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CriAI'TER 1. — Ahorii^inal Occuftation of I he Lower Genesee Country — Aiitiiiuity of 
Man — • AiUediluviaii Relics — Tlie Ancient Ueach of Lake Ontario Inhabited by 
Man, - II 

CHAPTER II. — Surface Geology — The Great Sea — Origin of the Genesee River — 

Great Age of the Lake Ridge — Man's Antiquity in the Genesee Country, i6 

CHAPTER \\\.— Ancient Races— IX^t Mound-builders — The White Woinan of the 
Genesee — Traditions of the Red Men — Presence of a Pre-historic People in the 
Genesee Valley, and about Irondequoit Bay — The Ridge Mounds and Relics — 
Ancient Landings on the Genesee — A Race of Large Men, - 20 

CHAPTER IV. — The Red Men — Their Traditional Origin and Occupation of New 
York — Dispersion of the Tribes — League of the Iroquois — Vale of the Senecas 

— Ancient Nations of the Genesee Country, 28 
CHAPTER V. — Water Trails — Terminology of the Genesee River and Irondequoit 

Bay — Little Beard's Town — Casconchagon — The Jesuits — Indian Expedition 
up the Genesee — The Mouth of the Genesee Practically at Irondequoit Bay — 
Early Maps — Teoronto Bay — Mississauge Indians the Last at Irondequoit, 32 

CHAPTER VI. — Local Trails of the Genesee — Indian Fords, Towns and Fortifica- 
tions — Butler's Rangers — Indian Spring — Sacrifice of the White Dog — Flint 
Quarry — Sgoh-sa-is-thah — Portage Trails — Irondequoit Landing — The Tories' 
Retreat — Indian Salt Springs — Ancient Mounds, 36 

CHAPTER VII. — Early French Missions — Tsonnonlouan — The Jesuit's Escape — 
La Salle at Irondequoit — Struggle between the French and English for Possession 
of the Lower Genesee country, 47 

CHAPTER VIII. — DeNonville's Expedition — Treachery of the French Governor- 
General — Magnanimity of the Iroquois — French Army at Irondequoit — Execu- 
tion of Marion — The Fort on the Sand-bar — The March on Gannagaro — The 
Defiles, Ambuscade and Battle — Horrors of Indian Warfare — Cannibalism — De- 
struction of the Seneca Towns, 50 

CHAPTER IX. — Totiahton — lis Ancient and Modern History — DeNonville's Return 

Route to the Sand-bar, 57 

CHAPTER X. — Strength of the Iroquois — A Terrible Revenge — French Invasions 

— Irondequoit a Place of Great Importance in Colonial Times — Fort des Sables 

— Charlevoix Describes the Casconchiagon — Captain Schuyler Builds a Trading- 
House at Irondequoit Landing — His Official Instructions — Oliver Culver Discov- 
ers the Ruins of the Trading-House — Senecas Sell the Lower Genesee Country to 
the King of England — British Armies at Irondequoit, - 61 



CHAPTER XI. — The Senecas' Castles on the Genesee — Treaty of Peace with the Eng- 
lish — Decline of Iroquois Power — Sullivan's Campaign against the Senecas — 
Fate of Lieutenant Boyd — Sullivan's Troops on the Site of Rochester, 69 

CHAPTER XII. — The White Man's Occupancy of the Genesee Cotmtry — The Native 

Title Extinguished — Indian Reservations — Present Indian Population, 73 

CHAPTER XIII.— The Genesee Fall's Mill Zo/— The Triangle — Ebenezer Allan's 
One-Hundred-Acre Tract — The Stone Ridge— Peter Sheffer— Allan's Mills — 
The Mill Stones — Jenuhshio, or "Indian ' Allan — The First White Settler- 
First Grist Mill in the Genesee Valley — Allan's Deed to Benjamin Barton — Close 
of Allan's Career — His Son Claims the One-Hundred-Acre Tract, 75 

CHAPTER yi\S!. — Early Settlers — Z\\x\Aa\)\\tx Dugan — Colonel Fish^The First 
Dwelling-House — Maude's Visit to Genesee Falls in 1800 — Destruction of the 
Allan Mills — The Old Mill Stones — Rochester, Fitzhugh and Carroll Purchase 
the One-Hundred-Acre Tract— Early Towns and Pioneers, 85 

CHAPTER XV. — The Rochester Post-Office, 9° 

CHAPTER XVI.— The Birth of Rochester —K^^sons for Its Tardy Settlement — 
Prevalence of Diseases in this Part of the Country — Dr. Ludlow on Typhoid Pneu- 
monia — The First House on the West Side of the River — The War of 181 2 — 
Attempted Intimidation at Charlotte — The Projected Invasion Abandoned — 
Erection of the Red Mill, the Cotton Factory, etc. — Census of 181 5 — The First 
Newspaper, 97 

CHAPTER XVII. — Rochester as a village — lis Incorporation in 1817 — The First 
Village Election — The First Church Built — The Commerce with Canada — Set- 
tlement of Carthage — The Great Bridge there — Its Fall, and that of Other Bridges 

— Surveys for the Erie Canal — Monroe County Erected — Building of the Old 
Aqueduct — The Old Court-House — John (2uincy Adams, 108 

CHAPTER XVIU.— The Growth of the Village — The. First Bank in Rochester — 
The First Presbyterian Church — La Fayette's Visit to Rochester — The Abduc- 
tion of William Morgan — The Excitement in Rochester and Elsewhere — Trial, 
Confession and Punishment of the Original Abductors — Other Trials in Different 
Counties — Anti-Masonic Party Formed — Bitterness of Feeling Engendered — 
The-Body Found at Oak Orchard — Morgan or Monroe, Which ? — Perhaps Neither 

— The First Village Directory — The Fate of Catlin — The Leap of Sam Patch — 
The Mormon Bible — The First Cholera Year — St. Patrick's Day in 1833, 118 

CHAPTER XIX. — Rochester as a City — Its Incorporation in 1834 — Organisation of 
the Government and Inauguration of Mayor Child — He Conscientiously Resigns 
the Office — The River Steamboat — The Flood of 1835 — The Navy Island Raid 

— The First Murder in the County — The First Foundry — Anti-Slavery Move- 
ments — Bringing the Bones of Patriot Soldiers to Mount Hope — The Printer's 
Festival — Mexican War Volunteers — Woman's Rights Convention, 128 

CHAPTER XX. — The City's Progress to the War Time — Visit of Fillmore and His 
Cabinet, and of Daniel Webster — Singing of Jenny Lind — Civic Festival in 1851 
;— Building the New Court-House — The Meridian of Rochester — The Mock 
Funeral of Henry Clay — The Cholera in 1852 — The Ira Stout Murder — The 
"Irrepressible Conflict" — De Lave's Rope-Walking — Death of ex-Mayors Allen 
and Child, - - - - - 140 

CHAPTER XXI. — The War Time and Beyond— Breaking out of the Rebellion — 
The Call for Volunteers — Enthusiastic Response from Monroe County — Forma- 
tion of the Old Thirteenth and Other Regiments — Support of the Government 



during the War, and Rejoicing over the Return of Peace — The Mock Funeral of 
Abraham Lincoln — The Oil Fever and the Western Union Excitement — The 
Flood of 1865 — Performances of the Fenians — " Swinging around the Circle" — 
Seth Green's Fish-Culture, - - 149 

CHAPTER Y.yA\.— -To the Fiftieth Birthday — T\\^ Howard Riot — The Small-Pox 
and Other Diseases — The New City Hall — Mount Hope Records Found in Can- 
ada—John Clark's Murder of Trevor — The Centennial Celebration of 1876 — 
The Railroad Strike of 1877 — The Mock Funeral of President Garfield — The 
Cunningham Strike — The Telegrapher's Strike — Principal Improvements in the 
City in 1883, with their Cost — Other Statistics, - - - 158 

CHAPTER XXIII. — The Great Celebration — Preparations for the Event — Services in 
the Churches on Sunday — Opening Salute on Monday — The Literary Exercises 

— The Pyrotechnic Display — Reception of Guests — The Great Parade — The 
Banquet — The Toasts — The Close, - - - - 174 

CHAPTER XXIV. — The City Government — The Present Officers — The Common 
Council — The Board of Education — The City Debt — The Tax Levy for the 
Present Year — The Municipal Court — The Police Board — The Executive Board 

— The County Officers — The United States Officials, - - - 179 
CHAPTER XXV.— 77^^ Civil Zw^ — The Village Trustees — The Mayors — The 

Boards of Aldermen — The City Treasurers — The Police Justices — The City Su- 
pervisors — The Sheriffs — The County Clerks — The County Treasurers — The 
State Senators — The Members of As.sembly — The Members of Congress, 184 

CHAPTER XXVI.— The Fire Department — Its History from the Beginning —The 
Apparatus in Early Times — The First Fire Company — The Old Volunteer De- 
partment — Its Glories and its Misdeeds — The Protectives, Alerts and Actives — 
The Firemen's Benevolent Association — Dedication of the Monument — List of 
Chiefs and Assistants — The Fire Record, . . - 201 

CHAPTER yjC^W. — Libraries and Literature — Thi^ First Public Library — The 
Franklin Institute — The Athenaeum — The Central Library — The Law Library — 
The Young Men's Christian Association — The Literary Union — "The Club" — 
The Fortnightly — The Shakespeare Club, - - 216 

CHAPTER XXVIU.— Associations — Scie^itific, Social, Political, etc.— T\\c Aca.A&' 
my of Science — The Rochester Club — The Rochester Whist Club — The Eureka 
Club — The Abelard Club — The Mutual Club — The Celtic Club — The Com- 
mercial Traveler's Club — The Irish National League — ■ The Civil Service Reform 
Association — The Lincoln Club — The Riverside Rowing Club — The Canoe 
Club, - - 222 

CHAPTER XXIX.— The Erie Canal— Its Origin — Vague Ideas of Gouverneur Mor- 
ris — Definite Conception of Jesse Hawley — Legislative Action in 1808 — De Witt 
Clinton Appears — Canal Commissioners Appointed in 1816 — Myron Holley and 
His Great Services — Important Meeting at Canandaigua — Opposition at Albany 

— Work Begun July 4th, 1817 — The Canal Completed October 24th, 1825 — The 
Grand Celebration — Enlargement of the Canal — Great Convention in this City — 
Canal Statistics — The Genesee Valley Canal, -. - - 228 

CHAPTER XXX.— The Forces of Nature — The. Electric Telegraph — Construction 
of the O'Rielly Lines — Transformation into the Western Union — Other Tele- 
graph Companies Here — The Telephone — Gas and Electric Light — -Coal — 
Its Introduction as Fuel in Rochester — Insurance Companies Here, Past and 
Present, - 238 



CHAPTER XXXI. — The Churches of Rochester — Earliest Organisation of Religious 
Societies in the Settlement — The Presbyterian Churches — The Episcopal Churches 

— The Friends, or Quakers — The Baptist Churches — The Methodist — The Ro- 
man Catholic — The Unitarian — The German Lutheran, Evangelical and Re- 
formed — The Congregational — The Jewish — The Universalist — The Second 
Advent — Other Churches, - 243 

CHAPTER XXXn.— The Early Schools of Jioches/er — HnWah M. Strong's School 
in 1813 — Limited Educational Resources — Meagerness of State Appropriation — 
Old District Number i, and First Male Teacher — Mill Street a Fashionable Quar- 
ter of Rochester — Maria AUyn's School in 1820— jFairchild and Filer's Latin and 
English School — Lyman Cobb's School, Spelling-Bobk and Dictionary — The 
Manual Labor School — The Rochester High School — The Schools of Misses 
Black and Miss Seward, West Side of the River — Rochester Female Academy — 
Seward Female Seminary — Other Institutions of Learning, - 296 

CHAPTER XXXUl.— The Ptiblic Schools — The First Board of Education — The 
School Census in 1841 — The Modern High School — Free Schools Established in 
1849 — Opposition to the System — The Difficulties Surmounted — The Common 
Schools of the City — A Sketch of Each One, 317 

CHAPTER XXXIV.— The Medical Profession — nea.\th of Rochester in the Early 
Days — Longevity of the Pioneers — Efficient Sewerage of the Village — Dr. Jonah 
Brown, the First Practitioner — High Tone of the Profession at that Time — Form- 
ation of the Monroe County Medical Society — Its Officers and its Members — 
Stringent Provisions of its Constitution — Biographical Sketches of Deceased 
Physicians, - - "331 

CHAPTER XXXV. — Homoeopathy and Dentistry — Early Homoeopathic Physicians — 

Their Advent and Influence — The Practice of Dentistry — Advance of the Art, 340 

CHAPTER XXXVI.—- The Press of ^oc/^^/^r — Early Journalism — The Gazette — 
The Telegraph — The Advertiser, with its Various Absorptions — Sketch of the 
Union and Advertiser — Notices of its Representative Men — The Anti-Masonic 
Inquirer ^nA Thurlow Weed — The Democrat — The American — The Chron- 
icle — Continued History of the Democrat and Chronicle — Sketches of those 
Prominently Associated with It — Various Dead Newspapers, from 1828 to 1884 — 
The Express and Post-Express — The Morning If erald— Sunday Journalism in 
Rochester — German Journalism — Agricultural- Publications — Religious Papers 

— Papers Connected with Institutions — The Labor Reformers — Concluding Ob- 
servations, - 343 

CHAPTER XXXVII. — Rochester Judges and Lawyers — HsirXy ^V)a.ys — The. First 
Lawyer — Erection of the County — Building of the First Court-House — Earliest 
Sessions of Court — Circuit-Riding — The Circuit Court — The Vice-Chancellor's 
Court — The Court of Appeals — The Supreme Court and its Justices — The 
County Courts and Judges — Special County Judges — The Surrogate's Court — 
Mayor's Court — District - Attorneys — The Rochester Bar — A List of its Mem- 
bers, - - - 366 

CHAPTER XXXVin.— The Secret Societies of Rochester — YK&m?isonry \n the Vil- 
lage — Institution of Wells Lodge in 1817 — Growth of the Order — Histoiy of the 
Lodges, Chapters, Councils, etc. — Monroe Commandery — Its Drill Corps — Cy- 
rene Commandery — The Scottish Rite — Lodges of Perfection — Masonic Relief 
Association — The Odd Fellows — History of the Lodges of this City — The Good 
Work of the Order — The Knights of Pythias — Ancient Order of United Work- 
men — The Foresters — The Elks — Other Secret Societies, - 38 1 

Contents. . , s 


CHAPTER XXXIX. — C/^arz'O/ and Benevolenc6 — The City Hospital — St. Mary's 
Hospital — The Female Charitable Society — The Monroe County Bible Society — 
The Rochester Orphan Asylum — The Catholic Orphan Asylum — The Jewish 
Orphan Asylum — The Home for the Friendless — The Industrial School — The 
Church Home — The Home of Industry — The Deaf Mute Institution — The Hu- 
mane Society — The Alms House — The Insane Asylum, ■ 403 

CHAPTER XL.— The Home Guard — K Glance at the Rochester Militia, from the 
Earliest Days Down to the Present Times — The First Rifle Company and Regi- 
ment — The Irish Volunteers — The Pioneer Rifles and the Battle of "Tod-Wad- 
dle" — The Grays and Cadets, and the Battle of Lyell Bridge — Other Organisa- 
tions and Bloodless Encounters — The Militia During the War — The Disbandment 
in 1881, - - - 429 

CHAPTER XLI. — The Cemeteries of Rochester — Iht Early Cemeteries of the Village 
and the City — The Burial-Places on the East and West Sides — Negotiations for 
a New Ground — Abandonment of the Old Places, and Transfer to Mount Hope 

— Description of the Cemetery — ^The Old Catholic Burial-Ground — Necessity for 
a New Place of Interment — Purchase of the Land and Consecration of the Ground 

— Description of the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, - - - - 438 
CHAPTER XLII. — Amtisements in Rochester — The Entertainments of Early Days — 

The First Circus — Its Change into a Play-House — The First Theater — Mr. 
Whittlesey's Prize Address — Edmund Kean's Appearance and his Speech — 
Dean's Theater — The Rochester Museum — Concert and Other Halls — Corinth- 
ian Hall and Academy of Music — The Grand Opera House — The Driving-Park 

— The Exploits of the Track — State Fairs and Shoots, . - 450 
CHAPTER XLIIL— r//^ Underground Railroad —Tht Flying Bondmen — Their 

Miseries in Servitude, their Privations while Escaping — Their Arrival in Roches- 
ter and their Transit to Canada — The First Rendition of a Fugitive — Her Res- 
cue, her Recapture, and her Liberation by Suicide — No other Slave ever Returned 
from Rochester — Scenes and Incidents of the Harboring of Negroes— General 
Reflections, . -. - 458 

CHAPTER XLIV. — The Banks of Rochester — Banking Facilities in Early Days — 
Establishment of the Bank of Rochester — The Bank of Monroe — The Rochester 
City Bank — The Bank of Western New York — The Commercial Bank — The 
Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank — The Rochester Bank — The Union Bank — The 
Eagle Bank — The Manufacturers' Bank — The Traders' Bank — The Flour City 
Bank ■ — The Monroe County Bank — The Perrin Bank — The Bank of Monroe — 
The Bank of Rochester and the German American Bank — The Commercial 
National Bank — The Merchants' Bank — The Private Banks — The Savings 
Banks, - 463 

CHAPTER XLV. — The Railroads of Rochester — The Beginning of Railroads — 
The First One Laid in America — The Rochester and Carthage Railroad — The 
Tonawanda Railroad — The Auburn and Rochester Road — The Niagara Falls 
Road — The Rochester and Syracuse Road^ — Consolidation into the New York 
Central — The Elevated Tracks — The Genesee Valley Road — The Rochester and 
Pittsburg Road — The Bay Railroad — The Belt Railroad — The Valley Canal 
Railroad — The Street Railroad, - - 472 

CHAPTER XLVI. — Rochester's German Element— Tht First German Immigration 
to the Genesee Valley — Indentured Colonists Followed by Voluntary Immigrants 

— The Settler's Career of Industry — His Social and Religious Life — He Becomes 

a Citizen and a Soldier, - _ . ■ . 481 

Contents. — Biographical Sketches. 


CHAPTER XLVn. — Reformatory and Correctional — The Western House of Refuge 

— Full Description of tiie Institution — Its History from tlie Beginning — The 
Monroe County Penitentiary — The County Jail, - - 497 

CHAPTER XLVIII. — The Rochester Rappings — Sounds Heard at Hydesville — The 
Fox Family — Doings on March 31st, 1848 — First Supposed Intelligent Response 

— Mrs. Leah Fish and Her Investigations — The Fox Girls Separated — Rappings 
on the Boat — Investigation in Rochester and Use of the Alphabet — Public In- 
vestigation Urged — Committee Selected — Corinthian Hall Investigation — Re- 
ports of Committees, etc., ... - - 508 

CHAPTER XLIX.— The Fine Arts in Rochester — 'S,)f^X.cVt?. of the Early Painters of 
Rochester — Art Exhibitions here in Former Days — The Sculptors and the Arch- 
itects — Engravingoh Wood, Copper and Stone — Photography — Music and the 
Musicians — The Art Club and the Art Exchange, - 518 

CHAPTER L. — The University and the Theological Seminary — Madison University 

— Plans for its Removal — A New University Established at Rochester — Its 
Founders and Trustees — Its Influence on the City — Its Course of Study — Its 
Lectures, its Library and its Museums — Its Benefactors and its Buildings — The 
Theological Seminary — Full Description of the Institution, 531 

CHAPTER \A.— The War Record— WhaX Rochester Did to Save the Nation — The 
Regiments and Other Organisations Raised in the City and Sent to the Field — A 
Brief Account of their Service — Their Achievements and their Losses — The Gen- 
eral Officers from the City — The Grand Army of the Republic, 555 

CHAPTER LII.— The Rochester Water Worhs — The Necessity of a Water Supply 
for the City — Early Plans for Furnishing it — The Company of 1852 — Its Failure 
and the Report of the Expert — Works Finally Constructed by the City — Full Ac- 
count of their Operation — Tests Made in 1874 — A Remarkable Exhibition — 
Sources of a Water Supply — The Lakes and the Reservoirs — The Holly Works, 
the Pump House and the Machinery — The Telephone to Hemlock Lake — Total 
Cost of the Work — Analysis of the Water, - 577 

CHAPTER LIII. — Rochester Manufactures — ^^ Diver.sified Nature of Her Industries — 
Early Prophecies Fulfilled, with some Variation — Her Water Power and Flouring 
Mills of Minor Consideration in the List of Enterprises — Clothing, Shoes, Iron 
Work, Machinery, Wood Work, Flour, Beer, and a Wide Range of Miscellaneous 
Articles in the List, 598 

CHAPTER LI v. — Biographical, 647 



Anderson, Martin B., LL. D., .__ 676 

Bronson, Amon, - -ji^ 

Child, Jonathan, 686 

Clarke, Freeman, , 647 

Biographical Sketches. — Illustrations. 


Cox, Patrick, 649 

Dewey, Chester, D. D., LL. D., : 650 

EUwanger, George, _ :.. 700 

Erickson, Aaron, 698 

Gardiner, Hon. Addison, ..: 653 

Gorsline, William Henry, , 687 

Greenleaf, Hon. Halbert Stevens, _ 705 

Hatch, Jesse W., 656 

Hill, Charles J., 659 

Moore, Dr. E. M., 715 

Morgan, Hon. Lewis Henry, LL. D., 723 

Moses, Schuyler, 661 

Mumford, George H., . 6g8 

Mumford, William W., _ 697 

Northrop, Nehemiah B., - _ : 663 

Pancost, Edwin, ■ 685 

Parsons, Hon. Cornelius R., yig 

Peck, Everard, (S64. 

Raines, George, yi8 

Reynolds, Abelard, 600 

Reynolds, Mortimer F., _ 604 

Reynolds, William Abelard, 602 

Riley, Ashbel Wells, _ 55 e 

Rochester, Nathaniel, _ 56g 

Selden, Henry Rogers, _ ygq 

Seward, Jason W., _ 6-2 

Smith, Hon. Erasmus Darwin, LL. D., gyg 

Sibley, Hon. Hiram, -Qg 

Warner, Hulbert Harrington, _ ggj 

Whitney, George J., 6y^ 

Wood worth, Chauncey B., g- . 

Yates, Arthur G., _ gg- 



Anderson, Martin B., LL. D., portrait, facing 538 

Bronson, Amon, portrait, facing 713 

Child, Jonathan, portrait, facing 130 

Clarke, Freeman, portrait, facing 468 

8 Illustrations, 


Cox, Patrick, portrait, facing 649 

Deed given by Ebenezer Allan, fac simile of, 82, 83 

Dewey, Chester, D. D., LL. D., portrait,. _. facing 310 

Ellwanger, George, portrait, - - - - '.facing 486 

Erickson, Aaron, portrait, - . .facing 422 

Gardiner, Hon. Addison, portrait, - facing 370 

Gorsline, William H., portrait, facing 688 

Greenleaf, Hon. Halbert Stevens, portrait, facing 705 

Hatch, Jesse W., portrait, facing 246 

Hill, Charles J., portrait,. . - . - ..facing 202 

Indian Pipes,.. , 24, 25 

Indian Skull, . 25 

Lower Falls, 1768,.: ., facing 64 

Moore, Dr. E. M., portrait, facing 334 

Morgan, Hon. Lewis Henry, LL. D., portrait, facing 168 

Moses, Schuyler, portrait, facing 186 

Mumford, George H., portrait, . . facing 404 

Mumford, William W., portrait, facing 464 

Northrop, Nehemiah B., portrait, . . . facing 663 

Pancost, Edwin, portrait, facing 685 

Parsons, Hon. Cornelius R., portrait, facing 716 

Peck, Everard, portrait, facing uo 

Post-office, The First in Rochester, 96 

Raines, George, portrait, facing 718 

Reynolds, Abelard, portrait, .facing 92 

Reynolds, Mrs. Abelard, portrait, .facing 176 

Reynolds, Mortimer F., portrait, facing 218 

Reynolds, William Abelard, portrait, facing 160 

Riley, Ashbel Wells, portrait, .facing 430 

Rochester, map ofini8i4, facing 97 

Rochester, map of in 1827, facing 124 

Rochester, map of in 1838, between 132, 133 

Rochester, Nathaniel, portrait, frontis piece 

Seward, Jason W., portrait,. facing 306 

Sibley, Hon. Hiram, portrait, facing 238 

Totiakton and Vicinity, map of, _ 58 

Upper Falls, 1768, facing 64 

Warner, Hulbert Harrington, portrait, facing 681 

Whitbeck, Dr. J. W., portrait, _ .facing 406 

Whitney, George J., portrait, ^ .facing 675 

Woodworth, Chauncey B., portrait, facing 264 

Yates, Arthur G., portrait, facing 695 


To the Citizens of Rochester: — 

This book tells its own story, but a few words with regard to 
its compilation are deemed appropriate. Its editor or author — for 
while he is less than the latter he is certainly more than the former — 
has given full credit in the running pages to all those who assisted 
him by the preparation of complete chapters or of portions of chap- 
ters to any appreciable degree. To those who have aided by giving 
information when it was sought, by confirming previous impressions 
or by correcting erroneous conclusions, no reference by name is 
necessary ; they will find their satisfaction in the knowledge that 
their help has been utilised and that they have contributed to the 
preservation, in this form, of facts that would otherwise grow con- 
stantly more difficult to obtain. With the hope that the volume 
will stand as an enduring record of Rochester, from the earliest 
times in which can be found a trace of human life in this locality to 
the fiftieth birthday of the city, the compiler presents this work to 
the consideration of his fellow-citizens. 
Rochester, N. Y., September 23//, 1884. 





Antiquity of Man — Antediluvian Relics — The Ancient Beach of Lake Ontario Inhabited by Man. 

THE aboriginal occupation of America is a subject of exhaustless research. 
Among the many divisions of this subject none present so broad a field 
of observation to the thoughtful investigator as the antique remains of the con- 
tinent. The inquiry regarding their origin, and its direct bearing on the ques- 
tion of man's early history, opens the door of discussion to subjects diverse, in 
character, comprehending nearly every line of thought and course of study. 
The prominence given to these antiquities has engaged the attention of men 
of every nationality and station in life, resulting in many ably-fought battles 
between earnest advocates of dissimilar views. 

The interest in such remains is not alone confined to those found in America. 
The Old world has celebrated in prose and verse the antiquities of ancient ern- 
pires and the relics of nations and tribes of primitive people to whom it is not 
difficult to trace an historical connection ; while men of the highest scientific 
attainments engage in the collection and collation of evidences of the antiquity 
of the human race. The New world possesses no record of historic reference 
whereby the truth respecting her primitive peoples can be established. The 
fragmentary knowledge possessed by historians is derived from evidences fur- 
nished by time-worn remains, mythology and analogous reasoning, and Foster 
tells us, in his admirable work, The Pre-historic Races of the United States, 
that but recently a deep feeling of distrust pervaded the public mind of this 

' The first fifteen chapters of this work were prepared by Mr. George H. Harris. 


12 History of the City of Rochester. 

country in reference to every discovery which is supposed to carry back the 
origin of man to a period antecedent to the historical era; "and yet," contin- 
ues the same author, "reasoning from palaeontological analogies, we ought to 
expect to find evidences of the hiiman occupancy of this continent, reaching 
back to an antiquity as remote as on the European continent." 

Happily, modern thought is progressive. The rapidity with which scientific 
discoveries and inventions of a marvelous, though practical nature are success- 
ively brought before the public view is exerting an appreciable influence in 
the preparation of the human mind for a favorable reception of vital, though 
recently^ admitted, truths; "and," remarks Sir John Lubbock, "the new views 
in regard to the antiquity of man, though still looked upon with distrust and 
apprehension, will, I doubt not, in a few years be regarded with as little disqui- 
etude as are now those discoveries in astronomy and geology which at one 
time excited even greater opposition." ' 

"Within the present generation," says Foster, "has been opened a sphere 
of investigation which has enlisted an able body of observers, whose labors 
have thrown a flood of light upon the question relating to our common hu- 
manity. Ethnography has been raised to the rank of the noblest of sciences. 
However strange these new views with regard to the origin and history of our 
race may appear, they cannot be disregarded. We must weigh the value of 
observations, and press them to their legitimate conclusions." The develop- 
ment of those kindred sciences, geology and palaeontology, united with the re- 
sults of ethnological research, during the past half-century, are truly amazing 
in their possibilities" and effect. The revelations of science are not only revolu- 
tionising the world of thought, but actually overturning the foundations of an- 
cient history. The New world of historians is the Old world of geologists," 
who inform us that America was "first born among the continents, and already 
stretched an unbroken line of land from Nova Scotia to the far West, while 
Europe was represented by islands rising here and there above the sea;"' that 
the Laurentian mountains in Canada, and portions of the Adirondacks in New 
York — the classical grounds of American geologists — are the oldest forma- 
tions in the world, and along their surf- beaten coasts were developed the ear- 
liest forms of organic life. Dawson describes the Eozoon Canadense, or "dawn- 
animal," a microscopic organism of the Laurentian foundations, and suggests 
the possibilities of life existent in the waters of the ocean long before the ap- 
pearance of land above the surface;'' while the character of recent discoveries 
tends to strengthen the belief that the origin of man, even, may be assigned to 

' Preface of Pre-historic Times, by Sir John Lubbock. 

^ The early rise of the American continent was asserted, for the first time, by Foster, in his report 
on the mineral lands of Lake Superior. The fact is too well established to require special quotation of 
authorities, as nearly all works on American geology, issued subsequent to 1853, affirm the statement. 

' Agassiz, Geological Sketches. 

* The Earth and Man, by J. W. Dawson, p. 23. 

The First Human Occupancy. 13 

tin's, the most ancient of continents. Revelations of so startling a nature are 
the result of patient investigations pursued by learne.d men, who find the chro- 
nology of the Hebrew Pentateuch, which would bring everything relating to 
human history within the short compass of four thousand and four years ante- 
cedent to the Christian era,' insufficient to account for the mutations the earth 
has undergone,' and the development of man from the low stage of wildest 
savagery, which all evidences prove his primitive condition to have been, to 
the modern plane of intellectual power and refinement. 

We speak of the race of men found in possession of this continent at the 
time of its discovery by Europeans in the fifteenth century as the Aborigines 
of America, and long usage has rendered the term, in the sense in which it is 
applied to the Indians, peculiarly fitting, though incorrect. They were natives 
of America, but not its original inhabitants. There are proofs of the presence 
here of people who lived at so early a period of time that no authoritative ref- 
erence to them has ever been found in written history. We know of their ex- 
istence, and occupation of the land, only through discovery of remains of a 
character suggestive of the term "Mound-builders," which has become their 
historical designation. For the history of time and events back of the red 
man and the Mound-builder, we must penetrate the earth itself, and, from the 
evidentiary material discovered, trace or reason out a parallelism with existing 
forms and conditions, basing our conclusions entirely upon the principle that 
from the beginning of time nature has worked upon the same plan, with like 
forces and results as at present. 

Abstruse as the question of man's antiquity may appear, it is, nevertheless, 
pertinent to our subject — the early human occupancy of this immediate local- 
ity. We are confident that the St. Lawrence basin and the near-lying moun- 
tain districts of New York and Canada will yet furnish material aid to science 
in the final solution of this great problem, but, if we attempt to trace the rec- 
ord of man's remote occupation of our home territory by a chain of successive 
events, we find many of the links of connection broken or entirely wanting ; 
still there would seem to be some grounds for the confidence expressed, in the 
discovery of a certain class of ancient relics that has attracted little attention in 
the world of science. 

In a communication to the American Antiquarian society prior to 1830 the 
late Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, professor of natural history, and father of geology 
in the state of New York, mentioned this class of antiquities as distinguished 

' The .Samaritan Pentateuch places the creation of the world B.C. 4700; the Septuagint, 5872; Jo- 
sephus, 4658; the Talmudists, S344; Scaliger, 3950; Petavius, 3984; Playfair, 4007. Dr. Hales 
places it at 541 1, and enumerates over one hundred and twenty various opinions on the subject, the dif- 
ference between the latest and remotest dates being no less than 3268 years. Good Uishop Usher, 
whose chronological table is used in the English Bible, follows the Hebrew account, and places the 
creation B.C. 4004. 

' Sir William Thomson thinks the time which has elapsed from the first foundation of a solid crust 
on the earth to the modern period may have been from seventy to one hundred millions of years. 

14 History of the City of Rochester. 

entirely from those which gre usually ascribed to the Indians and Mound- 
builders, as follows : — 

" In the section of country about Fredonia, New York, on the south side of Lake 
Erie, are discovered objects deservedly worthy of particular and inquisitive research. 

This kind of antiquities present themselves on digging from thirty to fifty feet 

below the surface of the ground. They occur in the form of fire-brands, split wood, 
ashes, coals and occasionally tools and utensils, buried to those depths." 

Dr. Mitchell also expressed an earnest wish that the members of the soci- 
ety should exert thernselves with all possible diligence to ascertain and collect 
facts of this description for the benefit of the geologist and historian ; in the 
expectation that, "if collected and methodised, conclusions could be drawn of 
a nature that would shed light on the ancient and traditionary history of the 
world." Priest tells us the relics mentioned by Dr. Mitchell were found be- 
neath the ridge which borders the east shore of Lake Erie, and refers to their 
origin as "antediluvian."' A superficial deposit, known as the "lake ridge," 
similar to the one on Lake. Erie, extends from Sodus, New York, westward 
around the head of Lake Ontario into Canada, at a distance varying from 
three to eight miles from the present beach of the lake. Throughout its whole 
extent in this state this ridge is well defined, bearing all the indications of hav- 
ing once been the boundary of a large body of water, and of having been pro- 
duced in the same manner as the elevated beaches of the ocean and larger 
lakes. In height it varies from a gentle swell to sharply defined elevations 
fifteen to twenty feet above the surface of the ground, occasionally descending 
toward the lake for fifty or one hundred feet in an easy slope. Its seaward 
side is usually covered with coarse gravel and often with large pebbles. Pro- 
fessor Hall, our state geologist, says : — -"^ 

" If anything were wanting in the external appearance of this ridge to convince the 
observer of the mode of its formation, every excavation made into it proves conclusively 
its origin. The lowest deposit, or foundation, is a coarse sand or gravel, and upon this 
a regular deposit of silt. The layer of vegetable matter is evenly spread, as if deposited 
from water, and afterward covered with fine sand, and to this succeeds coarse sand and 
gravel. Fragments of wood nearly fossilised, shells, etc., are found in digging wells and 
cutting channels through the ridge; and there can be no doubt of its formadon by the 
waters of Lake Ontario, which once stood at that level."^ 

The grand Indian trail from the Genesee falls to the Niagara river passed 
along the summit of this ridge, and for over seventy years the white man has 
used it as a road-bed (for one of the most extensively traveled highways in 
New York) between Rochester and Lewiston. The farm of David Tomlinson 
is situated on the Ridge road, half a mile west of the village of Gaines, Orleans 
county. When first occupied in 1814 the ground was covered by forest trees 
of large growth, many being three and four feet in diameter, and the stumps 
of two, specially noted as standing over a mile north of the ridge, measured 

' Antiquities of America, by Josiah Priest. 
^ Geology of New York. Part IV., p. 349. 

Ancient Remains. 15 

each, nearly eight feet across the top. As far as the eye could reach in either 
direction the ridge in this vicinity then declined toward the lake in a smooth, 
unbroken grade, and about one hundred and fifty feet north of its center the 
clear waters of a spring bubbled forth and darted away lakeward in a tiny riv- 
ulet. From, the main Indian trail on the ridge a path led down to the spring, 
which was well known to the Indians, who often camped in the neighborhood. 

In 1824 the spring-basin was cleaned out and stoned up in the form of a 
well. In 1853 the water failed and the well was deepened. In 1864 the well 
bottom was lowered to a total depth of twenty feet. About eighteen feet be- 
low the original surface the digger came upon a quantity of brush overlying 
an ancient fireplace, consisting of three round stones, each about one foot in 
diameter, placed in the form of a triangle. A mass of charcoal and ashes sur- 
rounded the stones which were burned and blackened by fire and smoke. 
Several sticks were found thrust between the stones, the inner ends burned 
and charred as left by the expiring flames. A careful inspection of these 
sticks by a gentleman' thoroughly acquainted with the nature and grain of va- 
rious woods proved them to be hemlock and ash. Some were denuded of 
bark ;\nd had the smooth surface usually presented by water-washed wood 
found on any beach. Several slicks were split, and surrounding one was a de- 
pressed ring, or indentation, as though some dull instrument had been em- 
ployed in an effort to weaken or break the wood. The ashes were indurated 
to a degree requiring the use of a pick in their removal, and rested upon a 
stratum of sand, which was also in a hardened condition, being taken out in 
large pieces that proved to be very fine grained, with a smooth surface slightly 
creased in places, possibly ripple marks. When first discovered the brush was 
closely packed over the fireplace and had every appearance of having been 
forced into position by the action of water. The fireplace and all- the details 
of its narrow'^ surroundings, which were carefully noted, clearly indicated that 
it had been made upon a sand-beach, and was subjected to an inundation that 
washed the mass of brush, possibly gathered for fuel, over the stones and ashes, 
which were afterward covered many feet deep by successive strata of the same 
gravelly soil of which the ridge is composed, and was thus preserved fpr ages 

In a survey of the grounds and after thorough consideration of the circum- 
stances the writer became assured of the following conclusions : The fireplace 
was constructed by .persons having the use of rude implements and possessed 
of some knowledge of cookery, at a period just previous to the formation of 
the ridge. In its formation this ridge was extended along the base of an ele- 

' John J^utt, of Rochester, to whose excellent knowledge of the early history of this locality the 
writer is indebted for many fact.s. 

" In 1880 these facts, as presented, were brojght to the notice of Lewis H. Morgan, of Rochester, 
who assured the writer that the discovery was the most interesting and valuable one within his knowl- 
edge, respecting the ridge, and he earnestly advised its publication. 

1 6 History of the City of Rochester. 

vation connected with the mountain-ridge, and constituted a solid dam, from 
one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet wide, across the mouth of a little 
valley and inward curvature of the hillside. The accumulation of water, shed 
by the surrounding slopes, originally transformed the basins thus created into 
ponds, and subsequently, when drained, converted them into marshes. The 
valley waters, aided by the current of an inflowing stream, forced a channel 
through the ridge, but the waters of the small pond were gradually released 
by soaking through the mud bottom and following the course of a vein under- 
neath the ridge to its northern side, where they»rose to the surface in the form 
of a spring. The failure of the spring was caused by the clearing and cultiva- 
tion of its marsh source. It is evident that the spring came into operation long 
after the ridge was formed, and. the rise of the water directly above the fire- 
place was incidental, there being no connection whatever between the two 

If these conclusions are justified by the conditions related, it would appear 
that man was a habitant of the south shore of Lake Ontario before the ridge 
existed, and, if the age of the ridge can be even approximately determined, 
some idea can be had of the length of time he has occupied our home terri- 
tory. The results of a special study regarding the peculiar topographical feat- 
ures of Western New York lead to the conclusion that the ridge is of very an- 
cient origin — in fact, that it antedates the present rock-cut channel of the 
Genesee — and, though our range of inquiry is necessarily limited, a brief ex- 
position of reasons influencing this conclusion may prove of interest. 


Surface Geology — The Great Sea — Origin of the Genesee River — Great Age of the Lake Ridge 
— Man's Antiquity in the Genesee Country. 

IN every direction about Rochester we behold the effects of aqueous'action. 
The hills, domes and pillars of sand and gravel, the rolling plains and allu- 
vial ridges, the great valleys and deep channels of watei'courses, the polished 
rocks of limestone beneath the soil, and huge boulders scattered over the sur- 
face, all combine in an appeal to our reason, arouse an interest and create a 
desire to learn the primary cause of these singular forms of nature. The sci- 
ence of geology teaches that the earth first appeared above the waters of the 
ocean in the form of azoic rock, and those grand scientists, Agassiz and Dana, 
tell us that certain portions of the territory of the Empire state were among 
the very first kissed by the warm sunlight of heaven. 

Peculiar Formation of the Genesee River. 17 

Passing over the changes occurring during many succeeding geological 
ages, we reach a period when the rising continent had divided the waters of 
the ocean by the elevation of mountain barriers, and converted all this part 
of America into an inland sea. The physical contour of much of the state of 
New York is directly due to the active agency of the waters of this sea, which 
left its impress upon so large an area of our natural surroundings; and its his- 
tory, as revealed by geological developments, has a local application which 
may worthily excite an interest not usual in matters of this character. Even 
the noble river, quietly carrying its daily tribute of mountain waters from the 
AUeghanies through the heart of Rochester to Lake Ontario, has its place in 
the history of the great sea, and it is a curious fact that the results of scientific 
research show the history of the Genesee as differing from that of other rivers 
in the processes of its formation. The tinge of romance, lending attractiveness 
to all narrations of man's early acquaintance with the Genesee, deepens to a 
flush in the recital of the ancient river's history. The spring gushing from a 
hill-side, its sparkling waters finding their way to some natural depression, 
forms a purling brook, by small degrees and successive additions enlarging to 
the size of a creek, increasing in volume and magnitude to the full development 
of a river flowing in silent majesty, with great sweeps and curves, along its well- 
defined channel, crushing with irresistible force through some rock-bound 
mountain gorge, plunging with mighty thunderings over a great precipice 
into the deep basin below, and thence passing onward to lose their identity 
forever in the commingled floods of lake and ocean — such is the natural 
history of rivers. 

No record like this bears the Genesee. The growth of its formation was 
one of recession. Not at the bubbling fountain of distant plain or hill-slope 
began the inceptive movement of its birth, but near its very entrance into the 
great fresh water sea of its deposit. Springing into life with the full force born 
of bursting lake barriers, its first current must have been a mighty stream of 
great width and power, capable of rending asunder the rock foundations of the 
earth; and the course now pursued from its modern headwater sources on the 
mountain plains of Pennsylvania is the result of a deicreasing volume, narrow- 
ing its bounds from the broad expanse of its mother-lakes to the contracted 
space of the latest channel in the valley bottom. This, and many 'other facts 
of special interest, we learn in the history of the great sea whose boundaries, 
at the period of its first separation from the ocean, are not clearly defined; but 
an idea of their general course at a later date, when the configuration of the 
earth was nearly complete, can be formed by a brief study of the topography 
of North America, which discloses an immense basin, bounded on the north 
by the range of mountains extending through Canada to the far West; on the 
east by the New England range, extending southwesterly by the Highlands of 
New York, and the AUeghanies of Pennsylvania, thence west and south toward 
the Mississippi river. 

1 8 , History of the City of Rochester. 

The elevation of the interior of the continent produced its natural effect in 
a subsidence of the sea-waters into the depressions of the earth then existing, 
their divisions into lesser seas, and in time by successive drainage at outlets of 
different elevation, the formation of lakes. The immense basin of the St. 
Lawrence, which extends from the gulf of St. Lawrence to the headwaters of 
the Mississippi — a distance of two thousand miles — formed the first reser- 
voir. This, in time, was divided by natural barriers into three sub-basins. 
The first of these has an area of about 90,000 square miles, more than one- 
fourth of which is occupied by the waters of Lake Superior. The next, or 
middle, basin has an area of at least 160,000 square miles and contains Lakes 
Huron, Michigan and Erie in its lowest depressions. The surface of the lower 
basin has an area of about 260,000 square miles and is covered in part by the 
waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence river. The upper, basin prob- 
ably had its outlet into the middle basin, which, previous to the destruction 
of the original coast- ridge at the northeastern end of Lake Erie and conse- 
quent birth of Niagara river, had its drainage to the south through the valleys 
of the Des Plains, Kankakee, Illinois and Mississippi rivers, into the gulf of 
Mexico. 1 

The period in which the actual division of the middle and lower basins 
took place cannot be fixed, but the occurrence marked an era from which our 
interest in the subsiding waters of the great sea is confined to the lower, or On- 
tario, basin. About the time of this separation the Mount Hope and Pinnacle 
range of hills, on the southern boundary line of the city, formed a barrier at 
the north end of the Genesee valley, and, dividing the waters, produced a 
great shallow lake covering all the valley between Rochester and Dansville. 
The waters of the sea, now Lake Ontario, continued their retirement to the 
north, and coast lines formed during the period of recession can be traced at 
many points on the slopes of the Ontario basin where the waves left their mark 
on cliff, and hillside, or washed up great alluvial ridges in open plains. At 
least a dozen such ridges can be found at different places in New York, and 
two at Rochester, the lake ridge being the most distinct. It is probable that a 
barrier across the St. Lawrence then restrained the lake waters, which escaped 
through the valley of the Mohawk at Little Falls into the Hudson. The low- 
est part of the old channel through the rocky gorge at Little Falls is 428 feet 
above the. ocean, and the ridge in Rochester is about 441 feet.^ It is supposed 

'^Niagara Falls and Other Famous Cataracts, by George W. Holley. This book contains a very 
interesting history of the middle basin and the probable origin of the Niagara river and falls. 

2 Through the kindness of R. J. Smith, A. J. Grant and E. U. Whitmore, civil engineers, the ele- 
vation of various points between the upper Genesee fall and Lake Ontario, which has never been pub- 
lished before, has been obtained. The ridge at the intersection of the Charlotte boulevard west of Han- 
ford's Landing, is 193.91 feet above Lake Ontario. At the crossing of the Ontario Belt railroad, about 
. 1,000 feet east of the river, the ridge is 182.45 1^^' above the lake. The latter, according to the recent 
(1878) geodetic survey, is 247.25 feet above the ocean. An influx of water rising 247.25 feet above 
mean tide at New York would place the ocean on a level with Lake Ontario; 441 feet, with the ridge, 
and connect the lake with the Hudson river through the Mohawk valley at Little Falls; 508 feet, with 

Antiquity of the Lake Ridge. 19 

that the waters had retired beyond the level of the ridge, and from some un- 
known cause — possibly the breaking down of the natural obstruction at the 
northeastern extremity of Lake Erie, and discharge of its waters into Lake 
Ontario — again rose several feet, the ridge being formed under the water 
while the surface was but a few feet above. The breaking away, or removal, 
of the St. Lawrence barrier reduced the lake to its present level. 

Following this event, the Genesee valley lake burst through the hills east 
of the- Pinnacle, formed a great river, now the Genesee, and excavated the 
bay of Irondequoit.' In time this channel became obstructed and the waters 
cut a new outlet through the hill west of the present channel at tlie Rapids in 
South Rochester, pursuing a direct northern course to the present Genesee 
falls in the heart of the city. This passage becoming obstructed just north of 
the Rapids, the river was directed east toward Mount Hope and thence north- 
ward through its modern channel. The production of the Genesee river 
gorge through Rochester to Latce Ontario is mainly the result of erosion, 
having been effected by running water aided by frost, and it is evident that 
this work has been accomplished since Lake Ontario retired from the ridge. 
If this theory is correct — and it is affirmed by scientists''' — the lake ridge 
antedates the Genesee river and Irondequoit bay, and the fireplace discovered 
on the old beach beneath the ridge at Gaines was constructed by men who 
occupied our home territory at a period so remote that it is not possible to fix 
its limit. It may be stated, however, that, from deductions covering the age 
of supposed contemporaneous events, it has been crudely estimated as exceed- 
ing fourteen thousand years. 

the Erie canal aqueduct in Rochester, and submerge half the city; 573.58 feet with Lake Erie; 58S 
feet, with Lake Michigan ; 600 feet would carry the waters over the dividing plateau between Chicago 
and the Mississippi valley and re-establish the great interior sea, with the ocean flowing from Labrador 
to the gulf of Mexico. The sea would be 353 feet above the present level of Lake Ontario, and Roch- 
ester submerged but ninety-two feet at the aqueduct. The tops of many buildings in the city would re- 
main above the surface. I'innacle hill, in the sliape of a conical island, would rise seventy-one feet 
above the water, and Mount Hope and the intervening range form a cluster of knolls and line of shal- 
low, bars. 

' Professor James Hall, Geological Survey of the Fourth District. 

^ See //lustrations of Surface Geology and /irosions of the Earth's Surface, by Edward Ililch- 
cock, JX. U. ; Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, Vol. IX.; Geology of New York, by James 
Hall, and other standard works. 

20 History of the City of Rochester. 


Ancient Races — The Mound-builders — The White Woman of the Genesee — Traditions of the 
Red Men — Presence of a Pre-historic People in the Genesee Valley, and about Irondequoit liay 
— The Ridge Mounds and Relics — Ancient Landings on the Genesee — A Race of I^rge Men. 

THAT a race, or -races, of men preceded the Indians in the occupation 
of this country is too well understood to require special iteration. We 
may never learn the origin of those ancient people, or gather more than scat- 
tering lines of their history, but tangible, imperishable proofs of their former 
presence on a large area of the American continent still remain in the form of 
earthworks which extend from New York westwardly along the southern 
shore of Lake Erie, and through Michigan and the intermediate states and 
territories to the Pacific. They have been fpund on thfe shores of Lake Pepin, 
and on the Missouri river over one thousand miles above its junction with the 
Mississippi, and extend down the valley of the latter to the gulf of Mexico. 
They line the shores of the gulf from Texas to Florida, continue in diminished 
numbers into South Carolina,' and stand as eternal sentinels on the Rio Grande 
del Norte. 

The age in which the Mound-builder lived and flourished is at present 
undetermined; it may yet be decided as contemporaneous with that of ancient 
nations known to civilised man, or at some definite period beyond the present 
measurements of written history. The theory generally accepted places the 
Mound-builders in possession of this country at the advent of the Indians, 
who dispossessed and nearly exterminated the original owners of the soil. 
The survivors of the conquered people fled down the Mississippi valley, and 
are supposed to have mingled with tribes of red men that followed them. In 
his new work, the Iroquois Book of Rites, page ii, Mr. Hale says he has 
found traces in the Cherokee tongue of a foreign language, which he supposes 
to have been derived from the Mound-builders of the Ohio valley, whom he 
identifies as the AUegewi, or Tallegewi. According to the legends of the Iro- 
quois and Algonkins, those two races of red ntien united in a war against, and 
overpowered, the AUegewi, who, says Mr. Hale, " left their name to the Alle- 
ghany river and mountains, and whose vast earthworks are still, after half a 
century of study, the perplexity of archaeologists." 

While these monuments are not generally supposed to exist beyond the 
tributary sources of the Alleghany, in Western New York, there would appear 
to be reasonable grounds for a belief that the Mound-builders, or other an- 
cient people, extended their settlements into the interior of the state, and 
dwelt here in considerable numbers. During the old French war, in 1755, 
a party of French and Indians attacked a frontier settlement in Pennsylvania, 
murdered a number of the inhabitants and carried away several women and 

' Antiquities of New York and the West, by E. G. Squier, p. 294. 


children as captives. Among the latter was a little girl, who was adopted by 
a Seneca family, grew to womanhood, became the wife of two Indian warriors, 
reared several children, and for nearly eighty years family or social 
relationship other than that of her Indian associates, to whom she was known 
as Deh-he-wa-mis. Her name was Mary Jemison, but for over a century the 
people of her own race have designated her " the white woman of the 
Genesee," the greater part of her life being spent in the vicinity of the 
Genesee river. At the great council held at Big Tree (Geneseo) in 1797 her 
Indian friends stipulated that Mrs. Jemison should receive a tract of land 
located on the Genesee between Mount Morris and Portage. The river passes 
through this land in a deep, narrow valley, and the fertile land on the valley 
bottom, where the white woman made her home, is l<^own as Gardeau flats. 
In Seaver's Life of Mary Jemison, page 1 34, we find the following state- 
ments, received from her own lips :• — 

"About riiree hundred acres of my land when I first saw it were open flats lying 
on the Genesee river, which it is supposed were cleared by a race of inhabitants who 
preceded the first Indian settlements in this part of the country. The Indians are 
confident that many parts of this country were settled, and for a number of years 
occupied, by a people of whom their fathers never had any traditions, as they never 
had seen them. Whence these people originated, and whither they went, I have 
never heard one of the oldest and wisest Indians pretend to guess. , When 1 first came 
to Genishau, the bank of Fall brook had just slid off, exposing a large number of 
human bones, which the Indians said were buried there long before their fathers ever 
saw the place, and they did not know what kind of people they were. It, however, 

was, and is, believed by our people that they were not Indians The tradition 

of the Seneca Indians in regard to their origin is that they broke out of the earth from 
a large mountain at the head of Canandaigua lake, and that mountain they still vener- 
ate as the place of their birth. Thence they derive their name 'Ge-nun-da-wah,' or 
'Great Hill People.' The Senecas have a tradition that previous to, and for some time 
after, their origin at Genundawah, the country, especially about the lakes, was thickly 
inhabited by a race of civil, enterprising and industrious people who were totally 
destroyed by the great serpent that afterward surrounded the great hill fort, with the 
assistance of others of the same species, and that they (the Senecas) went into pos- 
session of the improvements left." 

Near the top of a high ridge of sand hills, in the town of Pittsford, south 
of the Irondequoit valley, and about one mile east of Allen's creek, stands a 
great heap of limestone boulders, evidently of drift origin. They are the only 
stone of that character in that vicinity, measure from two to three feet in 
diameter, and are heaped one upon the other in a space about twelve feet 
square. They occupied the same place and position sixty or seventy years 
ago, and old residents say the heap existed in the same form when the ground 
was cleared. Indians who passed that way in early days regarded the stones 
with superstitious awe, stating, when questioned, that a people who lived there 
before the Indians brought the stones to the hilltop. 

22 History of the City of Rochester. 

"On the shore of Lake Ontario, on a high bluff near Irondequoit bay, in 
1796," says Oliver Culver, "the bank caved off and untombed a great quantity 
of human bones, of a large size. The arm and leg bones, upon comparison, 
were much larger than those of our own race."' The bluff mentioned by Mr. 
Culver was the seaward side of an elevated spot that might properly be 
termed a natural mound. It was one of the outlying range of sand hills or 
knolls, then existent along the shore of the lake in that locality, and long 
years ago succumbed to the never-ceasing encroachment of the lake waters. ■ 
Its location was immediately west of the angl^ formed by the present west 
line of Irondequoit bay and Lake Ontario ; as late as 1830 human bones of an 
unusually large size were occasionally seen projecting from the face of the 
bluff, or lying on the beach where the undermined soil had fallen. The tribe 
of Seneca Indians living in Irondequoit in 1796 could give no information 
concerning these bones, stating their belief that they were the remains of a 
people who dwelt about the bay before the Indians came there. 

The town of Irondequoit north of the ridge was known as the "pine bar- 
rens " to the early settlers who cleared it of a heavy growth of pine trees, many 
of which stood upon the top of the bluff, and over the ancient cemetery, sixty 
years ago. The French historians of DeNonville's invasion of the Indian 
towns in this vicinity, in 1687, describe the country east of Irondequoit bay 
at that date, as covered with tall woods sufficiently open to allow the army to 
march in three columns. These facts clearly show that if the land about Iron- 
dequoit bay was once cleared and cultivated, as some infer, it was at quite an 
early period, and by people known only through tradition to the latter-day 

During his investigation of the aboriginal monuments of New York, in 
1848, Mr. Squier visited several located within the bounds of Monroe county, 
and spent considerable time in fruitless search for an ancient inclosure and 
mounds, which he had been informed existed at an early date in Irondequoit 
near the Genesee river. In his valuable work,* published soon after, he ex- 
pressed a hope that the discovery of these monuments might reward the labors 
of a future explorer. Long and patient searches for the works mentioned by 
Mr Squier were made some years ago without success, and in 1879 the circum- 
stance was casually alluded to in the presence of the writer's aged mother, who, 
at once, located the mounds and gave an excellent description of their primitive 

In its course from the upper falls in Rochester to Lake Ontario the Gen- 
esee river flows in a deep, valley-like channel formed by ages of attrition. 
From the lower falls to within three-fourths of a mile of the lake, the east bank 
rises in a nearly perpendicular wall, varying from one hundred to two hun- 

' Phelps and Gorham Purchase, p. 428. 
' Antiquities of Neio York, p. 58. 

Evidences of the Mound-builders Near Rochester. 23 

dred and fifty feet in height,' broken at intervals by the deeply worn outlets 
of creeks and brooklets. At the northern limit of the city, half a mile below 
the lower falls, a great break occurs in the bluff, which curves inward, forming 
a crude semi-circle. Immense quantities of detritus havp accumulated at the 
bottom, and slope up the face of the precipice, affording room for a narrow flat 
along the water, and opportunity for man to construct a roadway which winds 
in a serpentine course up the steep bank to the level land above. This is the 
only place on the east side of the river between the falls and lake where easy 
communication can be effected between the general surface of the land and the 
river bed. It constitutes a natural landing-place, and is practically the head of 
navigation from Lake Ontario. The western end of the lake ridge, at its sev- 
erance by the river, rests upon the top of the cliff directly above the landing. 
At the southern base of the ridge are the ice ponds of Messrs. Emerson and 
Brewer, fed by the waters of springs which rise a short distance east. 

The locality was formerly a grand camping-ground of the Indians, the last 
one of that fated race who set up his wigwam on the ridge, in 1845, commem- 
orating the event by the murder of his squaw. It was undoubtedly one of the 
most noted points between Lake Erie and the Hudson river, and as well known 
to the people who preceded the Indians as to the latter. From its commanding 
situation overlooking the river in both directions, its nearness to the landing 
and trails which converged there, the adaptability of the soil for easy handling 
by the rude implements of the natives, and many other natural advantages of 
the neighborhood, it was the place preferable above all others upon which to 
erect burial mounds, and two of these, evidently of artificial origin, existed 
there when the first settlers made their homes near the lower falls. These 
mounds were about four feet high and twenty or twenty-five feet across the 
base. They occupied the most elevated portion of the ridge, and were situ- 
ated from seventy-five to one hundred feet east of the edge of the bluff, and 
about the same distance north of and parallel with the present line of Brewer's 

At the time Mr. Squier made his search the ground was, or had been, un- 
der cultivation and the mounds reduced to nearly the level of the natural ridge. 
When examined in 1879 no satisfactory conclusion could-be reached regarding 
their manner of construction, though it was plainly observable in places that 

' To the scientist the imtneeliate vicinity of Rochester must ever present attractions unsurpassed by 
lliosc of other localities. Especially is this true in the splendid facilities afforded the geologist to mi- 
nutely examine the works of nature, and pursue his favorite study within her very laboratory, the deep, 
rook-cut channel of the Genesee river. This fact was well understood at an early day, and sketches 
illustrating the escarpment of the lower Genesee adorn many standard works on geology. Dana^s 
Manual, page 90, illustrates a section, four hundred feet in height, of the strata as exhibited along the 
Genesee, at the lower falls. This section has a world-wide fame as fairly illustrating the structure and 
arrangement of stratified rocks in their chronological order ; and no series of natural rocks could be 
finer, as the transition from one stratum to another is quite abrupt, and, moreover, each may be traced 
for a long distance through the adjoining country. 

24 History of the City of Rochester. 

sand, intermixed with clay, covered the original surface of the ground to the 
depth of a foot. Fragments of chipped flint, arrow-heads and stone knives 
were picked up in considerable number near the mounds, and, on digging one 
or two feet into the ground, bits of charcoal, several rude points and a broken 
spear head of stone were unearthed. 

In 1880 a sand bank was opened in the side of the ridge, and that part 
covered by the mounds has since been entirely removed. During the course 
of excavation a laborer came upon human -remains. Parts of eight skeletons 
were exhumed, each surrounded by fine black soil. These were concealed and 
all evidence of the find destroyed ; but the discovery of a bone of unusual 
size, together with a curious pipe, was brought to the attention of Mr. Brewer. 
The laborer could remember few details of the position in which the remains 
were found, and the opportunity for careful investigation was lost. 

The Mound-builders were inveterate smokers, and great numbers of pipes 
have been found in their mounds. The skill of the makers seems to have been 
exhausted in their construction, and no specimens of Indian art can equal those 
of the lost race. Many pipes of a shape similar to those discovered in the 
mounds of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys have been found in various parts 
of the country. Figure l is a greatly reduced representation of an article of 

stone, evidently intended for a pipe, but unfinished, found near Mount Morris, 
in the Genesee valley, and sent to the New York state cabinet at Albany by 
Mr. Squier, who says: "It is composed of steatite or 'soap-stone,' and in 
shape corresponds generally with the pipes of stone found in the mounds of the 
Mississippi valley. One or two pipes of stone of very nearly the same shape 
have been found in the same vicinity, but in point of symmetry or finish they 
are in no way comparable to those of the mounds. " * The pipe taken from the 
ridge mound in Rochester is of the distinctively characteristic, or primitive 
form'' peculiar to the Mound-builders, and is represented in figure 2. It 
is, or was originally, five and one-half inches long, one and three-fourths 
wide, and one inch and seven-eighths from bottom of base to top of bowl. 
The lines are slightly irregular, but very perfect for a hand-made article. The 
material is steatite, very close grain and quite brittle. In color it is a deep, 

* Antiquities of New York, p. Ii8. 

2 Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, p. 227. 

Arch/Eological Remains. 


rich brown, with blending patches of lighter shade, and every particle of the 
surface is so beautifully polished that it might easily be mistaken for marble. 
It was the only article of any description found with the human remains, though 
other relics may have been unnoticed. Close questioning elicited the fact that 

nearly all the graves were near the south slope of the ridge, and from two to 
two and a half feet below the original surface, while the large bone, a humerus, 
was nearer the surface and perhaps more directly beneath the center of the west 
mound; from which it may be inferred, though not definitely proven, that the 
mound was built over that particular body with which the pipe was buried, and 
the other bodies interred in the side of the mound at a subsequent period. 
The condition of the remains would seem to favor this view, the humerus 
being the only remaining part of the body to which it belonged, while several 
portions of skeletons from the other graves were, though very much decayed, 
quite firm in comparison; one skull (figure 3) being preserved entire. Mr. 

FIG. 3. 

Brewer presented this skull and pipe to Professor S. A. Lattimore of the Uni- 
versity of Rochester, to whom we are indebted for their use. 

In March, 1882, a human skeleton of large proportions was unearthed near 
the former location of the east mound. The laborers, astonished at the great 
size of the bones, engaged in a discussion as to whether it was or was not the 

26 History of the City of Rochester. 

remains of a human being, and, with true Hibernian method, broke the skele- 
ton into fragments to prove the case. 

As previously stated, the only landing on the east side of the lower Gen- 
esee is at the base of the bluff upon which the ridge mounds were situated, 
and is now known as Brewer's landing. In their journey from the lower to 
the upper Genesee, the Indians usually made a portage around the falls of 
Rochester, carrying their canoes from this landing to near the mouth of Red 
creek, above the rapids in South Rochester, where the light crafts were again 
launched upon the river and found a clear passage up the unobstructed chan- 
nel to Mount Morris. That was the established "Voute one hundred years ago, 
but good and valid reasons induee a belief that the more ancient landing was 
at Hanford's, on the west bank of the Genesee, about one-fourth of a mile be- 
low, or north of Brewer's landing; and that the two places were connecting 
points in a general highway extending east and west along the ridge. Evi- 
dence is not wanting to prove that another grand road once extended westward 
from Hanford's landing, with diverging branches running to distant points. 
This road was not in use some miles west of the river one hundred years ago, 
and that portion of it has probably been abandoned for two or three centu- 
ries ; but, possessing a general knowledge of Indian methods of trailing, the 
topography of the country, and the probable objective points, the writer is 
slowly tracing the course of this older highway from the Genesee at Rochester 
to the Alleghany and Ohio rivers and Lake Erie. 

Discoveries have been made, at various places along this supposed route, of 
mounds and burial grounds containing human skeletons considerably larger 
than men of the present day, copper ornaments, etc., and one or two instances 
will be given. In excavating for sand on the farm of Samuel Truesdale, in the 
town of Greece, in 1878, several skeletons were disinterred, one from its im- 
mense size attracting particular attention. Nearly the entire frame was secured 
and removed to a level spot between two trees, where Warren Truesdale placed 
each bone in its natural position. The skeleton thus reformed measured over 
eight feet in length. A piece of mica and a rude arrow point were found in 
the grave above the bones, which were about three feet below the general sur- 
face, and entirely separate from the other skeletons. A small mound, perhaps 
a foot in height, marked the, spot. 

Half a mile west of Mr. Truesdale's farm the Erie canal turns abruptly to 
the west along the brow of the mountain-ridge, and constitutes the northern 
boundary of George H. Lee's farm. The ridge at this place rises in a gentle 
swell above the surrounding surface, and, at its highest part, is from sixteen to 
twenty feet above the canal bottom. The ground was cleared in i8r8, by 
David Oviatt, of a dense forest of beech and maple, many of the trees being 
full thirty inches in diameter. Not the slightest trace of former settlement or 
human occupation of the ground existed. In 1820 or 1822 the Erie canal 

Skeleton Remains of the Mound-builders. 27 

was constructed through the northern slope of this ridge. During the work 
some twenty skeletons were exhumed from the ground directly beneath the 
stumps of the forest trees. The soil is composed of from six to twelve 
inches of black mould overlying a bed of clay, very compact when m situ, but 
loose-grained and easily crumbled when exposed to the atmosphere. So tena- 
cious is the character of this clay bed, excluding to a great degree both air and 
water, that all larger bones of the skeletons were preserved in perfect form, 
from skull to instep inclusive ; some of them being carefully uncovered and 
the bones laid in their natural order on the ground, measured from $cvcn feet 
upward.' No article of any description was found in the graves. In 1879 a 
beautiful rling-stone ax was plowed up in a field near the ancient burial ground. 
It is very hard, gives forth a clear metallic sound when struck, and the edge is 
as finely beveled as a steel ax of modern make. It is a splendid specimen of 
polished stone workmanship, ten and a half inches long, two and a half wide 
and one and a half inches thick. 

Dependent as certain of these statements are upon the results of future 
research for a correct understanding of their relative worth and bearing, the 
advance of specific conclusions regarding the subject in question might appear 
unwise ; but, while the discovery of lately existing monuments and traces of a 
people superior to the red men in physical structure, the mythology of the 
latter and other evidence of a similar nature serve to strengthen a personal 
belief in the pre-Indian occupation of our home territory, the facts presented, 
and many matters not here shown, are but niinor paragraphs of a volume of 
cumulative evidence that might be compiled. Such facts have exercised an 
influence upon reflective minds leading to firm conviction, and able writers 
have repeatedly affirmed the conclusion. Governor De Witt Clinton, an early 
historian of the locality of Rochester, was particularly impressed with this idea, 
and Orsamus Turner, author of the History of the Holland Purchase, reiterates 
it in numerous passages of his works. He says : — 

" Our advent here is but one of the changes of time. We are consulting dumb signs, 
inanimate and unintelligible witnesses, gleaning but unsatisfactory knowledge of races 
that have preceded us We are surrounded by evidences that a race pre- 
ceded them (the red men), further advanced in arts, and far more numerous. The up- 
rooted trees of the forest, that are the growth of centuries, expose their mouldering 

remains, uncovered mounds reveal masses of their skeletons In our valleys, 

upon our hillsides, the plow and the spade discover their rude implements, adapted to 
war, the chase and domestic use. All these are dumb, yet eloquent chronicles of by- 
gone ages We are prone to speak of ourselves as inhabitants of a New world, 

and yet we are confronted with these evidences of antiquity. We clear away the forests 
and speak familiarly of subduing a virgin soil; yet our plows upturn the skulls of those 
whose history is lost." 

' Junior Pioneer Historical Collections, by Jarvis M. Hatch, p. 29. This statement was confirmed 
by the late Wilson D. Oviatt, Daniel E. Harris and others. 

28 History of the City of Rochester. 


The Red Men — Their Traditional Origin and Occupation of New York — Dispersion of the 
Trilies — League of the Iroquois — Vale of the Senecas — Ancient Nations of the Genesee Country. 

PUZZLING as the remains of the Mound-builders prove to the archaeolo- 
gist, the early history of their Indian successors is no less a problem to 
the historian. Nearly four centuries have elapsed since Eiiropeans came into 
personal intercourse with the latter, and half a million of the race still exist 
upon American soil, yet their origin is buried in the depths of a gloom so 
profound that no man has ever traced it to its source. 

The length of time our Indian predecessors have, occupied this continent 
has never been ascertained, though it is unquestionably a fact that they were 
not indigenous. The weight of evidence thus far favors the theory of Asiatic 
descent, but in "the absence of written, pictorial, or sculptural history it is 
impossible to trace clearly the connection between wandering savages and 
their remote ancestry."'' Centuries of nomadic and climatic changes have 
effectually obliterated direct proof of such connections, and Indian mythology 
asserts the origin of many tribes as local to their habitation. 

The Senecas ascribe their origin to a great hill at the head of Canandaigua 
lake, but Morgan explains that "by this legendary invention they designed to 
convey an impression of the remoteness of the period of their first occupation 
of New York,"^ and presents other traditionary evidences showing the lower 
St. Lawrence^ to have been the earliest known abode of the original families 
from which the Six Nations were descended. These ancient people were of 
the Huron-Iroquois stock. They were expelled from the lower St. Lawrence 
by the Algonkins, to whom they had been subject, and migrated westward up 
that river. Entering Lake Ontario they coasted the south shore in search of 
a suitable place to locate. Historical accounts of this migration vary. Macau- 
ley states that the Iroquois then consisted of only two tribes, the Mohawks 
and Senecas, that they entered the Oswego and Genesee rivers, conquered the 
Mohawk and Genesee countries first, and the intermediate space subsequently. ^ 
President Dwight believed the original settlements of the Six Nations in New 
York to have been identical with those in which they were found by Euro- 
peans, while Colden and Smith thought the Iroquois originated and remained 
upon the grounds of their latter-time occupation. Morgan says that at the 
migration from the St. Lawrence the Iroquois entered the central parts of 
New York through the channel of the Oswego river. Their first settlements 

' How the World was Peopled, by Edward Fontaine. 
' League of the Iroquois, p. 7. 

^ Ibid., p. 5; see also Colden, History of the Five Nations, p. 23; Cusic, Ancient History of the 
Six Nations, p. 16. 

* Macauley's History of New York, vol. 2, p. 184. 


Traditional Origin ok the Indians. 29 

were located upon the Seneca river, where for a time they dwelt together. At 
a subsequent day they divided into bands, and spread to found new villages. ' 
In his interesting work, Legends, Customs and Social Life of the Seneca 
Indians, Rev. Mr. Sanborn gives a legend still preserved in that nation, which 
makes all Indians the descendants of one family originally located whert; now 
are New York and Brooklyn. It describes the migrations and final location of 
tribes, in nearly the same manner as Cusic's account. The latter's quaint 
history appears to be the version from which several others were derived. In 
the Iroquois Book of Rites, Mr. Hale follows Cusic, who supposes a body of 
Iroquois concealed in a mountain near the Oswego falls. . Upon their libera- 
tion by the "Holder of the Heavens," they went around a mountain and 
followed the Mohawk and Hudson rivers to the ocean. ' Some of the people 
continued southward, but the main company, under the guidance of the 
Holder of the Heavens, returned up the Hudson to the Mohawk river. 
Along this stream and the upper waters of the Hudson the first families made 
their abode. Their language was soon altered and they were named Te-haw- 
re-ho-geh — that is, "a speech divided" — now Mohawk.'^ The other families 
journeyed westward from the Mohawks, and, halting at various places, took 
up separate abodes. The Oneidas, near a creek, were termed Ne-haw-re- 
tah-go, or Big Tree- people ; the Onondagas, on a mountain, were known 
as the Seuh-now-kah-tah, "carrying their name;'' the Cayugas, near a 
long lake, were named Sho-nea-na-we-to-wah, " a great pipe ; " the Seuecas, 
near a high mountain south of Canandaigua lake, received the name Te-how- 
nea-nyo-hent, "possessing a door." 

The sixth family continued their journey toward the setting sun and 
touched the bank of the great lake Kan-ha-gwa-rah-ka ("a cap"), now Lake 
Erie. Turning southward they came to a great river, which Cusic designates 
the Mississippi, but which Hale shows to have been the Ohio; the people dis- 
covered a grape vine lying across the river and attempted to pass over the 
water on this rude bridge, which broke and left them divided. Those who 
were upon the further side of the river continued their way, and after long 

1 League of the Iroqiwis, p. 6. 

2 Hale says the Huron speech became the Iroquois tongue, in the form in which it is spoken by the 
Mohawks. In Iroquois tradition, and in the constitution of their league, the Mohawk nation ranks as 
tlie eldest lirother of the family. A comparison of the dialects proves the tradition to be well founded. 
The Mohawk language approaches the nearest to the Huron, and is undoubtedly the source from 
which all other Iroquois dialects are derived. Mr. Hale refers to the Mohawks as the Caniengas. The 
latter designation is said to be derived from that of one of their ancient towns. This name is Kani- 
enke, "at the flint." Kamien, in their language, signifies flint, and the final syllable is the same 
locative particle which we find in Onontake, "at the mountain." In pronunciation and spelling, this, 
like other Indian words, is much varied, both by the natives themselves and by their white neighbors, 
becoming Kanieke, Kanyenke, Canyengeh and Canienga. (The latter form, which accords with the 
sister names of Onondaga and Cayuga, is adopted by the author in his Book of Rites, but it is not 
probable that the word will ever displace the familiar historical designation — Mohawk). 

30 History of the City of Rochester. 

wandering settled near the mouth of the Neuse river. They were named 
Kau-to-nah, and are now known as Tuscaroras. ' 

The speech of all the nations thus formed was altered, but not to an extent 
preventing them from an understanding of one another's language. The 
people left upon the near side of the river were dispersed, and each family 
sought residences according to their convenience.* The various accounts of 
this dispersion are meager, but it is believed that all nations and tribes of red 
men who occupied the country between Canandaigua lake and Lake Erie, the 
Alleghany mountains and Lake Ontario, were ofTshoots of the Senecas; that 
the dispersed families in time grew into tribal' communities and were known 
by various names. Those who settled about the mountains to the south were 
called Andastes, Canestogas, etc. Those who dwelt along the shore of the 
lake were known as the Eries, and northeast of them were the Attiwan- 
daronks. Philologists assert that the languages of all these people, so far as 
can be ascertained, differed but little from the Seneca tongue; but it is certain 
that long anterior to the white man's intrusion on the soil of Western New 
York they had become nations distinct from the Seneca. Cusic and Sanborn 
agree in the statement that the famous league of the Five Nations was formed 
at a period not long subsequent to the dispersion, but in the loose chronology 
of the Indians' verbal history no definite idea of dates can be obtained. It is 
only by comparison with some contemporary event recorded in the annals of 
civilisation, that the time of the occurrence can be fixed. Morgan places the 
origin of the league in 1459,^ and this date is in accordance with deductions 
of later historians. 

The founder of the league was an Onondaga chieftain named Hiawatha, 
who succeeded in uniting the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and 
Senecas in one great family, whose bond of common interest was strengthened 
by ties of blood. To the English they were known as the Five Nations. By 
the French they were called Iroquois, and that name was applied to all the 
members of the league. The native name of the confederacy is given differ- 
ently by historians, but all agree upon its signification. According to Cusic it 
was Ggo-nea-seab-neh. Macauley and Hale, both of whom derived their in- 
formation directly from the Mohawks, render it respectively Aganuschioni and 
Kanonsionni. Morgan, whose knowledge of the Six Nations was acquired 
from the Senecas, states that after the formation of the league, the Iroquois 
called themselves the Ho-de-no-sau-nee, which signifies "the people of the 
long house. " It grew out of the circumstance that they likened their confcd- 

1 In the Seneca dialect the name of the Tuscaroras was Dus-ga-o-weh, "the shirt-wearing people;" 
the Cayugas were Gue-u-gweh-o-no, "the people at the mucky land; " the Onondagas were Onun-da- 
ga-o-no, "the people on the hills;" the Oneidas were O-na-yote-ha, "the granite people;" the 
Mohawks, Ga-ne-a-ga-o-no; the Senecas, Nun-da-wa-o-no. — Morgan, pp. 51 and 52. 

2 Cusic's Ancient History of the Six Nations, 

3 Systems of Consanguinity and Ajffiiiity of the Human Family, p. 151. 

The Neutral Nation. 31 

eracy to a long house, having partitions and separate fires, after their ancient 
method of building houses, within which the several nations were sheltered 
under one roof The eastern door was on the Hudson river, the western door 
at the Genesee. The confederation was simply for common defense, and each 
nation or canton was a sovereign republic, composed of clans, governed by its 
• own chiefs and sachems. No enterprise of importance was ever undertaken, 
either by the league, or by individual nations, without first considering the 
matter in council. The great councils of the league were held at Onondaga, 
but each nation and tribe had a particular location for its council fire, which 
was always lighted before deliberations began. The primeval council fire of 
the Senecas was at Genundawah, near the head of Canandaigua lake, and in 
the light of its steady flame were formed the first war parties of the nation 
From Genundawah the Senecas went forth upon their first expeditions against 
tribes to the west, and there the victorious warriors were welcomed home from 
battle with all the pomp of barbaric fashion. 

Before the Senecas crossed the Genesee in conquest, several nations of red 
men occupied the land to the west. Those who owned the country bordering 
the lower Genesee were called Kak-kwas by the Senecas, and were known to 
the French as the Attiwandaronk, or Neutral Nation. Brebeuf, the Jesuit, says 
the name Attiwandaronk was applied to them by the Hurons, and signifies 
"people of a language a little different. " The French termed them Neutral, 
from the fact that they took no part in the war between the Hurons, Algonkins 
and Iroquois. Members of those antagonistic nations met upon neutral ground 
in the territory of the Attiwandaronks, and the towns of the latter afforded 
safe refuge to fleeing parties of all the surrounding tribes. 

The country of the Neutral Nation was south of Lake Ontario, and ex- 
tended from the Genesee westward nearly to the shore of Huron, including the 
Niagara river and a portion of the north coast of Lake Erie. The Relations 
of the Jesuits describe them as living in twenty-eight villages, under the rule 
of a noted war-chief named Souharissen. Their council fires were along the 
Niagara, and their town nearest the Genesee but one day's journey from the 
Senecas. They were superior to the Hurons in stature and strength, and the 
men frequently went entirely naked. The early French missionaries who pen- 
etrated their country found the Attiwandaronks exceedingly suspicious of all 
intruders, but succeeded in visiting eighteen of their towns. 

The neutrality so long maintained by these people was forcibly broken by 
the Senecas in 1647. For some reason not well understood, the latter sud- 
denly attacked the Attiwandaronks, and as early as 165 1 had subdued the 
entire nation. All old and feeble men and children were put to death and the 
surviving warriors and women adopted by the conquerors. In time tribal dis- 
tinctions were forgotten, and the descendants of the captive Attiwandaronks 

* League of the Iroquois, p. 51. 

32 History of the City of Rochester. 

became Senecas in heart and name. The destruction of the Neutral Nation, 
and the overthrow of the Eries in 1655, gave the conquerors control of all the 
country bordering the Genesee river, between the Alleghany mountains and 
Lake Ontario ; and in after days the great valley of the Genesee was known as 
the "Vale of the Senecas. " Within the historical period the council fire of the 
nation kindled at Genundawah has illumined the gloomy forest at Ga-o-sa-eh- 
ga-aah near Victor, gleamed brightly in the pleasant valley of the Genesee, and 
cast its expiring light over the shattered remnants of this once mighty people 
at Lake Erie ; yet for nearly three centuries after Columbus kissed the ocean- 
laved sands of San Salvador, the Senecas held possession and control of the 
land originally occupied by them in the Genesee country, erected their rude 
cabins on its watercourses, roamed its hills and dales, hunted through its forest 
glades, lived, fought and died brave, lordly masters of the soil inherited from 
their fathers, whose crumbling bones the plow of the pale face still upturns as 
the seasons of harvest recur. 


Water Trails — Terminology of the Genesee River and Irondequoit Bay — Little Beard's Town — 
Casconchagon — The Jesuits — Indian Expedition up the Genesee — The Mouth of the Genesee Prac- 
tically at Irondequoit Bay — Early Maps — Teoronto Bay — Mississauge Indians the Last at Ironde- 
quoit. . 

ALL tradition of ancient migrations of the red men refer to some navigable 
waiter as the route over which they came, or went. The canoe was the 
earliest known conveyance . of primitive man, and water was his favorite high- 
way. Says Bancroft: "Emigration by water suits the genius of savage life ; a 
gulf, a strait, the sea intervening between islands, divides less than the matted 
forest. To the uncivilised man no path is free but the sea, the lake and the 

The Iroquois entered New York from Lake Ontario. Their first journey 
was down the Mohawk and Hudson to the ocean, and their return up those 
rivers was accomplished in canoes.'' In the near vicinity of the numerous lakes 
and streams of the interior were founded their earliest and largest settlements. 
The Genesee has ever been the principal natural water highway of Western 
New York, and for unnumbered Centuries the light crafts of the natives have 
glided over this limpid trail on missions of peace and war. Constituting, as it 

' History of the United States, vol. III., p. 317. 

i Legends of the Senecas, by J. W. Sanborn, p. 11. In his narration of this migration, the great 

historian of the Senecas informed Rev. Mr. Sanborn that the people carried their canoes from one 

stream, or body of water, to another. , 

Indian Occupation of the Genesee Valley. 33 

did, the original western boundary line of their territory, the river was well 
known to all the Iroquois nations. After the destruction of Gaosaehgaah by 
DeNonville, the Senecas occupied the Genesee valley, and in early colonial 
times their great town was near the confluence of the river and Canaseraga 
creek. At a subsequent period it was located near the present site of Cuyler- 
ville. One hundred years ago it bore the name of its chief, Little Beard. It 
was termed the Chinesee Castle, and in the old colonial records, of a date prior 
to Little Beard's occupation of the place, it is variously mentioned as Chen-us- 
sio, Chin-as-si-o, Chen-nu-assio, Chin-es-se, Chin-os-sio, Chen-ne-se-co, Gen- 
is-hau, Gen-nis-hc-yo, Gcn-ish-a-u, Jen-nis-sec-ho, Gen-ne-se-o, Gen-nc-see, 
The apparent discrepancy in the orthography of the word is easily explained 
when it is understood that every tribe of the Six Nations conversed in its own 
dialect, and that each tribe in the same nation possessed peculiarities of speech 
not common in other tribes. All Indian names, either of persons or of places,- 
are significant of some supposed quality, appearance, or local situation, in brief 
are descriptive, and the tribes denominated persons and places in conformity 
to such quality, etc., in their own dialects. 

The Indians had no permanent names for places, and before Little Beard's 
time the town was known only by its descriptive title of Gen-nis-he-o, the pro- 
nunciation of which was varied by the different tribes, according to the pecul- 
iarities of each dialect, yet all signifying the same thing substantially — to-wi't, 
Gcn-ish-a-u, "shining-clear-opening;" Chen-ne-se-co, "pleasant-clear-open- 
ing;" Gcn-ne-sec, "clear-valley " or "pleasant-open-valley ;" Gen-nis-he-yo, 
"beautiful valley." This term was local and originally applied only to that- 
portion of tlie river near Cuylerville then occupied by the Chen-nus-se-o In- 
dians, but owing to the large size of the town, and its important location, the 
name Genesee gradually displaced all others and became the general designa- 
tion of the entire river. Ga-hun-da is a common noun signifying a "river" or 
"creek." The Iroquois usually afifixed it to the proper name of a sti'eam, as 
Gen-is-he-yo Ga-hun-da or Genesee river. 

The native name of the lower Genesee first mentioned by early writers is 
Casconchagon. According to Bruyas, a Jesuit missionary to the Five Nations, 
the literal meaning of the name by which the Mohawks and Onondagas dis- 
tinguished the Genesee river is "at the fall," Gascons-age. It is derived 
from Gasco, "something alive in the kettle;" as if the waters were agitated 
by some living animal, ' The Seneca name is Gaskosago. Morgan renders 
the interpretation "Under the Falls," and in his table exhibiting the dialect- 
ical variations of the language of the Iroquois, as illustrated *in their geo- 
graphical names, gives the inflective differences of the name, as pronounced 
by the Six Nations.'' 

1 N. Y. Col. Mss., IX., 1092. 

2 League of the Iroquois, p. 394. 

34 History of the City of Rochester. 

In the Jesuit Relations for 1662-3, Father Lallemant says that in the 
month of April (1663) eight hundred Iroquois warriors proceeded from the 
western end of Lake Ontario to a fine river resembling the St. Lawrence, but 
free from falls and rapids, which they descended one hundred leagues to the 
principal Andastogue village, which was found to be strongly fortified, and the 
aggressors were repulsed. In a note, embodying the above statement, on 
page 37 of Early Chapters of Cayuga History, by Charles Hawley, D. D., 
General John S. Clark says: "This route appears to have been through the 
Genesee river, to Canaseraga creek, thence up that stream and by a short 
portage to Canisteo river, and thence down the Canisteo, Chemung and Sus- 
quehanna rivers to the fort. This route is indicated on the earlier maps, .as 
one continuous river, flowing from Lake Ontario." 

In the map prepared by General Clark, for Rev. Dr. Hawley's work, the 
■ route pursued by the expedition is represented as extending from the head of 
Irondequoit bay southwesterly to the Genesee river, and doubtless had refer- 
ence to the portage trail (described in chapter VI.) between Irondequoit landing 
and Red creek ford. Though the route by the lower Genesee and around the 
falls, on the present site of Rochester, was several miles less than by the Iron- 
dequoit portage, the Iroquois appear to have preferred the latter course as the 
better known and established road. On Guy Johnson's map of the country 
of the Six Nations, in 1771, this trail is plainly indicated as the "Indian path 
to the lake," and many circumstances within the knowledge of the present 
writer induce a belief that in Indian times Irondequoit bay was considered the 
the practical mouth of the Genesee river. In certain old records the names 
Casconchagon and Irondequoit are occasionally applied equally to river and 
bay, as though having reference to one locality, but the former appears to 
have been least known, and it is quite certain that, to all the vast country 
of the Senecas, Irondequoit bay was the northern outlet. Its geographical 
position on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, midway between Chouaguen 
(Oswego) and Niagara, rendered it the most convenient and important place, 
in a military yiew, in the Genesee country. It was the objective point of all 
expeditions, peaceful or warlike, to and from the Senecas, and from its head- 
waters trails ran to every part of the Iroquois territory, connecting with others 
to all parts of the continent. 

From the shadow of grim old woods near its shores and dense thickets of 
matted vines concealing its numerous dells, the glittering eyes of savage sen- 
tinels kept watch, o'er the blue expanse of Ontario for expected friends and 
foes. Under its pine-mantled cliffs the Indian chieftains rendezvoused their 
navies of birchen bark, and reckoned their numbers on belts of wampum. 
Around its borders echoed the "shrill yell of barbarian hordes," and the deep 
thunder of the pale^faces' cannon. Palisaded fortifications of red and white 
men have guarded the narrow passages at either extremity of the bay, and 

Irondequoit Bay. 35 

fleets of both races battled on the lake within shot of its entrance. Great 
armies of savage and civilised nations have occupied its broad sand-beach, 
sought refuge within its sheltering headlands and marched their serried 
columns over its tabled elevations. Every point and nook about the grand 
old bay has its thrilling history; yet few among the thousands who daily roam 
the shady groves of Irondequoit in summer, gaining health and strength in 
every draught of the pure lake breeze, know aught of the stirring events of 
by-gone days enacted on these very grounds. 

The first mention of Irondequoit bay, found in the Documents Relating to 
the Colonial History of New York, is that of Rev. Jean de Lamberviile, a 
Jesuit missionary to the Five Nations, in a letter written at or near Onondaga, 
July 13th, 1684, to M. de la Harre, governor of Canada. Therein the reverend 
father refers to an expected visit of the French official to Kan-ia-tare-on-ta- 
quoat. The name, as thus given by De Lamberviile, is from the Iroquois, or 
Mohawk, dialect, and signifies, literally, "an opening into, or from, a lake;" an 
inlet or bay, from Kaniatarc, "a lake," and hontontogonan, "to open."' Mar- 
shall says the Seneca name is 0-nyiu-da-on-da-gwat, "it turns out or goes 
aside."^ Like all Indian names of places, it is descriptive, and refers to the 
prominent, or peculiar feature of the locality to which it is applied, and the 
fact that the south shore of Ontario is indented with several large bays which 
must have been equally well known to the natives indicates the superior 
importance of Irondequoit in their estimation, as the bay of all. Evidence of 
this is found in early maps of the Lake Ontario region. 

The earliest known map of this part of the country was published in 1632, 
by Champlain. The great explorer places a large bay on the south shore of 
Lake Ontario in the exact location of Irondequoit, but omits the name. The 
Jesuits' map, published in 1664, represents Irondequoit bay and spells it 
"Andiatarontaouat." Vangondy's map, published in Paris in 1773, renders it 
"Ganientaoaguat." Upon the great map of Franquelin, hydrographer to the 
king, at Quebec, "drawn in 1688, by order of the governor and intendant 
of New France, from sixteen years' observations of the author," Irondequoit 
bay appears as "Gan-ni-a-tare-on-toquat," differing slightly in orthography, 
yet identical with the name mentioned by De Lamberviile a few years before. 

A conclusive proof of the great importance of this bay in the view of past 
generations is found in the fact that it still bears the native name by which 
it was distinguished at the advent of the whites, over two and. a half centuries 
ago. The dissimilarity of tribal pronunciation, and orthographic variations are 
illustrated in the following list collated from many sources: Kan-ia-tare-on-to- 
guoat, Ganni-a-tare-on-to-guoat, Can ia-ter-un-de-quat, Adia-run-da-quat, 
Onia^da-ron-da-quat, On-gui-da-onda quoat, Eu-taun-tu-quet, Neo-da-on- 

1 N. V. Col. Mss., IX., 261. 

2 DeNonville's Expedition, by O. H. Marshall, in Collections of New York Historical Society, 
part second, p. 176. 

36 History of the City of Rochester. 

da-quat, Tjer-on-da-quat, The-ne-on-de-quat, Tie-run-de-quat, The-ron-de- 
quot, Tie-ron-de-quat, Tie-ron-te-quet, Tis-o-ron-de-quat, Ty-ron-de-quot, 
Tie-rond-quit, 0-ron-do-kott, Run-di-cutt, Ge-run-de-gutt, Je-ron-do-kat, 
Je-ron-de-quet, Je-ron-de-quate, Jeron-de-kat, Jar-ron-di-gat, Qron-do-quat, 
Iron-de-gatt, Iron-de-katt, Iron-de-quat, Iron-de-quot, Iron-de-quoit. 

In Spafford's Gazetteer of New York, published in 1824, that author says 
the Indians called it Teoronto (bay), a sonorous and purely Indian name, too 
good to be supplanted by such vulgarisms as Gerundegut, or Irondequoit. 
The Indians pronounce the name Tche-o-ron-tok, its signification being "where 
the waves breathe and die," or "gasp and die." Spafford was the first author 
to make this assertion. No mention of the name Teoronto, in connection 
with Irondequoit bay, can be found elsewhere than in his work previous to its 
issue in 1824. His information was derived from a correspondent in Roches- 
ter, whose only knowledge of the matter was obtained by questioning Indians 
then living on the Ridge — or Oswego — trail, about one mile east of the bay, 
in the town of Webster.' They were not Senecas — the last of that nation 
having removed to reservations about 1798-9 — but Mississauges. The tribe 
is now settled on Rice lake, in Canada, and as late as 1853—4 parties crossed 
Lake Ontario in canoes to fish and hunt at Irondequoit bay. Doctor Peter 
Crow and other native Mississauges still visit thejr white friends at Ironde- 
quoit. The name Teoronto was accepted by English writers, and is occasion- 
ally revived in foreign guide books. Marshall tells us that the word is not 
Seneca but Mohawk, and its true signification "a place where there is a jam 
of floodwood."* 


Local Trails of the Genesee — Indian Fords, Towns and Fortifications — Hutler's Rangers — hi- 
dian Spring — Sacrifice of the White Dog — Flint Quarry — Sgoh-sa-is-thah — I'orlage 'I'rails — 
Irondequoit Landing — The Tories' Retreat — Indian Hall Springs — Ancient Mounds. 


THILE the march of civilisation had advanced beyond the Genesee to the 
north and west, the hunting-grounds of the Senecas were still in their 
primitive state, and the cycle of a century is not yet complete since the white 
man came into actual possession of the land and became acquainted with its 
topographical features. To the pale-faced adventurer of the seventeenth cent- 
ury to whom all this vast territory was an unexplored blank, viewing the land 

1 Old settlers on Irondequoit bay, Amos Knapp, Isaac Drake and others, inform me that they 
knew the Webster Indians well, and the latter possessed neither knowledge nor tradition respecting 
the ancient name and history of the bay. 

a O. II. Marshall, in Collections of N . Y. Hist. Society, part second, p. 176. 

Local Trails of the Genesee. 37 

from his birchen canoe on Laite Ontario, the bays, rivers and larger creeks pre- 
sented the only feasible routes by which it could be entered and traversed, yet, 
once within its borders, the hardy explorer found the country marked by an 
intricate net-work of foot paths which spread in every direction. These dark 
wood lanes unknown to civilised man, their soil heretofore pressed only by the 
feet of Indians and wild beasts, will ev^r be known in history as the " trails of 
the Genesee." They were the highways and by-waj's of the native inhabitants, 
the channels of communication between nations, tribes and scattering towns, 
in which there was a never-ceasing ebb and flow of humanity. 

The origin of these trails and the selection of the routes pursued were nat- 
ural results of the every-day necessities and inclinations of the nomadic race 
first inhabiting the land, and time had gradually fashioned the varying interests 
of successive generations into a crude system of general thoroughfares to which 
all minor routes led. To find the beginning and end of these grand trails one 
might traverse the continent in a fruitless search, for, like the broader roads of 
the present white population, many of which follow the old trail courses, the 
beaten paths extended from ocean to ocean, from the southern point of Pata- 
gonia to the country of the Eskimos, where they were lost in the ever-shifting 
mantle of snow covering the land of ice — and the trails of the Genesee were 
but a local division of the mighty complication. 

In general appearance these roads did not differ in any particular from the 
ordinary woods or meadow path of the present day. They were narrow and 
winding, but usually connected the objective points by as direct a course as 
natural obstacles would permit. In the general course of a trail three points 
were carefully considered — first, seclusion ; second, directness, and, third, a 
dry path. The trail beaten was seldom over fifteen inches broad, passing to 
the right or left of trees or other obstacles, around swamps and occasionally 
over the apex of elevations, though it generally ran a little one side of the ex- 
treme top, especially in exposed situations. Avoiding open places save in the 
immediate neighborhood of towns and camps, it was universally shaded by for- 
est trees. A somber silence, now and then interrupted by the notes of birds 
or the howling of beasts, reigned along these paths. ' Fallen trees and logs were 
never removed, the trail was either continued over or took a turn around them. 
The Indians built no bridges, small streams were forded or crossed on logs, 
while rivers and lakes were ferried on rafts or in canoes. 

The main trail of the Iroquois extended from Hudson, on the Hudson river 
below Albany, westwardly to Buffalo, crossing the Genesee at Cannawaugus — 
now Avon. From Canandaigua lake a branch ran northwest to the head of 
irondequoit bay, then to the Genesee falls, and along the lake ridge to the Ni- 
agara river at Lewiston. This was the grand line of communication between 
the Five Nations, and the ultimate destination of every other trail in the pres- 

1 Macauley, vol, II., p, 219. 

38 History of the City of Rochester. 

ent state of New York. Along its silent course the swiftest runners of the Irp- 
quois bore their messages of peace or war with a speed and physical endurance 
incredible. Morgan says : — 

"Whenever the sachems of a nation desired to convene the grand council of the 
Iroquois league, they sent out runners, to the nation nearest, with a belt of wampum. 
This belt announced that on a certain day thereafter, at such a place, and for such and 
such purposes (mentioning them), a council of the league would assemble. If the mes- 
sage originated with the Senecas it reached the Cayugas first, as the nation located 
nearest upon the line' of trail. The Cayugas then notified the Onondagas, they the 
Oneidas, and these the Mohawks ; the reverse being the order when the message origi- 
nated in the east. Each nation within its own confines spread the information far and 
wide; and thus, in a space of time astonishingly brief, intelligence of the council was 
heralded from. one extremity of their country to the other. If the subject was calculat- 
ed to arouse a deep feeling of interest, one common impulse from the Hudson to the 
Niagara, and from the St. Lawrence to the Susquehanna, drew the people toward the 
council fire; sachems, chiefs and warriors, women, and even children, deserted their hunt 
ing grounds and woodland seclusions, and literally flocked to the place of council. " ' 

Their wandering, hunter, life and habit of intent observation rendered the 
Iroquois familiar with every foot of land in their territory, enabling them to 
select the choicest locations for abode. Towns were frequently moved from 
place to place, new trails worn and old ones abandoned to stray hunters and 
wild animals. Trails leading to or along the edge of water were usually per- 
manent. Hardly a stream but bore its border line of trail upon either bank. 
From the shore of Lake Ontario to the headwaters of the Genesee, trails fol- 
lowed every curve of the river as closely as natural obstacles would permit, and 
branches led up the sides of tributary creeks. 

Trails converged on the Genesee in the vicinity of Rochester at two places, 
the ridge north of the lower falls, and the rapids some eighty rods below the 
mouth of Red creek. The passage of the river north of the lower falls was 
effected in canoes or on rafts ; in the absence of either or both, the aboriginal 
traveler plunged into the water and stemmed the strong current with his 
brawny arms. Before the white man obstructed its channel with dams the 
Genesee was one continuous rapid from Red creek to the south line of the 
present Erie canal aqueduct. An Indian ford existed at a shallow place near 
the immediate line of the present race-dam, between the jail and weigh-lock, 
but was never in such general use as the upper ford below Red creek, where 
the river could be more easily and safely crossed by footmen. 

The great trail coming west from Canandaigua on the present route of the 
Pittsford road divided a few rods east of Allen's creek. The main trail turned 
to the north over a lovv ridge, across the present farm of the venerable Charles 
M. Barnes' and down a gully to Allen's creek. The ford was exactly at the 

1 League of the Iroquois, p. 1 10. 

2 No resident of Monroe county is more thoroughly interested in its aboriginal history than Charles 
M. Barnes. His admirable knowledge of colonial and pioneer history, and remarkable memory of 

Local Trails of the Genesee. 39 

arch through which the waters now pass under the great embankment of the 
New York Central railroad. Following the west bank to a point where the 
creek turned directly to the right, the trail left the stream and curving gradu- 
ally to the west along the base of a high bluff ran up a narrow gully to the 
table-land. Taking a northwest course from this point it passed the brick resi- 
dence of D. McCarthy, crossed a trail running to the fishing resort on Ironde- 
quoit creek and at the distance of one hundred rods again curved to the west 
along a short slope, striking the line of the present road on the farm of Judge 
Edmund Kelley. In the side of this slope were numerous springs near which 
the Indians frequently camped. When the ground was first plowed many 
Indian relics were found, and also evidences of a former occupation by some 
large body of white men. At least two bushels of bullets were discovered in 
one spot, and numerous other indications of the presence of an army. 

From these springs a trail ran directly north half a mile and turned east 
down the hillside to the famous Indian landing on Irbndequoit creek. Along 
this road between the springs and landing was located the famed Tryon's Town, 
of Gerundegut, founded by Judge John Tryon about 1798. From Tryon's 
Town the main trail continued its northwest course to the Thomas road, some 
rods north of University avenue. Fro.m that point the present (old Thomas) 
road leading to the cobble-stone school-house on Culver street, and thence to 
Norton street, runs on the old trail. Leaving Norton street a short, distance east 
of Goodman, the path crossed a swamp to Hooker's cemetery. The ground 
in front of Mr. Hooker's residence is said to have been the site of a very an- 
cient fortification. Following the north edge of the elevation the trail crossed 
North avenue to the Culver farm opposite, and can still be traced through the 
grove of forest trees to the former location of a large Indian settlement on the 
sand knolls,' half a mile west. From this town the course was due west down 
the side .of Spring brook to the Ridge mounds and Brewer's landing on the 
Genesee river. 

East avenue is located upon the general route of the second trail from 
Allen's creek westward. It divided near Union street, the principal path turn- 
ing slightly to the south and ending at the ford near the weighlock. The branch 
crossed Main street near the liberty pole and struck the river trail in the vicinity 
of Franklin and North St. Paiil streets. Indian huts were scattered about the 
bluff in that vicinity until 18 19. 

A trail came from Caledonia springs east by way of Mumford, Scottsville, 
Chili and Gates to Red creek ford in South Rochester. This was the general 
thoroughfare from the Indian towns near the Canaseraga creek to the lower 

early events in the vicinity of Rochester, have proved invaluable aids in the collection of many facts 
herein pre.sented. 

1 In a conversation held v/hh David Forest on this very ground, in 1854, Oliver Culver stated that 
in 1 796 he arrived at Irondetjuoit landing in a canoe, and came over the trail described to this town, 
where he traded with the Indians. It was from them that he received his information regarding the 
large skeletons discovered at the mouth of Irondequoit bay. 

40 History of the City of Rochester. 

Genesee and Lake Ontario. It was down this trail that Butler's rangers fled, 
after the massacre of Boyd and Parker at Little Beard's Town in 1779, on 
their way to the mouth of the river. 

' A path seldom used during the later Seneca occupation ran north from Red 
creek ford in the general direction of Genesee street, to the head of Deep hol- 
low, around which it curved to the Lake avenue trail. From this path a sec- 
ond came north from the rapids over the course of Plymouth avenue to a spot 
called Indian spring (near the corner of Spring street and Spring alley in rear 
of the First Presbyterian church), and followed the little spring creek north- 
east to the vicinity of Central avenue and Mill street. This trail branched near 
Atkinson street, the branch running eastward to the ford near the present jail. 
From this ford a path ran directly to Indian spring, in the vicinity of which 
the wigwams of , the natives were occasionally set up. It was at the southern 
extremity of the ridge lying west of this spring that the Senecas made their 
last sacrifice of the white dog. Lewis H. Morgan is authority for the state- 
ment that this ceremony was performed on the ground now occupied by W. S. 
Kimball's residence on the south side of Troup street, between Eagle street 
and Caledonia avenue. A third trail turned north from the jail ford and con- 
nected with the Plymouth avenue trail near Central avenue, continuing north 
to Deep hollow, where it was joined by the Genesee street trail. At the pres- 
ent Ridge road on the boulevard the trail separated ; the main path running 
west on the ridge to Lewiston, and the other to the lake shore. The summit 
of the hill over which Lake avenue passes, near the present residence of Charles 
J. Burke, was once the site of a large Indian town, and all the slope and low 
ground east of that place to the river and north to Hanford's landing, was 
used for camping purposes. There were numerous springs along this hillside, 
and the Indians obtained flint from a quarry on the edge of the bluff"' near the 
river end of Frauenberger avenue. - Numerous little heaps of flint chips, half- 
finished and broken arrow-heads, and other weapons of stone were found in the 
woods of that locality by the early settlers. Upon these grounds the late Dr. 
Chester Dewey gathered many valuable relics of the stone age now in the 
Smithsonian institution. 

The waters of the springs mentioned once formed a short creek, the chan- 
nel of which was parallel with and some rods west of the edge of the bluff". 
This channel is yet quite distinct and so straight as to suggest the idea of arti- 
ficial origin. It emptied over the edge of the cliff" into the great dell at Han- 
ford's landing. At the upper end of this dell the' waters of a larger stream, 
which has its source some miles westward, still dash recklessly over the cliff" 
and hurry through the rocky passage below to join the river. Between these 
creeks, on land now owned by R. J. Smith, the ground takes the form of a low 
ridge, extending some distance southward from the cliff". The situation is grand 

"^Pioneer Historical Collections. 

Romantic Legend. 41 

and the view down the river and over the water, some two hundred feet below, 
very pleasing. A great fortification once stood on this ridge, but when or by 
whom constructed history tells not. Over a century ago it was a mere heap 
of ruins. Squier says it consisted of a semi-circular embankment, the ends of 
which reached the very edge of the immense ravine, and had three narrow 
gate-ways placed at irregular intervals.' Every part of the embankment was 
obliterated long years ago, but its lines have been inferred by the quantities of 
relics found within certain sharply defined limits. It is a singular fact that no 
cemetery has been discovered in the vicinity of this place, the nearest burial- 
ground of the aborigines west of the Genesee, known to the writer, being 
some two miles distant. 

There is a legend connected with some cliff near the lower falls of the Gen- 
esee river, and this may, possibly, be the spot. Stripped of the fanciful language 
in which the mythical narratives of the red man are usually clothed, it is a simple 
pathetic tale. 'Tis said that a pale-faced wanderer paddled up the river one 
summer's day, long years ago. He came alone directly to an Indian camp on 
the river side, and remained with the tribe. In time his native country and 
his people were forgotten in the happiness of loving, and being loved by, a 
beautiful forest maiden. They were married in the Indian fashion, and the 
days passed away like moments in their lodge "near the singing cataract." 
One day a strange canoe, filled with white men, came up the, Genesee in search 
of the pale-faced wanderer, who proved to be an exiled chieftain (nobleman) 
of France. His friends came to carry him back to honor and fortune, but his 
heart was in the wildwoods and he refused to go. Then they sought to com- 
pel him, but, clasping his Indian wife in his arms, the exile rushed to the brink 
of a great cliff where the rock rose straight up above the water, and, spring- 
ing far out over the precipice, the two were crushed and mangled on the rocks 
below. Tradition has failed to preserve the names of the white brave and his 
dusky bride, or identify the place of their' death. The brief description of 
locality answers equally well to the bluff opposite the Glen House, or this dell 
at Hanford's landing. • 

From the top of the cliff within the limits of the old fort a stone can be 
cast to the water's edge at Hanford's landing below. From the landing a 
path ran along the water at the base of the bluff, up the river to the lower falls. 
At the spot now called Buell's landing, directly opposite Brewer's landing, a 
path led up the face of the jutting rocks, reaching the table land in the yicinity 
of the flint quarry, and natives crossing the river often climbed this steep path 
in preference to the longer route by the lower landing. The first white settlers 
in this vicinity (Gideon King and others) widened a path leading up the great 
sloping bank from the old Indian landing north, to a wagon road. In 1798 
Eli Granger laid the keel of the Jemima, a schooner of forty tons and the first 

' Aboriginal Monuments of New York, p. 58. 

42 History of the City of Rochester. 

American vessel built on the Genesee (some say the first built near Lake On- 
tario), at the foot of this road ; the landing, then callied King's, now Hanford's, 
became the lake port, and there the steamer Ontario first touched the river 
bank when she commenced her trips in 1817. From the landing a second path 
curved up the little promontory on the north side of the dell, and extended 
around the edge of the cliff to the old fort. From that place it ran up the 
creek to the- main or' Ridge trail, which it crossed some distance west of the 
present boulevard. Continuing, along the north bank of the creek to the farm 
of Samuel Truesdale, where the giant skeleton was exhumed in 1878, it turned 
west along the mountain ridge, running straight to a spring on the present farm, 
of George H. Lee. Indians came upon this creek and camped in Mr. Trues- 
dale's chestnut grove until 1853. 

At the rapids in South Rochester the river passes over a ledge of lime- 
stone, and before the dam was constructed the channel was very shallow some 
sixty rods above and belciw. Ort the east bank a flat extended from Red creek 
north around the base of Oak hill. It was eaten away by the current long 
years ago, originally constituted the the east-side Janding of the ford. 
The west end of Elmwood avenue strikes the river just south of the upper edge 
of the old ford. In early pioneer days there were two or three good springs 
in the bank of a small creek which entered the river at that point. A pre- 
historic town, covering all the surface of Oak hill, once existed tHere. Stohe 
relics were found on every foot of the ground from the feeder dam to Red creek, 
by the' early settlers. In their anxiety to distance Sullivan's soldiers, Butler's 
men rid themselves of everything possible at this ford. Ammunition and arms 
were' buried in the. ground near the springs and concealed in hollow trees in 
the vicinity. In 1816 Mr. Boughton found ninety-six pounds of bullets in 
the bottom of a rotten stump, and several other discoveries of bullets, bars of 
lead, etc., have been made by various parties. 

From the springs at the ford the trail ran northeast to the corner of Indian 
Trail and First avenues in Mount Hope cemetery. At that point it divided, 
one branch turning sharply to the left, directly up the slope and north over 
the top of section G to the present Indian Trail avenue, which it entered and 
thence followed the ridge sttaight to a spot in front of George Ellwanger's res- 
idence, continuing down Mount Hope avenue. South and North St. Paul streets 
to Brewer's landing. From the latter place it ran near the edge of the high 
bank to Lake Ontario. On the farm of Daniel Leake traces of an Indian town 
and burial ground have been discovered and the old path can yet be followed 
in places through the woods north of the "rifle range." An ancient fortifica- 
tion stood near the ford of a brook which rises in the littlevale southeast of 
Rattlesnake point. It was the ruins of this fort for which Mr. Squier searched 
in vain about 1848. The Seneca ferrying-place across the river was at the 
terminus of the trail at about the same location as the present upper ferry at 

Portage Trail. 43 

Charlotte. In the brush and woods on the east bank at this point Butler's 
rangers sought refuge while waiting for the tory Walker to return from Fort 
Niagara with boats for their removal. The log house afterv^ard occupied by 
Walker stood, a few feet southeast of the angle in the present road where it 
turns west across the swamp at the ferry. Stone pestles, arrow-heads, bullets, 
etc., have been found in the vicinity in considerable numbers by Jerome Man- 
ning and other old settlers. 

From the corner of Indian -Trail and First avenues in Mount Hope ceme- 
tery the south branch of the trail, coming from Red creek ford, passed a few 
rods east to a beautiful spring in the side of the present artificial pond. Curv- 
ing slightly northward it divided, one path following the general course of Stan- 
ley street and Highland avenue along the southern base of the hills to the cor- 
ners north of Cobb's brick-yard on Monroe avenue; the other branch running 
directly to the summit of the hills near the water-works reservoir, and east 
over the top of Pinnacle hill, joining the first path near the corners. From 
that place the course was directly east to the riffle on Irondequoit creek some 
distance above the dug- way mills. This riffle was a noted resort of the In- 
dians who went there from the upper Genesee to fish. It was known to the 
Senecas as Sgoh-sa-is-thah. The meaning of the word is "the swell dashes 
against the precipice," referring to the fact that a heavy swell sometimes beats 
against the ledge over which the fall pours. Springs still exist in, the bank 
near the riffle where the Indians camped. From this fishing ground alarge 
open path ran directly south over the hills to the Pittsford roa,d, and thence to' 
Honeoye. At its crossing of the New York Central railroad at the "sand-cut" 
east of the Allen's creek embankment, an Indian burial ground was located. 
During the excavation of a part of this hill, about 1876, human remains were 
exhumed, among which were several skeletons of unusual size, One exceeding 
seven feet in length. Numberless relics of stone, rusty knives and fragments 
of firearms were picked up by the workmen, Dennis Callahan securing a small 
flat-iron bearing the figure of a spread eagle. East of this trail, between the 
cemetery and the Pittsford road, quantities of stone relics have been found, in- 
dicating the site of a pre-historic town. West of this site is located the great 
cairn of limestones, supposed to have been heaped up by people preceding the 

There were two Indian roads known as the portage trails. The first has 
been described as the Mount Hope avenue and St. Paul street route, over 
which canoes and baggage were transported between Red creek and Brewer's 
landing. This route was followed by the Indians long after Rochester was set- 
tled by the whites, and Phederus Carter, James Stone ^nd other pioneer boys 
often assisted their Indian friends to carry canoes over this path. 

