, but between 1865 and 
1869 the legislature authorized the removal of the raised structures and 
the erection of modern swing bridges. The bridge on Court street was 
of iron, and was built in 1870, to the full width of the street. 

By an act of the legislature, passed May 30, 1872, the city was author- 
ized to use (after September) for a public street that portion of the 
canal between the south line of Susquehanna street and the north line 
of Prospect avenue ; and by an act passed June 4, 1878, the use of the 
entire canal within the city limits was authorized for street purposes. 
The Chenango canal was permanently closed in 1875. During the 
period of its operation the collectors at Binghamton were as follows : 

Erasmus D. Robinson, appointed Feb. 23, 1837, and reappointed 
March 13, 1838; William Cook, March 14, 1839, Feb. 25, 1840 and Feb. 
10. 1841; Giles Orcutt, March 10, 1842, and March 20, 1843; Joseph 
Congdon, March 1, 1844, and Feb. 18, 1845; William E. Abbott, Feb. 
13, 1846, and April 19, 1847; Henry W. Shipman, Feb. 8, 1848, Feb. 9, 
1849, Feb. 20, 1850, and Feb. 5, 1851; John H. Smith, Feb. 5, 1852, 
and Feb. 19, 1853; Hamden K. Pratt, Jan. 20, 1854, and Feb. 31, 1855; 
Patrick H. Drake, Jan. 33, 1856, and Feb. 29, 1857; Charles Davis, 
March 8, 1858, and March 3, 1859; Benjamin De Voe, March 8, 1860, 
March 14, 1861, Feb. 5, 1862, Feb. 4, 1863, Jan. 27, 1864, Feb. 35, 1865^ 
Jan. 33, 1866, and Feb. 6, 1867; Ezra F. Davis, March 17, 1868; Ed- 
ward H. Freeman, March 10, 1869; Fred M. Abbott, March 35, 1870; 
George L. Lawyer, Jan. 27, 1871; Ehas Conklin, Jan. 24, 1872, and 
Jan. 21, 1873; James O'Brien, Jan. 29, 1874, and Feb. 4, 1875. 


The first effective act to incorporate a railroad company whose line of 
road was intended to pass through the village of Binghamton was passed 
by the legislature April 24, 1832, when the New York and Erie railroad 
company was chartered. General Whitney, Christopher Eldredge and 
James McKinney were among the leading spirits of the enterprise in this 
locality. The preliminary surveys were made in 1832 by De Witt Clin- 


ton, jr., but in 1834 the route was resurveyed by Benjamin Wright, as 
sisted by James Seymour and Charles Ellett, under orders from the 
governor. In 1835 the company was reorganized, and in 1836 the 
comptroller was directed to issue $3,000,000 of state stock to aid in con- 
structing the road. Work on the eastern division was soon afterward 
begun, yet more than thirteen years elapsed before the anxious, hopeful 
citizens of Binghamton were assured that the enterprise was a complete 
success in the arrival of the first train of cars. The road was com- 
pleted to Binghamton December 28, 1848, and to Owego, June 1, 1849. 

In the meantime, however, a number of our prominent citizens, 
doubtful of the success of the original enterprise and filled with a desire 
to aid in the laudable attempt to have a railroad in actual operation in 
this locality, on April 29, 1833, secured an act of incorporation of the 
Binghamton and Susquehanna Railroad company, with a capital of 
$150,000, and with authority to build and operate a line of railroad from 
this village to the Pennsylvania state line, at or near the village of 
Susquehanna. Daniel S. Dickinson, Stephen Weed and Dr. Ammi 
Doubleday were prominently connected with the undertaking. Noth- 
ing, however, resulted from this endeavor and it remained for the older 
company to accomplish whatever was done in that direction. 

The New York and Erie railroad was completed to Dunkirk and 
opened for traffic in 1851, nearly twenty years after the route was first 
surveyed. Under its several names and various reorganizations the 
road has been in continuous operation for a period of almost half a 
century, and many indeed have been the benefits therefrom to our 
business interests. When the road was opened the village popula-~T 
tion was hardly more than 4,000 inhabitants, yet within the next i 
ten years the number was almost doubled. Direct connection with i 
New York city on the east, and Buffalo on the west, greatly in- 
creased the value of property in the vicinity of Binghamton and gave 
great impetus to all interests. The appearance of the first locomotive 
was greeted with a large assemblage of people, and the event was 
hardly less important than the canal opening of ten years before. 
The enthusiasm shown on this memorable occasion was proper, for 
all that Binghamton was and is from a commercial point of view, 
has been due to its several lines of railroad. 

On April 24, 1878, the property and franchises of the Erie Railway 
company, by which name it was then known, were sold under fore- 
closure proceedings. The purchasing agents acted for the New York, 


Lake Erie and Western Railroad company, which was chartered April 
27, 1878. 

The Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton Railroad company (now 
known as the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York), was incorpo- 
rated May 21, 1836, with a capital stock of $500,000, and with authority 
to build and maintain a railroad between Syracuse and Binghamton by 
way of the village of Cortland. Daniel S. Dickinson, General Water- 
man and Joseph S. Bosworth were prominently identified with the early 
history of the company, and were also among the commissioners ap- 
pointed to receive subscriptions to the capital stock. Nothing was 
accomplished under the original charter and the company finally passed 
out of existence. 

The next attempt to organize a company to build and maintain a 
railroad between Syracuse and Binghamton was made in 1851, when a 
charter was granted to the Syracuse and Binghamton Railroad company 
of date July 2. In 1852 an act of the legislature authorized the village 
of Binghamton to purchase the company's bonds, and Ammi Double- 
day, Rodney A. Ford, Hazard Lewis, Daniel S. Dickinsoa and Samuel 
H. P. Hall were appointed "commissioners of the railroad fund of 
Binghamton ; " to have entire charge of the negotiations and purchase 
of the bonds above mentioned. The work of building the road was be- 
gun in 1852, and was finished in 1854. The road was opened for traffic 
on October 18, of the year last mentioned. On October 13, 1856, the 
road was sold under foreclosure proceedings, and on reorganization 
the name was changed to Syracuse and Southern Railroad company. 
On April 30, 1857, the name was again changed and became Syracuse, 
Binghamton and New York Railroad company, as now known. The 
company's stock was purchased by the owners of the D., L. & W. 
road, and in 1863 the S., B. & N. Y. became a part of the Lackawanna 

The Albany and Susquehanna Railroad company was chartered by an 
act of the legislature passed April 2, 1851, with authority to construct 
and operate a railroad between Albany and Binghamton. The prelimi- 
nary surveys were made in the early part of 1853 and in September 
following the work of construction was begun. Owing, however, to 
many opposing obstacles and discouragements it was not until September 
1863, that the road was completed to Schoharie Junction. It was opened 
asfarasBainbridgeinJuly, 1867, and to Binghamton, January 14, 1869. 
The city purchased $50,000 worth of stock in the road, and only 


through the strenuous efforts of our more public spirited citizens were 
we given direct communication with the state capital by rail. In later 
years the corporation controlling the road experienced many vicissi- 
tudes, and owing to many and conflicting processes of law, mismanage- 
ment and malfeasance in office, the opposing factions became involved 
in a bitter struggle; and only through the determined action of the 44th 
Regiment of militia (a city and county organization) was violence and 
bloodshed averted and quiet restored. On February 30, 1870, the 
road was leased to the Delaware and Hudson Canal company for a term 
of 150 years. 

The Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad company 
dates its history from January 11, 1866, when a charter was granted 
to a company under that name and with authority to build and operate 
a line of railroad from Utica to Binghamton. Previous to that time, 
however, and about 1850 the Utica and Binghamton Railroad company 
was chartered for that purpose, but its work was never completed. It 
was followed by the Chenango Valley Railroad company, which was in- 
corporated April 33, 1863, with authority to build a road from Water- 
ville to Binghamton. Still it remained for the Utica, Chenango and 
Susquehanna Valley company to complete the work undertaken by its 
predecessors. This was done in 1873. On April 9, 1870, before com- 
pletion, the road was leased to the D., L. & W. R. R. company, by 
whom it is now operated. 

The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad company, whose 
trunk line of railway is one of the most important avenues of travel 
across the state, is a foreign corporation, having been chartered and 
organized under the laws of Pennsylvania. The western terminus of 
the company's road is at the state line about fifteen miles east of this 
city. In 1870 the Valley Railroad company, whose line extends from 
this city to the western terminus of the D., L. & W., was opened for 
traffic; but previous to the formal opening, on April 15, 1869, the road 
was leased to the D., L. & W. company and is now operated as part of 
its main line. 

The New York, Lackawanna and Western Railroad company was 
chartered August 34, 1880, for the purpose of building a line of rail- 
road from the western terminus of the Valley R. R. company's road at 
Binghamton to the city of Buffalo. In other words, the purpose of the 
new road was to furnish the D., L. & W. company with a through line 
from New York city to Buffalo, and thence to the west ; and fortunate 


indeed it was for this city that the enterprise was carried to a success- 
ful end. The Lackawanna system has been an important factor in the 
progressive history of our city during the period of its operation. Sixty 
miles of the road were completed and opened in 1881, and in the follow- 
ing year the entire line was put in operation. The N. Y., L. & W. 
road was leased to the D., L. & W. company October 3, 1883. 


Few cities in the country can boast of a more complete or efficient 
system of electric street railways than Binghamton, yet we have only 
to look back less than ten years to the time when the several separate 
lines in operation were using horses and mules as a motive power, and 
making slow speed indeed in comparison with the rapid service furnish- 
ed by our modern system. This complete revolution has come chiefly 
since 1890, and represents weeks and months of tireless energy, with 
many sleepless nights to those who were most actively engaged in the 
enterprise. If it were possible that General Whitney, Mason Whiting, 
Dr. Ely or any other of the more prominent of our pioneers could now 
visit the city and observe the wonderful changes that have taken place 
since their time, it is doubtful if any of them could find words to ade- 
quately express his thoughts; and if they could stand for a single 
hour on any of our principal business streets and witness the frequent 
rapid passage of the electric cars, not one of the worthy pioneers would 
recognize this city as the scene of their former residence and service 
when Binghamton had hardly enough dwellings to be dignified with the 
name of village. How interesting it would be if Major Morgan, found- 
er and proprietor of the line of stages which made Binghamton famous 
three-quarters of a century ago, could make a trip to Union on the B., 
L. & U. cars, passing over substantially the route followed by his stage 
drivers in journeying to Owego. If we of the present day are frequent- 
ly amazed at the wonderful advancement of our city during the last 
score of years, how could we intelligently comprehend the feelings and 
expressions of the pioneers if they could return and witness the changes 
which have been wrought since their time? 

\~ Binghamton enjoys the distinction of having been the first city in the 
state to adopt electricity as a motive power on its street car lines. In 

I ; March, 1887, the Washington street, State Asylum and Park line was 

I '.equipped with Van Depoele motor cars, and was successfully operated. 

y?None of the old style motors are still in use, although nearly all the 


cars are now supplied with more powerful and modern appliances. In 
1890 three lines of street railroad were operated with electricity. Three 
more were added to the number in 1892, three in 1893, one in 1894, 
one in 1895, and two in 1896. However, let us look briefly at the origin 
of our street car system, and then trace its subsequent growth and 

The Binghamton and Port Dickinson Railroad company, the first in- 
stitution of its kind in the city, was chartered by act of the legislature, 
passed May 6, 1868, and was authorized to build and operate a line of 
street railway through Court and Main streets from the Kirkwood town 
line on the east to the Union line on the west, with a branch road from 
the corner of Court and Chenango streets north through the latter street 
to Port Dickinson. The original intention of the promoters of the road 
was not fully carried out, and the line was at first built from west end 
through Main, Court and Chenango streets to Port Dickinson, and a 
little later was extended to the Union town line, or to Lestershire as 
now known. The main line was put in operation in 1873. On June 
25, 1893, electricity replaced horse power on this line. 

The incorporators of the B. & P. D. R. R. company were Sherman D. 
Phelps, John E. Sampson, Harvey Westcott, George W. Stow, Benja- 
min De Voe, Norman A. Phelps, Barna R. Johnson, Erastus Ross, J. 
Stuart Wells, Ransom Balcom, Giles W. Hotchkiss, Nelson Stow and 
Charles McKinney. The first directors were Judge Phelps, president ; 
Barna R. Johnson, vice-president; Benjamin De Voe, secretary ; Tracy 
R. Morgan, treasurer, and Norman A. Phelps, J. Stuart Wells, Erastus 
Ross, Harvey Westcott, Charles McKinney, Lewis Seymour, William 
Ogden, Alexander E. Andrews and David L. Brownson. This road 
was consolidated with the B. S. R. R. Co., August 11, 1892, under the 
name of Binghamton Railroad company. 

The Washington Street and State Asylum Railroad company was in- 
corporated October 21, 1871, with $40,000 capital, and was authorized 
to build and operate a street railroad from the south end of Washington 
street, near the covered bridge (as then known), to the New York State 
Inebriate asylum, in the town of Binghamton, a distance of 3. 54 miles. 
The first directors were Darius S. Ayers, William R. Osborne, Freder- 
ick Lewis, Charles O. Root, James B. Weed, George Whitney, Warren 
N. Bennett, Thomas W. Whitney, Joseph E. Ely, George W. Stow, 
De Witt C. McGraw, Melvin C. Rockwell and Emory Truesdell. The 
road was operated as a separate line until 1887, when it was consoli- 


dated with the Park Avenue road, and was afterward operated by the 
Washington Street, State Asylum and Park Avenue railroad company. 

The Park Avenue Railroad company was incorporated June 7, 1881, 
with $10,000 capital, and with authority to build and operate a street 
railroad from the southern terminus of the W. S. & S. A. road through 
DeRussey and South Main (now Vestal avenue) streets and Park 
avenue to the entrance to Ross park. The first directors were Erastus 
Ross, Alonzo C. Matthews, Delancey M. Halbert, David L. Brownson, 
William Trebby, jr., Matthew Hays, Burton M. Babcock, Edward A. 
Matthews, Frederick E. Ross, Eli S. Meeker, Duncan R. Grant, John 
Evans and Isaiah S. Matthews. ' The road was operated in conjunction 
with the State Asylum road until August 20, 1887, when they were con- 
solidated under the name of Washington Street, State Asylum and Park 
railroad. The first directors of the consolidated company were Samuel 
M. Nash, president; George Whitney, vice-president; Ira J. Meagley, 
secretary; Fred E. Ross, treasurer, and Burton M. Babcock, George F. 
O'Neil and B. H. Nelson. Superintendent, Henry Wilcox. 

The City Railway company was incorporated February 36, 1883, 
with $30,000 capital, and was authorized to build and operate a line of 
street railroad fro.n the corner of Court and Washington streets, through 
Washington, Ferry, Front and Clinton streets, to the Berkshire road, a 
distance of three miles. The incorporators. were Erastus Ross, Alonzo 
C. Matthews, F. E. Ross, Rozelle H. Meagley, William Trebby, jr., 
Dan S. Richards, Frank S. Beard, Joseph P. Noyes, Edward A. Mat- 
thews, Charles A.Whitney, Matthew Hays, George A. Kent and Charles 
Davis. This road was the result of the individual enterprise of Rozelle 
H. Meagley, and therefore became known as the " Meagley road." It 
was at the time a hazardous undertaking and called for a considerable 
outlay of money, and also the exhibition of much public-spiritedness on 
the part of the incorporators; but the road was carried into successful 
operation and had the- effect of developing and bringing into market a 
large territory in the northwestern portion of the city. This company 
built the Spring Forest Cemetery Hue in 1884, and in October, 1889, 
extended the road from its western terminus through Glenwood avenue 
to Prospect street. 

The Binghamton Central Railroad company was incorporated Febru- 
ary 26, 1883, with $35,000 capital, and with authority to build and main- 
tain a street railroad from the intersection of Pearne and Liberty streets 
to State street across Chenango street ; thence through State to Susque- 


hanna street; thence to Carroll street; thence to South street; thence to 
the Rockbottom bridge; thence to Liberty street; thence to Henry 
street; thence to Division street; thence to Lewis street; thence to State 
street. The articles of incorporation also contemplated a short branch 
line of road on Susquehanna street between State and Washington 
streets. This road, had it been built in accordance with the original 
intention of its promoters would have been what once was called the 
" Belt line," but the plans were changed after the company was organ- 
ized. It now forms part of several lines of the general system of the 
Consolidated company. The incorporators of the B. C. R. R. Co. were 
Charles O. Root, George L. Crandall, Alonzo Everts, Charles M. Stone, 
S. Mills Ely, James B. Weed, Luke Doolittle, Harmon J. Kneeland, 
Charles J. Bartlett, Watson A. Heath, Nelson Stow, Charles Warner 
and John Linnahan. The officers were George L. Crandall, president; 
Nelson Stow, vice-president; Charles O. Root, secretary, and Harmon 
J. Kneeland, treasurer. This company built the Orphans' Home line 
of road in 1885. 

The Binghamton Street Railroad company was incorporated February 
15, 1890, and was a consolidation of the W. S., S. A. & P., the B. C. 
and the City Railroad companies under the name first mentioned, with 
an authorized capital of $1,600,000. The first directors were Jerome B. 
Landfield, G. Tracy Rogers, Gustave Stickley, George Whitney, Theo- 
dore S. Rogers, John P. E. Clark and Charles O. Root. The first 
officers were Jerome B. Landfield, president; Gustave Stickley, vice- 
president; Charles O. Root, secretary; G. Tracy Rogers, treasurer and 
general manager, and John P. E. Clark, superintendent. With this 
consolidation and reorganization of company interests the street rail- 
roads of the city were placed on a thoroughly substantial basis for the 
first time in their history. The new directors and officers were men of 
energy and determination, and were fully equal to the task of building 
up a general system, increasing its carrying capacity and its general 
service to the public. Mr. Landfield, the president, was a "man of means 
and of excellent business qualifications, and was a fortunately chosen 
leader in the new enterprise. With Mr. Rogers as general manager, 
and Mr. Clark, as superintendent, new, young and determined spirit 
was infused into the company, and under their prudent and energetic 
action success was assured almost from the beginning. In the light of 
subsequent events, after our citizens have had the opportunity to ob- 
serve the business management of the road by these young men for a 


period of ten years, the statement just made cannot truthfully be con- 
tradicted. Both Mr. Rogers and Mr. Clark have taken a prominent 
place among the successful street railroad men of the state and of the 
country. The personnel of the board of directors above mentioned was 
practically maintained throughout the period of existence of the Bing- 
hamton Street Railroad company. 

In August, 1890, an extension of the lines controlled by the B. S. R. 
R. company was authorized and in pursuance thereof it was proposed 
to build another road to Port Dickinson, utilizing the old Chenango 
canal bed for that purpose; also to build a new line through Henry, 
Eldredge and Beman streets, as well as State street. The project was 
not fully carried out, yet enough was done to add to the efficiency of 
the lines then in operation and increase the value of the general 

The Binghamton Railroad company, the corporation now owning and 
operating all the several lines of street railroads in the city, was the re- 
sult of the consolidation of the Binghamton and Port Dickinson Railroad 
company with the Binghamton Street Railroad company, which was 
effected August 11, 1892. The first directors were G. Tracy Rogers, 
president; John Evans, 1st vice-president; Jerome B. Landfield, 2d 
vice-president; Charles O. Root, secretary; John B. Rogers, treasurer; 
John P. E. Clark, general manager, and Charles J. Knapp, Fred. E. 
Ross, George Whitney and Theodore S. Rogers. 

On March 31, 1894, the Court street and East End Railroad company 
and the West Side Railway company were consolidated with the Bing- 
hamton Railroad company. The certificate of consolidation and incor- 
poration was filed in the office of the secretary of state, at Albany, May 
1, 1894, which being done, all the lines of street railroad in the city were 
united under one management. The directors at that time were 
Jerome B. Landfield, G. Tracy Rogers, John Evans, Charles J. Knapp, 
F. E. Ross, George Whitney, Theo. S. Rogers, and John P. E. Clark' 
of Binghamton, and Arthur Beves, of New York city. The officers 
were G. Tracy Rogers, president ; John Evans, 1st vice president ; 
Jerome B. Landfield, 2d vice-president; Charles O. Root, secretary; 
John B. Rogers, treasurer; John P. E. Clark, general manager; Samuel 
E. Monroe, engineer. Mr. Landfield succeeded to the 1st vice-presi- 
dency October 4, 1895, and on the same day Joseph M. Johnson was 
chosen secretary in place of Charles O. Root. 

The Court street and East End Railroad company, of which mention 


is made in the preceding paragraph, was incorporated March 23, 1886, 
with a capital of $35,000, for the purpose of building and operating a 
street railway from the intersection of Hawley and Washington streets, 
thence thi'ough Hawley, Collier and Court Streets to a point where the 
road leading from the Asylum building touches Court street. The 
directors of the company were Charles M. Stone, Gilman L. Sessions, 
Dudley T. Finch, George L. Crandall, James B. Arnold, William G. 
Phelps and Benajah S. Curran. The road was in fact built by Mr. 
Stone and Mr. Phelps. It was operated under the company's man- 
agement until March 31, 1894, when it was consolidated with the 
system' owned by the B. R. Co. 

The West Side Street Railway company was incorporated September 
34, 1887, with $35,00D capital, and was authorized to build and main- 
tain a line of street railroad from the intersection of Main and Oak 
streets, through Oak and Le Roy streets, to the western city boundary. 
The first directors were J. Edward Shapley, Samuel M. Nash, George 
F. O'Neil, William J. Welsh, Rozelle H. Meagley, Frederick E. Ross 
and Michael McMahon. On March 31, 1894, this road was consolidated 
with the general system managed by the B. R. Co., as is mentioned in 
a preceding paragraph. 

The Binghamton, Lestershire and Union Railroad company was in- 
corporated October 19, 1894, for the purpose of building and operating 
a line of street railroad from the village of Lestershire to the village of 
Union, a distance of six miles. The incorporators were Jerome B. 
Landfield, John Evans, John P. E. Clark, George Whitney, John B. 
Rogers, "Frederick E. Ross, Charles J. Knapp, Theodore S. Rogers, G. 
Tracy Rogers, Harry C. Ross, Edmund O'Connor, George W. Dunn, 
Francis W. Downs, Joseph M. Johnson, George E. Green, Cyrus 
Strong, William H. Male, J. S. Suydam, C. A. Baldwin, H. C. Evans 
and James B. McEwan. The first directors were Jerome B. Landfield, 
president; John Evans, vice president ; Joseph M. Johnson, secretary; 
John B. Rogers, treasurer; John P. E.Clark, manager and superin- 
tendent, and George Whitney, F. E. Ross, Charles J. Knapp and 
Arthur S. Beves. Upon the death of John Evans, G. Tracy Rogers 
was elected vice-president of the company; other than that there has 
not been any material change in the officiary. The present directors 
are Jerome B. Landfield, G. Tracy Rogers, John P. E. Clark, Joseph 
M. jfohnson, F. E. Ross, Theo. S. Rogers, George E. Green, John B. 
Rogers and Chas. J. Knapp. 


As is well known, the city railroad lines previous to 1887 were oper- 
ated with horse power. In the year mentioned electricity was first 
used in -this city as a motive power for propelling street cars, was 
afterward discontinued and subsequently restored. In this connec- 
tion it may be of interest to note the date when the various horse lines 
were replaced with electric motors: Park and Asylum and Pearne 
street lines, March, 1890; Orphans' Home, August 16, 1890; Spring 
Forest and Glenwood, October 13, 1893; North Chenango, December 
10, 1892; Lestershire, March 3, 1893; Le Roy street. May 37, 1893; 
Port Dickinson, June 35, 1893; Broad Avenue, July 14, 1894; Bing- 
hamton, Lestershire and Union, November 30, 1895; Front street, 
October 10, 1896; Floral avenue, December 14, 1896. 


In 1808, by an act of the legislature the Susquehanna Bridge com- 
pany, a body corporate, chartered and organized for the purpose of 
building and maintaining a toll bridge across the Susquehanna at 
" Okquago," was authorized to build a similar structure across the 
Chenango river, at Chenango Point, and to operate and maintain the 
same under the name of the Chenango Bridge company. As a matter 
of fact the " Nevisink " turnpike road company was the governing 
spirit of this enterprise. In the year mentioned the company proposed 
to extend its turnpike from Kingston to the east branch of the Dela- 
ware river, thereto connect with a branch road from the "Cookhouse" 
to Chenango Point. It is understood that the Susquehanna Bridge 
company was comprised of stockholders in the turnif)ike company, hence 
they also were the incorporators of the original Chenango Bridge com- 
pany and the principal owners of its stock. The bridge was built in 
1808 by Marshall Lewis and Lewis Thurston under the direction and 
at the apparent expense of Lucas Elmendorf, of Kingston, who, it is 
understood, in fact represented the turnpike company. The bridge was 
600 feet long, including substantial frame approaches at either end of 
the structure proper. On the eastern side of the river the approach ex- 
tended nearly half way to Water street and in some places was consider- 
ably elevated above the buildings along the street. The entire struc- 
ture is said to have cost $6,000. 

In the course of twelve or fifteen years the personnel of the company 
was materially changed, and residents of Binghamton became owners 
of the stock. In 1835 a second bridge was built on the site of the older 


structure, the work being done by Hazard Lewis under the supervision 
of General Whitney. This bridge was carried away by the extraordi- 
nary freshet of March 16-17, 1865, and at the same time the bridge owned 
by the Binghamton Bridge company was also swept away. Sometime 
during the night of March 16 the waters of the Chenango became so 
swollen that the east half of the upper bridge was carried from its piers, 
and in floating down the river it struck and destroyed half of the Che- 
nango bridge. On the morning of the ITth the west half of each bridge 
was ruined in the same manner. 

Soon after the destruction of these bridges the action entitled " the 
Chenango Bridge company agst. Paige, et als. " (the defendants repre- 
senting the Lewis estate interest in the Binghamton Bridge company), 
was begun in the supreme court, the plaintiffs claiming damage for the 
loss of their bridge and tolls by reason of the defendants' unlawful acts 
in erecting a toll bridge within two miles of plaintiffs' bridge and main- 
taining the same in contravention of plaintiffs' exclusive rights under 
its charter. The case dragged its weary course along through the state 
courts and into the United States supreme coart before final determina- 
tion; but in the meantime commissioners representing the town of 
Binghamton had acquired the property of the Chenango Bridge com- 

On March 25, 1865, the legislature passed an act designating Jared 
D. Sessions, J. Stuart Wells and Francis T. Newell commissioners to 
negotiate for and purchase in behalf of the town of Binghamton all the 
lands, privileges and franchises of the Chenango Bridge company and 
the Binghamton Bridge company for the purpose of establishing free 
bridges across the Chenango in the village. The commissioners acted 
with commendable promptness and soon secured the property of the 
Chenango Bridge company, but not of the Binghamton Bridge com- 
pany, whose representatives were struggling under the adverse judg- 
ment of the state courts. In the same year (1865) the commissioners 
above mentioned caused a substantial full street width frame bridge to be 
built across the Chenango, connecting Court and Main streets, at a total 
cost of $38,000. Thestructure was built after plans prepared by Isaac G. 
Perry. It stood the wear of time and constant use until 1889, when it 
was replaced with the present full-deck iron bridge which was built by 
the Berlin Bridge company, at a total cost of $75,875. The town of 
Binghamton was not required to pay any part of the cost of this bridge, 
having been specially released from such liability by an act of the leg- 
islature passed April 36, 1886. 


The Binghatnton Bridge company, of which frequent mention is 
made in preceding paragraphs, and which was the innocent cause of 
years of bitter and expensive litigation, was incorporated April 5, 1855, 
with $10,000 capital, and with authority to construct and for a period 
of forty years maintain a toll bridge across the Chenango river, at a 
point not less than eighty rods above the Chenango bridge, and south 
of the New York and Erie Railroad bridge. The act designated Daniel 
S. Dickinson, Erasmus D. Robinson, Edward C. Kattell, Henry Mather 
and Morgan S. Lewis commissioners to receive subscriptions to the 
stock. Hazard Lewis was the principal promoter of the company, and 
the builder of the bridge under a contract with the company. He was 
one of the original directors, and was president of the company from 
1858 to the time of his death, July 3, 1863. 

The bridge was built in 1855, and stood until carried away by the 
disastrous flood of March, 1865. Then, for a period of six years the 
residents of the upper part of the First ward, as well as all others who 
had occasion to visit that locality from the east side of the river, were 
compelled to cross the Court street bridge or hazard the uncertainties 
of an inconvenient ferry. However, when Colonel Walton Dwight 
began his splendid work of building up Dickinson's brook meadow loca- 
tion, he, with a few other public-spirited citizens, set out to secure a 
new bridge on the site of the former structure. The result was in the 
erection of a bow-string girder suspension bridge, 360 feet long in a 
single span, at a total cost of $28,000. It was built in 1871 and gave 
excellent service until about 1896, when it was condemned as unsafe. 

The present Ferry street bridge was built by the city in 1897, and 
cost $49,339.48. It is a four span, iron structure, 353.50 feet long, of 
full street width, with asphalt driveway and walks. 

The white bridge across the Susquehanna river, connecting Water 
street with the Montrose turnpike, was a historic structure in early vil- 
lage history. On April 21, 1825, an act of the legislature authorized 
Christopher Eldredge and John A. Collier, their heirs and assigns, to 
build and maintain at their own expense a toll bridge, not less than 
eighteen feet wide, near the termination of Second street (Washington 
street was once known as Second street). The act forbade the con- 
struction of any other bridge, or the maintenance of a ferry, across the 
Susquehanna within three miles of the proposed structure. In accord- 
ance with the authority conferred by the act the first bridge was built 
by Hazard Lewis, under the direction of proprietors Eldredge and Col- 
lier, the work being done in 1825-26. 


After about three years of successful management the owners of the 
bridge determined to organize a stock company, and to that end pro- 
cured an act of the legislature, passed January 31, 1839, by which the 
Susquehanna Bridge company of the village of Binghamton was duly 
incorporated. The incorporators were Christopher Eldredge, John A. 
Collier, Elihu Ely, Hazard Lewis, Gilbert Tompkins, Myron Merrill, 
Lewis St. John, Martin Hawley and Julius Page. 

In the spring of 1843 the south half of the white bridge was carried 
away by an ice flood, but the loss was not seriously felt by the stock- 
holders as the structure was old and somewhat weakened by constant 
use. It was at once replaced with the famous old covered bridge, the 
latter having been built for the company by Robert Carman, at a con- 
siderable financial loss to the builder. The bridge was about 700 feet 

An act of the legislature passed April 15, 1869, designated Hurd F. 
Brownson and John W. Cutler, of the town of Binghamton, and J. 
Stuart Wells, of the city, commissioners to negotiate the purchase of 
the property, rights and franchise of the Susquehanna Bridge company 
and also of the Rockbottom Bridge company. They were authorized 
to pay not more than $13,000 for the former and not more than $5,000 
for the latter property. Under this authority the title to both bridges 
became vested in the city, but the act of 1886 released the town of 
Binghamton from future expense on account of either structure. In 
1883 the old bridge was declared to be unsafe, and the roof was removed 
to lighten the weight upon its timbers, but notwithstanding that, it soon 
gave way to a new and more substantial structure. 

The present Washington street bridge was authorized by an act of the 
legislature, passed April 30, 1886, by which George A. Thayer, Dudley 
T. Finch and Burton M. Babcock were appointed commissioners to pro- 
cure plans and cause the erection of a bridge connecting Washington 
and De Russey streets, at a cost not exceeding $33,000. The bridge 
was built in 1886, by the Berlin Bridge company. It is of iron, 495 feet 
long, and cost $38,077.87. 

The Rockbottom Bridge company was originally incorporated April 
1, 1853, with $10,000 capital, and with authority to construct and main- 
tain a toll bridge across the Susquehanna river between the Fifth and 
Sixth wards of the village. William D. Morris, Capt. Marinus Pierce, 
Cyrus Strong, jr. , and Horatio Evans were appointed commissioners to 
receive stock subscriptions. The company organized in pursuance of 



the act mentioned, but afterwards became insolvent and dissolved. It 
was succeeded by a new company under the same name, the latter be- 
ing created by an act of the legislature passed April 21, 1862. The new 
incorporators were Col. Joseph B. Abbott, Horatio Evans, Eli Pratt, 
Allen Perkins and Benjamin N. Loomis, who purchased the property 
and franchise of the defunct concern, and also purchased the Tompkins 
bridge at the head of Court street, the latter by its competition having 
proved the financial ruin of the old Rockbottom company. The avail- 
able timbers of the upper bridge were used to strengthen the lower 
structure, and as a toll bridge the latter was maintained until the pas- 
sage of the free bridge act of April 15, 1869. This act authorized the 
payment of $5,000 for the company's interest in the property, thus 
indicating that the bridge was not sapcially valuable. 

The present Rockbottom bridge was built by the city in 1874, the 
work being done by the King Iron Bridge and Manufacturing com- 
pany, of Cleveland, Ohio. It is 550 feet long, and cost $35,193.97. 

The East Court street bridge was built in 1856 by Edward Tompkins 
in pursuance of an act of the legislature authorizing its construction. 
Mr. Tompkins was the owner of a large tract of land in the eastern 
portion of the village south of the Susquehanna and the erectiDn of a 
bridge across the river at the mouth of the Brandywine creek was a 
part of his grand scheme of development, although tolls were regularly 
exacted from all who had occasion to cross the bridge. But it appears 
that Mr. Tompkins had not the means to carry out his project, and his 
affairs eventually passed into the hands of Barzilla Marvin for settle- 
ment with creditors. About 1864 the bridge was sold to the Rockbot- 
tom Bridge company, by whom it was taken down. 

Although the inhabitants of Tompkinsville suffered many inconven- 
iences through the removal of the " Tompkins Bridge," as it was call- 
ed, no effort was made to secure another structure until the latter part 
of 1898-9, when the taxpayers generously voted an appropriation for a 
new bridge. In 1899 a contract for construction was made between the 
city and the Groton Bridge company for the erection of the present 
Tompkins street bridge on the site of the old Tompkins bridge. The 
cost of the new structure, which is in course of erection, is to be 

The Binghamton Foot Bridge company was incorporated April 1, 1865. 
Under the act authority was granted to William Stuart and Augustus 
h. Harding to build for the company a foot bridge across the Susque- 


hanna at the foot of Exchange street. Nothing, however, was accom- 
plished by the company under its charter, neither was anything done 
by the Central Bridge company, which was incorporated April 18, 1866, 
for the purpose of constructing a drive bridge at the same point. In 
,1874 a party of public spirited citizens raised $3,500 by subscription, 
and with that sum of money a reasonably secure foot bridge was built 
at the point mentioned. Soon afterward the structure was blown down 
by a severe wind, but it was soon rebuilt, and was used until 1880 when 
its was carried away by the spring ice freshet. 

The present Exchange street foot bridge was erected in 1883, at a 
cost of $4,500. It has four spans and a total length of 387 feet. 

The Pierce Creek bridge was built by the city in 1893, and cost 
$3,588.88. Its length is 65.75 feet. 

The De Forest street bridge was built by the city in 1897, and cost 
$35,338.73. It has two spans and a length of 393 feet. 



The Inebriate Asylum.— "^"aa first application to the legislature for a 
charter for the Inebriate Asylum was made in 1853, and was renewed in 
1853, both at the regular and an extra session. The charter was final- 
ly granted in 1854, with amendments in 1855, '57, "59, '61, '64, '65 and 
'66. In 1867, Dr. Willard Parker, president of the board of trustees, 
conveyed the property to the state. 