The grand portage trail diverged from the Mount Hope avenue path near 
Clarissa street, ran along the ridge south of and parallel with Gregory street to 

' 4 

44 History of the City of Rochester. 

South avenue, thence straight to Oliver Culver's old homestead, corner of Cul- 
ver street and East avenue. Passing a few rods eaist of the house the trail- 
route was down the north road east to the landing on Iroridequoit creek. ' This 
was the general highway between the upper Genesee and Irondequoit bay, to 
which reference has been made in chapter V. Some 3'ears ago an aged Seneca 
was asked to describe the route of this trail between the Genesee river and 
Irondequoit landing. Raising his hand anS cleaving the air with a direct for- 
ward blow the Indian replied: "Straight as the arrow flies, runs the carrying- 
path." A verification of this assertion may be/ound on any map of Monroe 
county showing the following points : Mount Hope avenue and Clarissa street, 
South avenue and Grand street. East avenue and the Culver road and the land- 
ing on Irondequoit creek. A line extending from the first to the last would 
pass in as nearly a direct course through the intermediate points as the original 
form of the ground would admit. From South avenue to East avenue the 
trail ran over a section of low ground which extended southward to the base 
of the Pinnacle range of hills, and was known as the "bear swamp." 

A huge dome-shaped hill fills the Irondequoit valley directly opposite the 
old Indian landing-place so often mentioned. The creek hugs the west bank 
at the landing and sweeps around to the southeast in a great semi-circle called 
"the ox-bow," leaving a crescent-shaped flat at the southern base of this island 
hill. When the surrounding slopes were covered with forest trees this flat 
formed a pleasant and secluded retreat, which could only be reached over the 
landing trail or by crossing the creek, which is very deep in that vicinity. 
After leaving Red creek ford Butler's rangers separated on Mount Hope, one 
party proceeding down the Mount Hope avenue trail to the mouth of the Gen- 
esee, the other going east to Irondequoit landing and the 0X7 bow flat, which 
appears to have been a well known and favorite resort of the tories. From 
this hiding-place they made their way over the town of Irondequoit to the 
mouth of the Genesee river, where they remained in the brush and the woods 
several days, not daring to build a fire or make the least noise, lest Sullivan's 
avenging forces should discover and annihilate them. Walker had been sent 
from Caledonia springs to Niagara for boats, and when he finally arrived in the 
Genesee the rangers were nearly famished. After one ravenous meal they 
embarked for Niagara and Oswego, and the lower Genesee was rid of all the 
murderous gang save Walker, who, remaining as a British spy, built a cabin 
near the ferrying- place. 

The west side of the island hill, facing Irondequoit landing, has yielded to 
nature's erosive forces, and a charming inclined valley extends from the landing 
to the very eastern limit of the hilltop, which was once connected with the 
high land east by a narrow ridge. From the landing the old trail course was 
up this valley to the elevated table land opposite. Running some distance east 
to avoid the tremendous gulfs reaching back from the bay, it turned north, 

The Trail to the Salt Spring. ' 45 

ending on the sand-bar at the mouth of Irondequoit bay. From the landing 
to Lake Ontario every rod of ground is historical. When the farms of Henry 
Smith and Edson Welcher, just north of the float-bridge road, were settled, 
an Indian cemetery was discovered. There were two hundred grave-mounds 
arranged in rows, over which grew oak trees fully eighteen inches in diameter. 
In the woods near at hand great corn-hills were plainly to be seen, and the 
Indians had a landing-place on Plum Orchard point, immediately below. 

A second trail turned east to the ridge, along which it continued to Sodus 
and Oswego. It was known to the Senecas as Ne-aga Wa-a-gwen, or Ontario 
foot-path. The village last occupied by Seneca Indians in Webster was located 
on the ridge near this path, about one mile east of the bay, and the latter-day 
Mississauges camped on the same ground. Their landing was on the bay, at 
the foot of the ridge. In a hollow north of the landing H. M. Hames discov- 
ered twelve skeletons lying in a circle, like the spokes of a wheel, with their 
feet to the center, where were deposited a number of rude stone weapons, 
probably arms of the buried warriors. One of these relics, an immense spear- 
head of flint, is in possession of the writer. It is an interesting fact that while 
iron weapons, beads and other evidences of association with the whites are 
occasionally found in graves of the natives on the high land about Rochester, 
' burial-places in hollows or ravines usually contain relics of the stone age only. 
A mound which was very prominently located on the bluff" north of Dunbar 
hollow was opened by the early residents, who obtained a great number of 
stone weapons, mostly tomahawks and skull- crackers. 

A large fort once occupied the ground just north of the ridge at the inter- 
section of the sand-bar trail. This work is mentioned by Macauley, but Squier 
failed to locate it in 1848. ' DeNonville does not appear to have observed it 
in 1687, and it was undoubtedly very ancient. Stone arrow-heads di.scovered 
there are quite large and broad. Arrow-heads of the same description are 
found in a dcU on the Victor tra,il. From the old fort a trail ran northeast to 
a salt-spring located about one and a half miles east of the bay. The Indians 
came from Gardeau, Mount Morris, Moscow, Geneseo, Lima, Avon and Canna- 
waugus to make salt at this spring, camping in the woods between it and Iron- 
dequoit bay. The tory Walker and an old Seneca chief from Moscow were the 
last to use it, and in 1788-9 they covered the spring over. They disclosed its 
location in confidence to three or four white friends, Asa Dunbar being of the 
number. He revealed it to Wm. H. Fenfield, and the latter to Jarvis M. Hatch, 
from whom the present writer obtained the following quaint directions to effect 
its re-discovery : " In a large gorge half a mile from the lake shore take a run- 
way to a point one-fourth of a mile southwest of the gorge. The spring is 
near some trees in a cultivated field, entirely covered over and effectually con- 
cealed. I have been to it in i860." There was another spring in Dunbar hol- 

^. Aboriginal MtmHtnents, p. 58. 

46 History of the City of Rochester. 

low, which is so called from the fact that Asa Dunbar, an early settler of gigan- 
tic strength, frequented the place to manufacture salt. The process was very- 
simple, the brine being boiled in a "three-pail kettle." 

Two mounds once occupied the hilltop south of the Sea Breeze hotel on 
the west side of Irondequoit bay. Their former location was pointed out to 
the writer in 1880 by Charles M. Barnes and Amos Knapp. The mounds 
were from twenty to thirty-five feet east of north of the present wooden " ob- 
servatory." Squier says they were small, the largest not exceeding five feet 
in height. Upon excavation he found they had been previously disturbed, 
and his examination resulted in the discovery of a few fragments of bone, char- 
coal, pottery and arrow-heads.' Old settlers inform me that Wm. H. Penfield 
opened these mounds about 1817. He obtained many curious things, in- 
cluding sword scabbard-bands of silver, belt buckles, belt and hat ornaments 
and other articles of military dress. Directly east of these mounds is a deep 
gully, now crossed by two rustic bridges. The Indian canoe landing was at 
the mouth of this gully, where a fine spring furnished good water. A trail 
came up the hill from the sand-bar west of the mounds along the edge of the 
gully to its beginning.' A few rods east of this point was a burial-place where 
Indian remains are still found. The gully or landing trail united with the other, 
ran southwest to the ridge in the vicinity of the Forest House, and due south 
to the west end of the float-bridge road, where it joined the trail already 
described, leading to the camping-ground on Judge Kelley's farm and onward 
through the Allen's creek "defile" to the Pittsford road. This was the main 
trail, west of the bay, from Lake Ontario to Irondequoit landing, Victor and 
Honeoye creek, and DeNonville marched down this path from Allen's creek 
on his return to the lake. 

The small island on the west side of Irondequoit bay, upon which the 
Schneider House stands, is of artificial origin. It was originally of ellipsoidal 
form, ninety feet long, thirty-two wide and seventeen high. In his prepara- 
tions to build, Mr. Schneider lowered the whole island to within two feet of 
the surface of the water, first removing a dead oak tree about fifteen inches 
through, which stood on the very top of the elevation. The mound was com- 
posed of alternate layers of sand and clay so distinctly marked as to attract 
attention. In the bottom of the exact center, fifteen feet below the surface, 
Mr. Schneider unearthed about one bushel of hand-worked stones consisting 
of arrow and spearheads, knives, tomahawks of various shapes, skull -crackers, 
war-club heads, fish-net weights, skin-dressers, finishers, etc. Some of these 
articles were beautiful specimens of polished- stone work and nearly all above 
the average size usually found in this vicinity. The construction of this mound 
cost a vast amount of labor, and the object is conjectural. It marked the en- 
trance to a small bay which undoubtedly constituted a fine harbor extending 

1 Aboriginal Monuments, p. 57. 

Early French Missions. 47 

back into a great valley. It is a secluded locality, immense forest trees still 
standing about the shore, but was once frequented by the native inhabitants. 
A brawling stream curves through the valley bottom and enters the little bay, 
which has become nearly impassable by the growth of rushes. A trail ex- 
tended the whole length of the valley and the old path is yet quite distinct in 
places. It followed the original upward course of the stream to the north end 
of Culver street. A trail left the creek at the head of the valley and ran south 
across the float-bridge road some two miles to the Irondequoit creek landing 
and Genesee falls trail, which it crossed near the old Thomas road, and contin- 
ued up the bank of a creek to the portage trail at Oliver Culver's old home- 
stead on East avenue. Numberless side paths connected these principal trails 
at intervals, and threaded the forest in every direction to springs, deer-licks, 
and other places of interest to the native inhabitants. Other trails will be 
mentioned in their proper connections, but many interesting facts are omitted, 
enough having already been presented to prove that a numerous population 
occupied the territory of the lower Genesee long before the white man came 
upon its soil. 


Karly French Missions — Tsonnontouan — The Jesuit's Escape — La Salle at Irondequoit — 
Struggle between the French and English for Possession of the Lower Genesee Country. 

THOUGH the Franciscan Le Caron is supposed to have passed through the 
Iroquois (Mohawk) country about i6i6, coureurs des bois are known to 
have traded with tribes on the south shore of Ontario before De. la Roche 
Dallion passed the winter of 1626-7 with the Neuters, the whites possessed no 
definite knowledge of -Western New York or the water connections of Lake 
Ontario with the west, until 1640, when Brebeuf's mission to the Neuters per- 
fected their knowledge of the Niagara river and Lake Erie. "Could we but 
gain the mastery of the shore of Ontario on the side nearest the abode of the 
Iroquois," the Jesuits said, "we could ascend by the St. Lawrence without dan- 
ger, and pass free beyond Niagara, with a great saving of time and pains." 

To accomplish this end the French bent all their energies. In the' canoes 
of the traders, ofttimes preceding them, went the brave priests to plant the 
standard of the Roman church and extend the dominion of France, in the wilds 
of Western New York. With varying success they advanced from Onondaga 
westward until, in 1657, Chaumorit preached the faith in the towns of the Sen- 
ecas, but in two short years war between the French and Iroquois again drove 

48 History of the City ov Rochester. 

the missionaries to the northern shore of Ontario. In 1661 Le Moyne returned 
to Onondaga, and several missions were re-established. In the fall of 1668 a 
deputation of Seneca chiefs visited Montreal and requested the Jesuits to estab- 
lish missions in their country, that the people might share all the advantages of 
religion enjoyed by Iroquois nations to the east. In compliance with this 
request Father Fremin was sent to Tsonnontouan, as the Genesee country was 
then called by the French. The good priest arrived at his post of duty No- 
vember 1st, and, taking up his abode at the same town wherein Chaumdnt had 
preached, founded the mission of St. James. At that date the Senecas had 
four large villages east of the Genesee river. Tlwough the researches of O. H. 
Marshall the location of these towns has been definitely fixed. The principal 
village, at which Fremin resided, was situated on what is now termed Bough- 
ton hill, near Victor. The exact site is south of the railroad, on a farm owned 
by R. B. Moore. Wentworth Greenhalp, who visited the town in 1677, de- 
scribes its location and appearance under the name of Canagorah. Ten years 
later DeNonville, who destroyed the place, mentions it in his official report by 
its Mohawk designation of Ganangorah. In this effort to re-discover the site of 
this town Marshall learned its correct Seneca name — Ga-o-sa-eh-ga-aah. ' 

Father Gamier, who had been stationed at Onondaga, joined Fremin in his 
labors and established the mission of St. Michael at Gan-don-ga-rae, a small 
village located on Mud creek, between three and four miles southeast of Victor, 
where he remained several years. Bruyas, Pierron and other priests visited 
these towns during the life of the missions, and the general route to and from 
the Seneca villages appears to have been through Irondequoit bay. In 1683 
Garnier was secretly informed of ttie intention of the French to make war 
upon the Iroquois, and, hastening to Irondequoit landing, he was concealed and 
escaped in a little barque belonging to the French government, which lay at 
anchor there, trading with the natives. 

August lOth, 1669, La Salle, the afterward noted French explorer, arrived 
at the mouth of Irondequoit with seven canoes and twenty-four men, including 
Dollier de Casson and Galinee, two priests of the seminary of St. Sulpice, 
Montreal. They were accompanied by two other canoes bearing a party of 
Senecas, who had wintered on the St. Lawrence and were now acting as guides. 
La Salle's object in this visit was to obtain a guide to the Ohio river, that of 
the priests the conversion of the natives. The party landed on the sand- 
bar and were escorted to "Sonnontouan" or Gannagora by crowds of 

1 The etymology of this name was explained to Mr. Marshall in 1847 by Blacksmith, the principal 
chief of the Senecas. He said the whole village was supplied by one spring, which issued from the 
side of a hill. To procure water more conveniently the Indians made troughs or conductors of bass- 
wood bark, which, when stripped from the tree, curls readily into the proper shape, and with these 
they conducted the water to a point where it could be caught in their vessels. The fact that this was 
the only spring in the vicinity gave prominence to the use of the basswood bark, and hence, according 
to the Indian Custom, arose the name Ga-o-sa-eh-ga-aah, or "the basswood bark lies there." — O. 
H. Marshall, in DeNonvilWs Expedition, p. 159. 

La Salle at Irondequoit. 49 

savages. They remained with the Senecas one month, and failing to accom- 
plish their purpose departed westward along the shore of Lake Ontario. Dur- 
ing the following two years La Salle was upon the soil of Western New York 
many times, and undoubtedly explored every foot of the Genesee river from 
its mouth to Portage, in his efforts to discover the route to the Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi. That he visited Irondequoit bay on several occasions is well known. 

With their first faint knowledge of the interior of New York and the great 
lake region, the whites keenly appreciated the sagacity of the red men in their 
selection of Irondequoit bay as the general landing-place of the Senecas and 
harbor of the league, and recognised the important bearing its possession would 
have upon the steadily increasing interests of trade and future civilisation. 
With the French on the north, and the English and Dutch on the south and 
east, to all of whom the great lakes and streams presented the only practicable 
channels of communication with the west, the Iroquois country became the 
center of conflicting interests, and, simultaneously with the supremacy of the 
linglish in Eastern New York, came the struggle between that nation and the 
French for possession of the great lake region and control of the Indian trade. 
Niagara was the key to the western lakes, and Oswego and Irondequoit the 
ports through which all the costly loads of Indian goods and rich cargoes of 
furs must naturally pass to the west and east ; for, though the French held . 
possession of the St. Lawrence and had free access to Ontario, the journey 
thither was long and perilous, and Indian goods could be purchased in Albany 
and transported to Montreal at a less rate than they could be imported direct 
to that place from France,' while the trails of the Iroquois, which could be 
traveled from Albany to Irondequoit on horseback, and the watercourses, of 
the interior of New York presented shorter, safer and more profitable routes 
for unrestricted traffic ; hence the desire of the English to open the way to the 
west, and the endeavors of the French to obtain possession of Oswego, Iron- 
dequoit and Niagara, close them to the and secure the Indian trade to , 
the French colony of the St. Lawrence. Added to this was the natural en- 
mity existing between the two nations and the jealous rivalry and inordinate 
greed for territorial possessions in the New world. Each nation claimed the 
Iroquois country, France by right of first discovery and occupation, England 
by virtue of conquest from the Dutch and treaty stipulations, and both enacted 
the monarchical role of paternal proprietorship, endeavoring to awe and con- 
trol the various tribes by alternate threatenings and persuasion. 

From the attack of Champlain on the Mohawks at Ticonderoga point in 
1609, the Iroquois as a nation had maintained a relentless enmity toward the 
French, though a shadow of peace had occasionally been made and some hun- 
dreds of Indians enticed to Canada through the religious influence of French 
priests; on the other hand the Iroquois had steadily inclined to the English, 

I TV. y. Col. Mss., V. 728-230. 

so History of the City of Rochester. 

who were their acknowledged friends and allies. Despairing of ultimate suc- 
cess by other means than force, the governors of Canada invaded the country of 
the Five Nations on several occasions with armies of colonists and Indian allies, 
but neither honors nor lasting benefits accrued to the French from these expe- 
ditions. In 1685 De la Barre was recalled to France and the marquis De- 
Nonville succeeded him as governor- general of Canada. Despite the influence 
of French missionaries in their midst, the Iroquois still barred the way to a 
free navigation of water highways leading to the west, insolently repudiated 
the authority of the French government, and openly avowed their friendship 
for the English, who were permitted to set up the British arms in several Iro- 
quois villages. 


DeNonville's Expedition - Treachery of the French Governor-General — Magnanimity of the 
Troquoi.s — French Army at Irondequoit — Execution of Marion — The Fort on the Sand- Bar — The 
March on Gannagaro — The Defiles, Ambuscade and Battle — Horrors of Indian Warfare — Canni- 
balism — Destruction of the Seneca Towns. 

UPON assuming the reins of colonial government, DeNonville determined 
" to break the power of the Iroquois and subdue their pride by an invasion 
of the Seneca settlements. To conceal his intentions the wily governor made 
overtures to the savages through the Jesuits stationed in their villages, and the 
summer of 1686 was spent in negotiations which terminated by the adoption 
of a resolution that both parties — French and Iroquois — should meet at Cata- 
racouy, '^ to take measures for the conclusion of a general peace. Neither party 
placed confidence in the proposed peaceful measures, and the French had no 
intention of obtaining peace through treaty. During the entire summer De- 
Nonville was very anxious to lay up a store of provisions and munitions at 
Cataracouy in preparation for the next season's campaign, but was restrained 
from so doing through fear of alarming the Iroquois. Active preparations were 
instituted during the winter and spring of 1686-7. Fort Cataracouy — then 
a small redoubt — was placed in defensible condition, stocked with the neces- 
sary supplies, and the three small vessels on Lake Ontario secured for service. 
June 1 2th, 1687, the French governor left Montreal for Cataracouy with 
an army consisting of eight hundred and thirtyrtwo regular troops ; nine hun- 

1 The material for this chapter is collated from the Colonial and Documentary Histories of New 
York ; the Expedition of the Marquis DeNonville against the Senecas, in 1687, by O. H. Marshall ; 
Discmery of the Great West, by Francis Parkman ; Historical sketches in the Victor Herald, by J. W. 
Van Denburgh, and the writer's private journal. 

2 Kingston. 

DeNonville's Expedition. 51 

died and thirty militia, over one hundred colonial scouts and four hundred In- 
dians. Of this force M. de Callieres was commander-in-chief, under the orders 
of the Marquis DeNonville, Chevalier de Vaudreuil, commander of the regu- 
lars, and General Sieur Duguay (Du Gue) commandant of the militia. The 
troops were formed into eight platoons of two hundred men each, the regulars 
under Captains D'Orvilliers, St. Cirg, de Troyes and Vallerennes, the militia 
under Captains Berthier, la Valterye, Grandville and Longueil Le Moynes. 
In the order of march a battalion of regulars succeded one of militia, alter- 
nately. Six bateaux were assigned to each company, each boat carrying eight 
men, baggage and provisions, each captain having charge of twenty-four ba- 
teaux. The Indians served as guides and scouts and marched without order. 
The army arrived at Cataracouy July ist, after a terribly laborious voyage up 
the rapids of the St. Lawrence, and engaged in preparations for the contem- 
plated expedition. Two of the little vessels were loaded with supplies, and 
two large bateaux furnished with cannon and long guns to cover the troops 
while landing. The third vessel was sent to Niagara laden with provisions and 
ammunition for a party under Sieurs de Tonty, de la Durantaye and du Lhu 
(Du Luth), who had received instructions the previous summer to collect all 
the French, and Indian allies from the western woods, for this expedition. Or- 
ders were also forwarded by messenger for the reinforcements to meet Gover- 
nor DeNonville at Irqndequoit bay on a certain date. 

Notwithstanding the warlike preparations of the French, which drew an 
official remonstrance from Governor Dongan of New York and excited the 
alarm of the Five Nations, DeNonville stoutly declared his pacific intentions, 
and, under a pretense of holding a great council for the ratification of peace, 
induced the Jesuit missionaries to decoy to Canada a number of Iroquois. 
Upon their arrival at Cataracouy these people were made prisoners and fifty of 
the men, including several sachems and chiefs, sent to Montreal, in company 
with certain other Indians who had been captured while fishing on the river 
during the upward voyage of the French army. By order of his most Chris- 
tian Majesty, the king, these proud warriors were shipped to France as slaves 
for the royUl galleys. When news of DeNonville's infamous act reached the 
Onondagas, "among whom Father Lamberville was then residing as a mis- 
sionary," says Marshall, " the chiefs immediately assembled in council and send- 
ing for the father related the above transaction with all the energy which a just 
indignation could arouse, and, while he expected to feel the full effects of the 
rage which he saw depicted in every countenance, one of the old men unex- 
pectedly addres.scd to him the following remarkable language, as related by 
Lamberville himself: — 

"It cannot be denied," says he, "that many reasons authorise us to treat you as an 
enemy, but we have no inclination to do so. We know you too well not to be persuaded 
that your heart has taken no part in the treachery of which you have been the instru- 
ment, and we are not so unjust as to punish you for a crime of which we believe you 

52 History of the City of Rochester. 

innocent, which you undoubtedly detest as much as we do, and for having been the in- 
strument of which we are satisfied you are now deeply grieved. . It is not proper, how- 
ever, that you should remain here. AH will not, perhaps, render you the justice which 
we accord, and when once our young men shall have sung their war song, they will look 
upon you only as a traitor, who has delivered over our chiefs to a cruel and ignoble 
slavery. They- will listen only to their own rage, from which we will then be unable to 
save you." Having said this, they obliged him to leave immediately, and furnished 
guides to conduct him by a safe route, who did not leave him until he was out of danger. 

July 4th the army embarked at daybreak, and crossing the lower end of 
Lake Ontario coasted the south shore westward.. So admirably were the plans 
of DeNonville arranged and executed that, though aware of the impending 
blow, the Iroquois knew not in what quarter it would strike, and hence could 
adopt no general measure of defense. The little barque that had been dispatched 
to Niagara met the army near Sodus bay July 9th with ne'ws of the reinforce- 
ments, and then returning westward hovered about the mouth of Irondc- 
quoit bay. Iroquois scouts stationed there immediately reported the presence 
of the vessel, and the Seneca sachems sent warriors to the lake. Posting them- 
selves in the woods at the west end of the sand-bar, near the present location 
of the Sea Breeze, they were surprised and nearly cut off by Indians of De- 
Nonville's Niagara party who came down the lake shore on foot, the main body 
being in canoes. This party consisted of one hundred and seventy French 
coureurs des bois, and three hundred western Indians of all nations, enemies 
of the Iroquois. They arrived at the mouth of Irondequoit July loth, at the 
same moment with the army under DeNonville, "by reason of which," re- 
marked Baron La Hontan, "our savage allies, who draw predictions from the 
merest trifles, foretold, with their usual superstition, that so punctual a meeting 
infallibly indicated the total destruction of the Iroquois." "The first thing 
with which I occupied myself on my arrival," writes the French governor, 
. " was to select a post easy to be fortified for securing our bateaux, to the num- 
ber of two hundred, and as many canoes. July i ith was spent in construct- 
ing palisades, fascines and pickets, for securing the dike that separates the lake 
from the marsh, in which we had placed our bateaux." 

On their voyage to Niagara Durantaye's forces had captured and pillaged 
two parties of English traders, bound to the west under the guidance of a 
young Canadian named La Fontaine Marion. Baron La Hontan mentions him 
as an unfortunate young man who became acquainted with the country and 
savages of Canada by the numerous voyages he made over the continent. 
After rendering his king good service Marion asked permission of several of the 
governors-general to continue his travels in further prosecution of his petty 
traffic, but could never obtain it. As peace existed between the two crowns, 
he determined to go to New England, where he was well received on account 
of his enterprise and knowledge of Indian languages. He was engaged to 
pilot two companies of English through the lakes to the west, and it was those 

DkNonville's Expedition. 53 

peaceful traders upon whom Durantaye had laid violent hands and brought 
them captive to Irondequoit. DeNonville had previously sought and received 
the sanction of the king to treat all Frenchmen found in the service of the 
English as deserters. While the sixty Englishmen were sent to Montreal and 
subsequently released, Marion was adjudged a traitor and his doom pronounced. 
The morning following the arrival of the army at Irondequoit the sentence of 
death was imposed. On the calm surface of the lake rode the French navy 
of three small sail. Covering the broad sand-beach were overturned boats 
and canoes; on the elevatcd'part of the sand-bar stood the half-finished fort' 
of pickets surrounded by the army tents and equipage. "Never," says an 
eye-witness, "had Canada seen, and never perhaps will it see, a similar spec- 
tacle. A camp composed of one-fourth regular troops with the general's suite ; 
one-fourth habitants in four battalions, with the gentry of the country ; one- 
fourth Christian Indians, and finally a crowd of all the barbarous nations, 
naked, tattooed, and painted over the body with all sorts of figures, wearing 
horns on their heads, queues down their backs, armed with arrows." For a 
moment there is a profound hush in camp. All eyes are turned to an open 
square in the center — a file of soldiers facing the lake and a poor wretch 
standing alone at the water's edge casting a last despairing glance at the wild 
scene about him. Then a sharp command is given, a loud report follows, and 
France has sacrificed another victim to her cruel policy in the form of humble 

The fort, requiring some two thousand palisades in its construction, was 
completed during the forenoon of July 12th. For its defense and the protec- 
tion of the boats and stores, DeNonville detached four hundred and forty men 
under command of D'Orvilliers.' At three o'clock in the afternoon the army 
commenced its march upon the Seneca towns in the interior. The advance 
guard consisted of three hundred Christian Indians under guidance of an Iro- 
quois afterward known as the grandfather of Brandt, with the western Indians 
on the left, supported by three companies of courcurs des bois, one hundred 
Ottawas, three hundred Sioux, one hundred Illinois and fifty Hurons. Then 

1 This palisade fortification was built on tlie sand-bar, at tlie mouth of Irondequoit bay, about eighty 
rods from its eastern end. The bar, which is only a narrow sand ridge to the west, is some thirty rods 
wide at this point, and at the advent of the first white settlers was from fifteen to twenty feet high in 
places. Several small mounds were scattered over the ground, and many graves were discovered, one 
marked by a tablet of iron bearing an inscription in some unknown language, which is said to have 
liccn neither Spanish, Dutch nor French. During the construction of the Rome, Watertown & Og- 
dcnsburg railroad, which crosses the bay on this sand-bar, several button-wood trees, each from twelve 
to eighteen inches in diameter, were removed. Under some of these were found iron bullets, parts of 
gun-barrels completely oxidised, iron and stone tomahawks, flint arrow-heads, etc. In 1880 the writer 
discovered several stone relics and portions of two human skeletons under the roots of a tree then 
standing on the edge of an excavation near the railroad. The channel connecting the waters of the 
bay with those of the lake has changed its location three several times within the memory of persons 
now living; shifting from the extreme eastern end of the bar to the western end, back two-thirds of 
the distant? to the eastern shore of the bay, and finally to its present location in the center of the bar. 

54 History of the City of Rochester. 

followed the regulara and militia, with the rear guard of savages and wood- 
rangers. Ascending the bluff at the end of the sand-bar and following a 
well-beaten trail, the army returned to the south among lofty trees sufficiently 
open to allow the troops to march in three columns. The objective point was 
Gannagcira, and the army made three leagues (nine miles) that afternoon. "We 
left on the next morning," continues DeNonville in his official report, "with the 
design of approaching the village as near as we could, to deprive the enemy 
of the opportunity of rallying and seizing on two very dangerous defiles at two 
rivers^ which it was necessary for us to pass and where we should undoubtedly 
meet them. These two defiles being passed in safety, there still remained a 
third at the entrance of said village, at which it was our intention to halt. . . 
. . . About three o'clock in the afternoon M. de Callieres, who was at the 
head of the three companies commanded by Tonty, De la Durantaye and Du- 
Lhu, and all our savages fell into an ambuscade of Sonnontouans posted in the 
vicinity of the defile." 

DeNonville gives two accounts of this battle, differing widely, and others are 
confusing. That of the Abbe de Belmont is the best : — 

" The march was a little hurried. The weary troops were dying with thirst. The 
two bodies found themselves at too great distance from each other. The scouts were 
deceived ; for having come to the barrens, or plains, they found five or six women who 
were going around in the fields. This was a lure of the Senecas to make them believe 
that they were all in the village. The territory of Ganesara is very hilly ; the village 
is upon a high hill which is surrounded by three little hills or terraces, at the foot of a 
valley, and opposite some other hills, between which passes a large brook which in a 
little valley makes a little marsh, covered with alders. This is the place which they 
selected for their ambuscade. They divided themselves, posted three hundred men along 
the falling brook between two hills in a great thicket of beech trees, and five hundred 
at the bottom of these hills in a marsh among the alders ; with the idea that the first 
ambuscade of three hundred men should let the army pass and then attack them in the 
rear, which would force it to fall into the second ambuscade, which was concealed at 
the bottom of the hills in the marsh. They deceived themselves nevertheless, for as 
the advance guard, which M. de Callieres commanded, was very distant from the body 
under the command of the marquis, they believed it was the entire array. Accordingly 
as the advance guard passed near the thicket of beeches, after making a terrible whoop 
(sakaqua !) they fired a volley. The Ottawas and the heathen Indians all fled. The 
Christian Indians of the mountain and the Sault, and the Abenaquis held fast and gave 
two volleys. The marquis DeNonville advanced with the main body, composed of the 
royal troops, to occupy the height of the hill, where there was a little fort of pickets; 
but the terror and disorder of the surprise were such that there was only M. de Cal- 
zenne, who distinguished himself there, and M. Dugue, who bringing up the rear guard 
rallied the battahon of Berthier, which was in flight, and, being at the head of that of 
Montreal, fired two hundred shots. The marquis, en chemise, sword in hand, drew up 
the main body in battle order, and beat the drum at a time when scarcely anyone was 
to be seen. This frightened the three hundred Tsonnontouans of the ambuscade, who 

2 Allen and Irondequoit creeks. 

DeNonville's Expedition. 55 

fled from above towards the five hundred that were ambushed below. The fear that 
all the world was upon them made them fly with so much precipitation that they left 
their blankets in a heap, and nothing more was seen of them." 

In his description of the battle Baron La Hontan admits a serious defeat 
of the French : — 

"When we arrived at the foot of the hill on which they lay in ambush, distant about 
a quarter of a league from the village, they began to utter their ordinary cries, followed 
with a discharge of musketry. If you had seen, sir, the disorder into which our militia 
and regulars were thrown among the dense woods, you would agree with me that it 
would require many thousand Europeans to make head against these barbarians. Our 
battalions were immediately separated into platoons, which ran without order, pell mell 
to the right and left, without knowing whither they went. Instead of firing upon the 
Irocjuois, we fired upon each other. It was in vain to call for help from the soldiers of 
such a battalion, for we could see scarcely thirty paces. In short we were so disordered 
that the enemy were about to fall upon us club in hand, when our savages, having ral- 
lied, repulsed and pursued them so closely, even to their villages, that they killed more 
than eighty, the heads of which they brought away, not counting the wounded who 
esca])ed. We lost on this occasion ten savages and a hundred Frenchmen ; we had 
twenty or twenty-two wounded, among whom was the good Father Angelran." 

Although the savage allies were greatly offended at the refusal of DeNon- 
ville to leave his wounded and pursue the fleeing Senecas, the French com- 
mander ordered a bivouac on the field. "We witnessed the painful sight of 
■ the usual cruelties of the savages," writes the marquis to M. de Seignelay, 
"who cut the dead into quarters, as is done in slaughter-houses, in order to put 
them into the kettle ; the greater number were opened while still warm, that 
their blood might be drank. Our rascally Ottawas distinguished themselves 
particularly by these barbarities and by their poltroonery, for they withdrew 
from the battle. The Hurons of Michilimaquina did very well, but our Chris- 
tian Indians surpassed all and performed deeds of valor, especially our Iroquois, 
on whom we dared not rely having to fight against their own relatives. The 

Illinois did their duty well We learned from some prisoners who 

had deserted from the Senecas that this action cost them forty-five men killed 
on the field, twenty- five of whom we had seen at the shambles, the others were 
seen buried by this deserter ; and over sixty very severely wounded. 
The Abbe de Belmont thus continues the narrative : — 

"We marched in battle order, waiting for an attack. We descended the hill by a 
little sloping valley, or gorge, through which ran a brook bordered with thick bushes 
and which discharges itself at the foot of a hill, in a rnarsh full of deep mud, but planted 
with alders so thick that one could scarcely see. There it was that they had stationed 
their two ambuscades, and where perhaps we would have been defeated, if they had not 
mistaken our advance guards for the whole army and been so hasty in firing. The mar- 
quis acted very prudently in not pursuing them, for it was a trick of the Iroquois, to 
draw us into a greater ambuscade. The marsh, which is about twenty acres, being 
passed, we found about three hundred wretched blankets, several miserable guns, and 
began to perceive the famous Babylon of the Tsonnontouans ; a city or village of bark. 


situated on the top of a mountain of earth, to which one rises by three terraces or 
hills. It appeared to us from a distance to be crowned with round towers, but these 
were only large chests (drums) of bark about four feet in length, set the one in the other 
about five feet in diameter, in which they keep their Indian corn. The village had been 
burnt by themselves ; it was now eight days since. We found nothing in the town ex- 
ce{)t the cemetery and graves. It was filled with snakes and animals ; there was a great 
mask with teeth and eyes of brass, and a great bear skin with which they disguise in 
their cabins. There were in the four corners' great boxes of grain, which they had not 
burned. They had outside this post their Indian corn in a piquet fort at the top of a 
little mountain. Steps were cut down on all sides, where it was knee-high throughout 
the fort." 

On the 15th several old men and women were captured or surrendered, 
one of the old men being father or uncle of the chief of the Senecas. "After 
we had obtained from the old man all the information he could impart," con- 
tiriues DeNonville "he was placed in the hands of the reverend Father Bruyas, 
who, finding that he had some traces of the Christian religion through the in- 
strumentality of the reverend Jesuit fathers, missionaries for twenty years in 
that village, he set about preparing him for baptism, before turning him over 
to the Indians who had taken him prisoner. He was baptised, and a little 
while after they contented themselves at our solicitation, with knocking him on 
the head with a hatchet instead of burning him according t6 their custom. Our 
first achievement this day was to set fire to the fort of which we had spoken. 
It was eight hundred paces in circumference, well enough flanked for saveges, ■ 
with a retrenchment advanced for the purpose of communicating with a spring 
which is half way down the hill, it being the only place where they could ob- 
tain water." During the three days following, the French were engaged in 
the destruction of corn, beans and other produce, multitudes of horses, hogs 
^nd various kinds of property belonging to the Senecas ; the grain of the small 
village of St. Michael, or Gannogarae, distant a short league from the large 
town, being destroyed on the 17th. The Indian allies were busy scouring the 
country and reported the enemy dispersed through the woods on their retreat 
to the Cayugas. From this point DeNonville's narration may be quoted 
directly : — 

"On the 19th of July moved our camp in the morning from near the village of St. 
James or Gannagaro, and encamped before Totiakton,^ surnamed 'the great village,' or 
the village of the Conception, distant four leagues from the former. We found there a 
still greater number of planted fields, and wherewithal to occupy ourselves for many 

days On the 21st went to the small village of Gannounata,' distant 

two leagues from the larger, where all the old and new corn was destroyed the same 
day, though the quantity was as large as in the other villages. It was at the gate of 

1 Boughton hill. 

2 It was at this village that the prods verbal (act of taking formal possession of the country) was read. 

3 This place the fourth Seneca village, is supposed to have been about two miles southeast of East 
Avon, at the source of a small stream which empties into the Conesus, near Avon springs. It was 
called Dyu-do-o-sot, by the Senecas, from its location "at the spring." 

ToTiAKTON — Its Ancient and Modern History. $7 

this village that we found the arms of England, which Sieur Dongan, governor of New 
York, had caused to be placed there contrary to all right and reason, in the year 1684, 
having antedated the arms as of the year 1683, although it is beyond question that we 
first discovered and took possession of that country, and for twenty consecutive years 
have had Fathers Fremin, Gamier, etc., as stationary missionaries in all these villages. 
On the 22d we returned to Totiakton, to continue there the devastation already com- 
menced. On the 23d we sent a large detachment of almost the entire army 

to complete the destruction of all the corn still standing in the distant woods. About 
seven o'clock in the morning seven Illinois, coming alone from their country to war 
against the Iroquois, arrived at the camp as naked as worms, bow in hand, to the great 
joy of those whom Sieur de Tonty had brought to us. About noon of the same day 
we finished the destruction of the Indian corn. We had the curiosity to estimate the 
whole quantity, green as well as ripe, which we had destroyed in the four Seneca vil- 
lages, and found that it would amount to 350,000 minots of green, and 50,000 of old 
corn [1,200,000 bushels]. We can infer from this the multitude of people in these four 
villages, and the great suffering they will experience from this devastation. 

" Having nothing more to effect in that country, we left our camp in the afternoon 
of the same day to rejoin our bateaux. We advanced only two leagues. On our way 
a Huron surprised a Seneca who appeared to be watching our movements. He was 
killed on the spot because he refused to follow us. On the 24th of July we reached 
our bateaux after marching, six leagues. We halted there on the next day, the 25th, in 
order to make arrangements for leaving on the 26th, after having destroyed the redoubt 
we had built. We dispatched the barque for Cataracouy, which we had found with 
the other two at Ganniatarontagouat, to advise the intendant of the result of our expe- 
dition, and by that opportunity sent back those of our camp who were suffering the 
most from sickness. On the 26th we set out for Niagara, resolved to occupy that post 
as a retreat for all our Indian allies, and thus afford them the means of continuing, in 
small detachments, the war against the enemy whom they have not been able to harass 
hitherto, being too distant from them and having no place to retire to." 


Totiakton — Its Ancient and Modern History — DeNonville's Return Route to the Sand-Bar. 

THE history of Totiakton is a matter of local interest, and the positive iden- 
tification of its former site will explain to many inquiring minds the "mys- 
tery" regarding the numberless antiquities discovered in its neighborhood. In 
1677 Wentworth Greenhalgh made a journey from Albany to the Indians west- 
ward, lasting from May 27th to July 14th. In his Observations (Co/. Mss., 
III., p. 252) Mr. Greenhalgh says: — 

"Tiotehatton lyes on the brinke or edge of a hill, has not much cleared ground, is 
ncare the river Tiotehatton, which signifies 'bending;' itt lyes to westward of Canagorah 
about thirty miles, contains aboUt one hundred and twenty houses, being ye largest of 


History of the City of Rochester. 

all ye houses wee saw, ye ordinary being about fifty or sixty feet and some one hundred 
and thirty or one hundred and forty foott long, with thirteen or fourteen fires in one 
house, they have a good store of corne growing about a mile to ye northward of the 
towne. Being att this place the 17th of June, there came fifty prisoners from the south- 
west-ward, they were of two nations some whereof have few gunns, ye other none at 
all ; one nation is about ten days journey from any Christians and trade only with one 
greatt house nott farre from ye sea, and ye other trade only, as they say, with a black 
people ; this day of them was burnt two women and a man, and a child killed with a 
stone, att night we heard a greatt noyse, as if ye houses had all fallen, butt itt was only ye 

I Totiakton. i, a, 2 Ccmeleries. 
Sheldon. 8 J. Russell. 9 

_ J, 3 Bhifls. 4 Palisaded Fort. 5 Spring. 6, 6, 6 Honeoye Gullet. 7 J. T. 
Sheldon's Plain. 10 Sibleyvtlle. 1 1 Honeoye Falls. 12 Line between Mindon and iuist Kush. 


inabitants driving away ye ghosts of ye murthered. The i8th, goeing to Canagorah. 
wee overtook ye prisoners; when ye soldiers saw us they stopped each his prisoner and 
made him sing, and cutt off their fingers, and slasht their bodys with a knife, and when 
they had sung each man confessed how many men in his time he had killed." 

Location of Totiakton. 59 

Totiakton was distant from Gannagora just eleven miles in a northwest 
direction. Its former site was located by O. H. Marshall in 1847. Blacksmith, 
the aged Seneca chief from whom Mr. Marshall obtained much information, 
called this village De-yu-di-haak-doh, which he said signifies "the bend," from 
its location on a bend of the creek. In this he agrees with Greenhalgh. The 
present writer has searched out the old town site and prepared the foregoing 
map of the locality from personal survey. 

It is in the town of Mendon, Monroe county, on the northeasternmost bend 
of Honeoye outlet, two miles north of Honeoye Falls, and exactly twelve and 
one-half miles in an air line due south of the center of Rochester. In this 
vicinity the Honeoye flows in a beautiful valley varying from one-fourth to 
three-fourths of a mile in width, and the channel twists and turns in all direc- 
tions through the fertile bottom. The ancient town was located on the table 
land which projects into the west side of the valley in the form of a bold bluff, 
facing the east, at an elevation of about one hundred and fifty feet above the 
water. This ground was purchased by Abncr Sheldon, in 1802, and is now 
included in the estate of his son J. F. Sheldon, a gentleman whose courtesy 
and valuable assistance in the collection of many facts connected with this sub- 
ject will be long and gratefully remembered. The so-called " clear ground," 
when Abner Sheldon came in possession, consisted of "oak openings," and a 
number of large trees were then scattered about the old. town site. Judging 
from the limits within which relics have been found, the Indian village occu- 
pied an area of about twenty-five acres. A plentiful supply of water was ob- 
tained from springs situated along the base of the bluff to the north. A fine 
"medicine" spring of sulphur- water is now in operation. The ground has been 
under cultivation seventy-five years, yielding an annual harvest of antiquities 
including human bones, gun-barrels, locks, knives and hatchets of iron ; toma- 
hawks, arrow-heads, pestles, skinners, etc., of stone; wampum and beads of 
clay ; pottery, brass kettles and trinkets, brass rings bearing the legend I. H. S., 
pipes, bullets, etc., etc. Three cemeteries have been discovered in locations 
designated on the map, and all skeletons unearthed have been found in a sitting 
posture, facing the east. 

On the edge of the bluff, about eighty-five rods southeast of, and overlook- 
ing the old town, Mr. Sheldon discovered the ruins of a palisade inclosure, 
occupying half an acre of land. It was nearly square in form and built of logs 
twelve feet long set closely together in the earth to the depth of four feet. At 
the date of its discovery the timber was greatly decayed, many of the palisades 
having rotted to the ground. It was doubtless erected by the Indians who 
rallied immediately after DeNonville's departure, as a temporary abode, and 
defense prior to their permanent settlement elsewhere. The statement of De- 
Nonville and other historians of the expedition, regarding the immense amount 
of corn destroyed by the French troops, has been questioned by late writers, 


6o History of the City of Rochester. 

yet a thorough survey of old Totiakton and its environs cannot fail to impress 
one with a sense of the good judgment exercised by the aboriginal inhabitants 
in its selection as a place of permanent abode, and the superior advantages 
possessed by the natives for the cultivation of the soil. About two hundred 
acres of ground lying southwest of the old Indian village presents a surpris- 
ingly smooth, level surface, and was long known as "Abraham's plain." It is 
now termed " Sheldon's plain." The Indian corn fields mentioned by Green- 
halgh were in the oak openings on this plain, and the rich flats in the valley 
bottom were undoubtedly cultivated to some extent. 

DeNonville states that the French left Totiakton in the afternoon of July 
23d, and advanced two leagues (six miles). On the following day they reached 
their bateaux at the mouth of Irondequoit bay, after marching six leagues or 
eighteen miles. It is evident that the expedition did not return to Irondequoit 
over the same route by which it reached Totiakton, and the course pursued by 
the army on its return to the sand-bar has never, within the knowledge of the 
present writer, been described or suggested in print. As early as 1682 the 
French had become accustomed to all the woods and acquainted with all the 
roads through them {^Col. Mss., IX., 195), and the Jesuits, several of whom ac- 
companied the expedition, had occupied missions in all the Seneca towns for a 
period of twenty years, and doubtless understood every mile of Indian path 
east of the Genesee. So well known and public a thoroughfare as the portage 
trail between Red creek ford and Irondequoit landing could not have escaped 
their knowledge, Personal researches have satisfied the writer that the Indians 
once had a road from the Honeoye outlet to Red creek ford. This trail crossed 
the Honeoye north of old Totiakton, ran nearly west to an Indian village at 
the present East Rush cemetery, and thence northwest to the farm now owned 
by Marvin Williams half a mile south of West Henrietta corners,- where evi- 
dences of early Indian occupation have been frequently found. A second trail 
left the Honeoye above Rush junction, ran north via Hart's Corners and crossed 
the farm of David Ely in its course straight to the town on the Williams farm, 
which is about six miles from old Totiakton. This place would have been De- 
Nonville's camping ground on the night of July 23d if he had followed this 
trail. At the east base of the hill upon which the town was located is a large 
pond said to have been the original source of Red creek. The distance from 
the camp down the Red creek trail to the ford, and via the portage trail and 
Irondequoit landing to the sand-bar, is about twenty-two miles. If the French 
army pursued this route it passed over the present site of Rochester ; but it 
would appear that this road is much too long. 

The writer has traced a trail from the Irondequoit landing-path at the resi- 
dence of Charles M. Barnes in Brighton, across the Pittsford road to an old 
town site on Allen's creek in the town of Pittsford, which ran up the east side 
of the creek directly south. If this trail continued on the same general course 

Numerical Strength of the Iroquois. 6i 

it would strike Totiakton. On this line, a short distance north of Mendon Cen- 
ter, are several large ponds fed by springs, where the Senecas went to fish, and 
numerous indications of Indian camps have been found the entire length of the 
Allen's creek valley. The distance from the old Indian settlement, by the pres- 
ent road, to the mouth of Irondequoit bay is about twenty-two miles, and this 
agrees more perfectly with DeNonville's estimate of eight leagues, or twenty- 
four miles. That an Indian path once extended over this line from Irondequoit 
to Mendon can hardly be doubted, though its exact course is not known, and 
it is very probable that the French army returned to the sand-bar on this trail. 


Strength of the Iroquois — A Terrible Revenge — French Invasions — Irondequoit a Place of Great 
Importance in Colonial Times — Fort des Sables — Charlevoix Describes the Casconchiagon — Captain 
Schuyler Builds a Trading-House at Irondequoit Landing — His Official Instructions — Oliver Culver 
Discovers the Ruins of the Trading-House — Senecas Sell the Lower Genesee Country to the King of 
England — British Armies at Irondequoit. 

THE early French ignored the native names of people and places in many 
instances, and applied such designations as pleased themselves. Occa- 
sionally Indian names were used, but not as a rule. The Mohawk canton was 
called Anniegue, the Oneida Onneiout, the Onondaga Onnontague, Cayuga 
Oioguen, and the Seneca Sonnontouan. In 1665 the Jesuits estimated the num- 
ber of warriors at 2,340. In 1667 Colonel Courcey, agent for Virginia, stated 
that the Five Nations had 2,150 warriors. Wentworth Greenhalgh in 1677 
placed the number of fighting men at 2,150. In 1685 DeNonville gave the 
numerical strength of the Iroquois as follows: Mohawks 250, Oneidas 150, 
Onondagas 300, Cayugas 200, Senecas 1,200, or 2,100 men all told, capable 
of bearing arms. Marshall estimates the entire population about that date as 
7,000, but Bancroft says that in 1660 the whole number could not have varied 
much from ten thousand ; and their warriors strolled as conquerors from Hud- 
son's bay to Carolina, and from the Kennebec to the Tennessee. The Seneca 
was the most powerful nation of the league, and had all its braves been a 
home when the French arrived at Irondequoit, the history of DeNonville's 
expedition would doubtless record a disastrous repulse of the invaders, who 
claimed that they routed and put to flight eight hundred Senecas. The latter 
stated that the greater part of their warriors were absent, fighting distant foes, 
and their entire force in the engagement, with the French consisted of only four 
hundred and fifty men. The Seneca loss probably did not greatly exceed one 
hundred, and many of these were old men and boys not reckoned active war- 
riors, hence their military strength was but sHghtly diminished. They retreated 

62 History of the City of Rochester. 

to Canandaigiia, and in an incredibly short space of time collected a force of 
one thousand men, who took the trail for Niagara. Upon the completion of 
the fort at that place by the French, a detachment under La Hontan was or- 
dered west to relieve the garrison of Fort St. Joseph at Detroit. That officer 
portaged the falls of Niagara and embarked his troops at Schlosser. The party 
had barely left the land when the thousand Iroquois appeared on the shore in 
close pursuit. The French succeeded in reaching Lake Erie in safety, and, 
distancing the heavy canoes of the Indians, escaped to the north shore. 

In 1688 DeNonville induced the Five Nations to send a delegation to Mon- 
treal for the purpose of agreeing upon terms of peace. The Iroquois dispatched 
seventeen hundred men to the St. Lawrence, five hundred visiting Montreal as 
a peace delegation, and twelve hundred awaiting the result near at hand. A 
treaty was concluded, but one Kondiaronk, a Huron chief, determined to frus- 
trate it. When a party of the Iroquois peace envoys were returning up the 
St. Lawrence, Kondiaronk attacked them, killed several and captured the rest. 
He represented that he was acting upon an understanding with the French, and, 
when informed that he had destroyed a, peace delegation, affected great indig- 
nation, released his prisoners and advised them to avenge their fallen friends. 
During the summer twelve hundred Iroquois landed on the south side of Mon- 
treal, and destroyed the place, slaughtering men, women and children without 
mercy. Smith says that "a thousand French were slain in the invasion, and 
twenty-six carried into captivity and burned alive. Many more were made 
prisoners in another attack in October, and the lower part of the Island of Mon- 
treal wholly destroyed." 

War between France and England occurred soon after, lasting until 1697. 
With few exceptions the Iroquois remained implacable enemies of the French, 
and the latter made several invasions of the Iroquois country. In 1689 La 
Hontan entered New York from the south shore of Lake Erie with an army of 
western Indians, and had several engagements with the Iroquois, but his battle 
grounds have never been identified. In February, 1692, an army of French 
and Huron allies attacked the hunting parties of the Senecas in Upper Canada. 
In 1693 the Mohawk country was devastated. The last French expedition 
against the Five Nations of which we have any record occurred in 1696, when 
Count de Frontenac landed an army at Oswego and destroyed the crops of the 
Onondagas and Oneidas. That expeditions were made to the Seneca country, 
and battles fought here of which no known record exists, is fully believed by 
those who have given the subject of Indian antiquities thought and study. 
Did space permit, many excellent reasons influencing this belief might be pre- 
sented. The French occupancy of Western New York has never been fully 
recorded, and lasting memorials of unknown struggles upon .our honie soil have, 
for years, proved perplexing obstacles to the completion of a perfect history. 
From 1689 to the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, the French and English may be 

Fort des Sables. 63 

said to have been continually at war in all our great lake region, and the con- 
test for dominion and control of the Indian trade ceased only upon the final 
overthrow of French power in Canada. During all this period Oswego, Iron- 
dequoit and Niagara remained subjects of contention. 

In April, 1700, Robert Livingstone, then secretary of Indian affairs for New 
York, made a journey to Onondaga to ascertain the condition of matters within 
his jurisdiction. In his report of the trip to the earl of Bellomont, he says; 
"I do humbly offer that it is morally impossible to secure the Five Nations to 
the English interest any longer, without building forts and securing the pa.sses 
that lead to their castles." Mr. Livingstone recommended the erection of a 
fort between Lakes Erie and Huron at a point 744 miles southwest of Albany, 
and mentions the route to that place as follows : "Albany to Terindequat [Iron- 
dequoit] at the Lake of Cadatacqui [Ontario] 400 miles, thence to Onyagara 
where the great fall is eighty miles, from thence to the beginning of Swege 
[Erie] lake 64 miles, to Swege creek and from thence to Wawachtonok 160 
miles." He also recommended a fort on the Onondaga river, to be garrisoned 
with 100 youths, and remarked : " It is true that the French do trade, and have 
small hutts and berks which they call forts at some of those Indian habitations 
where they have priests." 

The governor of Canada also desired to erect forts, one at Niagara, "the 
second at Jerondaquat, that is, on this side of Cadaracqui lake where the path 
goes up to the Sinnekes castles, about thirty miles from where the Sinnekes 
have now their castles." August 20th, 1701, Lieutenant-Governor Nanfan 
reported to the lords of trade that he had procured from the Five Nations an 
instrument whereby they conveyed to the crown of England a tract of land 
800 miles long and 400 broad, including all their beaver hunting, which tract 
began at Jarondigat." 1 

In 1 716, the French erected a building near the present site of the Sea 
Breeze hotel at the northwest angle of Irondequoit bay and Lake Ontario.^ 
It was known to the French as Fort des Sables, and appears to have been con- 
sidered quite an important station. Ata private conference held in June, 1717, 
between Governor Hunter of New York and two sachems of each of the Five 
Nations, the latter said : — 

"We have had two messages from hence — one la,st fall and another this winter — 
to inquire if the French had built a fort and planted a garrison on this side the great lake, 
at a place called Terondoquat, belonging to the Sinnekes; we could not give them a 
positive answer till we had sent as far as the Senekes ; but now can tell your excellency 
that there is no such thing, but that the French have built a trading-house at the said 
place, where they supply our Indians with powder and lead to fight against the Flat- 
heads and other enemies of the Five Nations ; and we must likewise acquaint you that 

1 Col. Mss., IV., 888. 

2 For the identification of this location 1 am indebted to my good friend B. Fernow, keeper of his- 
torical documents of the state library at Albany. 

64 History of the City of Rochester. 

our people are furnished with other goods also at the said French trading-house, as 
clothing and other necessaries, which stops a great deal of peltry coming hither; but the 
French are supplied with all those goods from the people here at Albany, which goes 
first to Canada and from thence up Mount Royal river and so on to Terondoquat, where 
the French trading-house is built upon ground belonging to the Sennekes. If you will 
stop that trade of goods being carried from hence to Canada the other trade will fall of 

In May, 1720, Lawrence Clawsen was sent to Niagara to protest against 
the erection of forts on the Seneca lands, by the French, and in his journal 
says : " On the 7th I returned to Tjerondequatt, where I mett a French smith 
sent by the governor of Canada to work for the Sinnekies gratis." 

It would seem that Fort des Sables was not in the ordinary sense a military 
post. Charlevoix tells us that the French erected cabins, surrounded by pickets, 
"to which they give beforehand the name of Fort, for they say that in time 
it will be changed into a real fortress." Rev. John Durant, who passed Ironde- 
quoit in 17 18, says the French left only one storekeeper and two soldiers at 
such posts during each winter. In October, 1720, the Sieur de Joncaire left 
Montreal for Niagara, with two canoes laden with merchandise, and twelve 
soldiers, "whereof he sent six when he arrived at the fort of Cataraque. He 
pursued afterward his voyage, but the ice stopped him thirty-five leagues from 
the mouth of the river of Niagara, where he was obliged to go into another river 
called Gaschonchiagon, where he passed the winter." Father Charlevoix 
stopped at Irondequoit bay ifiKMay, 172 1, on his journey westward, and, writ- 
ing soon after from Niagara, says : — 

"I departed from the river of Sables the 21st, before sunrise; but, the wind con- 
tinuing against us, we were obliged at ten o'clock to enter the bay of the Tsonnon- 
thouans [Braddock's bay]. Half way from the river of Sables to this bay there is a 
little river [the Genesee], which I would not have failed to have visited, if I had been 
sooner informed of its singularity, and of what I have just now learned on my arriving 
here. They call this river Casconchiagon. It is very narrow and of little depth at its 
entrance into the lake. A little higher it is one hundred and forty yards wide, and they 
say it is deep enough for the largest vessels. Two leagues from its mouth we are 
stopped by a fall which appears to be sixty feet high, and one hundred and forty yards 
wide. A musket shot higher we find a second of the same width, but not so high by 
two-thirds. Half a league further a third, one hundred feet high, good pleasure, and 
two hundred yards wide. After this we meet with several torrents; and after having 
sailed fifty leagues further we meet a fourth fall [Portage] every way equal to the third. 
The course of this river is one hundred leagues, and when we have gone up it about 
sixty leagues we have but ten to go by land, taking to the right, to arrive at the Ohio, 
called La Belle Riviere. The place where we meet with it is called Ganos ; where an 
officer worthy of credit (M. de Joncaire) and the same from whom I learnt what I have 
just now mentioned, assured me that he had seen a fountain the water of which is like 
oil, and has the taste of iron. He said also that a little further there is another fountain 
exactly like it, and that the savages make use of its waters to appease all manner of 
pains. The bay of the Tsonnonthouans is a charming place. A pretty river winds 
here between two meadows, bordered with little hills, between which we discover 






Trading House at Irondequoit. 65 

valleys which extend a great way, and the whole fprms the finest prospect in the world, 
bounded by a great forest of high trees; but the soil appears to be somewhat light 
and sandy." 

The actual occupation of the Seneca country by the French was an incen- 
tive to the English to adopt measures for protection of the Indian trade, and 
in the early summer of 1721 the assembly of New York passed an act for 
raising the sum of five hundred pounds for securing the Indians to the English 
interest. This sum Governor Burnet expended chiefly in the establishment 
of a settlement at Irondequoit. His project met with the hearty approval of 
the authorities at Albany, and a small company of volunteers was promptly 
organised to carry it into effect. This company consisted of Captain Peter 
Schuyler, jr., Lieutenant Jacob Verplanck, Gilleyn Verplanck, Johannis Van 
den Bergh, Peter Gronendyck, David Van der Heyden and two others w^ose 
names are unknown. Governor Burnet's instructions to Captain Schuyler 
were as follows : — 

" You are with all expedition to go with this company of young men that are will- 
ing to settle in the Sinnekes' country for a twelvemonth to drive a trade with the far 
Indians that come from the upper lakes, and endeavor by all suitable means to persuade 
them to come and trade at Albany or with this new settlement. You are not to trade 
with the four hithermost nations but to carry your goods as farr as tlie Sinnekes' 
country to trade with them or any other Indian nations that come hither. You are to 
make a settlement or trading-house either at Jerondoquat or any other convenient place 
on this side of Cadarachqui lake upon the land 'belonging to the Sinnekes, and use all 
lawful! means to draw the furr trade thither by sending notice to the farr Indians that 
you are settled there for their ease and incouragement by my order, and that they may 
be assured they shal have goods cheaper here than ever the French can afford them at 
Canada, for the French must have the principal Indian goods from England, not having 
them of their own. You are also to acquaint all the far Indians that I have an abso- 
lute promise and engagement from the Five Nations that will not only suffer them to 
pass freely and peaceably through their country, but will give them all due encourage- 
ment and sweep and keep the path open and clean when ever they intend to come and 
trade with this province. Being informed that there are sundry French men called by 
the Dutch 'bush loopers,' and by the French coureurs du bois, who have for several 
years abandoned the French colony of Canada and live wholly among the Indians, if 
any such come to trade with you, with their furrs, you may supply them and give them 
all possible incouragement to come hither where they shall be supplyed with Indian 
goods much cheaper than at Canada. Altho the place where ypu settle be land be- 
longing to the crown of Great Britain, both by the surrender of the natives and the 
treaty of peace with France, nevertheless you are to send out skouts and spyes and be 
ui)on your guard, the French not being to be trusted, who will use all means to prevent 
the far Indians coming to trade with you or their coming to Albany. You are to keep 
an exact dyary or journall of all your proceedings of any consequence, and keep a 
constant correspondence with the commissioners of the Indian affairs at Albany, whom 
I will order to give me an account thereof from time to time, and whenever you shall 
receive orders from me to treat with the Sinnekes, or any of the Five Nations, you are 
to be carefuU to minute down your proceedings and their answers, and to send them to 
me with the first opportunity, inclosing them to the commissioners of the Indian affairs 

66 History of the City of Rochester. 

who will forward them with all expedition, and if any matters of great moment and fit 
to be kept very secret do occur, you are to send an account thereof to me in a letter 
sealed, which may be inclosed to the commissioners in order to be forwarded, and you 
are not obliged to mention such matters in your letter to the commissioners. When 
you come to the Sinnekes' country you are to give them a belt of wampum in token 
that they are to give credit to you as my agent to treat with them of all matters relat- 
ing to the public service and the benefit of the trade, and at your desire to furnish you 
with a number of their people as you shall want for yoyr assistance and safety on such 
conditions as you and they can agree upon. When you have pitched upon a con- 
venient place for a trading-house, you are to endeavor to purchase a tract of land in 
the king's name, and to agree with the Sinnekes for it which shall be paid by the publick 
in order that it may be granted by patent to those that shall be the first settlers there 
for their incouragement. You are not to hinder or molest any other British subjects who 
are willing to trade there on their own hazard and account for any Indian goods, rum 
only excepted. You are to communicate to the company such articles of your instruc- 
tions as shall be proper for their regulation from time to time. If you judge it neces- 
sary you may send one or two of your company either among the far Indians, or to 
come to Albany, as the necessary service of the company shall require, but not above 
two of the said company, of which yourself may be one, will be permitted to be absent 
at one time. When you are about to absent yourself from the said settlement you are 
to leave a copy of such part of instructions with the lieutenant as you judge necessary 
for his regulation. All the goods and merchandize that you and said company shall 
take away with you are to be upon one joint stock and account and all your profitt and 
losse to be the same. Given under my hand at the manor of Livingston the eleventh 
day of September in the eighth year of his majesty's reign, anno Dom. 1721. 

"Wm: Burnet." 
Additional Instructions. 

"Whereas it is thought of great use to the British interest to have a settlement upon 
the nearest port of the Lake Eree near the falls of lagara, you are to endeavor to 
purchase in his majesty's name of the Sinnekes or other native propriators all such 
lands above the falls of lagara fifty miles to the southward of the said falls which they 
can dispose off, you are to have a copy of my propositions to the Five Nations and their 
answer, and to use your utmost endeavors that they do perform all that they have 
promised therein, and that none of these instructions be shewn to any person or persons 
but what you shall think necessary to communicate to the lieutenant and the rest of 
the company." 

Upon his arHval at Irondequoit Captain Schuyler selected a location for 
his trading-house secure from French surveillance, yet affording easy access 
from Lake Ontario, and control of all Indian paths leading to the water. The 
actual site of the building was a little plateau overlooking the noted Indian 
landing on Irondequoit creek, at the eastern terminus of the grand portage 
trail. This spot may be regarded as the most important point in all the. lower 
Genesee country. It was the great Indian landing-place from Lake Ontario, 
and general trading-ground of the early tribes.. Previous to the building 
of Fort des Sables the French ran their little sailing vessels up the bay and 
creek to this landing, and it was doubtless at this place, and not in the Genesee 

Purchase of Irondequoit by the English. 6y 

river, that the brigantlne of La Salle dropped anchor in June, 1670. There 
the Senecas went to trade furs for arms, trinkets and brandy; there Father 
Hennepin left the bartering crew of French and Indians, and wandered deep 
into the woods, built a chapel of bark wherein, secure from observation and in 
communion with nature, he performed his religious duties. ^ The house erected 
by Captain Schuyler's company stood a short distance from the edge of the 
bluff, with one side facing the creek. It was an oblong structure of consider- 
able size. After an occupation lasting one year, Captain Schuyler returned to 
Albany in September, 1772, with all his company. While excavating the 
earth for a building upon the same location about 1798, Oliver Culver dis- 
covered the foundation logs of a block-house, evidently destroyed by fire, and 
musket balls, etc., in large quantities. It has been assumed by certain writers 
that the ruins discovered at the Irondequoit creek landing by Mr. Culver were 
the remains of a battery or redoubt built by DeNonville, and that his army 
actually landed at that place, but this is an error. As we have already shown, 
DeNonville's army landed at the mouth of Irondequoit bay, and the only 
fortification erected by the French at that time was on the sand-bar. It is 
supposed, however, that the "first defile" mentioned by DeNonville was the 
passage through the valley at the Irondequoit landing. The ruins found by 
Mr. Culver were undoubtedly the lower logs of Captain Schuyler's trading- 

For many years Irondequoit, as the great pass to the Seneca country, 
proved a bone of earnest contention between French and English, each nation 
proposing to build a stone fortress at the entrance of the bay upon obtaining 
the consent of its rightful owners, the Seneca Indians. In August, 1741, 
Lieutenant-Governor Clarke, of New York, wrote the lords of trade as 
follows : — 

" I have the honor to inform your lordships that by the means of some people 
whom I sent last year to reside in the Senecas' country (as usual) I obtained a deed 
for the lands at Tierrondequat from the sachimes, and I have sent orders to those 
people to go around the lands in company with some of the sachimes and to mark the 
trees, that it may be known at all times hereafter how much they have given up to us.'' 
"Deed to His Majesty of the Lands Around Tierondequat. 

"To all people to whome these presents shall or may come We, Tenekokaiwee, 
Tewasajes and Staghreche, Principall Sachims of the Sinnekes' country, native Indians, 
of the province of New York, send greeting. Know yee that for sundry good causes 
and considerations us Moveing but More Especially for and in consideration of the 
value of one hundred pounds currant money of the said province, unto us in hand paid 
and delivered at and before the ensealing and delivery hereof by the receipt whereof we 
do hereby acknowledge and therewith to be fully paid and contented thereof and there- 
from and of and from every part and parcell thereof, do fully clearly and absolutely 
request exonerate and discharge them the Said their Executors Administrators and 

1 New Discovery, p. 109. 

68 History of the City of Rochester. 

Assigns and every of them forever by these presents have therefore given granted 
released and forever quit Claimed and by these presents for us and our defendants do 
give grant release and forever quit claim unto our most gracious Sovereign Lord 
George the second by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King 
Defender of the faith etc., his heirs and Successors all our Right title and Interest 
Claime property profession and demand of in and to all that tract of land Scituate 
lying and being in the county of Albany beginning on the bank of the Oswego lake 
six miles easterd of Tierondequat and runs from thence along the Lake westward 
twenty miles and from the Lake southeastward thirty miles keeping that distance from 
the Lake all the way from the beginning to the end with all and Singular of woods 
underwoods trees mines mineralls quarrys hereditaments and appertenances whatsoever 
and the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Remainders Rents Issues and 
Profitts thereof to have- and to hold all and singular the above bargained premisses with 
the appurtenances unto our said most gracious Sovereign Lord his heirs Successors and 
Assigns to the sole and only proper use benefitt and behoof of our said Sovereign Lord 
his heirs Successors and. Assigns for ever, in Testimony whereof we have hereinto sett 
our marks and seals this tenth day of January in the fourteenth year of his Majesties 
Reign annoq: Dom : i74f- 

v(V^ Sergrmen. 
Dekoschten I ^_ 

alias Tenehokaiwee "^^ ^ 

/T Sergrmen. 

Signed Sealed and Delivered Twessa 

In the presence of 


Hendryck Wempel „ "^ ^ Sergrmen, 

-- _ Staichreseh W ° 

Jacobus Van Eps 
Philip Ryder 


"Albany 3d October 1741 appeared before Philip Livingston Esquire one of his 
Majesties Councill for the Province of New York Hendrik Wemp Jacobus Van Eps 
and Philip Ryder who declared on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God that they 
saw the within named Tenehokaiwe Tewassajes and Staghreche Sachims Sign Scale and 
deliver ye within deed as their voluntary act and deed for the use therein mentioned. 

" P : Livingston." 

Governor Clarke made repeated efforts to effect the settlement of an English 
colony at Irondequoit, without success. Oswego, being on the main water 
communication between Albany and Lake Ontario, and Niagara, controlling 
the passage to Erie and the western lakes, became the principal points of 
contest, and great forts were built at those places while Irondequoit remained 
a simple trading station. July 1st, 1759, General Prideaux, with Sir William 
Johnson second in command, left Oswego with an army of two thousand men 
and five hundred Indians on an expedition against Fort Niagara, at the mouth 
of Niagara river, then occupied by the French. The expedition was supplied 
with heavy artillery and all necessary military equipments for a protracted 
siege, and was transported in vessels, bateaux and canoes. Coasting the south 
shore of Lake Ontario, the first night's encampment was at Sodus, the second 

The Seneca Castles on the Genesee. 69 

at Irondequoit and the third in Braddock's bay — which latter place was then 
named Prideaux bay, in honor of the English commander, who was killed a 
few days later during the siege. At each halting-place discharges of artillery 
were made to inspire their Indian allies with courage, and their foes with terror. 
Upon the surrender of Fort Niagara Sir William Johnson, with nearly all his 
army and six hundred prisoners, returned down the lake to Oswego, again camp- 
ing at Irondequoit. In 1764 General Bradstreet left Oswego upon an expedi- 
tion against the hostile western tribes under Pontiac. During the passage up 
Lake Ontario his army, consisting of twelve hundred troops, followed by Sir 
William Johnson with six hundred Indians, also encamped at Irondequoit. 
Israel Putnam, of Bunker Hill fame, was then lieutenant-colonel of the Con- 
necticut battalion in the expedition, and several other men who subsequently 
became illustrious patriots of the Revolution, were ofificers of Bradstreet's army. 


The Seneca Castles on the Genesee — Treaty of Peace with the English — Decline of Iroquois 
Power — Sullivan's Campaign against the Senecas — Fa,te of Lieutenant Boyd — Sullivan's Troops on 
the Site of Rochester. 

THE red men seldom rebuilt upon the site of a town destroyed by enemies, 
though they occasionally settled in the near vicinity of such places. As 
a rule the surviving inhabitants removed to a distance. After the destruction 
of their four principal villages by DeNonville, the Senecas sought other local- 
ities for their settlements. Towns sprang up in the lower Genesee country, 
mainly on the trails leading to Irondequoit bay, but as early a? 1715 their cas- 
tles were located on the middle and upper Genesee. The frequent removals 
and establishment of new towns render any chronological account of the Seneca 
settlements impossible. The soil of the Genesee valley is rich with humble 
memorials of their presence in every part of its rugged uplands and alluvial 
flats, and, did space permit, it might prove an interesting theme to point out 
existing evidences of several large Indian towns which were located in the im- 
mediate neighborhood of Rochester ; but this shall be our task at some future 
day ; at present we must hasten with the record of changes contemporary with 
the close of aboriginal occupation. For a period of twenty years following the, 
termination of French dominion in Western New York in 1759 there are few' 
events of direct local bearing recorded in history. The Iroquois had steadily' 
maintained* their sole right to possession of the Genesee country against all 
comers, and upon the overthrow of the French at Niagara naturally sided with 
them against the conquerors, entering into active preparations to rid the coun- 

70 History of the City of Rochester. 

try of every Englishman. Immediately succeeding the treaty of Paris in 1763 
and consequent end of the French war, the Iroquois decided to acquiesce in 
the' general submission to British rule. April 3d, 1764, a preliminary treaty 
was.arranged between the Senecas and English at Johnson Hall, and ratified 
at Niagara the following summer under a peremptory threat of General Brad- 
street to at once destroy the Seneca settlements if the peace compact was not 
promptly and fully confirmed by all the nation. This treaty was the beginning 
of the end of Indian domination in the Genesee country.- Among other con- 
cessions wrung from the Senecas by the terms of^this peace was the surrender 
of title to lands along the Niagara river between Lakes Ontario and Erie. 
Having large niilitary forces at Oswego and Niagara, the English were prepared 
to follow up this acquisition of title by actual occupation and control of the 
grounds ceded, and the foothold thus obtained by the whites was never relin- 

The diversion of the direct channel of western tradi to and through Oswego 
eastward, upon the ascendency of the English, rendered Irondequoit and the 
lower Genesee comparatively unimportant stations, or ports of the Senecas. 
Individual traders and small parties of whites often visited the Indian settle- 
ments and British troops occasionally passed through the dark forests, but the 
border line of civilisation was far to the eastward, and the exciting events pre- 
ceding the struggle between the colonists and mother-land failed to disturb the 
primitive peace of our home wilderness. Through all the dreadful scenes of 
the Revolution the occurrences on the lower Genesee were confined to the pas- 
sage of war parties of British and Indians, but the great " vale of the Senecas" 
became a stronghold and secure retreat for predatory bands of tories and sav- 
ages, who made frequent, desolating incursions and "hung like a scythe of 
death" about all the border towns of the American colonists. In retahation Gen- 
eral John Sullivan invaded the Genesee country with an army. of four thousand 
men during the summer of, 1779, and destroyed the Indian settlements. On 
his march up the Tioga — or Chemung, as it is now called — he attacked and 
routed some twelve or fifteen hundred British troops, tories and savages under 
Butler, Johnson and Brandt, who were intrenched at Newtown, about four 
miles below the present city of Elniira. The retreating enemy were followed 
to Geneva, Canandaigua and Conesus. Sullivan expected to find the famous 
Genesee Indian castle at the mouth of the Canaseraga creek, but in all his army 
there was not a single person sufficiently acquainted with the country to guide 
a party outside the Indian trails, and on his arrival at Ka-naugh-saws (head of 
Conesus lake) he dispatched Lieutenant Thomas Boyd of Morgan's rifle corps, 
with twenty-six men, to ascertain the location of the town. Boyd's little band 
crossed the Conesus' outlet and followed the trail to a village on the Canaseraga, 
about seven miles distant, which was found deserted, the fires still burning. 

The party encamped near the town and on the following morning, Septem- 

Sullivan's Expedition. 71 

ber 13th, 1779, started to rejoin the army. Just as they were descending the 
hill at the base of which the army lay, five or six hundred warriors and loyal- 
ists under Brandt and Butler rose up before them and with horrid yells closed 
in upon the little band from every side. In the terrific struggle that followed, 
all the' party were killed except Murphy, McDonald, Putnam and a Canadian, 
who escaped, and Boyd and Parker, who were captured. The prisoners were 
conducted to Little Beard's Town (now Cuylerville), which was then termed the 
Chinesee castle, and upon their refusal to impart information regarding Sulli- 
van's army were turned over to the Indians. Parker was simply beheaded, but 
Boyd was subjected to the most horrible tortures that savage ingenuity could in- 
flict. Sullivan's soldiers, who had crossed the Genesee to attack Little Beard's 
Town, were so close at the time that the advance found the remains of Boyd 
and Parker while the blood was. still oozing from the headless trunks. They 
were buried that evening with military honors,' under a clump of wild plum 
trees, at the junction of two small streams which form Beard's creek, and a 
large mound was raised over the grave. ^ 

Previous to the arrival of Sullivan's army the Indians had sent all their 
women and children to Silver lake, and upon the first appearance of the Amer- 
ican troops on the west side of the river the enemy fled precipitately. Brandt 
with his warriors and the British regulars took the Moscow trail for Buffalo 
creek and Niagara, while the tory rangers went to the Caledonia springs. From 
that place Walker, the noted British spy, was sent to Fort Niagara with instruc- 
tions to obtain a sufficient number of boats to transport the tories and meet 
them at the mouth of the Genesee river. The rangers then came down the trail 
to Red creek ford at the rapids in South Rochester (see chapter VI.), where 
they divided into two parties, one going directly to the lake, by the St. Paul 
street route; the other over the portage trail to Irondequoit landing and the 
tories' retreat in the great ox-bow curve of the Irondequoit creek, thence across 
the country to the mouth of the Genesee, where the boats from Niagara found 
the entire party in a starving condition some days later. Little Beard's Town 
is said to have been the extreme western point reached by Sullivan, and it has 
long been a question of considerable interest whether any part of his army de- 
scended the Genesee to the vicinity of Rochester. Following the arrival of the 
troops at the Genesee castle all property of the Indians was ruthlessly destroyed, 
including one hundred houses, some two hundred acres of grain, large crops of 
beans and potatoes, and several orchards, one of which contained fifteen hun- 
dred trees. "While this work was in progress at Little Beard's Town," says 
Norton, "General Sullivan, according to the undisputed tradition of years, sent 
Generals Poor and Maxwell down the river to Cannawaugus, which place they' 
destroyed, and on this return march likewise burned Big Tree village. Gen- 

1 For an account of the final disposition of their bones, the reader is referred to chapter XIX. of this 

72 History of the City of Rochester. 

eral Sullivan makes no mention of this fact, nor is the destruction of Canna- 
waugus recorded in the numerous journals kept by officers of Sullivan's army; 
the conclusion is irresistible that no portion of the army got as far north as 
Cannawaugus, and that that village escaped the general destruction ; Big Tree 
village, it is sufficient to say, had no existence on the Genesee until after the 
Revolution." i 

While the return route of Sullivan's army is fully understood, it is not prob- 
able that the minor incidents of each scouting expedition were considered of 
sufficient importance to merit special record. Sullivan's spies undoubtedly 
followed the retreating enemy some distance, and one or more parties of scouts 
may have trailed the tories to Irondequoit and the mouth of the river. The 
rangers certainly believed that Sullivan's men were in their immediate vicinity, 
as they concealed themselves in the brush and dared not shoot a gun, build a 
fire or expose their precious carcasses until the appearance of Walker with the 
boats for their removal. The Indians retreated to Fort Niagara, and most of 
the Senecas remained there during the winter, which was unusually severe. 
The food furnished by the British being insufficient and of inferior quality, hun- 
dreds of Indians died from starvation and scurvy. Few ever returned to their . 
old homes east of the Genesee, the main body of Senecas settling at Buffalo 
creek, Squawkie hill, Little Beard's Town and Cannawaugus. Some came upon 
the lower Genesee, and as late as 1796 the town located on the Culver farm in 
Irondequoit (see chapter VI.) numbered over three hundred inhabitants. Their 
power as a nation was completely broken, and upon the conclusion of peace 
between the United States and England, the latter nation made no provision 
for her defeated Indian allies, leaving them entirely to the mercy of the 

1 Sullivan's Campaigit, by A. Tiffany Norton, p. i66. While this statement of Norton's would 
appear to effectually dispose of the question, it is quite certain that the pioneers of the lower Genesee 
firmly believed that .Sullivan's army, or some considerable portion of the troops, actually came within 
the present boundaries of Rochester. In 1810 Jacob Miller settled the Red creek ford farm on the east 
bank of the Genesee, and found a number of decaying boats near the mouth of Red creek. ■ Mr. Miller 
was repeatedly informed by Indians that these were the remains of boats used by Sullivan's soldiers 
who came down the river in pursuit of the tory rangers. 

About 1821 Charles M. Barnes, Calvin and Russell Eaton and a fourth boy named Stanley were at . 
play on the bank of Allen's creek in Brighton, near the crossing of East avenue. They noticed a man, 
apparently about seventy years of age, looking around at various objects, and inquired what he was 
searching for. The stranger replied " I was in Sullivan's army, and the first night after the fight I 
slept under a large white oak tree that stood near this spot. The place has altered very much, but I 
recollect that it was under a tree that stood close to the creek." The boys pointed out a large white 
oak Titump standing on the east bank of the stream some rods below, and the stranger thought that 
might have been the exact spot where he slept, but could not say positively, as the surroundings were 
so changed. He told the boys his name and rank and related several incidents of Sullivan's march. 
Mr. Barnes is still living, hale and hearty at seventy-three, and has a distinct remembrance of the cir- 
cumstance, though the name of the stranger was forgotten years ago. The relation of similar incidents 
was common among our early settlers, and there can be little doubt that they were founded on fact. 

First White Occupancy. 73 


The White Man's Occupancy of the Genesee Country — The Native Title Extinguished — Indian 
Reservations — Present Indian Population. 

THE soldiers of Sullivan's army carried to their eastern homes wonderful 
tales of Western New York, of its grand forests, natural meadows, rich 
soil and valuable watercourses, and to many the Genesee country became the 
land of promise and the Eden of pioneer hopes. At the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war all of New York west of German Flats was a wilderness inhabited 
by Indians only. At the conclusion of peace in 1783 King George III. re- 
linquished his claim to this territory, to the United States. The state of New 
York asserted her right to all lands extending westerly to Lakes Erie and On- 
tario, founding her claim mainly as successor to the Five Nations and on the 
acquiescence of the British crown. Massachusetts resisted this claim upon the 
ground of prior title to certain portions of the land by virtue of a charter granted 
to the council of Plymouth by King James I. in 1620. This dispute was settled 
by a treaty held at Hartford, Connecticut, in December, 1786. Among other 
conditions of the settlement, Massachusetts relinquished all sovereignty and 
jurisdiction over all that part of the state of New York lying west of a meridian 
drawn through Seneca lake, and comprising what were subsequently known as 
the Phelps & Gorham and Holland Land company's purchases (see New York 
Charter, by O. H. Marshall), reserving the right of preemption in the soil, or 
in other words the right to purchase of the Indians. In April, 1788, Oliver 
Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham purchased of Massachusetts the preemption 
right of the territory ceded to that state, comprising some six million acres, 
for one million dollars. In July of that year these gentlemen extinguished 
the "native right" to a portion of these lands by purchase of the Indians at a ■ 
treaty held at Buffalo, and in 1790, being unable to fulfill their agreement with 
Massachusetts, prevailed on that commonwealth to take back four million 
acres and reduce the amount of ther purchase money to thirty-one thousand 
pounds. After settling a portion of their tract, in November, 1790, Phelps and 
Gorham disposed of nearly all the residue, about 1,264,000 acres, to Robert 
Morri.s, who sold the same to Charles Williamson, who held it in trust for Sir 
William Pulteney. The Pulteney estate was bounded "on the north by Lake 
Ontario, east by the preemption line, south by the state of Pennsylvania, west 
by a transit meridian line due north from latitude 42 to the Genesee riv^at 
its junction with the Canaseraga creek, thence by the Genesee river to the 
south line of Caledonia, thence west twelve miles, and thence northwesterly by 
the east line of the 'triangle,' twelve miles west of the Genesee river to Lake 
Ontario." It is not our purpose at this time to trace the succession of title 
to lands in Western New York. It is sufficient to say that Massachusetts sold 

74 History of the City of Rochester. 

the four million acres given up by Phelps and Gorham, to Robert Morris. In 
1 792-3 Mr. Morris sold nearly all of his interest in lands west of the Genesee 
river, to Herman Le Roy, William Bayard, Matthew Clarkson, Garrett Boon 
and John Linklaen, in trust for certain gentlmen in Holland, and this tract was 
afterward known 4s the "Holland Purchase." A law permitting aliens to hold 
real estate was passed soon after, enabling Sir William Pulteney and the Hol- 
landers to assume the titles of their respective estates. By the terms of his 
transactions with Sir William Pulteney and the Holland company, Mr. Morris 
was bound to extinguish the whole native title to all lands between Seneca 
lake and the Niagara frontier, and accordingly a treaty with the Senecas was 
held at Geneseo (Big Tree) in September, 1797. Of the six million acres in 
Western New York owned by the Indians previous to Phelps and Gorham 's 
first purchase in 1787, the terms of the Geneseo treaty left for their use only 
the following described " reservations:" — 

" 1 . Cannawaugus, two square miles lying on the west bank of the Genesee river, west 
of Avon. 2 and 3. Big Tree and Little Beard, in all four square miles on the west 
bank of the Genesee, near Geneseo. 4. Squawkie Hill, two miles square, on the west 
bank of the Genesee, north of Mount Morris. 5. Gardeau, or Gardow, the "white 
woman's" reservation, containing abovit twenty-eight square miles (17,927 acres) on both 
sides of the Genesee river, between Mount Morris and Portage. 6. Caneadea, sixteen 
square miles, on both sides of the Genesee above Portage. 7. Oil Spring, one square 
mile on the line between Alleghany and Cattaraugus counties. 8. Alleghany, forty-four 
square miles, on both sides of the Alleghany river, near Salamanca. 9. Cattaraugus, 
forty-two square miles, on both sides and near the mouth of Cattaraugus creek, on 
Lake Erie, twenty-six miles north of Buffalo. 10.. Buffalo, one hundred and thirty 
square miles, on both sides of Buffalo creek, near Buffalo. 11. Tonawanda, seventy 
square miles, on both sides of Tonawanda creek, about twenty-five miles from its mouth, 
and sixteen miles northeast of Buffalo. 12. Tuscarora, one square mile, on the moun- 
tain ridge, three miles east of Lewiston." 

The Indian title to all these reservations, except Alleghany, Cattaraugus, 
Tonawanda and Tuscarora, has since been extinguished. As early as 1820 
the red man had few representatives in the Genesee valley, and about 1 830 
they ceased to occupy their old camp grounds along the lower Genesee. In 
1826 John De Bay and Samuel Willett, two men who accompanied Clark in 
his famous western expedition in 1806, then residents of Rochester, purchased 
a quantity of goods, engaged T. J. Jeffords, ^ a lad of thirteen, as assistant, 
and made the tour of Indian towns in Western New York. The first camp 
visited by the traders was located on the ridge, east of Irondequoit bay, and 

1 Mr. Jeffords is well known to the citizens of Rochester, having held several positions of honor 
and trust in the county of Monroe. The pleasure of a visit to his pleasant home in East Rush is 
greatly enhanced by the presence of his aunt, Mrs. Rebekah Price, the first white child born in Rich- 
field, Otsego county, September 2d, 1791. Mrs. Price has lived at Rush shice l8o3. Her mind is as 
clear and active as that of many people at sixty. From the rich store-house of her memory and the 
recollections of Mr. Jeffords, many interesting facts concerning Indian and pioneer times have been 

The Genesee Falls Mill Lot. 75 

consisted largely of French associates of the Indians, with whom they were 
living. The second town was on or near the present farm of Judge Edmond 
Kelly, south of Irondequoit landing. The traders found about twenty Indians 
at the Bell farm on the north side of Honeoye outlet, and one hundred and 
fifty at Cannawaugus. Passing through York "to Wiscoy above Portage, they 
struck a town of three hundred Senecas. At Red House station, above Sala- 
manca, they found four hundred and fifty Indians. On the bank of Silver 
creek, near Captain Camp's residence, one hundred Senecas were engaged in 
a council. 

In his late work, Weird Legends and Traditions of the Seneca Indians, 
issued in May, 1884, Rev. J. W. Sanborn presents the results of his experience 
as a missionary to that nation. Touching the present population of the In- 
dians, chapter XXIV., he says : — 

"In Western New York the total population of the Senecas is 3,014, disposed as 
follows: On the Alleghany reserve 914, Cattaraugus reserve 1,500, Tonawanda reserve 
600. The Indian population, including all the tribes in the state of New York, is fully 


The Genesee Falls Mill Lot — The Triangle — Ebenezer Allan's One-Hundred-Acre Tract — The 
Stone Ridge — Peter Sheffer — Allan's Mills — The Mill Stones — Jenuhshio or " Indian" Allan — 
The First White Settler — First (Jrist Mill in the Genesee Valley — Allan's Deed to lienjamin liartou 
— Close of Allan's Career — His Son Claims the One-Hundred-Acre Tract. 

WHEN Oliver Phelps held his treaty with the Indians at Buffalo, in 1788, 
he was anxious to secure all their lands within the Massachusetts pre- 
emption claim, but the Indians declined to part with any land west of the 
Genesee river, regarding that stream as a natural boundary set by the Great 
Spirit between the white and red men. Unable to effect his object by honor- 
able purchase, Mr. Phelps appealed to the generosity of the Indians and asked 
them for a piece of land west of the Genesee, large enough for a "mill seat," 
representing the great convenience a mill would be to them, whereupon the 
Indians requested him to state the amount of land required for such a purpose. 
Mr. Phelps replied that a piece about twelve miles wide, extending from Canna- 
waugus (Avon) on the west side of the Genesee river to Lake Ontario, about 
twenty-eight miles, would answer his purpose. The Indians were reluctant to 
part with so large a tract, but, upon Mr. Phelps's assurance that it was all 

1 The material for chapters XIII. and XIV. is derived from the journals of Charlevoix, and Maude, 
the Life of Mary femison, Turner's histories of the Holland Purchase, and Phelps <V Gorham Pur- 
chase, Pioneer Collections, and private journal of the writer compiled from personal researches. 


']6 History of the City of Rochester. 

needed, granted his request. This strip of land, thus acquired by Oliver 
Phelps, contained about 200,000 acres and was designated the "Genesee Falls 
mill lot." The first survey of the mill tract was made by Colonel Hugh Max- 
well, who started at Cannawaugus, ran twelve miles west of the Genesee river, 
and then due north. to Lake Ontario. Whether these lines were run with a 
view of again cheating the red men, or were made through mistake is not cer- 
tain; but the Indians bitterly opposed the boundaries thus created, and Augus- 
tus Porter ran a new line which was as near an average of twelve miles from 
the Genesee as a straight ' line would permit. In after surveys west of this 
line, the tract struck out of Maxwell's survey by Porter was termed the 

Mr. Phelps fulfilled his agreement with the Indians by a contract with one 
Ebenezer Allan, who agreed to erect saw and grist mills at the Genesee falls, 
the consideration being the conveyance to Allan of one hundred acres of land, 
commencing at the center of the mill and extending an equal distance up and 
down the river, then west far enough to contain the hundred acres in a square 
form. So far as known no writings ever passed between Phelps and Allan, but 
in a deed for twenty thousand acres embracing all the present site of Rochester 
west of the Genesee river, sold to Quartus Pomeroy, Justin Ely, Ebenezer 
Hunt and a Mr. Breck in 1790, an exception and reservation was made of 
"the one hundred acres previously granted to Ebenezer Allan." 

Allan is supposed to have been the first white settler in the Genesee valley, 
other, than the tory Walker at the mouth of the Genesee, and first white 
occupant of the territory now covered by the city of Rochester. Whatever 
his faults . and, vices, this fact is. patent, and from his first appearance as an 
actual resident of the Genesee valley dates the era of permanent settlement. 
No history of Rochester would be complete that omitted mention of Ebenezer 
Allan and his many interests in Western New York. From the mouth of the 
river at Lake Ontario to the lower falls at Gardeau, Allan- inaugurated im- 
provements which have found their full development only during the present 
generation. Nearly a century has elapsed since the sounds of his rasping 
mill- saw first echoed across our beautiful river and were hushed in the roar of 
untamed waters dashing over their rocky bed in the channel below; but the 
memory of his presence here, on the soil we love so well, must be cherished 
while the Flower city has an existence. 

In the Revolutionary war Allan was a tory and became acquainted with 
the Senecas during their incursions against American settlements on the Sus- 
quehanna. He joined the Indians in their predatory battles, and excelled all 
his savage associates in ferocious^cruelty. Mary Jemison, the "white woman," 
says thatduring one of his .scouting expeditions with the Indians Allan entered 
a house very early in the morning where he found a man, his wife and one 
child, in bed. The man instantly sprang on the floor for the purpose of 

Ebenezer Allan. ^^ 

defending himself and family; but Allan killed him at one blow, cut off his 
head and threw it into the bed with the terrified woman ; took the child from 
its mother's breast and dashed its head against the jamb, leaving the unhappy- 
widow and mother alone with her murdered family. It has been said by some 
that after killing the child Allan opened the fire and buried it under the coals 
and ashes, but of that Mrs. Jemison was uncertain; though she thought 
Allan repented these deeds in later days. He accompanied the Senecas to the 
Genesee, and was with Walker at the battle of Newtown. When the Indians 
returned to their desolated homes, after the departure of Sullivan's army in the 
fall of 1779, Mrs. Jemison went to Gardeau and husked corn for two negroes 
who lived there. In the spring of 1780 she built a house on the flats, and 
Allan made his appearance at that place soon after. He was apparently with- 
out any business to support him, and remained at the white woman's house 
during the following winter. In the spring Allan commenced working the 
flats and continued to labor there until the peace of 1783, when he went to 
Philadelphia, and in a short time returned with a horse loaded with dry goods. 
Locating on the present site of Mount Morris he built a house and became a 

Dissatisfied with the treaty of peace, the British and Indians on the frontier 
determined to continue their depredations on the white settlements between 
the Genesee and Albany. The Senecas were about setting out on an expedi- 
tion when Allan, understanding their mode of warfare, procured a belt of 
wampum and carried it as a token of peace either to the commander of the 
nearest American military post, or to the American commissioner. The officer 
sent word to the Indians that the wampum was cordially accepted and a con- 
tinuance of peace was ardently desired. The Indians considered the wampum 
a sacred thing, and dared not go against the import of its meaning. They 
immediately buried the hatchet as respected the Americans, and smoked the 
pipe of peace; but with the aid of the British resolved to punish Allan for 
presenting the wanipum without their knowledge. A party of British soldiers 
was sent from Fort Niagara to apprehend Allan, but he had escaped and they 
confiscated his property and returned to the fort. A second attempt to capT 
ture him failed, as he was concealed in a cave about Gafdeau and supplied 
with food by the white woman ; a third effort was successful and Allan was 
taken to Montreal or Quebec for trial, where he was honorably acquitted of 
the crime charged, that is, putting too sudden a stop to the war. Proceeding 
to Philadelphia he purchased'on credit a boat load of goods, which he brought 
by water to Conhocton, and thence to Mount Morris on horses provided by 
the Senecas. These goods were exchanged for ginseng and furs, which Allan 
sold at Niagara. Harvesting a large crop of corn on his own land, he carried 
it down the river in canoes to the mouth of Allen's creek, then called Gin-is- 
* a-ga by the Indians, There he built a house and cultivated the soil. Butler's 

78 History of the City of Rochester. 

rangers and the Indians would steal cattle from the Mohawk and the Susque- 
hanna and drive them to the Genesee, where Allan kept them on the rich flats 
until in prime condition and then sold them at Fort Niagara and in Canada. 
Col. Butler, British superintendent of Indian affairs at Niagara, supplied Allan 
with a quantity of goods for the Indian trade, and the latter appropriated the 
lot to his own use and profit. 

In July, 1788, as previously stated, Allan contracted with Mr. Phelps to 
erect saw and grist mills on the one-hundred-acre lot at the Genesee falls. 
During the following summer he built the saw-mill and got out timber for a 
grist mill. At that period the river bed was nearly level from the location of 
the present aqueduct, south to the race dam at the jail, and the Indian 
canoe landing was on the present site of W. S. Kimball's tobacco fac- 
tory. There was a perpendicular fall fourteen feet high, where the aqueduct is 
located, which was then known as the "upper fall." The ledge, of Hmestone 
forming this fall curved northwest to the corner of Basin street, where it again 
turned west and, running nearly parallel with West Main street, ended abrupt- 
ly about one hundred feet west of Plymouth avenue. This "stone ridge" was 
from ten to fourteen feet in height. It has been entirely removed above the 
present surface of the ground, but a portion of its base now forms the west side 
of the mill race under Aqueduct street. All land east of this ledge to the pres- 
ent channel of the river, is "filled ground." The saw-mill erected by Allan 
stood upon the present site of the building owned by Nehemiah Osburn, east 
of Aqueduct street. The first lumber sawed was used to roof the mill, the 
second was for the grist mill, and the third was sold to Orange Stone. 

In the fall of 1789 Peter Sheffer, and his sons Peter and Jacob, came upon the 
Genesee and found Allan on his farm near the mouth of Allen's creek. He 
had a comfortaJDle log house on his land, three hundred acres of which had 
been given him by the Indians, and one hundred and seventy purchased of 
Phelps and Gorham. Some sixty acres of flats were under cultivation, and 
twenty then in wheat, while the farm was stocked with horses, cattle, etc. 
Mr. Sheffer purchased this tract for $2.50 an acre. Turner says that the money 
realised by the sale of this farm enabled Allan to push forward his mill enter- 
prise, yet he also states that the Sheffers did not reach the Genesee until De- 
cember. This is evidently a mistake, as the deed from Allan to Peter Sheffer 
is dated November 23d, 1789, was acknowledged before Timothy Hosmer, No- 
vember I2th, 1793, and recorded on page 178 book 2 in the county clerk's 
office at Canandaigua, March 39th, 1794. Furthermore William Hencher 
stated that the frame of Allan's grist mill was raised November 12th and 
13th. That was at an earlier date than Turner supposed Mr. Sheffer to have 
been in this region. 

Allan sent out Indian runners to invite every white man in Genesee valley 
to the raising of the grist mill. The party numbered just fourteen, all told. ' 

Erection of Allan's Mill. 79 

The mill frame was heavy, hewed timber, twenty-six by thirty feet. It stood 
north of the saw-mill previously erected, upon what was afterward known as 
the "old red mill" site, on "Mill lot number 2." This exact spot is directly 
in the rear of numbers 39 and 41 East Main street, half way between Aque- 
duct and Graves street. The ground is now occupied by M. F. Reynolds's 
paint mill, and E. R. Andrews's printing establishment. Allan procured rum 
from a trading boat at the mouth of the river, and liquor was "free as water." 
The entire party camped on the ground the first night. Lumber for the mill 
floor had been previously .sawed and was laid on the 13th, all hands indulging 
in a dance in the evening and then sleeping on the new floor. The iron for 
both mills was brought on horseback from Conhocton to Allan's farm, and 
thence down the river in canoes. In bringing the mill irons down, a Dutch- 
man named Andrews, having them in charge, went over the upper fall and was 
drowned. The iron was recovered, but Andrews was never seen again, and 
Allan was credited with his murder. 

In August, 1800, John Maude, ah English traveler, passed through the 
lower Genesee country and in his description of the Allan grist mill says : "It 
contains but one pair of stones made from the stone of a neighboring quarry, 
which is found to be very suitable for this purpose." This curious statement . 
of Maude's has been repeated by every historian writing on this subject, so far 
.as we are aware, to the present day. The "quarry" mentioned has remained 
undiscovered thus far (1884), and Mr. Maude's informant led him into other 
and more serious misstatements, one of which was that said informant "remem- 
bered the two steps of the lower falls (some twenty rods apart) as united in one 
fall. A reference to Charlevoix's description of the Genesee in 1721 shows 
that the lower falls were then identically the same as at present, as regards dis- 
tance. The run of stone used in Allan's grist mill were made from boulders 
on the surface of the ground near the mill. With the assistance of Indians, 
Allan himself cut and dressed both stones. He was a blacksmith, had a forge 
near his house at Allen's creek, and also one at the grist mill, where he fitted 
the mill irons with his own hands. Allan often shod his own horses and re- 
paired guns for himself and the Indians. 

With all his faults, Ebenezer Allan was riot lazy. He was imposing in ap- 
pearance, and though usually mild in manner had a bold, determined look and 
the faculty of controlling all about him. He usually had from ten to thirty In- 
dians at work, and in return supplied them and their families with everything 
required, including whisky. Wherever Allan went, a company of Indian satel- 
lites attended to do his bidding. During his stay at the grist mill the Senecas 
encamped in the vicinity of Exchange street, and at the Indian spring. He was 
an adopted member of the Seneca nation, and was known to the red men as 
Jen-uh-shi-o. From his intimate associations with the natives he was called 
" Indian Allan "by the whites, who greatly disliked him. About the time of 

8o History of the City of Rochester. 

his first appearance on the Genesee, Allan married a Seneca squaw named 
Kyen-da-nent. Her English name was Sally. They had two daughters, 
Mary, born in 1780, and Chloe, born March 3d, 1782. While at the falls in 
1 789 a man named Chapman stopped with his family on their way to Canada, 
and Allan proposed to the daughter Lucy, to whom he was married by a 
sham magistrate. Chapman went on his journey to Canada and Lucy was 
taken back to Allan's farm, where she found his squaw wife and children. 
About this time Allan beat a boy to death, and pushed an old man into the 
Genesee, intending to drown him and marry his wife. The man got out of the 
river, but died next day, and his murderer added*the widow to his harem. He 
also married the half-breed daughter of a negro named Captain Sunfish, and 
robbed the old man of his money. On his removal to Mount Morris Allan 
married one Millie McGregor, daughter of an English tory, and is said to have 
had half a dozen other wives during his residence in the Genesee valley. 
Lucy Allan had one child, Millie six, and Sally two. Upon the completion of 
the mill Allan moved into a room in the building, and so far as known his was 
the first white family that resided on the site of Rochester. Poor as it was, the 
grist mill proved a benefit to the few settlers in the sparsely inhabited region. 
People came from Lima, Avon, Victor, Irondequoit and other towns to get a 
grist or procure a few boards from the saw-mill. 

It has been frequently stated that Allan's was the first grist mill in the Gen- 
esee valley, but this statement is incorrect. During the winter of 1788-9 John 
and James Markham built on a little stream which enters the Genesee river 
about two miles north of Avon. It was a small log building, and all the lum- 
ber used in its construction was hewed out by hand. The curbs were hewed 
plank, the spindle made by straightening out a section of a cart tire, and the 
stones roughly cut from native rock. There was no bolt, the substitutes being 
hand sieves made of splints. The mill was a rude, primitive concern, but it 
mashed corn better than the wooden mortar and pestle then used by early set- 
tlers, and during the year or two of its existence was highly valued. 

Allan's residence here was temporary. In 1790 he bought a stock of goods 
in Philadelphia and reopened his trading station at Mount Morris, leaving his 
brother-in-law, Christopher Dugan, in charge of the mills. Just when Allan 
moved his family to Mount Morris is not known, but it is probable that they 
left the mills early in 1792, soon after the sale of the one-hundred-acre lot to 
Mr. Barton. The deed, or more properly, assignment of his interest, given by 
Ebenezer Allan to Benjamin Barton, is the foundation of all titles to real estate 
within the so-called "one-hundred-acre tract," the boundaries of which may 
be crudely described as running from the jail on the bank of the Genesee 
about four hundred feet south of Court street, west to a point near Caledonia 
avenue and Spring street, thence north to an angle about one hundred feet 
northwest of the corner of Frank and Center streets, and due east to the river 

Deed of the One-Hundred- Acre Tract. 8i 

directly east of Market street. A fac-simile copy of this venerable document 
is shown on the next page. Its subject matter is as follows : — 

"Articles of agreement made this 27th day of March in the year of our Lord one 
thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-two, between Ebenezer AUin and Benjamin Bar- 
ton, witnesseth that for and in Consideration of Five Hundred pounds New York Cur- 
rency received by the said Ebenezer AUin of Benjamin Barton, the said Ebenezer AUin 
doth seU'aU that Tract of .land containing one hundred acres lying on the west side of the 
Genesee river in the County of Ontario State of New York Bounded East on the Genesee 
river so as to take in the Mills lately Built by the said AUin. From thence to run North- 
erly from said Mills Sixty three rods also southerly of said Mills Sixty three rods from 
thence Turning westerly so as to make one hundred acres strict measure. And the said 
Ebenezer AUin doth hereby impower the said Benjamin Barton to apply to the Honr'd 
Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham or Either of them for a good and sufficient deed of 
conveyance to be by them — or Either of them executed to the said Benjamin Barton, 
his Heirs or assigns for said Tract of land and the said Ebenezer AUin doth hereby 
request and Impower the said Oliver Phelps or Nathaniel Gorham to scale and Deliver 
such Deed to the said Benjamin Barton his Heirs or assigns, and the said Ebpnezer 
AUin doth hereby exonerate and discharge the said Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham 
in consequence of their executing the deed ass'd, from all and Every agreement or Instru- 
ment which might or may have existed Respecting the conveyance of said Tract of land 
from them the said Oliver Phelps and Nathaniel Gorham or Either of them to the said 
Ebenezer AUin, in Witness whereof the said Ebenezer AUin hath hereunto set his Hand 
and Seal the day and year above written. 
" Sealed and delivered 

in the presense off " E. Allan [seal.] 

Gertrude G Ogden 

John Farhn " 

" Reed, of Benjamin Barton a Deed for Aliens Mills on the Genesee River, in 
settling therefor I am to settle the Bond for j£s°° which he gave Ebenezer Allen for 
which I was security. Dec. 24th 1793. Saml. Ogden." 



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84 History of the City of Rochester. 

This deed has a curious history. Its existence appears to have passed from 
public memory until Orsamus Turner began the collection of material for his 
grand histories of the Phelps & Gorham and Holland purchases. During a 
visit to the family residence of Brandt, the noted Mohawk sachem, at Brantford, 
Ontario, Mr. Turner found the Allan deed, among other papers formerly be- 
longing to Brandt, stored in a barrel in the garret. No information could be 
obtained regarding the time or manner in which Brandt came into possession 
of the document, which was readily given to Mr. Turner. In June, 1849, he 
requested D. M. Dewey to present the old deed to the Rochester Athenaeum 
for safe keeping. It passed into the possession of M. F. Reynolds, with other 
effects of the Athenaeum, and is now carefully treasured in the Reynolds library. 

Soon after his return to Mount Morris, Allan induced the Seneca chiefs to 
give a tract of land four miles square, where he then resided, to his half-breed 
daughters for their support and education. ^ He artfully framed the convey- 
ance so that he could appropriate the land to his own use, but, in accordance 
with its provisions, sent his Indian girls to a school at Trenton, New Jersey ; 
also sending his white son to Philadelphia, to obtain an English education. In 
1792 Allan built a saw-mill on the outlet of Silver lake, at Smoky hollow, 
near the Genesee river. He sold the land deeded to his girls to Robert Mor- 
ris, and removed them from school. In 1797 Allan disposed of all his prop- 
erty in the: Genesee valley and removed to Delawaretown, in Upper Canada, 
leaving his Squaw wife behind. He also arranged with two men to drown his 
white wife, Millie. The men brought her down the river in a canoe and pur- 
posely ran the boat over the upper fall, but Millie escaped to the shore and 
followed Allan to Canada. Governor Simcoe granted him three thousand acres 
of land upon condition of certain improvements, and Allan became rich. In 
1 806 his white neighbors combined against him, and he was repeatedly arrested 
upon charges of forgery, larceny, etc., but was invariably acquitted. Losses 
of property followed, and about 18 14 Allan died in greatly reduced circum- 
stances, willing all his interest to MiUie and her children. About 1820 a son 
of Ebenezer Allan came to Rochester and set up a claim for his mother's right 
of dower in the One-hundred-acre tract. It will be seen, by reference to the 
conveyance given to Barton, that Allan's name alone is attached to the instru- 
ment. A compromise was effected with parties holding titles in the property, 
but our informant, the venerable Mrs. Abelard Reynolds, has too indistinct a 
remembrance of the affair to aid us with particulars. 

1 This deed was recorded in the office of the clerk of Ontario county, at Canandaigua, August rst, 
1791, in book of deeds number i, page 134. It was signed by eighteen sachems, chiefs and warriors 
of the Seneca nation, So-go-u-a-ta, better known as " Red Jacket," being of tlie number. 

Christopher Dugan — Josiah Fish. 85 


Christopher Dugan — Colonel Fish — The First Dwelling-House — Early Settlers — Maude's Visit 
to Genesee F'alls in 1800— Destruction of Hie Allan Mills — The Old Mill Stones — Rochester, Fitz- 
hugh and Carroll Purchase the One-hundred-acre Tract — Early Towns and Pioneers. 

MR. BARTON sold the One-hundred-acre tract to Samuel B. Ogden, De- 
cember 24th, 1793. The latter transferred the property to Charles Will- 
iamson, of Bath, agent for Sir William Pulteney, and it thus became a part of the 
Pultcncy estate. Upon his removal to Mount Morris, Allan placed his brother- 
in-law, Christopher Dugan, in charge of the mills, and Dugan's was the second 
family on the site of Rochester. Allan's sister is said to have been a lady of 
education and culture, who married an old British soldier, and followed her 
wayward brother to the wilderness, where she clung to him through all his 
wickedness for years. She became housekeeper for her brother, and with her 
husband formed a part of Allan's family until the latter left the mills. August 
9th, 1794, Dugan wrote to Colonel Williamson, saying: — 

"The mill erected by Ebenezer Allan, which I am informed you have purchased, is 
in a bad situation, much out of repair, and, unless attention is paid to it, it will soon 
take its voyage to the lake. I have resided here for several years, and kept watch and 
ward without fee or recompense ; and am pleased to hear that it has fallen into the 
hands of a gentleman who is able to repair it, and whose character is such that I firmly 
believe he will not allow an old man to suffer without reward for his exertions. I wish 
to have you come or send some one to take care of the mill, as my situation is such as 
makes it necessary soon to remove." 

Mr. Dugan left the mill soon after, and .settled on his farm near Dugan's 
creek. At the time of Aaron Burr's visit to the Genesee falls, the following 
summer, not a soul could be found about this vicinity. 