The original name of the institution under the charter of 1854 was 
the " United States Inebriate Asylum," but by the amendment of 1857 
the name was changed to " The New York State Inebriate Asylum," 
by which it was afterward known throughout the period of its history. 
The institution was founded by Dr. Jonathan Edward Turner, with 
the assistance of Dr. Thomas Jefferson Gardner. According to the 
scheme of the founder, the asylum was to be established and maintained 
by a fund created by voluntary subscriptions from all parts of the 
United States ; each subscriber to receive one share of stock for each 
ten dollars contributed, and to have a voice in electing a board of 


trustees, the latter to have direct control of the institution and 

The first board of trustees was organized May 15, 1854, when John 
D. Wright was elected president, Newell A. Prince, registrar, and J. 
Edward Turner, treasurer. At the same time the trustees issued an 
appeal to the public, asking for contributions to the stock, and in this 
way the original building fund was created. The committee on location, 
comprising Chancellor Walworth, Ex-Governor Hunt, Judge Balcom 
and Dr. Turner, at a meeting held in New York city. May 19, 1858, 
decided to accept the offer made by the village of Binghamton of 353 
acres of land on the east boundary of the corporation. The excavation 
for the foundation of the main building was begun June 17, 1858, the 
masonry on July 15, and the corner stone was laid on Friday, Septem- 
ber 34, of the same year. 

This event was perhaps the most important occasion in the history 
of the institution, and was performed with full Masonic ceremony by 
John L. Lewis, jr., grand master of the state of New York. The other 
participants on the occasion were Rev. Dr. Beach, prayer; Benjamin 
F. Butler, president of the corporation, address; John W. Francis, M. 
D., LL. D., address; Rev. Henry Bellows, D. D., address; Daniel S. 
Dickinson, address; Edward Everett, remarks; Alfred B. Street, poem; 
Newell A. Prince, benediction. 

The asylum building was erected after plans prepared by Isaac G. 
Perry, then an architect of New York city, but afterward of Bingham- 
ton. At the outset some doubt was expressed by the trustees as to the 
advisability of entrusting a work of such importance and magnitude to 
so young an architect as Mr. Perry was at that time; but Drs. Turner and 
Gardner, whose influence with the trustees was supreme, knew the 
capacity and quality of the young architect, while in the board itself 
Mr. Perry had several warm friends. That his work was well done 
was fully shown in the fact that the original plan was never modified 
in any respect during the work of construction ; and to-day, after a 
lapse of more than forty years, the main structure is still as firm and 
secure on its foundation as when first built. The building was a marvel 
of beauty in its time and now is one of the most attractive edifices in 
the state. It was designed after the castellated gothic style of archi- 
tecture, with towers, turrets and buttresses heavily embattled at the 

The work of construction was pressed with such energy that patients 


were received for treatment in 1860, but in the meantime the funds in the 
hands of the trustees were nearly exhausted, while contributions to 
the stock came very slow. Therefore, in their emergency the trustees 
had recourse to the legislature in an application for an appropriation. 
This at first met with disapproval, but finally an act was passed appro- 
priating for the benefit of the institution ten per cent, of all excise 
moneys received by the state. In this way the state became directly 
connected with the asylum. Indeed, the original charter provided that 
in case the institution should cease to be occupied for its intended pur- 
pose, and should be closed, the charter should thereupon forfeit to the 
state. In the course of time dissensions worked themselves into the 
councils of the trustees and bitter feelings arose between the majority 
of the board and the founder. The culmination of trouble was reached 
in 1867, when the asylum was declared closed and the president of the 
board. Dr. Willard Parker, conveyed the entire property to the state 
for the consideration of one dollar. Litigation followed and the ques- 
tions involved were contested in the courts several years, with final 
judgment for the state. In 1879, by an act of the legislature, the New 
York State Inebriate Asylum was changed into an asylum for the 

Dr. Turner, the founder and controlling spirit of the institution, was 
removed from his office in 1866. Four times during the period of its 
history the institution suffered loss by fire: First, in 1863, when the 
carpenter shop and machinery were burned, with 250,030 feet of cherry 
lumber, fifty cherry bedsteads and as many wardrobes ; second, in the 
same year, when a fire destroyed the inside blinds and a quantity of 
cherry lumber; third, in 1864, when the north wing of the main build- 
ing was burned, for which the insurance companies paid a loss of $81-, 
000; fourth, in 1869, when the rear buildings were destroyed. Dr. 
Turner was charged with having willfully set fire to the buildings on 
the occasion last mentioned, and was indicted for arson. He was tried 
in Binghamton, and was promptly acquitted. 

The presidents of the board of trustees of the New York State Ine- 
briate asylum during the period of its history were as follows : John 
D. Wright, 1854-57; Benjamin F. Butler, 1857-59; Reuben H. Wal- 
worth, 1859-60; John W. Francis, 1860, one month; Dr. Valentine 
Mott, 1861-65; Dr. Williard Parker, 1866-67. 

The Susquehanna Valley Home for Orphan and Indigent Children?— 

' Taken largely from a historical sketch prepared by Mrs. C. D. Middlebrook. 


It is altogether fitting that the Susquehanna Valley Home crowns the 
fairest eminence in the eastern portion of our city, for there are light 
and hope for the future in its very existence. All Binghamton has 
pride in its work and well-being, and is so familiar with its life-saving 
mission that it gives quick response to any appeal to meet its neces- 

It is the oldest of our city charities, and to Dr. John G. Orton is ac- 
credited the thought which developed into plans and but waited its op- 
portunity to create a home for destitute and orphan children who were 
then herded together with adult paupers in all our poor houses. The 
opportunity came in 1869, when Wheeler H. Bristol, then state treas- 
urer, learned that a sum of money which the state had at one time ap- 
propriated for the education of indigent children had not been drawn 
by the several counties to which it had been allotted, and had therefore 
lapsed into the state treasury. A successful effort was made to secure 
the money for the maintenance of indigent children, and the Susque- 
hanna Valley Home was no longer a thought, but a fact. For two years 
it was housed in the building then known as Place college (originally 
Susquehanna seminary) but now known as St. Mary's Roman Catholic 
Orphan asylum. Dr. Orton was chosen president of the first board of 
managers, and Mrs. Henry Mather, president of the women's assistant 
board, which was organized the same year. 

Associated with Dr. Orton were the following persons : Abel Bennett, 
William R. Osborn, William E. Taylor, William M. Ely, Dr. Franklin T. 
Maybury, J. Stuart Wells, Benjamin N. Loomis, Charles McKinney, 
Moses T. Morgan and Charles A. Whitney. These persons comprised 
the first board of managers. 

In 1871 the present site, including forty-five acres of land, which had 
previously been a private residence, was purchased by the managers 
for the sum of $19,000, they becoming personally responsible for the 
payment. However, in the course of a few years the managers found 
themselves burdened with a heavy debt, in consequence of which their 
noble charity was threatened with possible dissolution. In this emer- 
gency our member of assembly — George Sherwood — by the most per- 
sistent and almost unaided effort secured an appropriation of $15,000 
from th« state with which to pay the indebtedness. From that time 
(1874-75) the finances of the institution have been prudently managed 
and the home has ever been prosperous. Meanwhile, however, a work 
has been accomplished by the assistant managers, of which the public 


knows little, but which is worthy of mention. In 1873 they raised 
$1,500 to meet pressing indebtedness and pay current expenses; and 
during the period of their connection with the home they have contrib- 
uted for various purposes an aggregate of more than $7,000. The 
board of assistant managers comprises ladies from this city, and also 
from Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Steuben, Sullivan and Tioga 
counties. Their officers are Mrs. Charles D. Middlebrook, president; 
Mrs. George M. Harris and Mrs. Charles M. Stone, vice presidents; 
Mrs. LeRoy D. Farnham, treasurer; Mrs. Charles C. Eastman, record- 
ing secretary ; Mrs. William G. Phelps, corresponding secretary. 

Children are admitted to the home by the authorities of the several 
counties, each jurisdiction paying for maintenance at the rate of $1.75 
per week for each child. This sum provides board, clothes and educa- 
tion. The present number of inmates is 130. The buildings comprise 
the home proper and school, the chapel and the hospital. 

In addition to the charter members of the board of managers, whose 
names are mentioned in a preceding paragraph, the office of manager 
has also been held by Jeremiah Dean, Joseph E. Ely and Robert J. 
Bates, all of whom are now dead. 

The present board of managers is constituted as follows : Joseph P. 
Noyes, president; J. Stuart Wells, vice-president; Alonzo C. Matthews, 
treasurer; Charles A. Wilkinson, secretary, and Dr. John G. Orton, 
Erastus C. Delavan, William H. Stilwell, William J. Welsh, George 
Sherwood. Newton W. Edson, superintendent; Mrs. Eunice Edson, 
matron; Dr. Joseph H. Chittenden, physician. 

The office of president has been filled by Dr. John G. Orton, Abel 
Bennett and Joseph P. Noyes. The superintendents, in succession, 
have been Samuel Lee, August, 1869-June, 1871 ; A. C. Van Epps, 
June, 1871-May, 1873; Almond R. Payne, May, 1872-May, 1873; Sam- 
uel J. Northrup, May, 1873-May, 1878; A. H. La Monte, May, 1878- 
May, 1888; Newton W. Edson, May, 1888-1900. 

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum was incorporated March 
6, 1878, under the general statute, and was designed to protect, care for 
and educate poor and destitute children of both sexes under eighteen 
years of age, committed by overseers of the poor or by parents or 
guardians. The purposes of this commendable charity have been fully 
carried out, and it is now regarded as one of the most worthy institu- 
tions in the southern tier. For a time the trustees rented the water 
cure property on Mount Prospect, but soon afterward purchased from 


Abel Bennett the Susquehanna seminary building and grounds, in- 
cluding about ten acres of land, for all of which was paid the sum of 
$33,000. The purchase was made in 1881. The building was re- 
modeled to suit its new occupancy. 

St. Mary's Home, as it is commonly known, is conducted on the plan 
of management of the Susquehanna Valley Home, and receives a like 
compensation of $1. 75 per week for each child sent to it. The business 
affairs are in charge of a board of trustees, while the immediate care of 
the children is entrusted to the Sisters of St. Joseph. The late vener- 
able Father Hourigan, pastor of St. Patrick's church, was chiefly in- 
strumental in founding the institution and establishing its business 
affairs on a safe basis. 

The incorporators of the Home association were William S. Smith, 
Matthew Hays, Carlos Cortesy, Dennis J. Sullivan, Timothy Good, 
Rev. Nicholas J. Quinn, James Prendergast, John A. McNamara and 
Dennis J. Dowden. Mr. McNamara for several years held the office of 
president of the board, after which the bishop of the diocese assumed 
charge and placed the management more directly under the sisters of 
St. Joseph. The business affairs, however, of the Home are conducted 
by a board of trustees or managers, the personnel of the present 
board being as follows: Rev. John J. McDonald, president; Rev. 
Nicholas J. Quinn, vice-president; Dr. Edward Mulheron, secretary; 
Francis W. Downs, treasurer, and George F. O'Neil, William Shanley 
and Matthew Hays. 

The Chapel and House of the Good Shepherd was incorporated Janu- 
ary 25, 1870, the object of its founders being to establish and maintain 
in Binghamton a free chapel for religious worship according to the prin- 
ciples and forms of the Episcopal Church, and also to found and main- 
tain a charitable home or refuge and shelter for infirm persons, or per- 
sons in destitute circumstances by orphanage or old age; including the 
temporary cradling of infants and small children while their mothers 
were at their daily work. 

The incorporators were Mrs. Helen S. Wright, Rev. William A. 
Hitchcock, Rev. Walter Ayrault, Rev. Amos B. Beach, William R. 
Osborne and Frederick Lewis. The incorporators, except Mrs. Wright, 
comprised the first board of trustees. As is well known throughout 
the city, the House of the Good Shepherd was founded chiefly through 
the liberality of Mrs. Wright, and the buildings were largely erected 
and furnished through her gifts. Mrs. Wright is the widow of the late 
Thomas D. Wright and the daughter of the late John A. Collier. 


The House of the Good Shepherd is one of the worthy charities of the 
city and is under the immediate fostering care of the Protestant Epis- 
copal churches of Binghamto~n. The original buildings have been en- 
larged to meet the growth of the work of the trustees and the conse- 
quent increasing application for admission to the home. 

The Hospital of the Good Shepherd was incorporated and founded in 
connection with the work of the House of the Good Shepherd, but on 
the organization of the Binghamton City Hospital association this fea- 
ture of the institution was partially abolished. The House hospital 
was incorporated January 31, 1B85, by Rev. R. G. Quennell, Rev. G. 
Livingston Bishop, Moses Stoppard, John C. Robinson, Clark Z. Otis, 
John Anderson, Erastus C. Delavan and Daniel Lyons. The hospital, 
like its allied institution, the House of the Good Shepherd, has always 
been supported as one of the dependencies of the Protestant Episcopal 
churches of the city. 

The present trustees of the House of the Good Shepherd are as fol- 
lows: Rev. R. G. Quennell, Rev. S. D. Day, Rev. J. H. La Roche, 
John Anderson and Daniel Lyons. The lady managers are Mrs. 
Charles S. Case, president; Mrs. J. St. John Cronin, secretary; Mrs. J. 
Fuller, treasurer, and Mrs. John Ray Clarke, Mrs. Gilbert C. Walker, 
Mrs. Charles F. Moore, Mrs. Lewis Baird, Mrs. Fred. H. Westcott and 
Mrs. E. A. Glark. Matron, Mrs. Henry Heady. 

The Home for Aged Women was incorporated July 6, 1891, "to fur- 
nish relief and a home for aged women." The incorporators were Dr. 
John G. Orton, Charles A. Wilkinson, Asa R. Tweedy, Horace H. Crary, 
Tracy G. Rich, S. Mills Ely, L. M. Bowers, G. S. Humphrey, John J. 
McElroy, James M. Stone, Edwin Taylor, Charles A. Whitney, John 
A. Porter, Dr. E. E. Snyder, William M. McLean, Henry A. Smith, J. 
Stuart Wells, J. L. Lusk, William E. Taylor, William J. Welsh, George 
E. Hall, Mrs. Olive S. Newell, Mrs. T. L. Bayless, Mrs. Helen R. Land- 
field, Mrs. Permelia Corby, Mrs. M. Rogers, Mrs. Mary V. Holmes, Mrs. 
K. E. Johnson, Mrs. Horace H. Crary, Mrs. Stephen C. Millard, Mrs. 
Fannie M. Kinney, Mrs. James M. Stone, Dr. Emily H. Wells, Mary H. 
Ely and Hannah Hammond. 

The Home has been liberally supported by the charitable residents of 
Binghamton, and particularly by the ladies of the city. Mrs. Mary A. 
Johnson, widow of the late Col. James W. Johnson, gave to the trustees 
the Home property on Fairview avenue, which cost about $6,000. Mrs. 
Polly Burr Crary, widow of the late Horace H. Crary, in her will be- 


queathed to the institution the sum of $5,000. which, with previous gifts 
of money, has established a comfortable fund for home maintenance. No 
person less than sixty years of age is eligible to the benefits of the home, 
and each applicant for admission must provide, at least $300 for support. 
The present number of inmates is fourteen, which number fills the 
building to its total capacity. 

During its history the matrons of the home have been Mrs. Charles 
O. Watrous, Mrs. Luzerne Gates and Mrs. John A. Hunt. The present 
officers of the board of managers are Mrs. Julius S. Corbett, president; 
Mrs. S. Mills Ely, first vice president ; Mrs. S. C. Millard, second vice- 
president; Mrs. Fannie M. Kinney, secretary; Mrs. Charles E. Mann, 
treasurer; Mrs. Jerome B. Landfield, auditor. 

Binghamton State Hospital.— ^y an act of the legislature passed May 
13, 1879, the New York State Inebriate asylum was abolished and all its 
property and privileges were declared to belong to the State, to be en- 
trusted to the care and management of the Binghamton asyWm for 
the chronic insane, the latter being established by the act. Pro- 
vision also was made for the appointment of nine citizens of the 
State to constitute a board of trustees of the insane asylum, the 
appointees to hold office two, four and six years, according to the 
three classes into which they were divided. In later years, however, 
the number of trustees was changed, and under the act of 1896 the 
trustees were called managers, and the number was reduced to seven. 

The original board of trustees, appointees of the governor, was 
charged with the duty of remodeling the entire interior of the asylum 
building and repairing the same for its new occupancy. This work was 
not completed until the latter part of 1881, and was only accomplished 
after an outlay of many thousands of dollars. The building was opened 
for patients in the latter part of October, in the year mentioned, but in 
the course of a few years it became necessary to erect a new building 
on the grounds adjoining the asylum building proper for the accommo- 
dation of the increased number of inmates. In still later years other 
buildings were required, hence the auxiliary structures known respect- 
ively as the north, south, east and west buildings were erected. When 
opened in October, 1881, one patient was at first sent to the asylum ; 
the present number of inmates exceeds 1,250. In 1881 the asylum 
farm tract included 325 acres of land; the present farm is 1,060 acres 
in extent. In 1890 the legislature changed the name from Binghamtom 
Asylum for chronic insane to Binghamton State Hospital. 


In 1879 the trustees appointed Dr. Carlos McDonald superintendent 
and physician of the asylum, but no patients were received during his 
incumbency of the office. On June 1, 1880, Dr. Theodore Spencer 
Armstrong was appointed superintendent and served in that capacity 
to the time of his death, December 28, 1891. His successor, Dr. 
Charles Gray Wagner, the present superintendent of the hospital, was 
appointed February 8, 1892. In 1882 the trustees appointed Dr. 
Charles C. Eastman first assistant physician. He is still serving in that 

The first steward was Harlan G. Blanding, appointed in 1879. In 
1881 Major Edwin Evans was appointed to the position and is still in 

The presidents of the board of trustees (the office is now known as 
chairman of the board of managers) have been as follows : Rodney A. 
Ford, 1879-80; Col. George W. Dunn, 1881; Tracy R. Morgan, 1882-94; 
Alexander Gumming, 1895-96; John B. Stanbrough, 1897-99. 

The secretaries have been William S. Smith, 1879-80; Harris G. 
Rodgers, 1881-95 ; John Anderson, 1895-97; Kate Moss Ely, 1897 (re- 
signed) ; George C. Bayless, 1897-1900. 

The office of treasurer was filled by Jerome De Witt from 1879 to 
1894, when he resigned and was succeeded by John Rankin, the present 

Edmund O'Connor was appointed counsel to the board of managers 
in 1896, and served until his death, July 15, 1898, when he was suc- 
ceeded by George B. Curtiss, the present counsel. 

In noting the personnel of the board of trustees it is not deemed 
necessary to repeat the names of incumbents with each succeeding year, 
but rather to furnish the names of the original board, and then note 
the year of appointment of later incumbents of the office. In 1879 the 
trustees were Rodney A. Ford, William S. Smith, F. O. Cable, G. 
Prince, William E. Knight, S. D. Halliday, Alvin Devereaux, Erastus 
Ross and E. D. Van Slyck. In 1880, no change; 1881, George W. 
Dunn, Harris G. Rodgers, Edmund O'Connor, George Truman, James 
Stewart and Tracy R. Morgan; 1882, Alexander Cumming, Charles 
Davis, John Rankin; 1883-85, no change; 1886, Dr. J. Franklin Barnes, 
vice Ford; 1887-91, no change; 1892, D. B. Cushman, Stephen W. 
Leach, John B. Stanbrough, Francis W. Downs; 1893, no change; 1894, 
George H. Barlow, vice Rankin ; 1895, Charles M. Dickinson, Burton 
M. Babcock, John Anderson; 1896, no change; 1897, Mrs. KateM. Ely, 


Henry L. Armstrong, A. J. French, Anna L. Piatt (resigned and James 
Forsyth appointed) ; 1898, George C. Bayless; 1899, Theodore Gere, 
vice Forsyth, resigned. 



; Previous to the organization of the old Broome County bank all bank- 
( ing business of the village of Binghamton and its vicinity was done 
j through the merchants who controlled the largest trade. Soon after 
; 1830 several business men and capitalists became convinced that a 
j prudently managed banking house would not only add to the commer- 
cial importance of the village, but also would be of great convenience 
to all interests and prove to be a profitable investment. Accordingly, 
on April 18, 1831, an act of the legislature incorporated the Broome 
; County bank, with $100,000 capital, and authority to increase the 
amount to $150,000. The association was formally organized June 13, 
1 1831, when the stockholders elected the following board of directors: 
Cyrus Strong, Gary Murdock, Daniel Evans, Samuel Smith, Myron 
Merrill, Peter Robinson, Jesse Orcutt, Lewis St. John, Virgil Whitney, 
Thomas G. Waterman, Christopher Eldredge, John A. Collier and 
Joshua Whitney. Each of these directors was directly and prominently 
identified with the early history of the village in many ways. (Not 
one of the number is now living, but descendants of all save one or two 
are known in city business circles, one of them being the head of the 
strongest financial institution in the city.) The directors above men- 
tioned organized by electing Myron Merrill, president, and Cary Mur- 
dock, cashier. 

The Broome County bank was opened in the early summer in 1833 
and from that time on it did a large and successful business without 
change in its corporate character until it resolved into a national bank. 
Mr. Merrill was president until June 12, 1853, when he was succeeded 
by Cyrus Strong (the latter being grandfather to the present president 
of the Strong State bank). In 1865 Mr. Strong died, and was suc- 
ceeded in the presidency by his son, Cyrus, the late Colonel Strong, in 
allusion to whom the Strong State bank takes its name. He was presi- 


dent of the Broome County bank under its original charter, and also 
after the institution was reorganized under the name of National 
Broome County bank. He remained in office until about 1889 or 1890, 
and was succeeded by the late David L. Brownson, who was president 
of the bank when its doors were closed by the bank examiner in Janu- 
ary, 1895. 

Cary Murdock was cashier of the old bank from 1832 to 1841, when, 
on April 33, he was succeeded by Tracy R. Morgan. Thereafter and 
for a period of fifty-five years. Colonel Morgan was known in local 
financial circles, and in his official capacity transacted the business of 
the bank under its original charter of 1831, under the free state bank 
charter of 1855, and also under its national banking charter of 1865. 
He was the cashier and active managing officer of the bank at the time 
of the disastrous failure of January, 1895. 

On January 1, 1855, the bank was reorganized as a free state bank, 
and retained that distinctive character until August 9, 1865, when it 
was converted into a national bank, agreeable to the provisions of a 
general enabling act of the legislature. The name of the new institu- 
tion was the National Broome County bank. The directors and officers 
of the state bank were continued in office under the reorganized con- 

The history of the old Broome County bank, and also of its successor 
banks, is thus briefly narrated. It was the pioneer institution of its char- 
acter in the village and was always regarded as one of the sound finan- 
cial institutions of this part of the state. The banking house stood on 
an elevated site at the corner of Court and Chenango streets, where is 
now the Phelps building. It was erected in 1833 and was taken down in 
1871. (To properly recall the old structure the reader must have known 
Binghamton thirty years ago, and it may be assumed that at least half 
of our present population never saw the old building that once orna- 
mented the village. The accompanying view of Chenango street in 
1856 affords an interesting study. The building in the foreground is 
the bank, standing on an elevation of about ten feet above Court street. 
North of the bank the old Congregational, Presbyterian and Baptist 
churches are shown in the order mentioned. The building now owned 
by Smith, Kinney & Co. stands on the Congregational church site. 
The edifice was eventually converted into a theatre, and was known as 
the Academy of Music. It burned in the winter of 1883-83. The view 
also shows many other buildings which arouse the interest of our older 



citizens, hence the reader will pardon this digression from the proper 
subject of this chapter.) 

The Binghamton bank, an associate financial institution with a capi- 
tal of $100,000, was chartered December 36, 1838, and began business 
in the early part of the following year. Its directors were John 
La Grange, president, Calvin L. Cole, cashier, Dwight Danforth and 

View taken from the Court House. The Broome County Bank is seen in the foreground. 

Samuel Brown. It was organized for the laudable purpose of doing a 
general banking business, but at that time the commercial interests of 
the village were not sufficient to profitably support two banks, and the 
lesser must of necessity go to the wall. The new concern struggled 
against adversity until about 1842 and then closed its doors. The fail- 
ure was not disastrous and only the stockholders suffered losses. The 
bank began business in rooms in the Binghamton hotel, on the corner 
of Court and Water streets, but soon afterward removed to the north 
side of Court street, just east of Water street. In local business circles 


the bank was commonly known as the " Red Dog bank," its currency 
having a bright red back, with a picture of a large mastiff in the center. 

The Bank of Binghamton was organized under the laws of the state, 
July 29, 1853, with a capital of $150,000 (increased September 6, 1853, 
to $200,000). The first board of directors comprised Dr. Ammi Double- 
day, John A. Collier, Edward Tompkins, William R. Osborne, Charles 
McKinney, Charles W. Sanford, Judson Smith, Cyrenus H. Crosby, 
Benjamin F. Sisson, Joseph B. Abbott, Waring S. Weed, Hazard 
Lewis and John E. Sampson. The first officers were Dr. Doubleday, 
president ; Charles W. Sanford, vice-president, and William R. Osborne, 

It would have been difficult at any time during our early village his- 
tory to gather in a single corporation a stronger body of men than the 
above board of directors. They came from all branches of professional 
and business life and were men of the highest integrity and moral 
worth. Only one of them — Waring S. Weed — now survives, but all 
were once prominent factors in Binghamton history. 

The history of the Bank of Binghamton covered a period of thir- 
teen years, throughout which was shown a record of complete success. 
The original officers were continued in their respective positions until 
the institution was converted into a national bank, and were then re- 
elected. The bank began business on the north side of Court street 
(now No. 31), and thence removed to the corner of Court and Washing- 
ton streets, January 1, 1856. On May 4, 1885, the directors made a 
contract with J. Stuart Wells for the erection of the four story building 
on the site mentioned, and during the remaining months of the year 
the structure was completed. It cost $10,500. Early in the summer of 
1865 the stockholders determined to reorganize under the provisions of 
the national banking act and the City National bank was the result. 

The City National Bank of Binghamton, No. 1,189, was organized 
July 1, 1865, with a capital of $200,000, the stock of the old bank being 
exchanged for that of the new. The old board of directors was re- 
elected and continued in office, and was as follows: Dr. Ammi Double- 
day, William R. Osborne, John E. Sampson, Lewis S. White, William 
E. Taylor, Benjamin F. Sisson, Horace S. Griswold and Joseph B. 
Abbott. The officers, president, vice-president and cashier, were the 
same as previous to reorganization. Dr. Doubleday retained the pres- 
idency until his death, July 23, 1867, and in January, 1868, Charles W. 
Sanford was elected to fill the vacancy. On January 8, 1878, Mr. San- 


ford declined a re-election, upon which William R. Osborne succeeded 
to the presidency and served to January 10, 1893, when he resigned. 
He was followed by Harris G. Rodgers (who was made additional vice- 
president March 25, 1882), who was president at the time of his death, 
May 2, 1895. John B. Van Name, the present president of the bank, 
was elected May 17, 1895. Mr. Sanford was vice-president of the Bank 
of Binghamton and of the National bank, from 1852 to 1868, when he 
was succeeded by Judge Griswold. The latter died in 1870, and in 
January, 1871, William E. Taylor was elected to the vacancy. On the 
accession of Col. Rodgers to the presidency Charles F. Sisson was 
elected vice-president, and is still in office. 

Mr. Osborne was cashier of the Bank of Binghamton from 1852 to 
1865, and of the City National bank from its organization to January 8, 
1878, when he was made president. On the day last mentioned Hart- 
well Morse (a descendant of one of the oldest and most respected 
pioneer families of the historic town of Eaton, Madison county) was ap- 
pointed cashier, and still serves in that capacity. Much of the success 
which has characterized the career of this bank has been due to Mr. 
Morse's untiring efforts. He began work as clerk in the Bank of 
Binghamton in 1864, hence is one of the oldest banking officials in the 

As shown by the report of its condition at the close of business June 
30, 1899, the aggregate amount of assets of the bank was $746,789.95; 
surplus, $40,000; undivided profits, $4,555.65; deposit account, $400,- 

The present directors and officers of the bank are as follows : John 
B. Van Name, president; Charles F. Sisson, vice-president; Hartwell 
Morse, cashier; Edward P. McKinney, John Bayless, Robert E. Hooper, 
William W. Sisson, Walter Morse and Charles M. Stone. 

The First National Bank of Binghamton, No. 202, was organized in 
September, 1863, and began business in January, 1864, with a capital 
of $100,000 (afterward increased to $200,000). The first directors and 
officers were Abel Bennett, president; Elias Hawley, Charles McKinney, 
Moses T. Morgan, Locy Halsted, Ransom Balcom and Jared D. Ses- 
sions, none of whom are now living. The first cashier was George 
Pratt. Mr. Bennett resigned the presidency of the bank, May 5, 1884, 
and was succeeded in office by Francis T. Newell. Mr. Newell died 
April 27, 1898, and on January 1, 1899, Waring S. Weed was elected 
his successor. At the same time Frank B. Newell was elected vice- 



president to succeed Mr. Weed. The late George Pratt was cashier of 
the bank from the time of its organization to January, 1884, when he 
resigned and was succeeded by John Manier. The latter resigned July 
1, 1895, and was succeeded by Addison J. Parsons, the present cashier 
of the bank. In banking circles Mr. Parsons is regarded as one of the 
brightest and most capable young financiers in the city. 

The First National is the oldest banking house of its character in the 
city, and, as is indicated by its number, it is one of the oldest in the 
state. During the period of its existence probably as much business 
has been transacted over its counters as in any similar institution in the 
city. It has always stood high in the public confidence, and its man- 
aging officers have been selected from the best material of the board 
of directors. The first president, Abel Bennett, during the long pe- 
riod of his residence in Binghamton was looked upon as our first citizen. 
He came here about 1850, and from that time to his death he was 
active both in the public and his personal welfare. He was the first 
mayor of the city, and was selected for that office by the people rather 
than by his own political party. In 1869, with others, he founded the 
Susquehanna Valley Home. He built Hotel Bennett in 1877. He in- 
vested largely in city real estate and erected several substantial busi- 
ness blocks and fine residences. Mr. Bennett died June 11, 1889. 

Francis T. Newell was a fit successor to Mr. Bennett in the presi- 
dency of the bank. He came to Binghamton from Morrisville half a 
century ago and for many years was engaged in mercantile pursuits. 
He was one of our most respected citizens. 

Waring S. Weed, the present president, is a native of Binghamton, 
and a lifelong resident of the village and the city. He has been in 
active business for sixty years, and is one of our most substantial men. 
George Pratt, the first cashier, was born here and was the son of 
pioneer Zenas Pratt. The late Hallam E., William H. and Frederick 
Pratt were brothers of George Pratt. 

At the close of business on June 30, 1899, the First National bank 
had a deposit account of more than $800,000, a surplus and profit ac- 
count of $74,148.74, and total assets amounting to more than $1,189,000. 
The present directors and officers of the bank are as follows : War- 
ing S. Weed, president; Frank B. Newell, vice-president; Addison J. 
Parsons, cashier; Stephen C. Millard, George F. O'Neil, Julius E. 
Rogers and Arthur S. Bartlett. 
The Susquehanna Valley bank— more frequently known throughout 



the period of its history as the Phelps bank— was incorporated under 
the laws of the state, January 1, 1854, with a capital of $100,000. The 
first board of directors was elected November 25, 1854, and comprised 
Sherman D. Phelps, Giles W. Hotchkiss, James Munsell, Hazard Lewis, 
William M. Ely, William E. Taylor, Charles McKinney, Henry S. 
Hitchcock, Augustus Morgan, Henry Mather, S. T. Scranton, Martin 
Stone and Barzilla Marvin. The first officers were 'Sherman D. Phelps, 
president, and R. W. R. Freeman, cashier. Mr. Freeman was a capa- 
ble officer, yet throughout the period of his life Judge Phelps — as he 
was best known — was the controlling factor in the affairs of the bank, 
and under his masterly management it stood at the head of the banking 
institutions of the city. 

Judge Phelps died November 13, 1878, having spent the best part of 
his business life in Binghamton. He was a Lincoln presidential elector 
in 1860, and mayor of this city in 1872. The Phelps mansion on Court 
street is one of the most costly residences ever built in the city, while 
the Phelps bank building, erected in 1871, is now one of the most pre- 
tentious business structures in this part of the state. Judge Phelps 
was identified with several large business enterprises, notably the Bing- 
hamton Gas company, of which he was president and chief owner. 

Egbert A. Clark succeeded to the presidency of the bank in January, 
1879, and served to June 2, 1884. He was not an old resident of Bing- 
hamton but spent the greater part of his business life in other localities, 
where, as a tanner, he acquired a fortune. In this city he was identi- 
fied with various enterprises, among which was the wholesale grocery 
house of Marks & Clark. Mr. Clark devoted little of his time to busi- 
ness affairs, entrusting their management to those with whom he was 
associated. He is remembered as a generous and public-spirited citi- 

James W. Manier, present president of the bank, was chosen to that 
office June 2, 1884. He was acting cashier from June, 1865, to June, 
1867, and cashier from June, 1867 to 1884. 

The cashiers of the bank have been as follows : R. W. R. Freeman, 
April 6, 1855-1856; George Pratt, June 2, 1856-Dec., 1863; Henry w! 
Ibbotson, acting, Dec, 1863-June, 1864; James W. Manier, acting, 
June, 1865-June, 1867, and cashier, 1867-June 2, 1884; Arthur Griffin, 
assistant, Dec, 17, 1881-June 2, 1884, and cashier from the latter date 
to the present time. 

The present officers and directors of the bank are James W. Manier, 


president; Sigmund J. Hirschmann and James B. Weed, vice-presidents; 
Arthur Griffin, cashier; Frances A. Phelps, Oilman L. Sessions, Robert 
W. Manier, Charles M. Stone, Z. Bennett Phelps, George A. Kent, 
William G. Phelps, David H. Carver and James M. Stone. 

The Merchants National bank of Binghamton was organized March 
9, 1874, with $100,000 capital, and with directors and officers as follows: 
Erastus Ross, president; Wm. H. Wilkinson, vice-president; Allen 
Perkins, Benjamin N. Loomis, Harvey Westcott, George Craver, Ly- 
man Pollard, Joseph B. Chaffee, Osborne E. Bump, Rufus K. Amory, 
Henry W. Chubbuck, Charles Davis and Allen Barlow. Cashier, 
George Burr. 

The bank began business at the corner of Court street and Commer- 
cial avenue, and soon won its way into the public confidence. Its busi- 
ness was large and under the cashiership of Mr. Burr its affairs were 
admirably conducted. At one time it had the largest list of depositors 
of any city bank. On May 24, 1891, the national charter was surren- 
dered, and the bank was reorganized under the state laws, and thence- 
forth became known as the Merchants bank. At that time the board 
of directors comprised Erastus Ross, president; Dan S. Richards, 1st 
vice-president; Charles Davis, 2d vice-president; Frederick E. Ross, 
cashier; Clinton Ross, assistant cashier; Allen Barlow, Wm. H. Wil- 
kinson, George Craver, C. G. Armstiong, B. H. Nelson and George J. 

On January 21, 1895, after a period of twenty years of business exist- 
ence, the doors of the Merchants bank were closed by the banking de- 
partment of the state. On January 25, Col. George W. Dunn was ap- 
pointed receiver and the affairs of the bank are now in process of 

The Binghamton Trust company was incorporated under the laws of 
the state, Septembers, 1890, with a capital of $400,000 (decreased in 
June, 1897, to $300,000). The first board of trustees and managers 
comprised Charles J. Knapp, Horace H. Crary, Jerome B. Landfield, 
Stoddard Hammond, jr., Cyrus Strong, jr., J. Stuart Wells, Adelbert J. 
Schlager, John B. Simpson, Frank Gould, William E. Taylor, G. Tracy 
Rogers, William J. Welsh, Henry S. Jarvis, Maurice Birdsall and Peter 
K. Burhans. The first officers were Charles J. Knapp, president; 
Horace H. Crary, vice-president ; Cyrus Strong, jr., treasurer ; Stoddard 
Hammond, jr., secretary; Wm. J. Welsh, attorney, and George H.Ford, 
cashier. On July 1, 1898, Mr. Landfield was elected vice-president in 


place of Mr. Crary, deceased. In 1891 Mr. Landfield was made treas- 
urer in place of Mr. Strong, and in 1892 Mr. Schlager was elected to 
the position. In the fall of 1891 Jacob Wiser succeeded George H . 
Ford as cashier, the latter resigning the position on account of ill 

The Binghamton Trust company, though in operation less than ten 
years, is known as one of the largest and most successful banking in- 
stitutions in the southern tier. Its affairs have been carefully and 
prudently managed, yet wise liberality has always characterized the 
action of its officials. As shown by the report of the condition of the 
company at the close of business June 30, 1899, the total resources 
were more than $2,199, 000; deposits, above $1,730,000; accrued interest, 
$17,900, and surplus assets, $161,236.78. 