In 1795 Colonel Josiah Fish purchased a farm at the mouth of Black creek 
and with the aid of his son Lebbeus commenced improvements. They came 
down to the falls late in the season and boarded with a man named Sprague, 
whom they found in charge of the Allan mills. The fare consisted of " raccoon 
for breakfast, dinner and supper, with no vegetables. On extra occasions 
cakes, fried in raccoon oil, were added." It would thus appear that Sprague 
was the third resident of Rochester, though no mention was made of his family. 
In 1796 Mr. Williamson expended about five hundred dollars in improvements 
at the falls, and engaged Colonel Fish to take charge of the mills. The latter 
moved his family, consisting of his wife, a son and one daughter, here in No- 
vember. They did their cooking in a board shanty which was built against 
the stone ledge at the present northwest corner of Basin and Aqueduct streets, 
and resided in the grist mill, which was minus glass windows and other com- 
forts. The next fall Colonel Fish put up three sides of a log house against the 
stone ledge, which constituted the back wall, in which a chimney-place was 
excavated. Turner says this house stood on the site of the old red mill near 

86 History of the City of Rochester. 

Child's basin. It has been assumed that he was in error, but one fact appears 
to be overlooked, or is unknown to certain writers; there were, two "Red" 
mills, the second one occupying the present (1884) site of the Arcade mills on 
the east side of Aqueduct street. The ruins of a log house remained there in 
1812, and Turner had reference to this spot. Colonel Fish was the fourth res- 
ident of Rochester, and the house erected by him was the first building occu- 
pied exclusively as a dwelling, within the present bounds of the Flower city. 
When Thomas Morris escorted Louis Philippe, afterward king of France, and 
his brothers, the Duke de Montpensier and Count Beaujolais, from Canandaigua 
to view the Genesee falls in 1797, they entirely overlooked the humble dwell- 
ing at the mills; but in 1800 a party bound up the lake, of which William 
Nixon Loomis was one, were overtaken by a storm off the mouth of the Gen- 
esee and, running into the river for safety, came up to view the falls. "Upon 
the present site of Rochester they came to a solitary log cabin, knocked and 
were bid to come in. Upon entering they found that in the absence of the 
family a parrot had been the hospitable Representative. The family (Col. Fish's) 
returned soon, however, and gave- them a supper of potatoes and milk." In 
1798-9 Jeremiah Olmstead moved to the falls and lived in a hut south of the 
House of Refuge. This shanty had been erected by one Farewell, who re- 
mained there but a short time. He was the fifth resident of Rochester and 
Olmstead the sixth, so far as is known, but future researches may change the 
order of succession. Turner says the clearing made by Olmstead "was the 
first blow struck in the way of improvement, other than the Allan mill, on all 
the present site of the city of Rochester." In 1800 Oliver Culver purchased 
a farm on what is now East avenue and the Culver road, cleared seven acres 
and sowed it to wheat. Suspecting that his title was imperfect, Mr. Culver left 
the farm until 1805, when he returned and became a permanent settler. He 
was the seventh resident within the present boundaries of Rochester. The 
same year Wheelock Wood, of Lima, built a saw-mill on Deep hollow, and 
operated it one year, but the terrible fever and ague, the enemy of all early 
settlers, prostrated his workmen and forced Mr. Wood to abandon the place. 
He is supposed to have been the eighth resident. In the journal of his visit to 
Western New York in 1800, John Maude says that on August 19th he arrived 
at "Genesee Mills." 

"As Colonel Fish, the miller, had not those accommodations which I expected, not 
even a stable, I was obliged to proceed to Mr. King's at the Genesee landing, where I 
got a good breakfast on wild pigeons, etc. Mr. King is the only respectable settler in 
this township (number i short range) in which there are at present twelve families, four 

of them at the landing Further improvements are much checked in 

consequence of the titles to the lands here being in dispute. Mr. Phelps sold three 
thousand acres in this neighborhood to Mr. Granger for ten thousand dollars, secured 
by mortgage on the land. Granger died soon after his removal here, and, having sold 
part of the land, the residue would not clear the mortgage, which prevented his heirs 
administering the estate. Phelps foreclosed the mortgage, and entered on possession, 

Early Mills. ' 87 

even on that part which had been sold and improved. Some settlers, in consequence, 
quitted their farms; others repaid the purchase money; and others are endeavoring 

to make some accommodation with Mr. Phelps The landing is four miles 

from the mouth of the river, where two log huts are built at the entrance to Lake On- 
tario At noon returned in company with Colonel Fish. Had a fine view 

from the top of the bank, of the lower falls, of which I took a sketch. The lower fall 
is fifty-four feet, the middle fall ninety-six feet, and the upper fall must be something 

under thirty feet ' . In a few minutes I joined Colonel Fish at the Mills. . . 

. . . The grist mill is very ill- constructed ; it is too near the bed of the river, and the 
race so improperly managed that it is dry in summer and liable to back-water in winter. 
This mill is not at present able to grind more than ten bushels a day; were it in good 
order it would grind sixty. It is now almost entirely neglected, in consequence of be- 
ing so much out of repair. The saw-mill is already ruined." 

In 1802 Colonel Fish returned to his farm at Black creek, and after his de- 
parture the Allan grist mill had no regular miller. It was nominally in charge 
of a Mr. King, who came from Hanford's landing and lived in a shanty just 
west of the middle falls. Occasionally one or two settlers would make neces- 
sary repairs and grind their own grists free of cost. In 1804 Noah Smith built 
a mill for Tryon and Adams on Allen's creek in Brighton. This mill was 
located on the west side of the stream, about twenty rods north of the present 
New York Central railway embankment. Oliver Griswold of Irondequoit land- 
ing purchased the old Allan mill stones and irons for Tryon and Adams, who 
placed them in the new mill. In 1803 the Allan saw-mill was swept away in 
a freshet which broke over the race gate and undermined the building, nearly 
carrying the grist mill also. This was destroyed by fire in 1807. In 1806 Sol- 
omon Fuller built a small mill on Irondequoit creek, and the Allan stones and 
irons are said to have been transferred to that mill. They passed into the pos- 
session of Lyman Goff, who sold them to Stephen Chubb. The latter used them 
in a horse-mill in Henrietta. In 1825 Isaac Barnes and Captain Enos Blos- 
som built a grist mill on the west bank of Allen's creek about thirty rods north 
of East avenue. These gentlemen bought the Allan stones of Mr. Chubb, 
and placed them in their mill, with one other run of stone. The mill was re- 
built in 1837, and the old stones were taken to Mr. Barnes's residence, where 
they were used as door steps for many years. In 1859 Lorenzo D. Ely and 
Oliver Culver reported to the Junior Pioneer association of Rochester, that the 
Allan mill stones were in the possession of Isaac Barnes, and his son Charles 
Milo Barnes, millers at Allen's creek, and suggested the propriety of securing 
these valuable historical relics of Rochester's first settler. Oliver Culver, Ly- 
man Goff and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Barnes fully identified the stones as the origi- 
nal run made and used by Indian Allan. They consisted of the bed and run- 
ning stone, and were too large and heavy to place in an ordinary room. A 
petition was presented to the board of supervisors of Monroe county, in Decem- 
ber, and that body passed a resolution that "the Junior Pioneer society have 
leave to place in the rear of the court-house a pair of mill stones said to have 

88 History of the City of Rochester. 

been the first ever used in this county." ^ In order to defray the expense of 
removing the stones to Rochester, a subscription list was circulated by Jarvis 
M. Hatch between the 4th and 1 5th of February,' i860. It was signed by S. W. 
D. Moore, Samuel Richardson, Charles J. Hill, Thomas Kempshall, L. A. 
Ward, Joseph Field, William Pitkin, John B. Elwood, N. E. Paine, Rufus 
Keeler, Charles H. Clark, John Williams, E. F. Smith, Isaac Hills, Jonathan 
Child, sr., Hamlin Stilwell, Maltby Strong, C. J. Hayden and Jacob Gould, 
each of whom agreed to pay one dollar. The Messrs. Barnes generously do- 
nated the mill stones to the Junior Pioneer association, and Charles M. Barnes 
brought them to the city. A committee from the association received and 
placed the stones in the rear of the court-house; At the building of the new 
city hall, south of the court-house, the old mill stones were used as found 
ations for two lamp-posts at the entrance to the city hall. It would be a fit- 
ting and proper action for our city authorities to remove the valuable relics to 
a permanent and secure place where they will be preserved, for future gener- 

In 1802 Nathaniel Rochester, William Fitzhugh and Charles Carroll bought 
the One-hundred-acre lot of Sir William Pulteney's agent, for seventeen and 
one half dollars per acre. Having greater interests elsewhere, the proprietors 
took no steps to improve or settle the tract until 18 10. At the date of purchase 
the special interest of new settlers in this vicinity was centered in Tryon's Town, 
south of Irondequoit landing, and King's (now Hanford's) landing, near the 
lower falls. It was thought by shi-ewd men that one of those places would 
in time become the great business, center . of the lower Genesee country. 
James Wadsworth succeeded to the agency of the Pulteney estate and, becom- 
ing part owner of a tract on the west side of the river near the Rapids, made 
strenuous efforts to found a city there. The place was named "Castle Town" 
or Castleton, in honor of a resident. Colonel Isaac Castle. A tavern, store and 
other business was started, and several people located there, but the "city" was 
a failure. The hundred-acre tract was then termed " Fall Town," and the su- 
perior water privileges of this immediate vicinity, combined with other advan- 
tages of the location, eventually drew the strength of public opinion in its favor, 
while the indomitable spirit and enterprise of its pioneer inhabitants laid the 
foundation for our present magnificent city. Elijah Rose settled on the 
east side of the river in 1806, and built a log house on Mount Hope avenue, 
(the present street number of which is 281), about one hundred and fifty feet 
south of the present residence of George EUwanger. This house was subse- 
quently occupied by several families — those of Jacob Miller, Daniel Harris, John 
Nutt and other pioneers. The writer has often heard his aged grandmother 

1 For the verification of this fact, and much valuable information regarding the period of early set- 
tlement, we are indebted to Donald McNaughton, whose father, John McNaughton, was one of the 
first pioneers west of the Genesee. 

Early Pioneers. 89 

and her sister, the late Mrs. Lucretia Lee, relate their experience in fighting a 
lot of wolves away from the blanket door of this same log house, about the time 
of the British invasion at Charlotte, when the men were all absent. 

In 1807 Charles Harford erected a block-house near the great falls. It is 
variously located on State street near Vincent place, and at the intersection of 
Center and Mill streets. It is said to have been the first well-coxistructed 
dwelling in the city limits on the west side of the Genesee. The next year 
Mr. Harford built a saw- mill, and completed a grist mill on the present loca- 
tion of the Phoenix mill. His mill-race was the beginning of Brown's race. 
In 1807-8 Lyman Shumway put up a shanty near the falls on the east side of 
the river; and Samuel Ware came in about 1 808-9. I" 1788-9 General 
Hyde, Prosper Polly, Enos Stone, Job Gilbert, and Joseph Chaplin, of Lenox, 
Massachusetts, and John Lusk, of Berkshire, bought a large tract east of the 
Genesee, of Phelps and Gorham. In the summer of 1789 Mr. Lusk settled 
his land at the head of Irondequoit bay, and in the spring of 1790 brought 
out his family. Enos Stone's son, Orange, Joel Scudder, Chauncey and Calvin 
Hyde, and others having families, followed soon after. Orange Stone located 
half a mile east of Brighton village on the Pittsford road, near the " big rock 
and tree," and opened a tavern. His brother, Enos Stone, jr., with other 
young men, drove the stock of the new settlers to Brighton, but continued to 
reside at Lenox for a number of years. He made several visits to the Genesee, 
and became an agent for the sale of lands. In compensation for his services 
he received one hundred and fifty acres on the east bank of the river, opposite 
the hundred-acre tract on the west side. Enos Stone, sr., did not make Roch- 
ester his permanent home until 18 16, but in 1808 he erected a saw-mill for his 
son, about one hundred feet north of the east end of the present aqueduct. A 
freshet afterward carried the mill away. Early in March, 18 10, Jacob Miller 
arrived at the Genesee, and was temporarily domiciled in the log-house built 
by Mr. Rose. As soon as his house could be made ready, Mr. Miller settled 
on his farm directly west of the Monroe county penitentiary, and several of 
his children soon after located in that neighborhood. Enos Stone, jr., also 
arrived in March, with his family and effects. Mr. Stone made his home at 
the house of his brother Orange, for several jveeks, and during that period a 
son, James S. Stone, was born May 4th, 18 10. The latter now resides on his 
farm in the town of Greece, hale and hearty at the age of seventy-four. 

While staying with his brother, Enos Stone erected a log-house east of the 
saw-mill, which was rebuilt. In October he put up a small frame building 
sixteen by twenty feet. The cutting of the timber, raising and inclosing 
occupied three days, and Mrs. Stone, a hired man and a hired girl assisted. 
The site of this building was established by Schuyler Moses and Edwin Scran- 
tom several years ago. It was on the east side of South St. Paul street, 
directly east of the terminus of the aqueduct, and was the first framed dwell- 

90 History of the City of Rochester. 

ing in Rochester. It was removed to number 53 Elm street, where the 
original timber frame is, covered with modern boards, and the building used as 
a wood-shed. 



PRIOR to 1 81 2 the main route from Canandaigua to the Niagara frontier 
was by the "Buffalo road," which ran through Bloomfield, Avon, Cale- 
donia and other towns westward. In all that portion of New York between 
this road and . Lake Ontario not a single post-office or mail route had been 
established. In the early season of that year Dr. Levi Ward received author- 
ity from Gideon Granger, then postmaster-general, to transport a weekly mail 
from Caledonia, via Riga, Murray, Parma and Northampton, to Charlotte. 
According to the terms of the contract the mail was to leave Caledonia every 
Monday morning at eight o'clock, and arrive at Charlotte, a distance of about 
thirty- two miles, at four p. m. Tuesday. The postmaster- general agreed to 
appoint deputy postmasters in locations designated by the contractor, which 
were seven miles distant from each other. Dr. Ward's compensation was the 
net proceeds of letter and newspaper postage collected on the route. The rate 
was from twenty to twenty-five cents per letter, according to distance, and for 
newspapers one cent each. The plan was at once put in operation, and the 
success and satisfaction resulting induced the postmaster- general to enter into 
a new contract with Dr. Ward, for the extension of routes along the Ridge 
road to Oak Orchard creek; from Parma through Ogden and Riga to Bergen, 
and from Bergen to Batavia; in fact, the arrangement gave Dr. Ward discre- 
tionary "authority to designate the location of post-offices wherever he would 
agree to deliver rnail once a week, for all the postage he might collect, in 
nearly all the country between Canandaigua and the Niagara river, and from 
the Canandaigua and Buffalo road northward to Lake Ontario." ^ The system 
continued in operation, supplying the convenience of mail facilities to a wide, 
sparsely populated region until 1815, and on some of the routes until 1820, 
when it was generally superseded by the ordinary contract system. 

As early as 1804 the business men of Canandaigua contributed to the 
improvement of a road that had been constructed many years before from 
Canandaigua to the crossing of Allen's creek on East avenue and thence north 
to Tryon's Town near Irondequoit landing, and extended it northwest through 

1 Sketches of Rochester, 1838, by Henry O'Rielly, p. 331. 

Early ^A1L Facilities. 91 

the present town of Irondequoit, passing in the rear of Hooker's cemetery 
(where the old road-bed still exists) and across the country to the east bank 
of the Genesee river and Charlotte, or Port Genesee, as the place was variously 
termed. All travel from Canandaigua, north of the Buffalo road, was over 
this. so-called "Merchants' road" to Charlotte, and mail matter was occasion- 
ally carried by teamsters. In i8i2 the latter place was looked upon as the 
future great lake port and rising town of Western New York, 1 but no means 
of regular communication existed between that place and Rochester until 
1 8 14, when Gideon Cobb started a semi- weekly ox-team line for the convey- 
ance of freight and passengers. 

On the establishment of Dr. Ward's postal system F. Bushnell was ap- 
pointed postmaster at Charlotte, and through the kindness, of individuals who 
"called for mail," the residents of Rochester — numbering fifteen people all 
told, July 4th, i8i2 — were enabled to correspond with the world at large, 
and receive news via Canandaigua or Bath, Avon, Caledonia, Parma and 
Charlotte. This roundabout course was not considered a sufficient accom- 
modation, and the subject of direct mail connections with the east was ear- 
nestly discussed. The late Edwin Scrantom (whose record of early local events 
is invaluable) was authority for the statement that "the first rhail received in 
Rochester arrived in July, 18 12." If the date is correct the mail must have 
been carried by private individuals during that summer, as no post-office 
existed and the first postmaster, Abelard Reynolds, was not appointed until 
October, and his commission not issued until November 19th, 181 2. ^ For 
this appointment Mr. Reynolds was indebted to the influence of Colonel Roch- 
ester, through Henry Clay, his intimate friend, and son-in-law of Colonel 
Thomas Hart, the business partner of Colonel Rochester. It was agreed upon 
during an interview between Colonel Rochester and Mr. Reynolds, held at 
Dansville some time in July, 1812; no regular application for a post-office in 
Rochester had been made to the department at that time. 

While here in July Mr. Reynolds purchased lots 23 and 24 north side of 
Buffalo street, built the wall and frame of a dwelling twenty-four by thirty-six 
feet, upon lot 23 (now numbered 10, 12, 14, 16, East Main street), contracted 
for the completion of the house, and late in August returned to Pittsfield, 
Mass., for his family. In his unpublished memoirs Mr. Reynolds refers to his 
appointment as postmaster, in the modest manner peculiar to himself: — 

"While in the post-office at Pittsfield, in October, Colonel Danforth, the postmaster, 
informed me that he saw by the papers that I had been appointed postmaster at Roch- 
ester. I replied that I had not heard of it, but it was not an unexpected event, as an 
office had been applied for at that place and my name recommended as a proper person 
to discharge its duties." 

1 Memoirs of Abelard Reynolds. 

2 Records of Post-Office Department, Washington. 

92 History OF THE CiTY^ OF Rochester. 

Learning that the contractor had done nothing to his house, Mr. Reynolds 
engaged Otis Wallcer of Brighton, to carry himself and a load of furniture to 
Rochester, where he arrived November 1st. He at once set about the erection 
of a building on lot 24 (now numbered 18, 20, 22, East Main street) which was 
completed January 15th. Returning to Massachusetts he engaged William 
Strong to bring a load of furniture, and with his own horse and cutter brought 
to their new home his wife, their son William, and Mrs. Reynolds's sister liul- 
dah Strong, arriving at Rochester early in February. Mr. Reynolds was a 
saddler and occupied the front room of his house fgr business purposes. There 
the citizens of Rochester and other early settlers of the vicinity came for their 

Among the furniture brought from Pittsfield was a large desk of pine, three 
and a half feet in length, two wide and four feet high. It had a pigeon-hole 
compartment in the top and two large drawers underneath furnished with neat 
brass ring-pulls ; it was stained to resemble black walnut, and the sloping top 
was covered with black velvet trimmed with brass-headed tacks. This desk 
was placed in the shop, where it served a triple purpose as the receptacle of 
tools and private and public papers. All mail matter received was put in the 
pigeon-holes, and practically the desk was the first post-office of Rochester. 
It was in constant use as the depository of mail and post-office papers during 
Mr. Reynolds's term of office, and now occupies an honored position in the 
Reynolds library, firm and substantial as when first made, though plainly ex- 
hibiting the marks of over seventy- two years of service. A cut of the desk sup- 
plements this chapter. 

The first regular mail was brought to Rochester from Canandaigua on horse- 
back. It was received once a week, and part of the time a woman (whose name 
history fails to reveal) performed the duty of post-rider. The letters were carried 
in saddle-bags which hung across the horse in rear of the saddle, to which they 
were attached, and the old mail saddle-bags were usually well filled. The com- 
pletion of the bridge at Main street in Rochester opened up a shorter route from 
Canandaigua to the Niagara river, and diverted considerable of the through 
travel from the Buffalo road passing through Avon and Caledonia. The road 
from' Rochester to Buffalo, via Batavia, was not then opened, and the ridge 
road between Rochester and Lewiston was simply a wide trail, at times nearly 
impassable. In 1813 the legislature granted five thousand dollars for "cutting 
out the path and bridging the streams," and the improved conditions turned 
the tide of western travel through Rochester, and over the Ridge road, in a 
steadily increasing flow. During the summer and fall' of 1 8 1 3 Mr. Reynolds fin- 
ished the basement story and some of the rooms of the large house and moved 
into it, transferring the post-office business to his new habitation, where the 
desk previously described continued in service as the regular depository of all 
mail matter. In 1815 J. G. Bond and Captain Elisha Ely determined to run 
a stage between Rochester and Canandaigua, and organised a company for 

-iJiayrJ. ^U^^^^^^^ 

Early Mail Facilities. 93 

that purpose, consisting of William Hildreth of Pittsford, and otiier tavern- 
keepers along the route. Mr. Hildreth put a light wagon on the road in No- 
vember, 1815, the post-rider discontinued his trips, and the mail was carried to 
and from Rochester by wagon twice a week. 

In January, 1816, the company placed a coach body on runners, and it was 
the first four-in-hand mail coach that ever entered Rochester, the enthusiastic 
reception accorded to it by the villagers nearly reaching the proportions of a 
public celebration. Messrs. Bond and Ely extended their enterprise to the Ni- 
agara river, by enlisting the tavern-keepers along the Ridge road, their princi- 
pal supporters and earnest co-laborers being Messrs. Barton and Fairbanks of 
Lewiston. In the early spring of i8i6 General Micah Brooks presented a res- 
olution to congress, inquiring "as to the expediency of establishing a post route 
from the village of Canandaigua, by way of the village of Rochester, to the 
village of Lewiston in the county of Niagara and state of New York." The mail 
was then carried by stage, the company taking all postage received in payment. 
Congress soon after authorised the route proposed by General Brooks, and the 
company contracted to carry the mail for a set price. A tri- weekly four-horse 
coach was Jjut upon the route in June, 18 16, and within a year there was often 
a necessity for sending out three and four extras a day for passengers. The 
travel increased to such an extent that for several years coaches ran in such 
numbers that they were seldom out of sight of each other along every mile of 
the Ridge road. 

In 1815 Mr. Reynolds opened his house as a tavern, and in 1817 rented it 
to Lebbeus Elliot for two years. During that time the post-office remained in 
the same building, to which Mr. Reynolds returned in the spring of 18 19. He 
added a wing to the east side of the building for a bar-room, with a portico in 
front, at the east end of which he located the post-office, connecting it with the 
bar-room. The partition between the office and open part of the portico con- 
sisted of a glazed, pigeon-holed case for mail, and the delivery was through an 
opening in this case to the portico. Persons could thus step from the street 
into the portico, obtain their mail and pass onward without entering the tavern. 
The steamer Ontario commenced her trips from Sackett's Harbor to Lewiston 
in 181 7, and once a week came to Hanford's Landing. The postmaster- general 
having authorised the carrying of mails by steamboats in 18x5, the American 
lake ports and Canada were thus brought into regular communication with 
Rochester. In 18 19 a mail route was established between Cuylerville and 
Rochester, and in 1 820 mails were received once a week from Bath, Dansville, 
Geneseo, Avon and intermediate towns. It is said that mails from Canandai- 
gua and Lewiston reached Rochester daily in 1820; but "as late as 182 1 there 
was not a single post coach in the United States west of Buffalo. The Erie 
canal was staked out but not a shovelful of earth had been removed from its 
bed in Buffalo, railroads were unborn and telegraphs unthought of." ^ 

1 Poty's History of Livingston County, p. 597. 

94 History of the City of Rochester. 

In 1 824 the mail stage between Rochester and Geneseo ran three times a 
week each way, leaving here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at half-past 
five in the morning. In April, 1825, E. Fiske established a daily Hne of stages 
from Geneseo, "intersecting the east and west lines at Avon, thus giving daily 
communication with Rochester, Canandaigua and Batavia." Elegant coaches 
were placed on the route in December, but the regular mail was carried only 
three times a week. In 1826 the citizens of Rochester regularly received 
through the post-office twenty-six daily, two hundred and eighty-four semi- 
weekly and six hundred and ninety weekly newspapers, and the receipts of the 
last quarter of that year were $1,718.44. Mails arrived and departed as fol- 
lows : " Eastern and western, once a day ; Palmyra, seven mails a week in sum- 
mer and three in winter ; Penfield, six mails a week ; Scottsville, seven mails a 
week in summer, and three in winter ; Oswego, one mail a week ; Batavia, 
three mails a week; Geneseo, three mails a week." Preparatory to the erec- 
tion of the Arcade, in 1828, the post-office effects were removed to a building 
on the northwest corner of Buffalo and Hughes streets, now West Main and 
North Fitzhugh. In the spring Mr. Reynolds moved the tavern building about 
one hundred and fifty feet north of its original position, and upon the erection 
of the Arcade it was attached to and constituted the rear part of that struct- 
ure. In 1829 the post-office was re-established in the new building, on the 
old location. 

To trace the opening of new routes and lines of postal communication be- 
tween Rochester and the outside world, to record the successive changes in the 
mode of conveyance from the saddle-bagged post-horse, picking his way 
through the dangers of a primitive wilderness at the rate of one mile an hour, 
to the finely appointed mail car of the modern railway, passing through the 
country over its smooth track of steel at a speed exceeding sixty miles an hour, 
would require the space of volumes. To chronicle the innovatidns of time and 
postal reforms from the uncpvered, wafer-sealed sheet requiring twenty-five 
cents to carry it a distance of one hundred miles,- to this era of cheap postage, 
free delivery and instantaneous postal telegraphic connections around the globe, 
is not my purpose. 

The records of seventy- two years of postal transactions show that political 
preferment effected many changes in the head of the Rochester post-office. 
Abelard Reynolds, the pioneer postmaster, commissioned November 19th, 
181 2, held the position seventeen years, his son William A. Reynolds acting as 
assistant and deputy during the latter part of his term. Mr. Reynolds's suc- 
cessors, and the dates of their appointment, were as follows : John B. Elwood, 
June 29th, 1829 ; Henry O'Rielly, May 24th, 1838 ; Samuel G. Andrews, Janu- 
ary 1 8th, 1842; Henry Campbell, July i8th, 1845 ; Darius Perrin, April 12th, 
1849; Hubbard S. Allis, June 30th, 1853; Nicholas E. Paine, July 6th, 1858; 
Scott W. Updike, July 26th, 1861, and July 12th, 1865; John W. Stebbins, 

Postal Statistics of Rochester. 95 

March 28th, 1867; Edward M. Smith, January i6th, 1871 ; Daniel T. Hunt, 
March nth, 1875 ; March 3d, 1879, and March 3d, 1883. 

The changes made in the location of the post-offices have been few. In a 
letter written to Postmaster-General Barry, April i8th, 1833, Mr. Reynolds 
inclosed a plan of the Arcade and among other things said : — 

"The first room 'on the west side of the hall, as you enter from Buffalo street, is the 
post-office. It has a small recess in front, which is closed at night, where the citizens re- 
ceive their letters and papers. The whole arrangement is admirably calculated to ac- 
commodate the public, the Arcade hall being sufficiently spacious to contain all who 
will ever congregate on the arrival of the mail." 

The rapid increase in population, however, exceeded even Mr. Reynolds's ex- 
pectations, and he soon after made arrangements for a better accommodation of 
the post-office and the public. The old tavern post-office building was re- 
moved from the rear of the Arcade to the north side of Bugle alley (Exchange 
place), where Corinthian Academy of Music now stands, and in 1848 was 
moved to numbers 11 and 13, Sophia street. There the frame was bricked up 
and in its new form the building has been in use as a private residence to the 
present day. Upon its former site, in the rear of the Arcade, Abelard Rey- 
nolds erected a brick building, forty-six by twenty-two feet. This stood fifteen 
feet north of the Arcade, to which it was connected by a frame building, or cov- 
ered-way and was used solely for postal purposes. It extended to Exchange 
place, and walks along each side afforded free passage through the Arcade to 
Main street. About 1842 this post-office building was torn down, the Arcade 
extended to Exchange place, and the post-office located at the northwest end 
of the hall. In 1859 it was removed to the east side. To meet the require- 
ments of increasing business additional space has been acquired from time to 
time, until the post-office now includes 15, 17, 19 Arcade hall, 37, 39 Arcade 
gallery and 11 to 23 inclusive. Exchange place, covering an area of floor room 
exceeding 8,000 square feet. 

A comparative statement of postal statistics will illustrate the wonderful 
changes that have occurred during the span of a single life and within the 
memory of many persons now living. The population of Rochester January 
1st, 1813, did not exceed fifty people, all told. The mail, then averaging 
about four pieces, arrived and departed once a week after that date, and the 
receipts of the post-office for the first quarter of the year were $3.42, the 
expense and profit to the government nothing. Until 1 8 19 all mail matter 
was kept in a desk, and for a period of twenty years following its establish- 
ment the duties of the office were performed by the postmaster and one 

January 1st, 1884, the population of Rochester numbered 108,971. Mails 
were received daily by twenty- two railway trains and six stage routes; the 
letter pouches and sacks received averaging 119 and those dispatched 379. 

1 No. 4, present Arcade hall. 


History of the City of Rochester. 

The number of pieces handled by carriers during 1883 was 12,891,375. The 
number of pieces handled daily by the entire office force averaged 100,000, 
and the aggregate for the year was 36,000,000. The total transactions of the 
money order department were 100,695 amounting to $863,751.92. The 
registry department registered 12,754 letters and 4,034 packages, and delivered 
at the office 48,870 letters. The gross sum received by the post-office in 1883 
was $259,840.13; the total expense $57,466.41, leaving a net profit to the 
government of $202,373.72. 

The officials of the office were: Postmaster, Daniel T. Hunt; assistant 
postmaster, W. Seward Whittlesey; superintendent of carriers, George F. 
Loder; assistant superintendent of carriers, James T. Sproat; chief clerk, 
Calvin Wait; money order department, Willis G. Mitchell; registry depart- 
ment, Frank A. Bryan; stamp department, Jacob G. Maurer; mailing depart- 
ment, William C. Walker; assisted by a force of twenty-five clerks and thirty- 
three letter carriers. 

Note. — All of the foregoing chapters were prepared by Mr. George H. Harris. — [Kd. 




Reasons for Rochester's Tardy Settlement. 97 



Reasons for Its Tardy Settlement — Prevalence of Diseases in this Part of the Country — Dr. 
I.ucUow on Typhoid Pneumonia — The First House on the West Side of the River — The War of 
1812 — Attempted Intimidation at Charlotte — The Projected Invasion Abandoned — Erection of the 
Red Mill, the Cotton Factory, etc. — Census of 1815 — The First Newspaper. 

IT is easy to locate in time the very day of the discovery of an island, the 
very hour of laying the corner-stone of a new building, the very minute in 
which the pick is put into the ground for the beginning of a railway; but to 
settle upon the time of the initiation of a village is a thing approaching 
the impossible, and the historian who is the most absolute in his statement of 
such an event is the one to be most flatly contradicted by succeeding writers. 
The range of years in one of which the settlement of Rochester (or Rochester- 
ville) is to be fixed is not very great, but authorities are not agreed as to what 
constituted the inception of the hamlet or the precise time in which it took 
place. Orsamus Turner, in his History of the Phelps & Gorhain Purchase, 
puts the date at 18 il, for the reason that that was the year in which Colonel 
Rochester first surveyed and sold lots on the One-hundred-acre tract. Others 
place it at 181 2, the year which is acceptable to the majority, including Dr. 
Coventry, a resident of Geneva in early days and more lately of Utlca, who 
adopts it in an address delivered before the Oneida county Medical society in 
1823, and Elisha Ely in the Rochester directory of 1827, wherein it is spoken 
of as the birth year of the village. 

Turner comments upon the reasons for the tardiness in effecting a settle- 
ment at this piace. After speaking of what had been done on the shore of 
the lake west of here, at Oak Orchard and other little hamlets, he says : — 

" l'"ollo\ving these ])ioncer advents, other adventurers were ' few and far between ;' tliey 
were in a few localities in Niagara, along on the Ridge in OHeans, in Clarkson, Ogdeii, 
Bergen, Riga, Chili, Greece, Penfield, Macedon, Walworth, Marion, and along on the 
road from Sod us to Lyons. When litde neighborhoods had been formed in all these 
detached localities, disease came into the openings of the forest about as fast as they 
were made. Often families, and sometimes almost entire neighborhoods, were carried 
into the older and healthier localities, upon ox-sleds and carts, through wood-roads, to 
be nursed and cared for. Through long years this operated not unlike the carrying 
of the dead and wounded from a battlefield into the presence of those whose aid is 
required to renew and maintain the strife. It is but litde less appalling and discouraging. 
The whole region now immediately under consideration was sickly in all the eady years, 
and upon that account, and for other reasons, was slow in setthng. All the region around 
the falls of the Genesee, at the mouth of the river, at King's Landing, was regarded as 
prolific in the seeds of disease — of chills and fever — almost as are the Poiitine marshes 
of the Old world and the passes of the Isthmus on the route to California. A single 
instance may be stated in this connection. The causes that have been cited are quite 

98 History of the City of Rochester. 

sufficient to account for the late start of Rochester; to explain to the readers of the 
present day why valuable hydraulic privileges, in the immediate neighborhood of shipping 
ports of Lake Ontario, were so long principally shrouded by the primeval forest, after 
settlement had approached and almost surrounded the locality. To these causes the 
reader may add what he has already observed 'Of the tendency of things toward tlie 
main thoroughfare, the Buffalo road, in early years, and the fact that quite u]) to the 
period of the start of Rochester the commercial enterprise and expectation of a large 
settled portion of the Genesee country was turned in the direction of the headwaters 
of the Alleghany and Susquehanna rivers." 

In this opening year the bridge across the Genesee river was finished, and 
long after its completion it was regarded with far more pride and admiration 
than were ever bestowed on its present successor, the substantial and invisible 
structure over which Main street now takes its way. It was, indeed, no mean 
afiTair, for it took two years to build it, and the expense, amounting to $I2,000, 
was borne by the counties of Ontario and Genesee. Before that time the only 
bridge on the river was at Avon, twenty miles south, where the " Bufifalo road" 
crossed, and the usual means of passage at this point was by fording on the 
level rocky bottom where Court street bridge now stands. Besides this there 
was a rude ferry at the rapids above, with a large flat-boat drawn by an end- 
less cable, for David Frink made the transit in this manner in the fall of i8i i, 
with his wife and six children, one of whom afterward married Alonzo Frost, 
and another Edward Frost ; both ladies are now living in this city, at the age 
of seventy-eight and eighty years, respectively. The completion of the bridge 
probably did much to determine the location of the future city, for previous to 
that the strife had been quite active between the village at the mouth of the 
river — named after Charlotte, a daughter of Colonel Troup, the agent of the 
Pulteney estate -^ and the little gathering of houses around Frederick Hanford's 
store at the upper landing, first named King's Landing, then called Fall Town, 
and later known as Hanford's Landing. 

An extract from Ayi Essay on the Genesee Country, published by Dr. Lud- 
low in the New York Medical atid Physical Journal for 1823, is of interest as 
showing the sanitary condition, in this early period, of this locality, through 
which he was then continually traveling, and from which he had constant 
reports : — 

"In March of 181 2 there were frequent cases of pleuritis with great diversity of 
symptoms. In some cases copious bleeding was required, with a strict antiphlogistic 
regimen, while in others an opposite course of treatment was indicated. The weather 
had been variable, with southerly winds. In April and May were noticed for the first 
time a few sporadic cases o{ pneumonia typhoides, a disease until then unknown, and 
which, during the ensuing winter, became the most formidable epidemic which had ever 
appeared in this country. In the first cases the local affection was principally confined 
to the throat, and these were more fatal than those which succeeded them, in which the 
lungs and brain were principally affected. The summer months were extremely warm 
and dry J diarrhoea, dysentery and the usual fevers were prevalent. During the autumn 
pneutnonia typhoides again prevailed in different parts of the country, particularly among 

First House on the West Side of the River. 99 

the soldiers at Lewiston, on the Niagara frontier. In January and Februar)', 1813, the 
weather was very variable, being alternately cold and humid; the epidemic pneumonia 
now became general and caused great mortality. There were two forms of the disease, 

sthenic and asthenic ; the greater portion, however, were of the latter kind 

The multiplicity of symptoms occasioned a great variety of treatment ; some depleted, 
others stimulated. On its first apjjearance large bleedings were employed, but with 
temporary relief, in most cases the patient sinking oh the third or fourth day. In other 
sections of the country this mode of treatment was more successful. Those who were 

opposed to the lancet trusted to opium, a practice equally fatal The epidemic 

ceased on the return of warm weather. The summer was unusually healthy. In the 
winter of 1814 the destructive disease returned, though it was not so malignant as it 
had proved the last season. Depleting remedies generally produced a favorable ter- 
mination. In the autumn catarrhal complaints were very prevalent. In 1815 the 
fevers were generally inflammatory and easily subdued. In July dysentery prevailed as 
an epidemic, but admitted of free depletion. In some cases it was accompanied by ex- 
ternal inflammation and tumefaction of the face, neck and joints ; in some few instances 
the inflammation of the face terminated in gangrene. The fatality was greatest among 

The sickness described above was evidently of a nature kindred to those 
diseases mentioned by Turner. Whatever influence they may have liad in 
postponing the settlement of the village, they evidently had not much effect in 
checking the growth of Rochester, after it once began, for it increased so rap- 
idly as to show that settlers must have poured in from all quarters. The very 
first year displayed an activity which has scarcely been emulated since then, 
when we take into consideration the paucity of numbers, the difficulty of the 
transportation of material from other places and the smallness of capital invested, 
compared with the streams of wealth that have, in these later years, flowed 
into the far western towns when they began to exhibit evidence of prosperity. 
Among the events of that year, after the proprietors of the Allan mill lot had 
surveyed it into village lots and opened it for sale and settlement, was the erec- 
tion of the first house on the west side of the river. This was on the corner 
of State and West Main streets, where the Powers block now stands, and was 
built for Hamlet Scrantom by Henry Skinner, on a lot which the latter had 
purchased from Colonel Rochester. Having been begun early in the year it 
was completed in May, Mr. Scrantom finishing the structure by roofing it with 
slabs from the saw-mill on the other side of the river, which were floated across 
at the rapids, as the bridge was not then open for travel. On the Fourth of 
July the house was first occupied, and what celebration there was of the 
nation's birthday in this place consisted in part of bonfires built in front of the 
log hut. One of the four sons of the occupant of this dwelling was Hamlet D. 
Scrantom, elected mayor of the city in i860, and another was the late Edwin 
Scrantom, who at a later period in life referred to it in a pleasing little poem 
called My Early Home, one stanza of which is as follows : — 

loo History of the City of Rochester. 

" Back on the misty track of time, 

In memory's flickering light, 
I see the scenes of other days 

Like meteors in the night. 
The garden, with its low-built fence. 

With stakes and withes to tie it ; 
The rude log-house, my. early home. 

And one wild maple by it." 

Mr. Scrantom is the authority for the statements given immediately above, 
as told to the writer several years ago, and subsequently published by Mr. 
Scrantom. Not in conflict with those recollections, but as setting the matter 
in another light and showing that, while the log hut above alluded to was 
doubtless the first dwelling built on the west side of the river, the first frame 
house erected in that neighborhood was put up by other parties, the following 
extracts are given from the private diary, or " memoirs and reminiscences," as 
he styles them, of the late Abelard Reynolds, who came here from Pittsfield, 
Mass., in April, 1812: — 

" On arriving at the falls I called on Enos Stone and introduced myself as being in 
search of a location in the western wilds for myself and little family. Mr. Stone replied 
that he was from Lenox, which adjoined Pittsfield ; that Messrs. Rochester, Carroll and 
Fiti;hugh had appointed him as their agent to dispose of the lots in the Hundred-acre 
tract on the other side of the river, that the name was the village of Rochester, which, 
instead of inhabitants, consisted only of trees. He gave me a warm invitation to setde 
in Rochester and become his neighbor. I crossed near where the aqueduct stands. 
He gave me on the west side a button-wood tree as an object to guide me on the 
perilous voyage, at the same time remarking that the fall previous a man with. his family 
moving to the West, in attempting to cross with his team (his family having left to criJ).ss 
on the unfinished bridge), was swept over the rapids, and the man, wagon and horses, 
with a load of furniture, were carried over the falls and lost. Having crossed in safety 
I proceeded to Charlotte and passed the night at a respectable hotel kept by Erastus 
Spalding. The next day I retraced my steps, called on Mr. Stone, examined the map 
of the village of trees, viewed falls, etc. 1 finally concluded to settle at Rochester, 
provided I could be suited in the selection of a lot. He said I should have my choice, 
and, taking the map of the village of trees, we crossed the unfinished bridge on loose 
plank, descending the long ladder at the west end. Then walking up to the four corners 
and glancing at the map, I said 1 would take number i ( ' Eagle' corner), but he said that 
lot was sold to Henry Skinner. He recommended the Clinton House lot, because it had 
a view of a handsome lawn opposite, in front of the Allan mill. It did not suit me. I told 
him I would take lots 23 and 24 [ where the Arcade now stands], but he said they 
were also sold, the former to Captain Stone and the latter to himself, in payment of 
services rendered, but that I might have his lot. We recrossed the bridge and called 
on Captain Stone, who was told that I wished to settle in Rochester and purchase his 
lot. 'Well,' he said, 'for five dollars I will assign the article.' I paid him the five dol- 
lars and he made the assignment. I now commenced operations. I found a mason by 
the name of Sampson in township number 7 (now Irondequoit), who agreed to build 
the basement wall on which to erect my two-story frame building, twenty-four by thirty- 
six feet square. I engaged a carpenter by the name of Nehemiah Hopkins to frame 

First Store Erected. ioi 

and raise the building, and on the i6th of August, 1812, said building was raised and 
planked. I then arranged with Hopkins to inclose and finish the house to the extent 
of the joiner's work, while I should return to Pittsfield to remove the family." 

Mr. Reynolds then went back to Massachusetts and completed his arrange- 
ments for the transfer of his family to their new home, when, stopping in at 
the Pittsfield post-office for the final letters which he might receive before set- 
ting out, two surprises met him — a gratification and a disappointment. He 
was informed of his appointment as postmaster, and received a letter from Mr. 
Stone, telling him that Hopkins had done nothing to the house after he left 
Rochester. This news, of course, deranged his plans for the removal of his 
family. Returning alone, to his western possessions, Mr. Reynolds decided 
that it would be rnore trouble to complete the large house than it would be to 
erect a smaller one on lot 24, and thus fulfill the purchase contract, by which 
he was bound to put up a house within a year. The timber was growing in 
the forest, but determination overcame all obstacles, and by the middle of Jan- 
uary, 1813, the new house was framed, raised and finished except the plaster- 
ing, the lime for which he could not obtain at that time. A second return to 
Pittsfield, a third journey to Rochester, this time with the family, the traveling 
being done in a sleigh, ended with another surprise, though easily overcome. 
He says: "We found our house occupied by Israel Scrantom, but he vacated 
at once and gave up possession, and, comparatively speaking, we considered 
ourselves in comfortable quarters, was the best house in the place." In 
this house, on the 2d of December, 18 14, occurred the birth of Mortimer F. 
Reynolds, the first white child born on the west side of the river within the 
precincts of the present city, and in fact the first white child born in Rochester, 
as that name did not apply to the east side, until the incorporation of the vil- 
lage. The "large house" was finished within a year after the first one, and 
stood on that spot till 1826, when, as the building of the Arcade then began, 
it was moved to Sophia street, opposite the Central church, and there it still 
remains, inclosed within brick walls. Here was established the post-office, a 
full description of which, from that time to this, has been given in the previous 

In July the first merchant's store, which was built by Silas O. Smith, was 
opened by Ira West, and about that month Isaac W. Stone, in a house which 
he had just built on St. Paul street, near where the Chapman House now 
stands, opened a tavern, the only one in this locality for the next two or three 
years. Moses Atwater and Samuel J. Andrew^ (the father of Samuel G. An- 
drews) then began to make improvements on the east side of the river, while 
on the west Francis Brown, Matthew Brown, jr., and Thomas Mumford laid 
out village lots, to which they gave, in honor of the first-named of the three, the 
title of Frankfort, an appellation which the district has borne almost up to this 
day, From this place to Lewiston the highway (or what should have been 

I02 History of the City of Rochester. 

such) ran along by the Ridge road, but, as it was then almost impassable, the 
legislature granted, in 1813, $5,000 for clearing the path and bridging the 
streams between the two places. Three houses were built on the west side 
during that year, and, what was of more importance to the growth of the vil- 
lage and the development of that industry from which so much of its wealth 
was to be subsequently derived, the mill race south of East Main .street was 
opened by Rochester & Co. 

The year 18 14 witnessed the first mercantile operations of any importance 
in the little village, but in that time an event transpired which for years after- 
ward formed a leading theme of conversation among the older inhabitants and 
was the subject of at least one poem by a resident author, the late George H. 
Mumford, though no copies of it have been obtainable for a long time past. 
"Madison's war" — to use the name which the opponents of the national ad- 
ministration gave to what is generally known as the war of 18 12 — had been in 
progress for two years, and, although no gunpowder had been burnt here for 
any other purpose than to kill the bears and other animals that lurked in the 
surrounding forest and occasionally came among the houses, still it had some 
effect in causing the emigration hither to slacken perceptibly. Many of the 
able-bodied men in the vicinity had gone to the Niagara frontier, leaving this 
point almost defenseless, and to make matters worse Sir James Yeo, the officer 
in command of the British fleet on Lake Ontario, had frequently cruised off 
the mouth of the Genesee, and had in June, 1813, come to anchor and sent a 
party on shore for the purpose of plunder. No resistance was made, as there was 
no military organisation there to offer it, and the enemy, who had landed in the 
afternoon, remained over night, keeping sentinels posted, and retired early in 
the morning, taking with them a quantity of salt, whisky and provisions from 
the store-house of Frederick BushncU, for which they kindly gave a receipt to 
George Latta, the clerk. Turner thinks their speedy departure was owing to 
their getting information that an armed force was collecting at Hanford's Land- 
ing, and says that a body of armed men which had gathered there marched 
down, arriving at the Charlotte landing just as the invaders were embarking on 
board their boats. The men to whom he refers were probably those under the 
command of Colonel Caleb Hopkins, who was a resident of Pittsford at the 
time, but had been holding for many years the double position of collector of 
the customs and inspector of the same, at the port of Genesee, both commis- 
sions being issued by President Madison. His civic duties did not prevent him 
from engaging in military pursuits, as the following letter will show. It was 
written by General Amos Hall, at that time a major-general of militia, and 
commanding a division in this district, and is addressed to "Lieutenant- Colo- 
nel Caleb Hopkins, Smallwood, Ontario County," — Smallwood being the name 
then borne by the village which is now Pittsford, as well as the township which 
included both it and the village of Brighton : — 

The War OF i8i2. 103 

"Bloomfield, June 16, 1813. 

"I this moment received your letter by Major Norton, advising me of the landing 
of the enemy from their fleet, off the mouth of the Genesee river. Your calling out 
your regiment was perfectly correct. You will please to collect as many men as appear- 
ances will justify, until the enemy's vessels leave the mouth of the river. It cannot be 
expected they will make much stay, but you will be able to judge of their movements 
by to-morrow morning. I shall expect you will give me immediate notice if you think 
more force is wanted. A. Hall." 

With this invasion as a foretaste of what might be in store for Rochester, 
it is no wonder that great alarm was felt lest the British admiral might, at some 
day not far distant, land quite a body of troops, and march up the river. The 
alarm was not confined to this particular locality, as may be seen by the follow- 
ing letter, sent on the 8th of January, 18 14, by the "committee of safety and 
relief" at Canandaigua, to the influential inhabitants of New York city, being 
addressed to DeWitt Clinton, then mayor. Colonel Robert Troup, General 
Clarkson and others : — 

"Gentlemen: Niagara county and that part of Genesee county which lies west of 
Batavia are completely depopulated. All the settlements, in a section of country forty 
miles square, and which contained more than 12,000 souls, are effectually .broken up. 
These facts you are undoubtedly acquainted with ; but the distresses they have pro- 
duced, none but an eye-witness can thoroughly appreciate. Our roads are filled with 
people, many of whom have been reduced from a state of competence and good pros- 
pects, to the last degree of want and sorrow. So sudden was the blow by which they 
have been crushed that no provision could be made either to eliide or to meet it. The 
fugitives from Niagara county, especially, were! dispersed under circumstances of so 
much terror that in some cases mothers find themselves wandering with strange children 
and children are seen accompanied by such as have no other sympathies with them 
than those of common sufferings. Of the families thus separated, all the members 
can never meet again in this life, for the same violence that has made them beggars has 

deprived some of their heads and others of their branches The inhabitants 

of Canandaigua have made large contributions for their relief, in money, provisions and 
clothing. And we have been appointed, among other things, to solicit further relief for 
them from our wealthy and liberal-minded fellow-citizens. In pursuance of this 
appointment, may we ask you, gentlemen, to interest yourselves particularly in their 
behalf? We believe that no occasion has ever occurred in our country which presented 
stronger claims upon individual benevolence, and we humbly trust that whoever is will- 
ing to answer these claims will always entitle himself to the precious reward of active 

The response to this appeal was generous and prompt, for an indorsement 
dated January 24th appears on the letter, stating that resolutions proposed by 
the recorder (Josiah Ogden Hofifman) were passed unanimously by tfie corpo- 
ration of New York, granting $3,000 for the relief of the sufferers. In addition 
to this, the legislature on the 8th of February appropriated $50,000 "for the 
relief of the indigent sufferers in the counties of Genesee and Niagara in con- 
sequence of the invasion of the western frontier of the state, including the Tus- 
carora nation of Indians, and the Canadian refugees — the money to be distrib- 
uted by Graham Newell, William Wadsworth and Joseph Ellicott." 

I04 History of the City of Rochester. 

Provisions were now made in earnest for repelling the invasion which was 
definitely expected at the mouth of the river, and the precautions were taken 
none too soon. Isaac W. Stone was commissioned as captain of the dragoons, 
to be enlisted for six months as volunteers, under command of General Peter 
B. Porter. Hervey Ely and Abelard Reynolds contracted to furnish the equip- 
ments, the former, to provide the clothing and the latter the saddlery, all to be 
paid for when the soldiers should receive their pay from the government for 
their services. Enlistments began immediately, but it did not take long to find 
that thirty-three men were all that could be raised in the village itself By active, 
recruiting among the surrounding towns seventeen men were obtained, and the 
company of fifty men was stationed at Charlotte, Captain Stone being promoted 
to the rank of major, and Francis Brown and Elisha Ely elected to captain- 
cies. Before they started for their destination, word was received that Admiral 
Yeo, with a fleet of thirteen vessels, had appeared at Charlotte and dropped 
anchor. Hastily equipping themselves with muskets that had been lodged with 
Hervey Ely & Co., and leaving behind them one of their number who refused 
to go, and another who was deputed to remain behind and take off the women 
and children in a cart if the enemy approached too near, they hurried away. 
Halting for a time near Deep hollow, beside the lower falls, they set to work on 
a breastwork already begun, which was called Fort Bender, and upon the bat- 
tery of this they planted a four-pounder cannon, to intimidate, if not to resist 
the enemy, in case they should attempt a landing at that point from small boats, 
or, as Turner says, "to impede the crossing, by the invaders, of the bridge over 
Deep hollow." After completing this work of military engineering, which con- 
sisted mainly of fallen trees, they started again, long after nightfall, and, after 
marching in the rain and through deep mud, they reached Charlotte at two 
o'clock in the morning. Here they found that further measures of defense had 
been already taken. An eighteen-pounder — which, as well as the piece of 
heavy ordnance already mentioned, had been sent from Canandaigua on the 
order of General Porter, the commander of the forces in this part of the state — 
had been mounted on the only fortification in the place, a breastwork upon the 
bluff near the old hotel, so located as to command the road leading up the bank 
from the wharf, and composed of two tiers of ship timber, with the space be- 
tween filled in with barn refuse. Other troops were already there, consisting 
of a volunteer company under Captain Rowe, from Gates and Greece, while 
Colonel Atkinson's regiment, made up from other towns in the county, were 
either there previously or came up during the day. Nevertheless the Rochester 
contingent was evidently the head and front of the American army at that 
place on the 15th of May. O'Rielly, in his history of Rochester, remarks: 
"Though the equipments and discipline of these troops would not form a brill- 
iant picture for a warHke eye, their very awkwardness in those points, coupled, 
as it was, with their sagacity and courage, accomplished more, perhaps, than 

Projected' Invasion of Charlotte; 105 

could have been effected by a larger force of regular troops bedizened with the 
trappings of military pomp. The militia thus hastily collected were marched 
and counter-marched, disappearing in the woods at one point and suddenly 
emerging elsewhere, so as to impress the enemy with the belief that the force 
collected for the defense was far greater than it actually was." So impatient 
were these men to meet the invading veterans that early in the morning, before 
any demonstrations were made from the fleet toward the shore, a volunteer 
party, consisting of Captain Ely, Abelard Reynolds and Jehiel Barnard, went 
out in an old boat that had been used as a lighter, in the midst of a heav)'' fog, 
The mist suddenly clearing away, they found themselves within range of the 
guns of the whole, British fleet, so that a gunboat darted out after them and 
they had all they could do to make their escape. The circumstances immedi- 
ately succeeding we will let O'Rielly tell in his own words: — 

"An officer with a flag of truce was sent from the British fleet. A militia officer 
marched down, with ten of the most soldier-like men, to receive him on Lighthouse 
point. These militiamen carried their guns as nearly upright as might be consistent 
with their plan of being ready for action by keeping hold of the triggers ! The British 
officer was astonished. He looked unutterable things. ' Sir,' said he, ' do you receive 
a flag of truce under arms, with cocked triggers?' 'Excuse me, excuse me, sir; we 
backwoodsmen are not well versed in military tactics,' replied the American officer, who 
promptly sought to rectify his error by ordering his men to ' ground arms.' The Briton 
was still more astonished, and, after delivering a brief message, immediately departed 
for his fleet, indicating by his countenance a suspicion that the ignorance of tactics 
which he had witnessed was all feigned for the occasion, so as to deceive the British 
commodore into a snare. Shortly afterward, the same day, another officer came ashore 
with a flag of truce for a further parley, as the British were evidently too sus- 
picious of stratagem to attempt a hostile landing if there was any possibility of com- 
promising for the spoils. Captain Francis Brown was deputed with a guard to receive 
the last flag of truce. The British officer looked suspiciously upon him and upon his 
guard, and, after some conversation, familiarly grasped the pantaloons of Captain 
Brown about the knee, remarking, as he firmly handled it, ' Your cloth is too good to 
be si)oiled by such a bungling tailor,' alluding to the width and clumsy aspect of that 
garment. Brown was quickwitted as well as resolute, and replied jocosely that he was 
' prevented from dressing fashionably by his haste that morning to receive such dis- 
tinguished visitors I ' The Briton obviously imagined that Brown was a regular officer 
of the American army, whose regimentals were masked by clumsy overclothes. The 
proposition was then made that if the Americans would deliver up the provisions and 
military stores which might be in and around Rochester and Charlotte, Sir James Yeo 
would spare the settlements from destruction. 'Will you comply with the offisr ? ' 
' Blood knee-deep first ! ' was the emphatic reply of Francis Brown." 

Turner in describing the events of the day, in his History of the Phelps & 
Gorham Purchase, follows quite closely the diary or "memoirs" of Mr. Rey- 
nolds. He makes no mention of the melodramatic incident described above, 
but says that the purpose of the flag of truce was to tender the assurance of 
Sir James Yeo that if all the public property were surrendered, private prop- 
erty should be respected. 

io6 History of the City of Rochester. 

" To favor his mission he presented a paper signed by several citizens of Oswego, 
the purport of which was that as the government had left large quantities of stores and 
munitions at that place, without any adequate force to protect them, they had concluded 
not to risk their lives and property in the defense. The message and the paper were for- 
warded to Captain Stone, who decided at once that the citizen soldiers assembled at 
the mouth of the Genesee river could not follow the precedent- of their countrymen at 
Oswego. ' Go back and tell the officer,' said he, ' that he may say to Sir James Yeo 
that any public property that may be here is in the hands of those who will defend it.' 
Soon after this, a gun-boat, sloop-rigged, of from ninety to one hundred tons burden, 
sailed out from the fleet, approached the mouth of the river and fired a six-pound shot, 
which compliment was returned from the eighteen-pgunder on the American battery. 
The gun-boat then fired fifteen or twenty-six eight-pound shots, but one of them, strik- 
ing the store-house, doing any damage. Soon after this occurrence Peter B. Porter 
arrived and assumed command. Another flag of truce came from the British fleet at 4 
o'clock p. m., bringing a peremptory demand from Sir James Yeo that the public prop- 
erty be delivered up, and the threat that, if his demand was not complied with, he 
would, make a landing with his marines and 400 Indians. To this General Porter re- 
plied, through his aid. Major Noon, that he would endeavor to take care of any force 
that Sir James felt disposed to send on shore, accompanying the reply with an intima- 
tion that a third flag of truce, sent upon the same errand, could not be respected." 

Thus ended the negotiations and the projected invasion, except that for a 
few hours afterward several heavy balls were thrown, harmlessly, from the 
fleet, many of which missiles were picked up arid used afterward for breaking 
stones in the erection of public buildings. For the next two or three days 
troops kept coming into Charlotte, but the number never exceeded 800, a force 
utterly inadequate to cope with the body of men that the English admiral could 
have landed had he chosen to do so. Why he retreated without action is a 
matter of conjecture, there being only two plausible suppositions — one, that 
he considered the victory, though certain, to be a barren one, as the amount 
of property here was very small, and the other that he w^s really deceived, by 
some clevei- marloeuvres that were preformed by our militiamen, into a serious 
over-estimate of the strength opposed to him. 

Rochester's warlike experience being thus happily concluded, we may turn 
our attention, as the settlers turned theirs, to the consideration of peaceful pur- 
suits. Emigration soon set in with redoubled spirit, and in 18 15 the prosperity 
of the hamlet greatly increased. Mail facilities received an unwonted impetus. 
Samuel Hildreth, of Pittsford, began running a stage and carrying the mail 
twice a week between Canandaigua and Rochester, a distance of twenty-eight 
miles, and a private weekly mail route was established between Rochester and 
Lewiston, dependent for its support on the income of the post-offices along the 
route. In this year was erected the first building here of any magnitude — the 
old "red mill," on West Main street, near Aqueduct — which was put up by 
Hervey Ely and Josiah Bissell, assisted, in the elevation of the roof-timbers, by 
every man and boy in the place; it was destroyed by fire in 1837. The first 
wedding in tlie settlement was on October 8th, when Delia, daughter of Ham- 

Incidents of i8i6. 107 

let Scraiitom, was married to Jehiel Barnard, in a house on the top of a hill on 
Brown street, next to where the school of St. Patrick's parish now stands; Mrs. 
Barnard lived to a very advanced age, and died in this city in 1881. Abelard 
Reynolds opened the first tavern on the west side; the first religious society was 
organised, consisting of sixteen members; the first book store was opened, op- 
posite the Arcade, by Horace L. Sill and George G. Sill; the Genesee Cotton 
Manufacturing company was organised and work was begun on the factory, at 
the foot of Factory street, completed in the following spring, which ran 1,392 
spindles, contained the only cotton machinery west of Whitestown and had the 
first bell hung west of the Genesee river; the steady purchase of produce from 
the surrounding country began; in December the first census was taken, show- 
ing a population of 33 1. 

The year 1S16 witnessed a variety of stirring incidents, of which the follow- 
ing are worth recording : Rev. Comfort Williams was installed as pastor of the 
Presbyterian congregation, being the first clergyman settled here ; Matthew 
and Francis Brown finished the mill race which still bears their name — eighty- 
four rods in length, thirty feet wide and three feet deep, blasting through rock 
much of the way ; Colonel Rochester, then living in Bloomfield (whither he had 
removed after residing in Dansville), built for his residence a frame structure, 
which afterward became the Break o' Day house, on Exchange street, but he 
did not move into it for two years, as Dr. Levi Ward, who then came here from ' 
Bergen, occupied it till 18 18, when Colonel Rochester settled permanently in 
the village which bore his name ; Caleb Lyon began the settlement of Carthage; 
the Buffalo road was surveyed and laid out to Batavia ; the: first trees for orna- 
ment appeared, sugar maples set out on the west side of Washington street by 
Hervey Ely and John G. Bond ; the first newspaper was established, a weekly, 
called the Gazette, published by Augustine G. Dauby and John P. Sheldon, 
afterward by Derick and Levi W. Sibley, and still later by Edwin Scrantom as 
the Monroe Republican, after which it became and is now the weekly edition 
of the Union & Advertiser; the summer was one of the coldest ever known in 
this part of the country, before or afterward, a hard frost on the i6th of August 
destroying all the growing crops and making a distressing scarcity the next 

The late Judge Moses Chapin has left a sketch of the future city in this 
year, which marks the close of its embryonic epoch, and for that reason it may 
be given entire, except as changes are made in it to conform to the alterations 
that have taken place since 1847, when it was written: — 

"The principal settlement on West Main street was between the Powers block and 
the bridge over the Genesee. 'J'he buildings were rows of small shops on each side of 
the street, mostly a story and a half high. Here and there was a building further west 
on that street, and the brush had lately been burned to clear the street along in front of 
where the court-house now stands. A frog-pond occupied a part of the court-house 
yard at the base of a high stone ledge. From the bathing-house on the west side was 

io8 History of the City of Rochester. 

a log causeway over a deep swamp, in which the forest trees were then standing; be- 
yond Washington street west there was an unbroken forest. State street had been 
cleared of trees, but the stumps were remaining. The forest came almost to the west 
line of the street, between Allen and Brown streets. On the west side of Exchange 
street a small frame building stood perched on a high ledge of stone, where William 
AUing's stationery store was afterward located; further west was a dwelling-house back 
of where the Bank of Monroe now stands ; then on the south was occasionally a smal[ 
building. On the other side of the street were no buildings. A yard for saw-logs 
occupied the ground of Child's basin. On North Fitzhugh street there was no settle- 
ment north of the present site of the Baptist church, and cart-tracks then led north to 
adjacent woods. From Sophia street, on west beyond Washington, was an ash swamp, 
filled with water the most of the year. ' The long, pendent moss from the boughs of the 
trees in this swamp presented a picturesque appearance. The land south of Troup 
street was a forest. On the east side of the river was a cluster of houses on Main and 
South St. Paul streets. From Clinton street east, from Mortimer north and from Jack- 
son south was mostly forest. A black walnut tree of magnificent proportions stood in 
the north part of Dublin, not far northwest from the falls, and attracted many visitors." 



Its Incorporation in 1817 — The First Village Election — The First Church Built — The Com- 
merce with Canada — Settlement of Carthage — The Great Bridge there — Its Fall, and that of Other 
Bridges — Surveys for the Erie Canal — Monroe County Erected — Building of the Old Aqueduct — 
The Old .Court-House — John Quincy Adams. 

TT7E have seen the troubles through which our early settlers passed — the 
\\ wasting disease, the difficulty of communication, the alarm caused by 
the menacing army of the British. These surmounted, and the further growth 
of the place being reasonably assured, it seemed that the collection of buildings, 
of stores, factories and dwelling-houses, should be bound together by corporate 
ties. Accordingly the legislature passed an act in April, 181 7, incorporating 
the village of Rochesterville, thus placing a suffix, which was probably consid- 
ered a mark of dignity, to the shorter name of Rochester, which the place had 
previously borne. The village belonged, until its incorporation as a city, to 
the towns of Gates and Brighton, and lay in the counties of Genesee and On- 
tario. On the 5th of May the village election was held, at which the five trus- 
tees provided for in the charter were chosen, Francis Brown, Daniel Mack, 
William Cobb, Everard Peck and Jehiel Barnard being the persons for whom 
tlie votes of the villagers were cast. Of these Francis Brown was chosen pres- 
ident of the board — and therefore of the village — and Hastings R. Bender was 
elected clerk, Frederick F. Backus being subsequently appointed treasurer. 

Improvements Following Incorporation as a Village. 109 

The assessors for that year were Isaac Colvin, Hastings R. Bender and Daniel 
D. Hatch, with Ralph Lester as collector and constable. Thus fairly launched 
into corporate life, the village took a new start in prosperity, and with each 
succeeding year advances were made that indicated a determination on the part 
of those then settled here to make the best of their surroundings, and extract 
from nature all the assistance that could be secured to their strong hands and 
firm hearts, while at the same time the continued stream of westward emigra 
tion, which dropped many of its components at this point, made the task 
lighter for each, though the aggregate became constantly heavier. In addition 
to those who came to locate permanently, many were attracted hither tempo- 
rarily by the prospects of advantage in trade. The village had by this time 
become the principal wheat market for the whole valley of the Genesee, so that 
the continued influx of teams coming in with this and other grains made a 
scene of activity and enterprise, heightened by the constant buying, selling and 
bartering at the various stores. Wheat rose to $2.25 per bushel, but the 
millers took all that was offered, and an easy sale was found for the flour. 
Buildings of all kinds increased in number, the most important erected in 1817 
being the church that was built on Carroll street (now State) for the Presby- 
terian society, the first house for public worship in this neighborhood. In spite 
of all the prosperity, it must not be supposed that Rochesterville was yet*out 
of the woods. On the contrary, the forest still inclosed it on every hand, on 
each side of the Genesee, for when Elisha Johnson purchased of Enos Stone, 
in this year, eighty acres of his farm adjoining the river on the east side, the 
back land of the purchase was the primeval wood. Mr. Johnson surveyed the 
whole into a village plat, constructed a dam across the river, and excavated a 
large mill canal from thence to the bridge, four feet deep, sixty feet wide, and 
nearly seventy rods in length, thus opening, at an expense of $12,000, exten- 
sive water privileges, of which William Atkinson, for one, immediately availed 
himself, building on this private canal the "yellow mill," with three run of 
stones. The venerable Schuyler Moses, now living on Chestnut street, worked 
on the erection of this mill. Another important edifice was the old Mansion 
House, built by D. K. Cartter and Abner Hollister, the first three-story build- 
ing erected here. Precautions were taken, in a thorough and systematic man- 
ner, even at this early date, against the destruction of the property of the village 
by fire, and every citizen had to be supplied with fire buckets, besides which 
arrangements were made for hooks, ladders and other apparatus included in 
the paraphernalia of those days. A sketch of the fire department from that time 
to this is given further on. Of course, the lighter accomplishments, as well as 
the more solid branches of industry, must be cultivated, and therefore an instru- 
mental band was formed at this time, the first meeting being held at Reynolds's 
tavern, when arrangements were made to procure instruments from Utica. 
Preston Smith was chosen leader, and the members of the musical organisation 

I lo History of the City of Rochester. 

who played under him were Joseph Strong, Bradford King, Edwin Scrantom, 

Jehiel Barnard, Perkins, L. L. Miller, James Caldwell, Jedediah Stafford, 

H. T. McGeorge, Nathaniel T. Rochester, Selkreg, Myron Strong, Eras- 

tus Cook (who brought the first piano to Rochester), Horace L. Sill, Alfred 
Judson, Alpheus Bingham, Leyi W. Sibley and Isaac Loomis, 

Not alone on land but on water did the new village make its influence felt, for 
the steamboat Ontario now began to make regular trips from Sackett's Harbor to 
Lewiston, stopping at the port of Genesee, and to make connection with the 
vessel several craft were kept busy transporting produce and manufactured ar- ^ 
tides down the river, besides which many boats*were at frequent intervals com- 
ing up to Hanford's Landing from ports below. No statement is obtainable of 
the commerce for 1817, but in the next year the exports from the Genesee 
river down the lake to the Canada market, during the season of navigation, 
were 26,000 barrels of flour, 3,653 barrels of pot and pearl ashes, 1,173 barrels 
of pork, 190 barrels of whisky, 214,000 double butt staves, which made a total 
valuation of $380,000. , That was not a bad showing for the foreign commerce 
of a little village during its first full year of corporate existence, and 18 19 showed 
a fair increase upon that, for the exports to Canada then amounted to $400,000. 

The year 181 8 was not remarkable for any thrilling events in the vil- 
lage or any striking advance in its material prosperity, but the strictest atten- 
tion was paid to the devising and enforcing of ordinances for the promotion of 
health, the security of property and the convenience, as well as safety, of the 
people. Matthew Brown, jr., Roswell Hart, William P. Sherman, Daniel Mack 
and H. R. Bender were appointed as street patrol, and in their persons the maj- 
esty of the law was duly respected. The second weekly newspaper was estab- 
lished — the Rochester TelcgrapJi (not Rochestervillc, for the appendix does not 
seem to have been generally used even when it was officially a part of the name 
of the place), edited, published and printed by Everard Peck & Co., the first 
number appearing on the 7th of July in this year. For the manufacture of the 
material used by the two journals Gilman and Sibley built a paper-mill on the 
east side, near Atkinson's flour mill. In September the second census was 
taken, showing a population of 1,049. l^^t however little of interest or excite- 
ment took place in the proximity of the two cataracts then known as the Upper 
and Middle falls — the latter of which now bears the name of the former, while 
the continued deportation of the rock from the river bed above and below the 
Court street bridge has destroyed the precipice of fifteen feet for the "upper" 
falls to flow over — enough was going on at the Lower falls to call our attention 
in that direction. The settlement then known as Carthage — an appellation 
borne by that locality long after it was embraced within the city limits, by which 
it was generally designated till a very few years ago — was a rival of Rochester, 
or rather it was hoped by those living in the vicinity of the lower falls and on 
the east side of the river that that point would be the very center of the future 

(^ §■ e^":^'^^^ <tyc ty/(_ 

The Bridge Between Rochester and Carthage. i i i 

city which they felt sure was to grpw up somewhere in the neighborhood. Ca- 
leb Lyon, who was probably the first settler there, had been on the ground for 
several years, had made a small opening in the forest and had erected a number of 
log cabins, but the few families upon the tract were mostly squatters, and Elisha B. 
Strong, from Windsor, Conn., may be considered the real pioneer — in fact, 
almost the "patroon" of the place. In company with Elisha Beach he pur- 
chased, in 1 8 1 6, 1 ,000 acres embracing the site of Carthage and made the most de- 
termined efforts to build up a town that should be of enduring vitality. A pub- 
lic house was erected, kept by Ebenezer Spear ; stores were opened for business ; 
at least one lawyer, Levi H. Clark,- had his office there, and Strong and Al- 
bright built, at the upper step of the falls, a flour mill with four run of stones. 
In spite of all this it was evident that more must be done; one further act was 
necessary — the spanning of the Genesee and the uniting of the Ridge road, 
which was broken by the gorge of the river. For that purpose a stock com- 
pany was formed by Messrs. Strong, Beach and Albright, together with Heman 
Norton, for the erection of a bridge at that point, and at the same time — as the 
only highway leading from the Brighton road to Carthage was the "Merchants' 
road," which had been cut by merchants of Canandaigua several years before — 
Franklin street was laid out. People who have wondered why that thoroughfare 
was put through at so unaccountable an angle with the contiguous streets will be 
satisfied with the explanation that it was done by the modern Carthaginians 
with the hope of diverting the tide of westward emigration from the "Buffalo 
road" and turning it in their direction. The bridge was begun in May, 1818, 
and from, the beginning it attracted far more than local attention, though the re- 
marks were not always unmixed with bitterness. For instance, some one pur- 
porting to be a "traveler in the West" wrote at the time to the New York 
Spectator, pronouncing the structure "a monument of folly" and describing not 
only its projectors but the inhabitants of Rochester as a class as "bankrupts and 
adventurers without capital." To this ill-natured scribe replied a resident of 
Carthage, in a long letter to the New York Evening Post, demonstrating the 
utility of the work and vindicating the business integrity of the dwellers by the 
Genesee. As the edifice approached completion it became evident that it was 
to be one of the most admirable of its kind in existence, a writer in the Catskill 
Recorder observing that "it will almost rank with one of the wonders of the 
world." The bridge <vas finished before the winter was over, and how far the 
laudation quoted above was justified by the facts may be seen by the follow- 
ing, taken from the Rochester Telegraph o{Y&hr\x^xy i6th, 1819: — 

" It is with pleasure that we announce to the public that the Carthage bridge is com- 
pleted and that its strength has been successfully tested by the authority designated in 
its charter of incorporation. It consists of an entire arch thrown across the Genesee 
river, the chord of which is 352 and -^^ feet and the versed sine fifty-four feet. By a 
recent and accurate admeasurement it is found that the summit of the arch is 196 feet 
above the surface of the water. It is 718 feet in length and thirty feet in width, be- 

112 History of the City of Rochester. 

sides four large elbow braces placed at the extrenjities of the arch and projecting fifteen 
feet on each side of it, thereby presenting a resistance to any lateral pressure or casualty 
equal to a width of sixty feet. The travel passes upon the crown of the arch, which 
consists of nine ribs, two feet and four inches thick, connected by braced levelers above 
and below and secured by nearly 800 strong bolts. The feet of the arch rest upon solid 
rock about sixty feet below the surface of the upper bank, and the whole structure is 
braced and bound together in a manner so compact as to disarm even cavil of its doubts. 
The arch contains more than 200 tons and can sustain any weight that ordinary travel 
ma> bring upon it. Loaded teams of more than thirteen tons passed over it together a 
few days since and produced very little perceptible tremor. Great credit is due to the 
contractors, Messrs. Brainard and Chapman, for their persevering and unremitted efforts 
in accomplishing this stupendous work. It was erected upon a frame called the sup- 
porter or false bridge. The Genesee river flows under the bridge with an impetuous 
current and is compressed to the width of about 120 feet. This width was crossed by 
commencing a frame on each side near the margin and causing the weight behind to 
sustain the bents progressively bending over the water, which meeting at the top formed 
a Gothic arch over the stream, the vertex of which was about twenty feet below the 
present floor of the bridge. Though now purposely disconnected from the bridge, the 
Gothic arch still stands underneath the Roman and is esteemed by architects, in point 
of mechanical ingenuity, as great a curiosity as the bridge itself The bridge contains 
69,513 feet of timber, running measure, in addition to 20,806 feet of timber contained 
in the false bridge or supporter. All this has been effected by the labor of somewhat 
less (upon an average) than twenty-two workmen, within the short space of nine months. 
Were this fact told in Europe it would only excite the smile of incredulity. The bridge 
qt Schffahausen in Switzerland, which for almost half a century was regarded as the 
pride of the eastern hemisphere, was built, we are informed, in a little less than three 
years, and was the longest arch in Europe. It was but twelve feet longer than the 
bridge at Carthage (admitting that it derived no support from a pier in the center), was 
only eighteen feet wide and of ordinary and convenient height. It was destroyed dur- 
ing the French revolution, and no entire arch is known at present in the old world to 
exceed 240 feet span. The most lofty single arch in Europe is in England, over the 
river Wear, at Sunderland, which falls short of the bridge at Carthage 116 feet in the 
length of the span and ninety-six feet in the height of the arch. The bridge at Car- 
thage may therefore be pronounced unrivaled in its combined dimensions, strength and 
beauty, by any structure of the kind in Europe or America. The scenery around it is 
picturesque and sublime ; within view from it are three waterfalls of the Genesee, one 
of which has 105 feet perpendicular descent. The stupendous banks, the mills and ma- 
chinery, the forest yielding to the industry of a rising village, and the navigable waters 
not 100 rods below it are calculated to fill the mind of a generous beholder with sur- 
prise and satisfaction. Particularly is this the case when the utility of the bridge is re- 
garded in connection with its extent. It presents the nearest route from Canandaigua 
to Lewiston, it connects the points at the great Ridge road, it opens to the counties of 
Genesee and Niagara a direct communication with the water privileges at the lower 
falls and the head of navigation on the river, and renders the village of Carthage ac- 
cessible and convenient, as a thoroughfare from the east, the west and the north.'' 

The bridge was guaranteed, by the contractors, to stand for a year and a day, 
and it is somewhat singular that a great proportion of those inhabitants of the 
city who have had any idea at all about the matter have always supposed that 

Events of 1819 — The Erie Canal. 113 

it lasted for exactly that time, the tradition being so firmly established that 
more than one history has repeated the statement. It stood for more than one 
year and three months, giving way on the 22d of May, 1820, at a moment 
when there was no weight upon it, the great mass of timber not being suffi- 
ciently braced to pi'event the springing upward of the arch. As it sank into 
the flood below, the hopes of Carthage sank with it. Efforts were made to re- 
pair the loss, but they only served to retard the decay of the settlement ; imme- 
diately after its destruction another bridge was built upon piers, about a hundred 
rods south of the former and on a lower level ; a few years subsequently another 
was erected which stood till 1835. In 1856 the City erected, at a cost of $25,- 
©00, a second suspension bridge on the site of the first, which was constructed- 
on a novel principle and one that seemed injudicious to most persons other than 
the architect. At either end of the bridge stood two columns, each one a combi- 
nation of four hollow cylinders or tubes of cast iron, screwed together by flanges 
and bound and braced with wrought irqn rods. These columns, about ninety 
feet in height, rose from the rocky terrace below the high bank and served as 
towers to support the wire cables that were anchored beyond them. It had 
stood for about seven months when one night in April, 1857, ^ very heavy, wet 
snow fell, to the depth of four inches, and when the sun rose there was no 
bridge there. No one saw it fall, and no one, so far as is known, heard the 
sound, except the watchman at the paper-mills below. 

The year of 18 19 came and went without many changes in the appearance 
of the village, other than those caused by the erection of new mills, as will be 
detailed in another place in this volume. In addition to the completion of the 
Carthage bridge the river was again spanned within the village limits, a toll 
bridge being thrown across by Andrews, Atwater and Mumford, about midway 
between the falls and the present site of Andrews street bridge ; it was prob- 
ably not very strongly constructed, as it stood but a few years and there, was 
no occasion to rebuild it. The title of the village corporation was changed by 
act of the legislature, the name of Rochesterville, which had always been dis- 
tasteful to the people, giving place to the original appellation of Rochester. 
This is what it ought to have been called all the time, not only on account of 
Colonel Rochester, the part owner of the land on which the village stood, but 
as bearing, in its natural features, a resemblance more or less .marked, and cer- 
tainly not wholly fanciful, to the town of the same name in England. On the 
28th of September the state engineers made a survey of a route for the canal 
through the village. The question of the course to be taken by the Erie canal 
was one that agitated the inhabitants of the little place, as will be seen by the 
following extract from the Rochester Telegraph of November 2d, 18 19: — 

"We learn from Mr. White, one of the engineers who have been employed in explor- 
ing the route for the canal, that the commissioners, at their late meeting in Utica, de- 
cided in favor of the northern route, from Montezuma to the Genesee river, which it will 
intersect at this village. The course it will take west of the river is not yet determined. 

1 14 History of the City of Rochester. 

It is expected that contracts will be made this season, for working some part of the 
canal in this section of the country. The result of the first experiment which was made 
to navigate the canal between Rome and Utica will afford its friends and advocates the 
highest gratification." 

A letter in the same number of the newspaper, from a correspondent at 
Utica, gives an account of "the first trial of the great canal," in a trip made 
from that place to Rome by Governor Clinton, the canal commissioners and a 
number of gentlemen, the letter closing with the ardent hope on the part of 
the writer that the season then in progress would " witness the transportation 
of salt from Salina to Utica by the canal, a distance of more than fifty miles." 
An account of the inception of this great work, its progress, its completion and 
its enlargement, as well as the rneans taken to direct its course through this 
. city, will be found in another place. Village lots had by this time greatly in- 
creased in value, but the prices at which they were held in 18 19 have a strange 
look at this day. A store lot fronting on State street (then Carroll street), 
where part of the Powers block now stands, was offered for $1,000, and the 
Boody farm, embracing one hundred acres, now partly covered by some of the 
finest residences and grounds on East avenue, was offered at ten dollars an 
acre. At about the same time the lot on West Main street between Exchange 
and Aqueduct streets, and running back to where the canal now is, was sold 
for $1,175. 

In 1820 the village had grown to be a place of 1,502 inhabitants, according 
to the United States census taken in that year ; the first court of record was 
held here, Hon. Roger Skinner presiding at a session of the United States dis- 
trict court ; St. Luke's (Episcopal) church was built, being the second house for 
public worship erected here ; the price of produce fell greatly in this year, corn 
being from twenty to twenty-five cents per bushel and wheat thirty- seven and 
a half cents, so that flour was sold at from $2.25 to $2.50 per barrel. 

The legislature did in February, 1821, what it ought to have done before — 
it passed a law creating the county of Monroe out of portions of Genesee and 
Ontario counties, which had hitherto been divided by the river. Jesse Haw- 
ley, Fitch Chipman and Samuel M. Hopkins were the members of assembly 
from Genesee county, and there is no record that they were hostile to a meas- 
ure that was plainly demanded by justice to a thriving and increasing popula- 
tion, with a large village astride of a river and situated in two counties, but 
John C. Spencer, who was then one of the seven members from Ontario coun- 
ty, and who afterward became so eminent as a jurist, set himself in violent 
opposition to the scheme. It was not the last time that a resident of Canan- 
daigua exerted himself to prevent legislation favorable and just to Rochester, 
but then, as sixty years later, the effort was unsuccessful and the bill passed, 
aided in its adoption by the strenuous arguments of Daniel D. Barnard, Ash- 
ley Sampson and others, who went down to Albany to facilitate its passage. 
Morris S. Miller, Robert S. Rose and Nathan Williams, the commissioners ap- 

First Deed Recorded. i i s 

pointed for the purpose, located the new county building on a lot given for 
that object by Messrs. Rochester, Fitzhugh and Carroll, and on the 4th of Sep- 
tember the corner-stone of the court-house was laid. 

The first deed of land sold in the county after its erection was placed on 
record on the 6th of April in this year, bearing date of the 19th of March pre- 
vious. The conveyance was of a piece of ground in the town of Brighton 
(for the village was in the two to'vns of Brighton and Gates), on what is now 
the northwest corner of North St. Paul and Mortimer streets. The grantors 
were Elisha Johnson and Betsey his wife ; the grantees, Andrew V. T. Leav- 
itt and Charles J. Hill ; the witnesses, Lucinda House and Charles Harwood. 
The property was purchased in 1850 from Messrs. Leavitt and Hill by George 
G. Clarkson, who continued till a few years ago to live in the house which had 
been built there by Mr. Leavitt, when the demand for ground for manufactur- 
ing purposes caused him to sell it ; the old dwelling-house was then torn down 
and the Archer building erected in its place. In this year (182 1) a female charity 
school was opened for the gratuitous instruction of poor children. In August 
the erection of the old aqueduct was begun. William Britton, who had been 
a keeper in Auburn state prison, was the contractor for the work, and, as it was 
a state affair, he was authorised by a special act of the legislature to employ a 
hundred convicts on the work. He seems, however, to have taken only thirty 
of those gentlemen at first, a number quite sufficient for the purpose, as it 
turned out, for they all made their escape, one after another, and sought else- 
where for more congenial fields of labor and a wider range of enjoyment. 
The force employed to guard them had probably been insufficient, ^nd what 
few custodians there were had evidently not practised shooting to any great 
extent, or perhaps they were Communists before their time, and sympathised 
with the fugitives; at any rate, it is certain that of all the shots fired at the 
escaping prisoners, not one took effect. 

Building went on apace in 1822. The third house for public worship was 
built in the village by the society of Friends, and the fourth was begun by the 
Methodists, a brick chapel, on South St. Paul street, where the Opera House 
now stands. The county court-house was completed, and, though many of 
the readers of this volume will remember well its appearance, many others will 
not be able to go back so far as that, while both classes will be interested in. 
the following description of the old building, taken from the directory of 
1827: — 

"The natural declivity of the ground is reduced to two platforms — the first on the 
level of Buffalo street, forming a neat yard in front of the building, which recedes sev- 
enty-five feet from the line of the street, the other raised about six feet above the former 
and divided from it by the building itself and two wing walls of uniform appearance, 
presenting, toward Buffalo street, the aspect of an elevated terrace, but on a level 
with the streets immediately adjoining. This last, together with the yard of the Presby- 
terian church, now comprehended within the same inclosure, forms a small square, laid 

1 1 6 History of the City of Rochester. 

out in grass plats and gravel walks, and needs only the further attention of the citizens, 
in planting it with shade trees and shrubbery, to render it a very pleasant and valuable 
accommodation as a public walk. This is now known by the name of Court square. 
The court-house building is fifty-four feet long, forty-four wide and forty high It 
presents two fronts — the one facing Court square, showing two stories and a base, the 
other toward Buffalo street, two stories and a full basement. Each front is finished with 
a projecting portico, thirty feet long and ten feet wide, supported by four fluted Ionic 
columns, surmounted by a regular entablature and balustrade, which returns and con- 
tinues along the whole front. From the center of the building arises an octagonal belfry, 
covered by a cupola. The basement affords convenient offices for county and village 
purposes. The court-room is in the second story, extending the entire length and 
breadth of the building, and is a remarkably well lighted and airy apartment." 

The basenient referred to was not always used for office- room alone, for 
during the latter portion of the existence of the structure the cells of the police 
station were located in the northwest corner. The county jail, erected about 
this time, contained two tiers of cells, divided by a hall through the center, 
inclosed in a secure manner. It stood in the rear of a handsome and commo- 
dious brick house on what was then Hughes street (now the north part of 
Fitzhugh), on the site afterward occupied by the Unitarian church, and now 
by the German Evangelical church of St. Paul. After being used for its 
intended purpose for aboiit ten years, it was, after the erection of the jail on the 
island, occupied for a long time as a recruiting station by officers of the United 
States army. Business was brisk in this year, even in the winter, and it is 
recorded that on the Sth of February 7,000 bushels of wheat were taken at 
the mills in Rochester and Carthage. In the autumn the canal was extended 
as far as this place, and on the 29th of October the first canal boat left the vil- 
lage for Little Falls, laden with flour. In September the fourth census was 
taken, showing that the population had nearly doubled in two years, the num- 
ber recorded as permanent being 2,700, besides 430 laborers on the public 
works. Thurlow Weed came here in November and obtained employment on 
the Telegraph. 

In 1823 a fifth house of public worship was built, St. Patrick's (Roman 
Catholic) church, on Piatt street, where its successor, the cathedral, now stands. 
It was constructed of stone, and was forty-two feet long and thirty eight wide. 
The great event of the year was the completion of the canal aqueduct across 
the Genesee river, which was signalised by a public celebration, consisting of 
an address by Ashley Sampson, and the passage of boats through the new 
water-way, escorted by the military companies, Masonic societies and citizens 
generally. The work cost $83,000, and although far inferior to the existing 
structure, both in expense and in workmanship, it was considered at the time a 
"stupendous fabric," as it was denominated by the civil engineer who superin- 
tended its construction. Its west end was on the same spot as that of the pres- 
ent aqueduct, while its eastern terminus was a few rods north of where this one 
turns southward. The walls were composed of red sandstone, with pilasters 

Canal Aqueduct Finished in 1823. 117 

and coping of gray limestone, and many of the blocks, particularly in the piers, 
were of great size. These were trenailed to the rock, in which excavations 
were made, by large iron bolts, and were so cramped and cemented as to form 
a mass which was supposed to possess the consistency and firmness of a single 
piece. The aqueduct was 804 feet long, and was built on eleven arches, one 
of twenty-six feet chord, nine of fifty feet each, and one of thirty feet, the re- 
maining distance being of masonry put up on the land. The piers were thirty- 
six feet long, ten feet wide, and four and a half high, with eleven feet for the 
rise of the arch. Many of the stones of which it was composed were used in 
building the high wall which runs along the bank of the canal north of Court 
street, and others went into the construction of private dwellings in the city. 
In the latter part of the year, meetings were held to devise means for aiding 
the Greeks in their struggle against the Turks. Balls were given, money was 
subscribed to the extent of $1,500 throughout the county, and a fat ox was 
slain and sold by the pound, the proceeds being donated to the Greek fund. 

John Quincy Adams, both during his presidential term and long afterward, 
frequently alluded to the fact that his first' nomination for the executive office 
came from Rochester. The Telegraph had, in an early number during 1823, 
urged in its editorial columns, probably by the pen of Mr. Weed, who was then 
associate editor, the claims of the distinguished statesman, and was the first 
paper in the country, so far as is known, which placed his name at the head as 
the candidate for the presidency. Shortly afterward a pubHc meeting was held 
here, at which Mr. Adams was nominated, which was the first action of the 
kind taken anywhere, and was as authoritative as any nomination could be, for 
national conventions were then unknown. The legislature of New York chose 
at that time the presidential electors, and Mr. Weed, though not a member of 
either house, went down to Albany and presented the claims of Mr. Adams as 
set forth here and elsewhere, for the movement had by that time become gen- 
eral throughout the state. It was owing in great part to Mr. Weed's influence 
that the friends of Henry Clay were induced to join with those of John Quincy 
Adams in a union electoral ticket, to defeat William H. Crawford and General 
Jackson, which scheme was successful, and of the electors thus chosen thirty 
voted for Adams, five for Crawford and one for Jackson. 

1 1 8 History of the City of Rochester. 



The First Bank in Rochester — The First Presbyterian Church — LaFayette's Visit to Rochester — 
The Abduction of William Morgan — The Excitement in Rochester and Elsewhere — Trial, Confess- 
ion and Punishment of the Original Abductors — Other Trials in Different Counties — Anti-Masonic 
Party Formed — Bitterness of Feeling Engendered — The Body Found at Oak Orchard — Morgan or 
Munroe, Which ? — Perhaps Neither — The First Village Directory — The Fate of Catlin — The Leap 
of Sam Patch — The Mormon Bible — The First Cholera Year — St. Patrick's Day in 1833. 

THE record of 1824 may begin with the estabh'shment of the Bank of Roch- 
ester, which was incorporated by act of the legislature ; the Buffalo street 
bridge, beginning to decay, was rebuilt by the county at an expense of $6,000, 
Samuel Works being the commissioner and Elisha Johnson the contractor ; the 
Episcopal society moved their old edifice to the rear and erected St. Luke's 
church, which is still standing and bids fair to last through another generation ; 
the First Presbyterian society having disposed of their old building to another 
congregation, erected a new church — the sixth in the village — on Fitzhugh 
street, back of the court-house, the church and its session-room, which was 
separate from it, occupying the present site of the city hall. It fronted north 
and was eighty-six feet long, by sixty-four wide and thirty high, with a tower 
projecting three feet from the face of the building and running up seventy-one 
feet from the base, surmounted by an octagonal spire of seventy-nine feet, so 
that the whole height of the steeple was one hundred and fifty feet. The ves- 
tibule was entered from three doors, from the middle one of which the stair- 
case rose, leading to the galleries. Unlike the arrangement in most churches, 
the pulpit was at the front of the auditorium, and all the pews were so arranged 
as to face it directly. It was built of stone, covered with cement in imitation 
of whitish free-stone, and the cost of the whole building, with the lot on which 
it stood, was about $16,000. A few years after its erection, while Rev. Dr. 
Finney was conducting a revival there, the plastering began to fall on the heads 
of the crowded congregation, and in consequence of the alarm then occasioned 
the walls were strengthened on the outside by buttresses rising between the 
windows and above the eaves. 

In 1825 the question was agitated whether the community should apply for 
a charter as a city, since the powers granted to the village trustees by the act 
of incorporation were inadequate ; after considerable discussion, the people con- 
cluded not to make the application but to rest content with an amendment, 
which was obtained, increasing the powers of the board of trustees. The growth 
of the place during the spring and early summer of this year was surprisingly 
large, for the village census, taken in February, showed the population to be 
4,274, while the state census taken on the istof August, gave the number as 
5,273, an increase of a thousand less one. On the 7th of June LaFayette vis- 

Visit OF LaFayette. 119 

ited the city, coming on a canal boat from the west, though the canal was not 
completed till four months later. A deputation of eighteen leading citizens had 
gone to Lockport the day before, to meet him and bring him hither, and, as 
the morning advanced, the flotilla came in sight, six boats leading, then a craft 
bearing the illustrious guest, then six other vessels completing the procession. 
Not only did all the village turn out to do honor to the idolised Frenchman, 
who had done so much for the independence of this country, but an equal num- 
ber of persons came in from the surrounding towns to participate in the ova- 
tion. From a stage erected over the center arch of the aqueduct, William B. 
Rochester made an address of welcome, to which the general gave a reply, of 
which the following words are a portion : — 

"Sir, when, about ten months ago, J had the happiness to revisit the American shore 
it was in the bay of New York, and within the limits of her vast and flourishing empo 
rium of commerce, that 1 made a landing. On this western frontier of the state, where 
I am received in so affectionate and gratifying a manner, I enjoy a sight of works and 
improvements equally rapid and wonderful, chief among which is the grand canal, an 
admirable work of science and patriotism whereby nature has been made to adorn and 
serve, as seen in the striking spectacle which is at this moment presented to our view." 

During the firing of a salute LaFayette landed, and, in company with Col- 
onel Rochester, rode through the streets to Colonel Hoard's, where he received 
the veterans of the Revolution. From thence he was taken to the Mansion 
House, where a dinner was served, with some two hundred guests, and at four 
o'clock in the afternoon he set out for Canandaigua, where he passed the night. 
In this year the old Museum building, on Exchange street, was built ; Josiah 
Bissell purchased what was called the Cornhill tract, a district now lying in the 
third and eighth wards, which has almost to this day borne the name of Corn- 
hill. The appellation of the tract came from the fact that it was then a farm, 
the greater part of which was a cornfield. 

In 1826 the seventh house for public worship was erected, a meeting-house 
built by the Dissenting Methodists; a bridge was built at what is now Court 
street, the money being raised by subiscription, and the work done by a com- 
pany of land proprietors, who cut the street through to the Pittsford road (now 
East avenue), on the east side of the river, and at the same time built the 
Rochester House, on the west side, on the southwest corner of Exchange 
street and the canal, hoping to draw the travel in that direction ; Luther Tucker 
& Co. established the Rochester Daily Advertiser (with Henry O'Rielly as ed-' 
itor), the first daily paper between Albany and the Pacific ocean ; the village 
census showed a population of 7,669. 

This year is rendered memorable by the abduction, from the jail at Canan- 
daigua, of William Morgan, a former resident of Rochester, who had been 
engaged in preparing for publication a book purporting to reveal the secrets of 
Freemasonry. When it was understood that Morgan was intending to pub- 
lish these things, every effort was made to suppress them ; menaces, threats 

I20 History of the City of Rochester. 

and bribes were resorted to in vain ; an attempt was made to burn the printing- 
office in which the pages were being put in type, and finally Morgan was sub- 
jected to a number of harassing arrests, which his intemperate habits and 
general character made easy, for he was not of high standing in the communi- 
ty. He was repeatedly put in jail for small debts, and at last arrested on a 
charge of petty larceny, being accused of borrowing a shirt from a tavern- 
keeper at Canandaigua and not returning it. He was taken from his home in 
Batavia to the former village, where the charge was promptly dismissed, but he 
was immediately re- arrested on a debt of two dollars, which he admitted, and 
was thrown into prison, on the nth of September. The next night several 
men came to the prison and paid the debt, with the costs, and, Morga'n, as he 
left his place of confinement, was seized, thrown into a carriage and driven off". 
He was never seen in public again. His wife became alarmed at the prolonged 
absence of her husband, and the excitement extended to her neighbors, from 
them to the rest of the village, and speedily spread through the state, gather- 
ing intensity through the next three yeans, during which the trials in five dif- 
ferent counties of those charged with the abduction were going on- — special 
sessions of the courts being sometimes ordered for the purpose — and finally 
entering into the arena of politics, where it broke up the parties then existing, 
divided the politicians into friends and opponents of the order, and created a 
distinctly Anti-Masonic political party, which for years influenced the elections 
in this state, and put a presidential ticket into the field in 1832. Rochester 
was the center of excitement, and the Monroe county Morgan committee, with 
Hervey Ely, Thurlow Weed, Frederick F. Backus and Frederick Whittlesey as 
the most active members, was earnestly engaged in bringing to light all the 
facts that could be obtained with regard to the dark affair. 

The first indictments found were those against the four persons supposed to 
have been engaged in taking Morgan from the Canandaigua jail and putting 
him into the carriage in which he was driven away. Three of the accused — 
Chesebro, Sawyer and Lawson — pleaded guilty, to the surprise of the court 
and the spectators, as it had been supposed, from the eminence of their coun- 
sel, consisting of John C. Spencer, Mark H. Sibley, W. Hubbell and H. F. 
Penfield, that a determined defense would be made. The fourth defendant, 
Sheldon, was tried and convicted, but it was generally admitted afterward that 
•his case was one of mistaken identity and that it was some one else who stood 
by the door and was supposed to be Sheldon by Mrs. Hall, the wife of the 
jailer, who let out the prisoner and his captors and who witnessed the struggles 
of Morgan as he was being forced into the coach. Chesebro and Sawyer 
pleaded in mitigation of their offense that they supposed that the object in 
removing Morgan was to get him away from the control of Miller, who had 
been influencing him to publish his disclosures ; that they supposed, until the 
last moment, that Morgan had consented to go away freely and that they did 

The Abduction of Morgan. 121 

not know what had become of him, all of which was probably true. Sawyer 
was sentenced to one month's imprisonment in the county jail, Sheldon to three 
months' and Chesebro to one year's, while Lawson, who had hypocritically 
paid Morgan's debt and beguiled him to his doom, was sentenced for two 
years. The admissions made by some of the witnesses on the trial of Sheldon, 
as well as the persistent inquiries of the Morgan committee, resulted in tracing, 
stage by stage, the route that was taken by the carriage containing Morgan 
from Canandaigua through this city down to Hanford's Landing and thence 
west to Lewiston, where, as was alleged, he was taken across the Niagara river 
to Canada. Upon these data indictments were found against a great number 
of persons, some of prominence, others insignificant, and the results of the 
different trials were as diverse as possible, the verdict of "guilty" being ren- 
dered in some cases, of "not guilty" in others, while in the majority of in- 
stances, perhaps, the jury disagreed. The testimony was of course conflicting, 
but it seemed to be fairly established that the prisoner was, taken to Canada 
and an effort made to induce the Masons there to take care of him, perhaps, 
as was said by many, to send him to some distant point of the British domin- 
ions. Before most of the trials took place Gov. De Witt Clinton, who was him- 
self a Mason and the highest authority in the order in the United States, 
became so well satisfied, from private information which he had obtained, of 
Morgan's transportation to Canada that he wrote officially to the earl of Dal- 
housie, the governor of Lower Canada, and said, after giving a description of 
Morgan : — 

" During the last year he put a manuscript into the hands of a printer in Batavia, pur- 
porting to be a promulgation of the secrets of P'reemasonry. This was passed over 
by the great body of that fraternity without notice and with silent contempt, but a few 
desperate fanatics engaged in a plan of carying him off, and on the 12th of September 
last they took him from Canandaigua by force, as it is understood, and conveyed him to 
the Niagara river, from whence it is supposed that he was taken to her Britannic majesty's 
dominions. Some of the offenders liave been apprehended and punished, hut no intelli- 
gence has been obtained respecting Morgan since his abduction. I have therefore to 
appeal to your justice and humanity on this occasion, and to request your excellency to 
cause inquiry to be made respecting him, and, if he is forcibly detained, to direct his lib- 
eration and to communicate to me the results. It is conjectured that he is confined in 
some fort or prison under false pretenses.'' , 

Lord Dalhousie was unable to give any information with regard to the 

The narrative from the point of Morgan's passage across the river into 
Canada grows more uncertain. The evidence is circumstantial, but that which 
is practically unimpeached goes to show that he was brought back — pre- 
sumably because the people on the other side would have nothing to do with 

him and was confined for a few days in an old magazine in Fort Niagara, at 

Lewiston. What was done with him after that is not historical, but the story 
which is more nearly substantiated than any other is that he was taken out of 

122 History OF THE City OF Rochester. 

the fort, put into a boat, rowed out in the Niagara river to some point near 
where its waters widen into Lake Ontario, and drowned. No direct testimony 
to that effect was obtained at any of the trials, the witnesses who were sup- 
posed to know something of the matter either refusing to answer on the ground 
that by so doing they might criminate themselves or else testifying to complete 
ignorance as to the ending of the tragedy. The evidence outside the court- 
room is indirect, consisting of reports of confessions and of narratives made 
from hearsay, and only in that it is cumulative does it offer better claims to ' 
credibility .than the vague rumors from time to time that the missing man had 
been seen in remote parts of the earth. The secret was well kept, and was 
undoubtedly told to but few outside of those engaged in the work. That the 
vast body of Masons both here and elsewhere were not only guiltless of any 
complicity in the crime at any of its stages but were, then and ever after, in 
profound ignorance of its consummation, no one at this day can doubt for a 
moment. Not so in that unhappy time. The righteous indignation of the 
people over the commission of the deed extended to a groundless hatred of 
the whole order, the members of which were subjected to persecutions of 
various kinds, were generally ill treated and in some instances — as on the 
occasion of a procession at Batavia, Morgan's old home — narrowly escaped 
death from the blind fury of the mob. 

The constant trials in courts of justice for nearly three years were enough 
to keep alive the ill feeling that was engendered, but other events occured to fan 
the flames of passion and intolerance. For ten years from the incorporation of 
the village Dr. F. F. Backus had been annually elected treasurer of Rochester, 
but after the abduction of Morgan he had come out as an opponent of Masonry. 
As the village election in the summer of 1827 approached he was again 
placed in nomination, but, though as usual no one was named in opposition to 
him, it was found on counting the ballots that he was defeated by Dr. John B. 
Elwood, a man equally, respected, belonging to the same political party 'and not 
a Mason, but who, nevertheless, since he knew nothing about his own candi- 
dature till after he was elected, was probably chosen only as a means of retri- 
bution. The natural result followed. Early in September a Monroe county 
convention of Anti- Masons was called, to nominate candidates for members of 
Assembly. Timothy Childs, an eloquent advocate of the village, was nominated 
as the member from Rochester and was elected by a majority of 1,700, being 
chosen in the next year as member of Congress, in which capacity he served for 
four years as an Anti-Mason. 

Between the time of Mr. Childs's nomination and his election an incident oc- 
curred in the Morgan history which in the mystery in which it was clouded 
from that day to this exceeded even the uncertainty of the principal act in the 
drama. On the 7th of October, 1827, a corpse was discovered on the beach in 
the town of Carleton, Orleans county, at a point where Oak Orchard creek 

Supposed Finding of Morgan's Body. 123 

empties into Lake Ontario. From certain marks on the body it. was supposed 
to be that of the man whose name was in every mouth, and several members of 
the Morgan committee went up to Oak Orchard and had the remains exhumed. 
A second inquest was held, as a former one had given a verdict of non-identifi- 
cation, and several reputable witnesses were examined, who, before seeing 
the remains, testified to certain physical peculiarities of Morgan, such as a 
broken tooth in one jaw and a missing tooth in another, which marks were 
found to be the same in the body discovered on the shore. Mrs. Morgan, who 
was present, positively identified the corpse as that of her husband, though she 
declared, that she had never before seen the clothes in which it was found, and 
the coroner's jury of twenty-three members returned a unanimous verdict that 
it was "the body of William Morgan and that he came to his death by suffoca- 
tion by drowning." The committee of investigation gave to the public a re- 
port to the same efiect, signed by all the members — Samuel Works, Hervey 
Ely, Frederick F. Backus, Frederick Whittlesey and Thurlow Weed — and the 
remains were buried a second time. 

But public opinion was not quite satisfied, and the feeling of uneasiness was 
increased by the news that in September, 1827, a Canadian named Timothy 
Munroe had been drowned in the Niagara river. His widow and son were sent 
for and brought to this city, whence they went, together with prominent Masons, 
to Oak Orchard creek. Again were the remains taken up and a third examin- 
ation was held, the result being only a further complication of the mystery. 
Mrs. Munroe described minutely and accurately all the outer garments of her 
husband, with the rents in them and the repairs that she had made, and her de- 
scription corresponded exactly with the appearance of the clothes found, which 
had not been shown to her. She and her son identified the corpse as that of Mun- 
roe, but their previous description of him did not by any means tally with the 
presentment of the body, as to length or as to the color of the hair and whisk- 
ers. Which of the two it was, or whether it was neither, has never been set- 
tled. The body was for a third time laid to rest, but the Morgan excitement 
knew no repose. The Daily Advertiser of the day after these events contained 
a paragraph saying that Mr. Weed had declared that, whatever might be 
proven to the contrary, the corpse found at Oak Orchard was "a good enough 
Morgan till after election." This phrase, which long ago attained the im- 
portance of a familiar quotation, was repudiated at the time by Mr. Weed, 
though unsuccessfully, but his explanation, as given in his autobiography, pub- 
lished last year, ought to extinguish the wrong credit given to him. Eben- 
ezer Griffin, one of the counsel of those charged with the abduction, said to 
him: "After we have proven that the body found at Oak Orchard is that of 
Timothy Munroe, what will you do for a Morgan? " To which Mr. Weed re- 
plied : "That is a good enough Morgan for us until you bring back the one you 
have carried off." 


124 History of the City of Rochester. 

Through the following year the fever of partisanship continued. Great 
numbers of clergymen and others renounced the order, while others gave up 
all active participation in its councils but were still known as "adhering 
Masons." Finally, in 1829, as the hostility to the society in this locality in- 
creased rather than diminished in bitterness, the part of wisdom was taken and 
all the Masonic institutions in Rochester and the surrounding country ceased 
to exist, being abolished by surrendering their charters to the grand lodge. 
Many of our prominent citizens who were instrumental in the adoption of this 
conciliatory course united publicly in assigning their reasons, which were after- 
ward embodied in an address that was circulated through the newspapers and 
in pamphlet form. After remaining dormant for more than a dozen years in 
this locality the institution of Masonry again sprang to life in 1843, when the 
angry passions of its opponents had passed away, and soon acquired a stronger 
hold in the community than it had ever before possessed. 

The first directory of the village, from which many of the minor items 
previously rehearsed have been taken, and which since its publication has 
formed the basis of all histories of Rochester, was published in 1827, and the 
record for that year may give place to a glance at its pages. It -begins with 
the names of the inhabitants, divided into two lists — first, the householders, 
separated into wards under the initial letter of the surname, and then the 
boarders, segregated in the same manner, with their occupations and the names 
of those with whom they boarded. Then comes a description of the county 
of Monroe and its environs, followed by that of the village of Rochester, ter- 
minating with its record of events. After that we have a list of the regula- 
tions adopted by the trustees, the first of which reads: "Householders must 
clean and keep clean the sidewalks and streets opposite their premises, except 
in specified cases; fine for neglect, $5." This was evidently not specific 
enough, for the second regulation after it says that " they must sweep and 
clean the sidewalks opposite their dwellings, every Saturday, from the first day 
of April till the first day of November; fine for each neglect, $1." The 
directions for the prevention and extinguishment of fires are very minute, and 
those calculated to preserve the public health almost equally so. The real or 
supposed interests of morality were carefully looked after, for no nine-pin alley 
was to be kept, under a penalty of $5 per day, theatrical representations 
were restrained by ordinance and the keeping of billiard tables for gaming was 
prohibited, while tavern-keepers and grocers were forbidden to keep them at 
all, perhaps because they were considered peculiarly addicted to hazard. Then 
are given the officers of the corporation, then the religious societies, then the 
benevolent, then the literary and other institutions, the newspapers, the post- 
office, and the bank. The population is alluded to as being "composed chiefly 
of emigrants from New England and the other states of the Union, together with 
a considerable number from England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany, and a few 

Sam Patch — His Fatal Leap. 125 

natives of Norway and Switzerland." A list of the principal occupations pursued 
by them shows that three hundred and four were carpenters, one hundred and 
twenty-four shoemakers, twenty-five physicians, twenty-eight lawyers, seven 
clergymen, thirty-one printers, etc. The trade in lumber is spoken of as very 
considerable, and the commerce on the canal is mentioned, with the statement 
that "passengers are charged one and a half cents a mile, exclusive of board, 
which is about fifty cents a day." The public edifices are described, including 
the market, which was then building on the northeast corner of Main and Front 
streets, and which fell into the river a few years later. The little book con- 
cludes with this sentence: "We look forward to this place at some distant 
day as a flourishing city, flourishing not merely in wealth and power but in 
knowledge and virtue, an honor and a blessing to sister cities around, and the 
home of a great people, enlightened and happy." 

The year 1828 was signalised by no important incidents, but the fate of a 
young artist excited the deepest sympathy for a long time after his death, 
which occurred on Sunday, September 21st. The Mechanics' Institute had 
commissioned the celebrated painter George Catlin to execute a portrait of 
De Witt Clinton, which when finished was brought to Rochester by Julius Cat- 
lin, a younger brother of the artist. Young Catlin, who was also a painter, 
set out one fine day to make sketches of the lower falls. Descending to the 
water's edge he endeavored to reach a sand-bar near the center of the river, 
probably to get a better view of the scene. When £^bout half way across the 
channel he was seized with cramps and ere assistance could arrive he had per- 
ished. An elegant gold watch and chain, seen in his possession a short time 
before he entered the water, were missing, and the suspicion arose that he had 
been foully dealt with by a man who was fishing at the time near by, but this 
gave way upon investigation. The funeral of the unfortunate Catlin was held 
at the Episcopal church in this city on Tuesday, September 23d, and a sermon 
was preached by Rev. Mr. Gear, after which the body was followed to the 
grave by a large number of persons and interred with appropriate ceremonies. 

No event particularly conducive to the growth or welfare of the village marks 
the year 1829, but it is made forever memorable in local history by the last 
and fatal leap of Sam Patch. Sam was a person whose celebrity was not con- 
fined to this neighborhood, though his home was here, at least as much as any- 
where else, for he had acquired a reputation, some time before his final plunge 
into the water, by making an aquatic descent at Paterson, N. J., and by jump- 
ing into Niagara river from a rock projecting from the bank more than half 
the height of the cataract. He had a habit, more prominent when he was in 
his usual condition of inebriety than when he was perfectly sober, of saying 
that "some things can be done as well as others," and it was the reduction of 
this platitude to an absurdity that cost him his life. On the 8th of November 
he leaped over the precipice close to the Genesee falls, a distance of ninety-six 

1 26 History of the City of Rochester. 

feet, accompanied in his plunge by a tame bear. Both beings came to the sur- 
face soon after striking the water, as much satisfied with the entertainment as 
were the crowd of spectators. Not content with this success, Sam announced 
that he would exceed that performance, and so on the 13th of the same month 
he ascended a scaffolding twenty feet higher than the brink of the falls, where 
he harangued in maudlin fashion the immense throng that swarmed on earth 
and roof and branch. As he proceeded, he became conscious of his weakness, 
and to revive his failing courage he took another draught of liquor. The effect 
was the reverse of what he hoped for ; his nerves became unstrung, but he was 
not the man to retreat, even with death staring him in the face ; in desperation 
he rushed forward and took the terrific plunge, falling rather than leaping, and 
striking the water, not with his feet but upon his side, and with a force, as was 
estimated at the time, of more than 4,000 pounds. He did not rise to view, 
and no trace of the rash adventurer was found throughout the winter. Rumors 
were afloat that he had been seen, but they were baseless and were disproved 
in the following spring, when his mangled body, with the limbs broken, was 
found at the mouth of the river, and was buried in the little cemetery at Char- 

It was in this year that our village narrowly escaped the attainment of celeb- 
rity on account of its connection with another mountebank, of brighter intellect 
than poor Sam Patch, and of infinitely greater capacity for rnischief, who was 
then about to introduce to the world a new religion, destined to carry in its 
train a long Hne of miseries that would have appalled even the stolid heart of its 
founder, could he have foreseen them, and probably deterred him from his 
course. The story is told by Thurlow Weed, in his autobiography, in these 
words : — 

" A stout, round, smooth-faced young man, between twenty-five and thirty, with the 
air and manners of a person without occupation, came into the Rochester Telegraph 
office and said he wanted a book printed, and added that he had been directed in a 
vision to a place in the woods near Palmyra, where he resided, and that he found a 
'golden Bible,' from which he was directed to copy the book that he wanted published. 
He then placed what he called a 'tablet' in his hat, from which he read a chapter of 
the 'book of Mormon,' a chapter which seemed so senseless that I thought the man 
either crazed or a very shallow impostor, and therefore declined to become a publisher, 
thus depriving myself of whatever notoriety might have been achieved by having my 
name imprinted upon the title page of the first Mormon Bible. It is scarcely necessary 
to ^dd that this individual was Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon creed. On 
the day but one following he came again, accompanied by Martin Harris, a substantial 
farmer residing near Palmyra, who had adopted the Mormon faith and who offered to 
become security for the expense of printing. But I again declined, and he subsequently 
found a publisher in E. B. Grandin, of Palmyra, in 1830." 