The present trustees and officers are Charles J. Knapp, president; 
Jerome B. Landfield, vice-president: A. J. Schlager, treasurer; Stod- 
dard Hammond, secretary; Jacob Wiser, cashier; F. Percy Knapp, as- 
sistant cashier; William J. Welsh, attorney, and Fred F. Hammond, 
Thomas B. Crary, John S. Wells, John B. Simpson, Frank Gould, G. 
Tracy Rogers, Maurice Birdsall and Jerome B. Landfield, jr. 

The Strong State bank was the outgrowth of a private banking house 
established in April, 1893, by Cyrus Strong and Cyrus Strong, jr., both 
of whom were well known in city business circles as men of means and 
unquestioned integrity. The disastrous failures of January, 1895, which 
wrecked the National Broome County bank, the Chenango Valley Sav- 
ings bank, the Merchants bank, and also the private banking house of 
Erastus Ross & Sons, is still fresh in the mind of the reader and a de- 
tailed narrative of events of that unfortunate occasion, with all its at- 
tending results, is not necessary to this chapter. The loss of three 
commercial banks and one savings bank was a serious blow to all in- 
terests, and the establishment of a new bank of undoubted solidity at 
once became a necessity. In the emergency, the firm of Strong & 
Strong determined to organize a state bank, and the Strong State bank 
was the result. The organization was effected March 5, 1895, the capi- 
tal being $100,000. The directors were Cornelius H. Acker man, Fred. 
Bennett, George H. Barlow, George W. Dunn, Charles C. Jackson, 
Frederic W. Jenkins, Charles E. Lee, Charles D. Matthews, Arthur S. 
Miner, Patrick J. McTighe, Michael McMahon, Edward L. Rose, Cyrus 
Strong, Cyrus Strong, jr., and James W. Sturtevant. The first officers 
were Cyrus Strong, jr., president; George W. Dunn and Edward L. 


Rose, vice-presidents; Cyrus M. Strong, assistant cashier. On August 
3, 1896, Mr. Rose was appointed cashier, and Mr. Sturtevant was 
elected vice-president in his stead. In 1898 Mr. Rose resigned the 
cashiership and Cyrus M. Strong was appointed in his place; and at the 
same time Charles P. Gale was appointed assistant cashier. Other 
than is mentioned there has been little subsequent change in the offi- 
ciary of the bank. 

The Strong bank, as commonly known, has been in operation less 
than five years, yet during that time it has assumed a position of com- 
manding importance among the financial institutions of southern New 
York. It has a present surplus of f 50, 000, an undivided profit account 
of $19,000, and during its history has paid dividends to the amount of 
$20,000. This record has never been equalled by any other bank of the 
same age in the city. The present directors are Cyrus Strong, presi- 
dent; George W. Dunn, 1st vice-president; James W. Sturtevant, 2d 
vice-president; Cyrus M. Strong, cashier; Cornelius H. Ackerman, 
Frederic W. Jenkins, Fred. Bennett, F. E; Taft, C. F. Hotchkiss, 
Charles C. Jackson, Patrick J. McTighe, Charles D. Matthews and M. 
J . Corbett. Charles F. Gale, assistant cashier. 

The People's bank was incorporated and began business June 1, 1895 
(capital, $100,000), occupying quarters formerly used by Erastus Ross 
& Sons. The first directors, as indicated by the articles of association, 
were William H. Wilkinson, Alonzo Roberson, Harvey Westcott, Will- 
iam E. Taylor, Harlow E. Bundy, John Hull, jr., Charles A. Weed, 
George M. Harris, Robert R. Griswold, Edward F. Leighton, Walter J. 
Moon, Clark W. Greene, Chauncey B. Waterman, Henry G. Jackson 
and Wellington W. Williams. The first officers, who still retain their 
respective positions (except Vice-President Roberson, who died in 
1899) were William H. Wilkinson, president; Alonzo Roberson, vice- 
president; George W. Ostrander, cashier; Carver, Deyo & Jenkins, at- 

The present directors are Wm. H. Wilkinson, Harvey Westcott, 
Charles A. Weed, George M. Harris, Fred. W. Grummon, Robert R. 
Griswold, Edward F. Leighton, Walter J. Moon, C. W. Greene, C. B. 
Waterman, Austin W. Clinton, Henry G. Jackson, W. W. Williams and 
Tracy G. Rich. The bank ha? enjoyed a steady and healthful growth, 
and with ample capital and an efficient board of directors is assured of 
future success in all lines of legitimate banking. 

The private banking house of B. H. Nelson & Son began business at 


the northeast corner of Chenango and Eldridge streets, January 7, 
1890. The bank is distinctively an institution of the busy north side, 
and is owned and managed by one who has done much toward building 
up that important portion of the city. 

The private banking house of Erastus Ross & Sons was established 
in June, 1890. The firm did a large business several years, but specu- 
lations outside of legitimate banking led to its ultimate downfall in 
January, 1895. 

Savings Banks. — The first attempt to organize a savings bank in 
Binghamton was made in the early part of 1848, when, on April 11, 
an act of the legislature incorporated the '' Binghamton Savings Insti- 
tution," and named as trustees and incorporators John Clapp, Franklin 
Whitney, Edward White, Silas West, Levi Dimmick, Elias Hawley, 
Augustus Morgan, Myron Merrill, Gilbert Tompkins, Christopher 
Eldredge, Charles W. Sanford, Samuel H. P. Hall, Uriah M. Stowers, 
Hamilton Collier and Vincent Whitney. For some now unknown rea- 
son the bank was never organized in accordance with the provisions of 
the act, and it was almost twenty years later that the village in fact 
had a savings bank. 

The Chenango Valley Savings bank was incorporated April 14, 1855, 
with trustees as follows: Benjamin N. Loomis, John J. Youmans, 
Ransom Balcom, Elijah Castle, Judson Smith, Richard Mather, Simon 
- C. Hitchcock, Isaac L. Bartlett, Lewis Seymour, Albert Way, Samuel 
J. Olmsted, Francis T. Newell, Hallam E. Pratt, Charles McKinney, 
Augustus Morgan, Sherman D. Phelps, Giles W. Hotchkiss and Martin 
Stone. These trustees represented the most substantial element of our 
village population at the time, but not one of their number is now liv- 
ing. Mr. Newell outlived his associates, but he himself died in 1898. 
But notwithstanding the acknowledged capacity of the board of trustees 
certain complications had the effect to delay the formal organization for 
some time, and before that result was in fact accomplished five of the 
original members withdrew. They were John J. Youmans, Elijah 
Castle, Judson Smith, Samuel J. Olmsted and Francis T. Newell. Al- 
bert Way died September 34, 1863. The vacancies were filled by 
Tracy R. Morgan, Hiram M. Myer, Henry Mather, Joseph E. Ely, 
George Pratt and W. N. Wilson. 

The permanent organization was effected April 20, 1867, by the elec- 
tion of Simon C. Hitchcock, president; Augustus Morgan and Benja- 
min N. Loomis, vice-presidents, and Sherman D. Phelps, treasurer. 


The bank was then opened for business and within a year was estab- 
lished on a firm basis. The officers were men of undoubted integrity, 
hence depositors unhesitatingly opened accounts. The history of the 
bank under its original charter covered a period of almost thirty years ; 
a period of gratifying success both to the depositors and the manage- 
ment. In the early part of 1895, however, the institution failed and 
its doors were closed by the banking department of the state on Janu- 
ary 24. It is not deemed advisable to refer at length to the causes 
leading to the failure, or to the losses of depositors, or to the generally 
disturbed condition existing in business circles in the city during the 
period. The event is passed, the bank is reorganized under new man- 
agement and public confidence is again restored. 

Mr. Hitchcock was president of the bank until May 13, 1868, when 
he was succeeded by Judge Phelps, who served to the time of his death, 
November 13, 1878, after which the office had no incumbent, its duties 
being performed by Judge Loomis, the surviving vice-president. Ma- 
jor Morgan, an original vice-president, died September 36, 1868, and 
Richard Mather was elected in his stead. He died in office May 1, 1870. 
Tracy R. Morgan was elected treasurer upon the elevation of Judge 
Phelps to the presidency. Colonel Morgan was one of the oldest bankers 
in the city, having become an officer of the Broome County bank in 
1841. As years passed the old trustees of the savings bank were re- 
placed with others, and the affairs of business gradually came more and 
more under Colonel Morgan's immediate control. At the time of the 
failure in 1895 he was almost in sole charge of the bank, and he alone 
knew of the character of the investments and the disposition of the 
funds. This policy was an undoubted mistake on the part of the 
trustees, yet it was a most natural error as the treasurer enjoyed the 
confidence of every business man in the city; and even now, in the light 
of all subsequent revelations, the present writer is not prepared to state 
that that confidence was wholly misplaced. Disaster came and thou- 
sands of persons suffered losses. Public excitement ran high and many 
bitter feelings were engendered. Prosecutions and indictments fol- 
lowed, but the end has not yet been reached. The affairs of the de- 
funct concern are unsettled, but the bitter passion of the period has 
subsided. The bank is under entirely new management. From Janu- 
ary 24 to April 25, 1895, the officials of the state banking department 
remained in charge of the bank. In the meantime the old board of 
trustees (Benjamin N. Loomis, Job N. Congdon, James W. Manier, 


Solomon F. Gary, George W. Dunn, Arthur S. Miner, Cyrus Strong, 
W. N. Wilson, David L. Brownson, James Prendergast, Joseph M. 
Johnson, Wallace B. Hallock and Tracy R. Morgan) resigned, and 
under an order of the supreme court on the date last mentioned the 
bank was reopened by a new board of trustees, comprised as follows: 
George A. Kent, James W. Manier, George W. Dunn, Charles E. Lee, 
Michael McMahon,' William G. Phelps, Asa R. Tweedy, Henry Marean, 
James Prendergast, George C. Bayless, James W. Sturtevant, Arthur 
S. Miner and Edward L. Rose. The new management began business 
with deposits amounting to $141,711.03, or about seventy-eight per 
cent, of the first dividend paid to the depositors of the defunct bank. 

The first officers of the reorganized bank were George A. Kent, presi- 
dent ; John Manier, treasurer ; Henry Marean, secretary. Mr. Kent is 
still president. Mr. Manier resigned January 10, 1899, and was suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Marean. The present vice-presidents are James W. 
Manier and James W, Sturtevant. The board of trustees is comprised 
of Arthur S. Bartlett, C. F. Hotchkiss, George A. Kent, James W. 
-Manier, John Manier, Henry Marean, Michael McMahon, William G. 
Phelps, Julius E. Rogers, James W. Sturtevant, Asa R. Tweedy and 
George F. O'Neil. The bank now has 6,889 depositors. 

The Binghamton Savings Bank, concededly one of the most substan- 
tial institutions of its kind in this part of the state, was incorporated 
April 18, 1867, with the following board of trustees: Frederick Lewis, 
Horaces. Griswold, Cyrus Strong, Oliver C. Crocker, William E. Taylor, 
Harris G. Rodgers, Charles W. Sanford, Erasmus D. Robinson, Will- 
iam P. Pope, Abel Bennett, Lewis Seymour, Henry Mather and Horace 
N. Lester. The permanent organization was April 24, 1867, by the 
election of Horace S. Griswold, president ; Wm. P. Pope and Frederick 
Lewis, vice-presidents; Harris G. Rodgers, treasurer, and Erasmus D. 
Robinson, secretary. 

Not one of the original officers or trustees is now living, but the in- 
stitution which they founded still survives, and has grown in popularity, 
usefulness and strength from its inception to the present time. The 
bank began business in the Ely building on Washington street, where 
it remained until 1870, when it was removed to the First National 
bank building. In 1879 it occupied more comfortable quarters in the 
McNamara building at the corner of Court and Collier streets. In 
1899 the trustees purchased the land next north of the municipal build- 
ing, and erected thereon a five story structure for its own use. 


The business career of the Binghamton Savings bank needs no special 
mention in this chapter, as it has been a constant record of growth and 
prosperity from its inception to the present time, and now it is more 
firmly intrenched in the public confidence than at any previous time in 
its history. Its assets, as shown by the sixty-fifth semi-annual state- 
ment of July 1, 1899, aggregate $3,439,669.02. The total deposits are 
$2,323,450.43, representing 9,914 separate accounts. The present sur- 
plus, at par value of the securities, is $107,218.59; at market value the 
surplus is $163,509.96. 

An interesting element of history in connection with this bank is the 
succession of its trustees and officers, an accurate record of which has 
been kept by Mr. Gennet, who has been in the service of the bank, in 
one connection or another, since 1868. The succession of trustees has 
been as follows: 

Horace S. Griswold, died Aug. 9, 1870; Frederick Lewis, resigned 
Mar. 4, 1873; Cyrus Strong, died Sept. 21, 1896; Oliver C. Crocker, re- 
signed June 3, 1874; Wm. E. Taylor, office declared vacant Mar. 4, 1884; 
Harris G. Rodgers, died May 3, 1895 ; Charles W. Sanford, died July 
30, 1883; Erasmus D. Robinson, died Oct. 10, 1890 ;.Wm. R Pope, died 
Dec. 32, 1879; Abel Bennett, resigned Jan. 20, 1874; Lewis Seymour, 
died Jan. 4, 1873; Henry Mather, died May 1, 1870; Dr. John G. Orton, 
elected Oct. 4, 1870; Gilman L. Sessions, elected May 6, 1873; James 
B. Weed, elected Jan. 23, 1873; Darius S. Ayers, elected Jan. 20, 
1874, served to June 3, 1879; William S. Smith, elected March 3, 1874, 
died May 13, 1889 ; Orlow W. Chapman, elected Feb. 3, 1880, died Jan. 
19, 1890; Wm. B. Edwards, elected Aug. 5, 1879, died Nov. 33, 1893; 
Charles M. Stone, elected Nov. 1883; James K. Welden, elected May 
6, 1884, died July 14, 1895 ; Edward C. Smith, elected Oct. 1, 1889 ; 
Sigmund J. Hirschmann, elected July 1, 1890 ; John Bayless, elected 
Jan. 20, 1891; George M. Harris, elected Feb. 24, 1894; Edward P. 
McKinney, elected Feb. 34, 1894; Charles W. Gennet, elected March 5, 
1895; Charles F. Sisson, elected July 3, 1895; Charles A. Weed, elected 
Nov. 3, 1896. 

The presidents, with their terms of office, have been as follows: 
Horace S. Griswold, elected April 24, 1867, died Aug. 9, 1870; Fred- 
erick Lewis, elected Jan. 3, 1871, resigned March 4, 1873; Charles W. 
Sanford, elected March 4, 1873, died July 30, 1883; Harper Dusenbury, 
elected Jan. 28, 1884, died Nov. 19, 1893; William H. Wilkinson, pres- 
ent president, elected Dec. 5, 1893. 


The vice-presidents has been as follows: William P. Pope, April 24, 
1867-Jan. 6, 1874; Frederick Lewis, April 24, 1867-Jan. 3, 1871; Wm. 
E. Taylor, Jan. 3, 1871-Jan. 6, 1880 ; Harper Dusenbury, Jan 6, 1874- 
Jan. 28, 1884; Horace N. Lester, Jan. 6, 1880-died Oct. 2, 1882; Wm. 
B. Edwards, Jan. 33, 1883-Nov. 23, 1893; Wm. H. Wilkinson, Jan. 28, 
1884-Dec. 5, 1893; Dr. John G. Orton, Dec. 5, 1893; Oilman L. Ses- 
sions, Dec. 5, 1893. 

The secretaries have been as follows: Erasmus D. Robinson, April 
24, 1867-Oct. 10, 1890; Charles M. Stone, Jan. 20, 1891. 

The treasurers have been as follows: Harris G. Rodgers, April 24, 
1867-May 2, 1895; Charles W. Gennet, May 7, 1895. 

The tellers have been as follows: Charles W. Gennet, June 1, 1868- 
May 7, 1895 ; Asbury C. Deyo, May 7, 1895. 

The trustees of the bank are William H. Wilkinson, Edward C. Smith, 
Sigmund J. Hirschmann, Edward P. McKinney, George M. Harris, 
Charles F. Sisson, Dr. John G. Orton, Oilman L. Sessions, James "B. 
Weed, Charles M. Stone, John Bayless, Charles A. Weed and Charles 
W. Gennet. 

The officers are William H. Wilkinson, president; Dr. John G, Orton 
and Oilman L. Sessions, vice-presidents: Charles W. Gennet, treasurer; 
Charles M. Stone, secretary; Asbury C. Deyo, teller. 


The sentiment is frequently expressed that the judicial system of the 
state of New York is largely copied or derived from the common law 
of England, and slightly from the civil law of the continent. In many 
respects this is true and resemblances may be traced therein, but a close 
study of the laws and judicial practice of this state will reveal the fact 
that they are an original growth and differ materially from the older 
systems of Europe. This difference is strikingly manifested in the 
simple act of entitling a criminal writ. In this state it is " the People 
versus the Criminal;" in England it is "Rex versus the Criminal." In 
the genius of the one the requirement is an independent judiciary re- 


Sponsible directly to the people only ; in the other it is a court subser- 
vient to a king. 

In the early history of the colony of New York the governor was in 
effect the maker, enforcer and interpreter of the laws, the chief judge 
of the court of last resort, while his councillors were generally his 
obedient followers. The execution of the English and colonial statutes 
rested with him, as also did the exercise of the royal authority in the 
province ; and it was not until the adoption of the first constitution that 
he ceased to contend for these prerogatives. By the constitution of 
1777 the governor was entirely stripped of the judicial power he exer- 
cised under the colonial rule, and that power was vested in the lieuten- 
ant-governor and the senate, also in the chancellor and justices of the 
Supreme court — the former to be elected by the people and the latter 
appointed by the council. This was the first radical separation of the 
judicial and legislative powers and the advancement of the judiciary to 
the position of a co-ordinate department of government, subject only 
to the limitation consequent upon the appointment of its members by 
the council ; but even this mild restriction was soon felt to be incompat- 
ible, though it was not until the adoption of the constitution of 1846 
that the last connecting link between the purely political and judicial 
branches of state government was finally abolished. From this time 
the judiciary became more directly representative of the people. The 
development of the idea of the responsibility of the courts to the people, 
from the time when all its members were at the beck and nod of an 
irresponsible master, to the time when all the judges are voted for di- 
rectly by the people, has indeed been remarkable. Let us look briefly 
at the present arrangement and powers of the courts of the state, and 
then at the elements from which they have grown. 

The whole scheme involves the idea, first, of a determination of the 
the facts and law by a trial court, then a review of the law and facts by 
a higher court, and ultimately of the law by a court of last resort. To 
accomplish the purposes of the scheme there has been devised and 
established, first, the present Court of Appeals, the ultimate tribunal of 
the state, perfected in its present form by the conventions of 1867 and 
1868. When first organized under the constitution of 1846, the court 
comprised eight judges, four of whom were elected by the people and 
the remainder chosen from the justices of the Supreme court hav- 
ing the shortest time to serve. As reorganized in 1870, and now ex- 
isting, the court consists of a chief judge and six associate judges, who 


hold office for a term of fourteen years. The legislature has provided 
how and when the decisions of inferior tribunals may be reviewed 
in the Court of Appeals, and under the revised constitution of 1894 the 
legislature is authorized to still further restrict the jurisdiction of the 
court, and the right of appeal thereto. Upon the reorganization of the 
court in 1869 its work was far in arrears, and the law commonly known 
as the judiciary act provided for a commission of appeals to aid the 
Court of Appeals; and still later there was organized a second division 
of the Court of Appeals to assist in the disposition of the business of the 
general court. The several limitations placed upon the Court of Appeals 
by the constitution of 1894 are in part designed to relieve it from future 
similar embarrassments. 

Second in rank and jurisdiction stands the Supreme court, which was 
created originally in 1691, and comprised a chief justice and four assist- 
ant justices to be appointed by the governor, and empowered to try all 
issues, civil, criminal or mixed. Appeals lay to the governor and coun- 
cil. The judges made an annual circuit of the state, under a commis- 
sion which gave them Nisi Prius, Oyer and Terminer and jail delivery 
powers. Under the first constitution the court was reorganized, and all 
proceedings were directed to be entitled in the name of the people. 
The constitution of 1831 made many changes in the character and 
methods of this court; the judges were reduced to three and were ap- 
pointed by the governor, with the consent of the senate, to hold office 
during good behavior, or until 60 years of age. By the constitution of 
1846 the Supreme court was abolished and a new court of the same 
name, having general jurisdiction in law and equity, was established in 
its place. Its members comprised 33 justices elected by the people. 
The judiciary act of 1847 provided that General Terms be held at least 
once each year in counties having more than 40,000 inhabitants, and in 
other counties once in two years; and at least two special terms and 
two circuits were to be held yearly in each county, except Hamilton. 
The court was authorized to name the time and places for holding its 
terms, and also those of the Oyer and Terminer, the latter then being 
a part of the Circuit court, and held by a justice, the county judge and 
two justices of sessions. After 1883 the Oyer and Terminer consisted 
of a single justice of the Supreme court ; but by the sweeping changes 
made by the constitution of 1894, Circuit courts and courts of Oyer and 
Terminer were abolished, and their jurisdiction vested in the Supreme 
court. Provision was also made for an Appellate division of this court 


to consist of seven justices in the first, and five in each of the other 
three judicial departments into which the state was divided. The Ap- 
pellate division is invested with the jurisdiction previously exercised by 
the Supreme court at General Term, and such other power as the legis- 
lature is authorized to confer. From the justices of the Supreme court 
the governor designates those who shall constitute the Appellate Divis- 
ion, and also the presiding justice thereof; the latter to act during his 
term of office, and the others for a term of five years. 

The judiciary article of the constitution of 1846 was amended in 1869, 
and the legislature was authorized to provide for the organization of 
General Terms, consisting of a presiding justice and not more than 
three associates; but by the law of 1870 the then organization of Gen- 
eral Terms was abrogated, and the state was divided into four depart- 
ments, with provision for General Terms in each. By the same act the 
governor was directed to designate from the justices of the Supreme 
court a presiding justice and two associates to constitute a General 
Term in each department. A constitutional amendment was adopted in 
1882, and the legislature in 1883 divided the state into five judicial de- 
partments, and provided for the election of twelve additional justices, 
to hold office from the first day of June, 1884. The constitution of 
1894 provided for the election of twelve more justices of the Supreme 

The old Court of Chancery of this state was an heirloom of the colo- 
nial period, and had its origin in the Court of Assizes, the latter being 
vested with equity powers under the duke's laws. The court was 
established February 16, 1683, and went out of existence by limitation 
in 1698; was revived by ordinance in 1701, suspended in 1703, and re- 
established in 1704. At first the court was unpopular, both the assem- 
bly and colonists opposing it with the argument that the crown had no 
authority to establish a court of equity in the province. Under the 
constitution of 1777 the court was reorganized, and in 1778 masters 
and examiners were designated by the Council of Appointment, while 
registrars and clerks were appointed by the chancellor ; and the latter 
also licensed all solicitors and counsellors of the court. Under the con- 
stitution of 1821 the chancellor was appointed by the governor, and 
held office during good behavior or until sixty years of age. The 
constitution of 1846 abolished the Court of Chancery and vested its 
powers and duties in the Supreme court. By an act of the legislature 
passed in 1848 and entitled "The Code of Procedure," all distinction 


between actions at law and suits in equity was abolished, so far as 
method of procedure was concerned, and one uniform practice was 
adopted. In June, 1877, the legislature enacted the "Code of Civil 
Procedure," to take the place of the code of 18i8; by this act many 
minor changes were made in the practice of the court. 

These are, in brief, the changes through which the Supreme court 
has passed in its growth from the prerogative of an irresponsible mas- 
ter to one of the most independent and enlightened instrumentalities 
for the protection and attainment of rights of citizens of which any 
state or nation, ancient and modern, can rightfully boast. So well is 
this fact understood by the people that by far the greater amount of 
business which might be done in inferior courts at less expense is actu- 
ally taken to this court for settlement. 

Next in rank to the Supreme court is the County court, held in each 
county in the state at such times and places as its judges may direct. 
This court had its origin in the English Court of Sessions, and like it, 
had at one time only criminal jurisdiction; but in 1691 it was given 
both civil and criminal powers in cases of trial by jury. By the act of 
1691, and the decree of 1699, the civil jurisdiction of the court was con- 
ferred on the Common Pleas ; but by the radical changes made by the 
constitution of 1846, provision was made for a County court in each 
county of the state, except New York, to be held by an officer desig- 
nated the "County Judge," having such jurisdiction as the legislature 
should prescribe. County courts have been given jurisdiction in vari- 
ous classes of actions, and have also been invested with equity powers 
in the foreclosure of mortgages, the sale of infants' real estate, and to 
partition lands, admeasure dower and care for the persons and estates 
of lunatics and habitual drunkards. The judiciary act of 1869 continued 
the existing jurisdiction in all actions in which the defendant lived in 
the county, and the damages claimed did not exceed $1,000. The con- 
stitution of 1894 likewise continued the court, and increased its power 
by extending the amount of damages claimable to $2,000. 

Like the Supreme court, the County court has its civil and criminal 
sides. In criminal matters the county judge was formerly assisted by 
two justices of sessions, elected by the people from among the justices 
of the peace of the county. In the criminal branch of this court, known 
as " the Sessions," all minor offences were disposed of, and all indict- 
ments, except for murder, could be sent to it from the Oyer and Term- 
iner for trial. The constitution of 1894 abolished the Court of Sessions 


except in the county of New York, and vested its powers in the County 
court. By the codes of 184=8 and 1877 the procedure and practice in 
this court were made to conform as nearly as possible to the practice of 
the Supreme court. This was done with the evident design to attract 
litigation into the minor courts and thus relieve the Supreme court ; but 
in this attempt there has been a failure, as litigants much prefer the 
shield and broader powers of the higher court. Under the code county 
judges perform the duties of a justice of the Supreme court at chambers. 
The County court has appellate jurisdiction over actions arising in Just- 
ices' courts and Courts of special sessions. 

The old court of Common Pleas of New York, the oldest tribunal of 
the state, which survived the changes of two constitutional revisions, 
was another heirloom of the colonial period, and was established origin- 
ally under the charter of 1686, for the counties of New York and Albany, 
and was made general to the province by the act of 1691. Under the 
first constitution the number of judges was various, there being as many 
as twelve in some counties, but the act of 1818 limited the judges to 
five in each county, including the first judge. The constitution of 1831 
continued the court, and its judges held office five years under appoint- 
ment by the governor and senate. The court, except in the county of 
New York, was abolished by the constitution of 1846. 

Surrogate's courts, one of which exists in each county of the state, are 
now courts of record, having a seal, and their especial jurisdiction 
is the care and settlement of estates of infants and of deceased persons. 
The derivation of the powers and practice of these courts is from the 
Ecclesiastical court of England, also in part through the Colonial Coun- 
cil which existed during the rule of the Dutch, and exercised its au- 
thority in accordance with Dutch Roman law, the custom of Aasdom, 
the Court of Burgomasters and Scheppens, the Orphan Masters, the 
Mayor's, the Prerogative and the Probate courts. Under the colony 
the Prerogative court controlled all matters relating to the probate of 
wills and settlement of estates, but in 1693, by an act then passed, all 
probates and granting of letters of administration were to be under the 
hand of the governor or his delegate, and two freeholders were appointed 
in each town to care for the estates of persons dying intestate. Under 
the Duke's laws this duty had been performed by the constables, over- 
seers and justices of each town. In 1778 the governor was divested of 
all these powers, except the appointment of surrogate, and they were 
conferred on the judge of the Court of Probate. Under the first con- 


stitution surrogates were appointed by the Council of Appointment, but 
under the second by the governor with the approval of the senate. The 
constitution of 1846 provided that the county judge should perform the 
duties of surrogate in counties of less than 40,000 inhabitants. By the 
code of civil procedure, surrogates are clothed with all the necessary 
powers to carry out the equitable and incidental requirements of their 
office. In its present form, and sitting weekly, this court affords a 
cheap and expeditious medium for the care and settlement of estates 
and the guardianship of infants. 

The only remaining courts which are common to the whole state are 
the Special Sessions, held by justices of the peace for the trial of minor 
offences, and Justices' courts with limited civil jurisdiction. Previous 
to the constitution of 1831 (modified in 1838) justices were appointed, 
but since that time have been elected. The office and its duties are 
descended from the English office of the same name, but are much less 
important, and under the laws of this state are purely creatures of the 
statute. The office is of little importance in the administration of law, 
and with the loss of its old-time power has lost much of its former dig- 

This brief survey of the courts of the state, which omits only those 
that are purely local in character, gives some idea of the machinery 
provided for the use of the members of the bench and bar at the time 
of the creation of Broome county in 1806. 

The organization of the courts in Broome county was accomplished 
with little difficulty and no ceremony. Indeed, when the county was 
set off from Tioga our people were well accustomed to courts and other 
proceedings in law. In 1793 courts were held at the house of Joshua 
Whitney in the little hamlet called Chenango village, which was located 
in the town of Union, on the west side of the river, and less than 
half a mile north of the present northern boundary of the city. At 
that time Abraham Miller was first judge of Tioga county; James 
McMaster was sheriff, and Thomas Nicholson was clerk of the court. 
Once in each year these worthies and their successors in office held a 
term of the Common Pleas and General Sessions of the peace at the 
house of the elder Joshua Whitney until 1801, when the legislature 
authorized courts to be held at the house of Joshua Whitney (son of 
Joshua, of Chenango village) in the town of Chenango. The house of 
Joshua Whitney, or General Whitney, as afterward known, stood very 
near the intersection of Court and Water streets. Courts were held 


there until the erection of the first court house, which stood about on 
the site of the present Perry building; and continued to be held there 
until after Broome county had become a separate jurisdiction. As a 
matter of history the statement may be made that Tioga became a two- 
shire county in 1792. Separate jury districts were formally established 
in 1801, and were continued until after Broome county had been set off. 

In May, 1806, Broome county was created, and at the same time the 
legislature authorized two sessions of the Court of Common Pleas and 
General Sessions of the peace to be held therein; and also, under the 
laws then existing, authorized at least one term of the Supreme or Cir- 
cuit court to be held at the same place. The first judicial officers of 
the county were Gen. John Patterson, of Lisle, first judge ; and James 
Stoddard, of Lisle, Amos Patterson, of Union, and Daniel Hudson, of 
Chenango, associate judges. In the following year, 1807, George 
Harpur and Mason Wattles, both of Windsor, were added to the num- 
ber of associate judges. 

In May, 1809, Daniel Hudson succeeded to the first judgeship, while 
James Stoddard and Amos Patterson were appointed associates, John 
Brown, of Berkshire, being added to the latter number in October of 
that year. Stephen Mack, of Owego, became first judge, and Jacob 
McKinney, of Chenango Point, one of the associate judges, in 1810. 
In 1813 the names of William Chamberlain, Tracy Robinson, Samuel 
Rexford, Asa Beach, Chester Lusk, Joseph Waldo, Mason Wattles, 
George Harpur, William Camp and Daniel Le Roy appear as associates 
to Judge Mack. 

John R. Drake succeeded to the office of first judge in April, 1815, 
and continued in that position until 1833. During his term the associ- 
ate judges were Briant Stoddard, of Union, Jonathan Lewis, of Lisle, 
Mason Wattles and David Williams, .all of whom were reappointed in 
1815; William Stuart and Anson Camp in 1817; Thomas Blakeslee, 
David Williams and Jonathan Lewis in 1831, and David Barstow in 

In 1833 the Court of Common Pleas was reorganized under the pro- 
visions of the constitution of 1831, and Dr. Tracy Robinson was ap- 
pointed first judge, with Nathaniel Bosworth, Briant Stoddard, Thomas 
Blakeslee and David Barstow as associates. In 1837 these judges were 
reappointed, with the exception of Oliver Stiles in the place of Judge 
Bosworth. In 1833 General Waterman succeeded Judge Stiles. 

WilHam Seymour was appointed first judge in 1833 and served till 



the abolition of the Common Pleas court under the constitution of 1846. 
Among the associate judges who served during his term of office were 
Dr. Robinson, Briant Stoddard (who succeeded Dr. Robinson in 1834), 
George Wheeler, Grover Buel and John Allen. All were reappointed 

in 1838. 

The first term of the Supreme or Circuit court in this county was held 
in May, 1807, Judge Daniel D. Tompkins, presiding, and Amos Patter- 
son, Mason Wattles and George Harpur, associates. The first case 
tried was that of James Jackson and James Caldwell vs. John HoUen- 
beck. The jury comprised Lewis Squires, Jesse Wilmot, Benj. Gibbs, 
Solomon Moore, Elias Morse, Daniel Clark, William Collins, Alvah 
Leonard, Reuben Stephens, Stephen Piatt, Joshua Adams and Samuel 
Crocker. In May, 1808, another term of the court was held at the 
court house, with Justice Smith Thompson on the bench. So long as 
this court was in existence under the first and second constitutions 
Broome county furnished no presiding justice. The first incumbent 
of the office, resident in the county, was Ransom Balcom, whose first 
term began January 1, 1856. 


Ransom Balcolm was a native of Chenango county, and was born in 
1818. His early life was spent in Oxford, where he acquired a good 
education in the famous old Oxford academy. He read law in the same 
village and was duly admitted to practice. In 1847 he was elected to 
the assembly from Chenango county, and was generally recognized as 
one of the leading young lawyers in that region. Soon after 1850 he 
came to Binghamton to practice, and became junior partner in the law 
firm of Hotchkiss, Seymour & Balcom. In the Republican convention 
of 1855 Mr. Balcom was the successful candidate for the office of justice 
of the Supreme court, and was elected in November following. His 
term began January 1, 1856, and continued eight years. In 1863 he 
was re-elected for a like term, and in 1871 was elected for a term of 
fourteen years. He served until May, 1877, when failing health com- 
pelled his retirement from the bench, but relief from the cares and 
responsibilities of office had not the desired effect. The judge had be- 
come broken and worn out during the long period of his judicial career 
and he died on January 6, 1879. In January, 1863, as one of the 
justices of the Supreme court having the shortest time to serve, Judge 
Balcom sat on the bench of the Court of Appeals. 



Judge Balcom is still kindly remembered by our older members of 
the bar, and was undoubtedly one of the most agreeable trial justices 
on the circuit in this district, and one. for whom the entire bar enter- 
tained the highest regard. While on the circuit he never lacked the 
championship of the profession, for after adjournment his rooms were 
always filled with the brightest lights of the bar, and among all, the 
judge himself was one of the readiest wits. His popularity through- 
out the sixth district was well shown in the following remark made by 
Judge Martin at a meeting of the bar of this county after Judge Bal- 
com's death: " Perhaps I have had a better opportunity for the last 
year and a half to learn the feelings of the members of the profession 
throughout the district than any other person here; and the feeling has 
been but a single one — one of respect, one of sympathy for him who 
has passed away. I have never, since I have been upon the bench, 
gone into a single county in this judicial district where there have not 
been tender inquiries after him who was prostrated by disease. This 
indicated an attachment and respect which I have seldom seen in re- 
gard to any living person." 

Celora E. Martin, present associate judge of the Court of Appeals, was 
born in Newport, Herkimer county, August 23, 1834. His father, 
Ellis Martin, was a farmer in Newport, and was the son of Aaron Mar- 
tin, a Rhode Islander by birth and a pioneer in Herkimer county, 
N. Y. 