In 1830 St. Paul's church was finished and consecrated, the builder being 
Elisha Johnson, whose authority as president of the board of trustees at the time 
enabled him to procure a change of the name of the street on which the edifice 

The Cholera Epidemic in 1832. 127 

stood, from River to St. Paul. The last wolf seen wild in the county was killed 
in February, near Irondequoit bay, after being hunted for five days by nearly 
a hundred persons from Rochester and adjacent villages ; he was five and a 
half feet long, and had destroyed many sheep before he was tracked; up to some 
twenty-five years ago his stuffed skin stood before a hat store opposite the Ar- 
cade. In this year Dr. Joel Parker, then pastor of the Third Presbyterian 
church, preached a discourse for the benefit of the Female Charitable society, 
at which was sung an ode composed for the occasion by Judge Harvey Hum- 
phrey, the first verse of which is as follows : — 

"All hail to thee, Charity ! daughter of heaven ! 

Best, sweetest of mercies to lost mortals given ! 

Oh, dark were our journey, through life's weary day, 

Without thy bright smile to illumine our way." 
The next year seems to have been marked by few events of local im- 
portance. Col. Nathaniel Rochester died on the 31st of May; a sketch of his 
Hfe will be found in another place. The first cargo of wheat from Ohio to 
Rochester was brought by the old Hudson and Erie line, to Hervey Ely. The 
Monroe County Horticultural society was organised on the 8th of October, 
with James K. Guernsey as president, Orrin E. Gibbs as treasurer, and Hestor 
L. Stevens as recording secretary ; a fine exhibition of flowers was made in the 

No charge of lack of interest can be made against the record of 1832, but 
the predominant interest is of a sad and gloomy character, for it was the first 
year of the cholera in this locality. Toward the close of the spring the dreaded 
scourge had appeared in New York city and Montreal, and in anticipation of 
its arrival in this village a public meeting was held here to devise measures to 
prevent its coming, if possible, or, at the worst, to mitigate its destructiveness. 
Dr. Ward, Dr. Coleman, Dr. Reid, Everard Peck and Ashbel W. Riley (who 
became a major-general in the militia service a few year later, since which time 
he has been universally known by his title) were appointed a board of health, 
and Dr. Coleman was sent to Montreal to learn as to the best methods of pre- 
vention and of treatment; the village was districted and every precaution 
taken, but all in vain. The first case was that of a stranger, whose name was 
never learned. He had just arrived here and was stopping at a little tavern on 
South St. Paul street, below Court, kept by J. Polly. When his case was re- 
ported Mr. Riley attended him and did all that could be done for him, but he 
died the same day and was interred in the old burying-ground on Monroe 
avenue, where the bodies of all the victims of the disease in that year were 
laid. From that time on, all through the blazing months of July and August, 
the pestilence stalked through the little town, and wherever it went Mr. Riley 
went with it, without hesitation, without fear, without rest, except what was 
absolutely necessary. One hundred and eighteen died during the summer, 
and eighty of that number he placed in their cofiins with his own hand, almost 

128 History of the City of Rochester. 

invariably unaided and alone. His noble work was not confined to that season, 
for although the frightful contagion passed us by for the next year, it came 
back in 1834. The faithful guardian of the public health, then in New York, 
heard that the epidemic had appeared here, a man named Van Kleeck having 
died at the mouth of the river. The officer hastened back to his post and was 
immediately appointed superintendent of the cholera; nurses were placed 
under his command and an old cooper-shop on Brown street was fitted up as a 
hospital, where those smitten with the disease were taken unless they had 
friends to take care of them at home, but, in spite of all, fifty-four died and 
their remains were buried in the cemetery on West avenue. 

St. Patrick's day fell on Sunday in 1833, and so its observance was post- 
poned till the next day, March i8th, when the celebration consisted principally 
of a public dinner at the Franklin House, then kept by James Tone. Henry 
O'Rielly presided, with Gen. Hestor L. Stevens, Isaac R. Elwood, W. A. Rab- 
beson and John O'Donoughue officiating as vice-presidents at the different 
tables. Long speeches were made by Mr. O'Rielly and Judge P. G. Buchan. 
In the first month of this year a charity school was established by the society 
of St. Luke's church for the free education of the poor children of the city, 
which was undoubtedly not denominational in its work, for the directory of 
1834 states that upward of 400 persons under the age of fifteen had received 
instruction in it during the previous year. The teacher was G. P. Waldo, and 
the school was established during the rectorate of the Rev. Dr. Whitehouse, 
afterward bishop of Illinois. With the mention of this noble though infant 
charity the record of Rochester as a village comes fittingly to a close. 



Its Incorporation in 1834 — Organisation of the Government and Inauguration of Mayor Child — 
He Conscientiously Resigns the Office — The River Steamboat — The Flood of 1835 — The Navy 
Island Raid — The First Murder in the County — The First Foundry — Anti-Slavery Movements — 
Bringing the Bones of Patriot Soldiers to Mount Hope — The Printers' Festival — Mexican War 
Volunteers — Woman's Rights' Convention. 

TO the repeated applications of the villagers of Rochester the legislature 
finally yielded, passing an act in the early part of 1834 for the incorpora- 
tion of the city. The charter was a long one, divided into eleven titles, con- 
taining in all 276 sections. These provided minutely for the government of 
the new city and for the maintenance of the public welfare in almost every 
conceivable manner. The limits of the village were much extended, though 

Incorporation of Rochester as a City. 129 

principally toward the north in a narrow strip which embraced the lower falls 
and the old steamboat landing near there, taking in a portion of the McCracken 
tract on the west side of the river and the Carthage tract on the east, and the 
whole area of the new city was 4,000 acres. On the 2d of June the common 
council and supervisors were elected, of whom only one is now living. Gen. A. 
W. Riley, who was the first alderman from the fourth ward. A week later the 
council elected Jonathan Child mayor of the city, Vincent Mathews attorney 
and counsel, Samuel Works superintendent, John C. Nash clerk, E. F. Mar- 
shall treasurer, and William H. Ward chief engineer. On the loth of June 
Mayor Child was inaugurated, and the following extract from his address then 
delivered will show the potency and promise of the little municipality fifty 
years ago : — 

" The rapid progress which our place has made, from a wilderness to an incorporated 
city, authorises each of our citizens proudly to reflect upon the agency he has had in 
bringing about this great and interesting change. Rochester has had little aid in its 
])ermanent improvement from foreign capital. It has been settled and built for the most 
])art by mechanics and merchants, whose capital was economy, industry and persever- 
ance. It is their labor and skill which have converted a wilderness into a city ; and to 
them surely this must be a day of pride and joy. They have founded and reared a city 
before they have passed the meridian of life. In other countries and times the city of 
Rochester would have been the result of the labor and accumulations of successive gen- 
erations ; but the men who felled the forest that grew on the spot where we are assem- 
bled are sitting at the council-board of our city. Well, then, may we indulge an honest 
pride as we look back upon our past history, and let the review elevate our hopes and an- 
imate our exertions. Together we have struggled through the hardships of an infant settle- 
ment and the embarrassments of straitened circumstances, and together let us rejoice 
and be happy in the glorious reward that has crowned our labors. In the intercourse of 
social life, and on all occasions involving the interests of our young city, let us forget our 
politics and our party, and seek only the public good. The fortunes of us all are em- 
barked in a common bottom, and it cannot be too much to expect a union of counsels 
and exertions to secure their safety.'' 

Apart from the organisation of the city government a step forward was 
taken in this city in 1834, which it was thought at the time would be the be- 
ginning of greater things in the same direction. As an improvement upon the 
flat-boats which before that time were poled up the river, above the dam, a 
steamboat was built and put into operation, to run from here to Geneseo, an 
event which was talked about through the whole country and which seemed to 
the villagers of Dansville, Geneseo and Mt. Morris to be the opening up to them 
of the outside world. She was called the Genesee, was a stern-wheeler, flat-bot- 
tom and capable of carrying more than three hundred passengers, besides towing 
other boats, of which there were twenty or thirty in use, for which purpose she 
was in great part designed. Her captain was J. W. Phillips, who, during the 
war of 1812, had brought flour down from Geneseo and Wheatland and carried 
it by teams to Albany. The landing was made at the Rapids, aiid carryalls 

1 30 History of the City of Rochester. 

were stationed there to bring the passengers down to the center of the city. 
After the Genesee had made the voyage for two seasons the enterprise was 
abandoned, and the vessel was run over the dam and broken up. 

Mayor Child showed that he was true to his convictions of right. During 
all of his term of office he had been unalterably opposed to the granting of any 
licenses for the sale of ardent spirits, confident that their public use was a seri- 
ous detriment to the welfare of the city. The common council of the first year, 
although opposed to licensing in general, differed with him as to the strict ap- 
plication of the principle and had permited four grocers to sell the intoxicat- 
ing fluid, believing that a gradual reform would be more satisfactory to the cit- 
izens than an absolute denial of all applications. The new board, however, 
which came in in June, 1835, were far more lax than their predecessors and at 
once granted so many licenses that Mr. Child, rather than sign the permits, re- 
signed on the 23d of that month the office of mayor, from which he would have 
otherwise have retired on the first of the next January, as the mayor and com- 
mon council were not, after the beginning, to enter upon their duties at the 
same period. The resignation was accepted and the recorder, Isaac Hills, was 
authorised to sign all tavern and grocery licenses till a new mayor was chosen, 
which election took place on the 2d of July and General Jacob Gould entered 
upon the duties of the office. A great flood occurred in this year, which, though 
not so disastrous as that of thirty years later, was worse than anything that had 
taken place before its own time ; up the river vast damage was done to hay and 
corn ; at this point Buffalo street was overflowed as far west as the Arcade 
and much injury was done to goods in cellars ; at the lower falls the new bridge 
was swept away ; careful measurements made by Hervey Ely showed that the 
quantity of water which then passed was as much as 21164,000 cubic feet in a 
minute. The Rochester Academy of Sacred Music was organised in October; 
the names of the original officers are not known, but in 1837 Addison Gardiner 
was president, James M. Fish secretary and Edward R. Walker professor, with 
F. F. Backus, L. B Swan and Moses Long as music committee ; its object was 
"the cultivation of sacred music generally, but more particularly of the music 
in churches and for charitable purposes." 

In 1836 the first Andrews street bridge was built; the first balloon ascen- 
sion was made, by a Frenchman named Lauriatt, from a vacant lot where the 
Waverley House and Congress Hall now stand ; hydrogen gas was used, made 
from acids ; the most remarkable part of the show was the falling of the roof of 
a blacksmith shop at a corner of the inclosure, with several men on it, one of 
whom, named Frisbie, fell on an ax that was screwed in a vise with the 
handle up and forced it completely through the fleshy part of his thigh, be- 
tween the great muscle and the bone ; the man being thus impaled, Dr. W. W. 
Reid, one of the best surgeons of his time, had to saw through the ax-handle in 
order to extract it; Frisbie was so little affected by the performance that he 


* .- 



The Patriot War. i 3 1 

was at his work a short time after, and thirty years later was a strong and 
hearty old man. This must have been a very quiet year among our fathers — 
though pro-slavery riots were common enough in other cities — for General 
Gould, who had been elected to succeed hiniself, made these remarks in the 
course of his address on giving up the mayoralty on the last day of Decem- 
ber: — 

" Our city has also been remarkably distinguished for peace and good order, and hap- 
pily delivered from the fire that devours the property and the pestilence that destroys 
the lives of our citizens. During the period of my office, nearly two years, I wish it to be 
remembered as a most extraordinary and to me most gratifying fact, that, with a popula- 
tion averaging 1 6,000, I have never been called upon to interfere, nor has there ever 
been occasion to do so, for the suppression of riot, mob, tumult, or even an ordinary 
case of assault. This fact speaks a most gratifying eulogy for our civil and religious in- 
stitutions, and for the intelligence and morality in the community in which we live." 

Several events made 1837. ^ memorable year to the people of this locality. 
The great financial crisis, followed by depression and widespread bankruptcy 
among the merchants, was severely felt here by all classes, the poorer ones be- 
ing the most affected by it, and it was mainly for the purpose of giving employ- 
ment to the great number of laborers who would otherwise have been out of 
work that Buffalo street west of King street was then cut down to its present 
level. On the other side of the lake a ferment of dissatisfaction had during the 
whole summer pervaded the province of Ontario (then Canada West), and a 
newspaper edited by William Lyon Mackenzie, a restless demagogue, had so 
stirred up the minds of the Canadians that in the autumn something like an 
armed rebellion broke out. A feeling of sympathy for the insurgents, who were 
rioters rather than patriots, spread throughout this part of the state, and a party 
of men, who had nothing else to do, under a man named Van Rensselaer, 
took possession of Navy island, in the Niagara river, and issued proclamations 
urging all persons to join them in aid of the insurrection. The fever increased 
and people flocked to the island from all quarters ; carried away by the excite- 
ment and actuated by a sentiment that seems inexplicable, large sums of 
money were advanced by an active committee in this city, to forward men and 
means by wagons and post-coaches, and so well were their appeals responded 
to in every school district of the county that wagon loads of all conceivable 
kind of things came pouring in and were stored in one wing of the market, 
arms and accoutrements in all stages of dilapidation, provisions of every variety 
and blankets and coverlets enough to envelop the whole island. 

While this was going on, the news came one Saturday evening that the 
British troops had come across the river to the American side, set the steamer 
Caroline on fire, cut her adrift and sent her over the falls with sixty persons on 
board. This was enough to arouse the whole city ; the people gathered about 
the Eagle Hotel, and the mayor had to read the bulletin again and again ; the 
officers of the militia met, and the soldiers were on the point of being called 

132 History of the City of Rochester. 

out. Sunday intervened without further news, and on the following Monday 
it was learned that the story of the steamboat was true, except that part which 
related to the loss of life, for there was nobody on board of her when she de- 
scended the falls. More recruits rushed to the island, gun-houses were rifled 
of their contents here and elsewhere, and a real war seemed about to be precip- 
itated between the two countries by the popular madness. Before the patience 
of the Canadian government gave out, however, our own interfered ; General 
Scott was ordered to the frontier ; with a few troops he cleared off the island ; 
the authorities on the other side sentenced about^a dozen persons to transpor- 
tation to Botany Bay for life, though it afterward pardoned those of the convicts 
who were American citizens, and so the Navy island raid came to an end. 
Mackenzie, the leader of the rebellion, escaped to New York, and finally, in Jan- 
uary, 1839, came up here, where he started a weekly paper, called the Gazette, 
intending to make further trouble for the Canadian government; in June of 
that year he was tried at Canandaigua for violation of the neutrality laws, was 
convicted and sentenced to imprisonment in our jail for eighteen months ; within 
a year he was pardoned and disappeared. 

An affair of more purely local interest, though productive of an excite- 
ment almost equally great, and an interest more lasting, was the murder of 
William Lyman by Octavius Barron, on the night of the 23d of October. Ly- 
man was a grain buyer employed by Joseph Strong, the proprietor of the City 
mills, and he started homeward for the last time with nearly $6,000 in his pos- 
session. Barron, a young Frenchman, only eighteen years old, induced two 
other men, named Bennett and Fluett, to follow Lyman with him, and when 
their victim had reached an open lot between North St. Paul and Clinton 
streets, near his home at the corner of what is now Clinton place, they shot 
him through the back of the head, killing him outright, and after taking $500 
from his person, though they missed $5,000, which was in his hat, they went 
to a saloon to divide the money, and it was mainly on the testimony of some 
girls who were employed in a millinery shop, back of the bar room, that Bar- 
ron was convicted. The body of Lyman was found by Judge Humphrey the 
next morning, and the horror of the whole community over the first murder 
in Monroe county continued without abatement until the perpetrator had paid 
the penalty of his crime. He was tried on the 28th of the following May, 
being defended by a lawyer named Bennett — residing at Lima, though he 
was at the same time president of the Dansville bank — while the prosecution 
was conducted by William S. Bishop, the district attorney, assisted by Mark 
H. Sibley, of Canandaigua ; Barron was convicted one week later, and was 
hanged on the 2Sth of June, 1838. His accomplices obtained a change of 
venue, and were tried at Batavia, where, by some legal technicality, they escaped 
the punishment of their awful deed. Darius Perrin, who was the sheriff at the 
time, performed the execution of Barron, but declined the usual fee of $500, 


a S!«SFKS»!ftSftS««5«5 

K ^? - ~ ■■ 

Thk First Murders in Monr(je County. 133 

and the supervisors showed their appreciation of his delicacy of feeling by 
throwing out of his bill of expenses an item of $1.50 for the flax rope used on 
the occasion, which was made at the old rope-walk on Buffalo street, near St. 
Mary's hospital. 

The curse of Cain having come upon the infant city, the guilt of murder 
seemed indissolubly connected with the place by a repetition of the crime in 
1838, even before the first assassin was tried. On the evening of May 4th 
Austin Squires shot dead his wife as she was removing > some garments from a 
clothes-line in the rear of their residence, on the corner of Lancaster street 
and Monroe avenue ; the deed was dorie in a fit of jealousy, and while the 
perpetrator was in a condition of intoxication, besides which he was a man of 
eccentric mind, and many considered him lacking in full moral responsibility, 
but the plea of insanity had not then been brought to its present state of 
artistic development, so he was tried in October, and hanged on the 29th of 
November, at the age of thirty-five. 

It is pleasing to turn from the necessary record of these horrors to the de- 
tails of peaceful avocations, prominent among them being the transformation 
of the old Gilbert warehouse, a doorless and windowless skeleton with a 
haunted reputation, which stood at the upper end of the canal bridge on South 
St. Paul street, at the junction of the feeder with the Erie canal; William H. 
Cheney rented it from Dr. Elwood, who was then its owner, put in an engine 
and boiler, and started a furnace and foundry, casting the first cooking- stove 
made in this part of the country, after an old "saddle-bags" pattern gotten up 
in Philadelphia; he stayed there for eight years, when he moved his furnace to 
St. Paul street, just below Court. Henry O'Rielly (the spelling being changed 
from its original form, in conformity to his wish) published h.\^ Sketches of 
Rochester, with Incidental Notices of Western New York, a valuable work, 
requiring a good deal of research, and one whose merit has been generally 
recognised from that time to this. The book was published by subscription, 
and the interest which was at that time felt in the preservation of the records 
of the settlement in permanent form, may be judged from the fact that many 
citizens subscribed for a large number of copies, thirty being taken by A. M. 
Schermerhorn, the same number by Jonathan Child, by Fletcher M. Haight 
and by John Allen & Co., while thirteen others took twenty-five each, and so 
on, 660 copies being taken by thirty-five individuals or firms. The Rochester 
Anti-slavery society was formed on the 4th of January, the following officers 
being elected: Lindley M. Moore, president; George A. Avery, Silas Cornell, 
Russell Green, O. N. Bush, David Scoville, vice-presidents; Oren Sage, treas- 
urer; S. D. Porter, corresponding secretary; E. F. Marshall, recording secre- 
tary. A state convention was held here, in the court-house, a week later, but 
it came to nothing. 

In 1839 the Liberty party was formed, the corner-stone of the organisation 

134 History of the City of Rochester. 

being laid in this city. Myron HoUey, in June, started the Rochester Freeman, 
in which he urged the policy of independent political action on the part of 
those opposed to slavery. On the 28th of September the Monroe county con- 
vention for nominations was the first to be held — in answer to the recom- 
mendation of the national anti-slavery convention in the previous July, refer- 
ring the question of independent political nominations to the judgment of the 
Abolitionists in the different localities — and it adopted an address and a series 
of resolutions, prepared by Mr. Holley, who added to the great reputation 
which he had gained for his services in connection with the Erie canal, the 
honor of being, more than any other one person, the founder of the Liberty party. 
From this convention sprang that of the state, held at Arcade, Wyoming coun- 
ty, in the succeeding January, and from that the national convention, held at 
Albany in the following April, which nominated James G. Birney for the pres- 
idency. In this year the new Methodist and tlic Fifth Presbyterian churches 
were dedicated, and' the new Rochester artillery was organised. 

For 1840 the following will have to answer: The semi-centennial celebra- 
tion held Monday, March i6th, commemorating ,the settlement of Western 
New York, excited much interest throughout the city. The Brick church was 
crowded to excess, hundreds being unable to obtain seats. A procession made 
up of the different military organisations of the city marched through the prin- 
cipal streets to the Brick church, where the following programme was ren- 
dered : Prayer by Rev. Tryon Edwards, an ode written for the occasion by 
D. W. Chapman and read by Graham Chapin, a discourse by Myron Holley, 
with reference to the settlement and history of Western Ne\v York, followed 
by an ode composed for the celebration by W. H. C. Hosmer and read by My- 
roti Holley. 

An imposing ceremony caused the year 1841 to be memorable for a long 
time after it had passed away. In August, 1779, General Sullivan started on 
his campaign to chastise the Indians in Western New York, who had committed 
wanton devastation and murdered peaceful settlers throughout a wide circuit 
of country. In the eleventh chapter of this work is given a description of the 
surprise, by the red men and the tories, of a detachment of his troops under 
Lieutenant Boyd, with the execution, in Indian fashion, of that officer and a 
private named Parker, at a distance from the scene of the general massacre. 
Sullivan's army came up soon afterward and the bodies of the victims were 
buried where they lay, of Boyd and Parker where the village of Cuyler- 
ville, Livingston county, now stands, and the others a few miles off, near Grove- 
land. Sixty-two years later the bones were exhumed, those of Boyd and 
Parker were placed in an urn, those of the others in a "sarcophagus," and both 
receptacles were delivered to a committee from this city, which went up the 
Genesee Valley canal in a flotilla of boats, accompanied by the Williams light 
infantry, the Union Grays, the City Cadets, the German Grenadiers and the 

Remains of Boyd and Parker Removed. 135 

Rochester artillery, as well as by the mayor and other city officials. The next 
day, August 21st, they returned, and the procession, augmented by the fire de- 
partment of the city, moved at once to Mount Hope. Just as the line entered 
the grounds it was joined by Governor Seward and his staff, who had come 
from Batavia on a special train, by the fastest time ever made up to that point, 
a fact that was chronicled in newspapers throughout the country. The two 
receptacles containing the precious relics were united in one structure and 
placed on an elevation which had been deeded for that purpose, and a short 
address was delivered by Rev. Elisha Tucker of this city, dedicating the spot 
under the name of Revolutionary hill — though the title subsequently gave 
place to that of Patriot hill. Vice-Chancellor Whittlesey then introduced the 
governor, who made an address befitting the occasion. 

On the 7th of January, 1842, Jesse Hawley died at Cambria, Niagara county, 
and was buried at Lockport, which had been his permanent residence since 
1836; he was the original projector of the overland route of the Erie canal 
and was one of the most prominent citizens of Rochester during its existence 
as a village, holding many offices, among others that of collector of the port of 
Genesee, to which he was appointed by President Monroe in 1817 and held it 
until Jackson's election in 1828. The fourth of July was grandly celebrated, 
all the military, civic, literary and benevolent societies turning out and going to 
Washington square, where Chancellor Whittlesey delivered an address and 
temperance pledges were circulated, receiving many signatures. During the 
summer the Auburn & Rochester railroad had a prolonged, quarrel with the 
National Hotel, a temperance house, in the course of which the agent of the 
road tore down the sign of the hotel ; an indignation meeting of the citizens 
was held, nearly 2,000 attending. A duel was fought on Pinnacle hill, between 
two young men whose names are not given in the newspapers of that time ; 
no one was hurt, and it was thought that the seconds, in loading the pistols, 
forgot to put in the balls. The new aqueduct was finished at a cost of $600,- 

Ireland's wrongs seem to have agitated the minds of many of our citizens 
during the summer of 1843, many meetings being held to advocate the repeal 
of the union with England and the restoration of Ireland's nationality, the 
largest of them being on the loth of July, in Monroe hall, when addresses were 
made by the chairman, General Hestor L. Stevens, George Dawson, Dr. Thel- 
ler and others. John Quincy Adams visited Rochester on the 27th of July; 
was received with great honor by a committee, three of whom had been pre- 
viously appointed to go to Buffalo to meet him; grand torchlight procession in 
the evening in his honor, and an address by the venerable statesman from a 
platform erected in the court-house square. 

Up to the time of the November election in 1844, the whole state was 
agitated by the presidential canvass, and Rochester was in no wise behind the 

1 36 History of the City of Rochester. 

other cities in the enthusiasm displayed. On the i-2th of April the friends of 
Henry Clay celebrated the birthday of their favorite by a large gathering at 
Irving hall, at which Governor Seward was expected to be present, but he sent, 
instead, a two-column letter; Elisha B. Strong presided and an oration was de- 
livered by Dr. D. F. Bacon, of New York. August 24th Levi W. Sibley died ; 
he was one of the pioneers, having come here in 1818 with his brother Derick; 
they were printers, and after working for some years on the Telegraph they 
purchased the Gazette in 1821, and published it four years. The census taken 
in March showed a population of 23,553, an increase of 3,358 in three years. 
Three hundred and ten new buildings were ePected during the year, about 
equally divided between the two sides of the river. 

Temperance, the canal and slavery seem to have troubled the minds of our 
people a good deal during 1845; Washingtonian gatherings were held to pro- 
mote total abstinence, and a grain convention, attended by delegates from all 
the western part of the state, took place here January 29th and 30th, to pro- 
test against the competition of the Welland canal in diverting traffic from the 
direct line of the Erie; James Seymour presided, many speecTies were made 
and resolutions were c\dopted calling upon the legislature to equalise the tolls, 
so as to make western forwarders pay the same whichever way the produce 
went. On Febi-uary Sth, 6th and 7th the Western New York Anti-slavery 
society held a convention, Isaac Post presiding. The mayoralty election in 
March was quite exciting; Rufus Keeler, the Locofoco candidate;^ and John 
Allen, the Whig, were within two votes of each other, and the common coun- 
cil, acting as a board of -canvassers, were tied on the question of allowing three 
imperfect votes to John Allen, which would have elected him; Mr. Allen, 
having, as mayor, the casting vote in the council, magnanimously decided 
against himself, and Mr. Keeler was declared elected; he declined to accept 
the office, and Mr. Allen, who by that means would have held over, sent in his 
resignation and the common council appointed William Pitkin mayor. On the 
19th of May an anti-gambling meeting of prominent citizens was held, at 
which J. H. Green, "the reformed gambler," made an address; two days later 
a society was formed, with Frederick Whittlesey as president, Messrs. Champ- 
ion, Kempshall, Bumphrey, Smith, Bloss, Wheeler and Barton as vice-presi- 
dents; I. F. Mack as corresponding secretary, and J. H. Babcock as treasurer; 
under the auspices of the society Mr. Green delivered a lecture at the court- 
house five days afterward. On the 1st of October Edwin Scrantom, one of 
the best known auctioneers of the day, sold off a large quantity of central real 
estate, in several small parcels, to the highest bidders; twelve lots on the east 
side of Front street brought $4,815; thirteen on the west side, $6,660; three 
on Mumford street sold for $1,275; "'"e on Mill street realised $1,740; five 
on a back street then running between Front and the river bank went for 
$1,490; the Selye house and lot, on the corner of Mill and Fish (now Center) 

Franklin's Birthday. — Famine in Ireland. 137 

streets reached $3,600, and other property was knocked down for $8,645 — '" 
all $28,225, to eleven purchasers. On the 22d of October a state temperance 
convention was held here, presided over by Chancellor Whittlesey. The widow 
of Colonel Nathaniel Rochester died on the 9th of December, leaving fifty- 
eight direct descendants. 

Benjamin Franklin's birthday was celebrated on the i6th of January, 1846, 
in grand style by the printers of Western New York ; it was the first festival 
of the craft of this city and was held at the Champion Hotel, which was the 
old Morton House refitted, rechristened and opened as a temperance house, 
on the corner of Buffalo and Fitzhugh streets. Derick Sibley presided at the 
principal table, and a newspaper of the next day, in an account of the pro-' 
ceedings, which takes up more than eight columns, says that "one hundred and 
seven, including Adams's brass band, sat down to one of the most sumptuous 
repasts ever furnished to printers' palates;" all those living here who were then 
or ever had been connected with the press as editors or publishers were pres- 
ent ; many of them made speeches, and letters were read from several journal- 
ists in other parts of the state. On the 8th of February Rev. Ashbel Baldwin, 
then the oldest ordained Episcopal minister in the United States, died at his 
residence in this city, aged nearly eighty-nine. The first exhibition of the 
Genesee Valley Horticultural society was held June I2th, at the Blossom House. 
The Mexican war having broken out in the spring of that year, a meeting of 
citizens was held on the 27th of May, General Gould presiding, to sustain Pres- 
ident Polk's administration ; a "committee of safety" was appointed, which in 
turn appointed John Allen, Horace Gay and H. B. Ely a committee to take 
measures for the enrollment of volunteers ; the response was more tardy than 
had been anticipated, and by the time a company of thirty-three was raised, 
under Captain H. B. Ely, word came that the quota of the state was full and 
no more troops were needed,, so the enlistments were revoked and the men 
stayed at home. 

The next year, 1847, saw greater activity and excitement in the matter, 
General Taylor's brilliant achievements having stirred the warlike feelings of 
the young men of the North, so that when more troops were called for there 
was less difficulty .in getting enlistments in this city. In the early part of the 
year Caleb Wilder, as captain, organised a company, forty members of which, . 
under charge of Lieutenant Edward McGarry, left here in April for Fort Ham- 
ilton, where they remained until joined by the complement of the company, 
when, on the 9th of June, they proceded to the mouth of the Rio Grande, 
where they remained about sixteen months, doing active and efficient service as, 
a part of the army of occupation. This was the great year of famine in Ireland 

as it was foreseen it would be, in consequence of the failure of the potato 

crop the year before — and of course meetings were held here, to send relief 
to the starving people, the largest, perhaps, being at the court-house on Feb- 

History of the City of Rochester. 

ruary 8th ; Dr. James Webster presided ; $363 was raised at once ; Dr. Lee, 
General Gould and Rev. Mr. Holland were appointed a committee to send cir- 
culars to the neighboring towns. In this year an amendment to the charter 
was adopted by the common council, and subsequently passed by the legisla- 
ture, whereby all city officers were to be after that year elected by the people, 
except the clerk of the board, the superintendent of Mount Hope cemetery and 
the messenger of the council. On the 30th of September the Society of the 
Pioneers was organised, at a dinner held at the Blossom House, with Enos 
Stone as president, Judge Sampson, Ralph Parker and Oliver Culver, as vice- 
presidents ; sixty-two were present at this first festival, or sent letters joining 
the organisation, which at the outset was to comprise only those who were here 
before 1816; of that original number, not one is now living, the last to pass 
away being Charles J. Hill, who died last year ; the limit of time was then ex- 
tended so as to admit all who resided in Western New York prior to 1820; the 
number of members then rapidly increased, so that in i860 there were ninety 
men and forty women connected with the society. In July a new railroad 
bridge was built across the river by the Auburn & Rochester railroad, to take 
the place of the old one laid down seven years before. In this year coal was 
first burned as fuel, as will be more fully told in another chapter. The mor- 
tality for this year was 747, a death rate of more than two and a half per cent. 
In February, 1848, much excitement was caused by the disappearance of 
Porter P. Pierce, a young woolen manufacturer; a meeting was held at which 
sixty-eight prominent citizens, with Dr. Webster at the head, were appointed a 
vigilance committee to unravel the mystery ; other meetings were held, and 
rewards offered ; the body was afterward found in the river with marks of vio- 
lence; the murderer was never discovered. On the 2d of August there was a 
woman's rights convention at the Unitarian church, the building being filled to 
overflowing; Amy Post called the meeting to order; Abigail Bush was presi- 
dent, with other women to fill the remaining offices ; proceedings were opened 
with prayer by Rev. Mr. Wicher, of the Free Will Baptist church ; Miss Burtis, 
a Quaker school-teacher, acted as reader, as the secretaries could not be heard. 
Frederick Douglass, William C. Nell and William C. Bloss spoke in favor of 
the emancipation of women from *all artificial disabilities ; Milo Codding and 
three other men spoke against this, contending that "woman's sphere was 
home," to which Lucretia Mott replied vigorously, followed by Mrs. Stanton 
and others ; letters were read from Gerrit Smith and William Lloyd Garrison, 
cordially approving all the objects of the meeting; there were three sessions, 
each well attended. On August 23d a citizens' meeting was held for the relief 
of Albany, nearly a quarter of that city being burned, with a loss of more than 
a million of dollars; a draft for $1,000 was remitted by the mayor, Joseph 
Field. The gas works having been completed in this year, the illuminating 
fluid was supplied on the 13th of December, the first consumer being C. A. 
Jones, who resided on Franklin street. 

Incidents of 1850. 139 

Cholera visited the place again in 1849, in spite of the fact that the utmost 
precautions had been talten in the early part of the year to cleanse the filthiest 
places, and put the city in a sanitary condition ; about one hundred and sixty 
deaths resulted from the disease. In May the trial of Dr. Hardenbrook, for 
the murder of Thomas Nott, took place, the motive alleged being the desire to 
marry Mrs. Nott; strong testimony was offered to show that death occurred 
from poison administered by the doctor, who had professionally treated the 
deceased ; the jury, after being out five hours, rendered a verdict of acquittal. 
Fanny Kemble read here. May 9th and lOth, "Othello" and the "Tempest." 
Corinthian hall was opened during the summer, having been begun in the 
spring of the previous year ; Bugle alley was changed in name to Exchange 
place, and the title of Mill street was given to the whole line of that thorough- 
fare, whose southern end had hitherto been known as Work street. As navi- 
gation was nearing its close, the City mills, which were overloaded, fell with a 
crash, in consequence of the great strain upon the floors ; eleven thousand 
bushels of wheat were precipitated into the raceway and the flumes, which be- 
came dammed up and the water burst through, carrying the grain into the 
river; an almost total loss. 

f On the 13th of March, 1850, General Ebenezer S. Beach died; he came 
here in 1820, and almost from the first was engaged in the milling business, in 
which he was, so far as known, more extensively interested than any other 
person in the United States. John T. Talman, another of the early settlers, 
died February I2th. Hamlet Scrantom, who was the first white resident of 
Rochester, on the west side of the river, died in this year, in the house on 
State street (subsequently occupied by Martin Briggs, his son-in-law) where 
the family had resided since 18 16. The corner-stone of the court-house was 
laid on the 20th of June, with imposing ceremonies, all the military and the 
city officials turning out and moving through the principal streets ; the prayer 
was by Rev. Dr. Hall, the address by Judge Cliapin, and the stone was laid by 
Mayor Richardson and the chairman of the board of supervisors; in the box 
under it were placed copies of all the newspapers of the day, city directories, 
daguerreotypes of officials, statistics of various kinds, and many other objects 
of interest. A mournful occasion caused the passage of a similar procession, 
augmented by the fire department and the secret societies, on the 13th of 
July, in token of the national loss sustained by the death of the president, 
General Taylor, on the 9th ; at Washington square a eulogy was delivered by 
Rev. Mr. Hickok, of the Bethel church ; most of the buildings in the city were 
draped, and the railroad trains that passed through were covered with the em- 
blems of mourning ; General L. B. Swan was marshal of the day on both of 
these observances. In September Powers's "Greek Slave" was exhibited here 
for several days. Lectures were given during the early part of the year by 
Horace Greeley, President Hopkins, of Williams college ; Richard H. Dana, 


I40 History of the City of Rochester. 

John B. Gough, Senator John P. Hale, Bishop Hopkins, of Vermont, and Rev. 
Dr. Lord, of Buffalo. The University of Rochester and the theological sem- 
inary were established here in autumn. The census taken during the summer 
showed a population of 36,561, an increase of 11,296 in five years. This fin- 
ishes the first half of the nineteenth century, though not the first half century 
of the existence of Rochester, which had, however, even at this time, taken 
her place as one of the most prosperous, and in some respects one of the most 
important, cities in the state. 



Visit of Fillmore and his Cabinet, and of Daniel Webster — Singing of Jenny I.ind — Civic Fes- 
tival in 1 85 1 — Building the New Court-IIouse — The Meridian of Rochester — The Mock Funeral 
of Henry Clay — The Cholera in 1852 — The Ira Stout Murder — The " Irrepressible Conflict " — 
De Lave's Rope- Walking — Death of Ex-Mayors Allen and Child. 

PRESIDENT FILLMORE conceived the idea that some of the unpopu- 
larity which he had incurred at the North, and especially in his own state, 
by signing the fugitive slave bill, would be removed by making a tour with his 
cabinet and explaining matters as he went along, so he set out with three of 
the secretaries and was generally well received; he reached here on the 20th 
of Mayj 1851, and was greeted by a fine turnout of the military and other 
organisations; much disappointment was felt over the absence of Daniel Web- 
ster, then secretary of state, who had lagged behind the party for some time, 
not getting to Buffalo till two days after the others had left; salutes were fired 
and the visitors were escorted to Washington square, where the mayor made 
a long address to the president, who responded, followed by Attorney- General 
Crittenden and ex-Gov. Graham, secretary of the navy; in the afternoon the 
party dined at the Eagle Hotel, where more speeches were made. Mr. Web 
ster reached here three days later, but was not honored by an official recep- 
tion, which he had probably expected and which he would certainly have 
received a few years before ; the next morning he spoke, from the south end 
of the Arcade gallery, to a large crowd, but the circumstances under which 
his speech was delivered were not such as to enhance his great reputation. 
Jenny Lind sang here July 22d and 24th ; the desire to hear her was so great 
that every nook and corner in the adjacent streets was occupied, and as the 
heat of the evenings caused the windows of Corinthian hall to be kept wide 
open it was estimated that the notes of her voice reached as many outside of 

The New Court-House. 141 

the building as listened to it within. For her second night the tickets, to keep 
them out of the hands of speculators, were sold at auction, and they all 
brought a premium, which aggregated $2,501.41; this amount she sent the 
next day to the mayor, N. E. Paine, to be distributed as follows : To the Fe- 
male Charitable society $800, to the Rochester orphan asylum $500, Catholic 
orphan asylums $300, Home for the Friendless $300, German Lutheran 
church $200, Cartmen's Benevolent association $200, Firemen's Benevolent 
association $201.41. The annual fair of the State Agricultural society was 
held here in September, with greater eclat than in any year since then ; the 
address was delivered by Stephen A. Douglas ; and the crowd in attendance 
was by far the largest ever seen up to that time in Western New York; one 
evening during the progress of the fair a civic festival was held in Corinthian 
hall, which was attended by Gov. Hunt and his military staff, ex-President 
Tyler, ex- Gov. Marcy, ex Gov. Morton of Massachusetts, Gen. Wool, John 
A. King, Horace Greeley, many judges of the Supreme court and other nota- 
bilities. Chancellor Whittlesey, one of the most distinguished citizens of 
Rochester, died September 19th; resolutions of respect were passed by the 
university, the courts and many other bodies. Enos Stone, generally con- 
sidered the first settler upon the east side of the river, where the city now 
stands (as is fully described in the first portion of this work), died on the 23d 
of October. Matthew Brown, who came here in 1817, died December 28th. 
The new court-house was finished in December at a cost of $61,93 1. 95 (though 
additions a few years later increased the amount by something over $10,000), 
of which the city paid $33,465.98 and the county $28,465.97 ; Gideon Cobb, 
who took the old court-house at $500, did the mason work, and Henry T. 
Rogers was the carpenter; the original appropriation was for $25,000, by the 
supervisors, for a county building alone, but the common council afterward 
joined with them to erect a court-house, with rooms for both city and county 
officers; the plans for this included wooden columns to support the roof of 
the portico, and it was mainly by the exertions of Gen. Swan that the massive 
stone pillars which do more than any other part of the structure to give dig- 
nity to its appearance were raised, instead of the miserable posts which would 
have become mutilated long ago by time and mischief It will be of interest 
to our readers to know — what has perhaps never been printed before — the 
exact meridian of the city of Rochester, which may be given in this connec- 
tion because the figure of Justice, which surmounts the upper dome, was taken 
as one of the points of triangulation by the officers of the coast survey in 
1876; the image is in latitude 43° 9' 22.44", longitude TJ^ 36' 50.97". 

On the 6th of February, 1852, a Portuguese family, named Antonio, left on 
the cars for Albany — an innocent proceeding, in itself, but it gave to those who 
had been their neighbors on Lyell street an opportunity to dig in the cellar of 
the late residence of the family and to find buried there the body of Ignacio 

142 History of the City of Rochester. 

Pinto, who had lived with the others and had been missed since, the previous 
November; one deadly wound was in the breast, another on the head ; an offi- 
cer was sent after the family and brought them back ; Maurice Antonio was 
tried for the murder in April — an interpreter b^ing used as medium all through 
the trial — and was hanged on the 3d of June. Sally Holley, the daughter of 
Myron Holley, delivered an address on anti-slavery on the i6th of February. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Leonard Bacon, Horace Mann, T. D'Arcy McGee, 
Horatio Seymour and Donald G. Mitchell were among the lecturers of the 
winter. Horace Gay, formerly district attorney, master in chancery, member 
of Assembly, etc., died June 9th, at Baltimore, having been taken sick while on 
the way to attend, as a delegate, the Democratic national convention in that 
city. Henry Clay having died on the gth of June, one week after General 
Scott obtained the Whig nomination as candidate for the presidency, this city, 
in common with all others in the country, was deeply moved by the general 
feeling of sorrow ; resolutions of regret were passed by the council and all the 
literary organisations; an immense throng gathered at the depot. as the remains 
passed through here on the 6th of July, on the way to Kentucky ; formal obse- 
quies were held here July 13th, with a eulogy at the First Methodist church by 
Rev. Mr. Hickok, of the Bethel ; this was not all, for on the 23d of the same 
month there was a mock funeral procession — "under the dir,ection of the young 
men of Rochester," as the newspapers had it — with more imposing pageantry 
than had ever been seen here before, surpassing that displayed after the death 
of Taylor, of John Quincy Adams or of Harrison; all conceivable associations 
and companies turned out, to precede or follow the funeral car to Washington 
square, where an oration was delivered by Charles G. Lee ; the court-house 
was hung in black from basement to cupola, draped flags were hung across 
the streets at intervals, and all the bells tolled as the procession moved. 

But, before the summer was over, the streets were filled with mourners on 
account of the actual presence of the destroyer, and the mimic demonstrations of 
woe gave place to the manifestations of a far more personal grief, perplexity and 
dread. The cholera returned, and its ravages here, as in Buffalo and elsewhere, 
were more frightful than in any previous year. Its coming had been foreseen, as 
formerly ; the board of health began its work of purification early in the spring, 
though the unusual fall of rain through April and May retarded their work, and 
on the first appearance of the disease a building on High street (now Caledonia 
avenue) was turned into a hospital and given in charge of Dr. Richard Gundry ; 
into this sixty-eight patients were taken, of whom twenty-four died. There 
were, during the summer, nearly seven hundred cases, the deaths numbering at 
least 420, and possibly 473 (the discrepancy being due, in part, to confusion in 
undertakers' reports), so that a little over one per cent, of the population was 
carried off by the scourge. The first case was that of John Hart, an Irish 
laborer on Factory street, which occurred June 6th ; the last, which took place 

Occurrences of 1853 and 1854. 143 

early in November, was that of a prisoner in the jail, eighty-three years old, 
who, when another inmate died of the cholera, became panic-stricken, was 
seized with the disease and soon fell a victim. Moses B. Seward, Dr. J. J. Treat 
and Dr. William Bell died of the epidemic in August, Dr. D. C. Phelps in Sep- 
tember. The mayor, Hamlin Stilwell, exerted himself effectively at first, but 
his health soon gave way and he was obliged to retire temporarily from active 
labor, when his duties fell upon Alderman William F. Holmes, who fortunately 
was a member of the board of health at the time, and to whose memory praise 
is due for the fidelity, courage and devotion which he showed in doing what 
could be done to prevent the establishment of the epidemic and in relieving the 
miseries of those who suffered from it. A committee of the board, consisting 
of Dr. E. W. Armstrong, D. M. Dewey and Hiram Banker, drew up a long and 
complete report of the cholera for this year, from which is taken the informa- 
tion given above. Clay's great rival, Daniel Webster, having died October 
25th, the city hall bell was tolled here during his funeral at Marshfield on the 
29th ; memorial services were held in Corinthian hall November 23d, an ora- 
tion being delivered by Jerome Fuller of Brockport. 

As the city was full of the newly developed theories of Spiritualism, with 
their attendant manifestations. Dr. Mcllvaine, of the First church, preached a 
sermon on "the arts of divination," on the 20th of March, 1853. In the 
same month Francis Gretter, a candy peddler, stabbed and killed instantly 
Paul Satterbee, of the same age with himself (about thirteen years) ; man- 
slaughter third degree ; House of Refuge till becoming of age. In May the 
seamstresses (or "sempstresses" as they were then called) formed a protective 
union for mutual support and to aid in securing fair compensation ; several 
meetings were held by them in Corinthian hall. Silas Ball, one of the old 
pioneers, died May 8th. In May the association for juvenile reform was or- 
ganised, with William Pitkin as president, Hervey Ely vice-president, J. B. 
Robertson treasurer and S. D. Porter secretary ; its object was, especially, the 
care of truant children. Highway robberies during this month were common 
enough to alarm the people of Rochester and make most of them go home 
early at night. On June 19th died John Smith, vague as to name, but with his 
individuality established by his having come here in 1814 and kept the first 
meat stall in the place, at the west end of the bridge, his shop being called — 
presumably in derision — "the fly market." A long-staying comet affrighted 
many timid people during August. The corner-stone of Plymouth church was 
laid on the 8th of September, Rev. Dr. O. E. Daggett delivering the principal 
address; that of St. Mary's (Catholic) was laid on the i8th, the services being 
conducted by Bishop Timon of Buffalo. Harry Pratt, one of the most re- 
spected of our private citizens, died at the end of the year. 

Lyceum oratory found good development during the early part of 1854, 
Henry Giles, Wendell Phillips, Agassiz, Bayard Taylor, Oliver Wendell Homes, 

144 History of the City of Rochester. 

Theodore Parker and Horace Greeley being among the lecturers of the season. 
The veterans of the war of 1812 held a mass meeting in the common council 
chamber on the 3d of January and appointed Ebenezer Griffin, Jonathan Child 
and S. L. Wellman to petition Congress' for appropriate relief Everard Peck, 
who came here in 18 16, died on the 9th of February. In March forty-five 
clergymen of this city, headed by Dr. Dewej' and Dr. Anderson, signed a pe- 
tition to Congress, remonstrating against the attempt to organise Kansas and 
Nebraska as slave territories ; similar remonstrances were signed by great num- 
bers of the citizens, and all the petitions were presented to Congress by our 
member, Dr. Davis Carpenter, of Brockport. On the 3d of May the ground 
of St. Mary's church, on St. Paul street, was sold at auction for $4,600, the old 
church for $160. This was a bad year for the millers — first, by reason of the 
short crop of grain, and consequent high prices, and, . second, on account of 
the lack of water, the drought being so great that the Phoenix and the Red mill 
were idle during the whole season, and the others ran to about half of their ca- 
pacity ; the shipments of flour were less than in any previous year since 1844. 
On thq 14th of November Emma Moore, aged thirty-seven, disappeared ; anx- 
iety was soon felt by her friends, and then by the public ; meetings were held 
by the citizens and a reward of $1,000 was offered by the sheriff; the body 
was found in the upper race on the 19th of the following March ; coroner's jury 
rendered a verdict of "death by drowning, whether by her own voluntary act 
or otherwise is entirely unknown to the jury." 

Woman's rights asserted themselves in 1855, a county convention of those 
in favor of them being held at Corinthian hall on the 15th of January, with 
Mrs. Lucy Clapp, of Perinton, presiding; Miss Anthony read a long address 
in the afternoon, and Mrs. Rose, of New York, spoke one in the evening. 
Science predominated in the Athenaeum course during the month, six lectures 
on chemistry being delivered by Prof Silliman, of Yale college. On the 26th 
the Union Grays, under command of Captain Lee, were called out by the 
sheriff to quell a riot of laborers on the canal, engaged in a strike ; several 
arrests, but no one seriously hurt. The night between the 6th and the 7th of 
February was considered the coldest ever known in this locality since civilisa- 
tion existed here; the mercury fell to twenty-six below at four in the morn- 
ing. One hundred and twenty-five guns were fired and bonfires lighted on 
the evening of the 6th, on account of the reelection of William H. Seward to 
the United States senate. On the nth of May Martin Eastwood was con- 
victed of the murder of Edward Brereton and sentenced to death, but he 
secured a new trial, and got off with a long imprisonment. The short-lived 
political party, calling itself the "American," but more commonly known as 
the "Know- Nothing," attained its greatest strength in this year, at least, in 
Rochester, where it placed Charles J. Hayden in the mayor's chair at the 
spring election. The pro-slavery outrages in Kansas and Missouri excited the 

Diary OF Events OF 1 8s6 AND 1 857- HS 

utmost indignation in Rochester, and a large meeting in expression thereof was 
held at the city hall on the ist of June, with Prof J. H. Raymond and others 
as speakers. On the 15th of July the Junior Pioneer association was organ- 
ised, its condition of admission being that the applicant should have resided 
here before 1825, the limit being subsequently extended to 1830. The first 
president was Ezra M. Parsons, of Gates ; the treasurer, George W. Fisher ; 
the corresponding secretary, L. Ward Smith ; Jarvis M. Hatch was first on the 
executive committee, and William A. Reynolds at the head of that on histor- 
ical collections. The first object given to the society was a cane, with the fol- 
lowing inscription: "A fragment of the boat Young Lion of the West, pre- 
sented to the Junior Pioneer association by H. H. Knapp, October, 1855."^ 
About 1863 this organisation was merged in the older pioneer society, and 
the consolidated body continued for a few years, when it quietly passed away, 
George G. Cooper being its last president. Many of the very early settlers 
died during this year, among them Mrs. Levi Ward, Mrs. Joseph Sibley, Mrs. 
Samuel J. Andrews, Eli Stillson and Elbert W. Scrantom. A number of 
lectures by celebrated speakers were delivered before the Ladies' Anti-Slavery 
society in the course of the winter. 

During the early part of 1856 snow fell in immense quantifies, impeding 
the passage of trains in January and February, and on the nth of March the 
blockade was so complete as to cause a great accumulation of passengers at 
the hotels in the city, besides those who were confined in the cars by being 
snowed in. Elihu Burritt, the "learned blacksmith," lectured before the Typo- 
graphical Union on the i6th of January. Rev. Dr. Finney, the revivalist, 
preached here during the month ; there was much religious excitement, great 
numbers attended the meetings, and many joined the church. On May 21st 
high mass was celebrated in St. Patrick's church (the interior being hung with 
black) for the repose of the soul of Bishop Bernard O'Reilly, formerly the be- 
loved pastor of that parish, who was on the \\!i-idXz6i Pacific when she sank in 
mid-ocean. An indignation meeting, on the 30th of May, over Brooks's cow- 
ardly assault on Senator Sumner, filled the city hall more densely than in any 
former instance ; the mayor, Samuel G. Andrews, presided, and all living ex- 
mayors were vice-presidents ; Dr. Anderson delivered the longest speech of 
the occasion. July 30th the first carriage crossed the suspension bridge at 
Carthage. Rev. John Donnelly was killed by the cars on the Central railroad 
bridge, August 9th. Great interest was aroused by the Fremont campaign ; 
Gov. Seward spoke in Corinthian hall on the third day before election. Chas.- 
M. Lee, one of the best-known lawyers of the city, died on the 2Sth of No- 

There was, in 1857, almost a repetition of the snowfall of the previous 

1 A similar cane, made from another piece of the same old vessel, our first canal boat, is iiow in the 
possession of Henry L. Fish, having been presented to him by George G. Cooper in 1882. 

146 History of the City of Rochester. 

year; a train which left here on the 19th of January was twenty-seven hours 
in working through to Albany. There was enou-gh of a flood in February, on 
the 8th, to carry away most of the old buildings on the north side of Main 
street bridge by undermining the old piers, and finally to sweep away the 
greater part of the ancient bridge itself The new one was about half built at 
the time. The Garrisonian Abolitionists had a convention at Corinthian hall 
on the loth of February; Messrs. Garrison, • May, Remond and others in 
attendance, with Miss Anthony, Mrs. Post, Miss Burtis and others of this city. 
Ephraim Moore died on the 12th of April ; he came here in 18 17, was one of 
the trustees of the village, and held various positions of trust and responsibility. 
The passage by the legislature of the bill for extending the Genesee Valley 
canal, was thought to be the forerunner of so vast an influx of wealth from the 
iron, coal and timber lands in Pennsylvania that the city was illuminated on 
the 13th of April, and a large meeting of felicitation was held in the city hall ; 
our citizens have not yet grown rich out of it. Lake avenue was improved in 
this year by widening the sidewalks to the extent of twenty feet, and planting 
a double row of maple trees near the curb ; it was due to the efforts of Alder- 
man Lewis Selye in the common council, and to his personal liberality. This 
was quite a y'ear for bridges. Main street bridge, constructed of cut stone, was 
finished at a cost of over $60,000, after a prolonged wrangle in the common 
council, over the efibrts to take the matter out of the hands of the commission- 
ers appointed by the legislature to build it. The suspension bridge at Carthage 
fell in April, as described in a previous chapter. Andrews street bridge was 
rebuilt of iron, at a cost of $12,000; in tne course of its construction, on the 
19th of December, Nathan Newhafer, one of the workmen, stepped on a loose 
plank, fell into the water and was swept over the falls. Court street bridge 
was completed in the following year, at an expense about the same as that of 
the Andrews street crossing. A Methodist anti-slavery convention was held 
at St. John's church in this city on the i6th of December. On the 19th of 
that month Ira Stout decoyed his brother-in-law, Charles W. Littles, an attor- 
ney, to Falls field, and murdered him, with the assistance of Mrs. Littles, 
Stout's sister, throwing his body over the precipice ; in doing so, both the 
murderers fell, rolled a part of the way down, and nearly met their own death ; 
Stout's arm was broken, and both he and his sister were covered with burdock 
burrs ; these things were what led to their detection ; Stout was tried the next 
year, convicted, and executed on the 22d of October ; Sarah Littles was tried 
later and sent to Sing Sing for seven years. 

The record, for 1858 may begin with the mention of a sermon preached at 
Plymouth church on the I2th of January, by Rev. Dr. Chester Dewey, it 
being the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a minister. On the 2Sth 
Charles A. Jones died after a lingering illness, a victim of the mysterious 
"National Hotel disease," which prostrated so many of the guests at the ban- 

Events of 1858-1859. 147 

quet given at Washington at the time of President Buchanan's inauguration on 
the 4th of March, in the previous year. On the 27th of February the funeral 
of two young men — T. Hart Strong and Henry H. Rochester, who had per- 
ished just a week before, at the burning of the Pacific Hotel, in St. Louis — 
took place at St. Luke's; the, church was densely packed, and emotions of sad- 
ness and solemnity were manifested by all present. Another death — that of 
William H. Perkins, who was killed on the 12th of May in a railway accident 
near Utica — produced a more general feeling of sorrow than can be appre- 
ciated at this day, when we have not yet outgrown the calmness with 
which the civil war taught us to regard the most frightful casualties. The lay- 
ing of the first Atlantic cable was celebrated on the evening of August 17th 
by a brilliant illumination, fireworks, bell-ringing, procession of the military 
and fire companies, etc.; the conflagration at a later hour is mentioned in an- 
other chapter. Though the date is not generally associated with the address, 
as in the case of Webster's "seventh of March speech," yet the place is indis- 
solubly connected with the oration, delivered at Corinthian hall on the 2Sth 
of October, by William H. Seward, in which, speaking of the struggle between 
the upholders of the systems of free and slave labor, he declared it to be "an 
irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces." The phrase was 
instantly accepted all over the United States, and was familiarly used till long 
after one of those forces had ceased to endure and the great statesman who 
uttered the sentence had passed away. Dr. F. F. Backus, one of the earliest 
of the settlers of Rochester, whose public services are alluded to in other por- 
tions of this work, died in the latter part of the year. 

The Jews of this city held a large meeting on the 20th of January, 1859, 
to express the indignation which they felt, in common with all their race 
throughout the world, over the abduction of the Mortara child from his parents 
by the Inquisition of Rome. John Allen, the mayor of the city in 1844, died 
in New York on the 1st of April; he was held in the highest respect not only 
for his executive abilities but for his rare integrity, so that he was often called 
"honest John Allen;" his remains, after being brought from New York, lay in 
state in the mayor's room at the court-house; his funeral was attended by all 
the military organisations, the fire companies, the Masonic associations and 
other bodies; the procession was under the charge of ex- Mayor Hills, and the 
bearers were ex- Mayors Child, Gould, Kempshall, Hill, Field, Richardson, 
Strong and Hayden. A matter in the middle of August was more than a 
nine-days' wonder and aroused an inordinate degree of public interest. Stimu- 
lated by Blondin's feats in crossing Niagara, another funambulist, named De 
Lave, undertook to do a similar thing here, and after due advertising and 
judicious procrastination he made the passage on the i6th, on a tight-rope, 
stretched seven hundred feet obliquely over the falls, so that in walking across, 
from east to west, he made the ascent in front of and directly over the princi- 

148 History of the City of Rochester. 

pal sheet of water; a delighted crowd of not far from 20,000 people witnessed 
the performance, which he repeated two or three ijtimes in the course of the 
next ten days, so that it got to be an old story. The first locomotive explo- 
sion in this city took place on the 12th of September, when the boiler of the 
engine Ontario, of the New York Central road, was blown to pieces, just west 
of the depot; the engineer was so badly hurt that one leg had to beamputated, 
and the fireman was severely scalded, but both recovered and were employed 
on the road for many years. Agricultural fairs of the state association had 
been held from year to year, here and elsewhere, but by i860 it was found that 
the display was too large and the interests were too divergent to allow of jus- 
tice being done to each exhibitor, so a convention was held on the 15th of 
March for the purpose of forming the Western New York Agricultural, Horti- 
cultural and Mechanical association. Rev. Dr. Joseph Penney died on the 22d; 
he was the pastor of the First Presbyterian church for many years and subse- 
quently president of Hamilton college. On the ist of May the new building 
of the Home for the Friendless was opened, with appropriate ceremonies. The. 
first parade of the Genesee river fleet took place on the i ith of that month. 
On the 17th the general assembly of the Old School Presbyterian church began 
its session at the First church in this city; Dr. Breckenridge, of Kentucky, 
•being detained by illness. Dr. Scott, of California, opened the session with a 
sermon; Dr. Yeomans, of Pennsylvania, was elected moderator; the assembly 
dissolved on the 30th, after a session of undisturbed harmony, contrary to pre- 
vious expectation. Political excitement raged high in this year, both sides en- 
tering earnestly into the struggle that was felt to be decisive; a great Demo- 
cratic demonstration was made on the i8th of September, when Stephen A. 
Douglas spoke to an immense crowd at Washington square; still greater en- 
thusiasm was displayed by the Republicans, who got up the organisation of the 
Wide- Awakes, which paraded the streets night after night during the campaign, 
the largest manifestation being on October 18th, when Senators Wade and 
Doolittle spoke here. Jonathan Child died on the 26th of October; he came 
here in 1820 and after holding various offices under the village government 
he became in 1834 the first mayor of the city, in the administration of which 
office he has been surpassed by none of his successors; at his funeral, on the 
30th, citizens of all classes displayed the respect in which he was held. As the 
ending of this year marks the termination of the era of peace, it may bring this 
chapter to a close. 

The War of the Rebellion. 149 



Breaking out of the Rebellion — The Call for Volunteers — Enthusiastic Response from Monroe 
County — Formation of the Old Thirteenth and other Regiments — Support of the Government during 
the War and Rejoicing over the Return of Peace — The Mock Funeral of Abraham Lincoln — The 
Oil Fever and the Western Union Excitement — The Flood of 1865 — Performances of the Fenians — 
"Swinging around the Circle" — Seth Green's Fish-Culture. 

IN accordance with the proclamation of President Buchanan, and the recom- 
mendation of Governor Morgan, the 4th of January, 1861, was observed, 
here as elsewhere, as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, services being 
held in most of the city churches, of all denominations, and at the university. 
With the shadow of the impending war hovering before all minds, the people 
were in no mood to discriminate justly, and an Abolition convention at Cor- 
inthian hall, on the iith, was broken up by a mob, some of whom were nat- 
urally of the baser sort, while with others the dread of a dissolution of the 
Union extinguished their regard for the right of freedom of speech. In, the 
early morning of February i8th thousands of citizens turned out to welcome 
the president elect as he passed through here on the way to Washington, though 
but a small portion of them could see him and still fewer cbuld hear the speech 
which he made from the rear of the train. The crash came in April ; Mr. Lin- 
coln's call for volunteers, on the iSth, stirred every heart; the common council 
immediately appropriated $10,000 to defray urgent expenses; on the i8th a 
meeting was held at the city hall to pledge support to the Union cause ; a sub- 
scription of over $40,000 was raised in a few days for the benefit of families of 
volunteers ; in a week more a regiment of men had enlisted here, under the di- 
rection of Prof Isaac F. Quinby ; early in May they left for Elmira ; on the 29th 
nine of the companies were organised, with one from Livingston county, as the 
Thirteenth New York volunteers ; they passed through Baltimore, under com- 
mand of Colonel Quinby, on the 30th, being the first volunteer regiment (to- 
gether with the Twelfth New York) to reach that city after the attack on the Sixth 
Massachusetts on the 19th of April. In the autumn the Eighth cavalry was 
recruited here, and on the afternoon of Thanksgiving day, November 28th, it 
left for Elmira. The record of these regiments, with that of others and parts 
of others raised here, will be found in another chapter of this work. Among 
the deaths of the year were those of Dr. Levi Ward, who came to the Genesee 
country in 1807, settling at Bergen; in 181 1 was one of the commissioners to 
settle the accounts of the builders of the first bridge across the Genesee at this 
point and came here to live in 1817 ; Selah Mathews, one of the eminent law- 
yers of his time ; General Lansing B. Swan, who had been prominently con- 
nected with the militia for many years, had organised the "Grays" in 1835 and 
had, in connection with Gen, Burroughs, codified the military laws ; of Orlando 

ISO History of the City of Rochester. 

Hastings, of Ebenezer Griffin, the last incumbent of the office of city recorder ; 
of Joshua Conkey and of Calvin Huson, jr. ; the last-named, who was formerly 
district-attorney, dying in prison at Richmond, Virginia, where he had been 
held in confinement since being captured, together with Alfred Ely, our mem- 
ber of Congress, at the battle of Bull Run, on the 21st of July. 

The war fever, which had somewhat abated during the winter, increased as 
the summer of 1862 came on and another call was made for troops. In July 
Camp Fitzjohn Porter was established near the Rapids, on the west side of 
the river, as Camp Hillhouse, on the east side, could no longer be retained. 
The new quarters were intended for the use of the infantry regiments which it 
was seen must be raised to fill the quota of the county, and under the impetus 
given by war meetings which were held almost nightly in different parts of the 
city the recruits poured in fast, Gen. John Williams doing his best to organise 
and prepare them for duty. In the latter part of August the dry goods mer- 
chants and other storekeepers closed their establishments every afternoon at 
three o'clock, to help on the work; on the 19th the One Hundred and Eighth, 
more than a thousand strong, under command of Col. Palmer, left for Elmira, 
and the One Hundred and Fortieth started just one month later. Of events 
connected with the war may be mentioned the reception of Congressman Ely 
on the 4th of January, on his return from captivity in Richmond, and Parson 
Brownlow's address to a crowded audience in Corinthian hall, on August 12th, 
when he told how Tennessee was fraudulently and forcibly taken out of the Un- 
ion. On the 28th of July the bells were tolled and flags hung at half mast, for 
the funeral of ex-President Van Buren, who had died on the 24th. In Sep- 
tember the state fair was held here ; Clarissa street bridge was completed and 
opened for travel on the 25th, at a cost of about $1 5,000. Of the deaths in the 
city during the year were those of Mrs. Hamlet Scrantom, in February — who 
came here in 1812 and lived in the first house built on the west side of the river 
— and of Hervey Ely, in November; he came here in 18 13, and his promi- 
nence may be known by the frequency with which his name appears in the early 
chapters of this work. 

Joy and exultation opened the year 1863, for its beginning marked the en- 
franchisement of most of the colored race on this continent, and a jubilant 
emancipation celebration was held at Corinthian hall on the 4th of January. 
On the I ith of February the Eagle Hotel was closed, after having been kept 
open for forty years. April was distinguished by a religious revival in many of 
the churches. St. Mary's hospital corner-stone was laid on the 28th of June. 
The first street car ran on the 9th of July. Our streets witnessed during this 
year many a military funeral of one after another of those who fell in battle or 
died from wounds or exposure ; of those the most impressive was that, on the 1 5 th 
of July, of Patrick H. O'Rourke, colonel of the One Hundred and Fortieth, who 
was killed at Gettysburg on the 2d. The hideous draft riots in New York called 

Events of 1864. 151 

out the citizen soldiery to suppress them, and the Fifty-fourth left here to aid in 
the work on the i6th of July. Three weeks later the conscription took place here, 
beginning on the 5th of August and continuing for three days, during which 
1,096 names were drawn from the wheel to fill the quota, from the city alone ; 
the drawing was done by Robert H. Fenn, a highly respected citizen who was 
totally blind. The 6th of August was observed as a day of thanksgiving for 
the national victory at Gettysburg. No one who was in Rochester from the 
14th to the 22d of December can forget the grand bazaar that was held in 
Corinthian hall during that week, for the benefit of the soldiers ; it was well at- 
tended throughout, day and evening, and the receipts were over $15,000. 
The necrological record for the year embraces the names of Rev. Dr. John T. 
Coit, pastor of St. Peter's church ; Isaac R. Elwood, the last clerk and attorney 
of the villlage, city clerk in 1838, clerk of the state Senate from 1842 to 1848, and 
secretary of the Western Union for many years , William C. Bloss, eminent as 
an Abolitionist and general reformer, member of Assembly in 1845, '4^ ^^^ '47 ! 
WilUiam S. Bishop, formerly district attorney and member of the state Senate ; 
Samuel G. Andrews, who came here in 1815, was mayor in 1840 and 1856, 
county clerk, clerk of the state Senate and representative in Congress ; Rev. Dr. 
Calvin Pease, pastor of the First Presbyterian church ; Silas O. Smith and his 
son, L. Ward Smith. 

The progress and effects of the war were plainlj'- visible by reason of the 
increasing number of pension agencies, which multiplied rapidly in the early 
part of 1864, and by the offering of high bounties to fill out the quota under 
the last call for 300,000 men, 'which had been increased to 500,000 long before 
the contingent demanded was obtained ; the county gave $300 to each recruit, 
the city gave an additional sum, each ward something further, and besides 
those was the immense amount frequently paid by individuals for substitutes. 
This brought into prominence the breed of "scalpers," the go-betweens or mid- 
dle-men, who took money from all parties, and cheated most of them ; as a natu- 
ral consequence of the swindling, "bounty -jumping" became disgracefully com- 
mon. Still, the dreadful conscription, which was again enforced elsewhere 
during the summer, was avoided in the city, and people were satisfied. The 
funeral of Major Jerry Sullivan, of the First Veteran cavalry, who was killed 
in a skirmish in Virginia, at the age of twenty-four, on the loth of March, 
took place on the 19th, the remains, after lying in state in the city hall, being 
borne to the Pinnacle cemetery by the Alert hose company and the "old Thir- 
teenth " (of the latter of which he was one of the original officers), the Union 
Blues acting as escort, and other military bodies joining in the procession. On 
the 27th of July the Fifty-fourth left for Elmira, under command of Captain 
Sellinger, to serve in guarding the rebel prisoners in camp there. The City 
hospital was opened and dedicated on the 28th of January ; the Brackett House 
was built during the summer. Rev. James Nichols, formerly a school teacher 

152 History of the City of Rochester. 

and then a chaplain in the army ; Anson House, one of the old pioneers ; Jason 
Baker, formerly county treasurer ; Captain Daniel Loomis — one of the most 
prominent builders of early days, who built the old jail in 1822 and the present 
jail (in connection with Richard Gorsline) about sixteen years later — and Col- 
onel Eliphaz Trimmer, member of Assembly in 1857 and 1863, died during the 

As though the war did not offer enough excitement, there were about this 
time two phases of speculation that amounted almost to popular frenzy — the 
petroleum investments and the Western Union telegraph stock-buying. As to 
the former of these, it is difficult to name any* one year as that most closely 
connected with the ruinous enterprises that were engaged in, but perhaps 1 864 
will do as well as any other. Two years before that the oil fields of Pennsyl- 
vania had given unmistakable indications of the vast treasure that lay beneath 
the surface of the ground, and when the Noble well began to pour forth a steady 
stream of some two thousand barrels a day, the excitement, which was at first 
local, spread beyond the limits of that state, and especially through the western 
part of New York. Other flowing wells quickly followed, and then capital 
began to flow down from Rochester to meet the gushing tide of oil, and to 
increase the production by boring in every spot where the peculiar appearance 
of the earth afforded the slightest ground for hope. Petroleum Center, a little 
place on Oil creek, was built up almost entirely by Rochester money; the 
McCollum farm, and other large tracts of land, were purchased — those bought 
first being obtained for low prices, but those taken later on being sold for im- 
mense sums — many went down there from here to work in an honest, industri- 
ous manner, attracted by the high wages that were paid for day labor, and in 
one way or another a large proportion of the families of this city were inter- 
ested in the development of the slippery fluid. A few fortunes were made, 
but a great many more were lost, and even the wealth that was gained gener- 
ally stayed with its possessor but a short time. 

> The other bubble was that of the Western Union telegraph stock. The 
headquarters of the company were then in this city, and on that account the 
foolish enthusiasm over its prosperity was almost confined to Rochester. In 
the early part of 1863 the stock began to advance, and was soon so far above 
par that the capital was increased, in March of that year, one hundred per 
cent, in spite of which the appreciation continued at such a rate that in Au- 
gust even the doubled stock was sold at a premium, and the advance was not 
checked by the further watering of the stock, to the extent of one-third addi- 
tional, in December. Exalted dividends declared out of questionable profits 
were accepted by many, without close scrutiny of the concern, but most people 
were indifferent to even those shadowy reasons, and the majority of those who 
had any money left from their operations in oil were eager to buy Western 
Union at any figure, providing it was higher than that of the previous day. 

The Flood of 1865. 153 

The end was slow in coming, but it arrived at last. In April, 1864, the highest 
point was reached ; toward the end of that month the doubled stock actually 
sold at $230 per share ; a few thousand shares at that price were quietly put 
on the market, which broke under the weight, and the stock fell. Shortly after 
the turn another doubling of stock took place, on the nth of May, with the 
hope of stemming the downward current ; the desired effect was produced by 
that or some other means, for the new certificates sold at par, or in that neigh- 
borhood, for the rest of the year. What was called the "Western Union ex- 
tension " stock, issued for the purpose of carrying the line across Behring strait 
into Asia, was also a favorite and costly source of amusement at this time, until 
the proved permanency of the Atlantic cable obliterated it. 

Since 1865 that has always been known in this locality as "the year of the 
flood." After very cold weather and a heavy fall of snow a thaw came on 
suddenly in the middle of March; on the i6th some alarm was felt here, as 
there was quite a freshet up .the valle)'; on the afternoon of Friday, the ,17th, 
the accumulation of water began to appear here, the Genesee Valley canal was 
soon overflowed, then the Erie was unable to hold what was poured into it 
from the feeder, then the river itself stretched beyond its channel and when 
darkness came on (and stayed, for the flow of gas stopped as the works were 
submerged) the central part of the city was under water; all night long and 
through Saturday morning it kept rising, boats being used in the streets where 
the current was not too rapid to allow of navigation, to rescue people in danger 
and to supply the hungry with food; late in the afternoon the water began to 
slowly subside, but it was not till Sunday afternoon that the streets were entirely 
clear ; the gas supply did not recommence for several days, as many of the 
mains and other pipes were broken ; through travel on the railroad did not begin 
till long after that, for both the New York Central bridge and the Erie bridge 
up the river were swept away at an early stage of the proceedings, even rail- 
road communication was suspended for two days, as no trains could get into 
the old depot on the west side, while eastward the track was torn up by floods 
between here and Syracuse; the direct damage done to property could not be 
exactly calculated, but it was doubtless over a million dollars; with all the 
catastrophe and all the peril not a single life was lost. After it was over, the 
city commissioned Daniel Marsh, the engineer, to examine into the causes of 
the deluge ; he reported that it was due entirely to the encroachments on the 
river bed between the aqueduct and the upper falls, which made the channel 
too narrow for the outflow of water from a territory of twelve hundred square 
miles. About the same time the legislature named a commission of three, 
Levi A. Ward being the chairman, to investigate the causes and propose 
measures to prevent the recurrence of the calamity. Gen. I. F. Quinby, who 
was selected as the engineer of the commission, made a thorough examination 
of the river between this city and Geneseo, and found that the openings in the 

154 History of the City of Rochester. 

embankment of the Erie railroad over the flats from Avon westward were in- 
sufficient to pass the immense volume of water that came down the river, the 
consequence of which was the formation of a large lake extending from the 
embankment southward as far as Geneseo. The water finally rose high enough 
to overflow the embankment and sweep away, in a space of four hours, 
twelve hundred linear feet of the same, and thus this vast reservoir was pre- 
cipitated upon us; which explains the sudden rise of the water in this city. 
Those openings in the embankment have been greatly enlarged since then, so 
that, although a freshet and something of an overflow in the city may occur 
in any year, a disaster like that of 1865 cannot well take place again, at least 
from the same cause. 

Gen. Lee surrendered on the 9th of April ; the news reached here at nine 
o'clock in the evening; an hour later the fire alarm bell rang out the glad tid- 
ings that the war was ended at last; the streets were instantly filled with people, 
the mayor read the dispatches aloud from the steps of the Powers bank and an 
impromptu celebration on a grand scale took place, with fireworks, bonfires, 
salutes by th'e Grays, speeches and singing of patriotic songs by thousands of 
inharmonious and happy voices. Within a week rejoicing was changed to 
gloom; President Lincoln was murdered on the 14th and there was mourning 
throughout the land; on the 19th, the day of the funeral at Washington, all 
business places here were closed, services were held at noon in all the churches, at 
two o'clock the procession, unparalleled in numbers and variety, with a funeral' 
car, bearing a cenotaph, in the midst, walked through the streets from the 
court-house square, returning to the same; the oration was delivered by Ros- 
well Hart. Mr. Lincoln's remains passed through the city at three o'clock on 
the morning of the 27th; the military turned out in full force and the 
gathering numbered, perhaps, as many thousands as had witnessed the arrival 
here, more than four years before, of the man who afterward so well fulfilled 
the nation's hopes that rested on him then. A grand demonstration of the 
Fenian brotherhood took place, at the court-house, on the 12th of August: 
Judge Chumasero and others spoke. During the year the city lost, by death, 
Thomas Kempshall, who had been a member of the first common council, 
mayor in 1837 and member of Congress in 1839; Moses Chapin, who came 
here in 1816, was one of the trustees of the village and the first judge of Mon- 
roe county, and John C. Nash, formerly city clerk, county clerk and mayor, 

Considerable excitement was occasioned by the murder, on the 8th of 
March, 1866, of Jonathan T. Orton, a hackman, living on Union street, whose 
body was found in his stable, with his skull smashed in ; one man was arrested, 
but he proved an alibi; no judicial trace of the murderer was ever found. 
During the last week in May the general synod of the Reformed Presbyterian 
church was held here ; the moderator was Rev. R. J. Dodds, a returned mis- 

KVfeNTS OF 1867. 155 

sidfidi-y frorii Syria. In tlie early part of June the Fenians in this eity were 
Jjrfeatly fexefcised cfver the invasidii of Caiiada by sc/me warlike rriembers of the 
brotherhood and the battle with the "Queen's Own ; " several went from here, 
and those IVho did hot go sympathised with those who did. Iii the perforihahce 
of that presidential feat known as "swinging ardund the circle," Ahdrfew John- 
son, accohipanied by Secretaries Seward and Welles, Generals Grant and 
Custer, Admifal Farfagut and other notables, reached here on Septerriber 1st, 
and gave an open-air reception frotii the balcony of Congress Hall to a large 
crowd which was animated by curiosity rather than enthusiasm. There \^'as a 
little niisiiiiderstariding in the Republican congfessional convention this year, 
the result being that, while Roswell Hart received a renomirtatidn fronrt one 
portion, Lewis Selye was made the candidate of the other side ; the Democrats 
adopted the latter gentleman and he was elected. 

A slight attempt at a flood Ivas made in the middle of February, I867, when 
the ice gorged at the piers of the Erie failroad bridge, throwing the water into 
the Genesee Valley canal, which overflowed into some of the low-lying streets 
in the third and eighth wards ; the next day the cellars and basements of the 
factories on Brown's race were filled ; there was a good deal of damage and 
more alarm, lest there should be another calamity like that of two years be- 
fore. A board of trade was established here on the gth of March, with George 
J. Whitney as president, Gilman H. Perkins as vice-president, Charles B. Hill 
as secretary and E. N. Buell as treasurer ; after livinig a sleepy life for a few 
months, it slowly expired. The "Black Crook" rah here, at the Metropolitan 
opera house, for thirty-six riights in the early part of the year. Ristori played 
in "Queen Elizabeth" on the i6th of April ; every inch of room in Corinthian 
hall was filled, at a high price. On the ibth of May some boys found in the 
river at Charlotte the body of Louis Fox, a celebrated billiard player, who had 
been missing since the 4th of the previous December; he had imdoubtedly 
committed suicide in aberration of mind, rhainly induced by chagrin over the 
loss of the champion cue of the United States in a contest with Joseph Deery 
at Washington hall more than a year before his disappearance. In the rtiiddle 
of May the Episcopal board of missions met here, presided over by Bishop Lee, 
of Iowa ; also, the general asseinbly of the New School Presbyterian church. 
Rev. Dr. Nel.son, of St. Louis, moderator. Weston, the pedestrian, pasSed 
through here at midnight of November 12th, on his walk from Portland to 
Chicago. Jacob Gould died November iSth ; he was one of the village trus- 
tees, and second rrtayor of the city, appointed major-genei-al of artillery by Gov. 
Clinton, collector of customs under Jackson and Van Buren, United States 
marshal under Polk. Di'- M. M. Mathews, a riiuch respected and beloved phy- 
sician, died November 23d. Dr. Chester Dewey died December 15th; he vfras 
widely known as a scholar and an educator for more than half a century; a 
sketch of his life and services will be found in another part of this volume. 

1 1 

156 History OF THE City OF Rochester. 

With the exception of delightful readings from his own works, by Charles 
Dickens, on the 10 and nth of March, nothing occurred in 1868 to interest 
the people of Rochester till Joseph Messner killed his wife, in a fit of passion, 
on the 13th of April, in the town of Penfield ; he was tried here the next year 
and sentenced to be executed on the 4th of June, 1869; just before that time 
came Gov. Hofifman granted a reprieve for two weeks, then a writ of error was 
granted, and, after argument at the general term, Messner was again sentenced 
to be hanged on the loth of December; on the very day before that date a 
stay was granted by Judge Grover; after more than a year's delay the case 
was argued before the court of appeals, a new trial was ordered, which took 
place in the following June, and he was again sentenced to meet his death on 
the nth of August, 1871; this time the judgment was carried into effect. 
While an engine on the Genesee Valley road was standing still, a little south 
of the depot, on Exchange street, on the evening of September 14th, the boiler 
exploded ; the engineer, the brakeman, and a little girl standing by were 
instantly killed ; two other little girls were so badly injured that they died a 
few hours later. More than the usual number of buildings were erected this 
year, no less than 503 — of which seven were of stone — being completed; 
their total value, by careful estimate of each one, was $1,456,100. John V. 
Richardson, who, after being professor of Latin at Madison university, came 
here in 1850 and occupied the same chair in our university, died in this year; 
also, Martin S. Newton, formerly district- attorney. 

Practical operations in fish-hatching were begun in 1869 under the direc- 
tion of Seth Green, who had begun five years before to experiment privately 
in that way, and had succeeded, by using the least possible quantity of water 
proportional to the milt used, in quadrupling the natural product of the fish ; 
in 1867, his discoveries being made known, he had given a public exhibition 
of his methods at Holyoke, Massachusetts, on the Connecticut river; in 1868 
he and Horatio Seymour and Robert B. Roosevelt had been appointed fish 
commissioners of New York state, and by this time the charge of the whole 
matter was given into his hands, his own hatchery at Caledonia being pur- 
chased by the state for that purpose. By the falling of a floor in the German 
school of Saints Peter and Paul, on East Maple street, while the room was 
packed with children and adults for the Epiphany festival, on the evening of 
January 6th, eight were killed outright and nearly fifty badly injured ; the 
most frightful accident that ever happened in this city ; the cause was a defect 
in the building, by which a brick pier supporting iron columns below the floor 
gave way ; no person was censured by the coroner's jury. St. Patrick's cathe- 
dral was opened with gorgeous ceremonies on the 1 7th of March, by Bishop 
Mc^uaid, assisted by Bishop Ryan, of Buffalo, and all the priests of this dio- 
cese, some fifty in number. The Odd Fellows celebrated their semi-centennial 
on the 26th of April. The swing bridge across the canal at Exchange street 

Events of 1870. iS7 

was built in the early part of this year, replacing the ancient structure with an 
ascent by steps at both sides, which, to most of the old inhabitants, seemed a 
necessary part of the Erie canal. The Powers block, which had been begun 
in the previous year (save that the northernmost store had been built a few 
years before), was finished before the end of this — so far, that is, as the State 
street part and the stone part on West Main street are concerned ; the expense 
somewhat exceeded the original estimate of $300,000. The death record of 
the year includes the names of Colonel John H. Thompson, widely known as 
an earnest worker in the Sunday-school cause, and for eighteen years the over- 
seer of the poor; of William Pitkin, who came here in 18 14, was mayor of the 
city in 1845-46, and held numerous positions of responsibilify and trust in 
educational and financial institutions ; of Rev. Dr. Samuel Luckey, an eminent 
Methodist clergyman, editor of the Christian Advocate and other denomina- 
tional journals, and appointed regent of the university of the state of New 
York in 1847, ^""^ of Frederick Starr, a zealous champion of the temperance 
cause, connected with many religious movements, and a member of Assernbly 
in 1839. 

There were enough of the veterans of the war of 18 12 left in 1870 to hold 
a meeting at the court-house on the 13th of January; John Seeley, of Roch- 
ester, occupied the chair, but most of those in attendance were from the towns 
of the county, very few from the city. A great canal convention was held at 
Corinthian hall on the 19th, to promote the abolition of the contract system 
in repairing the canals ; Henry L. Fish called the convention to order, and 
Nathaniel Sands, of New York, was made president; letters were read from 
most of the state officers ; many addresses were made, the longest by ex-Gov- 
ernor Seymour. A successor or outgrowth of this convention was held at the 
same place on the isth of July, to advocate the extension of the principles 
involved; ex-Governor- Seymour was again present, and among the others 
were Governor Fairchild, of Wisconsin ; Governor Merrill, of Iowa, and Peter 
Cooper, of New York; long speeches by those named, and .by others. The 
state sportsmen's convention was held here during the week beginning May 
23d ; the contest for prizes took place at the fair grounds ; large attendance 
and much enjoyment. The Fenians, in that same week, undertook to get up 
a shooting-match of their own, and to repeat the performances of four years 
before; several car-loads of men passed through, amid increasing excitement 
on the part of the resident members of the brotherhood ; one company left 
here on the 24th, under command of Captain (or "General") O'Ncil, and other 
squads stood ready to depart, when their ardor was completely dampened by 
the arrest of O'Neil by the United States marshal, and his lodgment in jail be- 
fore he could or would get across the border ; thus ended the last attempt at an 
invasion of Canada. 

The state arsenal, fronting on Washington square, was built in the latter 


part of this year ; in November the Powers block was extended on West Main 
street to Pindell alley, and was then regarded as complete, though there was 
at that time no tower, and but a single mansard story, which was upon the 
stone corner part only. The obsequies of Colonel George Ryan, of the One 
Hundred and- Fortieth, who was killed at Laurel Hill on the 8th of May, 1864, 
were held on the 19th of June in this year; the funeral services were at St. 
Patrick's cathedral, and a long procession of veterans, with many other organ- 
isations, followed the remains to the cemetery. Among the deaths of old citi- 
zens during the year were those of Ebenezer Ely, aged ninety-three, who, 
after being connected with a bank at Canandaigua- from 18 14 to 1820, came, 
here in the latter year and opened a broker's office, which he kept from that time 
till a few days before he died ; of S. W. D. Moore, mayor of the city in 1859 
and 1866, who was universally known as 'Squire Moore, from his having held 
the office of police justice for nine years ; of Hamlin Stilwell, who was engaged 
in the canal packet business in early years, was mayor in 1852, and held other 
municipal offices ; of Patrick G. Buchan, who was clerk of the mayor's court 
in 1835, and county judge from 1847 to 1851, and of Mrs. Mary Ann Scran- 
tom, the wife of Edwin Scrantom, who came here with her father, Asa Sibley, 
in 1 818, taught school the next year, near the Rapids, when she was fifteen 
years old, and afterward set type for her brothers, Derick and Levi W. Sibley, 
when they published the Gazette. 



The Howard Riot — The Small-Pox and Other Oi.seases — The New City Hall— Mount Hope 
Records Found in Canada — John Clark's Murder of Trevor — The Centennial Celebration of 1876 

— The Railroad Strike of 1877 — The Mock Funeral of President Carficld — The Cunningham Strike 

— The Telegraphers' Strike — Principal Improvements in the City in 1883, with their Cost — Other 

IN 187 1 there was a surfeit of crimes of all sorts and of accidents of almost 
every description, but of the homicides committed none were adjudged by 
court and jury sufficiently flagitious to rise (or sink) to the grade of murder in 
the first degree, while of the casualties none were so peculiar in their nature as 
to deserve mention. Little change, and still less progress, is discernible in the 
city's records during that time. On the loth of April the Germans held a 
grand peace jubilee over the closing of the Franco-Prussian war and the estab- 
lishment of the German empire. A serious break in the Erie canal at the "Ox- 
bow," near Fairport, on the 28th of April, called into requisition hundreds of 

Mournful Tragedy. 159 

laborers for several days ; they got up a strike on the 4th of May and were so 
demonstrative that the Fifty-fourth had to be sent up there ; several were 
arrested, work was resumed and the break closed on the 9th. Death was busy 
throughout the year, and carried off more than one prominent citizen ; of those 
who departed, the following are but a small proportion : H. N. Curtis, an ex- 
tensive owner of business blocks ; Dr. Horatio N. Fenn, who came here as 
early as 18 17, and who, after practising medicine a few years, gave up general 
practice and devoted himself exclusively to dentistry, being the first in Western 
New York to do so, as far as is known ; Preston Smith, who was one of the 
very earliest pioneers of Rochester, coming here in 1813, being sent out by 
Josiah Rissell, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to build a store here for him and 
Klisha Ely, and living here constantly from 181 5 till his death, in a quiet, un- 
obtrusive way ; Rev. Dr. Barker, who had been the pastor of St. Mary's (Cath- 
olic) church for many years ; Rev. Dr. Albert G. Hall, for thirty-two yeai-s the 
pastor of the Third Presbyterian church and a theologian of high standing in 
the denomination ; Aristarchus Champion, one of the richest men in this part 
of the state and one of the few whose great wealth was equaled by his benev- 
olence ; George H. Mumford, eminent as a lawyer, a financier and a promoter 
of one of the worthiest charities, and Dr. Philander G. Tobey, the oldest phy- 
sician in practice in the city at the time of his death. 

A mournful tragedy marked the opening of the year 1872. A young 
negro named Howard had committed an aggravated assault on one of the last 
days of the old year, for which, after being captured some miles out of town 
by officers in pursuit of him, he had been thrown into jail, to await his trial in 
its regular course; in the morning of January 3d, as he was brought to town, 
the people in the streets were so threatening in their attitude that the Fifty- 
fourth was ordered out to guard the jail and prevent any attempt to take the 
prisoner from the authorities and execute vengeance upon him; the precaution 
was taken none too soon, for, as soon as darkness came on, a large crowd 
gathered on Exchange street and on Court street as far as the bridge over the 
race-way, at the west end of which companies D and G were posted; after 
taunting the military for some time the mob began to throw stones at them, 
and at last the soldiers, after they had repeatedly asked their officers to be 
allowed either to advance or to fall back, were ordered to disperse the rioters; 
the charge was made and the mob slowly retired, but more missiles were hurled, 
some of them striking and wounding different members of the militia ; a mem- 
ber of company D then discharged his musket, which was followed by a vol- 
ley from both companies; several fell to the ground at once, but so dense were 
the crowd and the darkness that it was not for several minutes generally known 
whether the result was serious ; finally the wounded were gathered up and 
carried to adjacent saloons, to the City hospital or to their homes, as the nature 
of their wounds permitted; two of them, John Elter and Henry Merlau, died 

i6o History of the City of Rochester. 

in a few moments; the others, five in number, eventually recovered; the crowd 
then slowly dispersed. The next afternoon another demonstration was made, 
but the police, under Captain Sullivan, scattered the crowd without nluch 
difficulty and there was no occasion for the services of the veteran organisa- 
tions — the Old Thirteenth and the Ryan Zouaves — which had been sworn 
in as special police. On the day after that the tragedy closed with an act 
which would have been farcical but for the solemnity that invested the pro- 
ceedings. In view of the expense attending the keeping of Howard until the 
next session of the court — such as soldiers' pay and rations — it was deter- 
mined to hold an extra session at once, and, as the excitement still prevailing 
rendered it almost certain that there would be bloodshed if the trial took place 
in open court, it was concluded to hold a secret session and at night; the win- 
dows of the court-room were darkened to prevent the emission of light, and 
Howard, with his face chalked to disguise him, was taken from the jail to the 
court-house by back streets and arraigned before Judge E. Darwin Smith ; he 
pleaded guilty, was sentenced to state prison for twenty years and was im- 
mediately put into a carriage with jailer Beckwith and two sheriff's officers; 
the party were at once driven to Honeoye Falls, where they took the cars and 
reached Auburn in safety. The grand jury subsequently censured the two 
military companies for firing into the mob, but that was all that ever came of it. 
On the 15th of January the funeral of William A. Reynolds was held at 
Plymouth church, President Anderson, of the university, delivering the dis- 
course ; on the following Sunday Mr. Bartlett, the pastor, preached a memorial 
sermon. In the early part of this year the frightful epidemic of small-p(5x 
seemed about to establish itself among us ; there were twenty-eight deaths 
from the disease and many cases that were not fatal ; those who were taken 
down were removed at once to Hope hospital, where Dr. Little, who was then 
the health officer, visited them every day during their confinement; a general 
vaccination was ordered by him ; about 10,000 people, including children in 
the public schools, underwent the incision, and the old session-room of the 
First Presbyterian church was used as a general operating-room for all who 
chose to come to it. It was at this time that the cerebro-spinal meningitis also 
broke out with great violence, lasting only through the month of March, to a 
day, and it is a little singular that in that time the number of deaths from that 
cause should have been also twenty-eight, the same as from small-pox. 
Throughout October a disease that went by the general name of the " cpizo- 
oty" raged with great mortality among the horses. Susan B. Anthony and 
other women of this city were, on the 26th of December, held to answer for 
illegal voting in the eighth ward at the previous election. Besides the death 
of Mr. Reynolds, mentioned above — a sketch of whose life will be found in 
another part of this work — there were those of O. M. Benedict, a prominent 
lawyer; Dr. L. C. Dolley, Isaac Post, a zealous Abolitionist in former years, and 
Henry Stanton, Lyman Munger and James Riley, early pioneers of this place. 

Completion of the City Building. i6i 

In pursuance of the system of education for the very young, which had 
been found so satisfactory in the Old world, a "real school" was established 
in the early part of 1873, being dedicated on the 14th of February. On the 
28th of May the corner-stone of the new city hall, just south of the court- 
house, was laid with imposing ceremonies, most of which were conducted by 
the Masonic fraternity — ^ which turned out in full regalia and made a fine ap- 
pearance — and the ancient forms and rites of Masonry appropriate to impor- 
tant occasions of this nature were used; Mayor Wilder made the opening ad- 
dress, the prayer was by Rev. Dr. MuUer and the oration was delivered by Rev. 
Dr. Saxe ; various relics, ancient records, deeds, coins of the United States, 
etc., were deposited in the stone. Miss Anthony was convicted, at Canandai- 
gua, on the 19th of June, of illegally voting in the previous year and was sen- 
tenced to pay a fine of $100 for exercising the assumed right of female suffrage. 
On the 29th of October the building of the Young Men's Catholic association 
was formally opened. Vincent place bridge, which was begun in 1872, was 
completed in this year; it is 925 feet long and 1 10 feet high, from the surface 
of the water to the floor of the bridge ; the cost was about $150,000, borne by 
the city at large, with the exception of a small section in a remote corner ; in 
1874 the approaches to the bridge were opened, at an expense of $15,000, of 
which one- half was borne by the city at large, and the other part by the region 
more directly benefited. 

The death record of the year includes the names of Dr. A. G. Bristol, who 
came here at an early day; Robert M. Dalzell, who camp in 1826, was for 
over a quarter of a century a deacon in the First Presbyterian church and super- 
vised the building of all the flour mills that were erected in his time ; Thomas 
Parsons, state senator in 1867-68 and father of our present mayor ; Gideon W. 
Burbank, one of the early benefactors of the university ; Dr. Michael Weigel, 
a respected German physician; John Haywood, who came here in, 18 19 and 
soon afterward opened a hat store on State street, which he kept for more than 
forty years, was the first treasurer of the Rochester savings, bank and was often 
a member of the city council ; Colonel Aaron Newton, who came in 1 8 1 7, kept 
a tavern for many years, beginning in 18 18, on the spot where the Blossom 
Hotel and the Osburn House afterward stood, and was one of the chief pro 
motcrs of the Old Pioneer society; Ebenezer Watts, aged ninety-two, also a 
settler of 18 17, who for many years had a hardware store on Buffalo street 
near Exchange street, and John McConviU, member of Assembly in 1864 and 

In January, 1874, the city building on Front street was completed, at a cost 
of something over $50,000, including plumbing and gas-fitting ; the police court- 
room and head-quarters were located there at first, but were removed to the city 
hall on the completion of that edifice ; the Front street concern has, since then, 
been devoted to fire matters, the office of overseer of the poor, and other city in- 

1 62 History of the City of Rochester. 

terests. The water-works went into successful operation in tliis month ; a grand 
public test was made on February i8th, as fully described in the chapter devoted 
to that subject. On the 22d a boy of thirteen, while crazed with liquor, threw 
himself into the river and was carried over the falls; perhaps it was that which 
caused a revival of the temperance movement, mass meetings being held at 
Corinthian hall during the next two months, addressed by Dr. Anderson, Dr. 
Saxe and others; the Ladies' Temperance union petitioned the excise commis- 
sioners in vain to grant no more licenses ; the police commissioners ordered 
the closing of all saloons on Sunday ; the lager beer saloons kept open, but 
most of the others closed their front doors. In March a letter was received by 
the commissioners of Mount Hope, from the sheriff of Lincoln county, Ontario, 
saying that some of the records of our cemetery and of our city treasurer's 
office had been found at St. Catherine's ; messengers were dispatched for them 
and obtained them; they were found to be the cemetery records for eleven 
years, from 1846 to 1857, and the accounts of the sinking fund for most of the 
same tinie ; they had been in the custody of John B. Robertson at the time of 
the burning of the Eagle bank block in 1857, he being the comptroller and hav- 
ing charge of those funds ; he had then alleged that they were burned, but he 
had taken them off to cover a defalcation of nearly $40,000; a vast amount of 
confusion as to Mount Hope lots had been caused by the deportation. The 
sportsmen's national convention was held here in September. In this year 
Prof. Swift began to develop his skil) in the discovery of comets ; there were 
an unusual number of suicides, two of which were by jumping from Clarissa 
street bridge; three corner-stones were laid — those of St. John's German Lu- 
theran and the First German Methodist churches and of St. Joseph's orphan 
asylum — and there were three dedications — those of the Free Academy and 
the Salem Evangelical and St. Michael's (Catholic) churches. 

Record may be made of the deaths, in this year, of Sam Drake, a well 
known old fisherman, a very oracle on all things pertaining to the sport of an- 
gling, who worked here at his trade of book-binding as far back as 1826, in the 
same shop with Washington Hunt, afterward governor ; of John M. F"rench, a 
prominent iron-founder, who held various offices and was more than once the 
candidate of his party for mayor; of Pliny M. Bromley, very popular in early 
days as a canal boat captain and in later years as the landlord of the Osburn 
House ; of Isaac Butts, a veteran journalist of twenty years' experience as ed- 
itor of the Advertiser and then of the Union, in which he acquired a great repu- 
tation, though, having amassed a fortune by investments, he left the profession 
about ten years before his death ; and of Thomas H. Rochester, son of him for 
whom the city was named; he came here in 1820, built the old Red mill in 
connection with his brother-in-law, Harvey Montgomery ; superintended the 
construction of the Tonawanda railroad in 1834, was first cashier of the Com- 
mercial bank, and mayor of the city in 1839; lie was throughout his life one of 
the most highly esteemed citizens of Rochester. 

Events of 1878. 163 

The city hall, then recently completed, was opened to the public on the 
evening of January 4th, 1875, by a musical entertainment (given by home tal- 
ent) in aid of the sufferers by famine in the West — an auspicious opening, as 
dedicating the edifice to fraternity and human sympathy. The building cost 
$337,000, and was erected under the auspices of a commission appointed for 
the purpose, consisting, at first, of George J. Whitney, Daniel W. Powers, 
Charles J. Hayden, George C. Buell and Jacob Howe, of whom Mr. Whitney 
resigned, and Lysander Farrar was, appointed in his place. As a purely mili- 
tary display, the turnout at the funeral of General Williams, on the 29th of 
March, was probably the finest ever seen in Rochester ; after that part of the 
procession went the hearse, with the saddle-horse of the general, and then fol- 
lowed the civic escort, with all the ex-mayors then living, and the different 
officers of the city government. During this year the people were much dis- 
turbed about the canal frauds, and the impending trials of contractors ; a mass 
meeting was held on the 9th of April, Judge Warner presiding, to strike hands 
with Governor Tilden in pushing on the cases to final punishment. The Lady 
Washington tea-party, through two evenings in April, at the city hall, for the 
benefit of the City hospital, was so attractive as to bring $2,000 to that insti- 
tution. By a gale of wind, on the night of April 29th, the Leighton bridge 
works at East Rochester were blown to the ground, and great injury was done 
to persons and property in the city. Several burglaries were committed in the 
early part of the summer, and in one case, where the house was not broken 
into, the thief climbed a tree, and with a fishing-pole, line and hook, caught a 
watch from the bedside of a sleeping man. The robberies were finally traced 
to one probable culprit, and on the 3d of July an officer undertook to arrest 
him ; he shot the policeman, but not fatally, and ran till he was stopped by 
John Trevor, a bank watchman, whom he shot with another pistol ; but Trevor, 
though so badly hurt that he died of the wound two days later, had held on 
to the murderer till others secured him ; it was John Clark, a desperado 
who had committed numerous crimes, and probably many murders else- 
where. He was tried in September, and sentenced to hang on November 
5 th; his counsel, William F, Howe, of New York, made desperate efforts for 
a new trial, going before six Supreme court judges in different parts of the state, 
with a motion for a stay of proceedings and a writ of error, but in vain ; after 
a reprieve of two weeks Clark was hanged on the 19th of November. In this 
. year the board of education passed a resolution prohibiting religious exercises 
in the public schools ; all the city clergy preached on the subject ; about 
equally divided in opinion. On the 17th of September the first fast mail train, 
from New York to Chicago, passed through. A freight train, on the night of 
October 7th, ran off the track and dashed into the Central depot at the rate of 
fifty miles an hour, knocking down one of the piers and demolishing the wait- 
ing-room ; the engine then fell over, and the fire went out; the. engineer, 

164 History of the City of Rochester. 

William J. Vianco, and the fireman, Andrew G. Northrop, his son-in-law, were 
instantly killed, their bodies being found under the wreck. 

The obituary list of the year is a long one, containing the names of Elias 
Pond, who was collector of the port under President Taylor, elected sheriff in 
1834, and member of Assembly in 1859 and i860, and actively connected in 
old-time politics with Thurlow Weed and Governor Seward ; Daniel E. Harris, 
for a long time the efficient assistant superintendent of Mount Hope ; William 
Brewster, who came here in 18 16, well known to all the older inhabitants; 
Rufus Keeler, who was mayor in 1857; George W. Parsons, a respected citi- 
zen, for many years superintendent of the gas works ; Edward S. Boughton, an 
old pioneer; John Williams, who came here in 1824, was mayor in 1853, 
elected to Congress in 1854, chosen city treasurer for three consecutive terms, 
prominently connected with military affairs for most of his life, being, when 
he died, major-general of the seventh division of the national guard, succeeding 
the late James S. Wadsworth ; Father Patricio Byrnes, pastor of the Immacu- 
late Conception church ; Charles L. Pardee, formerly sheriff; David R. Barton, 
who acquired a national reputation as a maker of edge tools ; Dr. H. B. Hack- 
ett, of the theological seminary, one of the foremost Hebrew scholars of the 
country ; A. Carter Wilder, mayor of the city in 1872, after having been mem- 
ber of Congress from Kansas; Dr. Hartwell Carver, who always claimed to be 
the originator of the Pacific railroad, and William H. Hanford, who, in 18 10, 
settled at Hanford's Landing with his relative, Frederick, from whom it was 

An unearthly din at the hour of twelve ushered in the centennial of 1876, 
"vexing the drowsy ear of night" with the combination of all imaginable arti- 
ficial noises; the bells rang, cannon roared, torpedoes exploded, fish horns 
resounded, all the engines of the New York Central which could be brought 
together for the purpose screamed their loudest, the steam fire engines rattled 
down to the "four corners" on the fastest gallop of their horses, and every 
small boy who had been allowed to stay out of the house did his best to swell 
the tumult of discordant sounds. That ended the celebration of the historic 
year until the Fourth of July, which was observed in a manner unusually hila- 
rious, but otherwise not remarkable, except that the Germans planted a Cen- 
tennial oak sapling, with much ceremony, in Franklin square. At least three 
deliberate murders were committed here during the year — those of Louis Gom- 
menginger, a policeman, by Fairbanks ; of Joseph Fryer, a Whitcomb Hotel 
porter, by Stillman, and of Catherine Boorman, near Hanford's Landing, by 
Victor Smith, but all the murderers escaped the gallows, the first two getting 
life imprisonment because they had prepared themselves for their work by be- 
coming crazed with drink, and the third one pleading guilty by shooting him- 
self and dying in jail a few days later. Of the deaths during the year were 
those of Samuel Hamilton, a retired merchant of former days ; Horatio G. War- 

Republican State Convention of 1877. 165 

ncr, successively lawyer, journalist and banker; Samuel L. Selden, whose high 
judicial career is sketched in another chapter; William F. Holmes, closely 
identified with the canal interests, and whose services during the cholera of 1852 
have already been mentioned ; Dr. Douglas Bly, of reputation as an inventor 
of improvements in artificial limbs ; Dr. H. C. Wanzer, well known in the ranks 
of dentistry ; Abram Karnes, a veteran banker, and Lysander Farrar, an emi- 
nent counselor. 

The first part of 1877 passed away quietly enough, but in July the railroad 
strikes, which were the outcome of the labor riots of the previous month, broke 
out on the Erie road ; the Fifty-fourth regiment was ordered to Hornellsville 
on that account; on the 22d the strike extended to the New York Central and 
Lake Shore roads and the next day was in full blast, so that there was a com- 
plete stoppage of traffic on the Buffalo division of the Central ; great excite- 
ment and alarm here, but no rioting or destruction of railroad property as else- 
where ; two days later the engineers and firemen went back to their work, and 
subsequently some of the most flagrant abuses which the insatiable greed of the 
Erie and the Central had inflicted on their employees were partially corrected. 
In the course of the summer the Rochester Yacht club, which had been organ- 
ised in the spring, built a club-house at Summerville, and had a regatta on the 
lake. The Republican state convention was held in the city hall on the 26th 
of September ; Senator Conkling, then at the height of his power, made a bitter 
personal attack on George William Curtis. On account of the starting of an 
idle rumor that the Rochester savings bank was unsound, there was quite a run 
on that institution during the last three days of the year, but it was checked by 
the prompt action of the bank in paying all depositors and by the display of 
more than a million dollars in greenbacks, which were piled on a hanging shelf 
over the principal counter ; the strength of the bank was not injured in the least, 
the only sufferers being those who by that means lost their interest for a month ; 
over half a million dollars were drawn out in five days, $266,546.82 being paid 
out on the 29th of December ; other savings banks were similarly treated, but in 
a less degree. During the year there died here Rev. Dr. R. J. W. Buckland and 
Rev. S. Emmons Brown, both professors in the theological seminary ; Samuel 
Chase, one of the oldest inhabitants, at the age of ninety-three ; Mrs. Mary 
Anderson, one of the first seven communicants of St. Luke's church in 1817 ; 
Augustin Picord, aged one hundred and nine years, born under Louis XV., 
and a middle-aged soldier in Napoleon's "grand army;" Harvey Humphrey, 
formerly county judge and a man of great classical learning; Gen. William E. 
Lathrop, very prominent as a Mason ; ex-Mayor John B. Elwood, of whom 
more will be said in the chapter on the medical practitioners ; Col. C. T. Ams- 
den, formerly city treasurer; George W. Rawson, a justice of the Supreme 
court, and Rev. J. V. Van Ingen, a highly respected clergyman of the Episco- 
pal denomination, 

1 66 History of the City of Rochester. 

Railroad enterprise signalised the opening of 1878, for on the 28th of 
January the last rail was laid on the State Line road (now the Rochester & Pitts- 
burg) from here to Salamanca, connecting, by this means, the Erie with the 
Atlantic & Great Western, besides opening up to this city a fertile and popu- 
lous section of the country, inaccessible to us by direct communication before 
then; great celebration at Salamanca that day, but a larger one, with immense 
excursion from here, on the isth of the following May, after the road had 
been ballasted. In consequence of the burning of a block on Exchange street, 
near the canal, on the Sth of April, by which one man was burned to death, 
the wall of an adjacent building just north fell, on the 14th of June, three floors 
crashing down into the cellar and pulling with them a great part of another 
block still further north; Colonel M. H. Smith, proprietor of a printing-office, was 
caught in the ruins, carried- down into the cellar and fastened there with a hot 
kettle across his chest and debris piled above; he was rescued with great diffi- 
culty, terribly burned and otherwise injured, but finally recovered, with the 
loss of the right arm. In bright daylight at some time before noon, on the 
1 2th of October, twenty-four prisoners in the jail, most of whom were burglars, 
escaped by breaking a hole through the cell of one of them into the dungeon 
and thence into the yard; eight were recaptured the next day, and most of 
the others aftei'ward; it was thought that they took much needless trouble in 
getting out of so rickety a place. Burglary became quite popular in Novem- 
ber, a number of houses in the third ward being entered. Among those who 
passed away during the year were Dr. H. W. Dean, an eminent physician ; 
Rev. John Barker, an old Methodist clergyman ; E. N. Buell, formerly city 
treasurer and held in general esteem; Charles P. Achilles, much beloved by his 
associates, county treasurer for one term; the venerable Abelard Reynolds, and 
George J. Whitney, sketches of the last two of whom will be found elsewhere. 

A terrible snow-storm, which during the last week of the previous year had 
blocked the railroads in the vicinity and caused more than one fatal accident, 
was renewed on the 2d of January, 1879, and produced disastrous results for 
several days; the drifts were thirty feet high in the country; on the 5th no 
train could get into or out of the city; many were frozen to death in snow- 
drifts in adjacent villages ; trains ran off the track near here, a number of em- 
ployees being killed; the blockade was not finally broken till the loth; the 
executive board of the city paid $1,300 for shoveHng and carting away the 
snow during the week. The national association of stove-makers held its an- 
nual meeting here in January. For three days in July the Mannerchor cele- 
brated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the society. During the year the El- 
wood block, on the corner of State and West Main streets, was erected, and 
the Allen street lift bridge, over the canal, begun in 1878, was completed, at a 
cost of about $7,000; some $6,000 was subsequently spent on it. Dr. Jonah 
Brown, who came here in 18 13, was the first physician in the place and the 

Events of 1880. 167 

grantee named in the first deed given for real estate paid for in the One-hun- 
dred-acre tract (the lot on Exchange street where the Bank of Monroe now 
stands), died in this year; also, Joseph Field, an old resident, one of the orig- 
inators of the City bank and for many years its president, one of the most act- 
ive promoters of railroads in early days, being for some time president of the 
Buffalo & Rochester road, and mayor of the city in 1848; Dr. W. W. Ely, 
whose abilities as a physician were supplemented by unusual literary culture; 
Ezra Jones, whose experience as an iron founder went back for a generation 
and his previous experience as a boat-builder far back into the village days, 
and Colonel A. T. Lee, a veteran officer of the United States army. 

Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish patriot and agitator, made a tour through 
the middle and western states in January, 1880, and was received here by his 
fellow-countrymen. on the 26th of the month; he spoke at the city hall to a crowd 
that filled the room and showed great enthusiasm. On the 6th of March the 
legal profession furnished a criminal case out of its own ranks; Robert Jarrard, 
a young lawyer, while frantic with drink, shot just over the heart, intending to 
kill him, Wallace Rice, an inoffensive man, with whom he had a slight alterca- 
tion; Jarrard, being released on bail, hung himself in his own house three days 
later; Rice finally got well — in other words, "the man recovered from his 
bite." This, being a presidential year, was equal to any of its predecessors of 
that character in the displays and street parades that were given by both of the 
great parties, if not in the intense earnestness that was felt over the election 
contests during the war. The grandest show of the Republicans was on the 
27th of October, both day and night. General Grant and others from abroad 
joining in the turnout of the afternoon; the Democrats had theirs the next day 
and evening, General McClellan appearing in the line of the afternoon parade ; 
the whole country and many towns outside of it sent recruits for the different 
processions, and the evening spectacle in each case was a very fine one, the 
number of men in line on each night being something over seven thousand. 
Several of the old pioneers died during the year — among them, Abner Wake- 
lec, Lyman B. Langworthy, Johnson I.' Robins and Edwin Scrantom, the 
residence of the last dating from the very birth of Rochester, as has been told 
in an earlier chapter of this work — while of those whose residence dated back 
to very early times were P. M. Crandall, Aaron Erickson (an outline of whose 
life is given elsewhere), William Kidd, who by industry and integrity acquired 
a large fortune and was for several years the treasurer of the county; Elijah 
F. Smith, who had been mayor in 1841 (being the first one elected by the 
people) and had held various offices of public responsibility; Edmund Lyon, 
Dr. J. F. Whitbeck and John Widner, the last-named dying at the age of a 

Some railroad matters were settled up in the early part of 188 1, the State 
Line road, which for a long time had been the source of great anxiety to its 

1 68 History of the City of Rochester. 

friends and creditors, being sold at auction, on the court-house steps, on the 
8th of January, to the highest bidder, who was Walston H. Brown, of New 
York, who paid $600,000 for it, reorganised it and changed it into the Roches- 
ter & Pittsburg ; later in the same month the contract for the elevation of the 
Central railroad tracks was signed by the citizens' commission and William H. 
Vanderbilt. Copies of the revised New Testament were first sold here on the 
2istofMay; 1,500 were bought by individuals on that day. Maud S., the 
famous trotter, lowered, on the nth of August, her own record and trotted a 
mile in 2:10^, the fastest time ever made up to that hour. On the 3d of July 
prayers were offered up in all the churches for the recovery of President Gar- 
field, who had been shot the day before; the people waited in suspense from 
that time till the night of September 19th, when the simultaneous tolling of city 
bells announced his death; the mock funeral here, at the time of his obsequies 
on the 26th, was most impressive ; the procession was by far the longest ever 
seen here up to that time, as well it may have been, for it embraced a large 
proportion of those who less than a year before had made up the numbers of 
the two monster parades that were given in rivalry over the approaching elec- 
tion of the man whom now they mourned with a common sorrow. 

In the obituary record of our citizens may be placed the names of James C. 
Cochrane, an eminent lawyer ; William Stebbins and David Moody, among the 
pioneers; George D. Stillson, who, after having been engaged in locating the 
Tonawanda railroad, and other roads in this vicinity of half a century ago, had 
been so long the superintendent of Mount Hope cemetery as to seem almost in- 
separably connected with it ; Samuel D. Porter, who, during more than the life- 
time of the city, had been actively engaged in promoting works of benevolence 
and reform, and was for many years one of the leaders of the anti -slavery cause 
in this section of the state (whftse oldest son died the day after his father, so 
that the two were borne from the house together) ; Levi A. Ward, who came 
here when a child, with his father, in 1 8 17, grew up with the place, and was 
for more than a generation in the front ranks of citizenship, mayor in 1 849, 
first president of the board of education, and connected with many institutions 
of benevolence; Isaac Hills, a prominent resident, who, after teaching school 
in Lenox academy, Massachusetts, where Mark Hopkins and David Dudley 
Field were among his pupils, came here in 1824 to practise law, was district- 
attorney, first recorder of the city, mayor in 1843, and the incumbent of numer- 
ous other offices ; William Burke, the oldest hardware merchant in the city at 
the time of his death ; John H. Martindale, brigadier-general in the war of the 
rebellion, and afterward attorney- general of the state ; Mrs. Jehiel Barnard 
(daughter of Hamlet Scrantom), who came here in 1812, and whose wedding, 
in 18 1 5, was the first one in Rochester, and, lastly, Lewis H. Morgan, whose 
scholarship reflected distinction upon the city of his abode. He was born near 
Aurora, in this state, in 1 8 1 8 ; came to Rochester soon after his graduation at 

'^C-Ooi.-^ yv- Cy^^ 


Lewis H. Morgan. 169, 

Union college in 1840, and began the practice of law, which he continued with 
great success for several years, when he finally abandoned it to engage exclu- 
sively ill literary pursuits. In early life he had become interested in the habits 
and customs of the Indians formerly dwelling in the state, and his researches 
in this direction caused the production by him, in 1851, of The League of the 
Iroquois, in which he thoroughly explained the organisation and government 
of that wonderful confederacy of the Six Nations, whose constitution, the form- 
ation of which is assigned by tradition to Hiawatha, was in part the basis upon 
which that of the United States was reared. This book, instead of closing Mr. 
Morgan's labors in that line of study, only opened the field for wider investiga- 
tion, and he entered upon his life-work, which was twofold — first, the estab- 
lishment of the mutual relationship of the human race by tracing the similarity 
of social customs, a generalisation which took years of labor, and found its 
outcome in his Systems of Consanguinity of the Human Family, a ponderous 
quarto of 600 pages, published by the Smithsonian institution, which contains 
the systems of kinship of more than four-fifths of the world — second, and in 
part the outgrowth of the first, the proof of his theory that \hz gens, instead of 
the family, was the social unit of the race — a proposition which was wholly 
original with the author, and was of course violently combated by English 
writers, but accepted by many, even in Great Britain, and which he fully de- 
veloped in his Ancient Society, by far the greatest of all his works, and the one 
upon which his future renown will rest. Houses and House- Life of the Ameri- 
can Aborigines was his last production, giving the results of his latest inquiries 
into the habits of the western Indians and the Aztec tribes. Besides these vol- 
umes was his work on the American beaver, published in 1868, which, though 
really outside of the range of his special studies, was received by foreign scholars 
with the highest admiration, was translated into various languages, and gained 
for its writer the honorary membership of several of the most famous scientific 
societies. Mr. Morgan was elected member of the Assembly in 1861 and 
member of the upper house of the legislature in 1875, but these honors were 
inconsequential, and were nothing to him in comparison with the presidency of 
the American association for the Advancement of Science, which was conferred 
upon him in 1879. He was the most distinguished ethnologist that this coun- 
try ever produced, and the foremost in the world at the time of his death. 

Small-i^ox was agaiii the enemy to fight against in the early part of 1882, 
the aiann having been given in the autumn of the previous year and the work 
of vaccination then entered upon ; it was carried out with far greater thorough- 
ness than ever before, the board of health, with Dr. Buckley as health officer, 
using the most stringent measures and being sustained by the municipal author- 
ities ; several young physicians were appointed to do the work, and not only 
every school but every manufacturing establishment had to submit to visitation 
and operation upon all who could not show themselves proof against the infec- 

170 History of the City of Rochester. 

tion ; in this way between 20,000 and 30,000 were vaccinated, and the appear- 
ance of the scourge was effectually prevented. Strikes were extensively inaug- 
urated at this time, and in some instances carried on with disastrous results. 
After there had been some trouble of that kind in one or two of the shoe shops 
the employees of the Cunningham carriage factory determined to redress in that 
manner some things of which they had complained in vain ; of 450 workmen, 
400 went out on the 28th of January, the others remaining and being reinforced 
by nearly a hundred of newly employed non-union men ; all through February 
the conduct of the strikers was faultless, but on the 1st of March, their patience 
and their means being nearly exhausted, they resorted to violence to obtain 
their ends and attacked the non-union men in the street as they were returning 
from their work ; the next day there were more wicked assaults and some 
bloodshed, though no one was killed ; this, of course, could not be allowed to 
go on, so the sheriff interfered and peace was preserved for the next two days, 
after which, by the intervention of the mayor, a compromise was effected and 
the men returned to work, abandoning the scheme for a cooperative carriage- 
making company, with a capital of $250,000, which had been almost matured 
during the strike. As a counterpart to the trades union, most of the em- 
ployers in the city formed,, in May, a protective union, by which each one 
bound himself not to employ men who have struck in other establishments and 
to join in resisting any attempt on the part of the trades union to coerce any (jf 
the associated manufacturers. In March, on account of the large amount of 
money lying idle in the savings banks, by reason of the New York insurance 
and other companies having loaned money in Monroe county below the legal 
rate of six per cent., the savings banks here agreed to loan at five per cent, 
on sums of $5,000 or upward. The summer months brought with them some 
mild excitements, beginning with one, in June, of a rather serious nature, in 
the shape of a funereal exhibition by the national association of undertakers or 
funeral directors, the first of the kind in the United States and quite a fine affair; 
then followed, in the same month, the first general parade of workingmen 
ever seen in this city, in which over 6,000 "Knights of Labor" were in line, 
their idea being to express abhorrence of the new penal code. In July a 
disease called the "pink-eye" made havoc with the horses, thirty-six of the ani- 
mals connected with the street cars being attacked in a single day ; few deaths 
occurred from that cause. In August there was a great firemen's convention, 
as described in another chapter. The Osburn House, after being one of the 
leading hotels in the state for nearly a quarter of a century, closed its doors in 
September and was turned into a business block. The lift bridge at Brown 
street was built during the year, at a cost of about $1 1,000. On the 21st of 
December those standing in front of the old City bank saw a sign attached to 
the door, with these words : "This bank has suspended ; " much distress was pro- 
duced by the failure, which was caused by speculation in oil ; the capital stock 
was $200,000, a total loss to the holders ; the loss to depositors was very great. 

First Chinese Voter in Rochester. 171 

Death made many inroads into the ranks of our older citizens durjng the 
year, carrying off Hamlet D. Scrantom, who came here, at the age of six, in 
1 8 12, was elected mayor in i860, and after leaving office took a lease of Con- 
gress Hall, and acquired a high reputation as a typical landlord ; David Bell, 
who came here in 1822, was one of the first Quakers of the place, and always 
active in charity ; Joseph Medbery, who was one of the first settlers here, at 
one time president of the village and prominent in its militia, in which he held 
the rank of major; Benjamin Fish, Nathan Huntington and Mrs. Mary West- 
bury (at the age of one hundred), who were among the pioneers; James Vick, 
whose fame as a nurseryman and cultivator of flowers was almost world-wide, 
but who had been also a printer, an editor, an author, a publisher, a farmer, 
a botanist, a merchant, and all his life a student ; Colonel Charles J. Powers, 
whose good service in the field gained for him the brevet of brigadier-general, 
and who was elected county, clerk in 1867; Patrick H. Sullivan, another brave 
soldier, who was chief engineer of the fire department in 1864; Charles H. 
Chapin, a prominent banker ; Francis Gorton, who, after a successful business 
career as a merchant, became president of the Flour City bank, and continued 
such till his death, twenty- six years later, and E. Peshine Smith, a noted pub- 
licist, whose work on political economy is a standard text-book in several 
American colleges, and who, many years ago, was professor of mathematics in 
our university, then deputy superintendent of public instruction of the state, 
then reporter to the court of Appeals, then solicitor of the state department at 
Washington during much of the war time, after which he was, on the advice of 
Secretary Seward, selected by the Japanese government as chief legal adviser 
of the foreign department of that country, a position which he held until a few 
years ago, when he returned to the United States. 

Rochester's first Chinese voter was naturalised on the 8th of January, 1883 ; 
his name was Sam Fang, his age twenty-seven, his residence in this country 
twenty years; he could hardly be called a "heathen Chinee," being a member 
of St. Paul's Episcopal church. Shortly after noon, on July 19th most of the 
telegraph operators in all the offices here, as well as elsewhere, left their instru- 
ments, in obedience to a rapping from the office at Washington, where the 
headquarters of the brotherhood were. The signal agreed upon was the tele- 
graphic utterance of the sentence " Grant is dead," and it was supposed that 
the language would not be understood by any one but the different operators. 
Some one in New York, however, either in the office or outside of it, happened 
to overhear the secret message, and, giving to it its exoteric meaning, rushed 
into the street and communicated what he mistook for information, upon which 
there was great excitement, that was allayed only by the revelation of the strike 
that had been just inaugurated. In the Western Union office here only two 
telegraphers remained at work, and all the managers had to go on duty to take 
the place of those who had retired ; in the American Rapid office all deserted, 


172 History of the City of Rochester. 

and the door was closed ; in the Mutual Union two operators stayed, and the 
work went on as usual. A week later the American Rapid company compro- 
mised with the strikers, and the office was reopened, but with the other the 
trouble continued for just a month from the beginning of the strike, when at 
last the operators, disappointed in the supply of funds from other trades organ- 
isations, and driven to surrender by dire necessity, yielded and returned to their 
work. They preserved, throughout the whole period of their voluntary sus- 
pension from income-producing labor, their self-respect, and with it the respect 
of the entire community, which sympathised in this well-directed though un- 
successful resistance to the intolerable tyranny of the most heartless monopoly 
of modern times. On the 5th of August the military funeral of General E. G. 
Marshall — who died at Canandaigua, though he was sometime a resident of 
this city, and was colonel of the "old Thirteenth" — took place here. In Sep- 
tember three things occurred here — the convention of Freethinkers of the 
United States, the visit of Lord Coleridge, chief-justice of the English court of 
queen's bench, and the digging up on St. Paul street of one of the spikes and 
strap rails of the old Rochester & Carthage horse railroad. The bi-centennial 
of the German settlement of America was celebrated in fine style by the fellow- 
countrymen of those pioneers, the street parade on the 8th of October being 
notable for the variety of its elements. Of the prosperity and improvement of 
the city during this last year of our historical record, the few following state- 
ments may convey some intimation to readers in future years : The new depot 
of the New York Central and the elevation of its tracks through the city were 
completed, at a cost of about $2,000,000 ; the Powers Hotel — a fire-proof 
building, standing on the site of an ancient tavern, older than the city itself, 
which was built as the Monroe House, then changed its name to the National, 
then to the Morton, then to the Champion, then back to the National — was 
finished, at an expense of about $630,000 ; the Warner observatory, on East 
avenue, was completed, costing, with its magnificent telescope, not far from 
$100,000; the Warner building, a splendid iron structure on North St. Paul 
street, was built, at an expense in the neighborhood of $500,000; Church 
street was opened and improved at a total cost of about $ 1 65 ,000 ; North St. 
Paul street was straightened and widened for the same amount ; the lift bridge 
over the canal at Lyell street was built for $13,000, and finally. Central avenue 
was extended and a bridge built across the river to Atwater street, at a cost of 
$46,000. The records of the city surveyor's office show that during the year 
there were eleven streets improved, at an expense of $110,000, and thirty-one 
sewers constructed, costing $56,000. The records of the city treasurer show 
that the receipts for the year, on account of general city tax, were $1,059,- 
940.48; the expenditures for local improvements, $498,384.00; the receipts 
on local improvements, $300,353.73, and the receipts for water rents about 
$150,000. The registry of vital statistics indicates that the total number of 

Necrology of 1884. 173 

births was 2,472, of marriages 1,021, of deatlis 1,785. The population is at 
this time (June loth, 1884) estimated at 110,000. 

Of the deaths those may be noted of Samuel Richardson, mayor of the 
city in 1850, though he lived in Pennsylvania for most of the time after that; 
the venerable Jeremiah Cutler, who in 1824 was appointed a deputy in the 
county clerk's office and served in that capacity continuously — with the ex- 
ception of two intervals aggregating less than three years — till his death, at 
the age of ninety-one, having been employed under twenty successive county 
clerks; Lewis Selye, who came here in 1824 and soon acquired more than a 
local fame as a manufacturer of fire engines, was always a public-spirited citizen 
and a liberal giver, was elected county treasurer in 1848 and again in 1854 and 
member of Congress in 1866; Dr. B. F. Gilkeson, a well-known physician; H. 
Edward Hooker, a prominent nurseryman, held in the highest esteem by all 
who knew him; Roswell Hart, one of the earliest coal dealers here, elected 
member of Congress in 1864, secretary of the Rochester savings bank at the 
time of his death; Isaac Ashley, a veteran landlord, who came here in 1825 
and kept, first, the Carter House, near the canal feeder, then the Union Hotel, 
then the National (at that time the Monroe), and then the Clinton, beginning 
there in 1835 and retiring in 1878; Dr. Hugh Bradley, an eminent physician 
and the oldest here at the time of his death; Addison Gardiner, a distinguished 
citizen, whose public career is traced in another part of this work; Nathaniel 
T. Rochester, a son of Colonel Rochester, who- came here in 1818, a man uni- 
versally respected but of so retiring a disposition that he almost uniformly re- 
fused to hold any public office; Charles J. Hill, who came in 1816 and was 
mayor in 1842, of whom a sketch is given elsewhere; Joseph Curtis, one of 
the proprietors of the Union & Advertiser, influential in financial circles and 
respected by all his associates ; Judge E. Darwin Smith, who came here in 
1824 and, after practising law for many years, was raised, in 1855, to the bench 
of the Supreme court, where he remained till 1876, when he retired by reason 
of the constitutional limitation of seventy years; and Mrs. Anson House (for- 
merly Lucinda Blossom), who came here in 1820 and was one of the witnesses 
to the first deed recorded in the county. 

Up to the time of the celebration of the city's birthday nothing occurred in 
1884, essential to mention in this chapter, except the death of Martin Briggs, 
a prominent citizen, who held several public offices and was closely identified 
with the iron industry of the city for more than fifty years; of George B. Har- 
ris, the typical fireman of Rochester and chief-engineer of the department for 
more than seven years; of Mrs. Silas O. Smith, who came here with her hus- 
band in 1813, and of her son Edward M. Smith, one of the most popular citi- 
zens of his day, who, after being in the municipal council, was elected mayor 
in 1869; he was postmaster from 1871 to 1875, being in the meantime one of 
the commissioners of water- works; for several years he was one of the three 

174 History of the City of Rochester. 

members of the fish commission of the state of New York and was a delegate 
in its behalf to the fisheries exposition in London in 1883; in 1876 he was ap- 
pointed United States consul at Mannheim, Baden, and occupied that position 
at the time of his death, which occurred in England, as he was on his way to 
return home. 

the great celebration. 

Preparations for the Event — Services in the Churches on Sunday — Opening Salute on Monday 

— The Literary Exercises — The Pyrotechnic Display — Reception of Guests — The Great Parade 

— The Banquet — The Toasts — The Close. 

WITH perpetual announcements through the daily press of the approach- 
ing festival, no one in all this region was ignorant of the preparations 
that were made for the appropriate celebration of Rochester's fiftieth birthday, 
and the populaf expectations were raised so high that a fulfillment of them 
might well have seemed destructive of the vanity of human wishes. But so it 
was that all that had been promised was performed and all that had been looked 
for came to pass, and the citizens of Rochester were justly satisfied with a 
triumph that has had no counterpart in this portion of the state. The anniver- 
sary days were the 9th and loth of June, but the observances really began on 
Sunday, the 8th, with a delivery in most of the churches of discourses per- 
tinent to the occasion — in many cases reminiscent, in others prophetic. In 
the First Presbyterian church, whose society is the oldest in the city, the ser- 
vices were especially noticeable. In the morning Rev. Dr. Tryon Edwards, who 
was installed as pastor of the congregation fifty years ago — and who is now 
settled at Gouverneur, in this state — preached, by request, the same sermon 
which he delivered at his installation, and many of his hearers at this time were 
able to recall the words to which they had listened so long before. The evening 
services were conducted by Rev. Dr. F. De W. Ward, now of Geneseo, whose 
connection with the old church also dated back half a century, for it was then 
that he was there ordained as a missionary to India. 

Monday morning was quiet enough,except as it was occupied by tlie munic- 
ipal committee in the reception of invited guests from abroad and in putting 
the final touches on the decorations with which most of the buildings on all the 
business streets were profusely adorned. As the minute of noon arrived the 
city hall bell gave the intelligence that Rochester's semi-centennial birthday had 
begun; the booming of cannon, with fifty measured notes, answered back the 

The Semi- Centennial Celebration. 175 

stroke, while for the succeeding hour the sweet chimes of St. Peter's church 
gave forth melodious sounds that were not wholly lost amid the diapason of 
the guns or the shrill discord from steam whistles. In the afternoon the liter- 
ary exercises were held, before an audience that filled the large room, to which 
admission was by tickets, given by the committee to all who asked for them. 
The walls were decorated with the flags of all nations, the Stars and Stripes 
occupying the greater space, and. across the ceiling stretched alternate lines of 
red, white and blue bunting. On the platform were seated those who were to 
take part in the proceedings, the general committee, the former mayors now 
living and a large number of the old citizens who were voters in 1834. Soon 
after two o'clock Mayor Parsons stepped to the front of the stage and made a 
short address, beginning thus : — 

" Fellow-citizens : The event that calls us together to-day is one truly memorable. 
Never again in the life history of most, so far as our own city is concerned, will a similar 
occurrence present itself. A half century hence, long after our children shall have as- 
sumed the municipal inheritance we leave them, those who are active participants or 
quiet listeners to-day will have gone the way of all men — gone to join the innumerable 
throng. But this is not the time for sad reflection. Neither do we assemble in a spirit 
of triumph or exultation. We have reason to rejoice, however, and have called in our 
friends to rejoice with us.'' 

Rev. Dr. J. B. Shaw, the venerable pastor of the Brick church, then invoked 
the divine blessing on the proceedings about to take place and gave thanks for 
all the material blessings showered upon the city during its existence and for its 
noble founders, "those conscientious and high-minded men,, from whose ex- 
emplary lives has radiated an influence for good which has been felt through all 
the years dovi^n to the present time." The prayer being ended, the mayor 
read a communication from the town clerk of Rochester, England, containing 
a resolution passed by the council of that city, acknowledging the invitation 
sent by our mayor to theirs to be present at this celebration, regretting his in- 
ability to do so and congratulating our city on its growth and prosperity. 
Frederick A. Whittlesey then offered resolutions, which were adopted by the 
assemblage, expressing gratification over the missive from the ancient corpora- 
tion by the Medway to its youthful namesake, and requesting our mayor to 
transmit to the council of the former place a copy of all the proceedings con- 
nected with this day of jubilee. Telegrams were then read from Frederick 
Douglass, now living in Washington; from Mayor Banks of Albany, and from 
M. H. Rochester, of Cincinnati, conveying their felicitations and expressing 
regret at their unavoidable absence on the occasion. The quartette of St. 
Peter's church, consisting of Mrs. Mandeville, Miss Alexander, Dr. F. A. Man- 
deville and F. M. Bottum, sang Oliver Wendell Holmes's Angel of Peace, with 
the accompaniment of the Fifty-fourth regiment band, the whole music, vocal 
and instrumental, of this piece and others, being under the direction of Albert 

176 History of the City of Rochester. 

Charles E. Fitch was then introduced and gave an extended historical ad- 
dress, from which these extracts may be taken, the last one being his perora- 
tion : — 

" It is a fact not, perhaps, generally known, but exceedingly interesting and deserving 
emphasis, that the chief impulse to the exodus of Colonel Rochester from Maryland 
was his aversion to the institution of human bondage. He could not bear the thought 
of rearing his family amid its demoralising influences. He freed all his slaves, bringing 
the majority of them with him, as hired domestic servants, and, with his household goods, 
set his face toward the north star. Thus Rocliester, which the Chrysostom of the col- 
ored race was afterward to make his home, and from which New York's most philosophic 
statesman was to announce the 'irrepressible conflict,' is, through the resolution of its 
founder, most honorably identified with the revival of anti-slavery sentiment in America. 

Mrs. Abelard Reynolds came to Rochester, a young wife and mother, to share 

in the toils of the frontier settlement, and to rear her family in 'the nurture and admoni- 
tion of the Lord.' What panorama of dissolving woods, of opening thoroughfares, of 
artificial waterways, of iron fingers with friendly clasp of distant communities, of ascend- 
ing walls enshrining peaceful homes or uplifting dome and tower and steeple, of ham- 
mers swinging and wheels revolving, of varied industries unfolding and expanding, of 
hospitals and asylums evoked by the gentle genius of charity, of the confident tread of 
the sons pressing upon the tottering steps of the fathers, has passed before her eyes. 
Mother in Israel ! we greet thee, to-day, with reverence and with love, grateful that 
thou hast been spared to witness all these wonders, and earnestly imploring that, upon 
the rounded cycle of thy hundred years, now so near its consummation, health and peace 

and mercy may descend, in benediction We bid the newer generations 

glory in the warmth and cheer of a newer age. We stand afar off and hail that centen- 
nial hour. We, who are about to die, salute it; and our prayer only is, knowing how, 
in the order of nature we pass away and are forgotten, that some tender hand, searching 
amid the moss-covered entablatures of the past, may find the half-effaced inscriptions, and 
learn that there were men and women who, in 1884, tried honestly, if humbly, to take 
some note of their city's progress, and to transmit it to the coming century worthy, at 
least, of its kindly welcome." 

After the rendition of another selection by the quartette, George Raines de- 
livered the oration, beginning with these words: — 

"The true orator of the hour is the imperial city whose fifty years we celebrate ; at our 
feet lie her rich robes of green, bound round with sheen of placid waters. She points us 
to her open ways thronging with busy life ; her schools for youth crowned with a uni- 
versity curriculum ; her theaters for popular amusement; her clanking machinery; her 
flags of spray fluttering in triumph above tlie conquered waters escaping from brief im- 
prisonment in mill and factory to seek the great lake ; to the princely palaces of the rich ; 
to the thousand homes of toilers in all the arts of life in which fair women and brave 
men dig deep in the bed-work of conscience the foundation of true morality and patriot- 
ism for the generations of the future ; to her tribunals of justice in which the right is 
measured to the people ; to her body of officials, administering a government of liberty 
regulated by law ; to her churches and cathedral, echoing the solemn chant and te detim 
of the religion of humain charity and of the holiness of sacrifice. Let church bells chime 
and cannon boom the universal joy. Proud in every fiber of her achievements of the 
past, which are hostages to the future, we have to hide no traditional disgrace in her 

'- -*,-^, 

.^a ' fi<v. 


1784- — 1884. 

The Semi-Centennial Celebration. 177 

civic history, either in court or camp or municipal council. We exalt the grand strains 
of our rejoicing in honor at once of all the generations that have poured their labors of 
love into our victory in the great rivalries of cities.'' 

Tennyson's Golden Year having been sung, Rev. Joseph A. Ely recited a 
poem, of which the following are the first two and the last two stanzas : — 
"Out of the forest sprung, 
City of ours ! 
Fondly thou dwell'st among 
Trees that with thee were young; 
Now be thy praises sung. 
City of flowers ! 

" O'er thee no castle walls 
Proudly look down ; 
No mythic glory falls, 
No storied past enthralls, 
Marble nor bronze recalls 
Ancient renown. 

" Lived their loved East again 

Here in the west. 
Borne by heroic men 
Through river, lake and glen. 
Mid the wild forest, then. 

Seeking its rest. 

" Long may the city's fame 
Honor their worth, 
Long, where the fathers came, 
Children their praise proclaim. 
Bearing a noble name 

Wide through the earth." 
A festival hymn, with music composed for the occasion by Prof Sartori, 
was then given, after which the mayor introduced, successively. Mayor Low, 
of Brooklyn, and Mayor Smith, of Philadelphia, both of whom made short ad- 
dresses of congratulation, which were received with much applause by the audi- 
ence, after which the time honored America was sung by the audience, accom- 
panying the band, and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. Dr. H. C. Riggs, 
of St. Peter's church. A sunset salute of fifty guns closed the day, and in the 
evening an exhibition of fireworks was given at the driving-park, near Lake 
avenue, where a crowd of nearly 30,000 people witnessed the finest display of 
that kind ever beheld here. 

Tuesday, the lOth, was ushered in by a sunrise salute, and from that time 
the city was in a state of more joyful confusion than even on the preceding 
day. The streets were filled at an early hour with a throng of persons, busy 
in their idlene-ss, intent on looking at the holiday apparel of the buildings, and 
watching with interest the movements of each other. Many of these were resi- 

178 History of the City of Rochester. 

dent citizens, but a great proportion were from other places, and the trains all 
through the morning brought still larger numbers of strangers than had arrived 
the day before. Between nine and ten o'clock came, in a special car. Governor 
Cleveland and most of the officers of his staff, accompanied by Mayor Edson, 
of New York, who had gone up to Albany the night before, to come on with 
the others. The guests were met at the depot by Mayor Parsons and the 
reception committee, besides a detachment of police, and a large military 
escort, under the command of Colonel F. A. Schceffel, comprising the Eighth 
Separate company, with the Fifty-fourth regiment band ; the Powers Rifles, 
with drum corps ; the Lincoln Guards, with the Lincoln band ; the Greenleaf 
Guards and the Flower City Zouaves. The line being formed, the party were 
taken to the Powers Hotel, in the rotunda of which a reception was held. 
Mayor Parsons delivering an address of welcome, to which the governor 
responded ; after which Mayor Edson and Mayor Low made brief acknowl- 
edgments. The noonday salute of fifty giins gave the signal for all the stores 
to close their doors, a measure that required no self-denial, for at the very time 
thousands of persons were occupying all the steps and stairways and windows 
on the route of the procession that was to be, and thousands more were flock- 
ing down to fill up any space not already taken. Patience was needed, but 
good nature was paramount over all, and the dense throng on "the four cor- 
ners" parted without a murmur for the carriages containing Governor Cleve- 
land and the other distinguished visitors to pass through to Church street, re- 
view the public school children assembled there, and return to the lofty platform 
which had been erected on West Main street, in front of the court-house, for 
their accommodation and that of all, pioneers and others, who had been invited 
to seats upon it. This was done after the parade had really begun, for the line 
of march was formed at the liberty pole, at the intersection of East Main street 
and East avenue, and, though it began to move soon after two o'clock, it was 
three before the head of the column had crossed the river by the Central avenue 
bridge, and had come abreast of the reviewing-stand. In the van was the 
police force — those in front mounted, the others on foot — then came the 
marshal of the day, General John A. Reynolds, with a full staff of aids and 
deputies ; then the veteran military organisations, then the citizen soldiery of 
the present day — with a company of Buffalo Cadets between the lines of their 
hosts, the Rochester Cadets — then the lodges of Odd Fellows, followed by the 
uniformed Catholic Societies, the German societies of various kinds, and the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen, succeeded by a number of organisations, 
social, industrial and otherwise, and then the Rochester fire department, after 
which came an almost endless array of wagons representing the different trades 
and industries. The procession took more than two hours to pass the stand, 
which will give a better idea of its length than any enumeration can — the 
more so as its passage was continuous, for nothing occurred to obstruct it, as 

The City Government. 179 

ropes were stretched across the intersection of Main street, from Elizabeth to 
Lancaster, and all vehicles were at an early hour excluded from the streets 
along the line of march. It was, as the committee had determined it should be, 
the grandest parade ever seen in this section of the state. 

At six o'clock the banquet was served at the Powers Hotel, where more than 
one hundred were seated. After the dinner the following toasts, with appro- 
priate elaboration, were' proposed by Mayor Parsons, and were responded to by 
those whose names are attached, in each case: "The state of New York," 
Governor Cleveland; "the United States," Alfred Ely; "the city of Roches- 
ter," General A. W. Riley; "our sister cities," Mayor Edsori, of New York; 
"Pennsylvania," Mayor Smith, of Philadelphia ; "our educational institutions," 
President Anderson; "the clergy," Bishop McQuaid ; "the judiciary," Judge 
Macomber; "the bar," W. F. Cogswell; "the medical profession," Dr. E. M, 
Moore; "the press," William Purcell ; "municipal government," Mayor Low, 
of Brooklyn ; "our Dominion visitors," Mayor Boswell, of Toronto ; "bur labor 
interests," William N. Sage; "the horticulture and floriculture of Rochester," 
Patrick Barry; "our labor interests" (to this there was no response, as H. H. 
Cale, who had been designated, was absent); "our veterans," Colonel H. S. 
Greenleaf; "the ladies," J. Breck Perkins (by letter). Judge Morgan then 
introduced Oronoyetekha — the present chief of the Mohawks, from Canada, 
and of the family of Joseph Brandt, the old war sachem of the tribe — who 
.spoke in a manner that was the natural result of the finished education which 
he had received in England. Another salute at sunset, with a general illumina- 
tion of business blocks and houses, and a street display of miscellaneous fire- 
works in the evening, many of which were of a high order, closed, with satis- 
faction to all — participants, hearers and spectators — the semi-centennial 
celebration of Rochester. 



The Present Officers — The Common Council — The Board of Education — The City Deljt — 
The Tax Levy for the Present Year — The Municipal Court — The Police Hoard — The E:xecutive 
Hoard — The County Officers — The United States Officials. 

THE municipal year of this city begins on the first Monday of April. The 
following persons now constitute the government: Mayor, Cornelius R. 
Parsons; treasurer, Ambrose McGlachlin; police justice, Albert G. Wheeler; 
city attorney, John N. Beckley; judges of the Municipal court, Thomas E. 

i8o History OF THE City OF Rochester. 

White, George E. Warner; city clerk, Peter Sheridan ; city surveyor, Oscar 
H. Peacock; city messenger, Frank J. Irwin; overseer of the poor, John Lutes; 
city sealer, Stephen Rauber; fire marshal, Arthur McCormick; street superin- 
tendent, Gilbert H. Reynolds; assessors — John Gorton, William Mahar, Val- 
entine Fleckenstein; executive board — George W. Aldridge, Byron Holley, 
Samuel B. Williams; police commissioners — C. R. Parsons (ex officio), Fred- 
erick Zimmer, Joseph W. Rosenthal; board of health — C. R. Parsons [ex 
officio), J. W. Martin, E. B. Chace, Timothy Derick, Dr. F. B. Gallery, Dr. E. 
M. Moore,, J. O. Howard. Dr. J. J. A. Burke is health officer 

The common council is made up as follows: First ward, Wm. H. Tracy; 
second ward, Martin Barron; third ward, Amon Bronson; fourth ward, Charles 
Watson; fifth ward, Henry Kohlmetz; sixth ward, Elias Strouss; seventh 
ward, Charles A. Jeffords; eighth ward, John H. Foley; ninth ward, F. S. 
Upton; tenth ward, James M. Pitkin; eleventh ward, Peter G. Siener; twelfth 
ward, Henry Rice; thirteenth ward. Christian Stein; fourteenth ward, Jag. M. 
Aikenhead; fifteenth ward, J. Miller Kelly ; sixteenth ward, John B. Simmel- 
ink. J. Miller Kelly is president of the board. 

The board of education is as follows: First ward, J. E. Durand; second, 
J. O. Howard; third, Thomas McMillan; fourth, H. A. Kingsley; fifth, C. S. 
Cook; sixth, F. M. Thrasher; seventh, Milton Noyes; eighth, T. A. Ray- 
mond; ninth, W. J. McKelvey; tenth, C. S Ellis; eleventh, Henry Klein- 
dienst; twelfth, T. H, Maguire; thirteenth, F. C. Loebs; fourteenth, August 
Kimel; fifteenth, J. P. Rickard; sixteenth, F. H. Vick. C. S. Ellis is presi- 
dent of the board. S. A. Ellis is superintendent of schools. 

The debt of the city in June, 1884, with the items of the various loans, is 
as follows : — 

Genesee Valley railroad loan re-issue $144,000 00 

R. N. & P. R. R. loan 1 50,000 00 

R. & S. L. R. R. loan 600,000 00 

Arsenal site loan 8,000 00 

Floating debt loan . 21 0,000 00 

City Hall Commissioners loan 33S>ooo 00 

Free academy building loan 1 25,000 00 

Water works loan _ _ 3,182,000 00 

Funding loan 1875 410,00000 

Number 5 school loan 20,000 00 

Consolidated loan 100,000 00 

$5,284,000 00 
The Genesee Valley railroad loan is provided for by excess of receipts from 

lease to the N. Y., L. E. and W. R. R. after interest on the loan is paid. 

The arsenal site loan is provided for by $1,500 received annually from the 

county of Monroe, for rent of the arsenal. 

The Tax Levy for 1884-85. 181 

The tax levy for 1884-85 is as follows: — 

For payment of notes authorised by the common council to supply deficiencies in 
the following funds : — 

Water pipe fund $75,000 00 

City property fund 8,000 00 

Park fund 2,000 00 

Erroneous assessments. 633 58 

Contingent fund 42,000 00 

Highway fund 51,000 00 

Health fund 3>5°o 00 

Police fund 21 ,000 00 

Lamj) fund 22,500 00 

Fire department fund 1 7,000 00 

$242,633 58 

For deficiency in estimate in tax levy of 1883-84 of the 
amount to be received from the executive board for surplus 
receipts over expenditures from water works _ 40 000 00 

For interest on the bonded debt as follows : — 

At seven per cent, for one year_ _ $352,300 00 

At four per cent, for one year 4,000 00 

$356,3°° °° 
Less amount to be paid in by executive board for 
surplus receipts over expenditures from water 

works 85,000 00 

271,300 00 

For payment of 15 bonds Free academy site loan 

due January ist, 1884, at $iooo each 15,000 00 

For payment of 50 bonds deficiency loan due 

January ist, 1884 _ ' 50,00000 

Less amount of unpaid taxes prior to 1870, col- 
lected since the issue of said loan and placed 

to its credit. — 25,939 75 24,060 25 

For erroneous assessments 4,442 60 

For local assessments on city property 6,477 75 

For lighting city 75,°°° 00 

For sup))ort of poor 20,000 00 

For support of police 75,°°° 00 

For contingent expenses 60,000 00 

For board of health, including collecting gar- 
bage 1 2,000 00 

For city property 4,000 00 

For parks 2,500 00 

For executive board, as per requisition 165,200 60 

For support of common schools 22 6,399 °7 

Total $1,244,013 25 

The Municipal court was organised in 1876, taking the place of the jus- 
tices' courts which had formerly existed here-. It is a court of civil jurisdic- 

1 82 History of the City of Rochester. 

tion, for the trial of actions to the extent of $500. The first judges were 
John W. Deuel and George W. Sill, both appointed by Governor Tilden — the 
former for five years, the latter for six. In 1881 George E. Warner was 
elected to succeed Judge Deuel, and in 1882 Thomas E. White was chosen to 
succeed Judge Sill. ,. The term is six years; the offices are in the city hall 

The following list of the several police boards since the present law went 
into effect, in July, 1865, has been furnished by B. F. Enos, the clerk of the 
board : — 

1865. — D. D. T. Moore, mayor; Henry -S. Hebard, Jacob Howe, sr., 

1866. — S. W. D. Moore, mayor; H. S. Hebard, Jacob Howe, sr., com- 

1867-68. — Henry L. Fish, mayor; H. S. Hebard, Jacob Howe, sr., com- 

1869. — Edward M. Smith, mayor; H. S. Hebard, George G. Cooper, 

1870. — John Lutes, mayor; H. S. Hebard, George G. Cooper, commis- 
sioners. H. S. Hebard acted as secretary to the board to. this date. 

1 87 1. — Charles W. Briggs, mayor; H. S. Hebard, George G. Cooper, 
commissioners. B. Frank Enos, clerk. 

1872. — A. Carter Wilder, mayor; H. S. Hebard, G. G. Cooper, commis- 
,sioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1873. — A. Carter Wilder, mayor; G. G. Cooper, Fred. Zimmer, com- 
missioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1874-75. — George G. Clarkson, mayor; G. G. Cooper, Fred. Zimmer, 
commissioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1876. — Cornelius R. Parsons, mayor; G. G. Cooper, Fred. Zimmer, com- 
missioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1877—79 — C. R. Parsons, mayor; Fred. Zimmer, Henry C. Daniels, com- 
missioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1880-84 — C. R. Parsons, mayor; Fred. Zimmer, Jacob Howe, jr., com- 
missioners. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

Thomas J. Neville, clerk of the executive board, has kindly prepared the fol- 
lowing "history of the rise, power and progress of the commission of public works, 
the executive board, the water commission, and the water-works and fire 
board " :— 

"The board of commissioners of public works was created by an act of the legisla- 
ture passed May 20th, 1872. The members of this board were made commissioners of 
highways and authorised to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties belonging 
to such commissioners in all the streets, lanes, parks, etc., of the city of Rochester. The 
authority to pass ordinances for public improvements, let contracts for, supervise the con- 
struction of, and confirm assessment rolls of, such improvements was also given to said 

The Board of Commissioners of Public Works. 183 

commissioners, which power was formerly vested in the common council. A. Carter 
Wilder, mayor, appointed Martin Briggs, Wm. Purcell, George H. Thompson, Herman 
Mutschler and Daniel Warner commissioners of public works on May 28th, 1872. In 
1873 Henry S. Hebard was appointed commissioner in place of Herman Mutschler, and 
Thomas J. Neville in place of William Purcell resigned, and in 1874 Jonathan E. Pier- 
pont, in place of Henry S. Hebard, whose term of office had expired, and Ambrose Cram 
in place of Daniel Warner resigned. In March, 1876, by an act of the legislature, the 
executive board was created, consisting of six members, three of whom were elected by 
the people and three were appointed by the mayor. The three members elected were 
Thomas J. Neville, Philip J. Meyer and V. Fleckenstein for the terms of one, two and 
three years repectively, and Henry L. Fish, Ambrose Cram and C. C. Woodworth were 
appointed for corresponding terms of office. On the executive board was conferred all 
the power exercised by the commissioners of public works,, except the authority to pass 
ordinances and confirm assessment rolls, and in addition thereto the control and man- 
agement of the fire and water works department was conferred upon them. In the 
chapter on the water works of Rochester will be found a sketch of the water board. In 
April, 1879, the executive board was bisected and the management of the street depart- 
ment was placed in a board of three members, viz., F. P. Kavanaugh and Ezra Jones 
elected and F. C. Lauer appointed, and the water works and fire department in the 
charge of a board of two members, V. Fleckenstein and C. C. Woodworth, which was 
known as the 'water works and fire board.' In 1880 the executive board and water 
works and fire board were united and a board constituted of three members was organ- 
ised. The law provided that members be elected by the people for one, two and three 
years. This board is now existing and has the care and management of the water works, 
fire and street department of the city of Rochester." 

It may be as well to give, in this connection, the names of the county offi- 
cers now serving. The city members of the board of supervisors are given in 
the following chapter. The county clerk is Henry D. McNaughton ; county 
treasurer, Alexander McVean ; district-attorney, Joseph W. Taylor ; sheriff, 
Francis A. Schceffel ; county judge, John S. Morgan ; special county judge, 
Thomas Raines ; surrogate, Joseph A. Adlington ; superintendent of the poor, 
George E. McGonegal ; coroners^Dr. Porter Farley, Daniel A. Sharpe. 

Of the United States officials, the postmaster is Daniel T. Hunt, the col- 
lector of the port is Charles E. Morris and the collector of internal revenue is 
Henry S. Pierce. 

1 84 History of the City of Rochester. 



The Village Trustees — The Mayors — The Boards of Aldermen — The City Treasurers — The Po- 
lice Justices — The City Supervisors — The Sheriffs — The County Clerks — The County Treasurers — 
The State Senators — The Members of Assembly — The Members of Congress. 

THE names of the trustees of the village, chosen at its incorporation in 1817, 
have been given above, and those elected in succeeding years are as fol- 
lows : — 

1818. — Francis Brown, Daniel Mack, Everard Peck, Isaac Colvin, Ira 
West. Moses Chapin, clerk ; Frederick F. Backus, treasurer. 

1 8 19. — No election was held, the old trustees continuing in office. 

1820. — Matthew Brown, jr., Moses Chapin, William Cobb, Charles J. Hill, 
Elisha Taylor. Moses Chapin, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1 82 1. — M. Brown, jr., Moses Chapin, Warham Whitney, C. J. Hill, 
Elisha Taylor. M. Chapin, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1822. — M. Brown, jr., president; R. Bender, C. J. Hill, S. Melancton 
Smith, W. Whitney. H. R. Bender, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1823. — M. Brown, jr., president; Jacob Graves, W. P. Sherman, Abner 
Wakelee, S. M. Smith. Rufus Beach, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1824. — John W. Strong, president; W. Whitney, Anson Coleman, Jona- 
than Packard, Ashbel W. Riley. R. Beach, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1825. — M. Brown, jr., president; Phelps Smith, Frederick Starr, William 
Rathbun, Gilbert Evernghim. R. Beach, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer. 

1826. — During this year and the next seven one trustee was elected from 
■each of the five wards into which the village had been divided, the wards being 

represented in the order in which the trustees are named, as follows : WiU'am 
Brewster, M. Brown, jr. (president), Vincent Mathews, John Mastick, Giles 
Boulton. Rufus Beach, clerk ; F. F. Backus, treasurer ; Raphael Beach, collec- 

1827. — Frederick Whittlesey, Ezra M. Parsons, Jonathan Child, Elisha 
Johnson (president), A. V. T. Leavitt. R. Beach, clerk; John B. Elwood, 
treasurer; Stephen Symonds, collector. 

1828. — Ebenezer Ely, E. M. Parsons, Ephraim Moore, E. Johnson (presi- 
dent), Nathaniel Rossiter. F. Whittlesey, clerk; F. F. Backus, treasurer; D. 
D. Hatch, collector. 

1829. — John Haywood, S. S. Alcott, Robert L. McCollum, E. Johnson 
(president), William H. Ward. Hestor L. Stevens, clerk ; Seth Saxton, treas- 
urer; Robert H. Stevens, collector. 

1830. — William Pease, Joseph Medbery (president), Jonathan Child, Adon- 
ijah Green, Harmon Bissell. Samuel L. Selden and Isaac R. Elwood, clerks ; 
S. Saxton, treasurer; A. Newton, collector. 

City Civil List. 185 

183 1. — Rufus Meech, M. Brown, jr., Jacob Thorn, Harvey Humphrey, N. 
Rossiter (president). A. W. Stowe, clerk ; Ebenezer Ely, treasurer ; Lester 
Beardslee, collector. 

1832. — S. L. Selden, William Rathbun, J. Thorn (president), Daniel 
Tinker, Orrin E. Gibbs. A. W. Stowe, clerk ; Eben. Ely, treasurer ; Seth 
Simmons, -collector. 

^^33' — William E. Lathrop, Fletcher M. Haight (president), E. F. Marsh- 
all, D. Tinker, Nathaniel Draper. I. R. Elwood, clerk ;' Ebenezer Watts, treas- 
urer ; James Caldwell, collector. That ends the village government, for in 
1834 Rochester was incorporated as a city.' 

Mayors. — The first mayor chosen was Jonathan Child. His successors in 
office are as follows: 1835 and 1836, Jacob Gould; 1837, A. M. Schermer- 
horn and Thomas Kempshall ; 1838, Elisha Johnson ; 1839, Thomas H. Roch- 
ester ; 1840, Samuel G. Andrews; 1841, Elijah F. Smith; 1842, Charles J.. 
Hill; 1843, Isaac Hills; 1844, John Allen ; 1845 and 1846, William Pitkin.; 
1847, John B. Elwood; 1848, Joseph Field; 1849, Levi A. Ward; 1850, 
Samuel Richardson; 185 1, Nicholas E. Paine; 1852, Hamlin Stilwell ; 1853, 
John Williams; 1854, Maltby Strong; 1855, Charles J. Hayden ; 1856, Sam- 
uel G. Andrews; 1857, Rufus Keeler; 1858, Charles H. Clark; 1859, Samuel 
W. D. Moore; i860, Hamlet D. Scrantom ; 1861, John C. Nash; 1862, Mich- 
ael Filon ; 1863, Nehemiah C. Bradstreet; 1864, James Brackett ; 1865, Daniel 
D. T. Moore; 1866, S. W. D. Moore; 1867 and 1868, Henry L. Fish ; 1869, 
Edward M. Smith; 1870, John Lutes; 1871, Charles W. Briggs ; 1872-73, 
A. Carter Wilder ; 1874-75, George G. Clarkson ; 1876-77,1878-79,1880- 
81, 1882-83, and 1884-85, Cornelius R. Parsons. 

Aldermen.-^— The following is a list of the members of. the common council 
from the incorporation of the city to the present time, the second name given 
after each ward being that of the assistant alderman during the first four years, 
after which two full aldermen were chosen from each ward till 1877, when the 
representation was confined to one member : 

1834. — First ward, Lewis Brooks, John Jones; second ward, Thomas 
Kempshall, Elijah F. Smith ; third ward, Frederick F. Backus, Jacob Thorn ; 
fourth ward, A. W. Riley, Lansing B. Swaii ; fifth ward, Jacob Graves, Henry 
Kennedy. John C. Nash, clerk. 

1835. — First ward, Hestor L. Stevens, William E. Lathrop; second ward, 
Matthew. Brown, Hiram Blanchard ; third ward, James Seymour, ErastuS' 
Cook ; fourth ward, Joseph Halsey, Nathaniel Bingham ; fifth ward, I. R. El- 
wood, Butler Bardwell. Ariel Wentworth, clerk. 

1836. — First ward, Alex. S. Alexander, John Haywood; second ward, 
Warham Whitney, Joseph AUeyn ; third ward, Joseph Strong, Jonathan Pack- 
ard ; fourth ward, Manley G. Woodbury, Mitchel Loder ; fifth ward, William 
H. Ward, David Scoville. P. G. Buchan, clerk. 

1 86 History of the City of Rochester. 

1837. — First ward, H. L. Stevens, Kilian H, Van Rensselaer; second ward, 
S. H. Packard. W. Barron Williams ; third ward, Joseph Strong, John Hawks ; 
fourth ward, M. G. Woodbury, Schuyler Moses; fifth ward, L. C. Faulkner, 
James Williams. J. W. Gilbert, clerk. 

1838. — First ward, Abelard Reynolds, Stephen Charles; second ward, 
John Allen, Isaac F. Mack ; third ward, Joseph Strong, John Hawks ; fourth 
ward, Elias Pond, Matthew G. Warner ; fifth ward, Samuel G. Andrews, Orrin 
E. Gibbs. I. R. Elwood, clerk. 

1839. — First ward, Abelard Reynolds, Stephen Charles; second ward, 
John Allen, George Arnold ; third ward, John C. Stevens, E. D. Smith ; fourth 
ward, Elias Pond, S. W. D. Moore; fifth ward, S. G. Andrews, William Pit- 
kin. T. B. Hamilton and W. R. Montgomery, clerks. 

1 840. — First ward, Stephen Charles, Henry Witbeck ; second ward, George 
Arnold, I. F. Mack ; third ward, E. D. Smith, Henry Cady ; fourth ward, S. 
W. D. Moore, Porter Taylor; fifth ward, D. R. Barton, William J. Southerin. 
W. R. Montgomery, clerk. 

1841. — First ward, Henry Witbeck, John.son I: Robins; second ward, I. F. 
Mack, Lewis Selye ; third ward, Henry Cady, Jo.seph Field; fourth ward, 
Porter Taylor, William W. Howell ; fifth ward, W. J. Southerin, Aaron lirick- 
son. W. R. Montgomery, clerk. 

1 842. — First ward, J. I. Robins, Hamlin Stilwell ; second ward, Lewis 
Selye, John Williams; third ward, Joseph Field, Henry Campbell; fourth ward, 
W. W. Howell, George B. Benjamin ; fifth ward, Aaron Erickson, N. B. Nor- 
throp. J. A. Eastman, clerk. 

1843. — -First ward, H. Stilwell, S. Richardson; second ward, J. Williams, 
L. Selye ; third ward, H, Campbell, Eleazar Conkey ; fourth ward, G. B. Benja- 
min, Moses B. Seward ; fifth ward; N. B. Northrop, Joshua Conkey. A. S. 
Beers, clerk. 

1844. — First ward, S. Richardson, Alfred Hubbell; second ward, L. 
Selye, J. Williams; third ward, E. Conkey, Simon Traver; fourth ward, M. 
B. Seward, Thomas Kempshall ; fifth ward, J. Conkey, Rufus Keeler. A. S. 
Beers, clerk. 

1845. — First ward, A. Hubbell, Abram Van Slyck; second ward. Pardon 
D. Wright, Seth C. Jones ; third ward, S. Traver, Everard Peck ; fourth ward, 
T. Kempshall, John H. Babcock ; fifth ward, Joseph Cochrane, Jared Newell ; 
sixth ward, L. A. Ward, George Keeney ; seventh ward, Wm I. Hanford, Jer- 
emiah Hildreth ; eighth ward, John Briggs, Edwin Scrantom ; ninth ward, John 
Fisk, Charles B. Coleman. Chauncey Nash, clerk. 

1846. — First ward. A- Van Slyck, A. Hubbell; second ward, S. C. Jones, 
Samuel F. Witherspoon ; third ward, E. Peck, Charles Hendrix ; Fourth ward, 
J. H. Babcock, Theodore B. Hamilton ; fifth ward, Jared Newell, Henry Fox ; 
sixth ward, Charles L. Pardee, L. A. Ward ; seventh ward, J. Hildreth, William 

> L 



City Civil List. 187 

G. Russell ; eighth ward, E. Scrantom, Samuel W. D. Moore ; ninth ward, 
George J. Whitney, Charles Robinson. Chauncey Nash and James S. Tryon, 

1847. — First ward, A. Hubbell, S. Richardson ; second ward, S. F. Wither- 
spoon, John Disbrow ; third ward, C. Hendrix, James M. Fish ; fourth ward, 
T. B. Hamilton, Joseph Hall; fifth ward, H. Fox, Nathan H. Blossom; sixth 
ward, L. A. Ward, John Rees ; seventh ward, W. G. Russell, L. Ward Smith ; 
eighth ward, S. W. D. Moore, Hatfield Halsted ; ninth ward, C. Robinson, 
James Gallery. J. S. Tryon, cleric. 

1848. — r'irst ward, S. Richardson, H. Scrantom; second ward, J. Dis- 
brow, ICz.ra Jones; third ward, J. M. Fish, Wm. Churchill; fourth ward, Joseph 
Hall, John L. Fish; fifth ward, N. H. Blossom, Isaac Van Kuren; sixth ward, 
Philander Davis, J. S. Benton; seventh ward, L. W. Smith, John Greig; eighth 
ward, H. Halsted, S. W. D. Moore; ninth ward, J. Gallery, Sebastian Zeug. 
H. L. Winants, clerk. 

1849. — First ward, H. Scrantom, John Dawley; second ward, Ezra Jones, 
S. B. Stoddard; third ward, Wm. Churchill, J. S. Caldwell; fourth ward, J. L. 
Fish, G. S. Copeland; fifth ward, I. Van Kuren, N. B. Northrop; sixth ward, 
Phil. Davis, Samuel P. Allen; seventh ward, John Greig, George T. Frost; 
eighth ward, S. W. D. Moore, E. S. Boughton; ninth ward, Sebastian Zeug, 
Peter A. Smith. Newell A. Stone, clerk. 

1850. — First ward, J. Dawley, William F. Holmes; second ward, W. H. 
Wait, Martin Briggs; third ward, J. S. Caldwell, L. R. Jerome; fourth ward, 
G. S. Copeland, T. T. Morse; fifth ward, N. B. Northrop, Joshua Conkey; 
sixth ward, Phil. Davis, C. A. Jones; seventh ward, G. T. Frost, Hiram Ban- 
ker; eighth ward, E. S. Boughton, Henry L. Fish; ninth ward, Peter A. 
Smith, Henry Suggett. J. N. Drummond, clerk. 

185 1. — Plrst ward, Wm. F. Holmes, Benjamin M. Baker; second ward, 
Martin Briggs, W. H. Wait; third ward, L. R. Jerome, Amon Bronson ; fourth 
ward, T. T. Morse, Schuyler Moses; fifth ward, Joshua Conkey, J. B. Robert- 
son; sixth ward, C. A. Jones, Thomas Parsons; seventh ward, Hiram Banker, 
J. H. Babcock ; eighth ward, H. L. Fish, H. Seymour ; ninth ward, John Fisk, 
Lysander Farrar. E. B. Shepardson, clerk. 

1852. — First ward, B. M. Baker, Wm. F. Holmes; second ward, W. H. 
Wait, B. F. Gilkeson ; third ward, Amon Bronson, John M. French ; fourth 
ward, S. Moses, George Shelton ; fifth ward, J. B. Robertson, George B. Red- 
field ; sixth ward, T. Parsons, Michael Filon ; seventh ward, J. H. Babcock, 
Edward M. Smith ; eighth ward, H. Seymour, George G. Munger ; ninth 
ward, L. P^arrar, Edgar Belden. Washington Gibbons, clerk. 

1853. — First ward, W. F. Holmes, Ambrose Cram; second ward, B. F. 
Gilkeson, J. C. Marsh ; third ward, J. M. French, Amon Bronson ; fourth 
ward, G. Shelton, J. C. Chumasero; fifth ward, G. B. Redfield, M. Douglass; 


1 88 History of the City of Rochester. 

sixth ward, M. Filon, Charles H. Clark ; seventh ward, E. M. Smith, P. P. 
Thayer ; eighth ward, G. G. Munger, Daniel D. Lynch ; ninth ward, E. Bel- 
den, B. Schoeffel ; tenth ward, Thomas Parsons. W. Gibbons, clerk. 

1854. — First ward, A. Cram, Johnson I. Robins ; second ward, J. C. Marsh, 
A. J. Harlow ; third ward, A. Bronson, William Breck ; fourth ward, J. C. 
Chumasero, George Shelton ; fifth ward, M. Douglass, E. K. Warren ; sixth 
ward, C. H. Clark, Michael Filon ; seventh ward, P. P. Thayer, Stephen 
Charles; eighth ward, D. D. Lynch, William H. Moore; ninth ward, B. 
Schoeffel, J. Hilton ; tenth ward, T. Parsons, John Quin. W. Gibbons, clerk. 

1855. — First ward, J. I. Robins, Edwin Pancost; second ward, A.J. 
Harlow, Martin Briggs ; third ward, W. Breck, Thos. C. Montgomery ; 
fourth ward, G. Shelton, J. M. Winslow ; fifth ward, E. K. Warren, M. Doug- 
glass ; sixth ward, M. Filon, C. H. Clark ; seventh ward, S. Charles, E. W. 
Sabin ; eighth ward, W. H. Moore, J. B. Bennett ; ninth ward, J. Hilton, 
Louis Bauer ; tenth ward, J. Quin, John E. Morey. W. Gibbons, clerk. 

1856. — First ward, U. C. Edgerton, W. S. Thompson; second ward, Mar- 
tin Briggs, G. W. .Parsons; third ward, T. C. Montgomery, Adolphus Morse ; 
fourth ward, J. M. Winslow, John T. Lacy ; fifth ward, M. Douglass, M. Mc- 
Donald ; sixth ward, C. H. Clark, George G. Cooper ; seventh ward, E. W. 
Sabin, Chauncey Perry; eighth ward, J. B. Bennett, H. L. Fish; ninth ward, 
L. Bauer, Lewis Selye ; tenth ward, J. E. Morey, C. Dutton. C. N. Simmons, 

1857. — First ward, W. S. Thompson, Jacob Howe; second ward, G. W. 
Parsons, Heman Loomis ; third ward, A. Morse, A. G. Wheeler; fourth ward, 
J. T. Lacy, H. S. Hebard ; fifth ward, M. McDonald, P. M. Bromley ; sixth 
ward, G. G. Cooper, J. Schutte ; seventh ward, C. Perry, P. Cunningham ; 
eighth ward, H. L. Fish, Obed M. Rice ; ninth ward, L. Selye, John Lutes ; 
tenth ward, C. Dutton, Thomas Parsons. C. N. Simmons, clerk. 

1858. — First ward, Jacob Howe, W. Mudgett, jr. ; second ward, Heman 
Loomis, G. W. Perry; third ward, A. G. Wheeler, W. A. Reynolds; fourth 
ward, H. S. Hebard, G. W. Lewis ; fifth ward, P. M. Bromley, L. B. Twitch- 
ell ; sixth ward, J. Schutte, D. W. Perry ; seventh ward, P. Cunningham, H. 
Billinghurst; eighth ward, O. M. Rice, Henry B. Knapp ; ninth ward, John 
Lutes, L. Selye ; tenth ward, Thomas Parsons, H. S. Fairchild ; eleventh ward, 
J. W. Phillips, L. Bauer. C. N. Simmons, clerk. 

1859. — First ward, W. Mudgett, jr. ; W. F. Holmes; .second ward, G. W. 
Perry, Benjamin Butler; third ward, W. A. Reynolds, William Hollister ; 
fourth ward, G. W. Lewis, H. S. Hebard ; fifth ward, L. B. Twitchell, N. C. 
Bradstreet ; sixth ward, D. W. Perry, John C. Nash ; seventh ward, Henry G. 
Moore, Aaron Erickson ; eighth ward, H. B. Knapp, N. A. Stone ; ninth ward, 
L. Selye, John Lutes ; tenth ward, H. S. Fairchild, G. Shelton ; eleventh ward, 
L. Bauer, J. C- Mason ; twelfth ward, W. T. Gushing, H. Billinghurst. F. S. 
Rew, clerk. 

City Civil List. 189 

i860. — First ward, W. F. Holmes, James Brackett ; second ward, B. But- 
ler, D. A. Woodbury ; third ward, W. HoUister, Eben N. Buell ; fourth ward, 
H. S. Hebard, I. S. Waring; fifth ward, N. C. Bradstreet, Alexander Long- 
muir ; sixth ward, Alonzo Stearns, Gottlieb Goetzman ; seventh ward, A. Er- 
ickson, H. G. Moore ; eighth ward, N. A. Stone, Levi Palmer ; ninth ward, J. 
Lutes, O. L. Angevine ; tenth ward, G. Shelton, Frederick Vose ; eleventh 
ward, J. C. Mason, Christian Schaefifer ; twelfth ward, H. Billinghurst, Patrick 
Barry. F. S. Rew, clerk. 

1 86 1. — First ward, J. Brackett, W. F. Holmes; second ward, D. A. Wood- 
bury, B. Butler; third ward, E. N. Buell, John H. Brewster; fourth ward, I. 
S. Waring, H. S. Hebard ; fifth ward, A. Longmuir, N. C. Bradstreet ; sixth 
ward, G. Goetzman, Charles H. Williams ; seventh ward, H. G. Moore, Jason 
W. Seward ; eighth ward, L. Palmer, Daniel Warner ; ninth ward, O. L. Ange- 
vine, M. C. Mordoff; tenth ward, F. Vose, S. B. Raymond ; eleventh ward, C. 
Schaeffer, John Cody ; twelfth ward, P. Barry, George N. Hotchkin. N. A. 
Stone, clerk. 

1862. — First ward, W. F. Holmes, Luther C. Spencer; second ward, B. 
Butler, George Darling; third ward, J. H. Brewster, E. N. Buell; fourth ward, 
H. S. Hebard, C. M. St. John ; fifth ward, N. C. Bradstreet, P. M. Bromley ; 
sixth ward, C. H. Williams, Joseph Hoffman ; seventh ward, J. W. Seward, H. 
G. Moore ; eighth ward, D. Warner, H. L. Fish ; ninth ward, M. C. Mordoff, 
Horace A. Palmer; tenth ward, S. B. Raymond, Louis Ernst; eleventh ward, 
John Cody, G. A. Sidler ; twelfth ward, G. N. Hotchkin, Henry Hebing. C. 
N. Simmons, clerk. 

1863. — First ward, L. C. Spencer, Ambrose Cram; second ward, G. Dar- 
ling, William C. Rowley ; third ward, E. N. Buell, Daniel D. T. Moore ; fourth 
ward, C. M. St. John, Wallace Darrow ; fifth ward, P. M. Bromley, E. K. War- 
ren ; sixth ward, J. Hoffman, James O'Maley; seventh ward, H. G. Moore, 
James Upton; eighth ward, H. L. Fish, D. Warner; ninth ward, H. A. Pal- 
mer, M. C. Mordoff; tenth ward, L. Ernst, Alonzo Chapman ; eleventh ward, 
G. A. Sidler, Thomas M. Flynn ; twelfth ward, H. Hebing, Hamilton McQuat- 
ters. C. N. Simmons, clerk. 

1864. — First ward, A. Cram, L. C. Spencer; second ward, W. C. Row- 
ley, S. A. Hodgeman ; third ward, D. D. T. Moore, William H. Groot ; fourth 
ward, W. Darrow, G. S. Copeland ; fifth ward, E. K. Warren, N. C. Brad- 
street; sixth ward, J. O'Maley, Joseph Schutte ; seventh ward, J. Upton, Row- 
land Milliman ; eighth ward, D. Warner, H. L. Fish ; ninth ward, M. C. Mor- 
doff, H. A. Palmer; tenth ward. A.' Chapman, William Wagner; eleventh 
ward, T. M. Flynn, G. A. Sidler ; twelfth ward, H. McQuatters, H. Hebing ; 
thirteenth ward, George P. Draper, Lawrence Sellinger. B. Frank Enos, 

1865,-^ First ward, L. C. Spencer, A. Cram; second ward, Joseph Qual- 

iQo History of the City of Rochester. 

trough, George B. Harris; third ward, W. H. Groot, William Hollister; fourth 
ward, G. S. Copeland, Stephen Remington ; fifth ward, Martin Heberger, E. 
K. Warren; sixth ward, J. Schutte, Joseph Beir; Seventh ward, R. Milliman, 
William H. Gorsline ; eighth ward, H. L. Fish, George Taylor ; ninth ward, 
H. A. Palmer, W. D. Callister ; tenth ward, W. Wagner, John Quin ; eleventh 
ward, G. A. Sidler, T. M. Flynn ; twelfth ward, H. Hebing, H. McQuatters; 
thirteenth ward, L. Sellinger, G. P. Draper. B. F. Enos, clerk. 

1 866. — First ward, A. Cram, L. C. Spencer ; second ward, G. B. Harris, 
J. Qualtrough; third ward, W. Hollister, W. H. Groot; fourth ward, S. Rem- 
ington, John Graham; fifth ward, E. K. Warren, William Guggenheim; sixth 
ward, J. Beir, Herman Mutschler; seventh ward, W. H. Gorsline, David Cope- 
land ; eighth ward, George Taylor, M. M. Brown ; ninth ward, W. D. Callister, 
James H. Kelly ; tenth ward, J. Quin, Cyrus F. Paine ; eleventh ward, T. M. 
Flynn, F. Adelman ; twelfth ward, H. McQuatters, B. Horcheler ; thirteenth 
ward, G. P. Draper, John Mauder; fourteenth ward, H. S. Hogoboom. B. V. 
Enos, clerk. 

1867. ^ First ward, L. C. Spencer, A. Cram; second ward, J. Qualtrough, 
J. Lutes; third ward, W. H. Groot, Ezra R. Andrews; fourth ward, J. Graham. 
S. Remington ; fifth ward, W. Guggenheim, William Carroll ; sixth ward, H. 
Mutschler, Lodo'wick F. Relyea ; seventh ward, D. Copeland, William Ratt ; 
eighth ward, M. M. Brown, G. Taylor ; ninth ward, J. H. Kelly, Patrick Burke ; 
tenth ward, C. F. Paine, S R. Woodruff; eleventh ward, F. Adelman, Robert 
R. Charters ; twelfth ward, B. Horcheler, A. Bingemer ; thirteenth ward, J. 
Mauder, Henry Miller; fourteenth ward, Cornelius R. Parsons, J. Quin. B. F. 
Enos, clerk. 

1868. — First ward, A. Cram, A. G. Whitcomb; second ward, J. Lutes, J. 
Qualtrough ; third ward, E. R. Andrews, H. E. Rochester ; fourth ward, S. 
Remington, G. W. Crouch ; fifth ward, W. Carroll, James Cochrane ; sixth ward, 
L. F. Relyea, William Sidey ; .seventh ward, W. Ratt, C. A. Jeffords ; eighth 
ward, G. Taylor, Patrick Caufield ; ninth ward, P. Burke, W. S. Thompson ; 
tenth ward, S. R. Woodruff, Elijah Withall ; eleventh ward, R. R, Charters, J.- P. 
Roche; twelfth ward, A. Bingemer, F. S. Stebbins ; thirteenth ward, H. Miller, 
John Mauder; fourteenth ward, J. Quin, C. R. Parsons. R. H. Schooley, 

1869. — First ward, A. G. Whitcomb, C. W. Briggs; second ward, J. Qual- 
trough, John Barker; third ward, H. E. Rochester, E. R. Andrews; fourth 
ward, G. W. Crouch, S. Remington; fifth ward, J. Cochrane, William Caring; 
sixth ward, W. F. Morrison, L. F. Relyea ; seventh ward, C. A. Jeffords, Philip 
J. Meyer ; eighth ward, P. Caufield, Henry H. Craig ; ninth ward, W. S.Thomp- 
son, John H. Wilson ; tenth ward, E. Withall, S. R. Woodruff; eleventh ward, 
J. P. Roche, Jacob Gerling; twelfth ward, F. S. Stebbins, Edward Dagge ; thir- 
teenth ward, J. Mauder John Nagle ; fourteenth ward, C. R. Parsons, William 
Aikenhead. R. H. Schooley, clerk. 

City Civil List. 191 

1870. — First ward, C. W. Briggs, A. G. Whitcomb; second ward, J. Bar- 
ker, George Wait ; third ward, E. R. Andrews, H. T. Rogers ; fourth ward, S. 
Remington, George Herzberger ; fifth ward, W. Caring, M. M. Smith ; sixth 
ward, L. F. Relyea, G. W. Connolly ; seventh ward, P. J. Meyer, E. A. Glover; 
eighth ward, H. H. Craig, N. A. Stone ; ninth ward, J. H. Wilson, J. H. Kelly ; 
tenth ward, S. R. Woodruff, W. Mandeville ; eleventh ward, J. Gerling, R. R. 
Charters; twelfth ward, E. Dagge, F. S. Stebbins; thirteenth ward, J. Nagle, 
J. Mauder; fourteenth ward, W. Aikenhead, C. R. Parsons. Wm. F. Morri- 
son, clerk. 

1871. — First ward, A. G. Whitcomb, George W. Aldridge ; second ward, 
G. Wait, R. K. Gould ; third ward, H. T. Rogers, Charles F. Pond ; fourth ward, 
G. Ilcrzbergcr, Michael Ilcavcy ; fifth ward, Owen F. Fee, W. Caring; sixth 
ward, G. W. Connolly, Abram Stern ; seventh ward, E. A. Glover, Robert Y. 
McConnell ; eighth ward, N. A. Stone, H. H. Craig ; ninth ward, J. H. Kelly, 
L. Selye ; tenth ward, Wesley Mandeville, John Stape ; eleventh ward, R. R. 
Charters, J. Gerling; twelfth ward, F. S. Stebbins, Valentine F. Whitmore ; 
thirteenth ward, J. Mauder, Frederick Stade ; fourteenth ward, C. R. Parsons, 
W. Aikenhead. W. F". Morrison, clerk. 

1872. — F'irst ward, G. W. Aldridge, John Cowles ; second ward, R. K. 
Gould, James O. Howard ; third ward, C. F. Pond, H. T. Rogers ; fourth ward, 
M. Heavey, John Gorton ; fifth ward, W. Caring, O. F. Fee ; sixth ward, A. 
Stern, G. W. Connolly; seventh ward, R. Y. McConnell, Charles C. Meyer; 
eighth ward, H. H. Craig, W. W. Croft; ninth ward, L. Selye, J. H. Kelly; 
tenth ward, J. Stape, J. H. Nellis ; eleventh ward, J. Gerling, Thomas Mitchell ; 
twelfth ward, V. F. Whitmore, E. H. C. Griffin ; thirteenth ward, F. Stade, J. 
Mauder ; fourteenth ward, W. Aikenhead, J. Philip Farber. W. F. Morrison, 

1873. — First ward, J. Cowles, G. W. Aldridge; second ward, J. O. How- 
ard, A. H. Cushman ; third ward, H. T. Rogers, John McMullen ; fourth ward, 
J. Gorton, G. Herzberger; fifth ward, O. F. Fee, Henry Brinker; sixth ward, 
G. W. Connolly, A. Stern ; seventh ward ; C. C. Meyer, W. G. Anthony ; 
eighth ward, W. W. Croft, D. M. Anthony ; ninth ward, J. H. Kelly, William 
Shelp ; tenth ward, J. H. Nellis, John Bower ; eleventh ward, T. Mitchell, 
George Fleckenstein ; twelfth ward, E. H. C. Griffin, V. F. Whitmore ; thir- 
teenth ward, J. Mauder, J. Margrander ; fourteenth ward, J. P. Farber, F. S. 
Skuse. W. F". Morrison, clerk. 

1874. — First ward, G. W. Aldridge, William H. Tracy; second ward, 
A. H. Cushman, J. O. Howard ; third ward, J. McMullen, George D. Lord ; 
fourth ward, G. Herzberger, Wm. Whitelock ; fifth ward, H. Brinker, Charles 
P. Bromley; sixth ward, A. Stern, William N. Emerson; seventh ward, W. G. 
Anthony, C. R. Parsons ; eighth ward, D. M. Anthony, N. A. Stone ; ninth 
ward, W. Shelp, James E. Booth ; tenth ward, J. Bower, Walter Weldon ; elev- 

192 History of the City of Rochester. 

enth ward, G. Fleckenstein, M. J. Maher ; twelfth ward, V. F. Whitmore, B. F. 
Thomas; thirteenth ward, J. Margrander, J. Mauder; fourteenth ward, F. S. 
Skuse, Louis P. Beck; fifteenth ward, Anthony H. Martin, James Gorsline; 
sixteenth ward, M. H. Merriman, S. Dubelbeiss. W. F. Morrison, clerk. 

1875. — First ward, W. H. Tracy, G. W. Aldridge; second ward, J. O. 
Howard, Andrew Nagle; third ward, G. D. Lord, David H. Westbury; fourth 
ward, W. Whitelock, A. G. Whitcomb ; fifth ward, C. P. Bromley, H. Brinker ; 
sixth ward, Simon Hays, W. N. Emerson, F. H. Smith (to fill vacancy) ; sev- 
enth ward, C. R. Parsons, F. S. Hunn ; eighth ward, N. A. Stone, J. W. Mar- 
tin ; ninth ward, J. E. Booth, J. H. Kelly ; tenth ward, W. Weldon, FIdwin 
Huntington ; eleventh ward, M. J. Maher, G. Fleckenstein ; twelfth ward, B. F 
Thomas, John McGraw, 2d ; thirteenth ward, J. Mauder, Jacob Nunnold ; four- 
teenth ward, L. P. Beck, Wm. S. Smith ; fifteenth ward, A. H. Martin, J. P. 
Rickard ; sixteenth ward, J. George Baetzel, Wm. E. Buell. W. F". Morrison, 

1876. — First ward, G. W. Aldridge, W. H. Tracy; second ward, Andrew 
Nagle, John M. Brown ; third ward, D. H. Westbury, Thomas Peart ; fourth 
ward, A. G. Whitcomb, Nathan Palmer; fifth ward, H. Brinker, Frederick Mor- 
hardt ; sixth ward, S. Hays, Willis C. Hadley ; seventh ward, Francis S. Hunn, 
G. A. Redman;' eighth ward, John W. Martin, A. H. Bennett; ninth ward, J. 
H. Kelly, E. B. Chace ; tenth ward, W. Weldon, Edwin Huntington ; eleventh 
ward, G. Fleckenstein, John Brayer ; twelfth ward, J. McGraw, 2d, Benj. F. 
Thomas; thirteenth ward, J. Nunnold, F. C. Lauer, jr.; fourteenth ward, W. S. 
Smith, L. P. Beck ; fifteenth ward, A. H. Martin, J. P. Rickard ; sixteenth ward, 
J. Geo. Baetzel, Charles Hilbert. Edward Angevine, clerk. 

1877. — First ward, W. H. Tracy ; second ward, Michael H. P'itzSimons ; 
third ward, T. C. Montgomery ; fourth ward, G. Herzberger ; fifth ward, E. 
K. Warren ; sixth ward, S. Hays ; seventh ward, G. A. Redman ; eighth ward, 
J. W. Martin; ninth ward, E. B. Chace; tenth ward, E. Huntington; eleventh 
ward, Nicholas Kase ; twelfth ward, John Donivan ; thirteenth ward, Fred. C. 
Lauer, jr. ; fourteenth ward, W. S. Smith ; fifteenth ward, J. Miller Kelly ; 
sixteenth ward, J. G. Baetzel. Edward Angevine, clerk. 

1878. — First ward, W. H. Tracy; second ward, M. H. FitzSimons; third 
ward, T. C. Montgomery; fourth ward, G. Herzberger; fifth ward, E. K. 
Warren ; sixth ward, S. Hays ; seventh ward, Charles T. Crouch ; eighth ward, 
J. W. Martin; ninth ward, E. B. Chace; tenth ward, E. Huntington; eleventh 
ward, Rudolph Vay ; twelfth ward, John Donivan ; thirteenth ward, Lewis 
Edelman ; fourteenth ward, W. S. Smith ; fifteenth ward, Joseph W. Knobles ; 
sixteenth ward, J. G. Baetzel. Edward Angevine, clerk. 

1879. — First ward, W. H. Tracy; second ward, M. H. FitzSimons; third 
ward, D. H. Westbury ; fourth ward, L. M. Otis ; fifth ward, E. K. Warren ; 
sixth ward, Henry Hebing ; seventh ward, C. T. Crouch ; eighth ward, Geo. 

City Civil List. 193 

Chambers ; ninth ward, E. B. Chace ; tenth ward, W. Mandeville ; eleventh 
ward, R. Vay ; twelfth ward, Philip Wickens ; thirteenth ward, Lewis Edel- 
nian ; fourteenth ward, D. G. Weaver; fifteenth ward, J. W. Knobles ; six- 
teenth ward, J. J. Hart. Edward Angevine, clerk. 

1 880. — First ward, W. H. Tracy ; second ward, M. H. FitzSimons ; third ward, 
D. H. We.stbury; fourth ward, L. M. Qtis ; fifth ward, Owen F. Fee; sixth 
ward, Henry Hebing; seventh ward, Ira L. Otis; eighth ward, Geo. Chambers; 
ninth ward, S. D. Walbridge ; tenth ward, W. Mandeville ; eleventh ward, 
John A. Felsinger; twelfth ward, P. Wickens; thirteenth ward, Lewis Edel- 
man ; fourteenth ward, D. G. Weaver; fifteenth ward, J. M. Kelly; sixteenth 
ward, J. J. Hart. Lucius M. Mandeville, clerk. 

1 88 1 — W. H. Tracy; second ward, Martin Barron; third ward, D. H. 
Westbury ; fourth ward, H. S. Ransom; fifth ward, O. F. Fee; sixth ward, 
A. Stern; seventh ward, I. L. Otis; eighth ward, G. Chambers; ninth ward, 
S. D. Walbridge; tenth ward, J. M. Pitkin; eleventh ward, J. A. Felsinger; 
twelfth ward, Henry Rice ; thirteenth ward, L. Edelman ; fourteenth ward, W. 
Aikenhead; fifteenth ward, J. M. Kelly; sixteenth ward, J. J. Hart. J. T. 
McMannis, clerk. 

1 882. — First ward, Alphonso Collins ; second ward, M. Barron ; third ward, 
Amon Bronson ; fourth ward, H. S. Ransom ; fifth ward, George W. Archer ; 
sixth ward, A. Stern; seventh ward, C. A. Jeffords; eighth ward, G. Cham- 
bers ; ninth ward, James A. Hinds ; tenth ward, J. M. Pitkin ; eleventh ward, 
J. A. l'"clsingcr; twelfth ward, II. Rice; thirteenth ward, James T. Southard; 
fourteenth ward, W. Aikenhead; fifteenth ward, J. M. Kelly; sixteenth ward, 
J. J. Hart. Frank N. Lord, clerk. 

1883. — First ward, A. Collins; second ward, M. Barron; third ward, A. 
Bronson; fourth ward, Charles Watson; fifth ward, G. W. Archer; sixth 
ward, Elias Strouss ; seventh ward, C. A. Jeffords ; eighth ward, John H. Foley ; 
ninth ward, J. A. Hinds; tenth ward, J. M. Pitkin ; eleventh ward, J. A. Fel- 
singer; twelfth ward, H. Rice; thirteenth ward, J. T. Southard; fourteenth 
ward, J. M. Aikenhead ; fifteenth ward, J. M. Kelly ; sixteenth ward, John B. 
Simmelink. F. N. Lord, clerk. 

City Treasurers. — The following are the names of the city treasurers, in 
order: 1834, E. F. Marshall; 1835, Theodore Sedgwick; 183(5, Erasmus D. 
Smith; 1837, W. E. Lathrop ; 1838, E. F. Marshall ; 1839-40-41-42, Eben 
N. Jkiell; 1843-44, James M. ; 1 845-46, Hiram Wright ; 1847, Matthew 
G. Warner; 1848, Clarence H. Sweet; 1849-50, Elbert W. Scrantom ;. 185 i- 
52-53-54, Charles M. St. John ; 1855-56, P.M.Bromley; 1857-58, Abram 
Karnes; 1859-60, William E. Lathrop ; 1861-62, Thomas Hawks ; 1863-64, 
Chri-stopher T. Amsden ; 1865-66-67-68-69-70, Harvey P. Langworthy ; 
, 87 , -72-73-74, John Williams ; 1 875-76-77-1-78-79-80, George D. Williams ; 
1880-81-82-83-84, Ambrose McGlachlin. 

194 History of the City of Rochester. 

Police Justices: — The following-named have presided over the criminal 
court for the trial of minor offenses: Sidney Smith, from June, 1834, to Jun^. 
1836; Ariel Wentworth; from 1836 to 1840, and from 1844 to 1848 ; Matthew 
G.Warner, 1840 to 1844; S. W. D. Moore, 1848 to 1856; Butler Bardwell, 
1856 to i860; John Wegman, i860 to 1865 ; E. W. Bryan, 1865 to 1873 ; 

A. G.Wheeler, 1873 to 1877, and 1881 to the present time ) George Trues- 
dale, 1877 to 1 88 1. 

Supervisors. — The following are the names of the supervisors from the 
city of Rochester in each year, those serving during the first two years being 
■ elected from the city at large, after which an amendment to the charter allowed 
a supervisor to be chosen in each ward : — 

1834. — Erasmus D. Smith, A. M. Schermerhorn, Horace Hooker. 
1835. — Joseph Medbery, Charles J. Hill, Jared Newell. 

1836. — First ward, Maltby Strong ; 'second ward, Joseph Medbery ; third 
ward, Thomas H. Rochester ; fourth ward, Elisha Johnson ; fifth ward, Elisha 

B. Strong. 

1837. — First Ward, Lyman B. Langworthy ; second ward, John Williams; 
third ward, T. H. Rochester ; fourth ward, James H. Gregory ; fifth ward, 
Jared Newell. 

1838. — First ward, Thomas J. Patterson ; second ward, Elijah F. Smith; 
third ward, E. D. Smith ; fourth ward, Thomas Kempshall ; fifth ward, Horace 

1839. — First ward, Alfred Hubbell ; second ward, E. F. Smith; third 
ward, Everard Peck ; fourth ward, J. W. Smith ; fifth ward, Levi A. Ward. 

1840 — First ward, A. Hubbell ; second ward, Seth C. Jones ; third ward, 
James M. Fish; fourth ward, William Griffith; fifth ward, L. A. Ward. 

1 841 . — First ward, Eleazar Conkey ; second ward, John Allen ; third ward, 
J. M. Fish; fourth ward, John Hawks; fifth ward, Rufus Keeler. 

1842. — First ward, E. Conkey; second ward, J. Allen; third ward, J. M. 
Fish ; fourth ward, Asahel S. Beers ; fifth ward, R. Keeler. 

1843. — First ward, Samuel B. Dewey ; second ward, William Buell ; third 
ward, Simon Traver; fourth ward, Schuyler Moses; fifth ward, Peter W. 

1844. — First ward, John Haywood; second ward, William W. Alcott; 
third ward, Henry Cady ; fourth ward, Robert Haight; fifth ward, E. B. 

1845. — Four new wards were added to the city in this year, but the city's 
representation in the board of supervisors was not increased till 1853, the divis- 
ion being for eight years by districts, as follows: First ward, Ambrose Cram ; 
second and ninth wards, George H. Mumford ; third and eighth wards, E. F. 
Smith ; fourth and seventh wards, Matthew G. Warner ; fifth and sixth wards, 
P. W. Jennings. 

City Civil List. 195 

1846. — First ward, John Haywood; second and ninth wards, G. H. Mum- 
ford ; third and eighth wards, Samuel Miller ; fourth and seventh wards, John 
Miller ; fifth and sixth wards, William B. Alexander. 

1847. — First ward, Johnson I. Robins; second and ninth wards, Joel P. 
Milliner ; third and eighth wards, Zina H. Benjamin ; fourth and seventh wards, 
John Miller ; fifth and sixth wards, David R. Barton. 

1 848. — First ward, John Haywood ; second and ninth wards, J. P. Mil- 
liner ; third and eighth wards, William H. Cheney ; fourth and seventh wards, 
Thomas B. Husband ; fifth and sixth wards. Philander G. Tobey. 

1 849. -.- First ward, John Haywood; second and ninth wards, John Crom- 
bie; third and eighth wards, E. F. Smith; fourth and seventh wards, T. B. 
Husband ; fifth and sixth wards, Harvey Humphrey. 

1850. — First ward, Lansing B. Swan; second and ninth wards, J. Crom- 
bie ; third and eighth wards, James Chappell ; fourth and seventh wards, M. G. 
Warner; fifth and sixth wards, Mitchel Loder. 

1851. — First ward, George Gould; second and ninth wards, J. Crombie ; 
third and eighth wards, C. J. Hill ; fourth and seventh wards, James C. Camp- 
bell ; fifth and sixth wards, M. Loder. 

1852. — First ward, John Whitney; second, Lewis Selye ; third, Nathaniel 
T. Rochester ; fourth, Simon L. Brewster ; fifth, Joshua Conkey ; sixth, Rob- 
ert Syme ; seventh, William I. Hanford ; eighth, Zina H. Benjamin ; ninth, W. 
Barron Williams; tenth, eleventh and twelfth, Hubbard W. Jones. 

1853. — First ward, Abram Karnes ; second, Ezra Jones ; third, C. J. Hill ; 
fourth, Alonzo K. Amsden ; fifth, J. Conkey ; sixth, R. Syme ; seventh, John 
Rigney ; eighth, Asa B. Hall ; ninth, Daniel Gatens ; tenth, eleventh and 
twelfth, George Peck. 

1854. — First ward, Thomas Kempshall ; second, William E. Lathrop ; 
third, Samuel Miller ; fourth, Alvah Strong ; fifth, J. Conkey ; sixth, R. Syme ; 
seventh, John H. Babcock ; eighth, Henry L. Fish ; ninth, James C, Cochrane ; 
tenth, eleventh and twelfth, Wm. B. Alexander. 

1855. — First ward, Henry Churchill ; second, George Arnold ; third, C. J. 
Hill; fourth, Harvey Prindle; fifth. Philander G. Tobey; sixth, Hiram Davis; 
seventh, J. H. Babcock ; eighth, Henry B. Knapp ; ninth, Lysander Farrar ; 
tenth, eleventh and twelfth, James L. Angle. 

1856. — First ward, John Haywood; second, George Arnold; third, J. 
Crombie ; fourth, Edward Roggen ; fifth, N. C. Bradstreet ; sixth, H. Davis ; 
seventh, Aaron Erickson ; eighth, William Cook ; ninth, D. Gatens ; tenth, 
eleventh and twelfth, David Wagner. 

1857. — First ward, William S. Thompson; second, John H. Thompson; 
third, William Churchill ; fourth, Hiram Smith ; fifth, J. Rigney ; sixth, Robert 
R. Harris; seventh, Jarvis M. Hatch ; eighth, Sidney Church ; ninth, D. Gatens; 
tenth, eleventh and twelfth, D. Wagner. 

196 History of the City of Rochester. 

1858. — First ward, W. S. Thompson ; second, Hamlet D. Scrantom ; third, 
W. Churchill; fourth, James McMannis; fifth, William R. Gififord; sixth, John 
G. Wagner ; seventh, Alex. W. Miller ; eighth, S. W. D. Moore ; ninth, Fran- 
cis Brown ; tenth and twelfth, H. W. Jones ; eleventh, Charles Wilson. 

1859. — First ward, Benj. M. Baker; .second, H. D. Scrantom ; third, 
Amon Bronson ; fourth, Octavius P. Chamberlain; fifth, Wm. W. Bruff ; sixth, 
George C. Maurer ; seventh, M. G. Warner ; eighth, Joel B. Bennett ; ninth, O. 
L. Angevine ; tenth, H. W. Jones ; eleventh, Francis A. Adelman ; twelfth, 
Philip J. Meyer. 

i860. — First ward, B. M. Baker; second, J. H.*Thompson ; third, A. Bron- 
son ; fourth, William McCarthy ; fifth, William Carroll ; sixth, Evan Evans ; 
seventh, Edward M. Smith '; eighth, Benjamin McFarlin ; ninth, Thonfias C. 
Gilman ; tenth, Louis Ernst; eleventh, Jacob Waldele ;. twelfth, Lyman Mun- 

1861. — First ward, Hamlin Stilwell ; second, Samuel M. Hildreth ; third, 
A. Bronson ; fourth, Wm. H. Burtis ; fifth, W. Carroll ; sixth, William Shep- 
herd ; seventh, E. M. Smith ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, T. C. Gilman ; tenth, 
Daniel B. Loder ; eleventh, Augustus Haungs ; twelfth, Alex. McWhorter. 

1862. — F"irst ward, H. Stilwell ; second, Wm. C. Rowley ; third, A. Bron- 
son ; fourth, George N. Deming ; fifth, PatHck J. Dowling ; sixth, William 
Sidey ; seventh, Edwin Taylor ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, John H. Wilson ; 
tenth, Henry Suggett ; eleventh, A. Haungs ; twelfth, Patrick Barry. 

1863. — First ward, H. Stilwell: second, Ezra Jones; third, A. Bronson; 
fourth, G. S. Copeland ; fifth, Patrick ConoUy; sixth, W. Sidey; .seventh, E. 
Taylor ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, L. Selye ; tenth, D. Wagner ; eleventh, 
Frederick Zimmer ; twelfth, James L. Angle ; thirteenth, John Seeder. 

1864. — First ward, Dudley D. Palmer; second, Ezra Jones; third, A. 
Bronson ; fourth, H. S. Redfield ; fifth, P. Conolly ; sixth, Chas. H. Williams ; 
seventh, Byron M. Hanks ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, Wm. J. Sheridan ; 
tenth, DeWitt C. Ellis; eleventh, J. W.~ Phillips; twelfth, P. Barry; thirteenth. 
Philander Davis. 

1865. — First ward, H. Stilwell; second Ezra Jones; third, A. Bronson; 
fourth, W. V. K. Lansing ; fifth, P. Conolly ; sixth, C. H. Williams ; seventh, 
D. B. Beach ; eighth, S. Lewis ; ninth, L. Selye ; tenth, A. H. Billings ; elev- 
enth, Louis Bauer ; twelfth, Alex. ,McWhorter ; thirteenth. Christian Widman ; 
fourteenth, Samuel S. Partridge. 

1866. — First ward, Henry Churchill ; second, Ezra Jones; third, A. Bron- 
son ; fourth, H. S. Redfield ; fifth, P. Conolly ; sixth, C. H. Williams ; seventh, 
F. De W. Clarke ; eighth, S. Lewis ; ninth, L. Selye ; tenth, A. H. Billings ; 
eleventh, Chas. S. Baker; twelfth, A. McWhorter; thirteenth, C. Widman ; 
fourteenth, S. S. Partridge. 

1867. — First ward, Joseph Curtis ; second, George Arnold ; third, A. Bron- 

City Civil List. 197 

son; fourth, Wm. S. Kimball; fifth, P. Conolly; sixth, Joseph Schutte; seventh, 
J. W. Seward ; eighth, Daniel Warner ; ninth, L. Selye ; tenth, George Preck ; 
eleventh, L. Bauer; twelfth, George V. Schaffer; thirteenth, C. Widman ; four- 
teenth, John Stewart. 

1 868. — First ward, Charles H. Stilwell ; second, John Barker ; third, Thos. 
C. Montgomery ; fourth, J. C. Campbell ; fifth, P. Conolly ; sixth, J. Schutte ; 
seventh. Porter W. Taylor; eighth, D. Warner; ninth, M. S. Fairchild; tenth, 
Isaiah F. Force; eleventh, L. Bauer; twelfth, George, EUwanger; thirteenth, 
George P. Davis ; fourteenth, J. Stewart. 

1869. — First ward, H. Churchill; second, Thomas T. Sprague ; third, T. C. 
Montgomery; fourth, James Kane, sr. ; fifth, William Guggenheim; sixth, 
Quincy Van Voorhis ; seventh, P. W. Taylor; eighth, M. J. Glenn; ninth, C. 
S. Baker; tenth, D. C. Ellis; eleventh, Thomas M. Flynn ; twelfth, Joseph L. 
Luckey; thirteenth, Henry S. Brown; fourteenth, J. Stewart. 

1 870. — First ward, H. Churchill ; second, G. Arnold ; third, T. C. Mont- 
gomery ; fourth, J. Kane, sr. ; fifth, Michael Kolb ; sixth, Q. Van Voorhis ; sev- 
enth, P. W. Taylor ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, C. S. Baker ; tenth, D. C. Ellis ; 
eleventh, T. M. Flynn ; twelfth, J. L. Luckey ; thirteenth, Frederick Loebs ; 
fourteenth, J. Stewart. 

1 87 1. — First ward, L. A Pratt ; second, T. T. Sprague ; third, T. C. Mont- 
gomery ; fourth, Lyman M. Otis ; fifth, W. W. Bruff; sixth, Q. Van Voorhis ; 
seventh, Frank N. Lord; eighth, Charles P. Achilles; ninth, Addison N. Whit- 
ing; tenth, D. C. Ellis; eleventh, Thomas Mitchell; twelfth^ John W. Deuel; 
thirteenth, F. Loebs ; fourteenth, Richard H. Warfield. 

1872. — First ward, Alonzo G. Whitcomb ; second, Charles A. Pool ; third, 
James L. Brewster ; (appointed by council in place of Wm. Carson, deceased); 
fourth. Royal L. Mack ; fifth, George J. Knapp ; sixth, Francis Boor ; seventh, 
George F. Loder ; eighth, Nicholas Brayer ; ninth, William C. Stone ; tenth, 
I. F. Force; eleventh, Geo. B. Swikehard ; twelfth, Henry Bender; thirteenth, 
C. Widman ; fourteenth, Abram Boss. 

1873. — I'^irst ward, Frank W. Embry; second, C, A. Pool; third, Henry 
E. Rochester; fourth, John B. Hahn ; fifth, Heqian S. Brewer ;, sixth, F. Boor; 
seventh, G. F. Loder; eighth, Wm. F. Parry; ninth, Thomas McMillan ; tenth, 
Bernard Haag; eleventh, Jacob Gerling; twelfth, William C. Barry ; thirteenth, 
Frederick C. Lauer, jr. : fourteenth, Chas. F. Hetzel. 

1874. — First ward, Wm. F. Holmes; second, Ansel A. Cornwall; third, 
H. E. Rochester; fourth, J. B. Hahn; fifth, John Dufner; sixth, F. Boor; sev- 
enth, Chas. H. Webb ; eighth, B. McFarlin ; ninth, Frederick Miller (appointed 
in place of Horace W. Jewett, resigned) ; tenth, Douglass Hovey ; eleventh, 
J. GerHng; twelfth, Nicholas Cutberlet ; thirteenth, John Nothaker ; fourteenth, 
Wm. H. Dake; fifteenth, John C. O'Brien; sixteenth, Henry E. Boardman 
(last two appointed by comrnpn council). 

198 History of the City of Rochestetr. 

1875. — First ward, L. A. Pratt; second, C. A. Pool; third, H. E, Roch- 
ester; fourth, Henry S. Hebard; fifth, J. Dufner; sixth, WilHs C. Hadley; 
seventh, C. H. Webb; eighth, B. McFarlin; ninth, F. Miller; tenth, Daniel 
Lowrey; eleventh, J. Gerling; twelfth, George V. Schaffer; thirteenth, F"rank 
X. Bradler ; fourteenth, W. H. Dake ; fifteenth, Henry KHnkhammer ; six- 
teenth, George J. Farber. 

1 876. — First ward, L. A. Pratt ; second, James Day ; third, Chas. F. Pond ; 
fourth, James E. Hayden ; fifth, Charles Englert; sixth, Samuel Rosenblatt; 
seventh, C. H. Webb ; eighth, William Wright ; ninth, George W. Jacobs ; tenth, 
Daniel Lowrey ; eleventh, John Greenwood ; twelfth, G. V. Schaffer ; thir- 
teenth, Olaf Oswald ; fourteenth, W. H. Dake ; fifteenth, H. Klinkhammer ; 
sixteenth, Henry B. McGonegal. 

1877. — First ward, L. A. Pratt; second, Thomas Pryor ; third, C. F. 
Pond ; fourth, J. E. Hayden ; fifth, C. Englert ; sixth, William S. Falls ; 
seventh, C. H. Webb ; eighth, W. Wright ; ninth, G. W. Jacobs ; tenth, Ethan 
A. Chase (appointed in place of A. N. Whiting, deceased) ; eleventh, Thomas 
McAnarney ; twelfth, William Gibbs ; thirteenth, O. Oswald ; fourteenth, W. 
H. Dake ; fifteenth, James H. Curran ; sixteenth, H. B. McGonegal. 

1878. — First ward, L. A. Pratt; second, Michael M. Keenan.; third, C. F. 
Pond; fourth, ]'. E. Hayden; fifth, William Emerson; sixth, W. S. Falls; 
seventh, Maxey N. Van Zandt ; eighth, Leonard Henkle ; ninth, G. W. Jacobs ; 
tenth, Harvey C. Jones; eleventh, Reuben Punnett ; twelfth, W. Gibbs; thir- 
teenth, O. Oswald ; fourteenth, John J. Burke ; fifteenth, J. H. (Jurran ; six- 
teenth, H. B. McGonegal. 

1879. — First ward, William W. Carr ; second, M. M. Keenan ; third, Frank 
M. Bottum; fourth, J. E. Hayden; fifth, C. Englert; sixth, W. S. Falls; 
seventh, George Heberling; eighth, Maurice Leyden ; ninth, G.W.Jacobs; 
tenth, H. C. Jones; eleventh, John Brayer; twelfth, Conrad Eisenberg; thir- 
teenth, John A. P. Walter; fourteenth, Thomas Crane ; fifteenth, J. H. Curran ; 
sixteenth, John W. Stroup. 

1880. — First ward, James W. Clark; second, James Day; third, F. M. 
Bottum ; fourth, J. E. Hayden ; fifth, Conrad Bachman ; sixth, Joseph Hoff- 
man ; seventh, G. Heberling ; eighth, Bernard O'Kane ; ninth, Martin Joiner ; 
tenth, H. C. Jones; eleventh, J. Brayer; twelfth, Philip Welder; thirteenth, 
J. A. P. Walter; fourteenth, T. Crane; fifteenth, Anthony H. Martin; six- 
teenth, Alexander Button. 

1 88 1. — First ward, J. W. Clark; second, George Wait; third, F. M. Bot- 
tum; fourth, Charles Watson; fifth, C. Bachman; sixth, Abram J. Cappon ; 
seventh, G. Heberling; eighth, B. O'Kane; ninth, M. Joiner; tenth, Henry E. 
Shaffer; eleventh, J. Brayer; twelfth, P. Weider; thirteenth, J. A. P. Walter; 
fourteenth, Thomas Gosnell; fifteenth, A. H. Martin; sixteenth, A. Button. 

1882. — First ward, Dwight Knapp ; second, Conrad B. Denny; third, F. 

County and Other Officers from Rochester. 199 

M. Bottum ; fourth, C. Watson ; fifth, George Caring (appointed in place of C. 
Hachman, deceased) ; sixth, William Perry ; seventh, Charles C. Meyer ; eighth, 
JamesP. Tumility; ninth, M. Joiner; tenth, George Weldon ; eleventh, William 
Wolz; tw^elfth, P. Weider; thirteenth, Stephen Rauber; fourteenth, T. Gos- 
nell ; fifteenth, Henry Kondolph ; sixteenth, John Vogt. 

1883. — First ward, D. Knapp ; second, George B. Wesley; third, Thomas 
Peart; fourth, Charles B. Ernst; fifth, Roman Ovenburg; sixth, Valentine 
Hetzler; seventh, C. C. Meyer; eighth, James P. Tumility; ninth, M. Joiner; 
tenth, Bartholomew Keeler; eleventh, W. Wolz; twelfth, D. Clinton Bar- 
num; thirteenth, Carl F. Gottschalk; fourteenth, T. Gosnell; fifteenth, John 
Foos ; sixteenth, Chauncey Nash. 

1884. — First ward, E. F. Stilwell ; second, G. B. Wesley; third, George 
Morgan; fourth, C. B. Ernst; fifth, George Caring; sixth, Abrani Stern; 
seventh, C. C. Meyer; eighth, J. P. Tumihty; ninth, p-rederick E. Conway; 
tenth, B. Keeler ; eleventh, John Brayer ; twelfth, D. C." Barnum ; thirteenth, 
James H. Brown; fourteenth, T. Gosnell; fifteenth, George J. Held; sixteenth, 
Oscar F. Brown. 

County officers do not properly come within the civil list of a municipal 
corporation, but, as Rochester is the county seat, and the county officers are 
therefore located here, it seems better to insert them in this place with the year 
in which they went into office, and to give, as well, the list of supervisors from 
the city (as has been done above), and of state senators, members of Assembly 
and representatives in Congress, in all cases from the city alone. The county 
judicial officers — judges, surrogates and district-attorneys — will be found 
named in order in the chapter devoted to the bench and bar. 

Sheriffs. — 1821, James Seymour; 1823, John T. Patterson; 1826, James 
Seymour; 1829, James K. Livingston; 1832, Ezra M. Parsons; 1835, Elias 
I'ond; 1838, Darius Pcrrin; 1 841, Charles L. Pardee; 1844, Hiram Sibley; 
1847, George Hart; 1850, Octavius P. Chamberlain; 1853, Chauncey B. 
Woodworth; 1856, Alexander Babcock; 1859, Hiram Smith; 1862, Jcseph 
H. Warren; 1865, Alonzo Chapman; 1868, Caleb Moore; 1869, Isaac V. 
Sutherland (appointed in place of Moore, deceased); 1870, Joseph B. Camp- 
bell; 1873, Charles S. Campbell; 1876, Henry E. Richmond; 1879, James K. 
Burlingame; 1882, Francis A. Schoeffel. 

County Clerks. — 1821, Nathaniel Rochester; 1823, Elisha Ely; 1826, 
Simon Stone, 2d; 1829, William Graves; 1832, Leonard Adams; 1835, Sam- 
uel G. Andrews ; 1838, Ephraim Goss; 1841, James W. Smith ; 1844, Charles 
J. Hill; 1847, John C. Nash; 1850, John T. Lacy; 1853, W. Barron Williams ; 
1856, William N. Sage ; 1859, Dyer D. S. Brown; 1862, Joseph Cochrane 
1865, George H. Barry; 1868, Charles J. Powers; 1871, Alonzo L. Mabbett;' 
1874, John H. Wilson; 1877 and i88o, Edward A. Frost; 1883, Henry D. 

200 History of the City of Rochester. 

County Treasurers. — No record, so far as can be ascertained, has been 
kept in any form, printed or written, of the early treasurers of Monroe county, 
nor are their names obtainable from the records of the board of supervisors, 
by whom they were elected before 1 848, for the reason that those records are 
not in existence in their original form, nor can printed copies be found of more 
than a very few of those ancient years — so that the list of supervisors above 
given had to be made up in part from the original records (which are complete 
and well preserved in the city clerk's office) of the proceedings of the common 
council, which acted as a board of canvassers. The first treasurer was S. 
Melancton Smith, and after him were Frederick Whittlesey, William S. Whit- 
tlesey, William McKnight and William Kidd, the last of whom held the office 
for six or eight years. The first to be elected by the people was Lewis Selye, 
who entered upon the office in 1849 and again in 1855, after William H. Per- 
kins had held it for the intermediate term. In 1858 Jason Baker went in, in 
1864 Samuel Schofield, in 1867 George N. Deming, in 1873 Charles P. Achil- 
les, in 1876 James Harris and in 1879 Alexander McVean, the present incum- 

State Senators. — No member of the state Senate was sent from either the 
village or the city of Rochester till 1844, when Frederick F. Backus was elected, 
serving for four years; the next was Samuel Miller, in 1848; the others were 
William S. Bishop, in 1854; Lysander Farrar, in 1862; George G. Munger, 
in 1864; Thomas Parsons, in 1866; Lewis H. Morgan, in 1868; William N. 
Emerson, in 1876; George Raines, in 1878; Charles S. Baker, in 1884 — each, 
except Dr. Backus, for one term of two years. 

Members of Assembly. — 1822, Nathaniel Rochester; 1823, Simon Stone; 
1824, Enos Stone ; 1825 and 1830, Thurlow Weed ; 1826, Vincent Mathews ; 
1827, Abelard Reynolds; 1828 and, 1833, Timothy Childs ; 1829, Heman 
Norton; 1831 and 1832, Samuel G. Andrews; 1834, Flatcher M. Haight ; 
183s, 1837, 1838 and 1840, Derick Sibley; 1836, Horace Gay; 1839, William S. 
Bishop; 1841, Alexander Kelsey ; 1842, Frederick Starr; 1843, Robert 
Haight; 1844, Ashley Sampson; 1845, 1846 and 1847, William C. BIoss; 
1848, A. M. Schermerhorn ; 1849 and 1850, L. Ward Smith; 1851, William 
A. Fitzhugh; 1852, Joel P. Milliner; 1853, Orlando Hastings ; 1854, James 
L. Angle; 1855, John W. Stebbins ; 1856, 1862 and 1863, Eliphaz Trimmer; 
1857, John T. Lacy; 1858, Thomas Parsons; 1859 and i860, Elias Pond ; 
1 86 1, Lewis H. Morgan; 1864 and 1865, John McConvill ; 1866, Henry R. 
Selden; 1867, Henry Cribben ; 1868 and 1869, Nehemiah C. Bradstreet ; 
1870, 1876 and 1877, James S. Graham; 1871 and 1872, George D. Lord; 
1873, Henry L. Fish; 1874 and 1875, George Taylor ; 1878, EHas Mapes ; 
1879, 1880 and 1882, Charles S. Baker; 1881, John Cowles ; 1883, David 
Healy ; 1 884, Charles R. Pratt;. 

Members of Congress. — The following are the names of congressional rep- 

The Fire Department.. 201 

resentatives from this district who were residents of this city at the time of their 
election, with the year in which the congressional term of each one began : 
1823, William B. Rochester ; 1827, Daniel D. Barnard ; 1 829, Timothy Childs ; 
,1831 and 1833, Frederick Whittlesey ; 1835 and 1837, Timothy Childs; 1839, 
Thomas Kempshall; 1841, Timothy Childs; 1849 and 1851, A. M. Scher- 
merhorn ; 1853, Azariah Boody ; 1855, John Williams ; 1857, Samuel G. An- 
drews ; 1859 and 1 86 1, Alfred Ely; 1863, Freeman Clarke ; 1865, Roswell 
Hart; 1 867, Lewis Selye ; 1871 and 1873, Freeman Clarke ; 1875, John M. 
Davy; 1879 and 1881, John Van Voorhis ; 1883, Halbert S. Greenleaf. 



Its History fiom the Beginning — The App.tiatus in Early Times — The First F"ire Company — 
The Old Volunteer Department — Its (llories ami its Misdeeds — The I'rotectives, Alerts and Actives 
— The Firemen's Henevolent Association — Dedication of the Monument — List of Chiefs and As- 
sistants — The Fire Record. 

IN a previous chapter mention has been made of the organisation of a fire 
department for the little settlement, and the choice of Messrs. Hart, Kemp- 
shall, Bond, Wakelee and Brown as fire wardens at the first village election in 
the spring of 1 817. Their duty was not only to enforce the ordinances which 
looked to the prevention of fires but to superintend the efforts for their ex- 
tinguishment after they had broken out, to form the line of citizens who rushed 
to the scene, each with the fire-bucket which he was compelled to own, and to 
direct the rapid and judicious passage of those primitive appliances down the 
line. This arrangement was soon seen to be inadequate, and on the 19th of 
October, in the same year, the first fire company was organised, with the fol- 
lowing members : Everard Peck, William P. Sherman, Josiah Bissell, Albert 
Backus, Roswell Hart, Jehiel Barnard, Isaac Colvin, Hastings R. Bender, 
libenezer Watts, Moses Chapin, Daniel Mack, William Cobb, Horace Bates, Ros- 
well Babbitt, Gideon Cobb, Daniel Warren, Jedediah Safford, William Brewster, 
Reuben Darrow, Ira West, Caleb L. Clarke, Davis C. West, CharlesJ. Hill. Daniel 
Mack was chosen foreman. Of all these fire-laddies not one remains on earth, 
the last to go being the otie who stood at' the end of the list in the original 
record and who was the last to answer the final roll-call — Charles J. Hill, who 
died in August, 1883. An engine was purchased, a poor affair into which the 

1 In the ]>reparation of this chapter the editor has heen aided by articles of Edward Angevine, 
which a|)peared in the daily press a few years ago ; by a manual of the department prepared in 1882 
by II. \V. Mathews, L. M. Newton and (J. I!. Harris, and by the personal kindness of Mr. Mathews. 

202 History of the City of Rochester. 

water had to be poured from buckets, for it had no suction hose, but a house 
was built for it on Court-House square and it was not till 1820 that the machine 
needed repairs, when $9.25 was voted for that purpose, and in the same year the 
board of village trustees appropriated. $120 "to purchase and repair fire uten- 
sils, such as buckets, hooks, ladders, etc., and to build a shelter for the ladders." 
In 1 82 1 the engine-house was removed to Aqueduct street, and the first rope 
for the fire- hooks was purchased at an expense of eight dollars, a vote of all 
the inhabitants being deemed necessary for the purpose. The first fire-truck 
was obtained in 1824, when fifty dollars was voted for the purpose of procur- 
ing one or more fire-ladders to be placed on wheels ; the next year four hundred 
and seventy dollars was paid for a new engine, the house for which, costing 
one hundred dollars, was located in Bugle alley, where the Corinthian Academy 
of Music now stands, and a report was made to the fire-wardens by Frederick 
Starr and Gilbert Evernghim, who had been previously appointed a committee 
to organise a volunteer fire department, as up to that time the firemen were 
rather appointees of the wardens and acting under their orders. 

The volunteer department may be said to date its existence from the 5th of 
May, 1826, for on that day the board of trustees of the village accepted the 
following persons and issued certificates to them, assigning them to the com- 
panies mentioned : — 

Engine company number i. — Addison Gardiner, Alpheus Bingham, John S. 
Smith, Silas E. Griffith, Thomas Matthews, Jacob Strawn, James Frazer, Ebenezer Watts, 
William Bender, Everard Peck, Charles J. Hill, Daniel D. Hatch, Hervey Ely, Elisha 
Taylor, Elias Beach, Nathan Mead, William Haywood, Jacob Gould, Robert King, 
John Swift, Thomas Kempshall, Asa Mardn, Simeon P. Olcott, S. L. Merrill, Gilbert Ev- 
ernghim, James K. Livingston, John C. Munn, William Rathbun, John Haywood, Jesse 
Congdon, Timothy Kempshall. 

Engine company number 2.-^ Anson House, Davis C. West, Giles Boulton, H. 
Crandall, Dennis P. Brown, Joseph P. King, Frederick Starr, William Bliss, Abner Wake- 
lee, E. H. Grover, Chauncey Eaton, C. W. Barnard, E. S. Curtis, John T. Wilcox, W. 
G. Russell, Stephen Charles, John Colby, Volney Chapin, Roswell Bush, Charles M. 
Lee, William Atkinson, Jabez Ranney, Joseph Halsey, Moses Barnard, Butler Bardwell, 
Tiflfany Hunn, Jeremiah Williams, Abner Ward. 

Hook and ladder company. — C. A. Van Slyke, Phelps Smith, E. J. Cummins, John 
Bingham, Archibald Hotchkiss, Daniel Tinker, Henry Bush, Barney Bush, Josiah 
Tower, Nathan Lyman, Phelps Smith, foreman. 

At the same time the president of the board appointed the first committee 
on the fire department, consisting of Vincent Mathews and William Brewster, 
and Samuel Works was elected the first chief-engineer, a man of extraordinary 
activity, of perfect fearlessness and of great presence of mind, admirably adapted 
for such a post. Harvey Leonard, proprietor of the " Merchants' Exchange 
tavern," which stood where the Young Men's Catholic association building 
now is, was the first to be complained of for violating the ordinances, but he 
was let off with a reprimand. 

The Village Fire Department. 203 

The next year saw quite an advance in fire matters; the village trustees 
ordered the chief-engineer to purchase a new engine at a cost not exceeding 
$1,200 ; three months later Mr. Works, who must have been an officer of mar- 
velous moderation in the expenditure of public money, reported that he had 
bought a new engine for $716, and also that he had expended $216 for 300 feet 
of hose. In October a new volunteer company was organised by those living 
in the second ward (Frankfort), with William Rathbun as foreman and B. H. 
Brown as assistant. It was mustered into service as fire company number 3, 
but the engine assigned to it was the little old one, bought ten years before, 
while the new machine was called number 2 and given to that, company, known 
by the name of "Torrent." The first inspection of the department took place 
in October, the engines and the truck being ordered to appear for that purpose 
in "Mumford meadow;" in the same month the trustees ordered that fire en- 
gine number i be located near the First Presbyterian church, that engine num- 
ber 2 be placed near the blacksmith shop opposite Blossom's tavern on Main 
street (where the Osburn House stood in later years), and that number 3 ("Red 
Rover") be housed near the intersection of Piatt and State streets. The oc- 
currence of fires was evidently carefully guarded against, for in this year Mel- 
ancton Smith, one of the fire wardens, reported that several stove-pipes in the lit- 
tle theater on State street were in a dangerous condition. The growth of the vil- 
lage rendered it necessary in 1830 to appoint an assistant to the chief-engineer, 
and the man selected was William H. Ward, who two years later succeeded Mr. 
Works as chief In January, 1 83 1 , number 4 ( "Cataract ") oame into existence 
as a company, with Joseph Field, Fletcher M. Haight, Henry E. Rochester, 
Daniel Loomis, Levi W. Sibley and James K. Livingston among its members ; 
later in the year company number 5 ("Rough and Ready") was organised, 
with Ashbel W. Riley, Selah Mathews, Edwin Scrantom, Anson House and 
eighteen others on the original roll ; many of these must have dropped out within 
a few years, for in 1847 number 5 di.sbandcd as a company; the engine house 
was in the barn of A. W. Riley in rear of Court street. In 1833 company num- 
ber 6 was organised, with its engine house in Pindell alley, but the members 
were so dissatisfied with the location that the trustees a year later removed it to 
Fitzhugh street (where the Alert hose now has its quarters), paying $150 for 
removing the old house and refitting it. Here old "Protection 6" was housed, 
with "Pioneer" hook and ladder company number i (afterward called "Em- 
pire"), until the final dissolution of the volunteer department, both the engine 
and the truck occupying the ground floor and having separate session-rooms 
up stairs. The original roll of number 6 had thirty-one members, among 
them William Ailing, A. J. Langworthy (afterward' chief-en*gineer), John Chris- 
topher and Francis M. Marshall. In the year before this the first little disturb- 
ance had occurred in the department, companies i and 5 having a serious 
quarrel over the possession of a new machine which had been made by Lewis 


204 History of the City of Rochester. 

Selye. So mutinous idid the latter company become that it was disbanded by 
the village trustees and reorganised the next year. In 1833 the first exemption 
papers were granted, Frederick Starr and Joseph Halsey receiving those pre- 
ciou,s 'documents. 

The city government came into existence in 1834, but no startling change 
was made in fire matters. John Haywood and Abelard Reynolds were chosen 
by the common council as fire wardens for the first ward, John Jones and 
Willis Kempshall for the second ward, Erasmus D. Smith and Thomas H. 
Rochester for the third, Nehemiah Osburn and Obadiah M. Bush for the fourth, 
Marshall Burton and William Colby for the fifth. W. H. Ward was elected 
chief-engineer, with Theodore Chapin and Kilian H. Van Rensselaer as his 
assistants ; in September hook and ladder company number 2 was organised 
with thirty members, and located on the east side of the river; $1,500 was put 
in the tax levy this year for the support of the fire department. A hose com- 
pany, called the "^Etna," after the name of engine company number i, was 
formed in 1835, with L. B. Swan, Heman Loomis, George A. Wilkin and A. 
S. Wakelee among the members. Several disastrous fires in 1837 had aroused 
the citizens to a sense of the importance of increasing the efficiency of the de- 
partment, and in 1838 a number of additions were made. Two bucket com- 
panies were organised, with George B. Benjamin, Justin M. Loder and W. H. 
Enos among the members of the first, and S. W. D. Moore, Gabriel Longmuir 
and D. C. Ailing on the roll of the second; an engine, tub and hose company 
also came into being, with George W. Parsons and nine other members. 
"Storm 7" now makes its appearance, the first engine company organised 
under the city charter, with Newell A. Stone, Henry Haight, F. W. Backus, 
Thomas Hawks and James L. Elwood among its original members. Its name 
was not inapt from the first, and its restless disposition caused its disbandment 
within a year of its foundation. Being reformed (in one sense) it became located 
in January, 1843, on "Cornhill," where it led anything but a quiet life; reor- 
ganised in 1853, it, was again di.sbanded five years later, and again reorganised 
on the same day. When the war broke out. in 1861, and volunteers were 
called for by President Lincoln, an entire company of the "Old Thirteenth" 
was formed out of the members of "Storm 7," with William Tulley as captain, 
Michael McMuUen as first lieutenant, and Jerry A. Sullivan as second lieuten- 
ant — a completeness of record not equaled by any other fire company in this 
locality, even by "Red Rover 3," though great numbers of that body enlisted 
under Frank A. Schoeffel and Law S. Gibson, now respectively sheriff of this 
county and chief-engineer of the department. In the month of November, 
1838, "Osceola 8," "also, was organised, with Lewis Selye, James McMuUen, J. 
M. Southwick, Orrin Harris and others as the charter members; originally 
located on Piatt street, it was afterward moved to Mill street ; disbanded in 1853, 
it was reorganised in the same year as "Columbia 8," was again disbanded 


in 1856, and reorganised a year or two later as "Live Oak 8," being located 
on Alexander street, near Mount Hope avenue. "Champion 9," the last of 
the volunteer engine companies in date of organisation, was chartered iti April, 
1848, and disbanded in July, 1853. The engine lay on Main street, between 
Clinton and Lancaster. 

The glory of the volunteer fire department has passed away, and its disre- 
pute has gone with it; "the noise of the captains, and the shouting," are no 
more ; order reigns, instead of discord, and conflagrations are extinguished 
without the disturbance of the public peace. In this city, as in other places, 
the excesses of many firemen brought disgrace upon the department ; not only 
were drunkenness and fighting the usual concomitants and consequents of every 
respectable fire, but the flames were often kindled by the hands that were to 
suppress them, and one incendiary fireman served a long term in state prison 
as the reward of his crimes. With all this, no body of men ever existed that 
could show a brighter record of courage, of endurance, of brilliant heroism and 
sublime devotion to duty. Their virtues and their vices are bound together, 
and where blame is given, praise should go with it, hand in hand. As con- 
necting the old department with the new, three organisations of proved effi- 
ciency and trustworthiness should now be mentioned — The Protectives, the 
Alerts and the Actives. 

On the evening of the 23d of August, 1858 — a few days after the general 
disbandment of the old volunteer department, which occurred after the fire that 
destroyed Minerva hall — in response to two calls made through the daily 
papers, a meeting of business men was held in the mayor's office, and another 
in the city clerk's office, one to organise what is now known as the I'rotcctivcs 
aiid the other for the formation of a hose company. 

The Protectives perfected their organisation at once, the company — or 
association, as it was then called — having as an object for its formation, as im- 
plied by the name, and as set forth in the first article of its constitution, the 
removal of property from burning buildings, or buildings in dangerous prox- 
imity to fire, and the protection thereof by an efficient and responsible guard 
during the confusion incident to such occasions; also, the extinguishing of fires 
when practicable. The first officers of the Protectives (or Protective sack and 
bucket company number I, the explicit name of the association) were: George 
W. Parsons, foreman ; William A. Hubbard, first assistant foreman ; James 
Terry, second assistant ; Roswell Hart, president ; A. M. Hastings, vice-presi- 
dent; George H. Humphrey, secretary; William H. Ward, treasurer, and 
Joseph B. Ward, director in the Firemen's Benevolent association. Their 
quarters were under Corinthian hall, on Mill street, and were provided for 
them by the city. They entered service with an active roll of forty members. 
The apparatus of the company, a four-wheeled carriage, designed especially 
for their needs, was drawn by hand, and from its peculiar shape it was at once 

2o6 History of the City of Rociiestkr. 

called "the hearse." In this carriage were carried a number of pieces of can- 
vas, several canvas sacks, and a large number of leather buckets, their only 
means of fighting fire. The Protectives soon proved themselves a worthy ad- 
junct to the department by the removal, in many instances, of complete stocks 
of goods. The guard also provided for goods thus saved found favor at once 
with the merchants, who, previous to this in case of fire, were in quite as much 
danger of loss by theft as from the elements themselves. Continuing prosper- 
ity favored the young company for the next few years, until the war of the 
rebellion called for the very best members of such an organisation. The first 
to enlist were spared by the redoubled efforts of their remaining brothers, but, 
as member after member left to take the place of those who had fallen — and 
they were many — the company commenced to falter, and for a period it could 
scarcely be- said to live ; at last, however, with the return of the survivors of 
that terrible struggle, nqw life was infused, and the company found that their 
quarters were not suitable. 

In' 1866 they purchased a lot on the northeast corner of Mill and Market 
streets, and erected a three-story building thereon for their own use. March 
2Sth, 1868, they were incorporated by a special act of the legislature. New 
appliances for extinguishing fires were now coming into use, and in 1870 two 
chemical fire extihguishers superseded the buckets, and from this time forward 
the company were enabled to compete with other branches of the department, 
owing to this valuable invention. For several succeeding years the compan)' 
continued to grow, and adopt such changes as were brought about by the im- 
proved system of the last decade ; two modern carriages had in turn superseded 
the old hearse, and the bunk-room, with its regular bunkers, was now an ab- 
solute necessity. Composed of the fleetest and strongest runners, midnight 
fires were now hailed with delight, and, while the desire to strictly obey the 
call to duty was as strong as ever in their breasts, the love for their company, 
and the determination not to retrograde, caused these young champions of 
their city's welfare to accept not only the rivalry of other volunteer organisa- 
tions, but that of their greatest competitor, the paid department. 

In 1881, the quarters of this company again proving inadequate for the 
realisation of certain hopes for the future, to further their plan they sold to one 
of their members the property then occupied by them, and moved into tem- 
porary quarters at number 17 Mill street, in a building owned by the Butts 
estate. Completing the purchase of a valuable lot on the east side of North 
Fitzhugh street, a short distance from West Main, with the proceeds of the sale 
of the Market street property, negotiations were commenced with the city for 
the erection of a suitable building, and the proper equipment of the same. 
Partially successful in . their efforts, the city having decided to appropriate 
$10,000 for the erection of a house, the members felt that they could now look 
forward with certainty to the fulfillment of their fondest hopes, namely, the 

The Protectives. 207 

establishing of the company on the plan of the insurance patrol companies of 
the large cities of this country. We say they were only partially successful in 
their efforts, and for this reason. Estimates from the plans adopted by the 
company clearly proved that the appropriation was not large enough to com- 
plete the building, but in the following spring the city appropriated nearly 
$5,000 additional, which finished a building that is now regarded a model of 
beauty and convenience. Much still remained to be done, as the heating ap- 
paratus, plumbing and gas-fitting were not included in the builder's contract. 
The house must also be furnished in order to make it serviceable for the pur- 
pose intended. In this extremity the company decided to ask the insurance 
companies doing business in the city and also the business men to aid them, and 
in September, 1881, appointed a committee which issued a circular showing the 
record of the company from 1859 to date. By this act the company received 
from the insurance companies $1,136.25, and the business men attested their 
appreciation of the company's efforts in their behalf by subscribing the sum of 
$2,557.86, a total of $3,694.05, all of which was expended on the house and its 
furniture. May 25th, 1882, the company took possession of its new home and 
formally opened the same about a month later. The rapid growth of the city 
now demanded greater service from the company, and the executive board 
decided to furnish them with a patrol wagon and horses and two drivers and 
lay aside the hand carriage then in use. August i8th, 1882, witnessed the 
change from the old style to the new, and the company, not without regrets, 
gave up the rivalry that had heretofore formed part of their very existence. 
The following persons have held the office of foreman : George W. Parsons, 
Wm. A. Hubbard, Lyman M. Newton, Wm. R. Brown, E. A. Jaquith, Dwight 
H. Wetmore, Samuel B. Williams, A. M. Semple, Henry D. Stone, L. H. Van- 
Zandt, J. H. Coplin, John Craighead, Herbert S. King, S. J. Rogers, Wm. R. 
Pool, E. B. Bassett, R. W. Bemish, A. M. Bristol, C. P. Dickinson, Frank W. 
Kinscy. The present officers of this organisation are : Frank W. Kinsey, fore- 
man ; John R. Kelly, first assistant foreman ; Charles J. Allen, second assist- 
ant ;• Albert M. Bristol, president; Herbert S. King, vice-president; Edmund 
J. Burke, recording secretary ; Samuel B. Williams, financial secretary ; John T. 
Roberts, treasurer; Rev. Wm. H. Piatt, chaplain. 

The present members of the company are divided into the honorary roll, 
requiring twelve years' service in the company, numbering seventeen ; an ex- 
empt roll of eleven, a roll of five associate members and. the active roll of twen- 
ty-five members, in all fifty-eight members, with two drivers, who are hired by 
the city, and a steward paid by the company. 

In conclusion, a brief summary of the work done by this company will show 
the public on what grounds they have asked and received such substantial 
proofs of their appreciation. During the twenty-six years of their life as a com- 
pany they have responded to more than 1,700 alarms and have done duty at 

2o8 History of the City of Rochester. 

nearly 1,400 actual fires, and records in possession of the fire marshals and the 
company show that the property saved or removed by the direct efforts of the 
company amount to many hundred thousand dollars — a remarkable showing of 
a remarkable company, standing alone, as it does, the only company in the 
United States performing volunteer fire patrol duty, while not deriving any 
benefit from the insurance companies. The members receive no compensation 
for their services and the running expenses are borne by the city government. 
This is but another instance of the city's watchful care of its business interests. 
The organisation of the Alert or City hose number i, the latter being the 
first name of this company, was perfected September 7th, 1858, by electing 
E. W. Farrington, foreman ; Herbert Churchill, assistant foreman ; John P. 
Humphrey, secretary; Abram Karnes, treasurer; and W. H. Cross director of 
the Firemen's Benevolent association — the foreman acting as president during 
the meetings of the company. Mr. Farrington was an old New York fireman 
and did much toward setting the company on the high road to success. The 
other original members were : Charles H. Clark, Morris Smith, Wm. S. Grant- 
synn and Walter Sabey. The Alerts were quartered under Corinthian hall 
block on Mill street, being next north of the Protectives. Here they remained 
until 1866, when they were forced to vacate, and, the common council not pro- 
viding them with a house, they stored their carriages and for a few months did 
no fire duty, although holding regular meetings in a room rented by them for 
that purpose in Baker's block. They soon tired of this and made up their 
mind to have a house at their own expense, and a committee soon secured 
quarters in a new block on the east side of Front street. Possession was taken 
on February 1st, 1867, and they were again "Ever Ready," that being the 
company motto. The company numbered at this time, active, exempt and 
honorary members, in all about forty. In the latter part of 1874 the city 
erected a carriage house for them on the site of the old house formerly occu- 
pied by "Protection" 6 and "Empire" hook and ladder number i. This is a 
three- story house, with carriage room and reading-room on the first floor; 
bunk room, containing six double beds, locker room, bath-room and closet on 
the second and an elegant session-room and company locker on the third. It 
was completed about January ist, 1875. The company immediately set about 
furnishing it at their own expense, and on Saturday evening, January 23d, 
187s, the company, headed by a drum corps and drawing the three carriages 
owned by them, left the Front street building and marched to and took pos- 
session of the house they now occupy. The company had increa.sed greatly 
during the eight years on Front street and now numbered in all over one hun- 
dred members. The company was incorporated on the 30th of March, 1867, 
having at that time thirty-two members on the active roll, of whom fifteen were 
exempt. The following have been elected foremen : E. W. Farrington, W. S. 
Grantsynn, James B. Humphrey, George B. Harris, Charles H. Stilwell, Charles 

Alert and Active Hose Companies. 209 

B. Ayers, R. H. Warfield, F. B. Watts, E. M. Smith, John A. Baird, W. H. H. 
Rogers, Wm. H. Brady, John A. Davis, Frank H. Leavenworth, Charles H. 
Atkinson, Samuel A. Rose, James Cassidy, Irving C. McWhorter, John E. 
Kelly, John A. Vanderwerf, Henry W. Mathews. The present officers are : 
Henry W. Mathews, foreman ; George W. Scott, first assistant ; Wm. V. 
Boyd, second assistant; Charles H. Atkinson, president; Robert Renfrew, jr., 
vice-president; Wm. F. Brinsmaid, recording secretary; Charles E. Boor, 
financial secretary ; Thomas H. Husband, treasurer ; Rev. W. D'Orville Doty, 
chaplain ; C. H. Atkinson, W. F. Brinsmaid, Simon V. McDowell, Simon Stern 
and Henry W. Mathews, trustees. After twenty years' services on the active 
and exempt roll a member becomes a life member' in the company, conferred, 
so far, only on H. W. Mathews and G. B. Harris. The honorary roll contains 
the names of ninety-four members, the exempt roll thirty-three members, the 
active roll thirty-seven — in all one hundred and sixty-four members. At the 
time of the great parade held in this city on August i8th, 1882, the last day 
of the meeting of the New York State Firemen's association, the Alerts, on the 
right of the line, had on the rope ninety-one members, three officers, one 
steward, with three ort the central committee and two marshals of division, in 
all one hundred members. 

Active hose company number 2 dates its organisation from June 9th, 1868, 
when the following persons were named as officers : President, Arthur D. Wal- 
bridgc ; vice-president, Cornelius R. Parsons; secretary, J. Matthew Angle ; 
treasurer, P. Frank Quin; foreman, James Cochrane; assistant foreman, S. W. 
Updike, jr. ; but they did not receive their carriage until some time about No- 
vember 1st, of the same year. Before that time a difference of opinion arose 
among the members and resulted in a number of those who had been most 
active in effecting an organisation leaving the company, whereupon they 
elected a new set of officers, who were the first under whom fire duty was 
done, their alarm being on November 4th, 1868. They were located at 
this time on Water street, next door to steam engine number i, where they 
remained until November 5th, 1873, when they opened their new house on 
North St. Paul street, where they now are. The names of those who have' 
held the office of foreman are : James Cochrane, Bernard Dunn, John W. Wil- 
son, Owen F. Fee, Joseph F. Cochrane, William H. Tracy, William V. Clark, 
Josiah J. Kinsey, Adolph H. Otto, George Ford, John B. Mooney, Morris 
H. Lempert, John E. Rauber, John Leight, R. C. Reynell, H. C. Knowlton. 
About the i8th of August, 1882, the company received a new hose carriage 
called "the citizens' gift," as it was bought by a subscription raised for that 
purpose, and intended to be drawn by horses. The present officers of the com- 
panyare: President, Henry C.Wulle; vice-president, R. Charles Reynell ; record- 
ing secretary, Louis Rice; financial secretary, Adolph H. Otto ; treasurer, John P. 
KisHngbury; foreman, H. C. Knowlton; first assistant, John Reinhart; second 

2IO History of the City of Rochester. 

assistant, Louis Rice. The honorary exempt roll, which requires ten years' 
service in this company, contains the names of James Malcom, A. H. Otto, 
Selim Sloman ; the exempt roll contains fifteen names, the active roll sixteen 
names; and besides the company has what are called "passive" members, who, 
upon the payment of yearly dues of the sum of three dollars, are entitled to 
the privilege of the house but have no vote in its meetings ; on this roll there 
are seventeen names. 

In February, 1861, two steam fire engines were brought to the city, which 
were afterward known as numbers i and 3. There was at first some slight op- 
position to their use and much incredulity was fdt with regard to their effect- 
iveness, especially in cases where rapidity of action was concerned. This, 
however, soon wore away, especially after the substitution of horses for hand 
labor, which was the motive power in drawing the steamers for the first few 
months. The inevitable result followed ; the old hand engines soon fell into 
disuse, the paid fire department was organised in 1862 and one steamer after 
another was added to the list, until there were four, ready to be called into 
active work at any moment. These performed all that could be accomplished 
by any number of machines at a fire, and most of them turned out at every 
alarm until the Holly system of water-works went into successful operation 
in 1874, when the attendance of the steamers on ordinary occasions was ren- 
dered unnecessary, so that only the hose carts of the paid department turned 
out at every call, together with the chemical engine or fire extinguisher. 'The 
two volunteer hose companies, the sack and bucket company and the patent 
Hayes truck, with long, extension ladders, which was added to the apparatus 
last year, run only to boxes in the center or more thickly settled parts of the 
city, while the steamers respond only to a general alarm or a special call in 
case of emergency. A fifth hose cart has just been added to the paid depart- 
ment. A useful factor in the suppression of fires, and one which it would now 
seem almost impossible to do without, is the fire alarm telegraph, of the Game- 
well system, which was accepted by the city government in March, 1869, after 
its construction at a cost of $12,000. Box after box has been added, until 
now there are eighty-seven in all. The telegraph was from the beginning un- 
der the charge of B. F. Blackall, who was succeeded three years ago by Charles 
R. Finnegan, both of whom have conducted the affairs of the office in a satis- 
factory manner. No more valuable adjunct to the department exists than the 
fire marshal, whose obligations are various but whose most important duty is 
to examine all buildings in process of construction and to forbid their comple- 
tion if it will be dangerous to human life, as well as to order the demolition of 
structures that have so far gone to decay as to render them unsafe. O. L. An- 
gevine filled the office for a great number of years and in 1880 gave place to 
William Carroll, who in April of this year was succeeded by Arthur McCor- 
mick, the present incumbent. 

Firemen's Benevolent Association, 2 1 1 

Of the many parades of the fire department alone, the largest and most 
imposing ever given under the old volunteer system was on September 13th, 
1854, when several machines from Buffalo, Batavia, Elmira, Geneseo, Oswego 
and Cobourg appeared in the line, two of the visiting companies being accom- 
panied by brass bands. This was eclipsed by the grand procession at the ded- 
ication of the firemen's monument in 1880 and by that in August, in 1882, 
when the convention of the State Firemen's association, under the presidency 
of Thomas A. Raymond, of the Alert hose company of this city, was held here. 
The festivities then lasted through most of the week, but the exercises were not 
confined to the mere entertainment of delegates and visitors from abroad, for 
they included the exhibition at a large building on North St. Paul street, which 
was temporarily used as headquarters, of all imaginable contrivances for the 
extinguishment of fires or connected in any way with that important service. 
It will now be well to go back a little in point of time and to give a sketch of 
the Firemen's Benevolent association. 

From an early period in the history of the village there had been a firemen's 
benevolent fund, to provide for the maintenance of the men during sickness and 
for the relief of the widows and orphans after death had taken away their nat- 
ural support. This fund was neither permanent in its nature nor constant in its 
amount, the money being raised from time to time, as occasion demanded, and 
the advisability of making it lasting and adequate to all calls upon it was be- 
ginning to be realised when Colonel Thomas S. Meacham, of Pulaski, Oswego 
county, offered to give the city a mammoth cheese, weighing several hundred 
pounds, which had been made in his dairy, and which, according to his condi- 
tions, was to be sold at auction and the proceeds " to be set apart as a fund for 
the relief of the widows and orphans of firemen and for disabled firemen." The 
offer was gladly accepted and at a special meeting of the common council, held 
October 13th, 1835, the colonel presented the The nutritious article 
was then transferred to the corporation and sold in small pieces, the sum total 
obtained being $958. 27. This became the nucleus of the permanent firemen's 
fund, and to take care of it the Firemen's Benevolent association was organised 
the same year and incorporated in 1837. Ten years after its foundation the 
fund showed an increase of one hundred and fifty per cent., being $2,405.06, 
in 1856 it was $3,848.09, in 1866 it had mounted up to $10,246.18, in 1876 
it had risen to $40,303.94, and on December loth, 1883, it was $50,136.39. 
In only three years has there been a decrease — one of those being 1880, when 
$8,956.89 was paid for the monument — and during all this time large amounts 
have been disbursed annually for relief, aggregating more than $30,000, a per- 
petual bed in the City hospital, for the use of the sick poor of the department, 
has been purchased at a cost of $1,500, and other large expenditures have been 
made. In 1864 the association was re-incorporated under the name of the 
"Rochester fire department," in order that it might receive the two per cent. 

2 1 2 History of the City of Rochester. 

of the premiums paid to foreign insurance companies, which those organisa- 
tions had, before that time, paid to the city treasurer. 

The great day of the association — or department, as it must now be 
called — was September 9th, 1880, when the monument, above referred to, 
was unveiled with impressive ceremonies. All the firemen in the city, exempts 
as well as those in active service, turned out to do honor to the occasion, and 
visiting, companies, with their apparatus, and accompanied in some cases by 
their own bands, were present from Auburn, Penn Yan, Ithaca, Brockport, 
Lockport, and Bradford, Pa., to join in the parade, and the solemn march to 
Mount Hope. The structure stands at the end of Grove avenue, in the south- 
western part of the cemetery, on a high ground overlooking the river, and giv- 
ing a view of some of the most beautiful portions of the city, two miles to the 
northward. From the center of a platform, twenty-four feet and three inches 
square, rises the monument to a height of fifty feet, made of Vermont granite, 
without a blemish in it, and constructed entirely by Rochester workmen. On 
the summit of the shaft is a figure eight feet nine inches high, that of a fire- 
man, wearing a fire hat, with coat on the left arm, and standing in an attitude 
of rest; the words "Fire department," on one of the bases, form the only let- 
tering on the work. The exercises were opened with a brief speech by An- 
drew M. Semple, the president of the day, after which Dr. H. C. Riggs, of St. 
Peter's church, made a prayer ; Cornelius R. Parsons, the mayor of the city, 
delivered an address ; then followed, after music, an address by James H. 
Kelly, a. poem written for the occasion by Mrs. J. G. Maurer, and read by Dr. 
Riggs, an address by John W. Stebbins, and the benediction by Rev. Byron 
Holley, of St. Luke's. 

The first officers of the association were : President, Erastus Cook ; vice- 
presidents, Peter W. Jennings and William Blossom ; treasurer, John Williams ; 
secretary, William R. Montgomery ; collector, A. J. Langworthy ; directors. 
Engine company number i, William S. Whittlesey; number 2, Edward Rog- 
gen ; number 3, Isaac Hellems; number 4, John T. Tallman ; number 5, E. B. 
Wheeler; number 6, William Ailing; hook and ladder number i, William 
Brewster; number 2, James Bradshaw ; hose number i, Heman Loom'is. 
The different presidents from that time on were William Brewster, Martin 
Briggs, George Arnold, George W. Parsons, XVilliam E. Lathrop, John Craigie, 
George B. Harris, A. S. Lane, Joseph B. Ward, John Cowles, S. M. Stewart, 
Law S. Gibson, L. W. Clarke, Thomas H. Husband, Henry W. Mathews and 
Theron E. Parsons. The following are the names of the ch ief-engineers, from 
their time of service, and the names of the various assistants : Samuel Works, 
1826-31 ; W. H. Ward, 1832 and 1834-35 '> Thomas Kempshall, 1833; Theo- 
dore Chapin, 1836; Alfred Judson, 1837-38 and 1840; P. W. Jennings, 1839 
and 1 841; A. J. Langworthy, 1842; George W. Parsons, 1843-44; T. B. 
Hamilton, 1845, 1847-48 and 1850; S. M. Sherman, 1846 and 1851-54; 

Notable Fires. 213 

James Cowles, 1849; William H. Sprung, 1855-56; Zachariah Weaver, 1857- 
58 and 1868; George 13. Harris, August, 1858-62 and 1865-67; John Mc- 
Mullen, 1863; P. H. Sullivan, 1864; Wendel Bayer, December, 1868-69 and 
1880; Law S. Gibson, 1870-79 and 1881-84. Assistants, W. H. Ward, James 
K. Livingston, Theodore Chapin, K. H. Van Rensselaer, W. S. Whittlesey, 
Erastus Cook, Alfred Judson, P. D. Wright, Reuben A. Bunnell, P. W. Jen- 
nings, I. H. Babcock, William P. Smith, A. J. Langworthy, G. W. Parsons, T. 
B. Hamilton, George Charles, Thomas Hawks, S. M. Sherman, U. C. Edger- 
ton, George W. Biirnap, John Craigie, James Cowles, J. P. Steele, Benjamin 
H. Hill, M.H. Jennings, James Melvin, William Melvin,,W. H. Sprung, Ed- 
ward Madden, Valentine Shale, Zachariah Weaver, John Cowles, J. N. M. 
Weeks, S. M. Stewart, John R. Steele, John McMullen, Joseph Consler, Jo- 
seph Corbin, John D. Pike, Robert B. Randall, Joseph Franklin, Jeremiah 
Twaige, A. Galley Cooper, Friend W. Hines, John McMahon, Wendel Bayer, 
P. H. Sullivan, Thomas O'Brien, John Arth, James White, James Malcom, 
August Bauer, Charles Frank, Law S. Gibson, Thomas Crouch, Ralph- Ben- 
don, John F. Goldsmith, John C. Connolly, Henry W. Mathews, Samuel Be- 
mish, Anthony Kassel, John O'Kane, James Plunkett. 

An organisation known as the Rochester Fire Engineers' association, con- 
sisting of ex-chiefs and ex-assistant engineers, was formed on the 28th of 
March, 1883, with the election of the following officers: George B. Harris, 
president ; Zachariah Weaver, vice-president ; H. W. Mathews, secretary ; 
Wendel Bayer, treasurer. 

Anything like a full description of all the fires that have occurred here 
would of course be impossible, and those that are named below are by no 
means the only ones which created excitement at the time or required. hard 
work on the part of the firemen before they could be extinguished. Some of 
the mill fires have made a brighter blaze, and some of the burnings of lumber 
yards and wood-work manufactories have entailed more prolonged labor of 
the department, but they were not destructive of life nor did they bear away 
with them in their ascending smoke the memory of old associations. The first 
fire in the little village was on Sunday, December 5th, 18 19, when the build- 
ing just east of where the Arcade now is, containing the office of the Gazette, 
was burned; Edwin Scrantom, an apprentice of the establishment, was asleep 
there at the time and would have awakened only to a fiery death had not 
James Frazer, at the risk of his life, burst through the flames and rescued him. 
The first fatality occurred December 2ist, 1827, when Thomas M. Rathbun, 
of hook and ladder number i, was killed by a falling chimney at the burning 
of Everard Peck's paper-mill, on South Water street, where Charles J. Hill's 
flouring mill stood in later years. Only three alarms were given in 1836, and 
but two of those were for fires of any magnitude — Lewis Selye's engine 
factory and Jonathan Child's " Marble block," on Exchange street, just south 

214 History of the City of Rochester. 

of the canal. On the 26th of August, 1840, George B. Benjamin and John 
Eaton, both firemen, were killed by a falling wall at the burning of the Curtis 
building, on Main street. The old Mansion House, on State street, built in 
1 82 1, was burned February 2d, 1844. May 2d, 1846, the old stone block 
built by Hervey Ely in 1 8 1 7 on the corner of Main and State streets, where 
the Burns block was afterward put up and where the Elwood block now stands, 
was destroyed, and the Democrat office, which occupied a part of the building, 
was ruined. In July, 1847, Grace church, on the site of the present structure, 
was burned to the ground. 

The destruction of "Chicken row," on the 3l[st of March, 1853, where the 
Rochester savings bank now stands, did not amount to much of a conflagra- 
tion, but it removed a notorious landmark and formed the subject of conversa- 
tion for almost a month, when it was put out of mind by the calamity of the 
burning, on the 29th of April in the same year, of the Rochester House. This 
noted hotel, which in the early days of the canal was inseparably connected 
with the glories of that great water-way, was a large structure on Exchange 
street, extending from the canal to Spring street ; in its latter days it was 
kept by E. W. Bryan as a temperance house and on the final night there were 
ninety guests sleeping in it, all of whom escaped-, but four employees of the 
place — three women and a man — were unable to get out and were burned to 
death. Within a year from that time another hotel, the Blossom House (where 
the Osburn House afterward stood), was destroyed, January 24th, 1854, the 
fire beginning at three in the night and lasting till the next afternoon; the mer- 
cury fell to zero soon after daylight, the pipes froze stiff, faster than they could 
be thawed, men and machines were almost encased in ice, the free use of liquor 
made the matter worse and one company was sent home by Mayor Williams 
for its bad conduct. Early in the morning of November 21st, 1857, the Eagle 
bank block, a fine six-story edifice, on the site of the present Masonic Hall 
block, burned to the ground; Patrick Heavey and William Cleator, of engine 
company number 2, were killed by a falling chimney; the Democrat establish- 
ment, occupying the fourth and fifth floors, was again completely destroyed 
and the Commercial bank building, next east, was crushed by a falling wall. 

We now come to the most destructive fire, in point of pecuniary value, that 
ever visited our city. Soon after eleven o'clock on the night of August 17th, 
1858, flames were seen issuing from the livery stable of Heavey & McAnally, 
on Minerva alley, and before daylight every building on the south side of Main 
street from St. Paul to Stone street, including the Third Presbyterian church 
and Minerva hall, was in ruins, five business blocks and twenty stores being 
thus destroyed; the loss was $175,000, insurance nearly two-thirds of that; 
water was difficult to get at and the firemen were somewhat fatigued by a long 
walk in procession early in the evening, as well as by a $25,000 fire in Water 
street the night before. On the lOth of November, 1859, the Unitarian church. 

Notable Fires. 2 1 5 

on Fitzhugh street, was burned, and just a month later the Second Baptist 
cliurch, on the corner of Clinton and Main streets. The old Bethel church on 
Washington street, next to the canal, which had long been vacant, as the con- 
gregation had built the Central church, was burned on the night of November 
24th, 1 861 ; a large tin dome stood above the roof, and as the heated air filled 
its interior it rose like a balloon and soared away to quite a distance, present- 
ing a brilliant and peculiar sight. For a fourth time the department suffered 
a loss in its membership, when John D. Pike, Henry P'orscheler and Joseph 
Wernette fell at the post of duty and died while fighting the flames at the burn- 
ing of Washington hall on the 4th of May, 1867. March 17th, 1868, St. 
Peter's (Presbyterian) church was burned, and on the 19th of December in the 
same year the Deinocrat office underwent a third cremation, being burned out 
completely in the conflagration that destroyed much of the old Eagle Hotel 
block and extended through from Pindell alley to State street, taking in the 
Union bank building and other property adjacent. The First Presbyterian 
church, then unoccupied, where the city hall now stands, was burned on the 2d 
of May, 1869, and the Opera House on the 6th of November in the same 

An ancient memorial of the city was lost when the old Hervey Ely mill, at 
the east end of the aqueduct, went up in smoke in the early morning of August 
24th, 1870, and the third week in December of that year gave hard work to 
the department by three successive all-night fires — those of the Boston mill, 
the Pool building (in which the Democrat job- room was burned) and the rag 
warehouse of McVean & Hastings, on Exchange street, where the Daily Union 
building now is. The fire in Stewart's block, on North Water street, January 
1 8th, 1874, is noteworthy for being that at which the first stream was thrown 
from the water- works hydrants. July 19th, 1876, a fire on Warehouse street, 
near the canal, consumed five shops and factories ; John R. Marks, not a fire- 
man, was burned to death. Another loss of life occurred at the burning of 
Tower's thermometer works, on Exchange street, in consequence of the explo- 
sion of some material there used; John Prescott, one of the workmen, was 
caught fast by the flying debris and slowly perished in the flames. One of the 
finest pyrotechnic displays, of late years at least, was at the destruction, on the 
7th of April, 1880, of the "Beehive," an old building on Aqueduct street, 
which was built in 1827 by E. S. Beach, Thomas Kempshall and Henry Ken- 
nedy, and was used as a flour mill by the two first named, one after the other, 
till the death of Mr. Kempshall, in 1865, when it was remodeled inside and 
used thereafter for a great number of manufacturing industries. This will close 
the fire record. 

2i6 History of the City of Rochester. 



The First Public Library — The Franklin Instilute — The Athenaeum — The Central Library — The 
Law Library — The Young Men's Christian Association — The Literary Union — "The Club" — The 
Fortnightly — The Shakespeare Club. 

THE first organised association in this place for the dissemination of knowl- 
edge by means of a public library was the Franklin Institute, but before 
that there was at least an effort made in the same airection, as is shown by this 
extract from the first volume of miscellaneous records in the county clerk's 
office : — 

"I, Jonathan Child, having been, at a meeting of two-thirds of such persons as have in 
writing under their hands signified their consent and desire to associate themselves together 
for the purpose of procuring and erecting a public library, held at the house of John G. 
Christopher in said county of Monroe and state of New York, on the second Tuesday 
of April 1822, the time and place previously agreed upon by a majority of such persons 
as aforesaid, duly elected chairman, do hereby certify, in conformity to the statute in 
such cases made and provided , that at such a meeting at the place and on the day aforesaid 
Levi Ward, jr., Joseph Penney, Francis H. Cuming, Joseph Spencer, William Pitkin, Ash- 
ley Sampson, William Atkinson, Abraham Plumb, Elisha Taylor, Anson Coleman, Enos 
Pomeroy and Jonathan Child were by plurality of voices duly elected to serve as trustees 
of ' the Rochester Literary company,' in said village of Rochester for the ensuing year." 

Whether this company ever went into active operation cannot be definitely 
ascertained. If it did so, however, it must have been short-lived, for the di- 
rectory of 1827 makes no mention of it, but, on the contrary, distinctly says : — 

"There is as yet no public library of general literature nor public seminary of educa- 
tion. Measures are in operation, however, for prosecuting both these objects, which it is 
hoped the present year will see in a good state of advancement." 

At that very time the Franklin institute w^as in existence, for it was organ- 
ised on the 13th of October, 1826, but its library was scientific, not literary, as 
will be seen by this extract from its constitution : — 

"The objects which the Franklin institute shall have especially in view shall be the es- 
tablishment of a library for the use of the members, consisting of books on the arts, 
sciences and manufactures, a museum of models of machines, a cabinet of mineralogy, 
geology, and chemical substances, scientifically arranged ; lectures and apparatus for 
illustrating the sciences connected with the mechanical arts, and mutual instruction in el- 
ementary sciences as far as practicable." 

The origin of the institute was in a course of lectures delivered here in that 
year by Prof Eaton of Troy, which must have been well supported, for at their 
close the managers found themselves in possession of a surplus of two or three 
hundred dollars. This they resolved to devote to the establishment of a pub- 
lic library, which was accordingly opened in rooms on the corner of Main and 
Canal streets (now Water street); this was in the building formerly occupied by 

Franklin Institute. — Athenaeum. 217 

the Eagle bank. The aflfairs of the institute were conducted by a committee of 
seven, who were chosen annually. The first committee consisted of Rev. Joseph 
Penney, Rev. F. H. Cuming, Levi Ward, jr., Elisha Johnson, Jacob Graves, 
Giles Boulton and Edwin Stanley. At the commencement of the year 1827 
the association consisted of about seventy members and had obtained a small 
cabinet of minerals, a library and several models of machines, and had be- 
gun a system of cultivating knowledge in the arts and sciences by lectures, 
experiments, and such examinations and inquiries as the means of the institute 
would admit of At that day the privileges of such an association were highly 
prized, as the fee of admission to membership was $5, subject to an annual 
tax of $2. 

Out of the Franklin institute grew the Rochester Athenseum and Mechanics' 
Literary association, generally known by the shorter title of the Athenaeum, 
which indeed was its name at first and until it was consolidated with other or- 
ganisations. The following is from its annual report for 1859 : — 

"Shortly after the foundation of the Franklin institute the Rochester Athenseum was 
organised, in 1829, and, being incorporated in 1830, continued for some years. Its first 
rooms were in the Reynolds arcade. At this time the library consisted of four hundred 
volumes, and the papers received were eleven daily, four semi-weekly, and thirteen 
weekly-. After that time it fell into a languishing condition, its books stored away and 
its members inactive. It continued thus until 1838, when, by a union with the Young 
Men's Literary association (which had been founded a short time before), new Hfe was 
infused into it, and the two associations continued for some time to enlist the interest of 
our citizens. In 1844 (their rooms being then in Smith's arcade) the library consisted of 
2,700 volumes. After some time, however, the interest in the association decreased, 
and in 1849 it was deemed advisable to effect a coalition with the Mechanics' Literary 
association, which had been organised in February, 1836, and incorporated February 
25th, 1839. This institution was in possession of a Ubrary of about 1,500 volumes. It 
had regularly kept up a series of weekly debates, and had also held several exhibitions or 
fairs of mechanical inventions, etc. The diploma awarded to exhibitors on such occa- 
sions is here presented, and was really a creditable production for the time, though as 
you will readily perceive, the locomotive is of rather a primitive construction. Immediately 
after the combination of the two societies, they removed to their rooms (in Corinthian 
hall building), and the first lecture before the association was dehvered by Rev. J. H. 
Mcllvaine, on the 28th of June, 1849." 

On the 30th of August a new constitution was adopted — and the first elec- 
tion under it held in Arcade hall on the third Monday of September, 1849. 
Levi A. Ward was elected president to serve for the remainder of the year. 
In January, 1850, Mr. Ward was reelected for a full term. The good work 
done by the Athenaeum in the way of providing lectures during a long series 
of years is well known to most of our readers, who, by the purchase of course 
tickets, kept alive the institution, for the sums derived from the sale of member- 
ship tickets were by no means sufficient for that purpose. In the course of 
each winter, for year after year, the best lyceum orators in the country spoke 
to large audiences, and few of that class who had attained any eminence what- 

2i8 History of the City of Rochester. 

ever failed to be called upon or failed to respond. With regard to the number 
of volumes in the library any statement that could be made would be imperfect 
and unsatisfactory. In the time of its greatest prosperity the number was not 
far from 25,000, but, as the fortunes of the institution waned, the volumes grew 
fewer and fewer, many were borrowed and not returned, many were rendered 
worthless by their constant usage, and the number now remaining stored to- 
gether is about 17,000. The favorable lease under which the association had 
occupied the rooms in the Corinthian hall block expired in 1 871, when, rents 
having largely increased, application was made to the trustees of the Rochester 
savings bank for the use of the upper story of tkeir building, located on the 
corner of Main and Fitzhugh streets. The request was promptly acceded to 
and the association was granted the uSe of the rooms free of expense, which they 
occupied for a few years and then removed, first to the court-house and then 
to rooms on Fitzhugh street. Here, in 1877, the usefulness of the association 
came to an end, the books and other documents passing into the possession of 
M. F. Reynolds and George S. Riley, the latter of whom at a later day trans- 
ferred his interest in the property to the former gentleman, by whom it has been 
transferred to the trustees of the Reynolds library, for the benefit of the city. 
The following are the names of the different presidents of the Athenaeum asso- 
ciation : 1849 and '50, Levi A. Ward; 1851, George W. Parsons; 1852, George 
S.Riley; 1853, B.R. McAlpine; 1 854, Edward M. Smith ; 1855, John N. Pome- 
roy; 1856, George G. Clarkson ; 1857-58 D. D. T. Moore; 1859, W. V. K. 
Lansings i860, Ira B. Northrop ; 1861, Charles C. Morse; 1862, John Bower; 
1863, Ezra R. Andrews; 1864, Wm. A. Reynolds; 1865, Charles B. Hill; 
1866, De Lancey Crittenden ; 1867, Edward Webster; 1867, M. H. FitzSi- 
mons ; 1868, Theron E. Parsons; 1869, M. H. FitzSimons; 1870, Thomas 
Dransfield; 1871, A. M. Semple; 1872, C. E. Morris; 1873, J. H. Kelly; 
1874, Jonas Jones. 

The Central library was established in 1863, by consoUdating seventeen 
school libraries into one. Selections from these were made, and in addition a 
few valuable works were purchased, making one thousand volumes, thus form- 
ing a foundation on which this library was built. It was first established in 
suitable rooms in Baker's block, on West Main street, and in 1875 it was 
removed to its present commodious quarters in the Free academy building, on 
Fitzhugh street. Mrs. W. H. Learned was appointed the first assistant libra- 
rian in 1870, and was succeeded in 1881 by Mrs. Katherine J. Dowling, the 
present incumbent. An annual state appropriation of $879 is. devoted solely 
to the purchase of books, and so carefully and substantially have these been 
selected by the library committee every year, that each classified division of 
volumes has grown in harmony, requiring additional alcoves annually, until 
this library has to-day 15,000 volumes, mostly works of fair literary value. 
It has a patronage of five thousand readers, and for many years was the only 

Atlaiitifc Puihsluu^ ScEu^HViiig Co. ITT. 

Law Library. — The Y. M. C. A. 219 

one open to the public for reference and circulation, and to-day vies in extent, 
variety and usefulness with older institutions of its kind. 

The Law library, though intended specially for the use of the profession, 
contains many works of interest, not, perhaps, to those classed under the in- 
definite head of "general readers," but certainly to bibliophiles and those who 
are able to appreciate the worth of a rare volume. It is a part of the law 
library of the court of Appeals, much of which is in the capitol at Albany, the 
books here being one-half of those that wer6 left after the judges had selected 
what they considered necessary for their own use ; the other moiety of the un- 
chosen volumes was sent to Syracuse. The library, which was brought here 
in 1850, has at present more than 10,000 books, the value of which is not far 
from $50,000, and many of these are of great worth on account of their an- 
tiquity and their rarity. Over one hundred of them are printed in "black let- 
ter," and some of them are more than three hundred years old — such as Brac- 
ton's treatise on the laws and customs of England (in Latin), published in 1540, 
and Fitzherbert's abridgment of laws (in Norman French), published in 1565 — 
while there are more than a dozen volumes of reports by Noy, Fopham, Little- 
ton and other great lawyers, published in the seventeenth century. The libra- 
rian is L. R. Satterlee. 

On March 17th, 1854, the young men of Rochester banded themselves in 
a Young Men's Christian association, for mental and moral improvement. This 
.society struggled through a few years of many discouragements until finally it 
was disbanded. In the year 1864 the young men once more felt the need of 
some society where they might get spiritual improvement, and help their fel- 
low-men. With this purpose in view the association was reorganised, with G. 
W. Parsons as president and George H. Dana as corresponding secretary. - 
From the lack of zeal and energy the association lived only about six years. 
In 187s the association was once more organised. This time, with good man- 
agement, it steadily increased, both in membership and in the extent of work. 
Of this organisation Horace McGuire was president, N. B. Randall correspond- 
ing secretary, and F. L. Smith general secretary. In 1879 George C. Buell was 
elected president, and has served the association as such to the present time of 
writing. From 1875 D. L. Ogden, H. J. Reynolds, F. R. Wardle and F. De S. 
Helmer have been the general secretaries. Mention has been made of the good 
management of the present organisation ; with zeal, tact and tenacity added to 
this, the work of the association has been brought before the public in such a 
manner that it is recognised as a public benefaction. To give an idea of this 
growth, the following statistics will speak for themselves : In 1880 the average 
attendance at the reading-room was 250 per week.' In 1884 three hundred is 
thus far the average of oite day. The year 1 880 saw but four meetings, which 
were attended by both sexes, and very thinly. The present year (1884) all 
meetings but two were for young men only, with an average attendance of 

220 History of the City of Rochester. 

twice the number in former years. Evening classes, in different English 
branches, are very well attended, and great interest is exhibited. President, 
George C. Buell ; vice-president. Prof. A. H. Mixer ; recording secretary, A. 
N. Fitch; treasurer, C. F. Pond; general secretary, F. De S. Helmer; assist- 
ant secretaries, C. W. Foreman and Edward S. Simmons. 

The object of the Young Men's Catholic association is to cultivate a love of 
morality, law and good citizenship among the youth of Rochester, to combine 
the elevation of the mind with the development of the body by the alternation 
of literary exercises with physical improvement. The organisation was effected 
on the 25th day of March, 1872, by the election of the following officers: 
President, Right Rev. B. J. McQuaid, D. D.; first vice-president, Charles 
FitzSimons ; second vice-president, John Odenbach ; treasurer, William Pur- 
cell ; corresponding secretary, F. A. Shale ; recording secretary, John C. 
O'Brien. The association was incorporated the 3d of the following month. A 
month before the organisation Bishop McQuaid had purchased, in his own 
name, but really as trustee for the future society, the ground on the corner of 
West Main street and Montgomery alley, then occupied by the Exchange 
Hotel, for $30,000, the o\yner of which, C. B. Woodward, refused an offer of 
$5, 000 more before the papers were drawn up. On the 4th of April the bishop 
transferred the property to the association, and one year later, when the old 
leases had expired, the erection of a building was begun, which was completed 
before the next October. It is a sightly edifice, costing nearly $40,000, 
seventy-severi and a half feet in front, eighty feet deep, with a wing twenty-six 
by forty-two feet, and is four stories in height, the upper floor being used as a 
gymnasium and occupied by the Athletic club, the one below that for the 
purposes of the brganisation, including the exercises of the Literary Union, and 
the other floors for offices and stores ; its architect was A. J. Warner. There 
have been few changes in its directorship, and its present officers are the same 
as given above, except that Timothy Whalen is now the second vice-pre.sident 
and Dr. Richard Curran is the treasurer. 

One of the most popular Catholic societies in Rochester at the present 
time is the Rochester Literary Union, of which the following sketch was fur- 
nished by E. J. Kelly: It was organised in the spring of 1875, with twenty- 
five charter members. Its main object was to unite the Catholic young men 
of the city without distinction as to nationality. They unanimously elected as 
their first president, William Purcell, who for two years labored with the great- 
est zeal to make the organisation what it is at the present time, the representa- 
tive Catholic association of the city. Mr. Purcell was succeeded by James Fee, 
who during his term of office did much for the improvement of the association 
and by his liberality on many occasions evinced the interest he took in the 
Literary Union. He was followed by William C. Barry, whose administration 
was most successful. Mr. Barry has been succeeded by Patrick Mahon, Pat- 

"The Cluu." — Fortnightly Club. 221 

rick Cox, Patrick H. Magill (who scarcely had assumed his duties when he was 
stricken by death, much to the sorrow of the association), Patrick Cauley, Bar- 
tholomew Keeler, and Matthew Swan, the present incumbent. The Union has 
had to record the death, during its existence, of six members, who in their life- 
time were most active in their efforts to promote the welfare of the society. 
They are as follows : Thomas F. Maher, Edward Maher, Edward Downey, 
Patrick Mahon, Patrick H. Magill, Timothy G. M. Fahy and Professor Francis 
H. Kennedy, who passed away much regretted by the association. 

"The Club" is the comprehensive and non-descriptive title of a literary 
organisation of high standing, which for thirty years has been in the habit of 
meeting in alternate weeks, except during the warm weather, at the house of one 
member after another, to listen to a paper read by one of the club, each in 
turn taking his part as the contributor for the evening, and the others taking 
up, in regular order, the discussion of the article after its reading. The subject 
selected for treatment is in each case at the choice of the author, but naturally, 
as a general rule, in the line of his tasks, his thoughts or his studies at that 
time, and the names of the members will, of themselves, give to the readers 
of this chapter a fair intimation of the nature, at least, of the topics upon 
which the different discourses are founded. A preliminary meeting, for the 
formation of the club, was held at the house of the late Lewis H. Morgan, on 
the evening of July 13th, 1854, the first literary session being on the 7th of 
the following November. For several years past the club has been frequently 
called "the Pundit," but this appellation is disclaimed by those belonging to 
it. The following arc the names of all who have been members, the first six- 
teen being of those who are at present actively connected with it, the others 
of those who have died or withdrawn from membership : — 

President M. B. Anderson, Prof. A. C. Kendrick, Prof. A. H. Mixer, Dr. E. M. 
Moore, F. L. Durand, F. A. Whittlesey, Theodore Bacon, Prof. S. A. Lattimore, Presi- 
dent A. H. Strong, Prof. W. C. Wilkinson, Dr. W. S. Ely, Prof. W. C. Morey, Prof. 
Howard Osgood, Oscar Craig, Dr. E. V. Stoddard, J. Brack Perkins, Calvin Huson, jr.. 
Rev. Dr. J. H. Mcllvaine, Lewis H. Morgan, Prof. J. H. Raymond, E. Peshine Smith, 
Prof. Chester Dewey, Judge Harvey Humphrey, Prof. J. N. Pomeroy, S. D. Porter, Dr. 
W. W. Ely, S. P. Ely, G. H. Ely, Prof. S. S. Cutting, President E. G. Robinson, Rev. 
Henry Fowler, J. W. Dwinelle, L. A. Ward, Rev. Dr. G. D. Boardman, Prof. H. A. 
Ward, Dr. H. W. Dean, Judge H. R. Selden, Rev. Dr. Calvin Pease, G. H. Mumford, 
Judge G. F. Danforth, Rev. Dr. E. D. Yeoraans, W. F. Cogswell, Robert Carter, Prof. 
R. J. W. Buckland, Judge E. Darwin Smith. 

Following the example of the club described above, a few persons in 1881 
agreed upon the advisability of establishing a similar institution, and the mat- 
ter took shape a few months later, when the first session, without a preliminary 
meeting, was held on the 23d of February, of "the Fortnightly" club, which 
formed its organisation by the single act of electing a secretary. Dr. Dewey, 
who has acted in that capacity ever since. While the Fortnightly has no or- 
ganic constitution and no by-laws of any kind, its customs are the same with 

222 History of the City of Rochester. 

those of the older body. Its meetings are held every alternate Tuesday, with- 
out exception, from the middle of October to the middle of May, and at each 
an original paper is read. The first members were C. E. Fitch, M. W. Cooke, 
Judge F. A. Macomber, Dr. C. A. Dewey, Dr. Porter Farley, Rev. N. M. 
Mann, Robert Mathews, Rev. Myron Adams, Dr. C. E. Rider, J. P. Varnum, 
Rev. Dr. Max Landsberg, Wm. F. Peck. Since the beginning Judge Macom- 
ber has withdrawn and W. E. Hoyt and Dr. David Little have been elected in. 

There is another club of a nature similar to that of the two just mentioned, 
the membership of which embraces persons of both sexes, but, as it has pre- 
served its anonymity during all the years of its existence, nothing more can be 
said about it. The Browning club is another literary coterie, but its purpose is 
the discussion of the works of standard English poets, rather than the reading 
of original papers. 

The Shakespeare club was organised December 15th, 1865, mainly through 
the efforts of Rev. F. W. Holland. Twenty-eight persons were enrolled as 
members at the first meeting. The average attendance at present, however, is 
about sixteen. Meetings are held every Tuesday, from the first of November 
until the first of May. The officers are : President, James L. Angle ; secre- 
tary, De L. Crittenden. 



The Academy of Science — The Rochester Club — The Rochester Whist Cluh — The Eureka Club 
— The Abelard Club — The Mutual Club — The Celtic Club — The Commercial Travelers' Club — 
The Irish National League — The Civil Service Reform Association — The Lincoln Club — The River- 
side Rowing Club — The Canoe Club. 

THE Rochester Microscopical society was organised January 13th, 1879, by 
a few gentlemen interested in scientific studies. The question of organr 
ising an academy of science was considered ; but it was deemed best to begin 
with that department in which the most interest was then manifested, viz., mi- 
croscopy, and afterward extend the scope of the society, if desired. The soci- 
ety grew rapidly, and at the end of two years was the largest organisation of 
the kind in the United States. March 14th, 1881, the suggested change was 
effected, the scope of the society extended, its name changed, and its constitu- 
tion and by-laws revised. Sections have been formed in several departments, 
and considerable work is being done. The society was incorporated May 14th, 
1 88 1, as the Rochester Academy of Science. The incorporators were the ofii- 

Academy of Sciences. — Rochester Club. 223 

cers of the academy for 1881: Rev. Myron Adams, president; H. Franklin 
Atwood, vice-president ; Charles E. Rider, treasurer ; Henry C. Maine, secre- 
tary ; Adelbcrt Cronise, corresponding secretary ; Samuel A. Lattimore, Wil- 
liam Streeter and Cyrus F. Paine, trustees. 

The object of the organisation is to promote scientific study and research, 
and especially a thorough knowledge of the natural history of that part of the 
state of New York in the vicinity of Rochester, and to make permanent collec- 
tions of objects illustrative of the different branches of science. The following 
sections have been formed, since the organisation of the academy: Anatomy, 
astronomy, botany, entomology, conchology, hygiene, ichthyology, infusoria, 
literature, microscopy, photography, taxidermy. Each of these sections is or- 
ganised with such officers as the members may deem proper, and regular meet- 
ings are held. The meetings of the academy are held in a large hall in the Ar- 
cade, which has been devoted to the use of the academy by the owner, Morti- 
mer F.. Reynolds. The membership of the academy is nearly 300. Good 
progress has been made in the various departments of research. Collections 
have been made by the sections of botany and entomology. The section of 
astronomy is well equipped with instruments, and some excellent work has 
been done. The orbits of several binary stars have been calculated, the sun . 
has been successfully photographed and systematic observations have been 
made. The section of botany has nearly completed a collection of the flora 
of Western New York. The section of microscopy has done much valuable 
work. The section of hygiene has organised a system of popular lectures on 
hygienic subjects that have proved very valuable. The section of anatomy has 
conducted lectures illustrafed by dissections. The photographic section has 
done excellent work, both in field-photography and in micro-photography.i 

The Rochester club was formed in i860, James Terry being the first presi- 
dent, and the rooms occupied at the beginning being over. the present Bank of 
Monroe. A few years later a change of location was made to the Ellwanger 
& Barry block, on State street, and in 1877 a further move was made to the 
luxurious apartments that constitute the third floor of the Rochester savings 
bank building. The membership of the club, which was incorporated in 
1869, is about 150, the number having been only slightly increased for several 
years, as the club has been a strong one from its inception. The present offi- 
cers are: A. .M. Bennett, president; H. B. Hathaway, vice-president; E. B. 
Jennings, secretary, and Levi F. Ward, treasurer. 

In October, 1882, a few gentlemen who were well inclined to whist formed 
an organisation called the Rochester Whist club, for the purpose of playing the 
game and improving themselves in it, the name adopted being descriptive of 
the general object. Rooms were taken in the Cox building, on the corner of 
Main and Water streets, but in a short time the membership had increased to 

1 The sketch of the Academy of Science was kindly furnished by Henry C. Maine. 

224 History of the City of Rochester. 

such an extent — partly by the absorption of the old Audubon club — that 
larger accommodations were needed and the association, in March, 1883, moved 
to the Howe building, on North Fitzhugh street. In the course of the last 
year a further expansion became more and more essential, and finally, in the 
early part of this year, a second change was made, the club taking a lease of 
the quarters occupied up to that time by the Windsor club, which then dis- 
solved. The suite of commodious and elegant apartments, occupying the whole 
front and other portions of the third floor of the Ellwanger & Barry block, 
consists of seven rooms, which include a reception room, a reading-room, a 
billiard-room, a card-room, an eating-room, etc. '^The club, in its purposes and 
its pursuits, has long since outgrown the original designs of its founders, but 
the old name is retained and under that title it was incorporated at the begin- 
ning of this year. It numbers, at present, about one hundred members. The 
officers for the year are: John E. Morey, president; William Mudgett, vice- 
president; Homer Jacobs, secretary, and William E. Witherspoon, treasurer. 
The Phoenix club was organised in 1872 as a society for the promotion of 
social intercourse and amusement among the Jews. It erected a costly build- 
ing on North Clinton street, and was in a flourishing condition until 1882, when 
it was deemed advisable to dissolve the club, and the building was sold to the 
Odd Fellows. A number of the former members of the Phoenix club then 
banded together and formed the Eureka club for the same purposes. They 
purchased the former Barton residence and transformed it into a luxurious 
club-house. A large hall and a bowling-alley were added to the building, 
and the society is now in a prosperous condition. The officers for this year 
are : J. W. Rosenthal, president ; A. J. Katz, vice-president ; Benjamin Munk, 
secretary ; treasurer, J. Michaels. 

The Abelard club. — Only Knights Templar are eligible to membership 
in this club, which was organised in 1872 and incorporated in 1875. It num- 
bers more than one hundred and is one of the most influential organisations of 
the kind in the city. It has three rooms, well furnished, on an upper floor of 
the Powers block. The officers of the present year are : Charles T. Crouch, 
president; Alfred H. Cork, vice-president; P. S. Wilson, secretary, and N. S. 
Phelps, treasurer. 

The Mutual club was organised on the 22d of February, 1881, and rapidly 
increased in membership till it attained the number of seventy-five. It differs 
from all social clubs in this city in that the wives of the members are eligible 
to election, and the majority, perhaps, of those ladies have availed themselves 
of the privilege. One evening in each week is devoted to a reunion of the 
members of the club, of both sexes, at the rooms, of which there are four, in 
the Powers block. The present officers are James Sargent, president ; J. W. 
Archer, vice-president; J. Z. Culver, secretary, and H. W. Wilcox, treasurer. 

The Celtic club, whose name shows the nationality of its members, is of a 

Post A, C. T. A. — Irish Mutual League. 225 

social character, though joining with that an efiTort for the mutual improvement 
of its constituents. It was organised ten years ago, and its rooms have always 
been in the Powers block. The present ofificers are : J. M. Murphy, president ; 
Edward Julian, vice-president ; J. J. O'Byrne, recording secretary ; William 
Gleason, treasurer, and Michael O'Connor, financial secretary. 

Post A, Commercial Travelers' association. — The good-fellowship and 
geniality of temperament that have always characterised the members of this 
association led them to form themselves into a social organisation, on the 12th 
of January of this year, both for the recreation of those who reside here, and 
for the entertainment of those of the brotherhood who might be stopping here 
on business. Rooms were at once taken on North Fitzhugh street, near West 
Main, and the readiness with which the local "travelers" joined the new insti- 
tution showed the desirability of its existence. The officers are : Abner B. 
Wool, president ; H. M. Fuller and J. C. Bertholf, vice-presidents ; John W. 
Taylor, secretary and treasurer, and W. H. Horton, recording secretary. 

The Monroe county branch of the Irish National league of America, hav- 
ing its headquarters in Rochester, came into existence April 29th, 1883, on 
which day the principles set forth two days before by a convention in Phila- 
delphia, called to cooperate with the Irish National league of Ireland, were 
adopted as the principles of the new organisation. The objects which the Irish 
National league was formed to attain for Ireland are national self-government, 
land law reform; local self-government, extension of the parliamentary and 
municipal franchises, and the development and encouragement of the labor and 
industrial interests of Ireland. The principal purpose of the league in America 
is to earnestly and actively sustain the Irish National league in Ireland, with 
moral and material aid in achieving self-government for Ireland. The original 
society from which the local society sprang was the Monroe County Irish Na- 
tional Land League Relief association, which was organised on Sunday, Feb- 
ruary 1st, 1880, at a meeting held in this city to form a permanent organisation 
to assist Ireland materially in the famine then prevailing in the island, and to 
keep up agitation against the system of land tenure, and political evils imposed 
by England on the country, until those evils shall be removed. Any person 
was eligible to membership who professed sympathy with the movement, and 
paid ten cents a week into the treasury. 

The officers of the society during the first year were : President, William 
Purcell ; vice-president, A. B. Lamberton ; corresponding secretary, Patrick 
Mahon ; treasurer, Patrick Cox ; financial secretary, Martin Barron ; recording 
secretary, George F. Flannery. Dr. J. W. Casey was elected president for the 
years 1881 and 1882, but declined the third term, and was succeeded by H. P. 
Mulligan, who, in 1884, had as his successor Bartholomew Keeler, the incum- 
bent at date of writing. No salary whatever is paid any of the officers. The 
society, in addition to weekly meetings, at which European and American pub- 

226 History of the City of Rochester. 

lie men have spoken in behalf of the purposes of the league, has also printed 
and distributed free in America and Europe thousands of documents relating 
to the agitation in which it is engaged. The money which it has collected and 
sent to Ireland amounts at this date to $i2,ooo. The last declaration of con- 
sequence made by the league previous to the writing of this sketch was to 
pledge itself to pay salaries to those Irish members of parliament who are 
faithful to the interests of Ireland, but whose own means are not enough to 
support them while attending exclusively to legislative duties. ^ 

The Civil Service Reform association was organised on the 26th of Octo- 
ber, 1882, having for its immediate object the passage of laws opening appoint- 
ment in the civil service of the United States to those who might satisfactorily 
pass a competitive examination. It was constituted in affiliation with' the more 
general association in the city of New York. Shortly after its formation Con- 
gress passed the so-called "Pendleton bill," by which the principal object of 
the association was accomplished, and a little later the legislature of New York 
enacted a similar law with regard to this state. The society subsequently be- 
came a member of the National Civil Service Reform league, and Dr. E. M. 
Moore was chosen as the representative vice-president and member of the ex- 
ecutive committee of the league. At its first meeting the association chose the 
following- named officers, who have been twice reelected, and who are the 
present incumbents : President, Dr. E. M. Moore ; vice-presidents, C. E. Eitch, 
Oilman H. Perkins, James L. Angle, Max Landsberg, Louis Ernst, Patrick 
Barry, A. S: Mann ; secretary. Porter Farley ; treasurer, F. W. Elwood ; ex- 
ecutive committee, Theodore Bacon, L. P. Ross, J. P. Varnum, D. D. Sully, 
John Fahy, S. P. Moore, Wm. F. Peck. 

The Lincoln club is, to a great extent, political in its nature, but its activi- 
ty is not confined to election campaigns, nor do party politics engross its 
attention, for lectures, prepared by its members and by outsiders, are frequently 
delivered before it, and one of the principal objects of the club is to familiarise 
its members with the principles of civil government. The first meeting was 
held in October, 1 879, and was attended by some twenty members. Pomeroy 
P. Dickinson was elected to the presidency, an office which he held two years. 
The membership increased so rapidly that in 1880 the club rooms on State 
street were found inadequate, and a move was made to the supervisors' room 
in the court-house, which they occupied until February, 1882, when arrange- 
ments were made for the use of the large hall on the corner of West Main 
street and Plymouth avenue, which they still occupy. The officers for the 
year are : President, William E. Werner ; vice-president, W. F. Kislingbury ; 
recording secretary, C. C. Werner ; corresponding secretary, J. F. Tallinger ; 
financial secretary, Frederick A. Frick; treasurer, Williarn H. Higgins. 

The Riverside Rowing club is exclusively amateur, and was organised 

I The sketch of the National league was kindly furnished by Edmond Redmond. 

Rochester Canoe Club. 227 

September 7th, 1869, for the promotion, and encouragement of social and 
friendly intercourse, physical culture, and improvement in the art of rowing. 
The club-house is on the river, at the foot of Griffith street. At the annual 
meeting held Wednesday, April 2d, 1884, the following officers were elected 
for the ensuing year: President, Robert Mathews; vice-president, F. W. El- 
wood ; captain, D. D. Sully ; secretary, James Montgomery ; treasurer, Thomas 
H. Husband; executive committee, Frank C. Fenn,A. E. Perkins. 

The Rochester Canoe club. — The idea of forming a canoe club in this city 
originated with George H. Harris and M. B. Turpin, who, after many attempts, 
succeeded in gathering together a few persons interested in aquatic sports and 
perfecting an organisation. At a meeting held September 29th, 1882, a con- 
stitution was adopted, and the following officers were elected : President, Geo. 
H. Harris ; vice-president, M. B. Turpin ; secretary and treasurer, J. M. An- 
gle ; captain, A. E. Dumble ; first officer, F. W. Storms. The object of its 
originators, as expressed in article second of the constitution, is "to unite ama- 
teur canoeists for purposes of health, pleasure, exploration, historical research, 
and for the preservation of maps, drawings, details and objects of interest to 
canoemen." The club is in a very prosperous condition, having a large and 
enthusiastic membership, many canoes, and commodious quarters at the New- 
port House, on Irondequoit bay. The officers for the year are : Captain, F. 
W. Andrews; mate, Edward Gilmore ; purser, J. M. Angle. 

There are of course a legion of other clubs and societies of various kinds in 
this city, which might be mentioned in this chapter. Many of them are de- 
scribed or alluded to in different parts of this work — such as the chapters on 
"Rochester's German Elemen^" and "the Fine Arts in Rochester" — render- 
ing unnecessary a recapitulation of them here ; in the case of others the most 
painstaking inquiries on the part of the editor were met with evasions which 
seemed to indicate a wish for obscurity; while others, still, appeared so transi- 
tory in their existence, or so circumscribed in their scope, as to exclude them 
from a work of this nature. 

228 History of the City of Rochester. 



Its Origin — Vague Ideas of Gouverneur Morris — Definite Conception of Jesse Hawley — Legis- 
lative Action in 1808 — l)e Witt Clinton Appears — Canal Commissioners Appointed in 1816 — My- 
ron Holley and llis Great Services — Important Meeting at Canan<laigua — Opposition at Albany — 
Work Begun July 4tli, 1817 — The Canal Completed October 24tli, 1825 — The Grand Celebration — 
Enlargement of the Canal — Great Convention in this City — Canal Statistics — Tlie (lenesee Valley 

WHO proposed the Erie canal? The answef to that question, apparently 
so easy to be given, is impossible of attainment. Like many other of 
the great events in the world's history, the project of the Erie canal was not a 
definite, episodical enterprise, but a growth, a development from intangible, 
almost inappreciable beginnings in the minds of men. The time of its concep- 
tion is; naturally, equally indefinite, but if any period must be set let it be that 
of the last year 'of the last century. Taking that as the date, Gouverneur 
Morris may be said to be the originator of the idea, but his thoughts were so 
vague in the matter that he himself would have been the last person to claim 
the real parentage of the scheme. In 1800, while on a tour to Niagara falls, 
he became impressed with the navigable capacities of the country and wrote to 
a European correspondent : " One-tenth part of the expense borne by Britain in 
the last campaign would enable ships to sail from London through the Hudson 
river into Lake Erie." In 1803 he spoke to Simeon De Witt, then surveyor- 
general of the state, of the possibility of tapping Lake Erie, but the probability 
is that he had in mind a project for building a series of locks around Niagara 
falls, thus enabling vessels to pass into Lake Ontario and get from there into the 
Hudson by improving the natural watercourses between the mouth of the Os- 
wego river and the Mohawk, from whence a serjes of short canals should take 
them into the Hudson. 

Jesse Hawley, afterward a resident of Rochester, was the first to place the 
subject conspicuously and clearly before the people, in a number of essays that 
appeared in 1807-08 over the signature of "Hercules" in a Pittsburg paper and 
in the Genesee Messenger, published at Canandaigua. In these he marked out 
a route nearly the same as that subsequently adopted, except that he proposed 
to use the Mohawk river as one of the connecting links. While these articles 
of Mr. Hawley's awakened public interest in the subject, it is doubtful if they 
were the immediate cause of legislation. Benjamin Wright, of Rome, N. Y., in 
a long letter to the New York Observer in 1866, claims the honor of that for 
his father, Judge Wright, a member of thcvAssembly in 1808, who, he says, 
being interested in an article on "Canals" just then published in Rees's Cyclo- 
pedia, engaged Joshua Forman, a member from Onondaga county, in the work, 
the result being that on the 4th of February, 1808, Mr. Forman introduced a 
resolution, which Mr. Wright seconded and which was adopted, that 

The Erie Canal. 229 

"A joint committee be appointed to take into consideration the propriety of ex- 
])loring and causing an accurate survey to be made of the most eligible and direct route 
for a canal to open a communication between the tide-waters of the Hudson river and 
I^ake Erie, to the end that Congress may be enabled to appropriate such sums as may be 
necessary to the accomplishment of that great national object." 

For the expenses of this survey an appropriation of $600 was made, and 
in the following June Surveyor-General De Witt appointed James Geddes to 
do the work. In opposition to the spirit of Mr. Forman's resolution, and in 
spite of the fact that Joseph Ellicott, the agent of the Holland Land company, 
had in letters to the surveyor-general traced a practicable route from Lake 
ICrie to the Genesee river, with the assurance likewise that it could be extended to 
the Seneca river, the instructions to Mr. Geddes were such as to distinctly 
favor the route involving the navigation of Lake Ontario for a great propor- 
tion of the distance. Mr. Geddes in 1809 made his report, which seems to 
have detailed almost every conceivable plan but the right one, and to have 
favored, for this part of the state, a ridiculous system of communication " up 
the valley of Mud creek and across the country to the Genesee river, thence 
up Black creek to the Tonnewanta swamp and down the Tonnewanta creek to 
the Niagara river and up the same to Lake Erie." The way in which the 
work was done may be seen from his statement that " almost everything re- 
specting this space has been supplied by conjectures formed from appearances 
on the map." Nothing further was done in the matter by the legislature till 
1 8 10, when a resolution was adopted appointing "seven commissioners to ex- 
plore the whole route for inland navigation from the Hudson river to Lake On- 
tario and to Lake Erie." 

De Witt Clinton now comes to the front as the most earnest advocate of the 
canal pohcy, and his speech in the Senate in favor of that resolution wa,s the 
beginning of a line of conduct which earned for him the enduring title of " the 
father of the Erie canal." The commissioners thereby appointed were Gouv- 
erneur Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer, De Witt Clinton, Simeon De Witt, 
William North, Thomas Eddy and Peter B. Porter. The commissioners did 
their work with thoroughness, Mr. Clinton going through this region, fording 
the river about where the jail now stands and going down to Hanford's Land- 
ing to lodge for the night. In 181 1 the members made a report, drawn up 
by Mr. Morris, "proposing a project which, although the signature of all the 
commissioners was attached, was entertained seriously by no other member of 
the board." It was, in effect, Mr. Hawley's original plan, "to bring the waters 
of the lake, on one continued uninterrupted plane, with an inclination of six 
inches in every mile, to a basin to be formed near the Hudson, from whence 
there was to be a descent by a great number of locks." A bill was immedi- 
ately passed increasing the number of commissioners by adding Robert R. Liv- 
ingston and Robert Fulton and authorising them to apply to Congress for 
cooperation and aid, on the ground that it was a national work. This applica- 

230 History of the City of Rochester. 

tion was transmitted to Congress in December, 1811, by President Madison, 
but it was fruitless, and an appeal to different states resulted in best wishes from 
some, disapproval from others and money from none. In 18 12 the commis- 
sioners made a second report to the legislature, and a bill was passed author- 
ising them to borrow five millions of dollars for the construction of the canal, 
but the war with England, which broke out at that time, so engrossed the minds 
of people that nothing was done and in 18 14 the bill was repealed — a fortu- 
nate measure, as every cent borrowed on account of the canal was obtained of 
our own citizens, instead of having the loan placed abroad at a discount. At 
the close of 181 5 a large public meeting was held in New York, as an out- 
come of which De Witt Clinton, as chairman of a committee then appointed, 
draughted the document known as "the New York Memorial," which caused 
petitions favorable to the construction of the canal to be poured in from all 
quarters upon the legislature. 

Still that body, averse to action, did nothing in 18 16 except to create a 
board of canal commissioners whose duties were "to construct canals from the 
Hudson river to Lakes Erie and Champlain." The board consisted of Stephen 
Van Rensselaer, De Witt Clinton, Joseph Ellicott, Samuel Young and Myron 
Holley. The last named gentleman then resided in Lyons, but a few years 
after he moved to this neighborhood and identified himself with the interests of 
Rochester, though he lived outside of the city limits in a beautiful place on the 
east bank of the river, just north of the Ridge road, which for many years after 
his death was known as the "Holley farm." One of the most pure-minded and 
public-spirited of our citizens, he devoted his life to the enlightened service of 
his fellow-men, and his efforts in behalf of this great medium of commerce, 
which place him beside De Witt Clinton as one of the benefactors of the state, 
were only a portion of the good deeds which he did for the commonwealth. 
On the 8th of January, 18 17, a meeting was held at Canandaigua, of citizens 
from most of the towns of Ontario county (which then included part of the site 
of Rochester.) Few unofficial meetings have been more imposing than that 
one, from the character, talent and eminence of those attending it. Colonel 
Troup was the chairman, Colonel Rochester the secretary, and the first address 
was made by Gideon Granger, then lately postmaster-general. After that John ■ 
Greig offered a series of resolutions, which were unanimously adopted, drawn 
up by Mr. Holley and exhibiting with great force the transcendent advantages 
that would result from a direct navigation between the .Hudson and Lake Erie. 

To the action of this meeting may be ascribed, in great part, the wise and 
liberal policy that was finally adopted by the legislature, but before that was 
accomplished the most exasperating opposition had to be overcome. Governor 
Tompkins urged the subject upon the attention of the two houses, and a law 
was passed in April authorising the commencement of the canals. The strug- 
gle against it in the Senate was very bitter and it would have been defeated 

The Erie Canal. 231 

but for Martin VanBuren, who, though a violent political opponent of Mr. Clin- 
ton, had the sagacity to perceive the advantage which would accrue to the 
state, to his party and to himself by the adoption of the measure and who 
therefore spoke strongly in its favor. But the danger was not yet over, for the 
members of the council of revision were divided on the subject, Lieutenant- 
Governor Taylor — who was then acting governor, as Governor Tompkins had 
become vice-president of the United States in the previous month — being in- 
tensely hostile to it, so that it required the vote of Chancellor Kent, who 
changed his mind at the last moment, to ratify the act of the legislature and 
thus make it into a law on the 1 5 th of April. It was a splendid victory for New 
York's great statesman, who could afford to disregard the jeers that both before 
and after that were thrown out against "Clinton's big ditch." The bill which so 
narrowly escaped defeat was, after all, not so complete as it should have been and 
merely authorised the commissioners to connect by canals and locks the Mohawk 
and Seneca rivers. It established a board of commissioners of the canal fund, 
with power to contract loans, the interest on which was to be paid out of a fund 
consisting of a small tax on salt made at the springs belonging to the state, 
part of the duties accruing from sales at auction, donations of lands from indi- 
viduals or companies to be benefited by the canal (such as tracts of 100,000 
acres from the Holland Land company, 1,000 from Gideon Granger, 1,000 
from John Greig, as agent of the Hornby estate, etc.), the proceeds of some 
lotteries, a tax on steamboat passengers and a future tax of $250,000 on lands 
lying within twenty-five miles of the canal.' The last-named tax was never 
levied, the steamboat tax was not collected and no assistance was ever derived 
from the lotteries. Work was begun on the 4th of July, 1817, on the middle 
section, from Utica to the Seneca river, which was all that the commissioners 
had power to do at the beginning. As the labor progressed, it became a mat- 
ter of uncertainty, first, as to whether the canal should be completed at all ; 
secondly, as to whether it should go by the overland route or by the Oswego 
route, as it was called, that is by way of Lake Ontario, with locks around 
Niagara falls ; or, thirdly, where it should cross the Genesee, if it crossed it at 
all. A limited appropriation was granted by the legislature in 18 19, enabling 
the commissioners to extend their operations over lines not previously surveyed 
and let out, and Mr. Holley took advantage of that to send an engineer in July 
of that year to Rochester to decide as to where the Genesee should be crossed 
and to survey the line eastward from that point to Montezuma, which was the 
end of the middle section. This was done in September, as has been noted in 
another chapter, and it effectually settled the question as between Rochester, 
Carthage and Black creek for the crossing of the river, but it did not at all de- 
cide the fate of the overland route. The canal board was understood to be 
divided on the question, and a meeting was held in this city at the counting- 
room of John G. Bond to give expression to the popular feeling on the subject. 

232 History of the City of Rochester. 

A paper which was there drawn up by Enos Pomeroy was circulated far and 
wide, with the signatures of Roswell Hart, Ira West, Charles J. Hill, John G. 
Bond, Samuel J. Andrews, Benjamin Blossom and several others. It was 
headed "Canal in Danger," and besides urging the completion of the work on 
the northern route it advocated the election of Governor Clinton and his friends 
to the legislature. It may have had effect in both ways, for Daniel D. Tomp- 
kins was defeated by a small majority at the polls in his effort to "change back" 
and to surrender the vice-presidency for the governorship which he had pre- 
viously resigned, and "the Rochester hand-bill" was always thought to have 
had much to do with his discomfiture. In October, 1819, the middle section 
was finished, and the commissioners then, by a majority vote, gave out con- 
tracts from Rochester to Palmyra. In spite of that the danger was not entirely 
past, for when the legislature met in 1820 a desperate effort was made by the 
friends of the Oswego route to stop work upon the western section until the 
eastern section was completed and the Champlain canal also was finished. The 
scheme failed, and from that time the success of the overland route in a con- 
tinuous line from the Hudson to Lake Erie was assured. 

As the work progressed, all the towns along the route took advantage of 
the new mode of transportation opened to them, for water was let into the 
different sections and even parts of sections as fast as they were completed. 
Rochester was among the foremost in using the channel, especially for the ship- 
ment of flour, as may be seen by the statement that from April 26th to May 
6th, 1823, 10,000 barrels of it were shipped from here for Albany and New 
York. It must, however, have been taken off at some point west of Albany, 
for it was not till November of that year that boats from here entered the basin 
at that place, along with the first boats that passed through the Champlain 
canal, then just completed. The task of cutting through the mountain ridge 
at the point where Lockport now stands, and constructing the admirable locks 
which have given its name to that city, was a formidable one, taking up all of 
1824 and most of 1825. On the 24th of October in the latter year the guard 
gates at Lockport were raised, the long level east of that place was filled and 
the grandest work on this continent, up to that time, was finished. The ex- 
pense of constructing it was a little over seven millions of dollars. Its entire 
length was originally 363 miles, of which the western section, from Montezuma 
to Buffalo, embraced 158, with twenty-one locks and a fall of 106 feet. Of 
the various commissioners who held office during the work, not all were "act- 
ing commissioners," and Myron HoUey, who had by his speeches, his writings 
and his votes dope more than all the others to secure the adoption of the 
course that was substantially the same as that originally proposed by Jesse 
Hawley, was very properly the one who had almost the entire charge of the 
work on this section. Of the nine engineers employed on the whole canal, 
three were residents of this city in 1838, if not before, viz.: Nathan S. Roberts, 

The Erie Canal. 233 

David S. Bates and Valentine Gill. The second named, Judge Bates, died to- 
ward the close of that year, after having been the chief-engineer of all the 
canals in the state of Ohio (at least of all those constructed up to the time of 
his death) and of the ship canal around the falls at Louisville, Ky. 

Of course a monster celebration had to take place on the completion of the 
work, and to make the knowledge of it as nearly instantaneous as was possible 
in those days large cannon were stationed at short distances all the way from 
Buffalo to Sandy Hook. On the morning of the 26th of October the first sig- 
nal gun, at our neighbor city, announced that the mooring lines had been cast 
off from the leading boat of the flotilla that was to bear Governor Clinton, the 
canal commissioners and other prominent citizens from Lake Erie to the 
metropolis of America and the waters of. the Atlantic ocean. Instantly the 
next gun responded and then the others, in succession so rapid that in one 
hour and twenty minutes the final report gave the news to listening ears in 
the streets of New York. The opening ceremonies at Buffalo were attended 
by a committee from this place, of which Jesse Hawley was the chairman 
and that gentleman made on the occasion a brief and appropriate address, to 
which Oliver Forward responded on behalf of the citizens of Buffalo. The 
triumphal procession stopped at all principal points on the line of the voy- 
age, which ended on the 4th of November, with a crowning celebration 
at New York. The proceedings here, on the 27th of October, were ushered 
in by a drizzling rain, but in spite of that eight companies of handsomely uni- 
formed militia turned out at two o'clock in the afternoon and formed in line on 
thetowpath, with an immense concourse of spectators scattered over all avail- 
able points. As the boats from the west appeared in sight they were greeted 
with a fusillade of musketry from the companies, and when they reached the 
aqueduct they found the entrance guarded by the boat Young Lion of the 
West. Those on board of this sentinel craft hailed the Seneca Chief, which was 
in the van of the procession, and a colloquy took place, in these words : — 

"Who conies there?" 

" Your brethren of the west, from the waters of the great lakes." 

" By what means have they been diverted from their natural course ? " 

" By the channel of the grand Erie canal." 

"By whose authority and by whom was a work of such magnitude accomplished ?" 

" By the authority and enterprise of the patriotic people of the state of New York." 

" All right ! Pass." 

The Young Lion then gave way and the Seneca Chief was allowed to enter 
Child's basin, at the end of the aqueduct. As the boats passed into the basin, 
they were greeted with a salute from heavy artillery under command of Cap- 
tain Ketchum, and from field-guns commanded by Captain Jacob Gould. The 
Rochester and Canandaigua committees of congratulation then took their places 
under an arch surmounted by an eagle, and the Seneca Chief, having the com- 
mittees on board, being moored. Gen. Vincent Mathews and John C. Spencer 

234 History of the City of Rochester. 

offered the congratulations of the citizens of the respective villages. Appro- 
priate reply was made, and then, disembarking, a procession was formed, which 
marched to the First Presbyterian church, where Rev. Joseph Penney offered 
prayer, and Timothy Childs pronounced an able and eloquent address. The 
company then marched to the Mansion House, kept by Christopher, and enjoyed 
a sumptuous dinner. Gen. Mathews presided, assisted by Jesse Hawley and 
■Jonathan Child. Among many toasts were the following : By his excellency — 
"Rochester, — in 1810 I saw it without a house or an inhabitant. In 1825 I 
see it the nucleus of an opulent and populous city, and the central point of nu- 
merous and transcendent blessings." And by the lieutenant-governor — " The 
village of Rochester, — it stands upon a rock, where the most useful of streams 
laves its feet. Its age promises to attain the acme of greatness. " At half-past 
seven the visitors reenibarked, and the squadron departed joined by the Young 
Lion of the West, with the following citizens of Rochester as a committee, for 
New York : Elisha B. Strong, Levi Ward, Wm. B. Rochester, Abelard Reynolds, 
Elisha Johnson, General E. S. Beach, A. Strong, and B. F. Hurlbut. Of this 
number none are now living, Mr. Reynolds being the last to pass away, after 
being the sole survivor for many years. 

Even at the outset the canal was considered to be too small for the business 
that was likely to be done through it, and, as time wore on, the inadequacy of 
its original dimensions, which were forty feet in width by four in depth, became 
apparent to all. On the 2 1st of September, 1835, a meeting was held at the 
court-house in Rochester, at which the mayor, Jacob Gould, presided, with E. 
Darwin Smith as secretary, when a memorial and a series of resolutions, drawn 
up by Myron Holley, were adopted, favoring the enlargement. These were, as 
had been directed, forwarded to the canal board, which, at its meeting a month 
later, decided on increasing the dimensions to seventy feet by seven, but to do 
it by means of the surplus tolls alone. This was felt to be too slow a process, 
and another meeting was held here on the 30th of December, 1836, presided 
over by James Seymour, with S. G. Andrews as secretary, and addressed by 
Dr. Brown, General Gould and Henry O'Rielly. As the outcome of this a 
canal convention was held here on the i8th of January, 1837, one of the largest 
conventions that ever took place in Western New York, with Nathan Dayton, 
of Lockport, as president, with a long array of vice-presidents and secre- 
taries. After stirring speeches from a great number of eminent men, urging 
the procurement of a loan anticipating the revenue, so that the work could be- 
gin at once, the following persons were appointed as a central executive com- 
mittee at Rochester, to take all proper measures for placing the subject fully 
before the people, and by memorials before the legislature : Henry O'Rielly, 
James Seymour, Jonathan Child, E. Darwin Smith, S. G. Andrews, Thomas 
H. Rochester, Horace Gay, Frederick Whittlesey, Orlando Hastings, Everard 
Peck, A. M. Schermerhorn, Thomas Kempshall and Joseph Field. This com- 

The Erie Canal, 235 

mittee, in conjunction with one at Buffalo, presented a bill to the legislature, 
authorising the expenditure of half a million dollars annually, in addition to 
the surplus revenue, for the enlargement and the improvement of the canal, 
but it was rejected. 

In 1838, however, the legislature, mindful of the wishes of the people by 
whom it had been elected, passed a bill appropriating four millions of dollars 
annually for the purpose. This gave ample means for the desired improve- 
ment, and for this great increase of the effectiveness of ,the canal, by means of 
which boats can carry four hundred tons, whereas at the outset one was thought 
to be heavily laden if it had forty tons, the state is more indebted to Myron 
Holley than to any one else. The need of a new and larger aqueduct to take 
the place of the old one in this city was more keenly felt than anything else, 
and work upon it was begun the year before this appropriation bill was passed. 
The structure, though not much larger than the old one, except as to width, is 
far more substantial, and of more elegant workmanship. It cost $600,000, and 
the material, which is of gray limestone, mostly from the Lockport quarries, is 
of so durable a nature as almost to defy the tooth of time. In preparing the 
foundation for the abutments and piers, and to give a free passage for the floods 
of the river under the new arches, 30,000 cubic yards of rock were blasted and 
removed out of the bed of the Genesee river. 

It will not be necessary to recount further the history of the canal, to tell 
of the many good things done for it, and of the many bad things done to it 
and by means of it — of how its waters have flowed 'along, burdened with cor- 
ruption, jobbery and peculation, but all the time have borne upon their bosom 
a freightage so rich as to more than compensate for all the treasure taken 
wrongfully away from it, or lost by the neglect of those who should have pre- 
served it from the ravages of time, and the encroachments of selfish or design- 
ing persons. Of all the manufacturers along its banks, there were few indeed 
who did not divert the water for their own purposes, and those few paid to the 
state an amount of money so small as to be not worth consideration in com- 
parison with the. loss to which the canal was subjected. The quantity of water 
thus taken is incalculable, certainly flowing up into the billions of gallons an- 
nually, and, as it was generally drawn off at a time when the dryness of the 
season so affected the water-courses that nothing could be gained from those 
sources, the result was that boats were frequently stranded and delayed for 
days at a time. 

From the very beginning the citizens of Rochester took the liveliest inter- 
est in the canal, in other ways than those detailed above. In 1827 the regula- 
tions of the village charter forbade masters of boats to suffer any horn or bugle 
to be blown within the village limits on the Sabbath, and a few years later a 
Sabbath-keeping line of canal-boats was started, which received much en- 
couragement and aid from Aristarchus Champion, who, in connection there- 

• 16 

236 History of the City of Rochester. 

with, put in operation the "Pioneer," or six-day Hne of stages. Statistics of 
the year 1834 show that our citizens then owned stock in the various trans- 
portation lines on the canal to the amount of $74,000 and that about one-sixth 
of the tolls paid throughout the state were received at this point. Rochester 
has had but one canal commissioner since the time of Myron Holley — John 
D. Fay, whose administration during his first term gave such satisfaction that, 
after being elected in 1867, he was chosen again in 1870. To all citizens of 
this generation a sketch of the Erie canal would seem incomplete without a 
mention of Henry L. Fish, whose efforts to preserve and protect it from harm 
and wastefulness have been unremitting and untiring, both in many public 
capacities and by frequent contributions to. the local press. 

The following-figures will be of interest : The cost of the first construction 
was $7,143,789, of the enlargement $44,465,414, making a total of $51,609,- 
203. When it was enlarged the line was straightened somewhat, shortening 
the length by twelve and a half miles, so that it is now three hundred and fifty 
and a half miles long, with seventy-two locks, whose total lockage is nearly six 
hundred and fifty-five feet. The maximum burden of boats is two hundred 
and forty tons. Of what was done on the canal in the way of freightage fifty 
years ago the following comparative table will convey some impression : Total 
tolls for 1833, $1,290,136.20; for 1834, $1,179,744.97; for 1835, $1,375,821.- 
26 ; for 1836, $1,440,539.87 ; of these the amount collected in Rochester was, 
in 1833, $168,452.37; in 1834, $164,247.28; in 1835, $176,170.33; in 1836, 
$190,036.59. With a uniformity of progression almost unbroken, the tolls 
continued to increase for twentyvfive years after the opening of the canal, but 
the decline then began, and although it was gradual at first it eventually dropped 
to so low a point that the abolition of tolls and the introduction of the free 
canal system last year kept but little money from coming into the state treas- 
ury, while the change was generally beneficial to the boatmen and those in the 
forwarding business. In 1865 the tolls received at this point were $102,350.- 
85, in 1870 they were $33,018.37, in 1875 $6,240.92, in 1880 $11,797.82, in 
1 88 1 $7,192.27 and in 1882 $5,070.04. A few words with regard to the im-, 
portance of keeping in operation the Erie canal, as a means of transportation 
from the west to the Atlantic sea-board, will not be out of place. The state- 
ment has often been made that the expense of preserving the great waterway 
was greater than any income which could be derived from it, and that true 
policy, therefore, dictated its abandonment. No conclusion could be more fal- 
lacious. The object in the mind of its creators was not to put money into the 
treasury but to benefit the people, and this it has ever done, never more so 
than in those years when the aggregate of tolls was rapidly decreasing, never 
more so than at this present time, when the canal is free and the state derives 
no income at all from the commerce between its banks. If every boat were to 
be rotting at the dock and no moving craft were henceforth to disturb the 
tranquillity of its .waters, the necessity of its retention would still be paramount, 

The Genesee Valley Canal. 237 

and our legislators, should turn a deaf ear to every proposition for its close. 
As long as it is in existence the farmer can get his produce to the great mart 
of this hemisphere at a living rate of transportation, or sell it here at a 
price that will enable him to support his family in comfort ; let the Erie canal 
become a thing of the past, competition dies, and the rates of transportation 
are at the merciless whim of railroad corporations, which would crush out 
all incentive to agricultural production and paralyse half the industries of 
our city. 

While the Erie canal was in process of construction, and after its completion 
as far west as this point had opened the channel of communication between 
Rochester and the state capital, the necessity of connecting the great water- 
way with the fertile section of country through which the Genesee flowed be- 
came evident to the minds of all who had commercial relations with the farmers 
of the happy valley. To more than those, for Gov. Clinton, ever mindful of 
the interests connected with the great enterprise inseparably associated with his 
name, became impressed with the idea at an early day, and strongly advocated 
it in a message to the legislature in 1824. Of course nothing was done about 
the matter at that session, or at any other till 1828, when a survey was ordered, 
which was made under the direction of Judge Geddes. For some reason it 
was not satisfactory, and the affair was dropped till 1834, when another act 
was passed, authorising a re-survey, which was made under the direction of 
Frederick C. Mills, who gave as the estimate of cost $1,890,614.12 for a canal 
to extend from Rochester to Olean, on the Alleghany river, a route of one 
hundred and seven miles. On the 6th of May a law was passed for its con- 
struction, but no contract was let till 1837, when two miles were given out in 
June, and twenty-eight were let in November. The work progressed very 
slowly, so that it was not till 1856 that the canal was finished and opened to 
Olean. The business which was expected to be done by this line was never so 
great as had been anticipated, owing, perhaps, to the tardiness of its completion 
and equally to the decline of the milling interests here and the impetus given 
to the manufacture and sale of western flour soon after the canal went into 
operation. The Rochester engineers engaged upon the work were Frederick 
C. Mills, Henry S. Dexter, J. B. Stillson, Daniel Marsh, S. V. R. Patterson, 
George D. Stillson, Burton W. Clark and Daniel McHenry. Many contractors 
residing here have from time to time undertaken to keep the canal in repair, 
but it has not been either pleasant or profitable to them, the heavy freshets and 
other causes combining to make the labor greater than the emolument. Finally, 
after dragging along at a loss to the state and almost everybody connected with 
it, the canal was abandoned by the authorities at the close of navigation in 
1878; offers were soon made to purchase it and after the consideration of all 
propositions it was finally sold to the Genesee Valley Canal railroad company, 
the deed, signed by Alonzo B. Cornell as governor of the state of New York, 
bearing date the 6th of November, 1880. 

238 History of the City of Rochester. 



The Electric Telegraph ^ Construction of the O'Rielly Lines — Transformation into the Western 
Union — Other Telegraph Companies Here — The Telephone — Gas and Electric Light — Coal — Its 
Introduction as Fuel in Rochester — Insurance Companies Here, Past and Present. 

BEFORE the perfecting of the Morse system in 1844 there was little confi- 
dence felt that the electric telegraph would ever be of any practical im- 
portance for business purposes ; in fact, it was impossible to get capitalists to 
purchase stock in an enterprise so novel and extraordinary as the telegraph 
was then considered to be. Now, when the entire globe is encircled by tele- 
graphic lines, which bring into intimate relations the Old and New. worlds, it is 
curious to note that forty years ago there was but one lightning line in opera- 
tion by which the important news of the day was flashed from the Atlantic 
coast to the Alleghany mountains, to the far-away Mississippi valley. This 
line, which ultimately connected all sections of the United States within a radius 
of 8,000 miles, was projected, organised and constructed by Henry O'Rielly, 
of this city, to whose earnest and untiring efforts is largely due the success of 
modern telegraphy. The lines which he then built, one after another, and 
which were in their continuity the longest range of lines in the world, were 
styled by him the "Atlantic, Lake and Mississippi range," but were popularly 
known as the "O'Rielly lines," a name originally given in derision, but gener- 
erally accepted in good faith. By that term they are alluded to in the south- 
ern newspapers of 1846 and 1847. ^^ the construction of these lines Mr. 
O'Rielly was pecuniarily assisted by a few friends in Rochester arid elsewhere, 
prominent among whom were Samuel L. Selden and Henry R. Selden, both 
of whom were afterward his courisel in successfully resisting the attempts of 
the Morse patentees to violate the contract which they had made with him, 
and to obtain an injunction against him. These lines were afterward consoli- 
dated, and, with the addition of some others, formed the basis of that gigantic 
monopoly, the Western Union telegraph company. 

The first office opened in this city for the transmission of messages was 
that of the New York, Albany & Buffalo telegraph company, which began 
business in this city in the winter of 1844-45. The first press dispatch 
received here was sent on the 1st of June, 1846, and appeared in the Democrat 
of the next day. It came from Albany, and consisted of a long and quite full 
report of the proceedings of the constitutional convention then sitting in that 
city. The first location of the office here was in the basement of Congress Hall, 
but it was soon removed to the Reynolds arcade — first to the north end of the 
west gaUery, then to number 8 on the ground floor, and finally, toward the 
close of 1850, to number 1 1, where it remains at the present writing. At this 
time the manager of the company was George E. Allen, of Utica, and the first 



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Telegraph and Telegraph Companies. 239 

operator was a young man by the name of Barnes. Mr. Allen remained in 
charge of the office until 1852, when he was succeeded by S. S. Pellett, who 
had formerly occupied the position of line repairer and assistant operator. Mr. 
Pellett resigned in December, 1852, and was succeeded by A. Cole Cheney, 
who remained until May, 188 1, when A. J. Stoddard became the head of the 
office. In November, 1883, George D. Butler, who had been connected with 
the office since 1865, was appointed manager, to fill the vacancy caused by the 
resignation of Mr. Stoddard. In i860 the New York, Albany & Buffalo tele- 
graph company was consolidated with the Western Union, and some three 
years afterward the instruments were removed to quarters on the third floor, 
over the east gallery, as more room was required to transact the increased 
business of the company. A few years later the Atlantic & Pacific, which had 
an office here for about a year, was absorbed in the omnivorous company, 
which a short time afterward also swallowed the American Union, another of 
our short-lived concerns. In i88i the Western Union passed into the control 
of Jay Gould. During the past few years the business has grown to enormous 
proportions, having increased during the last year over thirty-three per cent. 

The American Rapid telegraph company opened April 1st, 1 881, in the 
Reynolds arcade. In October last this company was consolidated with the 
Bankers', Merchants' & Southern telegraph company. The whole system, em- 
bracing about 20,000 miles of line, extends from New Orleans east and north 
to the New England states, and westward to Denver, Colorado. When the 
company began business six wires only were in use; now twenty- two are in 
constant operation, together with a district system of calls, with signal boxes 
throughout the city in many of the principal business houses. Eugene J. Chap- 
man is manager. Four day and one night operator are employed, besides 
fifteen messenger boys. 

The district telegraph is a valuable city institution. It went into operation 
on the 1st of August, 1883, has now connection with several hundred boxes, 
and employs forty or fifty boys, who may be summoned at any moment, be- 
sides which signals may be sent for a carriage, a physician, the police, or the 
fire department. Its office is in the Arcade. 

The first office opened in this city for the transmission of oral messages 
was that of the Bell telephone company, which began business in January, 
1879, in rooms on the south side of Main street bridge. About the same time 
the Edison company opened a similar office in the tower of the Powers block, 
which was under the management of George A. Redman, but it kept open only 
about a year, as their rights were purchased by the Bell company, and the two 
lines consolidated in June, 1880. The first officers of the Bell company were 
as follows: General manager, Edward J. Hall, jr.; secretary and treasurer. 
Barlow C. Palmer ; local manager, Alfred Hall ; general superintendent, J. M. 
Culberson ; consulting electrician, B. F. Blackall. The officers for the present 

240 History of the City of Rochester. 

year are as follows : Manager, William Mallett ; superintendent, li. F. Black- 
all. The office is on Main street bridge. 

It is impossible to determine with any certainty the exact date of the intro- 
duction of illuminating gas into this city. A few private generators were in 
use before the organisation of the Rochester Gas-light company, which came 
into existence on the 24th of March, 1848, and began the manufacture of gas 
on the 13th of December in the same year. The first officers of this company 
were as follows: President, Lewis Brooks; secretary, Levi A. Ward ; engineer, 
Henry Cartwright; directors — F. F. Backus, Joseph Field, F. Whittlesey, 
William Pitkin, Lewis Brooks, S. C. Jones, Jos|ph Hall, L. A. Ward and D. 
R. Barton. The first consumer was C. A. Jones. The present officers are : 
President, Patrick Barry; vice-president, Thomas C. Montgomery; superin- 
tendent, secretary and treasurer, Matt Cartwright. The office and works are 
on the north side of Mumford street, near the river. 

The Citizens' Gas company, which supplies consumers on the east side of 
the river only, was incorporated in 1872, with the following officers: President, 
George J. Whitney ; secretary, William H. Bowman ; treasurer, George K. 
Mumford ; superintendent, Matt Cartwright. The works of the company are 
on the flats below Vincent place bridge, in the northern part of the city. 
Forty-five miles of pipe are in use. The present officers are : President, 
Mortimer F. Reynolds ; vice-president, George E. Mumford ; secretary, treas- 
urer and superintendent, William H. Ward; engineer, James H. Walker. 

A company for the manufacture of gas from petroleum was organised here, 
about three years ago, and came into existence under the name of the Munici- 
pal Gas company. Most of the directors have always been non-resident. 
About twenty-eight or thirty miles of pipe have been laid in the city. The 
office is now on State street, and the present officers are : President, John P. 
Townsend ; secretary, Charles F. Pond ; treasurer, John P. Scholfield ; super- 
intendent and engineer, Frank P. Chase. 

The Brush Electric light company began business in this city in July, 1881. 
The officers of the company for that year were as follows : President, George 
C. Buell; vice-president, William L. Halsey ; secretary and treasurer, George 
E. Jennings; superintendent, Frank E. Gilmore. At the time of the organi- 
, sation of the company the generators were located on North water street, but 
during the past year they w6re removed to the lower falls, where better facili- 
ties were offered for obtaining power, which is now equal to 2,700 horse power. 
There are in use at present 475 electric lamps, 295 of which are used by tho 
city in lighting the streets. The company are intending to introduce shortly 
the Swan incandescent light. The officers for the year are : President, George 
E. Mumford ; secretary and treasurer, A. Erickson Perkins ; superintendent, 
George A. Redman. 

Under the name of the Rochester Electric light company, the Weston sys- 

The Use of Coal. 241 

tem was introduced here in November, 1881, and has now 160 lights in use in 
stores and places of entertainment in the city. Its present officers are: Presi- 
dent, H. Austin Brewster ; vice-president, L. P. Ross ; secretary and treasurer, 
F. M. McFarlin ; general superintendent, C. H. Babcock. The Fuller light 
and the Maxim incandescent light are used in the Powers block, the generator 
being in the cellar of the building, and the power being obtained from the en- 
gines already stationed there. The Edison light is used in the Eastman dry 
plate works on State street. 

The Use of Coal. — With regard to the use of coal as fuel, it is difficult to 
fi.x a precise time for its introduction, but the following will tell the story as 
accurately as may be : In 1847 Jonathan Child brought Lehigh coal here for 
foundry use. In the course of the next year Nathaniel T. and Henry E. 
Rochester went into partnership with Mr. Child, and the. firm opened a house 
for the sale of coal and iron. The coal was brought here from Philadelphia, 
by way of Albany, and mostly in large lumps, for manufacturing purposes, 
but the debris that was left after they were disposed of was sold to house- 
keepers to be used as fuel in stoves. This soon became so generally recognised 
as adapted to that end that the firm began the practice of breaking the large 
pieces into smaller ones of a suitable size and selling then! for heating pur- 
poses, and in a short time they were known as regular retailers of Lehigh and 
Blossburg coal. In 1850 Roswell Hart opened an office for the sale of coal, 
exclusively, and was therefore the pioneer in the business, as not connected 
with any other branch of trade. At the outset he sold only bituminous coal, 
but before the year was over he brought up by tide-water, from Philadelphia, 
some three hundred tons of anthracite, and toward the close of 185 i it began 
to come here by rail from Scranton and Pittston. There have been, in other 
years, companies here which were engaged in the mining of coal, but the 
only firm now engaged directly in that is one that is understood to be con- 
fined to the production of bituminous coal. Having thus detailed the local 
operations in the material now mainly used for making fire, let us turn our in- 
quiries to the means provided for insuring against losses by that element. 

In the matter of local insurance companies our city has always been behind 
Buffalo, which has had them for many years and now boasts of four. The 
present prosperous company mentioned below is not, however, the only one of 
the kind that ever existed here, though most of the others were abandoned 
within a few years after their incorporation. The first to be formed was the 
Monroe fire insurance company, which was incorporated March 9th, 1825, with 
a capital of $250,000; it must have expired almost immediately, for it was 
"revived" on the 17th of April, 1826, and that is the last that is known of it. 
Equally short Ijved was the Mutual Protection insurance company, incorporated 
on the 7th of May, 1844, but the Farmers' & Merchants' insurance company 
of Western New York was a little more tenacious, for after being incorporated 

242 History of the City of Rochester. 

on the 29th of October, 1850, it was changed to the Rochester insurance com- 
pany on the 20th of March, 1852, and led a torpid existence for two years 
after that. In January, 185 1, the Commercial fire insurance company was 
organised, with a proposed capital of $100,000, but it never did any business, 
and the attempts to start two other companies, the Union and the Flour City, were 
equally fruitless. One company, however, was very successful and continued 
for a long term of years — the Monroe County Mutual, which was organised 
on the 2 1st of March, 1836. A. M. Schermerhorn was its first president, Ly- 
man B. Langworthy was its last, and Levi A. Ward was its secretary and 
treasurer from the beginning to the end. It took no risks in the city, but in- 
sured farm property exclusively, in five-year policies, the total amount of in- 
surance being nearly $100,000,000. Its affairs were managed with the greatest 
economy, as its expenses, including' salaries, never came to $500 a year, and 
its integrity may be known by its freedom from litigation, as it never had a 
contested lawsuit. Its charter would have expired in 1876, but the company 
decided to close up in February, 1865, as some of the great New York com- 
panies had reduced the rates to so low a point as to render the business un- 
profitable and make competition impossible. The secretary was directed to 
pay the small balance on hand to the Female Charitable society. 