Judge Martin (we pilfer to speak of him as judge, even in alluding to 
the events of his early life, as all the bar and all the people of Broome 
county know him best as Judge Martin) acquired his early education 
in the district schools, a select school in Newport, and in the academies 
at Fairfield and Holland Patent. He then read law in the ofHce of John 
C. Harris of Newport, and in July, 1856, was admitted to practice. In 
the next year he opened an ofSce in the village of Whitney's Point, 
where he lived and practiced eleven years. In 1867 he became partner 
with Orlow W. Chapman, but retained his office in Whitney's Point 
until 1868, when he removed to Binghamton. 

As a member of the law firm of Chapman & Martin, the judge is best 
remembered by the bar, for in that relation his true legal capacity was 
developed and brought into full play in the extensive and varied prac- 
tice in which the firm engaged. The writer well recalls the period of 
years between 1870 and 1880 when the number of cases on the calendar 
often exceeded two hundred, and the firm name of Chapman & Martin 


appeared on one side or the other of at least one-third of them. It is 
no idle compliment to say that this firm stood at the head of the bar, 
not only in the county but in southern New York. Mr. Chapman was 
the orator, and as an advocate at the bar was the peer of any lawyer in 
the region, while Judge Martin devoted himself particularly to the prep- 
aration of cases for trial and also to the examination of witnesses in 
court. He could, and on frequent occasions did, present a legal argu- 
ment to the court or an address to the jury, both with telling effect, but 
his especial forte was in the actual preparation and trial of causes rather 
than their argument. He was, moreover, one of the most careful 
students of the county bar, and never went half prepared into the trial 
of a case ; or if in any emergency that preparation was not complete, 
the other side never discovered the defect. 

Dnring the period oi his practice in Binghamton, Judge Martin was 
naturally somewhat drawn into the arena of politics, and in one of the 
most heated presidential campaigns in the history of the country he 
was chairman of the county committee. Yet he never, during all that 
period, sought public office, but often refused it. However in May, 
1877, he was appointed by Governor Robinson as successor to Judge 
Balcom, who had recently retired from the bench by reason of impaired 
health. In November following he was the nominee of both the Re- 
publican and Democratic parties for the Supreme court judgeship, hence 
was unanimously elected at the polls. He was re elected in November 
1891. On November 23, 1887, he was taken from the Circuit and ap- 
pointed to the General Term of the fourth department, and served as 
one of its justices until that court was abolished by the constitution of 
1894. In November, 1895, he was elected associate judge of the Court 
of Appeals. 

In this elevation to the bench of the highest court in the state, Judge 
Martin has reached the goal of his legal ambition. On the circuit he 
was known as one of the most efficient and rapid trial judges in the 
state ; on the General Term bench his legal powers were more clearly 
apparent, and many times the writer has heard leading lawyers declare 
that if they could get " an opinion from Judge Martin the judgment 
was pretty sure to stand with the Court of Appeals." In his present 
position Judge Martin is at his best; in almost daily association with 
the leading legal minds of the state, where men of his erudition and 
attainments find full scope for all their powers, he thus can aid in the 
honest and able administration of law. 



On September 23, 1857, Celora E. Martin married with Almanza R. 
Barney, daughter of Jonathan and Nancy Barney, of Newport, N. Y. 
Three children were born of this marriage, viz. : Mary L., wife of Isaac 
T. Stoddard; Fannie A., wife of F. Newell Gilbert; and Nellie T., 
wife of George C. McMurty. Mrs. Martin died December 12, 1898. 

George F. Lyon, present justice of the Supreme court, was born in 
the town of Barker, July 13, 1849. His father was Harry Lyon, for 
for many years a merchant and respected citizen of Binghamton. His 
mother was Pamelia (Livermore) Lyon. About 1859 the family re- 
moved from Barker to the then village of Binghamton. George spent 
his youth on a farm and attended a district school. He finished his 
early education in the union schools and Binghamton academy, gradu- 
ating from the latter in 1867. He entered Hamilton college in 1868, 
and was graduated in 1873; studied law with Chapman & Martin; was 
admitted to practice in 1875, and became partner with his former legal 
tutors, January 1, 1876. On the accession of Judge Martin to the bench 
in 1877 the law firm of Chapman & Lyon was formed, and was con- 
tinued until the death of the senior partner in 1890. After Mr. Chap- 
man's death Mr. Lyon continued practice alone until his elevation to 
the bench of the Supreme court, January 1, 1896. He was the nominee 
both of his own — the Republican — and of the Democratic party, hence 
his election was practically without opposition. 

Previous to his election to the Supreme court judgeship. Judge Lyon 
was a prominent factor in Broome county Republican politics, and was 
chairman of thfe county committee of his party from 1884 to 1895. In 
1894 he was a member of the New York State Constitutional conven- 
tion. From 1888 to 1899 he was president of the Broome County Bar 
association. On April 9, 1884, George F. Lyon married with Elizabeth 
R. Mather, daughter of Henry and Frances Mather, and granddaugh- 
ter of Mason Whiting, the latter one of Binghamton's pioneer residents 
and lawyers. 

William Seymour was the first educated lawyer to fill the office of 
first judge of the Common Pleas. His predecessors on the bench have 
been mentioned, and were chosen from among the foremost men of the 
county. While they were not "learned in the law " they were never- 
theless efficient officers and dispensed law and justice with the same 
good judgment as their more learned successors. Mr. Seymour first 
came to Binghamton in 1802 and acquired his legal education in the 
office of Daniel Le Roy. He was licensed to practice in 1806, at the 


first term of court held after the erection of Broome county. He soon 
afterward settled in Windsor village, where he practiced until 1833, 
when he succeeded to the bench. From 1812 to 1838 he was a justice 
of the peace in Windsor, and was generally known as " Squire Sey- 
mour." He is recalled as a good judicial officer, and a man much re- 
spected in the county. He stood high in political circles, and in 1834 
was elected to congress. Of his life after retiring from the bench little 
is known. As has been stated, he was the first lawyer to act as first 
judge of the Common Pleas, and was also the last of the judges of that 
court, the latter having passed out of existence in 1846. 

Edward C. Kattell, the first incumbent of the office of county judge 
under the constitution of 1846, was born at Kattellville in 1817, and 
was a lifelong resident of this county. He was the son of Elias Kat- 
tell, the latter a settler in the county in 1796, but formerly a Vermonter. 
Edward was the youngest of three children of Elias Kattell, the others 
being Alonzo and Jane (wife of Dr. Royal R. Carr) Kattell. He was 
educated in the common schools and in New York city, and when his 
legal studies were completed he was known as one of the most scholarly 
young lawyers at the bar. He read law with William M. Patterson and ' 
was admitted to practice about 1840. Six years later he was elected 
county judge, as the candidate of the Whig party. 

Judge Kattell served on the bench of the County court from June, 
1846, to January 1, 1853. He was one of the most popular members of 
the old bar, for he possessed the fortunate quality of being always 
pleasant and companionable, with a strong vein of humor in his nature. 
In politics he was originally a Whig, and was one of the organizers of 
the Republican party in the county. During the war of 1861-65, Judge 
Kattell was provost marshal of this district, and spent much of his time 
at the headquarters in Owego. He did not afterward engage actively 
in law practice, but in 1867, in company with Colonel Wells, Era.stus 
Evans, William R. Osborne and others, he founded the Binghamton 
Oil Refining company. He was president of that corporation until 
his death, August 39, 1883. Judge Kattell's wife was Abigail Toby, of 
Wareham, Mass. 

John R. Dickinson succeeded to the bench of the County court, Janu- 
ary 1, 1851. He was a native of Chenango county, and came to Bing- 
hamton in 1831. He read law in the office of his brother, Daniel S. 
Dickinson, and was admitted to practice in the Supreme court, and also 
the Court of Chancery, in 1838. He was surrogate from 1844 to 1847, 


and county judge from 1851 to 1855. Judge Dickinson was one of the 
prominent lawyers of Binghamton for many years, but neither in the 
profession nor political life did he attain the distinguished prominence 
enjoyed by his elder brother. 

Horace S. Griswold, county judge anj surrogate from January 1, 1856, 
to the time of his death, August 9, 1870, was one of the most popular 
members of the old bar and one of the most capable incumbents of the 
bench of the County court. He was born in Huntington, Pa., October 
34, 1813, and at the age of sixteen years came to Binghamton to attend 
school; he remained one year. In 1833 his father. Dr. Griswold, re- 
moved to Broome county and settled on the west side of the Chenango, 
about three miles above the village, on what for many years afterward 
was known as the "Griswold farm." In the spring of 1837 the family 
moved to the village. Horace was a student at the Cazenovia seminary 
from 1833 to 1836, and prepared to enter Hamilton college, but the 
death of his mother changed his plans. He then read medicine under 
his father's direction, with an intention to enter the medical profession, 
but in 1837 he began a course of law study with Joseph K. Rugg, and 
was admitted to the bar in 1840; later on he was admitted to practice 
in the United State courts. Judge Griswold — he was best known by that 
title — at once took a prominent position at the county bar. He pos- 
sessed fortunate traits of character and seemed especially fitted by na- 
ture for his chosen profession. As a lawyer he was successful and se- 
cured a large and lucrative practice, and throughout his entire career 
he had the respect, confidence and esteem both of his clients and the 
bar in general. During the thirty years of his professional life his part- 
ners, in succession, were Joseph K.Rugg, Solomon Judd and George A. 
Northrup. In November, 1855, he was elected to the bench of the 
County court, and was re-elected three times. In his official capacity 
Judge Griswold is best remembered by the bar, by whom it is said he 
was a superior judicial officer and was seldom mistaken as to the exist- 
ence or form of any rule of law. He delighted in imparting knowl- 
edge, and there was no mind so dull as to fail to comprehend his state- 
ments and illustrations of legal principles. Withal, he^ was a model 
citizen, a devoted husband and father and an honor to his profession. 
At the time of his death Judge Griswold was president of the Bingham- 
ton Savings bank, vice-president of the City National bank and a trus- 
tee of the Inebriate Asylum. In 1869 he was elected school commis- 
sioner of the second ward. 


Benjamin Newberry Loomis, county judge by appointment from 
August 18, 1870 to January 1, 1871, was born September 15, 1810, in 
East Windsor, Conn. He was the son of Nathaniel and Anna (Williams) 
Loomis and with his parents settled in Pawlet, Vermont, in 1814. He 
was educated in the Vermont common schools and select high school 
for teachers, and graduated from the latter at the age of 
twenty years. Still later he was a student of Latin and modern lan- 
guages and the sciences at Granville, after which he devoted himself 
to teaching in various schools in Saratoga county, N. Y., and to still 
further study in the old Fairfield academy. His education was com- 
pleted at Cazenovia, from which village he came, in 1835, to Bingham- 
ton and taught school, and also read law with Joseph K. Rugg and 
Daniel S. Dickinson. At Albany, in October, 1838, he was admitted 
to practice in the Supreme court, and soon afterward was licensed to 
chancery practice in New York city, by Chancellor Walworth. He at 
once opened an office in Binghamton and was appointed master and ex- 
aminer in chancery, continuing in that office until it was abolished by 
the constitution of 1846. In 1844 he was elected justice of the peace, 
serving twelve years, and thus acquired the title of " Squire" Loomis. 
In 1870 he was appointed county judge to fill the vacancy caused by the 
death of Judge Griswold, and served until January 1, following. He 
was the nominee of his party for the office in the fall of 1870, but at 
that time a Democratic candidate in Broome county could not hope for 
success at the polls. 

At the time of his death in 1898, Judge Loomis was the senior mem- 
ber of the bar of Broome county and was one of the most highly es- 
teemed citizens of Binghamton. His allegiance to Democracy was un- 
yielding, yet he was always conservative in the expression of his polit- 
ical opinions. He was appointed acting village attorney in 1843; was 
elected village president in 1858; mayor of the city in 1873; was a Til- 
den pre-^idential elector in 1876; was one of the organizers of the Che- 
nango Valley Savings bank, and its vice-president until his death. 
Judge Loomis had a large office practice, giving special attention to the 
care of estates, and the investment of money under trusteeship. He 
had little inclination for the trial of contested cases in court but devoted 
himself to work in the office. 

In October, 1837, Benjamin N. Loomis married with Sarah, daughter 
of Howell Gardiner, of Saratoga county. The children of this marriage 
were Benjamin F. Loomis, now attorney of the Central-Hudson Rail- 


road company; Horace Loomis, a civil engineer connected with the 
public works department of New York city; Edward H, Loomis, of the 
Central- Hudson freight department; Charles W. Loomis, of the Bing- 
ham ton bar; and Mary A., Clara M. and Nellie G. Loomis. 

William B. Edwards was county judge and surrogate of Broome 
county from January 1, 1871, to January 1, 1888, a period of eighteen 
years, and with the single exception of Judge Kattell, was the only in- 
cumbent of the office who was a native of the county. Judge Edwards 
was born in Lisle, February 13, 1839, and was of New England stock, 
being a descendant of Rev. Jonathan Edwards, a noted metaphysician, 
author of " Freedom of the Will," and at the time of his death, presi- 
dent of Princeton college. Edward Edwards, grandfather of William 
B. Edwards, was the pioneer of the family in what is now this county, 
having settled here in 1795. The judge spent his early life in Lisle, 
and was educated in the schools of that town and in the Binghamton 
academy. He finished his school course in Portland academy in 1850, 
and then began teaching. He read law with Alexander McDowell, 
was admitted to practice in 1853, and at once became partner with his 
legal tutor, under the firm style of McDowell & Edwards. The prac- 
tice of this firm was both at Lisle and the county seat. The partner- 
ship was maintained until Judge Edwards' election to the bench of the 
County court in the fall of 1870. 

Judge Edwards served on the bench three full terms of six years 
each, and is remembered as possessing a good understanding of law. 
He was therefore an efficient and capable judicial officer. He had little 
sympathy for unrepentant criminals, yet dealt leniently when a hope 
of reformation was probable. Throughout the long period of his ser- 
vice. Judge Edwards' relations with the legal profession of the county 
were always pleasant and he was much respected both by the bar and 
people. After leaving the bench he resumed practice in the city, giv- 
ing special attention to work in connection with the Surrogate's court. 
He lived prudently and was of industrious, frugal habits, hence accumu- 
lated a fair property, but trusting too much to the representations of 
others, he was led into unfortunate investments which seriously 
impaired his fortune, and undoubtedly shortened his life. He died 
Nov. 33, 1893. At one time Judge Edwards was a director of the Sus- 
quehanni Valley bank, and of the Whitney-Noyes Seed company ; he 
was vice-president of the Binghamton Savings bank, and was one of 
the city park commission and secretary of the board. Judge Edwards' 


wife was Mary J. McCall, by whom he had two children: Helen E., 
wife of Frank Snyder, and William Howell Edwards, a teacher in the 
Boys' High school of Brooklyn. 

Taylor L. Arms, present county judge and surrogate, was born in 
Guilford, Chenango county, February 3, 1847, and was the sixth of 
nine children of Samuel and Phebe (Arnold) Arms. His father was a 
farmer and until eighteen years old Taylor lived on the farm, working 
and attending district school. He completed his elementary education 
at the Norwich academy, and at the Delaware Literary institute at 
Franklin. In 1869 he was employed as clerk in a general store in Nor- 
wich, after which he kept books for E. Smith & Co., forwarding and 
commission merchants on the line of the old Chenango canal. In 1873 
Mr. Arms began reading law at Unadilla, in the office of Clifford S . 
Arms, his brother, and at the general term of the Supreme court held 
at Binghamton in May, 1876, he was admitted to practice law. He at 
once became a partner with his brother at Unadilla, under the firm 
style of Arms & Arms. In the fall of 1879 the firm was dissolved, and 
Taylor L. Arms came to live and practice in Binghamton. Two years 
later his brother removed to the city and the old firm name of Arms & 
Arms was restored. This relation was continued to 1884, when Taylor 
L. Arms was appointed division deputy of the 31st Internal revenue 
district of New York. The partnership was then dissolved and for the 
next two years Mr. Arms divided his time between the revenue office 
and law practice. In 1886 he resigned the office and formed a law 
partnership with George B. Curtiss, the firm style being Arms & Cur- 
tiss. This firm was continued until January 1, 1889, when Judge Arms 
began his first term as county judge and surrogate, to which office he 
was elected in November, 1888. He was re-elected in 1894. Ten 
years of active professional life had given Judge Arms an extensive 
acquaintance in Broome county, and during that period his voice was 
frequently heard in each political campaign as well as in the trial of 
causes in court. His Republicanism required no test to prove its qual- 
ity; his professional capacity was well established; his integrity was 
never questioned, hence he was chosen by the bar and Republicans of 
the county as the natural successor of Judge Edwards. Other candi- 
dates of course were in the field, yet Judge Arms' nomination was easily 
accomplished, while his election was beyond the question of doubt. 
His first term of service on the bench of the County court was entirely 
satisfactory both to the bar and the people, and his renomination was 






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practically without opposition. Further comment on the professional 
and political career of our county judge is unnecessary; his constituents 
have ever been satisfied with their choice. Judge Arms is a Templar 
Mason, and also a member of the Masonic bodies and the several social 
clubs of the city. He is a member of the First Presbyterian church. 
On October 11, 1876, Taylor L. Arms married Ada Frances Lines, 
daughter of M. H. Lines, manufacturer of leather goods in Utica. Of 
this marriage four children have been born, of whom three are now 


In its personnel and practice the bar of Binghamton has always main- 
tained an elevated position and among its members have been some of 
the best legal and judicial minds of the state. Beginning with the organi- 
zation of the county and continuing thence to the present time there 
have been leaders at its circuits whose character and attainments have 
placed them in the front rank of the profession. It is indeed difficult 
to separate the few from the many and exalt them above their fellows, 
yet in writing of the old bar we may properly recall those whose lives 
and character, ability and power, naturally marked them as leaders of 
the profession in their time. In preceding paragraphs the attempt has 
been made to mention in a general way the distinguishing character- 
istics of those who attained to positions on the bench, in view of which 
it is appropriate that some brief mention be made of the laity of the 
profession, whose energies and powers were devoted to the ai-duous 
labors of trials of cases in court, or who, having political ambition 
gratified at the polls, thus became prominent in the civil history of the 
county and state. 

Balthazar de Hart was undoubtedly the pioneer lawyer of Bingham- 
ton, having come to the little settlement on Chenango Point as early as 
1801. He was a native of New Jersey, in which state he was educated 
for the profession, and whfere, also, he acquired the title of judge. He 
afterward practiced in New York City, and is said to have been associ- 
ated with Alexander Hamilton; but financial reverses so impaired his 
fortune that personal mortification impelled him to seek some new field. 
He therefore came to Chenango Point, and is remembered as a man of 
good capacity, though not specially prominent in the profession in the 

James de Hart, brother of the judge, came about the same time. He 
was a lawyer, but seldom appeared in court. 


Daniel Le Roy came to the village in 1801, and is remembered not 
only as a lawyer of excellent ability, but also as one of the foremost 
men in the work of developing the resources of the region. He was 
the owner of a considerable tract of land at the lower end of what is 
now Front street, and Le Roy street was named after him. He was 
at one time law partner with John A. Collier, and so great was the es- 
teem in which he was held by the latter that the once pretentious block 
where now stands the Ross and O'Neil buildings was named by Mr. 
Collier in honor of Mr. Le Roy. In 1817 Mr. Le Roy sold all his re- 
maining property interests to his partner and removed from the village. 

Mason Whiting was one of the earliest educated lawyers to settle in 
the village at the beginning of the century, being attracted hither, no 
doubt, by the fact that this part of Tioga county formed a halfshire 
district. Squire Whiting, as he was called, was not only learned in the 
law, but was one of the most prominent figures in our early history, 
and was distinguished alike for his legal ability, his upright personal 
character and his honorable ancestry. His family surname is not now 
known in the city, though his descendants are among the most highly 
respected of our people. Mr. Whiting was born in Great Barrington, 
Mass , May 3, 1774; he was the son of Dr. William Whiting, of Hart- 
ford, Conn. ; the grandson of Colonel William Whiting, of Bozrah ; the 
great-grandson of Rev. Samuel Whiting, of Windham; the great-great 
grandson of Rev. John Whiting, of Hartford, and great-great>great 
grandson of William Whiting, the immigrant ancestor of the family. 
His maternal ancestry was equally distinguished, his mother, Anna 
Mason, being of the fifth generation of descent from Major-General and 
Deputy-Governor John Mason, the hero of the Pequot war. He was 
also a cousin of Jeremiah Mason, a distinguished lawyer and jurist of 
New England. 

Mr. Whiting was educated at the Greenfield academy, under the in- 
struction of Timothy Dwight, afterward president of Yale college. He 
read law with Barnabas Bidwell, of Stockbridge, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1791. He practiced at Lanesboro and Great Barrington 
about ten years, and in 1801 came to Chenango Point, where he was a 
pioneer, both in the legal profession and in the development of the 
locality. His first home was on the bank of the Chenango, in a log 
house, but in 1805 he built a more pretentious frame residence, which 
still stands, at the southeast corner of Water and Hawley streets. His 
office was a one-story frame building on the river bank. Mr. Whiting 


was member of assembly in 1816, district attorney in 1823 and again in 
1831-37, and clerk of the board of supervisors from 1831 to 1836. He 
was active in professional and political circles and one of the most use- 
ful men of the village in his time. His wife was Mary Edwards, with 
whom he married April 26, 1800. Their children were Mary E., who 
married with John T. Doubleday; William E., a successful merchant 
of New York for many years and afterward officially connected with the 
American Missionary society; Caroline, who married with Richard Math- 
er; Rhoda Ann, wife of Ralph Lester; Frances, who, married with Henry 
Mather and is one of the oldest living natives of Binghamton; Mason, 
once a merchant of Binghamton but afterward of New York; Catharine 
S., who became the wife of Uriah M. Stowers, of Binghimton and 
Scranton; and Amelia O., who married with William S. Tyler, D.D., 
LL. D., of Amherst college. 

Daniel Rogers and William Seymour came to the village in 1802. 
Mr. Seymour is mentioned at length as one of the Common Pleas judges, 
while little is now known of Mr. Rogers' antecedents or professional at- 
tainments. He was for a time partner with Mr. Le Roy, but 'after- 
ward removed to New York, where he published the City Hall Re- 

William Low became a member of the county bar in 1801, remained 
a few years and then removed to Cortland county. 

William Stuart, familiarly known in early village history as Judge 
Stuart, was one of the most conspicuous figures in the legal profession 
in the county for many years, and a patriot of the Revolution, having 
abandoned school to enter the American army. He served with marked 
valor in many of the severest battles of the war, and came to Geneva 
with an untarnished record and also a good legal education, the latter 
having been acquired in New York city. In March, 1796, he was ap- 
pointed assistant attorney-general for the western district of the state, 
and located at Geneva in connection with his official duties. In 1802 
he was appointed district attorney for Tioga county and thereupon se- 
lected Chenango Point as a place of residence. He came the next year 
and was afterward closely identified with the civil and political history 
of the village and county. He was one of the judges of the Common 
Pleas from 1817 to 1821. Judge Stuart died in Binghamton, leaving 
descendants who were also prominent in local history, as will be seen 
by reference to other chapters of this work. 

Sherman Page, elder brother of Gen. Julius Page, came in 1803, prac- 
ticed a, short time and then removed to Unadilla. 


Robert Monell, afterward Judge Monell, came to practice law in this 
county ia 1807, having been previously admitted to the bar. He built 
an office on Water street in 1808, which he occupied until 1811, when 
he removed to Greene, where he attained a high standing in the pro- 
fession as justice of the Supreme court. 

John A. Collier was one of the most distinguished members of the 
old bar, and was also one of the chief factors in building up a prosper- 
ous condition of affairs in the village. He was an extensive real estate 
operator both in the village and vicinity, and was the owner of Watts' 
Patent, comprising 14,000 acres which he purchased in 1835 at a cost of 
$10,000. He was not a bold operator, and all his transactions were the 
result of mature deliberation. Mr. Collier was well satisfied that Bing- 
hamton was destined to become a flourishing city, and that the sur- 
rounding country would ultimately become well settled and developed. 
He therefore made large investments and subsequent events proved the 
accuracy of his judgment, and a splendid fortune was his reward. 

Mr. Collier was born in Litchfield, Conn., November 13, 1787, and 
was graduated at Yale college. He was admitted to the bar at Troy, 
N. Y., in 1809, and in the same year came to Binghamton to practice. 
In 1810 he became law partner with Daniel Le Roy. The practice of 
the firm was large, but each member of the firm seemed inclined to 
operate in lands. In 1817 Mr. Le Roy sold all his real estate to his 
partner and removed from the village. Thus, with his large operations 
outside of professional work, Mr. Collier was always a very busy man, 
but whether lawyer, land dealer or citizen, he was the foremost man in 
the village in his time, and the acknowledged leader of the county bar. 
His knowledge of law was deep; his oratorical powers fine and per- 
suasive, and his long professional course a splendid success. His for- 
ensic efforts for half a century and more bear testimony to his great 
power and ability as a lawyer and an advocate. 

During the period of his active practice he was constantly engaged 
at every term of court, and his cool judgment, acute apprehension of 
the points of a case, quick perception of every advantage and every 
danger, and his indomitable energy gave confidence and frequently 
success to his clients, and made him a very powerful legal adversary. 
His clients knew he was incapable of trick, the bench knew that candor 
and fairness were his characteristics. He never sought public office, 
and often refused it; he never felt the "pride of office; " for him to 
fawn or scheme for it was an impossibility. And yet he was a public 


man. He was appointed district attorney June 11, 1818, and served to 
February 25, 1823 ; was elected to congress in 1830 ; was comptroller of 
state from January 37, 1841, to February 7, 1843; was one of the com- 
missioners under an act of the legislature to codify the laws of the state 
under the constitution of 1846 ; was elector at large in 1848, and presi- 
dent of the electoral college. Blessed with a happy family and an 
abundance of this world's goods, his home at Ingleside was the seat of 
comfort, generous hospitality and social enjoyment. 

Mr. Collier was thrice married. His first wife was Barbara Doty, 
whom he married in 1810. The children of this marriage were Frances, 
Julia, Henry M. and James Collier. His second wife was a Miss Shep- 
ard, who died six months after marriage. He next married Elizabeth 
Morris. Helen Stuyvesant Wright, wife of Thomas D. Wright, was 
the daughter of this marriage. (Thomas D. Wright was one of the 
brightest lights of the legal profession in this county previous to his 
death, and was once the partner of Daniel S. Dickinson). 

George Park — we all remember him best as Squire Park — came to 
the village bar in 1810, and from that time to his death, about twenty- 
five years ago, was closely identified with local growth and history. He 
was a native of Amenia, Duchess county, and was admitted to practice 
previous to his settlement here. Squire Park never assumed to be a 
strong lawyer, nor did he aim to attain a high standing in the profes- 
sion ; but he was one of those quiet, observing characters who always 
easily find their way into public favor, and thus occupy a position of 
peculiar prominence. He was interested in every measure proposed 
for the welfare of the village and its people, and took an especial inter- 
est in the early history of the locality. His collection of material and 
manuscripts was large and valuable, but on his death they were sold 
and scattered. Squire Park was an uncompromising Democrat, yet 
not specially active in politics outside of the village. He was deputy 
county clerk in 1817-18; surrogate from 1833 to 1835, and filled the 
office of justice of thepeace many years. From this office he acquired 
the title by which he was generally known. 

Thomas G. Waterman, otherwise known as General Waterman, and 
also as Judge Waterman, was an early member of the village bar, hav- 
ing come here from Connecticut in 1813. He was educated at Yale 
college, and read law with Judge Sherwood. " Although much of his 
business life was devoted to pursuits outside of the legal profession. 
General Waterman was nevertheless a lawyer of ability, and was the 


author of "The Justice's Manual," a work of much value in justice's 
court practice. He devoted his energies chiefly to lumbering and 
kindred pursuits, and thus withheld from the public the benefits to be 
derived from a splendid intellect. 

Peter Robinson, a native of New Hampshire and a graduate of Dart- 
mouth college, came to Binghamton in 1815. He read law with Gen- 
eral Waterman and was admitted in 1819. He is recalled as a lawyer 
of excellent abilities and a pronainent figure in the early political history 
of the county. He was surrogate in 1833, district attorney from 1833 
to 1831, and in 1839 was elected to the assembly, served six years, at 
one time (1839) was speaker of the house. 

Daniel Stevens Dickinson, the most eminent lawyer, jurist and states- 
man who ever honored Binghamton with a residence and noble life and 
character, came to the county bar in 1831, when the village numbered 
hardly more than 1,500 inhabitants; and he was a continuous resident 
here until his death, April 13, 1866. He is still reverently remembered 
by all our older citizens, and to those who never saw or knew him in 
life an excellent idea of his magnificent personality can be obtained 
from the following public utterance of John A. Dix: " I never knew 
a man more free from all concealment. What he thought of men or 
measures he never hesitated to speak. There was nothing about him 
of what the world calls policy; nothing of what the phrenologists 
call secretiveness; nothing tortuous, but everything fair, open and di- 
rect. In controversy he may have been rough with an adversary, but 
he would have scorned to circumvent him by hidden or unworthy 

Mr. Dickinson's professional life belonged to two counties — Chenango 
first, and then Broome; his public life was the property of the whole 
country, the union to which he was devoted and to which he freely gave 
his masterly powers. In the course of his long career much of his time 
was spent away from home, yet Binghamton has ever been benefited by 
his life, his works and his example ; and our people are ever ready to 
pay homage to his memory. Let us look briefly at the antecedents, 
birth and education of this man of mark, and then glance at his sub- 
sequent professional and public career. 

Mr. Dickinson was born in Goshen, Litchfield county, Conn., Sep- 
tember 11, 1800, and was' the son of Daniel T. and Mary (Caulkins) 
Dickinson, his father being a farmer of moderate means. In 1806 the 
family left Connecticut and settled in Chenango county, N. Y., in the 



town of Guilford, where they were pioneers and where the young life 
of our later intellectual giant was spent, at work on the farm or strug- 
gling for an education without one encouraging advantage to assist him 
other than his own determination to succeed. He did succeed, and 
eventually found a private tutor with whose assistance he was soon 
equipped for teaching others. He then set up a little school in his 
father's house, and was known as a school master until 1825, although 
he had previously determined to enter the legal profession and was 
preparing himself to that end. He read law in the office of Clark & 
Clapp, of Norwich, and in 1838 was admitted to practice in the Supreme 
court and also the Chancery courts of this state. He practiced in Guil- 
ford about three years, during a portion of which time he was post- 
master, but in 1831 he removed with his family to Binghamton. 

His practice in the county soon become large and varied, and he was 
at once recognized as a leading young lawyer and formidable opponent 
in any legal contest. His manner was pleasing, his address fine and 
oratorical, and his reasoning sound and logical. As years passed he 
gradually drifted away from close professional work more and more in- 
to the field of politics ; and while this indulgence in no manner dwarfed 
his legal power, it doubtless deprived him of the splendid fortune 
which would have been his had he confined himself to the profession 
alone. Mr. Dickinson certainly was a lawyer of distinguished ability 
and an advocate of rare brilliancy and power, yet his grandest achieve- 
ments were the result of his public and political career. In 1834 he 
was elected president of the village and held that office 'four years. In 
1835 he was a delegate to the Democratic National convention that 
nominated Van Buren and Johnson. In 1836 he was elected to the 
state senate, and served through the legislative sessions of 1837-40. 
During this time he also served as a member of the Court for the Cor- 
rection of Errors, then the ultimate tribunal of the state. In 1840 he 
was the Democratic nominee for the office of lieutenant-governor, but 
was defeated at the polls. He was renominated and elected in 1842. 
As lieutenant-governor he was the presiding officer of the senate, pre- 
siding judge of the Court of Errors, vice-chancellor of the board of 
regents, and member of the state canal board. In 1844 he was a dele- 
gate to the Democratic National convention that nominated Polk and 
Dallas, and was a presidential elector the same year. In December 
following he was appointed to a seat in the United States senate, vice 
Talmadge, resigned. Upon the expiration of his term he was elected 



to the same office and served six years. During his term in the upper 
house of congress, Mr. Dickinson found full scope for his powers, and 
he was prominently identified with all the leading questions of the time— 
the annexation of Texas, the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, the Oregon dififi- 
culty with England, and also the formation of governments for Cali- 
fornia, New Mexico, Oregon, etc. He earnestly advocated the annex- 
ation of Texas in a speech which engaged the attention of every states- 
man in the house, and was widely circulated throughout the country by 
the public press. With equal warmth he opposed the Oregon treaty 
with Great Britain on the well-founded ground that the latter power 
would acquire a vast area which justly belonged to the United States. 

In 1848 Mr. Dickinson was a delegate to the Democratic National 
convention at Baltimore, and warmly supported General Cass for the 
presidency. "In 1850," says Mr. Dickinson's latest biographer, 
' ' Henry Clay introduced in the senate a proposition for amicably ad- 
justing questions of dispute between the free and slave states growing 
out of the slavery question. The entire matter was referred to a select 
committee, of which Mr. Dickinson was a member. Mr. Clay was 
chairman, and Mr. Webster, General Cass, Mr. King, Mr. Clayton and 
other eminent senators were his co-laborers, who gave their ablest ef- 
forts in the cause. From January until September, 1850, the question 
in debate occasioned no little excitement, and was finally ended by the 
passage of bills admitting California to the union of states, organizing 
the territories of Utah and New Mexico without reference to the sub- 
ject of slavery, dispensing with the slave trade in the District of Colum- 
bia, and amending the law relating to fugitive slaves. " 

During this -eventful period in our national history, Mr. Dickinson 
was a power in congress and threw his every energy into the debates. 
So wonderful indeed was his intellectual strength as shown throughout 
this memorable period that after the session was closed Daniel Web- 
ster sent him a letter, expressing regret at certain incidents which oc- 
curred during their earlier acquaintance, and also commending his 
"noble, manly and patriotic conduct in support of the great measures 
of that session of congress." 

In 1853 Mr. Dickinson was again a delegate to the Democratic Na- 
tional convention at Baltimore, and was the warm supporter of his 
friend, General Cass. The balloting continued four days without re- 
sult, when Virginia cast her whole vote for Mr. Dickinson as the pres- 
idential nominee. Thus this distinguished honor was within his reach, 


but he was in the convention as a Cass delegate, and whatever may 
have been his feelings or aspirations, he would not violate his pledge, 
and declined the nomination. Had he accepted his election at the polls 
would have been virtually assured. 

In 1853 Mr. Dickinson was appointed collector of customs of the port 
of New York, but declined the office on account of professional and 
private engagements at home. From that. time until his appointment 
as United States district attorney, in IS&S, our people saw more of their 
favorite citizen than formerly, while the old court room frequently re ■ 
echoed with his thrilling oratory and his deep convincing arguments; 
and now, in our mind's eye, his figure can be seen, with a conventional 
swallow-tailed coat, stock collar and cravat, deep ruffled shirt front and 
long waving white hair reaching almost to his shoulders. Indeed he 
was a man of the nation, a schooled diplomat and statesman, and thor- 
oughly loyal American. Still, he was Binghamton's citizen, and our 
people delighted in honoring him. When our union school system was 
organized in 1861 he was commissioner of the first ward, and was also 
the first president of the board. 

After being somewhat released from the cares of business life, Mr. 
Dickinson purchased a considerable tract of land west of the Chenango 
and north of the railroads. This tract he subdivided and laid out with 
convenient streets, the latter being named in allusion to members of 
his family. The mansion house stood in an ample space on the east 
side of Front street, and was known as "The Orchard." The entire 
tract was known in the county records as Dickinson's Brook Meadow 
location, but now it is commonly mentioned as Dwightville. During 
the half -score of years following 1850, Mr. Dickinson spent much of 
his time at home, devoting himself to professional work and the de- 
velopment of his property, while his family and friends enjoyed the 
pleasure of his almost constant presence in the village. During this 
period, however, he was anxiously watching the current of political 
events just previous to the presidental campaign of 1860; and he un- 
doubtedly foresaw the results of the discussion of the slavery questibn, 
which then occupied the public mind. On various occasions his voice 
was heard, and the writer's earliest recollections of him were in joint 
debate with Henry J. Raymond on the court house porch about 1859. 
When, following Mr. Lincoln's election, the crisis came and warwith the 
south could no longer be averted, Mr. Dickinson declared for the Union, 
and throughout that awful struggle he stood loyal and true, and aided 


the state and general government to raise and equip troops for the ser- 
vice, and also assisted in quieting the dissentient element at home. In 
1861 he was nominated by the Union party for the office of attorney- 
general, and was elected in November following, but in 1863 he declined 
a renomination. In the latter year his name was proposed for the 
governorship, but he gave no encouragement to the movement. About 
this time he was nominated by Mr. Lincoln, and was confirmed by the 
senate, as one of the commissioners to settle the northern boundary dis- 
pute with Great Britain, but this appoinment he also declined; and also 
declined a seat on the Court of Appeals bench which Gov. Fenton offered 
him about the same time. 