The Rochester German insurance company was organised February 22d, 
1872, entirely of Germans, with a capital of $100,000, doing a local business. 
Louis Bauer was the first president, and Rudolph Vay the first secretary. In 
the early part of 1873 the capital was increased to $200,000, so that the com- 
pany could branch out and do an agency business. About this time Louis 
Ernst became president. He resigned in 1875 and was succeeded by Frederick 
Cook, who still occupies the office. The company's business now covers a terri- 
tory of twenty six states and it has over 350 local agents. The company, from 
a very small business, has grown to that extent that its income exceeds $500,- 
000, and its gross assets are an excess of $600,000, of which $ioo,OQO is in- 
vested in government registered bonds and $200,000 in bond and mortgage 
on real estate in this city, besides which it owns various state bonds, Pullman 
palace car stock and other securities. Its directors are : J. J. Bausch, Louis 
Bauer, Nicholas Brayer, Fred'k Cook, John Dufner, Sam'l Dubelbeis, Louis 
Ernst, Fred'k Goetzmann, Mathias Kondolf, John Lutes, George C. Maurer, 
Jacob Nunnold, Chas. Rau, William Vicinus, Albrecht Vogt, John Weis, John 
G. Wagner, Louis Wehn, Casper Wehle, Peter Pitkin. The officers are : Presi- 
dent, Frederick Cook ; vice-president, John Lutes ; secretary, H. F. Atwood ; 
counsel, Eugene H. Satterlee. 

The Presbyterian Churches. 243 



Earliest Organisation of Religious Societies in the Settlement — The Presbyterian Churches — The 
Episcopal Churches — The Friends, or Quakers — The Baptist Churches — The Methodist — The 
Roman Catholic — The Unitarian —The German Lutheran, Evangelical and Reformed — The Congre- 
gational — The Jewish — The Universalist — The Second Advent — Other Churches. 

IN the following complete sketch of the Rochester churches the editor is 
greatly indebted to several reverend gentlemen for the labor tliat they have 
bestowed upon the various portions of the chapter, and for the research with 
which they have compiled their different articles from sources of information 
that extended over a wide field of reading and investigation. The article on 
the Presbyterian churches was prepared by Rev. F. DeW. Ward, D. D., of 
Geneseo ; that on the Episcopal churches was mainly compiled from a manual 
prepared last year by Rev. Henry Anstice, D. D. ; that on the Baptist churches 
was in great part furnished by Rev. C. J. Baldwin, D. D. ; that on the Metho- 
dist churches was prepared by Rev. K. P. Jervis, of Victor ; that on the Cath- 
olic churches mainly by Rev. D. Laurenzis, under the supervision of Rt. Rev. 
Bishop McQuaid, D. D. ; on the Lutheran churches by Rev. Alexander Rich- 
ter, on the German Evangelical by Rev. Charles Siebenpfeiffer, on the Jewish 
churches by Rev. Max Landsberg, D. D. ; in the other cases the sketches have 
been generally obtained from the pastors of the different congregations. The 
arrangemerit of the various denominations is in accordance with the order of 
their foundation of a distinct society in this place — except where the original 
society has become extinct. 


The First is the oldest religious society of Rochester, dating back to 
August 22d, 181 5, the entire population of the place being at that time but 
331. The organisation was effected by a commission appointed by the pres- 
bytery of Geneva, consisting of ministers Daniel Tuller and Reuben Parmelee, 
with elders Samuel Stone and Isaac B. Barnum. The membership was six- 
teen. The elders chosen were Oliver Gibbs, Daniel West, Warren Brown 
and Henry Donnelly, with Elisha Ely as clerk. The first place of worship was 
a plain wooden building on State (then Carroll) street, where is now the Amer- 
ican express office. The year 1824 saw completed the new stone edifice on 
the ground where now stands the city hall. The proceeds from the sale of this 
property to the city were put into the commanding and commodious sanctuary 
which graces the corner of Plymouth avenue and Spring street. 

The pastors are as follows : Rev. Comfort Williams was installed January 
17th, 1816, and resigned June 6th, 1821. Comfort street, on the east side of 
the river, perpetuates his name and place of abode. Rev. Joseph Penney, 

244 History of the City of Rochester. 

D. D., a native of Ireland and graduate of Dublin university, came to America 
in 1819, accompanied by that eminent instructor Rev. John Mulligan, LL. D. 
He was installed pastor April 3d, 1822, and resigned April i6th, 1833. After 
two years as pastor of a Congregational church in Northampton, Massachusetts, 
he was elevated to the presidency of Hamilton college, which position he held 
during four years and finally returned to Rochester, where after a long and 
lingering illness he died, March 22d, i860, and is entombed with his wife and 
several children in Mt Hope. Possessed of masculine intellect, large scholar- 
ship, commanding presence, a warm heart and exceptional ability of utterance. 
Dr. Penney has left an ineffaceable impression in this city and region. His por- 
trait, painted by the skillful artist Gilbert, at public expense, long adorned the 
walls of the Athenaeum, of which institution, under the name of the Franklin 

institute, he was a leading patron. Rev. Tryon Edwards, D. D., a native of 

Hartford, Connecticut, graduate of Yale and Princeton, was pastor between July 

1834, and July 26th, 1844; pastor at Gouverneur, N. Y. Rev. Malcolm 

N. McLaren, D. D., native of Albany, graduate of Union college and Princeton 
seminary, held the pastorate from 1845-47, and then accepted a call to Brook- 
lyn, N. Y. His last days are passing in Auburn, N. Y. Rev. Joshua Haw- 
ley Mcllvaine, D. D., native of Lewis, N. Y., graduate at Princeton college and 
seminary, occupied the pulpit from 1848 to i860. After several years as profes- 
sor in his alma mater he accepted a call to Newark, N. J., where he now re- 
sides. He is author of a late volume, entitled Wisdom of Holy Scriptures. 

Rev. Calvin Pease, D. D., native of Canaan, Connecticut, graduate of the Uni- 
versity of Vermont, of which institution he was for several years president, was 
installed as pastor of the First in 1861 and closed his life when on a visit to 
Burlington, 1863. A committee of the church, comprising the late Judge Gar- 
diner and others, was, by appointment at the funeral. His residence in the 

city was brief and his death a great affliction to the entire community. 

Rev. Casper Maurice Wines, native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduate of 
Washington college, Pennsylvania, and Princeton seminary, was pa.stor from 

1866 to 1868 and is now an Episcopal rector in Cleveland, Ohio. Rev. 

J. Lovejoy Robertson, native of Steubenville, Ohio, and graduate of Northwood 
college, Ohio; commenced his pastorate December 7th, 1 870, which he contin- 
ued to 1877. He is now pastor at Cortland, N. Y. Rev. Charles Edward 

Robinson, D. D., native of Ludlowville, N. Y., .graduate of Hamilton and of 
Auburn, was installed pastor in 1878. He has seen very many happy results 
from his labors in and out of the pulpit.^ 

The officers for 1 884 are : Pastor, Charles E. Robinson, D. D. ; elders — Seth 
H. Terry, George C. Buell, Charles J. Hayden, Charles H. Webb, A. G. Bas- 

1 During the interim of pastors, the pulpit has been supplied by Professors Gmclit and Robinson, 
former missionaries Dr. Beadle, of Syria ; Dr. Ward, of India; Dr. Lindley, of Africa; Rev. Mr. 
Rankin, of China, and others. 

The Presuyterian Churches. 245 

sett, Newell A. Stone, David M. Hough and Henry Goold. Sabbath- school 
superintendent, David M. Hough. 

The Second, or "Brick." — During ten years the Presbyterians of Roch- 
ester remained in one body and worshiped in the same sanctuary. The 
population had advanced from 331 to about 5,000. After repeated and earnest 
consultation it was determined to organise another society to meet the wants 
of the rapidly advancing population. Thus came into being the Second 
Presbyterian church of Rochester, in November, 1825, having, as the first 
trustees, Timothy Burr, Ashbel W. Riley, Lyman Granger, Richard Gors- 
line and Henry Kennedy. The place of worship was the wooden building on 
State street, vacated by the First, when they (the First) took possession of their 
new edifice. Here were services held till the completion of their brick edifice 
on the corner of Fitzhugh and Ann streets, in the year 1828. Many revivals 
of religion occurred during the occupancy of that building. It was a Zion, of 
which it could be said of many hundreds "this and that man was born in her; 
and the Highest himself did exalt her." In the year 1859 measures were taken 
to erect an edifice, larger, .safer, more commodious and more answerable to 
pressing demands than this of more than thirty years' age. Louis Chapin, 
Charles J. Hayden and William Otis were the building committee, and A. J. 
Warner was the architect. The corner-stone of the new building was laid July 
3d, i860, with an address by Byron Sunderland, D. D., of Washington, D. C. 
The dedication was June 30th, 1861, the sermon being preached by Samuel W. 
Fisher, D. D., president of Hamilton college. The name "Brick church" was 
given in 1833. Its membership at the commencement was twenty-five, most 
. of them bringing letters from the First. The first elders were Timothy L. Bacon, 
Silas Hawley and Linus Stevens. 

The pastors have been as follows : Rev. William James, D. D., native of 
Albany and graduate of Princeton college and seminary, was installed July 24th, 
1826, sermon by Rev. Chaunccy Cook, and resigned October 14th, 1830; a 
man of singular pulpit power and piety of heart, the latter causing his exultant 
exclamation on his dying bed (February i8th, 1868) "It is all joy, joy." His' 

religious character is resplendent in his published volume Grace for Grace. 

Rev. William Wisner, D..D., native of Warwick, N. Y. ; left the practice of law 
and after a course of theological training became pastor of the Presbyterian 
church at Ithaca, N. Y. Leaving that field, where his labors had been emi- 
nently successful, to succeed Dr. James as pastor of the Brick, he was installed 
July 28th, 183 1, and dismissed September 22d, 1835. During his ministry of 
four and a half years there were added to the church 202 by letter and ,372 on 
profession of faith. Dr. Wisner was moderator of the "general assembly" in 
1840 and died at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, January 7th, 1871. — —Rev. George 
Beecher, son of Lyman Beecher, D. D., was installed June i8th, 1838, remained 
two years, removed to Chilicothe, Ohio, where he accidentally shot himself July 

246 History of the City of Rochester. 

1st, 1843. His memoirs was written by his sister Catherine. Rev. James 

Boyian Shaw, D. D., native of New York city, was one of the first children upon 
whom the late Rev. Dr. Spring laid his hand in baptism. After a brief period 
at Attica and Dunkirk he accepted a unanimous call to the Brick church and 
was installed pastor February i6th, 1841, increasing during these forty-three 
years in the love of his attached people and esteem of the entire community. 
He was moderator of the general assembly in 1865 and represented the Pres- 
byterian church in the established church of Scotland in 1873. 

The officers for 1884 are: — Pastor, James Boyian Shaw, D. D. ; elders — 
David Dickey, Harvey C. Fenn, Louis Chapin, Jesse W. Hatch, Truman A. 
Newton, Joel G. Davis, Edward Webster, George N. Storms, Lansing G. Wet- 
more, Ch. F. Weaver. 

The Third. — When it was purposed to organise a second Presbyterian 
church the enterprise encountered two serious obstacles. The membership of 
the First was small and there was a natural reluctance to part with even a 
score of their number, but, the organisation being determined upon, then came 
the question of locality. Residents upon the east side of the river, then called 
Brighton, presented many and strong arguments in favor of their part of the 
village. Being outvoted they at once determined upon an organisation nearer 
their own homes. In December, 1826, a religious society was incorporated 
which ultimately took the title of the "Third Presbyterian church of Roch- 
ester." The first services were held in a school-house on the corner of 
Mortimer and Clinton streets. This becoming too strait for the increasing 
congregation, a building was erected on the same street, size twenty-four by 
sixty, the timber standing in the native forest on Monday morning and services 
held on the next Lord's day. As if to add to its celebrity, within its walls 
originated a movement, which was afterward adopted by the American Bible 
society, of supplying everybody in the United States, with a copy of the Word 
of God ; also that honest-hearted but abortive effort to prevent by law of Con- 
gress the transportation of the mails and to close all post-offices on the Sabbath 
day, coupled with the e.stablishment of a Sabbath-keeping line of boats on the 
canal and a "pioneer line" of coaches on the road. These all had their origin 
in the heart of that stalwart Christian, Josiah Bissell, jr., with the open purse of 
that prince in the realms of money liberality, the late Aristarchus Champion. 
On the 28th of February, 1 827, a formal organisation was perfected by the en- 
rollment of nineteen persons with letters from the First and Second churches on 
the west side of the river. The temporary but honored place of worship ere 
long gave place to one more commodious and substantial on the corner of North 
Clinton street, which from pecuniary necessity in 1834 was turned over to the 
Second Baptists, and an edifice was erected in 1837 on the south side of Main 
street, which was consumed by fire in the autumn of 1858. Then came the 
erection of that imposing structure on the corner of Lancaster and Temple 

J'',y-'/i .f'/7'/^,/A,v;v;, //,«.';.,./ 

The Presbyterian Churches. 247 

streets, at an expense of $38,000, which has been lately sold to the Unitarians 
and land purchased on the corner of East avenue and Meigs, where will soon 
be the fifth place of worship on different sites. From small beginnings we see 
now one of the largest and most influential Presbyterian churches in Western 
New York. 

The pastors and ministers have been as follows: — Rev. Joel Parker, D. D., 
native of Bethel, Vermont, graduate of Hamilton college and Auburn seminary, 
was the first installed pastor. His salary was "half of brother Josiah Bissell's 
biscuit, as long as he had one," or, more financially expressed, $150 for the first 
six months and $800 per annum afterward. After three years' faithful and suc- 
cessful service Dr. Parker removed to New York, thence to New Orleans, to 
I'hiiadclphia, again to New York, and finally to Newark, N. J., where lie closed 

a life of eminent ability and usefulness. Rev. Luke Lyons took charge in 

1 83 1, but soon left to aid in establishing a new organisation on Court street, 

long ago extinct ; he died in Illinois. Rev. William C. Wisner, p. D., native 

of Elmira, N. Y., graduate of Union college, studied theology under his father, 
Rev. William Wisner, D. D., of Ithaca. After two years of able service he 
assumed the pastorate of the First church of Lockport, which he held for many 
years with results that give him a place of honor accorded to few. Like his 

father, he was moderator of the general assembly in 1855. Rev. William 

Mack, D. D., graduate of Princeton seminary, served the church for three years 

in 1835—37; went to Columbus, Tennessee, where he died. Rev. Albert 

Gallatin Hall, D. D., native of Whitehall, N. Y., was himself a member of the 
Third church, over which he was destined to preside as pastor from February, 
1840, to his death in 1871. Besides being a power for good in the city, he was 

a representative man in the entire Presbyterian body. Rev. George Patton, 

graduated at the University of Pennsylvania and Newburg theological seminary, 
and after fifteen years' ministration at Seneca, N.Y., was installed pastor of the 
Third in the autumn of 1872. 

The officers for 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. George Patton, D. D. ; elders — Thomas 
15. Hu.sband, John Voorhes, Joseph Harris, William F. Cogswell, Edward F. 
Harris, David Copeland and Charles Pomeroy. Sunday-school superintendent, 
S. D. Bentley. 

The Central. — In March, 1836, a colony left the First church, and formed 
a new organisation having these as its characteristic features : First, a mis- 
sionary church, established upon principles of high Christian consecration 
and devotedness ; second, free, and embracing a Bethel interest ; third, open 
for discussion on all subjects of morals, etc., such as temperance, slavery and 
the like;' fourth, its secular as well as religious affairs to be in the hands of the 
church exclusively. In August, 1836, thirty-nine members of the First church 
were organised by the presbytery of Rochester under the corporate name of 
the " Bethel Presbyterian church of Rochester; " In 1 841 the name was changed 

248 History of the City of Rochester. 

to the "Washington street church," and in the spring of 1858 to the "Cen- 
tral Presbyterian church," which it now bears. The first edifice was on Wash- 
ington street adjoining the canal, and the present is on North Sophia street. 
The preaching of the Rev. Charles G. Finney, in 1842, led to the conversion 
of three hundred and fifty persons, who distributed themselves among eight 
city churches. During the year 1844 ten heads of families, with noble gener- 
osity, left the Brick church for this. The absence of a pastor between 1842 
and 1845 had reduced the membership to less than two hundred. 

The pastors and ministers have been as follows : Rev. George Smith Board- 
man, D.D., native of Albany, N. Y., and gradu*ate of Union college and of 
Princeton seminary, first pastor in 1837, continuing to 1842, when he wont to 
Cherry Valley and to Cazenovia, supplying various churches to the end of his 
useful life. Rev. Milo Judson Hickok, D.D., native of New Haven, Ver- 
mont, graduate of Middlebury college and of Union seminary, came to Roch- 
ester in 1845, labored with great ability in the service of the Washington street 
church; went to Scranton, Penn., where he was pastor fourteen years and be- 
ing disabled by paralysis closed his days at Marietta, Ohio. A master in 

thought, erudition and earnestness. Rev. P'rank Field EUinwood, D.D., 

native of Clinton, N. Y., graduate of Hamilton college and of Auburn and 
Princeton seminaries, was installed pastor of the Central in November, 1854, 
remaining to 1865, when ill health drove him from the flock. He is one of the 

secretaries of the board of foreign missions. Rev. Samuel M. Campbell, 

D.D., native of Campbelltown, N. Y., and graduate of Auburn seminary ; came 
to the city and was installed pastor, March ist, 1866, remaining fifteen years, 

when he removed to Minneapolis. Rev. Theodore W. Hopkins, native of 

Cincinnati, Ohio ; graduate of Yale college and Rochester theological seminary ; 
pastor elect, but not installed. 

The oflScers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. Theodore W. Hopkins; elders — 
William A. Hubbard, Heman Glass, Lewis H. Ailing, Charles Forbes, William 
Ailing (clerk), Henry Churchill, John N. Harder, David Cory, l-'rank M. ICl- 
lery, Alonzo L. Mabbett, George W. Sill and Darius L. Covill. Sunday-school 
superintendents, Thomas Dransfield and Mrs. D. L. Covill. 

Calvary. — Early in the year 1847 '^^v- Richard De l^^orest purchased a 
lot in the southeast part of the city, on which he erected a small building, 
containing one room. He then went through the neighborhood, giving in- 
formation that a Sabbath-school would be commenced on the next Lord's 
day, followed by preaching in the afternoon. Forty scholars were present at 
the former and a crowd at the latter. This prepared the way for a formal ec- 
clesiastical organisation under the name of "St. Paul street Congregational 
church." Soon after a church edifice was erected on the corner of South 
avenue and. Jefferson street and dedicated to divine worship November 3d, 1850, 
the sermon being preached by President Mahan, of Oberlin, Ohio. Pecuniary 

The Presbyterian Churches. 249 

adversities compelling a sale of the property, it was purchased by L. A. Ward 
with a view to its becoming Presbyterian, which it has since been. On the ish 
of June, 1856, it came into connection with the presbytery of Rochester, with 
the corporate title of "Calvary Presbyterian church of Rochester." Enlarge- 
ments and improvements have taken place at different times, till it is now one 
of the most commodious in the region of this locality. 

The pastors and ministers have been as follows : Rev. Richard De Forest, 
native of New York city and graduate of Auburn theological seminary, was the 
founder of this church, and pastor while Congregational in polity. Energetic; 
earnest and useful, his name will be ever held in grateful memory. He is 

buried in Mount Hope. Rev. Charles Ray, a native of Calcutta, India, 

where his parents (Rev. Edward and Sarah Ray) were missionaries. He grad- 
uated at Union college and Princeton seminary and was installed as the first 
Presbyterian pastor, .in July, 1856, and after two years resigned and has 
employed his learning and labor in various departments and places to the pres- 
ent time. Rev. Bellville Roberts spent four years of earnest effort in the 

pastorate of this church, witnessing many happy results from his faithful minis- 
tration. Rev. Alfred Yeomans, D. D., native of North Adams, Mass., son 

of Rev. Dr. John Yeomans, moderator of the general assembly in i860, grad- 
uated at Princeton college and seminary. His pastorate covered but one year, 
when continued ill-health compelled his resignation. He is now pastor of a 
church at Orange,- N. J., as successor of his brother, the late E. D. Yeomans, 

formerly of St. Peter's, Rochester. Rev. Herbert W. Morris, D. D., a native 

of Wales, look the pastoral charge of Calvary in 1867, giving to the people of 
his charge the results of intense study and the accumulations of research, much 
of which is made permanent in volumes that have few equals in Christendom. 

Dr. Morris resides in Rochester. Rev. Edward Bristol, native of Buffalo, 

N. Y., converted at fifteen, engaged at once in evangelistic work in the Lafay- 
ette street church, of which the late Rev. Grosvcnor W. Heacock, D. D., was 
the devoted and lifelong pastor ; after twenty-five years in the city missions and 
alms house, he entered upon the work of a general evangelist and finally became 
pastor of Calvary in 1878. 

The officers in 1 884 are : Pastor, Rev. Edward Bristol ; elders — F. S. Steb- 
bins, J. B. Reeves, Judson Knickerbocker, Thomas Oliver, Frank T. Skinner. 
Superintendent of Sabbath-school, F. T. Skinner. 

St. J'etcr's. — In May, 1852, Levi A. Ward, a member of the First church, 
commenced the construction of a new church edifice upon a lot of land owned 
by him on Grove street, opposite his own residence. Grove place. His desire 
was to meet the public demand in that locality and to establish an order of 
worship in which the entire congregation shall more largely unite than is 
customary in the denomination. An edifice was erected at an expense of 
$35,000 and dedicated October 25th, 1853, sermon by Rev. Dr. Mcllvaine, 

2SO History of the City of Rochester. 

pastor of the First, assisted by Rev. Dr. Mall of the Third and Rev. Dr. 
F. De Wilton Ward, of Geneseo, brother of the founder. On the 13th of 
December, 1853, a special meeting of the presbytery of Rochester (O. S.) was 
held, when twenty-eight persons, members of different churches in the city, 
presented certificates and were constituted "St. Peter's church of the city of 
Rochester." Its special features are a form of worship but no liturgy — no. 
printed prayer except that left by Christ himself Gown and bands arc used 
by the clergymen, as is customary in all the churches in Scotland and many 
older ones in America. The deed of the church property was executed and 
delivered to the trustees by the founder, March 27th, 1867. The first edifice 
was destroyed by fire, March i8th, 1868, but was immediately rebuilt at an 
expense of about $50,000. 

The pastors and ministers have been as follows : Rev. Richard H. Richard- 
son, D. D., native of Lexington, Kentucky, graduate of Princeton college and 
seminary, held the pastorate for one and a half years and holds a similar posi- 
tion in Trenton, N. J. Rev. Joseph H. Towne, D. D., presided over this 

church two years. Rev. John Townsend Coit, D. D., native of Buffalo 

and graduate of Yale and Andover, commenced his pastorate of St. Peter's, 
June 1st, i860. Three years passed profitably away, when, upon a visit to his 
former parishioners at Albion, he was called suddenly to the heavenly world. 
A tablet to his memory has been placed upon the right of the pulpit, with a 

fitting inscription. Rev; Edward Dorr Yeomans, D. D., son of the late Dr. 

Yeomans, moderator of the general assembly in Rochester, was a native of 
North Adams, Mass., graduated at Princeton seminary, preeminent in varied 
scholarship. His pastorate of St. Peter's began in May, 1863, when he removed 
to Orange, N. J., and died of apoplexy, August 27th, 1868. A beautiful tab- 
let in bronze is within the church. — Rev. James M. Crowell, D. D., a native 
of Philadelphia, and graduate of Princeton college and seminary, was pastor 
from May 5th, 1869, to December, 1870. He is now secretary of the Ameri- 
can Sunday school union in his native city. Rev. Herman Camp Riggs, 

D. D., native of Groton, N. Y., graduated at Union, and Union theological 
seminary. Came to Rochester from Rutherford Park, N. J. ; was installed 
over St. Peter's June 8th, 1878. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. Herman Camp Riggs, D. D. ; ciders 
— M. K. Woodbury, J. E. Pierpont, E. F. Hoyt, E. E. Sill, T. W. Crissey, 
R. E. White, H; W. Brown, S. A. Merriman ; deacons — M. K. Woodbury and 
Hf W. Brown. Sunday-school superintendents, S. A. Merriman and J. Morgan. 

Westminster. — This first Protestant church west of the Erie and Valley 
canals sprang from the union of two Sunday-schools, one started by the 
Brick church and the other by the Central. These had been under the 
superintendency of John H. Thompson, William S. Bishop and Henry Churchill. 
From May, 1861, to May, 1862, Rev Anson Gleason, long a missionary 

The Presbyterian Churches. 251 

among the Mohican Indians, labored with characteristic zeal in this field. 
Mrs. L. A. Shepherd was a local missionary of the young people's society 
of the Central in the same locality. After considerable time and much effort 
funds were obtained to erect a building for worship, which was dedicated Jan- 
uary 26th, 1871. The sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Campbell, of the 
Central, which had generously dismissed eighty-two persons to this new body. 
In common with many church edifices of the city, this received substantial and 
timely pecuniary aid from the late Aristarchus Champion, who resided in that 

The pastors have been as follows : Rev. Henry Morey, graduate of Union 
college and Princeton seminary, was installed April 27th, 1871, and resigned 

in October, 1874; now an evangelist. Rev. Corlis B. Gardner, graduated 

at Rochester, and at Auburn seminary, was installed February 4th, 1875. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Corlis B. Gardner; elders — B. H. Hill, 
J. B. Whitbeck, H. K. Van Tyne, E. M. Doane, W. F. Parry, W. J. C. Hansen. 

Memorial. — The name of this church suggests the time and manner of 
its coming into being. The funds contributed by the Brick church during the 
memorial years of 1869—70 were devoted to a new organisation on Hudson 
and Wilson streets, in the eastern, as Calvary was in the southern, and West- 
minster in the western limits of the city. A church chapel was built in 1870. 
A church organisation was effected on January 17th, 1872, by a commission 
of presbytery, fifty-four persons enrolling their names as members, thirty- 
seven by letter and seventeen upon confession of their faith. To meet the 
wants of the growing congregation, the original brick chapel was enlarged 
into the present commodious Gothic structure and dedicated, free from debt, 
August 1 8th, 1 88 1. The entire expense of lot and structure was about $20,000. 
The average attendance is 350, with a constant increase. 

The pastors have been as follows : Rev. Gavin L. Hamilton, installed in 

1870, and continued his labors to the last Sabbath in 1874. Rev. Charles 

Pierrepont Coit, native of Hastings, N. Y., graduated at Rochester university 
and Auburn seminary, organised and built up a church in Binghamton, N. Y. ; 
installed as pastor of the Memorial church January 2d, 1875. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. Charles P. Coit; elders — Edward 
W. Warner, George H. Rudman, Aaron P. Lawrence, David C. Rudman, 
Stephen W. Millichamp and Wilson F. Smith. Sunday-school superintendent, 
Aaron P. Lawrence. 

North Presbyterian church. — A commission of Rochester presbytery or- 
ganised this church on Tuesday evening, February 12th, 1884. Thirty-nine 
persons presented letters from various churches, and thirty-one after the usual 
examinations as to personal experience and purposes. These seventy were 
then con.stituted the "North church of Rochester." Three persons were then 
elected and formally ordained elders : Isaac Bower, George W. Davison and 


252 History of the City of Rochester. 

Frank H. Clement. This church began as a Sabbath-school, conducted by 
earnest workers of the Central church, under the efficient leadership of William 
A. Hubbard, in 1869. The first meetings were held in a school-room, then in 
a chapel erected in 1874, and it is expected that ere long an edifice will be 
built to meet the demands of the increasing congregation and Sunday-school. 
The nearest Presbyterian place of worship is that of the ]5rick, which is a mile 
and a quarter distant. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. Peter Lindsay, graduate of Auburn 
seminary, who began his labors on the third Sabbath of December, 1883; 
elders — Anson W. Pond, George W. Davidson and Frank H. Clement. 

Reformed Presbyterian church. — An organisation with this corporate title 
dates to the year 1835, with a membership of twenty-nine. The first place of 
meeting was the High school building, on the corner of Temple and Lancaster 
streets. Subsequently an edifice was erected on the intersection of Stillson 
and Main streets, which, after long occupancy, was sold for business purposes, 
and the proceeds put into a structure larger and more commodious on North 
St. Paul street, near Andrews. 

The pastors have been as follows : Rev. John F"isher, a native of Ireland, 
and preacher of marked ability ; he lived but a short time, and is buried in Mt. 

Hope. Rev. G. B. McKee was installed in 1835, and resigned in 1842; 

his remains also repose in Mt. Hope. Rev. David Scott, a native of Scot- 
land, graduate of the University of Glasgow, came to America in 1829, suc- 
ceeded Mr. McKee in 1844, resigned in 1862, and died at Alleghany, Penn- 
sylvania, March 29th, 1 87 1, after an honored and useful life of seventy-seven 

years. Rev. R. D. Sproule, native of Alleghany, Pennsylvania, graduate 

of Jefferson college and Alleghany seminary, was installed in 1863, and after 
a successful ministration resigned, and is now pastor of the Presbyterian church 
in Providence, R. V. Rev. John Graham, native of New York city, gradu- 
ate of the University of Penn.sylvania, and the Reformed Presbyterian sem- 
inary ; installed over the church June 26th, 1881. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. John Graham ; elders — Hugh Rob- 
inson, Robert Aiton, James Campbell, Robert Wilson, Abram Ernisse and 
Robert K. Toas. 

First United Presbyterian church. — The way being prepared by the 
preaching of Rev. John Van Eaton in 1843, on the 21st of September, 1849, 
an organisation was perfected under the title of the "First Associate Reformed 
church of Rochester." On the 20th of May, 1858, the Associate Reformed 
Presbyterian church, and the Associate Presbyterian church of North America, 
effected an organic union under the corporate title of the " United Presbyterian 
church of North America," hence the present name of the "First United Pres- 
byterian (U. P.) of Rochester." The first place of worship was a school-house 
that stood near St. Luke's Episcopal church on Fitzhugh street, then an edifice 

The Presbyterian Churches. 253 

on Troup street and Plymouth avenue, which, being consumed by fire Septem- 
ber 8th, 1850, purchase was made January 1st, 1851, of the 'church edifice on 
tile corner of Court and Stone streets. Worship was there lield till the build- 
ing was sold and purchase was made from the Free Will Baptists of their build- 
ing on Allen street, near I'^itzhugh, which has become too strait, and must ere 
long give place to a larger and more commodious building in order to meet 
the wants of the growing congregation and demands of the enlarging church. 

The pastors have been as follows: Rev. John Van Eaton, D. D., native of 
Xenia, Ohio, and graduate of Miami university and Oxford seminary, com- 
menced the pastorate of this church of his founding in 1849. Driven away 
by the ill health of himself and family he went to York, N. Y., where he was 
pastor for twenty-six years; a man of unwonted ability ; his death on March 
5th, 1880, was a cause of great grief to his parishioners and community at large. 
A useful volume on several of the minor prophets, published since his death, 

illustrates his scholarship and ministerial fidelity. Rev. W. P. McAdams 

was pastor three years and then retired to private life. Rev. Thomas Boyd 

occupied the pulpit for four and a half years and is now pastor of Bethel and 

Beulah churches in Pennsylvania. Rev. James Patterson Sankey, U. D., 

native of Londonderry, Ohio, graduate of PVanklin college, located at New 
Athens, Ohio, and Allegheny United Presbyterian theological seminary, located 
at Allegheny City, Penn., was placed in charge of this church by the presby- 
tery of Caledonia, June 30th, 1864. A pastorate of twenty years, with no in- 
timation by the people that he should leave, but wholly in the other direction, 
is the highest proof of his usefulness and of his well-deserved favor in his 
parish and by the entire city. 

The officers in 1884 are: Pastor, Rev. James P. Sankey, D. D. ; elders — 
Robert Sterritt, Thomas Lisle, James Hutchison and John Bamber. Sunday- 
school superintendent, the pastor. 

Several ministers and missionaries have gone from the Presbyterian churches 
of Rochester : Jonathan S. Green, Sandwich islands ; F. De Wilton Ward, 
D. D., India; Henry Cherry, India ; T. Dwight Hunt, Sandwich islands; James 
Ballentine, L. Merrill Miller, D. D., Ogdensburgh ; Henry E. Peck, Charles G. 
Lee, P'rederick M. Starr, Everard Kempshall, D. D., Elizabeth, N. J. ; William 
N. McCoon, Charles R. Clarke, California; Henry B. Chapin, Ph.D., N. Y. ; 
Robert Proctor, George Dutton, M. L. R. P. Hill, G. Parsons Nichols, D. D., 
Binghamton ; Horace H. Allen, Daniel Ames, Charles R. Burdick, Peter H. 
Ikirkhardt, Elisha M. Carpenter, Nathan M. Chapin, Lemuel Clark, Darwin 
Chichester, Hiram W. Congdon, Philo G. Cook, Henry Cooper, David Dickey, 
Morvatt Evarts, William C. F"rench, D. D., Cleveland, John K. Fowler, Mer- 
ritt Galley, Corlis B. Gardner, Alanson C. Hall, Augustus F. Hall, Gavin L. 
Hamilton, Parsons C. Hastings, Ph. D., Alvan Ingersoll, Thomas H. Johnson, 
George W, Mackie, David E. Millard, Enoch K. Miller, Henry T. Miller, 

254 History or the City of Rochester. 

David H. Palmer, James H. Phelps, James S. Pierpont, Augustus C. Shaw, 
D. D., John Spink, A. D. White, WiiUam C. Wisner, D. D., Edwin S. Wright, 
D. D., Worthington Wright, Albert G. Hall, D. D., Hezekiah B. Pierpont, 
Richard De Forest, T. Reaves Chiprnan, Samuel Hayliss, Jonathan Copeland, 
Gavin Langmuir, D. D., Charles H. Wood, Charles Ray, C. M. Torrey, Dillis 
D. Hamilton, George S. Bishop, George Kemp Ward, John Middleton, I'red- 
erick J. Jackson, Willis C. Gaylord, Theodore B. Williams, David F. Stewart, 
Edward C. Ray, Eugene G. Cheeseman, James W. White.^ 

Of others not ministers who have gone as foreign missionaries, Henry A. 
De Forest, M. D., Syria ; Mrs. Delia Stone Bishop Sandwich islands ; Mrs. A. 
De Forest, Syria; Mrs. Maria Ward (Chapin) Smith, Syria ; Mrs. Janet Cam- 
eron, Africa. 

The total membership of the eleven Presbyterian churches of Rochester in 
the spring of 1884 was 4,585; total Sunday-school membership, 4,620 ; total 
contributions to the church boards and miscellaneous charities for the year 
ending April, 1884, $18,416; congregational, general assembly and other 
church purposes, $50,423 ; sum total, $68,839. 


St. Luke's church. — The organisation of this parish was effected through 
the efforts of Rev. H. U. Ondcrdonk on the 14th of July, 18 17. At that 
date the original corporators — S. Melancton Smith, Moses P. Belknap, Wil- 
liam Y. Greene, Jesse Moore, A. G. Dauby, John P. Comparet, Anson House, 
Daniel Hibbard, Jacob Howe, Elisha Johnson, Jonah Brown, Caleb Ham- 
mond, Jabez Wilkinson, Joseph Thompson, William Atkinson, Samuel J. An- 
drews, John C. Rochester, John Mastick, Silas O. Smith, Roswell Babbit, Enos 
Stone, Oliver Culver, John P. Sheldon, Daniel Tinker, Lewis Jenkins, H. Mont- 
gomery, Joseph Spencer and Joseph Griffin — held a meeting in a school-house 

1 Rev. A. G. Hall, U. D., Rev. W. C. Wisner, 1). D., Rev. R. De Forest, Rev. Henry E. I'eck, 
Rev. C. Gardner have been (the last is) Rochester city pastors. 

Note. — The First, lirick, Central and St. Peter's are four of the most expensive and imposing 
edifices in the city. The Third, having sold theirs to the Unitarians, are arranging to builil upon the 
corner of East avenue and Meigs street. The other four are commodious, equal to the present wants 
of their localities, but will, in due time, give place to others of larger iliinensions ami more cmnmand- 
ing appearance. 

Rev. George G. Sill, native of Silltown, Conn., came to Rochester in 1815, was licensed and or- 
dained by the presbytery of Rochester, from 1825 to 1845, preached in Rochester and neighborhood, 
edited the Rochester ObseiTer (the first religious newspaper in Western New York), compiled an<l 
published a verse book of .Scripture for Sunday-schools, and died at Lyme, Conn., May 20th, 1859. 

In the year 1830 Rev. Charles G. Finney made his first visit to Rochester, preaching in the First, 
Second and Third churches, with heaven-endowed power and marvelous results. To this master in 
logic, eloquence and fearlessness of spirit Rochester is greatly indebted, under God, for its moral and 
religious eminence. 

As Presbyterianism was first to occupy the ground when Rochester was but a "clearing," sur- 
rounded by dense forests, so it has ever held its own in numbers, character and influence, making itself 
felt for good, the city, land and world over. 

The KriscoPAL Churches. 255 

owned by Samuel J. Andrews on the east side of the river, when Colonel N. 
Rochester and Sanuicl J. Andrews were elected wardens; Silas O. Smith, Ros 
well Babbit, John Mastick, Lewis Jenkins, Elisha Johnson, John C. Rochester, 
William Atkinson and Oliver Culver were chosen vestrymen. Occasional ser- 
vices were held for the parish by Rev. Messrs. Onderdonk, Norton and Welton, 
in the school-house on the lot adjoining the present church site. In 1818 Bishop 
Hobart made his first visit to the infant parish, and in the building then occu- 
pied by the First Presbyterian society administered the rite of confirmation to 
four persons. In 1820 the first church edifice was erected on lot number 85, 
which was given by the proprietors of the One-hundred-acre tract. It was a 
long wooden structure, in size thirty-eight by forty-six feet, and contained about 
forty pews. The funds for the erection of this building were provided by a 
subscription in which the following entries appear : N. Rochester, in lumber, 
$200 ; William Cobb, in blacksmithing, twenty-five dollars ; William Haywood, 
in hats, twenty dollars ; Ebenezer Watts, in tinware, ten dollars ; E. Peck & 
Co., in books and stationery, twenty dollars; Jehiel Barnard, in tailoring, five 
dollars ; H. Scrantom, in flour, seven dollars ; Abner Wakelee, in shoes, ten 
dollars ; Jacob Gould, in goods, ten dollars. The following additional subscrip- 
tions were contributed toward the erection of a steeple or cupola ; A. Reynolds, 
in goods or brick, five dollars ; D. D. Barnard, in cider and apples, five dollars ; 
Timothy Bosworth in combs, five dollars ; Ephraim Moore, " in pork out of my 
shop," five dollars. The little church was occupied for the first time on Christ- 
mas day, 1820. Rev. Francis H. Cuming, deacon, first served as rector, hav- 
ing entered upon his duties on the first Sunday of December, 1820, and some 
two months later the church was consecrated by Bishop Hobart. 

In 1823 the growth and prosperity of the church had been such that the 
building could no longer accommodate the largely increased attendance. Con- 
sequently, in September. 1823, the vestry entered into a contract with H. T. 
McGcorgc to build a stone church fifty-five feet by seventy-three, at a con- 
tract price of $9,000. The actual cost, however, was $10,400. The old frame 
structure was moved to the rear of the lot and work begun on the new build- 
ing in the latter part of 1823. The church was opened for public worship Sep- 
tember 4th, 1825, and on the 30th of September, 1826, the ceremony of con- 
secration was performed by Bishop Hobart. 

After a successful rectorship of eight years, Mr. Cuming, in March, resigned, 
and was succeeded by Henry J. Whitehouse, who was instituted by Bishop 
Hobart, August 29th, 1830. Dr. Whitehouse resigned, May 1st, 1844, after a 
successful pastorate of nearly fifteen years, and subsequently acquired a national 
reputation as bishop of Illinois. He was succeeded by Rev. Thomas C. Pitkin, 
who took charge of the parish July 14th, 1844. In consequence of ill health 
Dr. Pitkin resigned the rectorship July 12th, 1847. I" the following October 
a call was extended to Rev. Henry W. Lee, which he accepted and was insti- 

2$6 History of the City of Rochester. 

tilted by Bishop De Lancey on the i6th of P'ebriiary, 1848. While rector of 
this church he was honored with the titles of D. D. and LL. D., and his pros- 
perous ministry of seven years terminated December 24th, 1854, in consequence 
of his election to the bishopric of Iowa, and previous consecration to that 
office October 18th, 1854. Rev. Benjamin Watson was chosen his successor 
and entered upon his duties on the 29th of the following April. Dr. Watson 
having resigned July 23d, 1859, he was succeeded by the Rev. R. B. Cla.xton, 

D. D., who was elected rector on the ist of October, and instituted by Bishop 
De Lancey on the 20th of the following February. Dr. Claxton resigned on 
the 1st of October, 1865, to accept the chair of^professor of pulpit eloquence 
and pastoral care in the divinity school of the Protestant Episcopal church in 
Philadelphia. On the 23d of April, 1866, Rev. Henry Anstice was called to 
the rectorship and on the second Sunday of May entered upon his duties. 
During the first year of his ministry the interior of the church was thoroughly 
remodeled and refitted, the congregation in the meantime worshiping in the 
First Presbyterian church. Saint Luke's was reopened for divine service March 
lOth, 1867, and the institution of the rector by the bishop of the diocese took 
place on the 14th of the same month. The officers for the present year are as 
follows: Rector, Rev. Henry Anstice, D. D. ; wardens — G. H. Perkins, James 
Brackett ; vestrymen — J. A. Eastriian, William Eastwood, E. W. Williams, 
Clinton Rogers, Lorenzo Kelly, Alfred Ely, A. J. Johnson, Byron Holley. 

St. Paul's church. — This, the second Episcopal parish in Rochester, was 
organised May 28th, 1827, at a meeting presided over by Rev. Francis H. 
Cuming, rector of St. Luke's. William Atkinson and Giles Boulton were 
elected wardens, and Elisha Johnson, Elisha B. Strong, Jared N. Stcbbins, S. 
M. Smith, Enos Stone, Samuel J. Andrews, Daniel Tinker and A. B. Curtiss, 
vestrymen. Rev. Sutherland Douglas was the first rector, having been called 
in April, 1828, and resigning on account of ill health in August of the follow- 
ing year. The brick church edifice, then in process of erection, was completed 
and consecrated by Bishop Hobart in August, 1830. Rev. Chauncey Colton 
became rector in November of that year, resigning in December, 1831, when 
he was succeeded by Rev. H. V. D. Johns, who preached but once and was 
in turn succeeded by Rev. Burton H. Hickox. Mr. Hickox remained from 
1832 to 1835, when Rev. Orange Clark. D. D., was called. Dr. Clark con- 
tinued as rector for a period of four years and was followed by Rev. Washing- 
ton Van Zandt, in 1839, who remained but one year and six months. 

About this time the parish became involved financially, and a mortgage of 
$10,000 was foreclosed, which led to the dissolution, of Saint Paul's and the 
formation of a new corporation to buy the property under the name of " Grace 
church." During the long vacancy which ensued, occasional services were 
supplied by professors from Geneva, until June 12th, 1842, when Rev. William 

E. Eigenbrodt became rector, remaining until December, 1843. On the 25th 

The Episcopal Churches. 257 

of July, 1847, tlie church building was destroyed by fire. Services were held 
in the old High school on Clinton street, until Christmas of that year. The 
new church edifice was consecrated as Grace church December 17th, 1848. Un- 
der the auspices of the bishop the parish had been served for three months by 
Rev. Stephen Douglas and later by Rev. John V. Van Ingen, D. D. The lat- 
ter was elected rector in 1848. He was succeeded by Rev. Maunsell Van 
Rensselaer, who was elected in September, 1854, and whose term of office ex- 
tended to Easter, 1859. He was followed by Rev. Israel Foote, who entered 
upon the rectorship August 1st, 1859. Dr. Foote, after an incumbency of 
twenty-three years, resigned the rectorship, to take effect April 17th, 1882, and 
was succeeded by Rev. W. H. Piatt, D. D., LL. D., who was called to the rec- 
lorsliip September i6tli, 1882. 

The present officers of the church are as follows: Rector, W. H. Piatt, 
D. D., LL. D. ; wardens — A. G. Yates, William H. Sanger; vestrymen — H. H. 
Warner, E. F. Woodbury, Frank W. Elwood, W. C. Dickinson, H. M. Ells- 
worth, James L. Hatch, C. H. Amsden and A. Erickson Perkins. 

Trinity church. — The movement to establish this parish was inaugurated 
in 1836 by Rev. Henry J. Whitehouse, then rector of St. Luke's. Services 
were held by Rev. Vandevoort Bruce, who became rector January 26th, 
1846, in a school-house on Brown square, and later in school number 5 at 
the corner of Center and Jones streets. The corner-stone of a church building 
on the corner of Frank and Center streets was laid June 13th, 1846, and 
opened for divine service on Christmas eve of that year. Mr. Bruce resigned 
the rectorship of the parish May 12th, 1847, ^"d was succeeded by Rev. 
Charles D. Cooper, in October of the same year. During his administration 
the debt was entirely paid and the church consecrated by Bishop De Lancey 
]<"ebruary 15th, 1848. Mr. Cooper resigned December loth, 1849, after an 
incumbency of fifteen years, and was followed by Rev. Robert J. Parvin, who 
assumed the rectorship February 1st, 1850, and resigned August 12th, 1852. 
Rev. Addison B. Atkins became rector October 1st, 1852, remaining about two 
years, and was succeeded by Rev. George N. Cheney, who took charge of the 
parish October ist, 1854, remaining until May ist, 1863, when, in con.sequence 
of impaired health, he resigned. During this year the church was enlarged 
and improved and Rev. John W. Clark was called to the rectorship. He 
entered upon his duties on the 6th of December, 1863, but remained only a 
short time, and was succeeded by Rev. John V. Van Ingen, D. D., who labored 
in the parish until July ist, 1868. After a vacancy of eight months Rev. 
Charles H. W. Stocking took charge of the parish on the ist of March, 1869. 
Mr. Stocking remained until December, 1871, and was succeeded by Rev. M. 
R. St. J. Dillon-Lee, January, 1872. He officiated until October, 1873, and 
was followed by Rev. C. J. Machin, who remained until January, 1875. Rev. 
W. W. Walsh assumed the rectorship May ist, 1875, and is the present in- 

258 History of the City of Rochester. 

cumbent. On the 17th of April, 1880, the church property was sold and soon 
after the present site of the church and rectory was purchased. Ground was 
broken for the erection of a new house of worship on the 23d of June, 1880, 
the corner-stone being laid by Bishop Coxe on the 29th of July, and the 
church opened for divine service on the 31st of July in the following year. 

The present officers are as follows : Rector, Rev. Warren W. Walsh ; war- 
dens — George Arnold, William H. Cross; vestrymen — H. W. Davis^ F. G. 
Ranney, F. S. Upton, John H. Bishop, John A. Van Ingen, James H. Kelly, 
William Boyd, John G. Mason. 

Christ church. — This parish was organised on the 7th of May, 1855, by 
a number of parishioners of St. Luke's, with a few from St. Paul's. The 
meeting was held in Palmer's block, and the following officers were elected : 
Wardens — Silas O. Smith and David Hoyt ; vestrymen — Andrew J. 15rackett, 
D. B. Beach, D. M. Dewey, John P^airbanks, J. M. Winslow, Charles R. Babbit, 
Delos Wentworth and Edward M. Smith. The present site of the church was 
purchased in June, 1855, and the building erected in the latter part of the same 
year. Rev. Henry A. Neely was the first rector, and entered upon his duties 
October ist, 1855. Mr. Neely continued rector until 1862, when he resigned, 
becoming chaplain of Hobart college, afterward taking charge of Trinity chapel. 
New York, and subsequently being consecrated bishop of Maine on the 25 th of 
January, 1867. Rev. Anthony Schuyler, D. D., was his successor and entered 
upon the duties of the rectorship October ist, 1862, remaining until 1868. 
Rev. Walton W. Battershall became rector January 1st, 1869, continuing in this 
relation until August ist, 1874. He was followed by Rev. Joseph L. Tucker, 
February 17th, 1875. Mr. Tucker's ministry was terminated by his resigna- 
tion, to take effect October 15th, 1877. The present rector. Rev. W. D'Or- 
ville Doty, was called October isth, 1877, and assumed the rectorship on the 
2d of December, of the same year. 

The officers for the present year are as follows: Rector, Rev. W. D'Orville 
Doty, D. D. ; wardens — J. Moreau Smith, D. M. Dewey; vestrymen — J. H. 
Nellis, S. V. McDowell, E. W. Osburn, John A. Davis, J. A. Biegler, A. C. 
Walker, W. J. Ashley and F. A. Ward. 

Church of the Good Shepherd.' — During the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Clax- 
ton, of St. Luke's, a mission of that parish was established and a building erected 
in which services were held for the first time July 31st, 1864. The parish was 
organised into an independent church by Rev. Henry Anstice, rector of St. 
Luke's, March 29th, 1869. Rev. Jacob Miller, who had been ministering in the 
congregation for twenty months as assistant to Mr. Anstice, was, on nomina- 
tion by the latter, elected the first rector. Upon his resignation in September, 
1869, Rev. J. Newton Spear was called, but he soon resigned on account of ill 
health. Rev. James S. Barnes next entered on the field. May ist, 1870, but 
left within six months. Rev. Frederick W. Raikes accepted the charge Decern- 

The Episcopal Churches. 259 

ber iSth, 1870, and after a ministry of two years resigned April 1st, 1873. He 
was followed by Rev. Benjamin W. Stone, D. D., who after an incumbency of 
eight years resigned April 1st, 1881. Rev. Byron Holley, jr., followed immedi- 
ately as minister of the church of the Good Shepherd, reniaining in this position 
until June 19th, 1882. Rev. James Stoddard assumed the care of the parish 
August 1st, 1883. 

The officers for the current year are : Rector, Rev. James Stoddard ; ward- 
ens — George Cummings, John W. Attridge ; vestrymen — Thomas Baxen- 
dale, Andrew Erhardt, J. N. LeLievre, Thomas Attridge, George R. Hoare, 
Edward P. Hart and William Smiley. 

Church of the Epiphany. — The parish of the Epiphany is the outgrowth 
of cottage service held in the winter of 1866-67, by Rev. Dr. Anstice, rector 
of St. Luke's. The corner-stone of a chapel was laid July 23d, 1868, and the 
first public services therein were held February 28th, 1869, Rev. W. W. Raj'- 
mond being then the assistant minister of St. Luke's. He was followed by 
Rev. George S. Baker, August 14th, 1870, and to his ministry is largely due 
the growth and prosperity of the enterprise. Rev. C. M. Nickerson succeeded 
Mr. Baker November ist, 1875. The parish was organised into an independent 
parish by Dr. Anstice, September 13th, 1876, and on his nomination Rev. Mr. 
Nickerson was elected the first rector, who remained in the parish until Janu- 
ary 1st, 1 88 1. He was succeeded by Rev. Amos Skeele, who was called 
March 21st, 1881. 

The present officers are : Rector, Amos Skeele ; wardens — George E. 
Mumford, John Clements; vestrymen — J. H. Stedman, Jonas Jones, H. C. 
White, E. W. Tripp, George H. Perkins, J. C. Smith, W. S. Oliver and Alfred 
L. Davis. 

St. James's church. — The corner-stone of this Episcopal church was laid 
on the 1 8th of July, 1875. The missionary committee having charge of the 
enterprise were John Morris, John Southall, Charles S. Cook and William H. 
Wilkins. The first service was held June 5th, 1876, at which time the church 
was consecrated by Bishop Coxe, and Rev. James H. Dennis began his work 
in the field. The meeting of the members of the congregation to incorporate 
themselves was held August 17th, 1876, at which Rev. James H. Dennis was 
elected the first rector. 

The present officers are as follows: Rector, Rev. J. H. Dennis; wardens — 
John Morphy, John Nicholson; vestrymen — E. J. Shackleton, Dr. Hermance, 
J. Cox, jr., E. E. Havill, William Sweeting, E. Baldwin, J. McCullum. 

St. Andrew's church. — This parish had its origin in the work of a general 
city mission supported by the four older parishes of the city in 1866. In 
1867 the parish of Christ church took the mission under its special care, 
and during 1870 it was in charge of Rev. Daniel Flack, then the assistant 
at Christ church, of which Rev. W. W. Battershall was rector. A lot was 

26o History of the City of Rochester. 

secured at the corner of Munger and Ashland streets, and the corner-stone of 
a permanent structure was laid on the 19th of July, 1873. Rev. David A. 
Bonnar was elected rector, and preached the first sermon in the completed por- 
tion of the new church. In 1877 ^^^ church property passed, through fore- 
closure of judgment, into the possession of William B. Douglas. The bishop 
and standing committee having authorised the formation of a new parish in the 
field formerly occupied by St. Clement's, the organisation of St. Andrew's was 
effected February 7th, 1879. The first rector of the parish was Rev. A. S. 
Crapsey, who was elected June 1st, 1879. The edifice was consecrated by 
Bishop Coxe May i6th, 1880. The officers at present are as follows: Rector, 
Rev. A. S. Crapsey; wardens — William B. Douglas, John J. Luckett; vestry- 
men — Henry S. Crabbe, William Dove, Thomas A. Evans, Samuel L. Selden, 
Arthur C. Smith, Frederick Suter, George Yeares. 


A monthly meeting of Friends was held at Farmington, Ontario county, 
N. Y., on the 23d of the "eighth month," 1821. Permission was granted 
allowing Friends of Rochester, Riga and Henrietta to hold a preparative 
meeting at Rochester, and in accordance therewith the first meeting was 
held at Rochester on the i8th of the tenth month, 1 821, and Isaac Colvin was 
appointed clerk for the day. The meetings were to be held on the first and 
fifth days of each week under the care of the following committee : Stephen 
Durfee, David Baker, Sunderland Patterson, Nathaniel Walker, Asa Douglass 
and Peter Harris. James Whippo and Mead Atwater were designated to pro- 
pose some Friend as clerk. Aldrich Colvin and Erastus Spaulding were ap- 
pointed to provide some suitable house for worship and discipline. The com- 
mittee above named reported, and Thomas Congdon was appointed clerk on 
the 20th of the twelfth month, 1821. The committee also reported upon a lot 
and in favor of building a meeting- house, the total cost for a lot four rods by 
eight rods, including building the meeting-house, being $1,050, and of buying 
a burying-ground — village lot 175 Frankfort, sixty-six feet front by two hun- 
dred feet deep, owned by Aldrich and Isaac Colvin — which could be had for 
$80. Harvey Frink was appointed clerk for one year. On the 14th of the 
eleventh month, 1822, the first meetings were held at Aldrich Colvin's house. 
The house of worship, to be used also for a school-house, was built on the east 
side of North Fitzhugh street, near Allen, and completed in the autumn of 
1822, at a cost of $350. 

A division or separation took place in the New York yearly meeting of 
Friends in the year 1829 — and one branch was styled "orthodox" and the 
other was called by many "Hicksites," and those names still exist. Among 
the names of early members of the society, prior to the division, who belonged 
to the Rochester meeting, we find, in addition to those already mentioned : 

The Baptist Churches. 261 

John Russell, Win. Lawton, Abram Staples, Zaccheus Aldridge, Wm. Rath- 
bone, Silas Cornell, Joseph Cox and wife Dorothy, Ezra Scofield, Samuel 
Fairwcll, Darius Shadbolt, Benjamin Fish, Thomas and Elizabeth Bills, John 
Ireland, Hugh Pound, Henry Case, Wm. Griffin, Elihu F. Marshall, Silas An- 
thony, Jonathan Warner, Gilbert Titus, Jacob Thorn, Barnabas Colman, Abram 
Wilson, Lars Larson, Wm. Green, Philip Lyell, Oley Johnson, Daniel Batty, 
Job Batty, Seth Macy, Wm. Macy, Jacob Bell, John Edgeworth, David Bell. 
After the separation the Hicksite branch occupied the original meeting-house, 
while the Orthodox Friends built a new one on Jay street. The society, as it 
would seem, has accomplished its usefulness and fulfilled its destiny, and the 
names of George Fox and William Penn still remain bright- and shining 
lights of the Christian religion. There are but very few of the members of the 
society left here, and those are of advanced years. Mary T. and Pamelia S. 
P'rost, sisters of Harvey Frink, who was clerk of the Rochester meeting in 
1822, still reside in the city; they maintain their interest in the society, and 
have a fresh remembrance of the events that transpired in the early settlement 
of Rochester, over seventy years ago. A few days since they visited Lake 
View, the early residence of Erastus Spaulding, who was one of the committee 
to procure a suitable house for worship in 1821. • 


The First Baptist church was organised in the year 1818, and was then 
called "the First Baptist church of Brighton." It had twelve constituent 
members, none of whom are now living.- The numbers increased gradually 
for the next twelve years, and 161 were connected with its membership in 
1830. During the winter of 1830-31, when the great revival interest existed 
in this city under the wonderful labors of that eminent divine. Rev. Charles G. 
Finney, some 193 persons were added, and in 1832 some 368 members were 
enrolled. The large emigration to the western states and the formation of the 
Second Baptist church, on the east side of the river, which followed, reduced 
the membership so that in 1835 only 244 remained. Its numerical increase 
was soon resumed, however, for in 1844 the church contained 530 members. 
P'rom 1 866 to 1 870 its was steady, numbering at last 760, the largest 
figures reached in its history. In the year i866, 185 new members were added. 
In 1871 and 1872 three new Baptist churches — Memorial (on Lake avenue). 
Rapids and East avenue were organised; taking many of the members of the 
church, which, with other dismissals, reduced the membership to 545, which 
has gradually increased to the present time, 1884. The church has now en- 
rolled on its membership some 610 members. 

Nine pastors and two temporary settlements have served this church : Rev. 
E. M. Spencer, *i in the year 1819; Rev. Eleazer Savage, 1824 to 1826, three 

1 Four of ihe above list are dead — as indicated by asterisks — and seven are living. Some of tliem 
are now occupying very prominent positions as presidents of theological seminaries, or as editors or 
publishers of denominational papers. 

262 History of the City of Rochester. 

years; Rev. O. C. Comstock, D. D.,* 1827 to 1834, eight years; Rev. Phar- 
cellus Church, D. D., 1835 to 1848, fourteen years; Rev. J. A. Smith, D. D., 
1849 to 1854, five years; Rev. Jacob R. Scott, D. D.,* 1855 to 1858, three 
years; Rev. Richard M. Nott,* 1859 to 1865, seven years; Rev. G. W. North- 
rop, D. D., supplied the pulpit one year; Rev. Henry E. Robbins, D. D., 
1867 to 1872, six years; Rev. A. H. Strong, D, D., supplied one year; Rev. 
Charles J. Baldwin, 1874- to 1884, ten years. The clerks of the church have 
been as follows: Myron Strong, for four years; H. B. Sherman, for six years; 
E. S. Treat, for seven years ; David Burbank, one year ; Dr. H. W. Dean, three 
years ; J. A. Stewart, seven years. The following deacons (some of them of 
honored memory) have passed away : Amos Graves, Ira Sperry, Isaac Tinney, 
Oren Sage, Geo. S. Shelmire, John Watts, John Jones, H. L. Achilles, Edwin 
Pancost, H. P. Smith, E. F. Smith, Myron Strong, H. N. Langworthy, H. W. 
Dean, A. G. Mudge. 

The present deacons are: Alvah Strong, William N. Sage, L. R. Satterlee, 
J. O. Pettingill, S. A. Ellis, A. H. Cole, Matthew Massey, Cyrus F. Paine and 
A. H. Mixer. The first two — Alvah Strong and William N. Sage — have 
been members of the church nearly fifty-four years. The present board of trus- 
tees consists of Ezra R. Andrews, president ; Z. F. Westervelt, G. D. Hale, 
J. W. Warrant, C. A. Morse, B. P. Ward, Lewis Sunderlin, A. L. Barton and 
T. De Puy. Charles T. Converse is the present treasurer. Between $300,000 
and $400,000 have been contributed for benevolence and building of houses 
of worship during the past fifty years. 

The Sabbath-school superintendents have been : Myron Strong, one year ; 
Rev. E. Savage, one year ; Rev. Zenas Freeman, two years ; H. L. Achilles, 
two years ; EUery S. Treat, one year ; George Dawson, one year ; Edwin Pan- 
cost, seven years ; William N. Sage, ten years ; James T. Griffin, two years ; 
A. R. Pritchard, five years; L. R Satterlee, three years; A. G. Mudge, six 
years ; S. A. Ellis, four years ; A. H. Cole, ten years. 

The church first met after its organisation in a small school-house (number 
I ) located where Rochester Free academy now stands. It was then removed 
to the old court-house and sometimes met in the jury room. In 1827 the 
church, being a feeble band and considered of no political importance, was turned 
out by the sheriff in obedience to the directions of the board of supervisors. 
The members removed to Col. Hiram Leonard's ball-room over a stable in the 
rear of the old Clinton House and there-remained until 1828, when they pur- 
chased of the Rochester Meeting-House company a wooden structure on State 
street, in which previously the First and Second Presbyterian churches had 
worshiped. This was located near where the American express company's build- 
ing now stands, on State street. Five members of the church — Deacon Oren 
Sage, Deacon Myron Strong, Zenas Freeman, H. L. Achilles and Eben Griffith 
— gave their notes for $1,500 for the purchase and then spent about $1,000 in 

The Baptist Churches. 263 

improving the same, and the church there remained until they moved to their 
building on Fitzhugh street in the year 1839. 

The first building on Fitzhugh street was built of stone, at a cost of about 
$18,000. It was considered a model of beauty, as well as of convenience, at 
that time. But opinion changed very much in subsequent years. That build- 
ing was enlarged in the year 1852, by extending it thirty feet and adding gal- 
leries, at an expense of some $10,000. It remained in this shape till the year 
1868, when the necessity for more room for the Sabbath-school and social 
meetings of the church was so manifest that additional land was purchased, and 
the rear part of the present structure was erected, at an expense of $53,034.- 
75. In the year 1875 the foundations of the front building were laid, and 
during the following year the entire building was completed, at an expense of 
$74,836. 1 1, which, with cost of ground and rear part, makes the entire amount 
$140,000 invested in the present building. This is a model of beauty, and 
one of the finest church structures in the state. 

The Second Baptist church was organised March I2th, 1834. For two 
years prior thereto the subject had been variously agitated among the mem- 
bers of the First Baptist church of forming another church, on the east side of 
the river. It was not until the 26th day of February, 1834, that the project 
was fully begun, and on that date letters of dismission were granted to fifty- 
six persons, who formed the constituent members of the new church. At this 
time a proposition was made by the Third Presbyterian church to sell their 
house of worship, located on the northeast corner of Main and Clinton streets, 
where the Washington hall block now stands. It was a stone and wooden 
structure with a steeple and belfry. The first meeting of the new church and 
society was held on April 8th, 1 834, when the following trustees were elected : 
H. L. Achilles, S. Lewis (first class) ; Daniel Haight, John Culver (second 
class) ; D. R. Barton (third class). On the 17th of April following, in accord- 
ance with the previous arrangements, the Third Presbyterian church transferred 
their meeting-house to the new church for the sum of $6,600, nearly the whole 
amount being subscribed by about twenty members. On the night of Decem- 
ber loth, 1859, this house of worship was consumed by fire. 

After much consideration the site of the present church edifice, on the cor- 
ner of North avenue and Franklin and Achilles streets, was purchased April 
lOth, i860, for $5,400, the present edifice being erected thereon at an ex- 
pense of $40,000; it is capable of seating 1,200 people. It was furnished and 
dedicated in 1862. In the interim, service had been held in Palmer's block 
(East Main street), and part of the time in the Third Presbyterian church. In 
1848 the church suffered a loss of several members, in the organisation, by 
Rev. Charles Thompson, of the Tabernacle Baptist church, which was then 
organised, and by whom an edifice was erected on St. Paul street, near An- 
drews, where the Jewish synagogue now stands. The organisation did not 

264 History of the City of Rochester. 

prove strong enough to live, and, after a brief struggle, the church was sold to 
the Hebrews. In November, 1871, ninety-eight members were lost by the 
forming of the East avenue Baptist church, which had been conducted as a 
mission school for several years by the Second Baptist church. The Second 
Baptist church has now a membership of 642 members. Rev. S. W. Duncan, 
D. D., is the present pastor. Of the constituent members onh' three survive — 
Mrs. Sarah M. Barton, Mrs. Dorcas Miller and Mrs. Emeline Sheik, all resi- 
dents of this city. The ordinance of baptism was first administered July 13th, 
1834, Ebenezer Titus and Martha, his wife, being the candidates. 

The church has had eleven pastors, and of these but four are now living:^ — 
Rev. G. D. Boardman, D. D., of Philadelphia, Pa. ; Rev. T. Edwin Brown, D. 
D., of Providence, R. I. ; Rev. J. H. Gilmore, professor in the University of 
Rochester, and the present pastor. Rev. Dr. Duncan. The first pastor was 
Rev. li^lon Galiisha, who took the pastorate in May following tlie organisation 
of the church, for a period of three years. He died at Brockport January 4th, 
1856. Rev. Elisha Tucker was installed the second pastor, January 1st, 1837. 
He resigned in 1841, removed to New York, and died in 1853. The third pas- 
tor was Rev. V. R. Hotchkiss, who came from Pulteney, Vermont, April 26th, 
1842, and remained until October 1st, 1845, when he accepted a call to a 
church in Fall River, Mass. Rev. Charles Thompson became the fourth pastor 
of the church, January i8th, 1846, and remained but a short interval, when he 
organised the Tabernacle church of Rochester. The fifth pastor was Rev. 
Henry Davis, who remained but a year, from 1849 to 1850. Rev. G. W. 
Howard, D. D., commenced his labors as the sixth pastor of the church in the 
autumn of 185 i ; after a pastorate of six years he removed to Chicago, and 
then to New Orleans, where he died in 1863. Dr. G. D. Boardman assumed 
the pastoral charge in October, 1856, occupying the same for eight years, when 
he was called to preside oyer the First Baptist church of Philadelphia, where 
he is still successfully ministering. Rev. Joseph H. Gilmore was installed as 
the ninth pastor on October 9th, 1865, but resigned in 1867 to accept a pro- 
fessorship in the university. The tenth pastor was the Rev. T. Edwin Brown, 
D. D., who came from the Tabernacle Baptist church of Brooklyn, and assumed 
the pastoral charge on November ist, 1869. He resigned in February, 1882, 
to accept a call of the First Baptist church of Providence, R. I., which now 
enjoys his successful ministry. His term of service, covering a period of thir- 
teen years, is the longest single pastorate in the history of the church. 

The present and eleventh pastor is the Rev. Samuel W. Duncan, D. D., 
formerly pastor of the Ninth street Baptist church of Cincinnati, Ohio, who 
accepted the unanimous call of the church in June, 1883. In 1836 Rev. Jirah 
D. Cole supplied the pulpit during the pastor's absence. From May ist, 1864, 
to September 30th, 1865, Rev. E. G. Robinson, D. D., now president of Brown 
university, and formerly of the Rochester theological seminary, was a stated 

The Bafhst Churches. 265 

supply. Among the early members of the church was Rev. E. Vining, " whose 
beautiful and useful life had so impressed itself upon his brethren, that the Mon- 
roe Baptist asssociation erected by special vote and contribution, a tombstone 
in Mount Hope cemetery to mark his resting-place." Among those who 
have been members of the church, and at times assisted in its pulpit services, 
are Rev. E. G. Robinson, D. D., Rev. Dr. Buckland, (who supplied the pulpit 
in 1874-75); Rev. Dr. S. S. Cutting, Rev. Eleazer Savage; aLso, among the 
present members. Rev. Dr. Howard Osgood and President M. B. Anderson, 
LL. D. There have been ordained to the ministry from the members of the 
church Rev. George Otis Hackett, August 24th, 1844; Rev. Niles Kinney, N. 
W. Benedict, D. D., and Rev. Wayland Benedict. Mrs. Louisa Hooker Van 
Meter, a misionary to Burmah, was also a member of the church, having been 
baptised in 1828. 

The present deacons are : A. Mosely, Thomas Johnston and M. G. Seeley, 
chosen in November, 1866; Professor Otis H. Robinson, chosen in November, 
1874; D. G. Weaver, Charles H. Stanton, Charles Covell, W. W. Gilbert and 
William H. Caldwell, chosen in November, 1878. The present trustees are: 
C. B. Woodworth, chairman ; James Marden, secretary ; Martin A. Culver, 
Daniel Harris, C: H. Stanton and J. B. Moseley. The following are the present 
church officers: Rev. S. W. Duncan, D. D., pastor; M. G. Seeley, clerk; D. 
G. Weaver, treasurer' of general benevolent fund ; Prof O. H. Robinson, 
treasurer of poor fund ; W. W. Jacobs, treasurer. 

The church started with a Sunday-school as an essential element. Its 
growth has been no less satisfactory than that of the church. On the 6th of 
March, 1834, Henry L. Achilles, as superintendent, opened a Sunday-school 
in connection with the new church, and four days afterward the latter was con- 
stituted, The number of scholars is not known ; but in October, 1834, a report 
was made to the Sunday-school Union (which was then in existence in this 
city), showing that the school had twenty-three teachers and one hundred and 
twenty scholars, and possessed a library of one hundred and twenty-four vol- 
umes. In nine years the school had increased to five, hundred and seventy- 
eight scholars and fifty-two teachers, and it was then the largest Sunday-school 
in the city, Nathan Britton being the superintendent. At the present time 
there are about three hundred and eighty scholars and forty teachers connected 
with the school. A new library of one thousand volumes was recently pur- 
chased. The present officers are : Prof W. C. Stevens, superintendent ; W. 
W. Jacobs, assistant superintendent ; T. B. Ryder, assistant superintendent ; 
Mrs. M. A. Harris, superintendent of infant department ; Miss Lucy McMaster, 
assistant in infant department ; H. F. Seymour, secretary and treasurer ; Edwin 
O. Banker, librarian ; Rev. Howard Osgood, D. D., teacher of Bible class. 

The First German Baptist church. — In 1 848-49 several German Baptists 
from New York city and other places came to Rochester and commenced 

266 History of the City of Rochester. 

holding religious meetings in .private dwellings and in number i school-house 
on Fitzhugh street. At first these meetings were conducted by a colporteur of 
the American Tract society, and after a time by Rev. E. Roos, of Warrensville, 
Penn., who labored here nine months. After this the services were conducted 
by others at different intervals until October, 1850, when Rev. A. Henrich 
came to this city from Buffalo, and, because of his efficiency and success in col- 
lecting and cementing these scattered elements, he may be styled the founder 
of the first German Baptist church of Rochester. On the 29th of June, 185 i, 
this body was regularly organised and recognised by the proper judicatories, 
Rev. A. Henrich being ordained as first pastor. Among the constituent mem- 
bers were John Doppler, Jacob Bopser, Conrad Steppler and Joseph Richard, 
all of whom have gone to their reward except the last named. In October, 
1858, Mr. Henrich removed to Anthony, Penn., and then Rev. Prof A. 
Rauschenbusch, of the German branch of the Rochester theological seminary, 
supplied the pulpit for about six months, when Rev. Gerhard Koopmann, then 
of the senior class of the theological seminary, accepted a call from the church 
and was their pastor for a brief time. He was succeeded in 1863 by Rev. 
Henry. Schneider, who was succeeded in 1865 by Rev. Ernest Tschirch. 

In 1851, when the church was organised, services were held in a hall on 
Ann street (now Allen street). A few years after this, purchase was made of 
the old public school number 10, on Andrews street, east of North Clinton 
street, for $2,000. In 1870 this stone building, was taken down and the 
present inviting brick edifice erected at a cost of $10,000, being worth now, 
lot inclusive, some $14,000. Mr. Tschirch did much in paying for said edifice 
by collecting among the German and American Baptist churches. He left the 
church in 1874 in a prosperous condition, and with only $1,000 debt on the new 
house of worship. From this time Rev. Prof H. M. Schaffer of the theological 
seminary supplied the pulpit for one year. In 1875 Rev. Peter Ritter, the present 
pastor, accepted a call from the church. His labors among the Germans of this 
city have been abundantly blessed, and about 289 persons have been added to 
the church since, he took charge of it, 230 of them by baptism. Through the 
efforts of Mr. Rit'ter the debt of $1,000 has been paid and the mortgage dis- 
charged July 2d, 1883. In the past eight years about one hundred persons 
have been dismissed by letter to unite with other Baptist churches. 

Last year the church bought a large building spot on Sanford street, near 
South avenue, for $1,200, on which there is a. chapel. It is well located for 
growth and usefulness in this city. Services and Sunday-school are held there 
every Sunday, also religious meetings during the week by the German students 
of the theological seminary. The students also preach and conduct Sunday- 
schools in other parts of the city and suburbs. This church is ecclesiastically 
connected with the Monroe Baptist association, and with the eastern conference 
of German Baptists. Present number of communicants, 289; whole number 

The Baptist Churches. 267 . 

of Sunday-school scholars, including mission, 428; Rev. P. Ritter, pastor; 
George Fischer, Sunday-school superintendent; William Trump, and R. Wid- 
nier, deacons; George Fischer, treasurer; John Strobel, clerk; Wm. N. Sage, 
R. Widmer, Wm. Trump, John Strobel and John Arend, trustees. 

The East Avenue Baptist church grew out of a mission Sunday-school, 
which was established in 1847 by Dr. Giustiniani, for the benefit of the Ger- 
man population of the city of Rochester. This was, at first, a union school 
and met on Cherry street. In 1863 it was reorganised as the Bethlehem mis- 
sion school, under the especial supervision of the Second Baptist church, and 
met for years in McClellan hall, corner of east Main and Scio streets, S. G. 
Phillips being its efficient superintendent. In 1870 the Sunday-school removed 
to a commodious chapel on the corner of East avenue and Anson park, where 
a church was soon organised with sixty-eight constituent members, of whom 
fifty-four came from the Second Baptist church. For more than a year after 
its organisation, the pulpit of the new church was supplied by Professors Buck- 
land and Strong of the theological seminary, while Professor Gilmore of the 
university acted as pastor. In 1873 Rev. Henry L. Morehouse, formerly of East 
Saginaw, Mich., became pastor, and this relation continued till July ist, 1879. 
After a brief interval the pastorate was assumed (February ist, 1880) by Rev. 
W. H. Porter, of Ontario, who filled the position nineteen months. Since his res- 
ignation the church has been under the efficient care of Prof T. Harwood Pat- 
tison of the theological seminary, who has both supplied the pulpit and acted 
as pastor. Rev. Henry C. Peepels, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has, however, recently 
accepted a call to the pastorate of the church and enters upon his duties Sep- 
tember 1st, 1884. The church has, also, recently sold its property on East ave- 
nue and purchased lots on the corner of Park avenue and Meigs street, where 
it is about to erect a neat and commodious house of worship. The present 
membership of the church is 366. The Sunday-school, of which Deacon W. 
P. Andrus is superintendent, reports an average attendance of 211. 

The Lake Avenue Baptist church is the outgrowth of a mission school, 
planted by the First Baptist church. It had a precarious existence for several 
years, being without a house of its own and being obliged to meet in halls or 
school-houses. In 1865 a substantial brick chapel was built, fronting on Lake 
avenue, at the intersection of Jones avenue and Ambrose street. In commemo- 
ration of the peace that followed the war of the rebellion it was called the Me- 
morial chapel. The lot on which it stands was the free-will offering of Deacon 
Oren Sage, of the First church, who also contributed liberally to the funds re- 
quired for building the chapel. It continued as a mission thereafter for six 
years. In 1871 a church was organised, having 107 constituent members, most 
of whom took letters of dismission from the First church for this purpose. 
There have been in its thirteen years' history only two pastors. During the 
summer a call was given to Rev. Ebenezer Nisbet, D. D., to be the first pastor. 


268 History of the City of Rochester. 

This was accepted and he entered upon his labors November 1st, 1871.. After 
a pastorate of four years Dr. Nisbet resigned, and A. J. Barrett, of the senior 
class in the Rochester theological seminary, was engaged as stated supply. In 
March, 1876, Mr. Barrett accepted a unanimous call to the pastorate of the 
church and on June ist of that year was ordained to the Christian ministry, 
so that he has now entered upon his ninth year of service. No year has 
passed without some addition by baptism, the average for the eight years past 
being thirty-two a year. The present membership (June 1st, 1884) is 463. The 
brick chapel was found too small to accommodate the church, and in 1882 plans 
were drawn, subscriptions were taken and the work of building commenced. 
A new stone structure has been completed, eighty-eight feet by fifty-two. This 
will eventually be the Sunday-school room, though now occupied as a church. 
The main edifice is to be built soon, a portion of the money having already been 
subscribed. The Sunday-school has had a remarkable growth. When it entered 
the new brick chapel, in 1865, it numbered 128. In 1876 it reported to the 
association an average of 228. In December, 1876, Deacon D. A. Woodbury 
was elected superintendent. Under his efficient administration the average 
attendance now reaches over 400, 503 having been reached on one Sunday in 
March. The church pays all its obligations as fast as they mature, it has money 
in the bank and is not disturbed by any internal dissensions. 


The First Methodist Episcopal church. — In 18 16, as some of our surviving 
pioneers remember, the first Methodist preaching was heard ringing through 
the forest, and that loud singing which in the old times rang out as a slogan, an- 
nouncing where the Wesleyan regiment was rushing into battle, echoed near at 
hand the solemn thunder of our upper falls. The next year, 1817, a class was 
organised by Rev. Elisha House, and the society was thus, according to our 
forms, located for permanent residence and work. Three years of class-meet- 
ings, with such Sunday and week-day preaching as could be secured in private 
residences and in the open air, developed the little society to such proportions 
that a regular legal incorporation was effected on the 20th day of September, 
1820, with Frederick Clark, Nathaniel Draper, Abelard Reynolds, Daniel Rowe 
and Elam Smith as trustees. In the following June the First Methodist church 
building was commenced, a small brick structure, on the west side of South 
St. Paul street, nearest the southern line of the ground on which the opera 
house now stands. The young society was not wealthy, and it was not till 
July, 1826, that the building was fully completed and dedicated. The rapid 
increase of membership from seventy when the church was dedicated to four 
hundred three years later, compelled an enlargement of accommodations, and 
in the fall of 1830 initiatory measures were taken for the erection of a spacious 
building, in a more central location, and a large lot was secured on the corner 

The Methodist Ei'iscoi'al Churches. 269 

of West Main and Fitzhugh streets, where the Baker block now stands.. Here, 
during the next year, an immense tabernacle, 104 by 80 feet was built of stone. 
It was dedicated and occupied in the fall of 183 1, barely five years after the 
"east-side" dedication. But a sad fate awaited the great "half-acre." It had 
been used by its congregation but little more than three years when, one cold 
night (the Sth) of January, 1835, it was totally destroyed by fire. Though 
the society, already deeply in debt, was left with no insurance, it was heroic- 
ally resolved to rebuild immediately, and within a year the house was so far 
restored that a large . basement was ready to be used for worship, Sunday- 
school, etc. In January, 1839, this second house was dedicated by Rev. Dr. 
Levings, of the Troy conference. 

These current years, with all their financial difficulties, were yet in a high 
degree prosperous. The congregations and the Sunday-school were large. It 
was estimated that a great revival during the incumbency of Rev. Glesen 
Fillmore, 1830 to '32, resulted in about nine hundred conversions. Nine hun- 
dred members were reported in 1834. The average number of members after 
the separation of the East-side church in 1836 was about three hundred. We 
had a strong officiary, including such men as Nehemiah Osburn, Ezra Jones, 
Willis Kempshall, Elijah K. Blythe, Samuel Richardson, James Henderson and 
others, and the business of the church was faithfully and well conducted. Soon 
after the dedication of the reerected church, the trustees sold to the city a 
large strip from the church lot, on the north side, as a site for fire engine house 
number 6, and at length, after a long conflict with that malignant anti-Christian, 
Giant Debt, it was found necessary to sell out and abandon the old corner. In 
1854 a lot on the same side of Fitzhugh street, about midway between Main 
and Ann streets, was purchased, and the next year the present edifice was 
erected. During this transition the congregations assembled in the old city 
hall building, on the site now occupied by Powers Hotel. Early in 1856 the 
basement room of the new church was dedicated and occupied thenceforward 
for nearly five years for auditorium and all other purposes. Since the dedica- 
tion of its audience room, February 7th, 1861, the society has enjoyed a good 
degree of prosperity, spiritual and financial. Faithful men have ministered in 
its pulpit. Its Sunday-school, so long conducted by James Vick, of fragrant 
memory, has been among the foremost in the city. Its offerings for the vari- 
ous organised charities of the church have been liberal. Pastor MuUer com- 
puted that up to his day the society had paid for ordinary and extraordinary 
expenses and donations, from the very date of its first election, not less than 
$4,400 per annum. This must be considered a very honorable showing. The 
membership, notwithstanding, all reductions by death, removals and colonisa- 
tions, has grown to 529 at the last conference report. The church edifice has 
been several times repaired, repainted and refurnished — most notably in 1871, 
during the pastorate of Rev. William Lloyd, when a new orgari was purchased, 
and a sufficient sub-scription raised to pay off all existing indebtedness. 

270 History of the City of Rochester. 

The complete list of pastors, with dates of their appointment, is as follows : 
1820, Oren Miller; 1821, Reuben Aylesworth; 1822, Elisha House; 1823, 
Micah Seager; 1 824, Dana Fox ; 1825-26, John Dempster, D. D. ; 1827-28, 
Zechariah Paddock, D. D. ; 1829, Gideon Laning; 1830-31, Glesen Fillmore, 
D. D.; 1832, Robert Burch; 1833, Glesen Fillmore, D. D.; 1834, Elijah He- 
bard; 1835-36, John Copeland; 1837, Wilber Hoag; 1838, Jonas Dodge; 
1839, Glesen Fillmore, D. D,; 1840-41, Thomas Carlton, D. D. ; 1842, Moses 
Crow, D. D. ; 1843, Samuel Luckey, D. D. ; 1844-45, Schuyler Seager, D. D. ; 
1846-47, John Dennis, D. D. ; 1848-49, John G. Gulick ; 1850, John Copeland ; 
1851-52, Augustus C. George, D. D.; 1853, Henry Hickok ; 1854-55, Jona- 
than Watts; 1856-57, Daniel D. Buck, D. D. ; 1858-59, Israel H. Kellogg; 
1860-61, Jabez R. Jaques, D. D.; 1862-64, Sanford Van Benschoten, D. D. ; 
1865-67, James E. Latimer, D. D.; 1868-69, George C. Lyon; 1870-71, 
William Lloyd; 1872-74, D. H. Muller, D. D.; 1875-76, C. A. Van Anda, 
D. D. ; 1879-B1, George C. Jones; 1882-83, Charles W. Gushing, D. D. 

The Asbury church. — The Second Methodist Episcopal church society 
in Rochester was organised on the 26th day of September, 1836, just six- 
teen years after the first, by the election of William Algood, Jonah Brown, 
Philander Davis, Elihu H. Grover, John McGonegal, William G. Russell, 
and John Stroup as trustees. Meetings had been held all along in the 
old brick church on South St. Paul street, though the stone church on the 
corner of West Main and Fitzhugh streets was the headquarters of the one 
society. The pastor was John Copeland, to whom Rev. Daniel P. Kidder had 
been appointed assistant, especially for the supply of this second congregation. 
The new organisation adopted as its style "the East Side society of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church in Rochester." Becoming, with his parents, connected 
as a member of this society within a month after its organisation, the writer 
very distinctly remembers many incidents of its early history. Nathaniel Draper 
was, during much of the time, superintendent of the Sunday-school. Joseph 
Eggleston was one of its most hearty vocal members. His exhortations to 
Christians and the unconverted to "bul-lieve" were frequent and emphatic. 

In the autumn of 1841 it was resolved to build a new church, and a lot 
on the southeast corner of Main and Clinton streets was purchased with that 
purpose. Work was begun in the spring, and in the autumn of the following 
year, 1842, the basement was finished and occupied for meetings. At this time 
the new synagogue and the society began to be known as the St. John's church, 
a name which it retained for nearly eighteen years. The auditorium was com- 
pleted and the house dedicated by Rev. John Dempster, in February, 1844. 
A full and carefully prepared business history of the society presented by Dr. 
Austin Mandeville, at the farewell service Sunday morning March 9th, 1884, 
recounts the financial difficulties encountered during many years, all of which 
grew from the rash undertaking to build a house before any adequate provision 

The Methodist Episcopal Churches. 271 

had been made for paying the expense of its erection. The result of all was 
that a mortgage necessarily given by the trustees was at length foreclosed at 
law and all title to the property was lost to the society. Greatly discouraged 
by this failure, most of the members withdrew and joined a new society, which 
was organised by a due election of trustees on the first day of February, i860, 
and entitled "the Asbury society of the Methodist Episcopal church of Roches- 
ter." The trustees of this society purchased the St. John's church property 
and changed its name to correspond with their corporate style. , In the spring 
of 1866 the building was left for a season by the congregatiort, which worshiped 
in Washington hall, on the opposite corner. After considering the question 
of sale and new building, or radical repairs, it was decided to remodel and re- 
furnish the old church, which was accordingly done at an expense, including a 
new pipe-organ, of about $14,000. The work was completed and the church 
reopened in May, 1867. With such advantages the society has hopefully and 
very successfully continued its religious work through the past seventeen years, 
with an active membership gradually increasing from 250 to about 400. The 
natural business changes of the city, some considerable disturbance always ex- 
perienced from too much-frequented streets, and the growing desire for a house 
of worship more commodious in its arrangements and more ecclesiastically 
orthodox in its architecture, recently determined the society to dispose of its 
old house and remove to a point a little further east, on the corner of East ave- 
nue and Union street. The sale and purchase have been completed and most 
interesting farewell services were helcf on Friday, March 7th, and Sunday, 
March 9th, 1884. 

The pastors of "East-side," "St. John's" and "Asbury" have been : 1836, 
D.F.Kidder; 1837, John Parker ; 1838-39, W. H. Goodwin ; 1840-41, Manly 
Tooker; 1842, Samuel Luckey, D. D. ; 1843, F. G. Hibbard, D. D. ; 1844- 
45, J. M. Fuller, D. D. ; 1846-47, Schuyler Seager, D. D. ; 1848^49, D. D. 
Buck, D. D. ; 1850-51, W. H. Goodwin, D. D. ; 1852-53, John Mandeville ; 
1854-55, John Raines; 1856-57, Jonathan Watts ; 1858-59, Thos. Tousey ; 
i860, Thomas Stacey; 1861-62, D. W. C. Huntington, D. D. ; 1863-64, J. 
E. Latimer, D. D. ; 1865, Geo. Van Alstyne; 1866-68, D. W. C. Hunting- 
ton, D. D. ; 1869-71, F. G. Hibbard, D. D. ; 1872-73, L. D.Watson, D. D.; 
1874-75, C. Eddy; 1876-78, D. W. C. Huntington, D. D. ; 1879-80, R. M. 
Stratton, D. D. ; 1881, C., W. Winchester ; 1882-83, R- C. Brownlee. 

The North Street church. — Early in 1849 several members of St, John's M. 
E. church, who resided in the northeastern portion of the city, considered that the 
growing population in their neighborhood needed the presence and labors of a 
vigorous Christian organisation nearer at hand than the central churches, and, 
with the concurrence and leadership of Dr. S. Luckey, held several preliminary 
meetings for consultation on the subject. As a result they rented an old build- 
ing on Joiner street, which had been occupied by colored people for religious 

272 History of the City of Rochester. 

meetings, and appointed Sunday services with the approbation of their pastor, 
Rev. Dr. Bucli. On the 8th day of April the pastor met with them and preached 
in the afternoon, and arranged two classes, numbering twenty-eight persons, as 
the begining of, a new society. At the ensuing conference Rev. S. W. Alden was 
appointed by the bishop to take pastoral charge of the classes, in connection with 
a recently organised third Methodist church in the west part of the city. In 
April following, a hall was rented at the corner of North and Delavan streets 
for their meetings, and on the 17th day of said month (1850) Philander Davis, 
James Hubbell, A. B. Judson, S. H. Moulder and John Patterson were elected 
as the first trustees. At the conference following,*a first pastor was appointed 
to "North street church;" very soon the question of building a suitable house 
of worship was considered, and during the deliberations and preparatory efforts 
came the proposal of Aristarchus Champion, a public-spirited member of the 
Congregational church, to donate the sum of $10,000 to any church which 
would agree to raise an equal sum for building several small preaching-houses 
in parts of the city which were least conveniently located for attendance at the 
central churches. This proposal being accepted by Dr. Luckey, in behalf of the 
Methodist church, the North-street congregation became the first beneficiaries 
and were thus enabled to erect the building which, completed and dedicated 
the 2d day of November, 1853, has been from that date their pleasant home. 
About twelve years later a fine improvement was made in the windows, in fres- 
coing the walls, and in other finishing. Eight years later a new roof was put 
upon the church and the pews were changed to a more modern pattern. 
About the same time a convenient parsonage (number 4 Concord avenue) was 
finished, and thus the essential furnishings of the society for comfortable life and 
for aggressive work were happily completed. 

The pastors of North street church have been : 1849, S. W. Aldcn ; 1850, 
S. L. Congdon; 1851, S. Van Benschoten (supply); 1852-53, Alpha Wright; 
1854-55, John Mandeville ; 1856-57, J. N. Brown ; 1858-59, Nathan Fellows ; 
i860, S. Luckey, D. D. ; 1861, M. Wheeler; 1862-63, 1- H. Kellogg ; 1864-65, 
A. H. Shurtleff; 1866-68, D. Leisenring ; 1869-71, J. N. Brown; 1872-74, 
R. D. Munger; 1875-77, E. L. Newman; 1878-80, L. T. Foote; 1881-82, 
E. T. Green; 1883, R. F. Kay. 

The Corn Hill church. — The society now owning and occupying the 
edifice known as the Corn Hill church, on Edinburg street, was originally 
composed of about thirty members of the First Methodist Episcopal church, 
who held religious meetings for some time in the old orphan asylum building 
on Adams street. The 8th day of June, 1852, a legal organisation was effected 
by the election of C. H. Bicknell, Geo. Harrison, Heman Lyon, C. C. Lee, W. 
P. Stanton and Henry Wray,as trustees. A small colony from the First church, 
which had organised as the Third Methodist Episcopal church of Rochester, 
and, with pastors regularly appointed by the bishops, worshiped for some time in 

The Methodist Episcopal Churches. 273 

a little tabernacle on Caledonia avenue, was induced to surrender its incorpora- 
tion and come into the new Corn Hill society, about doubling its membership, 
and arrangements were at once initiated for erecting a suitable church building. 
A portion of the Champion grant was appropriated to the society, and its church 
was completed and dedicated in June, 1854. Twenty years later (1874) the 
building was remodeled and the front towers added, with other improvements, 
at an expense of several thousand dollars, and on April 26th it was reopened with 
interesting services, attended by several of the former pastors. In connection 
with the services Henry Wray and wife conveyed to the society, as a free gift, 
the premises on Tremont street, for some years occupied by the successive 
pastors as a parsonage. Through all the years of its history the society has 
been eminent for its liberality and its industrious methodical activity. The 
Sunday-school (for several years under the vigorous and judicious superinten- 
dency of N. L. Button) has been large and prosperous. 

The pastors appointed to Corn Hill have been as follows : 1853-54, A. C. 
George, D. D. ; 1855, ]■ W. Willson ; 1856, J. A. Swallow (supply) ; 1857, S. 
Seager, D. D. ; 1858, J. Ashworth ; 1859, S. Luckey, D. D. ; i860, I. Gib- 
bard, D. D. ; i86i, J. Mandeville; 1862-63, A. N. Fisher; 1864-66, W. B. 
Holt; 1867-69, G. W. Paddock; 1870-71, R. O. Willson; 1872, W. R. Ben- 
ham; 1873-75, A. D. Wilbor, D. D. ; 1876-78, A. N. Fisher; 1879-81, A. 
J. Kenyon; 1882-83, L. A. Stevens, 

The Alexander Street church. — Through several years previous to 1850 
religious services were regularly held in what was then known as the " Mount 
Hor " or " Sand Hill school-house " in the town of Brighton, conducted prin- 
cipally by Rev. A. H. Jervis, a local preacher from the First M. E. church 
of Rochester. A congregation was thus gathered and for some time held 
together and during part of the time a Sunday-school exercise was added. 
After some suspension of these services a meeting was called in the school- 
house on the 1 2th day of October, 1852, to effect the legal organisation of a relig- 
ious society, and Gideon Cobb, B. Langdon, Godfrey Tallinger, Daniel Stock- 
ing and Talcott Brown were elected trustees. The name of Alexander street 
was adopted in view of the proposed location of a church soon to be erected. 
The house, the third aided by the Champion donation, was built in 1853 and 
dedicated by Bishop Janes. Twenty years later (in 1873) it was enlarged and 
greatly improved, and since that date the society has enjoyed a steadily increas- 
ing prosperity. In 1879 a commodious and beautiful parsonage was erected. 

The following ministers have been pastors of Alexander street church : 1854, 
Alpha Wright; 1855, Thomas Stacey; 1856-57, Elijah Wood ; 1858-59, John 
G. Gulick; 1860-61, Israel H. Kellogg; 1862-64, John Raines; 1865-66, 
Edwin J. Hermans; 1867, Henry Van Benschoten, D. D. ; 1868, Andrew 
Sutherland; 1869-70, De Witt C. Huntington, D. D. ; 1871, John D. Requa ; 
i872-74,John A. Copeland; 1875-76, Thomas J. Leake ; 1877, A. N, Damon ; 
1878-80, John E. Williams; 1881-83, Lemuel T. Foote. 

274 History of the City of Rochester. 

The Frank Street church, corner of Smith street, was organised Dec. i6th, 
1852, taking as its name "the Sixth Methodist Episcopal church of the city of 
Rochester." Sylvanus J. Bartlett, Wm. Collins, Jeremiah Hegeman, James H. 
Hinman, Joel P. Millner, Melancton C. Whitmore and Samuel S. Wood were 
elected trustees. District school- house number 6 stood upon the corner where 
the church now stands, and the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal "Third 
church" had preached and maintained a Sunday-school there. The newly 
formed society, receiving its share of aid from the Champion donation, deter- 
mined to purchase the school-house property and build its church there. In 
May, 1854, the work was begun and the church was dedicated in November 
by Dr. Jesse T. Peck. For five years following, the society was tormented 
and its property threatened by a balance of indebtedness incurred in building. 
At times, and much of the time, there seemed no reasonable hope that it could 
ever be disposed of The annual conference in 1859 authorised the pastor who 
might be appointed at Frank street to visit the churches through the confer- 
ence and solicit aid for his society. This work was done by Rev. William 
Manning until the whole amount needed was received. Large repairs and im- 
provements have since been made. The society has held its ground with a 
membership increasing from thirty at the beginning to two hundred and fifty 
at the last report. No Protestant church in Rochester has a wider urban and 
suburban district as its legitimate. parish than Frank street. 

The pastors appointed to Frank street society have been : 1853—54, S. B. 
Rooney^ 1855, S. Van Benschoten, D. D. ; 1856-57, S. L. Congdon ; 1858, T. 
B. Hudson ; 1859-60, Wm. Manning; 1861-62, R. Hogoboom ; 1863-65, D. 
W. C. Huntington, D.D. ; 1866-67, G. W. Chandler ; 1868-70, J. Dennis, 
D.D. ; 1 87 1, C. P. Hard; 1872-73, J. J. Landers ; 1874-75, T. J. Bell ; 1876- 
78, T. J. Bissell; 1879, A. F. Morey ; 1880-82, G. W. Coe ; 1883, M. C. 

The Hedding church. — The same religious spirit which impelled faith- 
ful men in 1849 to initiate the North street society inspired twenty- two 
years later a few zealous persons to undertake the planting of a mission 
still further north, with intent to reach a large outlying population who were 
not very likely to be drawn together even as far away from their homes as 
North street. After several tentative efforts a chapel was erected on the corner 
of North St. Paul and Scrantom streets, which was dedicated the 24th of De-. 
cember, 1876, and named Hedding church. This enterprise, like almost all 
such endeavors, has required much energy and patient hopefulness on the part 
of some determined workers to push it through to a measure of success and 
encouraging promise. But this end was unquestionably attained when in De- 
cember last the entire indebtedness of the society was cancelled. 

The following pastors have been appointed to this work: — 1876, H. O. 
Abbott; 1878-79, S. C. Smith; 1880, E. M. Sasseville ; 1881-82, I. H. Kel- 
logg; 1883, G. W. Loomis. 

The Methodist Episcopal Churches. 2;$ 

The Genesee Street church. — In the year 1878 a Christian lady, Mrs. 
A. E. Tanner, gathered in her home on Genesee street the children of her 
immediate neighborhood in a weekly meeting for religious instruction. It was 
was very soon judged best to connect the mission with some responsible church, 
and Corn Hill society assumed the charge, appointing Samuel Whybrew class 
leader, and Harper Day Sunday-school superintendent. In 1879 a lot suitable 
for a church building was conveyed by Mrs. James D. Bashford, to the trustees 
of Corn Hill, it being in large part a donation from her. In 1880 Mr. Whybrew 
added a gift of $100, and the question of building was considered until a corner- 
stone was laid September 14th, 1882. May 20th, 1883, the house was com- 
pleted and dedicated by Dr. J. T. Gracey. The structure is a neat frame building 
in what is sometimes called "Gothic style," having seating capacity for 200 
persons and costing with its furnishing about $2,500. In October, 1883, Rev. 
P. T. Lynn was appointed the first pastor of Genesee street (as assistant of Rev. 
L. A. Stevens of Corn Hill), by whose vigorous management the society has 
been greatly advanced in all its interests. The membership has been much 
more than doubled and the Sunday-school brought up to a high state of effi- 

The German Methodist Episcopal church. — In 1848 the Rev. John Sawter, 
a member of the New York conference, commenced preaching in the German 
language to a small congregation in his own house on Davis street, opening 
also a Sunday-school. The next year a hall was rented on the corner of North 
avenue arid Delaware street, and a society was duly organised. Dr. Luckey 
having presented the trustees with a lot (corner of North and Tyler streets), a 
modest chapel was soon erected, where the society worked and prospered until, 
in 1869, it became fully self-sustaining. Before that, in i860, the church 
building had been much improved and a parsonage built (number 33 Concord 
avenue). About that date a parochial week-day school was opened, which 
flourished for a season, but it was proved by a short history to be impracticable 
as a permanent institution. The growing congregation, becoming straitened 
for accommodations, determined as early as 1870 to remove and build a better 
church, and lots on North avenue near Hudson street were secured for that 
purpose. The corner-stone was laid August 30th, 1874, and the house was 
completed at an expense of about $15,000 and dedicated by Bishop Janes, June 
6th, 1875. Unfortunately the society ware largely involved' in debt by their 
ambitious enterprise, and for a season the burden proved very inconvenient. 
In 1880 the East German conference resolved to aid by collections in its other 
churches to discharge these obligations. Nearly one-half of the amount was 
thus secured. 

The pastors have been as follows: John Sawter, John Graw, Jacob Kindler, C. 
H. Afflerbach, A. C. Hertel, F. G. Gratz; 1859-60, C. Blinn ; 1861-63, John 
G. Lutz; 1863-65, F. G. Gratz; 1866-68, Jacob Kolb ; 1869-71, Paul Quat- 

276 History of the City of Rochester. 

lander; 1872-73, J. W. Freund ; 1874-76, Julius Seidel ; 1877-79, G. Moyer; 
1880-82, F. Rey; 1883, J. J. Messmer. 

The African Methodist Episcopal church. — A few Christians of African 
descent, meeting in a school-house on Ford street in the year 1827, organised 
a Methodist society in connection with the so-called Zion church. A legal in- 
corporation was first secured in 1836, the trustees being Charles Dixon, Wil- 
liam Earles and Alfred Williams. Their house of worship, on the corner of 
Favor and Spring streets, was built in 1831. Another society was afterward 
formed, which occupied a small building on Joiner street. But it was found 
impossible to sustain two churches, and the second was abandoned. The pas- 
tors have been : Isaac Stewart, Henry Johnson, John P. Thompson, Dempsey 
Kennedy, W. S. Bishop, John A. Williams, C. Thomas, James H. Smith, Wil- 
liam Sandford, William Abbott and Thomas James. 

From 1820 until 1840 Rochester was within the Genesee conference, from 
1848 till 1872 in the East Genesee conference, from 1872 till 1876 in the West- 
ern New York conference, from 1876 till 1884 in the Genesee conference. 
From 1820 until 1832 Rochester was within the Genesee district, from 1832 till 
1846 in the Rochester district. From 1846 till 1858 the societies were divided 
between two districts, as indicated below. From 1858 till 1884 all have been 
in the Rochester district. 

The presiding elders have been as follows: Genesee district — 1820-21, 
Gideon Draper ; 1822-25, Goodwin Stoddard ; 1826, Micah Seager ; 1827-28, 
Asa Abel; 1829-31, Loring Grant. Rochester district — 1832, Glesen Fill- 
more, D. D. ; 1833, Abner Chase ; 1834, Samuel Luckey, D. D. ; 1835, Abner 
Chase; 1836-39, Manly Tooker; 1840-41, John Copeland; 1842-45, John B. 
Alverson; 1846-49, Samuel Luckey, D. D. ; 1850-53, John Dennis, D. D. ; 
1854-57, John G. Gulick; 1858, Augustus C. George, D. D. ; 1859-62, Wil- 
liam H. Goodwin, D. D. ; 1863, John Mandeville ; 1864-67, John Dennis, D. 
D. ; 1868-71, Kasimir P. Jervis; 1872-75, King D. Nettleton ; 1876-79, John 
N. Brown ; 1880-83, John T. Gracey, D. D. West Rochester district — 1846- 
47, Glesen Fillmore, D. D. ; 1852-54, John Copeland ; 1855-57, Augustus C. 
George, D. D. Dansville district — 1848-49, Freeborn G. Hibbard, D. D. 
Lima district — 1850, Freeborn G. Hibbard, D. D; 1857, John Copeland.^ 

Only a sacred and inspired history may presume to end itself in prophecy. 
But it is essential, to a full view of any undertaking to understand its status in 
a prospective outlook. It is proper, therefore, to state in addition that the two 
older Methodist societies are in the very initiatory work of building large and 
more elegant churches. Asbury has already removed into temporary chapel 
accommodations upon the ground where its new sanctuary is to grow, and the 
First (Fitzhugh street) church more than a year ago commenced a subscription 
for such a house of worship as its honor, the proprieties of its environment, 
and perhaps its safety, have made necessary. 

iTlic German ami llic African sociulics arc iiol inclnilcd. 

The Catholic Churches. 277 

the catholic churches in rochester. 

Rochester was formerly under the ecclesiastical administration of the bishops 
of New York. The first of these was Rt. Rev. John Connolly, who came to 
New York in 1817. There is no evidence that he ever visited Rochester. His 
successor, Bishop Dubois, came to Rochester in 1834 to dedicate the second 
church. Bishops Hughes and McCloskey also visited Rochester officially. In 
1847 the diocese of Buffalo was erected, and Rev. John Timon, a member of 
the Congregation of the Missions, was appointed its first bishop. In March, 
1868, the diocese of Rochester was formed, having the counties of Monroe, 
Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Cayuga and Tompkins as its limits. 
Rev. ]?ernard J. McQuaid was consecrated bishop of the new diocese on the 
1 2th of July, 1868, and took possession of his see on the i6th of the same 

St. Patrick's church. — The first priest who exercised the ministry in Roches- 
ter, of whom we have any record, was Rev. Patrick McCormick, in 1818— 19. 
He acted under the administration of Rt. Rev. John Connolly, first bishop of 
New York, who took possession of his sec in 1817 and died in* 1825. Rev. 
Mr. McCormick was succeeded by Patrick Kelly, in 18 19, remaining until 
1823. It was during his pastorate that the first Catholic church was built in 
1 82 1, on the corner of Piatt and Frank streets. The first pastors of Rochester 
did not confine their labors to Rochester and its immediate neighborhood, but 
sought out the scattered Catholics in a territory many miles in extent. Rev, 
Michael McNamara came to Rochester in 1825, remaining as the pastor of St. 
Patrick's, its first church, until 1832. He died at Chili, August 30th, 1832. 
During his administration, the second church, eighty feet by fifty-five feet of 
stone, was built. A wood-cut of this church is in O'Rielly's history. During 
its erection the congregation rented the lower story of D. B. Crane's school 
house, on Buffalo street, opposite the bath-house, for $1.25 per Sunday. 

On the 20th of April, 1829, the congregation was organised as a church 
corporation under the law of 1813. On the same day the following trustees 
were elected : William Tone, John Sheridan, Robert Elliott, Stephen Conroy, 
William Grennan, Patrick Rigney, Patrick Grace, William Morony and Richard 
Storey. In 1832 Rev. John F. McGerry was appointed to succeed Father 
McNamara. In 1833 Rev. Bernard O'Reilly replaced Father McGerry, who in 
1834 returned to the pastoral charge of St. Patrick's. In 1835 Father O'Reilly 
resumed the pastorship, which he held until 1 849, when, as vicar-general of the 
new diocese of Buffalo, he took up his residence with the bishop of Buffalo. 
In 1 850 he was consecrated bishop of Hartford. In January, 1 856, he sailed from 
Liverpool in the Pacific and was lost at sea. The first election for trustees 
under this pastor was in 1835, when the following were elected : William Tone, 
Patrick Kearney, Patrick O'Maley, George A. Wilkin, Hugh Bradley, Joseph 
Fluett, Bernard Klem, James McMullen and Garret A. Madden. Only the 

278 History of the City of Rochester. 

last named still lives. Father O'Reilly had Rev. P. Foley as assistant pastor in 
1 834, who made an attempt to organise the congregation of St. Mary's on 
the east side of the river. Rev. Mark Murphy, an eminent linguist, was assist- 
ant to Father O'Reilly in 1840-41. In 1849 Rev. William O'Reilly, having 
been his assistant from 1845, succeeded his brother as pastor of St Patrick's, 
remaining until 1854. Rev. Michael O'Brien was pastor from 1854 to 1859. 
Rev. Martin Kavanagh held the office for a year and was replaced by Rev. 
M. O'Brien, who continued in office until 1865. 

In May, 1864, the pastor and Michael Lester and James H. Tone, as trus- 
tees, contracted for the building of the present church, it being the third stone 
church on the same site. A large temporary building having been erected on the 
lot of the academy, religious services were held in it until March, 1 869. In 1865 
Rev. James M. Early was appointed pastor and continued the work begun by his 
predecessor. On the 17th of March, 1869, the church was so far advanced that 
the congregation moved into it. In November, 1870, it was solemnly blessed by 
Most Rev. John McCloskey, archbishop of New York, now cardinal. Eighteen 
archbishops and bishops, and over one hundred priests were present. In 
April, 1876, Rev. Mr. Early offered his resignation as pastor and withdrew from 
the diocese. He was immediately succeeded by Rev. James F. O'Hare, who 
in seven years paid off an indebtedness of $70,000 which he found on the 
church and school when he assumed office. The lay trustees for the year 1884 
are John E. Waters and Dr. Richard Curran. 

The early phases of the school connected with St. Patrick's parish are diffi- 
cult to trace, as the records are imperfect and most of the parties connected with 
it then have passed away or are lingering for the call of the last roll. There 
was a school in the basement of the church as far back as 1832, Mr. Hughes 
being one of the pioneer teachers, and Patrick Quin was the pedagogue between 
1843 and 1848. For a long time the sexes were taught in the same classes, 
but in 1843 the Sisters of St. Joseph took charge of the female portion of the 
scholars, and since then the girls have been taught separately. In March, 
1857, the new school- house on Brown street was opened for the reception of 
boys, under the charge of the "Brothers of the Christian schools." Brother 
Rodblphus was the first director. In the spring of 1871 the foundations of the 
new building, next adjoining and west of the old one, were laid, and the work 
continued without interruption, so that in September, 1871, ample school accom- 
modations were afforded to all the children of the parish. This school, graded 
after the manner of the public schools (save the coeducation of the sexes), is 
free to all the children of the parish, and is supported by the congregation. 
The Christian Brothers left Rochester in the summer of 1872 and their places 
were supplied, in part, by laymen. D. B. Murphy, James Rowan and Wm. E. 
Ryan had successively charge of the first and second grades of boys till July, 
1882. In the meantime the Sisters of St. Joseph supplied the places of the 

The Catholic Churches. 279 

other lay teachers. Rev. D. Laurenzis was superintendent of this school from 
1876 to 1882. The school reopened in September, 1882, with fifteen Sisters of 
St. Joseph in full charge of all the children, under the guidance and direction 
of Rev. James P. Kiernan as superintendent. There are at present about 700 
children in average daily attendance at this .school, which continues to be a free 
school, and to which neither the state nor the city contributes a single cent, but 
which the people of the congregation, for conscience sake, though taxed for 
the education of their neighbors' children in the public schools, support by 
their own private contributions. 

St. Joseph's Church (German) is located,\on Franklin street. The first Ger- 
man Catholic who settled in Rochester was John Klem, in the year 1816. 
He came from Havaria. He once traveled to New York city to have his child 
baptised and to receive his Easter communion. He died in 1856. The Ger- 
man Catholics of the city attended, for a time, St. Patrick's church. About the 
year 1836 Rev. John Raffeiner visited Rochester. He found quite a number 
of German Catholics in the city. He attended to their spiritual wants and ex- 
horted them to build a church, especially as St. Patrick's was too small for all 
the Catholics of the city. Soon after Rev. Joseph Prost, a Redemptorist father, 
passed through Rochester. He also urged them to build a church.. On his re- 
turn from Ohio he found, to his surprise, a church prepared. They had bought 
the negroes' church on Ely street, for $1,600. Father Prost, with the permis- 
sion of Bishop Dubois of New York and of his superior, remained in the city 
and took charge of the German Catholics. After some difficulties with the 
trustees, he left. The church was attended for about two years by several 
priests, among whom we may mention Rev. J. N. Neumann, then a secular 
priest, afterward a Redemptorist, and finally bishop of Philadelphia. In 1839 
Rev. J. Saendel passed through the city with Indians, on his way to lower 
Canada. He remained in Rochester about one year. He afterward joined the 
Trappist order. The old church was called St. Mary's, on Ely street. The new 
church of stone on Franklin street was begun in 1841, and finished in 1843, by 
the Redemptorist fathers. The succeeding pastors, or rather rectors, were the 
following reverend fathers, all Redemptorists : Fr. H. Tshenhens, 1841 to the 
fall of 1841 ; Francis Beraneck, 1841-46; Alexander Czvikovicz, 1846-51; 
Joseph Breska, 1851-54; John De Dyker, 1854-58 ; Max Leingruber, 1858-60; 
Thad. Anwander, 1860-62; Lorenz Holzer, 1862-65; George Ruland, 1865- 
74; Thad. Anwander, 1874-77 ; Peter Zimmer, 1877-79; Stephen Schneider, 
1879-80; Jos. Frohhch, 1880 till now. The assistant fathers (in 1884) are: 
Rev'ds V. Holscher, J. Saftig and H. Dressmann. There are also three lay 
brothers. The pastoral residence (convent) was built about 1850; it was en- 
larged in 1876. 

The first, school connected with the parish was established by Rev. Joseph 
Prost, about 1837, with one male teacher. There are now two large school 

28o History of the City of Rochester. 

buildings of brick ; one was built in 185 1, and the other in 1862. The Sisters 
of Notre Dame were brought to the city by Mother Caroline, from Milwaukee, 
October. 15th, 1854. They had about 175 in the school in the first year. 
Now (in 1884) there are about 560 children attending St. Joseph's school. 
The boys are under the care of three Brothers of Mary ; the girls are taught 
by the Sisters. The Sisters' convent is near the church, on Andrews street. 
The Brothers' house is near the pastoral residence, on Franklin street. 

St. Mary's church is located on South street, and is one of the oldest and 
largest parishes in the city, both in territory and in population. Its boundaries 
are, on the west, the Genesee river ; on the north, Andrews street, University 
avenue and East Main street; on the east, the New York Central railroad, 
and on the south it includes the towns of Brighton and Henrietta. The Eng- 
lish-speaking people attending this church number about 4,000. It seats 
1,500 comfortably. It is built of brick, in Romanesque style of architecture. 
The early struggles of this parish are well remembered by the old inhabitants. 
The first church they occupied was bought from the Methodists, on St. Paul 
street, opposite Ely, in 1834. Father Carroll was pastor in 1851. He suc- 
ceeded in placing the parish on a firm basis, in spite of the poverty and 
small number of the people. Father Creedon succeeded him, and continued 
the work successfully for about one year. Rev. Thomas McEvoy purchased 
the present site on South street, and commenced his laborious work of build- 
ing, which bore him to the grave when success had crowned his efforts. He 
went to New York to make preparations for the dedication, and died suddenly 
before returning. Rev. Daniel Moore became his successor in 1858, and Rt. 
Rev. John Timon, bishop of Buffalo, consecrated St. Mary'sv church on the 
23d of August in that year. Rev. Thomas Flaherty was appointed pastor in 

1 86 1, when Father Moore's patriotism placed him as chaplain in the army. 
Very Rev. Father McMannis, vicar-general of Rochester, became pastor in 

1862. By earnest pleading with Bishop Timon, he was permitted soon to 
return again to his beloved people of Geneva, where he has remained ever 
since, multiplying monuments to his zeal for religion and the welfare of the 
people. Father Early succeeded Father McMannis, and remained until 1865. 
Father McGowan took charge of the church until 1866. In this year, April 
2Sth, Rev. Dr. Barker became pastor of St. Mary's, and remained until he was 
succeeded by the present incumbent. Rev. J. P. Stewart, on May 7th, 1871. 

The old parochial school in the basement of the church was entirely unsuited 
to the work for which it was intended. Bishop McQuaid closed it, and aided 
the pastor in every way to supply this necessary want. Generosity and zeal 
soon completed the building. In 1873 the magnificent parochial school oppo- 
site the arsenal, on South street, was thrown open to the children of the parish. 
It has eight well-furnished and ventilated rooms, which by sliding doors between 
may be formed into large halls. The children are taught by the Sisters of 

The Catholic Churches. 281 

Mercy. The convent is next north of the church. The Sisters visit, console 
and instruct the poor and sici< of the city. They train young girls in their 
industrial school and show them how to make a living by sewing or domestic 
work, and obtain good girls to do house work for worthy ladies in Rochester 
and the vicinity. A " children's home," or creche, is attached, for the assist- 
ance of industrious parents who desire their children to be cared for during the 
day. This fine building was purchased from N. H. Galusha in 1882, and 
$6,000 was spent in preparing it for its present work of charity. 

St. Peter's and St. Paul's church (German) is located on the corner of King 
and Maple streets. When the members of St. Joseph's congregation began the 
building of the present St. Joseph's church a number of members on the west 
side of the river were dissatisfied with the location of the new church. Conse- 
quently, they separated and started a church on the corner of King and Maple 
streets, in 1842. After some trouble the first church, a frame one, was built. 
Simon Zeug and J. loegele were the first trustees. Bishop Hughes, of New 
YorK, paid a visit to Rochester in December, 1842, to settle some disputed 
points. They accepted his decision, and in June, 1843, the church was opened 
in harmony with Catholic discipline. The deed of the property was given to 
Bishop Hughes. The old church being too small, the congregation built 
another of brick in 1859. It was dedicated by Bishop Young, of Erie, August 
iSth, 1859. This year (1884) the same church is being enlarged by about 
thirty feet. The first pastor was Rev. Ivo Levitz, a Franciscan father. He 
was pastor from 1843 to 1846. The succeeding pastors were: Rev. Count 
Anthony Berenyi, from 1846 to 1848 ; Leonard Schneider, 1848-49; R. Fol- 
lenius, 1849-51; Fr. X. Krautbauer (now bishop of Green Bay), 1851-58; 
Stephen Richer, from May, 1858, to September, 1858; again Father Kraut- 
bauer till April, 1859; Rev. Joseph Sadler (who built the new church), 1859-65. 
The present pastor is Rev. Francis H. Sinclair, D. D., who has been so since 
October, 1865. The assistant pastor is Rev. Aloys Wcissteiner. The trustees 
in the present year are Joseph Gradl and George Spahn. The pastoral resi- 
dence of brick, three stories high, was built in 1856. 

The first school connected with the parish was established in the base- 
ment of the old church in 1842. The second was established in the old 
church itself in 1859, after the building of the brick church. The present one 
was built of brick, three stories high, in 1867. The first year there were about 
eighty pupils attending. In 1884 there are 500 children attending the school; 
the boys are under the care of three Brothers of Mary, the girls are taught by 
four Sisters of Notre Dame. On the south side of the church is the convent of 
the Sisters, a fine brick building. On the east side of the school is the resi- 
dence of the Brothers, a frame building. 

St. Mary's French church is located on Pleasant street, near St. Paul, and 
is generally called the " church of Our Lady of Victory." The P^rench 

282 History of the City of Rochester. 

Catholics of this city organised in the old German church on Ely street. The 
congregation was formed in 1848 and called "St. Mary's French church." 
The new church, of brick, was built by Father De Regge in 1868, on Pleasant 
street. At that time (1868) the name of the church was changed to "Our 
Lady of Victory," but the incorporation name retains the old title. This church 
on Ely street was attended first by the Redemptorist Fathers of St. Joseph, 
viz., by Rev. Fr. Mason from 1848 to 1849, and by Rev. E. van Campenhandt 
from 1849 to 1852. The first resident pastor was Rev. A. Saunier, 1852-54. 
The first trustees were Antoine Langie and Ambroise Dupont. The succeed- 
ing pastors were : Rev. P. Bricoh, 1854-57 (from*St. Joseph's church); B. F. 
Lefevre, 1858-59; A. Pierard, 1859-61; C. J. Magne, 1861-62; P. Matricon, 
1862 ; A. Amatore, 1862-63 ; Le Breton, 1863; H. De Regge, 1863-69 ; J. 
Dole, 1869-78; H. De Regge (administrator), 1878-79; A. Notebsert, since 
1879, the present pastor. The present trustees are J. A. Remarque and Frank 
Forest. The residence, in the rear of the church, northeast corner, was built 
in 1870. It is of brick, two stories high; 

The church of the Immaculate Conception is on Plymouth avenue. The 
congregation was organised in 1849. ^t had formed a part of St. Patrick's. 
The first church, a frame edifice, was built in 1849. It was destroyed by fire. 
Another church of brick was then built in 1864. This also was greatly dam- 
aged by fire in 1872. In the same year the present church of brick was en- 
larged and finished. The first pastor was Rev. John Fitzpatrick, 1849-52. 
The first trustees were James Hayes and Patrick Condon. The succeeding 
pastors were: Rev. P. Bradley, 1852; Thos. O'Brien, 1852-58; F. McKeon, 
1858-59; Wm. Stephens, 1859-60; Peter Bede, 1860-66; Patricio Byrnes, 
1866-75 ; M. M, Meagher, since 1875. The assistant priest is at present Rev. 
John Hopkins. The present trustees are Wm. C. Barry and John Jaeger. The 
pastoral residence, of brick, on the side of the church, was built in 1870. 

The school-house of brick, two stories high, on the north side of the church, 
was built in 1871. About 250 pupils attended the first year. At present there 
are in attendance about 450 children. They are taught by eight Sisters of St. 
Joseph from Nazareth convent. 

St. Bridget's church is between Gorham and Hand streets. This congre- 
gation was separated from St. Mary's church and organised in 1854. The 
first church (now school-house), of brick, was dedicated November 5th, 1854. 
The new church, on Gorham street, was begun in 1872 and finished in 1875 by 
Rev. James F. O'Hare. The first pastor of the church was Rev. A. Saunier, 
from 1854 to 1856. The succeeding pastors were : Rev. Thos. Flaherty, 1856 ; 
D. D. Moore,' 1856-58; Peter Barker, 1858-59; Fr. McKeon, 1859-60; Wm. 
F. Payne, 1860-67; Nicholas Byrnes, 1867-71 ; James F. O'Hare, 1871-76; 
James O'Connor, since 1876. The present trustees are James Fee and Mi- 
chael Stupp. The pastoral residence, of brick, was buih in 1857 and enlarged 
in 1880. 

The Catholic Churches. 283 

' The old church on Hand street was converted into a school in 1875, and the 
school opeiied the same year. About 250 pupils attended the school the first 
year. At present there are about 320 children attending. They are taught by 
eight Sisters of St. Joseph from Nazareth convent. 

St. Boniface's church (German) is on Grand street. This congregation sep- 
arated from St. Joseph's church and was organised in the year i860, under the 
care of the Redemptorist fathers. In the year following the present building 
(a temporary church and school) was opened. It was enlarged in 1870. It 
is a brick building. The first story is used for the school and the residence of 
the teachers. The first pastor was Rev. J. Klein, from 1861 to 1865. The 
first trustees were Henry Oberlies, Christ. Rommel, Charles Schlereth, John 
Beikirch, Engelbert Demmer, Lorenz Waldert and Caspar Schwalbach. The 
succeeding pastors were: Rev. J. F. Payer, from 1865 to 1875, and Rev. Her- 
mann Renker, since 1875. The present trustees are M. Bidenbach and J. 
Burkhardt. The pastoral residence is a small frame house on the south side 
of the church. 

The first school-house was opened in i86f with about 100 pupils, in the 
first story of the present building. Now (1884) there are about 300 children 
attending St. Boniface's school. They are. taught by three Sisters of Notre 

The Holy Family church (German) is on the corner of Jay and Ames 
streets. The parish of the Holy Family was separated from St. Peter and 
Paul's parish and organised in 1862. The old church was of brick. It is in 
the rear of the new church. It forms a part of the pastoral residence and of 
the sacristy. The new church, of brick, was built in 1864. The first pastor 
was Rev. Nicholas Sorg, from 1864 to 1866. The first trustees were Peter 
Esse and John Behm. The succeeding pastors were : Rev. Charles Wagner, 
from 1866 to 1867; Rev. Leopold Hofschneider, from 1867 to 1884, and the 
present pastor. Rev. D. Laurenzis, since May 4th, 1884. The present trustees 
are K. Halbleib and E. De Tambel. The pastoral (temporary) residence is in 
the rear of the church, a part of the old church. 

The first school was opened with the old church in 1862. It was a frame 
building on the north side of the church. The present beautiful building was 
erected in 1882. It is said to be one of the finest school-houses of the city. 
In the first year about 120 pupils attended the school. At present (1884) 
there are 420 children educated in this school by five Sisters of Notre Dame. 

Most Holy Redeemer's church (German) is on Hudson street, corner of 
Clifford. This church was separated from St. Joseph's church and organised 
in 1867. It was under the care of the Redemptorist fathers until 1869. The 
first church, of brick (now school-house), was dedicated July 23d, 1868. The 
new church of brick, with two towers, was commenced in 1876 and finished in 
1877. The first resident pastor is the present one. Rev. F. Oberhalzer, since 


284 History of the City of Rochester. 

1869. The first trustees were J. Leckinger and J. Armbruster. The present 
trustees are James Hoff and Fr. Herbst. • The pastoral residence was built in 

1870. It is of brick, two stories high. 

The first school-house was opened in 1868. It formed a part of the old 
church. It was enlarged in 1877, when the old church was converted into a 
."ichool-house. About 130 pupils attended the school the first year. At pres- 
ent there are about 500 children. They are taught by one male teacher and 
five Sisters of Notre Dame. 

St. Michael's church (German) is on North Clinton street. This congrega- 
tion formed a part of St. Joseph's and of Holy Redeemer's parish. It was 
organised in May, 1873. The Redemptorist fathers of St. Joseph had charge 
over it until 1874. The church (at present church and school-house) was built 
in 1873-74. It was dedicated in March, 1874. It is a large brick building. 
It will be turned into a school-house as soon as the new church now in 
contemplation 'has been built. The first pastor is Rev. Fridolin Pascalar since 
1874, appointed in the fall of 1873. The first trustees were M. Hoefer, and 
Valentine Krieg, The present trustees are Anthony Englert and Jos. Froh- 
licher. The first pastoral residence was a small stone house on Clinton street. 
The new residence, of brick, on the southeast side of the present church, was 
built in 1878. 

The school connected with this parish was opened in 1874. For this pur- 
pose a part of the church (the rear) and a frame building on Clinton street are 
used. About 250 pupils attended the school the first year. At present there 
are about 475 children. They are taught by seven Sisters of Notre Dame. 

The church of the Holy Apostles is on L)'ell avenue. A new congrega- 
tion is being organised under the title of "Holy Apostles." The members 
fornied a part of St. Patrick's cathedral. Rev. Timothy C. Murphy, formerly 
of Livonia, has been appointed the first pastor of this church. May ist, 1884. 


The First Unitarian Congregational society. — An effort was made as early 
as 1829 to found a Unitarian society in Rochester. The first preaching here 
was a few weeks before, in December, 1828, by Rev. William Ware, then of 
New York. He was immediately followed by Rev. James D. Green, who or- 
ganised a society. The same year the old wooden building which St. Luke's 
(Episcopal) church had abandoned was purchased and moved to the north side 
of Buffalo (now West Main) street, just west of Sophia. It was occupied only 
a year or two, when it was sold together with a lease of the ground it stood on 
for $200, and the society disbanded. In the next ten years there was liberal 
preaching of a desultory sort, at a place called Masonic Hall on Exchange 
street, in a school-house (used also by the "Christians" as a church) on the 
present site of Plymouth church, and in " Carthage," as the settlement on the 

The Unitarian Church. 285 

east bank of the river near the lower falls was called. This work was chiefly 
done by that heroic and honored citizen, Myron Holley. 

In 1 841 the work of reorganisation was begun in earnest. Rev. Mr. Storer, 
of Syracuse, commenced the work, and a goodly number of noble men and 
women rallied to his call. Dr. Matthew Brown was made president of the 
board of trustees, and George. F. Danforth, clerk. The meetings were held 
in the Christian church, before referred to, and a number of ministers were 
heard for a short time who have since won distinction in the denomination. In 
1842 Rev. Rufus Ellis came and remained a year. Under his leadership the 
society built a very comfortable church on the present site of St. Paul's (Ger- 
man) church, Fitzhugh street, at a cost of about $6,000. Soon afterward Rev. 
F. W. Holland was called to the pastorate and remained until 1848. The 
ministers who followed Mr. Holland were : Rev. Rufus H. Bacon, Rev. W. H. 
Doherty, Rev. W. H. Channing, Rev. Thomas Hyer, Rev. James Richardson, 
Rev. James K. Hosmer, Rev. Mr. Fitzgerald. The latter had preached only 
one Sunday when the church burned. This occurred November loth, 1859. 
Shortly afterward services were suspended. In 1865 Rev. F. W. Holland 
returned to Rochester, gathered the society together, and, raised the necessary 
funds to build a new church. The building was erected on the east side of 
Fitzhugh street, at a cost, including the lot, of about $12,000; and was occu- 
pied until its sale to the United States government in 1883. Mr. Holland re- 
mained in charge three years. Rev. Clay McCauley followed for one year; 
then Rev. E. H. Danforth for six months. In 1870 Rev. N. M. Mann became 
the pastor and still remains in charge. 

Upon the sale of the Fitzhugh street property, the society purchased the 
beautiful andcomhiodious stone church and chapel of the Third Presbyterian 
church, occupying both corners of Lancaster and Temple streets. The build- 
ings have been thoroughly restored and made attractive without and within. 
The society is out of debt, as has been its rule since 1865, and is in a prosper- 
ous condition. The following gentlemen constitute the present board of trus- 
tees (March, 1884): J. A. Hinds, chairman; Porter Farley, secretary; S. L. 
Brewster, Samuel Wilder and C. C. Morse. 

During the early part of 1884 the pastor of the church was excluded from 
the pulpit by an illness which lasted through several weeks. For the first Sun- 
day morning his place was kindly taken by Prof True, a member of the faculty 
of the theological seminary, who preached most acceptably to the congrega- 
tion, recalling (without his mentioning it) the time when Prof Robinson, of the 
same institution — who is now the president of Brown university — '■ occupied 
the desk during an extended vacancy in the pastorate. After Prof True the 
society had the ministration, for seven consecutive Sundays, of Dr. Landsberg, 
the rabbi of the Jewish temple, whose sermons, as well as his conduct of the 
services, will long be remembered with gratification, not only by the regular 

286 History of the City of Rochester. 

attendants of the church, but by the many visitors, of more than one creed, 
who attended the exercises. This informal union of the two religions, and the 
occupancy of a Christian pulpit for a long time by one of the same race with 
the founder of the Christian faith, produced a profound impression, not only in 
this city but elsewhere. Remarks unfavorable were made at first, but criticism 
soon sank to silence, as it was seen that this might be the forerunner of the 
establishment of a universal church. 


Zion's First German Evangelical Lutheran church. — This is the mother of 
the Lutheran churches in this city, the other three being emphatically her 
daughters. The first official minutes of Zion's First German Evangelical Luth- 
eran church begin in 1839 and contain as an introduction a short sketch of the 
past history of the church. In 1832 Rev. Miiller preached to a few families 
(Ebersold, Rohr, Engel, Schwarz, Schneeberger) in the basement of the Second 
Presbyterian church. In 1833 Rev. C. F. Welden, now living in Philadelphia 
as pastor emeritus, came and preached occasionally. He was followed by Rev. 
W. A. Fetter, of Rush, where at that time was a German Lutheran congrega- 
tion. Under his administration, in 1836, the corner-stone for a church build- 
ing, where the present church is now located, northeast corner of Grove and 
Stillson streets, was laid. In May, 1838, Rev. J. Miihlhauser took charge of 
the congregation. The church was dedicated December 14th, 1838. The names 
of the first officers found in the minutes are : Chr. Traugott, C. Lauer, G. C. 
Drehmer, J. Schonmaier, Jacob Maurer, J. Ebersold, J. Rohr, John Maurer, H. 
Diener, B. Heidt, G. EUwanger, R. Heidt, George Maurer. The list of com- 
municants goes back to October, 1834; of the first catechumens and of the 
marriages to April, 183S ; of baptisms to September, 1834. March iSth, 1851, 
the congregation resolved to build a new church on the old site. The new 
church was dedicated January 29th, 1852 ; galleries were put in in 1856 ; the 
church was enlarged to meet the wants of the rapidly growing congregation 
in 1872, and is now forty-eight feet wide and one hundred and six feet long, 
with a steeple one hundred and twenty-five feet high. In 1883 two doors, one 
on each side of the main entrance, were broken through in the front, with stone 
stairs and iron railings, and the vestibule was changed, a necessary convenience 
for the numerous congregation and a decided improvement in the appearance 
of the building. 

The large old school-house at the corner of North avenue and Franklin 
street, now used as a planing-mill, was sold in 1881 and a building for school 
purposes erected in the rear of the church. The pre.sent teachers of the paro- 
chial school are C. G. Schneider (German, and organist) and Miss Maggie 
Hoppe (English). The commodious parsonage, number 46 Stillson street, very 
near the church, was purchased by the congregation and fitted up with all 

The Lutheran Churches. 287 

modern conveniences in 1881. The pastors have been as follows: J. Miihl- 
hauser, 1838 to 1848; J. G. Kempe, until 1862; A. Uebelacker, until i868; 
F. von Rosenberg, until 1874; C. F. W. Hoppe, until 1881 ; Rev. A. Richter, 
the present pastor, since July, 188 1. The present officers are: Church coun- 
cil — Chr. Seel, N. Conrad, J. Traugott, elders ; J. Christ, treasurer ; A. 
Scheuer, secretary; M. Schlegel, F. Bundschuh, J. Kleinow, R. Kuhn, C. G. 
Kallusch, deacons; trustees — J. G. Wagner, president ; F. Schlegel, secretary ; 
J. Rohr, treasurer ; Wm. Wagner, J. Margrander, J. A. Krautwurst, J. Korner. 
We might add that chiefly under the auspices of Zion's church and its pastor a 
" Lutheran proseminary," for the education of boys and young men as German 
Lutheran ministers, was opened in October, 1883 ; now located on South ave- 
nue, bidding fair for the future. A branch Sunday-school was started in the 
southern part of the city in March, 1884, which numbers already nearly one 
hundred scholars. The services are held under the supervision of the pastor 
of Zion's church in the chapel of the Calvary Presbyterian church, on South 
avenue, corner of Hamilton place. 

The Evangelical Lutheran church of the Reformation, on Grove street, 
between North avenue and Stillson street, the only English Lutheran church 
in the city, received its name from the anniversary day on which it was organ- 
ised, October 31st, 1868. The founder and first pastor was Rev. Reuben Hill. 
The first services were held in Zion's church, in the evenings when there was 
no German service. As soon as the organisation was started, services were 
held regularly in the third story of Zion's old school-house on North avenue, 
at present a planing-mill. The first board of trustees consisted of C. C. Meyer, 
John B. Snyder, John S. Kratz, Wm. Steinhauser, J. W. Maser. The present 
building was dedicated in the fall of 1873. In 1874 Rev. R. Hill was called to 
AUentown, Pennsylvania. He was immediately succeeded by Rev. Charles S. 
Kohler, who still continues in the pastoral office. At present the officers are 
Church council — S. J. Kuenzi, J. W. Maser, elders ; Charles J. Wichmann 
P. Schaeffer, secretary ; A. H. Weniger, treasurer ; B. Shorer, Jacob Hoehn, J 
Suter, deacons ; trustees — L. P. Beck, president ; J. M. Miller, secretary ; J. M 
Lauer, treasurer; J. S. Kratz, John F. Dinkey. Sunday-school superintendent, J 
M. Miller ; organist. Miss Annie S. Kuenzi ; leader of choir, Wm. J. Steinhauser, 

St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran church is located on the corner of 
St. Joseph street and Buchan park. November 4th, 1874, Zion's church re- 
solved to establish a branch Sunday-school and mission' in the northern part of 
the city. In 1 873 Rev. E. Heydler was called as assistant pastor of Zion's, at 
the same time to take care of the mission. The congregation was organised 
through Rev. E. Heydler in August, 1873 Names of the first officers : Church 
council — M. Nothacker, H. Knapp, F. Seith, elders ; A. Schnell, M. Lang, C. 
Maas, deacons ; trustees — F. C. Lauer, J. Krautwurst, J. Wellner, F. Schmitt, 
A. Burkhardt. The corner-stone on the lot which was pi-esented by the mother 

288 History of the City of Rochester. 

church was laid June 14th, 1874. The church was dedicated June 21st, 1875, 
and is sixty-five feet by one hundred and nineteen. If inside and outside com- 
plete and finished, it would make a building of very fine appearance. A 
spacious and recently enlarged frame building in the rear of the church is for 
the use of the parochial school, the teachers of which are: C. F. Frank (Ger- 
man, and organist) and Mrs. B. Hysner (English). The present officers are : 
Church council — J. Glatt, J. C. Bachman, elders; A. Schnell, F. Schmanke, F. 
Gunkler, J. Franz, J. Grab, deacons; trustees, M. Menn, H. Herdle, J. Miller, 
C. Bauer. Rev. E. Heydler was pastor until 1877. He was followed by Rev. 
J. Miihlhauser. The pulpit is at present vacant* 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Concordia church, corner of Helena and 
Putnam streets, was organised in September, 1877, by Rev. E. Heydler. After 
his death, in 1882; Rev. C. N. Conrad was elected his successor. The church 
is to be enlarged this year. A large parochial school is connected with it. For 
want of requested, but not sufificiently furnished information, we are unable to 
give the same particulars as of the other churches. 


Trinity. — Of the three churches that belong to the denomination calling 
itself by the name above given, the German United Evangelical Trinity church, 
on Allen street, is the oldest. It began in 1842, consisting of members that were 
dissatisfied with the exclusiveness of the German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's 
church. The first pastor was Rev. C. T. Soldan, who began his labors in 1842. 
In 1845 Rev. C. Biel became his successor. Then followed Rev. T. F. Illiger, 
in 1846. After the congregation had assembled in different places for worship, 
the church on Allen street was built, in 1847. ^ev. A. Barkey officiated from 
1847 to 1849, when Rev. C. Haass took charge of the congregation. He was 
followed in 1852 by Rev. C. Clausen, who served the congregation over eight 
years, extending with his predecessors the field and influence of the church. 
In 1 861 Rev. P. Conradi was called to the pulpit. After ten months' service 
he left his charge and formed a new church, taking a large number of the mem- 
bers with him. In 1862 Rev. C. Siebenpfeiffer became pastor of the remaining 
flock. Under his pastorate the congregation grew rapidly, so that the church 
had to be provided with galleries. The parochial school, which heretofore had 
always one. teacher with about one hundred scholars, employed three teachers 
for about three hundred scholars. After 1870 the church became too small, 
and, the members not agreeing about a site for a new church, being divided 
about east or west of the river, a new swarm left the old hive, taking with them 
to the east side the pastor. In 1874 Rev. B. Pick was ordained pastor of the 
mother flock till, in 1881, Rev. O. Bueren followed him and in 1883 Rev. Emil 
Heuckell, the present pastor. The church was at different times ornamented 
and has a parsonage. The church records show that since its foundation till 

The Evangelical Association. 289 

April last 4,970 persons were baptised, 1,373 confirmed, 1,915 couples married, 
1,590 persons buried and the Lord's supper served to 16,918, communicants. 
The congregation is now doing well again and promises to grow and to be use- 
ful. It numbers about 300 families. The Sunday-school was for many years 
under the charge of the late Mr. Parsons and after him of Thomas Dransfield. 
It was conducted in the English language, but is now Germani Much good 
was doubtless the result of the labors of the friends of the school. . 

The German United Evangehcal Salem church is located on Franklin street, 
near St. Paul street. It is one of the handsomest church buildings in the city. 
It was built in 1873, costing, together with the parochial school and Sunday- 
school building, nearly $70,000. It seats 1,100 persons. . The Salem congre- 
gation was formed in 1873, consisting of a part of the members of the German 
church on Allen street and of many families on the east side that awaited with 
eagerness the organisation of a church of this denomination east of the river. 
The congregation and church were built up under the management of Rev. 
Charles Siebenpfeiffer, who is still the officiating clergyman. The church has 
been, growing steadily, and comprises now about 450 families and about 200 
persons, the number of names in the roll being over 600. During the existence 
of this church 1,795 children have been baptised, 798 persons confirmed, 606 
couples married and 838 persons buried. The Sunday-school was for six years 
conducted by Thomas Dransfield, who has helped to advance the interests of 
the church materially. Noyv the Sunday-school is superintended by the pastor, 
assisted by D. S. Poppen. Miss Lottie, Weitzel has charge of the infant class. 
There are now 500 Sunday-school scholars. During the first years of the 
church the parochial school numbered nearly 300 children, but since the interest 
in such schools is declining there are now about 100. Mr. Poppen is teacher 
of the school and at the same time the organist and the leader of the choir. 

The German United Evangelical St. Paul's church was started in 1862 by 
Rev. Philip Conradi, at that time pastor of the German church on Allen street. 
He took with him about half of the membership to organise St. Paul's congre- 
gation. In the same year, the church building was erected. It stands on Eitz- 
hugh street and is a nice building in a quiet, place. In 1865 Rev. Mr. Hoff- 
man became pastor of the church, and two years later Rev. F. Heinle, who was 
succeeded in 1873 by Rev. A. Grotrian. The pastor who has now, and has had 
since 1883, charge of the church is A. Zeller. The congregation numbers about 
300 families and has a Sunday-school and a day-school. 


The First church of the Evangelical association, (German) was organised 
about the year 1849 by J. G. Marquardt. The following are the names of pas- 
tors who have served this church since its organisation : J. G- Marquardt, 1849- 
50; John Schaaf, 1851; Martin Lauer, 1852-53 ; Jacob Wagner, 1854-55; 

290 History of the City of Rochester. 

Martin Lauer, 1856-57; Levi Jacoby, 1858 ; Aug. Klein, 1859-60; S.Weber, 
1861 ; Adolf Miller, 1862-63; P- J- Miller, 1864-65; Geo. Eckardt, 1866-67; 
Andrew Holzworth, 1868-69; M. Lehn, 1870-71; G. F. Buesh, 1872-74; 
Albert Unholz, 1875-77; E. A. Weier, 1878-80; C. A. Wiesseman, 1881-83. 
Henry Koch, the present pastor, took charge of the parish in March, 1 884. 
The present officers are : John Nagel, Fred Klein, John Boiler, George Fisher, 
John Loeffler. The church has a membership of 232. Its location is on St. 
Joseph street, at the corner of Nassau street. In connection with the church 
is a Sunday-school, which numbers 20D scholars and thirty teachers. The 
present officers of the Sunday-school are: J. Btoller, superintendent: George 
Fisher, vice-superintendent ; Ernst Meyer, secretary ; John Loeffler, treasurer ; 
Theodore Fisher, librarian. 


In 1848 several German Roman Catholics established, under Rev. De L. 
Giustiniani, a free German Catholic congregation. For a short time they wei-e 
accustomed to meet in Minerva hall. In March, 1849, Rev. Frederick Bogan 
became the pastor of the congregation, followed by Dr. Winkelmann, and he, 
in turn, was followed by Rev. William Wier. In 1850 they bought a church 
in Court street for $2,200, but they left the church in the same year, for the 
Scotch Presbyterian society purchased it from this congregation. Then, under 
severe circumstances, the society erected a church on Cherry street. On the 
1 2th of March, 185 i, they reorganised themselves and were incorporated by 
the name of the German Mission church, under Rev. Robert Kohler. In 1852 
the name was again changed to the German Reformed Immanuel church, and 
the society connected themselves with the German Reformed church in the 
-United States. In 1867 the congregation sold the church on Cherry street 
and erected a new one on Jefferson street, now called Hamilton place. The 
following are the names of the succeeding pastors, with the date of their ordi- 
nation : J. J. Stern, March i6th, 1853; A. Schroeder, September 15th, 1854; 
T. Grosshush, December, 1857; Mr. Brasch, in 1865 ; Mr. Claudius, in 1867; 
C. Kuss, in 1869; H. C. Heyser, in 1874; Carl Gundlach, October 6th, 1878. 
Mr. Gundlach is the present incumbent. The Sunday-school superintendent 
is Nicholas Kraus. There are 230 members of the congregation. 


The first society of this denomination was organised in November, 1836, 
under the title of the " Free Congregational church," with Rev. John T. Avery 
as the first pastor, so far as is known, his name appearing as such in 1838, when 
O'Rielly's history was published. It may be presumed that this organisation 
soon after ceased, for the directory of 1841 makes no mention of any Congre- 
gational society as then in existence. On the 30th of August, in that year. 

The Jews. 291 

however, the State street Congregational society was organised, its meetings 
being held in Teoronto hall, and of this Rev. Shiibael Carver was the pastor in 
1845, 'f "ot before. In 1847 ^^v. Henry E. Peck assumed the pastorate of 
the little congregation, preaching in the small upper room of the Teoronto block 
for more than a year, when, in 1848, a church was erected nearly opposite, by 
the society, assisted by a few benevolent outsiders. Mr. Peck' preached in the 
new church for less than four years, when he was elected to a professorship in 
Oberlin college and on the lith of January, 1852, his resignation of the pas- 
torate was accepted. The succeeding ministers at the State street church were 
Mr. Miner and Mr. Harper, under the latter of whom the last service was held, 
on the 30th of August, 1856, on the occasion of the funeral of Deacon Leon- 
ard Hitchcock. The church was then abandoned and the building has since 
been used as a warehouse. 

Another Congregational society was organised here in 1847 ^n*^ l^^ld its 
meetings on the corner of South St. Paul and Jefferson streets, with Rev. Rich- 
ard De Forest as the first pastor, after whom were Rev. Wm. Dewey and Rev. 
D. D. Francis. The last-named was there in 1855, and the church society be- 
came extinct a very few years later. 

Plymouth church. — In September, 1852, a subscription was begun for the . 
erection of a new church edifice in the city of Rochester, to be located at the 
corner of Troup and Sophia streets (now Plymouth avenue). After a consid- 
erable sum had been pledged, a meeting of the subscribers was held in Feb- 
ruary, 1853, when it was decided to give to the edifice the name of "the Ply- 
mouth church of Rochester," and to devote it to Congregational worship. In 
June, 1853, a building committee was appointed by the subscribers, consisting 
of A. Champion, E Lyon, F. Clarke, W. A. Reynolds and W. Churchill. The 
corner-stone of the building was laid September 8th, 1853, and the society was 
incorporated by act of the legislature passed April iSth, 1854. A. Champion, 
F. Clarke, E. Lyon, C. J. Hill, W. W. Ely, A. G. Bristol, E. H. Hollister, C. A. 
Burr and E. Darrow were constituted the first board of trustees. The church 
was dedicated August 21st, 1855. Rev. Jonathan Edwards was the first pastor, 
his term being from February, 1856, to November, 1862. Rev. D wight K. 
Bartlett was the second pastor, from February, 1865, to February, 1873. Rev. 
Myron Adams is the present and third pastor; having begun his service as such 
in May, 1876. In the summer of 1877 extensive irhprovements were made in 
the church building. The roof was substantially slated, and the interior deco- 
rated, recarpeted and upholstered. The present trustees are : D. C. Hyde, S. 
F. Hess, L. P. Ross, W. S. Ely, B. H. Clark, W. S. Osgood, J. W. Robbins and 
J. Farley, jr. 


According to estimate there are about 2,500 Jewish inhabitants in the city 
of Rochester. It is impossible now to ascertain when they first settled here, 

292 History of the City of Rochester. 

but It is known that some few made this city their home as early as 1840. In 
the year 1848 the necessity was first felt of organising a society to supply their 
religious wants. Twelve foreigners, all natives of Germany, met in a house at 
the corner of Clinton street and Clinton place and formed a Jewish congrega- 
tion. Their names are : M. Rothschild, Joseph Wile, S. Marks, Joseph Katz, 
G. Wile, Henry Levi, Jacob Altman, Joseph Altman, A. Adier, E. Wollf, A. 
Weinberg and J. Ganz. For six months the young society held its meetings 
at the same place, lintil a hall was rented for that purpose at the corner of Main 
and Front streets, where a permanent organisation was formed and called 
Berith Kodesh (Holy Covenant). A burial lot was purchased by the society at 
Mt Hope, on May 23d, 1848, and the first board of trustees was elected on 
October 8th, of the same year. The first president was Mayer Rothschild. 
The congregation was incorporated on October i6th, 1854. In the year 1856 
the site of the present temple was purchased of Louis Deane. The building, 
formerly a Baptist church, was adapted to the wants of the congregation and 
was thus used until 1876, when the building now in use was erected at an ex- 
pense of $25,000 and dedicated on September iSth, 1876. The first rabbi of 
the congregation was Mr. Tusky. He was succeeded by Dr. Isanc Mayer from 
1856 to 1859. Then Dr. Sarner was elected, who held his position but nine 
months. From i860 to 1863 there was no rabbi; in the latter year Dr. Gins- 
burg received a call and remained till 1868. After another intermission of 
two years and six months Dr. Max Landsberg, the present rabbi, was engaged, 
on December 26th, 1870. He entered upon his functions in March, 1871, 
and has filled his position ever since. 

The congregation Berith Kodesh was at first strictly orthodox. The first 
move in the way of reform was made in 1862, when an organ was purchased, 
and in i863the first slight alterations were made in the ritual. In 1869 it was 
resolved to introduce family pews in place of the old system by which the 
sexes were kept strictly separate during the services. When the change was 
made M. Greentree, with a few others, resigned, and in 1 870 founded the con- 
.gregation EtzRaanon (Green Tree) and erected a building on Franklin park. 
From this time the Berith Kodesh made constant and rapid progress, materially 
and spiritually. It counts one hundred and thirty members with their families, 
and one hundred and fifty-four children visit the Sabbath-school for religious 
instruction, of which the rabbi is the superintendent, while a number of young 
ladies and gentlemen from the congregation serve as teachers. Since Decem- 
ber, 1883, a new ritual has been introduced at the services, almost entirely 
consisting of English prayers, and Berith Kodesh is the first Jewish congrega- 
tion in this country in which services were conducted mostly in the vernacular. 

The other Jewish congregations in Rochester, all strictly orthodox, are the 
following: Beth Israel (House of Israel), founded in 1879, which owns a build- 
ing at 54 Chatham street; Bene David {Sons oi David), organised in 1882, 

The Universalis'!- Churches. 293 

whose place of worship is at 5 Hermann street; Beth Aulom (Eternal House), 
a number of members who seceded from the Etz Raanon in 1883 and worship 
at the former Free Methodist church, corner of Atwater and Leopold streets, 
and Etz Chayim (Tree of Life), under which name the remaining members of 
Etz Raanon reorganised in 1883, and continued to worship in the former 
place on Franklin park. 


The First Universalist. — Universalist meetings were held in Rochester 
before it became a city, and the first ministers of this faith were Rev. Messrs. 
Sampson, Henry Roberts, Wm. Andrews, T. P. Abell, Russell Tomlinson, 
Jacob Chase and Charles Hammond. Early meetings of this society were 
held in a church which it purchased on the corner of Court and Stone streets. 
After this property was sold, the Sabbath-school was held in the basement of 
the Universalist church until the arrival of Rev. G. W. Montgomery in 1845, 
when the services were resumed in Minerva hall, which were continued until 
the erection of a church on Clinton street. This building has been recon- 
structed and enlarged and was dedicated March 22d, 1871, Rev. Dr. Saxe 
preaching the discourse. Among the founders and early members of this 
church were Joseph Wood, Isaac Hellems, Schuyler Moses, J. J. Van Zandt, 
J. F. Royce and N. Bingham. Rev. Dr. Montgomery was installed pastor of 
the church in December, 1845, and officiated for eight years. Rev. J. H. Tuttle 
served the church six years and was succeeded March ist, i860, by the present 
pastor, Rev. Asa Saxe, D. D. The present trustees are I. F. Force, N. S. 
Phelps and Mrs. E. B. Chace, with S. E. Brace treasurer, and Heman W. 
Morris clerk. There is a Sunday-school connected with this church number- 
ing about four hundred, of which George H. Roberts was the first superin- 
tendent, who was succeeded by the late J. J. Van Zandt and he by the present 
superintendent, William It. Cook, who has held the position for fifteen years. 
This church established a mission Sunday-school in the ninth ward in 1873, 
which has since developed into the Second Universalist church. Location, 
South Clinton street, near Main. 

The Second Universalist chiirch has grown from a mission Sunday-school 
established by the First church in the fall of the year 1874. The mission 
school was held in McDade's hall for a few years, then, having outgrown that 
room, its present neat and commodious chapel was erected by the munificence 
of James Sargent and others. Rev. L. B. Fisher was called to be the first 
pastor of this church, beginning his work in October, 1883. On January 13th, 
1884, a church organisation was formed^ with forty- five members and the fol- 
lowing board of trustees : A. M. Brown, F. H. Cross, James S. Graham, 
Thomas Gliddon, Charles Howlett. 

294 History of the City of Rochester. 


On June 22d, 1843, the first Advent meeting ever held in Rochester con- 
vened in a large tent erected on the east side of the river, north of Main street, 
near the stone-ware pottery. Elder J. V. Hines conducted the services, which 
resulted in the gathering together of several hundred believers. He was 
assisted in maintaining the services, under the name of Advent meetings, from 
that time, by Elders Fitch, Barry, Galusha, Pinney and others, until 1850, 
when Elder J. B. Cook was called as pastor, who remained until 1853. From 
this time the interest fluctuated until 1867, when Elders Pratt and Grant 
organised the "First Christian church of Rochester," with a membership of 
two hundred and Elder H. L, Pratt as pastor. He retired in 1870 and the 
pulpit was supplied with such men as Wm. Fenns, H. L. Hastings and other 
able and talented ministers, In 1871 Elder J. H. Whitmore was called to the 
pastorate, which position he held until April, 1874. During his ministrations 
the definite-time-agitators gained a footing and created a division, which nearly 
destroyed the society and caused the resignation of the pastor. Under the 
ministry of his successor, Elder E. F. Sergisson, the interest revived somewhat, 
and it continued under Mrs. L. M. Stoddard, who followed him in 1879 and 
who acted as pastor for about three years. During her ministry the church 
removed to the hall it now occupies, over 155 East Main street, corner of.North 
avenue. After the resignation of Mrs. Stoddard, Elders Dr. Porter W. Taylor 
and Wm. Ingmire acted as pastors until March 2Sth, 1883, when the present 
incumbent, Elder George W. Wright, assumed the pastorate. The church at 
the present time numbers one. hundred and seven members, and, as an evidence 
of its prosperity, is negotiating for a lot upon which to build ,a church edifice. 
Honorable mention should be made of A. G. Andrews, who was present at 
the first tent meeting held in 1 843 and who remains to-day an active member 
of the church in Rochester. 


The First Reformed church of Rochester, N. Y., was organised in 1852. 
Its denominational connection is with the Reformed (Dutch) church in America, 
which is Presbyterian in doctrine and government. - Its pastors were : Rev. A. 
B. Veenhuizen, of East Williamson, N. Y. ; C. Wust, of Lodi, N. J. ; A. Krie- 
kaard, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; P. B. Bahler, lately deceased. Rev. Peter De 
Bruyn, the present pastor, has served the church for the past ten years. The 
statistics of 1884 show a membership of nearly three hundred, a Sunday-school 
of two hundred and sixty scholars. During the year $456.69 were contributed 
for benevolent and religious purposes, while the sum of $2,759.94 was brought 
up for regular congregational expenses. The services are mostly conducted in 
the Dutch language, since the majority of the people are native Hollanders. 

The Christadelphian Church. 295 

The society is prosperous and united, and hopeful for the future. The church 
and chapel are located on the corner of Harrison and Oregon streets. 

There is another church here named the Ebenezer church, the society 
belonging to the denomination or sect known as the "True Dutch Reformed," 
but the building, which is on Chatham street, is not now open for service. 


The Christadelphian Ecclesia, or " called-out-ones" took upon themselves 
this distinctive name March 6th, 1870. At that time they numbered about 
forty-five members. They increased in numbers to upward of sixty. Some 
have died and some have moved away, so that at the present time those who 
claim to be Christadelphians number about forty-seven. Those out of the city 
who continue to meet in Rochester make the number still over sixty. They 
claim to be a revival of that sect every where spoken against in the first cen- 
tury, and they acknowledge no authority in matters of faith and practice other 
than that of the "mind of" expressed in the "written word." They 
claim to be called out to "God's kingdom and glory" and to be associated with 
Christ at his return, in the readjustment of human affairs by giving to the 
world a righteous administration. They believe in one God, the Father, whom 
no man hath seen, and who only hath immortality underived and inherent, and 
in one Lord Jesus Christ, his son, who through his sufferings, death and resur- 
rection opened up a "new-made way of life" to all who believe and obey his 
requirements. They believe that in the "fullness of time," which they regard 
as not far distant, a theocracy will be established upon the mountains of Israel 
in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and those who shall be associated with 
him as kings and priests of the age ; that all believing Jews will then be re- 
stored to their land, and that Jerusalem, rebuilt in splendor and glory,' will be 
the metropolis of the world. They meet every first day of the week to break 
bread and drink wine in remembrance of Jesus, the Captain of their salvation. 
They have no paid ministers. Any members that are qualified to interest and 
instruct are expected to do so as opportunity offers, and are appointed for that 
and other leading duties, and are called "serving brethren." These, at the 
time of organisation in 1870, were James McMillan, Orrin Morse, Augustus 
Sintzenich' and J. C. Tomlin, secretary. The serving brethren at the present 
time, besides the writer of this sketch, Dr. J. H. Thomas, who delivered free 
lectures every Sunday evening, are Charles Morse, George Ashton, J. Walsh, 
E. Eames and J. Tomlin. 

296 History of the City of Rochester. 


the early schools of ROCHESTER. 1 

Huldah M. Strong's School, in 1813 — Limited Educational Resources — Meagerness of State 
Appropriation — Old District Number i, and First Male Teacher — Mill Street a Fashionable Quarter 
of Rochester — Maria Allyn's School in 1820 — Fairchild and Filer's Latin and English School — Ly- 
man Cobb's School, Spelling-Book and Dictionary — The Manual Labor School — The Rochester High 
School — The Schools of Misses Mack and Miss Seward, West Side of the River — Rochester Female 
Academy — Seward Female Seminary — Other Institutions of Learning. 


THE settlement of families and the formation of society in Rochester, be- 
ginning about 1 8 10, progressed so rapidly that in 18 13 the need of schools 
for the children was apparent. The welfare of the young town, as related 
either to schools or churches or to associations for moral, social and material 
advancement, was not neglected. Church organisations and public worship 
began with the first settlement, and church buildings were erected in 18 16 and 
1817. The Rochester Female Missionary society was formed in 1818; the 
Monroe County Agricultural society in 1821, the first year of the establish- 
ment of the county, and the Monroe County Bible society was organised 
the same year. The Rochester Female Charitable society and the Rochester 
Sunday-school Union were formed in 1822 ; the Franklin Institute, a literary 
society, in 1826, and the Rochester Athenaeum, also a literary society, in 1829. 
The first school — properly the forerunner of all organisations for the intel- 
lectual and moral advancement of a community — began in 1813. The first 
teacher was Miss Huldah M. Strong, sister of Mrs. Abelard Reynolds, and who 
in 1 8 16 married Dr. Jonah Brown. The location of the school, as stated in an 
article on schools published in the Monroe county directory for 1 869-70, was 
in Enos Stone's barn, transformed to a school-house. Subsequently the school 
was removed to a room over Jehiel Barnard's clothing store, near the corner 
of Buffalo street (now West Main) and Carroll, now State street. There is not 
much doubt that these are the facts as to the matter, as Mrs. Abelard Rey- 
nolds in former times, as is well remembered, often spoke of the school as 
having been commenced in a barn. At its opening it numbered fourteen or 
fifteen pupils. It was a small number for the great following it was to have 
of schools and school children in Rochester. It was not long, however, before 
its numbers increased, and its usefulness and final success gave great satisfac- 
tion to the citizens. ' 

In looking back by the aid of history to that time, now seventy-one years 
ago, we perceive that it was not only an early period in educational work in 
Rochester but also in the entire state of New York. School funds and state 
aid to schools and colleges were then extremely limited. Until the year 1795 

• 1 This article was prepared by Mr. George S. Riley. 

The First School in Rochester. 297 

very little attention and no legislative aid whatever had been extended to edu- 
cation in this state. Although a beginning was made in that year, it was a 
small beginning; $50,000 annually, for five years and no longer, was appro- 
priated by the legislature. Up to 181 2 all that legislation had effected for the 
advancement of education was the formation of a school fund, the gradual ac- 
cumulations of which had in 1812 — which was the year Rochester began to 
grow — amounted to only $151,000, yielding but $24,000 annually to be 
divided among the then forty-six counties of the state. 

The first school in Rochester, therefore, had to be wholly and voluntarily 
maintained by its citizens ; and it is creditable to. Rochester at that time that 
the school received a good degree of local public attention and substantial 
support. Most of the young children of the place, of both sexes, and of all 
sects, were gathered in the school. Not long after its removal to Jehiel Bar- 
nard's store the school-room was inadequate, and one teacher insufficient, for 
the needs of the rapidly growing town. During the autumn of 1813 the citi- 
zens resolved to establish a school district and build a school-house. The build- 
ing was completed soon afterward. Its dimensions were about eighteen by 
twenty-four feet and one story in height. Its location was on South Fitzhugh 
street, where the Free academy now stands. From that time schools and 
school-teachers rapidly increased. In 1815 or early in 18 16 the population 
had so increased near the high falls of the river that a school-building was 
erected at the corner of Mill and Piatt streets. Schools were also opened on 
the east side of the river, and there was no faltering in providing schools and 
school-buildings wherever needed. There were then superior men in Roches- ' 
ter, many of whom afterward attained widespread reputation for ability and 
philanthropy, and they early perceived the need and earnestly advocated the 
policy of liberal appropriations by the state for educational purposes. The 
conjoint efforts of like public-spirited gentlemen in other parts of the state, and 
later like efforts of the advocates of free schools, finally established a state 
policy in reference to the support of schools and created a public interest in 
education greatly in contrast with the inattention and illiberality of former 
times. The expenditure of the city of Rochester in 1883 for education ex- 
ceeded $200,000, and the expenditure of the state of New York the same year 
exceeded twelve and one-half million of dollars. 

The building first and specially erected in Rochester for school uses was 
known as " district school-house number i." .Its construction was aided by 
the generous gift of its site, as narrated in the article on "public schools." 
Aaron Skinner is said to have been the first teacher in the new school-house, 
and the first male teacher in Rochester. Thomas J. Patterson, formerly mem- 
ber of Congress from this congressional district, has stated that he came to 
Rochester in his boyhood and resided with his kinsman, Dr. O. E. Gibbs, and 
attended school in the winters of 1813-14 and 1815, and that his teachers 

298 History of the City of Rochester. 

were Mr. Dodge and Caleb Hammond, then a medical student here. A rela- 
tive of the late Moses King states that Mr. King, who survived till 1881, always 
claimed to be the first male teacher in Rochester. If the last-named three 
gentlemen were not employed as teachers here anterior to Aaron Skinner, 
they all, doubtless, taught schools in Rochester about the same period. Mr. 
King unquestionably taught the first school in Frankfort — as the northwest 
quarter of the town was then and is now called — and it is recorded in an' 
early history of Monroe county that "in 1816 a spelling- match occurred on a 
Saturday afternoon in the old first school-house. The teacher was Dr. Ham- 
mond, then a student with Drs. Elwood and Coleman. The school was joined 
by the Frankfort school taught by Moses King. The scholars chose sides, 
standing as the spelHng proceeded, but whoever spelled a word incorrectly had 
to take a seat. Two boys, brothers, were the last up and kept the floor till 
dark, when to the younger was adjudged the prize." 

Among those who at later periods were teachers in old " district number i " 
were General Jacob Gould, in the winter of 1819-20; Mr. Bailey, about 1822, 
and afterward Mr. Wilder, formerly a Vermont lawyer. There were also 
employed there, though it is not probable that they could now be named in 
correct successive order as to the periods of their services, Thomas A. Filer, 
D. B. Crane, Zenas Freeman, Ellery S. Treat, Clarendon Morse, Dr. Ackley, 
Mr. Spoor and others. Most of the early teachers in different periods changed 
and interchanged between the different schools, public and private of the time. 
The original building was also used for religious services till church buildings 
were erected. Some time prior to 1820 it was enlarged, and about 1823 it 
was still more enlarged or improved. It was finally supplanted by a large 
brick structure in which E. S. Treat was the first teacher. After a few years 
the first brick structure was also superseded . by the present large and ornate 
Free academy building, the original cost of which was about $80,000 and the 
whole expenditure for which, including alterations and improvements, exceeds 

The school early established at the corner of Mill and Piatt streets was 
doubtless the one aforementioned as the school in Frankfort which joined the 
school in old district number i, in the spelling-match of 1816. At a much later 
period the now so-called "Brown square old stone school-house" was erected 
and a school opened there. Moses King was at different times teacher in both 
of the schools'. In the Mill street school Jeremiah Cutler — who came to 
Rochester in 1821, and in 1824 entered the county clerk's office, where he was 
employed for fifty-nine years, till his death in 1883 — was a teacher previous 
to 1824. Two others of the early teachers were a Mr. Barry and a Mr. Lock- 
wood. The then young sons and daughters of Lyman B. Langworthy, Gard- 
ner McCracken, Warham Whitneyj Dr. Matthew Brown, Hamlet Scrantom 
and other prominent residents of the vicinity were pupils. One of the earliest. 

Maria Allyn's School in 1820. 299 

if not the first, female teacher in this school was Miss Crane, afterward Mrs. 
Fisher BuUard, who taught there as early as 1818-19. This was before Jere- 
miah Cutler and Mr. Lockwood were teachers there ; before Miss Maria Allyn's 
hereinafter-mentioned feniale academy on Mill street had been established, and 
while the old school-house was surrounded by the primitive forest, and the 
swift currents of an old watercourse sped along past the school-house over the 
rocks downward a hundred "feet to the river. The old yellow-painted school- 
building remained in its place till within a few years. Mills, foundries and fac- 
tories constructed, and various manufacturing industries in many instances con- 
ducted by former pupils of the school who have arrived at manhood, together 
with the tracks and traffic of the New York Central railroad, have completely 
transformed Mill street and vicinity to the uses of manufactures and commerce. 
, In the Brown square school, Reuben Johnson, Mr. Mclntire, Ziba Crawford, 
Mr. Kinney and Mr. Boothby were early teachers. Mrs. Latham Gardner, form- 
erly Miss Parsons, was also a teacher there. In both of these schools large 
numbers of the young people residing in their vicinity were instructed. One 
of the female .teachers in Brown square school had an admirable way of sub- 
duing insubordinate pupils with music. It is regretful that her name is not 
known to the writer, so that it might be mentioned here. A few years after- 
ward, about 1840, before the existence of the board of education, Patrick Barry, 
then an alderman, was made chairman of a committee of the common council 
to provide for and introduce instruction in vocal music in all the public schools 
of Rochester. Was the goodly method of the teacher aforementioned the har- 
monic prelude and forerunner of the praiseworthy work accomplished by Mr. 
Barry,- the good fruits of which were soon apparent in all the schools ? The 
"Brown square old stone school-house" is the best remembered school-build- 
ing in the northwestern part of Rochester. It was erected in the day and gen- 
eration of Dr. Matthew Brown, Warham Whitney and Darius Perrin. It was 
sold to and demolished by Darius Perrin about thirty years ago, or soon after 
the redivision of the city into school districts under the then new and special 
legislation for public schools for Rochester in 1838-39-40. 

There was also a young ladies' academy established on Mill street, near the 
site of the old New York Central railroad depot, about 1820. Its founder and 
chief teacher was Miss Maria Allyn, ^ho came from a noted family of New 
London, Connecticut. Her brother commanded the good ship Bellerophon, on 
whicli LaFayette sailed to America in 1824. A sister married Prof. Olmsted, 
of Yale college, and another sister was the wife of J. E. Williams, the then 
wealthiest resident of New London. Miss Allyn's fine education, personal at- 
tractiveness and fitting accomplishments gave her high social position in Roch- 
ester and secured for her school great prestige and complete success. All the 
higher branches of education were taught by the gifted principal. At that time 
Mil! street was one of the pleasant and fashionable parts of the village, and 


300 History of the City of Rochester. 

among the residents of the street and vicinity were James K. Livingston, Wm. 
Pitkin, Dr. Backus, Dean Mumford, Warham Whitney, Matthew Brown, Judge 
Parker, Wm. Cobb, Seth Saxton, John G. Vought and other equally prominent 
citizens of that period. The school was favored by these gentlemen and by 
other like patrons residing in other parts of the then village and neighboring 
places. Daughters of Isaac W. Stone, John W. Strong, Nathaniel Rochester, 
William Fitzhugh, Charles Carroll, Mr. Pierson of Avon, Samuel J. Andrews, 
Warham Whitney, Levi Ward, Enos Stone, and of other well-known gentle- 
men, were pupils of the school. Pleasant memories relating to its distinguished 
principal and preceptress are retained to this late day and have recently been 
expressed to the writer by a number of the attendants of the school who are 
yet residents of Rochester. 

Another notable school, to be mentioned both for its early establishment and 
long continuance, was at the north corner of North Clinton and Mortimer 
streets, fronting on Mortimer .street, on property now belonging to and south 
of the dwelling-house of D. A. Watson. The building was constructed for the 
school as early as 1 8 1 8. The teacher for a number of years was Lyman Cobb, 
the author of Cobb's spelling book and Cobb's dictionary of the English lan- 
guage. Anterior to this, however, was the school in Enos Stone's barn, here- 
inbefore mentioned ^nd the first school on the east side of the river. James 
S. Stone, son of Enos Stone, born on the east side of the river in i8iO and 
now residing near Charlotte, has recently informed the writer that he clearly 
remembers attending the school in the barn ; that it was located on the north 
side of Main street, between North St. Paul and Water streets, that he was a 
quite young pupil, too young to remember much about the school except its 
location as above stated, that the barn-door seemed very wide and that the first 
teacher was a lady, He has no distinct recollection of her name, but believes 
the teacher was Huldah M. Strong. Mr. Stone also states that afterward Lyman 
Cobb kept a school in the same barn building before the school on Clinton and 
Mortimer streets was opened and that he attended it. He also subsequently 
attended Lyman Cobb's Clinton street school. Many of the attendants of the 
latter school were the children of the prominent families of the east side of the 
village. Among the pupils was Alvah Strong, afterward founder of the Roches- 
ter 2?rt?7j' Democrat, Julius T. Andrews and Darius Perrin. Mr. Cobb was a 
good teacher and his school was successful, but his spelling-book and dictionary, 
though good books of their kind and much used, did not extinguish Webster's 
like works. Thurlow Weed and Leonard Stillson, then young printers in 
Rochester and in the employ of Everard Peck, did the press work in 1826 for 
one of the editions of Cobb's spelling-book. Mr. Stillson, now nearly eighty 
years of age, came to Brighton in 18 17 and now resides in that town. 

In the old Clinton street school building, religious services were held on Sun- 
days and frequently on secular evenings. In it the Third Presbyterian church 

Fairchild and Filer's Latin and English School. 301 

was organised, in 1827, and Josiah Bissell made his famous offer and engage- 
ment to construct a building suitable for the religious services of the church 
in six days. The building was duly completed, although the timber "of which 
it was constructed was growing in the adjacent forest on the Monday morn- 
ing preceding the Saturday night on which it was completed. There is a tradi- 
tion that St. Luke's Episcopal church, which was formed by residents of both 
the east and west sides of the river, was also, but some years previously, organ- 
ised in this school-house. 

There was also about the year 1820 an English and Latin school established 
in a school building near St. Luke's church, by Fairchild and Filer. These gen- 
tlemen stood high in the estimation of the community and their school was well 
attended. In evidence of the good reputation of these gentlemen and of their 
school, and also as an additional indication of the enterprise of Rochester in 
making spelling-books, it may be mentioned that Elihu F. Marshall, of the old 
firm of Marshall & Dean, booksellers on Exchange street, about this time pub- 
lished Marshall's spelling-book and that he for many months kept an advertise- 
ment in the Rochester Telegraph (Everard Peck, editor and proprietor) contain- 
ing lengthy recommendations of the spelling-book from Welcove Esleeck, super- 
intendent of common schools of the state of New York, dated Albany, March 
22d, 1 82 1, and from Fairchild and Filer, dated October 2d, 1822. A prelude to 
their recommendation, which was of course written by Mr. Marshall, states that 
"Ph. P. Fairchild and Thomas A. Filer are teachers of a Latin and English 
school of the highest respectability in the village of Rochester." There are no 
surviving old school-boys of that period who do not remember Fairchild and 
Filer's school, and some of them were their pupils. 

About this period, or a short time preceding it. Rev. Comfort Williams, pas- 
tor of the First Presbyterian church, and Rev. F. H. Cuming, rector of St. 
Luke's church, respectively, opened schools, that of Comfort Williams being 
located for a considerable time on the east side of Exchange street, nearly op- 
posite the Clinton House, and at another time at his house on what is now Mt. 
Hope avenue. Mr. Cuming's school occupied the chapel or a wooden build- 
ing in rear of St. Luke's church. Mortimer F. Reynolds says that he attended 
Comfort Williams's school when it was kept at Mr. W.'s house, and recited his 
daily lessons to Mr. Williams. Very few if any persons besides Mr. Reynolds 
remain in Rochester who attended these schools, and but little information in 
addition to what he states in regard to them has been obtained. 

There was a quite early school for young children established and for a 
number of years continued at the corner of State and Jay streets by Mrs. Mary 
Grifiin, an English lady who came to Rochester in 1822 and afterward was mar- 
ried to Jacob Anderson, now of Exchange street. Her school was a good one 
and was largely attended. A number of the former pupils of the Mill and Piatt 
streets school were at different times pupils of her school. Besides the promi- 

302 History of the City of Rochester. 

nent families in Frankfort heretofore named, Mr. Dalzeil, Mr. Alcott, and Mr. 
Draper of Gates were her patrons. Mrs. Griffin at a later period moved her 
school to Allen street, near State street, and about the year 1 830 it was again 
removed to the west side of Exchange street near Spring. In her school in 
Allen street, sons and daughters of John Haywood, Seth Saxton and other resi- 
dents of that vicinity were pupils. The school on Exchange street was discon- 
tinued on the marriage of Mrs. Griffin to Mr. Anderson. 

In about the year 1824 a school was opened at the corner of Buffalo and 
Front streets by Rev. Mr. Mulligan, a handsome and accomplished Irish gentle- 
man and scholar, who came to this country and to Rochester at the desire of 
his cordial friend. Rev. Dr. Joseph Penney, the pastor of the First Presbyterian 
church. Dr. Penney often aided Mr. Mulligan in teaching in the various de- 
partments of the school and they together gave it great reputation and success. 
Many of the best known families in Rochester and vicinity were its patrons. 
Both gentlemen deserved and received great praise for their efforts to advance 
higher education. Mr. Mulligan was afterward called to Scottsville as a pastor 
and teacher, and Dr. Penney in after years was elected president of Hamilton 
college and removed there. 

Also among the good schools established in Rochester about .1824 was that 
of Zenas Freeman, on the north side of Main street, nearly midway between 
St. Paul and Clinton streets, and there was also at a later time, on the same side 
of the street, the school of Mr. White. Mrs. Charlotte B. Rosebrugh, sister of 
the late William C. Bloss, and now, although at a quite advanced age, daily 
performing the duties of post-mistress of Brighton, informs the writer that she re- 
turned from attending school in Massachusetts in 1824, and in 1824—25 attended 
Zenas Freeman's school in Main street, to perfect herself in rhetoric and other 
like studies and that the school was considered one of the best in Rochester. 
J. M. Winslow was a pupil in 1827 and says that D. K. Cartter, now chief- 
justice of the District of Columbia; Nelson Sage, the Wolcott brothers, of Mt. 
Hope avenue ; Seth Green and sisters, T. C. Bates, Wm. Howe, A. W. Car- 
penter and sister, Alexander Petrie, nephew of Elisha Johnson, and many oth- 
ers then and since then well known in Rochester were also pupils. The late 
Judge E. Darwin Smith, then a law student in Ebenezer Griffin's law office, was 
teacher of book keeping and writing in this school. 

On the opposite side of Main street, near the corner of St. Paul street, there 
was a school as early as 182 1. It was attended in that year by Alvah Strong, 
then a quite young boy. Mr. Strong is probably the only survivor of the 
pupils of that year. His father arrived here in 1 82 1 and sent him immediately 
to that school, and therefore he distinctly remembers its locality and the year. 
There was also an early school on Andrews, near the southeast corner of 
Andrews and St. Paul streets, in a building yet remaining there, and the school 
is well remembered by a few surviving patrons and pupils. It is probable that 

Prominent Early Schools and Teachers. 303 

both of these schools were at different periods taught by Nathaniel Draper, and 
Mr. Lockwood, previously teacher in the Piatt and Mill streets school, taught 
in the Andrews street school during one year. 

In the southwesterly part of Rochester, called Corn Hill, there was a school 
established about 1820. The school-building was on Adams street and usually 
about fifty scholars attended. A Mr. Blake was the teacher about 1823—24. 
Ex- Mayor Michael Filon was then a quite young attendant of the school and 
narrates interesting incidents as to Mr. Blake's methods of teaching and disci- 
pline. At a much later period Dr. Bell established a school also on Adams 
street which is remembered by many of the young people of the vicinity now 
of mature age. 

At. the corner of Plymouth avenue and Troup street, where Plymouth 
church now stands, was a school-building and a succession of schools and 
teachers which make the place distinguished as related to school uses. The 
building was also used for religious assemblies and worship. The school- 
teachers, male and female, who in various periods taught the schools, are 
exceedingly numerous and of great diversity of qualifications. There were 
girls in most of the schools ; and there were but few boys reared in that quarter 
of the town while the building remained there, or previous to about 1850, who 
did not at some time attend the schools. Filer, Tateham, Curtis, Morse, 
McKee, Cook, Miles, Foster and almost all other teachers well known in Roch- 
ester previous to the year above mentioned are by all the oldest inhabitants 
declared to have been at some period teachers there ; but the lack of records, 
and the proverbial indefiniteness of the memory of the oldest inhabitants as to 
names and dates render it now nearly impossible to ascertain the names of all 
of the teachers or give those that are remembered in the order in which they 
taught there. The building was finally consumed by fire. 

Two other schools in the third ward, also largely attended, were those of 
Mr, Mctcnlf and Mr. Brayton, in St. Luke's chapel, and in Child's building on 
Exchange street, opposite Spring. In these schools T. C. and H. F. Mont- 
gomery, John and Henry Livingston, Nathaniel Rochester, J. H. Schermerhorn, 
Norton and J. W. Strong and most of the then older boys of the third ward 
and of other parts of Rochester who were at the time in pursuit of higher edu- 
cation, were pupils. There were, about the same period, two schools in the 
western part of Rochester which were continued for many years — one on 
North Ford street, near the Erie canal, and the other on South Ford street, at 
the corner of Spring street. They were also largely attended. Among the 
teachers in the South Ford street school were Samuel Blake, Orson Benjamin, 
Nathaniel Fitch, and in 1828 Jeremiah Cutler had a temporary vacation from 
the county clerk's office and was the teacher. Among his pupils was William 
N. Sage, who, twenty-eight years afterward, was' elected county clerk and Mr. 
Cutler was his deputy clerk. 

304 History of the City of Rochester. 

Following these were the famous schools on Buffalo street, near the old 
" Buffalo pump." One of these schools was in " Crane's school-building " then 
so called. This was St. Luke's church original wooden building, which had 
been moved from Fitzhugh street, first to the rear of the church lot and, a few 
years afterward, to Buffalo street. The other school was in the old Exchange 
Hotel, a stone building, which was a short distance east of St. Luke's church 
building and where the Young Men's Catholic society building now stands. 
Many and also famous were the teachers who taught in the two schools while 
they both existed, and especially those who taught in the church building 
before and after the school in the Exchange Hotel building was discontinued. 
Among these teachers the names of Crane, Ford, Freeman, Benedict, Brittan, 
Treat, Kelsey, Breck are renowned in the estimation of the old pupils. During 
the many years that one or both of the schools continued, the pupils who 
attended them were from every part of Rochester and the surrounding country, 
and were in the aggregate a great multitude of boys and girls. There were 
also many female teachers in these schools, one of whom, Miss Fanny Smith, 
married Mr. Freeman, and another. Miss Charlotte H. Rawson, became the 
second wife of Dr. Matthew Brown. Miss Crane, sister of Mrs. Bullard, also 
taught in one of the Buffalo street schools. 

In about the same period of time Phelps Smith, for the purpose of aiding 
his sister in a good work, erected near the rear end of his dwelling-house, and 
at the rear or westerly end of his lot on North Washington street, a school- 
house of hewed logs. It was about twenty feet square. An alley, yet remain- 
ing there, led from Buffalo street to the rear end of the lot and school-house. 
This commendable enterprise of Mr. Smith was rewarded with success, and Miss 
Smith's school flourished. The children of Lyman B. and W. A, Langworthy, 
of Deacon Oren Sage and of many other residents of the vicinity attended the 
school. Three of the pupils are now Dr. H. H. Langworthy and William N. 
Sage, of Rochester, and John T. Langworthy, of Washington, D. C, first assist- 
ant controller of the currency. Miss Smith subsequently married Martin Clapp, 
who nearly sixty years ago was the builder of the United States Hotel, which 
is yet standing on the north side of West Main street near the corner of Eliza- 
beth street, \yithin a few years after its completion it was successively used 
for a hotel, for the Tonawanda railroad depot, for a manual labor institute, for 
Misses Blacks' and also Miss Seward's female seminaries and then for the Uni- 
versity of Rochester. It is of the experiment in the United States Hotel 
building of a manual labor school for Rochester, about the year 1828, that 
brief mention is next to be made. The school was designed for the higher 
education of young men, and for a time it had a goodly number of students. 
A few hours each day school exercises were suspended and the students applied 
themselves, and whatever mechanical skill they had or could acquire, to making 
barrels for the flour mills of Rochester. Rev. Gilbert Morgan, an accomplished 

Prominent Early Schools and Teachers. 305 

scholar, was the principal. The standard of scholarship in , the institution was 
high. Although it was a laudable effort to assist young men of limited means 
to obtain an education, and much interest was manifested in the institution by 
many citizens, it did not succeed, and Mr. Morgan subsequently engaged for a 
time in teaching in the High school on the east side of the river. Afterward 
he removed from Rochester to South Carolina, where he continued to reside for 
many years. His decease occurred but a year or two ago. 

During the period from about 1830 to 1834 there were two notable schools 
established on the west side of the river for the higher education of young 
ladies. The first was the school of the Misses Black, which was commenced 
about 1830, in the Sill building on the west side of South Fitzhugh street, near 
the corner of West Main street, and afterward removed to the United States 
Hotel building. The Misses Black were English-Canadian ladies. One or both 
of them had been educated at Miss Willard's famous Troy female seminary. 
Both were well qualified as teachers and were in all respects accomplished 
ladies. Their school was attended by many then young ladies who in after years 
graced society in Rochester and in other places. Some of the peculiarities of 
the school in matters of etiquette and methods of instruction were English 
rather than American, but the school was a flourishing one while it continued 
and was satisfactory to its patrons. Marriage, again, as in so many schools 
having female teachers, occasioned an interruption to the Misses Blacks' school. 
The elder Miss Black early in 1833 married a Canadian gentleman and returned 
to Canada to reside. 

The other school above alluded to and immediately succeeding the Misses 
IMacks' school was that of Miss Sarah T. Seward, afterward Mrs. Gen. Jacob 
Gould, who was also a graduate of the Troy female seminary, and who came 
to Rochester from Lebanon Springs in this state early in March, 1833, and 
almost immediately opened a school in the United States Hotel building. There 
had also come from the Troy female seminary Miss Sayles, afterward Mrs. Wil- 
liam S. Bishop. Miss Sayles became the assistant of Miss Seward, as she had 
been of the Misses Black. Miss Seward's school speedily achieved great suc- 
cess. After continuing in the United States Hotel for one year it was removed 
to the large stone building at the corner of Plymouth avenue and Spring street, 
the present site of the First Presbyterian church. During its continuance at 
that place for nearly two years, and till its removal to Alexander street in the 
autumn of 1835, it continued to flourish, and there followed an awakening of 
the people of Rochester to an appreciation of the value of higher female edu- 
cation. As the result of this awakening, two new female academies were pro- 
jected and new buildings for them were erected in 1835 a"d 1836. Auspicious 
and favoring circumstances attended both institutions and both were meritorious. 
One was Miss Seward's Alexander street female seminary, the building for 
which was completed and the school opened in October, 1835. The other was 

3o6 ■ History of the City of Rochester. 

the Rochester female academy, of Fitzhugh street, whose building. was com- 
menced in 1835 and completed and the school opened in May, 1836. 

The Fitzhugh street academy wa^ projected by leading public-spirited citi- 
zens, many of whom attended a meeting to promote its establishment, held at 
the office of Jonathan Child in January, 1835. , Authentic records of the ac- 
tion of this meeting and the good results which flowed from it and of the action 
of subsequent like meetings are contained in a book of records which has been 
carefully preserved at the academy. In the following February a plan of pro- 
cedure was adopted. Sixty-seven gentlemen agreed to divide among them- 
selves and take 200 shares of stock of $20 value p^ share and thus raise $4,000 
"to purchase a suitable lot and erect thereon a building for a female seminary 
in Rochester." The lot was soon afterward purchased from Anion Bronson for 
$300, subject to a mortgage to Everard Feck of $660, and a contract was made 
with Nehemiah Osburn for the construction of a building for $2,890. In Sep- 
tember, 183s, trustees were appointed. They were Jonathan Child, Moses 
Chapin, Elijah F. Smith, James K. Livingston and William P. Stanton. In 
thewinter of 1835—36 the trustees employed Miss Julia H. Jones as principal 
and the Misses Araminta D. and Julia Doolittle as assistant teachers for the 
commencement of a school in May, 1836. The school was duly and most au- 
spiciously opened at the appointed time and it was exceedingly flourishing and 

The institution was not incorporated until 1837. The trustees named in 
the act of incorporation were James Seymour, Jonathan Child, Elijah F. Smith, 
James K. Livingston, Moses Chapin and Henry B. Williams. After the resig- 
nation of Miss Jones, Miss A. D. Doolittle became, by appointment of the 
trustees, the principal and continued in charge of the institution till 1855, when 
she resigned. Mrs. Curtis succeeded Miss Doolittle in that year and was the 
principal of the school till 1858. In April. 1858, Rev. James Nichols and his 
wife, Mrs. Sarah J. Nichols,- came to Rochester from Geneseo and assumed the 
direction of the institution. The death of Mr. Nichols in 1864 left Mrs. Nichols, 
aided only by her abilities and experience as a teacher and by well chosen as- 
sistants, to conduct the various departments of the school. Under her wise 
direction it has continued to the present day to maintain high standing among 
the best schools of the city and of Western New York. The good work it has 
accomplished during the nearly fifty years of its existence is of inestimable 
value. Nearly four thousand pupils have been instructed in its halls, many of 
whom were advanced to a high degree of proficiency in knowledge and excel- 
lency of character. 

Miss Seward's Alexander street seminary, a boarding and day school, so 
called, was established in 1835. The school building which Miss Seward caused 
to be erected in that year was large, having sixty-four feet front. It was at- 
tractive in appearance, and the handsome grounds around the building were 

c:;I^^^^^^^>^-«J^~-^t^ ^, ^^yl^c^cJ^nyz^'zC^ 

,% -l-lynPKaM':! S^;.s N^w Y:ii-7o. 

Prominent Schools, 1825 to 1835. 307 

four or five acres in extent. All the appointments were complete and appro- 
priate to a boarding-school for young ladies. The sum expended by Miss Sew- 
ard and her friends for the grounds, buildings, scientific apparatus and other 
requisites to a large institution for higher female education exceeded $12,000. 
The ability and skill, as teachers, of Miss Seward and her assistants were justly 
appreciated not only in Rochester but throughout the state and to some extent 
in other states. The first year after its establishment the school numbered 
nearly a hundred pupils, many of whom were from various parts of New York 
and from other states and from Canada, and Miss Seward's seminary took front 
rank with the best like institutions in the country. It was incorporated in 1838. 
On the marriage of Miss Seward to General Jacob Gould in September, 1841, 
Jason W. Seward, a brother of Miss Seward and president of the corporation, 
assumed direction of the institution. It continued its good work under his 
guidance, aided by Miss Seward's former assistants, till 1848, when it was finally 
discontinued, or superseded by the Tracy female institute. In 1856 the grounds 
were sold to Freeman Clarke and the buildings removed to give place to the 
mansion of Mr. Clarke, who now resides there. The foregoing brief histories of 
the Fitzhugh street and Alexander street academies are here given somewhat 
out of the proper order as to the relative time of their establishment among the 
early schools of Rochester, because the two academies were so immediately the 
successors of the schools of the Misses Black and Miss Seward on the west side 
of the city that their histories inevitably combine and will ever flow together in 
any narrative of the origin and continuance of those schools. 

In now reverting to other schools of the period from 1825 to 1835 which 
have interesting histories, the school of Richard Dunning may be mentioned 
next. Early in 1827 a long, substantial, one-story wooden building capable 
of accommodating one hundred and fifty pupils was erected on Stone street 
near Main street by Czar Dunning, a well known dry goods merchant of Roch- 
ester, who came here in 18 17, and his brother Richard, who was then studying 
for the ministry. It was the purpose to conduct the school on the Lancasterian 
or monitorial plan, then a somewhat popular method of conducting schools, 
and the enterprise therefore attracted much attention. About eighty pupils 
attended. Richard Dunning had previously been to Boston, specially to learn 
the methods of like schools there. The monitorial plan did not prove success- 
ful in this school or in other schools in Rochester where it was subsequently 
attempted. In the autobiography of Richard Dunning — which his son. Czar 
Dunning, who is named after the old merchant and is now a resident of Roch- 
ester, has permitted the writer to examine — it is stated, as an additional reason 
for the failure of the school, that "although some of its patrons were wealthy, 
among whom were Josiah Bissell, James Seymour, the banker, and E. D. 
Smith, a large proportion were persons of limited means, so that many tuition 
bills remained unpaid and the school had finally to be discontinued." It is 

3o8 History of the City of Rochester. 

probable that the High school on Lancaster street, which was also commenced 
in the same year, diverted many pupils and diminished the substantial patron- 
age and encouragement that Mr. Dunning's school would have secured but for 
this circumstance. Soon after the discontinuance of the school, the building 
was disposed of for other uses by Czar Dunning, whose public spirit and lib- 
erality from the beginning to the end of the matter were praiseworthy. The 
teacher, Richard Dunning, soon afterward became a clergyman. Czar Dun- 
ning a few years afterward removed to New York, where he largely increased 
his wealth as a merchant. Both are now deceased. ' 

On Lancaster street, quite near to Main street, a school was opened about 
1825 and continued for many years. A goodly number of the former pupils 
who are yet residents of Rochester well remember it. Schuyler Moses says it 
was the beginning of the present district number 1 1 public school, now at the 
corner of Chestnut and James streets, and that when it was removed from Lan- 
caster street it was immediately continued on Chestnut street. The most, if 
not the best, remembered teacher while it was on Lancaster- street was Mr. 
Shafer. Although a pretty good teacher, as the old pupils say, he had very 
striking peculiarities and one thing besides the ruler that often struck the pupils 
with amazement was that he would occasionally smoke his pipe during school 
hours. Nathaniel and George H. Thompson, Henry S. and Charles W. ITcb- 
ard, Seth Green, John Gorton and John Woollard were attendants and relate 
many reminiscences of the teacher named. Some of them have recently ad- 
mitted in a half-confidential manner that they had personal experiences of Mr. 
Shafer's striking peculiarities which they will ever remember. At a later period 
Mr. Shafer was a teacher in other early schools. 

The Rochester High school was incorporated in 1827. For twenty-five 
years and till its destruction by fire in 1852 it was the chief educational insti- 
tution in Rochester. It was located on grounds between Lancaster and Chest- 
nut streets now in part occupied by the structures belonging till recently to the 
Third Presbyterian church, but now to the Unitarian church. There are few 
original records relating to the school preserved to the present time excepting 
the brief and formal reports required to be made annually to the regents of 
the university at Albany. As to any other records it is the testimony of mem- 
bers of Dr. Dewey's family that whatever records of the institution were made 
were kept in the school building and were destroyed in the fire that consumed 
the building. Few records of any kind have been accessible to aid in prepar- 
ing a sketch of its history. The recollections of it retained by all the older 
inhabitants are nevertheless enduring. It is well remembered by them that 
the school and the school building were the largest of any in Rochester at the 
time ; that Dr. Dewey was for a long period the principal of the institution 
and Miss Mary B. Allen the chief teacher in the female department ; that the 
institution flourished and at times languished for the want of greater pecuniary 

The Old Rochester High School. 309 

support; that under the direction of Prof. Dewey it flourished to a greater 
extent than ever before, so that it had a greater number of pupils than any 
hke institution in this part of the state; that the school building was destroyed 
by fire and the . institution thus came to a lamented end. All the surviving 
pupils have vivid and emotional remembrance of the old building and play- 
grounds, the teachers, the associate pupils and the chief events and incidents in 
the school during the respective periods of their attendance, and even the in- 
telligent school boys and girls of all the other early schools remember the 
general history of the High school; but, more than the annual reports alluded 
to and these general personal recollections, and the recorded act of incorpora- 
tion, and amendments to it ; a few advertisements and items as to school ex- 
aminations and events occurring to the institution contained in old news- 
papers; a few paragraphs in old city directories and, best of all, in Henry 
O'Rielly's Sketches of Rochester, and occasional dates to be found in the city 
and county records relating to the corporate transactions of the institution, 
nothing remains of it or its history. The old inhabitants of Rochester and the 
old pupils remaining here or residing elsewhere have attained the age when 
memory falters, and they are one after another, in the voyage of life, nearing 
the eternal shores from which there is no return. Unless some one shall soon 
gather from them and put in proper form and place of preservation whatever 
is yet remembered of the institution, the time and opportunity for writing its 
history will be lost, and the old High school not many years hence will be for- 
gotten. The prescribed limits of this mere sketch of its history will not per- 
mit much more than the mention of the .act of incorporation and the early 
trustees, and of some additional particulars as to the school building and the 
teachers, and of a few Incidents and events relating to the institution. 

The act of incorporation was passed by the legislature March iSth, 1827. 
It directed that " school districts numbers 4 and 14 in the town of Brighton be 
united in one district for the purpose of instructing youth on the system of 
Lancaster or Bell, or according to any other plan of elementary education, and 
that Levi Ward, jr., Obadiah N. Bush, Davis C. West, Ashley Sampson, Peck- 
ham Barker, Elisha Johnson, Enos Stone, Elisha Ely, Abner Wakelee, Isaac 
Marsh, William Atkinson and Salmon Schofield shall be the first trustees." 
The corporate name of the institution was the " Rochester High school." In 
after years the following named gentlemen and probably others were, for various 
periods, trustees of the institution : Fletcher M. Haight, William W. Mumford, 
Ashbel W. Riley, Levi A. Ward, H. L. Achilles, James W. Smith, William 
H. Ward, Jared Newell, Nathaniel Draper, Allen Wheeler, Everard Peck, 
Julius T. and Samuel G. Andrews, N. Osburn, Frederick Starr, Charles M. 
Lee, William Pitkin and Harvey Humphrey. A lot of land about one and 
one-half acres in extent, fronting on Lancaster street, was obtained from Enos 
Stone for the construction of a large school-building. A pleasant alley-way 

3IO History of. the City of Rochester. 

then extended from Clinton street and terminated in Lancaster street in front 
of the lot, and was used as a pathway to and from the school during all the 
period the school continued. At the request of the trustees, Dr. Levi Ward 
and Ashbel W. Riley went to East Henrietta to examine the quite large school- 
building then recently constructed there and to adopt whatever plans of con- 
struction were deemed appropriate to school uses in Rochester. The plans 
recommended by those two gentlemen were adopted by the trustees. Ashbel 
W. Riley constructed the building, which was placed in about the middle of 
the grounds. The walls were of stone. The dimensions were eighty-five feet 
in length, north and south, fifty-five feet wide, ai^d three stories in height. A 
cupola, furnished with a bell, surmounted the center of the structure. There 
were three large doors of entrance, one at the northerly end and the others on 
the easterly and westerly sides. In the interior of the two corners of the north 
end were two wide stairways with angular windings to the second and third 
stories ; and also in the northerly part of the building, between the vestibules 
and the large school- rooms, there were two recitation- rooms on each floor, 
which were separated by north and south hall- ways. ' These hall-ways con- 
nected the vestibules and the large school-rooms. The throngs of junior and 
senior pupils in all the six large and six smaller rooms made the entire building, 
during school hours, a vital and busy place. These minor particulars are note- 
worthy, because a school of more than half a hundred pupils and a school- 
building with more than one room and exceeding one story in height were, 
in 1827, a great improvement and advance even for Rochester, and because 
even a brief and imperfect word-picture that but faintly reproduces the old 
building will awaken pleasant memories in surviving pupils and teachers. For 
that early time, as related to education in Western New York, the building was 
justly regarded as exceedingly spacious and the appointments complete, for 
they included philosophical apparatus by which the sciences of chemistry and 
astronomy could be illustrated. The large schools in the junior and senior 
male and female departments were well maintained by carefully chosen teachers, 
and the institution became famous among the High schools in this part of the 

During the course of the twenty- five years the institution existed the num- 
ber of teachers in the various departments, for longer or shorter periods of 
time, became quite large. In the limited time the writer could devote to 
inquiry it has proved impracticable, at present, to obtain the names of all the 
teachers either in the High school or other early schools, or to obtain accurate 
information, except in a few instances, as to the period of time the teachers whose 
names ai*e known continued in the schools in which they taught. In respect 
to the High school, it is impossible at present even to place the names of the 
teachers who are known in the chronological order of their connection with the 
institution, or relate them, except in a few instances, to the departments in 


The Old Rocpf ester High School. 311 

which they taught. The first teachers can, however, be named nearly with 
accuracy. They were : S. D. Moore, who was the first principal, and Mr. Van 
Dake and Miss Weed, who were assistant teachers. Afterwai-d there followed, 
with various periods of connection with the institution, Orlando Oatman, Mr. 
Bartlett, Josiah Perry, Rev. Gilbert Morgan, Daniel Marsh, Henry Stanley, 
George Bartholomew, Mr. Hovey, Philander Davis, Rev. Dr. Chester Dewey, 
Leander Wetherill, Lindley Murray Moore, Chauncey Giles, Lieut. Pitkin 
(United States army), William Breck, Rev. Charles Fitch, Mr. Clemens, Nathan 
Brittan, N. W. Benedict, Latham S. Burrows, James R, Doolittle (subsequently 
United States senator from Wisconsin), Mr. Jones, Mr. Ramsay. Among 
fernale teachers following Miss Weed were Miss Mary B. Allen, Amelia B. 
Colton, Charlotte and Caroline Stanley, Mary Hunt, Helen Mallet, Celestia A. 
Bloss, Julia Picrpont, Miss Eaton, Malvina M. Snow (who succeeded Miss 
Allen as chief teacher), Cornelia M. Crocker, Miss Rogers, Miss Clemens and 
Mrs. Greenough, the successor of Miss Snow, After Mrs. Greenough's resig- 
nation. Miss Pierpont was the chief teacher. It is certain, and it is regretful, 
that the foregoing lists are incomplete. 

The female teachers are here named as they were known at the High school. 
Many, if not all, of them were subsequently married. Miss Allen became Mrs. 
Moses King, Miss Mallet is now Mrs. E. G. Billings, and both ladies are still 
residing in Rochester. Miss Bloss established the Clover street seminary, in 
Brighton, about 1846, and while principal of that institution was married to 
Isaac W. Brewster. She is now deceased. 

Dr. Dewey was for the longest period the principal and a continuous teacher 
in the institution. Few gentlemen were more revered and loved by his asso- 
ciate teachers, pupils, and all the people of Rochester than was he, and his 
memory will ever be precious to all who knew hirn. He came to Rochester in 
May, 1836, by a special call to the High school from its then trustees. He 
was at the time residing in Pittsfield, Mass., and was the principal of the Berk- 
shire institute. He had previously, from 18 10 to 1825, been one of the pro- 
fessors in Williams college, Massachusetts. After the destruction of the High 
school in 1852, by fire, he was appointed professor of natural sciences in the 
University of Rochester, in which position he continued nearly to the end of 
his life. He was ever in high repute as a scholar and naturalist, as a most 
skilled and successful educator and most kindly and gracious gentleman. It 
was after Dr. Dewey came to Rochester and introduced into the High school 
the improved methods in teaching of the best like institutions in New England 
that the High school attained its greatest reputation and usefulness, and in- 
creased the number of its pupils from the previous annual average of 400 to 
more than 500. In 1837 the number exceeded 560. 

Miss Mary B. Allen, now Mrs. King, came to the High school as ea.rly as 
1 830 and remained as chief teacher in the female department seven years. No 

3 1 2 History of the City of Rochester. 

other one of the female teachers was as long connected with the institution. 
Under her auspices and wise direction the female department happily flourished, 
and all the departments and teachers were greatly assisted by her good counsel 
and her hearty devotion to the institution. Like that of Prof. Dewey, her 
name will be identified with the institution as long as it is remembered. Mrs. 
Greenough, also well known and greatly esteemed in Rochester, was one of the 
later teachers and succeeded Miss Snow as chief teacher in the female depart- 
ment. She is now a resident of Cambridge, Mass., and, like Mrs. King, has 
attained more than eighty years of age. The pupils of the High school during 
its long continuance numbered in the aggregate not many if any less than ten 
thousand. There were biit few prominent families residing, during its exist- 
ence, in any part of Rochester or the surrounding country that did not at some 
time have a representative in the school. Its pupils have been travelers in 
every clime and residents of the various states of the Union and countries of 
the world. Of the thousands whose education and advancement were com- 
menced or continued in the old High school, professional, mechanical, artistic, 
political and business successes and distinction have attended a large proportion 
of the boys grown to manhood ; and graceful accomplishments, high social, 
literary, artistic and in many instances professional reputation and distinction 
have also been attained, by great numbers of the girls grown to womanhood. 
Grateful remembrances and delightful associations of the old institution and its 
numerous teachers, and especially of venerable Dr. Dewey, have ever been and 
will ever be retained and cherished by the pupils to the end of life. 

A Catholic school in the basement of St. Patrick's church was established 
as early as 1835. During the winter of 1834-35 Rev. Bernard O'Reilly, pastor 
of the church, requested Father Welch, of Brooklyn, N. Y., to send a capable 
Catholic teacher to Rochester. In response to this request Michael Hughes, 
who arrived in America in December, 1834, was sent here early in May, 1835. 
The school was immediately opened by Mr. Hughes in Dr. Hugh Bradley's 
house, on North St. Paul street, near Falls field, and continued there while the 
basement of St. Patrick's church was being fitted for a school-room. As soon 
as' the school-room was completed the school was removed to the church and 
Mr. Hughes continued its teacher for seven years, assisted by his wife, Mrs. 
Margaret L. Hughes. After this period Mr. Kelly became the teacher in 1842, 
and in 1843 Patrick Quin, who is now surviving in the eighty-fourth year of 
his age, succeeded Mr. Kelly and continued to be the teacher till 1848. The 
school was soon afterward removed to Brown street, where it is still maintained. 

In addition to all the foregoing there should be mentioned many other early 
schools that were more or less prorninent and were, in many instances, of 
much excellence and usefulness. Various and interesting associations and 
recollections as to their teachers and pupils and events relating to the schools 
are yet well preserved, and it was the intention to specially mention some of 

Other Early Private Schools.' 313 

these schools and the incidents alluded to, but necessary limitations, which 
cannot be transcended, prevent its being done. In the brief mention of them, 
or many of them, hereinafter made, the order in which they are given pertains 
to the years in which they existed and not to their prominence as schools. 
There were many more schools in Rochester; especially during the latter part 
of the period embraced in these sketches, than have been mentioned, as the 
public school districts were increased soon after Rochester became a city in 
1834 and district schools abounded. It may also be stated that it is not in the 
scope or design of this article to narrate anything as to the later district schools, 
that having been left to Mr. Ellis, the superintendent of the public schools of 
the city, and, as to the other or private schools, information as to all of them 
has not been obtainable. Those of which brief mention can be made — ^ giving 
those taught by females first and the years of their establishment or continu- 
ance as . nearly correctly as possible — are the schools of Miss Mary Burr, on 
State, near Jay street, in 1822; Miss Mary Sibley, on North Sophia street, 
about 1825, a seminary chiefly for the superior education of young ladies and 
largely attended in its time ; Miss Eliza Weed, Main street, near Clinton street, 
1825 ; subsequently Miss Weed was chief teacher in the first school opened 
for young ladies in the High school; Miss Baldwin, in basement of First Bap- 
tist church, formerly First Presbyterian church building. State street, 1824; 
Miss Hawley, Buffalo street, near the corner of Fitzhugh street, 1826; Mrs. 
Fisher BuUard, State street, near Brown street, 1826; Miss Ursula Paddock, 
Main street, now East avenue, continuing in or near Josiah Bissell's ofl'ice, op- 
posite the end of Chestnut street, from 1825 to 1831; Miss Hopkins, South 
street, west side, near the corner of Jackson street, 1826, her old school-house 
still standing; Miss Flowets, South Sophia street, about 1828, a popular aca- 
demic school for young ladies, in which the higher branches of education were 
successfully taught; the daughters of Gen. Jacob Gould, Ebenezer Watts, James 
Seymour, Dr. John D. Henry, Wm. J. Shearman, Abelard Reynolds, John 
Caldwell, and many other early and well known residents of Rochester and 
vicinity were attendants; Miss Delia Stone, afterward Mrs. Bishop, missionary 
to Sandwich islands, Fitzhugh street, 1825 ; Miss Belden, Spring street, 1827-28; 
Miss Sadler, Exchange street, near old circus, 1828; Mrs. Harford, Spring 
street, near Fitzhugh street, 1830; Miss Cleveland, South St. Paul street, west 
side, near Main street, 1828, a popular school for young children, attended by 
the younger daughters of Dr. Henry, Mr. Childs of Washington square, Elisha 
Johnson and other gentlemen, and the sons of Elisha Ely and W. J. Shear- 
man; Mrs. Spaulding, in Smith's stone building, corner of Buffalo, now West 
Main street, and Exchange street, about 1830; Miss Carter, near Washington 
square, about 1830; Mrs. Darrow, Fitzhugh street, near site of Rochester sav- 
ings bank, 1832; Eliza Dickinson, east cornel" of Main street, now East 
avenue, and Chestnut street, 1832; Miss Humphrey, State street, where Church 

314 History OF THE City OF Rochester. 

street now is opened, about 1833; Mrs. Hotchkiss, Jones street, near Dean 
street, about 1835; Miss Banning, State street, east side, south of Piatt street, 
1836; Miss Cornell, State street, about 1836; Miss Chichester, southwest cor- 
ner of State and Brown streets, about 1837; Miss Palmer, corner of Main and 
Franklin streets, also Amity street, about 1838; Miss Sarah Jane Clark, now 
Mrs. Lippincott of Philadelphia, distinguished in literature as "Grace Green- 
wood," North avenue, near University avenue, 1838. 

There were also the so-called "charitable," or free schools, maintained, at 
various times after 1820 and till public or free schools were established by law, 
by the First Presbyterian church, by St. Luke's church, and by the Female 
Charitable society, and charitable schools for colored children were at various 
times provided. The annals of all these schools are of interest as related to 
the early schools of Rochester. 

Among the schools taught by male teachers were those of Rev. Mr. Miller, 
school-house on Exchange street, where the Clinton House now stands, and 
also in school-house where the city hall now stands, before the First church was 
erected there, about 1820; Mr. Dodge, same places, after 1820; Ephraim Goss, 
grammar school, Buffalo street, near corner of Exchange street, 1825—26. This 
teacher was subsequently well known throughout the country as Squire Goss 
of Pittsford ; Mr. Wilder, east side of North Sophia street, a largely attended 
school, 1830; Smith Dunham, on or near present site of arsenal, south 
side of Washington, square, about 1828 (this was a large school) ; one of 
Mr. Dunham's half-humorous, half-savage, and yery frequent greetings to his 
pupils was, "woe unto yoii boys!"; Mr. Haines, South St. Paul, west side, 
opposite Agricultural buildings (school building yet there), about 1 830 (Mr. 
Shafer and Mr. Johnson were also teachers in this building before 1830, and 
Thomas R. Greening after that time) ; Mr. Mills, Spring street, near Exchange 
street, about 1830; Mr. Spaulding, in Smith's stone building, corner Buffalo 
and Exchange streets, about 1830; Mrs. Spaulding's school for girls was in the 
same building at the same time; Mr. Comstock, in same building about 1832 ; 
Mr. Elliot, assisted by Miss Cunningham, free school maintained by A. W. 
Riley in the Free church, corner of Court and Stone streets, 1833-34-35 > av- 
erage attendance 100 pupils; Samuel Boothby, Franklin House, subsequently 
Osburn House, 1835, large school (Mr. B. formerly and subsequently taught in 
Brown square and North Ford street schools and on State near Piatt street) ; 
Mr. Flint, State street, near Piatt street, about 1830. 

There was an early school, once on a time, and somewhere in the northwest- 
ern part of Rochester, which was greatly distinguished among' either earlier or 
later schools by the circumstance that its teacher frequently honed his razor, 
lathered his face and shaved himself in presence of his pupils during school 
hours. This cannot have been and probably never will be regarded as proper, 
except when it is geographically considered as occurring in the northwestern 

Prominent Schools Since 1840. 315 

quarter and therefore as making a proper balance of things in the early school 
system of Rochester, for it was in one of the early schools in the southeastern 
part of the town, and about the same time, that a teacher frequently smoked his 
pipe during school hours. 

In preparing the foregoing annals of the early schools of Rochester, the line 
of separation between them and the later schools was deemed to be, properly,, 
the year 1 840 ; and therefore all the schools hereinbefore-mentioned were estab- 
lished antecedent to that time. This will explain the seeming oversight and 
omission of many once existing excellent schools which have been so long dis- 
continued that they seem to be old schools, and probably would have to be so 
called relatively to and in distinction from those at present existing. Among 
the schools established and discontinued since 1840 maybe mentioned those of 
Miss Mary B. Allen, now Mrs. King, at the corner of North St. Paul street and 
Pleasant street, opened in 1840-41 and discontinued in 1844, ^""^ her Allen 
street female seminary, established in 1847 and discontinued in 1869; Mrs. 
Atkinson's female seminary on North St. Paul street (Carthage) afterward on 
Canal street and still later at the corner of Plymouth avenue and Troup street ; 
Miss Langdon's seminary in what was called the Watts building, at the north- 
east corner of Buffalo and Exchange streets, and afterward in Child's block on 
Exchange street, south of the canal ; Mrs. Greenough's seminary at the corner 
of North and Andrews streets and finally on Plymouth avenue near Adams 
.street; Satterlee's collegiate institute, at the corner of Atwater and Oregon 
streets ; M. G. Peck's East avenue institute, East avenue, near the corner of 
Stillson street ; De Graff's institute for boys, on East Main street, near Stone 
street, and afterward at the corner of Court and Stone streets ; Mrs. Daniel 
Marsh's female seminary, a day and boarding school on South avenue ; East- 
man's commercial college, one of the first of the kind in the country ; Miles's 
institute, corner of State and Lyell streets ; Rev. Jesse A. Aughinbaugh's 
Catholic college in the Mumford block, corner of South St. Paul and Court 
streets, opened in 1848 and discontinued in 1851; the Tracy female in- 
stitute, on Alexander street ; the schools of Mrs.' Isabella Porter and Miss Mary 
Jane Porter in the basement of the Unitarian church on North Fitzhugh street, 
then of Misses M. J. and Almira B. Porter on South Washington, near Troup, 
and lastly of Miss A. B. Porter in the chapel of Christ church on East avenue. 

The making of the year 1840 the line or period of demarkation between the 
old schools and the new,' as stated, will also explain the omission to give at least 
brief histories of some of the now existing excellent schools of Rochester, which 
have been so long continned that they are now often called old-established 
schools. Among these superior and flourishing institutions not hereinbefore- 
mentioned are Mrs. Curtis's Livingston Park seminary, at the corner of Living- 
ston park and Spring street; Miss Bliss's seminary, at the corner of Spring and 
Washington streets ; Miss Cruttenden's seminary, on Gibbs street, near East 


3i6 History of the City of Rochester. 

Main street, and the various Catholic schools for higher education. There are 
many other private schools, so called, and institutions for male and female 
students, secular, parochial and denominational, in various parts of the city, and 
some of them have handsome buildings and large numbers of pupils. The 
splendid reorganisation and perfection of the public schools in conformity to 
the legislation of 1840-41 have made them and the Free academy deservedly 
popular with all classes and the pride and the boast of all the people of the 
city who have any interest in education. The University of Rochester and its 
adjunct, the Rochester theological seminary, have both been steadily advanc- 
ing in usefulness and power since their first establishment in 1850. The univer- 
sity is now rapidly acquiring additional resources for promoting higher and the 
highest education in the various departments of learning and science. Its sup- 
porters and friends, who are all the intelligent people of Rochester, justly rejoice 
in it as the good result of early and later work in Rochester in behalf of higher 
education, and as the crown and glory of the educational system of the city and 
region. The city has in truth a magnificent company of schools and educa- 
tional institutions, and the people of Rochester may properly be proud of them 
as the achievement mainly of their own wisdom and labors. They may be 
joyous in them because of the benefits the schools and institutions have con- 
ferred on children and youth and on society in time past and will continue to 
confer in all time to come ; and the people of Rochester may and should be 
exultant in now having in their midst this great company of schools and edu- 
cational institutions as the wonderful outcome, the grand fruition, the benefi- 
cent and splendid result of Huldah M. Strong's first school, in Enos Stone's 
barn in the year of grace 1813. 


The Academy of the Sacred Heart was established for higher studies for 
girls, by the ladies of the Sacred Heart, in 1855. Mother Kennedy '.opened 
the first house in 1855, on South St. Paul street, assisted by nineteen Religious. 
The first year they had about thirty-five pupils. In 1863 they removed to the 
present place on Prince street. The old building on the premises was enlarged 
in 1866 and it was finished in its present form in 1875. It is of brick, three 
stories high, with a basement for kitchen, dining-room, etc. At present there 
are thirty-six Religious in the convent, Mother A. Pardow being superior. 
The pupils number about sixty (twenty-five boarders and thirty-five day 
scholars). A Christian free school is connected with the academy. It num- 
bers one hundred and twenty scholars, with two teachers. 

Academy of the Sisters of Mercy. — In this house on South street, near St. 
Mary's church, a convent for the Sisters of Mercy, an academy, an industrial 
school, and a children's home are combined. The Sisters of Mercy were called 

1 This article was prepared by Rev. D. Laurenzis, under the supervision of Bishop McQuaid. 

The Convent School. 3 ' 7 

into the city of Rochester from Providence, by Bishop Timon, of Buffalo, in 
the year 1857, Father McEvoy being pastor of St. Mary's church. The first 
building they occupied was a private dwelling-house of brick on the present 
site. Five Sisters opened the house, Mother Baptist being superior. The 
building was enlarged in 1876 and the present beautiful structure was finished 
in 1882. It is three stories high, with a basement for kitchen, dining-room, 
etc. There are now twenty-seven Sisters in the house, Mother Frances being 
superior. They teach St. Mary's parochial school, and conduct a select school 
or academy with about fifty pupils. The industrial school connected with the 
convent was established in 1872. It numbers about fifty pupils. The children's 
home was established in 1882. Its object is to take care of small children 
while their mothers are at work. It numbers about twelve children. 

Academy of Nazareth convent, on Jay street, corner of Frank, is the mother 
house of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was opened in 1871, Mother M. Stanis- 
laus being superior. The Sisters of this community teach the parochial schools 
of St. Patrick's cathedral, St. Bridget's church and the Immaculate Conception 
church in this city and nearly all the parochial schools of the diocese. The 
house was opened with about twenty Sisters. The building was enlarged in 
1871—72, and the present building was finished in 1876. It is of brick, three 
stories high, with a basement for kitchen and dining-room. The academy con- 
nected with the convent was opened in 1872; it numbered then about thirty 
pupils. At present there are about one hundred pupils, twenty boarders and 
eighty day scholars. There are about sixty Sisters in the house. Mother M. 
Agnes is the present superior. 



'I'lie I'irst Hoard of Education — 'I'lie School Cen.sus in 1841 — Tlie Modern High School — Free 
Schools Eslablislied in 1849 — Opposition to the System — The UilTiculties Surmounted — The Com- 
mon Schools of the City — A Sketch of Each One. 

THE first board of education of the city of Rochester was organised in 1841. 
Only a few meager facts are obtainable in reference to the history and 
condition of the common schools previous to that time. That they were much 
inferior to the private schools established and conducted in those early years of 
the city's young life, seems clear from a flattering notice of the private schools 
in O' Rielly's History of Rochester. The only reference he makes to the com- 

1 This sketch was prepared by Mr. S. A. Ellis, the superintendent of public schools. 

3i8 History of the City of Rochester. 

mon schools is the following. After speaking of the old Rochester High school 

— not a free school — the female seminaries on Fitzhugh and Alexander streets, 
he says : — 

" In addition to the seminaries already mentioned, there are several select schools in 
the city, the whole numher of this class being eighteen. Besides these, there are thir- 
teen common school districts and two half districts within the city limits, in one of which 
districts a spacious and beautiful edifice has been erected — the building next north of 
St. Luke's church — which might be advantageously used as a model for similar struct- 
ures in other districts." 

The proprietors of the land constituting the site of the village of Rochester 

— Messrs. Fitzhugh, Carroll and Rochester — set apart, as a free gift, lots for a 
court-house, jail, church and school-house. The lot upon which the first school- 
house was erected was a part of the site now occupied by the Free academy 
building. It was a plain, one-story building, with desks arranged around the 
room on three sides, in such a manner that the pupils faced the walls. There 
was an open fire-place at one end. The entrance was on the side next to St. 
Luke's church. The seats were mostly constructed of slabs, with the flat sur- 
face uppermost, and with legs driven in the opposite side, on which they were 
supported, and were without backs. 

A census of school children was taken in January, 1841. The number of 
children of school age reported was 4,343, with an average attendance in the 
pubHc schools of 1,050, with twenty teachers, while 1,226 are reported as in at- 
tendance upon thirty-three private schools. There were, at that time, twelve 
school districts in the city. Of school-houses, there were three good, and four 
poor, while five districts were without buildings. A report of that year says : 

"The public schools have not the public confidence. The best citizens do not be- 
lieve that their children can obtain in the common schools that thorough mental disci- 
pline, that culture of their moral principles, and that attention to their habits and man- 
ners, wliich they deem indispensable to their welfare." 

On the 22d day of June, 1841, the first board of education was organised, 
of which Levi A. Ward was made president. I. F. Mack was elected the first 
superintendent of schools and proved himself a capable and efficient officer. 
He held office from 1841 to 1846, and was succeeded in turn by Samuel L. 
Selden, B. R. McAlpine, Washington Gibbons, Daniel Holbrook, R. D. Jones, 
J. Atwater, I. S. Hobbie, P. H. Curtis, C. N. Simmons, S. A. Ellis and A. L. 
Mabbett ; of these Daniel Holbrook served two terms and C. N. Simmons three 
terms. The present incumbent, S. A. Ellis, is serving his second term. The 
longest continuous term of office held by any of the foregoing was by S. A. 
Ellis, and was for seven years. Henry E. Rochester was elected the first county 
superintendent of common schools for Monroe county and rendered eff(;ctive 
service in the cause of education. 

Previous to the organisation of the board of education, the mayor, aldermen 
and assistants were, by virtue of their office, commissioners of common schools, 

The Public Schools. 3 '9 

in and for the city; and were authorised to perform all the duties of such com- . 
niissioners. In January, 1842, there were fifteen school districts in the city and 
seven school buildings. One of these, a brick building, is still standing, at the 
corner of Reynolds and Tremont streets, and is used as a dwelling-house. The 
board were about to erect two other buildings. The report for that year says : 
"The public schools are far superior to the select schools they have supplanted." 
At that time 2,300 children were in regular attendance, with thirty-four teach- 
ers. The total cost of the schools for the year was $13,000. A report made 
June 19th, 1843, gave the number of districts as fifteen, with eight commodious 
brick school-houses, the average attendance of pupils as 2,500, and annual cost 
of the schools as $19,000. In the second annual report of the board, made by 
Superintendent Mack in January, 1844, the average attendance of males was 
2,161, of females 2,085. During this period each district was assessed to meet 
the larger amount of the expenses incident to the administration of the school, 
the other portion being an appropriation by the state. Many honored names 
of the citizens of Rochester are found in the list of those who, from the first, 
took a prominent part in the administration of the affairs of the public schools. 

On the 26th of March, 1849, the act establishing free schools throughout 
the state was passed by the legislature. After the passage of the act, strenu- 
ous efforts were made by the enemies of free schools to secure its repeal. On 
the lOth of July a free school convention, consisting of delegates from every 
section of the state, met at Syracuse. Wm. C. Bloss and Frederick Starr were 
the delegates from this city, and zealously championed the cause of free schools. 
The attempt to secure the repeal of the law was signally defeated. In 1850 
the school districts were consolidated and the schools made free to all children 
between the ages of five and sixteen. 

To Rochester belongs the distinguished honor of having first conceived and 
given shape to the idea of the modern free "high school." In the year 1830 
a committee, consisting of Joseph Penney, D. D., O. C. Comstock, D. D., 
Matthew Brown, jr., Levi A. Ward and Heman Nprton — appointed by the 
citizens of Rochester at a large and enthusiastic meeting, held for the purpose 
of memorialising the state legislature on the subject of our common schools — 
presented, in April of that year, a memorial and a plan for their improvement. 
This seems a most remarkable document, read even in the light of more than 
half a century of progress in the public school system of the country. Fol- 
lowing the direction of public opinion, it indicated, in no uncertain way, the 
various improvements that have followed, and which have tended to the infu- 
sion of new life into the whole system. Among -the improvements recom- 
mended was the establishment, in each town, of a central high school, or higher 
school of the most approved standard of excellence, so connected with all the 
other schools in the town as to exert the most salutary influence upon the gen- 
eral interests of education, and aid in the preparation of well qualified teachers. 

320 History of the City of Rochester. 

As the result of this memorial, in 1 840, in the larger towns and cities of the 
state, union and high schools were established, and in successful operation. It 
was out of such convictions as these men expressed in their memorial that the 
modern high school grew. By the act of the 28th of April, 1834, the com-