In April, 1865, Mr. Dickinson was appointed United States district 
attorney for the southern district of New York, and was performing the 
duties of that office at the time of his death, April 13, 1866, at the home 
of his son-in-law, Samuel G. Courtney, of New York city. The news 
of this sad event came upon our people as a terrible shock. Our strong- 
est man, our most distinguished citizen, had been suddenly taken away. 
Three days later the funeral was held at the Orchard, and our entire 
people paid his memory a last token of love when his body was laid in 
the grave in Spring Forest cemetery. In 1822 Mr. Dickinson married 
with Lydia, daughter of Dr. Colby Knapp, of Guilford. Their children 
were Virginia E., who married with Henry K. Murray; Lydia L., who 
became the wife of Samuel G. Courtney; Manco C, who died in 1850; 
and Mary S., wife of John T. Mygatt. 

George Bartlett was born in the old mountain town of Salisbury, 
Conn., November 12, 1817. He was the son of Col. Loring Bartlett, of 
Salisbury, and the nephew of Captain Isaac Bartlett, the latter the pioneer 
of the Bartlett families of Tioga and Broome counties. The early life 
of George Bartlett was spent chiefly in Connecticut, where he acquired 
a good education. Later on he entered Union college, and was grad- 
uated in 1840. He then came to Binghamton and studied law in the 
office of Daniel S. Dickinson, and was admitted to practice about 1843 
or '44; and from that time to his death, April 14, 1870, he was one of 
the foremost lawyers of the county, and a criminal lawyer of distin- 
guished prominence in this part of the state. His practice was large and 
his relations with the bench and his professional associates were always 
of the most pleasant character. At the time of his death Mr. Bartlett 
was partner with Gilman L. Sessions. 

Mr, Bartlett was held in high esteem by Mr. Dickinson, his old legal 


tutor, "between whom and himself there grew up such an intimacy of 
a personal, professional and political nature, that no subsequent lapse 
of time, no changes of state or society, no professional rivalries or an- 
tagonisms, no party transactions or exactions, nothing but the death of 
that distinguished statesman could terminate." ' 

" In his professional life, though plain and outspoken, he was frank, 
genial and obliging, doing whatever he had to do in a direct straight- 
forward way, with no sympathy for circumlocution, and an undisguised 
contempt for tricks and technicalities. He was always ready to assist 
the weak, and never in his line of duty hesitated to encounter the 
strong. Ever ready to stand without flinching by his friends, yet car- 
ing lightly for those who would care to call themselves his enemies, he 
gained a reputation, even among his adversaries, as an honest man, 
who never trifled with his word or sold out a trust confided to him." 

"Like most professional men of that time Mr. Bartlett early be- 
came a politician, and was prominently connected with the Demo- 
cratic party. For many years in the old county of Broome, as an 
active political manager, no man, not even Dickinson himself, wielded 
a wider influence in the ranks of the undivided Democracy, than he. 
Party affiliations and personal sympathies made him of necessity a posi- 
tive party man; yet when he felt the time had come to sink all partisan- 
ships, and to rally, regardless of old watchwords and organizations, to 
the support of the government, no man came forward more promptly 
or was more outspoken than he, and none labored more earnestly for 
the establishment of the Union cause." 

In his speech before the legislature, at Albany, in the dark days of 
63, Mr. Bartlett said: "Whatever others may say or do, I have hung 
up the party harness until this contest is ended, and taken my position 
on the broad platform of the Union. " And again, in a subsequent speech, 
he exclaimed: " Sir, I have been all my life a Democrat and still claim 
to be one; but irrespective of all party considerations, I am in favor of 
prosecuting this war till the last man and the last dollar shall have been 
raised, or until the old flag floats unresisted over our whole country. " 

Such were the personal and professional characteristics of one who is 
justly entitled to mention among the distinguished members of the old 
city and county bar. Mr. Bar-tlett represented this county in the 
assembly in 1862. In 1852-53, and again in 1860, he was attorney for 
the village corporation. 

'Extracts of a sketch of Mr. Bartlett's professional and public life written by his former law 


Giles W. Hotchkiss was a practitioner at the bar of the courts of 
Broome county for a period of forty years, and was perhaps the strong- 
est trial lawyer and advocate that the county ever produced. He almost 
invariably prepared, tried and argfued his own cases, although his part- 
ner, Lewis Seymour, with whom he was professionally associated many 
years, was noted as one of the shrewdest trial lawyers in southern New 
York. Mr. Hotchkiss was born in Windsor, October 35, 1815, and was 
educated in the common schools of that town, in the Windsor academy 
and in the old Oxford academy, the latter for many j'ears one of the 
most noted educational institutions in this part of the state. During 
this period Mr. Hotchkiss worked to maintain as well as to educate 
himself, and of a truth it may be said that in every respect he was the 
"architect of his own fortune." More frequently than otherwise the 
night was half spent ere he laid down to sleep. This habit of night 
work clung to him throughout his professional career, and infrequently 
indeed did he leave the ofJfice earlier than one o'clock in the morning; 
and on occasion the court and jury were held awaiting his arrival after 
the morning session had opened. Still, the court was never known to 
rebuke Mr. Hotchkiss for tardiness, as his habit was too well known 
and too well fixed, and his worth was too well appreciated to attempt a 
change so radical. He was one of our legal giants and was the leading 
lawyer of the county for more than a quarter of a century. 

While engaged with his general studies Mr. Hotchkiss began reading 
law with F. G. Wheeler, of Windsor, and afterward completed his 
course in Judge Loomis' office in Binghamton. In November, 1837, 
he was admitted to practice in the Common Pleas and Chancery courts, 
and in the Supreme court, in 1840. His professional life was at once 
begun, and from that time until he was stricken with partial paralysis 
in November, 1877, his name appeared on the court calendar as fre- 
quently as that of any lawyer at the county bar. The law firm of Hotch- 
kiss & Seymour was formed in July, 1846, and was continued until 1853, 
when Mr. Balcom came into the firm. Judge Balcom went on the 
bench in 1856, upon which the old name was restored, and so remained 
until 1863, when Mr. Hotchkiss' election to congress necessitated his 
withdrawal from the partnership. At the close of his last term in con- 
gress he returned to the profession, and in 1873 Mr. Millard became 
his partner and active associate. 

Mr. Hotchkiss first represented his district in the 38th congress, in 
1863-65. He was re-elected to the 39th congress (1865-67) and also 



to the 41st (1869-71). His official career is well stated in the words of 
his biographer, as follows : "In all the most trying years of the war 
and the delicate period of reconstruction he was one of the aggressive 
leaders of the dominant party in congress. The dark hours of that 
struggle bore no terrors for him. When others faltered he was as firm 
as a rock. When others counseled peace upon almost any terms, he 
insisted that death was better than dishonor, that the Union must be 
preserved at any cost, and that no peace could be permanent that did 
not right the wrongs and eradicate the causes that led to the war. Once 
only his strong heart failed : He could not bear to vote to send other 
men to the front while he remained in safety. Though in frail health, 
he resolved to resign and enlist for service in the field. In some way 
his plans were carried to President Lincoln, who sent for Mr. Hotch- 
kiss and impressed upon him the importance of remaining at his post, 
that the greatest danger then confronting the administration was the 
timidity and weakness of some of its friends, and that no resolute man 
like Mr. Hotchkiss could be spared from congress at that critical time. 
Other friends urged the same view, and he was persuaded to serve out 
his term." 

But to those who knew Mr. Hotchkiss best his official life and labors 
make up only a small part of that which was most admirable in the man 
and his career. As a lawyer his character was a model for imitation. 
He was always indefatigable in his labor in the examination and prepara- 
tion of causes; careful and conscientious in his conclusions and his ad- 
vice to clients; determined and unyielding in the vindication of the 
rights of his client, and in the defense of the principles which he as- 
serted with energy and thorough conviction ; properly deferential, but 
never more than that, to the court ; courteous always to his antagonist, 
and never more so than when dealing his severest blows, and always 
especially kind and considerate to the younger and more timid members 
of the profession. 

As a stump speaker, addressing an assembly of farmers or mechanics, 
Mr. Hotchkiss at times was simply inimitable. The wit and pathos 
that sometimes brought tears and laughter and of pity almost commin- 
gled, the homely but striking illustrations, always drawn from the life 
of those he was addressing, and the deep pervading earnestness of 
everything he said, frequently made his appeals well nigh irresistible. 
But it was as an advocate before the court and the jury that Mr. Hotch- 
kiss was at his best. No matter how skillfully the opposing counsel 


had prepared and tried the case he was often compelled to sit by and 
see both law and facts which he supposed invincible swept away by the 
verdict after one of Mr. Hotchkiss' powerful arguments. Lawyers who 
perhaps were his superiors in all the niceties of legal lore and the train- 
ing and polish of the schools were not infrequently amazed to find their 
firmest logic and finest rhetoric of no avail against his native power 
and ability to convince. If the jury were farmers, his thoughts were 
of the farm; if mechanics, of the workshop. If the occasion had an 
amusing side his wit was equal to it, sometimes merciless, but never 
unkind or malignant. 

Mr. Hotchkiss was one of the founders of the Republican party in 
Broome county, and throughout his career he was one of the leading 
exponents of that party's principles in the state. Still he was not a 
seeker after public office, and declined several appointments to posi- 
tions of trust. He was the near friend of Roscoe Conkling, and by the 
latter was held in high esteem. General Grant also had great regard 
for his noble qualities, and urged him to accept a place as a token of 
respect. The United States attorney-generalship for the southern dis- 
trict of New York, the life office of United States judge for the north- 
ern district of New York, and later the circuit judgeship for the south- 
ern district, were vainly pressed upon him by the president and Senator 

Mr. Hotchkiss' devotion to his family was remarkable, and their 
lightest wish was law with him. His wife, with whom he married 
March 24, 1843, was Bessie R., daughter of Dr. Colby Knapp, of Guil- 
ford, N. Y. Their children were Bessie Virginia, wife of Charles M. 
Dickinson ; Cyrus F. , one of the most gentlemanly and popular young 
men of this city previous to his untimely death in March, 1873; and 
Lucy and Henry Hotchkiss, both of whom died young. Mrs. Hotch- 
kiss died March 6, 1852. Mr. Hotchkiss died July 5, 1878 

William H. Hecox came to the city bar in 1870. He was admitted 
to practice in 1838 and for more than half a century afterward he was 
in professional life, although ill health frequently compelled him to 
change his residence from the east to the west. In 1849 he undertook 
a journey to the gold fields of California, but not being able to get up 
the Pacific coast from the isthmus he returned home. Twice during 
his professional career Mr. Hecox lived in St. Paul, Minn., where he 
practiced law. He also practiced in Buffalo and New York city before 
coming to Binghamton in 1870. Mr. Hecox is remembered as a lawyer 



of ability, and a citizen of unquestioned integrity. He was an honor 
to the bar and the city. For several years he held the office of justice 
of the peace. Mr. Hecox's wife was Augusta Foster, who survives himf 
Of their three children only one — William H. Hecox, of this city — is 
now living. 

Lewis Seymour was a native of Broome county, being born in Vestal, 
October 25, 1823. He was a son of Lewis Seymour, the latter a former 
merchant and successful business man of Binghamton, but who was 
drowned in the Chenango river while attempting to save the life of a 
young man. Samuel Seymour, grandfather of Lewis Seymour, the 
lawyer, was an early settler in Union, and was a man of much note in 
his day. In 1831 Lewis 'Seymour, sr. , removed with his family to the 
village from Vestal, hence the son had the advantages of the village 
schools in laying the foundation for his later education. He prepared 
for college at Cazenovia, and at the age of fourteen years entered Wes- 
leyan university, at Middletown, Conn. While pursuing his studies 
his father's fortune was seriously impaired by unfortunate investments, 
and although he still had sufficient means to enable his son to complete 
his college course, the young man, against his parent's expressed hope, 
left his studies and returned home. He then taught school a short 
time, after which he began a course of law study in the office of Judge 
Loomis, and completed his legal education with John Clapp. 

In 1846 Mr. Seymour was admitted to practice, and in July of the 
same year he formed a law partnership with Giles W. Hotchkiss. 
Seven years later Ransom Balcom came into the firm, continued three 
years and then went on the Supreme court bench. Then the old firm 
name of Hotchkiss & Seymour was restored, and was continued until 
1863, when Mr. Hotchkiss was elected to congress. The name how- 
ever, was seen on the court calendars for several years after the disso- 
lution of the firm. "This firm achieved a remarkable reputation,' says 
Mr. Seymour's biographer, " and so great was the public confidence in 
their skill and integrity that they not unfrequently appeared as at- 
torneys in two-thirds of the cases on the Supreme court calendar. This 
large practice was the result of marked ability and untiring labor in the 
interests of clients. Mr. Seymour was a deep thinker. His integrity 
and the consciousness of his duty to clients would not permit him to be 
satisfied with a superficial examination of a case; his great mind 
threaded its tortuous intricacies until he had solved it into the sem- 
blance of a simple problem, and laid it before the court and the jury 
in its most comprehensive light. " 


Lewis Seymour was not an ordinary man. It was his good fortune 
to be so gifted by nature, his mind so improved by culture and constant 
study, his judgment so matured by observation and reflection and ex- 
perience, that he was able to do much good in his professional life, and 
thus set an example worthy of imitation by younger members of the 
bar. His well balanced mind never yielded to the novel vagaries of 
the day, either in practice or theory, but led him safely and success- 
fully through all the transactions of life. But as a professional man 
his worth was most evident, and in that character, we, as members of 
the same fraternity, can fully appreciate him. No other figure in court 
was similar to his, and once seen the man could never be mistaken for 
another. He was of medium stature, not of strong physical build, yet 
his deep, piercing black eyes marked him as a thinker and logician. As 
an advocate before the jury his address was not particularly pleasing, 
but in the argument of questions of law before the court his legal 
ability was plainly apparent. As a general trial lawyer he had no 
superior at the Broome county bar. Along in the late 'sixties Dr. J. 
Edward Turner stood charged with arson, and was defended by Roscoe 
Conkling, one of the ablest lawyers in the state. The district attorney 
was assisted by Mr. Seymour, whp in fact tried the case for the people. 
After the trial was finished a prominent member of the city bar asked 
Mr. Conkling as to his impressions of Mr. Seymour, to which the reply 
came promptly: " I think I never met a more shrewd and careful trial 
lawyer in all my experience." As in the case referred to so it was 
throughout the period of his practice ; he was a careful, thorough lawyer, 
and never worked more earnestly than on his last case in court. He 
was not well, and had worked hard all through the circuit, yet the case 
in hand had often been put over, and his clients were anxious that it 
be tried. It was tried ; the verdict was for the plaintiff, whom Mr. 
Seymour represented, but it was his last professional work. He was 
broken down, and neither rest nor quiet nor the loving care of wife 
and children could restore him to health. Death came January 4, 1873, 
and thereby the Broome county bar lost one of its best and most worthy 

Orlow W. Chapman was a native of Ellington, Conn. He was born 
January 7, 1832, and was descended from old New England colonial 
stock. Several of his ancestors were patriots of the Revolution, while 
still others were among the pioneers of New England and contended 
against the Indians during the period of the early wars. Orlow was 



given the advantages of a good common school education, followed by 
a college preparatory course at the Ellington and Monson academies. 
In 1850 he entered Union college, and was graduated in 1854. 
While in college Mr. Chapman in part maintained himself by teaching 
school, and after graduation he was for a year teacher of languages in 
Fergusonville academy. In the fall of 1855, having determined to en- 
ter the legal profession, he began reading law with Parker & Gleason, 
attorneys at Delhi, and at a general term of the Supreme court held in 
Owego in 1857, he was admitted to practice. 

In 1858 Mr. Chapman came to live in Binghamton, and in the course 
of a few years he attained a position of influence and popularity in the 
profession. He proved to be an excellent trial lawyer and an advocate 
of unusual ability and force. His personality, too, was in his favor, as 
also were his splendid physique and cheerful countenance. In 1868 
the law firm of Chapman & Martin was formed, and was one of the 
strongest legal partnerships in this part of the state. Judge Martin 
was the careful, thoughtful member of the firm and Mr. Chapman, 
while possessing in a less degree the characteristics of his associate, 
was the orator and advocate before the court and the jury. Their com- 
bined strength made them formidable legal opponents. 

Mr. Chapman was fortunately constituted by nature. He instinct- 
ively shrank from the bitter legal contest, yet when earnestly engaged 
in the trial of a case his alert, incisive intelligence, his blithe and some- 
what aggressive independence, certainly made him appear to splendid 
advantage and augured well in his favor. His true capacity as a law- 
yer was fully displayed in the trial of the famous case entitled Strong 
vs. Dwight, in which Mr. Hotchkiss appeared for the plaintiff, with 
Chapman & Martin, attorneys, and Francis Kernan) of counsel, for the 
the defense. The evidence was nearly closed and Senator Kernan was 
to present the case to the jury for the defendant on the opening of 
court in the afternoon. However, during the noon recess, a message 
announced the death of his daughter, upon which the distinguished 
lawyer was compelled to withdraw from the case and hasten home. 
Then the burden of the argument fell upon Mr. Chapman, but not- 
withstanding the embarrassment of his position, with hardly a note or 
memorandum as his guide, he made one of the most masterly addresses 
every heard by any jury in Broome county. Every latent power seemed 
to come to his aid on this occasion and carried him safely through the 
case, with a final verdict in his favor. 


In character Mr. Chapman was a man without reproach, and neither 
in public or private life was there ever an imputation or wrong to sully 
his fair name. A fine scholar, a profound lawyer, a blameless citizen, 
an upright public servant, a faithful friend, a trusted counsellor, his 
life was certainly complete. 

Mr. Chapman was a tried and true Republican and a power in the 
councils of his party in the state. On September 4, 1862, he was ap- 
pointed district attorney to succeed George A. Northrup, and served in 
that capacity until January, 1863, when he resigned. In the fall of 
1867 he was elected :o the state senate, and was re-elected in 1869. In 
1873 he was appointed a member of the constitutional commission, but 
resigned the position to accept that of superintendent of the insurance 
department, to which he was appointed November 33, 1873. This 
office he resigned January 31, 1876. On May 39, 1889, he was ap- 
pointed by President Harrison as solicitor-general of the United States. 
While residing temporarily in Washington, in connection with his offi- 
cial duties, Mr. Chapman was suddenly stricken ill, and on January 19, 
1890, he died. 

Edmund O'Connor, while not a member of the old bar of the county, 
was nevertheless one of the honorable representatives of his profession 
and is worthy to be mentioned in these reminiscences as a leading law- 
yer in the city, the county and the state. Best of all, Mr. O'Connor 
was a purely self-made man, having been thrown entirely on his own 
resources at the early age of fourteen years. His life was a success, for 
he ranked as one of our foremost lawyers, and arose to that station from 
an humble beginning. As a trial lawyer he had few equals in the county, 
and as an advocate before the court and the jury his character and 
especial legal strength were fully displayed. His, in many respects, 
was a remarkable personality ; his vitality was so rich and sparkling, 
his abilities were so varied, and his humor so affluent that he was a 
most interesting companion and associate. He loved his family first 
then his profession, then politics; and it was his conversion to Repub- 
licanism in the presidential campaign of 1873 that led to his ultimate 
success in political as well as professional life. Under Republican in- 
fluences he was brought into new associations and companionships, and 
he soon became a factor in the ranks of the party in the county, followed 
by still higher honors in the legislative halls of the state. In 1880 he 
was appointed one of the trustees of the Binghamton asylum for chronic 
insane— the Binghamton State hospital— and served in that capacity 



until he was chosen attorney for the institution. In 1889 he was elected 
to the state senate, and was re-elected in 1891 and 1893. During- his 
second term he became a leader in the senate and retained that prom- 
inence to the end of his service. 

Edmund O'Connor was born near Mallow, County Cork, Ireland, in 
November, 1848, and when three years old came with his parents to 
the United States, the family locating at Little Falls, N. Y. Here 
Edmund attended the village school, and also a parochial school, but 
the unfortunate death of his father in 1862 compelled the young man to 
leave school for a time and find employment for his own and his moth- 
er's support. He worked in the railroad shops, and saved enough of 
his earnings to eventually finish his early education in the academies at 
Little Falls and Delhi, from the latter of which he was graduated. He 
then determined to study law, and accordingly became a student in 
Judge Smith's office at Little Falls; at a general term of the Supreme 
court held at Oswego in October, 1870, he was admitted to practice. 
He at once removed to Binghamton and formed a law partnership with 
William J. Ludden. This relation continued about four years, after 
which, until 1888, Mr. O'Connor practiced without a partner. His 
subsequent career has been told in preceding paragraphs. It is well 
known that he was one of the brightest, keenest trial lawyers in the 
county, and one for whom his professional associates had the greatest 
esteem. His practice was large and varied, and secured for him a sub- 
stantial fortune. Indeed, it may be truthfully said that Edmund 
O'Connor was an honor to his profession, and his untimely death was 
a serious loss both to the bar and the city. He died July 15, 1898. 

In addition to those whose names and lives have been specially men- 
tioned as prominent members of the old bar still others may be recalled 
in this connection. Joseph S. Bosworth was at the bar in the village 
between 1835 and 1840 and was a lawyer of ability. He afterward re- 
moved to New York, where he was elected to the bench of the Supreme 
court in 1851; he was in the assembly in the same year, and was one of 
the metropolitan district police commissioners in 1864. 

Hamilton Collier was a younger brother of John A. Collier, with 
whom he read law, and was admitted to practice in 1809. He lived for 
several years in Owego, but in 1822 came to Binghamton. In 1837 
he was appointed district attorney, and was surrogate from 1841 to 1843. 
He died in Ohio in 1865. 

David Woodcock came to the county bar in 1834, but previous to that 


time had lived in Seneca and Tompkins counties, where he attained 
considerable prominence; he was member of assembly, district attor- 
ney, and was also elected to congress. He is recalled as an able lawyer, 
a fluent speaker and a gentleman. 

Mayhew McDonald came to the village in 1838 and was admitted to 
practice the next year. 

Joseph K. Rugg was once a prominent lawyer in the village. He was 
a graduate of Mr. Bosworth's office; surrogate from 1836 to 1840, 
though not admitted to practice until 1838. He was one of the first 
chief engineers of the village fire department. 'He afterward removed 
to Michigan, where he died. 

Gabriel Bouck, eldest son of Ex- Gov. William C. Bouck, of Scho- 
harie, read law with Dickinson & Wright and was admitted to the bar 
previous to the war of 1861-65. Mr. Bouck afterward went to Wiscon- 
sin, settling at Oshkosh, where he became a noted lawyer and the leadei 
of the Oshkosh bar. He was colonel of a famous Wisconsin regiment 
during the war, and on returning from the service he was elected to 
congress ; and is known throughout the land as " the Sage of Oshkosh." 

Ausburn Birdsall, who now lives in New York city, was a former 
member of the bar in this city. He came from Chenango county in 
1832 and was admitted to practice in 1836. He read law with Mr. 
Dickinson and was afterward his partner about six years. He was dis- 
trict attorney from 1843 to 1847, and member of congress from 1847 to 
1849. For many years Mr. Birdsall was closely identified with profes- 
sional and business life in our village and subsequent city, and was 
numbered among our worthy citizens. About ten years ago he removed 
to New York. Mr. Birdsall is a pleasant, scholarly writer, and his con- 
tributions to the columns of the. city press on subjects relating to the 
early history of Binghamton have been read with much interest. 

Matthew F. Mayham, a gifted son of old Schoharie county, the son 
of Judge and Congressman S. L. Mayham, read law in the office of 
Barna R. Johnson, and was admitted to the bar in 1874. He died in 

Thus might our reminiscences be continued indefinitely but the scope 
and policy of our chapter forbid. The successors to the old bar were 
equally worthy and honorable, but many of those who entered the pro- 
fession subsequent to 1860 are still living and in practice, and it is con- 
trary to the design of our work to review at great length the lives of 
the younger members of the profession, except as they may have in 


some manner been specially identified with the civil or political history 
of the city, or have attained positions of prominence in the ranks as 


The purpose of the appended list is to record and preserve as many 
as possible of the names of members of the village and city bar, past 
and present. It is not claimed that the record is absolutely complete, 
or that the year is in all cases correctly stated, but in the absence of 
reliable records it is the best that can be done. To accomplish what is 
done the writer has availed himself of county and court records, news- 
paper files, public and legal documents, old court calendars, and in 
fact all known sources of information, and has compiled therefrom a 
chronological register of the bar. Previous to 1866 the court calendars 
did not furnish the names of lawyers as now printed, but subsequent to 
that time the list has been regularly published in each year. A law 
student's greatest aim in life is to secure admission to the bar, and that 
accomplished he is not slow to suggest to the county clerk the propriety 
of inserting his name in the published list of attorneys. Therefore the 
appended list, subsequent to 1866, may be regarded as substantially 
correct. When we consider that no special record of the bar has ever 
been kept, and that our information has been drawn from scattered and 
at times doubtful sources, the reader will appreciate something of the 
difficulty attending the preparation of the roll. However, the roster 
shows for itself, and also shows with reasonable accurac}' the names of 
lawyers with the year in which each was admitted to the bar or began 
practice in the county. That the record may be still more complete, 
the personnel of the bar is given for the years 1855, 1869-60 and 1866. 
Extant records covering the period from 1850 to 1865 are decidedly 

1791'— Mason Whiting. 

1801 — Balthazar De Hart, Daniel Le Roy, William Low. 

1803 — Daniel Rogers, William Stuart. 

1803 — Sherman Page. 

1806 — William Seymour. 

1807— Robert Monell. 

1809 — John A. Collier, Hamilton Collier. 

1 Year of admission to practice. 


1810— Horace Williston. 

1811— George Park. 

1813— Thomas G. Waterman. 

1819 — Peter Robinson. 

1830 — Joseph S. Bosworth. 

1831 — Daniel S. Dickinson. 

1834— David Woodcock. 

1836^Ausburn Birdsall, Joseph Houghton, Laurel O. Belden. 

1837— Giles W. Hotchkiss. 

1838 — John R. Dickinson, Joseph K, Rugg, Benjamin N. Loomis. 

1839 — Mayhew McDonald. 

1840— Horace S. Griswold, Calvin Mather. 

1841— Solomon Judd, Edward C. Kattell.' 

1843 — William H. Hecox, Ransom Balcom, George Bartlett. 

1846 — George A. Northrup, William M. Patterson, Joseph Shaw, 
Lewis Seymour, Charles H. Hunt. 

1847— Phineas B. Tompkins, Hallam Eldredge, Philo B. Stillson, 
Robert Bloomer, Thomas W. Waterman, Hiram R. Bates, Alexander 

1850— Perry P. Rogers. 

1851— Charles S. Hall. 

1853 — Franklih A. Durkee, George Beebe. 

1854— Dan S. Richards. 

1855 — -Alexander E. Andrews, Barna R. Johnson. The personnel of 
the bar in this year was about as follows: Daniel S. Dickinson (Dickin- 
son & Wright), Edward Tompkins, Horace S. Griswold, Charles S. 
Hall, George A. Northrup, George Bartlett, Franklin A. Durkee, Ben- 
jamin N. Loomis, Corydon Tyler, Phineas B. Tompkins, Jacob Morris, 
Solomon Judd, Giles W. Hotchkiss (Hotchkiss, Seymour & Balcom), 
Lewis Seymour, Frederick Tallent, Ransom Balcom, Philo B. Stillson, 
John R. Dickinson, Dan S. Richards, A. G. Stillson, who was a younger 
brother of P. B. Stillson, and was accidentally shot while hunting. 

1856 — Celora E; Martin, Luther Badger, Gabriel Bouck (admitted 
about this time). 

1857— Orlow W. Chapman, Edward M. Fitzgerald, Reuben H. 

1858 — Gilman L. Sessions, Benajah S. Curran, Alexander Gumming, 
Henry Welsh. 

' Judge Kattell was admitted about this time; the exact year is not known. 


1859 — According to the village directory this year the lawyers in 
practice were, A. E. Andrews, Luther Badger, Ransom Balcom, Will- 
iam Barrett, Ausburn Birdsall, O. W. Chapman, John Clapp, John A. 
Collier, B. S. Curran, Daniel S. Dickinson, John R. Dickinson, Franklin 
A. Durkee, Horace S. Griswold, Charles S. Hall, Giles. W. Hotchkiss, 
Merrick C. Hough, Solomon Judd, Edward C. Kattell, James La- 
Grange, B. N. Loomis, George A. Northrup, Dan S. Richards, G. L. 
Sessions, Lewis Seymour, Benjamin Sherwood, George J. Spencer, 
Philo B. Stillson, Edward Tompkins, Corydon Tyler, William M. 
Waterman, Thomas D. Wright, Aaron W. Young. 

1860 — J. H. Bronson, William L. Headley, James C. Edson, Benja- 
min H. White, Clifford S. Arms, George Becker, Peter W. Hopkins. 

1861 — Samuel L. Comstock, John T. Mygatt, Edwin C. Moody, J. 
Ancrum Winslow. 

1862 — Frank Loomis, Edward K. Clark, Henry T. Seeley, Stephen 
A. Walker. 

1863— George Whitney. 

1865 — Wallace P. Hunt, Daniel Hanna, Albert D. Armstrong, 
Charles M. Dickinson, Joseph M. Johnson. 

1866 — Clark L. Hood, Benjamin F. Smith, Christopher Callan. The 
court calendar this year shows the members of the bar as follows: A. 
E. Andrews, A. D. Armstrong, Ausburn Birdsall, George Bartlett, 
William Barrett, O. W. Chapman, B. S. Curran, E. K. Clark, C. M. 
Dickinson, F. A. Durkee, H. S. Griswold, G. W. Hotchkiss, W. P. 
Hunt, P. W. Hopkins, C. S. Hall, C. L. Hood, S. Judd, B. R. John- 
son, J. M. Johnson, B. N. Loomis, James La Grange, Dan S. Richards, 
Lewis Seymour, G. L. Sessions, Corydon Tyler, T. W. Waterman, 
George Whitney, Thomas D. Wright. 

1867— Stephen C. Millard, Theodore F. McDonald, Isaac P. Pugsley, 
Charles H. Wickham. 

1868— William L. Griswold. W. H. Johnston, William H. Stoddard, 
William H. Scoville, Neri Pine, Andrew A. .White, George Becker. 

1870— A. Harry Bissell, W. Dalton Cornish, Newell D. Whitney, 
Wm. J. Ludden, Edmund O'Connor. 

1871— George W. Penrie, David E. Cronin, Jerome De Witt, E. S. 
Hopkins, John N. Pomeroy, A. De Witt Wales, William A. McKinney. 

1872— Frank G. Bishop,' Charles W. Loomis. 

' Mr. Bishop was a native of this county. He afterward lived in the south, and returned to 
this city in 1873. 


1873— Edgar A. Monfort, Lewis C. Aldrich. 

1874— William M. Crosby, jr. 

1875 — David H. Carver, George F. Lyon, Frank Stewart, William 
Trebby, jr. 

1876— M. Fillmore Brown, Willis D. Edmister, Walter M. Hand, 
Charles A. Hull, Charles F. Tupper, Charles E. Welch, Marvin Can- 
niff, John P. Wheeler, Taylor L. Arms. 

1877 — Clement L. Boon, John F. Gulliver, M. Julius Keeler, George 
H. Williams, Asahel W. Cumming. 

1878 — James L. Greene, Scott G. Bayer, Francis W. Downs, Robert 
E. Prince, Silas W. Crandall. 

1879— Albert Hotchkiss, L. H. Jackson. 

1880 — George B, Curtiss, Augustus Babcock, Roswell Bump, Har- 
mon J. Kneeland, George Hull, David Murray, Charles M. Stone, 
Gilbert C. Walker,' J. Stuart Wells, jr., Edward Ronneberger, Win- 
throp D. Painter. 

1881— Charles F. Abeel, Thomas B. Merchant, Henry L. Beach. 

1882— Fremont F. Williams, David J. Barry, John M. Cahill, Bruce 
Winner, Thomas A. Harroun, Thomas H . Larkin. 

1883— Israel T. Deyo, A. Perry Fish, F. Newell Gilbert, Robert R. 
Griswold, Almiron M. Sperry. 

1884— Eldon R. Carver, Arthur W. T. Back, Allan M. North, James 
P. Callan, Charles H. Hitchcock, Frederic W. Jenkins. 

1885— S. Mack Smith, Robert A. Stone, H. C. Sells. 

1887— Robert B. Richards. 

1888— Harry F. Lyon, Marshal V. Andrews, Elmer E. Maddox, 
Henry C. Olmsted, James H. Roberts, Charles F. O'Brien, David D. 
Porter, Watson E. Roberts. 

1889— John J. Irving, Leslie M. Merchant, John A. Brown, Lewis 
Seymour, William F. Van Cleve, Harry C. Perkins, Cortland A. 

1890— Le Roy Bennett, Harlow E. Bundy, John F. Charlton, Will- 
iam W. Newell, Hiram M. Rogers, Robert S. Parsons, Theodore R 

1891— R. F. Bieber, James H. Greeley, Harvey D. Hinman, Elmore 
G. Page, Albert S. Barnes. 

1892— James T. Rogers, Rollin W. Meeker. 

in 1880, 

Ex4Jov, Walker was admitted to praotipe atout 1856 and afterward went South, returning 


1893— Frank S. Anderson, Roger P. Clark, Frank S. Harper, Dennis 
E. Keefe, Charles O. Morgan, Frank M. Hays. 

1894— Harry C. Walker, Maurice E. Page, Edward L. Randall, 
Frank H. Short, W. D. Vanderworken . 

1895— Walter S. Flint, Peleg H. Reed, Frederick W. Welsh, Harry 
A. Yetter. 

1896 — Burr W. Mosher, Thomas W. Mangan, Archibald Howard. 

1897 — Thomas J. Keenan, Royal A. Gunnison, Frank H. Bassett, 
Urbane C. Lyons, Frank J. Mangan. 

1898— Benajah S. Curran, jr., John M. Davidge, Ralph D. Smith, 
George A. Smith, Albert R. Humphrey, William H. Riley, Harry J. 
Hennessey, Charles Avery Hickey. 

1899— Thomas B. Kattell. 


Charles Samuel Hall was born in Middletown, Conn., May 18, 1827, 
and was the eldest of five children of Samuel Holden Parsons and Eme- 
line (Bulkeley) Hall. The family came to Binghamton, May 10, 1837. 
Charles was educated in the Binghamton academy, where he prepared 
for college. He entered Yale in 1844 and was graduated in 1848, with 
the degree of A. B. He was graduated from Yale Law school in 1850, 
with the degree of LL. B., and in the next year received the Yale de- 
gree of A. M. Mr. Hall was admitted to practice law in this state at a 
general term of the Supreme court held in Norwich in January, 1851. 
He was also admitted to practice in the United States District court in 
May, 1879, and the United States Circuit court in August of the same 
year. Mr. Hall has practiced law continuously in Binghamton for a 
period of almost fifty years, and in connection with his professional 
work has taken an active part in the affairs both of the village and city. 
As a lawyer and a senior member of the bar he is mentioned by his 
professional associates as a safe counsellor, and one with whom princi- 
ples, rather than expedients, have always prevailed. He has not sought 
a standing of prominence as a trial lawyer in contested cases, nor has he 
ever aspired to fame as an advocate at the bar of the courts, neverthe- 
less, for many years Mr. Hall has been known as one of the most 
scholarly orators of the county bar. His interest in public and polit- 
ical affairs dates from his admission to practice, and he has always been 
loyal to the city. He was village attorney in 1856 and 1857, a-nd in the 
year last mentioned was one of the committee appointed to prepare a 


city charter; but the scheme itself failed through a division of senti- 
ment among the people. Had the counsel of Mr. Hall and his associ- 
ates prevailed with the people the village would have become a city in 
1857 instead of ten years later; and when that end was secured in 1867, 
the charter was prepared wholly under his personal direction. For four 
years Mr. Hall was a member of the board of education, and as such 
revised the school laws of the city. On December 13, 1856, he was ap- 
pointed commissioner of the Circuit court of the United States, and has 
held that office to the present time, although in July, 1898, the name 
was changed to " U. S. Commissioner." In politics Mr. Hall is a firm 
Democrat, though in no sense an aggressive partisan. He was the can- 
didate of the sound money Democracy— the National Democratic party 
—for congress in this district in 1896. On January 3, 1855, Charles S. 
Hall was married to Mary Rebecca Harris, by whom he had four chil- 
dren, Louise, Charles H., Arnold H. and Samuel Holden. His second 
wife, with whom he married October 29, 1885, was Annie Hastings 
Knowlton, by whom he had one son, Lyman Knowlton Hall. 

Dan S. Richards was born in the town of Union, September 24, 1830, 
the son of " Squire " Jesse and Mary (Forker) Richards, being the sec- 
ond of their nine children. His grandfather was Henry Richards, who 
came from Pennsylvania and made a permanent settlement on the Bos- 
ton purchase in 1791, and therefore was one of the pioneers of this part 
of the Susquehanna valley. The early life of Dan S. Richards was 
spent in Union, on his father's farm and he was educated in the old 
Binghamton academy. He read law with Horace S. Griswold, and in 
January, 1854, was admitted to practice. He at once began professional 
work in the then village of Binghamton and was soon recognized as one of 
the keenest young lawyers of the county bar. This standing he afterward 
maintained throughout the period of his active professional career. For 
more than twenty years he has been resident attorney for the D. , L. & W. 
R. R. company. Although now virtually retired from active work, Mr. 
Richards visits the office almost daily, where, as one of the oldest mem- 
bers of the city bar, his counsel and advice are frequently sought by 
younger members of the profession, and also by many of his old clients. 
Mr. Richards' first partner was Corydon Tyler, followed by William 
Barrett, George A. Northrup, Benajah S. Curran, Oilman L. Sessions 
and Robert B. Richards, in the order mentioned. Mr. Richards has 
also been an active factor in local Democratic politics and served as 
village attorney in 1853, alderman in 1869-70 and school commissioner 



in 1879-81. In October, 1857, Mr. Richards married Mary C. Mer- 
chant, who died childless. His second wife was Ellen H. Bostwick, 
whom he married in June, 1862. Three sons, Robert B., Ferdinand B. 
and Dan S. Richards, jr., are the children of this marriage. 

Alexander E. Andrews was born in New Berlin, Chenango county, 
April 11, 1834, and was the son of Rev. Dr. Edward Andrews, one of 
the early rectors of Christ church. Alexander was graduated at Hobart 
college in 1853, after which he read law with Daniel S. Dickinson, and 
was admitted to practice in 1855. Nearly all of Mr. Andrews' profes- 
sional life, except about three years, has been spent in Binghamton, 
and he has been identified with the best interests both of the village 
and city. He was our first city recorder, serving from 1867 to 1873, 
and was a still earlier justice of the peace. In 1878, and again in 1880, 
Mr. Andrews was elected to the assembly. 

Benajah S. Curran is a native of Kirkwood and was born Septem- 
ber 30, 1837. He was the son of Isaac and Mary (Enders) Curran, his 
father having come from Albany county at a very early day and made 
a settlement in the town when neighbors indeed were few. Isaac the 
pioneer died about 1845, after which his family removed to the village 
of Binghamton. Benajah was educated in our district schools, and read 
law in John R. Dickinson's office. On October 11, 1858, he was ad- 
mitted to practice. From that to the present time Mr. Curran has 
been in active practice in the village and subsequent city, and no law- 
yer at the local bar has been more industrious and persevering in his 
efforts than he, and few indeed of his many associates have accomplish- 
ed the substantial results which have rewarded his efforts. During the 
long period of his practice Mr. Curran has had as partners Major Philo 
B. Stillson, Dan S. Richards and B. S. Curran, jr. Mr. Curran is a 
firm and uncompromising Democrat, strong m his party and strong in 
the city generally. He was attorney for the excise board three years, 
alderman two years, school commissioner two years, and mayor of the 
city two years, as the municipal civil list in another chapter will show. 
On October 2, 1866, Benajah S. Curran married Emma, daughter of 
Lowell Gilmore. Four sons and one daughter were born of this 

Oilman L. Sessions was born in Woodstock, Conn., February 14, 
1833, and was the son of Lyman Sessions, a merchant and man of char- 
acter and influence. Oilman was educated in several of the best acad- 
emies of Massachusetts, and also in Dartmouth college, where he was 


graduated in 1855. The next year he came to Binghamton and read 
law with Daniel S. Dickinson, and was admitted to the bar in 1858. 
From that to the present time he has been a member of the village and 
city bar, in active practice until a year or two ago. He was law partner 
with George Bartlett at the time of the death of the latter, after which, 
in the fall of 1870 the law firm of Richards & Sessions was formed; and 
was continued until the fall of 1877. In the city Mr. Sessions has long 
been known as one of the scholars of the bar. In politics he has 
always maintained an independent attitude, and has not sought public 
office of any kind. Indeed, he is of a retired disposition naturally, 
though at perfect ease in any circle. In addition to his legal business, 
which was always large, he has been selected to manage several trusts 
and estates, the duties of which position have demanded a considerable 
portion of his time. Mr. Sessions' wife is Eliza, daughter of the late 
Robert S. Bartlett, and granddaughter of Captain Isaac Bartlett, the 
latter the pioneer of the Bartlett families in Tioga and Broome counties. 
Alexander Gumming has been a member of the Broome county bar 
for a period of more than forty years. He was born in Stamford, Del- 
aware county, November 12, 1832, and was the son of John and Fanny 
(Bassett) Gumming. He lived on his father's farm until he attained 
his sixteenth year, and acquired a rudimentary education in the dis- 
trict schools. When Alexander was sixteen years old his mother died, 
the home wa& broken up and he started out to make his own way in 
life, working at whatever he could find to do, and saving his earnings, 
for he was determined to acquire more than a district school education." 
He was industrious and of frugal habits, which qualities enabled him 
to attend the academies at Franklin and Hobart , He was a close and 
careful student, having a natural aptitude for mathematics and civil 
engineering, and an especial love for ancient as well as modern history; 
and to-day, as a matter of fact, there are few professional men in Broome 
county who possess a more thorough understanding of European and 
American history, or are more familiar with the writings of old authors 
than Mr. Gumming. During the six years which were devoted to his 
own education, Mr. Gumming taught winter terms of school in Otsego 
and Delaware counties, and also devoted one year of the time to read- 
ing law under the direction of J. R. Allaben of Delhi. Having chosen 
the legal profession, he applied himself closely to the study of law, and 
in 1858, at a General Term of the Supreme court held in Binghamton, he 
was admitted to practice. At that time he had a large justice court 


practice in Delaware county, which had besn built up during his ser- 
vice as law student, but after his admission he at once settled in Deposit 
for general practice, remaining in that village until 1878. He then 
came to Binghamton and became a member of the city bar. For a 
period of more than twenty years Mr. Gumming has occupied a promi- 
nent position among the attorneys of the county seat and has often 
been mentioned as the leader of the county bar. It is not the purpose 
of this work to deal in compliments, yet both candor and fairness de- 
mand the assertion of a patent fact : Mr. Gumming is recognized as one 
of the strongest lawyers in this locality. In 1881 Asahel Gumming be- 
came partner with his brother, under the firm style of A. & A. W. 
Gumming. In his political preference Mr. Giimming is a conservative 
Republican, yet possesses strong convictions on all the public questions 
of the day ; and he is perfectly frank in the expression of his opinions. 
He is an expansionist, and thoroughly American in all his political 
utterances. On September 17, 1860, Alexander Gumming married 
Hannah Heuguiner of Deposit, of which marriage three children have 
been born. 

Edwin G. Moody was born in the town of Union, November 4, 1838. 
He was the son of Charles and Amanda (Keeler) Moody, and a grand- 
son of David Moody, the latter a pioneer on " Bean Hill." Edwin was 
educated in Union academy and the law department of the University 
of New York, having graduated at the latter in May, 1861. In June 
following he was admitted to practice, and soon afterward opened an 
office in Union village, dividing his time, however, between the office 
and teaching school for a period of two or three years. He lived in 
Union until 1876 and then removed to this city. He was supervisor of 
Union nine years, and several years chairman of the board. In 1876 
he was elected to the assembly. 

Edward K. Glark was born in Smethport, McKean county, Penna , 
January 1, 1841, and was the son of Joseph F. and Laura L. (Phillips) 
Clark. He was educated at Smethport and Randolph academies (the 
latter now known as Chamberlain Institute), after which he taught 
school and at the same time read law under the direction of Warren 
Gowles and Byron Hamlin, both of Smethport. In 1861 he continued 
his legal studies under Henry A. Clarke, of Bainbridge, N. Y., and still 
later with Hotchkiss & Seymour, of Binghamton. He was admitted to 
practice November 9, 1862. Mr. Glark has since been in active prac- 
tice as a member of the city bar, and is known as one of the most care- 


f ul and thorough of our lawyers. During this time, however, he was 
engaged about two years on the editorial stafiE of the Daily Republican, 
and also the Daily Times. In 1873 he published a revised edition of 
"Wilkinson's Annals of Binghamton," with an elaborate appendix. 
Mr. Clark's law partners, in succession, have been Ransom Rowland, 
William A. McKinney, M. Fillmore Brown, Augustus Babcock (Clark, 
Brown & Babcock), and Roger P. Clark. On June 12, 1867, Mr. 
Clark married Martha J., daughter of Charles Seymour, and a decend- 
ant of one of the most respected pioneer families of Vestal. Ten 
children, eight of whom are still living, were born to their marriage. 

William J. Welsh has been a member of the Broome county bar nearly 
fifteen years. The profession will remember that in 1886 Henry and 
W. J. Welsh came to the city from Hancock, Delaware county, and be- 
gan practicing law under the firm just mentioned. At that time the 
elder Welsh was a man of advanced years, yet vigorous in mind and 
body. He is recalled as a good lawyer and an upright citizen. He 
died in 1890. William J. Welsh is a native of Montgomery, Orange 
county, andwas born August 31, 1842. He was given the benefit of a 
good early education in his native village, also the old Susquehanna 
seminary at Binghamton, and a private academic school at Hancock. 
There, like many of our professional men in their younger days, he 
taught school about three years, after which he began reading law in 
his father's office. In 1865 he was admitted to practice. About a year 
later Mr. Welsh became partner with his father, and so continued until 
the death of the latter in 1890. In July, 1895, the law firm of W. J. 
& F. W, Welsh was formed. 

Mr. Welsh is one of the most active lawyers of the city bar, indus- 
trious, careful, thoroughly conscientious and straightforward in what- 
ever he undertakes. He was the legal organizer of the Binghamton 
Trust company, and has been its- attorney since ths institution began 
business. In politics he is a Republican and a firm believer in the 
principles of the party. In 1876 he was elected to the assembly from 
the first Delaware county district, but in this city his interest in politics 
has been only that which is shown by every loyal citizen. He is inter- 
ested in the city, its welfare and progress ; is a member of Otseningo 
Lodge, F. and A. M , and of the I. O. R. M. ; also a member of the 
Y. M. C. A., and the Tabernacle church; and one of the board of man- 
agers of the Susquehanna Valley Home. 

On November 25, 1867, Mr. Welsh married Emily Doyle; two chil- 
dren, Frederick W., and Mary E. Welsh, were born of this marriage. 


Joseph M. Johnson is a native of Hoosic Falls, N. Y., born April 3, 
1840. His parents were Rev. Leonard and Harriet N. (Hatch) John- 
son, and of their nine children he was the sixth. His father was a 
Presbyterian clergyman, and lived in Binghamton from 1846 to 1851, 
when he removed to Triangle, at which place he died in 1858. His 
mother was a daughter of Judge Hatch, of the Vermont Supreme court. 
Joseph was educated in the famous old Binghamton and Windsor 
academies, after which, in September, 1858, he entered the county 
clerk's office as copyist under William C. Doane, county clerk, where 
he remained until January 1, 1859, when he found employment in 
Pratt's book store, in Binghamton, remaining there about two years. 
He then read law one year in Judge Griswold's office, and in 1862 was 
appointed deputy county clerk under Charles O. Root. He was thus 
engaged four years, devoting his leisure hours, however, to the study 
of law under Judge Griswold's instruction. In November, 1865, he 
was admitted to practice law. On May 15, 1874, he was admitted to 
practice in the United States court. He practiced in partnership with 
George Whitney about two years, and in the fall of 1867 was himself 
elected county clerk, serving two terms of three years each. He then 
resumed practice alone, but in 1875 became partner with David H. 
Carver, under the name of Johnson & Carver. This firm continued 
about six years, when the senior partner retired from professional work 
by reason of impaired health. He was then out of business several 
years, but devoted his time to the care of his own and his wife's prop- 
erty. In February, 1866, he was elected mayor of the city, serving in 
that capacity one year and was one of our city's most popular officers. 
Soon afterward Mr. Johnson became senior partner in the wholesale 
grain dealing and shipping firm of Johnson & Comstock, and was in 
business about five years. In 1893 he opened a general fire insurance 
agency in the city, in which business he is now engaged. On May 2, 
1872, Joseph M. Johnson married Anna E.,_ daughter of the late Darius 
S. Ayers of this city. Three children were born of this marriage. 

Benjamin F. Smith was born in Greene, Chenango county, and was 
the son of Daniel and Mary A. Smith. He was educated in Cortland 
academy at Homer, and also in the New York Central college at Mc- 
Grawville. Mr. Smith came to Binghamton and read law in the office 
of Judge Griswold and was admitted to practice in May, 1866. When 
Judge Edwards was elected to the bench of the County court, Mr, 
Smith was appointed surrogate's clerk and served in that capacity about 


ten years. In January, 1885, the law firm of Downs & Smith was 
formed and has been continued to the" present time, Mr. Smith is 
known as a careful, painstaking lawyer, little inclined to the turmoil of 
closely contested cases in court, but peculiarly adapted by training to 
the less arduous work of the office. In all matters pertaining to the 
practice in the Surrogate's court he is a recognized authority in Broome 

Andrew A.White has been known to the profession in this city more 
than twenty years, having come from the pretty little village of Bath 
in January, 1879. For fourteen years he occupied offices with Senator 
O'Connor. Mr. White was a native of Steuben county, and was born 
in the town of Howard, June 8, 1842. His parents were William W. 
and Jane White, his father being a farmer. Andrew was educated in 
the Bath union school and also in Alfred university, having graduated 
at the latter institution in 1865. He then read law with Guy H. 
McMaster, the lawyer and somewhat noted historian, and also with 
Clark Bell, now of New York city, but formerly of Bath . At Roches- 
ter in 1868 Mr. White was admitted to the bar. He practiced in Bath 
until January 1, 1879, when he became a member of our city bar. Mr. 
White is known as a careful, painstaking and capable lawyer. He is a 
firm Republican, an earnest advocate of the best principles of his party, 
and believes that the party itself is far greater than any of its self-pro- 
claimed leaders. 

William L. Griswold was born in Binghamton, July 5, 1843; was ed- 
ucated in the Binghamton academy, Susquehanna seminary and Yale 
college (graduated 1866). He was graduated at Albany Law school in 
1868 and in the same year was admitted to practice. He has always 
practiced in this city. Mr. Griswold is a Republican, and has held the 
offices of alderman, supervisor and justice of the peace. 

Stephen C. Millard has been a lawyer of this city for a period of more 
than thirty years, and during that time has advanced solely through 
his own efforts from the humble position of law student to the elevated 
professional station of leader of the city bar. It was a peculiarly fortu- 
nate circumstance in Mr. Millard's career that he was a student in Or- 
low W. Chapman's office, as he was there first brought into direct asso- 
ciation with the best element of our people ; and it was equally fortu- 
nate that he should have been chosen from the younger members of 
the city bar as the business partner of that legal giant, Giles W. Hotch- 
kiss, after the death of Lewis Seymour. At that time, in 1873, Mr. 

-'«!* iy XJ.SnUs u'OTJ./W; 



Hotchkiss had known Mr, Millard hardly more than five years, but he 
knew that he came of sturdy New England stock ; that his educational 
qualifications were ample; that his personal character was unquestion- 
able. Hence the partnership and its pleasant period of uninterrupted 
association until Mr. Hotchkiss' death in 1878 (the firm of Millard & 
Stewart succeeded Hotchkiss & Millard). Mr. Millard was born in 
Stamford, in historic Bennington county, Vt., January 14, 1841. He 
was the son of Stephen C. and Harriet (Richmond) Millard, and the 
grandson of James Millard, who was one of Bennington county's sub- 
stantial early settlers. Stephen was educated at Powers institute and 
at Williams college; and was graduated at the latter in 1865. He read 
law with Pingree & Barker, attorneys at Pittsfield, Mass., but later on 
was a student at the Harvard Law school. In February, 1867, he came 
to this city and continued his studies in Mr. Chapman's office, as his 
previous legal education had been practically theoretical and in accord- 
ance with the old common law practice of New England, while in this 
state the code of 1848 governed the practice. In May of the same year 
he was admitted to the bar. Thus equipped, Mr. Millard applied him- 
self diligently to the labors of the profession and soon assumed and up 
to this time has maintained a prominent position among the ablest law- 
yers in this section of the state. His career is not yet closed and we 
cannot write of him as of one retired from active work, yet in mention- 
ing briefly the characteristics of the members of the city bar, one or 
two of Mr. Millard's personal traits are proper. In the conduct of his 
legal business he is both cautious and methodical, but never laborious. 
He will discourage rather than promote litigation, and in his intercourse 
with clients, deliberation always precedes counsel. He occasionally in- 
dulges in rhetoric, but never in oratorical display, and always ap- 
proaches the subject in hand with dignity, self-possession, and in the 
light of principle and common sense. Withal, Mr. Millard is recog- 
nized as a strong trial lawyer and a pleasing and logical advocate. Dur- 
ing the period of his practice, he has been associated as counsel, or at- 
torney of record, with several of the most important cases tried in our 
courts, and enjoys the pleasant distinction of having obtained the lar- 
gest judgment ever ordered in Broome county (Dunn, as receiver, vs. 
O'Connor, assignee of Ross & Sons), the amount of which was $166,- 
327.34. Another important case was that of Turner vs. The Trustees 
of the N. Y. State Inebriate asylum, in which Mr. Millard was retained 
by the defense, and was successful. The action was tried in the U. S. 


Circuit court, before Justice Blatchford. In the Belong murder trial 
he was senior counsel to District Attorney Curtiss. He successfully 
defended Lewis Furman, also charged with murder. In 1883-85 and 
again in 1885-87 Mr. Millard represented his district in congress, having 
been twice elected as the candidate of the Republican party. His 
record in the house of representatives was entirely satisfactory to his 
district, and he was regarded by his political associates as a valuable 
member of that legislative body. He secured the passage of an act 
appropriating |150,000 for the Federal building in this city. In 1888 
he was a delegate to the National Republican convention which nomi- 
nated Gen. Harrison for the presidency. On December 27, 1871, Mr. 
Millard married Helen J., daughter of Abel Bennett. Three sons, 
Norman B., Stephen C. and Richmond Millard, were born of this mar- 

Alexander De Witt Wales, who is known as one of the most forcible 
and thorough trial lawyers now at the bar in this city, was born in 
Liberty, Sullivan county, December 16, 1848. He was the son of 
Blake and Adeline (De Witt) Wales, his father being well remembered 
in the city, where the later years of his life were spent. Alexander (he 
is better known to our bar as A. De Witt Wales) passed his youth in 
New York city, where he attended school, but about 1864 his parents 
removed to Delaware. In the fall of 1869 he entered the University 
Law school, and was admitted to practice in New York in 1871. The 
same year he located in this city and has since been a member of the 
Broome county bar, and one of its best representatives. He was clerk 
of the board of supervisors in 1876, and corporation counsel from 1878 
to 1886. Politically Mr. Wales is a Democrat, and perhaps the strong- 
est exponent of his party's principles in the county. As a public 
speaker, or as an advocate before the jury, his manner is easy, his 
utterances forcible, and his reasoning always sound and logical. He 
occasionally has been the nominee of his party for high public office 
when it was hoped his professional and personal popularity might turn 
the scale of contest in a county and congressional district which were 
almost hopelessly Republican. On July 30, 1876, Mr. Wales married 
Lizzie H. Hart, daughter of Charles G. Hart, and granddaughter of the 
late venerable Dr. Paddock, of the M. E. church. Of this marriage 
six children were born. 

Jerome De Witt was born in Nicholson, Pa., February 15, 1845, and 
was the eldest of seven children of Evi and Annie E. (Wilson) De Witt. 


In 1847 the family removed to New Milford, Susquehanna county, 
where Evi De Witt was a farmer. Jerome lived on the home farm 
until 1868, and was educated in the common schools of the town, and 
also in New Milford academy, Gibson academy and the University of 
Michigan at Ann Arbor. In 1868 he came to Binghamton and read 
law one year in the office of William Barrett, a like term with Judge 
Griswold, and about six months with Jjidge Loomis. At the Albany 
county General Term in February, 1871, he was admitted to practice. 
Soon afterward the law firm of Scoville & De Witt was formed and 
was continued until Mr. Scoville's death in June, 1890. Since that 
time Mr. De Witt has practiced without a partner. He is known 
throughout the county as a good lawyer and safe counselor, and 
equally well known as a loyal, straightforward citizen. He is a firm 
Democrat, but previous to his election to the mayoralty did not take 
an active part in city politics. For twelve years he was treasurer of 
the Binghamton State hospital. In 1871 he became a member of Ex- 
celsior H. & L. Co. No. 1, and was connected with the fire department 
until about three years ago. In the truck company he was assistant 
foreman, was three times elected foreman, and in the department was 
second assistant, first assistant, and chief engineer, holding the latter 
position two years. He was one of the first fire commissioners in 1888 
under the act creating the board. He served two years and was then 
reappointed and served until May 26, 1890, when he resigned. Mr. 
De Witt was elected mayor in November, 1897, defeating George E. 
Green, the Republican candidate. In 1892 Jerome De Witt married 
Ida Brougham, of Newark Valley. 

David H. Carver, was born in the town of Union, March 19, 1843. 
He was educated in the district schools, Susquehanna seminary, Cort- 
land academy, and Hamilton college, graduating at the latter in 1871. 
He was also a Hamilton law graduate in 1875, receiving the degree 
of LL. D. He read law with Chapman & Martin and was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1876. During his practice Mr. Carver has 
been a member of the law firms of Johnson & Carver, Carver & 
Deyo, Carver, Deyo & Jenkins, and also of the present firm of 
Carver & Deyo. He served six years as member of the board of 
education, and was two years its president. In November, 1880, he 
was elected district attorney and served three years. 

Lewis C. Aldrich was born in Binghamton, March 25, 1851, the 
youngest of three sons of Solomon Aldrich. He was educated in 


the village select and district schools, Binghamton academy and also 
the city high school, graduating at the latter in 1869. For a time he 
was connected with the Binghamton Republican, as reporter, after 
which he read law with Richards & Sessions. He was admitted to 
practice in November, 1873. In 1875 he was elected city clerk, serving 
one year. In 1878 he left the profession and afterward engaged in his- 
torical work. 

Walter M. Hand was born in Binghamton August 9, 1851, and was 
educated at the Binghamton academy, from which he was graduated in 
1867. He then took a special preparatory course of study and entered 
Hamilton in 1868, and was graduated in 1873. He read law with Peter 
W. Hopkins, and was admitted to practice in January, 1876. From 
that to the present time Mr. Hand has been an attorney of this city. 
While contrary to the policy of this work to discuss at length the per- 
sonal characteristics or legal attainments of any but the older members 
of the city bar, the writer nevertheless ventures the assertion, which is 
confirmed by the common expression of the profession, that Mr. Hand 
is the fortunate possessor of one of the best legal minds in Broome 
county. Had he aspired to political advancement judicial honors un- 
doubtedly would have been his reward. In Masonic circles he has 
standing of prominence, being master of Binghamton lodge No. 177 in 
1897, high priest of Binghamton chapter No. 139 in 1898, district 
deputy grand master for the twenty- eighth Masonic district, comprising 
the counties of Broome and Chenango, 1898 to 1900, and received the 
thirty third degree at Boston, Mass., in September 1897. 

John P. Wheeler came to the city to practice law in September, 1896, 
but for a period of twenty years previous to that time he resided and 
had an ofSce in Whitney's Point. About the time mentioned (1896) 
Mr. Wheeler was engaged as leading counsel for the defense in the 
somewhat noted Thurston murder trial, and after two long, tedious and 
somewhat heated legal contests, he secured a final victory for his client; 
and while he secured very little money compensation for his services in 
that case, he was nevertheless otherwise rewarded in having gained a 
reputation as a criminal lawyer second to none at the Broome county 
bar. But, whether in the trial of civil or criminal cases, Mr. Wheeler 
is regarded as one of our strong lawyers. He was born in Oxford, 
December 21, 1846, and spent his early life on his father's farm. His 
education was acquired in the Oxford academy, after which he taught 
ten terms of school in Chenango county, and also after having reached 



his majority managed the home farm. In 1873 he began reading law 
with Judge Dwight H. Clarke, and finished his course with James W. 
Glover of Oxford. In May, 1876, he was admitted to the bar, and in 
November following he opened an office in the enterprising village of 
Whitney's Point, in the northern part of this county. While there Mr. 
Wheeler's practice was general to the profession, and he also served 
six years as police justice of the village. He is an ardent Republican, 
but has not sought political preferment. He was a delegate to the Re- 
publican state conventions of 1893 and 1895. 

Francis W. Downs, more familiarly known in professional and social 
circles as Judge Downs, was a native of Ithaca, born February 9, 1850. 
In 1854 he came to live in Binghamton. He was educated in the union 
schools, and the parochial school connected with the parish of St. Pat- 
rick's church, after which he was for a time a student in the Cortland 
Normal school. Still later he taught four years in the district schools 
of this county, and in 1875 began a course of law study in the office of 
T. F. McDonald. In September, 1878, at a general term of the Su- 
preme court held at Saratoga, he was admitted to practice law. The 
law firm of McDonald & Downs was formed in 1878 and was continued 
until 1884. It was succeeded in January, 1885, by the firm of Downs 
& Smith, the latter being still in existence and well known in the south- 
ern tier. Judge Downs is known throughout New York state as a firm 
and thorough Democrat, and in many hotly contested campaigns his 
voice has been heard in our large cities. He enjoys the reputation of 
being a pleasing and forcible public speaker, and as a banquet orator 
has few equals in the city. Although closely identified with the polit- 
ical history of Broome county for a period of nearly twenty years. Judge 
Downs has never been a candidate for an elective office. He was city 
clerk in 1881, elected by the common council and in 1883 was in the 
like manner elected city recorder. He was twice re elected, serving in 
all twelve years ; and it is a common remark in business circles that 
Judge Downs was one of the most capable public officials the city ever 
had in the recorder's chair. Judge Downs is loyal to Binghamton and 
believes in promoting its interests. He is the owner of a large tract of 
land on the western border, which he is constantly developing with the 
intention to erect one hundred dwellings. In allusion to the proprietor 
the locality is called "Downsville." He was at one time one of the 
trustees of the Binghamton State hospital, and also of the City hospital. 
He is now a trustee of St. Mary's home. 


Augustus Babcock, senior partner of the law firm of Babcock, Sperry 
& VanCleve, was born at Scranton, Pa , October 7, 1855. His mother 
having died when he was only one week old, Augustus was brought up 
in the family of his uncle, Gardner J. Babcock, of Harford. He at- 
tended the district school and also the Harford graded school, and after 
he came to Binghamton in the spring of 1873 he finished his early edu- 
cation in our Central High school, where he was graduated in 1876. 
He then read law with Edward K. Clark, was admitted to the bar in 
January, 1880, and then became partner with his legal tutor, under the 
firm style of Clark, Brown & Babcock. He retired from the partner- 
ship in 1883 and became partner with Thomas A. Harroun, under the 
name of Babcock & Harroun. In January, 1889, the firm became Bab- 
cock & Sperry, and soon afterward, Babcock, Sperry & Van Cleve, as 
now known, although Mr. VanCleve is confidential clerk to Judge 
Lyon, while Mr. Babcock himself is partially out of professional work 
and is publisher of " The Independent," a clean, well conducted weekly 
newspaper, devoted particularly to the advocacy of measures relating 
to labor subjects, and generally to the good order and welfare of 
our city. In the profession Mr. Babcock was known as an earnest 
conscientious lawyer, and in his journalistic venture his old legal char- 
acte istics are still apparent. His connection with the Independent be- 
gan about December 1, 1898. 

George Boughton Curtiss was a native of Mt. Morris, Livingston 
county, born September 16, 1852, and was the son of George and Hulda 
(Boughton) Curtiss, the father being the son of General Roselle Curtiss, 
a pioneer lumberman and land surveyor in the Genesee valley. Gen- 
eral Curtiss' father was an English sea captain who settled in Royal- 
ton, Vt., in which historic locality he, also, was a pioneer. Of Captain 
Curtiss, or his antecedents, little is now known, but he is believed to 
have been Elias Curtiss, whose property was destroyed by the Indians 
at the burning of Royalton, October 16, 1780. In 1856 George Curtiss 
left the Genesee valley and settled in McHenry county. 111., where he 
was a farmer. He enlisted and served in the 127th Illinois Infantry 
until July, 1863, when he died of fever in front of Vicksburg, Miss. 
The young life of George B. Curtiss was spent on a farm, attending 
district school in the winter and working the farm in the summer. For 
two years he attended an academic school at Marengo, 111., during 
which time he determined to enter the legal profession, although cir- 
cumstances compelled him to pursue other avocations for several years. 



In the early part of 1875 he became a student in the Northwestern 
Business college at Madison, Wis. , from which institution he was grad- 
uated in September following. He then returned to Illinois and 
taught penmanship in an academic school at Elgin, and also taught a 
school opened by himself at Woodstock. In the spring of 1876 he was 
engaged by Daniel W. Lowell as professor of the penmanship depart- 
ment in Lowell's Business college at Binghamton, and on April 22 of 
that year he came to reside in this city. He was connected with the 
college four years, and during that time devoted his leisure to the study 
of law in the office of Hotchkiss & Millard, and afterward with A. De 
Witt Wales ; and at the same time he took a special course of study in 
the sciences under the instruction of Prof, A . E. Magoris of the B. C. 
H. S. At the General Term of the Supreme court held at Ithaca in 
May, 1880, he was admitted to practice law in this state. In 1880 Mr. 
Curtiss opened an office for law practice in this city. Three years later 
he was elected district attorney of Broome county, and was re-elected 
at the end of his first term, serving in all six years. In 1886 the law 
firm of Arms & Curtiss was formed and was continued to January 1, 
1889, when the senior partner became county judge and surrogate. 
Mr. Curtiss' next partner was W. W. Newell, with whom he was asso- 
ciated from 1892 to 1896 ; since that time he has practiced alone. In 
connection with Mr. Curtiss' early practice and his election to the dis- 
trict attorneyship so soon after his admission to the bar were one or 
two unusual circumstances in the political history of the county. The 
young man had no acquaintance whatever in Binghamton when he 
came to the city in 1876 as professor of penmanship in Lowell's college. 
This employment occupied one-half of each school day throughout the 
period, and an evening session during winter terms, but notwithstand- 
ing, that, he found time to complete a course of law study and gain 
admission to the bar, and also to thoroughly equip himself with a 
knowledge of the sciences. With these duties to engage his attention, 
and without the opportunity to become well acquainted with the people 
of the county, it was something unusual that Mr. Curtiss should have 
been elected district attorney in a county where a wide acquiantance 
with both man and methods is generally essential in order to secure 
political advancement; but his old legal tutors say that his election was 
only the deserved recognition of his capacity, and that his conduct of 
the office was convincing evidence that the confidence of the .Republi- 
cans of the county had not been misplaced. During the six years of 



his incumbency, District Attorney Curtiss conducted laO criminal pros 
ecutions, of which only thirteen were decided against him ; and never 
during the period was an indictment set aside through defect in its 
preparation. Other and still higher political honors have been within 
his reach, but he has not sought or accepted them. The last fifteen 
years of his life have been too closely occupied with other studies and 
other thoughts. His study of the sciences and the economic principles 
of our government during earlier years was beginning to yield its fruit ; 
the germ had developed into organism, and with the plain cause and 
effect of changes in our National political system regarding the tariff, as 
evidenced by the administrations of opposing parties in power, the 
country was in need of an authoritative work treating on this all-impor- 
tant subject. Mr. Curtiss' "Protection and Prosperity" was put in 
circulation in 1896, when the presidential campaign of that year was at 
its height, and when the tariff question was the paramount subject 
of discussion ; but, unfortunately for the best results to the author, the 
"Free Silver plank " in the Democratic platform turned the tide of dis- 
cussion to our National financial standard, and for the time relegated 
the tariff to a position of secondary importance. The present writer 
ventures no personal opinion regarding "Protection and Prosperity; " 
the subject is far beyond his depth, but he rests content with the pub- 
lished expression of such distinguished tariff masters as McKinley, 
Reed, Morton, Prof. Gunton (editor of "American Economics and Po- 
litical Science "), Lord Mashman (the eminent English protectionist 
and political economist), and a host of others versed in the doctrine of 
protection. As a lawyer at the bar of Broome county George B". Cur- 
tiss stands in the front rank, having been tried and found true. He 
has been associated as counsel in some of the most important cases 
tried in our courts, and with remarkable success. His manner is fear- 
less, and at times aggressive, and his reasoning is always sound and 
logical. This much may be said of the man without transgressing any 
of the proprieties. In July, 1898, he was appointed counsel for the 
Binghamton State hospital, and in September of the same year was 
appointed attorney for the Binghamton Street Railroad company. On 
May 1, 1880, George B. Curtiss married Mary D., daughter of Calvin 
and Elizabeth Bliss of Lisle. Two daughters have been born to them. 
Winthrop D. Painter, district attorney of Broome county from Janu- 
ary 1, 1890, to December 31, 1895, came to the bar in this city in May, 
1880, as a graduate of the law office of Chapman & Lyon. Mr. Painter 


is a native of Weymouth, Medina county, Ohio, and was born June 2, 
1852. His early education was acquired in the Weymouth village 
schools, and also at Oberlin college, where he graduated in 1887. After- 
ward, for a time, he was a teacher in Grand Traverse college, Benzonia, 
Mich., and in 1878 came to this city and became a law student in Chap- 
man & Lyon's office. Throughout the period of his residence in Bing- 
hamton, Mr. Painter has been a factor in the political history of the 
county, and his election to the district attorneyship in the fall of 1889, and 
again in 1892, was both a reward for party service and a recognition of 
his legal attainments. He was at one time a member and secretary of 
the county committee; was twice elected president of the Grant club, 
and was a member of the executive committee of the Republican State 
league. The present legal firm of Lyon^ Painter & Hinman was formed 
January 1, 1896. Previous to that date, and after January, 1887, Mr. 
Painter practiced without a partner, and prior to opening an office for 
himself, he was for several years in the employ of Chapman & Lyon as 
managing clerk. On June 29, 1881, Mr. Painter married Jennie, daugh- 
ter of the late Harry Lyon, 

Henry L. Beach, official stenographer of our County court, and also 
stenographer to Justice Lyon of the Supreme court, is a native of 
Springfield, Otsego county, born April 10, 1855, and is the son of the 
late Ephraim Ogden Beach, a civil engineer and farmer during his life- 
time. The young life of Henry L. Beach was spent on his father's 
farm, and he was educated in the district schools, the East Springfield 
seminary and also in an academic school at Montclair, N. J. In 1876 
he went to Ithaca and became a student of stenography in the office of 
the late William O. Wyckoff, then an official court reporter. At the 
same time he read law with Frank E. Tibbitts, of Ithaca. In the 
spring of 1879 he came to Binghamton and was employed as stenogra- 
pher in the law office of Chapman & Lyon, and at the same time he 
continued his course of law study ; and at a General Term of the Supreme 
court held at Saratoga in September, 1881, he was admitted to practice 
law. Very soon afterward the law firm of Hotchkiss, Crandall & Beach 
jwas formed and was continued about one year, when Mr. Crandall re- 
moved from the city and Mr. Hotchkiss was elected city justice of the 
peace. Mr. Beach then practiced alone, but chiefly devoted his atten- 
tion to reporting. Afterward he was for a time in Chapman & Lyon's 
office and still later with Mr. Curtiss, when, in December, 1886, he was 
appointed Supreme court stenographer. His appointment as County 


court stenographer dates from 1879. Both of these positions Mr. Beach 
still holds, and he is regarded by the bench and the bar in the counties 
in which his service is required as one of the most competent and accu- 
rate reporters in the state. However, Mr. Beach has by no means 
abandoned law practice, as he is frequently appointed referee to hear 
and determine important cases; and occasionally his name appears on 
the calendar as attorney of record. Although not constantly engaged 
in practice, he is regarded by the bar generally as a lawyer of excellent 
capacity. He is especially well equipped mentally for the reference 
work, in which his long experience as reporter has proved an excellent 
school. He never reported an important cause without closely follow- 
ing its course even to the court of final resort; and all the legal princi- 
ples therein enunciated are firmly fixed in his mind. Naturally he is 
studious, thoughtful and observing; his expressions are conservative, 
yet logical. This is the common sentiment of the bar. Outside of the 
profession and his official position, Mr. Beach takes an earnest interest 
in business affairs. To a limited extent he is a farmer and hop grower 
in Otsego county, and in this city he is president of the Ogden Brick 
company. Since 1877 he has been an active member of the State Sten- 
ographic association, and was its president in 1889-90. Mr. Beach's 
wife with whom he married August 27, 1879, was Edith L., daughter 
of Mark C. Carroll of East Springfield, N. Y. 

Fremont F. Williams has been a member of the bar of this county 
since 1883. He acquired his early legal education in the office of Judge 
uell, of Cortland, also in the offices of William J. Ludden and Edward 
K. Clark, of this city, and was admitted to practice at a General Term 
of the Supreme court held at Saratoga in September, 1883. Mr. Will- 
iams is a native of Pennsylvania, born in Scottsville, Wyoming county, 
April 38, 1855, the sen of Sinton Williams, and the grandson of Abra- 
ham Williams, the latter a native of Wales and a pioneer in the historic 
Wyoming valley. During his youth, Fremont F. Williams came to 
Windsor, this county, and was brought up in the family of his uncle, 
Neri Blatchley, a prominent man of that town, former supervisor, 
member of assembly, at one time principal of the school in Binghamton, 
and also the patentee of the celebrated " Blatchley plow. " Fremont 
attended the Windsor schools and also was given private instruction by 
his uncle. Later on he was a student in the Cortland Normal school, 
but having determined to enter the legal profession, he began the study 
of law with Judge Duell and afterward ccmtinued it in this city, as 


above mentioned. In professional circles Mr. Williams is known as a 
careful, painstaking and conscientious lawyer, well equipped mentally 
for all the duties of his calling. Politically he is a Republican but 
takes no active part in public affairs. He is a devoted member of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, and takes an especial interest in Sunday 
school work. 

A. Perry Fish was born in Susquehanna county, Pa., April 15, 1856, 
and was the son of Rev. A. H. and Sarah N. (Vance) Fish, his father 
being a clergyman of the Baptist church. He was a grandson of Dr. 
Rufus Fish, a sturdy Vermont Yankee and a pioneer in northern Penn- 
sylvania, settling at Great Bend in 1707. Perry (the entire city bar 
knows him best as Perry Fish) was educated at the Keystone academy, 
Lackawanna county. Pa., and Lake View institute, of Susquehanna 
county. Pa., after which he completed a course in Hillsdale college, in 
Michigan, where he was graduated in 1875. He then taught school 
five years, and in 1880 began reading law with A. De Witt Wales, of 
this city, and in November, 1883, he was admitted to practice. The 
law firm of Wales, Hand & Fish was formed in 1883, and continued to 
1891. Mr. Fish then practiced alone until 1894 when he formed a part- 
nership with F. S. Anderson, and later with E. A. Randall, the firm of 
Fish & Randall which continued until September, 1897, when P. H. 
Reed became his law partner forming the firm of Fish & Reed which 
still exists. Perry Fish is one of our active, bright attorneys and has ac- 
quired a deserved prominence as a criminal lawyer and as a practitioner 
in bankruptcy. He is a strong Republican, and both his influence and 
voice have been factors in city and county politics for the last twelve 
or fifteen years. 

Israel T. Deyo has been an active member of the city bar since 1883, 
and is known as an earnest, industrious and thorough lawyer, with a 
direct, straightforward way of reaching out for facts that is decidedly 
refreshing, and reminds the older practitioners of Mr. Collier's charac- 
teristic way, and also something of George Bartlett's style of handling 
a case. In one respect, at least, Mr. Deyo reminds us of Mr. Dickin- 
son, as he has an especial contempt for all knaving and sham, whether 
in the profession or the still broader field of politics. As the represent- 
ative of this county in the legislature from 1890-1893, inclusive, Mr. 
Deyo's public service was conspicuous and honorable alike to the county 
and to himself. In this brief sketch, which is designed to be entirely 
professional, we are not at liberty to comment at length concerning 


members of the present bar, hence must be content with the above 
statements. An extended sketch of Mr. Deyo's professional and polit- 
ical career would require at least a chapter of this work. 

Mr. Deyo was born in the town of Union, this county, in the locality 
called for his family " Deyo Hill," January 38, 1856, and was the son 
of Richard and Caroline (Acker) Deyo. His early education was 
acquired in the district schools of the town, and it was not until 1870 
that he had an opportunity to attend the city high school; and even 
then he walked the entire distance of three miles from his home on 
Deyo Hill to the city twice every day during the fall and winter terms 
of school. He was graduated from the Binghamton High school in 
1875, and was the valedictorian of his class. He then entered Amherst 
college and was graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1879. For the 
next year and a half Mr. Deyo was principal of the Whitney's Point 
academy, after which he was a teacher in the Cortland Normal school. 
In the meantime, however, he began reading law and in May, 1883, 
gave his entire time to that study in the office of David H. Carver, in 
this city. In January, 1883, he was admitted to practice, and two years 
later became partner with Mr. Carver, under the firm style of Carver & 
Deyo. The firm subsequently became Carver, Deyo & Jenkins, but in 
1899 the original name was restored. 

Mr. Deyo loves his profession, but not because he loves litigation it- 
self. He is the confideatial counsel of many of our largest corporations 
and other business concerns and prides himself on his success in keep- 
ing his clients free from litigation. He regards a law suit as a last re- 
sort for protecting or securing a right. But once involved he is an 
aggressive and uncompromising champion, when vital principles are in- 
volved. Such is the character of the man in his legal work. His mind 
is both studious and practical. The quiet, thoughtful determination 
which led him to obtain, almost unaided, a college education, also led 
him quite naturally into the legal learning of the past, and made the 
first impulse of his mind to search for principles rather than expedients. 
Almiron M. Sperry, former clerk of the Surrogate's court and at 
present in active practice as one of the law firm of Babcock, Sperry & 
Van Cleve, was born in. Castle Creek, this county, January 9, 1859, and 
was the son of Rev. Aaron C. and Abigail (Culver) Sperry, his father 
being a clergyman of the M. E. church. Almir.on was educated in the 
district schools, the Binghamton Central High school, Cazenovia semin- 
ary, and also a seminary at Kingston, Pa. He then became a clerk in 


J. P. Griffin's store in Whitney's Point, but soon afterward began the 
study of law in David t,. Maxfield's office. After about a year he came 
to this city and continued his studies with David H. Carver, and was 
admitted to practice at the Albany county General Term in January, 
1883. He began practice in Whitney's Point, but in 1884 he was ap- 
pointed clerk of the Surrogate's court, under Judge Edwards, upon 
which he removed to this city. Mr. Sperry was connected with the 
surrogate's office about five years, after which, in 1889, he became 
partner with Augustus Babcock in the law firm of Babcock & Sperry. 
Mr. Van Cleve came into the firm in the latter part of the same year, 
upon which the style changed to Babcock, Sperry & Van Cleve. This 
name still stands, although the senior partner is now engaged in jour- 
nalistic 'work, while Mr. Van Cleve is confidential secretary to Judge 
Lyon. Thus the honors of the legal work of the firm have devolved on 
Mr. Sperry, who, among members of the bar is known as a thorough, 
competent and conscientious lawyer. Mr. Sperry's wife, whom he 
married January 20, 1883, was Nora E., daughter of John Bixby, of 
Whitney's Point. They have two children. 

Charles H. Hitchcock was born in Binghamton, November 13, 1857, 
and was the son of Henry S. and Mary J. (Smith) Hitchcock. Henry 
S. Hitchcock is remembered as one of our old village merchants, hav- 
ing been partner with F. T. Newell in a grocery and provision store 
previous to 1860. He was the son of Simon C. Hitchcock, who came 
here from Cazenovia in 1855 and died in 1878. Charles was educated 
in our city schools, and was graduated at the B. C. H. S. in 1875 ; then 
entered Hamilton college and was graduated in 1879. The next two 
years he spent in teaching in the De Garno institute at Rhinebeck, 
after which he read law with Millard & Stewart, in this city, and was 
admitted to practice in January, 1884. From that until the present 
time, with brief exceptions, Major Hitchcock (he is best known by that 
title) has been a practicing attorney of Binghamton. One of the excep- 
tional periods just referred to was in 1886, when he spent six months in 
Illinois, in the capacity of legislative reporter for the Illinois State 
Journal, and the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. The second exceptional 
period covered nearly one year's service in the late Spanish-American 
war, as captain of Co. H., 1st N. Y. Vols. He served with his regi- 
ment at Camp' Black, Fort Columbus, New York harbor, at the Presi- 
dio of San Francisco and Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands. At the latter 
station he served for some months as a member of a general court mar- 


tial and as president of a board of officers to investigate claims of citi- 
zens for damages accruing from property occupied for military pur- 
poses. Major Hitchcock's military career began in 1883 as private in 
the 20th separate company, N. G., N. Y., and includes active service 
in the switchmen's strike of 1892. He was steadily promoted through 
the several grades, and attained his present rank of major in the 1st 
regiment of infantry, N. G., N. Y., March 17, 1899. 

As a lawyer Major Hitchcock has been connected with a number of 
important cases, and has served as attorney for the board of health for 
several years. The system of records and rules of procedure now in 
force in the health office was devised by him in collaboration with 
Dr. D. S. Burr. 

Eldon R. Carver was born in the town of Union, February 23, 1858, 
and was the son of Richard and Angeline (Johnson) Carver. Richard 
Carver was born in the Hudson River valley, but previous to his settle- 
ment in this county, about 1840, he spent several years in the lead 
mines of Michigan. Eldon was brought up on a farm and was educated 
in the Binghamton High school, Albany academy and Amherst college, 
having graduated at the latter institution in 1881. He read law with 
David H. Carver and Benajah S. Curran, and was admitted to practice 
in January, 1884. Mr. Carver has always practiced in this city. He 
is a Republican but not active in politics. He was clerk of the city civil 
service commission for several years. 

S. Mack Smith was born in Union, this county, September 30, 1863, 
and was the fourth of six children in the family of Francis B. and Paul- 
ine (Woughter) Smith. F. B. Smith, the father, was also a native of 
Union, and was descended from Vermont revolutionary stock. His 
grandfather was one of the pioneers of Union. F. B. Smith was for 
many years a practicing lawyer in Union and is remembered as one of 
the leading attorneys of the county in his time. Had he located at the 
county seat he would have been recognized as a leader of the city bar. 
S. Mack Smith, the only son of F. B. Smith to enter the profession, 
(with the exception of John D., now practicing in New York), was 
educated in the Union public schools and also the Central High school 
of this city. He read law in his father's office, and was admitted to 
practice in 1885, at the September General Term of the Supreme 
court, held in Binghamton. Mr. Smith practiced in Union until Jan- 
uary 1, 1890, when he removed to the city. He was town clerk m Union 
in 1885, and on January 1, 1880, began a four years term as village 


postmaster. Of course he is a Democrat, strong and true, and was 
reared under the influence of a Democratic father, and one of the lead- 
ers of his party in the county. In the fall of 1889 S. Mack Smith was 
the nominee of his party for the district attorneyship. On April 1, 1894, 
the law firm of Smith & Rogers was formed and was continued to 
October 1, 1898. In January, of the year last mentioned, Mr. Smith 
was elected city recorder, and took the office January 1, 1899. On 
November 26, 1890, Mr. Smith married Luella E., daughter of Theo- 
dore C. Peck ; of this marriage one child has been born. 

Robert B. Richards was born in Binghamton, May 3, 1864, and was 
the eldest of three sons of Dan S. Richards, the latter one of the oldest 
practicing lawyers of the city and the grandson of one of the earliest 
settlers on the Boston purchase. Robert was educated in the union 
schools of the city and was graduated from the B. C. H. S. in 1883. He 
also took an extra preparatory course, but did not enter college. He 
read law in his father's office and at Syracuse in November, 1887, was 
admitted to practice; in June, 1897, he was admitted to practice in the 
United States Circuit and District courts. The law firm of D. S. & R. 
B. Richards was formed in 1887, and was continued until about 1897, 
when the senior member retired from active professional work. Mr. 
Richards is one of the active young members of the city bar, and is 
also a prominent figure in local Democratic political circles. He was 
for three years chairman of the city board of excise, and has at- 
tended as a delegate the State Democratic convention. However, he 
has no strong inclination for political preferment. On October 15, 
1895, Mr. Richards was married to Harriet E., daughter of Edward B. 
Avery of Utica. 

James H. Roberts was born in Mt. Pleasant, Cal., June 34, 1860. He 
was the eldest son of six children of James and Content E. (Coon) 
Roberts. In 1851 James Roberts left Scranton, Pa , and located on 
the Pacific coast, where he was lumberman, miner and hydraulic power 
operator for a period of about twenty years. He then returned to the 
east and settled in Windsor, Broome county. He was killed by acci- 
dent in this city a few years ago. James H. Roberts was educated in 
the Windsor academy, and was graduated at the State Normal school 
at Ypsilanti, Mich., in 1881. He entered Hamilton college in 1882, and 
was graduated with the class of 1886, receiving the degree of A.B. He 
then came to Binghamton and read law in the office of Chapman & 
Lyon, and was admitted to practice at the Onondaga county General 


Term in November, 1887. In the following year Mr. Roberts formed 
a law partnership with Charles F. O'Brien, under the style of Roberts & 
O'Brien, which firm relation was continued until January 1, 1895, when 
the senior partner became city recorder. He resigned the office 
December 20, 1897, and on February 23, 1898, was appointed post- 
master at Binghamton. The present law firm of Roberts, Tuthill & 
Rogers was formed January 1, 1899. Throughout the period of his 
residence in, this city, Mr. Roberts has been an active figure in Broome 
county Republican politics. His faithfulness to the party and his 
earnest efforts in its behalf during these years have been rewarded in 
his political advancement to the postmastership. He was for three 
years the attorney and clerk of the city board of excise. On July 1, 
1891, James H. Roberts married Jennie K., daughter of Hollis Row- 
land, of Sherburne, N. Y. Four children have been born of this mar- 

Harry Fred Lyon was born in Binghamton, October 4, 1863, and was 
the son of Harry and Pamelia (Livermore) Lyon. He was educated in 
the city schools, and also took a special preparatory course under the 
private instruction of Allan M. North. Failing health, however, com- 
pelled Mr. Lyon to abandon the idea of a college course. In 1893 he 
began reading law in the office of Chapman & Lyon, and on April 19, 
1888, he was admitted to the bar. He practiced in the office of Chap- 
man & Lyon and his brother, George F. Lyon, until September 1, 1893, 
and afterward alone until January 1, 1896, when the law firm of Lyon, 
Painter & Hinman was formed, and succeeded to the practice neces- 
sarily discontinued by Judge Lyon when he went on the bench of the 
Supreme court. In the supervisor's session of 1885-86 Mr. Lyon was 
clerk of the board. 

William F. Van Cleve was born in Irvington, N. J., March 19, 1856, 
and in 1864 moved with his father's family to Binghamton. He was 
educated in the ward schools and the B. C. H. S. of this city, and in 
1872 began work in H. E. & A. E. Smith's shoe factory. He left the 
shop in 1885 and for about a year sold goods "on the road." In 1887- 
88 he was assistant postnjaster under Edward H. Freeman, and during 
that time devoted his leisure to the study of law in the office of Babcock 
& Harroun, practicing attorneys of the city. At the September Gen- 
eral Term of the Supreme court held in Binghamton in 1889, he was 
admitted to practice. Soon afterward he became a member of the law 
firm of Babcock, Sperry & Van Cleve, which firm succeeded Babcock 


& Harroun. The partnership above mentioned was continued until 
May 1, 1898, when Mr. Van Cieve retired to enter upon the perform- 
ance of his duties as confidential clerk to Justice Lyon, of the Supreme 
court. This opportunity was indeed a compliment to Mr. Van Cleve's 
legal capacity, especially when we remember that he is a firm Demo- 
crat, while Judge Lyon has ever been an equally strong Republican. 
Mr. Van Cleve was the candidate of his party for the county judgeship 
against Judge Arms in 1894, but in Broome county such nominations 
on the Democratic side are generally made more in recognition of the 
professional standing of the nominee rather than the hope of success at 
the polls. From September, 1896, to September, 1898, Mr. Van Cleve 
was a member of the city board of education. 

Robert Swan Parsons, of the law firm of Perkins & Parsons, is a na- 
tive of Barker, Broome county, born May 8, 1867, and is the son of the 
late Joseph Stoddard Parsons, the latter being remembered as one of 
the prominent men of that town for many years, a farmer and stock 
dealer. For several years he was engaged in the lumber business in 
Syracuse. Robert is also the grandson of the late Col. Lorenzo Par- 
sons of Barker, and the great-grandson of Jacob Parsons, the pioneer 
and one of the proprietors of the Boston purchase; his settlement on 
that historic tract dating 1789. Robert spent his young life on the 
home farm and he was educated in the common schools, and also the 
Whitney's Point academy, graduating from the latter in 1886. He then 
went to northwestern Iowa, where he engaged in cattle ranching nearly 
a year, but returning home he entered Cornell university in the fall of 
1887, taking the law course and graduating in 1889. During his uni- 
versity course, and for a year after graduation, Mr. Parsons devoted his 
vacation periods to the study of law under the preceptorship of Stephen 
C. Millard. He was admitted to practice at the General Term of the 
Supreme court held in Syracuse in May, 1890. He became a resident 
lawyer of this city in the latter part of the same year, occupying an 
office with Mr. Perkins (the present offices of the firm) until 1891, when 
the legal partnership of Perkins & Parsons was formed. In professional 
and business circles Mr. Parsons is known as a capable, energetic and 
trustworthy lawyer, and generally in the city he is regarded as one of 
the leaders of the younger element of the county bar. He is known, 
■ too, as a staunch Republican, taking an active interest in county and 
city politics, though not for his own advancement. He is a member of 
the Masonic fraternity, and a past master of Otsenitigo lodge. 


Albert S. Barnes was born in Franklin, Delaware county, January 
13, 1869, and was the son of Willard and Caroline (Sullard) Barnes. 
He was educated in the Delaware Literary institute at Franklin, from 
which institution he graduated in 1889. He obtained a state scholar- 
ship at Cornell university, from the law school of which he graduated 
in 1891 with a degree of LL.B. He read law with Lewis F. Raymond, 
of Franklin, and was admitted to practice in September, 1891, at Utica. 
On October 1st of the same year he came to Binghamton. He practiced 
about a year with Geo. W. Penrie, and in 1893 he was managing clerk 
for Carver, Deyo & Jenkins. In October, 1897, the present law firm 
of Barnes & Flint was formed. Mr. Barnes is one of the active young 
members of the city bar, and is prominent in Republican political cir- 
cles. He was elected justice of the peace in February, 1893, serving 
from January, 1894 to 1900, his term having been extended one year 
under an act of amending the city charter. On October 30, 1895, Mr. 
Barnes married Katherine L., daughter of Henry C. Hermans, of this 

James T. Rogers has been a member of the county bar since the 
early part of 1894, yet during his comparatively brief residence in the 
city he has attained standing of enviable prominence in the legal 
profession and also in political and social circles. He is known as 
a young lawyer of ability, a strong advocate and a political debater of 
much pro nise. His qualities have been recognized in the county, and 
his election to places of trust and responsibility are a merited reward. 
Mr. Rogers was born in the town of Owego, April 18, 1864, and is the 
son of the late Dr. C. R Rogers, of Newark Valley. Dr. Rogers is 
well remembered by the older medical practitioners of this county as a 
physician of the village of Whitney's Point, where he lived several years. 
At one time he was president of the Broome County Medical society. 
After leaving the Point Dr. Rogers resumed practice in Tioga county, 
and was a resident of Newark Valley at the time of his death, in April', 
1897. The young life of James T. Rogers was spent in Whitney's 
Point, where he was educated in the academic school, and after his 
father returned to Tioga county the son attended the public school in 
Newark Valley and also the Free academy in Owego. In the latter vil- 
lage, on leaving school, he was employed in the post-office, first as clerk, 
but was afterward promoted to the position of assistant postmaster,' 
which he filled five years. In 1889 he began reading law with. Judge 
Mead, and at the same time was clerk of the Surrogate's court of Tioga 


county. In 1891 he entered the law department of Cornell university, 
and was graduated with the degree of LL.B. in June, 1893. Previous 
to the completion of his law course at Cornell, in September, 1892, Mr. 
Rogers was admitted to practice. His first legal service was a clerk- 
ship in the law firm of White & Cheney, of Syracuse, where he remained 
until March, 1894, when he located for practice in Binghamton. His 
first law partner was S. Mack Smith, with whom he was associated un- 
til October 1, 1898, when the copartnership was dissolved, Mr. Smith 
having been elected city recorder. In December following, the present 
firm of Roberts, Tuthill & Rogers was formed. In 1895 Mr. Rogers 
was appointed police attorney of the city and served in that capacity 
until March, 1898. In September of the latter year he was nominated 
by the Republican convention of the First or Eastern district of 
Broome county as its candidate for the assembly. He was elected by a 
a gratifying majority over all opposing candidates. In the legislature 
Mr. Rogers proved to be a worthy representative of our county's inter- 
ests. The " City Court " bill was framed by him, and under his care 
was enacted into a law. 

RoUin W. Meeker, former legal associate and graduate of the office 
of the late Senator O'Connor, came to the bar in 1892, and has since 
been closely identified with the profession, both in the city and county. 
He also has been and still is a conspicuous figure in Broome county Re- 
publican politics, though his office holdings have been limited to a brief 
term as police attorney of the city in 1895. Counselor Meeker prefers 
professional rather than political prominence, hence devotes himself 
closely to legal work. Since his admission to the bar he has been the 
attorney in many important litigations, including an action to set aside 
a mortgage of $150,800 on the property of Erastus Ross, former presi- 
dent of the Merchants bank. He successfully instituted and prosecuted 
mandamus proceedings against the board of street commissioners of the 
city of Binghamton, to compel the appointment of a veteran to the po- 
sition of superintendent of streets, which was the first case of its kind in 
the state. He has organized and is the attorney for many local corpora- 
tions. Mr. Meeker was born in the town of Binghamton, Decem- 
ber 35, 1870, and is the son of Eli S. and Samantha (Morgan) Meeker, 
his father having been a well-known business man of the town and city 
of Binghamton for many years. Mr. Meeker was educated in our pub- 
lic schools, and also under private instruction. He read law with Ed- 
mund O'Connor, and on February 5, 1892, was admitted to practice. 
He is regarded as one of our young lawyers of excellent promise. 


Maurice' E. Page was born in Triangle, Broome county, December 
M, 1860. He is the son and the second of five children of Cyrus 
and Marcia (Eldredge) Page. Cyrus Page is the son of the late Solo- 
mon Page, the latter being the son of John Page, the pioneer, who 
came from Litchfield, Conn., in the early part of the present century 
and settled in the locality known as Page Brook in the town of Trian- 
gle. Maurice lived on the home farm until he attained his majority. 
He was educated in the district school, the Whitney's Point academy, 
where he graduated in 188), and also in Amherst college, graduating 
at the latter in 1886. He always took high rank in his classes and for 
superior attainments in his college course was elected to membership in 
the Fki Beta Kappa society. After graduation from college he was 
principal of Whitney's Point academy one year, the Trumansburg acad- 
emy two years and of the Union school and academy at Greene three 
years. In the early part of 1892 he began reading law with Eugene 
Clinton, esq., of Greene, and in August of the same year he came to 
this city and finished his studies with Carver, Deyo & Jenkins. At a 
General Term of the Supreme court held in Binghamton in February, 
1894, Mr. Page was admitted to the practice of law in the courts of this 
state. He at once became managing clerk for the firm of Carver, Deyo 
& Jenkins and was associated with them until April 1, 1889, when the 
present legal partnership of Jenkins & Page was formed. He was ad- 
mitted to practice in the U. S. Circuit courts at a term thereof held at 
Buffalo, N. Y., in October, 1898. Mr. Page is a comparatively young 
member of the city bar, yet in professional circles he is known as a 
careful, capable and conscientious lawyer. On August 20, 1889, Mr. 
Page married Emma M. Coe of Gilbertsville, N. Y. ; one child, Mil- 
dred C. Page, has been born of this marriage. 

Walter S. Flint was born in South Colton, St. Lawrence county, N. 
Y., March 13, 1861. He was educated in the South Colton graded 
school, and also the State Normal school at Potsdam, N. Y., from which 
he was graduated in 1887. He was then principal of the public schools 
at Katonah, Westchester county, N. Y., for the year 1887-88, followed 
by a five years' principalship of the Fort Covington acadeni)-, in Frank- 
lin, N. Y. While engaged in teaching Prof. Flint (for by this title was he 
generally known) devoted his summer vacations to the study of law, first 
with Matt C. Ransom, of Fort Covington, next with John A. Vance, of 
Potsdam, and still later with Swift & Bell, of Potsdam. Thus equipped 
with an elementary education, Mr. Flint entered the law department of 


the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and was graduated in 1895. 
At Albany; on December 3, 1895, he was admitted to practice law in 
this state, and two days later opened an office for the practice of his 
profession in this city. Mr. Flint practiced alone until October 1, 1897, 
when the present law firm of Barnes & Flint was formed. In Katonah, 
on March 10, 1890, Mr. Flint married 'Hattie G., daughter of Joseph 
Benedict. They have one child. 

Burr W. Mosher was born in North Sanford, Broome county, April 7, 
1863, and was the second of three children of Wesson and Elizabeth 
(French) Mosher. He lived at home on his father's farm until he was 
twenty-four years old, and was educated in the district schools and also 
a select school at North Sanford. At the age of seventeen years he 
began teaching winter terms of school, and so continued seven years, 
devoting the summer season to farm work. In the summer of 1887 he 
began a three years' course of study in the Geneseo Normal school at 
Geneseo, and was graduated in 1890. He was then appointed principal 
of the Union school at Naples, Ontario county, which position he filled 
with excellent results for a term of four years; but determining to 
enter the legal profession, he came to Binghamton and began the study 
of law in the office of George F. Lyon, finishing his course, however, 
with Lyon, Painter & Hinman. He passed the required legal examin- 
ation in October, 1896, at Syracuse, and was admitted to practice in De- 
cember following. Mr. Mosher has practiced law in this city a little 
more than three years, and while young in the profession is nevertheless 
known as a thorough and practical lawyer. In January, 1897, he, was 
elected city clerk and served in that capacity two years. On July 5, 
1892, Mr. Mosher married Abigail B. , daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed- 
mund C. Clarke of Naples. One child, Caroline E., has been born of 
this marriage. 

Royal A. Gunnison, United States Referee in Bankruptcy for Broome 
and Delaware counties, was born in this city June 31, 1873. His early 
education was acquired in our city schools, he having graduated at the 
B. C. H. S, with the class of '93. For the next two years he was on the city 
staflE of the Republican, and in the fall of 1894 he entered Cornell law 
school, graduating in 1896.. He then read law one year in the office of 
G. L. Sessions, and was admitted to the bar at Albany, November 8, 
1897. He has since practiced in this city. Mr. Gunnison is one of our 
brightest young lawyers, a splendid specimen of physical as well as 
mental manhood, and is rapidly winning an enviable standing in the 


ranks of the profession. His appointment to the office of referee in 
bankruptcy was a deserved recognition of his legal worth. He is also 
a Mason in excellent standing, and is now master of Otseningo Lodge 
No. 435. The law firm of Gunnison & Hickey was formed in Decem- 
ber, 1898. 

Thomas J. Keenan was born in New York city February 20, 1873. 
He was educated in the schools of the metropolis and also in the schools 
of Hornellsville, to which city he removed with his widowed mother. 
He then entered St. Bonaventure's college at Allegany and was gradu- 
ated in June, 1893. In September following, Mr. Keenan began read- 
ing law with Senator Edmund O'Connor and became the managing 
clerk of his offices and in July, 1897, was admitted to the bar. After 
admission to the bar his association with the senator continued until the 
latter's death in July, 1898. Though an ardent Republican, Mr. Keen- 
an devotes his time exclusively to the practice of his profession. On 
October 6, 1897, he was married to Matie G., daughter of John W. 

William H. Riley was born in Granville, Bradford county. Pa., De- 
cember 25, 1872. His early education was acquired in the Granville 
schools, but in August, 1888, he came to this city and entered the pub- 
lic schools ; and was graduated from the Binghamton Central High school 
with the class of "93. He read law with Wales & Wilbur, and was ad- 
mitted to practice in October, 1897. He remained in Mr. Wales' office 
until October 1, 1898, and then became junior partner in the present 
law firm of Wales & Riley. Politically Mr. Riley is a Democrat and 
takes an active interest in the affairs of the city and county. 

Charles Avery Hickey was born in Auburn, N. Y^, June 29, 1874, 
and was educated at Williams and Princeton colleges, graduating at the 
latter in 1896. He read law with the late Senator Edmund O'Connor, 
and was admitted to practice in November, 1898. On December 1, of 
the year last mentioned, the law partnership of Gunnison & Hickey was 



The medical profession of Binghamton has preserved little of its 
own history. While there are few meagre records by which may 
be learned something of the proceedings and membership of the 
various medical societies which have been formed, there are no re- 
liable data upon which can be based a history of the origin and de- 
velopment of the profession from the time the first pioneer settled 
on the village site, about the beginning of the present century. 

The advance in all branches of science during the last century has 
indeed been marvelous, but in none has there been greater progress 
than the science of medicine and surgery. The dawning of this science 
which now sheds its light throughout the world began with Hippoc- 
rates, more than twenty-three hundred years ago. He wrote exten- 
sively and his works served as a foundation for the subsequent litera-- 
ture of the profession. The greatest advances, however, in the science 
of medicine have been made during the last hundred years, and chiefly 
during the last half century. Among the hundreds of discoveries which 
have marked this period, mention may be made of one, the use of anes- 
thetics, which benumb the nerves of sensation and produce a profound 
but tranquil state of insensibility in which the patient sleeps and 
dreams, while the physician is left to the pleasing reflection that he is 
causing neither pain or suffering. 

But there is no department of medicine at the present time more 
promising of good results than sanitary science. While pathology and 
physiology are making known to us the nature and cause of disease and 
functions of the human body, sanitary science is steadily teaching us 
how the causes of disease may be removed or avoided, and health 
thereby secured. Progress during the coming hundred years, if only 
equal to that of the past, will more than have accomplished great works 
in the advancement of sanitary science; but the accomplishment of 
this work calls not only for the labor of the physician, but also for the 
intelligent co-operation of the people, Indeed, if anything really great 



is to be done in this direction, and in preventing disease and death, it 
must largely be done by the people themselves. This implies that they 
must be instructed in sanitary science; must be taught what unsanitary 
conditions most favor the origin of disease, how disease is spread, and 
the means of its prevention. If it be true that that knowledge is of the 
greatest value to us which teaches the means of self-preservation, then 
the importance of a widespread knowledge of how to prevent disease 
and premature death cannot be overestimated. 

Settlement on the site of the present city was begun about 1800, and 
progressed slowly during the first quarter of a century of its history. 
The locality was favored with an excellent natural drainage system 
while the rivers carried away all surface accumulations. However, 
about 1850, after the Chenango canal and the Erie railroad were in 
operation, the village grew more rapidly, and the authorities began dis- 
cussing the question of sewers and pavements. Court street was paved 
(between Collier street and the Chenango river bridge) with cobble 
stones previous to 1840, but the work was not carried further until after 
the village became a city. In 1870 the city population numbered 12,- 
692 people, and about that time our sewer system was established, and 
at the same time the work of paving was begun on Court street. In 
later years the work was increased and carried forward with the growth 
of the city in all directions, and to-day we are as well situated from a 
sanitary point of view as any city in the east. Much of the credit for 
this improved sanitary condition may justly be given to the people, who 
have borne the expense thereof, yet the common council and the health 
commissioners have been important factors in bringing about the pres- 
ent results. 

Bingham ton is now a city of approximately 50,000 inhabitants, and 
is as well provided with sanitary improvements as almost any munici- 
pality in the state. There is room, of course, for still greater strides in 
this direction, yet the work is steadily going forward, keeping even pace 
with the general municipal growth. 

Previous to the early years of the present century, the state of New 
York, unlike Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, had done very little to 
encourage science in any direction and there were no schools of medi- 
cine worthy of the name nearer than Philadelphia and Boston. Few 
young medical students could then afiford to go so far to qualify them- 
selves for a profession which promised so little pecuniary reward, hence 
it was the custom of the period for the aspirant to enter the ofiice of 


some practicing physician and read medicine two or three years, at the 
same time accompanying his tutor in his professional visits and thus 
learn his methods of practice. At the end of his term the young doc- 
tor would seek some promising field and begin practice. 


In 1806 the legislature passed an act repealing all former laws relat- 
ing to the practice of medicine in this state, and at the same time 
authorized the formation of a state medical society and also county so- 
cieties. The act itself was passed April 4, 1806, and just three months 
later the Broome County Medical society was brought into existence. 
The organization meeting was held at the court house, July 4, and 
there were present Drs. Phineas Bartholmew, Daniel A. Wheeler, 
Jonathan Gray, Ezra Seymour, Elihu Ely and Lewis Allen, all of whom 
were original members of the society. The officers were Daniel A. 
Wheeler, president; Ezra Seymour, vice-president; Elihu Ely, secre- 
tary ; Chester Lusk, treasurer. At an adjourned meeting held at Will- 
iam Woodruff's tavern in Chenango Point on July 30, the organization 
was perfected and several new members were admitted. 

The Medical society is an institution of the county rather than of the 
city, yet for the purpose of a complete record it is proposed to furnish 
in this connection an alphabetical chronological list of its members from 
1806 to 1880, with the year of admission to the society. In 1880 the 
legislature passed an act providing for the registration of persons as- 
suming to practice medicine and surgery, which act was mandatory in 
its terms. Having access to the registration records in the Broome 
county clerk's office, an accurate list of names of physicians practicing 
in the city has been made, in view of which it is unnecessary to include 
in the list of members of the society the names of physicians admitted 
in years subsequent to 1880. 

The following list was originally prepared under the direction of Dr. 
John G. Orton, of this city, and through his suggestion it is reproduced 
in this chapter: 

Lewis Allen, 1806; John H. Arnold, 1829; Warren L. Ayer, 1869; 
A. W. K. Andrews, 1871; J. D. Appley, 1877; S. P. Allen, 1867; 
Phineas Bartholmew, 1806; Samuel Barclay, 1806; Pelatiah B. Brooks, 
1823; Daniel Brainard, 1833; John Barney, 1829; Josiah Blackman, 
1830; A. H. Bronson, 1829; Oliver T. Bundy, 1830; William Butler, 
1831; Dr. Bird, 1831; John D. Bancroft, 1831; George Burr, 1836; 


Rufus Belden, 1838; Elam Bartlett, 1838; Dr. Berks, 1838; Elijah H. 
Barnes, 1838; H. M. Baldwin, 1841; James Brooks, 1842; George A. 
Barnes, 1843; Pelatiah Brooks, 1850; William Bassett, 1863; Martin 
Bullock, 1865; John W. Booth, 1866; W. S. Beebe, 1867; Dan S. Burr, 
1868; Walter A. Brooks, 1871; Charles W. Bowen, 1872; S. W. Badger, 
1874; Harvey F. Beardsley, 1875; Samuel Birdsall, 1876; F. P. Blair, 
1877; James Brooks, 1877; N. R. Barnes, 1873; Josiah T. Clark and 
Dr. Cleveland, 1832; Alfred Cook, 1842; John Chubbuck, 1844; Royal 
R. Carr, 1848; Edwin G. Crafts, 1858; Daniel J. Chittenden, 1862; 
Charles Carter, 1863 ; Joseph H. Chittenden, 1865; J. Cooley, 1871; 
Apollos Comstock, 1874; B M. J. Conlin, 1876; De Witt Clark, 1878; 
Henry A. Carr, 1879; Ammi Doubleday, 1833; Nathan S. Davis, 1837; 
Wm. H. Day, 1848; Ezekiel Daniels, 1855; Gregory Doyle, 1864; D. 

C. Doolittle, 1865; Albert Day, 1868; Charles Dickinson, 1870; Dwight 
Dudley, 1874; W. E. Douglass and E. N. Dutcher, 1876; Elihu Ely, 
1806; Edwin Eldridge, 1841 ; Isaac C. Edson, 1866; Henry Oliver Ely, 
1867; Charles G. Esterbrook, 1874; Charles C. Edwards, 1875; S. H. 
French, 1834; Lucius French, 1854; E. I. Ford, 1863; S. H. French, 2d, 
1864; Samuel B. Foster, 1864; James W. Freeman, 1865; Jonathan 
Gray, 1806; John G. Orton, 1839; Horace S. Griswold, 1833; W. S. 
Griswold, 1846; Ezekiel Guy, 1865; Lansing Griffin and H. D. Gilbert, 
1866; R. T. Gates, 1870; Charles W. Greene, 1873; Jesse Hotchkiss, 
1806; Samuel M. Hunt, 1839; D. Hall, 1831; John Hall, 1833; Stephen 

D. Hand, 1835; Harry Hemingway, 1838; B. S. Hanford, 1840; Jesse 
T. Hotchkiss, 1843; Dr. Hendricks, 1853; S. M. Hand, 1851; S. H. 
Harrington, 1855; Carlton R. Heaton, 1864; B. F. Holcomb, 1866; 
John Hill, 1868; Patrick H. Hayes, 1870; Henry Hall, 1871; O. C. Hall, 
1876 ; F. M. Hays, 1878 ; Thomas Jackson, 1839 ; David Post Jackson, 
1865; George H. Jones, 1875; J. Humphrey Johnson, 1879; John H. 
Knapp, 1843; Benj. Kenyon and Wm. S. Knox, 1873; Chester Lusk, 
1806; Eleazer Lyman, 1838; George Little, 1855; Ezra Lawyer, 1870; 
J. G. Lang, 1871; F. D. Lamb, 1876; Levi Maxwell, 1839; Henry 
Monroe, 1830; Dr. McElran, 1833; Thaddeus Mather, 1841; Isaac D. 
Meacham and H. B. Mabin, 1855; John Munsell, jr , 1865; Franklin T. 
Maybury, 1866; John Maroney, 1876; Edward Mulheron, 1877; Daniel 
Nash, 1839; Oliver P. Newell, 1839; Wm, H. Niles, 1852; John Gay 
Orton, 1854; William J. Orton, 1863; Peter Payne, 1839; Wm. Purin- 
ton, 1830; William Peabody, 1834; John Plant, 1846; George E. Pierson, 
1870; Frederick W. Putnam, 1880; Tracy Robinson, 1833 ; Edmund H. 


Robinson, 1839; Edmund Robillard, 1850; Charles B. Richards,1866; Cor- 
nelius R. Rogers, 1868 ; G. S. Redfield, 1869 ; Ezra Seymour, 1806 ; Jonas 
Sawtelle, 1839; Gaines L. Spencer and L. F. Starkey, 1839; Luke Shep- 
ard, 1830; Henry Sayles, 1833; John Sullivan, 1837; Loren Salisbury, 
1845; Dr. Shutts, 1845; H. D. Spencer, 1858; Charles J. Seymour, 1863; 
A. L. Sweet, 1866; Frank Sturdevant, 1870; Cyrenius D. Spencer, 1871; 
W. E. Stephenson, 1871'; A. B. Stillson, 1876; Thaddeus Thompson, 1806; 
Asahel Todd, 1813; Wm, Thompson, 1813; Frank A. Taylor, 1869; 
Susan J. Tabor, 1874; Wm. Voorhees, 1863; John L. Van Alstyne, 
1874; Daniel A. Wheeler, 1806; Thomas Woodbury, 1833; Silas West, 
1833; Reuben Winston, 1830; J. Woodbury, 1830; George Wattles, 
1833; Robert L. Woodruff, 1834; Amos Witherill, 1834; Charles O. 
Waters, 1843; Charles E. Washburn, 1849; Henry S. West, 1850; 
Thomas Webb, 1850; P. M. Way, 1858; W. W. Whitney, 1865; Lin- 
naeus D. Witherill, 1868; Emily H. Wells, 1875; Joseph Whitney, 1880; 
O. J. Wilsey, 1880; George B. Young, 1865. 

In this connection it is also interesting to note the succession of pres- 
idents and secretaries of this pioneer society of the county: 

Presidents.—\ A. Wheeler, 1806-13; Chester Lusk, 1813-33; 
Tracy Robinson, 1833-36; Pelatiah B. Brooks, 1836-38; Silas West, 
1838-39; O. T. Bundy, 1839-40; Stephen D. Hand, 1840-43; Salphro- 
nius H. French, 1843-44; George Burr, 1844-45; A. P. Bronson, 1845- 
46; Pelatiah B. Brooks, 1846-49; Samuel M. Hunt, 1849-50; S. H. 
French, 1850-51; Thomas Jackson, 1851-53; S. H. French, 1853-54; 
George Burr, 1854-56; John G. Orton, 1856-57; Ezekiel Daniels, 1857- 
58; S. H. Harrington, 1858-59; Edwin G. Crafts, 1859-60; P. M. Way, 
1860-61; W. S. Griswold, 186]-63; I. D. Meacham, 1863-63; Wm. Voor- 
hees, 1863-64; Wm. Ba sett, 1864-65; George Burr, 1865-66; Lansing 
Griffin, 1866-67; Carlton R. Heaton, 1867-68; S. H. French, 3d, 1868- 
69; Joseph H. Chittenden, 1869-70; Isaac C. Edson, 1870-71; James 
Brooks, 1871-73; Cornelius R. Rogers, 1873-73; A. W. K. Andrews, 
1873-74; H. C. Hall, 1874-75; L. D. Witherell, 1875-76; Walter Brooks, 
1876-77; S. P. Allen, 1877-78; Charles G. Esterbrook, 1878-79; C. W. 
Greene, 1879-80; A. F. Taylor, 1880-81; Charles B. Richards, 1881-83; 
Dwight Dudley, 1883-83; Dan S. Burr, 1883-84; John W. Booth, 1884- 
85; Frederick W. Putnam, 1885-86; S. E. McFarland, 1886-87; Harvey 
F. Beardsley, 1887-88; David Post Jackson, 1888-89; John M. Farring- 
ton, 1889-90; William A. Moore, 1890-91; E. A. Pierce, 1891-93; R.W. 
Seymour, 1893-93; LeRoy D. Farnham, 1893-94; Edward L. Smith, 


1894-95; Charles G. Wagner, 1895-96 ; Barna E. Radeker, 1896-97 ; Ira 
A. Hix, 1897-98; Frank W. Sears, 1898-99; Jack Killen, 1899-. 

Secreianes.—Elihnmy, 1806-23; Ammi Doubleday, 1833-30 ; Daniel 
Nash, 1830-31; Lewis F. Starkey, 1831-32; Josiah Blackman, 1832-37; 
Stephen D. Hand, 1837-38 ; Nathan S. Davis, 1838-42; H. M. Baldwin, 
1842; George Burr, 1842-44; James Brooks, 1844-45; N. S. Davis, 
1845-49; C.E.Washburn, 1849-51; W. S. Griswold, 1851-54; Henry 
S. West, 1854-57; Pelatiah Brooks, 1857-63; John G. Orton, 1863-79; 
Joseph H. Chittenden, 1879-84; G. S. Redfield, 1884-85; Dan S. Burr, 
1885-89; Le Roy D. Farnham, 1889-91; John Leverett, 1891-1900. 


The Binghamton Academy of Medicine was incorporated November 
10, 1897, but the society dates its organization back to 1854, when an 
association of village physicians was formed for the advancement of 
the science of medicine, the promotion of the character and honor of 
the profession, the elevation of the standard of the members, and the 
strengthening of the bonds of unity by affording opportunities for 
social intercourse among members of the medical profession. The 
preliminary meeting which resulted in a permanent organization was 
held July 22, 1854, with Dr. Silas West chairman, and Dr. Pelatiah 
Brooks, secretary. 

The founders and original fellows of the academy were Drs. Silas 
West, George Burr, Henry S. West, John G. Orton, Stephen D. Hand, 
and Pelatiah Brooks, of Binghamton, and George Stebbins Little, of 
Kirkwood. Of these original fellows Dr. Orton alone survives. He 
was the first permanent secretary of the academy and served in that 
capacity for many years. Indeed, in later years, when interest in the 
affairs of the organization seemed to flag, his influence and almost un- 
aided effort kept the society from dissolution. However, during the 
long term of its history, there have been periods in which no meetings 
were held, and the organization apparently ceased to exist; but as often 
was there a revival of interest until at last the academy was established 
on a firm basis and became one of the permanent institutions of the city. 
From 1858 to 1864, just preceding and during the civil war, no meet- 
ings were held; and again, from 1866 to 1889 the academy was in a 
state of "suspended animation" (to use the professional expression) 
so far as the records disclose the proceedings of meetings. 

The academy was incorporated November 10, 1897, the corporators 


being Drs. John G. Orton. F. P. Hough, Joseph H. Chittenden, W. H. 
Knapp, H. W. Brown, L. D. Farnham, John M. Farrington, Lyman 
H. Hills, Jack Killen, Ira A. Hix, R. R. Daly, S. F. McFarland, W. S. 
Overton, F. M. Michael, E. L. Smith, F. W. Sears, W. A. Moore, F. 
L. Forker, C. W. Greene and L. H. Quackenbush. The first directors 
were Drs. Orton, Chittenden, Farnham, Farrington and Greene. 

In professional circles in the city the Academy of Medicine has ac- 
complished an important work and is regarded as of greater value to its 
fellows than the County Medical society, as meetings are held more 
frequently and the opportunities for exchange of opinions on profes- 
sional subjects are more easily obtained. 

The names of the founders of the academy are given in a preceding 
paragraph, wherefore it is proper that the entire membership also be 
furnished, together with the year (when known) in which each mem- 
ber was admitted to fellowship. As shown by the records, the academy 
roll of the fellows is as follows : 

August 13, 1854, Silas West, George Burr, Henry West, John G. Or- 
ton, Stephen D. Hand, Pelatiah Brooks, George S. Little; September, 
1854, John Chubbuck, Thomas Webb; October, 1854, Thomas Jack- 
son; November, 1854, W. S. Griswold, P. B. Brooks; April, 1858, Ed- 
win G. Crafts; March, 1864, William Bassett, William J. Orton; 1865, 
Franklin T. Maybury, Joseph H. Chittenden, Lansing Griffin, James 
Brooks, Warren L. Ayer, David Post Jackson; 1866, Charles B. Rich- 
ards, Charles J. Seymour; 1870, Dan S. Burr; 1889, W. F. Race, W. 
H. Knapp, L. D. Farnham, Charles D. Rogers, C. G. Olmsted, W. A. 
Moore, John M. Farrington, James Ross, S. F. McFarland, Thomas B. 
Flagler, E. A. Pierce, F. W. Putnam, J. C. Comstock, F. E. Slater, J. 

F. Pratt, E. L. Bennett, H. F. Beardsley; 1891, John F. Place, Charles 
W. Ingraham, Edward L. Smith, Harris C. Rodgers, Charles W. Tif- 
fany; 1892, John Leverett; 1893, F. P. Hough, F. M. Michaels, C. E. 
Webster, Richard R. Daly; 1894, Ira A. Hix, William P. Miles, Wm. 

A. White, L. H. Hills, S. Walter Dodson, Charles G. Wagner, J. W. 
Jansen, C. W. Greene, C. C. Eastman; 1895, L. H. Quackenbush, T. 

B. Van Alstyne; 1896, Frank W. Sears, DorrW. Hardy, H. W. Brown, 
W. S. Overton, A. W. Cutler, Henry C. Peck, S. P. Allen; 1897, Chas. 

G. Cole; 1898, Isabelle H. Stanley, E. N. Christopher, Charles. P. 
Roberts, Dwight E. Cone, Edward Gillespie, W. E. Ard, George J. 

The officers of the academy have been as follows: 


Presidents.— 'S,i\s.sWehh, 1854; George Burr, 1855; Pelatiah B. Brooks, 
1856; Henry S. West, 1857; E. G. Crafts, 1864; George Burr, 1865-69; 
JohnG. Orton, 1889-91 ;-F. P. Hough, 1892; J. M. Farriugton, 1893; 
W. H. Knapp, 1894; F. L. Forker, 1895; W. A. Moore, 1896; C. W. 
Greene, 1897; Lyman H. Hills, 1898; R. R. Daly, 1899. 

Vice-Presidents.— Qeorg& S. Little, 1854; W. S. Griswold, 1855; 
Henry S. West, 1856; Thomas Webb, 1857; Wm. Bassett, 1864; Greg- 
ory Doyle, 1865; Joseph H. Chittenden, 1889-91; H. F. Beardsley, 
1892; C. C. Eastman, 1893; F. L. Forker, 1894; W. A. Moore, 1895; 
C. W. Greene, 1896; Lyman H. Hills, 1897; Richard R. Daly, 1898; 
W. A. White, 1899. 

Secretaries.— ]oh.nQ. Orton, 1854-65; L. D. Farnham, 1889-91; E. 
L. Smith, 1892; J. F. Pratt, 1893-95; J. M. Farrington, 1896-98; J. F. 
Pratt, 1899. 

Treasurers.— S^.e^herx D. Hand, 1854; Henry S. West, 1855; Thomas 
Webb, 1856; Pelatiah Brooks, 1857; W. A. Moore, 1889-91'; H. C. 
Rodgers, 1892; John Leverett, 1893-95; F. P. Hough, 1896-98; R. C. 
Irving, 1899. 


A learned writer has said: All advancement comes through persecu- 
tion; and " no cross, no crown," is applicable to science as well as to 
religion. Christianity itself surged through blood and fire to attain its 
mighty power. So, too, the medical world has been subject to convul- 
sion from the earliest ages. Homoeopathy sprung into existence some- 
thing more than a century ago, discarded the settled rules of practice 
and asserted its claims to the world. Its distinguishing characteristics, 
then as now, consist in the employment of medicaments agreeable to 
the principles denoted by its name, " similia similibus curantur," or 
" like cures like." 

The principle first rendered into practical science by Hahnemaan, 
the founder of the homoeopathic school, dates far back of his time, and 
was even glanced at by Hippocrates; but it remained for Hahnemann 
to propound the startling dogma in 1790, while engaged in translating 
Cullin's Materia Medica from English into German. The new school 
passed through many wonderful and prolonged tests, trials and opposi- 
tion, and was eventually legalized in Bohemia in 1821 ; America in 1825 ; 
Russia in 1833; Austria in 1837; Prussia in 1843; England in 1858, and 
to-day is recognized throughout the world. There are hardly more 


than twenty-five homoeopathic physicians in Broome county, and most 
of these are centered in the city. 

The Broome County Homoeopathic Medical society was organized 
February 4, 1863, and from that to the present time has main- 
tained a continued existence, although, unfortunately, no record of the 
earlier membership and proceedings is now to be found. Indeed, all 
records of the society previous to 1888 appear to have been lost and the 
most diligent inquiry has failed to reveal any trace of their whereabouts. 
The partial list of early officers which accompanies this chapter was se- 
cured only by access to the reports of the state society; and through 
the same source it was learned that the organization was effected in 
1863, and also that the membership then comprised Drs. Stephen D. 
Hand, Titus L. Brown, Ira W. Peabody, William C. Doane, Thomas 
P. Knapp, Stoddard Pratt, H. C. Champlin (of Owego) and J. D. Vail 
(of Montrose.) 

In 1888 the society was practically reorganized, and is now incorpo- 
rated under the laws of the state. The succession of officers from 1863 
to 1875, and from 1888 to the present time, are furnished in this chap- 
ter, but for the reasons mentioned the officiary for other years cannot 
be' given. The present members of the society are Drs. George F. 
Hand, Edward E. Snyder, John T. Greenleaf, C. N. Guy, Elizabeth 
Corwin, D. H. McGraw, George H. Jenkins, Charles A. Ward, Charles 
S. Winters, De Witt P. Bailey, A. W. Stoutenberg, Alice F. Mills, 
Lynn A. Martin, Willis H. Proctor, Louis D. Hyde, J. Bonnar Bates, 
Joseph F. Roe and William F. Ward. 

The officers of the society, so far as known, have been as follows: 
Presidents.—Siephen D. Hand, 1863-75; Lynn A. Martin, 1888; John 
T. Greenleaf, 1889; Willis H. Proctor, 1890; M. T. Butcher, 1891; 
C. A. Ward, 1893; D. H. McGraw, 1893; H. D. Baldwin, 1894; Charles 
T. Haines, 1895; George H. Jenkins, 1896; De Witt P. Bailey, 1897-98; 
Edward E. Snyder, 1899. 

Vice-Presidents.— Uemy S. Sloan, 1863-74; Willis H. Proctor, 1888- 
89; Elizabeth Corwin, 1890; Charles A. Ward, 1891; D. H. McGraw, 
1892; H. D. Baldwin, 1893; C. T. Haines, 1894; Albert F. Merrill, 
1895; De Witt P. Bailey, 1896; C. W. Adams, 1897; Lynn A. Martin, 
1898; A. F. Merrill, 1899. 

Second Vice-Presidents.— (First elected in 1890). D. H. McGraw, 
1890; Alice F. Millspaugh, 1891; C. S. Winters, 1892; C. T. Haines, 
1893; George H. Jenkins, 1894-95; C. W. Adams, 1896; Lynn A. Mar- 
tin, 1897; A. W. Stoutenburg, 1898; Joseph F. Roe, 1899. 


Secretaries and Treasurers.— {O&ces combined). Titus L. Brown, 
1863-74; D. H. McGraw, 1888-89; C. T. Haines, 1890; G. H. Jenkins, 
1891; De Witt P. Bailey, 1892; C. S. Winters, 1893; C. W. Adams, 
1894-95; Kate C. Fiske, 1896; A. W. Stoutenburg, 1897-98; William F. 
Ward, 1899. 

The Binghamton Homoeopathic Medical society was organized April 
14, 1888, and was intended for the especial benefit of homoeopathic 
physicians practicing in this city, but within the next two years after 
the organization was completed the society merged in the county so- 
ciety. The original members and prime spirits of the organization 
were Drs. George F. Hand, Henry S. Sloan, Titus L. Brown, A. J. 
Clark, C. P. Chamberlain, Edward E. Snyder, A. L. Snyder, H. D. 
Baldwin and Willis H. Proctor. The officers in 1880-81 were Edward 
E. Snyder, president; Willis H. Proctor, vice-president; A. J. Clark, 
secretary. In 1883 Henry S. Sloan was elected president, and C. F. 
Millspaugh, secretary. In 1883 Dr. Titus L. Brown succeeded to the 
presidency, and Dr. Millspaugh was re-elected secretary. 

Having in this manner recalled the history of the medical profession 
and its representatives in the county, and having referred at some 
length to the several medical societies which have been formed from 
time to time, it is proper that at least a brief mention be made of the 
personnel of the profession at the present time. In the early years of 
the present century the physicians of the state either did not possess 
any political power, or if so possessed had no knowledge of the fact ; 
but during the last score of years the profession has wielded a remark- 
able power in state politics, and has surrounded the practice with 
such safeguards that unlicensed practitioners and medical charlatans 
have but a feeble hold on the public confidence. The latest appeal to 
the credulity of the masses of the people is an invention to heal the un- 
fortunate sick, and is known as "the faith cure; " but the persons seek- 
ing to popularize this means of cure are either deceived themselves or 
are deceiving others. 

One of the most praisworthy legislative enactments for the benefit of 
the medical profession in this state was that passed in 1880, commonly 
known as the " Registration Act," by which each practicing physician 
was (and still is) required to make and file with the county clerk of the 
county in which he proposed to practice, a certificate or affidavit, stat- 
ing his full name and address, place of birth, the authority by which 
he claimed the right to practice physic or surgery in the state, and the 


name of the medical institution from which he was graduated, and the 
date of graduation. This law was compulsory, and in accordance with 
its provisions, and the acts amendatory thereof and supplemental there- 
to, there has been a very general compliance with its provisions on the 
part of physicians proposing to practice in the county ; and the county 
and city medical societies have made it their special and proper busi- 
ness to see that violations of the laws are not permitted. 

Having recourse to the registration records in the county clerk's 
office, the writer is enabled to furnish a brief and concise history of 
each physician, of whatever school, in the city since the passage of the 
act of 1880. If there be others, whose names are not registered, they 
are practicing .without authority and are amenable to the law. Ex- 
tracting briefly from the records mentioned, the personnel of the pro- 
fession in the city during the last score of years is shown by the ap- 
pended list. The data furnished shows the name, place of birth, date 
of diploma or certificate, and the institution from which the physician 
was graduated. The names are arranged in the order of registration : 

George Burr, born Meredith, Delaware county; diploma December 
2, 1835, Berkshire Medical institution, Pittsfield, Mass. 

John G. Orton, born Seneca Falls; diploma March 5, 1853, medical 
department University of New York. 

John L. Van Alstyne, born Richmondville, N. Y. ; diploma Decem- 
ber 33, 1862, Albany Medical college. 

Joseph H. Chittenden, born Greene, N. Y. ; diploma March, 1864, 
Bellevue Medical college, New York. 

William Bassett, born London, England; diploma November 3, 1841, 
Massachusetts Berkshire Medical college. 

Charles C. Edwards, born Harford, Pa. ; diploma March 11, 1849, 
Jefferson Medical college, Philadelphia. 

P. Harold Hayes, born Clinton, Ind. ; diploma March 28, 1848, Jef- 
ferson Medical college, Philadelphia. 

Henry Adams Carr, born Chenango Forks ; diploma February 18, 
1879, University of State of New York, 

Abiel W. K. Andrews, born Warren, Me. ; diploma March 30, 1865, 
medical department University of Michigan, 

Emily H.Wells, born Towanda, Pa. ; diploma March 25, 1873, Woman's 
Medical college of the New York Infirmary. 

Henry Oliver Ely, born Binghamton; diploma 1867, College of Phy- 
sicians, New York. 


William S. Knox, born Znoxboro; diploma June 23, 1880, Long 
Island Medical college. 

Harvey F. Beardsley, born Richfield, N.Y. ; license 1875 from Broome 
County Medical society. 

Caroline Parker Chamberlain, born Choconut, Pa. ; diploma Novem- 
ber 25, 1874, Eclectic Medical college. New York city. 

Caroline Parker Chamberlain, born Maine, N,Y. ; diploma April 9, 
1877, Woman's Medical college and hospital. New York .city. 

James C. Beach, born Sandy Hill, N Y. ; diploma June 24, 1877, Long 
Island college hospital. 

John W. Cobb, born Middletown, N.Y. ; diploma December 28, 1858, 
Albany Medical college. 

Washington W. Wheaton, born Jackson, Pa. ; diploma June 5, 1850, 
Central Medical college, Rochester, N.Y. 

Clark W. Greene, born Willett, N.Y. ; diploma March 1, 1873, Belle- 
vue Hospital Medical college. 

Benjamin F. Beardsley, born Gilbertsville, N.Y.; diploma February 
21, 1865, medical department University of Buffalo. 

J. Humphrey Johnson, born Binghamton; diploma February 12, 1879, 
medical department University of City of New York. 

S. Andral Kilmer, born Cobleskill, N. Y. ; diploma January 21, 1875, 
Bennett Eclectic college, Chicago. 

Frederick W. Putnam, born Truxton, N. Y. ; diploma February 17, 
1880 ; medical department University of City of New York. 

David L. Ross, born Newport, R. I. ; diploma January 2, 1872, Rush 
Medical college, Chicago, 111. 

A. Judson Osborn, born Colesville; diploma June 27, 1878, Long 
Island College hospital. 

George Jacob West, born Syracuse; diploma February 2, 1880, Belle- 
vue Hospital Medical college. 

Daniel Swift Burr, born Binghamton; diploma January 21, 1868, 
Geneva Medical college. 

Frank D. Gridley, born Guilford, N. Y, ; diploma February 21, 1866, 
Philadelphia university and certificate of National Eclectic association, 
and license of New York State Eclectic Medical society. 

Lester D. Stone, born Gorham, Ontario; diploma 1854, Metropolitan 
Medical college. New York. 

George A., Thayer, born Cooperstown; diploma May 18, 1859, Berk- 
shire Medical college, Pittsfield, Mass. 


Cyrenius D. Spencer, born Triangle; diploma November 30, 1849, 
Berkshire Medical college, Pittsfield, Mass. 

Edward I. Ford, born Newark Valley; diploma March 33, 1860, Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

Annie L. Snyder, born Southboro, Mass. ; diploma April 4, 1878, New 
York Medical College for Women. 

Charles B. Richards, born Union, N. Y. ; diploma March 3, 1853, 
Cleveland Medical college, Cleveland, Ohio. 

A. Eugene Magoris, born New York city; diploma June 33, 1880, 
Long Island Hospital Medical college. 

David Post Jackson, born Montrose, Pa. ; diploma March 9, 1865, 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

F. M. Hayes, born Wyoming, N, Y. ; diploma February 37, 1877, 
University Medical College of New York. 

C. H. Yelvington, born Greene, N. Y. ; diploma January 14, 1877, 
Eclectic Medical College of New York. 

Walter A. Brooks, born Great Bend, Pa. ; diploma March 1, 1871, 
medical department Columbia college. 

E. R. Young, born Binghamton; diploma February 3, 1880, Bellevue 
Hospital Medical college. 

Lansing Griffin, born Westerlo, N. Y. ; diploma December 33, 1857, 
Albany Medical college. 

Edward G. Crafts, born Cherry Valley, N. Y. ; diploma June 3, 1853, 
Geneva Medical college. 

Edward Mulheron, born Ireland; diploma February, 1872, Univer- 
sity of Buffalo. 

ApoUos Comstock, born Fairfield county. Conn. ; diploma February 
37, 1873, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city. 

Timothy Guy, born Guilford, N. Y. ; diploma November 4, 1857, 
University of City of New York. 

H. Irving Van Hoesen, born Preble, N. Y. ; diploma June 9, 1881, 
Syracuse university. 

Alfred J. Butterfield, born Lapeer, N. Y. ; diploma June 1, 1875, 
Philadelphia University of Medicine, and Eclectic Medical institute of 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 

William D. Hoffman, born Huntington, Pa. ; diploma February 20, 
1860, Iowa State Medical college. 

Clinton B. Allen, born Newfoundland, N. J. ; diploma February. 1881, 
University of City of New York. 


Mary A. Allen, born Delta, Ohio; diploma March 34, 1875, Univer- 
sity of Michigan. 

Charles McDonald, born Columbia, S. C. ; diploma 1869, University 
of New York. 

G. A. Westfall, born Milford, Pa. ; diploma February 35, 1879, Uni- 
versity of Buffalo. 

J. P. Marsh, born New York; diploma May 17, 1877, Eclectic Medi- 
cal college, St. Louis, Mo. 

Alfred J. Inloes, born Baltimore, Md.; diploma February 33, 1869, 
Washington University of Medicine, of Baltimore. 

Arthur Osborn, born Spencer, N. Y. ; diploma June 14, 1883, Uni- 
versity of Michigan. 

N Rounds Barnes, born McDonough, N. Y. ; diploma December 38, 
1858, Albany Medical college. 

William A. Dwinnelle, born Tully, N. Y. ; diploma March, 1881, 
Bellevue Medical college. 

John F. Connelly, .born Binghamton; diploma February 36, 1884, 
University of Buffalo. 

William F. Race, born Binghamton ; diploma March 11, 1884, Uni- 
versity City of New York. 

George S. Redfield, born Stamford, N, Y. ; diploma June 1853, Gene- 
va Medical college. 

Alfred Van Horn, born Summer Hill, Pa. ; diploma May 1, 1884, Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. 

Edward Allen Pierce, born Truxton, N. Y. ; diploma March 10, 1885, 
University of the City of New York. 

James Clinton Comstock, born Windsor, N. Y. ; diploma May 13, 
1884, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

J. Frank Pratt, born Chautauqua, N. Y. ; diploma February 37, 1878, 
Buffalo Medical college. 

Le Roy D. Farnham, born Tioga, N. Y. ; diploma March 1, 1880, 
College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York city. 

M. Harris Kirby, born Nichols, N. Y. ; diploma March 13, 1884, Uni- 
versity of City of New York. 

Frederick L. Forker, born Vestal; diploma March 10, 1885, Univer- 
sity Medical College of New York. 

Edgar B. Bullis, born Moriah, N. Y. ; diploma March 4, 1884, Iowa 
College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

Lyman H. Hills, born Madison county; diploma March 5, 1863, med- 
ical department University of New York. 


George A. Thayer, born Binghamton; license May 3, 1888, Broome 
County Eclectic Medical society. 

Frederick Osborn Lloyd, born Salisbury, N. Y. ; diploma March 11, 
1885, University City of New York. 

Albert M. Williams, born Chagrin Falls, Ohio; diploma March 4, 
1867, University of Pennsylvania. 

James Ross, born Glasgow, Scotland; diploma October 21, 1880, 
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

William A. Moore, born Binghamton ; diploma May 12, 1885, College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

Charles Darius Rogers, born Troy, N. Y. ; diploma March 15, 1888, 
Albany Medical college. 

Thomas B. Flagler, born Dutchess county ; diploma June 13, 1854, 
Albany Medical college. 

Edward L. Johnson, born Lisle, N. Y. ; diploma March 10, 1885, Uni- 
versity City of New York. 

Michael G. Cunningham, born Little Meadows; diploma September 
26, 1883, College Physicians and Surgeons, New York. 

Daniel William Collins, born Binghamton; diploma May 10, 1878, 
College Physicians and Surgeons, New York, 

Frank E. Slater, born Triangle; diploma March 12, 1889, University 
Medical College of New York City. 

Earnest A. Hancock, born Indianapolis, Ind. ; diploma March 26, 
1889, Bennett Eclectic Medical college, Chicago. 

Nathaniel Love, born Albany; diploma March 4, 1889, medical de- 
partment University City of New York. 

Louis R. Pierce, born Vestal; diploma March 4, 1887, Long Island 
College hospital. 

John W. Carroll, born Deposit; diploma March 26, 1889, Bennett 
Eclectic Medical college, Chicago. 

Jesse W. Jansen, born Ithaca; diploma March, 1886, University City 
of New York. 

Frank P. Hough, born Lake Winola, Pa. ; diploma March 29, 1884, 
Jefferson Medical college, Philadelphia. 

Jean E. Brooks, born Maine, N. Y. ; diploma June 13, 1888, Hospital 
College of Medicine, Louisville, Ky. 

Carl B. Smith, born Binghamton ; diploma February 20, 1880, Uni- 
versity of Buffalo. 

John W. King, born Hellerstown, Pa. ; diploma April 3, 1889, Jeffer- 
son Medical college, Pennsylvania. 


William R. Sitler, born Cambridgeboro, Pa. ; diploma March 13, 1875, 
University of Pennsylvania. 

John Hunting Cobb, born Montrose, Pa. ; diploma April 1, 1891, Al- 
bany Medical college. 

Charles W. Ingraham, born Binghamton; diploma June 11, 1891, Uni- 
versity City of New York. 

George F. Johnson, born Sussex, New Brunswick; diploma March 10, 
1873, medical department University of New York. 

F. de L. Mandeville, born Louisville, Ky. ; diploma February 10, 1877, 
Albany Medical college. 

Nelson D. Haskell, born New York; diploma July 29, 1891, Univer- 
sity of Wooster, Ohio. 

Charles W. Tiffany, born Harford, Pa. ; diploma March 8, 1881, Uni- 
versity City of New York. 

John L. Barrett, born Ireland ; diploma March 9, 1887, Toledo Med- 
ical college, Ohio. 

Charles W. Carpenter, born Factoryville, Pa. ; diploma March 1880, 
Bellevue Hospital Medical college. 

Charles R. Seymour, born Albany, N. Y. ; April 37, 1893, Albany 
Medical college. 

Ira Adelbert Hix, born Jefferson, N. Y. ; diploma March 13, 1883, 
University of State of New York. 

William Percy Miles, born New York city; diploma March 33, 1893, 
Long Island College hospital. 

E. Gertrude Crumb, born Watkins, N. Y. ; diploma from Woman's 
Medical College of New York Infirmary. 

John Leverett, born New York city; diploma June 10, 1891, Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, of New York. 

Francis Moreley Michael, born Oshana, Canada; diploma April 1, 
1891, Bellevue Hospital Medical college. 

William S. Overton, born Sag Harbor, N. Y. ; diploma from Long 
Island College hospital. 

John F. Place, born Guilford, N. Y. ; diploma March 39, 1874, Uni- 
versity of Michigan. 

O. Dodge Phelps, born Elba, N. Y. ; diploma March 6, 1880 U S 
Medical college. New York city. ' 

Harris Crocker Rodgers, born Binghamton; diploma June 13, 1889 
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. ' ' 

W. O. Smith, born Chambersburg, Pa. ; diploma from University of 
Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. 


Edward L. Smith, born Binghamton; diploma March 11, 1889, Belle- 
vue Hospital Medical college. 

Reuben L. Smith, born Tompkins county; certified from Tompkins 
county, registered 1893. 

Marshall E. Smith, born Pittsfield, Mass. ; diploma November 22, 
1891, Dartmouth Medical college. 

Eugenia E. Van Namee, born Newburg, N. Y. ; diploma certified 
from New York city, March 27, 1886. 

Orville J. Wilsey, born Otego, N. Y. ; diploma from University City 
of New York. 

Alvin C. Woodley, born Waterford, Canada; diploma 1886 from Trin- 
ity college, Canada. 

William E. Ard, born Westfield, N. Y. ; diploma April 1, 1891, Uni- 
versity of Maryland. 

Charles H. W. Bode, born Germany; diploma July 2, 1877, Univer- 
sity of Wursburg, Germany. 

Henry W. Brown, born Grafton, Mass. ; diploma March 21, 1889, Al- 
bany Medical college. 

Menzo Barkman, born Schoharie county; diploma February 1, 1875, 
Albany Medical college. 

John H. Brush, born Greenfield, N. Y. ; diploma Mkrch 5, 1885, Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.